Angel News
February 2010
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In This Issue

Caregiving Nation

A Graceful Exit

The Senior Preferred Home

A Drink and a Scan to Your Health

What's Happening

Tech Help

Tech Help

If you don't have grandkids to teach you how to use the computer better, a new service can help. Watch this video on MyGait, which offers computer assistance for seniors. For more information, visit MyGait.

Microsoft resources:

Computing Guide for Boomers

The Accessibility Resources  page

Puzzles to Remember


Studies have shown that patients who engage in simple mental activities, such as working jigsaw puzzles, can slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Puzzles to Remember is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and other institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. Click here If you want to contribute some old puzzles.
Using Seniors to Entertain Seniors


A group in New Jersey is finding that even very ill or non-responsive patients in nursing homes respond to music. Watch this video to see how one group is keeping active while entertaining. Also visit MusicGivesLife.com.

Exploring the World has No Age Limits

Senior Adventures

The experiential marketplace - sensation, education, adventure and culture - is now ripe for all those older people who are intensely active and see the "twilight years" as just another stage of exploration. Turns out that the global travel and leisure industry is now racing to keep up with the demands of the older folks who are seeking adventure. A Boston-based company that specializes in older travelers reports that adventure tours have gone from 16 percent of passenger volume in 2001 to 50 percent for advance bookings in 2010, and the average traveler's age has risen to 68 from 62.

Exploritas, a nonprofit educational travel group previously known as Elderhostel, reports that the sharpest growth in their travel programs has been in the over-85 crowd; more than 70 percent!

Read more or make travel reservations.
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Moving full speed ahead into a fresh decade, one can't help but notice the number of new studies, innovations and discoveries developing with the burgeoning senior population in mind. Statistics also showcase that we are increasingly becoming a nation of caregivers. With the goal of supporting all family caregivers and in a spirit of sharing and community, we hope you will find the included news informative and beneficial.

Thank you,
Visiting Angels of Central Burlington & Mercer Counties
oneNearly a Third of All US Adults Are Now Family Caregivers -- 65.7 Million

Caregiving NationAccording to the latest research, nearly a third of the nation's adult population spends an average of 20 hours on caregiving each week.

31% of all US households, a full 65.7 million American adults, are performing the unpaid caregiving role, reports Caregiving in the US 2009, a comprehensive study from the National Alliance for Caregiving, AARP and the MetLife Foundation.

Some of the findings: 66% of all caregivers are female. The average age is 48. Most
care is a relative (86%), and most often that relative is a parent (36%). The caregiving lasts an average of 4.6 years.

The main reasons people need care are old age (12%), Alzheimer's disease (10%), mental/emotional illness (7%), cancer (7%), heart disease (5%) and stroke (5%).

For a PDF of the report, click
twoThe End of Life as the Final Stage of Living

This is a must-see for all. It focuses on The One Slide Project which encourages each person to take 2 minutes to ensure life can end with the same purposeful way it was lived.

GraceAnswer the five questions.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) offers this video encouraging as many people as possible to realize the importance of having the "end of life conversation" with everyone. At the heart of "Engage With Grace" are 5 questions to begin the conversation of expressing end of life wishes. It is suggested that each and every person take the time to absorb and digest the questions and share the answers with loved ones. Write these answers down and put them in a safe place.

Watch the
video and visit the Web site.

Can You and Your Loved Ones
Answer These Questions?

  1. On a scale of 1 to 5, where do you fall on this continuum?

1 - - - 2 - - - 3 - - - 4 - - - 5

Let me die in my own bed, without Don't give up on me no matter what, try any
any medical intervention proven and unproven intervention possible.
  1. If there were a choice, would you prefer to die at home, or in a hospital?
  2. Could a loved one correctly describe how you'd like to be treated in the case of a terminal illness?
  3. Is there someone you trust whom you've appointed to advocate on your behalf when the time is near?
  4. Have you completed any of the following: written a living will, appointed a healthcarepower of attorney, or completed an advance directive?
three55+ Housing Study Reinforces Aging in Place

HomeSome of the high points in the Met Life and National Association of Home Builders study showed that 63% of those over 55 plan to age in their current homes. 79% of the respondents reported that they prefer a single-story home. The top five most important features were: washer and dryer in the home/unit, storage space, windows that open easily, master bedroom on the first floor in a two-story home, and an easily usable thermostat to control climate. Also, high speed Internet access was rated as an important feature with 83% of the respondents rating high-speed Internet access as Somewhat to Very Important.

Read about the report or access the full report in PDF format.

Additional Aging-in-Place Information

For those who are already aging-in-place, the modifications most frequently purchased by homeowners include:

  • Adding grab bars (78 percent)
  • Installing higher toilets (71 percent)
  • Upgrading to a curb-less shower (60 percent)
  • Widening doorways (57 percent)
  • Constructing ramps or lower thresholds (45 percent)
  • Enhancing lighting and task lighting (45 percent)
Access more information here.
fourTake a "Medical Food" Drink and Get a Scan: Two New Studies on Alzheimer's

MilkScientists have developed a drink called Souvenaid that apparently helps restore synapses in the brain. Patients who drank the Souvenaid showed significant improvement in the delayed verbal recall task. The idea is to delay the symptoms of Alzheimer's, not cure the disease. The researchers said that Alzheimer's patients drinking the combination of these nutrients is akin to pregnant women taking folic acid supplements. It's not that they are deficient in these nutrients, but the addition of more of them carries benefits.

An Italian group is working on identifying a different marker to be able to diagnose the disease earlier. A kind of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging may pick up signs of Alzheimer's in healthy elderly individuals. Activity in the hippocampus could represent some of the earliest structural changes that occur in the early stages of Alzheimer's, the researchers say. Read about these two important
new studies
fiveWhat's Happening

RisdorferNewest Staff Member
We welcome our newest team member: Yvette Risdorfer. Yvette is our new Client Services Associate, based out of our Marlton Office, who is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training our "Angels" (aides). Yvette was born and raised in Philadelphia and is married with 2 children. Her background is in real estate where she was the executive assistant to the broker for many years. Says Yvette about her new position at Visiting Angels, "I am very excited to be working with Visiting Angels and to be back in the corporate world where I can utilize my skills and experience in sales, marketing and recruiting."

FlagYour Military Pension Benefits Can Pay For Our In-Home Care Services
You May Qualify...
We're Here To Help!

Did you know that as a Veteran of the US Armed Services, you and your spouse may be entitled to receive our non-medical, home care services at no personal expense to you or your family? The Veteran's "Aid and Attendance" Benefit Program may be for you.

Veterans who served during a wartime, have a "non-service related disability," and are unable to perform at least two "activities of daily living" may very well be eligible for this earned benefit program.* Call us today!

*Other requirements do apply.

Visiting Angels of Central Burlington & Mercer Counties:
About Our Care

Visiting Angels of Central Burlington & Mercer Counties is a New Jersey-licensed, non-medical home care company committed to going well beyond the "industry standard" to provide an exceptional level of security, comfort and peace of mind to our clients and their loved ones. Our "Angels", all certified home health professionals, are ready to provide compassionate and dependable assistance with the activities of everyday living to seniors, the disabled, those recovering from surgery and to those who are simply frail. Our services include such simple tasks as light housekeeping, meal preparation, errands and shopping to more personal tasks such as hygiene assistance, bathing, dressing and grooming.
Visiting Angels' in-home care helps make it possible for seniors and adults with special needs to continue to live at home and maintain the independence of their daily routines and familiar surroundings, for as long as they can do so safely. We truly understand how challenging and alien the entire home care selection process can be ... and we are experienced in working with families; with loved ones "resistant" to receiving care; and with third-parties payors (such as insurance companies and the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs) to help insure that the best interests of the family and their loved ones are met. Visiting Angels' services help families spend more mutually-rewarding and meaningful time with their loved ones and also helps provide comfort and peace of mind to those who face the challenge of long-distance caregiving.
For more information, please visit our website, www.VisitingAngels.com/Burling-Mercer; call us at 609-883-8188; or contact us by email at info.VisitingAngels@comcast.net.