Presentation on theme: "1 THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL Greg Dodd Member, Society of Certified Senior Advisors® SENIORS HELPING SENIORS® - NORTHWEST DALLAS."— Presentation transcript:
1 THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL Greg Dodd Member, Society of Certified Senior Advisors® SENIORS HELPING SENIORS® - NORTHWEST DALLAS
2 THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL A combination of negative conditions can drag the physical, mental, and emotional health of a senior into a downward spiral. The consequences at or near the bottom of the spiral can be severe: › Injury › Illness › Depression or Dementia › Fraud and Other Abuse
3 NEGATIVE CONDITIONS These conditions can create a downward spiral. Isolation Inadequate Nutrition or Hydration Inadequate Home Organization or Sanitation Improperly Taking Medication
4 REFERENCE Some of this presentation is based on information in Social Isolation Among Seniors: An Emerging Issue, An Investigation by The Children’s, Women’s, and Seniors’ Health Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Health (2004).
5 ISOLATION Defined as: limited social interaction and a small social network Objectively observable Usually develops gradually Caused by: › External factors (e.g., lack of transportation or funds) › Medical conditions, causing inability to socialize › Psychological conditions, causing unwillingness to socialize
6 INADEQUATE NUTRITION OR HYDRATION Inability or unwillingness to socialize can lead to: Lack of adequate food supplies in the home Lack of a balanced diet Relying on easily prepared or ready-to-eat foods A diet that aggravates existing medical conditions Eating at times that are not consistent with medication requirements (e.g., taking medication before a meal, instead of after) Dehydration
7 UNSAFE OR UNSANITARY HOME CONDITIONS Isolation and inadequate nutrition or hydration can lead to: Inadequate housekeeping Unsanitary food preparation Spoiled or tainted food Inadequate personal hygiene Hazards from excessive clutter in the home Inadequate home maintenance and repairs Inadequate personal security
8 IMPROPERLY TAKING MEDICATION Isolation, inadequate nutrition or hydration, and unsafe or unsanitary conditions can lead to: Failure to renew prescriptions on time Failure to obtain new prescriptions when needed or maintenance medications Failure to take medications as prescribed Interactions between medications and foods or herbal supplements Undetected medication side effects or drug interactions
9 POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES Isolation, inadequate nutrition/hydration, unsafe or unsanitary conditions, and taking medication improperly can cause a downward spiral, resulting in: Injury – from falls, cuts, burns Illness – skin and eye infections, UTIs, stomach and intestinal infections Untreated and Aggravated Medical Conditions – diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary disease Onset or Acceleration of Dementia and Depression Fraud or Other Abuse
10 WHO IS MOST AT RISK? Factors that increase the risk of a downward spiral: Gender – Women can be more susceptible to isolation, partially because they typically live longer. Death of a Spouse – grief; forced self-sufficiency Living Alone – often an abrupt change after death of a spouse Reduced Social Network – illness or death of friends; recent move to a new location Loss of Ability to Drive – especially if forced
11 PREVENTION What can be done to prevent a downward spiral? Some seniors recognize the risk and take preventive actions on their own. They are the exceptions! Medical or mental conditions can make it impossible for the senior to recognize the risk. Family members, neighbors, friends, church members, and/or social organizations must then act to prevent or reverse a downward spiral.
12 WHAT CAN PREVENT OR REVERSE A DOWNWARD SPIRAL? Family, friends, and/or church members must take the initiative to increase their interaction with and help for the senior at risk Identify and engage technology to help the senior at risk Identify and engage charitable and/or government services for the senior at risk Identify and engage in home help for the senior at risk
13 FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH MEMBERS Typically, there will be significant resistance from seniors at risk when they think people are “taking over”. Be prepared for it. Be politely persistent. Coordination is essential among those interacting with the senior at risk. Without it, the resistance will only increase. Even distant family members can help, with financial arrangements, internet-based research and resources, emotional support and encouragement, and PRAYERS for all involved!
14 SOCIAL SERVICES Local church ministries Regional faith-based services Secular private charitable service organizations City, county, and state entities Charitable and government entities often have need-based requirements that must be met before they can provide services.
15 TECHNOLOGY Emergency Response Equipment and Services Medication Management Equipment Mobility Assistance Equipment Equipment for the Hearing Impaired Equipment for the Visually Impaired Video Monitoring Equipment
16 IN HOME HELP Varies widely in breadth of service, delivery method, quality, and cost. Home Health Care – usually only post- hospitalization, very short visits, specific tasks; Medicare can pay Companion/Homemaker/Personal Assistance - available any time, any duration, broad tasks; private pay (including Long Term Care Insurance and Veterans Benefits)
17 IN HOME HELP – Individual or Agency? Individuals hired directly: › Not required to be licensed, insured, or “bonded” › Background reports must be obtained › No backups or replacements for time off or illness › Can be slightly lower cost Service from an Agency: › Licensed for Personal Assistance, insured, and “bonded” › Background reports obtained on each worker › Readily available backups and replacements
18 SENIORS HELPING SENIORS® All helpers are seniors themselves – active, healthy, dependable, compatible The helpers’ maturity and their experience with other seniors gives them added understanding, compassion, and patience The dependability of a business service, from helpers carefully selected to have the “heart of a volunteer” Competitive rates, with only a 3-hour minimum visit Individually owned and operated Part of a nationwide franchise network