Education Center

Health care-focused resources for seniors and medical community.

Record The Story Of Your Life. Start Here.

heidi Family / Caregiver Issues, Resources for ALFs Comments Off on Record The Story Of Your Life. Start Here.
Free online site allows you to record your life events and your end-of-life plans for your loved ones.

Free online site allows you to record your life events and your end-of-life plans for your loved ones.

Have you ever thought about how you want to be remembered upon your passing? What memories, photos and video you’d most like your loved ones to recollect? Letters, thoughts, messages you’d like to leave behind? Maybe even write your own biography for your family and friends to read? You can do all that and have it stored in an online site for free.

BeRemembered is a free online social networking service, where you can record how you want to be remembered by your family, friends and loved ones, even after you leave this life. You can record stories of your life, add pictures and video, describe how you want your end-of-life funeral event to be, even store private messages that are delivered to loved ones after you leave this life. It’s a great project for hospices and assisted living facilities, places of worship and other senior centers to help seniors (or people of any age) get started on telling their story and leave a loving legacy for their families.

The site is designed to be a vehicle for you to gradually collect, organize and archive your finest memories and thoughts. Also reflect on, and plan, your end-of-life celebration. Membership is free.

There’s a section on the site, My Bucket List, where you can set goals and track them. Maybe it’s taking a dream vacation or trying an adventure like skydiving. There’s Timeline, where you can capture your life’s events by uploading the stories, images and video that define the way you’ve lived your life. Say your last goodbyes here too in the section titled My Plan. This is where you plan for what comes after your life ends.

First step is to choose a guardian who will co-manage your account and the accounts of others you select to share all this with.

Check out these frequently asked questions.


Why People Become Hoarders And How To Help

heidi Elder Care Issues, Resources for Family Caregiver Comments Off on Why People Become Hoarders And How To Help
Hoarders often save extensive collections of books, magazines and newspapers. Other common items for hoarders are sentimental objects, clothing, animals and garbage.

Hoarders often save extensive collections of books, magazines and newspapers. Other common items for hoarders are sentimental objects, clothing, animals and garbage.

Hoarding disorder is defined by the drive to collect a large amount of useless or valueless items, coupled with extreme distress at the idea of throwing anything away.

Over time, this situation can render a space unhealthy or dangerous to be in, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Hoarding disorder can negatively impact someone emotionally, physically, socially and financially, and often leads to distress and disability. In addition, many hoarders cannot see that their actions are potentially harmful, and so may resist diagnosis or treatment.

About 5 percent of the world population suffers from clinical hoarding.

Symptoms tend to increase with age, but it may just be that older people are more likely to have people come into their homes and therefore be “discovered,” by visiting nurses, social service providers, etc.

People hoard for many reasons, including: sentimental value, difficulty with decision making, difficulty organizing, feelings of responsibility, need for control/perfectionism, fear of forgetting, and to fill the void created by a loss. Hoarding often stems from a desire to control the environment and how objects are used.

Risk Factors of Hoarding

Because hoarders are reluctant to seek treatment it is not clear how common hoarding is. Some of the risk factors that researchers have found, according to sageminder.com, are:

Age – Hoarding is not limited to any age, race, gender or nationality but it is believed to start in early adolescence. It typically progresses to a moderate problem when a person reaches their 20’s and 30’s, becoming a more severe problem in the 40’s and 50’s. Elderly may develop a hoarding issue due to aging factors.

Social Isolation – People who hoard are typically socially withdrawn. This can be a result of the hoarding or may be the reason for it.

Life Events – Leading a stressful life and not having the proper coping mechanisms can lead to hoarding.

Family History – Research has shown that there is a strong association between family members who are hoarders and becoming one yourself.

Alcohol Abuse – Studies have shown that about half of all hoarders have a history of alcohol dependency.

People who hoard often have personality characteristics in common, such as indecisiveness, a tendency to procrastinate or avoid, and being a perfectionist. Many hoarders experience difficulty with executive functioning. While age-related illnesses are not a primary cause of hoarding, it can be a symptom in dementia patients. Hoarding behaviors can also be seen in people suffering from OCD, depression, schizophrenia and traumatic brain injury.

5 Methods to Help Senior Hoarding, according to Address Our Mess.

  1. Acknowledge the problem. Denying an issue will simply make it worse rather than make it disappear. Being honest about an issue opens up doors for help.
  2. Do your research. It is crucial to know about a problem before you can address it; hoarding is no exception. Develop an understanding of what hoarding is as well as available resources to help with hoarding.
  3. Talk with the hoarder. Sometimes the individual is unaware or even in denial of a problem. Informing the hoarder of the situation and potential dangers can help bring to light the seriousness of the matter. Discuss how to remedy the hoarding situation and develop a plan together. Refer to our Hoarding Help Do’s and Don’ts Guide to know what to do (and what to avoid) when approaching a hoarder.
  4. Find a specialized cleaning company. Not all cleaning companies are equipped to handle hoarding situations. Look for a specialized hoarding cleanup company in your area to help clear the clutter and sanitize the home.
  5. Consider a therapist. Hoarding may not be completely resolved by just the physical clean up. Combining hoarding cleaning with mental health services is a more effective solution as it will not only restore the home but also help to put a stop to continuing hoarding habits.

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What You Should Know About Skin Cancer

heidi Resources for Seniors Comments Off on What You Should Know About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is rarely painful so be vigilant about checking your skin for changes such as a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal or a bleeding mole.

Skin cancer is rarely painful so be vigilant about checking your skin for changes such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal or a bleeding mole.

Skin cancer is a very common type of cancer in the United States. The main cause of skin cancer is the sun. Sunlamps and tanning booths can also cause skin cancer. Anyone can get cancer, but people with fair skin that freckles easily are at greatest risk. Skin cancer may be cured if it is found before it spreads to other parts of the body.

Types of Skin Cancers

There are three types of skin cancers. Two types, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma , grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. These types of cancer are found mostly on parts of the skin exposed to the sun, like the head, face, neck, hands, and arms, but can happen anywhere on your body. The third and most dangerous type of skin cancer is melanoma. It is rarer than the other types, but can spread to other organs and be deadly.

Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body. In men, melanoma is often found on the trunk (the area from the shoulders to the hips) or the head and neck. In women, melanoma often develops on the arms and legs, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Melanoma Risk Factors

  • Unusual moles.
  • Exposure to natural sunlight.
  • Exposure to artificial ultraviolet light (tanning booth).
  • Family or personal history of melanoma.
  • Being white and older than 20 years.
  • Red or blond hair.
  • White or light-colored skin and freckles.
  • Blue eyes.

Checking for Skin Cancer

Check your skin once a month for things that may be cancer. Skin cancer is rarely painful. Look for changes such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a bleeding mole. Also, check moles, birthmarks, or other parts of the skin for the “ABCDE’s.” ABCDE stands for:

A = Asymmetry (one half of the growth looks different from the other half)

B = Borders that are irregular

C = Color changes or more than one color

D = Diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser

E = Evolving; this means the growth changes in size, shape, symptoms (itching, tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or shades of color.

See your doctor right away if you have any of these signs.

Sources National Institutes of Health Senior Health; National Cancer Institute