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THE ELDER

Concerns About Aging

What is Aging

Healthy Aging

Keys to Healthy Aging

Understanding the Aging Process

Normal Changes of Aging

When To Be Concerned

 

About Our Company

Contact Us

 

DID YOU KNOW

Vital Aging

When asked about the keys to a mean-ingful and vital life, older adults in the study rated:

- having family and   

  friends (88%)

 

- taking care of your

  health (86%)

 

- spiritual life (67%)

NCOA, 2002

 

"With the help of The Caregiver Resource Center, I'm no longer home alone taking care of my ill husband.

I'm now able to join my friends at the senior center three times a week for lunch and a game of pool."

 

J. Morgen

Westport, CT

 

Concerns About Aging

  - 46% fear declining health
  - 38% fear not having enough money
  - 13% fear losing mental facilities
  - 12% fear dependence on others

AARP Poll - Time Magazine ,June 7, 1999

Every six seconds, a person in the US turns 50 years old. There are 55 million people in the U.S. who are currently over 55 years of age.

The first baby boomers (born 1946-64) will turn 65 in just two years. The number of Americans age 65 and older will rise from about 35 million in 2000 to nearly 40 million by 2010.

These numbers will jump to almost 54 million in 2020, and then to more than 70 million by 2030. The end result, is that the number of seniors will double over a period of just 30 years.

The over 85 age group is the fasting growing segment of the population. Between 2000 and 2040 the 85+ population is expected to grow from 4.3 million to 19.4 million. Right now there are over 70,000 centenarians; by 2006 there will be 100,000 and by 2025 there will be two million.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division

         
What is Aging

According to the Merck Manual of Geriatrics:

Aging is a process of gradual and spontaneous change, resulting in maturation through childhood, puberty, and young adulthood, and then decline through middle and late age.

Healthy aging refers to a process by which deleterious effects are minimized, preserving function until senescence (a productive form of aging leading to organ death), makes continued life impossible.

         
Healthy Aging

Studies conducted by The MacArthur Foundation have shed new light on the concept of aging. Findings show:

  - only 5.2% of all older persons end up in nursing homes (down from 6.2% in 1982)
  - 89% of persons aged 65 to 74 - reported no disability whatsoever
  - 73% of persons aged 75 to 84 - still reported no disability
  - 25% of persons aged 85+ - reported being fully functional
  - 70% of the aging process is controllable - only 30% is stamped in our genetic code

Keys to Healthy Aging

  Enhanced physical and mental functioning, including healthy behaviors
  Development of an active, productive and involved lifestyle
  Maintaining one's independence while living in a stable and supportive environment
  Fostering healthy interpersonal relationships

    
Understanding the Aging Process

Each human being is unique, and as a result each person experiences aging differently. Some individuals may experience mental and physical limitations that limit their level of functioning, while others will remain relatively high functioning.

In looking at the process of aging, it is important to understand the difference between "normal aging", and that of illness and disease. Usually people think of aging as beginning around the age of 65, when the changes to the human body actually begin as early as age 30. Research shows that the human body loses about 1% of functioning per year starting at age 30, but the human body is usually able to adapt to the changes, unless some form of illness is present.

It is important to note that fundamental changes to a person's physical and mental abilities is a normal part of aging, but disease is not. All too often, an elder is forced to suffer unnecessary pain and discomfort, because their doctor or loved one, has chalked their aches and pains, incontinence, confusion, or depression up to "normal" aging; when many of these problems could be reversed or at least medically controlled.

    
Normal Changes of Aging

These are some of the functions that are known to change in response to normal aging:

Physical Changes

  - Eyes take longer to adjust from dark to light
  - Eyes become more sensitive to glare
  - Decline in depth perception
  - Loss of peripheral vision
  - Decreased clarity of colors (e.g. pastels, shades of blue)
  - Loss of hearing acuity
  - Decreased ability to distinguish sounds when there is background noise
  - Decreased taste buds and saliva
  - Skin becomes thinner and drier
  - Reduction in sensitivity to heat, pain and sensation
  - Sense of smell diminishes
  - The heart, the immune system, and other systems become less efficient
  - Cell loss in specific areas can reduce the ability to smell, hear and feel
  - Degeneration of brain cells
  - Decreased blood flow to the brain
  - Decreased quality of sleep

Daily Functioning: Changes

  - Decreased concentration
  - Decreased speed of processing information
  - Decreased reaction time
  - Learning ability however, remains unchanged

    
When to Be Concerned

Here are some of the functions, that are not a normal part of aging, and need to be explored:

  - Depression - to the degree that it interferes with usual daily functioning
  - Confusion - intermittent or continuous
  - Delusions or Hallucinations (e.g. paranoia, hearing or seeing things)
  - Changes in personality
  - Changes in basic intelligence

Warning Signs of a Possible Medical Condition

  - Changes In
    Perception
    Judgment
    Memory
    Memory
    Problem solving
    Reasoning
    Language
    Attention
   
  - Tiredness
    Easily fatigued
    Sleeping too little or too much
   
  - Stiffness
    Stiff joints
    Pain in the extremities fingers, or toes
    
  - Diet
    Change in eating habits (eating significantly more or less)
    Excessive thirst
   
  - Eyesight
    Squinting in order to be able to see
    Holding a book or magazine far away while reading
    Blurred vision
  
  - Memory
    Excessive forgetfulness
    Short or long term memory loss
   
  - Hygiene
    Decline in personal hygiene
    Not bathing regularly
    Not brushing teeth regularly
    Wearing the same clothes day after day
   
  - Bathroom
    More frequent bathroom visits
    Less frequent bathroom visits
    Inability to successfully make it to the bathroom
    
  - Skin
    Skin color change
    More sensitive skin (appearance is red, dry and flaky)
    
  - Hearing
    Difficulty hearing
    Earaches
    Ringing in the ears
    
  - Headaches
    Recurrent headaches
    Migraines

These are only some red flags experienced by elders that need to be taken seriously. If you (or someone you know) is experiencing recurrent symptoms, it is important to be evaluated for medical, physical, psychological, and social needs; as well as your abilities and resources. Once the evaluation is complete, recommendations can be made to address areas of concern.

To obtain more information or to request a consultation click on Contact Us

     

About Our Company

Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. has over twenty five years of experience providing services for individuals, couples, families, and organizations.  Our mission is to provide a broad range of high quality counseling, outreach, and consultation services to help clients assess their needs, evaluate their relationships, define their goals, and design action plans that includes specific and practical steps to achieve those goals.

Our organizational goals are to:

  - provide services regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion
  - respect our clients' beliefs
  - support our clients' individuality, diversity, and unique needs
  - preserve our clients' independence, dignity, and confidentiality
  - offer services to individuals, couples, and families
  - consult with professionals, businesses, and other organizations
  - design and run effective Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
  - conduct quality educational programs

 

The Caregiver Resource Center is a division of Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc.  Our mission is to assist seniors, people with special needs and their families; in understanding the aging process, facilitating open communication; and providing information, support and guidance through the caregiving process.

Our goals are to:

  - offer services that will help preserve an elder's health, safety and quality of life; while at the same time allowing them to maintain their independence and dignity.
  - provide support, understanding, and guidance to all person's who are directly or indirectly responsible for the well-being of an elder; in an effort to improve the quality of their lives.

 

In addition to working with seniors, people with special needs and their families; The Caregiver Resource Center also provides a spectrum of services for businesses and their employees.

Our services help maximize employee productivity, sustain supervisors' focus on operations, and equips senior management with an effective cost management tool.

We are available to provide services on a case-by-case basis, or as a full service company program.

 

The Caregiver Resource Center
a division of
Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc.
PO Box 122
Cos Cob (Greenwich), CT 06807-0122

For more information or to request a consultation, please contact:
Linda A. Ziac,
LPC, LADC, BCPC, CCM, CEAP, CDP
President

 

  

(203) 861-9833
Contact Us

 

Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. and The Caregiver Resource Center have a company policy that the company's website does not display advertisements, nor do we host or receive funding from advertising, or from the display of commercial content.  

Any reproduction of the content of this website site is strictly prohibited, without prior written permission from Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. and The Caregiver Resource Center.

Updated 10/15/17

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