Senior Benefits

The best approach to aging for many seniors is staying where they are happiest and most comfortable—their very own homes. Many seniors are also taking the steps required, like investing in personal caregiving to ensure they remain as comfortable and independent as long as possible.

Undeniably, aging at home comes with a few unique challenges. For starters, health and mobility issues can make it tricky for you to live independently and safely. Fortunately, this is where the help of home care professionals can come in handy. However, while staying at home is the best option for many, it is not the best alternative for everyone.

In-Home Care vs. Other Alternatives: Which Option is Best for You?

Figuring out whether to stay at home or in other types of facilities is a concern many seniors face. However, since seniors have unique needs and circumstances, choosing the right option can become a bit complex.

Below are some possible scenarios you can use as a guide, so it’s easier for you to figure out which option is best when the time to choose comes:

Scenario #01: You are healthy and living independently.

If you are healthy and independent but would like some help with the household chores, home care is hands down your best option. Also known as companion care, home care is also considered the best option if you are healthy and living comfortably at home.

After all, if you are thriving at home, moving to another facility is unnecessary. Also, if you opt to stay at home and you live away from your friends and loved ones, a caregiver can give your family updates about your situation.

Having a caregiver with you can also give your family some peace of mind and reassurance that you are not living on your own and you have easy access to the help you need at home.

Scenario #02: You have health challenges, and you live alone.

Understandably, if you are independent and healthy, you have more options than those with significant health and physical challenges. If you belong to the latter, your best option would be to live in an assisted living facility.

Living in an assisted living facility is ideal if you have health challenges and you have no loved ones or friends living nearby. If you feel isolated in an assisted living facility and would rather stay at home, you’d be happy to know that some home care companies can take you to social events and medical appointments so you won’t feel as isolated.

Scenario #03: Your significant other has different care needs, but you want to stay together.

If your significant other requires a different level of care, it can become tricky to figure out what your best option is. Understandably, you wouldn’t want to stay in a nursing home if you don’t need nursing care. For others, the same principle can apply even if they have a significant other who might need nursing care.

Thankfully, home care allows you to meet halfway. You can always get the help you need when caring for a loved one with health challenges with an onsite caregiver. If your significant other requires round-the-clock care or supervision, a caregiver can help. This setup can also help ensure you stay together at home where you are comfortable.

Scenario #04: You have serious health issues.

If you have a severe health condition that might require institutionalization, living in an assisted living facility is something you should consider. For instance, if you have dementia, living in a specialized memory care facility is recommended.

The good news is many home care companies now provide specialized services for those with severe health challenges like Alzheimer’s. For some, this is the ideal option as staying in a familiar place like your home can make it easy for your friends and loved ones to connect with you.

Final Thought

Choosing the best living arrangement is no easy feat. That said, don’t rush the process. Sit down with your loved ones and take all the critical elements like your unique needs into account so you can figure out which option is truly best for you.

Author Bio

Sarah Keller is the Content Marketing Strategist of A To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care for the elderly is any service that supports and maintains the primary caregiving relationship by providing temporary care to an aging parent, spouse, or loved one.

If you’re the family caregiver for an aging loved one, you may be experiencing some form of stress or burnout. It’s natural for family caregivers to become so involved in taking care of someone else that they tend to allow their own needs to get put aside.

This is why respite care is so important for caregivers. As the number of caregivers increases— and there are already an estimated 34.2 million caregivers in the country today—the number of people suffering from exhaustion, stress, isolation, depression, and physical ailments is also rising. This is no coincidence. Primary caregivers need to recognize that they deserve a break from their responsibilities to take care of themselves, too. And taking some time away from caregiving duties will make the person a better caregiver in the long run.

Many family caregivers feel guilty at the thought of seeking respite services for their loved ones. A recent survey of caregivers by the National Family Caregivers Association showed that it’s challenging for spouse caregivers to acknowledge that their role is different and separate from their role as a spouse. Caregivers need to acknowledge that caregiving plays a totally separate part in their lives and that the job of long-term caregiving can be too big for just one person to handle.

Finding Relief in Respite Care

The benefits of respite care are numerous for family caregivers. Taking time away from caregiving demands will leave a caregiver refreshed and renewed, allowing them the opportunity to re-energize to be a more effective caregiver. Caregivers deserve time for activities they enjoy, whether it be reading, gardening, taking a walk, taking in a movie or museum, or whatever relaxes and eases the caregiver’s spirit. It’s also important for family caregivers to maintain social relationships with friends and other family members to avoid isolation and depression. And caregivers may need time to take care of personal errands such as seeing their own doctor or possibly attending a support group with other caregivers.

Ideally, caregivers will have regularly scheduled breaks provided by help from friends or other family members. However, if that support is not available to the caregiver, various respite care options are available. Respite care services are offered through community agencies, home health care companies, and residential care facilities. A good place to start in the U.S. is the Eldercare Locator, a free nationwide toll-free service designed to assist older adults and their caregivers find services in their community. Additional resources are local senior centers, Area Agencies on Aging, and the Family Caregiver Alliance.

Companies like Aspen Senior Care in Utah Valley, UT, can be a great option for family caregivers needing respite. Aspen provides:

⦁ Caring companionship
⦁ Personal hygiene care and showering
⦁ Homemaking assistance and light housekeeping
⦁ Meal planning and preparation
⦁ Transportation and help with errands
⦁ Medication reminders and assistance
⦁ Family caregiver coaching
⦁ Alzheimer’s and dementia care
⦁ Respite, night care & holiday care
⦁ Hospice care (non-medical)
⦁ And much more!

During a free assessment, Aspen will:

⦁ Discuss matching you with the best caregiver
⦁ Assess your loved one’s personal care needs
⦁ Determine health care, medication, and nutritional needs
⦁ Discuss emergency response services
⦁ Determine homemaking and transportation services
⦁ Discuss service costs and payment options
⦁ And, Create a quality care plan for your loved one

It is also ideal for family caregivers to create space in their home solely for themselves, whether that be a reading nook or an extra bedroom. Caregivers are advised to designate time every day, such as while the care receiver is taking a nap or when they first go to bed — something just for themselves.

Before planning respite care, caregivers should talk with their loved one about it so that they understand the benefit to both.

Remember that respite care should not be considered a luxury but a necessity for the caregivers’ well-being and their aging loved ones.

Contributor for The Senior’s Choice

Many seniors have found that working out in the water is an excellent way to improve their overall well-being, from providing various physical benefits to offering social time and a trip out of the house. The unique properties of water provide seniors with the opportunity to get relief from painful physical conditions such as arthritis and circulatory problems while deriving the benefits of low-impact exercise in an environment that minimizes the risk of injury.

Why Water?

Cardiovascular exercise and weight loss are common benefits of any aerobic exercise, but exercising while submerged in water provides some distinct advantages that set aquatic exercise apart from land-based activity. Age-related joint conditions like arthritis can be a painful impediment to a senior’s capability (and enthusiasm) for exercising. But water-based exercise puts significantly less stress on joints, allowing them to enjoy these activities for longer periods of time, and can also provide some relief from these chronic conditions. Swimming can also be relaxing and meditative, which may offer some stress relief, adding to its cardiovascular benefits.

Swimming Pool

The Physical Benefits of Water Exercise

Cardio: It doesn’t matter if a senior is water-jogging or swimming—using the water to get their heart rate up will increase aerobic capacity, burn fat, and decrease their risk for heart disease.

Balance: Reduced muscle tone and vision loss can affect senior coordination and increase their risk of falling. Aquatic exercise is a great way to help improve balance. Doing specific balance exercises in water helps build strength and coordination. Water provides the ideal environment for this type of exercise, safely allowing for a loss of balance since their water-induced buoyancy will prevent them from falling.

Strength: Working with water “barbells” or wrist bands can provide a great form of resistance training which helps build muscle strength and endurance without injury.

Work Out and Get Out

Socializing is an overlooked added benefit of many types of senior group activity, and aquatic exercise is a prime opportunity to get out of the isolation of the home and into a social environment—and in the case of outdoor pools, enjoying some sun (with sun protection, of course).

Studies have shown that the opportunity to socialize is one of the key reasons older adults will maintain a successful exercise program. Group exercise classes provide an ideal opportunity for conversation.

Whether that be an exercise class, individual standing exercises, or swimmers using kickboards to kick side-by-side, there are many opportunities in the pool to socialize.

Getting Started

If you haven’t been swimming in a while, start slowly. Try swimming laps for just five to ten minutes while coordinating your breathing, strokes, and kicking. A pair of well-fitting goggles is a must. A less strenuous option is just walking or running in the water. Water aerobics classes are offered at a variety of levels, and often specifically for seniors. Check out your local senior center, community center, or YMCA for their Summer offerings for seniors.

Article by Caren Parnes for The Senior’s Choice

In today’s modern and tech-savvy world, more and more people are embracing technology, seniors included. Close to 70 percent of the elderly are now connected to the internet. Undeniably, technology for seniors is growing in popularity and has shown no signs of slowing down.

Nowadays, tech devices have become an integral part of the daily life of most seniors. These ingenious technologies have allowed them to move around, connect with loved ones, and live healthier, fulfilling, and more connected lives.

Invaluable Tech Solutions for Seniors

From managing medications and sleep to assistance with day-to-day life, here are some of the most innovative technologies that have made life easier for seniors:

A photo of a phone, headphones, and a watch.

Hero Digital Pill Dispenser

Hero digital pill dispenser is designed to dispense a senior’s medication at a scheduled time each day. The Hero digital pill dispenser can hold up to 10 different kinds of pills of various shapes and sizes. It can also be tailored to any medication schedule.

The digital pill dispenser can store up to 90 days of medication supply, depending on the pill’s size. This digital pill dispenser is also connected to the Hero app, which tracks the pills’ consumption and doses.

The Hero digital pill dispenser won’t accept half pills, gummies, and sticky dissoluble pills to avoid contamination.

Additional Features

  • 30-day free trial
  • Password protected
  • HIPAA-compliant security for all data
  • Free shipping and returns
  • Notifications (when medication is low)
  • Free software update

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

This smart and compact speaker has many senior-friendly abilities and features. Apart from being voice-activated, it is also small, so they can take it anywhere. This imaginative device can also be used to:

  • Stream music
  • Play games
  • Check the weather
  • Receive news updates
  • Set alarms for medications
  • Chat
  • Create grocery lists

When set up to guard the home, this additional feature included in the Alexa app provides seniors alerts about smoke alarms, broken glass, and carbon monoxide.

Additional Features

  • Hands-free calls
  • Privacy Protection
  • Voice control (turn on lights, adjust thermostats, and lock doors)

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

If your senior loved one has hearing loss, the COWIN E7 can be a great option. Its advanced active noise reduction technology is designed to cancel lower frequencies. This gives them the ultimate listening experience when they listen to their favorite music or podcasts or watching their favorite movies.

COWIN E7 also comes with Bluetooth technology that makes hands-free listening possible.

Additional Features

  • 30-hour battery life
  • High-quality built-in microphone
  • 90 degrees swiveling ear cups
  • Professional padding
Elderly woman wearing headphones and using a cell phone

GrandPad

This easy-to-use tablet is designed primarily for seniors and comes with built-in wireless data. It allows them to listen to music, video chat with their loved ones, and play games with the utmost ease.

This breakthrough technology also allows seniors access to their own private family network where approved friends and loved ones can update contact information and add photos.

The GrandPad is also a practical gift for seniors who are not tech-savvy since it won’t require passwords and won’t need any modem.

Additional Features

  • Unlimited support team access
  • Safe from spams and scams
  • Has enlarged text for easy reading
  • Sends voice-automated emails

Tile Sticker

Seniors who always lose everyday items would sure love Tile Sticker. Tile Sticker is placed on wallets, keys, remotes, and other things that can easily be misplaced. When seniors need to find their lost items, they need to use the company’s app on their phones to locate them.

The Tile Sticker has a Pro version that’s recommended for valuable items. It comes with a Bluetooth range of 400 feet.

Additional Features

  • 3-year battery life
  • Free shipping
  • 30-day guarantee
  • Waterproof

Fitbit Versa 2

The Fitbit Versa 2 is a health manager and versatile watch rolled into one. It comes with a heart-rate tracker and provides easy access to information and apps. You can also use it to listen to unlimited music on Spotify, track the weather, and set alarms. What’s even impressive? They can use it to pay the bills while on the go.

Additional Features

  • Personalized clock face
  • Fitbit pay
  • Sleep tracker
  • 24/7 heart rate tracking
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa

Ring Video Doorbell

Ring designs doorbell camera systems that provide notifications to smartphones in real-time when motion sensors are triggered or when visitors ring the doorbell. This product will not only help ensure their safety, it can also help make life easy for seniors.

With the Ring Video Doorbell, they can speak to visitors anytime and anywhere. The device can also be used to monitor the doors around the home. Custom motion settings can be set. Safety and crime alerts can also be sent directly to a smartphone.

Additional Features

  • Advanced motion settings
  • 1080 HD video and two-way talk
  • Night vision

Conclusion

It is reassuring to know that many innovative technologies are now available to help make life easy for seniors. While some technologies require some getting used to, they are a massive step in the right direction for improving their quality of life.

Melissa Andrews - Paradise Living Centers

About the Author

Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.

Aspen Senior Care was chosen as The Best of Utah Valley in the Home Health Care category. The Best in Utah Valley competition is held each spring by the Daily Herald. Readers choose and vote on their favorite local businesses, services, and products in Utah County.  The Daily Herald counts the votes to determine the top three in each category and the rest is history!

Aspen Senior Care has been serving seniors in Utah Valley for over 16 years. We are a personal care agency helping seniors with all their non-medical needs in the comfort and safety of their own homes. We work closely with several great home health and hospice agencies as well as other professionals serving the needs of seniors. 

Our mission statement is very simple:

“Our mission is to help seniors in Utah live comfortably and independently in their own homes for as long as possible.”

We accomplish this by providing Utah’s finest and most reliable and personalized in-home care. Our care and business practices are based on strong family values and the highest ethical standards. We perform all senior care services with professionalism and dignity and treat all seniors like family.

Our award-winning team specializes in assisting seniors in their homes by providing caregivers you can trust. Some seniors just need a few hours a week and others need a lot more. We do it all and tailor our services to meet the unique needs of each of our clients. We also provide peace of mind to their family members. We believe that there’s no better place to be than in the comfort and safety of your own home.

We help with:

  • Personal care
  • Dementia care
  • Companionship
  • Respite care for family 
  • Medication reminders
  • Transportation and errands
  • 24-hour care and holidays
  • Showering assistance and hygiene care
  • Light housekeeping and meal preparation
  • Senior Day Care through our sister company, Aspen Senior Day Center

Aspen Senior Care is a locally owned company with roots deep in Utah. With years of experience assisting seniors in our community, our staff provides quality care and enjoyable daily experiences. You can trust our staff to take great care of your loved one. 

To find out more about Aspen Senior Care’s commitment to excellence, please visit AspenSeniorCare.com or call 801-224-5910.

For many older adults, mobility limitations, health issues and low energy can keep them from the social engagement they once enjoyed. Especially in seniors who live alone, social isolation can lead to loneliness, depression and poor physical health. Pet therapy has been shown to benefit seniors by improving depression and anxiety symptoms, increasing self-care, and even improving heart-health. It turns out giving and receiving unconditional love is literally good for your heart.

Proven Benefits of Pet Companionship

The Pets for the Elderly Foundation, a nationwide charity committed to connecting seniors with therapy animals, has collected research on pet therapy for seniors. These studies discuss the physiological and psychological impact of animals on seniors’ quality of life. Here are their findings:

Physical Benefits

Heart Health—Frequent interaction with a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Improved Activity—Walking, grooming or playing with a pet increases the frequency of physical activity and exercise, which in turn has countless health benefits.

Healthy Behavior—Those who own a pet tend to take better care of themselves. Caring for a pet helps to develop a routine, encouraging owners to eat regularly or complete chores and other tasks.

Social & Emotional Benefits

Increased Interaction—Walking a dog gets senior owners out of the house and increases their opportunities to socialize with neighbors.

Decreased Loneliness—Pets provide companionship, giving isolated seniors a source for affection, conversation and activity.

Stress Relief—Being with a pet increases levels of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone that relieves stress. It also provides physical contact, which helps to calm anxiety.

Better Self-Esteem —For seniors discouraged by their age, appearance or limited abilities, pets are welcome company, reminding seniors that they are still capable of being loved and needed.

Sense of Purpose—The company of an animal provides a reason to get up in the morning. Pets combat depression symptoms by eliminating feelings of worthlessness or helplessness. Knowing that they are loved and needed enhances seniors’ mental health.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet

If you think your loved one would benefit from owning a pet, ask yourself these questions to help you make a wise decision:

What is the best choice for a pet? If your loved one has trouble walking or is more limited in their ability to provide constant attention to a pet, a cat might be a better choice than a dog.

Is my loved one an experienced pet owner?

Taking on the responsibilities of owning a pet could be overwhelming for a senior who has never had one before.

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

Are finances an issue? Consider your loved one’s financial situation. Animal care can be expensive, and if your loved one is on a fixed income, owning a pet could cause financial burdens. Assess the costs before you commit.

Choose the right pet. Do your research to find a pet whose age, size, personality and energy level fit well with your loved one’s.

Could I adopt an animal in need? Older animals in shelters have a lower adoption rate than puppies or kittens and have a greater risk of being euthanized. Adopting an adult, healthy pet for your loved one can eliminates the stress of training, match your loved one’s energy level and save the life of a loving animal.

By Caren Parnes

For the Senior’s Choice

Covid-19 Update 2021

At the beginning of January, our caregivers had a window of opportunity to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. We are happy to report that about 30% of our caregivers were able to get vaccinated. We know that protecting them protects you as clients!

In an effort to help diminish the spread of this virus, we strongly encourage you and all our clients and staff to consider immunization. We suggest consulting with your personal physician to make this decision in regards to your personal needs and circumstances. The Utah County Health Department has now opened up immunization times for those who are 70+ and all previous groups. We have found that the slots usually come open after 7:00 p.m. most evenings and fill up very fast. You can check the Utah County Health Department website for further updates. Please reach out to us if you would like our assistance.

Dear Clients and Families,

Our top priority is the health and safety of our clients and employees. With the coronavirus  (COVID-19) in the news, we want to share with you our protocol to minimize the spread of viruses, bacteria, and other serious bugs. We’ve always been careful and now we’re taking even greater measures to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved ones. Here’s what we are doing:

  1. Reminding our employees to wash their hands often for at least 15 seconds with warm soapy water, especially before and after helping clients with any food or personal care. We help our clients keep their hands clean as well. 
  1. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects which frequently get used by others. We like to use Clorox or Lysol wipes to wipe things down if you have any in stock. Otherwise, we’ll use warm soapy water to keep things bug-free.  
  1. Proactively enforcing our Stay at home if you are sick policy. This goes for all of our employees because we know that our clients already have enough challenges and they are more vulnerable to all viruses, bacteria, and any other serious bugs.  
  1. Asking employees and clients to always cover up any coughing or sneezing. And to stay away from sick people or others who have come in contact with people who might be sick.
  1. Strongly discouraging handshakes and the touching of mouth, eyes, and nose by employees and clients.

We remind our employees often of this protocol, especially during flu season and now even more with the coronavirus spreading. From what we’ve studied and been told, this virus is a lot like the respiratory flu virus (both in its symptoms and the way it spreads). We see no need to panic, but we want to stay alert, be smart, and keep our clients safe, healthy, and happy.

At Aspen Senior Care, we encourage the highest standard of health safety practices to ensure the health of both our employees and our clients. We have a great 15-year record of doing just that.

Please feel free to reach out to our office with any questions or additional suggestions at 801-224-5910.

Aspen Senior Care has started 2020 with a bang! We are proud to announce that Aspen has received both the 2020 Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse and a Caring Star of 2020 Award from Caring.com. These awards are granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on client and caregiver satisfaction scores gathered by both companies. Aspen Senior Care is now ranked among a small handful of home care providers across the country who have proven their ability to provide an exceptional working experience to employees and the highest quality care to clients.

We want to congratulate Aspen Senior Care on receiving both the Best of Home Care – Provider of Choice Award,” says Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. “Since these awards are based on real, unfiltered feedback from clients and caregivers, Aspen Senior Care has proven their dedication to providing a great work environment and solid training to employees, while maintaining their focus on client and caregiver satisfaction. We are pleased to recognize their dedication to quality professionalism and expertise in-home care.”

Best of Home Care providers have contracted with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their clients and caregivers via live phone interviews each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent company, it is able to collect honest and unbiased feedback.

“We would like to thank our clients and their families for providing ongoing positive and constructive feedback throughout each year! We are so grateful to be in your service. We appreciate Home Care Pulse for recognizing us as 2020 Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice and Caring.com for awarding Aspen with a Caring Star of 2020. We owe this to an outstanding team of caregivers and staff who continuously provide the highest quality of care to our clients and their families.”

-Gary Staples Owner and Administrator of Aspen Senior Care

About Aspen Senior Care

It all started in 2004 when Gary finally figured out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He’d been searching for two years looking to start his own business–something that would do good in the community, be fulfilling, and provide a service he could be passionate about every day. Senior care fit the bill! Our mission at Aspen is to help seniors live comfortably in their own homes for as long as they desire. We are caregivers you can trust.  We provide a no-cost, no-obligation assessment to see whether we’re a good fit for each other. During the assessment we answer questions, go over care options, and put together a personalized care plan to fit the client and family’s unique needs.

About Home Care Pulse

Home Care Pulse is the home care industry’s leading firm in satisfaction research and quality assurance. On behalf of home care businesses across North America, Home Care Pulse gathers unbiased satisfaction ratings from clients and caregivers and detailed feedback to ensure the best in-home care possible can be provided. Powerful online reports allow businesses to identify needs and take action to reduce increase satisfaction, reduce caregiver turnover, and address client needs. For more information, please call Home Care Pulse at (877) 307-8573 or visit homecarepulse.com.

About Caring.com

Caring.com exists to help family caregivers make better decisions, save time and money and feel less alone.

To find out more about Aspen Senior Care’s commitment to excellence, please visit AspenSeniorCare.com or call 801-224-5910.

So the “Aha” moment arrives. Circumstances make you realize two things. 1) I’m not as young as I used to be, and 2.) “Old age ain’t for sissies” as the great Bette Davis once said.

Gradually, or sometimes suddenly, it happens… we can’t keep up with household chores, we can’t see the street signs to drive safely, we give up cooking or we can’t walk without holding on to the furniture. And it begins, a nagging fear that we’re losing our independence. In fact, loss of independence is the biggest fear among seniors. So what is the typical senior response? Pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and keep on going, of course! Call in the kids to help out! Unfortunately, the kids have spouses and children of their own. And they have full-time jobs, not to mention they live out of town. It’s time for a new strategy.

Many seniors are finding the solution to remaining independent at home lies outside the family circle with paid caregivers. Steve Everhart, President of The Senior’s Choice explains, “Most seniors find caregivers in two ways. The old way is to run a classified ad or hire through a temporary service. The senior bear all the “employer” responsibility for this kind of caregiver. These folks are usually less expensive but there’s a lot of risks involved in hiring them,” Everhart says. The downside is:

  • It‘s difficult to find the right person.
  • You are responsible for performing a criminal background check
  • You are responsible for finding a replacement if the caregiver is absent
  • You bear the burden for withholding payroll taxes and providing state-mandated worker’s compensation coverage.
  • You bear the burden for liability problems like theft from or damage to your property.

The new way is to contract with a Companion Care Agency. These private agencies like Aspen Senior Care provide “in-home, non-medical care.” The number of agencies is growing quickly to meet the demands of a fast-growing senior population. They provide a wide range of services including light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, transportation, shopping & errands, and in many states including Utah, assistance with personal care. These one-on-one services can continue should the senior move into assisted living or even a nursing facility or hospital.”

Companion Care is usually available anywhere from a few hours up to 24 hours a day. Payment is private pay and may be covered by long-term-care insurance policies.

Some questions Everhart suggests you ask a Companion Care agency:

    1. Do they have references from other clients?
    2. What services do they provide?
    3. What training/experience do the caregivers have?
    4. How do they supervise their caregivers?
    5. Are the caregivers bonded and covered by workers’ compensation insurance?
    6. What is the schedule for service?
    7. What if I have a problem with a caregiver?
    8. Does the agency have an emergency or after-hours phone number?
    9. What are the financial arrangments?
    10. Who owns the company? Is it part of a larger organization?
    11.  Are the caregivers employees held accountable by the agency or are they independent contractors accountable to no one?
    12. Does the agency carry Professional Liability Insurance?

The Pros:

  • Service is easily customized for each client’s needs.
  • Extensive hours available.
  • The staff is screened and supervised.
  • Agency is responsible for all employer tasks like payroll, taxes, liability insurance, workers’ compensation, bonding.
  • Agency is responsible for providing a replacement should the assigned caregiver fail to arrive or need a day off.

Everhart says, “This service is more expensive than independent caregivers but the right agency will provide the most customizable, reliable, worry-free, in-home service available.”

For more information on in-home care through Aspen Senior Care call 801-224-5910.


by AnNita Klimecka

The Senior’s Choice, Inc.

Eating a balanced diet is a basic need we all have in order to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. This is a universal truth, but nutrition becomes more critical as we age. Some seniors struggle to get all the nutrients they need, and many are at a higher risk of malnutrition, often due to a decreased appetite. Even as seniors need to be especially careful about getting proper nutrition, meeting this goal becomes harder. If you’re a senior or have a loved one who is, the good news is that there are simple ways you can work around these barriers.

Beyond Nutrition to Holistic Health

The first thing to realize is that nutrition is tied to many other aspects of our lives. Physical limitations, being active, your social surroundings — they all impact dietary choices and nutrition. One of the best ways seniors can improve nutrition is to take a holistic approach to their health. This means addressing mobility problems through physical or occupational therapy, finding ways to be active, and staying socially engaged to boost your mental health.

If this goal sounds a little overwhelming, don’t try to do it all on your own! There are lots of great holistic wellness programs for seniors, and if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be eligible for one through your insurance benefits. Even if you don’t have these benefits right now, you can always switch to a plan that includes wellness services the next time you enroll.

Don’t Forget About Your Gut Health

As part of a holistic approach to health, it’s important to be aware of nutrition issues that are less well-known. One of these is gut health, especially your microbiome, which basically means the microbes that are in your digestive tract. You’ve probably heard of “good” bacteria and how they can be found in certain foods. We call these prebiotic and probiotic foods, and they have a major impact on your health, beyond just your digestive system. These foods help keep you healthy physically, but they also impact your mood and can even keep your mind sharp.

Taking care of gut health is important at every age, but Sixty and Me explains how it becomes more important for seniors, as your microbiome loses diversity as you age. An easy way to fight this is to eat lots of probiotic and prebiotic foods. Some of the best are fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. Legumes, beans, and any food high in fiber are great choices too.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay (Meditations)

Good Food for Less

For many seniors, being on a tight budget is a barrier to nutrition. Convenience foods, which typically don’t pack much of a nutrient punch, are often cheaper than fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t eat good food for less! Woman’s Day has some of the best tips for eating on a budget, including buying frozen fruits and vegetables, buying store brands, and buying fresh produce in season.

Another issue for some seniors who live alone is that they don’t know how to cook for just one person. An ideal solution to this problem is to make batch meals. If you have more than just a few portions, plan on freezing part of what you make. This way, you won’t get tired of eating the same meal repeatedly, and you’ll have more meals to pull out and eat later on. Making batch meals is also economical, so it’s a win-win solution.

The reality of nutritional needs for seniors is that it takes more than just switching up a few things in your diet. It requires making conscious choices to prepare inexpensive, healthier meals, as well as an awareness of your holistic health needs. Even if it takes time, making choices to put yourself first will be worth it for the amazing boost to your health.

Contributed by Jennifer McGregor

Jennifer co-created Public Health Library to make it easier for people to find high quality health information. She is a pre-med student who enjoys writing about health and medical topics to help the readers find reputable health resources.