Senior Health

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

Our mission at Aspen Senior Care is to help seniors in Utah Valley live comfortably and independently in their own homes for as long as possible. We do this by providing the finest and most reliable in-home caregivers you can trust. We are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of seniors and their caregiving families.

Specialized Senior Care Services

Seniors who can stay comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible tend to be healthier and happier than their counterparts who move to assisted livings or nursing homes. However, sometimes it is not safe for seniors to be home alone for long periods or they need help with household chores, personal care, meals, errands and transportation, and medication reminders. 

Many people don’t realize that there are licensed personal care agencies with professional caregivers screened and trained to take good care of seniors aging in their homes. These agencies provide many non-medical services to help seniors stay comfortable, happy, and independent. These services include personal care, such as showering and getting dressed, preparing meals, providing light housekeeping, transportation, and even companionship.

We believe the finest care an aging senior can receive is one-on-one care in their own homes. You won’t find a better ratio in any facility. Seniors get personalized care and 100% of the caregiver’s attention. The care is flexible and can be provided just a few hours a day, overnight care, weekend and holiday care, or even around-the-clock care. Whatever the client’s need, an excellent personal care agency should be able to provide. Aspen Senior Care has specialized in providing these services for over 16 years now and has a great reputation for delivering exceptional care in Utah Valley.

In Home Caregivers - Senior Care Utah County

Professional In-Home Caregivers

We train and qualify our caregivers to provide care specifically for seniors. Aspen caregivers come with a wide range of backgrounds, but an essential characteristic about all of them is that they are trustworthy and TRULY CARE! Our caregivers are professional, dedicated, and well-trained to ensure that each senior’s unique needs are met with dignity and respect.

We screen our caregivers through interviews, reference checks, and background checks. We are licensed with the Utah State Health Department and follow their rules and regulations, such as insisting caregivers qualify (TB test, check driving record, copy of auto insurance card, FBI background check, receive required training, etc.)

Our caregivers are required to be CNAs (certified nursing assistants) and/or CCAs (certified companion aides). In addition, we provide ongoing training. We back up our caregivers with field supervisors and an RN on staff who help us ensure we provide the quality care for which we are known.

Spring at Aspen Senior Day Center - 3

Senior Day Care Services — Another Great Option

Another excellent option for seniors who need memory care is the Aspen Senior Day Center of Provo.  Aspen Senior Day Center is a senior day care program designed for seniors who are still somewhat active but have some memory impairment. The center is a safe option for families who may have an elderly parent living with them but need to work during the day or need some respite time. The center has fun, engaging activities and provides nutritious snacks and a lunch. There is also a transportation option for those who might need a ride. This is truly the least expensive and most enjoyable approach to memory care for seniors still at home.

COVID-19 Response: Always Being Smart, Safe, and Responsible

We have always made the health and safety of our clients and employees our top priority. We are doing our best every day to follow all State, Federal, and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of those we serve.

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

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 is pleased to announce that we have received the 2021 Best of Home Care ® – Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse. The Provider of Choice Award is granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on client satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm for home care. Aspen Senior Care is now ranked among a select few home care providers across the country who have proven their ability to provide outstanding care. Aspen Senior Care is also the only provider to receive this prestigious award in Utah County!

“We’re excited to congratulate Aspen Senior Care for their well-deserved achievement on earning the Best of Home Care ® – Provider of Choice Award. It’s wonderful to see the hard work that Aspen Senior Care is putting in to provide high-quality care and employment – and their effort isn’t going unnoticed. This award allows them to provide proof of quality to potential new clients and caregivers.”

— Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse.

Best of Home Care ® – Provider of Choice award-winning providers have contracted with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their clients by conducting live phone interviews with their clients each month. Because Home Care Pulse is a third-party company, it is able to collect honest and unbiased feedback.

“This is not an easy award to win, but it shows our dedication to our caregivers and our senior clients,” says Susan Johnson, Relations Manager of Aspen Senior Care. “It also shows our willingness to be transparent in all that we do. We credit our wonderful team of professional caregivers who share our passion for helping seniors in Utah live comfortably and independently in their own homes.”

“At Home Care Pulse, our mission is to help home care businesses create an experience that goes beyond client and caregiver expectations,” says Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. “We are happy to recognize Aspen Senior Care as a Best of Home Care ® – Provider of Choice and to celebrate their accomplishments as a trusted home care provider.”

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 fits the bill!

Gary is a people person and loves to get to know people from all walks of life. He’s also a big family guy and loves his wife and kids and his big extended family. He knew senior care was definitely his thing as soon as he came across it.  After researching the market, he decided to join The Senior’s Choice network and start Aspen Senior Care in 2004.

Since then, he’s focused on finding top-notch caregivers first and foremost. If he trusts them to take good care of his parents, then he knows he can trust them to take good care of yours. He grew his office staff by promoting great caregivers as Aspen has grown over the years. It’s been a great formula and one that continues to be successful to this day. As Gary looks back, he says he has no regrets, just a lot of gratitude.

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

About Home Care Pulse

Home Care Pulse is the industry’s leading firm in satisfaction research, quality assurance, and caregiver training. 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. Home Care Pulse combines detailed client/caregiver insights with top-rated caregiver training through In The Know. Please call Home Care Pulse at (877) 307-8573 or visit homecarepulse.com.

Debbie Booth with Adult Protective Services (Utah) provides our caregivers with training on the Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults.

What does “abuse” mean? Abuse can refer to any situation in which someone who has more power hurts someone with less power. It may include:

  • Verbal Abuse — saying mean or cruel things to you.
  • Physical Abuse — hurting you intentionally.
  • Emotional Abuse — hurting your feelings intentionally, scaring you, or deliberately making you feel guilty about matters you cannot control.
  • Sexual Abuse — inappropriate touching or speaking about sexual matters.
  • Neglect — withholding things that you need (inappropriately) or refusing to take you to the doctor when you need to go.
  • Exploitation — taking advantage of you, your money or belongings.

It is important to know that reporting elder abuse in Utah is mandatory. You can describe and report the current situation of Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, or Self Neglect and choose to remain anonymous if you desire. 

Watch the video to learn more about how to be aware of cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.

Please Note: This training contains images of sensitive content pertaining to the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults. If you do not prefer to view this content, please reach out to the office for other training material at 801-224-5910.

Reach out to Debbie Booth at debooth@utah.gov with any questions. All reports of abuse will be considered serious and investigated to the fullest extent.

Adult Protective Services (APS)
Salt Lake County — 801-583-3567
Statewide — 1-800-371-7897
Web — daas.utah.gov

Aspen Senior Care - In-home Caregiver You Can Trust!
Caring Super Star 2021

Positive Consumer Ratings Led to Industry-Leading Distinction from Caring.com

Orem, Utah December 08, 2020 — Aspen Senior Care is pleased to announce it has been selected as a 2021 Caring Super Star for service excellence for in-home care. In consumer ratings and reviews on Caring.com, Aspen Senior Care earned a 5-star rating (the highest possible score) within the qualification time frame, while also having a high volume of positive reviews, responding to any negative reviews, and meeting other criteria for this national honor. Aspen Senior Care is the only Caring Super Star 2021 agency in Utah county and is among 504 agencies across the country for Caring Stars 2021.

“Thanks to 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 Caring.com for recognizing us as a Caring Super Star of 2021.”

— Gary Staples Owner and Administrator of Aspen Senior Care

Online reviews help Americans research and select the best home care agencies. Seniors and their families turn to the Internet and consumer reviews when narrowing their options among agencies in their area. They rely on these peer perspectives as much as personal recommendations from friends, geriatric professionals, and medical personnel.

Originally published in January 2012 as the first of its kind in senior living and expanded to include home care in 2017, the Caring Stars annual list has become the go-to guide of the best agencies nationwide – particularly helpful to families new to this market, or when researching from afar and unfamiliar with local options. To be considered for the award, Caring Stars agencies meet a set of criteria based on ratings and reviews from home care agency clients and their family members. Caring.com senior care experts also conducted a reviews-integrity audit and other quality-assurance measures before determining the Caring Stars of 2021. 

“Congratulations to Aspen Senior Care for being among these highly-rated agencies achieving such significant praise from their customers in online reviews. They stand out as among the best in the nation.” 

— Caring.com’s CEO Jim Rosenthal

Some of the positive feedback that led to Aspen Senior Care being a Caring Super Star of 2021 includes:

“I like their ability to supply people to help me care for my father. They have a good choice in caregivers.”

“It is a godsend for me, having them take care of my mom. They have been dependable and on top of things in keeping me informed.”

“They do the things that I’m not able to do right now.” 

Read the full text of these reviews and others on Caring.com: Aspen Senior Care — Caring.com. To learn more about the Caring Stars program and view the complete winner list, please visit: https://www.caring.com/caregivers/bestseniorliving/ or https://www.caring.com/caringstars2021-in-home-care .

About Aspen Senior Care

Our mission at Aspen Senior Care 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 Caring.com 

With millions of website visitors, Caring.com is a leading senior care referral service and the nation’s top site for senior care reviews. Founded in 2007, Caring’s mission is to help as many seniors and their caregivers as possible through empathetic, expert guidance. Applying cutting-edge technology to this humane mission, Caring provides relevant senior care information and support, as well as comprehensive senior living and senior care directories for the United States with hundreds of thousands of consumer reviews of senior living and in-home care providers. Through a toll-free line at (844) 484-5997, Caring’s empathetic, nationwide team of Family Advisors — who are among the most highly trained, highly skilled, and knowledgeable experts in senior care — help families and seniors research and connect to the most appropriate services and support for their specific situations. For more information about our organization and our free services for seniors and their families, please visit http://www.caring.com/about and join with Caring on Facebook.

By: Dr. Jessica Peterson, Au.D CCC-A
Founder and Owner of Audiology Consults LLC — www.audiologyconsults.com

Hearing health can be difficult to understand and manage.  In today’s world, there are many venues to receive hearing health care. Technology can also differ greatly due to an increasing number of hearing aid varieties. As a clinical audiologist, I educate my patients about maintaining their hearing devices and how to maintain their overall hearing health.  Hearing aids, cochlear implants, and your ears all need routine care.  Your daily communication will be greatly improved if you take the time to understand both the technology you are using and how to manage your hearing loss.

1. Routine Hearing Test

Hearing testing should be done routinely.  The majority of hearing loss occurs gradually.  It can be difficult to perceive if a hearing loss has occurred to even the most discerning patient.  Having a baseline hearing test, followed by further testing will ensure that small changes are detected early.  Early detection of hearing loss is important. Studies show that early treatment of hearing loss will significantly improve outcomes. Hearing aids will benefit you even with a mild hearing loss.  Our ears are the gateway to our auditory cortex.  The auditory cortex is the part of the brain that makes sense of the sounds around us.  The auditory cortex is similar to a muscle, and just like your muscles would shrink if you decided to not lift weights, the function of your auditory cortex will decrease function if the sound stimulus is decreased.  Even a mild hearing loss will start to change the way the brain reacts to sound, and if you delay treatment too long regaining the same function will be more difficult and sometimes impossible to achieve.

Some signs that your hearing may have changed:

  • You are asking people to repeat themselves more than before.
  • You have been feeling like people mumble when they speak.
  • Your television has to be increased in volume for you to hear it well.
  • It is more difficult to hear in background noise than it used to be.

2. Technology Management

If you have hearing loss and are wearing technology such as hearing aids or a cochlear implant, routine maintenance is essential.  It is possible that your hearing may change over time and the devices may need to be adjusted.  In addition, Hearing aids are small electronic devices that sit in your ear where there is sweat and wax.  To ensure they are functioning properly, it is important to have them professionally cleaned from time to time and to have your ears looked at to ensure the skin inside remains healthy and that no wax blockages are occurring.

Photo by Mark Paton on Unsplash
Photo by Mark Paton on Unsplash

3. Communication Strategies

Hearing aides are one part of an effective communication plan.  Another important part of communication is relying on other visual cues like facial expressions and body language.  When tested, most people perform better when they are able to watch the speaker’s face.  Although you may not be conscious of it, seeing a speaker’s face will help you understand what they say, even when you did not clearly hear what they said.   

Background noise is troublesome for speech comprehension because the signal is difficult to detect.  Picture deer on an empty hillside.  With no other objects, it is easy to see.  Now picture the same hillside but with several trees and bushes around the deer.  The task of finding the deer in the trees is more difficult than finding the deer on the empty hillside.  Our ears have the same problem.  When background noise is present it is harder for our ears to focus on the speech we care about.  It takes more work for us to understand speech in the midst of background noise.  Because the task takes more work, it will create auditory fatigue.  Many people experience auditory fatigue but with even a mild hearing loss, the task of listening is more difficult, and auditory fatigue may happen more quickly.  

These are some rules that you can incorporate into your communication routines to give yourself every advantage for communication.  While these things may seem like common sense, they are easy to forget.

Communication Strategies:

  • The speaker should have your full attention before launching into a lengthy speech.
  • Face the speaker so that you have access to visual cues.
  • Make sure you are in the same room with the person you are talking to.
  • Try to dedicate yourself to listening, multi-tasking can make understanding more difficult
  • Reduce background noise when possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat or rephrase if you didn’t understand.

4. Hearing Health Education

Fully understanding your hearing loss, your hearing test, how to make a communication plan, hearing aid technology, and the hearing aid process is essential to making sure you are getting the most out of your hearing.  A frequent misunderstanding is that hearing aids only will fix hearing loss.  Hearing loss is complex and requires technology in conjunction with deliberate communication strategies

It is important for the patient, their family, their caregivers, friends, and others to understand how to navigate communication.  Many audiologists and hearing instrument specialists are excellent at providing patient education but are limited by appointment times. Due to the lack of easily accessible education on hearing loss I have created an online course that walks you through all of these topics in depth.  If you would like to learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, communication strategies, the process for managing hearing loss and more, I would encourage you to join me in my course.  You can find the course at www.audiologyconsults.com.  You may also contact me  there if you would like to connect or have questions.

Trifocal lenses improve distant, intermediate, and nearby sight issues. You might be aware of the far and near sight issues and their relevant corrections. But the intermediate vision, too, is essential for most of our everyday tasks. To cater to all three, trifocal, as the name suggests, consists of three separate lenses that re-establish a complete vision range. 

Ideally, trifocal lenses work for people over the age of forty who are suffering from existing conditions or have developed presbyopia due to age. They are made up of an anti-reflective layer to promote the comfort of thoroughly clear eyesight. The coating provides better vision in low-light situations. 

Whether you are finding a good solution for yourself or a senior loved one, a local eye doctor will be able to help you understand if a trifocal lens is a suitable option. 

Advantages of Trifocal Lenses

These multi-purpose lenses have a range of benefits:

  • These are three-in-one correction lenses saving you from the hassle of managing multiple glasses. 
  •  Enable a broader viewing area in case of nearer vision. That makes it easier to use a screen or read with reduced strain on the eyes in case of dimmed surround lights. 
  • From the beginning, you will experience enhanced visibility and brightness in the colors around you. 
  • Trifocal glasses offer you the ability to see adequately in all kinds of lighting conditions, including dim lighting, bright lights, low light, and even daylight.
  • Another significant aspect is that you will endure fewer glares from bright lights, which will make driving at night easier for a lot of people. 

Disadvantages of Trifocal Lens

As is the usual practice, here I am presenting the other side of the story as well for better perception:

  • Since trifocal lenses correct multiple sight problems simultaneously, you might experience some visibility issues when seeing through another section of your glasses.
  • The trifocal lens within the case of cataract IOL might cause reactions such as blurred sight or intolerable glare because of the presence of the implant.
  • Unlike progressive lenses, there is no possibility of customizing these glasses. 

How to use them?

It is essential to note that the trifocal lenses are easy to use. Below are some of the measures you can take to make the transition convenient:

  • Learn the proper technique of using your new glasses from your optometrist and make sure they fit you well. 
  • They should be well adjusted on your nose to avoid slipping, and for you see through them appropriately.
  • Always ensure that you continue looking in front and not downwards when walking. That will avoid vision distortions due to the glasses.
  • When reading something, it should be held at a convenient distance for you to be able to read it properly without much strain.

Can anyone use trifocal glasses? 

Although they can overcome a variety of visibility issues, trifocal do have their limitations. In patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), advanced glaucoma, diabetes, and cataracts, the trifocal lenses are not a suitable solution.

The ideal candidates for trifocal lenses are people over forty who are suffering from presbyopia that prompts them to need to change or begin their eyeglass prescriptions. Trifocal glasses can restore enhanced visibility in all ranges and can be chosen as an alternative to avoid correction surgeries. 

If so far, you have been able to figure out that you need trifocal glasses, you can go a step further by visiting an eye doctor in your local area. They will be able to understand your prevalent eye ailments and then prescribe the most suitable lens options for you. Remember, trifocal glasses and contacts ensure a close-up, intermediate, and faraway view. 

Aaron Barriga

Author Bio:

Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center, eye care center, Fresno. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK. Aaron loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.