We know you have choices so why choose Autumn of Life?

You and/or your family are searching for help with housing and living options for your loved one, and you've discovered there are more choices than you can make.  How do you decide which direction to take? We know how important it is to find an agency to help lift your worry and guide you confidently and caringly through the process to make the right decision.  Autumn of Life does all this and more - all at no cost to you.

We research, pre-qualify and pre-tour communities and adult care homes, clearly communicate to the providers the level and types of care needed and create a customized a tour for you. We want to save you time, lift some of your overwhelming emotional stress and pressure to find the right match.  We go on tour with you so we may continue to develop a working relationship by providing you support, ask questions you may not know to ask, and help to educate you on the process of what is needed to move forward. 

For more information, see our page https://www.autumnoflife.net/types-of-senior-care/     or call us at 503.701.5054 .  We are here to help you. 

Keeping Hydrated Is Especially Important For Seniors

Summer is in full swing, and with it comes high temperatures.  We all need to be drinking more water in this heat, but it's critical for our seniors.  Our loved ones are at higher risk of dehydration for several reasons: a senior's sense of thirst diminishes with age as well as their bodies' ability to conserve water.  Add to that, certain medications may disrupt a senior's ability to retain water. If your loved one as dementia, they may forget to eat or drink.  Water is certainly important but it doesn't have to be just water.  Try some of these ideas to keep your loved one hydrated:

1. Coffee, tea, sweetened drinks, fruit juice as well as any fruits and/or vegetables because they contain water.

2. Try offering drinks beverages at different temperatures.

3.  Try something savory such as broth.

4. Make popsicles - yum

5.  Offer smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, sports drinks, etc.

It's important to watch for the signs of dehydration so you can catch it before it becomes critical.

Dry or sticky mouth

Not peeing very much

Dark yellow pee

Dry, cool skin

Headache

Muscle cramps

Keeping an eye out for these more subtle, early signs that a senior needs to up their fluid intake is crucial.  Always keep in mind that thirst is not usually a valid indicator, because a person who feels thirsty may already be dehydrated. Other signs to look for include headache, constipation, muscle cramps, dry mouth and tongue, and sleepiness or lethargy.  

If you have concerns, it's always good to contact a doctor or health professional.   Stay cool this summer and keep hydrated.

 

OSRAA's OREGON HOUSE BILL 2661-8 HAS PASSED!

What is House Bill 2661-8?  This bill establishes regulations for Referral and Placement Agencies.

What does it do?  Following is direct content from the Bill:

"The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure.

Requires long term care referral provider to be registered with Department of Human Services.

Imposes certain requirements on long term care referral providers.

Makes long term care referral provider mandatory reporter of elder abuse. Makes violation of certain provisions unfair trade practice.

Declares emergency, effective on passage."

What does it all mean?  In a nutshell, HB-2661-8 requires all referral agencies to have state certification, provide verification of training and submit to background checks.  This bill protects you and ensures you have a reputable agency helping you and your family.

For more information, see http://osraa.com/regulation-referral-placement-agencies/

Friendships Are Equally As Important As Family

This is not to say family isn't important, because it certainly is.  However, the days of family being around the corner or even in the next city are gone.  Families are spread out all over the continent, making relationships harder to come by.  In addition, families are full of stress and political anxiety.  That's why friends have become a surrogate family for many.

Why are friendships so important, especially as we get older?  William Chopik, an assistant psychology professor at Michigan State University offers his insight.  "Family relationships are still important, but it looks like friendships become more important over time, and then kind of dwarfs the family relationship."

For many people, Chopik found that friendship brings greater health and happiness (excluding spouses and children), which in turns increases people's middle and senior years. Although there is an interesting twist to the friend over family thought.  Seniors experience more stress from friends than from family which can result in health problems. 

So why do we prefer our friends over family at times? Because we can choose our friends and thus we enjoy their company more.  We do activities more often with friends than family.  Being able to choose our friends and being selective about it really matters.  

Difficulty With Dementia

It begins with a few forgotten appointments, then you can’t remember if you had lunch or not and soon you can’t find your way back home.  When your loved begins to lose their memory, it can be a struggle for the entire family. The person who has been the head of the family could soon fade from the person they once were, leaving their loved ones to wonder what will come next.

What should you do next?  It’s a tough question that often puts families in a tough situation without anything written down regarding their loved one’s final wishes. 

Dementia diagnoses continues to rise and the need to address this head-on is important.  Here are some critical questions to ask:

  1. What are the signs of dementia? Surprisingly, forgetting names of people is not a sign of dementia. Mixing up names of objects, however, is. For a more complete list of signs, check the Alzheimer's Association's website. 

  2. Does my loved one have dementia? Schedule a visit with their doctor and voice your concerns. Once you're familiar with the early signs, consider your loved one's behaviors. While some might appear obvious, but it's surprisingly easy for people to hide their confusion by telling a story instead of answering your questions.

  3. What do they want for their future? Upon a diagnosis of dementia, planning is crucial.  Try to write down everything while your loved one is still able to make their wishes known. Seeking resources in elder law is important.                                                                       
  4. What's their life story?  Try making a video diary or journalling.  Your loved one has wonderful stories that are worth preserving, and it helps a person with dementia stay cognizant if they’re asked to retell their personal history.  This also helps your loved one feel valued at a time when being ignored is one of the biggest fears associated with a diagnosis of dementia.

We do all these things when patients have a terminal illness like cancer. We know to help them plan for the future and make them comfortable in the present. But we don't recognize dementia as a disease, so we don't approach people in the same way. It's time for a change. Start talking about dementia and do everything we can to give our loved ones the most comfortable and peaceful life we can.

Navigating Difficult Conversations with your Loved One

Please join us:

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm at the Gresham Senior Center, 600 NE 8th St., Gresham, OR 97030

It can be both a rewarding and challenging experience to be a senior caregiver. Over the time relationship dynamics will change. Knowing that every situations is unique, it is important to remember that good communication is a key component of providing successful caregiving experiences. Having meaningful conversations with your loved one will help you identify the type of help and support your loved one desires. Learn how to start meaningful dialogue and keep your relationship with your loved ones strong.

If you can't attend, please let us help you "navigate" through the tough questions and answers so you can determine what will be best for you and your loved one.  Call us at 503.701.5054

 

Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th

Heart wrenching stories of elders being physically, mentally and financially abused by their family caregivers are no longer tucked away in the back of the newspaper, they are making headline news. For those of us who passionately work in the field of elder care, reading these stories is distressing. According to National Family Caregivers Association, more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provides care for aged family member or friend during any given year. They spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one. There is no vacation time, rescheduling, and little or no income for their time.

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Autumn of Life Senior Housing & Advisory Services, LLC

Cherie Henry today announced the creation of a new customized senior placement agency, Autumn of Life Senior Housing and Advisory Services, LLC.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Autumn of Life Senior Housing & Advisory Services, LLC (autumnoflife.net) serves Seniors and their families who find themselves with a need to transition into a Senior Living Environment.  The company's mission is to assist families through an often emotionally difficult and confusing decision-making process. The business model is to provide a face to face approach and customize a housing tour to address the client’s needs and wants. The company works with many seniors who have lived full, active and enriched lives and aid them into fulfilling their vision for future daily care expectations.

Autumn of Life was born out of the love and respect of working with seniors.  Mrs. Henry was 16 when she first started providing aid to seniors, her career path took her to the role of an Executive Director in a large assisted living community and for the past seven years she has been very successful in the senior placement industry in the Portland Metro Area. Mrs. Henry has assembled a team of professional associates dedicated to improving the quality of life for our seniors.

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