Thursday, July 24, 2014

Seniors willing to discuss driving abilities, yet conversations rarely happen

There are currently more than 23 million licensed drivers aged 70 and older, and with baby boomers beginning to reach 70 years of age, the number of seniors on the road will rise steadily over the next two decades.
A new survey released by Liberty Mutual Insurance finds that the majority of senior drivers are behind the wheel regularly, even with reported limited physical abilities. Though many seniors drive safely well into their later years, it’s likely that they will eventually have to face the difficult decision to stop driving. While the majority of senior drivers surveyed are open to conversations about limiting or stopping their driving, only 6 percent have spoken with someone about their driving abilities.
“These are difficult conversations but important to have early and often, because everyone ages differently,” says David Melton, driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “Too often, these discussions are avoided until warning signs appear or, worse, there is an accident. It’s a step we all need to take to ensure the safety of our loved ones and the community.”
The report reveals that despite declining physical abilities, many seniors still drive several times a week or even every day. In the past six months, the majority surveyed reported driving regularly despite slow reaction times, difficulty seeing or hearing, getting lost or feeling confused while driving.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Upcoming instructor trainings
for two evidence-based programs
 in older adult falls prevention. 

Tai Chi:Moving for Better Balance November 1-2, 2014 at Duncan Family YMCA, 6350 Eldridge St, Arvada, CO. 
Flyer with details about the training class.
Registration is now open for the class.
 Note, if you are a YMCA employee and want YMCA certification, you must register for the Moving for Better Balance instructor class on
 Please contact Sallie Thoreson at 970-248-7161 or with any questions.  

The next Stepping On Leader training will be September 11-12, 2014 at St Anthony Pre-hospital/Education Building, 34 Van Gordon, Suite 200, Lakewood, CO.
Registration  is now open for the class. Contact Vicky Cassabaum at St. Anthony to register 720-321-8973 or

Contact Sallie Thoreson, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at or 970-248-7161 if you are outside the Denver Metro area and would like assistance for travel and lodging costs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fall Prevention Campaign from Hawaii Department of Health

Below are two videos: The first is a senior talking directly to other seniors about fall prevention. The second is a family member talking to other family/care-givers about fall prevention.

For more information see the Hawaii Department of Health Website

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Can a smartphone prevent the elderly from falling?

Photo: PurdueResearchPark/YouTube

Measuring a person's gait — or a person's manner of walking — can reliably predict how likely they are to fall. Such tests can be crucial preventative tools for those with compromised balance, such as the elderly or those with Parkinson's disease. But these tools aren't always available to every patient, can be expensive, and don't always reflect everyday walking conditions.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Four Medication Safety Tips for Older Adults

Whether you’re settling into your sixties or heading into your ninth decade, you should be extra careful when taking prescription and over-the-counter medicines. And if you’re caring for older loved ones, you should help them stay safe.
The older you get, the more likely you are to use additional medicines, which can increase the chance of harmful drug interactions.
See the FDA Consumer Updates for more information and tips.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Seniors must speed up, not slow down with physical activity for heart health

From:  The Nation's Health

Seniors who increase the intensity of their physical activity, such as walking, can reduce their risk of heart attack and heart failure, according to a recent study.

Walking faster and longer led to better heart health in seniors age 65 and older, according to a study published online May 5 in the journal Circulation.

“Modest physical activity, such as the distance and pace of walking, is important for the heart’s electrical well-being of older adults,” said study lead author LuĂ­sa Soares-Miranda, PhD, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Faculty of Sport, University of Porto Research Center in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure in Portugal.

Researchers monitored the physical activity and heart rates of 985 seniors over five years in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute-sponsored study.

Participants wore 24-hour heart monitors and researchers recorded the seniors’ heart rates, as well as walking pace and distances in follow-up visits, the study said. Seniors were also evaluated on how often and long they performed activities, such as walking, gardening and bicycling.

Seniors who walked longer distances and picked up their paces had a higher heart rate variability — the variations in the time between one heart beat and the next — than those who slowed down or never changed their walking habits, the study said. The higher the variations in the time between one heart beat and the next, the healthier a senior was, the study said. For example, seniors who increased their walking pace had an average of nearly 118 milliseconds of variations in the time between beats, compared to 113.6 milliseconds in seniors who maintained the same pace and nearly 110 in those who decreased their paces. Seniors who walked longer and faster also had less erratic heartbeats, the study said.

Soares-Miranda said if seniors feel comfortable with their usual physical activity, they should not slow down. If anything, seniors should increase the intensity and length of the activity, she said.

“Our results suggest not only that regular physical activity later in life is beneficial, but also that certain beneficial changes that occur may be reduced when physical activity is reduced,” Soares-Miranda told The Nation’s Health. “This supports the need to maintain modest physical activity throughout the aging process.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15

From:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day — an opportunity to increase understanding about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

The goal for elder abuse prevention is simple: stop it from happening in the first place.

Together, we can protect the health and safety of older adults, those who once looked after us. Help others prevent elder abuse and halt it from escalating.
Six Types of Elder Abuse

Learn More