It’s Her Turn: Senior Receives Help After Years of Giving to Others

<div><p>For years, Elaine “Mother” Jones advocated for the rights of seniors in San Francisco to have better lives and improved housing conditions. She often took her advocacy to the streets, holding rallies alongside former SF supervisor Jane Kim who represented the district in which Jones lived—the Tenderloin, arguably San Francisco’s most economically challenged and trouble-ridden neighborhood. Among Jones’ […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">It’s Her Turn: Senior Receives Help After Years of Giving to Others</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">IOA Blog</a>.</p></div>

Heart of the Bay Fundraiser Shows Love to Seniors on February 11

<div><p>These past 11 months have been particularly rough on our senior community, so IOA is even more excited that our biggest fundraiser of the year is right around the corner! For 37 years, our annual fundraising event was called Dinner á la Heart, and featured an in-person dining experience. This year, we’ve taken things up […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Heart of the Bay Fundraiser Shows Love to Seniors on February 11</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">IOA Blog</a>.</p></div>

Last Minute Holiday Gifts For Seniors

<div><p>Finding the perfect gift for an older loved one can be challenging, but we’ve put together a few ideas for you that you can still scoop up now. But keep in mind that the gift that seniors often like best, especially during holidays spent apart from friends and family, is the gift of conversation and […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Last Minute Holiday Gifts For Seniors</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">IOA Blog</a>.</p></div>

When Nature Calls At Night: Prostate Enlargement and You

<div><table><tr><td> <a href=""> <img src="" alt="When Nature Calls At Night: Prostate Enlargement and You" title="When Nature Calls At Night: Prostate Enlargement and You"></a> </td><td> <!-- SC_OFF --><div class="md"><p><a href="">When Nature Calls At Night: Prostate Enlargement and You</a></p> <p>Just when you thought you could get a good night's rest, all of a sudden you get urges, so you get up and go to the bathroom. A few hours later in the middle of the night, you get urges again. Just before sunrise, you go again! Could it be a small bladder? You go to the doctor and after a few tests, he tells you it's benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is the medical term for non-cancerous prostate enlargement due to age.</p> <p>One of the symptoms commonly associated with this common condition in older men is frequent urination, especially at night. This is also referred to as nocturia. When your body forces you to get up and go to the bathroom, you could be losing on a good night's rest. Less sleep means less productivity and exhaustion throughout the day, leaving you vulnerable to irritability, stress and weakened immunity.</p> <p>During this time of the global pandemic, your immunity is very important to keeping you safe, so one of the basic recommendations has been to get a good night's rest. This is not a prevention or cure for covid-19, but rather one way to maintain your immune system by letting your body rest as much as it needs to so that your body is better able to fight off symptoms, infections and so on (this goes for the cold, flu, and any other infections or a bacterial or viral nature that may enter your body).</p> <p>This is where BPH could get in the way. If you are experiencing nightly trips to the restroom which don't let you sleep well throughout the night, your body may be the very thing that's partly keeping you from maintaining your immune system defenses at optimum levels. Other factors that may contribute to immunity are nutrition, mental health, and the management of other pre-existing conditions.</p> <p>One solution may be to have a bed pan or medical grade urine bottle near your bed so that if you're feeling urges, you can relieve yourself in the same room without having to get up and move. This means you could fall back to sleep faster. Another solution is to speak with a naturopathic physician about a compatible and clinically proven herbal therapy to support your urinary symptoms of BPH, especially when it's in the mild stages.</p> <p>All parts of the body can affect each other in a complex, interconnected relationship. To strike a balance, it is necessary to be mindful of your health and be proactive to maintain it. Although we may hear the old stereotype that men care more about their cars than their own health, we hope that shedding light on BPH can get the community to support men and for men to support themselves a little more, too!</p> </div><!-- SC_ON --> submitted by <a href=""> /u/sunjourhc </a> <br><span><a href="">[link]</a></span> <span><a href="">[comments]</a></span> </td></tr></table></div>

Simple Ways to Dramatically Increase Home Safety

<div><p>This month, we’re partnering with AARP California to present HomeFit, a new AARP program to increase the safety of older adults at home. The free program will be presented online in two identical sessions on December 3 and 17. Details and registration information here.  By 2030, nearly 30 percent of all Americans will be 65 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Simple Ways to Dramatically Increase Home Safety</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">IOA Blog</a>.</p></div>



Like the Easter Bunny, Spring into Action for Prostate Enlargement (BPH)

How was your Easter weekend? For some it is a religious celebration and for others it’s a time to celebrate spring imagery with bunnies and decorated eggs. With the global pandemic, we may not have been able to spend Easter the same way as in previous years, but we hope everyone stays safe and healthy in hopes for a more eventful Easter next year!

Today’s blog is (unsurprisingly) about BPH. BPH stands for benign prostatic hyerplasia, and it’s a common prostate enlargement condition that may come with frequent urination, poor urinary flow, and other bladder related symptoms due to the anatomic proximity of prostate and bladder. This condition is more likely to affect men in older age, but you may not have heard of it unless you or someone you know was diagnosed by a doctor.

Now, what does Easter have to do with BPH? Easter is a spring holiday that brings about the feelings of reawakening and new beginnings. For men avoiding their yearly health checkups, for men with frequent urination who haven’t gone to their doctor to get that checked out, and for men who were diagnosed with BPH but haven’t made many positive lifestyle modifications to properly manage symptoms, this could be your chance to make a positive impact for your health. For those whose loved ones may have BPH, this is your chance to learn more about this condition and offer support. Although we may feel limited by the global pandemic, we can still make adjustments in the home to help BPH patients starting in the mind and home.

Playing an active role in BPH could mean more  chances to live a better quality of life by considering your options carefully and responsibly with doctors, support groups, and loved ones. Although there’s not a one size fits all solution for BPH, if you can weigh the risks and benefits, there could be a way to manage mild BPH in a safe way. For those in need of surgical and medical intervention, and for those who are struggling with the side effects of stronger forms of treatment, we hope you can find ways to recover from the side effects as well with therapeutic and medical support.

BPH patients and loved ones, this year’s Easter season may have passed, but your spring awakening could be around the corner! 


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The recent spike in coronavirus cases means that many of us will feel extra lonely and isolated on Thanksgiving this year. After all, Thanksgiving is a gathering oriented holiday centered on good food and good company, but many Americans are looking at the possibility of a very scaled back celebration this year. There are activities we can do both for ourselves and for others, including older family members and friends not able to join us, in order to retain the joy this holiday brings.

Bring a meal to a senior. Many older adults, including those who are high-risk for contracting Covid-19, will be spending Thanksgiving alone. Bringing a home-cooked meal, safely prepared in your own kitchen, is one way to show you care – just make sure to check with the senior first to make sure that he or she doesn’t have any food allergies or dislikes. If cooking isn’t your thing, arrange for a meal to be delivered to your older adult friend or family member. You can also help your senior make a request for a Lasagna Love volunteer to bring them a dish of Italian comfort food to enjoy.

Set up a virtual dining room. Even if your senior loved one can’t join you in person, they can still dine with you! Set up a Zoom or FaceTime meeting so that everyone can eat Thanksgiving dinner together on screen. It will make everyone feel less alone while enjoying their meal.

Deliver or send Thanksgiving greetings, including ones made by the grandkids. Everyone loves getting deliveries to their door or in the mail, so taking the time to make a handmade card or craft for a senior can really make their day. Have the grandkids make a simple handprint turkey craft or other Thanksgiving themed creation for an extra personal touch.

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade together. This year’s parade will look decidedly different from years past, but it’s still happening! The parade is a time honored tradition enjoyed by multiple generations, so why not tune in and connect virtually to enjoy it together.

Tell your older adult friends about the Friendship Line.  Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line, which was expanded to serve all older adults living in California earlier in 2020 year, is a 24/7 toll free line seniors can call on Thanksgiving day (or any day of the year!) to talk to someone who will listen and provide some emotional warmth.

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November is National Family Caregivers Month – and it’s safe to say that 2020 is the most pivotal year that family caregivers have ever experienced. Nearly 8 months into the pandemic, what family caregivers are experiencing is nothing short of a crisis when it comes to balancing care for senior loved ones with life’s other priorities.

Samara Miller, Institute on Aging’s Regional Director of Client Services in Home Care and Support Service, interacts with family caregivers on a daily basis, and is acutely tuned in to their elevated stress levels. “Even in normal times, caregiving comes with a lot of stress and anxiety,” she says. “Adding in the restrictions created by a global pandemic combined with a shifting economy only worsens their  stress.”

With all these factors, it’s more important than ever for caregivers to take care of themselves as well as establish healthy habits and a positive mindset. Miller offers her thoughts below.

IOA: How has the pandemic changed the dynamics of caregiving?

Miller: Besides adding on more stress, caregivers are feeling lonelier than ever before in this day and age. They are taking care of the population’s most vulnerable individuals, which means that many activities they used to do outside the home have been put on pause for safety reasons.

We’ve also seen a lot of caregivers being innovative with their time. They have tapped into old fashioned fun, like doing puzzles or craft projects with those in their care. They are using technology, like Zoom, to connect with the outside world. Some are reintroducing music and dancing to their loved ones, and helping them discover new passions. We recently talked to the caregiver of an 85-year-old man who is practicing meditation for the very first time in his life. Here are more ways a caregiver can help older adults.

IOA: What are a few things that family caregivers can do in the name of “self-care”?

Miller: I like the term “caring for ourselves” instead of self-care because there is no stigma of needing to be fixed or helped attached to that terminology. Caring for ourselves is part of the caregiver journey and is a vital piece of making it successful. It’s important for caregivers to find what personally works for them, what makes them feel good, and what they can be passionate about. 

Some things I have found to work well for caregivers: taking a nap, listening to music, dancing, baking a special treat, cooking, taking socially distanced walks with friends, joining a support group, exercising, binge watching a TV program that makes them laugh, gardening, doing craft projects, meditating and having a spa day at home. I even had one client who purchased a punching bag and boxing gloves and took out his frustrations that way!

IOA:  What are things that other family members and/or friends can do to support the family caregiver and perhaps give them a break? 

Miller: Everyone has different needs. Instead of assuming what the family caregiver needs, it’s better to just ask them, “What can I do to support you?” All too often, family caregivers are resistant to having someone give them a break or help them, so don’t force it. They may just need someone to spend time with them and listen. Most important, family members and friends can demonstrate consistency, kindness, understanding, and show the caregiver that they are there to support them when needed and in ways that the caregiver prefers.   

Keep in mind that being a family caregiver can be a very thankless job, so simply saying “thank you for all that you are doing” to a caregiver — and showing your appreciation in other ways — can go far.

IOA:  Are there certain “boundaries” that caregivers need to put in place, and what do those look like?

Miller: Boundaries aren’t just important in caregiving, they are essential to success. I like to think of boundaries as setting up healthy, consistent habits. For example, caring for ourselves is a healthy habit, as is creating a daily routine and sticking to it. So is approaching caregiving without resentments and regrets, while having acceptance of the situation and finding a way to deal with it. 

IOA:  On the flip side of the boundary question….what can a family caregiver do when other family members want to insert their own opinions about the older person’s care, etc. but aren’t the primary one offering the care?

Miller: When someone in a family steps into a caregiver role, it changes the whole dynamic of the family structure. All too often, family members, friends, and almost everyone have an opinion in what the caregiver needs to do and how to handle things. As a result, it is often difficult for the caregiver to accept opinions of others who are not experiencing the situation on a daily basis.  

First and foremost, the primary caregiver needs to remember that family and friends are offering their opinion from a place of love and concern. Validate what they are offering by listening, however remember the final decisions rest with you. Be honest with them about that.

Above all, try to defuse any tense situations by looking for the humor in them. If you can laugh with your family, or even with the person you are caring for, it can go a long way.

Samara Miller, MFT, Regional Director of Client Services, Home Care & Support Services, Institute on Aging 

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The Pain Points of Prostate Enlargement (BPH)

The global pandemic has added something to be concerned about on top of other things going on in people’s lives. One group of people we want to focus on is men in their 40s and older. These men may very well be going through a physiological change into their older age and not realize it until later. This change is known as prostate enlargement or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Here are some pain ports men with an enlarged prostate may be feeling:

  1. I need to go to the bathroom frequently

  2. I’m not getting much sleep

  3. Things aren’t going well in bed with my partner

Frequent urination can happen day and night. Men may be paying attention to the nearest bathroom while being out and about. They might feel urges, and their urinary flow may be slow. They may also feel a sensation of urine still remaining in the bladder after having just gone. This can make going out uncomfortable and your mind may be focused on the bathroom instead of having a good time.

Not getting much sleep could be from getting up many times a night to go to the bathroom. If a man is sleep deprived, he can’t be as productive during the day or enjoy the things he usually does due to the tiredness.

BPH may also interfere with sexual function, be it in the form of erectile dysfunction or ejaculatory issues. These may also be risks that men with severe BPH could face after taking medications or surgical intervention for their BPH. 

One other pain point that men may not talk about is the depression or frustration that may come with their compromised quality of life due to BPH. The sense of shame, embarrassment, denial, refusal to seek help, or bearing this new reality in silence. Please know it doesn’t have to be this way, and with support we can hopefully find solutions for men with BPH.

For mild BPH and for men who are open to it, alternative treatments like traditional Chinese medicine and supplements with clinically proven ingredients could offer some initial relief and ease for coping with symptoms. Less bathroom trips, better sleep, and better time under the sheets could be the silver lining to men with BPH if they try a reliable solution. Not staying silent, reducing the hesitancy to speak with other men, doctors, and family could be a way to relieve stress, too.

As a community, let’s help men with BPH defeat their pain points! 


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Samaritan is focused on one goal – ensuring the comfort of our clients. We strive to keep individuals healthy and independent. We thoroughly assess your needs and select the appropriate caregiver to ensure compatibility.

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Cleveland, OH 44143

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