Toby Cohantz's technology can help your parents stay in their home longer. How does he do this? He works with several organizations that work with seniors, and particularly, Fall Prevention. These organizations include:
All of these companies can help your parents stay in their home longer than if they were trying to do everything on their own. The reason why many people need to leave their home is because it is no longer safe to live there.
Toby runs the first mobile gait lab int he country, run in conjunction with the New Mexico State University. The lab collects data on how seniors walk. They generate a report on the spot, that gives a risk assessment for falls. That data is now being used to create products and services for seniors, and will be launching in the 3rd quarter of 2016.
These will include Smart Phone and Tablet apps that can help your parents stay in their home.
For example, the app will monitor your loved one's gait, and if it changes, an alert will be generated.
It will also work as a medical alert system, that will alert you (or someone else) if there is a fall. Because their current in home systems have alerts that go out in case the battery begins to die, Toby expects that the apps will have similar features. Systems like this are called PERS, or Personal Emergency Response Systems.
Toby's company has backup systems that catch additional activity such as whens someone cannot push a button because they've had a stroke or have fallen out of bed. they've also considered the fact that many people will remove their devices so can install buttons in areas of the house such as near the bed, in the shower, and in the kitchen. These are the places where most falls happen.
Virtual Care Givers (remember the Jetson's TV show?) are coming out at the end of the year. Stay tuned in to his website to hear more about that as the technology develops.
Today I spoke with Ed Elliott, who wanted to be a singing cowboy when he grew up, changed his mind to become a "cementing cowboy" and then became a teacher. He is now retired and is playing softball to keep young.
Ed retired from teaching severely handicapped children and then became a Principal, hearing officer, and Director of Special Education Programs. He worked in the industry after 40 years.
He and I have something in common as I worked for Harborview Developmental Center in Valdez Alaska right after high school, which was an institution for severely mentally disabled adults. Harborview has since closed, and there are no more institutions such as that in the United States.
He planned for retiring when he was 62 until he went to a faculty meeting and found out that he should look carefully at the retirement chart and not to forget that he could retire at age 61 1/2, so he didn't wait.
Ed retired without a plan, except he needed to wrap up some loose ends, which he is still in the process of doing (aren't we all!).
He found the league by finding it in the newspaper. He and a friend scoped it out first, to make sure that there were no former star baseball players in the league! It seemed fine, so they went to a batting cage to assess their skills. They could both still hit a ball (after 50 years) so decided to purchase the equipment needed to play the game.
The average age of the players (which includes women) in his league is 71. The majority of the team-mates who are playing softball to stay young are from 65 to 75 years old, but they do have some 55 and 56 year old players who are the stars of the game. Most of the young ones are still working in their business. They even have a player who is 90.
Ed said that the main benefit of joining the league, in addition to the health benefits, is the advantage of spending time with friends every week. He also gets to find out about new activities when members invite each other to activities that they might not have known about.
They are all playing softball to keep young on Tuesdays and Thursdays and so they know where they are going to be on those two days. Otherwise they might not know what day it is!
One way he Rocks his Retirement is by volunteering to spend time doing things for others, such as walking his wife's dogs, spending time with grandchildren, and generally helping people who are still working. Being retired allows him to do things that he could not do if he was still working.
That's not all that Ed does. He's considering becoming an Ombudsman for people who live in Senior Communities. He also is trained in a type of dyslexia called Irlen syndrome, which is a reading problem (words swimming, words curling up, etc.) that can be easily remedied by using colored transparencies. He is considering helping others who have this syndrome, which is so easy to correct.
Listen to Ed's story in today's episode of Rock Your Retirement.
Mitch Au is very close to his family. His own grandmother had Alzheimer's disease, and he watched her suffer for 20 years. His family is most important to him, so when his aunt and uncle needed a break, additional family intervention was needed. Because of this, he moved to help with the care giving and to give his aunt and uncle some respite care when they needed a break. During this time he learned a great deal about caring for the elderly. His aunt had a 24 hour care giver and was able to stay in her own home.
Mitch and I discussed the differences between having a 24 hour caregiver and having more social interaction through senior living or adult day care facilities. Your parent's own home may be safe, but it might not provide the social interaction that a loved one needs.
He really liked the senior care industry due to the experience he had with his grandmother and opened a couple of board and care homes, which are highly regulated. These homes must be certified with an RCFE (residential care facility for the elderly) licensed. He actually purchased the business, and another home a few months later.
During the day he had two caregivers and a cook in each facility. There was also "awake" staff 24 hours a day in each business. Both of the homes were in Arizona, and they found out that moving from San Diego to Arizona was too much of a culture shock, so moved back to San Diego. It's tough to move from perfect weather to anywhere other than San Diego!
He moved back to San Diego for the perfect weather, and normally works with the adult children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or friends of elderly adults who are no longer safe to live at home. He helps you help your parents find a safe place to live. The organization that he works for is called "A Place for Mom" which is a national placement agency that can help your parents find a safe place to live.
Many people call when they are in crisis, but you don't have to wait until there is a crisis to start speaking with them about their living situation.
Listen to today's episode to find out more about your options for Senior Living Communities and also Home Care.
Joyce Leverich was working as a Legal Secretary for the corporate department of a large law firm. Her friends were met at work. Gradually she found that her back problems caused her to need to retire in her early 60s. The pain was so great that she found it difficult to do anything. Because of the pain she became depressed and wasn't sure what she was going to do to get out of her slump. Not only that, but all of her friends were working, and she was home alone. She went through a pain management clinic who taught her how to cope with the pain and how "getting out" is the most important thing to dealing with depression. She still deals with chronic pain, but she learned how to deal with pain through hugs and laughter.
After she moved to San Diego with her husband, she googled the internet for social groups. She found some couples group, but also found a group that was specifically for women. An opportunity arose that allowed her to take over that Meetup group that was floundering. After taking over the group she decided that she would have activities, and if even ONE other woman decided to join her in an event, she would get together and spend time with that woman.
The group started off slow, and the first woman she met for coffee never came back. She was afraid that the group would end because of that, but she didn't despair. She kept posting events, and the group flourished.
She took that group and turned it into a massively successful, and very active woman's group that meets weekly. Not everyone attends weekly, but all of the members are active in the group.
Some of the pain is physical, and some of it is emotional. Really, the group is about having friends and having fun!
The group volunteers, has line danced, gone bowling, and does all kinds of things. There are 20 or 30 women who help post activities. A lot of women in the group deal with their own pain by using hugs and laughter.
Learn how she grew the group in today's episode of Rock Your Retirement.
The family was very nervous and wanted to make sure he wasn't going to fall down the stairs. They wanted him to be safe at home. Dad was stubborn and didn't want to admit that he was getting older, and they were nervous knowing that he could fall down the stairs at any moment.
Reinventing Life after grief from the death of her husband, Madelyn Troike explains how she was able to bring herself back, and learn to love life again.
For more information on this episode, go HERE.
Why Rock Your Retirement? Hi, I'm Kathe Kline and I've been working with retirees and pre-retirees since 1990. Over the years I've noticed that happiness in retirement had very little to do with how much money you had, (unless you are living in poverty) and had a lot more to do with what you decide to do with your time after you retire. I had clients who had huge houses who were not having a good retirement, and clients who were living in tiny mobile homes who were having the time of their lives. What was the difference? Why were some having a great retirement and others were miserable?
In 2015 I gave up my securities license and decided to live a slower paced life. I wanted to help people, but in a different way than I was doing it before. Although I still have a small financial planning practice, I generally do not accept new clients.
How can I help you? Many times it is difficult for people to go from working 2000 hours to zero. It's great for the first few months, but then some of us hit a wall. Depression sets in. Sometimes it even leads to divorce because two people who were apart for 8-10 hours a day suddenly find themselves together for 24 hours a day. For some that works... but for others it doesn't.
We talk about retirement in a different way. Each week I interview two types of guests. The first are the Retirees that are "Rocking their Retirement" in some way. The Rock Your Retirement Show focuses on:
My intention is to release these interviews on Mondays. These will be interviews with people who can show you how to Rock Your Retirement, because they are rocking their own retirement in one of the ways we discuss. Are they traveling? Did they get closer with their spouse or children because they had more time to do that? Whatever the retiree is doing, we want you to hear about it so that it will spark something in YOU so that you can decide how you want to live in retirement...regardless of the amount of money you've saved.
These interviews are with people or businesses that can help with the issues of helping your family members. Most people who find out that they need to help a parent or spouse do not understand all of the options available to them. For example, my own father has Parkinson's Disease and I did not find out about Adult Day Care (I hate that name) until 2015. Adult Day Care is not only is a less expensive alternative to Home Care, but I think it provides better care for your loved one because of the socialization aspect. One would think that 1:1 care would be better, but often it is not. When people are together in groups they often have better outcomes than when they are sitting at home with one caregiver.
We strive to keep these shows at about a half hour, give or take.
You have several options. Once the show is released, you'll be able to listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, and all the Podcast apps that go on a smart phone. If you don't have a smart phone you can listen on your Android or Apple device. If you don't have either of those, you can subscribe to the feed, or you can come here and listen on your computer.
My guests often mention San Diego since that is where I live. Even though you may live in a different area, as long as you are US based, the information in the vendor (Thursday) shows should still be relevant. You will get to know what services are out there, and you should be able to find a similar service in your area by doing a simple Google search.
I plan to launch the show on 4/4/16. After that I hope to continue the twice a week schedule. The shows are pre-recorded so that if I take a vacation or get into a busy time you will still get your twice a week show. The information is not based on politics or current events so you can listen to any show and it should be relevant.
Just sign up for our newsletter. Click on the "Free Stuff" link at the top of the screen and you'll get notified when new shows come out. The show notes for new shows will NOT be as long as this one is, so you can scan it to see if you want to listen to the show. You might only be interested in the Monday shows. Or you might only be interested in the Thursday shows. Or...you might want to listen to both shows. The choice is yours.
I hope you like the show! I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback starting on April 4th, 2016 when we launch the first full show.