Senior Care Expert Answers

Ask the Experts!

Our Senior experts are here to give you answers to help solve life’s everyday questions.

Below are the most recent answers to the questions submitted by our members.

My Dad spends a lot of time alone and he constantly wants me to come visit. I’ve been thinking about getting him a pet – do you think this is a good idea?

Having a pet can offer a sense of well-being, encouragement and even a reason for living.  Being responsible for another life often gives new meaning to the lives of those who are living alone or who have experienced a loss.  Caring for and providing a loving home to an animal companion will also encourage your father to remain active and stay healthy.  However, I strongly suggest that you don’t surprise your father with a pet.  Instead, discuss the idea with him and see if he’s open to it, g

My Dad has a really hard time sleeping – he says his joints and legs ache. Can you recommend something I can do to help him sleep better?

 Changes in sleeping patterns are a normal part of aging.  As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger.  Fortunately there are several sleep aids that can help ease your Dads leg and muscle aches and provide more comfort to help him sleep.  One of these products is called the Butterfly Leg Massage Pillow – you can get one for him online at www.target.com.  This ergonomic pillow w

Teysha Richardson

What Are Good Products For Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disorder that causes bones to become weak and brittle. Osteoporosis treatment may include weight-resistant exercise (like walking), as well as adequate calcium and vitamin D consumption. Without vitamin D, calcium cannot be absorbed, thus many over the counter agents have calcium + vitamin D. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) may be used daily or weekly to supplement vitamin D deficiencies.

Kate Zurich

How do I know if my parent/spouse/loved one is taking medicines that might be interacting with each other and causing problems like confusion, sleepiness, loss of balance, falls?

This is a question for the healthcare provider. It is also a good idea to ask the pharmacist about possible drug interactions every time a new medication is prescribed. Many pharmacists are also offering an annual medication review for patients who are on Medicare. This is a Medicare covered benefit at no charge to the patient, so be sure to ask your pharmacist about it.

Kate Zurich

If your loved one, the person you are caring for, has difficulty with balance or has had a fall, what are 2 things you can do to make his/her home safer?

1) Remove all throw rugs from living area 2) Install grab bars and hand rails in frequently trafficked areas and in the bathroom

Teysha Richardson

What Is The Best Over The Counter Item For Constipation? How Fast Will It Work?

Constipation is classified as infrequent stools, hard stools or difficulty passing stools. Increasing fiber and water intake helps encourage regular bowel movements. Laxatives are another option for constipation. Stool softeners, such as Colace® (docusate sodium) lubricates and softens fecal matter. These work within 24 to 48 hours, but they are safe for the elderly when used correctly.

Where can I get information about services available to caregivers or their care recipient?

One good place to start is the Eldercare Locator, a nationwide service funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging. This service connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services. You can access it online (http://eldercare.gov/) or by telephone (1-800-677-1116).

What do I do if I suspect the nursing home is neglecting my loved one?

You can call your local long-term care ombudsman. Every state is required by the Older Americans Act to have a state and local ombudsman program. Long-term care ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. They are trained to resolve problems. Ombudsmen also can provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care.

Kate Zurich

What are 3 signs of caregiver burnout?

1) Short-temper, quick, sudden flares of anger, 2) Difficulty sleeping, either too much or too little, 3) Fatigue, that feeling of being tired all the time no matter how much sleep you have had.