Your Better Business Bureau is warning seniors to be aware of the top riskiest scams to target Western Pennsylvanians, ages 65 and older.Data used to generate the riskiest senior scams was determined by using the BBB Risk Index to analyze exposure, susceptibility and monetary loss of scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker/pittsburgh). BBB Scam Tracker is a crowdsourced tool that enables consumers to report and track instances of fraud.Top Riskiest Senior Scams:Investment: These scams take many forms, but all prey on the desire to make money without much risk or initial funding. Investors are lured with false information and promises of large returns with little or no risk.Travel/Vacation: Con artists post listings for properties that are not for rent, do not exist or are significantly different from whats pictured. In another variation, scammers claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase.Tech Support Scam: Tech support scams start with a call or pop-up warning that alerts the target to a computer bug or other problem. Scammers posing as tech support employees of well-known tech companies hassle victims into paying for support. If the victim allows remote access, malware may be installed.Scammers constantly devise new cons and utilize old tricks, but protect yourself from fraud and unethical marketplace practices by reading the fine print and obtaining all promises in writing. Remember that scammers often mimic legitimate businesses through fake websites and spoofing. Avoid sending money by wire transfer, prepaid card or mobile payment apps, as scammers know that payments made through these methods are untraceable. In addition, research companies through BBB to find out a companys rating, complaint history and more before making a hiring or purchasing decision.Editors Note: This article was submitted by Caitlin Driscoll, Public Relations Director of the Better Business Bureau serving Western Pennsylvania. For more information, visit bbb.org or call 877-267-5222.
Older adults fear the possibility of developing Alzheimers disease even more than death and with good reason: five million Americans have Alzheimers disease, approximately 350,000 are diagnosed with the condition each year and it leads to death more often than heart disease, stroke, HIV and breast and prostate cancers combined! In the next 13 years, the number of Utahns with Alzheimers disease will increase 127 percent making it the state with the fastest growing incidence of Alzheimers.These startling statistics lead one to ask: Can Alzheimers disease be prevented or delayed? Here is the good newsyes. A new study shows that half of the cases might be caused by factors people can control: exercise, smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Additionally, advanced imaging techniques now can diagnose Alzheimers years before symptoms are noticed giving people a jump start on a treatment plan.What is Alzheimers Disease?Alzheimers disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain that causes dementia. Dementia is the deterioration of memory, language, personality and the ability to process information. Other conditions that also lead to dementia include stroke, chronic alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies, and Parkinsons disease.What Causes Alzheimers Disease?When we are younger, the body makes amyloid plaques (clumps of protein, like a goo) that surround the brain cells but the brain is able to clear it out. As we grow older, oxidative stress on the brain cells increases inflammation which contributes to making too much amyloid plaques and to the inability to clear it away. Additionally, patients develop neurofibrillary tangles (nerve cells that become tangled and dysfunctional). The tangles and goo prevent brain cells from communicating with each other which creates the forgetting in Alzheimers.What are the symptoms?Alzheimers disease usually comes on slowly, with a gradual loss of memory and difficulty learning new information. The patient develops problems in carrying out familiar tasks, understanding concepts, and taking care of grooming and household chores. Depression may also be one of the early symptoms. Personality changes, restlessness, and disorientation may also occur, and as the disease progresses, these symptoms become more pronounced. In later stages, there is a characteristic lack of concern for appearance or body function, significant sleep disturbances, extreme irritability, and loss of the ability to speak. Gradually, the patient stops eating or drinking regularly.What Can Be Done?The closest we have to a cure for Alzheimers is prevention. But this is good news. This means that people have control over their chances of developing this deadly disease with exercise, a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids, colorful fruits and vegetables, spices such as turmeric, oregano and garlic, vanilla beans, and a moderate amount of caffeine. New imaging technology now allows people to get screened decades before any symptoms begin, enabling early intervention to protect the healthy brain and a delay in the onset of the disease. Drugs are being tested that may someday offer even more hope for patients and families, especially for the one percent that may be genetically at greater risk.Editors Note: This article was submitted by Denae Bybee, LPN and owner of Senior Helpers Utah and may be reached at 801-912-8400 or by e-mail at email@example.com. For more information visit www.seniorhelpersutah.com.
Private duty nursing is the care of individuals of every age; from newborn infants born prematurely or with neonatal health issues to our senior citizens who after many years of productive lives need assistance with the most basic tasks of living.Although we use the term nursing, private duty care can be provided by licensednurses who will perform skilled procedures such as administering of meds, tube feedings, and wound care. Non-nursing care is typically assisting individuals with personal grooming, bathing, meals, assistance with feeding, light housekeeping; as well as errands to pharmacy or grocery shopping. This non-nursing care is done by certified nursing assistants, home health aides or personal care attendants who can also assist with important mobility and functions which include ambulating, range of motion exercises, transfers in and out of bed or bathtub, and monitoring of vital signs.Private duty care can be for persons either on a temporary basis but are often more individualized and for those who require a continuous need. This type of care from non-nursing personnel has the ability to help with activities of daily living, work with people in a one-on-one setting in their homes with the desire to improve care and maintain a professional relationship with the person and their family.Who is responsible for payment of private duty services? Traditionally, private duty nursing was for Medicaid clients who require more individual and continuous care (life-long). Most services are only on an intermittent basis, generally about two hour a day from once to three or more times a week, depending on the need. For Medicaid candidates, those individuals may be referred from private practice physicians, hospital discharge planners or can obtain information and approval from agencies such as the Area Agency on Aging in your local community.Most health care provider agencies will want to obtain as much information regarding the type and amount of care necessary to help with the day-to-day tasks. First, there is no age limit for private duty home care. Individuals may need assistance from a recent acute illness or surgery requiring several months of rehabilitation or someone who become physically unable to care for themselves.A private duty nursing agency will want to develop a service plan or plan of care with you or your loved one. That plan of care will revolve around what services is best for you. A free in-home assessment may be offered by your local private duty agency which will go over topics such as: medical issues i.e. Alzheimers or dementia; physical health diabetes, arthritis, weakness; sleep disorder, pain levels, mobility problems; daily routine: self-care, assistance from family and friends, emergency help; and home issues: fall precautions, safety hazards such as stairs, and / or animals in the home.Ed. note: This article was submitted by Joel Cavalier, RN, MS, Executive Director of Nursing Management, Inc., a provider of private duty nursing service for 30 years, and a Medicaid provider for 20 years. For more information, he may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org