New Jersey - Essex, Hudson, Union Counties

Essex, Hudson & Union

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Brian Eckert

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The Seniors Blue Book is Here to Help:

Welcome to the Seniors Blue Book local home page for New Jersey. The first issue of a New Jersey Blue Book came out 16 years ago and we are now in 4 markets covering 9 counties in central and northern New Jersey. We have been helping seniors, their family members and caretakers find the resources and services they need to age well. We are here to help! Search the website, call the seniors resource line at 973-560-0064, e-mail me at beeckert@optonline.net or use the live chat feature to get answers to your questions.

New Jersey - Essex, Hudson, Union Counties

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Articles Written By Local Businesses

The Holidays and Family Traditions

As the year begins to draw to a close we are surrounded by Holidays. The stores are filled with Halloween candy in August, Thanksgiving decorations in September and October is already filled with Christmas.Whatever your familys religious beliefs are everyone has traditions such as gatherings and events which are unique and special. You may find yourself wondering how you will get through this time with one less sitting at the table. Here are strategies you can use to help you cope:1) Stay connected to your feelings - Give yourself time and permission to feel and express your emotions in the manner that works best for YOU (e.g., writing, sharing with someone close, meditating). Everyone has their own style.2) Focus on what is helpful for you and your family in the present - Old traditions may be too painful, especially in this first year. It may be easier to break with tradition and celebrate the holidays differently (e.g., if you always spend the holidays at your home, spend them at someone elses home).3) Create new traditions - By incorporating memories of your loved one into your holiday celebrations, you develop ways to honor their memory (e.g., have a poem or prayer read in your loved ones honor, create a memory quilt or light a candle).4) Do not feel guilty about how you feel - It is OKAY if you find some joy this holiday season. If you find no joy, this is also OK. Dont try to live up to others expectations of how you should feel. Grief is very individualized and can even vary with different losses. Instead of carrying expectations of how you SHOULD FEEL, accept the reality of how you DO FEEL. It is normal to have mixed emotions during the bereavement process and this is especially so during the holidays.5) Find ways of giving to others - When you are feeling sad and empty inside, it can be helpful to reach out to others. Some families volunteer in soup kitchens, create a memorial fund in memory of their loved one, or raise money that helps others etc.6) Avoid overindulgence with alcohol and food - There is an increased risk for eating and drinking too much during periods of bereavement and this is especially so during the holiday season. Eating and drinking too much are often ways of avoiding or masking underlying emotions so that they do not have to be felt. This is not a solution and only serves to prolong the intense feelings associated with your loss. 7) Explore the traditions of your faith concerning mourning and remembering - Even if you have not been involved in your faith, you may find comfort and support in these traditions.8) Be honest with yourself, don't be afraid to seek professional help - If you find yourself immobilized by your grief, feeling overwhelmed by emotions, or have other adverse experiences or behaviors, PLEASE seek professional help or call 1-866-821-1212 and ask to speak with a member of the Care Alternatives Bereavement Team.Editors Note: This article was submitted by Care Alternatives. They can be reached at 866-821-1212 or you can visit their website at www.carealt.com

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How to Find the Right Home Care

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT HOME CAREThere are two types of support you can have in your homehome health and home care. They sound similar, but are quite different. After a stay in the hospital, a doctor might require someone to have care at home on a short-term basis. This is home health. It could be to monitor a health problem or manage wound care, among other things a skilled nurse can do. Your doctor or hospital will arrange for home health, which is paid for by Medicare. If your doctor does not prescribe home health, and you pay for services out of your own pocket or through private insurance, you can receive home care. There are various categories of home care, such as companion/homemaker service, wheelchair escort service, nursing service, and home support aide service. When you look for home care, its important to ask the right questions. Ask about the organizations employees. Make sure the nurses are licensed and the aides are certified. The initials after a persons name designate their licensure or certification. For example, RN is for Registered Nurse; LPN is for a Licensed Nurse Practitioner; PT is for Physical Therapist; and CNA is for a Certified Nursing Assistant.Ask about the hiring practices. Does the organization conduct background checks and/or reference checks on all their employees? What about drug screening? Make sure the organization follows rigorous hiring practices.Ask about supervision of the employees. If there is a problem with an employee, what can the customer do? If an employee doesnt show up for work, what happens? You want an agency that supervises their people and provides problem solving.Ask about anything else that is important to you. If it is important to you to have the same caregiver over a period of time, ask that question.Above anything else, Make sure you choose home care carefully so you get the quality you deserve. Editors note: This information was provided by Cecile Sutherland, MS, BSN, R. She has extensive healthcare experiences gained through increasingly demanding and responsible leadership positions in nursing homes, hospitals and out patient surgery centers. Cecile can be reached at 973-746-0165

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How to Tell When a Senior Needs Care and Assistance

Sometimes its easy to know when a family member needs care and assistance. For instance, maybe he or she has a major disability or requires additional help following a hospital stay. In other cases, however, it isnt immediately obvious that your senior is in need of help with the activities of daily life.As people who have had to wrestle with our own family decisions, we thought it useful to provide early guidance, so other families might know when a more careful assessment of their seniors needs is required.Below is a list of questions to consider when determining if a loved one is in need of additional care: Pay Attention to How They Look Appearance can be a sign that they are being limited either physically or mentally from completing normal daily tasks. Are they wearing dirty or stained clothing? Have they brushed their teeth? Listen to the Senior Listening to how seniors speak can tell you a lot about their current mental status. Dont assume that old age is causing these problems. Have they forgotten to refill prescriptions or take their medicine? Have they missed doctors appointments? View the Seniors Surroundings Looking at their food and medications can help you determine if they are eating healthy or even worse, taking expired medicine. Do they have fresh and stocked pantry items? Are there piles of unopened bills? Use Your Nose Using your nose as an indicator can help you determine if your family member is bathing properly or participating in otherwise normal activities. Does their living environment possess any unpleasant odors? Are they bathing regularly? If you sense a problem based on the above indictors, you and other family members should waste no time in taking the appropriate next steps. As difficult as the process might be, keep reminding yourself that by being proactive you will not only provide safety for your family member, but will also keep them happy and healthy for years to come. Editors note: This article was submitted by Charles Fairweather (908-322-8200) and Herb Ronde (973-452-0575), local owners of BrightStar, a full-service in-home medical and non-medical agency offering caregiving to seniors and disabled adults. They would gladly provide assistance in these matters.

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Discount Dental Plans

A discount dental plan is a program that allows anyone to go to a board-certified dentist in their own neighborhood and pay a reduced rate (usually half) for any work they need done. Discount dental services are fortunately available to everyone. You don't have to be part of a company or a group.There are literally thousands of dentists in the tri-state area that are willing to offer significant discounts on all services, including braces.These discounts can go as high as 60%. Coverage in these programs begin immediately without any kind of pre-existing condition clause and they have no annual maximum.Editor's Note: This exact program is also available in Health Discounts. To find out more about either plan call Mark Heller toll free at 888-866-8451.Author: Mark Heller 

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