Sequoia Senior Solutions Blog

Comments & Discussions Pertinent to Seniors and Their Families

Dads and the Empty Nest

We are going to start this discussion with a little light humor from a dad who has yet to experience empty nest syndrome for himself.


When we first think of empty nests, before we think about the joy of a new phase in life, we think about the sadness and loneliness—of the mother. But who now needs the father?

Mothers have to reinvent their roles with their adult children, but this is also a problem for men although they don’t talk much about it.

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Senior Care Information: the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alyssa-L. -Miller from Flickr.jpg

By 2050 one in 85 people will be affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently every 70 seconds someone develops this disease. In 2006 there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Most of us will be affected by AD in one way or another throughout our lives, as we become caregivers or have the disease ourselves.

Image losing your memory to the point that you forget your own name and the names of people you love. Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia, causes serious loss of cognitive abilities beyond what is normal for a person of a given age. There isn’t a cure and it worsens leading to death. Most often a person is diagnosed with AD after becoming 65, but it can also occur in younger people, when it is called early-onset Alzheimer’s.

There are four stages of the disease:

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Senior Care – Having a Living Will

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Guest Blogger: Roy Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

It’s summer time here.  Where we drive more, go to the beach, vacation, and do things we don’t normally do.  Which means we put ourselves at risk.  And, I’ve asked you to prepare a living will.  These documents were first created in the 60’s, but the Quinlan case (the one where the woman lasted in a vegetative state [almost] forever) drove the case home for a lot of folks.

But, that may not be enough.  Even though about ¼ of us have done so, the documents we prepare may be just a little too simplistic.  Technology is moving that quickly.  (Read this post for some ideas.)

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Senior Care: Be Drug Smart

Did you know pharmacies often make one mistake out of every five medication prescriptions they fill? Here are some suggestions on how to be drug smart from AARP June/July 2012 magazine:

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Senior Care: Watch for Medication Mistakes

senior home careHave you ever been given wrong medication from the pharmacy? It happens to seniors at home more than you think it does.

Medication errors are a serious health risk and are becoming even more so, according to the AARP Health Report “Watch Your Meds” in the June/July 2012 Magazine.  Medication errors result in around 1.5 million preventable injuries each year. Four hundred thousand of those occur in hospitals in the United States, adding to some $3.5 billion in extra medical costs.

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Sharing the Care of Aging Relatives

In a previous blog we talked about finding a lawyer whose specialty is Elder Law.  Here Gale and Katie, our guest bloggers share an a suggestion for helping families work out difficulties using mediation.

by Gale Davis-Certified Professional Geriatric Care Manager, Katie Gilstrap-Cofounder of Lift Caregiving

***As seen in the Richmond Times Dispatch on Sunday, June 3, 2012.***

sharing the care for aging relativesCare giving often has a way of revealing many of life’s intimate conflicts, leaving families struggling to answer questions including: Where will mom live now? Who will be there to assist her? Who will make health and financial decisions for her if she can’t make them on her own? Who will pay for her care? What about her will and estate?

These kinds of questions can shed light on years of unattended and estranged relationships while challenging family members to create workable and mutually acceptable solutions to collectively care for their loved one.

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How Asbestos Exposure has Affected Senior Citizens

Guest Blogger Faith Franz

Senior CitizensPost-retirement, most seniors are looking forward to traveling, visiting with family and otherwise enjoying their leisure time.

Unfortunately, some receive news that they never expected to hear: that they will spend the next years of their life receiving treatment for an asbestos-related disease.

Nearly 3,000 people each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma (a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos). Seniors receive the majority of these diagnoses. Seniors also have a high risk for the other diseases caused by asbestos exposure, including:

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Are You in Search of an Elder Law Attorney?

in-home caregiver, in-home health care, in-home careWhen you need reputable guidance, locating a qualified professional takes research and patience. Professionals such as elder law attorneys who specialize in working with seniors, focus on the needs of seniors in a particular area and can provide beneficial services.

A good way to start searching for a professional is to ask friends, clergy and other professionals for referrals. If you know a trusted professional, that professional would naturally have contacts in other areas. If a direct referral is not a viable option, you can locate elder-focused professionals in other ways. The CSA, ( Society of Certified Senior Advisors) Locator is a great way to find professionals who have gained and maintained the Certified Senior Advisor designation. Click here to search for a CSA in your area.

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Protect Yourself from Medicare Fraud

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Hispanically Speaking News June 15,2012

A few weeks ago we started a discussion on Medicare Fraud. Here is some more information you need to know to keep yourself safe and reduce the risk of fraudulent activity:

  • Guard personal information: To commit Medicare fraud, a person must have access to Medicare and Social Security numbers. Seniors shouldn’t share this information with anyone who is offering free goods or services in exchange for a Medicare number. If your Medicare card is lost or stolen, immediately contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
  • Closely examine important paperwork. Inspect the accuracy of medical bills, Medicare summaries and explanation of benefits documentation, and periodically review credit reports for unpaid medical bills. Report any suspicious activity immediately. To get a free credit report, call 1-877-322-8228.

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Revived by Music


ALIVE INSIDE CLIP FOR NAT SCI FOUNDATION from Michael Rossato-Bennett on Vimeo and Paula Span, author of “When the Time Comes: Families With Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions” from


Maybe you’re among the millions who’ve watched and forwarded this video of an unresponsive 94-year-old with dementia, slumped in his wheelchair at a nursing home in Brooklyn. But when a staff member puts earphones in place and clicks on an iPod loaded with favorite hymns, he awakens, moving to the music, humming along.

He tells an unseen interviewer how much he loved Cab Calloway and mimics his scat singing; he croons a credible “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” He becomes a different person, or perhaps, for a while, the person he always was.

The clip comes from an hour-long documentary called “Alive Inside,” and its global popularity has stunned both the director, the Manhattan filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett, and Dan Cohen, a Long Island social worker.

Two years ago, Mr. Cohen hired Mr. Rossato-Bennett to create a short film about his mission, which is nothing less than bringing personalized music to every nursing home in the nation. As we’ve noted here before, many elderly people remember and respond to music when all other means of communication have shut down.

“It wasn’t something easy to explain with words,” Mr. Rossato-Bennett told me. To persuade nursing administrators to cooperate, “they have to see it.”

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Stanton Lawson is the Co-Owner of Sequoia Senior Solutions. Sequoia’s mission is to ensure a better quality of life for their elderly clients and their families, by providing dependable and affordable in-home care. Sequoia’s focus is to keep you or your loved ones at home and avoid:

  • Loss of friends and possessions
  • Loss of independence and freedom
  • Loss of spirit which is drained by the battles of daily living

Sequoia Senior Solutions, Inc. serves Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Solano, Mendocino, Lake Counties. The main office is located at191 Lynch Creek Way, Suite 102, Petaluma, CA 94954. Email  Tel: (707) 763-6600 Fax: (707) 763-6607,

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