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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Loneliness is associated with higher health care utilization among older adults


Mar 2015 - A new study. published in the American Journal of Public Health, finds that loneliness is associated with higher health care utilization (more doctor visits).  We find this of great importance at www.lifebio.com because we are building interventions to connect seniors to other seniors using reminiscence therapy to build positive, lasting relationships to increase social connectedness in health care, senior care, and home settings.
 
Details of the study....
 
Objectives. We aimed to determine whether loneliness is associated with higher health care utilization among older adults in the United States.

Methods. We used panel data from the Health and Retirement Study (2008 and 2012) to examine the long-term impact of loneliness on health care use. The sample was limited to community-dwelling persons in the United States aged 60 years and older. We used negative binomial regression models to determine the impact of loneliness on physician visits and hospitalizations.

Results. Under 2 definitions of loneliness, we found that a sizable proportion of those aged 60 years and older in the United States reported loneliness. Regression results showed that chronic loneliness (those lonely both in 2008 and 4 years later) was significantly and positively associated with physician visits (β = 0.075, SE = 0.034). Loneliness was not significantly associated with hospitalizations.

Conclusions. Loneliness is a significant public health concern among elders. In addition to easing a potential source of suffering, the identification and targeting of interventions for lonely elders may significantly decrease physician visits and health care costs. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print March 19, 2015: e1–e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302427)

Read More: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302427

Monday, March 30, 2015

Software for building a social history or lifestyle assessment online

If you have been looking for a way to automate and improve the gathering of social history and lifestyle assessment data, LifeBio has a solution for you.  Using LifeBio's web-based collaborative database, it is possible to load in your organization's preferred social and spiritual history templates so that electronic data can be compiled and stored privately inside LifeBio's database. This data can also be integrated between LifeBio and your preferred electronic health record system.  www.lifebio.com

Load in questions about the person's background, their family history, their likes and dislikes, and more.  Staff at senior living communities, senior care organizations or home care, hospice, or hospitals / health care, can build social histories with ease.   It's also possible for family members to assist with the process from the comfort of their own home.  For example, using LifeBio's easy system, family can upload photos of a nursing home resident from their younger days to help staff see the person at different phases of life.  Instantly, as information is added, it is possible to print a document that is ideal for reviewing at care planning meetings with staff and family.  

This is ideal for the movement to more person-centered care / person-directed care / patient-centered care.  Of course, building a very complete social history is very important when caring for people with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia.  Too often the social history is not referred to because the data is difficult to read or not available to direct care staff.  This can change by partnering with LifeBio.

Even if social histories are still handwritten on paper, it is possible to work with LifeBio to convert these to an electronic document.  What's remarkable is seeing the social history be transformed into a biography document that is presentable to the resident / client / patient as a life story, helping people create a lasting legacy. 

Please get in touch by calling 1-866-LIFEBIO or calling 937-303-4576 for more details or email info@lifebio.com with your needs and we will be back in touch with you. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Write My Life Story, Why?"

write my life story, how to get started
It was surprising to me to talk with an avid genealogist who couldn't see the value in writing her own life story.  "Write my life story, why?" she said.  I was puzzled.  Why wouldn't a genealogist see the value in her own life story?  Instead she was focused on uncovering the lives of her deceased relatives.

The future of genealogy is going to be the possibility of really knowing at least a brief biography of every relative.  In theory, there is no reason why the future is not right NOW. It starts with YOU. 

What would your relatives 100 years from now want to know about you?  Just think....what do you wish you knew about your relatives from 100 ago?   If you could go back in time, you would want to know what their childhood was like, what kind of work they did, how did they feel about major historical events (and how were they affected), and what could they share about the family and the love in their lives.  This is a good basis for the beginnings of your own personal history.  You'll want to share about the people, places, and life/historical events that really made a difference to you. 

Start to think about your own genealogy record as something that requires more than just birth, marriage, and death dates.  Fill in the gaps for future genealogists in your family by telling and sharing at least a short biography (like the "About Me" inside www.lifebio.com or create a whole "Biography" that shares many more details. It certainly makes it easier when you aren't just staring at a blank sheet of paper or blank computer screen---guiding biography questions can help.  You can even create a Legacy Book that will be treasured by your family for years to come.

There is no time like the present and no better gift to the future.  Give future genealogists a break!  Tell your story and fill in their unanswered questions 100 years from now.

Beth Sanders
Founder & CEO
LifeBio.com
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Let us know at www.lifebio.com if we can help you get started in either a special journal with guiding questions or using the online system (it instantly creates a ready-to-print biography) or LifeBio's new app that video records your life. 

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

3 Innovations in Memory Care for Senior Living & Health Care

Below is a roundup of some of my favorite solutions for innovations in memory care  

Here is a link to more about the affordable solutions from LifeBio that work in both memory care and in senior living/health care (we feel that knowing the whole person and capturing life stories effectively is so very important---we make it simple to gather at least a simple biography on every person using the web, an app, or our Life Story Guide or our MemoryBio Photo Album for starting conversations with those who have dementia), but I am also going to suggest some of my favorite programs that are also complementary....

1)  Snoezelen incorporates a specialized selection of sensory equipment and materials that may help clients adapt their responses to sensory stimulation and to advance education and therapy goals. Each SNOEZELEN MSE is tailored to meet the needs of specific populations according to age and ability. The blend of sights, sounds, textures, aromas, and motion provide stimulation of the primary sensory systems and may be modified to meet each participant’s sensory needs.   http://www.snoezeleninfo.com/main.asp 

2) Dementia care training from the Eden Alternative.  Based on the award-winning book by G. Allen Power, M.D., this in-depth 2-day learning experience uses the framework of culture change to create a new approach to caring for people who live with dementia. Learn why the current paradigm for dementia care can never produce satisfactory results and explore an experiential model that facilitates growth, meaningful engagement, and improved well-being via the application of person-directed practices.  http://www.edenalt.org/events-and-offerings/educational-offerings/dementia-beyond-drugs/

3)  Computer technology from some of our favorite partners ---  Connected Living, It's Never 2 Late, and Status Solutions.   All amazing technologies that work well in conjunction with LifeBio in community settings.  Bring the technology in the door and just watch what happens!  Technology has been found to lower the need for psychotropic drugs, plus there are so many opportunities to connect with younger generations as a result.  
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We'd love to share more about how LifeBio's solutions are affordable and easy to use.  If you're looking for a solution that can be either "high tech" or "low tech" and you'd like to involve family and volunteers more in the life of people with memory challenges (and truly get to KNOW them as a whole person beyond their clinical needs), LifeBio is a great solution for you to consider.   www.lifebio.com/health provides more information or please call 1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4576.  LifeBio is used in over 400 communities from coast to coast -- senior living, hospitals, hospice, adult day programs, home care, and more.  There is a video, a brochure, and a white paper available at the weblink! 

Please get in touch!  So many life stories....so little time! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

One Place to Store All Your Family Memories

I was talking with a friend the other day about what LifeBio does, and she said, "Do you mean that I can start a memory book for my 9-year-old son now and keep adding to it until he turns 18 and give him the book for graduation?"  I said, "Yes, that's right. We know you want to tell the story of your son and capture the fun time and funny things that are said and done through the years...along with photos and videos."

She said, "It's not like photo book software because I can say whatever I want to say about something---I don't have to fit my thoughts into a really limited caption under the picture, right?"  I said, "Yes, that's right.  You can save thousands of pictures inside LifeBio too and even use LifeBio's app to video record and save those videos inside LifeBio.com too!"

She said, "And is it true I can create a memory book for my son, but I am also able to interview my aunt and help her create a LifeBio too?"  Once again, I said, "Yes, that's right. You can create multiple biographies, or short life stories (veteran's story, travel story, baby story, remember a loved one, etc.) inside your LifeBio account." 

By the end of our conversation, it was clear that LifeBio was the ONE place that she could store all of her family memories.  LifeBio is that place for YOU too.  We'd love to have you visit www.lifebio.com and check out all the possibilities! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Loneliness is the new smoking -- Beth Sanders

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Loneliness_unhealthy_as_smoking_and_alcoholism,_new_study_says

"A recent scientific review, involving more than 300,000 people across several previous studies, has revealed that inadequate social networking and frequent isolation can have negative effects on a person's health equal to that caused by smoking and alcohol abuse. It was found that those who experience sufficient social interactions were 50 per cent more likely to be alive when re-examined eight years later than those who were more socially isolated.

The scientists on the project ranked having low-quality relationships with friends and family as equivalent to frequent substance abuse (that is to say, 15 cigarettes a day or heavy alcohol consumption) but worse for a person's health than not participating in exercise and being obese."

www.lifebio.com/health
1-866-LIFEBIO


"Loneliness is the new smoking." --Beth Sanders, Founder of CEO

Sunday, January 18, 2015

LifeBio Question of the Month for January 2015: Describe your childhood home, inside and outside.

Here's my answer to this LifeBio question--I hope you enjoy answering it too.  There are plenty more where this one comes from--just visit www.lifebio.com and get started.  You'll be surprised where your memories go as you open your mind and begin remembering.

I most fondly remember a gray house we lived in on a quiet street in Erie, PA.  It's funny that I remember that the trim on the windows had been painted a light peach color which always bothered me as I thought it should be white trim.  Other than that, I liked this big, old, two-story house. 

It had a wonderful sun porch, and I remember my parents putting an old mattress in there that we just jumped on all winter long as we listened to the Smothers Brothers and South Pacific records.
This is how the house looks today (and our family doesn't live there anymore). 
The gray house on the left.  The sunporch is now enclosed.

They let me help pick out the carpet in that house, and, in about 1975, I picked out a green and yellow shaggy carpet that I thought was just wonderful.  Looking back, I should ask my mom if she liked it as much as I did. The house had those old big, black floor registered which blew out a lot of hot air, and I recall sitting on the register as my dad got ready for work, early in the morning. Warm and comfortable, and the smell and sound of my mother making breakfast was just around the corner.  We were one of the first families I knew to get a microwave oven---and I remember sleeping on the kitchen floor with the flu (waking up occasionally) as my father created a new cupboard for the microwave to fit into our kitchen.  There was a good sized dining room where our big family gathered, and later I helped my dad knock out the dining room wall to install a sliding glass door.  The next step was for us to build a deck, and we used wood from an old factory on 12th Street to build that deck.  I worked out back with my sister one summer to remove all the old nails from just piles and piles of 2 x 6 boards.  The deck was amazing when we got it done, and part of it was built underneath the most perfect, transparent apple tree ever created.  I loved that backyard tree, and I spent hours climbing up it, reading in it, eating from it, and swinging on it. We had a gentle hill through our backyard, and my little purple Schwinn bike with the banana seat could really get rolling down that hill before I reached our neighbors driveway.  Those were the days! 

Start recording your most priceless memories at www.lifebio.com.  We make it easy and fun to share family stories!

Friday, December 26, 2014

How to write my biography in 2015 or beyond

Here are a few key biography questions to ask yourself as you kick off your biography in 2015. 
They may see fairly simple ways to start, but they will do just that....get you started. 
  • Describe your ______________  (parent, grandparent, favorite uncle, etc.) to someone who has never met him or her? 
  • What is your earliest memory?  (fascinating question....and opens the door to a host of other memories about your childhood)
 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Video recording my mom and dad using the new App

I will see my mom and dad over the Christmas holiday, and I've got to get some more video of these amazing parents.  I think about all that they have lived through -- their own personal history and just history.  I recall the highs and lows (that I know of) from their lives.  I love being with them and just observing their mannerisms, and it is so great to hear them tell a story. 

As you may know, LifeBio now has a video recording app available in Apple's App store.  If you haven't downloaded this and tried it out yet, it is a PERFECT thing to share at a family gathering this week.  Just put the iPad in your kids hands and say...."Go interview grandma and grandpa!" and then watch what happens.  Seeing other kids recording their grandparents has just shown me that, when you see capturing life stories as just plain fun, it is something that both the children and the grandmas and grandpas will love to do.  Instead of it being a "stuffy" interview, it will be just impromptu and memorable for all time.  

So when I see my mom and dad this week, I will be undoubtedly logging in to the LifeBio video biography app on my iPhone and recording them on the spot.  www.lifebio.com