These “Sweethearts” Are Now Scamming the Elderly Online

Scamming the Elderly Online

Stay on top of the latest trends in scamming the elderly online.

It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began; a year of fear, loneliness, and isolation for many older adults. Physical distancing has eliminated the ability to offer the warmth and comfort of a hug or even an in-person smile in many cases. Yet humans are social creatures, and this lack of socialization has many seniors turning to online sources for connection – such as dating websites. And unfortunately, this has led to an influx of people scamming the elderly online.

While dating websites may seem harmless and even beneficial, there are hidden dangers for older adults in particular, known as sweetheart scammers. Here’s what to watch for to help keep the seniors you love safe:

  • Flattery that turns financial. Financial gain is the sweetheart scammer’s only objective. The scammer will use a variety of tactics to achieve that end goal, including targeting weak spots like loneliness. Flattering, praising, and proclaiming undying love and affection for a senior the scammer has never met often moves into a request for funds.
  • Overwhelming attention. The scammer will hone in on a senior’s vulnerability and loneliness, lavishing relentless attention. Listen to your loved one to gauge how much time is being spent on conversations and texts with the person. You’ll also want to notice if the person has been expressing his or her love for the senior, especially early in the relationship. Scammers move fast to get to their end goal as quickly as possible.
  • No online presence. A simple Google search for the senior’s new love interest can help you determine if the person is real. If your search yields no information at all on the person, it should immediately raise a red flag. You can also run a background check to discover any criminal convictions, marriage/divorce certificates, or other public records.
  • A fake photo. Google offers a reverse image search feature ( that allows you to determine if the person’s profile picture is actually a stock photo or stolen from someone else.

You may also want to consider logging in to your loved one’s email account to monitor activity and help the senior discern between actual relationships and scammers.

Most importantly, talk with the senior about the prevalence of those who are scamming the elderly online. Listen to your loved one’s description of his or her new love interest and how the relationship is developing. Point out any warning signs and help the senior understand the danger he or she could be facing.

Responsive Home Care, the leaders in elder care in Hollywood, FL and surrounding areas, is here to help with safe, trusted caregivers to provide seniors with the friendly companionship that alleviates loneliness, isolation, and desperation. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for a free in-home consultation to learn more.

Assessing the Mental Health of Seniors When You Live Far Away

Assessing the Mental Health of Seniors

Find helpful tips on assessing the mental health of seniors.

The fear and isolation as a result of have wreaked havoc on the wellbeing of older adults, with nearly one-half of seniors surveyed in a Kaiser Family Foundation stating that their level of stress and worry was negatively affecting their health. Even though it still may be risky to visit in person with senior loved ones, it is important to stay in regular and frequent contact and also to watch out for any changes or signs which might signify a mental health concern, such as depression. Assessing the mental health of seniors is possible, even from a distance.

As stated by psychiatrist Judith Feld, MD, MPH, “If a senior usually really enjoys a call with a grandchild, for example, but that seems to have changed, maybe you need to ask more questions, such as, ‘How can we be of help?’”

Other warning signs of depression to watch for include sleeping problems, reduced appetite, listlessness, and complaints about pain, which interestingly, is often one of the main symptoms of depression in older adults. Take note of anything that may seem abnormal for a senior’s personality and character.

It’s important to understand that depression is not simply an unavoidable aspect of growing older, and that it is a serious –  but treatable – condition.

Here are a few additional ideas to help you with assessing the mental health of seniors:

  • Keep the conversations organic and natural, without coming across as interrogating. Statements such as, “Tell me what’s been happening in your life this week,” will motivate a senior to open up significantly more than, “Tell me what the doctor said at your last scheduled appointment.” The goal is to be caring yet not condescending, being mindful never to attempt to parent your parents.
  • While seeing and talking with the grandkids on Zoom is a good way to boost an older adult’s spirits, make sure to allow for some one-on-one time for you to talk without children present.
  • Take notice of what’s going on in the background of your video chats for any additional clues, such as whether or not the home looks neat and well maintained, in addition to personal hygiene – unkempt, disheveled hair, as an example.
  • Take into consideration whether substance abuse could be a factor. A rise in alcohol consumption during the pandemic is happening in people of all ages, and may be very harmful if there are potential interactions with medications the senior is taking.

If you suspect depression or any other mental health issues in an elderly parent, make sure to connect with the physician immediately. Since you are most familiar with the senior, you may well be able to pick up on signs that the medical team misses during routine appointments, and it’s imperative to make your concerns known.

If you have any concerns, contact Responsive Home Care for additional assistance. We can act as your eyes and ears when you’re unable to be there in person, and provide a wide selection of customized services to enhance socialization and quality of life at home. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for more information and to learn more about respite care in Weston, FL and surrounding areas.

Parkinson’s Disease: The Accidental Discovery That’s Curing Mice

Parkinson's disease on physicians tabletResearchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine who thought they were examining connective tissue cell protein received quite a shock when they alternatively stumbled upon a therapy to eliminate signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in mice. Not just that, but the therapy might be useful in a number of conditions that call for the need to replace damaged tissue: diabetes, spinal cord injuries, possibly even cardiovascular illnesses.

The research centered on a siRNA technique, in which researchers grew fibroblasts (a type of connective tissue cell) in petri dishes while silencing the protein PTB. After several weeks, they were surprised to learn a large portion of fibroblasts had changed into neurons.

Lead author of the study, Xiang-Dong Fu, explained, “Researchers around the world have tried many ways to generate neurons in the lab, using stem cells and other means, so we can study them better, as well as to use them to replace lost neurons in neurodegenerative diseases. The fact that we could produce so many neurons in such a relatively easy way came as a big surprise.”

Utilizing this new discovery, the researchers tested their theory on Parkinson’s disease in mice and found that movement and functionality were completely restored for the remainder of the mice’s lifetime.

Obviously, the process to see if these outcomes transfer to humans takes some time and extreme care to be certain of safety, nevertheless for those struggling with the disease along with other neurodegenerative conditions, it is cause for hope.

As Fu says, “It’s my dream to see this through to clinical trials, to test this approach as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, but also many other diseases where neurons are lost, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases and stroke. And dreaming even bigger – what if we could target PTB to correct defects in other parts of the brain, to treat things like inherited brain defects?”

While we look forward to the next steps in this exciting breakthrough, you are able to count on Responsive Home Care for experienced, highly skilled home healthcare for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Several of the many ways we can assist include:

  • Healthy meal planning and preparation
  • Light household chores
  • Grocery shopping and other errands
  • Personal care, such as bathing/showering, getting dressed, etc.
  • Friendly companionship
  • And a whole lot more

To learn how we can help a senior you love with in-home care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding area, reach out to us at 954-486-6440 to learn more, and to set up a free in-home consultation.

How Do You Keep Senior Loved Ones Safe During the Pandemic and Still Get Out?

senior woman outside with male caregiverAfter months of isolating from family and friends, many people are now getting out and about instead of staying at home. Nevertheless, for seniors in particular, is it safe to think about going out at this time?

Unfortunately, there’s no cut-and-dry answer to keep senior loved ones safe, and a range of criteria need to be taken into consideration to arrive at the best possible decision for every single person. For instance:

  • What health problems is the senior encountering?
  • How challenging has it been for him or her to be separated from family and friends?
  • Is the incidence rate of the virus subsiding or spiking within your town?

As a family caregiver, the best place to get started is sitting down and having a one-on-one discussion with the older adult. If for example, your senior loved one is adamantly and fervently set on a certain activity, such as seeing the grandchildren or going on a walk at the community park, be sure he or she thoroughly understands the potential risks involved.

Make sure you are up to date as well on the most current news from trusted sources on any new recommendations and/or precautions. Consider this information as only one component of your decision-making process, however, as opposed to an end-all perspective.

Then, broach the subject with the older adult’s medical practitioner for an expert opinion as well as for assistance with weighing potential risk factors against the benefits of increased socialization and engagement in the community. You might also wish to talk to other family members and carefully consider their input as well before making the final choice on how best to proceed.

Most of all, take plenty of time to ensure you are doing what’s most suitable for your loved one’s overall health and wellbeing, rather than making a snap decision that you might later regret. If you’re still uncertain about what to do, it could be wise to try to avoid venturing out with the senior for the present time and revisit the matter at a later date. And remember that you always have the option to change your thinking if for any reason you are uncomfortable with the first decision.

Whether you and your loved one are comfortable with the choice to go out and about, or decide to continue staying at home, you can rely on Responsive Home Care to help out with companionship, grocery shopping, meal preparation and a variety of other types of assistance, always in compliance with recommended safety protocols. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 any time to talk to one of our live in caregivers in Hollywood, FL or the surrounding areas, or to schedule a no cost in-home consultation.

Paranoia in the Elderly: What to Do When Dad Seems Irrational

home health care Pembroke Pines

It surprises some to learn that paranoia in the elderly is a common issue. Learn more about how to respond to an aging parent that may be acting irrational.

“Listen to me, there’s a dog inside my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We need to find its owner!”

Hearing a senior loved one voice worries that you know to be false is unsettling – but not abnormal. The initial impulse may be to try to rationalize with the individual with a response such as, “Nonsense! There’s absolutely no way a dog could have gotten into your closet!” Yet for various reasons, this is often the least successful solution to take care of paranoia in the elderly.

Instead, at Responsive Home Care, we encourage the following approaches in order to help restore a sense of calm and well-being:

  1. First and foremost, arrange an appointment with the senior’s physician. It is vital that you discover any cognitive problems in order to be certain he or she receives appropriate treatment if needed. There also could be prescription side effects at play.
  2. Find out the thinking associated with the irrationality, and then determine how to remedy the situation. For example, perhaps the heating and cooling vent near the closet is starting to become loose, or an air vent is blowing onto a row of hangers and leading to an unusual sound.
  3. In lieu of trying to correct the senior loved one, respond lovingly with assurance and empathy. Concentrate on accepting the feelings being conveyed, as well as on having the person know that you will be there to help. Accompanying the senior into another area and providing interesting distractions, such as listening to music, baking, gardening, or browsing through photos together, can help restore calm.
  4. One of the smartest ways to overcome any obstacle is as simple as finding out what has assisted others in the same situation. Think about joining an in-person or online community of family caregivers, allowing for the exchange of helpful knowledge and information. A number of choices are available, such as’s caregiver discussion forum.
  5. Seek the support of a professional home care provider, such as Responsive Home Care providing home health care in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area. Our caregivers are skilled at assisting the elderly to remain active and involved, and in helping to ease challenging and difficult behaviors. Partnering with an established and reliable caregiver also will provide you with much-needed respite to take a break from caregiving duties while being confident your loved one is receiving top quality care.

For more advice on helping your senior loved one through obstacles with growing older, dementia or chronic illness, reach out to the specialists in home health care in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area at Responsive Home Care. We are always readily available to answer any questions, share resources specific to the challenges you are encountering, and to provide a free in-home consultation and development of a customized care plan to improve wellbeing for a senior loved one. Contact us any time at 954-486-6440.

Responsive Home Care President Named to the Board of Directors of South Florida Institute on Aging

Debbie Savage

We are excited to announce that the president of Responsive Home Care, Debbie Savage, has been named to the board of directors of the South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA). SoFIA is a non-profit organization that creates planning and development strategies to deliver socio-economic support programs for seniors throughout South Florida. Click here to read more.

With Debbie’s background in nursing and her extensive experience caring for seniors in South Florida, we know that she will be a unique asset to the SoFIA board.

At Responsive Home Care, the top-rated provider of Fort Lauderdale elderly care and care throughout the surrounding areas, we’re committed to providing seniors and their families with the highest possible quality of care. In this new role, Debbie will gain valuable information to help us towards that goal, and will continue to advocate for the older adults in our community and beyond.

We would love the opportunity to serve you or someone you love with personalized in-home care services that make life safer and more comfortable, while fostering independence and freedom. Contact us any time at 954-486-6440 to request a free in-home consultation to let us know about the challenges you’re facing, and to allow us to provide the solution you need.

How to Dramatically Improve Your Healthcare Experience in South Florida

healthcareIn an ideal world, medical care would revolve around you and your own preferences, adhering to your particular needs and wishes – fitting into your schedule and routine, unhindered by problems such as an unwavering medical professional who views healthcare choices in black and white. Reality is far from perfect though, and the majority of us tend to submit to doctors’ orders without any concept that there might be a better-suited choice.

With some knowledge, however, patients can, in fact, take a more proactive stance regarding their healthcare. Recognized as “person-centered care,” it involves medical professionals working in collaboration with patients and any other family or care providers they define, taking into consideration the patient’s preferences, values and goals, and making use of that information as a guide throughout all areas of care.

There are a few helpful steps we could all take to achieve a more individualized degree of care:

  • Think about your healthcare objectives, and write this information down to share with your medical practitioners. And, ask that medical personnel include these goals in your health records.
  • Become well-educated in your own health conditions and needs, and just how they’re impacting your everyday life. As an example, are you having to deal with challenges with any sort of routine activities of everyday living, such as taking a bath or getting dressed? Are you struggling with particular types of movements, such as lifting or bending? An excellent assessment tool is available here.
  • Be sure that discussions with medical professionals are two-sided. Fully engage in a conversation to ensure your concerns are addressed and that you understand any potential side effects or other risks of treatment recommendations.
  • Should you have a number of medical doctors (for example, a primary care doctor and one or more specialists in a variety of practices), confirm that communication is taking place among all. This could necessitate requesting that documentation be shared between providers, and then following up to ensure that’s been accomplished.
  • Include a trusted family member, friend, or professional in-home caregiver, such as Responsive Home Care provides, in all healthcare appointments. Having another individual around to jot down notes, answers to questions, and any other pertinent information helps make sure that no balls are dropped.

For additional advice, and for a partner in care to help make certain the elderly and their loved ones have a voice in their care needs, contact Responsive Home Care’s South Florida home care experts. We’ll provide accompanied transportation to treatments and appointments, pick up prescription medications and run other errands, cook healthy and balanced meals, and so much more. Call us at 954-486-6440 for help and support.

Hand Exercises that will Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Elderly Care Lauderhill FL

Elderly Care Lauderhill FLSomeone with rheumatoid arthritis often suffers from debilitating pain in different joints and muscles in the body, particularly in their hands. The pain can become so intense that even picking up a pen can be difficult. Someone with rheumatoid arthritis can especially benefit from having an elderly care provider assist them at home with all of the tasks that have become too difficult for them to do.

If your elderly loved one is looking for some relief from their RA pain, hand exercises may be exactly what they need to do. The following exercises will keep the hands strong and pain-free.

Folding fingers. Bring all of the fingers together in a loose fist. Then, open the hand slowly, repeating this exercise a few times. The best time to try this activity is when the hands are warm during a shower or with a warm, damp washcloth placed over the hand.

Walking fingers. A kitchen or hand towel should be placed on a table in order to do this exercise. The hand should then be lightly cupped, with the fingertips and thumb supporting the entire hand. The elder can “walk” their fingertips and thumb towards them, trying to lift the towel into their palm. Once they are able to get as much of the towel in their hand as possible, they should try to gently squeeze it.

Thumb to base of fingers. Keeping the thumb strong is important because most hand motions require the use of the thumb. For this exercise, the elder should try to touch the base of the little finger with the thumb. This can help strengthen the grasp for your loved one, making it easier for them to pick up certain objects.

Spread fingers. It is important that the elder is able to spread their fingers apart for a number of hand motions, such as putting on gloves. To do this, spread the fingers apart in a slow and gentle manner. Once the hand is flat, the senior can also exercise the thumb by separating it from the other fingers.

Finger pinches. Pinch the thumb to the tip of each finger in order to make doing daily activities easier, like tying shoelaces. The most important fingers that should be “pinched” by the thumb are the index finger, long finger, and side of index finger.

These exercises are very simple and can be done with elderly adults of various physical abilities. Talk to the elder’s doctor for more tips on helping your loved one relieve their rheumatoid arthritis pain.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Lauderhill FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

Establishing Boundaries About Your Children Before Your Elder Parent Moves In

Elder Care Plantation  FL

Elder Care Plantation FLTransitioning your elder loved one into living in your home with you and your family is a fantastic way to ensure that they get the level of care that they need and deserve throughout their later years. This allows them to be close to a caregiver at all times, eliminating the challenges of distance caregiving, and gives you confidence that they will be in an environment that is safe, healthy, and comfortable.

Moving your parent into such close proximity with you and your family, however, can cause some awkward situations if you do not prepare for them ahead of time. One such situation is when your elderly parent attempts to discipline your children or questions how you are raising them. By taking the time to establish boundaries about your children before your parent moves in, you can help to reduce the risk of such situations and make your living situation much more comfortable and beneficial for everyone involved.

Some boundaries that you should establish about your children before your parent moves in include:

• Their privacy. Make sure that your parent understands and is willing to respect your children’s privacy. This means recognizing which areas of the home are for your children’s use exclusively and when your parent is and is not permitted in those areas as well as the fact that they should knock or ask permission to enter.

• Discipline. This is a very personal issue that you will need to discuss with your partner and come to decisions about on your own. It is important for you to be very clear with yourself as well as your parent about how much input on disciplining your children you are willing to welcome from your parent. Are they permitted to correct your children or give them punishments, or do you want them to not have any impact on their discipline at all?

• Parenting style. It is very likely that your parenting style is not exactly like that of your parent. You might have different philosophies, beliefs, and tactics from your parent, and these might be uncomfortable for your parent. Discuss these with them and make sure that they understand that you are not going to change your parenting style and that you are not open for discussion about it. For example, tell your parent that your family does not sit down for dinner at the table at the same time each night and that your children are permitted to eat snacks in their rooms even though you were not, and that you will not be changing that approach now that they are living with you.

Elder care can make a tremendous difference in the life of your elderly parent as well as your life as a family caregiver. The personalized services of a elder home care services provider mean that they will be with your loved one on a customized schedule tailored specifically to the needs, challenges, and limitations of that aging adult. This means that your parent will get everything that they need to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable, while also ensuring that they can remain as independent as possible as they age in place. As a family caregiver this can give you greater peace of mind knowing that they are in good hands whether you are able to be with them or not.

Even if your loved one has moved into your home, the services of an elder care provider mean that you can focus your energy and attention on the other aspects of your daily life, including taking care of your children, managing your home and your marriage, and keeping up with your career, as well as having time for yourselves.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Plantation FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

Tips for Difficult Family Conversations

There’s nothing better than sitting around the kitchen table with those you love the most, reminiscing about the time Aunt Sally dropped the Thanksgiving turkey right onto Grandma’s lap, that incredible family vacation in Hawaii, or the day little Charlie hid a live toad in the china cabinet. But when the conversation turns to something controversial, like the possibility that an elderly parent might need to consider a different living arrangement or giving up the car keys, that feeling of camaraderie can become one of defensiveness instead.

When a difficult family conversation needs to take place, these tips can help ensure a more successful outcome, and less hurt feelings:

  • Ensure your concerns are valid. Observe for yourself whether an elderly loved one truly is struggling in a particular area, rather than relying on hearsay.
  • Maintain a tone of caring support. Confrontational negativity will reap a far different result than an approach laced with love and concern.
  • Use reflective listening techniques. Rephrasing what you’ve heard a loved one say confirms that you were listening and validates his or her feelings.
  • Allow a dialogue. Rather than just stating your concerns, invite the senior to share his or her input and observations, and incorporate his or her desires, provided they do not compromise safety.
  • Include others. A particular friend, family or clergy member can help mediate the discussion and provide a more trusted perspective in the eyes of your loved one.

Learn more family conversation strategies, courtesy of AARP.

Can We Slow Down Aging with a Pill?

Perhaps one of the greatest quests throughout the ages has been in trying to discover that elusive “fountain of youth.” What if, however, the answer lies in a simple, generic medication already widely available, with the potential to extend human life to as much as 120 years?

Believe it or not, the FDA has recently approved a first clinical trial of metformin as a medication to slow the aging process. The Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) study is, at this point, held back by one crucial element: funding. With a projected price tag of $65 million to facilitate the 6-year study of 3,000 volunteers, it’s a gamble none of the big pharma companies have yet been willing to wager.

An even bigger consideration may be whether we, as a society, consider aging to be a disease in need of a cure; or, if it’s possible to embrace aging for the benefits it inherently offers: a lifetime of achievements, lessons learned, wisdom gained, and relationships forged.

At Responsive Home Care, we cherish and value each of the individuals in our care, regardless of age, and are devoted to celebrating the joys we discover together in each new day!

Senior Loneliness More Deadly Than Obesity

Recent data is both startling and disturbing: seniors who suffer from loneliness and isolation are twice as unhealthy as those who are obese, and have a 14 percent greater risk of dying earlier than those experiencing normal socialization. And with as many as 20 to 40 percent of older adults reporting feelings of loneliness, we need to pay particular attention to this dangerous trend.

According to John Cacioppo, Professor of the University of Chicago Department of Psychology, “People are becoming more isolated, and this health problem is likely to grow.”

It’s important to note that preventing loneliness involves more than simply providing people for lonely seniors to interact with, although that is important. It is also a matter of reshaping their negative sense of self-worth and how others perceive them.

Hiring a professional caregiver from a reputable home care agency like Responsive Home Care can go a long way towards fostering feelings of belonging in lonely seniors. Contact us to learn more about the health and quality of life benefits that can be realized through a caregiver-senior bond.