With one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world, and with one in five residents a senior (expected to increase to one in three by 2035), Japan has faced the challenges associated with an aging population, and is coming out ahead of the pack. Since the U.S. is not far behind in aging statistics—anticipated to reach 20% by 2050—we’d be wise to take a closer look at some of Japan’s innovative ideas. For example:

-Caring Relationship Tickets: Imagine a type of currency worth an hour of service for the elderly. Japan has instituted such a system that allows anyone to earn tickets by helping a senior in the community, and then in turn, cash them in for an hour of service for themselves when needed.
-Specially Designed Smartphones: Easier for older eyes and fingers to navigate, these phones will even allow the user to slow down the speech of a caller to better hear and understand.
-Senior-Friendly Shopping Centers: Comprised of all things senior—diabetes checks, bifocals, anti-aging creams, groceries with larger printed price tags, even hula and yoga classes and a dating service—this idea has proven to be a huge success.
-Fall-Defying Socks: Catching a toe on an uneven carpet or flooring is one of the leading causes of falls resulting in serious injuries. To combat this, these socks pull upward on the toes to ensure that


Read more about the cutting edge ideas coming from Japanshared by Senior Planet.


For older adults, a fall can be a devastating, even life-changing, event, which is why preventing falls is extremely important. Being cautious as you walk is good, but preventing dangerous falls takes more than caution, especially for frail individuals.

Being physically fit and strong is the best way to help prevent falls. According to Judy A. Stevens of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for those older adults who do fall, “If you’re in better physical condition, you’re less likely to be injured.” Regular exercise, including balance drills, can help seniors gain the muscle strength needed to prevent a fall.

This article provides some helpful tips on how to help older loved ones stay strong and safe in the home.


Weight changes are often a side effect of an illness. Some illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, cause the patient’s weight to increase, while other disorders may cause weight loss. Patients with Parkinson’s disease, however, experience significant weight fluctuations of up to 25 pounds in both directions depending on what stage of the disease they are experiencing.

New research says that these weight gains and losses are normal. Author of the study, Marilena Aiello, says that the “eating habits of Parkinson’s patients change as the disease progresses.” They found a few factors that might contribute to these changes in dietary habits, including depression, cognitive impairment, and sensory disturbances that alter smell and taste. These factors can all contribute to loss of appetite and thus weight loss. The study also showed that, after deep brain stimulation therapy, patients may experience an increase in pleasure and motivation associated with food, resulting in an increase in appetite and subsequent weight gain.

Learn more about this study in this article from PsychCentral.


Poetry isn’t just a string of beautiful, sometimes rhyming, words; it has actually been proven to have some significant affects on the brain. In fact, researchers at the University of Exeter have found that reading poetry can stimulate areas of the brain linked to memory. Creative pursuits in general have shown positive effects when used as part of an Alzheimer’s care plan. Dr. Bruce L. Miller, Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco has been helping to shed light on just how beneficial creative outlets are for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In fact, according to his research, creativity appears to be an area untouched, and for some even enhanced, by the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Poetry Project has been using the power of poetry to facilitate the creativity of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, and to help enhance Alzheimer’s care. According to the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, data indicates that a significant number of people in mid- to late-stage dementia remember words and lines from poems they learned in childhood. The project uses these memories to help engage clients and promote positive social interactions.

Molly Meyer, founder of Mind’s Eye Poetry, helps to facilitate the creation of group poetry by Alzheimer’s patients. The following is a poem that the residents of U.S. Memory Care in Colleyville, TX wrote together during one of Molly’s poetry sessions

Memories Linger

The smell of rain
fills the autumn night.

Leaves stream softly,
a waterfall of light.

A lonely bench rests
in the glow of night.

Memories linger
in silence.

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project and how creativity affects Alzheimer’s patients or contact South Llorida home care providers, Responsive Home Care for more information and assistance.


When caring for a person with Alzheimer’s, each day can feel like a roll of the dice – will today be a good day or a bad day? The challenging behaviors that often present in Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to handle, but a new method may help Alzheimer’s caregivers better handle agitation and aggression and help reduce use of antipsychotics.

The DICE model – Describe, Investigate, Create, and Evaluate – was developed by a panel of senior mental health specialists as a way to help change challenging behaviors and avoid medication. The system details key patient, caregiver and environmental considerations and describes the “go-to” behavioral and environmental interventions that should be considered.

Although psychotropic drugs have been prescribed for years to Alzheimer’s patients expressing certain troublesome behaviors, there is little evidence they work well for Alzheimer’s behaviors and they also come with heavy side effects. Alternately, studies of certain non-medication approaches to affecting behaviors in Alzheimer’s patients have shown promising results.

Read more about DICE and how it is changing the way caregivers and healthcare providers work with Alzheimer’s patients in this article from Alzheimer’s Weekly.


What if the old adage, “You’re only as old as you feel,” were true? Some think it might be, that age may only be a state of mind, and they’ve got very interesting experiments to back that claim and discover a younger, healthier body in the process.

Psychologist Ellen Langer performed a rather radical experiment on a group of septuagenarians in the 1980s that is just now beginning to shed light on the relationship between the body and the mind where aging is concerned. Langer’s original experiment consisted of housing a group of men in their 70s in a monastery retrofitted to conjure the year 1959. Despite their ages, the men were treated like twenty-somethings, and encouraged to speak of events that occurred in their 20s as though they were current events. The results of the 5-day study were remarkable. The men showed greater dexterity and sat taller than when they arrived. Some even showed improvement in vision.

While this original study was never published, Langer continues to study the mind-body-aging relationship today. Read more about her innovative research here and contact Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of home care in Plantation and surrounding areas, to find out how we can help the seniors you love to thrive and live healthier, better lives.


When it comes to artificial sweeteners, there has been a long running debate as to whether they are helpful or might cause harm. Many dieters and those with diabetes purchase these zero calorie beverages and snacks to avoid weight gain and spikes in blood sugar levels, but could they be promoting the opposite?

A new study evaluating the effects of artificial sweeteners suggests they may actually lead to the development of diabetes and obesity. The study, published in the scientific journal Nature, concluded that artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, among others, interfere with gut bacteria that could cause individuals to develop glucose intolerance, leading to elevated blood sugar levels, a prime symptom in diabetes. Researchers also discovered several associations between long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners and weight gain.

Find out more about this eye-opening study and how artificial sweeteners may be negatively affecting your health in this article. Contact Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of Pembroke Pines home care as well as care throughout the surrounding areas to learn more about how we can help seniors stay healthy. We can pick up fresh, healthy foods from the grocery store, plan and prepare nutritious meals, provide motivation for seniors to stay physically active, and much more. Request your free in-home consultation today!


To quote the late Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Truer words were never spoken. In fact, a new study from the University of Iowa shows that caregivers have a profound influence on those who often cannot remember them or their actions―Alzheimer’s patients. According to the study, published in the September 2014 issue of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, when Alzheimer’s patients were shown clips of sad and happy movies, they sustained states of sadness or happiness despite not being able to remember the movies.

This indicates that, though patients with Alzheimer’s disease may not be able to remember recent visits by loved ones or even being neglected by a caregiver, those actions have a lasting impact on how the patients feel. According to the study’s lead author, Edmarie Guzman-Velez, “This confirms that the emotional life of an Alzheimer’s patient is alive and well.”

Read more about this study in this article from Alzheimer’s Weekly. Responsive Home Care is here for you any time you need help with specialized dementia care or additional dementia-related resources. As the top provider of home health aides in Weston, FL and the surrounding areas, we have specialized expertise in dementia care. Contact us and let us know how we can help a senior you love with dementia.


Nutritional supplements are often seen as good sources of vitamins and minerals for older adults who have issues with

eating, such as problems chewing, or who do not otherwise get enough calories in their diets. Recently, however, the American Geriatrics Society put out a warning about many of the supplemental drinks such as Boost, Ensure, and others, saying they are closer to candy than to vitamins.

According to the drink’s nutritional data, an eight-ounce bottle of chocolate Boost Original contains 28 grams of sugar and no fiber, a higher sugar content than many popular children’s breakfast cereals. Doctors warn that, while these drinks are marketed as a way for older adults to stay strong and active as they age, the only place they have clear value is if the senior is malnourished.

If your loved one uses a nutritional supplement regularly, take a look at information in this article entitled, “Beware Liquid Candy” from the New York Times’ New Old Age blog.


The difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is confusing for many people. Often, it is assumed that they are just two different words for the same condition. However, that’s not quite the case. In short, Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, but not all dementia is Alzheimer’s. But does making a distinction between the two even matter when you or a loved one is coping with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia?

Yes and no, according to Paula Spencer Scott, author of Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers, in a Huffington Post article. Recently, the diagnostic term “dementia” officially changed to “major neurocognitive disorder,” which may not mean much to the general public and may actually confuse the issue. Scott advises families not to get hung up on the exact name of what your loved one has as care needs are likely to remain the same, regardless of whether it’s Alzheimer’s or dementia. She does urge families, however, to find out what is behind the name of the diagnosis, including symptoms and changes to expect, and to find out what to do about the diagnosis in terms of a care plan.

Read more about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia and what it means for your family, and contact Responsive Home Care for professional home health care in Deerfield Beach and surrounding areas.


Caring for a loved one as he or she ages can be a very rewarding experience, but it isn’t without challenges. Millions of Americans have taken on the role of caregiver for an elderly parent in recent years, and while your relationship with your parent may have always been great, constant caregiving and feeling like there’s a role reversal between child and parent can be extremely stressful. It is important for all caregivers to learn how to manage their emotions for their health and the health of their loved ones.

In the article Taking Care of an Elderly Parent―and Not Loving It? How to Turn Resentment Into Patience and Joy, psychologist Dr. Suzanne Gelb encourages caregivers to do three key things in order to manage stress and find peace in their caregiver role:

1. Release your feelings in a positive way, even if you just need to scream into a pillow.
2. Find and talk to someone else who understands your experience. Seek out caregiver support groups in your area or online.
3. Recognize that there are things you cannot control and let those things go.

Read more of Dr. Gelb’s advice for caregivers in this article from the Huffington Post.

Responsive Home Care can help you with caregiving for your senior loved one. Contact us to learn more about our trusted senior care services in Pembroke Pines and surrounding areas.


Be honest. Do you always take the medication your doctor prescribes? New research reveals some very surprising statistics. Approximately 30 percent of new prescriptions are never even filled, meaning that many patients are not following their doctors’ orders. This new study also shows that the majority of patients who are prescribed medications for chronic diseases either take less than they are prescribed or stop taking the medicine altogether after about six months. Also, less than half of patients on medication for high blood pressure adhere to their long-term treatment plan.

Improper medication adherence is an increasing problem in America, and one that is particularly hazardous for older adults. Many seniors are prescribed three or more daily medications, and not taking them can lead to a decline in overall health. Find out more about the benefits of proper medication adherence and the toll that not taking prescribed medications can take on your health in this article.

Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of home care in Pembroke Pines and surrounding areas, is dedicated to helping senior’s and their loved ones age in place well. Contact us for all of your home care needs.