The Happiness Curve

You’re probably aware of the stereotypes of older adults. Popular culture loves to depict older adults as lonely, depressed, and isolated. But is that really the truth?  Recent studies show that if you were to measure happiness across a lifetime, it would be curved or U-shaped. People, in general, tend to feel most content in their 20s … Continued

The Elusive (?) Male Caregiver

When you think of a caregiver, you probably think of a middle-aged woman. 70-80% of older adults are cared for by a family member. 57-81% of those family members are female. Female caregivers may outnumber male caregivers, but that does not mean that they do not exist. As we’ve pointed out before on the blog, the face of caregiving is changing. Men … Continued

Elder Abuse

June is both national safety month and national elder abuse awareness month. June 15 is also World Elder Abuse Day. The term “safety” might make us think about fall prevention and medication risks, but there is more to staying safe than focusing on medical markers. Older adults can be abused in a number of ways and, unfortunately, it usually happens … Continued

Spotlight: SafeHouse Center

Recently we spoke with Amy Merkle, Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at SafeHouse Center. SafeHouse works to provide safety, support, advocacy and resources for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and their children, while also working relentlessly to change the systems and attitudes that allow this abuse to continue. In this interview, Amy discusses how to get connected with SafeHouse, signs … Continued

Resources for LGBTQ+ Seniors

Older adults face a number of unique challenges; unfortunately, these challenges are heightened for older adults that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer). While Baby Boomers are more likely to live alone than their parents, members of the LGBT community are three times more likely than the general population … Continued

Staying Active During Quarantine

Coronavirus and quarantine have changed what our everyday lives and routines look like. One effect of quarantine is that Americans are becoming more sedentary. As we’ve mentioned on the blog before, physical activity has a lot of benefits, including better heart health, stress management, and decreasing your risk of falling. The World Health Organization recommends that older adults should be active … Continued

Spotlight: Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

April 19-15 is National Volunteer Week! Recently we spoke with Andrea Traskos of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSW). Andrea is the Program Director for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which provides enriching volunteering opportunities for older adults. In this interview Andrea discusses what the RSVP program does, who she works closely with, and shares … Continued

Keeping in Touch while social distancing

It can be hard to remember a time before we knew the term “social distancing.” With Covid-19 still a concern, how do we keep in touch with loved ones while keeping them safe?   FaceTime– if you use Apple products, you’re probably familiar with FaceTime, Apple’s video calling platform. For more information, click here.   Google Hangouts– if you … Continued

Caregiving & Stress

It goes without saying that caregiving can be stressful (we’ve even covered self-care tips and avoiding fatigue on the blog before). Aging in general can also be stressful. But how exactly does stress affect older adults and the people that care for them?  What does stress do to the body?  Stress can weaken the immune … Continued

COVID-19: Organizations Accepting Donations 

With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to feel hopeless. To help with that Ahead of the Curve has compiled a list of organizations that are accepting donations of materials, financial support, or time. Item Donations  Food Gatherers- (734) 761-2796  Accepting food donations   Shelter Association of Washtenaw County- (734) 971-1073. Click here to view their Amazon … Continued

COVID-19: Resources for Older Adults

With Coronavirus, it can seem like each day means more services closing for the near future. Below are resources for seniors and caregivers that are still available in some capacity.   Note: Please note that information is rapidly changing. This information is current as of June 29, 2020 and will be updated as needed. Call a resource before visiting.  Food Assistance- Food … Continued

Important Announcement from Ahead of the Curve

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order to combat the spread of COVID-19 that takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.  Because of this announcement, Catholic Social Services’ Packard office will be closed effective Tuesday until further notice. Several programs have been suspended until further notice, … Continued

Spotlight: Housing Bureau for Seniors

The Washtenaw County Elder Justice Coalition is a group of health and social service practitioners and community members working to acknowledge and prevent elder abuse in Washtenaw County through awareness, education, advocacy, and enhanced partnerships. Recently we spoke with Susan Atkins of the Housing Bureau for Seniors. The Housing Bureau for Seniors (HBS) provides guidance … Continued

Sleeping as We Age

Why is sleep important?  Sleep is when the body repairs itself. The processes that our bodies go through when we sleep have been shown to affect mood, energy, memory, brain health, and our ability to learn. What’s stopping us from sleeping?  Difficulty sleeping is often portrayed as a normal part of aging- but it isn’t. … Continued

Heart Health 101

Happy February! In addition to being the month of Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Month. Today on the blog we’re going to share some tips to maintain a healthy heart.  Eat five servings a day of fruits and veggies (focus on eating the rainbow)  Replace heavy condiments and mayonnaise with olive oil   Coconut … Continued

What’s a long-distance caregiver to do?

You love your family member and want to support them as they grow older…but you live in a different state- now what?  The National Institute on Aging defines long-distance caregiving as caring for someone you live at least an hour-long car ride away from. Long-distance caregiving is more common than you may think! According to … Continued

Take a break with our Caring Crossword

December 21 is National Crossword Day. Celebrate (and test your knowledge) with a special Ahead of the Curve crossword! To download the crossword and answers: Click on “download” button or hover mouse over the document title until it changes color. The crossword should open in a new tab (if it doesn’t, click “open” when prompted). … Continued

Grieving during the holiday season

Grief is universal and can be especially difficult during the holiday season. GrieveWell is a non-profit organization that envisions a community in which individuals grieve well so that they can lead a full life after loss. To reach their vision, the GrieveWell mission is to provide resources and support to individuals in grief — as … Continued

Family Caregivers Month: Rob Lowe

This month on the blog we’ve been focusing on stories from famous family caregivers in honor of Family Caregivers Month. We’re closing out the month with a video from actor Rob Lowe who acted as caregiver for his mother and is an advocate of the importance of self care for caregivers. During #NationalFamilyCaregiversMonth, I am … Continued

Happy Family Caregivers Month!

November is National Family Caregivers Month! This month on the blog we’ll be focusing on stories from famous family caregivers. Lots of people find themselves acting as a caregiver- even celebrities! We’re starting out the month with a video from Caregiving Club. Their CEO interviewed celebrities who have acted as caregivers and asked for their … Continued

Busting Scams

October is National Crime Prevention Month. We all know that scammers exist and like to prey on older adults. What you may not realize is that scams are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. According to the FBI, between 2018 and 2019 scammers collected $700 million from about two million people, most of which were … Continued

Caregiving: Where to Start?

Caregiving can easily feel overwhelming, especially when you’re starting out. A quick web search shows results for various guides, websites, and articles spread throughout the internet.   Luckily, Home Instead Senior Care Services has created an interactive quiz to help you make sure everything is covered in your care-giving plan. This is a great jumping off … Continued

Avoiding Compassion Fatigue

We’ve talked on the blog before about the importance of self-care for the caregiver. Today we’re going to focus on why self-care is so important: preventing caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue. What is compassion fatigue?  “Compassion fatigue refers to the phenomenon of perpetual caregivers — whether familial or professional — becoming physically and emotionally depleted … Continued

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Explore the Washtenaw County Senior Resource Directory

Our easy to use and regularly updated resource directory is a one-stop guide to older adult services in Washtenaw County.