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Safety tips to prepare the home for comfortable aging

Many elderly people wish to age in the comfort of their own home. According to the Administration on Aging’s 2016 Profile of Older Americans, over 13.6 million seniors live alone. However, what happens when the home’s once-familiar areas become hazardous? Will the house be able to handle one’s daily needs?

It is important to consider basic safety features as the majority of homes are not conducive to aging in place. As a result, as people grow older, their homes often need to be modified to accommodate the aging process. Here are some tips for elderly adults seeking to maximize the livability of their home.

Make sure the house has zero-step entrances that are easily accessible for individuals using assistive devices such as a cane, walker or wheelchair. In addition, having covered entrances reduces the chances for serious slip-and-fall accidents arising from water or snow buildup on porches.

Another key area of the home that should be designed for optimum convenience is the bathroom. Basic safety features like a handle bar and grip mats can help elderly adults avoid falls. Ensure that the shower, sink and toilet are accessible to individuals with limited mobility.

Many people often overlook the fixtures in a house. However, they are also worth modifying. Outlets and switches should be placed in optimal locations and at heights that can be reached while seated. Additionally, doors that have lever hardware instead of knobs will be easier to use for those who are injured or arthritic.

The home may also need simple additions installed such as stair railings, grab bars or bath chairs. For individuals hoping to age at home, the key is to adopt a long-term perspective and begin planning for the future now.

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Gilfix & La Poll invites you to join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 14

Alzheimer’s is becoming an increasingly common cause of death for the aging population in the United States. Over 5 million individuals are currently living with the disease, and it is expected to affect 16 million Americans by 2050. Recognizing the devastation that Alzheimer’s causes on a daily basis, Gilfix & La Poll Associates has decided to join the fight against the progressive brain disease.

Gilfix & La Poll is a proud sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Silicon Valley, California. Members of the law firm have also formed a team to participate in the walk. The event is held annually nationwide in an effort to create awareness about Alzheimer’s, as well as to raise funds for the advancement of research and the care of those living with the disease.

Gilfix & La Poll is inviting families and members of the community to join them for the walk on Saturday, October 14, 2017 in Arena Green, N. Autumn St., San Jose, California. Participants of all ages and abilities are welcome. As a united force, there is hope for finding a possible cure for the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

Those who are unable to join the walk are encouraged to make a $35 donation to the Gilfix & La Poll fundraising campaign. Every contribution helps the care, prevention and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

To register for participation in the walk or to make a donation, visit the Gilfix & La Poll Walk to End Alzheimer’s team page here:

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Mark Gilfix Article on Technology Innovation and Long Term Care in The Elder Law Report

Mark Gilfix has been keeping a close eye on innovation in the long term care space, and recently attended the Aging 2.0 “Optimize” Summit in San Francisco. He wrote an article sharing his insights with the The Elder Law Report, one of the top national publications for attorneys in the field. While at the Summit, he discovered many innovative and new start-up companies that were poised to assist seniors now and in the future. With technology moving as fast as it is, many of the offerings at Aging 2.0 “Optimize” are the next generation of assisted living concepts designed specifically for seniors.

One company that stood out at the Summit was Akili Interactive Labs – Cognitive Enhancement Video Games – developers of several video games focusing on cognitive enhancement with the ability to help heal the minds of those who face cognitive decline. The possibility also exists that these carefully crafted games may slow or halt memory decline for those with mild dementia.

Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a prominent neuroscientist from the University of San Francisco, demonstrated how the games could assist in helping those in their 80s to be as proficient and efficient as those in their 20s. This would be a powerhouse tool for the users and their families.

Some other companies that stood out to Gilfix:

Rendever – Virtual Reality in Elder Care – offers those who receive care and those who provide it with the ability to partake in cognitive stimulation that allows them to go anywhere – such as back to visit their childhood home or travel to a favorite place or country. Studies have shown that virtual trips greatly enhance the overall well-being of the participant. Software like this has the potential to be a game changer in improving the lives of geographically and socially isolated clients.

Silvernest – Vetted Roommate Matching Service for Seniors may also be revolutionary for older adults who have space in their home, would like to make extra income and wish to have a roommate or a companion. Silvernest offers a safer approach than advertising on the open market. The company does background checks, helps facilitate monthly payments and uses a special algorithm to help find suitable matches. A roommate or a companion could well help a senior renter improve the quality of their life.

Other Notable Innovations in Development

In the home-sensor field:

  • Stack Care – light-bulbs containing radar-based sensor technology capable of tracking falls and other changes in a senior’s daily activities
  • Echo Care Technologies – non-wearable system capable of detecting falls and other issues
  • UnaliWear – classic-style watch with the ability to respond to voice commands, track movements and provide other assistance as necessary

To read more about other new innovations download the full article here.

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Michael Gilfix discusses Trump policies affecting elderly, disabled Americans in latest article

Ever since President Donald Trump came into power, there has been no shortage of confusion and uncertainty about the new administration’s agenda. In an article published in the July issue of Trusts & Estates magazine, attorney Michael Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll Associates strives to provide clarity on how various proposals could affect the elderly and individuals with disabilities.

The article, titled “Trump Initiatives Affecting Vulnerable Populations,” examines tax reform policies, possible changes in Medicaid rules as well as the future of government programs. The information is of particular value to seniors and disabled Americans.

Along with being a nationally known authority on estate planning, elder law and special needs planning, Gilfix is also one of the founding members of the Trump Policy Analysis Group. The group was established three weeks after the 2016 presidential election as a way to provide “objectivity as new proposals emerge from the administration and from Congress, especially concerning older Americans and Americans with disabilities.” The group’s mission is to serve as a resource for issues that impact these populations.

Gilfix co-authored the Trusts & Estates article with attorneys Vincent J. Russo and Harry S. Margolis, who are also founding members of the Trump Policy Analysis Group. To read the article, visit:

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