Call us today at 727-447-5845
Aging Wisely June 2016 - Aging Wisely

Heat Stroke Symptoms and Preparing for Extreme Temps


elderly and extreme weather

Elderly people are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures. As we head into summer, it is vital for caregivers to know heat stroke symptoms and ways to help loved ones stay cool and safe. Extreme winter temperatures might not be on our minds now, but winter weather also affects many elders and we provide some all-year-round preparation tips.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Older people are vulnerable to heat-related illness since it is harder for an older adult’s body to regulate temperature. Additionally, chronic medical conditions and medications can make some older adults even more susceptible.

heat stroke symptoms

Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and can cause death or permanent disability if not treated immediately. Caregivers should know heat stroke symptoms to monitor for such symptoms in order to seek emergency medical attention. Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Red, hot, and dry skin (changes in sweating, i.e. no sweating)
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Altered mental state (confusion, disorientation and even seizures and unconsciouness)
  • Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)

The more mild form of heat-related illness is heat exhaustion, which often develops after being in high temperatures for several days and/or not getting enough fluids and proper balance of fluids and electrolytes. Spotting these symptoms and intervening can prevent a dangerous situation from worsening:

  • Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, weakness, exhaustion, dizziness, headache, nausea/vomiting, fainting
  • Skin may be cool and moist and the person’s pulse rate is often fast and weak, while their breathing is shallow and rapid

Dehydration is also a common problem in the elderly at all times of year, but especially when temperatures are high. Signs of dehydration in elders may include: confusion, dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, sunken eyes and lack of skin elasticity, inability to produce sweat or tears, low urine output (and dark urine color), constipation, and low blood pressure. Adequate bodily fluid is essential for many of the body’s functions and dehydration is one of the top 10 reasons for Medicare hospital admissions.

Tips to Prevent Heat-Related Illness

Avoid a high level of activity (especially outdoors) in the heat of the day. See our caregiver team’s ideas for great indoor activities and places you can go to enjoy an air-conditioned environment and have some fun. Take a nap or spending quite time resting in the afternoon.

Stay well hydrated. Keep water by your side at all times (caregivers can help by encouraging drinking, monitoring intake and refilling the water). Add fruit, try sparkling water, and various beverages for those who don’t like plain water (try to avoid too many caffeinated beverages which have a diuretic effect and excessive sugary drinks). Fruit and vegetables with a high water content can contribute to your fluid intake as well.

Make sure air conditioning units are maintained to avoid having problems during the heat. Schedule a “checkup” before the season and change filters regularly. Use fans to circulate the air or help if A/C is out. For those who don’t have air conditioning, visit air-conditioned venues during the day (the mall, movies, a coffee shop or library). Check on your loved one’s home throughout the summer, and especially during heat waves, to make sure the A/C is working, temperatures are at a reasonable level and they are not experiencing any problems. For those who do not have central air-conditioning, you might consider a portable/window unit or even a respite stay at a retirement community with A/C if a heat wave is predicted.

Be very careful about the sun; stay in the shade when outdoors, wear sunscreen, and get your skin checked by a dermatologist (read up on our summer sun prevention and warning signs).

Check in on your loved ones. Call or visit every few hours during extreme weather; help get them to air conditioning when needed; hire services to provide support (lawn and outdoor maintenance so Mom or Dad won’t be tempted to do those chores in the heat and/or caregivers to help with chores, monitoring and healthy diet/fluids).

Extreme Cold

The other extreme can be just as dangerous for elders. Older adults can lose body heat faster than when they were young. Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature gets very low. For an elder, a body temperature colder than 95 degrees Farenheit can cause health problems such as cardiac issues, kidney problems, liver damage, and more.

The CDC offers a great guide to preparing for cold weather. Help your loved one with the preparation steps and check in, no matter if it’s extreme heat, cold or other weather events.

Our team is here to help! Need advice on health and safety for your older loved one? Need an assessment or caregivers to help with tasks? Call us at 727-447-5845 or contact Aging Wisely online.

Did you like this? Share it:

Disaster Preparedness for Elders and Caregivers


No matter where you live, there is some type of extreme weather or natural disaster that might affect your area. Elderly people are most vulnerable in such situations.

We’ve created a special checklist to help caregivers and family members assisting older loved ones to be prepared. The checklist is more than just an emergencies supplies list; it is also designed to help you go through all the necessary considerations in preparing and planning. Our experts share their insights about how to assess the dangers, how to put together a plan and what you need to know. We also offer the latest resources and news on our blog and social media, so join our community for more great information.

Be prepared! Download/print the disaster preparedness checklist:

Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Elders and Caregivers

Did you like this? Share it:

Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults


disaster preparedness

Elders and those with special needs (chronic disease, mobility issues, disability, dementia) are especially vulnerable during emergencies. Death and injuries are common in this group during extreme heat waves, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes and snow storms.

In statistics from a typhoon in the Philippines, one out of three people who died were over the age of 60 (even though they represented less than 1/10 of the population). During Hurricane Katrina, more than 70% of those who died were elderly.

Why do elders suffer disproportionately during emergencies?

  • Difficulty getting out of harm’s way: 42% of Americans 65+ have a mobility/functional issue that could make dealing with an emergency difficult.
  • Reluctance to evacuate: due to a feeling of safety at home, worries about exposing vulnerability (therefore someone might make them move away from home), complacency due to not experiencing problems in the past, or lack of knowledge of options. Surviving past disasters is no predictor of what will happen in the future (emergencies vary, as does the person’s current ability to manage).
  • Chronic conditions can quickly worsen. About 75% of Americans 65+ have 2 or more conditions and take several medications. Without access to medication and assistance (and with added stress, heat/cold, etc.), conditions which are normally well-managed can quickly become severe.
  • Survival often depends on self-preserving when cut off from support networks (for potentially long periods). When electricity is out from various disasters, elders may be stuck in high rises with no elevator. It may be impossible to get supplies or services for a few days to a few weeks.

Tips for Better Disaster Preparedness:

  1. Understand potential threats. What types of natural disasters and weather would be expected in your area? Assess your location and the scope and severity of threats. Don’t become complacent because you have not had a problem before.
  2. Locate resources. Read your county/city’s information about natural disasters, shelters and assistance. Follow our Aging Wisely blog or sign up for our newsletter for expert tips and special help.
  3. Assess your readiness to respond to/self-preserve in a likely emergency.Could your chronic conditions become a problem? How well can you do with no support services? Will you become ill in the heat or cold, or without electricity and hot water?
  4. Assess and prepare your home. You might need to make structural improvements (roof repairs for storms, wind-resistant windows, securing doors) and do preparations like cleaning out gutters, trimming trees and removing debris. Backup power options such as generators and battery packs/power banks can be useful as losing power is quite common in many emergencies. Check smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Clear clutter and fall hazards. Know your home’s risk level (flood zone/location, age/security, mobile homes) to determine whether sheltering in place is feasible (and, in what conditions).
  5. Get a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio (a NOAA weather radio is ideal).
  6. Assess your support network. How can friends, neighbors and family help? What support services do you rely on and will they be available during an emergency? Can you seek shelter with a friend or loved one who may live in a safer area or be able to help you?
  7. Determine evacuation (or alternative stay) options. Emergency shelters are designed as a last resort, but you should be registered with your county/city should you need them. If you plan to evacuate to a safer area, consider issues like traffic and road safety (and your access to resources away from home). Respite stays in an assisted living or nursing facility can be a wise plan as they have to prepare for such emergencies for their residents and offer a level of comfort and support you cannot get at a shelter. Having others around can also be comforting.
  8. Prepare supplies. You can access our hurricane supply checklist (which applies to many types of disasters). The Red Cross offers a basic emergency kit list (you can also buy first aid kits and supplies through them), though we’d recommend preparing two-week supplies when sheltering in place, as services and supplies can be delayed for days-weeks. There are various emergency kits you can buy online (but you’ll need to add personal items, like your food, water, medications, etc.). If you have a pet, check out EasyLiving’s pet prep checklist.
  9. Make a communication plan. Have a cell phone with chargers (extra batteries, power banks and car chargers are useful when electricity is scarce) and your contacts programmed into it. Decide how you will communicate vital information (and relatives should coordinate plans to check in).
  10. Prepare important documents. Put your insurance papers, a list of contacts, medical history/medication list, advance directives, home documents and key account information into a waterproof container that you can access easily and take with you when evacuating.

If you need help assessing your situation and preparing, contact Aging Wisely at 727-447-5845. Our team can help with comprehensive disaster planning, as well as advice and resources. Follow us on Facebook for the latest news and tips.

Did you like this? Share it:

Aging Wisely Workshops: Summer Evening Series


aging wisely workshops

Join us this summer for our Aging Wisely workshops, conveniently offered in the evenings for working professionals. Back by popular demand, instructor Linda Chamberlain will share her most well-received topics and provide valuable information you will rarely get (for free!). Make plans to join us as the limited slots fill up quickly!

All these Aging Wisely workshops will be held from 7:00-8:30 PM. Questions are encouraged and you will receive free organizational tools to help you put what you learned into practice. Please call 727-447-5845 to RSVP.



What you should do before you get sick


JULY 26th

Organizing your health records, making the most of your doctor visits, utilizing insurance benefits,  dealing with a diagnosis



Preparing for your legal consult, key decisions

Download, print, share:

Aging Wisely workshops: summer evening series flyer

Did you like this? Share it:

What Are You Doing for Dad this Father’s Day?


Dad on Father's Day outing to Hard Rock casino

I will miss my Dad this Father’s Day! His idea of a great Father’s Day was a fun activity ending with a great meal – that had to include ice cream! The activity could have been as simple as a drive for him to look around, playing “Rook” or, in later years, the Hard Rock Casino (as pictured above). He was looking for an experience, not a gift.

I’m excited to share with you a variety of great experiences to share with your Dad as well as a few gift ideas he may enjoy. While bittersweet to put these ideas together, I have enjoyed thinking about many memories while putting these suggestions together.

  1. Spending time with Dad, in person, having fun, creating a memory is the best gift you can give to your Dad. If you can’t make it in person, try Facetime, Skype, or Zoom to spend virtual time with Dad.
  1. We have a fun and innovative Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in the Tampa Bay area. It has an Imax theater in addition to great exhibits. This is a great activity for all ages and perfect with families including grandchildren. If you need disability accommodations, please reach out to MOSI in advance.


  1. Make a reservation for a beachfront restaurant. This provides Dad the opportunity to enjoy the beach, in the shade, with a cocktail! He can watch everyone enjoy the sand and water and not have to be concerned about too much heat and the instability of walking on sand.


  1. Ready for a rollercoaster ride? Busch Gardens has much to offer, rides, shows and a safari journey. Even if Dad can’t ride the rollercoasters, he may enjoy watching “you” ride the roller coasters.

busch gardens

  1. Largo Central Park is a great venue for a picnic, with lots of comfortable shade. The Park is friendly to those with disability issues. Pack a lunch, pick up sandwiches at Publix or the local deli and a gallon of ice tea and you are ready for a great meal. And don’t forget KFC, some days you just need to have fried chicken!
  1. A little-known secret in Pinellas County is The Largo Botanical Gardens. A walk around the Gardens slows you down and gives you a chance to escape and enjoy the beauty only a garden can provide.

botanical gardens

  1. Enjoy lunch in beautiful downtown Dunedin then head over and explore the Dunedin Fine Arts museum for the afternoon. Looking at art is an amazing experience no matter what age you are and it does not require your memory for you to enjoy it. Go have some fun!
  1. Enjoy a lovely stroll and lunch on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg, then take some time to visit the Chihuly Museum. The glass work is amazing, and if time permits head over a few blocks to the Hot Shop and see artists prepare and design incredible glass art while you watch.

chihuly museum

  1. Take Dad out to the Ball Game! Enjoy watching the Tampa Bay Rays play the San Francisco Giants and get a free foam bat and ball set while you’re there.

Father's Day baseball outing

  1. Enjoy cocktails and dinner on Father’s Day at On Swann in Hyde Park,   Tampa, Florida. This is a shameless plug for the restaurant of my good friends, John and Trudy Cooper. I love this restaurant! The cocktails, the menu and the ambiance are all amazing. My favorite main dish was the Lemon Herb Ricotta Gnocchi until I tried the Pork Chop with the Grits – they are both amazing! You have to start your dinner with “The Farm” and “Parm Zeppole!” What a pleasant refreshing surprise full of flavor. Try it out and be sure to say “Hi” to John and Trudy for me.

pork chop and grits

  1. One of my husband’s favorite gifts received for Father’s Day is a beautiful journal labeled WOD, “Wisdom of Dad.” Our son listed pages of sayings, idioms, and comments his Dad has repeated to him throughout his years. When my husband has ever wondered if he has had an impact on his children he only has to look at this “WOD” Journal and then feel good!
  1. A repeat from a Mother’s Day suggested gift is the Amazon “Echo.” We enjoy walking in to our home and quickly stating, “Alexa, please play Classical Music” and in a few sections you are relaxing and listening to the music. My husband loves asking Alexa to provide all of the scores from the sporting events he follows. The Echo can be purchased at

Amazon echo

  1. My husband is thoroughly enjoying his “Canary” home monitoring system. It alerts him via text of anyone entering our home, the temperature of our home, the humidity level, and the air quality of the home. I can’t believe how much time he spends watching our home and enjoying checking it out. It is extremely simple to set up however Wi-Fi service is required. You can purchase one at
  1. SkyBell is a smart video doorbell that allows you to see, hear, and speak to the visitor at your door whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go. This is great for the Dad that perhaps is a little unsteady on his feet or perhaps slower to answer the door. Dad can directly talk to the visitor, tell them he is on the way and not hurry so much and take the risk of falling.
  1. Do you want a beautiful way to maintain your tablet and all the charging cords and accessories that go with it? Check out the Mod 2 Tablet Case.

Mod Tablet Case

  1. Fitbit or Garmin are great tools, depending upon how engaged your Dad is in following his fitness commitment. A good friend recently shared what a motivator his Fitbit is to keep him moving on a daily basis. In fact, if he doesn’t get his 10,000 steps in he starts to feel guilty.


  1. The Amazon Fire TV Stick allows Dad to access Hulu, Netflix, ESPN, and literally 1000’s of shows on his TV. If Dad is not tech savvy please take time to set this up for him before you leave his house – it is the only way he will love this gift!

fire stick amazon

  1. Ugg! Shearling Slippers. You can’t go wrong, no matter what the weather, giving Dad this soft and cozy slipper. These slippers are good inside as well as outside the house, and do not have slippery soles.

uggs mens slippers for Father's Day

  1. Is there a Dad out there that doesn’t need another carabiner? Check out the REI website for a full selection. Do not limit your carabiner use to just a key chain. This is a manly method to attach items to your wheel chair or your walker. When traveling it helps you keep track of your stuff by attaching the carabiner to your item and your jacket. The uses are endless and the price is good.
  1. Order some Montgomery Inn (“The Ribs King”) ribs and have them ready to throw on the grill for Dad and enjoy. Be sure to order some extra Ribs King sauce. These ribs come completely seasoned ready cook on the grill or oven. The sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, any leftovers can be used on chicken or burgers. I promise you Dad will love his Father’s Day ribs!

montgomery inn ribs

For the latest gift ideas and aging wisely advice and news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Did you like this? Share it:

Careplan Workshop


careplan meeting

Workshop: How to Develop a CarePlan to Ensure the Best Care for Your Loved One

Join us Tuesday, July 12, 2016 for a free educational workshop. Instructor Linda Chamberlain will help you understand how a careplan can ensure the best care for your aging parents/loved ones and clients. Linda Chamberlain, Board Certified Elder Law Attorney and Founder of Aging Wisely, LLC and EasyLiving, Inc., will share her expertise from working with thousands of families over the years. Come learn:

  • the important role a careplan plays in improving care delivery, quality of life and outcomes
  • how a careplan provides better guidance for those assisting with the care of your loved one (and how to communicate the information)
  • what goes into a careplan
  • how to develop a careplan
  • when to review the careplan and update it

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 

1pm to 2:30pm

EasyLiving Office: 1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., #701

Clearwater, FL

Call 727-447-5845 to RSVP

Seating limited to 20 attendees.

Click here for  the flier for the care plan workshop.


Related posts:

The Aging Wisely Careplan

Benefits of a Geriatric Care Management Assessment

Getting the Best In-Home Care: The EasyLiving CarePlan


Did you like this? Share it:

Exit Strategy: Getting Organized Workshop


getting organized workshop

Getting Organized with an Exit Strategy

Join instructor Linda Chamberlain at this special evening workshop, back by popular demand, about creating your “exit strategy”.

Getting Organized Exit Strategy Workshop

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

7 PM-8:30 PM

1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33756


This workshop will focus on getting organized with your affairs, what decisions you need to make and how you may want to make them, categorizing and documenting your wishes, and tips and tricks on “really” getting it done.

A FREE “getting organized” tool will be provided to all attendees. You will not want to miss this! Limited to first 20 attendees.

About the presenter: Linda R. Chamberlain is a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney who has practiced in the Clearwater area since 1991. Linda has Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating as an AV® Preeminent™ Attorney. Her practice includes Medicaid planning, Medicaid applications, and long-term care issues. Linda is the Founder and President of Aging Wisely, LLC, a professional care management company and EasyLiving, Inc., a non-medical private duty home care company which have now merged to offer integrated services.

Click here for the Exit Strategy Workshop Flier. Reserve your seat today by calling 727-447-5845 or contacting us online.



Did you like this? Share it:

Grateful for My Freedom and New Windows!


Linda Chamberlain Aging Wisely

Thank you for the calls and cards with condolences over the loss of my Dad. While people often say, “I don’t know what to say,” it is very comforting to have folks reach out and let you know they are thinking of you and are sorry for your loss. A few words like “I’m thinking of you” make a big difference. Thank you again.

Memorial Day had a new meaning for me this year. Perhaps my exposure to the Czech Republic last year, coupled with a recent trip to Cuba emphasized the freedoms we have that I hope to never take for granted. I am so thankful for the many individuals that have sacrificed their lives for me to enjoy the life I lead today. Writing about it seems so glib in comparison to the individuals that gave up their families, life experiences, and the opportunity to grow old.

Visiting Cuba was a fascinating experience and I encourage you to take the opportunity to visit before the huge influx of Americans affects their culture and infrastructure. My trip was through Stetson University College of Law, organized by Mercy Roberg and Professor Joe Morrisey (kudos – it was a fabulous trip) and allowed us to meet with attorneys, Judges, and the Cuban Minister of Commerce. We enjoyed many delicious Cuban meals and of course, Cuban rum and cigars.

Cuba Landscape

It was amazing to see the architecture, and specifically the effect of the Castro takeover in 1959 and then the fallout from the 1989 dissolution of Russia. For years, I have argued with my husband over the purchase of new code-required windows for our home. I could not imagine getting any enjoyment from the new windows, especially after seeing the price. As you can see from the pictures, there is much to be said about maintaining your home.

Cuba Windows

The fact I found overwhelming about Cuba is their number one export is “human capital,” over $1 Billion dollars per year. All education is free in Cuba and they import the use of their educated residents to countries willing to pay for the services, i.e., physicians and health care providers, engineers, and research scientists. The other astounding fact is only the state-owned farms have tractors, any privately owned farms must utilize a mule/horse and plow. No cattle can be owned by an individual; all cattle are required to be owned by the state. Hard to imagine!

Getting Organized Tip! has changed my life! Simply go to the website, enter your email address and it allows you to choose whether to keep an email in your Inbox, move to a once a day email from, or unsubscribe. Once an email is sent to you can preview it before you open it. It allows you to see all of those random emails you receive that may say something useful or have the item you were looking for on sale all in one email instead of going through the emails one by one. The difference in the distraction and volume of emails is a game changer.

Sign up Now for our workshop on June 7, 2016, 1pm – 2:30pm, “How to Choose the Best Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.”

Whether you are looking for a facility for yourself or a loved one this workshop will be helpful. Often folks ask me, “Linda, what is the best nursing home or assisted living facility in Pinellas County?” We are extremely fortunate in Pinellas County to have many “best choices.” This workshop will help you determine what may be best for you and all of the many things you need to consider in making the choice. Please email me: if we will see you there. Seating is limited to 20.

Downloadable/printable flier for workshop

I look forward to seeing you soon!


Did you like this? Share it:

Payment Concerns
Not sure how you are going to pay for elder care?

Is the Time Right?
Find out if its time to seek help for your loved one.

Aging in Place
How to keep a loved one safe at home, and when it may be time to consider assisted living.

Get Our Newsletter!

Mission Statement

Our goal is to enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial wellbeing.