The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2015-03-25T07:53:46Z Tall Trees Care Communities Co-Founder Says: “Typical Aged Care Staffing Levels are Not Good Enough for Our Residents.” 2015-03-25T07:53:46Z tall-trees-care-communities-co-founder-says-typical-aged-care-staffing-levels-are-not-good-enough-for-our-residents Australia, 25 March 2015 - At Tall Trees Care Communities, they pride themselves in providing a level of care that is higher than that of the typical aged care community or nursing home on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane. In fact, they feel they have differentiated themselves from the field so much that they are an alternative to aged care. Phil Usher, co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, has a strong commitment to providing the highest quality aged care possible. The business model at Tall Trees has always followed a principle of consumer directed care. Residents purchase their own home and enjoy the same rights as any homeowner. In addition, they choose their own level of care. It Started with a MissionAccording to Mr Usher, “When we decided to build our first Tall Trees Care Community, we asked a lot of seniors, including our own mums and dads, what they felt was important. Everyone we asked said that they wanted to feel independent instead of feeling like they were being told what to do every second of every day. They wanted a lifestyle that was like they had at home, but better.”  Mr Usher continued, “When we were finished talking to everyone, it was obvious that we had to find a way to provide high quality aged care while preserving the independence and dignity of our residents. We decided that if it isn’t good enough for our mums and dads, it just isn’t good enough.”Providing care that they felt was good enough for their own mums and dads became both a credo and a mission. The result, so far, is five Tall Trees Care Communities which house more than 250 residents. There are more than 150 staff members to take care of those 250 residents. Tall Trees Care Communities are staffed so well that they can provide all aspects of care: low care, moderate care, high care, dementia care and palliative care among them. They also offer a full range of nursing services, personal care, continence management, nutrition assistance, hydration assistance and mobility assistance. They provide individual encouragement and support while encouraging mental stimulation and social interaction. They strive to keep lines of communication open between staff, residents and families. The Staffing Level CrisisAccording to the Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), Lee Thomas, there is currently a “staffing crisis” in the field of aged care. Ms Thomas estimates a shortfall of as many as 20,000 qualified carers in the aged care industry. She recently voiced her concerns with Senator Glenn Lazarus from Queensland, who agrees with her.Mr Usher concluded, “By today’s aged care standards, we are overstaffed. And we will stay that way.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to the traditional nursing home or aged care facility. They have five communities in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Residents own their homes and select their own level of care. Their nursing staff is available to residents 24/7 and provides the highest level of aged care. To learn more, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Tall Trees Care Communities Participate in the World’s Greatest Shave 2015-03-16T08:57:31Z tall-trees-care-communities-participate-in-the-world-s-greatest-shave Australia, 13 March 2015 - Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to the traditional nursing home or aged care facility in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast. They built their business model on the credo that “If it isn’t good enough for our mums and dads, it just isn’t good enough.” They currently house slightly over 250 senior citizens and employ a staff of slightly over 150 to take care of them.Three of those staff members and one resident are participating in the Leukaemia Foundation event called the “World’s Greatest Shave.” In the event, participants agree to shave their heads or colour their hair as a show of support for victims of leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma or other blood cancers. They ask people to sponsor them with donations to the Leukaemia Society. The money goes towards research to find a cure for leukaemia and to help support blood cancer patients and their families. By the NumbersAccording to the Leukaemia Foundation, 31 Australians are diagnosed with leukaemia, myeloma or lymphoma every day. That adds up to more than 12,000 people every year. Blood cancers now represent approximately 33% of all deaths from cancer in Australia. Survival rates are becoming higher, but the Leukaemia Foundation wants to help researchers someday find a cure for blood cancers.Be Brave and ShaveThe World’s Greatest Shave is easy to participate in. Participants agree to shave their heads or colour their hair and solicit donations to support them. As mentioned above, donations go to the Leukaemia Foundation where it is used to fund research or to support patients and their families. A donation as low as $36 can help provide emotional support to a patient who has just been diagnosed with leukaemia, myeloma or lymphoma. $58 can help provide a ride to and from a chemotherapy facility for a patient who is too ill to drive to or from the facility. $80 can fund a hotel room for one night for the family of a patient who lives out of town and has a long drive to the facility. $120 pays for one day of a scholarship for a researcher trying to find a cure. Why Tall Trees Care Communities ParticipatePhil Usher is the co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities. Their motto is “If it’s not good enough for our mums and dads, it’s just not good enough.” They have a deep commitment to taking care of the elderly. They also realise that caring extends to all people in need and not just their “market.”According to Mr Usher: “We built Tall Trees Care Communities because we care about people. We are proud of our one resident and three employees who are participating this year. The World’s Greatest Shave is a great cause and we are glad to help sponsor our team.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to aged care in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Residents buy their own homes and choose their own levels of care from low care to high care to palliative or dementia care. To learn more about the World’s Greatest Shave or for a trial stay, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Blueprint for an Ageing Australia Recommends Increased Philanthropy Among the Elderly 2015-02-23T04:28:05Z blueprint-for-an-ageing-australia-recommends-increased-philanthropy-among-the-elderly Australia, 23 February 2015 - In the second of a series of blog posts discussing the Blueprint for an Ageing Australia, Phil Usher took a closer look at the recommendations for increased philanthropy among the ageing generation. Mr Usher is the co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, which provide an alternative to traditional aged care on the Gold Coast.According to Mr Usher: “We like the idea of encouraging seniors to contribute to charity, whether it’s time or money. Those who still have the energy to give of themselves get a great boost because it feels so good to do something for someone else. We pride ourselves on preserving and nurturing the independence and dignity of our residents. There is nothing like giving to the less fortunate to make someone feel better about themselves.”Australia Lags Behind Some CountriesAccording to Blueprint for an Ageing Australia, Australians tend to give less to charity than a lot of developed countries. Those who give to Deductible Gift Recipient organisations contribute an average of 0.35% of their taxable income. Blueprint for an Ageing Australia cites less tax money going towards education, the arts and medical research as an indication that more money from charities will be necessary for all of these fields.Seniors Tend to Give More than Other DemographicsAccording to research compiled by Blueprint for an Ageing Australia, the 55-74 age group donated nearly 20% more than any other age group to charity between December 2010 and February 2014. In addition, Australians aged 65 and older gave 10.8% more for the twelve months ending February 2014 than they did during the twelve months ending February 2013.Barriers to Donating TimeSenior citizens have more time on their hands than those actively in the workforce. Consequently, they are among the most generous when it comes to donating their time for good causes. However, a number of barriers are presenting themselves that often prevent the elderly from donating time. These can come in the form of raised insurance premiums, health and safety laws or workplace regulations. Sometimes, unions will complain because they feel volunteers are “stealing jobs” that should go to paid employees.What the Blueprint for an Ageing Australia ProposesBlueprint for an Ageing Australia proposes that seniors be encouraged to give of their time and money to charitable causes. The creators of the plan feel that the current ageing generation is among the most generous in Australia and that many would give more if encouraged and empowered.The Tall Trees Care Communities SolutionMr Usher feels that Tall Trees Care Communities enable and encourage their residents to give freely to charities and those less fortunate. According to Mr Usher: “When we started Tall Trees Care Communities, we wanted our mums and dads to have the kind of place they wanted to live in. We asked them what they wanted and they wanted to keep their independence and dignity. We have found that giving to those less fortunate is a great way to reaffirm independence, dignity and self-worth.” Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to aged care facilities on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. For further information about their communities and services, visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/ or call (07) 3442 9378. Historic Document May Create More Businesses to Serve the Elderly 2015-02-19T07:56:20Z historic-document-may-create-more-businesses-to-serve-the-elderly Australia, 19 February 2015 - Phil Usher, co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, who provide an alternative to the traditional nursing home or aged care facility in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast, is a staunch advocate of the rights of the elderly. He is committed to improving the quality of life for the elderly and his commitment is reflected in his care communities. Recently, Mr Usher began a series of blog pieces examining the ramifications of Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. Blueprint for an Ageing Australia was created in September 2014, by a panel comprised of representatives from three entities: Per Capita, National Australia Bank Group and National Seniors. Blueprint for an Ageing Australia is a comprehensive document that examines the challenges ahead for meeting the needs of an ever-increasing ageing population in Australia. It strongly recommends policy changes in seven different areas. Mr Usher currently plans to examine all seven areas of policy on his blog for the sake of discussion and for meeting the needs of the ageing “baby boomer” population.Business OpportunityAccording to Blueprint for an Ageing Australia, the ageing of Australia presents an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to profit by serving the needs of the ageing population. The 55-74 segment of the Australian population had a faster rate of household wealth growth than any other age demographic from 1994-2012. In 2011, those between the ages of 55 and 74 had average net worths ranging from $743,000 to $828,800. 40% of Australia’s wealth could be found in the 50-69 age bracket. Globally, more than $8 trillion was spent by people over 60 years of age in 2010, with a projected $20 trillion in 2020. This represents a considerable amount of money that can be spent on goods and services that address the needs of baby boomers.Senior EntrepreneursThe creators of Blueprint for an Ageing Australia see ageing Australians as the best potential entrepreneurs to serve the needs of other ageing Australians because of familiarity and similar needs. The coming generation of retirees is better prepared for retirement than any previous generation. They have interests as diverse such as travelling, fine dining and home renovation.In 2011, 22% of Australians 65 and over who were still working were doing so because they owned the business. The Stereotype BarrierAccording to Blueprint for an Ageing Australia, younger decision-makers tend to stereotype the senior market as only being interested in such products as insurance, mobility aids, palliative care and funerals. This can stifle the creation of products that enhance the senior lifestyle.SolutionsMr Usher agrees with nearly every point of Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. According to Mr Usher, “When we created Tall Trees Care Communities, we asked our Mums and Dads what they would want in a care community. They wanted independence and dignity. Accordingly, we agree with Blueprint for an Ageing Australia; seniors must be encouraged and enabled to become entrepreneurs who can best serve the needs of their generation.” Tall Trees Care Communities provides the perfect alternative to traditional aged care. They offer residents the opportunity to own their own homes while getting medical attention they need. For more info about their communities, visit: http://www.talltrees.net.au/ or call (07) 3442 9378. Research Proves that Pets Increase Lifespan and Well-Being 2015-01-22T05:37:21Z research-proves-that-pets-increase-lifespan-and-well-being Australia, 22 January 2015 - At Tall Trees Care Communities, they have encouraged their homeowners and residents to have pets from the day they broke ground for their first community. The co-founders know about research indicating that pets have a positive effect on their owners and wanted their residents to have as high a quality of life as possible. From time to time, co-founder Phil Usher has referred to pet studies on his company blog. Recently, though, he found a resource that references 150 studies and articles, all of which indicate that pets have a positive effect on lifespan, well-being or both. The dates ranged from 1980 to 2013. The resource is a study from the International Federation on Ageing.The study from the International Federation on Ageing is entitled, “Measuring the Benefits: Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons.” They found numerous studies about companion animals and the elderly. Tall Trees Care Communities focused on five studies from Australia, Canada and the US that specifically covered the physical benefits of having a pet. The Five StudiesA study in 1980 found that those under cardiac care had a higher one-year survival rate than those who didn’t have pets. A study in 1992 found that cholesterol levels and blood pressure were lower in elderly pet owners than those who didn’t own pets. A study of US stockbrokers with hypertension in 2001 noted that those with pets suffered less from elevated blood pressure due to stress than their petless counterparts.A 1999 study showed that elderly people who owned pets suffered less decline in their physical ability to perform tasks that need to be performed on a daily basis than those who didn’t have pets. Dog owners were also found in this study to feel that they were more active, had a better sense of purpose and more structure in their lives as a direct result of owning a dog.An Australian study showed that dog owners get nearly 50% more exercise than those who don’t own a dog.What It Means to Tall Trees Care CommunitiesAt Tall Trees Care Communities, residents own their homes. It is structured like a hybrid between a retirement community and an aged care facility with what they feel is the “best of both worlds.” Co-founder Phil Usher has championed the cause of residents owning pets from the beginning. According to Mr Usher:“When we started the first Tall Trees Care Community, we were well aware of plenty of the studies referenced in the International Federation on Ageing report. We knew that we were going to not only allow pets but encourage them. Pet ownership is a way that our residents can be happier and healthier. We are always in favour of anything that enhances our residents’ quality of life.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to traditional aged care in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. They specialise in providing high-quality, compassionate care to the elderly while preserving and nurturing their independence. To learn more about Tall Trees Care Communities or to arrange a trial visit, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Tall Trees Care Communities Look at 2020 Vision for Aged Care in Australia 2015-01-19T04:40:34Z tall-trees-care-communities-look-at-2020-vision-for-aged-care-in-australia Australia, 19 January 2015 - In 2002, the Myer Foundation produced a report called “2020: A Vision for Aged Care in Australia.” The report looked at the then-current state of aged care in Australia and then made suggestions for what was needed in 2020. Recently, Tall Trees Care Communities, who provide an alternative to traditional aged care and nursing homes in their locations near Brisbane and the Gold Coast, summarised the 2020 Vision and added their own considerable insight.Myer Foundation RecommendationsThe Myer foundation looked at aged care in Australia at the time and suggested a number of changes, some which have been adopted and some which haven’t. They suggested changes in the following five categories.Community CareThe report recommended making it easier for the elderly to receive treatment in their own homes by increasing funding across the community care sector, from informal carers to a formal community care program to hospitals.HousingThe report also recommended building enough elderly-friendly housing to meet future demand. AdministrationA streamlining of administrative procedures was highly recommended. The Myer Foundation called upon the Government to provide a set of standards and a framework that makes it easier to enforce those standards. FundingThe report not only suggests some Government funding, but that citizens be encouraged to create their own solutions such as reverse mortgages and pre-saving into accounts earmarked for aged care.Industry PlanningThe report called on all providers, public, private and not-for-profit, to work together and provide a plan that can be integrated and implemented across all segments of the sector.How Tall Trees Meets Many of the Recommended CriteriaTall Trees Care Communities provide aged care to the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Their business model is similar to what is suggested: their residents buy homes in the communities and then select their own levels of care. This meets the first suggestion of making it easier for the elderly to receive care in their homes. Nursing and other care is available 24/7 and can be provided in the residents’ homes. Tall Trees Care Communities provide homes that are built to be as easy as possible for the elderly to live in. They have open floor plans and the bathrooms are made to be easy to use. In a Tall Trees Care Community home, nearly all hazards that cause seniors to have accidents or otherwise inconvenience them are gone, replaced by senior-friendly amenities and design.Phil Usher, co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, is proud of how his communities are in alignment with many of the recommendations of the Myer Foundation report. According to Mr Usher:“In a way, we view the Myer Foundation as kindred spirits. We both want the same things: a high standard of aged care which fosters and protects the independence and dignity of our residents.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide a consumer-directed alternative to aged care in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Their five locations specialise in nurturing and preserving the independence and dignity of their residents. To learn more, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Living Longer Living Better (LLLB) Opens to Mixed Reviews 2014-12-15T05:12:11Z living-longer-living-better-lllb-opens-to-mixed-reviews Australia, 15 December 2014 - In 2011, the Australian Government Productivity Commission authored a report called “Caring for Older Australians.” The report found, among other things, that improvements were needed in such areas as more choices for residents and sustainable funding for aged care. Former Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler strongly advocated a program that would take care of those problems.Among other things, Mr Butler decried the “cookie cutter approach” and advocated “more choices” for aged care recipients. On the strength of this sentiment, a program was created: “Living Longer, Living Better (LLLB).” Many in the aged care industry supported the program as one that would improve the quality of aged care by increasing competition and removing limits on the number of bed licences. It was thought that competition would bring out the best in the aged care industry and help avoid a projected shortage of as many as 279,000 beds by 2050.LLLB was lauded by many as a proactive step towards solving a future problem and improving the current situation for aged care recipients. However, since it took effect in July of this year, reviews are mixed. All Residential Aged Care Recipients can Now be Required to Pay a BondBefore LLLB took effect, “low care” recipients were required to pay a bond, while “high care” recipients were not. Since two thirds of residents were considered to be “high care,” this meant only one third were required to post a bond. The standard bond is usually between $250,000 and $300,000. Under LLLB, all residents are required to post a bond. That works out to three times as much bond money than before and three times as many people being burdened with paying a bond.“The Cookie Cutter Approach”Minister Butler also remarked in 2011 that consumers didn’t want a “cookie cutter approach” and that LLLB would provide choices while eliminating the “cookie cutter approach.” He postulated that competition would produce more diversity in the approaches to aged care and provide more choices for residents. According to senior citizen advocates, this has not happened yet. The Tall Trees Care Communities ApproachTall Trees Care Communities is a small organisation of communities which provide an alternative to the typical nursing home or aged care facility. They serve the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. According to Co-Founder Phil Usher:“We talked to our own parents and got feedback from a lot of elderly citizens when we were deciding how we were going to create Tall Trees Care Communities. The two things that they wanted most were their independence and their dignity. Nobody likes being treated like a number or having all of their decisions made for them every day. So we decided on the model of consumer directed care.”Phil Usher concluded, “Our residents couldn’t be happier. And neither could we.”Tall Trees Care Communities are a group of nursing home and aged care alternatives in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. To learn more about Tall Trees and their unique approach to consumer directed care, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Tall Trees Rochedale Care Community Invites Seniors to Morning Tea on 10 December 2014 to Learn about Consumer Directed Care (CDC) 2014-12-05T07:05:17Z tall-trees-rochedale-care-community-invites-seniors-to-morning-tea-on-10-december-2014-to-learn-about-consumer-directed-care-cdc Australia, 05 December 2014 - The Australian Government has created a model of consumer directed care (CDC) for the aged care industry. The Government has scheduled CDC to take effect in July 2015.Tall Trees Care Communities have been ahead of the curve since their inception. When co-founder Phil Usher helped establish Tall Trees Care Communities, the first person he asked for advice was his mother. She told him that she didn’t want to be “bossed around all day” and that she wanted to retain her independence. Phil Usher and his co-founders would subsequently talk to many more elderly citizens to help provide a consensus on what a great aged care facility would offer. After volumes of feedback, they learned that the most common themes were independence and dignity. Consequently, they decided on the model of consumer directed care, long before the Government was even discussing it.Tall Trees Care Communities worked hard to produce a business model that nurtured, protected and encouraged the independence and dignity of their residents. They produced a motto which became their mission: “If it’s not good enough for our mums and dads, it’s just not good enough.”The Tall Trees Care Communities Model of CDCAt Tall Trees Care Communities, the business model is akin to that of a high-end retirement community combined with the best features of an aged care facility. They provide the option of living in your own home at Tall Trees and have pioneered the CDC concept. With changes coming into play, residents will be able to obtain assistance in applying for home care packages once they are assessed.  Tall Trees Care Communities also provides the security of 24 hour staffing seven days a week and a wide range of services designed to enhance independence and more choices for their residents.The ResultsAccording to Phil Usher:“We set out to provide an alternative to the traditional aged care or nursing home model and provide our neighbours in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas with the best living situation we could produce for them. We think we have succeeded far beyond what we had originally hoped for.”Phil Usher concluded, “We are glad to see that the Government wants the aged care industry to catch up with what we have done since the beginning.”The Morning Tea at Tall Trees Care RochedaleOn 10 December 2014, Phil Usher will give a presentation explaining the changes to the aged care system. The government offers different packages now and Phil Usher will provide information to help clarify and identify the options a senior citizen will have under CDC.  Tall Trees Care Communities invite everyone interested to their morning tea at 28 Sunningdale Ave, Rochedale at 10:00 am.  Tall Trees is a small organisation of communities that provide an alternative to the traditional aged care approach. They offer five locations in the Gold Coast and Brisbane areas. To learn more about Tall Trees Care Communities, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Care Community Co-Founder: “The Elderly Should be Cherished, not Abused.” 2014-11-19T03:26:24Z care-community-co-founder-the-elderly-should-be-cherished-not-abused Australia, 19 November 2014 - The elderly face many issues, but few of them are as heartbreaking as elder abuse. Phil Usher is the co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, who provide an alternative to traditional aged care in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Mr Usher is a staunch advocate of the rights of the elderly. Recently, on his company blog, Mr Usher published an article detailing what constitutes abuse and how to detect it. What Constitutes Elder Abuse?According to the Queensland Government, elder abuse is defined as, “any act within a relationship of trust that results in harm to an older person.” This can be physical or sexual abuse, but also emotional abuse or neglect. Financial abuse may be the most common type of elder abuse as relatives and carers try to control the victim’s money and keep as much for themselves as possible.Commonly, an abuser’s first step is to attempt to isolate the victim by making it difficult for anyone on the outside to speak to them or see them. Once the victim is isolated, it becomes more difficult for abuse to be detected. Abusers will threaten to destroy valued possessions or even hurt pets if the victim doesn’t comply with their wishes. Acts of humiliation, harassment and intimidation are common.Financially, the biggest step is to talk or coerce the victim into granting Power of Attorney. This allows the perpetrator to funnel all of the victim’s funds into their own pockets. By the time anyone notices, the victim’s money is gone. Detecting Elder AbuseDue to the isolation and control that abusers often perpetrate upon their victims, it can be difficult to detect elder abuse. However, there are some signs that may indicate abuse. The first is the isolation. If one is told by a carer that an elderly friend or relative is “busy,” “asleep” or “not available” every time they call, there is a good chance that abuse is being perpetrated.If one is able to see and talk to someone they suspect is an abuse victim, there are some changes in behaviour that are common. Sometimes the victim will become agitated or nervous for “no reason.” Unexplained bouts of trembling, crying or shaking can be an indication of abuse. Abuse victims often become withdrawn or depressed, sometimes to a point of mentioning suicide. They often adopt a rigid or “guarded” posture. They may lose interest in things that used to be important to them. Their eating, sleeping or bathing habits may change. They may become passive in discussions, waiting for others to contribute or answer questions. What to DoThe Queensland Government has an Elder Abuse Prevention Unit hotline: 1300 651 192. If immediate intervention is necessary due to dangerous levels of abuse, it is recommended to call the police.Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to aged care in Brisbane. Their residents choose their own level of care and own their homes. The staff is caring and dedicated to preserving the independence and dignity of the elderly. To learn more or schedule a trial stay, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Coconut Oil Takes Alzheimer’s Community by Storm 2014-11-14T04:45:06Z coconut-oil-takes-alzheimer-s-community-by-storm Australia, 14 November 2014 - On 4 November 2008, the St Petersburg Times, a US Newspaper, published a story about a local doctor who had given her husband coconut oil in a last-ditch effort to stop the rapid escalation of his early onset Alzheimer’s. The story wasn’t noticed much at first, but carers and relatives of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients from across the world kept finding out about it and kept the story alive.Now, six years later, coconut oil is being used as a preventative for Alzheimer’s by many and is being given to Alzheimer’s patients by relatives and even some carers. Since coconut oil is a natural substance and not a drug, it is not being recommended by a lot of doctors. In addition, no double blind studies have been performed to determine the efficacy of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s patients. However, the anecdotal evidence is becoming too prolific to ignore. Pharmaceutical companies are now investigating how to isolate, identify and extract the ingredient that may be helping all of these Alzheimer’s patients. Last year, a double blind study began in the US at the University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute. The study, slated to end in September 2015, will trace 65 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. It will provide some with coconut oil and some with placebos. The reason that anecdotal evidence is considered scientifically invalid is because of the possibility of the placebo effect. This study will account for the placebo effect. The Original Story: Dr NewportDr Mary Newport, a doctor in the Tampa Bay area, was trying to care for her husband, who had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. His condition worsened and nothing was helping. She tried to get him into studies for two Alzheimer’s drugs and was researching them. During her research, she read about a third drug that had been producing anecdotal results. She tried to get her husband into that trial but was unsuccessful. She had read that the active ingredient that was causing improvement was medium chain triglycerides, also known as MCT oil. She also found out that coconut oil is composed of roughly 60% MCT’s. She decided to bypass the study and feed her husband coconut oil on a daily basis. Shortly after taking coconut oil, her husband retook the state’s mini-mental exam, on which he had recently scored 14 out of 30. His score improved to 18 out of 30 after only a day of using coconut oil. She has since reported that he has regained his short term memory and that his depression has gone away.Does it Work?Phil Usher, co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, an alternative to aged care in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, is cautiously optimistic: “There is no definitive study yet, but you can’t ignore the results.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to traditional aged care. They have five locations in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Their residents own their homes and choose their own level of care. To learn more or arrange a trial visit, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Tall Trees Teaches Elderly to Cope with Hay Fever Season 2014-10-20T04:29:43Z tall-trees-teaches-elderly-to-cope-with-hay-fever-season Australia, 20 October 2014 - Hay fever season is here, and one small network of independent living communities has provided a guide for the elderly for coping with it. Tall Trees Care Communities have five locations providing alternatives to aged care facilities in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. They are best described as independent retirement communities with 24-hour access to all levels of care that would be provided in an aged care facility or a nursing home. Phil Usher, co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, recently informed readers of his blog how to lessen the impact of hay fever. According to Mr Usher, “Hay fever is usually more prevalent in the 25-44 age group, but that is no consolation to elderly hay fever sufferers. At Tall Trees, we do everything we can to educate our residents on how to lessen the likelihood of a hay fever attack and provide the finest in medical care should they need it.”Hay Fever 101Hay fever is another term for allergic rhinitis, which is medical terminology for an allergy that affects the nose. Though it is usually caused by grass pollen, thus the name hay fever, it can also be caused by mould, dust mites or animal hair. Hay fever occurs when the immune system attacks the particles of pollen, mould, animal hair or dust mites that are breathed in. While six people out of seven have immune systems that don’t attack these particles, one in seven have immune systems that see them as a threat and attack them. This causes the symptoms with which hay fever sufferers are familiar: runny, blocked or itchy nose, watery or itchy eyes, itchy ears or throat or headaches. Symptoms can become so severe in some hay fever sufferers that it affects the ability to concentrate or fall asleep.Preventing or Lessening Hay Fever by Controlling Pollen ExposureDoctors advocate avoiding exposure to allergens as the best way to prevent hay fever. It is recommended that those who suffer from hay fever check the television or Internet each day to see how much pollen is in the air. On high pollen days, it is recommended to stay inside. This can be difficult since most spring days are high pollen days, but it can be necessary for those who suffer from hay fever. Other high pollen times are right after a thunderstorm or when the wind is blowing hard. Most hay fever sufferers are also allergic to the pollen produced by plants. Consequently, they should only have plants that are pollinated by bees instead of those that put seeds into the air.Mr Usher says, “Do whatever you can to limit your exposure to pollen. It’s the best way to avoid hay fever.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to aged care on the Gold Coast. Their model is called independent living with consumer directed care, meaning that residents own their homes, decide their own level of care and remain independent for as long as possible. To learn more or to arrange a trial stay, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Grandchildren Build Better Relationships with Grandparents by Helping with Their Care 2014-10-13T07:20:50Z grandchildren-build-better-relationships-with-grandparents-by-helping-with-their-care Australia, 13 October 2014 - Phil Usher, the co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, recently outlined some ways to get grandchildren involved in the care of grandparents who need some help taking care of themselves. Tall Trees Care Communities provide independent living with consumer directed care. That means the residents own their homes, come and go as they please and have access to any level of medical care all the way up to that of a nursing home.Tall Trees Care Communities encourage their residents to have their grandchildren visit them often. They know of many studies indicating that visits are beneficial for both the grandparents and grandchildren. Recently, on the company blog, they provided a guide on how to involve grandchildren in the care of grandparents who are in need of various degrees of care. SittingTeenagers can function as “sitters” or carers and can be of great help by making tea or coffee. They can also serve or heat pre-made meals for their grandparents. Whatever they do, the idea is to give grandparents and grandchildren quality time together. Both benefit from each others’ company. In addition, it gives teenagers a higher sense of responsibility and can help their self-images.PuzzlesChildren or teenagers can work side by side with their grandparents to solve puzzles. Anything from math puzzles to crossword puzzles to physical puzzles is great as long as it gets everyone working together for a common goal. ReadingA grandchild reading to a grandparent can be very empowering for the grandchild and very comforting for the grandparent. If the child is reading something from school, they can get their homework done in the process. Reading stories that encourage the reader and listener to make pictures in their minds can be very helpful for the grandparent.Classic MoviesWatching movies from a bygone era with grandparents is enriching to both sides. The grandparents get to reminisce about their era while the grandchildren can experience that era for themselves with help from their grandparents. It is a lot of fun to discuss how the world has changed from era to era: what it used to be like compared to how it is now.Family History BookAnother recommended activity is to create a family history book. It allows the grandparents to pass history down to the grandchildren and gives the grandchildren a better sense of their roots as a family.Why it MattersMr Usher is committed to helping residents of Tall Trees Care Communities keep their independence as long as possible. He is also a firm believer that keeping the elderly engaged with life is the best way to provide a higher quality of life. According to Mr Usher:“We love it when grandchildren visit our residents. Sometimes their faces glow for days afterwards. It is truly beneficial for everyone.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to aged care in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Their business model combines independent living with consumer directed care. To learn more or to arrange a trial stay, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Tall Trees Care Communities Encourage Friendship for Health’s Sake 2014-09-15T05:44:32Z tall-trees-care-communities-encourage-friendship-for-health-s-sake Australia, 15 September 2014 - Tall Trees Care Communities are known for their revolutionary approach in providing an alternative to standard aged care. Their model is based on consumer-directed care, which means that their residents elect the level of care they receive. Unlike standard aged care facilities or homes, residents of Tall Trees purchase their own homes and retain the same rights that any other homeowner would have.Residents of Tall Trees don’t feel like they are in an aged care facility because they aren’t. Tall Trees can be better described as a retirement community with the options for chef-prepared meals, 24 hour nursing care, world class medical care and amenities that encourage social interaction between residents. Those amenities include the community grounds, the community centre, a dining room, a lounge and other common areas. Recently, on the company’s blog, Co-founder Phil Usher explained why their approach is so centred on encouraging the residents to socialise and become friends. Mr Usher cited some well-documented conclusions that have resulted from studies concerning the relationship between friendships and health. The Relationship Between Friendship and HealthMost studies concerning the effects of social interaction and friendship on health, especially when compared to isolation and sadness, have concluded that positive emotions and events have a positive effect on health while negative emotions and events have a negative effect on health. The more scientific studies usually credit the positive effects of friendship and socialisation to the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and beta-endorphins. Negative effects are seen as being caused by stress-related hormones such as cortisol. The macro-analysis is that happy people live longer, better lives and sad people tend to live shorter lives with diminished quality of life.According to Mr Usher, savvy use of this information can help seniors live longer, happier lives:“Ten years ago, when we decided to create the kind of haven that our mums and dads would like to live in, we found out all we could about ageing, health and quality of life. Most of all, we asked our mums and dads what would make them happy. We found that independence, dignity and social interaction were very important to them. So, we decided we would create a model in which independence and dignity were valued and encouraged. We also decided that we would provide plenty of opportunities for social interaction and friendship.”Mr Usher continued, “We wanted to make sure that our residents could maintain their independence but avoid the isolation that so often happens to the elderly. At the same time, we wanted to maintain a standard of competent but non-obtrusive care.”Mr Usher concluded, “The result has been five communities that have exceeded my original expectations. We are proud to have the ability to make a difference in so many lives.”Tall Trees Care Communities are providers of an alternative to the traditional aged care and nursing home models in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. They currently have five locations where residents purchase their homes and determine their own level of care. To learn more, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Rochedale Morning Tea Provides Uplifting Experience for Seniors 2014-09-11T02:34:17Z rochedale-morning-tea-provides-uplifting-experience-for-seniors Australia, 11 September 2014 - Recently, the Tall Trees Care Community in Rochedale offered a morning tea and all day tour experience for prospective residents and interested family members. Co-founder Phil Usher was on hand to meet and answer questions. Attendees also had the opportunity to talk to staff members ranging from carers to administrative staff to maintenance personnel. They were given a full tour of the facilities, including dining rooms, a lounge, the community centre and the community grounds. During the later part of the event, they were given the opportunity to experience the apartments that are currently for sale. What are Tall Trees Care Communities?Tall Trees Care Communities are a group of five communities offering an alternative to traditional aged care and nursing homes in the Brisbane and Gold Coast markets. Mr Usher and his co-founders solicited the advice of their parents and asked them what they thought was most important to provide for the elderly.Most of the answers were centred around choices, dignity and independence. None of their parents wanted to feel like they were in an institution where they no longer had rights and were supervised all day, unable to have a free moment without a staff member breathing down their necks, telling them what to do.Mr Usher and his co-founders listened and made a promise that has become the company’s motto: “If it’s not good enough for our mums and dads, it’s just not good enough.” They decided to provide two features that are unique in the aged care industry: resident-owned apartments and consumer-directed care.Residents buy their apartments and have the same ownership rights of anyone who owns an apartment. They are allowed to have visitors whenever they want and are allowed to have pets. They have the option of purchasing meals cooked by a chef to eat in one of the dining rooms or in their own homes. They can also cook their own meals if they wish. Tall Trees aims to provide the “best of both worlds.” Residents retain their full independence and dignity but are around like-minded individuals in group settings as often as they wish to be. Residents are given plenty of chances to socialise during organised activities, but there are also plenty of opportunities to interact on the grounds and in the common facility. Why Tall Trees is So SuccessfulMr Usher is very happy with the way Tall Trees Care Communities have worked out and is excited for the future. According to Mr Usher, “When we started Tall Trees Care Communities, we wanted a place where our mums and dads could live out their lives with the care they deserved while retaining their independence and dignity. We never dreamed we would be able to help this many people. We are truly blessed.” Tall Trees Care Communities provide an alternative to traditional aged care and nursing homes with five locations in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Their residents own their homes and select the level of care they desire. To learn more or to arrange a trial visit, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Tall Trees Care Communities Help the Elderly Erase Loneliness 2014-08-14T03:12:02Z tall-trees-communities-help-the-elderly-erase-loneliness Australia, 14 August 2014 - As people live past retirement age, those who stay in their own homes often start to become lonely. Their peers begin to die or retreat into their own lives. Their families are often busy living their own lives and don’t always think of them. As age begins to affect their bodies and minds, it can become harder to “get around.” Many lose their drivers’ licences or no longer have a car. All of this can contribute to increased isolation and less social contact. Recently, on the company blog, Phil Usher, the co-founder of Tall Trees Care Communities, provided tips for helping one’s elderly parents defeat loneliness. Mr Usher suggested seven proactive steps adult children can take to keep their parents socially engaged.Recommendations for Defeating LonelinessMr Usher recommends contacting elderly parents by phone daily, even if it’s just to say, “hello.” He points out that most parents have too much pride to let their sons or daughters know just how much a phone call means to them. He also recommends regular visits when possible. This allows one to see their parents and pick up on cues that something may be amiss. Also, it is good for the parents to actually have someone in their space visiting them.Mr Usher also recommends helping elderly parents find senior citizen support such as centres and activities such as bingo. This can be augmented by taking parents to concerts, shows and movies they would enjoy.Another recommendation: find a geriatric care manager for the parent or parents. Especially if the adult child lives too far away to visit often, the care manager can help organise care for the parent and help them utilise senior resources. They can even take the place of the adult child and accompany the parent to events.Mr Usher’s last suggestion from his blog is to encourage elderly parents to learn how to use a computer, the Internet and social media. Many people use Facebook to keep in contact with their current friends and family and to reestablish contact with old classmates and childhood friends.How Tall Trees Care Communities Combat Senior LonelinessTall Trees Care Communities use a model called “consumer directed care.” Their residents purchase their own units as one would in a retirement community. The residents are encouraged to remain fully independent for as long as possible. They are also provided numerous opportunities to engage in activities with other seniors, both organised and casually.According to Mr Usher, “We make it nearly impossible for anyone to be lonely at Tall Trees. In fact, many of our residents decided to live with us because they had so much fun on their trial visits that they didn’t want to leave.”Mr Usher concluded, “Your golden years should truly be your golden years.”Tall Trees Care Communities provide a novel alternative to aged care facilities in Brisbane. Their business model of consumer directed care allows their residents to own their homes and decide their own levels of care based on need. To learn more or to schedule a trial visit, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/.