Articles & Resources

What is Alzheimer’s/Dementia?

Jun 15, 2022

Years ago it was commonly believed that memory issues were only related to old age.  Our grandparents would comment about their friends stating “they are senile”. 

Currently today there is an actual avoidance from people of this generation stating or believing their loved ones have dementia.   What people don’t realize is that the sooner they admit there is a problem and have a doctor test them and make an accurate diagnosis,  the sooner something can be started to slow down the progression of the disease.  So, I would like to tell you a little about what alzheimers/dementia is.

 

This disease goes through stages of irreversible progressive changes.  People sometimes get confused between normal aging and mild cognitive impairment.  I would like to explain to you a very easy way to understand this disease.  You have to picture the brain as a large road map with an abundance of roads and bridges controlling different...

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Looking For An Assisted Living?

Jun 13, 2022

First, let’s talk about what an Assisted Living is... 

Assisted Living is a home like environment with individual apartments and is supervised by nursing staff 24 hours a day.  Privacy is provided with a call bell system that can be activated in an emergency.  Meals are provided three times a day usually in a dining room setting allowing for social interaction with other seniors.  There is also an activity schedule that provides daily exercises and activities and trips of interested parties to attend.  Medicare does not pay for an assisted living environment.  The only two sources of payment are Medicaid and private pay.   Now some information that may be helpful when making a decision.

 

  • When visiting a facility make sure it is clean
  • Make sure there are no odors - Odors only tell you that people that live there are being neglected with personal care
  • Make sure you are observant with staff and the way they interact with the residents,...
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Activities For Seniors

Jun 11, 2022

After a surgical procedure, has anyone ever said to you, “If you don’t use it you will lose it”?  This quote is true in everything we do in life but becomes much more important as we age. 

 

The trick is to never give in to what your particular ailment may be.  For example, if you suffer from arthritis you must move around because the more you sit still, the stiffer your body will become.  So start your day getting yourself into the kitchen.  If your hands are stiff, running them under warm water will help to get them moving.  Now you can make your breakfast and your much needed coffee so you can take your medication.  After giving yourself an hour it’s time to move.  Start with some simple stretches while sitting.  The goal is aiming for 2-3 hours per week of low intensity aerobic exercises to provide adequate muscle strengthening.  Examples of this would be golfing, swimming, gardening, or...

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Acronyms Frequently Used in Healthcare

Jun 09, 2022

Sometimes when in a situation you have higher than normal anxiety and hear something that you don’t ask for clarification.  Here is a little cheat sheet for some of the acronyms you may hear and really want to know the meaning.

 

ADE 

  • Adverse drug event- A side effect of a medication

ADL’s 

  • Activities of daily living - Like bathing, toileting, feeding, hygiene, walking

ALF   

  • Assisted Living Facility

ALS  

  • Advanced Life Support - machines that keep you alive

APS 

  •   Adult Protective Services

BIPAP 

  • Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure - A breathing machine

CABG 

  •   Coronary Artery Bypass Graft - Open Heart Surgery

CAD 

  •   Coronary Artery Disease - diseases affecting the heart

CT 

  • Computerized tomography - x-ray images from different angles of bone, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body

CCU  

  • Coronary Care Unit - Intensive care for...
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Dilemma with Alzheimer's Diagnosis and Driving

Jun 07, 2022

Changing the routine or environment for a senior with Alzheimer's/dementia is very difficult and increases the confusion.  

 

Seniors become more stubborn and set in their ways, and will fight with their children about the things that you observe that they probably shouldn’t be doing.

 

So your loved one has some cognitive decline but their doctor has not made a definitive diagnosis as of yet.  Mom is telling you from time to time about how she lost the car at the mall and couldn’t remember where she parked, or how it took her an hour to remember where she put the keys, or the best one is how she was planning to go to a destination and ended up at a totally different location.  You are only imagining how she is performing the skills of stop signs and traffic lights.  The doctor has been watching the changes and has ordered the tests necessary to make the diagnosis.  So the family has some discussions and decides that maybe...

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Hospital Discharge and Needed Help at Home

Jun 05, 2022

Sometimes it's really hard to see when help is needed at home for mom.  Patients have a hard time admitting they need assistance because they are used to doing everything independently.   As the children or significant other, we tend to side with them not knowing the level of assistance they are going to require at the time of discharge.  The best thing we can do is to allow the homecare agency with trained medical professionals to enter the home and complete their assessment to determine what assistance is needed at this point.  So, mom is now being discharged from the hospital with a referral for a home care agency.  Mom of course is saying “I don’t need help!”  The social worker at the hospital disagrees.  The family agrees to allow the agency to come to the home and complete an assessment of the current needs.  At this point,  you are not aware of what issues there are or if they are significant.  The home care...

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How Homecare Agencies Can Gracefully Discuss The Changes In Client Condition And The Cost Implications

Jun 02, 2022

When a family hires a homecare agency it is your job to be sure that you are providing all of the services that are promised during the admission process. The relationships with families are built early on starting with who you place in the home with the client and the communication you share with them when they are unhappy.

 

Make sure the aide you place in the home is appropriate

Lots of variables for you to consider.  Perhaps the client would be happier with a male versus a female.  Can your client understand an aide with a strong accent when trying to communicate a need?  Maybe your client is hard of hearing, so placing a soft spoken aide in the home wouldn’t be conducive.  If the client is happy with their aide and they have a good relationship it makes for good cooperation with the plan of care and is easier to complete the tasks.

 

Allow time for follow up with the family

Make a visit with the family to make sure they are satisfied with the...

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Indicators Help Is Needed At Home

May 31, 2022

This is a difficult topic to talk about with your siblings and even more difficult to talk to mom.  You have to keep in mind that they have been doing the same routine for the last 50 years and as they age, the mind doesn’t accept the fact that they need assistance now or in the future.  It is our responsibility to make sure that they are always safe at home, and the diseases that they have are being managed so they are not in hospital.  There are many variables with these indicators.  Make sure if you live in close proximity to your loved one you set a standard of visiting at least every two weeks in the beginning.  Pick a day and make it special for them.  Maybe a lunch,  or take them out for a burger.  Believe me when I say it will become part of their routine and they will look forward to your visits.  During your visit you will need to assess them each time. While you're there you can offer to balance their checkbook which will...

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Meal Planning for Seniors

May 27, 2022

As we age, our bodies go through many changes that are inevitable.  The very best thing we can do to keep the changes to a minimum or prevent progression of the diseases we already have is to eat right.  Now the challenges with this occur with life changes.  A hospitalization or injury that was unexpected which prevents us from performing certain tasks, an onset of depression caused from this illness or losing a significant other, or a pandemic that isolates us from the outside world.

 

Our diet should contain certain things to maintain our strength and endurance, prevent disease progression, maintain cognitive abilities, and prevent new health problems.  The diet should include protein to maintain muscle mass, and also foods containing vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Stay away from foods containing added sugar, saturated fats and sodium.  Hydration is also very important to keep your body functioning normally.

 

Here's some helpful tips to...

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The Preparation Stage

May 26, 2022

Trying to navigate through situations that change your world as you know it can be very  difficult. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could refer to resources to assist you and your family? This  is only a small resource to help guide you with the planning for situations that may occur with  your loved one now and through their end. The first step would actually occur before any emergencies or diagnosis occurs that may not  end the way you plan for it. The first step is the preparation step. 

Preparation 

Even though it is very difficult, you need to have the discussion with your loved ones as to  exactly what their personal wishes or requests are for end of life decisions. You can print an  advance directive, also referred to as a living will, to help guide you with the questions you will  need to present to your loved one to obtain their personal preferences.

The website is: eforms.com and you have to select the state you reside in....

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