Help at Home Provides Health Care Services for Seniors

How to Recognize Warning Signs in Your Aging Parent

Although your parent is getting up there in age, you may still view them as vibrant, active, and able to care for themselves. Sure, they may have slowed down over the past few years and cut out a few of their hobbies or community involvements, but you haven’t had any red flags pop up that would be cause for alarm.

If you visit your parent at least once per week, you may not notice the slow deterioration process or subtle changes that are occurring in their life. As a result, you may be missing important warning signs that can cue you in on the fact that they are in need of extra assistance. Generally, it’s relatives or friends who haven’t seen your parent in a few months who notice the changes first.

Family members are always the last to notice changes in their again parents. Why? Familiarity. You see one another every day, and since the changes take place over a long period of time, they don’t notice the difference.

You could literally lose 20 pounds over the course of six months and your immediate family may not say a word. But run into someone you haven’t seen for a while and their jaw will drop! Same thing with your aging parents, except in their situation, your failure to notice changes can be dangerous.

So, what are the warning signs to look for and how can you guard against the dangers of familiarity?

Warning Sign Weekly Checklist

Here’s a list of changes to be aware of. By making a point to purposefully look for them, you’ll be ahead of the game. Instead of waiting until an accident occurs or a trip to the hospital due to a health scare, you’ll be taking a proactive approach when it comes to the well being of your parent.

  • Changes in weight: Keep a weekly or monthly record of your parent’s weight. A fluctuation of more than a few pounds is cause for concern. Your aging parent may be forgetting to eat or their appetite may have decreased due to a health condition.
  • Changes in food or fluid intake: Open your parent’s pantry and refrigerator once or twice per month. Are they eating healthy? Does their cupboard look sparse? Maybe they are having trouble getting to the grocery store or cooking for themselves. Sometimes depression or loneliness can cause a lack of appetite. An empty pantry should raise concerns.
  • Unexplained bruises: Sometimes the elderly try to protect themselves from losing their independence by hiding information. Often they will not tell anyone if they have fallen or hurt themselves in some way. Look for the signs.
  • Clutter piling up and an unkempt appearance: Your aging parent may have more trouble getting around than you think. They may cut down on housecleaning, daily chores, or even personal grooming as a result.
  • Changes in mood: If your parent is having trouble, this might cause frustration, anger, or changes in mood. Look for signs of irritability or confusion.

What to Do if You’ve Noticed Changes?

Let’s assume you’ve noticed some changes, either from the checklist provided above or other warning signs. What are your next steps?

Many aging parents are very determined to remain independent and refuse to even talk about private home health care or companion services. If you are nodding your head in agreement right now, we have a few suggestions for you.

  • Let’s face it, most elderly individuals are deeply afraid of losing their independence. If you present the idea of Help at Home Homecare in a very non-threatening way, you’re more likely to achieve the results you desire. Our staff members and counselors know how to address these concerns. By setting up a consultation with one of our professionals your aging parent will be more likely to see the benefits of home health care instead of focusing on irrational fears.
  • Our skilled staff at Help at Home Homecare,  can provide as much or as little assistance as your parent needs. It’s up to them. Companion services help with errands, meal preparation, and housekeeping while our skilled nursing care services help seriously ill or recovering patients remain in the comfort of their own home.

The first step is to sit down and have a talk with your aging parent. Let them know you notice the changes but don’t put a downward spin on the topic. A bit of extra help around the house is a good thing!

It’s a benefit which will improve the quality of life of your parent. We can even assist you with any questions you may have before introducing the topic to your parent. Our caring and knowledgeable staff is ready to help.

We offer gentle, caring and Exceptional Home Health Services for your eldercare needs and concerns. Help at Home Homecare provides skilled nursing care, home health care, and companion services to the Bradenton, Venice, and Sarasota areas and beyond.

Don’t wait for an accident, fall, or a medical emergency. Call us today at  941.388.3117 for a FREE Home Assessment- You’ll be glad you did.

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5 Tips to Ensure Your Transition From Hospital to Home is Safe and Easy

When patients make the transition from hospital to home they often face issues that, if not taken care of quickly and avoided  could cause readmission to the hospital in a very short period of time.

These issues can be especially difficult for those who live alone, have chronic conditions, impaired memories, or little caregiver help at home from home health care services. However, there is always help to be found.

Tips For The Transition From Hospital to Home

If you or someone you love is returning home from the hospital, consider the following tips:

     

     1. Changes in Medication and Abilities– When you arrive home from the hospital, you can expect multiple changes to occur.  You may not be able to get around as well, or even get out of bed on your own. Housework, preparing meals, and even bathing may be difficult tasks that are simply out of the question on your own. Your medication routine may have also changed. Many times, a hospital stay results in adjustments to your medication, which can cause confusion.

Both of these obstacles can be overcome with the help of in- home skilled nursing care. Your home health care nurse will help you perform daily tasks until your body gains the necessary strength to perform them on your own. Your nurse will also ensure you are taking the right medication that have been prescribed to you.

     2.  Difficulty Moving- While housework, bathing, and preparing meals may seem out of the question, you may not realize that simply moving can be painful and taxing. Hospital stays are relatively short these days, and patients are sent home as quickly as possible, without the chance to fully recover and gain back their strength. This makes you vulnerable, especially when combined with the after- effects of an illness or surgery and medications that may cause drowsiness or dizziness. You need to have help at home as quickly as possible after being discharged from the hospital, especially during the first 24 hours.

     3.  Falls- Because you will have difficulty moving and may be on a variety of medications that cause dizziness and drowsiness, falls are an immediate concern. If you are able, have your bed set up on the main level of your home with all of your necessary items, like medications and clothing, on this floor as well so you don’t have to climb any stairs.

     4.  Infection Control- Infections are a very real and common problem for those returning home from the hospital. Your immune system is in a natural compromised        state. If you have had surgery, you may not be able to check the incision site yourself or know what signs to look for. This is another reason why private home care is essential during this transitional period.  Infections can easily lead to readmission to the hospital and serious illnesses if not prevented and cared for properly by a professional who is skilled at monitoring your care.

   5.  Doctor’s Appointments- Driving yourself to follow-up appointments is another task that may be out of the question after your hospital stay. This is especially true are taking medications which impair your ability to concentrate while driving. Having Sarasota health care aides there to make appointments and transport you to your doctor’s appointments and follow-up treatments is extremely important for ensuring you are able to heal correctly and regain your pre-hospital strength.

Transitioning from the hospital to home can be an extremely difficult and often stressful time for many patients and their caregivers. If you are about to go through this process, don’t go it alone. Consider having skilled nursing assistance in place for you when you arrive home.

Make sure you take steps to prevent readmission by taking advantage of help at home from our services at Help at Home Homecare of Sarasota, Florida. We serve all of Sarasota, Manatee Counties and also serve other communities.  Our friendly, caring, professional service will make the transition a smooth and stress free process.

 

Help At Home is CQA CertifiedHelp at Home Homecare is proud to be part of the reputable Caregiver Quality Assurance™.

All of our employees undergo a comprehensive agency orientation with Help at Home’s administrative staff, focusing on exceptional care, service and support.  Our service providers are experienced, dependable, and caring individuals, committed to you, your family, and your ability to live independently and comfortably.

Call or Contact us for a Free Assessment to Determine if it’s time for us to assist you and your loved one at Home.

 

Social Media Usage in Healthcare [Infographic]

How are you leveraging Social Media? More and more health care professionals and related organizations are “Getting Social”.  This is creating many new places to tred that have never had a footprint before.

Things that Doctors and providers need to take into consideration are:

  • Social Media Policies for Staff Members
  • Topics of Discussion that the audience connects with
  • What kind of advice is ‘ok’ to deliver online and what is Not
  • Who will manage the online community once it is in place

Here is a super reference guide for a complete list of Social Media Handbooks & Policies from the largest companies and brands in the nation.

Check out the below [Infographic] and please share any other information that you feel that you would add to this!

Social Media in Healthcare

Via: PowerDMS

 


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Caregiver Guilt When it Comes Time to Choose In Home Health Care

Guilt, whether genuine or self-imposed, it can be  an emotion almost everyone deals with at one point or another. If you are caring for an elderly or ill loved one, this emotion can become almost crippling.

 

Consider this scenario: You are the responsible caregiver who has been placed in charge of an ill, aging or disabled individual. Although you dearly love this person, sometimes you need a break. After many months have passed, you may have fleeting thoughts of a nursing home or find yourself longing for a former time, when you enjoyed the freedom to come and go as you please.

What once was a loving duty has now become a burden. When you catch yourself thinking this way, you experience waves of overwhelming guilt.

“How could you feel this way? How could you be so selfish?” you wonder to yourself.

Rest assured, these thoughts and longings are completely normal and they certainly don’t make you a bad person..

When these feelings occur, it may be time to hire skilled nursing care for help at home.

 

Properly Dealing With Guilt

Many times, problems arise when you have unrealistic expectations. You may feel as if your entire life should be focused on the sick individual in your care, at the expense of all other things in your life. Sometimes, though, it is important to take a step back so you can take care of yourself.

Here are some additional tips for dealing with the guilt you may be experiencing as a caregiver.

  • Accept and Ask For Help- Sometimes you just can’t do everything by yourself. If you are struggling with your responsibilities, you may want to consider hiring home health care services. You will receive loving skilled nursing care for as little as a few hours each week to full time assistance. Even a few hours away from your responsibilities may help you to unwind, de-stress, and focus on yourself.
  • Acknowledge All of Your Emotions- No matter what you are feeling, don’t ignore your emotions. You may feel stressed, angry, guilty, frustrated, or even sad, and you need to own these feelings. Share these emotions with your friends, relatives, or even your therapist.
  • Pay Attention To Your Own Health- Don’t let your responsibilities as a caregiver keep you from taking care of yourself. Eat right, exercise, monitor your medical problems, and get enough sleep each night and have your own support system. Balancing caregiving and your own life is important. Be Sure to still have Fun!

If you are feeling guilty about hiring private home care, remember that taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity.

And whether you are hiring help for your loved one in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Englewood or Port Charlotte, Florida  it is important to keep in mind that guilty feelings are normal, but they should not keep you from providing your loved one with the quality care they deserve.

HHH-LogoWith caring and professional help at home, you and your loved one will both enjoy a richer, more full quality of life. this is exactly what we offer at Help at Home Homecare- Call or Contact us for a Free Consultation.

 

Related Article: It’s emotional-Coping with the Emotions of a Caregiver

Healthful New Year’s Resolutions That You Truly Should Make

To be totally awesomeIt’s that time of year again, when many of us start to evaluate our inner and outer selves and see where we need to set the bar higher for the upcoming year. If you are a resolution maker, then in order to succeed here are a few tips that will help you achieve your goals for 2012.

Experimental psychologist, Richard Wiseman, tracked over 3000 people who were attempting to meet their New Year’s Resolutions. In this study:

  • 52% thought that they would succeed
  • One year later, only 12% actually did succeed
These results should lead us to come to some concrete revelations. To start, we should really make the kind of New Year’s Resolutions that we know that we can succeed at:
  1. Make only One Major Resolution-And then..Just Do It!  Look at your life. Really come to terms with yourself and what area (s)  you need to resolve to change, then set forth to meet your goal. You then will be able to offer the best you to yourself and your family!
  2. Make a Healthful Resolution– Would it be best for you to loose weight, exercise or perhaps you should truly just make an appointment with your primary care provider to finally have the blood work and physical exam that you have been putting off? Whatever the case may be, prioritize your health and wellness plan for yourself and assist your loved ones in doing so also. Take the time to sit down with a loved one to assess where they are at physically and mentally and check in on how they are doing. Showing empathy and caring about others is a wonderful way to stay happy!
  3. Make a Plan and Stick to it! – It’s been said that having a plan or goal and working that plan by writing it down can help keep you on track to achieving that goal. You can even amplify this by showing it to others and posting it in a prominent place so that you allow yourself to be held accountable for your actions. If it’s truly what you focus on, you’ll stay on track and keep a positive attitude.
  4. Partner for Success! Grab a buddy, talk about your Resolutions together and create healthful habits that will last far beyond 2012 together!
  5. Make a Resolution that will Bless Others, not just yourself! – Don’t focus so much of your time and effort on yourself. By doing so, you will find your level of satisfaction with your life go up and your relationships flourish. When you spend time focusing on your family, loved ones and building relationships, you’ll be sure to have an even more fulfilling year than ever before!
Have any other New Year’s Resolution tips to share? WE always welcome your comments and suggestions- We’re looking forward to an Awesome 2012!
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5 Signs it May be Time for In Home Health Care

It is vital, as those we love begin to enter new stages of life, that we are able to recognize situations that may be early warning signs of trouble ahead.

Here are five signs it may be time to look into in home care options.

More and more people in their golden years are turning to In Home Health Care. This genre of private duty health care is not only for those who cannot provide for themselves, but also for those who may need just a little more help, whether in the form of running errands or assisting with household chores, companion care and medication management.

There are situations that arise that are solid indicators that it indeed may be time to look into assisting your loved one in the comfort of their own home by contacting an in home care provider and/or service.

 1. Trouble with Household Chores

Admit it, as we age household chores become more difficult. When everyday household chores become more than just nuisances for your loved ones, it may be time to consider the assistance of private in home care. If you find them struggling to accomplish tasks such as sweeping, dusting, an cleaning,chances are they may enjoy having additional help around the house to tackle some of the more taxing chores.

An early warning sign of trouble with household chores is a home environment that always was clean and tidy but has recently become increasingly cluttered. Spills that aren’t wiped up, food in the refrigerator months past the expiration date, trash that isn’t removed, and piles of clutter are signs that help may be needed.

2. Limited Mobility

When we’re nestled in our favorite chair, we may not feel the need to move a muscle. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with relaxation, especially when it’s complemented by a healthy diet and an exercise routine. However, if your loved one finds it challenging to make their way up stairs or if they fear slipping in the bathtub, you may want to look into skilled nursing care.

Lack of physical activity can lead to muscle atrophy and an even more complicated situation. If your elderly parents are spending most of their hours sitting or lying down, part time or full time skilled nursing care can provide just the boost and assistance they need to enjoy outdoor activity and a better quality of life.

 3.  Problems Organizing Medications

Keeping up with medication times and amounts can be confusing. If you or your loved one is missing doses or experiencing frustration when it comes to understanding medications, there’s no reason for it. A unique schedule of daily or weekly visits from an RN. or LPN. to help with medications can provide the relief and peace of mind necessary, without any intrusion on daily living.

 4.  Decrease in Personal Care

One of the first signs that help may be needed is a marked decrease in personal care and hygiene. Often, elderly parents begin to neglect personal hygiene after a spouse or companion passes on. This may simply be a sign of loneliness or slight depression. Extra help through in home care can provide the necessary interaction that can ultimately serve two purposes; personal care assistance and a companion care- friendship that can help keep an elderly adult from sinking into isolation or a decreased will to thrive.

5. Trouble Driving

Have you noticed unexplained dents and scratches in your aging parent’s vehicle? Has an increase in traffic tickets or warnings caused concern? If your elderly parents can no longer get from point A to point B safely, they may feel embarrassed or a sense of helplessness. It may be time for help. Not only does our private in home care provide nursing assistance, but we also help with errands, without causing your parent or loved one to feel a lack of control of their life.

Accidents can happen, especially as your loved ones begin to age. Fortunately, they can easily be prevented by careful, constant awareness of any health changes that are taking place. One of the best ways to avoid a crisis situation is by considering in home care long before an emergency situation occurs.

If you’ve noticed any of the above five warning signs, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our services can be tailored to fit your loved one’s unique needs. You’ll find that our private in home care will provide youwith peace of mind without infringing on your parent’s feelings of independence.

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