Home Health Care | Preventing Falls: 5 Dangers That Affect Seniors’ Stability

Home Health Care | Preventing Falls: 5 Dangers That Affect Seniors’ Stability

Home Health Care  | September 22nd, 2013, the first day of fall, also marks the 6th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging. Falls are the leading cause of injury related emergency department visits for older adults, the major cause of hip fractures and responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries. Numerous states and countries worldwide are now coming together to address this serious and often overlooked health issue.

The goal of this year’s theme, Preventing Falls—One Step at a Time, is to bring together professionals, older adults, caregivers and family members to raise awareness and prevent falls in the older adult population. Forty-three states participated in Falls Prevention Awareness Day last year, joining more than 70 national organizations, including the American Occupational Therapy Association, other professional associations, and federal agencies that comprise the Falls Free© Initiative. The hope is for that number to grow this year and stop the rise in these serious accidents.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year. These falls can be moderate to severe in nature, yet less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it. When a fall occurs, most people assume the contributing factor is an unsafe home environment; however, what most people don’t know is that there are many other risk factors to consider.

“After a fall occurs, many people will begin taking measures to ensure that the safety of their aging loved one is never compromised—home modification is traditionally the first step,” said Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, Senior Vice President of Quality & Clinical Operations for BrightStar Care. “What folks may not realize is there are many other factors that come into play, in addition to an unsafe home environment, that may contribute to falls. It is vital to identify these issues and address them appropriately.”

According to Maguire, these five fall risk factors should be addressed when working to identify the cause of a fall and prevent future falls:

  • Medication interactions. Drugs including sedatives, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics can contribute to falls by reducing mental alertness, worsening balance and gait and causing drops in systolic blood pressure while standing. Mixing multiple medications also increases the risk of falling. To reduce the likelihood of falls, review all medications with the primary doctor and any specialists to identify medications that may cause this side effect.
  • Lack of physical strength and poor balance. Without regular exercise it’s easy to lose muscle tone, strength, bone mass and flexibility. All of these weaknesses are factors that contribute to the severity of a fall. While certain medical conditions can make it harder to exercise, a loved one who has fallen before, even if they weren’t injured, could develop a fear of falling that causes them to limit their activity and be less mobile. Engaging in regular exercise to increase strength and muscle tone and taking extra time when transitioning from one position to another may reduce the risk of falls. Unsure of how to re-start an exercise plan? Engage the doctor’s advice.
  • Impaired vision. Age-related vision diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, alter an older person’s depth perception, visual acuity, peripheral vision and susceptibility to glare. In addition, older adults may no longer be able to recognize visual cues of danger and, in turn, take appropriate action. Although these diseases are sometimes unavoidable, obtaining regular eye exams can reduce the risk of a fall. Adding color and contrast to identify objects, especially safety items like grab bars and handrails may help overcome vision-related issues as well.
  • Home hazards. Poor lighting, loose rugs, lack of grab bars or poorly located/mounted grab bars, and unstable furniture can increase tripping hazards. Improving safety around a loved one’s home by adding grab bars and other safety aids inside and outside of the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving the lighting where needed will aid in decreasing environmental hazards in the home.
  • Chronic conditions. Health issues, such as Parkinson’s or heart disease, greatly increase an older adult’s risk of falling. Understanding the disease process and helping them follow a treatment plan, assisting them to doctor appointments and knowing red flag alerts can reduce fall risk in people suffering from chronic conditions.

“At BrightStar Care, decreasing the risk of falls and educating families about fall risk is a core competency that we pride ourselves in providing,” added Maguire. “We relentlessly track falls that occur both when we are and are not present and we perform an in-depth analysis to reduce the likelihood that it will happen again.”

About BrightStar. Based in Chicago, BrightStar Care is a national franchise with more than 250 locations that provide full-service staffing of medical and non-medical homecare to private clients from children to older adults within their homes, as well as supplemental staffing to healthcare organizations and corporate clients. As the only national private duty home care company to require Joint Commission accreditation at each location, BrightStar locations nationwide are committed to meeting National Patient Safety Goals around fall prevention. BrightStar Care takes a unique approach to decreasing fall risk by pairing their clinical expertise with key client education resources to help and empower both clients and families—a Registered Nurse performs an evaluation of fall risk during initial and subsequent health assessments for every client. Proactive measures to address fall risk are then incorporated into individualized plans of care to promote safety in addition to addressing the specific care needs for each client. –Parent Giving 

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Live-In Care | How Does It Work?

 Live-In Care | How Does It Work?

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Live-In Care | We don’t have a typical customer…

People consider live-in care for a whole variety of reasons, due to a whole range of conditions (from dementia to physical disabilities) and at different points in their lives. Here are just a few examples of circumstances where our carers can help:

  • Visiting (or domiciliary) care is no longer sufficient.
  • A residential care home hasn’t worked out.
  • Couples looking for a care solution that allows them to live together.
  • Younger people who want to live a full life independently.
  • A hospital discharge that’s dependent on 24 hour care.
  • A young person needing a little extra help to embark on their journey into independent adulthood.
  • Short-term care to give a regular carer a break.
  • If you’re seeking an economic alternative to residential care.
  • Or it can simply be because you want to have the choice to live independently in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Living according to your lifestyle

We will work with you and your family to understand what quality of life means to you. We’ll then make sure you achieve it. For some, it’s simply providing the dignity of discrete personal care (toileting and washing), the security of feeling safe at night and help getting in and out of bed. Others appreciate us taking away the burden of remembering medication routines. Many appreciate a helping hand maintaining their high standards of housekeeping and laundry while for others being able to get out in the car, keeping up regular social routines and visiting friends gives them the feeling of freedom they want to preserve. Our carers will cover whatever you and your family want them to help with

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Health Care | Respecting Your Loved Ones’ Feelings

Home health careHome Health Care | Respecting Your Loved Ones’ Feelings

Home Health Care | It happens slowly at first. Over weeks, months, or years you begin to notice that Mom and Dad aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Then one day, you realize that you’ve started making decisions for them. It’s just easier, faster. Eventually, you can see that you’ve become the parent, making decisions large and small. And nobody — not you or your parent — is particularly happy about the arrangement.

Fortunately, there is an alternative scenario.

Elder care experts say cooperative planning, with you and your loved ones making decisions together, results in happier seniors and less-stressed caretakers. “All of us want some participation and some say in what’s happening in our lives”. “You’re going to get a lot more buy-in and a lot more happiness from someone who feels they made some contribution.”

Cooperation doesn’t have to mean a sit-down planning marathon. In fact, Kidd says small, casual questions worked into day-to-day activities is the best approach. “Aging is a fact of life. You don’t want to put your loved ones on the defensive or make them feel degraded,” she says. “Instead, when you’re out shopping for clothes with your mom, mention that you sometimes have trouble with buttons or tight collars. Ease into a conversation. Ask if she ever has trouble getting dressed. Ask what she would like to see happen when and if she gets to the point where she can’t dress herself. If you have the conversation before it becomes a real need, it’s much less emotionally-charged.”

Once a senior, states a preference, the topic can be revisited later, Kidd notes. For example, a parent might say “when I can’t cook for myself anymore, I’m going to go to an assisted living place.” When the day comes and the parent or grandparent clearly isn’t safe at the stove, you can bring up that conversation. Maybe dad or granddad will want to start looking at assisted living apartments, or maybe he’ll decide he’d rather have someone come to the house toprepare meals. You can help him find a home health aide or part-time cook, but the decision was his.

“One of the challenges for adult children is balancing their parents need for autonomy and control with their desire to be helpful and pragmatic,” says Jody Gastfriend, Vice President of Care Management at Care.com and LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker).

“Avoiding an impasse can be done more effectively when you plan ahead. Expressing concerns in an empathic, rather that coercive manner is important in setting the tone for communication. Eliciting your parents’ wishes and fears is particularly valuable because it can set the stage for collaborative problem solving,” says Gastfriend. “An elder who is worried about losing independence may be reluctant to give up driving, but might be willing to share fears of driving on the highway or at night, which can lead to a discussion about alternative transportation. Those who communicate early and often typically have better outcomes and more options for care.”

Read tips on how to talk to your parent about driving.

Of course, advance planning also allows for some revision of pie-in-the-sky dreams that may have taken hold. Many people expect they’ll stay in their own homes until they die, without really thinking about whether they will be capable of maintaining a residence, or even doing simple chores, by themselves. Those who expect to move to a senior-supportive environment may have visions of buying a condo at a resort-style mature adult community that is simply cost-prohibitive. “A lot of a person’s future is determined by finances,” says Kidd. “You really need to ask how your loved one envisions their future and then say ‘what is this going to cost?’ They need to know realistically what their options are while they can understand and state preferences. You may find that your mother – who always said she wanted to go to assisted living – didn’t realize she would have to sell the family home and half her possessions in order to afford the facility she likes.”

Make no mistake: we all grow older and when we do, some shifting of roles is inevitable. Sometimes a capable, can-do adult will suddenly become incapable, at which point loved ones must step in.

“When my father was diagnosed with dementia, we eventually had to take the difficult step of assuming legal guardianship, when he was no longer able to make decisions on his own behalf,” Gastfriend says. “This did not mean, however, that my father was incapable. It is important for caregivers to understand and elicit the strengths and capabilities that may be masked by dementia or other chronic illnesses. I don’t view caregiving as a role reversal-our parents are always our parents, even when they are incapacitated. Rather, caregiving is a redefinition of roles. The caregiving journey often follows an unpredictable and circuitous path, but despite the many hurdles along the way, it can also enrich our lives and our relationships with our loved ones.”

Encourage Cooperative Decision-Making:

  • Engage your parent or grandparent in conversation. Learn how they see their future and how they expect to handle the challenges that come with age.
  • Look at your family resources, both financial and personal. What can you present to your loved one in terms of options?
  • Research external services, facilities and resources. What does the community have to offer? Discuss these options with your senior.
  • Consider your parent or grandparent’s temperament and personality. A social, outgoing senior needs a way to interact with other people. A very private, reserved senior may do better with in-home assistance than in an assisted living setting. Gently steer the conversation to choices that make a good fit.
  • Consider your own needs. It doesn’t help anyone for you to feel stressed, exhausted, broke or guilty. Don’t offer more than you can do. -Care

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Health Care | New Tools To Assess Your Parents’ Driving Ability Pt. 1

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Home Health Care | New Tools To Assess Your Parents’ Driving Ability Pt. 1

Home Health Care  | AARP, The Hartford and MIT AgeLab are offering a new online seminar to help families prepare to talk with older drivers.

With the number of drivers 70 and older increasing and 1 in 5 Americans caring for an older loved one, the number of adults dealing with concerns about their parents’ driving abilities is on the rise. In fact, according to a new survey from The Hartford and MIT AgeLab, almost 1 in 10 adults are worried about an older family member’s driving.

To help families prepare for and initiate thoughtful conversations with older drivers, AARP, The Hartford and MIT AgeLab have teamed up to produce “We Need to Talk,” a free online course that equips family members with information about the emotional connection to driving, observing driving skills and planning the conversation.

“We understand that talking to a parent about their driving can be very difficult,” said Jodi Olshevski, a gerontologist at The Hartford. “If you’re worried, you should find out if your concerns are valid. Learn the warning signs, get in the car and observe the older driver. Once you get the facts and educate yourself about the resources available, you will be in a better position to help.”

Caregiving Concerns About Older Drivers

The new survey also found that:

  • Adults 40-49 are the age group most concerned about an older family member’s driving.
  • Of those concerned, more than 33 percent have not shared their concerns with the older driver.
  • The primary reasons cited for not having the conversation are:
  • Concern that the older driver will have a negative reaction (53 percent)
  • Unsure of how to raise the issue (43 percent)
  • Unsure of transportation alternatives (20 percent)

“Taking time to prepare can alleviate these concerns and help initiate a thoughtful, positive conversation,” said Julie Lee, director of AARP’s Driver Safety Program. “‘We Need to Talk’ helps families think through who the right messenger is, when the right time to talk might be, and provides some conversation starters. It also covers the benefits of a comprehensive driving evaluation and how to design a
transportation plan that provides the driver with alternatives for getting around.”

Know The Driving Warning Signs

Driving behavior warning signs vary. Some of the less serious issues may be overcome with changes in driving behavior or physical fitness, while the more serious behaviors may require immediate action. “Making a single minor driving mistake doesn’t mean that a person needs to stop driving,” said Lisa D’Ambrosio, PhD, research scientist at the MIT AgeLab. “What families need to do is look for patterns of warning signs and for an increase in frequency and severity of the warning signs.” -Parent Giving

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Health Care | Ten Symptoms of Dementia

Home Health Care | Ten Symptoms of Dementia

Home Health Care  | The onset and development of memory loss and dementia can be your biggest concern as a child and caregiver for your parent. Sometimes taking care of the physical and organizational aspects of your parent’s aging process are tiring, but the idea of losing that person cognitively can be almost unbearable. Unfortunately, many of us have to deal with the reality of our parents’ memory loss and dementia.

“Most people’s personality changes a little with age. People affected by dementia may experience a very pronounced personality change; this can happen suddenly or over a longer period of time.”

For people suffering with dementia, dealing with daily life becomes increasingly difficult and they become increasingly incompetent and insecure in normal daily situations. But skills and abilities deeply ingrained by their life history are preserved for a long time; sometimes patients become sensitive to physical contact and showing warmth toward others.

Knowing what to expect will help. Following are 10 symptoms to watch for :

  1. Forgetfulness with effects at work. Most people forget names or appointments sometimes. If this happens more frequently and inexplicable states of confusion become apparent, this could be an indication of a decline in memory function.
  2. Difficulties with familiar activities. People who are very busy are sometimes absent-minded and, for example, forget the pot on the stove. People with dementia possibly forget not only the pot on the stove, but also that they are the one who is cooking.
  3. Language problems. Most people occasionally experience difficulties in finding the right words. Dementia sufferers often cannot remember simple words and instead they use inappropriate ‘fillers,’ which make it difficult to understand the flow of the sentences.
  4. Problems with spatial and temporal orientation. Most people sometimes forget, for example, the day of the week or can get lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Dementia sufferers might be on their own street and no longer know where they are, how they got there or how to get home again.
  5. Impaired capacity of judgment. People don’t always wear the most appropriate clothing for the weather. Dementia sufferers, however, sometimes wear totally inappropriate clothes. For example, they wear a bathrobe while shopping or several blouses on top of each other on a hot summer day.
  6. Problems with abstract thinking. Managing a bank account can be a challenge for many people. Dementia patients can often neither recognize numbers nor carry out simple calculations.
  7. Leaving things behind. From time to time almost everybody leaves keys or a wallet behind. Dementia sufferers, however, might put things in completely inappropriate places, such as putting the iron in the fridge or a watch in the sugar bowl. Afterwards they do not remember where they put these items.
  8. Mood swings and behavioral changes. Everybody has mood swings. People with dementia may have very sudden mood swings, often without discernible cause.
  9. Personality changes. Most people’s personality changes a little with age. People affected by dementia may experience a very pronounced personality change; this can happen suddenly or over a longer period of time. Somebody who is generally friendly, for example, becomes unexpectedly angry, jealous or timid.
  10. Loss of initiative. No one continuously works with the same motivation. Dementia patients sometimes lose the zest in their work and the interest in their hobbies completely without enjoying new activities.  -Parent Giving

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Health Care | Alcohol Drinking Among People Over 65 Pt. 2

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Home Health Care | Alcohol Drinking Among People Over 65 Pt. 2

Home Health Care  | There is also growing evidence that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia is lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers—these neurodegenerative disorders are key causes of disability and death among elderly people. Regular dietary intake of flavonoid-rich foods and/or beverages (like red wine) has been associated with a 50 percent reduction in the risk of dementia, a preservation of cognitive performance, a delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and a reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

On a day to day level, some scientific data shows that quality of life is better and total mortality is lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers—one study demonstrated that regular moderate alcohol consumption increases life span and quality of life for men up to 80 years of age and for women indefinitely.

In another study of almost 25,000 Americans over age 65, those was said they had between 8 and 14 drinks a week did not differ significantly in their characteristics from drinkers consuming 1 to 7 drinks a week, though it’s important to note that heavier drinkers and binge drinkers did not do as well.

The BU statement concluded that since the absolute effects of moderate drinking on cardiovascular disease are much greater in older people than in younger adults, the current limitations on alcohol intake for the elderly may not be appropriate and attempting to persuade elderly people who currently drink moderately, especially healthy moderate and responsible drinkers, to decrease their current intake may not be advisable or in their best health interests.

If you or a loved one are concerned about the amount of alcohol being consumed, keep a record of daily intake over the course of two weeks and talk to your doctor about the totals and about your quality of life and outlook—moderate drinking can be protective, but if the drinking is heavy and could be masking depression or feelings of isolation, those issues need to be addressed. -Parent giving

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Health Care | Health Tip: 6 Steps for Healthy Aging

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Home Health Care | Health Tip: 6 Steps for Healthy Aging

Home Health Care  |  Longer life spans and aging baby boomers will combine to double the population of older Americans to about 72 million by 2030. Heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes continue to be the leading causes of death among older adults. While some risk factors are unavoidable, you can counter many others with simple lifestyle changes.

The latest State of Aging and Health in America 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Dept of Health and Human Services provides a snapshot of our progress in promoting prevention, improving the health and well-being of older adults, and reducing behaviors that contribute to premature death and disability by looking at 15 key health indicators that address health status (physically unhealthy days, frequent mental distress, oral health and disability); health behaviors (physical inactivity, nutrition, obesity and smoking); preventive care and screening (flu and pneumonia vaccine, breast and colorectal cancer screening); and fall injuries for Americans aged 65 years or older. While progress is being made in many areas, not all health goals have been reached. As complex as the problem is, there are health-enhancing steps you can step to ensure a long and healthy life. Many of these steps are inter-related and have a cumulative effect—the more you follow, the greater the benefits. Get started today!

1. Get Screened.
Less than half of men and women aged 65 years or older are up-to-date on preventive services including flu vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, colorectal cancer screening and mammography for women.

2. Get Vaccinated.
Flu and pneumonia combined represent the seventh leading cause of death among adults 65 years or older, despite the availability of effective vaccines. Older adults should get the flu vaccine every year and get the pneumonia vaccine at least once. Don’t have a doctor visit coming up? You can get a flu shot at most chain pharmacies.

3. Be More Physically Active.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things older adults can do for health. Physical activity can prevent many of the health problems that may come with age, including lowering the risk of falls. Get up and get walking—use a pedometer to track steps and note progress. Talk to your doctor about other forms of fitness appropriate for your abilities.

4. Eat Fruits and Vegetables Daily.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and dozens of micronutrients that are important for good health—and that you often can’t get from a daily vitamin supplement.  ?Adults aged 65 years or older should eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables daily and in a rainbow of colors—each one indicates a different group of nutrients.

5. Quit Smoking.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. For help quitting, talk to your doctor about a cessation program that includes support. You can also visitwww.smokefree.gov or call 1-800-Quit-Now.

6. Take Medication for High Blood Pressure.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of illness and death among older adults. Of the almost 67 million Americans with high blood pressure, more than half do not have it under control. Patients should take the initiative to monitor their blood pressure between medical visits, take medications as prescribed, tell their doctor about any side effects, and make lifestyle changes, such as eating a low-sodium diet, exercising, and stopping smoking. Taking prescribed medication is important for another no-symptom risk factor, high cholesterol. Remember, just because you can’t feel it doesn’t mean it isn’t damaging your health. Use a pill organizer to help you stay on schedule. -Parent Giving

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Health Care | Top Tips for DIY Home Safety Pt. 1

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Home Health Care | Top Tips for DIY Home Safety Pt. 1

Home Health Care  | With just a small investment in time and a few dollars, you can make your home safer and more comfortable by following these do-it-yourself tips. All of the home modification suggestions below are easily implemented by you, the homeowner, and do not require the services of a professional contractor. So why wait? Modify your home today and feel happier and more secure.

Top DIY Tips For Home Safety: All Rooms

  1. Keep emergency numbers (911, doctor, relatives, neighbors) in large print near each phone.
  2. Arrange furniture to create unobstructed pathways and strategically place heavy, sturdy furniture pieces for resting and support.
  3. Try to create bright, uniform lighting by adding lights to dark areas and  changing light bulbs to a higher wattage (without exceeding manufacturer’s  maximum).
  4. Ensure ample reading and task lights in the bedroom, kitchen and living room;  consider under-counter lights and natural spectrum desktop or magnifier floor lamps.
  5. Remove personal items, decorations and any clutter on floors, tables and  counters.
  6. Clean out and reorganize contents of closets, cabinets, shelves and pantries for easy access of the most frequently used items.
  7. Remove throw rugs, but if you can’t part with them, secure with double-sided  tape, tacks or a non-skid mat.
  8. Remove or rearrange electrical cords and extension cords that interfere with  pathways.
  9. Make sure electrical outlets are not overloaded with plugs; consider switching  to a surge protector.
  10. Make sure smoke/carbon monoxide detectors have new batteries, are in  working order and are placed near bedroom, kitchen and utility area where your boiler, furnace, hot water heater and washer/dryer may be located.
  11. Keep a working fire extinguisher in the home that is easily accessible,  preferably near the kitchen, and know how to operate it.

Top DIY Tips For Home Safety: Kitchen

  1. Move frequently used small appliances to the counter or waist-height cupboard and near an outlet.
  2. Consider upgrading to small appliances with an automatic shut-off feature such  as a coffee maker, electric kettle, toaster oven and iron.
  3. Reduce the risk of fire around the stovetop area by relocating potentially  flammable fabrics such as curtains, aprons and dish towels; and refrain from  wearing clothing with billowy or wide sleeves when cooking on the stove.
  4. Reduce the risk of burns by placing a heat-resistant surface near the stove, oven and microwave for placing hot pans and dishes; keep potholders and mitts handy.
  5. If you must use a step stool, make sure your foot stool has a support handle and  never use a chair in place of a step stool.

Top DIY Tips For Home Safety: Living Room

  1. Make sure curtains and shades are easy to operate; and consider adding sheers  to reduce glare.
  2. Upgrade to a lighted, big-button universal remote control to easily operate the  television and entertainment system.
  3. Make sure your favorite chair or sofa is easy to sit down in and get up from, and  has sturdy arms for support; otherwise consider a lift chair or uplift seat device.

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Health Care | The Silver Alert System: Finding Our Missing Elderly

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Home Health Care | The Silver Alert System: Finding Our Missing Elderly

 

Home Health Care  |  Modeled after the Amber Alert System, this network helps locate wanderers.

Relatives of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease often have the nagging fear that their loved one might wander away and get lost. It’s estimated that more than 9 of 10 people with dementia who leave the house alone are likely to be unable to find their way home without assistance, giving caregivers and other relatives endless moments of anxiety until their loved one is found.  The Silver Alert System is designed to provide some reassurance to anxious relatives that their missing seniors can be reunited with them. The Silver Alert is patterned after the Amber Alert system, but instead of missing children this one informs the public about missing seniors with mental impairments.

Silver Alert System: How It Works
On a local level, the Silver Alert System works much like the Amber Alert. The missing person incident is reported to the local police. Personal health information may be necessary, and it should show that the person (age 60 or older) suffers from dementia or is otherwise mentally impaired. Relatives should also provide other details that would help in tracking down the missing senior. After verification, the local police inform the state agency tasked to issue alerts.

A statewide Silver Alert is then issued by the state agency. In many states, it’s the Department of Public Safety; in some others, the alert is issued by the State Police, Highway Patrol or Department of Law Enforcement, the State Bureau of Investigation, a State Center for Missing Persons or even the State Attorney General. We at Complete Home Health Care specialize in caring for the elderly.

Once issued, the alert is displayed on electronic highway signs and broadcast on radio and television. There is one difference, however. In the case of Amber Alerts, alerts of missing children immediately interrupt regularly scheduled programming. As currently implemented in the states that have a Silver Alert System in place, the message does not break into regular programming, but is announced on air only during commercial breaks, which occur every hour or half-hour.

To protect privacy, many states require the personal health information to be deleted once the alert has passed.

Silver Alert System: States Setting The Trend
Silver Alert was started in Colorado in 2006. By the end of 2008, 12 other states had implemented a Silver Alert system: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.

This year, several more states, including Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington are considering legislation to set up their own Silver Alert programs.

Success rates have been impressive, although not all states have made their specific results available. Georgia has issued 68 Silver Alerts and all the missing seniors were found. There have been 27 alerts in Florida (which ranks second after California as having the highest population of seniors in the US) and all were found, with six being specifically attributed to the alerts.

Silver Alert System: Going National
Legislation has been filed in Congress that would create a national network for Silver Alerts and provide $10 million in federal funding to help states with their programs. The bill, known as the National Silver Alert Act 2009, was approved by the House last February; it is now awaiting action in the Senate.

Many organizations believe the need for Silver Alerts can only increase in coming years. The proportion of elderly in America will expand as the huge Baby Boomer generation moves into retirement range.

Wandering is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects at least 5.2 million Americans.  The Alzheimer’s Foundation estimates that at least 60 percent of them—3 million people—are likely to wander in the course of their disease. Further statistics indicate that, among people with dementia who wander, at least 50 percent could suffer serious injury or die if they remain missing for more than 24 hours.

Like a missing child, a missing elder can be a family’s worst nightmare. Time is of the essence in these situations. The Silver Alert System is one way to help get seniors back before any harm can come to them –Parent Giving

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Health Care | An Expert’s Advice -Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s

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Home Health Care | An Expert’s Advice -Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s

Home Health Care  | Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia in people over 65. More than 27 percent of Americans have a family member with Alzheimer’s.

Caring for an older loved one is never easy, but Alzheimer’s caregiving presents special challenges. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 40 percent of these caregivers suffer a “high” level of emotional stress. And according to a study published by The Journal of Immunology, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can actually shorten a caregiver’s life by up to 8 years!

The truth is that individuals with Alzheimer’s are extremely difficult to care for, and seeing someone you love slowly slip away takes an incredible emotional toll.

Given the seriousness of symptoms such as memory loss, wandering and hallucination, people with Alzheimer’s often require around the clock care. They cannot be left alone for a minute. And most family caregivers who try to provide this level of 24/7 care, eventually feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

If you’re caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, these strategies should provide some of the help and support you need:

  1. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association or Complete Home Care. They can help you find support groups or organizations for you to join to get information and connect with others just like you.
  2. Arrange For Respite Care. Do not hesitate to call relatives, neighbors or friends and ask for help. Put together a weekly schedule of people you trust. This will allow you the time you need to run errands, buy groceries or take a few hours off from caregiving. Home care agencies, like Complete Home Care, are experts in providing respite care ranging from a few hours day to 24/7 care.
  3. Research Adult Day Care Centers. Programs at adult day care typically run from 9am-4pm. Families can drop off their loved one for the day, knowing they are in a safe, professional environment.
  4. Hire A Geriatric Care Manager. As a result, your stress level will be reduced and your loved one will have your full attention.
  5. Read A Book, Medical Journal Or Go Online. The more you know about Alzheimer’s, the better. Those who are highly informed about the disease will make smarter decisions when it comes to caregiving.

 

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428