Health at Home Senior Life Updates

Health at Home Senior Life Updates

Health at Home Senior Life Updates are helpful pieces of healthy information created for the over-50 crowd. Whether you consider yourself a “senior” or not, these healthy tips can serve as useful reminders for you to take care of yourself. Live Well. Be Well.

Health at Home Senior Life Updates Archive

September 2017

September 2017

Laugh! Using Laughter to Ease Pain

Did you know?

Ten minutes of "belly laughter" could help you...

  • Breathe Deeper,
  • Lower Blood Presure,
  • Help the Body Release Endorphins
    (a natural chemical in our body which helps relieve pain and stimulate feelings of pleasure.)

Speak to your nurse or doctor about your pain experience. When you understand your pain and how to control it, you can continue living the life you choose. Pain can be managed.

August 2017

August 2017

Fight The Flu

Top Flu Fighter Tactics for a Healthier You!

  • GET YOUR FLU SHOT
    (watch for announcement for Flu Vaccince Clinics)
  • WASH YOUR HANDS
  • COVER YOUR COUGH
  • KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR FACE
  • STAY HYDRATED
  • DO NOT VISIT THOSE WHO ARE SICK
    (call them instead)
  • AVOID LARGE CROWDS
    (whenever possible)

July 2017

July 2017

The Challenges & Approaches to Memory Care

Memory loss is a challenge that millions of Americans face each day.   As a caregiver, it may seem as though there is nothing you can do. However, there are many steps to help improve the day to day struggle.

Safety is the #1 priority. Keep your home environment familiar to avoid confusion and promote safety and independence.

  • Remove Hazards such as medications, cleaning products and other chemicals in a locked cabinet.
  • Driving demands good judgment, quick reaction time, and split-second decision-making. Have a conversation early on in the progression of memory loss and put a plan in place. Gradually limit driving to short distances in daylight hours and begin to use other means of transportation to help ease the transition.
  • Prevent wandering. Although wandering is defined as “walking aimlessly with no purpose” there usually is an underlying reason. Rather than telling the person they can’t leave, ask them why they want to leave or where they’re going. Spend a short time talking about their thoughts and then refocus the conversation and begin a new activity. Frequent walks and exercise throughout the day may help to reduce the need to wander.

Promote independence within the safety of your home. Maintain a consistent schedule and place commonly used personal items in a visible, accessible location.   Provide easy to use memory aids such as large print clocks and calendars and telephones with large buttons, voice activation, one-touch emergency numbers and memory, for quick access. Keep essential numbers with a picture of the person they refer to next to the telephone.

Regular mental and physical stimulation helps slow the progression of memory loss. Activities should be in short episodes, easy to accomplish and incorporated into a daily routine. Physical activity also helps to prevent muscle weakness, avoid health complications related to inactivity and reduce stress. Choose activities that are enjoyed and easily accomplished.

Day to day communication may become more difficult as the person is unable to focus or comprehend the meaning of words. Keep conversations simple and repeat the message as often as needed. Avoid the word “remember”. Often, your friend or loved one does not remember and may become frustrated.

The TALK method may help you.

Take it slow and speak in a soft, calm voice and use short, simple sentences.

Approach the person slowly from the front to avoid startling them.

Limit reality checks. Reasoning may not work.

Keep eye contact to keep the person focused. Non-verbal communication, such as posture and eye contact, are key to successful communication. 

Being a caregiver is exhausting and stressful. People with memory loss change and so do their needs. Be realistic and try to accept changes as they occur. Your loved one needs you, and you are there. That should make you feel proud. Give yourself credit, not guilt. Also, allow yourself to grieve your losses.

If you experience symptoms of caregiver stress, use relaxation techniques that work for you, and consult your doctor. Watch your diet, exercise and get plenty of rest. You are not failing as a caregiver by asking others for assistance. Ask for help from family and friends so you can regularly attend social functions, shop or explore a new hobby. Seek the support of community resources such as the Alzheimer’s Association support group meetings.

Although you may not be able to eliminate your stress, you can find effective ways to manage it and prevent the impact it can have on your health and quality of life. For more information and support contact your Health at Home private duty or home health care agency.

By Susan Wilson, RN, MPH; Director of Education

June 2017

June 2017

Stay Cool. Stay Hydrated. Stay Summer Safe!

  • Limit outdoor activity to morning or evening Noon to 3:00 pm is the hottest part of the day (Take regular breaks in the shade).
  • Bring Water With You on Outdoor Excursions Take a drink about every 20 minutes
  • Drink Plenty of Water or Sports Drinks Depending on temperature, humidity, & activity
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat in the sun Avoid direct sunlight
  • Eat fresh fruit A good source of nutrition & fluids
  • Talk to your doctor about what's right for YOU Prescribed fluid restrictions may need adjusting for the heat
  • Know the signs of dehydration Thirst, flushed skin, headache, fever, dizziness, rapid pulse & difficulty breathing

May 2017

May 2017

Here comes the Sun! Stay Safe!

Check your skin at least Monthly and report any of the following to your doctor:

  • Asymmetry, if one half of a mole or birthmark doesn't match the other half in color or shape.
  • Borders of a melanoma are usually irregular and appear scalloped, uneven or blurred.
  • Colors can range from red, blue, white, gray and black and are not uniform throughout.
  • Diameter is usually greater than 6mm. Report any growth that is larger than a pencil eraser.

Enjoy the outdoors but protect yourself from the dangerous effects of the sun.

  • SLIP! on a shirt
  • SLOP! on sunscreen
  • SLAP! on a hat
  • WRAP! on sunglasses

American Cancer Society - cancer.org

April 2017

April 2017

Tips for Medication Management & Safety

  • KEEP A WRITTEN LIST of all your medications, include prescriptions, herbal medicine, supplements or other over-the-counter medications
  • SHARE YOUR LIST with your physician and with your care providers at every appointment, as well as your designated contact.
  • KNOW THE NAMES of each of your medicines.
  • DO NOT STOP or change medicines without your doctor's approval.
  • NEVER BREAK, crush, or chew tablets without asking your health care provider or pharmacist first.
  • KEEP MEDICATIONS in a cool, dry place, away from bright light, heat and/or moisture.
  • REQUEST LARGE PRINT or high contrast labels of you have trouble reading them.
  • REFILL PRESCRIPTIONS EARLY to avoid running out.
  • USE A PILL BOX, calendar, or other reminders to help you take your medications as directed.

March 2017

March 2017

Celebrate National Nutrition Month®

Plan your Healthy Plate.

Use ChooseMyPlate.gov as your example

HEALTHY EATING TIPS:

  1. EAT A VARIETY OF HEALTHY FOODS LIKE THESE:
    • Green Leafy Vegetables
    • Red and Orange Vegetables
    • Beans and Peas (Legumes)
    • Fruits
    • Whole Grains
    • Fat-free or Low-fat Dairy
    • Protein (Seafood, Lean Meats, Poultry, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds)
    • Healthy Oils and Fats

  2. AVOID SATURATED FATS, TRANS FATS, ADDED SUGARS, AND SODIUM LIKE THESE:
    • Cookies
    • Crackers
    • Snack Foods
    • Biscuits
    • Commercially Prepared Fried Foods
    • Beverages with Added Sugar

  3. CONTROL PORTIONS BY:
    • Eating the Right Amount of Food
    • Use “MyPlate” as an example

February 2017

February 2017

Be Kind to Your Heart

Start with one or two of the following steps and continue, step-by-step, to a healthier you!

  • Reduce stress - take quiet time for yourself.
  • Stop Smoking!
  • Limit the use of alcohol - moderation is key.
  • Watch your weight. Losing as few as 10 pounds can lower the risk for heart disease.
  • Eat Healthy. Eat your vegetables, watch your salt, limit your caffeine, low-fat diet.
  • Limit your caffeine.
  • Become more active.
  • Become a partner with your health care provider.

When you eat right, exercise, don’t smoke and talk to your doctor about any health concerns or symptoms, you can have a Healthy Heart.

January 2017

January 2017

Simple Steps to Stay Independent Longer

MAKE YOUR HOME SAFE

  • Keep floors free of clutter.
  • Remove small rugs or secure them with double sided tape.
  • Add grab bars in the bathroom and shower.
  • Use the handrail when on staircases.
  • Make sure your home has plenty of lighting.

SPEAK UP

Talk openly with your doctor about fall risks and prevention.

KEEP MOVING

Regular exercise can improve your balance.

CHECK YOUR EYES

Have your vision checked at least once a year.

By Holly Kline, PT, COS-C, HCS-D; Corporate Director of Rehabilitation Services


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