As we age, our bodies can begin to experience various forms of wear and tear. Many adults are dealing with the effects of Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurological disorder. At CaringEdge Health Services, we are here to provide you with the necessary information to help you better understand this disorder and the effects it has on the elderly.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that is nearly four times more common in men than in women. It is usually caused by the damage or death of certain nerve cells in the deep parts of the brain, leading to a decrease in dopamine – a chemical that helps to control movement. As cells age, they become more susceptible to damage and death. This leads to symptoms such as impaired mobility, muscle rigidity, speech changes, and difficulties in balance and gait.
Common Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Most people with Parkinson’s disease will experience some, if not all, of the following symptoms. These can vary from person to person and range in severity: Tremors or shaking, depression, memory problems, rigidity in muscles, and stiffness in joints. A decrease in facial expressions and a weakened ability to hug or hold things are also common symptoms. Symptoms in general may be worse with a loss of posture, difficulty rising from chairs, a shuffling gait, and a masked face.
Treating Parkinson’s Disease in the Elderly
Good care for anyone with Parkinson’s disease is essential, but especially for the elderly. Treatment generally includes medications that increase dopamine levels and physical therapy to improve flexibility, coordination, and balance. Diet, exercise, occupational therapy, and psychological therapy can also be beneficial. CaringEdge Health Services is dedicated to providing the best care for elderly individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Understanding the Disease Progression
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, meaning symptoms can worsen over time. The rate of progression varies from person to person, but generally Parkinson’s disease follows a predictable path. In general, the more severe the symptoms at the onset, the faster the rate of progression. As the disease progresses, symptoms may become more difficult to control, which makes it important to seek early diagnosis and treatment.
At CaringEdge Health Services, we strive to provide guidance and support to those dealing with Parkinson’s disease. With the right care, individuals can manage the symptoms and live a high quality of life. It’s important to remember that although Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, it can be managed with the right treatment plan.
As the holiday season approaches, it’s a time of joy, reflection, and gratitude. At CaringEdge Health Services, we understand the importance of this special time, especially for those we serve in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho. Our commitment to providing exceptional home health, hospice, and outpatient therapy is more than just a professional duty; it’s a heartfelt mission to enrich lives, one person at a time.
A Season of Caring
The holidays are often synonymous with family, love, and togetherness. For many of our clients and their families, this season brings unique challenges and emotions. Our dedicated team of healthcare professionals and caregivers becomes an extension of their families, offering not just medical care, but also emotional support and companionship. Whether it’s a friendly chat, a hand to hold, or providing comfort in difficult times, we are there to ensure that the spirit of the holidays is felt by everyone.
Gratitude for Our Team
This season, we extend our deepest gratitude to our incredible team of nurses, therapists, aides, and support staff. Their unwavering dedication, compassion, and professionalism are the heart and soul of CaringEdge Health Services. They brave the winter roads and weather of the Midwest to ensure our clients receive the care and support they need, embodying the true spirit of the holiday season.
Supporting Our Communities
Our commitment to care extends beyond our services. This holiday season, we are actively participating in community events and initiatives across our service areas. From volunteering at local shelters to organizing holiday drives, we believe in giving back and spreading cheer in the communities we are so proud to be a part of.
A Message of Hope and Healing
As we reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one, we are reminded of the resilience and strength of the human spirit. We’ve witnessed remarkable stories of recovery, witnessed the power of compassionate care, and seen firsthand how a supportive community can make a significant difference in people’s lives.
Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours
To our clients and their families, our staff, and the communities we serve, we wish you a holiday season filled with peace, joy, and love. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives. We look forward to continuing our journey together in the coming year and beyond.
At CaringEdge Health Services, we understand the importance of seamless transitions of care for seniors. Many seniors struggle with transitions due to their age and may end up feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty understanding a given care transition. They may also lack the motivation to make necessary changes. It is our mission to ensure that seniors have a successful transition to a new level of care, with minimal disruption of their routine.
Laying the Groundwork for Care Transitions
Planning is a critical part of successful care transitions for seniors. From the beginning, it’s important to decide what kind of care is needed and determine what type of provider is best suited to meet these needs. We work closely with our clients and their family members to develop a personalized plan for care that includes everything from medications and follow-up appointments to transportation arrangements and activity schedules. Once the plan is in place, it’s important to provide the senior with an understanding of their role in the process. This includes providing them with the education and resources they need to ensure a successful transition. We provide our clients with personalized instruction on how to effectively manage their health and ensure that they fully understand their care plan and the expectations that must be met.
Optimizing Transitions of Care
We do everything we can to ensure that our clients’ care transition is successful. This includes providing the necessary information to physicians, specialist, and other providers. We also arrange for family members to be present at meetings to ensure that they understand any changes to their loved one’s care plan. Additionally, we ensure that all our clients have the resources they need to successfully complete their transition of care. This may include providing transportation to and from appointments, helping to develop a healthy routine, organizing medications and supplies, and coordinating follow-up visits.
The Benefits of Care Transitions
Successful transitions of care can make a tremendous difference for seniors. Not only can it help to reduce stress and improve the quality of care, but it can also provide seniors with a greater sense of control over their own healthcare. Many seniors find that their transitions of care have resulted in improved quality of life and increased independence. At CaringEdge Health Services, we prioritize providing our clients with a successful and seamless transition of care. From forming a personalized plan to providing necessary resources and support, we strive to ensure that our clients’ transitions of care are successful and beneficial.
As the baby boomer generation continues to age, new research is uncovering the importance of social connections. With the average life expectancy rising, seniors are spending more of their lives alone, which can lead to an increased risk for serious health issues. In fact, researchers are now finding that loneliness can be as detrimental to your overall health as smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure. Loneliness is defined as a subjective feeling of isolation, and is typically caused by a lack of meaningful social connections. While loneliness can affect people of all ages, seniors are disproportionately at risk due to their increased risk for isolation. This can be due to the death of a spouse, moving to a new area, mobility issues, health complications, and more. There are many physical and psychological impacts of loneliness on seniors. The physical impacts are numerous, and can lead to an increased risk of health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, poor nutrition, and impaired immunity. Moreover, there is an increased risk of psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease. Seniors who are feeling lonely can work to combat this issue by making meaningful changes in their lives. One way to do this is to stay in touch with family and friends, either through in-person visits, phone calls, emails, or other communication methods. Other activities such as joining a club, attending classes or events, volunteering, gardening, pursuing a hobby, or taking a trip can also help to reduce feelings of loneliness. It’s also important for friends and family members of seniors to be aware of the warning signs of loneliness. These can include withdrawal from activities, general disengagement, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, increased reliance on others, health complaints, and changes in sleeping or eating habits. Seniors who are feeling lonely should not hesitate to ask for help. There are numerous support groups available online and in local communities, as well as trained professionals such as social workers or counsellors who can aid in managing loneliness. Additionally, healthcare providers may be able to provide referrals and resources. Despite the many risks and impacts of loneliness on seniors, it is important to remember that there are solutions available and support systems in place. With a few lifestyle changes and access to the resources described above, seniors can start to feel a sense of connection again and improving their overall wellbeing.
When caring for a loved one at home, medication management is one of the most important responsibilities to ensure safety and best health outcomes. As a caregiver, it is important to understand how to properly store medications, identify the right dose and give medications on time, as well as understand the side effects and interactions of the drugs. Keeping medication safety in mind, here are a few key tips to help protect your loved one’s health.
Educate Yourself on the Medication
When administering medications, it is essential to first understand the purpose of the drug and how it is meant to be taken. This means reading the label thoroughly as well as consulting with the doctor or pharmacist before matter. Understanding the implications and potential side-effects is also important. Knowing what drugs should and should not be taken with the medication your loved one is taking is critical, as certain medications can react with each other. Keeping yourself well informed about the medications will help protect your loved one and prevent any mistakes.
Store the Medications Properly
After understanding the medications being taken by your loved one, proper storage should be a priority. It is recommended to keep all medications away from direct light and away from humidity. In addition, it is important to keep all medications in labeled containers and away from children. Beware of using expired medications, as this can cause serious side-effects.
Understand the Dosage
One of the most important steps when giving medications is understanding the dosage. Overdoses or underdoses can cause serious health risks, so it’s important to understand the right amount to give. Generally the doctor or pharmacist will provide instructions about how much medication needs to be given and how many times per day. It is important to have a schedule for taking the medication and use measured spoons for liquid medications when needed.
Monitor the Side Effects/Symptoms
When taking any medication, there are always side effects that can occur. It is important to recognize and understand the side effects that are associated with your loved one’s medications. Different side effects can range from nausea and fatigue to skin rashes and other more serious conditions. In addition, if any of the medications your loved one is taking have been changed recently, it is important to monitor any new symptoms that may emerge. Recognizing any potential changes will help ensure the best health outcomes.
Stay Organized and Communicate
Managing medications may seem like a daunting task, but there are ways to make things easier. Using smartphone apps, such as CareZone, to track medications and set alerts for doses helps ensure that your loved one is taking their medications properly. In addition, if you are caring for your loved one with other family members, it is important to coordinate and share medical information to ensure that all parties are well-informed. Communicating with the doctor and the pharmacist is also important when managing medications.
Ensuring medication safety in home care is not an easy task. However, by educating yourself about the medications, storing them properly, understanding the dosage, monitoring any side effects or potential changes, and staying organized, you will be able to ensure the best health outcomes for your loved one.
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