Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!

Aging can present a lot of emotions because, plain and simple, change is uncomfortable. How we look from age 20 to age 40 to age 85 will shift. The way and speed at which we move may be different. How we’ve done everything we’ve known for years can all change faster than we ever dreamed.

The more we change, the harder it can be to stay optimistic about the future. No one wants to worry about who will help them get out of bed or a chair or help them walk safely to the restroom. It’s common for this to weigh heavily on our minds as we age.

We all value our independence. It gives us the freedom to live our lives how we want. Fear of the unknown can take over and make us feel bleak about the future. Thankfully, we don’t have to do it alone. There are medical and professional providers to help ease this burden and gift that we call aging.

Finding Answers

It would be great to have an easy button, a magic wand, or a miracle pill to fix it all. Unfortunately, we all know that’s not an option. One excellent way to improve your outlook for the future is through keeping your abilities. To maintain your abilities, it’s necessary to stay in motion. When doing that is unsafe, painful, or slow, it can seem like an uphill battle. Thankfully, physical therapy can be a helpful way to stay moving!

Physical therapy can help people regain their ability to move freely, safely, and independently. Not having to fear falling or that every step will cause pain can offer some hope. Beyond the hope of safe and pain-free movement, if seniors keep up with exercising and staying mobile after treatment, they can experience more independence and better life satisfaction.

Barriers to Physical Therapy

  1. “I don’t want to.” We all need days of rest, and that’s ok. But too many days of rest and skipping movement can permanently impact your life and your chances to regain your abilities. Think about the future before you habitually skip workouts or therapy sessions.
  • “I can’t drive.” Living in a rural area away from services is another barrier. Thankfully, a few home health providers can also offer physical therapy right where you call home. CaringEdge is one such provider; they see patients at home or on-site in senior living communities.
  • “It’s icy.” Ice and snow don’t help those with limited mobility, and injuries can set folks back. If you’re trying to get to appointments to improve your health, be safe on the ice, or see if providers can come to visit you at home instead of going out. If you must leave, get someone to help you safely navigate the slick sidewalks.
  • “It hurts.”  If you’re having pain, your healthcare providers must know so they can complete the proper tests and suggest the right approach to care. Physical therapy may help, but the therapists must know how you are feeling so you can benefit from the treatment and not get worse.
  • “It costs too much!” Surprisingly, physical therapy can be VERY affordable. It’s coverable under most major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

The cost of losing independence and abilities can be more significant than a co-pay! If you have coverage questions, please ask your doctor or contact CaringEdge.

Honesty is Best

If you’re feeling unsteady, you’ve had falls you’re not telling your family about, or you’re just not feeling as strong as you used to be, check with your doctor, and don’t wait. Share your pain points, fears, and your goals. Aging doesn’t have to come with so much anxiety and uncertainty with the right help in place.

If you or someone you care about could benefit from physical therapy, or you’d like to learn more, drop us a line at info@caringedge.com. We’ve helped many seniors improve their lives and find the gold in their golden years!

How to Stay Safe in the Tub

How to Stay Safe in the Tub

elegant bathroom design

Bathtime should be relaxing! Whether you like to soak your cares away in a tub filled with bubbles or prefer a warm shower, these cares shouldn’t add stress. For some, bathtime has caused falls, injuries, or near misses to the point that it’s more hassle than self-care should be.

January is many things, but it’s also bathtub safety month. According to the National Council on Aging, 80% of senior falls happen in the bathroom. That number is alarming, but prevention is possible.

What Keeps People from Enjoying Bathtime?

  • Fear of falling
  • Prior falls
  • Pain
  • Memory loss
  • Limited mobility
  • Inaccessible bathtub/shower
  • Injuries
  • Diminished strength
  • Limited range of motion
  • Loss of balance

 Bringing Relaxation Back

If you’ve had an injury or are experiencing pain, consult your doctor to determine if your insurance will cover outpatient therapy. Medicare may cover the bill.

Outpatient physical or occupational therapy can help you regain strength and balance and teach you new techniques to safely get in and out of the shower or tub. Outpatient therapists can show you how to move more painlessly based on your needs. Best of all, these experts can recommend everyday exercises to help you stay strong even after you recover.

Therapists may also recommend some helpful equipment to help keep you safe. Shower chairs, grab bars, hand-held shower heads, and long-handled sponges are all useful for safe bathing/showering.

Durable medical equipment comes in different heights, sizes, and weight capacities. Outpatient occupational and physical therapy specialists can offer expertise on which products are appropriate for you and your bathroom.

Be cautious when choosing bathroom décor and equipment on your own. Stick-on grab bars are readily available, easy to install, and may be fashionable, but perhaps dangerous to use if they don’t stay in place.

Set up your bathtime to have toiletries easy to grab once you’re finished. Be sure you have proper lighting and that rugs are firmly secured to the floor before hopping in the tub.

Adding a Layer of Safety

Having someone to help you safely step into the tub or wash your back can reduce the risk of falling. If fear or dignity keeps you from a thorough wash, hiring a trusted professional rather than asking a family member can be beneficial. Each person’s comfort level differs, but having family help with the most personal care doesn’t work for everyone.

Regardless of who helps you, ask them to look over your skin during the process. Skin breakdown can affect overall health. Wounds that don’t heal properly can create pain and potentially need antibiotics, wound care, surgeries, or hospitalization.

Skin Checks

  • Sores
  • Blisters
  • Bruises
  • Wounds
  • Skin tears
  • Changes in your skin or moles

CaringEdge can offer home health services that can help you enjoy bathtime again. They can provide home health services from a nurse to address medication safety or outpatient therapists to help you regain your strength and independence with tasks of daily living like bathing. Prevention is always best, so consider getting help before health problems escalate from falls to skin breakdown or more complex issues. Please get in touch with us to learn more at info@caringedge.com.

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease in the Elderly

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease in the Elderly

understaning parkinsons disease in the elderly

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.

Conclusion

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.

Celebrating the Season of Giving and Caring with CaringEdge Health Services

Celebrating the Season of Giving and Caring with CaringEdge Health Services

caringedge happy holidays

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.

Warmest Wishes,

CaringEdge Health Services

caringedge pt amanda and ruth
Managing Care Transitions for Seniors

Managing Care Transitions for Seniors

caringedge managing care transitions for seniors

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.

Ensuring Medication Safety in Home Care

Ensuring Medication Safety in Home Care

caringedge ensuring medication safety in home care

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.