Home Health Can Offer Hope for Alzheimer’s

Home Health Can Offer Hope for Alzheimer’s

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June brings us the longest day of the year, the one with the most light. The Alzheimer’s Association honors The Longest Day to raise awareness and funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Across the globe, there are 55 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. As the symptoms progress, it’s important to find the right care, including healthcare services, can help to improve their quality of life.

Many people do not know that Alzheimer’s disease is actually one form of dementia and that it’s the most common. Other examples of dementias include Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is an umbrella term that describes a group of symptoms. The most common symptom widely known is memory loss. Those with dementia can also suffer from increasing confusion, difficulty problem-solving or doing routine tasks, misplacing things, difficulty speaking, mood changes, and withdrawal from social settings.

Additional Symptoms of Alzheimer’s:

  • Day-to-day memory problems
  • Losing/misplacing items
  • Incontinence
  • Depression
  • Anxiety/fearfulness/frustration
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Confusion
  • Frequent falls
  • Communication issues (inability to follow conversations or speak clearly and loudly)
  • Wandering/becoming lost
  • Difficulty chewing/swallowing/frequent choking episodes

Home Health to Support Alzheimer’s Disease

As physical and cognitive changes set in as a result of this disease, patients may not be able to safely complete the care they need each day to remain healthy. Many with Alzheimer’s will require 24-hour care and supervision to stay safe. Combining daily support with home healthcare services can help support a good quality of life.

Home Health Services Offer:

  • Skilled Nursing
  • Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy
  • 24-Hour On-Call Availability
  • Medication Education & Management
  • Patient & Family Education
  • Wound Care
  • Edema Management
  • Case Management
  • Dietary Consulting (by a registered dietician for diabetes and other conditions)
  • Care Planning (for short and long-term needs)

Benefits of Home Health for those with Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Continuity of Care (nurses and therapists will be the same during treatment)
  • Education for Patients, Families, & Caregivers
  • Decreased Anxiety & Depression
  • Improved Communication
  • Enhanced Quality of Life
  • Reduced Hospitalization Rates
  • Better Management of Symptoms
  • Improved Overall Health
  • Maintain Independence
  • Consistent Routines for Predictability
  • Safety & Security in Familiar Surroundings
  • Reduced Travel

Those with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from routines. Even though they may not recall each day or visit by our providers, continuity of care matters. When the same providers see patients, they can get to know each patient’s patterns to identify changes in their demeanors and abilities.

Not having to travel or schedule transportation is very helpful for anyone, but for those with dementia, it’s even more beneficial! Those with dementia cannot easily take transport alone or even attend a medical appointment on their own to report their needs effectively.

When healthcare providers see patients right where they live, each visit is more efficient. A combination of regular and routine on-site healthcare gives those with dementia a wraparound level of support to set them up for better outcomes.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed or suspected of having Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, check in with us! As you plan for the future, we can help. Reach out to us at info@caringedge.com today for a consultation!

Blazing Trails for a Bright Future

Blazing Trails for a Bright Future

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To all the women rolling up their sleeves to make the world a better place, we celebrate YOU this month! It isn’t news to us that women can do all things, and we’re honoring one of ours who keeps getting it done.

This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating Angela Hilleshiem, one of our selfless leaders who has helped inspire many. Angela is the president, CEO, and founder of All Care Health Solutions, CaringEdge, and president and CEO of One Source Home Health and Hospice. These home health organizations serve over 1,000 patients every day across Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

About Angela:  

Angela started her career as a CNA when she was 17 before becoming an RN. Once she got her degree, she quickly moved into a management role as an assistant director of nursing. She enjoyed her leadership role back then so much that she’s remained in leadership.

Today, she has 40 years of experience in healthcare. In the almost two decades she’s spent working in senior living, she has overseen the operations of 137 assisted living facilities and 25 skilled nursing facilities.

Angela’s love for people doesn’t stop when she’s off the clock. She also serves as board president for the Alice Foundation, a nonprofit program that provides temporary custodial care, short-term basic living expenses, transportation, advocacy, medication expenses, assistive devices, utilities, appliances, and companionship to those with chronic diseases and life-threatening illnesses. Angela is also a member of the Idaho Health Care Association board. When she’s not helping others, Angela spends as much time as she can with her daughter.

Building Success:

As it’s often said, great leaders aren’t just born; they’re made. Angela explained that the secret to her success has been surrounding herself with like-minded colleagues who provide care with purpose. She said, “Care is at the forefront of what we do. You can teach a job; you cannot teach or change a personality. A good, honest steward can be taught the job. Everything is possible through education. You have to empower those who work with you to be great. Showing them that what they do is important and matters helps everyone to be able to offer patient care.”

Aside from growth across her organizations, retaining staff has also been a significant success even during challenging times; “We’ve had some excellent key leaders here since we started. It’s not about being at the top; it’s about seeing what everyone else has built. It really isn’t about me; it’s about the people and their growth. The patient care has been extraordinary. We’ve seen incredible outcomes, which comes back to what we do as leaders. It’s been awesome for me to see how people are a part of the solution,” Angela continued.

Role Models:

While Angela has learned from many colleagues and mentors, she credits her parents with the most significant impact. “There have been so many people who have touched my life in so many ways. My parents, specifically, were genuinely encouraging. They always told me I could do whatever I wanted.”

Angela added, “My dad didn’t want me to fall into normal, traditional roles. He said it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female; gender roles should be out of the equation. He taught me how to work hard—I am usually the first person here and the last to leave. My dad was a strong role model.”

Work/Life Balance Thoughts:

A hot topic today is how to balance work and life. Angela has a clear point of view about managing successful businesses and not feeling bogged down; “Love your work so it doesn’t unbalance the rest of your life. It has to do with your passion and finding your purpose so you’re fulfilled at work and at home. What matters to me is being there to help people. Helping others fills my bucket. If I am doing what I love, it doesn’t feel like work because it’s not about the hours.”

Advice For Those Beginning their Careers:

Angela explained, “If anyone else can do it, you can, too. It’s a lot of hard work. Starting is the hardest.”

She also explained that showing yourself grace is important; “Don’t be your worst critic. Love yourself. Love what you’re doing, and go for it. Don’t get in your head. As women, we’re our own worst critics. If you love yourself, others will love who you are, too.”

If you’d like a career with meaning and purpose, consider home healthcare. You’ll help patients live their best lives and learn from some truly outstanding leaders. Click on the links below to learn more:

All Care Health Solutions

CaringEdge

One Source

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

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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

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