Don’t Go Falling for It!

Don’t Go Falling for It!

senior man climbing upstairs with walking stick

The majesty of winter is here. You’re bundled up and headed out to adore the beauty and ope! You’re staring up at the universe faster than you can say the word ice.

We’ve all been there. When we were young, we might have a good laugh over it. When we begin to age, each fall can cause panic. So, how do you avoid these nasty little blunders when old man winter sets in?

  • Walk like a penguin with a wide stance
  • Wear ice cleats (YakTrax is a familiar brand)
  • Keep your hands free to catch yourself
  • Use railings whenever it’s possible
  • Keep snow melt or sand handy for sprinkling
  • Take someone’s hand—only if it’s safe
  • Avoid rushing
  • Bundle up (dress for the slide, not the ride—this is usually advice for being on a motorcycle, but it can apply to winter, too)
  • Go through the snow if it’s safer (wet feet/clothing is no fun, but falls can be worse)

What to do After a Fall

If in doubt, have your doctor check you out! Sometimes, you dust off and get up and limp away, only to find that three days later, you’re struggling with pain in your lower back.

Be diligent and seek care if you have any thought that you’re injured, and ALWAYS see a doctor if you hit your head from a fall. It’s just better to be safe than sorry for falls.

It’s also important to track how many falls you’ve had. Those who have fallen often need to see their doctors to learn the root causes. It’s not always a slippery floor. There could be several factors putting someone at risk.

When you see your doctor, list all your symptoms and any changes to your sleeping, eating, or activity patterns before you visit. If you’re taking supplements and medications, be sure to bring a current list and be honest about how you take your medications. If you forget now and again, offer that information, too. Your doctor is not there to scold you, but they want the best for you. Clarity is essential to receive the best treatment!

Home Evaluations & Therapy Services

Therapy services from CaringEdge can help! Our physical and occupational therapists can help you get back to working order if you’re falling or at risk of a fall.

Our occupational and physical therapy staff could give you a lot of tips to improve your safety. One of the most important things they can recommend is the placement of grab bars around your home.

Grab bars are often found in the shower or bathroom, but they should always be purchased and installed by someone knowledgeable about how they work. Stick-on or suction grab bars are unlikely effective and could pose a danger if they come unstuck as you fall and grab them.

Check with your doctor to see if you qualify for outpatient or home health therapy services, or contact us at CaringEdge at info@caringedge.com. We aim to help as many seniors as possible to live independently and safely!

The Secret to a Healthy Heart

The Secret to a Healthy Heart

Ahh, February. It’s almost time for pink and red decorations, gifts from sweethearts, and sugary snacks—everywhere. Don’t forget; it’s American Heart Month, too!

Did you know that more deadly heart attacks happen during the winter and holiday season? How about the fact from the CDC that 1 in 5 people having a heart attack don’t even know they’re having one?

The American Heart Association reported that December 25th has the highest number of heart attacks compared to any other day during the calendar year. The second-highest day is December 26, followed by the third-highest day on the first of January.

What do all these days have in common? Holidays can throw people off their routines. There may be travel, nights spent sleeping poorly on bony hide-a-beds, more visiting into the late-night hours followed by the early morning coffee chatter that throws people off their routines.

As a result of all the socializing and fun, folks may skip more medications, move less, eat more, and may also use more alcohol or too much caffeine. They’re also probably forgetting their recommended eight glasses of water to flush out the holiday fun.

All of these factors compounded may contribute to the uptick in heart attacks around these days of the year. The good news is that all those dates are behind us, and if you’re enjoying this blog, you can share some of this helpful information with your loved ones!

Do you know what the symptoms of a heart attack are? Many folks don’t know that they’re even having a heart attack!

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack:

  • Chest Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn/indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the shoulders, arms, neck, back, jaw/teeth, or upper abdominal area
  • Shortness of breath

Prevention Tips:

  • Exercise
  • Follow a heart-healthy diet
  • See your healthcare provider to know your numbers and your risks
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Use “sometimes” foods and beverages in moderation
  • Work on stress reduction

Regular & Routine Medical Care

Maintain your health through regular visits to your primary care physician. They can recommend specialty care and services such as home health if you are managing chronic conditions, like diabetes, that put you at risk of a heart attack.

Regular cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose checks help your doctor understand your risks so they can advise you on the next steps. Self-care like managing stress, getting enough sleep and exercise, and eating right can also help to reduce the risks.

Self-Care & Diet

In the land of hard work, slowing down can feel impossible. It can even look selfish to some, causing guilt if we take a moment. But to be healthy, we need prep time to schedule workouts, shop and prepare healthy foods, and relax. We also need the ability to exercise safely.

Heating up quick and ready-to-eat sodium-laden prepackaged foods can take a toll. It’s important to make time to prepare and eat healthy meals. You don’t have to do it alone, though. If you’re struggling to adjust your diet, your doctor may recommend the help of a registered dietician through home health to advise you on making the right changes.

Support at Home

If you’re interested in reducing your risk for a heart attack and could use some help, consider CaringEdge. We offer home health services to make you feel your best.

Our home health nurses can monitor your vitals, medications, and any new symptoms you may be having. Dietitians can also offer education on how your nutritional habits impact your health.

With the help of CaringEdge home health and outpatient therapy, you may regain the ability to exercise and move safely and freely around your home. Lastly, with our help, you can learn how to maintain your health and stay independent in your daily activities.

Let CaringEdge set you up for success, and get back to being you again! Reach out to us at info@caringedge.com with any questions you may have about services.

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.

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.

The Impact of Loneliness on Senior Health

The Impact of Loneliness on Senior Health

caringedge effects of loneliness on senior health

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.