Importance of Elderly Safety and Non-Medical Home Care

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The wide array of duties that a home care aide performs can mean that sometimes he or she will come across safety concerns. As a home care franchise owner, it is important for you or your manager to devise and implement policies and procedures necessary for the safety of both the field staff and the clients of your home care business. Careful employee assessment is necessary to ensure that your field staff is qualified and capable of dealing with any safety issues which may arise, and careful patient assessment procedures should be employed to ensure that the client is receiving the level of care he or she requires. Here are some safety considerations our non-medical home caregiver  may encounter.

Personal Safety 

Non-medical home caregiver must first protect themselves before they can adequately care for others. This includes being trained in proper body mechanics to safely move and lift patients without injury to themselves or the patient. Home aides must wear proper clothing and shoes, and should be provided with gloves and masks. They should be cautious in unfamiliar neighborhoods and when working late at night.

Patient Health Issues 

Aides who are responsible for helping with medication management must ensure each patient receives the correct medications on time. They also must protect their patients from common home injuries, like falls and burns, so any spills must be cleaned up and careful monitoring of any electrical or flammable appliances must be observed. If an aide suspects that a patient is experiencing more serious health problems than he or she is trained to handle, the health problems should be reported to the patient’s family or primary medical professionals. Confidentiality is especially important when discussing a patient’s health information must never be communicated to anyone who isn’t authorized to receive it.

By devising and implementing appropriate safety policies and procedures, you can reduce the chances of accidents or problems in your home care business. Properly trained employees and a good management and support team are vital to keeping your business running smoothly and safely.

To Know more about Naamcare Non-medical Service

Are you interested in learning more about what safety and non medical home care entails and how it can help your senior loved one live a richer, more independent life at home, for more information and to schedule your consultation with one of our care experts. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Simple Strategies to Improve Nutrition in Elderly People

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I have long been concerned about the nutritional adequacy of the diets of most of our senior citizens whether resident in their own homes or in various forms of care. Very often, when left to their own devices many older people cannot be bothered to prepare proper meals and many of them fall into a toast and tea or coffee regime: they do what is easiest without recognizing or realizing the longer term consequences of this behaviour. They often become seriously under nourished. Many do not maintain an adequate intake of fluids,  particularly water, sometimes due to fear of incontinence or of inability to get to the toilet in time, even when they have dementia. Dehydration may cause brain shrinkage, headaches, memory loss and an inability to think clearly and logically. It can also cause serious kidney malfunction.

As we age, we often become less active physically and stress levels should diminish all of which reduces our energy intake requirements. A situation which, in combination with a declining digestive system, amplifies the requirement to maintain a nutritionally adequate and balanced diet. This also maintains the immune system, body warmth, energy levels, mental activity and the body’s natural healing and repair functions. Almost conversely, it becomes more critical that as the food quantity diminishes the need for appropriate fundamental quality and adequate nutritional balance increases. To avoid doing the elderly a grave disservice we need to better understand and provide for their nutritional needs taking into account the issues that also arise from their aging metabolisms.

I also believe that it is important for the elderly to remain as physically active as possible in order to maintain bone and muscular strength as well as their balance and blood circulation. Sadly, there are many older men in nursing homes, and elsewhere, who appear to be losing weight and muscle tone through being inadequately fed: quantity and quality wise. There are also increasing numbers of elderly women with open, ulcerated sores on their shins that will not heal: due often to the combined lack of an adequate diet and physical activity regime causing poor blood circulation. They all require quality sources of protein and vegetables in their diets not snacks, convenience foods, bread, cakes and biscuits etc.

The maintenance of good nutritional status in this group is critical. The elderly have the right to enjoy healthy, productive and fulfilling lives. Better nutrition will ensure greater independence for longer, better quality of life, higher immunity, lower mortality and less need to progress to higher, more expensive forms of care.

All human beings need to eat their body weight in quality food per month if they are to maintain body weight and good health. This requirement is inescapable. If there is insufficient food the outcome is loss of weight, malnutrition and a declining immune system leading to poorer quality of life, ill health and reduced life expectancy.

Preventing falls in the elderly

Falls can happen to anyone, but, unfortunately, as you grow older falls can become more common and you are more likely to injure yourself.

Most elderly people fall in and around the home. Falls are also common in aged care homes. If you have a serious injury it can lead to a change in where you live.

The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to help prevent falls and minimize your injuries if you do fall. Knowing your risk factors and taking a few precautions is a good start.

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What causes falls in the elderly?

As you grow older, changes in your body such as vision problems, weakening muscles and stiffening joints can increase your chances of falling. Falls can also be a sign of a new health problem, medication side effects or balance problems. Even short-term illnesses (such as the flu and other infections) or surgery can temporarily increase the risk of falling.

If you’ve had a fall in the past six months, your chances of falling may be increased. There are many factors that can increase the risks of falling. These include:

Home hazards

  • poor footwear such as loose slippers, shoes that don’t fit properly
  • indoor hazards such as internal steps, rugs on the floor, slippery tiles in the bathroom, inadequate lighting between the bed and the bathroom or toilet at night
  • hazards in the garden and outside areas of the house such as outside steps which don’t have handrails or are slippery, and uneven footpaths

Sensory and balance problems

  • muscle weakness
  • low vision or blindness
  • poor balance
  • reduced sensation

Medicines

Chronic diseases

  • stroke
  • incontinence
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • low vision or blindness
  • dementia
  • delirium
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • osteoporosis

What can I do to reduce my risk of falling?

Things you can do to reduce your risk of falling include:

  • eating healthy and nutritious food
  • drinking enough fluids
  • maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, with regular exercise to prevent your muscles weakening and joints stiffening such as tai chi
  • taking medication only as prescribed
  • wearing the right shoes – comfortable, firm-fitting, flat shoes with a low wide heel, laces, buckles or Velcro fastenings and rubber soles that grip
  • wearing slippers which are good fitting
  • not walking in socks
  • making sure clothing is not too long causing a trip hazard (touching the floor)
  • hazard proofing your home to make it as safe as possible – removing slip or trip hazards like loose rugs or mats and repairing or replacing worn areas of carpets
  • wiping up spills immediately
  • making sure there is adequate lighting, especially at night
  • using your walking aid at all times
  • installing grab rails in the bathroom
  • keeping pathways in good repair and clean
  • marking the edge of steps so they are easy to see.

Most falls can be prevented. You have the power to reduce your risk and protect your older loved ones from a serious fall. Stay safe by following these tips!

 

How In-Home Caregivers Handle Seniors with Depression

Caregiving means different things to different people; some need physical care, some need emotional care, and others may need both. Whatever the case, it’s up to the in-home caregiver to provide the care recipient with the care that they need. Depression in seniors can be difficult to deal with, and it requires special attention. If you’d like to learn how to handle caregiving for seniors with depression, keep on reading.

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Get Involved in Treatments

Caregivers should learn about the care plan for their senior with depression and be a part of it. Sticking to their treatment can be tough for seniors, so having someone to encourage them and give them an extra push can’t hurt. Helping them with their treatment will let them know that they’re not alone and that they have your support no matter what.

Watch and Listen for Signs

If your suspect your senior of experiencing depression for the first time or you think they may be relapsing after being on a course of treatment, the best thing to do is take them to the doctor and get a professional opinion. Early stages of depression include consistent sadness or crying, anxiety, agitation and aggression, self-blame, feelings of helplessness, and loss of self-esteem.

Keep Up to Date with Doctor Visits

The best thing to do for your senior with depression is to keep up with their doctor visits. It may be difficult to get them out of bed much less get them out of the house some days, but it’s what’s best for them. Going to all their appointments is important since their doctor may notice things that you haven’t picked up on, which could possibly call for an adjustment in their care plan. Not to mention, the little outing couldn’t hurt.

Exercising Routine

Exercising has been found to reduce the effect of depression—and it doesn’t even have to be intense. Taking occasional walks during the day for 30 to 45 minutes can reduce symptoms in your senior. Work them up to these walks by doing a little bit every day and slowing going for a little bit longer than the day before. Take water and bench breaks often when needed.

Provide Emotional Support

The main thing your elder probably wants from you is to know that you’re there. They may not open up and talk to you about their feelings, but knowing that they have someone who care and that’ll listen to them can help more than you’d imagine. In-home senior caregivers need to remember that patience is key and that exuding emotions like anger and annoyance will affect their senior, whether they say it outright or not.

Get a Second Opinion

Seniors with depression can be a lot to handle, and you don’t have to do it on your own. The caregivers at Naamcare are able to provide additional support to cater to elders with depression and other mental health conditions. Our experienced staff is trained to handle the difficult issues that may arise in situations like these, so you can have peace of mind when you leave your senior their capable hands. If you’d like to learn more about how we can assist you can your family members, please feel free to contact us by phone or e-mail.

Convincing a loved one to get Home Care

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Surprisingly, many family members resist in home care. Frequently our aging parents refuse help, despite their desire to remain at home. Mom or Dad often express that outside help is not necessary and that they are capable of managing on their own. Hiring a caregiver is seen by many seniors as a threat to their independence and an invasion of privacy. Please see below for some suggestions on how to approach the subject with your loved ones.

1. Work with the more independent parent

In most homes there is a more independent parent. When both parents live in the home together, it can be beneficial to advise that the other parents will benefit from this additional support (when in truth both will).  This can help alleviate some of the distress and influence the decision making process.

2. Get the caregiver’s foot in the door

Secondly, suggest hiring a caregiver to manage a few household chores and NOT actual hands-on care or personal assistance. This can be seen as minimal help and less threatening to independence. This entrance into the home can expand into other services. The emphasis on the household chores and cooking / food shopping is an easy discussion. Once they see the value add of this caregiver and build a trusting relationship, it will be easy to ensure they get the help they need.

3. Explain to your parent that you need help

When a parent lives alone or with you, discuss how you need help and assistance in the home for peace of mind. Explain to your parent that it would not only reduce your concerns, but also alleviate some of the tasks you are required to do. An easy suggestion can be a housekeeper to reduce managing daily household chores (cleaning, shopping, meals, and laundry). Many times family members are working caregivers, so suggest that by having a companion stay or assist with these tasks would relieve your of worries.

4. Call a trusted professional

Seeking help and advice is never a bad thing. Finding a  trusted professional that your parents respect may lead to them heading the advice. It might be surprising their willingness to accept the advice of a long time family physician, a former or current home health nurse, or a family friend in the medical field. This individual can be used to sway your parents opinions and relay your concerns.

5. Resistance is not Personal

In many families, your conflicting role as the child and caregiver hinder your well-meaning attempts at helping your parents. The basis for your actions should not be confused by misguided guilt. Therefore, do not take their rebuttals personally or offensively, but rather focus on a necessary means to an end.

Providing Care for an Elderly

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When your loved one needs to be cared for, most adult children or family members want to be the caregiver of their ill loved one. However, being a caregiver is more complicated than just agreeing to do it. You need to have a clear picture of what your loved one will need help with, how healthy they are, and what tasks they will be able to accomplish alone. Here are just a few tips to help your new journey as a family caregiver go as smoothly as possible.

Talk to the elder

Before beginning the job, sit down with the senior to discuss what will be required as the caregiver. What tasks will you be responsible for? Is all of their medical and financial paperwork in order? Where are all of the important documents that you may need sometime in the future, such as the birth certificate, marriage certificate, insurance information, power of attorney, and any other documents you may need? Having a caregiving plan established with your elderly parent will ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Frequently communicate with the doctor

Especially if the senior is suffering from a medical condition or disease, you will need to frequently talk to their doctor. Constantly getting updates on your loved one’s health will give you an idea of what to expect in the future.

Know your limit.

While you may want to do everything for the elder, there are some things that you either are not capable of helping with or do not have the time for. Trying to do more than you can handle will quickly lead you to feel burned out or depressed. Know your limits and do not be afraid to tell them no.

Ask for help

Most caregivers need to take a break at some point, and quite frankly, they deserve it. After all of the hours spent caring for their loved one, they deserve to spend some time focusing on themselves for a change. When you feel like you are ready to step away from the caregiving role for a short amount of time, a senior care provider can be hired to take over. Of course, this does not mean you are permanently being replaced. You can resume your position whenever you are able to.

Determine their physical and emotional needs

Follow the senior around for a day, observing what they are able to do and what they need help with. This will give you a better idea of how you can help make their life easier.

Caregiving can be a very fulfilling role if you are prepared. These tips are the perfect place to start if you are new to the role.

4 ways of Eldercare during winter

Though the body and the mind have gone through various climatic conditions, our parents haven’t taken any precautions for them as they thought they were made of steel. But now, they would hesitate to let us know, they need a blanket as they feel unusually cold because of the winter weather.

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Here are 4 ways that would help you to take care of your elders at home.

Dress & Accessories:

Always keep elders at home, warm with blankets/rugs/sweaters to avoid going hypothermia (low temperature). The elderly are particularly prone to become severely chilled because they have less fat, slower blood circulation and a more sluggish digestion. It is always advisable to have a medical emergency contact number handy during such weather conditions.

With respect to the accessories, be sure that they have rubber-soled shoes and new treads on their walker or cane to maximize a senior’s stability.

Eliminate winter depression:

As it will be difficult and dangerous some time to get around, many elders have less contact with friends/family during cold months. This can create a sense of loneliness. To help avoid this issue, family members can visit their elders as often as possible; even a short, daily phone call will make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a companion service to visit their friends for a shorter distance.

Plan ahead for routine activities:

You can accompany elders for all important activities to be done – banking, EB, etc. which can’t wait. It can also be done with the help of a home need service providers or arrange a companion to accompany your elders for their safe accomplishment.

Eat a varied diet :

All of us don’t feel thirsty during winter. Same is the case with seniors. But it is vital for them to avoid getting dehydrated by increasing the intake of liquid diet. They should take a proper diet as prescribed by their doctor or the geriatric food depending on their health conditions.