Fear of Falling for Seniors

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Most human beings have some sort of innate fear of falling. Whether it be while going down steps or walking across a log, most of us don’t want to fall. As we get older, the fear of falling becomes even more intense. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. Knowing this fact can lead to even more fear of falling for the elderly. There are a few things that older people can do to help prevent falls or help falls be less detrimental. According to the latest research, as people age, muscle mass and strength decline. This can result in falls and impairment while performing ADL’s or (activities of daily living). Just climbing in and out of a bathtub can pose considerable risk for an older person (Janssen). There are a few things you can do to help prevent falls: 1) Exercise regularly (especially weight bearing). That’s because weight bearing exercise strengthens bones and muscles, and improves balance, coordination, and flexibility, which is especially important for older adults. 2) Review medications. Some medications and their interactions with each other may cause dizziness or drowsiness. 3) Get an eye exam. During the exam it may be determined that your eyeglass prescription needs updated or changed. This obviously means you may see better! 4) Get adequate Vitamin D and Calcium supplement. Vitamin D deficiency can be a common problem with the elderly for many reasons such as reduced skin thickness, diminished sunlight exposure, and poor diet. Vitamin D can be photo converted through the skin but can also be obtained through eating fatty fish, fortified milk, or a multivitamin. It is especially important to know that Vitamin D deficiency may cause muscle weakness. Evidence suggests that Vitamin D supplementation may preserve muscle strength and functional ability in high-risk groups, mostly home bound elderly people (Janssen). 5) Keep your homes safer by getting a free safety assessment. Advanced Home Health Care will provide this free service during all initial consultations. By taking these 5 different suggestions under consideration, you may be able to reduce your risk of falling. There are many other ways to help prevent falls as well. There are also resources online such as www.cdc.gov, www.aarp.org, and www.learnnottofall.com. For more information, please contact Jessica at 402-490-3120 for a free consultation and safety assessment. References: Janssen, Hennie, et al. “Vitamin D deficiency, muscle function, and falls in elderly people.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 75.4 (2002): 611-615. web.21 Feb. 2015. Jessica, RN Call today for Skilled Nursing or Senior Care Omaha in the Omaha, Metro 402-490-3120...

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Hidden Costs in Senior Care

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Jessica's Blog | 0 comments

Hidden costs in Senior Care Hidden Costs of Elderly Care Communities There are many ways to refer to an elderly care community. Some call them “nursing homes,” “assisted living facilities,” and even a “rest home.” Most people don’t realize that there are many levels of care and titles when it comes to senior living communities. These details can be confusing and often times misunderstanding. It’s no secret that living in an elderly care community can be expensive. According to a market survey of long-term costs conducted by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, “the national average for assisted living base rates was $3,550 per month in 2012. Genworth Financial conducted a cost of care survey that showed residents of assisted living communities can typically expect a 4.29% annual increase in their base rate” (Shelton). But there are more factors to consider in addition to the “BASE” cost of living. Additional charges may apply according to the residents’ level of care. This means if a resident needs assistance with organizing medications or needs transportation to doctor appointments, there will be charges added to the base cost. A common term used for this is “activities of daily living” or “ADL’s.” ADL’s may include medication management, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, eating, or meal preparation. For instance, if an elderly resident is recovering from knee surgery and needs additional help with bathing for a few weeks, they will be charged additional fees by the facility in which they live. A licensed nurse is usually required to do an assessment on prospective residents prior to admission to care communities. The nurse is qualified to assess whether the resident may need additional help (or assistance) upon admission. During the assessment, the nurse may find that the resident needs help with medication management or help transferring from a wheelchair to bed. This additional help results in additional costs. These additional costs can range from $150 to $700 or more per month. Another hidden fee that most do not consider is the deposit fee. This non-refundable fee can range from $1,000 to $5,000 and covers administrative expenses and covers renovations between residents. In some cases, it makes more sense for the elderly to stay in their own home and pay for in-home care. For instance, if an 85 year old couple can pay for a registered nurse to come once per week and set up medications, take vital signs, and complete a physical assessment, the monthly charge would be $180. If the couple added 5 visits weekly by a caretaker to prepare daily meals, this would only add $900 monthly. This adds up to 20 caretaker visits and 4 RN visits per month for only $1,080 and it...

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Seniors keeping pets

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Jessica's Blog | 0 comments

Keeping Pets can be a Necessity for Seniors A growing number of Seniors are keeping pets throughout the golden years. There are benefits to owning pets at any age, but it is especially nice for seniors.  Often times, it has been the pet that has provided much needed companionship and comfort to its senior owner. Owning a cat or dog can give people a sense of purpose and well-being as they take care of another living creature.  Most pet owners consider their pets “family members.” “We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,” says pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD. He’s a professor of psychology at Miami University. “What [makes] a meaningful relationship varies from person to person.” It’s no doubt that most pet owners develop an attachment to their furry family members.  Because of this bond, it could be devastating for a senior to lose a pet due to their own failing health conditions.  Some seniors have to move out of their family home and into an apartment or retirement home as they lose their independence and self-sufficiency and can’t take their pet(s) with them. As caregivers, we may need to provide care for a client’s pet as well as the client.  At Advanced Home Health Care, LLC, we can provide services to our clients’ pets.  We actually like it very much!  It is our belief that providing great pet care can potentially keep our clients happier and healthier. Studies have shown that petting your dog or cat can lower blood pressure.  Dog owners may walk more which is good for overall health.  Because it feels good to you and your pet, your body may release a relaxation hormone that can cut down on levels of a stress hormone.  “It also soothes your pet,” says Alan Beck, ScD, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. Studies also show that heart attack survivors and people with serious abnormal heart rhythms who own dogs live longer than people with the same heart problems who don’t have pets (Fields, 2013). As family members of seniors, we need to remember these important benefits of keeping pets with their elderly owners.  It’s evident that pets can help with physical well-being and emotional well-being. Source: Lisa Fields, “6 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health”, WebMD site, Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on 24 October, 2013   Jessica, RN Call today for Skilled Nursing or Elder Care in the Omaha, Metro 402-490-3120...

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Malnutrition in Seniors

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Jessica's Blog | 0 comments

Advanced Home Health Care and Nursing is a Nurse owned company that provides Senior Care and Companion Services in Omaha, Nebraska Malnutrition and Dehydration are Often Missed by Caretakers or Healthcare Workers According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, malnutrition can be defined as “the unhealthy condition that results from not eating enough food or not eating enough healthy food.”  Malnutrition and dehydration in the elderly is often missed by health care workers.  It can manifest as many different symptoms.  These include dementia, an emaciated appearance or being underweight (defined as 15% to 20% below ideal body weight), muscle wasting or loss of subcutaneous fat, poor coordination, poor wound healing, brittle or thinning hair or hair loss and reduced resistance to infection (Gants, 1997).  These symptoms are often times seen as typical signs of aging so they can be underestimated. Even if they’re eating regularly or not necessarily emaciated, an elderly patient is also at higher risk for malnutrition because of aging.  Nearly 30% of people over age 65 have a diminished ability to produce stomach acid, which impairs absorption of many important nutrients, such as folic acid, vitamin B12, iron, and calcium (Gants, 1997).  Dental problems can make chewing difficult and a diminished sense of taste and smell make food less appetizing.  This can make soft, sugary foods more appealing to eat.  These types of foods do not usually hold much nutritional value. An estimated 5-10% of elderly people living in the community setting are malnourished (Furman, 2006). About 60% of hospitalized older adults (age 65 or older) and 35-85% in long-term care facilities are experiencing malnutrition (Furman, 2006).  By looking at these statistics, it’s evident that malnutrition seems to be more common in hospitals and long-term care facilities.  It is unknown why this aspect of health care is often overlooked.  My thought is that healthcare workers are more focused on treating the symptoms of their patients rather than the causes.  This isn’t to imply that these professionals are being naïve or incompetent but rather they simply don’t have the time or resources to “dig” much deeper than symptom resolution. Physiologic changes related to aging make an elderly adult especially prone to dehydration.  They have about 10% less body fluid than a younger adult, so they have less fluid reserve to start with.  Because they may crave foods with more salt or sugar content due to diminished sense of taste, they may eat and use more salt, raising their body’s need for water.  At the same time, however, their thirst response can diminish, so they may not recognize the need to drink more.  This becomes a vicious cycle.  Before symptoms are noticed, an elderly person can become severely dehydrated quickly. ...

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