Home Health Care | Preventing Falls: 5 Dangers That Affect Seniors’ Stability

Home Health Care | Preventing Falls: 5 Dangers That Affect Seniors’ Stability

Home Health Care  | September 22nd, 2013, the first day of fall, also marks the 6th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging. Falls are the leading cause of injury related emergency department visits for older adults, the major cause of hip fractures and responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries. Numerous states and countries worldwide are now coming together to address this serious and often overlooked health issue.

The goal of this year’s theme, Preventing Falls—One Step at a Time, is to bring together professionals, older adults, caregivers and family members to raise awareness and prevent falls in the older adult population. Forty-three states participated in Falls Prevention Awareness Day last year, joining more than 70 national organizations, including the American Occupational Therapy Association, other professional associations, and federal agencies that comprise the Falls Free© Initiative. The hope is for that number to grow this year and stop the rise in these serious accidents.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year. These falls can be moderate to severe in nature, yet less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it. When a fall occurs, most people assume the contributing factor is an unsafe home environment; however, what most people don’t know is that there are many other risk factors to consider.

“After a fall occurs, many people will begin taking measures to ensure that the safety of their aging loved one is never compromised—home modification is traditionally the first step,” said Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, Senior Vice President of Quality & Clinical Operations for BrightStar Care. “What folks may not realize is there are many other factors that come into play, in addition to an unsafe home environment, that may contribute to falls. It is vital to identify these issues and address them appropriately.”

According to Maguire, these five fall risk factors should be addressed when working to identify the cause of a fall and prevent future falls:

  • Medication interactions. Drugs including sedatives, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics can contribute to falls by reducing mental alertness, worsening balance and gait and causing drops in systolic blood pressure while standing. Mixing multiple medications also increases the risk of falling. To reduce the likelihood of falls, review all medications with the primary doctor and any specialists to identify medications that may cause this side effect.
  • Lack of physical strength and poor balance. Without regular exercise it’s easy to lose muscle tone, strength, bone mass and flexibility. All of these weaknesses are factors that contribute to the severity of a fall. While certain medical conditions can make it harder to exercise, a loved one who has fallen before, even if they weren’t injured, could develop a fear of falling that causes them to limit their activity and be less mobile. Engaging in regular exercise to increase strength and muscle tone and taking extra time when transitioning from one position to another may reduce the risk of falls. Unsure of how to re-start an exercise plan? Engage the doctor’s advice.
  • Impaired vision. Age-related vision diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, alter an older person’s depth perception, visual acuity, peripheral vision and susceptibility to glare. In addition, older adults may no longer be able to recognize visual cues of danger and, in turn, take appropriate action. Although these diseases are sometimes unavoidable, obtaining regular eye exams can reduce the risk of a fall. Adding color and contrast to identify objects, especially safety items like grab bars and handrails may help overcome vision-related issues as well.
  • Home hazards. Poor lighting, loose rugs, lack of grab bars or poorly located/mounted grab bars, and unstable furniture can increase tripping hazards. Improving safety around a loved one’s home by adding grab bars and other safety aids inside and outside of the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving the lighting where needed will aid in decreasing environmental hazards in the home.
  • Chronic conditions. Health issues, such as Parkinson’s or heart disease, greatly increase an older adult’s risk of falling. Understanding the disease process and helping them follow a treatment plan, assisting them to doctor appointments and knowing red flag alerts can reduce fall risk in people suffering from chronic conditions.

“At BrightStar Care, decreasing the risk of falls and educating families about fall risk is a core competency that we pride ourselves in providing,” added Maguire. “We relentlessly track falls that occur both when we are and are not present and we perform an in-depth analysis to reduce the likelihood that it will happen again.”

About BrightStar. Based in Chicago, BrightStar Care is a national franchise with more than 250 locations that provide full-service staffing of medical and non-medical homecare to private clients from children to older adults within their homes, as well as supplemental staffing to healthcare organizations and corporate clients. As the only national private duty home care company to require Joint Commission accreditation at each location, BrightStar locations nationwide are committed to meeting National Patient Safety Goals around fall prevention. BrightStar Care takes a unique approach to decreasing fall risk by pairing their clinical expertise with key client education resources to help and empower both clients and families—a Registered Nurse performs an evaluation of fall risk during initial and subsequent health assessments for every client. Proactive measures to address fall risk are then incorporated into individualized plans of care to promote safety in addition to addressing the specific care needs for each client. –Parent Giving 

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Home Care | New Tools To Assess Your Parents’ Driving Ability Pt. 2

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Home Care |  New Tools To Assess Your Parents’ Driving Ability Pt. 2

 

Home Care | 20 driving warning signs ranked from minor to serious:

  1. Decrease in confidence while driving
  2. Difficulty turning to see when backing up
  3. Easily distracted while driving
  4. Other drivers often honk horns
  5. Hitting curbs
  6. Scrapes or dents on the car, mailbox or garage
  7. Increased agitation or irritation when driving
  8. Failure to notice traffic signs or important activity on the side of the road
  9. Trouble navigating turns
  10. Driving at inappropriate speeds
  11. Uses a “copilot”
  12. Bad judgment making left turns
  13. Delayed response to unexpected situations
  14. Moving into wrong lane or difficulty maintaining lane position
  15. Confusion at exits
  16. Ticketed moving violations or warnings
  17. Getting lost in familiar places
  18. Car accident
  19. Failure to stop at stop sign or red light
  20. Stopping in traffic for no apparent reason

“We Need to Talk” is produced by AARP and is based on information created jointly by The Hartford and MIT AgeLab. The course can be accessed at www.aarp.org/weneedtotalk

More information about driving safety while you age, comprehensive driving evaluations, interactive tools for older drivers and their families, as well as a blog community is available at www.safedrivingforalifetime.com.

About the Hartford Advance 50 Team
The Hartford is one of the few companies in the United States with in-house experts on aging. For over 25 years, The Hartford has employed gerontologists to advance the creation and delivery of research, educational materials and innovative business solutions to enhance the quality of life for the 50+ market.

About the MIT AgeLab
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab is a global research program based within MIT’s Engineering Systems Division and Center for Transportation & Logistics. The AgeLab conducts research on technology, behavior and innovation to improve the quality of life of older adults and those who care for them. More about AgeLab’s research in transportation, health and wellness, and longevity planning is available athttp://agelab.mit.edu.  -Parent Giving

For more information on Home Care please do not hesitate to Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

Live-In Care | How Does It Work?

 Live-In Care | How Does It Work?

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Live-In Care | We don’t have a typical customer…

People consider live-in care for a whole variety of reasons, due to a whole range of conditions (from dementia to physical disabilities) and at different points in their lives. Here are just a few examples of circumstances where our carers can help:

  • Visiting (or domiciliary) care is no longer sufficient.
  • A residential care home hasn’t worked out.
  • Couples looking for a care solution that allows them to live together.
  • Younger people who want to live a full life independently.
  • A hospital discharge that’s dependent on 24 hour care.
  • A young person needing a little extra help to embark on their journey into independent adulthood.
  • Short-term care to give a regular carer a break.
  • If you’re seeking an economic alternative to residential care.
  • Or it can simply be because you want to have the choice to live independently in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Living according to your lifestyle

We will work with you and your family to understand what quality of life means to you. We’ll then make sure you achieve it. For some, it’s simply providing the dignity of discrete personal care (toileting and washing), the security of feeling safe at night and help getting in and out of bed. Others appreciate us taking away the burden of remembering medication routines. Many appreciate a helping hand maintaining their high standards of housekeeping and laundry while for others being able to get out in the car, keeping up regular social routines and visiting friends gives them the feeling of freedom they want to preserve. Our carers will cover whatever you and your family want them to help with

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Health Care | Respecting Your Loved Ones’ Feelings

Home health careHome Health Care | Respecting Your Loved Ones’ Feelings

Home Health Care | It happens slowly at first. Over weeks, months, or years you begin to notice that Mom and Dad aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Then one day, you realize that you’ve started making decisions for them. It’s just easier, faster. Eventually, you can see that you’ve become the parent, making decisions large and small. And nobody — not you or your parent — is particularly happy about the arrangement.

Fortunately, there is an alternative scenario.

Elder care experts say cooperative planning, with you and your loved ones making decisions together, results in happier seniors and less-stressed caretakers. “All of us want some participation and some say in what’s happening in our lives”. “You’re going to get a lot more buy-in and a lot more happiness from someone who feels they made some contribution.”

Cooperation doesn’t have to mean a sit-down planning marathon. In fact, Kidd says small, casual questions worked into day-to-day activities is the best approach. “Aging is a fact of life. You don’t want to put your loved ones on the defensive or make them feel degraded,” she says. “Instead, when you’re out shopping for clothes with your mom, mention that you sometimes have trouble with buttons or tight collars. Ease into a conversation. Ask if she ever has trouble getting dressed. Ask what she would like to see happen when and if she gets to the point where she can’t dress herself. If you have the conversation before it becomes a real need, it’s much less emotionally-charged.”

Once a senior, states a preference, the topic can be revisited later, Kidd notes. For example, a parent might say “when I can’t cook for myself anymore, I’m going to go to an assisted living place.” When the day comes and the parent or grandparent clearly isn’t safe at the stove, you can bring up that conversation. Maybe dad or granddad will want to start looking at assisted living apartments, or maybe he’ll decide he’d rather have someone come to the house toprepare meals. You can help him find a home health aide or part-time cook, but the decision was his.

“One of the challenges for adult children is balancing their parents need for autonomy and control with their desire to be helpful and pragmatic,” says Jody Gastfriend, Vice President of Care Management at Care.com and LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker).

“Avoiding an impasse can be done more effectively when you plan ahead. Expressing concerns in an empathic, rather that coercive manner is important in setting the tone for communication. Eliciting your parents’ wishes and fears is particularly valuable because it can set the stage for collaborative problem solving,” says Gastfriend. “An elder who is worried about losing independence may be reluctant to give up driving, but might be willing to share fears of driving on the highway or at night, which can lead to a discussion about alternative transportation. Those who communicate early and often typically have better outcomes and more options for care.”

Read tips on how to talk to your parent about driving.

Of course, advance planning also allows for some revision of pie-in-the-sky dreams that may have taken hold. Many people expect they’ll stay in their own homes until they die, without really thinking about whether they will be capable of maintaining a residence, or even doing simple chores, by themselves. Those who expect to move to a senior-supportive environment may have visions of buying a condo at a resort-style mature adult community that is simply cost-prohibitive. “A lot of a person’s future is determined by finances,” says Kidd. “You really need to ask how your loved one envisions their future and then say ‘what is this going to cost?’ They need to know realistically what their options are while they can understand and state preferences. You may find that your mother – who always said she wanted to go to assisted living – didn’t realize she would have to sell the family home and half her possessions in order to afford the facility she likes.”

Make no mistake: we all grow older and when we do, some shifting of roles is inevitable. Sometimes a capable, can-do adult will suddenly become incapable, at which point loved ones must step in.

“When my father was diagnosed with dementia, we eventually had to take the difficult step of assuming legal guardianship, when he was no longer able to make decisions on his own behalf,” Gastfriend says. “This did not mean, however, that my father was incapable. It is important for caregivers to understand and elicit the strengths and capabilities that may be masked by dementia or other chronic illnesses. I don’t view caregiving as a role reversal-our parents are always our parents, even when they are incapacitated. Rather, caregiving is a redefinition of roles. The caregiving journey often follows an unpredictable and circuitous path, but despite the many hurdles along the way, it can also enrich our lives and our relationships with our loved ones.”

Encourage Cooperative Decision-Making:

  • Engage your parent or grandparent in conversation. Learn how they see their future and how they expect to handle the challenges that come with age.
  • Look at your family resources, both financial and personal. What can you present to your loved one in terms of options?
  • Research external services, facilities and resources. What does the community have to offer? Discuss these options with your senior.
  • Consider your parent or grandparent’s temperament and personality. A social, outgoing senior needs a way to interact with other people. A very private, reserved senior may do better with in-home assistance than in an assisted living setting. Gently steer the conversation to choices that make a good fit.
  • Consider your own needs. It doesn’t help anyone for you to feel stressed, exhausted, broke or guilty. Don’t offer more than you can do. -Care

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Live-In Care | 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home Pt. 1

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 Live-In Care | 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home Pt. 1

Live-In Care | It can be difficult to acknowledge the fact that your parent needs some help with day-to-day activities, let alone introducing to them the idea of hiring a professional caregiver for help. Your parent is likely to react to this decision with some resistance. Approaching the subject requires patience and tact. However, there are certain considerations to keep in mind that can help you approach a conversation about in-home care with your parent with greater success.

Below are some ideas to consider, based on our years of experience with families facing these struggles:

1. List the advantages. Make quality home care provided by a hired caregiver desirable to your loved one. Some benefits for hiring in-home care for your parent may be: rather than having to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home, they can remain at home; in-home care is often less costly; they will be given one-on-one attention when their caregiver is there.

2. Focus on independence. Explain why hiring a caregiver is a way for your parent to maintain their independence in their own home. Of course, this is easier said then done. Perhaps paint a visual picture for them. Have they already fallen once or twice? Explain what could happen if they fall again – how it could lead to broken bones, surgery and hospitalization, followed by a lengthy recovery period. The same method could be used if they frequently forget to take their medications, or often miss doctor appointments.

3. Try a different approach. If your parents are still living together, try suggesting that in-home care would benefit their spouse. They may be more willing to accept the care for the sake of their loved one, even if in reality it is equally beneficial for both parents. If they live alone, focus on concerns or activities that are important to them.  For example, your parent may deny needing help, but may be amenable to someone helping with housekeeping and preparing some meals. They may acknowledge that they don’t like to drive at night but still want to attend their weekly bridge game.

4. Make it about you. Explain to your parents how much you worry about them. Or if you have been acting as primary caregiver, explain that it has become too much on top of career or parenthood responsibilities. According to a recent study by Genworth, 55 percent of Americans say being a burden on their family is their biggest concern regarding long term care issues. Take this into consideration when approaching your parent about accepting in-home help. You might say, “Mom, I worry about you…and even if you tell me I shouldn’t, it keeps me up at night. Would you try having someone come in once a week for me?”-parent giving 

 

 

For more information and tips on live-in care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

Home Care | 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home Pt. 1

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Home Care | 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home Pt. 1

 

Home Care | 5. Mitigate fear.  An elderly person can act hostile towards a hired caregiver at times, but this action is most likely out of fear. Prior to attempting to alleviate this fear, it is important to understand it. Common fears include loss of independence, losing control and dignity and financial worries. The presence of an outsider is likely to leave the elder feeling vulnerable. Take this into consideration when communicating with them, and respond with empathy rather than with frustration. Realize how your own emotions may be impacting the conversation and increasing resistance. It is important to choose an appropriate time and place for these discussions and set aside time for them.

6. Test it out on a trial-basis. Try hiring an outside caregiver for in-home help on a short-term basis for respite or recovery care, after being discharged from the hospital or after a fall. This provides an opportunity to show your parent that having a caregiver is not something to fear and often leads to them being open to receiving ongoing care. If they currently rely on you or another family member or friend as their primary caregiver or source of help, try using a vacation as an excuse to bring in a professional caregiver while gone. Explain that it is for your own peace of mind.

7. Get advice from a professional. Try discussing the situation with your parent’s primary care physician (this is most likely someone they have known for years and trust). If he or she shares your concern for your parent, they are likely to help by talking to them, explaining why in-home care is the best option for them. Another option is to consult a geriatric care manager, a professional with special expertise in making these assessments, who will be able to provide you with further advice on how to prevent resistance when introducing the new living arrangements with your loved one.  -parent giving 

For more information on Home Care please do not hesitate to Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

Home Health Care | New Tools To Assess Your Parents’ Driving Ability Pt. 1

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Home Health Care | New Tools To Assess Your Parents’ Driving Ability Pt. 1

Home Health Care  | AARP, The Hartford and MIT AgeLab are offering a new online seminar to help families prepare to talk with older drivers.

With the number of drivers 70 and older increasing and 1 in 5 Americans caring for an older loved one, the number of adults dealing with concerns about their parents’ driving abilities is on the rise. In fact, according to a new survey from The Hartford and MIT AgeLab, almost 1 in 10 adults are worried about an older family member’s driving.

To help families prepare for and initiate thoughtful conversations with older drivers, AARP, The Hartford and MIT AgeLab have teamed up to produce “We Need to Talk,” a free online course that equips family members with information about the emotional connection to driving, observing driving skills and planning the conversation.

“We understand that talking to a parent about their driving can be very difficult,” said Jodi Olshevski, a gerontologist at The Hartford. “If you’re worried, you should find out if your concerns are valid. Learn the warning signs, get in the car and observe the older driver. Once you get the facts and educate yourself about the resources available, you will be in a better position to help.”

Caregiving Concerns About Older Drivers

The new survey also found that:

  • Adults 40-49 are the age group most concerned about an older family member’s driving.
  • Of those concerned, more than 33 percent have not shared their concerns with the older driver.
  • The primary reasons cited for not having the conversation are:
  • Concern that the older driver will have a negative reaction (53 percent)
  • Unsure of how to raise the issue (43 percent)
  • Unsure of transportation alternatives (20 percent)

“Taking time to prepare can alleviate these concerns and help initiate a thoughtful, positive conversation,” said Julie Lee, director of AARP’s Driver Safety Program. “‘We Need to Talk’ helps families think through who the right messenger is, when the right time to talk might be, and provides some conversation starters. It also covers the benefits of a comprehensive driving evaluation and how to design a
transportation plan that provides the driver with alternatives for getting around.”

Know The Driving Warning Signs

Driving behavior warning signs vary. Some of the less serious issues may be overcome with changes in driving behavior or physical fitness, while the more serious behaviors may require immediate action. “Making a single minor driving mistake doesn’t mean that a person needs to stop driving,” said Lisa D’Ambrosio, PhD, research scientist at the MIT AgeLab. “What families need to do is look for patterns of warning signs and for an increase in frequency and severity of the warning signs.” -Parent Giving

 

 


For more information on home health care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760 or 888-823-0428

 

Live-In Care | Overcome Wandering Worries Pt. 2

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 Live-In Care | Overcome Wandering Worries Pt. 2

Live-In Care |Using advanced cellular triangulation technology, the cellular network can provide a highly accurate location of the wearer for emergency officials, and it will provide continuous location updates to account for the wearer’s movement while emergency responders are en route. Innovative? In a word, yes. The company was co-founded by its CEO Jim Nalley, an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Army. As an officer in communications in air defense, Nalley spent five years at DSC/Alcatel USA, leading a large network build, design and service team.

EmSeeQ can dramatically reduce the gap between the initial report and the rescue, saving precious time and lives. And it works more reliably indoors and in areas where there may be interference, unlike GPS systems which must have a clear eye to the sky. The device is available in two models: a wristwatch-style with a buckle that can easily be removed and one with a secure clasp-style band that requires two hands for removal to prevent impaired individuals from taking it off themselves.

Increasing Care Facility Security

Despite these efforts, if circumstances demand that the patient be placed in a nursing home or long-term care facility, inquire about the facility’s security policy. Be sure that the facility you choose has both prevention and recovery measures in place, including adequate supervision, alarm systems, a resident database with vital statistics and current photo and a cooperative relationship with local authorities for activating search and rescue response quickly.

If the facility does not meet your requirements, consider placing an EmSeeQ device on the patient even while he or she is in the nursing home or long-term care facility. Inform the staff of the simple and easy procedure for activating the system. Increasingly, long-term care facilities are offering the EmSeeQ to residents as a value added service.

The EmSeeQ is surprisingly affordable. For about $25, or less than the monthly cost of a typical cell phone, the EmSeeQ service is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved ones will be located quickly and safely in the event they wander from home or a care facility. –-Parent Giving 

 

 

 

For more information and tips on live-in care please Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

Home Care | Overcome Wandering Worries Pt. 1

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Home Care | Overcome Wandering Worries Pt. 1

 

Home Care |  Caring for an ailing loved one can be exhausting—physically, mentally and emotionally—especially for spouses who may be aging as well. For caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, the fear and constant worrying about their loved one wandering away and becoming lost—called elopement—adds a tremendous amount of stress. Unable to find their way home or function well independently, elderly impaired individuals are at grave risk of injury or even death due to exposure to the elements or hazards they may encounter while wandering.

As a result, many caregivers cannot leave their loved ones alone for any length of time, fearing they may wander away without careful supervision. Unable to leave the house without constant worry, caregivers in this situation often feel they have no choice but to place their loved one into an assisted living or nursing home facility—a decision no one wants to make. While this does provide a more controlled and supervised environment, even this is no guarantee against wandering, as patients often elope from these facilities as well.

Fortunately, with the help of modern technology, it is possible to keep those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms safe and comfortable at home longer and provide much-needed peace of mind to caregivers.

Put Technology on Your Side

While untold dollars are spent each year on search and rescue technologies, often these are too little, too late in the event of an Alzheimer’s or dementia wandering event. Instead, consider technology that can actually provide the location of the missing person directly to emergency responders. A wristwatch-style device called EmSeeQ® uses cellular telephone technology to locate the wearer in the event of an emergency. In the event the EmSeeQ wearer wanders off, the caregiver calls 9-1-1 after a thorough search of usual places. Once the incident is reported to the authorities, the caregiver calls the EmSeeQ toll-free hotline to report the missing person. The EmSeeQ device is then remotely activated and immediately places a call to 9-1-1, triggering the national E-9-1-1 emergency location system. -Parent Giving 

 

For more information on Home Care please do not hesitate to Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

Home Care | Caring for an Alzheimer’s Patient at Home

Home Care | Caring for an Alzheimer’s Patient at Home

 home care
 Home Care |  Estimates of the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease often vary, but the U.S. National Institutes of Health puts the range between 2.5 million and 4.5 million. One thing is certain — the number of Alzheimer’s disease cases will rise significantly as the baby boomers swell the numbers of the over 65s. It is projected that 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

If one has to care for a patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is important to know what things to expect. This can help the famliy caregiver plan for the future and cope with the sometimes overwhelming burdens of caring for the patient.

The family caregiver will observe and have to handle many aspects of behavioral and physical problems.

Communication

The Alzheimer’s patient with dementia gradually loses capacity to remember, understand, speak or write coherently (aphasia). The patient may become repetitious and engage in meaningless behavior. The family caregiver will need to learn verbal techniques, such as using short sentences, pleasant tone of voice, memory aids and simple messages, as well as effective nonverbal communications, including eye contact and touch.

Mobility

Alzheimer’s patients tend to pace excessively, lose their way in once familiar surroundings (apraxia), and experience gait (walking) difficulties. Care should involve providing a secure home environment to prevent falls, such as having adequate lighting, removing loose rugs, and rearranging the furniture to allow better mobility.

There should be protected areas for pacing and walking around, mobility devices. The patient will need to engage in exercises that maintain posture and enhance muscle strength. The family caregiver should receive instructions on how–to techniques to assist patient’s in moving, to be ambulatory as long as possible and to lower the chances of falling.

Continence

As the disease progresses, the Alzheimer’s patient will suffer bladder and bowel incontinence. Generally, these two conditions will happen separately. Bladder incontinence usually comes earlier, while bowel incontinence occurs toward the terminal stages.

Caregivers can help the Alzheimer’s patient prevent incontinence with tactics like timing bathroom breaks to coincide with observed patterns of incidence or using clothes that can be easily removed. There are also aids such as adult diapers and incontinence pads & liners that minimize skin breakdown, specially designed urinals, or even safety aids that help patients find the bathroom more quickly.

“If one has to care for an Alzheimer’s patient with dementia, it is important to know what things to expect. This can help the caregiver cope with the sometimes overwhelming burdens of caring for the patient.”

In addition, the caregiver needs to be sensitive to the patient’s embarrassment when incontinence occurs and frustration over the loss of control of these essential functions.

Customary activities of daily living

The level of assistance required will vary with individual patients. The caregiver’s goal is to allow independence of movement as much as the patient is capable, to encourage his or her efforts, and to help only to the extent needed. A patient may be able to perform an activity one day and be helpless the next.

Perception and cognition

The faculties of cognition and perception become compromised in Alzheimer’s patients. They may try to cover up these problems and their fear of failure, or avoid embarrassment by becoming withdrawn. The family caregiver can help by being reassuring and providing dependable support that helps the patient overcome anxieties and gain confidence. The caregiver can use memory aids to make up for fading memory and manipulate the home environment to reduce patient’s confusion.

The challenge of caring for Alzheimer’s patients can overwhelm the dedication and patience of the most competent caregiver. It is helpful for the family caregiver to join a support group to learn more and to share experiences with others in the same situation. -Parent giving 

 

 

For more information on Home Care please do not hesitate to Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.