Our home care and healthy living blog covers a wide range of topics concerning aging and health, support and guides for caregivers providing care, and articles on living a more healthy and positive lifestyle.
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When a loved one or patient is suffering from dementia, maintaining communication can be one of the toughest challenges for a caregiver or family member. The patient’s limited understanding, environmental confusion, and verbal skills can lead to non-response—or increasing frustration for both carer and patient. How can you have successful conversations with a loved one or patient suffering from dementia? The post Caring Tips: How To Talk to a Loved One or Patient with Dementia appeared...
When a loved one or patient is suffering from dementia, maintaining communication can be one of the toughest challenges for a caregiver or family member. The patient’s limited understanding, environmental confusion, and verbal skills can lead to non-response—or increasing frustration for both carer and patient.
How can you have successful conversations with a loved one or patient suffering from dementia? Take the right steps to keep the conversation comfortable, easy to follow, and
First things first: prepare yourself to make the best of the conversation.
Prepare yourself for the conversation by getting into a patient, calm, and respectful mindset. Remember, while your patient may have limited cognitive functioning now—they are still the person you, or their family, has loved and admired. Conversation can be easier or harder depending on patient’s circumstances, but your attitude can ensure that every interaction is as meaningful and pleasant as possible.
Second: make the environment as comfortable as possible.
Thirdly: keep the conversation clear and easy to understand.
Dementia patients may struggle with focus or comprehension, so make sure your conversations are as simple and clear as possible. That may mean you need to slow your normal speed or limit conversation topics, but it’ll be worthwhile when you can get meaningful responses.
Speak Calmly, Clearly, and Slowly—give time for the patient to process each sentence before moving to the next.
Use Names instead of Pronouns—refer to people mentioned by their names instead of “he” or “she” to help the patient keep track of the conversation.
Stick to One Topic at a Time—avoid switching topics suddenly or bringing up new ones without clear introductions.
Rephrase, Don’t Repeat—if the patient doesn’t understand a question or statement, rephrase it as simply as possible rather than repeating it.
And of course, focus on non-verbal communication, too. A friendly smile and reassuring eye-contact, as well as appropriate physical touch, goes a long way to help your patient feel comfortable enough to respond. If the patient does forget or make a mistake, correct them gently or let their mistake slide to keep them feeling positive, included, and respected.
Helping your loved one navigate dementia can be a challenge. But with the right care, it can be an opportunity to treat your loved one with compassion and respect. Learn more about finding the right caregivers by reaching out to Community Home Health Care at 845.425.6555. We’re always happy to answer any questions and connect you with the right care for your family.
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As one continues to age, the last thing they want to worry about is sustainability. For the elderly, this worry can be a significant liability to their personal sense of capability. The majority of seniors want to stay in their home for as long as possible but this can be difficult when dealing with disease or illness. The post Cost of home healthcare vs cost of hospital stay appeared first on Community Home Health...
As one continues to age, the last thing they want to worry about is sustainability. For the elderly, this worry can be a significant liability to their personal sense of capability. The majority of seniors want to stay in their home for as long as possible but this can be difficult when dealing with disease or illness. Home care, however, allows one to do this. It is different from institutional care, like assisted living or nursing homes, while still providing medical and, sometimes, non-medical care. For these types of elderly people, home health-care provides the satisfaction of quality service in patients’ home under the physician.
Johns Hopkins developed its hospital-at-home program as a means of treating elderly patients who either refused to go to the hospital or were at risk of hospital-acquired infections. The early trials of its model found the total cost of at-home care was 32% less than traditional hospital care, the length of stay for patients was shorter by one-third (3.2 days vs. 4.9 days), and the incidence of delirium – disturbance in mental abilities that result in confused thinking and reduced awareness – associated with prolonged hospital stay, was dramatically reduced (9% vs. 24%).
In a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, healthcare costs were 52% lower than when acutely ill patients received hospital care at home, rather than being placed in a hospital bed. The cause of this is lower labor costs for at-home patients compared to patients in a hospital, where staff must be on hand 24/7. Home-care patients also had fewer lab visits from specialists. For instance, the average daily cost of a hospital stay is $6,200 while the average cost of home health care is just $135 per visit.
Care quality may have also been slightly better for at-home patients, compared to patients who stay at the hospital, because acutely ill patients treated at home experienced more physical activity since they were able to sit upright and freely move around.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and most private payers, do not pay for hospital care delivered at home and restrict payments for telemedicine – an essential aspect of the model that allows physicians and healthcare staff to communicate with the patient – and ultimately, restricting the possibility of implementation for a lot of patients.
In a research study, led by Levine, a clinician-investigator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, they conducted a small, randomized, but controlled trial that compared the health-care use, experience, and cost of Brigham patients who either received hospital-level care at home or in the hospital of 2016. The 20 patients analyzed in the trial had one of several conditions, including infection, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma. Caregivers – those providing aid – reported far less stress because they didn’t have to travel to an unfamiliar hospital, find parking, and coordinate bedside time with the clinical stuff while worrying about their clients.
Home health care is suitable for patients with chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart and circulatory diseases, musculoskeletal disorders that affect movement, or COPD and other breathing problems. Without assistance, these patients would usually have to seek long-term help from a nursing home or other residential setting but with home health care, they’re able to stay in the comfort of their home after hospitalization. Furthermore, home health-care increases participation in treatment because patients are able to receive therapy at home rather than travel to a remote location while dealing with their illness.
If you introduce the idea to a loved one, make sure that it’s covered by your insurance plan. Some health insurance carriers don’t offer an easy way to cover hospital care at home, as NPR has noted. Others may only cover certain services or specific providers – so determine what options are best for you. Remember, your financial circumstance is important but the biggest priority is your loved one’s safety and recovery. For more information on how to approach delicate subjects regarding the elderly, visit our website, at https://commhealthcare.com/home-care-blog/.
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As they continue to age, an optimal choice for seniors looking to optimize their quality of life is to age in place. In fact, a 2014 AARP survey revealed that 87 percent of adults over the age of 65 preferred this option. Although health and physical capability are two big factors associated with aging at home, The post Aging in Place, Home Living Trends appeared first on Community Home Health...
As they continue to age, an optimal choice for seniors looking to optimize their quality of life is to age in place. In fact, a 2014 AARP survey revealed that 87 percent of adults over the age of 65 preferred this option. Although health and physical capability are two big factors associated with aging at home, one factor that’s often forgotten is the livability of the home seniors are located in.
Modern homes are not always equipped to accommodate aging citizens. It’s not an easy choice to relocate, nor achieve a complete home remodel, especially when costs are high. However, the environment can be adapted to suit the needs and caution of older citizens with minimal modifications. The emergence of different technologies has also allowed aging in place to be more secure, and enables seniors to stay connected to family, as well as maintain medicinal schedules and any other health habits. Here are some of the home living trends to better maximize a seniors ability to age at home.
First thing’s first- is the entrance to the home well lit? Though not many would consider it, making sure the entrance to the home accommodates seniors is something to think about when aging in place. Good lighting is essential for when night falls, and any mats that could cause a stumble should be removed. Also, a threshold entrance could warrant falls, so modifying to a level entrance would be more beneficial to prevent any trips or stumbles.
In order to accommodate a scooter or wheelchair should the need arise, wider doors and hallways are essential for a home to fully accommodate seniors. Recommended hallway width is 48” and door width 36”.
One in four American seniors fall every year. Because falls are a leading cause in accidents for seniors, a fall-proof home will make for a happy aging in place with little worry. To do this, install slip-proof flooring and/or get rid of threshold bath/shower entry. Also, other small modifications include getting rid of area rugs or running cables on the floor that could lead to tripping.
Steps and stairs in the home can trigger falls if not accommodated properly for older citizens. So if living in a two-story home, make sure the stairs are well lit by installing light switches on both ends. Also, replace any worn out carpeting and make sure no nails are sticking out of the stair steps. And the most beneficial step in modifying the home: make sure handrails are installed. This can be critical in preventing any falls!
As newer technologies emerge, there are now apps beneficial for folks looking to age in place. Some apps are useful for emergencies and medication woes. For instance, Medisafe Pill Reminder reminds seniors when to take their pills and when it’s time for a prescription to be refilled. This app is also useful to track weight, pulse, temperature, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure.
Then there’s the Red Panic Button app, which lets seniors open the app and tap the red button that appears in the middle of the screen in case of a fall or other emergency. This immediately sends a text message and email with your GPS location in a Google Maps link to all of your emergency contacts.
As seniors continue to age, many don’t see a reason to leave the comforts of their home and prefer to age in place. Modern advancements such as apps enable family members to stay close with these older citizens, and a few home modifications can ensure well-being and ease worry. Many seniors and their families are unsure where to start, or what programs are available to educate and support aging in place. Contact Community Home Health Care at 845-425-6555 to learn more today. Our care providers will be happy to assist.
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