Four ways to avoid Nursing Home Care

If you are like most older adults, you have likely seen the nursing home environment up close and you know it does not appeal to you. In fact, you would like to avoid it if you could.

Even though an overwhelming majority of older adults — 90 percent — want to stay in their homes as they age, many think this is an impossible goal. You might be surprised to learn though it is very possible to remain in the home you love. What is more, it is unlikely most older adults will need to enter a nursing home with the proper support.

In addition, many of the issues that land people in nursing homes — medication mismanagement, limited mobility, and forgetfulness — can be remedied with a few at-home modifications.

Here are some simple ways you can avoid the nursing home.

1. Handling Medication Safely

Medication mismanagement is a leading cause for admission to a nursing home. Forgetting a pill or taking one in combination with another medication can produce unwanted side effects. Add to that having to remember to take pills at the correct times and mixing up medications becomes more of a possibility.

If you need help organizing everything, ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to assist.

2. Making Home Modifications

A few easy fixes can ensure your home remains as safe as possible. Picking up throw rugs and securing any loose furniture can help prevent falls, and additions like grab bars can make getting into and out of the bathtub safer and easier.

3. Choosing the Right Physician

Your relationship with your doctor plays an important role in maintaining your independence. Regardless of the type of physician you see, you should never accept that your pain or other unpleasant symptoms are just a part of the aging process.

In addition, your doctor should listen to you, give you the attention you deserve, and respect your wishes to remain in your home.

4. In Home Care

Hiring an agency to aid with simple tasks as they become more difficult can delay the need to leave your home. Housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation and medication reminders are all within the lists of tasks that can be performed by home health aides.

You should not have to leave the home you love because you have reached a certain age. It is easier than you think to avoid the nursing home, and by making a few simple modifications to your home and activities, you can remain healthy and independent. 

To find out more about how Holli Care can assist you, contact our Nurse Care Manager today for a FREE consultation!

WINTER SAFETY FOR SENIORS

During the winter months, ice, snow and cold temperatures can make life challenging for anyone. Slippery sidewalks and cold weather can cause a wide range of injuries and illnesses — especially for seniors.

Finding elderly care to assist your senior on a regular basis can help keep them safe during any season. Check out the tips below that are specific to winter for preventing common colds and avoiding other weather dangers that the elderly population faces. 

1. Avoid Slipping on Ice: Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. “Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months,” says Dr. Stanley Wang, a physician at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations.

While younger people often recover relatively quickly from such injuries, older adults face complications, which Dr. Wang says are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65.

Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and stay inside until the roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to make walking easier. Take off shoes as soon as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles and, once melted, can lead to slippery conditions
inside.

2. Dress for Warmth: Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia — a condition where the body temperature dips too low. More than half of hypothermia-related deaths were people over the age of 65. So, don’t let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. Going outside? Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.

Your body temperature should never dip below 95 degrees — if it does, get medical assistance immediately.

3. Fight Wintertime Depression: Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors develop feelings of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible or send their loved one to adult day care; a short, daily phone call can also make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends, where each person looks in on one or two others daily.

4. Check the Car: Driving during the winter can be especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive very often or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits  — or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. If driving is necessary during the winter, review safe and reliable senior transportation options.

5. Prepare for Power Outages: Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Keep a supply of non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold on hand. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around a lot to raise your body temperature.

6. Eat a Varied Diet: Because people are indoors more and may eat a smaller variety of foods they can suffer from nutritional deficits — especially Vitamin D. Consume foods that are fortified with Vitamin D, such as milk, grains and seafood options like tuna and salmon.

7. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and buy an updated one if you need to.

The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help. If you need to clear your property of snow and ice, don’t hesitate to ask a family member or neighbor, or hire a professional. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments-many communities have shuttle services specifically for seniors. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with a bit of planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough.

Let Holli Care, LLC help with all your winter needs.


What can Holli Care Do for You?

PRIVATE DUTY HOME CARE / NURSING

RN Developed Care Plan – Our RN meets with you and helps assess your current and potential future needs. The RN ensures that caregivers are aware of these needs and are providing the assistance that was determined to be most effective. The RN meets with you at regular intervals to determine if and how your needs are changing and what we can do to better help you.

Team Approach – Holli RNs work with the consistent caregivers that are assigned to you. We have main caregivers and secondary caregivers that are introduced to you as an alternate in case your main caregiver is ever unavailable (sick, vacation, etc.) We do NOT send strangers to your home! You will know all the team members.

HOLLI RN’S ARE ABLE TO PERFORM . . . 

Care Management: Holli’s Board Certified Care Managers help close the gaps of fragmented care by advocating, communicating and coordinating medical care for higher quality and better outcomes for our clients.

Medication Management: Our RN makes sure medication prescriptions are filled on time and placed appropriately in weekly dispensers.

Foot Care – Our RN soaks feet, trims nails and monitors feet for skin breakdown.

Wound Care – Dressings, Irrigation and Packing

Wellness Checks – Blood Pressure by our RN, Blood Sugar and Insulin monitoring.

24/7 Care – Our phone is answered around the clock to assist you or your caregivers when the office is not open. Our “on-call” staff can reach your RN if they are needed after office hours. Holli caregivers can provide around the clock service in your home, if needed.

HOLLI CAREGIVERS ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE . . .

Transportation – Holli caregivers can use your car or theirs to take you anywhere you may need to go. They can also run errands for you including doing the grocery shopping.

Exercise Assistance – Holli caregivers are trained to safely assist clients with transfers (chair, toilet, bed) ambulation and prescribed exercises.

Meal Preparation – Holli caregivers can plan weekly meals, shop for groceries, put them away, cook the meals and serve them or package them up for a later time or day. This can be done with or for you.

Light Housekeeping – Laundry, bed changing, folding and putting away clothes; bathroom cleaning (shower/tub, toilets, sinks, counters and floors); dusting, vacuuming and mopping; all kitchen cleaning, cleaning out the refrigerator and trash removal.

Personal Care/Bathing/Grooming – Holli caregivers are trained to assist clients with their activities of daily living including toileting, bathing or showering, denture/oral care, shaving and hair care.