Archive for April, 2014

Home Health Care: It’s All About the Teamwork

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

When we posted a blog the other day about staying proactive in your choice to live at home independently, we received an overwhelming number of positive responses, but none was more compelling than one comment we received from a home health care aide who has devoted her life to helping others stay in their home for as long as possible.

The essence of her comment was that in home health care, personal home care, or even skilled nursing, it’s important to remember that we’re all part of “team you”. Meaning, as a family caregiver, physician, home health care or personal care aide our number one priority is doing what is best for you or your friend or loved one.

And, like any good teammate, that means focusing on listening, understanding, and open and honest communication.

The phrase “we’re all in this together” may seem overused at times, but it symbolizes the core of the home health care relationship perfectly. For instance, your doctor is obviously the best person to go to for medical advice and help, but your doctor can’t be in your home 24/7. A family caregiver or home health care worker can help in noticing and documenting the day-to-day changes in health and properly communicate these changes to your doctor; allowing them to better analyze your state of health. Conversely, your doctor can better inform the caregiver or home health aide about new medications and side effects, allowing one to prepare and plan for safety concerns around the home.

In other words, when everyone is working like a team, then everything is working better.

With a new month comes new goals, let’s use this opportunity to focus on our teamwork and strive to listen to understand, communicate open and honestly, and work cooperatively with the other members of the team. As the old saying goes: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.

 

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Senior Home Safety: A Checklist

Monday, April 28th, 2014

It’s no secret that as we get older, more than 90% of us would prefer to stay in the comfort of our own homes; we at Alliance Home Health Care have mentioned it a number of times. However, as we get older, it becomes increasingly more important to make sure that we plan, and are probably prepared for, potential dangers around the home. One of the most prevalent dangers lurking in the homes for seniors is the potential for falls. In fact, the CDC reports that nearly one-third of seniors in America experience falls each year, but the good news is that there are ways to prevent it from happening to you.

Below is a simple checklist of things to look for to help keep your home safe:

Is your home properly lit?:

As we get older, it may become more difficult to see at night, therefore it is essential to assure our home is properly lit. Make sure to increase the lighting in “high-travel” areas like hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms, as these are the places we are more likely to travel to and from in the middle of night. Be proactive in your planning and convenience, things as simple as a table lamp next to your bed can decrease your need to walk in the dark to find a light switch, and motion-sensor lighting in the hallway can eliminate the worry of having to find a switch in the middle of the hallway.

Bathrooms:

Bathrooms pose two potential problems for seniors: A.) they have the potential to be slippery and B.) They can involve a lot of sitting-to-standing maneuvers.

Some quick and easy ways to help reduce the risk of falls in bathrooms are to place non-skid adhesive strips on your tub, shower, and floor, and install grab bars near the tub and toilet, or anywhere a sitting-to-standing maneuver occurs.

“Keep the roads clear”:

Much like potholes can be detrimental to your car, “debris” in high-traffic areas around the home can possess a danger to you or a friend or loved one. Always make sure that hallways are clear of clutter, and place decorative rugs and furniture in “low-traffic” areas. Meaning, paths where one does not need to walk through to get to essential areas like the kitchen and bathroom. And this doesn’t just apply to inside the home, if there’s a walkway outside that’s frequently used, then clear it.

Additionally, if you have steps or stairs inside or outside your home, attach railings for balance, no matter how many steps there are.

Remember to always be proactive in your planning. In other words, being prepared for something that may never happen is much better than being surprised if it does. This includes medical emergencies, fires, and storm safety. Have a plan for each and consult with your friends and neighbors about how they could help.

If you need more advice in planning or locating current and future potential problems that could arise around the home, feel free to contact one of our Care Advisors at 317-581-1100 for more advice.

 

 

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