Tag: Philadelphia home care

Caring for a Senior Loved One: When to Move Closer

Modern technology has enabled people to work and communicate from any part of the world, resulting in many families scattered around several cities and states. However, there are instances when your physical presence and attention are needed. Taking care of a senior loved one presents specific practical challenges that can’t be managed from a distance. Relocating to a new city can be traumatic for your loved one, and there are times when moving closer is the best option. But what are the telltale signs that the time has come?

Today, NursePartners shares some tips to help you recognize and respond to the signs.  

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Signs Your Senior Loved One Needs You

Parents and close relatives who’ve been leading independent lives may not want children, family, or other loved ones to know they require increased care. You may notice their eyesight is deteriorating, and they’re less mobile and active than before. For example, they may have difficulty with day-to-day tasks, such as driving and cooking. A loss of interest in activities and hobbies they previously enjoyed may indicate they suffer from depression and feel isolated.

Before contemplating any action, take a trip to visit them, and talk to friends and any caregivers. By getting a realistic picture of their current situation, you can make informed decisions on the best plan moving forward.

Taking Steps to Move

One of the primary challenges of moving is finding a new home. The best way to overcome these challenges and avoid an emotion-driven purchase is to rent a property in an area close to where your senior loved one lives to assess the situation.

If you plan to purchase a home, for example, top mortgage lenders can help you. The house you can buy depends on your monthly income and total monthly expenses. It means that you have to add up your monthly expenses and divide the total by your gross monthly income. Some online calculators can assist if you aren’t sure how to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the market and the prices you can expect.

Lastly, develop a plan to help you prepare for the move itself. Don’t think you need to do everything yourself. You can do yourself a big favor by searching online for “movers near me,” then browsing ratings and reviews to get the best deal.

Getting a jump start on this can make all the difference in the world; the sooner you start making a plan, the smoother the process can be. Sure, there will still be a few bumps in the road, but planning ahead is essential when you’re moving — especially if you’re moving yourself and your business.

Arranging Care for Your Senior Loved One 

Your loved one may experience loss of memory, act impulsively, or lose their balance when walking, which may be indicative of the early stages of dementia. Depending on the level of care your loved one needs and the amount of time you can spend taking care of them, consider using professional caregivers’ services. In many cases, seniors require specialized treatment as their condition advances.

Take Preventative Action

Whether or not to move closer to a senior loved one isn’t an easy decision, as it involves several changes for you and the person you’re caring for. By carefully assessing the situation and determining the actual level and need of care, it can help make a move successful in the long run.

NursePartners provides services to assist someone living with this ever-changing condition to help them live fully in their moment. Call 610-323-9800.

This article was submitted by Donna Erickson.

All Home Care Clients are Entitled to a Bill of Rights

 

Our traditional home care clients are entitled to a basic list of rights, which we call the “Bill of Rights”.  We keep these in mind throughout the entire process, from meeting the client, forming the care team, and through supporting them throughout the length of service.

  1. Know his/her rights.
  2. Choose the home car agency that will provider their care.
  3. Receive competent care without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
  4. A personal and written care plan and participation in decisions affecting their care.
  5. Receive services with reasonable accommodations of individual needs and preferences.
  6. Be treated with respect, consideration, and kindness.
  7. Be served by dependable and responsible caregivers.
  8. Enjoy confidentiality regarding all medical, financial, and personal information.
  9. Be free of physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse from anyone, including caregivers.
  10. Request caregiver replacements when necessary.
  11. Contact the agency twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week.
  12. Receive services as contracted and given an explanation of all changes.
  13. Voice complaints, have them reviewed, and resolved without an interruption in service.
  14. Receive referrals to other health care providers if the service is denied based upon the ability to pay.
  15. Refuse any treatment or service.
  16. Entitled to privacy, modesty, and security.
  17. Have their property respected.

If the client is living with dementia, they are entitled to the rights above, in additional to a few more which are worth enumerating.

  1. To be informed of their diagnosis.
  2. To have appropriate, ongoing medical care.
  3. To be productive in work and play.
  4. To have expressed feelings taken seriously.
  5. To be free from psychotropic medications if at all possible.
  6. To live in a safe, structured, and predictable environment.
  7. To enjoy meaningful activities to fill each day.
  8. To be out-of-doors on a regular basis.
  9. To have physical contact including hugging, caressing, and handholding.
  10. To be with persons who know one’s life story, including cultural and religious traditions.
  11. To be cared for by individuals well-trained in dementia care

 

Home Care Services for Your Loved One - Nurse Partners

Advice from Centenarians

Centenarians have a lot of lessons to share with us!  As our life expectancies increase, it is worth learning from these three individuals, who are still living relatively good lives being 100 years old (or more)!

Some of their advice includes:

  1. Eat fresh food, including preparing it yourself.
  2. Communicate and be open to new ideas.
  3. Reminisce fondly on those who have passed already.
  4. Keep up with the times and adopt technology.
  5. Invest in fulfilling marriages.
  6. Stay independent, but know when to ask for help when you need it.
  7. Be happy and keep in equilibrium.

To learn more, watch the video below.

NursePartners home care team can keep mom and dad functioning at their best.  We help older adults with the activities of daily living, in order for them to focus on enjoying life.  Services range from basic companionship to 24/7 support for all needs.  Call us today to learn more 610-323-9800.

 

Free Evaluations for those living with dementia

Do you have a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? NursePartners is offering a free evaluation that can serve as the basis for their plan of care*. This offer is valid until May 31 if you mention this ad. We are available 24/7/365 at 610-323-9800.

We work with families to weave together an authentic plan of care, incorporating the client’s life histories, preferences, and strengths. This serves as the bedrock for a care plan that focuses on what the client still can do, instead of what they cannot.

NursePartners was founded in 2002 and only cares for older adults. This is because we are passionate about our work and caring for those who have cared for us. Each case is managed by a registered nurse and certified dementia practitioner. They handpick certified nursing assistants to work with each client, based on the employee’s experience, passion, and interests.

Over the years, we have supported clients living with many different types of dementia including:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Frontotemporal
  • Lewy Bodies
  • Vascular
  • Mixed

No two people are the same, and the journey through dementia is different for everyone. We understand this and have worked with many families over the years. NursePartners practices the Positive Approach to CareTM as developed by Teepa Snow. To learn more, click here.

 

 

* NursePartners waives the evaluation free for clients that plan to use the evaluation as the basis for a plan of care with services through NursePartners.  This is confirmed through payment of a deposit prior to initiation of services.  Clients who would like a plan of care for private use may also contact NursePartners.

Make mealtimes easier

The following excerpt is from the Alzheimer’s Association’s article about Food & Eating.  The complete article and webpage can be found here.

During the middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s, distractions, too many choices, and changes in perception, taste and smell can make eating more difficult. The following tips can help:

  • Limit distractions. Serve meals in quiet surroundings, away from the television and other distractions.

  • Keep the table setting simple. Avoid placing items on the table — such as table arrangements or plastic fruit — that might distract or confuse the person. Use only the utensils needed for the meal.

  • Distinguish food from the plate. Changes in visual and spatial abilities may make it tough for someone with dementia to distinguish food from the plate or the plate from the table. It can help to use white plates or bowls with a contrasting color place mat. Avoid patterned dishes, tablecloths and place mats.

  • Check the food temperature. A person with dementia might not be able to tell if something is too hot to eat or drink. Always test the temperature of foods and beverages before serving.

  • Serve only one or two foods at a time. Too many foods at once may be overwhelming. Simplify by serving one dish at a time. For example, mashed potatoes followed by meat.

  • Be flexible to food preferences. Keep long-standing personal preferences in mind when preparing food, and be aware that a person with dementia may suddenly develop new food preferences or reject foods that were liked in the past.

  • Give the person plenty of time to eat. Remind him or her to chew and swallow carefully. Keep in mind that it may take an hour or longer to finish eating.

  • Eat together. Make meals an enjoyable social event so everyone looks forward to the experience. Research suggests that people eat better when they are in the company of others.

  • Keep in mind the person may not remember when or if he or she ate. If the person continues to ask about eating breakfast, consider serving several breakfasts — juice, followed by toast, followed by cereal.

Early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia

NursePartners presents on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association.  One of the most commonly requested presentations discusses the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.  We compare these signs with others that are more typical of age-related changes.

It is very important to remember that each person is unique, with their own baseline. If you are looking to identify a developing form of dementia, consider all factors that make up that individual, including their personality, life experiences, family, and education. Warning signs are problematic when a few more or more exist.  

The signs of normal aging are just examples. These vary depending on each person.  If you have additional questions, you are welcome to call our 24/7 line at 610-323-9800 or the Alzheimer’s Association hotline 1-800-272-3900.

If you would like to see one of our dementia practitioners or coaches speak, join us at an upcoming event or request one by calling 610-323-9800.

 

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Gantenerumab Clinical Study for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or a Mild Cognitive Impairment

NursePartners is excited to partake in the Graduate I study run by the Clinical Trial Study Group LLC in Jenkintown (www.theclinicaltrialcenter.com.) 

dementia study, Alzheimer's disease study

The Clinical Trial Study Group LLC is looking for adults 50 to 90 years old to participate in this study.  Participants need to be diagnosed as living with an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease or demonstrate mild cognitive impairments which are indicators for the later development of dementia.  The third requirement is that the participant have a “study partner”.  This study partner has at least 10 hours per week of contact with the participant, enabling the study partner to provide accurate information about the participant’s cognitive and functional abilities.

What are the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias?  See this article.

Participants will either receive an injection of gantenerumab or a placebo, beginning every four weeks and then occurring every two weeks.

What is gantenerumab?

“Gantenerumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody designed to achieve specific and highly sensitive recognition of the assembly structure of major
components in Aβ plaques. This hypothesis has been supported by the results of preclinical studies.”

What is a placebo?

A placebo is a “dummy” drug with no active ingredients.  It is given in order to mitigate against the psychological bias that result in some participants feeling better or worse just for have been given an injection (versus not receiving one).

Want more information about this study?  Call 215-884-1700 or visit the Clinical Trial Center via their website, www.theclinicaltrialcenter.com.

NursePartners, Inc. clinicians are participating in the administration of gantenerumab and the placebo.  However, this is a clinical study whose results are uncertain.  We encourage those interested to ask more questions and to consider all options.

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The GEMS™ brain change model

NursePartners embraces the GEMS™ brain change model developed by Teepa Snow.  Unlike other scales, such as the Global Deterioration Scale or the Dementia Severity Rating Scale, the GEMS focuses on creating constructive opportunities to engage with the person living with dementia.  Clients are still seen as people, rather than former individuals lost to the disease.

The GEMS allows us to adapt our care approaches to connect with the person in their moment.  We acknowledge what is lost, but use other senses to build meaningful relationships with our clients.

Services begin with a comprehensive assessment that goes beyond the clinical needs.  We want to know as much as possible about our clients’ preferences and personal histories.  This will allow us to connect from day one, building a durable and trusting relationship.   NursePartners changes the plans of care as we learn new information about each client.

All carepartners attend an initial orientation where they actively participate in a dementia workshop.  Carepartners learn the positive physical approach to care and contribute to a dialogue about the disease.  Dementia coaches then stimulate real life scenarios, filming each carepartner as they approach the hypothetical client.  Carepartners watch themselves as they approach clients, recognizing their strengths and acknowledge an area for improvement.  Scenarios are repeated until carepartners feel confident in the learned approaches.

Carepartners then complete a proprietary training module and final assessment, ensuring that they have understood the training.  At this point, they are ready to be assigned to a client living with dementia.  NursePartners admin will then assess if a client and carepartner would be a good match based on their personalities, interests, and general disposition.

All families are given a description of the GEMS model.  We want them to also connect with their loved one, continuing their relationships.  We help families understand that care techniques must adapt as a person progresses through the disease.  Here is a good summary of the six GEM levels.

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Want to learn more about how we can help your loved one living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia?  Call us today at 610-323-9800.

 

Vision Changes for those Living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia

Our field of vision changes as we age, but the changes are drastic for a person living with dementia.  Eventually the field of vision becomes so restricted that sight becomes a main obstacle in carepartners connecting before providing care.  The results could worsen anxiety, hallucinations, mood swings, aggression, and other behavioral issues. 
Visual deterioration progresses in the following order:
  1. 45* peripheral (This is the normal range of vision for an older adult 75 years young.)
  2. Tunnel vision (The width is about a yard in diameter.  Loss of sight occurs in all directions: left, right, up, and down.)
  3. Binocular vision (Cup your hands around your eyes or use a pair of binoculars to experience this for yourself.)
  4. Restricted binocular (Cup your hands tighter around each eye, until they are just loose enough to fit a pencil through each opening.)
  5. Monocular (The brain shuts off vision to one eye.  This is because the brain is prioritizing other bodily functions such as digestion, respiration, and blood circulation.)
NursePartners practices the positive physical approach to care.  We emphasize the importance of recognizing these changes in order to build meaningful and successful relationships.  Admin includes dementia practitioners and coaches that train our carepartners in dementia care before placing them to work with our clients.  
Want to learn more about our dementia training?  Think these approaches can enhance the quality of life for your loved one? 

Call us to learn more about how we can help: 610-323-9800.

Philadelphia demenia care, Philadelphia home care, Philadelphia Alzheimer's disease“Ambers”, or clients living in a middle stage of dementia, experience the world with binocular vision.
If you want to learn more about reducing challenging behaviors, check out this article from Pines Education.
 

Early Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis: Building Your Care Team

An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia can lead to a range of extreme emotions such as anxiety, depression, anger, or relief.  Although there is no cure for this progressive disease, with enough time the person living with dementia can prepare for the future.  The diagnosed person can establish the details of their own care before they are determined by others.

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        Effective caregiving requires a team and a plan.

If you are a family caregiver, you must also prepare yourself for the future instead of reacting to changes as they occur.  It is not possible for one person to attend to all the emotional and physiological needs of another adult in the face of a progressive and terminal disease.  Often intergenerational lines are blurred, and the caregiver assumes multiple roles.

The person living with dementia will increasingly depend on their caregivers.  If you are the only one, they will depend exclusively on you to make sense of the world as they experience changes to their vision, sight, coordination, and speech.  Their memory will be impaired as tangles and plaques increase, neurological connectivity is disrupted, and brain tissue atrophies and is removed from the body.

Often, we make the comparison between raising a child and caring for an older adult.  However, unlike a child, older adults have collected a lifetime of experiences, even if they are no longer able to communicate them.  These experiences give older adults a sense of pride and expectations for how they are to be treated.  Even if they are unable to articulate their wants, they have established a sense of pride.  Eventually they will depend exclusively on their caregivers for assistance.  This means if you are the only caregiver, they will depend on you for 100% of their needs.  When building a relationship, it is important to incorporate the client into their own plan of care.  This is done easiest earlier in the disease progression.  If you wait too long to incorporate other caregivers into your team, the care recipient may be unwilling to accept care from anyone but you.

Even if the caregiver thinks they are physically able to provide care on their own, this care is ineffective.  Extreme stress inhibits our ability to perform our best.  Family caregivers often suppress their own needs and wants to attend to those of the person living with dementia.  Family caregivers find that they are completing the tasks, but without connecting to the care recipient and making mistakes that often lead to confrontation with the care recipient.

If you find yourself frustrated when providing care, consider evaluating yourself for signs of stress.  Click here to complete the assessment.

Qualified professionals are available to help you with the stresses associated with caregiving.  The Lutheran Settlement House offers a free Caregivers Reducing Stress program that creates an individualized program for you in the comfort of your own home.  This program is available for those living within Philadelphia County.  If interested, please visit their website here.

Have you built an effective care team?  Even if your stress levels are tolerable now, you will eventually need help.  Acting now prevents inadequate care and stress in the future.  It allows us to learn the stories of your loved one in time, so we can incorporate them to effectively connect while providing care.

Let us form part of your care team, call 610-323-9800 or complete this form.