Tag: senior health & wellness

Dispelling a few myths about home care

Over the next few weeks we will spending time with those we might not get to see often.  It is important to recognize that they will be putting their best face forward during these reunions.  We should have an acute awareness of changes that have occurred since we last saw them.

The AARP, published a report “Chronic Conditions Among Older Americans” where they state: “More than 70 million Americans ages 50 and older suffer from at least one chronic condition.”  This translates to 4 out of every 5 older adults.

Home care can be the perfect solution, but families worry about entrusting someone with the care of their loved one. When it comes to the health of your loved one, there is no room for uncertainty.  In the interest of setting the record straight, we’ve identified four major myths surrounding home health care:

Myth No. 1: Caregivers aren’t trustworthy

Many families believe that an in-home care provider cannot provide the quality of care their loved one needs and deserves. But trained care providers are knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to providing peace of mind for you and your family. All NursePartners’ care providers are bonded, screened, insured, and have clean backgrounds.  You can rest assured that your loved one will be safe in our care. Each carepartner participates in a behavioral interview, competency testing, skill matching, and orientation to meet the needs of your loved one.

As a licensed home care agency, we specialize in providing highly individualized, quality care in one’s home or residence. We are a network of caring professionals who work with each family to enable safety, comfort, and happiness through home care services.

Myth 2: I will have no say in choosing a care provider.

Reputable agencies will work diligently to match care providers that fit the needs of your loved one. When you choose NursePartners as your home care provider, we begin by reviewing your loved one’s current level of health and wellness. After a care consultation and assessment, we’ll work to match an experienced carepartner to fit your preferences, including personality, communication, behavior styles, and skill set.

Myth 3: Home care will take away independence from my loved one.

Care at home can actually provide a new level of independence for your loved one. A professional care provider can help maintain a person’s safety and independence at home, from planning and preparing meals, to providing transport, and support around the house.

NursePartners strives for exceptional care, forming interactive, trusting relationships with our clients. By appreciating and understanding what is changing and what is still possible, we generate a plan of care that is positive and productive.

Myth 4: Home care is unaffordable.

Many people assume in-home care is more expensive than assisted living.  However, assisted living communities in our area cost at least $5,500 a month.  Once these communities determine that your loved one needs additional care, the daily rate will increase or they will be moved to another facility such as skilled nursing.

Home care is flexible because you choose the hours of care.  Although we may suggest a certain level of services based on our experiences, it is ultimately up to you to decide what coverage is needed.

Many individuals, if given the choice, would choose to remain in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. In-home care is an option for providing support, without moving them from their current residence. While there is a lot to navigate, it’s important for you and your family to know that many options exist.  Our team is available to guide you through this process.

If you or a loved one is thinking about home care assistance, our team would love to help.Contact us today.


Sources

“Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey.” Genworth (n.d.): n. pag. https://www.genworth.com. Genworth, 20 Mar. 2015. Web.

The prices of assisted living communities was compiled through a screening of over 20 assisted living communities in Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and Camden and Burlington counties in New Jersey.

Alzheimer’s and the Ability to Walk

Dementia can affect areas of the brain that are responsible for movement and balance. Because of this, many individuals affected by Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia can gradually lose the ability to walk and perform everyday tasks. Knowing what to expect can make an easier transition for you and your loved one in the late stages of dementia.

Understanding Balance and Gait

A crucial and sometimes neglected part of dementia care is the observation of gait. Gait refers to the motion and stride of walking. One of the first signs of loss of mobility, is walking unsteadily and shuffling. Your loved one may seem slow or clumsy, causing more accidents and bumping into things. This “slowing” is typically associated with a syndrome called “parkinsonism.” Other signs of Parkinsonism include the shortening of steps, “stooped” posture, and the narrowing of the space between feet. When a person with Parkinsonism turns, they no longer pivot on their heels, but instead turn in a series of short steps. During the turns, their balance can become unstable; and are likely to fall backwards.

Apraxia is another condition associated with dementia and the ability to walk. An ataxic gait is characterized by imbalance, and abnormal, uncoordinated movements. Typically the individual can stand, but is very unsteady, taking small irregular steps. Very early in the course of apraxic walking in dementia, a cane or a walker can help. It is not uncommon to see a person go from a slow, cautious gait, to a normal walking pattern simply by taking up a cane.

How you can help:

  • It is important to note that people with dementia can have problems with walking that are not associated with Dementia. Exhaustion and pain can limit how far a person can walk. Sometimes that pain can reflect an unattended problem in foot care or muscle fatigue.
  • The person you care for may also require a mobility aid, such as a walking cane or a wheelchair in order to feel secure. Sometimes just being physically present can provide your loved one with the confidence and security to walk.
  • Consider a physiotherapist: They can help with anything from exercises to strengthen muscles to walking aids.

Care for a person with dementia who is immobile enough can become difficult. Many other problems can develop, such as constipation, blood clots and pressure sores. If you or a loved one needs home care assistance or relief, our team can help: Contact us today.

Sources:

Understanding Dementia: Balance and Gait Examination – DementiaGuide.com. DementiaGuide, 2001. Web. 23 June 2016.