Our Mission

To care for you or a loved one who wishes to remain independent in their own home,

giving the highest possible level of care and dignity while assisting with a variety of everyday tasks.

Protecting Yourself during allergy Season

Protecting Yourself During Allergy Season

Allergy season is right around the corner! Here are some ways to avoid those awful symptoms:

·         KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS!

·         Get plenty of rest

·         Stay hydrated

·         Eat healthy

·         Avoid going outside, if possible, on dry, windy days or days with a high pollen count.  The best time to go outside is after it rains.

·         If you have to go outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a pollen mask to keep pollen from landing on your face.  Remove clothes and shower afterwards.

·         Limit the number of windows open in the house.  The breeze will bring pollen indoors.

·         Avoid hanging laundry outdoors, if possible.

·         Use air conditioning in the house and car

 

·         Make sure you have any allergy medications you may need

Medication Safety

Medication Safety in Home Care

I would like to point out that, first of all, our CNA's are not allowed to administer medications. We can remind clients to take medications and observe for proper self-administration by the clients.

We have noticed some improper administration and I'd like to touch on a few and explain the dangers.

1. Be sure to tell your doctor ALL of the medications you are taking, including over the counter medications.  OTC medications are just as dangerous as prescribed medications, and can have harmful effects if mixed with certain drugs.  If adding an OTC medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe.

2. Understand the different forms of medications.  In home care, we typically deal with tablets, capsules, and liquids. Tablets with a line in the middle are designed to be cut in half if the prescription/dosage calls for it.  Enteric-coated medications should not be crushed or cut, as the coating allows for the medication to pass through the stomach before being absorbed or metabolized.  Also, do not remove the powder from inside a capsule.  Find out which medications can be crushed or cut before doing so. If your client or loved one has a medication that they are not able take due to swallowing difficulties, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about getting the medication in another form. TAKE AS PRESCRIBED. Altering medications can cause ineffectiveness or drug toxicity(levels of the medication in the bloodstream are dangerously high). Also, some medications need to be taken with food to prevent nausea and/or protect the lining of the stomach.

3. Take medications on time. Most hospitals and facilities have a 30 minute window to give scheduled medications.  This means a medication scheduled for 8am should be given between 7:30am and 8:30am. Doing so provides maximum and consistent therapeutic benefits.

4. Know the side effects and adverse reactions associated with each medications.  Side effects are expected reactions, such as nausea.  Adverse reactions are either unexpected or can be harmful or fatal, i.e. Anaphylaxis .  Inform yourself and your loved ones of what can be expected, and be sure to monitor them closely after starting a new medication.

Grief & Loss

Grief and Loss

When it comes to healthcare, grief and loss is easily misunderstood. When working on my care plans for nursing school, I had to address this topic.  I'd ask the client if they had lost anyone recently, and they would say no then I would write 'client not experiencing grief or loss'. The end, right?

Absolutely not.

The concept of grief and loss is a complex one.  We typically think of the death of a loved one. However, in the field of geriatrics specifically, our clients are grieving the loss of independence, mobility, hearing and vision, memory or the ability to make decisions for themselves.  Perhaps someone can no longer eat the foods they enjoy due to conditions such as diabetes or Crohn's disease. In some cases, they are experiencing anticipatory grief related to terminal illnesses.  Also, families of our clients are experiencing on-going grief related to the decline in their loved ones health.

Each individual experiences and copes with grief in different ways.  What may seem trivial to one person can be a significant loss to another. As caregivers, whether professional or friends and family, we need to be aware of losses our clients and loved ones may be grieving, and address them in a therapeutic way.

First, avoid asking 'why' questions, as these can quickly close the line of of communication. Try saying "tell me more about..." or "how do you feel about...".
When talking, make sure to LISTEN. Put yourself at eye level and express a genuine interest in what they are telling you. Also, know that in some cases, it's not beneficial to remind someone of what they do have-it's best to just listen and validate their feelings. For example, if someone has lost use of their left extremities because of a stroke, saying "Well, you still have your right side" may do more harm. Instead, allow them to express their grief and let them know you will work together to improve their strength, find out what they can do, and regain some independence.

I will further address this topic in future blogs. Here are some lifespan considerations related to grief and loss:

Loss of job, income, financial stability
Loss of body parts (hysterectomy, mastectomy, extremities)
Chronic diagnoses in self or loved ones (psychological, developmental, non-life threatening)
Personal lack of achievement
Divorce, loss of relationships
Children moving away, going off to college



Maintain Independence

 

A part of helping a loved one maintain independence is encouraging them to do the things that they can still do.  As caregivers, we are all guilty of doing too much for someone out of either love or convenience.  Often times, we find ourselves wanting to wait on someone hand and foot.  Other times, it’s much quicker and easier for caregivers to do certain tasks.  By allowing them to continue to do what they can do, they can stay independent and live longer.  Small tasks help maintain strength.  Bathing themselves, dressing and undressing, preparing food, and short walks to different areas of the home throughout the day all help to keep our loved ones strong and prevent illness caused by inactivity.  Doing things for themselves can also help them keep a positive attitude.  Not only can they feel confident in knowing that they are able to continue to do chores, bathe, etc, they may also feel a sense of purpose. 

 

Tip for caregivers:

 

Plan and allow extra time to get tasks done.  Being in a rush may force you to take over.  Whether from weakness or cognitive issues, it will likely take a senior twice as much time as you to do most things.

 

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