Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Pearls of Wisdom

by: John Aker | January 7th, 2014

As we move into 2014, many of us reflect on the years past and make resolutions for the New Year.  While this reflection and planning is worthwhile, some of us tend to expect too much of ourselves–and others.  And sometimes we complicate our daily lives by not focusing on what truly matters.

Take a deep breath and click on the link below.  We think you will enjoy this brief video of seniors sharing wise words which might help you keep things in perspective:

Pearls of Wisdom

Happy 2014!

All of us at Aker Kasten Home Health Care wish you a year filled with good health and great happiness.

If there is any way we can help you remain independent in your own home and enjoy improved quality of life–call us at 561-955-6010!  We are here for you!

 

Hearts Making a Difference

by: John Aker | February 13th, 2013

Operating a service-based business can be both challenging and exhilerating.  The greatest reward for our organization is realized when a client or family member tells us we’ve made a positive difference.  With a view to treating the whole person–not just assisting with physical needs, but also addressing emotional well-being as well, we seek to preserve dignity, promote quality of life, provide for safety, and protect the serenity of the family.  Whether we serve a client for 4 hours a week or 24/7 Live In care, we follow the same model of caring, from the heart.

Caring for the whole person can not be achieved by simply placing a caregiver in the home.  Each client is cared for by a Concierge Team, at no additional cost:  a primary caregiver, a respite coordinator, a nurse supervisor, and a concierge coodinator.  These team members work together to ensure quality outcomes and coordination of care.  (Also available upon request is access to a chaplain for spiritual and end of life care.)  When possible we communicate with a primary care physician and other health professionals to ensure our client’s condition and needs are constantly monitored and met. And will even send progress updates to a designated family member, if desired.

This agency was founded to make a difference in people’s lives.  We’ve learned that the impact of our care can be significant and powerful–despite the simplicity of what we do.

We take time throughout the year to gather our caregivers and acknowledge and honor their efforts to make a difference to our clients.  Their labors of love are rewarded and celebrated for it is not always easy work–but it is work they choose, and it comes from the heart.

We’ve been humbled by kind words for our caregivers, office staff, and leadership.  And yet, we know there is always room for improvement and we must continually strive to enhance our service to others.

Click on our Testimonials page to see what others are saying.  And take a moment to let us know how your caregiver is making a difference in your life.  It’s nearly Valentine’s Day so it’s a perfect time to share a positive word with someone in your life!

So, here’s our positive word to you:  we deeply appreciate you!  We are privileged to have become acquainted with you and to serve you.  From our hearts, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Medicare Changes for 2013

by: John Aker | January 3rd, 2013

With all the news coverage of the changed in legislation surrounding Affordable Care Act(also commonly referred to as ObamaCare), it can be difficult to know what really affects YOU.

The National Council on Aging has put together a few highlights of changes in Medicare in 2013. In addition, they also have posted some helpful links to items such as new preventative care options (such as a smoking cessation program) as well as Medicare’s chart of the monthly payments due in 2013.

There are some positive changes to look forward to including: an easier-to-read benefit summary…discounts to combat the prescription coverage gap…and decreased cost for mental health benefits. Unfortunately, 2013 will also deliver slightly higher premiums. For more details, visit What’s New with Medicare in 2013.

And be sure to join our online community today — we digest medical and healthcare news and information for you to bring you items of interest to you! We will also try to answer your questions so check our Facebook page or Twitter feed often for more current home care and health news items — ask questions and share your opinions. We care about what matters to you!

Avoid Re-Admittance After A Procedure or Hospitalization

by: John Aker | December 11th, 2012

According to research recently conducted at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, patients who received assistance with medication compliance in their home following a procedure or hospitalization reduced their risk of re-admittance to 11% as compared to 34% of those who received no supportive in-home care.

This is just another study affirming the value of home health care and its vital role within a continuum of care which seeks to provide support medical providers such as physicians and hospitals. The goal is to keep you healthy and happy–AT HOME!

Home health care helps you follow doctor’s recommendations, take your medication properly, enjoy nutritionally balanced meals, reduce your risk of falls, and meet reasonable exercise goals–all while assisting with activities of daily living and encouraging your social engagement.

The leading causes of admittance or re-admittance to hospitals and other facilities are medication mismanagement, falls, and failure to make or attend follow up appointments with physicians. Having The Aker Kasten Home Health Care Family on your side will help minimize or eliminate these risks.

And our whole agency is dedicated to you as a whole person. When we introduce your in home caregiver–you actually have a team of professionals working for you behind the scenes.

Your care team will include:

  1. Primary Caregiver
  2. Respite/Back-up Coordinator
  3. Care Manager
  4. Nurse Supervisor
  5. Chaplain (upon request)

And this team is available to you at no additional cost! Each member of your care team has specific skills and sensitivities to ensure unparalleled service and care of your physical, social, and emotional well-being.

Call now for details on how we can help you remain healthy and happy in your own home!

561-955-6010

Aker Kasten Helps Raise Funds for Memory & Wellness Center

by: John Aker | December 5th, 2012

We were delighted to be Bronze Sponsors and send a team of caregivers to participate in a fundraiser for a local Memory & Wellness Center to help them reach out to those in our community living with memory disorders! Here’s a picture of our team, giving of their time on a Sunday to walk for this great cause:

Aker Kasten Memory Walk 2012 Team - memory disorders

Read more here: https://fauf.fau.edu/news/?p=6698

Do You Know The Signs?

by: John Aker | November 26th, 2012

Review the Warning Signs of Heart Attack and Stroke

Not all of these warning signs occur in every heart attack or stroke. If you think you may be having a heart attack or stroke call 911 immediately.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Stroke Warning Signs

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

If you know you are at risk for heart disease or stroke, contact our office to see how we can help you manage your condition.

Our caregivers can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle by being physically active in a safe way–maybe by accompanying you on short walks…preparing heart-healthy meals and snacks…and ensuring you are reminded to take any prescribed medication properly…and transporting you to follow up visits with your physician.

Let us help you reduce your risks!

 

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.

Whole Grains for a Healthier Heart

by: John Aker | August 14th, 2012

New research suggests people who regularly eat whole grains instead of refined grains take in less of a body fat called VAT, a fat linked to a higher risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.  Researchers published an analysis of dietary surveys and body-fat scans of more than 2,800 men and women between the ages of 32 and 83 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  They found that eating several servings of whole grains a day is associated with lower amounts of VAT.

However, those who ate whole grains without giving up refined grains did not seem to benefit from the whole grain-lower VAT connection, so it’s important to make substitutions in the diet, rather than simply adding whole grain foods.

Not sure how to add whole grain and eliminate refined grain in your diet? Ask your Aker Kasten Home Health caregiver to help you read the labels as you grocery shop together and to use whole grains when preparing your meals.  You’ll soon be on your way to a healthier heart!

Whole grains are filled with nutrients such as B vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.   They also provide a feeling of fullness!  An easy way to add whole grain is to substitute half the white flour with whole wheat flour in your regular recipes for cookies, muffins, or pancakes.

whole_grains_display

Call Aker Kasten Home Health Care Agency today at 561-955-6010 to ask for a FREE handout on Whole Grains. * 

* prepared by Kansas State University’s Family Nutrition Program. Adapted from article What’s New by Jonathon Jarashow

5 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure & Sodium Intake

by: John Aker | March 28th, 2012

Do you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or a concern about your weight? If so, your physician may have encouraged you to modify your diet to improve your cholesterol, blood pressure or weight.

It may seem overwhelming at times when you feel need to make a lot of changes in your eating plan to make a difference in your cholesterol, blood pressure or weight. The good news is you can make simple, small changes with both your food choices and how you prepare your foods in order to positively impact your health.

In the coming weeks, we will explore other simple steps you can take to cut back on fat and calories and wyas to eat more high-fiber and whole-grain foods–all important steps toward a healthier diet. First, let’s look at 5 ways to lower your blood pressure and sodium intake because if you are concerned about your blood pressure, reducing sodium intake is important.

  1. Season foods with black pepper, herbs and spices instead of salt. There are plenty of herbs and spices to add zest to your food–you will probably never miss the salt! Low- or No-Sodium salt substitutes are available, but check with your physician before using them if you have kidney problems.
  2. Buy fresh, plain frozen or no-salt-added canned vegetables.
  3. Use fresh poultry, fish, and meat instead of canned or processed meats. If you use prepackaged lunchmeat, be sure to purchase only low or no-sodium varieties. And beware: pre-seasoned items from your grocery store’s deli or meat counter may save you a minute in your kitchen, but could be loaded with sodium.
  4. Cook pasta, rice, and hot cereal without salt. Flavored pasta, rice mixes and instant hot cereal usually have added salt. Preparing pasta with a squirt of lemon or lime and steam rice with no-sodium chicken broth can add great flavor so you aren’t tempted to add salt at the table…
  5. Rinse canned foods, such as tuna and beans, before eating or adding to other foods to reduce the sodium content.

If someone else prepares your meals and snacks, as many of our home health specialists do, be sure to tell them if you are concerned about sodium intake so they can help avoided added salt in your diet.

For more information about obtaining help with meal preparation, go to our Contact page and let us know. We will be happy to help!

Increase in Veterans Administration Aid & Attendance Benefit

by: John Aker | January 25th, 2012

Good news! The Veterans Administration has increased the pension benefit for Aid & Attendance benefit in 2012. Those eligible can get up to $24,239 per year towards home health care services.

Contact our Business Coordinator, Laurel at LRagaller@akhomehealth.com if you would like more information on this resource available to veterans!

Don’t Take a Holiday from Exercise

by: John Aker | December 2nd, 2011

Courtesy of the Private Duty Home Duty Association

Exercise is an important part of life, particularly for senior clients. It’s a known mood and energy booster, great for the heart, and it helps control certain diseases and ailments, like diabetes. While most people are busy preparing for the approaching holiday, don’t take a holiday from maintaining fitness.

From candy to cake to rich stuffingAK_ServiceArea and gravies, it’s the season for indulgence. It’s also the season in which many people are prone to depression. Exercise can help combat holiday weight gain while generating mood-lifting endorphins that can keep clients from feeling the holiday blues. The following tips can ensure that clients stay active and fit during this busy time of year:

  • Encourage group fitness classes. When people exercise with others, they are more likely to feel encouraged and continue their fitness routine than when exercising alone. Find a list of group senior fitness classes in your area, and encourage clients to attend. Ask Aker Kasten Home Health Care Agency about area classes that cater to seniors at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or local community centers or gyms, and offer transportation services when needed. In group classes, such as simple water or step aerobics, clients can get in a good workout and socialize at the same time.
  • Follow trends for fitness and fun with video gaming systems. Many video gaming systems now offer games that focus on getting users moving. The Nintendo Wii and the Xbox Kinect are two systems that have become trendy tools in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country to help seniors stay mobile and increase coordination while having a little fun in the process. Maybe it’s time to invest in a game system and some exercise games, and challenge your caregiver to some fun and fitness. If you loved to bowl or play tennis in your prime, you can still enjoy the competition and movement of the online version without as much strain on your joints.
  • Enlist the family. With family and friends gathering together this time of year, create an exercise routine that the whole family can enjoy. From walking pets to competitive balancing exercises, ask your Aker Kasten Home Health Care Agency caregiver to help you create a list of fun activities that all ages can participate in.

As always, check with your physician before implementing any new exercise routine.

 

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.