Posts Tagged ‘aging in place’

How a Personal Care Aide Can Help One Live Well with Multiple Sclerosis

by: John Aker | March 1st, 2017

Personal Care AideMultiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous system which currently affects approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. In recognition of National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness month, we would like to offer some information for families. With a progressive disease like MS, education about the disease can lead to better management of symptoms.

Living With MS

People with MS typically don’t appear outwardly ill but that doesn’t mean the disease isn’t always present. In fact, 86% of MS sufferers list fatigue as the number one symptom of their disease. The exact mechanism of MS fatigue is not known, but studies suggest that changes in the brain caused by MS may require persons with MS to use five times more effort to complete a simple task than a person without MS, especially if aggravated by stress, activity, fever, and heat exposure.

MS fatigue is not just being tired — it is like having the flu without the other symptoms. Although MS fatigue is common and frustrating, there are things one can do to fight fatigue and increase energy.

A few hours a day of practical assistance from a professional personal care aide from Aker Kasten Home Health Care who is trained in MS care can save energy sources from being drained.

How Home Care Can Help

Nourishing a person’s mind, body and spirit are essential when helping a person with MS stay motivated and enabled. Due to the changeability of the disease, the type and degree of help needed will vary from person to person and may even vary from time to time for the same individual. As with any ailment that requires caregiving, family members can become burnt out or simply not know how to help. Turning to a professional personal care aide for some respite help can be extremely valuable to provide families with a break and some education. Here are a few of the ways a home health care agency can help.

MIND – Professional personal care aides can help family members with their understanding of MS and their ability to make lifestyle adjustments. For instance, they can help establish a daily routine, stressing the importance of limiting activities and taking regular rest periods to prevent fatigue and symptom exacerbations. They can also provide tips and techniques for easier bathing and dressing, assisting as needed.

BODY – Physical limitations play a big part in the caregiving role for MS. It is important to know how to address these. A personal care aide will help with all of these:

  • If the MS patient is on bed rest, maintaining proper body alignment when positioning
  • Protecting skin from friction, pressure, and excessive heat, moisture, or dryness
  • Assisting with body mechanics for good posture, alignment and improved gait
  • Encouraging daily exercise and assisting with physical therapy
  • Providing tasty, nourishing meals and assistance with eating if needed

SPIRIT – The power of mind over body is key in any disease, but really plays a big role in MS. Keeping spirits high will go a long way in managing the disease and making life more enjoyable. Personal care aides from a home health care agency are not only physical helpers but know tips/tricks to help lift spirits, such as:

  • Offering comfort measures, such as gentle massage and warm (not hot) baths
  • Encouraging independence by being sensitive to knowing when to take and then give back responsibility for tasks as symptoms come and go
  • Providing emotional support
  • Providing recommendations for devices designed to make daily activities more comfortable, such as built-up utensils, reaching devices, and sliding boards

Looking for more information?  There are many great online resources and support forums for family members to connect.  Here are a few favorites:

With various adjustments made along the way, most individuals with MS may look forward to a fulfilling and productive lifetime. A personal care aide experienced in MS care such as at Aker Kasten Home Health Care can help with interventions to fight MS fatigue. Contact Aker Kasten Home Health Care in Delray Beach and the surrounding area for more information on how our in-home personal care aides can make a person with MS feel enabled, motivated and connected to others.

How Will You Celebrate Spring’s Arrival in Florida?

by: John Aker | March 12th, 2015

March may come in like a lion or a lamb.

Florida home care

via www.123friendster.com

But regardless of the weather when it arrives, March contains many special days you may want to celebrate. Some of the notable days this month include:

  • Purim (March 5)
  • Daylight Saving Time Beginning (March 8)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • World Kidney Day (March 12)
  • The Ides of March (March 15)–any Shakespeare fans remember the warning, Beware the Ides of March?
  • St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
  • First Day of Spring (March 20)
  • Palm Sunday (March 29)
  • National Doctors’ Day (March 30)

This month has also been claimed for:

National Nutrition Month

American Red Cross Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Women’s History Month

Many of these observations are important and some are also quite fun. The weather across the county is in the process of warming and SPRING is just around the corner. Spring is a powerful season–it seems to compel us to consider what is coming!  New leaves on the trees and buds on the flower buses remind us that we, too–despite our numeric age–can start anew and be refreshed.

Admittedly, it may be a bit difficult to be impressed visually by the arrival of spring when you live in Florida. But take a moment to reflect on that new life that spring offers and make an effort to renew yourself. We are never too old to try and we are wise enough now to know what we want for ourselves and what we want to share with those around us. Celebrate spring this year–do something to refresh your mind and body.

The reason various organizations claim a ‘national month’ is to raise awareness of their cause and many of them attempt to deliver a torrent of educational materials which will urge us to take action, whether it be to improve or adopt new healthier habits or become involved by donating our time, talents, or treasury to further their work to help others. If you are already healthy and want to renew your spirit this spring, check out the website of one of these organizations above and educate and refresh your mind. You may learn something new and you may determine to partner with one of these organizations. Learning and giving back are two great ways to celebrate spring!

Another way to celebrate Spring is to choose just one little healthy habit to re-commit to doing every day. Your in-home caregiver can assist you in setting a goal and recording your efforts. Think of a reward you’ll grant yourself when you meet your goal (a scoop of frozen yogurt?) and keep a diary of your progress allowing your caregiver to cheer you on to victory.

Maybe you want to become more agile, like the tree branches swaying in the breeze, displaying their shiny new green leaves.  Or simply enjoy the scenery and sunshine–try to get outside each day for 15 minutes to soak up some natural Vitamin D from the sun. You could also enjoy taking time to phone an old friend or a grandchild once a week–that will be a spring gift for both of you.

Even enjoying healthier meals and snacks can have a big impact from little effort. Ask your home health aide to help you plan menus and shop for healthy foods and treats. Nutritious snacks like fruits or whole grain toast can be an easy, enjoyable addition to your daily routine. Try to drink more water during the day than you think you need–that can aide digestion and prevent dehydration.

Strive to sit less and walk a bit more. Many doctors are fond of the saying, Motion is lotion for the joints. You don’t have to walk for miles, just a bit extra will help:

  • ask your caregiver to park three spaces further from the entrance to the grocery store;
  • or accompany you on a walk to your mailbox;
  • or do some range of motion exercises at home.

Mark each bit of exercise on the calendar. And enjoy the satisfaction of your achievement!

How will you welcome spring this year? How will you be refreshed and renewed? Let us know if you’ve been inspired. We would love to know how we can encourage you this spring and throughout the rest of the year–tell us now!

If you’d like to celebrate spring by researching Florida home care options for yourself or a loved one, contact us today!

Heart Health

by: John Aker | April 3rd, 2013

Did you know that today is National Walking DayAK_ServiceArea

Did you know that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease?

The American Heart Association has many tips and tools to help you discover the importance of physical activity.  One of the best things about walking as exercise is that walking is free, can be done anywhere (even walking in your home or marching in place in front of the TV during commercial breaks!) and can significantly improve your overall well-being.

Statistics show that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are at risk for heart disease.  And research indicates that poor lifestyle is a major contributor.  But don’t be discouraged–you can help reduce your risk right now by getting active and eating healthy.

Visit MyHeartMyLife.org for more information, tips, recipes, and even lists of walking clubs!  If they don’t have one near you–ask your caregiver to join your walking club!!

 

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.

 

 

 

Marching On

by: John Aker | March 27th, 2013

March is nearly over. Did it come in like a lion or a lamb for you? We have enjoyed windy weather, the ides of March, college basketball’s March Madness is in full swing, and now you may find yourself involved in a religious observation of Passover or Resurrection Sunday, then the month is concluded. But wait! There’s more! It’s not over just yet.

March is also National Nutrition Month and before the month marches on, we wanted to remind you of a few resources to encourage you to eat well–all year long–and present you with a fun challenge…

Marching On Resources and Reminders
Remaining independent at home is a top priority for many of us.  As a home health provider, we are here to help you do just that!  So, we strongly encourage you to march on. Marching on consists of taking control of that which is within your grasp–namely eating right and exercising–foundations for well-being.

Proper nutrition plays an large role in our well-being, more so if you have any chronic conditions. Our Community Resource Library has great cookbooks–some of which center on meal planning and preparation for those with Arthritis, Diabetes, Hearth Health issues, Pain or inflammatory concerns, Parkinsons’s and even those who require soft foods only. If these are of interest to you, call 561-955-6010 and ask about borrowing a book or having a staff nurse assist you in reviewing them.

Be sure to spend some time investigating the latest information, helpful tips, and great recipes at:

 www.eatright.org       www.choosemyplate.gov      www.nutrition411.com

Did you know that our caregivers can help you choose healthy options at the grocery store and assist you in preparing and eating nutritious meals and snacks? Make a game of it and try a new, healthy recipe together. When you are ready to march on toward something bigger than just nutrition, tackle our challenge below.

The Challenge
To make eating healthier fun and prove it makes a difference, write down all that you eat and drink over a 7 day period. Weigh yourself the first day and write it down. Then write down all the foods and drinks you consume for the next seven days then weigh yourself again. Review your dietary choices. You may be surprised to learn you are already eating good, nutritious meals and snacks. Or, you might find that a few small changes are in order–give yourself some new marching orders.

If you do need to make healthier food choices, begin doing so and log all your food again for another week. (Be sure to list your beverages too–you may be surprised how little water you drink. And many medications can have a dehydrating effect so drinking more water could pay dividends in how you feel.) Weigh yourself again at the end of that week.

The next step would be to march on. That is, add a little walking to your day–your in home caregiver can accompany you. (Be sure to ask your doctor what level of exercise is safe for you.) Even if you can’t walk, you could easily add some movement to your day in the comfort of your own home. Our Community Resource Library offers chair exercise videos so dare your spouse or caregiver to exercise with you–see who can keep a smile on their face through an exercise. Let the winner choose the day’s healthy snack. Keep marching on, you will quickly feel a sense of accomplishment. And in just a short time, exercise and proper nutrition will make a big difference in how you feel!

If you embark on this home health challenge, please let us know. We would love to help encourage and support your healthy changes and celebrate with you when you feel better. Eat well and enjoy the rest of March!

At the top right hand corner of this page, click on the Face Book, Twitter, or Google+ icons to join the conversation. We can’t wait to hear from you…

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.

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