Benefits of Home Health Aides for COPD Patients

home health aide checking blood pressureAccording to the American Lung Association, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema – is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is also the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Sufferers of COPD compare breathing to pinching your nose while sucking air through a straw. A coffee stirrer, to be exact. Imagine going through your daily activities like that. Getting dressed, cooking a meal, or simply bathing becomes daunting. The difficulty of breathing for patients with COPD worsens over time, limiting daily activities.

Most caregivers in the United States are family members. As reported by the National Alliance for Caregiving, approximately 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older in the past 12 months.

The benefits of home healthcare services for people living with COPD.

Home health aides provide quality, personalized home care to the elderly and disabled. Having an aide to monitor and evaluate respiratory symptoms is one of the major benefits of home health care.

Aides are also available to remind patients to take medications, assist with physical and occupational routines, and provide companionship. Since dust and allergens are harmful to patients with COPD, aides can provide homemaking care by dusting, changing linens, and doing laundry. Registered nurses are also on call 24 hours a day to guide the home health aides and answer questions. This allows the family and patient to spend quality time together instead.

The home health aides at David York Home Healthcare Agency can help lighten the load of the ‘sandwich generation’ – from family members who probably work full-time while also caring for a loved one – young and old.

The professionals at David York Home Healthcare Agency communicate with doctors and families to develop individualized care for every patient. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you determine what services might be best for you and your loved ones.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Senior Care: Managing Elderly Onset Lupus

woman being wheeled in a wheel chair

If you have Elderly Onset Lupus, you know the challenges of managing this disease and how important having a good support system is.

Watching for triggers and symptoms gives patients and caregivers better control over the disease. Monitoring the disease with regular check-ups is important. Open and honest communication with family, caregivers, and home health aides ensure the proper steps are always being taken.

Limit the Triggers

  • Stress can cause a lupus flare. Avoiding overly stressful situations is sure to improve both your overall health and quality of life. As you struggle with this disease, limiting your schedule and obligations may help.
  • Yoga, exercise, and meditation are great for keeping in shape and focused in addition to being great ways to reduce stress. Skilled practitioners can help develop an exercise routine and provide physical and/or occupational therapy if needed.
  • Ultraviolet light can trigger lupus. Always cover your legs, arms, and head when outdoors and remember to apply sunscreen.
  • Healthy eating habits help to boost your immune system. Home health aides can assist in shopping for and preparing well-balanced meals.

David York Home Healthcare Agency Can Help

Alongside family and friends, home health aides from the David York Agency can help manage your treatment plan from home. Depending on your case, home health aides offer a variety of services such as a nurse assessment and monitoring by a supervising nurse. Home health aides assist with bathing, grooming, and dressing as well as household chores. Additionally, home health aides provide much-needed companionship.

We encourage you to be involved in the planning of your home care, and we support all your rights as a homecare client. Our professionals are certified, and we take pride in providing the highest degree of personal service.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Contact us today with any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recover from Cataract Surgery with Assistance

woman eye exam

Our sight diminishes with age, which naturally has an impact on our quality of life and our ability to live independently. According to the CDC, 20.5 million Americans over the age of 40 suffer from cataracts.  The good news is that cataracts disease is treatable with cataract surgery. With a little help, continuing to live on your own is entirely possible.

The National Eye Institute defines a cataract as “a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision.” This cloudiness can affect one or both eyes and is not transferred from one eye to the other. As people age, the proteins in the eyes can clump together, forming the cloud over the lens. Smaller clumps may not affect vision, but they will continue to grow over time. A cataract may also change the color of the lens of the eye, gradually tinting it brown. Some of the symptoms that cataract sufferers will notice include: blurry vision, faded colors or inability to identify blues and purples, double vision, and poor night vision.

New glasses and brighter lighting in your home may provide temporary relief. However, if cataracts interfere with daily activities, the only truly effective treatment is surgery. The operation is simple, but it may require anesthesia (depending on your risk factors and personal preference). Care after surgery can be crucial in ensuring your eyesight returns appropriately.

In the first couple of days after surgery, you will experience mild discomfort. In the first few weeks, your doctor will recommend you avoid heavy lifting and bending at the waist. Healing is not fully complete for eight weeks. During your recovery period, home health care services could be of great assistance to you.

YOU’LL NEED HELP

After surgery, a home health aide can assist with housekeeping duties, grocery shopping, and transportation to and from follow-up doctor’s appointments. In addition, a home healthcare agency has supervising registered nurses to give direction and guidance to the home health aides. This can be a significant aid during recovery as there are risks associated with cataract surgery. While problems like loss of vision, infection, bleeding, and inflammation are rare, having someone there to provide insight and help get you prompt medical attention can prevent permanent damage.

If you are suffering from cataracts and are considering cataract surgery, contact us to discuss how we can assist with your individual needs. Cataract surgery can improve your quality of life and preserve your independence. Let our quality, personalized home care aid you back to healthy vision.

At David York Agency, it is our mission to provide the highest-quality support services to the aged, infirmed, and disabled. Our highly trained and vetted professionals can provide your family with a level of in-home assistance that meets your needs.

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best for you and your loved ones.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

Caregiver Stress Needs to Be Taken Seriously

Caregiver Stress Needs Serious Attention

Caregiver Stress is Real

Caregivers experience stress just as frequently as anyone else. Unfortunately, they are often dismiss it. It’s assumed that caregiver stress is an expectation that comes with the job. People feel that the stress should be tolerated, like learning to cope with long, boring commutes.

Caregiver Stress Has Medical Consequences

In fact, caregiver stress can cause demonstrable medical problems. Those who take on the responsibility of caring for aging or ailing individuals need to stay healthy themselves. They should not fall into the trap of denial. Just because they’re helping others does not mean they won’t need help themselves. Round-the-clock care can lead to running on lack of sleep or lack of food – both causes of declining health. Caregivers do not receive the amount of healthcare monitoring they themselves deliver, so self-care is exceedingly important.

Patients Can Suffer As a Result of Caregiver Stress

When caregivers deny their own health needs, it isn’t just negative for them. According to some recent research from UC Berkeley, patients suffering from dementia will have a shorter life expectancy if their caregivers experience persistent untreated anxiety or depression.

As many as 40 percent of dementia caregivers suffer from depression. Though the problem is widespread, it is rarely discussed. Those who experience caregiver stress should not feel as if the problem is unusual or that it reflects poorly on them as people. The job is fraught with emotional and physical realities that are often sad. These sad realities naturally lead to stress often culminating in depression. This occupational hazard is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Working Through Caregiver Stress

There are many resources available for caregiver stress, including groups that provide social support and therapists who specialize in helping people cope with caregiver stress. Of course, many people will be able to overcome caregiver stress if they reach out to others in order to get some help with their responsibilities.

Home health aides can work with caregivers in order to provide the best possible standards of assistance for the patients. Being a caregiver is difficult, and getting more support can make all the difference in the world.

An Additional David York Agency Service

David York Home Healthcare can refer you to an agency to help you work through the caregiver stress and feelings of depression you may be experiencing. We can also recommend services that target depression in the elderly, should your loved one be experiencing mental health problems. Please contact us for more information on caregiver stress and related issues.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Are Older Patients Creating Their Own Medical Ageism?

Age-Related Myths Pose Danger to Seniors

When seniors subscribe to these myths, it could prevent them from seeking the medical help they need. These myths and pitfalls include thoughts such as:

  • “It’s too late to change my lifestyle”
  • “Lifelong damage is irreversible”
  • “This pain is a result of my age”
  • “I don’t trust my doctor”
  • “Modern medicine is for the birds”

Elderly Ageism

There’s no question that elderly ageism exists in the medical field, but, in some cases, the outdated beliefs of older patients is the cause. They may be preventing themselves from receiving necessary medical care.

When older patients assert that their advanced age means that medicine won’t – or can’t – help them, they create their own medical elderly ageism. Seniors make common rationalizations for their problems and dismiss them as mere symptoms of aging. These symptoms include: diminishing mobility and hearing, sleeplessness, and chronic pain. Today, however, common ailments can be alleviated or eliminated by healthcare professionals, enabling older patients to pursue active lifestyles.

Trust in Your Doctor

In some cases, health issues wrongly associated with aging can be symptoms of serious underlying problems. New ailments should always be brought to the attention of your doctor. A new study in the British Journal of Cancer reports that one in five older patients with early symptoms of cancer did not go to their doctor. Unfortunately, this was a result of believing that nothing could be done to help alleviate the issues or that they would be “bothering the doctor”. This led to later-stage diagnoses and fewer positive outcomes.

Tackling Age-Related Myths

Age-related myths cannot be further from the truth. People at any age have the resilience and adaptability to make the changes necessary to achieve better health. Both older patients and their healthcare aides need to trust in the benefits of treatments, preventive plans, and recovery options.

The healthcare professionals at the David York Agency are trained to recognize symptoms that require medical attention. They also provide the encouragement to help their patients overcome lifelong age-related myths. Contact us to discuss the right type of care plan for you or your loved one.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

 

Ageism in Clinical Trials Limit the Elderly

25% of patients who regularly take prescription medications are over 65. However, clinical trials severely underrepresent this age group. Unfortunately, this is no oversight. Ageism in clinical trials is an unfortunate reality. The International Longevity Center reports that people over the age of 75 are “explicitly excluded” from participating in 40% of clinical trials. These trials evaluate not only the effectiveness and safety of medications, also treatments. Eliminating older patients from these assessments has the potential to result in improper treatment strategies and dosages, as well as overlooked drug interactions.

Elderly Ageism

 

Facts and Figures

Heart disease is a major cause of death in older populations. Despite this fact, less than 2% of people over 75 were included in clinical trials for unclogging blocked arteries. Worse, trials for advanced heart disease treatments did not include any patients over 65. In treatment trials for cancer – a disease where age is a significant risk factor – the number of patients 65 and up was extremely low. In breast cancer treatment trials alone, the number of participants over 65 was a mere 9%. This is a shocking statistic, given that more than 50% of diagnosed women are over 65.

 Why is Ageism So Prevalent?

Why do these statistics exist? Will this exclusion from medical trials hurt our older population?

There are several reasons for this trend. The first: medical practitioners – including 50% of oncologists – consider older patients to be “ineligible” for participation based on age alone. Another reason for ageism in clinical trials is that coexisting medical issues automatically make a person ineligible. True, varying factors can wreak havoc on the results of a controlled trial, but most patients who ultimately receive treatment will likely have multiple medical concerns. Another reason for this ageism: situation. Doctors deem some older patients ineligible for participation due to distance, inability to travel, and other related costs.

Taking a Stand

Designing trials specifically for the elderly would help alleviate this discrepancy. Quite simply, there is no way to determine how a new treatment will react with an untested population. This includes those with other pre-existing conditions. Prescribing untested drugs among the 65+ community leads to incorrect dosages, poor reactions, and other dangerous problems. Regardless of the reasons, eliminating any age group can have unintended consequences. This is particularly true for the older population who take the most medications and have the most health problems.

It is important to include all age groups in clinical trials. The medical community must make this effort to provide the safest and best healthcare to patients of all generations.

For more information about David York Agencys qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Ageism in Medicine: Mental Health is Critical for the Elderly

Mental Health is Critical in the Elderly

Mental health is equally as important as physical health.

The U.S. Surgeon General once defined mental health as “the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and providing the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity.” This holds true for everyone – including the elderly. Sadly, the lack these activities and stimuli leads to lower quality of life and poor mental health.

Deteriorating mental health can affect financial stability, put strain on families, open up the possibility for criminal victimization, and have a negative impact on physical well-being. Unfortunately, mental health is an area doctors avoid when treating their elderly patients. This implies that depression is normal in older patients.

Jarring Mental Health Trends in the Elderly

The rate of suicide among the elderly is four times the national average. Additionally, seventy-five percent of those who committed suicide visited their primary care doctor within the previous month.

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, recently published a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. This study found that doctors do not spend enough time discussing mental health with elderly patients. Results also suggested that doctors “need more support to identify, treat and refer their patients to mental health specialists.”

How to Spot Depression

Caregivers and family members of the elderly should watch for signs of mental illness. These include:

  • Sadness or depression lasting longer than two weeks
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or social activities
  • Unexplained decrease in energy or changes in sleep patterns
  • Difficulties with concentration or decision-making
  • Change in appetite or changes in weight
  • Memory loss, especially short-term memory
  • Feelings of unimportance, misplaced guilt or thoughts of suicide
  • Unexplainable physical setbacks such as aches, constipation, etc.
  • Changes in appearance or problems taking care of the home
  • Struggles with money or working with numbers

Moving Forward

Given the facts, it stands to reason that further geriatrics training should be required of all doctors and caregivers. This would help combat the lack of mental health treatments available to the elderly. Tackling depression among the elderly could improve overall wellbeing. By providing improved care medical professionals could also enhance the personal independence and maintenance of mental well-being among the elderly population.

Caregivers and family members can protect the mental health of older adults by being watchful for the symptoms and advocating for quality care. Therapy, medications and lifestyle changes can all be effective in treating mental illness, allowing older adults to live longer, fuller lives.

We Can Help

DYA puts a premium on personalized services and attention and conducts regular training classes for all their home health aides regarding many conditions endemic to the elderly. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

 

The Top 10 Ways to Prevent Falls in Older Adults

elderly person falling

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2014, over 29 million older adults experienced falls in the United States. Of those falls, seven million reported injuries. It is important for older adults and their families to take precautions to prevent fall and avoid injuries. The following are the top 10 ways to prevent falls in older adults:

  • Regular exercise. Exercise like yoga and tai chi can help improve balance while weight-bearing exercises can improve strength. If balance and strength are an issue, your provider may recommend physical therapy.
  • Move slowly. Change positions slowly, allowing time in between each position change to prevent dizziness. Also, pausing before going up or down stairs is beneficial in preventing falls.
  • Seek medical care for dizziness. Dizziness may be the cause of an underlying medical condition and should be worked up by your provider.
  • Review your medications. Have your provider or pharmacist review certain medications that may make you dizzy or drowsy.

There are also environmental causes to consider….

  • Avoid clutter. Avoiding clutter in rooms, especially cluttered floors. This is one of the easiest methods for preventing falls.  
  • Be sure your home is well-lit. Inadequate lighting is a major risk factor for falls. Be sure that narrow hallways, stairs, and bathrooms are well-lit at all times.
  • Install grab bars. Installing grab bars near your shower, tub, and toilet can provide additional support to avoid falls in the bathroom.
  • Use a non-skid bath mat. Using a non-skid bath mat in your shower or tub can prevent falls while the surface is slippery.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes. Shoes with rubber soles allow for comfort and safety by preventing slipping on slick surfaces.
  • Avoid loose clothing. Clothing that drags on the floor or bunches during walking poses a serious risk for falls.

David York Agency has added a new service where a Certified Aging In Place Specialist that can assess your home environment, make safety recommendations, and manage any work that needs to be done from start to finish. If you have any questions or would like more information on ways to prevent fall please contact us today.

Here is a checklist you might find handy –

 

For more information about David York Agencys qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Should I Move My Elderly Parent? by Anita Kamiel, RN, MPS (guest post)

The website Minding Our Elders liked one of Anita’s articles so much that they posted it for their followers. 

“Ah.. to this there are no easy answers. There are situations where the need to move seniors from their comfortable home is not altogether apparent, nor are its benefits.

There is a pervasive attitude that moving a senior brings on Relocation Stress Syndrome and Transfer Trauma which describe the ill effects of moving on the elderly which may result in declining health and even fatality. As such, children face the decision of whether to move an elderly parent with trepidation.

There may be ways to keep the senior in their home and familiar surroundings with a bit of elderproofing and home care, but at some point that becomes both risky and burdensome. In terms of a move, questions are: What are the risks? What are the benefits? The whole picture of the senior and their support system must be taken into account.

Continue Reading..

You can also find this published on Anita’s LinkedIn page.

 

5 Qualities That Separate the “Best from the Rest” in the Eldercare Service Industry

 

qualities eldercare industryCaregivers who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty possess the traits that most people might expect. They demonstrate patience, compassion, and responsibility on a daily basis. However, they also possess five lesser-known caregiver qualities that are instrumental to their success in eldercare. These qualities include stamina, vibrancy, tolerance, strength, and composure.

Stamina: The Key to Enduring Support

Providing eldercare service requires a person to be supportive every minute of the day. Being in constant support mode is physically and emotionally draining. The most skilled caregivers possess a high degree of stamina.

Vibrancy: Inspiring Happiness and Optimism in Others

Effective caregivers exhibit vibrancy throughout each day. They display energy, passion and excitement even when they are in the midst of a bleak situation. By exhibiting vibrancy, caregivers can inspire senior citizens to find happiness and optimism in their own lives.

Tolerance: Combining Patience and Empathy on a Daily Basis

The most effective caregivers have higher-than-average tolerance levels for just about everything that comes their way. From their ability to look past a childish remark to their efforts to try to understand how the people for whom they are caring may feel, the best caregivers will react only after assessing the full situation, and generally will let many things roll of their shoulders.

Strength: An Illustration of Physical and Mental Fortitude

Sometimes it is easier to maintain physical strength than it is to display mental fortitude. The best caregivers display both physical and mental strength on the job. They are just as adept at handling an emotionally draining situation as they are helping to lift a person for whom they are caring.

Composure: Helping to Instill Serenity in Senior Citizens

When people enter the later chapters of their lives, they are often comforted by serenity. When caregivers effectively maintain their composure in the face of a difficult situation, they help instill a sense of serenity in the senior citizens for whom they care.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.