There seems to be a big gap with respect to caring for the elderly – reporting and screening for falls. The responsibility for this failure falls to both the elderly experiencing the falls as well as their caregivers and healthcare providers.
A study out of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows 12.6% of
California’s elderly population fall more than one time a year and most do not report it to their medical provider. When they do report the event, the healthcare professional treating them seem to neglect counseling them on fall prevention in 40% of the cases.
Fall prevention is critical to the elderly since it is the leading cause for injury and hospitalization among those 65 and older and the risk only increases as they age. One in 5 people 85 and older report falling more than once a year versus 1 in 10 of those between 65 and 74. The outcomes of a fall in the elderly are often fatal or, at best, have long term consequences for performing their activities of daily living.
While it is incumbent on healthcare professionals to provide counseling to all their elderly patients, these providers must also be informed of any falls by those they treat. Elderly patients must be encouraged to report any falls so that they can be counseled how to prevent falls and to elder proof their surroundings. Also, they need to warn them about certain medications that can exacerbate their lack of balance which naturally declines as they age. Those medications include*:
- anti-seizure drugs (anticonvulsants)
- hypertensive (high blood pressure) drugs
- anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs)
- aminoglycosides (a type of antibiotic)
- certain analgesics (painkillers)
- certain chemotherapeutics (anti-cancer drugs).
*From NIH Senior Health: Balance Problems: Causes and Prevention
At David York Home Healthcare Agency, we could provide direction to caregivers as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in New York in their homes and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors. Our home health aides are certified and fully trained on how to safely care for the elderly. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website. You can also like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
How do you know when a parent or relative needs some extra help? It’s not always easy to come to terms with a loved one having difficulty caring for themselves. But there are some sure signs that it is time to enlist the services of a certified home health aide.
When someone is having difficulty performing two of the following Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), it is time to contact a home healthcare agency for a certified home health aide best suited to the situation.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL):
- Oral Hygiene
Bathing/Grooming/Self Care: If you notice that your relative is not grooming or caring for themselves, it may mean that they need additional help at home.
Unpleasant body odor, greasy hair, and dirty or well-worn clothes, may mean they have stopped doing laundry or are not bathing regularly and are also signs that a the relative may need a home health aide.
Mobility/Positioning/Transferring: If your loved one is not able to get around to do their errands or go the their appointments alone, you may want to seriously look into getting them a certified aide. If they can’t position themselves additional help at home will surely be required.
Food Preparation: If you notice that your parent is losing weight or not preparing healthy meals, it may be time to seek home healthcare. If they seem to have lost their appetite or are eating inconsistently, they may need some help with feeding to keep up their nutrition.
Taking this step can be difficult. This burden often falls on the family to recognize the signs that an aging parent might need help with the activities of daily living. However, there are home healthcare providers like David York Agency which is licensed by the State of New York Department of Health that can provide caring and attentive aides for your loved one. Their high quality home health aides care for your parent or relative making them as comfortable and as healthy as possible.
David York Agency can help you develop a plan to accommodate changes in your parents’ health. Their caring agency helps respect the wishes of your aging parent and fully involves them and the family in how they want to be cared for. This can minimize the anxiety and stress that occurs when quick decisions have to be made. Contact us today by visiting www.davidyorkagency.com, follow our Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages or call us at 718.376.7755.