Demanding Dignity, Above All Else, in Eldercare Services

Aging and losing the ability to perform the day-to-day tasks that once defined us can be a tough pill to swallow. Relinquishing those responsibilities to someone else can be even harder. At David York Agency, we understand how important it is to find quality care when a loved one has reached a point in their life where they need additional support and assistance. But more importantly, we understand that dignity, above all else, is the key to good eldercare.

In her novel Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand wrote, without dignity, identity is erased.Thats why, at David York Home Healthcare Agency, we treat all of our clients with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Eldercare service is what we do. It is what we want to do. We care about our clients, not just for them.

Our dedicated staff members provides personalized care to every client.

  • We value your input and listen to your requests. We want our clients to feel involved in the decisions being made about their care.
  • We work to establish trust with every client maintaining confidentiality, without question and without exception.
  • We encourage our clients to remain as active as they are able and involved in their daily activities.

When a member of our staff is in the home assisting a member of your family, we guarantee:

  • Recognition that every client has different needs. By offering a personalized level of service, our staff members are able to give every client the best possible care.
  • Respect for privacy while assisting with bathing and dressing. This is something we hold in highest regard.
  • Sensitivity to issues of toileting and incontinence. We strive to maintain a sense of dignity at all times.
  • Preparing and feeding meals that cater to personal tastes and nutrition requirements.  

At David York Agency, we provide every client the same quality of care we would give to our own families. Along with our certified and licensed staff members, we choose this profession because we love helping people. We hope you will think of us as a valued friend, ready to help you and your family transition into this new phase of life. Contact us with any questions you have about home care services. We are always happy to help.

Helping Others Make Lasting Change

Of all the resolutions we make to start the new year, more than half involve becoming healthier: losing weight, eating better, adhering to specific diet, or quitting [insert bad habit here]. And while much is made of how few people achieve their goals, what of those who get it right? The people who drop a dress size, adopt a healthy new routine, eliminate a specific toxic behavior? What constitutes the difference between those who succeed and those who do not? The answer lies not in the resolutions we make, but in how we go about realizing life changes that determines success.

When caring for aging parents or loved ones, a related question might be how to help them adopt new habits when you’re not always there to observe their behavior and offer encouragement—or if they resist making the change. How do we help a loved one overcome a habit that’s bad for their budget, their health, or their general well-being?

TNew Yearshe most common problems the elderly face involve

  • getting enough sleep
  • eating healthfully
  • managing chronic health issues
  • appropriate daily exercise

When helping an elderly adult make positive life changes, consider the following suggestions which experts advise for creating lasting and effective resolutions for the upcoming year:

  • Focus on one habit change, and make it realistic.
  • Understand the “Golden Rule of Habit Change,” which states that every habit has three components:
  • The cue (or a trigger for an automatic behavior to start),
  • A routine (the behavior itself), and
  • A reward (which is how our brain learns to remember this pattern for the future).
  • Learn to recognize triggers.
  • Replace an old habit with a new one, or associate a specific trigger with a different behavior.
  • Take small realistic steps. Make them manageable and duplicate them every day.
  • Celebrate accomplishments.

Whether the goal is to help a parent manage diabetes or to be active on a daily basis, helping another through these steps may not be easy, but the outcome—a healthier lifestyle and potentially longer and more productive life—is worth the effort.

When it’s not possible to spend as much time as you’d like with an aging loved one, David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals when you need them. Our Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), are available full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the very best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755 or visit our website www.davidyorkagency.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn, google+ or Twitter.

Using Color and Contrast to Increase Safety in the Home

As your loved ones age, their changing physical needs also require a change in their physical environment – their home. Elder proofing a home is a way to make sure a senior’s home is safe and in many cases it requires only slight accommodations and a small investment. A simple, yet effective method is incorporating color and contrast to increase the safety and functionality of their home.

color and contrastThe use of color and contrast accommodates the aging eye which may lose sensitivity and have difficulty differentiating similar patterns and colors. Therefore, using bolder color contrast becomes crucial. “When we talk of color contrast, it’s the separation of lights and darks,” said Michael Pause, a professor who teaches color and light theory at North Carolina State. “It’s the notion of being able to distinguish between two surfaces.” For example, using different colors on kitchen countertops and cabinets can help people with declining vision discern where one surface ends and the next begins. Other areas of the home that can benefit from color contrast and make for easier navigating include baseboards, stair edges, ramp edges, door moldings and, in the bathroom showers and bathtubs.

According to the Healthy House Institute,

“If the color of a floor and wall are similar, low light conditions will make it hard or impossible to clearly see where the floor meets the wall. The result for eyes not adjusted to low light conditions can be accidental collisions into the wall perhaps by turning a corner before actually reaching it. High contrast or opposite colors on the floor and walls makes the floor visually ‘pop.’ These are visual cues, additional guideposts for the brain to navigate by.”

There are a myriad of ways to use color and contrast to increase functionality in the home. The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State offers several ideas in its “Universal Design in Housing” guide.

• Use a contrasting color border treatment on between floor surfaces and trim.
• Add color contrast to differentiate between stair treads and risers.
• Emphasize lighting at stairs, entrances and task lighting which affords easy recognition of the junction of floor surfaces and walls.
• Create contrast between countertops and front edges or cabinet faces.
• Avoid glossy surfaces, which may reflect light and glare, potentially confusing the eye.
• To increase safety, install color contrasting faucet handles.
• Use contrasting colors on wall and casements when installing light switches and window hardware.
• Color can also be used for facilitating recognition of everyday-use items in the kitchen and bathroom as well.

David York Agency has done a lot of research about elder proofing homes and has compiled a concise, handy chart for caregivers to use which is available on the caregiver resources page of their website.

David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals when you need them: Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755.

Elements of a Barrier-Free Bathroom

The bathroom has come to be viewed as a retreat – a place for relaxation, solitude and renewal in the home. However, for the elderly and infirm, it can present formidable barriers to use and may compromise safety when physical abilities begin to fail. However, designing or updating a bathroom to be handicap accessible and able to accommodate the changing needs of an individual can incorporate tranquility into a once again functional space.

For an able-bodied person, a standard tub or shower poses no challenge. However, consider changes in mobility and it becomes a different story. Raising the height of fixtures like the sink and toilet, in addition to allowing for increased clearance for walkers or wheelchairs, are simple ways to increase accessibility in this room. On the other hand, the bath and shower are the trickiest for ensuring safety and accessibility.

bathroomsWhen renovating or designing a bathroom to accommodate the elderly or handicapped, many will choose to add shower or bath options that are both user-friendly and beautiful. Increasingly, bathroom remodels incorporate barrier-free showers taking into account possible future needs and the market has responded with some very aesthetically pleasing options.

If a remodel is your choice, a zero-entry or curbless shower offers complete accessibility with no threshold to step over can be designed to occupy any amount of space desired – from that of a standard shower to much larger. Installing a hand-held showerhead on a slide bar is a great way to increase usability, allowing the user to shower while seated. Of course, a shower bar is an easy to install and a popular standard for safety. Walk-in bathtubs are also an option and can be installed in the same footprint as an existing standard-sized tub.

Accessible bathrooms are critical for creating an accessible home as loved ones age. David York Agency is well aware of possible safety hazards and their home health aides know how to navigate their clients in the bathroom safely. David York Agency has done a lot of research about elder proofing homes and has compiled a concise, handy chart for caregivers to use which is available on the caregiver resources page of their website.

David York Agency’s qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals provide additional peace of mind, offering the services of Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755.

 

 

Returning Home After a Stroke

When a stroke occurs, time spent in the hospital amounts to mere moments compared to what can be a lengthy and challenging recovery process. A stroke can change your loved one’s life in the blink of an eye, and can suddenly make normal, everyday activities impossible for the stroke survivor to do alone. Living arrangements, too, can create unique issues—even the scope of the home (its layout and its associated responsibilities) may be incompatible with their changed capabilities.

As soon as possible in advance of the stroke survivor being discharged, an assessment should be made of the stroke survivor’s entire situation, including their living environment, support fromUntitled1 family, disability and insurance benefits, along with the possible introduction of in-home healthcare.

According to information published by the US Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality, ensure a safe and comfortable transition by reviewing the following and making necessary changes:

  • Making sure that your loved one has a safe place to live,
  • Deciding what care, assistance, or special equipment will be needed,
  • Arranging for more rehabilitation services or for other services in the home (such as visits by a physical therapist or hiring a home health aide),
  • Choosing a healthcare professional or doctor who will monitor your loved one’s health and medical needs,
  •  Learning the necessary skills to provide your loved one with daily care and assistance at home,

Experts recommend that, when possible, families take the initial steps in deciding on in-home healthcare well in advance. David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals when you need them: Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), full or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755.

 

Mitigating Pre-Diabetes

Diabetes affects a disproportionate number of older adults—approximately 25% of Americans aged 60 and over. In the United States, our growing aging demographic is clearly one of the drivers of the diabetes epidemic. Another less known condition, prediabetes, is even more common and affects an estimated 50 percent of Americans over 65. Prediabetes is where one’s blood glucose level is above normal, but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes. It is important for seniors to be aware of prediabetes because it is very common and greatly increases one’s risk to develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Lady SwimmingMedication
When someone is at risk of developing diabetes, a health care provider may prescribe certain medications to manage symptoms. Taking even simpler steps, however, may be even more effective in preventing the disease.

Physical activity
There are numerous studies that show the benefits of being active as we age. This is absolutely vital in diabetes management. The activity doesn’t need to be strenuous—begin slowly to build up stamina and strength. Limited mobility isn’t a barrier, many websites and books today offer suggestions for chair and limited mobility exercises.

Weight loss In addition to increasing physical activity, cutting back on calories from sugar and bad fats can go a long way in managing weight. The American Diabetes Association suggests losing 7 percent of your total body weight as a goal.

Continued monitoring
If you’re at risk for diabetes, having blood glucose checked once a year is standard; some health care professionals may suggest more often. Blood pressure and cholesterol should also be checked regularly, as fluctuations can point to heart disease and blood vessel problems.

If you’ve been told you are prediabetic, or that you’re at risk of developing diabetes, see this as a warning sign—not a life sentence. By taking simple steps and getting help from your health care provider and loved ones, diabetes can be prevented.

David York Agency is skilled at recognizing the symptoms of various diseases endemic to the elderly. David York Agency and their team of home heath aide professionals will be there to help you every step of the way. Our client intake coordinator is available to answer your questions about in-home healthcare. When you sign on as a client, a free nursing assessment helps tailor a specific care plan performed by a caring home health aide.

For more information about our services, please visit www.davidyorkagency.com. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on our LinkedIn or Twitter pages. You can also call us at 718.376.7755 and we will be happy to talk over your specific home healthcare needs.

Is My Caregiver Available in an Emergency?

It’s estimated that older patients account for nearly 25 percent of all emergency room visits, exhibiting a range of conditions, from physical illness to cognitive disorders. Additional causes or factors can include falls, dementia, delirium, and simultaneously taking several medications, all of which can complicate the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of maladies in the elderly population.

BP is care available in an emergencyBy the time it becomes necessary for you or your loved one to hire a home health aide or caregiver in the home, accidents, illness or emergency room visits have likely already occurred. These incidents often serve as the precipitating event, indicating that personalized, in-home care is important for continued health and well-being. While there’s no guarantee that the aide or caregiver will be present should an emergency event occur, having a healthcare professional’s record of activity, behavior and medical care available can streamline the process, ensuring the best outcome for you or your loved one.

When you choose to work with David York Agency, we begin by contacting your physician and any other concerned healthcare professional, to develop and implement the optimal home care plan to fulfill the patient’s needs. We then select capable home health aides that fit with the individual’s health requirements and living situation. For ongoing care, our Director of Patient Services carefully monitors each case and, at no extra charge, regular visits are made to your home by a registered nurse to supervise your DYA caregiver.

In a life-threatening emergency, calling 911 should always be the first course of action. In the case of other less urgent situations, a David York Agency client always has access to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To request an assessment, call our office in Brooklyn, New York at (718) 376-7755, or visit us online at davidyorkhomehealthcare.com. Our highly skilled Director of Patient Services will carefully listen to your particular caregiver needs and help customize a care plan for your specific home healthcare needs.

What is Elder Abuse?

We were all shocked by the latest images of Peter Mazza, a 99 year old Staten Island man who was fatally abused and neglected by his caregivers. Even Mickey Rooney testified before Congress about being a victim of elder mistreatment in the form of financial abuse. Unfortunately, elder abuse is a growing problem that we all must be vigilant for.

elder abuse

As we become senior citizens, we have to contend with becoming more and more dependent on those around us making it ever more important to make sure that these people are worthy of our trust.

According to the NYS Elder Abuse Prevalence Study of May 2011, Elder Abuse can take the form of: (1) Neglect by a responsible caregiver (2) Financial exploitation (3) Emotional abuse (4) Physical abuse (including sexual).

Tracking and combating elder abuse is difficult due to a lack of centralized ownership of these cases. They are referred out to disparate departments such as housing, law enforcement or fraud. There has been a call to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a resource center for elder abuse information and Elder Abuse Victims Acts have been introduced in Congress to dedicate more resources and improve response to these unfortunate events.

At David York Home Healthcare Agency, we are always on the lookout for our clients. Our home health aides are thoroughly interviewed and rigorously screened including a criminal background check. Our aides participate in ongoing in-service classes to keep them abreast of the latest trends and things to watch for. We are in constant contact with them and stress that they must report any concerns they have about their clients to us. We are available 24 hours a day to the client, their family and the aides for emergencies and any problem that arises.

David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for home healthcare. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 and we would be happy to discuss your case with you. Visit our website at www.davidyorkagency.com or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Exercise and Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

The New York Times just reported on a fascinating study published in the May edition of Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in an article entitled, “Can Exercise Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk?” by Gretchen Reynolds. By examining people aged 65-89 who possess a gene related to Alzheimer’s development, APOE epsilon4 allele (e4 gene for short), the hypothesis that even moderate amounts of exercise or physical activity can help to slow the progression of the disease is confirmed. 

Exercise and AlzheimersThe study was based on relating the following factors:

  • Researchers suspect that it takes years for Alzheimer’s to actually present symptoms in patients. 
  • People with the e4 gene have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Elderly people with the e4 gene who exercised were shown to have better brain functioning than those who did not exercise.
  • Brains of people with Alzheimer’s have hippocampi, a part of the brain necessary for memory processing, that are more shrunken when compared to those in similar age groups without the disease.

The study divided almost 100 men and women between 65-89 years of age into four groups:

  1. Those who have the e4 gene and do exercise.
  2. Those with the e4 gene that do not exercise.
  3. Those who do not have the gene and do exercise.
  4. Those who do not have the gene and do not exercise.

After 18 months, the group who had the e4 gene and exercised had the same normal hippocampi as the two groups who did not have the gene while the group who had the e4 gene and did not exercise saw significant atrophy.  Obviously, this has tremendous implications for those who have the e4 gene.  An exercise regimen is an absolute must for those who have the e4 gene way before any signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear. 

Whether you know you have the e4 gene or even just a family history of Alzheimer’s or neither, with all the research indicating the benefit of exercise, it would seem prudent on many levels to incorporate it into your weekly routine. 

David York Agency is well versed in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease in the elderly and our home health aides and home healthcare team are adept at in home senior care.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit us at our website www.davidyorkagency.com and we would be happy to give you more information about our elder care services.  You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease: To Know or Not to Know

Whether or not one is likely to get Alzheimer’s Disease, or any other disease for that matter, may not be something people want to know.  In a Washington Post article entitled, “Would You Want to Know if You’re Likely to Get Alzheimer’s Disease?” we learn of an interesting phenomenon where people are reluctant to sign up for a study to develop protocols to prevent memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients because it requires that they be tested for the presence of amyloid plaque in their brains which has been found to be highly associated with developing Alzheimer’s Disease.  

AlzheimersAmyloid plaque is clusters of protein in the fatty membrane around nerve cells whose buildup seems to be associated with people with the disease.  According to a study out of Stony Brook University, cognitive impairment may likely result when this protein begins to amass.  

In light of this, researchers are eager to get ahead of the curve and find ways to target and reverse this buildup.  The first study in this area, Anti-Amyloid Treatment of Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s (A4 Study), tests the drug solanezumab.  Although the drug was unable to reverse the effects of full blown Alzheimer’s, it shows promise for greater impact earlier on by flushing out the amyloid before its buildup can affect cognition.  

Yet, few seniors in the 65-85 age range seem willing to be screened in order to be part of a study.  It seems that they would prefer not to be alerted of an impending doom to which they are, at the moment, defenseless.  The screening does include preparing participants for results, but takers are scarce.  

This ambivalence about being tested is likely to get even more dicey since a group of British Researchers just announced that they are closing in on a blood test for 10 different blood proteins that can predict with 87% certainty that early signs of dementia will result in Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Unfortunately, to move the playing field in the fight of Alzheimer’s to the pre-symptom stage, researchers might have trouble bussing the players to the field. 

 
David York Agency is well versed in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease in the elderly and our home health aides and home healthcare team are adept at in home senior care.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit us at our website www.davidyorkagency.com and we would be happy to give you more information about our elder care services.  You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.