Senior Medical Care
It is quite easy to get swept up in the daily tasks of caregiving for a senior you love. There’s so much to be done, and sometimes it’s just easier and a lot more efficient to do it all on your own, letting the senior relax. After all, our elders have taken care of things for a lifetime; haven’t they earned a break?
The truth however, is that aging with dignity is incredibly necessary to our wellbeing, something that comes from having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. And even though ensuring safety is, without a doubt, our primary concern, there are ways to empower a senior loved one in your care to remain in control whenever possible. For instance:
Work together on projects. While standing … Read More »
More than one out of every three 60-year-olds is currently taking five or more prescription medications, so it’s no wonder that problems occur from overmedication. Polypharmacy in older adults is defined as “…when an adverse drug effect is misinterpreted as a new medical problem – leading to the prescribing of more medication to treat the initial drug-induced symptom,” and can cause a number of additional health risks or worsen existing health conditions.
It’s a good idea for older adults and their caregivers to work together on a plan of de-prescribing. These tips can help:
Compile a list of all medications the senior is taking, including prescription meds, over-the-counter meds, and vitamins/herbal supplements, and share with the senior’s physician and pharmacist.
Request an evaluation of the medications themselves as … Read More »
With many older adults taking multiple prescriptions, and with physicians adding and changing dosages and medications to determine the ideal solutions, it’s essential to know where to safely dispose of unused medications. There are several options:
Check labels. The medication’s label or informational literature might provide instructions on how to properly dispose of the drug. You could also consult the pharmacist for suggestions.
Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This is the suggested method to properly dispose of unwanted medications, and is held once a year in locations across the country by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. Discover the location closest to you as well as the next date for the event here.
Exercise caution before flushing medication down the toilet. Flushing medications down the toilet … Read More »
In an innovative, ongoing trial, deep-brain stimulation – more commonly used for Parkinson’s patients – has recently been tested on stroke survivors. Physicians are hoping that the end result associated with the deep-brain stimulation treatment – which involves implanting an electrode to stimulate a particular portion of the brain – will restore mobility in stroke recovery patients and place an end to the paralysis that so many often experience after a stroke, making the future of home care for stroke patients look much brighter!
To be able to comprehend how a stroke hinders normal brain activity, Laurie Ann Bonkoski, a speech therapist, compares a stroke to a home whose front door has unexpectedly become obstructed by a fallen tree. In her studies, she’s determined to sidestep that … Read More »
As the fifth leading cause of death and number one cause of disability in the United States, strokes are a major health concern. Knowing the warning signs and risk factors for a stroke are critically important, as the longer someone suffers a stroke without treatment, the higher the likelihood of disability or death. That’s why when it comes to seeking treatment for a stroke, time is of the essence.
A stroke occurs when there is a blood clot or hemorrhage in the brain. A recent study from the American Heart Association has revealed that for every 15-minute delay in delivering a clot-busting drug after a stroke, there are a variety of long-term implications. This is because returning healthy blood … Read More »
There’s nothing better than a tall, cold drink on a warm summer day, but for someone with dysphagia, this simple pleasure can be downright dangerous. Dysphagia – or trouble swallowing – affects millions of older adults, due to weakened mouth and/or throat muscles. Alzheimer’s, MS, cancer, and stroke are all culprits as well.
Signs of dysphagia include:
Coughing, gagging or choking when eating, drinking, or taking medication
A gurgling sound in the senior’s voice after eating/drinking
Additionally, if you suspect dysphagia in an older family member, ask him or her the following questions – and check with the doctor right away for further guidance:
Are you coughing or choking when trying to eat or drink?
Are you having frequent problems with food “going down the wrong pipe?”
Is food … Read More »
Juggling the numerous medical appointments, procedures, tests, medications, lifestyle changes, and more is a way of life for the many seniors with chronic health needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a full 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health care need, and 60% are diagnosed with two or more. The challenges may seem overwhelming. But there’s one essential component to effectively managing a chronic health condition: care management.
Diagnoses such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, and more are life-changing. They impact a person’s mental as well as physical health, and it’s important to enlist help in meeting all care needs. Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care specialists, are skilled professionals with expertise in meeting all of the diverse … Read More »
As experts in elderly care in Santa Rosa and other California cities, we understand that recovering after a surgical procedure can take time, especially for older adults. Not only do aging bodies take longer to heal, but together with reduced mobility and a multitude of directions for medications, physical activities, follow-up appointments, and dietary restrictions, there is a lot to help keep tabs on after a hospitalization. So what is the best way to assist an elderly parent after a hospital stay?
Recent research conducted by IPC, The Hospitalist Company, revealed that nearly one out of every five discharged patients required assistance with at least one thing that had the possibility of affecting their recovery. Other similar studies have shown that bringing in professional … Read More »
The intricate steps needed to make it possible for us to see are mind-boggling. Within the blink of an eye, our brains have the capability to take transmitted details from the environment around us, translate that information based upon input from other senses, thoughts, and experiences, and then build an understanding of that information to help make us conscious of what we are seeing.
It’s unsurprising that Alzheimer’s impacts vision, and therefore people with Alzheimer’s can encounter misperceptions and visual deficits, particularly in the aspects of:
Depth and/or color perception
What’s more, individuals who have Alzheimer’s can frequently encounter an altered sense of reality in the form of illusions. For instance, someone with Alzheimer’s disease could see a shadow on the ground, and mistake … Read More »
Out of all the many responsibilities a family caregiver faces, possibly one of the most difficult is managing medical issues. The National Council on Aging estimates that around ¾ of all seniors are identified as having at least two chronic illnesses, and they are seeing an average of four healthcare specialists.
As your senior parent’s advocate, it’s crucial to know how to communicate effectively with those from the older adult’s medical team, and also to arrive at appointments fully prepared to address any and all issues. The following four questions are a good starting point:
Are all of these prescription drugs required? With most aging parents taking multiple medications, you will want to keep an in-depth list and examine regularly with the doctor and also the pharmacist, both of whom … Read More »