Know the Signs of Abuse in a Nursing Home

No one ever wants someone they love to have to live in a nursing home, but there are times that it is necessary. While it may be the best option for loved ones, there have been many cases of abuse to the elderly in nursing homes. If someone you love is being abused, but aren’t sure what the signs and symptoms are, learning is the first step. Some residents of nursing homes who are being abused won’t say anything about how they are feeling or what has happened, but may still show some of the classic symptoms.

The first and easiest to notice are physical symptoms. There a couple different forms of physical symptoms that depend on the type of abuse. For physical abuse, the person may have bruises, pressure marks, cuts and scrapes, burns, and even broken bones. These can be signs of more than just physical abuse, but also neglect or mistreatment. Signs of neglect can also be bedsores, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, and unattended medical needs. Elderly who are in these types of situations may also suffer from sexual abuse. There are a few physical indicators that show that there has been sexual abuse, like bruising around the genitals and/or breasts. Sexual abuse can come from not only the care takers or workers at the residence, but it can also come from visitors and even other residents. Physical abuse isn’t the only form of abuse found in some nursing homes.

Verbal and emotional abuse are often found in nursing homes that have a problem with patient abuse. These are both a form of psychological abuse and rarely leave any physical evidence. This form of abuse is used against the resident causing harm to their self-esteem and outlook on life. This may include cursing at the patient, ignoring them, intimidating or humiliating, threatening, insulting, demeaning, criticizing, and belittling the resident. This is a very common form of abuse especially in nursing homes that are understaffed, over-populated, and have a stressful work environment. The signs that someone has been verbally abused can be shown through several different behaviors like the person being emotional, upset, angry, withdrawn, anxious, and in some cases they may be ignoring, threatening, frightening and even insulting towards their loved ones.

Another common form of abuse is the exploitation of the resident’s finances. This happens when a resident’s finances are either used against their will, without their permission, or is used wrongfully. Financial exploitation is defined as the wrongful use of an individual’s finances or property for another’s advantage. This can happen to a lot of senior citizens, not just those who are in nursing homes. If you have control over the persons finances, or have knowledge of what it should be and you notice that the persons bank account seems abnormally low or there have been a lot of checks cashed, they may be a victim of exploitation. This can also mean that someone is forging the resident’s signature, stealing money or possessions, or even selling their possessions without the persons consent.

Elderly abuse is very common and can possibly lead to wrongful death. If you notice that someone you love or know is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, you will want to act fast. You will want to contact a lawyer, preferably one who specializes in nursing home abuse. If the abuse is physical or emotional, or really any kind for that matter, you may seek to move them out of that nursing home or senior care facility as soon as possible to prevent anything worse from happening. Elderly abuse is a very serious issue, if you see any signs of abuse, call authorities and speak to a lawyer.

Buying Into Home Health Care

When dealing with home health care, one has so many advantages at hand that they almost have to be picky about what they are going to get involved with.

Believe it or not, home health care these days is an unmatchable service, because its singular job provides a multitude of services you would not expect.

From occupational therapy to physical therapy to speech therapy, home health care has adapted to provide people all these services you would have to go elsewhere for inside the home. Just think of the situation. You would typically have an appointment Monday with your physical therapist. In fact, it would probably even be Monday and Wednesday, as most therapies occur two days a week. That being the case, take occupational therapy and schedule it for Tuesday and Thursday. Finally, speech therapy gets prepared for Fridays, and maybe every so often you switch around therapy to not over do it, or not accommodate other appointments.

Could you imagine having to do all that? The driving, the gas money, the constant roaming around and never having the right time to rest; it all seems too daunting and too straining to even be thinking about. However, it is often the reality for some who are trying to live at home, but still look after themselves by seeking out the best care possible.

With home health care, you can eliminate this need to be everywhere everyday at once, and you can make your day around when someone is coming to help out. In fact, many people think that all home health care providers do is look after patients at home by giving them medicine or cooking them meals.

They do not realize the extensive training they have received that allows them to help out with therapies like occupational, physical, and speech. That isn’t to say that the most basic forms of care are not provided or aren’t necessary. Certainly they are.

However, the main point of home health care is to go beyond the general offerings of nursing facilities. It may be easy to think why that is possible, but there are a lot of options to cover, and home health care providers stay on top of them. For instance, nursing facilities are excessively costly, and it is challenging to try and reduce such costs. There are some fees that are just out of your hands, such as usage inside your dwelling, or payments that go toward the staff. Those are just some of the base costs. There is no telling how far expenses can extend.

Once your decision has finally come to be made, it is important you sit down and actually compare the cost differentials between home health care and a facility that one moves into. Chances are that you will see that in every aspect home health care is going to be the more affordable option because you have some control over the costs. However, it is important you see for yourself. No matter how convincing the arguments seem, you must inform yourself first and foremost.

Hiring an Estate Sale Liquidator Company

People often don’t know where to start when dealing with a lifetime of possessions. I see it so often. An estate liquidator many times has the knowledge and resources to liquidate an estate. Organization is the key. They will know how to arrange items and how to group like items together. They will know what to keep and what to throw away. An experienced liquidator will know what needs researching and when to call in an expert.

An experienced liquidator will know how to write an ad, where to spend money to draw in a crowd and attract attention to specific items. They will also have a following and an online presence. Many times a family run sale is unwilling to spend a little on an ad in a local paper. The ad winds up being two or three lines. The potential customer won’t know if it is worth going to or not. With the price of gas they may just stay home. Other mistakes I see in family run sales is not finishing the set-up process before they open their doors. They think customers will keep coming back to see the new items. Well they may not. The third mistake is starting the sale too late in the day. Estate sale customers tend to be early birds.

When you hire a liquidator you need to know:

1. A reputable dealer will not pre-buy or insist on taking possession of the leftovers.

2. They will request that no items are removed from the property after they have commenced setting up the sale.

3. The amount of help that is needed will depend on the size and scope of the sale.

In a small sale, the revenue may not be large enough to hire a lot of help.

4. You should ask for references.

The antique market is as fickle as fashion. Many items that sold well five years ago, no longer sell. This is supply and demand. If the market gets flooded with an item, the price of course goes down. But still many antiques can still command high prices. A good dealer does need to be familiar with the antique market. The success of the sale can also depend on location. In any retail endeavor location is a key factor.

Many customers buy household items that they need for their own home. This includes sheets, towels, mixing bowls, drills etc. They want quality items in good shape. A lot of the revenue can be collected from such items.

Dealing with an estate can be overwhelming. There are a lot of things to know and remember. I hope these points help you on your journey.

Best Wishes

The staff at Sale by Gayle

Bowel Incontinence and Kegel Exercises

Dealing with bowel incontinence can be highly embarrassing but thanks to adult diapers and other incontinence products you may be able to save your dignity. Other people will not be able to notice that you have an issue with bowel incontinence as these incontinence products are a great way to prevent you from having issues while you are trying to work or just enjoy your life.

When dealing with bowel incontinence it is important to schedule a meeting with your doctor to discuss various treatments that are available. This is the best way to figure out if there are surgeries or other things that can provide you with relief. Your doctor will like to talk to you about Kegel exercises. These are commonly used by pregnant women to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. This will give you greater control over your bowels and can prevent you from having as many issues with fecal incontinence. It also helps to understand more about incontinence and how bowel incontinence differs from other types of incontinence. Some forms of incontinence can be managed with adult diapers and other products where others need to have additional incontinence products and therapies.

The Kegel exercises are easy to perform and just about anyone will be able to retrain their bowels by using these exercises. What you need to do is focus on isolating your pelvic floor muscles. The best way to do this is by using the restroom and focusing on stopping the flow of urine. As you try to stop the flow of urine you will be able to see which muscles are responsible for helping you to release fecal matter as well. The goal of Kegels is to strengthen these muscles and performing contractions and releases during excretion can show you that it is working and the muscles are starting to get tighter.

One other method to focus on strengthening the pelvic muscles is by using some rubber gloves and sticking a finger up the anus and then tightening around it with the muscles as tightly as you can. You need to hold the contraction for about 5-10 seconds before releasing and then doing it again. How often do you need to do the exercises is based on your doctors opinion but the average person will do it about 10 times a day.

A great way to find out if the Kegel exercises are helping is by using biofeedback. This is a computer program that will give you feedback as you are working on the Kegel exercises. Your doctor can perform the biofeedback in order to give you the right type of results and help you focus on strengthening them more if it’s not working.

Finding the right type of products to help you manage fecal incontinence will make your life much easier. Use this link to find incontinence supplies that work well at catching the fecal matter that is released from your body throughout the day. Adult diapers and other incontinence products can help you to maintain your dignity as they will not only provide you with a product to catch the fecal matter but they can also give you additional things that help to cover up the smell that may come with bowel incontinence.

In addition to using adult diapers or incontinence underwear you also need to consider incontinence bed pads. This will give you a way to maintain your dignity at night in the event that you end up having problems with incontinence at night. One quality product to consider using is Abena adult diapers. These are wonderful products to help manage several different types of incontinence and give you back your dignity!

The Benefits of Senior Home Care

A wide-range of services are available for seniors choosing to receive rehabilitative home care. Senior home care is the preferred option for medical services following a lengthy hospital stay. This option helps the family care for aging loved ones, while also helping the patient remain comfortable and independent.

Many patients and the family are opting to utilize the services of home care professionals as opposed to long- term residential facilities. Although nursing or assistant living facilities offer round-the-clock care, they are generally considered for emergency and unplanned situations. Long-term care does not offer the comforts of senior home services in relation to individualized attention and treatment options. More so, residential facilities are less affordable or fail to implement patient-focused principles.

Senior home healthcare has reached growing public demands, which suggest that patients are more comfortable in their own homes. Successful home healthcare not only provides ongoing security for the patient, it guarantees support and peace of mind for the caregivers. The prospective in-home provider empowers the patient and family to be involved in the initiating of customized goals as well as in the quality of care.

An elderly patient needing extensive care is generally referred by primary physicians. Primarily, in order to qualify for home care, the patient has to be considered homebound and need ongoing specified medical services. Senior homebound patients are usually disabled or chronically ill. They may be recovering from surgery, stroke, heart attack, cancer, or diseases of the nervous system. They may have also undergone procedures, such as knee or hip replacement. In some instances, assistance is required to provide IV therapy, colostomy or catheter management. Other services provided are related to the activities of daily living.

When health care services are implemented, teams of skilled and certified professionals’ work together to provide the best, quality care. Each team member is committed to concentrating on the patient’s physical, social, and emotional well- being. The home care agency is expected to provide the patients and their family with the care, support, and education to ensure successful treatment.

Senior healthcare classifications regulate that the services are rendered by medical professionals who are skilled in administering specified medical procedures. The skilled nurses must be Licensed Practical nurses (LPN) or Registered nurses (RN). Certified non-skilled home care professionals or home health aides offer a wide-range of supportive services. The aides are significant to the success of treatment in that they serve as companions and life assistance specialists.

The skilled nurses conduct and coordinate the direct medical care of patients. They perform services, such as monitoring vital signs, administering medications, applying wound dressings, diet management, IV infusions and injections. The health aides assist with daily living activities, to include personal hygiene, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and companionship.

Disabled and chronically ill seniors prefer to receive health care in the home because of its distinguished benefits. While long- term care offers the same services, they are often costly and suffocating. Senior home care is reliable and compassionate; thereby offering a variety of services at an affordable price.

Five Signs of Caregiver Burnout

As a Geriatric Care Manager, I have seen caregiver “burnout” and the toll that caregiving can have on a loved one. When I am working alongside a family member who shoulders a big share of the care for an older adult someone with special needs. Quite often, however, caregivers try to hide what they are feeling as a response to the stress of their physical and emotional workload. They may fear that admitting burnout is akin to suggesting they do not love the person to whom they are offering the care. Not true.

Having talked about the stress of caregiving, I think it is really important to distinguish stress from burnout. Experiencing stress is not the same as burnout, although stress that is not relieved can certainly lead to burnout. Let me give you a few contrasts and then some signs to look for in a family member who is the caregiver or even in yourself if you have taken on the role of caregiver:

  1. You are stressed if you are “hyper-involved,” but burnout encourages disengagement from others just when you and your loved one would benefit most from others who could help.
  2. You are stressed if you feel in emotional overdrive, but burnout makes all your emotions duller and your own needs for emotional support more acute.
  3. Stress can lead to anxiety about doing enough, but burnout more typically results in depression which again would instead benefit from being engaged with others or having someone in whom you can confide.
  4. Stress can sap your energy, but burnout depletes your motivation or your hope so you can begin to see where the depression can arise.
  5. Stress may induce a sense of urgency about all that you have to do, but burnout results in the detachment of depression and all the other cascading issues I have mentioned.

I have a client who is a husband caring for his spouse who has dementia. It is exhausting work, he admits, but he is quite dedicated to her. His response is to take daily breaks to workout at a fitness center in his residence. It gives him a chance to recharge as well as the physical capacity to do the next shift. One of my associates describes it as “taking care of yourself so that you are better able to care for another.”

Check out some of the recommendations of a group called “HelpGuide”. They sum up their approach simply in three R’s:

  • Recognize-identify the symptoms
  • Reverse-address the stress and/or seek help
  • Resilience-take care of your emotional and physical well-being.

Caregiving and Football

Yesterday I was watching the Super Bowl and at some point in the game I was struck by the similarities between football and caregiving. Now don’t think I’ve lost my mind. I was rooting for the Patriots, but it wasn’t their day. It was evident if you watched the game that Eli Manning, quarterback for the Giants, had a much stronger team supporting him during the Super Bowl. This is not to say that Tom Brady didn’t have an outstanding team, only that on Sunday, February 5, 2012, he didn’t get the kind of support he needed. I watched him dodging tackles and doing everything to avoid getting sacked. It’s hard to lead the team when you are running for your life. It’s hard to keep your wits about you. Tom Brady is very skilled at keeping his wits about him, but even he has challenging days and this year’s Superbowl was one of those days.

Caregiving and football are similar. When you are caregiver, you are the leader of the team. The success or failure of this journey rests on your shoulders; and it’s a heavy responsibility. Your team consists of the person needing care, doctors, nurses, accountants, lawyers, family members, outside forces, a home to keep in tact, prescription medicine, dietary needs, organization, insurance claims, and any surprises that might present themselves to you along the way. It’s a very complicated team and it doesn’t always operate as a unified force; in fact usually, it doesn’t. So imagine what happens when someone tries to do caregiving ALONE – with no team in place; with no family support; with no outside help; without communicating with doctors; without asking for help. Imagine what that is like. I’m betting most people reading this can very well imagine, because most people have never set up a TEAM!

Here’s the thing: it’s not easy to get a good team in place; let alone a great team. It takes time, energy, persistence, clarity, a willingness to lead and an ability to bend and change as needed. It requires you to not take “no” for an answer. It requires you to say “I love you” when you are the most frustrated. It demands that you hold up in the face of adversity. It calls upon you when you think you have nothing left, but you find out you do. It requires that you be the ultimate leader.

Setting up your support team when you are a caregiver will save your health, your emotional strength and your physical stamina. It will save your life. I know, because I tried to do caregiving alone and I almost lost my life. And then I put a team in place and I worked with my team and I trusted that my team would be there for me and in effect, I won the Super Bowl… my Super Bowl, but we won. We all won. Our season lasted for six years, 365 days a year, 24/7 care and we didn’t have an off season. We showed up and we played every day. We showed up and we did our best every day. We showed up because we worked cooperatively as a team. We didn’t have to be perfect; we just had to show up and do our best. And when our season ended we knew that we had played our hearts out; given it our all; gave the best we had to give to someone who needed our help and we felt like winners in our own Super Bowl of caregiving.

Caregiving is easier when you have a TEAM and yes, caregiving IS a lot like football.

Elder Care

Gifts to Give to Your Aging Parents

Life is short so as early as now, we shall make our parents feel that they are special to us. They are not getting any younger so it is important that we give them the comfortable life that they deserve. They took care of us when we were young – gave everything that we need and gave us unconditional love so now that we are old enough, we shall give back the favour to them. Here are some examples of gifts that you could give to your aging parents:

  1. Vacation trip – one of the best gifts that you could give to your aging parents is a vacation trip. They have been working for the longest time so now that you are already settled and you are already capable of giving them a good life, it would be best to plan a vacation trip for them. You could arrange trip in the beach wherein they could relax, unwind and just enjoy. Being able to relax in the beach would be a great time for your parents to forget about stress, problems and anything that is bothering them. Since they are already old, worrying too much could be bad for their health.
  2. Nurse to observe their health condition – speaking of health, you should also take good care of their overall health by hiring a private nurse for them. It is understandable that you could not watch them closely since you also have to work or probably you already have your own family so the least that you could do is hire a private nurse who will watch over their health every day. It is important that they are eating healthy foods, drinking vitamins and medicines and of course, it would be best to monitor their heart rate and blood pressure on a regular basis.
  3. Entertainment showcase – your aging parents will surely appreciate new TV set, radio and other appliances to entertain them. They are already old so all they have to do is to enjoy every day of their life relaxing. They could watch their favourite classic films or listen to their favourite song.
  4. Massage chair – another great gift to give to your parents is a massage chair. This is very good to relieve body pains that they may be feeling. They no longer need to go to a massage salon or Spa since they already have easy access to great massage through the massage chair. However, you must consult the doctor first to see if it is okay for their health to have regular massage.
  5. Time – more than the material things that you could offer to your parents, the best gift that you could give is your time. You should spend time with them. They will surely appreciate to have you by their side. Therefore, no matter how busy you are, you must allot at least one day a week to spend with them.

You should aim to make your parents feel comfortable all the time. You must remember the hardships that they went through to raise you and to give you a good life. Even with simple gifts, you could show them how much you love them.

How to Properly Dispose of Incontinence Products

Incontinence products are one of the best options available for you if you are dealing with urinary incontinence and struggling to manage your day to day life. When you have incontinence it can cause you to have struggles with your social life as you may end up avoiding public situations for fear that you will have an accident when you are out. You need to consider using some quality incontinence products in order to help you manage your condition without living with the embarrassment that comes with incontinence.

One of the biggest worries people have with incontinence is what happens if you have an accident when you are at another person’s home? Having an incontinence problem when you are not at your own home can cause you to be very embarrassed and you may not know what to do. This is why you need to keep an emergency pack of incontinence products in your car at all times. This gives you something to have in a tough situation. Having emergency products to change out is one thing but how can you dispose of your adult diapers at another person’s home?

There are several incontinence supplies on the market and there are even some for overnight visits. You can purchase a package that includes new adult diapers and also has a spot where you can place your used incontinence products and toss them when you get home. The plastic will seal them off and has a neutral PH in it to prevent it from smelling.

What else can you do? Take some small plastic bags with you and tie up your adult diapers and dispose of them in an outside garbage can. This way you won’t need to worry that your incontinence pads or diapers could be sitting in your friend’s garbage for days.

Washable incontinence underwear will need to be placed in a bag and taken home with you. Using a plastic sack and tossing it in your car is a great way to hide it. If you have a purse you might also consider adding it to this but you need to consider purchasing incontinence supplies that are specially made for emergencies and have PH scents in them so you don’t end up having to worry about a smell.

A smart idea to use is to always have a small black bag with you. This can be your emergency bad where you will place your used incontinence products. Scented disposable bags can help to hide your used adult diapers but they also do not leave a smell in your friend’s house if you do toss the used products here.

When you are headed out you need to prepare yourself for having an incontinence problem. Have your emergency products with you but you also need to prepare your body. You need to reduce your intake of caffeine and other things that can stimulate the bladder to release urine. You also need to avoid drinking alcohol when you are out as the alcohol often causes you to lose muscle control and you can easily have an embarrassing accident. If you have met with your doctor about incontinence you should make sure you are taking the right type of medications to help you gain control over incontinence.

Managing incontinence doesn’t need to be an embarrassing thing. With the right type of incontinence products you will be able to prevent others from knowing about your condition and you won’t be embarrassed.

Changes and Challenges of Aging

KNOWING WHAT CHANGES MAY BE EXPECTED CAN HELP A PERSON ADJUST TO AGING

Many of you may have noticed that a person’s actual age may not match his or her actual appearance such a mismatch of someone’s biological age against his or her chronological age is attributed to the life that the person chooses to live.

There are over 35 million Americans (about 12% of the U.S. population) over 65. As the baby boomers (the generation of Americans born between the late 1940s and the early 1060s) age, this number will nearly double by 2030.

The question as to when a person becomes old can be answered in different ways. Chronologic age helps predict many health problems, it has some legal and financial uses. It is also used to determine eligibility for some programs for older people. Biological age refers to changes in the body that commonly occur as people age. For example, vision and hearing typically worsen as people age. Because these changes affect some people more than others, some people are biologically old at 40, and others are biologically young at 60 and even older.

As the years pass, most people experience changes in the way their body functions. Some changes are obvious. For example, before age 50, most people begin to have trouble seeing objects that are up close. Other changes are hardly noticeable. For example, few people are aware that the kidneys may become less able to filter waste products out of the blood, because the kidneys usually continue to filter the blood well enough to avoid problems. Most people learn that their kidneys have aged only if a disorder develops.

As people age, they may hear less well, and balance may become slightly harder to maintain. These changes occur because some structures in the ear that help with hearing or balance deteriorate slightly. Also, earwax tends to accumulate more as people age. This accumulation can interfere with hearing.

As people age, the number and the sensitivity of taste buds on the tongue decrease. These changes tend to reduce the ability to taste sweet and salt more than the ability to taste bitter and sour. The ability to smell declines slightly. Strong smells remain easy to detect, but more subtle smells may taste bland. Older people may notice that their mount feels dry more often. As people age, less saliva is produced, However, dry mouth may result from a disorder of the use of certain drugs. Dry mouth further reduces the ability to taste and smell the aromas of food.

As people age, the skin tends to become thinner, less elastic, drier, and finally wrinkled. However, exposure to sunlight over the years contributes to wrinkling and to making the skin rough and blotchy. As people age the number of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) decreases. Thus, the skin has less protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as that from sunlight.

As people age, bones tend to become less dense. Bones become weaker and more likely to break. In women, loss of bone density speeds up after menopause. Regular exercise can partially overcome or at least significantly delay the loss of muscle mass and strength.

As people age, the amount of muscle tissue (muscle mass) and muscle strength tend to decrease. This process is called sarcopenia (which literally means loss of flesh). Loss of muscle mass begins around age 30 and continues throughout life. Regular exercise can partially overcome of at least significantly delay the loss of muscle mass and strength.

As people age, the number of nerve cells in the brain decreases only slightly. Several things help compensate for this decline. As cells are lost, new nerve cells may form in some areas of the brain, even during old age. In addition, the brain has more cells than it needs to perform most activities.

As people age, the heart and blood vessels change in many ways. The walls of the heart become stiffer, and the heart fills with blood more slowly. The walls of the arteries become thicker and less elastic. The arteries become less able to respond to changes in the amount of blood pumped through them. Thus, blood pressure is higher in older people than in younger people.

As people age, the muscles used in breathing, such as the diaphragm, tend to weaken. Also, slightly less oxygen is absorbed from air that is breathed in. The lungs become less able to fight infection, in part because the cells that sweep debris out of the airways are less able to do so.

As people age, the digestive system is affected in several ways. But these changes have little effect on function. The muscles of the esophagus contract less forcefully, but movement of food trough the esophagus is not affected. Food is emptied form the stomach more slowly, and the stomach cannot hold as much good because it is less elastic. But in most people, these changes are too slight to be noticed.

As people age, the kidneys tend to become smaller (because the number of cells decreases), and less blood flows through them. The urinary tract changes in several ways that may make controlling urination more difficult. The maximum volume of urine that the bladder can hold decreases.

As people age, the immune system becomes less effective. But the change is so slight that most people do not notice it. Most people notice that the body is less able to fight infections only when infections linger of become severe. This slowdown may be one reason that cancer is more common among older people. Also vaccines tend to be less protective in older people.