Home Health Care Has Many Facets

The concept of home health care has grown dramatically in the last several years. As the dynamics of the modern family have shifted (smaller extended families, homes where all the adults are working, etc.), many of the functions a relative would have performed in the past are being outsourced to organizations that can meet these needs. Being able to provide quality services in the comfortable and familiar setting of the patient’s residence has become part of the mission statement of these mobile medical providers.

There are a several types of individual scenarios that can benefit from having access to a professional caregiver who visits the patient (or patients) in their own living space. Listed below is a sampling of those individuals who may use this vital service:

Mothers and Newborns

Being able to provide education and assessment to new mothers and their babies just home from the hospital fulfills a vital role that may have been traditionally performed by a family member. Having a trained medical practitioner on hand can get both mother and child started on the right path.

Post-Operative Patients

Often, individuals who have had major surgery require follow-up attention, even after being discharged. Transportation may also be an issue; particularly if the patient is not able to move on their own. Having these evaluations performed at the residence is both convenient and more comfortable for the person who is recovering.

Older Americans

Taking care of the elderly who are dealing with medical issues but want to maintain the independence of living on their own is one of the traditional roles of home health care providers. These regular visits help these senior members maintain a good quality of life while having the knowledge that their medical needs will be met.

Mentally Disabled Adults

The need to provide medical and emotional support for these individuals to remain a part of the community is an important function of these traveling caregivers.

Younger Adults

For younger individuals who are recovering from an injury or accidents, and otherwise can manage their own affairs, having the knowledge that a medical professional is on hand adds a layer of comfort as they regain their active lifestyle.

Patients with Chronic Conditions

Diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, and heart failure require constant monitoring. Many of those dealing with these chronic issues still want to live on their own and may not require the constant attention of an assisted living facility. Regular visits help these patients maintain their independence without having to sacrifice the medical oversight that they need.

Home health care will continue to evolve as the population changes. With the number of older Americans increasing and outpatient care on the upswing, the need for this personalized access will only expand and will include all ages and situations.

When Is It Time to Consider Home Health Care?

While home health care is a common practice, many people aren’t aware of the benefits it offers. With this service, patients forgo hospitalization, and instead receive all the attention they need in the comfort of their own home. Although it is often associated with a substitute for nursing homes, in-house service can be a great fit for patients of any age, whether they need routine care or help recovering from an injury. So, how do you know when it’s time to consider in-house medical attention for yourself or your loved ones?

When the Comfort of Home is Important to Recovery

Most people would agree that staying in their own homes is preferable to a night’s stay at the hospital. Staying in a hospital may cause certain individuals a great deal of anxiety; for these people, home health care is a very helpful alternative. The person receiving the care can ease their stress level, putting them in an ideal mindset for achieving a quick recovery.

When it Reduces Unnecessary Time and Travel

Among other things, in-house service can be ideal for patients needing assistance with health-related tasks that need to be performed daily or weekly. For example, a great number of people who receive home health care receive assistance with administering daily or weekly shots. This would mean traveling to the hospital or a physician countless times, making this the less time-consuming and more convenient option.

When Travel is Impossible

For some, traveling may simply be a matter of convenience or preference. However, one of the most common reasons to seek out this service is to receive daily or weekly physical therapy that speeds recovery after an injury. It’s not uncommon for injuries, such as a broken arm or a leg, may render the patient incapable of safely or comfortably driving. In this case, home health care is not simply a matter of convenience; it is a matter of necessity. Arranging for this type of service will take the stress out of trying to find other travel accommodations, speeding up the healing process considerably.

When it Offers an Alternative to a Nursing Home

One of the most common uses for home health care is to offer elderly loved ones an alternative to a nursing home. In-house care may be preferable for a variety of reasons: there may not be a nursing home in your area, making visits rare or impossible, or your loved one may feel uncomfortable with the idea of relocating their entire life at their age. It may offer peace of mind to your loved ones and your family, as they can continue to live in their homes while receiving all of the medical attention they would in a nursing home.

Characteristics of a Good Elder Home Caregiver

No one wants to put their parents, grandparents, or other elderly family member in a nursing care facility but there may come a time when this might happen. If they can function in some capacity at home with some help then it might be advisable to hire elder home care personnel to come to their home and help with daily chores, bathing, dressing, cooking, taking them to their doctor’s appointments, and more. To ensure that you are hiring the right caregiver here are some characteristics that you should look.

One of characteristic you should look for is flexibility. Yes, many times each caregiver has a specific shift they work but sometimes things can happen and the next elder home care personnel may be running a few minutes late due to a car emergency, unexpected traffic, etc. You want to make sure that the caregiver who is there is flexible enough that they can stay over a few minutes until the other caregiver gets there. This is very important because in some cases the elderly may not be able to be left alone for even a few minutes. One example is if the elderly is suffering from an early form of dementia or gets confused easily they could accidentally try to cook themselves something to eat and burn themselves or leave the stove on, possibly causing a fire, or they could wander off. You want to make sure that your elder parent is taken care of at all times.

You also want to make sure that the caregiver pays attention to their patient, especially in regards to how they are acting. Most elderly see their physician’s once a month or maybe every three months so the caregiver should be aware of any changes they might notice in how their elderly patient is acting, their skin color, their energy level, whether they are eating and how much, etc. When anything out of the ordinary medical wise is noticed it can be addressed as soon as possible. This can help to prevent their elderly patient from becoming ill and suffering from a serious illness, hospitalization, or even death.

An elderly home caregiver should also be willing to sit and listen to their patient talk. In addition to listening to them talk the caregiver should have some interests the same as their patient so they can talk about their interests, play games such as cards with them, watch their favorite shows with them, etc. Some caregivers will even take their patients out for a drive, to have lunch out, to visit their friends, and more. A good elder home care personnel needs to have the ability to take care of their patient but also to be a companion.

Do You Have a Family Caregiver Backup Plan?

As the family caregiver, you have a multitude of items on your responsibility list. Caring for your aging loved one is always one of the most important things you do. Balancing your loved one’s care with your own family’s needs, your job and other obligations is no easy task. Having a respite care backup plan in place can help to ease your stress and so you can focus on your loved one’s needs.

Below are some common instances when respite care from an elder care provider can provide much needed relief.

Illness. As the family caregiver, it can be devastating when you get sick. If your loved one’s health is in a delicate state being around them when you are sick can compromise their good health. A senior home care provider can jump in to take care of your loved one so you can take care of yourself and get healthy.

Celebrations and Events. As the family caregiver, it is understandable that you sometimes pass on attending events with family and friends. However, certain events simply cannot be missed. Weddings, graduations, the birth of a child, these important events require your attendance. An elder care professional can be your backup when missing an important event is simply not an option.

Work. According to a recent survey, more than 60% of family caregivers modify their work schedule to accommodate caregiving. What do you do when you have to travel for business? What happens if you have to pull an overtime shift? Who will be there when you have to work and simply cannot be there to care for your loved one? Finding a reliable senior home care agency that can provide a professional caregiver to cover for you is essential.

Life and Family. Sometimes life simply gets in the way of your responsibilities as a caregiver. When the kids need your attention or you need to take the car in to get worked on, an elderly care provider can be there to ensure your loved one receives the best possible care.

Space and Distance. Sometimes the need for a senior home care provider is necessitated because of the distance between you and your loved one. Whether you live across town, across the state or across the country, it can be difficult to get to your loved one to help with their needs. A care provider can be there when you can’t be.

Across the country families make critical decisions about how to care for their loved ones. Many families rely on senior home care agencies, like Visiting Angels, to provide at home care. Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels, explains, “Professional senior home care providers make it possible for family caregivers to take care of all the other responsibilities in their life. Respite care is an essential component of providing at home care. Our senior home care professionals make it possible for family caregivers to take better care of themselves so they can take better care of their loved one.”

If you are a family caregiver take time to create a backup caregiving plan. Investigate the possibility of having another family member or senior home care professional as your backup. You’ll be glad you did. Call your local Visiting Angels office to learn how senior home care services can help you establish a backup plan for caring for your loved one.

Looking At Homeopathy

Homeopathy is easily on of the most polarizing topics facing modern medicine today. Supporters consistently profess the benefits of homeopathic medicine while detractors continue to reference the lack of scientific evidence supporting any of the claims. Despite the arguments of both sides, homeopathy as an industry has grown to become a multi-billion dollar international industry. So, what is homeopathy?

Homeopathy originated about 200 years ago in Germany and focuses on two key beliefs. These beliefs are:

  • Like Cures Like – a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people.
  • The law of minimum dose – The lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness.

The idea of “like cures like” is similar to the idea of modern vaccinations. Vaccines contain dead or weakened parts of a specific virus that trigger your body’s immune response in order to fight the disease and protect against future cases.

The second tenet of the “law of minimum dose” is of particular concern. The majority of homeopathic medicine is diluted and diluted in the attempt to attain greater levels of potency. Many marketed dilutions have so few remaining fragments that modern researchers cannot distinguish the original materials.

The issue though is that there have been very few large scale well organized studies that have resulted in homeopathic medicine being found more effective than a placebo medication. Further, the homeopathic community has remained stringently opposed to the traditional medical community and in many cases has remained hostile to outside questioning or concern.

Since, in essence, most homeopathic “medicines” contain very little active ingredients they are regulated for sale by the Food and Drug Association under specific Homeopathic regulations and often require a prescription from a homeopathic practitioner. Recently, there has been a push by homeopathic practitioners to recommend homeopathic vaccines. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that parents utilize traditional vaccination measures, as the homeopathic vaccines have not been proven effective in any clinical trials.

For health care providers it is important to be aware that patients may be utilizing these treatment options in place of traditional medicine. Further, there are several homeopathic treatment solutions that claim to either help prevent or cure cancer. Again, there is no clinical evidence supporting the claims that homeopathic medicine is effective in reducing or eliminating cancerous growths.

Health care providers must stay up to date on the most recent evidence regarding complementary and alternative medicine. The popularity of which has grown tremendously and many patients are seeking out ways in which they can incorporate complementary and alternative cancer therapies with their conventional treatment programs.

6 Health Benefits Related to Copper

The health benefits associated with copper are wide-ranging and include energy production, enzymatic reactions, use of iron, and proper growth. Copper relies on an external source because it cannot be naturally produced in the body. A deficiency in copper can result in a variety of health complaints such as anemia, brittle bones, birth defects, dilated veins, and low skin pigmentation.

A well-balanced diet can help to up the intake of copper. Important sources of copper include wheat bran, oats, garlic, lentils, seafood, meat, and almonds. The food source with the highest concentration of copper is oysters. Plus, copper can be introduced to the human body by drinking water using copper based cups or copper pipes.

Here is six of the health benefits related to copper:

Arthritis

Copper contains anti-inflammatory properties which are known for their ability to reduce the symptoms related to arthritis. A simple home-based remedy to help relieve these symptoms includes storing fresh water in a copper cup or vessel. By leaving the water in the container overnight there is the potential for minute traces of copper to build up which helps to improve the strength of the muscular system.

Growth

Getting a regular intake of this mineral is certain to encourage proper growth and provide extra protection for the cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal systems. A proper dietary intake of copper is certain to help with all-round health and growth.

Brain Stimulation

A diet that contains the proper intake of copper can act as brain food. Drinking water with the right amount of copper or using supplements can provide the most effective methods to get the right proportions. But avoid an excessive amount because this can have an unhealthy impact on the brain.

Connective tissues

Copper has a leading role in the function of collagen, body pigment melanin, myelin, and hemoglobin. It has a significant role in protecting the nerves from damage. Plus, it helps with the production of elastin.

Pigmentation to eyes and hair

This mineral is useful for maintaining the body’s supply of melanin, which is the naturally produced dark pigment that can benefit the coloration of the eyes, hair, and skin. Also, the regular use of copper supplements is reported to slow the progress of hair turning gray.