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Posts Tagged ‘Canton’

  1. Communicating During Power Outages

    January 3, 2013 by admin

    The most important safety measure that can
    be taken is to ensure that you are able to communicate during extreme weather.

    Emergency response systems have self-contained
    back-up power good for about 72 hours leaving time to contact the monitoring
    center for assistance. If you have phone service through your cable company and
    the power fails the response system fails with it.

    Many seniors have cell phones today. They
    are not dependent upon an immediate power supply if they are kept fully
    charged. However, it does not take much for the battery to run down.

    During the last power outage I was able to
    maintain 3 cell phones fully charged with a battery pack I purchased from Sam’s Club for $59.

    Whatever power supply you choose should have a USB port to charge things like cell phones and
    laptops. If the power supply is always plugged in it should be ready for use
    during the next power outage. I was without power for 7 days and the battery
    pack had more than ample power for 3 cell phones and two computers. Peace of
    mind for only $59.

  2. Emergency Preparedness

    January 3, 2013 by admin

    We are living in the “New Normal”, a time
    when 100 year storms come back to back. If this is the new norm then we need to
    be better prepared for the next event. It is not a matter of “if” the next big
    storm will hit, it is a matter of when it will hit.

    We are very dependent on electrical power
    for all of our needs. When the power fails many of us lose phone service,
    lights, refrigeration and, worst of all, heat.

    With winter weather fast

    approaching there are a number of things you
    can do to be prepared.

    The CDC has a
    really neat checklist of how to heat your home safely during winter weather.
    However, it is not really focused on seniors.

    Many seniors have downsized into apartment
    buildings with elevators. There are no fireplaces or storage for kerosene
    heaters. Most apartments do not have back-up generators.

    It is important for seniors to be aware of
    weather reports and take heed of early advisories and warnings. When a big
    storm hits rescuers might not be able to get to you.

    The best thing to do is to know where your
    town’s shelters are and get there whenever they open. If transportation is an
    issue contact your local police department for assistance. For emergency shelter
    information contact info line at 211.

  3. 28 Points to Aging In Place Safely

    July 28, 2011 by admin

    Most adults want to remain in their own homes in their later years. However, accidents are a major cause of injury and death in the senior population. Successful aging in place is dependent upon certain safety measures taken within the senior’s home. It is important to remember that as an individual’s abilities decline the number of hazards in the home increase. Most accidents can be prevented with proper assessment and planning. The following list is a good place to begin:
    1. Clear all pathways of obstruction and ensure they are wide enough for easy access.
    2. Remove throw rugs and either replace or repair damaged carpeting.
    3. Phone cords and extension cords should never cross a pathway.
    4. Cords are in good repair and circuits are not overloaded.
    5. The thermostat of the water heater should be set at or below 110 degrees.
    6. All areas of the home are well lit.
    7. Handrails are secure and placed in correct locations.
    8. Stairs are sturdy and in good repair. Stairs have non slip strips or secured carpeting that is free of fraying or holes.
    9. Smoke detectors are located in hallways and near bedrooms.
    10. Bath tub or shower has a nonskid surface.
    11. A handheld shower head makes it easier to shower from while sitting.
    12. A raised toilet seat makes sitting and standing easier.
    13. Grab bars are installed by the tub and toilet. Grab bars are sturdy and secure.
    14. Chairs are sturdy and in good repair. Chairs with arms are a safer option than those without arms.
    15. Outside steps and walkways are in good repair. Hand rails are located in appropriate locations.
    16. Outside lighting is adequate around walkways and doorways.
    17. Inside stairways have switches at both top and bottom of the stairs.
    18. Emergency numbers are located by each phone.
    19. Medical history that includes contacts, medications, physicians and allergies is plainly identified and placed on the refrigerator door.
    20. Medications are kept in the bottles they came in. The senior can identify the name, purpose and frequency the drug is prescribed.
    21. A personal emergency response system is in place for instant access to assistance.
    22. Wheel chairs should be fitting with seat belts.
    23. If there are different levels within the home portable ramps may be installed by a professional.
    24. When stairs are a problem stair lifts may be installed by a professional.
    25. Check refrigerators and cupboards have a supply of food.
    26. The senior has a way to obtain groceries and medications, pay bills, banking and get to medical appointments.
    27. Outside walkways and driveway is cleared of snow and ice as soon as possible.
    28. Regular visits by family members or welfare checks conducted by an agency.
    These 28 points are a good start to ensuring that a person ages in place safely. There are other special considerations depending on functional abilities. These will be looked at in future articles.

    Dan Fisher RN, BSN, CEO
    A & D Home Health Solutions

  4. Recognizing the Need for outside Help in Caregiving

    July 21, 2011 by admin

    Caregivers often don’t recognize when they are in over their heads, and often get to a breaking point. After a prolonged period of time, caregiving can become too difficult to endure any longer. Short-term the caregiver can handle it. Long-term, help is needed. Outside help at this point is needed.

    A typical pattern with an overloaded caregiver may unfold as follows:

    · 1 to 18 months–the caregiver is confident, has everything under control and is coping well. Other friends and family are lending support.
    · 20 to 36 months–the caregiver is taking medication to sleep and control mood swings. Outside help dwindles away and except for trips to the store or doctor, the caregiver has severed most social contacts. The caregiver feels alone and helpless.
    · 38 to 50 months–Besides needing tranquilizers or antidepressants, the caregiver’s physical health is beginning to deteriorate. Lack of focus and sheer fatigue cloud judgment and the caregiver is often unable to make rational decisions or ask for help.

    It is often at this stage that family or friends intercede and find other solutions for care. This may include respite care, hiring home health aides or putting the disabled in a facility. Without intervention, the caregiver may become a candidate for long term care as well.

    It is also important to use outside professional help in a caregiver setting. A financial planner, care funding specialist or a reverse mortgage specialist may find the funds to pay for professional help to keep a loved one at home. A care manager can guide the family and the caregiver through the maze of long-term care issues. The care manager has been there many times the family is experiencing it for the first time.

    An elder law attorney can help iron out legal problems. And an elder mediator can help solve disputes between family members. Having competent advice can often make the difference between allowing a loved one to remain in the home or being forced to seek out government welfare assistance.

    Due to pride or sheer determination some caregivers allow the situation to go beyond their control. They have gotten to a point where depression and fatigue have clouded their judgment. At some point the caregiver will have to admit that he or she can’t handle it alone and a better solution must be found.

    Dan Fisher RN, BSN

    Connecticut Care Planning Council
    A & D Home Health Solutions

  5. Cognitive Impairment: Tips for Caregivers

    July 14, 2011 by admin

    Providing care for individuals with cognitive impairment can be a challenging endeavor to say the least. Caregivers can minimize their stress as well as the stress of the person they are providing care for by following some simple guidelines.

    Communication may be the biggest hurtle of all. This communication problem exists both ways. The caregiver has difficulty understanding what is being said and the person being cared for has difficulty understanding what is being said. Frustration quickly sets in on both parts. Stress and frustration in the person with cognitive impairment often leads to behavioral challenges as well. It is far easier to provide care for the person when he/she is happy and content.

    Tone of voice and body language play a large part in our ability to communicate with each other. The caregiver should use a calm tone of voice and use simple words in short sentences. Try to frame all questions and instructions in a positive way. Never speak about the person as if he/she were not there and avoid speaking baby talk. Call the person by name and ensure that you have his/her attention before going on. Eliminate distractions that make it difficult for the person to focus on what you are saying. Take a moment to turn of the TV or the radio. The person with cognitive impairment requires more time to process what is being asked. Give them extra time and try not to interrupt as this will change his/her focus. If he/she is having difficulty finding the right words gently provide them with the word they are searching for.

    Now, what can you do all day? Finding activities that a person with cognitive impairment can do or is even interested in doing creates another challenge. Having worked for years with persons with Alzheimer’s I have found that every little success decreases that persons stress. I have often thought how horrible this disease is. In the early stages stress is created through fear and a loss of independence. The person remains aware of their changing condition. Diminished judgment and safety awareness often places the person at risk if left without constant supervision. Find out what the person’s current abilities are and work with those. Do not expect too much. Simple activities are usually the best. Activities should be broken down into small steps and praise given for each completed step. If he/she shows signs of agitation or frustration gently guide him/her to something else. Routine is very important for the person with memory issues. If you find that he/she is more focused at certain times of the day try to provide activities during those periods. Maintaining his/her functional skills is important. Try to involve the person in the entire activity process. For example, at meal time have him/her set the table, pull out chairs or even prepare some of the food. If laundry is the activity have him/her fold towels. Always remember that activities must be based on the person’s ever changing condition to be successful. Please take time for yourself. You will not be as effective if you are stressed and overtired. Take advantage of adult day care and or homecare services to give yourself a chance to recharge your batteries.


    Dan Fisher RN, BSN, CEO

    A & D Home Health Solutions