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Posts Tagged ‘Farmington’

  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. Overcoming Obstacles to Healthy Eating

    January 3, 2013 by admin

    There are many reasons that people have for
    not eating healthy. Here are a few ideas to help you overcome the obstacles to
    healthy eating.

    1. Say “no” to eating alone. Being with others
    stimulates your mind and helps you to enjoy your meal. Make a date to share
    lunch or dinner with family and friends on a rotating basis. Adult Day Care Centers
    provide companionship and healthy meals. Senior meal programs are a great way
    to meet others and get a nutrition meal at the same time. The Newington Senior
    Center has a nutritious meal program. You can find out more by calling them at

    2. Loss of
    appetite can be another excuse. Check with your doctor to see if this may be
    related to any medications you are taking. Changes in a medication dosage may
    be able to help. Try natural flavor enhancers such as garlic, onions, ginger
    and other spices to boost your appetite.

    3. Difficulty chewing can be an obstacle to healthy eating. Consult your dentist to make sure
    that there are no oral problems. Try making smoothies with fruit, yogurt and
    protein powder. Eat steamed vegetables and soft foods like couscous, rice and

    4. Eating the same foods over and over is
    bound to get boring. Start by making variety a priority. Read cooking
    magazines, buy spices you haven’t tried before and chat with friends about what
    they eat.

    5. If you can’t shop or cook for yourself there
    are a number of possibilities depending on your living situation, finances and needs. Take
    advantage of home delivery such as Pea Pod. Ask family, friends or neighbors if
    they will shop for you. If you live alone consider sharing your home with a
    housemate willing to shop and cook for you. Hire a homemaker to shop and cook
    for you. You may also contact your local “Meals on Wheels” for nutritious meals
    delivered to your door.

  4. Friendly Ideas for Healthy Eating

    January 3, 2013 by admin

    Often we have a tendency to approach our
    daily dietary needs with a lack luster attitude. We are fearful of moving
    outside of our comfort zone when it comes to trying new foods. Frequently we
    feel that “well, I didn’t like it as a kid so I won’t like it now”, forgetting
    that over the years our taste buds change.

    Good nutrition is important at any age. Eating
    well will help you to feel better every day and may even help prevent heart
    disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and some cancers.

    As we get older we need fewer calories but
    the same amount, or even higher amounts, of certain vitamins and minerals. This
    can make meal planning a daunting task.

    A major key to healthy eating is planning your
    meals accordingly. Start with planning for three meals a day. Skipping a meal,
    especially breakfast, will make it difficult for you to get all of
    your daily nutritional requirements.

    1. Try one different
    food each month. You might just find a new favorite.

    2. Keep a list of
    menu items for when you are out of ideas.

    3. Swap ideas
    with family and friends to add variety.

    4. Start your day
    with 100% juice.

  5. Dementia: What You Need To Know

    August 2, 2012 by admin

    Dementia is really a group of symptoms that include memory
    loss, personality changes and impaired intellectual functioning. These symptoms
    may be a result of either disease or trauma to the brain. The symptoms are
    those not a part of normal aging and are severe enough to impact daily living,
    a person’s independence and family relationships. There are many different
    forms of dementia but Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Dementia are most
    common. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type accounting for two thirds
    of all diagnosed cases. If the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s disease there are
    medications that can slow the appearance of more severe symptoms of dementia.

    The most common signs and symptoms of dementia include
    memory loss, impaired judgment, and inappropriate behavior. Other symptoms may
    include decreasing communication skills, increased problems with ambulation and
    poor personal hygiene. The person with dementia may repeatedly ask the same questions
    or may easily become confused in familiar places. This person may also be found
    wearing the same clothes day after day. He/she may appear unkempt and
    disheveled. He/she may have difficulty following simple directions.

    I know, I know, a strong case could be made that I have had
    it for years and it just has never been diagnosed. For instance, since youth I
    have had difficulty following directions. That has not improved the slightest
    over the years. I misplace car keys, glasses and baseball caps; glasses found
    on my head and baseball cap in my hand. So, do I have dementia? I say “not
    yet”, of course, my wife would disagree.

    Even though you may have some of the symptoms you may not
    have dementia either. Dementia can be caused by a large number of conditions
    such as stroke, drug interactions and urinary tract infections. When symptoms
    appear suddenly it is important to see your physician as soon as possible. Prompt
    diagnosis and early intervention can control, or even eliminate symptoms all
    together. Exercising your mind helps you stay active. Find a cause and get
    involved, there are plenty of them out there. July 4th 2012,
    Independence Day, is right around the corner. I felt that this would be the
    perfect opportunity to discuss independence and the fear and frustration that
    comes from having one’s independence threatened. How many conflicts have
    occurred worldwide all in the name of freedom and independence? Why is it so
    difficult for caregivers to understand the negative response from a memory
    impaired person when he/she feels threatened? I suppose it is because
    caregivers are convinced that they are acting in the person’s best interest.
    But are they really?

    Dan Fisher RN, BSN

    A & D
    Home Health Solutions

  6. Losing Independence Can Trigger Extreme Response

    June 25, 2012 by admin

    July 4th 2012, Independence Day, is right around
    the corner. I felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to discuss
    independence and the fear and frustration that comes from having one’s
    independence threatened. How many conflicts have occurred worldwide all in the
    name of freedom and independence? Why is it so difficult for caregivers to
    understand the negative response from a memory impaired person when he/she
    feels threatened? I suppose it is because caregivers are convinced that they
    are acting in the person’s best interest. But are they really?

    Caring for someone with dementia can be tiring and extremely
    frustrating, especially when one is doing it 24 hours a day 7 days a week. When
    a caregiver is tired and stressed it is difficult to maintain a positive
    attitude and your loved one can not only hear it in your voice but can see it
    in your body language. It then is all too easy to trigger negative behavior. One
    of my clients became extremely upset for no apparent reason. I spoke with him
    at length and figured out that he was upset because the caregiver did the
    dishes. It had been his way of helping his wife (of 65 years) out around the
    house. He felt his independence was being threatened. I am sure that all
    behavior is triggered. We may not always see or even understand the trigger but
    it is there. Becoming more aware of our approach to the person with dementia
    will also help in identifying the triggers for negative behavior.

    People can react to a loss of independence in different
    ways. Some may be fearful about how they will manage on their own. Others may
    feel angry with the loss and take their feelings out on family and friends.
    Some may feel guilty and confused resulting in the refusal of help from family
    and friends. All of these feelings are all justified. Recognizing and
    understanding these feelings will help in your caregiving duties. Realizing
    that there is no greater threat than the loss of our independence, whether the
    threat is real or perceived, is the first step in truly helping your loved one
    cope with the loss. Take the opportunity to allow as much independence as is
    safe to lessen the triggers that occur when independence is threatened.


    Dan Fisher RN, BSN

    A & D
    Home Health Solutions

  7. Veterans Benefits and Long Term Care

    February 7, 2012 by admin

    The Department of Veterans Affairs provides three types of long term care services for veterans.
    The first type is benefits from the VA healthcare system. This benefit is focused on those with service connected disabilities, who are receiving VA Pension or are considered low income. Services may include free medical care, free prescription drugs, orthotics and prosthetics, home renovation grants for disabilities, home care, assisted living and nursing home care. Availability of these services is dependent on the local medical centers funds, the nature of the disability and whether the veteran is considered low income.
    The second type of benefit is state veterans homes. The majority of these homes offer nursing care but some may offer assisted living care as well. Veteran’s homes are supported with a combination of state and federal funds. These homes are generally available to veterans and their spouses. There may be a waiting list in some states.
    The third type of benefit is disability income for active duty veterans. The first of these disability incomes is called compensation. It is designed to award a veteran a certain amount of money to compensate for potential loss of income in the private sector. In order to qualify for this benefit a veteran needs to have evidence of a service related disability. Some veterans may have record of being exposed to extreme cold, non-disabling injuries, tropical diseases or other incidents of exposure, while on active duty, which years later may be the cause of medical conditions. These veterans could apply to see if they could receive a benefit. Some veterans may be receiving Compensation but their condition has worsened and they can reapply for a larger amount based on a higher disability rating.
    The second disability income benefit is called pension. Pension is also called “Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit”. It is available to all active duty veterans who served at least 90 days during a period of war. Applicants younger than age 60 must be totally disabled or a patient in a nursing home. Proof of disability is not required for applicants 65 years of age and older.
    The purpose of this benefit is to provide supplemental income to disabled or older veterans who have low income. If the veteran’s income exceeds the pension amount, then there is no award. However, income can be adjusted for unreimbursed medical expenses, and this allows veterans with incomes larger than the pension amount to qualify for a monthly benefit. There is also an asset test to qualify for Pension. The primary residence, most personal property and automobiles are exempt from this asset test.

  8. Top 20 Signs That Your Aging Parents Need Help

    August 26, 2011 by admin

    I am often called in to assist clients after they have gone into crisis mode. The crisis may be a result of medication mismanagement, a fall resulting in injury or driving to the barber shop down the street and ending up in another state. The ability to manage the daily household operations can deteriorate slowly over time. Family members may miss simple signs and symptoms of this inability to cope with the activities of daily living. The following list will help to identify the need for professional help for your aging relatives.
    1. Medication bottles that have not been refilled in the last two or three months.
    2. Medication bottles that are filled too frequently.
    3. Cluttered pathways.
    4. Increasing short term memory loss.
    5. Wearing the same clothes for weeks on end.
    6. Windows and blinds shut and locked tight at all times.
    7. Stoves cluttered and unusable.
    8. Washer and dryer cluttered and unusable.
    9. Decreasing personal hygiene.
    10. Unopened mail.
    11. Utility shut off notices.
    12. Empty cupboards.
    13. Empty refrigerator.
    14. Cancelled medical appointments.
    15. Cancelled hair appointments.
    16. Phone calls to friends and relatives in the middle of the night.
    17. Paranoia about friends and relatives stealing from them.
    18. Inoperable bathroom facilities.
    19. Thick blankets placed over the windows and blinds.
    20. Going out of the house without weather appropriate attire or wearing nothing at all.
    Having been a homecare nurse for the past 20 years I have seen all of these symptoms and many more. There are many options to assist individuals to remain as independent as possible in their own home. Knowing when to call in a professional care manager can be the difference between aging in place successfully and having to move to a skilled nursing facility.
    Dan Fisher RN, BSN, CEO
    Case Management Services

  9. Steps You Can Take to Prevent and treat Urinary Tract Infections

    August 2, 2011 by admin

    Homecare nurses see a multitude of urinary tract infections every year. The occurrence of these infections is most notable within the first 7 to 10 days after discharge from a hospital or skilled nursing facility. While anyone can get a urinary tract infection some are more prone to them. Women get this infection more often than men. Senior women frequently have depressed immune systems which make them quite vulnerable.
    Symptoms of urinary tract infections include:
    • Increased frequency of going to the bathroom
    • Increased urgency to make it to the bathroom
    • Cloudy or blood tinged urine
    • A foul odor from the urine
    • Increasing confusion in seniors
    • Frequently a senior will display a subnormal temperature.
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Chills
    • Low grade temperature
    • Incontinence
    Seniors may not exhibit any signs or symptoms in the earlier stages of the infection. They may only have increased confusion, general feelings of discomfort and new incontinence.
    Prevention includes drinking plenty of fluids, cranberry juice and cranberry products appear to reduce the incidence of infections. When you feel the urge to urinate do not delay.
    Contact your physician immediately when one or more of these symptoms are displayed. Depending on the Take any medications prescribed by your physician exactly as directed. Even if you are feeling better and all signs and symptoms are absent continue taking the full course of medications.
    Dan Fisher RN, BSN
    Our Website

  10. 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