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Homecare in Phoenix AZ: Time to See a Doctor?

Is It a Rash or Something Else? Tips for Determining if It’s Time to See a Doctor

Skin rashes are a tricky issue. You don’t want to dismiss it. Your parent doesn’t want to pay for an unnecessary doctor’s visit. They think the rash will clear up. You’re worried. Here are tips on knowing when to see a doctor.

 

Has Anything Changed

Many rashes are allergic reactions to something new. Has your parent changed soaps or skin creams recently? Is the laundry detergent or fabric softener a new formulation or brand? Has your mom or dad started a new medication? Did they eat a food they’d never had before?

If your parent has been gardening, the rash may be from exposure to a plant like poison ivy or bug bites. If the rash has a white center surrounded by a bright red circle, it could be a deer tick bite. Seek medical care in case it is Lyme disease.

With an allergic reaction to new skin care products, detergents, or fabric softeners, try a cream designed for rashes. Benadryl cream is one to try. If the rash clears up, you’ll know it was a reaction. Try to find unscented, mild products designed for sensitive skin.

 

Are There Other Symptoms?

You see the rash, but are there other symptoms? Does your parent have a fever? If so, it could be a disease that needs medical attention. It could also be an infection. Are there blisters or open sores? If so, it could lead to an infection that needs medical attention. Is your parent complaining of pain? It could be shingles and need medical attention.

 

Make Medical Care a Priority

If you can get your parent to see a doctor, it’s better to be safe. In some elderly patients, a trip to the doctor is incredibly stressful. That stress can often be worse than the actual rash.

Call your mom or dad’s doctor for advice. Be prepared to describe where the rash is and if it is blistered or simply just small red bumps. The medical office may suggest you wait a day or two and see what happens. If it worsens, you’d need to seek medical care.

 

It Helps to Know the Situation Leading to the Rash

When your parent lives alone, you might not know what led to the rash. This makes it hard to understand what may have caused the rash. With elderly care services, you have a caregiver around to see what your mom or dad drank, ate, and did. It can make pinpointing a rash’s cause easier.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Phoenix, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call  (480) 535-6800.

vision loss

New Technologies Provide Real Help for Those with Vision Loss

Impacting millions of Americans, vision loss can be as varied as the individuals who experience it – from simply having to put on a pair of reading glasses to skim through the morning paper, to complete blindness. And it’s a lot more common in older adults, with one in every three senior citizens over age 65 experiencing some type of eye disease that affects vision, like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, as well as others. Thankfully, as with a lot of other challenging conditions, technology continues to explode with choices to improve standard of living for people experiencing vision problems. Simply take a look at a few of the vision enhancement tools that are now available: Read more

Are Your Loved Ones Victims of Senior Bullying?

Senior BullyingNowadays, everyone is talking about bullying and how to stop it. When we were children, bullies were everywhere and seemed to get away with everything; but we’re a zero-tolerance society now when it comes to bullying. However perhaps there’s some other, less apparent sort of bullying still occurring – that of trying to play the parent to our aging parents, thus overstepping some unwritten boundaries; in some cases, to the point of senior bullying. After all, even if our parents’ choices are different than ours, their choices should still be respected as much as is possible, with safety in mind.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where the line in the sand is between being a helpful care provider for parents and taking over for them in areas they can safely manage on their own. And added into the mix are often unresolved issues from childhood that can resurface – feelings of resentment and bitterness that may find their way into an adult’s caretaking decisions.

To illustrate, there are various areas of contention that often arise between senior parents and their grown children:

  • Medical related decision making
  • Planning for end of life
  • Recommended safety modifications
  • Knowing when to stop driving
  • Managing finances

These tips can help diffuse sticky decision-making situations more respectfully and effectively:

  • Try negotiating a safer alternative for a worry like driving, such as driving only in the daylight and only on short, local trips.
  • Start with small suggestions that may be more tolerable to seniors, such as adding no-slip strips to the bathtub, moving cords away from walkways or taping down rugs.
  • Try not to compromise safety, while also keeping a senior’s wishes in mind. Ask for the senior’s input without speaking down to him or her, and you’re more likely to work together for a successful outcome.
  • Put yourself in the older adult’s shoes. Consider what it would be like to be in a similar situation and how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned.
  • However, if there are safety or health concerns, do not hesitate to contact the senior’s physician or a social worker.

And keep in mind that typically, serious discussions such as these are often better received in the presence of a trusted healthcare professional or religious clergy member or through an objective third party. Want more tips to help make tough discussions with older adults go more smoothly, and avoid the possibility of senior bullying? Contact Endeavor Home Care’s Scottsdale home care experts at 480-535-6800 for trusted, professional assistance in keeping your older loved ones safe, while allowing them to remain as independent as possible where they’re most comfortable – at home.

The Surprising New Findings on Saturated Fats and Heart Health

New Findings on Heart HealthIt’s difficult to plan healthy meals when what is recommended as “healthy” seems to change from one month to the next. The initial recommendation was that saturated fats found in items such as butter, red meat and fried food were unhealthy, but later research indicated that there wasn’t enough proof that people who gave up or reduced the amount of these items considerably improved their heart health – and therefore, we were given the go ahead to choose butter over margarine yet again.

However, as reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, scientists clarify that the lack of noticeable results in reducing saturated fats is more likely related to equally poor dietary choices made in place of those fats – such as refined carbs. Subjects who instead replaced saturated fats with more healthy options, such as olive oil and whole grains, did decrease their heart disease risk by as much as 25%.

According to Adela Hruby, one of the researchers in this study, “We know that people don’t just drop 10% of their calories…and not replace them with other things. What they are adding in to replace what they’re not eating is really important.”

The research, led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was extremely thorough, tracking about 130,000 male and female participants over 30 years. The study tracked dietary choices and heart-related conditions, and it was noted that subjects who substituted carbohydrates for saturated fats were realizing a virtually equal risk of heart disease – something that was missed in other studies that determined it was not significantly beneficial to heart health to cut back on saturated fats.

So what can we learn from this study? Improving our heart health can best be achieved by not just reducing saturated fat in our diet, but by also selecting healthier foods than processed flour-based products and those with a high sugar content.

Endeavor Home Care, serving seniors throughout the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sun City and Tucson, Arizona areas, is also eager to plan and prepare heart-healthy meals that are not only nutritious, but delicious, helping local seniors to reduce their risk for heart attacks and heart disease. We can also help make sure that seniors are:

  • Making good dietary choices, and can help with obtaining groceries so that healthy, fresh foods are always stocked.
  • Taking medications as prescribed
  • Participating in doctor-approved exercise programs
  • Safely brought and accompanied to appointments and other outings
  • And much more

Give us a call at 480-535-6800 to learn more.

Does Your Elderly Parent Have Diabetes? Consider Home Healthcare

home health care

Anyone can easily learn how to operate a glucose meter; it involves a simple finger prick for a blood sample and –for most meters—just five seconds to read the result.

Managing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is a constant challenge, even more so for seniors who may have lost some manual dexterity, have memory problems or suffer from nerve damage. In-home healthcare may be the best option for some families; however, if you are caring for a loved one with diabetes you should be aware of the following potential issues.

Blood glucose testing is the primary tool for a person with diabetes to manage their disease. Today’s glucose meters tendto be small and can be difficult to handle for persons with limited movement in the hands and fingers.

Anyone can easily learn how to operate a glucose meter; it involves a simple finger prick for a blood sample and –for most meters—just five seconds to read the result. Most diabetics are instructed to test their blood sugar 3-4 times a day.

The result of the blood glucose test will determine what the next dose of insulin or other medication should be. You’ll need to not only learn how to use the meter, but also keep a document handy with doctor’s instructions regarding how to adjust medications based on these test results. Obviously, seniors who have memory problems will need close monitoring to ensure that tests are conducted on schedule and that medications are accurately dispensed.

If your loved one exhibits odd behaviors, don’t assume that these are a result of aging or dementia! Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) reactions can cause slurred speech, dizziness and anxiety; a person experiencing hypoglycemia can appear to be drunk. If you see this kind of behavior you will want to test your loved one’s blood sugar immediately.

Finally, persons with diabetes are prone to develop sores that won’t heal, especially on their feet. If the person has diminished sensation due to nerve damage, a small cut or blister can become gangrenous surprisingly quickly, often leading to amputations. Be sure to check the person’s feet regularly; at least every 3-4 days.

Caring for diabetes is a 24-hour-a-day job that is difficult for a family member to take on; a better option might be to hire a service that provides in-home care for your loved one. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the Arizona Valley, you have the home care experts at your service: Endeavor Senior Care. We provide a full spectrum of in-home care to help your loved one live independently for as long as possible and give you peace of mind. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact us.

Home health care: not synonymous to home care

home care

Home care is provided by non-medical caregivers, who are screened and employed by senior care facilities who assist with activities of daily living.

The phrases “home care” and “home health care” are sometimes used interchangeably, but recently, with an increasing emphasis on geriatric care, there seems to be an emerging need to distinguish one from the other.”Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury” as defined by Medicare, which covers most of its services.

While in both cases, care is provided to your loved one in the comfort of his or her home, the type of care and the provider may be different. Home care is provided by non-medical caregivers, who are screened and employed by senior care facilities such as Endeavor Senior Care and who assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as preparing meals, cleaning the house, doing groceries, taking medications, etc. Home health care, on the other hand, is provided by licensed healthcare workers such as nurses, occupational therapists and medical social workers. These professionals provide in-home medical care, which is “just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF)” according to Medicare.

A medical doctor will decide if home health care is the right option. After prescribing it, he or she may either choose to refer you to a home health agency available in your area or may allow you to contact one that will best meet your loved one’s needs. Either way, the home health staff will constantly be reporting back to the doctor about your loved one’s care and progress.

There may be times when both home care and home health care services are required. For example, your loved one may be in need of both personal and medical assistance. In that case, what do you do? Fortunately, Endeavor Senior Care has a registered nurse on hand and many caretakers in the Phoenix and Tuscon area. For more information on how these services differ from each other and how we can assist your loved one, please contact us at (480) 535-6800.

Are Home Care Services Right For Your Loved One? Consider the Following Questions.

As your elderly loved one needs increasingly more assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), you’ll likely begin considering which available eldercare options are right for your family. Many elderly people are resistant to change and fear the loss of independence they associate with long-term care facilities. Home care services are an excellent alternative for these individuals. To determine if home care is right for your loved one, consider the following questions:

home care services

If your loved one needs help with chores, and basic medical care, home care may be a good option.

How much care is needed? For those who require around-the-clock care, a long-term care facility is likely a better option than home care. However, if your loved one needs assistance with some activities of daily living, help with chores, and basic medical care, home care is a good alternative.

Where does your loved one prefer to live? This might seem an obvious question to consider, but it’s often overlooked. While most elderly people prefer the familiarity of their own homes, some might desire the companionship of community life in an assisted living or supportive living facility. For those who wish to remain at home and don’t require constant access to care, home care is an excellent option.

Are you feeling stressed out by the amount of care you’re providing to your loved one? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your caregiving duties, home care services can help alleviate some of your stress. By having someone else help with caregiving responsibilities, you can focus on spending quality time with your loved one.

Does your loved one forget to pay bills or take medications? If your loved one forgets to take medication, is late to pay bills, or neglects personal hygiene, a home caregiver can help ensure that these ADLs and other responsibilities are takencare of in a timely manner.

Is your loved one isolated socially? As getting out of the house becomes more challenging for elderly people, feeling isolated from the outside world is often the result. Home care provides the opportunity for your loved one to have regular companionship and social interaction.

These are just a few of the questions to consider when deciding if home care is right for your elderly loved one. For more information regarding home care services, please contact us anytime.

In Home Care: How do You Know When it is Needed?

Many of us have elderly parents or loved ones who live independently and seem to be doing well. At some point, however, you may have a nagging feeling that they aren’t faring as well as they seem to be. Something is wrong. Perhaps your loved one doesn’t need to be in a long-term care facility or even assisted living, but what are the signs they may need in home care ?

in home care

Your loved one may not need long-term care in a facility, but in-home care may be a helpful option for many.

First, it might be something as small as a pile of unopened mail that grows daily. A review of the mail might reveal overdue bill notices. Consistently missing important appointments may signal that your loved one needs help. Another sign is a change in personal habits. Someone who has always been clean and neat may become disheveled and have body odor. This may mean she forgets to shower or is afraid to get into a tub. She may lose interest in activities or hobbies she has always enjoyed. You may notice that the home, which formerly was kept spotlessly, now is dirty and there might even be a smell of urine. Your loved one may show hesitation when doing familiar tasks, or even forget how to do them entirely.

Sometimes you will notice spoiled food in the refrigerator. That happens to all of us, but when it happens again and again, or when the loved one prepares and ingests the spoiled food anyway, there is a danger in not addressing the problem. Older people who live on a budget and who subscribe to “Meals-on-Wheels”-type programs may hoard leftover food, sometimes forgetting to refrigerate it.

A check of medications may show you a discrepancy. There might be more tablets than there should be ( forgetting to take the medication) or too few (taking too many). The medications may be out-dated. Another thing you might notice is unexplained bruises or scrapes (and dents on the car).

When you begin to notice these signs you may be frightened, but you needn’t be. Few people develop them all at once. Usually people who are experiencing some trouble that makes it difficult or dangerous for them to live unassisted can still function more-or-less independently with some help. For ideas on how to help your loved one deal with lessened abilities or for information on caring and dependable assistance at home, contact us.

Providing Care at Home Can Be Fun

Something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment or for something entirely different. The only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

care at home

Caring for a senior is certainly hard work, but that shouldn’t prevent you both from having fun, too.

This quote is from Thefuntheory.com website and applies to everyone.

No one ever makes reference to the daily care at home given to the elderly as “fun”. As we all agree, work is not fun but making work “fun” is possible.

When a professional in-home care provider arrives, there is usually a set of duties planned to get completed during that shift. No time for fun here, or is there?

As a family member providing home care for your loved one, you wear your no-nonsense hat to work. But does that mean no fun allowed?

Making duties a little more interesting and fun will benefit both you and the person needing the care. You’ve heard the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun”. You can put that to the test.

You may have an uncooperative recipient of your services and fun might just bring them around. A smile, a chuckle or a full roar of laughter can change the environment you work in and your client lives in. Yes, it may take a few extra minutes but it will be a benefit.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Bathing

  • Lay out 4 towels and 4 matching washcloths of different colors on the bed. Pick a color and let your client find that color and the matching washcloth. That will be your color for the day.
  • Place a few hairbrushes and combs in a container short enough for them to stand on end and be visible. Have your client pick out either all the combs or brushes.
  • Keep 3 or 4 toothbrushes in the holder. Let the client pick out the color of the day or their favorite color. Give them a cup to spittle in over the sink and laugh when they miss.

Dressing

  • Lay out a few pairs of socks and unmatch them. Let your client find a matching pair or finish matching them all if they want.
  • Lay out a short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirt and ask your client to decide which is best for the weather outside.
  • Lay out men and women’s undergarments. Hand them the opposite sex item and laugh.

As the care provider, it rests on your shoulders to set the mood for you and your client. All your clients, including those with mild dementia can benefit from these exercises helping to stimulate the mind and muscles.

Here at Endeavor Home Care in the Phoenix area, we provide professional, friendly caregivers that can bring a smile to your loved one’s face. Contact us to help place the right caregiver with your family.

Senior care and a simple solution to health-care-associated infections (HAIs): handwashing.

It seems like a simple solution to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), but hand washing remains one of the single-most preventatives as outlined in a 2014 strategy updates for acute care facilities, and a policy that applies to in-home care providers as well.

senior care

Hand-washing is still one of the most effective measures to take against the spread of infection.

In addition, notes the report, performance in these and other areas are being measured to assess outcomes centered on the prevention of healthcare associated infections, which can be a primary concern for senior care providers.

Infections were categorized by their prevention recommendations and given a low-to-high ranking based on the evidence gathered.

A focus on implementing specific methods of intervention proven to mitigate HAI situations, particularly during the initial outbreak of infections are determined.

By turning attention to locations in the hospital at high risk for HAIs, or certain categories of patient diagnosis, prevention strategies can be initiated throughout the entire hospital.

“Basic practices include recommendations where the potential to impact HAI risk clearly outweighs the potential for undesirable effects….Special approaches include recommendations where the intervention is likely to reduce HAI risk but where where there is concern about the risks for undesirable outcomes, where the quality of evidence is low, or where evidence supports the impact of the intervention in select settings…or select patient populations.”

Primary considerations for basic approaches include common areas that could preceded an instance of infection. As such, a few of the ongoing contributors to HAIS include:

—pneumonia caused by ventilator gateways

— Clostridium difficile infections

— Infections around surgical sites

— UTI infections associated with catheters

Always on the radar, too, are routines associated with daily useage of syringes and needles; in the latter case the concern is the re-use of these items; also, the lapse in judgement is suspect when a single vial of medication is considered ‘ok’ to use for multiple patients.

Looking for home care for your aging parent, or family member? Contact us to learn more about our care-giving services.