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Home Health Blog

6 Signs You’re Well Prepared for Aging in Place

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Mar 18, 2016 3:23:26 PM

GEN-BLOG-AgingInPlace-600x460-150115There’s a growing ‘aging in place’ movement, whose members want to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible. But that doesn’t mean keeping everything the same, until a fall or injury (or the threat of one) forces a change in residence. Rather, wise aging in place involves making your home into a space where you can live safely and independently for years to come.

If the home you love gives you joy, and you’re determined to stay there, welcome to the movement! Use the 6 signs below to test how well you have prepared, and see what more you can do to age in place with wisdom and foresight.

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Topics: Aging In Place

Stretch Limbs, Save Lives: A Day’s Work for In Home Physical Therapy

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Mar 12, 2016 11:31:00 AM

Not all home health care is routine. For one Residential patient, having in home physical therapy with Negasi was a literal and figurative lifesaver.Home health care begins by setting a plan of care: a carefully chosen prescription for the exact medical services that the patient needs in the home, at a frequency that is appropriate for those needs. Some patients may need multiple therapies several times per week during a recovery period. Others may have less frequent visits to monitor status and ensure that chronic conditions are staying well managed. With a plan of care in place, the schedule of visits — and what those visits will entail — can be relatively routine.

But there are always exceptions. Working in home health care means being prepared for anything. A clinician never knows what situation will be waiting when he or she walks into a patient's home; for example, this sensational story of stumbling into a financial scam in progress. In today's true story, Residential Home Health physical therapist Negasi was already improving his patient's functional status with routine care. But when he walked into an emergency situation, Negasi was a literal lifesafer.

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Topics: Fall Prevention, Real World Stories

Found in Translation: Breaking an Invisible Barrier to Success

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Feb 19, 2016 1:30:00 PM

RW-_VerbalBarrier_BAN-600x480-150115In life and in health care, we all have barriers to success. But some obstacles are easier to spot than others. Physical symptoms, such as a tremor or shortness of breath, can be quickly spotted by a clinician and addressed appropriately. But often the barrier is invisible: fear of falling, unwillingness to give up certain foods, or something else that breeds discouragement. We're not always inclined to announce our invisible barriers, so for someone else to discover them takes time, attention, and patience.

For Taresa, a Residential nurse and case manager, one patient presented a puzzle that at first she couldn't solve. Yet with careful deduction and gentle coaching, she recognized an invisible barrier that was so hidden, no one else had discovered it. Read on to learn about her compassionate actions, and the incredible health breakthrough that followed. 

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Topics: Real World Stories

Your Heart (and Your Taste Buds) Will Love This Old-Fashioned Oatmeal

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Feb 13, 2016 3:10:09 PM

Recipe-Oatmeal-BAN-600x460-150115Featured Recipe

For American Heart Month, we're turning to a breakfast staple of a heart-healthy diet. Oatmeal comes in many varieties for many cooking methods — you may reach for a canister of round flakes for quick boiling, or tear open a flavored packet for 'instant' results. But in order to have our oats ready faster and faster, they need to be processed: smashed, toasted, and steamed. The end result may be fast, but it may also be mushy and pasty. But there's another cooking method that we think is worth the wait: the old-fashioned way. 

This recipe calls for 'steel-cut' (or 'Irish') oats, which are less processed than their flattened ('rolled') counterparts. Nutritionally, oats are very similar across processing styles, but the intact grains of steel-cut is digested more slowly, keeping you full for longer and with less of a blood sugar spike. This variety has a more distinct texture and keeps well in the refrigerator, so you can cook a big batch and have homemade breakfast for days.

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Topics: Recipe, Nutrition

Don’t Let Caregiving Give Way to Compassion Fatigue

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Jan 29, 2016 10:32:07 AM

Caregivers for seniors selflessly devote time, energy, and emotional support. But an outpouring of caring over time can lead to compassion fatigue.‘Care’ is the root of caregiving. For seniors aging in place, caregivers devote time and energy — perhaps assisting with daily activities and chores, providing transportation, managing household expenses, or helping to cope with chronic illness and medication management. Yet in each of these tasks, there is an emotional component. Although caregivers may be subject to momentary feelings of frustration or exhaustion, the underlying current of feeling comes from affection and compassion — wanting to do everything possible to better the life of someone so dear.

When times get tough or in home caregiving demands increase, caregivers might lean on this wellspring of emotion in order to continue giving of themselves. But these resources are not infinite: an outpouring of caring over weeks, months, or years can cause something known as ‘compassion fatigue.’ Keep reading to learn more about this phenomenon, its widespread effects, and how to avoid giving way to this form of caregiver burnout.

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Topics: Caregiving