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Home Health Blog

Outside Looking In: Expert Help to Spot a Troubling Pattern

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Oct 6, 2015 4:44:55 PM

Residential Nurse Alert to the Rescue

Each of us receives care from a multitude of people and places. Primary care physicians, specialists, surgeons, nurses, therapists, caregivers, and aides may treat different disease states in different areas of the body, possibly at different times. We might be tended to at home, in the doctor’s office, in an emergency department or hospital setting, in a rehab facility, or anywhere, in any combination. Often, we’re receiving specific treatment in light of a specific issue or episode. But sometimes, what appears to be an isolated incident — when viewed as part of our larger health picture — may actually be part of a pattern.

Efforts to centralize health information and communicate among providers are aimed at catching these kinds of warning signs before they become a larger problem. For example, Residential Home Health clinicians follow up with their patients’ primary physician and other care providers, working together to track progress and avoid missteps in disease management or recovery. And for one repeat Residential Home Health patient, using the Residential Nurse Alert emergency response system was instrumental in identifying a worrisome pattern.

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Topics: Fall Prevention, Real World Stories, Residential Nurse Alert

Exhilarating (and Safe!) Exercise for Active Aging Week and Anytime

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Oct 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Active Aging Week

It takes effort to make physical fitness a priority. Exercise takes time and can be tough, tiring work, especially when a person is first starting out. Furthermore, when aging or disease interferes with an individual's strength and endurance, it can start to feel like the goal of getting active is getting farther out of reach.

However, this is far from the case. The goal of Active Aging Week (September 27-October 3) is to shine a light on the diverse and enjoyable activities that seniors can and do pursue for fun and fitness. Read on for a refresher on the benefits of exercise, some fun activities for seniors to pursue, and safety tips for approaching any exercise as safely as possible.

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Topics: Fitness

Health News Round-Up: Proper Prep for Insulin Pen Effectiveness

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Oct 1, 2015 4:25:32 PM

For Best Results, Insulin Pens Need Preparation

For many patients, insulin injection is a key part of diabetes management, and pharmaceutical companies continue to innovate with ever-more convenient delivery methods. One advance has been the pre-mixed ‘NPH insulin pen,’ a convenient all-in-one device that eliminates the need for separate needles and vials. However, the results of a recent study highlight the importance of proper preparation of an NPH insulin pen: namely, shaking it to ‘resuspend’ the medicine inside.

Inside an NPH insulin pen is a mixture of crystals and liquid that settles into unequal proportions over time. Without shaking, the researchers discovered that patients’ blood sugar control varied widely, far less reliable than the correctly prepped pens would deliver. To sufficiently resuspend the insulin in an NPH device, the pen should be tipped back and forth 20 times just before injection. And when it comes to proper technique for any medication in your regimen, you can always reach out to your doctor or Residential Home Health clinician for help.

(Shake, shake, shake your NPH insulin pen before injecting; Reuters)

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Topics: Dementia, Diabetes, Health News, Nutrition, Medication Management

Spelling it Out: Author Reflects on Her Breast Cancer, from A to Z

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Sep 26, 2015 11:20:44 AM

Book of the Month: October 2015

One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer; the disease remains the most-diagnosed form of cancer in women and their second-leading cause of death. With so many women touched by this disease, there are bound to be commonalities — similar tests, procedures, and strains, as well as fears, emotions, and surprises. Yet every woman, and every cancer, is unique. How exactly she reacts, where she finds comfort, which messages resonate, and the buzzwords that rankle encompass a singular and personal experience.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this and every October, our latest book recommendation is a journalist’s reflection on her own sojourn in the surreal reality that she calls ‘Cancerland.’ The diminutive volume treads a fine line between universalism and individuality, presenting author Madhulika Sikka's distinct opinion, as told by a confidante and fellow member of a club no one chose to join.

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Topics: Recommended Reading, Cancer

You Can’t Stop the Season, but You Can Prevent Falls

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Sep 23, 2015 4:33:50 PM

Falls Prevention Awareness Day

It’s the first day of fall — like it or not, the leaves will soon be changing and temperatures dropping. But this day has added significance, calling attention to a critical safety hazard in the home. Yes, the first day of fall marks Falls Prevention Awareness Day, which is well worth observing no matter what your feelings about the autumn season.

Fall-related injuries represent a leading cause of hospitalization in seniors. The best way to escape injury from a fall is to prevent falling altogether. Actually, many falls in the home can be prevented with a combination of awareness and preparation. Read on to discover what you can do to arm yourself against some of the greatest home fall risks.

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Topics: Fall Prevention, Home Improvements, Visual Impairment