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Home Health Blog

Health News Round-Up: Cardiac Health Gains and Heart Attack Response

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Jul 8, 2015 10:59:00 AM

The Latest in Heart Health and Treatment

Recent health news from across the web: a heart attack primer, insulin gets smart, the evidence on medical marijuana’s effectiveness, and more.Thanks to advances in comprehension and communication, emergency treatments for heart attacks are becoming ever faster and more effective. In the case of a heart attack, a speedy response can be lifesaving. This is why emergency response teams have evolved to assess and alert medical staff while still on the road, and hospitals and emergency doctors continue to refine treatment protocols in search of faster ways to open blockages and restore blood flow. This recent New York Times article offers a wealth of information about heart attacks, including step-by-step infographics. The simple question-and-answer style clearly describes heart attack symptoms to watch for and spells out the swift, critical actions to take if they appear.

(A Possibly Lifesaving Guide to Heart Attacks; New York Times)

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Topics: Hospice, Diabetes, Aging In Place, Nutrition, Stroke, Heart Disease, Smoking

To Have and to Hold On: Caregiver’s Memoir of Keeping Husband at Home

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on May 30, 2015 10:15:00 AM

Book of the Month: June 2015

Our June book is a diary-style account of a man with Parkinson’s disease, and the spouse determined to care for him at home for as long as possible.The majority of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but honoring this request can be difficult. Some progressive diseases require extraordinary amounts of hands-on care, which may grow to be more than a patient’s caregivers can provide. This doesn’t stop people from doing all they can to keep their loved one safe at home, and close at hand, for as long as possible. In fact, this conviction is the basis of our book selection for June.

Author Susan Allen Toth was doing less writing and more caregiving for her husband, James, as his Parkinson’s disease progressed and related dementia began to develop. She tried to turn to books for guidance — books on his disease, books on caregiving — but the ones she found seemed to be written after the fact, in wistful hindsight. None of them spoke to her in-the-moment exhaustion and feelings of frustration, guilt, and loathing of tasks as inane as teeth brushing. So she decided to write that book herself, warts and all.

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Topics: Private Duty Care, Hospice, Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Caregiving, Recommended Reading

Music Therapy Matters: a Residential Hospice MT Goes to Lansing

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Apr 30, 2015 3:36:48 PM

Residential Hospice music therapist Sara DiCiesare recently made (sound) waves at Michigan’s capital to encourage recognition of her discipline.At Residential Hospice and Residential Home Health, we’re tremendously proud of the staff and clinicians who give their all to deliver extraordinary patient care. Yet while we’re thrilled to make an impact on our patients each day, occasionally we learn of some special effort that one of our own has taken to make a difference in other influential ways. Today, we have just such a story to share.

On Wednesday, April 22, Residential Hospice Music Therapist Sara DiCiesare, MT-BC, joined the Michigan Music Therapy Task Force on a day trip to Lansing, Michigan. Learn about these music therapists’ prestigious plans, how they improvised to change course, and why it was so vital for them to stand up and make (sound) waves on the Hill.

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Topics: Hospice, Residential News

Research and Reason Enable Informed, Compassionate Decision-Making

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Apr 28, 2015 1:30:00 PM

Book of the Month

Our book for May empathetically investigates the extreme life-preserving medical interventions that some patients may choose to decline.Medical innovations have resulted in remarkable lifesaving advances. If a person’s heart or breathing stops, or he or she is unable to eat or drink, hospitals and other medical facilities are often equipped to intervene so that the body can resume the lost function. But for many individuals in declining health, the benefit of such invasive procedures is less clear. To a patient whose goals are to stay put and remain comfortable, these life-preserving measures bring uncertainty about whether the benefits will outweigh the risks and drawbacks (which can include unwanted hospitalization, infection, and insufficient improvement — or even a decrease — in quality of life).

With more than 30 years of nursing home and hospice experience, ordained chaplain Hank Dunn has helped patients of all ages and their families navigate the difficult decisions unique to the final phase of life. Our book selection for May is his guide to making informed healthcare decisions, a straightforward yet empathetic probe of the four biggest choices that patients in declining health can make.

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Topics: Hospice, Palliative Care, Recommended Reading, Advance Directive

Health News Round-Up: To Improve Health, Learn About Your Disease

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Apr 11, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Study Your Condition to Improve Your Health

Recent health news from across the web: the case for getting informed, health care decision-making aids, a wake-up call for night owls, and more.

Giving a patient access to his or her medical records used to be unheard of — but times are changing. With electronic records enabling better sharing among providers and with patients as well, there’s a growing trend toward better-informed and -educated patients. Large-scale evaluations are showing that patients who are given access to their test results, medication information, and even doctors’ notes from previous visits report improved understanding of their own health picture. They also have more success at following doctors’ orders and making healthy lifestyle changes.

This article follows the story of a young scientist who was told he had a brain tumor and began to collect massive amounts of his own data, as well as conduct copious research on his condition. When he suspected something had changed with his tumor, he was able to push for more tests — and his suspicions were well founded.

(The Healing Power of Your Own Medical Records; New York Times)

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Topics: Hospice, Fall Prevention, Diabetes, Health News, Stroke, Advance Directive, Financial Health