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Home Health Blog

For Care with Consistency and Comfort, There’s No Place like Home

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Nov 25, 2015 2:48:20 PM

National Home Care and Hospice Month

For National Home Care and Hospice Month this November, discover how extending care into the home can meet patients’ unique health needs.The National Association for Home Care & Hospice celebrates November as Home Care and Hospice Month. The theme for 2015 is ‘Home Care and Hospice Deliver Freedom’ — that is, the independence to remain living at home safely, and to stay out of the hospital.

Thousands upon thousands of skilled clinicians, including the exceptional nurses and therapists of Residential Home Health and Residential Hospice, make their way every day, in any weather, to wherever their patients call home. They deliver expert care, guidance, information, encouragement, and empowerment to maximize health and help patients and their caregivers manage chronic conditions. Read on to discover why care in the home is playing a growing role in health care, and how the Residential family is ready to meet the unique health needs of each of its patients.

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Topics: Home Health Care, Hospice, Palliative Care

Health News Round-Up: An ‘Ounce of Preemption’ Before Treatment

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Aug 18, 2015 4:48:21 PM

Preparing for Surgery or Treatment with ‘Prehab’

Recent health news from across the Web: prehab training before aggressive treatment, side effect dangers, music’s pain-fighting properties, and more.Patients who undergo surgeries, or other aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, are often guided in rehabilitation exercises afterward to build back lost strength and endurance. However, some specialists have begun to explore the potential of rehab-style exercise done in anticipation of such procedures. They reason that this so-called prehab allows patients to enter treatment at a better level of fitness that will help them endure procedures better and recover faster.

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Topics: Dementia, Joint Replacement, Palliative Care, Diabetes, Health News, Nutrition, Medication Management, Heart Disease, Cancer, Fitness, Bereavement

Health News Round-Up: Cracking Down on Added Sugars

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Aug 5, 2015 1:47:09 PM

The Skinny on Limiting Sugar

Recent health news from across the Web: added sugars and sugar substitutes, improvements in senior outcomes, when to start home health care, and more.We’ve been warned about the dangers of consuming too much sugar, but now the FDA is making a proposal that could make excess sugar harder to overlook. The organization has suggested two changes to nutrition labels: first, to add a separate subcategory to bring ‘added sugars’ to light, and second, to assign a percent daily value for these added sugars. The agency hopes that consumers will be able to better comprehend how much sugar they are getting and make healthier trade-offs.

(No More Hidden Sugar: FDA Proposes New Label Rule; NPR)

In this related piece, Dr. Aaron E. Carroll discusses the scientific evidence about sugar consumption. His conclusions: added sugars have been proven to be detrimental to human health, whereas the case against artificial sweeteners can come apart with scrutiny. For people who drink sweetened beverages like colas, he suggests moderation and sugar-free options.

(The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar; NYT The Upshot blog)

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Topics: Home Health Care, Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Palliative Care, Caregiving, Diabetes, Aging In Place, Nutrition, Home Improvements

How Can I Relieve Chronic Pain Associated With Disease or Treatment?

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

Serious illnesses, and sometimes their treatments, can come hand in hand with pain symptoms. Learn the avenues available to manage chronic pain.Coping with a serious illness is challenging in itself, from emotional strain to related treatments that can cause physical upset or fatigue. Sometimes, however, the disease or its necessary therapies can also cause pain, a side effect that may become a predominant symptom. In some cases, this pain can continue for longer than 6 months, at which point it is considered chronic pain. About 100 million Americans have chronic pain, which can range from slight to unbearable, and at its worst can drastically disrupt a patient’s daily life or mood.

Chronic pain is classified as mild to severe pain that does not go away. Shooting, burning, or aching sensations are common; the pain may leave you feeling uncomfortable, sore, or stiff. If lasting pain is having a negative effect on your ability to manage a chronic condition, exploring different avenues for pain management could make a big difference in your overall outlook and health.

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Topics: Palliative Care, Medication Management

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