homecarepittsburgh

10 Signs a Senior Needs Assistance

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Hey, this comes from Dr. Johnson’s blog post today, and I think it’s very important to show to you guys!

http://www.aolhealth.com/2010/04/01/senior-assistance-signs/

That article lays out the 10 major signs that an elderly loved one needs assistance, and reading it may help to save someone’s life or improve their well-being.

Here’s the list in short form:

1. Poor hygiene

2. Poor nutrition

3. Lack of housework

4. General ailing health

5. Problems managing medication

6. Extensive bruising

7. Disorientation (time or direction)

8. Observations by members of the community

9. Unkempt finances

10. Susceptibility to scams

Some of those may sound confusing at the surface, so I encourage you to go check out the article to learn more! And as always, if you have any questions, just go ahead and shoot me an email. :)

Brenna

Keeping your cool this summer!

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm

So, the official Home Care Assistance blog has had a few posts lately about staying healthy in the summer heat! And I know that’s a concern of mine, too… sometimes it’s just way too hot outside to bear!

Dr. Johnson had a great post – how to be safe, not sorry this summer – about a few risks, primarily dehydration.

It is very important for everyone, especially seniors, to take care of themselves during these months of sunshine and heat waves. According to doctor Alicia Arbaje of John Hopkins University, elderly people living at home need special attention from family members or caregivers. She says that the elderly often don’t realize when they are too hot, and the medications they take can often make them very dehydrated. She suggests staying in the home and out of the sun during times of extreme heat, avoiding a lot of activity, and staying hydrated with not only water, but also “sweat-replacement” drinks… If an individual notices problems while in the heat, do not hesitate to call a doctor. The summer is an exceptionally important time for seniors to have elder care, or to be watched closely by family and friends.

I wanted to look into the idea of “sweat-replacement” drinks like Gatorade, and just why they’re so important, so I found another good article here.

  1. Although the amounts lost in sweat are generally small in proportion to total body stores, prolonged heavy sweating can lead to significant mineral losses (particularly of sodium). An extreme example of such an impairment is ‘hyponatraemia’, when low plasma sodium levels can be literally life threatening.
  2. Drinks containing electrolyte minerals – particularly sodium – are known to promote thirst, thereby stimulating a greater voluntary intake of fluid.
  3. When the electrolyte minerals – again particularly sodium – are present in appropriate concentrations, the rate of fluid absorption from the small intestine into the rest of the body appears to be enhanced, especially in conjunction with small amounts of glucose. This is particularly important when rapid uptake of fluid is required, such as during strenuous exercise in the heat.

There you have it! Make sure that you stay well-hydrated in this heat if you are going to spend any time outside, and also make sure to wear sunscreen and skin-protective clothing! The risk of many cancers increases with age, so it is of the utmost importance to protect your body.

Enjoy the heat – but be healthy about it!

Brenna

Technology for seniors!

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Over the past few weeks, Home Care’s Dr. Kathy Johnson has had several great posts regarding new advancements in modern communication technology that are geared specifically towards seniors, so I thought I would share a few of those with you today!

The first is the Snapfon, which she writes about in this post.

The Snapfon is designed to be a simple, frills-free phone for seniors, and has a lot of features that are beneficial. It has a large, 28-pt font on both the buttons and the screen that make it easy to read, and it also has speaker-capabilities so the keypad can tell you which number you’ve dialed if you are hard of sight.

Perhaps the most high-tech and life-saving element on this phone is the SOS button, a red button on the back of the phone designed to communicate rapidly during an emergency. When pressed, the phone will send a text message to your top 4 emergency contacts, and then call each of them in order until someone picks up. The Snapfon also comes with a case and lanyard to be worn around the neck if so desired, so the SOS button can always be within reach.

From celloneet.com.

Dr. Johnson also recommends the highly-hyped iPad as a great new tool for seniors. It has modes that enable large font and icons on the screen, and large touch-keys. Weighing in at about 1.5 pounds, it is very light and easy to carry around, and can help seniors read books, access internet, and store information without having to go through the hassle of purchasing a computer, setting up a desk, buying internet service, and having to go to a special room to sit at the computer. More information on the iPad can be found at Apple’s website, and it would make a perfect gift for elders.

There you are! My next post will be about great things that seniors can find on the internet, but I’m going away for a few days! Enjoy the weekend and all life has to offer. :)

Brenna

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