Category Archives: Home Care Services

Keep Your Brain Healthy!

BrainAt First Care, we understand that our clients have a variety of health issues, which sometimes prohibits them from being the same person they once were. We also understand that they want to continue to live freely, independently and with the same energy and fervor that makes them happy. It is with this in mind that we include articles like this one about keeping a person’s brain stimulated as they age. The goal is to give you subtle tips that will keep you and your loved ones sharp and active physically as well as mentally. The information in this article is courtesy of Mary Desaulniers, author of the article “How to SuperCharge an Aging Brain”.
A study at the Bay Crest Centre for Geriatric Care found that as people age, their ability to focus on one activity in one part of the brain decreases, which explains why older people are easily “distracted”. Yet this distraction suggests that different areas of the brain are working simultaneously, which explains why older people can often access higher reasoning processes (such as intuition) by using both hemispheres at the same time. Like any other muscle, the brain can only function at its peak capacity when it is used consistently. What are the steps we can take to ensure a strong and healthy brain in our later years?
• Pursue leisure activities. Read books and magazines. Knit with friends, go for a walk, play bridge. Leisure activities can reduce the risk or delay the onset of dementia.
• Read and write Poetry. In the famous Nuns’ Study, researchers concluded that the sisters who had more resilient brains later in life were the ones who tended to use multi-syllabic words and richer vocabularies in their diary entries. Those who developed dementia tended to use simple, monosyllabic words.
• Exercise and a healthy diet. Exercise creates significant differences in the grey and white matter areas of the brain. Aging brings about a shrinking of these areas that cardiovascular exercise actually slows down. Eat whole grains and legumes as these are rich in lecithin. Eat fish, high in omega 3 fatty acids (good fats), which have anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent the formation of plaques in the brain. Have 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables for their powerful anti-oxidant benefits and increase your consumption of Soy Protein, rich in phytonutrients and gives you all the benefits of protein without the fat.
• Learn new things and take risks. Evidence shows that learning new activities (starting a new project, hobby, business or venture) is exactly what is needed to prevent the loss of myelin in the brain.
• Love and enjoy what you have. Be thankful for the abundance you have been blessed with and give generously to those you can serve. A positive sense of purpose and a healthy optimism can do wonders to ensure longevity in the brain. Take Advantage of the possibilities!
To learn more visit: http://goarticles.com/article/How-to-Supercharge-an-Aging-Brain/148053/
Always keep in mind that if you or a loved one is in need of assistance with activities of daily living such as: light cooking, cleaning or even medication reminders, we are here to help! Please contact Exclusive Care, so that one of our enrollment specialists can assist you in the process of obtaining services. We can be reached at 718-364-4032 from the hours of 9am-5pm, or email us at info@exclusive-care.com.

5 Things You Should Tell Your New Home Care Provider

Being a caregiver for an aging parent can be overwhelming. Whether your loved one requires skilled nursing care, rehabilitation therapies or assistance with activities of daily living, home care services provide family caregivers a moment of relaxation and peace of mind. However, there are some things you should make your care provider aware of before you start services. This will ensure that you are getting quality care and will help us create a plan of care that will fit your specific needs.

Emergency Contacts. Provide a list of emergency phone numbers including: yourself, other key family members, the patient’s doctor, local hospitals, home care nurses and therapists, local police and fire.

Medications. When a new homecare provider comes into the home, the patient will receive medication reconciliation from a nurse. Because home care aides can only remind a patient to take their medications, creating a schedule that lists: what prescriptions to take, when and the correct dosage will reduce medication errors.

Meal Preparations. Home care aides are available to prepare meals for patients and families. Explain how your loved one: likes their food prepared, portion sizes, dietary issues, or food allergies. The more details given, the better the care provided. It helps ensure your loved one is cared for to your standards.

Transfers. If your loved one needs assistance getting out of their bed or in the bathroom, assistive devices are available. They can be covered under insurance or Medicare and can help reduce falls or broken bones.

Activities. If your loved one is still independent and just needs companionship, discuss what they like to do. Do they enjoy playing games, watching television, listening to the radio, or taking a walk outside? The more details your homecare provider knows about the patient, the better care they can deliver.

If you or a loved one is in need of assistance with activities of daily living such as: light cooking, cleaning or even medication reminders! Please contact Excluisive Care. so that one of our enrollment specialists can assist you in the process of obtaining services. We can be reached at 718-364-4032 from the hours of 9am-5pm, or email us at info@exclusive-care.com.

 

 

Help Around The House

There are many things that can offer some assistance within the home, if we are having difficulties on our own. But there are several differences between items and people when providing assistance. Let’s explore.

Assistance to prevent slipping:

  • Items
    • Floor mats and grab bars are useful in preventing you from slipping/falling while in the tub
    • It is only useful if you are right next to the grab bar in question
  • A Home Health Aide (HHA)
    • A HHA would hold on to you to make sure you are able to maneuver within the entire bath
    • An Aide can prevent you from slipping/falling just about anywhere

Assistance putting on your shoes:

  • Item
    • A shoe horn is only good for slipping your foot into the shoe
  • HHA
    • A HHA would be able to adjust your socks and make sure the shoe fits well and even tie the shoe laces

Assistance with meal preparation:

  • Item
    • There are microwaveable food items, that still requires an individual to go to the kitchen, put it in the microwave and serve according to instructions
  • HHA
    • They can cook a home cooked meal (keeping in mind dietary restrictions when necessary)

Assistance with medication reminders:

  • Item
    • A pill box is only useful if you remember to take your medication(s) at the appropriate time(s)
  • HHA
    • They can get you the right pill(s) at the right time throughout the day

It’s funny how all the “items” may help you around the house, but on a very limited basis. Whereas a certified home health aide is more than someone that can provide assistance as they are a companion, a professional and caring hand that can make most of life’s difficulties more pleasant. If you or someone you know need some assistance in the home with activities of daily living such as: bathing, eating, cleaning etc…Exclusive Care can help! We have highly trained certified home health aides that can care for you or your loved ones. They can assist with activities such as: bathing, toileting, dressing, cooking, cleaning and other activities of daily living. If you would like to find out more information about the services a licensed home care service agency can offer you, please feel free to contact us at (718) 364-4032 or visit our website at www.exclusive-care.com

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

According to the CDC, Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it¹. If you do the math that is roughly 1 in 3 (or 28%) of people diagnosed with colon cancer will die from colorectal cancer per year. It is also the third most common form of cancer² according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. No one likes being poked in the back side, but when it comes to your health, one has to do what they have to do. To be foolish with your life and risk the possibilities of wearing a bag on your hip and a tube in your abdomen, instead of having regular bowel movements, would not be the most ideal way to live the rest of your life. A more common outcome of not being treated in time would be the possibility of dying from the cancer. Colorectal cancer, just like other cancers, can begin to spread to other parts of the body the more time it is left untreated, making death the most probable outcome. Sadly, it also seems to affect those that are 50 years and older and we all know that the older we become the tougher it is to deal with the treatment options. For instance, radiation therapy, which makes people weak, causes nausea and other side effects which will further hindering a happy, healthy lifestyle.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, the best medicine is to provide them with as much assistance as possible to help them get through the tough times ahead. We recommend seeking some professional assistance from a certified home health aide. Gaining assistance from a certified home health aide from a licensed home care service agency, such as Exclusive Care, can be the key to a happy, independent lifestyle during or post cancer treatment. An aide can provide such services as: cooking, cleaning, dressing, and even taking the patient out an about town to get to doctor’s appointment or social events. If you know someone that is having difficulty due to colorectal cancer or any other forms of cancer, feel free to reach out to Exclusive Care to explore the options in how to obtain a home health aide. You can call us at 718-364-4032.

¹ http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/ColorectalAwareness/

² http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/MarchToolkit.aspx

Home Care Can Prevent Potential Household Fires!

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Have you ever left a chicken, eggs or something else cooking on the stove and then you realize you left it on when you smell or see something burning or hear your smoke alarm. Lots of times we get up quickly and run over to the fire and fight to put it out or call 911. The thing about a kitchen fire is that it can happen to any one of us on any day at any given time. And according to www.ready.gov, Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually¹. It is estimated that more than half of the reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves. The thing about this is that the non-fatal fires were categorized as such because the individuals were most likely capable and fully functioning individuals that can fend for themselves. So what would happen to the mentally challenged, the sick or the elderly? The National Fire Data Center’s Topical Fire Report Series explores facets of the U.S. fire problem that affect Americans in their daily lives. And they found the following fire risk to older adults in 2010²:

  • Older adults continue to experience a disproportionate share of fire deaths. In 2010, older adults (age 65 or older) represented 13 percent of the United States population but suffered 35 percent of all fire deaths.
  • The relative risk of individuals age 65 or over dying in a fire was 2.7 times greater than that of the general population. The risk worsened as age increased. The relative risk for adults ages 65 to 74 was 1.9, but soared to 4.6 for those over the age of 84.
  • Older American Indians/Alaska Natives and African-Americans were at a much greater risk of dying in a fire than their Asian/Pacific Islander or white fellow citizens. Older Asian/Pacific Islanders had 20 percent less risk than the general population.
  • Older males were 62 percent more likely to die in fires than older females.
  • Older adults were more vulnerable in a fire than the general population due to a combination of factors including mental and physical frailties, greater use of medications, and elevated likelihood of living in a poverty situation.

Most facts are quite alarming considering that:

  • More than 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s (a form of Dementia)³
  • In the 2004 Census 57.7 million people suffer from diagnosed mental disorder⁴
  • Number of residents age 65 and over: 41.4 million (2011) ⁵
  • Fires are fast and get out of control within seconds
  • Fires turn black as they start to produce smoke
  • Heat from a fire is more threatening than flames. A fire’s heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at the floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level.⁶
  • Smoke and toxic gases kill more than flames do. Fire uses us the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.⁷

These are only a few of the categories of individuals that if they have access to a stove they can become a statistic. People with Dementia/Alzheimer’s might forget that they started cooking; whereas, people with a mental disorder might not even realize they turned on the stove or oven. People 65 and over could have some physical disability that would have decreased their mobility or could have sight and hearing problems making it difficult or impossible for them to put out the fire or escape during a fire emergency. If you or someone you know might be at risk in the kitchen, you should act as quickly as possible to prevent them from becoming a statistic. Loss of property is bad, but things can be replaced while loss of life is forever. If you or a loved one is in need of assistance in preparing meals, please contact Exclusive carecertified home health aide. We can provide your loved one with a om breakfast to dinner and everything in between. You can call us at (718) 364-4032 or visit our website at www.exclusive-care.com and help prevent kitchen fires.

¹ http://www.ready.gov/home-fires

²http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v14i9.pdf

³http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp

U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates by Demographic Characteristics. Table 2: Annual Estimates of the Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004 (NC-EST2004-02) Source: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau Release Date: June 9, 2005. http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/

⁵http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus12.pdf#001

⁶http://www.ready.gov/home-fires

⁷http://www.ready.gov/home-fires

The Affluence of Home Care

Imagine a life where you would be healthy throughout your entire life until the day you die. If you have the financial means, there are plenty of things in this world that could be easily resolved like paying the mortgage, college tuition, wedding and all your bills including your medical bills. There is one thing that can still happen regardless of our financial status and that is, we can become sick, get injured or develop a chronic condition. Once we become “sick” and not able to properly care for ourselves, we can do one of two things: one is to call upon our family/friends to care for us (which might not be the best idea) or option two is we can be proactive about our own care and get ourselves a specialist to care for us. But, who wants to be seen in public with a nurse by their side? No one wants to walk around with someone dressed in all white, giving you the appearance that you are infirmed. So let me clue you in on one of life’s best kept secrets. The best thing to do is to get a certified home health aide (HHA) to assist in your daily care. An HHA is the perfect solution to meet all of your needs. They are like a personal assistant for your activities of daily living. They can dress in regular clothing to be discrete and keep your health status 100% confidential. The next question is what exactly does an HHA do? Well, here’s a glimpse at some of the services they can provide:

  • Assist with care of the teeth and mouth
  • Assist with care of the hair including shampooing and shaving
  • Assist with ordinary care of the nails, including washing, drying, and filing with an emery board
  • Assist with bathing in bed, tub or shower
  • Assist with feeding
  • Assist with walking, use of walker, or wheelchair
  • Assist with dressing
  • Assist with transfers from bed to chair or commode and back
  • Prepare and serve meals according to dietary restrictions
  • Change bed linens regularly
  • Dust, vacuum, and straighten the room that the patient uses
  • Wash dishes, scour kitchen and bathroom sink
  • Maintain general cleanliness of the client’s environment
  • List needed supplies
  • Shop for client in the absence of family members
  • Launder client clothes and linens in the absence of family members

Even under certain circumstances the HHA can:

  • Assist with the administration of medicines
  • Measure body temperature, pulse, respirations and blood pressure
  • Test urine for glucose, ketones, and bacteria
  • Collect urine, stool and sputum specimens
  • Preparation of a complex and/or modified diet
  • Assist with a prescribed exercise program
  • Assist with prescribed medical equipment, supplies and devices
  • Assist with special skin care, ostomy care and dressing changes

 

Obtaining an HHA through Exclusive Care is even more specific to your needs, as we do a holistic approach to the care provided. We would provide a registered nurse who would go to your home (to be discrete) and evaluate you and your current needs and provide you with a unique plan of care to fit you and your lifestyle. Life is a lot easier when we have a little assistance especially when dealing with personal difficulties. At Exclusive Care we are proud to be the premier licensed home care agency serving the New York City area. If you or a loved one is having difficulties with activities of daily living, feel free to visit our website at www.exclusive-care.com or call us at (718) 364-4032. Life does not have to be difficult and challenging when the right help is only a phone call away.