Tag Archives: Home Care

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

What Life is Like Caring for My ……………?

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Most of us never think that one day our parents will become an “elder” person and we think less about the day we will have to start caring for them. For most individuals, becoming a caregiver usually sneaks up on us. As we start to notice changes in our parents, we do the loving thing of providing them that extra hand to make them happy and go about their regular day. This additional attention for our parents also feels good because we are making sure that they are o.k. (they are our parents after all). We might start with the little things as helping our parents run an errand or running the errand for them. We might progress to helping them with their bills. Depending on how our parent’s health condition(s) develop, we can end up with a second job “caring for my ……………”, since our first job “only” pays the bills. This second job can develop such responsibilities as assisting them with;

  • Getting out of bed
  • Bathing them
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Getting them dressed/undressed
  • Toileting
  • Cooking
  • Feeding
  • Cleaning
  • Running most/all of their errands
  • Become a record keeper of all appointments, events and activities
  • And finally assist them with their entire day until they go to bed

Now we do all this and then repeat it every day and as stated earlier, we might start with a few task at first, but soon more and more things on the list above are being added to the daily tasks you must perform.

As time goes on, all of these additional tasks can cause you to become tired, depressed and could possibly cause you to start suffering from health issues of your own. Caring for someone is not an easy task. It can be the most rewarding thing in life, but it can also be draining at times. Luckily, there is hope and a great solution to maintaining your own piece of mind for the care of your loved one and allowing for time to recharge your own “battery”. You can call Exclusive Care the licensed home care service agency that can take over the “second job”, which will allow you to be more productive, less stressful, more fulfilling and give you the peace of mind knowing that a certified home health aide is there providing care with as much compassion and sympathy as you offer. If you are a caregiver and nee d a break or just need someone to take over all these responsibilities, call 718-364-4032 and speak with the professionals that can provide care.

Oral Hygiene and aging

The miracle of life is a wonderful thing! We are born into this world perfect in a sense; just lacking any teeth. Therefore, we cannot feed on the vital things we need such as: meats, fish and plants that provide us with most of the nutrients and energy we need to function to our maximum capacity and maintain a healthy body and mind. So as we grow up, we develop our teeth and progress accordingly and we start to eat more solid foods, which help us develop faster and stronger until we hit approximately age 5-6 years old when our baby teeth start to fall out and we begin to have gaps in our teeth and look crazy in our school photos. While this is a short and funny time period in our lives, it is fixed naturally when our adult teeth grow in. But as we become adults and start losing our teeth, unfortunately there is no natural cure to re-grow our teeth, which is why keeping our teeth and gums in good shape as we age is very important. Granted we will look just as crazy as when we were kids, but this time it can be a permanent problem. Having a mouth full of missing teeth becomes more of a problem than just the aesthetics with the more teeth we lose. The loss of teeth, causes an individual to not be able to chew as we used to; thereby causing us to forgo eating foods that we need to keep us healthy. Also, we can lose the ability to speak clearly and confidently as we can become self-conscious about our missing teeth. Poor oral hygiene can lead to very serious conditions besides bad breath and ugly looking gums if not monitored. Poor oral hygiene can be an early sign that an individual is developing more serious health conditions. This is why proper oral care and regular dental visits are a must! This can help fight tooth decay, gum disease and other potential medical conditions.

Did you know that?

  • Infections in the mouth can be a sign of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, pneumonia, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other health conditions
  • Some medications can affect your oral health. So you should talk to your doctor about the potential effects on your mouth when new medication is prescribed
  • Having multiple abscesses in your mouth can be a sign that you have diabetes
  • In most cases gum disease isn’t painful
  • There is such a thing as burning mouth syndrome (BMS)
  • Having poor oral hygiene can be a sign of mental decay

Once your mouth has deteriorated, your body usually follows as both are interconnected. Ours mouths are a key tool in what is needed to take care of our bodies by allowing it to take in and break up the meats, fruits and vegetables that provide us the needed nutrients and vitamins to function. If you know someone that is having difficulty eating and processing their food and they need some assistance, contact Exclusive Care at 718-364-4032 and one of our certified home health aide can cook for specific diet needs, feed or assist in feeding the client so they can get needed nutrients and stay healthy. Also the certified home health aide can escort the individual to their dentist appointments and thereafter provide the necessary oral care the individual would need to continue with proper oral hygiene.

Joint Pain in the Winter

Due to the recent cold weather and all the snow that the Tri-State Area has experienced lately, I’m sure some of you have heard complaints from people who suffer from joint pain, arthritis or osteoarthritis. This is the season in which sufferers (possibly you are one of the pain sufferers) experience great pain in their knees, ankles, hands, shoulders or other body part due to the extreme weather. Apparently, you are not alone! Some scientists theorize that the joint pain can be caused due to the drop in the barometric pressure.  The barometric pressure is the atmospheric “air” pressure caused by the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us.  The air pressure could be rising or falling and usually when it falls that usually signals rain, clouds and bad weather such as: cyclones and tropical storms. In people with inflammatory conditions, this usually cause soreness and stiffness as the swelling inflames the nerves around the joints, causing pain.  Let’s say the tissue surrounding the joints are like a balloon, high barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside will keep tissues from expanding. While low pressure on the body would allow the tissues to expand and those expanded tissues can put pressure on the joints according to WebMd.com. This can make it difficult enough for some sufferers; that they have a challenge getting out of bed in the morning let alone trying to go about the rest of their day with the soreness, stiffness and pain. These pains can cause some people to have real difficulties trying to do their daily activities.

There are different ways to try to alleviate some of the pain.

Stay warm – Keep yourself indoors in heated places when it’s cold outside or dress in layers and warm the car up before going into the cold. Using warming pads and taking warm baths can help as well.

Stay active  – While it might be difficult to move with stiffness, stretching and doing exercise have shown to provide some relief.

Prevent the swelling – Wear spandex type of materials where the pain is to minimize the swelling allowed by the body from your joint fluids.

Take better care of yourself – Eat healthy, get plenty of rest and be in a positive mood as it helps alleviate the feeling of stress and depression etc.

Lastly, always remember that the pain will be temporary, since we don’t have low air pressure every day!

Now, for those that are really hindered by the pain and stiffness that interferes with their activities of daily living; there is relief available by getting someone to provide you with assistance. Typically most people want/like to rely on their family members to provide them this assistance they need, but now a days with so many things going on in each of our lives it can sometimes be difficult to have someone to provide you that assistance needed. However, with a certified home health aide around, they can assist the individual with all activities of daily living making it easier to live with joint pain.

If you or someone you know suffers from joint pain, feel free to reach out to Exclusive Care which is a premier home care service agency who can connect you to certified home health aide to provide you all the assistance of activities of daily living. Feel free to call us at (718) 364-4032 and explore your options in care.