Occupational therapy can a great addition to the care team when managing diabetes.
Those with diabetes, and those who provide care for them, know the importance of proper management of the disease: routine monitoring of blood glucose levels, carefully adhering to dietary restrictions, exercising and maintaining regular checkups with the doctor. But what might come as a surprise is the role occupational therapy can play in diabetes management.
Occupational therapists can – and should – be a vital part of a diabetic’s care team, bringing a full range of knowledge and expertise in addressing all of a patient’s needs: emotional, social, sensory and cognitive, as well as physical.
The American Association of Diabetes Educators has compiled the AADE 7TM Self-Care Behaviors, all of which can be enhanced through occupational therapy services:
Monitoring the disease
Healthy coping skills
Here are just a few of the many ways a professional occupational therapist can improve diabetes management as well as the overall health and wellbeing for the person diagnosed:
Provide recommendations for safe, appropriate physical activity
Educate on appropriate meal choices and cooking techniques
Assist with medication tracking and organization
Share tips for effective blood glucose monitoring
Utilize strategies and compensations for those with sensory loss
Help alleviate anxiety and depression through daily lifestyle changes
Whether the need is simply for a little extra help with housework, meals, and personal care, or if a chronic disease calls for skilled medical care, Nightingale Homecare is on hand with the right level of care at the right time. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 for a free in-home consultation where we’ll listen to the challenges being faced and create a plan of care to address those needs, monitoring over time as needs change. Discover how our Scottsdale senior home care services can improve quality of life and make each day the very best it can be!
For those living with Parkinson’s disease, many challenges present throughout the day. The symptoms of Parkinson’s (tremors, stiffness, balance problems and slow movement) tend to worsen over time, making all activities of daily living more difficult. Ongoing evaluations performed by your loved one’s physician, nurses and occupational and physical therapists are necessary in order to maximize independence and improve safety.
The Scottsdale home care team at Nightingale Homecare offers tips and information on assistive devices below that may lessen the frustrations and safety issues that often accompany this disease.
Unsteadiness, poor balance and shuffling gait are hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease and produce many challenges with walking safely. In the early stages of Parkinson’s, a straight cane is often helpful. These often work better than a quad cane or tripod cane for those with Parkinson’s. Proper fit is essential as the height of the cane will need to support proper posture. Once your loved one has progressed to a walker, four-wheeled walkers offer more stability than walkers that need to be lifted. In late-stage Parkinson’s, a wheelchair or electric scooter may be necessary.
Probably one of the more frustrating and isolating activities those with Parkinson’s suffer is that of eating. There are several remarkable breakthroughs to make eating easier for people with tremors. The utensils have larger, weighted handles that make gripping easier. There are also utensils that are self-stabilizing and self-leveling and designed to counteract tremors by up to 70%. Many people with Parkinson’s also find it helpful to use travel cups with the lid and straw attached as well as plates with scooped edges to avoid accidents.
A few adaptations can help remove the frustrations that someone with Parkinson’s may experience in dressing him/herself. These devices include:
Magnetic buttons, with buttons on the outside that close with magnets on the inside.
Zipper pulls which are attached rings to the tiny handles on zippers that make them easy to zip up and down.
Weighted button aides with a large grip handle with a loop on the other end. You simply thread the loop through the eyelet, hook the loop around the button, then pull the button through the eyelet.
Shoes with Velcro or elastic shoelaces are much easier to put on and off than shoes with regular shoelaces.
Your loved-one’s occupational therapist can help make specific recommendations for the bathroom, but devices that make the bathroom safer and more manageable for those with Parkinson’s disease include:
Bars or handrails added to tubs/showers and toilet areas
Non-skid bathmats or decals on the tub floor
Tub chairs or benches
Raised toilet seats
Electric toothbrushes and razors
The fine motor skills lost with Parkinson’s can make holding a writing instrument difficult. There are many writing devices that are easier to grip. Other writing utensils are designed to improve shaky penmanship.
When asked, most senior adults agree that they would prefer to age in their own homes and maintain as much independence as possible. And yet, most homes are not equipped to meet the needs of an older adult, leaving many unsafe. Unsafe homes lead to accidents or falls, resulting in over 2.3 million accidents involving seniors in their homes per year! Nearly one third of the senior population falls each year, with more than 70% of those occurring in their own home.
With Nightingale Homecare as your partner for Phoenix live-in home health care or other in-home care services, your home care nurse or therapist will help identify potential hazards and make recommendations to keep you safe in your home. Therapists will also provide treatments and exercises to reduce fall risk by focusing on strengthening, balance, ambulation training with or without an assistive device, and energy conservation. Training to help keep you safe while getting ready for the day by bathing and dressing is also a priority.
Here are some general home safety tips your therapist or nurse will review with you to help ensure safety:
Keep all your pathways clear of clutter and pets.
Install smoke detectors.
Keep emergency numbers within reach of your telephone.
Keep fire extinguishers serviced and throughout your home.
Use medications safety.
Make sure that loose cords, such as telephone wires, are tucked under furniture and out of the way.
Rearrange furniture to keep walkways clear.
Remove all throw rugs or secure tightly to the floor and ensure there are no edges that could be a tripping hazard.
Check all furniture for stability and ensure unsteady furniture is removed or repaired.
Don’t walk over or around cords or wires.
Avoid the use of extension cords and don’t place them over walkways.
Lift up feet when walking and walk with proper equipment as prescribed (cane, walker, crutches, gait belt).
Install automatic nightlights that turn on when the room is dark so that pathways are lit if you get up in the night.
Make sure to use chemicals according to the directions on the package, and make sure that the containers are properly sealed when not in use. Drain cleaners, bleaches and strong acids can be dangerous if mixed, causing explosions or dangerous gasses.
At Nightingale Homecare, it’s our goal to help seniors achieve their desire to remain in the comfort of home through a full range of Phoenix live-in home health care or hourly care services. We’re always happy to provide a home safety assessment to make recommendations on how to reduce the risk of falls and other accidents. Additionally, our Paces Fall Prevention Program incorporates the expertise of our professional therapists, dieticians, social workers, home health aides and others to provide a well-rounded fall prevention plan that can be implemented to enhance safety even further.
Make home the safe haven it’s intended to be with a little help from your care partners at Nightingale Homecare! Contact us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more!
Ah, is there anything better than an organized, sparkling clean home? Where the smell of lemon permeates every room, all dust bunnies have been evicted, and every surface is polished to a shine? For older adults, it’s not always easy to take care of the heavy tasks involved with spring cleaning, and years of accumulated keepsakes, photo albums, paperwork and more can quickly become overwhelming to try to organize.
One of the greatest gifts you can share with a senior loved one is the gift of your time, and planning a spring cleaning get-together can be a wonderful way to spend quality time together; not to mention the contented feeling you’ll leave behind when his or her home is in tip top shape. These spring cleaning tips for seniors can help:
Make it a team effort. The more, the merrier, and many hands will make the job go all the faster so you can enjoy some relaxing time together after the work’s done! Remember to include the senior in whatever tasks he or she is interested in or able to do to ensure the senior feels engaged and useful.
Think safety. As you’re reorganizing, keep the senior’s safety at the forefront of your mind. Some ideas include:
Clearing any clutter and removing any other potential tripping hazards from walking paths in the home
Rearranging cabinets and drawers so that the most commonly used items are within easy reach
Replacing any burned out or dim light bulbs
Discarding any expired foods
Assess the full environment. Pay attention as you’re cleaning to anything that might seem out of the ordinary according to the level of cleanliness and organization the senior has been accustomed to. Changes in the cleanliness of the home or of the senior himself/herself can be signs that it’s time to consider assistance from a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at Nightingale Homecare.
For more spring cleaning tips for seniors, and for some hands-on assistance with cleaning, organizing, or other in-home care needs, contact Nightingale Homecare. Our Arizona home health care team is on hand to help seniors remain safe and thriving at home with our personalized senior care services. Whether the need is for just a few hours each week, or around-the-clock 24-hour care, we’re here to help! Contact us at 602-504-1555 to learn more or to schedule a free in-home assessment to help improve the wellbeing of your senior loved one.
Most of us well remember the old emergency response commercial of the elderly woman who called out so plaintively, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” And perhaps in the back of our minds we solidified the stigma that aging and falling unavoidably go hand in hand. While it’s true that many seniors are at an increased risk of falling for a variety of reasons – frailty, medication side effects, vision loss – it’s also true that there are a number of steps that can be taken to greatly reduce that risk.
Nightingale Homecare’s Phoenix home care team urges seniors and those who care for them to be mindful of the following fall risks, and take steps to remedy them to keep seniors safe and steady on their feet:
Weakened muscles. Perhaps the greatest likelihood of falls for seniors comes from reduced muscle strength. Strengthening and endurance exercises should be added to the senior’s daily routine, according to his or her abilities and physician approval.
Compromised balance. Poor balance can result from a number of medical conditions and medication side effects, and may be exacerbated by increased inactivity. Simple balance activities (again, approved by the physician) can help older adults improve balance and reduce fall risks.
Vision problems. Reduced vision from cataracts, glaucoma, or even just poor lighting contributes to a number of falls in seniors. Addressing vision problems with the ophthalmologist if possible and enhancing lighting in the home can help reduce fall risk.
Inadequate safety measures. From throw rugs to clutter on the floor to a lack of handrails and grab bars in fall-prone areas like the bathroom, a lack of attention to appropriate home safety can result in tragedy. A professional home care agency, such as Nightingale Homecare, can perform a home safety inspection and recommend simple home modifications to keep seniors safe.
At Nightingale Homecare, we’re committed to helping seniors stay active while remaining safe from falls. Our fully trained Phoenix home care staff would love to meet with you and your senior loved one to provide a free in-home assessment and to offer assistance on enhancing quality of life and independence while maintaining optimum safety.
We provide a fully encompassing range of in-home care for seniors through our team of professional nurses, medical social workers, dieticians, occupational/physical/speech therapists, and home health aides – ensuring that the individual needs of each senior client are covered both for today and as needs change in the future. And, our Paces Fall Prevention Program places a concerted focus on further reducing fall risk in seniors.
We welcome you to contact us at 602-504-1555 any time to learn more about how we can partner with you to make sure the beloved seniors in your life are safe, happy, and thriving!
A Nightingale representative would be happy to answer your questions or help you arrange for home care that is custom-fit to your needs.