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The Top Challenges Faced After a Stroke – And How to Manage Them

 

senior care Scottsdale

Try these tips from Nightingale, the top providers of senior care Scottsdale families need, for better outcomes following a stroke.

Experiencing a stroke in and of itself is traumatic, both for the stroke survivor and his or her loved ones. Yet for many, the real challenge starts after the stroke, as the recovery process begins, and a variety of obstacles remain to be overcome. The key to maximizing recovery is in developing effective strategies to address each of these challenges, which typically fall into one of three categories.

The professional home care team at Nightingale Homecare, providers of the highest quality senior care Scottsdale and the surrounding area have to offer, highlights tips for each of these areas of recovery:

Physical

Physical changes are often most apparent, and vary based upon the area of the brain that was impacted by the stroke. Some of the more common challenges, with tips to help with each, include:

  • Dysphagia (trouble swallowing): Cut food into smaller portions, or puree foods. Talk with the doctor to determine if liquid thickeners may be beneficial.
  • Hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body): Along with rehab and exercise, try in-home modifications and assistive devices, such as grab bars, specialized eating utensils, and a tub bench, as recommended by the physician.
  • Pain: As many as 50% of stroke survivors experience some level of pain – sometimes several weeks or even months post-stroke. Tips to help include keeping bath/shower water at a temperate level, utilizing a shoulder support when ambulating, and remaining as physically active as possible. Talk with the physician for more pain management tips if the problem is severe or chronic.

Emotional

While the emphasis is often on physical recovery, it’s important to understand that emotional changes are also quite common, and require just as much attention, care and treatment. While some degree of sadness, anger, frustration, and fear are to be expected as a result of undergoing a stroke, make certain your loved one’s emotional health does not descend into post-stroke depression, which may display as:

  • Feeling helpless, hopeless, worthless
  • Ongoing, excessive feelings of sadness, anxiety, emptiness
  • Disinterest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Isolation
  • Concentration/memory problems
  • Fatigue and/or difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Thoughts of suicide

Another common condition to watch for during stroke recovery is PBA (pseudobulbar affect), in which the individual experiences outbursts of uncontrollable laughing or crying.

Both of these conditions are treatable, and should be brought to the attention of the physician immediately.

Cognitive

Tasks that were once completed without a second thought may now be a struggle, such as speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, and planning. Additionally, short-term memory is often impacted. It can be helpful to implement communication modifications, such as drawing/writing if speaking is difficult, or creating a communication book with common pictures and symbols (such as a cup of water, plate of food, blanket, toilet, etc.) to allow the person to point to a specific need. Be sure to remain calm and patient as your loved one struggles through these challenges.

Whatever your loved one is facing post-stroke, Nightingale Homecare is on hand to help. With our in-home occupational, speech, and physical therapy services, plus a full range of both medical and non-medical care, we can ease the difficulties of stroke recovery. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 for more helpful stroke resources and to request an in-home consultation to discover the many ways we can help.

Can Brain Exercise Prevent Dementia?

Love playing chess or taking on the newspaper crossword puzzle each week? You may be doing more than just upping your enjoyment factor; you may actually be keeping your brain healthy! According to recent studies, researchers believe activities that promote mental engagement such as games and puzzles, are linked with a decreased risk of a decline in cognitive skills and memory loss.

Can these so called “brain exercises” really ward off dementia?

While more research needs to be done, evidence has consistently shown a solid link between brain training and a lowered risk of rapid mental decline. One study published in 2010, found that sustaining mental activity throughout one’s life worked as a preventive measure to delay the onset of dementia.

How do “brain exercises” help?

Animal studies have shown that mental stimulation can support new nerve cell growth and can work to construct a reserve of brain cells and connections. Some experts also believe this kind of stimulus may decrease certain markers of Alzheimer’s disease such as plaque build-up and tangles.

While both high levels of education and mental stimulation can help delay the onset of dementia and provide a better quality of life, researchers stop short of saying that education or brain exercise are fail-safes against the development of dementia.

The staff of Nightingale Homecare, a provider of home care in Scottsdale, and the surrounding Phoenix Metropolitan area, is uniquely qualified to provide dementia care. Our private medical care staff draws on the specialized approach taught by Dr. Verna Benner-Carson through her “Alzheimer’s Whisperer ®” program.  At Nightingale, this specialized program is called “Connections“. Our in home care providers enter the client’s world and manage the challenging behaviors associated with dementia in a way that is gentle, creative and highly effective. In-home medical and non-medical care providers can teach these skills to families, thus enabling the person with dementia to continue to receive care in the comfort of their own homes in Scottsdale and throughout the Phoenix area.

Contact Nightingale Homecare, a top rated homecare provider serving Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sun City, Glendale, and Paradise Valley today. Call (602) 504-1555 or contact us online to learn more about private medical and non-medical care.

Posted in Blog on February 24th, 2014 · Comments Off on Can Brain Exercise Prevent Dementia?

Tips For Seniors Living With Diabetes Pt. 2

In Part 1 of our series on seniors living with type 2 diabetes, we discussed common symptoms of the disease. In today’s article, we’ll examine what goes into managing type 2 diabetes, and some tips for dealing with diabetes on a daily basis.

Not surprisingly, a diabetes diagnosis brings with it several new and regularly occurring commitments:

  • Taking new medications
  • Testing to treat and monitor blood sugar
  • Being alert to symptoms of low and high blood sugar and knowing how to treat them. Changing your diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Visiting your doctor regularly

If you live with diabetes, or provide care for someone who does, consider these tips to improve everyday life:

  • Experiment with new foods. We all have our favorites, but trying new and healthy foods, while following the diet plan is a simple way to handle diabetes.
  • Try new activities. Getting a bit of exercise every day is easy: swimming, walks in the park, and yoga are excellent low-impact options.
  • Get support from a friend, family member, or your home care professional in Phoenix. Remembering shots, treatments, and appointments can be challenging: team up with a loved one or a pro to ease the stress.
  • Research diabetes. Learn about the illness, new research findings, and discover how to self-manage the disease. Home care professionals can provide valuable support in helping newly diagnosed diabetics self-manage their disease.

Connect. It can be very helpful to share ups and downs with people going through similar struggles. Find a support group and don’t be afraid to join.  The American Diabetes Association is a great place to start!

While diabetes certainly alters the everyday life of a person living with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and a late in life diagnosis can make it even more challenging, the disease  doesn’t have to overwhelm the senior. the . By understanding the practical, physical and financial impact of the disease, seniors can take control and commit to a better life. Nightingale Homecare can help: with  our chronic disease management program, PATHlink by providing  support in taking new medication, eating properly, and staying positive. With an emphasis on self-management, the home care professionals at Nightingale are committed to your loved one’s overall well-being. If you need home care, or have questions about Nightingale’s in home nursing care philosophies, contact us online or call us: (602) 504-1555.

 

Posted in Blog on September 20th, 2013 · Comments Off on Tips For Seniors Living With Diabetes Pt. 2

Tips for Seniors living with Type II Diabetes: Part 1

Type II, also called “late onset” Diabetes is a challenging chronic disease that is often difficult to manage- imagine what it’s like for an elderly person with a new diagnosis of Type II Diabetes. Not only is the body changing with the aging process, but for a person with a new diagnosis of diabetes, the disease can be a serious struggle to manage. In this 2-part series, we will examine common symptoms of Type II Diabetes in elders, as well as tips for family members and caregivers to help seniors manage and treat the disease.

Common symptoms of diabetes:

  1. Frequent urination, especially at night
  2. Feeling very thirsty
  3. Feeling very hungry – even though the person is eating
  4. Extreme fatigue and weakness
  5. Blurry vision
  6. Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  7. Weight loss – even though the person may be eating more
  8. Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet

The list of symptoms may seem daunting, but there are a number of things that seniors and their loved ones or caregivers can do to ease the strain. Keep in mind that often type II diabetes symptoms are either minimal, or overlooked by elders and family members all the while damage to organs and tissue is occurring. Simple blood testing can help lead to diagnosis.  Join us again in two weeks where we’ll discuss several helpful tips for managing and treating diabetes as it specifically relates to seniors. At Nightingale Homecare, our skilled and supportive clinicians and caregivers can help manage chronic illnesses like diabetes through our unique PATHlink program. Using nationally recognized standards of care, PATHlink promotes self-management techniques that help elders living with a chronic disease improve their quality of life. To learn more about Nightingale’s progressive in home nursing care options, or to speak with a Nightingale representative, call (602) 504-1555 or contact us online http://www.ngcare.com/contact-us.

Posted in Blog on September 6th, 2013 · Comments Off on Tips for Seniors living with Type II Diabetes: Part 1

10 Critical Factors to Look for When Choosing a Home Health Company

If your parent, grandparent or loved one has reached a stage where they are no longer able to care for themselves or could just use an extra hand in completing everyday activities, it may be time to look for in home nursing care in the area. When selecting elderly home care in the greater Phoenix area, it’s important that you are comfortable with the company and the staff as they will be responsible for the wellbeing of your loved one.

Ensure that the home care company:

  1. Has served in the metro Phoenix area for at least 15 years
  2. Is Licensed by the Department of Health Services and Medicare Certified
  3. Insures and bonds their employees
  4. Performs multiple layers and  national background checks on all staff
  5. Operates private duty under a Department of Health services state license and certification
  6. Provides on-going certified training on Dementia, Chronic Disease, elder care and chronic disease to their skilled & non-skilled staff
  7. Can provide a list of references consisting of: doctors, hospital discharge planners, other healthcare professionals, and present and former clients, who have experience with the agency
  8. Has a quality improvement program
  9. Has had few or no deficiencies on their last state survey
  10. Provides on going Case Management, a written care plan, and supervision by a Registered Nurse.

When selecting a home care company in the surrounding Phoenix area, you should make sure that they meet all of the above criteria to ensure that your parent, grandparent or loved one is receiving the very best care possible. High quality, Paradise Valley home care agency expertise will put you at ease knowing that compassionate staff members are providing the care and companionship that your loved one needs to increase independence and improve quality of life.

If you are interested in elderly home care, consider the services of the compassionate and professional staff at Nightingale Home Care. Our top-rated home care Phoenix, AZ agency has been providing medical and non-medical home care for nearly two decades. We care for our clients as we would expect our own families to be cared for, earning us an excellent reputation in our community. For more information on home care in the Phoenix metro area, please call home care Phoenix, AZ agency, Nightingale Home Care at (602) 504-1555 or contact us online today.