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Posts Tagged “Home Healthcare Worker”

Nurses, therapists and aides – oh my! Learn what role each person plays in senior home care.

Nurse Helping SeniorAllowing a professional senior care team like Nightingale Homecare into the home of your senior loved one can pose some questions. What can you expect when we arrive? What does each person do? Here’s a breakdown of each of our home care team members’ roles:

What is the role of my nurse?

You can expect an RN to look at medications and determine if any help or instruction is needed. If necessary, the nurse might organize medications in a “pill box” to make it easier to keep things straight. Nurses can also monitor and treat wounds, change dressings, administer intravenous (IV) medications or certain injections, change catheters, help manage pain, and evaluate vital signs and disease symptoms.

What is the role of my physical therapist?

A physical therapist can evaluate how your loved one is moving about at home and develop an exercise program designed to improve mobility, balance, coordination, and strength. Therapists also look at the home and make recommendations for safety modifications. They make sure your loved one is using the correct mobility equipment, such as walkers or canes. Therapists are also required to check vital signs to make sure patients are well enough to receive therapy.

What is the role of my occupational therapist?

An occupational therapist evaluates how your loved one is performing activities of daily living, such as bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals and tending to the home. They evaluate how problems with movement, muscle weakness, sensation, vision, hearing, breathing and thinking affect those activities. They can recommend special devices that can make activities of daily living easier for those that have challenges.

What is the role of my speech therapist?

Speech therapists focus on problems with memory, problem solving, swallowing, speaking, and/or understanding speech. A speech therapist can develop a plan and modifications to address specific problems in these areas.

What is the role of my social worker?

A social worker’s role is to evaluate whether there are community services that your loved one can benefit from because of any physical, financial or emotional needs. They are also knowledgeable about different types of housing and how much support is available, and can help in planning for the future needs of someone whose health is declining.

What is the role of my dietitian?

Dietitians look closely at eating patterns and nutritional status, and develop an appropriate eating plan. They can also help plan for meals and provide tips for shopping and cooking. Sometimes dietitians work with patients that have severe issues with weight gain or weight loss, diseases that affect their nutritional status, and patients that have to be fed through a tube.

What is the role of my home health aide?

A home health aide will work under the strict direction of the nurse or therapist and following a care plan that was developed by the professionals involved in your loved one’s care, helping with personal care, such as bathing/showering and getting dressed and ready for the day. The home health aide can also provide a little housekeeping help and help with any exercises that the therapist has ordered.

Please contact the Nightingale office at (602) 504‐1555 to find out how Nightingale Homecare can custom‐fit all of your home care needs.

How Exercise Can Help Seniors Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

As we age, our balance can become more of a problem. There are many reasons for this loss of stability including: weakness in our hips and thighs which make walking more difficult, losing the ability to properly lift our feet making us more prone to stumble and poor posture. Although many other factors can cause aging adults to have a decreased sense of balance, is is important for those patients experiencing balance problems or vertigo(dizziness). a thorough evaluation is necessary. Fall prevention in seniors is increasing in awareness especially in top rated homecare companies and in home nursing care in Phoenix.

Home healthcare workers now realize the importance of simple exercise training to improve seniors balance. This type of proprioception training used by many top rated homecare companies, demands improving your overall upper and lower body strength, while challenging each of your three “balance” systems. These systems include:

  • Visual cues: Our eyes relay all kinds of information to our brain to help us see and prepare for potential dangers and obstacles which could otherwise result in falls.
  • Internal spatial orientation: Our bodies are equipped with an inner sense of feedback that lets us know where our arms and legs are positioned in space.
  • The inner ear: A fluid-filled semicircular canal within the inner ear, gives us important information on the position of our head and its movement in space in relation to gravity.

When these systems function appropriately in combination with the musculoskeletal system, aging adults can stay independent, improve their balance and prevent falls. Click here for specific exercises to get you started. Remember, these exercises can be difficult in the beginning so make sure a support person, such as a home healthcare worker is with you while performing them.  For an individualized evaluation and exercise program specific to your special needs, call Nightingale for a Therapy evaluation and personalized home exercise program.

At Nightingale Homecare, a provider of elderly homecare in Phoenix, one of our primary goals is to help individuals regain independence, and prevent falls,  keeping them safe in their own homes. Nightingale has a specific program focused on fall prevention called PACES.  Our PACES program also provides for Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, for those balance issues that are more challenging.  Please give us a call (602) 504-1555 or contact us online to learn more about our in home nursing care in Phoenix, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.

Posted in Blog on May 9th, 2014 · Comments Off on How Exercise Can Help Seniors Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

Homecare 101: Non-Medical Service Basics

When you recognize the need for in home senior care for a loved one, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Everyone’s life changes and you may not always understand what’s being proposed to you in these new circumstances. This article examines the basics of home care in Phoenix so you can choose the right home health care worker and agency for your needs.

Signs In Home Senior Care Is Needed:

  • Stacks of overdue bills
  • Forgetting medications and appointments
  • Weight loss or decreased appetite
  • Personal hygiene issues
  • Lack of socializing
  • Depression
  • Dirty, chaotic home
  • Absence of fresh food/Presence of rotting food

Four Elements of Non-Medical Service:

  • Everyday Activities – bathing, toileting, medication reminders, help getting around
  • Household Chores – light housekeeping, cooking, laundry
  • Transportation – errands, medical appointments, groceries
  • Companionship – pastimes, social activities, hobbies

While it is often family members and friends who provide primary or subsidiary home care, it is also provided in one of two ways:

1. Independent Home Healthcare Workers – These individuals operate as independent caregivers in Phoenix, and are not associated with a homecare organization and work independently with no professional oversight. One obvious benefit may be lowered cost, but the drawbacks are many and may lead to greater cost down the road. Additional drawbacks may be: uncertainty about quality of training and experience, absence of insurance, no authority to contact if problems arise (theft, abuse, etc.), and no source for alternative help if the caregiver gets sick or does not show up for work. Learn more about the hazards of hiring a privately paid caregiver.

2. Home Care Agencies – These organizations may screen and train their employees, and may offer peace of mind through workers compensation and liability insurance, 24/7 services, and access to a team of qualified backup caregivers.. Be sure and ask to ensure that the agency is qualified, as Arizona is not a state that requires home care agencies to be licensed by the State Department of Health Services, and more often than not, agencies have only a business license, not requiring them to uphold the standards of the AZDHS.

Choosing an In Home Senior Care Agency
A qualified agency will provide ample information, but important questions to ask include:
1. Is the agency licensed and certified?
2. How long has the agency been in operation?
3. Does the agency provide care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays and weekends?
4. How does the agency assure continuity of care?
5. Will the caregiver be an employee of the agency or an employee of the client?
6. Will the same caregiver be assigned all the time?
7. What is the agency’s process for checking the background and competency of the caregivers it hires?
8. Are references from previous or current clients available?
9. Does the agency carry liability insurance?
10. Who determines how much care is needed and what type of care is safe and appropriate?
11. What type of supervision is provided to the caregiver?
12. Does the agency have written policies relating to description of services, hours of operation, eligibility requirements, fees, patient rights, confidentiality, complaint procedures, and emergency arrangements?

– See more at: http://www.ngcare.com/resources/how-to-choose/#sthash.Dkm0NWxu.dpuf

Once you’ve chosen an agency, the next phase is interviewing the agency representatives and selecting the best fit for your loved one. At Nightingale Homecare, you can rest assured that your loved one’s caregiver professional and highly trained, but also individually selected for your loved one based on his or her requests and needs. All Nightingale staff are supervised by a Registered Nurse Case Manager and professional nurses are available 24/7 including holidays. . Our caregivers in Phoenix go beyond the basics to truly connect with your family members and provide support that promotes independence, stability, and fulfillment. Call (602) 504-1555 or Contact Us to learn more about our innovative and compassionate services.

Posted in Blog on December 13th, 2013 · Comments Off on Homecare 101: Non-Medical Service Basics