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Posts Tagged “In Home Nursing Care Phoenix”

How to Prevent Unnecessary Hospitalizations with Occupational Therapy

Prevent Unnecessary Hospitalizations with Occupational TherapyWe hear it all the time: “What’s the point of occupational therapy when I’m retired from my occupation?” While comments like this one may be tongue-in-cheek, the reality is that many people downplay the role that occupational therapy plays in recuperating from an illness, injury, or hospitalization – and, in preventing future occurrences.

The Arizona senior care experts at Nightingale Homecare have compiled the basics and benefits of occupational therapy for you, in the hope that if a need arises for yourself or a loved one, you’ll incorporate OT services into your plan of recovery.

Sometimes the simple things, like bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals or just getting around your home can be a tremendous challenge during recovery from and illness or hospitalization. After a return home from the hospital, just making it through the front door can seem daunting. Then, the occupational therapist steps in to “save the day”! The OT’s initial evaluation includes dozens, if not hundreds of observations regarding your (or your loved one’s) home, mobility, limitations, and safety.

Occupational therapists evaluate how problems with movement, muscle weakness, sensation, vision, hearing, breathing, and thinking affect your daily living activities, and they can recommend special devices that can make these activities easier for those with challenges.

Not only do OTs have the educational background to analyze and develop a physical plan, but they also understand and evaluate the patient’s psychosocial status and disorders that impact the whole person. By working with an occupational therapist, individuals can learn and/or re-learn the “skills of living.” OTs can aide in moving the challenges of life into opportunities for growth, adaptation and acceptance.

Occupational therapists develop strategies to help clients overcome health issues such as mobility and movement problems due to developmental disorders, spinal cord injury, aging, or arthritis. They can also provide assistance in managing pain due to accidents, burns, back injury, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Other roles of the occupational therapist include:

  • Assisting clients with re-learning and discovering new ways to manage home upkeep activities after an illness, disability or brain injury.
  • Managing fatigue during activity due to a chronic lung or heart condition, CVA (or stroke), multiple sclerosis or other muscular degenerative illness, or depression.
  • Assisting clients with performing daily living activities, and returning to a routine or work after an injury or prolonged illness.
  • Providing tools and strategies for managing memory loss by introducing memory aids for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, stress, etc.

At Nightingale Homecare, we understand the value and necessity of our occupational therapists! They help clients avoid additional injury and also help prevent unnecessary hospitalization as well as premature long-term care and nursing home admissions.

To discover more of what an occupational therapist can do for you, contact Nightingale Homecare and let us help you realize your highest level of function and independence at home!

Helping Seniors Age Safely at Home Medication Management: Accuracy and Adherence


Medication Management:  Accuracy and Adherence

If your senior loved ones are in the majority when it comes to taking medications, their daily regimen includes at least five different prescriptions – and, half are taking as many as 10 – 19 pills each day, according to the Express Scripts Research & New Solutions Lab. Alarmingly, the adherence rates when more than five medications are prescribed is less than 47%.

In this fourth of our 7-part blog series provided by the registered nurses at Nightingale Homecare, we’d like to share some tips to help seniors better manage their medications and adhere to doctors’ orders:

  • Medications should be routinely reviewed with your loved one’s physician(s), especially when the patient has a chronic disease or is on many medications, medications that must be adjusted frequently, or is cared for by numerous specialists.
  • Check dosages, expiration dates, accuracy of the medication, and potential interactions. It is equally important to check your loved one’s use of over-the-counter medications or naturopathic medications, which may seem “harmless” to many seniors, but can have unanticipated health-altering effects, especially when used with other prescribed medications or with certain health conditions.
  • Keep a current, complete list of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications with your older loved one, not only for his/her reference, but to present during each physician or hospital visit to verify accuracy and review instructions. Include with this medication list any special conditions, allergies, and the names and phone numbers of all important family contacts.
  • Pill boxes, filled for a week or more at a time, help seniors to stay on track with their medications.
  • Be especially diligent if your loved one is in the early stages of dementia, a time when many seniors present as “the great foolers.” This occurs when they are still very much able to converse with doctors and family members and reassure everyone that they continue to follow all their necessary disease management instructions. What is in fact occurring, however, is that the senior has lost the ability to organize medications and consistently follow diet and other instructions and an “unexplained” decline in health status is occurring.

If you live at a distance from a senior loved one, or are unable to check in frequently, consider hiring a home care agency RN to routinely set up medications, confirm changes with the physicians, monitor compliance and make sure that any health status changes are identified early. This can provide great peace of mind.

Our goal at Nightingale Homecare is to provide the guidance and care necessary for your loved one to remain safe and independent at home. For more information, contact us online or call us at 602-504-1555. Look for our next blog in this series on WELLNESS ROUTINE: Maximizing Health and Mobility and experience success with helping your loved one age in place at home!

Posted in Aging Issues, Home Safety on June 24th, 2015 · Comments Off on Helping Seniors Age Safely at Home Medication Management: Accuracy and Adherence

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

Communicating with Those Living with Dementia

Because dementia disorders, like Alzheimer’s, are a progressive illness, you may find that as your aging loved one’s mental abilities decline, so too does their ability to communicate. Whether you have a private nursing job in Phoenix working with dementia patients or are a family member of someone with dementia, coping with these behavioral changes can be challenging.

Providers of in home nursing care in Phoenix find that the following suggestions are invaluable when communicating with a patient living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia disorders:

Keep it Simple!  Simplify your statements and avoid being too lengthy; These are the primary rules that Phoenix homecare agencies  emphasize while communicating with a loved one with memory loss.

Easy as 1-2-3

  1. Say the individual’s name and identify yourself to him or her
  2. Establish and maintain eye contact
  3. State your message using simple words

Keep it positive (avoid the negative)

Negative: “Don’t put your hand in the gravy”     Positive: “Please put your hands in your lap” (use gestures).

 Avoid questions

Top-rated Phoenix homecare agencies recommend limiting questions to continue communication with those with dementia. “We are having macaroni for lunch today” (smile)… versus: “What would you like for lunch today?”  There are exceptions.  Remember life is about daily change so be flexible.  If you need to ask a question, limit the choices given  “Would you like chicken or macaroni today?”

One step at a time

Providers of in home nursing care in Phoenix find that working with clients who have dementia is made easier when they Break tasks into simple steps:

  •  “Pick up the comb”
  •  “Comb your hair”
  • “Pick up your toothbrush”
  • “Put the toothbrush on your teeth”
  • “Move the toothbrush on your teeth” etc.

Speak to your loved on as an adult

Be aware of your tone of voice.  Remember to preserve your loved one’s dignity at all times.  It is common to use the word “we” as in “Don’t we look pretty today?” Instead, say “You look very nice today” which is more respectful.

Non-Verbal Communication

Tone of voice, facial expressions, touch and gestures are effective and important parts of communicating with your loved one.

The staff of Nightingale Homecare   is uniquely qualified to provide Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss care through our Connections Program , using the unique approach taught by Dr. Verna Benner-Carson through her “Alzheimer’s Whisperer®” methods.   Alzheimer’s Whisperers enter the client’s world and manage the challenging behaviors associated with dementia in a way that is gentle, creative and highly effective.  These skills are taught to the families of our dementia clients, by the clinical staff of Nightingale Homecare, providing medical care in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Glendale and throughout the Phoenix metro area. These skills, taught to families and caregivers, then enable the person with dementia to continue to be cared for safely at home.

Call Nightingale at (602) 504-1555 or contact us online  for more information and for more examples on dementia and Alzheimer’s assessment, training and teaching tools.  Whether you need in home nursing care in Phoenix or another Phoenix homecare service.  Nightingale Phoenix Homecare  can help you  Experience Success in Living with Dementia!


Posted in Blog on April 18th, 2014 · Comments Off on Communicating with Those Living with Dementia

Challenges of Heart Attack Recovery

Almost one million people have heart attacks each year in the United States.  Nearly 80 percent of those who suffer heart attacks are over the age of 65. While recovering from a heart attack is a challenging process, new advances in technology and aftercare mean seniors can still enjoy an active and healthy life post-heart attack. At Nightingale Homecare, we understand the specific challenges of heart attack recovery. Our skilled nurses and therapists are specifically trained in heart disease and empowering our patients and their families to self-manage chronic heart disease and post-heart attack recovery through Nightingale’s Pathlink program.

Regaining Stamina and Strength

The heart is a muscle, following a heart attack the damage to this muscle can leave patients feeling very fatigued and weak. To assist in recovery, patients are encouraged to engage in regular daily activities, but at a slower pace than normal. Activity levels are built up gradually until the patient is able to return to their prior level of function and strength. Nurses and therapists who provide home care rehabilitation services to patients who have suffered a heart attack can assist in building stamina by:

  • Evaluating the patients care and management routines
  • Recommend and provide assistance with everyday activities during recovery
  • Slowly introducing activities in varying degrees of physical effort to improve stamina
  • Providing an exercise plans individualized to the patient. Ongoing evaluation and education of medications and treatments to ensure they are effective for the individual patient.

Mental and Emotional Recovery

Anxiety and depression often accompany the physical challenges of heart attack recovery. Things like frustration with the inability to perform simple tasks and anxiety over having a major health issue can lead to emotional distress. To help reduce anxiety, family members and caregivers can assist with the following:

  • Provide assistance while promoting increasing independence with dressing and grooming
  • Practice stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Share physical activities recommended by the medical team
  • Encourage participation in hobbies and social activities
  • Assist in preparing nutritious meals and help follow prescribed dietary recommendations
  • Inquire with the patient’s physician about the possible need for counseling and anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications.

Learning how to self-manage heart disease and make necessary lifestyle and behavior changes following a heart attack is critical to a patient’s recovery.  Specially trained home care nurses and therapists work through all the challenges that patients face following a heart attack.  At Nightingale Homecare, our clinicians guide patients in making meaningful and sustained changes in their health behaviors, armed with expertise in behavior change concepts and motivational techniques.  The result is a motivated patient that is capable of implementing the day to day behaviors necessary for improved outcomes. Call (602) 504-1555 or contact us online, and a Nightingale Homecare representative will gladly answer your questions or help you find home care that fits your specific needs.


Posted in Blog on July 26th, 2013 · Comments Off on Challenges of Heart Attack Recovery