Friday, March 18, 2011

Long-Term Care Insurance and Home Health Care San Antonio


Long-term Care Insurance can be a safety net to help individuals stay at home in San Antonio and to safe guard assets. When you purchase long term care you can choose coverage for a nursing home and/or a home health care policy.

Considerations in choosing a long-term care policy for home health care or nursing home

• Choosing an elimination period
The elimination period is the actual number of days of care that you have to receive before the policy will start paying. The premium of the policy is higher with less elimination days. A consideration is how much are you willing to pay out of pocket for home health care versus the monthly amount you are willing to pay for the premium.
• Selecting a home care policy with a daily, weekly or monthly maximum amount the policy will pay for care.
The advantage to having a weekly or monthly maximum versus a daily maximum is that if you have more hours of care on one day than another the policy may pay more in total for the same number of hours in a week or a month. This is important when the care is provided at home and care may be more sporadic.
• Selecting amount of coverage daily, weekly or monthly and inflation rider.
The amount selected may be less for a younger person if an inflation rider is included. An annual inflation rider is either simple or compounded. An inflation rider increases the daily amount, usually by 5% or 7%. This is an important consideration as the cost of care continues to rise.
All long term care policies require the individual to need at least 2 activities of daily living whether receiving care at home or in a facility.

These include:
“Bathing” – Washing oneself by sponge bath; or in either a tub or a shower, including getting into or out of the tub or shower.
“Continence” – the ability to maintain control of bowel and bladder function; or, when unable to maintain control of bowel or bladder function, the ability to perform associated personal hygiene (including caring for a catheter or colostomy bag).
“Dressing” – putting on and taking off all items of clothing and any necessary braces, fasteners or artificial limbs.
“Eating” – feeding oneself by getting food into the body from a table, a plate, cup or other receptacle or by a feeding tube or intravenously.
“Toileting” – getting to and from the toilet, getting on and off the toilet, and performing associated personal hygiene.
“Transferring” – sufficient mobility to move into or out of a bed, chair or wheelchair or to move from place to place, either via walking, a wheelchair or other means.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Diabetes and Chronic Sinus Problems and Headaches

Diabetes and Chronic Sinus Problems and Headaches

Diabetes is a disease that effects many in our society including the elderly. If you have diabetes and chronic headaches and sinus problems you might want to have a culture of your nose to check for fungus. If fungus is present a compounded mixture of an anti fungal, antibiotic and steroid that is used as a nasal rinse might improve control of your sugar.

Infections can cause chronic high blood sugars when not treated. An ENT physician can do the culture at his/her office.

In one incident at day nine of using the prescription nasal rinse the individuals blood sugar dropped dramatically. The infection had probably been present for years and the persons HA1C dropped .5 percent in three months with the only change being the use of the nasal rinse. In this case there was no visual signs of a fungus infection on exam but was ordered after the individual requested it. It is worth checking out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Senior Home Care for Loved Ones With Alzheimers

Senior Home Care for loved ones with Alzheimer - Evaluating Care Options
Over five million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease in the US alone as of today. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for an estimated 60–80 percent of cases. Alzheimer’s is a condition whereby the individual’s senses gradually decline. Difficulty remembering names and recent events is often an early clinical symptom; apathy and depression are also often early symptoms. Later symptoms include impaired judgment, disorientation, confusion, behavior changes and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. Impairment is caused by decreased blood flow to parts of the brain, often due to a series of small strokes that block arteries. Symptoms often overlap with those of Alzheimer’s, although memory may not be as seriously affected.

Alzheimer’s is usually observed in people over 65 years of age, but can occur at younger ages. Providing the right kind of home care is imperative to ensuring their safety, well being and happiness.

Home Care Services generally include skilled and non-skilled care.

Skilled Home Care requires experienced and licensed professionals such as nurses and therapists for rehabilitation, occupational and social therapies.

Non-skilled Home Care deals with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and toileting. In this case an individual can stay at home and receive care from family, and/or caregivers. When selecting a Home Care company it is important that the providers are experienced in the care of individuals with Alzheimers and are knowledgeable about what to expect and how to respond to provide the home care needed. Simply knowing when to approach someone or to give them space is an important skill for home care. Continuity of care is important as your loved will usually respond to someone they know by sight or are accustomed to the person’s voice.

You will have to choose the right care for your loved one.

Educate yourself first: Knowing what to expect and having the skills to best interact with your loved one can help reduce the stress of dealing with the disease day in and day out.
Find a Home Care Service in your locality: When finding a Home Care Service be sure to consider the following questions:
Is the Agency Insured/Bonded?
How often are supervisory home visits made?
Is the help available 24 hours a day?
What kind of background check is performed? Example, criminal record, references, etc.
Are the caregivers trained in the needs and care for someone with Alzheimers?
Can the company provide references?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Safety for Elderly in their Homes

Ensuring Safety for Care in the Home for Seniors
In San Antonio, Texas

Home is one place where you will expect things to never go wrong, where you can relax and forget about the peril that is the outside world; however that is barely the case, according to CPSC as many as 1.4 million persons over the age of 65 years are treated in hospitals because of home related injuries, particularly those resulting from the usage (or misusage) of consumer products every year. This is indeed a startling figure and if have elderly people, such as your parents or grand-parents living in your house. Here is what you absolutely need to ensure in your house so that they, and you, yourself may live safely.
a. Install a Smoke Alarm in your home – For elderly individuals you may want to install alarms in more rooms as it may take longer for a senior to leave the home and the senior living at home may have more difficulty hearing: One should be installed per floor of the house and a carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom. Carbon Monoxide is called the silent killer and indeed many deaths are reported every year because of either a lack of detection equipment or malfunctioning unit. Also make sure to change their batteries regularly.
b. Make sure wire-extensions are out of the way in the home: This is in fact a leading cause of serious injuries, particularly to the elderly living at home or a facility because wires lying on the floor are almost invisible and can easily trip anyone. Double check that all lamp wires and extension boards are safely hidden away from the walkways of your house.
c. Do not overload extension boards at home: This can easily cause a spark out leading to a fire. When using extension boards at home, make sure that the number of appliances used does not exceed the total wattage that can be supported by the board, a standard 18 gauge extension board can handle up to 1250 watts. If at all it becomes necessary to use an appliance with a higher requirement, then unplug some of the other ones for the time being.
d. Look out for cords running under furniture at home: If an electric cord is pressed down by a piece of furniture then chances are that it can crack leading to potentially lethal electric shocks or even fires. Seniors may also not see items in their home. Also check the condition of all the cords in your home frequently to ensure that there are no cracks, or naked wires around.
e. Replace any rug or mat in the home which can be slippery: While slippery mats are staple comedy on TV, they can lead to potential life threatening situations especially for the elderly in real life. Either use rugs and mats with a rubber matting. Separate Rubber matting can also be purchased. For carpets, double faced carpet tape works best.
f. Check the electric outlets at home: Make sure that electric sockets are not always turned on and not warm when you touch they, if they are, get them replaced. Senior family members living at home may need someone to check this for them on a regular basis.
g. Have emergency numbers pasted near your phone at home: In times of sudden crisis, people tend to forget, in such a case it will help if you already have emergency numbers in place near the phone at all times.
These are only some of the examples and you should exercise as much caution as possible in order to ensure safety both for yourself and the seniors in your house. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a Safety for Older Consumers Home Safety Checklist that can be ordered by calling 1-800-638-2772 and it will be sent to your home.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Home Care San Antonio - Elderly Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Planning for Seniors – 5 Essentials for Being Well Prepared
Home Care San Antonio

Disaster can come in any form, be it hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, epidemics/pandemics, or fires. While it goes without saying that you must be prepared for them, remember that the elderly and aged in your family will require extra care and attention should such a scenario present itself. In such a case keep the following things prepared well in advance so that you do not have to bother with it in times to come.
1. Create a Disaster Plan: Know more about what kind of disasters have previously struck your area and what others can strike from your local emergency management office. Some things that you will need to consider are:
i. An evacuation plan.
ii. Emergency Supplies for Home Care and daily living.
iii. The Elder’s medication and vital records and information on home care they are receiving in San Antonio.
iv. Evacuation of bed-ridden seniors.
v. Special needs specific to the seniors in your family, example the hearing impaired will need a special warning etc.
vi. Comforting the elders in times of crisis.

2. Find out about Special Assistance within your community: Make sure to register with your local Emergency Service Office or Fire Department so that help may arrive quicker. Also talk with your neighbors and employers about disaster planning in your area and how they intend to deal with it. If you are having Home Care in San Antonio your care provider should be aware of your needs.

3. Disaster Supply Kits: In the event of a disaster, you might have to hold out on your own for three days or more. Pack the supplies in a duffle bag or backpack so that you may simply pick it up and go in case a disaster strikes. It will be prudent to have the following supplies ready just in case:
i. Your elder’s medication.
ii. Water, a normal active person needs at least 2 quarts of water a day, as you will be preparing for three days at least, you will need at least 6 quarts of water stored per person in your family. Use plastic or enamel lined metal containers, do not use glass as it can break.
iii. Food, canned food is best for preparing for disaster. Be sure to consider the dietary requirements of the seniors in your family, as they may have a different intake altogether.
iv. First Aid Supplies, these should include basic supplies like first aid manual, sterile bandages, cleansing agents, antibiotic ointments, petroleum jelly, 2 and 4 inch sterile gauge, cotton balls, scissors, needle, Antiseptic cream/lotion, aspirin, antacid, anti-diarrhea medication, laxative, vitamins etc.

4. Emergency Money: In the event of a disaster it is entirely possible that your local banks may shut down or you may lose access to ATM’s etc. In such a scenario be sure to have some saved cash on yourself. It is advisable to keep a small amount of cash and also traveler’s checks in an easily accessible place at your home.

5. Health insurance: Be sure that the health insurance of you and your elderly are updated.

Preparing for disaster is an absolutely must for anyone living with elderly persons. Not only will this ensure their survival but also your own. If you are receiving home care in San Antonio through licensed home care company information should have been given to you or your loved ones on disaster preparedness.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Urinary Tract Infections and Confusion in the Elderly

Dealing With and Recognizing Urinary Tract Infections in the Elderly
Helping Seniors stay healthy at home - Making sure they get the care they need.

A Urinary Tract Infection (or UTI) is a bacterial infection in any part of the Urinary Tract. The most common culprit in this case is the bacteria Escherichia coli. This form of infection is also very common in Elderly persons, particularly women. As the Elder dealing with UTI may appear confused or have increased trouble with balance, their family members often end up thinking that their confusion is the precursor to Alzheimer’s which may not be the case at all.
Common UTI symptoms include:

a. Painful urination.
b. A frequent urge to urinate.
c. Flank Pain.
d. Fever.
e. Confusion resulting from the condition.
f. Blood in the urine.

These are typical to symptomatic UTI which means the UTI is producing symptoms and must be treated. However you must understand that asymptomatic UTI (no visible symptoms) is also common in elders and if it is sensed then it is best to deal with it preemptively rather than let it aggravate. If you notice that an elderly person is starting to get confused there is a possibility that it might be the result of a urinary tract infection. This may not be the case but it is should be checked out. Sometimes confusion may be the only symptom of a UTI in the elderly.
Since women tend to suffer from Urinary Tract Infection more than men, they should be more cautious and take more precautions, especially those over the age of 65 years. They should:
a. Drink plenty of water,
b. Not resist the urge to urinate.
c. Take showers and not long baths.
d. Make sure that genital areas are clean.
e. Consume cranberry juice which can prevent Urinary Tract Infection in women and men alike.
f. Visit a physician if they have symptoms of UTI immediately, the faster you act the less you will have to deal with.

Some natural remedies

There are many natural remedies to help but not cure UTI infection that can be used by Elderly people.

a. Cranberry: Already discussed above, cranberry can help by making the urine more acidic and prevents the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. In order to make this work be sure to drink 100% cranberry juice, or just eat the cranberries themselves.
b. Vitamin C: Consume about 5,000 mg of Vitamin C every day, this may increase your body’s resistance to fight infections.
c. Stop consuming foods high in sugar: These can increase the chances of you getting a UTI. Increase your intake of fresh vegetables, and fruits high in water content such as watermelon.

If you do get a UTI that is symptomatic be sure to approach a qualified physician for medication. Once the bacteria stick to the bladder wall and start multiplying, cranberry products cannot help. The only reliable treatment for a current urinary tract infrection is an antibioitc. You can begin taking a cranberry product along with your antibiotic to help decrease your risk of future infections.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chosing A Home Health Care Company

Choosing the right Home Health Care Company for yourself or a loved one is an important and often difficult decision. Whether you need care while recovering from surgery, have an ongoing health need that requires you seek assistance or need temporary relief from caregiving finding the right company is paramount.

Home care agencies can be locally owned or franchises. Neither is intrinsically better. It depends on who owns and runs the agency and the persons ability to screen, hire and assign the staff appropriately as well as what is acceptable to the owner.

Recruiting quality individuals is the hardest and most important decision a company can make. When an agency has an immediate need for a caregiver and does not have the right person available the company must decide to accept the responsibility of providing services or not. No company wants to turn down a client. At this point if the company does not have the right provider the office staff should be qualified to start the care and continue till the right caregiver is available. This is an issue that should never be compromised. If a new employee is hired to care for a client the agency does not have history to know the caregiver as well as they would like. A criminal history, personal and professional background checks, stable work history and in depth interview usually is sufficient to make a good decision. With time the agency with input from the client and family may need to replace a caregiver to find the best match for your loved one.