My Elderly Blog

Assisted living facilities are able to provide personalized care through assistance with daily living activities among other services.  They cater to parents who require supervision but can function without the need of extensive medical support. In some cases, seniors residing in an assisted living facility may require more services than the facility can provide.  This usually entails a transfer to a nursing home where a more comprehensive care can be provided to suit the care requirements of a parent.  

Nursing homes feature care at the highest level that can be provided outside the hospital.  Custodial care best defines the services provided in a nursing home.  Parents requiring long-term care or those who are critically ill are usually advised to transfer to a suitable nursing home care facility.  In some cases, seniors who are not likely to return to a state of independent living turn to the services of a nursing home.

Verifying the need to transfer a parent to nursing home care from an assisted living facility should be done swiftly.  This ensures the proper provision of care and adequate medical services. A thorough assessment and observation of a parent’s state of health and capability will reveal indications that there is a need to transfer parents to nursing home care.

Indications Through Assessment Of Basic Activities Of Daily Living

  • Inability to provide an adequate diet for consumption or is totally unable to do self-feeding.
  • Needs full assistance in performing all acts of daily living from bathing, dressing, grooming, and the like. The majority of self-care requirements cannot be done without skilled providers.  In most cases, these elders will not be able to survive in a home setting.
  • Need for continuous incontinence care due to loss of bladder or bowel control.  
  • Inability to ambulate without complete assistance or no ability to move present.

Indications Through Assessment Of Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living

  • Parents are unable to use communication devices such as a telephone.
  • Cannot provide self with necessary provisions.
  • Cannot travel without assistance or is unable to travel at all.
  • Unable to do any housekeeping.
  • Inability to dispense medicine or perform self-medication.
  • Loss of ability to handle money and perform purchases.

Indications Through Assessment Of Medical And Healthcare Requirements

  • Apparent need for skilled nursing services or requires round the clock assistance of skilled nurses.  
  • Constant need for skilled nursing care such blood pressure monitoring, management of ventilators, regulation of intravenous fluids, provision of intravenous feeding, and administration on injection or intravenous medications,.  
  • State of heath requires constant supervision by a licensed physician.
  • Regular need for other medical services such as Rehabilitation Therapy, Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy.
  • Current condition necessitates continuous performance of medical treatment or procedures that cannot be done in other senior care facilities.
  • A medical diagnosis deeming elder as critically-ill or in need of end-of-life care.  End-of-life care commonly pertains to residents with a terminal illness or an ailment that is progressive and untreatable.  
     

What to Look For in a Residential Care Home

By Author on December 08, 2011

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The services and amenities offered in each residential care home vary.  It is essential that the family and parent choose a facility that would best serve as a home. Ensuring that adequate services and personalized care are available in a facility can be done through several observations.

FACILITY

Location
Make sure that the location is easy to get to and within reach a family member. A safe and quiet neighborhood is preferable, although make sure that the community is not isolated from modern conveniences. Having adequate medical services such as hospitals, diagnostic centers, or pharmacies nearby is important. Recreational and commercial centers should be easily accessible to residents for planned outdoor trips.

Atmosphere
When one pertains to atmosphere, this is usually the way people perceive the environment that surrounds them. Mood can be affected by the atmosphere of a facility. Upon arrival at the assisted living facility, a welcoming feeling and homey ambiance should be felt. Staff should greet visitors in a warm and friendly manner.  The property must be well-maintained and without derelict areas that may pose harm to residents. The facility should be free from unpleasant smell and must always be kept clean. Comfortable furnishings and proper lighting should be maintained throughout the premises.

Mobility and Access
A facility should have adequate spaces both indoors and outdoors where residents can move freely. Additional room for implements such as walkers and wheelchairs should also be available. Sufficient space in corridors, hallways, toilets, passageways, and common areas must be presented. Ramps must be in placed in strategic areas as well as lifts if the facility is multi-storied.

Accommodations
Having a choice between single and shared rooms is best for financial and privacy reasons. A typical room should be airy and pleasant with enough space for the parent to move around even if the need for ambulatory implements becomes necessary. Residents should be encouraged to bring personal effects and possessions. Parents should also have access to a private space when they wish to be alone with their thoughts. It would also be beneficial if pets were allowed to be kept inside the room or in the facility.

Toilet
Toilets should be within range or all rooms if a parent’s room does not include a private bathroom. Common areas should also be close to toilets. Facilities should have appropriately adapted toilets and baths for the use of seniors. The staff should be able to determine if a resident needs help with toileting.  Aid with toileting should be performed with tact and compassion.

Common Areas
Common areas should be ideal for socializing or recreational activities. The arrangement of the room or of its furnishing usually gives an idea of how residents use the room. Chairs assembled in groups promote conversations. A media or TV room is great for entertainment.  Gardens and courtyards are a plus too, as a parent can unwind safely outdoors or take walks and exercise.

Safety and security
Residential care homes should have safety implements, security devices and emergency contingency plans in place and working.

MEALS
A good facility provides nutritious and well-prepared meals that also appeals to the tastes of residents. Meals that cater to the preferences of a parent are important and a choice of dishes during mealtimes is preferable. It would be best to find a facility that prepares prescribe diets should a parent need a structured meal plan. Residents should also have access to snacks and other options for dining like bistros of snack bars. The staff should also be able to provide support for residents who need help with meals as required.

RESIDENTS
The residents are the core of the facility. Their wellness and quality of life is the paramount focus of the organization. The seniors of the facility should be alert and responsive. Happiness and contentment should be evident with the way they carry themselves and how they interact with the surroundings. Their appearance should be presentable, properly groomed and clean. Observe if they are able to do activities independently as much as they can.

FINANCES
The cost of the facility usually depends on the level of facility, rendered services, amenities provided, and the luxuries available to residents. Standard rates may apply but always make sure that the family can handle the costs of long-term care. Choose a facility that best applies to what can be afforded with ease. Determine how the billing works and if the facility accepts payments with the help of insurance of Medicaid.

HEALTH
Most facilities provide support with medication management, scheduling medical appointments, and other health needs of the parent. Registered nurses and physicians should be accessible during times when expert assessment and attention is required. Access to other health care services should also be available according to the specific complaint of a parent.

STAFF
A background check of the facility moderator and staff should yield satisfactory results when it comes to licenses and certificates. Staff should be of good moral character and can treat parents with appropriate care, compassion, and respect. Residents should have access to staff members 24 hours a day.  

ACTIVITIES
Programs and activities should enhance the parent’s lifestyle physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Clubs, entertainment, and outdoor trips are necessary for a contented parent.

TRANSPORTATION
Transportation services are extremely helpful for getting to medical appointments and personal errands.

VISITATION
The presence of family and loved ones are essential to the well-being of a parent. Choose a facility that allows regular visitations and other means of communication such as phones or computer use.

Tips to Improve an Elderly’s Memory Loss

By Author on December 08, 2011

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As we age, it is not just the body that ages but the brain does as well. This is the reason why aside from getting wrinkles and frail bodies, the elderly generation is also prone to experiencing memory loss.

Keep the Brain Exercised. Just like the body, the brain also needs to be exercised to keep it in tiptop shape. That might sound weird but lengthy and extensive studies have shown that giving the brain a good workout can help improve memory and prevent or, at least, slow down the process of memory loss in elderly patients. How can exercise be done? Well, games that require the use of memory are typically used to help exercise the brain. Also, certain activities such as painting or writing can help exercise the brain as well.

Keep the Body Fit and Healthy. A healthy body also helps in making sure that the brain is healthy. Not too many people realize that having enough sleep and keeping stress at bay can go a long way in keeping the body and the mind healthy. During the deepest stages of sleep, key memory enhancing activities are being undergone by the brain. Thus, sleeping and not just having a short nap is essential for the brain’s well-being as well. Stress has a way of destroying brain cells. Better make sure to keep the elderly patient from experiencing chronic stress.

Keep Food and Diet Healthy. Exercising, sleeping well, and avoiding stress will all be in vain if the patient continues on an unhealthy diet, eating food that could damage brain cells. It is best to include brain-boosting foods in the diet. Just make sure that these do not interfere or interact with medications that the elderly could be taking.

  • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants such as broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, and other green leafy vegetables or watermelon, mangoes, apricots, cantaloupe, and other colorful fruits.
  • Limit eating foods with saturated fats such as whole milk, cheese, butter, and red meat.
  • Increase intake of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as sardines, herring, tuna, salmon, halibut, and other fatty fishes. Soybeans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and certain vegetable oils are also rich in Omega-3.

Keep Elderly from Drinking Too Much Alcoholic Beverages, Overdosing on Medications, or Using Recreational Drugs. Limit red wine intake to 1 glass per day for women and 2 glasses for men. Too much alcohol consumption can actually damage brain cells. It is also important to avoid using recreational drugs or overdosing on medications. The latter is often the case in elderly patients who forget that they had already taken the dose so that they drink more doses than necessary.

Allow the Elderly to Socialize and Have Fun. Extensive research studies have shown that memory can also be improved through socialization and having fun. When the elderly patient is happily laughing along with friends and family, the activity tends to stimulate the brain. This is the kind of brain boost that goes along with the “laughter is the best medicine” adage. There are many ways that the elderly patient can socialize. It would also be a good idea to expose him or her to other people in the same age bracket. Thus, if the elderly wants to join poker or bridge clubs, by all means, allow it. Just make sure to have someone accompany the elderly for assistance.

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