Professional Health Care Services, Inc.

Archive for November, 2009

The Importance of Quality Sleep For Elderly

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Quality sleep is essential to anybody, whether you are 7 or 27 or 77, sleeping well is important to your physical and emotional health. Many people believe that having sleeping problems is a normal part of aging, but it is not. In fact, many healthy older adults report few or no sleep problems. Sleep patterns change as we age, but disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging. A troubled sleep, waking up tired and other signs of insomnia are not a normal part of aging.

Many people believe that poor sleep is a normal part of aging, but it is not. In fact, many healthy older adults report few or no sleep problems. Sleep patterns change as we age, but disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging.

According to survey conducted by National Sleep Foundation (NSF) it was found that, “the better the health of older adults, the more likely they are to sleep well. On the other hand, the greater number of diagnosed medical conditions, the more likely they are to report sleep problems. Additionally, among older adults, more positive moods and outlooks as well as having more active and “engaged” lifestyles (such as having someone to speak with about a problem, regular exercise, volunteer activity, etc.) are associated with sleeping 7–9 hours and fewer sleep complaints.”

As people age, a quality night sleep is especially vital because it improves the concentration and memory formation. Sleep is also important so that your nervous systems can work correctly. If you do not sleep enough you could feel drowsy and cannot concentrate on the doing the task at hand. With lack of sleep, you could also experience impaired memory and physical performance. Doctors and scientist say that, a good also sleep allows your body to repair cell damage that occurred during the day, and rejuvenates immune system which is necessary to prevent illness.

So, how much sleep is actually necessary for elderly? Sleep needs change over a person’s lifetime. For example, infants require around 16 hours of bedtime, teenagers need about 9 hours and most adults need 8 hours on average. Interestingly, older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults — seven to nine hours of sleep per night or in the average of 8 hours.

Regardless of age, every person’s sleep needs are different. If you are getting less sleep than when you were younger, but still feel rested and energetic during the day, it might just be that you now need less sleep. However, if you are noticing that your lack of sleep is affecting your daytime activities, you should talk to your doctor. There are steps you can take to improve your sleep quality.

Preventing Elder Abuse

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Protecting our elder from abuse is our responsibility. Often, the elderly people are not capable in fending the abuses because their mental and physical faculties are beginning to weaken. It is up to us to monitor them, if they are given the necessary care and to ensure their safety and happiness.

Preventing the abuse of older adults

• Pay close attention and listen to seniors and their caregivers
• Educate yourself about the abuse of older adults and the rights of older adults
• Intervene when you suspect or see some signs of elder abuse
• Become involved in your local abuse of older adults Committee or Network and encourage the development of educational sessions for older adults on their rights
• Learn about the rights of seniors and explain these rights to older adults that you know
• Take time with elders, visit them regularly and have bonding moments with them.

Preventing the abuse of yourself (For Elder)

• Remain active as you can – go out with friends and neighbors, join a gym, and be an active member of community
• Make sure your financial and legal affairs are in order. If they aren’t, enlist professional help to get them in order, with the assistance of a trusted friend or relative if necessary.
• Have bills, such as your telephone bill, automatically paid from your bank account
• Have any checks that you may receive, such as pension checks automatically deposited to your bank account
• If you are unhappy with the care you’re receiving, whether it’s in your own home or in a care facility, tell someone you can trust ask that person to report the abuse or make the call yourself.
• Attend educational seminars/sessions that are being offered in your community regarding the abuse of older adults, your rights, senior’s safety, etc.

Preemptive measures are always the best way to avoid elder abuse. The best way is to find a professional and reliable caregiver who can provide the caring needs of the elder.

If you are being abused, or if you think someone else is being abused, tell the police. If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1. If you suspect elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation, call 1-800-677-1116.

Finding The Best Live-In Caregiver For An Elderly Parents

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Elderly people prefers be independent as long as possible. Most of the older people have difficulty in giving up the independence that they enjoy in their youth. But when your elder parent is no longer capable of living safely on their own it is important to provide them a companion that could attend their needs.

In most ideal situation an elder parents should live with their children, but there are instances that living with the children or any relative is not possible. In this case the second best option is to provide elderly with live-in caregiver. Your elderly family member gets adequate aid and assistance in a familiar surrounding hence they feel comfortable and secure.

Here are the things you need to consider in hiring a Live-In Caregiver:

  1. Talk your family doctor about getting live-in help, or consult a public health nurse. These professionals can help t you to get in touch with trustworthy home-care services.
  2. If your elder parents have particular health conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson or diabetes, talk to people from organization that supports people this with diseases. They may be able to recommend caregivers who specialize in helping people with these conditions.
  3. Find out what credentials the caregiver has. Does she have CPR and first aid training, or any other health-care training and credentials?
  4. Ask and check references carefully before you hire the live-in caregiver to provide home care for your elder parent. Get a background and criminal record check if possible.
  5. Spell out the tasks that need to be carried-out by the caregiver, and make sure that she is willing and able to do them. And make sure that the contract includes a precise job description that both parties agreed with.

Beware of Elderly Abuse (Part 3)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
On the previous post we have discussed the different types of abuse, on this article we will discuss the signs and symptoms of abuses inflicted in the older member of our society. Some of the signs and symptoms will not be recognize immediately because it may appear to be symptoms of dementia or signs of the elderly person’s frailty or the abuser may explain them to you that way.
We have to keep an eye to our elderly and pay close attention to them. There are many signs and symptoms that overlap with symptoms of mental deterioration. You shouldn’t jump to conclusion but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them.
General signs of abuse

• Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person
• Changes in personality or behavior in the elder
Physical Abuse
• Visible signs of injury such as bruises, welts, or scars, especially if they appear symmetrically on two side of the body
• Signs of being restrained, such as rope marks on wrists
• Medical needs not attended to
• Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
• Unexplained breakage of eyeglasses or frames
• Caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the elder alone
Emotional abuse
• Threatening, belittling, or controlling caregiver behavior that you witness
• Withdrawal from people
• Behavior pattern from the elder that mimics dementia, lick sucking thumb, rocking, or mumbling to oneself
• Unexplained depression
• Sudden stop in doing their usual activities

Neglect by caregivers or self-neglect

• Sudden and unexplained weight loss
• Signs of malnutrition and dehydration
• Untreated physical problems, such as bed sores
• Poor hygiene
• Unsafe and unsanitary living conditions (no heat or running water, faulty electrical wiring, soiled beddings and clothes)
• Intentional desertion of the elder at a public place

Beware of Elderly Abuse (Part 2)

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Different Types of Elderly Abuse
The elder members of our society are prone to abuse of any kind. Because of their age, they become physically and sometimes mentally weak, and because of this there are conscienceless individual who take advantage of this weakness.

Abuse of elders can be of different forms. This may be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Some of these abuse involves intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial deception.

Physical abuse
Physical abuse occurs when a person touches an elderly person in a hurtful way or a non-accidental use of force against a senior citizen that would result to physical pain, injury or impairment. This type of abuse includes not only hitting, pinching, kicking, punching, hair pulling, biting, and burning with cigarettes but also the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

Many of these types of physical abuse will go unnoticed by others because it is often assumed the elderly person has bumped his or herself and bruises easily. Family, friends and health care professionals should be observant for the possible indication of physical abuse no matter whom their caregiver is or where the elder stay.

Emotional abuse
This is also called psychological abuse. Psychological or emotional abuse occurs when a person causes mental or emotional pain, distress, suffering, or anguish to an elder. Emotional abuse can be inflicted consciously or unknowingly. Emotional abuse can be in verbal form which includes insulting, threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or harassing through words or actions. It could also be in non-verbal form like, giving silent treatment, or isolating him from family members, friends, or his regular activities.

Sexual abuse