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  • Marc Feder
  • June 20, 2017 08:35:40 PM

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Our home care and healthy living blog covers a wide range of topics concerning aging and health, support and guides for caregivers providing care, and articles on living a more healthy and positive lifestyle.

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Helping Seniors Manage Stress: A Guide for Caregivers

Understanding Stress Before we deal with managing stress, let’s understand what stress really is. The definition of stress is your body’s response to a situation that requires action. In simpler terms, stress is how you react to challenging or threatening situations. The causes of stress are called ‘stressors,’ which are defined by Wikipedia as “a chemical or biological agent, The post Helping Seniors Manage Stress: A Guide for Caregivers appeared first on Community Home Health...

Understanding Stress

Before we deal with managing stress, let’s understand what stress really is. The definition of stress is your body’s response to a situation that requires action. In simpler terms, stress is how you react to challenging or threatening situations.

The causes of stress are called ‘stressors,’ which are defined by Wikipedia as “a chemical or biological agent, environmental condition, external stimulus or an event seen as causing stress to an organism.” A stressor can be anything that an individual might consider demanding, challenging, or threatening to his safety.

In response to stressors, the hypothalamus, the “control tower” in your brain, tells your body to release stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine) which increase your heart rate, elevate your blood pressure and boost energy supplies. This puts you in ‘fight or flight’ mode, ready to deal with oncoming danger.

This biochemical mechanism helps us deal with challenges and demands. For example, we need our stress response when trapped in a burning building, facing a fear (like dogs or public speaking), or losing our job. The stress hormones get us to act and often save our lives. However, these hormones are helpful only for immediate, short-term challenges.

The Effects of Chronic Stress

When our bodies keep firing off cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine every day, and several times a day, it begins to take a toll on our health. Chronic stress may cause symptoms such as:

● Headaches
● Insomnia
● Depression
● Irritability
● High blood pressure
● High blood sugar
● Decreased immune function
● Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes

All of the above are serious health risks, especially for seniors. As we age, our bodies become less resilient and more prone to health issues. We must be on the lookout for signs of stress in our aging loved ones.

Signs of Stress in Seniors

As a caregiver, you are uniquely positioned to look out for signs of stress and implement stress management strategies early on. You know your loved one’s routines and habits and can tell if something changes. Here are a few concerning signs to watch out for:

● Changes in eating habits (eating too much or not enough)
● Weight gain or weight loss
● Changes in mood (increased irritability, anxiety, sadness, indifference, or even unusual elation or overactivity)
● Difficulties with short-term memory
● Difficulties with concentration and decision-making
● Problems sleeping
● Physical discomfort (headaches, stomach problems, headaches, or chest pains)
● Withdrawal and isolation
● Less attention to personal hygiene, grooming, and self-care
● Low energy and fatigue

Common Causes of Stress in Seniors

If you notice some signs of stress in your loved one, the first step is to identify the cause, or the ‘stressor’. What is causing them to feel stressed?

The following is a list of possible stressors for your aging loved one:
● Changes in lifestyle and financial status after retirement
● Healthcare expenses
● Responsibilities involved in caring for others (grandchildren, or a sick spouse)
● Death of relatives or close friends
● Deterioration of physical abilities (loss of hearing, vision, memory, etc.)
● Chronic illness
● Worries for not being able to live independently and becoming a burden on family members
● Worries for institutionalization

This list is not exhaustive. It’s up to you as the caregiver to identify causes of stress in your elderly loved one’s life and schedule. As you know their usual circumstances, you can identify situations and changes that are potential stressors.

Once you identify the source of your elderly loved one’s stress, you can a) come up with solutions that lessen or dissolve that challenge, and b) encourage general stress-relieving activities.

Strategies to Help a Senior Manage Stress

There are two general approaches to managing stress:
● dealing with the source
● holistic stress relief

Introducing solutions to the stressors is the next step after identifying the source. You can give your loved ones back their feeling of control and empower them. For example, if the source of stress is financial burdens, you can come up with a financial plan, speak to an accountant or financial advisor, or look into various insurances.

Some solutions to consider:
● Re-evaluate diet and nutrition
● Speak to a geriatric doctor about health concerns
● Get more and better rest
● Keep busy with interesting and varied activities and socializing
● Organize and clean up their living space

However, sometimes the cause of stress cannot be reduced at the source. In addition to managing stress at the source, you can reduce your eating loved one’s stress by incorporating stress-relieving activities into their routine. These activities help promote peace of mind, relaxation, and positivity.

Here are some ideas to try out and discover which are best for your loved one’s lifestyle and personality:
● Yoga
● Exercise, like walking or swimming
● Meditation
● Creative hobbies (sewing, writing, painting, gardening, etc)
● Getting outside (sunshine, fresh air, and nature do wonders for our peace of mind)
● Playing with a pet or grandchild
● Keeping a gratitude journal
● Attending classes or courses

Conclusion

Stress management is so important for our overall well-being, and you have the opportunity to help someone you care about lessen their stress. Now that you better understand what stress is, its effects, what causes it, and how to manage it, you can help the senior in your care become happier and healthier. You can even help your senior loved one by leading by example and managing your own stress with the above tools. (Caregivers have a lot of responsibility and are prone to stress and burnout.)

As you work toward relieving stress, remember to celebrate each small step you take in the right direction. Take stock of how far you’ve come on your journey towards a happier, stress-free life.

Every bit of stress relief has a huge positive impact on our health. It’s never too late to begin implementing stress-management techniques.

Looking for more helpful resources for helping your loved one? Community Home Health Care has a caring, experienced staff of trained in-home caregivers, including personal care aides, registered nurses, and home health aides.

Explore our website and fill out the online form to receive more information about the medical assistance, personal care, and friendship we provide. You can call (845) 425-6555 with any questions you have, and we’ll be happy to help.

The post Helping Seniors Manage Stress: A Guide for Caregivers appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


8 Essential Things To Do Before Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

You’ve decided it’s time to hire an in-home caregiver for your aging loved one — now what? How do you choose the right caregiver? Caring for an aging loved-one can be an overwhelming job – emotionally, physically, and financially. To help you, we’ve put together a list of eight things to take care of before you hire an in-home caregiver. The post 8 Essential Things To Do Before Hiring an In-Home Caregiver appeared first on Community Home Health...

You’ve decided it’s time to hire an in-home caregiver for your aging loved one — now what?
How do you choose the right caregiver? Caring for an aging loved-one can be an overwhelming job – emotionally, physically, and financially.

To help you, we’ve put together a list of eight things to take care of before you hire an in-home caregiver.

  • Evaluate your specific needs.

Every person has different needs. With what does your loved one need help? Some people are looking for a companion who will also help with housekeeping. Others need a caregiver who can assist with complex medical equipment.

Make a list of your needs, such as:

      • Basic functioning (dressing, eating, bathing, etc.)
      • Social interaction and companionship
      • Transportation
      • Taking medication or dealing with medical emergencies
      • Grocery shopping and meal preparation
      • Housekeeping (laundry,dishes, sweeping, etc.)

If you need help with a complicated medical situation, make sure the caregiver is licensed and insured. If you need someone who will transport your loved one to and from appointments, check that they have a driver’s license. Decide whether you’re looking for 24- hour, live-in help or a home-care companion for a few hours a day.

  • Inform everyone involved in the decision.

Caring for an aging family member is commonly a family responsibility. It’s important to communicate with everyone involved — especially if they are helping cover the costs of care. Talk to children, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. Be clear about the division of responsibilities and costs. Ask for their opinions on facility care versus home care.

Of course, the most important voice to consider is that of your elderly loved one. They have full rights to be involved in deciding on their care options.

  • Figure out your budget.

Caring for a senior loved one can be expensive. It’s best to evaluate your budget at the start so you are not overwhelmed with the costs later on.

Look into Medicare, Medicaid, and different insurances. You could be eligible for part or full financial assistance. Most states have in-home assistance programs for low income seniors who are not eligible for Medicaid.

In addition to covering home care, you should look into programs that help seniors reduce other expenses. This can free up financial resources to be put toward the cost of home care. In this category, there are several tax credits and deductions. For example, any expense incurred to care for an elderly relative that enables the family to work is tax deductible.

Another important factor when budgeting is the expected amount of time you will need in-home care. The longer a person requires (or is projected to require) home care, the more assistance becomes available to them. Clarify whether this in-home caregiver is a short-term or long-term hire.

  • Decide between a senior’s facility and home care.

Choosing between in-home care or a nursing facility is not a clear-cut or easy choice to make. Aging in place is one of the ways to keep your loved one a little more independant. Living in their own space, where so many precious memories are held, can help them feel in control and relaxed. Moving to a strange facility can be very uncomfortable and even frightening.

  • Discuss personality and personal preferences.

It is crucial to have a healthy and open relationship with the caregiver. A good caregiver must be communicative, compassionate, intelligent, hard-working, and respectful.

Many elderly people have a strong preference for a caregiver of the same gender, ethnicity, religion, and country of origin. Take a look at your unique situation and ask the home care agency if they can accommodate specific requests, such as a caregiver who speaks a certain language.

Make sure the caregiver you hire is compatible with your aging family member’s personality. Are you looking for someone outgoing and talkative, or someone quieter and softer in nature? When looking into different caregivers, note personality, character traits, and whatever preferences your senior relative requests.

  • Create a backup plan.

It is likely that there will be times when your caregiver is unable to come to work, whether it is for personal reasons, appointments, illness, or injury. Create a backup plan for such an occurrence. Who is available at which times? Who lives nearby? Do you have a backup aide?

Discuss this backup plan together with the family and come to an understanding of responsibilities should the situation arise. This way, you will eliminate last-minute panic and frantic juggling of schedules to make sure your aging loved one is properly cared for.

  • Create a job description for the interview.

Like anyone hiring, you should interview the caregiver and introduce them to your senior loved one before deciding if they’re the right person for your needs..

One of the best ways to get the most out of the interview is to have a job description. A job description helps you know what to keep your eye out for during the interview itself.

As mentioned in the paragraphs above, your job description should be tailored to fit your loved one’s specific needs, your budget, and the senior’s personality and preferences. Include a list of qualities you are looking for in your caregiver.

Make sure your job description includes a brief overview of the job, specifies the qualifications you need, and lists the caregiver’s duties and responsibilities. include if you’re looking for someone with a certain education level, skillset, certifications, licenses or physical abilities. This way you’ll be properly prepared for the interview.

  • Talk to people.

This one is last on the list but definitely not the least important.

When hiring an in-home caregiver for a senior, keep your ears and mind open to suggestions and possibilities. Speak to friends, neighbors, and family members. Ask people if they have experience hiring in-home help and what their experience was like. Speak to doctors and organization leaders for advice.

Many people have gone through the process of choosing care for their aging parents or relatives. Reach out to people who’ve been through it.

If you have any questions, Community Home Health Care is here to help!

The post 8 Essential Things To Do Before Hiring an In-Home Caregiver appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Connections

Connections are vital for every human being. These connections may be even more important for older adults, who may struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. In addition, many of these older adults may also experience negative effects on their physical, mental, and emotional health when these connections crumble. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of social distancing has made maintaining these connections much more challenging. The post Connections appeared first on...

Connections are vital for every human being. These connections may be even more important for older adults, who may struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. In addition, many of these older adults may also experience negative effects on their physical, mental, and emotional health when these connections crumble. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of social distancing has made maintaining these connections much more challenging. One way to maintain connections is via online tools, and caregivers can play a vital role in maintaining and fostering these connections. 

The Importance of Connections 

Connections with family and friends can have myriad positive impacts on seniors. Some of these benefits are relatively obvious, but other pluses do not always get the same degree of attention.  What are some of the most important benefits: 

  1. Connected seniors often live longer, and their quality of life may be dramatically better, from both physical and mental health perspectives
  2. Connections can increase a person’s sense of belonging in a community, leading to a positive spike in their self-esteem. This can generate a wide range of spillover benefits. 
  3. Connections can also dramatically reduce the risk that an older adult will be abused. Seniors that are alone or those that have a small social network are at the greatest risk of being abused because they are less likely to report it.  

Connecting Seniors in the Covid-19 Era

As noted above, connections are vital to maintaining an older adult’s physical and mental health. But, these connections are even more complicated during the Covid-19 global pandemic. Older adults are uniquely vulnerable to poor outcomes with a Covid-19 infection. Upwards of 90 percent of individuals who have died from Covid-19 have been over the age of 55, and most of these older adults have lived in congregate facilities, such as nursing homes.  

These harsh medical realities mean that it is simply not advisable, at present, for connections to be made through in-person activities. So, if in-person activities and meetings cannot happen, then what is the best approach? The best approach is using the Internet to foster connections. 

Using Technology to Collaborate

There are many different ways that older adults can connect to family and friends with technology. For example, they can up their connections by regularly e-mailing and texting with friends and family members. Also, instead of merely calling loved ones, older adults can arrange Zoom phone calls that can include a large circle of people, or they can even FaceTime, with an Apple product, so that they get video images. These tools can help people feel more connected to their loved ones. 

However, these are not the only technological options available. Increasingly, churches and other organizations have set up online options, often via Zoom, where people can feel connected without attending an event in person. 

However, even though all of the approaches outlined above are great and extremely beneficial to people who participate, there is a hiccup with this approach. 

What is the Hiccup? 

In this case, the hiccup is relatively straightforward. Many older adults are not technologically savvy. New technology may intimidate them, and they may also have physical or cognitive challenges that make some tools very complicated or frustrating. Plus, this frustration may mean that the older adult withdraws and does not adopt these new approaches. 

How Can Caregivers Help Seniors Connect Online? 

Without assistance, many older adults quickly become frustrated with new technology and ultimately give up. This is where caregivers can and should step into the process and help navigate the natural hiccups that may occur. 

The amount of navigation needed by the caregiver may vary depending on factors, such as: how technologically savvy the person is, what types of technology the person had previously used, and any medical issues that the person may have?  

#1 One-time Tutorials

For a relatively technologically savvy older adult, the caregiver may only have to give a one-time tutorial to get the older adult started on something like Zoom. It may also be beneficial to leave a clearly spelled out instruction sheet that the person can refer back to later if they have questions! 

#2 Ongoing Tutorials

Suppose the older adult is less technologically savvy or is struggling with a range of health issues. In that case, it may be necessary for the caregiver to take a more active role in connecting the person online. The caregiver may need to set up an online email account, as well as establishing passwords that both they and the person that they are caring for will know. Sometimes, simply setting up the account will be enough. In other cases, the caregiver may need to sit next to the older adult while they are Zooming, stepping in to correct any technological glitches that may occur. 

#3 Determining Technological Needs

Another critical issue to remember is that successfully connecting a senior online is not merely about teaching a person how to use a new technology or application. It may also be necessary to purchase the essential tools for the senior. For example, Zoom can be used via a smartphone. But, many people find it easier to use on a laptop computer. The caregiver can play an integral role in determining what technology needs to be purchased and communicating these needs with other family members. 

It is also crucial for the caregiver to navigate this entire process with compassion. Remember, it can be scary and intimidating for an older adult to feel like they need to learn a wide range of new skills.  To minimize these feelings, the caregiver may want to involve the older adult in the purchasing process, asking them about their preferences from a limited range of options. It may also be beneficial at times for the caregiver to step back and allow the person that they are caring for the opportunity to succeed via trial and error.

Finding the correct balance between independence and help can be challenging. It may depend to a large degree on both people’s personality types. Some people may embrace receiving help, whereas others could potentially find the help frustrating or even insulting. 

Get Connected With A Caregiver

Connections are integral in helping older adults maintain a high quality of life, from both a physical and emotional perspective. In years past, connections were relatively easy to establish. But, Covid-19 and its self-isolation requirements have thrown a wrench into this. So, creative solutions need to be carved out. One solution is to use new technology, such as Zoom, to connect individuals via the Internet remotely. 

If you’re looking for a caregiver to help your loved one navigate technological solutions so they can stay connected, contact Community Home Health Care at 845-425-6555. You can also visit our website at https://commhealthcare.com/home/.

The post Connections appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Safely Celebrating Holidays in Covid Times

One of the most devastating impacts of Covid-19 has been the sense of isolation that it has created. Many people report that they feel starved for physical touch, even a simple hug. This isolation has been especially challenging for older adults who have missed meaningful interactions with their children and grandchildren. Yet, the people who most miss these interactions — The post Safely Celebrating Holidays in Covid Times appeared first on Community Home Health...

One of the most devastating impacts of Covid-19 has been the sense of isolation that it has created. Many people report that they feel starved for physical touch, even a simple hug. This isolation has been especially challenging for older adults who have missed meaningful interactions with their children and grandchildren. Yet, the people who most miss these interactions — older adults — are also the individuals who are most at risk for developing severe consequences if they develop Covid-19 infections. Therefore, it is vitally important to think about creative ways to spend time together during the holidays without actually being together in person. 

Celebrate Remote: This Is More Important Than Ever

Our country’s skyrocketing Covid-19 cases underscore the urgency and importance of this task. According to the latest statistics from The New York Times, new Covid-19 cases have soared to more than 175,000 cases per day in the week before Thanksgiving. In addition, in the weeks to come, many of these newly diagnosed cases will result in hospitalizations and even deaths, and the numbers are likely to be even more staggering, risking overwhelming the medical system. 

Technology: A Critical Tool for Staying Connected

Technology is perhaps the most essential tool that we have to address and minimize isolation in a socially distanced world. One of the most popular ways to bridge the physical distance is via Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing platform that can link together many different users via video. Most people find Zoom extremely intuitive and user friendly, and even better, Zoom works on devices ranging from phones to tablets and computers. If you have an older family member who is struggling with Zoom, there are tutorials that you can walk them through. 

Zoom is not the only technology tool that you should check out to help your family stay connected during these challenging times. For people who like Apple products, Facetime can be a great way to change a simple phone call into a video that gives you a more complete picture of your loved one’s day-to-day life. And don’t forget social media platforms. Sharing photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram can also help minimize the risk of social isolation for our older family members. 

Using Technology during the Holidays 

The technology tools mentioned above can help bridge the social isolation gap that many older Americans experience at any time of the year. In addition, these tools may be especially important as people think about creative ways to celebrate the upcoming holidays while keeping friends and family members as safe as possible. 

Below is a list of five activities that you can do remotely that will also engage your older family members in the holiday spirit:  

#1 Game Night Can Be a Fun Option

Think about your holiday traditions. What games did you like to play in the Christmas season? Arrange a virtual game night where you can play these games remotely, but together. You can make almost any game work in a virtual format but make sure to select games that work for all age groups. 

#2 Host a Festive Sing-Along

Decide on a night devoted to singing your favorite Christmas carol, from Frosty the Snowman to Silent Night. You do not have to be a great singer to make this a fun event. It is all about the Christmas spirit and coming together virtually for a virtual Zoom singalong. 

#3 Some Holiday Events Can Be Geared towards Adults 

For the adults in the family, you can have a virtual wine tasting event before your Christmas celebration so you can taste test some options for your holiday meal. You can even arrange to have the same wines delivered to everyone who is participating in the event. Make sure to include both red and white wines. 

#4 We Can Still Enjoy Our Favorite Cooking Traditions

Many people’s favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas memories are focused in the kitchen, basting the turkey and baking delicious pumpkin pies. This year not everyone can be crowded together into one kitchen. However, you can prepare the same foods using time tested family recipes in an extended Zoom session. This is also a great time to share some of your favorite holiday memories. 

#5 Think Outside the Box with a Virtual Escape Room

For people looking for a way to test their wits, a virtual escape room for all family members could be a great activity. Many different companies are offering these adventure options, and you can check one out for more information

Additional Factors to Consider

Other activities are also easy to transition to a virtual format. Don’t forget to set up your Zoom call on Christmas morning so that grandparents can see their grandkids opening their favorite new toys. And before that, Christmas wish lists can also be sent electronically to family members. 

When deciding on activities for your family members, it is important to consider various factors, including: any physical/cognitive limitations that people may have, the age range of participants, the budget that you have, and activities that are particularly interesting. You want to make these activities as inclusive as possible. Feel free to think outside of the box to bring the most joy you can to this challenging holiday period and to make new memories! 

Also, if your older loved one has a caregiver they can be a great resource in planning activities and ensuring that they are accessible to everyone. And, don’t forget to include these members of your extended family in these activities. 

Reach Out to Community Home Health Care 

Perhaps not surprisingly, many older Americans have struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic. These individuals have struggled with the worst Covid outcomes of any demographic group, for a wide variety of reasons, and they have also been doubly impacted by social isolation. Many older Americans have been in strict quarantine for the last nine months to reduce their risk of contracting Covid and they increasingly report feeling depressed and anxious. 

Fortunately, family members can help bridge some of these gaps using Zoom and other technology tools. But, it may be necessary to look for additional help, both during the holiday season and moving forward. For information about the support that we offer at Community Home Health Care, visit our website. Our team of dedicated healthcare professionals is able to provide a wide range of services, meeting the unique needs of your loved ones. And, we pride ourselves on flexibility, recognizing that needs may change over time.

 

The post Safely Celebrating Holidays in Covid Times appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


How to Make the Most of Your Doctor Appointments

Many people find doctor visits to be a stressful experience. Their blood pressure may skyrocket and they may have a tendency to forget all of the questions that they had before their appointment. This often leads to frustration and the sense that an expensive appointment was a waste of time and money. No one wants this to happen to them.  The post How to Make the Most of Your Doctor Appointments appeared first on Community Home Health...

Many people find doctor visits to be a stressful experience. Their blood pressure may skyrocket and they may have a tendency to forget all of the questions that they had before their appointment. This often leads to frustration and the sense that an expensive appointment was a waste of time and money. No one wants this to happen to them. 

This leaves the question: What steps can you take to ensure that you make the most of your doctor appointment? 

Therefore, we’ve come up with numerous recommendations and which you’ll find laid out below. 

#1 Have Moral Support with You

Often people go to doctor’s appointments alone, for a variety of reasons. For example, it may be difficult to coordinate appointment times with other family members and friends. Also, some people may be uncomfortable discussing very personal issues in front of other people. But, despite these reservations, it can be very helpful to have someone you trust with you. A trusted friend, a family member, and even a caregiver can help reassure you and ensure that you are as calm as possible during the appointment. Also, this person can take notes for you and prompt you to ask some of the important questions that you may have. 

#2 Be Prepared

You are the expert on your own body and how you feel at any point in time, therefore, you know the issues that concern you. Before your appointment, write down any questions that you might have and it may also be helpful to do research your symptoms. This does not mean that you are self-diagnosing. Instead, you are equipping yourself with information to ask informed questions and have a better understanding of what your doctor is talking about. 

Part of being prepared also means writing down all of your symptoms, so that you don’t forget any critical pieces of information during the appointment. For example, if you are visiting a GI specialist, it may be helpful to record in a notebook or tablet when you have experienced vomiting or diarrhea. You should also indicate if these episodes were linked to the food that you ate. 

#3 Be Honest and Transparent

The best way for your doctor to be able to help you is if he or she knows all of the details about your health and lifestyle. Part of being transparent is sharing all of your symptoms, even if you find some of these symptoms embarrassing or personal. Some people struggle to discuss different bodily functions. Remind yourself that your doctor is a well-trained professional and that your doctor is not judging you. He or she wants to help you to the best of his or her ability. Honesty also extends to providing truthful information about various lifestyle choices, particularly when they ask questions about your smoking or drinking history.  

#4 Full Information Also Involves Your Medication

Again, transparency and honesty are important so that your provider can give you the best possible care. Most doctors keep your medication list as part of your electronic medical record. But, if you are seeing a new doctor or if there have been changes in your medication list, make sure to bring an updated list with you to your appointment. This is important for various reasons. First, in some cases, the medication itself can cause troubling symptoms. If the doctor knows your medication list, he or she may be able to determine if your symptoms are linked to medication. Also, some drugs can badly interact with other drugs, causing a cavalcade of problems. 

To safely prescribe medication, a doctor needs to know what other medications you regularly take. In addition, it is important that you share more than just your prescription medication list. You also need to tell them about any over-the-counter medications and supplements that you may be taking.

#5 Leave With Information

It is important that you leave your appointment with information, preferably printed out information. This endnote or recap should provide you with an overview of the issues that you and your provider discussed. When possible, it should specifically outline the next steps in the treatment of your condition, such as suggested diagnostic labs or a follow-up appointment with a specialist. The summary should also offer information about any new medications that have been prescribed or changes in your existing medication list. This information can be very helpful when you get home. 

#6 And Finally, Be On Time 

Try to get to your appointment approximately 15 minutes before it is scheduled to start. This is important for several reasons. First, if you are rushing to get there, this will increase your stress level. A stressed patient is less likely to remember all of their questions and concerns. Second, doctors’ schedules for the day are often jam-packed with patients. Getting there on time shows that you respect your provider and his or her time. Also, if you are late, then the amount of time that you have for your appointment may be cut short, which may mean that you do not have time to raise all of your concerns. 

In Conclusion

Doctors’ appointments are undoubtedly stressful and this stress may be even higher if you are dealing with a serious health condition. Unfortunately, stress can get in the way of you getting the most out of your appointment and we know that’s not what you want. Therefore, by taking the steps that were highlighted above, you can maximize your appointments. And, ideally, this will help you be as healthy as you can possibly be. 

In addition, Community Home Health Care is here to help. We have Personal Care Aides and Home Care Aides that can drive you to and from your appointment. They can also accompany you throughout the appointment to write down information and ensure you ask your doctor questions about any concerns you have. If it’s an Aide that you’ve worked with for a while, they may even be able to chime in about changes they’ve noticed. If you’re looking for more information about home care, visit our website or call us at (845) 425-6555. 

 

 

The post How to Make the Most of Your Doctor Appointments appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Virtual Grandkids

Many older Americans report that one of the hardest things about the Covid-19 pandemic is the sense of isolation and not being able to directly touch and interact with their grandkids. To remain safe, many grandparents have had to stop in-person visits with their grandchildren. However, thanks to technology, there are ways to connect with the grandkids virtually. The post Virtual Grandkids appeared first on Community Home Health...

Many older Americans report that one of the hardest things about the Covid-19 pandemic is the sense of isolation and not being able to directly touch and interact with their grandkids. To remain safe, many grandparents have had to stop in-person visits with their grandchildren. However, thanks to technology, there are ways to connect with the grandkids virtually.

 

Below, we will explore some of these ideas, recognizing that different methods may work better for some people. It ultimately depends on how technologically savvy they are. In addition, it is important to remember that these tips may come in handy after the pandemic has resolved itself, as more and more families live in geographically spread out areas. 

#1 Consider Video Chats 

Video chats may be the most popular method to help connect you and your grandchildren. It is great to be able to see your grandkids while you talk to them and you’ll be able to see them enjoying their daily activities. Now, you’re probably wondering, how exactly will I be able to see them? Fortunately, these days, there are many different platforms to use for your video chats. 

 

One option is FaceTime. FaceTime can be done from Apple iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. Therefore, if you and your grandkids both have Apple products, you should be able to connect to FaceTime without a problem. In addition, most people find Apple products to be extremely intuitive and simple to use. Other video chatting options to consider include Skype or Zoom, which can connect to individuals who are using a different device than you. 

The Options Are Endless with Video Chats

Many people use these video chats like enhanced telephone calls. But, there are other ways that the calls can be used. For example, think about a hobby that you and your grandchild enjoy. If you both used to take nature walks, it may be possible for you both to take a nature walk while on FaceTime, sharing pictures of local flora and fauna. 

Another example of how a Skype or Zoom call could be used would be to have a cooking lesson with your grandchild or a virtual tea party. Think about what you and your grandkids enjoy and brainstorm from there. You’ll find that the options are truly endless. 

#2 Embrace Text Messaging

Most families have access to a smartphone from which it is easy to text another person. In addition, texts do not have to simply be limited to words. You can also, depending on your phone, text pictures and videos, and the back-and-forth process can be very interactive. Text messages may also be an appealing choice for grandkids who do not always like talking on the telephone. 

 

You may also find texting to be a convenient option if you, or them, are busy with other commitments. It takes just seconds to send a text message, and the other person can respond at their convenience. There are a couple of quick caveats, however, about this option. 

 

First, grandkids should be aware that their grandparents may not be up to speed on the latest text talk and abbreviations. They should make sure that what they are texting is understandable for older generations. Another caveat is that some grandparents may have arthritis or a range of other medical conditions that may make texting on small screens challenging. If this is an issue for you, consider using talk-to-text options, knowing that these are not always perfect. Re-read your text before you send it to make sure that it makes sense. 

 

Text-messaging may not be as effective if the grandchildren are young. But, in these cases, their parents can help them or they may be able to text photos of their latest art project or outdoor adventure. 

#3 Remember, Technology is Evolving

Technology is rapidly changing. Because of this, new apps are always appearing on the market to help keep generations and families connected with one another.  For example, if you are interested in sending videos, then the FX Guru app could be a great choice for you to look at. This app gives you the opportunity to add a wide range of special effects to your video, and most people describe it as being incredibly intuitive and user friendly. Another fun app for photo enthusiasts is Photo Funia

#4 Don’t Forget More Traditional Options

Even with all of these great new options, it is important to remember the traditional ways to stay connected. You can still pick up your phone, be it your landline or your cell phone, and make a phone call to your family member. If you are particularly busy, it may work to make a date each week when you and your grandchildren will have the opportunity to talk. Set a time limit that may work for your grandchild and his/her age and attention level. A teenager may be able to carry on a 30-minute conversation, but this would likely not work for the average pre-schooler. 

 

Another tip that we would offer is to remember that technology is not easy. In fact, technology can be scary for people who have not previously used it.  Make Google your friend, and use their guides and how-to videos and answers. There may also be caregivers and experts in your community who can help you develop the skills to successfully use various technologies and apps. 

In Conclusion

The Covid-19 pandemic has been scary and disruptive. It has changed almost every aspect of our lives, including how we interact with our family members. Many grandparents have been in quarantine for months and they have not been able to have face-to-face visits with their grandkids. Because of this, they are looking for virtual ways to reach out and bridge this gap. Our home care aides at Community Home Health Care can help you connect with your family and all the above-mentioned tips. We understand how important it is to stay in touch with your loved ones throughout the day so you know how they’re doing and they know how you’re doing. 

 

If you’d like to learn more about how Community Home Health Care can assist you or a loved one with your various needs, visit our website

 

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