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Home Health Care Blog

Dudley’s Home Health Care blog that focuses on senior care, elder care, caring for aging parents, respite care, caregiver tips, RN’s, CNA’s, VA, Medicaid and more.

Feet Come First!

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The month of April has been recognized as “Foot Health Awareness Month”. Many Americans suffer from some type of foot ailment and have ignored the problem for too long. Feet give us the ability to be mobile and to be balanced. From our first steps to our last, our feet need to be taken care of so avoiding foot problems should be a priority.

Here are some great recommendations from the podiatrists at Village Podiatry Center: 

1. Inspect your feet daily with a mirror to check the bottom of your feet for injuries, cracks, peeling, or dry skin. This is especially important if you are diabetic to avoid infection or a non-healing wound.

2. Dry your feet and between your toes after showering to avoid fungal infections. Then, moisturize feet and heels with a good lotion.

3. Don't leave nail polish on 24/7 which may lead to brittle nails or fungus. Take a break for several months each year to allow your toenails to recover.

4. Apply sunscreen on your feet, between toes and on ankles to avoid sunburn and prevent skin cancer which often goes unnoticed in this area of the body.

5. Stretch your feet, ankles and lower legs regularly and before exercising to keep the muscles strong and avoid injury.

6. Keep your diabetes under control and have an annual foot inspection with a podiatrist to check for problems such as loss of circulation or loss of sensation (neuropathy). These conditions often occur unnoticed and can put you at risk for infections and non-healing wounds.

7. Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise such as walking. Excess weight puts pressure on the feet leading to general foot pain, heel pain, circulatory problems and arthritis.

8. If your child complains of recurring foot pain, stumbles frequently or has foot problems that makes him/her unable to keep up with peers in normal activities or sports, see a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation.

9. Wear shoes with good support and a low heel. If you like to wear flats, sandals or high heels, alternate with shoes having good arch support. Make sure shoes have enough space without rubbing or squeezing toes. Use shoes inserts to provide arch support and cushion the feet.

10. Replace your walking or exercise shoes every six months or 500 miles in order to avoid foot and heel pain when the inside of the shoe begins to wear and lose support.

11. As you age, your feet flatten, getting wider and longer. Most likely you will not wear the same size shoe your entire life. Have your foot measured periodically for best fit.

12. Don't go bare footed in public places where you may suffer cuts leading to infection, contract athlete's foot fungus or plantar warts on the bottom of your feet.

13. If you suffer a toe, foot or ankle injury, seek medical attention from a podiatrist. Untreated injuries can result in bones not healing properly causing recurring pain, limited mobility and development of arthritis in the affected joints.

Spring Cleaning with your Senior loved one

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring has sprung and it is a time of new beginnings. Now is the perfect time to help your Senior loved one take on some cleaning and organizational tasks around their home! Many Seniors grew up with the concept of “Spring Cleaning” and they continue to make it a part of their annual routine. However, spring cleaning involves many chores that can be challenging to those dealing with limited mobility, vision loss and other chronic conditions of aging. This is a great way for you to help your Senior loved one while spending quality time together!

Keep these simple Spring Cleaning tips in mind when helping your Senior loved one.

  • Make a checklist of everything that you and your Senior loved one would like to accomplish.
  • Schedule time that you can devote to helping your Senior loved one with all of the chores on the checklist.
  • Ask other family members to assist you with completing the more strenuous chores on the checklist or consider hiring help. A professional caregiver can assist with many light housekeeping tasks including: vacuuming, dusting, moping and laundry.

Here is a useful list of Spring Cleaning chores to accomplish together with your Senior loved one.

  • Check batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Run a test to ensure they’re working.
  • Clean the medicine cabinet and check all items for expiration dates. Are they stored in a cool, dry place? Discard any unused or outdated medications.
  • Post emergency fire, ambulance and poison control numbers next to each phone.
  • Remove clutter to reduce the risk of trips and falls. Also, remove unnecessary furniture that obstructs the traffic flow.
  • Organize cabinets to make frequently-used items more accessible, and throw away outdated food from the pantry or refrigerator.
  • Replace light bulbs if necessary and ensure rooms and hallways are adequately lit.
  • Are there grab bars in the bathrooms? If not, consider installing some to help prevent falls.

If you notice expired food in the pantry, piles of mail or unpaid bills while helping your Senior loved one with their Spring cleaning then it might be time to consider getting some extra help. Having a little help around the house from a caregiver for a few hours a week can go a long way. It can provide your Senior loved one with companionship along with keeping the home clean on a regular basis.

Helpful Tips for Tired Caregivers

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Here are some Great Tips to help you get a Good Night Sleep by Paula Spencer Scott from Caring.com!

Lack of sleep will make you say and do things you regret. If worry and stress over caregiving are keeping you awake at night, try these ideas:

Do try over-the-counter sleep aids for a few nights to help you establish a better sleep cycle and get the rest you need. These often work as well as stronger sleep medicines available by prescription.

Do try a glass of warm milk, which contains an amino acid that releases relaxing serotonin -- it may lull you into a sleepy state.

Do try a bowl of oatmeal. You'll elevate your blood sugar in a way that triggers sleep-inducing brain chemicals while also getting a natural source of melatonin, which is often used as a natural sleep aid.

Do have a banana. The potassium and magnesium in bananas relax muscles and produce serotonin (associated with relaxation) and melatonin.

Don't count on that relaxing glass of wine or hot chocolate to do the trick. Alcohol can interfere with your ability to attain deep sleep, and hot cocoa contains caffeine.

For information on foods that can help you sleep click here!

The staff here at Dudley’s Home health, Inc. found this article to be very informative and we always strive to find helpful ways to solve any problems that our caregivers may have. We hope that you enjoy this article from caring.com as well!

Recognizing a Stroke

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Dudley's Home Health Care read this article and thought it is well worth sharing!

By the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand Inc 

What are the symptoms of stroke?

The signs and symptoms of a stroke usually come on suddenly. The type of symptoms experienced will depend on what area of the brain that is affected. Strokes in the left side of the brain affect the right side of the body. A stroke in the right side of the brain results in signs and symptoms on the left side of the body.

Common first symptoms of stroke include:

  • Sudden weakness and/or numbness of face, arm and/or leg especially on one side of the body.

  • Sudden blurred or loss of vision in one or both eyes.

  • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying.

  • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or difficulty controlling movements.

A stroke can cause permanent loss of function. Just what functions will be affected and how badly depends on what part of the brain the stroke was in and the speed to and success of treatment. Common long-term effects include impaired vision or speech, severe weakness or paralysis of limbs on one side of the body, swallowing difficulties, memory loss, depression and mood swings.

How can you tell if someone is having a stroke?

By learning to recognize the symptoms of stroke you could save a life! Learn the FAST check.

Face: Ask the person to smile. Is one side of his/her mouth drooping?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one arm weak?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a sentence. Are their words slurred or jumbled?
Time: Act FAST and call 911.

Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately if you find yourself, or see anyone else, suffering from any stroke symptoms. Not all strokes are sudden and incapacitating. The sooner medical attention is received, the less damage a stroke will cause. If you think it's a stroke ACT FAST. Call 911!

Even if the symptoms do not cause pain or go away quickly call 911 immediately.

National Red Cross Month

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dudley's Home Health Care read this article by Amber Wood in the Clinton Herald!

During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes the nation’s Everyday Heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their community.

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross and there are many different ways to do it. They can develop a preparedness plan for their household, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or take a Red Cross class, just to name a few.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.

Here at Dudley’s Home Health, Inc. we appreciate any individual, group or organization that helps raise funds for the American Red Cross.

National Nutrition Month

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Source/Credit: http://www.everydaychoices.org/eat.html

Who would have thought you could fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke … with a fork?

Many people don’t know it, but one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from these diseases is to eat a healthy diet. Whether or not you have a family history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease or stroke, what you eat - and how much you eat - can help reduce your risk. As a matter of fact, if you are one of the many Americans who do not smoke, eating well – along with being active and maintaining a healthy weight – is your best defense against disease.

Following a few simple recommendations from the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association can help you eat your way to a healthier weight – and a healthier YOU!

For more information on how you can start to make healthy choices click here!

Employee Appreciation Day

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Friday, March 01, 2013

On this day, of all days, we want to let our employees know how much we truly appreciate each and every one of them! While we like to show our appreciation year-round, we would especially like to thank our employees today for their hard work, compassion and commitment.

Here at Dudley’s Home Health, we take pride in giving our employees the opportunity to put their talents to high and best use. With the help of our dedicated team of caregivers Dudley’s Home Health is able to celebrate 21 years in business in 2013! Without our caregivers helpfulness, friendliness and absolute dedication to their work we would not be where we are today!

February is Senior Independence Month!

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Growing older sometimes means that living on your own and taking care of yourself can become more difficult. This is just one of the many reasons why it is important to celebrate Senior Independence Month. Personal independence establishes comfort and confidence so you should consider ways to make your senior loved one’s living space safer and more accommodating for them.

Some suggestions include:

  • Ensure that all walkways and floors are clear of clutter, such as books, clothes and trash.
  • Make sure that every room is well lit, and that all light bulbs are working. Night-lights can help improve nighttime visibility so installing these around the house can prevent falls.
  • Check to see if handrails or grab bars are installed in the restrooms and using non-slip mats can help to prevent falls as well.
  • Make sure that everything is easily accessible. If items are out of reach then move them to the lower level shelves.

At Dudley’s Home Health, we strive to help seniors maintain their independence and live comfortably in their own homes. If you have a loved one who may require some assistance, please contact us to discuss our home health care services.

“Heart Attack – Know the Warning Signs”

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Source/Credit: www.iamproheart.com

The way you live each day affects your heart. An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Making lifestyle changes now and being educated on this disease could save your life.

On average someone who suffers from a heart attack arrives at the hospital almost 5 hours after the onset of symptoms. Symptoms of a heart attack are often mistaken with stress or the flu. This is why it is so important to know the early warning signs of a heart attack and what to do if you experience them.

Common Early Warning Signs

Knowing these common warning signs of a heart attack could help save your life:

  • Chest pressure, tightness and heaviness
  • Pain in shoulders, neck, jaw or arms
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Paleness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest pain

Take Action

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Then, chew or crush and swallow an aspirin as directed by a doctor. Taking aspirin immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms may prevent the formation of additional small blood clots blocking blood flow through clogged arteries. If that happens, heart muscle damage may be prevented or delayed, which can buy you time to get to the Hospital.

Never make excuses for heart attack symptoms or shrug them off as simply “indigestion.” Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, don’t hesitate to get help. The actions you take within the first hours after a heart attack could save your life so never feel like you’re creating a false alarm.

Dudley's Home Health Care hopes you never need this information, but thinks everyone should be prepared. 

“What is Heart Disease?”

Dudley's Home Healthcare - Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Source/Credit: www.livescience.com

Definition of Heart Disease: The term heart disease includes several conditions. But the term most often refers to coronary heart disease, in which plaque builds up in the arteries. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the NIH. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.

What Causes Heart Disease? Atherosclerosis — a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries — poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking all increase the risk for atherosclerosis. As atherosclerosis develops, the coronary arteries narrow and weaken increasing the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

Is Heart Disease Contagious? No.

Medical Term: Coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease refer to what is commonly called heart disease.

Signs & Symptoms: Chest pain, shortness of breath and pain; numbness, weakness and coldness in the arms and legs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes puts you at risk for developing heart disease. If you have signs of a heart attack, immediately call 911.

Treatment & Remedies: A healthy diet, exercise, quitting smoking and, if needed, losing weight. Medicines include blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, statins, and calcium channel blockers, among others. Some cases are treated with bypass surgery to reroute blood flow to the heart or with angioplasty, which is a procedure to expand narrowed arteries.

For more information and facts on heart disease click here!

We at Dudley's Home Heath Care liked this article and we hope you enjoyed it also.
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