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January 20, 2017

Hospital Delirium: The Little Known Danger for Seniors

Hospital DeliriumAs difficult as a hospital stay may be, we’re at least somewhat comforted by the fact that we’re in the right place where we’re going to get the help we need to be healed or to get well. Or are we? For seniors in particular, a surprising effect of hospital stays is becoming more and more prevalent: hospital delirium.

Termed “ICU psychosis” by geriatrician Sharon Inouye of Harvard Medical School, hospital delirium is both “underrecognized and underdiagnosed.” And perhaps even more disturbing, as much as 40% of the time, this condition is preventable in the elderly – caused simply by the bright, noisy environment that inhibits sleep, or a particular type of treatment they’re receiving, such as narcotics or anti-anxiety medications.

Researchers are finding that the longer the hospital stay, the stronger likelihood for patients to develop hospital delirium. And the effects can be both long-lasting and severe. A full 80% of adult ICU patients showed markedly lower cognitive test results than normal (based on age and education predictions), even though only 6% had any cognitive impairment prior to their hospitalization. And a full two-thirds of the patients displayed an impairment that mimicked what would be expected in someone with mild Alzheimer’s disease or even a traumatic brain injury.

Since it’s not likely we can simply avoid hospitalizations for older adults, how can we best address this growing concern? One program that’s taking aim at preventing hospital delirium is HELP, Inouye’s Hospital Elder Life Program, offered in 200 hospitals throughout the U.S. Trained volunteers visit senior patients to offer assistance and to help keep them oriented.

Inouye has also developed the CAM scale (Confusion Assessment Method) to help maintain awareness of potential delirium, and strives to promote alternate methods to reduce anxiety – such as the comfort of a companion over strong anti-anxiety drugs.

Valley of the Sun Homecare, Scottsdale’s leading in-home care agency for seniors, is also available to help in a variety of ways. By caring for older adults at home, we can:

  • Make sure medications are taken exactly as prescribed
  • Keep seniors safer from falls and other injuries
  • Pick up groceries and provide healthy meals
  • And more

Our professional home care assistance helps prevent hospitalizations – and, hospital delirium. When hospitalizations are necessary, however, we’re on hand to help seniors get settled back in at home afterwards and monitor their condition, reducing the possibility of unnecessary re-hospitalizations. Give us a call any time at 480-264-5252 to learn more.

January 9, 2017

Elderly Care: The Holidays Are Over. What’s Next for Your Senior Loved One?

Elderly CareSpending time with loved ones over the holidays is priceless, in more ways than one. Not only does it provide the opportunity to create treasured memories that will last a lifetime, but it also gives family members the opportunity to check in on one another to ensure health and wellbeing. This is particularly true for elderly loved ones living independently; and it’s often during holiday visits that family members discover concerns that may raise questions about the need for elderly care assistance.

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October 25, 2016

Age-Related Fears that Home Care Helps Seniors Avoid

home careIt’s the time of year when fears – all in good fun – are everywhere we turn. Stores are brimming with ghosts, ghouls and goblins; from costumes for kids and pets to spooky home décor. Normally friendly neighborhoods are suddenly draped in cobwebs, pumpkins carved into grimaced faces, and witch brooms parked beside front doors. (more…)

August 23, 2016

Home Safety Tips to Help in Caring for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease

Caring for someone with Parkinsons DiseaseIt often begins so subtly, it’s almost imperceptible – a mild, passing tremor; trouble sleeping; slight changes in handwriting. These little symptoms could be the result of a variety of conditions, but if they gradually begin to become more noticeable, and are combined with other hallmark symptoms, the doctor may determine a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. (more…)

June 8, 2016

How Senior Care Services Can Help Non-Driving Seniors Feel Like “King of the Road”

Senior Care ServicesPerhaps it’s time for one of the discussions that many seniors most dread: giving up the car keys for safety’s sake. You may have begun to notice a lessened sense of focus in your senior loved one, such as driving a bit over the dividing line at times or stopping a bit too far beyond the stop sign. Or maybe a disease such as Alzheimer’s is beginning to progress, medication side effects are a concern, or vision problems have come into play.

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May 11, 2016

Home Modification Tips for Seniors with Arthritis

In Home Care Services for Seniors with ArthritisGrandma used to swear by it: a spoonful of cod liver oil taken twice a day and that arthritis pain just goes away! Today, however, arthritis sufferers know that it takes more than old wives’ tales and home remedies to manage the challenges of arthritis. When arthritis pain is at its worst, it can be hard to complete simple tasks such as opening doors, picking up dropped items, or stirring a pot of soup.

Try these tips to help ease the aggravation of arthritis and make daily activities a little easier: (more…)

December 6, 2013

“Nursing Home” – A Dirty Word?

There is a certain vocabulary I believe most of our grandparents disapproved of us using as children. My Grandpa served in the Navy and there wasn’t a whole lot that came out of our mouth that he reprimanded my cousins and I for, however, “Nursing Home” was an unspoken understanding in the family – it was not to be said, it was not an option.

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