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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.

November 21, 2016

Breathe Easier with These COPD Tips | Scottsdale Home Healthcare

Scottsdale Home HealthcareTaking a deep, cleansing breath can relieve stress, help us relax, reduce pain, and even create a better acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. But for those with COPD, the thought of breathing deeply can have the exact opposite effect: inducing feelings of anxiety about the coughing and wheezing to follow. (more…)

November 10, 2016

Scottsdale Home Care Tips for Staying Active with Alzheimer’s

Scottsdale home careIn just the time it took you to walk out to your car this morning, another person was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – joining the more than 5 million others struggling with the disease. Since November is recognized as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we at Valley of the Sun Homecare want to help seniors with Alzheimer’s, and those who care for them, to experience the highest possible quality of life. Remaining physically and mentally active is of paramount importance, and these tips can help: (more…)

October 4, 2016

Planning Ahead for Long-Term Care Following a Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis

Parkinsons DiseaseA diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is the first step in a long journey in which the scenery can change from one day to the next. Navigating each step is much easier with a caring support system – both for the Parkinson’s patient and for the family providing his care. And what better source for support than those who are walking that same path? (more…)

September 9, 2016

Valley of the Sun Homecare’s Caregiver Training Improves Senior Care Services and Health

senior care servicesWhen a senior loved one needs assistance at home, families have a variety of options from which to choose. Some look to neighbors and friends for volunteer help or for recommendations on caregivers they’ve hired in the past. Others scan the classified section of the newspaper to find someone offering a low hourly rate in order to cut costs. (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…)

August 8, 2013

Snacking Well

Snacking Well 375x250

Fruits and nuts make healthy, delicious snacks.

For years we were advised not to eat between meals: it was bad for our teeth and it caused us to gain weight.  Snacking, in general, however does not lead to weight gain; eating more calories than we expend does.  This is good news for caregivers, as often snacking may be the only option due to time constraints. (more…)