Newsletter Archive

Text Size: A A

2012 | Edition 3

Kit Whittington

Dear SHC Caregivers,
I am writing this the morning after Senior Home Care’s 25th anniversary open house. It was wonderful visiting with so many clients, caregivers, friends & community members and reminiscing. To my surprise, the mayor of Webster Groves, Gerry Welch, also attended & proclaimed Thursday, May 17th, 2012 as Seniors Home Care Day in Webster Groves! Please visit SHC’s Facebook page to see photos from the event, including the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Seniors Home Care will be helping out with another very important event by participating in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure June 23rd. Please consider being a part of this worthwhile cause. See more details in this newsletter.

In closing, I am proud of the accomplishments achieved by Seniors Home Care the past 25 years and look forward to the possibilities of the future. A sincere thank you goes out to all of our loyal clients & dedicated staff. We recognize our success is a direct result of you.

Yours in services,
Kit Whittington, R.N., B.S.N.

Interactions Between Medications

A noteworthy concern for the elderly is the subject of medications. With the rise in availability of various medications, naturally a growing list of drugs is offered to the elderly due to their high prevalence of medical conditions. As a consequence, interactions between these drugs and their individual side effects become increasingly more likely. The best approach to address these concerns is a discussion and periodic medication review with the treating physicians or the primary care doctor. If the elderly patient or their caregiver keep up-to-date records of allergies, medications, diseases, medical and surgical history, and advance directives readily available; the patient will have a better experience if they need emergent care or hospitalization. This is especially true if they arrive at a hospital where the patient's doctors do not practice, or if they have need of medical care while "on vacation" or "traveling." 


How Do I Know If I Need A Hearing Aid?

Before you decide to try a hearing aid you should consult with your family doctor to check your ears. If no obvious medical condition is noted, your doctor may refer you to an Audiologist for a complete audiological evaluation (hearing exam) and, if indicated, a hearing aid evaluation. Most people with hearing loss can be helped and their quality of life improved, by a hearing
aid. A hearing aid enhances the specific sounds you’re missing and amplifies them so that they’re made audible to you. 

New programmable or digital hearing aids can actually differentiate between soft and loud sounds and amplify them differently. Some have special microphones that amplify the sounds directly in front of you, allowing you to hear better in a noisy environment, such as a restaurant or on a busy street.


Important Safety Measures For The Elderly

General safety measures both at home, and away from home, are encouraged and recommended to elderly patients and their family members. Falls and injuries, confusion, adherence to medical instructions, and future health and financial planning are among the concerns pertinent to elderly care.

Simple home safety recommendations for seniors include:

  • Using canes or walkers and shower seats for fall prevention if unsteady on feet
  • Utilizing assist devices such as walkers, wheelchairs, scooters to promote safe mobility and independence if difficulty getting around
  • Replacing hard wood floors with carpeting for injury reduction in case of a fall (avoid throw rugs on hard wood floors or potentially slick surfaces)
  • Using hearing aids, wearing glasses, and installing good lighting to diminish effects of hearing and visual problems
  • Managing medications by taking advantage of pill boxes when keeping track of medications
  • Hiring caregivers or accepting assistance from family members if activities of daily living become difficult
  • Scheduling routine sleep and wake times to improve sleep quality and day time efficiency
  • Subscribing to medical alert systems and programming emergency phone number into cell phones for easy access in cases of emergency
  • Planning regular social activities to improve social interactions
  • Driving with care and recognizing when it may be safer to stop driving
  • Preparing a properly executed advance healthcare directive, living will, and trust to outline decisions and preferences in preparation for the time a person may become incapable of making sound decisions


What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all the tissues and organs of the body. High blood pressure does not mean excessive emotional tension, although emotional tension and stress can temporarily increase blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called "pre-hypertension", and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high. The top number, the systolic blood pressure, corresponds to the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood forward into the arteries. The bottom number, the diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes after the contraction. The diastolic pressure reflects the lowest pressure to which the arteries are exposed.

The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the United States — 73 million people. High blood pressure is also estimated to affect about two million American teens and children, and the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that many are under diagnosed. Hypertension is clearly a major public health problem.


U-Step II Walking Stabilizer!

The U-Step 2 was created to increase older adult’s independence. The secret is in the patented U-shaped base. Its ultra-stable foundation braces the user in every direction. It is not like pushing a typical walker. Instead, the U-Step 2 surrounds the user and moves with them. They will feel as stable as they would feel holding onto another person’s arm. The innovative braking system is easy to use and puts the user in complete control. The U-Step 2 will not roll unless the user is ready to walk. When the user lightly squeezes either brake release lever, the unit will roll with them. Once they release the lever, the unit will stop immediately. This feature is particularly helpful when standing up from a chair because the unit will not roll away from the user. 

In-Step Mobility Products, Inc. 1-800-558-7837