2013 │ Edition 4
Dear SHC family,
The air has turned cooler and that means jackets, pants, hot chocolate and campfires. This is also the time to pull out the family recipes and prepare the holiday family invite list. After what seemed like a long summer, the leaves are beginning to fall.
As we all prepare our homes and surroundings for the changing of the seasons, it is a good time to remember safety. Sweep the leaves and acorns from your porch, and with the days becoming shorter, make sure the bulbs in your flood lights are working. You are less likely to lose your footing in a well lit area. I hope you take away some helpful information from this newsletter. If you are searching for more safety information, visit our blog at www.seniorshomecare.com/blog.
Lastly, as the Accountable Care Act draws nearer, and all Americans are required to obtain health coverage, we at Seniors Home Care are taking a proactive approach. Several of us have attended multiple seminars and discussions highlighting the process. If you or any of your family members have questions, please call me at the office. We are here to help.
Ryan Whittington C.D.P
Director of Operations
Step in the Right Direction
Practice good foot care. Take a look at your feet often; use a mirror to look at the bottoms of you feet. Look for cuts, blisters, and ingrown toenails. Ask a member of your family for help if you need it. If you have diabetes, be sure to check your feet every day.
Remember to put your feet up when you are sitting down. This helps the circulation in your feet. So can stretching, walking, or having a gentle foot massage. A warm foot bath is also helpful. Make sure your feet are dry before you put on your shoes. Wear shoes when you're outside. If you are sitting for a long time, stand up and move around every now and then. If you cross your legs, reverse or uncross them often. Don't smoke.
If you have a problem with your feet, your family doctor can help, or you can see a doctor who treats feet, called a podiatrist.
Good foot care and regular foot checks are an important part of your health care. Your doctor should look at your feet often. If you have foot problems, don't be afraid to talk to your doctor.
Hospital Admission Errors
When researchers reviewed hospital patients' charts, they found a medication mistake in one-third of them, according to a recent study at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. About 85 percent of the errors originated when hospital personnel took patients' medical histories as they were being admitted. Patients are understandably stressed or too sick to remember every drug they take.
Prevention: Prepare a detailed list of prescription drugs-including doses, as well as any over the counter medications and herbal supplements you regularly take and keep it with you at all times. You never leave home without your drivers license and insurance card and your medication list is just as important. Be sure to update your medication list frequently.
Home Safety: Bathtubs & Showers
- Apply textured strips or appliqués on the floors of tubs and showers.
- Use non-skid mats in the tub and shower, and the bathroom floor.
- Check bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary.
- Attach grab bars, through the tile, to structural supports in the wall, or install bars specifically designed to attach to the sides of the bathtub. If you are not sure how it is done, get someone who is qualified to assist you.
- Lower the setting on your hot water heater to "Low" or 120 degrees. If you are unfamiliar with the controls of your water heater, ask a qualified person to adjust it for you. If your hot water system is controlled by the landlord, ask the landlord to consider lowering the setting.
- Always check water temperature by hand before entering bath or shower.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Mouth
Healthy teeth and gums make it easy for you to eat well and enjoy good food. There are a number of problems that can affect the health of your mouth, but good care should keep your teeth and gums strong.
There is a right way to brush and floss your teeth. Every day:
- Gently brush your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Use small circular motions and short back-and-forth strokes.
- Take the time to brush carefully and gently along the gum line.
- Lightly brush your tongue to help keep your mouth clean.
People with arthritis or other conditions that limit hand motion may find it hard to hold and use a toothbrush. Some helpful ideas are:
- Slide a bicycle grip or foam tube over the handle of the toothbrush.
- Buy a toothbrush with a larger handle.
See your dentist if brushing or flossing causes your gums to bleed or hurts your mouth.
Taking Steps to Avoid Falls
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid falls.
Factors that contribute to senior falls:
- Lack of physical activity - This leads to poor muscle tone, decreased bone mass, loss of balance and reduced flexibility.
- Impaired vision - As vision decreases, the ability to see potential hazards does also.
- Medications - Some medications, especially when combined, can cause dizziness, drowsiness, confusion or slowed reactions. Ask your doctor.
- Environmental hazards - These may include poor lighting, loose carpets, lack of safety equipment or any other household tripping hazards.
Helpful precautions include:
- Regular exercise to build strength and balance. Always check with you doctor before exercising.
- Careful review of medications.
- Regular eye exams.
- Grab bars or handrails in showers and bathtubs.
- Bright lighting throughout the home and staircases. Motion sensitive lights can be very helpful.
- Tack rugs in place.
- Avoid clutter. Remove unnecessary furniture and loose throw rugs.
- Wear reliable shoes or slippers, even in the home. Avoid walking in socks, stockings or floppy, backless slippers.
LED Motion Sensor Light
Brighten a dark stairway or hallway. Battery powered light detects motion up to 10 feet away and delivers a wide beam of light from 4 ultra-bright LEDs. Pivoting head directs light up and down. Auto-off after 20 seconds. Peel-and-stick installation. 3-1/4" x 2-5/8". LEDs last up to 100,000 hours. Uses 3 AAA batteries. Golden Violin: Customer Service 1-877-648-8466
References in this newsletter to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, company or trademark does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by Seniors Home Care.