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Category : Awareness

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Honoring our Veterans

  • Posted On November 8, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

November 11, 2018 we celebrate and honor all of our Veterans who have served so faithfully in America’s Armed Forces. We salute our heroes with a quote from Dan Lipinski:

“On this Veteran’s Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.”  ~Dan Lipinski

 

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

Continue reading here>

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Dementia Awareness

  • Posted On October 8, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

From the Alzheimer’s Association:

Dementia Awareness

As you can see, there are several types of Dementia! The Alzheimer’s Association has a wonderful website to go to and find great information on this multifaceted disease such as:

“What is Alzheimer’s ~ What is Dementia ~ Diagnosis ~ Stages ~ Treatment”

About Dementia:

“Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.”

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Your memory often changes as you grow older. But memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be a symptom of dementia. Dementia is a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) disease, a fatal disorder that results in the loss of brain cells and function. It may be hard to know the difference between age-related changes and the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Some people may recognize changes in themselves before anyone else notices.Other times, friends and family will be the first to observe changes in memory, behavior or abilities.To help identify problems early, the Alzheimer’s Association® has created a list of warning signs for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Individuals may experience one or more of these in different degrees.

1. Confusion with time or place

2. Difficulty completing familiar tasks

3. Challenges in planning or solving problems

4. Memory loss that disrupts daily life

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

8. Decreased or poor judgment

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities

10. Changes in mood and personality

If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, please see a doctor to find the cause. Early diagnosis gives you a chance to seek treatment and plan for your future.

The Alzheimer’s Association can help.

Visit: alz.org/10signs

Call: 800.272.3900

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Prevent Hospital Readmissions

  • Posted On September 18, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

What is a readmission?

“Readmission is a term used when a patient is admitted back to the hospital for in-patient care soon after being discharged.  OPA’s Quality Report Cards use a quality measure of hospital readmissions that occur within 30 days of being discharged for the same or a related medical condition.

Unfortunately, hospital readmissions occur far too often and can lead to more serious health problems. The good news is that many readmissions can be prevented with proper treatment planning and follow-up. Patients can do their part to prevent readmission by following their care plan, tracking their medicines, and keeping follow-up appointments.

Why is it important to prevent a readmission?

Both your health and finances are put further at risk if you face a hospital readmission. Each time you are admitted to the hospital, you probably will have to pay a deductible or another co-payment.  In addition to the cost of the hospital care, the delay in recovery from your illness can postpone your return to work.

What can be done to prevent a readmission?

Many return hospital visits could be prevented if patients, caregivers and hospital staff plan ahead for the day the patient leaves the hospital. There are key things you can do:

  • Ask questions: Make sure you understand the information given to you by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.  Repeat their instructions to make sure you understand them. It is also helpful to have a family member or friend with you to take notes.
  • Have a discharge plan (also called a care plan): Before being discharged from the hospital, make sure the doctor, nurse or other hospital staff gives you a detailed written plan that includes:
    • A list of your medical problems.Know your diagnosis, potential complications, and who to call if you need assistance.
    • A schedule of follow-up appointments. See your primary care doctor or specialist as directed.
    • A list of your medications with clear written instructions about when to take them and for how long, as well as any possible side effects.
    • A list of equipment you might need, such as wheelchair or hospital bed.
    • A list of recommended home modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom. Try to make these changes to your home before you leave the hospital.
    • A list of any activities to avoid and for how long.
    • If your hospital does not give you a discharge plan, you can use this discharge checklist to help you ask questions of the hospital staff.
  • Create a support team to help you at home: Have a family member, friend and/or other caregiver help you at home with meals, medications, personal hygiene and other necessary care.
  • Know what to do if you don’t feel well: Know the danger signs for your condition and what you will do if your symptoms get worse. Know who to call during the day, at night and on weekends.
  • Follow up with your regular doctor and specialists: Make sure your doctors know about any changes in your health. Bring your care plan to each doctor’s appointment, along with your new prescriptions and a list of all of your prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and other supplements.”

Source here>

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Hospice and Respite Care

  • Posted On August 20, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

How Respite Care Brings Relief for Caregiver Burnout

Demands of Caregiving

Caregiving for someone who is ill can be stressful, but when that someone is in the final stages of life, caregiving takes on different challenges. Care requirements are often escalated, with medications given more frequently, special wound care that may be needed, as well as assistance with feeding and toileting. The uncertainty of when death will occur also puts emotional pressure on the caregiver.

All of this can cause caregivers to lose sleep and live in isolation and fear, which can result in depression, fatigue and anxiety, also referred to as “caregiver burnout.”¹ To deter this, it is essential that those taking care of the dying also take care of themselves by getting plenty of rest and making time for themselves away from the demands of caregiving.

End-of-life patients receiving hospice services are eligible for “respite care,” defined and covered by the Medicare hospice benefit. Hospice respite care allows a family caregiver to get a break from caregiving duties while the patient is cared for in a Medicare-certified inpatient facility.

See a list of all VITAS Inpatient Hospice Unit locations

What Is Respite Care?

Medicare defines respite care as, “… short-term inpatient care provided to the individual only when necessary to relieve the family members or the person caring for the individual at home.”²

Situations that are considered necessary include:

Caregivers who may be suffering from physical or emotional exhaustion from taking care of a patient around the clock

Caregivers who would like to attend a family event such as a graduation, wedding, funeral, etc.

Caregivers who become ill and cannot take care of the patient.

Who Provides Respite Care?

Respite

In the event of these kinds of situations, the hospice benefit pays for a patient to stay in a Medicare-certified facility for up to five days and nights while the caregiver is away. Members of the hospice care team, who are in a position to notice the symptoms of caregiver burnout, can ask the team physician to provide orders to admit a patient into a Medicare-approved facility, such as a hospice inpatient unit, a bed in a hospital contracted by the hospice, or a nursing home.

Once the patient is admitted, the hospice team continues to expedite the patient’s plan of care, while the facility staff provides the care that would have been given by the family caregiver. Under the hospice benefit, inpatient respite care can be provided on an occasional basis, ensuring that the caregiver can relax and enjoy time away knowing his or her loved one is in good hands.

Not every caregiver needs a break of up to five days and nights, which respite care provides. Relief from caregiving can also be provided by other means. When a hospice care team member, including a hospice volunteer, arrives [at the home] or a trusted friend is visiting [the home], the family caregiver may utilize that time to run errands, take a walk or meet friends.

Re-energizing the Caregiver with Respite Care

Spending time with others or taking a short trip can help caregivers catch up on much needed rest, gain perspective and foster a more positive attitude. To get the most from respite care, caregivers are encouraged to plan ahead to decide how they will spend this time. The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center recommends that caregivers take regular and sufficient amounts of respite time and make this a meaningful and purposeful break from routine³.

Respite Care is One of Our Four Levels of Care

VITAS offers four broad types, or levels, of care as defined by the Medicare hospice benefit:

Routine home care. This is how we provide hospice care most often: in patients’ homes, long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Continuous care (Intensive Comfort Care®). When medically necessary, acute symptom management is provided at home or in another facility by hospice staff in shifts of up to 24 hours/day so the patient can avoid hospitalization.

Inpatient care. If a patient’s needs cannot be managed at home, VITAS inpatient hospice units and special arrangements at other local facilities provide hospice care around the clock until the patient can return home.

Respite care. Limited to up to five consecutive days, respite care provides a brief “respite” for the patient’s primary caregiver by admitting the home care patient to an institutional setting without meeting the “inpatient” pain and symptom management criteria.

Source here>

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Preventing Fraud and Abuse

  • Posted On July 12, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

Written by Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey:

One in five seniors has been the victim of a financial crime. Some lose money to fraudulent loan investment schemes and others fall prey to crooked telemarketers, phony charities and dishonest contractors.

It happened to my mother. A man called and told her he was a police officer and that her grandson was in jail. He told my mother that she needed to wire money overseas. He also told her not to tell anyone. If she did, his criminal activity certainly would have been uncovered. If this can happen to my mother, it can happen to anyone.

I am committed to prosecuting these cases and making sure criminals are punished. But I also want to prevent these kinds of financial crimes before they happen. The best way to stop fraud is through education.

Seniors and their families can reduce their chance of becoming victims by being informed and following basic rules to protect themselves. This information includes tips on fraud prevention that are simple but effective.

If you or a senior you know has been a fraud victim, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-(877) 4-R-SENIORS or 1-(877) 477-3646. For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at http://da.lacounty.gov.
 
Jackie Lacey
District Attorney
Los Angeles County
 
CON ARTISTS USE MANY SCAMS: Con artists use a variety of ways to get their hands on your hard-earned life savings. They know that seniors possess an enormous concentration of wealth. They know that seniors, who were raised in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, were taught to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits. Often, seniors who live alone are targeted.
 
Scams take many forms and criminals use numerous ruses. Sometimes the criminal seems to be a friend – even a romantic interest. Unfortunately, in many cases, the people defrauding seniors are family members. Many con artists go door-to-door to find victims, running home-repair scams, investment schemes or soliciting donations for phony charities. Other criminals make their ill-gotten gains through the phone or Internet.
 
Some of these criminals may use friendly chatter or will drop the name of someone you know. Others use high-pressure tactics to get you to divulge your Social Security number, birth date, debit or credit card account and personal identification number or PIN.
 
Some phone scammers pretend to be police officers or government employees, and they concoct a variety of clever ploys. Others get to know their victims intimately, working over the course of months or years to get access to their assets. In some cases, family members take control of seniors’ finances for their own personal gain.
 
PREVENTION: It takes vigilance and preparation to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. You need to be aware that there are unscrupulous individuals who are trying to get rich by stealing from your life savings. Simple steps can be taken to make sure you do not become a victim of fraud. Often, it is as easy as hanging up the phone or saying: “No, thank you.”
 
Here are a few tips:
 
Don’t wire money to strangers, even if they say they are a police officer.
 
Don’t share identifying information such as Social Security and bank account numbers with unsolicited callers. An actual bank or credit card company will not ask for such information.
 
Don’t unlock or open the door to unknown, uninvited visitors.
 
Don’t let them in your home, even if they claim to be a police officer, utility worker or government employee. Use peep holes or intercoms to identify visitors before unlocking or opening a door.
 
Call police if a stranger lingers or refuses to leave your property or doorway area.
 
Screen your calls through an answering machine or caller ID system. Hang up the phone if you don’t know the caller.
Never buy anything over the phone unless you initiated the call.
 
Never open any email from an unknown sender, no matter what the subject line says. That email may allow the sender to hack into your personal information.
 
Shred unwanted past credit card bills, investment records, insurance policies, medical and tax records. Identity thieves dig through trash for these documents.
 
Verify the identities of strangers before starting a business transaction or making a donation. Don’t be fooled by deals that sound too good to be true.
 
LOOK FOR DANGER SIGNS: If you know or care for an older adult, here are some warning signs that may point to financial abuse:
 
There is unusual activity – such as withdrawals or new names added – on the person’s financial accounts.
 
The senior suddenly appears confused, unkempt and afraid. Essential bills are going unpaid.
 
The caregiver will not allow others access to the senior.
 
The residence contains many sweepstakes mailings, magazine subscriptions or free gifts. 
 
This may indicate that successful con artists previously have victimized the senior.

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Preventing Dehydration

  • Posted On June 19, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

“Everyone needs water to survive. Water delivers nutrients and oxygen to cells throughout our bodies. It protects and moistens organs and tissue, and carries wastes out of the body. Water also controls body temperature by making sweat to cool you down when you become hot. Our bodies lose fluids every day through urination, perspiration, and even when we breathe. These fluids need to be replaced. While every person’s body is different, most adults should drink about 8 glasses (1 glass = 8 ounces) of fluids every day, and most children over age four should drink about 6-10 glasses every day.

What is dehydration?

When your body does not have enough water or liquid, it cannot work the way it should. This is called dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the body loses liquid more quickly than it is replaced. This can happen as a result of:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Increased perspiration caused by fever, exercise, or hot and humid weather
  • Drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages that increase urination (coffee, tea, or soda)
  • Taking certain medications that increase urination (diuretics, antihistamines or blood pressure medications)
  • Bladder infections or urinary tract infections
  • Eating certain foods (especially salty foods or broths)
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • The same things that commonly cause dehydration – diarrhea, vomiting, and increased sweating or urination – also cause your body to lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are salts and minerals (including sodium, potassium and chloride) that dissolve in your blood. A proper balance of electrolytes is necessary for cells, organs and the nervous system to function properly. Losing electrolytes during dehydration can cause your blood pressure to drop, and make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.

How can I tell if someone is dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration can be mild or severe. If someone is dehydrated, he or she may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Thirst
  • Dizziness, especially when moving or standing up
  • A dry, sticky mouth
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark urine
  • An inability to produce sweat or tears
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry, shriveled skin
  • Sleepiness, tiredness or confusion
  • Chills

Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always the best gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children or older adults. The color of a person’s urine may be a better indicator. Clear or light-colored urine usually means that a person is well-hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color signals they are not drinking enough water.

What should I do if someone I support is dehydrated?”

Read more here>

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: May is National Stroke Awareness Month

  • Posted On May 10, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

Stroke Awareness

“May marks National Stroke Awareness Month. What happens when someone experiences a stroke and what occurs on the way to and at the hospital, is the focus of this year’s National Stroke Awareness Month video.

Save a life by having a better understanding of stroke and by knowing what signs and symptoms to look for.

Source here>

National Stroke Association website here>

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Fall Prevention

  • Posted On March 9, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

From the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence:

“Successful fall prevention involves the three main strategies of: balance training and physical activity; medical management; and, environmental/home modifications. Whether you are a service provider, an interested individual, a caregiver, or an educator/researcher, remember that a combination of all three interventions are necessary to prevent falls in the home and out in the community.

Are you concerned about a family member or friend falling? Are you an informal or paid caregiver? Do you want to know more about common problems that contribute to falls, and learn about simple steps to prevent them? Do you wish to learn about assistive devices or environmental/home modifications that can reduce the risks for falling?”

Read more here>

Care4You is concerned about safety and know that we offer a Free Home Safety Evaluation in our efforts to prevent falls from occurring in and about the home!

Call us today:(909) 599-0555 or Toll-free: (855) 599-4888

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Heart Health February 2018

  • Posted On February 16, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

“Heart disease is the No.1 killer in the world. Stroke ranks second globally and is a leading cause of severe disability. Some form of cardiovascular disease affects more than one in every three adult Americans.

The American Heart Association wants everyone to understand the threat – and to know that cardiovascular diseases and stroke are largely preventable.
Risks can be lowered by adhering to what we call Life’s Simple 7…”
1. Get active
2. Control cholesterol
3. Eat better
4. Manage blood pressure
5. Lose weight
6. Reduce blood sugar
7. Stop smoking

See more about each one here>

Lilacs & Greensleeves: National Wear Red Day February 2, 2018

  • Posted On February 8, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

National Wear Red Day®

What is Go Red For Women?

“In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease & stroke as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women, a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

What is the goal of Go Red For Women?

Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.

In 2010, the AHA set a strategic goal of reducing death and disability from cardiovascular disease and strokes by 20 percent while improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020.”

See more here>