When considering the nursing home option for parents or other loved ones, here are a few of the main advantages to keep to mind:
Better resources and equipment: Private homes simply don’t have the types of medical equipment and supplies needed to help seniors stay healthy. Many nursing homes are almost as advanced as hospitals in their ability to provide sophisticated care for patients on a 24-hour basis.
High-quality long-term care: Due to modern medicine, seniors now live longer than ever. While we’re thankful for this, longer life-spans often come with longer periods of late-life illness and disability. Caring for a senior relative at home is often a long-term commitment of many years, sometimes requiring intensive care.
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When it comes to bathroom safety, like my grandma used to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Bathroom safety means having the right home health care products in place to STOP slips and falls before they happen.
Grab bars are available for in-home installation and are an easy, yet effective way to make sure that safety is the number one priority in preventing bathroom slips and falls. When used, they help seniors maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle and reduce the risk of falling or injuries. If you didn't know, grab bars aren't just for hospitals or public restrooms and having them in your home can thwart unplanned trips to the hospital by helping you lower or lift yourself safely and independently. Placed in your bathtub or shower, these bars can provide help for seniors by giving extra stability for those initial slippery steps when accidents are most likely to occur. When strategically positioned, dangerous falls can be prevented and quite honestly, who doesn't want that type of added security? Another great benefit to having these devices is that they are safe to use and generally very easy to install. Grab bars can be made of plastic, aluminum or stainless steel and come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes to fit your personal or individual needs.
How many will I need?
Research suggests that you should install at least two to fully support your weight. However, more can be installed if desired. To make sure you are fully protected and you are optimizing your home health products for safety, purchase bars that will support the weight of at least 250 lbs. Most times, manufacturers will provide this information in their product specifications. If your weight exceeds the limit, a special order set of grab bars should be considered.
Where will my grab bars be best placed?
To determine the most useful area for your grab bars, it is wise to first consult with your doctor or occupational therapist to make sure they are placed where they will be the most beneficial for your use. Generally though, at least one bar should be placed along the wall where the faucet is and another along the back wall so that one hand can be placed in each of these areas when getting in or out of the tub. Having two grab bars provides stability and enables users to safely get into or out of the bathtub. Before using the grab bars though, make sure they are properly installed and anchored for reliability.
Caregiving Etiquette - Ten Do's and Don'ts
If you are a caregiver for an elderly person it is important that you are aware of a common issue that can occur with many seniors. Many seniors will be wakening in the night and be disoriented. This can lead them to get out of bed and have a fall or even try to leave their homes in the night. This is a problem that may not seem serious but it can have very serious ramifications. You will need to be prepared to deal with elderly disorientation at night if you are a caregiver. The following tips can give you some guidelines to help the elderly in your care and keep them safe at night, no matter how they wake-
• Make their bed safe - The first step in making sure that the elder person does not hurt himself or herself upon waking with disorientation is to make their bed safe. The disorientation that many elderly feel often occurs right at waking. This makes it crucial that you take safety measures before they even get up. You can do this by adding safety rails to the bed to keep them from falling out. In addition, the safety rails can also function as grab bars which can help them to sit up safely and get their bearings.
• Prevent falls from happening - The number one type of accident that occurs with seniors who are disoriented at night is falls. Falls can be very serious and even life threatening. This makes it crucial that you do everything you can in order to prevent falls from happening. Lighting is the number one way to help prevent falls. There are motion sensors lights that turn on as someone approaches them. In addition, rugs should be non slip and there should be a clear path for the senior to travel to the bathroom and the kitchen at night.
• Consider the effects of medication - Elder people take a lot of prescriptions. This makes it important that if the senior person in your care is taking any kind of medication and is experiencing disorientation at night (or any time), then you should consider the medication that they are taking. Sometimes all it takes to resolve nighttime disorientation is talking to the doctor and switching medications. This is especially important if the senior is taking several medications which could be causing this effect by being mixed together.
• Alarm the doors of the home - If the senior in your care is experiencing nighttime disorientation it is important to consider if they can leave the home at night. Unfortunately, the elderly can often become so mixed up at night that they leave their home and are exposed to all sorts of problems when outside at night. If your elderly loved one is having this problem it is important to make sure that any door that they can leave through is alarmed. This will then wake someone and allow them the chance to stop the senior before they get outside.
• Consult a doctor if the problem is chronic - It is important to understand that nighttime disorientation in seniors is not a regular part of aging. While everyone can have moments of nighttime disorientation, if the problem is becoming chronic then you should consult a doctor. Chronic nighttime disorientation can be sign of a serious medical issue and treatment should be sought immediately. Only by having a medical checkup can the doctor diagnose if there is another problem that is occurring. Do not assume that your loved one is simply aging. You should get a medical consultation to determine what the underlying cause is.