Why Seniors May Become Abusive
First, it is important to understand why aggressive or abusive behavior occurs. In some cases, you may be caring for a senior who has always been a little rough around the edges. As he or she gets older and mental and physical health declines, it may be easy for the senior to slip into anger over a perceived loss of independence, control, and ability.
At other times, abusive behavior can spring from a physical or mental condition, such as pain, hallucinations, medication side effects, or dementia. Such conditions may cause a person who has never exhibited violent tendencies to become aggressive.
AARP's "When Caregivers are Abused" notes that abuse can stem from denial on the part of a senior when he or she is confronted with failing health. Aggression can also come from depression on the part of your loved one. Decreased inhibition may also be a factor, especially for those in early stages of frontotemporal dementia and in later stages of Alzheimer's.
While recipients of home health care and their families provide much anecdotal evidence of the benefits of home care, it is always good to learn about research in provable positive outcomes of utilizing in-home care services.
A recent Harvard pilot program has been designed to explore whether a new home health care coordination program will reduce the number of repeat hospitalizations among seniors using the services of home health agencies.
According to the CDC, one in five seniors is dealing with a mental health issue of some sort. Baby Boomers, now entering their retirement years, list mental decline as a significant source of concern as they age.
However, studies indicate that there are ways to bolster brain power in seniors and help stave off mental decline in the process. This means that seniors do not necessarily have to experience major mental decline as they age. Lifestyle factors can greatly reduce the rate or incidence of mental decline.
If your loved one is worried about declining mental health, home health care can do much to help create an environment in which your senior can flourish both mentally and physically. Consider these ways home health care can bolster mental health in seniors:
JB's primary scope of focus at CipherHealth is on the application and growth of solutions in post-acute delivery settings. JB works closely with home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities to bring a new level of quality and efficiency to care delivered.
In the video for CipherHealth, you state "Through smart, effective technology we solve fundamental challenges of the healthcare industry." To start, what are some of the most significant challenges the medical industry is facing right now?
Two of the largest gaps in healthcare today are:
1) Staying better engaged with patients, at a lower overall cost - For many decades, providers have only needed to keep an eye on patients while they were in their charge: Within the hospital during an acute episode, or for a home health agency, during the time a patient is utilizing a home health service. What we see now is that there are new regulations and incentives that require all types of providers to be more efficient with their resources, while ensuring patients receive top-notch care and have an exceptional experience.
This is where technology can come into play. It is impossible for providers to effectively engage with patients while staying cost effective without it. By efficiently reaching out to patients to understand their recovery and proactively address issues, providers are more equipped to engage with patients and resolve problems cost-effectively.
Understanding What Caregiver Burnout Is
The first step to preventing caregiver burnout is to understand what it is. According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is "a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude -- from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned."
The Family Caregiver Alliance provides these statistics to illustrate the struggle faced by many women providing care for their aged parents:
- 66 percent of caregivers are female.
- The average caregiver is 49 years old. She cares for her 60-year-old mom, who does not live with her. She is married and employed.
- 20 percent of working female caregivers are also providing financial support to the parent for whom they care.
Home Health Care Fills a Growing Need
As the U.S. population continues to age, home health care will be needed more than ever, making it an excellent career choice for many nurses, CNAs, and other home care providers.
But even now, home health care addresses a significant need for many. USA Today's "Home Care for Seniors: a Win-Win" outlines several clinical advantages that come from seeing patients in their home environment.
Since it is much easier to prevent a bedsore than to heal it after it forms, it is important to learn about the risk factors, causes, and treatment of bedsores before they become a serious problem for your loved one.
Ron Tester, PT, COS-C, is the founder and Administrator of Advanced RehabTrust Home Health, a nationally-recognized home health agency serving North Texas.
According to the AARP, nearly 90% of seniors want to stay at home as they get older. What are some reasons more seniors are choosing to "age in place", as the AARP put it?
There are several reasons seniors want to stay home. Most important, they can keep their independence. Even if they have some help at home, they still get to eat what they want, when they want; get up and go to bed when they want; and do whatever they want without having to worry about an institution telling them what to eat, what to do or when to do it.
Also, most seniors want to be in familiar surroundings. No facility is ever going to feel like "home" the way home does. Even if they can squeeze their bed, couch and china cabinet into the new place, it's just not the same.
Third, leaving home for a senior living facility - even a nice one - often feels like "the beginning of the end." Many seniors who move away from home feel like they are resigning themselves to fate or "giving up."
As your parents or older family members age, they may not eat as healthily as they once did. Some issues that affect older people, such as frailty or depression, may make it either difficult to plan and prepare meals or difficult to summon the energy. All too many older people make do with less than nutritious meals.
Many older Americans are food insecure, which can stem from multiple factors, including difficulty accessing healthful and inexpensive food or challenges in paying for an adequate amount of food. In addition, if they are living alone, they may lack the motivation to cook for themselves.
Coupled with these challenges, though, is the importance of eating well to senior health overall. Eating healthily can keep in check health conditions common to the elderly, like diabetes and heart disease. It can improve the overall energy level of seniors and keep their brain functioning optimally. Good nutrition has a preventive effect on illnesses as well. In short, healthy eating is part of good senior care.