FALL PREVENTION PROGRAM
- Over one-third of adults 65+ fall each year
- 20-30% of falls cause moderate to severe injuries. At least one-third of falls involve environmental hazard in the home. Two-thirds of those who fell, will fall again within 6 months. Care World Home Care Caregivers recognizes the importance of fall prevention and has developed training, oversight and procedures to help reduce the chances of injury and keep seniors safe at home.
Step 1- Needs Assessment & Home Inspection
Care World Home Care Caregivers does a complimentary personalized need assessment and home inspection to ensure safety and reduced risk of repeat fall.
Home Inspection includes:
- Hygiene- Transfer Benches, Chairs, Hand Held Shower Head all need to be accessed.
- Grab Bars- Properly installed in high risk area
- Transfers- Are we properly prepared?
- Toileting- Procedures & Proximities
- Entrances & Pathways- Getting In/Out, Reducing tripping hazards
Step 2- Caregiver Training
- Safe Lifting Techniques
- Maintenance of Fall Prevention Checklist at client’s home
- Formal class and video training on Fall Prevention
Step 3-RN Supervision/Monitor Progress*
Once home, a formalized RN Plan of Care is developed and monitored via supervisory visits. This helps track on compliance and progress via documentation to ensure we are providing the best services as promised.
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE FACTS
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die.
The disease can impair memory, thinking, and behavior, causing personality and behavior changes, language deterioration, and emotional apathy.
Alzheimer’s was first identified in 1906 by German physician Alois Alzheimer. Back then it was considered a rare disorder. Today, Alzheimer’s disease is recognized as the most common cause of dementia, a disorder in which mental functions deteriorate and break down. An estimated 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 4% of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s have early onset disease, which affects people younger than age 65.
What causes Alzheimer’s disease? Although intense investigation has been under way for many years, the precise causes aren’t entirely known. They may include the following:
- Age and family history
- Certain genes
- Abnormal protein deposits in the brain
- Other risk and environmental factors
- Immune system problems
There is not a single, comprehensive test for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. By ruling out other conditions through a process of elimination, doctors can diagnose probable Alzheimer’s disease with about 90% accuracy. However, the only way to confirm the diagnosis is through autopsy of the brain.
It’s essential to determine whether the dementia is the result of a treatable illness. In addition to a complete medical history and extensive neurological motor, cognitive and sensory exams, diagnostic procedures for Alzheimer’s disease may include the following:
- Mental status test
- Neuropsychological testing
- Blood tests
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
- Chest X-ray
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)—a procedure that records the brain’s continuous electrical activity using electrodes attached to the scalp
- Computed tomography scan (CT scan)
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)—a test that records the electrical activity of the heart
Medications can help with some of the most troubling symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as depression, behavioral disturbance, and sleeplessness. In managing the disease, physical exercise and social activity are important, as are proper nutrition and maintaining good health. People who have Alzheimer’s benefit from a calm environment, with daily activities that help to provide structure, meaning, and accomplishment. It’s important to adapt activities and routines so that the individual can do as many things independently as possible.
Because the controllable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are unknown, it isn’t yet possible to reduce the chances of developing the disease. At this time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, no way of slowing down its progression, and no treatment available to reverse the deterioration. The goal of current mainstream medical therapy is to preserve diminishing brain function. But new research findings give a reason for hope, and several drugs are being studied in clinical trials to determine if they can improve memory or slow the progress of the disease.
HOME AND RECREATIONAL SAFETY
Important Facts about Falls
Each year, millions of older people – those 65 and older – FALL. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
Falls Are Serious and Costly
- One out of five causes a serious injury such a broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury of hip fracture.
- Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually. Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.
What Can Happen After a Fall?
Many falls do not cause injuries. Bit one of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own.
- Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures.
- Falls can cause head injuries. These can be very serious, especially if the person is taking certain medicines (like blood thinners). An older person who falls and hits their head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury.
Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.
What Conditions Make You More Likely to Fall?
Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency (that is, not enough vitamin D in your system)
- Difficulties with walking and balance
- Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives or anti-depressants. even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or poor footwear
- Home hazards or dangers such as – broken or uneven steps, and throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over.
Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.
Healthcare providers can help cut down a person’s risk by reducing the fall risk listed above.
What You Can Do to Prevent Falls
Falls can be prevented. These are some simple things you can do to keep yourself from falling.
- Talk to Your Doctor
- Ask your doctor or healthcare provider to evaluate your risk for falling and talk with them about specific things you can do.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy. This should include prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines.
- Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about taking vitamin D supplements.
- Do Strength and Balance Exercises
- Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance. Tai Chi is a good example of this kind of exercise.
- Have Your Eyes Checked
- Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses if needed.
- If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking. Sometimes these types of lenses can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are.
- Make Your Home Safer
- Get rid of things you could trip over
- Add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet
- Put railing on both sides of stairs
- Make sure your home has lots of light by adding more or brighter light bulbs.
HEAT EXHAUSTION VS HEAT STROKE
Heat exhaustion happens when your body gets too hot. If you don’t treat heat exhaustion, it can lead to heat stroke. This occurs when your internal temperature reaches at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Heatstroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. It can cause shock, organ failure, or brain damage. In extreme cases, heatstroke can kill you.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke are:
- Muscle Cramps
- Heavy Sweating
- Pale or Cold skin
- Weakness and/or Confusion
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Fast Heartbeat
- Dark-colored Urine (which indicates dehydration)
- Fever of 104 Fahrenheit or higher
- Flushed or Red skin
- Lack of Sweating
- Trouble Breathing
What causes Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke?
Heat-related illnesses occur when your body can’t keep itself cool. As the temperature rises, your body dissolves sweat to stay cool. On hot, humid days, the increased moisture in the air slows down this process. When you’re body can’t cool, your temperature rises and you can become ill.
Hot weather and exercise are the main causes of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In hot settings, you need to be mindful of the temperature outside. The heat index is not the same as the temperature. It measures the air temperature plus the effects of humidity. A heat index of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is dangerous. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures increases your risk of heat-related illnesses.
National Institutes of Health
MedlinePlus: Heat Emergencies
11 HERBS AND SPICES? A Not So Secret Recipe to Good Health
A new University of Georgia study suggests herbs and spices, rich in antioxidants, are potent inhibitors of tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood sugar. The study shows that when blood sugar levels are high, sugar bonds with proteins to eventually form compounds that activate the immune system, which results in inflammation and tissue damage associated with aging and diabetes.
The researchers found a strong and direct correlation between common herbs and spices and their ability to inhibit the formation of damaging compounds. Preferred spices that make the most difference were cloves and cinnamon.
“Because herbs and spices have a very low-calorie content and are relatively inexpensive, they’re a great way to get a lot of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power into your diet,” said study co-author James Hangrove, Associate Professor of Foods and Nutrition in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.