Posts Tagged ‘in-home care’

Protection from Bed Sores – Tips from the San Jose In-Home Care Experts at Visiting Angels

August 30th, 2017

bed soresAffecting around one out of every ten seniors, and even more widespread in smokers, in those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, or whose skin is more delicate, bed sores (also known as pressure sores or pressure injuries) are not just very painful – they can rapidly advance to infections that can extend to the bloodstream and even end up to be deadly.

For those with reduced mobility or who are confined to a bed or wheelchair, and those who care for them, the struggle against pressure sores can seem never-ending. Ensuing from a decrease of blood flow when staying in one position for too long, it is vital for those caring for an older loved one to become educated about pressure sore protection. Try some of these guidelines from our San Jose in-home care experts to help protect your loved one’s sensitive skin from these dangerous sores:

  • Frequent Position Changes
    • Every hour if confined to a wheelchair, every two hours if confined to bed
    • Utilize lifting instruments when possible to eliminate friction during repositioning
  • Support
    • Utilize specialized cushions and pads:
      • In between knees and ankles
      • Under calves to protect heels
      • To lie at an angle, protecting hips
  • Skin Care
    • Utilize mild soap and warm (not hot) water and apply moisturizing cream
    • For extremely moist skin, use talcum powder
    • Massage areas prone to pressure sores to enhance circulation
  • Healthy Nutritional and Activity Choices
    • Check with your loved one’s doctor for dietary and supplement recommendations for maximum skin health
    • Ensure good hydration
    • Stop smoking
    • Frequent exercise (as appropriate and per physician’s suggestions)

If, despite taking these precautionary measures, your loved one develops a pressure sore, it will advance through the four stages below:

  • Stage 1: A reddish, blue or purple bruise-like patch on the skin can be noticed, which may be warmer than the surrounding skin and bring about sensations of itching or burning.
  • Stage 2: An open sore appears on the bruise, similar to a blister or abrasion. Discoloration and pain are often part of this stage.
  • Stage 3: As the sore worsens, the surrounding skin darkens and the area is deeper.
  • Stage 4: At this phase, damage occurs to the bone, muscle and/or joints, and osteomyelitis (a dangerous bone infection) or even sepsis (a potentially fatal infection of the blood) can take place.

Be sure to get in touch with your loved one’s physician immediately if a pressure sore is discovered. Visiting Angels can also assist by inspecting skin every day to identify susceptible areas of the skin and detect the early signs of bed sores, as well as provide assistance with ambulation, turning and transferring to decrease the risk of developing sores. We are just a phone call away. Contact us today for more information about our San Jose in home care services at 408-610-9996 or view our other service areas online.

ADLs and IADLs and Why They Matter

September 25th, 2012

In your research for in-home care, you are likely to hear some unfamiliar terms. When assessing your care needs or those of your loved ones, terms like ADLs and IADLs will come up frequently. So just what do those terms mean and why do they matter?

ADL stands for “Activities of Daily Living”. A person’s Activities of Daily Living include the everyday personal care activities that are fundamental to caring for oneself and maintaining independence, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, eating, etc.

IADL stands for “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living”. These are activities related to independent living and are valuable for evaluating persons with early-stage disease, both to assess the level of disease and to determine the person’s ability to care for himself or herself. IADLs include activities like housework, medication management, money management, using the telephone, transportation, etc.

Assessing a person’s ADLs and IADLs is one of the first steps when developing an in-home care plan or determining an appropriate referral for care. A person’s ADL and IADL assistance levels will help establish the amount and type of care that is most suitable for that person.

If you or a loved one needs an in-home assessment of ADLs or IADLs, contact Visiting Angels in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 to schedule your assessment today.

Home Care: One Size Does Not Fit All

September 11th, 2012

There are many types of in-home care, and knowing which is right for you or your loved one can help you live a happier, healthier life at home. When it’s time to seek home care, an assessment for daily function, depression, and mental status is an important step in determining what type of care is the right choice.

A geriatric care assessment is designed to:

  • Evaluate the multiple problems of seniors
  • Develop coordinated care plans to focus interventions on individual issues
  • Assess personal resources and strengths
  • Determine care needs

Once completed, a geriatric care assessment can lead to:

  • Improved health outcomes
  • Prevention of the onset of disability
  • Early recognition of health changes
  • Improved quality of life
  • Savings on healthcare costs
  • Targeting individualized rehabilitation needs
  • Informative planning for daily services to increase safety
  • Discovery of early-stage disease and determination of senior’s ability to care for himself or herself
  • Determination of fall risks

Visiting Angels can help you and your loved ones assess your care needs and determine the right type of in-home care to ensure your independence at home. Contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 to schedule your assessment today.

Assessing In-Home Care Needs

September 4th, 2012

Aging in place is a popular choice for seniors today. When you or a loved one make the choice to age in place and remain independent at home, it is important to assess the level of care that is required. Below is a list of some everyday activities that should be considered to help determine in-home care needs.

  1. Ability to use a telephone: This is an important function for seniors in the event of an emergency. If the senior can operate a phone, look up phone numbers, and dial a few well-known numbers, he or she may not need assistance in this area. However, if the senior can only answer the phone, but not dial, or cannot use a phone at all, this is an area where assistance is needed.
  2. Shopping: Depending on mobility, some seniors may be able to shop for themselves, while others may need accompaniment to the store or to have their shopping done by a caregiver.
  3. Food preparation: Proper nutrition is important for aging seniors, and you may find that your loved ones are not maintaining an adequate diet from the meals they prepare for themselves. If this is the case, they may need assistance with food preparation.
  4. Housekeeping: Daily household chores can be daunting for frail seniors. This is an area where many home care clients require assistance to help maintain upkeep of their homes.
  5. Medication responsibilities: A certain amount of memory loss is common with aging, so many seniors feel the need to receive medication reminders. For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, this assistance is particularly important.

Seniors will likely find that, as they age, their need for assistance in many areas of daily living will increase. At Visiting Angels, our expert caregivers can help you and your family assess the right level of care to meet your specific needs. Contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 for more information.