Just The "Help"? | In Home Health Care | Oakland County Michigan

In Home Health Care Oakland County Michigan

Just “The Help”?

Many people do not understand the relationship that develops between a caregiver and a client. There is a common myth that caregivers provide a professional, efficient service with little to no emotional involvement. This is, quite simply, not true. For many elderly people, the quantity of personal relationships is severely diminished. Many of their friends have passed away and, for some, their family lives remotely and seldom visit.  Even for those with family close by, the idea of caregiving can be daunting. The person he or she spends the most time with is his or her PAL. Therefore, a harmonious relationship between the elderly client and the PAL is vital to the emotional and physical well-being of the client.

Graceful Living believes in and encourages the establishment and maintenance of a positive, long-term relationship between a caregiver and a client. In a caregiving relationship provided by a Graceful Living PAL (Personal Assistant Liaison), it is a new and untested relationship. Neither of them have decades of past, combined, bitter-sweet experiences, typically formed in relationships. The parent/child or sibling bond is not there, thus allowing the client a more relaxed communication level. They have a clean slate allowing them to bond. The caregiver provides a reliable, trustworthy presence that allows the client the privilege of depending on somebody other than themselves to assist with mundane daily activities such as showering or other personal hygiene, light housekeeping, and laundry, just to name a few. This, in turn, allows the client to reserve and spend their energy doing activities more important to them such as visiting with those they care about, gardening, going to their favorite park, playing Bingo or anything else that they may deem important.

Our PALs develop such a relationship and are attentive enough that they are able to anticipate and assist without verbal request or cue from the client.  In conversation, if the client doesn’t hear well, the PAL smoothly repeats the words to the client. The client is then enabled to continue with the conversation. In dining out, if the client can’t read the menu, the PAL scans the selection of entrees and suggests some of their favorites. The PAL defers to the client’s wishes while providing safe boundaries. The PAL understands that his or her job is to be ready with assistance when the client’s limitations let them down. The PAL never misses a beat. The client never feels left out or unattended. The PAL will always be unobtrusive and tactful about any assistance, thus allowing the client to maintain their dignity and pride. The respect and caring that our PALs display is often reciprocated and always appreciated.

Our PALs provide a safe environment, both physically and mentally for the client. Sometimes, just the idea that somebody else is nearby empowers a client and they can live free from fear, if even for a little while. The client feels free to reminisce and tell stories about their lives, their children, or to remember the people who have gone on before them. They feel safe knowing somebody is there to care for them and assist them with activities they love doing. The tend to be more physically active. Their mental status stays healthier longer with daily stimulation and conversation. They can feel independent; feel safe and secure in their own homes and be free to make their own choices.

Unfortunately, the care that our PALs provide for dementia or mentally diminished clients is the most misunderstood. We often enter in their care when the disease is quite advanced or when the care becomes just too much for family members such as children or spouses. Family members quite often do not understand that the person they are caring for with dementia is not the “same” family member they have loved and had a relationship with. It is especially important with these clients that we maintain continuity by placing the same PALs with that client and maintaining a regular schedule. By creating a stable and safe environment, we evoke a sense of independence, security, and, most importantly, respect. Everybody wants to feel that they matter no matter what stage of life they are experiencing. The relationship our PALs and our dementia clients develop is difficult to explain as the clients may not remember faces or names. But, if they have been made to feel safe, respected, and well cared for, they WILL remember and react to how that PAL made them feel. Even the most cantankerous client will display signs of affection and caring and our PALs understand that without the shadow of years of emotional turmoil and stress, or sadness about “the person they used to be” clouding a simple, easy-to-overlook moment or action. Our PALs understand the progression of dementia; they expect the good days as well as the “bad” days. They foster the good moments; cherish the great moments; they stay upbeat and always stay forgiving.

A person taking care of another human being should always do so because they care.  We do not believe what we do is “just a job”. Our PALs are carefully chosen because Graceful Living knows that our staff is the very heart and hands of our company. We encourage them to participate, to make decisions, and to care about the mental and physical comfort of our clients. There are always guidelines, comfort levels and capabilities which may hinder or restrict us as human beings and we adhere to strict levels of safety and confidentiality as a company. However, we believe that creating a bond and an appropriate relationship with our clients will only benefit them in the long run. We believe that being able to show our clients that we care about them as people, and not just as a body, is what makes them believe they themselves can overcome anything and makes our PALs some of the best caregiving staff around! The bottom line is: WE CARE; WE TAKE PRIDE, and we treat every individual client as we would our own families.

Nobody has ever complained of having too many people love them!

 

**The terminology that is used in any situation can create a difference in the manner in which relationships are perceived. At Graceful Living, we have chosen to call our caregivers PALs, which means Personal Assistant Liaison. We chose this term to encourage a sense of independence and to encourage a more trusting relationship between our PALS and our clients. We feel that we don’t need to remind them that they need assistance and we do not want to appear to pose a threat to their independence. Adjusting terminology gentles the threat a client may perceive as a stranger (our PALs) enter their lives. We feel alternate wording can create more of a sense of peace and assist the clients with acceptance of the presence of our staff as we start care.**

Stroke Symptoms | In-Home Health Care | Southeast Michigan

In home health care oakland county michigan

Knowing the symptoms of a stroke can be life saving. Knowing what to look for allows you to call 911 as soon as possible. The sooner you or someone you know is treated for stroke the better the outcomes may be. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have created an easy to remember acronym to spot the symptoms of a stroke. 

In home health care after stroke Oakland County Michigan

FACE DROOPING

Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven or lopsided?

ARM WEAKNESS

Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH DIFFICULTY 

Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the person able to correctly repeat the words?

TIME TO CALL 911

If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and say, "I think this is a stroke" to help get the person to the hospital immediately. Time is important! Don't delay, and also note the time when the first symptoms appeared. Emergency responders will want to know.

Men are 25% more likely than women to have a stroke. By the age of 75, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 6 men will have had a stroke, according to the Stroke Association.
WebMD

Symptoms of stroke are typically the same for Men and Women

  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes. 
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of body.
  • Confusing or unable to understand what people are saying. 
  • Loss of speech or difficulty speaking.
  • Sudden headache with no cause. 
  • Difficulty walking or loss of balance. 

If you think you or someone you know if having a stroke call 911 right away! Don't wait for more than five minutes even if you only have one of the above symptoms! 

 

 

Heart Health | In-Home Care | Southeast Michigan

Heart Disease Southeast Michigan In Home Health Care

A Healthy Heart 

Most of us think of our heart health from time to time and many wonder what, if anything, they can do to reduce the risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Knowing your possible risk factors for heart disease is an important step to heart health. Here are a few things to consider and tests your doctor may use to understand your heart health better.

 

Life Style and Risk Factors

Diet, physical activity, smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol and blood glucose are import things to consider. If you don’t currently have risk factors but have a family history of heart disease your doctor may evaluate your heart health more frequently. 

What Test Might My Doctor Order? 

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease. Since high blood pressure can’t be detected it is very important to have it checked regularly.

Cholesterol

Fasting Lipoprotein Profile is a blood test that measures the total cholesterol levels in your blood. Unhealthy levels can lead to heart disease but like blood pressure can be managed with lifestyle and diet or medication if needed.

Blood Glucose

High blood glucose levels put you at greater risk of developing insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Untreated diabetes can lead to many serious medical problems including heart disease and stroke. Your doctor may recommend a blood glucose test if you have at least one heart risk factor and are overweight.

 

All these things considered can give you and your provider a better look at your risk for heart disease and detect it early.

Medications As We Age | In-Home Health Care | Southeast Michigan

In Home Health Care Southeast Michigan

 

 

 

 

 

MEDICATIONS AS WE AGE 

Medications absorbed differently as we age

As we age, there are a number of factors that can affect how our bodies use medications: eating habits, including daily food intake and any special diets. Fluid intake; dehydration can affect your body in many ways. Alcohol use or caffeine intake can affect your body and your body’s use or absorption of medications.

Our bodies slow down as we get older. This also includes such bodily functions as your digestive system, changes in body weight, and our cardiovascular system slows down. The changes in our digestive system affect how fast medications are absorbed into your bloodstream. In addition, our liver and our kidney function slows down, which affects how long medications stay in our body, and how they are being absorbed versus how quickly they are expelled.

Because of all these body changes, there is a larger risk for drug interactions in older adults. An interaction is when two or more drugs affect the way each other is absorbed or used by the body. One medication could cause another to not work as well, or it could cause another medication to be stronger than it supposed to be.

Keep track of how you feel when you start a new medication. If you have any unwanted side effects, call your doctor immediately. Unfortunately, sometimes medications are prescribed because the benefit outweighs the unwanted side-effects, but communicating with your doctor is extremely important.

 

Traumatic Brain Injury | In-Home Health Care | Southeast Michigan

Traumatic Brain Injury in Southeast Michigan

 

What is a traumatic brain injury?

 

Traumatic brain injuries are typically an acute incident. A TBI is an injury to the brain than can have devastating effects for the patient and their family. Since our brains controls everything we do, you can see why having a traumatic brain injury is not only serious but can be very complicated.

 

How do traumatic brain injuries happen?

Traumatic brain injury can happen from a violent blow to the head, a fall or an object penetrating the skull.

 

What are symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?

    Mild Injury

·         Loss of consciousness for a few moments to a few minutes

·         Headache

·         Dizzy, dazed, disorientated or confused 

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Drowsiness

·         Hard time sleeping or sleeping too much

·         Sensitivity to light/sound

·         Blurred vision

·         Change in mood or mood swings

Moderate or Severe

·         Persistent headache that may worsen

·         Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours

·         Vomiting and/or nausea

·         Seizures

·         Dilation of one or both pupils

·         Unable to wake

·         Loss of feeling in fingers or toes

·         Slurred speech

·         Agitation or anger

·         Confusion

Treatment plans and options vary widely based on the injury type and the individual. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury and needs additional help during the rehabilitation period contact us to learn more about how we make this transition and time of healing easier!

Serving Southeast Michigan! 

Preventative Health | In-Home Health Care | Southeast Michigan

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Preventative Health

Stopping the Ailments Before They Stop You!

You get one body and you want to keep it moving and functioning. Getting older shouldn't mean you stop. One of the best ways to stay on the move is with preventive health care. Preventive health means screening for illness or disease before you have signs or feel sick. Preventive health screenings may find diseases early when they are easier to treat and stop some diseases from occurring. Identifying health issues before they become serious is one of the best ways to stay healthy.  

Don’t let cost keep you from having these tests. Most health plans, including Medicare, pay for preventive tests. Your doctor can help make the case, if need be. He may also be able to send you to free or low-cost programs.

1. Blood pressure check: High blood pressure can cause a heart attack, a stroke, eye problems and kidney problems without you even knowing your blood pressure is high. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked, even if you don’t think you have a problem. If your blood pressure is lower than 120/80, at least once every 2 years is usually fine. If it’s higher, your doctor probably will want to check it more often.

2. Cholesterol screening: Heart disease is one of the top causes of death in the U.S. One of its main risk factors is high cholesterol. After you turn 20, you should start getting your cholesterol tested at least once every 4 to 6 years. A simple blood test shows your levels and risk for heart disease.

As you age, your risk for heart disease goes up. If you’re in your 50s, it's important to keep getting screened.

There are many types of preventive services such as seeing your doctor once a year for a physical, getting a cancer screening, or having an eye exam just to name a couple of the most important preventive health practices. . Your age, health, and sex will determine which tests or screenings you should have. Your doctor will be able to tell you which screenings are right for you and can help find health issues before they become serious.