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Taking the Car Away From an Elderly Parent

Taking the Car Away From an Elderly Parent

elderly-parent-diving-keys

Talking to an elderly parent about giving up the car keys can be very traumatic for both the parent and the adult child. Parents see losing their ability to drive as losing their independence and adult children wonder if they are doing the right thing. They also worry about how the conversation will go.

Many parents become depressed or combative when they are faced with the prospect of no longer driving. The way a child broaches the subject can make a huge difference in how a parent reacts.

Most articles on this subject talk about the dangers of elderly driving and how a family must be firm about taking the keys away. Some examples are below:


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Keeping Your Elderly Parents in the Home Safely and Affordably

Keeping Your Elderly Parents in the Home Safely and Affordably

keeping-your-parent-at-home-longer

If you are responsible for the care of an elderly parent, chances are you want to keep your loved one at home because you believe that is where he or she will be the happiest and the most comfortable. You are not alone. Read more

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The Many Benefits of Keeping Your Aging Parents at Home

The Many Benefits of Keeping Your Aging Parents at Home

many-benefits-aging-at-home

In the article The Benefits of Aging in Place, this note jumped out at me: Read more

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Keeping Your Parent at Home

Keeping Your Parent at Home

keeping-parent-at-home-omaha

Conventional wisdom is that seniors want to stay in their home but this is often not feasible due to the cost involved with providing in home care.

Most articles compare the costs of in home health care vs. assisted living or nursing homes. These articles are filled with gloom and doom detailing how caring for your aging parents, at home or in a care center, spelled financial ruin.

At Physician’s Choice Private Duty, we look at things a different way.  We know that it is possible to keep parents in the home without breaking the bank, if that’s your goal.

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Nursing Life Hacks

Here’s a favorite article from http://nurseslabs.com that we love and you’ll find helpful!

Nursing is a tough job and apparently, there are no shortcuts to providing good and quality care. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t make our lives easier while doing our job. Here’s list of nursing life hacks that can show you exactly how.

(we’ll give you the first 6 and if you’re interested, the full list of 30 will appear here: http://nurseslabs.com/30-nursing-life-hacks-probably-didnt-know/)

Go slow when you prime your IV. When you go full blast with the flow, there’s a good chance for tiny air bubbles to form within the tube. To avoid this, you can clamp the tube first, fill the drip chamber and let the fluid flow slowly. See also: 50 IV Therapy Tips and Tricks

Use gauze to prevent hair pulling when using a tourniquet. The friction a tourniquet creates against hair can be painful to patients. To address this, try placing a thin sheet of gauze in between the tourniquet and your patient’s skin.

Prevent pinching. Fold a washcloth and tuck it under the front of the bedside commode seat to prevent pinching.

Use hydrogen peroxide for blood stains. While we technically have no problem seeing blood, having them on our white uniform or your favorite scrub suit is a different story. Instead of wearing blood stains as your battle mark the entire shift, you can apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide as a stain remover.


Removing blood stains with hydrogen peroxide
You can remove them from patient pillows too. Image via: Pinterest

Didn’t hit the mark? Try double insertion of foley catheters. Missing the mark isn’t only common to new nurses. The truth is, whether you’re a veteran or not, we’ve all had our fair share of the experience. When inserting a foley cath to a female patient and you fail to get a return, leave the first catheter in place and try the same procedure with another Foley catheter, aiming higher this time.

Powder a bedpan. Powder a bedpan before you put a patient on it for easier evacuation; especially useful for obese patients.

Those are the first 6 hints. Pretty great, right? If you’re interested, the full list of 30 appears here: http://nurseslabs.com/30-nursing-life-hacks-probably-didnt-know/

When Less Medicine Means More Health

Less is More

By John Henning Schumann, MD from NPR

Six months ago, an octogenarian patient told me he’d been having light-headedness. For decades, he’d taken a combination pill (two medications in one) to keep his blood pressure below 140/90, numbers proved important in preventing heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Light-headedness is common among older people on blood pressure drugs. “It’s as though I’m going to pass out,” he told me. “My vision fades, and I get wobbly legs.” Fortunately, my patient’s episodes had passed without him actually falling.

He and I agreed that it would make sense to stop his medicine for a month and see what happened – something called a drug holiday. My patient agrees to buy a home blood pressure cuff, use it two or three times a week, and share the results with me. A month went by. His blood pressure, over multiple readings, was fine. And no more light-headedness.

I wrote him back: “Stay off the medication – it’s clear from your readings you no longer need it.” He was thrilled. The decision saved him money and meant he could forget about one of his many daily pills.

Now new research has thrown that decision on to question. A federally funded study was recently stopped early because of evidence that aggressively lowering blood pressure saves lives. The new findings indicate indicate that getting the top (systolic) number to 120 or lower is even better at saving lives than the current standard of 140.

Still, I am satisfied my decision was a good one. I helped my patient avoid a drug-related problem like a fall and maybe a hip fracture – one of the banes of our aging population. What’s more, he and I pushed back against medical inertia the tendency to keep things the way they are because it’s easier than making a change.

My patient’s experience and stories like his have led me to believe that there comes a point in aging when our physiology changes. No doubt there are many factors, such as our senior brains, stiffening blood vessels, and changes in the ratios of our hormones. Sometimes age brings more illness, but in other cases, problems seem to diminish.

Too often, we overlook the option of de-prescribing, or discontinuing medications in older people who take a lot of them. A recent review of more than two dozen studies in which patients discontinued medications (including sedatives like Valium as well as blood pressure drugs) found that people did surprisingly well when they stopped taking them. Adverse symptoms abated, and their health generally improved.

As a doctor looking first to do no harm, I draw the following conclusion: Though I am ready to believe the better low blood pressure outcomes promised by the latest research, I’m also going to look for opportunities to minimize the overuse of drugs in older patients. For many of us, less medicine means more health.

If you have questions or concerns about your medications, contact us today. 402-991-7399

Armbrust Family Testimonial

Armbrust Family Testimonial

Armbrust Family Testimonial

Dear  Staff,

We would like to thank all of you for the loving care shown toward Willis.

Your assistance, thoughtfulness and kindness helped us through this difficult time.

God Bless,

Amy and Armbrust Family

John and Anne Hall Testimonial

John and Anne Hall Testimonial

 

John and I are so grateful for the extended time and effort you have provided over the past few months. Your insights and strategies were invaluable. This is a journey and your guidance has made it less stressful and manageable. We particularly appreciated your focus on Kay – as a person, not just as a “patient”.

Thank you for doing so much and for doing it so well,

With gratitude,

John and Anne Hall

Wendy Testimonial

Wendy Testimonial

Wendy Testimonial

Dear Encompass “Angels”,

Thank you so much for your efficient and timely help this year!

Blessings Wendi

Monroe Testimonial

Monroe Testimonial

Monroe Testimonial

Please accept my family’s sincere thanks for the care assistance that you and your Encompass Colleagues provided during our Dad’s home hospice care. You, Delra, Brenda, Barbara and Connie, were of immeasurable help to Dad, Melissa and me during a very difficult time.

We appreciated the excelled way that you coordinated with Hospice of Southwest Iowa to make things go as smoothly as possible.

Thank you again for your very caring assistance during a time of great need.

Sincerely,

The Family of Norman Monroe