Prevent Elderly Dehydration - More Than One In Ten Elderly People Admitted To Hospital From Nursing Care Homes Are Dehydrated.  Some Nursing Home Staff Try To Avoid Cleaning Up After Incontinent Patients.


It is deeply distressing that older people living in care homes are more likely to be suffering from dehydration when they are admitted to hospital. Deaths linked to dehydration are completely avoidable and unacceptable.


Are care home residents choosing to drink less than they should? Or, as has been speculated, are care home staff not offering enough water to reduce incontinence and the amount of assistance their residents require?


Old and infirm people are at increased risk of dehydration, especially if they require assistance with drinking and, left to themselves, may not drink enough to avoid dehydration. Previous research has shown that people are more likely to die in hospital if they enter suffering from dehydration.


Older people may need assistance with drinking, and we need to ensure that care home staff are trained to help them drink enough and avoid increased health risks associated with dehydration; like confusion, low blood pressure and falls, which can lead to hospitalization.


 We entrust care homes to look after our loved ones, and we would all want to know that they are receiving the highest standards of care. While we know there are many dedicated care workers, staff must always deliver safe, dignified and compassionate care, and be able to recognise and act on the warning signs of dehydration before it becomes a real threat to health.


Lower Risk Of Heart Disease, Stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, Some Cancers, Depression and Dementia For Active Older People


Physical activity and exercise can help you stay healthy, energetic and independent as you get older. The biggest benefits come to those who start from scratch. It’s moving from a sedentary lifestyle to a moderately active one that makes the biggest difference to your health.


The more you do, the greater the health benefits.Research shows that it’s never too late to adopt and reap the health benefits from a more active lifestyle. For example, older adults who are active will reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke to a similar level as younger people who are active.


You will still be improving your health in the process, and you'll reduce your risk of falls and other ailments. As you get older, it becomes even more important to you to remain active if you want to stay healthy and maintain your independence. If you don't stay active, all the things you’ve always enjoyed doing and taken for granted may start to become that little bit harder.


You may struggle to pursue simple pleasures, such as playing with the grandchildren, walking to the shops, leisure activities and meeting up with friends. You might start to get aches and pains that you never had before, and have less energy to go out. You may also be more vulnerable to falling.As people get older and their bodies decline in function, physical activity helps to slow that decline.


It’s important they remain active or even increase their activity as they get older. Most people as they get older want to keep in touch with society – their community, friends and neighbours – and being active is a way to ensure that they can keep doing that.

Dementia Awareness and Research of Trinidad and Tobago (DARTT), a nonprofit company established and incorporated in order to better pursue our research goals and to extend the awareness of Dementia to the general population. DARTT was founded by UWI professors. DARTT aims to educate the population, promote brain health, diagnose afflicted persons, support patients, families, caregivers & conduct research on Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.dartt.org.tt/ 

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Elderly Well Care Visits, Screening, And Immunization


WELLNESS SCHEDULE (Men Aged 65+)

Well-care visit every year

 

SCREENING SCHEDULE

  • Cholesterol check every 5 years through age 79; after age 79, discuss with your doctor.
  • Blood pressure check every year 
  • Vision and hearing checks every year. 
  • Colon cancer screening: talk with your doctor about the best method for you. Men aged 75 and older, regular screening isn't generally recommended. If you wish to continue screening, talk with your doctor.
  • Prostate cancer screening: discuss with your doctor. 
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening (aaa): One-time screening for men aged 65 and older who have a family history of aaa (parent, brother, or sister) or who smoked 100 cigarettes or more in their lifetime.
  • Hepatitis C test one time during adulthood if you were born 1945-1965.

  

IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE

  • Tetanus-diphtheria every 10 years.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine one time for ages 65 and older. 
  • Flu vaccine every year. 
  • Shingles vaccine once in a lifetime for ages 60 and older (not for persons who are immune suppressed).

REDUCE FALLS IN ELDERLY WITH BALLROOM DANCING

Regularly taking to the dance floor gave elderly nursing home residents a better sense of balance. Researchers found a fifty percent improvement in balance, and far fewer falls among seniors who participated in a half hour of ballroom dancing three days per week for three months.


With aging, muscles weaken and sensory mechanisms that help sustain balance are less sharp, which can lead to falls as well as limiting a person’s physical activity. Remaining sedentary just accelerates the loss of strength and balance.


Nursing home residents tend to have less freedom and fewer opportunities for physical activity, so it’s all the more important to find ways for them to exercise to preserve their strength and balance.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/01/us-ballroom-dancing-elderly-balance-idUSKBN0DG1RL20140501


(Read More on Elderly Care News)

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Elderly Well Being In Canada A Priority

The world is aging so fast that most countries are not prepared to support their swelling numbers of elderly people, according to a global study being issued Tuesday by the United Nations and an elder rights group.


The report ranks the social and economic well-being of elders in 91 countries, with Sweden coming out on top and Afghanistan at the bottom. Canada is at fifth place.


“In 2011, an estimated five million Canadians were 65 years of age or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years,” the report said. The study reflects what advocates for the old have been warning, with increasing urgency, for years: Countries are simply not working quickly enough to cope with a population greying faster than ever before. By the year 2050, for the first time in history, seniors older than 60 will outnumber children younger than 15.


The Global AgeWatch Index (www.globalagewatch.org) was created by elder advocacy group HelpAge International and the UN Population Fund in part to address a lack of international data on the extent and impact of global aging. The index, released on the UN’s International Day of Older Persons, compiles data from the UN, World Health Organization, World Bank and other global agencies, and analyzes income, health, education, employment and age-friendly environment in each country.


The index was welcomed by elder rights advocates, who have long complained that a lack of data has thwarted their attempts to raise the issue on government agendas.


Many governments have resisted tackling the issue partly because it is viewed as hugely complicated, negative and costly — which is not necessarily true, says Silvia Stefanoni, chief executive of HelpAge International. Japan and Germany, she says, have among the highest proportions of elders in the world, but also boast steady economies.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/canada-ranks-fifth-in-well-being-of-elders-study/article14621721/

(Read More on Elderly Care News)

Elderly Connect With The Internet

As more seniors begin using the Internet, more companies are creating sites to help them connect. Social media has led the charge for many elders logging on. Seniors age 74 and older are the fastest-growing demographic on social media, with social networking among senior Internet users quadrupling from 4 to 16 percent.“ They realized that they were missing out,” “Once they have the experience of trying it, rather than just having someone show them, it’s joyful and they are terrific at it.”


JOINING THE CONVERSATION

The rising number of senior Internet users has deepened the opportunity of connecting elders and the digital world. Where the goal was once to get seniors online, that vision has shifted to enriching the online experience with specific connection points and new relationships. Both the need for companionship and its benefits are very real.   (Read More on Elderly Care News)

Elderly Improve Heart Rate Variability With Physical Activity

Physical activity is beneficial to the heart in people aged 65 and older. Benefits were observed both in elderly people who reported the highest amount of overall physical activity and in those who increased their physical activity over time.


They found that greater total leisure-time activity, walking distance, and walking pace were each associated with more favorable HRV indices. HRV has been previously shown to predict cardiac risk.


Increased physical activity was also associated with additional measures of improved cardiovascular risk, including a healthier circadian pattern.

Any physical activity “is better than none, and more is better,”.

Elderly Well Care Visits, Screening, and Immunization


WELLNESS SCHEDULE (Women Aged 65+)

Well-care visit every year


SCREENING SCHEDULE

  • Cholesterol check every 5 years through age 79; after age 79, discuss with your doctor.
  • Blood pressure check every year.
  • Vision and hearing checks every year.
  • Colon cancer screening: talk with your doctor about the best method for you. (Women aged 75 +, regular screening isn't generally recommended)
  • Mammogram every 1-2 years based on risk for breast cancer. Women aged 75 and older, discuss optional screening with your doctor.
  • Bone density test: recommended for women aged 65 and older.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (aaa) screening: One-time screening for women aged 55-75 who have a family history of aaa (parent, brother, or sister) and smoked 100 cigarettes or more in their lifetime.
  • Hepatitis C test one time during adulthood if you were born 1945-1965.


IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE

  • Tetanus-diphtheria every 10 years.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine one time for ages 65 and older.
  • Flu vaccine every year.
  • Shingles vaccine once in a lifetime for ages 60 + (not for persons who are immune suppressed).

DEMENTIA AWARENESS

Do you or an elderly relative have memory problems?

Reluctance to visit a doctor when you or a family member has memory problems is understandable. Some people hide their symptoms, or family members cover for them. Alzheimer’s is always about loss, loss of independence, driving privileges, loss of self.

It’s true that if you have Alzheimer’s, doctors can’t offer a cure. Getting an early diagnosis can be beneficial. Knowing what you can do is just as important as knowing what you can't do. If a person has another treatable condition that’s causing the cognitive impairment or somehow complicating the impairment, doctors can start treatments.

Where do you go in Trinidad and Tobago to get a diagnosis?
Initial diagnosis is usually conducted by your GP. Afterwards you may get a referral to a specialist. Specialists include: 
Neurologists - diseases of the brain and nervous system
Psychiatrists - disorders of mood or the way the mind works.
Psychologists - testing memory and other mental functions​


ElderLY Rights IN Nursing HomeS

The right to be treated with dignity and respect.


• To be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.


• Manage own money or to choose someone else you trust to do this for you.


• Privacy, and to keep and use your personal belongings and property as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others.


• To be informed about your medical condition, medications, and to see your own doctor. Also the right to refuse medications and treatments.


• To have a choice over your schedule (for example, when you get up or go to sleep), your activities and preferences that are important to you.


• An environment more like a home that maximizes your comfort and provides you with assistance to be as independent as possible.

(Read More on Care Quality)


Quality Elderly Care, Nursing Homes, At Home Care in Trinidad and Tobago

Finding the right care home requires looking for key qualities that can provide peace of mind that the senior loved one is properly cared for and has the best medical care. Choosing a geriatric nursing care home for an elderly relative or friend is a difficult task. As a loved one, giving up the role as primary caregiver is not easy. 


Cleanliness:

Cleanliness is key when dealing with seniors who might have a wide range of health problems. A residential care home should always smell fresh and clean without the scent of urine, harsh disinfectants or other unpleasant smells.

 

Beyond the smell, the home should have clean furniture, fresh linens that are clearly washed well and no clutter that might cause a trip hazard. The home is designed for older people who need more supervision than a family is able to provide due to health conditions. Cleanliness and the absence of hazards that might cause a family member to fall is vital to quality care.

 

Caring and Availability of Staff:

Any good elder residential care home should have several care and nursing staff members who are able to help as needed. A facility that has limited staff will often have problems meeting the needs of the residents.


Furthermore, the staff must also have a caring and positive attitude that encourages everyone staying in the home to enjoy activities and socialize.

 

The care staff is a constant part of the senior's life and they must not have any problem conversing with the residents. The care staff should speak the language of the senior for good communication and care. Among the staff, there should also be security personnel to ensure safety.

 

Nutrition:

Nutrition is a vital part of good health and the nursing home, and should have a well-planned out meal schedule that provides a wide range of food for a healthy, well-balanced diet. When asking about nutritional plans available to seniors, the home should produce information relating to meals, nutritional guidelines and methods of providing nutrition to those who are unable to eat normal meals. 

 

Medical Professionals:

Depending on the nursing home setting, the appropriate medical professionals will vary. A quality nursing care home will have a nurse on staff who visits regularly throughout the day and night to ensure the health and safety of seniors. They will also have one or two doctors available who visit regularly. 

 

Activities for Seniors:

A necessary quality of any residential care home for seniors is a wide range of activities to keep residents active. Going to a care home can lead to feelings of isolation, but having several activities of personal interest available can help. The schedule of activities should have something for every level of physical ability and interest for the best results.


Choosing a quality care home is a necessary part of caring for a loved one who needs a little more help. The best elderly care homes will always meet the standards for nutrition, staff, cleanliness, safety and activities so that family can rest assured that all of their loved one's needs are met.

(Read More on Care Home Checklists)

Elderly Well Care

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How often are senior care medical needs reviewed? Are there visiting doctors, dentists and opticians? Are there complementary therapies and services: chiropody, physiotherapy and occupational therapy for elderly care residents?

Do residents get their own room? Can seniors bring their furniture and personal possessions? Do they have a garden and outside space to enjoy? Shared area for residents to sit and relax? Quiet area without a TV?

Professionally trained staff? Welcoming & friendly? Home smells clean & fresh? Elderly residents look happy and well cared for? Are there regular activities & events? Do residents get exercise and trips outside the nursing care home?

ELDERLY Medical Care

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Elderly Care Advice…


Avoid mental strain and pill-burden...Take only those pills which are necessary... Correct the rest through diet and exercise… Go for periodic checkups, and test for specific problems... Go to a regular family doctor who knows you well, and to a specialist only when needed… Take immunization for diseases like pneumonia… Be exposed to sunlight for Vitamin D, and follow a good diet… Keep your money secure and make a will!

The increasing number of elders who live alone points to the necessity of elderly at-home care services, and better access and mobility for daily needs.

High expenditure & low pensions lead to financial dependence…“We don’t want to be too dependent on our children day-to-day. But the cost of living has gone up so much; now we find it difficult. We want to be independent for as long as possible.”

Dementia…With psychosocial problems, going to the doctor is extremely difficult. And the low availability of specialised home healthcare…“The slow deterioration and instability is not like any other disease. Every day throws up new challenges, so each day that passes without obstacles is a relief.”…“He often wakes up at night, and has urinary and memory problems. He becomes stubborn, short-tempered, and gets disoriented, forgetting that he has eaten and demands more. It’s a nightmare!”


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Strengthen The Elderly With Chair Exercises

Chair exercises can increase elderly strength by 175% and walking ability and speed by 50%.....Chair exercises result in a decreased number of falls and an increased ability to better accomplish day-to-day physical activities. They effectively assist elderly individuals to exercise and move without putting undo pressure or strain on their bodies. Movement works to lubricate joints and keep them flexible, strengthen and stabilize individual muscles and increase blood circulation.

Caregivers Are A Powerful Positive In Lives Of Elderly

Caregivers have a profound influence .. good and bad .. on the emotional state of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

 Caregivers should be empowered by knowing that their actions toward patients really do matter. Frequent visits and social interactions, exercise, music, dance, jokes, and serving patients their favorite foods are all simple things that can have a lasting emotional impact on a patient's quality of life and overall well-being.

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Prevent Elderly Falls, Injury and Hospitalization

Falls in the elderly lead to injury, hospitalization, or death.
Seniors fall more frequently because of:
Lack of physical activity — Lack of exercise regularly results in poor muscle tone, decreased bone mass, loss of balance and flexibility.

Impaired vision — This includes age-related vision diseases, as well as not wearing glasses that have been prescribed.

Medications — Sedatives, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotic drugs, plus taking multiple medications all increase risk of falling.

Diseases — Health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Arthritis, cause weakness in the extremities, poor grip strength, balance disorders and cognitive impairment.

Surgeries — Hip and knee replacements and other surgeries, leave an elderly person weak, in pain and discomfort. They are less mobile than they were before surgery. Walking aids are recommended, but many believe that maintaining their independence is not using an aid.

Environmental hazards — One third of falls in the elderly population involve hazards at home. Factors include poor lighting, loose carpets, uneven tiling, and lack of safety equipment or adaptation devices.


CARE QUALITY IN A NURSING HOME

% of residents who lose too much weight. 


Loss of 5% or more of body weight in one month is considered unhealthy (for example, a 140 pound person should not lose more than 7 pounds in one month). Too much weight loss makes a person weak, change how medicine works in their body, risk for pressure ulcers.


Too much weight loss may mean the patient is ill, refuses to eat, is depressed, or has a medical problem that makes eating difficult (like weakness caused by stroke).  It could mean the patient is not fed properly, their medical care is not properly managed, or the nursing home's nutrition program is poor.


To help prevent unhealthy weight loss, it is important that the patient's diet is balanced and nutritious, and that staff spend enough time feeding patients who can't feed themselves.


Sometimes it may be necessary for a person to lose weight for medical reasons. Medical staff may plan in advance for the patient to lose weight on a special program, but should not lose more than 5% of body weight in one month.

(Read More on Care Quality)


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Improve Mobility In Elderly With Exercise

Older adults who walked and worked out had less disability. Elderly people who walked and did basic strengthening exercises on a daily basis were less likely to become physically disabled compared to those who did not exercise regularly.


Elderly people who maintained their physical fitness were more likely to remain living independently through the decades. When older people who are typically sedentary and have numerous health conditions, moderately increase activity levels, they might be able to delay their decline into disability.


http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/05/27/first-clear-evidence-that-exercise-prevents-loss-mobility-elderly/wdB8M6UbTlRYqpjm2eQC0H/story.html



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Long Term Elderly Care Benefits To Start In Hawaii


Hawaii lawmakers are introducing a bill that could make the state the first in the nation to offer long-term care benefits to seniors.

The bill would provide eligible seniors with a benefit of $70 per day for 365 days, said Democratic Sen. Rosalyn Baker said during a legislative hearing Thursday.

Seniors could use the 365 days of benefits over a number of years.

The reimbursement would help pay family caregivers who have to reduce hours at work to take care of loved ones. It could also be used to hire in-home aides and help offset the cost of safety equipment, like walkers and ramps.

"For the people who have to deal with this on a day to day basis, it's real and it's painful," said Clementina Ceria-Ulep of Faith Action for Community Equity, a non-profit organization that advocates for social justice issues.

The population of people 65 or older is growing four times faster than the Hawaii's total population, according to U.S. Census data from 2014.

Darlene Rodrigues, who cares for her mother with Alzheimer's, said her family struggles to find the income to pay for their mother's care. She said she cut back her hours at work to help care for her mother.

"I worry about the future for my mom," she said. "But perhaps what saddens me the most is that I am getting a clear message that society doesn't value caregivers."

 The bill would ask for a 0.5 percent increase in Hawaii's general excise tax to cover the costs. The tax is about 4 percent and it's added to most business transactions in the state.

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