Licensed Companion/Sitter Service
License # CSS0001
Oklahoma State Board of Health
call us 405 - 819 - 4696
Gifts for Seniors that are useful
Most of our Seniors have what they need and it may behard to think of a gift that they atually use and need. Here is a short list of things that come in handy:
Dehydration in the Winter: Elderly At Risk
Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Dehydration is one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization among people over the age of 65. Worse, at least one study has found that about one-half of those hospitalized for dehydration died within a year of admission.
Older people are at greatest risk for dehydration because the mechanism that normally triggers thirst becomes less sensitive with age. In addition, as we age, a lower percentage of our body weight is water, so dehydration can occur more rapidly.
Those most vulnerable to dehydration include elderly people who live alone, especially when they are ill. In addition to fluid lost from fever, from flu, or diarrhea from a stomach virus, sickness usually interferes with normal eating and drinking patterns. Beware of alcohol intake too. Alcoholic beverages increase risk of dehydration because the body requires additional water to metabolize alcohol.
Be aware of common symptoms of dehydration: fatigue, headache, dry nasal passages, dry, cracked lips and overall discomfort. Drinking at least 6 to 8 cups of liquid per day, part of which can come from fruit juices, milk, coffee and tea, is the best defense.
Hypothermia. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "hypothermia may develop over hours or days as a result of poor body heat regulation, inability to properly sense the cold, or living in a cold environment in the winter." Seniors may try to save money by turning down their heat to an unsafe level, leading to conditions under which hypothermia may develop.
Seasonal Affective Disorder. Triggered by decreased levels of light in winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) causes episodes of depression. The National Mental Health Association reports that January and February are the most common months for symptoms of SAD to appear.
As a caregiver or professional services provider with elderly clients, you may be the only person to notice signs of these common winter ailments. During winter, pay special attention to the mood, appearance, and general physical condition of your older clients.
Nail & Footcare. When caring for Seniors, an often overlooked detail is the nailcare & footcare of seniors that can effect already difficult ambulation. The Senior, in most cases is unable to trim his/her own nails. Non-medical providers are prohibited by law to do nailcare and Home Health nurses need a doctor's order to trim toenails. For ambulatory Seniors, it would be a good idea to set up regular pedicures just like haircuts or beaty shop appointments. If a Senior has any nail problems or is a Diabetic, regular appointments with a Podiatrist can be scheduled.
At home, it is very important to apply lotion to the feet to prevent cracking or heels.
We all need to remember that God gave us only one pair of feet to last a lifetime. With appropriate care they will.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
Some people call a transient ischemic attack (TIA) a mini-stroke, because the symptoms are like those of a stroke but do not last long. A TIA happens when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked or reduced, often by a blood clot. After a short time, blood flows again and the symptoms go away. With a stroke, the blood flow stays blocked, and the brain has permanent damage.
A TIA is a warning: It means you are likely to have a stroke in the future. If you think you are having a TIA, call 911. Early treatment can help prevent a stroke. If you think you have had a TIA but your symptoms have gone away, you still need to call your doctor right away.
What are the symptoms of a TIA?
Symptoms of a TIA come on suddenly.
One side of your body may feel numb, tingly, or heavy.
You may not be able to move your arm, your leg, or your face on one side of your body.
Things may look blurry or dim. You may have double vision or not be able to see.
It may be hard to speak or understand words.
You may feel unsteady, dizzy, or clumsy.
What causes a transient ischemic attack?
A blood clot is the most common cause of a TIA. Blood clots can be the result of hardening of the arteries (artherosclerosis), heart attack, or abnormal heart rythms. Brain cells are affected within seconds of the blockage. That causes symptoms in the parts of the body controlled by those cells. Once the clot dissolves, blood flow returns, and the symptoms go away.
Sometimes a TIA is caused by a sharp drop in blood pressure that reduces blood flow to the brain. This is called a "low-flow" TIA. It is not as common as other types.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Thank God for the sense to remember the "3" steps, STR . Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately,
the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe
brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE(Coherently) (I.e. It
is sunny out today)
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his or her tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately
and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.