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Reasons to Learn CPR

Posted by Debby Franklin on Nov 28, 2018 1:54:24 PM

iStock_24140155_womancollapseEmergencies cannot be predicted.  Would you know what to do if someone collapsed suddenly in front of you? The most common cause of death world wide is due to cardiovascular diseases. Being trained in CPR can be invaluable.  CPR techniques can help save someone who has suffered a heart attack and a number of other emergency situations. 

Four out of five cardiac arrests occur at home.   Brain death occurs four to six minutes after the heart stops breathing,  CPR effectively keeps blood flowing and provides oxygen to the brain and other vital organs ensuring a better chance for full recovery.  

CPR is not a method of restarting the heart, CPR is used to return the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body to delay brain damage.  CPR consists of chest compressions at a rate of 120 beats per minute performed with the heel of the hand on the center of the chest 2 and a half inches deep into the chest. Repeat the action quickly, at least 120 times a minute.  Don't stop doing CPR until emergency services arrive at the scene! Current studies have shown that people may have a better chance of surviving with normal brain function when CPR is continued up to 38 minutes or longer.  

Less than 3% of the U.S. population receives CPR training, leaving many bystanders unprepared to respond to cardiac arrest.  We can't control everything that will happen to those around us but we can do everything possible to be ready to help in case an emergency occurs.  

If you are still working on resolutions for the new year, add CPR training to your list!  Easy Living Services is a nationally accredited training center currently offering American Heart Association's "Heartsaver" curriculum in a fun, relaxed environment.   AHA CPR/1st Aid and Basic Life support is the number one training course for Healthcare Providers.  Our classes are expertly tailored to meet the needs of diverse participants including individuals, business groups, day care works, and health and fitness instructors.  Contact us today to learn more about flexible and convenient training solutions for your or your organization. 

Easy Living Services, Inc.

770-442-8664

Topics: senior safety, home safety, cpr, first aid, Heart Attack, Emergency, Cardiac Arrest

The Positives of Good Lighting for Seniors and Alzheimer's

Posted by Debby Franklin on Dec 18, 2012 5:10:00 PM

lighting, alzheimer's, senior care, atlanta caregiverThe lighting in our homes can make a huge difference to our senior loved ones and research shows that exposure to light can be very beneficial to people with Alzheimer's.  It is something many of us don’t even think about until a light bulb burns out and we have to replace it. 

Many seniors have deteriorating vision and lighting can make a significant difference in making day to day tasks easier.  We receive over 85 percent of our information through our sense of sight.  Appropriate lighting, without glare or shadows, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches.  It also highlights safety hazards, which reduces the chance of accidents and injuries. 

We go to our optical health care professionals to help us see better.  We know that light is essential for seeing, but practical lighting guidelines are not usually offered by health care professionals.  Vision problems are one of the most frequent reasons why one out of three senior adults fall each year.  Falls are a serious problem because they are the leading cause of death from an injury with our senior population.

Good lighting can make the difference between seeing and not seeing for older adults with poor vision and between comfort and discomfort.  Caregivers and family members can improve the quality of life of those we love by recommending good lighting to mitigate some of the common problems associated with aging eyes.

The correct lighting helps with the ability to see but also….

  • Gives you the opportunity to better focus on an object.  Fast moving objects are harder to see.
  • The size of the object.  Very small objects are hard to see.
  • Brightness.  Too much or too little reflected light makes objects hard to see.
  • Contrast between an object and its immediate background.  Too little contrast makes it hard to distinguish an object from its background.

Lighting and Alzheimer’s Disease

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease suffer from the above mentioned vision problems as well as  significant deficits in memory, reasoning and safety awareness.  Maximizing their ability to see is at least one step that caregivers can have control over.  Research has shown that exposure to light can benefit patients with Alzheimer’s disease.  Research has also shown that as many as 25 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s have circadian rhythm disturbances that affect normal rest/awake patterns.  This research suggests that these patients will sleep better and have fewer periods of restlessness if their environment has plenty of light.  This information is not surprising because light is good for all of us regardless of age, but it appears to be an important for the Alzheimer patient. 

Things you can do to help improve the lighting in your home:

Increase Light Levels

Sufficient light in a room is not just for aesthetic appeal it performs a critical role for those in the room.  It also helps with color recognition and makes it easier for elderly people to read, knit and complete tasks.  Rooms that are too dark increase the likelihood of trips, falls and injuries. 

Add small lights with switches on either end of a hallway for late night trips to the kitchen or bathroom.  Many outlets are designed to work with room light switches.  Check to make sure table lamps are plugged into the correct outlet so a quick flick of a switch will set the room a glow.  Also the use of night lights will help give extra peace of mind to find the light switches during the night.

The only time increasing the light levels can hinder our senior is in the case where the senior has cataracts.  They have difficulty seeing in overly bright spaces.

Decrease Glare

There is a big difference between quantity and quality of illumination.  Many older individuals become increasing sensitive to glare.  Glare is acutely noticed when a bright object is seen against a dark background.  Lighting fixtures without shades and a clear bulb should be avoided. 

Contrast

Contrast sensitivity declines with age and makes it more difficult to recognize and distinguish edges.  It is especially important to emphasize the edge of stairs with potential contrasting color in order to decrease the likelihood of missing a step and falling. 

Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: senior care, caring for a loved one, Alzheimers, home safety

Emergency Preparation for a Hurricane

Posted by Debby Franklin on Nov 1, 2012 2:33:00 PM

Hurricane, Emergency, home safety, daring for a loved oneHurricanes can have devastating results on those who are not prepared.  Don't wait for a Hurricane to develop before you begin emergency preparations.  Take steps ahead of time to help reduce the risk of damage to your home and prevent injury to you and your family.  Here are tips to follow for Hurricane preparedness:

  • Review your insurance coverage to ensure that you have the right amount of protection should you ever need to rebuild after a storm.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery.  Cut all weak branches and trees that might possible fall on your home.
  • When replacing existing windows, consider installing impact resistant windows.
  • Install impact-resistant shutters which can be closed over existing windows to reduce the risk of glass breakage.
  • Patio doors or sliding glass doors are extremely susceptible to damage from high winds. Consider boarding these doors and when replacing use impact-resistant doors.

Hurricane Watch - this indicates that a hurricane may threaten your area within 36-48 hours.

  • Tune into advisories on the TV or radio.  Official announcements and special instructions will be announced this way and should always be taken seriously.
  • Check your emergency supplies and make sure your flashlights and portable radio work and that you have enough batteries, water and canned goods.  Also, gather the tools and materials that you might need to fix leaks or to use as shutters.
  • Fill your car's gas tank.  You will need gas if you have to evacuate and at that point, it is likely that the gas stations will have lost power due to the storm.
  • Bring in all items from outside of your house, such as lawn furniture and toys, which could potentially be dangerous as flying objects.  Make sure sheds and similar detached structures are secured.

Hurricane Warning - means that a hurricane is expected to hit your area within 24 hours.

  • Board or shutter glass windows to protect them from wind pressure.  Select one window or door on the side of your house opposite the prevailing wind that you can open to reduce pressure, if necessary.
  • Check your supplies one more time and fill your bathtub with extra water.  Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting.  Much of the food will remain edible for days if the power goes out.

During the Hurricane

  • Find shelter immediately and evacuate motor vehicles or motor homes.  The safest place is an inside room or the center of a room.
  • To reduce pressure, open a window or door on the opposite side of your house facing the wind.  Then stay away from all windows.
  • Turn off electricity if flooding begins and keep the refrigerator door closed to conserve food.
  • Beware of the calm "eye" of the storm that can pass over your home, causing the wind to drop to near calm for as long as a half-hour.  Stay indoors during this time because the wind will still return and possibly with greater force.

Make a Plan

Take the time to ensure your family's safety during the storm.  Time is of the essence once a warning is announced, and you'll want to prepare in advance.

Select the best place to gather your family during a hurricane.  Determine the best escape routes and confirm the location of the nearest shelters.

Keep emergency numbers by the phone including police, fire, ambulance, and schools.

Make copies of important documents such as; Will, Mortgage, Insurance Policies, Insurance Cards.  Place these in a waterproof container so they can be accessible and easily transported should you need to leave your home.

Stock emergency supplies.  You should have enough food and water for your family and pets for 3-4 days.  Store water in clean plastic containers and avoid glass or empty bleach or detergent bottles.  Keep in mind that adults need a minimum of 1 quart of water per day to survive.

When stocking food, aim to have a full week's supply of canned food that requires little water and can be eaten with little or no preparation.  For adult's have 4-6 cans of food per person per day.  Don't forget the manual can opener!  Remember that infants and those with illnesses will require special foods.

Additional Supplies to have on Hand:

  • Battery-powered radio and flashlights (with extra batteries for both)
  • Tools, blankets and clothing
  • Fire extinguisher, candles and matches
  • A pail with cover, boards, plastic sheeting and tape
  • Any special medications like insulin and heart tablets

Rewpair loose boards, shingles and shutters and all other things that could become a greater problem in high wind.

After the Storm

  • Stay calm and don't panic.  Check to be sure all family members and pets are safe, and administer first aid if necessary.  Locate all of your survival supplies.
  • Stay at home unless ordered to evacuate the area, and listen to your batery-operated or car radio for emergency instructions.  Do not drive!
  • Check all utilities and turn them off if you suspect damage.  Do not turn them back on yourself.  Typically, you can turn your gas and water shut-offs with the same wrench.  In case electric wires are shorting or if you suspect there is damaged or wet wiring, turn off the main switch.
  • If you smell gas, open the windows, turn off the main valve and don't use lights or appliances until the gas has dissipated.  Call your gas company to restore service after the storm.
  • Stay way from damaged or weakened walls and wear shoes around all debris.
  • Keep all family members and pets away from fallen power lines.

 Tips provided by The Hanover Insurance Group

 

Topics: caring for a loved one, home safety, Hurricane, Emergency

Steps to Prevent Falls.....

Posted by Debby Franklin on Sep 26, 2012 11:32:00 AM

senior care, falls, home safety, fall prevention,
Falls can be serious at any age!  A misconception is that falling is a normal part of aging!  According to the Ohio Department of Health, "falls are NOT a normal part of aging"!  Exercise is vital in reducing and preventing the risk of falls in all age groups.  Staying fit and active is the key to helping your body react to a fall in progress.   Prevent falls with these simple fall prevention measures:

  • Increase Physical Activity - Simple exercise like walking or swimming at least 15 minutes a day can help build muscle strength and improve balance, which can prevent falls.  Exercise programs such as Jazzercise, Yoga and Tai Chi are especially good to help increase strength and improve balance.
  • Schedule a Yearly Eye Exam - See your eye doctor once a year.  Age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, can increase the risk of falling.  Early detection of eye issues is the key.
  • Keep Updated on your Meds - Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking and whether they may cause drowsiness or dizziness.  Discuss things you can do to ensure you are taking your medications safely.  Some medicines can make you feel dizzy, confused, or slow.  Medicines that may increase the risk of falls are:  Blood Pressure Pills, Heart Medicines, Diuretics, Muscle relaxants and sleeping pills.
  • Conduct a Home Safety Check - Do a walk through around the house to look for anything that could increase the risk of falls.  Look for poor lighting, loose rugs, slippery floors, and unsteady furniture.  Keep essential items on lower shelves and cabinets-get assistance if you need to reach items higher up. Consider night lights in dimly lite areas and install lights along stairways so that each tread is visible.  The most hazardous place for falls is in the bathroom.  Bathing can be safer by installing hand bars and non slip mats. Remove or modify any safety hazards within and outside of the home.
  • Slow Down - Many falls are caused by hurrying.  Slow down and think through the task you are getting ready to perform.  Be mindful of possible fall risks and act accordingly.

 How to Prevent Broken Bones if you Fall:

Sometimes you cannot prevent a fall.  If you do fall, you can try to prevent breaking a bone.  Try to fall forwards or backwards (on your buttocks), because if you fall to the side you may break your hip.  Broken hips are usually a long hard recovery road.  You can also use your hands or grab things around you to help break a fall. 

How to Keep Bones Healthy:

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D each day.
  • Walk, climb stairs, lift weights, or dance on a daily basis.
  • Speak with your doctor about having a bone mineral density (BMD) test so you know the strength of your bones.
  • Speak with your doctor about taking medicine to make your bones stronger.

Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency room annually.  Falls and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives.  Someone who is recovering from a fall injury can greatly benefit from Home Care assistance provided by an In-Home caregiver.  Having help with things as simple as meal preparation, taking out the trash, picking up the mail, feeding and walking the family pets, can make all the difference in a speedy and successful recovery.  Having help while the body heals can ensure safety from an additional fall, staying safe, happy and healthy is everyone's ultimate goal.  Should you need to discuss Home Care assistance callus anytime at 770-442-8664.

Topics: senior care, fall, home safety, falls, fall prevention, preventing falls

Dementia vs. Alzheimer's Disease---What's the difference?

Posted by Jill Troman on Feb 24, 2012 5:01:00 PM

What's the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?  Does a diagnosis of dementia symptoms indicate that Alzheimer's is present or will develop? 

alzheimer's, dementia, senior care, home care

Any of us with older parents has certainly noticed at one time or another certain symptoms that has us wondering, "Could this be dementia or maybe Alzheimer's setting in?"  The terms are often used interchangeably but in reality

Alzheimer's Disease is just one of several causes of dementia.  In other words, all patients with Alzheimer's disease have dementia while all dementia patients do NOT have Alzheimer's disease.

The term "dementia" actually refers to a group of symptoms such as short-term memory loss, poor judgment, difficulty performing familiar tasks, etc.   Increasingly, I have noticed several of these symptoms in my own father.  My sister recently noticed him becoming frustrated while trying to operate the same coffee maker that he has used every morning for years.  He simply could not remember how to put it together.  A trip to his physician and subsequent exam & testing revealed that his dementia symptoms were likely attributable to "Vascular Dementia"  rather than Alzheimer's Disease.

What are the main causes of "dementia"?

1.  Reversible causes of dementia include depression, vitamin deficiency, drugs and infections.  Consult with your physician for testing to evaluate whether dementia symptoms may be reversed by treating an underlying condition or switching prescription medications.

2.  The number one cause of irreversible dementia is Alzheimer's disease which is responsible for approimately  60% of all cases.   Early symptoms include difficulty remembering names and recent events, apathy and depression.  Later symptoms include confusion, disorientation, difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking. 

3.  Another common cause of dementia is "Vascular Dementia", also called "Multi-Infarct Dementia".  It develops when impaired blood flow to parts of the brain deprives cells of food and oxygen.  This condition is most evident after a stroke blocks a blood vessel and disrupts blood flow to a significant portion of the brain.  The patient with Vascular Dementia may have a history of heart attacks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, hardening of the arteries and other risk factors for heart disease.  Symptoms may include:  memory loss, reduced ability to carry out normal  daily tasks, poor concentration and communication, confusion which is possibly worse at night. Vascular dementia is potentially reversible with improvement of underlying health conditions.

3.  The third most common cause of dementia is Parkinson’s Disease.  Not all Parkinson's patients develop dementia, but some will.  This type of dementia usually develops in later stages of Parkinson's disease.

4.  A less common cause of dementia is known as "Lewie bodies".  Patients exhibiting this form of dementia have some of the symptoms common in Alzheimer's, but are more likely than people with Alzheimer's to have early symptoms such as sleep disturbances, hallucinations, and muscle rigidity.  Patients with Lewie bodies type dementia may exhibit "Parkinson like" tremors.

All cases of suspected dementia should be evaluated by a Geriatric specialist for a proper diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. 

Topics: Caregiver Information, elder care, Home Care, In Home Care, elderly care, senior care, aging, caregiver, homecare, Parkinsons, dementia, taking care of a parent, Atlanta Home Care, Alzheimers, chronic disease, home safety