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Help for those who suffer with Chronic Medical Conditions

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 10, 2013 1:14:00 PM

chronic medical condition, stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, head injury, hyperbaric therapyHyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment which enhances the body's natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen.  This promotes natural healing for persons who suffer with chronic medical conditions.  In the hyperbaric chamber the atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled and is used for a wide variety of treatments.

With normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With the hyperbaric oxygen therapy oxygen is dissolved into all of the body's fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked.  With the hyperbaric therapy extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process which is great news for anyone suffering with a chronic medical condition.  The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas.  This is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.  

CONDITIONS WHICH MAY BENEFIT FROM HYPERBARIC THERAPY INCLUDE:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Arthritis
  • Autism
  • Asthma
  • Allergies                                                   chronic disease, stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Lupus, Brain & Head injury
  • Brain & Head Injury
  • Bell's Palsy
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Alzheimer's
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Joint Pain
  • Loss of Limb
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Immune Deficiency
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sports Injury
  • Stroke
  • Wound Healing
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Body Detoxification
  • Sleeping & Skin disorders
What are the side effects?
The most common side effect is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses caused by the change in pressure.  To minimize this risk, patients learn techniques to promote adequate clearing of the ears during compression. occasionally some patients may experience changes in their vision during their treatment.  These changes are usually minor and temporary.  A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity which is caused by administering too much oxygen.
What information should you discuss with the technician prior to treatment?
  • If you have any cold or flu symptoms, fever, sinus or nasal congestion
  • If there is a possibility that you may be pregnant
  • If there has been a change in any of your medications
  • If you have skipped a meal prior to your treatment
  • If you are diabetic and did not take your insulin prior to your treatment
  • If you have any concerns or anxiety 
How does hyperbaric therapy help brain injury or stroke?
When cells in the brain die, either from trauma or lack of oxygen, blood plasma leaks out into surrounding brain tissue causing swelling and reducing blood flow.  These otherwise normal cells go dormant because they can't function without the appropriate amount of oxygen.  Hyperbaric therapy dramatically increases the oxygen carried in the blood plasma, making oxygen available to heal damaged capillary walls, preventing plasma leakage and reducing swelling.  As the swelling decreases, blood flow can be restored to the dormant tissue and these cells then have the pltential to function again.  
Insurance and Medicare consider coverage for several conditions so check to see if this is an available option prior to treatment. 
The above information is from www.hbot.com additional information is available at this site.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

In Home Care For Seniors

Topics: Parkinson's, stroke, brain injury, chronic disease, Alzheimer's, Chronic Medical Condition, Chronic, hyperbaric therapy, Lupus

Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms & First Aid

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jun 11, 2013 3:40:00 PM

heat exhaustion, heat stroke, high blood pressure, For many of us summertime means long hot days, picnics, walks, the beach and taking a break from the indoors.  But for some being in direct sunlight or heavily heated conditions this may pose a hazard of heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.  

Individuals with high blood pressure or some heart conditions and people who take diuretics may be more sensitive to heat exposure.  There are several reasons that senior adults are more prone to heat related illnesses than younger adults.  Some of the reasons are; not adjusting well to changes in temperature, more chronic medical conditions, more likely to take medicine that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature.    

Watch for these symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Pale, clammy or flushed
  • Sweaty
  • Weak or tired
  • Dry mouth, thirsty
  • Light headed or dizzy
  • Muscle cramping
  • Headache
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fainting
Heat stroke is more serious and can cause death or permanent disability. Watch for these symptoms of Heat Stroke and see emergency assistance immediately:
  • Mental confusion, delirium
  • Seizures or fainting
  • Hot dry skin red or bluish
  • No sweating
  • Fast pulse with deep breathing then shallow breaths and weak pulse
  • Dizzy
  • Body temperature of 104 or higher
First Aid for heat related stress:
  • Stay hydrated by drinking cool water or electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or other sports drinks.  Avoid alcohol and caffeine as well as extremely cold liquids.
  • Move out of the sun into a shady or air conditioned area and rest in a cool place.
  • Lay down and elevate the legs and feet higher than the head.
  • Loosen clothing.
  • Spray or sponge with cool water or soak towels in cool water and wrap around the body.  Fan vigorously.
  • Put ice pack on the neck, under the arms and on the groin area.
  • Seek medical assistance.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

Topics: heat exhaustion, heat stroke, high blood pressure, stroke, first aid

Chronic Pain - Foods That Fight Pain

Posted by Debby Franklin on Apr 26, 2013 3:35:00 PM

Chronic Pain, Can the food you eat help reduce and fight chronic pain? Some experts believe it's possible. Chronic pain affects over 116 million American adults which is over a third of the population.  For those who suffer with fibromyalgia or chronic pain, finding relief can be hard. Pain pills reduce the suffering but they address the symptoms and not the cause of the pain. Pain pills can be addictive and produce side effects. The key is to fill your diet with foods that can sustain health and prevent pain.  

Here are anti-inflammatory foods that may help you beat the pain.

  • Ginger - Ginger has been used for thousands of years for all types of ailments.  Ginger is a traditional stomach soother, helps with nausea, seasickness, offers relief from migraines, arthritis pain, and muscle aches.  Ginger has properties that are similar to ibuprofen.  
  • Cherries - Cherries block inflammation and inhibit pain enzymes just like aspirin.  Cherries can help with arthritis and muscle pain caused by exercise.
  • Sage - Sage has been shown to boost memory and help to reduce swelling.  It can also help a scratchy and irritated throat by sipping on a tea made from brewed sage leaves.
  • Turmeric - Turmeric has been know to help achy joints and colitis. Turmeric speeds up digestion and helps protect the body from tissue destruction and preserves good nerve cell function.
  • Leafy Greens - These are packed with chlorophyll and vitamin K which slows the body's production of pain-triggering hormones.  A study shows that older adults with ample levels of K were less likely to develop osteoarthritis.
  • Omega-3s - Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water oily fish, flax seeds, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, avocados, and nuts.  These have been linked to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, relieve back pain, improve blood flow and decrease inflammation.  Omega-3s are also an excellent source of protein and antioxidants.  
  • Coffee - Coffee can provide relief from headaches and provide more antioxidants than a serving of berries.  
  • Green Tea - Green tea has been used for centuries for a variety of medicinal purposes.  It is an excellent source of polyphenols which may help to reduce free radicals which can cause inflammation.
  • Hot Peppers & Sauce - Hot peppers and sauce stimulate nerve endings and deplete a chemical that relays pain signals.  Hot peppers and sauce can boost your immune system and help you fight colds and the flu.  It also yields pain-fighting benefits that can provide relief for arthritis. 
  • Onions - This vegetable's rich store of sulfur is a mineral that plays a key role in the repair of damaged tissues.
  • Shrimp - An amino acid in shrimp dilates blood vessels which increases the flow of nutrient-rich blood to damaged tissues and helps the body flush  a pain-triggering waste product.
  • White Beans - The minerals in white beans help dial down the activity of pain nerves, reducing muscle and joint pain.  
  • Mint - The menthol is peppermint helps prevent muscle spasms. Peppermint oil effectively helps treat irritable bowel syndrome.  The oil is also useful for relieving headaches.  
Of course no fruit, vegetable, or herb by itself can alleviate and combat your chronic pain without undergoing a lifestyle change and diet pattern that will include healthy nutritious foods on a regular basis.  Fast food and junk food create ultimate long term health issues.  Start by taking slow steps; eliminate one bad food item per week from your diet by exchanging it with a healthy fresh, good for your food.  Cut back on eating out and make gradual steps to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.  As always with anything that pertains to your health and your individual needs, consult with your health care professional to determine what foods and diet are right for you.

Topics: Heart Disease, stroke, chronic disease, Chronic Pain, fibromyalgia

Stress & What To Do

Posted by Debby Franklin on Apr 2, 2013 1:22:00 PM

stress, healthier lifestyle, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokeStress is your body's response to change. Your body reacts by releasing a hormone that causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and causes your blood pressure to rise. The problems come when stress is constant, becoming chronic and your body remains in high gear for days or weeks at a time.  

77% of American adults regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, according to the American Psychological Association.  It's important to learn how to recognize how stress affects you so that you can learn what to do when you encounter stressful situations. The physical health effects of stress can be especially dangerous for your heart.  

Here are some warning signs that indicate you might have chronic stress:

  • You feel angry, afraid, anxious, depressed, moody, sad, helpless and out of control.
  • You have aches in your neck, jaw or head.
  • You get out of bed tired not feeling refreshed.
  • Your stomach aches.
  • You are experiencing weight gain or having difficulty losing weight.
  • You lack energy and feel sluggish throughout the day.
  • You are experiencing skin irritations.
Here are tips that can help lower stress:
  • Don't over commit by promising to do too many things.  Stop saying yes to everyone and say yes to "me time."
  • Laughter is great medicine and the key to a healthy life.  Do things that make you laugh out loud.
  • Keep learning new things.  It will not only help stress but will keep your mind sharp and alert.
  • Engage with family and friends - its great for the soul, mind and body.
  • Exercise and physical activity relieves mental and physical tension.
  • Do things that bring you pleasure; hobbies, books, movies, friends, shopping, music, hiking, enjoy nature.  
  • Meditation, prayer and deep breathing can be very calming.
  • Sleep!  If you are unable to have 8 hours of sleep per night work on ways to fall and stay asleep.  Make the bedroom comfortable and inviting.  Eliminate noise and light.  Exercise and physical activity will help you to relax and fall asleep more easily.
  • Organize your life.  Clean out a closet, kitchen cabinet, the junk drawer, under the bathroom sink.  Organization helps you feel more in control and feeling in control helps stress flee.
  • Stop pressuring yourself to do it all now.  Everything can always wait. Set reasonable goals that can be accomplished.
  • Give yourself positive self talks.  Telling yourself "you can" not only helps you stay more positive and focused, it also helps you to achieve what it is that you really want.
  • Give thanks and be grateful.  Show your appreciation to your friends and family for the joy they bring into your life.  Be kind to strangers, volunteer-help someone in need.
Remember that how you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being.  Each time you allow a negative thought about yourself, you body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation.  If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true.  Eliminate self-defeating thoughts and words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." 
The simple realization that you are in control of your life is the basis for stress management.  Managing stress is all about taking charge of a situation:  your emotions, time, thoughts and how you react and deal with problems.  Start by identifying the source of stress in your life.  Look at how you currently cope with stress then incorporate the above steps to begin to lower the stress in your life.


Topics: Heart Disease, high blood pressure, stroke, healthier lifestyle, Stress

Having a Healthier Workspace

Posted by Debby Franklin on Feb 22, 2013 12:47:00 PM

healthier workspace, healthier environment, less stress,Here are four steps to having a healthier, less stressful workspace that will produce positive results for you. If you are reading this at your desk, take a moment and look around.  Do you see clutter and chaos?  Are stress-inducing to-do lists tacked up all over, reminding you in no uncertain terms that you have many things to do...ASAP?!  Are your desk drawers hiding an emergency chocolate stash?

When you think about how the average American spends 8.6 hours a day at work, you have to wonder why many of us aren't treating our desks more like the Zen zones that they should be.  Instead, we are sitting down each day at a spot not necessarily designed to keep our minds and bodies in a healthy state-the kind of state that allows us to be productive and calm. 

Perhaps, then, it's time for an office make-over.  By creating a space that promotes health and serenity, you may find it's a little easier to face the daily grind.

STEP 1:  Give Germs the Pink Slip

You don't even want to know how many germs are living on your desk.  Just know that there are plenty-and on everything from your phone to your keyboard to that pen you sometimes put in your mouth and chew on anxiously.  Germs from coughs and sneezes can live on surfaces for up to three days, so to avoid colds and the flu, make antibacterial wipes your friends.  Wipe off surfaces that are shared, like phones, a computer mouse and shared workstations. 

Though it seems common sense, people should stay home if they are sick.  You may think you are noble to trudge to work despite a nagging cough, but what you are really doing is not so nicely sharing those germs.

Nix superfluous routes of cross-contamination.  If you have a bowl of jelly beans and everybody puts their hands in it, you are going to get their germs.

STEP 2:  Close the Candy Shop

Snacks are important to keep your energy up, but having them within arm's reach at all times makes it all to easy to graze the whole day long.  This can add up to far more calories per day than your body requires.  Instead, bring only the snacks you need for that day with you each morning.  Prepacked 100-calorie snacks can help you stay on track with a healthy diet, so can baggies of fresh fruit slices or low-sugar cereal.

Then there the office staple: the candy bowl.  There's one in every office and if it's on your desk, give it the boot.  Consider that just three tiny, bite-sized candy bars can load you up with as many as 225 calories, but an apple and a piece of string cheese are just under 140 calories.  Plus, sugary snacks will cause a spike in your blood sugar, meaning you're more likely to crash soon after.  Sustaining your energy with healthy fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein will keep you alert until closing time.

STEP 3:  Check Your Posture

Back problems can plague people who spend the majority of their workday in an office chair. The reason:  Many of us sit forward in our chairs, leaning toward the computer in front of us. When you are not sitting properly-straight up, abs in and with a good, strong core-ther's a lot of back strain.  There shouldn't be a space between your back and the back of the chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor.  Making these small changes can prevent orthopedic issues such as chronic back pain and pinched nerves.  The benefits include improved flexibility, which helps prevent back injuries down the road.

Additionally, check to make sure you haven't glued yourself to your chair.  You should get up every hour, walk around the office, drop off a paper at someon's desk.  These moments of movement will stretch your spine and the muscles of your back and legs, preventing stiffness and cramping.

STEP 4:  Find Your Happy Place

Keeping a positive mental attitude can have real, tangible effects on your physical health. According to research from the Harvard School of Public Health, happy people were less likely to have risk factors for high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and obesity.  Make your workspace a happy space by surrounding yourself not with endless to-do lists, but instead, photographs or other trinkets that elicit positive memories.  

Put fresh flowers on your desk, which can be instant mood-lifters.  If you can, incorporate natural light into your work area.  You'll be feeling sunny in no time.

Do you want to actually strengthen your core or burn calories while you work?  Ask your office to supply you with an exercise ball chair or a standing workstation, or invest in one yourself.

Learn to Unplug

If you can't make a job switch to a professional napper, then disconnecting from your stressful job is paramount to good health.  This can be a challenge for both sexes, especially since work follows us home on our cellphones and computers.

To lower your stress level and , subsequently, your risk for heart attack and stroke, keep this point in mind.  Work will still be there tomorrow.  Turn off your computer and silence your phone at the end of the day.  Because people are spending a longer time on their computers, they have less time for social interaction, and that contributes to stress.  It is very important that you have a supportive network of friends or a family member you can connect with.

 

This article is reprinted from Vigor-Gwinnett Medical Center and is authored by Amanda Myers

If the challenges of family and career are making life overwhelming and difficult to care for a loved one in need of assistance, we can help.  770-442-8664

 

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Topics: stroke, healthier lifestyle, Heart Attack, healthier workspace, reducing stress