Tasing the elderly? Seriously?

Hello everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you hear about the 77 year old Korean War veteran who was tased in Montana? If you are not familiar with the article, I have included a link at the bottom of the blog. Just to give you a small overview, an Alzheimer’s patient who also happened to serve in the Korean War was tased by police, fell face-first onto the pavement and died in a Montana hospital 3 weeks later. Here is a short version of the story. The victim was admitted to a state-run nursing home for severe Alzheimer’s-related issues. He wandered off of the property so the staff called 911. When the man refused to cooperate, an officer zapped him with a stun gun and he fell onto the pavement and hit his head and face. Once he was back in the nursing home’s care and everything calmed down, the family was notified. HOWEVER, the family was told the man tripped while running. Two days later the family found out about the real incident and roughly three weeks later the man passed away due to injuries from the “fall.” Now his family has filed a lawsuit against the city police and the nursing home. Can you believe it! I was blown away after seeing the article this past weekend. Who in their right mind zaps an elderly man with a stun gun let alone an elderly man with Alzheimer’s? There are so many wrongs happening in this story. What do you think should happen to those responsible? State sued when man, 77, dies after being “tased”;...

Nursing Home vs. In Home Nursing Care

This is a battle we hear about all of the time. “Should I place my parents into a nursing home, or call someone to come into their/my home? In-home care is a growing concept; it allows seniors to stay at home with dignity while caregivers come in to help with a variety of tasks such as bathing, medication reminders, running errands, cooking meals, or simply keeping seniors company. Pros of in-home care vs nursing homes • Cost: The average cost for in-home, nonmedical care is $19/hour. If you calculate care for four hours a day/five days a week, that adds up to only $19,760/year. • From 2005-2011, the cost of facility living increased more than 4%/year—while the cost of in-home care has slowly climbed by about 1%/year. • Relationships: Inhome care offers one-onone service/relationships with the senior on the senior’s schedule, not the facilities’ schedules. In nursing homes, caregivers often deal with a number of patients and follow a schedule that may not align with the senior’s needs. • Choose Your Caregiver: With Visiting Angels, you can select your caregiver to make sure he/she is the right fit for your elderly loved one. At a nursing home, you usually can’t choose. • Longer Life: A U.C. San Francisco study r eveals seniors don’t live very long once placed in a nursing home. According to the study’s sample of nursing home, patients who died between 1992 and 2006, 80% had died within one year of moving into the nursing home ( Journal of the American Geriatrics Society). • 53% of the nursing home residents in the study pool had died...

Wandering Family Members And How You Can Help

We have all seen them. The notices on the news, alerting the community to a wondering Alzheimer’s or dementia patient. It makes my heart break when I hear about these incidents. Imagine going outside for a walk and eventually your surroundings do not even look vaguely familiar. You keep walking, trying to find some place that you recognize, but it never arrives. Unfortunately this is just one of the instances of wandering. Some happen while in a car, some are out shopping at a mall or supermarket, others can happen right in your own home while looking for the bathroom or bedroom. The Alzheimer’s Association has produced a helpful guide to prevent wandering. We have included a few of their tips below. Tips to prevent wandering Having a routine can provide structure. Identify the most likely times of day that wandering may occur. Plan activities at that time. Activities and exercise can reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness. Ensure all basic needs are met. Has the person gone to the bathroom? Is he or she thirsty or hungry? Avoid busy places that are confusing and can cause disorientation. This could be a shopping malls, grocery stores or other busy venues. Place locks out of the line of sight.  Camouflage doors and door knobs. Camouflage doors by painting them the same color as the walls, or cover them with removable curtains or screens. Cover knobs with cloth the same color as the door or use childproof knobs. Use devices that signal when a door or window is opened. This can be as simple as a bell placed above a door or as sophisticated...

What is a Patient Advocate?

Have you, or someone you know ever been told that you need a patient advocate? What is a patient advocate? Why would I need something like that? Well we are here to help. According to the article listed below in our reference section, a patient advocate does the following: “Patient advocates represent patients when they get care from the health system, helping them through the complicated processes.Whether or not you are ill, managing your health can be confusing and overwhelming. And when things go wrong, it can be hard to get your voice heard by the health care professionals around you.  A patient advocate can guide you through the confusing maze of health care with caring and sensitivity. (S)he can focus exclusively on your needs and help you resolve concerns about the quality of your care, get the care you need, and ensure that your voice is heard and that you are included in decision-making.”   Patient advocates can be found in several different locations; Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Health Societies and Organizations, Independent Companies, and these are just a few of the possibilities. For more information about Patient Advocates, check out the links in our resources section at the bottom of this post.     References: http://www.assertivepatient.org/patient-advocate.html http://www.nursezone.com/nursing-news-events/more-news/The-Nurses-Role-as-Patient-Advocate_33962.aspx...

I’ve Just Had Surgery…Now What?

You just had surgery. Now What?  Planned or unplanned, it is a big deal. Healing and getting back to normal is your first priority. However, healing time is only a small portion of your to-do list when you leave the hospital.  Many patients don’t think about housework such as laundry,taking out the trash and shopping for food along side of other daily necessities such as showering, or getting dressed. For example: If you are a recipient of a new hip or knee, this can be a problem if you live alone or has a spouse who is unable to take time off from their job. Being confined to a wheelchair makes driving a bit difficult as well as going down to the basement to take the clothes from the dryer. However, most surgery patients don’t think about medication monitoring or dressing changes. Some of the more adventurous folks out there may try to take on these tasks themselves. Unless you have prior health training or had a minor surgery- we don’t recommend doing this. Infection is a possibility after any surgery and the risk only elevates if you get busy and forget to take your antibiotics or change your bandages. While scrolling the internet for useful information, we stumbled across this article. Planning for Temporary Home Care After the Hospital Stay If you are interested in learning how to plan your care after a surgery, we would love to help. Located in Waterville, Ohio, Per Diem Nurse Staffing and Home Care monitors patients in all of our surrounding areas.  ...