Tag Archives: taking care of seniors

Home Care for Seniors – A Caregiver’s To-Do List

When you’re a caregiver, you have to expect the unexpected, especially when you’re taking care of an elderly patient. There are more than 50 million caregivers providing home care for the weak and elderly during any given year. To make things more hectic, only 25% of all U.S households are involved in care giving, therefore, if you’re a caregiver taking care of an elderly patient at home, you should be proud of yourself. Because of the popularity of care giving, men have started filling in for a chance to be in the care-giving career. However, women dominate as of the moment, probably because of their nurturing nature.

If you think of home care giving as an easy job, then you may want to consider the following facts:

  • Home caregivers who are expected to provide 36 or more hours of weekly care for the ageing patients are more likely to experience anxiety or depression than caregivers who work inside a senior care facility or hospital. The rate becomes six times higher for caregivers who are actually taking care of their ageing parents.

 

  • Home caregivers constantly lack sleep. Since they’re always making sure that the elderly patient has everything he or she needs, there’s 51% chance of not getting a proper sleep and a 41% chance of getting back pains.

 

  • Caring for an elderly patient is stressful enough to cause a big impact on a person’s immune system for up to 3 years. It’s no wonder, since you have to make sure that everything is ready for your patient, from the adult diapers to making sure that the IV’s port protector has been changed to a new one.

Well, now that you know the happy facts of being a home caregiver, would you still care to try such a gargantuan task? If your answers is still a “YES”, then that’s great. We caregivers do have a to-do list in order to make things life a little less harsh when caring for an elderly patient at home.

1. Always remember to take care of yourself. This is the most basic to-do list that we caregivers usually adhere to. No, it’s not selfish and it’s an absolute must. I’ve been a caregiver for years and there’s really no sense of caring for an ageing patient if you can’t even take care of yourself. Care-giving is a stressful job, where the combination of loss and obligation demands can really take its toll on your physical and mental well-being, so taking care of yourself is also a high priority.

2. Remember to reward yourself. Despite the stressful environment, taking care of an elderly patient at home pays really well, so perhaps having a nice dinner with a friend or loved one can help ease the stress for a day.

3. Have some personal time. Do something you enjoy as a hobby or perhaps you might want to do your personal chores. Taking care of an elderly patient does not need to hinder your own personal time. Besides, it helps calm down your nerves, therefore fighting depression and anxiety.

4. When things don’t go the way you planned, get help. Even for an experienced caregiver, I still ask advice from some of my older caregiver friends. Help can also come from community resources, family friends and professionals too. The friends and family of the elderly patient can provide invaluable help, especially if the patient seems too grouchy towards a new home caregiver. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially when you need it.

5. Last but not the least, protect your health. How can you take care of your patient if you keep getting sick? Give yourself time to exercise, eat well and for your personal grooming too. Limit your coffee intake and get lots of rest. You owe your body that much, since you can’t do your job if you’re not healthy!

About the Author:

Jessica Greenberg is a caregiver and avid blogger from San Diego, California. When she’s taking her well-deserved rest, she usually hangs out with her friends and is constantly updating Wordbaristas.com, a blog that she keeps with her group.

Senior Health Care – The Importance of Using Port Protectors for IV Therapy

For those who are not yet familiar with the IV therapy, here’s a very simple explanation for you. An IV or Intravenous Therapy is the process of using IV or intravenous fluid in order to transfer much-needed nutrients as well as prescribed medicine given by the doctor. Doctors highly recommend the IV therapy since it goes directly into the bloodstream. Unlike with normal digestion where the nutrients are broken down for body consumption, as soon as the nutrients coming from the IV passes by the bloodstream, it is automatically used by the body. This is one reason why you get the IV whenever you are sick and are in the hospital. The IV therapy also restores lost fluids due to dehydration or stress during getting sick.

Now that we have established the importance of the IV, let’s talk about the importance of using port protectors for the I.V. If you are not familiar with the port protector, if you look at the small plastic tube wherein the liquid coming from the IV bag goes down, you’ll see that there’s a small chamber-like thing that looks like you can stick an injection into it. That is what most people call the IV port. The intravenous port is where doctors,. nurses or caregivers, inject either an important medicine or perhaps additional vitamins that can help replenish the patient’s health. They just stick the needle unto the port and inject the substance inside. The port protector looks just like a plastic cap and it is fitted unto the port in order to keep it clean at all times. Not placing a port protector is dangerous, especially if the patient is near other patients with communicable diseases, since the risk of infection is high.

Most hospitals place strips of port protectors near the IV fluid bag, so if you need to replace the protector, all you need to do is take off a fresh port protector and install it on the port while throwing the old port protector away. This will ensure that the IV’s port is clean and infection-free at all times. For those seniors staying at home, there are companies that sell IV port protectors at a reasonable price. But of course, you need to check if these port protectors are indeed worth buying, since some of these products do not last very long. Some of the best port protectors I’ve used in the past are not exactly that expensive and you can buy a whole strip for a good price too. Nowadays, some companies also offer port protectors inside small boxes where they are being offered individually. They’re not like the strip dispensers though, wherein you can just hang them up near the IV, ready to use when needed.

So as you can see, the port protector is indeed an ingenius little plastic device that may have saved a lot of elderly patients from infectious diseases for a long time already. Whenever you need to take care of your elderly grandmother or grandfather whose actually having an IV therapy, don’t forget to use port protectors for their own good.

About the Author:

Jessica Greenberg is an caretaker and avid blogger from San Diego, California. Also a content contributor for Ivera Medical, she helps other caretakers by writing blogs and articles about how to deal with taking care of senior citizens with dedication and a smile!