Lifting the Standard of Home Health Care for Family Caregivers

The Titan 500 is a freestanding overhead patient lift designed to work within the confines of the bedroom while protecting a single caregiver from injury while transferring a patient in the home.  See all the benefits of our overhead track lift in the following video.

 

See how current customers have rated the Titan 500 Patient Lift below.

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For more information, visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel.

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6 Steps for Preventing Falls Among Your Older Loved Ones

This article was originally published on the National Council on Aging website, http://www.ncoa.com.  The original can be found here.

aging in place

Did you know that one in four older Americans falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+.

Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. And even falls without a major injury can cause older adults to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active.

If you have an aging parent, grandparent, or neighbor in your life, helping them reduce their risk of falling is a great way to help them stay healthy and independent as long as possible.

The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. The key is to know where to look. Here are some common factors that can lead to a fall:

  • Balance and gait: As we age, most of us lose some coordination, flexibility, and balance— primarily through inactivity, making it easier to fall.
  • Vision: In the aging eye, less light reaches the retina—making contrasting edges, tripping hazards, and obstacles harder to see.
  • Medications: Some prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can cause dizziness, dehydration or interactions with each other that can lead to a fall.
  • Environment: Most seniors have lived in their homes for a long time and have never thought about simple modifications that might keep it safer as they age.
  • Chronic conditions: More than 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition like diabetes, stroke, or arthritis. Often, these increase the risk of falling because they result in lost function, inactivity, depression, pain, or multiple medications.

6 Steps to Reducing Falls

Here are six easy steps you can take today to help your older loved one reduce their risk of a fall:

1. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe.

Ask your older loved one if they’re concerned about falling. Many older adults recognize that falling is a risk, but they believe it won’t happen to them or they won’t get hurt—even if they’ve already fallen in the past. A good place to start is by sharing NCOA’s Debunking the Myths of Older Adult Falls. If they’re concerned about falling, dizziness, or balance, suggest that they discuss it with their health care provider who can assess their risk and suggest programs or services that could help.

2. Discuss their current health conditions.

Find out if your older loved one is experiencing any problems with managing their own health. Are they having trouble remembering to take their medications—or are they experiencing side effects? Is it getting more difficult for them to do things they used to do easily?

Also make sure they’re taking advantage of all the preventive benefits now offered under Medicare, such as the Annual Wellness visit. Encourage them to speak openly with their health care provider about all of their concerns.

3. Ask about their last eye checkup.

If your older loved one wears glasses, make sure they have a current prescription and they’re using the glasses as advised by their eye doctor.

Remember that using tint-changing lenses can be hazardous when going from bright sun into darkened buildings and homes. A simple strategy is to change glasses upon entry or stop until their lenses adjust.

Bifocals also can be problematic on stairs, so it’s important to be cautious. For those already struggling with low vision, consult with a low-vision specialist for ways to make the most of their eyesight.

4. Notice if they’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if they appear to have difficulty walking or arising from a chair.

These are all signs that it might be time to see a physical therapist. A trained physical therapist can help your older loved one improve their balance, strength, and gait through exercise. They might also suggest a cane or walker—and provide guidance on how to use these aids. Make sure to follow their advice. Poorly fit aids actually can increase the risk of falling.

5. Talk about their medications.

If your older loved one is having a hard time keeping track of medicines or is experiencing side effects, encourage them to discuss their concerns with their doctor and pharmacist. Suggest that they have their medications reviewed each time they get a new prescription.

My mom had an elaborate spreadsheet to keep track of her medications and schedules. Adding a timed medication dispenser that my sister refilled each month promoted her peace of mind and allowed us to ensure her adherence to the prescribed regime.

Also, beware of non-prescription medications that contain sleep aids—including painkillers with “PM” in their names. These can lead to balance issues and dizziness. If your older loved one is having sleeping problems, encourage them to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about safer alternatives.

6. Do a walk-through safety assessment of their home.

There are many simple and inexpensive ways to make a home safer. For professional assistance, consult an Occupational Therapist. Here are some examples:

  • Lighting: Increase lighting throughout the house, especially at the top and bottom of stairs. Ensure that lighting is readily available when getting up in the middle of the night.
  • Stairs: Make sure there are two secure rails on all stairs.
  • Bathrooms: Install grab bars in the tub/shower and near the toilet. Make sure they’re installed where your older loved one would actually use them. For even greater safety, consider using a shower chair and hand-held shower.

For more ideas on how to make the home safer, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers a home assessment checklist in multiple languages.

NCOA, the Administration on Aging, and the CDC also promote a variety of community-based programs, like A Matter of Balance, Stepping On, and Tai Chi, that can help older adults learn how to reduce their risk of falling. Contact your Area Agency on Aging to find out what’s available in your area.

Small Health Care Investments Can Pay Off In Quality Of Care

 

As the population ages, older adults will have to make some decisions about their long term care.  Some will be forced into skilled nursing facilities. This may be due to severe health problems, a lack of  family caregivers or to financial constraints. Many others will need to make informed decisions on the where and how they choose to live out their life. Several options are available now including senior communities, assisted living as well as Aging in Place.  Senior communities offer many options as far as types of living arrangements and assisted living can offer peace of mind to those without family caregivers nearby.  These options may not be in the best interest of many.

Aging in Place is becoming a popular choice among older adults.  It can range from remaining in your current home, downsizing to a smaller home or even moving to a new home in a more pedestrian-friendly and accessible community.  The idea behind the Age in Place model is that one is able to live independently and comfortably within your own home.  This is often supported by family caregivers, in home care aides and community support systems like Senior Centers, Meals on Wheels, telemedicine and emerging transportation and delivery technology,

caregiverAging in Place requires older adults to be independent.  This does not exclude those who may be living with a disability or chronic disease.  Improved home health care and home modification products allow those once confined to the nursing home to comfortably live independently in their own home.  In-home care and respite care are also readily available to aid family caregivers in helping to care for their loved ones.

Investing in home modification and home health care products can pay off in the long run.  Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living can cost thousands of dollars a month. Preparing your home for aging can be done gradually to help spread out the cost over time.  Small things like creating barrier-free access in the home, reinforcing hand rails and adding grab bars can be done for little or no cost.  Larger items  like bathroom modifications or home accessibility items like wheelchair ramps or patient lifts require more investment. However, the savings over long term care in a nursing home is substantial.

Traxx Mobility Systems manufactures a patient lift designed to work within the confines of the average bedroom.  The Titan 500 allows a single caregiver to safely transfer a patient in the home without injury.  The lift features a rechargeable electric motor and is equipped with an emergency down system that provides peace of mind for caregivers and patients.  The lift is proudly Made in the USA and comes complete with a free universal sling and free freight shipping within the continental US.

For more information on the Titan 500 and Aging in Place, visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel.

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Older Adults Desire Independence As They Age In Place

caregiverInvesting in home modifications and home medical equipment can help those living with chronic disease or disability save money and avoid the nursing home.  With a little help, home care patients can age in place, saving thousands on long term care.  Start small by removing fall hazards like throw rugs and opening up access around furniture. Adding handrails in bathrooms and staircases can also provide peace of mind as you age.  You may also want to review how you store things in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom to make everyday items more accessible.

age in place communityThere are many reasons to remain in your home as you age.   Financial benefits, social and community connections, familiarity and  accessibility to resources are among many of the motivating factors to age in place. Aging in place may include downsizing to a smaller space or finding a more walkable community to live. Technology has also created more independence for older adults.  These include security and staying in touch with loved ones, package delivery and transportation as well as entertainment and leisure.

family caregiverIf additional changes are needed as you age, many mobility products are available for the home now.  Lift chairs in the living room can help you stand up.  In the bathroom, risers and supports can be added to the toilet.  For those requiring additional assistance, there is more advanced equipment available to aid mobility. Wheelchair ramps, stair lifts and patient lifts can be added to the home and easily pay for themselves after just a few months home and out of the nursing home.  While it takes a little more planning and spending, remaining in your home can save you a lot of money in the long run.

bebf5-titan2bblog2b2The Titan 500 is a patient lift that is designed for the confines and limitations of home health care and aging in place.  Traditional Hoyer lifts are difficult to operate in the home due to the tight spaces and the presence of carpeting in most bedrooms.  The freestanding frame does not attach to the home and can fit in any bedroom.  An overhead lift can also provide a more comfortable and dignified transfer for the patient.  It also protects family caregivers from injury while increasing their transfer efficiency allowing the patient to be active and more independent and gets you ready for in home care.

For more information on the Titan 500, visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel.  The Titan 500 was designed by a service-disabled veteran and is Proudly Made in the USA.

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Prepare to Care: A Caregiving Planning Guide for Families

Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families was developed by AARP to help make the job more manageable. It includes information on how to have vital conversations with older family members, organize important documents, assess your loved one’s needs and locate important resources.

mom daughter caregiving

Whether you are taking parents to a doctor’s appointment, helping them pay bills or providing full-time care for them in your home or from afar, you likely have questions about how to best fulfill your role as a family caregiver.

Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families provides simple, straightforward information and checklists that help guide family conversations. And it outlines what you need to do — in five simple, easy-to-understand steps — to take care of your loved one in the best possible way.

Step 1: Start the Conversation

Step 2: Form Your Team

Step 3: Make a Plan

Step 4: Find Support

Step 5: Care for Yourself

mother daughter embrace

 

In addition, we compiled the above guide into a bite-size two-page brochure titled, “A Helping Hand, For Those Caring for Loved Ones.” You can download this brochure in English or Spanish.

 

Download The Guides Here:  http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/prepare-to-care-planning-guide/?sf62081394=1

Traxx Mobility Systems manufactures and sells the Titan 500, a freestanding overhead patient lift for home health care.  It allows a single caregiver to safely transfer a patient in the home without injury.

For more information on the Titan 500, visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel.

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