When Is It Time for Home Care?

It can be difficult to know when your aging parent requires home healthcare. Sometimes, a loved one’s needs occur suddenly, while other times, it can be less obvious. How will you know when it’s time for home care? These tips can help you decide if your aging parent needs home healthcare services.

“Starting a conversation early with your loved one is a proactive approach to maintaining their health for years to come,” says Steve Goforth, president of
Oxford Home Healthcare.

Tulsa Oklahoma Home Care Services: Oxford Home HealthCare

Tulsa Oklahoma Home Care Services: Oxford Home HealthCare

Look for these five signs that may indicate an elderly family member needs home healthcare. 

  1. Forgetfulness or mood changes

    If your relative usually enjoys activities and suddenly starts to isolate, this may be a sign of memory problems, depression or another mood disorder. Your family member may be hesitant to tell you about memory loss or feelings of sadness because they don't want to burden you. If your loved one acts withdrawn, sad or anxious, these are additional cues that home care may be a good option. Depression may be especially hard to identify if you do not see your loved one regularly. Contact your relative’s healthcare provider to rule out mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or grief. 

    “Elderly family members often won't admit they are depressed, because they fear losing their independence. But the reality is that home care can actually help them maintain their current living situation,” says Goforth...

    2) Weight loss or poor appetite

    Does your parent have an empty refrigerator or one that contains only spoiled food? Perhaps your loved one doesn't eat at regular intervals or skips meals altogether. These are early signs that your family member may need assistance with food shopping, meal preparation and reminders to eat at mealtime. A home health aide can help cook meals and ensure that your relative is eating nutritious and healthy meals. If your parent is losing weight, this is another sign that help is needed.

    3) Lack of personal hygiene

    If your parent looks disheveled, unwashed or isn’t combing their hair, it’s time to look carefully at home care options. Sometimes mobility issues are to blame, especially if your relative has trouble standing, walking or accessing medication that's stored out of reach. Your loved one may simply feel too depressed or withdrawn to be concerned about their appearance and hygiene. A home aide can provide a variety of services including bathing, cooking and other daily living activities that your family member can no longer perform on their own.

    4) Unexplained falls or bruises

    Is your loved one having dizzy spells or problems with their overall balance? Falls are one of the worst problems for elderly people because they can result in broken bones or joint injuries. What’s more, complications from a broken hip can lead to death. In some situations, balance issues may indicate early signs of dementia. In severe cases, falls can even be deadly. That’s why it’s so important to contact your loved one’s healthcare provider and schedule an appointment for a medical exam. 


    5) Refusing to take medication

    Part of an elderly person’s good health depends on taking their medications as prescribed by their healthcare provider. If your loved one forgets to take medication, throws out their medicine or denies needing it, it’s likely your relative isn't taking the medication regularly. This is another warning sign that home care may be desperately needed. Many home care organizations offer medication assistance programs to help your loved one get the care they need. 

    Sometimes, elderly family members are hesitant to share that they are having trouble caring for themselves because they don’t want nursing home care. That’s why it is critical for caregivers to know about home care options and how their relative can benefit from just a few hours of care and assistance each week. 

    Having a conversation with your family member doesn’t have to be difficult. When it’s time to talk with your elderly parent about home care, be sure to explain your concerns about their health and well-being. It’s also a good idea to allow them time and space to discuss how they feel about their situation, too. 

Oxford HealthCare is committed to excellence in providing home care services to the elderly and disabled in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas. We invite you to contact us for the best possible plan for your family. Give us a call!

(918) 258-1111

(800) 316-2222

7 Medication Management Tips: Oxford Home HealthCare

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If you take prescription drugs, here’s what you need to know.

According to AARP, nearly 75 percent of people age 45 and older are on a prescription medications and the average number of prescriptions taken daily is up to four.1 Medication safety and management is important to make sure the medications are working in your favor and not against you.

“Patients must be proactive about their health especially when they are at home,” says Steve Goforth, president of Oxford Home HealthCare. “Doctors can only do so much. It is important for patients to be knowledgeable of the drugs they are taking, potential side effects and when/how to take the prescription medication.”

 Here are 7 tips on medication safety and management that could help save you or a loved one’s life.

1. Ask questions.

Doctors and pharmacists are there to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask the facts about any medication you’ve been prescribed— the side effects, the potential interactions with other drugs or supplements, how to take it and when. Write down the answers to refer back to in case you forget or bring a spouse, loved one or friend with you when you visit the doctor to have an extra person to help absorb all of the information the doctor says. Read the prescription labels thoroughly and if you have any follow-up questions once you’re home, call your doctor or pharmacist.

2. Store medications properly.

Use a pillbox if you’re taking multiple medications at one time. Pillboxes have compartments for each day of the week to make it easier to sort the medication. Some pillboxes even have compartments for morning, noon and night.

Most medications should be stored in a dry place at room temperature unless otherwise noted. Some drugs may require refrigeration. Keep away from direct sunlight and out of the reach of children and pets. Throw away medications upon expiration.

3. Create and maintain an updated list of medication and supplements you are taking.

Put the list in your wallet or as a note in your phone so it is on your person at all times. If you are receiving home healthcare, give the list to your caregivers. Organize the list with the name of the medication and strength; the prescribing doctor and phone number; purpose (blood thinner, thyroid, blood pressure, etc.); dosage; and any comments. This is especially important in the event of an emergency so emergency personnel have the knowledge of what medications the patient is taking. Every time you visit the doctor, take the list with you to review with the doctor.2

4. Remember to take your pills every day.

Remembering to take pills every day is tough. Set a reminder on your phone. Put the pills by your toothbrush and take them when you brush your teeth. Do not take a day off. Take the medication exactly as prescribed.

5. Monitor your food and drink.

Some medications do not mix well with certain types of foods. Some drugs need to be taken with foods and some do not. Ask the doctor about the effects of medications and food.

Alcohol may exacerbate the side effects of medications. It can also increase the likelihood of liver damage, heart problems, internal bleeding, impaired breathing and depression.3 Consult your doctor about alcohol and medications before you decide to have a cocktail. Eat a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, nuts, fish, lean meats and whole grains.

6. Schedule frequent doctor visits.

 Health needs are changing by the day. By scheduling regular doctor visits, patients can address concerns on the regular, determine whether or not they still need the medication and address other concerns as they arise.

7. Report unusual side effects to the doctor.

Refrain from performing an Internet search if you are experiencing a strange side effect. Call your doctor and discuss any unusual side effects with him/her immediately. An allergic reaction is possible when taking any type of drug. Report to the doctor if you experience itching or rashes. Call 911 in the case of an anaphylactic reaction where you are having trouble breathing.

 “Prescription drug misuse is on the rise as more and more aging adults take medications,” says Goforth. “Educate yourself as much as possible on the drugs you are prescribed and take the drugs accordingly. If you suspect a problem with addiction, get some help.”

Oxford HealthCare is committed to excellence in providing home care services to the elderly and disabled in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas. We invite you to contact us for the best possible plan for your family. Give us a call!

(918) 258-1111

(800) 316-2222

Sources:

1. https://seniorsmatter.com/7-tips-to-simplify-medication-management/

2. https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2017/medication-management.html

3. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-interactions-with-medications#1

A Caregiver’s Checklist for Your Loved One Suffering from Dementia

Taking care of a loved one with dementia can be daunting for even the most skilled individual. Everything from arranging daily care giving tasks, participating in important decision-making, medication management, household management, and more—the reality can be overwhelming. With so much to do in very little time, creating a daily care plan can assist you, the caregiver, and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved one suffering from this horrible disease. The following will provide information to help you be better equipped to handle the day at hand.

Getting involved in structured, enjoyable, activities can lower negative behavioral symptoms for people with dementia and help to improve the mood of both care recipient and caregiver.

A Caregiver’s Checklist for Daily Care of Alzheimer Patients Oxford Healthcare Tulsa Oklahoma.png

Daily routines are helpful for both — the caregiver — and the person living with Alzheimer's. A planned day enables you to spend less time figuring out what to do, and more time on activities that provide meaning and enjoyment.

The greatest strategy for creating an everyday checklist and care plan for dementia is to look for meaningful activities that everyone can equally enjoy. Remember to fine-tune the daily schedule as required and allow flexibility. For instance, if a planned activity causes the person with dementia to develop anxiety or confusion, don't hesitate to change it up the following day or week.

Creating a daily care plan for dementia? This checklist will provide some great ideas for you and your loved one:

  • Brain stimulating activities (online programs, crossword puzzles, reading, etc.)

  • Eating schedule

  • Cooking

  • Creative activities (including arts, crafts, playing or listening to music)

  • Household chores (house cleaning, dishes, laundry)

  • Healthy meal planning

  • Hobbies (knitting, gardening, sewing, etc.)

  • Personal care for Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). Example: oral hygiene, bathing, dressing, skin treatments, etc.

  • Medication schedule

  • Physical exercise (walking, stretching, yoga, etc.)

  • Socialization (planned visits with friends and family)

  • Seasonal chores (such as spring cleaning or putting on storm windows)

  • Shopping

  • Unplanned activities (visiting with neighbors, skyping with family members, etc.)

What to Keep in Mind While Planning Daily Activities

There are several things to consider when creating a daily care plan for a person with dementia, inclusive of:

  • Abilities

  • Interests

  • Permit some flex time for spontaneous activities

  • Personal preferences

  • Strengths

  • History of daily activities (how did the care recipient structure their day before being diagnosed with dementia?)

  • The highest functioning time of day (Is your loved more energetic in the morning or later in the day?)

  • Plan regular waking time and bedtime (to encourage an optimal sleep pattern)

Crucial points to Evaluate the Effectiveness of a Reinforced Daily Care Plan:

  • Did the care recipient appear irritable, bored, or restless during any particular time of the day? If so, reschedule with another type of activity, or if it appears appropriate, plan an extra break.

  • What was the outcome of spontaneous activities? Were they enjoyable or stressful, did they seem to promote confusion or anxiety?

  • Was there sufficient time between activities to take a breather?

  • Which activities went well? What was the reason?

  • Which times of routine appeared overwhelming?

  • Which time periods appear to lag, with not sufficient to do?

Use This Sample Daily Care Plan for People With Dementia

Here is how you can create a daily care plan that you can use to spend more meaningful time on productive activities with loved ones having dementia:

Morning

  • Get up and complete a morning hygiene routine (toileting, brushing, washing face).

  • Make breakfast (have the person with dementia help as much as he/she is able and wants to do so). Do breakfast clean-up together.

  • Contribute to an enjoyable art or craft project.

  • Take a break to cherish some quiet time (this is a good time for caregivers to do some reflecting or meditation).

  • Go for a walk or engage in another planned activity.

Afternoon

  • Have lunch and clean up the meal together.

  • Watch a favorite movie or listen to some favorite old music together.

  • Try some physical activity, for example, planting or weeding the garden.

  • Go through family photos and talk about memories that are tagged.

  • Visit a friend, family member, or neighbor.

Evening

  • Have dinner and do clean up together.

  • Offer a massage, start to recuperate for bedtime.

  • Help with nightly hygiene routines, for instance, a shower or bath, oral hygiene, and pajamas.

  • Play a crossword game or puzzle.

  • Read a chosen book passage and/or play some soothing music before turning in for the night.

Keep in mind that as the symptoms of dementia worsen with time, it’s crucial to be flexible in planning a daily care plan. Assess the outcome of the plan with your loved one frequently. The demands of the plan will change as dementia symptoms progress.

The Oxford HealthCare Team Can Alleviate the Burden

Oxford HealthCare provides skilled caregivers that have tremendous experience with the unique needs of an Alzheimer’s or Dimentia patient. Our areas of expertise include skilled home rehabilitation, prevention of re-hospitalization, chronic disease education and management, as well as strengthening, balance, and fall prevention. Give us a call today for any queries.

Is Home Care Right For My Loved One?

Over 41 million U.S citizens have a chronic health condition that restricts their daily activities in one way or another, and 12 million people are unable to live independently. Of 1/5th of the elders who have attained age 85, more than ½ are impaired and require longterm care — that is, the personal assistance that enables them to continue daily routines such as bathing, eating, and dressing. So how do you decide if home healthcare is right for your loved one? The following will provide insights to help you make the right decision.

Is Home Care Right For My Loved One? Insights to Help You Make the Decision Oxford HealthCare Home Health Tulsa Oklahoma.jpg

We all cherish our independence; it’s one of the perks we enjoy as adults. But as we age, there are certain things that we lose the ability to do on our own. And sometimes, it effects our ability to adequately care for ourselves at home.

Many of these things tend to be crucial to the quality of life we lead. Things inclusive of:

  • Running errands

  • Cleaning responsibilities

  • Medication management

  • Personal care

  • Meal preparation

  • Sticking to a balanced diet routine

Dependence Can Appear Daunting

As our loved ones age, we worry about their ability to adequately care for themselves. Your loved one may depend on your assistance more often to take care of basic life necessities which can weigh on your busy life schedule. When this happens, one of the best ways to alleviate unanticipated inconveniences both to yourself and your loved one is to consider a qualified homecare provider.

What is the Role of Caregiver in Preserving Independence?

An Oxford HealthCare provider can assist with many acts of daily living such as medication management, daily chores, and errands. Our caregivers can also be a platonic companion when you need someone to fall back on. We help you see the silver lining when age-related problems get your loved one down. Our trained staff can help your loved one stay in their own home longer, ensuring caring and safety while on site. Our caregivers also promote and respect their independence as best they can.

The Benefits of Having a Home Caregiver

If you want to opt for home healthcare in Tulsa, but are still undecided, here are some associated benefits that can help you make the right decision:

One on One, Customized Care

When you hire a home healthcare provider, you will be entitled to their complete attention; at least when they are in your home. This tends to be crucial when dealing with age-related illnesses and recovery.

Your Path to Independence

With home healthcare, you will be living right at home. This enables you to preserve your independence which will, in turn, boost your comfort and confidence. These are all qualities that foster a conducive environment for happiness and recovery. 

Keeps You Close to Your Loved Ones

In many instances, ideal nursing homes or assisted living communities may be located at far off locations. This makes it problematic for the family to visit as frequently as they would like. Having a home caregiver guarantees that you are not relocated and taken away from your loved ones.

No Predisposition to Infection

With care at home, you will be avoiding the facilities that house other recovering patients that predispose you to infection. Additionally, hiring an Oxford Home HealthCare provider greatly decreases the chances that the symptoms of an infection or an age-related illness may go overlooked.

Services Beyond Personal Care

An Oxford HealthCare staff member offers you more than just the characteristic personal care services. They also help around the home, prepare meals, run errands, and provide much-needed peace of mind.

Home Care is Very Affordable

This is one of the major deterrents to in-home care nowadays; people think it is an expensive option. The fact of the matter is that employing a home care worker costs a lot less an hour than it does to have yourself admitted to a nursing home.

Ideal Qualities in a Home Care Worker

Just as you would look at the type and qualifications of caregiver to hire, there are specific traits that they should have if this whole arrangement is to function the way you want it to. Here are some of the best qualities to look for in a home-care worker:

Quick Learner

We all have different preferences and needs. You need someone who can learn those preferences and needs quickly so that your loved one can live in harmony.

Willingness to Go the Extra Mile

Hire someone who will be willing to go the extra mile when the need arises.

Responsibility

This entire arrangement is based on how responsible both parties are when it comes to sticking to a schedule. It is absolutely essential when it comes to maintaining a diet and taking medication.

Throughout our many years of experience in caring for those in need, we, at Oxford HealthCare have learned how to help you cope with the frustrations of finding professional care and assistance for someone at home. That is why we offer comprehensive supportive care and home healthcare solutions to help you or your loved one maintain independence—all while remaining in the comfort of your own home. Get in touch with one of our trained Oxford HealthCare staff today to assist with your questions and concerns. Our goal is to provide the help you need, when you need it!

Scientific Facts for Healthy Aging, Revealed

Staying healthy and being your best self is important at any age and that doesn’t diverge just because you have a few more grey hairs. As we continue to age, we experience major life changes, including career transitions and retirement, the loss of loved ones, children leaving home, and physical changes. How we deal with and grow from these challenges is crucial to staying healthy. We have compiled tips to help you maintain your emotional and physical health and live life to the fullest, whatever your age or circumstances.

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What Gives Ageing a Negative Vibe?

To comprehend successful aging, it’s essential to first know what gives aging a negative vibe. Many seniors have at least one of these common aging fears, according to the poll at Oxford Healthcare:

  1. Fear of dependence

  2. Running out of funds

  3. Declining health

  4. Not being able to stay at home

  5. Strangers taking care of them

  6. Inability to continue their own activities of daily living

  7. Not being able to drive

  8. Death of a spouse or loved ones

  9. Loneliness or Isolation

  10. Fear of falling or hurting themselves

Secrets to Healthy Aging

Foster Meaningful Connections

Loneliness is injurious to your health. If you feel lonely — whether you are living alone or with someone, have lots of contacts or none — you are more prone to depression or dementia. Seniors who report feeling left out and lonely have more trouble with daily tasks like climbing stairs and bathing. They also die earlier than less-lonely individuals. Researchers reveal that lonely folks have higher levels of stress hormones that lead to inflammation, or swelling, linked to diabetes and arthritis.

Tip: So keep yourself busy in making friends. Do volunteer work or simply help someone in need. All you need to do is connect.

Maintain your Nervous Health

One in eight seniors (aged 65 and above) in the United States has Alzheimer's disease, and some degree of cognitive decline is considered a standard part of aging. Studies reveal that a lifestyle that embraces cognitive stimulation through active learning halts cognitive decline.

Tip: Never put a stop to learning and challenging your mind! Learn a new language, take dance lessons, learn to play a musical instrument, attend lectures at a local university, or just read a book.

Live an active life

Regular exercise is one of the supreme keys to mental and physical well-being. Living an active life will help you stay adequately fit to maintain your independence to go where you want and perform your daily activities. Regular exercise may prevent or even offer relief from many common chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, depression, and arthritis, to list a few.

Tip: The idea is to stay active, so do anything you will enjoy. If you are not the kind of person who will follow a regular gym routine, go on a walk or ride your bike every day as an alternative. Try to incorporate balance, aerobic, and muscle-strengthening activities into your routine.

Find meaning and joy

A key ingredient in the formula for healthy aging is the enduring ability to find joy and meaning in life. As you age, your life will change and you will progressively lose things that previously occupied your time and offered your life purpose. For instance, your job may change, you may ultimately retire from your career, your children may leave for college, or family and friends may move far away. Moving forward at this time is more important than ever. Later life can be a time of exhilarating new adventures if you let it.

Tip: Plan a trip to somewhere new or go on a weekend trip to a place you’ve never been to.

Spend time in nature. Go for a scenic hike, go camping or fishing, enjoy a ski trip, or take your dog for a walk in the park.

Learn to cope with change

As you age, there will be periods of both stress and joy. It’s crucial to build your resilience and find healthy ways to survive challenges. This aptitude will help you make the most of the good times and keep your perspective when times are rough.

Tip: Many things in life are beyond our control. Accept the things you can’t change. Instead of stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control, for example, the way you choose to respond to problems. Confront your limitations with dignity and a healthy measure of humor.

Conclusion

The second half of your life can fetch some of your most rewarding decades. You may have more confidence than your younger self. You acquire patience and wisdom. Sure, your face sports more lines and your hair sprouts more grays. But you can grow older with your mind and body as healthy as they can possibly be.