Safety

Problems Facing Elderly in the U.S.

I want to start off by introducing some of the statistics that come from NCO which is the national council on aging. 

Chronic disease – So the statistic there is approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease and 77% have at least two, and there’s four chronic diseases that actually cause almost two thirds of all deaths each year with seniors. And that is heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, and there are definitely a lot more contributing factors but that’s more so the overview statistic when it comes to chronic diseases. 

Falls – Now every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. So as you can see, obviously falls are become a very critical issue when your parents or your loved ones do age, a lot of people don’t recognize the importance of fall prevention and fall safety. Now the nation actually spends $50 billion a year treating older adults because of the result of falling. Now that’s a pretty substantial amount. So obviously that’s something we really zero in on with Wellsprings when we’re putting together our care plans. Fall prevention is generally listed as one of the top three items that our caregivers are looking out for.  

Mental health and substance abuse – So this is actually saying that one in four older adults experiences some sort of mental disorder. That can include anything like anxiety disorders, uh, dementia, memory loss, depression, and that number is actually expected to increase to 15 million by 2030. So obviously, with the baby boomer population increasing every year, that’s going to become more and more of a problem. 

So those are just some quick overview statistics on some of the problems that seniors are facing. It gives us a little bit of insight into the different numbers and what sort of percentage effect it has on the population.  

So now to jump into the actual problems facing the elderly in the U S we’ve went over the statistics. So the number one problem is going to be Costs and Financial security. So a lot of seniors, they didn’t plan ahead. The baby boomer population was a little bit different than it is now. Traditionally a lot of people didn’t have those big savings account. They weren’t looking towards retirement. People are living a lot longer nowadays so they don’t have the income to be able to sustain throughout the time while they’re aging. So contributing factors can be low savings. A lot of debt and obviously the increasing cost of healthcare that’s never going to stop going up. 

We do actually have an e-book, it’s called Funding In-Home Care. So if you want to email us anytime or give us a call, we can definitely send that out. And that actually runs through all the different funding options for seniors. It’s everything from Medicare, Veterans Affairs, Reverse Mortgages – there’s a lot of information there on, some of the sources of funding in pending that a client cannot afford to private pay.  

So another problem facing elderly is obviously Disease. We had touched base a little bit on chronic disease in our statistics. So that’s something we can’t really prevent completely, but we can reduce the chances by doing things like regular doctor’s visits and checkups, having a well-balanced diet and then also exercising on a daily or a weekly basis. Whatever it’s different for each person. 

And the number three problem is Physical deterioration. Unfortunately we can’t get away from that as we age. I think we’re all aware of that. You have certain things like the loss of physical abilities, struggling with ambulation around the home and just any other physical activities. He may be used to play sports or go walking or hiking, biking, things like that that you’re not able to do anymore. So that really contributes to deterioration when we stopped doing those things. So some of the signs could be, a loss of walking speed, trouble going upstairs, things like that you used to be able to do on a daily basis that just become more difficult as time goes on. 

So what a caregiver can come in and do is they can help out with ambulation with doing those exercises, helping out with the diet. There’s also a system of equipment that you can have to come in the house depending on the necessity. But there’s things like stair lifts, there’s Hoyer lifts, there’s all sorts of bathroom equipment there, shower chairs, there’s commodes that can go on the toilet. There’s a lot of different assistive out there that can help out given different situations.  

And number four would be Mental health. We talked about that a little bit as well. The most common being Dementia or Alzheimer’, bipolar, anxiety, depression. 

Number five would be Loneliness. Especially during this time of everybody being in quarantine, that’s limiting family members and friends going out to visit some of the seniors in the area. So some people that were already sort of on that, on the balance of being lonely or having a social life, they’re sort of catapulted into that loneliness phase, you know, being isolated. So, we’re doing a lot of things to help out with that. It kind of falls under the banner of telehealth, but we’re doing phone calls and video calls depending on the senior and their access to different technology. And we’re doing companionship just over phone and by video. So that’s been very helpful to some of our clients. And there’s a lot of social groups as well – when we’re not on quarantine, when everything goes back to normal, there’s a lot of social groups like the Downingtown area, senior center, the Westchester senior center. This is all a really great place for seniors to socialize and different activities. And also they serve meals there. It’s just a really great sort of a social group or gathering for any senior in anybody can join.  

And the number six reason would be Financial Predators. So I think we’re all aware of what this is. You get a phone call and it turns out to be a scam. They’re looking for your credit card information and unfortunately, with seniors, they tend to be the more susceptible population to this. So that’s what scammers target. There’s different things like your phone scams, lottery scams, insurance scams, they’ll even call pretending to be a family member trying to ask for money, anything along those lines. So different things you can do to help out with that is just sort of keep your information overall. Just safe and secure. Have strong passwords on anything that you have financially. Don’t give out your credit card information, don’t give out any social security information. And another option would be to have someone manage your finances if maybe the senior is isn’t quite as sharp with the bookkeeping. And thing in the bill paying as they used to be. There’s some great options out there for managing those finances for them. 

Number seven thing would be Abuse and Neglect. So different signs of abuse could be, if a family member in a different sign of abuse could be physical, it could be like a bruise or a burn or anything along those lines. But abuse can also be a main emotional, so it can actually lead to things like depression and just unusual behavior. You might come in the home and notice that somebody is acting a little bit differently. They’ve acted the same way for the last decade and all of a sudden, in the last few weeks they’ve been just acting a little bit off, a little bit strange. That’s a good indicator that there is something bothering them.  

So in those cases, it’s recommended to contact adult protective services. Essentially what you would do is you would just go online, do a search for that. There’s different agencies in different areas. I know Chester County, the area of aging you can get in touch with and they’ll help out with that. The you can report into them and they’ll kind of take care of it from there. 

And the number eight would be Transportation. So obviously as you get a little bit older, some people they’ll either lose their driver’s license or they don’t feel comfortable driving anymore. So that obviously really limits their mobility and where they can go and where they can visit. And even daily tasks like getting to appointments, picking up groceries, anything like that becomes a lot more difficult. And obviously it’s expensive if someone was taking Ubers all the time or a taxi, it can become very costly for them. So some of the other options would be, some of our caregivers will actually transport clients so they can come in their car and transport the client. It’s at a fairly small cost because the caregiver is there as well and can help out with mobility and things like that. 

And one of the other services for transportation is Rover, which is a very, very cost effective service, which is a great option to have, but sometimes it can be a little bit lengthy because it’s like a bus. You stop and pick up other people. Sometimes you’re the last one to get off, sometimes you’re the first one. So it can be a pretty lengthy time if you’re not prepared for it but it is a great option to have.  

And the last problem would be social climate. By that I mean technology. So obviously with things changing, everything’s done online, including a lot of health things now. There’s tele-health, just communication, everything you sign into your account with your doctor and everything’s all your billing and everything is online. You read test results. So that can be a little bit overwhelming for a senior, especially somebody who didn’t grow up in that sort of timeframe.  

Some of the things that can really help out seniors, obviously depending on their access to technology, but the number one would be YouTube videos. There is now a YouTube video out there for everything. Before I started podcasting, I looked at YouTube videos on how to podcast. I mean you can find anything on there and it’ll show you a quick, usually a couple minute video on how to do things. So if you wanted to learn, how to check your email or how to jump onto Facebook and check out what your family and friends are doing, there is always a YouTube video to go along with that and provide some instruction. And another thing you can do is ask friends or family members for help. So if you have somebody and maybe a family member that comes over once a week or a couple times a week, they can definitely, especially if they’re a younger family member, they can usually always provide a little bit of guidance and a little bit of instruction, on using the different technology devices. 

So in summary, those are some of the different problems and the statistics facing elderly in the U S and I hope that was very informative to some. If anybody wants to dig in and learn a little bit more, they can give us a call anytime at Wellsprings Home Care. Our office is 610-463-0880. And our main email line is info@wellspringshomecare.com. So that’s all I have today, thanks a lot for stopping by and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you. 

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Coronavirus Advice for Seniors

Welcome everybody to the Wellsprings Home Care Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Currie, and I’m here with my two four-legged co-hosts, Goose and Remington, so if they make a little noise in the background, I’m sorry.

Wellsprings Home Care is located in Exton, Pennsylvania and we’re serving the areas of Chester County, Montgomery County and Delaware County.

We’re pretty excited to announce that we’re a 2020 Best of Home Care Award Winner from SeniorAdvisor.com. And what that is it’s actually the top 2% – 3% of home care providers nationwide. So we’re really excited about that and we’re really happy about that and we’re really grateful for the team we have over here at Wellsprings.

And for those of you that don’t know, some of the services we offer here at Wellsprings are personal care services, which include things like the activities of daily living, like toileting, bathing, transferring. We offer live-in care, 24-hour care, personal hygiene assistance, Dementia and Alzheimer’s care which almost all of our Aides now are specially trained with Dementia care, and companionship is another thing that’s offered, whether it be in person or remotely. We offer a lot of different care plans for veterans and respite care which is essentially if you’re a family care giver helping out a loved one and you just need a break from time to time, maybe one day a week, we can come in and help out with that as well.

Another thing would be mobility assistance. So if you’re having a little bit more trouble moving around the house, ambulating, maybe you just came back from rehab with a hip replacement, we can offer a full transfer assist or just fall prevention where somebody is just on standby assist just in case.

Now that we’ve told you a little bit about who we are and what we do, I wanted to jump into what our podcast today is about, which is Coronavirus Advice for Seniors.

Obviously with seniors being the most vulnerable and susceptible population to this virus and Wellsprings Home Care predominantly working with seniors, with elderly, we wanted to address this situation and hopefully offer any advice we can. Now the statistics are actually eight out of 10 of the deaths reported in the U S have been adults 65 years and older, and I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone, obviously seniors are more susceptible and also those with underlying health conditions, which a lot of seniors have, so they’re the number one population we have to really keep safe during this time.

First off, we’re going to talk about if you’re a senior, you’re living at home, what can you do to help prevent this virus to help prevent exposure for yourself. The number one thing is stay at home if at all possible. We obviously don’t want you going outside anywhere exposing yourself. I’ve heard stories of seniors being at the grocery store and asking somebody to pick them up items, things like that, which is really great.

Here at Wellsprings we can help out with that. If you give us a call, we can work something out and help out with groceries or delivering supplies, or anything we can do to sort of help out. We drop off supplies on the steps so that there’s no human contact, and we sanitize as well when we are dropping off supplies.

Another thing you would do is just to wash your hands, you obviously want to be washing your hands frequently anytime you sneeze or maybe you use a tissue or you use the bathroom, anything along those lines you want to be washing after, even when you’ve made contact with high frequency surfaces. Things like door knobs, counter tops, those are the types of things when you touch, you want to make sure that you’re washing up after.

Another thing is what they call Social Distancing, which is essentially you want to be at least six feet away from someone, that’s as close as you’d want to be. Obviously, some people still like to get out and get exercise and things like that and there’s a lot of space out there, so you really don’t have to be right next to each other. So that’s a pretty easy one to do.

We had touched on that a little bit, but cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, like I said, door knobs, countertops, desk areas, your dining room, table chairs, couches, chairs in the living room, TV remotes, things like that. We want to be sanitizing frequently. I know, I always sanitize my phone and even my wallet, my cards, things like that because when I’m out in public I am using those things, so we want to keep everything sanitized the best we can.

And another thing you can do is if you do have any symptoms of the virus, the number one thing you should do is call your healthcare provider immediately and get their take on things and find out, maybe they want you to come in for a checkup, maybe they can kind of analyze that over the phone. But, if there’s any worry or concern regarding that, you should definitely have yourself tested and try and get ahead of it if you have been exposed or if there is a problem. So those are sort of some of the things that we can do to help prevent it. They’re pretty obvious things, but a lot of people aren’t really following the rules. I think now that Governor Tom Wolf has actually issued a stay at home order, I think people are taking it a lot more seriously now, which is great. People are only going out for essential items. They’re only going out if they need health care, so really only the essentials, which is great.

The next thing we want to chat about is the stress and coping with the disease. Obviously everybody stuck at home, it’s we’re not used to that. It’s a little bit different for us. We can’t go out and get the supplies or the items we need at all times. But some of the things you can do to sort of help with that would be give yourself a break, especially from the news, you know, watching reading, listening to news stations. Obviously it’s all going to be negative information, it’s going to have an impact on your mood day to day. If you’re reading all that negativity day to day, it’s going to definitely affect your mood in the long run. I’m not saying don’t follow the news at all, but maybe limit your exposure to it and I think that’ll really help out.

You can do things like taking care of your body, so even doing little things like stretching, if you can exercise around the house or in the yard, meditation, eating healthy, well balanced meals, get plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol and drugs if possible. Another thing would be make time to sort of enjoy some activities that you like to do. Maybe you like playing cards, maybe you like being out in the yard gardening, things like that around the house. If you enjoy doing that, give yourself a little bit of a break and actually get out and enjoy some of the things that you might not usually have time or enough time to do.

And another thing too with we’re obviously living in the technology age, so connecting with your friends and family, that can either be by phone, I know it’s not as personable as being face to face with them, but phone and even pretty much every phone nowadays too has video chat. So you can free applications on your phone and you can chat with your family and friends and it’s a good way to kind of lessen that isolation.

One other thing that’s good to do is to sort of have a plan in place. If maybe you are seeing some symptoms or maybe you’re not feeling well, maybe somebody you’ve been in contact with tells you that they’ve been exposed, you want to have a plan for things like that. So that’s something you can do is really a consult with your healthcare provider. They’ll really point you in the right direction. They’ll be able to help you out on next steps to take. Also staying in touch, we had talked about talking to family, friends, neighbors, you know, anything like that you want to keep in contact with. You want to lessen that isolation and you want to make sure that people know that you are healthy or if you’re showing any symptoms that you’re going to be taken care of. So if you’re seeing any of the symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, if there’s any confusion, bluish lips or face or all sort of early warning signs of the COVID virus. So if you have any of these signs, be sure to call your healthcare provider right away.

So, in summary, there’s definitely a lot of different things that seniors can do to take precautionary measures and lessen that isolation and just keep themselves safe overall. So I really hope that advice was helpful and if you ever need anything regarding home care assistance or even advice on anything, don’t be afraid to give us a call anytime at 610-463-0880. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you again next time.

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Home Care During COVID-19: How we’re protecting our clients & caregivers

As the COVID-19 virus becomes more severe, we’ve received an increase in communication from our current and prospective clients in Exton, West Chester, Downingtown and King of Prussia regarding the safety of home care during this health crisis, and what precautions our caregivers and our clients and their loved ones can take at home to stay safe and healthy.


Can I Receive Home Care During the Quarantine?
Yes, home care agencies such as WellSprings Home Care are considered an essential provider, which means we offer life staining service and can continue to offer care to clients at this time. Whether you’re a current WellSprings Home Care client or prospective, we can be available to provide you or a loved one care during this time – even during mandatory quarantine throughout Chester and Montgomery Counties.


What We’re Doing to Keep our Seniors Safe from COVID-19

With Seniors being about 95% of our clientele, we understand how extremely vulnerable and susceptible our clients are to this virus especially. During this time, we’re taking every precaution necessary.


COVID-19 Home Care Certification
WellSprings Home Care caregivers are COVID-19 Certified. This certification is offered by the CareAcademy – a state-approved caregiver training organization. This certification ensures direct care workers are educated and prepared to perform the necessary care and communication during this current health crisis. The course covers everything from precautionary measures around what to do if you’re symptoms or if you notice a client or client family member having symptoms, to utilizing the most effective personal protective equipment.


Protective Equipment & Policies
All of our caregivers are equipped with latex gloves and sanitizers (gel or wipes). In addition to the COVID-19 Home Care Certification, WellSprings Home Care is also conducting training reviews with all caregivers on the strict health and safety policies and procedures of the agency, which incorporates all recommendations from CDC.
WellSprings office staff is currently all working from home, while continuing to be available 24/7 to assist clients with any questions and concerns, as well as scheduling and evaluation of caregivers.
Any caregivers, including their family members, that have had any remote exposure to the virus have been required to stay at home. Caregivers who experience any initial symptoms are required to contact management immediately. From here, we assist caregivers with getting tested for COVID-19. Once cleared, we require the caregiver to self-quarantine at home for an additional two weeks.


Ongoing Communication & Training
The CDC and the Department Of Health are constantly providing new information. We not only use this to update our policies and procedures, but we’re also immediately providing these updates in both written and verbal format to our caregivers to ensure they’re all equipped with the newest insight and practices to best care for and protect our clients.
Any essential information our clients and families need to be aware of, we’re having management contact immediately to review and discuss the recommended practices as we continue to provide care.


Sanitation Before, During and After Care
With our caregivers equipped with sanitary cleaning products, we ask that they focus on pre-sanitization before walking into our client’s homes, from 20 second cleansing of hands and wiping down their car door, to cleaning during care hours such as the client’s door knobs, bathroom door knobs, sinks, remote controls and any other high-touch areas in the home.
If you have somebody that’s either isolated or needs care at this time, please contact us here, or call us at 610-463-0880 to schedule a complimentary care consultation.

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Home Safety Tips for Seniors

With aging can come the loss of ability to perform everyday activities like your loved one used to. However, this doesn’t mean that the senior in your life can’t live independently — you just need to make sure their homes are safe.

Safety tips for seniors

Here are some home safety tips to ensure peace of mind for both you and your loved one.

1. Reduce the Risk of Falling

You might already be aware that falls are the number one cause of injury for seniors — which is why fall prevention is necessary. You can start by making sure any piles of clutter are cleaned up, removing throw rugs and extension cords that stretch across the floor, and provide your loved one with non-slip footwear.

2. Have Emergency Numbers Handy

Make sure that a list of emergency numbers is by each phone in the house, written in large print so that your loved one can quickly read them in case of an accident. Such numbers include 911, Poison Control, an emergency contact, and their healthcare provider’s office.

3. Fire Prevention

Keeping your loved one’s home safe includes protecting them against potential fires. Be sure that the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are changed regularly, and remove all candles to be safe.

Check the electric chords from lamps and other appliances, and replace those that have been frayed or damaged. Remind your loved one of what to do in the result of a fire, including showing them how to “stop, drop, and roll.”

4. Keep the Bathroom Safe

With hard and slippery surfaces, the bathroom can be one of the easiest places for injury. You can take the following precautions to avoid a fall and keep your loved one safe in this area:

• Mount grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet
• Place rubber mats in the bathtub
• Make sure the thermostat on the water heater is set no higher than 120°F
• Replace the original showerhead with a hand-held one
• Put a special bathing chair in the bathtub
• Place a nightlight in the bathroom

5. Check the Lighting

Your loved one’s eyes may not be as sharp as they once were, which is why keeping up with the lighting in his or her home is important. Check for any burnt-out light bulbs, and even replace old fixtures with new ones. Consider installing motion detection lighting both outside and inside of the home, too.

6. Assess the Stairs

Over time, the stairs in your loved one’s home may become a challenge. Stairlifts can be an easy fix, or you may just need to replace a faulty railing. Additionally, be sure to clear the outside stairs of snow and ice in the winter months.

7. Be Mindful of Harmful Products

As your loved one ages, he or she may become confused about things that used to be so common for them — such as medications and household cleaners. Be sure that his or her medications have large-print labels on them, and that they are checking with their healthcare provider regularly to ensure proper consumption.

You’ll also want to place larger labels on cleaning products, so that nothing is accidentally mixed if your loved one still wants to do some household chores.

While this might seem like a lot of information, it’s essential to ensure your loved one’s safety and wellbeing as they age. Try to start with one task at a time, or ask other family members for help. Ultimately, this is to help your loved one maintain independence and remain in the comfort of his or her home for as long as possible.

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