Understanding Hospice Care at Paradise Living Centers
Many assume that hospice care is solely called in when end-of life is near. While it is true that hospice care is specialized care for those facing end-of-life, it is also available for those with chronic conditions or life threatening illnesses. It is designed to provide support and comfort rather than curative treatments.
At Paradise Living Centers we always strive to provide our residents with care that helps them remain comfortable and allows them to age with dignity. When our residents are faced with a change or decline in health, we may recommend hospice care to help our residents remain comfortable and to ensure the best quality of life.
When hospice care is recommended, a physician must examine the patient to confirm the determination and certify that curative treatment is no longer in order. Patients with this diagnosis usually show symptoms of exhaustion, weight loss, and chronic pain, but these are also signs for many other issues. That is why it is valuable to have information from family members, caregivers, nurses, the patient and physicians when this determination is being considered.
Paradise Living Centers’ full-time LPN develops an individual care plan for each of our residents, to determine how to implement the best possible ongoing care. The care plans are routinely updated every three months but we continuously assess the changing needs and well-being of the residents. Working with our caregivers and Care Manager, Paradise Living Centers provides residents’ families with updated information and regular communications to keep them informed of any changes. When hospice care is provided to add comfort to patients who nearing the end-of-life, we continue to provide our 24/7 care and hospice will supplement that care with a hospice nurse, social worker, chaplain and home health aide, as needed. It is not unusual, given the additional care, to have cases in which patients improve and come off hospice care.
Paradise living Centers is here to care for seniors in a comfortable home setting and take care of all their necessary needs. Our focus is to have our residents enjoy the best quality of life as they age, and to remain comfortable as possible. We consider our residents as family members and our hospice care program provides an added level of care, when it is needed.
With a full-time caregiving staff and a dedicated nurse available 24/7 nurse, residents and their families receive the most compassionate and knowledgeable guidance every step of the journey. With a staff-to-resident ratio of 1:5, we are able to get to know our residents’ likes and dislikes monitor any changes and address their specific needs.
If we see a change that indicates hospice care is a need, we will contact hospice and speak with a resident’s family. Once hospice care is brought in Paradise Living Centers will work closely with hospice to continue to provide the personalized, dignified, care you or a loved one deserve.
To learn more about our assisted care services or to tour one of our beautiful homes in Paradise Valley and North Central Phoenix, contact Kristie Chadwick at (480) 878 – 4112 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doll Therapy for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
Dolls have always been a favorite toy or collectible for children. Now they are being used to help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Doll therapy is a somewhat new treatment that appears to be generating growing interest, thanks to research suggesting it can make a difference.
Although there are a number of other non-pharmacological treatments currently available including aromatherapy, music therapy, animal-assisted therapy and caregiver education programs, some caregivers have started implementing doll therapy for their patients due to the suggested beneficial effects. A doll can provide comfort and an opportunity to nurture and love. While doll therapy is being used more and more in nursing homes and other senior home facilities, many people are still skeptical of the treatment.
Doll therapy has been shown to promote improvements in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their ability to relate with the surrounding world. Other benefits caregivers are seeing in Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers include:
Increased levels of engagement
Reduction in episodes of distress
Reduction in level of anxiety
Increase in happiness
Increase in activity and liveliness
If you are interested in learning more about doll therapy and if it would be a good option for your loved one, speak to their physician and caregivers. If they are open and encouraging of this treatment, then, provide opportunities for your loved one to hold and nurture a doll and observe their response.
If your loved one does not show interest or generate a positive response, doll therapy is not likely to be a good option.
While caregivers are seeing the benefits from this type of therapy, some are skeptical of the treatment because they see patients being treated more like children and are concerned that it is demeaning and patronizing. Another point skeptics make is that the doll is only masking behavioral issues rather than confronting them head on.
Patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia can experience some disheartening symptoms including loneliness and personality disorders, and new therapies are intended to help combat these problems. While doll therapy is not for every patient, it can be a beacon of hope for some.
At Paradise Living Centers, our Care Manager, Kristie Chadwick is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP®) with comprehensive knowledge in the area of dementia care. She is a valuable resource to our residents and their families. You can also always contact our LPN, Tracy Strand at (480) 878-4112 to ask questions and address any concerns.
Why it’s important to protect your oral health as a senior
As you age there are a number of health issues to consider. That is why it is essential to have regular screenings and checkups. One area that can be overlooked or ignored by seniors is oral health.
Maintaining a healthy mouth is vital for the prevention of gum disease. Daily activities like eating, drinking, and communicating often rely on oral health. It’s crucial to pay special attention in order to prevent diseases that can harm your oral health and cause other complication to your overall health. This is important because not only does your oral health maintain the ability to use your mouth but it also influences the entire body.
Your teeth can last a lifetime with proper care and protection, but today about 75 percent of people aged 60 and older only have a portion of their natural teeth. Protecting your oral health is important to combat problems such as gum disease, heart disease, diabetes, dry mouth, and oral cancer.
Gum Disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth, which causes major tooth loss in adults. The infection is due to a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. Poor oral health can increase the risk in gum disease, and causes the gums to bleed, become red, swollen and pulls gums away from the teeth. Over the time the buildup of plaque can also cause problems to the heart.
Diabetes and oral health are associated with one another. People with diabetes are susceptible to higher risk of oral health problems such as gingivitis or gum disease. By protecting your oral health with regular check-ups, avoiding smoking, brushing, rinsing and flossing daily it is possible to prevent the negative oral health effects from diabetes.
Many underestimate the issue of dry mouth but it is, in-fact, a serious problem. It is common among older adults and is not a part of normal aging. It is typically brought on by the use of medications. It is linked to significant tooth decay, and can lead to infection and tooth loss. It is possible to protect your oral health from dry mouth by increasing your daily water intake, using over-the-counter saliva substitutes, using a humidifier, chewing sugarless gum, and brushing with fluoride toothpaste and using a fluoride rinse.
A number of factors can cause oral cancer. It is estimated that 35,000 people are diagnosed every year. Being aware of the symptoms can help protect further progression of the oral cancer. Signs include, changes in tissue color in the mouth, mouth pain or tenderness, a lump or thickened area, difficulty chewing, speaking, swallowing or moving jaw, and a change in teeth alignment.
Even though it is common for older adults to experience oral health problems it doesn’t mean you have to endure them. With proper protection and preventative care, you can maintain good oral health as a senior.
If you have questions about the precautions Paradise Living Centers take to maintain the oral health of our residents please contact our LPN, Tracy Strand on (480) 878-4112 and she’d be happy to address your concerns.
March is National Kidney Month
The month of March is dedicated to Kidney disease. With March being National Kidney Month, we urge everyone to learn what they can do to help prevent kidney disease and raise awareness.
Kidney disease is the ninth-leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 31 million people in the United States suffer from kidney-related problems.
The kidneys are an important aspect of the body’s functions. They serve as a filter, allowing the body to properly expend extra water and waste from the blood to make urine – essentially helping to clear out toxins. Think of it as the body’s chemical factories that filtering out what we don’t need so the body can perform its vital functions. The kidneys also help control blood pressure, make hormones that your body needs, and help keep your bones healthy.
A diagnosis of kidney disease means the kidneys are no longer able to filter blood the way it should or they are not functioning at full capacity. When kidneys do not work it causes waste and water to build up, which can cause a number of other health issues, including anemia, heart disease, and renal failure.
Today, 1 in 3 American adults are at high risk for developing kidney disease. Kidney disease becomes more common with increasing age and because the kidney is an important organ we need to survive it is vital to understand risk factors and prevention.
Some major risk factors include:
High blood pressure
Family history of kidney failure
If you or a loved one is at risk for kidney disease it is important to get regular urine tests, blood pressure readings, fasting blood glucose tests, and creatinine tests. Taking these steps could help stop progress of the disease and prevent kidney failure.
If you or a family member experiences any symptoms of kidney failure including a reduced amount of urine, swelling of ankles, unexplained shortness of breath, and fatigue you should contact your doctor to help determine the best treatment options. Kidney disease symptoms often develop slowly and sometimes with no symptoms at all, which can cause the disease to go undetected.
As we age it is essential to prevent any damage to the kidneys and keep up with a healthy lifestyle.
Some ways you can help reduce the chances of developing kidney disease:
Eating a healthy diet – Think lots of leafy greens, fresh fruits, and lean proteins. Be especially careful of sodium intake.
No smoking – This should go without saying. Tabacco is a toxin and will only negatively impact your health.
Limiting alcohol – An occasional drink won’t hurt, but if you are drinking daily or drinking in excess when you do drink, you need to cut back.
Staying active – Walking 30 minutes a day, swimming, and yoga are all good options and these are activities you can do as you age.
Take the opportunity during National Kidney Month to alert loved ones about what ways to keep kidneys healthy. Help spread the word about National Kidney Month by telling friends, sharing links, or posting on social media. If not properly cared for or addressed early, kidney disease can require dialysis, an organ transplant, and without this care, it can be fatal.
At Paradise Living Centers we care for our residents like family. Our certified caregivers, full-time nurse, and even our Chef are all on-site and will assess residents for any changes or symptoms that can indicate kidney disease.
Make National Kidney Month the month to review your loved one’s health for kidney disease!
Senility vs. Dementia: What’s the Difference?
Dementia and senility, though frequently used interchangeably, are two terms that encapsulate distinct aspects of cognitive decline in the elderly. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial for making informed decisions about senior care.
Paradise Assisted Living Centers provides compassionate and specialized care for seniors with dementia, offering a safe and nurturing environment where residents receive personalized attention, engaging activities, and a structured routine that promotes cognitive function and emotional well-being. Contact us to learn more about our dementia care services in Phoenix, Arizona.
Without further ado, here’s an overview of the differences between senile vs. dementia:
Gradual decline in mental and physical faculties due to aging.
General term for a group of cognitive disorders characterized by memory loss and impairment.
The term “senility” has fallen out of favor and is no longer widely used.
The term “dementia” is widely used in medical contexts to describe cognitive decline.
Historically associated with normal aging, but seen as somewhat outdated and imprecise.
Often carries more negative connotations due to its association with severe cognitive decline.
What is Senility?
Senility is a term that has been used for generations to describe age-related cognitive decline. It encompasses a range of cognitive changes that occur naturally as people grow older. These changes may include forgetfulness, slower processing speed, and difficulty with complex tasks. Colloquially, “senile” is often used to describe elderly individuals who exhibit moments of forgetfulness or eccentric behavior.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a broader concept encompassing various cognitive impairments that interfere with daily life. It’s not a normal part of aging and should not be confused with senility. Dementia can encompass various conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. It’s characterized by a decline in memory, reasoning, and other cognitive abilities.
Senile dementia, therefore, is a type of dementia characterized by a pronounced deterioration in cognitive functions, particularly memory, which exceeds what one would consider normal senility or aging.
Senility in the elderly includes the gradual deterioration of the brain, resulting in memory loss and mental abilities simply due to old age. For example, an occasional memory slip, like forgetting where you left your wallet or key, can be considered normal forgetfulness. Although memory loss is one of the common dementia symptoms, memory loss alone does not automatically suggest dementia. Some memory loss is part of aging, but when someone begins showing multiple symptoms of dementia, it may be time to contact a primary care physician and request some testing.
What Causes Dementia?
While age is a risk factor, various genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors contribute to the development of dementia. Here are the most common causes of dementia:
This is the most common cause of dementia. It is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain, leading to plaques and tangles forming. These changes cause nerve cells to function improperly and eventually die, leading to cognitive decline.
This type of dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain due to blood vessel damage or blockages. It often occurs after strokes or other cardiovascular problems affecting the brain’s blood vessels.
Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy bodies are abnormal protein deposits that accumulate in the brain. This type of dementia involves a combination of cognitive problems, fluctuating alertness, and visual hallucinations.
This group of disorders affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It often leads to changes in personality, behavior, and language skills.
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
People with Parkinson’s disease can develop cognitive impairments over time, leading to a form of dementia. It is associated with the same abnormal protein (alpha-synuclein) that contributes to movement problems in Parkinson’s.
A rare genetic disorder that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to break down over time, leading to cognitive and motor problems.
In some cases, a person may have more than one type of dementia, such as a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. This is known as mixed dementia.
Other conditions like traumatic brain injury, infections (such as HIV), and certain metabolic disorders can also lead to dementia.
Understanding the specific cause of dementia can help guide treatment and management strategies. If you suspect someone may have dementia, it’s advisable to seek medical evaluation for accurate diagnosis and appropriate care.
Paradise Living Centers comprises compassionate caregivers dedicated to providing the highest quality care, and we work closely with each resident and their family to create a customized care plan. Schedule a tour of our beautiful assisted living communities today!
Our dementia care services in Phoenix, Arizona, include:
24/7 care by certified nursing assistants.
Individualized activities that promote cognitive function and social engagement.
Aromatherapy, music therapy, and other non-medication therapies.
Nutritious meals and snacks that support physical health.
Spacious and comfortable living spaces.
Medication management and regular health and wellness assessments.
Is Short-term Memory Loss a Sign of Dementia?
Short-term memory loss, where a person has trouble remembering recent events or information, is one of the common early signs of dementia.
However, it’s important to note that occasional loss of memory can also occur due to other factors, such as stress, fatigue, or medication side effects. Therefore, a proper evaluation by a healthcare professional is essential to determine the underlying cause of memory issues and whether it may be related to dementia or another condition.
How to Distinguish Senile Dementia from Senility
Age-Related Changes vs. Medical Condition
Senility represents age-related cognitive changes that are a normal part of aging. In contrast, senile dementia is a medical condition that involves abnormal cognitive decline.
Severity of Cognitive Impairment
Senility typically involves mild cognitive changes, such as occasional forgetfulness. Senile dementia, on the other hand, results in a significant and often progressive decline in cognitive abilities, including memory, language, and problem-solving skills.
Senility primarily results from the natural aging process, whereas senile dementia has underlying pathological causes, most commonly Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia.
Senility is generally not reversible but can be managed through lifestyle changes and cognitive stimulation. Senile dementia, on the other hand, is generally irreversible, and treatments focus on symptom management and support.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Senile Dementia
To facilitate early identification of senile dementia, it is crucial to be vigilant for symptoms such as:
Disorientation in Familiar Environments
Individuals may frequently get lost in places they have known for years, demonstrating a notable departure from their usual cognitive functioning.
Repeatedly asking the same questions, even in short intervals, becomes prevalent.
Unusual or Inappropriate Conduct
Senile dementia can lead to odd or socially inappropriate behaviors that the individual would not have exhibited previously.
Frequent Memory Problems
Memory issues are a hallmark of dementia. However, it is not just occasional forgetfulness but a pervasive problem that affects daily life.
Fluctuations in Alertness Levels
Senile dementia can cause fluctuations in alertness, making the individual appear drowsy or disengaged at times.
Individuals with senile dementia may undergo significant shifts in personality, displaying behaviors that contrast starkly with their previous demeanor. It is important to note that while there is no cure for dementia, early detection and diagnosis can empower healthcare providers to effectively manage the progression of dementia. Timely intervention also ensures that your loved one receives the requisite treatment and care tailored to their needs.
Treatment and Care for Individuals with Dementia
Caring for people with senile dementia can be challenging but manageable with the right approach. Caregivers can provide a supportive environment that promotes well-being and preserves dignity throughout this journey by focusing on several key principles.
1. Structured Routine
Establishing a consistent daily routine can bring a sense of stability to the lives of individuals with senile dementia. Predictable schedules for meals, activities, and rest can reduce anxiety and confusion by creating a reassuring sense of familiarity.
2. Safe and Familiar Environment
Modifying the physical environment to ensure safety is paramount. Minimizing hazards, using clear labels or signage, and maintaining a clutter-free space can help prevent accidents and reduce feelings of disorientation.
3. Emotional Support
Providing emotional support is not just about addressing practical needs but also about fostering a sense of security and connection. Compassionate communication, active listening, and expressions of affection can reassure individuals with senile dementia, helping them feel valued and understood.
4. Patience and Empathy
Individuals with senile dementia might experience difficulty in expressing themselves or processing information. Practicing patience and empathy can go a long way in reducing frustration and anxiety. Giving them time to respond and avoiding confrontations can help maintain a harmonious environment.
5. Engagement and Activities
Stimulating activities tailored to their interests and abilities can enhance their quality of life. Engaging in arts and crafts, listening to music, gentle exercises, or simple puzzles can provide cognitive stimulation and a sense of accomplishment.
6. Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for physical and cognitive well-being. A balanced diet with nutrients rich in nutrients and regular hydration can support overall health and vitality.
7. Respite Care
Caring for someone with senile dementia can be emotionally and physically demanding. Family caregivers should consider seeking respite care to ensure their well-being. Temporary breaks from caregiving can prevent burnout and enable better care in the long run.
8. Professional Guidance
Collaborating with healthcare professionals, including geriatric specialists and dementia care experts, can provide invaluable insights and strategies. They can offer guidance on managing behavioral changes, adjusting medications, and addressing medical concerns.
9. Support Networks
Joining support groups or connecting with other caregivers going through similar experiences can provide a sense of community. Sharing stories, advice, and coping strategies can be reassuring and validating.
10. Flexibility and Adaptation
As the needs and abilities of individuals with senile dementia evolve, it’s important to remain adaptable. What works well at one stage might need adjustment later, so flexibility in caregiving approaches is key.
Dealing with senility and dementia is frustrating for the individual and their loved ones. If you notice a family member exhibiting signs of dementia, you may need to consider professional assisted care.
At Paradise Living Centers, our Care Manager is a certified dementia practitioner who works closely with our caregivers and full-time nurses to provide 24/7 awake care. We also have memory care experts who visit our homes weekly to conduct activities and memory exercises with our residents. It’s our mission to ensure residents are given the quality care they deserve and their families are given the peace of mind they desire.
To learn more about our assisted services or to tour one of our beautiful homes, contact us at (480) 384-9381.
How to get involved and support World Cancer Day
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It is a disease that touches everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or economic status. According to the National Cancer Institute, 39% of us will be diagnosed with Cancer at some point in our lives. World Cancer Day is held annually on February 4th, as a reminder to all of us that there are things we can do to help defeat this devastating disease.
World Cancer Day is a partnership between the World Health Organization and several international Cancer research and awareness organization, including International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The theme for this year is, ‘We can. I can.’, and is meant to encourage everyone to think about how they can get involved.
According to the United Nations, Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 13.1 million deaths in 2030. So what can you do to help defeat cancer once and for all?
Start with yourself: There are no guarantees in life, but by avoiding common risk factors like smoking, excessive drinking and keeping yourself healthy generally, including exercising and keeping a healthy diet, you can help reduce your risk of developing cancer.
See your doctor: In addition to making healthy choices in your daily life, it’s important to continue to have regular check ups with your doctor, and alert them immediately to any pain or changes in your body. Even if you are diagnosed with cancer, the treatments have advanced now to the point where 66% of people are still alive 5 years after being diagnosed. Every person, and case is different, but your best chance for survival is early detection
Donate or Raise Money: There are many organizations in the U.S. and around the world that are developing groundbreaking treatments and supporting those suffering from Cancer and their families. Supporting one of these initiatives on World Cancer Day is a great way to get involved. You can also contribute directly to World Cancer Day to help fund their proposed initiatives.
Raise Awareness: Help spread the world about World Cancer Day by telling a friend, sending a link, or sharing a photo on social media. Use the hashtag #WeCanICan to add your voice to the conversation.
Help Someone: It could be something as simple as visiting someone in the hospitable, or volunteering to drive people to their appointment for treatment. You could brighten someone’s day with very little effort or expense on your part.
These are just a few of the ways to get involved and make a difference to help honor World Cancer Day, and to help combat this disease throughout the year.
How do they differ? Nursing homes in Phoenix vs Assisted Living Facilities in Phoenix
As concern grows for a loved one’s health and safety, many families face the decision of finding an assisted living facility in Phoenix or nursing home in Phoenix. It is difficult to figure out the perfect fit for their family member’s needs. The search through the many of the assisted living facilities in Phoenix can be difficult. On your search, it’s important to understand the difference between a nursing homes in Phoenix vs assisted living facilities in Phoenix.
These four differences between an assisted living facility and nursing home will help you determine what’s best for your loved one.
Level of medical care
Both an assisted living facility and nursing home provide medical care for seniors that are no longer able to live on their own. However, nursing homes in Phoenix typically have residents with more complex medical conditions that require twenty-four hour licensed nursing care. If your loved one needs frequent hospital visits, a nursing home may be the best option. Assisted living facilities will typically have a nurse(s) available or on-call, but won’t have as large of a staff.
Assisted living facilities in Phoenix are typically smaller than nursing homes with a fraction of the number of residents. Many assisted living facilities have private apartments or bedrooms and several living spaces, while nursing homes may have shared rooms and less living spaces. Assisted living facilities also have more outdoor spaces and personalized dining options.
The cost of an assisted living facility or nursing home can vary greatly, however, an assisted living facility typically costs less per month. Nursing homes are generally paid for by Medicare, while assisted living facilities are paid out-of-pocket.
Level of activities
Assisted living facilities have more activities and non-medical transportation options compared to a nursing home. Activities at assisted living facilities can include playing cards, group outings and other physical and mental exercises.
We have a full-time nurse on-staff and available on-call 24/7 at Paradise Living Centers and our certified caregivers provide awake care 24/7 at each of our beautiful 10-bedroom group homes. With a staff-to-resident ratio of 1:5, we learn each resident’s specific needs and preferences, which allows us to focus on their individual health and wellbeing. If you would like to learn more about Paradise Living Centers or book a tour call of one of our group homes, call 480.878.4112 or email email@example.com to contact our Care Manager, Kristie Chadwick directly.
Season’s Greetings from Paradise Living Centers
Protecting seniors from elderly scams
We’ve seen it on the news and heard stories of it time and time again – scammers pretending to be someone else and taking thousands of dollars from the elderly. Many seniors may not be aware of the possible danger of scammers and can easily get caught in a web of deceit. This 87-year-old woman from Phoenix lost $17,000 when a criminal, who was pretending to be a police captain, convinced her to withdraw money from her bank account and give it to him.
It can be difficult for anyone to tell the difference between a scammer and the real deal. A Sedona business owner was recently cheated out of $1,200 by someone pretending to work at a local utility. Seniors are often targeted to gain access to retirement funds or other financial resources that appeal to scammers. They are often trusting when request for information appear official in an email and don’t always know to question if the source is real or think it may be a scam.
Five ways to protect seniors, and yourself, from scams:
Hang up the phone. In the moment, it may seem like a bad idea to hang up on your ‘utility’ or ‘bank’, but if you have any suspicions about a call or email – do not provide information without proof. Call the number directly on your bank statement or utility bill and ask if there are truly any problems.
Ask for ID. If someone comes to the door, even if they’re not in uniform, it is best to ask to see their ID. If you’re still not sure, call the company/administration they claim to represent to confirm.
Explain why. Warning your loved ones about scammers is the first step, it is another to recognize a scam when it happens. Explain why something might be a scam and share examples of incidents. For example, if you are asked to wire money or gift cards—it is most likely a scam. The same goes for requests to make payments over the phone or via email or claims of contest winnings that require a payment to collect your prized.
Report the incident. It’s important to let the authorities know immediately if you or a family member are victim to a scam. It may be embarrassing, but reporting the issue may help to recoup money or take steps to protect identity or personal accounts. It’s also vital to file a report, to help find the culprits and protect others.
Join the ‘do not call’ list. Visit www.donotcall.gov to register on the ‘do not call’ list. This will help limit telemarketers contacting your senior loved one and deter phone calls from scammers. You can also join the Direct Marketing Associations opt-out list to limit junk mail.
Seniors lose $36.48 billion each year due to elder financial abuse, according to a 2015 study from True Link Financial. Because seniors are more vulnerable to scams, they are being targeted by phone, online and in-person but over the phone and online. It’s important to educate your loved ones and be aware of current scams. CBS 5 has a weekly scam watch segment, where you can learn about and report scams.
National Handwashing Awareness Week in Assisted Living Community
Did you hear the joke about the germ? Never mind. We don’t want to spread it around! Handwashing is no joke at Paradise Living Centers when it comes to preventing the spreading of germs and keeping our staff and residents healthy. National Handwashing Awareness Week, which is the first week of December, is an important time to reestablish and promote consistent handwashing.
We’re taught at a young age that washing our hands regularly is an essential part of avoiding illness. However, these hygiene habits can slip as we get older, especially when issues with memory loss begin to surface. The consequence can become a danger to our health and to those that are most vulnerable to catching viruses.
As we age, it becomes harder for the body to fight viruses. We become more susceptible for a variety of reasons, including a decreased amount of antibodies and white blood cells. According to the CDC, up to 20 percent of respiratory infections can be prevented with adequate handwashing. Respiratory infections, like colds, can worsen within seniors and develop into serious cases of pneumonia or other issues.
Our group homes are clean and well maintained and caregivers make sure our residents know the importance of handwashing. Caregivers also wear gloves for certain tasks and will wash their hands frequently to limit the transfer of germs.
The changes in season and stress can make people increasingly vulnerable to illness during winter. Follow these simple tips when you are visiting your loved ones this holiday season to help keep your family healthy:
Wash your hands before and after caring for someone who is sick
When someone is ill their immune system is weakened and they are more susceptible to common viruses. The difference between a whole family being sick or healthy could be up to your handwashing. Thoroughly wash your hands in warm water for at least 20 seconds and be sure to get under your fingernails and between your fingers too!
Keep hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes accessible
It is not always possible to wash with soap and water when you need to. Keep hand sanitizer in your bag or car and be sure to use it even if you don’t think your hands look dirty. It’s also important to regularly sanitize door handles, cell phones and remotes with disinfectants like antibacterial wipes—something we practice regularly at Paradise Living Centers.
Don’t sneeze or cough into your hands
It can be natural to cover your mouth when you cough, but it is better to use your sleeve to keep your hands germ-free. This is especially important when you’re around seniors or those that are sick. You can also use a tissue and immediately wash or sanitize your hands. Just one sneeze can infect an entire room for hours–even if you don’t think that you’re sick.
One of the biggest culprits for spreading germs is in the bathroom where surfaces, faucets and door handles are easily contaminated. Washing your hands after coming into contact with these objects is important, especially when you live with or care for someone elderly. In honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, we urge everyone to remember those early lessons from Mom to wash your hands.