Screening & Testing to Build Referrals

The summer is filled with social gatherings that provide opportunities to promote your services and educate neighbors about Home Health and Hospice care. Consider hosting a mini health fair or sponsoring a medical screening booth at a popular event.

Medical screenings provide opportunities to discuss healthy life choices, long term care planning, and the benefits of Home Health and Hospice care should the need arise. It also identifies you as an expert in healthy aging and demonstrates your commitment to maintaining a healthy community.

The goal of a health fair screening is to bring to light any issues that may suggest a follow-up discussion with a medical professional, and not to make definitive diagnosis. Keep in mind when selecting screenings that people are more likely to participate when the results are immediate.

Here are some tests you may want to offer:

  • Glucose
  • Blood Pressure
  • BMI
  • Cholesterol
  • Flexibility, Endurance and Strength testing
  • Hearing
  • Spirometry
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Memory diagnostic
  • Bone density
  • Skin Cancer
  • Vision testing

Be sure to stock up on condition specific materials and swag to hand out for those future referrals.

Visit the TAG Web Store for all your Home Health and Hospice referral building materials.

World Lung Cancer Day is right around the corner…

August 1st is World Lung Cancer Day … Share your expertise in patient care as you promote lung health.  As health care providers, you undoubtedly understand the close relationship between COPD and lung cancer, but most people don’t realize the close association. COPD and lung cancer share similar symptoms like a persistent cough, shortness of breath, chronic bronchitis, or repeated episodes of pneumonia. The cross-over in symptoms between chronic lung disorders and lung cancer can contribute to the cancer going undetected until it is in an advanced stage.

This is where you come in: The frequency of home health assessment provides COPD patients with an added level of monitoring.  With these consistent evaluations home health nurses can recognize symptom changes that might indicate the presence of lung cancer.

Symptoms of lung cancer: Fatigue • Loss of appetite • Unexplained weight loss • Chest pain unrelated to coughing • Hoarseness • Coughing up blood

Here are some ideas to raise lung health awareness in your community:

  • Volunteer to lead a COPD support group in your community. Connecting your home care services with these groups will allow them to better understand the options available through all types of home care services.
  • Distribute to your community informative brochures that list the symptoms, causes and risk factors for COPD, as well as the services your agency provides.
  • Sponsor a Lunch and Learn at a local respiratory therapist’s office and introduce your agency’s services.
  • Provide your referral network with informative material on effective smoking cessation options. Be sure to include your agency’s many COPD-related home health services.
  • Arrange to visit local schools to provide information on lung health:
  1. DON’T Smoke!
  2. Exercise to breathe harder. When you exercise your heart beats faster and your lungs work harder which increases lung efficiency and strength.
  3. Avoid exposure to pollutants such as second-hand smoke, air pollution, and automobile exhaust, and have your home tested for radon.
  4. Stay healthy to avoid infection by washing your hands, avoiding crowds during cold & flu season, taking the flu vaccine annually, and asking your doctor if the pneumonia vaccine is right for you.
  5. Practice deep breathing exercises to increase lung capacity and function.

Visit www.tagwebstore for all your Home Health and Hospice Communication Essentials

Fourth of July Safety Tips...

The 4th of July is upon us and millions of people will celebrate this Independence Day dining al fresco, listening to music, and watching fireworks. Many revelers will attend community celebrations and take in large pyrotechnic displays, but others will enjoy their fireworks closer to home.

The United Sates Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that firework displays be left up to professionals, but if fireworks are legal where you live and you choose to ignite them, here are some safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Always have a responsible adult supervise fireworks activities for older children.
  • Don’t use illegal fireworks many of which are packaged in brown paper.
  • Never stand directly over fireworks when lighting the fuse and back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person or animal.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of malfunction or fire.
  • Light fireworks one at a time and never try to relight a “dud.”
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth flat surface away from people, animals, houses, cars and flammable materials
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket, light them in your hand, or shoot them off in a metal or glass container.
  • Douse all spent fireworks with water before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
  • Bring all pets inside if fireworks are being used in your neighborhood.
  • Make sure your pets have identification tags, in case they run away during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind near pets. Don’t bring even a small pet to a fireworks display.

Burns are the most common injuries from fireworks accidents. If a person gets burned:

  • Move the victim to a safety and extinguish the fire.
  • Remove any smoldering material and hot or burned clothing. If the clothing sticks to the skin, cut around it and leave until help arrives.

If the burn is a superficial one where the skin is red and non-blistered:

  • Cool the burn by holding it under cool (not cold) running water or immersing it in cool water for at least five minutes.
  • Remove rings or tight clothing from the affected area, as burns can swell quickly.
  • Don't break blisters. A broken blister can get infected.
  • Once a burn has cooled apply a thin layer of aloe vera, lidocaine, or honey. DO NOT USE lotion, oil, antibiotic ointment, cortisone, butter, or egg white to treat a burn.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile non-stick gauze bandage. DO NOT use a dressing that can shed fibers. Wrap it loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin
  • If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen.

For serious burns seek immediate care (Call 911):

  • If the burn is deep
  • If the skin is dry and leathery
  • If the skin appears charred or has patches of white, brown or black
  • If the burned area is larger than 3 inches in diameter or covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint

Let us all have a Safe Holiday! Here are some free downloads on Firework Safety that you can share:

https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets/fireworkssafetytips.pdf

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Fireworks

http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/sites/default/files/fireworksafetyposters_0.pdf

 

 

Knee & Hip replacements – Why they are so common and how Home Health can help in recovery

Knee & Hip Replacements are more popular than ever, in fact they are among the most common elective surgeries in the United States. There are many factors that contribute to the elevated number of replacement procedures, but it is likely due to the success of the implants and the fact that people are no longer have to endure joint pain.

Joint replacements are a common solution to relieve severe arthritis pain in older adults, but in recent years much younger adults have elected to undergo the procedures. Studies show that nearly half of the hip & knee replacements currently being performed are on patients that are 65 and under, despite the possibility of a second procedure down the road if the implants wear out.

Medically reasonable and necessary physical therapy services for seniors and young adults are covered under Medicare. Stay in front of your referral network this summer by highlighting your expertise in physical therapy, pain management, accident recovery, and post-surgery rehab.

Here are some ways you can emphasize your company’s commitment to joint health and rehabilitation in your community:

  • Partner with local orthopedic clinics to provide bone density testing at local community events. Download and print free Bone Health brochures and information packets to hand out.
  • Visit your local senior centers and provide instruction on physical activities that older adults can do to help increase bone tissue and stability.
  • Provide educational materials on bone health related topics to your referral network that they can share with their patients.

Visit the TAG webstore to view our popular Home Health and Hospice informational products.

July is UV Safety Month

July is UV safety month. Spread the word about the dangers of Ultraviolet Radiation exposure. The sun emits harmful radiation in the form of ultraviolet rays that can be damaging to the skin and eyes.

  • UV-A rays have long wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin and cause long-term skin damage. Skin damage is cumulative so prolonged exposure to UVA rays causes premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.
  • UV-B rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin and are the main cause of sunburns. These rays are also harmful to the eyes, and can cause a corneal sunburn and contribute to the development of cataracts. Other eye diseases linked to UV radiations include macular degeneration and pterygium. 

Raising awareness about the dangers of UV radiation and how they can be minimized also calls attention to your agency and its place as a health leader in your community. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Print and distribute sun safety information throughout your service area. The American Academy of Dermatology and the Centers for Disease Control both offer free downloadable sun safety brochures.
  • Provide personalized UV 400 sunglasses to your referral groups to promote your company’s commitment to eye health. Call us for pricing 866-232-6477.
  • Drop by all your local senior communities with lip balm or sun screen and distribute them with copies of your marketing brochures
  • Fill your Social Media feed with UV safety tips all month long:
  1. Wear sun glasses that screen out 75% to 90% of visible light and block out 99% (UV400) of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  2. Avoid indoor tanning. Tanning beds expose the skin to both UVA and UVB radiation. UV skin damage is cumulative and those who begin indoor tanning before the age of 35 increase their risk for developing melanoma by 75%.
  3. Stay in the shade as much as possible during the peak hours of sun exposure between 10am – 4pm.
  4. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 every day. Apply at least an ounce of sunscreen every two hours when out in the sun. Reapply more often if you are sweating or swimming. Allow sunscreen to fully soak in before going back into the pool or it will wash right off.
  5. Cover up your skin by wearing long sleeve shirts, pants and wide rimed hats.
  6. Avoid prolonged exposure to sun-amplifying surfaces like sand, water, snow and even windows, especially during the peak hours of the day.
  7. Test your Knowledge … Link to the Sun Safety Quiz:  American Cancer Society Sun Safety Quiz

Visit our tag web store for informational materials for Home Heath and Hospice Care.