Age-Related Macular Degeneration

February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. Age-related macular degeneration, AMD, is the is the leading cause of vision loss among older adults. AMD is an age-related condition that affects central vision. Early signs of AMD are the appearance of shadowy distortions in the middle of a person’s vision. As the disease progresses those distortions become dark spots that create voids. 

Strike a chord with geriatric care providers this February by explaining how home health improves outcomes for visually impaired seniors. For instance, many home health agencies use low-vision therapists to help AMD patients cope with not being able to see what is directly in front of them. They teach patients to boost their remaining vision by using support tools and developing their peripheral vision.

Promote the benefits of In-home evaluation. Home health therapists evaluate patients’ homes for safety hazards, improper lighting, and the need for sight assistance devices. The proper environmental modifications can help AMD patients maintain their independence longer.

Low vision tools for AMD patient:

  • Specialized eyeglass prescription with very high magnification and prisms. Often with yellow tint to increase contrast.

  • Magnifiers for print and electronic devices

  • Increased lighting

  • Use of devices that respond to voice command

Researchers believe there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. They have linked certain nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, E, and zinc to eye health. Other risk reducing practices are similar to those that help prevent heart disease and stroke:

  • Maintain a normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

  • Eat an eye-healthy diet of green leafy vegetables and oily fish.

  • Exercise regularly

  • Don’t smoke

Call on the ophthalmologists and eye care specialists in your service area to market your agency and the ways low-vision patients can benefit from your home care services.

Visit the Home Care Observance Calendar to keep track of upcoming marketing opportunities.

Market Heart Health in February

Heart health will be highlighted throughout the month of February to encourage healthier living and heart disease prevention. Use this observance to emphasize the benefits of discharging to home health when calling on heart specialists within your service area.

Cardiac patients routinely undergo procedures that require post-hospital care. Supply your referral sources print media featuring your services and how partnering with your agency can expedite patient recovery and reduce readmissions.

How discharging to Home Health can benefit hospitals:

  • Reduce readmissions

  • Reduce length of stay

  • Reduce urgent/emergency care

  • Improve outcomes and control cost

How discharging to Home Health can benefit physicians:

  • Access to current clinical assessment data and outcome feedback

  • Improved case management thereby reducing calls

  • Early detection / intervention

  • Streamlined plan-of-care

  • Improved physician follow-up

How to incorporate Heart Health in your February marketing strategy:

  • Partner with your referring Cardiologist and the local Red Cross to sponsor a CPR training event. Provide heart disease specific print media customized with your company branding.

  • Celebrate National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Encourage your staff to wear red on February 1st. Visit Go Red for Women for more information.

  • Organize a lunch walk with your staff and your neighboring offices to promote daily exercise.

  • Share heart healthy recipes on your social media outlets throughout the month of February.

Grab some special edition Heart Month print media and start building referrals.

Visit TAGWebStore.com for all your Home Health and Hospice marketing needs.

Related topic of Interest:  Portable defibrillators … should you get one? 

Cancer Care - Partnering with Home Health and Hospice

Cancer touches nearly everyone at some point in their life. According to the National Cancer Institute, over 1,700,000 new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed in 2018. February is National Cancer Prevention Month and a good opportunity to target oncology providers in your service area. Incorporate cancer care into your first quarter marketing strategy to promote patient outcomes improved by partnering with Home Health. Home Health Care Benefits include:

  • Improved condition management

  • Patient and family counseling

  • Condition assessment

  • Home safety and emergency education

  • Medication education

  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapies

It is estimated that cancer will have claimed 600,00 American lives in 2018. Hospice offers premium end-of-life-care for those unfortunate patients whose cancer is progressive, metastasized, or no longer responsive to treatment. Hospice Care includes:

  • Individualized care plans

  • Optional home care with support services

  • A support team of doctors, nurses, technicians, chaplains, and social workers

  • Symptom relief and pain management

  • Spiritual counseling

  • Respite care for caregivers

Participate in Cancer Prevention throughout the month of February:

  • Share cancer prevention methods through your professional and social network:

    Avoiding all forms of tobacco.

    Maintaining a healthy weight.

    Exercising regularly.

    Eating healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

    Limiting alcohol consumption.

    Protecting your skin.

    Knowing yourself, your family history, and your risks.

    Having regular check-ups and appropriate cancer screening tests.

  • Promote the importance of early detection. The National Cancer Institute has downloads to help you get started.

  • Promote a healthy diet by hosting a collaborative class with an emphasis on foods that help prevent  cancer. Invite local health-oriented restaurateurs to participate.

  • Visit oncologists in your service area to educate them about the care you provide to cancer patients. Take along your comprehensive patient education guides that help your patients stay on track and achieve better outcomes.

  • Visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for free cancer-related fact sheets, posters and other educational materials.

 

Visit tagwebstore.com for your Home Health and Hospice print media. 

Healthy Staff Resolutions for 2019

Caring for homebound patients can certainly be demanding. Working long hours in the field under sometimes less than ideal conditions can be mentally stressful and physically draining. As your agency gears up for the new year, add staff wellness to your list of goals for 2019.

Start by having your staff come up with health resolutions to share with the team. Focus on activities your staff can do together. Working toward health goals as a group is more fun and helps keep everyone on track. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

Improve eating habits:

  • Start a food diary to identify unhealthy eating habits.  

  • Try batch-cooking on the weekends to prevent hitting the drive through during the week.

  • Replace refined carbohydrates with fruits and vegetables.

Commit to moderate daily exercise:

  • Organize walks with colleagues during breaks.

  • Consider the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Choose a space at the far end of the parking lot to get in a few extra steps.

Devote time to rest:

  • Hit the hay a little earlier to make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

  • Turn off personal devices at least 30 minutes before you turn in.

  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark for quality sleep.

Increase hydration:

  • Start each day with a glass of water.

  • Drink a glass of water with each meal.

  • Carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go.  

A healthier care giving team benefits themselves, their families, and their patients. The value add to the agency is a boost in job satisfaction which promotes better caregiving and leads to increased patient outcome scores. Improving overall company wellness translates to a healthy business.

Let us make your job a little easier. Visit tagwebstore.com for the tools you need to educate your patients on how to better manage their conditions, improve function, and relieve pain.

 

Have a Healthy and Happy New Year

Marketing Plan for 2019 – Expanding your Referral Network

The year may be winding down but your marketing should be revving up! Here are some ideas to help you hit the ground running this January.

  1. Decide how you want to distinguish your agency from other home health and hospice agencies in your service area.

  2. Review CMS Home Health and Hospice scores and build a presentation around those areas where your agency excels.

  3. Check out our Health Care Observance Calendar for observances that correspond with your marketing strategy and have your staff select events they would like to participate in as a group.

  4. Polish your image with branded Admission Books which not only streamline enrollment, but are a great marketing tool that show your referring physicians the caliber of professionalism their patients will get under your care.

  5. Visit your referring physicians. Ask them how you can help them communicate better with their patients. Discuss patient outcomes and how your partnership improves patient care and reduces readmissions. Provide print media that highlights your agency’s proven track record.

  6. Identify heath care partners that you may have previously overlooked, for example, your local pharmacists. Pharmacists make excellent referral partners and with National Pharmacist Day coming up January 12th, it’s a perfect time to pay a visit to reiterate the benefits of home care. Be sure to leave behind brochures that define the services your agency provides.

  7. Drop off a supply of cognitive building puzzle books at senior centers in your service area. Offer to teach a monthly class on a variety of age-related health topics.

Contact us here at TAG Partners for product samples, consultations, and marketing solutions.

 

Happy Holidays