Alzheimer’s Awareness

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that robs many older adults of their memories, their self-awareness, and their independence. The progressive loss of cognitive function Alzheimer’s patients experience requires an escalating level of care. This can cause a real hardship for family caregivers.

Home health and hospice agencies help families care for their loved ones in the comfort and safety of their home. Home care enables Alzheimer’s patients to avoid the anxiety and confusion that comes with an office visit. Home health provides a multitude of services for the patient and their overwhelmed family caregivers:

  • Education about disease progress

  • Individual and family counseling

  • Management and evaluation of patient care

  • Observation and assessment

  • Medication and home safety education

  • Assistance with ADLs

  • Restorative therapy

  • Medical social services

Once a patient’s condition deteriorates to a six-month life expectancy, hospice can step in and take over. Alzheimer’s patients are often unable to report their symptoms, leaving them vulnerable to pain and various other conditions. Hospice nurses are trained to care for people who have lost some or all cognitive function and are excellent providers of palliative care for those nearing the end of life.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Here are some ways your agency can plan now to get involved:

  • Partner up with local Alzheimer’s support groups. Provide refreshments and information on your company’s respite services and in-home support for those caring for Alzheimer’s family members at home.

  • Sponsor local awareness events like the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s .These walks raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research.

Forgetfulness vs Alzheimer’s: Tweets that you can copy and paste, courtesy of the National Institute on Aging:

  1. How can you tell the difference between mild forgetfulness & serious memory problems? Find out in this infographic: http://bit.ly/2nvUbLZ

  2. What’s normal aging and what may be a sign of Alzheimer’s? Check out this infographic to see what’s typical: http://bit.ly/2mQj4Fp

  3. Read and share this infographic about normal memory problems vs Alzheimer’s disease. http://bit.ly/2nhqeh1

Visit tagwebstore.com for Home Health and Hospice Educational and Marketing Materials.

Related: Find the Alzheimer’s Association in your community: https://www.alz.org/local_resources/find_your_local_chapter

 

Palliative Care for the COPD Patient

It’s hard to imagine that some 50 years ago cigarette smoking was widely accepted in restaurants, on airplanes, and even in hospitals. Cigarettes could be purchased in vending machines and were glamorized in the movies. Sadly, many seniors of today are dealing with the consequences of that culture and find themselves afflicted with some degree of COPD.

COPD is a general term for several progressive lung diseases that include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Those living with COPD suffer from cumulative lung damage that cannot be reversed, although symptoms can be managed and disease progression can be slowed with proper treatment.

Palliative care is instrumental in managing COPD. It helps patients achieve the best possible quality of life whatever the prognosis. Many COPD patients have a difficult time even walking across a room, let alone trekking to a clinic for care. Home health and hospice agencies offer palliative care in the convenience and comfort of a patient’s home. Whether that be a house, a senior community, skilled nursing facility, or hospital. 

November is COPD Awareness Month and the start of flu season in many parts of the country. Remind your referring physicians about the many benefits of home care, especially for their patients suffering with chronic respiratory conditions. One major benefit, especially this time of year, is reducing the time spent in overcrowded waiting rooms for those who have compromised immune systems and are susceptible to infection.

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

  • Volunteer to lead a COPD support group in your community. Introducing your services to your neighbors will allow them to better understand the options available through all types of home care agencies.

  • Distribute informative brochures to your local senior centers that list the symptoms, causes and risk factors for COPD, as well as the pulmonary rehabilitation services your agency provides.

  • Provide your referral network with informative material on effective smoking cessation strategies. Be sure to include your agency’s many COPD-related home health services.

Visit www.tagstore.com for all your Home Health and Hospice marketing essentials.

 

Resources: https://getpalliativecare.org/

Family Caregivers

As adults we tend to think of our parents always as the invincible people they seemed to be in our youth. So, when they can no longer care for themselves or their bodies succumb to illness, the reality of becoming their caregiver can be overwhelming.

For those who choose to care for their aging parents at home, the actuality of daily caregiving for an adult with limited mobility, a chronic illness, or diminished mental capacity can be quite daunting. It can put a tremendous strain on the entire family. Home health, home care, and hospice can provide assistance for these struggling families. 

Home health and home care offer multiple services ranging from home nursing, to personal care and both offer respite care for family caregivers. Many people may not be aware that Home care and Home health services can be eligible for Medicare or private insurance coverage with physician referral.

Hospice also offers support for family caregivers. Hospice provides personal hygiene assistance, volunteers who can sit with patients while caregivers run errands, and week-long inpatient care to give family caregivers a respite break.

Always include your respite and family support services in all of your community marketing materials. You should never hesitate to overstate the obvious, because what is obvious to you may not be to someone else.

Here are some ideas to help you promote your services:

  • Call on Human Resource agencies in your area about promoting your care services on their employee portals. Explain how your agency can help caregivers achieve better work-home balance. Suggest that they link to your website for detailed information and a one-on-one assessment. 

  • Sponsor a family caregiver event in your community. Discuss long-term planning, care options, and home care services. Invite financial planners, lawyers, social workers, and the full spectrum of home health and private duty providers to speak briefly about their services.

  • Family caregivers usually accompany their loved ones to doctor visits so be sure to provide your referring physicians with information about your respite care services.

  • Add a link to the Caregiver Action Network’s Family Caregiver Story Project on your website to show your commitment to helping caregivers find the resources they need. Visitors can read about the experiences of other family caregivers and find condition- specific information to help them in their caregiving role.

Visit the TAG Web Store for all your Home Health, Private Duty, and Hospice marketing materials.

Relieving Pain through Physical Therapy

As we all know there are many easy ways to relieve pain. We too often reach for a pill instead of working out the pain. Our bodies are quite resilient and can bounce back from many injuries if we keep them moving.

Physical therapy is a means of moving your body toward recovery after a surgery or an accident. It can help reduce pain from natural joint deterioration, or from an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or multiple sclerosis. Home health care puts a trained and licensed physical therapist right in your living room.

Consistent participation in a therapy program is essential for achieving recovery goals. Home health removes the roadblocks that prevent folks with transportation issues, or personal mobility limitations from maintaining a healthy physical therapy regimen.

A standard physical therapy plan might include:

  • Guided exercises

  • Instruction on proper use of stabilizing equipment

  • Proper transfer techniques

  • Massage, ultrasound, or heat/cold treatments

  • Proper techniques for stair climbing and traversing obstacles

October is the month to recognize the important work that Physical Therapists do and an opportunity to market your agency’s role in post-surgical patient recovery. Visit our TAG Web Store to stock up on your customized health care flyers promoting the physical therapy services your company provides.

Promote your Physical Therapy program:

  • Conduct a workshop for seniors to demonstrate how physical therapy programs can reduce arthritic pain, improve mobility, and promote independent living.

  • Host a lunch and learn for a local community organization (Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary) to educate people about the importance of moderate exercise as we age. Be sure to provide brochures about your agency and all of the health care services you can provide.

  • Highlight your physical therapy program at local youth sporting facilities or events, which grandparents frequently attend. Have your therapists Instruct young athletes on proper warm- up and stretching techniques to avoid injury. Handout marketing materials that tout the benefits of home health care, explain Medicare eligibility, and highlight your agency’s services.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United states. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and nearly 14,000 women will lose their lives to the disease. Join with your staff and your referral partners throughout the month of September, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, to spotlight the need for continued research and support for the courageous women fighting this disease.

As with any type of cancer early diagnoses improves prognosis, but ovarian cancer can be tricky to diagnose as its symptoms can easily be mistaken for other illnesses. The only difference that stands out with ovarian cancer is the duration of symptoms. The American Cancer Society recommends women who experience frequent severe abdominal pain or have any of the following symptoms persistently should visit their physician:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling

  • Weight loss

  • Pelvic discomfort

  • Bowel disruption

  • Frequent urination

  • Satisfied with eating small portions of food

For those women fighting ovarian cancer, choosing home health as a part of their cancer treatment team means adding another level of care. They receive compassionate personalized medical care in the comfort and privacy of their home. Home health nurses can offer infusion therapy under oncologist supervision for women with extremely compromised immune systems. Consequently, home health care reduces emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.

Your agency can make a difference:

  • Visit the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to find out how you can get involved.

  • Promote the benefits of home health care to the to the cancer clinics, oncologists and gynecologist in your service area.

  • Organize a Wear Your Teal day for your staff and referral network.

  • Sponsor a Together in TEAL® run/walk event in your community this October, and be sure to provide teal ribbons for participants.

  • Stock your referral partners with brochures on cancer and other women’s health issues.

Maintain current marketing media that highlights all of your services, including telehealth monitoring and infusion therapy services. Visit TAG web store for all your Home Health and Hospice resources.