Men’s Health: Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons that keep the arm seated properly in the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff tears are common shoulder injuries among men, especially for men over the age of fifty.

Acute tears can be caused by falls, lifting something too heavy, or in conjunction with other shoulder injuries such as collarbone breaks or shoulder dislocations. Tears tend to be more prevalent among painters, carpenters, swimmers, baseball pitchers, and tennis players who make repetitive overhead motions.

Degenerative tears increase with age as tendons become worn away. Activities that were once performed with ease such as shoveling snow, chopping wood, or digging in the yard can put too much strain on an aging rotator cuff. Many tears of this type require surgery followed by extended physical therapy to repair and restore mobility.  

Home health agencies provide physical therapy to help patients manage their condition, reduce pain, and restore function. Home health therapists help senior patients avoid rotator cuff injuries by teaching muscle strengthening and safe lifting techniques. They assess a patient’s home environment for hazards and create a plan to eliminate them.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the most common symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include:

  •  Pain at rest and at night, particularly when lying on the affected shoulder

  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm or with specific movements

  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm

  • Crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions

Promote men’s health issues throughout the month of June. Partner with retail and community organizations to sponsor healthy living booths at:

  • Local sporting goods stores

  • Fitness centers

  • Community ball parks

  • Car / Boat show

  • Flea market

  • Big box stores

Improve your marketing strategy with personalized home health, home care, and hospice print media. Visit TAGwebstore.com or call us at 866-232-6477 for more information.

Home Safety is Coming Up in June

Home is the one place that everyone should feel safe. Unfortunately, there are dangers lurking inside the homes of many seniors putting them at risk of injury. Surroundings that were harmless in younger days may prove hazardous for older adults who are visually challenged, unsteady on their feet, or those who rely on transport equipment such as a walker or cane.

Fall risks such as throw rugs, poor lighting, and steps without hand rails are among commonly overlooked hazards that can create an unsafe environment. One in every three adults age 65 and older will fall every year, making this accident the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, according to the CDC.

Home health care provides solutions for seniors who may be unaware of problem areas in their home. This is one of the many benefits of bringing caregivers into the home. Home health associates evaluate both a patient’s indoor and outdoor environment for fall risk. Risk assessments generally include recommendations of necessary support equipment, equipment procurement assistance, and hands on instruction of equipment use.

Home health care provides improved home safety that can help seniors retain their independence longer. Include fall assessment and prevention in your June marketing .

Here are some ideas to promote Home Safety:

  • Distribute fall prevention information to local worship communities and offer to teach a class on safeguarding against avoidable in-home accidents. Here are some simple home safety tips to share:

    • Exercise moderately every day to improve strength and balance.

    • Have regular eye exams.

    • Know your medications, some can cause drowsiness or dizziness.

    • Remove trip hazards: clutter, throw rugs, electrical cords.

    • Safeguard staircases with handrails and sufficient lighting.

    • Use nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways.

    • Install grab bars in and around showers, bathtubs, and toilets.

    • Store items you use often within easy reach.

    • Wear shoes with nonskid soles.

    • When rising, establish your balance before walking.

    • Keep a phone within reach with emergency phone numbers handy.

    • Set the water heater thermostat at 120°F to avoid accidental scalding.

  • Arrange for your team members to lead a discussion group at senior centers in your service area. Have your OTs emphasize the importance of exercise to maintain muscle strength. Be sure to have plenty of swag on hand to distribute to the attendees.

  • Be sure to include your local pharmacists in your home safety marketing strategy. Pharmacists make great referral partners as seniors often turn to them for advice regarding mobility challenges and transport equipment.

Visit TAGwebstore.com for fall prevention and other home health patient education material.

What is aphasia and how does home health care benefit individuals with this condition?

Aphasia is a condition that occurs when the language areas of the brain are damaged by injury, stroke, or tumor. There are three main types of aphasia: fluent, non-fluent, and global.

Wernicke’s, the most common type of fluent aphasia, is the result of damage to the temporal lobe of the brain. People with Wernicke’s aphasia tend to speak in long phrases that have no meaning, such as: Cat washing the door is that honey bee and my hour glass doorarator tomorrow. They are often unaware of their mistakes and struggle with language comprehension.

Broca’s, the most common type of non-fluent aphasia, develops when the frontal lobe of the brain is injured or damaged. People with Broca’s tend to have paralysis on the right side of their body and can understand speech, and know what they want to say, but they struggle to say or write it. They generally are only able to blurt out small phrases or a couple of words at a time.  

Global aphasia is the result of extensive damage to the brain’s language areas. Those with global aphasia experience severe disabilities of speech and language comprehension.

Home health agencies routinely treat patients recovering from strokes, debilitating brain injuries, and brain cancer. When someone suffers a brain injury, they experience both a physical and mental loss of control. This loss of control can cause some to feel anxious, afraid, or agoraphobic when leaving the confines of their home. Home health care benefits these patients by providing them quality medical care, and physical, and speech therapies in the safety if their home environment. Personalized care administered in a private home setting can result in greater patient participation and a higher rate of recovery.

Emphasize the quality and convenience of home care in your marketing strategies. Provide patient outcome scores in the print media you choose to increase your physician referrals.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and the perfect time to raise awareness about stroke prevention and the benefits of choosing home health care. Why not partner with local community organizations to sponsor a Purple Walk or 5k run.

  • Provide blood pressure screening and information on healthy eating and age appropriate exercises that can lower the risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease.

  • Encourage food trucks that cater to a heart healthy diet to join in.

  • Invite the local media to participate and report on the event.

 

Visit TAGWebstore.com to order your print media and hand-outs for the event.

Home Care and Men’s Health

June is Men’s Health month which means it’s time once again to emphasize how important it is for men to have an annual check-up. Men are traditionally more reluctant than women to see their doctor regularly. This may contribute to their higher death rate for most of the leading causes of death. There are various excuses that men give as to why they don’t or won’t see their doctor, but whatever the reason behind the avoidance, it’s a serious problem. Do your part as a health care provider to encourage men to be proactive when it comes to their health.

The leading death contributing diseases among men:

  • Heart Disease

  • Cancers

  • Stroke

  • COPD

  • Diabetes

Plan June promotions that highlight the benefits of home health care. Home health care provides men rehabilitating from surgery, a stroke, or those suffering with a chronic health condition a more palatable health care alternative. There is something more appealing about receiving treatment in the comfort of your recliner.

Bringing health care to the patient removes much of the anxiety that comes with frequent visits to crowed clinics, long waits in dreary waiting rooms, and the logistical dilemma of figuring out how to get to and from appointments. These are real issues for aging men and women dealing with recurrent treatments.

Here are some ways your agency can promote Men’s Health and your Agency at the same time:

  • Plan a Wear Blue day to show support for Men’s health. Provide T-shirt’s for your staff to wear during Men’s Health week June 10-16.

  • Organize a softball tournament and invite your referral partners, the local Red Cross, community organizations and your and local Media stations to participate. Post about it on your social media outlets to attract a big crowd.

  • Partner with your local big box home improvement store to sponsor a mini health fair on the Saturday before Father’s Day. Have print media on hand highlighting men’s health issues.

  • Offer to give a short presentation at elementary schools in your service area. The younger a child is exposed to positive messages about doctors and nurses the more likely they are to not avoid them as adults. Provide some fun stuff for the kiddos and some information for their parents.

 Visit TAGwebstore for promotional products and print media to market your Home Health, Home Care and Hospice Agency. Learn more about Men’s Health Month at www.MensHealthNetwork.org.

Sun Damage is Cumulative

Summer will soon be in full swing! It’s time to bring out those shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. Make sure that in addition to those flops, you include wide brim hats, sun glasses, and sun screen whenever you plan to be outside. Dermatologists recommend that everyone generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher to protect their skin.

The ultraviolet rays from the sun can adversely affect skin and eyes. Research shows that 80% of skin aging comes from these damaging UV rays. Home health nurses see patients weekly, which puts them on the front line of skin cancer detection. Recurrent examinations enable them to identify skin changes, suspicious moles, or dry patches that might indicate basal or squamous cell skin cancer. This is especially helpful for those patients who have a history of skin cancers and need assistance monitoring areas of their skin that they cannot easily see.

Promote skin health and the importance of early detection in your home health marketing.

Here are some ways your agency can promote safe sun practices:

  • Post about the dangers of UV radiation and sun protection throughout the summer on your social media outlets and blogs.

  • Set an example! Use sunscreen and be a shade seeker!

  • Encourage your family and friends to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, avoid tanning beds, and midday sun.

  • It’s never too early to start protecting your skin! Offer to give safe sun presentations at local elementary schools. Call us at 866.232.6477 to hook you up with cool hand outs for the kids.   

  • Partner with your referral groups to sponsor a skin cancer screening event at a popular community gathering.

Visit the TAG Webstore for skin cancer awareness marketing flyers.

For more information on Skin Cancer visit the Skin Cancer Foundation, National Cancer Institute, or American Cancer Society