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Archive for July 2016

It Doesn’t Have to Change Your Life

Colostomy

 

First Steps in Living with a Colostomy :

Having extreme abdominal surgery, cancer or other severe illness can be hard enough on a body and spirit. Finding out you need a colostomy or ostomy can make things feel even more devastating. Some people have to learn to make the adjustment to this new facet of their life. However, in many cases, it may not be a permanent condition. While you do have the stoma and colostomy, you will have to adapt your life to some changes. But it doesn’t mean you have to give up your life to do it.

Time & Supervision-   When you first get home after invasive surgery that included a colostomy, you’ll need to give your body time to recover and adjust. As you learn to use your colostomy bags and tend to the stoma (the opening created on your side or abdomen so waste can still come out), you may benefit from having a nurse or therapist come in to help guide you through the process, check on the stoma, and make sure you keep up your exercise. They and your doctor can help you through the do’s and don’ts – what you can eat, whether you can do certain athletics, how to best sleep with a bag on, etc.

Connect & support – It’s important to connect and support to the people in your life after such a difficult surgery. Many people, though, are embarrassed about having a colostomy. Since we’re young, we tend to be taught that body waste is not something openly discussed – at least not our own. It is something you have to decide how to handle should any one ask how you are, or what type of operation you had. There’s no need to give details if you prefer not to, but it can only help spread awareness and remove misconceptions if you do. It is important to not hide from social activities because of your new condition. Human interaction and support will help you heal not just your body, but your spirit.

Learning to live with a colostomy can be trying, and can create anxiety. With patience, understanding, support from friends and loved ones, and a good sense of humor, you’ll be able to enjoy almost everything you did before.

“To be alive is to totally and openly participate in the simplicity and elegance of here and now”

Donald Altman

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Importance of Companionship

Importance of Companionship

Staying mentally fit and engaged can be challenging at any age. For the elderly, it can be especially difficult to stay active and motivated. Think about it, contemporaries and loved ones are starting to pass away and old age is having its effect on being able to move about easily and even to drive. This can be a particularly hard time if the person is living alone.

Feeling lonely and isolated can have a very negative impact on a person’s health, both mentally and physically. We have all had those moments where we have felt the pain and dread of being so alone. Family and friends visits can help, but they are often a perfunctory visit, or one done because the relative feels obligated. There can also be time constraints with work and other activities, or distance that makes frequent visits from family difficult.

There are some things that can be done to encourage continued social engagement and activities to help an elderly person stay active and interested.

  • Trips to a Senior Center or Elder Day Care can give the person a chance to participate in organized activities and associate with peers.
  • Having a Social Companion come in a few times a week. These warm hearted caregivers can help with errands, play games, or assist with routine home activities. Often someone who provides Social Companionship is younger, so it can be a more interesting.
  • Encourage them to volunteer. Some local hospitals look for volunteer grandparents for sick children. Or maybe helping out at a soup kitchen or charitable organization is more interesting.
  • Learn a new craft, language, or skill. Learning more about computers, or taking their lifelong interest in woodworking to the next level, can keep their mind sharp.

Companionship is so important to all humans of any age, and especially for those approaching their later years. Studies have shown that companionship keeps the mind sharp, boosts immunity, and helps physical strength and agility. It is an important aspect of life, and one we should share with each other while we can.

 

“The delight of opening a new pursuit, or a new course of reading, imparts the vivacity and novelty of youth even to old age.”  – Isaac D’Israeli

 

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Summer Fitness

For Summer Fitness – Stay Hydrated

Keeping up with your health or exercise routine can be difficult any time of the year, but it can be particularly trying during the hot and steamy summer. Whether it’s exercising to get fit or therapeutical assignments to help after surgery or an injury, the heat alone can quickly deplete you of water and energy and enthusiasm. Add a workout session and you could easily begin to show signs of severe dehydration.

Key to maintaining your health during the summer is hydration. Keeping that fluid level up will keep your muscles, tissues, organs, nerves, and mind running smoothly throughout the heat. Staying hydrated isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

1) Drink plenty of water. It seems obvious but still needs to be said. Always carry it with you. Drink on a schedule, every 15 to 30 minutes, not just when you are thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already starting to get dehydrated.

2) Watch your sodium and electrolyte levels. Sodium is essential to our body, and during hot weather, and especially during exercise, much can be lost through perspiration and urination. If appropriate, you can utilize sports drinks to help replenish your system.

3) Rehydrate with fresh foods.  Enjoying eating the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season which will provide needed nutrition as well as hydration. Mangoes, oranges, grapes, melons, dark leafy greens like spinach, carrots, sweet peppers, blueberries, and other seasonal produce will make your efforts to stay hydrated healthier and tastier.

4) Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you need to exercise, plan to do it during a cooler part of the day. Earlier in the day often works best, or just before evening can be a cooler time. This way you aren’t exerting yourself and sweating more, conserving your water.

5) Listen to your body! If you start feeling lightheaded, dizzy or nauseous, stop what you are doing to drink some water and rest.

Summer doesn’t last forever. With a little common sense, and a bottle or two of water, you can easily keep up with your fitness routine and stay healthy and hydrated.

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How to Prepare Yourself and Your Home for Home Care

 

How to Prepare Yourself and Your Home for Home Care – Florida Home Care

There may be times when you or a loved one needs a little more help than expected. It may be because of an illness, surgery, or an unexpected emergency. Handling medical issues can be stressful to begin with. Add to that having someone coming in to your home to provide that extra care or therapy can add to that pressure. It takes some planning and thought, but having someone come in to your home and help can be a smooth transition and help relieve that stress.

Plan Out Your Questions – then Ask Them – Write down all of the questions you can think of regarding the need for home care. You’ll need this as you talk to the doctors, but also as you talk to your insurance company to see what is covered.  Questions might include: Is care needed around the clock, or just at certain times? What will the caregiver be required to do (give treatments or therapy, monitor equipment, change dressings, etc.)? How long will the person need to come to my house?

While in the hospital, talk to the doctor, nurses, and even discharge managers to get your questions answered. The more information you have, the better able you’ll be to prepare for home care. If you aren’t able to, make sure you have a relative or close friend that can be your voice and get you the information you need.

Look at Your Home – Once you have the details, you’ll better be able to look at your home environment and prepare for you, your loved one, and the care giver. If the patient is going to be in bed, you’ll be able to clear out some room to allow for any equipment that may be needed. If the person being cared for is more mobile, an area for therapy can be prepared. Talking to your Patient Care Coordinator will help you know the scope of the care and what is needed at your home.

Understand the Home Care Givers Role – It’s important to keep in mind why this person is in your home. They are there for therapy, treatments, etc. and to tend to the patient. Since they are in your home so often, you may ask them to do something without even realizing it (watch the dog, grab the laundry). Don’t be offended if they politely decline. Their sole purpose is to support the health of their patient.

Care is a state in which something does matter; it is the source of human tenderness

  • Roll May, psychologist

Gathering as much knowledge as possible before hand will help make it easier to prepare for home care. Realizing that everyone is working towards the same goal – helping the patient – will ease some of the stress and make your experience with the care giver be more successful.

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