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Home Care makes sense emotionally and financially – here…

Professional medical care in the privacy of your own home

“There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers.
Those who are currently caregivers.
Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”
― Rosalyn Carter

The vast majority of South Africans assume that the best way to care for our elderly is to place them in a nursing home or other skilled care facility. But did you know there are many reasons why allowing seniors to continue living at home is better?
Home Nursing makes it possible for older persons to continue living independent lives in their homes or with loved ones, by providing assistance to compensate for loss of strength, mobility and mental health.

Our society cannot cope with the demand for specialised, affordable accommodation for seniors – especially Assisted Living and Frail accommodation. But many older persons are forced to move into these facilities because they can no longer care for themselves adequately.

1. Recovery
It’s a fact that most seniors will recover much faster from surgery or illness, if allowed to stay in their homes when possible. Since no one enjoys being in the hospital for any length of time, home health care workers can be a life-saver so the patient can recover at home.

2. Economical
It goes without saying that providing care in the home is far less expensive than paying full-time room and board at a nursing facility or assisted living centre. Nowadays, there are many wonderful options for home health care that allows your senior loved one to receive excellent care only when they need it.
In these cases, there is usually a family member who is helping with the daily chores and tasks, while the home health care nurse can help administer medicines, give baths, and help provide any therapy needed. When you tally the costs involved, home health care usually is the most cost-effective plan.

3. More Freedom
This may seem obvious, but there is certainly far more freedom and independence for seniors who stay in their own homes, rather than having to be hospitalised. They can have friends and family over and have as many home visits as they like, whenever they like. They’re able to eat on their own schedule and create a sense of normalcy that works for them.
Since nursing homes often have rigid schedules and routines, being at home also allows for much more flexibility for both the senior and the caregiver. This translates to less stress for everyone! After all, nobody wants to be told when they can visit or how many visitors they can have.

Fish Hoek Home Nursing fulfills the need for services that enable older people to continue living comfortably in their own homes, within familiar communities. We provide private and personalised care for the elderly but at a much more affordable cost.

For more information on the benefits of home health care vs. institutionalised care, please call us today!

Articles

6 Benefits of Choosing a Home Care Nursing Agency…

Madiba once said: “a society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future”

According to a recent report based on national censuses conducted by Statistics South Africa, old age is often characterised by poor health due to frailty, diseases and disabilities and in some cases, neglect. As a result, this leads to an inability to perform certain functions such as walking, hearing, seeing, remembering and concentrating as well as self-care.  This affects mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Millions of South Africans juggle the daily demands of work, home, children and caring for someone who may be disabled, ill, or aging.

Parents and adult children may be separated by different cities, provinces, or even countries. Often, the demands and pressure of providing care can result in caregiver burnout—physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. This happens when family caregivers do not get the help they need and are trying to do more than they are able to.

If you are caring for a loved one, here are 6 ways home health care agencies for the elderly can support you:

  1. Home health care professionals can be there when you aren’t able to be.
    • If you are caregiving from a distance, home health care can give you peace of mind.
  2. Safety and risk management in the home.
    • Trained and qualified professionals can assess safety risks and make simple corrections in the home—from placing a rug on a slippery floor, to recommendations for ambulatory assistance.
  3. Assistance with day-to-day tasks.
    • In-home services allow the elderly to receive day-to-day help with the personal care they need, preserving their dignity and maintaining a good quality of life. Assistance with activities of daily living can include bathing, grooming, and general housekeeping.
  4. Professional Medical Care.
    • Medical care can be delivered at home by thoroughly supervised qualified nurses. Home health care can ensure that your loved one’s medical needs are met.
  5. Medication management.
    • If your loved one is on multiple prescriptions it can be confusing to manage. Home health care professionals can ensure the right medications are being taken at the right times to manage health conditions and prevent harmful drug interactions.
  6. Home health care professionals provide caring companionship.
    • Research shows that aging adults stay healthier with social interaction. Home health aides can become trusted friends for walks, reading, games, movies, meals, and other social activities. Accompaniment on errands such as grocery shopping, medical appointments, and other activities are also added benefits.

Managing busy families and the emotional decisions that must be made when caring for a loved one can be overwhelming.

The one-on-one focus and support provided by a Home Care Agency are truly unique, providing meaningful, personal and skilled care that builds strong bonds between professionals and their clients as well as providing support to their families.

For more information and assistance, please visit us at (FB, Website)

References:

A Profile of Informal Carers in South Africa – University of Pretoria

At Home Care

The Benefits of Choosing an Agency for In-Home Care

 

Benefits of Choosing Home Care With An Agency

 

If health or happiness seems to be compromised, it’s time to have a conversation and address the problems. Whether it’s finding in-home care, a retirement community or a senior living community. It’s important to find the right care options for each unique family situation but studies have demonstrated that healing at home has vast benefits. By choosing an agency to assist your family with in-home care, you’ll be enjoying a vast number of benefits that you may not have considered!

 

Choosing An Agency Over A Private Carer

 

A private carer is one that you hire to come and work in your home but is not a member of an agency, such as Fish Hoek Home Nursing. You would be employing this person directly to work for you.

 

  • If your assigned carer cannot make it to work then we send another carer so your care plan will not be interrupted.
  • Our carers have regular days off – even if your care plan requires 24-hour care, you will have a team of carers. This way your carer will never burn out.
  • Our carers are certified and current with their first aid.
  • Your care is supervised by a registered sister who sets up your care plan.
  • You see a sister who assesses your needs and abilities before your care plan is drafted.
  • You are visited by one of our sisters frequently.
  • If you find that you don’t get along with the carer you aren’t trapped. We can work with you rather than you having to start the search for a private carer all over again
  • Money never changes hands with our carer – accounts are settled with the agency
  • We work with medical aids.
  • Any labour issues are handled by our agency
  • A sister can come to your home to perform any in-home sister procedures such as wound care, blood sugar or blood pressure.
  • If legislative issues arise (such as UIF/Registration with SARS), they are handled by our agency.
  • Your account with Fish Hoek Home Nursing can be claimed under medical expense for income tax purposes.
  • If your carer has a concern about your health, our sisters are on hand to assist immediately.
  • Our agency is partnered with local doctors and emergency medical response in the case of emergency, elevated care is accessed quicker.
  • Our agency has 27 years of experience, we have over 100 carers and we have had thousands of patients.

 

 

Choosing To Stay At Home Over Choosing To Go To A Facility

 

A step-down facility, frail care facility or nursing home is an alternative to staying at home with the assistance of carers. But studies show that when a person is able to retain their dignity and lifestyle, that they have quicker improvement.

 

  • Care is one-on-one instead of carers having to attend to many.
  • Your loved one does not lose their quality of life by having to move away from home
  • Being in familiar surroundings can be especially beneficial for those suffering from progressive conditions that affect the memory such as dementia.
  • The ability to stay living at home means your loved one won’t have to part with their beloved pet. For seniors, pet companionship has been shown to ease loneliness, reduce heart disease, and calm dementia patients. A caregiver’s help can allow seniors to enjoy the benefits of pet companionship, even if they need some assistance caring for the animal.

 

 

Choosing To Have At Home Care Over Unnecessary Hospital Care

 

  • Research shows that patients recover from surgery and illness faster and more successfully in the comfort of their own home
  • Home care enables your family to be a larger part of your loved ones care plan.
  • Treating patients in their homes can be a safer and studies have shown that healing is quicker at home.
  • Studies have shown that going to the hospital unnecessarily can actually make the person worse off! The shock to the system of being taking out of their normal environment and the exposure to hospital-borne germs puts the patient at risk.

 

While every family has to make choices that work the best for them, considering at home care should be very high on the list of how to keep your loved one at their healthiest and happiest. No one wants to end up in a situation where they don’t feel comfortable. Where is more comfortable than being at home?

 

 

 

 

Ageing Challenges

Elderly care is a human right

As we celebrate the month of Human Rights, many people in South Africa are celebrating this month by conducting awareness campaigns, giving educational talks on various rights and holding peaceful demonstrations.

According to Chapter two of the Constitution of South Africa which contains the Bill of Rights, a human rights charter that protects the civil, political and socioeconomic rights of all people in South Africa.

The rights in the bill apply to all law, including common law, and bind all branches of the government, including the national executive, Parliament, the judiciary, provincial governments and municipal councils.

Pinetown Fever reporter Nosipho Mkhize chose to focus on the rights of the elderly, and spoke to CEO of The Association for the Aged (Tafta), Femada Shamam.

She said that to bring awareness to elder rights issues, Tafta will host an Elder Rights Awareness Walk in central Durban on June 14, followed by a dialogue session on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, the day set aside by the United Nations internationally to discuss the rights of elders.

“Elder abuse is a global social issue and a very real one in South Africa. We hope the dialogue sessions we host on this day will provide the necessary stakeholders with the impetus required to give elder rights the attention it so rightly requires,” said Shamam.

Tafta is urging the South African government to deliver on the provisions set out in the Older Person’s Act through the delivery of supportive services that enable elders to continue living in their own homes.

She said the aged care association, which is home to nearly 2 000 elders in Tafta homes in Durban, says the demand for care services by the ageing population remains a concern for the association.

“Throughout Tafta’s 60-year history, we have reached out to those members of the community within our areas of operation in need of our services through outreach programmes such as Meals on Wheels and Home Based Care.

We realise the growing need in communities as we attempt to extend our footprint into areas we haven’t been able to reach in the past and we are working closely with the government and other key stakeholders to explore funding possibilities to bring elder care into more communities seeking out these needs.”

Shamam added that recent research indicates that in the next 10 years, the number of people over age 60 will surpass one billion, making the case for governments, advocacy groups and non-profit organisations to come together to seek out workable solutions to care for the aged within the community, and more significantly, in their homes, for as long as possible.

“As an elder care organisation, we’re aware of the challenges these arrangements come with, like the very real threat of elder abuse stemming from frustrations associated with caring for elders.

But, we believe that with the proper support systems, it is possible to have an elder in the home environment who is well-cared for, with little or no risk to themselves and other members of the home.”

Article written by Nosipho Mkhize. Copied from: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Local/Hillcrest-Fever/elderly-care-is-a-human-right-20180327

Injuries

Why hip fractures in the elderly are often a…

The news an elderly relative has broken a hip tends to sound alarm bells, perhaps more than breaking another bone would. That’s because a hip fracture dramatically increases an older person’s risk of death.

One in three adults aged 50 and over dies within 12 months of suffering a hip fracture. Older adults have a five-to-eight times higher risk of dying within the first three months of a hip fracture compared to those without a hip fracture. This increased risk of death remains for almost ten years.

Beyond suffering pain, a hip fracture results in a loss of physical function, decreased social engagement, increased dependence, and worse quality of life. Many people who have a hip fracture need to change their living conditions, such as relocating from their home into a residential aged care facility.

Ultimately, the often rapid regression of an older person’s health following a hip fracture means outcomes are poor.

Risk factors for hip fractures

Age is a key risk factor, with hip fractures more likely to occur in those aged 65 or older. They’re primarily a result of a fall, or when the hip collides with a solid object such as a kitchen bench. However, they can also occur when there has been little or no trauma, such as standing up.

Cognitive impairment such as dementia is a common factor that increases the risk of falling. Frailty, poor vision, the use of a combination of medications, and trip hazards in the home also increase the likelihood of falls. Osteoporosis, a disease characterised by low bone mass and degradation of bone tissue, is another significant risk factor for hip fractures.

Osteoporosis and osteopenia (where bone mass is lower than normal, but not yet osteoporotic) are reported to affect more than one million Australians aged 65 and older. Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men experience a fracture caused by such bone fragility, with a fracture occurring every three seconds. Compared to a fracture of any other bone, a hip fracture results in the most serious of all consequences.

While the reasons remain unclear, hip fractures also disproportionately affect those at the disadvantaged end of the social scale.

Previous research has reported around 30% of people with hip fractures have had a prior fracture; this is known as the “fracture cascade”. The increased risk of subsequent fracture may persist for ten years, which highlights the importance of treating the initial fracture promptly and effectively.

Increased risk of death

In Australia, standard clinical care following a hip fracture begins with timely assessment, including X-rays, and pain and cognitive assessments. Australian data indicate more than three-quarters of people who sustain a hip fracture undergo surgery, the most common procedure being a joint replacement. Surgical intervention will generally occur within 48 hours.

But some patients may prefer not to undergo surgery. Or, their medical team may determine the risks are too great to expose the person to surgery.

Immobility after a hip fracture can lead to poor patient outcomes. From shutterstock.com

Combined with the trauma of a fracture and surgery, an existing health condition may significantly increase the risk of death. Death after a hip fracture may also be related to additional complications of the fracture, such as infections, internal bleeding, stroke or heart failure.

One study showed heart disease, stroke and pneumonia resulted in a long-term doubling of risk of death after hip fracture, and this risk remained high for up to ten years in women and 20 in men.

Studies suggest issues related to the hospitalisation, surgery, or immobility (which could put patients at risk of pneumonia) after a fracture lead to other complications that ultimately result in earlier death.

How can patient outcomes be improved?

Together with controlling immediate post-surgery pain and symptoms, patients should receive therapeutic rehabilitation and functional training for the best chance of regaining mobility.

Taking individual capabilities, physical health and function into account, therapeutic rehabilitation may include improving the range of motion, pool therapy, and strengthening and progressive resistance exercises. Functional training will include gait training, and resistance and balance exercises.

Even if the patient has not had surgery, rehabilitation is necessary to begin moving as quickly as possible to avoid the serious complications of being immobilised.

Rehabilitation is important after a hip fracture. From shutterstock.com

Some data suggest beginning physical activity as soon as possible post-surgery will reduce the likelihood of death. What we don’t yet know is the type, intensity and duration of physical activity that will give the best results.

Nutrition can also help recovery. Some data has shown poor nutrition at the time of the fracture reduced people’s ability to walk unaided six months after the fracture, compared to those with good nutrition.

There are mixed messages regarding whether nutritional supplements help improve function after a hip fracture. But the combination of protein intake and physical activity is known to increase muscle mass and function. Good muscle mass and function reduce frailty and improve balance, thereby reducing the risk of falls and subsequent fracture.

And there are additional benefits to be gained from being physically active, such as reducing depression – particularly when exercising with other people.

Article by Sharon Brennan-Olsen. Find original article at: http://theconversation.com/why-hip-fractures-in-the-elderly-are-often-a-death-sentence-95784

Dementia

‘I fear being in a hospital, not death’

Tommy was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. He isn’t scared to die – but he’s terrified of going into hospital.

He says hospital staff don’t always understand the needs of dementia patients. New research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research says care isn’t always good enough.

The Department of Health says it aims to make England the best place in the world to live with dementia.

 

Article from: BBC Health http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-43843230/i-fear-being-in-a-hospital-not-death

Ageing Challenges

Warning over ‘unnecessary’ hospital admissions for terminally ill patients

Patient in hospital
In 2016 there were nearly 100,000 emergency admissions for people in the last year of their life. Getty Images

The NHS could be facing an annual bill of more than £470m to cope with emergency admissions for terminally ill patients, a leading charity has said.

Marie Curie said improved community care could avoid unnecessary strain on Scottish hospitals.

It found that in 2016 there were nearly 100,000 emergency admissions for people in the last year of their life, costing the NHS £285m.

The charity warned that could almost double over the next twenty years.

The Scottish government wants everyone who needs palliative care to have access to it by 2021, with a doubling of services.

Marie Curie said there has been a decline over the last five years in the number of emergency beds used by dying people but even if the trend continues to lower more A&E services would still be needed.

Richard Meade, head of policy and public affairs Scotland at Marie Curie, said: “Unnecessary hospital admissions are a huge cost to the NHS and as the number of people dying each year is set to increase significantly, we need to address the provision of care now in order to avoid further crisis.

“While some emergency hospital admissions for people living with a terminal illness are appropriate and necessary, many are not and can often be avoided entirely if appropriate care in the community is provided.

“Being rushed repeatedly to hospital is stressful and upsetting, particularly when someone may have little time left.”

Older person hands
Getty Images

The charity said A&E should be a last resort.

Mr Meade added: “The integration of health and social care gives us a fighting chance to improve care in the community.

“If the Scottish government realises its ambition that everyone who needs palliative care has access to it by 2021, including a doubling of community palliative care services, then this will help to continue to ease the pressure on hospitals and acute settings now and in the future.”

Research by the Nuffield Trust has shown that hospital costs are by far the largest cost involved in end-of-life care.

The Scottish government said Scotland was “widely recognised for providing high quality palliative care”.

A spokeswoman added: “The Marie Curie report notes that we have responded to the demands of an aging population on health and care services through the integration of health and social care.

“This reform seeks to ensure that those who use services get the right care and support whatever their needs, at any point in their care journey, and will enable more people to be supported in the community at the end of life.”

Dr Adrian Boyle, chair of the quality emergency care committee at the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “The last thing patients at the end of their lives want is to be in hospital.

“Increasing the resources available to social care will not only help reduce avoidable admissions, free up beds and relieve pressure on our struggling emergency departments, but will afford terminal patients the dignity and comfort of living out their last days in familiar surroundings.”

Article from: BBC Health http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-43480493

Ageing Challenges

Doctors in the UK are prescribing social activities to…

Tsira Tsagareli (R), 66, dances with Jemal Nemsitsveridze, 77, during a class at the Fortune dance club in Tbilisi January 29, 2015. Eliso Bakuradze, 79, who has been dancing since her school years, established the club 10 years ago. About 20 people, mostly pensioners, gather at the club three times a week to enjoy dancing. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili (GEORGIA - Tags: SOCIETY) - GM1EB1U06M601
Social prescriptions could help tackle some of the modern world’s major health issues. Image: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

Smoking kills. But so does loneliness.

And that is why British doctors are embracing “social prescribing.” It doesn’t tell people what medicines to take, but rather what to do with their spare time. That can include learning how to bake, dance, draw or take up yoga.

“Tablets are not the answer to everything,” says Rosemarie Jones, a GP from Lupset Surgery in Wakefield in a video for the Social Prescribing Network. “Lots of people are lonely and socially isolated and that impacts on their health generally.”

Social prescribing means that a doctor may write out a prescription for a person to take part in an activity, usually at a subsidized price, to help them meet other people and find a new purpose or focus.

“For a lot of people going to do a new activity or going to meet other people is very scary,” says Jones, “and social prescribing can help with that and point them in the direction of something they are interested in.”

The link between loneliness and health outcomes is well established. Image: IotUK, Social Isolation and Loneliness in the UK Report

Confidence booster

Wellbeing Enterprises, which works in the northwest of England, defines its mission as helping people find things that made them smile, and offers activities such as line dancing classes, drumming lessons to inspire confidence and creative painting courses. Alongside these activities, the centre also provides sessions on mindfulness, sleep and relaxation and discussions on how to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress.

As well as helping people to manage their health problems, social prescribing could also be a way of saving money and reducing the bills of the National Health Service in the long term.

comprehensive study of more than 3 million people in 2015 concluded that loneliness can increase the mortality risk by 26% and is a major public health issue that represents a greater health risk than obesity.

And a recent study from the London School of Economics suggests that the epidemic of loneliness costs £6,000 per person over 10 years in terms of visits to family doctors, emergency rooms and prescriptions.

The same study suggested that every £1 invested in tackling loneliness now would save the health service £3 in five years.

And Mark Swift, who runs Wellbeing Enterprise, told the Economist that his project saves the public purse over £10 for every £1 spent, mainly in forgone treatment bills.

Sharing best practice

The Social Prescribing Network is a group of doctors and academics that has been set up to try to share best practice of social prescribing and is attempting to quantify the effectiveness of social prescribing in a more formal way.

Depression is projected to rise sharply, especially amongst older people Image: The Kings Fund

Its review of the evidence on social prescribing showed that, on average, it was associated with a 28% fall in GP visits and a 24% drop in attendance at emergency wards. However, the group also points out that the quality of that evidence is weak and more evaluation is needed. Another reason why it may save the NHS money in the long run, is that there are additional streams of funding, since many charitable organizations are also involved.

Social prescribing has largely grown at the local level, without any top-down instruction or policy at a national level.

But mental health issues are set to increase significantly over the next decade – especially amongst the oldest members of society.

And prescriptions of antidepressants in England are at an all-time high, according to the latest data, with 64.7 million items dispensed in 2016, at a cost of £266.6 million.

So any prescriptions that create happier people whilst reducing the pressure on doctors and budgets, are likely to be given much more attention going forward.

Article copied from: World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/line-dancing-and-baking-a-prescription-for-good-health