As a medical caregiver or case manager, your career description is almost never cut and dry. Your day-to-day duties are often stressful and can change at a moment’s notice. Sometimes you may be helping prepare medications for a patient, and other times you are working on developing the best care plan for an individual.
My mom hated exercise! She was so averse to it that she recoiled from activity completely in her later years in the skilled nursing facility. For the last ten years of her life she was completely dependent on a wheel chair to get around. I am convinced now that had she simply stood up more often, gotten out of her bed instead of lying down most of her 24 hours a day, she not only would have lived longer, but would have enjoyed life a lot more.
My elderly mom developed a sneaky habit a few years ago. Whenever we tried to put some fluids in front of her, she would think of something else urgent she had to do in another part of the house. We didn't think much of it until she started to complain about not being herself. Headaches, nausea, confusion: these were some of her symptoms. It turned out she was experiencing severe dehydration and had acquired a Urinary Tract Infection. A couple of weeks of antibiotics, and constant reminding from us and her caregivers about drinking enough fluids, and she was fine.
Flu / Influenza is a serious respiratory illness that results in thousands of hospitalizations and even worse are the deaths that can result from this illness every year. The flu is highly contagious and very easily passed from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or from contact with an infected
person’s oral/nasal fluids.
Sarah’s mom was getting really cranky lately. She would go back and forth from being argumentative to being depressed, fatigued, and anxious. She would lash out at Sarah one minute, and in the next minute breakdown crying and asking for help. “I just don’t know what’s wrong with me, I can’t handle things anymore, I just can’t think straight.”
Her caregiver had taken mom had been to the doctor a few weeks before and been checked out for a UTI, but the test came back negative. But another test done after all other obvious symptoms were ruled out confirmed that all these symptoms were indeed caused by a Urinary Tract Infection.
Have you ever been to a hospital, perhaps as a patient or a family member, and felt overwhelmed, or lost in the vast complexities of the healthcare system? Anyone who first visits a hospital feels this way. Where is my doctor, nurse, or case manager? What are they doing? What’s going to happen? When are we getting out of here? Who’s in charge? Are they ignoring us? Do they even know we’re here?
Recently while I was working with one of our new clients, I noticed that the family was getting quite confused. Max was just coming home from a major surgery and had Home Health ordered by his
surgeon. It was explained that they would handle all the wound care, medication management, and also check his vitals a few times a week. The case manager also mentioned that Physical Therapy would be coming by twice a week as well.
This is Part 1 in a Series on Preparing to Care for Family's Medical Needs
It’s one of those phone calls you hate to get: near midnight, in the middle of the work week, the hospital called to tell a dear friend, his dad had been admitted for heart problems. They said he was in the ICU with a possible heart attack and things didn’t look good….
7 Signs of Tuberculosis: Why it Matters in Senior Home Care
According to the World Health Organization, Tuberculosis has become a “Global Emergency.” Seniors are particularly vulnerable to this epidemic, which is why in California, the newly formed Home Care Services Bureau requires all Home Care Aides to be registered and tested for TB.