Although COVID-19 and related conditions have dominated the world’s headlines for the last year, residents of Manchester and elsewhere still face many of the same risks to their health that were present before the pandemic shut things down.
If anything, COVID may have made life more challenging for many, whether it’s complications directly from being infected by the virus or the mental stresses of being in lockdown and isolated from many family members and friends for so long. Some people are still receiving palliative care for other health needs.
The team at Above and Beyond Home Health Care is trained to help our clients with many aspects of their health. This effort starts with trained nurses who are able to monitor different health conditions and relay any info to family members or providers. This supportive team can include full-time or part-time caregivers, whether they’re also formally trained professionals or family members/close friends eager to help.
It also can include home health aides, who may be able to help with non-nursing duties around the house, everything from light cleaning to transportation. A variety of therapists are also available to offer other services, including massage, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Together, all of us have shared goals of helping our clients with their health needs and their quality of life, as well as sharing preventive strategies to reduce the risk of further harm.
One of the bigger health risks facing today’s seniors is falling. Besides causing immediate pain and damage, a fall can sometimes cause further complications and negative consequences in someone’s life.
For instance, a fall that causes a concussion may lead to mental problems. A fall that leads to a broken limb may lead to mobility problems, making it difficult for someone to exercise so their overall health may suffer.
Or, a fall may encourage someone to want to be cautious to avoid the risk of future falls which could be even more devastating than the first one. This could lead to not wanting to leave the house, aggravating feelings of isolation, and increasing the risk of depression.
A fall can be frightening, and more than one senior has tried to downplay the damage from a fall and assure people that they’re OK, since a serious, disabling fall could eventually lead to a loss of independence, something many seniors crave and don’t want to lose due to an occasional stumble.
Many seniors find it difficult to stay safe and keep in shape.
That’s why part of a smart safety plan is to encourage them to take steps to improve their health, which can lower the risk of falling along with increasing their overall health.
This includes encouraging seniors to focus on their fitness, such as exercise programs to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. This could be as basic as regular stretching or yoga but a more comprehensive program can include at least walking. A regular exercise program can also have other health benefits such as boosting endorphin levels as well as reducing inflammation.
Even someone who may find it difficult to go outside and find a gym/fitness center may still be able to find a personal trainer to help them or a variety of online exercises and routines.
Other preventive methods of reducing falls can be to look around your home to see potential obstacles and safety hazards.
We can help with this service as well, by offering our experts to point out possible areas where you could slip and fall, such as loose area rugs. Even poor lighting could be a culprit, so one easy step is to make sure any broken light bulbs are replaced or more lights added to a room.
Certain rooms are riskier than others for falls, such as the bathroom. There are various tools to reduce the risk here as well, including adding support bars, no-slip stickers, or even a chair for the shower/bath.
It isn’t just us either who are committed to safety. Many medical organizations are committed to providing resources to make life better for people, whether it’s general prevention and safety information or specific health tips.
This month is actually a good time to learn more. Public Safety Awareness Week takes place March 14-21.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, one of the organizations that promote the event and safety in general, said that more than 400,000 deaths take place in the U.S. due to errors or preventable harm, often in health care settings.
That’s why this organization focuses on increasing awareness of safety especially in ambulatory settings, not just for patients but caregivers as well.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also encourages people to take part in Public Safety Awareness Week along with advocating safety all year long. This group encourages health care providers and caregivers to play a stronger role in ensuring patient safety, rather than the clients. Providers should be thought of as the safety experts who can provide tools to help health and reduce infection.