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Senior Home Care Services in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge519-208-2000

Why is Communication in Health Care so Important? – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Effective and open communication is extremely important for patients, caregivers, and other health care professionals. Good communication is necessary for any group or collaborative situation, but it is critical when it comes to health and wellbeing. Lack of communication can lead to all sorts of problems or complications, such as:       Unattended symptoms Incorrect diagnoses Conflicting or improper medications Chronic illness Unsatisfied patients The Canadian health care system is notorious for poor communication. The lack of comprehensive and updated digital records is one of the main culprits. While steps are currently being taken to correct this problem, the solution is still a long way from being realized. The conversion of paper records to digital files is a long and intensive process. It will likely take many years before the system is sufficiently updated. So, what can you do in the meantime to improve communication in your own health care situation? Optimizing Health Care through Communication To get the most out of your health care situation, it is important to establish clear objectives and then discuss them with your health care team. Your health care team may consist of family caregivers, professional caregivers, nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, and specialists. Making sure everyone is on the same page is not always the easiest task to accomplish. Tips for improving Communication with your Health Care Team Some ways to get information exchange moving in an effective manner, is to: Make a list of your goals and objectives Contact team members to arrange a meeting Determine communication styles and methods Prepare for appointments Goals and Objectives The first thing you should do,...

What Should I Bring to the Hospital? – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

The anticipation of a trip to the hospital is enough to put anyone’s nerves on edge. Making a list and planning ahead for what you need to bring to the hospital can help remove some of the stress and worry. For seniors with chronic health issues, it is a good idea to have this list on hand, and maybe even a bag ready to go, just in case of an emergency. What items are recommended for a hospital visit? There are some things that are mandatory to bring, while other suggested items can just help make your check-in and stay a little smoother and more comfortable. Compulsory Items Some items, like previous health care records and medical documents will be necessary for check-in. Some of the documents and information you will need, includes: Valid photo ID Valid government issued health card POA (Power of Attorney for Personal Care) Living will Any other advance health care directives Reports or relevant information you have received from your doctor Including description of diagnoses A list of all medications and supplements you are currently taking This includes prescriptions, over the counter meds, vitamin supplements Personal health record This includes information about: Existing health conditions Allergies Dietary restrictions Physical exam or test results Immunization records Insurance details Emergency contact numbers These documents and records are required to get you checked in and ready for your procedure. A suggested tip would be to keep all these documents in a special folder, box, or drawer at home, so you know where they are at all times. Comfort Items Now that the mandatory items are taken care...

Why is Pneumonia More Dangerous for Seniors? – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

What is Pneumonia? Pneumonia is a type of lung infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs of one or both lungs. This inflammation results in the air sacs filling up with pus or fluid. This build up of fluid can make breathing more difficult as the lungs struggle to function effectively. When the lungs aren’t working properly it means the blood is not getting enough oxygen to provide adequate nutrients to the body’s cells. This is a major problem that can have dire consequences for seniors if not treated. What are the Symptoms of Pneumonia? The symptoms of pneumonia can vary considerably from case to case, making it a tough one to recognize right away. The symptoms of pneumonia may depend on age, overall health, and root cause of the illness. Seniors concerned about the possibility of pneumonia should watch for: Chest pain Phlegm-producing cough Fatigue Fever or chills Low body temp Loss of breath Vomiting or diarrhea What causes pneumonia? Pneumonia is most commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection in the lungs. Bacterial Pneumonia A bacterial infection is a common cause of pneumonia in seniors. The most common type of bacteria resulting in pneumonia is called Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can affect just one lobe or the lungs in general. This type of pneumonia can develop during or after a cold or flu. Viral Pneumonia Viral pneumonia can also develop in the wake of a cold or flu and is typically a milder version of the disease. Fungal Pneumonia Fungal pneumonia is more prevalent in seniors with chronic illness or compromised immune systems. Why is pneumonia...

Which Vaccinations are Important for Seniors? – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

A lot of people think that vaccines are mainly for children, but there are certain vaccinations that are critical to seniors’ health and well being. In fact, it is estimated that somewhere around 50,000 adults across Canada and the United States die every year from illnesses and diseases that could have been prevented with vaccination. There are several known illnesses and diseases that can be prevented with vaccination. If not prevented, these illnesses can result in severe health complications and can even be fatal. So, what do seniors need to know about vaccinations? Vaccination & Immunization Are vaccination and immunization the same thing? Well, not exactly, but they are certainly connected. A vaccination is when a vaccine treatment is administered to help the immune system build up protection against a particular disease or illness. Vaccines are beaten or weakened versions of the illness that encourage the production of antibodies that help the body develop an immunity to that illness. Immunization occurs once the vaccine has done its intended job and the body is now immune to the targeted disease. Why are vaccines necessary for seniors? As we get older, our immune systems begin to weaken and are no longer quite as effective at protecting the body from illness and infection. This makes seniors more susceptible to contracting illnesses, and then also more likely to develop further health complications as a result. For example, even getting the flu can mean it turning into a more serious health issue. Also, seniors may not have been vaccinated when they were children, so should take the time to do it now. Even if...

5 Myths About Aging – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

It’s important for us to know the different between what is normal aging and what is a troublesome symptom. The assumption used to be that aging equaled a steady and predictable decline in our physical and mental abilities, but we have found that this isn’t true. Aging does not inevitably come with a slow and steady decline in our physical and mental abilities.  We are more likely to develop certain health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, but geriatricians emphasize that not all changes are age related; some changes may be from treatable conditions. Here are 5 myths about aging that should send you to your doctor. Myth 1: Forgetfulness There are going to be times when you misplace your glasses, or it takes longer to remember someone’s name; experts tell us that these changes are normal due in part because your brain contains more information as you age. Only 6-8% of people over 65 have memory challenges due to dementia, so don’t go jumping to conclusions. If you notice you are having many “senior moments” or are experiencing confusion along with more serious memory loss this may come from a treatable condition. A variety of conditions such as vitamin deficiencies, depression, sleep problems, chronic pain, changes in medication, urinary tract infections and metabolic disorders can all cause forgetfulness or confusion. See your doctor to discuss your memory challenges and your pharmacist to review your prescription medications and over-the-counter medications. Myth 2: Tooth loss Good oral care and regular check ups play an important role in maintaining good oral health amongst seniors. Compared to the oral health...

Nurse Case Management for Your Personalized Home Care Plan – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Do you have an aging relative that wants to continue living at home but is struggling with daily routines and/or health issues? The continually expanding population of seniors in Canada suggests that chances are pretty good that you do. In fact, most people will end up providing some form of home care at some point in their lives for a senior family member. Family caregivers provide a tremendous amount of support for older family members already, but it can be difficult to shoulder the entire burden alone. Health status and home care assistance needs for seniors can change in the blink of an eye. All it takes is one injury or a sudden onset of an aliment, and your loved one’s need for assistance can increase dramatically. When this shift does occur, it puts extra pressure and stress on everyone involved. This problem can be solved with the assistance of a Nurse Case Manager at Retire-At-Home. Retire-At-Home KW Retire-At-Home is an esteemed home care agency that has been delivering personalized home care services to seniors and their families for almost 25 years. This wealth of experience has led to the development of an assortment of home care services that are tailored to the individual needs of older adults that want to keep living at home independently. Nurse Case Management Services Whatever your home care situation may be, a nurse case manager can help you figure out the best home care plan for you and your loved one. To get the ball rolling, a free consultation can be arranged with a registered Retire-At-Home nurse. During this initial assessment you will...
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