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Power of Attorney 101

If your loved one were to become incapacitated and unable to make important decisions independently, what would you do?

Perhaps not the most uplifting of conversations, but considering these situations and how to handle them should be a priority, especially if you have aging parents, close friends, or elderly family members.

Putting a simple legal framework in place can help ease the concerns and give family members and friends peace of mind. Since aging loved ones must be competent to legally sign documents, it’s important to broach this subject with aging loved ones before they have serious health conditions that may affect their cognitive or communication abilities.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows an individual (the “principal”) to appoint an individual (the “agent”) who will manage financial, legal and/or health decisions on his or her behalf. Typically, the “agent” is a close relative or trusted friend. A Power of Attorney (POA) becomes effective once the appropriate signatures and a notarization is complete (varies by state.)

What is a Durable Power of Attorney (POA)?

A Durable Power of Attorney is just like the POA but becomes effective only if the “principle” becomes incapacitated (as certified by a physician.)

What is a General POA?

A general power of attorney gives the “agent” broad guidelines to make legal, financial and health decisions for the “principal”.

What is a Financial POA?

A special power of attorney provides only specific powers to the “agent” when the principle is not able to make important decisions. In the case of finances, a “principle” can designate an “agent” to make financial and legal decisions on their behalf.

What is a Healthcare POA?

A POA for healthcare is an “agent” who can make health and medical decisions on behalf of the “principle.”

How do you set up a POA?

Once the “principle” selects the agent, the two individuals should discuss the responsibilities of the “agent” and the wishes of the “principle.” At this point, the principle should consult an attorney who can prepare the customized POA documents.

If you have a tight budget, you may consider using a POA template from a reputable company that provides legal documents online. Once you’ve filled out and printed the documents, the “principle” and the “agent” will need to sign. Additional signatures and notary requirements vary by state. In Florida, the document will need to be notarized and signed by two witnesses.

With so many other priorities in your life, creating a POA may be low on the list. But don’t let your loved ones miss this important step to ensure that their best interests will always be at heart.

If you have questions about an aging family member who wants to continue living independently, contact us at 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Caring For A Loved One With Vision Impairment

According to the National Federation of the Blind Fact Sheet, over 5.5 million seniors are blind or visually impaired in the U.S. With the large group of aging baby boomers, the number of blind or visually impaired seniors will likely double. Nearly 99% of people who are blind have lost their vision due to glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetes. Low vision and blindness are large, growing segments of the aging population.

Caring for an aging senior with vision impairment requires common sense, forethought, and patience. The following recommendations will help caregivers know what to focus on when it comes to caring for seniors with low vision.

  1. Select a recommended ophthalmologist who specializes in vision impairment/ low vision. Make regular appointments for a dilated medical eye exam so he or she can properly diagnose and treat eye conditions or diseases. Keep the ophthalmologist informed of any vision or eye changes.
  2. Create a healthy lifestyle that includes ample sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal sweets and alcohol. Dark, leafy greens and healthy fats have nutrients that nourish the body and eyes.
  3. Determine what home modifications will be most helpful and make them. Removing worn or wrinkled carpet to avoid tripping is an important first step. If possible, replace with no-skid flooring. Keep furniture out of walkways and keep chairs pushed in under the table. Install grab bars in bathrooms, hallways, and for stairs. In addition, check suggestions at the American Foundation for the Blind here.
  4. Remove any potential hazards and eliminate clutter. Small rugs and cords can be tripping hazards. Use baskets or bins to store items that may be difficult to locate if misplaced, such as keys and remotes.
  5. Rooms with contrasting colors and good lighting are very important for individuals with low vision. Color contrasts between walls and furniture, and between walls and stairs can help low vision seniors to discern the difference. Using contrasting colors in the bathroom also makes it easier to distinguish towels and bath mats.
  6. Make sure your loved one can easily identify different medications. Select at least one or more of these ideas to implement:
    • Extra large print labels
    • Containers with tactile labels
    • Special medication dispensers offered at pharmacies
    • Prescription bottles with recorded message labels

Finally, take advantage of state and private rehabilitation services for the blind and visually impaired. These services provide training on techniques to manage independent living. The American Foundation for the Blind can help you find local services here.

If you have questions about an aging family member with impaired vision who wants to continue living independently, contact us at 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Nursing Care for Disabled Veterans

Our United States Military Veterans have sacrificed for the benefit of our country. They have protected our safety and security and fought for peace. While we want all of our soldiers to come home safe and sound after protecting our country, not all do.

We mourn the casualties. We help the wounded. We cherish the homecoming of our loved ones.

When wounded soldiers return home, they often need medical treatment and time to heal. Sometimes, they heal exceptionally well and can live bold, independent lives. Other soldiers require more support and care for a few weeks, months, or even years.

If a veteran is unable to work due to a service-connected disability, the veteran may be entitled to specialized services through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The specialized service may provide an Independent Living Plan as well as counseling, specialized medical treatment, individual technology assistance, and other support to help the individual return to independence. Typically, these services can continue as long as 24 months.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and several non-governmental organizations provide support to our veterans. To begin finding more information, click here to learn more about general benefits for veterans. Click here to learn more about disabled veteran benefits.

Disabled veterans may also apply for help with adaptive equipment and assistive technology that may help them to communicate, live more independently within a wheelchair-accessible home, make home structural alterations to accommodate specific needs, care for themselves, accommodate their needs for driving, or help them to do their job.

Professional caregivers can also play a critical role in the lives of disabled veterans by providing help with mobility, companionship, and assisting with personal care as needed. Caregivers can also complete basic housekeeping tasks including preparing meals and washing laundry. Finally, caregivers can be instrumental in checking vitals, dispensing medicine, and helping with artificial limbs or walking aids.

If you are considering finding a professional care giver for a disabled military veteran and have questions, call us at 561-736-1422 or toll-free: 855-730-9895.

On behalf of Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc., we salute our military veterans. We thank you for your service to our country!

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.
Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Signs that Your Loved May Need At-Home Care

When an aging loved one recovers from surgery or an injury, you expect that they will need help at home during the recovery process.  But for those aging relatives who may not be recovering from surgery or an injury, it’s important to be aware of the signs that they need help.

  1. If a loved one has recently lost their driver’s license or you are questioning their ability to drive safely, it’s time to consider some type of assistance. He or she will still want and need to leave the house to do errands, make appointments, and fulfill social engagements.  Losing the ability to drive feels like losing freedom.  Caregivers can provide a safe transportation alternative.
  2. If medical concerns such as Parkinson’s or arthritis are creating mobility issues, it may be hard for your loved one to maintain stability or strength while moving from place to place. If this is a concern, it’s time to make home modifications so that your loved one is safe at home.  It may also be the time to consider in-home care to reduce the risk of a fall.
  3. Discussing at-home healthcare options with elderly parent

  4. If you have noticed memory loss with your loved one, especially short-term memory loss, it’s time to consult with his or her physician about the symptoms. In addition, it’s time to review how your loved one is remembering to take medications and use proper hygiene.
  5. Medication mix-ups can be dangerous. If your loved one is not able to manage their own medications, either due to memory or mobility issues, it’s time to make a change.  Daily visits from a loved one, friend, or a home healthcare assistant can be a critical step to ensuring your loved one taking the correct doses of medication.
  6. How many times has your loved one been in the ER in the last 3 months? If that number is greater than one, it’s time to evaluate why — and what changes may need to be made.  The next question to ask is whether your loved one would be better off with in-home assistance.   In many cases, at-home health care assistance can reduce the need for frequent ER visits and can help your loved one live more comfortably.

Whether your loved one is struggling with insomnia, chronic illness, limited mobility, or memory issues, a friendly, helping hand can often make a difference.  A professional caregiver can manage medications, assist with mobility issues, help with personal care, provide safe transportation to appointments or to refill prescriptions, and help reduce the risk of falls.  If you have questions about an aging family member,  contact us at  561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

After experiencing cooler weather in the winter, many seniors are excited to spend time outdoors in the warm summer months. For families, summer is often the time for vacation and relaxation. So if you are traveling or enjoying the warmth and soaking up the sun locally, keep in mind that your aging loved one may need extra care at this time. The heat can be significantly more dangerous for aging seniors than for others. Make sure that your loved one follows the important tips below and has someone looking after him or her, so they can safely enjoy the summer.

Hydrate.

Since seniors have a higher risk than other age groups of becoming dehydrated, make sure your loved one drinks plenty of non-alcoholic and caffeine free fluids throughout the day. They might not be aware that they are thirsty, so frequent encouragement is important. In addition, drinks that replace salt and potassium are especially helpful for seniors to consume in the hot weather. Be sure that your loved always carries drinks and snacks when she goes out.

Elderly Couple Outside In The Summer

Stay Cool.

Seniors are more susceptible to the problems associated with heat including heat stroke and heat exhaustion. In addition, seniors who suffer from other chronic conditions may have exacerbated symptoms when in higher heat conditions. In order to keep cool, encourage your loved one to spend more time indoors. He or she may enjoy visiting shopping malls, libraries, museums, or going to a movie theatre. If your loved one doesn’t have air conditioning and the indoor temperature has become too warm, make sure to make alternative arrangements for accommodations. Extreme heat can be life threatening for the elderly.

Keep an Emergency List.

Help your loved one prepare an easy-to-read list of emergency phone numbers and keep it in an easy place to find. If he or she becomes ill and doesn’t have anyone nearby to help, he or she can contact someone on the list.

Know When to Get Help.

If your loved has been exposed to unusually warm conditions and is experiencing any of the following symptoms, take them into a cool, air conditioned location and get medical help right away.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache, muscle cramps
  • Heavy breathing or rapid pulse
  • Lack of sweating when they should
  • Temperature over 104
  • Fainting
  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Abnormal confusion or agitation
  • Lethargy or exhaustion

You can help prevent your loved one from having the maladies associated with excessive heat by creating a plan to check on him or her when there is a heat wave in the area where they live. Remember that your loved one may not realize he or she is becoming dehydrated. In these times, it’s important for someone to check in or stay with your loved one.

If you are concerned about your loved one’s wellbeing and are not able to physically be there or check on him or her, you may want to consider a home health care provider. A professional caregiver can ensure that you or your loved one is hydrated and is living in cool, comfortable conditions. A caregiver can also check vitals, monitor health, and assist errands such as refilling prescriptions.

If you have questions about an aging family member, contact us at 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

How to Avoid a Medication Mix-up

Med Mix-up Statistics

Over 1.3 million Americans are injured from medication mix-ups or errors each year in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that approximately 4 Emergency Room (ER) visits out of every 1,000 adults are due to adverse drug reactions. Another study showed that 30% of elderly patient ER visits were due to medication mix-ups or errors.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 60% of all Americans take at least one prescription drug. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health indicates that over 90% of seniors age 65 and over take at least one prescription while 40% take at least five prescription medications. This study also showed that 55% of seniors were not following the medication instructions properly.

When we consider this information combined with the fact that many seniors also take non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, we can begin to understand the severity of medication mix-ups and errors. Many seniors take more than 10 drugs — including both prescription and OTC medicines.

Common Medication Errors

Common medication errors occur when medications have similar names. For example, Celebrex is used to treat arthritis while Celexa is used to treat depression. Another common problem is taking too much of a medicine. Some medications interact with another medication, and this problem can be especially dangerous with seniors who are on numerous prescription and/or OTC medications.

Some foods, such as grapefruit, can interact with medications due to the way medicines are metabolized. So it’s important to understand any foods or drinks or medicines that can interact with the medicine you are taking.

Some medications are meant for nasal inhalation, while others are meant to be taken sub-lingual and others swallowed. When these medications are not taken in the proper way, the efficacy can change potentially causing undesirable outcomes.

Over 40% of seniors 65 and over take 5 or more medications daily

Medication mix-up Solutions

Here are some important tips to help you or your loved one manage his or her medications:

  • Make a complete list of all medication names, descriptions, drug indications, and prescribed dosages. Leave a copy at home and another on hand for any medical visits.
  • Follow the instructions on the medication — never take more than prescribed.
  • Consider using a pill-minder to ensure you take the right quantities of each medicine as prescribed.
  • Ensure that you understand the generic names that are equivalent to the brand medications.
  • Be sure that medicine labels are clearly marked and stored separately to prevent name mix-ups.
  • Prevent medication interactions by ensuring that your pharmacist and physicians know each medication you are taking — including any OTC medicines as well as vitamins and supplements.
  • If you have any questions about the medications, don’t assume nor guess; consult with your pharmacist or physician.

If you or your loved one is having difficulties with medication management, you may want to consider a home health care provider. A professional caregiver can ensure that you or your loved one takes the proper medicine in the right dosage at the correct time. A care giver can also check vitals, monitor health, and assist errands such as refilling prescriptions.

If you have questions about medication management for you or your aging family member, contact us at 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Understanding and Preventing Dehydration in Seniors

What is dehydration?

Senior Citizen Drinking A Glass Of Water

Dehydration is a condition caused by significant water loss from the body, causing blood sodium levels to rise. Dehydration in young people is often caused by diarrhea, vomiting, or profuse sweating. When an individual has excessive water loss, they typically require the replenishment of water and electrolytes (to help maintain body functions.)

Dehydration in the elderly occurs more often than in young people for several reasons: 1) As people age, their sense of thirst decreases. While younger people may have dry mouth and know they should drink water, the aging population may either not notice the sensation or assume that the sensation is due to medicines they are currently taking. 2) Seniors who have difficulty getting around may choose to drink less to avoid having to go to the bathroom. 3) Dehydration in the elderly can also be related to incontinence or to medications with diuretic side effects.

How can you tell if someone is becoming dehydrated?

Although it’s not always apparent when an individual is becoming dehydrated, there are some important signs to watch for, especially in the elderly.

  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Dry mouth or nose
  • Sunken eyes, no tears
  • Minimal need to urinate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty with movement
  • Confusion, headaches, or dizziness
  • Rapid heart rate

What should you do if someone appears dehydrated?

If you notice these symptoms, encourage the individual to drink water or other fluids supplemented with electrolytes. If he or she is not able to keep down fluids or has diarrhea or black or bloody stools, it’s time to call 911.

How do you prevent dehydration in the elderly?

      1. Encourage them to drink small amounts throughout the day. Aim for at least 40 ounces of fluids per day. Water is best but juices, herbal teas, milk, mineral water, or almond milk are fine as well. Try fitting the 5 glasses (8 ounces each) in at these intervals:

      • Wake up
      • Breakfast
      • Lunch
      • Snack
      • Dinner
      2. Limit fluids after dinner to avoid potential incontinence issues.
      3. Avoid caffeinated beverages because of the diuretic effect.
      4. Encourage the consumption of soups, fruits, and vegetables that have high water content.
      5. Avoid alcoholic beverages

If you have questions about dehydration in the elderly or caring for your aging family member, contact us at 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Home Safety Modifications for Seniors with Disabilities

Studies show that the large majority of seniors prefer to live at home as they age. Aging seniors feel comfort and safety in their own home. And even when seniors have disabilities, they can live independently in their own homes.

The solution is home safety modifications designed to help individuals with disabilities be able to safely move through the house and perform daily living tasks, including but not limited to accessing all doors, switches, plugs, shelves, supplies and equipment. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides a basic home safety checklist for seniors here.

Evaluating Needs
Family members and friends may be able to help evaluate the needs of an aging loved one with disabilities by reviewing the checklist, but an expert can bring knowledge and experience to the process. A professional occupational therapist or certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS) can guide the family through a needs assessment, helping everyone understand the current needs of your loved one, but anticipating how these needs will change over the coming months and years. Without this important resource, you may invest in many safety modifications, only to find out that they must be changed 4 months later.

Major Areas of Concern
Walking through the home and identifying major areas of concern will be a key piece of the work conducted with your expert resource. Typically, the main areas of concern in homes are 1) entryways into the home and into each room, 2) limited reach areas, 3) stairs and steps, and 4) bathroom facilities.

Safety Modification Examples
While recommended modifications will be unique for each situation, below are several examples of common safety modifications for seniors with disabilities…

  • Installing oversized light switches and levers and faucet knobs to allow for easier control.
  • Installing grab bars or rails to improve mobility, especially in hallways and bathrooms.
  • Changing shelving to pull-out or roll-out shelves, allowing easier access to storage, especially in clothing closets and food pantries.
  • Incorporating transfer benches to help seniors get in and out of showers and bathtubs.
  • Widening doorways to make enough room for walkers or wheelchairs.
  • Adding stair lifts or lift chairs to assist individuals with staircases.

Keep in mind that these are only a few examples, and there are many other safety modifications that may help aging seniors.

Paying for Safety Modifications

Some home modifications are relatively inexpensive while others are very costly. There are options to help pay for necessary home safety modifications. If specific modifications are prescribed by a physician, they may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Local area agencies for the aging may be able to help, found at www.eldercare.gov. The national nonprofit, Rebuilding Together, found at www.rebuildingtogether.org, is another great resource. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs offers different grants and programs that may cover specific home modifications for aging seniors who served in the military. Seniors may also find support in the form of block grants through local community development projects. In addition, some contractors provide reduced fees to seniors.

If your loved one wants to remain independent but is starting to have difficulties reaching objects in the home, what are you waiting for? Evaluate what your loved one needs so that he or she can spend many more happy, comfortable and safe years in his or her home.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Healthier Eating for Seniors

Learning to eat healthy is important for all of us. The nutrients we consume on a daily basis support our physical and emotional health. Eating the right mix of foods and liquids provides energy and helps us maintain a healthy weight. Failing to eat a variety of foods may lead to vitamin or mineral deficiencies, potentially causing or exacerbating pre-existing health concerns.

Today, most people have a fairly good idea about what foods are healthy or not. We know that we should eat lots of fruits and vegetables and minimize the amount of fried foods and sugary drinks that we consume. We also are aware that we should stay hydrated — by drinking plenty of water.

So what should your dinner plate look like? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), offers useful information about healthy plates for all different ages. For adults over 50, they recommend the following way to visually assess proper portion sizes.

baseball = 1 cup of salad
deck of cards = 3 ounces of meat/poultry
4 dice = 1.5 ounces of cheese
fist = 1 cup of flaked cereal or a baked potato
DVD = 1 pancake/tortilla
½ baseball = ½ cup of fruit, rice, pasta, or ice cream
tip of first finger = 1 teaspoon of butter/margarine
ping pong ball = 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

The USDA also recommends this diagram (to the right) that shows ideal proportion of portions.

Aging adults need to pay special attention to the amount of salt they consume, eating enough fruits and vegetables, consuming enough calcium and foods containing B12, and drinking enough water.

Healthy Eating Tips
To avoid using too much salt, add flavor to foods with fresh or dried herbs. Keep ready-to-eat cut up fruit or vegetables in the refrigerator. Try to include many different colors of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Stay away from cookies, cakes, soda, and alcohol that provide empty calories and almost no nutrients. Drink plenty of water and limit juice, soda and caffeinated beverages.

If some foods bother you, pay attention. As we age, sometimes we tolerate foods differently. Keep a record of your food and drink intake and evaluate which foods may be the culprits.

Make sure you get enough fiber to prevent digestive or intestinal problems. Fiber comes from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, as well as beans, seeds, and nuts.

If you’re ready to take charge of your health, start out slowly and make small changes. Allow your body time to adjust.

Nutrition Labels
Your best bet is to consume minimal processed foods. However, for those processed foods you eat, take time to review the nutrition labels and understand how much sodium, sugar, and fat are in your food and drinks.

Avoid overeating
The average inactive woman can consume around 1600 calories; the average man can use around 2000 calories. For more active individuals, the amount of calorie consumption increases. For more information on calories, consult your physician or visit one of the many health and nutrition sites run by US governmental organizations like this one.

March is National Health and Nutrition Month and we want you to begin thinking healthy! For more information from the USDA’s Choose My Plate website, click here. The Eat Right website is another great resource found here.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Caring for Your Loved One After a Heart Attack

February is Heart Health Month. In the United States, heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women. In fact, cardiovascular diseases, led by coronary artery disease, are responsible for more deaths than all types of cancer combined.

Heart disease can occur at any age, but as people get older, their risk of serious cardiovascular disease events increases. If you or a loved one has suffered a heart attack recently, read on. Below are some important suggestions about how to manage the recovery process.

  1. Following a heart attack, your loved one may feel vulnerable and fearful. His or her emotions are likely to be stronger and more dramatic after facing this serious health event. This is the time to listen and be patient. Really listen. Stay positive but acknowledge your loved one’s fears and concerns. Avoid bringing up any guilt related to your loved one “allowing” this to happen. Nobody wants to have a heart attack and nobody wants to hear blame for provoking cardiovascular disease or a heart attack.
  2. Seek clarification from medical staff. Arrive with questions and take notes on the responses. You need to take on the role of health care advocate for your loved one. Notice behavior changes, ask questions, and make sure you clearly understand the medications and therapy prescribed. In addition, take this time to figure out what changes need to be made going forward. Will you need to help your loved one change his or her eating habits, daily activities, cigarette habits, and/or overall lifestyle?
  3. Activities for seniors with Alzheimer's Disease

  4. Evaluate level of care required. Working with the medical staff and rehabilitation specialists, determine what level of care is needed for your loved one in the short-term and long-term. He or she may simply need to manage medications and change his or her lifestyle or he or she may need dependable help.
  5. After the medical appointment, support your loved one in making changes to habits, activities, food or drink, and lifestyle. Work with the medical staff to prevent any further complications. Be aware that roles may change temporarily…or even permanently. Work with these changes and support your loved one. If your loved one is not eager to make the necessary changes, avoid shaming. Do your best to support him or her and consult medical professionals or therapists for help.
  6. Focus on the future. Allow your loved one the necessary time to come to terms with his or her health and the changes that he or she will need to make going forward. And then, start living again. Plan a small activity out of the house. Enjoy a movie together. Spend time with friends. Take a class. Plan a vacation. Allow you and your loved one to start living again.
  7. Join a support group to help you cope with the new challenges that you are facing while helping your loved one recover. Consider accepting some hands-on help or simply go to meetings to talk and socialize with others who are in similar situations.
  8. As a caregiver, you need to take proper care of yourself. So, in addition to the medical and therapy appointments you arrange for your loved one, you must schedule some personal time every day to take a walk, read a book, or just relax and watch a movie. Give yourself permission to do things either alone or with friends. When you’re taking care of a loved one, it’s critical to give yourself downtime so you don’t become stressed or overwhelmed

Do you have questions about caring for a loved one who recently suffered a heart attack? Expicare may be able to help. Contact us at 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

Owned and managed by highly qualified Registered Nurses, Expicare is a recognized leader of home health care in South Florida. For over three decades, Expicare has provided unparalleled home health care to thousands of patients throughout Palm Beach County. From post-surgery assistance to compassionate care for patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s, Expicare provides highly skilled nurses and nursing assistants to care for your parents or loved ones. For more information, contact 561-736-1422, toll-free: 855-730-9895, or visit www.expicare.com.

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