Home For The Holidays – Tips to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe

During this busy holiday season, many family members get together for the first time in months. This might be a good time for family members to open the topic and express concern about their parents’ long-term well-being and safety. It is not an easy conversation to have.in love

Our friends at HomeWatch Caregivers provided us with some indicators that an elder might be in need of home care support and/or technology to maintain their quality of life.

• The condition of the interior and exterior dwelling and landscape show signs of deterioration and neglect

• Newspapers and mail are accumulating and still in the mailbox

• The person’s vehicle looks like it hasn’t been driven in a while and/or there are new scrapes and dents on the body of the vehicle

• The person has trouble ambulating, standing up or sitting down

• The person takes a long time to answer the door

• The demeanor of the person has changed and they seem confused, worried, and/or anxious. They may be forgetful and repeat stories often

• The person’s clothing and general appearance is unkempt. There may be signs of bruises that indicate a recent fall

• The person does not have a local support system

• There are odors of garbage or food. The refrigerator may contain out of date or old food

• It appears that the person is not eating regularly. There are not adequate healthy food choices

• There are possible fall hazards such as blocked or narrow passageways, loose throw rugs, debris on the floors and things stored on the stairwars or electrical cords crossing walkways

• Medications appear to be disorganized, may be out of date, and the person may be confused about what/whan/why the medication is indicated.

• The bathroom may need grab bars, a toilet seat riser, a shower chair and a hand held shower head. Is their evidence that a shower has been taken in the last few days?

• The person’s sleep patterns appear to be disrupted

Granted, not all of these issues indicate that individuals need to move to assisted living   With the combination of home care and technology, an individual can independent and in their own home for much longer. Some technology solutions available include:

  • Medication dispensers can remind individuals when it is time to take medication as well as be linked to a care center that can notify family, if needed
  • Wellness monitoring tools such as blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters collect health data in confidential online health files and send notifications should an individual’s status exceed the predetermined thresholds
  • Wireless sensor systems utilize door/window contacts, bed pressure pads, and even stove sensors to promote independence with activities of daily living

While conversations around these concerns can be difficult, we often encourage families to have them sooner rather than later.  Being proactive offers individuals the opportunity to have a plan in place without having to make impulsive decisions if a crisis occurs.

Photoheader‘Tis The Season

SimplyHome has been fortunate enough to be able to give back this year. On behalf of our customers and partners we have made a generous donation to the No Place Like Home Program. Thank you for all of your support! If you would like to learn more or make a donation yourself, click here.

No Place Like Home
A Program of Eblen Charities in Partnership with SimplyHome

Volunteered for a week and changed for a lifetime–that was our experience with Extreme makeover Home edition, and when we returned to Asheville, we wanted to make the same difference in our own community.
As a result, SimplyHome has partnered with Eblen Charities to create No Place Like Home, a program offering individuals access to the assistive technology they need to live independently at home.

SimplyHome Tech Tip – Your Personal Website/Data and Trends

Jason Ray, SimplyHome VP of Product Development, talks about the personal website offered to all of our SimplyHome System customers. He explains what data to look for and how to run reports to view trends in the data.

Please feel free to call us with any questions.
www.simply-home.com
(877) 684-3581SimplyHome Tech Tip

SimplyHome Tech Tip – Bed Pads

Jason Ray, SimplyHome VP of Product Development, talks about the installation and troubleshooting of a bed pad. He explains who can benefit from a bed pad. Please feel free to call us with any questions about these sensors. www.simply-home.com
(877) 684-3581SimplyHome Tech Tip

Important Medical News for Seniors

Please enjoy this article written by our friends at DrugWatch.com. The organization is an awareness group that aims to educate the public about prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices that have the potential to cause patients serious harm. Their website is continually updated with drug recall news, recent FDA approvals, drug interactions, side effects, and current developments in the medical field.

Important Medical News for Seniors

Older Americans are often prescribed several drugs to manage their health. Even though everyone should be careful when taking medications, it’s important for seniors to know the benefits and risks.

UntitledAlthough prescriptions have intended uses, not every drug works the same for everybody and it’s critical for people to understand that.

It can be easy to trust a doctor’s orders without really understanding why they are prescribing certain drugs, but the more information patients and doctors have, the more informed decisions can be made. Changes and adjustments can often be made based on a person’s individual circumstances.

Knowledge of how a particular medication works can also alert people to possible dangerous side effects.

There are certain questions seniors should ask their doctor about the medications prescribed. The AARP suggests seniors ask their doctors the following questions in order to help them avoid certain mistakes that could negatively affect their health:

  • When and how should I use this new drug?
  • What is the purpose of the medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Will the drug interact with other medications, vitamins or supplements I’m taking?
  • Is a generic or lower-cost brand name medication available?
  • What side effects, reactions or warning signs should I watch out for?

Knowledge about prescription drugs doesn’t stop with those questions. Medical news is always changing. Studies often show that medications once thought of as safe could do damage after long-term use or when mixed with other medications. Some of these drugs lead to the development of more damaging diseases.

Diabetes Drugs May Increase Cancer, Other Health Risks

When many of these drugs are put on the market, researchers don’t always have all theSimplyHome Products answers. Some of this information is only discovered after years of use by thousands or millions of people.

There are several pills that fight Type 2 diabetes on the market that don’t use insulin to treat the condition. Instead, many of them stimulate insulin production in the body. Some people take a combination of the medications to treat the condition.

Studies show that many who were prescribed these drugs have reported developing certain illnesses linked to popular diabetes medications:

  • Actos: Bladder cancer, heart problems
  • Byetta & Bydureon: Pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, heart attack
  • Januvia & Janumet: Pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and kidney problems
  • Victoza: Pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, thyroid and gland issues

As always, when it comes to taking certain medications for certain conditions, it’s up to the patient to discuss the risk and benefits with their doctors.  Type 2 diabetes can be managed. It’s much harder to manage certain heart conditions and cancers.

Making healthy food choices, getting exercising and losing weight may also decrease your need for these medications. Patients can work with their doctors to safely manage their conditions.

Important Medical Device News

Medical devices are technological advances that have helped improved peoples’ lives. However, not all of them work as intended. Some are recalled due to defects.

Metal-on-metal hip implants have been the subject of many medical headlines over the past few years. In the past, most implants, which mimic the ball and the socket joint of the hip, were made of plastic and ceramic.

The metal-on-metal prosthetics were originally thought to be an innovation for hip replacement surgery. Instead of being stronger and longer-lasting than implants made from other materials, they were a disaster for patients.

Thousands of patients have claimed injury due to the implants breaking early or rubbing together and sending metal debris into their bloodstream, causing blood poisoning. In many cases, metal-on-metal hip implant recipients underwent revision surgeries, which meant replacing their hip implant.

Johnson & Johnson has been in the news lately for their metal-on-metal prosthetics. J&J will pay $2.5 billion dollars to settle at least 8,000 lawsuits against its subsidiary company DePuy Orthopaedics. Patients claimed the ASR Hip Implant system caused serious complications.

Stryker is just one of several metal hip manufacturing companies with pending lawsuits. The company’s neck and stem components for their Rejuvenate and ABG II products were also blamed for causing those same health concerns.

Manufacturers including Biomet, Zimmer and Wright Medical are also facing lawsuits that claim their devices were faulty and caused injury.

Stay Informed and Follow Up on Prescriptions

Any information you can get about the drugs or devices you’re using can help you. Patients should ask their doctors to review their medications at least once a year and ask whether they are still needed at their current dosage.

Making healthy choices involves being fully informed. Knowledge empowers a patient to understand why they are making certain choices and the potential consequences of those actions. Information gives them the opportunity to ask their physicians questions and understand what the doctor is talking about.

SOURCES:

  1. National Institute on Aging. (n.d.) Age Page: Diabetes In Older People-A Disease you Can Manage. [Fact Sheet] Retrieved from http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/diabetes-older-people
  2. Drugwatch. (n.d.) Dangerous Drugs. Drugwatch.com. Retrieved from http://www.drugwatch.com/drugs-and-devices/
  3. AARP (2012, December 7). 9 Types of Medication Older Adults Should Use With Caution. AARP.com. Retrieved from http://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-07-2011/medications-older-adults-should-use-with-caution.html
  4. National Institutes Of Health. (n.d.) Taking Medicines. [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from http://nihseniorhealth.gov/takingmedicines/sideeffects/01.html
  5. Hollmer, M. (2013, November 19) Updated: J&J acknowledges $2.5B-plus hip lawsuit settlement agreement. Firece Medical Devices. Retrieved from http://www.fiercemedicaldevices.com/story/reported-jj-hip-settlement-drops-25b-conditions-added/2013-11-19
  6. Drugwatch. (n.d.) Stryker and Stryker Orthopaedics. Drugwatch.com  Retrieved from http://www.drugwatch.com/manufacturer/stryker-orthopaedics/