05.31.07

Oxygen Tanks and Safety

Posted in Assisted Living Safety, Oxygen Tanks at 1:58 am by admin

  

Oxygen tanks need to be handled in a responsible manner. Oxygen is safe under a controlled environment. However if proper care is not taken destruction is at hand.

 

1. In the case of a fire, oxygen tanks can be extremely dangerous. Although oxygen itself does not cause a fire it can feed a fire very quickly.

 


  

2. Oxygen is usually contained in steel green tanks. These tanks should be stored in a rack or carrier to prevent them from being a trip hazard and to prevent them from falling. If an oxygen tank fell and the valve broke it can become like a 30 lb. missile causing harm to people, valuables, and even the building.

 

3. When storing the oxygen tank be sure the valve is turned off. Also if the tank has a regulator or flow meter make sure those are turned off as well when being stored.

 

4. Always store oxygen tanks in an upright position. Never store oxygen tanks lying down.

How to recognize dementia in its early stages

Posted in dementia at 12:58 am by admin

It’s hard to see a loved one go through a battle with Dementia. It is important to recognize signs of Dementia early on. Most people tend to notice the short term memory loss such as miss placing things, forgetting what was just spoken in a conversation, etc. But short term memory loss is just one sign of dementia. Other signs of dementia are change in behavior (aggressive, anxious, depressed), not being able to manage medications or checkbook, disoriented and excessive wandering, change in attention to personal hygiene, and change in social relationships.


 

 

 

Loss of long term memory care is another sign. Often people with dementia will forget a person’s name that they’ve known their whole life. Although dementia is found most commonly in the elderly there are cases of people as young as 40 with dementia. If you have concerns about yourself or a loved one in the area of dementia talk to a doctor about getting an evaluation.

05.16.07

Ombudsman program in Texas – An unbiased Assisted Living information service

Posted in Assisted Living at 3:09 am by admin

The Ombudsman Program


Ombudsman programs serve as a reliable and credible source with more specific information about Assisted Living facilities.  You can visit their site and learn the good and bad information about the facilities you are considering. Local volunteers keep tabs on the different facilities in your area and have a file of legal information when they find rights violations against the elderly.

When choosing an assisted living facility you want to know if the care workers and staff are taking advantage of the residents. Being taken advantage of usually has less to do with things being stolen and more to do with verbal and physical abuse. Care workers may get mad when someone with dimentia starts yelling at them and the care worker may try and be physical or verbally abusive back.

When an elderly resident who has dimentia acts out in a physical or verbal way they often times don’t know what they are doing because they are not in their right mind. It is a great injustice when a care worker or staff causes abuse on one of these residents. Many times a resident will just have confusion about a situation and think they are being mistreated in some way. The care workers on staff are supposed to be trained on how to treat the elderly in a respectful way when this happens. Too often the care workers are not trained well and act out in an abusive way. As long as there are no bruises or marks on the resident the facility will get a way with this type of abuse for many years.

It takes volunteers coming into these facilities and being nosey and finding out information to get down to the bottom of what may be going on. Residents with Dimentia and Alzhiemers forget abuse quite easily and do not have the ability to communicate in a timely manner with the right people to be heard. The volunteers with this organization make sure that these victims are heard, justice is served, and the criminals who cause abuse are brought to trial. It is also important to expose the management and the assisted living facilities who bring these type of abuses about by not doing anything to stop it.

05.02.07

Dementia and Alzheimers Care Facilities

Posted in Assisted Living at 6:55 pm by admin

Home VS. A Home

 

Getting care for your parents or grandparents can be one of the most stressful decisions in life but it doesn’t have to be.


Dementia and Alzheimer’s attacks a persons memory and decision making process. These are just 2 diseases that effect the elderly. Seeing a parent or a loved one go through this is difficult. Finding the right care for them shouldn’t be. There are many options out there. Unfortunately a lot of them are not good options. Having a sitter or a nurse provide care at home seems ideal and could be. But there are many things that a nursing home or an assisted living community provides that you can’t get anywhere else. For an example activities such as Bingo, Domino’s, and Bridge. Also being around other elderly people that can relate to them. A downside to these facilities is the negligence and abuse that is reported or in most cases not reported. No one wants a loved one to be neglected or abused. It is important to notice if a facility has cases of negligence and abuse before placing your parent there. A few things to look for are:

Response times to emergencies:

  1. Most facilities have an emergency button or string to pull in case of an accident or fall. The staff should provide you with an average response time to these calls. (worst case scenario would be if there was a fall and the care staff didn’t react quick enough resulting in the resident being in pain on the floor with a broken hip and trying to get up on there own without assistance resulting in another fall or moving a bone out of place or even dying). Also discuss with the staff what the procedure is in case of a fall or other emergencies. Whether they call 911 every time there is a fall. Whether they contact you first or not. Whether every emergency and fall is documented and reported. A lot of times there is no visible bruises or brakes after a fall but a few days later a knee might swell up or a bone might be broken and more medical attention is needed because it wasn’t properly dealt with at the time of the incident.

Lifeline Button

Cleanliness and staffing:

  1. Some facilities might look clean but they smell so bad. Yes the residents have accidents and that produces an awful scent. But that should be taken care of in a short amount of time (2hours max). That shouldn’t cause the whole facility to wreak of a foul smell. Bedding should be washed immediately and not balled up into a dirty hamper in the corner of the room(believe it or not this happens a lot). Ask the nursing staff how often they do incontinent checks and showers. Also ask what is the ratio of care attendants to residents. The brochure might say one thing but the reality might be as little as half that amount of care staff. Look around the facility some and see how many workers you see. Listen and watch the way they treat the residents there. Does it seem like they treat them with respect?

Some positive things about a nursing home or assisted living community to look for are:

Activities and Fellowship:

  1. There are so many ways to engage life during the later years of life. There are things to do within the community (games, exercise, knitting, etc) and some places have beauty/barber shops located within the community. But there are also many different outings (picnics, shopping, casinos, sports games, etc.) Ask the activity manager for a list of activities and a number of residents that usually attend. A positive thing about a home is that there are many other elderly people to relate to and fellowship with at meal times and activities.

Senior Living Fun

Safe and Secure:

  1. Most homes are gated and/or have security devices at the doors in case a resident may wander the staff would be aware. There are many fire safety hazards put in place that if there is even a hint of smoke it will set off the alarm.

    Meals:

  2. No need to cook anymore! Meals are provided. Check the menus to see how many choices are presented and if they serve any of your favorites. Maybe ask the chef if you and your parent can eat there for a meal.

Getting care at home can be a lot cheaper than going to a home. Some negative things about care at home:

  1. Your property could be in jeopardy. The last thing you want is a thief in your home. The possibility of this happening is pretty slim as they would be jeopardizing their job and or going to jail. A stranger in your home might be a little weird at first. Trust is built through time.
  2. Scheduling days off can be complicated. There needs to be a back up when the care attendant/nurse is sick or needs time off.

Some positive things about getting care at home:

  1. There is a more quality relationship built because he/she is just caring for your parent. His/her attention is not divided and the worker usually will be more patient because he/she doesn’t have to rush to another resident to care for.
  2. It is more comfortable to live at home. There is no place like home.
  3. It is cheaper to hire help. It is good to start out with a rate a little lower than what you are willing to pay and give the care attendant/nurse a raise about 2 months into the job.

Elderly Care Facilities Choice and Comparison

Posted in Elderly Care at 6:36 pm by admin

Consumer Reports on Choosing an Assisted Living Facility


Assisted Living Consumers and their Children

Elderly Care Services and Assisted Living (ECSAL) is a national organization dedicated to protecting the rights and needs of the elderly by informing the public about concerning issues in Assisted Living facilities, nursing homes, and in-home health care.Assisted Living Consumers and their Children,Assisted Living is less of a medical term and more of a marketing term used to describe many different facilities with a wide variety of different services to assist the elderly. Because some of the facilities can only do so much it is important that you do not allow your parent or loved one to stay beyond the capabilities of the facility. The assisted living facility should tell you if your parent is beyond their scope of help but many times they allow them to stay in order to make more money and your parent is left neglected and humiliated more often then not.

Not all assisted living facilities do a bad job. There are several facilities that have things in order both professionally, legally and ethically. Because there is not a set type of design for an elderly care facility like there would be for a hospital or nursing home you end up with facilities out there that struggle to keep up with the elderly residents medical needs and problems. There are facilities that are small enough to be able to monitor and take care of your loved one without a problem but they are likely more expensive. If your parent is beyond being able to be taken care of at an assisted living facility it is up to you to make that judgment call and instead place them in a nursing home. There are many nursing homes that are not much fun for the elderly but there are some out there that have activities, games, and social activities very similar to a retirement community.

A typical setup in an assisted living facility is a one room apartment which is much better then nursing homes which sometimes have only a curtain to separate two roommates. A retirement community that basically offers no medical assistance at all is a great place to start off. These retirement communities usually have meals, medication reminders, housekeeping, and minimal assistance. The problem with these low maintenance facilities is that they will sometimes keep your parent beyond their scope of abilities. Your parent ends up becoming abused and neglected through lack of training and equipment to handle an incontinent elderly person. An assisted living facility that specializes in bathing adults, assistance in taking medication, picking them up and clothing them, changing their depends, along with on-site nurses is more expensive but often times very necessary when your parent gets to that point. By leaving someone at a facility that cannot handle their medical needs it is very easy for them to be neglected because they cannot remember or express the abuse they have received while there.

Take time to find a good facility that actually cares about your loved one and has the staff and equipment to handle their needs. Keep in mind the sales person will often times overstate things the facility can do that they may not be completely prepared to do on a daily basis. Be sure to question the sales person intently on if the services offered really will be done daily and if this is listed in the contract you will be signing for the lease.Below is a checklist to use when comparing several Assisted Living facilities you go to visit. By filling this checklist out and comparing from one facility to another you will save yourself, time, money and heartache later on down the road.

By the time you have been through this checklist several times after visiting your choice Assisted Living facilities you will have even more questions to think about and ask and will be well on your way in making a wise informed decision on this important matter.

Thanks,

Elderly Care Services

Assisted Living Facility 1 Assisted Living Facility 2 Assisted Living Facility 3
Assisted Living Contract
Costs Involved
General
Facility Environment
Staffing (Quality and Number)

 

Assisted Living Facility 1 Assisted Living Facility 2 Assisted Living Facility 3
Care, Health and Wellness
Medication Assistance
Safety
Meals
Activities and Socializing
Discharge (example: moving to nursing home)

 

Assisted Living Facilities in Texas

Posted in Assisted Living at 11:59 am by admin

Finding A Good Quality Assisted Living Facility In Texas



We have gone out of our way to find the best Assisted Living Facilities in a particular town. We are starting off with Tyler Texas as this town is known for a well established medical community with world class doctors.

The Fall Of A Once Good Assisted Living Community

When sending your parent or loved one to an Assisted Living Facility you want to make sure they will enjoy their stay and receive quality care. The way these facilities usually work is a big investment on the initial construction of the facility and eye appealing services and ammenities on the up start.  As the facility ages the management will usually let things go as well as start to scrimp on other things as well.

Neglect of the elderly is far to common due to the forgetfulness of the seniors living in these facilities and the children of these parents not really being told or notified about this neglect. Generally what will happen is the care worker staff will go to a skeleton staff due to bonus incentives brought down from upper management to the Executive Directors and managers of these care centers.

Care Workers Few And Far Between

As the care staff is brought down to around 2 care workers for every 60 residents you end up seeing some fatigue set in with the workers and the residents end up being left in their depends for several hours unattended too. This behavior goes on for days, then weeks, and even years.  The neglect of proper grooming, showering, and being paid close attention to most often happens at night. The elderly are frequently left in their soiled clothes all night while the skeleton staff sleeps through the night.

Many times when being given a tour of an assisted living facility you will see posted on the wall something to the affect of there being 4 care givers and 1 on call person for every 60 residents.  These numbers represent a close proximity to what you would normally see advertised. What a well established assisted living facility will usually do is to have 2 care givers and a call in person that rarely is asked to come in even during times when there is a no show. The justification is given in that the managers on duty are there to step in in case of an emergency.


The problem with this logic is that the elderly in these facilities are neglected up until the point they have fallen or are dropped only after the fact.  Leaving one or two care workers to work 60 residents in an assisted living facility makes for a very dangerous environment for your loved ones.  The managers almost always only step in after an ambulance has been called or it is too late.

Who Is Recommended Right Now As A Quality Elder Care Facility In Texas?

Finding a facility with workers who generally care for the elderly is very important. Having enough care workers on staff at all shifts is very important as well to avoid neglect of the residents.

The Good And Bad Ones

In Tyler Texas we have only a few Assisted Living facilities to choose from. There is Prestige Estates, Atria Willow Park, Pinehurst and Azalea Trails. We did a walk through in both Atria Willow Park and Azalea Trails. Azalea Trails received good reviews by two different residents we visited, an ex-care worker, and no bad reports as of yet by the Department of Aging.  Azalea Trails is a new facility so it will take time to see how their history of care to the elderly will be. We found Atria Willow Park to be lacking in care staff but the facility itself was a nice facility. Through the Freedom of Information Act we have found that they have several violations with the Department of Aging as well as with OSHA.

Azalea Trails Assisted Living Facility

Azalea Trails Assisted Living Facility is another facility we did a walk through and tour. We found this facility to be run by professional staff who seem to generally care about the residents who stay there. They serve only heart healthy food and the care staff to residents ratio was well within reason. They have a facility specifically designed with alzheimers patients in mind. They provide med staff training for all their workers to avoid giving your loved one the wrong medication as too often happens in facilities that have a high turn over with the care staff and a lack of quality training.