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Showing posts from 2017

Aging Life Care Professional®

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I hope that you had a Merry Christmas. ✨

This post is about discussing what is available in the community and why you should always review someone's background (knowledge, experience, and education) before you decide to hire them for consulting work, especially when it comes to the care of your loved one.

Since gaining my certification as a Care Manager. I have decided to join a great organization known as the Aging Life Care Association®, The Experts in Aging Well®.

Due to my background, experience, and education, I was accepted into the association as an Advanced Professional Member/Certified Geriatric Care Manager, which is the highest level possible.

So what does this all mean? (Visit, https://www.aginglifecare.org/ALCA/About_Aging_Life_Care/ALCA/About_Aging_Life_Care/What_you_need_to_know.aspx?hkey=a487975b-4621-4c97-a4c9-a0efb2b7f581)

"An Aging Life Care Professional, also known as a geriatric care manager, is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide …

Red Flags: Holiday Visits with Seniors Part 2

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Hello! This blog post is a follow up to the Thanksgiving blog, “Red Flags: Holiday Visits with Seniors”.

Many seniors want to age in place or remain at home. This is an area on aging that I have a passion for and I do believe is possible with the right plan in place and of course it will take some financial planning and efforts too.

AARP, at https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-2014/livable-communities-facts-and-figures.html an article reported that , “87 percent of adults age 65+ want to stay in their current home and community as they age. Among people age 50 to 64, 71 percent of people want to age in place”.

If your parents want to age in place, then visiting them on the holidays can serve as a time that you can recognize red flags, that some additional supports, may be needed. One common additional support is assistive devices or aids, this will be the focus of this blog post.

Assistive devices or aids can be a tremendous item to help your parents perform activities of da…

Vaccines for Seniors and Medicare

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The year is coming to an end, but flu and pneumonia season is not over, so I want to talk about vaccines, because you still have time.

I continue to work as a Staff RN (bedside nursing) at a local hospital and I have already cared for several patients with pneumonia, some even bilateral or both lungs, and there has been a confirmed case of death by flu for 2017.

The immune system weakens with age, this is an issue that occurs to all aging people, no matter background or culture.

It is also important to know, that with chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, and kidney disease, adding pneumonia and flu, makes the treatment plan complicated and requires longer recovery time. This essentially occurs because the body has to work harder to not only sustain the body as it manages the chronic conditions, it too has to work to fight the infection from the pneumonia and flu. Lastly, with having chronic conditions, it more likely for you to get pneumonia or flu a…

Where do you go when you need help?

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One of the duties I have as a Certified Care Manager is to, prevent avoidable trips to the hospital, to include ED (Emergency Department)/ER (Emergency Room) visits. Many people do not have a clue how this is possible, but it is, but it takes work on the part of the patient, all MDs involved in care of the patient, home health, care managers, and truly any person who has contact with the patient and could impact their health or conditions for better or for worse (sounds like marriage, right ๐Ÿ˜Š).

It's important to understand the differences between emergency rooms (ERs), urgent care, and Primary Care.

Life-threatening conditions (loss of limb or unconscious) would indicate need for the ER; non-life-threatening conditions (cough or mild allergic reaction) would indicate need for urgent care or even primary care. A PCP (Primary Care Provider) is a doctor (even a Nurse Practitioner, under the supervision of a MD, for state of SC) you select to be your general source for addressing yo…

A RN: Disclosed = CMC, what does that mean?

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What does being Certified as a Care Manager mean:
But for me, it is a little more, it is a part of my purpose.

I have been working in the field of case and care management for 4 years.
I have been a RN for 6 years. I have worked in every setting you could imagine and I have loved it all.

The world, especially seniors and their families and caregivers need Care Management services. Healthcare is ever changing and a complex setting to navigate, as a Care Manager, one of my duties is to make that pathway, less complex and easier to navigate. 

I am paid to be a Care Manager, but also provide free information to people in the community, at random, when I am asked my opinion (like this blog).

Sometimes we do have to “toot” our own horn. So yes, I am a great Care Manager!

I do not commit to knowing everything, but I do commit to finding the answer. I believe in quality care for all. I believe in the right care at the right time. I believe in working to honor patient's wishes. I am very p…

Red Flags: Holiday Visits with Seniors

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Many times, holiday visits are the only opportunity for you to see your loved one face to face so, it’s important to pay close attention to their environment, physical, and mental/emotional health.

This blog post is to discuss red flags, that may pinpoint issues that some extra help at home may be needed.

Weight Loss – this is the most common and apparent sign of poor health, either physical or mental. Possible causes could be cancer, dementia or depression. You should also consider are there issues, financially. Seniors are on a fixed income, but price of food is not fixed. Seniors sometimes experience reduced energy, which can make it challenging to shop, prepare meals, and clean up (so another clue maybe an unkept house). Certain medications and aging in general can change the way food tastes. If weight loss is evident, talk to your loved one about your concerns and schedule an appointment with PCP to address the issue (asking for a consult to a dietician or nutritionist would be a…

Will and Testament?

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Hello!
Thank you visiting the official Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC blog, written by Danielle Harris, MSN, BSN, RN, CDP A.K.A - A RN: Disclosed.
As a Care Manager of many years, I have found that many people are not planning for the times, when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. There are many terms used to describe preparing for that time. One term is end of life care planning, or advance care planning, or advanced directives, they all mean the same things, but different people use different terminology.
You may already be thinking, what does all of this mean and why is it important anyway, well in lieu of the holiday season, it is a good time to talk with your family about whether these documents are in place or not. So, I am going to take this week to discuss as well as provide a simple resource to get the process going. Advance care planning, is a complex task, and should be done in sessions, if you find it to be overwhelming. This is just a little informatio…

Love Caregivers!

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Let’s Celebrate! ๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽ‰
What are we celebrating?
We are celebrating - National Family Caregivers Month! 

I want to take this time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the world; Thank you for your time, dedication, sacrifices, and love. ⌚๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ‘

I have come to realize many caregivers, have issues identifying whether they are a caregiver or not. So, what is family and what is a caregiver?

The following definitions come from Merriam-Webster:

Family - a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation; a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head; a group of persons of common ancestry – this to me indicates that family includes paid, unpaid, blood related, and non-blood related persons – for myself as a RN and Care Manager, I see family as whoever the patient says his or her family is. Caregiver - a person who provides direct care; a person who gives help and protection to someone – so in some way shape or form, we all are caregiver…

Joint Pain - It is that time

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It is “that time of year” again, when many people will begin to talk about joint pain from the cold temperatures.  ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

This blog post is about ways you can help beat the joint pain, without medication, because I am a Registered Nurse, that believes in holistic options.

So, following I have some “tips”:

Dress in layers – this will keep you warm and reduce stiffness, because the colder temperatures are “blocked” by the layers.

Eat well – take in healthy fats, like nuts, oils and seeds, a diet rich in minerals and vitamins, fiber, leafy green vegetables and protein will reduce inflammation and joint pain, because that is what joint pain is. Be open to consulting a Registered Dietitian to learn more about healthy foods that can improve your arthritis or joint pain. Healthy fats, such as avocado and fish oil are also great lubricants for joints and contribute to overall health.

Get massages – massages can improve circulation and reduce pain for people with all kinds of arthritis. With book…

Why RN: Disclosed?

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Hello! Thank you visiting the official Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC blog.

This blog is titled, A RN: Disclosed.

By definition, from Merriam-Webster, disclose, is to make secret or new information known.

During our education and training as Nurses we are not taught to speak up, voice opinions, and so on; hence why unfortunately, many nurses are not in the boardroom, where we should and are qualified to be. Therefore, with this blog, I am speaking my opinions, thoughts, giving advice, and educating all in one blog. Although in school, nurses are not to speak up, I have always been able to do so, and the same is true in this matter as well. Even in that, I am secure enough to admit when I am wrong and confident enough to speak for patients and families, thus ensuring their rights and wishes are respected and heard. Now that, is a different blog post, for a different week ๐Ÿ’ฌ

On the other hand, I decided to take this week’s blog to take the opportunity to discuss the purpose of the blog. …

Live Longer – Self-Manage Your Chronic Conditions

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As a RN and Care Manager, I help patients and their families manage chronic conditions like, Diabetes, Arthritis, High Blood Pressure, and Lung diseases. 

Did you know that 80% of older adults have 1 chronic condition? Did you know that 99% of management of those conditions are in the hands of the individuals and their families? Let’s first discuss the top 10 conditions in adults age 65+:

High blood pressureHigh cholesterolArthritisHeart diseaseDiabetesKidney diseaseHeart failureDepressionAlz/dementiaLung disease What can families and patients do? It is called, Self-management. A definition is offered by Improving Chronic Illness Care, “the decisions and behaviors that patients with chronic illness engage in that affect their health.  Self-management support is the care and encouragement provided to people with chronic conditions and their families to help them understand their central role in managing their illness, make informed decisions about care, and engage in healthy behaviors”…

What can I do, mom/dad needs helps, but refuses

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This past week I encountered two different families having issues with their parents to agree to home modifications and in-home help. 
Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence in the senior community to refuse help or even make changes for that matter. If someone has lived 60+ years independently and well (in their eyes); they see no need to make changes. As a Geriatric Care Manager, I often have patient’s family, friends, and caregivers to ask; “What do you when she/he Refuse Help?”
The biggest concept to understand, is that everyone wants to keep their independence. We spend a quarter of our lives yearning for it, get it, live with it, and then we turn into our 60+ years and enjoying retirement; and someone wants to come along and take it away. So, accepting help means that their independence is disappearing. By definition per Merriam-Webster, independence, is defined as the quality or state of not being under the control of, reliant on, or connected with someone or something else; w…

Self-Care is Self-Love Part 2: Want to know more about essential oils? Now you can!

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This blog post today is about Aromatherapy and Young Living Essential Oils (the only essential oils I use) as a follow up to last week’s post.
So, what are Essential Oils (EOs)? Essential oils (EOs) are aromatic and volatile liquid that comes from inside flowers, shrubs, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. EOs are considered to be the “Lifeblood” of plants, as they carry oxygen and nutrients within the plant. EOs can be experienced in different ways.๐Ÿ’ง
To date, I have experienced, more self-care in my daily life. I am more relaxed; my sleep quality has improved; the biggest thing I love is that they are toxic free.๐Ÿ˜ด
There is always a disclaimer of some sort when it comes to EOs: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents of this website/e-mail are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health p…

Self-Care is Self-Love

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It is officially fall! 
This is my favorite time of year; the trees are changing colors and something about fall always makes me feel like it’s time for renewal or regeneration. So, for this blog, I wanted to discuss self-care for caregivers, professionals, parents, and anyone who is reading. We all deserve self-care, because self-care is self-love. Therefore, this blog post is about clever tactics to squeeze self-care into your day.
Our to do list is already long and nowhere on the list did you schedule time for yourself. It is important to put yourself first, before you end up needing a caregiver.
Stress leads to many health issues – depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, ulcers, obesity and heart disease. It is harder to complete your to do list when you have multiple conditions you have to manage.
We are responsible for a lot, sometimes it can be overwhelming, both emotionally and physically. I am not trying to scare you into self-care, but I want you to be aware, as this is what t…

Dementia care: no drugs allowed

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This post is inspired by all the caregivers I have coached who still find it hard to deal with their loved one when they become agitated.
This post is shorter than others, because when I provide tips I want you to be able to focus on the tips; therefore, giving time for you to consider how to adapt to your lifestyle and make it distinct for you and your loved one.
If you continue to have trouble, please feel free to reach out to us, that is what we are here for.
So, your loved is agitated, here on some caregiver tips:
1.  Reduce noise, clutter, or the number of persons in the room = less stimulation
2.  Maintain structure; have routines. Keep household objects and furniture in the same places = security and expectation reduces anxiety
3.  Reduce caffeine, sugar, and other foods that cause energy spikes = a lot of energy that is not properly placed or used = anxiety = agitation
4.  Do not try to restrain the person during a period of agitation. Try gentle touch, music, walks, or aromathe…

Revealing study shows that SC tops Alz Disease rates

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As I embark on this journey of small business ownership and answering my call to serve, I think the stars are aligning, because the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is approaching Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Fluor Field at the West End.
A great friend of mine gave me the idea to sign up for the walk as my business name, Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC.
Once I started to develop my page for the walk, http://act.alz.org/goto/ess_cure and http://act.alz.org/goto/ess_standas1;many feelings began to take over me. I was thinking of all the patients and families I have touched who are living with dementia.
I decided to dedicate this walk, to my grandmother, Brenda, who we lost this summer. I also wanted to dedicate this walk to my great uncle, James. Neither of them lived or live in SC, but this brings attention to the fact that Alzheimer’s and Dementia of all types is a national and international issue; that we need to continue to bring awareness to and remove the stigma.
Recently, I read an article titl…