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CAREGIVER SUPPORT: The Scary Truth About In-Home Care Workers

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An amazing articles was written by by Jane Wilkens Michael, from SpryLiving Read her amazing Article below on the scary truth about in-home workers:

When choosing care for your loved one – it is crucial that you do your research to help ensure safe quality care. Here is a horrible story that will help you understand the consequences of “making do”: 

“Abigail assumed she had everything under control. Her elderly mother was beginning to get confused and she feared that it was an early sign of dementia. Or worse – Alzheimer’s! But she wasn’t ready – or willing — to put this fiercely independent woman, who still insisted on living alone, in either a nursing home or a long-term care facility. So she did the next best thing. She hired an aide to take care of her during the day.

Abigail had asked the doorman in her building for suggestions, and ended up with a woman who was extremely reliable – or so she had thought! Late one night, she dropped by her mother’s apartment, concerned that she hadn’t answered her phone all evening. Turns out her mother was in bed, fast asleep. All was well. That is, until she heard a rustling in the walk-in hall closet. She opened the door and found, to her astonishment, a woman hiding behind the coats, wearing pajamas.

When she demanded to know what this stranger was doing there, she sheepishly replied: “Well, my cousin is the day caregiver, and when I told her I was evicted from my apartment, she suggested I just spend the nights on your mother’s couch!”

A squatter? In a luxury high-rise in Manhattan? Seriously! Not only did that account for the high food bills, but when Abigail went to check that everything was in its place, she also discovered that the “cousins” had helped themselves to, among other items, a healthy portion of her mother’s antique jewelry, as well as her Chanel handbag and Dior scarf.

Alas, this is not an isolated case. Far from it! Indeed, the in-home healthcare workers industry has been facing a considerable amount of apparently well-deserved negative publicity. One of the most shocking cases happened just two months ago in Detroit. An aide was supposed to be caring for an 80-year-old woman with dementia. Instead, she was only taking care of herself, allegedly stealing more than $1.5 million from the family that hired her. Not only was the caregiver severely neglecting her client, there was even an outstanding warrant for her arrest – issued well before she got the job.

How can this happen?

“It shouldn’t,” says Kurt Kazanowski, the founder of Homewatch CareGivers and a health care executive with more than three decades of experience. “This horrifying story demonstrates how vulnerable the elderly can be and how naïve some families are when hiring a caregiver or home care agency.””  

Because our seniors are vulnerable, it is very important that we complete the minimum to ensure the maximum security of our loved ones. Here are a few simple things you can do to at least take care of the basics when hiring care or an agency: 

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BACKGROUND CHECKS 

Every employer should preform background checks every 6 months, these should also include a motor vehicle background review. This will help to ensure the genuine character of the person caring for your loved one.

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SHOP AROUND

Hiring an in-home healthcare worker is one of the most important decisions a family can make. Even if the aid comes highly recommended and has an impressive résumé, the match needs to feel like a good one to the family, and especially the patient. There may be options, so it is important that you shop around to find the right option for you. 

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MEET AHEAD OF TIME

Once you decide on a company to wok with, the next step would be to meet with the actual care provider. Its important you know the company you are dealing with, and the person who will be providing your care. Meeting ahead of time will allow you to test the care givers punctuality, professionalism and ability to provide adequate care.

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QUALITY ASSURANCE CHECKS 

Check to see if the healthcare agency provides quality assurance checks – where they will check in on the caregiver and make sure the care provided is quality. It is important that the care agency is involved in the care – they are the ones controlling the money so it is important that they are also regulating the care.

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STATUS REPORTS AND POINTS OF CONTACT 

It is important that the care agency you are working with gives you a direct point of contact incase of any emergency, or concerns you want to discuss. The company is responsible for updating you on the status of your loved ones health, and should be in contact with you regularly.

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FAMILY INVOLVMENT 

It is crucial that the family members stay involved. Senior’s facing signs and symptoms of dementia are extremely vulnerable and can easily be taken advantage of. It is important that the family stays connected, and checks in on the level of care being provided to ensure cases of abuse are caught on the onset. Monitoring care is not any easy task but it is mandatory if you want to ensure the safety of your loved one.

 

This article was published on January 30, 2015 – written by Jane Wilkens Michael, from SpryLiving (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-scary-truth-about-in-home-care-workers.html?onswipe_redirect=no&oswrr=1)

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DEMENTIA CARE: Survey highlights lack of dedicated dementia care

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Nearly 60 percent of nursing home residents have Alzheimer’s or another dementia. In recent years the number of nursing homes that have developed speciality designed rooms to serve residents with Alzheimer’s disease has proliferated. Special care dementia units now represent one of the fastest growing parts of the nursing home business.

Considering that seniors 85 and older are the fastest growing age group and the most likely to require long-term care facilities, it is not surprising that over the next 30 years, the number of long-term beds in Canada is expected to triple.

Long-term care homes are spread across the province, but depending on the community and where an individual is placed on the priority list, wait times can range from immediate admission to a few years. Larger, urban communities may have enough beds to meet local demand, but province-wide there’s a shortage of spaces. The ideal placement means staying close to the person’s home community, which makes it easier for family and friends to visit and to continue providing much-needed support.

Beyond the issue of bed availability, one of the first challenges in finding appropriate long-term care for older adults with a mental illness is the admission process. ‘CCACs are not guided by a mental health mandate,’ according to Randi Fine, executive director of the Older Persons Mental Health and Addictions Network of Ontario. People are admitted for a variety of reasons, but ‘an individual’s mental illness is very often secondary,’ she explains. ‘Placement is not based on their mental health but on their physical mobility issues, other than in the case of dementia.’

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Indeed, most long-term care homes are designed for people who are physically immobile and not for those with a mental illness. For instance, the majority of social/recreational activities offered in long-term care homes are very sedentary. For some people living with a mental illness, physical activity may play an important role in their treatment plan.

 A recent report found that the best practice for Dementia Care is housing people in small, domestic type dwellings of no more then 10 people per unit. Private, specialized care is required for patients of dementia.

Personal Care homes are the most suitable homes for anyone suffering from the symptoms of dementia. Personal Care Homes in Calgary, Alberta are non-existant. More personal care homes are needed across Canada in order to effectively manage the symptoms of Dementia.

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DEMENTIA CURE: 13 of the Top Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies

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Eating a well balanced diet is extremely beneficial. Alzheimer’s research is accelerating, but there is still no cure. An optimized nutrition plan is the BEST Alzheimer’s prevention strategy. 

Excessive sugar and gluten are lifestyle choices that are impacting the overall health of our society. Increased consumption of Genetically Engineered (GE) grains are heavily contaminated with glyphosate. Processed foods need to be removed from your diet in order to take the first step towards a nutritional diet.

The following are some things to consider when developing your personal Alzheimers Prevention Strategy:

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1. Avoid sugar and refined fructose. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin/leptin resistance or any related disorder

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2. Avoid gluten and casein 

Research shows that your blood-brain barrier is negatively affected by gluten. Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream, where they don’t belong. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s

 

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3. Optimize your gut flora 

By regularly eating fermented foods or taking a high-potency and high-quality probiotic supplement.

Plant-based and animal sources of Omega-3 acids

4. Increase consumption of all healthy fats, including animal-based omega-3.

Healthy fats that your brain needs for optimal function include organically-raised grass-fed meats, coconut oil, olives and olive oil, avocado, nuts, organic pastured egg yolks, and butter made from raw grass-fed milk. High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are also helpful for preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a natural amino acid-derived molecule that contributes to movement of fatty acids and other vital fuels from the cell into mitochondria.11-13 As such, it contributes to brain mitochondrial health and efficiency.

 

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5. Reduce your overall calorie consumption, and/or intermittently fast.

Ketones are mobilized when you replace carbs with coconut oil and other sources of healthy fats. As mentioned above intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to jumpstart your body into remembering how to burn fat and repair the inulin/leptin resistance that is also a primary contributing factor for Alzheimer’s. To learn more, please see this previous article.

 

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6. Improve your magnesium levels. 

Preliminary research strongly suggests a decrease in Alzheimer symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Unfortunately, most magnesium supplements do not pass the blood brain levels, but a new one, magnesium threonate, appears to and holds some promise for the future for treating this condition and may be superior to other forms.

 

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7. Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate.

Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements like folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.

 

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8. Exercise regularly.

It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,7 thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the BDNF, (brain derived neurotropic factor) and PGC-1alpha. Research has shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brains and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.

 

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9. Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure.

Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer’s.

 

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10. Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body.

Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However, you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.

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11. Avoid and eliminate aluminum from your body: 

Sources of aluminum include antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc. For tips on how to detox aluminum, please see my article, “First Case Study to Show Direct Link between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity.”

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12. Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agents.

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13. Avoid anticholinergics and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers. Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

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DEMENTIA DIAGNOSED: Study finds link between dementia and living in north

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Research is proving that this disease process is not solely dependent on Genes and that environmental factors are related. 

“A study carried out by scientists at the University of Edinburgh focused on mapping the incidence of the disease in twins in Sweden. It revealed those living in the north were two to three times more likely to develop dementia compared with those in the south, when factors such as age, gender and genes were taken into account.

Another study used data ­gathered from a nationwide survey of ­children born in 1921 to examine the risk of developing dementia. This research found that while there was no change linked to where people lived as children, by the time men and women reached middle-age there was once again a higher risk for those who lived in areas further north, such as Grampian, compared to regions in the south, such as the Borders.” – Sunday 18 January 2015 (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/health/study-finds-link-between-dementia-and-living-in-north.26263098)

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The link between low Vitamin D and Dementia has been confirmed. Vitamin D has a huge impact on the brain, and has proven to improve a number of brain disorders – including dementia. Vitamin D deficiency is extremely prevalent in our society. Researchers estimate that half of the general population is at risk of Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Among seniors, that estimate reaches as high as 95 percent. 

Brain tissue contains Vitamin D receptors, which facilitate nerve growth in your brain. Optimal Vitamin D levels boots chemicals, which increase the effectiveness of glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health. 

“The publication of a robust six-year long study4 conducted by an international team of researchers. As reported by Science Daily:5

“[S]tudy participants who were severely vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease… 

[A]dults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 percent in those who were severely deficient.

Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 percent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 percent increased risk for those severely deficient.”

The authors concluded that: “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.” – November 06, 2014 by Dr. Mercola (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/06/vitamin-d-deficiency-dementia.aspx) 

For Dementia Care – check our post: Prevent Dementia with Vitamin D for more information on what levels of circulating Vitamin D are needed. 

 

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DEMENTIA CARE: Japanese robot a tireless aid in dementia care

Paro-seniorTOKYO—“Pepper, dear, when is the next time you’ll visit?”

“Look over here!”

In a third-floor lounge at Nishi-Koigakubo Ninjin Home, a special nursing home in western Tokyo, elderly dementia patients recently spent time with Pepper, a humanoid robot with artificial intelligence being developed by SoftBank Mobile.

Said to be the world’s first robot designed to serve people by recognizing their emotions, Pepper is set to retail for 198,000 yen (about $2,020) on the consumer market in February.

With Japan facing a rising number of dementia sufferers, more businesses have begun to develop products and services to help patients and their families live more comfortably. Such products and services benefit society and also are becoming an important industry, with companies now launching full-fledged efforts to enter the market.

SoftBank Mobile hopes to develop its robot to act as a conversation partner for those suffering from dementia. During its visit that day, Pepper played a game and showed off its dancing skills, thanks to the installation of a prototype program. Seeing the elderly residents smile as they chatted with Pepper, nursing home operator Harue Ishikawa expressed high hopes, saying, “Even with a manpower shortage in the nursing care field, we can provide a higher-quality service if such robots can take over some of the work.”

The number of people suffering from or at risk of dementia is estimated to have exceeded 8 million in 2012, and the figure is expected to increase even more. Meanwhile, the percentage of households comprising either a single person aged at least 65 or an elderly couple without younger family members is forecast to rise from 20 per cent in 2010 and reach 28 per cent in 2035. There also are many senior citizens who live with younger family members but stay alone at home during the daytime while the others are at work.

Kaname Hayashi, who is involved in the development of Pepper at SoftBank, said, “We see a demand for products that will prompt communication and support everyday life by asking the elderly if they have taken their medication and other questions.”

To help prevent the condition of elderly patients from deteriorating to the point where they require nursing care, the firm hopes to give people more options than simply relying on efforts by the central and local governments.

The company plans to develop a program to provide better support for dementia patients, such as by adding a function to encourage the elderly to talk about their memories. “Pepper, who is indefatigable, can always be there as a conversation partner,” Hayashi said.

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In 2011, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. chose dementia as a research subject.

First, the laboratory staff accompanied dementia patients and their families living in Tokyo on trips to pick mandarin oranges and visit hot springs, aiming to study the kinds of difficulties such people face in their daily lives.

“Products designed for people with dementia should be easy enough for anyone to use,” said Makoto Okada, the lab’s project leader. “[The study] will enhance the value of our products and services.”

PaPeRo, a communication robot developed by NEC Corp. and others, is already taking an active role at such places as nursing care facilities. The company hopes to make it available to the average consumer for less than 20,000 yen (about $204) a month. “The use of products specially developed for dementia patients has been limited to such places as nursing homes,” the company said. “But we believe that they will be soon spreading to ordinary households.”

Kao Corp., which makes daily necessities, set up a special internal team in March 2014 and began research on the disease.

“Various companies have taken an interest in dementia in the last few years, and we’ve been receiving more inquiries,” said Takenobu Inoue, director of the assistive technology department at the Research Institute of the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities. “If well-known makers start to sell products and services that are dementia friendly, it could play a major role in disease prevention. We’re willing to co-operate with companies that can disseminate information.”

January 19, 2015

(http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2015/01/19/japanese-robot-a-tireless-aid-in-dementia-care.html)

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