Healthcare workers in Western North Carolina and across the nation are working tirelessly to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, many at the risk of their own health. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves are desperately needed, and many companies and individuals have stepped up to meet the demand by making and donating equipment.
Angie Ballard, Director at Mountain Home Care, has done her part in providing PPE for not only our MHC caregivers, but for our community and beyond! Early on in the outbreak, Angie realized that MHC was going to face the challenge of not having enough PPE. That’s when she decided to buy a sewing machine and begin sewing masks. “I’m not a seamstress, but I found a pattern and started to sew,” says Angie. “It was a bit involved at first, but fortunately after a few attempts I began to figure out what worked best for me. And my skills are slowly improving!”
Medication helps seniors live longer and enjoy a better quality of life, but proper management of their medication is crucial. It’s probably no surprise to learn that people over the age of 65 use more prescription and over the counter (OTC) medication than younger age groups. People ages 65 and older make up 12 percent of the US population, but comprise about 36 percent of prescription medication and 38 percent of OTC use. Many seniors are also taking more herbal and dietary supplements than they have in the past — rising from 14 percent in 1998 to 63 percent in 2019.
As we age, it’s important to pay attention to the types of meals we’re eating. Aging is linked to muscle loss, thinner skin, and less stomach acid, and seniors may also experience a loss of hunger and thirst cues — many of these can lead to nutrition deficiencies and dehydration.
Consistent, attentive care is vital in the days and weeks leading up to and following surgery at any age, but for older family members, it’s crucial. You and your family, however, may be unable to provide as much help as you’d like due to work and family obligations — or perhaps you live out of town and are unable to take the time off needed to come stay with mom or dad.
We are often posed with the question, "How do I know if it's time for my loved one to take advantage of in-home care?"