Tips for Managing Chronic Kidney Disease

If your older family member has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may be concerned about what their future holds. Perhaps you are looking for ways to improve their kidney health and better manage the disease. By assisting the senior to take better care of their kidneys, you may be able to slow or prevent progression of CKD to the next stage. Below are some tips for managing CKD. Keep Blood Pressure at a Healthy Level According to the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the best way to protect the kidneys and manage CKD is to control blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the things that can damage the kidneys. Monitor and track the senior’s blood pressure. Follow the doctor’s advice for treating hypertension, such as taking medications, reducing salt intake, and losing weight. An elder care provider can assist your aging relative with managing high blood pressure by reminding them to take medications and preparing healthy meals that are low in sodium. Reduce Potassium Intake In some cases, the doctor or dietician may recommend that the older adult avoid foods with high potassium content. Some foods they may need to avoid are:
  • Bananas.
  • Oranges.
  • Potatoes.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Spinach.
Some foods that are lower in potassium and therefore good choices for an older adult with CKD are:
  • Apples.
  • Cabbage.
  • Carrots.
  • Green Beans.
  • Grapes.
  • Strawberries.
You should also be aware that some salt substitutes are high in potassium, so be sure to check the labels. Elder care providers can prepare meals and snacks that limit foods high in potassium while including more low-potassium choices. Monitor Kidney Health It is important that the senior attend medical appointments for monitoring kidney health and receiving treatment. This can involve regular testing of kidney function, blood pressure, and A1C if the senior has diabetes. Some things the doctor will be looking for are:
  • Changes in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a measurement of the kidneys’ ability to filter wastes and excess fluid out of the blood.
  • Changes in urine albumin. This is a kind of protein that may appear in urine when the kidneys aren’t working properly.
An elder care provider can drive the older adult to their appointments to ensure they are able to receive the care they need. Quit Smoking People who smoke are putting their kidneys at increased risk. Quitting smoking can reduce the damage being done to the kidneys and slow the progression of CKD. If your aging relative smokes, they should talk to their doctor about ways to quit. Elder care providers can assist seniors to quit smoking by offering encouragement, reminding them to use techniques and medicines suggested by the doctor, and distracting them with conversation or an activity when the urge to smoke strikes. Sources https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/managing https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-kidney-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354527 https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/prevention-risk.html If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Greece, NY, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home of Rochester today. 585-271-7390.

Sharing a Client’s Experience

“My Aunt has been using Touching Hearts aides since 2018. She has received wonderful care. All of the aides the past two years have been very pleasant and caring. My Aunt always raves about how fortunate she is to be taken care of so well. At first, she had an aide that cooked for them twice a week and helped with grocery shopping. When her husband was in skilled nursing, the aides took her to visit him, got her lunch, and helped with errands. Now she is in assisted living and her husband has passed. The aides have become so much more important to her because of the pandemic and no family visitors allowed to senior facilities. The aides are all true companions and she really enjoys their company. They always find something interesting to do with her. Drives to interesting Rochester neighborhoods, visits to the park, etc. She always tells me how all of her aides are all so well spoken and interesting people to be with. It has helped her tremendously during this pandemic to have that companionship. Since she has no children of her own, it also helps my cousin and I to have other reliable adults to depend on. The communication with the aides has been outstanding. Very highly recommend to anyone that needs assistance. This photo of my aunt was sent by one of her aides. An extra touch that was very much appreciated.”

Touching Hearts at Home Adds Live-In Care Program

“I am happy to announce that we are responding to community demand and expanding our scope of services to include live-in care”, said Mark McDermott, Owner of Touching Hearts. “COVID 19 has caused more older adults and their families to pursue ways to age in place and reduce exposure to numerous caregivers and visitors.” Live-in arrangements are effective in this way. In return for 24/7 care in their home, clients must provide caregivers with a private place to sleep and bathe, as well as giving them the chance to have some uninterrupted sleep and take breaks. “Live-in care is a good fit for some and not others. We are glad that we can now offer this alternative”, said McDermott.

Four Reasons Your Senior Needs to See Her Doctor if She Falls

After a fall, your elderly family member could ignore the situation and go ahead with life as usual. But is that the best solution? It’s a much better idea for her to get in to see her doctor after a fall and here’s why.

Some New Health Issue Might Have Led to the Fall

There are a lot of things that can contribute to a fall, and one of the scarier causes could be a new health issue for your senior. She may not even realize that she has any new health concerns until she experiences the fall. Her doctor can help her to figure out what is going on and how that created a situation that resulted in a fall.

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How Can You Help Your Elderly Loved One to Manage Their Medications?

It can be difficult for some elderly adults to remember to take their medications, especially for those who have memory problems. Some elderly adults forget to fill their prescription medications, as well. Other elderly adults don’t follow the instructions listed on their medication bottles. All these things can cause your elderly loved one harm. Thankfully, there are things you and elder care providers can do to help your elderly loved one manage their medications.

Defining Medication Management

Some medications can affect a person in a negative manner when taken with various foods, supplements, and non-prescribed drugs. Some medications can also cause various side effects when taken in combination with certain other medications. If a medication isn’t taken as directed the results can lead to chronic health conditions and possibly even death. This is why it is so important to help your elderly loved one with medication management.

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Congratulations Rachel!

We were glad to welcome Rachel on board about a year ago from the Touching Hearts in TN. Rachel’s clients always appreciate how hardworking, kind, and compassionate she is. Thank you for everything you do Rachel!

Tips to Help Your Elderly Loved One Take Care of Their Personal Hygiene

Has your elderly loved one been slacking on taking care of themselves? Maybe they don’t take enough showers or brush their hair. There are many reasons that could be causing your elderly loved one to not taking care of their personal hygiene. Maybe they don’t have great balance, so they avoid taking showers often. They may have back pain that prevents them from reaching back to brush their hair. However, there are some ways that you can help your elderly loved one to take care of their personal hygiene.

Creating Routines

If your elderly loved one isn’t caring for their personal hygiene because they are stressed, one of the ways to help them would be to create routines. For instance, if they know they should be taking showers every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they can expect to do so these days. If they know that when they wake up their senior care provider will help them to brush their hair, they can expect this to happen, as well. Creating routines can help your elderly loved one to know what to expect when it comes to their personal hygiene.

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240+ Online Reviews

Online reviews are increasingly important in service provider and employment decision-making. We have more online reviews that any other companion care company in the Finger Lakes area, including over 200 reviews on Caring.com and 27 reviews on Google (with a 5 Star rating). Check out those sites to see what our clients say about us. Spoiler alert: it’s really, really good.

https://www.caring.com/senior-care/new-york/rochester/touching-hearts-at-home-of-rochester

Racism is a Public Health Crisis

We agree with the following declaration by the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group.

We agree that Racism is a Public Health Crisis and commit to taking urgent action because:

Race is a social construct with no biological basis.

Racism is a system that creates structures of opportunity and assigns value based on the social interpretation of how one looks, that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, while unfairly providing advantages to other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.

Racism causes persistent racial discrimination in housing, education, health care, employment, criminal justice, business, and economic mobility. There is an emerging body of research that demonstrates racism as a social determinant of health.

Racial health disparities in the Black Community have existed since racial health data has been collected and analyzed. Racial health disparities in diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and mental health are prevalent and growing.

Moreover, in Rochester and Monroe County, the persistent toxic stress of racism expressed as racial and ethnic discrimination impacts health through a combination of social-emotional and physiological effects. Researchers have found higher levels of stress hormones (allostatic loads) as an indicator of premature aging and death.

1 Of all the ways racial health disparities impact our life course and trajectory (path) the most profound is in Infant Mortality. African American babies in Monroe County die at 3-4 times the rate of white babies. This is a statistic that has not changed in many years and is trending in the wrong direction.

2 Public health’s responsibilities to address racism include reshaping our discourse and agenda so that we all actively engage in anti-racist and racial justice work.

While there is no epidemiological definition of “crisis”, the health impact of racism clearly rises to the definition proposed by Galea: “The problem must affect large numbers of people, it must threaten health over the long-term, and it must require the adoption of large scale solutions.”

“No one is born racist; it is modeled, learned, and passed along through generations where it poisons and paralyzes its victims and corrupts its perpetrators. If we are to eradicate this persistent evil we must see to its structural and institutional roots. And with swift and collective action hold those that govern and that are governed accountable for its elimination.” – Dr. Joy DeGruy

1 – McEwen, C., McEwen, B. Social Structure, Adversity, Toxic Stress, and Intergenerational Poverty: An Early Childhood Model. Annu Rev Sociol. 2017; 43: 445-472.

2 – Vital Records data NYSDOH, Analyzed by MCDPH, 2014-2016

Protecting Your Elderly Loved One’s Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Have you found that your elderly loved one is feeling isolated, lonely, left-out, or agitated because of the restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic? If so, it is important to find ways to help them get through these trying times. There are many ways that you can help your elderly loved one feel better.

Keep in Touch

One of the best things you can do is to keep in touch with your elderly loved one during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the ways you can do this include:

  • Calling them on the phone
  • Sending them an encouraging email
  • Posting on their social media page
  • Sending them an invite to join a video conference

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