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FirstLantic Blog – The Path to Outstanding Home Healthcare2021-04-22T08:26:59-04:00

Staying Active: Hobby Adaptations for Senior Lifestyles

Arthritis isn’t kind to knitters, and knee replacements can knock out a lifelong badminton career. Seniors often abandon hobbies they love as their physical abilities decline. The problem is that this is a slippery slope — research shows that involvement in leisure activities makes us happier and healthier. Getting older doesn’t have to mean the end of favorite activities. Whether you want to help your parents enjoy their retirement, or you want to keep doing what you love, the options are there. Making Your Hobbies Work  It’s not realistic to think that the way you do things won’t change as you age. Slowing down, failing eyesight or hearing, and injuries can put a dent in anyone’s enthusiasm for their activities. For most hobbies, though, there’s a way to continue participating in them as a regular part of a senior lifestyle. The following considerations can help you figure out the best way to make adaptations for yourself or your loved ones: What about this activity do I love? Do you enjoy the time spent with friends? What about getting outdoors? By identifying the aspects of your hobbies you value the most, you can make the right changes to fit your abilities. What kind of budget do I have? Some accommodations might be more expensive than others. Paralympians have adaptive equipment that costs thousands of dollars.  Luckily, most equipment or solutions won’t be that expensive — but they will cost something. Decide in advance how much you’re willing to spend to continue enjoying your hobbies. What am I willing to give up to keep participating? Motivations for hobbies change as we get older. You might have once been the best on the court. You probably won’t be anymore- but that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying it. It’s not about the competition anymore — it’s about the experience. Being willing to give up parts of what [...]

July 13th, 2021|Categories: Health|

Can Traditional Herbal Medicine Help with the Treatment of Dementia?

As our population ages, the cases of dementia will exponentially rise.  Although dementia is not limited to older people, it is most often associated with the elderly.  However, there is growing concern at the rapid rise of diagnosed cases of people between the ages of 40 and 60.  Dementia encompasses a group of clinical symptoms affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities and is characterized by progressive impairment of memory performance and cognitive functions.  Globally, it is estimated that around 50 million people are currently living with dementia.  The factors that contribute to dementia are aging, brain ischemia, toxin exposure, and oxidative stress.  Unfortunately, although there has been some progress in medication development, most prescriptions provide a temporary reprieve at best and also have many negative side effects.  There are still no medications that can stop the progression long-term or cure this debilitating disease.  As the currently available treatments are not adequate, more doctors, patients, and pharmaceutical companies are looking at how medicinal plants may provide answers. Traditional medicine has been practiced for thousands of years. It is the oldest form of health care in the world and is used in the prevention, and treatment of physical and mental illnesses. Chinese herbal medicine is currently used in the health care of an estimated 1.5 billion people worldwide with several herbs and ingredients combined according to strict rules to form prescriptions.  Pharmaceutical companies have been developing successful drugs from plant-based formulas for many years including the current anti-malaria treatment as well as many anticancer drugs.  During the period between 1981 and 2002, the application of natural products in the development of new drugs showed tremendous success especially in the case of antihypertensives, where about 64% of newly synthesized drugs have their origins in natural product structures.  With an estimated 250,000–500,000 existing plant [...]

July 6th, 2021|Categories: Dementia, Mental Wellness|

How Technology Can Help Remote Caregivers

Taking care of loved ones can be incredibly stressful especially when they happen to be your parents.  For the majority of your life, they were your anchor and your guide and now you find that the roles have reversed.  To add to the emotional complexity, there is physical distance.  So, how can you possibly come up with a care plan when you don’t live in close proximity?  Fortunately, technology is making remote care-giving possible. FirstLantic has put together a list of eight monitoring tools that will help you sleep more soundly knowing that your parents are safe.   GPS trackers: Bracelets, watches, and apps can all be used to monitor a senior’s safety and monitor their activity while at home or traveling.   For a list of options, click here. Video Chat: Zoom, Google, Facetime or Skype all enable video conferencing so you can socialize with your loved one and stay connected. There are also other options such as Oscar Senior or Claris Companion which are designed specifically for seniors and their caregivers and/or families to stay in close contact. Telehealth: If your parents no longer drive, telehealth can be an essential way to ensure they don’t miss Doctor’s appointments that don’t require a physical exam.  Many therapists also offer virtual treatment options. Medication monitors: Smart Caps and bottles such as Pillsy or options like Medipense help with medication management and monitoring. Virtual caregivers: Addison is a 3D caregiverwith an interactive speech platform that comes with the ability to collect vitals, report emergencies, and monitor health decline. Remote Home Monitoring: Grand Care is a versatile technology platform which allows families to set up a comprehensive remote monitoring system in a senior loved one’s home. It can send alerts to family caregivers if something out of the ordinary occurs.  Lorex Elderly Care [...]

June 29th, 2021|Categories: Health|

Planning Healthcare and Life Transitions for Seniors

Are you concerned about the cost of care? Do you need an advocate when you are in a hospital or nursing home for rehabilitation? Do you understand how or when you can access long-term Medicaid benefits in Florida? Will your long-term care policy coverage be enough?   These are common questions that patients and their families struggle to answer, oftentimes amidst a medical or care crisis. This is why FirstLantic Healthcare put together a specialized team of experts to guide patients and families through the complex maze of health and long-term care, offering help and answers when they are needed most.    Meet Kelly Wilson, FirstLantic’s Director of Senior Solutions, who leads the team. Kelly’s extensive personal and professional experience – paired with her in-depth knowledge of long-term care, aging services, policies, and programs -- has earned her a reputation as a leader in the senior care community.   Kelly’s interest in helping older adults began a few decades ago. Early years spent caring for patients while working in nursing facilities and medical practices, in 1999 she completed the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) assisted living administrator training. Kelly became the owner-operator and administrator of a small residential licensed assisted living facility in Palm Beach County. She realized that one of the most important things she could do for her “residents” was to maintain close communication with families, practitioners, service, and support providers along the entire continuum of care. As a chief advocate, Kelly coordinated medical care, managed medications, accompanied patients to the hospital and ER, and, when necessary, assisted residents through surgical recovery, hospital, or short-term rehabilitation stays.  In 2009, Kelly joined the Partnership for Aging of Palm Beach and was recently appointed President. She has gone on to be an active board member and legislative chair for many other associations, and non-profit organizations advocating for aging, [...]

June 22nd, 2021|Categories: Aging, Home Caregivers|

Things to Consider When Choosing Between Home Healthcare or Assisted Living

For many seniors, there comes a time when they need a little extra help and have to decide whether to stay in their own home vs. moving into an independent or assisted living community. There are benefits to both so it’s important to determine what you need and then weigh the cost benefits and your personal lifestyle preferences. Here are the main things to consider: Requirements for assistance The first consideration is deciding on the type of services that you need. Do you simply require some help with household chores and/or meals or do you need full-time assistance because of medical needs? Is your home still manageable or has it become too much to handle because of size, layout or accessibility to doctors, stores, family, etc.? Make a complete list of your priorities and rank them in order based on importance. At this stage, don’t worry yet about cost. You are simply determining what you require based on your health and activity levels. Lifestyle considerations The second consideration concerns quality of life and what will provide you with the most happiness. Are you a homebody who loves nesting and being in one place or do you like to socialize and meet new people? Do you believe “there is no place like home” or do you love the idea of a new adventure? How active are you? Depending on your answers to these questions, it may be an easy decision. If you are the “home sweet home” type, then there are many services available that can help you stay in your home and still provide additional support for day-to-day household chores, meal planning, medication management, doctor visits, etc. If you are the type of person that loves activity and thrives on socializing, then there are many independent and assisted living communities [...]

Ten Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy

Do you veg out in front of the TV too much?  Do you eat a lot of junk food?  Do you focus on the negative?  If so, you might want to change some of your habits, as these have all been linked to brain decline.  That’s right, not only is lack of activity and eating poorly bad for your waistline, but it also can be detrimental for your brain.  As a home healthcare company, FirstLantic is concerned about the well-being of others, and we want to make sure that you know how to take care of yourself both physically and mentally.  June is also Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month so read on for a list of 10 things that you can do to keep your brain healthy and stimulated. Quit Smoking –some research suggests Smoking can increase your risk of dementia by 50 percent compared to non-smokers. It’s also strongly linked to vascular dementia, a form of dementia caused by strokes or other conditions impeding blood flow to the brain. Focus on the Positive - dwelling on the negative is bad for your mood — and your brain. Avoid the news for a few days or cut out those who only have bad things to say about others.  Actively seek out the positive stories.  Watch a few silly cat and dog videos, or better yet, adopt a little furball of your own! Treat Others Well – when you volunteer or do something positive to help others, you not only help them, but you help yourself with both mental and physical benefits. Drink Less – we know that for many of us, we started drinking more because of COVID. And who could blame us?  However, now there is a light at the end of the tunnel; try to cut down on [...]

June 8th, 2021|Categories: Aging, Health, mental health|

Free and Discounted Benefits for Seniors

Each year on Memorial Day we honor those men and women who lost their lives while serving their country in the military.   Although this day of remembrance is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to those that have died, we should also celebrate those that are still with us and ensure that they receive the best possible care especially as they age.   Fortunately, there are services that can be utilized by elderly veterans.  As a company dedicated to the healthcare of seniors, FirstLantic wants to ensure that veterans and their families are aware of available programs such as pensions, loans, health care services, and transportation. Pensions Two VA programs that can provide qualifying elderly Veterans with additional monetary compensation are the Aid and Attendance (A&A) and the Housebound programs.  A&A is an increased monthly amount paid if you meet certain criteria such as requiring help in performing daily functions at home or if you are a patient in a nursing home. Housebound is an increased monthly amount paid if you are confined due to a permanent disability. Financial Aid and Loans For many senior veterans, it’s important to live independently as long as possible and that often means staying in their own home. However, they may not always have the funds to properly maintain their residence. If it becomes necessary to correct health or safety hazards or to make a home more accessible to those that are physically impaired, there are programs from the state to help provide financial aid. These programs are partially paid for by HUD but are administered by each state. Contact your State Agency on Aging for information on the programs in your area.  You could also be eligible to receive a loan through the Veteran’s Administration. Long Term Care For those that need long-term health care [...]

June 1st, 2021|Categories: Home Caregivers, Veterans|

Foster Care for Seniors

We have all heard about foster care for children or teens, but you may not know that there are similar programs for seniors or adults with disabilities.   These group homes enable a person to live somewhat independently while also receiving the care they require in a smaller and more intimate setting.  FirstLantic explores the topic further and provides advice on choosing the best living option for yourself or a loved one. What is adult foster care?  An adult foster home must be licensed by the local or state Department of Family Services or Office of Housing and Adult Services and supervised by a licensed professional in foster care.   An adult foster care home will likely have a house manager, house parents, counselors, social workers, and legal aids. These individuals are paid to take care of the seniors who are living in the home. In addition, homes may hire private chefs and housekeeping providers.  However, a critical difference between adult foster care and other types of senior housing is that care providers live in the same house as seniors in foster care. This is not the case with assisted living, active senior housing, nursing homes, or independent living for seniors. Relatives in certain states can also provide foster care services to loved ones while receiving government compensation. They differ from the types of care described above in that the primary caregiver will be a close friend or family member rather than a professional. This is often referred to as the Caregiver Homes model. There are many complex rules regarding these situations, so it's best to speak with an expert to ensure all local laws and regulations are followed. What are the advantages? The advantages of adult foster care include allowing the senior as much independence as possible without sacrificing the quality of [...]

May 25th, 2021|Categories: Aging, Home Caregivers, Loneliness and Isolation, Retirement|

Celebrating Three Pioneers in Nursing

The COVID-19 pandemic put many essential workers on the frontlines, but few were exposed to the dangers as the nurses working directly with patients.   We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for putting their lives at risk to help others. May 6 through May 12 was officially Nurses Week for 2021, but one week is hardly enough to celebrate our gratitude.  FirstLantic, as a healthcare organization, is honored to have some of the most dedicated nurses working tirelessly on behalf of our patients.   So, in this blog, we celebrate them and recognize three other American nurses who were pioneers in improving patient care. Dorothea Dix Dorothea Lynde Dix (April 4, 1802 – July 17, 1887) spent 40 years of her life lobbying for mental health care. Early in her career, Dorothea was a teacher and advocated for education for poor children.  However, she is believed to have suffered from depression and had a breakdown that may have been responsible because she devoted the rest of her life to helping the mentally ill.  After her breakdown, she went to Europe to recover her health and met British social reformers who inspired her. These reformers included Elizabeth Fry, Samuel Tuke, and William Rathbone.  The Rathbones were prominent reformers and believed that government should play an active role in social welfare.  They also worked to improve care for the mentally ill by exposing the deplorable treatment they received. This inspired her to tour facilities when she returned to the U.S.  She traveled to numerous states, lobbied for more humane treatments, got new legislation passed, and raised funds to open new facilities.  In total, Dix was responsible for founding 32 mental health institutions to facilitate the nation's growing need for better mental health care.   During the Civil War, she was also the superintendent of female nurses for the Union [...]

May 19th, 2021|Categories: Health, Nursing|Tags: , , , |

12 Tips to Optimize the Mind-Body Connection

In our FirstLantic blog last week, we tackled the serious issue of the rise in mental illness within the U.S. and steps that need to be taken to combat the meteoric rise.  Continuing this theme in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to offer some practical steps that we can all take to keep ourselves mentally and physically fit.  We caught up with Dr. Markus Ploesser, a Psychiatrist who is certified in Integrative Medicine and an anti-aging expert.  He offers us twelve tips for healthier nutrition. In his work, he implements the Walsh Institute’s advanced nutrient therapy methods to improve overall health. So, take it from the doctor and apply these best practices to optimize your mind-body connection.   Stop drinking sweets Regular sodas are full of calories; diet sodas have zero calories. And while “zero calories” sounds like music to our ears, they can still be a culprit for weight gain. Our hormones may explain why people still gain weight when they switch to diet soda. Teasing your taste buds with artificial sweeteners triggers the body to expect a shot of sugar. Drinking diet soda before eating primes the pancreas to release a lot of the fat-storing hormone insulin.   Calories in vs. calories out — nope, doesn’t work Lock the fridge at night! Gaining weight is, in part, about the fat-storing hormone insulin. Have a good fast overnight — don’t eat anything after 6 pm and nothing before 10 am is all you need to do. For starters, take it slow. Then work your way up to having at least 12 hours of fasting including overnight.   Low-fat diets make you what? Fat. It’s simple: a low-fat diet restricts fat and cholesterol. There are many reasons why low-fat diets may not work, including the possibility that [...]

May 11th, 2021|Categories: Diet, Health, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , |
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