7 Best Reaching Sticks for Seniors

Choosing the best Reaching Sticks for seniors is essential to helping your parents or friends with daily tasks. A Reaching Stick will make it easier to pick up things that may be difficult to pick up and carry. Choosing a Reaching Stick for your loved one may also help them get more exercise.

Vive Suction Cup Reacher Grabber

Whether you are looking for a reacher for your senior relatives or yourself, you’ll be glad to know that there are several choices available in the market. These reachers are designed to provide a safe, easy way to reach items from any angle. They are also ideal for people with limited dexterity or mobility.

Depending on the model you choose, these tools can be used for reaching items from high shelves or low cupboards. They are also great for helping people with back or carpal tunnel pains.

Some reachers are designed to provide extra grip, while others have a magnet that picks up small metal items. They are also great for seniors with arthritis or back pain.

These reachers are made of durable aluminum and are designed to be lightweight. They can reduce arm fatigue, and they are easy to operate. Some have a lock switch on the handle, which is convenient for seniors with weak hands.

The ergonomic handle features a trigger-style grip to provide a comfortable hold on the reacher. It also has a lifetime guarantee.

This reacher tool has a long handle, which makes it convenient for reaching high shelves and low cupboards. It’s also lightweight, which makes it easy to carry.

Ontel Gopher 2 Pick-Up and Reaching Tool

Designed to help you reach things in the house, the Ontel Gopher 2 Pick-Up and Reaching Tool is an indispensable household helper. It comes with a comfortable handle and features a large trigger. It is made to last.

The Gopher 2 is a lightweight tool that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It is also easy to store, with the handle folding up in half for easy storage. The tool also comes with a utility hook that helps you to pull up socks and pants.

The Gopher 2 reaches high up and low down and can be used to pick up items on a step ladder, shelves, cupboards, or under the bed. Its ultra-lightweight aluminum body is easy to grip, and its sturdily built handle will ensure that your hands won’t get tired.

The Ontel Gopher 2 Pick-Up & Reaching Tool is a must-have for anyone with mobility issues or an elderly relative. It comes in an eye-catching high visibility yellow and is designed to be long-lasting. It is also safe for use by pregnant women. The gizmo also comes with a clever pull and turn hinge that will make changing light bulbs a cinch.

BIRDROCK HOME Reacher Grabber Pick-Up Tool

Whether you are recovering from an illness or you just have trouble achieving your daily tasks, a Reacher Grabber Pick-Up Tool for seniors can be a lifesaver. It’s a small device that can help you pick up things from the floor, cabinets, or high shelves. It’s not only helpful for seniors, but also for dog walkers and sanitation workers.

It’s lightweight, has an ergonomic handle, and can pick up a few ounces of objects. It even has a magnet on the top to help you pick up small metallic objects.

Its soft rubber grip is comfortable and conforms to the shape of your hand. It’s also easy to use while multitasking. The handle has a lock switch, which is especially helpful for seniors with arthritis.

The reacher is also light enough to carry around. It’s also made from durable materials, including aluminum alloy. The handle is ergonomic and can be folded for storage.

The telescoping shaft is also handy. It’s better than the horseshoe grip, but it can be a bit challenging to control for heavier loads.

The reacher grabber’s handle is made from soft rubber, which makes it comfortable to hold for a long time. It’s also easy to adjust the handle’s angle. It’s also made from lightweight aluminum alloy, which reduces labor intensity.

Vive Reacher Grabber 32″ – Extra Long Mobility Aid

Whether you are a senior who has limited hand strength, or someone who has just had surgery, a reacher can help you do the things you need to do. It can help you pick up small objects and trash, as well as lift glass and other smooth items.

A reacher can also help you with dressing. For example, if you have arthritis or back pain, a reacher can help you put on a jacket and get dressed without hurting yourself. It can also help you reach things from low cupboards to high shelves.

Grabbers can help you with many different tasks, including picking up coins, envelopes, and trash. They can also help you do things like pull weeds in your garden. They are designed to be lightweight and easy to store. They are often attached to wheelchairs and walkers.

Vive offers a reacher grabber with a 32-inch range. It features an ergonomic trigger handle and a comfortable grip. It is also lightweight and rust-proof.

The Vive Reacher Grabber has an updated internal mechanism that allows it to pick up five pounds at a time. It also features a no-slip grip and a contoured handle. The handle weighs less than nine ounces, so you won’t have to worry about the tool is too heavy for you to handle.

QAYSKYTY 2-Pack 43-Inch Grabber Tool

Whether you are looking for a hand grabber for seniors or the elderly, or a gadget to make life easier, the QAYSKYTY 2-pack 43 Inch Grabber Tool will do the trick. The gripper features an ergonomic handle, so it’s easy to carry around. It can reach objects up to four inches wide. Its rubber jaw is also grippy, so it reduces back strain.

It is also easy to disassemble for storage. It fits onto 1″ tubes, so it’s easy to tuck it away in your bag or locker. It also includes a magnetic tip, so you can pick up objects without bending your neck. It also fits onto nails, so you won’t have to worry about breaking them.

It’s also double-suctioned, so it won’t fall off your wall. It’s also got a clever handle. The gripper can be attached to the wall or any other smooth surface. The best part is, it doesn’t damage the surface. It even has an extra-strength metal bar, so it holds up over time.

It also has an extra long handle, so it’s easy to reach objects. It’s also got a light to make it easier to locate items in dark places.

EZPIK® Folding Grabber Tool 43 Inch

EZPIK® Folding Grabber Tool 43 Inch for seniors has a great design for picking up small objects. It is made of strong aluminum tubes that are light enough to carry around and fold easily for storage.

It features an innovative design that allows you to grip objects from all angles. It also features a magnetic tip that picks up tiny metal objects.

The grabber handle has an ergonomic grip that allows you to hold the reacher comfortably. It also features a rubberized coating to prevent the object from sliding out.

It also has a patented oversized latch that will not bend while gripping. It also features two neodymium magnets that can pick up small metallic items. The tool weighs less than 10 ounces.

Another great feature of the EZPIK Folding Grabber Tool 43 Inch for seniors is its rotating head. The 90-degree rotation helps you to reach harder-to-reach places. It can also be used to pick up items off shelves and ceiling fans.

The gripping mechanism is made of a handle with a trigger that operates a broad set of jaws. It can grip anything from small pieces of glass to a red wine glass.

Kekoy 32” Grabber Reacher Tool

Designed for indoor and outdoor use, the Kekoy 32” Grabber Reacher Tool is ideal for picking up objects that are difficult to reach. It is made of aluminum alloy and is durable. It features an anti-slip jaw, a powerful magnet tip, and a soft rubber handle. It is also foldable and convenient to carry around.

This pick-up tool makes it easier for seniors and other people to pick up items. The claw grip makes it easy to grip and hold items up to two pounds. It features a magnetic tip that easily attracts small objects, such as coins and tiny items in corners. It also has an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to use while multitasking.

This pick-up tool comes with a headlight, making it easy to pick up items in dark areas. The tool also features a storage hole that allows the user to hang the reacher when not in use. It also includes a screwdriver and three batteries.

The tool is made from heavy-duty aluminum alloy, which makes it durable. It also has a multi-adjustable handle that allows it to be used for many tasks. The grip is firm and comfortable, making it ideal for people with arthritis or other physical disabilities.

Things to Know Before Buying a Grabber Tool for Seniors

Using a Grabber Tool for seniors is a great option for anyone with mobility challenges. These handy devices can help you pick up small items such as books, toys, and trash from the floor. They are also good for helping you reach high shelves and cupboards.

If you are looking for an effective Grabber Tool for seniors, you’ll want to look for one with a variety of features. Some models have a built-in hook to help you get the item off the ground. Others are designed to be easily folded up and stored away. You can also look for ones that have ergonomic handle grips. They should be shaped and padded to fit your hands and should be coated with an anti-slip covering to prevent them from sliding off of the surface.

If you have a need to lift or reach objects that are heavy or difficult to pick up, you might want to look for a model that has steel jaws. These jaws are stronger and have a wider maximum weight capacity. They also provide comfortable two-handed support.

You can also choose a grabbing extension tool that has rotating jaws. These are especially helpful for lifting heavier objects. They also come equipped with suction cups and magnets, which help you lift fragile glass or other items.

Generally, grabber tools come with sturdy and durable construction. They’re made of rust-proof materials, such as aluminum alloy, which prevents wear and tear on the tool. They’re also designed to be easy to stow away when not in use. Many have hooks, which make it easy to attach the tool to a wheelchair or walker. They’re also great for people who are recovering from an illness or injury.

Some reachers feature ergonomic handles, which help people with mobility problems to use the tool without straining their arms. They also come with padded handles, which offer a comfortable grip.

Some grabber tools also feature a squeeze trigger, which makes it easier to grip an object. However, some reviewers complained that it was difficult to keep a strong grip on the trigger.

Another feature that many reachers have is a rotating head, which can help people reach hard-to-reach objects. Some models also have foldable designs.

Purchasing a reaching stick or Grabber Tool for seniors is a big decision. It’s important to do some research before making your purchase. Read reviews, and make sure the product has the features you need.

Read Product Reviews

Buying a Grabber Tool for seniors can be a challenging task because there are so many options to choose from. It’s important to read product reviews before making a decision. Luckily, online reviews can be a great resource for consumers, because they allow you to see pictures of the product in real life. They can also let you know about the quality of the product, as well as its durability.

6 Vital Signs for Caregivers Handling Senior Patients

Are you a caregiver working with senior patients? These individuals rely on you for a better lifestyle and feedback on their health status. Understanding critical health factors are important to ensure patients live a healthy lifestyle, free from disease.

Their vitals give insight into how they feel at any specific moment. This post unpacks the meaning of vitals, the normal vital signs for seniors, and how to take correct readings in a brief health assessment.

Typically, vital signs are the basic platform indicating the essential foundation for any treatment or healthcare diagnosis. They assist medical practitioners in formulating a snapshot of the patient’s health. Vital signs include six key measurements, which we’ll discuss in this post.

Caregivers assist doctors and nurses by taking regular vital sign assessments to provide a track record of the patient’s health. These assessments allow doctors to look back on the patient’s history and spot inconsistencies that might help them diagnose the patient’s health problems.

Vital signs provide key information about organ function and other internal functions in the body. So, caregivers must understand the types of vital signs and how to measure these factors with the correct tools and methodology.

 

What Does it Mean to Take Vital Signs?

Caregivers must have training in assessing vital signs and vitals, meaning and importance to the patient’s health. “Vital signs” refer to the patient’s pulse, temperature, respiration, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and pain level.

Their vital signs give caregivers a window into their patients’ health by assessing their essential bodily functions. If a patient says they aren’t feeling well, the caregiver considers these vital signs, looking for abnormalities.

If the caregiver discovers changes in the patient’s vital signs, deviating from the normal range of readings, they have the information they need to call for medical care from a doctor or nurse. Finding changes in vital signs away from the normal range may indicate underlying health problems or disease in the patient.

 

Why Do Caregivers Take Vital Signs?

Caregivers must learn to take vital sign assessments in their patients and how to record vital signs on a chart. Measuring vital signs is a standardized procedure performed to help assess a patient’s general physical health.

It provides clues to what’s going on in their body and if seniors face a health problem. Assessing vital signs is also key to understanding a patient’s recovery after experiencing ill health or a procedure.

Resource Link – PDF printable vital signs chart

 

Are Caregivers Qualified to take Vital Signs?

Caregivers can receive training to take routine vital signs in their patients. These assessments aren’t limited to healthcare professionals like paramedics, EMTs, nurses, medical assistants, and doctors. Anyone with the right training to carry out and interpret vital signs assessments can conduct the procedure.

By understanding how to take vital signs assessments, caregivers can give their patients a higher quality of care, performing spot checks on seniors instead of taking them to the doctor or hospital for a similar assessment.

 

How Long Does It Take to Measure Vital Signs?

With the right training and vital sign equipment on hand, a caregiver can perform these vital sign assessments in less than 15 minutes. It’s a short procedure consisting of testing, reviewing, and concluding results.

The caregiver will assess the following six areas, record the results, and assess them to formulate a conclusion on the patient’s overall health at that time.

 

What are the Vital Signs for Caregivers when Assessing Patients?

Here are the six areas and methods to document vital signs in senior patients. Caregivers must ensure they have a thorough understanding of each of these vital signs, how to record the results from the testing, and interpret the results.

 

#1 Body Temperature

The patient’s body temperature is a critical vital sign to monitor and the starting point for the vital sign assessment. If a patient’s core body temperature is lower or higher than 97.8 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit, it leads to extreme damage to the internal organs.

For instance, a higher body temperature over the normal range may indicate fever and viral infection. While many doctors usually let a fever run its course, they’ll need to treat it if it’s over 101F to prevent damage to the brain and internal organs.

If their temperature is below the normal range, it may be a sign of bacterial infection or a hypothermic state which could also affect organ function. The aging process makes it harder to regulate body temperature since seniors have lower “brown” adipose tissue levels in their bodies that regulate the thermal state.

As a result, seniors may feel drafts more intensely than younger individuals. These chills may cause illnesses like colds, flu, or even pneumonia if left unmanaged. It’s a good idea for caregivers to take a senior’s temperature every few hours throughout the day if they are not feeling well.

The senior’s vital signs are susceptible to temperature changes in their environment, and their body does its best to manage these changes. So, it’s important to ensure the patient has an even temperature in the summer and winter seasons.

We use a digital thermometer and the following process to take a patient’s body temperature.

  • Start with washing your hands to remove any lingering pathogens.
  • Press the power button to activate and set the thermometer.
  • Remove the plastic tip covering the probe.
  • Place the thermometer under the patient’s tongue.
  • Instruct the patient to close their lips around the probe.
  • Wait until the thermometer beep to remove it from the patient’s mouth.
  • Record the temperature reading of the patients’ health journal.
  • Record the time, date, and method using “O” for oral, “E” for ear, “R” for rectal, or “A” for axillary.
  • Clean and sterilize the digital thermometer using an alcohol swab and replace the plastic probe cover.

Please note: if the patient cannot hold the thermometer in their mouth, caregivers can use an axillary method of placing it under the armpit. Or they can use a temperature gun to take a reading from the patient’s neck.

 

#2 Pulse Rate

Heart rate indicates how many times the patient’s heart beats per minute when at rest. It measures how many times the heart expands and contracts in 60 seconds. Normal heart rates for seniors are between 60 to 100 beats per minute, depending on their age, health, and fitness level.

Heart rate will vary depending on the patient’s current emotional state and physical activity. Therefore, it’s important to do this when the senior is at rest and feeling calm. While a heart rate in the normal range indicates the normal cardiovascular function, it is not the final crux of a cardiovascular assessment.

Heart rhythm is also a critical component of the assessment. The patient’s heart rhythm and the interval between beats should be stable and consistent, with no murmurs or arrhythmia. Irregularities in the heart’s electrical system may indicate anxiety, heart disease, or emotional distress.

If caregivers notice any irregularities in these factors, they should contact a doctor immediately. You can use the following methodology when taking a heart rate assessment.

  • Ensure the senior is at rest and comfortable before taking their reading.
  • Locate the radial artery inside the wrist by the base of the thumb.
  • If this pulse is weak, you can use the brachial artery inside the elbow or the carotid artery in the neck for the assessment. (Do not press too hard if you’re using the carotid artery).
  • Place your first and second fingertips over the pulse source, don’t use your thumb.
  • Set a timer and count the pulses over a 60-second duration. Or calculate the pulses over 15 seconds and multiply the result by four. If they have an irregular heart rate, use the full minute for counting.
  • Concentrate on the pulse, not the time, when counting.
  • Record the heart rate reading in the patient’s journal using the time, date, and any notes on irregularities.

Please note: Several devices are available that give an accurate heart rate record, removing human error from the assessment. Be sure to take two to three recordings when using an electronic device for the procedure.

 

#3 Respiration Rate

The patient’s respiration rate (RR) refers to the speed at which they inhale and exhale. The RR gives the caregiver an idea of the oxygen entering the bloodstream and the patient’s emotional state. Shallow breathing can indicate stress or anxiety in the patient’s mental condition, showing signs of emotional distress like anxiety or panic attacks. It also reveals the presence of an infection, such as pneumonia or asthma.

The caregiver should take note of how many times the patient’s chest rises and falls over the course of a minute. They should also pay attention to the depth of the patient’s breath and its cadence. The senior should be in a relaxed position when conducting this assessment. Activity will affect the respiration rate, as will their emotional state.

If the senior was walking or climbing stairs, have them rest for five minutes before conducting the RR assessment. Activities like smoking will also affect the RR rate and its outcome. The caregiver should notify the doctor immediately if the patient has abnormal breathing or wheezing in their RR. These abnormalities can be signs of infection or other health complications.

Breathing difficulties are one of the most common problems facing seniors. Environmental factors like air pollution and lifestyle factors like smoking can dramatically affect RR. The normal RR range is between 12 to 18 breaths per minute.

Caregivers can conduct a respiration rate assessment using the following methodology.

  • Keep your fingers on the patient’s radial pulse after counting their pulse rate.
  • Use the following minute to count their respiratory rate.
  • Count the breath rate using a timer.
  • An inhale and exhale count as one respiration. Count total respirations over one minute or over 15 seconds and multiply the result by four.
  • Record the results in the journal and note the assessment’s time, date, and results.

 

#4 Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a critical component of the patient’s cardiovascular assessment. High or low blood pressure in the patient may lead to health complications. The normal range is 120/80 mm Hg. A reading over 130/90 mm Hg is borderline hypertensive, and a reading below 90/60 mm Hg indicates low blood pressure.

High blood pressure, also known as “hypertension,” can affect organs like the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver. It’s a dangerous phenomenon in seniors and requires medication to keep it under control. Leaving it untreated may result in cardiovascular and organ complications in the patient, resulting in ill health and death.

Low blood pressure is just as dangerous to the senior. It may leave the patient feeling dizzy or woozy, especially when rising from a sitting or lying position. If the senior experiences a dizzy spell when getting to their feet, they may collapse or slip and hit their head on a table or the floor, resulting in severe injury.

An electronic blood pressure machine is common for checking the patient’s reading. Before you take the assessment, ensure the individual refrains from drinking coffee or tea or smoking for at least 30 minutes. The senior should go to the bathroom before taking the test and relax for five minutes.

Follow this methodology for taking the patient’s blood pressure.

  • Have them sit in a high-backed chair with good support. Don’t take the test with them lying in bed or sitting on a plush couch.
  • The individual must not cross their feet during the test.
  • Place their arm on a flat surface like a table with their upper arm at heart level.
  • Place your fingers on the underside of the elbow and locate the brachial pulse.
  • Wrap and secure the deflated BP cuff around the upper arm, one inch above where you feel the brachial pulse.
  • The blood pressure cuff on the device should provide a marking indicating where to line it up to the artery.
  • Activate the machine and wait for it to take the reading.
  • Perform two more readings to get an average for the test.
  • Take the readings one minute apart.
  • In the patient’s health journal, note the three readings for systolic and diastolic pressure.
  • Remove the deflated cuff.
  • It’s a good strategy to take the patient’s BP readings at the same time each day, usually in the morning.
  • If you note a systolic (top number) of 150 or higher, or a diastolic (bottom number) of 100 or higher, contact the doctor as it may be a sign of cardiovascular complications.

Please note: The electronic blood pressure device may provide different readings across all three tests. The analog device doctors use offers a more accurate reading than the electronic device. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take at least three readings in the blood pressure test to ensure the accuracy of the results.

 

#5 O2 Saturation

The patient’s oxygen saturation range indicates how the body absorbs oxygen into the bloodstream. If the patient has low oxygen saturation levels, it may lead to impaired brain and organ function. Low oxygen presence in the blood is a sign of anemia and will require specialized treatment from the doctor to mitigate the risks of the condition.

The acceptable oxygen saturation range is between 97% to 100%. Seniors will have a lower SpO2 reading than young people, but it should not be below 95%. Lifestyle factors like smoking can dramatically influence the SpO2 reading during an assessment, especially if the patient smoked recently before the test.

Oxygen saturation levels vary considerably depending on the senior’s state of health. So, caregivers need to understand the baseline reading and any underlying physiological problems associated with health conditions when interpreting oxygen saturation levels and the changes in these levels.

Obese individuals or those with cardiovascular or lung diseases, such as COPD, emphysema, congenital heart disease, or sleep apnea, will have lower SpO2 readings than healthy individuals. Smoking influences the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings where SpO2 is falsely high or low, depending on the presence of hypercapnia.

With hypercapnia, it’s challenging for pulse oximeters to differentiate oxygen from carbon monoxide in the blood. Oxygen saturation levels may also decrease slightly if the senior talks during the test. It’s also important to note that patients with anemia or hemochromatosis may also present a normal SpO2 range.

However, this reading will not indicate adequate oxygenation in the blood due to lower levels of hemoglobin carrying a proper supply of oxygen. An inadequate oxygen supply in anemic individuals becomes apparent during periods of activity.

Falsely low SpO2 levels are often associated with the onset of hypothermia, coldness in the extremities, or decreased peripheral perfusion. If that’s the case, an ear lobe pulse oximeter device is better for accurately measuring oxygen saturation levels.

Caregivers will use an electronic oximeter to conduct a SpO2 test in seniors using the following protocol.

  • Remove nail polish or false nails from the finger and warm up the hand if it feels cold.
  • Rest for a minimum of five minutes before carrying out the SpO2 test.
  • Rest their hand on the chest at heart level and ensure the patient remains still.
  • Turn on the oximeter and place it on the index or middle finger.
  • The SpO2 reading will require some time to stabilize.
  • Keep the oximeter in place for a minute or longer to stabilize the SpO2 reading.
  • Record the highest SpO2 result after it stabilizes for a minimum of five seconds.
  • Record the baseline measurement in the health journal three times a day, testing at the same time of the day.
  • Take additional readings if the results vary.

 

#6 Pain Level

Seniors over the age of 65 often deal with chronic pain. Studies show that more than half of all seniors over 65 have had to deal with chronic pain in the last 30 days, and many must deal with it daily. According to a 2006 National Center for Health Statistics study, up to 80% of patients in nursing homes claim they deal with daily symptoms of chronic pain.

While seniors commonly deal with chronic pain, there is undertreatment of the condition by nursing home staff and caregivers. Opioid dependence is a common reason for failing to treat seniors with medication to alleviate their pain symptoms.

However, it’s important to note that persistent pain symptoms are associated with impaired functional performance, anxiety, depression, slow rehabilitation, decreased socialization, and sleep disturbance. These factors often result in increased healthcare costs and utilization.

The Joint Commission removed the requirement of pain assessments in vital sign checkups in 2009. Experts attribute this decision to the instances of opioid addiction sweeping through nursing home communities and in seniors using home-care strategies.

However, The Joint Commission started a project to revise pain assessment and management in 2016. It reviewed the standards of care, identifying the evaluation and management of acute and chronic pain, making it a priority.

The identification and measurement of pain in seniors begins with a self-report from the patient. However, this assessment is challenging in communities with disparities in literacy, cognition, and language skills.

Simple questions and tools are the most effective strategies for pain assessment in seniors. The best options for pain assessment include the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), the Iowa Pain Thermometer (IPT), and the Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R).

The NRS is the most widely used option, asking the senior to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being intense. The IPT is a modified Verbal Descriptor Scale (VDS) with seven pain descriptors describing pain intensity. The FPS-R asks the seniors to express their pain with facial expressions corresponding to their pain intensity.

 

Vital Signs for Caregivers – Key Takeaways

Understanding the vital signs to monitor in seniors and how to conduct these vital sign assessments is a critical part of any caregiver’s responsibilities. By reading and understanding the six methodologies and parameters of vital sign assessments in this post, caregivers can move closer to offering professional standards of care to their patients.

Vital signs are key indicators of a patient’s health, providing a snapshot of their condition relevant for further medical assessments by doctors.

Help Seniors with the 10 Best Fall Prevention Tips You Can Use Now

What are 10 ways to prevent falls?

If you are a senior, you will want to keep yourself safe and healthy. To do this, there are a few fall prevention tips for seniors that you can follow. These tips will not only help you to keep yourself healthy and strong, but they will also help you to avoid falls. Lets get started.

Exercise Regularly for Preventing Falls

Managing chronic conditions, eating a healthy diet, and choosing the right exercises are all important in preventing falls. However, the best way to prevent falls is to exercise regularly. Exercise makes people stronger, makes muscles more flexible, and improves balance.

Studies have found that exercise reduces the rate of falls by 83%. It also improves balance, strength, and coordination.

In addition to preventing falls, exercise can also improve the quality of life for older adults. Injuries caused by falls can lead to fractures, head injuries, and reduced physical function.

The risk of falls is highest for older adults. Medications, mobility limitations, and environmental hazards increase the risk. Other factors include pain, osteoporosis, and changes in walking gait.

Studies show that a well-designed exercise program can reduce the rate of falls by 25%. Studies have also shown that exercise is effective in a group setting. However, different exercises have different effects on falls.

A physical therapist can create an exercise program that is tailored to the needs of a specific person. A good program will include strength training, cardiovascular training, and dynamic and static balance work.

Exercise is a great way to prevent falls for seniors and caregivers. However, it is also important to remember that falls can happen anywhere. Whether in the home or in a social setting, a fall can cause serious injuries.

It is also important to remember that inactivity can lead to poor balance and leg strength. It can also lead to social isolation, which is a major risk factor for falls.

Keep the Bones Strong with Vitamin D

Keeping the bones strong with vitamin D is essential for the elderly. The aging body naturally loses its density and bone strength. As we age, we need to make sure that we get enough calcium and vitamin D during the day.

This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D can also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

The most important part of keeping the bones strong with vitamin D is the proper diet. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is the first step in good bone health. Seniors need to eat foods rich in these nutrients.

Another important part of maintaining bone health is getting plenty of exercise. Physical activity helps build muscle, increases balance, and improves flexibility.

One way to build muscle is through weight-bearing exercises. These activities put stress on bones attached to muscles, which stimulates them to grow. They can also help prevent falls.

Vitamin D is often added to milk and other dairy products. It can also be found in fortified breakfast cereals, egg yolks, and fatty fish. However, most people cannot get enough of this vitamin from food alone. It’s usually best to take supplements.

Keeping the bones strong with vitamin D can be done through simple changes to diet and lifestyle. While it’s not a cure-all, it can prevent falls and osteoporosis.

You may also want to take vitamin K. This vitamin activates important proteins in the blood, which may help bind calcium to bones.

Go for Frequent Eye Checks

One of the most important fall prevention tips is getting a frequent eye checkups. Good vision can help keep an older adult mobile and happy, and can improve balance and agility. For seniors without health insurance coverage, an eye exam is a budget-friendly option.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that a whopping one in four adults over the age of 65 falls each year, and one in five of those falls is serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. One study found that 82% of eye injuries in over-65s were the result of falls.

Getting a frequent eye checkup is more than just getting new prescriptions, though. Some medications may interact with one another and cause a host of problems such as dehydration, fatigue and slowed reflexes. This can cause major problems down the road. It is also worth noting that many eye disorders are hereditary, meaning your loved ones have a higher chance of developing the condition. A thorough examination will ensure that your loved one has a good shot at staying active and healthy for many years to come.

There are many eye care services available across the nation, and many are free. The Medicare program has a number of preventive services for seniors. There are also numerous state and local organizations that help people with vision problems. For example, in the state of Florida, the Department of Health offers programs to help people with vision impairments.

Wear Non-slip Shoes

Investing in shoes that have non-slip soles is a good way to prevent falls. Falls are the number one cause of injury among older adults. Every year, 800,000 seniors are injured from falls. Fortunately, most falls can be prevented. However, you may need to make some changes in your home or lifestyle to avoid falls.

The first step in preventing falls is to ensure your home is safe. Clear out clutter and remove trip hazards. Then, purchase appropriate shoes and socks to prevent falls.

In addition to providing traction, non-slip shoes can help keep you from falling. In addition to protecting your feet, they can help prevent hip injuries.

Choosing the right shoes for you or your loved one is important. The shoes you choose should be based on your activities. You should also measure your foot size when you go shopping.

If you have a loved one who needs help bending, you may want to purchase shoes that can accommodate their needs. These shoes do not have to be high-end or stylish. They simply need to be comfortable and support your loved one’s needs.

If you choose shoes that are a bit too big, you may end up stumbling over. A shoe with a good fit and good support will keep you from falling.

Avoid wet floors

This one may seem like common sense fall prevention tips, but keeping seniors safe at home is a vital part of their well being. They need to be aware of their risk factors, know how to react in hazardous situations, and work on a plan to ensure that they remain safe.

One of the most common accidents is a fall. Falls can be caused by simple mistakes, such as not paying attention. They can also be caused by environmental hazards. One of the easiest ways to prevent a fall is to create a safe environment.

Avoid wet floors. Wet floors are a tripping hazard. If you are going to walk on the wet floor, wear shoes with good traction. If you are using the stairs, make sure there are handrails. Always clean up any spills as soon as you can.

Maintain proper lighting. A well lit home makes it easier to navigate the home. It should be bright enough to illuminate any tripping hazards.

Remove clutter. Too many items in the home can create a trip hazard. Remove items that are floppy, loose, or too heavy. You can also install night lights in the bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms.

Maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Walking daily is a senior-friendly exercise. This will help improve strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination.

De-clutter the home to prevent obstructions and trip hazards

Keeping a tidy home is a good idea if you’re an elderly care giver or your senior loved one. This is especially true if you or your loved one have a limited budget and no time to spare. As mentioned earlier, de-cluttering a home will improve the quality of life in general and your loved one’s well-being in particular.

To get started, consider a room-by-room approach. The more clutter you have in a room the more difficult it will be to keep it tidy. To get the ball rolling, try removing some of the clutter from the front of the bedroom or living room. You’ll be rewarded with a tidier space and a happier senior.

The best part is that you won’t have to spend a ton of money removing clutter from your home. As a bonus, you’ll have more time to do the things you want to do. While you’re at it, consider some of the more mundane tasks such as vacuuming and laundry. You may even be able to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. A little forethought goes a long way and if your senior loved one is prone to wandering, removing clutter is the best way to keep him or her safe and sound.

Keep the home well-lit for clear vision

Keeping your home well lit for clear vision is a good idea, especially if you are an older adult. It will help you avoid tripping over or banging into objects, which can be dangerous. It will also help you stay mobile and independent for as long as possible.

In addition to a well lit home, there are several other factors to consider. Among them is your health. If you have a medical condition or disabilities, you may want to consider moving furniture or other items that could pose a hazard. You may also want to consider updating lighting in key locations.

For example, installing a motion-activated lighting system in the bedroom or bathroom may be a smart move. These lights make it easy to find the lights you want and switch them on or off. You may also want to consider adding non-slip rubber mats to the shower or tub.

Another smart move is incorporating LED lights. These are relatively easy to install and should be checked out on a regular basis. You may also want to consider adding a raised toilet seat. This will make it easier for you or a loved one to get up in the middle of the night.

Having a well lit home for clear vision is a no-brainer, especially if you or a loved one is older or if you are a caregiver. There are many simple changes that can make your home safer. It’s a good idea to consider your family’s or your loved one’s preferences when it comes to your lighting and other home improvements. The right changes could make a big difference in keeping you mobile and happy.

Use non-slip mats to avoid slipping

Using non-slip mats is one of the most effective ways to avoid slipping for seniors and caregivers. Not only do they help cushion falls, they also offer visual cues during everyday activities.

For seniors, the most common slipping accidents are when they are in or out of the bathtub. Using a shower chair can help prevent falls during bathing. It is also a good idea to place a tension pole near the shower entrance to prevent falls.

Bathrooms are the most common accident-prone areas in a home. The best anti-slip bath mats will help make bathing safer for seniors. These mats are made of waterproof materials, which will prevent slipping while bathing. They are also designed to provide added traction, which makes them ideal for wet environments.

A non-slip mat can be installed in the bathtub, next to the toilet, or any other area where a person might slip. If you live on multiple levels, limit your trips up and down the stairs. Keeping the home well-maintained will help prevent falls and injuries.

You can also use non-slip mats in your kitchen. When using the stove or other appliances, you should make sure to put a non-slip mat in front of them to prevent accidental injuries.

Non-slip shower mats are another great way to avoid slipping for seniors. The best shower mats are easy to clean, are made of durable materials, and provide extra traction.

If you are using a non-slip mat outside the shower, it is important to place the mat on the floor outside of the shower. You may also place a non-slip mat on the floor inside the shower.

Use a cane or walker for steady ambulation, if needed

Using a cane or walker can help older adults stay steady. However, most people don’t use these devices on a regular basis. And, when someone falls without using an assistive device, they sustain more serious injuries. In addition, not all assistive devices are created equally. Using cutting edge technology to develop new types of canes and walkers could make them more user-friendly.

In a previous study, canes were found to increase stability by widening the base of support and reducing the weight load on the lower extremities. Moreover, studies showed that patients who had low vision or peripheral neuropathy could benefit from using a cane.

In addition to providing additional support, these devices help older adults reduce their risk of falls. However, they also have a lower personal value. That is, they do not prevent falls as well as a walker. In addition, a cane may not provide sufficient support to offset the costs of use.

Therefore, it is important to choose the correct device for the individual. To determine the best device for an elderly person, you should discuss their needs with their doctor. If the person is severely impaired, they may also require the input of a rehabilitation doctor or physical therapist.

Another study surveyed current users of canes and walkers to identify patterns of use. The results showed that cane and walker use was associated with education and income, and injury severity. However, it is important to note that the study does not differentiate between cane and walker ownership.

This study also found that the highest score was associated with severity of injury. The findings are consistent with previous studies, which showed that canes increase stability by providing input related to the body’s position in relation to the environment.

Review Medication Orders with the Doctor

This is one of our most overlooked fall prevention tips. Often, older people take a laundry list of medications. While the doctor may have the best of intentions, he or she may not have the time to thoroughly review each medication.

Medication review can reduce the risk of a fall. It can also help reduce the chances of side effects and drug interactions. A thorough review can also help reduce the risk of a serious fall.

A pharmacist is a good resource for a medication review, especially if you are a caregiver for an older person. He or she can also make recommendations on what medications to change, what to stop taking, and what dosages to change to.

If you or your loved one is taking several medications, you should have the pharmacist review each one to identify drug interactions. These interactions can lead to side effects that are unwanted.

Among the many medications that can increase your fall risk are antipsychotics and pain medications. These types of medications can cause sedation and drowsiness, which can worsen balance. Sedatives can also cause fatigue and increase thinking problems.

The best way to avoid a fall is to follow fall prevention tips. These include: increasing lighting, removing tripping hazards, and taking measures to prevent falls. Also, exercise regularly to increase strength and flexibility.

The CDC’s STEADI initiative can help healthcare providers integrate fall prevention into routine clinical practice. The CDC has also created a number of resources to help you make the most of the new program.

As a caregiver, you should be proactive about reducing your loved one’s fall risk. Medication review is a great way to identify medications that may increase fall risk.

Which Factors Cause Falls in Elderly?

Whether you are an elderly person yourself, or have a loved one who is elderly, it is important to learn what factors contribute to falls. While there are many factors that can contribute to falls, some are more likely to be associated with the elderly. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent falls and help prevent injuries. These include reducing clutter, practicing proper balance, and exercising regularly.

Balance and Gait

Among older adults, gait and balance disorders are the most common causes of falls. They are associated with injury, decreased independence, and reduced quality of life. Physical therapy is an effective treatment for these disorders. Physical therapy helps to improve balance and posture. In addition, physical therapists can identify functional limitations.

Balance disorders can result from physical inactivity and muscle weakness. They can also be caused by deformity or medical conditions affecting the neuromusculoskeletal system. They may also be a result of neurologic disorders or primary nervous system disorders. In addition, there are other factors that contribute to gait disorders, such as fatigue and poor posture.

Physical inactivity causes age-related muscle and strength loss. The result is a slower gait. This is especially difficult for elderly adults who lack mobility. The increased gait variability observed in older adults is associated with increased risk of falls.

Older adults also have a reduced ability to adapt to changes in the environment. In addition, visual perturbations can significantly affect gait parameters. Therefore, clinicians should perform a comprehensive assessment of gait and balance.

Vision

Whether you are an older person, or a younger person, you may have noticed that falls are a major health concern. Falls are a leading cause of injury and morbidity among older adults, and can lead to a range of physical and mental complications.

In addition to the physical impacts of falling, falls can also lead to significant psychological effects, as well as reduced independence and mobility. For these reasons, it is important to understand how vision can affect the risk of falling.

While there are many factors to consider, one of the best ways to protect your eyes is to get a comprehensive eye exam. A thorough eye exam will not only determine if you have any ocular conditions, but it will also ensure that you have safe walking vision.

For older adults, visual impairment is one of the leading causes of falls. A visual impairment can lead to visual distortions that affect binocular vision, depth perception and contrast sensitivity. Taking measures to minimize these factors will help reduce the risk of falls.

Cluttered Environment

Almost half of all fall-related injuries occur inside the home. For older adults, a cluttered environment can lead to falls and injuries.

Falling can be caused by many factors, and it can also be a sign of a serious medical problem. Falling and tripping can lead to major injuries or death. Therefore, older adults should take care of their environment and prevent falls.

Identifying and eliminating hazards in the home can reduce the risk of falls. Older adults who are afraid of falling may decrease their participation in activities and become more depressed. They may also experience a rapid physical decline.

Several studies have found that environmental hazards contribute to falls in older adults. These hazards include clutter, uneven surfaces, lack of stair railings, poor lighting, and lack of grab bars in bathrooms. These hazards can be particularly important in homecare settings.

The CDC’s checklist is helpful in identifying and eliminating hazards. The checklist contains 28 items that cover different areas of the home and suggestions on how to correct the hazard. The checklist was created to educate older adults about home safety.

Chronic Conditions

Approximately one third of all older adults fall each year, according to the CDC. Those who fall are at a greater risk for injury-related visits to the emergency department. Falls are also associated with reduced functioning and impaired quality of life.

Several chronic diseases have been linked to higher fall rates, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and osteoporosis. The high number of falls among older adults is a significant public health issue. In addition, falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to the emergency department in the United States.

The number of chronic conditions increased with age, as did the risk of falling. The highest fall rate was observed in individuals with five or more chronic conditions. Moreover, the risk of falling increased with longer follow-up.

The study participants were followed for ten years and had a high burden of chronic disease. A population-based sample of older adults was used to compare demographics and lifestyle. Research has been critical to identifying effective fall prevention tips for caregivers.

 

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking to help a family member or yourself fall into a better health condition, there are many things you can do to keep yourself safe. We hope these fall prevention tips help you or a loved one you may be caring for. One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe is to make sure you stay active and healthy. This will help keep you in good health and make you feel better as well.

Wheelchair Safety for Caregivers – 5 Reliable Tips for Safety

Caregivers and their patients or residents can be at risk of many hazards if they don’t exercise proper precautions when transporting in a wheelchair. The following are helpful tips on wheelchair safety for caregivers. A person in a wheelchair is much more vulnerable than someone on their feet, which is why it’s essential to take care not just of the person in the wheelchair but also of anyone pushing or assisting them. caregivers can be at risk of various dangers if they don’t exercise proper precautions. The following are helpful tips on wheelchair safety for caregivers.

Wheelchair safety for caregivers tip #1 – Maintenance

Make sure the wheelchair is maintained correctly. A wheelchair that has not been adequately maintained may malfunction and endanger the safety of the person in the chair and their caregiver. For example, broken wheel spokes or an unstable wheel must be repaired before use. If you don’t know how to maintain your wheelchair or do not have the tools to do it, take it to a trained professional for service. It’s worth paying a skilled technician to ensure your loved one’s safety rather than risk an accident due to another’s negligence or incompetence.

 

Helpful Link – Wheelchair Maintenance Checklist

 

Wheelchair safety for caregivers tip #2 – Brake Usage

Apply the Wheelchair Brakes when parking. If you are not pushing the wheelchair while in transit, applying the chair brakes will help prevent accidents due to moving or rolling. If you are pushing the wheelchair while driving, the brakes may make it challenging to push effectively, so they should not be used in this case. A caregiver can accidentally leave the wheelchair in “run” mode, so check before moving away from the chair. Reclining the wheelchair may destabilize it, so be sure that you lock it in an upright position before you move away.

Wheelchair safety for caregivers tip #3 – Accessibility

Create an accessible home. Friends and family members often want to help out, but they may need to learn how to help safely. If you have a loved one in a wheelchair, it’s essential to help them navigate your home by ensuring that there aren’t any nonfunctional objects blocking their path and that the room layout is understandable. If you have steps, make sure stairlifts or other accessibility equipment are available. Make particular room doors wide enough for the wheelchair to fit through and that hallways are wide enough to accommodate the wheelchair. Also, ensure any fragile or breakable objects have been moved out of the way.

Wheelchair safety for caregivers tip #4 – Good Posture

Ensure the patient or resident sits down upright. The person in the wheelchair should be sitting upright and in a position that allows them to see over their knees for maximum safety. The caregiver should also make sure that their charge is sitting tightly so that they aren’t going to fall out of the chair. A seat belt may help secure them into place, but make sure you remove your loved one’s spectacles before fastening the belt while they’re wearing them.

Wheelchair safety for caregivers tip #5 –

Use Proper Transfer Techniques.

Use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury if you need to lift someone in a wheelchair. First, locate the “waist” of the person and prevent the armpits. Ensure you’re not putting all of your weight into one arm or hand, as this could cause injury to yourself and your charge. If you are supporting someone’s entire body weight, ask yourself if they can get up on their own and then lower them gently into position before getting help from others in moving the chair.

Conclusion

A caregiver’s role is not to replace the family member needing care but to ensure that their patient is safe and comfortable during their time of need. It’s good practice for friends or family members to learn basic safety measures and check in on their charge from time to time to assist in preventing accidents or helping the patient if needed. The best caregiver takes the time to learn about their charge’s limitations and abilities and works with them to create a more comfortable and secure environment for their loved ones.

Diabetes – What Caregivers Need to Know

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases in the world, with millions of people suffering from it. But do you really know what is diabetes?

Our body primarily burns glucose for energy. Every time we eat, the digestive tract breaks down the carbohydrates into glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream.  Glucose in the blood triggers the pancreas (a small organ located just behind the stomach) to release insulin. Insulin is a hormone that plays a critical role in carbohydrate metabolism. It directs the glucose molecules into the cells for use as energy when this happens the amount of sugar in the blood also reduces. If the pancreas does not function well either by not producing insulin or if blood glucose becomes resistant to insulin this leads to a metabolic disorder called diabetes milletus.

So What Is Diabetes? Diabetes is an ailment that happens when the body is not able to properly utilize glucose. When a large amount of circulating glucose in the blood is not converted by the cells into energy, it becomes toxic to the body. An abnormal elevation of blood sugar can lead to serious complications. It can compromise the integrity of the blood vessels, suppress the immune system, reduces the body’s ability to fight infections, damage the kidneys and thickens the blood, and affects good circulation.

Today, diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the world next to heart disease. The uncontrolled consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar-concentrated foods, a sedentary lifestyle devoid of any physical activities, and a growing obesity epidemic propels the diabetes problem into perilous proportions. Currently, the total annual cost of diabetes is estimated to be nearly $500 billion, and has become one of the most costly chronic diseases in the world. While there are already a large number of diabetic patients, there are twice as many pre-diabetic persons that are well on their way to becoming casualties of diabetes if no preventive measures are undertaken.

Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes

The signs and symptoms of diabetes are usually subtle and may be ignored by most people. Here are the most observable signs that accompany the disease that you need to watch out for:

Frequent urination is the first of all signs and symptoms of diabetes that you need to look out for. When you have diabetes, your kidneys work extra harder to dilute glucose by drawing more water from the blood. This in turn makes your bladder full and demands you to frequent the toilet.

Excessive thirst. Another of the many signs and symptoms of diabetes is experiencing an unusual thirst more than normally desired, this could be a glaring sign of diabetes. Dehydration sets in because your body increases its discharge of water through frequent urination which calls for you to drink more water.

Unusual weight loss. Since the cells in your body are not able to utilize glucose for energy, they will start to break down secondary energy sources like muscles and stored fat. Rapid weight loss is less visible with Type 2 than with Type 1 diabetes because the loss of insulin sensitivity also happens gradually.

Unexplained fatigue. When the glucose necessary to fuel cellular functions does not reach the cells where it can be utilized, the cells in your body begin to starve causing you to feel constantly weak and exhausted. Such tiredness is evident even if you are not physically engaged with work or in a more relaxed state.

Slow healing and more infections. High circulating glucose in the blood interferes with the body’s ability to repair itself. This takes longer and unnecessary time for cuts and bruises to heal. At the same time, increased sugar in the blood encourages bacteria to thrive and cause infections especially vaginal infections in women.

Other latent symptoms of diabetes include nerve damage, kidney impairment, destruction of the peripheral blood vessels usually those of the legs and feet, and blindness if the progression of the disease is not controlled and addressed in time.

Causes Of Diabetes

There are many different causes of diabetes. Some believe the causes of diabetes are hereditarily related while others may think diabetes is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or diet. In medical terms, the causes of diabetes can be summarized as the abnormal functioning of the pancreas. Either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not respond to insulin. When this happens, glucose builds up in the blood that becomes toxic to nerves and blood vessels, and at the same time, the cells are starved of their energy supply and could not function well resulting in diabetes.

The beta cells in the pancreas are the ones making insulin – a peptide hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Normally, when there is a spike in blood sugar after eating a meal, the beta cells are activated to release insulin that will help the cells in the body absorb and use glucose for energy. Hormone production is reduced when the insulin-producing beta cells are damaged and destroyed by autoimmune disease as in the case of Type 1 diabetes or by invading bacteria and viruses.

Type 2 diabetes usually caused by obesity is an underlying cause of the abnormal functioning of the pancreas. In particular, the increase of adipose fatty tissues or excess abdominal fat – this is also known as central obesity – most often leads to insulin resistance, a condition that makes cells non-responsive to insulin. These fatty tissues can trigger a host of biochemical reactions in the body that inhibits cellular insulin response and hastens the development of diabetes.

Although genetic susceptibility is currently being studied as a risk factor for developing diabetes, current understanding is limited to the role of genes on the rate of glucose metabolism among various ethnic groups and not yet as a particularly identified gene defect or gene-specific disease. Other risk factors are being identified as diabetes causes, such as lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, vitamin deficiency, certain medications, and environmental toxins.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is not only a single disease but is a complex disease group with a range of causes. Many of us know what Diabetes is, but do you know that there multiple types of diabetes? In short, we can categorize the types of diabetes into two main categories.

The first type of diabetes is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or commonly known as Type 1 diabetes where the body does not produce insulin and cannot break down glucose in the blood. Although Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in children, it is now slowly affecting adults as well.

The other type of diabetes is known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) also called Type 2 diabetes where the cells do not respond to the insulin produced by the body. Type 2 diabetes is the more common of the two, accounting for 90% of all diabetes cases in the world. Type 2 diabetes is also strongly related to the rise in obesity among the population.

Unlike Type 1 diabetes which could be inherited by genes, Type 2 Diabetes usually happens when there is unrestrained consumption of refined carbohydrates (i.e. over-eating)

Another type of diabetes that is triggered by insulin resistance is brought about by pregnancy-related factors. This type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes. Women who are either obese already or who gained weight at the start of pregnancy are the ones affected by this kind of diabetes. However, the good news is that gestational diabetes also disappears in most women after giving birth.

Nevertheless, any type of diabetes is a serious health concern that needs immediate attention. Consistently monitoring your blood sugar levels especially when you have existing risk factors for developing diabetes is extremely important. And doing the necessary preventive and curative measures the soonest as possible will prevent unwanted complications that may arise from ignored and untreated symptoms.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is essentially an autoimmune disease. This is a kind of disease where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys its cells. Normally, the basic function of the immune system is to protect the body from the onslaught of invading bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances. But in the case of Type 1 diabetes, the immune system strikes an assault at the beta cells in the pancreas which are responsible for producing insulin. The persistent immune attacks will eventually result in considerable damage to the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, leading to a severely dysfunctional carbohydrate metabolic process.

Type 1 diabetes was formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes because children are the ones that are most often seen to develop this form of the disease. However, type 1 diabetes has been seen to gradually develop in mature people as well. While it is clear that the immune system is implicated in destroying beta cells, the exact biological mechanism in the development of the disease still evades many scientists.

Genetic predisposition has been thought of as a major risk factor for Type 1 diabetes. Scientists are looking at possible gene variants that may provide a better understanding of how the disease advances and what would be potential targets for treatment. Several researchers also hint that insulin itself may be the trigger for the immune system’s attacks against beta cells. Diet in particular infant nutrition, chemical exposure, and viral or microbial infections are also being studied as contributory factors to the progression of the disease.

Persons suffering from Type 1 diabetes become dependent on insulin injections to support the inadequate production or lack of insulin in the body. For this reason, the disease is also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the chronic and most common form of diabetes. No less than 300 million people worldwide are already affected by this glucose metabolic disorder and probably several million more are undiagnosed and who have pre-diabetes. Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90 percent of all cases of diabetes with only 10 percent left to other atypical forms of the disease. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, it is not the ability of the body to produce insulin that is impaired but the capacity to utilize it. This condition is known as insulin resistance.

When the body fails to respond to the hormone insulin, blood sugar does not get into the cells and is utilized as energy which increases circulating glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance by itself triggers a host of biochemical responses such as reduced uptake of fats, elevated cholesterol concentration, increase production of free radicals and promote inflammation.

Also called adult-onset diabetes, Type 2 is a disease that slowly progresses over time. Poor diet, physical inactivity, and being overweight, particularly excess pounds around the waist, are the primary factors that increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. When left unchecked, it often leads to other serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and possible limb amputation.

Genetics may have a causative role in the development and progression of the disease but current studies still show very limited evidence. What could be more predictive are nutrition status and certain habits. The rising obesity epidemic coincides well with the continuous increase in diabetes incidence. This is on top of other lifestyle factors such as poor nutrition including excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, lack of physical activity, persistent stress, and even lack of sleep are linked to the development of this form of diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus is a fairly common complication that develops during pregnancy. This condition is seen only in about 5 to 10 percent of all pregnancies. Similar to Type 2 diabetes, pregnancy-related diabetes happens when the insulin receptors in the cells become unresponsive resulting in abnormal elevations in blood sugar levels.

Women who are overweight, suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, have hypertension, have existing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or a family history of the disease, have experienced gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies, and are over 35 years old have a higher probability of developing the disorder. However, about half of the women who are affected by this form of diabetes do not necessarily have the risk factors associated with the disease, to begin with.  The disruption in glucose metabolism could likely be initiated by biological changes that occur during the gestation period.

Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy exhibit little to no symptoms but can be diagnosed through routine prenatal screenings and regular blood sugar checks. When left untreated it could lead to delivery complications such as developing babies with bigger sizes, jaundice, and pre-eclampsia that may necessitate Caesarian delivery. However, the risk for birth defects is rare because they usually occur in the last trimester of pregnancy when the baby is already fully developed.

Generally, gestational diabetes is preventable and can be easily treated. In many cases, the disorder resolves by itself after pregnancy. Nevertheless, appropriate lifestyle changes can be of great benefits such as getting proper nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation, and the use of glucose-control medications. Dietary modifications such as limited carbohydrate intake or low glycemic foods, engaging in moderate physical activities, and if your health care provider requires, taking anti-diabetic drugs can be very effective in regulating rapid elevations in blood sugar together.

How To Test for Diabetes

Understanding how diabetes develops, and being familiar with the causes and symptoms of diabetes, give you an indication if you have contracted it. But do you know how to test for diabetes? Symptomatic indicators of the disease may only be observed at a later stage of disease progression, diagnostic tests for diabetes are enormously helpful to validate blood sugar concerns. There are several tests for diabetes that are readily available.

Glucose tests are the primary form of clinical procedure used by doctors to determine if there is an abnormal concentration of glucose in your blood. Irregular increases in blood sugar beyond acceptable levels may clinically indicate diabetes in the person. Here are the following types of blood sugar screening to test for diabetes.

Fasting Blood Glucose. The most common test for diabetes is the fasting blood sugar test. As a pre-requisite, you will be required to refrain from eating any solid food and beverage except for water for 12 – 14 hours before checking your blood glucose levels. Test results beyond the 70-100mg/dL normal range may indicate diabetes.

Random Glucose Test. In a random blood sugar test, fasting from food is not necessary while blood glucose levels are checked at different intervals within the day. If you have diabetes, you will exhibit high fluctuations of blood sugar levels compared to a fairly stable test result from those without diabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. This form of blood sugar screening requires you to fast and later to drink a high glucose beverage while blood samples are checked at fasting after a high glucose drink for a 1 – 2 hour period. This test is frequently used to check for diabetes that occurs among pregnant women also called gestational diabetes. The normal range for an oral glucose tolerance test is not more than 100mg/dL for the fasting phase, less than 180mg/dL for the first hour, and 150mg/dL for the second hour after the glucose drink.

How To Prevent Diabetes

We can prevent diabetes. And that is a reassuring fact many fail to grasp either because they don’t know it or simply because they don’t want to make important lifestyle changes necessary to prevent the disease. Learning about this subtle but deadly metabolic disorder and understanding how it undermines your health is the first but often overlooked step toward identifying effective measures against diabetes assault. Here are the top preventive actions you can take to effectively combat diabetes in any of its forms.

Reduce sugar intakeBecause diabetes is a problem of glucose metabolism, reducing your intake of foods with high sugar content is an imperative step to prevent diabetes. Avoid the consumption of refined carbohydrates like those found in white bread, pastries, processed juices, and soft drinks, instead, start becoming conscious of the effect of certain foods on your blood sugar. Stay away from high glycemic foods or that which could create a spike in blood glucose levels.

Eat a high-fiber diet. Plan your meals every day to include at least 70 percent of complex carbohydrates with about 35 grams of fiber. Most vegetables with exception of carrots and potatoes which are starchy, legumes, oat, and seed husks like psyllium, nuts, and apples are good sources of fiber. Many studies point out that eating fiber daily could lead to a significant decrease in blood sugar.

Lose weight. Many of those who have diabetes also have weight problems. Indeed, obesity is considered a major contributor to the development of the disease. Losing weight can help in alleviating the symptoms associated with the disease such as fatigue, nausea, and anxiety attacks.

Get physically active. An active lifestyle brings a lot of health benefits and exercising regularly can prevent diabetes. Recent clinical studies showed that those who engage in even simple physical activities such as walking cut their risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 50%. Exercise is naturally effective in bringing down your blood sugar levels since your body is forced to burn glucose for energy and its glucose-lowering effects could even extend to a few more hours after an exercise activity.

Treatment for Diabetes

There are many different types of treatment for diabetes today. But everything is aimed at regulating the abnormal elevations of blood sugar levels. While taking diabetes medications is considered the treatment of choice by most healthcare providers because of their rapid glucose-controlling effect, it is important to know as well that there are complementary treatments that are equally effective and proven to help those who are suffering from the disease. Combining the wisdom of conventional medicine with nutrition-oriented complementary therapies will provide a more balanced treatment action plan for diabetic patients.

Nutrition counseling and lifestyle changes should be the basis of any kind of treatment for diabetes. Drugs can only go so far as masking the symptoms if no efforts are made to address any underlying cause. You need to ensure that losing weight and changing your eating habits are among the key recommendation incorporated into the treatment protocol. Here are the key remedies which are effectively used in treating diabetes:

Niacinamide and Vitamin D. For those who are at high risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, taking niacinamide – a form of Vitamin B at 25mg per kilogram of body weight has been shown to retard the development of the disease in children. In addition, Vitamin D supplementation is also necessary as an adjunct treatment with niacinamide.

Chromium. This mineral has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and can lower the blood sugar levels of those who have diabetes. It has been found that most diabetics are deficient in this nutrient.

Bitter Melon and Gymnema Sylvestre. These herbs have been found to decrease and help regulate blood sugar. In particular, bitter melon which is a cucumber-like vegetable has potent blood-glucose-lowering action. Similarly, evidence for Gymnema Sylvestre shows that it can reverse damage to certain cells in the pancreas.

Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors and Glucophage.  This is a type of diabetes drug that works by blocking the enzymes that breaks down carbohydrates from food. Taking this drug can reduce the amount of glucose released into the blood after taking a meal. Glucophage on the other hand works by suppressing glucose production in the liver and increasing the sensitivity of cells to insulin. However, these drugs can have unpleasant side effects such as stomach cramps, gas, and diarrhea.

Insulin injections. For those needing insulin replacements, injections are given to replace the hormone that should have been produced by the pancreas, particularly in those with Type 1 diabetes. There are short, intermediate, and long-acting forms of insulin that your doctor can give depending on what will be best for you.

Diet For Diabetes

Taking healthy steps and maintaining a balanced diet is not only recommended but is extremely important for diabetic people who want to control their blood sugar levels and decrease potential complications that may develop with the disease. A diet for diabetes patients must be not only low in refined sugar but also fats. Food containing high in plant fiber can help a lot in preventing disease progression. Together with other lifestyle interventions, diabetes may even be reversed. Here are some general dietary recommendations you can follow as your first steps toward controlling diabetes:

Eat high-fiber foods. Your body reacts differently to different types of carbohydrates. Choose slow-release carbs that do not cause rapid spikes in your blood sugar. Eating complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and legumes and limiting your intake of refined and processed foods will dramatically improve your blood sugar profile. Recent studies have also shown that daily consumption of 50 grams of fiber leads to a 10 percent decrease in blood sugar.

Choose quality protein sources.  Constantly elevated blood sugar affects muscle build-up. Supplying your body with an adequate amount of muscle-building protein will prevent rapid weight loss and muscle wastage. Beans, eggs, fish, and chicken are excellent sources of protein.

Eat healthy fats. Fats are important macronutrients that your body needs for many metabolic processes. However, what kind of fat to eat is an important consideration for many diabetics who are also at risk of cardiovascular diseases. Make sure you add healthier fats to your meal planning. Olive oil, nuts, avocadoes, and fatty fish like salmon or tuna are your better options. Avoid hydrogenated fats mostly found in processed foods and limit your intake of saturated fats.

Cut down on sweets. Since diabetes impairs blood sugar metabolism, cutting down your blood sugar sources is not only a wise decision but a healthy one. Limiting if not eliminating sweetened beverages like cola, soft drinks and juices will lower your risk of developing disease complications. If you cannot avoid sweets, take them with a meal rather than eating them as a snack by themselves. You can have yogurt whipped with avocado or banana instead of a slice of cake.

It is very important to plan your meals so you will not fall into the trap of just eating anything that is available. Keeping a food diary for many who are struggling with blood sugar problems proves to be very helpful. It allows you to be more aware of what and how much you eat and helps you make adjustments along the way.

How To Cure Diabetes

Millions have been affected, but there is still no single drug to cure diabetes. While insulin injections have been used as a treatment for diabetes, it does not actually cure diabetes. Instead, insulin is merely a temporary solution to reduce the complications that accompany the disorder and a means to improve the quality of life for many diabetics.

Causative mechanisms have been proposed across a range of possible biological systems including gene defects, viral and bacterial triggers, dysfunction in sensory neurons, and autoimmunity factors among the research community to discover a permanent cure for diabetes. As diabetes research continues to move forward, promising treatments are now being investigated and tested as possible cures for diabetes.

Stem cell therapy. Many researchers are hoping that the science of stem cells could be an answer to many chronic diseases including a way to cure diabetes. Initial animal studies on Type 1 diabetes using grafted stem cells in the pancreas yield encouraging results. Growth of new beta cells in the pancreas and production of insulin is actually observed. However, the process of implanting stem cells in humans is not yet available.

Bariatric surgery. People with Type 2 diabetes who underwent weight loss surgery have actually improved their health profile and their need to maintain diabetes medications. For many who had a real problem losing weight through diet and exercise, bariatric surgery has been considered as an option to keep their weight within normal levels. But diabetes could recur once they gain back those extra pounds.

Capsaicin injections. In a 2006 study, a group of researchers discovered that an active compound in chili peppers called capsaicin when injected into the pancreas of Type 1 diabetic mice killed the pancreatic sensory neurons and stimulated the gland to start producing insulin at normal levels. This study, however, has not been replicated in humans to see if it has the same positive effects.

Free Caregiver Certification Training Online in Arizona

As a residential assisted living consultant in Arizona, I am often asked by job seekers if there is any way to get free training to become a certified caregiver in Arizona. The answer is not a simple one. But yes, there are ways that you can train to become an Arizona caregiver and not have to pay for it.

We have had a great need for caregivers in Arizona for years now. And post Covid, this need has only increased. We have seen salaries increase for these positions as the demand has swelled. There are many candidates who have the passion and desire to become a caregiver but simply cannot afford the training. With some determination and a deliberate strategy, let me show you how you can put yourself in position to attend training and get free caregiver certification training online in Arizona.

What are the requirements to train and become certified caregiver in Arizona?

Let us first understand what the requirements are to enroll and train. Arizona certified caregivers must be at least 18 years of age, you need to be at least eighteen to enroll. Instruction is delivered in English, so the ability to read and comprehend the English language is also required.

The caregiver course is 62 hours including 40 hours of classroom instruction and 22 hours of practical instruction. Instruction covers the following topics.

  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Service plans
  • Infection control
  • Nutrition and food preparation
  • Fire, safety, and emergency procedures
  • Home environment and maintenance
  • Basic caregiver skills
  • Mental health and social services
  • Care of the cognitively impaired resident
  • Basic restorative services
  • Medication management.

Where can you enroll and attend Arizona Caregiver Training?

Training institutions for Arizona Certified Caregiver certificates must be licensed by the NCIA Board of Arizona. Be careful not take a generic training class offered online and expect that training credential to be accepted for employment in Arizona. You MUST attend a licensed training institution to take the D&S diversified test and receive a verifiable caregiver training certificate. You can click this link and see all currently licensed schools for caregiver training.

Can you attend and complete certified caregiver training online?

Yes. As part of the Arizona Governor’s executive order during the Covid pandemic, some schools were allowed to develop and deploy online training programs for Arizona caregiver training. These programs are still authorized. The schools that are authorized to deliver online training are marked in red in the directory linked above. Since programs vary and development was rapid due to the pandemic, be sure to review the capabilities of the digital training and make sure it is suitable for your needs.

Additionally, the NCIA Board is meeting to approve permanently adopting online or digital caregiver training by licensed schools. They have had a couple of meetings and final approval has not happened yet, but I expect this to happen in the next few months.

How much does Arizona Caregiver Training cost?

Most licensed training schools offer Arizona Caregiver Training for about $600. There may some ancillary fees such as the $65 D&S Diversified testing fee. Some schools will offer either payment plans or financing programs. Contact the training school to understand all associated costs and whether the offers either of these options.

What additional requirements are there to work as a Certified Caregiver in Arizona?

Certified caregivers employed by assisted living facilities in Arizona must have the following current credentials-

  • Valid Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • Current CPR Training Completion Card
  • Current First Aid Training Completion Card
  • Current Negative TB Screening test, either TST or Blood Test or signed statement from a medical practitioner, occupational clinic or public health clinic stating you are free of evidence of TB.

Where can I work after I become a Certified Caregiver?

Caregivers must be certified to work in licensed assisted living homes and assisted living centers in Arizona. Caregivers working in these health care facilities must also meet the other pre-hire requirements. Certified caregivers also have skills that are in demand for Home Care companies that caregiving services in client’s homes. The understand certified caregivers are well-trained for these services.

What can you expect to be paid as a certified caregiver in Arizona?

Compensation has risen significantly over the last year or two. In the Phoenix metro area certified caregiver pay can range from $15 to $22 dollars an hour depending on the facility and location.

What if you cannot afford training, is there free training to become a certified caregiver?

Often, students with an extreme passion and desire to become a certified caregiver can leverage the current market demand to identify opportunities to have their training sponsored by a prospective employer. They may be willing to pay for training based on a commitment to work for the facility for a certain length of time, say one year. Or they may finance the training by paying for it and then deducting the cost in installments from your paycheck.

The way to give yourself the best chance of having your training sponsored or paid for is buying completing all the other pre-hire requirements and having your documents well organized. This shows the employer that you are dedicated to a common goal and make them more comfortable investing in your future.

Contact employers that are recruiting for certified caregivers and make your case that you have met all other requirements already and just need assistance in completing the training program. Explain that you have identified a training program that offers online training and that you are able to work immediately as an assistant caregiver while you quickly complete training and become certified.

You can also make inquiries at the caregiver training schools. They often have established agreements with assisted living providers to train new employees. They can direct you to employers that are already willing to provide certified caregiver training for their employees.

Working as an assistant caregiver

Assistant caregivers are not yet certified but meet all other hiring requirements for certified caregivers. Assistant caregivers can be hired by facilities and allowed to work performing direct care in assisted living facilities. However, they must always be fully and directly supervised by a certified caregiver while providing direct care to a resident.

What if you are an LNA/CNA, can you work as a certified caregiver in Arizona?

The short answer is no. Caregivers training training in medication administration and LNAs/CNAs do not have medication training and are not allowed to pass medications within their scope of services. The good news is that CNAs/LNAs can attend a Certified Caregiver “Bridge” training program that will allow them to become a certified caregiver. Since CNAs/LNAs are trained caregivers except for medication administration, the bridge program focuses on this topic. It is usually shorter and cheaper that the complete certified caregiver training course.

If you have the passion and drive to work in service to our most vulnerable and deserving residents, do not let anything stop you. Use these techniques to show prospective employers why you are the best person to hire to take of our seniors.

Good luck!

Arizona Caregiver Certification Test

The final step in the process to become a certified caregiver in the state of Arizona is the Arizona Caregiver Certification Test on  Medication Management administered by D&S Diversified Technologies. For more information, you can link to the D&S Diversified Handbook here.

What you need to know

Cost

The Arizona Caregiver Certification Test fee is $65. This may or may not be included in the tuition fee you paid to enroll in the Arizona Caregiver Training Program. Check with your training provider if you are unsure. As an approved training provider, they should guide you through this process.

Exam Check-In

Be sure to arrive 20-30 minutes early for your exam to allow for check in.

Attire

Dress appropriately. No revealing attire.

Identification

You will be required to present photo identification. The following are examples of what is acceptable.

  • Arizona Driver’s License
  • State-issued Identification Card
  • US Passport, Foreign Passports are not acceptable unless it includes a US Visa
  • Military Identification Card
  • Alien Registration Card
  • Tribal Identification Card
  • Work Authorization Card

Passing Score

You must have a score of 75% or better to pass the Arizona caregiver competency exam.

Arizona Caregiver Certification Test Subject Areas

Although your training covered all topics and aspects of caregiving in Arizona, the competency exam focuses on medication management.

Subject Area

Controlled Substances

Documentation 

Error Reporting 

Medication Administration 

Medication Effects

Safety

Six Rights

State Regulations

Terminology

Number of Questions

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

Arizona Caregiver Certification Test Vocabulary Terms

  • absorption
  • abuse
  • ac
  • acetaminophen
  • administration
  • adverse effect
  • allergic reactions
  • analgesic
  • anaphylactic
  • anaphylaxis
  • anemia
  • antacid
  • antibiotic
  • anti-coagulants
  • anticonvulsants
  • antiemetic
  • antigout
  • antihistamines
  • antihypertensives
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antipsychotic
  • antipsychotics
  • antitussive
  • arthritis
  • artificial tear
  • application
  • aspiration
  • aspirin
  • assessment
  • asthma
  • bacterial infections
  • bid
  • blood
  • clot
  • blood clotting
  • blood glucose
  • blood pressure
  • blood sample
  • blood sugar
  • broad spectrum
  • central nervous system
  • central nervous system stimulants
  • cholesterol
  • chronic pain
  • circulation
  • classification
  • communicable disease
  • confidentiality
  • congestive heart failure
  • constipation
  • contributing factors
  • controlled medication
  • controlled substances
  • coronary artery disease
  • countable medication
  • cross checking
  • crushing
  • DC’d
  • decongestants
  • dehydration
  • delegation
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • digestion
  • digestive system
  • digoxin
  • discontinued medication
  • discrepancy
  • disposal
  • diuretic
  • documentation
  • dose
  • drug clearance
  • drug loss
  • ear drops
  • edema
  • effects
  • electrolyte
  • enteric
  • excretion
  • expiration date
  • eye dropper
  • eye medication
  • faxed order
  • fever
  • fingerstick
  • generic name
  • glucometer
  • glucose levels
  • glucose management
  • gout
  • gtt
  • habit forming
  • haloperidol
  • hand washing
  • herbal medications
  • high blood pressure
  • hormone
  • hormones
  • hs
  • hyperglycemia
  • hypertension
  • hypoglycemia
  • hypotension
  • hypothyroidism
  • infection control
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • inhalant medication
  • injection site
  • injections
  • insulin
  • insulin administration
  • insulin classification
  • insulin injection sites
  • insulin measurement
  • insulin shock
  • integumentary
  • itching
  • labeling
  • lancet
  • laxative
  • licensed provider order
  • liquid medications
  • low blood sugar
  • macular degeneration
  • MAR
  • medication administration
  • medication administration process
  • medication categories
  • medication effect
  • medication effects
  • medication error
  • medication label
  • medication occurrence
  • medication order
  • medication package
  • medication reference
  • medication resource
  • medication sheet
  • medication storage
  • metabolic
  • metabolism
  • mg
  • missing documentation
  • missing medication
  • muscle pain
  • muscle relaxant
  • nasal medication
  • needles
  • non-narcotic
  • nose drops
  • NSAID
  • observation
  • ointment
  • opthalmic
  • opthalmic
  • ointment
  • optic
  • oral medication
  • osteoporosis
  • OTC
  • OTC medications
  • otic
  • o
  • parenteral
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • pathogen
  • pc
  • pharmacy label
  • pleurisy
  • prednisone prescription
  • prescription warnings
  • PRN
  • psoriasis
  • pulse
  • q
  • am
  • q2h
  • qd
  • qid
  • qod
  • quality control
  • radial pulse
  • RDA
  • rectal medication
  • refusal
  • relaxant
  • reporting
  • resident rights
  • respirations
  • respiratory medications
  • responsibility
  • right resident
  • risk factors
  • role and responsibility
  • route
  • safety
  • scabies
  • sedatives
  • seizures
  • sharps disposal
  • side effect
  • side effects
  • six rights
  • skin patches
  • skin rashes
  • sliding scale
  • standard precautions
  • stat order
  • subcutaneous tissue
  • subjective information
  • sublingual
  • suppository
  • suspensions
  • symptoms
  • syringes
  • systolic
  • tablet disposal
  • temperature
  • tid
  • topical
  • toxic
  • TPR
  • trade name
  • transdermal patch
  • Type I diabetes
  • Type II diabetes
  • urinary tract infection
  • vitamins
  • wearing gloves
  • wrong dose
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