Goodbye, Barbara Jean…Seeing Her through to the End. ~ It’s the permanence that’s getting to me. The knowing that now, the phone will never say her name on caller ID again. It’s knowing that soon, my phone won’t be ringing with things related to her,
Pneumonia: The Silent Killer
This is the season that brings so many weather changes to many states and areas, and often towards the snowy and cold side of things. Cold weather and being cooped up inside heated houses causes all the bacteria and germs to circulate more frequently. This means, those who are in close quarters in a job, or in the same facility like a hospital or nursing home have a higher probability of catching each others germs, thusly creating mixed illnesses. The best prevention is often knowledge on how to avoid the spread of germs in the first place. In the elderly, pneumonia can be especially tricky, as it can mimic many other issues. Know the causes. Know the Symptoms.
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Lower than normal body temperature in people older than age 65, and in people with poor overall health or weakened immune systems
- Cough, which may produce thick, sticky fluid
- Chest pain when you breathe deeply or cough
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue and muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
Causes of Pneumonia.
- Bacteria; such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. Bacterial community-acquired pneumonia can occur on its own or after you have a cold or respiratory flu. This type of pneumonia often affects one area (lobe) of the lung, a condition called lobar pneumonia.
- Bacteria-like organisms; such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which typically produce milder signs and symptoms than do other types of pneumonia. “Walking pneumonia,” a term used to describe pneumonia that isn’t severe enough to require bed rest, may result from Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
- Viruses; including some that are the same type of viruses that cause colds and flu. Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 2 years. Viral pneumonia is usually mild. But viral pneumonia caused by certain influenza viruses, such as sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), can become very serious.
- Fungi; which can be found in soil and in bird droppings. This type of pneumonia is most common in people with an underlying health problem or weakened immune system and in people who have inhaled a large dose of the organisms.
Complications from Pneumonia.
- Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia). Bacteria that enter the bloodstream from your lungs can spread the infection to other organs, potentially causing organ failure.
- Lung abscess. An abscess occurs if pus forms in a cavity in the lung. An abscess is usually treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery or drainage with a long needle or tube placed into the abscess is needed to remove the pus.
- Fluid accumulation around your lungs (pleural effusion). Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected, you may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.
- Difficulty breathing. If your pneumonia is severe or you have chronic underlying lung diseases, you may have trouble breathing in enough oxygen. You may need to be hospitalized and use a mechanical ventilator while your lung heals.
Are you Autoimmune? Do you know Your Options?
The past few weeks, we took part in the Autoimmune Summit. It was a large gathering of over 35 of the world’s top autoimmune doctors, functional medicine docs, nutritionists, and the like all coming together to provide a free seminar, essentially, for those who signed up. Anyone can still own this summit by visiting their website, and purchasing the entire package.
We have decided to share what our friend, Skye Falcon, has been writing about on her blog page about everything that was talked about in the summit. We’re pretty sure she took more notes than we did, and we really liked her first post in the series. Yes, series. There was so much information given in this summit, and many cannot afford to buy the series. We’re happy to be able to share posts to help spread the choices, options, and treatments available to those with these types of illnesses.
Please use this link to head to Skye’s page to read about autoimmune diseases and healthy eating! Thanks for visiting!!
Holidays are Here Again! (We’re BACK and Hopefully Done with our Hiatus!)
Elderly Care Resources has spent the last few months moving! Anyone who has moved with multiple children after living in a house for 11 years knows exactly what that’s like!! We’ll be getting back to the blog in full swing in the next few weeks, bringing you much information from the recent Autoimmune Summit that has been hosted by many of the top doctors, nutritionists and leaders in the autoimmune world.
While we haven’t been busy on our ECR page, we HAVE been VERY busy everywhere else!! In October, we published our first gluten free cook book, OH, Forks!! A Little Bit of Everything and All That’s Gluten Free with Author Skye Falcon and Gluten Free for Me. It’s a fabulous book, made from 100% recycled paper, and over 200 pages filled with pictures, simple directions, versatile ingredients, and nutrition labels!!
For the Holidays, we’ve made a few deals on these books! Please check out the Gluten Free for Me Facebook page, or check out their latest blog post for details!
We’re excited to share with our reading community everything we’ve learned from the autoimmune summit!! We also hope that your winter is starting off well, and want you to remember your winter safety precautions against falls, and staying warm!!
Some have sent in comments asking about my Grandma, too. I will try to get an update about her done, too. Thanks for asking, and still thinking of her. She needs all the prayers she can get. #justicefornancy
Elderly Care Resources: Updates July 2014
In the past year, our family has dealt with horrendous crimes against our elderly family members. Because of this, I have been pulled away from one blog, to focus solely on writing about Justice for Nancy, and keeping the world updated on the horrible guilty felon, Zachery Doan. You too can read these updates, and how things have progressed with my 80 year old Grandma’s brutal beating and home invasion, and subsequent blindness and essential loss of life. Justice for Nancy updates and stories are on our friend, Author Skye Falcon’s blog.
For my Grandma’s, I’ll be stepping back into this site. You’ll see more articles and tips and tricks, safety, living issues, as well as how to help them deal with awkward situations, or problems they may be too ashamed or upset to fully discuss. We’ll be covering state laws dealing with DNR and end of life choices, as well as hospice issues in our state of Indiana, and others.
Our world is turning into an unsafe place for the vulnerable, especially seniors and the elderly. As in my Grandma’s case, children she use to give candy to, chat with, and throw a ball to ended up being the ones who stalked her, beat down her back door, used her to steal money, and beat her beyond recognition. In these situations, it’s hard for them to draw a line between old memories of good times with children, to the new odd behavior, and bad situations with the grown kids, now turned criminal. Even immediate next door neighbors can be out to get you, just like this case here.
So, stay tuned for new articles and such. We hope you’re having a safe summer!!
World Scleroderma Day!! What do you know about this disease?
Many of our readers deal with Systemic Scleroderma on their skin, in patches around their legs, hips, and joints. Many of your hands are inflamed, sore, and taught. Many of you just wish for some relief, minus the piles of pills, heating pads, and ice packs. Minus the breathing machines, chemo meds, and insomnia.
On World Scleroderma Day, it’s everyone’s chance to help spread the word on this autoimmune disease. One of the worst in the list of diseases, this hardens your body often from the inside out, or vice versa- from the outside in. Normally there is no rhyme or reason. Something triggers inside your body, and your body begins attacking its own organs. Over and over. Relentlessly. The only way to stop the attacks are to take massive amounts of steroids, chemo, or other immune suppressants to control the flares. Sometimes those meds cause a whole other list of issues that sometimes, don’t feel necessary to go through.
This blog post is from our friend, Author Skye Falcon. She deals with Scleroderma, and often writes about the tribulations and trials that life throws in her way. She asks for people to help spread the word about this, “excuse the humor…..very HARD disease.” Check out her post.
Please take a moment to like this blog, or share it, if you know someone who has, or is going through, a fight with an autoimmune disease. Comment with the disease that’s stealing days away from your friends or loved ones. Let’s spread the word on all the diseases, and get more accessible endocrine and genetic testing! Consider using this icon on your social media pages to show your support!!
Who will Stand Up for You? Choosing the Best to Represent Your End of Life Wishes
Sometime in your years, you’re going to need to depend on someone to know, understand, and follow out your wishes. This is an inevitable part of life. The issues that you should consider before you decide on who you want to be, “your person,” (or people) for lack of a better word, should include your end-of-life wants, estate planning, POA planning, and more. In many States, and in many families, this is a heated issue.
Should family members be required to follow a person’s wants, even if they are incapacitated, and cannot make the decision?? Should the family members be able to do what they want to do, because they see the 1% chance that recovery *may* happen, as the light at the end of the tunnel?? Should any family member have the right to trump the written, signed decree, to prolong a life that is less than quality, or satisfactory for the person now bedridden, or whose life has been changed forever?
With the situations that our family has dealt with in the past few years, and are currently dealing with, I implore you to make sure that the person, or people, you select to do this for you are trust worthy, and have never, ever made you question their loyalty. Even those in your life who smile to your face, invite you to birthday parties, post on your Facebook page occasionally, and front to others as if they care. Don’t just pick any one, take your time, and have those conversations. Observe them, and their actions with others. If they have dealt with these types of situations before, check their track record.
The most important thing to remember is that your end of life rights and wants are just that—YOURS. There is no question that whatever YOU want to happen in the end is YOUR choice. While it’s never easy for any family member to say good-bye, at no time do YOUR rights cease to matter before your last breath.
If you are faced with this currently, ask yourself these questions about your possible POA, or caregiver:
-Will this person honor my wishes 100%? Even if it means taking personal hits to defend my rights?
-Does this/these people have my best interest at heart? And mind?
-Have these people caused distress in my life, at any time, over the years?
-Are they there when I need them? Or only when I’ve got something to give, or they can benefit?
-Does this person/people show respect to me at all times?
-Does this person/people stand up for me, when I cannot defend myself?
If you’re interested in reading more about estate planning in Indiana, check out this book that covers just about everything! The Complete Guide to Estate Planning in Indiana on Amazon. Or get updates on Living Wills, Wills, and End of Life Rights by checking out the book, Healthcare power of Attorney and Living Will Kit, also on Amazon.
On a personal note, it should be stated that this was spurred from current drama, and nonsense, by a group of “adults” who would rather treat people like their own possessions, and push their own needs on to them, rather than doing what said person wants in the first place. Thankfully, these “adults” are not the ones that will see to it that this person will have every single one of her wishes honored, at whatever cost. I will assist those honoring those wishes at any cost. <3 nlb <3
Seniors Need Funding and Rights, too!
In most states we researched, seniors and elderly people do not feel that they are being heard by a number of government agencies that were created to do just that- help them. Of course, many or all now know that the government is broken in so many places, that it’s hard to even pin point where to go to fix the issues. However, as there is a division for children and family services in most all states that the government supports, there is not a specific division there to help seniors.
In some states, there are some “things” set up for the elderly, but it is nothing that is just readily available to them. These are things that they have to fight to get. As an elderly senior, fighting for rights, for better identity theft protection, and laws against elder abuse… they should not have to be fighting for!
Recently in Louisiana, seniors protested at the State Capitol to have a bill pushed through that would assist them with such fights with these programs. This bill is also pushing for more funding for the Office of Elderly affairs, and programs that it supports. It is these types of programs, and incentives, that truly do make the lives of the elderly easier, and more worth fighting for. State officials in Louisiana also pointed out that if they had more programs, incentives, and the like for seniors, it could open up a whole other avenue in having more seniors retire to their state for the duration of their lives.
Medical Marijuana and the Quiet Use in Our Elderly Community
By now, you’ve heard that many states are beginning to legalize the use of medical marijuana, and even some areas where recreationally using pot is now not considered a major crime. Finally! Medical marijuana has been used for years by so many people secretively, and cured so many ailments that even the best prescription drugs just cannot touch. There are certain areas, however, even in the states where legalization has occurred, that certain groups of people do not have access, or even knowledge, that a drug like a CBD exists.
People are choosing to ingest and try the more natural cannabidiol (CBDs) that are in medical marijuana, instead of taking some of their 35 daily prescription medications. Many studies have been done proving that CBD tablets, when taken in a regimen, have been known to destroy cancer cells, and temporarily curve major issues in humans, such as pain, nausea, muscle spasms, and so much more. Many times, with the elderly, a new ailment means a new medication. Sometimes that new medication then reacts and interacts badly with an old medication, causing horrendous side effects or damage done internally. There are more risk in mixing prescription medication, than in taking medical marijuana. Period.
In California, this topic is growing quickly. The Kaiser clinics have begun quietly pushing their elderly patients into dispensaries, and legal prescriptions, to try medical marijuana for their pain, and other ailments. Why are they doing this, you wonder? Think about the elderly 80 year old man you know, or you knew. There came a point in his life where he couldn’t get around like he did, due to massive amounts of bone pain. Not to mention his lungs. He’s got cancer, and it’s progressing slowly. For just those two ailments alone, this man could be on close to twenty different medications. If he takes ANY for pain, he’s probably in a medicine fog, feeling like he is half-way to drunk on the meds. Granted, he may be in less pain on these meds, but should he really be forced to give up his life quality to forgo the pain? What if he could have NO pain, and still be in his mind enough to move a bit? Or make his own coffee? What if the medicine he COULD take would also help bring back his appetite, and relax the rest of his issues as well?
Thinking of it like that, I’m sure you can see why CBDs need to be more talked about and discussed when visiting the primary care doctors of your elderly loved ones and friends. Without doctors becoming more knowledgeable about CBDs and the real possibilities of medical marijuana, some people may be being denied some of the best, more natural options available today. Keep in mind that this is not a smoke-able marijuana. This is not your pot on the corner, although, that does help in some of the same ways as medical marijuana. Difference is it was not grown in control, and may have “full strength” THC and other things in it to make you actually “high.” Whereas medical marijuana does not bring the “high,” only the helpful side effects of calming your body, mind, and belly.
California is working hard on opening the availability of cannabidiol medications to be allowed in nursing facilities, and hospitals. The nice thing is that caretakers can handle the paperwork, and even getting these meds for their loved ones, in certain cases. There are certain groups that can be found by searching the internet on the topic that will bring these types of medications into nursing home facilities for seniors, when they cannot get them. But again, the major thing to remember with this is that unless more doctors speak up on how this truly works, there will be no great strides for the elderly to have this as an option for their ailments.
Seniors & STDs: April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month
In this day and age, you’d think that nursing homes main focus would be preventing pneumonia and the flu from spreading rampantly throughout the facility. You’d think that retirement community’s main issues would be which band to have play at the summer festival. Maybe you’d consider that ID theft may be the focus of the weekly meeting put on by the local chamber of commerce for your elderly relatives in nursing facilities. But what if I told you that you were wrong, and now the latest meeting for Grandma and Grandpa are on how to prevent STIs and STDs from spreading down their hall in the facility? It’s true, and it’s happening at an alarming rate.
The troubling facts about chlamydia and gonorrhea is that for those over 50, and into their 60s and 70s, the numbers are even higher than the national averages. WebMD states that the numbers, while steadily growing, are also very misleading, as they are ONLY representing the people who have sought treatment and help for their STIs. This is such a cause for concern that Medicare has also said that they will begin covering all sexually transmitted disease testing for the elderly.
In a recent Reuter’s survey, adults over the age of 50 were tested to determine percentage of time a condom was used, or introduced, in a situation that deemed one necessary. The survey showed emphatically, that your children know more than the elderly when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, and safety. Reuters said their survey showed that 50-year-olds are six times less likely to use a condom than men in their 20s.
This information may be shocking to you, but this is something I deal with working at the School of Loving Arts all the time. Facts are facts, and older people are not comfortable discussing anything intimate openly. This includes safety. Often times, those entering retirement homes or nursing homes do not even think of any sexual aspects to being there. Humans are humans, however, and their need to find pleasure always seems to win out. It may be rough for you to make sure that your elderly and senior relatives are safe in the sexual department, but it really is not as hard as it seems.
Here are a few things that you can do to ensure that your loved ones and senior friends are safe in their sexual ventures.
*Discuss the importance and simplicity of condoms, and give them freely.
*Discuss sexually transmitted diseases: chlamydia, gonorrhea, AIDS/HIV, herpes, and others
*Encourage the complex or facility to offer human sexuality classes or groups on sexual education
*Encourage your loved one or senior friends to be open and communicate in their personal relationships.
The important thing to remember about STIs is that they are treatable when caught early. If you, or someone you know, are having symptoms of any sexually transmitted infection, please seek out your doctor immediately.