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See the World with Seniors

February 2nd, 2016 by

Travel isn’t for the young. You don’t need to be in your 20s to discover the world. As we age, learning new things and exploring new places can actually help our brains stay vital.

Unfortunately, there’s a stigma surrounding traveling with seniors.

Many people caring for seniors feel that travel isn’t an option, not considering the option of traveling with their aging loved one or partner. With a little bit of planning, seniors can experience new and wonderful corners of the world together, with their caregivers.

There are three essential steps to traveling with a senior:

  1. Know Limitations. Does your grandmother run marathons or barely get off the couch? Every senior can travel, but knowing the kind of vacation to prepare for is essential. Choose destinations that won’t over exert older travelers beyond their physical limitations, and offer places along the way to sit and relax. If you’re planning a trip that involves strenuous activities or lots of walking, it is best to have any senior travelers get a full health check beforehand.
  2. Plan. Traveling with seniors requires a bit of extra planning. Make sure that medications and essential items are available, even while on the road. Most airlines, trains, and bus companies will work with customers to safely store and provide access to temperature-sensitive medications. If your senior has a mobility issue, like a walker or wheelchair, plan for extra time in security lines, and do your homework regarding the accessibility of any hotels and venues you will be visiting.
  3. Research. Some destinations are naturally senior-friendly. Take a look through a list of destinations that cater to older visitors with your loved one, and choose a trip that you can both enjoy. Also be sure to look for senior discounts that can help make travel easier on your wallet as well.

Whether you want to explore great landmarks, visit museums, or take in some shows, traveling doesn’t have to be an adventure limited to the young.. There is no limit to the possibilities for you or your loved ones as they age, with a little planning; enjoy the chance to explore the world.

This Year, Be an Elf for Seniors

December 22nd, 2015 by

 

In Rhode Island, Santa has been getting some extra help. Elves for Elders works with local senior groups to guarantee that every senior in the area has a happy holiday. Founded a decade ago by Maxine Hutchins, Elves for Elders seeks out seniors who are alone and may not receive holiday presents.

Seniors compile wish lists and submit them to Elves for Elders. While your average teen may want a tablet or a hoverboard, most seniors ask for magazines, word-search puzzles, baby dolls, holiday ornaments, blankets, paper, pens, stamps and envelopes, socks, slippers, toiletries, and lotions. Hutchins and her crew work to make all the wishes they can come true. So far this year, the elves have 900 presents ready to deliver.

The real spirit of the holiday isn’t found in the word searches or ornaments; it’s the fact that 900 seniors who are alone this holiday season will know that someone cares for them.

At Capital City Nurses, we know the difference a personal connection can make. We carefully select our homecare staff so that you can be confident that a kind, astute person will be caring for your loved ones. Our philosophy puts an emphasis on making a connection with patients and families. We believe doing this makes us better caregivers.

This year, consider giving your loved ones a gift that will improve their lives. Make a commitment to see them as often as you can, plan outings together, and let Capital City visit when you can’t. Our Daughter Down the Street program is the perfect option for families with independently living seniors who need a little help. Our staff can help your senior run errands, start dinner, or just sit down for a chat. This program is all about the personal touch, and it can be tailored to your loved one’s needs.

This holiday season, consider doing something special for the senior in your life. Grant their holiday wishes as an honorary elf, or let Capital City Nurses’ elves work year-round to make their days bright.

Stay Connected This Holiday Season

December 18th, 2015 by

elder ladies enjoying christmas

It’s easy to lose track of what the holidays are about. There are presents to buy, decorations to hang, cards to write, and carols to sing. But while you’re hustling to make your holidays merry, remember that this season isn’t about reindeer lawn displays or buying the most presents; it’s about spending time with your loved ones.

For seniors, this is especially important. The holiday season can often lead to feelings of depression in seniors, especially if they feel isolated from family and friends. Depression is a common condition in many seniors. The Kadlec Senior Clinic reports that 10% of elders who live independently report depression. The numbers escalate when seniors live in nursing homes (25%) or are forced to stay in hospitals (45%). The holidays can exacerbate feelings of depression if elders aren’t able to make family gatherings or can’t decorate their homes the way they used to.

This holiday season, give the senior in your life the gift of connection. Organize a family decorating day, and help your favorite senior string lights and put up a holiday tree. Spend the day baking festive cookies or helping them send holiday cards. A few hours out of your day can dramatically help a senior feel the uplifting spirit of the season.

If you live too far to visit your loved one, consider sending them some holiday cheer in the form of Capital City Nurses. Our multi-tiered services include everything from full-time nursing care to Daughter Down the Street visits, which are designed to get seniors out into the world and interacting. We can help elders get to their favorite holiday play, visit and bake cookies, or take them caroling with their senior group.

At Capital City Nurses, we know that connection is the key to aging successfully. Help seniors stay connected by taking time with them this holiday season. A few hours a day can help stave off depression and create beautiful holiday memories.

Need a Little Medication Help?

January 27th, 2014 by

Chronotherapy is timing the consumption of your medication for optimal benefits and minimal side effects

Medication and Care Management
Capital City Nurses offers two levels of assistance to make it easier for clients to set up and maintain their medication schedules:

Registered nurses are available to coordinate medication orders with a client’s physicians.  Registered nurses visit on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to prepare and pour medications for a client.

Nursing assistants help clients keep track of medication schedules and provide medication reminders.
Care Management services include a detailed nursing & psychosocial assessment. On-going services can include:

  • Regular nurse visits
  • Facilitation of needed resources
  • Advocacy & liaison between medical providers
  • Status reports to family

AARP reports on this important medication strategy
Michael Smolensky, adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas, Austin says, “The body doesn’t respond to medications in the same way at different times of the day, Some drugs are not as effective or as well tolerated if they’re taken at the wrong biological time. It’s not that they’re not effective at all, but they’re certainly much less effective.”

In fact, drugs labeled “take one a day” often work better when taken at night. Modifying the timing of drugs to achieve the greatest benefit with the lowest risk of unpleasant side effects is called drug chronotherapy.

There have been tremendous advances in timing treatments for hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis, for example, according to Smolensky.

Although chronotherapy is a hot topic these days, your doctor or pharmacist may not be aware of it.

“Unfortunately, there’s a disconnect between what’s taught to doctors and what we know from chronotherapy research,” says circadian biologist Georgios Paschos of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Except for a few conditions, clinical medicine hasn’t yet caught up with our findings,” he says. But, he predicts, this will change in the next decade or two.

Click here for more information from AARP

Companionship Can Chase Away the Blues

January 27th, 2014 by

If you can’t be with your loved one during the holidays (or any other time), our Daughter/Son Down the Street services may be the answer!

“Daughter/Son Down the Street” Companion Service
Some clients don’t require medical assistance, but would like a friendly visit or a companion on excursions about town.  A “Daughter/Son Down the Street” is available to visit the National Gallery of Art, take afternoon tea, have lunch at the club, play a game of chess, or attend a concert at the Kennedy Center.

A stimulating companion helps keep seniors involved in activities they’ve enjoyed in the past. Keeping their world as “open” as possible helps avoid depression & feelings of isolation.

Dr. Vicki Rackner, MD shares this advice about ‘holiday blues’ and depression
The holiday season is quickly coming upon us. If you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one, you may notice a change in your loved one’s mood as the holidays approach. Perhaps you are one of many, who visit elderly parents and family during the holidays who live a distance away. When you visit you may notice that loved ones are not as physically active, or they show symptoms of fatigue or sadness and have no interest in the holiday or in their surroundings.

According to the National Institutes of Health; of the 35 million Americans age 65 or older, about 2 million suffer from full-blown depression. Another 5 million suffer from less severe forms of the illness. This represents about 20% of the senior population — a significant proportion.

Depression in the elderly is difficult to diagnose and is frequently untreated. The symptoms may be confused with a medical illness, dementia, or malnutrition due to a poor diet. Many older people will not accept the idea that they have depression and refuse to seek treatment.

As a care giver or family member of a depressed older person, make it your responsibility to get involved. The elder person generally denies any problems or may fear being mentally ill. You can make the difference in and remove the Holiday Blues from seniors suffering from depression. The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation offers a “Depression Tool Kit.”

Click here for more information and the tool kit

Benefits of Companion Care Services

August 18th, 2013 by

If you’ve been taking care of your own aging parent or family member, you understand how important the emotional care is to their overall health and happiness. We offer services designed to emotionally and mentally engage your loved one as well as provide practical daily living assistance in the home when needed.

Daughter Down the Street – Enjoy a visit from your surrogate daughter. You could make a trip to the store, go to lunch and a movie or even go to your doctor’s appointment with a companion that we like to say is “socially savvy.” This is our companion care service and requires a 2 hour minimum visit.

  • Friendly conversation
  • Incidental travel
  • Mental stimulation
  • Memory care and socialization

Short and Sweet – Many seniors do not require 4+ hours of care or don’t feel comfortable having someone in their home for that long. The Short and Sweet program is a 90 minute visit from a CNA to help get the day started. Our care giver will assist getting up and dressed, doing things around the house that could be helpful (like a load of laundry or organizing a closet), having breakfast or preparing a snack for later. This is a great way to introduce the idea of home care to clients that have never had it before. The visits are 90 minutes and there is a minimum of two visits per week.

  • Personal care assistance
  • Meal preparation and planning
  • Light housework
  • Medication reminders and safety

Post-Operative Care Services

August 11th, 2013 by

We recommend/require skilled nurses (LPN’s) for our post op clients. It may seem unnecessary, but our experience shows that it is better to have a skilled nurse with a post op patient, even if it a simple cosmetic or other procedure.

In the Hospital
Many people believe it is important to have a caregiver with the patient at all times. Whether your parent is uncomfortable and needs attention, or has a sudden turn for the worse, having a caregiver who will immediately get help could have a significant impact on your parent’s recovery.

We can help by providing 24 hour coverage or as few as 4 hours of coverage. Our paid caregivers are available to work within your family’s schedule, to ensure your loved one is never alone during their time of need.

In the Home
We can help ensure post-surgery and discharge instructions are being followed to help prevent readmission by reminding the individual to take medication, among other necessities. After an important surgery or hospitalization, many patients benefit from having someone at home for assistance and support after being discharged. During this initial recovery period, home care can also be an amazing comfort that can help the healing process be more successful.

Capital City Nurses Offers More

July 8th, 2013 by

Our Nurse Registry – A caregiver referral service that refers licensed, screened, background checked and insured independent contractors. This option could be a wonderful choice for clients that require longer shifts or have a strong support system helping them plan their care.

Medication Management – Maintain control over your medication regimen with the help of a Capital City Nurses RN or LPN that will reconcile all medications and pour them in a pill box weekly or bi weekly.

Daughter Down the Street – Enjoy a visit from your surrogate daughter. You could make a trip to the store, go to lunch and a movie or even go to your doctor’s appointment with a companion that we like to say is “socially savvy.” This is our companion care service and requires a 2 hour minimum visit.

Short and Sweet – Many seniors do not require 4+ hours of care or don’t feel comfortable having someone in their home for that long. The Short and Sweet program is a 90 minute visit from a CNA to help get the day started. Our care giver will assist getting up and dressed, doing things around the house that could be helpful (like a load of laundry or organizing a closet), having breakfast or preparing a snack for later. This is a great way to introduce the idea of home care to clients that have never had it before. The visits are 90 minutes and there is a minimum of two visits per week.

Our caregivers are not only highly qualified; they are part of our family. When interviewing a prospective candidate, we ask ourselves, “Would I want this person caring for my mother?”  To become a Capital City Nurse, the answer must be a resounding “Yes.”

Capital City Nurses

July 8th, 2013 by

We provide the best care available to clients and families with varying needs. Our team of nurses, nursing assistants, and care providers offers the following services:

  • Care Assessment
  •  ADL (Activities of daily living)
  • Elder Care
  • Post-Operative Care
  • Short & Sweet
  • Medication Management
  • “Daughter/Son Down the Street” Companion Service