Top Medical Screenings All Men Should Have

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

June is the perfect time to honor the men in our lives who selflessly sacrifice so much for others. Of course we celebrate these special men on Father’s Day, but June is also Men's Health Month, and a good time to make sure the men in your life are getting the medical screenings and attention they need. Here are the top medical screenings all men, particularly senior men, should have:

  • Bone Density (DXA): Beginning at age 65, all men should receive this scan every five years, and it’s especially crucial for men who are at a higher risk for bone loss: those taking corticosteroids, who are thin, or who have experienced fractures.
  • Colonoscopy: The best way to catch and cure colorectal cancer is through early detection. Men should receive a colonoscopy every five years, from age 50 for those without risk factors, but earlier if there’s a family history of colon cancer.
  • Prostate Cancer Screening: This quick and simple test saves lives, and should be performed annually starting at age 50 (or younger if symptoms such as urinary difficulties are noted).
  • Glucose Absorption Test: Used to screen for diabetes, this test should be repeated every three years for all men over age 45, and even younger for those who have high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes, or are overweight.
  • Blood Pressure: It couldn’t be easier or more convenient for men to have their blood pressure checked, at least annually. Most pharmacies and even grocery stores have machines available to perform the test for free.

THE MEDICAL TEAM can also help keep senior men healthy and well in a variety of ways with home health services such as skilled nursing care, home infusions, physical/occupational/speech therapy, coordination of home medical equipment, home health aides, and much, much more, customized to each person’s unique needs.

Our services are available throughout New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro Washington, DC areas, and we provide complimentary in-home consultations to create an individualized plan of care to address needs and help seniors thrive.

Сontact us to learn more, to schedule an assessment, or to allow us to answer any questions you may have.

Making Life with Alzheimer's a Little More Predictable

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

Life with Alzheimer’s disease, both for the person diagnosed and his or her family, is ever-changing and often challenging. Cognitive impairment can make the world a confusing place, and one of the best ways to ease anxiety and distress is through keeping each day as routine, planned, and predictable as possible.

The Alzheimer’s Association suggests creating a daily plan and organizing each day according to that plan. The first step is to consider the individual’s likes and dislikes, and to be aware of the times of day that the person is more awake and alert, and when he or she tends to benefit more from quiet and rest. The plan should be structured, but flexible enough to incorporate spontaneous activities when the person’s mood warrants.

For example, a daily plan for someone with Alzheimer’s may look like this:

Morning:

  • Breakfast and discussion about the weather and news items of interest (current or past)
  • Engage in a favorite hobby or pastime together (crafts, gardening, taking a walk)
  • Rest time

Afternoon:

  • Eat lunch and clean up together
  • Visit a friend or attend an exercise or art class together
  • Rest time

Evening:

  • Prepare and enjoy dinner together
  • Play a board or card game
  • Take a bath or shower, read aloud, and prepare for bedtime

Be sure to include a variety of activities to enhance intellectual, creative, physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing, and update the plan accordingly as you discover what works best for the senior. It’s also beneficial to include meaningful activities, such as helping with household work, sending letters or cards to friends and family, and tasks related to a former career.

If you’d like assistance with creating and following a daily plan for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, or respite care to allow family caregivers to take some much needed time for themselves, THE MEDICAL TEAM can help.

Our expert Alzheimer’s care team can provide an in-home assessment, develop an individualized plan of care, assist with a full range of specialized home care services, coordinate other medical services as needed, and much more. Serving New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro Washington, DC areas, contact us to learn more.

Clear the Air for Better COPD Care

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

COPD and infections often go hand in hand, due to a combination of dust and pollutants, and the fact that having COPD can make it difficult to clear one’s lungs. Keeping an eye out for the signs of infection, and getting help immediately, can help seniors continue to breathe easy. Contact a doctor if any of these are noticed:

  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Increased or a change in nasal discharge or congestion
  • Fever of 101 degrees or higher
  • Wheezing or an increase in shortness of breath
  • Increased mucous, particularly if green or yellow in color

The best way to manage infections is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. These tips can help:

Avoid pollutants. Secondhand tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes, wood fires, dust and pollen can all contribute to COPD symptoms and increase the risk of infection.

Practice healthy hygiene. Be sure to wash hands often throughout the day, especially before cooking and eating, after using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, and when in close proximity to those suffering from a cold or flu. Hand sanitizers are helpful, but warm water and soap are preferred.

Meet nutritional needs. Consuming plenty of fluids, including 48 – 64 ounces of plain water each day, and eating a balanced diet comprised of each of the main food groups, helps the body resist and fight infection.

Take care of equipment. Keep all equipment clean, such as oxygen, inhalers, nebulizers, etc. – and never share any breathing equipment with others.

Watch the weather. In extremely hot or cold weather, during times of high humidity, and when air quality is poor or pollen counts are high, stay indoors.

THE MEDICAL TEAM, serving New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro Washington, DC areas, can help those with COPD experience a higher quality of life in a variety of ways. We offer a full range of skilled nursing care services, including specialized high-tech services, home health aides to ensure medications are taken as prescribed and help with personal care, meal preparation, housework and laundry, and much more. We can also arrange for medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, hospital beds, and other rehabilitative equipment.

Contact us any time to learn more or to arrange for an in-home consultation.

Let's Talk About Senior Depression

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

    It's Mental Health Awareness Month, and it's a good time to talk, really talk, about senior depression. The changes that can come with aging – decreased independence, loss of loved ones and friends, physical infirmities, and more - can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

    It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect senior depression in an older adult. Help is available, and early intervention is key to help improve the senior’s mood, quality of life and wellbeing. Ignoring the problem or thinking the senior will “snap out of it” is not the right approach. Help seniors get the help they need by recognizing the signs of depression and assisting them in finding the right treatment.

    Symptoms of senior depression can include:

    • Appetite or eating changes
    • Lethargy
    • Withdrawal from social situations and/or previously enjoyed activities
    • Feelings of irritability, apathy, restlessness or worthlessness
    • Sadness and crying
    • Physical pain

    A variety of effective treatment options are available:

    • Lifestyle improvements, such as healthy sleep and eating patterns
    • Engaging in physical, social, and emotional enhancement activities
    • Psychological counseling
    • Medications such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), antidepressants, and more

    THE MEDICAL TEAM can also provide customized help for older adults experiencing senior depression. Our Journey Behavioral Health Program is available for homebound seniors diagnosed with depression or other psychiatric conditions, offering a full range of skilled nursing care for the senior and support and resources for family caregivers.

    We also offer friendly companionship services to help seniors stay socially engaged, accompaniment services for medical appointments and other outings, help with housework and meal preparation, and so much more. Our services are available throughout New Orleans, Detroit, Austin*, Dallas, and the metro Washington, DC areas. Contact us for more tips and resources, to ask us any questions, or to schedule an in-home consultation to learn more.

    *The Journey Behavioral Health Program is not available in our Texas locations.

Tips for Being a Better Cancer Caregiver

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

    With more than a million and a half new cancer diagnoses given in 2016 in the U.S. alone, most of us will at some point be impacted by the disease. And in many cases, family members are taking on the role of caregiver for their loved ones with cancer, often without fully understanding the implications: the time commitment, emotional strain, and the hefty toll on the caregiver’s own wellbeing.

    As with any new situation, knowledge is key. THE MEDICAL TEAM recommends that family caregivers learn as much as possible about both the type of cancer an older loved is battling, and the details surrounding his or her treatment plan – and how that will affect the family caregiver as he or she steps into a new role as cancer caregiver. These tips can help.

    What does a cancer patient need from his or her family caregiver? On a practical level, the cancer patient will likely require transportation on an ongoing basis to either an outpatient treatment center or hospital. Depending on the level of treatment side effects and symptoms of the disease itself, the person may also need assistance with day-to-day activities of living: dressing, meals, cleaning, and personal care such as bathing. Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – the person with cancer will need companionship and emotional support.

    How does caring for a cancer patient affect the family caregiver’s life? Caregivers’ lives can be greatly enhanced through the experience of providing care, offering a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Conversely, caregiving can, quite honestly, be draining: physically, emotionally, and mentally. Caregivers should research self-care tips to help keep them mentally, emotionally, and physically strong throughout the caregiving process.

    Where can family caregivers turn for help? It’s crucial that family caregivers seek out a strong support network of friends, family, online or in-person support groups, etc., and be sure to set aside enough time to take care of themselves. Professional in-home care providers, such as THE MEDICAL TEAM, can provide respite care to ensure that family members have sufficient time away to rest and recharge, knowing their loved ones are in safe, reliable hands.

    To learn more about how THE MEDICAL TEAM can assist with cancer care, or for more resources, contact us any time.