Monday, July 21, 2014

Parent in a Nursing Home, Question to ask Beforehand

If you are ever faced with, putting a parent or other loved one in a nursing home you usually ask all the questions you can think of off the top of your head. What type of questions should you ask, and how do you know if you are being told the truth, and not the nursing home's version of the truth?

Ask about staff to resident ratio in the nursing home, and you will generally be told it is higher then it really is. For a more honest look at the figures, when you walk in a nursing home across the nation you will see a piece of paper with those staff ratios and it is more honest then what you will be told by the administrator.

This piece of paper will list only nursing staff, you will see RN, those are the registered nurse's and on the day shift there will be plenty of them in a nursing home. In the evening there maybe only one RN, but most units or floors will have at least two LPN's (licensed practical nurses). The CNA column is the amount of certified nurse's aides on staff per shift.

For a 200-bed nursing home during a day shift, you may see six RN's, up to 12 LPN's and twenty-five CNA's. This looks great on paper and if an aide calls in sick; chances are that aide is not replaced. Sometimes when an LPN calls in sick it is not listed on the paper, nor are they replaced. For the day shift, you have generally 18 licensed staff members and 25 certified staff members to take care of 200 residents. That is not bad on paper, and if all show up as scheduled, it works fine.

It is not a reality usually that everyone shows up which means everyone is working harder then usual. The best bet to get a real glimpse is to just open your eyes and walk on a unit with the administrator on a tour of a nursing home, and keep your eyes open. Do a rough head count of the staff members on a unit, see if they are over worked.

Day shift is usually staffed better then the other shifts and be very apprehensive of a 200-bed nursing home, which has only less then seven aides scheduled on the night shift. Those seven aides will be responsible for turning residents, who need to be turned every four hours, and walk any residents who are able to the bathroom and assist them there.

What planned activities do the nursing home have for residents? If there is an activity going on during your tour of the nursing home, look and see how the staff is interacting with the residents. Do the residents look happy; do the staff members look happy? A good nursing home will have plenty of activities that residents of all abilities can participate in.

Usually on every unit of floor of the nursing home, you will see a calendar of events, planned activities for the month for the residents. Do the activities look like something your parent or loved one would enjoy?

Ask questions such as can you come in and volunteer at these activities if you choose this nursing home for your parent. A good nursing home always needs plenty of volunteers to help occasionally and this is a great way to see what goes on at a nursing home from the inside.

How will the therapists at the nursing home help your parent? Visit the physical therapy room, and talk with the therapist if possible. Therapists are not only there for the residents who need rehabilitation, they are there to help the residents maintain what physical skills they have currently. The therapists in a nursing home also work with the staff members on correct posture, so that the staff knows how to transfer a resident safely who may not cooperate all the time from a wheelchair to a regular chair.

In a nursing home, your loved one will have the best care possible if you ask the right questions and make mental notes on staffing issues. Get to know the staff, be a frequent visitor, and get in to helping out as much as you can.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Natural Healing Migraines

Having endured migraine headaches since I was a young girl of five years old I have dealt with too many within my lifetime. If there were a magical pill I could take to end them for the last time I certainly would do that, but there is no magical pill so I have learned ways to deal with them so I control them and not the other way around.

Last summer I wrote an article about how to ease migraine headaches and limit how much they control my life. Those migraine headaches medicines both prescription and over the counter just make me far more ill, so I do not use them very much.
Most people who do suffer from migraine headaches also report that medication taken at the wrong time will set our bodies into vomit mode. When your head is pounding the last thing you want, is your body to vomit, so why take medicines when you know it will happen? I have had countless iv fluids and even been hospitalized before I found the answers I sought for so long.
You need real migraine headaches help and it is not going to come out of a bottle or even a shot if you do not watch what you eat on a daily basis. Trust me, one that one folks, I have found a way to control my pain simply but avoiding food and other triggers.
Did you know that some of the very foods you eat could cause migraine headaches? It is true and once I had heard this long ago I searched for a book and found it. That book is long gone but the lessons learned remain with me today many years later because I learned that migraine headaches can be caused by certain foods.
Hot dogs, processed cheese, lunch meats and chocolate all are migraine headaches triggers. Limiting these foods can help; my limit is two grilled hot dogs (which I love) before the migraine headaches sets in. I did write an article on these as well and you can locate more of those food triggers here.
This is a great idea to figure out what triggers migraine headaches, but there are so many triggers out there. These migraine headaches triggers not include not only foods but stress and things in our environment as well. It surely is enough to make your head spin.
Creating a trigger notebook will allow you to see a pattern of your migraine headaches and once you see the patterns you can realize what your triggers are. All you need to do is write down foods you ate during the day, stress levels, and what is happening around you.
Sunlight is a trigger for me, so I try to stay out of it, but even inside I must guard against it. Sunlight streaming through a window will set off migraine headaches, as will sleeping on too flat of a pillow.
If I do happen to get migraine headaches even with the precautions that I take, I try rubbing my neck, taking a hot shower, take a few capsules of fever few or use a hot rice bag to relieve the pain. A rice bag is a great way to relieve the pain from migraine headaches. These rice bags are great for any type of pain that you maybe experiencing and can be made any size.