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In the United States, one in five adults will experience a mental illness in any given year. This includes a large number of people who are living with a terminal illness—and their caregivers—who must cope with facing the end of life and making the necessary arrangements.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As one of the country’s leading hospice providers, our team is devoted to connecting you with the care you need if you are living with a mental illness.
Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 by Mental Health America. The goal of this observance is to help Americans understand the importance of achieving good mental health and to empower people with mental health issues to seek treatment. Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportune time to learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of various mental health disorders.
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is “Look Around, Look Within.” It calls for Americans to focus on how one’s surroundings can impact their mental health. Specific topics that align with this year’s theme include:
If you can identify specific factors that may be impacting your mental health, it’s time to make changes to your surroundings that can get you on the path to feeling better. For example, if you have a serious, debilitating health condition affecting your ability to carry out normal everyday tasks, it may be time to seek assistance from a home health care provider.
Caring for your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health. Experiencing mental health symptoms like sadness, depression, anxiety, and stress every day for a long period can affect your career, relationships, social life, and general well-being. An untreated mental illness can also increase your risk for a wide range of physical health problems including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Unfortunately, stigma continues to surround mental illness and prevents many people with mental health problems from seeking the help they need to become healthier and improve their quality of life.
Mental health treatment can help you identify the factors in your life that are causing your symptoms and empower you to make changes that can reduce their impact on your mental well-being. If you are living with a terminal illness, seeking mental health treatment is especially important given how terminal illness places you at higher risk for anxiety and depression.
Having a terminal illness—such as cancer—is one of the top risk factors associated with mental illness. If you have a terminal illness or are caring for someone with a terminal illness, you may need help coping with certain treatments and with facing the end of life.
We offer hospice services that are personalized for every patient based on their mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health needs—including mental health treatment. Counseling, bereavement, and support group therapy are some of the many mental health services offered by our hospice care providers. Our interdisciplinary teams are comprised of compassionate physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and others who are dedicated to helping you and your loved ones navigate a terminal illness while caring for your mental health.
If you are suffering from a mental health issue, don’t hesitate to speak up and come to us with your concerns. We will be more than happy to connect you with the help and treatment you need and guide you and your loved ones toward finding the right treatments that can improve your quality of life.
Contact us today to speak with one of our representatives and learn more about our hospice and mental health services.
This May, join us in celebration of America’s 4.4 million registered nurses who make a touching difference in the lives of patients and their families. Exceptional nurses often have a true passion for helping others, backed by compassion and empathy.
In honor of this month, we express our appreciation for home health nurses, hospice nurses, and nurses who work in the skilled nursing facilities that partner with us as hospice and home health providers.
Nurses make a profound impact in improving the quality of life of individuals in skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and home health care. We invite social workers, medical professionals, and anyone who has been touched by a nurse to celebrate Nurse Appreciation Month with us. This is your reminder to thank your nurses and show you appreciate their “special touch”.
Nurses working in skilled nursing facilities serve a vital role in helping individuals get back on their feet after an injury or illness. While in rehabilitative nursing care, patients are supported by nurses who are committed to helping them improve their quality of life and regain strength during recovery.
Often, it is because of the support from nurses in rehabilitative nursing care that individuals can safely return to their homes for ongoing support from home health nurses. This allows individuals to continue recovering from the comfort of their own homes.
Throughout the month of May, we also recognize and show we appreciate the exceptional home health nurses that support patients in their homes. Home health nurses play a vital role in supporting an individual’s road to recovery as they strive to regain independence and autonomy in the home. Home health staff support the holistic health of individuals beyond physical care by also providing social and emotional support.
Hospice nurses have a special role in the lives of patients diagnosed with a terminal illness and their families. Nurses providing end-of-life care through hospice services help reduce unnecessary pain and suffering, making individuals as comfortable as possible in their final months or days of life. In addition, hospice nurses generously share their skills and compassion to provide supportive care that improves an individual’s quality of life, developing strong bonds with patients and their families.
Often, hospice nurses go above and beyond the call of duty, showing exceptional compassion for those nearing the end of their life. Not only do hospice nurses support an individual’s wishes, but they also provide support resources for family and friends during difficult times. Most families never forget the lasting impact the nurses made during an incredibly challenging period in their life.
Nurses in skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and home health nurses demonstrate admirable qualities such as compassion, patience, and empathy. On behalf of our team and our partners, we honor the champions that have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of others. We couldn’t do it without you!
April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), designed to “inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.” Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be overwhelming for individuals and their families.
When diagnosed with a terminal illness, knowing where to turn next can be difficult. Furthermore, many people have misconceptions about hospice and when it should be introduced. This article will break down these common misconceptions surrounding hospice.
Hospice care is for people with a prognosis of 6 months or less if their disease runs its natural course. This type of care focuses on making those with a terminal illness as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Hospice care includes social, medical, emotional, and spiritual support. The goal of hospice care is to provide terminally ill patients the opportunity to live the last stages of their life with comfort and dignity.
Unfortunately, many common misconceptions surrounding hospice may prevent individuals from taking advantage of hospice’s many benefits. One common misconception is that “hospice is a place.” However, hospice can be provided wherever a patient is located, which sometimes includes right in their home. Another common misconception is that “hospice is giving up,” but this could not be further from the truth. Many people end up living longer in hospice or sometimes graduate from hospice and no longer qualify.
While on hospice, patients can choose to keep their primary care physician (PCP). Hospice care staff will work with your PCP and other healthcare professionals to provide collaborative care. Some people also avoid hospice care because they feel it is “pointless” as their illness is terminal. While curative treatment may no longer be an option, that doesn’t mean other efforts serve no purpose. Living with a terminal illness can often cause individuals lots of pain. That’s why hospice care is a great option, as it serves to make individuals as comfortable and pain-free as possible. These supportive measures are key in the final stages of a person’s life.
Instead of waiting until the very end to receive hospice care, individuals with a terminal illness can fully benefit from hospice care sooner rather than later. Others may decide to stop hospice to try another experimental treatment. Hospice can be designed to work for each patient’s individual needs. With hospice, you or your loved one are in the “driver’s seat” of your own healthcare decisions.
Hospice care is a great healthcare option when curative treatment is no longer viable. Furthermore, hospice isn’t just for the last days or weeks of life. Hospice can support individuals for several months. Don’t let the common misconceptions surrounding hospice hold you or a loved one back from receiving supportive care.
Our care team supports patients in determining their own goals of care during the final stages of their illness. Our hospice care service focuses on comfort, support, quality of life, and education. Contact us today to discuss your questions and personal needs.
World Health Day is observed every year to bring awareness to the importance of practicing and achieving optimal health and wellness. In honor of World Health Day, our goal is to help you learn and understand more about specific healthcare services that can improve your quality of life if you are living with a chronic illness.
World Health Day occurs every year on April 7. It was created by the World Health Organization and founded on this day in 1948. The purpose of World Health Day is to promote and celebrate the importance of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
April 7, 2023, marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. This year’s theme is Health For All. This day is the perfect time to reflect on the many public health successes that have shaped today’s healthcare industry and have greatly improved the quality of life for billions of people worldwide.
Suffering or recovering from a serious illness can be extremely stressful. Debilitating symptoms like chronic pain can greatly interfere with your quality of life, as can spending lots of time in sterile, hospital-like environments that take you away from your family and home. Home health and hospice care can make you feel happier, more comfortable, and less stressed—regardless of whether you are recovering from a short-term condition or coping with a terminal illness.
Home health focuses on helping you recover from an illness, injury, or surgical procedure. It can help you become more independent and teach you how to successfully live with and manage a chronic condition such as kidney disease, heart disease, or lung disease. This type of care is given to you in the privacy and comfort of your home.
Hospice care focuses on making you feel as comfortable as possible when living with a terminal illness, such as cancer. This collaborative approach involves physicians, social workers, spiritual advisors, hospice aides, and other healthcare professionals who strive to make your last days as fulfilling as possible. This type of care can be delivered anywhere you call home.
Home health is ideal for anyone in recovery from an illness, injury, or surgery who needs help getting back to their daily activities, but whose condition doesn’t necessarily require hospitalization. For example, home health may benefit you if you recently had open-heart surgery and must stay home for several weeks to recover and take it easy. Your doctor can determine whether home health services are ideal for you based on your unique condition and situation.
Hospice care is ideal for those with a terminal illness who want to reduce their pain and feel as comfortable as possible until the end of life. You may be eligible for hospice care if you have a terminal illness and need continuous oxygen, have difficulty swallowing, suffer from constant pain, or frequently experience shortness of breath. Your doctor can talk to you in greater detail about hospice care and determine whether you’re an ideal candidate for this service.
Knowing about various types of healthcare solutions, such as home health and hospice services, can help you make more educated decisions for yourself or your loved one.
We understand how overwhelming it can be to navigate and choose the best type of health care when you or your loved one is managing or living with a serious illness. Let us help you choose the right program to provide you or your loved one with the best possible quality of life.
Contact us today.
Did you know that March is National Kidney Health Awareness month? Each March helps raise awareness about promoting good kidney health and highlights how home health and hospice care can help support those with kidney disease.
Sadly, kidney disease is often referred to as a silent disease that can manifest without the presence of many symptoms in its early stages. Often, individuals diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are unaware of their condition until it has advanced to later stages.
Before you can understand ways to protect your kidneys, it’s vital to understand the critical function of kidneys in the body. Kidneys help regulate the body’s fluid levels, filtering out waste and toxins from the bloodstream. In addition, your kidneys release an essential hormone in blood pressure regulation. Kidneys also serve many secondary purposes, such as activating Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones and keeping blood minerals like potassium and sodium in the correct balance.
With all these vital functions in mind, it’s clear that protecting your body’s kidneys is crucial to good health.
Promoting good kidney health starts with protecting your kidneys. First and foremost, drinking enough fluids daily keeps your kidneys functioning effectively. Adults who do not have a diagnosed kidney condition should drink about 9 to 13 cups of fluid daily, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Your diet and lifestyle are also quite important to maintaining good kidney health. By eating a well-rounded diet and maintaining a healthy body weight, you’ll help protect your kidneys from many factors that contribute to kidney damage. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. It may take time, but developing a regular exercise routine can go a long way in helping support your overall health, as well as your kidney health.
Drinking too much alcohol can also wreak havoc on your kidneys and put them at risk for kidney disease. Consume alcohol in moderation. In addition, smokers are at an increased risk for kidney disease.
If you or a loved one has received a kidney disease health diagnosis, there is help. Our team offers supportive in-home services for individuals in need. We review services for individuals on dialysis on a case-by-case basis. Some individuals can continue dialysis treatments while also receiving supportive home health or hospice services. To learn more about how home health and hospice services can help you or a loved one, speak to a representative to discuss your unique situation.
Interested in learning more about the home health or hospice services available to individuals receiving dialysis? Contact us today.
Social work is a sector within the world of healthcare that is aimed at meeting the basic needs of individuals, families, and communities. Social workers provide support and act as advocates for patients who are working through psychological, health, family, and financial struggles. They can often refer patients to the proper professionals and can provide them with resources to assist with meeting needs such as housing, food, and therapy. Social workers are especially important when it comes to assisting patients who would have no means of bettering their living situation without help.
Social workers can work in a variety of different settings, and one of the settings where they offer a huge contribution is within home health. Individuals receiving home healthcare are often considered part of a vulnerable population as they are receiving care to assist with activities of daily living. Most individuals receiving home healthcare are dealing with physical ailments, mental ailments, or a combination of both. They rely on and trust the individuals that make up their team of caregivers. In addition to the medical professionals that provide home healthcare, social workers serve as a crucial component of a well-rounded support team.
When a loved one, a family member, or a friend is receiving home healthcare, having someone to look out for their financial situation, living condition, and mental health can help ease your stress and improve their overall quality of life. This is where social workers bring huge value to the home health world. There are several primary goals that social workers often focus on to best care for their patients. A safe living space is at the top of the list. Social workers can help to ensure there are no hazards in the home and that everything your loved one needs is accessible. Additionally, they can offer numerous programs and referrals to make sure the proper professionals are available to your loved one to meet their unique needs. This can include referrals to nutrition counseling, adult social care, support groups, transportation services, and more. The overall wellness and stability of your loved one can be preserved by the help of a social worker.
Well rounded and collaborative care is the most important thing for your loved one when they are receiving home healthcare. The role of the social worker compliments the medical team by paying special attention to the individual’s mental health and quality of life. Incorporating a social worker into the home healthcare of your loved one will elevate their quality of life and ensure thye are safe and supported in all the ways they need!
Image 1 – https://www.tuw.edu/program-resources/day-life-social-worker/
Image 2 – https://converge.colorado.edu/social-sciences/social-work/
Accredited Nursing –
Referring Patients and Family Caregivers to Community-Based Services: A Provider’s Guide –
The Critical Role of Social Workers in Home Based Primary Care – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790723/
University at Buffalo –
Anyone who has lived with a chronic illness is aware that, most often, chronic illnesses present with comorbidities. A condition is considered chronic when it lasts more than one year and requires ongoing medical attention to treat the symptoms. Autoimmune disorders often present with many comorbidities.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder, and Raynaud’s is a comorbidity in over 95% of patients with scleroderma.
Read on to learn more.
When reading the word scleroderma, you can see that there are two-word parts. Scleroderma means the hardening of the skin. However, the condition is not limited to the skin, and the disease is a connective tissue disease. Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune rheumatic disease.
When your immune system goes haywire and you have scleroderma, your body is tricking the tissue into believing it is injured. As a result, the body then makes too much collagen, leading to the hardening of the skin and tissue. Too much collagen in your skin will cause patches of tight hard skin, and though scleroderma involves many body systems, hard skin is typically a telltale sign.
Raynaud’s is a condition that is extremely common, affecting 20% of the adult population worldwide. Anyone can develop Raynaud’s. This condition results from drastically reduced blood supply to the fingers, toes, nose, and ears. Raynaud’s attacks often stem from a sudden change in temperature, most often cold temperatures. However, for some people, hot weather and temperatures can cause attacks.
During an attack, the body part will become white, and then as the tissues desperately use up the oxygen stored, the body part will turn blue. Once the arteries relax, the appendages will become bright red as fresh blood returns. During the white or blue phase of an attack, the appendages affected are extremely painful or numb.
When figuring out who gets scleroderma or Raynaud’s, remember there is no evidence supporting hereditary inheritance. However, a genetic predisposition is possible. Certain gene variations are going to leave someone more likely to develop scleroderma.
Scleroderma also can have environmental triggers, such as exposure to certain viruses, medication, or drugs. For example, if someone is repeatedly exposed to harmful substances or chemicals while working, they have an increased risk of developing scleroderma. Scleroderma, identified as an autoimmune disease, occurs in a part of the body because the immune system attacks the connective tissues. Often people with scleroderma will also have other autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Scleroderma has presented at a higher rate in people of non-European backgrounds. Localized scleroderma is more common in children. However, systematic scleroderma is more common in adults. The disease is also more common in females, with a 4 to 1 ratio. And when it comes to age, scleroderma is most often seen between the ages of 25 and 55.
Raynaud’s usually occurs in people under 30, starting in their teenage years. More often than not, people with this disease have a family history of the disease, suggesting a genetic link. However, this has not been confirmed.
Scleroderma results from an overproduction and collection of collagen in the body. Collagen is a fibrous protein that helps to create your body’s connective tissues, including your skin. Raynaud’s is a constriction of blood vessels to the extremities because of extreme temperature change or exposure.
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for Americans. Thankfully, heart disease is often preventable and can be treated by making healthier lifestyle choices.
Heart attack symptoms often include discomfort in the center of the chest that may last for a few minutes or comes and goes. It can feel like squeezing, uncomfortable pressure, fullness, or pain. Shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, lightheadedness, and nausea are also heart attack symptoms.
A congenital heart defect starts at birth. Doctors are still puzzled as to why a baby might have a congenital heart defect, though it tends to be hereditary. Most of these heart disease issues include leaky valves or structural issues like holes in the heart.
Not getting enough exercise, unhealthy eating, and smoking increase your chance of developing heart
disease. Additionally, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol are other factors that can increase your risk. Speak with your doctor about prevention measures.
Heart attack victims can have sudden loss of responsiveness or may be unable to breathe normally. Loss of oxygen to the brain and heart can cause permanent damage, so calling 9-1-1 immediately is critical. EMS staff can start treatment upon arrival, often up to an hour sooner than if you drove yourself to the hospital.
According to Mayo Clinic, women are somewhat more likely than men to experience less common symptoms and signs, like neck or jaw pain prior to having a heart attack.
This disease develops when your major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood, nutrients, and
oxygen become diseased or damaged. Plaque build-up in your arteries, which causes inflammation, often leads to coronary artery disease. This build-up happens over a number of years and most people don’t notice a problem until they have a heart attack or large blockage in the arteries that requires surgery.