February is American Heart Month! It is an excellent time to take charge of your health. Regular visits to your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol are simple ways to know your risk factors for heart disease. In fact, 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable through education and action.
The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is the lifeblood for most seniors in the United States today. The AAA has the mission of helping seniors age in place, and they face a growing senior population to serve.
These organizations have to care for more seniors with smaller budgets and increasingly are turning to volunteers to get the job done. Volunteers are quickly becoming the backbone of the agency, but volunteering across the US is declining.
Those enrolled in original Medicare could be pleased to learn about the benefits of switching to a Medicare Advantage plan.
We know avoiding hospitalizations is a top priority for health plans. One way to keep your members out of the hospital, and to reduce the chance of readmission, is to prevent malnutrition. In fact, roughly one-third of patients who are not malnourished at admission will become so during their stay. Weight loss, being underweight, and failure-to-thrive/malnutrition have all been associated with readmission within 30 days of discharge.
According to Kaiser Health News, 28 percent of patients (many being older adults) who are offered home health care services when they are discharged from the hospital, refuse the services available, which could lead to delayed recoveries, and reduced independence. Studies indicate that those who refuse post-discharge services may have higher rates of readmission to the hospital and a lower quality of life.
According to The National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC), more than 90 percent of older adults prefer to stay in their homes rather than move to a senior facility. One of the challenges you face as a case manager is helping seniors to age in place. People want to stay in their homes because they are most comfortable with what is familiar.
As a caregiver, you have many things to worry about. Food safety shouldn’t be one of them. When choosing a home-delivered meal provider, food safety and quality should be top priorities. Selecting a provider that uses extensive food preparation safety procedures with a safe delivery model will provide peace of mind.
The “cold chain” process is one of the most effective and reliable methods of assuring food safety. This process ensures that food is maintained at temperatures that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can make you sick.
The cold chain process transports perishable foods without using harmful preservatives and additives. This continuous cold chain ensures seniors will receive safe and healthy meals.
Here are some questions to ask when comparing home-delivered meal providers:
- Is the food prepared fresh in an USDA-inspected facility?
- Are the meals flash frozen to -19° F?
- Is the food maintained in a cold storage at -10° F until delivery?
- Is the food delivered to homes in specially-designed freezer trucks?
- Do they have specially-trained drivers unpack meals and store them in freezer until ready to eat?
When patients go into the hospital, one thing they may not expect is to leave malnourished. But, that is exactly what occurs to one-third of patients admitted to hospitals. Malnutrition is not always recognized and often goes untreated during hospitalization. Weight loss and poor nutritional intake can delay the healing and recovery process. This may lead to more challenging recoveries, and in many cases, relaspse and readmission.
Malnutrition is a surprising problem in America. One out of every three patients admitted to the hospital suffer from malnutrition. If untreated, two-thirds will become severely malnourished during their stay. Approximately one-third of patients who are not malnourished will become so by the time they are discharged.