Category: Senior Care

A Lifetime of Home: The Inspiring Journey of Jeff with Dakota Home Care

A True Tale of Compassion and Commitment At Dakota Home Care, we believe that every individual deserves the chance to age gracefully in the comfort of their own home. Today, we’d like to share the touching story of Jeff (name changed for privacy), an incredible soul we had the privilege of caring for. The Beginning: A Lone Journey When Jeff first came to us at the age of 80, he was living alone in Bismarck, ND, grappling with Parkinson’s disease. His health had reached a point where daily activities became challenging, and his doctor recommended assisted living. However, Jeff was determined to stay in the place he called home. A Friend’s Recommendation: Dakota Home Care Steps In Faced with the dilemma of leaving his cherished home or finding an alternative, Jeff turned to a friend for advice. That friend’s recommendation led him to Dakota Home Care. Our dedicated registered nurse visited Jeff at home to understand his needs and discuss his options. Creating a Path: Tailored Care Plans Unveiled The nurses conducted a comprehensive needs assessment, working closely with Jeff and his family to create a personalized care plan. Initially, Jeff required four hours of assistance each day, covering personal care, housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. Growing Needs: Adapting to Change As time passed, Jeff’s health needs evolved. He eventually needed more support, especially with walking and transferring. Recognizing the importance of maintaining his independence, Dakota Home Care adjusted the care plan, offering 24-hour care. Day and night, caregivers were there to assist with activities of daily living, ensuring Jeff’s safety and well-being. A Team Effort: Hospice Care Integration As Jeff’s health further declined, and his doctor suggested hospice care, Dakota Home Care collaborated seamlessly with a local hospice agency. This collaboration allowed our caregivers to work alongside the hospice

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A grandmother shares photos with her daughter and granddaughter, part of how she will leave a lasting legacy for her family.

How to Leave a Lasting Legacy for Generations to Come

We all share a common desire to leave behind a world that’s better than we found it. One impactful way to achieve this is to leave a lasting legacy to the generations that follow us. A person’s legacy is more than just a physical inheritance; it’s a tapestry of wisdom, values, and contributions woven together over a lifetime.

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A man displays one of the warning signs of seasonal affective disorder – a lack of interest in enjoyable activities – as he waves forlornly out the window.

SAD Seniors: Warning Signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Help

The holiday season is often synonymous with joy, warmth, and togetherness as families come together to celebrate. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that not everyone experiences this time of year with the same festive spirit. The darker days of fall and winter can cast a shadow on some individuals, leading to a form of clinical depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While many may dismiss it as the winter blues, SAD can particularly affect seniors, triggering memories of past holidays spent with loved ones who are no longer present. As you gather with your family during the holidays, it’s crucial to be attentive to warning signs of seasonal affective disorder in your older loved ones. Identifying these signs early on can make a significant difference in their well-being. Some common indicators of depression, including SAD, include oversleeping, extreme fatigue, a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, increased appetite or overeating, and in severe cases, even suicidal thoughts. However, depression in seniors during the holidays may manifest in more subtle ways. Look out for these additional warning signs that could indicate a need for assistance: Weight Loss: Has the senior noticeably lost weight? Sudden changes in body weight can be a red flag for underlying health issues. Appearance: Take note if there are unexpected changes in the senior’s general appearance. This could include unkempt personal hygiene or a significant shift in clothing choices. Household Upkeep: Assess the overall condition of the senior’s home. Any drastic changes in how the house is maintained may provide clues about their well-being. General Behavior: Observe any alterations in the senior’s behavior. Are they more agitated or forgetful than usual? Is mobility becoming an issue, requiring more assistance? Such behavioral changes might indicate a need for additional care at home. If any

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A cartoon man investigates the brain for signs of a traumatic brain injury.

How the Site of Injury Impacts the Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury

There’s no other organ in the body more intricate and vital than the brain. It calls all the shots in every part of our body. It runs in the background, keeping us alive, and, in the foreground as the home of our cognizance. This is why, clearly, when a person goes through a traumatic brain injury, there is so much concern. At Dakota Home Care, we understand that being familiar with the signs of a traumatic brain injury in relation to the area in the brain where the trauma took place can help families better understand and make more informed decisions regarding their loved one’s care. Occipital Lobe: Our sight is housed in the occipital lobe. The results of an occipital lobe injury might include vision problems, such as blurred vision or blind spots, hallucinations, visual illusions, the inability to recognize the movement of an object, or challenges with reading and writing. Frontal Lobe: The frontal lobe is home to an individual’s personality, intelligence, and feelings. It is the region of the brain that manages concentration, makes judgments, and solves problems. It also controls body movement, including speech and writing. The effects of a frontal lobe injury can include changes and/or problems with the core functions controlled by the frontal lobe plus more subtle manifestations of the core functionality, like a lack of inhibition, an impaired sense of smell, vision loss, persistence of a single thought, and mood swings. Cerebellum: Our movement, coordination and balance are controlled by the cerebellum. A cerebellum injury can cause an individual to lose the ability to do things that require coordination, such as walking, talking, or reaching out to grab something. It can also cause tremors, dizziness, and/or slurred speech. Parietal Lobe: The parietal lobe controls a variety of functions, including our comprehension of

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Doctor Making Heart Shape With Hands

Get Transitional Care Services to Help Recover from Heart Surgery

Recovering from heart surgery means experiencing a variety of transitional care needs, from dietary changes to incision care, managing pain, swelling minimization, and more. The last thing an older adult wants after coming back home from such a traumatic event is to face the need for rehospitalization. To help an older loved one recover as comfortably as possible after heart surgery, review the following recommendations for effective transitional care: Incision Care Details on how to care for the incision will be supplied prior to being discharged from the hospital. Issues to be aware of include: Avoid extreme cold or hot water temperatures, as they can cause dizziness. Always keep the incision clean and dry. The incision can be gently washed (don’t rub) with soap. Do not use lotions or creams on incisions until healing is complete. Occasionally, a swelling or lump appears at the top of the chest incision, and can take several months to go away completely. If the incision is healing and dry, brief showers (no longer than 10 minutes) are normally permitted. If there are sutures in the chest, stand with back to the shower spray. If showers are not available, quick baths (limited to ten minutes) may be taken. Managing Pain In the beginning of the recovery process, there may be some incision or muscle discomfort in the chest area during physical activity, but this should not include any pain that is similar to the pain they experienced before the surgery. Itching, tightness and/or numbness in the area of the incision are common after surgery. If the surgery was bypass surgery, and if vein grafts from the legs were used, there may be more pain in the legs than surrounding the chest incision. Walking, daily activities, and time will help to decrease leg discomfort and stiffness.

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