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5 Questions for My Dad’s Nurse

5 Questions for My Dad’s Nurse

An aging man is an enigma wrapped in a mystery.  If you are advocating for your aging Father, the following conversation will apply to you.  The following are questions we receive each week from the adult children and family members who have concerns for their aging Fathers.

Our gentlemen clients seem to think they never age.  I can attest to the notion that us men will always think ourselves as 25 years old. Forever.  This is only part what makes it such a challenge to advocate for them.  They are very reluctant to accept the limitations their aging bodies demand.

Here are some popular questions and thoughtful answers from our resident expert in caring for me greater than 75.  These questions are answered by our Resident Registered Nurse, AJ Simmons, RN, President of our Salt Lake City offices.

We love our Dear old Dads.  Apply these insights to help when you come to these crossroads with your aging Father.

1.) Dad is complaining about how regularly is up 10 times a night to urinate any tips?

First thing you can do is make sure is that dad is not taking any diuretics after 2 pm. In addition, reduce caffeine after 6pm as this is also a diuretic. Avoid Spicy foods, and fruit juices. Watch how dad drinks before sleep, sips not gulps. Second, check your blood sugar. Diabetes causes frequent urination. Sadly, this is simply one of those things that comes with old age. There are many medical procedures you can do to help if it becomes unbearable for your loved one.  These are simple measures our care team takes daily with each of their senior clients who have been experiencing these issues.

As a nurse, we Always advocate for FALL PREVENTION. When we do have seniors going to the bathroom in the night, it is critical to ensure the area is well lit and clutter free. You might also want to talk to dad about making sure he sits on the edge of the bed for minute before standing to use the bathroom. Blood pressures can significantly change with standing and sitting. Especially when going from laying to standing. The urgency of needing to use the bathroom makes this such a high danger. The last thing we would want is dad having to use the bathroom at night in a wheel chair because he had a fall.

A Free Home Safety Evaluation is part of our Free In-Home Care Assessment.  We will evaluate bathing and known senior accident related items in the home.

2.) Well we don’t want that shoveling snow is there still some exercise that would be helpful for him at 85 years old?

Always There Home Care would love to come take your dad out for a walk daily or bi-weekly. We can take Mom or Dad to the local senior center or Recreation Center. 

Getting seniors to begin an exercise program without a caregiver to do it alongside them would be very difficult. But putting exercise into everyday routines, with the proper supervision is a great way to keep him active. Another suggestion is to help the loved out to the mailbox to check the mail. Have them help with grabbing things, even when it would be easier for the caregiver to do themselves. 

Caregivers who are thoughtfully asking seniors for help with safe tasks (asking them to help grab something, or fold laundry) forces movements that are very important as we age.  Incorporating exercise into every day activities is just one of the thoughtful, invisible methods our caregiving staff utilize to have productive visits with our clients.  

3.) We keep asking Dad how his doctor’s visits are going and he doesn’t share anything  with us do you have any recommendations?

This is such difficult thing get around. The laws are very clear that no one can share medical information with you besides your dad. Some things you want to make sure of is that you have all basics covered. One of the most important is making sure you have a designated Power of attorney. This will make it much easier for you to receive information at a later date. Understanding your dads wishes and wants needs to be taken into consideration. I had a patient once tell me every day “old age ain’t for sissy’s”. Understanding how your dad feels about everyday life is more important than always knowing what’s going on at the doctors. Putting his feelings and needs first might even allow him to start to share more when he knows the interest of his thoughts and feelings is most important to you.

4.) Dad is Mom’s caregiver.  I have seen a few bruises on mom. She doesn’t know where they came from. Is there a good way to address this?

Welcome to Nursing home problem 101. The first thing you should check is if mom taking any blood thinners for medications. Some examples would be, aspirin, Coumadin (warfarin), Xeralto, Eliquis and many more.

These medications combined with mom having thin vessels and thin skin, make bruising nearly impossible to prevent 100%. The next thing we want to look at is if the bruises are in inappropriate spots. This can be an awkward situation; however, this could be signs of abuse and that needs to be taken care of immediately.

The final step would be to watch how Dad may be transitioning Mom.  If we paint a picture of how much care Dad is providing without assistance, we can begin to understand the lack of balance in Mom & Dad’s care plan. 

In addition to Dad, are there other untrained caregivers helping Mom?

If bruising increases, unfortunately in some cases the spouse may be incorrectly transitioning Mom, and maybe also losing patience with Mom.Considering all the factors a little roughness can end up looking a lot worse than it really is. With that being said, you should still always take it very seriously.  We always need to watch for Caregiver burn out and make sure to relieve the main caregiver regularly and effectively of their duties, and only allow them a feasible realistic and appropriate amount of hours caring for their dependent spouse each week.  

Be on alert!!  Set realistic expectations!! Carve in some down time!!

Is Dad getting out?  Is Dad visiting friends?  What hobbies is Dad able to pursue?

There are 168 Hours in a week.  If Mom has Dementia, Alzheimers or any physical ailments and Dad is doing ALL of the care himself, he is sure to experience caregiver burnout. That’s the equivalent of four full time jobs!!

Something important to remember is spouses most likely don’t think they are being rough. Dad is unlikely to be age appropriate to be lifting and transitioning Mom. This is why there is training on methods and techniques so that transitions can be safe for the patient AND the caregiver.  We tell our 80+ year old clients this hard piece of news on a daily basis:

“We don’t hire caregivers who are the same age as our clients.”

There’s good reason for this.  And there’s good reason to get the proper care aligned so that we aren’t bringing extra risk into Mom & Dad’s daily life.  Injuries from bathing, transitioning and other activities of daily living have filled the Hospitals, Rehab centers and long term care facilities.  Those injured 80+ year olds weren’t riding their bicycles to sustain their injuries and suffer through their lengthy recoveries.

During our Free In-Home Care Assessment, we will take a critical look at the balance Mom and Dad have as well their risk exposures and any unnecessary dangers in their homes. We will recommend DME (Durable Medical Equipment) where we see it could help. 

5.) Are there any services that Enable dad to get a physicians vision visit at home? 

While there are a few, most insurances do not accept them.  The easier route is to ask us to accompany Mom or Dad to their Doctors appointment.  We will ask for a list of questions and with permission, our caregiving staff will make a recording of the conversation with the doctor.  The caregiver will also bring our daily care notes, which will highlight some of the ongoing concerns experienced at home.  This is one of the greatest values and thoughtful elements of our careful care plans.  Call us today to set up your Free In Home Care Assessment and Free Registered Nurse Medical Care Review with Always There Home Care on our Home Care Hotline: (801) HOME-CARE 801-466-3227.

Tune in for our Next Blog:

5 More Questions for My Dad’s Nurse

AJ Simmons, RN President Always There Home Care, SLC

AJ Simmons, RN is among the most qualified Senior Care Registered Nurses in the Wasatch Valley.  As a senior care specialist, AJ can make an immediate impact for your loved one’s ongoing care. AJ has assembled a prolific team of caregivers capable of providing up to 24-Hour Home Care.  The team at Always There Home Care in Salt Lake City is an easy choice.  Call  us today to arrange your Free In-Home Care Assessment and your Free Registered Nurse Medication Evaluation and Senior Care Plan.  Call our 24-Hour Home Care Hotline: (801) HOME-CARE 466-3227

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