A REASON TO CELEBRATE…NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL HOME CARE MONTH!

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Since 1981, Personal Health Care’s founder Rose Levchak has been dedicated to providing excellent care and service to her clients.

Determined to find the best way to meet the needs of an aging community paired with a desire to keep patients in their homes, Rose was able to create a successful home health care company which has flourished for over 34 years.

Rose believes that we should all be able to age in a respectable manner in which safety and wellness are paired with independence and privacy. This is what home care is all about, and why Rose, and the entire staff of Personal Health Care takes great pride in what we do!

About 25 years ago, Personal Health Care began to change its view on Home Health Care and incorporated a mission to serve our Pediatric Special Needs population.

Today, under Rose’s guidance, Personal Health Care is focused on providing compassionate care to our entire community.

 

If you would like to hear more about our amazing company and what we can do to help you or your loved ones remain safe in their homes, please call us today at 610-933-6130! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Let’s focus ON CHOLESTEROL THIS MONTH

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September is National Cholesterol Education Month, which aims to raise awareness of high blood cholesterol.

According to the Million Hearts® initiative, high cholesterol affects one in three American adults, and two-thirds of these individuals do not have the condition under control. Half of adults with high cholesterol do not get treatment.

Fortunately, the Internet abounds with free cholesterol-related educational materials for both providers and patients. The American Heart Association offers downloadable information sheets and brochures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides facts, statistics and educational materials surrounding cholesterol. Visits these sites to find out more about how to keep your cholesterol numbers in a healthy range! Please visit the official website (http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/) for the Million Hearts® initiative to learn more about their heart-healthy mission.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month!

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The theme of the 2015 National Preparedness Month is: Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today! Let’s take a look at the four basic steps that you should take to ensure that you and your family are prepared for potential emergencies:

  • Make a Plan: A great place to start when developing a plan for your family is to consider the followng questions:
    • How will my family get emergency alerts?
    • How will my family get to safe locations for relevant emergencis?
    • How will my family get in contact with one another if cell phones/ land lines / internet are out of service?
    • How will my family get to a meeting place after an emergency?

*Visit www.ready.gov to learn how to create a plan that best suits your family*

  • Build a Kit: Assemble a basic kit that is transportable well in advance of potential emergencies. This kit should include food, water (enough to last at least 72 hours) and suplies such as batteries, battery or hand-crank radio, prescription medications, flashlights and a first aid kit. Make sure you check expiration dates and update your water supply at least every 6 months.
  • Get Involved: In the face of disaster, Americans come together and often ask “How can I help?” Please visit ready.gov for links on national and local organizations and ways to get involved!

 Top Ten Summer Safety Tips

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Now that the Fourth of July has past and the summer months are upon us it is a great time to review some helpful tips to beat the heat!  Below is a list of the top ten things that you can do to stay safe during the summer months:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids – Follow the rule of “8’s” Aim to drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water per day. It is extremely important to stay hydrated! Remember that by the time you “feel” thirsty you are already dehydrated. Stay ahead of dehydration and drink water throughout the day.
  2. Turn on your air conditioning – Air conditioning is especially important when it is hot and humid outside. If you do not have access to an air conditioner, spend the day in a cool spot, like the mall, a friend or family members house, the library, a restaurant or movie theater. You may also call the free cooling centers locator line at 1-877-474-3266.
  3. Avoid the hottest part of the day – The sun is the most intense between 10 am and 4 pm, so try to stay inside in a cool place during these times. If you must be outdoors limit your exposure to early morning or evening when the temps are lower and the sun is less intense.
  4. Wear the right attire – Wear loose, light-weight, light-colored clothing to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Wear wide-brimmed hats and sun glasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Wear sunscreen – Wear sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Make sure you apply it about 15-20 minutes before exposure, and reapply frequently (every 30-60 minutes during exposure).
  6. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke – Signs to look for include confusion, disorientation, dry skin, lethargy, headache, nausea, rapid heart rate, muscle cramps/ weakness and cessation of sweating. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
  7. Take a shower or bath – Cool off with a cool shower or bath; this is a great way to cool down quickly and is much more effective than an electric fan.
  8. Plan ahead – Check the local weather forecast and plan ahead for hot days. Make sure you have a plan that includes access to fluids and air conditioning. If you know that they are calling for a heat wave be sure your air conditioning is in working condition.
  9. Review your medications – Many medications have side effects associated with increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Review all medications and call your doctor, pharmacist or nursing agency with any questions.
  10. Check on family and friends – Beat the heat by calling friends and family and plan get together in places that have air conditioning. If you know someone who does not have access to air conditioning be sure to check in on them and make sure they are safe.

If you or someone you know is in need of extra care over the summer months, please call us at 610-933-6130 to inquire about a home health aide! Stay safe and enjoy the summer!!

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month

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As the weather warms up millions of Americans will rush outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, but it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Most people don’t think of wearing sunscreen in May as the temperatures are cooler and the sun doesn’t seem as intense as it does in the summer, however you can just as easily get sunburn in May as you can in July! According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, skin cancer is on the rise in the United States, and the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be more than 73,870 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than two million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S. Fortunately skin cancer is highly curable if detected early, or better yet prevented. .It is important to apply sunscreen before going outdoors, wear tightly woven light clothing, sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to protect your skin from the sun. Make sure that your sunscreen is a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher and protects against UVA and UVB rays. Enjoy the sun responsibly and your skin will thank you!!

Upcoming blog: The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Declares the Friday before Memorial Day, May 22, 2015 is “Don’t Fry Day” To Encourage Sun Safety Awareness!

 

Fun Ways for Seniors to Celebrate Earth Day

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Today as we celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day, let’s look at some fun ways that our seniors and their families can enjoy the day:

  1. Go to a local farmers market and buy fresh produce and enjoy preparing and sharing a healthy, nutritious meal with your family.
  2. Arrange fresh flowers in your home. Buy or pick fresh flowers and help an elderly loved one arrange a beautiful bouquet to brighten up your home. Arranging flowers can be a very soothing activity, especially for a loved one with dementia.
  3. Take a nature walk! Going outside for a light walk on a trail or around your neighborhood not only helps to improve your health, but it also helps to boost your energy and quality of life. Join a parent, grandparent or friend for a nature walk today! If your family member is unable to walk due to an illness or disability, use a wheelchair to take them to a local park and enjoying sitting and reminiscing in the fresh spring air!
  4. Start a garden! Gardening is a perfect way to celebrate Earth day, and to enjoy gorgeous flowers and vegetables all summer long. Help an elderly family member make a garden by setting up a gardening table if they are unable to kneel and plant seeds in the ground. A comfortable seat and a table fixed with all the supplies needed to plant a garden in pots is a perfect activity for seniors. Make sure you stay hydrated and garden at your own pace so you don’t overdo it. Also, make sure you have a friend, a family member, or a phone or life alert button with you so that help is there if you need it.
  5. Watch a movie or documentary. If you are unable to go outside due to illness or inclement weather conditions, snuggle up with a healthy snack like fresh fruit or veggies and watch a documentary like, Planet Earth (TV mini-series presented on the Discovery Channel in 2007), or Ken Burn’s National Park Series, (a documentary of the creation and stories of the national parks with scenes of some of nature’s most spectacular locales).

April is Occupational Therapy Month

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So what is “Occupational Therapy?” Occupational therapy is one of only a few professions that help people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. For more information concerning Occupational Therapy visit the American Occupational Therapy Association at:  http://www.aota.org.

Autism Awareness Day

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Personal Health Care proudly supports World Autism Awareness Day on Thursday, April 2nd!! For the sixth year in a row, the Autism Speaks organization will be hosting Light It Up Blue, which is a campaign to honor of people with autism worldwide. One of the easiest ways you can Light It Up Blue is by rocking your blue clothes! Spread the word and WEAR BLUE! For more information, including events and ways to support the cause, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org!

It’s Patient Safety Awareness Week!!

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Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 8-14, United in Safety #PSAW2015 #ptsafety npsf.org/psaw

As a home health care agency, Personal Health Care is committed to providing quality care to patients so that they may remain safely in the comfort of their own homes for as long as they are able. Patient safety is very important to us, and it is an essential part of our initial and ongoing in-home assessments. We evaluate all areas of the home, from proper temperature, lighting and ventilation, down to food and medication safety.

Two of the biggest areas of concern are fall prevention and medication safety. First, we recommend that all walking pathways and main areas of patient care, including bathrooms and kitchens, have non-skid surfaces, free of obstructions, throw rugs, or other tripping hazards. Second, we review all medications in the patients’ home with the patient and their prescribing doctor(s). We ensure that all medications are up to date, properly labeled and within the patients reach, but out of the reach of children and pets. We carefully review all medication side-effects and interactions with our patients to educate them on the importance of taking their medications when ordered, and so that they can monitor for potential side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness that may cause injury. Also, we strongly encourage all of our patients to use a Life Alert system, so that in the event of an emergency they can call for help immediately.

Patient safety in the home starts with an in-depth assessment followed by close ongoing monitoring of the patients home environment and plan of care. Lastly, one of the easiest ways for health care providers to improve patient safety is to wash your hands! Please visit:  http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing, to review proper hand washing technique!

Let’s continue to work together to keep our patients safe!

If you or someone you know is in need of home health care, please contact Personal Health Care at 610-933-6130!

MARCH IS NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH!!

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Don’t let the snow and ice drag your diet down…New month, new attitude! Let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month by reviewing my top 5 Health Tips courtesy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatrightpro.org).

TOP 5 Health Tips of 2015:

  1. Eat Breakfast – Breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. Start your morning with lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables! Try oatmeal with almonds and fresh berries, or a whole grain toaster waffle topped with low-fat yogurt and your favorite fruit.
  2. Fruit and Veggies on Half of your Plate – challenge yourself to fill half of your meal plate with fruits and veggies (about 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables/ day). Fruits and veggies not only add color and texture to your plate but they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs to stay healthy!
  3. Keep your Portion Sizes in Check – It is very easy to go overboard on portions sizes without even realizing it. To help keep your portions in check, get out a measuring cup and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving size. This will give you a good visual for all of your meals. Remember fill half your plate with fruits and veggies, and the other half with grains and lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans.
  4. Get Moving – Regular physical exercise lowers blood pressure and helps your body maintain a healthy weight and control stress. Start out small, about 10 minutes at a time, and build to 2 hours and 30 minutes/ week (adult) and 1 hour or more/ day (children and teens). Now that the weather is breaking, take this opportunity to get outside for a walk, or play a game of catch with the kids!
  5. Drink More Water – Follow the rule of 8’s…try to drink at least 8, eight ounce glasses of water per day. Drinking water in place of sugary or caffeinated beverages will help the body stay hydrated and keep you feeling good throughout the day!