October is National Breast Cancer Month

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women.

The best way to find breast cancer early, when it is treatable and in most cases curable, is by performing self breast exams monthly and getting yearly mammograms.

Breast cancer does not discriminate; 1 out of every 100 cases of diagnosed breast cancer occurs in men.

Symptoms of breast cancer vary but may include changes in the size or shape of the breast, pain in the breast, nipple discharge, or new/non-healing rashes on the breast.

If you experience any of these symptoms or have any concerns about breast cancer, you should notify your provider and ask about your risk of breast cancer.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/breastcancerawareness/index.htm

Top 6 Health Resources for Senior Self-Advocacy

As you get older, you will need to pay more attention to your health. This includes maintaining healthy habits such as a nutritious diet, and it also includes advocating for your health. This task may take practice and patience, but there are several tools that make it easier to advocate for your health. Consider the following six resources that will help seniors assert themselves when seeking care.

1. An Appointment Companion

If the thought of a doctor’s appointment makes you nervous, you aren’t alone. Medical appointments are a common source of anxiety, but a companion can be a great resource for self-advocacy. Bringing a trusted friend or family member with you can give you the courage you need to speak up, ask questions, and advocate for your health.

2. A Great Primary Care Provider

Just as a companion can help you feel comfortable enough to advocate for yourself, so should your primary care provider. It’s important to find a doctor who’s a good match for your needs, and sometimes that means you need to switch providers. If you’re wondering how to find a new primary care provider, you can start by researching doctors who are in-network for your insurance and then research reviews from patients.

3. An App to Store Medical Records

Keeping track of your own medical records is imperative, but organizing them can be difficult — especially for seniors who may have decades of files to sift through. Luckily, there are apps that make this task easier and allow you to maintain your records on a mobile device. To include medical image files like x-rays, you can quickly combine videos and multiple images using a free online tool. Simply upload the images, merge them, and download the file.

4. A Senior Living Facility

Seniors with serious health problems should think about whether a senior living facility may be an appropriate option. Having constant access to medical care may make it easier to advocate for yourself, and a skilled nursing facility like Elite Home Health & Hospice will ensure you receive the best care. Be sure to look into different facilities’ costs, reviews, and available payment options before proceeding.

5. A Preventive Care Program

According to research, Americans 65 and older spend an average of $6,833 in out-of-pocket health care costs in a year. This fact is worrisome, but seniors can minimize their potential expenses by investing in preventive care services. Many preventive care services are free thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and screening for illnesses such as cancer and infectious diseases can prevent serious ailments from progressing.

6. A Personal Health Coach

Seniors who want additional support in their health journey can invest in a personal coach to help them achieve optimal wellness. A health coach may help you create meal plans for better eating or implement a daily exercise routine to invest in physical fitness. Most importantly, though, a health coach will empower you to advocate for your health through better living.

Take Advantage of Health Care Resources for Seniors

There are many resources that can help you take better care of your health through self-advocacy. In addition to the better health outcomes that this can promote, you will also likely feel more confident when you’re able to advocate for yourself. With resources such as preventive care and a medical records app, seniors can handle their health effectively.

October is Chaplain Appreciation Month

What Does a Hospice Chaplain Do?

Hospice care helps support the physical and emotional needs of patients who have a terminal diagnosis. The team approach of hospice includes a nurse, social worker, and a chaplain under the supervision of a physician. Personal care aides and therapists may be added to support as well.
A chaplain ensures that patients feel free to discuss

  • their spiritual concerns,
  • ask essential questions,
  • realize the importance of their lives, and
  • feel at peace as they near death.

  • Chaplains also play an integral role in supporting the family of the patient.
  • Hospice chaplains do not necessarily have a religious affiliation or denomination. Their goal for interactions is not to convert or challenge the patient and family in their belief systems.

How Hospice Chaplains Help Patients

A hospice chaplain’s typical job responsibilities include the following:

  • Regularly meeting with patients
  • Participate as a hospice team members for care collaboration
  • Support a patient’s ritual or spiritual practice, such as prayer or meditation
  • Addressing questions about spirituality
  • Helping patients and family process the loss
  • Having meaningful conversations with patients about how their lives have value

How Hospice Chaplains Help Patients’ Families

  • Hospice chaplains provide spiritual care to patients and their families
  • Hospice chaplains also support families during the bereavement process after a patient has passed away.

October is Physical Therapy Appreciation Month

Did you know that October has been the month to recognize the amazing work physical therapists do for 30 years?

This is an unique opportunity to recognize the benefits of physical therapy, the specific training these professionals have, the specialization and role they have in the continuum of care, and benefits for patients in maintaining health and recovery. The theme for this year, according to APTA is “Choose to Move.”

  • Physical Therapy can help with pain management

Physical therapists are  trained to identify serious ailments and develop treatment plans that support long-term management, recovery from acute injuries, and support for co-morbid conditions.  

  • Physical Therapy improves movement and function

Physical therapists are integrated members of the healthcare continuum, because they are trained to identify changes in how a person moves and the impact on overall function. This might mean an assessment to best determine obstacles to independent living and strategies for long-term care needs.

  • Physical Therapy can reduce injury risk

Physical therapists assess your risk for injury and look at behaviors that might contribute to frequent and reoccurring injury. They are trained to teach and modify activities to reduce your risk for injury.

  • Physical Therapy is safe and effective

Physical therapy is a safe and effective treatment for many conditions. Physical therapists create treatment plans that take into considerations any challenges or safety obstacles.

  • Physical Therapy has a low risk of side effects

Physical Therapy is a low-risk intervention which is an holistic approach to care

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