Thyroid Health and the Aging Process

The thyroid, more specifically the thyroid gland, is part of the endocrine system. The gland is responsible for producing two hormones, the thyroxine (T4) and the triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid sits just below the voice box and is made up of a right lobe and a left lobe. The thyroid is involved in the metabolism processes of the cells. Disorders of the thyroid can result in too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little production (hypothyroidism) of hormones.

In the elderly, thyroid disease can be confused with other conditions given the symptoms that are present and the physical changes a person may experience. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, heat intolerance, anxiety, and gritty eyes. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include tiredness, feeling cold, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, and depression. With aging, individuals may only experience one or two symptoms.

Daily medications are often prescribed for the treatment of thyroid disease either supporting hormone production or inhibiting hormones. Consistency with a prescribed medication regimen is critical to effectively managing thyroid disease. Home health services are available to support understanding thyroid disease in the elderly, creating effective medication management regimens, and supporting healthy lifestyle choices around weight changes and energy levels for self-care.

For more information, check out these resources at

https://www.btf-thyroid.org/what-is-thyroid-disorder#:~:text=The%20thyroid%20gland%20is%20an,your%20body%20to%20work%20normally.

Home Health and Glaucoma

Managing progressive illnesses, such as glaucoma, require proactive interventions. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-tips-for-living-better-with-glaucoma), individuals diagnosed with glaucoma can prevent progression by

  1. adhering to medications
  2. avoiding falls and accidents
  3. maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  4. reading
  5. creating a support team

Home health services support patients by creating positive routines for the care and management of their person and their disease (https://preferhome.com/senior-resources/common-senior-illnesses/glaucoma/). Because glaucoma can impact the way an individual processes light vs. dark, contrasts, transitioning from different lit rooms, or have sensitivity to light or glare, home health professionals, such as occupational therapists, are uniquely trained to examine and process these environmental challenges.

Our goal is to keep patients in their chosen living environment. Proactively setting up systems helps make this a reality.

Thank you for 2022!!

Here at Elite, we are so grateful for the opportunity to serve the communities we live in and the people we call neighbors.

In 2022, Elite offered home health and hospice services in:

Asotin County

Garfield County

Nez Perce County

Latah County

Clearwater County

Idaho County

We were also able to offer palliative services in:

Asotin County

Nez Perce County

Clearwater County

Latah County

Our mission is the same

Life-changing service

Thank you for letting us come into your homes to provide you care and support!

Happy New Year from all of us at Elite!

What is the role of Palliative in Chronic Kidney Disease?

“End stage renal disease is a progressive, debilitating, chronic illness requiring nursing and medical interventions. The development of the disease affects quality of life, potentially influencing physical and mental health, functional status, independence, general well-being, personal relationships and social functioning.” (Cleary et al., 2005)

Chronic kidney disease is a complex chronic condition. Given the complexities of other comorbidities, close monitoring and mitigation of symptoms related to the interplay of other chronic conditions and managing multiple medications is a complicated process. Our goal in palliative is to support the patient’s quality of life as an integrated approach. Sharing information with the primary provider to support symptoms is measured by the patient’s self-rating of quality of life. Patients in palliative are still pursuing curative treatments, and they are engaging in meaningful activities in spite of having progressive conditions.

Weekly Pulse for March 28, 2022

Home Health
(Therapy)
Start Date
Hospice
(Nursing)
Start Date
Clarkston3/303/29
Lewiston3/293/29
Moscow3/313/29
Orofino4/13/31
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

We want to take a moment and recognize the unique field of occupational therapy. April 1st launches Occupational Therapy Month. At Elite Home Health & Hospice, we are lucky to have a core OT team that supports all of our service areas.

The profession of occupational therapy is evidence-based, client centered, and cost-effective. The field has pioneered changes in policies, environments, and systems to support individuals with unique needs. As a profession, OTs are integral in working with patients and systems to produce effective outcomes through culturally responsive and customized services. As a field, OTs are intentionally inclusive and equitable, embracing diversity within the practice. For more information, visit AOTA.org. 

Question Corner

What is an Occupational Therapist (OT)?

Occupations are the activities people of all ages need and want to do, such as making a meal, dressing, grooming, managing medications, driving, returning to pleasure activities, and participating with family and friends. The profession pursues treatment through the lens of “What matters to you?” NOT “What’s the matter with you?” OTs consider the complexities of a patient’s condition with their desired activity in the preferred environment. This intervention may result in adaptations and modifications which may change over time.

An OT will perform a comprehensive assessment and identify treatment targets and interventions that meet a patient’s desired outcomes. OTs often collaborate with members of nursing, physical therapy, and speech therapy to create a comprehensive plan to meet the patient’s needs.

If you have questions about Elite’s Occupational Therapy team, send us an email at info@EliteHHH.com 

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Angie (509) 780-8097

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605

What is the role of Hospice in Chronic Kidney Disease?

“End stage renal disease is a progressive, debilitating, chronic illness requiring nursing and medical interventions. The development of the disease affects quality of life, potentially influencing physical and mental health, functional status, independence, general well-being, personal relationships and social functioning.” (Cleary et al., 2005)

Kidney disease involves complex care management for multiple systems. The role of hospice is meant as a support for the patient and their family as they approach end-of-life. Identifying components that meet the patient’s desired quality of life and creating plans to support these desires is the primary purpose of an interdisciplinary team. The care team is comprised of nursing, social work, and chaplains. We also provide bath aide support and massage therapy for creating comfort and non-pharmacological methods of pain reduction. Because of our unique status as a home health and hospice agency, we also can provide consultation from physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and medical dietitian.

Weekly Pulse for March 21, 2022

Home Health
(Therapy)
Start Date
Hospice
(Nursing)
Start Date
Clarkston3/223/21
Lewiston3/223/21
Moscow3/233/21
Orofino3/233/21
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

Elite Home Health & Hospice is expanding. We are launching Palliative services in Idaho for Medicare patients on April 1st!!

Palliative services are a medical specialty service that are aimed at supporting the management of chronic illness to reduce pain and stress. Palliative professionals are uniquely trained to provide Medicare’s chronic care management services and support patient’s in defining interventions at various phases of their disease process.

Palliative services allow us to uniquely partner with local PCPs to coordinate multiple specialists and their interventions. Effective palliation should reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Question Corner

Can’t I just provide palliative services for my patients?

Maybe.

The term “palliative care” is frequently used by medical professionals to address pain management and comfort in end-of-life. This use is an over-simplification of palliative services and frankly hospice services. True palliative care is directed to support the physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and emotional well-being of the patient. Palliative services are never offered as a single provider but rather a multidisciplinary team.

Palliative services aid the patient in making decisions about the levels of intervention in their disease course. Palliative services support the patient and family in identifying needs at the various phases to support meeting their wishes for disease process management and end-of-life care. Similar to hospice, the services related to emotional and spiritual support are often provided by professionals in social work and chaplaincy.

If you have questions about Elite’s palliative program, send us an email at info@EliteHHH.com  

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Angie (contact information coming soon)

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605

What is the role of Home Health in Chronic Kidney Disease?

“End stage renal disease is a progressive, debilitating, chronic illness requiring nursing and medical interventions. The development of the disease affects quality of life, potentially influencing physical and mental health, functional status, independence, general well-being, personal relationships and social functioning.” (Cleary et al., 2005)

Kidney disease involves complex care management for multiple systems. The role of home health is to support patients understanding their disease process. The role of nursing guides patients through setting up health care regiments to effectively manage their disease and pull in specialists from other disciplines to address changing levels of function. Access to physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, medical dietitian, and social work are integral to an evolving disease process.

Weekly Pulse for March 14, 2022

Home Health (Therapy) Start DateHospice (Nursing) Start Date
Clarkston3/143/14
Lewiston3/143/14
Moscow3/163/15
Orofino3/163/15
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

March is Kidney Disease Awareness Month!

Early diagnosis is critical in creating a comprehensive treatment plan for kidney disease. Individuals with diabetes and hypertension are at especially high risk.

We assess comorbidities to identify risk factors and create plans to reduce rehospitalization risks and support interventions that maintain health by proactively triaging new symptoms to support immediate interventions. We also offer 24-hour telephone nursing supports for urgent needs.

These measures have allowed us to provide one of the lowest re-hospitalization rates to our patients in all of our service areas. 

Question Corner

What makes Elite’s hospice services different from others?

Your care team at Elite creates a customized care plan for our patients. While Medicare standards dictate visits every 2 weeks by the nursing professional, Elite creates treatment plans that address the patient and family needs. This often means a weekly visit or more.

This personalized care plan means increased visit frequencies to support creating a comprehensive comfort strategy. Nursing aide visits to provide personal care for comfort and quality of life. Chaplain and social worker visits to address the patient and family holistically and beyond their physical needs. Access to therapy professionals with specialized training in hospice support the team to create comfort and optimize end-of-life care for basic needs, like being comfortable in bed, eating a meal, and engaging in massage for pain management.

If you have questions about what makes Elite different, send us an email at info@EliteHHH.com  

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – coming soon

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605

Weekly Pulse for March 7, 2022

Home Health (Therapy) Start DateHospice (Nursing) Start Date
Clarkston3/83/8
Lewiston3/83/8
Moscow3/93/8
Orofino3/103/8
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

We are focusing on kidney disease awareness this month!

Complexities with kidney disease are known to cause nerve damage, cardiovascular complications, weak bones, increase risk for heart attack, increase blood pressure, increase risk for stroke, can cause anemia, and often results in kidney failure over long-term disease progression.

Our focus as home health providers is to partner in the management of complex diseases and support treatment plans that offer patients their best life. Let us know how we can support your patients.

Question Corner

What makes Elite’s hospice services different from others?

Elite has the unique opportunity of providing the core services of nursing, chaplain, and social work. We pride ourselves in treatment frequencies that meet the patient and their family where they are in the process.

Since we are connected to a home health agency, we can tap into the unique expertise of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and medical dietitian. These services are uniquely available, because we provide coverage in Asotin and Garfield counties in Washington and Nez Perce, Latah, Clearwater, and Lewis counties in Idaho.

We also offer the support of bath aides and massage therapy to support comfort and alternatives to pain management.

If you have questions about what makes Elite different, send us an email at info@EliteHHH.com  

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – coming soon

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605