May is Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month!

With the increasing prevalence of wildfires and subsequent changes to air quality, understanding the dynamic relationship between air pollution and health is becoming an integral component of health management. Considering the air quality and the patient’s living environment brings about plans for healthcare management as well as building in contingencies for decline in air quality and the impact on patient’s health. In the rural areas Elite provides services, assessment of wildfire risk is integral in the spring, summer and fall months of episodes of service. Similar considerations are integrated for winter months and severe weather impacting electricity and access to clear roads. Incorporating contingency plans for oxygen use, portability of healthcare regimens, and effective evacuation plans become all the more vital in care planning. According to Thurston and Lee (2021), outdoor air pollution creates adverse health outcomes in 1 out of 3 patients. The costs of care and the exacerbation of disease, such as asthma, are valid concerns for providers in healthcare management where air quality is compromised. Observations include the variation of impact on males vs. females, as well as the strategies employed for asthma and related pulmonary conditions (Faraji, et al., 2021). In a rural environment, these concerns translate into an increased prevalence of pneumonia and other disease processes (Kapwata, et al., 2021).

Elite Home Health & Hospice engages in emergency planning in a proactive manner. This means coordinating with our local emergency service providers to create a communication strategy. We proactively monitor risks for evacuation and engage emergency services to support needs of our patients. These systems help us navigate risks and create solutions before the risk is elevated and options are eliminated.

Resources for air quality management include:

Airnow.gov

https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/default.htm

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/asthma

https://acaai.org/allergies/

https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-treatments/allergies

Partner with us today for your patients through active home health, palliative care, and hospice services.

Patients with difficulty in managing asthma, allergies, or underlying respiratory conditions benefit from additional support from nursing services. Optimizing the living environment with the guided services of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology support the patient in utilizing strategies for respiratory training and creating a safe living situation. Consider the benefits of home health and palliative care to support your patient’s needs.

April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder within the large intestine with symptoms such as cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition with a spectrum of symptoms and intensity that impact diet, lifestyle, and stress. IBS may increase risk of colorectal cancer. IBS affects between 10-15% of the US population (aboutibs.org).

IBS disease progression may result in:

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea at night
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent pain that isn’t relieved by passing gas or a bowel movement

These symptoms often require physician review to assess the current management strategy and identify potential interventions to manage symptoms more effectively. IBS symptoms may be a result of muscle contractions, abnormalities in the nervous system, an infection, stress, or changes in the gut microbes. Individuals at risk for IBS are women under 50 with a family history of IBS and a personal history of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues (mayoclinic.org).

Typical medical team members may include your primary care physician, a gastroenterologist, and a registered dietitian. As the condition progresses, patients may experience to their swallow, and a speech language pathologist may be consulted for strategies to support a safe swallow (my.clevelandclinic.org)

Home health may be appropriate in these disease changes to address side effects of new medication regimens, identifying foods that would be less irritating to the system, and address changes to the swallow. Key professionals that are typically ordered are skilled nursing, speech-language pathology, and registered dietitian.