“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays ‘Cause no matter how far away you roam When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!” Really? I may have to protest Perry Como’s illusion of family gatherings. For many, these forced get togethers are dreaded and for others the holidays are another reminder that they have limited or no family to celebrate with. The Mayo Clinic offers this advise on surviving the Holiday blues. Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping By Mayo Clinic Staff But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would. Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. Reach out. If you feel
We all know the tryptophan and Thanksgiving turkey connection, but overloading on turkey is not the only natural way to help promote sleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses in the processes of making vitamin B3 and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep. It can’t be produced by our bodies, so we need to get it through our diet. From which foods, exactly? Turkey, of course, but also other meats, chocolate, bananas, mangoes, dairy products, eggs, chickpeas, peanuts, and a slew of other foods. Before you call the doctor and ask for an Ambien or Restoril for insomnia, consider adding these foods that promote natural sleeping to your diet. Natural sedatives offer a more restful sleep and don’t effect our circadian rhythm. (sleep/awake cycle) as sleeping pills. In addition to tryptophan, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B help aid in production of turning serotonin into melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. As the sun sets, your body produces more melatonin and when you rise in the morning, melatonin levels taper off to allow you to wake up. Some people take melatonin to adjust the body’s internal clock. It is used for jet lag, for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes, and for helping blind people establish a day and night cycle.
All long term care facilities are required to have an effective immunization program that reflect current standards of practice. Receipt of vaccinations is essential to the health and well-being of long-term care residents. Influenza outbreaks place both the residents and staff at risk of infection. If your facility does have an outbreak, the CDC offers the following guidance. Flu Vaccines must be offered to patients October 1st through March 31st. Facilities are encouraged to promote 100% staff participation in flu shots to prevent outbreaks. Got to www.flu.gov for useful information and resources for your Influenza Vaccination Program. The following forms can be used for education, promotion and documentation of your facility’s Immunization Program. CLICK HERE for the CDC Long-Term Care Toolkit for valuable information. INFLUENZA VACCINE INFORMATION SHEET (English) INFLUENZA VACCINE INFORMATION SHEET (Spanish) POSTER/FLYER 65 YEARS+ (English) POSTER/FLYER 65 YEARS+ (Spanish) POSTER/FLYER HEALTHCARE WORKER (English) POSTER/FLYER HEALTHCARE WORKER (Spanish) Sample Consent Form
Post Traumatic Stress and the Elderly After Hurricane Irma that displaced thousands of people and left them without power many elderly patients find it hard to “bounce back” from the stress. The sudden and overwhelming nature of natural disasters can leave many shocked, emotional and uncertain about their future. The constant warning and 24/7 news coverage of destructive weather this year can take a major toll on anyone’s mental health. People can develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder” at any time after experiencing a traumatic event, but 30 days is the minimum to receive a diagnosis. After Hurricane Harvey and the catastrophic flooding, many people are suffering acute symptoms such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder and fear of the unknown. For the elderly and those who have a history of mental illness or dementia they are at a greater risk for developing PTSD. Signs of PTSD include flashbacks and nightmares, avoidance of situations that bring them back to the trauma, heart pounding, trouble breathing. The condition can also lead to feelings of depression and anxiety as well as insomnia. Being displaced during a storm, staying with other people (even family) needing to throw away damaged items, having to buy a refrigerator’s food, dealing with blocked streets and downed trees are stressful for healthy adults and even more so for an elderly
On October 1, 2018, data will be collected to ensure that medication reconciliation is also completed at the time of admission. The new Quality Measure – Drug Regimen Review, will evaluate the percentage of resident stays in which drug regimen review was conducted at time of admission and if facility staff followed up with the physician before midnight the next calendar day. Facilities that are found non-compliant will have their Medicare Payment reduced 2%. Skilled nursing facilities are required to reconcile patient medications prior to discharge back to the community. F661 – Discharge Summary states “Facility staff must compare the medications listed in the discharge summary to medications the resident was taking while in the facility. Any discrepancies must be assessed and resolved, and resolution documented in discharge summary with rationale.” The Advancing Excellence “Medications at Transitions and Clinical Handoffs” (MATCH) toolkit incorporated experiences and lessons learned from staff of facilities that have implemented MATCH. The toolkit helps facilitate a review and improvement of current practices to strengthen the process and improve patient safety. The World Health Organization has developed a Standard Operating Protocol for Medication Reconciliation and assuring medication accuracy in transitions in care. To write your policy and start your program, click the link below: