Why You Need a Gait Belt!

Timing is such an interesting thing…I have been working for Avenue Home Care as the Relations Manager since the beginning of 2019. That is around the time that my family decided it was time to put my Grammy into a residential senior living facility because she was no longer able to walk without assistance and was a fall risk (in fact she had fallen several times and sometimes has to wait HOURS before someone found her to help her back up).

Fast forward a few months and my Grammy has now settled into her new life in her new home, which thankfully, she LOVES! She is now close to family who can regularly visit her and check-in on her, and that has been so wonderful! About a week ago while trying to get herself out of bed, she reached for her walker and missed and fell to the floor…HARD. Thankfully she is in a facility where she wears a device that she can push to signal to the caregivers when she needs help. When the sweet caregivers arrived to find my Grammy flat in the floor and in agonizing pain, they were unable to lift her and get her into a chair. The paramedics had to be called and they sent her to the hospital for some x-rays.

The x-rays revealed that she had broken her right humerus bone.

Because my sweet Grammy has to use BOTH arms to use her walker, this diagnosis meant that for the next three months or so, she will be wheelchair and bed bound. No more walking except with the help of several caregivers in physical therapy.

I was visiting my Grammy a few days ago when she said she needed to use the restroom. She was, at this time, still in her bed. I looked at her with complete bewilderment as I had NO CLUE what to do or what the process was?! She pushed her call button and because of her injured arm, two caregivers were called to get my Grammy out of her bed and into her wheelchair to then wheel her to the bathroom, lift her up, sit her on the toilet, lift her BACK up, put her in the wheelchair, wheel her back to her bed and lift her AGAIN to put her in her bed. She was in excruciating pain every time they had to lift her (one lifted her from her left armpit area, and the other would grab whatever she could from her pajama bottoms to lift her from the back).

There HAD to be a better way….

THANKFULLY since the beginning of this year I work in an office where I have several medical supplies designed to help with just such problems right at my fingertips (like I said earlier…timing is EVERYTHING!)

 
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Enter the GAIT BELT. This belt goes around the patients waist (see video here), and gives the caregivers something STURDY and SECURE to hold onto while they lift and transport the patient (see an example of it in use here).

This has been an absolute game changer for my Grammy since her fall. The caregivers no longer have to try lifting her from her armpits or try finding some piece or clothing to hold onto while transporting her, saving them energy and my Grammy the excruciating pain. For now, it will still take two caregivers to lift and transport my Grammy because her legs are still very weak from being in bed, BUT in the next couple of weeks, myself or any of our other family members with proper training, will be able to assist my Grammy without the assistance of a caregiver.

If you or someone you know have been entrusted with the care of a loved one, or know of someone who has a caregiver, TELL THEM ABOUT THIS SIMPLE (and inexpensive!!) device and I promise you it will make caring for your loved one SO MUCH EASIER and safer!!

You are welcome to call us here at Avenue Home Care to place an order or if you have any questions (760) 978-6060, or you can find them at most medical supply stores and online.

Home Health and In-Home Care. What's the Difference?

 
 
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HOME HEALTH CARE

Home health care is clinical medical care provided by an registered nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist or other skilled medical professionals, and is often prescribed as part of a care plan following a hospitalization

HOME HEALTH SERVICES

Home health care services include:

  • Therapy and skilled nursing services

  • Administration of medications, including injections

  • Medical tests

  • Monitoring of health status

  •  Wound care

WHEN TO USE HOME HEALTH

Situations in which home health is prescribed include:

  • Following an inpatient hospitalization, rehabilitation, or a stay at a skilled nursing facility – to help the senior transition back to independence

  • When a senior has had a recent medication change, in order to monitor for side effects and assure a new medication is effective

  • When seniors experience an overall decline in functioning – in order to help them to regain independence through therapy or learning new skills to compensate for their deficit

HOW TO PAY FOR HOME HEALTH

Since it is considered medical care, home health is covered by medical insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Covered by Medicare when prescribed by a physician

  • Medicaid for qualified individuals

  • Private pay (in rare cases when home health is not prescribed, but a senior desires such services)

HOME CARE

Home care is provided by caregivers, usually called home care aides, who are trained to understand the nuances of senior care. Home care aides can help older adults with activities of daily living, or just offer some friendly companionship. Unlike home health, home care is classified as personal care or companion care and is considered “unskilled” or “non-clinical.”

WHEN TO USE HOME CARE

You might consider hiring a home care aide for older adults who:

  • Need assistance with activities of daily living ranging from grooming to meal preparation

  • Do not drive and require transportation

  • Live alone, may be at risk for social isolation and need companionship

HOW TO PAY FOR HOME CARE

  • Private pay

  • Long-term care insurance

  • Medicaid for qualified low-income seniors

HOME CARE SERVICES

Services provided by home care aides may include:

  • Meal preparation

  • House cleaning

  • Helping dressing, bathing and grooming

  • Transportation

  • Reminders to take medicine

  • Help with bill paying

HOME HEALTH & HOME CARE COMPARISON

The charts below highlight some of the differences between home health and home care, both in terms of services provided and method of payment:

SERVICES COMPARISON

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PAYMENT OPTIONS COMPARISON

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COMBINING SERVICES

Home health and home care are not mutually exclusive services. Many families find that utilizing these services in tandem best help a senior who, for example, is recovery after a hospitalization. The home health staff address clinical and rehabilitative needs during the transition home, while a home care aide can help with personal caregiving and household chores that the senior requires assistance with during his or her recovery.


Why Home Care is Personal for Us

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No matter our backgrounds, our education, religion, or political affiliations, we all have something very special in common: our loved ones. This is often times a parent or a grandparent but can also include extended family members such as aunts & uncles or cousins living in different parts of the country. A loved one can even be a friend from work or a neighbor you check in on from time-to-time. We are all bonded over our love for these special people in our lives and the hope that when the time comes, they will be looked after properly when they can no longer look after themselves.

My name is Kelly Willardson and I am the Relations Manager here at Avenue Home Care. The photograph you see above is of my maternal grandparents on their wedding day on January 5th, 1951. It’s hard to believe that almost 70 years has passed since this photo was taken! What a life they went on to live! But time is cruel and it has a way of creeping up on you when you’re not looking! My Grammy will be celebrating her 87th birthday this month and my family just made the hard but ultimately necessary decision to move her into a long-term residential living facility where she receives help dressing, bathing and walking. Her mind is that of a twenty year old but her body is slowly failing her. It’s devastating to witness.

Oh how grateful we are for caregivers! They have been my Grammy’s HEROS over the past few weeks since she has begun her new life in her new home. We have seen first-hand the important everyday role they play in making sure my sweet grandma is looked after properly and with dignity. What a relief and a blessing it has been to all who love her.

I share this experience with you because I want you all to know that you are not alone in this journey. We at Avenue Home Care understand how scary it can be to entrust the care of your loved one to a stranger and allow them into your homes and into your lives. We want you to know that we are here to guide you through this process and leave you comforted knowing that your loved one is in the best possible hands.


“It’s Personal for Us.”-