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After a Hospital Discharge: There’s No Place Like Home
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

If you are a family caregiver, it’s a relief at the end of a loved one’s hospital stay to hear that it is finally time for them to return home. For you, this notice of impending discharge begins a period of transition that will determine whether they successfully resume life at home or are readmitted to the hospital. Fortunately, there are many positive things that can be done to increase the likelihood of success and decrease the chances of readmission. Your support and involvement during this period, especially the first 30 days after discharge, will be critical.

Intermittent Care - A New Trend in Home Care
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

Independent living facilities are senior living communities designed for older adults who do not need regular medical assistance or help with activities of daily living—called ADLs—such as dressing, eating, using the toilet, and personal hygiene. Many individuals in independent living communities, however, will eventually need some form of help with at least a few of their ADLs—but less than the around-the-clock access to medical care or full-scale assistance available at nursing homes and assisting living facilities.  Life spans are increasing and despite, the normal declines that accompany aging and often affect the ability to perform ADLs, most people want to live in an independent setting as long as possible.

It’s Summertime! Enjoy the Summer Sunshine - Safely
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

There once was a time when people believed that a summer suntan was a sign of good health. Billboard ads for “tanning lotion” featured a playful puppy tugging at the swimsuit of a happy little girl. Especially in Central Illinois, gardening, picnics, swimming, and other outdoor activities with family and friends made summer a special time to be outdoors. No one worried very much about the effects of overexposure to the sun’s rays.

Today we know better. We know that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is a known cause of skin cancers, with the most common types tending to occur on the parts of the body exposed to the sun.

Preserve family memories for future generations
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

Interest in family history research has never been as widespread as it is today. Ancestry, for example, claims to have three million online subscribers and a collection of 20 billion family history records! As fascinating and satisfying it can be to have all this information at our fingertips, there is still no substitute for our family members’ personal recollections and stories, told in their own words. Each of us doubtless holds several important conversations like this in our memory - conversations that should be preserved and shared with future generations. Unfortunately, until relatively recently, the tools to easily and instantly preserve and share these conversations haven’t been available to most of us.

Stay Healthy, Stay Involved – Dealing with Hearing Loss
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

For many adults, getting older means hearing problems may be on the horizon, and the numbers are definitely not comforting: the Center for Communication and Hearing says more than 1 out of 3 Americans over age 65 (16 million) have some degree of hearing loss. Unfortunately, too many of them (over 10 million) see this as a harmless condition—just a normal part of aging—and do not use hearing aids.

Shocking, but perhaps not surprising, people with hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before they seek help. In the meantime they are significantly less likely to participate in social activities (leading to social isolation, which has been shown to shorten lifespan), and more likely to be sad or depressed. Ignoring a hearing loss is not a good idea—especially when the problem can usually be treated using hearing aids. Hearing loss is not to be treated lightly.

I think I have a hearing problem. What should I do?

Care Decisions When a Parent Has Dementia
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

Imagine that you are the son or daughter of an 85 year-old man who has been living in a local memory care facility for the two years since he was diagnosed with dementia. You receive a phone call from the facility’s administrator requesting a meeting in which you are then informed that your father’s dementia has progressed to the point that he now requires 24-hour one-on-one assistance. You are also told that this type of service is not provided by the facility so you will have to hire around the clock assistance from a third party caregiver if he is to remain in the facility. What will you do?

“Finding Long Term Care – It’s a Process."
by Dean Thomas, Administrator, Apostolic Christian Skylines

When an older family member needs help with dressing, meal preparation, shopping and personal care and the needs cannot be met by family members or community services, their living situation can quickly become—or may already be—unsafe. Or there may be needs for medical attention at home that family members are simply not able to provide. In both cases, a long term care facility may be the best option.

If this is your situation, first recognize that every individual’s needs and preferences are different. A long term care facility that has been an excellent fit for a relative or friend may not be the best one today for your loved one. Finding the best match is a process that is unique for every individual. So how does the process begin?

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