Tag Archives: healthcare

How To Care For Someone With Kidney Failure

How To Care For Someone With Kidney Failure

Guest Post By: Tena L. Scallan

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney Failure DialysisKidney failure, also known as renal failure or renal insufficiency it is when the kidneys fail to filter metabolic wastes from the blood. Long-term kidney problems are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, renal failure, diabetes, decreased cognitive performance, coma and death.

When your loved one is diagnosed with kidney failure

You have to understand that when your loved ones kidneys have lost the capacity to eliminate wastes from the body. This condition can either creep in slowly or can be a sudden development. In either of the cases, you have to realize that your aging loved one is in for serious trouble, as kidney failure is not a normal occurrence.

Caring for aging loved one with kidney failure become necessary, as there are many things that need to be taken care of. From dietary changes to fluid intake, medications and doctor appointments, there are a lot of things that caregivers should take note of. However, knowing about kidney failure becomes important if we wish to take good care to our aging parents.

Understanding kidney failure

Kidney failure is a serious problem; over 48% of 500,000 Americans aged 60 years and above suffer from it. If kidney failure is left untreated, it can have serious consequences. Therefore, understanding the disease and its treatment methods becomes very important. Quick initiation of treatment can help in the better prognosis of the disease.

Kidney Disease

There are 3 types of treatment options available for treating kidney failure.

  1. Hemodialysis: A type of dialysis, which is done twice a week either at home or the medical center.
  2. Peritoneal dialysis: This type of dialysis can be done anywhere, wherever the clean place is available for exchanging the bags. The two types of peritoneal dialysis include automated peritoneal dialysis, which involves the use of the machine and continuous peritoneal dialysis, which does not require any machine.
  3. Kidney transplant: Kidney transplant is usually the last option when no other treatment methods are effective enough to bring about the desired outcome.

The above-mentioned treatment options for kidney failure do not cure the disease. These are only ways of effectively managing the kidney function. In other words, these treatment options, help carry out the function of kidneys externally. The type of treatment option can be decided by the doctor depending upon the degree of the problem and the kind of lifestyle your senior parents are habituated to.

Signs and symptoms of kidney disease

Many times our aging loved ones are not aware of the fact that they are suffering from the chronic renal disease. So, here is a checklist of symptoms to help them understand the warning signs our body throws when something is wrong with our kidneys.

Symptoms of kidney illness:

  • High blood pressure
  • There is a sudden change in the frequency of urination
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Change in the ability to concentrate
  • Lack of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the kidney area
  • Blood in urine
  • The mouth develops a metallic taste along with bad breath
  • Vomiting accompanied by nausea

Ways to care for senior parents with kidney failure

Caring for an aging loved one with kidney failure is a pretty tricky task, as there are many things that caregivers should take note of. Of the many things that require attention, caregivers should mainly focus on the diet and fluid intake of their loved one. Since the kidneys are affected the elimination of waste is reduced to hardly any. As a result, there is water retention, due to which the water intake is restricted. Furthermore, there is also a restriction of the diet of the individuals, as the sodium and potassium levels have to be strictly controlled. Therefore, caregivers are advised to carefully monitor these two aspects.

Dialysis

The various ways to help with kidney failure:

  • Ask your loved one to quit smoking. This is because poorly managed hypertension and diabetes are some of the major culprits of kidney failure and smoking contributing to both. Therefore, senior parents are advised against smoking.
  • Stop alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption is also considered to be the major reason behind kidney failure. Consuming more than 2 glasses of alcohol each day can disrupt the kidney functioning. Furthermore, if our loved one continues to consume alcohol even after kidney failure, then it can also significantly lessen the effect of dialysis and medications. Also, it would induce serious consequences.
  • Diet changes need to be made. Significant changes in the diet need to be made. For example – the sodium, potassium and protein intake need to be limited since the electrolyte balance is hampered due to kidney dysfunction. A salt-free diet is difficult to maintain, therefore, encourage the use of fresh herbs and other spices to make their diet interesting. Processed foods should be strictly avoided, as they contain large amounts of sodium and phosphorus, which may further aggravate the condition.
  • Start an exercise regimen: Encourage your loved one to exercise. Relaxation exercises are a great way to deal with the pain and anxiety that accompany kidney failure. Staying relaxed and stress-free is very essential to ensure the treatments have the desired effect.Caregivers are expected to carry out the above-mentioned guidelines, to help their aging loved ones gracefully deal with the condition of kidney failure.

Kidney Disease Signs and Symptoms


About the Author

My name is Tena L. Scallan and I am now offering consulting services on my blog http://www.theultimatecaregivingexpert.com through an Ask A Question button to answer any caregiving question. I am working out of Miramar Beach, Florida to serve everyone in the United States. Caregiving can be very stressful and sudden. The more you know, the more you can help. Please let me help you give your loved one tender loving care.

I am here to serve children of senior parents, and caregivers themselves. I would like to create a plan of action with advice and a strategy focused on how to best meet the challenges of your loved one’s needs on anything and everything caregiving related.

I am a passionate healthcare professional, business owner and best selling published author with over 25 years of experience in caregiving. I have dedicated my life’s work to caregiving. I firmly believe that both home and lifestyle can be preserved in-home with compassionate caregiving in the face of aging or illness.

Hospice: When is Hospice Care Appropriate?

Hospice: How do you know when it’s time?

So when is the right time to have the conversation about switching an individual’s plan-of-care from curative treatment (intended to cure the illness or disease at hand) to hospice, which focuses on keeping the patient happy and comfortable during their final days, weeks and in some cases, months, and helping prepare both the patient and family – both mentally and emotionally – for the inevitable loss they will soon endure?

Many times, individuals struggling with chronic and terminal illness and their families and loved ones have strong misconceptions about their or their loved one’s prognosis, leading to decisions to pursue any and all curative measures, even when the disease long ago progressed beyond the point wherein curing the individual was still a possibility.

Hospice - Metairie, New Orleans, Covington, Baton Rouge, Hammond

As anyone who has undergone chemotherapy or radiation can attest, these procedures are painful, and come with many significant adverse side effects. When a disease such as cancer progresses so far that no amount of chemotherapy, radiation or any other treatment is going to send the cancer into remission, that is to say, when the patient’s prognosis becomes imminently terminal, transitioning from curative treatment to hospice, which uses a variety of palliative care measures as well as grief counseling and other services, is not only appropriate but is also the right thing to do for the dying individual.

Palliative care is not curative in nature. Rather than attempt to cure one’s illness, hospices instead focus on ensuring the patient is as comfortable as is possible given the circumstances, and helping make sure they receive maximum enjoyment of what time they have left on earth.

This allows the terminally ill to spend quality time with family, friends and loved ones right at home (or an assisted living facility). The alternative is to going back-to-back, to-and-from the hospital to receive intense treatments that harm quality of life, rob the patient of time that could be spent pursuing favorite activities or bonding with family when these treatments are administered to terminal patients who are either unaware that their prognosis is terminal or are in denial and hoping for a miracle.

EGAN Hospice

In many cases it’s best for everyone involved for someone (usually a doctor, nurse or family member) to be honest and direct with the patient and his or her family, leaving no doubt that the individual is going to die from their illness or condition, likely within six months of the disease runs its usual course, and that no amount of curative treatment is going to change that.

This way, instead of families holding on to false hope until the very end, then being surprised and distraught when the inevitable occurs, the patient can be made optimally comfortable, while both the patient and family receive both psychological and spiritual counseling beginning weeks or months, helping prepare all involved parties emotionally and spiritually for when the inevitable death occurs.

Palliative Care is defined by the World Health Organization as follows:

“Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”

Palliative Care is certainly a major component of hospice, however the terms are not necessarily simultaneous. For one thing, palliative care can be applied at any point during the course of treatment from a surgery, injury, disease or illness. Whereas Hospice Care is reserved exclusively for individuals who are terminally ill (meaning the are going to die, and that no form of curative medicine is going to change that), and includes palliative care among a plethora of other services.

Wikipedia defines Hospice as follows:

“Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs.”

Also from Wikipedia’s Hospice definition:

“In hospice care the main guardians are the family care giver and a hospice nurse who makes periodic stops. Hospice can be administered in a nursing home, hospice building, or sometimes a hospital; however, it is most commonly practiced in the home. In order to be considered for hospice care, one has to be terminally ill or expected to die in six months.”

EGAN Hospice is now available throughout all of EGAN Home Health and Hospice’s service area, which extends as far west as Baton Rouge, and includes office locations in the following locations:

  • Baton Rouge / Gonzales
  • Ponchatoula/Hammond (serving all of Tangipahoa Parish)
  • LaPlace
  • Metairie (serving New Orleans, Kenner and all of East Jefferson, Chalmette & St. Bernard)
  • Gretna/Terrytown (serving all of the West Bank, including Marrero and Belle Chase)
  • Covington (serving all of the Northshore, including Mandeville and Slidell)
  • Plaquemines Parish (office located in Port Sulphur but serving the entire parish including Empire, Buras, Delacroix and surrounding areas).
  • Franklinton
  • Bogalusa (serving all of Washington Parish)

Home Care Providers & Caregivers Must Have Empathy

Home Health Care Providers, Caregivers Must Have Empathy for Patients

If there is one qualifying characteristic necessary in order for a person to become and/or to serve as a good home health care provider or in-home caregiver to an elderly patient, parent, grandparent or other relative, it is without a doubt lots and lots of empathy. There are so many moments that can be so difficult in so many ways, especially when the person on the receiving end of the care fights what you know is in his or her best interests.

Caregiving: Home Health CareI’ve worked with hundreds of families in such situations, and those who handle that phase of life with the most grace are those who are able to view each situation that arises with empathy as if seeing it through the eyes of the elderly relative for whom the care is being administered.

If I could say one thing to a person or family new to elder care (being a caregiver to an elderly parent or relative) in order to help them succeed in being effective, it would be to constantly remind oneself that no matter how difficult the situation becomes for the person or people administering the care, it’s at least as difficult if not more so for the person on the receiving end.

The patient — the only person receiving the care, be it performed by a relative, nurse, home health aide or EZ Shampoo Inflatable Hair Wash Basinsitter — is the only person involved in the equation who knows definitively that his or her days are not only numbered but that that number is rapidly dwindling as the end-of-life draws near. It is no more pleasant to have to be the person who has to have his or her own privates washed wipes by someone else than it is to be the person doing the washing.

While the existence of such products as ReadyBath wipes and the EZ Shampoo Inflatable Hair Wash Basin do make life infinitely easier on both the caregiver and the recipient of the in-home health care, the most important thing to remember is that these are still debilitating to the morale of any person accustomed to living independently, and that losing one’s own facilities can be a tremendous psychological and emotional burden that far exceeds that experienced by the caregiver, regardless of whether he or she is a professional or an amateur (i.e. family).

Gretna, LA Based EGAN Home Health Nurse Goes Above and Beyond

Patient’s Caregiver Makes Special Trip to Commend EGAN Gretna Nurse

Today we had a patient’s caregiver to walk into the Gretna home health care and nursing office because she simply wanted to tell us how exemplary her son’s nurse was. She stated that this nurse is very caring, attentive, detail-oriented, and truly genuine.

Gretna NurseShe went on to say that she only sees her son twice a week, but that she calls everyday just to check in on him to make sure he’s okay. She absolutely raved about this nurse and Egan Healthcare Services / EGAN Nursing as a whole. She explained that she’s had experiences before in the past with another home health agency in Gretna charged with caring for other family members, and although those nurses and agencies were good, they were nothing like this nurse and this company.

SO, thank you Leslie P, RN for exceeding the expectations. Great job on providing exceptional care to the patient and his family.

EGAN Announces Health Care Industry Job Board!

Home Health Care and Hospice Jobs/Careers

Update: The job board is back! For a complete list of Louisiana Home Health Care jobs, please visit the following page: http://eganhealthcare.com/louisiana-home-health-care-jobs/.

EGAN Home Health Care and EGAN Hospice are currently hiring registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, billing specialists and many other positions!. Apply online by filling out the application at http://eganhealthcare.com/jobs.

The original post is below:

EGAN Healthcare Services is pleased to announce the debut of the company’s all-new health care industry job board. The purpose of the board is to serve as a service to the healthcare community, matching up job seekers with open positions at agencies across Southeastern Louisiana.

Health care professionals such as skilled nurses, home health aids, physical and occupational therapists and hospice specialists can now post their resumes online right from the EGAN Healthcare website, where health care agencies can find the perfect candidates to fill their respective openings.

The board may be searched by specialty, industry sub-classification (nurses, hospice workers, home health aids, physical therapists, etc.), city, state, zip code and of course position. Health care industry job seekers are encouraged to participate, and agencies across the entire health care spectrum are encouraged to post their openings to the board in hopes of attracting that perfect candidate.

A 3-month trial involving a single market (Metairie) and a single job specialty (home health aid) drew rave reviews, and participation was beyond even the wildest expectations of the members of EGAN Healthcare’s IT department. Involvement was far greater than anticipated, leading to the expansion of the program by EGAN’s IT personnel.

While far from a finished product, the board features a number of different health care industry specialties, as well as all substantial markets in the Greater New Orleans area and on the North Shore. New positions and job titles will be continuously added to the board until the entire spectrum of health care workers can post their respective resumes and search for jobs within their respective fields online, right from the EGAN Healthcare website.

To view the board, post a resume or a job opening, please visit the following URL:  http://eganhealthcare.com/home-health-care-jobs/.