Taking care of aged grandparents

Taking care of aged grandparents

Usually, these grandkids are the closest to their grandparent or they live closer to the elderly one than other people or just because there is no one else.

Why are young adults faced with so many problems caring for their grandparents?

In most cases, grandchildren who have to take care of their grandparents are young adults in their 20s or their late teens. They’re at a point in their lives where their friends are starting their careers, in colleges, have active social lives, jobs, and can decide the direction of their lives. These young caregivers on the other hand, are thrust into responsibility that not even all mature adults can handle.

In addition, these young caregivers become isolated form their peers and they have a lot of emotional upheavals to deal with. They have to be able to manage having a life, navigating the health system and managing sometimes uncooperative elders.

How can young caregivers find support?

  • Find mentors in your local community who can guide you on how to take care of your grandparents.
  • Get resources from your state’s National Family Caregiver Support Program. Just go to your state website and search for “aging”
  • Get help from your Local Area Agency on Aging or other organizations that deal with aging
  • Join a support group for young caregivers
  • Consider putting the aged ones in assisted living facilities or hire in-home care.

It is important that you always bear in mind that you are at the point in your life where you should be pursuing your dreams and building your future. Your grandparents would understand and they will be glad that you have a great life or are at least making an attempt to have one. Therefore, you should not feel guilty when asking for assistance in taking care of your grandparents.

Why drinking too much water may be bad for you

Why drinking too much water may be bad for you

A recent studies have shown that in some rare cases, drinking too much of water can in fact be detrimental and may even lead to death.

In this article, we’ll review how drinking an outrageous amount of water can be harmful.

  1. Drinking an excessive amount of water can impede the body’s ability to eliminate waste.

Consuming too much water means that you’ll naturally have to urinate more but it doesn’t necessarily translate to elimination of waste at the same rate. Studies have shown that when you urinate more often than you should, you’ll be overworking your kidneys. The kidney helps to expel excess waste and water from the blood but when you drink way too much water and fast, there’s a lot more blood for the kidneys to screen and this diluted blood can cause the level of sodium to drop to a dangerously low level and can result in exhaustion, nausea and vomiting.

  1. Consuming too much water may affect the brain.

While research shows that water helps brain functions like memory and concentration, they also show that an excessive consumption can do just the opposite.

When the kidneys cannot get rid of excess water, the fluid may end up crossing from the blood into the body cells, making them swell. When this happens in brain cells, it becomes dangerous as the cells are tightly packed within the skull where there’s little or no space for expansion. This can lead to seizures, coma, respiratory problems and even death in some people.

  1. Too much water wears out the circulatory system.

Drinking too much water can elongate the blood vessels over time and cause their walls to wear out as a result. Likewise, bombarding the walls of the kidneys with excess fluid creates a lot of strain on their walls.

It is important to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. Studies suggest that women should drink up to 2.2 liters, while men should aim towards 3 liters.




Is Mocha Coffee dangerous ?

Is Mocha Coffee dangerous ?

It can be said that the amount of sugar in a twelve ounce mocha drink is equal to ten teaspoons of granulated sugar. Would it be out of the question for you to put ten cubes of sugar or ten sugar packets into a twelve ounce tea or coffee? Yes, of course it would. Because you aren’t putting ten packets of sugar into your drink yourself, the real amount of sugar in the ingredients used to make your coffee goes unseen.

For example, the main ingredient in the sauce used to sweeten your mocha drink is sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and not actual chocolate. Usually, the last ingredient before all the artificial flavoring and coloring is cocoa. There are no true health benefits from the small amount of chocolate in the chocolate syrup used for flavoring even if the label indicates it to be dark chocolate.

Drinking a medium mocha can be comparable to drinking a twelve ounce can of soda when considering the amount of sugar in both. Even though there is so much media coverage about the high amount of sugar in soft drinks, mochas are not often put in this category. They certainly do quality to be placed in this category, mochas are packed with sugar and are on equal level with sodas.

Sugar filled drinks are associated with obesity as seen in many studies. New studies indicate that people can have a genetic predisposition to be more prone to the negative results that come from consuming sugar filled drinks. Some research also shows having one sugar sweetened drink a day places women at a high risk for getting diabetes of type two.

We suggest that you reconsider your choice to drink mochas regularly. There are other choices for coffee and sweet drinks that do not contain as much sugar. If chocolate is what you must have, instead have a portion of 74% artesanal dark chocolate.

Water Intoxication : What do you need to know ?

Water Intoxication : What do you need to know ?


It is common to have been encouraged to drink as much water as we can to stay healthy and hydrated. This is an example from WebMD. Still, some of our own patients have been passing away due to a high water consumption. Here, you can find an example from a Michigan prison and another from the San Diego Central Jail. Intoxication from water is considered to be an uncommon condition in the US population.

This is also called psychogenic polydipsia (PPD) and has been observed to occur more often in correctional facilities. Nurses in these correctional facilities as well as officers must be aware of this condition and act in a timely manner to keep these incidents from happening.

A few years ago while on a visit to a risk management site, this condition got my attention. A correctional officer stationed in the mental health unit of a prison recounts the story of an inmate who started drinking water without control. The officer suspected that the inmate’s behavior was out of the normal and asked a nurse to look into the issue.

This evaluation had a positive result because the inmate was examined and the resulting PPD was diagnosed early. Regrettably, as can be read in the accounts of intoxication from water in California and Michigan, very often the condition is not diagnosed or overseen as it should be.

What is PPD (Water Intoxication)?

Intoxication from water results from intaking so much fluid to the point that the body can no longer handle it physiologically. This excess of fluid negatively disturbs the balance of electrolytes in the human body by making the level of sodium and plasma osmolality to decrease below what can usually be tolerated by the kidneys. Listed here are some signs of hyponatremia that results from intoxication by drinking too much water:

  • Puffiness of the eyes
  • Expansion of the abdomen
  • Acute edema
  • Throwing up
  • Nausea

This lack of electrolyte balance also brings about changes in behavior, and these behaviors can be misinterpreted to be part of a mental disorder:

  • Irritable
  • Anger outbreaks
  • Pacing around
  • Uneasiness

Sudden changes of fluids in the brain can cause a coma, seizures and even death. PPD needs to be taken seriously and should be diagnosed on time and treated carefully.

Who is likely to suffer from this condition ?

In both of the cases, the patients suffered from schizophrenia. In fact, about 20 percent of psychiatric patients have this condition. The growing number of mentally ill inmates is an important factor in the number of water intoxication cases in correctional places.

Patients who fit the categories below are also likely to get hyponatremia:

  • Ecstasy users (MDMA)
  • Athletes (endurance)
  • Parenteral nutrition patients

Since it is not common for nurses in correctional facilities to care for patients on TPN, the use of drugs is common among inmates. Sportive competitions among those inmates can get out of control. Most importantly, PPD will result in psychiatric patients.

How is Water Intoxication treated?

Handling intoxication from water is not easy. Some recommendation from psychiatrists Perch and O’Connor can be found.

Avoid judging: In a water intoxication case, drinking too much water is something that will be difficult to control and manage. Gain the patient’s trust by showing no judgement and being sympathetic towards the patient.

Regularly check the patient’s weight: Monitoring the weight every day can give insight on the intake of water. By clicking on the Correctional Nursing Podcast, you will hear how Psychiatrist Scott Eliason uses this intervention in his work with patients in the Idaho Correctional system.

Keep fluids to a minimum but do not eliminate them: Stay hydrated with 2 to 3 liters of fluid. Careful monitoring will be necessary to stay hydrated if a dry cell is used.

Carefully consider psychotropic medication: A psychiatrist might be able to change the medication to ease frequent fluid intake.

Positively reinforce the patient: Patients will benefit more from being treated if they are rewarded for complying with the fluid intake limit.

Advice for Extremely Hot Weather

Advice for Extremely Hot Weather


Do not go in the heat

  • Staying indoors, between midday – 3PM, is a great idea.
  • Do not engage in exhausting outdoor activities such as gardening or sports. If doing these activities is a must, do them when it is cooler in the day.
  • Prevent sunburn by using sun screen or sun block.
  • Wearing a t-shirt or other loose fitting clothing to cover up is great practice.
  • Sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat for shade will further help.


Cooling down

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Do not drink alcohol, coffee or tea since those drinks can further dehydrate you.
  • Wet your face with cold water or take a cold bath/shower as a great way to cool down.


Make sure your environment stays cool

  • Keeping electronics and unneeded lighting turned off is a great way to decrease the amount of heat.
  • Evaporation helps to maintain cool air in a room, so keep bowls of water and plants indoors.
  • Fans can help with the heat, but resort to them only when necessary.
  • Stay in the coolest parts of the building.
  • Close curtains and blinds to keep rooms cool and shaded.


Help out others with the heat

  • Look out for ill, elderly, or very young people to make sure they are staying cool.
  • Make sure that children, babies and elderly individuals are not left alone in parked cars.
  • Regularly keep an eye open for elderly or sick neighbors, family and friends.
  • Be ready to call a doctor or for help in case someone is not feeling well or if more help is needed.


Say you have a health condition

  • Make sure all your medicines stay in the refrigerator below 25 degrees Celsius (refer to the instructions for storage on the medicine label).
  • If you have a serious health condition or take various medications, always look for medical advice.


If you or someone else is not feeling well

  • Do not hesitate to get help when feeling weak, dizzy, anxious, or are experiencing severe thirst or a headache.
  • Go to a cooler place as soon as possible and check your body temperature.
  • Rehydrate by drinking fruit juice and plenty of water.
  • If you experience intense spasms of the muscles (especially on the stomach, arms, or legs after a long exercise during really hot weather), rest in a cool place and take rehydration drinks that have electrolytes.
  • Get immediate medical attention if heat cramps persist for more than an hour.
  • Call the doctor if you experience symptoms that are unusual or if those symptoms continue.

Staying in shape for seniors should be fun

Staying in shape for seniors should be fun

Our caregivers work everywhere in the country with individuals who range in levels of mobility and health. According to these elderly individuals, beginning a healthy lifestyle is the easy part most of the time. Based on experience, the exercise plans start out great but decrease in rigor as the routine goes on.

There are some explanations for this. Many times, the initial goals set are very ambitious and later the working out becomes too redundant.

Also at times, we do not correctly estimate the time needed for the task of fitness or at other instances important matters get in the way of our advancement. What we hear more commonly to be the reason is outright boredom.

It is simply not fun

This can be the reason why older individuals are always looking into other fitness plans. Make sure to begin with a fun exercise routine. If your elderly loved one enjoys working on his or her garden, use that activity as an advantage – even after the garden is complete – by becoming part of a gardening club or becoming a volunteer at a community center.

The exercising will be less a chore if the activity is fun

The activity itself does not have to be what makes it fun. Jogging or water aerobics are some a few examples of working out while having the opportunity to socialize. Some say that you are going too fast on a workout if you can’t carry a conversation.

Let’s be honest, we all can benefit from a bit more exercise. Doing these activities together will motivate your elderly loved ones to stay healthy while strengthening your relationship.

Other ideas that have come up are mini gold, shopping, and playing on the lawn. Our classic favorite example will have to be simply playing with the grandchildren. If the grandchildlren are not around, there are schools or daycare centers, which respond favorably to positive role models for the children.

What are some of your ideas for fun ways to keep your seniors active minus the chore of a workout plan? Join the discussion on Facebook.

How a Caregiver can Stay Sane with 8 Tips of Advice

How a Caregiver can Stay Sane with 8 Tips of Advice
  1. If you’re out eating and the waiter/waitress asks what you will drink, respond, “Only diet water, thank you.”
    (Come across as normal as anyone ordering a diet soda would.)
  2. Whenever writing a check, on the memo part write out, “marijuana.”
  3. When you can, try skipping down the street instead of walking. Pay attention to see who is looking at you.
  4. Get vanilla pudding and put it in a mayonnaise jar. Go to a public place with a lot of people and enjoy your vanilla pudding.
  5. When you withdraw from the ATM, shout out, “Yes! I Won!”
  6. When leaving the zoo, run to your car shouting, “They’re out of their cages! Run! Run!”
  7. When you go to the opera, just sing along!
  8. Pull over on the side of the road wearing sunglasses. Point your hair dryer at cars passing by. Watch with a grin as they slow down.

Recommendations on being a caregiver

Recommendations on being a caregiver

Lately, the responsibilities of a caregiver are mounting and have too much to joggle at once. If you happen to be a caregiver, you know what it’s like to come across new situations that leave you wanting to ask for help no matter how good you are at getting the job done.

It is vital to keep yourself healthy to continue to be successful at being a caregiver. Since there are challenges and new situations that you will face, we want you to feel encouraged and also we are providing tips that will help as you balance the demands of being a caregiver.

Make sure to care for yourself

It is both physically and emotionally tiring being a caregiver. Make sure you get plenty of rest and feel revitalized so you are able to provide the best care. Take a break when needed without feeling guilty. Give yourself some time at least once a day for at least fifteen minutes.

Trust your doctor

If your doctor is fully aware of your situation as a caregiver and of the level of care you provide yourself, she/he will be able to better evaluate your health and provide the best recommendation. It is crucial that your doctor knows explicitly that you are a caregiver. This will help her/him provides a unique assessment of your heath along with any advice and detect any early warning signs related to your health. You will be given plenty of advice and resources for your care from a knowledgeable doctor.

Take the help you are given

You might be tempted to believe that, as a caregiver, it is up to you to do it all yourself. Even if you are very willing to do all the work, you will begin to experience poor health, burnout, and also a not so positive attitude towards people in your life that you care about. It is your responsibility to yourself and to those you care for to take the help that is offered to you. This help can be anything, for example, having a friend or relative spend time with your care recipient or driving your care recipient to a doctor appointment. This will allow you to have time to yourself and to get help on your responsibilities.

Embrace change

Having an open mind to new ways of providing care can make a positive impact on your responsibilities. Staying current on new technology, resources for the community, and nearby physicians will help ensure your care recipient is the least dependent on you.

Go with your gut feeling

You are the one who knows your care recipient the best and your gut feeling should lead you to make good choices. Believe in yourself and rest assured that you are doing things to the best of your ability.

Look for support

You can find solutions to problems, emotional support, and a community of people who share your experience through a support group. There are various online and in person support groups and I recommend you seek one you feel at ease with.

Speak up

As a care provider, you need to understand your rights. We know that becoming a caregiver means many responsibilities. For example, you might get an important phone call that makes you stop everything you are doing and handle the matter. Knowing if you are eligible for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by checking with your employer is good practice.

Stay in the loop

Educate yourself of the any community resources available. These resources can be transportation services, food services, and even assistance for adults. These resources are meant to help people lead healthy and independent lives as much as possible. You might not even have to pay for some these services!
You will find that being a caregiver is one of the most satisfying jobs even if there are downsides, like the emotional and physical stress.

Here are 12 Pros to Old Age

Here are 12 Pros to Old Age

There definitely exists a share of sad moment that come from being in geriatrics. Fortunately, those sad moments are compensated for by the moments of laughter and wisdom that my patients bring me each day.

It is my pleasure to share with you the below list containing twelve advantages of old age. The list was given to me by Mr. R., who is 83 years old, and who is continuing to manage to care for his 98-year-old wife despite his high blood pressure and heart damage. He gave me the list during one of his follow-up visits and I realized that getting old is not all that bad.

The 12 Pros of Old Age

  • You might get away with sleeping whenever and wherever.
  • You are allowed to drive slower than others without getting reprimanded for it on the road.
  • No one will mind much if you forget to zip up.
  • You might forget what you read after finishing a book or magazine, so it will be perfectly fine to reread it.
  • Food stains on your clothes are the least of your worries.
  • You enjoy each each as if it was a holiday.
  • You will be able to get the early-bird special and additionally get your senior discount on other purchases.
  • Even if you have a bad-temper, people will understand and be nice to you.
  • You are allowed be forgetful, since you ARE a senior citizen.
  • You only have great recollection for the good things and forget all about the bad.
  • You can remove your hearing aid, if you want to tune anything out.
  • The hospital staff (doctors and nurses) is always kind and understanding.

After reading such a list, how could I not love what I do? Seeing firsthand the courage and poise that many of my elderly patients demonstrate when dealing with the challenges of getting older is by far the best part of being a geriatrician. What are your thoughts? What are some advantages for you of caring for someone older?

Test for High Blood Pressure now instead of Waiting to Visit the Doctor

The announcement by these organizations received coverage in mainstream news . The announcements:

  • In-office doctor diagnosis can have misleading results, either overestimating or underestimating the results. It is called the “white coat effect” when it is overestimated.
  • Home testing will give a more accurate representation or a Big Picture, since blood pressure typically varies throughout the day and doctor visits will not catch that. This might be more representative than the “snapshot” result from a visit to the doctor.
  • The quick results from home monitoring can be a great advantage for patients, making them think twice about their eating choices and even motivating them to exercise more.
  • Tools for home testing as well as specific advice is provided by The Heart Association.
  • Those monitors can cost from $50 to $100 and can be purchased on-line and at drug stores.

Additionally, the group suggests purchasing an automated model, which has the upper arm cut. The British Hypertension Society provides a list of monitors that meet international standards.

Are you feeling you are not tech-savvy enough to help your parents set up a blood pressure machine, much less persuade them to do the monitoring themselves? You should not worry. Clear instructions and toll-free phone numbers with real-person assistance is included with most monitors.


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