How do you cope when your child is diagnosed with chronic illness?

How do you cope when your child is diagnosed with chronic illness?

It is natural for parents to feel protective of their children and this explains why it can be very disheartening when you are told your child has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Some of these conditions include cancer, diabetes or even juvenile arthritis. It is important that parents learn how to cope with the news and also how to manage their emotions in order to give their child the best care they require.

The most prominent feelings parents have when they find out their kids have a chronic illness include sadness, anger and guilt. These feelings though undesirable, are not abnormal.

What is the best way to handle this situation and cope with your child’s illness?

The best way is to address the medical condition head on and take decisive action. When you do this, you give yourself a sense of purpose and you can hold off the feelings of helplessness and depression. By taking action, you will feel more in control because you know you are doing something to make your child feel better. Additionally, you should avoid becoming overprotective or too laid-back with your child. Try to maintain the same structure you had before the diagnosis. This will help your child feel as normal as possible and also help hold your family together.

Another way to cope is to ensure you have a healthy way to manage your stress. You can achieve this by having a support network of friends and family who can help reduce your workload. You should also spend more time taking care of yourself by exercising, eating healthy and ensuring you don’t lose track of your interests.

You may also need to speak with a psychologist to help you and your child through the trying times.

What do you do when a parent moves in with you ?

What do you do when a parent moves in with you ?

there are lots of expectations and the pressure builds up so quickly. It is very important that you have a plan in place for how to ensure a synergy between the existing members of your household and the parent that has to come live with you.

What are the expectations when a parent has to move in and how do you handle it?

In most cases, this is hardly a win-win situation. On the bright side, multi-generational households can cut housing costs by having everyone in the same house. Additionally, you can be sure that your elderly ones are safe and there will always be someone capable around to attend to their needs. On the downside, however, it can cause an emotional upheaval having a parent move into your home. They either experience a sense of loss and powerlessness that may push them into becoming depressed or they just become very difficult to manage.

Here are a few things that you can do to make the transition easier on everybody:

  • Plan ahead and involve every member of your household
  • Make sure you can provide the level of care required by your parent before they move in with you. If you can’t handle it, then you are better off hiring help or moving them to a home for seniors.
  • Treat the parents as members of the family, but ensure they understand your ground rules.
  • Be honest and keep the lines of communication open.
  • Do not neglect other members of your family in the process

It is also important that you read books on the subject to help you make the best of the situation.

When should you see your doctor ? 5 questions you need to answer

When should you see your doctor ? 5 questions you need to answer

There is no exact recommended number of times but there are a few things that could serve as a guide to determine your next visit.

  1. Wat was the time of your last visit? You can’t remember? That means it has been too long and you should schedule a visit as soon as possible.
  2. Do you have any concerns or recent observations about your body? If you observe any bothersome symptoms such as pain in any part of your body or an unexplained change, then it is time to visit your doctor.
  3. Did you miss your last scheduled appointment for follow up? You should rectify that. There are some routine tests that need to be done as scheduled. Ensure you follow your schedule and call your doctor’s office if you are not sure.
  4. Was there a change in your family medical history? If someone was diagnosed with breast cancer, then you might need to visit the doctor and get screened. This applies to a number of diseases and conditions.
  5. Did your doctor make recommendations for you the last time? If they did, then they must have told you to check for some changes and also told you what to do. You need to visit the doctor to give a report of your current state of health. You will be evaluated and better solutions will be found for you if the previous ones didn’t work for you.

The timing or frequency of visit is never the same for everybody. Therefore, ensure you always ask your doctor when next you need to come in for a visit.


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.
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