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In-Home Care a Safe option for the elderly with disabilities during COVID

In-home health care is essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Limit exposure and keep your disabled loved ones safe with 24 Hour Home Care. Call today.

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Resources and References for Coronavirus/COVID-19

Having good, reliable information you can trust is important in any healthcare situation and having good information has never been more important than now.

COVID-19, also called the novel coronavirus, is requiring everyone in the country to become well-informed on the nature of the disease, how to protect themselves, and how to care for patients who are sick. The key here is good information; there’s a lot of nonsense out there about COVID-19. The care experts at 24 Hour Home Care want members of their community to have access to the best data and evidence about COVID-19 so that everyone can stay informed and stay healthy.

As always, 24 Hour Home Care is here to help. We’ve compiled some of the best resources available online to help you understand COVID-19, how to keep you and your loved ones safe, and how to care for yourself of someone you love who becomes ill. The resources provided on this page are reliable and can be trusted. Stay informed. Stay healthy.

Understanding the Virus

COVID-19 is a new virus first detected in humans in December 2019. The initial cases were seen in Wuhan, China, and, since data from China is sparse and unreliable, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this virus. That said, researchers are learning more everyday about how COVID-19 works. If you’re interested in learning about COVID-19, you can read up about it on these websites. You’ll find general information about how the virus operates, it’s symptoms, complications, and risk factors.

General Information

There are a number of good websites you can turn to for broad information about COVID-19.

Tracking

This website tracks COVID-19 as it travels around the world:

This website is updated by the CDC on Mondays and gives details about the spread of COVID-19 throughout the US:

General Info

These websites provide excellent, wide-ranging information about COVID-19. You’ll find answers to most of your questions at these websites, including how to identify symptoms, what to do if you get sick, and even how to disinfect your home.

Educating Yourself About Isolation, Quarantine, and Social Distancing

Visit this website for details on the President’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread” initiative.

The Cleveland Clinic provides a useful overview of isolation versus quarantine.

This article from NPR.org answers all your questions about what you should and shouldn’t do while social distancing:

The US Government’s Response

If you’re interested in learning about the many ways the US Government is responding to COVID-19 and the pandemic, you’ll find answers at this website. It contains extensive links to other federal agencies involved in all aspects of the response.

Information for Veterans

US veterans can find information about the VA’s response and instructions about what vets should do if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or believe they are ill with the virus.

State Health Departments

Getting information about your specific location is important. This link will help you navigate to your state’s department of health website. There, you’ll get information about COVID-19 in your state and your city, including statistics about the number of active cases and any stay at home orders that are active for your location.

What Treatments are Available?

Treatments for COVID-19 are evolving daily as researchers and physicians learn more about the virus. This website is a bit technical, but gives good, up-to-date information about the current status of clinical management for the disease:

If you need a more general overview of treatment options for COVID-19, this is a good resource:

What to Do if You are Sick or Caring for Someone

You need to get this right to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you or someone in your home is exposed to COVID-19 or becomes ill, trust the information on these sites to help prevent spreading the disease to others.

What to do if you are sick:

How to care for yourself at home:

How to care for someone else in your home:

How to disinfect and clean your home:

How 24 Hour Home Care is Responding to COVID-19

Our community is important to us and providing exceptional care during the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to each and every one of our clients. We are following the strictest health and safety protocols to keep our community as healthy as possible. You’ll find details of our response here:

We’re All in this Together

As the pandemic spreads, your personal contact with COVID-19 will increase. Do your homework and learn what you to need to know about this virus so you can be prepared. Carefully follow the guidelines provided to isolate yourself and your family to avoid exposure. Call your physician if you are at risk and begin to show symptoms. If you or a loved one become ill with COVID-19, the caregivers at 24 Hour Home Care are here to help.

 

 

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Understanding Coronavirus and How to Limit It’s Spread

COVID-19 has taken over our lives, changing how we work, how we shop, how we learn, how we socialize, and how we live.

If you or your loved one require in-home care during this time, it’s important to know and understand the virus and how your caregivers are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. High-quality, reliable, compassionate in-home care helps limit exposure to the virus while providing much-needed support during an already challenging time.

How Does the Virus Work?

COVID-19 is a member of the coronavirus family and was first seen in humans in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 enters the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth and heads for the lungs, the spleen, and the intestines, where it attaches itself to the host’s previously healthy cells and gives its toxic instruction, “replicate,” and quickly begins to multiply and take over. As soon as the foreign invader is detected, the host’s immune system starts sending immune cells and antibodies to the infected area. In most cases, the immune system can take control of the battlefield, destroy the viral enemy, and clean up the mess left behind. But in some cases, the virus and the secondary infections prove to be too much for the immune system to handle.

 

What Are the Effects of COVID-19 on the Body?

First, it’s very important to understand that COVID-19 is a new virus. Researchers are just beginning to understand how it affects the human body and there is much yet to learn. That said, here’s what we know to date:

  • While COVID-19 can head to the lungs, spleen, and intestines, it seems to have its greatest affinity for the lungs, which is why it’s been classified as a respiratory disease. In the first stage, the virus attacks two kinds of cells in the lungs, the mucus-producing cells, and the ciliated cells.
  • In the second stage, the immune system senses the presence of the virus and sends immune cells to the lungs to remove the damaged cells and repair the damaged tissue. For most patients, this is the end of the COVID-19 story; healthy immune systems use a carefully regulated process to keep the damage contained and get things back to working order quickly. However, hyperactive immune systems can do more harm than good and immune systems that are compromised in any way are unable to keep up with the rapidly replicating virus.
  • In these cases, patients progress to stage three. This stage begins with increasing lung damage, sometimes permanent, that resembles a honeycomb with holes peppering the lung tissue. These “holes” make the lungs stiff and unable to support adequate gas exchange between the body and the atmosphere. Inflammation is also present, causing lung alveoli to be leaky and fill the lungs with fluid. Stiff, leaky lungs are unable to carry out oxygenation, resulting in pneumonia and severe shortness of breath.
  • COVID-19 is primarily transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets produced during coughing. The first sign of infection is a fever and a cough. Symptoms may worsen to become pneumonia.
  • While COVID-10 has a passion for the lungs, some of the virus can also make its way to the gut. The novel coronavirus binds to cells on the gut epithelium causing damage and diarrhea. A limited number of studies have detected the virus in stool samples of infected patients, suggesting the possibility of fecal-oral transmission.
  • In addition to the lungs and intestines, COVID-19 can also affect the blood, liver, and kidneys. More research is underway to understand this impact more fully.
  • The incubation period for the virus is still uncertain, but a March 2020 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that the virus can spread before the onset of symptoms and up to two weeks after clinical recovery.

Who is at Higher Risk of Death?

The complete clinical understanding of COVID-19 is unknown. The illness runs the full gamut from mild (no symptoms) to severe, including infection that results in death. According to the CDC, most available information suggests that approximately 16% of cases involve serious illness. Older patients and patients of all ages with existing medical conditions are at high risk for serious illness. One report found that 80% of COVID-19 deaths were in patients 65 years of age and older, with the highest death rates occurring in people over 85.

 

What Are Ways to Limit the Spread of the Virus?

Stop the Spread.

Everyone can do their part to stop COVID-19. The CDC recommends the following to slow the spread of the virus:

  • Make social distancing your new way of life.
  • Recover at home. If you are sick with COVID-19 and your symptoms are mild, recover at home. There’s no cure for COVID-19, but mild cases do not require specialized care. Follow CDC guidelines for isolating yourself to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Quarantine yourself. If you’ve traveled to an affected area or you know you’ve been exposed to the virus, you are required to comply with quarantine restrictions.

Keep Things Clean

The CDC provides excellent recommendations for keeping things clean.

  • Wash your hands. Use soap and wash for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces with soap, water, and proven disinfection products. For a complete list of EPA-approved household disinfection products, click here.

What if Someone in Your Home is Sick?

Family members and caregivers caring for COVID-19 patients need to take precautions to avoid getting or spreading the virus.

  • Follow these instructions from the CDC to keep your home clean.
  • Monitor symptoms carefully for signs of worsening illness.
  • Treat symptoms to alleviate discomfort and promote recovery.
  • Keep the patient isolated as much as possible and use gloves and facemasks as required.
  • Watch for indications that home isolation can end. Consult the CDC guidelines to determine when it’s safe to go out again.

Trust 24 Hour Home Care

The caregivers at 24 Hour Home Care are an excellent resource for you and your family during this difficult time. Home is the safest place for your loved one; our caregivers make it easier for high-risk individuals to avoid exposure to COVID-19. We’re staying on top of the situation and taking every precaution to ensure that our caregivers and our clients stay safe.

 

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What are the Multiple Types of Coronavirus?

Looking for more information about coronaviruses and COVID-19?

The team at 24 Hour Home Care believes good, reliable information is a critical component of caring for ourselves and others. During this current health crisis, arm yourself with the facts about coronavirus and COVID-19.

What Is a Virus?

A virus is a specific class of infectious agent. Viruses get their own class in the taxonomy school; they are not plant, animal, or bacteria, but instead belong in their own distinct kingdom. Viruses are essentially parasites; they cannot replicate without the assistance of their host. They are basically just a shell filled with a bit of genetic material and some proteins. Once a virus enters a host, it really begins to “live”, replicating itself with reckless abandon. A virus actually hijacks the host cell’s machinery and instructs it to replicate the virus over and over again, which will eventually kill the host cell, release the newly created viruses (called virion) into the body, and start the process again on new cells. Virus replication proceeds at exponential rates, eventually reaching a point where some of the virus is discharged and spreads to a new host.

The most important distinction between viruses and bacteria is that bacteria are alive on their own and do not require a host to sustain life, while viruses cannot survive long without a host. This distinction is critical to understanding the different ways bacterial and viral infections can be treated. Antibiotics are medications that attack and kill the growth mechanisms in bacteria; when replication stops, the bacteria die off and the infection goes away. Viruses don’t have their own growth mechanisms, they use their host’s, so an antibiotic has nothing to attack in a virus. Luckily, the host’s immune system is built with the ability to fight off most viruses given enough time. Antibodies learn to recognize the virus and stop it from causing disease. Vaccines are given to stimulate the body to produce antibodies against specific, especially virulent viruses to make sure the body recognizes the virus immediately and can stop it in its tracks before it does lasting, possibly fatal, damage.

Viruses are the most abundant biological entities in the world, outnumbering all others put together, and there are viruses that can infect all types of cellular life. Most viruses can be classified by the type of host they can infect. Some viruses are species specific; smallpox, for example, is a virus that only infects humans. Other viruses, such as rabies, can infect a broad range of mammal species. A select group of viruses, including the corona family, are zoonotic, meaning that they can evolve and jump from one species to another.

Let’s take a closer look at the coronavirus family.

What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that share similar characteristics. They get their name from the crown-like projections that appear on its surface. The coronavirus family is large and has members that affect animals and humans. Currently, seven coronaviruses are known to infect people and the remaining identified coronaviruses are only seen in animals. Each of the seven human coronaviruses originated in animals and then evolved the ability to infect humans. Four of the seven are seen regularly and are, along with rhinoviruses, the source of the common cold. You’ve likely never heard of coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, but your immune system knows them well.

The remaining three human coronaviruses are more notorious; MERS, SARS CoV, and SARS CoV -2, otherwise known as COVID-19. All three are infectious respiratory diseases that began as animal viruses and evolved to infect humans.

  • MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). MERS was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and is associated with dromedary camels. The most significant outbreak MERS was in Saudi Arabia in 2014. To date, 2,494 people have been diagnosed with MERS and the death rate stands near 35%.
  • SARS CoV (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome). SARS CoV was first identified in Asia in February 2003. Over the next few months, SARS quickly spread to over two dozen before it was contained. A total of 8,098 individual became sick and 774 died.
  • SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19). In December 2019, SARS CoV-2—COVID-19—was first identified in humans in Wuhan, China. You might occasionally see COVID-19 called a “novel” coronavirus; this simply means that this virus strain is new and has never been seen before in humans. As of this writing in March 2020, COVID-2 is still spreading like wildfire across the globe and its full impact is not known.

COVID-19 is more contagious, more easily spread, and less lethal than its MERS and SARS cousins. This explains why the outbreak of COVID-19 has quickly became a pandemic while previous outbreaks of MERS and SARS were easily contained. Infected individuals are able to spread the virus before they even know they are sick.

What Does COVID-19 Do?

The COVID-19 virus enters the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth and heads for the lungs, the spleen, and the intestines, where it attaches itself to the host’s cells and gives its toxic instructions: “copy and reassemble.” In a fairly short period of time, patients with COVID-19 have millions of cells infected with COVID-19. While this is happening, the body’s immune system kicks in and sends immune cells and antibodies to the infected area. Our immune systems are amazing at neutralizing and destroying threats, but, like in any war, the battlefield can get messy and friendly fire becomes a real issue. The lungs, spleen, and intestines become fight arenas filled with healthy cells, infected cells, antibodies, healthy immune cells, and immune cells that become infected by COVID-19 (yes, COVID-19 can glom onto immune cells and use them to reproduce as well). During the heat of the battle, healthy  tissue can be damaged, sometimes permanently. This damage leaves the organs exposed and unprotected, allowing bacteria to get in and cause additional infections. In most cases, the immune system is able to take control of the battlefield, destroy the enemy, and clean up the mess left behind. But, in roughly 5% of cases, the virus and the additional infections prove to be too much for the immune system to handle.

How Do I Protect Myself?

Because COVID-19 is a virus, there is no treatment and a vaccine has not yet been developed. Secondary infections can be treated with antibiotics; the antibiotic may help with the bacterial infection but will have no impact on the COVID-19 virus. Individuals over 65, pregnant women, patients with existing heart and lung conditions, and individuals with already compromised immune systems struggle to fight off the effects of COVID-19 and are at high-risk for secondary infections. The only way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep yourself away from COVID-19.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between you and other people.
  • Stay home.

24 Hour Home Care stands ready to help you and your loved ones get the care they need. We’re staying educated on COVID-19, following the most stringent health and hygiene protocols, and continuing to provide stellar care to all our home bound patients. We’re available to answer any of your questions. Call today.

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What are the Symptoms of the Coronavirus Compared to the Flu

COVID-19, the novel coronavirus first observed in humans in Wuhan, China, in December, 2019, has caused a modern-day pandemic, spreading disease rapidly from person to person into every corner of the globe.

The number of cases in the US is rising exponentially and, chances are, you or someone you love will get sick or, at the very least, be exposed to this highly contagious virus. It’s important to understand the basics about COVID-19.

What is COVID-19 and Who Gets It?

COVID-19 is one member of a large coronavirus family. There are seven identified coronaviruses that infect people; the rest infect only animals. Four of the seven human coronaviruses are as common as the common cold and you’ve probably never even heard of them. But three coronaviruses are well known; MERS, SARS CoV, and SARS CoV -2, also known as COVID-19. SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 are all infectious respiratory diseases, and, while they share much in common because they are cousins in the coronavirus family, they are also very different from one another. Most of the differences are only significant to epidemiologists and infectious disease experts; for our purposes, the differences that matter are that COVID-19 is more contagious and more easily spread that MERS or SARS and that it’s also much less lethal in the general population.

This combination explains the rapid spread of the disease; infected individuals unaware that they have COVID-19 are still highly contagious and are spreading the disease. COVID-19 spreads from person to person easily via microscopic droplets coughed or exhaled from the nose or mouth that are either directly breathed in by other individuals or that land on nearby surfaces.

For most of the population, this is annoying but not really a problem, as COVID-19 will feel like a bad cold. But, for certain high-risk groups, COVID-19 can be lethal. Keep in mind that COVID-19 is very new and what we know about this disease and its risks is changing every day. With that in mind, here’s what we do know so far from the CDC:

  • 8 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. have been in adults over the age of 65
  • Over 30% of adults over 65 have required hospitalization
  • 6-29% of adults 85 years old and older have been admitted to the ICU
  • 11-31% of adults 65-84 years old have required admission to the ICU

Other high-risk individuals such as pregnant women, heart and lung disease patients, and immunocompromised individuals are also experiencing high rates of hospitalization as a result of respiratory complications from COVID-19.

Your risk for contracting COVID-19 depends largely on your exposure to the disease. Where you live and where you and your close associates have been has the biggest impact on your exposure risk.

What Are the Symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Its three main symptoms are mild to severe fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath and these symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days following exposure. COVID-19 shares a number of common symptoms with other respiratory disorders such as flu, colds, and allergies. There’s no foolproof method besides a test to accurately distinguish between coronavirus versus flu or other respiratory problems, but the following are a few key distinctions that can help:

  • Fever is a hallmark of COVID-19. If your respiratory symptoms are not accompanied by a fever, you’re likely experiencing allergies or a cold.
  • Runny noses and drainage are not associated with COVID-19. If you have a mild to severe fever and lots of gunk in your nose and throat, chances are that you’re in the middle of a cold or the flu.
  • Common colds rarely cause fever, almost never cause shortness of breath, and have much milder coughs when compared to COVID-19.
  • While the flu comes with fever and a cough, it also almost always also comes with body aches, chills, fatigue, and bad headaches, symptoms that are not strongly associated with COVID-19

Even with these distinctions, it can still be difficult to make a diagnosis without a test. A critical factor is assessing your individual risk for exposure to COVID-19.

IMPORTANT

If you’re experiencing any respiratory symptoms and your risk of exposure to COVID-19 is high, stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

What Is the Treatment for Coronavirus?

If you’ve ever been sick with a virus, you know that treatment options are limited and that’s true for COVID-19 as well. COVID-19 is not caused by a bacteria so it will not respond to antibiotics and antiviral medications targeted to COVID-19 have not yet been developed. Treatment options include remedies designed to ease symptoms. Serious illness occurs when infection sets in; these secondary, serious infections are treated with antibiotics and other medications.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Getting COVID-19?

Prevention is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Know How it Spreads

  • COVID-19 passes most often from close person-to-person contact (within 6 feet) but can also spread via contaminated surfaces

Protect Yourself

  • Maintain your distance from others
  • Wash your hands regularly using soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with your hands
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces daily

Protect Others

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wear a facemask when around others
  • Keep your hands clean and your tissues in the trash

Getting Help When You or a Loved One Has COVID-19

As this pandemic spreads, your personal contact with COVID-19 will increase. Follow the guidelines provided by the government and the CDC to isolate yourself and your family to avoid exposure. Call your physician if you are at risk and begin to show symptoms. If you or a loved one contract COVID-19, the caregivers at 24 Hour Home Care are here to help. 24 Hour Home Care provides compassionate, well-informed care to patients requiring home care for any reason; from dealing with the complications of aging to caring for COVID-19 patients, our caregivers have the right skills to provide comfort, care, and relief.

 

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What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and How Does it Affect You?

As COVID-19 makes its way around the world, information and misinformation about the disease are also spreading rapidly.

To help you sift the good from the bad, the following is an overview of COVID-19 provided by the care experts at 24 Hour Home Care. Our caregivers are well versed in the latest information about COVID-19 and are here to help you get the care you need.

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a member of the coronavirus family. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness in animals and humans. They get their name from the crown-like projections on the surface of the virus itself. These viruses are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animal to human. Mutations in the animal virus allow it to evolve into a virus that can make people sick. Currently, there are seven coronaviruses known to infect people and a number of other identified coronaviruses that, thus far, have only been seen in animals.

Four of the seven human coronaviruses are seen regularly around the world. You’ve likely never heard of them and they don’t have catchy names; coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1 are as common as the common cold. The remaining three human coronaviruses have made the news; MERS, SARS CoV, and SARS CoV -2, also known as COVID-19. MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, was transmitted from bats to civet cats to humans and SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) CoV made the jump to people from dromedary camels infected by bats. In December 2019, SARS CoV-2—COVID-19—was first identified in humans in Wuhan, China. You might occasionally see COVID-19 called a “novel” coronavirus; this simply means that this virus strain is new and has never been seen before in humans. The exact animal of origin has not yet been identified, but bats are certainly at the top of the list of suspects.

SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 are all infectious respiratory diseases. COVID-19 is more contagious and more easily spread that MERS or SARS, but it’s also much less lethal. This explains why the recent outbreak of COVID-19 quickly became a pandemic, while prior outbreaks of MERS and SARS were much more easily contained.

Who Gets COVID-19?

The quick answer is everyone; COVID-19 is easily shared by others. It spreads from person to person via small droplets coughed or exhaled from the nose or mouth. These droplets may be directly breathed in by other individuals or they might land on nearby objects and surfaces. Touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth may also introduce the virus into the body. How long the virus can survive on a given surface is unknown. In the early stages of the disease when symptoms are typically very mild, it’s still possible to spread the disease to others. Since the virus is new, no one is immune, and no one has been vaccinated.

What are My Risks?

Our understanding of COVID-19 is changing on a daily, almost hourly basis, as are the circumstances of the pandemic. To answer questions about risk, it’s most effective to look at two types of risk: risk of exposure and risk of serious illness.

Risk of Exposure

For most Americans, the immediate risk of exposure is low, but will increase as the outbreak expands. As more and more cases of COVID-19 occur, community spread becomes greater. If you live in a community where the virus is actively spreading, your risk of exposure is growing. If you have traveled to or from these communities in the US or anywhere in the world, you have an elevated risk of exposure. Additionally, if you are in close contact with a COVID-19 patient, either in your family or friend circle or if you are a healthcare worker caring for COVID-19 patients, your exposure risk is elevated.

Risk of Serious Illness

Again, our understanding of COVID-19 is in the early stages. For most patients, COVID-19 is a mild to moderate cold-like illness that resolves on its own without incident. However, data from around the world suggests that certain groups are at a high risk for developing serious complications including pneumonia from COVID-19. These high-risk groups include the following:

  • Older adults; risk increases with age
  • Pregnant women
  • HIV or other immunocompromised patients
  • Any patients with existing chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease

What are the Symptoms?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Its three main symptoms are mild to severe fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days following exposure. There’s no certain way besides a test to 100% accurately distinguish between COVID-19 and allergies, colds, or flu, but there are a few distinctions that can help. First, fever is a hallmark of COVID-19. If your runny nose, itchy eyes, and cough are not accompanied by a fever, you’re likely experiencing allergies or a cold. Additionally, runny noses and drainage are not usually signs of COVID-19. If you have a mild fever and lots of gunk in your nose and throat, chances are that you’re in the middle of a cold or the flu, especially if you’re at a low risk for exposure. If you’re experiencing any symptoms and your risk of exposure to COVID-19 is high, stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

What are the Treatment Options?

If you’ve ever been sick with a virus, you know that treatment options are limited and that holds true for COVID-19 as well. COVID-19 is not caused by a bacteria so it will not respond to an antibiotic. Treatment includes remedies designed to ameliorate symptoms. Serious illness occurs when infection sets in; these secondary, serious infections can be treated with antibiotics and other medications.

You’re Not Alone

Right now, you likely do not know anyone with the disease, but as the pandemic spreads, your personal contact with COVID-19 will increase. Follow the guidelines provided by the government and the CDC to isolate yourself and your family to avoid exposure. Call your physician if you are at risk and begin to show symptoms. If you or a loved one contract COVID-19, the caregivers at 24 Hour Home Care are here to help. Most importantly of all, arm yourself with good information and do what you can to stay healthy.

 

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How Cardiac Home Care Helps Seniors with Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for senior citizens in the US. This class of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels can be especially deadly without proper care. Thankfully, cardiac care systems provide nationwide preventative, diagnostic, and treatment measures that improve quality of life for seniors. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, “It is indisputable that the attributable risk of CV disease is highest in the senior population. Therefore, CV caregivers have the greatest potential to favorably impact mortality and morbidity by implementing preventive and interventional therapies in their oldest patients.”

In other words, cardiovascular care can save senior lives, extend their life span, and intervene to prevent or treat what would otherwise be deadly CV diseases, including heart attacks and strokes.

Cardiovascular disease care involves several approaches, including physician oversight. However, other forms of assistance, such as senior home care, are also important for the senior population. If you have a senior loved one, it’s important to consider that a diverse approach to cardiac care can improve quality of life for American seniors.

What is Cardiac Care?

Cardiac care refers to physician-led care of a patient’s cardiovascular health. Cardiologists will work together to evaluate, diagnose, and treat the many conditions that affect the cardiovascular system. They’ll also offer preventative recommendations, such as changes to diet and lifestyle, in order to stave off early signs of cardiovascular disease like high cholesterol.

Cardiac care includes many diagnostic services, including heart ultrasounds, heartbeat tracking devices, and outpatient procedures, such as cardiac catheters. Physicians can also offer medications, therapies, surgeries, and other treatment options in order to assist those who suffer from cardiovascular disease. There are many approaches to cardiac care, each of which depends on a person’s individual needs. For example, a person at risk for a heart attack may be prescribed beta blockers, while a person with irregular heart rhythm may receive a pacemaker, an implanted device that helps regulate heartbeat.

Goals

The overall goal of cardiac care is to reduce rates of mortality from cardiovascular disease and to assist those living with chronic cardiovascular disease to manage their symptoms. With proper care, even seniors living with serious cardiovascular diseases, such as valve disorders or congestive heart failure, can live a relatively normal life.

However, proper care for seniors with cardiovascular disease extends beyond physician care in settings like a cardiologist’s clinic or a hospital. Given the high mortality rates of cardiovascular disease and the potential severity of symptoms—often including dizziness, fatigue, and mobility struggles—seniors should have care around the clock. However, it’s important to balance attentive care with freedom to live as independently as possible. This is what in-home care offers seniors living with cardiovascular disease.

What is Home Care?

Home care is care for an individual in their own home. In-home caregivers are professionals trained in the practice of providing for seniors’ many needs while they live independently. In fact, home care can empower seniors to continue living independently rather than moving into an assisted living facility, a loved one’s home, or other more constraining options.

Home caregivers help seniors fulfill the needs that they may not be able to provide for themselves or that their family members and friends may not be able to provide due to availability or other difficulties. In-home caregivers provide meaningful company and assistance with hygiene, walking, household tasks, taking medications, planning healthy meals, and more. As with cardiac care, in-home care practices will vary depending on the client’s needs.

A combination of attentive home care and physician cardiac care helps improve quality of life for seniors. In-home assistance can help seniors practice healthy behaviors, avoid accidents such as falls, and feel a sense of care and companionship, all while working to improve their cardiovascular health.

Quality Home Caregivers

It’s incredibly important for caregivers to be supportive to the seniors they assist and to encourage that they stay on track with cardiac care instructions. These can include being active for part of the day by going on walks and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, following good lifestyle habits including eating heart-healthy meals, and taking medications.

Depending on the cardiovascular disease from which a senior is suffering, taking medications at regular intervals can save their life. For example, cardiac care medications, such as beta blockers, reduce the effects of stress hormones on the heart to alleviate symptoms including high blood pressure or abnormal heart rhythms. Beta blockers can even help a person who has survived a heart attack reduce their risks of a second event. Blood thinners, another common class of cardiac care medication, helps prevent blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. It’s imperative that seniors take all medications exactly as prescribed. If they have mobility or memory issues that interfere with this, in-home care is a great solution. 

Overall, sensitive and attentive in-home caregivers will work to support their senior clients and improve their quality of life right in the comfort of the senior’s own home. Call 24 Hour Home Care today to learn more about how our experienced, thoroughly vetted professionals can help the senior in your life maintain good cardiovascular health.

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What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for one death every 37 seconds according to the CDC. Cardiovascular diseases are especially prevalent in senior citizens, so medical intervention and other assistance, such as in-home care, can reduce their risk of serious diseases including heart attack and stroke. With how common and deadly cardiovascular diseases—conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels—are in the US, it’s important for adults to know the signs and symptoms of these conditions.

Talk to a Doctor

The first step in diagnosing cardiovascular disease is to make an appointment with a doctor. Doctors will review vital signs; check blood pressure and weight; ask about family history; and ask you or your loved one about any unusual symptoms, such as chest pain or fatigue. Then they will order tests based on the specific disease from which they suspect you or your loved one are suffering, if any. If you visit a cardiologist, they can conduct multiple tests to diagnose cardiovascular diseases within their own facility.

Testing

Testing will vary based on your signs and symptoms. However, some of the most common tests that can find cardiovascular disease are:

  • CT scans. Cardiac computerized tomography, or CT, scans use advanced X-rays to look at the heart and the arteries that supply blood to heart tissue.
  • Cardiac catheterization. Another common test, this involves inserting a catheter or tiny tube into a vein, which is then fed through blood vessels into your heart. Doctors use this process to inspect your heart and determine if it’s working properly.
  • An echocardiogram uses doppler sound to take an image of your heart and evaluate its health. Many doctors use echocardiograms to determine the size, shape, and thickness of your heart.
  • Cardiac MRI. Using a combination of magnets, radio waves, and contrast dye, an MRI gets an extremely detailed image of your heart. This is often used to explain abnormalities found in less detailed tests, such as echocardiograms, and can be used to find heart valve disorders, cardiac tumors, and coronary heart disease.
  • Holter monitors. These monitors are temporary mobile devices that measure your heart rate consistently over a designated period of time—often 24 to 48 hours—sending real-time results to a technician who can spot abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.
  • Stress test. A common test used to diagnose cardiovascular disease is a stress test. Doctors will submit your body to stress by having you walk or jog on a treadmill, or they may inject you with chemicals that stimulate a stress response in the body. The object is to evaluate the cardiovascular system’s performance under stress. These tests can diagnose many types of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease.

Early Warning Signs

You should know the early warning signs of cardiovascular disease. Knowing these signs can help you determine if you or a loved one should see a cardiologist or even visit the nearest emergency room.

 

Urgent symptoms include chest pain, difficulty breathing, fainting, and extreme fatigue. These may be signs of a serious cardiovascular event such as a heart attack. Men may experience arm pain if they’re having a heart attack. However, women are more likely to have other symptoms, including nausea, sweating, and fatigue. If you or a loved one show any of these signs, take them to the ER.

 

There are other signs of less severe cardiovascular diseases, including an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, occasional chest discomfort (not pain or tightness, which are more severe), dizziness, and changes in sleeping patterns.

 

Risk Factors

High blood pressure is one of the top risk factors for cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure puts stress on your blood vessels, which can cause them to harden or thicken. This can eventually lead to narrow blood passages and conditions such as stroke in which blood supply is interrupted.

High cholesterol can lead to plaque and blockage in your blood vessels and is one of the top causes of heart attacks. Improve your diet and exercise regularly to help control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, a stressful lifestyle, and living a sedentary lifestyle can increase your chances of cardiovascular disease. Talk to a doctor to learn how to make changes that can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are also some heart disease risk factors beyond your control, including your age—seniors are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases—air pollution, conditions including sleep apnea, exposure to radiation, and family history of cardiovascular problems.

Living with Cardiovascular Disease

Everyday tasks can be difficult for those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, especially for seniors. Treating heart disease can involve changes to diet, getting light exercise, and taking prescribed medications to improve cardiovascular health. In-home caregivers can help the senior loved ones in your life manage their treatment plan and follow lifestyle change recommendations. Even better, 24 Hour Home Care’s attentive and experienced in-home caregivers can assist with other daily tasks, such as hygiene and house care. Call us today to learn how we can help your senior friend or family member, especially those who are at risk of or are recovering from cardiovascular disease.

 

 

 

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How Caregivers Help Seniors with Cardiovascular Disease Eat Healthily

Many senior citizens neglect their dietary needs. However, seniorsthe age group at highest risk of cardiovascular disease—should actually be even more focused on healthy eating. And yet the easiest dining choices for seniors, including meal delivery, takeout, and prepackaged meals, are often loaded with sodium and trans fats that can harm a senior’s cardiovascular health.

Conversely, healthy dieting depends on tasks that can be challenging for seniors, such as planning recipes, making frequent shopping trips to buy fresh produce, and prepping and cooking meals at home. Many seniors may need the assistance of an in-home caregiver, a trained professional to provide seniors with care and company as well as help with important tasks at home including meal prepping. Did you know that many senior caregivers are trained to provide their clients with meal plans specific to their health needs? Read on to learn how caregivers can assist those with cardiovascular disease follow a healthy, nutritious diet.

HeartHealthy Diet Tips

Heart health experts recommend that those who suffer from cardiovascular disease alter their diet accordingly. The best diet for those with cardiovascular disease centers on fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins such as fish, and whole grains, and limiting certain heart-unhealthy foods. Seniors with sensitive heart conditions should avoid meals high in sodium, fats, oils, and high-calorie/low-nutrient foods such as fast food. Many experts recommend that you plate your food with half fresh produce and half other healthy foods, such as brown rice and turkey. (more…)

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Prevention and Treatment Options for Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the top cause of death in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the range of conditions known collectively as cardiovascular disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths every single year. Elderly Americans are at particularly high risk of dying from cardiovascular-related diseases or their long-term effects. Seniors who are suffering from cardiovascular conditions, including those that have survived a stroke or who are living with congestive heart failure, may have difficulty conducting everyday tasks on their own. In fact, many seniors will rely on in-home care to provide attentive company, aid with everyday tasks, and assistance taking medications and following other physician instructions.

If you’re concerned about the health and wellness of a senior loved one, you may be interested in learning about the most effective cardiovascular disease treatment and prevention methods. Continue reading to learn more and find out how in-home caregivers can help the senior in your life.

About Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease refers to a family of diseases that involve the body’s cardiovascular system, including the heart, veins, and arteries. Common conditions include coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, heart defects, and heart valve disorders.

Two of the most common and deadly cardiovascular diseases are heart attack and stroke. A heart attack is the death of heart tissue due to an artery blood clot that deprives heart tissue of vital blood supply. Stroke is a similar condition caused by a clot that starves brain tissue of its blood supply.

Medical Treatment

Treatments for cardiovascular disease depend on the specific condition from which an individual suffers. They may include lifestyle changes, surgery, and/or medications. Lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet, have been shown to drastically improve cardiovascular health.

There are many types of surgery that can treat cardiovascular disease, including coronary stents to open blocked blood vessels, pacemaker implants to correct heart rhythm conditions, and even coronary artery bypass surgery to improve blood flow to the heart after a heart attack.

There are also many proven effective medications used to treat heart disease, including anticoagulants to prevent blood clots and ACE inhibitors to relax blood vessels and improve healthy blood flow. The specific medication a person needs will depend on their exact cardiovascular condition and the degree of disease they may have.

Holistic Treatment

There are also holistic treatment options for cardiovascular disease. Supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health. Holistic approaches to stress reduction, such as meditative exercises, may also be effective. Chelation treatments claim to reduce the buildup of heavy metals, including mercury, in the body that may negatively impact cardiovascular health. However, holistic treatment options shouldn’t be used as a substitute for medical intervention, especially for more serious cardiovascular diseases.

Lifestyle Changes

If you’re wondering how to prevent cardiovascular disease, start with meaningful changes to your lifestyle. Almost no other diseases are so dependent on lifestyle habits as cardiovascular diseases. Avoid high-stress situations as much as possible and consider talking to a therapist if anger, depression, or anxiety is affecting your daily life. Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.

For the greatest impact, incorporate diet and exercise into your lifestyle. Ask a doctor for fitness  recommendations and try performing low-impact exercises, such as walking and yoga, if possible. Eat a high-fiber, high-produce diet and limit your intake of sodium, saturated fats, and simple carbohydrates. Planning heart-healthy meals and assisting with basic exercise are some of the most valuable services a home caregiver can offer seniors.

Medical Prevention

Physicians tend to focus on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels to reduce one’s risk of a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure and cholesterol are some of the top causes of blood vessel blockage responsible for heart attacks and strokes. Doctors may recommend specific surgeries or medications to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. For example, many doctors prescribe beta blockers, a class of medications that block the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, on the cardiovascular system. Diuretic pills, meanwhile, can help the body flush out high levels of sodium, a chemical that can sharply raise blood pressure and cause heart diseases like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

 

If you have a senior loved one that has been placed on a diet and medication plan to recover from or reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, you should consider hiring an in-home caregiver to help them follow their doctor’s recommendations. 24 Hour Home Care’s qualified, experienced, and highly reputable caregivers can help seniors stay healthy, provide company, and offer assistance with in-home tasks. Call us today to learn how we can help the senior in your life.

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