Month: September 2018

Taking Care of Caregivers From a Social Workers Point of View

As a social worker and clinician, I’ve met a lot of caregivers who are stressed out, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Caregivers spend an average of 40.5 hours a week if they live with a loved one who needs care AND 24.4 hours if the loved one lives in another home. More than 96% of caregivers who provide complex care help provide activities of daily living such as shopping for food, dressing/undressing, providing technology, booking medical appointments, and the list goes on. Caregiving for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful.

With all that time being spent helping someone else, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed if you don’t take care of yourself. Imagine that you are on an airplane, the flight attendant tells you “in case of a pressure change, place the oxygen mask on yourself first and then a child or dependent”. Self-care is the oxygen. I love this metaphor because it’s really something that carries over into mental health for everyone. We must take care of ourselves before we can give anything to others, or we will burn out. Burnout looks like having less empathy, less patience, being more easily frustrated, depression, cynicism, and tiredness. When we continue to care for others without taking care of ourselves, not only are we running on empty, we aren’t able to really care the way we would like to.

What does practicing self-care really look like? It might be taking 15 minutes just to do something for yourself such as: sleeping a full 8 hours, saying no to extra obligations, joining a support group, eating healthy, starting a journal, or anything that allows you to recharge your energy bank. You might worry that practicing self-care is being overindulgent, that we should work even harder. In fact, when we work harder without replenishing ourselves, we are even less productive and provide less compassionate care. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk to a qualified professional.

Written by Andreea Socoloschi, MSW LCSW

Wound Care Program – Deer Meadows Home Health

Shawn Hanshew from the Deer Meadows Home Health marketing team has been promoting our wound care program to the medical community of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks. Our clinical specialist team members are board-certified in Wound Care WCC, Diabetic Wound Care DWC, and are Ostomy Management Specialists OMS. We practice evidence-based and current standards of care, and work with physicians to customize an individual plan of care for the patient. We will achieve increased healing rates and decrease readmission’s for patients.

Shawn has been partnering with a number of podiatrists to offer home wound care for their diabetic foot wound patients. Approximately 15 percent of all patients with diabetes can be expected to develop ulceration in their lifetime, thus putting them at risk for lower extremity amputation. Treatments for infected diabetic foot wounds account for one quarter of all diabetic hospital admissions in the United States. Patient education, proper footgear and regular foot examination can decrease the frequency and severity of ulceration. However when ulceration does occur, the Deer Meadows home wound care specialists can be a cost-effective intervention that can avoid hospital admissions in appropriate cases.

We are utilizing the most advanced technology and treatments in the industry, including Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (Wound Vac), Compression Therapy, Unna Boot Application, Lymphedema Treatment, and Tissue Analytics. In specific, Tissue Analytics is bringing wound care into the 21st century by turning the common smartphone into a sophisticated image analysis platform. Our wound care nurses objectively and automatically measure wounds with HIPPA Compliant IOS and Android Apps.They can also stream photographs directly to a physician’s desktop where the physician can evaluate, track, and manage patients on our secure web portal.

In addition, Shawn has been working closely with several colorectal surgeons to promote the Deer Meadows home wound care and ostomy referral program.He plans to work directly with surgeons, their teams, and their pre/post-surgical ostomy patients through a home care referral process. This will give ostomy patients access to our highly-trained and certified wound care nurses and ostomy specialists while recovering at home. Shawn has been sharing his personal story as a former ostomy patient himself and walking the patients through the process of their ostomy through its reversal. Our ostomy specialists are helping patients with distal irrigation of their stomas, educating the patient and their family, and closely monitoring patient progress at home. Once the patient’s reversal surgery is complete and the patient is discharged to home, our wound care and ostomy specialists will continue to monitor the patient at home and treat any open wounds that may have been caused by the surgery. The colorectal community is very excited to partner with Deer Meadows Home Health to make this program available to their patients.

If you have a wound care referral or would like more details of this program, please contact Shawn Hanshew at (267) 648-0361 and shanshew@deermeadowshomehealth.org.

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