Your Health

One key element of “Thriving at Home,” is how to manage chronic conditions in a way that would prevent a need for a hospital stay. If that does happen, or you require professional care at home, our book can provide the guidance you need.

As for the chronic conditions themselves, here are four most common chronic conditions that lead to a hospital stay, with excerpts from the book.

COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Basic Care:
● Usual activity and exercise level – keep a log of day-to-day activities
● Usual amounts of cough and phlegm/mucus
● Sleeping well at night
● Appetite is good
● Avoid cigarette smoke, inhaled irritants always
● Monitor air quality and weather to make decisions about activities.
Our book outlines what symptoms you should monitor carefully and when to seek help immediately

Heart Failure

Basic Care:
● No new or worsening shortness of breath
● Normal physical activity – record activity levels and exercise daily
● Normal feet and legs, no new swelling
● Weight stable – record weight daily (similar time of day)
● No chest pains
Our book outlines what symptoms you should monitor carefully and when to seek help immediately

Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to acute and chronic complications, hospitalizations and potential life-threatening situations. To reduce these risks, people living with diabetes must monitor for symptoms of low and high blood sugar, determine the cause, receive treatment promptly and report abnormalities. Daily self- management and following your diabetes plan of care is KEY. Blood sugar monitoring is a valuable tool with multiple benefits. Not all people living with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugars. You and your diabetes team will determine if it is right for you.

Low Blood Sugar, or hypoglycemia, can increase risk of falls, dementia, hospitalizations, and hypoglycemia unawareness. Hypoglycemia unawareness happens when you have frequent episodes of low blood sugar. You no longer experience the early warning signs of low blood sugar, which increases risks of severe low blood sugar, confusion, and seizures. It is critical to know the signs and symptoms, potential causes, and the appropriate treatment to lower these risks. High Blood Sugar, or hyperglycemia, means your blood sugar is higher than normal. It can come on suddenly or gradually over time based upon the cause. And it can lead to serious complications and hospitalizations. It is especially important to know your individual blood sugar goals, signs and symptoms, potential causes, and recommended treatment. Monitoring your blood sugars, evaluating
responses to food and exercise, and reporting and working with your diabetes team can help you achieve your blood sugar goals and prevent complications.

Our book outlines what symptoms you should monitor carefully and when to seek help immediately

Stroke

Strokes (also known as CVAs, or cerebral vascular accidents) are a major cause of severe, lifelong disability, and/or death. They are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Although there is no foolproof way to predict when a stroke will occur, there are warning signs that can be learned. Getting immediate treatment is key to minimizing the damage a stroke can cause. Adults over 55 years old are at a higher risk of stroke, and this risk increases as you get older. Men, African Americans, and those with diabetes or heart disease are also at increased risk. Strokes are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. Sudden severe headache with no known cause is a stroke sign in men and women. During a stroke, every minute counts! Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that stroke can cause, ideally with three hours of the first symptoms.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:
F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away. The time when any symptoms first appear helps health care providers determine the best treatment for each person. Do NOT drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
Our book outlines what symptoms you should monitor carefully and when to seek help immediately