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Homecare & Private Duty Nursing Blog

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November Blues
Posted November 24th, 2015 by Sue Sullivan
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November Blues

Hi Everyone,

Here come the Holidays!

It has been a beautiful autumn in New England. When the days become shorter and the season changes sometimes our loved ones experience sadness. The holidays are approaching; our minds can wander and revisit the loss of a loved one. Just the sound of certain music, or the overload on television, radio and Internet, of holiday times can be depressing.

Help break up that time. All of us can experience melancholy but sometimes for our older family members it is more difficult. They may not be able to get out as freely and so there are longer hours to daydream or reflect on losses.

A surprise visit can lighten a lonely person’s mood and make their day. Bring along someone’s favorite dish or a baked good and join them for a bite. It is good to stay in touch. Everyone is busy and only if we make the time and insist on the visit do we make new memories.

Include your elder relatives in the holidays and don’t take NO for an answer. Sometimes people say no but they really don’t want to be a bother. New memories are good for everyone. Try it—you will be glad you did.

Happy Holidays!


Live-in Caregivers for a Senior Family Member
Posted June 26th, 2014 by Sue Sullivan
Posted in Homecare | 1 Comment »

A live-in caregiver for a senior family member who can no longer be alone is ideal. The care recipient only needs to become familiar with one or two caregivers, there is less traffic in your house and there is less training time with fewer caregivers involved.

Rules for live-in caregivers

When deciding if a live-in caregiver is the right choice for your elderly family member you need to be mindful of the rules associated with live-in caregivers. The live-in caregiver must have break time built into their day. This can be a challenge for families who do not live near to their loved one and if the care recipient cannot be left alone for even a short while.

The live-in caregiver must also be able to get a good night’s sleep in order to provide the best care during the daytime. If your family member needing care is up multiple times during the night then a live-in caregiver may need supplemental homecare support. It is important to understand your family member’s sleep patterns before selecting care options.

A reputable homecare agency will help advise you on homecare options and help you select the best homecare option for your loved one.



The Importance of Good Hydration
Posted August 31st, 2012 by Sue Sullivan
Posted in Homecare | Comments Off on The Importance of Good Hydration

Hydration is something we are all more aware of as a result of the excessive heat of our recent summer. It is something to keep in mind with our elders no matter the season.

A client was recovering from a hip injury. She was in considerable pain and was doing her best to follow doctor’s orders.
She spent most of her day in her recliner. Her home was set up so that she could easily access her bathroom using her walker. However, she did not share her decision to limit her fluid (water) intake because of the severity of her pain while going to the bathroom. Nor did she want to trouble anyone for assistance.

During a visit her family noticed that she appeared dazed and had difficulty speaking. They called 911. The client was transported to the hospital where it was determined she was dehydrated. As a result of this life threatening episode we were able to help her understand the importance of drinking plenty of water with her medication and see that she had help getting to the bathroom more often.

Hydration is critical. Knowing your loved one’s condition and understanding the side effects of their medication is critical to their well being. Working with a Home Care & Private Nursing agency to follow up on care and available options is the best
way to keep your loved safe and comfortable. Sue.


Loss: Fact of no longer having something or having less of something.
Posted March 7th, 2012 by Sue Sullivan
Posted in Homecare | Comments Off on Loss: Fact of no longer having something or having less of something.

Many elders suffer multiple losses—loss of a spouse, a family member, a close friend, their health and their independence.

With the loss of health comes the loss of independence. Depending on someone to take you shopping, to the doctor or even making personal decisions for you can be debilitating to someone who has been independent. Clients often suffer in silence; however their depression can manifest itself in agitated, sullen or even silent behavior.

What can be perceived as a bad mood could be someone grieving over a loss. Be patient, talk about something pleasant, try to get that individual to express their feelings without judgement. While listening you might interject something hopeful that will ease their anxiety. Remember to recognize the losses they might be dealing with. Take advantage of every opportunity to allow your loved one to express their feelings.

Talking together will help both you and your loved one. Sue.


Do you need a wake-up call?
Posted December 10th, 2010 by Sue Sullivan
Posted in Homecare | Comments Off on Do you need a wake-up call?

Your loved one is no longer able to live alone at home. Do you need a wake up call? Just off the phone with a family member who believes her dad is still independent, “doing just fine”. Yet this dad forgets to take his meds. When his daughter calls daily to check on his meds he replies “yes I took them”. But then our visiting Home Health Aide finds pills spilled on the floor and sometimes the pills missing from another day. Dad is confused. And yet when his child calls to chat he wants to report he is fine.

At times he thinks we have taken his watch only to find it later in his sweater pocket or on the floor next to a chair. Anyone can misplace an item but now it is happening more often than not. Some days he is very confused and sleepy. Some days he is bright and connected to time and place and happenings.

What do we do? It is not time to get defensive, rather time to bring your team of caregivers in to develop a plan to help add support in those areas in order for your loved one to stay at home with safety and assistance. If you are in touch with your loved one’s doctor and all other systems are fine maybe this is a natural progression, but maybe not. Adding a short second visit later in the day just to say hi (and check to see he has eaten his meal), will give this visitor an opportunity to strengthen the security around him and yet allow him to continue to live at home. Some people would disagree and proclaim he should be in skilled care and others demand he be allowed to stay put.

Join the discussion. Your point of view will help us better understand our position and the debate will help all of us think this through when it occurs in our families. Let’s chat.