Have you heard about geriatric care management? 

If you have an elderly loved one who needs assistance, then this is something you should know.

I first heard about geriatric care management during my interview with Jason Auyer. 

He talked about his parents' business, Inspire Care Support, and how it helped seniors live independently. 

So today, we look at geriatric care management and why you should learn more about it. 

Let's get started. 

What is geriatric care management?

Growing old is never easy, especially for people who have been independent for so long. 

Healthaffairs.org estimates that the US will have more citizens over 65 by 2030. And the numbers are said to be at 83.7 million by 2050, doubling in size from 2012. 

These numbers mean an added load to the healthcare system that needs to support the intricacies of caring for the senior population. 

The problem is it can get more difficult for families to care for and address the unique requirements of the older generation. 

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

So how does geriatric care management alleviate this challenge? 

Geriatric care management is a program that helps healthcare workers, physicians, care teams, and relatives coordinate the care of aging patients. 

Programs like these help patients receive all the assistance they need to live an independent and quality life. 

Caring for the elderly is often demanding, overwhelming, and expensive. 

Families often have trouble adjusting to the changes in lifestyle, behaviors, and capabilities of their elders. 

There are also times when seniors go without family members to help them. 

That's where geriatric care management comes in. 

How does geriatric care management help family caregivers?

Also called aging life care managers, they are usually licensed social workers and health professionals trained in senior care. 

They act as advocates and guides to help family members adjust to new responsibilities. They also step in for families who want to ensure their loved ones are well cared for. 

Some can even act as counselors that take the pressure off of family members who also care for children or workplace responsibilities. 

Geriatric care managers often serve many purposes depending on the person's needs. 

They can help the family or the primary caregiver plan the care management plan for the elderly. In addition, they can help with a range of assessments and coordination of care, especially for daily living.

 

These can include evaluating, arranging for, and monitoring home health aides. They can also help coordinate medical appointments and even arrange transportation to and from the hospital. 

Most senior care providers are also experts in explaining complex topics that can be too emotionally difficult for family members. 

They can refer financial, legal, or medical professionals as needed. 

A geriatric care provider can act as a liaison if you live miles away. They can also find respite care for stressed-out caregivers. 

Geriatric care providers and home care management 

In our previous blog post, Jason Auyer talked about one of the biggest challenges in healthcare: home care support. 

He mentioned the need for more patient advocates who can ensure better recovery rates through home care management. 

Most senior patients have a hard time adjusting to life at home after hospitalization. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has an available caregiver to help them with simple daily tasks. 

Some seniors have problems with mobility and memory issues which can affect their treatment and recovery. 

Without the right assistance, they can take the wrong medication, or worse, go back to the hospital due to falls and other accidents. 

The challenge is, not everyone is aware that geriatric care managers are available to help. 

There are different services that families and caregivers can get to make sure their senior loved ones get the assistance they need. 

Aging life care managers can take care of tasks like coordinating grocery deliveries, medication management, and even personal care. 

And because of their professional training in geriatrics, psychology, and other disciplines, they make life much easier for the elderly. 

It also allows family members the peace of mind knowing that their elderly loved ones are in good hands. 

Where can you find geriatric care management?

There are a lot of options available for geriatric care management. But one I would recommend you check out is Inspire Care and Support Services. 

Inspire Care specializes in personal care and daily living assistance to individuals and seniors aging in place. 

Their home care advocates can help you and your family navigate through challenging times, especially when caring for the elderly who chose to age in place. 

geriatric care manager

Inspire Care offers services such as dementia care, hospital discharge care, and customizable plans that address the needs of any individual. 

They can also take care of tasks such as meal planning, shopping, and even arrange for companionship especially for seniors living alone. 

While these tasks may seem simple or mundane, it can make a huge difference for people who need it the most. 

If you want to get more information about their services, you can visit their website here

Final thoughts 

Geriatric care management bridges the gap between physicians, families, caregivers and patients. 

With their help, more patients can continue their recovery program without much issues. 

Families can also rest knowing their aging parents are cared for and age in place safely and securely. 

Have you tried getting geriatric care managers for your aging parents? Share your experience with us below. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. HAVE A SAFER HOME FOR THE ELDERLY WITH 5 MUST HAVE FEATURES
  2. HOW MOBILITY TRAINING CAN BENEFIT ELDERS AGING IN PLACE
  3. HOW HOME INSPECTIONS HELP SENIORS AGING IN PLACE LIVE BETTER

Prosthetists and orthotists play a key role in a rehabilitation team. 

However, not everyone understands how important they are for mobility. 

So I sat down with Jason Auyer, Licensed and Certified Prosthetist Orthotist and owner of Alliance Prosthetics + Orthotics. 

In today’s blog post, I’ll share our conversation about what prosthetist orthotists do and how they help keep seniors safe at home. 

Let’s get started. 

Prosthetists and Orthotists Defined

In technical terms, prosthetists and orthotists are healthcare professionals who provide clinical assessment, prescription, technical design, and fabrication of prosthetic and orthotic devices. 

One who is licensed and certified in both prosthetics and orthotics is an LCPO.

The acronym P&O (prosthetics and orthotics) is used to refer to this field. As part of the health professional team, they help set patient rehabilitation plans and goals. 

Prosthetics and Orthotics are separate disciplines. However, they are often seen as cooperative entities because of their goals and purpose. 

Learn more about prosthetics and orthotics here.

What do prosthetist orthotists do in senior care?

Jason: For senior care, the LCPO takes care of any bracing, from diabetic shoes and inserts to braces for spinal cord injury. 

We work with diabetic patients with wounds and ulcers. We also work with upper and lower limb amputations. 

Regarding the orthotist side, we do AFO braces customized for patients with spinal cord injuries. We also help anyone with poor balance, weakness, or stroke patients.

Our goal is to help the elderly maintain mobility for as long as possible and prevent fall-related injuries. 

How do diabetic shoes and inserts help diabetic patients in the long run?

Diabetic shoes

Jason: Our goal for our diabetic patients is to try and prevent amputations down the road. We also aim to provide good offloading so that wounds can heal better.

Often LCPOs work together with different health professionals: wound healing centers, podiatrists, vascular doctors, home care therapists, and nurses. 

We want to make sure wounds heal properly. 

However, there are times when gangrene sets in and causes infections in the bone, called osteomyelitis

In these cases, amputations may be required to save the life of a patient.

What does your typical day look like?

Jason: Because I’m an LCPO, every day can look different. 

Some days are diabetic shoe clinic days. We’re one of the few clinics in the area that offer diabetic shoes. 

We dedicate a day to Medicare patients to make the application process more efficient. 

Some days I deal with amputees to check on their progress. We also help with educating patients before amputations. 

Talking with the patients does two things. First, it answers questions for potential and future amputees and ensures they have hope. It also assures them that they have a rehabilitation team for support. 

Most days are spent working with doctors and teams to ensure we’re on the same page. 

Sometimes we work on patients with different needs: stroke patients, people with instability, foot drop, and other mobility issues. 

Usually, I see 8-12 patients a day. Some sessions last from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on how in-depth the patient’s situation is. 

We communicate well with doctors and the rehabilitation team to discuss patient cases. 

Doing so helps us understand how to design prosthetics that support the patient’s mobility and functional goals. 

Most patients visit us upon their doctor’s recommendations. However, most have little to no idea why they need the consultation. 

As the LCPO, I aim to help patients understand why they need our services. We sit with them and find out how to give them the support they need.

What we do is more than find the right device fitting. We also want to celebrate with patients as they accomplish their personal goals. 

Can you tell us more about your diabetic shoe clinic?

Jason: It can be daunting and frustrating for patients to get diabetic shoes. 

Most of them are not familiar with the process of getting diabetic shoe prescriptions. 

Paperwork requirements can be a bit testy. So we set up two locations with designated days to make it much easier for patients to get what they need. 

We also prepare a packet of information that we give to patients for doctors to fill out. These documents help provide medical justification for the shoe prescription. 

Sometimes extra documentation is needed. But in the end, the goal is to provide the right diabetic shoe fit for the patient. 

Diabetic shoes can have a huge impact on preventing amputations. That’s why we try our best to educate patients about its importance. 

Unfortunately, there are times when diabetic patients get frustrated with the process and skip it. Eventually, they end up with an amputation which could have been avoided if they got the shoes. 

How will caregivers know their patients need diabetic shoes?

Jason: Typically, it’s the doctors who decide if there’s a need for the patient to get diabetic shoes. 

Most would think because they were diagnosed with Diabetes, they would automatically get a free pair of shoes. 

But that’s not the case. 

The patient needs to be treated under a comprehensive plan for diabetics. They also need to prequalify for conditions like poor circulation, peripheral neuropathy, wounds or calluses that can turn into wounds, and previous amputations that make them eligible.  

Their physicians help identify this. 

Sometimes patients are not educated about the qualifications for diabetic shoes. But it’s best to talk with their doctors if they have certain conditions like hammertoes or calluses on their feet. 

More than anything, patients also need to be proactive about this. It’s best to talk to their doctors about Diabetes or foot problems to check to be eligible for diabetic shoes. 

What typical concerns do you usually get when dealing with caregivers?

Jason: We see a lot of gaps in the treatment, especially when dealing with the geriatric population and their caregivers. 

For example, the patient falls and then gets admitted to the hospital. Once treatment is done, they get ready for discharge and are sent back home. 

Homecare therapists and nurses visit at home, but communications get lost along the way. 

That’s why patient advocacy is so important for continuous treatment and healing. 

Patients do best when they have advocates to ask the right questions. 

Advocates are those who assess a patients needs and help follow the prescribed course of care.

These advocates make sure the patients understand the medications they take and how these relate to other conditions the patients may have. 

The problem is most people don’t know what questions to ask. Patients and their caregivers also get overwhelmed with all the information they must take. 

Not everyone has a person that helps with recovery at home. So patient advocates must fill in the gap. 

Fall risks are a huge thing for geriatric patients. Often they go back to routine after recovering from the hospital. But eventually, they get into another accident after forgetting the changes they need to make. 

It’s frustrating, especially for someone who is used to being so independent all the time. 

The older men find it more difficult to ask for help at most times. Female patients often bring someone along to see if they can have some help. 

I think it’s time to take down that stigma that you become less of a person because you must ask for help. 

That’s why we need more patient advocates that can ask the necessary questions and do assessments at home.

Doing this will help ensure that our geriatric patients get back safely at home and stay independent for as long as possible. 

Learn about patient advocates here.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share with caregivers?

Jason: Don’t feel bad about asking questions when you’re with healthcare providers. 

Never assume that doctors and other medical professionals know it all. But the truth is, you should ask questions and relay the right information.

The more specific you are with the patient’s medical history and other information, the better the treatment will be. 

The key is to communicate honestly and effectively so we can all be on the same page with the proper course of treatment for the patient. 

About Jason Auyer 

Jason Auyer, Licensed O&P and Owner, Alliance Prosthetics + Orthotics

Jason Auyer is a Licensed & Certified Prosthetist Orthotist and owner of Alliance Prosthetics + Orthotics. 

A graduate of BSME from Cedarville University, his career began in 2005 as a technician at Atlanta Prosthetics and Orthotics. 

While working, he received his certification in Prosthetics and Orthotics from Northwestern University. 

Jason also received his orthotic and prosthetic residency under the supervision of his mentors, Marc Kaufman, Jim Hughs, and Will Holbrook. 

While working on his national certifications, he got promoted to clinic manager for AP&O until its acquisition in 2014. 

Jason has always dreamed of opening his practice and providing quality patient care and space for practitioners' growth and development. 

Today, he has successfully fulfilled that dream. 

Jason has his national certification through the American Board For Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics and is licensed in Prosthetics and Orthotics through the state of Georgia.

He also specializes in the pediatric community as well as dysvascular amputees.

He is married to Rachel Auyer and is a father to four sons. 

In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, Syracuse football and basketball, recreational soccer, and hanging with his family.

Check out his business here and reach out if you or a loved one is in need of his services.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. DIABETES IN SENIORS: HOW TO MANAGE BETTER AND AVOID COMPLICATIONS
  2. HOW PODIATRY HELPS SENIORS AGING IN PLACE STAY HEALTHY
  3. PREVENTION OF FALLS AT HOME - STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT FALLING

Ramsay Hunt Disease is a viral infection that primarily affects seniors.

It’s painful and uncomfortable and can even affect the person long-term. 

In my last post, we discussed Ramsay Hunt Disease and its symptoms. 

Now here’s the next question. Is there a way for caregivers to prevent their loved ones from getting Ramsay Hunt disease? 

Let’s find out. 

What is the prognosis for people with Ramsay Hunt disease?

Ramsey Hunt disease is most commonly diagnosed in seniors over 60. 

Its symptoms include fever, headache, rash, and pain. 

The virus can also cause facial paralysis and hearing loss. That’s why caregivers should be aware of the symptoms of Ramsey Hunt disease and how to prevent it.

It is extremely painful for the person, especially if the rashes affect their inner ear. 

The worst cases can last for months. But if there isn’t much damage to the facial nerves, most symptoms get better in a few weeks. 

However, it’s essential to get diagnosed as early as possible. If the treatment is delayed, there’s a lesser chance of recovery for the patient. 

So what are possible long-term complications of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome if not treated in time? 

Since the disease attacks the nerves, there’s a considerable possibility of facial disfigurement. 

One’s tastebuds may also be affected by mouth and tongue sores. 

Corneal ulcers and infections may also occur, resulting in blindness or loss of vision in the affected eye.

Facial muscles and eyelids can experience spasms too. It can also cause abnormal reactions and movements if the nerves don’t regenerate. 

And in worst cases, a spinal tap may be needed to address nerve issues with the patient. 

That’s why it’s necessary to know the signs and symptoms early on. 

Check out our previous post about the signs and symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Disease here.

Can Ramsey Hunt Syndrome be cured?

There is still no known cure for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. 

However, there are ways for seniors to avoid getting it. 

The best way to prevent Ramsey Hunt disease is to get the chickenpox vaccine. It is recommended for all children over 12 months of age. 

Getting the vaccine is 90% more effective in preventing chickenpox in the future. 

Adults can also get vaccinated against chickenpox to prevent getting Ramsey Hunt Syndrome. 

People aged 50 years and older are recommended to get the shingles vaccine.

Since shingles and chickenpox are of the same virus, the shingles vaccine can increase the person’s protection against Ramsey Hunt Disease. 

How can Ramsay Hunt Disease be prevented?

Since there is still no known cure for Ramsay Hunt Disease, the best way to go is to prevent it from happening. 

The best thing to do is to strengthen your elder’s immunity. 

Here are five tips on boosting the elderly’s immune system naturally.

Get enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for boosting one’s immune system. It also reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases.

According to research, a person with a Vitamin D deficiency has a higher risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Good thing we have a free vitamin D source: the sun. And 10-30 minutes a few days per week on the hands, arms and face is usually enough.

So make sure your loved ones get enough sunlight regularly.

Exercise 

You should know by now how beneficial movement and exercise is for seniors. 

So as a caregiver, make sure to encourage them to move regularly. 

Go on walks, go swimming, or do low-impact exercises. 

Make sure to focus on increasing muscle strength and core exercises. Check out this guide about core exercises for strength and balance

Eat a nutrient-dense diet.

Diet plays a massive role in boosting the immune system. 

Go for food rich in Vitamin C, B vitamins, selenium and zinc.

It’s also good to give your seniors probiotics to improve their digestion and help them absorb more nutrients.

Get vaccinated

Make sure your elders are up to date with their seasonal vaccines. 

Give them flu shots and pneumococcal vaccines to protect them from potential health risks. 

These vaccines boost the creation of antibodies in the elderly and make it easier for them to fight off seasonal diseases. 

Flu vaccines are available at hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies near you, so make sure they’re updated yearly. 

Get plenty of quality sleep. 

Stress is among the top causes of immunity issues. 

Chronic stress can cause hormonal imbalances and eventually weaken immunity. So you should ensure high-quality sleep in seniors. 

With the body at rest, it’s much easier to recover. 

Encourage your loved ones to take naps and create an environment for easier, uninterrupted sleep. 

Check out more tips on how to get seniors to sleep better here.

Final thoughts 

Ramsey Hunt disease is a severe viral infection that primarily affects seniors. 

However, there are things caregivers can do to prevent it. The best way to avoid Ramsey Hunt disease is by being immune to chickenpox. 

Additionally, caregivers should ensure seniors practice good hygiene, wash their hands frequently, and avoid contact with people who have chickenpox or shingles. 

Other vaccinations, such as influenza and pneumococcal vaccine, can also help reduce seniors’ risk of developing RamseyHunt disease.

And don’t forget to build their immunity too.

Did we miss any important tips? Share them with us below. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. HOME SAFETY FOR THE ELDERLY: TOP TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID ACCIDENTS
  2. HOW MOBILITY TRAINING CAN BENEFIT ELDERS AGING IN PLACE
  3. HOW HOME INSPECTIONS HELP SENIORS AGING IN PLACE LIVE BETTER

Just a few months ago, pop star Justin Bieber took to Instagram to announce that he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.

Suddenly, everyone wanted to know what the fuss was about. Everyone was asking, what is Ramsay Hunt Disease? And why did he decide to cancel all his tours because of it?

Truth is, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is quite a bit tricky.

For one, it's a rare condition that affects only a handful of folks. It also rarely shows up in young people.

So today, we'll take a look at what Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is and why should you, as a caregiver, care about it.

Let's find out. 

What is Ramsay Hunt Disease?

Ramsay Hunt Disease

Ramsay Hunt Disease is caused by the virus herpes zoster oticus, which attacks the facial nerve near one of a person's ears. 

The virus that causes Ramsay Hunt Disease is the same as chickenpox. After it clears up, the chickenpox virus stays in the body and reactivates later in life. 

When it does, the virus targets the nervous system, specifically the facial nerves. 

Statistics show that about 5 out of every 100,000 people are affected by Ramsay Hunt Disease. 

Both men and women get affected in equal numbers. Most of those affected by the virus are above sixty years old. 

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is also often mistaken as Bell's Palsyacoustic neuromaor trigeminal neuralgia.

As a caregiver, you need to know the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. 

It is often painful and uncomfortable and can affect your loved ones' demeanor. And because it affects the ears, this disease can cause more problems for seniors in the long run. 

The ears are critical in maintaining balance. And if there are ear issues, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. 

That's why caregivers must recognize what is Ramsay Hunt Disease and what it's not. 

What are the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Disease?

It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose Ramsay Hunt Disease. Its symptoms don't always show at the same time. 

A detailed medical history and thorough clinical evaluation are usually required to make the diagnosis final. 

Sample fluids from facial blisters and rashes are also tested to confirm the diagnosis.

However, the most obvious symptoms are:

Ramsay Hunt syndrome mnemonics
Image from FacialPalsy.org.UK

The good thing about Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is that it's not contagious.

But because the disease is a reactivation of the dormant chickenpox virus, it's best to keep those affected away from pregnant women and babies. 

People with weakened immune systems and those who have never had chickenpox should also keep away.

It is important to watch out for long-term complications like recurrences, permanent nerve damage and paralysis, and eye damage. 

Most doctors would say that it needs time to heal. However, pain management may be needed as you wait. 

Ramsay Hunt Disease can also lead to postherpetic neuralgia. This condition causes the nerve fibers to remember the trauma, causing pain that can last long after the symptoms have faded. 

How is Ramsay Hunt Disease treated?

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

One of the surefire ways to avoid Ramsay Hunt Disease is to get vaccinated against chickenpox. 

Children are given this vaccine at an early age. In addition, people aged 50 and above are also given shingles vaccine to avoid contracting Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. 

Treating it, however, is a different story. 

Ramsay Hunt Disease can be extremely painful. Patients who have experienced it often complain of sores inside the mouth and in the inner ear. 

The pain can affect their daily activities and even reduce the ability to sleep. 

That's why it's critical to diagnose it early on. 

Treatment can vary depending on the symptoms of each patient. For example, some experience painful lesions on the face and are given steroids to manage the inflammation. 

Some doctors even provide medication for reducing neuralgic pain and vertigo suppressants. 

Antiviral medication is also prescribed to patients. Some even get botox shots, especially for those with eye problems. 

The healing period may vary from person to person. And if not diagnosed early on, nerve damage may be irreversible. 

The virus can even spread to the nervous system, including the spinal cord and the brain. 

Learn more about spinal degeneration here. 

Final Thoughts 

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is not a simple condition, especially for the elderly. 

It is painful, uncomfortable, and can recur at any given time. 

That's why we caregivers need to keep them strong and healthy so they can avoid developing Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. 

In the next blog post, we will share more tips on avoiding Ramsay Hunt Syndrome in the elderly, so stay tuned. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. 5 COMMON MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS IN SENIORS
  2. HOW TO DEAL WITH IRRATIONAL ELDERLY PARENTS PEACEFULLY
  3. THERAPEUTIC ACTIVITIES THAT BOOST THE MORALE OF THE ELDERLY