This basic course for nurses is designed to provide a thorough introduction to rehabilitation nursing and corresponding CARF standards. The course is offered in an intensive format over two days, involving approximately 14 contact hours. The course will include an experimental component , videos, case studies, quizzes, group activities, discussions, skills demonstration and practice, and relevant competencies. Screening tools, current models, and evidence-based rehabilitation techniques will be presented.
Glaucoma is a group of degenerative eye diseases with various causes that leads to progressive optic neuropathy, in which the optic nerve is damaged by high intraocular pressure (IOP), resulting in blindness. Glaucoma is a leading cause of visual impairment and the second leading cause of blindness in the United States; it occurs more often in those over 40, with an increased incidence with age (3% to 4% in those over age 70) (Fingeret, 2010; Kennedy-Malone et al., 2000; Podolsky, 1998).
Unlike cataracts, there are some ethnic distinctions with the development of glaucoma. African Americans tend to develop it earlier than Caucasians, and females more often than males. Glaucoma is more common in African Americans, adults over age 60 (especially Mexican Americans), and people with a family history (NIH, 2013). Other contributing factors include eye trauma, small cornea, small anterior chamber, cataracts, and some medications.
Signs and symptoms
Although the cause is unknown, glaucoma results from blockage that limits the flow of aqueous humor, causing a rise in intraocular pressure (IOP). Two major types are noted here: acute and chronic. Acute glaucoma is also called closed angle or narrow angle. Signs and symptoms include severe eye pain in one eye, blurred vision, seeing colored halos around lights, red eye, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
Symptoms may be associated with emotional stress. Acute glaucoma is a medical emergency and persons should seek emergency help immediately. Blindness can occur from prolonged narrow angle glaucoma.
Chronic glaucoma, also called open angle or primary open angle, is more common than acute (90% of cases are this type), affecting over 2 million people in the United States. One million people probably have glaucoma and don’t know it, and 10 million people have above normal intraocular pressure that may lead to glaucoma if not treated (University of Washington, Department of Ophthalmology, 2008). This type of glaucoma occurs gradually. Peripheral vision is slowly impaired. Signs and symptoms include tired eyes, headaches, misty vision, seeing halos around lights, and worse symptoms in the morning. Glaucoma often involves only one eye, but may occur in both.
Since there is no scientific evidence of preventative strategies, early detection in those at risk is important. Treatment is essential to prevent loss of vision, because once vision has been lost to glaucoma, it cannot be restored. Diagnosis is made using a tonometer to measure IOP. Normal IOP is 10–21 mm Hg. Ophthalmologic examination will reveal changes in the color and contour of the optic nerve when glaucoma is present. Gonioscopy (direct exam), which is performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, provides another means of evaluation. Older persons and those at higher risk should have a yearly eye exam to screen for glaucoma.
Treatment is aimed at reducing IOP. Medications to decrease pressure may be given, and surgical iridectomy to lower the IOP may prevent future episodes of acute glaucoma. In chronic glaucoma, there is no cure, so treatment is aimed at managing IOP through medication and eye drops. Consistent use of and correct administration of eye drops is important. Older adults should be assessed for safety related to visual changes and also reminded to schedule and attend regular visits with their ophthalmologist.
Adapted from Mauk, K. L., Hanson, P., & Hain, D. (2014). Review of the management of common illnesses, diseases, or health conditions. In K. L.
Mauk’s (Ed.) Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Used with permission.
While many seniors enjoy leaving the workforce and retiring after years of hard work, some find the transition a difficult and lonely experience, especially those who live alone or far away from family members. It can be hard to get used to filling up the days without work — and co-workers — to help pass the time, and at times it’s equally difficult to create new friendships.
While it can be daunting at first, taking on a new job is a great way to form new bonds and friendships, stay active, and keep living a fulfilling life after a big change. Here are five great jobs for seniors who want to fill their days with people and activity.
Chances are there are dozens of pet owners nearby who are in dire need of a responsible caretaker for their pets. Rover.com can help you find jobs in your area and will set you up with pet owners for a meet-and-greet. Once you find the job that’s right for you, the site will even handle the financial end of things. And for extra cuddle time with a sweet creature, you can also sign up to be a pet sitter.
Restaurants, hotels, and retail stores are just three businesses that require greeters and hospitality, and while the duties vary, this can be a wonderful job for active seniors. It allows you to work with people while maintaining flexible hours, and many stores offer an employee discount on some of their items.
Museums, hotels, and historical buildings are a few of the businesses that require tour guides, and these will likely offer flexible hours while still giving you the chance to socialize.
If you have experience in education, art, or music, you might consider tutoring or teaching lessons. Check Craigslist.org for job posts and consider advertising your services on social media, or even on a flier at your local supermarket.
Going through such a huge life change can be difficult at first, but there are plenty of jobs available for seniors who need flexible schedules and want to keep loneliness at bay.
Jenny Wise is a stay-at-home mom and home educator. She and her husband decided to homeschool when their oldest was four years old. During their journey, they’ve expanded their family and have faced many challenges. But they’re happy to have overcome each one. Jenny writes about her family’s experiences and homeschool, in general, on her new blog, SpecialHomeEducator.com.
Anxiety is a serious issue for older adults. Between three and fourteen percent of seniors experience symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosable disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Even though they don’t have a diagnosable disorder, another 27 percent also experience symptoms of anxiety on a regular basis that have a significant impact on their day-to-day functioning.
If you have a parent or loved who may be struggling with anxiety, keep these four tips in mind to help them manage symptoms in a healthy way.
1. Recognize the Signs
The first step to helping a loved one manage anxiety is being able to identify their symptoms. Common signs of anxiety disorders include:
• Excessive fear or worry
• Refusing to do activities they used to enjoy
• Being obsessed with a routine
• Avoiding social interactions
• Sleep troubles
• Muscle aches and tension
• Shakiness or weakness
• Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs
2. Let Them Know You’re There for Them
Many seniors are hesitant to talk about their struggles because they don’t want to be a burden. If you think your parent or a loved one is dealing with anxiety, it’s important for them to know that you’re there for them and aren’t judging them.
3. Prevent Falls
As they age, seniors typically struggle with impaired balance, which can cause a lot of anxiety and make them worry about falling and getting hurt.
One way to show the senior in your life that you support them is to take steps to prevent falls and help them feel safe in their homes. Some ways you can do this include:
• Installing grab bars in the bathroom
• Removing loose rugs and other slip hazards
• Rearranging cupboards and cabinets so items are within easy reach
• Investing in a medical alert system
4. Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help
You should also encourage your parent or loved one to work with a professional.
Make an appointment with their doctor and let them know what you’ve noticed. You may also want to schedule an appointment with a therapist or hire a home care aide to come in and check on them a few times a week.
There are lots of things you can do to help a parent or loved one manage their anxiety in a healthy way. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with these four tips.
Guest Blog by Kathryn Watson, Life Coach and an ElderCare Advisor
If I have heard this song and dance once I have heard it a thousand times. In fact it’s the same song my family sang over and over until……
Until the crisis happened.
No one wanted to upset my mother-in law, Pat, especially her two sons. It was easier to pretend everything was okay and to decide to let her decide when the best time to move would be.
The problem with that was Pat had the beginning of dementia and was simply not capable of making a rational decision. Like many others with dementia, Pat was afraid to leave the comfort of the surroundings she had lived in for over 50 years. She knew that in a new place she may have trouble finding her way around and she was frightened.
We just thought she was being stubborn and hard-headed! We constantly tried to rationalize with her, telling her all the pros of moving and the cons of staying in her home. We might as well have been banging our heads against a brick wall!
Then I heard an expert on dementia speak. Wow, was that an eye opener! She said that changes in the brain occur in someone with dementia. These changes often block the part of the brain that is able to rationalize and think logically. The person with dementia is unable to access this part of their brain. I also found out that someone who had a series of TIA’s (or mini-strokes) was particularly vulnerable to vascular dementia that could affect this part of the brain.
Suddenly everything began to make sense! Unfortunately, by the time I had this figured out the crisis happened. A bad fall and a 30 day stay in a skilled nursing for rehab meant Pat no longer had a choice. It was time to move!
What I discovered was that even though there was clearly a good reason for moving her it didn’t matter. She was still upset and angry that we had moved her from her home. We could have moved her before a crisis and she would have been just as angry as she was after. The difference was the stress we put ourselves through, traveling back and forth every few weeks to check on her, managing care help from long distance and then having to pack her house in a hurry while she was in the hospital.
If your aging parent is refusing to move and it is impacting your life, it is time to set boundaries and make the move happen. Yes, she or he will be upset at first but they will get over it. Talk to other families who have moved an aging parent and I bet most of them will tell you the same story. Doing the right thing is not always the easy thing.
Kathryn Watson is the author of Help! My Parents Are Aging and Help! I Can’t Do This Alone. She is a Life Coach and an ElderCare Advisor with a passion for helping families navigate the murky waters of Elder Care. Visit http://www.kathrynwatson.com