Why Moving and Positioning is Important

       Our Special Ingredient...is LOVE.  





Helping a resident move and be comfortably positioned is one of the most important things you do as a caregiver.  Remember that CMS Guidelines say that all long-term care facilities must ensure that a resident’s abilities for the activities of daily living do not diminish unless their health deteriorates. A primary activity of daily living is moving about freely.  Learning to move and position residents correctly makes sure both you and residents are comfortable and safe. According the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the leading cause of injury in long term care involves incorrect body mechanics when moving and lifting, resulting in overexertion of the back. These injuries often occur because of poor planning when moving or positioning a resident.


Certain areas of the body is more likely to get damaged from unrelieved pressure. This can result in a pressure ulcer. Usually proper moving and position changes can prevent pressure ulcers. Moving and positioning also help reduce swelling in an arm or leg, prevent stiffness in a limb, and keep tubes or equipment lines from being pulled. Moving and positioning also helps residents be as comfortable as possible. Moving and changing positions helps prevent pain and discomfort resulting from stiffness, pressure, and poor circulation. Moving and positioning our body is also emotionally important. Without freedom of mobility, a resident has trouble meeting basic needs. Often a resident’s self-esteem depends on at least some independence in mobility. As with all other care, you must observe residents and work with the charge nurse and physical therapist to choose the best way to move or reposition them. For example, when positioning a resident, look for and consider these factors:
• Spinal deformities (such as rounded back, forward head, leaning to one side)
•  Areas of skin redness /bandaged areas, casts, or splints
• Arms, legs, hands, or feet in a stiff position or swollen
• Intravenous tubes or other medical lines
• Oxygen being given / Recent surgery


Before you help move or position a resident, observe the resident’s abilities and ask the charge nurse and your coworkers about their needs. Be sure you know what the doctor and charge nurse expect. Ask yourself these key questions about yourself, the resident, and the environment:

1.Think about your own capabilities and limitations:
• Can you do what is needed?
• Do you need help? Do you understand the doctor's order and the charge nurse’s expectations?

2. Think about the resident:
• How much help does this resident need to move?
• How large or heavy is this resident?
• Does this resident has any special needs or behaviors to consider before you start the move?
•  Does this resident has any physical condition that affects moving, such as fragile skin or bones?
• How much weight is the resident allowed to place on the limb?
• How much limb motion is allowed? • Does this resident use an assistive device such as walker, cane, or brace?
•  Can this resident understand what you are asking them to do?
•  Can this resident see and hear you, or need glasses or a hearing aid to see or hear better?
• What equipment do you need to most easily move this resident?
• Where are this resident's shoe and socks?
• What tubes or equipment is connected to this resident, such as a IV tube or oxygen line?
• • Does this resident have any dressings or open wounds?
• • Can this resident tolerate all positions?

3. Think about the environment:

• Could the lighting, noise level, or distractions such as family members, or ongoing nursing care of another resident affect moving and positioning?
• Are any obstacles, such as medical equipment, appliances, extra linens, personal possessions, or furniture in the way?
• Is the bed at the proper height?
• Is everything needed close at hand?
• Can you move around any tubes or equipment surrounding the resident?
• What chair or seating device does the resident use?

                                                         “Know the answers to these questions before you move or position a resident”


Communicating with residents and your coworkers is important.  A Serious injury can happen if someone does not understand how the move is to be done.  It is also important to give clear directions. Everyone must know what to do and when to begin to do it. Be sure to talk clearly with a resident about their role. Ask them to do things “on the count of three,” such as to push off the bed to help you raise them to a standing position. For example, you might ask them to grasp the side rail while you are turning them toward you, or to lift their head up as you start to move them. Remember that the resident should be an active participant in the move. Never do for residents what they can do for themselves.





                                                                                   "National Physical Fitness and Sports Month"

Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s health, and people of all ages and body types can be physically active. National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active.

Here are just a few benefit of physical activity:

Children and adolescents – Physical activity can improve muscular fitness, bone health, and heart health.
Adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Older adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills).
Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for everyone to get more physical activity.

How can National Physical Fitness and Sports Month make a difference?
We can use this month to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity — and spread the word about fun ways to get moving!

Here are just a few ideas:

We can promote and encourage families to make small changes, like taking a walk after dinner or going for a bike ride.
Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of every student’s day.
Identify youth leaders in the community who can talk to their peers about the importance of being active. Encourage community groups and families to support physical activity programs for kids.  We can also, encourage our children to eat healthy.  This is because eating healthy means getting enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients – and limiting unhealthy foods and drinks. Eating healthy also means getting the number of calories that is right for you (not eating too much or too little).

To eat healthy, be sure to get plenty of:

Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
Seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, seeds, and nuts

It's also important to limit:

  • Sodium (salt)
  • Added sugars – like refined (regular) sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and honey
  • Saturated fats, which come from animal products like cheese, fatty meats, whole milk, and butter, and plant products like palm and coconut oils
  • Trans fats, which may be in foods like stick margarines, coffee creamers, and some deserts
  • Refined grains which are in foods like cookies, white bread, and some snack foods.

The Basics: Health Benefits

A healthy diet can help keep you healthy.
Eating healthy is good for your overall health. Making smart food choices can also help you manage your weight and lower your risk for certain chronic (long-term) diseases.

When you eat healthy foods – and limit unhealthy foods – you can reduce your risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Some types of cancer
  • Osteoporosis (bone loss)

                                        It is important to learn more about why eating healthy is IMPORTANT!!!

For more information visit https:healthfinder.gov/healthtopics


                                                                                                          ***** END *****

   "Behavior is a form of communication, we have to understand that in every behavior has a purpose"

 Understanding behavior is the key.  It is very important to understand that all behavior is triggered, it happens for a reason.  It might be something a person did or said that triggered a behavior or it could be  change in the physical environment.  Usually, the root to changing behavior is drastic change in the patterns that we create or a change in their routine.  


   People with dementia walk seemingly aimlessly, for a variety of reasons, such as boredom, medication side affects or to look for “something” or someone. They also may be trying to fulfill a physical need, thirst, and hunger, a need to use the toilet or exercise. Discovering the triggers for wandering are not always easy, but they can provide insights to dealing with the behavior.

• Make time for regular exercise to minimize restlessness.
• Consider installing new locks that require a key. Position locks high or low on the door; many people with dementia will not think to look beyond eye level. Keep in mind fire and safety concerns for all family members; the lock(s) must be accessible to others and not take more than a few second to open.
• Try a barrier likes a curtain or colored streamer to mask the door. A “stop” sign or “do not enter” sign also may help.
• Place a black mat or paint a black space on your front porch; this may appear to be an impassable hole to the person with dementia.
• Add “child-safe” plastic covers to doorknobs.
• Consider installing a home security system or monitoring system designed to keep watch over someone with dementia. Also available are new digital devices that can be worn like a watch or clipped on a belt that use global positioning systems (GPS) or other technology to track a person’s whereabouts or locate him if he wanders off.
• Put away essential items such as the confused person’s coat, purse or glasses. Some individuals will not go out without certain articles.
• Have your relative wear an ID bracelet and sew ID labels in their clothes. Always have a current photo available should you need to report your loved one missing. Consider leaving a copy on file at the police department or registering the person with the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program or other emergency tracking service.
• Tell neighbors about your relative’s wandering behavior and make sure they have your phone number.

    Understanding Dementia Behaviors

        "Caring for a loved one with dementia poses many challenges for families and caregivers.  A person with dementia from conditions such as Alzheimer’s and its associated diseases have a progressive biological brain disorder that makes it more and more difficult for them to remember things, think clearly, communicate with others, or take care of themselves. In addition, dementia can cause mood swings and even change a person’s personality and behavior.   So how can we properly understand and practically deal with the troubling behavior problems and communication difficulties that we often encountered when caring for a person with dementia".

   Communicating with a Person with Dementia

    We are not born knowing how to communicate with a person with dementia, however we can learn. Improving your communication skills will help makes caregiving less stressful and will likely improve the quality of your relationship with your loved one. Good communication skills will also enhance your ability to handle the difficult behavior you may encounter as you care for a person with a dementing illness. 

The following our some tactics on how to understand dementia:

 1. Set a positive mood for interaction. Your attitude and body language communicates your feelings and thoughts stronger than your words. Set a positive mood by speaking to your loved one in a pleasant and respectful manner. Use facial expressions, tone of voice and physical touch to help convey your message and show your feelings of affection.
 2. Get the person’s attention. Limit distractions and noise, turn off the radio or TV, close the curtains or shut the door, or move to quieter surroundings. Before speaking, make sure you have her attention; address her by name, identify yourself by name and relation, and use nonverbal cues and touch to help keep her focused. If she is seated, get down to her level and maintain eye contact.
 3. State your message clearly. Use simple words and sentences. Speak slowly, distinctly and in a reassuring tone. Refrain from raising your voice higher or louder; instead, pitch your voice lower. If she doesn’t understand the first time, use the same wording to repeat your message or question. If she still doesn’t understand, wait a few minute and rephrase the question. Use the names of people and places instead of pronouns (he, she, they) or abbreviations.
 4. Ask simple, answerable questions. Ask one question at a time; those with yes or no answers work best. Refrain from asking open-ended questions or giving too many choices. For example, ask, “Would you like to wear your white shirt or your blue shirt?” Better still, show her the choices, visual prompts and cues also help clarify your question and can guide her response.
 5. Listen with your ears, eyes and heart. Be patient in waiting at your loved one’s reply. If she is struggling for an answer, it’s okay to suggest words. Watch for nonverbal cues and body language, and respond appropriately. Always strive to listen for the meaning and feelings that underlie the words.
 6. Break down activities into a series of steps. This makes many tasks much more manageable. You can encourage your loved one to do what he can, gently remind him of steps he tends to forget, and help with steps he is no longer able to accomplish on his own. Using visual cues, such as showing him with your hand where to place the dinner plate, can be very helpful.
 7. When the going gets tough, distract and redirect. If you are loved one becomes upset or agitated, try changing the subject or the environment. For example, ask him for help or suggest going for a walk. It is important to connect with the person on a feeling level, before you redirect. You might say, “I see you are feeling sad and I am sorry you are upset. Let’s go get something to eat.”
 8. Respond with affection and reassurance. People with dementia often feel confused, eager and unsure of themselves. Further, they often get reality confused and may recall things that never really occurred. Avoid trying to persuade them they are wrong.  Stay focused on the feelings they are demonstrating (which are real) and respond with oral and physical expressions of comfort, support and reassurance. Sometimes holding hands, touching, hugging and praise will gets the person to respond when all else fails.
 9. Remember the good old days. Remembering the passed is often a soothing and affirming activity. Many people with dementia may not remember what happened 45 minutes ago, but they can clearly recall their lives 45 years earlier. Therefore, avoid asking questions that rely on short-term memory, such as asking the person what they had for lunch. Instead, try asking general questions about the person’s distant passed and this information is more likely to be retained.
 10. Maintain your sense of humor. Use humor whenever possible, though not at the person's expense. People with dementia tend to retain their social skills and are usually delighted to laugh along with you.

For more information www.caregiver.org/understanding-dementia-behaviors

        Handling Troubling Behavior

   Some of the greatest challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia are the personality and behavior changes that often occur. You can best meet these challenges by using creativity, flexibility, patience and compassion. It also helps to not take things personally and maintain your sense of humor.

To start, consider these ground rules:

      We cannot change the person. The person you are caring for has a brain disorder that shapes who he has become. When you try to control or change his behavior, you’ll most likely be unsuccessful or be met with resistance. It’s important to:
Try to accommodate the behavior, not control the behavior. For example, if the person insists on sleeping on the floor, place a mattress on the floor to make him more comfortable.

Remember that we can change our behavior or the physical environment. Changing our own behavior will often result in a change in our loved one’s behavior.

  • Check with the doctor first. Behavioral problems may have an underlying medical reason: perhaps the person is in pain or experiencing an adverse side effect from medications. In some cases, like incontinence or hallucinations, there may be some medication or treatment that can assist in managing the problem.
  • Behavior has a purpose. People with dementia typically cannot tell us what they want or need. They might do something, like take all the clothes out of the closet on a daily basis, and we wonder why. It is very likely that the person is fulfilling a need to be busy and productive. Always consider what need the person might be trying to meet with their behavior—and, when possible, try to accommodate them.
  • Behavior is triggered. It is important to understand that all behavior is triggered—it occurs for a reason. It might be something a person did or said that triggered a behavior or it could be a change in the physical environment. The root to changing behavior is disrupting the patterns that we create. Try a different approach, or try a different consequence.
  • What works today, may not tomorrow. The multiple factors that influence troubling behaviors and the natural progression of the disease process means that solutions that are effective today may need to be modified tomorrow—or may no longer work at all. The key to managing difficult behaviors is being creative and flexible in your strategies to address a given issue.
  • Get support from others. You are not alone—there are many others caring for someone with dementia. Locate your nearest Area Agency on Aging, the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, a California Caregiver Resource Center or visit the Family Care Navigator (www.caregiver.org/family-care-navigator) to find support groups, organizations, and services that can help you. Expect that, like the loved one you are caring for, you will have good days and bad days. Develop strategies for coping with the bad days (see the FCA Fact Sheet, Dementia, Caregiving and Controlling Frustration).                                                 

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                                                                              "Healthy  Aging Tips for the Year Ahead"

"The ends of holiday season is approaching, this mean it is time to look forward to a fresh new year ahead.  As we get ready to welcome in 2017, making some resolutions to live better can help us focus on successful aging while enhancing our overall health and wellbeing".

    Changing our lifestyle can be very difficult, but it is also essential for healthier aging! You will feel better, look better, a djust be happier in general.  However, we sometimes choose to ring in the New Year, take a moment to focus on how you can adjust your life in the days to comes and create some resolutions.  So, here are few healthy aging tips to keep in mind for a successful, and a happy new year:

  • Exercise your mind. Physical activity is essential for our health, and keeping your brain active is also crucial.  Take a class at a senior center to learn something you've always wanted to know.  Or, simply challenge your brain with Sudoku or crossword puzzles.  The more we are using our mind, the more mmory muscle we will build and the better our brain will work. 
  • Try something new.  Whether we choose to learn a new hobby, take up a new exercise, or even take a trip somewhere you've never been to, trying something new cannot only expand your knowledge or enhance physical health, but it can also exapnd your social circles!  Building realtionships as we age is key to our quality of life. 
  • Schedule those annual health screenings.  Get a complete physical at least once a year, and find our if you should get screenings for vision, hearing or even serious conditions like cancer if t runs in your familiy.  Early detection and prevention are he key to managing most health problems!
  • Safeguard your home or living space.  Protect yourself from a debilitating fall by making sure your home is as safe as it can be.  Remove or throw rugs and loose cords from the floor, install handrails in the bathroom if necessary, and increase lighting throughout you're living space.
  • Eat fresh.  Choose healthier, fresh foods like fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and whole grains.  The way we eat will affect our weight, as well as our emotinal and cognitive health.
  • Take your Vitamins.  Add taking a multivitamin to your daily routine if you are not already taking one.  Just ensure the vitamin you choose has 100 percent of the daily value for most vitamins and mierals.
  • Quit unhealthy habits.  We can toast the New year with a smaller glass of champagne.  Cutting back on your alcohol intake can help alleviate depression and health issues that come with excessing drinking.  If you are a smoker, (maybe) now is the time to quit! You will reduce your risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, plus you will be able to breathe easier and will feel more nergetic overall.
  • Get a good night's sleep.  Seniors or older adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, just like their younger counterparts.  Try to avoid daytime napping and learn how to unwind and relax in the evening hours.
  • Speak up when you are down. If you are feeling isolated and depressed, talk to someone about it. About one in five older adults suffer from anxiety and depression, so if you are feeling blue, irritable, or are no longer enjoying things you previously loved to do, reach out to your doctor or a friend or family member.

           Happy New Year from American Senior Communities! We wish all our wonderful residents and their families a great 2017!




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