All posts by Rachel A

03Apr/17

The Aging Adult Population

Often times due to declining health, older adults will live with their family members and thus providing long-term care for their elders. Greater than 70 percent of elderly men and 40 percent of elderly women live with family (Hooyman et al., 2015). Older adults may also choose to live with their children due to financial constraints, a desire for companionship, and due to the loss of their partner or previous caregiver.  With a growing aging adult population as the baby boomers enter into ages 65+, there will be increased reliance on family to act as caregivers. Space in long-term care facilities is limited, can be costly, and difficult to find placement for older adults in need. This places increased emotional and financial burden on family members. Although there is an increased burden on families to act as caregivers, it is estimated that family caregivers of adults 65 and older save society around $450 billion per year (Hooyman et al, 2015). This in turn greatly affects the American economy, heath care systems, and long-term services.

Hooyman, N. R., Kawamoto, K., & Kiyak, H. A. (2015). Aging matters: An introduction to social gerontology.

28Feb/17

Portable Oxygen Delivery

I’ve always thought of home oxygen delivery as very cumbersome task to deal with; I’ve always had this more traditional idea in my head of how patient’s have had to carry around oxygen tanks if they need to be on supplemental oxygen. What a different life we live in now. Portable oxygen concentrators are the wave of the future. These devices don’t even require a supplemental oxygen source; they simply purify and concentrate atmospheric oxygen to the desired amounts. Companies such as Inogen create these portable oxygen concentrators, enabling greater mobility and maintenance of quality of life for patients requiring oxygen supplementation. Medicare and other insurance companies will also cover up to 80% of the costs for these devices, making it a more feasible option for patients. You can read more about these products here: http://www.inogen.com/oxygen-therapy/portable-oxygen-concentrators-better-breathing/

While doing some research on the latest technologies that are available I also stumbled upon this article from Medscape that I felt was a simplified and clear review of the topics covered in class regarding a nurses role in care for ventilated patients. Although it is a few years old, I found it to be a helpful review of everything and would recommend reading it!

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/761358?pa=6YSvos3vXXYA7rsq%2FLAgfWdMwSBx0JnoV71mE32aHvRsDADn8jNLa%2FiH9sf07Iju43mU9jD%2B1DtnxY47OmyybA%3D%3D

15Feb/17

Cardiac Questioning

I asked the following questions to my parents: Q1: What does “Cardiopulmonary Arrest” mean to you? Q2: What does an “MI” mean? Q3: What you perceive happens during “CPR?”

My dad was the first to respond, followed by my mother’s response. I asked them in this order, as I feel that my dad may base his answers according to how my mom responds; yet my mother would answer independently regardless.

The answers were as follows:

Dad: Q1: that his heart stops beating. Q2: Missing in action. Q3: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a lot of pushing on the chest and praying

Mom: Q1: that your heart is in a state of crisis Q2: mitral interval.  Q3: You stimulate the heart to come back into a rhythm by artificial external stimulus. And you do the breathing too; you do the heart and breathing.

Following these questions I provided some education to both of my parents. My father was under the impression that with CPR, you perform 22 compressions as fast as possible and that it is no longer important to give breaths. I instructed him the correct method to perform CPR, and the reasoning behind why they state that it is not necessary to give rescue breaths in the field. I also explained what a MI stands for and what happens in cardiopulmonary arrest. It was an interesting discussion to question my parents on topics that seem so innate to me now; made me realize that there are many things that I may take for granted when I explain things to people.

06Feb/17

Heart Healthy Diet

On Saturday, February 4, I decided to log my food intake through the help of the app, myfitnesspal. Using this app made it a world easier to log my nutritional intake, especially since you can use the bar code scanner for food items with a label. Despite using this app, it was still a pain to track everything that I ate. My total intake of fat that day was 83 grams, with 21 grams being saturated fat and no trans fat intake. My sodium intake that day was 1,992 mg.

Heart healthy diets are limited in the amount of sodium and fat that one may consume. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), they recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg with an idea intake of no more than 1,500 mg, especially for those with hypertension or heart disease. While my sodium intake was less than the 2,300 mg mark, it was still considerably higher than the ideal intake. I did eat soup this day, which soup often contain high amounts of sodium. And I was surprised to see so much sodium in hummus, which I thought was a healthy food choice. The AHA, also recommends limiting fat intake, especially saturated and trans fats. Saturated fat intake should be limited to no more than 5-6% of your calories should come from fat, and there are about 9 calories for every gram of fat.  So for a 2,000 calorie diet, only 13g of saturated fat should be consumed. I ate more than that. The high fat content that I consumed was in the clam chowder that I ate, which contained 9 grams. There was also a considerable amount of saturated fat in the hummus that I consumed, which was also surprising.

Overall, I found it very difficult to track everything that I had eaten this day. I can’t imagine having to calculate my dietary intake every day. When recommending a heart healthy diet to patients, I would find it more beneficial to educate these patients on healthier eating habits and food swapping. Although, I would also recommend this app to them and encourage them to use it even just for a few days to raise awareness of the fat and sodium content that they were consuming.