Freudenthal Home Health Blog

Freudenthal Home Health salutes family caregivers in the St. Joseph, MO area who are giving wonderful care and help to their senior loved ones each and every day. Our goal with this blog is to give information and resources to help and support St. Joseph, MO area family caregivers.

Quiz: The Flu VS A Cold

How much do you know? Test your knowledge below!

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Thank You For Your Service!

Thank you for your service and sacrifice!

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Physical Therapy Quick Tip: Engaging Core Muscle Groups

Kelly Jarrett, PTA discusses how to lessen back pain and increase your power by tucking your belly button and engaging core muscle groups when you do certain activities. Watch the video here!

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Physical Therapy: Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

Dr. Read Wall & Dr. Robert Knowles explain and demonstrate the diaphragmatic breathing technique.

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Fall Is Here, Is Your Home Ready?

Fall is here, is your home ready? Here are 9 tips to get you started. Need help? Call us today! 

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Breathing Exercises & Postures To Help With COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The disease is increasingly common, affecting millions of Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The good news is COPD is often preventable and treatable.

Freudenthal Home Health's very own, Dr. Robert Knowles and Dr. Read Wall, discuss pursed-lip breathing and breathless postures designed to help persons with COPD, and other breathing issues, breath a little easier.

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Freudenthal Home Health Softball Team 2017

At Freudenthal Home Health, we believe it's important to also have fun as a team.

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Physical Therapy & Parkinson's Disease

When first diagnosed, all Parkinson's Disease (PD) patients should have a consultation with a physical therapist to define the appropriate exercise program tailored to them.  This will also establish a baseline of your current physical status.  

Ideally, all patients with PD should have a good fitness program as well as specific exercises to maintain good posture and balance as well as improve symmetry in flexibility and strength. Then, one may benefit from a consultation with a physical therapist when signs and symptoms increase the risk for falling or limit comfortable community mobility and confidence.  The therapist will also work on improving gait with practice using visual and auditory cues, as well as without those cues.  

As the disease progresses, periodic re-evaluations are helpful to assure your exercise program is having the maximum benefit.  A program of individualized exercises addressing posture, balance and gait has been shown to be beneficial in decreasing the risk of falling.  In some cases, where balance or musculoskeletal problems develop, supervised outpatient treatments a few times per week may be helpful for a few weeks.

In addition to physical exercise, it is important for everyone to maintain a high level of learning-based exercise activities to improve the ability to do multiple tasks simultaneously and safely without falling. The combination of learning-based memory training, aerobic exercise, over ground gait practice and integrative, engaging activities in the community are essential to positive health and well being despite aging or neurodegenerative disease.

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Physical Therapy Is Underutilized by People With Parkinson’s Disease

Physical therapy can help people with Parkinson's disease improve their quality of life and even delay the negative effects of the disease, but a recent study shows that physical therapist services aren't being maximized by people with Parkinson's.

According to a study presented at the 20th International Congress of Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society ("Underutilization of physiotherapy for Parkinson's disease in the United States" – accessed June 22, 2016), fewer than 12% of Medicare beneficiaries with Parkinson's disease utilized physical therapy over a 2 year period. Occupational therapy and speech therapy services also were underutilized.

"Occupational and physical therapy can help patients with being able to exercise, and we know that's one of the most effective ways to reverse the course of Parkinson's," said Peter Schmidt, PhD, of the National Parkinson Foundation, in an interview with MedPage Today about the study. "We've also shown that the earlier you get it, particularly with physical therapy, the more effective it is later in the disease."

Here's a quick video on the treatment of Parkinson's by a Physical Therapist

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October is National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and Freudenthal Home Health will be highlighting the skills and techniques that physical therapists bring to the table. Take some time and watch or listen to this video on pain from our very own Doctor of Physical Therapy, Read Wall, DPT. This conversation on sources of pain and how to manage them might change your world.

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The Basics of Cholesterol and Coronary Artery Disease

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with high cholesterol or just want to learn more about cholesterol, we can help you. Cholesterol is a waxy substance. It’s not “bad”: your body needs it to build cells. But too much can be a problem.

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Coronary artery disease (CAD)occurs when the inside (the lumen) of one or more coronary arteries narrows, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to surrounding heart muscle tissue. Atherosclerosis is the process that causes the artery wall to get thick and stiff. It can lead to complete blockage of the artery, which can cause a heart attack.

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The disease process begins when LDL (“bad” cholesterol) deposits cholesterol in the artery wall. The body has an immune response to protect itself and sends white blood cells called macrophages to engulf the invading cholesterol in the artery wall. When the macrophages are full of cholesterol, they are called foam cells because of their appearance. As more foam cells collect in the artery wall, a fatty streak develops between the intima and the media. If the process is not stopped, the fatty streak becomes a plaque, which pushes the intima into the lumen, narrowing the blood flow.

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The plaque develops a fibrous coating on its outer edges. But if cholesterol continues to collect in foam cells inside the plaque, the fibrous outer coating can weaken and eventually rupture. Smaller arteries downstream from the rupture can quickly become blocked. Over time, a clot may develop at the rupture site and completely block the artery.

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A myocardial infarction (heart attack) occurs when the heart muscle tissue does not receive vital oxygen and nutrients.

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All Illustrations and explanations © 2017, American Heart Association, Inc.

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Cholesterol: 5 Things You Need To Know

Cholesterol seems to be one of those words that’s in everyone’s vocabulary, but many people are still confused about what cholesterol is, and how it affects their health. It also keeps popping up in the media from time to time, partly due to a report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of top nutrition researchers who advise the government about what and how Americans should be eating.

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1. Cholesterol is only found in animal-based foods

There are two types: dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is the cholesterol found in foods, and only foods of animal origin contain it, because animals’ bodies naturally produce this waxy, fat-like substance. So when you eat an animal-based food (think eggs, dairy, meat, seafood) you’re ingesting cholesterol that an animal’s body produced. Plant-based foods do not contain any cholesterol, so if you see a jar of nut butter marked "cholesterol free" know that they didn’t remove the cholesterol—it just wasn’t there to begin with.

2. Cholesterol is essential for your health

Even if you ate zero animal foods, you’d still have cholesterol in your body. That’s because your liver produces cholesterol and it’s needed for several key functions, including the making of hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest food. While cholesterol is vital, it isn’t considered to be an essential nutrient, meaning something you must obtain from foods, like vitamin C or potassium. That’s because your body produces all of the cholesterol it needs.

3. There are “good” and “bad” types of cholesterol in your blood

The two types of blood cholesterol you hear about most often are HDL (the “good” kind; think happy cholesterol) and LDL (the “bad” kind; think lousy cholesterol). HDL and LDL are actually carriers of cholesterol called lipoproteins. HDL is good because it carries cholesterol away from arteries and back to the liver, where it can be removed from your body. LDL—the bad type—has the opposite effect. Too much LDL can lead to a build-up, which clogs and narrows arteries, and creates inflammation. This chain of events can lead to a sudden rupture, which sends a clot into the bloodstream, causing a heart attack and/or stroke.

4. Dietary cholesterol may not impact blood cholesterol as much as previously thought

The old thinking was that consuming dietary cholesterol added to the cholesterol that your body naturally produces, thus raising the amount in your blood. This was perceived to be risky, because too much blood cholesterol has been shown to up the risk of heart disease, the top killer of both men and women. One often-cited statistic is that every 1% increase in total blood cholesterol is tied to a 2% increase in the risk of heart disease.

For many years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that dietary cholesterol should be limited to no more than 300 mg per day. To put that in perspective, one egg yolk contains about 185 mg, three ounces of shrimp contains about 130 mg, two ounces of 85% lean ground beef about 60 mg, and one tablespoon of butter about 30 mg. The brand new report eliminated this cap, however, because the committee believes that the research shows no substantial relationship between the consumption of dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterollevels. As such, they concluded, “Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

5. The new guidelines aren't carte blanche to other animal fats

Nearly every media outlet covered the release of the report from the Dietary Guidelines committee, zeroing in on the omission of cholesterol limits—but that doesn’t mean it’s now healthy to go out and down cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizzas. The committee is still concerned about the relationship between blood cholesterol and saturated fat from foods like cheese.

You may have heard about another recent report, which concluded that a lower intake of saturated fat wasn’t linked to a lower risk of heart disease. That’s true, but it’s not the whole story, because the risk really lies in what you replace the saturated fat-laden foods with. When people curb saturated fat, but eat more carbohydrates, they lower protective levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and drive up triglycerides (a type of blood fat), a combo that may actually up the risk of heart disease. But numerous studies have shown that replacing foods like butter and cheese with plant-based fats like almond butteravocado, and olive oil can help lower heart disease risk.

The Bottom Line:

The number one message from the new Dietary Guidelines report is that we all need to be eating less sugar and processed foods, and more plants, including vegetablesfruitswhole grainsbeans and lentils. So if you have cholesterol from something like eggs, pair them with other whole, nutrient-rich plant foods, like veggies and avocado, combined with some fruit, black beans, sweet potato, or quinoa. That’s good nutrition.

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The dangers of mixing too many medications

Professor David Le Couteur talks to ABC's Catalyst about adverse drug reactions in the elderly.

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    Ask the Expert: Over-Medication

    Ask the Expert with Dr. Scott Avery, DO: 
    What you Need to Know About Over-Medication

    Dr. Scott Avery, DO graduated from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007. He works in Savannah, MO and specializes in Geriatric Medicine.


    Dr. Scott Avery, DO graduated from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007. He works in Savannah, MO and specializes in Geriatric Medicine.

    Question 1: What should a family caregiver know about their loved one's prescriptions/medications?

    They should know what medications they are taking and for what condition.  IN addition they should know who is prescribing the medications.  They should also know that over the counter medications can interfere with prescription medications.  They should always let their phsycian know about any over the counter medicines, supplements or herbs.
     

    Question 2: What is over-medication and are there any definite signs of it?

    [Over-medication] is taking more of a medication than is prescribed.  It can also be two or more medications interacting with each other.  Signs would be a patient acting different than normal i.e., someone is acting groggy after starting a medication.
     

    Question 3: Who is the first person/professional to contact if you are worried about over-medication?

    You should call your physician or your loved one’s physician with any concerns.
     

    Question 4: When should a patient or family caregiver seek a second opinion on medications?

    Anytime there is a concern about a medication you should bring it up with your physician first. If there are still questions after this, then a second opinion would be something to consider seeking.
     

    Question 5: What is your number one prescription medication safety tip?

    This one comes from my nurses. 
    Right medication, right patient, right dose, right route, right time.
    In other words, take only medications that are prescribed for you, take the amount that is prescribed at the correct time. Take it by the right route, i.e. if it says to take orally, swallow the pill or if it says injection, give it by an injection.


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