Tag Archives: nursing

KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY

Looking down the long hall from her office to the conference room, Elaine must have thought about the number of steps required to get there. Fifty? A hundred? Five hundred? A thousand? Even using the cane only helped a little. At least there were no stairs to climb.

And then there were the problems at home. How much longer would she be able to take her dog, Patrick, for a walk past the school playground where the children were playing hopscotch? Who would pull the weeds out of the flower garden in the front yard? How much longer could she make the beds or wash the dishes? So much of life depends on the ability to stand and walk.

Elaine’s primary care doctor referred her to an orthopedic surgeon. He recommended knee replacement surgery. He explained that nearly one million Americans undergo hip or knee replacement surgeries each year. He said the majority of these procedures were performed on patients over the age of 65. According to https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/knee, “Osteoarthritis is the main reason why people go for knee replacement surgery. The age-related condition is very common and occurs when cartilage—the cushion between the knee and bone joints—breaks down.” Elaine fit into those demographics.

The doctor explained that patients having knee replacements are normally discharged from the hospital three days after surgery. Elaine would need to be able to use a walker before she could be discharged. Then someone would need to be with her at home 24/7 during her recovery.

The doctor told Elaine that the initial short-term recovery stage lasts four to six weeks for most patients. Nurses would need to be with her to tend to her medical needs. Therapists would come to her home to provide physical therapy. The final phase, long-term recovery, could take as long as six months.

Patients need the encouragement of family and friends throughout the whole process of knee replacement surgery. It would be easy to feel alone and to get discouraged. If someone you know is having knee replacement surgery, send a card. Call your friend or family member. Make a gift basket and deliver it. Do something to let them know you care.

If you have a friend or family member who is having knee replacement surgery and needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (RNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to our Web site, www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

LIVING WITH DIABETES

Checking Blood Sugar Levels

Sixty years ago, downtown Chicago was a destination for shopping, for the arts, and for business. It was a bustling town.

Marshall Field’s thirteen story building dominated the commercial area. Designed by Daniel Burnham and built in 1891-1892, it took up an entire city block bounded clockwise by State Street, Randolph Street, Wabash Avenue, and Washington Street. The interior featured a Louis Comfort Tiffany glass mosaic vaulted ceiling in the five-story balconied atrium in the southwest corner of the building.

At Christmas time, at the street level there were ornate decorated window displays including thirteen themed windows. Upstairs in the Walnut Room, a three-story decorated Christmas tree was the focal point of the room. Families would stand in long lines waiting to be seated at the tables under the tree.

Jean worked in an office in the Loop, not far from Marshall Field’s. Her job was to calculate tariffs for freight on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe lines. This was an important but difficult job because all the calculations were made using pencil and paper. Computers had not yet been universally adopted for business use.

During lunch hour, she would often go to Marshall Field’s just to browse. It was a way to get away from the office for a few minutes. She enjoyed looking at the store’s merchandise and feeling the excitement of the shoppers. Occasionally, she would buy a piece of costume jewelry for herself or a gift for a family member.

In 1957, Jean developed diabetes. For years, she continued to work. She managed her diabetes with diet and with injections of insulin. She died of kidney failure in 1986.

What is diabetes? According to the American Diabetic Association website, www.diabetes.org, “Diabetes is a disease that occurs in several different types, with the main factor the inability to produce enough insulin in the pancreas to handle the demands of the foods and sugars that enter the body.” There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational.

According to the American Diabetic Association website, www.diabetes.org, “Nearly 30 million battle diabetes and every 23 seconds someone new is diagnosed. Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.”

If you have a family member who needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com. or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

THE FIGHT AGAINST COPD

Do you know someone who has COPD? According to the Mayo Clinic article “COPD” at https://www.mayoclinic.org, symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include difficulty breathing, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing. Other signs and symptoms may include chest tightness, blue lips or fingernail beds, lack of energy, and swelling in ankles, feet, or legs.

In developing countries, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes. The main cause of COPD in developed countries is long-term cigarette smoking. Other irritants can cause COPD. These include cigar smoke, secondhand smoke, pipe smoke, air pollution, and workplace exposure to dust, smoke, or fumes.

The American Lung Association is the most recognized organization fighting lung diseases. Two Fight For Air Climb events are scheduled for the Chicago area in 2019. The first will be February 9, 2019, at Oakbrook Terrace Tower. Participants will climb 31 floors, 680 stairs. The second will be March 10, 2019, at Presidential Towers in Chicago. Participants will climb 180 floors, 2,340 stairs.

In 2004, the COPD Foundation was created. It is a 501©(3) foundation with offices in Washington, D.C. and Miami, Florida. This organization has a unique program called HARMONICAS FOR HEALTH. Recognizing the role that lung function plays in COPD, the foundation has implemented the first national harmonica program created for individuals with COPD and other chronic lung diseases.

The COPD Foundation web site, https://www.copdfoundation.org, describes the value of the program: “Harmonica practice allows individuals with COPD to better control breathing, exercise the muscles that help pull air in and push air out of the lungs, strengthen abdominal muscles for a more effective cough, and more. Participants of the Harmonica for Health Program can order free education kits that include a basic model harmonica, Play Harmonica Today! Book with DVD and audio CD, and easy-to-read information on lung anatomy, COPD, and breathing techniques.”

If you have a family member who needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

-By Karen Centowski


To see a video Harmonica Jam, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMAyxQ77SMM.

STEPTEMBER FOR CEREBRAL PALSY

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If you are a health and fitness buff, this one is perfect for you. It’s a fundraiser for cerebral palsy research. All YOU have to do is take 10,000 steps a day in Steptember. You can skate, bike, climb, roll, walk, run, surf, swim, or cycle. You can use a fitness tracker, smartphone app, or pedometer to track your activity.

How can you get involved? Follow these three simple steps:

  1. Form a team of three friends, family members, or colleagues. Register your team online at https://www.steptember.us. Ask your family and friends to sponsor you.
  2. Wait for your Steptember pedometer and kit to arrive in the mail.
  3. Log 10,000 steps each day between Steptember 4 and October 1.

Funds raised go to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) organization. According to https://www.steptember.us, participants in Steptember have raised $246,018.29 in the USA and $1,768,729.38 across the world.

What is cerebral palsy? It is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. One in three children with cerebral palsy cannot walk. One in five children with cerebral palsy cannot talk. According to https://www.steptember.us,

– 1 in 323 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
– 800,000 people in the U.S. are living with cerebral palsy.
– Every hour a child is born with cerebral palsy.
– 17 million people worldwide are living with cerebral palsy.

Although many people think of cerebral palsy as a childhood disorder, most children with cerebral palsy live well into adulthood. Assistive devices such as walkers and wheelchairs can help individuals maintain their independence. Private duty nurses and CNAs can provide nursing care.

If a member of your family has Cerebral Palsy and requires private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com.

—By Karen Centowski


To see a video How Steptember Works, go to https://youtube.com/watch?v=MAK88iKgqec.

LIVING WITH ARTHRITIS

Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults in the United States? In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, about 54 million adults have doctor diagnosed arthritis. In addition, almost 300,000 babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition.

Who gets arthritis? According to the Arthritis Foundation fact sheet at https://www.arthritis.org, “Doctor-diagnosed arthritis is more common in women (26 percent) than in men (18 percent). In some types, such as rheumatoid arthritis, women far outnumber men. Almost two-thirds of adults in the U.S. with arthritis are working age (18-64 years). Arthritis and other non-traumatic joint disorders are among the five most costly conditions among adults 18 and older.”

The Arthritis Foundation fact sheet also states that “Arthritis is much more common among people who have other chronic conditions. Forty-nine percent of people with heart disease have arthritis. Forty-seven percent of adults with diabetes have arthritis. Thirty-one percent of adults who are obese have arthritis.”

Did you know that Medicare will pay for certain individuals receiving physical therapy or other services at home? There are certain criteria that must be met, including the following:

  1. A physician must prescribe home care.
  2. The patient must be homebound. Brief, intermittent trips outside the house are permitted.
  3. The care must be skilled. Medicare will pay for a nurse or therapist, but not for a home health aide.
  4. The care must be necessary and reasonable.

The Arthritis Foundation sponsors events to raise funds. Walk to Cure Arthritis, the largest arthritis gathering in the world, raised $6,652,872. The Jingle Bell Run, a festive 5K race with a USA Track & Field certified course, raised $966,602.

Bone Bash, a Halloween themed event, includes spooky decorations, costume contests, a silent auction or live auction, and entertainment including music, games, etc. Bone Bashes can range from informal concerts to elegant sit-down dinners or masquerade balls.

Other fund-raising events range from black-tie galas and tribute dinners to wine tastings and themed parties that benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

If you have a family member who needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

SQUATTERS TRASH AREA HOMES

Imagine someone illegally living in a vacant house in your neighborhood. Worse yet, what if the squatter trashed the house, ripped out the copper pipes, left rotted food in the refrigerator, made holes in the walls, and broke the toilet into pieces?

According to “Serial squatter trashes Chicago-area homes with few consequences,” an article at https://wgntv.com/2018/08/06/serial-squatter-trashes-chicago-area-homes-with-few-consequences/, “Through open records requests, WGN Investigates discovered squatting is a common occurrence, especially in places like Lansing, Calumet City, and Dolton. In Calumet City, there have already been 20 documented cases of squatting this year.”

High-end property is not immune to squatters. A woman recently lived in a vacant, foreclosed $1.5 million home in Wicker Park for two years before she was finally removed by court order. The newly built home had five bedrooms, five baths, an in-home theater, a sauna, and a rooftop deck. In 2011, the builder lost the property in foreclosure. In 2013, MB Financial finally managed to get the squatter out of the residence.

How do the squatters find these empty houses? Sometimes, the squatter simply sees a realtor’s For Sale sign on the lawn. Then the squatter just moves into the property. In other cases, the squatter pays one month’s rent, moves in, and waits to be evicted. It can take months to formally evict the squatter. Meanwhile, the squatter has the opportunity to trash the place.

In the article at https://wgntv.com/2018/08/06/serial-squatter-trashes-chicago-area-homes-with-few-consequences/, Tromaine Langham, a former landlord, described the damage a squatter had done to his property: “The conditions when I got there were just deplorable,” Langham remembers. “I walked in and there was broken glass, broken windows, closet doors, bedroom doors smashed. Maggots were just all over the kitchen and in the stove area. I had to totally gut (it) and get that replaced.” All in all, he said, it was $52,000 worth of damage.

Squatters seem to feel no remorse for the damage they have done. A squatter in Dolton posted videos and photos to her Facebook page, bragging about her “new homes.” She also left a framed selfie in the bedroom of one of the homes she had trashed. A few weeks after she was formally evicted, she came back to the house, kicked in the door, and broke all the windows.

By Karen Centowski


To see a Channel 23 ABC News video called Woman catches squatters moving into her home—You Tube, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deIjxerh3s4.

REMEMBERING THE MDA TELETHONS

For over forty years, from 1966 to 2010, one of the most successful performers in show business hosted a Labor Day weekend telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The celebrity, Jerry Lewis, was a comedian, actor, singer, director, producer, filmmaker, and humanitarian. It had all started in the 1950’s when the Jerry Lewis Thanksgiving Party for MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) raised funds for their New York City area operations.

Jerry Lewis was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1926. According to Wikipedia/Jerry Lewis at https://en.wikipedia,org,, “he was known widely for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio and was nicknamed the “King of Comedy.” In 1946, he met and teamed up with Dean Martin. For the next ten years, they were the top-rated nightclub, television, movie and radio act until their breakup in 1956.” After the break-up, Jerry Lewis appeared on television and wrote, produced, and starred in motion pictures. He headlined in nightclubs, and he sang in albums and recordings.

From 1966 until 2010, Jerry Lewis appeared on television every Labor Day as the host of the round-the-clock telethon to raise money to fight neuromuscular diseases. During his sixty-one years with the fundraisers, the Muscular Dystrophy Association raised $2.6 billion.

What is muscular dystrophy? According to the Kennedy Krieger Institute “Factsheet: Muscular Dystrophy,” the term describes a group of genetic disorders that cause muscle degeneration and weakness. The two most common types are Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD).

According to the factsheet, DMD is usually diagnosed around 3-6 years of age. It primarily affects boys because the gene mutation is located on the X chromosome. BMD is less severe and generally presents in late teens to early 20’s.

Children with DMD will experience a delay in walking, frequent falling, and difficulty getting up from a lying down or sitting position. The factsheet describes what is known as the Gower’s maneuver: “When children with DMD have a hard time standing from a sitting or lying down position, they compensate by pulling to their hands and knees, raising their bottom in the air, then “walking” their hands up their legs until they can brace themselves.”

According to the factsheet, there is no cure for muscular dystrophy or delay of the progressive degeneration of muscles. By the age of 12, most children will need a wheelchair for mobility.

If you have a family member who needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski