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Posted on July 17, 2018 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

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Why Should You Choose A Private Home Care Agency Like Us Over A Personal Caregiver?

Posted on March 6, 2018 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

We understand that this is a very important decision that one must make for a loved one. There are many problems when it comes to finding a caregiver on sites such as caregiver.com and other sites like that. These problems can range from communication issues all the way up to them not matching your needs or not offering the right types of services. Everyday families from all around are facing this decision on whether to just stick with an individual or to go with a Homecare Agency. We have listed below some of the benefits from our sources on choosing an agency over an individual person:

1. Screening

Most of the top-notch homecare agencies go through rigorous interview processes, background checks, and carefully scree all of their staff members before hiring. Here at Heavenly Helper's Assistance we can assure you that all of our staff has gone through this process because we believe you all deserve to get the best service possible with the right caregivers on staff.

2. Caregiver Matching

Homecare agencies have a bunch of staff members that have a wide variety of specialties. This makes it so much easier for their clientele to pick and choose which caregiver best suits their needs. A personal caregiver really means that you have one shot. It could be a hit or miss but with Homecare agencies like us we can assure that you will find the right staff member that will suit your needs.

3. Supervision

Private/personal caregivers are only working for themselves meaning they don't have anyone looking over their shoulder. However, with homecare agencies all the staff members are being overlooked by the agency to ensure that all their clientele needs are met. This allows their clients to have a sense of reassurance that their needs will be met or else the agency will have to find a different caregiver to fill in that slot. There are some agencies use technology such as ClearCare that monitor their caregivers and other staff members. They do this by tracking their tasks via cell phone and have real time updates that the agency administrators can look over.

4. Coverage

There are always going to be some scheduling issues every now and then. There may be an instance where your caregiver has to take a personal day due to illness or they are out of town. Homecare agencies have a bunch of staff members that they can quickly schedule in to take their place. This is something we take very seriously here at Heavenly Helpers Assistance, we will NOT allow any of our clientele to be left without a caregiver or CNA.

5. Certification/Licensing

Depending on your location, some homecare agencies may be required to hold certain certifications. However, with private/personal caregivers the often do not have any regulatory oversight at all which can seem a little controversial.

From: https://www.clearcareonline.com/blog/family-caregiving/the-benefits-of-hiring-a-home-care-agency-vs-private-caregivers/ ©; 2018


Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Overview

This is a disorder that is commonly found in young Americans. A hectic schedule, busy lifestyle, and unlimited demands have all got us to the risk of anxiety attacks. The smallest little problem can easily become a big irritant in our daily lives. We always seem to wrap pour brain around concepts and situations that may never happen. Generalized anxiety disorder is the irrational worry about the possible situations that are never likely to occur. This can distract that person from living an efficient lifestyle each day since that problem is invading the mind from moving on. This constant anxiety turns into muscle pains, insomnia, difficulty breathing, irritability, and sweating.

Causes

There is no straight answer as to what causes GAD because it affects every individual differently depending on the situation. There has been a recent study that showed a couple of factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental stress that climax into this disorder. The brain chemistry has to do with the neurotransmitters that can be associated with GAD. The neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers, which transmit information from one nerve cell to the other. If they are out of balance during that time, then the brain will not be able to register the messages correctly and then would result in a bad reaction to the situation.

Symptoms

The symptoms for GAD are just like any other anxiety disorder, where the symptoms need to show for about 6 months in order to be properly diagnosed. The symptoms can be classified in two categories: physical and psychological symptoms. The physical symptoms include:

" Soreness

" Muscle aches and tension

" Unsteadiness

" Constant fidgeting

" Insomnia

" Getting tired easily

The psychological symptoms include:

" Irritability

" Dreadful Feelings

" Difficulty in relaxing

" Inability to control anxious thoughts

" Lack of concentration


From: https://www.buzzle.com/articles/generalized-anxiety-disorder-causes-symptoms-and-treatment.html ©2018

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted on January 30, 2018 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder is the name for a group of developmental disorder. This disorder consists of a wide range of symptoms, skills, and level of disability. People with this disorder usually have these distinguishing characteristics:

• Ongoing social problems; difficulty communication with others and interacting

• Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities

• Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life.

Some people aren’t badly impaired as other by their symptoms. Treatment practices and services can improve a person’s symptoms and their ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

Signs and Symptoms of ASD

1. Restrictive/repetitive behaviors may include:

• Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual ones

• Overly focused interests

• Having lasting, intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts

2. Social communication/ interaction behaviors may include:

• Getting upset by a slight change in routine or being placed in a new setting

• Making little or inconsistent eye contact

• Responding in an unusual way when others show anger, distress, or affection.

• Having facial expressions and gestures that don’t match what is being said

• Using words that seem odd, out of place, or have a special meaning known only to those familiar with that person’s way of communicating.

• Repeating words they hear or phrases, behavior called echolalia.

Risk Factors

Genes and the environment play an important role on who and how a person developed ASD. These factors include:

• Gender- boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD

• Having a sibling with ASD

• Having older parents (mother who was 35 or older, and/or a father who was 40 or older when the baby was born)

• Genetics- about 20% of children with ASD also have certain genetic conditions. These conditions include down syndrome and tuberous sclerosis.

Treatment and Therapies

• Contact the local health department, school, or autism advocacy groups to learn about their special programs.

• Find an autism support group (they can help reduce stress and learn from others facing the same situations they are)

• A doctor may use medication to treat some instances with ASD. With the medication, a person may have less problems with irritability, aggression, repetitive behavior, attention problems, anxiety and depression

From: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml © 2016

Psychosis

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is characterized as the disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what is not real. These disruptions can include seeing, hearing, and believing things that are not real and that have strange, persistent thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Most people who experience this disorder say that it is frightening and confusing when going through this disorder. In the U.S., approximately 100,00 young people experience psychosis each year. As many as 3 in every 100 people will have an episode of psychosis at some point in their lives. First-episode psychosis refers to when a person first shows signs of beginning to lose contact with their reality. When this happens a quick action plan would be highly recommended to get that person to a doctor to receive the correct treatment so that it could possibly alter that person’s future in a better way.

Symptoms

Early Warning Signs Before Psychosis

• Large drop in grades or job performance

• Trouble thinking clearly or concentrating

• Suspiciousness or uneasiness with others

• Decline in self-care or personal hygiene

•Spending more time alone than usual

• Inappropriate emotions, no feelings at all

Signs of First-Episode Psychosis

• Hearing, tasting, seeing, or believing things others don’t

• Strong inappropriate emotions or none at all

• Withdrawing from friends and family

• Sudden decline in self-care

Psychosis Symptoms (2 major experiences)

• Hallucinations are seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.

• Delusions are strong beliefs that are not consistent with the person’s culture, are unlikely to be true and may seem irrational to others.

Causes

• Genetics, trauma (death, war, sexual assault), substance use, physical illness or injury, mental health conditions

From: https://www.nami.org/earlypsychosis © 2018

Schizoaffective Disorder

Posted on January 16, 2018 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

What is Schizoaffective Disorder??

This disorder is a chronic mental health condition characterized primarily by the symptoms of schizophrenia, ones such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder like mania and depression. This can have a problem because this disorder is related to two other types of conditions and most people with this disorder are often incorrectly diagnosed. The overlapping resources for the schizoaffective disorder are a direct impact on the diagnosing stage of the disorder. The schizoaffective disorder is only seen in about 0.3% of the population and men and women both experience this disorder at the same rate. The only difference is that men often develop the illness at an earlier stage than women do. This disorder however can be managed effectively with medication and therapy.

Symptoms

The symptoms of this disorder can reach a severe stage and must be continually monitored. All people will experience different symptoms so just make sure you keep an eye out for them.

1. Hallucinations- seeing or hearing things that aren’t there

2. Delusions- false and fixed beliefs that are held regardless of contradictory evidence

3. Disorganized thinking- switch from topic to topic

4. Depressed mood- feelings of sadness

5. Manic behavior- racing thoughts, increased risky behavior, feelings of euphoria

Causes

The exact cause to this disorder is unknown. There is however a combination of cause that may contribute to the development of this disorder.

1. Genetics- this order tends to run in families.

2. Brain Chemistry- brain scans have allowed doctors to see different ways symptoms can arise and how exactly the brain is affected

3. Stress- stressful events can trigger symptoms or an onset of the illness

4. Drug Use- drugs such as LSD have been liked to the development of this disorder

Diagnosis

This disorder can be hard to diagnose because it has the symptoms of both schizophrenia and either depression or bipolar disorder. There are 2 types of schizoaffective disorder: bipolar type and depressive type. To be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder a person must have the following symptoms.

1. A period in time where there is a big mood disorder (depression or mania), that occurs at the same time that symptoms of schizophrenia are present.

2. Delusions or hallucinations for two or more weeks in the absence of a major mood episode.

3. Symptoms that meet criteria for a major mood episode are present for the majority of the total duration of the illness.

4. The abuse of drugs or a medication are not responsible for the symptoms.

From: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizoaffective-Disorder ©; 2017

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posted on December 15, 2017 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Overview of PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that is cause by witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event. There’s a multitude if symptoms but some include: flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts and feelings about the event. Many people who face this mental health disorder have temporary complications adjusting and coping with these traumatic events. However, with good care and time, they will usually get better. If these symptoms continue to get worse, last for long periods of time (months/years), and interfere with your daily functions, you may possibly have PTSD. If you are one of these people it would be highly critical to get treatment right away to reduce these symptoms and improve your overall functionality.

Symptoms

Symptoms can occur as early as one month after a traumatic event but sometimes they can take as long as years after the event. PTSD symptoms are categorized in 4 categories: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes, and emotional reactions.

1. Intrusive Memories

• Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the event

• Reliving the event as if it were happening again to the person

• Upsetting dreams or nightmares about event

2. Avoidance

• Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the event that affected them

• Avoiding places, activities, and people that bring arise/remind them of the event

3. Negative changes in thinking or mood

• Negative thoughts about yourself, other people, or the world

• Hopelessness about future

• Difficulty maintaining close relationships

• Feeling detached from family and friends

• Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed

• Feeling emotionally numb

4. Changes in physical and emotional reactions

• Easily startled or frightened

• Always on guard for danger

• Trouble sleeping and concentrating

• Overwhelming guilt or shame

Risk Factors

People of all ages can be affected by this disorder. There are some factors however that will make you more likely to develop this disorder. They include:

• Experiencing long and intense trauma

• Lack of good support system (family and friends)

• Having other mental health problems like anxiety and depression

• Problems with substance abuse

• Sexual violence

• Physical assault

• Combat exposure

• Childhood abuse

• Being threatened with a weapon

From: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967 ©2017

Asperger's Syndrome

Posted on December 6, 2017 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

What Is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Also known as Asperger’s Disorder, is a member of the neurodevelopmental disorders that can have an effect on an individual’s behavior, use of language and communication, and the pattern of their social interactions. Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome are more prominent in the earlier stages of a person’s life but it has also been found to develop in the later years and affect adults in their later stages. Asperger’s disorder was originally categorized as one distinct autism spectrum disorder; however, Asperger’s syndrome was considered to be at the milder/ higher functioning range of the spectrum. In May of 2013, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) combined Asperger’s disorder and autism into one for diagnostic purposes known as ASD. Many experts think it should be diagnosed as a separate entity to represent a condition related to autism. Those people who were diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder were found to have higher functioning form of autism or an autism related condition. Those who were diagnosed with Asperger’s were found to have high intelligence but poor social interactions and skills. This disorder is more hereditary in which it is found to run in many families and is passed from generation to generation. Asperger’s Disorder is five times more common in boys than it is in girls. The number of autism spectrum disorders has risen drastically in the past years. In fact, 1 out of every 110 US children has an autism spectrum disorder. Out of the total number of children with an autistic disorder, 2 and a half out of every 1000 children has Asperger’s Disorder.

Symptoms

Social behavioral symptoms can appear as early as the infancy stage. Most cases of Asperger’s disorder is identified when the child is school aged; studies have been recorded to show the average diagnosis age of 11 years old.

Some of these social symptoms include:

• Lack of social awareness

• Lack of interest in socializing (making friends)

• Difficulty maintaining friends

• Inability to infer thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others

• Gazing intently, avoids eye contact • Sensitive to noises, odors, touch, and tastes

• Repetitive motor patterns (waving arms)

Another big characteristic of Asperger’s syndrome is the preservative and obsessive interests that an individual can have with this disorder.

• These interests are usually repetitive and intense compared to other child interests.

• These interests remain their focus despite the efforts to redirect the child’s focus.

Language development is generally normal but the use or application of language skills is altered in people with Asperger’s syndrome.

• Speech may be disorganized or not relevant to the conversation

• Changes in voice or speaking

• Difficulties in understanding subtle use of language (irony and sarcasm)

In school children that have Asperger’s syndrome seem to excel in the early grades of their school career. Once they get older this changes, resulting in difficulties in reading comprehension and writing skills. Special education is an option at this point but is not always necessary.

From: https://www.medicinenet.com/asperger_syndrome/article.htm ©2017

Schizophrenia

Posted on December 1, 2017 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects approximately 1% of the population. When this disorder is active there can be a wide variety of symptoms such as: delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation. There is still no cure for this disease but experts are trying to unravel the causes of this disease to produce more effective therapies.

Schizophrenia affects men and women equally but can possibly have an earlier onset in males. The rates in which it affects people can vary from ethnic groups around the world. Schizophrenia is considered a group of disorders where the causes of it and the symptoms can vary between each individual.

Symptoms

1. Positive psychotic symptoms: Hallucinations that involve; hearing voices, paranoid delusions, exaggerated or distorted perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.

2. Negative symptoms: A loss in the ability to make plans, speaking out loud, expressing emotion or finding pleasure.

3. Disorganization symptoms: Confused and disordered thinking and production of speech, complications with logical thinking and sometimes bizarre behavior along with abnormal movements.

4. Impaired cognition: Problems with attention span, concentration on things, memory, and decline in overall educational performance.

The symptoms if schizophrenia usually appears in early adulthood. Men tend to experience symptoms in their early 20s whereas women often first show these signs in their late 20s and early 30s.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Treatment for this disorder can help individuals live productive and rewarding lifestyles. Once the symptoms of schizophrenia are at a controlled state, various types of therapy can continue to help people mage this illness and make drastic improvements in their lives. Therapy allows people with schizophrenia to learn social skills, cope with their stress, and locate early signs of relapse. Due to the early emergence of schizophrenia in adulthood, individuals who have been diagnosed with this disorder can use rehabilitation to help develop life management skills, complete educational training, and the ability to hold a job. It is also highly important for people living with schizophrenia receive constant emotional and material support from their family. Families must make sure they are provided with education, assistance, and support. This has been proven to show prevention of relapses and improve the overall mental health of the family as well as the person with schizophrenia.

Related Conditions

• Schizoaffective disorder

• Delusional disorder

• Brief psychotic disorder

• Schizophreniform disorder

• Catatonia

From https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/schizophrenia/what-is-schizophrenia © 2017


What is Huntington's Disease

Posted on November 17, 2017 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Huntington’s Disease Overview

Huntington’s disease is an inherited disease that breaks down nerve cells in the brain. This disease has a wide range of impacts on a person’s functional abilities like walking, thinking, and psychiatric disorders. Most people believe the disease will develop signs in their later years such as the 30-40 year range. However, it can develop as early as their 20s. This condition is called juvenile Huntington’s disease. The earlier the signs begin to surface for this disease the faster the disease progression will be.

Symptoms

Huntington’s disease usually results in cognitive, movement, and psychiatric disorders with a wide spectrum of signs and symptoms. This disease affects everyone differently so there is no way in telling which symptom will appear first.

1. Movement Disorders- The movement disorders that are a result of Huntington’s disease involve both voluntary and involuntary movements. Some examples include:

• Involuntary jerking or writing movements

• Muscle Problems

• Slow eye movement

• Bad posture and balance

• Problems with speech or swallowing

Please note that voluntary movements unlike involuntary movements may have a greater impact on a person’s ability to work, perform daily activities, communicate, and stay independent.

2. Cognitive Disorders- Impairments include:

• Trouble organizing or focusing on tasks at hand

• Lack of flexibility, always getting stuck on a thought or action

• No self control, resulting in outbursts and acting without thinking

• Difficult to learn new information

• Taking a while to process thoughts or words

3. Psychiatric Disorders- The most common psychiatric disorder that comes with Huntington’s disease is depression. Depression appears to occur because of the injury to the brain and the subsequent changes in the brain’s functioning. Symptoms include:

• Feelings of sadness or apathy

• Loss of energy

• Social withdrawal

Other common psychiatric disorders:

• Obsessive-compulsive disorder- a condition marked by unwelcoming thoughts and repetitive behaviors

• Mania- can cause elevated mood, impulsive behavior

• Bipolar Disorder- condition where there are alternating episodes of depression and mania

4. Symptoms of juvenile Huntington’s Disease

• Loss of previously learned physical skills (sports) or academic skills

• Drop in academic performance

• Behavioral problems (Are you noticing them getting in trouble a lot more?)

• Seizures

• Tremors or slight involuntary movements

• Changes in motor skills such as handwriting

From https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/huntingtons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20356117 © 2017


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