Caregivers

Understanding and dealing with faecal incontinence

Understanding and dealing with faecal incontinenceAny form of incontinence, though may not be fatal, can surely rob the life of the affected.

Faecal Incontinence (FI) is basically lack of control over defecation leading to involuntary loss of some or all of the bowel contents. This is a symptom and not a diagnosis. There can be several underlying reasons for FI including recent anorectal surgery, damage during childbirth, weakened sphincter, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chrohn’s disease, just diarrhea or neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Luckily not too many people suffer from this. It is estimated that just over 2% of the adults suffer from faecal incontinence at some point in time and only 0.5 – 1% of adults experience regular FI.

While potential embarrassment is a major worry, there are more serious health concerns associated with FI over and above the underlying causes of the FI in the first place. As the skin around the anal region has prolonged contact with faecal matter, this can lead to maceration, which is the softening and whitening of the skin due to continues exposure to moisture. Additionally, because of the bacteria that flourish in the faecal matter, Urinary Tract Infections(UTI) become more common. Finally, especially in the case of bedridden people, bed sores (also called pressure ulcers) start forming rather frequently.

Use of adult diapers and their regular change can help mitigate some of the problems. Also regular cleansing and strict maintenance of hygiene can go a long way in reducing the chances of bed sore and related issues.
If you or your loved ones suffer from FI, do approach a Doctor at the earliest.

A note for those family members living with their elder parents or relatives: Many people suffering from FI are too embarrassed to discuss this problem and may be trying to quietly deal with the problems themselves. If you notice frequent and hurried visits to the toilet, reluctance to leave home, frequent washing of clothes, especially undergarments, stains on clothes and bed linen and smells associated with fecal matter, broach the subject with sensitivity and gently get them to allow you to take them to the Doctor.

A parent getting discharged from hospital?

A parent getting discharged from hospitalWhen a loved one gets hospitalized, there are Doctors and nurses to look after them while they are under their care. Despite that, the period of hospitalization can be very taxing, both emotionally and physically for the family members.

However, a bigger challenge awaits when the patient gets discharged and moves back home. Many times, especially in the case of elderly patients, there is a long recuperating period. Looking after them at home, without the guidance and support of Doctors, nurses and hospital equipment can be very difficult. Thankfully, you can turn to Old is Gold Store for guidance, training and information on post-discharge home health care.

In the meantime, here are a few things to learn:
1. Keeping important information handy
Emergencies are common. Keep all important information ready at hand. These could include contact details for Ambulance, the consulting physicians and other Doctors, Doctors who make house calls in your area, the pharmacy, the nursing agency, and immediate relatives apart from all the medical records including the latest prescriptions, and insurance papers.

2, Use of essential devices.
There are many devices that are needed to monitor, maintain and manage the condition of the patient. These include devices such as air beds, pulse oximeters, BP monitors, Glucometers, Nebulizers, Phlegm suction apparatus, hospital cots, wheelchairs, walkers and many other devices. Learning to use them effectively will go a long way in ensuring the patient’s successful and speedy recovery.

3, Maintaining hygiene.
Good hygiene is critical to reducing infection. The hygiene of the people looking after the patient as well as that of the patient themselves are both equally important. Remember to wash hands regularly, limit the number of visitors, and ensure that the visitors wash their hands and feet before entering the patient’s room. Also learn how to use and change diapers and underpads, how to thoroughly clean urine and fecal matter and even how to clean wounds and replace dressing, if required.

Post-discharge home health care can be challenging. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death.

Old is Gold Store can help guide you with information and training. Call 044-42666684 for an appointment.

Workshop on Incontinence

The management of Old is Gold Store; Prithvi, Jaya and Sanjay felt the need to address the long neglected topic of understanding and managing incontinence (bladder weakness) among the senior citizens of our community. This led to the idea of organizing a workshop on incontinence for the benefit of elders and medical professionals. In January 2016, they organized a free workshop for senior citizens called “Bladder weakness (incontinence) – coping with ageing issues”.

“I believe a lot of elders are embarrassed to talk about incontinence, leave alone actively  try and find a solution. By avoiding and neglecting this issue, the caregivers’ burden grows and their loved one suffers,” Prithvi said.

“We want to help elders understand and cope with incontinence with some of our products designed to provide comfort and relief,” Sanjay said.

This workshop addressed incontinence issues and solutions and was sponsored by M/s. Bella Premier Happy Hygienecare Pvt. Ltd, the makers of Seni Brand of Adult Diapers. The workshop was held on Thursday, Jan. 07 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Natesan Institute of Co-operative Management (NICM), Anna Nagar.

The key speakers were Dr. Kalaivani Ramalingam MBBS,DGO, MRCOG, CCT(UK), Consultant Urogynaecologist, Chennai Urology Clinic, Apollo Hospitals who spoke about “Incontinence – understanding the change” and Mr. Jerzy Jusiega (Seni, Poland) who spoke about “Incontinence – management: the easy hygienic way”.

Ms.Jayashree – Director, Old is Gold Store, welcoming the guests
Ms.Jayashree – Director, Old is Gold Store, welcoming the guests.

 

Ms.Jayashree, Director, Old is Gold Store welcomed the packed audience and introduced both the speakers. She also outlined the vision behind Old is Gold Store and the need to address issues involved with Geriatric Care.

Dr. Kalaivani Ramalingam , spoke about “Incontinence – understanding the change”
Dr. Kalaivani Ramalingam, spoke about “Incontinence – understanding the change”

Dr.Kalaivani’s presentation highlighted the problems faced by elders, both male and female. The presentation with accompanying slides was explained in layman’s terms in both English and Tamil for the benefit of the audience. The presentation lasted about 30 minutes and was followed by a Q&A session. Dr. Kalaivani Ramalingam answered all the questions put to her by the audience with patience and clarity. This was well received by the audience who were happy to have their questions clarified.

Participants at the workshop
Participants at the workshop

View Dr.Kalaivani’s presentation on YouTube

Mr. Jerzy Jusiega SENI, Poland demonstrates the use of incontinence support products.

Mr. Jerzy Jusiega SENI, Poland demonstrates the use of incontinence support products.

The next presentation was by Mr. Jerzy Jusiega (SENI Adult Diapers, Poland) who spoke about “Incontinence – management: the easy hygienic way”. Mr. Jerzy Jusiega highlighted various incontinence products developed by SENI, Poland. He stressed the need to choose the right diaper and demonstrated how to take measurements. He also gave information on the latest technology used by SENI to manufacture the best incontinence support products.

Andha Naal’ a retro quiz conducted by Dr Anitha Paramasivam

Andha Naal’ a retro quiz conducted by Dr Anitha Paramasivam

There was a 15 minute snack and coffee break followed by the much awaited ‘Andha Naal’ a retro quiz conducted by Dr Anitha Paramasivam. This quiz was open to senior citizens and medical professionals. Dr. Anitha was a charming and a witty hostess and was easily able to carry the audience with her. The participants enjoyed themselves and answered eagerly to all the questions. Those who gave the correct answers were rewarded with a discount voucher from Old is Gold Store.

Mr.Prithviraj – Director, Old is Gold store giving a discount voucher during the retro quiz show

Mr.Prithviraj – Director, Old is Gold store giving a discount voucher during the retro quiz show

Mr. Sanjay Dattatri, Director – Old is Gold Store, giving the vote of thanks.
Mr. Sanjay Dattatri, Director – Old is Gold Store, giving the vote of thanks.

The workshop ended with a vote of thanks by Mr. Sanjay Dattatri, Director – Old is Gold Store.

Cocoon in the news – ET

Cocoon in the news We were covered by ET yesterday.  An brief extract follows.  The link to the original article is at the end of the post.

For years they watched as dejected seniors and stroke victims reached out to buy ungainly hospital gowns and unshapely nighties, simply because there was nothing else to wear. So a few weeks ago the founders of Old Is Gold Store decided to spin their own brand of Cocoon adaptive clothing for those with limited mobility. “The idea behind Cocoon is as much to comfort as it is to liberate, says Sanjay Dattatri, director of Old is Gold Store, which caters primarily to the needs of senior citizens. “Just because you are unwell does not mean you have to dress down. Wearing good clothes will make anyone in recovery feel better and that’s what we want to do,” he says.

The first line of adaptive clothing from Cocoon was cotton shirts for men and now that it has become a hit Dattatri says they are expanding the line to include kurtis, readymade sarees, Velcro veshtis and dhotis. “All Cocoon clothing uses Velcro instead of buttons or zippers to make them easy to wear,” he adds.

Customers include everyone from the elderly to those on wheelchairs to people recovering from a stroke. “We are among the few stores in India that retails such clothing,” he says.

Dattatri isn’t far off the mark. Despite the demand in India for adaptive clothing, there are hardly any designers or stores in the country that cater to the segment. In Chennai, apart from Old is Gold, those with disabilities say the choice is limited to customising clothes through tailors…

To read more go here.

https://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/apparel-fashion/apparel/clothes-that-make-the-cut-adaptive-clothing/49788226 )

Staying safe and allergy free this Diwali

Staying safe and allergy free this DiwaliDiwali is fast approaching. While this is a joyous festival, for many of our elders, this is a time of great trepidation.

After all, Diwali is inextricably entwined with fireworks, and this means heightened levels of pollution that can lead to breathing difficulties and chest infections. For people with weakened immunity, having asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diwali can be extremely taxing.

So here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your dear ones from the pollution:

1. Avoid going out

2.If possible stay inside an air-conditioned room. Ensure that the air-conditioner’s inlet vent is in closed position, so that it does not suck in outside air but keeps the same room air circulating. Most air-conditioners have a setting for this.

3.Wear a mask. A N95 approved particulate respirator maskthat covers the nose and mouth should do the trick. All the toxic particles released by bursting firecrackers will be blocked by this mask ensuring that none of it enters your lungs.

4.If you suffer from asthma or bronchitis, make sure you have your inhalers and medication ready and with you at all times.

5.If noise is an issue, get earplugs. Disposable soft earplugs that are gentle on the ears are available.

6.If you wear hearing aids, this may be a good time to remove them or switch them off. [At least when you are at home and in a safe environment].

7.Take all your regular medicines without fail.

8.Drink plenty of fluids

9.Encourage family, especially children, to reduce quantum of purchase of fireworks

Call your doctor immediately if:

You have shortness of breath or wheezing that is rapidly getting worse.

You are coughing more deeply or more frequently, especially if you notice an increase in mucus (sputum) or a change in the color of the mucus you cough up.

You cough up blood.

You have increased swelling in your legs or abdomen.

You have a high fever (over 100 degrees).

You feel severe chest pain.

You develop flu symptoms.

You notice that your medicine is not working as well as it had been.

You use oxygen at home and feel like you need more. Use only the amount

recommended by your doctor. In some people with COPD, too much oxygen can

be dangerous.

Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy Diwali!  To buy the mask please visit our site.

(https://www.oldisgoldstore.com/condition/anti-pollution-mask-n95-approved-8210/p-2584311-80259110696-cat.html?#variant_id=2584311-27375031080 )

Managing incapacities and sudden death – Part III

This is part-III of Precautions to protect assets after death.

Last willLeaving behind instructions to handle incapacities

A closed cover noted as confidential stating name and date could be kept along with will or given to a close relative or a friend after briefing the need for such requirements with a note on the following lines:

1. If I am unconscious or critically ill and revival will make me immobilized, I do not wish to be under invasive Medical / life support such as pacemaker, ventilator, but wish to leave this world naturally and peacefully. (Please do not institute any resuscitation measures).

2. In case of my suffering due to dementia I authorize Mr………………..( my son /brother-in-law/daughter/wife) to take decision on my behalf and I authorise him/her to operate my bank account and also act as my attorney to dispose /realize my assets.

Note: Your personal medical advisor may be consulted to frame the wordings to cover the content of above instructions to match the medico-legal requirements of the hospitals.

Instructions to handle sudden death:

The following important areas need to be covered and documented which should assist as a ready reckoner or a guide to the successors/ family members in managing the affairs on sudden death.
Persons above sixty years or with health problems are advised to prepare a Document/Ready Reckoner of Instructions and a format is suggested in the downloadable link:

Ready Reckoner

Precautions to protect assets after death – Part II

Continuing from Part – I.

Check list
Please prepare a checklist on first of January or first of April each year of various due dates for compliance and prevent any omission/loss/ inconvenence. This will not only help keep track of your compliances as you advance in age, it will be of use for your successors/relatives to take care of the responsibilities linked to assets in a systematic manner.

Note: One can include additional items to suit family/personal/business/official and other requirements.

DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST

Old is Gold Store in the News

KungumamKungumam – A Tamil Magazine brings out another magazine/supplement called Thozhi and they recently brought out an Independence Day issue covering many aspects of senior life in India.

Two articles came in the issue relating to Old is Gold Store.  One was an interview with Jayashree – one of our Directors and the other about Udhavi, a volunteer based organization that we are part of.

 

 

 

Here are scanned images from the magazine.

Kungumam

Kungumam

 

Of remote caregivers and happy endings…

Mr. P came to our store yesterday. Since his mother’s passing 6 months ago, he had not had any reasons to come to our store, so it was a bit of a surprise for us.

More surprisingly, instead of the usual glum look, he was grinning from ear to ear. And he had a lady in tow. With a great deal of affection he introduced the lady as his lovely wonderful sister from Delhi. He also announced that his sister had arranged for an all expenses paid 15-day trip to Europe for him and that he was leaving next week and would like to buy some Anti-embolism stockings for himself.

He chatted with us for a few more minutes, paid for the socks and left with a spring in his step.

We were happy to see this wonderful change in Mr. P for we knew that neither his life nor the relationship with his sister had been so sunny before.

His ailing mother had lived with him for over 10 years till her recent death. A seventy year old retiree himself, it must have been difficult to look after himself and his mother. His sister apparently had offered to look after their mother, but unfortunately the Delhi climate had not suited her so after a short stint she had returned to Chennai to stay with her son.

According to Mr. P, his mother had been a dynamic woman, till a sudden stroke imprisoned her to her bed. A lot of the frustration she must have obviously felt subsequently was regularly taken out on poor Mr. P, as he was the only one around, and that caused him quite a bit of angst. Things got worse when his sister came visiting (which she did diligently every month or so, for a day or two) as their mother showered a whole lot of love on her daughter during those monthly visits.

Mr. P found it difficult to reconcile the fact that he did all the looking after, but was treated so badly, while his sister could just breeze in once in a while, cuddle up with mom, feel happy and go back to her life.

After every such visit, Mr. P would personally visit our store (forsaking the door delivery facility), ostensibly to collect some more diapers for his mother but really to vent his pent up frustrations. Once in a fit of rage, he said “I do all the cleaning and feeding etc., and all I get is cursed roundly”. After fuming for a while his anger subsided, and then he continued “My sister is nice. What can she do if my mother is frustrated with me? I guess it is good that she is here and amma is happy for at least a couple of days”. On our part, we were happy to be his release mechanism. After all, we are no strangers to such situations having seen similar stories play out at many of our clients’s homes.

We have a name for people like Mr. P’s sister – Non-resident family caregivers. As a class, they are usually well-intentioned and try to be as helpful as possible. They are also usually guilt ridden, being unable to participate more in the caregiving process. However, their good intentions do not always translate into supportive action. More often than not, their well-meaning suggestions come out as ill-conceived meddlesome advice.

If you are a non-resident caregiver, understand that the primary caregiver is usually under a lot of stress and hence may be a little short of patience, even though they would very much like to have all the support from you. The best way you can be a remote caregiver is to be supportive of the primary caregiver and shower them with all the love and affection you can give.

Mr.P’s sister is doing just that and we can see how that is having such a positive impact on his life. We wish Mr.P Bon Voyage and wish him many more happy years ahead!