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©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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By Aaron Alstrom

Night shifts are a polarizing thing for nurses. Some nurses love them, some nurses hate them, and others are simply paying their dues on the night shift until they can switch to the day shift. It’s a rite of passage for nurses; there’s a lot to learn at night in the hospital. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult parts of working the night shift is managing to get quality sleep during the day. Our brains are not programmed to sleep during the day and be awake at night. The circadian rhythm is our sleep/wake cycle; it controls the production of melatonin which makes us sleepy at night. The melatonin recedes during the day, allowing for awake time. Below you will find 6 tips to maximize your melatonin and get high-quality, restful sleep during the day.

1. Go easy on the caffeine.
A good sleep starts well before your head hits the pillow. As hard as it is, stop your caffeine intake hours before the end of your shift. A study found that consuming caffeine six hours prior to bedtime can give you one less hour of sleep. Switch to water about halfway through your shift; chances are, you’re not getting enough water anyway.

2. Limit your exposure to blue light.
Blue light refers to the light that comes from the sun that causes circulating melatonin levels to decrease, which is why you’re awake during the day and feel sleepy at night. Smartphones, TVs, and computer screens all emit blue light leading to decreased melatonin levels and difficulty sleeping. It’s impossible to avoid blue light completely with all the charting nurses do on computers. However, try to cut down exposure to other sources. When you leave work, be sure to wear quality sunglasses. Don’t spend any more time outside than absolutely necessary. Use the blue light filter on your smart phone so checking Facebook doesn’t keep you awake.

3. Invest in blackout curtains.
Limiting sunlight is crucial to sleeping well for more than avoiding blue light. Psychologically, it’s easier to feel sleepy when it’s dark than when the sun is streaming through the windows. Blackout curtains will also block the sound of your neighbors mowing their grass in the middle of the day and keep it a little cooler as well.

4. White noise is good noise.
There are a myriad of ways to get white noise in your bedroom. Fans, white noise machines, and special earbuds can go a long way towards blocking out the dog barking. Additionally, there are endless apps for your smartphone that can transport to the ocean, a mountain stream, or to the middle of a storm.

5. Keep your cool.
Studies have shown that better sleep is attained when the ambient temperature is lower. Exposure to heat increases awake time. Crank down the thermostat, put up blackout curtains, and fire up your fan to optimize your sleeping environment.

6. Take a little help from the store.
Another great option to help you get a good day’s sleep is medicine. A multitude of supplements including melatonin, valerian root, chamomile, and others are available over the counter to make you sleepy. If you’ve tried the drugstore route but are still struggling to get the sleep you need, speak with your primary care provider to get something stronger. It’s vital you get a good night’s sleep - your health and the lives of your patients depend on it.


Aaron Alstrom is the Director of Operations for HealthCare Pros a Nurse staffing and management company with 25 years of industry-specific knowledge, experience, and care. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and producing positive results for our clients. Direct (310) 350-6944


Thanks Aaron!
©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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Whatever your politics are you need to be aware that the current version of the GOP Tax Bill includes a number of points that have Nothing to do with taxes.

Medicare Cuts and Repeal of Obamacare
One will cut Medicare which is going to affect your aging loved ones and another includes a Repeal of Obamacare (that has already failed in the Senate because the American People said NO!)

Time is running short. These cuts will take place January 1, 2018 if this bill passes. Please call your Senators today and ask them to vote NO on this bill. It only take a couple of minutes and you'll probably get to leave a voicemail.

All you have to say is: " I'm [your name] and I'm your constituent in [Zip Code]. Please vote NO on the Tax Bill. Thank you."

Look up the contact information here. You can email if you prefer. Thanks for your help!


photo credit https://pixabay.com/en/users/JESHOOTS-264599/
©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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Safety is one of the most important issues in all of our lives, but with our elderly family and loved ones, safety is an absolute priority. Even those over 65 years of age become more prone to falls as they age and if they've fallen once, the probability increases exponentially. Getting assistance quickly can be of the utmost urgency. Changes in balance and gait due to aches, pain, chronic illnesses etc., all affect the gait and safety and the predictability of a fall. Falls can be deadly!

Removing trip hazards from the home such as throw rugs is one of the first things any health professional will instruct you on. Clear and open pathways are essential.  On the other hand, bear in mind that your loved one may actually need the clutter, the furniture and walls for support while leaving their cane or walker behind. Many thrive on the clutter to help stabilize them as the maneuver through their home from one room to another.

Observe How Mom Maneuvers with the Clutter
So before you start clearing everything away, observe how they maneuver and see how you can make it a safer situation by reducing and rearranging. Work WITH them and be sure the remember the changes you have made. Encourage them to keep their cane or walker at their side always and use it instead of relying on furniture, walls and piles of newspapers for support.

Have a System in Place
If your loved one does fall, having a reliable device available to summon help quickly if they are alone will not only help give you peace of mind, but improve their odds for a quick and healthy recovery.  There are a variety of devices and services available and you should investigate them thoroughly to find the one that fits your finances and needs.


A new system from MobileHelp.com offers several options for medical alert. One of the best options is that it does not require a landline phone system for operation. This is optimum as we are moving away from being tethered to landlines.

The MobileHelp.com system also offers the ability to travel with the user either as they leave the home for a walk, shopping etc. or even to travel. The system utilizes GPS tracking services and cellular services. No contracts are required. They come with a waterproof pendant or a wristwatch.

Remember, no device can replace a caregiver! Make sure you have the appropriate level of care in place for your loved ones and utilize these devices as directed.



©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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Medicare Open Enrollment will be coming up soon, October 15 - December 7. In addition to checking the CMS Medicare.gov site, here are a few other
resource guides to check so you can make the best choices for You. Thanks to Leandro Mueller.

1. Medigap Plan Basic Checklist

2. What do Medigap Policies Cover?

3. Everything You Need to Know About Medicare Supplemental Plans

4. Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period: Important Details You Need to Know


©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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By Leandro Mueller

Who watches over the watchmen; who cares for the caregivers? In as so much that caregivers (especially spousal caregivers) are essential for the majority of baby boomers entering the retirement phase of their lives, some much-needed care and respect are crucial for these individuals to see the value of their efforts and sacrifices. After all, spousal caregivers tend to give more (and lose more) for their partners – their personal time, work opportunities, and even relationships with friends and family are all at risk.

As such, we’d like to list down several ways on how spousal caregivers can get through the darkest days of their lives. If you are one, take heart and know that there are people who care for everything you’ve done, are doing, and will do in the future. If you know one or are a care recipient, these tips may also help you acknowledge and assist you in allowing your spouse to have a better experience looking after you.

Acknowledge that You Need a Break
According to “Families Caring for an Aging America,” a report published last year by The National Academies Press, spouses make up approximately 21.5% of all caregivers looking after a family member in need of care during the golden years. As primary caregivers, same-generation spouses are also at risk of age-related (physical and cognitive) conditions.

It’s a conundrum – as recipients age and care demands increase, spousal caregivers are also exposed to health and emotional problems that’ll prove to be detrimental to their well-being. And this is why caregivers need to be aware and accept that they need and deserve a break. Caregiver stress is real – and if not addressed properly, may not only lead to lackluster custodial services, but a blow to one’s personal health and well-being as well.

You’re only human, after all. You need that break – please go and grab the chance for some R&R!

Connect with Others
The University of Exeter recently conducted a study on loneliness experienced by spousal caregivers. As determined by the researchers, caregiving can be a rewarding activity, yet mental and physical health is also at risk with of the loss of contact with other people. Additionally, and particularly for same-generation spousal caregivers, social isolation may soon seep into one’s life, which may result in anxiety or depression.

Spousal caregivers, aside from taking a break, also need to keep in touch with friends and families. Having an active emotional connection with peers will not only improve one’s emotional state – support in the form of learning retirement solutions, the latest trends in custodial care, or even self-care tips can be gained from simply talking with friends.

A Worthwhile Hobby will Matter
Additionally, pursuing a hobby will help spousal caregivers get over the pain or frustration that they may feel when accomplishing their custodial tasks. Think of this as a welcome, yet productive, escape from everyday life. For an even more practical hobby, consider gardening, learning a new skill (such as coding/computer literacy/arts & crafts), and even cooking as a way to connect your passion with your care recipient. Who knows, what makes you happy may also be a good opportunity to bond with your loved one!

Aside from these tips, we’d like to point spousal caregivers towards a helpful list of resources compiled by CBS Pittsburgh. The list will assist caregivers with any of their additional concerns on how to both properly stay functional and happy when looking after their loved ones.

Author Bio:
As the Online Content Director of FreeMedSuppQuotes.com, Leandro Mueller aims to push for awareness and promotion of the many benefits of Medigap insurance plans in the market. He hopes that his work will help boomers and retirement industry experts alike in their lives. He hopes that his work will lead people in applying for the best Medigap plan that will suit their needs and preferences.


©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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As a general rule, I don't place Infographics, but this one comes from a vetted source, and is full of great information. Enjoy... (It takes a few seconds to load, and you have to do some scrolling side to side as well as up and down.)


The University of Southern California Online



©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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Many thanks to Feedspot for honoring our blog as their pick for one of the Top 60 aging blogs.



Thanks!!!
©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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When you can encourage and assist your aging parents and loved ones to remain as independent as possible you keep their minds healthy and their bodies working; albeit slower than ever before. As we all age, tasks become more challenging and our agility is challenged everyday.

While it may seem much safer to place Mom where she can just sit, watch TV or read and be waited on all day, that may not be the best way to keep her strong and vibrant.

Keep them Safe
What is essential is to make the scene as safe as possible.
  • Remove clutter and obstacles such as throw rugs. 
  • Hang grab bars where needed throughout the house. 
  • Place everyday items for cooking, eating, bathing, dressing, etc. within a safe reach may mean some serious "redecorating" and reconsideration. 
  • Purchase reachers and a maybe a couple of walkers
  • The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house. Use a bedside commode at night can help avoid falls.  
These can all help to reduce fall risk and improve their ability to remain independent for as long as possible.

Medical Alert Systems
One of the most valuable tools for your own peace of mind is a medical alert system. Reviews.com has complied a great list of possibilities and provides the pros and cons as well as straight out reasons for eliminating some. It's a great resource to have and to share!
alert system.

Arranging for transportation and assistance with the heavier duties such as shopping and attending to medical or other appointments can help them ease into giving up the car without necessitating unnecessary hours of caregiving until they are needed. Laundry and house keeping chores can be piecemealed as well.

Things can and will eventually turn on a dime and you need to have a plan to implement immediately, but until then try to keep them vibrant and as independent as possible. It takes effort, thought and commitment, but after 80 time begins to run out quickly. Cherish those moments and give them your best shot. 
©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!! I hope the holidays have been good to you and that you have made some happy memories with family and friends.  The new year brings a renewed excitement for the possibilities. May they be

We have a lot of work to do to ensure our loved one's benefits remain intact such as Social Security and Medicare, as well as the ACA so that out country is not thrust suddenly into chaos because a few decide to dump all of theses things at once with no alternatives in place first.  Remember the elected officials in Washington are unaffected by Social Security and Medicare. They will have their own set of retirement funds and lifetime medical care for their service. They won't feel the ramifications of any of it, except possibly in 2018 and 2020 when they face reelection.

Stand up and be heard. Always advocate for your aging parents and loved ones, for the trickle down effect will be our own situation someday, and that may eb sooner than you think!!!

Do your due diligence and research. There is so much misinformation out there and too many officials actually using it to their advantage. Seek out information from trusted sources and seek from more than one source!

Be well. Eat healthy. Drink plenty of water. Get good sleep and rest when you're tired. Take care of YOU because if you go down, who will take care of the others? Take time for yourself. Schedule it into your busy day!!!

May 2017 bring you peace and happiness!



©2009-present by Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN All Rights Reserved.
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