Unplanned Life Changes-Who to have on your side when the worst happens

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Life is full of change.  Some of these changes are happy ones—we get married, we have babies, we get new jobs.  However, some of these changes are ones we do not want to happen and that throw our lives into disarray.  Some of the worst changes that happen in our lives are due to illness or accidents.  Depending on the severity of the illness or injury, this change can often be life-altering and very difficult to recover from.  Working with the right people to help you manage these life changes is extremely important.  Whether a full recovery is possible or whether you need to learn to deal with the condition in some way, shape or form for years to come, working with those who are skilled in the area and can help is key.

Audiologists

According to Ken Stallons with ENT Specialists, PC, “Hearing loss can be caused by a wide variety of things, including: aging, noise exposure heredity, ear infections, viral infections, head trauma, and certain medical treatments and antibiotics.  The impact of hearing loss goes far beyond that of basic communication.  Hearing loss can be detrimental to a person’s social, physical and emotional well-being. Oftentimes, people with hearing loss find it difficult to participate in conversation and feel isolated or seem withdrawn.  This can be very frustrating for a person with hearing loss and can cause strain in relationships with friends and family.  Furthermore, hearing loss can pose safety concerns when a person is not fully aware of his/her surroundings.

No two hearing losses are identical so it is recommended that a person with hearing loss obtain a hearing consultation.  Hearing loss can sometimes be corrected without the use of amplification devices (eg. hearing aids). Be cautious of people who are insistent on selling an amplification device without doing a thorough hearing screening and counseling.”

Some audiology professionals tend to want to put amplification devices on people too quickly.  Ken Stallons suggests that all people struggling with hearing challenges receive counseling and a complete hearing consultation by an audiologist.  It is important that an audiologist is sensitive to the priorities of each patient, knows how hearing loss is affecting each individual, and where a person is in the process of accepting the idea of amplification devices.

Respiratory and Rehabilitation Equipment Specialists

“Unfortunately, we see things every day that change people’s lives,” explains Mick Hall with Midwest Respiratory & Rehab.   “It could be an illness such as COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, MS, or even ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) that literally change the way you have to live.   It also could be something as tragic as a car or work accident causing someone to lose the ability to be mobile or do simple tasks such as taking a shower or getting into bed.  The life changing event could also be you or a loved one has cancer or is at end stage in life such as parent or grandparent.  While all these things are a struggle and force people to re-evaluate all they know, there are things that can be done to help and to me that is what is rewarding about what Midwest Respiratory & Rehab does on a day to day basis.

Our company works with the referring physicians, therapists, hospice care, and nursing homes on providing the equipment that can help people gain some comfort, maintain independence, and manage these challenges they have been presented with.  Midwest Respiratory & Rehab provides many equipment options from something as simple as a home oxygen concentrator for the COPD or cancer patient to help keep their oxygen level up and make it easier to breath to continue and active lifestyle, or it may be a series of complex solution products ranging from patient lifts, wheelchairs (manual or power), shower chairs, or even ventilators for the complex patients who may have had the misfortune of getting a debilitating disease like MS or ALS. Whatever the need may be, we work daily with families to help with all the above.”

In-Home Care Service

Many illnesses, accidents or life events can lead to the need for us to remain in our homes for long periods of time.  That’s when in-home care can come in very helpful.

Rick Magill with Comfort Keepers says, “Many things can lead to the need for in-home care services such as an unexpected fall, a decline in health or the ability to care for one’s self, a sudden illness such as a heart attack or stroke, loss of vision or heating or the loss of a spouse that often causes depression and a decline in the surviving senior’s health.  Engaging in quality home care assistance is the best thing to do in a situation such as this as most agencies will tailor the service plans to the client needs.  Often times, a little assistance is all one needs to maintain independent in their own home.   Comfort Keepers conducts an in-home assessment for each of our clients. In this visit, a nurse listens to the client and their families and creates a personalized Plan of Care for each client based on their specific needs.   Home care can be one of the affordable solutions to help someone maintain at home even after a life changing event or illness. Home care agencies can provide assistance with everything from light housekeeping to total care, including but not limited to bathing, tolieting, feeding and ambulation.”

IV Specialists

“Many people experience unplanned medical situations in which services similar to those our nurses provide are needed,” states Jamie Hamm with Vascular Access Plus. “A newly diagnosed medical condition, a fall, an infection, or a change in health status can often result in the need for prolonged administration of medication through an IV. When your doctor prescribes a medication that must be given through an IV over a long period of time (more than six days), or when a medication may cause damage to your blood vessels, it is best to have a PICC line placed.

Vascular Access Plus recognizes the need for compassionate and patient centered care when anyone is experiencing unplanned life changes. As nurses, we are dedicated to working with you and your healthcare providers to ensure that the safest and most effective care is being provided.  The nurses of Vascular Access Plus are always willing to answer questions and put you in contact with resources that can help in the healing and adjustment that follow an unplanned life change. As experienced health care professionals, we can help you communicate with other healthcare providers about what is best for you. We believe that advocating for our patients is one of our primary duties. While hospitalized, after transfer to a rehabilitation facility, and in the home, we will provide the highest quality vascular access services to make sure that you are receiving the care you need in the most appropriate way.”

Mental Health Provider

Unplanned life changes can be stressful periods in one’s life.  Without having had the opportunity to plan for such a change, individuals may find that they are struggling with feelings of sadness, anxiety or anger.  If you are struggling to cope with a change, it is important to seek professional help.  Scheduling an appointment with a mental health provider such as Premier Psych Group, LLC will help you become aware of your treatment options and determine which options are best for your particular needs.  The mental health provider may recommend beginning therapy or might also recommend additional treatment modalities such as medication management or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) or Neurofeeback.  These treatments alter the functioning of the brain to improve treatment-resistant depression and other mental health problems.

When the worst happens, it’s imperative that we rely on the professionals who have the experience, skills and resources necessary to help us manage the change and recover as much as possible.