Newsroom

27 April, 2021
Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder for which there is currently no cure. However, there are many different treatment options to manage symptoms of the disease. Symptoms Symptoms typically develop slowly over the years, but this can vary from patient to patient. While one of these symptoms on their own is not cause for concern, you should contact your doctor if you are experiencing more than one. Tremor Small handwriting Loss of smell Trouble sleeping Trouble moving or walking Constipation A soft or low voice Masked face Dizziness or fainting Stooping or hunching over Living with Parkinson\'s It can be challenging to live with Parkinson’s, but – in addition to working with your doctor and following recommended therapies – there are things you can focus on to help maintain your quality of life, including: Diet and nutrition Emotional well-being Daily living activities Dental health Sexual health Raising Awareness In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, the Parkinson’s Foundation invites you to take the #KnowMorePD quiz to see how much you know about the disease. Anyone who takes the quiz during the month of April will be entered in a weekly drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. At the end of the month, one grand prize winner will receive a new Kindle Paperwhite pre-loaded with 12 of the foundation’s educational books on PD. Resources You can find an abundance of resources on the Parkinson’s Foundation’s website, including, advice for newly diagnosed, living alone, and Veterans and PD.

21 April, 2021
Take Care of Yourself, Too

Dear Caregiver, We celebrate you for your dedication to taking care of your loved one. You work tirelessly to ensure they have all they need, often after coming home from full-time jobs and hectic schedules of your own. But in all of your daily appointments and to-do lists, does it say ‘self-care’ anywhere? While we recognize the importance of taking care of your loved one, we also want to remind you of how imperative it is that you also take care of yourself. Stop Feeling Guilty We know you have grown accustomed to putting everyone else’s needs before your own. And we know you may feel guilty and think you are being selfish by taking time for yourself. But that is not the case. No, there are not enough hours in the day. And yes, you have so many other things you need to do. But if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to effectively take care of those who need you. If you are overtired and burnt out, how much help and support can you really provide? So think of it this way: it is actually helping the ones you love when you take care of yourself. Because with a little ‘me time,’ you can be the best version of you for those you love. Find Someone(s) YOU Can Lean On Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to who truly gets what you are going through. That support can come in the form of a friend, family member, or even a Facebook group for others in your shoes. There are groups for people caring for elderly parents, caring for a loved one with Dementia, and so many more! There is even a group where you can ask questions and get answers from award-winning nurse and end-of-life educator Barbara Karnes. Remember... So don’t forget to add ‘take care of me’ to your to-do list and take some time for yourself. You are not selfish for doing so. You deserve it. And you need it. Yours truly, Abode Healthcare

16 April, 2021
National Healthcare Decisions Day

In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day today, we invite you to take a moment to think about what your wishes are in the event of a medical crisis. This past year, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of discussing your wishes with your loved ones and documenting these wishes in the form of an advance directive. Far too often, this conversation gets put on the back burner and people find themselves in a medical crisis with no plan. When this happens, it may be too late to receive the care you wanted. So what is advance care planning? It includes completing an advance directive, also known as a living will. This is a written statement that details your wishes for medical treatment should you be unable to communicate these to your doctor or healthcare provider yourself. Advance care planning also includes appointing a power of attorney (POA). This person will be responsible for making your healthcare decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself. Why is it important? These are important steps to take to ensure you receive the care you want in the event of a medical crisis. NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach says, “It’s also important to remember that having these thoughtful discussions with your family and documenting your wishes can be a gift to your loved ones should you become critically ill and unable to speak for yourself. Your priorities will be clear to them,” So for yourself and for your loved ones, please take some time to come up with a plan, discuss it with your loved ones, and document it in an advance directive. See below for some resources from the NHPCO that can help with your advance care planning: Downloadable state-specific advance directive forms Links to digital advance directive services Tips for talking about your care wishes

16 April, 2021
BrightSpring Health Services Acquires Abode Healthcare

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BrightSpring Health Services Acquires Abode Healthcare LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 16, 2021) – BrightSpring Health Services completed the acquisition of Abode Healthcare today. Abode Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading providers of home health and  hospice services. Headquartered in Durango, Colorado, Abode provides home health and hospice care in 12 states through 41 branches. In combination with BrightSpring’s existing home health and hospice business, the company’s expanded footprint in the segment now spans 17 states. “We are thrilled to become part of the BrightSpring family,” said Mike McMaude, Abode CEO, who will continue to lead the business under the Abode and affiliate names. “Abode’s patient-first philosophy, focus on delivering the best care in lower cost and preferred settings, and strong management and clinical teams are entirely consistent with BrightSpring’s priorities and culture and a great combination.” BrightSpring President and CEO Jon Rousseau said, “As a leading home health and hospice services provider, Abode and its family of brands across its markets of service will enhance the company’s position and market-leading service levels in the industry. With our combined footprint, we are accelerating the ability to bring a comprehensive, customizable local home health and hospice service model to more communities across the country. Both Abode and BrightSpring share strong values and a commitment to people, quality and our customers and patients.” Jon further added, “Moreover, all of the people we are proud to serve require clinical support, personal care (social determinants of health) supports and pharmacy services (with medication therapy management). We uniquely provide these three required services that all of our clients and patients need, and our combination with a high-quality home health and hospice provider in Abode further builds on our home-based clinical service offering and geographic coverage in this critically important area.” ### About Abode Healthcare At Abode Healthcare, our primary ambition is to bring first-class care to the warmest, most serene environment possible: home. We provide the full spectrum of home health and hospice treatment, thoughtfully tailored to patients and families, with focused attention given to individual needs and preferences. Abode strives to eliminate the reputation of generic, “one‑size‑fits‑all” healthcare from our patients’ concept of medical care, and we accomplish this by adapting to their needs, including at-home physical therapy to recover from injury or surgery, chronic disease management care, homecare for patients with a terminal illness, or end-of-life hospice care. For more information, visit www.abodehealthcare.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. About BrightSpring Health Services BrightSpring Health Services is the leading provider of complementary home and community-based pharmacy and health services for complex populations in need of specialized and/or chronic care. Through the company’s lines of business, including pharmacy, home health, hospice, personal care, neuro rehabilitation, pediatric therapy, behavioral health, family and youth services, and workforce development, we provide comprehensive and specialized care and clinical services in 50 states to over 360,000 customers, clients and patients daily. For more information, visit brightspringhealth.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Media Contact: Leigh White VP, Communications and PR BrightSpring Health Services leigh.white@brightspringhealthservices.com (502) 630-7412

18 March, 2021
National Nutrition Month

Personalize Your Plate with National Nutrition Month® 2021 This year’s theme of “Personalize Your Plate” emphasizes the importance of understanding there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique and our approach to healthy living should be, too! Creating healthy eating habits can be a daunting task, with an overwhelming amount of information thrown at us, the latest eating trends, and buzz-worthy ingredients. However, good nutrition really is all about having a well-rounded diet. Nutrition Made Simple Keeping in mind that we all have different nutrition goals which require different approaches, the CDC website provides the following four general tips for working towards a well-rounded diet: Add healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, olives Reduce overall sodium intake – start by reading ingredient labels and recipes to find alternatives to sodium Increase fiber for digestion Aim for a variety of colors on your plate during every meal Test Your Culinary Skills! National Nutrition Month® is the perfect time to learn new and healthy recipes! With the internet at our fingertips, there are endless resources available to you. Most recipes include the nutrition information at the bottom that will help you to determine if the recipe meets your nutritional needs. For those of us who just don’t know where to begin, there are meal kit services like ‘Hello Fresh’ and ‘Blue Apron’ that delivers recipes and the necessary ingredients to your home based on your nutritional preferences at a frequency of your choosing. These services can be a great starting point and helpful resource in a busy world where we don’t always have the time to dedicate to planning our meals. If you are still lost on who to turn to for help, Registered Dietician Nutritionists can assist with developing a customized plan tailored to our unique bodies and nutritional needs. So let’s use National Nutrition Month® as motivation to put our healthiest foot forward and strive for a well-rounded diet. And remember to Personalize Your Plate!

8 March, 2021
International Women’s Day

#ChoosetoChallenge <!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --> \"A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women\'s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.\" -Unknown International Women’s Day (IWD) is reserved to recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, as well as to raise awareness about women’s equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity, and fundraise for female-focused charities. Although we are only beginning the third month of 2021, it has already been a big year for women. The Business Insider has compiled a list of the most powerful women in 2021. Just to name a few… <!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:image {\"align\":\"center\",\"width\":876,\"height\":658} --> Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman, black, and South Asian Vice President of the United States on January 20th, 2021. “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country full of possibilities.” – during her VP-acceptance speech in Nov. 2020 <!-- /wp:image --><!-- wp:image {\"align\":\"center\",\"width\":886,\"height\":665} --> Kathrin Jansen is the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer. Beginning in March 2020, she led a team of 650 experts to develop a successful vaccine against COVID-19. <!-- /wp:image --><!-- wp:image {\"align\":\"center\",\"width\":892,\"height\":669} --> Sheryl Sandberg is the current Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Under her administration, Facebook managed to recover $22.1 billion in profits in 2018 after having suffered a $56 million loss previously. She became the first female member of the company’s board of directors in 2012, and in 2014, made the Forbes’ Billionaires list due to her vesting stake in Facebook. <!-- /wp:image --><!-- wp:image {\"align\":\"center\",\"width\":894,\"height\":671} --> Shonda Rhimes is an award-winning television writer and producer. She created the ABC drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, which currently is the longest-running medical drama on television, in addition to several other very popular shows. She is an activist and co-founder of the ‘Times Up’ movement, seeking to promote gender equality in the television and film industry, as well as to lobby for legislation that would penalize companies that tolerate sexual or gender-based harassment. And Everyday Heroes <!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --> These are only a handful of the many incredible women changing the world each and every day. Please find time today to reflect and recognize the everyday heroes that make achievements and contributions to make a world a better place for everyone! <!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --> Learn more about International Women’s Day and the 2021 theme ‘Choose to Challenge!’ &amp; view Business Insider’s full list of the most powerful women in 2021. <!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:image {\"align\":\"center\",\"width\":1134,\"height\":429} -->

27 February, 2021
Hospice Eligibility Checklist for Emergency Department Staff

By Joelle Y. Jean, FNP Due to its busy nature, providers in the Emergency Room (ER) may not immediately identify patients for hospice care. Approaching patients or family members about hospice can also be challenging-especially if they have specific questions. This hospice checklist can help guide providers on when they should consider a patient for hospice. What is hospice? Hospice is for patients who are at the end of life. Patients can have a terminal illness or declining health from a chronic illness. The hospice team can coordinate care with health care providers to manage and treat patients. Benefits of hospice Initiating hospice early in the disease process has many benefits for the patient and family members. Hospice is there to improve the quality of life and provide comfort for patients during their end of life. Benefits of hospice include: Improved physical and psychological symptoms Caregiver relief Reduced hospitalizations Lowered hospitalization costs Reduced hospital deaths Barriers to initiating hospice Studies have shown that providers initiate hospice too late- patients die within weeks of entering hospice. There are barriers that cause ER providers to wait or not consider hospice. Some barriers include: Not having the right resources Breakdowns in patient-clinician communication Failing to identify terminal stage of life Geographical and socioeconomic barriers Head-to-toe hospice checklist Alzheimer\'s disease and dementia Patients in the late stages of Alzheimer\'s disease or dementia are candidates for hospice. At this stage, they start to lose activities of daily living (ADLs) and cannot complete basic functions on their own. These functions include: Bathing Dressing Eating Swallowing Other signs providers should consider patients with Alzheimer\'s disease or dementia for hospice are: Loss of the ability to walk (life expectancy is about a year) Frequent infections Candidate for a feeding tube Hip fracture (more than half of Alzheimer\'s patients die within six months) Heart disease Patients in their late stages of heart failure (HF) are candidates for hospice. Providers should consider hospice if the patient has: Visited the ER two or more times in the past six months A decline in ADLs Severe HF symptoms such as dyspnea, angina, fatigue Not responded to pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions Ineligible for surgery Weight and muscle loss NYHA class three/four heart failure Lung disease and lung cancer Patients with end-stage lung disease and lung cancer are hospice candidates. Providers should consider hospice if the patient: Has frequent ER visits Increased weight loss Increased dyspnea at rest even with oxygen Stage four non-small lung cancer Liver disease Patients with end-stage liver disease are candidates for hospice. Liver disease is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. Patients with liver disease are often overlooked for hospice care. Providers should consider hospice for patients with end-stage liver disease if they are: Ineligible for a liver transplant Increased pain Increased pruritus Increased nausea Depression and anxiety A decline in cognition and weight Cancers ER providers can opt for hospice for patients with cancer if treatment is no longer working or there are no other treatment plans. Patients also at the end stage of their cancer can benefit from entering hospice early. Other signs a patient is ready for hospice are if the patient: Has increased weakness Significant weight loss Pain control In bed for most of the day Sepsis It\'s not always easy to identify patients with sepsis who qualify for hospice. However, some patients meet the criteria. Providers should consider patients with sepsis for hospice if the patient: Has impaired kidney failure Not responding to pharmacological treatment Require mechanical ventilation Injury to the liver Hyperlactemia Hospice is available to patients who are at the end of their life. They can entire at any stage in their disease process. Initiating hospice early benefits the patient. Studies have shown that hospice improves mood, decreases medical interventions, and enhances the patient\'s overall quality of life.

22 September, 2020
Sepsis Awareness Month: Why Our Program Actually Works

By: Portia Wofford Home health clinicians play an essential role in caring for patients who are: At risk of developing sepsis Recovering from sepsis or septic shock Home health providers are vital in preventing hospital admissions and readmission among sepsis patients. According to the CDC, sepsis is the bodys extreme response to an infection. It is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. Many patients receiving home healthcare services have chronic medical conditions and comorbidities that put them at risk for infection, including COVID-19 and sepsis. According to the&nbsp;Global Sepsis Alliance, COVID-19 can cause sepsis. Research suggests that COVID-19 may lead to sepsis due to several reasons, including: Direct viral invasion Presence of a bacterial or viral co-co-infection Age of the patient According to Homecare Magazine, approximately 80% of people with COVID-19 will have a mild course and recover without hospitalization. The remaining 20% of patients with COVID-19 may develop sepsis and be admitted. Patients with severe illness will need home health care. A study published in&nbsp;Medical Care&nbsp;by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that when strategically implemented, home health care can play an essential role in reducing hospital readmissions for patients recovering from sepsis. According to Home Health Care News, the study points out that sepsis survivors who were less likely to return to the hospital if they: Received a home health visit within 48 hours of hospital discharge Had at least one additional visit and Had physician visit within their first week of discharge According to the findings, these interventions&nbsp;reduced 30-day all-cause readmissions by seven percentage points. Home health clinicians are trained to monitor patients and identify signs and symptoms of sepsis. Additionally, they can teach patients and their caregivers how to prevent and recognize sepsis. According to research and estimates,&nbsp;rapid diagnosis and treatment could prevent 80% of sepsis deaths. Home health care can contribute to early detection of sepsis Early detection is critical. For each hour treatment initiation is delayed after diagnosis,&nbsp;the mortality rate increases 8%. Home health nurses can monitor and educate patients and their caregivers on signs and symptoms to report to include. Additionally, home healthcare agencies can provide screening tools that fill the gaps in identifying at-risk patients during transitions from inpatient to outpatient settings. Home health provides case management for chronic comorbidities Some comorbidities like Type 2 Diabetes, chronic heart disease, and dementia were associated with sepsis risk in almost all infection types. Those with other chronic illnesses, cancer, and an impaired immune system are also at increased risk. Monitoring can help reduce risks. Post-discharge and follow-up visits, including telehealth visits, may&nbsp;provide positive intervention for post sepsis patients. Nurses can review and coordinate care to adjust medications, evaluate treatments and interventions, and refer for appropriate treatment. When it comes to serious complications, our sepsis program effectively: Prevents infections that can lead to sepsis Recognizes sepsis symptoms before they become severe Rapidly responds if sepsis symptoms occur by initiating appropriate treatments and referrals Follows-up with care to ensure continued recovery Abode&rsquo;s sepsis program&nbsp;promotes quality of care and improves outcomes for those at risk for developing or recovering from sepsis.

18 September, 2020
September is Healthy Aging Month

During Healthy Aging Month, we focus on celebrating the many positive aspects of aging. Here are some tips to incorporate in your daily routine that can lead to a healthier lifestyle, allowing you to live your life to the fullest. Exercise – Get moving and active on a daily basis! Socialize – Stay in touch and find safe ways to connect with friends and loved ones! Stay balanced – Try new methods such as yoga to reduce stress and improve your overall balance! Rest – It’s important to make sure you are getting a good, quality rest each night. These are important tips to keep in mind for all ages and stages of life. Not only this month, but from now on, remember to take care of yourself and those who surround you. Healthy aging starts with you and your health decisions.

15 September, 2020
Supporting Assisted Living Facilities During COVID-19

Happy National Assisted Living Week! As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change our daily lives, assisted living facilities continue to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their residents and employees. While keeping your loved ones safe might mean you cannot connect in person, here are some ways to support facility residents and employees from a safe distance. Get artsy.&nbsp;Spending the afternoon drawing pictures, painting windows, or snapping some fun photos are all great ways to get creative and share uplifting moments with residents. This can be a great way to engage children of all ages or to turn your talent into the highlight of someone&rsquo;s day. Become a Pen Pal.&nbsp;Since residents are socializing less due to the pandemic, starting a pen pal friendship with someone in an assisted living facility is a great way to communicate and share stories while practicing social distancing. This is the next best thing to in-person conversations! Send a special delivery.&nbsp;You can never go wrong with sending a surprise package to support both staff and residents! Any sort of delivery &ndash; snacks, flowers, games, care packages, etc. &ndash; will brighten the day of anyone in an assisted living facility. Coordinate a window visit.&nbsp;Sit outside, have a conversation, and share your smile with your loved one in a facility. You can play an instrument for them, talk on the phone, or even play a game &ndash; just to name a few! Shoot a video.&nbsp;Creating a fun video of loved ones saying &lsquo;hello,&rsquo; sharing words of encouragement, or acting out a skit are all directions you could take when shooting a video to share with those in assisted living facilities. Whether it&rsquo;s a photo of your playful dog, writing a letter sharing an uplifting story, or sending a bouquet of flowers for the front desk to display, it may be just the boost of happiness someone in an assisted living facility needs during this time. As we celebrate National Assisted Living Week, we encourage you to reach out to both residents and staff members with acts of kindness, reminding them of your support and love during these times.