Palliative Care

Palliative Care At Home

Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

One of the services offered by Freiheit Care Inc. is palliative care at home. Palliative care is the term that refers to the care given to individuals experiencing severe, life-limiting illness. Also known as ‘comfort measures’, palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care is not treating the illness, but treating the symptoms that the illness produces. For this reason, palliative care is sometimes offered in conjunction with treating the primary illness.

What Kind of Services are Provided?

• Medical care to facilitate pain and symptom management
• Personal support services (e.g. personal hygiene, dressing, toileting, assistance with light housekeeping)
• Psychological support, such as psychotherapy or bereavement services for the individual and family
• Physiotherapy, dietary planning, pharmacy support, social work & other family services
• Chaplains and other spiritual advisors

Who Can Get Palliative Care?

Anyone with a life-limiting illness qualifies for palliative care. They do not need to be at end-of-life to receive palliative care.

Individuals who may benefit from palliative care are:

• Those living with Cancer
• Individuals with Heart Disease
• Those with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
• Adults with Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease
• Individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) & Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

What Does Palliative Care Include? (The following section is sourced from “What is Palliative Care?”)

Palliative care takes a holistic approach to addressing the many symptoms and complications to a persons’ life-limiting illness.

Physical Problems

Symptoms or side effects of disease may include:
• Pain
• Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
• Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
• Loss of appetite (anorexia)
• Nausea or vomiting
• Constipation or diarrhea

Treatments may include:
• Medications
• Nutritional support
• Integrative therapies (such as physical therapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy [for difficulty swallowing])

Psychosocial Problems

• Fear
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Caregiver support
• Failure to Cope/Failure to Thrive

Support is also provided to families at this time, as they are also experiencing these psychosocial challenges

Treatments may include:
• Psychotherapy
• Family meetings
• Support groups

Practical Matters

• Legal matters
• Financial questions/concerns
• Housekeeping
• Child-care for other children in the family

Support may include:
• Meeting with a social worker
• Referral to a financial advisor/financial counsellor
• Homemaking services

Palliative Care Options

• In-hospital palliative care
• Hospice palliative care
In-home palliative care

How Can Freiheit Assist You?

At Freiheit Care Inc. we have trained staff who are dedicated to providing premium home care services, including palliative care at home. Our companions, personal support workers and nurses are all overseen by our Director of Nursing and are supported in the care they provide to you at home.

Freiheit Care Inc. will work with your physicians and primary care team to ensure we are providing you with the most relevant care. Our range of services offered ensures that we can provide you with the best care possible, at whatever point you are in your palliative efforts. Call us at (613) 518-8258 to speak with our Intake Specialist and RN to set up your in-home assessment, so we can assess your needs and plan the necessary care provisions accordingly.

Additional Resources

Head Lice

Head Lice

Head Lice

If you have school-aged children, there is a good chance that you will experience the dreaded “there has been a lice outbreak at your child’s school” letter your child is destined to come home with. There are a lot of misconceptions about head lice, and we’re here to share our knowledge with you.

What are Head Lice

Scientifically known as ‘Pediculus humanus capitis’, head lice are very small greyish-brown insects that live on the human scalp. They and their eggs are very small, and are difficult to see. The eggs take 9-10 days to hatch, sticking to strands of hair close to the scalp.

Who Can Get Head Lice?

Anyone with hair is susceptible to getting head lice. You do not have to have poor hygiene to get lice. It is a common myth that head lice jump from head to head. Head lice do not have wings, and cannot jump or fly from one person to another. Another common myth is that those living in poverty are more likely to get head lice. Head lice can affect the rich, the poor and the middle class.

How are Head Lice Transmitted?

If the head lice cannot jump or fly, how is it transmitted? Good question! Head to head contact is the most common way to transmit head lice, or directly sharing items that has been in contact with someone who has head lice (items such as scarves, hats, pillows, stuffed animals).

Treatment Options

It is incredibly important not to treat anyone for head lice unless live lice are found. When someone in your household has head lice, each member of the family should be checked. There are various treatment options for someone with head lice:

Insecticides

There are currently two Health Canada approved insecticides for treating head lice

  • Pyrethrin*
  • Permethrin*

*These products are safe on humans over the age of 2 months old.

Non-Insecticides

  • Isopropyl Myristate/Cyclomethicone**
  • Silicone Oil Dimeticon***
  • Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%

**Only for use in children age 2 and over.
***Only for use in children age 4 and over.

Should I Keep My Child Home From School?

It is unnecessary to keep your child home from school. As long as they are being treated for lice, they are able to attend school and other activities as usual. Unless the school as a ‘no lice’ or ‘no-nit’ policy treat your children with one of the methods above and send them to the bus stop as normal.

Preventing Head Lice

Teach your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other people. Also teach them not to share items that come into contact with hair, such as hair brushes, hats or hair accessories.

Keeping Others Lice Free

If you or your child are receiving home care services, either from Freiheit Care Inc. or another organization, please inform them that your child has head lice. This allows the company to ensure they will be cautious when coming into contact with your or your child’s hair.

When to See Your Health Care Provider?

Contact your health care provider if treatment is unsuccessful, or the lice are frequently recurring. If you are unsure of what treatment is best suited for you, or if your child is younger than four years old, please contact your health care provider for advice. Some treatments are not suitable for young children.

Additional information:
https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/head_lice
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/head-lice

Supporting children with autism

What is Autism

Supporting children with autism

What is Autism?

Autism, or more formally known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism affects 1 in 68 children in Canada yearly. It is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 3 (24-36 months).

What is the Spectrum?

The term “spectrum” refers to a scale of severity or developmental impairment. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association merged four individual diagnoses into one umbrella diagnoses, known as Autism:

  • Autism / Classic Autism / High Functioning Autism
  • Disintegrative Childhood Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Children and adults with ASD usually have some characteristics in common, but the condition covers a wide spectrum, with individual differences in:

  • Number and particular kinds of symptoms
  • Severity: mild to severe
  • Age of onset
  • Levels of functioning
  • Challenges with social interaction

There is no “one” treatment. Because every person is different, treatment is specific per individual. Individuals with autism vary in their skills, needs and abilities. The treatment is often decided based on these factors.

Understanding the Early Signs of Autism

Early Signs of Autism (12 to 24 Months):

  • Often begins to develop speaking ability then loses it, or there is no language development
  • May appear deaf, respond unevenly or not at all to sounds
  • Difficulty consoling during bouts of crying & hysterics
  • Difficulty sleeping / wakes at night
  • Does not “point and look”
  • Failure to bond to parents, siblings and/or others
  • Self-restricted diet (“picky eaters”)
  • Limited to no imaginative play
  • Not interested in playing with other children
  • Chronic gastrointestinal problems

Please note that a child may demonstrate only a few of these symptoms, or possibly none at all until 24+ months.

If your child has ‘normal’ development but then regresses, speak to your pediatrician or family physician immediately:

Possible signs at any age are as follows:

  • Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings
  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone
  • Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Has highly restricted interests
  • Performs repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking or spinning
  • Has unusual and intense reactions to some or all sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colours

Please see this checklist of developmental milestones based on child’s age.

Treatment Options*

  • Play Therapy
    • Floor-time
    • Integrated Play Groups
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis

*This is not a comprehensive list, treatment options vary for each individual.

Services for You and Your Child

At Freiheit Care, we are honoured that we are able to offer services to the younger population. Our respite care services are designed for family caregivers when they need to tend to their own personal lives or take a well earned break. We have trained staff to provide care for your child, so you don’t have to worry when you are not around!

Call us TODAY at (613) 518-8258 for your FREE phone consultation and learn about how Freiheit Care Inc. can give your child the freedom to a childhood!

Additional Resources:
https://autismcanada.org
https://www.autismspeaks.ca
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/checklists/all_checklists.pdf
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/specialneeds/autism/ontario-autism-program.aspx#families

 

Caring for children with disabilities

Introducing Pediatric Services at Freiheit Care Inc

Caring for children with disabilities
Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

At Freiheit Care, we are pleased to offer premium home care services that we provide to the senior population. But, did you know that we also care for pediatric customers as well?

At Freiheit Care, we provide premium, compassionate, skilled care for our pediatric customers. We value your child’s well-being and strive to complement the care they receive from family caregivers. Our young customers receive the dedicated care and attention of quality staff. We employ companions, personal support workers and nursing staff to be equipped to provide the care you and your family needs.

Every family has its unique structure and schedule, and our pediatric services at Freiheit Care are designed to be flexible to suit the needs of your child and family. We offer a 24-hour cancellation policy, flexible scheduling and premium care delivery, 24-7-365.

Our comprehensive list of services and our customizable care plans mean that your child receives the care they need, on your terms.

Services provided:

– Companionship

– Respite Care

– Palliative Care

– Rehabilitation Care

– Psychotherapy

– Personal Care

Give us a call today at (613) 518-8258 for your FREE phone consultation, and see how Freiheit Care gives you and your family the power to Be Free to Live.