Thursday, July 1, 2021

How to Tell If a Wound Is Infected and How to Treat It

The human body has an incredible ability to heal itself and fight off harmful foreign invaders. Even with this ability, a wound can still become infected. With some severe infections causing everything from fever to sepsis, these infections are nothing to take lightly. Learn more about the signs of infection and how to treat them below.

How to Tell If a Wound Is Infected

A person adding bandaids to an elbow

Most of the time, minor wounds like small scrapes and cuts are nothing to get overly worried about. But if a wound does get infected, it's best to know the signs to avoid severe complications. One sign that a wound is infected is if it's warm to the touch for over five days. While it's normal for a wound to radiate heat within the first five days because the body is fighting off germs and bacteria, anything over this time could be a sign of an infection. Other signs of infection and improper healing to look out for:
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pus
  • Increased scabbing
  • Discoloration around the wound
A patient should seek medical attention immediately if they've developed a fever; this is a common sign that the infection has entered the bloodstream.

How to Treat an Infected Wound

If an infection has occurred, it's normally best practice to see a doctor since most bacterial wound infections can be treated with an antibiotic prescription. Simple cleaning and antibiotics might not heal a severe wound. In these cases, a doctor might recommend closing a wound with stitches and giving the patient an injection to avoid more severe complications such as cellulitis, sepsis, or necrotizing fasciitis.

Unfortunately, injuries are sometimes part of enjoying the beautiful Texas outdoors. If one does occur, avoid severe infections by seeking wound care management from Midlothian Healthcare Center. Our team of experts offers comprehensive rehabilitation services that help patients get back to their routine. Get in touch today to learn more about our services.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Signs a Loved One Needs Long Term Care

Research studies estimate that approximately 70% of individuals aged 65 and above require long-term care. However, determining the right time to help your loved one transition to an assisted living facility can be difficult, especially if you haven't handled something like this before. Exploring options for senior care can be daunting, especially since such decisions are riddled with inner conflicts of guilt, anxiety, grief, and relief. Watch out for these signs that can indicate that your loved one may need senior care.

Inability to Manage Daily Activities

Two people tightly holding hands.jpeg

Advancing age can make it difficult to perform activities of daily living. Getting dressed, going shopping, and bathing themselves on their own may be more of a challenge. Forgetting to take daily medication and failure to keep up with household chores are also signs that your loved one needs help.

Significant Changes in Physical Appearance

If you've noticed concerning changes to your loved one's appearance, it could be a sign of physical or cognitive decline. Key changes to note are declining personal hygiene and unpredictable weight fluctuation. Diet and nutrition are major concerns for the elderly, especially those with dementia. Therefore, be cautious if your parent suddenly loses weight. Also, watch out for large chunks of uneaten and spoiled food in the pantry.

Odd/Sudden Changes in Behavior

Changes in their habits can also be an indicator that your parent needs long-term care. Many parents don’t want to be a burden to their children, and they'll often try to maintain independence, even if it isn't in their best interest. It's crucial to note that extended periods of isolation can negatively impact their mental health and may lead to the development of serious conditions, such as depression and high blood pressure.

You should also watch out if your parent or loved one starts losing interest in certain social activities. Some seniors may start abandoning their favorite hobbies, going to church, and other outings that previously brought them joy. They may also exhibit memory loss, hearing loss, make poor financial decisions, or start wandering.

Contact Midlothian Healthcare Center

If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, make it a priority to seek quality and compassionate care from Midlothian Healthcare Center. We've helped families throughout Midlothian, Mansfield, and Waxahachie areas find excellent care for their loved ones as they age and begin experiencing mobility issues. Talk to our experienced team to learn more about how we can help improve their quality of life through occupational, speech, and physical therapies.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

What to Know About Returning Home After a Stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person has a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States. Strokes occur when the blood going to the brain is significantly reduced or interrupted, causing the brain to not receive the proper amount of oxygen needed to function. Knowing the signs of a stroke can help save a loved one's life and prevent additional severe strokes in the future. Once a patient returns home, show support by helping them transition back to daily activities.

Maintain a Healthy Living Space

An older woman sitting down with her head resting on her hands

After being discharged from the hospital or outpatient rehabilitation, caregivers should make sure the stroke survivor's living arrangements will safely accommodate their adjusted lifestyle during recovery. Having a relative or friend visit the home to help identify any safety hazards such as slippery floor surfaces or scatter rugs for better traction can help prevent injuries in the future. Stroke recovery program staff members can provide home evaluations, help coordinate grab bar and handrail installations, as well as recommend non-slip mats for showers. They can also demonstrate at-home exercises to maintain physical health and wellness.

Follow Stroke Recovery Guidelines

Recovering from a stroke will likely include lifestyle adjustments. The effects of a stroke impact people differently depending on which part of the brain was injured, how severe the injury is, and the person's overall health and wellness. Transitioning from inpatient rehabilitation back to living at home can pose challenges that recovering patients may not be able to handle on their own. Survivors recovering at home should regularly check in with their recovery team and continue at-home exercises. Support groups for survivors and friends can also help ease mental strain and foster comradery in times of isolation.

Know the Signs of a Stroke

The chances of a stroke occurring again within the first three months of recovery are significant. To understand the symptoms of a stroke, thinking FAST can help save a life.

F: Facial drooping: Noticeable drooping on either side of the face can indicate the beginning of a stroke. Ask the person to smile to see if this symptom can be identified.

A: Arm weakness: If a person is experiencing difficulty moving their arm or having trouble feeling it, ask the person to lift or move their arm to determine if urgent medical care is necessary.

S: Speech difficulty: If a person's speech is slurred, ask them to attempt to say a name or sentence. If this is challenging to the person and any of the above signs are also apparent, seek immediate medical attention.

T: Time: Immediate response and medical attention can significantly reduce the resulting damage of a stroke and help save a life. Call 911 immediately if any of these symptoms are present and new to the individual.

If you or a family member is in need of inpatient rehabilitation, seek compassionate and quality care at Midlothian Healthcare Center. Patients throughout the Midlothian area, including Waxahachie and Mansfield, trust our experienced team to help facilitate a healthy recovery and improve their quality of life through physical, occupational, and speech therapy services. Complete our online form or call 972-775-5105 to learn more about our rehabilitation programs.

Friday, February 5, 2021

What to Expect After a Loved One's Aphasia Diagnosis

Aphasia is caused by damage to the areas of the brain that manage language control and processing. This disorder is most common in people over the age of 55. Some of the leading causes of aphasia are strokes, head injuries, brain tumors, or other underlying neurological conditions. If a loved one has been diagnosed with aphasia or you suspect they may be suffering from this disorder, read our guide for some common symptoms and tactics for communicating effectively with them.

Indicators of Aphasia

Two loved ones sitting and talking together
The presence of aphasia symptoms can vary depending on several factors, including the extent of brain damage, the region of the brain that is damaged, and the person's overall health. Here are some common symptoms of aphasia:
  • Difficulty reading, spelling, and writing
  • Speaking only in short, fragmented sentences
  • Trouble annunciating words and sounds
  • Difficulty identifying familiar places, people, events, and objects
  • Substituting words incorrectly in a sentence
  • Inability to understand other people's conversations
If a loved one is displaying more than one of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with a medical provider for an evaluation.

Recovery Outlook of Aphasia

Temporary forms of aphasia that are brought on by a minor stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) have higher recovery rates than other forms. In many of these temporary cases, symptoms will subside eventually because the brain damage was minimal and caused by an individual event. However, this does not apply to the majority of aphasia patients, and it can be difficult to determine the extent of the effects.

Treatment Options

Because aphasia affects the brain's language center, speech therapy is one of the primary treatments. Patients can use talking electronic devices to communicate by choosing images or typing out messages. Another tool that patients may be more familiar with is a portable whiteboard they can use to write out their thoughts.

The brain injuries that cause aphasia often have other effects that can impair a person's motor skills and other functions. In addition to speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy are often effective tools in their recovery.

Communicating With Someone Who Has Aphasia

It is often helpful to use short, simple sentences when speaking. You may need to repeat yourself and clearly annunciate each word. Using a mixture of hand signals, words, and drawings can also be beneficial. Finally, encourage them to communicate through whatever means they can and avoid correcting them if they misspeak.

Aphasia can have a significant impact on your daily life, but the team of healthcare professionals at Midlothian Healthcare Center can help you and your loved one build new, effective communication techniques. We offer a full range of speech therapy and rehabilitation services to patients in Midlothian, TX and the surrounding areas. As a family-owned clinic, we understand how important it is to feel physically and emotionally connected to the people you care about. To schedule an appointment with our staff, call 972-775-5105 or contact us online.