Home Health Care is Crucial to Better Patient Outcomes and Our Healthcare System’s Future

Dr. David Schrier–Hospice Medical Director, Colorado Visiting Nurse Association

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has designated November as Home Care& Hospice Month – a time to honor millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation.

I am taking this opportunity remind patients, physicians and other medical professionals involved in patient care outcomes that there is tremendous value in providing care in the home. Simply put, these full-spectrum services can improve patient outcomes in the least costly, and most often patient-preferred setting which equals a winning solution for everyone.

And, let’s face it – with the “silver tsunami” heading our way, there simply aren’t enough skilled nursing facilities to accommodate the rapidly growing population of aging patients who need long-term care, palliative care or hospice services. Home is going to be the long-term health care facility of the future.

Care provided by home health agencies includes skilled medical services, including chronic disease management; rehabilitative therapies to improve or stabilize the patient’s functional status; care coordination services and management of care transitions (especially from hospital to home); monitoring and management of behavioral health conditions; care that enables avoidance of unnecessary hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations; and support to patients and their family members to connect to community resources to enable and support independence.

There are, unfortunately, some common barriers to patients getting home care services when needed.
Most chronically-ill or elderly patients (and sometimes their physicians) have no idea that they qualify as being homebound and that insurance, in most cases, offer home health services benefits. To truly care for our patients, we physicians, need to do a much better job at helping our patients get the services they need and pay for.

In my opinion, skilled home care providers should be an extension of your healthcare team to ensure your patients’ safety and comfort and reduce hospitalizations, ultimately driving down healthcare costs for all consumers.

david-schrierDavid M. Schrier, MD is a practicing Hematologist & Oncologist in Englewood, CO. Dr. Schrier graduated from University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1990 and has been in practice for 25 years. He completed a residency at University of Colorado Health. Dr. Schrier also specializes in Internal Medicine. He currently practices at Swedish Medical Hospital’s Cancer Center.

In 2002, Dr. Schrier founded the Ray of Hope Cancer Foundationin memory of his patient, Ray. The foundation has given over $5 million in financial assistance to over 4,000 cancer patients in every corner of Colorado. In 2014 he received the Patients’ Choice Award and Compassionate Doctor Recognition

Hawaii hiking

Stay Motivated to Reach Your Ola Ala Goals!

Are you on pace to reach your goals in a few more weeks?

ola ala

Excitement and energy may wane after starting a new program; stay motivated with these tips:

  • Invite team members to write a success story about what they’ve achieved, with advice to inspire other participants.
  • Sign up for the Denver Alzheimer’s Walk on September 17th here. Whether it’s a 5K walk, 10K run, or mini-triathlon, you’ll have a blast training — and crossing the finish line.
  • Put good health on your vacation itinerary. There’s no need to halt your Ola Ala progress when you head out for rest and relaxation. Plan ample opportunities to hike, swim, or snorkel.
  • Celebrate Ola Ala milestones. Brainstorm fun activities that support your active, healthy lifestyle with family, friends, or colleagues — like going to the aquarium, holding a Wii sports tournament, or hosting a Hawaiian lunchtime potluck.

Have another great idea to share on exercising? Share them on the Life Path Posts.

Keep up the great work!

What To Ask To Find The Right Home Health Care Provider For You

What To Ask To Find The Right Home Health Care Provider For You

At Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) we know that inviting someone into your home to care for you or your loved one is an incredibly important and personal choice. Having the right person can make the experience more pleasant, ensure the appropriate services and in many cases even reduce the likelihood of hospital re-admission. Whether you’re looking for home health care or non-medical support knowing what questions to ask can help ensure that you receive quality assistance.

What To Ask To Find The Right
Home Health Care Provider For You

If you’re recovering from surgery or need long-term care for a chronic illness — or you have a loved one facing a similar situation — you might be interested in home care services. Home care services range from skilled care provided by nurses or therapists to household support, such as cleaning, cooking and running errands. If you’re considering home care services, ask these questions to choose the best provider for your needs.

Qualifications

If you’re considering a home care services agency:

  • Is the agency licensed by the state? Most states — but not all — require agencies to be licensed and reviewed regularly. Reviews might be available through your state health department.
  • How long has the agency been in business?  Experience is one way to measure reliability.
  • Is the agency certified by Medicare to meet federal requirements for health and safety? If not, ask why.
  • What type of employee screening is done? Background and drug testing may go a long way toward your piece of mind.
  • Can the agency provide references? Ask for a list of doctors, hospital discharge planners or other professionals who have experience with the agency.

If you’re considering a home health aide:

  • What are the aide’s credentials? If he or she claims to be licensed, check with the licensing body.
  • Can the aide provide references from at least two employers? Check them thoroughly.

Be sure to ask your or loved one’s doctor, family and friends for recommendations.

Quality of care

If you’re considering a home care services agency:

  • How does the agency train, supervise and monitor caregivers? Does the agency provide continuing education?
  • Are the caregivers licensed and insured?
  • Do the agency’s employees seem friendly and helpful?

If you’re considering a home health aide:

  • Does the home health aide have a positive attitude?
  • Are you and your loved one comfortable with the home health aide?

Costs

If you’re considering a home care services agency:

  • How does the agency handle expenses and billing? Ask for literature explaining all services and fees, as well as detailed explanations of all costs associated with home care.
  • Will agency fees be covered by health insurance or Medicare? Check to see what kind of coverage your health insurance offers.
  • What resources does the agency provide for financial assistance, if needed? For instance, is a payment plan available?

If you’re considering a home health aide:

  • How much does the aide charge for home health services? Make sure you’re comfortable with the fees and the included services.
  • Does the aide require payment for sick days, vacation days or holidays? If so, clarify how many sick and vacation days are allowed, as well as which days are considered holidays.

Understanding services

Whether you’re considering a home care services agency or a home health aide, you might ask these questions about services:

  • Will you receive a written care plan before service begins? The care plan should include details about medical equipment and specific care needs, contain input from the doctor, and be updated frequently.
  • Will you receive a list of the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved? This is sometimes known as a patient’s bill of rights.
  • Will you or your loved one be referred to dietitians, counselors, therapists or other specialists, if needed?
  • Will the agency work directly with you or your loved one, family members and health care providers?
  • Must you identify a primary family caregiver? If so, what’s required of that person?
  • When will service be provided? Is care available round-the-clock, if necessary?
  • What procedures are in place for emergencies? Ask how the agency or home health aide will deliver services in the event of a power failure or natural disaster.
  • How are problems addressed and resolved? Whom can you or another family member contact with requests, questions or complaints?
  • When can services begin?

Monitor your home care services

After you’ve found a home care services provider, monitor the situation. If you’re concerned about the care or services provided, discuss it promptly with the agency or home health aide. If necessary, involve your doctor or your loved one’s doctor as well.

Post updated from article by Mayo Clinic.

Founded in 1889, Colorado VNA is Colorado’s first nonprofit home health care agency and provides expert care throughout the care continuum: wellness, home care and hospice services. For the past three years Colorado VNA has been awarded Home Care Elite Status by the National Research Corporation for placing in the top 25% of home care agencies based on health performance measures.

Colorado VNA earned a four star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) for quality patient care, and is licensed by the State of Colorado to provide home health care. Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), a national, independent, nonprofit accrediting body for community-based healthcare entities.

hawaii

Ola Ala Employee Online Fitness Program

Get Off to a Great Start with Ola Ala

ola ala

With the launching of Ola Ala July 19th, employees all over Colorado Visiting Nurse Association are on their way to better well-being. (If you haven’t registered yet contact Aubri at TharpA@VNAColorado.org.)

Get off to a great start with these tips:

• Hold weekly meetings to recognize accomplishments and discuss your Ola Ala strategies as well as how you can make more progress along the trail.

• Search Recipes for delicious new dishes that will help you eat more fruits and vegetables.

• Go for a walk or bike ride after dinner, enjoy a weekend swim, or invite coworkers to join you for a Saturday hike.

• Learn about new activities to try, like geocaching, kayaking, or hula dancing.

• Start or join a team like our medical records department did, U ‘i pinao, which is Hawaiian for Beautiful Dragonfly. Challenge other participants to see who can stay ahead on the team leader board.

• Rally your coworkers. Invite others to join you for a lunchtime walk or festive Hawaiian shirt contest.

As you embark on the Ola Ala journey, join the conversation — visit Life Path Posts to find healthy lifestyle tips, share wellness successes and challenges, and encourage other participants.

Healthy-Aging-in-Colorado-Infographic-high-resolution1

Colorado VNA’s Role In Colorado’s Growing Senior Population

By Chris Lee, President and CEO

The State of Colorado is grappling with one of the fastest growing older adult populations in the country. The Colorado State Demography Office estimates [that the] “aging of the younger population, especially the ’Baby Boomers’ …, is forecast to increase the population over 65 by 150% between 2010 and 2030.”[1] The numbers will grow from 550,000 people over 65 in 2010 to 1.2 million in 2030.

Healthy-Aging-in-Colorado-Infographic-high-resolution2

Fortunately, Colorado is not leaving future administrations to deal with the challenges. Our State has created the Strategic Action Group on Aging, in addition to other initiatives, to get out in front of aging-related challenges. The Group’s initial ideas on how to address the challenges associated with a rapidly aging population are detailed in the Colorado Aging Framework, which includes 10 distinct goals that the State aims to achieve. Colorado VNA is a leading partner in the efforts to support the needs of older adults. We are evolving existing services and creating deep partnerships with a variety of stakeholders to position ourselves as a critical provider of older adult services.

In particular, three of the Aging Framework goals directly relate to our work:

  • Goal 3: Strengthen support systems and environments that enable individuals to remain in their homes and communities as they age.
  • Goal 5: Support health care programs and services that provide a continuum of care to Colorado citizens as they age to give individuals the right services at the right time.
  • Goal 7: Promote support for caregivers, including family caregivers, to support citizens as they age

Goal 3 articulates several strategies that are focused on strengthened supportive services for older adults so that they can remain in their homes and communities, one of which “make home-maker services available to support individuals’ ability to remain in their homes as long as possible” is superbly aligned with our current work. Just this past week, I traveled with one of our Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Dennis, to visit two of our veterans in their homes. Dennis visits each of these patients several times a week to help with bathing, ensuring that the care plan is implemented, and providing patient and family support. In addition to Dennis, Colorado VNA provides homemakers for these two patients as well. Our homemakers help the patients and families keep their homes clean and safe while also helping with laundry and other household tasks, activities that many of us take for granted even as our ability to conduct them declines with age. Goal 3 seeks to implement similar support functions for those individuals that may not have the resources to pay for private-pay homemakers and/or CNA services. The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) has long funded Colorado VNA to provide homemaker services to low-income and vulnerable adults, and Goal 3 seeks to provide even more support to DRCOG and ultimately Colorado VNA.

Senior Living Conditions in Colorado

Goal 5 takes Goal 3 further by identifying strategies to more closely connect homemaker services that are supported by DRCOG to primary care providers. Both of the patients I visited are veterans, and the VA has long understood the importance of connecting skilled nursing and therapy care with paraprofessional care while under physician supervision. Goal 5 seeks to create the same connections between the primary care community and the long-term services and supports (LTSS) community. Additionally, Goal 5 provides direction to study the connection between LTSS and decreasing overall healthcare cost. In summary, the State hopes to answer the question: Do the homemaker services Colorado VNA provides decrease overall healthcare spending, and if so, by how much? To this end, I have been appointed to a guiding committee that will help implement the study that will answer this question.

Healthy-Aging-in-Colorado-Infographic-high-resolution4 smallaAnd finally, Goal 7 seeks to provide more financial support and training for family caregivers as well as other non-family caregivers. Those of you who have cared for an elderly parent know just how difficult, time-consuming, and stressful it is to provide the necessary care to keep your loved one in the home, especially if you must also work outside the home to earn a living.  Goal 7 seeks to find ways to provide more support and guidance for family and friend caregiving. Though not an area we are currently operating within, Colorado VNA has the capabilities to train caregivers, as well as the necessary clinical oversight, to be a viable part of the solution for an expanded family- and friend-based caregiving network. In addition to supporting family caregivers, Goal 7 also acknowledges the need for more expansive wellness services for the elderly, services like our Senior Medical Foot Care run by our Wellness Division.

 

As you can see, there is much change in the aging landscape in Colorado. Thanks to the innovative and compassionate care of our staff, Colorado VNA is well positioned to be a part of an expanded Colorado strategy to respond to a dramatically growing elderly population.

 

 

 

[1] Department of Local Affairs, State Demography Office, July 2012, page 1

 

 

 

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Colorado VNA Speaker Series 2016

Colorado VNA’s Speakers Series is designed to offer information and education to help a variety of individuals including seniors, caregivers, and health and wellness professionals navigate the changing landscape of healthcare and foster older adult independence. Admission to all events is free, but space is limited so please RSVP by visiting http://bit.ly/2cCuSmu, emailing hurdl@vnacolorado.org, or calling 303-698-6308.

Donations and sponsorships are gladly welcome. For more information, contact Jodie Deshmukh, Development Manager, at deshmukhj@vnacolorad.org or 303-698-6308.

UPCOMING SESSIONS


aging-in-placeAging and Dying In Place,
A Community Panel Conversation

6:00PM at Anschutz Medical Campus
Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities, Gossard Forum
13080 E 19th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045

Click on the flyer on the right for more information or RSVP at http://bit.ly/2cCuSmu.

PAST SESSIONS

Thursday, July 21st – Autism to Alzheimer’s
6:00 PM at Anschutz Medical Campus

Thursday, May 12thAdvance Directives: Know Your Rights, Share Your Wishes
5:30 PM at Colorado VNA (390 Grant St. Denver)

Veteran Saluting Flag

10 Memorial Day Facts To Put The Holiday In Perspective

Colorado Visiting Nurse Association remembers and honors the many military personnel who gave their lives in service to our country. We are a leading medical partner of the local VA to promote the health and wellness of all veterans. We are also a proud member of We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs that aims to accompany and guide veterans through their life stories toward a more peaceful ending.

 

Memorial Day

Memorial Day isn’t just an excuse to take a long weekend and loaf around eating grilled meats—although those are certainly among the reasons to love the holiday. Memorial Day is the day that Americans commemorate those who gave their lives while serving in our nation’s armed forces. 

Before taking off to enjoy the holiday, here are
10 Memorial Day Facts To Put The Holiday In Perspective:

1. Memorial Day wasn’t originally called Memorial Day. It was originally named Decoration Day. Flowers were placed on the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers to remember them and their sacrifice on the battlefield.

2. Originally, Memorial Day was designated to honor Civil War dead. Later it was changed to honor all Americans who had given their lives in the service of the country.

3. The first Decoration Day took place about one month after the end of the Civil War in 1865. In several states, the practice of placing flowers on the graves began in 1866. Although several towns lay claim to the holiday, in 1966, Waterloo, NY was designated the official birthplace of the holiday.

4. It is legally required to observe a National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day. In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed the act designating 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day as a National Moment of Remembrance.

5. Despite the many different Memorial Day customs, there are two common traditions observed everywhere:

  • The first is lowering the flag to half mast until noon and raising it to full mast until sundown.
  • The other tradition is playing Taps (as is done at military funerals).

6. Several Southern states also celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. The date of the celebration is different from state to state although most Southern states celebrate in either April or May.

7. Calling Memorial Day a “national holiday“ is a bit of a misnomer. While there are 10 federal holidays created by Congress—including Memorial Day—they apply only to Federal employees and the District of Columbia. Federal Memorial Day, established in 1888, allowed Civil War veterans, many of whom were drawing a government paycheck, to honor their fallen comrades without being docked a day’s pay. For the rest of us, our holidays were enacted state by state.

8. May 30th was originally designated for the commemoration of Memorial Day. The 30th of May was chosen since this was a day that flowers all over the country were in bloom. Since then the date has been changed to the last Monday of May, and 2016 is only the 7th time Memorial Day has been celebrated on May 30th since it was changed in 1971.

9. The first large federal observance occurred at Arlington in 1868. After the war, the former home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee became a cemetery to bury the nation’s dead. During a ceremony, children of the Soldier’s and Sailors’ Home and members of the Grand Army of the Republic walked through the cemetery singing hymn and reciting poetry while strewing flowers on the graves, reports Veterans Affairs.

10. There have been approximately 1,243,980 American casualties of War or Military Action since the Civil War.

U.S. War Casualties By Conflict:
Civil War –
Approximately 620,000 Americans died. The Union lost almost 365,000 troops and the Confederacy about 260,000. More than half of these deaths were caused by disease.
World War I116,516 Americans died, more than half from disease.
World War II405,399 Americans died.
Korean War 36,574 Americans died.
Vietnam Conflict58,220 Americans died.
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm383 U.S. service members died.
Operation Iraqi Freedom4,424 U.S. service members died.
Operation New Dawn 73 U.S. service members died.
Operation Enduring Freedom2,349 U.S. service members died.
Freedom’s Sentinel Casualties – 22 U.S. service members have died as of May 2016.
Inherent Resolve Totals – 20 U.S. service members have died as of May 2016.


How do you plan to honor our fallen service members as you celebrate the Memorial Day holiday?

 

Post updated from article originally published in 2015 by Inquisitr.com
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Better Together: Colorado VNA Merges with RVNA

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Chris Lee (Colorado VNA CEO) and Lori Follett (Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer)

Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (Colorado VNA) and Northern Colorado’s Rehabilitation & Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA) have officially merged their operations effective May 1st after a year of board discussions and a final vote of approval back in February.

Founded in 1889, Colorado VNA began as a Denver-based charity care organization and has expanded to provide a full continuum of care to individuals and families in 15 Front Range counties. RVNA has provided home health, home making, and wellness services to Larimer and Weld county residents for almost 37 years.

This merger comes at a crucial time for our two organizations as we work to ensure our future success in this ever-changing healthcare environment. Both of our agencies have a long history of serving our respective communities and both have a stellar reputation for clinical excellence,” states Colorado VNA CEO Chris Lee. “Patients across the Front Range will benefit from organizational synergies and a shared commitment from all of our employees to provide the highest quality and most compassionate care.”

Colorado VNA Director of Human Resources, Brenda Garrett, adds, “By centralizing the back office administration in Denver we can focus on expanding our services throughout our entire service area, but especially in Northern Colorado’s rural communities. The combined Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will have over 500 employees and plans to grow services that will create additional talent recruitment opportunities.”

In 2015, the two nonprofit agencies served a combined total of 29,000 patients with 268,000 care touchpoints. In addition, the agencies provided free-and reduced-cost health, wellness, and preventative care to more than 600 low-income households to help them maintain independence in their homes. Community wellness services such as flu immunizations, foot care clinics, and health education programs have also been cornerstones of both organizations. Colorado VNA is a 24 million dollar agency and with the merger the combined agency is expected to be at 28 million dollars in revenue.

Rehabilitation and Visiting Nurse Association will change its name to Colorado VNA Northern Colorado Division but operations and personnel will remain the same in the Greeley office. Current RVNA CEO, Lori Follett, will transition into her new position as Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer. “I am excited to see this partnership come to fruition as our patients, partners and employees will undoubtedly reap the benefits of improved processes and technologies. This collaboration is truly a win-win for everyone involved.”

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About Colorado VNA
Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (Colorado VNA) is a nonprofit, Medicare-certified home health organization founded in 1889. Its mission is to provide a continuum of health care in the home and community that supports optimal well-being, independence, and dignity. The organization’s comprehensive array of health services spans all levels of intensity of care for individuals, communities, and businesses. Colorado VNA has also developed innovative community programs to help seniors age-in-place. For more information, visit www.VNAColorado.org.

Colorado VNA Home Health CareUpdated Services Map

Better Together: Colorado VNA and RVNA Merge Operations, Expand Services

Colorado VNA logo

               Contact:  Kim Howard
                             (303) 698-6517      howardk@vnacolorado.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Colorado VNA and RVNA Merge Operations, Expand Services

 

April 12, 2016 (Denver, Colorado) – Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (Colorado VNA) and the Rehabilitation & Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA) announced today that they will be merging their two nonprofit organizations as of May 1st  to achieve greater efficiencies while expanding capabilities and services. The decision was unanimously approved by both agencies’ board of directors after several months of negotiations and due diligence.

Both Colorado VNA and RVNA have provided excellent care for decades, and in Colorado VNA’s case for well over a century. Yet the rapidly changing healthcare environment and emergence of large-scale health systems and insurance companies is driving a need for equally large and better clinically-integrated home health agencies.
“Combining Colorado VNA and RVNA into one agency will provide economies of scale in home health not previously seen in Colorado. Together, Colorado VNA and RVNA will create the network and services required to be successful in the changing, and more complex, healthcare landscape,” states Colorado VNA CEO, Chris Lee.

 

Adds RVNA CEO Lori Follett of the merger, “Although RVNA has sustained itself for almost 37 years, this merger will help take our organization to the next level in terms of being able to attract and retain more staff with better pay and benefits as well as operate more efficiently and better serve our clients with technology improvements.”

 

RVNA clinical operations and leadership will remain in the Greeley area, while administrative functions migrate to the Denver headquarters. Patients across the Front Range will benefit from organizational synergies and from a shared commitment to provide the highest quality and most compassionate care.
 
About Colorado VNA
Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (Colorado VNA) is a nonprofit, Medicare-certified home health organization founded in 1889. Its mission is to provide a continuum of health care in the home and community that supports optimal well-being, independence, and dignity. In 2015, Colorado VNA provided more than 220,000 home and community health and wellness touchpoints. The organization’s comprehensive array of health services spans all levels of intensity of care for individuals, communities, and businesses. Colorado VNA has also developed innovative community programs to help seniors age-in-place. For more information, visit www.VNAColorado.org.

 

About RVNA

RVNA, a nonprofit, community-based homecare agency, has been serving Northern Colorado since 1979. RVNA’s mission is to provide exceptional family-centered and compassionate home care solutions to the residents of Larimer and Weld counties, regardless of one’s ability to pay. For more information, visit www.rvna.info.

Holiday Depression

Holiday Depression: How to Recognize It and Take Action

Holiday Depression

At the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, we know that people facing medical challenges are more susceptible to Depression —especially during the Holidays.

Social isolation is one of the biggest predictors of Depression. It can be difficult for people who are homebound or not fully physically able to maintain active social lives and take part in social events including family gatherings and holiday parties. For many people, holidays can also be a painful reminder of the past. This is especially true for people who have experienced a significant loss, such as the death of a spouse.

Contributors to Depression include:
• Minor or serious medical problem
• Chronic pain or complications of an illness
• Memory loss
• Poor diet
• Loss of a spouse or companion
• Lack of exercise or sleep
• Change in routine
• General frustrations with aging

Symptoms to look for include:
• Irritable or hopeless mood
• Feelings of worthlessness or sadness
• Expressions of helplessness
• Anxiety
• Loss of interest in daily activities
• Changes in appetite
• Significant weight loss or gain
• Lack of attention to personal care and hygiene
• Fatigue
• Difficulty concentrating
• Thoughts about death and suicide

How to Help
• Allow the person to talk about their feelings. It can be as simple as asking, “how are you feeling?” and listening to what they say. They may not volunteer how they are feeling unless you ask, because they don’t want to be ‘a burden.’ Taking a real interest in their wellbeing also demonstrates how much you care.
• Discuss foods with better nutrition. Some depression can be exacerbated by lack of good nutrition. Share tasty food or recipes that are high in Vitamins and Minerals.
• Increasing physical activity improves mood. Physical limitations of most elderly may make this hard so use simple exercises (like talking a walk) or reinforce what they are working on with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.
• Get enough sleep. Emphasize the importance of sleep and encourage them to ask their doctor for help if they routinely experience disrupted sleep patterns.
• Fresh Air and Sunshine – If possible, encourage them to get outside or sit on the front/back porch (wearing appropriate clothing). Sunshine and fresh air is good for the soul and also helps with Vitamin D, which boosts mood.
• Encourage them to ask their Colorado VNA care providers about additional resources, including our visiting Medical Social Workers and our Holiday Adopt-a-Patient program.

Take a Mental Health First Aid training with the Colorado VNA to learn more about recognizing and responding supportively and constructively to common mental health problems. The trainings are free to community members and offered as paid trainings to VNA staff through a grant from Community First Foundation. For more information about this program or to reserve your seat, call (303) 698-6367 or email mhfa@vnacolorado.org.