Family (and friend) involvement encourages residents and keeps the nursing home on its toes, greatly improving the quality of care. Some nursing homes have even gone out of their way to encourage family groups a “we’re all in this together” approach. Like residents’ councils, family councils must work toward an effective, not a symbolic, voice in the facility, and may combine forces with the residents’ council toward this end. Some family council consists of only a couple of family members; others are large. Effective ones usually meet regularly and keep in close communication with staff and administrators. Members should be aware of residents’ rights and facility policies, and present their concerns and suggestions in the most organized and sensitive way they can. (To put it another way, they should be assertive but not aggressive.) Families must also recognize residents’ need for independence. Sometimes family members are guilty (as staff can be) of over protectiveness, which only encourages dependence and helplessness. [Read more...]
About 35 percent of hysterectomies in older women are done for uterine prolapse, or dropped womb. In general, prolapse results from stretching of the ligaments that support the uterus and/or weakness of the pubococcygeal muscle, which supports the pelvic floor.
There are three stages of uterine prolapse:
• First degree -The uterus has descended into the vaginal canal, but not yet into the vaginal opening.
• Second degree-The cervix actually appears outside the vaginal opening, in whole or in part.
• Third degree (called complete prolapse)-The entire uterus descends to the point that it shows outside the vagina entirely. This type is most common in women over seventy. To prevent uterine prolapse and to improve your [Read more...]
In the absence of any diagnosed pathology, you can try these self-care and alternative treatments for heavy bleeding:
1. Try to remain calm. Anxiety can increase blood flow by raising your blood pressure and making the heart pump faster. Don’t panic.
2. Stay off your feet, with your legs elevated, if “flooding” occurs. An ice pack applied to the abdomen for an hour or two (fifteen minutes on, fifteen minutes off) can stop or reduce bleeding. Also, try applying cold to the lower back with a towel that has been dampened and chilled in the freezer.
3. Avoid heating pads, hot showers, or baths on heavy-flow days. Heat increases blood flow.
4. Avoid aspirin products, garlic, and mint. They increase bleeding.
5. Consider taking iron supplements between periods but only if you are anemic. Iron pills not only correct anemia but can make your periods lighter. Caution: Taking iron supplements during your period may make it heavier. [Read more...]
Do not have a hysterectomy just because you have pain in the lower abdomen during or between periods. Pelvic pain can arise from a variety of causes, including endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, and infection or scar tissue from previous pelvic surgery All possible sources for the pain, including childhood physical and sexual abuse and psychogenic causes, should be professionally investigated and treated before resorting to surgery. A thorough diagnostic workup should be done to discover whether the cause of the pain might be from the digestive system, the urinary tract, the bones, or the joints. Do not automatically assume that the pain is gynecological. [Read more...]
Myomectomy, or surgical removal of fibroids without removing the uterus, was rarely done in the past and was reserved for younger women who wished to have children. However, with new awareness of the value of retaining organs, an increasing number of skilled surgeons are performing myomectomies on older women who do not intend to have children but who wish to preserve their uteruses. In 1990, thirty-eight thousand myomectomies were performed in the United States. During a myomectomy the surgeon will make an incision into the abdomen and examine the uterus. Fibroids on the outside of the uterus (subserous) can be removed. If the fibroids are inside the uterus, the surgeon will cut into the uterine cavity and remove the fibroids, which peel out like oranges peel from their skins. She or he will then repair and close the uterus. Uterine tissue heals easily. [Read more...]