An Unspoken Epidemic

I know – it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve posted here on my blog….. like 2.5 years long! Well, I’m back and all is well. Lots and lots have happened in these two years, but I will try to get caught up with a few things and stay current on 2023’s events.

So, I want to get right into my blog titled “An Unspoken Epidemic”. In my employment duties still in medical records, I noticed this, but it did not really hit me until a YouTube influencer I follow, ‘YourFavNurseB‘, spoke about this. She is a 32-year-old RN and her YouTube channel focuses on growing/coaching those who go from a CNA to an LPN to an RN, concentrated upon working in nursing homes. She got right to the point on this topic saying there are too many 50-60 year-olds in nursing homes!!! That particular shift she had worked, she mentioned that she had about 51 patients to see after and approximately 75% of her patients were in their 50s and 60s, some even younger. Ya’ll this is a true epidemic. This is not only happening in her city, but in every city/state in the U.S. These illnesses that has brought the majority of these patients to a nursing home are preventable.

As I mentioned earlier, I too have noticed this horrible statistic when I am working and analyzing patients medical records. When patients are admitted to a hospital and their stay could be 30 days, 10 days or even 5 days, my job is to analyze each report – each History and Physical, each Emergency Room visit, each Progress Note, etc. Some of these progress notes can be 220+ pages long. Once a patient is discharged from the hospital, the patient is either too sick to go home so the hospital has no choice but to refer them either to LTAC (long-term acute care facility) or to a nursing home facility. Some of these illnesses these patients are being admitted to the hospital for are very preventable by the patient, but when they are at this stage (of getting admitted to a nursing home) that means they have not cared for themselves, not taken their medications and just practically let themselves go. Look – being in your 60s is NOT old! Nursing homes were geared to be for the very, very elderly population when family members can no longer care for their loved ones for various reasons – not 40, 50 and 60 year-olds.

I do understand the last several years have been extremely challenging mentally for the entire world. There have been many events taken place over the recent years that make anybody want to give up or throw in the towel. Lots of traumatic events, losing of many loved ones, still not getting over a situation that you thought was hurtful many, many years ago.

We ALL have been through a lot – some our whole lives. Focusing on past traumas, past hurts, things we lost, etc. must change. All of these events have a profound affect on our physical well-being. We must start with changing our mindset. At the end of the day, when things are out of your control, there’s nothing you can do about it. You cannot bring a loved one back, you cannot go back to your childhood and ‘fix’ whatever problem you suffered, but you CAN confront the issue to try and get some closure, but to let it continue to fester or continue to marinate on how bad it hurt you is not helping. It only continues to hinder you emotionally, physically and spiritually.

The majority of these illnesses and problems are things like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, alcoholism, cigarette smoking and drug use. Not being knowledgeable about the use and the side effects of different medications (or over-medicating), can also cause a lot of different medical problems . Also, lacking certain nutrients and vitamins in your body can also cause an array of illnesses.

I’m hoping that by bringing up this topic and shedding some light on this subject will help someone. For me, this is actually an embarrassing epidemic because I too am in my 60’s – 64 to be exact – and I KNOW that my generation were taught on how to live off the land. But, I too have to remember that my generation were pretty much the creators of eating processed foods, fast-food meals, trying to make life ‘quicker’ and ‘simpler’… Either way, we must mature mentally, have a different mindset and learn skills for yourself to remain healthy. There is too much out here these days to educate yourself and continue to learn about everything you can learn! Watching the carb intake, the meat intake, cutting out sugar, cutting out fried foods, not eating meals after 6 p.m. and exercising whether walking, jogging, hitting the gym, whatever works for you, are all ways to prevent the above-mentioned diseases which can then prevent the young from residing in a nursing home!

Let 2023 be the year you love on yourself more. Take steps daily – whether 10 minutes per day and increasing at your tolerance (some sort of exercise), changing your eating habits one meal at a time and train your mind to think differently. Take it from me, a person who has had multiple health issues, starting from the time I was born until now – it is NOT easy to make these changes, but it can be done. I get up daily and start my day listening to something inspirational/motivating and I end my day by taking time for ME and all the tools that make me comfortable and peaceful when I lie down to sleep. I will NOT be a 60 something year-old residing in a nursing home!


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