A most unusual home health care firm is marking its 15th anniversary of helping seniors do more than they think they can do.
When an aging relative gets a dreaded diagnosis or has a health crisis, family members often are thrust into their first experience with home health care. Often, says Nicci Kobritz RN, head of Youthful Aging Home Health Care, the caregivers simply react to problems, and expectations are low. Her people don't.
She established Youthful Aging 15 years ago, intending to scrap the old model and starting from scratch. A lifelong medical professional, Kobritz desired to create a longevity-based service that would leave her clients healthier, more mobile and more independent than they expected to be.
Ms. Kobitz spent four years researching how to promote longevity and better health outcomes. She spoke with several top doctors and researchers in the United States. She sought out Sarasota's progressive practitioners and developed a five-point assessment for every client. Ten years later, Youthful Aging's service combines traditional medical care with the latest health and longevity-enhancing therapies and techniques.
She has learned through day-to-day successes and failures that frail elderly patients can achieve a higher quality of life. Over the course of seeking out and testing the latest therapies with her clients, Kobritz has debunked myths about aging. She's found that:
- Driving skills can be improved, even in seniors in the 80s and 90s.
- Even homebound or bedridden patients can do simple exercises that can stave off the loss of mobility.
- Dementia patients can do for themselves and stay in their homes longer if given specific cognitive and physical therapies designed with that aim.
- Professional art therapy can help Alzheimer's or dementia patients reconnect with their former hobbies, professions and identities.
- The first place to look to determine the root cause of memory loss is in the patient's medicine cabinet -- some common prescriptions are known to cause brain fog.
- Depression -- a leading cause of lack of motivation to exercise or participate in mind stimulating activities -- is one of the biggest challenges caregivers face.