National Stroke Awareness Month
There are approximately 795,000 strokes per year. There are symptoms to look for and if people act quickly, you can save lives and limit disabilities. The National Stroke Association recommends learning the FAST technique to identify the potential signs of a stroke. F = FACE: ASK THE PERSON TO SMILE. DOES ONE SIDE OF THE FACE DROOP? A = ARMS: ASK THE PERSON TO RAISE BOTH ARMS. DOES ONE ARM DRIFT DOWNWARD? S = SPEECH: ASK THE PERSON TO REPEAT A SIMPLE SENTENCE. DOES THE SPEECH SOUND SLURRED OR STRANGE? T = TIME: IF YOU OBSERVE ANY OF THESE SIGNS (INDEPENDENTLY OR TOGETHER), CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.
Want information on making a home safer for a senior or someone with a disability? Check out our post -- Possible Options for a Safer Home
June 14th is Flag Day, 6/16 is Father's Day, 6/21 is Summer Solstice.
Off-the-beaten-path days (a few from www.holidayinsights.com ) - you can see others on their website: June 3rd is Repeat Day - got it? Repeat Day, 6/4 is Hug Your Cat Day, 6/5 is World Environment Day, 6/9 is Donald Duck Day, 6/15 is National Hollerin' Day, 6/18 is Go Fishing Day, 6/23 is National Pink Day, 6/26 is Forgiveness Day, 6/28 is Paul Bunyon Day, 6/29 is Waffle Iron Day.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Tips for Long Distance Caregivers.
In this Sunday's paper in RI, there was an article written by Pamela Yip who writes for the Dallas Morning News. The article is called 'Taking care long distance'. Pamela discusses a variety of things to think about and put in order for your elderly parents if you are a distance away. She refers to Kathy O'Brien, senior gerontologist at the MetLife Mature Market Institute - "We know that many more people are caring for family members than ever before". Another person, Kay Paggi, a Dallas geriatric care manager says "The big issue for long distance caregivers is not really knowing what is going on"; "A lot of time, Mom and Dad rally don't want you to know what's going on. They are used to being the parent, the wise person, the independent person, the problem-solver. They are not going to tell you they are failing every day, even if you ask".
Many long distance children worry about falls, eating habits, medications. You don't always have current information, if any. What if there is the beginning of dementia or Alzheimer's? Are you getting the correct information when you speak with your parents?
According to the article, the experts advise:
* create a network: have a care plan in place where you have people in place to call you or you can call and who can oversee your folks. Get to know their neighbors. Get an emergency response service pendant/watch with a button they can push for help.
* make sure you have a detailed list of doctors (and their phone numbers) and medications (why they are taking them), get friendly with your parent's pharmacist, make sure everyone knows what over-the-counter vitamins or supplements they take or herbal teas.
* maybe hire a geriatric care manager - they can go to the house and do an assessment of the home and how your parent(s) function. The care manager can put a plan into action and supervise the homemaker who goes in. It states that the care manager costs $100 - $150 per hour.
* use the web - pay their bills online for them, see if you can get copies of Medicare information to make sure they keep up with medical bills.
* get legal authority for housing, finances and medical. Get powers of attorney to handle financial matter if they cannot do things and a medical one to make decisions if your parent cannot make decisions. Get HIPAA authorization so you can have access to medical information.
There is good information here that will work for children who are close by as well. Basically, as the old saying goes 'you need to have your ducks in a row'.
Footnote: I lived near mom but we did do all these things. I knew her doctors very well from going to appointments with her. She verbally told them that they could speak to me any time I called but we did end up doing the appropriate paperwork. We did give the pharmacist a copy of the power of attorney so I could talk about her meds. We found a local agency that was able to make modifications to her home so it was easy to stay there longer.
There is a panel started by 'Caring.com' that will allow people to sign up and test products and review them and possibly have your remarks published. According to the site, you then get to keep the item. Please check out the recruitment questionaire.
One review that I found was for Presto Computerless E-mail. This device will allow people to send emails, photos, and other attachments to those who might not be tech savvy WITHOUT them needing a computer or internet access. You can check out the reviews both pro and con.
You May Be Able to Get Paid As A Caregiver.
Something I did not know: From 'Caring.com' check this out.
If you're one of more than 70 million people who provide unpaid caregiving for a family member or friend -- either in that person's home or in your own -- you know that the time and energy burden can be enormous. In fact, you may have cut back or given up your paying job. Your smaller (or now nonexistent) paycheck may be pinching you hard. If so, it might be possible for you to get a small but regular payment for your caregiving work.
Here's how: If the parent, spouse, or other person you're caring for is eligible for Medicaid, its Cash and Counseling program, available in some states, can provide direct payments that could go to you. A few other states have similar programs for low-income seniors, even if the person receiving care doesn't quite qualify for Medicaid. Also, if the person you're caring for has long-term care insurance that includes in-home care coverage, in some cases those benefits can be used to pay you. If the person you're caring for will be paying you from any source, it may be a good idea -- for both of you -- to draft a short written contract setting out the terms of your work and payment.
I came across this short movie about Zachery, the oldest son of one of my cousins, who is now in his early 20's. He was diagnosed with epilepsy before the age of 1, starting with seizures around the time he was 6 weeks old. My cousin, Lee Ann - his mom, has been an extremely strong mom, trying to find every possible cure or possible treatment to alliviate his condition. His constant seizures have left him developmentally disabled. Lee Ann has been a big promoter for 'CURE' (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy), being on the Board of Directors as well as Vice President and Secretary.
Lee Ann has chosen to share Zach's story, hoping it may help others out there. As we have attended her past fundraisers, we have been introduced to other families who have children with this severe form of epilepsy and marvel at their strength, faith, conviction, determination, and of course love. The families have bonded as they continue to search out ways for their children to overcome this disease and hope to carry on a more normal life. I know Lee Ann carries on with her other 2 children making sure they lead their lives, their way, enjoying their own social events, and following their paths into adulthood. She has told me she has wonderful help beyond her family, who love Zach and care for him immensely.
I hope you take the time to watch the full video. I think it is as much about determination and strength as it is about showing us what a debilitating disease epilepsy is. We can only hope for a cure in the near future or some treatment to help those afflicted to gain some control over their life.
Zach's Story . ( a video)
Will & Mom
I was going through some things when considering writing on nursing homes and came across this picture. Willie was able to walk the stage with his peers last June - he'll get his diploma when he leaves in December. Mom was not able to go (this was about a month before she died) but my in-laws were there at the graduation. So we decided to get this picture so Will could have his graduation pictures with his grandparents on both sides. She was Ok this day (she knew what we were doing) and was so proud to see Will in his cap & gown.
A Place for Mom (1) Alzheimer's (10) assisted living (2) autism (2) Caregiver (4) caregivers (4) caregiving (1) caring for parents (1) Caring.com (1) communication (1) CT (1) dementia. (5) developmentally disabled (1) disabled (2) elder abuse (1) elderly (11) elderly parents (10) financial (1) iPad (1) Medicaid (2) medical information (1) Medicare (3) memory (3) Memory and Aging (1) MRI (1) nursing home (1) Parkinsons (2) PET (1) presecriptions (1) special needs (1) SSI (2) Transition (3) VNA (1) Will (2)
National Resources. (Not promoting, talk to your professional first)
- American Foundation for the Blind
- Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association: ADDA
- Autism Research Institute: ARI
- Autism Society of America
- Center for Mental Health Services
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: CHADD National Office
- Health Central
- Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations:JCAHO
- Mayo Clinic
- National Health Information Center
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Institutes of Health
- National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Needy Meds
- Online Aspergers Syndrome Information& Support
- Pain Management
- Partners for Prescription Assistance
- Patient Assistance Programs
- Prescription Assistance Programs
- Search & Respond c/o Exceptional Parent Magazine
- US Department of Education