Monthly Archives: October, 2017

Tip Sheet: Engaging Veterans in Evidence-Based Programs

engaging veterans tip sheetClick here or on the graphic above to download the complete tip sheet as a .pdf file.

the history of halloween – history.com

halloween history

“Halloween is an annual holiday, celebrated each year on October 31, that has roots in age-old European traditions. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.”

Read much more about Halloween and watch a short video here – at the History.com Website.

December 16 – Wreaths Across America dedication

wreaths across

Wreaths Across America Website

“What is palliative care? A patient’s journey through the system” – The Conversation

This is the first article in our series on demystifying palliative care, where experts explain the process of end-of-life care in Australia.” [NOTE: While the article is about end-of-life care in Australia, it is relevant here, too.]

palliative

“A diagnosis of a serious illness has a multitude of consequences. There may be significant symptoms related to the disease such as pain, breathing difficulties, nausea, fatigue and weakness.

“Such illnesses often limit a person’s ability to do the shopping and chores, attend the many medical appointments required, and can potentially lead to social isolation.

“What is palliative care?

“Rebecca lived with her husband, Rob, and six-year-old son, Jack. She was 34 when she met the palliative care doctor, after being diagnosed with a particularly aggressive lung cancer. She had undergone extensive surgery and was due to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy. She was struggling with some ongoing pain after her operation.

“Her cancer doctor suggested she see the palliative care team to help manage her pain so she could cope better with the next steps of her cancer treatment.”

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.

 

“Dementia caregivers | Juggling, delaying, and looking forward Family caregivers play a vital role in providing support to older adults living with dementia and other cognitive impairments.” – University of Michigan National Poll on Aging

caregivers-web-graphics_02

ANN ARBOR, MI – “They don’t get pay, recognition, or much of a break. They spend hours a day helping someone who may not even recognize them anymore.

“Now, a new poll gives a glimpse into the lives of the spouses, grown children and other family members and friends who act as caregivers for up to five million Americans with dementia.

“The strain of providing such care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions came through in the latest results from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, with 78 percent saying caregiving was stressful.

“But the poll also reveals the positive side of caregiving, with 85 percent of family caregivers calling it a rewarding experience. In fact, 45 percent rated it as ‘very rewarding’, compared to 19 percent who called it ‘very stressful’. However, 40 percent of those who called dementia caregiving very stressful also said it was not rewarding.

“Another potential benefit? Perspective. Ninety-one percent of the caregivers said they had thought about their own future care needs because of their experience taking care of someone with dementia.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety and to download the full report.

“In-Home Care Helps Seniors Manage Diabetes | November Is American Diabetes Month – Caring Right At Home

diabetes“Today, almost 30 million people in America are living with diabetes. Diabetes is actually a group of diseases; the most common by far is type 2 diabetes, in which the body has trouble using insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. The older we get, the more likely we are to develop type 2 diabetes.

“Doctors know that managing diabetes in older adults can be a tricky balancing act. If a senior’s blood sugar is too high, they can suffer damage to their heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes, bones and feet. Diabetes can lead to blindness, amputations and even death. Diabetes raises the risk of stroke, and causes problems with thinking and memory by decreasing the flow of blood in the brain.

“On the other hand, if a senior is taking too much medication, this can lead to hypoglycemia — blood sugar that is too low, which can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, confusion, personality changes and falls. So, the doctor will carefully monitor a senior’s blood sugar and adjust the dosage of medications accordingly.”

Read this article in its entirety at Caring Right At Home, click here.

 

“Cashing in on the donated dead | The Body Trade” – Reuters

“In the U.S. market for human bodies, almost anyone can dissect and sell the dead”

Part 1: When Americans leave their bodies to science, they are also donating to commerce: Cadavers and body parts, especially those of the poor, are sold in a thriving and largely unregulated market. Grisly abuses abound.

“LAS VEGAS – The company stacked brochures in funeral parlors around Sin City. On the cover: a couple clasping hands. Above the image, a promise: “Providing Options in Your Time of Need.”

“The company, Southern Nevada Donor Services, offered grieving families a way to eliminate expensive funeral costs: free cremation in exchange for donating a loved one’s body to “advance medical studies.”

“Outside Southern Nevada’s suburban warehouse, the circumstances were far from comforting. In the fall of 2015, neighboring tenants began complaining about a mysterious stench and bloody boxes in a Dumpster. That December, local health records show, someone contacted authorities to report odd activity in the courtyard.

“Health inspectors found a man in medical scrubs holding a garden hose. He was thawing a frozen human torso in the midday sun.”

Read this Reuters article in its entirety, click here.

“Tightening the Leash on Fake Service Dogs” – STATELine

service dog“Chris Slavin of Danvers, Massachusetts, with her 3-year-old service dog, Earle. Massachusetts is considering a bill that would crack down on people who misrepresent their pets as service dogs. Nineteen other states have adopted similar measures.© Courtesy of Chris Slavin

by Michael Ollove

“Chris Slavin was in an elevator a couple years ago with Earle, her yellow lab service dog, sitting calmly beside her wheelchair. The elevator doors opened and in walked a woman holding a purse. In the purse was a teacup poodle the color of apricots.

“The doors closed just as the poodle spotted Earle. That’s when the trouble started. In an instant, the poodle leaped from the purse, flung himself at Earle, and clamped his teeth into the bigger dog’s snout, leaving Earle bleeding onto the elevator floor.

“‘As soon as this occurred the woman said the poodle was a service dog,’ said Slavin, who has a severe spinal injury that requires use of the wheelchair. ‘She then said he wasn’t a service dog but an emotional support dog. Finally, she admitted he was a pet she just wanted to bring in the building with her.’

“Incidents like that one in Reading, Massachusetts, not far from where Slavin lives in Danvers, have spurred 19 states to enact laws cracking down on people who try to pass off their pets as service animals.”

Read this STATELine article in its entirety, click here.

 

“Short on staff: Nursing crisis strains U.S. hospitals” – Reuters

nursing shortage

Short on staff

A nationwide shortage is forcing U.S. hospitals to spend billions of dollars to recruit and retain nurses rather than risk patient safety or close down departments.

“MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Reuters) – A shortage of nurses at U.S. hospitals hit West Virginia’s Charleston Area Medical Center at the worst possible time.

“The non-profit healthcare system is one of the state’s largest employers and sits in the heart of economically depressed coal country. It faces a $40 million deficit this year as it struggles with fewer privately insured patients, cuts in government reimbursement and higher labor costs to attract a shrinking pool of nurses.

To keep its operations intact, Charleston Medical is spending this year $12 million on visiting or “travel” nurses, twice as much as three years ago. It had no need for travel nurses a decade ago.

“‘I’ve been a nurse 40 years, and the shortage is the worst I’ve ever seen it,’ said Ron Moore … “

Continue reading this Reuters article in its entirety, click here.

To see the entire graphic on the U.S. nursing shortage, click tmsnrt.rs/2xQ9Y0K

 

Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced recently.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Here is a fact sheet showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments.