Category Archives: Caregiving

“Extreme Heat Message and Precautions | Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Get Involved” – Administration for Community Living

go kit

Summer is almost here. While we prepare to enjoy the warm weather, it’s important to take precautions in case extreme heat strikes.

By evaluating your needs, you can plan for any heat related situation.

The following steps will prepare you to handle periods of extreme heat and the associated risks:

  • Consider how potential power outages during periods of extreme heat might affect you. Plan to be temporarily self-sufficient if the electricity goes out. It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or a pharmacy.
  • Identify the resources you use on a daily basis and what you can do if they are limited or not available. Make provisions for medications that require refrigeration, and plan arrangements to get to a cooling center, if needed.
  • Think about what you need to maintain your health, safety, and independence. Build A Kit that includes any specialized items such as extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, and medication. Also include non-perishable food and water, items for service animals and pets, a cooler, and anything else you might need.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, especially those who spend much of their time alone, or are more likely to be affected by extreme heat.
  • Be watchful for signs of heat stroke and dehydration. These include shallow breathing, a lack of perspiration, dizziness, dry mouth, and headaches.

The HHS emPOWER Map 2.0 features the monthly total of Medicare beneficiaries with electricity-dependent equipment claims at the U.S. state, territory, county, and zip code level to identify the areas and populations that may be impacted and at risk for prolonged power outages.

For more information about extreme heat preparedness and tools, go to ready.gov/heat and cdc.gov.

SOURCE: Administration for Community Living

Friday Wrap-Up, May 19, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

NOTE: See this notice in the newsletter about a “seed grant of $15,000 and ongoing technical assistance to create or expand support services to grandparents and other relatives raising children. Any not-for-profit organization can apply for the program, including aging service providers, county agencies, and health care providers. June 15 application due date.”

Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

“Severe Shortage Of Home Health Workers Robs Thousands Of Proper Care” – Kaiser Health News

caregiver shortageRenzo Viscardi (center), pictured with his parents, Anthony Viscardi and Cheryl Dougan, relies on round-the-clock care from home health aides. (Courtesy of Cheryl Dougan)

by Judith Graham

“Acute shortages of home health aides and nursing assistants are cropping up across the country, threatening care for people with serious disabilities and vulnerable older adults.

“In Minnesota and Wisconsin, nursing homes have denied admission to thousands of patients over the past year because they lack essential staff, according to local long-term care associations.

“In New York, patients living in rural areas have been injured, soiled themselves and gone without meals because paid caregivers aren’t available, according to testimony provided to the state Assembly’s health committee in February.

“In Illinois, the independence of people with severe developmental disabilities is being compromised … ”

Click here to read this Kaiser Health News article in its entirety.

Vicki Hoak, chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association reinforced the issues in this article in her presentation at the May 18 Lancaster County 50+ EXPO. She is the cross-training presenter at the Lebanon County Link partners’ cross-training meeting on June 2.

  • 02 June 2017 – Pennsylvania Homecare Association, Vicki Hoak and Ames Home Services, Bill Ames – This meeting will be held at Ames Home Services, 240 Hinkle Road, Annville, PA 17003.

“Understanding depression | Caregiver: get the facts” – SAMHSA

understanding depression

Click on the graphic to download this important information.

“How to Grandparent a Special Needs Child” – next avenue

by Kate Swenson

“I called you today, Mom and Dad. You knew today was the day. The day of the appointment. The appointment that would either relieve all our fears or change the future. You knew the doctors and teachers were throwing around words like ‘autistic’ and ‘developmentally delayed.’ You knew I refused to believe it. You refused, too (and I appreciate that more than you will ever know).

“Our Family Was Changed Forever

“”We told each other for a long time that he was fine. We reassured each other daily. He was definitely a late talker, possibly even a late bloomer. We found comfort in the fact that boys often develop slower than girls. We shared stories of other toddlers who flapped their arms and lined up toys (which often are early signs of autism) and turned out fine. But yet, our hopes were wavering. The doubt was building.

“We got the answer today.”

Click here to read this next avenue article in its entirety.

“A crisis in home health care: What can be done?” – MarketPlace

Subsidized Long-Term Care Supporters See Opportunity With Health Care BillWe hear from listeners about their experiences giving and receiving home health care. – Joe Raedle/Getty Images – SOURCE: MarketPlace

by 

“Earlier this week, we asked you to tell us about your experiences in the home health care industry.

“The reason? There’s a severe lack of home health aides across the U.S., and the problem is likely to grow worse. According to a recent Washington Post article:

“‘The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that an additional 1.1 million workers of this kind will be needed by 2024 — a 26 percent increase over 2014.’”

Click here to read this report and listen to an audio report.

Wolf Administration Launches Health and Human Services Unification Informational Website

Harrisburg, PA — On May 2, the Wolf Administration announced the launch of a website that details the proposed unification of the departments of Health, Human Services, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging into the new Department of Health and Human Services.

“Delivering public health, social, and human services to Pennsylvanians in the most efficient and effective way requires innovation, creative thinking, and practical solutions,” Governor Wolf said. “That’s why I proposed integrating the departments of Aging, Drug & Alcohol Programs, Health, and Human Services into a new, unified Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).”

Continue reading this news release, click here.

Click here to go to the HHS Unification Website: https://www.governor.pa.gov/health-and-human-services/

HHS Unification – a website explaining the particulars.

Earlier today, the Governor’s Office launched its website for all stakeholders to learn more about Governor Wolf’s initiative to create a unified Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  On this site, you can review the draft legislation, dive deep into the HHS draft organizational charts, and hear from the prime sponsors in the House and Senate. The website also includes a way for all stakeholders to provide feedback.

HHS Unification Website

Veterans Choice Program Law changes

President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that will dramatically expand a program at the Department of Veterans Affairs that lets patients seek care from private doctors if they want to bypass the troubled VA system.” – The Washington Examiner

VA choice fact sheetClick on the graphic above to download the two-page .pdf file about the Veterans Choice program. Info Sheet shared by Dale Derr, Berks County Veterans Affairs director.

“Breaking stereotypes: Spotlight on male family caregivers

A new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute reports that the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey found that 40% of family caregivers in the United States are men. The report Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers describes who the male family caregivers are, the range of caregiving tasks they provide, and their experiences and challenges.

male family caregivers