Category Archives: Caregiving

Memories of Glenn Campbell in the Friday Wrap-Up, August 11, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week 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.

In this week’s newsletter, the Secretary remembers Glenn Campbell and points to a Website begun by Campbell’s wife, Kim: “www.CareLiving.org, a website and social movement designed to provide information, inspiration, encouragement, empowerment, and hope to caregivers to care for themselves while caring for others.”

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

 

 

“Caregiving Is Hard Enough. Isolation Can Make It Unbearable.” – The New York Times

caregiving isolation.jpgMarcy Sherman-Lewis is the primary caregiver for her husband, Gene Lewis, who has Alzheimer’s.” Credit Christopher Smith for The New York Times

by Paula Spahn

“For years, Marcy Sherman-Lewis went to a beauty salon in St. Joseph, Mo., every few weeks for a haircut and highlights.

“It had become something of an ordeal to prepare her husband, Gene Lewis, for this outing; he has Alzheimer’s disease, at 79, and helping him shower and dress, insert hearing aids and climb into the car was a very slow process.

“But she could no longer leave him at home alone. And once at the salon, ‘he just sat, watched TV, slept — didn’t bother anybody,’ said Ms. Sherman-Lewis, 62. Her stylist kindly trimmed his hair, too.

“Then last month, the salon owner took Ms. Sherman-Lewis aside. ‘Marcy, he makes my other patrons awfully uncomfortable,’ she said.”

Click here to continue reading this article at The New York Times.

“Alone and untrained, a mother becomes nurse for her daughter with disabilities” – The Boston Globe

“Noelia Ferreira wants her Abi, born with a rare genetic defect, to know comfort and joy and never an institution.”

Abi“At 6:30 in the morning, Noelia woke her daughter, changed her diaper, and gave her a sponge bath.” – Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

The yelp from the baby monitor startled Noelia Ferreira from a shallow sleep. It took five seconds, maybe, to bolt across the hallway to her daughter’s room, her movements in the dead of night fluid, automatic.

“Abi was lying on her side, her limbs outstretched and rigid in the clutch of another seizure. Noelia leaned in close so their faces were inches apart, her long hair falling around them like a curtain. She gripped Abi’s hands in hers.

“‘It’s OK,’ she promised, making her voice strong. ‘You’re OK now.’

“In sleep, Abi resembled any 15-year-old, with her unruly curls, smooth skin, and slender limbs. But a rare prenatal glitch — a missing piece of genetic code — had interfered with her development. Abi’s body didn’t work the way it should. She could not speak or walk. She was partly blind and deaf, and it was hard to know how much she understood. Her mother fed her through a tube.”

Click here to continue reading this Boston Globe article.

 

18 Enlightening facts about caregivers … and why we should appreciate them more – Association for Long Term Care Planning

18 caregiver facts

http://www.altcp.org/

Friday Wrap-Up, July 28, 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.

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

“Workers Who Give Care To The Homebound Often Can’t Afford To Get Their Own” – Kaiser Health News

home-health-1-770“Celeste Thompson, 57, a home care worker in Missoula, Mont., examines a pill bottle in her home. Thompson cares for her husband, and worries that if she loses her Medicaid coverage, she won’t be able to afford to see a doctor. (Mike Albans for KHN)”

“For more than two decades, Celeste Thompson, 57, a home care worker in Missoula, Mont., had not had regular contact with a doctor — no annual physicals and limited sick visits. She also needed new glasses.

“Like many others who work in the lower rungs of the health care system, she has worked hard to keep her clients healthy by feeding them, dressing them and helping them navigate chronic conditions.

“But because of the low wages and the hourly structure of this industry — which analysts estimate is worth nearly $100 billion annually and projected to grow rapidly — workers like Thompson often don’t have health insurance. Many home health agencies, 80 percent of which are for-profit, don’t offer coverage, or their employees don’t consistently clock enough hours to be eligible. They generally earn too much to qualify for public aid but too little to afford the cost of premiums.

“‘It’s a social justice issue.’”

Read this Kaiser Health News article in its entirety, click here.

“‘Mom, I didn’t steal your dentures’: Coping when dementia turns to delusion” – Philly.com

mom“Hallucinations, delusions and paranoia are features of dementia as well as memory loss.” – Philly.com

“Many people think of dementia solely as a condition that causes memory loss.

“That’s one reason family caregivers may be so surprised and upset when older relatives start having major psychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions or paranoia, even though they are common features of dementia.

“Another reason, said Linda Shumaker, a nurse who works with older adults with behavioral health problems, is that stigma has kept advocates and caregivers from talking openly about psychiatric problems that can increase stress and result in earlier placement in a nursing home.

SHUMAKER Linda Shumaker is a nurse who works with older adults with behavioral health problems.

“Shumaker, who works as outreach coordinator for the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition, a Harrisburg-based group (and a partner entity with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources) seeking better care for elders with mental illness and addictions, was a speaker … ”

Read this article in its entirety at Philly.com – click here.

 

“Caregiver stress can shorten dementia patients’ lives” – Futurity.org

caregiver_man

“People with dementia may actually die sooner if their family caregivers are experiencing mental stress, research shows.

“Researchers tracked the mortality of 176 patients with neurodegenerative diseases that are corrosive to brain function from 2007 to 2016. They also measured the mental health of the family members who took care of them.

“The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that patients tended by caregivers with depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of mental illness typically died about 14 months sooner than those being looked after by caregivers in good mental health.”

Read this article in its entitety at Futurity.org, click here.

“More Than Memory: Coping With The Other Ills Of Alzheimer’s” – NPR

“many of the symptoms he experiences have clear links to the disease — things like rage, paranoia, depression and incontinence.”

alzheimers changesGreg O’Brien and his wife, Mary Catherine, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Both say the disease has changed their marriage. – Amanda Kowalski for NPR

by Rebecca Hersher

“The first problem with the airplane bathroom was its location.

“It was March. Greg O’Brien and his wife, Mary Catherine, were flying back to Boston from Los Angeles, sitting in economy seats in the middle of the plane. ‘We’re halfway, probably over Chicago,’ Greg remembers, “and Mary Catherine said, “Go to the bathroom.”’

‘It just sounded like my mother,’ Greg says. So I said ‘no.’

“Mary Catherine persisted, urging her husband of 40 years to use the restroom. People started looking at them. ‘It was kind of funny,’ says Greg.

“Mary Catherine was more alarmed than amused.”

Read this NPR article in its entirety here.

Link partners increase in each Service Area 13 County

NEW LINK PARTNERS

During the past month, the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Berks – Lancaster – Lebanon Service Area continued to expand its partners’ network in each county.

These are new partners in the Berks County Partners Network:

See the complete list of partners for each county:

If you are an agency, entity or organization that provides services for persons age 60 and over; persons with a disability; veterans; family members and caregivers, consider aligning with one or more of these counties as a partner with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources, contact us for information. There are no fees or charges to be a Link partner.

Call or text 717.380.9714 or email blllink@mail.com to let us know you want to become a Link partner.