Posts Tagged ‘Aging in Place’

Tips for Avoiding Elderly Heat Stroke & Exhaustion

Posted on: July 5th, 2017 by Jamie

I think it’s safe to say that summer has finally arrived here in Vermont and New Hampshire. Hot weather is dangerous, and seniors are particularly prone to its threat. Elderly heat stroke and heat exhaustion are a real problem. Please check on your older family, friends, and neighbors, especially if they do not have access to air conditioning. summer fan

There are several reasons for elderly heat vulnerability. People’s ability to notice changes in their body temperature decreases with age. Many seniors also have underlying health conditions that make them less able to adapt to heat. Furthermore, many medicines that seniors take can contribute to dehydration. Simple precautions are all that’s needed to keep safe. Here are some guidelines for keeping safe in hot weather:

  1. Drink Plenty of Liquids: Dehydration is the root of many heat related health problems. Drink plenty of water or juice, even if you’re not thirsty. But remember to avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, as they can actually contribute to dehydration.
  2. Wear Appropriate Clothes: When it’s hot out, wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat.
  3. Stay Indoors During Midday Hours: During periods of extreme heat, the best time to run errands or be outdoors is before 10 am or after 6 pm, when the temperature tends to be cooler.
  4. Take it Easy: Avoid exercise and strenuous activity, particularly outdoors, when it’s very hot out.
  5. Watch the Heat Index: When there’s a lot of moisture in their air (high humidity), the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating is impaired. The heat index factors humidity and temperature to approximate how the how the weather really feels. The current heat index can be found on all popular weather websites, and is also usually announced on local TV and radio weather reports during periods of warm weather.
  6. Seek Air-conditioned Environments: Seniors whose houses aren’t air-conditioned should consider finding an air-conditioned place to spend time during extreme heat. The mall, library or movie theater are all popular options. During heat waves, many cities also set up “cooling centers,” air-conditioned public places, for seniors and other vulnerable populations. Seniors without convenient access to any air-conditioned place might consider a cool bath or shower.
  7. Know the Warning Signs of Heat-related Illness: Dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting and breathing problems are all warning signs that help should be sought immediately.
  8. In addition to heat stroke, heat can kill by worsening existing chronic health conditions. For example, for the many Vermonters over the age of 65 who have a chronic condition—such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes—temperatures over 87°F can put them at a higher risk of life-threatening illness. People who feel unwell or faint in hot weather are also vulnerable to serious or deadly falls. People with chronic conditions may not show typical signs of heat illness, but rather worsened symptoms of their condition. If you or someone you know has a potentially dangerous chronic condition and begins to feel sick during a hot day, pay very close attention. If you have concerns about a person’s condition, dial 9-1-1 or get immediate medical attention.

Spotlight On Our Caregivers-Jillian

Posted on: February 8th, 2017 by Jamie

Spotlight-JillianArmistead Senior Care continues to shine a spotlight on our incredible Caregivers who give their hearts and souls to our clients each and every day. They are out in the community making a difference by sharing their compassion and skills in caring for our clients and allowing them to age in place. Today’s spotlight belongs to Jillian.

Although Jillian has only been with Armistead since June, she is a highly motivated young woman. She has recently earned her LNA license and has applied to enter nursing school this fall. Jillian comes from a family of nurses and ultimately, she would like to become a Certified Geriatric Nurse.

 

Jillian has strong family roots and deep connections with her extended family; respect and compassion were fostered from a young age. She fondly recalls spending Sundays with a beloved family member in her nineties.

 

Jillian was an important part of her Thetford Academy basketball team, culminating with the team winning the Vermont Division III State Championships in her senior year. With a love for sports and coaching, she enrolled at Coastal Carolina University to study Business and Sports Management. Ultimately, she decided that wasn’t for her and she returned home geared towards a new path.

 

Jillian loves to cook and bake, for both her family and her clients. She bakes a lot of muffins and scones for all and enjoys making stews and chowders. Jillian goes above and beyond for her clients; she incorporates servings for them when cooking at home. She loves arriving with food her clients especially like as it puts a smile on their faces, which in turn, puts a smile on Jillian’s.

 

When not cooking, baking, studying, walking with her two dogs, and Caregiving, Jillian also volunteers as a youth basketball coach. This season she will coach 5th and 6th grade boys on the school level plus 5th and 6th girls in the AAU basketball league.

 

Jillian really loves her job and her clients. She enjoys meeting people, hearing about their life experiences and learning from them. The most important qualities of a Caregiver according to Jillian are patience, understanding, and flexibility because every client is different and every day is different.

 

We are grateful for Jillian’s dedication and skill as an Armistead Caregiver. Thank you, Jillian!

Spotlight on Our Caregivers-Maria

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 by Jamie

caregiver heartArmistead Senior Care would like to shine a spotlight on our incredible Caregivers who give their hearts and souls to our clients each and every day.

 

Maria has been with Armistead since 2014 and feels that the most important qualities of a Caregiver are patience, empathy, and respect. She exhibits all of these important qualities while meeting and developing relationships with her clients-learning about their lives, providing assistance to them and honoring who they are now.

 
Her father was in the United States Information Agency, therefore Maria and her siblings grew up in such places as Thailand, Germany, and Iceland. She graduated from high school in Tokyo, Japan. In the U.S., Maria has lived in Boston, MA and on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park where she graduated with a degree in Dance.

 
After college, Maria used her degree at the Kids Moving Company in Bethesda, Maryland. Her focus was on creative movement, motor development and dance with children two to 12 years of age. Maria has also been a Para Educator/Reading Tutor in elementary through high school settings. She has also worked with the developmentally disabled using visual motor integration.

 
Maria is currently enrolled in the Master of Science Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (PCMH) through Southern New Hampshire University. Ultimately, she is interested in helping people living through trauma.

 
In addition to her Caregiving with Armistead and her schoolwork, Maria is a volunteer with the Vermont chapter of NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness where she helps run support groups and trains new facilitators.

 
During her limited free time, Maria enjoys walking and doing yoga for her mind and body. She carves time out of her busy schedule to spend time with special friends and family. Maria and her husband are grateful their son, a UVM graduate student in Applied Math and daughter, a Biochemistry major at Norwich University are still living at home, at least for the time being.

 

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We wish Maria all the best with her studies; we know she will make an excellent Counselor. For now, we are very lucky to have her and we are grateful for Maria’s dedication, skill and compassion as an Armistead Caregiver.

 

Thank you Maria!

 

Spotlight on Our Caregivers-Karey

Posted on: November 10th, 2016 by Jamie

CaregiverIn conjunction with National Family Caregiver Month, Armistead Senior Care would like to shine a spotlight on our incredible Caregivers who give their hearts and souls to our clients each and every day. Many started out by being a family caregiver and now they are out in the community making a difference by sharing their compassion and skills in caring for our clients and allowing them to age in place.

 

Karey has been with Armistead Senior Care for seven years and has been a Caregiver for nine. She enjoys getting to meet different people and getting to know them. Karey likes to be out and about, traveling to client’s homes and bringing them places. She really enjoys the connections that she makes with her clients. She considers the flexible schedule a bonus.
Important qualities of a Caregiver according to Karey are kindness, respectfulness, and compassion. She works hard to portray these qualities while working, being mindful of treating others the way she would want to be treated if she were in their position.
Karey grew up on a dairy farm in Craftsbury, Vermont, the youngest of five. She went on to study Elementary Education at the University of Vermont and then Lyndon State and ultimately received a Secretarial Specialist degree from Champlain College. She raised five children and is proud to have home schooled her children, before it was so popular.
Her previous careers have included teacher, postal worker, and real estate assistant and agent. She was the administrative assistant to the Executive Director of the Vermont Mozart Festival for over six years-she enjoyed many wonderful concerts! Karey has been a Mary Kay consultant for 20 years; she attends Mary Kay New England Career Conferences and the Mary Kay Seminar in Dallas, Texas.
Karey’s mom had a gift shop and it was here that Karey acquired a love for quilts. She took a class and made her first quilt in 1986 and hasn’t stopped since. She is a member (and former President) of the Champlain Valley Quilting Guild. Karey and the Guild often do special quilt projects such as “Community Quilts” which are donated to agencies such as our local Ronald McDonald House, Lund Family Center, Hope Lodge and more. They have also donated to the Quilts of Valor Foundation whose mission is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

 

The Guild also creates and donates quilts for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s. These are referred to as activity, fidget, sensory or lap quilts. Karey generously brings them in so we can offer them to Armistead clients. The Guild also takes bus trips together that involve quilting; they have traveled to Gettysburg, PA, Paducah, KY (home of the National Quilt Museum, the largest quilt and fiber art museum in the world) and Lancaster County, PA to name a few of their destinations.

karey-quilt2Alzheimer's Quiltskarey-quilt-4

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One of Karey’s most treasured creations was a lovely partnership. Her mom was more of a seamstress who also did applique. When her mom passed away, Karey found stacks of appliqued butterfly squares which were made out of scraps from flour and sugar sacks. Karey turned her mom’s squares into a quilt for herself and made one for her sister too.

 

Karey was our Vermont October GEM award winner. We are grateful for Karey’s dedication and skill as an Armistead Caregiver. Thank you Karey!               Spotligh

November is National Family Caregivers Month

Posted on: November 8th, 2016 by Jamie

November is National Family Caregivers Month

 
Family CaregiversBeing a Family Caregiver is hard work. I know this from experience. Family Caregiving is both deeply satisfying and stressful. It can be physically demanding and emotionally draining. You are with a loved one but often feel alone. Then there is the financial piece: this is not a paid position and there are no sick days or health insurance. When providing this unpaid care, your own financial future is at risk since zero contributions are going into social security or a retirement fund. Family Caregiving is a full-time invisible job, and for many, it may be in addition to working another full-time job.

 
I want you to know that you are not alone. There are resources for you, ways to connect with others, and advocacy happening on your behalf. I am hopeful that things will get better, and as a nation we will come to embrace the hard work of Caregiving. I hope that you can take care of you. One simple thing that was helpful to me was to take a walk, every day if possible and sometimes with a friend. Here are three resources, in their own words, you need to know about. Please carve out the time to explore them.
Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.

 

Caregiver Action Network is the organization that chooses the theme for National Family Caregivers Month annually and spearheads celebration of NFC Month nationally.

Celebrating Family Caregivers during NFC month enables all of us to:

• Raise awareness of family caregiver issues

• Celebrate the efforts of family caregivers

• Educate family caregivers about self-identification

• Increase support for family caregivers

The theme for National Family Caregivers Month November 2016 is “Take Care to Give Care”.

 

Next is The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. Their mission: Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance is dedicated to improving quality of life for families and their care recipients through research, innovation, and advocacy.

 
And last but not least is the Family Caregiver Alliance. Founded in the late 1970s, Family Caregiver Alliance was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home. It began as a small task force of families and community leaders in San Francisco who came together to create support services for those struggling to provide long term care for a loved one who did not “fit” into traditional health systems: adults suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury and other debilitating disorders. The diagnoses were different, but the families shared common challenges: isolation, lack of information, few community resources, and drastic changes in family roles.

 
The services, education programs, and resources FCA provides are designed with caregivers’ needs in mind and offer support, tailored information, and tools to manage the complex demands of caregiving. FCA, as a public voice for caregivers, shines light on the challenges caregivers face daily and champions their cause through education, services, and advocacy.

 
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