1 Office for Aging August 2004 Caregiver Corner . . . Ideas and information for people caring for others 778-2411 Home Safety for a Person Living with Dementia (As found in the pamphlet “Blueprint For Home Safety” from Novartis) There are many steps that can be taken to minimize the risks in the home for a person living with dementia. Below is a room-by-room guide: Dining Room ^Block off furniture that contains breakable glass, such as a china cabinet. ^Make sure all draperies and upholstery are flameresistant. ^Use plastic rather than ceramic dishes. Living Room ^Tack down throw rugs - they can be slippery. ^Secure or remove knick - knacks. ^Watch out for rocking chairs - they tip easily. ^Cover sharp corners on furniture. ^Tuck away extension cords. Kitchen ^Install an on-off switch in the back of the stove. ^Remove the knobs from a gas stove. ^Store all countertop appliances out of reach. ^Forgo waxing the kitchen floor. ^Install a childproofing latch on refrigerator door. Bathroom ^Apply decals to shower floor to prevent slipping. ^Use a skid-resistant floor mat or consider carpeting to soak up water. ^Install a lock on medicine cabinet. ^Install handrails and grab bars around tub and Contents 1. Home Safety for a Person Living with Dementia ....1 2. Caregivers Chat........................................................2 3. Evening Discussion Group.......................................2 4. Who Manages the Money in Your Family? .............2 5. Alzheimer’s 101 .......................................................2 6. “Good Morning Broome!” .......................................2 7. Photos from the May 13th Caregiver Retreat............3 8. Caregiver Battles – Tips to Temper Your Flame .....3 9. A Statistical Profile of Older Americans..................3 toilet. ^Remove the door lock, since the people might lock themselves in. ^Lower the temperature of the hot water; this will prevent scalding. Bedroom ^Install night-lights. ^Keep unsafe items out of sight: iron, knives, keys, hair dryers, curling irons, lighters, and matches. ^Identify poisonous plants and eliminate them. Basement ^Keep the basement door locked. ^Keep poisons in a locked cupboard. Outside ^Install outdoor lighting. ^Install railings on porch or deck. ^Clear away debris. ^Disconnect a gas grill; never leave a grill unattended. ^Securely fence a swimming pool. ^Watch out for lawn furniture. ^Fill in holes in the ground. Stairs ^Install handrails. ^Use childproofing gates at top and bottom. ^Mark edges with grip tape. Windows ^Install security locks (these allow a 3-inch opening). 2 Office for Aging Caregivers’ Chat The next Caregivers’ Chat will be Monday, August 2nd from 1-3 PM at the Stay Healthy Center, which is located in the Oakdale Mall near Sears. Caregivers’ Chat is an informal discussion group for people who are concerned about an older friend or relative. The group is coordinated by Andrea Wright, MSW, Caregiver Services Case Manager. We meet the first Monday of each month at the Stay Healthy Center. Topics will be chosen by the members of the group. You are welcome to bring a snack or beverage with you and enjoy the company of other caregivers. (And before or after the meeting, you can do some shopping, too!) August 2004 who are new to the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and want to know more about it. Alzheimer’s Association Southern Tier Regional Office 401 Hayes Avenue Endicott, New York Tuesday August 17th from 3-4:30 PM If you have any questions, please feel free to call Andrea at 778-2411. Please RSVP to the Southern Tier Regional Office of the Alzheimer’s Association at (607) 785-7852 if you plan to attend a session or for more information. Materials are provided and they need to make sure there is an adequate supply available. An Office for Aging Caregiver Services Staff person will also be present to share information on community services that may be of assistance to you in your caregiver role. Evening Discussion Group “Good Morning Broome!” The Evening Discussion Group will not meet in August. We will resume the group on Wednesday, September 8th. Our program will be “What Every Caregiver Needs to Know about Legal Issues and the Elderly”. Our presenter will be attorney Martin Kane. The group will continue to be held at the Broome County Public Library. Please note: starting in September the group will meet from 68 PM due to a change in Library hours. Social connections are an important part of healthy aging, and many seniors have ways of staying connected. But not all seniors are able to take part in activities outside of their homes. Many seniors do not have family members living close by. Some seniors would appreciate more social contact and support. Who Manages the Money in Your Family? If you are a woman who has had to take over the family checkbook and bill paying, you may want to attend “Basics of Money Management for Women” on Wednesday, September 22nd from 2-4 PM at the Broome County Library. More information on this program will be found in September’s Caregiver Corner. Alzheimer’s 101 Alzheimer’s 101 is an opportunity to learn the basics about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. The program is designed for caregivers and friends A new program administered by RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) has been designed to promote social connections and safety for seniors. It is called “Good Morning Broome!” and it is a telephone reassurance program for older Broome County residents who live alone and are at risk for falls, accidents, or social isolation. RSVP is sponsored by Catholic Charities of Broome County; the program is open to persons of all backgrounds. Each participant in the program receives a telephone call from a trained volunteer between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Most calls will consist of a cheerful greeting and a “How are you doing?” If a participant fails to answer on the third attempt, the volunteer then calls a predetermined emergency contact, who checks on the person. If there is still no response, local law enforcement will be called to check on the situation. 3 Office for Aging August 2004 The service will also be used to deliver information. For example, if there is a weather alert the participants should be aware of, a message will be passed along through the volunteers. To learn more about Good Morning Broome! call RSVP at 231-0726. Photos from the May 13th Caregiver Retreat What did cured ham actually have? How is it that we put a man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to out wheels on luggage? Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up every two hours? If you drink Pepsi at work in the Coke factory, will they fire you? Why are you in a movie, but on television? Lorraine Hunt and Jeanne Stracuzzi from the Office for Aging Nutrition Unit prepare for “Healthy Snacks for Seniors and Caregivers.” Why do people pay to go up in tall buildings and put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground? How come we choose from just two people for President and fifty for Miss America? Why do doctors leave the room while you change? (They see you naked anyway?) Why is “bra” singular and “panties” plural? Caregiving Battles One the left, Mary Anne Corasiniti, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association – Central New York Chapter. On the right, Mary Jayne Westbrook – United Health Services. Things to Ponder (As found in the AARP Newsletter, June 2004) How…what…why…if…etc. Can you cry under water? How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered? If money doesn’t grow on trees then why do banks have branches? Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round? Why do you have to “put your two cents in”…but it’s only a penny for your thoughts? Why does a round pizza come in a square box? Tips to Temper Your Flame (Above found at www.caregiving.com.) In the midst of caregiving you may be tempted to let anger get the best of you. Before that happens try one of the tips below. Leave the room. Walking away for even a few minutes can help. Take a break. If anger is your prominent emotion, you need some time off. Ask a family member or friend to take over for an evening or an afternoon. Take advantage of community services, such as home care, adult day care, support groups and other caregiver support programs. Laugh. Instead of fuming, try laughing. Appreciate the humor in your everyday experiences. Keep your perspective. Is the situation really worth getting angry for? 4 Office for Aging Understand your limits as a caregiver, as well as the limits of your care recipient. Count to ten. This is not a new idea, but it is still effective. Making yourself think about the anger, will lead to better success in letting go of it. If you need to talk about your situation or would like information about community services, call Caregiver Services at 778-2411. A Statistical Profile of Older Americans In 2002 the older population, people 65 and older, numbered 35.6 million. By the year 2030 this number will double to about 71.5 million. Members of minority groups will represent 26.4% of this total. Most older persons have at least one chronic condition, many have multiple conditions. Of those Broome County Office for Aging 44 Hawley Street PO Box 1766 Binghamton, NY 13902-1766 Your August 2004 “Caregiver Corner” August 2004 having chronic conditions, most are on one or more prescription medicines. About one in every eight people or 12.3 percent of the population is an older American. Over 2 million people celebrated their 65th birthday in 2002. Persons reaching 65 can expect to live an additional 18.1 years. Older women outnumber older men. Older men are more likely to be married. Over 31% of older people live alone. The percent of the population that is over 85 is expected to increase to 9.6 million in 2030. The median income for older persons in 2002 was $19,436 for males and $11, 406 for females. The major source of income for older people is Social Security. About 7.6 million older people lived below the poverty level in 2002. Caregiver Services and its publication, “Caregiver Corner” are supported by a grant from the New York State Office for the Aging.
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