Caregivers—Don’t Forget Everyday Pleasures

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.
^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.
^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
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
^Remove the door lock, since the people might
lock themselves in.
^Lower the temperature of the hot water; this will
prevent scalding.
^Install night-lights.
^Keep unsafe items out of sight: iron, knives,
keys, hair dryers, curling irons, lighters, and
^Identify poisonous plants and eliminate them.
^Keep the basement door locked.
^Keep poisons in a locked cupboard.
^Install outdoor lighting.
^Install railings on porch or deck.
^Clear away debris.
^Disconnect a gas grill; never leave a grill
^Securely fence a swimming pool.
^Watch out for lawn furniture.
^Fill in holes in the ground.
^Install handrails.
^Use childproofing gates at top and bottom.
^Mark edges with grip tape.
^Install security locks (these allow a 3-inch
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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)
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
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
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
™Keep your perspective. Is the situation really
worth getting angry for?
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
™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.