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How to Talk to You Employer about Your Caregiver Support Needs

Caring for your dad is becoming more difficult. You’re exhausted and struggling to keep up with your workload. Maybe it’s impacting multiple areas of your life.

Majorities of respondents in a survey of North American working family caregivers, conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, report caregiving has put a strain on multiple aspects of their lives including:

Finances (60 percent)
Physical and mental health (74 percent and 81 percent, respectively)
Career (65 percent)
Ability to manage work/life balance (83 percent)

Not only do you like your job, you need it to pay the bills. So how do you broach the subject of family caregiving without the fear that you could be jeopardizing your job?

“Do you know I am taking care of my dad? I would love to tell you a little about him and what I am doing to care for him. I am looking for ways to ensure I am always doing the best I can at work and at home.”

“I hope you know how much I value my job. That’s why I would like to make sure that my work is covered in the event of a family emergency. I would love to learn about any services our company has that could help me. And then, it would be great to work with you to put together a plan.”

“My dad needs to spend a week in the hospital next month and I would like to be with him since I am his caregiver. I have jotted down some ideas for how I could cover my job and my work while I’m gone. Could I schedule some time to discuss this with you?”

“A flexible start time would help me so much in ensuring that my father’s needs are covered before I leave for work. I believe that would help me be more productive on the job. Can I count on the company’s understanding?”
Think about ways to make the most of the time you have with your boss.

It is important to suggest ideas that work for both your employer and you, and to provide an opportunity to test out your plan to make sure that it does, in fact, work.

 

Learn More at: DaughtersintheWorkplace.com

 

 

American Heart Month

 

 

 

 

What is American Heart Month?

American Heart Month, a federally designated event, is an ideal time to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved.

• The first American Heart Month, which took place in February 1964, was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson via Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963.

• The Congress, by joint resolution on that date, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.

• At that time, more than half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease.

• While American Heart Month is a federally designated month in the United States, it’s important to realize that cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year.

That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.

Nearly half of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease, a percentage that reflects recently updated guidelines for treating high blood pressure, according to a new report. High blood pressure – also known as hypertension – can lead to heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

“We’re becoming more and more aware of the importance of high blood pressure. Levels we used to think were normal we now associate with worse outcomes, and treating them makes a big difference,” said Dr. Emelia J. Benjamin, a professor of cardiology at Boston University and chair of the group that wrote the American Heart Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2019 Update”.

The report, published Thursday in the AHA journal Circulation, has been released annually since 1958 and is based on data from the National Institutes of Health and other government sources. This year’s report said 121.5 million adults in the U.S. – 48 percent based on 2016 figures – has cardiovascular disease. Heart disease was the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke was No. 5, the same ranking as in the previous year.

For more information, visit: www.heart.org/en/news/2019/01/31/cardiovascular-diseases-affect-nearly-half-of-american-adults-statistics-show

Embrace Your Aging with Aging Mastery Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans are living longer. America’s older population will double by 2030 and 20% of the population will be 65 years and older by 2050. Education and resources that empowers people to embrace their longevity and live their lives to the fullest is more important than ever. As children, we learn how to be successful adults, but no one teaches us how to age well. As a result, most are unprepared for this new stage in life.

Enter Aging Mastery Program.

Developed by National Council on Aging, the Aging Mastery Program® is a comprehensive evidence-based program that is designed to inform, encourage, and support older adults as they take steps to improve their lives and stay engaged in their communities. The program incorporates evidence-informed materials, expert speakers, group discussion, peer support, and small rewards to give participants the skills and tools they need to achieve measurable improvements in managing their health, remaining economically secure, and increasing social connectedness.

Core curriculum of this 10-session workshop includes topics such as healthy eating and hydration, sleep, financial fitness, advance planning, medication management, and healthy relationships. The program encourages individuals to make and maintain small, impactful changes to their behaviors to live a healthier, happier, and more secure life.

Ready to embrace your own aging? Registration for our upcoming Aging Mastery Program® is now open. We hope to see you there!

Shiloh Senior Center
7 Park Dr. Shiloh, IL 62269
Tuesday, March 5 – May 7, 10:00 – 12:00
To register, call 314-862-4859, ext. 24.

To learn about other wellness programs, contact AgeSmart at 618-222-2561.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention

 

Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions that impact older adults’ ability to live at home. Millions of adults are limited by arthritis in their ability to walk, climb stairs, bend, or kneel, or participate in regular social activities. Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese practice is gaining popularity as a way to fight off the crippling pain of arthritis and increase flexibility and strength without straining joints.

Its slow, gentle, fluid movements along with deep breathing, this mind-body practice can help reduce pain and stiffness exercising most of the muscles and joints throughout the body. It can also help you relax and improve your sense of well-being, which is important in helping you deal with pain. Tai Chi is also associated with improved balance and reduced risk of falls. It is safe for people of all ages and it’s especially beneficial to older adults who can’t perform more vigorous forms of physical activity.

If you or your loved ones are struggling with joint pain and limited mobility, there’s an excellent chance that Tai Chi can help.
To find a Tai Chi class near you, contact AgeSmart at 618-222-2561.

 

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AgeSmart Community Resources in on the Move!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Spring of 2019 AgeSmart Community Resources, the Local Area Agency on Aging will be moving to 801 West State Street in O’Fallon, IL. In the past ten years the programs AgeSmart provides for older adults, caregivers and veterans have expanded and they have outgrew their current space. The new location will better support the services and the people served by AgeSmart.

With the move AgeSmart will be adding an Education Center which will host a multitude of informative and interactive programs for the community. Some of these activities are health and wellness programs such as A Matter of Balance, a fall prevention program and Tai Chi others include New to Medicare seminars, Fraud Prevention, Aging Well and more. Activities will be listed on AgeSmart’s website www.AgeSmart.org.

The current home to AgeSmart is on the market. Check it out at: https://barbermurphy.com/properties/744-2365-Country-Rd-Shiloh-Illinois-62221-St-Clair-County/

Visit AgeSmart in the Spring of 2019!

Healthy Eating Tips During the Holidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating Tips During the Holidays

  • Eat breakfast or snacks earlier in the day and avoid the idea of saving carbs for the big feast.  If you skip meals, it will be harder to manage your blood sugar
  • Limit the number of servings of starchy foods on your plate
  • Choose fruits and vegetables served raw, grilled, or steamed.  Avoid veggies served in cream, gravies, and butter
  • Choose smaller portions of your favorite foods, eat slowly, and savor every bite
  • Take a walk after the meal–avoid sitting or lying down
  • Food safety should be part of any celebration involving food.  A good rule of thumb; Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.  Food left at room temperature for over two hours should be discarded
  • Drink plenty of water before and after a meal to help with digestion and overeating
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Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

 

Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association Celebrates its

100th Anniversary

A walk through the last 100 years.

Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association (SIVNA) officially began on January 1, 1918 with a staff of five nurses and sixty-three patients transferred from the St. Louis Visiting Nurse Association.  Cash on hand was $600 in borrowed funds and a contract with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company to provide nursing care to eligible policy-holders. Currently SIVNA has a staff of 92 and serve just over 10,000 people in 2017.

Providing nursing care to the sick and injured in their home regardless of race, creed or their ability to pay and working with community organizations to improve the health of its residents was what drove their work in 1918 and still does today.  The great influenza pandemic of 1918 enabled the agency to provide a valuable service to the community.   During that epidemic between 50 and 100 million people are thought to have died, representing as much as 5 percent of the world’s population.  That was the beginning of a long tradition of caring for the SIVNA.

Many of the projects SIVNA pioneered have become the function of state and local agencies such as the Child Welfare Program.  In their first year 3,188 infants and children to age 6 were weighed, measured and given nutritional counseling.  This was a joint program of SIVNA, Red Cross and a child specialist.  These later became the infant welfare conferences and were continued by the East Side Health District when it was organized in 1937.

SIVNA worked closely with the Tuberculosis Society in providing nursing care to the tuberculosis patients.  During 1921, these two organizations working with a physician began school health examinations.  Also in 1921, assisted by the State Board of Health, four clinics for crippled children were conducted.  A special fund was established by the Board to pay for braces, casts and other corrective appliances.

The East St. Louis Journal assisted the agency in establishing a milk and ice fund for indigent infants and children.  This fund was established in 1921 and continued through 1945. Dental health was another concern in the early years.  Queen’s Daughters assisted in the purchase and distribution of toothbrushes for every school child in East St. Louis.

The 50’s and 60’s brought new organizations and additional community services.  In 1951, SIVNA began to work with the Cancer Society which furnished funds for nursing care of cancer patients, dressings and supplies.  In 1959, the George Washington Hi-12 Club began their hospital bed project with 35 beds.  This project was carried on by a special committee of the club.

January 1959, the SIVNA Board gave their approval to serve as the parent organization for the proposed home care program.  January 1960, rehabilitative restorative nursing was initiated.  One nurse attended a special course at the Rusk Institute in New York an on July 1, 1961, a homemaker program began on a three-year pilot basis with private funding administered by a Board of Directors.  The coordination of health services, home-helper, or home health aide services has been an invaluable supplement to the nursing program. On July 1, 1966, SIVNA became a provider under Medicare.  SIVNA was instrumental in working with the Medicare program in the early years as problems were identified and worked through.

A grant under the Older Americans Act of 1965 made it possible to extend services to cover all of St. Clair County.  The Illinois Department of Public Aid, St. Clair County Board of Supervisors, together with agency personnel and equipment, enabled SIVNA to qualify for these funds.  The grant was for a three-year period and provided nursing care to patients age 60 and over.  This program officially began January 1, 1967.

Changes in funding and Medicare services indicated the need for a merger of the Home Care Association and SIVNA.  The Home Health Aide Service became certified July 1, 1967 and final details of the merger were completed January 1, 1968.

During the 70’s and 80’s, the agency continued its growth and expansion of programs.  The hospital coordinating role was initiated to establish a closer working relationship with hospitals, physicians, and patients.  Under Title III, Home Health Service was expanded to Monroe County and a homemaker program was initiated.

In 1983, through a contract with the Illinois Department on Aging, and the Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois (now AgeSmart Community Resources), the agency became responsible for the Care Coordination Unit (CCU) and Title III programs.  Assessments for homemaker, housekeeping, chore, daycare, and pre-screenings for nursing home placement are performed by SIVNA care coordinators in our service area.

December 1990, a contract was signed with the Illinois Department on Aging to follow up on victims of adult abuse.  SIVNA’s team of Senior Protective Services was one of the first in the state established to participate in the program.

In 1996, the Choices for Care Program was initiated by the Illinois Department on Aging to provide early counseling to individuals seeking long term care services before being discharged from the hospital.  SIVNA’s CCU has experienced care coordinators who explain all available alternatives to those in need of long term care, including services that can be provided at home. In 2000 SIVNA’s Care Coordination Unit was awarded additional territory by the Illinois Department on Aging. The CCU now serves the Illinois counties of St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, Washington, Bond and Clinton.

In 2013, SIVNA’s Senior Protective Services was expanded to serve disabled adults as well.  The program’s name was changed to Adult Protective Services.

Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association continues now as in years past to provide superior individualized care to residents in our service area.  SIVNA is uniquely able to meet all the needs of area residents who seek to maintain their independence and dignity. Congratulations on 100 years!

 

For more information about SIVNA visit their website at sivna.com or give them a call 618-236-5863

Shots for Safety- NIH

Shots and vaccinations aren’t just for children.
The following information is from the National Institute on Health and Aging

Shots for Safety

As you get older, your doctor may recommend vaccinations—shots—to help prevent certain illnesses and to keep you healthy.

Talk with your doctor about which of the following shots you need. And, make sure to protect yourself by keeping your vaccinations up to date.

 

Flu

Flu—short for influenza—is a virus that can cause fever, chills, sore throat, stuffy nose, headache, and muscle aches. Flu is very serious when it gets in your lungs.

The flu is easy to pass from person to person. The virus also changes over time, which means you can get it over and over again. That’s why most people (age 6 months and older) should get the flu shot each year.

Get your shot between September and November. Then, you may be protected when the winter flu season starts.

Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease is a serious infection that spreads from person to person by air. It often causes pneumonia in the lungs, and it can affect other parts of the body.

Most people age 65 and older should get a pneumococcal shot to help prevent getting the disease. It’s generally safe and can be given at the same time as  the flu shot. Usually, people only need the shot once. But, if you were younger than age 65 when you had the shot, you may need a second one to stay protected.

 

Tetanus and Diphtheria

Tetanus (sometimes called lockjaw) is caused by bacteria found in soil, dust, and manure. It enters the body through cuts in the skin.

Diphtheria is also caused by bacteria.

It is a serious illness that can affect the tonsils, throat, nose, or skin. It can spread from person to person.

Both tetanus and diphtheria can lead to death.

Getting a shot is the best way to keep from getting tetanus and diphtheria. Most people get their first shots as children. For adults, a booster shot every 10 years will keep you protected. Ask your doctor

if and when you need a booster shot.

Shingles

Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. If you had chickenpox, the virus is still in your body. It could become active again and cause shingles.

Shingles affects the nerves. Common symptoms include burning, shooting pain, tingling, and/or itching, as well

as a rash and fluid-filled blisters. Even when the rash disappears, the pain can stay.

The shingles vaccine is a safe and easy shot that may keep you from getting the disease. Most people age 60 and older should get vaccinated, even if you already had shingles or don’t remember having chickenpox. Protection from the shingles vaccine lasts at least 5 years.

 

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella

Measles, mumps, and rubella  are viruses that cause several flu-like

symptoms, but may lead to much more serious, long-term health problems, especially in adults.

The vaccine given to children to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella has made these diseases rare. If you don’t know if you’ve had the diseases or the shot, you can still get the vaccine.

Side Effects of Shots

Common side effects for all these shots are mild and include pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given.

Before getting any vaccine, make sure it’s safe for you. Talk with your doctor about your health history, including past illnesses and treatments, as well as any allergies.

It’s a good idea to keep your own shot record, listing the types and dates of your shots, along with any side effects or problems.

 

Shots for Travel

Check with your doctor or local health department about shots you will need if traveling to other countries.

Sometimes, a series of shots is needed. It’s best to get them at least 2 weeks before you travel. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, www.cdc.gov, or call the information line for international travelers at 1-800-232-4636.

 

For More Information about Shots and Vaccines

American Lung Association 1-800-548-8252 (toll-free) info@lung.org  (email) www.lung.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1-800-232-4636 (toll-free)

1-888-232-6438 (TTY/toll-free) cdcinfo@cdc.gov (email) www.cdc.gov

www.flu.gov

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

1-301-592-8573

nhlbiinfo@nhlbi.nih.gov (email)

www.nhlbi.nih.gov

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

1-866-284-4107 (toll-free)

1-800-877-8339 (TTY/toll-free) ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov  (email) www.niaid.nih.gov

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

1-800-352-9424 (toll-free) braininfo@ninds.nih.gov (email) www.ninds.nih.gov

 

For more information on health and aging, including free brochures about shingles and flu, contact:

National Institute on Aging Information Center

P.O. Box 8057

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8057

1-800-222-2225 (toll-free)

1-800-222-4225 (TTY/toll-free) niaic@nia.nih.gov  (email) www.nia.nih.gov www.nia.nih.gov/espanol

To order publications (in English or Spanish) or sign up for regular email alerts about new publications and other information from the NIA, go to www.nia.nih.gov/health.

Visit www.nihseniorhealth.gov, a senior- friendly website from the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine. This website has health and wellness information for older adults. Special features make it simple to use. For example, you can click on a button to make the type larger.

 

 

National Institute on Aging

 

 

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

 

 

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Let’s Add Chicken Soup Back to Medicine

“Traditional” and “non-traditional” medicines are often at odds with one another, and have been ever since the scientific method took hold in the Renaissance. In general, that has served humanity well. Science has slowly and steadily teased out the true causes of disease and their treatments, and pushed aside the myths and fabrications of pre-evidence-based health care.

But now, I believe, it is time for reconciliation. Rather than butting heads, “establishment” practitioners and technologies need to collaborate with so-called alternative or allied health providers. Doing so will deepen the care narrative and improve patient experiences.

Traditional medicine is based on scientific discovery. Where once, the ill and infirm would pay good money for Dr. Smith’s Magic Elixir only because Dr. Smith said it work, science helped determine if Dr. Smith’s cure-all really did cure all – or if the alcohol in the magic elixir just made you not care.

However, it is dangerous to think that science itself is a magic elixir. Scientific discovery is still fraught with bias and poor study design. And alternative medicine may not be alternative at all, just based on older teachings that, though not scientifically proven (usually because there is no money to be made by studying them), may be just as valid.
As we all know, patients have been returning to some of those teachings in droves over the past few decades. Take chicken soup. Grandmothers have been touting the healing properties of chicken soup for generations, and a recent study proved your grandmother was right. It really is a time for both the old and the new.

We also need to look at how we got to modern medicine. What was left behind may have been due to political or religious pressure rather than science. The use of silver in medicine is a good example. Once a common remedy in the physician’s black bag, it became too expensive with the advent of photography. Maybe we might come back to it?

In all things there needs to be a balance. Healing cannot occur without a compassionate understanding of the power of the mind. We cannot underestimate that power. I am disappointed that traditional medicine has called this “the placebo effect.” That demeans and diminishes this important healing power rather than really using the mind’s ability and desire to cure the body to its fullest advantage. After all, “science” has proved that 30% of people will have a beneficial effect from a treatment if they believe that it will help. Having healthcare that is in alignment with our belief system is important for that reason.

That’s why I believe we need to add allied health to our practices. We also need to do it right. I am not advocating moneymaking “medi-spas.” I am advocating for the use of real healing massage, real counseling about optimizing diet and exercise, real skin and body care that checks for moles along with providing facials. We need healing foods, healing music, healing movement.

I also believe that we need healing therapies that are specific to our individual heritages. Before humanity was so mobile, it was fine for local and traditional medicine to address those local or regional illnesses. But today, our culture is no longer local. It is multiethnic, multicultural and global. We should have – in fact, we need – care that reflects that diversity of needs and beliefs. We need care that is specific, not one-size-fits-all.

This is not to say that we should embrace all allied health practitioners out of hand. I think we should work with those who have proven their worth over time, culture and, yes, scientific inquiry. There is still a lot of bad, incorrect and downright dangerous information out there, and patients have access to it in unprecedented ways. Doctor Google has been wonderful because it allows patients to feel they have more control, to get a variety of opinions and multiple sources of data. It allows them to ask smart questions, to learn the language, to be involved and to process. However, in the Internet age of the three minute YouTube video or 140-character Tweet, they don’t get the whole story. There is no filter, no expert to confirm to them if that bump on their nose really is –according to whatever source they stumble upon – a spider bite, a pimple or cancer. That is why we must work with allied, alternative practitioners, not against them.

I also advocate for educating these allied health professionals in how to look for diagnostic clues, so that they can then alert the patient/client’s physician. Think about this: A massage therapist likely sees more of the patient than the primary care physician, and is thus more likely to notice darkening of the skin, loss of eyebrows, skin tags, varicosities, joint pain or other signs of disease.

So let’s make use of it. Let’s add chicken soup back to medicine.

AgeSmart Community Resources would like to thank Dr. Teresa L. Knight for this month’s article.  Dr. Knight is the CEO at Women’s Health Specialists of Saint Louis.

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