Reality TV Tackles New Ground

arspilka June 30th, 2010, 6:59 PM
Abby R. Spilka, Hospice Volunteer
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Prior to the June 22 episode of “Deadliest Catch,” I had, if you’ll pardon the pun, never caught an episode. When I heard in February that the captain of one of the crab boats had a stroke and subsequently died a couple of weeks later, I wondered how and if it would be handled on the show. I was drawn to the episode, the first in a four-episode-arc that promises to show the struggles of Captain Harris’ family, for one simple reason — as Clark Bunting, the president and general…

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Babies and Summer Heat

smcternan June 28th, 2010, 3:24 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Well I guess the 95 degree weather outside is proof that summer is here, and it is going to be a hot one. As we are coming out of June with record temperatures and now into July with more of the same, it is important to remember that children and adults can suffer from heat stroke and sunburns. Use caution.

Here are some quick suggestions:

  • Avoid being outside between 10AM–3PM as the sun is at its’ peak.
  • Hydrate well, you and your children need to keep water on hand and drink it!
  • Newborns should…
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Country Fair Meets Carnival

dstricoff June 28th, 2010, 10:21 AM
Debbie Stricoff, Dir., Adult Day Care Services
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One of the joys of the summer months is going to county fairs and carnivals around our area. Due to physical and cognitive limitations as well as issues with transportation, many of our seniors can’t get out to these events. When our seniors can’t get out to do the things they once enjoyed, we bring it to them here at our center.

Last Friday, we had an exciting, fun-filled day — Country Fair Meets Caribbean Carnival! We wanted to bring in elements of summer fun in the United States as well…

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Home Safety Month – Not Just At Home…

dstricoff June 24th, 2010, 7:54 AM
Debbie Stricoff, Dir., Adult Day Care Services
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June is Home Safety Month and it’s a good time to look around your surroundings to see what you can do to improve safety in your home. Are there unsecured rugs, wires lying around, clutter on the floor, clear pathways to walk throughout your home? This month, why not take a few minutes to see if your home is a safe environment for you and your loved ones.

Check out this ” How to Help Prevent Trips and Falls in the Home” video from VNSNY.

Falls prevention is so important, and the…

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Child Safety 101

smcternan June 21st, 2010, 11:15 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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2_4C_African-American_nurse_with_smiling_baby_(2)_jpgAre you expecting your first child or just given birth? Congratulations on becoming a parent!

Wanting to give the best to your baby is natural and making your home environment safe is a must, but childproofing your home may seem daunting. Never fear, it may be daunting, but it is doable!

Home safety can start before the baby arrives but if you haven”t given it much thought, it is OK to start now. The first thing you want to do is get down on your hands and knees to see what they see.…

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Ten iPhone Apps for Creative Caregivers

adrouin June 20th, 2010, 10:00 AM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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(photo by Bonnie-Brown)

(photo by Bonnie-Brown)

In an effort to highlight the benefits of technology and blend it with health & wellness, I’ve comprised the following list of ten iPhone Apps that may be helpful for caregivers:

  1. PillMinder — a visual pillbox medication reminder for you or your loved one (but unfortunately not both) where you can keep track of daily medications. You enter your medication, dose in pill amount, description, and pill count. You highlight the pill, press TAKE PILL and it archives that you took it and counts down the pill amount. Cost: FREE
  2. Dosecast —…
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How to Take the Stress Out of Discharge Planning

jjue June 16th, 2010, 10:05 PM
Jeffrey Jue, PT, Rehabilitation Consultant
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When a patient is discharged from the hospital, rehab center or nursing and he or she returns home, it can be a stressful time for any caregiver. Take a look at this Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service video which provides valuable tips to assist both the patient and caregiver during this time of transition.

Afterwards, download and print out their helpful discharge checklist.

Based on my experience as a therapist in the hospital and home care setting, I have found these questions helpful to ask prior to your loved one’s discharge.

1) Do…

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Scoliosis in Children—What is it?

smcternan June 16th, 2010, 9:23 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Scoliosis. You may have heard about it and probably even know someone with it. It is much more common than you think as there are millions of cases of scoliosis in this country alone.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine in either an s-pattern or a c-pattern. In children, it may be congenital or related to some other underlying diagnosis (like Cerebral Palsy), but most cases in children and adults are from an unknown cause. Treatment is either surgical or the use of a brace — if it is…

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Spending Time With Siblings…

dstricoff June 15th, 2010, 11:21 AM
Debbie Stricoff, Dir., Adult Day Care Services
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Due to a decline in physical and cognitive functioning, support systems and transportation issues, older adults may become isolated and this can lead to depression and loneliness. One of the goals of adult day services is to give seniors a place to go to socialize. Over the past 10 years, we have seen so many seniors develop relationships at our Center. Not only do they socialize here, but many continue the relationship outside of the center and keep in contact over the phone at home. We have really seen this…

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How Do You Know if You Win the Relay for Life?

arspilka June 14th, 2010, 9:27 PM
Abby R. Spilka, Hospice Volunteer
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This past weekend my husband and I attended the Johnson County Iowa Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. We have gone to five of the past six (2008 was postponed because of the terrible flooding in that part of Iowa). The first two years John’s parents ran the food booth, and we handed out pork burgers, brownies, Gatorade, and pizza to the walkers from 6 p.m. until midnight. (I am pretty sure that this menu was not given the American Cancer Society seal…

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