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Blogs We Follow

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VNSNY and National Rehabilitation Awareness Week

guest September 25th, 2014, 1:17 PM
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ot-weekOn September 22nd, VNSNY marked National Rehabilitation Awareness Week (September 21-27) with an event honoring our own rehab therapists. Occupational therapist Siomara Heron spoke at the event.  Her words reflect the importance of the personal connections that our therapists make with their patients at the same time they are providing them with essential therapy, and how these connections help sustain and support the individuals they work with:

“At the age of 23, my first job was in skilled nursing facility. I loved working with so many seniors, and hearing all their…

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Coordinated Care Saves Lives!

lheller September 11th, 2014, 3:06 PM
Lisa Heller-Salmon
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As a VNSNY Population Care Manager, I work to coordinate care of high-risk patients and ensure that all the clinicians are on the same page in regard to the treatment plan. Shortly after I took on this role, I met an elderly couple I’ll call Steve and Rose. Steve was chronically ill and had recently experienced multiple falls, and his care team was concerned that he was no longer safe at home. Steve didn’t want to go to the hospital or another facility for an extended period, however, because he…

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Tools & Encouragement for Overcoming Diabetes

guest July 16th, 2014, 8:00 AM
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DiabetesJuan had diabetes. He had trouble managing his disease and he didn’t feel his medical professionals understood him, which lead to an antagonistic relationship and failing health. Juan was dealing with various complications, and had even undergone a kidney transplant. Luckily for Juan, VNSNY became a part of his care team, and through kindness and understanding, they established a great relationship. As Juan learned to trust his medical team, his health improved.

“Juan had been through a lot prior to coming to me,” remembers his nurse, Huda. “He’d had a kidney…

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Living with Tension and High Blood Pressure

guest June 30th, 2014, 8:00 AM
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A VNSNY social worker with a client.

A VNSNY social worker with a client.

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York received this touching thank you letter from a client.

During a recent meeting with my internist, I mentioned the stress that I live under at home. My husband died a few years ago and my son, who is in his sixties, still lives at home—he’s dependent on me financially. I live with a lot of tension, and had very high blood pressure, which is why I was in the doctor’s office. Psychologically, though, I was in an even…

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Bridging the Generations: A Winning Strategy for Family Caregivers

jsantamaria January 29th, 2014, 5:02 PM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
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We often refer to the difficulties faced by the “sandwich generation” — those in their 40s and 50s who find themselves caring for elderly family members while they still have children at home. Worrying about driving your elderly mom to the doctor can be especially stressful when you also need to cook a healthy meal for your growing teen. But sandwiched caregivers, take heart: While no one can diminish the stresses you face in caring for both older and younger family members, this may be an opportunity for multiple generations…

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Seniors Have Roomies, Too.

jsantamaria January 17th, 2014, 8:33 AM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
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roommatesHave you ever considered combating loneliness by sharing your living space with someone else?  Brain studies prove that the more social we are, the longer we live—and the better quality of life we enjoy.  In one study, researchers at Harvard Medical School followed nearly 45,000 people who had heart disease or were at high risk of developing it. The four-year study found that those who lived alone were more likely to die from heart attack, stroke or other heart-related problems than those who lived with others.

Many seniors live alone after divorce or…

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Good News: Family Caregivers Live Longer

jsantamaria November 18th, 2013, 10:13 AM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
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long_lifeFinally, some good news about family caregiving—and right in time for November, which the Obama administration has declared National Family Caregivers Month.  The news?  A recent study found that, contradicting long-standing  wisdom, people who care for a family member live longer than similar people who aren’t caregivers.

Now let’s be clear—caregivers who are feeling strained in their responsibilities face a number of physical and emotional health risks, including increased rates of depression, anxiety, chronic illness, and even stroke.   But according to the Johns Hopkins-led study published online in the American Journal of…

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Caregivers: Working with your Home Care Team

jsantamaria January 17th, 2013, 3:17 PM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
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Medical advancements and shorter hospital stays have enabled more chronically ill people to age at home. One result is that an increasing burden of responsibility for helping with daily care is falling on family caregivers, who may have taken on their role suddenly, and with little training.  Home care is often short-term, but the nurses, rehab therapists and social workers who come into your home can be invaluable in helping you learn skills and identify resources that will help you for the long-term. 

Here are some tips for caregivers to make the…

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A Day in the Life of Jennifer Morales: Part 5

stav November 27th, 2012, 12:54 PM
Stav Birnbaum
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francesca1Jennifer’s final stop for the morning was to visit a long-term patient who has Neuromyolitis Optica (NMO), a degenerative disorder that is similar to multiple sclerosis but it attacks the spine rather than the brain. Patients diagnosed with NMO usually live no more than 5 years after diagnosis, and Francesca P. was diagnosed five years ago. The disease has taken its toll. She’s now blind in both eyes and is a quadriplegic. Additionally, she developed two pressure ulcers as a result of chemotherapy treatment – part of the treatment regimen for the disease.…

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A Day in the Life of Jennifer Morales: Part 4

stav October 30th, 2012, 9:48 AM
Stav Birnbaum
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jennifer1After visiting with Maharana L. in Richmond Hill, Jennifer and I drove to visit one of her long time patients, Lenny C., who asked not to be photographed.

As a 19-year-old swimmer, Lenny jumped into the water at Rockaway Beach, hit the water wrong, and broke his neck – instantly becoming a quadriplegic. That was more than 55 years ago, and he lives a full life as an artist (he paints with the help of arm splints). His many friends come to visit him, and some friends even come to his…

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