Bridging the Generations: A Winning Strategy for Family Caregivers

jsantamaria January 29th, 2014, 5:02 PM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
Author Profile
Permalink

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…

Read More

Seniors Have Roomies, Too.

jsantamaria January 17th, 2014, 8:33 AM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
Author Profile
Permalink

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…

Read More

Good News: Family Caregivers Live Longer

jsantamaria November 18th, 2013, 10:13 AM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
Author Profile
Permalink

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…

Read More

Caregivers: Working with your Home Care Team

jsantamaria January 17th, 2013, 3:17 PM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
Author Profile
Permalink

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…

Read More

A Day in the Life of Jennifer Morales: Part 5

stav November 27th, 2012, 12:54 PM
Stav Birnbaum
Author Profile
Permalink

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.…

Read More

A Day in the Life of Jennifer Morales: Part 4

stav October 30th, 2012, 9:48 AM
Stav Birnbaum
Author Profile
Permalink

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…

Read More

A Day in the Life of Jennifer Morales: Part 3

stav October 23rd, 2012, 11:03 AM
Stav Birnbaum
Author Profile
Permalink

Maharana_diabetesThe next stop after meeting with Mr. and Mrs. G. was a visit with Maharana L., a Guyanese immigrant living in Richmond Hill, Queens.

Richmond Hill has a large immigrant population from Guyana; this population is currently facing an epidemic of Type II Diabetes. Data suggests that adults born in Guyana have a death rate of 58 per 1,000,000 deaths from diabetes compared to 34 for U.S. born – that’s almost 60% higher.*

Before we arrived at Maharana’s apartment, Jennifer told me that when she met Maharana three years ago, she was…

Read More