The Alzheimer’s Caregiver

stav May 13th, 2014, 9:20 AM
Stav Birnbaum
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Last week, I attended the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter, lecture “Who Am I Now? The Existential Dilemma of Caregiving.” Jed Levine, the Executive Vice President and Director of Programs and Services, led a panel discussion with author Alix Kates Shulman, who has been a caregiver to her husband with dementia since 2004; Daniel Kuhn, who is also an author and a social worker; and Sharon Shaw, a social worker and psychotherapist who leads caregiver support groups.

Every panelist had their own insight on caregiving – specifically giving for those with…

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Smiles or Sorrows

smcternan April 27th, 2014, 7:50 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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On a good day we are all smiles…on a bad day we are?  Everyday we choose our mood based on any number of things. The good side of the bed the wrong side of the bed. A great night sleep or a poor night sleep.We all need rest but some of us may need more than others. Well when all things are considered some children are naturally happy temperaments and others not so much. What is a mom or dad to do if their child is all smiles or all…

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Q&A: A Conversation with a Long-Distance, Long-Time Caregiver

guest March 21st, 2014, 10:53 AM
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lisahirschandmomA Day in the Life spoke with Lisa Hirsch, author of My Mom My Hero: Alzheimer’s—A mother and daughter’s bittersweet journey, creator of the My Mom My Hero blog, and long-distance caregiver of her mother Ruth, who has Alzheimer’s.

Your mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s more than nine years ago. How has your relationship with your mom changed?
Oh, it’s changed completely. I just fell deeply in love with my mother. She inspires me. Before her illness we spoke maybe once a week. Since her illness, I’ve spoken to her nearly every single…

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Move It, Move It

smcternan March 16th, 2014, 1:00 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Upon my return from a national conference on all things Pediatrics and Healthcare, an interesting discussion was ignited by Bone Health and the loss of bone density in children. Why are children today experiencing more bone breakage and weaker bones? Does the use of sunscreen have anything to do with it? Maybe,but then again maybe not as skin cancer is also on the rise in younger and younger children. What is a parent to do about their child’s bone health. Well it is known that kids that are active have…

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STRESS Less Holiday

smcternan December 26th, 2013, 10:58 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Rushing, running and feeling a little overwhelmed. This time of year can do it to all of us. We try to plan and sudden last minute changes make us spin. How to handle it well and not take it our on your family, friends, pets or pillow!! Well suggestions posed by experts recommend not indulging (food and Wine) too much will help. Well if that is not a contributor to your stress then what can you do to glide through this time of year with less stress. The holidays are…

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Transitioning Home

smcternan November 15th, 2013, 5:19 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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After a long hospital stay, many children with chronic diseases look forward to going home. The ups and owns of inpatient treatment, as well as the noise and bustle of the hospital, can be overwhelming, especially for young children (<10 years of age).

Much has been studied on the topic of transitioning to home after illnesses in children and adults. What often is realized in the younger population is how vulnerable these young children are to re-hospitalization.

What can be done to curtail the return to the hospital? It is unique for…

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Patient Visit: Caring for his Mom with Liver Cancer

stav September 6th, 2013, 8:00 AM
Stav Birnbaum
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caregiver2We woke him up when we arrived, well after 10 am, but it’s no surprise he needs to sleep in. Victor is 25-years-old, works at night and finds it hard to sleep because he is constantly checking on his mom who is dying of liver cancer.

Victor told me how quickly her decline had been and how she was so full of energy and life just a short time ago. Then, the last time she went to the hospital for an emergency and before she was released, VNSNY’s hospice team approached Victor…

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Hot Weather Safety: Six Essential Tips

jjue July 19th, 2013, 12:37 PM
Jeffrey Jue, PT, Rehabilitation Consultant
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egypt-21157_1280[1]Rising summer temperatures are not only a source of discomfort but can cause heat related illnesses especially in the elderly. Before you head outdoors stay safe by following these essential safety precautions.

1) Check the latest local heat advisories

2) Avoid walking between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — generally the hottest time of the day

3) Begin your daily walk at a slow pace to prevent exhaustion and retreat to a cool place if you start to feel uncomfortable

4) Wear light colored and loose fitting clothing

5) Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to stay adequately hydrated and pack…

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Facebook Chat Supporting Caregivers

stav July 1st, 2013, 11:20 AM
Stav Birnbaum
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On June 27th, we had our first, live Facebook chat on https://www.facebook.com/vnsny about dealing with the stresses associated with caregiving. VNSNY’s Director of the Family Caregiver Support Program, Judy Santamaria, posted typical questions that point to caregiver stress and gave advice on how to spot trouble and solve problems.

For our first question, we asked: How are you sleeping? Is your sleep broken up because your loved on is wandering around at night?

Judy: It’s very common for family caregivers, especially those caring for someone with dementia, to struggle with getting a good…

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Early Behavior

smcternan June 5th, 2013, 12:12 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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As children progress through their many stages of development there may be times when they stall. As upsetting as those stalls may be to any parent, they are also clues to underlying behaviors that may aid in finding a cause. I recall parents telling me their child would/could not keep their clothes on. Feeling frustrated the parent looks at it as abnormal and wants it to stop but does not know how to stop, or why it is happening. Something called Sensory Integration Disorder could be the reason behind the behavior.…

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