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WEBINAR – DEALING WITH DEMENTIA WITH PARKINSON DISEASE

WEBINAR – DEALING WITH DEMENTIA

It is estimated that between one quarter and one third of people diagnosed with PD are experiencing dementia. The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation is offering this webinar featuring Jennifer Goldman, MD from Rush University’s PD&MD Center on Tuesday, March 1 at noon Central Time.  To register, use this link and click the Sign Up Now button just after the program description and before learning objectives:

http://www.pdf.org/en/parkinson_briefing_dementia16

Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other- Teleconference

Teleconference Series

 

SSEEO invites you to call in and join the lunch and learn series for stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

 

Post Stroke Depression and Fatigue

presented by

Mary F. Schmidt, PhD, ABPP Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

  • What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
  • What is post stroke fatigue?
  • How can I increase my energy and mood?
  • What resources are available if I need help with depression or fatigue after my stroke?

 

Our next call is Tuesday, February 9th

12:00 pm-1:00 pm cst

Download call details here:  Lunch & Learn Flyer

Participation on the calls is absolutely free 

Call 1-800-920-7487 and enter passcode 66523867#

 

For more information or to review past teleconferences please visit www.sseeo.org

 

 

 

P.O. Box 855 Lombard, Il | info@sseeo.org | (888) 988-8047

 

Together WE Can Make a Difference

Post Stroke Depression and Fatigue

 

Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition; What Social Service Providers Need to Know

Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition; What Social Service Providers Need to Know

When a diagnosis of a chronic medical condition is given, not only do clients need to prepare medically, they need to prepare legally. This session will address important topics such as Powers of Attorney, Living Trusts, Wills. What legal options are available in planning and paying for long-term care? How can Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and personal care contracts maximize a person’s quality of life? and more.

Presented by:  Kathryn Casey, JD, CELA

Date:   Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Program:   8:30 am – 10:00 pm

Location:   Belmont Village, 500 McHenry Road, Buffalo  Grove, Illinois

 OR

 Date:   Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Program:   5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Location:   Belmont Village, 545 Belmont Ave, Carol Stream, Illinois

Continuing Education: continuing education credit will be awarded to Illinois Nurses, Counselors, and Social Workers.

Registration:     There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required by contacting 847-462-0885 or events@elderwerks.com

 

 

Exercise for People Who Have Dementia

Exercise and physical activity are important for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise helps with general health, weight maintenance, and good sleep habits. Check out these tips to help people with Alzheimer’s get and stay active:

  • Try several 10-minute mini-workouts if a longer workout is too much.
  • Add music to exercises or try dancing together.
  • Break exercises into simple, easy-to-follow steps.

You can also participate in the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life Month this September! In collaboration with the White House Conference on Aging, Go4Life Month encourages all older adults to be active every day. Whether you are part of an organization or an individual, there are plenty of ways to participate. Visit the Go4Life Month website for more information.

 

 

Advocacy Needed

The current State Budget impasse threatens the viability of community-based agencies and their capacity to provide long term services and supports and behavioral health care for older adults and persons with disabilities.  I urge you to send letters to the editor of your local newspaper(s) to inform the public about the impact of the current stalemate on your agencies, programs, and clients, and urge the Governor and Illinois General Assembly to settle their political differences and enact a State Budget now.  I have prepared a sample letter to the editor which can be found on our website at: www.ilcmha.org .  You may customize the letter and send it to your local newspaper(s).

Thank you.

Michael O’Donnell, President

Illinois Coalition on Mental Health and Aging

 

The ComEd Residential Special Hardship program

ComEd has set up temporary satellite sites to complete applications for their Residential Special Hardship Program beginning on Monday, July 27, 2015. The program will run until funds are exhausted. The ComEd Residential Special Hardship program is available for those who have “experienced a hardship due to job loss, documented illness, military deployment, senior or disability hardships, among others”, according to ComEd’s website. In addition, they must meet other eligibility guidelines to qualify for assistance. Please visit https://www.comed.com/customer-service/assistance-programs/Pages/residential-hardship.aspx or call 1-800-806-CARE for more information.

 

The 2014-2015 income guidelines are as follows:

Family Size 30-Day Income Annual Income
1 $2,431 $29,175
2 $3,277 $39,325
3 $4,123 $49,475
4 $4,969 $59,625
5 $5,815 $69,775
6 $6,600 $79,925
7 $7,506 $90,075
8 $8,352 $100,225

Elizabeth Lough, MPH, Benefits Access Specialist AgeOptions 1048 Lake Street, Suite 300 Oak Park, Illinois 60301 phone (708)383-0258  fax (708)524-0870

elizabeth.lough@ageoptions.org

ageoptions.org

Travel Tips for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s time for summer vacation! Taking a person with Alzheimer’s disease on an overnight trip can be challenging, but here are some tips to make it easier:

  • Keep your schedule realistic—allow lots of time for each thing you want to do.
  • Plan rest periods.
  • Follow a routine like the one you use at home. Try to have the person eat, rest, and go to bed at the same time they do at home.
  • If the person is prone to wandering, carry a recent photo of them on the trip.

Get more useful travel information in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Tips: Traveling Overnight.

Marriage Equality and Elder Law: Planning for Your Future

Marriage Equality and Elder Law: Planning for Your Future

Finally, all people can be married.   The implications of marriage, especially for older adults who are planning for their future, should be understood as it can impact you  both financially and legally.  Attend this session presented by Janna Dutton, Certified Elder Law Attorney, who has devoted her entire legal career to elder law, and learn what you need to know in order to make a decision that is appropriate for you and the person you love.

 Date: Friday, August 7, 2015

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00 pm.

Location: SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Bisexual Older Adults) in Bellwood, Illinois

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However, advanced registration is required. Please contact Eric Vironet at eric@wsseniors.org.

Upcoming Program on Estate Adminstration

Whenever a person dies, their estate needs to be collected and managed. Estate administration involves gathering the assets of the estate, paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the remaining assets. Not only are you dealing with the death of a loved one, the estate administration process can be overwhelming. Attend this program, presented by Attorney Hanny Pei-Rodriguez and learn more about preparing for, and managing, this difficult task.

Presented by: Hanny Pei-Rodriguez, JD

Date: Thursday, July 23, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm -7:30 pm

Location: Gilda’s Club Chicago, 537 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However advanced registration is required. Please contact JamieMazer@gildasclubchicago.org or 312 464-9900, ext. 30 to register.

Attention Grandparents: Watch out for phony debt collectors

My grandma kept an eye out for cheaters. (No, not that kind.) Back in the day, if a salesman knocked on her front door, she waved them off. Before caller ID, she hung up on telemarketers. But a call from a phony debt collector? She might have fallen for that one. Especially if the debt collector said she was responsible for her grandchild’s debt.

 

read more

 

Unique interactive map helps meet needs of people with electricity-dependent medical equipment

This unique interactive map helps meet needs of people with electricity-dependent medical equipment

The HHS emPOWER Map, an interactive online tool, launched today to aid community health agencies and emergency management officials in disaster preparedness as they plan ahead to meet the emergency needs of community residents who rely on electrically powered medical and assistive equipment to live independently at home.

learn more.

 

Exciting News from Dutton & Casey

Partner Kathryn Casey has completed the long and difficult process to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA). This certification has frequently been referred to as “the gold standard” for elder law and special needs attorneys.

In our ongoing commitment to provide the highest level of services to our clients and their families both of our Partners, Janna Dutton and Kathryn Casey, are certified.

Please click on the link below to learn more about the process to become a CELA and how this level of knowledge and dedication can better assist you and / or someone you care about.

https://www.duttonelderlaw.com/certified-elder-law-attorney…/

Legal Planning for the Family Caregiver Program = Via Phone – Today

Legal Planning for Family Caregiver

This session will answer fundamental legal questions common to clients and families, such as: What are the duties and authorities under the various healthcare surrogate laws? What are the different types of trusts and how do they work? , How can Medicare, Medicaid, long term care insurance and personal care contracts be used to maximize a person’s quality of life.

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD, CELA

Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Time: Noon – 1:00pm

Location: This program is offered via the phone.

Registration: This program is being offered by Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other. There is no charge to attend, but advanced registration is required.  Click here for more information.

Elder Financial Abuse: Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Financial Exploitation

Mistreatment of older adults is not just a matter of neglect or violence. Financial abuse is also all too common—and often, family members and caregivers are the culprits. Elder financial exploitation is defined as “the illegal use of an older adult’s funds or property for the benefits of someone besides the older adult. This includes theft, fraud, and use of influence over the senior to gain control over an older person’s money or property.” Join BMO Harris Bank, Aging Care Connections, and Dutton & Casey to learn to identify key warning signs and how to protect your loved ones from Elder Financial Abuse.

Presenters: Janna Dutton, JD, CELA; Ken Nimmo, Account Risk Services Specialist at BMO Harris Bank, N.A.; and Elizabeth Rivera, MSW, Adult Protective Services Supervisor at Aging Care Connections

Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Plymouth Place – Dole Hall, 315 N. La Grange Road, La Grange Park, Illinois

Registration: Please call 708-873-1633 to register.

Hospital Stay – Observation or In-Patient – WHO KNOWS ???

Medicare beneficiary’s inpatient or outpatient status in a hospital affects the way that Medicare bills the beneficiary as well as whether the patient qualifies for Skilled Nursing Facility care following the hospital stay, so it is really important for a beneficiary to understand their rights.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy created a handout that describes the issue surrounding observation status, and provides steps that patients can take to try and resolve the issue. Please click on the link below to view the packet: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/self-help-packet-for-medicare-observation-status/

In Illinois, hospitals are not required to tell a patient if they are being put under observation status or being admitted to the hospital, so it is important for the patient to ask. Please view the fact sheet, created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for more information about the difference between inpatient and outpatient status: http://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11435.pdf

– source Make Medicare Work Coalition http://www.ageoptions.org/services-and-programs_makemedicarework.html

Illinois Expands Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) to Physician Orders on Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Illinois Expands Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) to Physician Orders on Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

On March 14, 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health released a revised version of its “IDPH Uniform Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Advance Directive.”  The updated form is subtitled “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (POLST)  This form represents a widely recognized best practice that documents medical orders for life-extending treatments for seriously ill patients. POLST is now in use in 38 states with adoptions by Illinois and Indiana in 2013.  It is intended to promote more patient-centered conversations between physicians/other healthcare professionals and the patient or legal surrogate.

click here to learn more

Program for Community Members and Professionals

Taking Control of Your Future: Strategies for Avoiding Legal Pitfalls

Adequate legal planning for older age involved more than writing a will. This session will address important topics which can impact your physical, mental and financial health. Doing some simple advance preparation now can help you avoid legal pitfalls down the road.

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date:  Wednesday. May 29, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Location:  Terrace Gardens Assisted Living, 8415 Waukegan Rd, Morton Grove, IL 60053

This session is part of a 6 week series, “Resources for Navigating Life Transitions: Your Personal GPS,” being sponsored by Elderwerks, Terrace Gardens, Right at Home, and Dutton & Casey.  Click here for a flyer on the event.

There is no charge to attend this, or any session. However, advanced registration is required. Click here  to register.

One hour of continuing education will be awarded for Illinois Social Workers, Counselors, and Registered Nurses.

PROGRAM ON LEGAL PLANNING FOR LIVING

Taking Control of Your Future: Strategies for Avoiding Legal Pitfalls

Adequate legal planning for older age involved more than writing a will. This session will address important topics which can impact your physical, mental and financial health. Doing some simple advance preparation now can help you avoid legal pitfalls down the road.

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date:  Wednesday. May 29, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Location:  Terrace Gardens Assisted Living, 8415 Waukegan Rd, Morton Grove, IL 60053

This session is part of a 6 week series, “Resources for Navigating Life Transitions: Your Personal GPS,” being sponsored by Elderwerks, Terrace Gardens, Right at Home, and Dutton & Casey.  Click here for a flyer on the event.

There is no charge to attend this, or any session. However, advanced registration is required. Click here  to register.

PROGRAM ON LEGAL PLANNING WHEN LIVING WITH A DISABILITY – MAY 9 IN SKOKIE IL

Legal Ability Planning – How To Prepare For and Prosper In Adulthood

Adequate legal planning for living with a disability, whether your own or your loved one’s, involves more than writing a will.  It requires legal documents designed for living.  Attend this session, led by an attorney practicing disability and elder law, as she discuss important topics including health care planning and coverage, financial and health care surrogate decision-making, long term care, and other important planning tools designed to protect your physical, mental, and financial health, or that of someone you care about, during life.

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Location: Jewish Community and Family Services, 5150 West Golf Road, 2nd Floor, Skokie, IL 60077

Registration:  There is no charge to attend this program. However, advanced registration is required. Click here to register.

PROGRAM ON SATURDAY, APRIL 27 FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS

Navigating Legal Issues for Family Caregivers

This session will attempt to answer legal questions common to all family caregivers in the hope of assisting you avoid legal pitfalls. Questions to be covered are:  “What are the duties and authorities under a Power of Attorney for Property, Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Living Trust or Living Will?”; “What options are available in planning and paying for long-term care?”; “How can family caregivers can utilize Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and personal care contracts to maximize another’s quality of life?”

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD, and Rebecca Lerfelt, LCSW,  Assistant Director of PLOWS Council on Aging.

Date:  Saturday, April 27, 2013

Time:  10:00 A.M. – Noon

Location: Orland Park Public Library, 14921 Ravina Ave.,  Orland Park, Illinois

Registration: There is no charge to attend this program. However, advanced registration is required.  Please call PLOWS Council on Aging at 708-361-0219 or click here.

YOUR Legal Update from Dutton & Casey – Attorneys at Law (Estate Planning I Probate I Elder Law)

In case you are new to reading our blog, this is the link to read all of our newsletters.

The goal of our newsletter is to provide helpful, and understandable, information on estate planning, probate, and elder law related topics.

Please feel free to share this resource.

PRESENTATION: Understanding Key Legal Issues for Family Caregivers

Understanding Key Legal Issues for Family Caregivers

This session will attempt to answer legal questions common to all family caregivers in the hope of assisting you avoid legal pitfalls. Questions to be covered are:  “What are the duties and authorities under a Power of Attorney for Property, Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Living Trust or Living Will?”; “What options are available in planning and paying for long-term care?”; “How can family caregivers can utilize Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and personal care contracts to maximize another’s quality of life?”

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date: Monday, April 22, 2013

Time: 830 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. (Janna’s session is part of the event, “A Systematic Approach to Building Your Caregiver Network”, being sponsored by Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center, Elderwerks,  and Northshore Senior Center.

Location: Midwest Palliative and Hospice Care Center, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview, Illinois

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However, advanced registration is required. Click here to register.

February 2013 Issue of YOUR Legal Update

The February issue our of newsletter has been published.

This issue contains helpful articles and information on our educational offerings, for community members and professionals, for Spring.

click here to read the latest issue.

Are You Really “In” The Hospital

If you have Medicare, did you know that even, if you stay in the hospital overnight, HOSPITAL you might still be considered an “outpatient”?

Your hospital status (whether the hospital considers you an “inpatient” or “outpatient”) affects how much you pay, qualification for rehabilitation, and more.

Resource Information –

Next Step in Care, a campaign of United Hospital Fund, provides hospital admission and Emergency Room guides to provide basic information about “observation status” and what to ask. This information is important as it is a rising trend to be in an “observation” rather than “in-patient” in the hospital.

Click here to open the hospital admission guide.

Click here to open the Emergency Room guide.

Click here to read it as a standalone piece.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

For their publication on hospital status (observation or in-patient), click here.

Resource for Older Drivers

Older Drivers Topic Now Available on NIHSeniorHealth.gov

Site offers information on age-related health changes, safety tips and driving adjustments

NIHSeniorHealth has just released a new topic for older drivers and families seeking information on an often sensitive subject: Is it still safe to drive? The new “Older Drivers” topic, available at http://nihseniorhealth.gov/olderdrivers/howagingaffectsdriving/01.html, gives older adults and their loved ones information to help them address that question and others related todriving in later life.

Key points include:

  • how health and aging may affect driving
  • tips for road safety
  • steps to take when driving skills change  
  • making sure your vehicle is safe
  • regulations affecting older drivers
  • alternative modes of transportation, and more

“Older Drivers” was developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For more health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health, go to www.nihseniorhealth.gov. NIHSeniorHealth is a senior-friendly website from the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, both part of the National Institutes of Health.

 
 

Resource for People who have Parkinsons Disease

AWARE IN CARE KIT

From the National  Parkinson Foundation….  Aware In Care Kit. You can order your free kit by calling their national toll-free Helpline at 1-800-474-4636.  There is almost a total lack of understanding on the part of hospital, rehab, and nursing home staff of the disease itself, the medications used to treat it, and the importance of timing when administering medication.  This kit can make a future hospital stay a success rather than the disaster that many people with PD have endured.

 

TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS OF SOMEONE WHO HAS ALZHEIMERS DISEASE

Every day can bring a new change or challenge for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Now, practical information and advice is at hand with a new series of Alzheimer’s Caregiving Tips from the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, a service of the National Institute on Aging at NIH.

Based on the NIA publication Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease, the tip sheets offer brief, reliable, easy-to-understand information on a range of issues. They can help caregivers of people at any stage of the disease—mild, moderate, or severe.

Topics include:

Read, download, or print the tip sheets at www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/caregiving 
(Available online only)

Preparedness Tips for People with Cognitive Disabilities

Preparedness Tips for People with Cognitive Disabilities

Provides tips to help people with cognitive disabilities prepare for emergencies that may happen in their community. Communicating with those around you, having a radio nearby and an emergency preparedness kit can help you during an evacuation. This information is also in Spanish, and can be downloaded as a PDF document and in MP3 audio format.

Visit Disability.gov for more resources that can help you prepare for, or recover from, an emergency or disaster.

 

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Resource for Family Caregivers in Chicago Area

Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class

Thursdays, October 4 through November 8, 2012

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Rush University Medical Center, Tower Resource Center

1620 W. Harrison Street, Suite 04527, Chicago

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

This six-week education program is exclusively for family and friends caring for older adults with long-term conditions. Each weekly class provides family caregivers with the skills and confidence to better care for themselves while caring for others. Many caregivers have raved about the class, including those caring for a spouse or partner as well as adult family members and friends caring for an elder. Class members will receive The Caregiver Helpbook, developed specifically for the class.

Participating caregivers report they:

  • · Are better at caring for themselves
  • · Have fewer feelings of anger, guilt and depression
  • · Have increased confidence and ability to cope with the demands of caregiving
  • · Take more advantage of community services

Skills learned build upon each other from week to week , plan to attend all six sessions.

Rush Generations member: $30 (parking validated and scholarships available)

Non-member: $50 (parking not validated)

Please call 1-312-563-2703 for more information or to register.

 

National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association

Did you know that  “Spasmodic dysphonia (SD), a focal form of dystonia, is a neurological voice disorder that involves “spasms” of the vocal cords causing interruptions of speech and affecting the voice quality. SD can cause the voice to break up or to have a tight, strained, or strangled quality. ”

For more information on this disorder, information and resources, go to their webiste at http://www.dysphonia.org/

 

Janna Dutton and Kathryn C. Casey Welcome Attorney Helen Mesoloras to the Firm

On June 1, 2012, Attorney Helen Mesoloras joined Dutton & Casey, PC, Attorneys at Law.

Helen concentrates her practice in elder law, with a focus on long term care planning, guardianships, probate and trust administrations, and estate planning. She represents clients in routine guardianship and probate matters, as well as more complex Medicaid and special needs planning cases. She enjoys working with clients and their families to develop and implement plans to achieve their goals, and guides her clients in every step of the plan.

To learn more about Helen Mesoloras, the firm of  Dutton & Casey, and how we can assist you, or someone who you care about, please review our website.

 

Being Prepared for an Emergency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Disability.gov (the federal government website for comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide) urge all people, especially older adults and people who have a disability, to plan ahead in case of an emergency.

Not only should the plan include supplies, it should include legal planning such a powers of attorney and other tools. For more information on how Dutton & Casey, PC., Attorneys at Law, can assist you prepare for an emergency, please review our website or send us an email.

Advocacy Needed to Prevent Proposed Medicaid Changes in Illinois

The STAMP Act, HB 2840 just passed the executive committee  of the Illinois General Assembly and will go to the floor next.  If passed, the STAMP Act will dramatically cut the  Illinois Medicaid program. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services proposed many changes  incorporated into the Bill which will significantly restrict Medicaid eligibility of seniors for long term care coverage. 

 Please click here to read more and learn how you can help.

Fraud Alert

Published weekly, The Fraud Alert is published by Age Options and the Illinois Empowering Seniors to Prevent Healthcare Fraud project, contains very helpful information, for all of us.

click here to read the current issue and register to receive this weekly email.

Illinois Department of Transporation’s Life-Saving Yellow Dot Program

IDOT Unveils Life-Saving Yellow Dot Program

Program Provides Emergency Responders with Crucial Medical Information to Help Crash Victims

The Illinois Yellow Dot program, a life-saving, traffic safety initiative that provides first responders with critical information to improve emergency care for persons involved in vehicle crashes. IDOT along with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois Department of Aging (IDOA) and county health departments across the state are working together to increase awareness of the voluntary, federally funded program, and provide distribution centers and information for interested residents.

“Roadway safety is always a top priority at IDOT, and the Yellow Dot program can help improve roadway safety by providing first responders the crucial medical information they need to treat injuries and save lives, beginning at the scene of a crash,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “This important program gives IDOT and our partners another important way to improve our exceptional record on traffic safety. I encourage all motorists to participate in this unique and effective program, which could make the difference between life and death for individuals involved in crashes.”

Because the first hour following an injury is the most crucial, the Yellow Dot program provides essential personal health information to emergency responders in order to promptly care for a crash victim. This ‘Golden Hour’ is critical in the treatment of crash victims, and the medical information provided through the program could be a lifesaver.

When a crash occurs, emergency medical first responders such as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are immediately dispatched to the scene. These responders usually have basic information such as the location of the crash and the number of victims. Frequently, minimal personal information is available during this early, most critical time period.

“This is a great opportunity for older drivers to update their medical information and have a voice in their emergency treatment in the event of an accident,” said John K. Holton, Ph.D., director of the Illinois Department on Aging. “The Yellow Dot program will serve as a lifeline to alert first responders of crucial medical information which can help the victims who may be unable to communicate at the crash site or may have forgotten to share the information.” Yellow Dot participants are supplied with a simple, bright yellow decal for their car and a corresponding yellow folder. The decal is placed in a conspicuous and consistent place – in the lower left-hand corner of the rear window, driver’s side. The yellow dot signifies there is a folder in the glove compartment containing the following medical information about the motorists: participant’s name, close-up photo, emergency contact information, patient’s physician information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and a list of current medications. Having access to this information allows first responders to make important decisions regarding emergency treatment and can better prepare emergency hospital staff in the receiving room.

“Time is critical in an emergency situation. If paramedics and emergency medical workers know what medications a person is taking, if the person has allergies or a chronic condition, they can make better decisions about treatment,” said Acting IDPH Director Dr. Craig Conover. “Delaying treatment can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. Something as simple as having your medical information on a yellow card in your glove compartment can potentially make a big difference in the emergency care you receive.”

The Yellow Dot program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, was originally introduced in Connecticut in 2002. For more information on the program and to find a distribution center near you, visit www.yellowdotillinois.org.

 

Resource from National Stroke Association – Careliving

National Stroke Association is pleased to announce the official launch of Careliving Community, a new online social network designed exclusively for caregivers and family members of stroke survivors.

This free private space allows caregivers and loved ones of stroke survivors to connect, share advice and swap stories through a discussion forum. Careliving also offers a blog written by fellow caregivers and live chats with experts on caregiving.

Careliving was developed based on a serious need among caregivers for a private online support space where individuals can find peer-level support and also learn to take better care of themselves.

Caregivers can join the Careliving Community at www.stroke.org/careliving.

Making Sense of Memory Loss – 5 Part Educational Class

 Some memory loss is normal as we age, but some older people experience more than occasional forgetfulness. What should family members know and what can they do to help someone who is beginning to experience memory loss or other difficulties with thinking?

A five-part educational program has been developed to help family members of someone in the early stages of memory loss or with early stage diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. This special program is taught by Michaela Hoffman, MSW of Catholic Charities Northwest Senior Services and Bonnie Scherkenbach,MS, LPC of The Barrington Area Council on Aging.

The class includes the following topics:

ü Overview of Memory Loss & Related Symptoms

ü Communication Strategies

ü Making Decisions

ü Planning for the Future (Attorney Kathryn Casey will be presenting)

ü Effective Ways of Coping and Caring

 

WHEN: February 14 through March 13th, 2012

                   Every Tuesday from 1:00 to 3:30 P.M.

 

WHERE: The Community Church of Barrington

                    301 East Lincoln Avenue, Barrington IL

 

FEE:  $15 includes five, two and one half hour weekly sessions and the book “Alzheimer’s Early Stages” by Daniel Kuhn, MSW

 

To register or for more information please contact

Michaela Hoffman, MSW at 847-253-5500 ex. 333 or

Bonnie Scherkenbach, MS, LPC at 847-852-3890

 

American Parkinson Disease Association

In the current issue of their newsletter, dealing with Social Security and nutrition for someone who has Parkinson’s Disease are discussed.

How Social Security Evaluates Parkinson’s Disease

If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), are currently going through the application process, or have previously applied and were not approved, this article will help you to understand how Social Security evaluates each case.

Nutrition for Parkinson’s Disease

Good nutrition is important for everyone, but especially for someone with Parkinson’s disease.  A healthy diet can help people with PD achieve or maintain normal body weight, increase energy level, boost their immune system, decrease risk factors for certain conditions or illnesses, and reduce constipation

To view these articles in their entirety or to subscribe their e-newsletter, please contact the APDA Young Onset Center at (877) 223-3801 or visit www.youngparkinsons.org.  

New toolkit helps baby boomers transition to Medicare coverage

New toolkit helps baby boomers transition to Medicare coverage

“The Medicare Rights Center and AgeOptions announce the release of “How Medicare Works With Employer-Based Insurance: A Guide for Employers, Professionals and Consumers-”

(By Targeted News Service, December 20, 2011)

http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=317345

 

New Consumer Guide to LGBT Caregiving

New Consumer Guide to LGBT Caregiving 

Next Steps in Care, in collaboration with SAGE and SAGECAP, recently released a fact sheet that provides practical advice for LGBT caregivers.  In addition to a checklist on important legal documents, the guide also explains how hospital discharges happen, and recommends “Do not wait for the social worker on the unit to find you.  Instead, find the social worker as soon as you can.”  If a caregiver and their loved one lives near a state border or spend a lot of time in two states, the guide also recommends obtaining documents for both states since civil union or domestic partner laws may not carry across state lines. 

http://www.nextstepincare.org/Caregiver_Home/LGBT/?tr=y&auid=10020036%20

Tools to Help Choose a Good Nursing Home

By Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.

December 6, 2011

Finding a high-quality nursing home for a family member is a daunting task.

Many people have not had to make this decision before. And it’s often made under stress, when asking good questions and thinking carefully about your options are harder than usual.

Fortunately, more information is available that can help you learn about nursing home quality and prepare you to make a well-informed decision.

Start this process with an online tool from the Federal Government called Nursing Home Compare. This lets you look up nursing homes in your area by name, city, county, State, or ZIP Code. First unveiled in 2009, Nursing Home Compare has detailed information on every nursing home certified by Medicare or Medicaid.

Nursing homes are rated using a 1- to 5-star scale, with those earning 5 stars being rated the highest. Ratings are based on how many and what type of staff members they have, how well they perform on health inspections, and how they rank on quality measures. Ratings for each measure are given individually and are also combined into an overall rating.

Starting in 2012, Nursing Home Compare will include a new measure that includes input from the nursing home residents. This new information will take the place of the quality measures that currently appear on Nursing Home Compare. Findings will be part of the ratings starting in April 2012.

Staffing and health inspection data add important information and will continue to be a factor in each nursing home’s overall rating. The staffing measure tells you the average staffing levels—such as the number of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants—for each resident each day. This is a good benchmark, but it has limits. It does not show the number of nursing staff present at any given time or describe the amount of care give to any one resident. The health inspection measure looks at many major aspects of care in a nursing home. This includes how medicines are managed, whether food is prepared safely, and whether residents are protected from inadequate care. Inspections take place about once a year, but they may be done more often if the nursing home has several problems to correct.

Even with so much good information, the Nursing Home Compare tool and rating system won’t answer all of your questions. For example, the ratings won’t tell you if the nursing home has improved, or gotten worse, in certain areas since it was rated. That’s why it’s important to visit any facility you are considering. Be sure to ask questions of the staff, especially people who provide care to residents. It’s also a good idea to visit a nursing home a second time on a different day of the week and another time of day. You may get a better idea of changes in staff, activities, and other factors that could make a difference in your choice.

An excellent list of questions to ask during such visits is available from a nursing home checklist (PDF File; PDF Help) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). And a new handbook (PDF File; PDF Help) from CMS explains how to pay for nursing home care, describes residents’ rights, and gives alternatives to nursing home care. Another good resource is your State ombudsman; select to find yours.

click here to read more.

Educational Video about the Medicare Program in ASL

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a new educational video about the Medicare program in ASL for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The video gives an overview of the Medicare program, including what Medicare is, who qualifies, the four parts (A, B, C and D), new preventive services under the Affordable Care Act, and help paying Medicare costs.

click here to learn more.

National Caregiver Support Line for Veterans

The Veterans Adminstration has established a National Caregiver Support Line for Caregivers of
Veterans — spouses, children, other family members and friends of Veterans as well as Veteran themselves.  

for more information on the program, please go to https://duttonelderlaw.com/resources/articles.html

Lewey Body Dementia Association Survey

The Lewey Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is conducting a survey to assess if there are differences in how grief is experienced by caregivers for individuals with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia, and frontotemporal degeneration.  The survey will also assess the well-being and quality of life for caregivers of individuals diagnosed with the neurodegenerative diseases. Internet access is required to participate in the study, and LBDA needs 500 caregivers who are currently providing care for each different disease that is being studied. 

http://www.lbda.org/go/caregiversurvey

Health Literacy and Older Adults

Health Literacy and Older Adults

CDC Releases Practical Advice on Developing Materials to Match the Health Literacy Skills of Older Adults. CDC’s health literacy web site (www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy) has a new section to help health and other professionals develop materials that will communicate more effectively with older adults and their caregivers. The web site includes self-assessments, background information on health literacy, steps to improve materials and links to resources about older adults and caregivers. The new content builds on CDC’s expert panel report on older adults and health literacy issues. 

www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/DevelopMaterials/Audiences/index.html

 

Four Drugs Cause Most Hospitalizations in Older Adults

Blood thinners and diabetes drugs cause most emergency hospital visits for drug reactions among people over 65 in the United States, a new study shows.

Just four medications or medication groups — used alone or together — were responsible for two-thirds of emergency hospitalizations among older Americans, according to the report. At the top of the list was warfarin, also known as Coumadin, a blood thinner. It accounted for 33 percent of emergency hospital visits. Insulin injections were next on the list, accounting for 14 percent of emergency visits.

Aspirin, clopidogrel and other antiplatelet drugs that help prevent blood clotting were involved in 13 percent of emergency visits. And just behind them were diabetes drugs taken by mouth, called oral hypoglycemic agents, which were implicated in 11 percent of hospitalizations.

All these drugs are commonly prescribed to older adults, and they can be hard to use correctly. One problem they share is a narrow therapeutic index, meaning the line between an effective dose and a hazardous one is thin. The sheer extent to which they are involved in hospitalizations among older people, though, was not expected, said Dr. Dan Budnitz, an author of the study and director of the Medication Safety Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We weren’t so surprised at the particular drugs that were involved,” Dr. Budnitz said. “But we were surprised how many of the emergency hospitalizations were due to such a relatively small number of these drugs.”

Every year, about 100,000 people in the United States over age 65 are taken to hospitals for adverse reactions to medications. About two-thirds end up there because of accidental overdoses, or because the amount of medication prescribed for them had a more powerful effect than intended.

As Americans live longer and take more medications — 40 percent of people over 65 take five to nine medications — hospitalizations for accidental overdoses and adverse side effects are likely to increase, experts say.

In the latest study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Budnitz and his colleagues combed through data collected from 2007 to 2009 at 58 hospitals around the country. The hospitals were all participating in a surveillance project run by the C.D.C. that looks at adverse drug events.

A common denominator among the drugs topping the list is that they can be difficult to use. Some require blood testing to adjust their doses, and a small dose can have a powerful effect. Blood sugar can be notoriously hard to control in people with diabetes, for example, and taking a slightly larger dose of insulin than needed can send a person into shock. Warfarin, meanwhile, is the classic example of a drug with a narrow margin between therapeutic and toxic doses, requiring regular blood monitoring, and it can interact with many other drugs and foods.

“These are medicines that are critical,” Dr. Budnitz said, “but because they cause so many of these harms, it’s important that they’re managed appropriately.”

One thing that stood out in the data, the researchers noted, was that none of the four drugs identified as frequent culprits are typically among the types of drugs labeled “high risk” for older adults by major health care groups. The medications that are usually designated high risk or “potentially inappropriate” are commonly used over-the-counter drugs like Benadryl, as well as Demerol and other powerful narcotic painkillers. And yet those drugs accounted for only about 8 percent of emergency hospitalizations among the elderly.

Dr. Budnitz said that the new findings should provide an opportunity to reduce the number of emergency hospitalizations in older adults by focusing on improving the safety of this small group of blood thinners and diabetes medications, rather than by trying to stop the use of drugs typically thought of as risky for this group.

“I think the bottom line for patients is that they should tell all their doctors that they’re on these medications,” he said, “and they should work with their physicians and pharmacies to make sure they get appropriate testing and are taking the appropriate doses.”

link to original posting in the New York Times.

 

Medicare D

Just a reminder, Medicare beneficiaries have until December 7 to enroll in, or change, Medicare D coverage.

For Resources on Medicare D, please go to www.medicare.gov; www.medicareinteractive.org; www.insurance.illinois.gov/ship