Lucille Plantemoli RN (right), VP of Healthlink Advocates and Laura O'Reilly RN (left) on Novemebr 30 with "Dr. Mike" Varshavski at the Building a Culture of Health conference yesterday. Five hundred people strong, this successful event focused on the importance of "getting the job done" and the integration of mental health care into population health strategies as well as a systems approach to promoting population ...health. Acting Health Commissioner Chris Rinn, Dept. of Health's Peri Nearon, Darrin Anderson, State Program Director of NJ Partnership for Health Kids, and three time Olympic Champion, Joetta Clark Diggs, along with Dr. Mike inspired us to make a difference in our communities
Please check out this engaging and informative article Written by Maria Villeza, Owner of Elder Impact. http://elderimpact.org/
--------------------------Reaching out to help your elderly parent from afar
Assisting an aging parent across the miles can be overwhelming. You can feel like things are out of control because you can’t be there to help in person. It can be even more challenging if you have concerns about addiction or have a need to heal a rift. Here are ways to give terrific long-distance support to your loved one.
Use technology. According to the experts at Today, technology offers an array of great options for assisting your parent from afar.
Some websites are especially designed for supporting your aging senior. Try Lotsahelpinghands for electronic scheduling so that family and friends can sign up for delivering meals, driving to medical appointments, or taking turns caregiving.
The National Center on Caregiving recently launched FCA CareJourney. This is an online service offering support, resources, and good information for those caring for adults with chronic cognitive or health concerns such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.
When addiction is a worry. Some studies show there is a growing concern for addiction among seniors. The impact of drug and alcohol abuse is greater for the elderly, due to risk of injury and dangerous interaction with medications. The effects of alcohol and drugs is also more debilitating for seniors. Yet statistics show that over 2.5 million older adults struggle with a drug or alcohol problem. Here are some signs your parent may have an addiction:
When the distance between you is more than physical. Oftentimes relationships with parents are strained. It’s no secret that families often suffer with dysfunctional issues. It’s possible your parent’s addiction isn’t new and your relationship is damaged as a result. Regardless of how things became broken, here is advice from experts for mending fences with your parent.
Reach your parent from afar. Helping your parent from a distance is challenging. Using technology can bridge the gap. You may be worried your parent suffers with addiction or need to heal an injured relationship. Using the advice offered here will help you support your parent across the miles.
We don't need to be health professionals to advocate for the aging. Check out some tips on how to keep your loved ones connected and safe.
On her website Marie Villeza, Owner of Elder Impact states:
Our mission is to empower seniors against ageism by making handy the information they need to keep controlling their own lives. Our team works to incorporate market research with senior needs. We want technology to be accessible, we want social calendars to be bustling, and we want everyone to have access to the medical attention and other resources they need. We want younger generations to see that they can help dismantle ageism. We don’t want there to be any victims. We want to impact the elderly so that they can keep impacting the world.
For more info. visit: http://elderimpact.org/
Sometimes we are blindsided by a finding or diagnosis. Especially when it comes out of nowhere. Here's my story...
In my work as a health professional I advise people on a daily basis on the importance of screenings and regular checkups. So, Walking the Walk, I made my appointment for my annual physical last year thinking that all I needed to do was keep an eye on my higher than usual cholesterol. To my surprise my numbers were improving, but my doctor had a frown on her face that prompted me to ask what the problem was. She wasn't sure it was a big deal but she felt it was imperative that I get an abdominal ultrasound (that led to a CT Scan) to make sure my kidneys were ok. I was nervous, as most of us can be. (It is normal to be apprehensive, but we still have to get ourselves checked out!).
Knowing my doc would be calling me with results I had my phone with me while out on a jog. So here is where my story got weird...I answered the phone and she asked me how I felt. I told her I was fine, and that I had been jogging. She said my kidneys were ok, to which I replied, 'well that's good". Then, she said, BUT- the scan showed a tumor at the base of my lung next to my heart. It was a pretty big tumor.
It was a nerve wracking period that made me really savor the moments of my life and reflect on the importance of health (especially when it is threatened). I was prepared to do anything I had to in order to survive the ordeal. It wasn't until after the surgery that I learned that the tumor was benign, but that it could have caused sudden cardiac arrest or structural damage to my lung had it not been found and removed.
Detection of the tumor is what is known as an 'incidental funding', something that was found by accident. It was a happy accident because it ended well for me. It was found because I was screening for something else as a result of a regular wellness checkup. If my mom were alive she would tell me that God writes straight with crooked lines"; it was a favorite saying of hers for times when things did not make sense at the moment, but would in due time.
I am fortunate that my surgery went well, and this month, one year later, I ran a 5k.
I encourage all to continue to get regular checkups and screenings. Promote awareness to all of your friends and family.
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability promotes community health inclusion for people with disabilities. Kudos to them! I am thankful to have been part of their effort while working with Easterseals New Jersey, who was the lead organization in this national effort. We still have a long way to go to improve the health and wellness of people with special needs..
Last month's issue of the Disability and Health Journal published an article about the lack of programs for people with disabilities in health clubs.
In addition to physical access, health clubs need to offer fitness programs that are safe and effective. See this video to learn more about how ability appropriate exercise benefits people with disabilities. And ask me how I can help you to create one.
Some health club owners say there is not enough interest to justify offering a special needs program. I say, build it and they will come! We all have special needs of some kind. We ALL have bodies, and bodies need safe exercise that will minimize risks for injuries and promote best outcomes.
This newsletter is published by The New Jersey Local Boards of Health Association, of which I am president. There is important and relevant public health inform...ation for everyone. This incldues information on the Zika virus from the Health Commissioner of the State of NJ.
Remember people, knowledge is power!
Did you schedule a mammogram this year?
Nurses have the privilege to be with patients and families at their most vulnerable, and no body part or health topic is taboo at Thanksgiving, cocktail parties and other events. Bowel habits, Mom's thrombosis or Dad's COPD...whatever the topic, be confident that I am always interested. People trust nurses and tell us their concerns and ask us questions. And we really, really care. I love helping people and giving them health advice. I'm also not embarrassed to share my own issues. So let it be known that I scheduled my Mammogram today. (Wow! It has been a year since the last one.)
Please, in your personal and professional worlds encourage all women to schedule theirs. Screenings Save Lives!
o No matter how old or young, in shape or out of shape we are, we all deserve an opportunity to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Safe exercise programs keep you injury free and coming back for more!