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AARP HomeFit Guide

Home Fit Modifications Guide

Reduce Fall Risks for Seniors with Home Modifications

From DailyCaring.com

Hazards in the home can add up over time, increasing the risk for falls–a top reason why seniors loss independence and mobility. Check out a room-by-room modification guide from AARP that takes you through the entire house explaining specific changes that are necessary to keep seniors safe. Some highlights include:

  • Good lighting, essential for seniors because aging eyes need much more light than younger ones
  • Visual shopping guide with pictures of recommended home safety modification items
  • Keeping things within reach, making it easier for those who are frail or weak
  • Evaluating outdoor hazards as well as indoor ones
  • Simple to-do lists that separate the tasks you can do yourself from those that may require a handyman or contractor
  • Other helpful online resources to learn about home modifications for older adults

Download the entire HomeFit Guide from AARP below:

AARP HomeFit Guide
Smart solutions for making your home comfortable, safe and a great fit

 

Empower Care Act

Empower Care Act Introduced in Senate

Money Follows the Person Legislation Introduced

Shared from an article published by National Consumer Voice

Great news!  Two bills have been introduced to extend the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program for five years!   Called the Empower Care Act, a Senate bill (S. 548) by Senators Portman and Cantwell, and a House Bill (H.R. 1342) by Congresspersons Guthrie and Dingell, would continue and improve the program through 2023.  Improvements include reducing how long someone must be in a nursing home before becoming eligible to transition from 90 days to 60.

The five-year extension is critically important.  Congress passed $112 million in funding for the program in January 2019 (H.R. 259), but this money ends in September and could even run out sooner.

As we have previously noted, MFP benefits both long-term care consumers and states. MFP helps individuals with disabilities and seniors who want to move out of nursing homes or other institutions and back into their communities, where they can live independently and experience an improved quality of life. At the same time, it helps states improve access to home and community-based long-term services and supports and save money.

It’s exciting to see these bills so early in the session.  Stay tuned for more updates and information about advocacy action.

Walk With A Doc Donation Check

Walk With a Doc: Caregiving for Patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Caregiving for Family Members with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Reported By Kerry Fillip, Director of the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas

Walk With a Doc Crowd

Dr. Alan Stevens from the Center for Applied Health Research at Baylor Scott & White joined community members on February 16 at the Walk With a Doc event, a free monthly event where health providers speak on their area of expertise. Dr. Stevens shared his thoughts on the trends for caregiving for family members who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia diseases.

Recent studies show that the burden of providing care for dementia patients is more intense than for patients with other diseases. This caregiving goes beyond the physical…and it is much more intense.

Walk With a Doc Back

Trends in Caregiving

Caregivers are having to learn a whole host of new skills in order to keep their loved ones with dementia at home. The traditional family dynamic has also changed. It used to be that daughters carried the burden for caregiving. Now, those daughters are in the workforce while siblings have moved across the country. Parents are living longer, and families are much more culturally diverse than ever before.

Add to this mix the fact that the number of patients needing care is about to vastly outnumber the pool of available caregivers. Baby Boomers will be aging at an exponential rate, and they have had far fewer children than in previous generations.

Day-to-Day Stress of Caregiving

Current studies of caregiving focus on the day-to-day burden of caregiving. These studies note that there is a higher rate of depression, a lower quality-of-life, and a lower rate of personal health among caregivers. And yet, the caregiver is the KEY factor in the ability to keep the loved one at home.

So, what do we do? If the caregiver is the KEY component to keeping the loved one at home and that caregiver is depressed with low quality of life and often ill themselves—while being unable or disbelieving that they have the right to take care of themselves—what will happen to both patient and caregiver? The idea is that healthcare and social agencies need to promote “family-centered” care—taking care of the entire family who has the dementia patient and the caregiver at the center.

Family-Centered CareWalk With a Doc Dogs

Why should healthcare be concerned about “family-centered” care? Because Americans are spending about $232 billion dollars annually on family health care. Yes, that’s BILLIONS…with a “B.”

While there is some good information, it is not readily available to the average person. Research groups are trying to produce much-needed materials, but funding is still an issue. The current expectation is that caregiving is “something that families just do.” We need to do a better job of coordinating across providers.

One such example of that is the upcoming Dementia Care Study that Baylor Scott & White is conducting in conjunction with UCLA and the Benjamin Rose Institute.  The Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas is also assisting in this study.

Dr. Alan StevensFor more information, or to participate in the dementia care study, please contact:

Dr. Alan Stevens,

Center for Applied Health Research

2401 S. 31st St.|MS-01-501| Temple, TX 76508

254-724-0989 Office

The Rusty Awards for 2018

Please join us in celebrating another fantastic Rusty Awards Event, congratulating 8 individuals who have made a difference in Bell County. The Rusty Awards honor those who inspire while living with a disability, bring notice to people with disabilities through advocacy and further the cause of people with disabilities. The awards will be presented at a ceremony 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Bell County Expo, 3101 W. Loop 121 in Belton.
We also will be honoring the memory of our friend Harry Wilson followed by the presentation of our Harry Wilson Athlete of the Year Award.

Awardee for the Rusty Awards for 2018

 

  • Kristi Tindell –  2018 Pat Elliott Inspirational Award, she is a Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Professional Counselor, she is the owner of Central Texas Behavioral Solutions in Killeen, she lives in Temple.

 

  • Deborah Lease2018 Bell County Judge’s Meritorious Service Award, parent of a young adult with Autism, she started an organization called Social Branch which serves individuals with Autism of all ages and a volunteer in the field of disabilities.

 

  • Devon Flores2018 Harry Wilson Athlete of the Year Award, Devon has active participant for over 10 years with Special Olympics and has earned over 47 awards & medals.  He has also been awarded Student of the Month from Hay Branch Elementary School and with Union Grove Middle School.  He was recognized with Harker Heights High School Knight.

 

  • Daryl Winfree – 2018 John C. Garth Person of the Year Award, he is a foster parent of children and youth who are faced with various unique challenges and disabilities, he serves as an inspiration to the children.  He shares his wisdom and uplifts those around him, he also has a disability and battles kidney disease.

 

  • Sohn Stancell – 2018 Employer of the Year Award, Director of Service Solutions, housed at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and an extraordinary person.  He is an employer of many individuals with disabilities and a strong encourager. He continues to hire the students once they complete the SEAL Program and he participates in the WIOA program with Texas Workforce.

 

  • Chris DeGraaff – 2018 Laura “Pat” Taylor Advocate of the Year Award, Chris is legally blind, lives in Temple and a strong Advocate for services for persons with disabilities.  Recently he was active with the need for accessible public transportation in Temple. He is o a substitute teacher in Temple and the students have all very good things to say about Mr. DeGraaff as their teacher.

 

  • Tom Elmore – 2018 Jennifer Phillips Award for Courage, Tom is the Career Center Supervisor at the Central Texas Workforce Center in Temple.  He is an amputee due to the lost his right arm in an industrial accident, however, he has demonstrated the “can do” attitude and motivates other to move forward.

 

  • Kelly D. Baylan – 2018 Shirley Biels Health Care Worker of the Year Award, she is Board Certified Psychiatrist and works as Staff Psychiatrist Warrior Transition Unit Fort Hood, Texas, and the President of the Baylan Wellness.   She works with the WTU Soldiers with PTSD aggravated by deployments and traumas.  She was recognized in an article in the Texas A&M alumni magazine, selected for the 2018 Young Alumni Spotlight.  Dr. Baylan works with Hope Happens, a suicide prevention organization in Central Texas.
gandhi-quote

Long-term Care Residents Honored During Residents’ Rights Month

Washington DC– Across the country, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities along with family members, ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff and others will honor the individual rights of long-term care residents by celebrating Residents’ Rights Month. Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect and the value of long-term care residents.
The theme for Residents’ Rights Month 2018 is, – “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them”– to emphasize the importance of residents being informed about their rights and being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life. “We want residents to know the rights to which they are entitled, and we want to emphasize that residents should feel confident in speaking up about what is important to them,” said Lori Smetanka, Executive Director of the Consumer Voice.

The Nursing Home Reform Law, passed in 1987, guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights, including but not limited to: individualized care, respect, dignity, the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain, and the right to make independent choices. Residents who have made their home in nursing homes maintain their rights as U.S. Citizens. Residents’ Rights Month raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term residents.

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked for more than 40 years to promote residents’ rights daily. More than 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 paid staff are advocates for residents in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Authorized under the Older Americans Act and administered by the Administration on Aging, the program also provides information on how to find a facility, conducts community education sessions, and supports residents, their families and the public with one-on-one consultation regarding long-term care.

 


become a volunteer
contact Chrystal Griggs regional ombudsman at (254) 770-2368

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. -Gandhi