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Older Americans Month proclamation presented to Holland, TX mayor

Older Americans Month Proclamation

Older Americans Month proclamation presented to Holland, TX mayor

Our Community Health & Wellness Programs Coordinator Susan Burchfield presented the Older Americans Month Proclamation to Stanley Koonsen, Mayor of Holland, TX on April 29, 2019.

Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, Older Americans Month (OAM) provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and resources to help communities support and celebrate their diversity. OAM has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.

This year’s OAM theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and local services and resources.
  • Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Communities that support and recognize older adults are stronger! Join us in strengthening our community – this May and throughout the year. Visit the official OAM website for ideas and inspiration, and follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook. Learn more about our resources and free classes to support older Americans on the health, wellness, and prevention page.

Ombudsman Volunteers Group Photo

Ombudsman Volunteer Appreciation Event

Thank You to Our Ombudsman Volunteers!

Last week we held an appreciation event where we showered our volunteers with gifts and refreshments. Thank you to all of our “All Star” Ombudsmen! If you have a heart for residents of long-term care facilities and are interested in advocating for their rights, visit our Ombudsman page or contact Ombudsman coordinator Chrystal Griggs at 254-770-2368 to learn more.

Ombudsman Volunteers Group Photo
Ombudsman from left to right:  Roxanne Flores-Achmad, Karin Villasana, Lionel Villasana, Melinda Wenzl, Millie Ogilive, and Jeanne Whorton

Ombudsman Appreciation Table Display

Ombudsman Appreciation Event

Ombudsman Appreciation Wall

tips to reduce stress

10 Tips for Managing Stress with Alzheimer’s

Living with Alzheimer’s or caring for loved ones with dementia brings demands and may feel overwhelming. Too much stress affects your health and ability to function. Follow these 10 tips shared by the Alzheimer’s Association to reduce stress and improve concentration and decision-making:

  1. Maintain a positive attitude.
  2. Acceptance is key–all you can control is how you react and adjust.
  3. People can’t help if they don’t know there is a problem–be honest and open with your feelings.
  4. Relax–taking time to breathe is so important.
  5. Get moving–exercise can help reduce stress.
  6. Take it one day at a time–if it’s not an emergency situation, do not turn it into one.
  7. Sleep is important–a good night’s rest keeps us functioning at our best.
  8. Incorporate stress management techniques into your life–be social and have fun!
  9. Eat a balanced, healthful diet full of fruits, vegetables, and water.
  10. Set realistic goals and go slow–life is not a race, rather, it is a journey.

Finding ways to reduce caregiver stress will help lessen the long-term emotional and physical toll of caregiving. If you need help, contact us for more resources. More tips and symptoms of stress are available at alz.org/help-support.

Senate Finance Committee Hearing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Senate Finance Committee Hearing Held on Nursing Homes Abuse and Neglect

Not Forgotten:  Protecting Americans From Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes

By Chrystal Griggs, Regional Ombudsman for Central Texas Council of Governments

On March 6, 2019, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Grassley, held a hearing entitled, “Not Forgotten: Protecting Americans From Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes.” After opening statements from Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Senator Ron Wyden, the daughters of two nursing home residents gave heartbreaking and distressing testimony about each of their mother’s experiences – one with neglect, the other with abuse. Following their statements, five additional witnesses provided testimony:  Dr. David Gifford, American Health Care Association; Dr. David Grabowksi, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Kate Goodrich, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Antoinette Bacon, Department of Justice; and Keesha Mitchell, Office of the Ohio Attorney General.

Numerous issues were raised during the hearing, among them, Nursing Home Compare and the Five-Star Rating System, the closing of rural nursing homes, Medicaid reimbursement rates, regulations and enforcement, and staffing. Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Robyn Grant attended the hearing. She expressed concern that there was no consumer advocate on the panel who could have testified to the resident experience nationwide and provided the consumer perspective on care, abuse, and neglect. Grant also voiced disappointment that although the title of the hearing indicated the topic would be abuse and neglect, there was not a focused discussion and examination of ways to prevent and end nursing home abuse and neglect.

View a recording of the hearing on the Senate Finance Committee’s Facebook page.

TDT article Alzheimers Caregiver Workshop

Alzheimer’s Caregiving Workshop in the News

TDT article Alzheimers Caregiver Workshop
Read the complete article at http://www.tdtnews.com.

Caregiving Tips for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Thanks again to Delia Jervier from the Capital of Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for visiting AAACT at Central Texas Council of Governments this past week. Jervier shared great insight on caregiving for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. One point she discussed was that as loved ones digress, there is a tendency to revert to their native language, making communication with facility staff difficult. One example she gave was a Korean woman in Austin who had reverted to her native language and diet, making it impossible to find a care center for her.

Jervier also mentioned that although training is necessary for caregiving, it requires more hours of training to learn how to groom pets that it does to learn how to work with dementia patients.

“People who care for people with dementia don’t get an adequate amount of training for the type care needed by individuals with Alzheimer’s,” Jervier said.

Jervier also stressed that early diagnosis will help the individual with the disease to become more involved in the decision-making process. The 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s she shared include:

  1. Difficulty remembering things that just happened
  2. Inability to plan or solve problems
  3. Losing track of dates, seasons, and time
  4. Misplacing things
  5. Mood and personality changes
  6. Poor decision-making
  7. Struggling with conversations
  8. Trouble completing familiar tasks
  9. Vision problems
  10. Withdrawal from social or work activities

Thank you to Temple Daily Telegram for covering this workshop. To read the complete article, visit tdtnews.com.

matter of balance class

A Matter of Balance Class Receives Excellent Reviews

Conquer your fear of falling with our free 8-week class held on Fridays starting April 26 at 1-3 p.m. This class teaches you to understand your fears and stay active with easy exercises. We’ll also cover how to make safety improvements at your home, communicate with your healthcare team and family, change “fall-ty” habits, and more.

Class Reviews from A Matter of Balance

We conducted a survey at our last class and received all excellent reviews. These are just a few comments participants made about the Matter of Balance class:

“This is a very valuable class. Excellent information. Very good method of applying information to daily life. Thank you, this was great!!!”

“Thankful these programs are available to seniors.”

“Thank you very much for your dedication and diligence. We have greatly benefitted from the A Matter of Balance classes!

We hope you’ll join us at our next class to learn how to manage your fears and find confidence in managing your health. The class is open to the public and will be held at the Salado Public Library located at 1151 North Main Street in Salado, Texas. For any questions or to register, please contact Susan Burchfield at wellnesseducation@ctcog.org or call 254-770-2330.

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