ElderCare Beacon Newsletter
November 1, 1999 Vol. 2, No. 11
ElderCare Online The Internet Community of Elder Caregiversń http://www.ec-online.net
"Tell me why Show me how Hold my hand" (sm)
As we head into the Autumn months and soon the Winter months, it is a good idea to take a look at your elders home to make sure that s/he is prepared for cooler days and colder nights. Many aging people complain about "being cold" all the time, but this may be a sign that they are in danger of "hypothermia," or dangerously low body temperature. If your elder is not eating well (malnourished), is diabetic or lives in substandard housing, s/he may be at risk for hypothermia.
Hypothermia can be exacerbated in the elderly due to changes in the way aging people perceive cold, skin diseases, inactivity or immobility, medications (such as antidepressants or benzodiazepams) or alcohol abuse. Low body temperature can lead to slowed speech and reflexes; high blood pressure; or depressed breathing. Some of these symptoms are often hard to detect in impaired elderly people, so be alert to these risk factors.
What should you do when it gets too cold?:
Even mild hypothermia is considered a serious condition in an elderly person and might require hospitalization. If you suspect that your elder is experiencing hypothermia, call for emergency help and slowly rewarm your elder with blankets, socks, hat and gloves. Caution: Rapidly rewarming an elderly person can be deadly. Please refer to the Merck Manual of Geriatrics in ElderCare Onlines Medical Research Assistant at http://www.ec-online.net/Assistants/medresassistant.htm for more information on medical care for aging people.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
ElderCare Online in the News SmartMoney Magazine
ELDERCARE ONLINE IN THE NEWS SmartMoney Magazine
SmartMoney magazine is viewed as one of the best personal finance magazines in the country. They are known for quality reporting on business, finance and the Stock Market. Take a look at the November issue: They have a heartfelt article on one womans personal struggle finding the best care for her mother with Alzheimers Disease.
Author Amy Virshup and I spoke several times about the issues that caregivers face, particularly those who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimers Disease. The article follows Sheila Haleys journey from looking for home care, to giving up job promotions, to finally bringing her mother, Lucille, to a nursing home. Sheila finds comfort in online message boards, like those on ElderCare Online, when her family members avoid the painful caregiving tasks.
Read the article online at http://www.smartmoney.com/smart/, or you can buy the November issue of the magazine on newsstands now.
MEDICAL RESEARCH ASSISTANT ENHANCED
Since we launched the Medical Research Assistant in September, it has become one of the busiest sectors in the ElderCare Online community. This is a testament to the very real need for high-quality medical information. I am proud to say that we are meeting that need.
The enhanced Medical Research Assistant includes additional Alzheimers Disease resources; a link to "Quackwatch," an internet site that helps caregivers sort through questionable medical information and "cures;" and a link to the respected Mayo Clinics Health Oasis resource. As with all ElderCare Online resources, we are open to your comments, critiques and feedback.
A personal "Thank You" to Ed Pores for providing me with so much background research materials and links. Ed serves as "Internet Resource Advisor" for the Long Island Alzheimers Foundations Caregivers Council. I was so pleased to meet him and his wife, Ann, at the recent Coping and Caring Conference in Smithtown, New York.
NURSING HOME QUALITY ADVISOR ASSISTANT
Our newest interactive assistant is designed to help you choose a skilled nursing facility and maintain quality of life once your elder moves in.
Admitting your elder into a nursing home or skilled nursing facility can be one of the most emotional decisions in the caregiving journey. It is often accompanied by feelings of guilt, failure or fear -- sometimes with justification. But moving your elder into a nursing home should be viewed as a way to ensure that your elder is receiving the best care possible. Skilled nursing facilities can better handle the medical and behavioral problems of our aging loved ones.
You can -- and should -- stay involved in the care of your loved one. By visiting the facility often and participating in care plan reviews, you show your elder and the staff that you are concerned. Staff respond more positively when they know you and understand your elder's background. And you can focus on your relationship with your elder instead of the minutae of day-to-day caregiving.
CAREGIVER TIP Applying for Medicaid and Other Benefits
Caregivers hoping to get much-needed government benefits are often forced to collect ancient documents and fill out piles of forms. Professional geriatric care managers, elder lawyers and other specialists can help file applications for you, but not all of us can afford their services.
The free software assistants like the ElderCare Organizer help you collect and track documents. But you should also make copies of all applications and attachments and store them with your elders personal documents. This will help you if the government "misplaces" your application. You can save literally months worth of effort by keeping that duplicate copy handy.
Edyth Ann Knox (aka Bubblehead in Internet chatrooms) is working with families affected by Alzheimers Disease to knit together a Dementia Quilt and Dementia Maze to heighten awareness of Alzheimers Disease and to demonstrate the feeling that many caregivers (and AD patients) feel being trapped in a maze. Edyth Ann plans to collect squares designed and sewn by caregivers and unite them into a quilt. The quilt will be made into the walls of a Dementia Maze, and to made available for parades, conventions, demonstrations and other events meant to improve public awareness and education
Specifications: Squares should be 9" x 9" and made from cotton fabric. Please include on the square the loved ones name, birthdate, type of dementia, year of diagnosis and either a space left for their passing date to be added later or for the passing date to be recorded. Squares may be decorated in any way that you choose. You may also include a picture of the loved one on the square along with the information.
Please send your squares to:
DRUGSTORE.COM OFFER FOR ELDERCARE ONLINE COMMUNITY MEMBERS
$10 OFF FOR FIRST-TIME PURCHASE drugstore.com has offered to give ElderCare Online members a generous $10 off of your first-time purchase. The offer is valid through November 30, so take advantage of it now. Just follow this link to the drugstore.com website at shop for health and beauty products, vitamins, personal care products, incontinence supplies, foot care products, feminine care products and prescription drugs. Use this link to ensure that you get the $10 bonus and ElderCare Online gets the referral credit.http://www.drugstore.com/user/promo.asp?code=rewards&aid=2579&aparam=10-promo
If you order this holiday season, drugstore.com will also give you a free. The hottest name in beauty right now is philosophy« and we've got it in our boutique at drugstore.com. People magazine just raved about philosophy in its pages and Hollywood celebrities swear by these sophisticated-but-simple makeup and skincare products with quirky little names like "hold that thought" and "rainbow connection." To kick off the holiday shopping season in style, we're offering a gift set of 3 philosophy products FREE with purchase (limit one per household, excludes prescription purchases).
TRANSITIONS & SPIRITUALITY CHANNEL UPDATED
Take another look at the Transitions & Spirituality Channel. We have added three new articles to help you out with issues around grieving, death & dying, stress management and funeral planning.
Consumer Protection: Funeral Planning
Know what your rights are as a consumer.
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