E-Newsletter: Useful Info During COVID

April 2, 2020

Following is the text of our recent e-newsletter. If you would like us to add you to our e-newsletter mailing list, please visit our homepage.

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Dear Friends,

This is our second newsletter during these interesting COVID times. The first newsletter offered legal information. This one shares useful info, plus something beautiful. You can revisit our first newsletter here.

We begin with a reminder:

Keep your Health Care Proxy, HIPAA Statement, and medication list at your fingertips.

(a) If you are a client of ours, then we enrolled you in DocuBank. Take five minutes now to update your medication list. (Really. Five minutes. I updated mine recently, it was very easy.)

(b) Keep copies on your phone. You can save the documents to your Google Drive, you can simply keep them attached to an email, whatever you like, so long as they are accessible to you on your phone. If you would like us to email PDFs of your signed documents to you, or to someone important to you, please call us or email us (doreen@alexislevitt.com).

(c) Keep copies on the back of your front door or on your refrigerator. Many first responders will look in these places for emergency medical papers.

(d) If you do not have a health care proxy, download one today from Honoring Choices. You will need to witnesses – perhaps your neighbors can watch you sign through your glass door or window.

We move on to community offerings:

The Wonder Duo of Two Sisters Senior Living Advisors, Michelle and Alyson, are bringing you free, professional chair yoga every Tuesday and Thursday morning! More info here (scroll down the page). Mark your calendars!

The Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline is open. If you are feeling at the end of your rope, or even if you are well before that point, call them. They can help.

The Alzheimer’s Association is also hosting a slew of webinars online. They have even found a way to continue with their support groups. Check it out. There is no need to go this alone.

Remember that your local Council on Aging is a bastion of information and resources! If you need anything, call them and they will either solve your problem or refer you to someone who can. Yes, your local senior is open for phone calls! (But not walk-ins.)

Now for Community Requests:

South Shore Hospital is requesting the following:
Financial donations
Homemade masks (attention people who love to sew!)
Supplies so that the hospital can make their own masks
Gift cards for employees in need
N95 masks, gowns, goggles, other PPE

Norwell VNA & Hospice is requesting N95 masks, gowns, goggles, and other PPE.

And, Something Beautiful:

There is a national movement to plaster our neighborhoods with hearts, in support of our health care workers who are on the front lines. In our neighborhood, teacher Kathleen Malone and her kids took the lead, and now we all have lovely homemade hearts on our doors. The ones with the Red Cross symbols were given to the nurses in our neighborhood, and they have told us that this makes them feel supported and loved. Pull out some art supplies and bring the same to your street!

   

And Remember:

Our office is open. We are working from home, but if you need anything at all, just call or email, and we will get right back to you.

Hang in there, and get outside for plenty of fresh air and sunshine. And wash your hands!!

– Alexis & Doreen

Elder Care Workshop Series at Norwell Public Library

March 13, 2017

Filed under: Alzheimer's,Caregiver Issues — Alexis @ 2:02 PM

Getting older? Taking care of someone who is? Come to this series to learn some helpful tips from local Elder Services professionals.

 

Wednesday, March 15:

“Learn to Speak Alzheimereze”

Discover tips to work with a person who is changing before your eyes and to learn to speak ‘Alzheimereze.’

Presented by Alzheimer’s coach Beverly Moore.

Wednesday, March 29: 

“Hospital to Home”

Understand how to make a successful transition from hospital to home.

Presented by Kim Bennett, LSW, of Visiting Angels, Inc.

“Do I Need Palliative or Hospice Care?”

Learn about the difference in important care choices.

Presented by Catherine Harrington, BA, RN, of Norwell VNA and Hospice.

***Workshops will be held at the Norwell Public Library from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Registration is requested, but not required via email at Doreen@alexislevitt.com or calling 781.740.7269.

This series is sponsored by the Law Office of Alexis B. Levitt, the Norwell Council on Aging, and the Norwell Public Library.

Elder Care Workshop Series at Norwell Public Library

March 7, 2017

 

Getting older? Taking care of someone who is? Come to this three-part series to learn some helpful tips from local Elder Services professionals.

Wednesday, March 8:

“Who Can Help Me?”

Find out how to access elder services in your community.

Presented by Susan Curtin, Director at Norwell Council on Aging.

 

“Elder Law 101”

Get to know the basics of preparing for your future.

Presented by Attorney Alexis B. Levitt.

 

Wednesday, March 15:

“Learn to Speak Alzheimereze”

Discover tips to work with a person who is changing before your eyes and to learn to speak ‘Alzheimereze.’

Presented by Alzheimer’s coach Beverly Moore.

 

Wednesday, March 29: 

“Hospital to Home”

Understand how to make a successful transition from hospital to home.

Presented by Kim Bennett, LSW, of Visiting Angels, Inc.

 

“Do I Need Palliative or Hospice Care?”

Learn about the difference in important care choices.

Presented by Catherine Harrington, BA, RN, of Norwell VNA and Hospice.

 

***Workshops will be held at the Norwell Public Library from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Registration is requested, but not required via email at Doreen@alexislevitt.com or calling 781.740.7269.

 

This series is sponsored by the Law Office of Alexis B. Levitt, the Norwell Council on Aging, and the Norwell Public Library.

 

 

 

Cohasset Alzheimer’s Association Presentation on Dementia-Related Behaviors

February 2, 2017

Filed under: Alzheimer's,Caregiver Issues — Alexis @ 9:44 AM

This looks like a good presentation coming up soon in Cohasset. Presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, participants will learn how to “decode” what an Alzheimer’s patient is trying to express through their behavior. For example, someone lashing out verbally might be doing so because they are frustrated that they are cold but can’t find the words to say so. Come learn how to understand what a behavior is really saying and how to respond.

Event will take place on Wednesday, February 8 at the Cohasset Senior Center from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. For more information and to register, click here.

South Shore Residents May Be Eligible for Alzheimer’s PET Scans (IDEAS)

January 24, 2017

Filed under: Alzheimer's,Medical Care — Alexis @ 1:33 PM

Beth Israel Deaconess-Plymouth is taking part in a study that uses PET scans to look for signs of Alzheimer’s. It is called the Imaging Dementia—Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study.

There are many different sources of dementia, for example Alzheimer’s, vascular, and frontal lobe. Knowing which type of dementia a person has can help patients and families know how to work with the changing mind and what to expect from the course of the disease over time.

Not everyone is eligible – this is a study, so there are various criteria that a person must meet. The PET scan is paid for by Medicare. If you or a loved one has dementia, talk to your doctor about whether you can participate in the study.

For more information, see this article.

Are You Caring for Someone Who Wanders?

December 22, 2016

CMS (the agency that manages Medicare and Medicaid) recently put out this interesting FAQ piece on wandering. The piece is aimed at managers of day programs and assisted livings, but there are a lot of useful nuggets in here for people who are caring for loved ones still at home who tend to wander.

Alzheimer’s 10th Annual Educational Conference and Caregiver Day

April 14, 2015

Filed under: Alzheimer's,Caregiver Issues — Alexis @ 11:03 AM

I will be on the afternoon panel of this day-long conference.  This year’s annual conference features the film “Alive Inside,” which shows how music can reach into the depths of our souls even when are minds betray us, and some speakers focusing on how to communicate with the person with demential emotionally.  The ever-popular Dr. Paul Raia from the Alzheimer’s Association will be the key speaker for the day.

At the end of the day, a panel will take questions from the audience.  It will be myself, Dr. Raia, Maureen Bradley, who is a nurse with the Royal Health Group, and Eve Montague, who is a music therapist with the South Shore Conservatory.

This event is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Partnership of the South Shore, Partners Healthcare, and Linden Ponds.  So far 200 people have registered.  If you would like to join us, please do, it’s a very affordable all-day conference – just $40, including lunch.  It takes place at Linden Ponds in Hingham.

See here for more information and to RSVP.  Please note that there are several events listed on that page – be sure you are looking at the Caregiver Conference info.

See you there!

Big Step Forward for Alzheimer’s Care & Research

January 24, 2014

Filed under: Alzheimer's — Alexis @ 2:57 PM

On January 17, President Obama signed a funding bill containing what the Alzheimer’s Association calls “an unprecedented $122 million increase” for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach, and caregiver support.

The specifics, as outlined in the Alzheimer’s Association press release, are as follows:

• A $100 million increase for the National Institute on Aging for Alzheimer’s research, which will be added to what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates will be $484 million in Alzheimer’s research funding across NIH in fiscal year 2013.
• A further $3.3 million has been provided to support Alzheimer’s caregivers.
• $4 million to train health professionals on issues related to Alzheimer’s disease.
• $10.5 million to expand the home and community based caregiver services.
• $4.2 million for outreach activities to raise awareness.
• The National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative will receive $30 million to support brain research that could impact several diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

This is an enormous step forward for families living with Alzheimer’s as well as for the future of Alzheimer’s care.

Read the full press release here.

Laughter & Music Can Be Better than Drugs for Dementia Patients

August 19, 2013

Filed under: Alzheimer's — Alexis @ 11:46 AM

There is a lot of movement right now in the US and around the world to move away from drug-dependency for keeping elder dementia in check. Well, here is a three-year study from Australia, with excellent news. Taken from the Sydney Morning Herald article:

“[The] nursing home participated in a three-year study that found weekly visits by clowns, plus the training of staff members to provide humour therapy, significantly reduced agitation among 180 residents in 17 nursing homes compared with a control group. The effect was similar to that of the average dose of risperidone, a drug used to reduce aggression and agitation among dementia patients, the Sydney Multisite Intervention of LaughterBosses and ElderClowns (SMILE) study found. It also avoided common side effects like stroke.”

Read the entire article here.

Department of Public Health Survey on Health Needs for People with Disabilities

May 20, 2013

This landed in my inbox. It took about 5 minutes to fill it out. Due date is May 31. Here are the details:

Help influence health care in Massachusetts! The Health and Disability Program, part of Office of Health Equity at the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) is conducting a health needs survey for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. The Office of Health Equity promotes the health and well being of minority populations, including people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth. Results from the survey will be used to determine how best to address the current public health needs of the disability community. To that end, first, please take a few moments to complete the health needs survey yourself here.

DPH would like to get a broad range of respondents representing all the facets of the disability community, please forward the link to your friends and colleagues in the disability community and ask them to complete.

Who should complete this survey?

Residents of Massachusetts, over the age of 18 who have disabilities
Caregivers or guardians of adults or children with disabilities
Disability advocates
Staff at community based organizations or state or local government offices that serve people with disabilities
Academic researchers
Healthcare providers
Public health officials or professionals
Health and wellness promotion specialists
Health administrators
Health policy experts
We also invite participation by anyone else who has an interest in the health of people living with disabilities in Massachusetts. Please forward as soon as possible, as the survey link will only remain active until May 31, 2013. We look forward to hearing from you!

This is a voluntary and anonymous survey. The responses are compiled and we do not have knowledge of individual respondents.

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