Welcome to the I-CARE Monthly Post! We are excited to post regular updates about what is going on in our world and yours. We hope to bring news about events we've attended, ones we're going to and quick thoughts on tips and resources to help you.
Springtime is finally here and warmer weather is on its way! For the past few months many people have been "holed up" at home because of cold weather. Since more motorists are on the road with the arrival of warmer weather here are some things to consider when it comes to car safety for older adults.
According to facts shared on www.car-fit.org “Older drivers are often the safest drivers as they are more likely to wear their seatbelts, and less likely to speed or drink and drive. However, older drivers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when a crash does occur due to the greater fragility of their bodies”. There are now two separate programs that help to assess safety for an older driver– CarFit and Driver Rehabilitation Asssements.
CarFit is an educational program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles "fit" them. The CarFit program also provides information and materials on community-specific resources that could enhance their safety as drivers, and/or increase their mobility in the community.
At a CarFit event, a team of trained technicians and/or health professionals work with each participant to ensure they "fit" their vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety. A CarFit check takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. It is sponsored by American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), American Occupational Therapy Association and also AAA (American Automobile Association).
Upcoming locations ___ more info#
May 8th Marysville OH American Legion Park 800-427-6882
May 9th Dayton OH AAA 937-224-2826
May 14th Blue Ash OH Sycamore Senior Center 513-865-1738
May 16th Centerville OH St. Leonard's Fran. Center 937-224-2826
*call the information number to find out future dates
If you are looking for a more involved assessment of the safety of the driver it might be time to look into a local Drivers Rehabilitation Program. Occupational Therapists lead these programs and help conduct the evaluations. The program starts with an interview of the individual to learn the persons driving history and to determine the impact driving has on one’s life. The individual’s physical, visual, visual perceptual and cognitive skills are assessed to learn more about that person’s strengths and weaknesses relative to driving. Next, there is an on road assessment or sometimes a simulated “on the road” assessment. Following the evaluation, recommendations are made for adaptive strategies or if there is found to be a safety issue they discuss driving cessation and transportation alternatives. The focus is to try to help enable the person to drive safely but at times this is not possible and needs to be addressed before someone gets hurt.
To get more information about local Driver Rehabilitation Programs in your area, call your I-CARE coordinator or go to www.driver-ed.org and at bottom click on the LOCATE A DRIVER REHABILITATION SPECIALIST
Sources: Car-fit.org and www.driver-ed.org
“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance”- Erma Bombeck
The sun is shining and it is time to air out the house and do a bit of spring cleaning! Here are a few tips that might be helpful to you or your loved one you might want to consider.
- Take stock of the medicine cabinet. Check for expired dates, discard unused medicine and check to see if they are in the proper containers.
- Replace batteries to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and any important remote that may require batteries.
- Clean the refrigerator out and make sure you get rid of any food with past expiration dates. Also check pantry as well.
- Revise your list of doctors, emergency contacts, new medicines and keep in visible area.
These are just a few tips to get you started on your way. Should you need assistance with locating a cleaning service in your area to help with your in-depth cleaning, contact your ICARE Service Coordinator for referral resources!
“Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world”- George Bernard Shaw
So many of the people we encounter through our work are family of or caregivers for loved ones with some form of dementia or Alzheimer's. I found the following information interesting and hope you will too. It is excerpts from Aging Well Magazine, summer 2010 issue,(volume 3,#3,) Article , by Lindsey Getz, is titled, .
Liz Witter, LSW
I-CARE coordinator, NW OH
When older adults suffer from Alzheimer's disease, it can often be a challenge to find ways to stimulate their memory - or even to help them communicate. But creative forces such as music and art have been shown to make a dramatic difference for many with the disease.
Marc E. Agronin, M.D., medical director for mental health and clinical research at the Miami Jewish Health System and an affiliate associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine says, "There's something transformative about using artistic skills. It tells us that what's deep in our soul isn't necessarily lost through dementia; it's just that the patient has lost one way of accessing it. For many, music and art can be a successful way to access those memories and abilities again."
What's particularly extraordinary is the fact that music and art may give a "voice" -- or at least some form of communication -- back to older adults who had previously been uncommunicative.
Caregivers and family might:
- incorporate elements of familiar music into their loved one's daily routines.
- Determine the type of music that evokes responses or was preferred by their loved one.
- Plan opportunities for passive art and music experiences such as museum visits and concert attendance. Often there are free and informal performances to be attended in many communities.
~Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.~ Gemma Stone
I think all of us from time to time have periods in our lives when we think “I can’t take anymore.” We feel like we are just getting buried under all that life throws our way. I (Diane) am very priviledged to be surrounded by very wise friends. One of them sent this to me, during a time when I was feeling buried. I kept a hold of it and like to read it when I start getting burdened. It is a wonderful reminder that all of us have choices to make at those times. We can cry and let ourselves get smothered, or we can shake off each load and make a conscious choice to overcome. So will you join me in taking that next step???
Donkey in the Well
An Inspirational Story
One day a farmer´s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn´t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone´s amazement, he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer´s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well, is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step upward!
Everyone does it…you read something that strikes a chord with you and you either write it down, cut it out so you can remember it for later, or attempt to memorize it. Well about 4 years ago, I (Shelley) was reading a bulletin from one of my lodges, McMakin Lodge, and saw this parable. I thought the message was so powerful I decided to cut it out and hang in on my family’s calendar so that we could read it anytime we need to. It still hangs there today! I am told this parable was shared as a LEO program but I am not sure which year or who exactly was behind it….but am so glad they shared it! I thought I would share it again below as I believe it provides a great message to all of us in this New Year!
The Two Wolves -an Old Cherokee Parable
An old Cherokee was teaching his young grandson one of life’s most important lessons. He told the young boy the following parable:
“There is a fight going on inside each of us. It is a terrible fight between two wolves,” he said. “One wolf is evil. He is anger, rage, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
“The second wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, truth, compassion, and faith.”
The grandson thought about this for a moment. Then he asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win the fight?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
In 2013, which wolf will you feed? Are you surrounding yourself with people who are helping you “feed the right wolf”?
Happy New Year from I-CARE! Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy year ahead!
We all know that the holidays can be stressful and overwhelming. Consider adding into the mix the stress of caring for a loved one or grieving the loss of a spouse or parent. We want to help and oftentimes say, “Call me if you need anything.” But we never get the call.
This holiday season, let’s take this a step further. Let’s ASK instead of TELL.
Ask what they need;
Ask how to do it;
Ask when they need it done;
Ask if there is anything else you can do.
The most precious gift you can give this season is the gift of your time. And it is the gift that only YOU can give!
Courtesy of www.fullcirclecare.org
Did you know that 30% of our population is considered to be a family caregiver? Those who give countless hours toward preserving the health and well-being of a loved one and who find little recognition or thanks are the hallmarks of a caregiver. Perhaps that is why we need a reminder that November is National Family Caregiver Month. The resilience and perseverance we see from caregivers is most honorable. And we must mention that 80% of long-term care is provided by family caregivers, which if not provided, would cost billions of dollars in nursing home care. So, in this season of Thanksgiving…take time to thank, support and celebrate the service of all family caregivers!