April 2012

Important Dates:   Are we on your calendar for this month?  We hope you’ll celebrate the Grand Opening of the Adult Resource Center (Room 102, across the hall from the Oasis Library at Trinity) after services the weekend of April 14-16.  ARC volunteers will be in the lobby and office handing out  free FILE OF LIFE cylinders and packets to seniors (and those who care for or love them!).  Endorsed by the National Council on Aging and encouraged by first responders across America, the packet and enclosed forms to be completed by you help first responders treat you more efficiently and effectively and provide them with contact information for family or friends.  The information is stored in a magnetized vinyl holder, and first responders are trained to look for it on the side of your refrigerator.  By completing the forms and displaying the cylinder or packet, you and your family have peace of minding knowing you’ve provided information that is critical in dealing with a crisis or emergency.

Trinity’s Health Fair takes place the following Sunday, April 22,  in the Heritage Center, and ARC volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about our services as well as provide information about the potential danger of over-dosing on acetaminophen an ingredient in hundreds of over-the-counter medications. The Illinois Department of Transportation has made available a limited number of “Yellow Dot Kits” for seniors.   Should you be involved in an accident, the “Yellow Dot” displayed on your rear window tells police and EMTs that key contact and medical information has been provided on a form stored in your glove compartment.  And, if you missed the ARC’s “Grand Opening” earlier this month, you’ll be able to pick up your File of Life packet at the Health Fair.

 

Planning Ahead for May:  Armed Forces Day will be celebrated starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 19th at Cantigny Park.   And, again this year, the park will host dozens of special events and concerts.  For a complete schedule, visit http://www.cantigny.org/events/

 

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care at Home:  According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, more than 43 million Americans serve as unpaid caregivers, and a quarter of these say they experience significant difficulties in doing so.  In the case of those caring for others diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, their own health care costs increase by an average of $4,766 a year while they lose an average of $303,880 over their lifetime in wages, pensions, and benefits.  At no cost, the U.S. Administration on Aging connects older adults and families to agencies and non-profits that may provide screenings and referrals to public or private programs.  Now AARP has joined with Genworth Financial, a large, long-term care insurer, to provide older adults and their families online, phone, or in person assessment of needs and assistance in developing a care plan.  In some cases, the fee-based service recommends local home-health aides, medical providers, or facilities.  For example, service provider “Home Instead Senior Care” has started training its home-care workers in new techniques and strategies to improve dementia care; soon they will offer the same instruction on their website at no cost.  Fees vary depending on the service used from $12.99 up to $665 for six months.  For more information, please visit www.Genworth.com/caregiving, www.eldercare.gov , and www.homeinstead.com.

For guidelines in selecting a home healthcare provider, “thank you” to the law firm of Dutton & Casey (Chicago, Skokie and Arlington Heights) for sharing their research and resources with us.  View an informative article and click on the links included to use checklists for interviewing and hiring.  Go to http://duttoncaseylaw.com/news/37/Guide-to-Hiring-In-Home-Help.html

Caregivers:  Some 65 million Americans are someone else’s caregiver; two thirds of them are unpaid.  The “Be Smart, Be Well” newsletter offers several short videos on managing the stress, dividing the work, and taking care of yourself whether you’re the one providing personal care, help with chores, financial assistance or other services.  View the videos at http://www.besmartbewell.com/caregiving/index.htm?WT.mc_id=BSBW0000018

Chicago Lighthouse has been serving the needs of the blind or visually impaired for more than 100 years.  Dedicated to maximizing the remaining vision of people affected by eye disease or injury both congenital and acquired, the Lighthouse provides assessment and assistance at seven satellite facilities in addition to their headquarters in Chicago.  Their 2012 “Tools for Living” catalogue of products is now available in the ARC, or you can view it online at www.chicagolighthouse.org.

Gas Prices:  Here we go again…up, up, and away?!?  To find the lowest prices in the area add one or more of these monitoring sites to your “Favorites” list:

www.gasprices.mapquest.com, www.GasPriceWatch.com,  or www.FuelEconomy.gov

 

Senior News bills itself as “the e-zine that has delivered news and features relevant to Chicagoland seniors for almost 25 years. “  You can read it online at

http://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1411244247

 

Senior-Friendly Technology:  Does that sound like an oxymoron?  For folks who want the convenience of a computer but lack the technical skills to purchase, set up and operate one, a company called Telekin has announced a PC alternative, a “touch screen,” that allows the user to video chat, share photos, email, set up calendars, read news, get weather, and surf the web according to the company’s website, www.telekin.com.  It comes loaded with  all the above software including a “Tech Buddy” feature which allows specific family and friends to remotely access the machine from their own computers to show the Telekin owner  how to use it and  to help resolve any issues with it.  The large print screen and keyboard are a key feature, and the Telekin earned high marks from “experts” at ABC-TV, Amazon, and AARP to name a few.  However, some critics suggested that faster and more sophisticated software (financial spread sheets and photo editing, for example) should have been included.  Read more by typing “Telekin computer reviews” into your browser.

 

And MORE Technology for seniors:  Check out the “MD Alert” –An adjustable bracelet containing a personal, potentially life-saving “flash drive”  (think “mini computer”) with your medical history, living will, power of attorney and other important information stored on it. In an emergency, the “flash drive” can be read by any computer.  For more information, visit search “MD Alert” at http://www.brylanehome.com/decor/.

 

As always, we welcome your feedback about anything in our newsletter or on the website.  Email questions or comments to kumlauf@trinityrosellearc.com