Like many of you, our parents now need assistance. We were able to provide that assistance on a recent visit by installing grab bars in their shower and commode area. We see and experience the same situations and circumstances that caregivers and family members are facing so we realize that caring for an aging parent is a responsibility that few people ever expect or envision.
Nobody likes to think about their parents getting older, getting weaker or falling down. For many families, the discussion about who will take care of Mom and Dad comes on the heels of a crisis. As a result, many find themselves unprepared to handle their parents' increased dependency.
More than 20 million in the United States alone provide for an aging parent or in-law. What's more, families rather than institutions provide 80 percent of long term care. So how can we, as children, siblings and family members deal with the inevitable challenges that accompany this life transition? Begin by having open and frank discussions with all other family members about roles and responsibilities. No matter the distance, devise a plan that involves everyone.
Home Healthsmith can help with our SAFEHOME ADVANTAGE program that protects our clients' safety and mobility year around. We visit the home every four months to conduct a home safety audit. We look at everything from a loose handle in the bathroom to faulty light switches in the kitchen. We recommend home and safety mobility upgrades we think are needed because we understand that a safe, functional home delivers freedom and confidence.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Linda & Bill
James and Thelma McLoughlin
Jamestown resident James McLoughlin was named the veteran of the year by the Newport Elks Lodge No. 104. On Saturday, December 7 a ceremony honoring him was held at the Pelham Street lodge. Home Healthsmith was honored to take part in this event the proceeds from which will go to the Rhode Island Veterans Homes.
McLoughlin, now 90 years of age, was named veteran of the year for both his military and community service. McLoughlin earned nine medals while serving in the U.S. Army during both World War II and Korea. He is a lifelong member of the Jamestown EMS team, and has donated more than 400 pints of blood over his lifetime. He continues to donate platelets every two weeks.
After organizing more than 80 blood drives, the Rhode Island Blood Center established the Jim McLoughlin Award. It is given to all volunteers who donate 20 gallons of blood, coordinate 20 blood drives, and sponsor 20 mobile blood drives.
We have begun work on a Vertical Platform Lift at the Newport Elks Lodge to help seniors and disabled individuals obtain entry into this facility. Check back next month for pictures of the completed project.
What is a Vertical Platform Lift?
Vertical platform lifts work like an elevator to raise a wheelchair or scooter, along with its companion, smoothly and effortlessly straight up and down from driveway or entry path to entryway, patio, or porch. Most will rise about 4.5 feet but some will go as high as 14 feet to reach the second floor. Taking up less than 30 square feet of space, a vertical platform wheelchair lift can avoid the space problems of long ramps. A lift, powered by battery or household current, is durable indoors or outdoors for even the harshest winter weather.
Our Latest Supplier - Trending Accessibility
Just after Thanksgiving we had the opportunity to visit with owner Bob Sears of Trending Accessibility and sales associate, Susan Trifiletti at their warehouse facility in New Jersey.
We are honored that they have chosen to work with Home Healthsmith for curb-less showers and wet rooms. These products provide great solutions for our clients' needs.
One of their stylish showers is shown in the photo at right.
"Trending Accessibility is proud to partner with a company as well recognized as Home HealthSmith. As a provider of accessible bathroom solutions, and barrier free shower systems, we are glad to have the expertise of Home Healthsmith behind our products to help educate and inform customers. With mutual goals to provide people with the freedom to remain in their homes safely, we are confident that together we can make a difference."
- Robert Sears, President, Trending Accessibility
Rhode Island Chapter of National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system in young adults between the ages of 20 and 50 and affects nearly three times as many women as men. The course of the disease process is unpredictable and varies from person to person, making diagnosis and prognosis difficult. The disease is characterized by periods of exacerbation and remission. Symptoms may include blurred double vision, blindness, tremors and spasms, balance and coordination problems, muscle weakness, bladder or bowel dysfunction, emotional and cognitive difficulties, slurred speech and numbness or tingling sensations.
Multiple sclerosis most often strikes young individuals when they are beginning their careers and/or starting their families. Not only are they affected but husbands, wives, children, parents, friends, employers and relatives must make adjustments to accommodate physical changes taking place.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Rhode Island Chapter was incorporated in 1953 as the only non-profit organization within the state to locally provide information, education, services, advocacy, and support for those persons with multiple sclerosis and to nationally support research efforts to find the cause, prevention, treatment, or cure for this disease. The chapter provides a well-rounded core of comprehensive services which meet the emotional, social, recreational, medical and therapeutic needs of its clientele. With a passion for bringing about a world free of MS, we help everyone affected by the disease to live richer, healthier, more independent lives. The mission of the National MS Society is: "We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and
to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS."
Meredith L. Sheehan, MSSMC, Manager of Programs & Advocacy
Dark Leafy and Fabulous!
How I learned to Like Kale - by My Chef Lara
OK I admit it. I had to work at liking kale. I really wanted to like it because it is so nutritious but the bitter taste just kept me away. So I hatched a plot to start hiding it in my food and slowly get used to it. Now I actually eat and enjoy kale chips.
Preparing kale is easy. You fold the leaf in half and just cut the leaf away from the stem. Then, for those of you just starting to try to love Kale, cut it in very small strips.
There are many ways to get the benefits of Kale without loving it. Soups are one of the best way to do that. One of my favorite soups that includes kale is African Stew. You will love this soup, and who knows....you may grow to like kale over time just like me.
Get the African Stew recipe here.