Archive for the 'EHSC' Category



Senior Center Self-Assessment

The Joint Committee on Senior Centers is comprised of members of the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers, the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. They have a number of other resources, Learn about items of Special Interest

The following checklist has been designed to help you think about your Center from the “first impression” perspective. These are some of the things you could be looking at in your Center to prepare to make a positive, lasting impression on those who come to your Center.

If you are answering “no” to questions, you may want to look at modifying or improving that item. For best results, have a person who is unfamiliar with the Center complete the survey. Problems that we see on a daily basis can sometimes become “invisible” to our eyes.

This checklist can help prepare your Center to be in the best position possible for welcoming the new seniors who respond to the Senior Center Marketing Initiative of June 2002. Prepared by the Joint Committee on Senior Centers, February 2002.

The checklist is available as a pdf file here,

Compare this checklist with the one for the Bethel senior center, When you visit the senior center https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/06/when-you-visit-the-senior-center/ and try it out, Grabbing public toilets https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2006/10/24/grabbing-public-toilets/ or Visit Bethel Alaska’s Eddie Hoffman Senior Center

1 OUTSIDE AREAS

1. Is there clear signage identifying the location of the Center from the road?
2. Is a sign posted next to or above the entrance door to the Center so participants can easily find it upon approach to the Center?
3. Is the building exterior free from peeling paint or other repairs?
4. Is the parking lot free from debris and weeds?
5. Is the walkway and parking lot adequately lighted?
6. Are the shrubs, outside plants and lawn well maintained?
7. Are outside walkways free of hazardous objects, including debris, weeds and uneven or broken steps?
8. Is outdoor furniture clean and in good shape?
9. Is there easy access for individuals with disabilities?
10. Are rails leading to the doors secure and well maintained?
11. Are curbs painted to signify distinction of levels?
12. Is the outside of the Center attractive and inviting?

2 INSIDE AREAS

1. Is there adequate lighting in rooms, corridors, elevators and stairways?
2. Are guests acknowledged promptly when they enter your Center?
3. Would the atmosphere be characterized as pleasant?
4. Is there a pleasant smell when entering the Center?
5. Is the Center clean enough to meet your personal standards?
6. Is the area inside clutter free, not only on the floor, but also in the space surrounding it?
7. Is the furniture attractive and easy to get in and out of?
8. Is the furniture arranged to promote interaction and conversation?
9. Are magazines, books or other materials for activities neatly stacked and out of the path of travel?
10. Are curtains and window treatments clean and in good condition?
11. Is there an easy to find and easy to read bulletin board with activities, meal schedules and other current information?
12. Is the activity board or other written materials hanging at a readable level for elderly persons of different heights?
13. Are certificates and licenses posted, if required?
14. Is the lighting adequate for older persons?
15. Is the dining area attractive and inviting?
16. Are participants able to sit where they want during meal times without being assigned?
17. Is the kitchen clean and inviting?
18. Is the meal contribution policy, sign-in sheet, and contribution box easy to locate?
19. Does the noise level allow for conversations and quiet activities?

3 SAFETY

1. Are changes in floor levels or coverings distinct enough to prevent tripping?
2. Are carpets free from wear and frayed ends?
3. Are small rugs and runners slip-resistant and non-moving?
4. Are lamp, extension and telephone cords placed out of the flow of traffic?
5. Are chairs sturdy and not easily tipped?
6. Are there handrails in hallways and grab bars in bathrooms?
7. Are written emergency evacuation plans with center floor plans posted throughout the Center?
8. Is a fire extinguisher easy to find and do participants know how to use one?
9. Are emergency numbers posted near the phone?
10. Are smoke detectors properly located and in working condition?
11. Are hallways, passageways between rooms, and other heavy traffic areas equally well lit?
12. Are exits and passageways free from clutter?
13. In the kitchen area, are towels, curtains, and other things that might catch fire located away from the range?
14. Are all extension cords and appliance cords located away from the sink or range areas?
15. Are emergency exits clearly marked?
16. Is emergency lighting functional and adequate?

4 PROGRAM AND SERVICES

1. Are the Center hours and days of operation posted for participants?
2. Can Center hours be changed or altered if requested?
3. Is access to computers and the internet available?
4. Does the Center offer a wide variety of activities for different interests?
5. Are fitness activities offered regularly?
6. Are participants involved with planning activities?
7. Are costs for activities known to individuals?
8. Are other community groups or non-profits involved with Center activities?
9. Are you conducting marketing/advertising activities in your local area?
10. Are you making use of internet technology for advertising?
11. Are newsletters listing activities and menus given or sent to participants on a regular basis?
12. Is there a posted calendar of activities or a newsletter available for people who enter the Center?
13. Are new participants given an orientation to the Center?
14. Is there a welcoming committee made up of current participants to help make newcomers feel comfortable?


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Bethel’s assisted living home construction 2006

July 15, 2006
Assisted living home construction could begin soon
By Katie Baldwin, Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corp.

Construction on an Assisted Living Home in the YK Delta for elders and adults with disabilities may be just beyond the horizon….

Currently, elders who need this type of comprehensive health care are forced to move to facilities in Anchorage or Fairbanks….

In November of 2001, several local agencies met to discuss the establishment of an assisted living home in Bethel. … Preliminary drawings were made and the City of Bethel approved a 30-year land lease at a site located south of the Lu-Lu Herron Building [sic] on Ptarmigan street.

YKHC has obtained $8.3 million to fund the project. However, the funding requires a 30 percent match. …

The 18-bed facility will be a congregate residential setting with personal and health care services, including 24-hour supervision and assistance.

At the request of the Denali Commission, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation resubmitted their business plan on Friday, June 30. Construction plans will be made later this summer, pending the Denali Commission’s final analysis.

The anticipated completion of the project is 2008.

Lulu Heron Congregate Home was opened in 1997, and is built and run by AVCP Regional Housing Corp. It was supposed to be the long-awaited assisted living housing. For some reason, it was never deemed as meeting regulations for an AL facility. It is currently just rental housing, although the elderly and low-income get first crack. To the left in the photo is the location of the assisted living home to be built by Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corp. and the City of Bethel. It was promised to open Sept 2005!!

[The Betty Guy Memorial Nursing Home Fund is an entirely separate project of volunteers, deliberately NOT affiliated with the city or other local institutions. People have been collecting money for this much needed facility for over 10 years. The effort is locally run, organized, and will be controlled by the elderlies themselves. Those wishing to, may contribute to the fund at First National Bank in Bethel, Alaska.]

38 0109 front

Separation of Church and State Day January 16

Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub –

has some very interesting pieces related to history and it value for us today through tomorrow.

January 16, is the anniversary of Virginia’s enacting the Statute for Religious Freedom, in 1786. It deserves an international celebration.

The texts of the original founders petition against an official religion and the text of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom are reproduced. They are very important for us to read.

Too bad the City of Bethel won’t read them.
Bethel fuel sales tax corrected

George Hohman

George was a significant asset to rural Alaska and did a lot of good as state senator, including his work on the permanent fund and for elders. Unfortunately, being effective for rural Alaska also means being a target.

This news story is a fair summary of a remarkable person.

BETHEL, AK (2006-11-24) Residents in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta are giving thanks this week for having known George Hohman. The former state senator and Bethel city manager passed away peacefully Monday after a long illness. He was 74.

© Copyright 2006, APRN

A little bit more background–
George joined the military in 1952, studied Russian language at the Presidio in Monterey. In 1954 he was sent to Fort Richardson in Alaska where he was a Russian translator, and then to the Pnbilof Islands to study the influence of the Russian language on the Native language in that area. He returned to Alaska with his family in 1962 to teach for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. He taught in the villages of Emmonak, Nunapitchuk, Bethel and was principal/teacher in Kwigillingok for two years.

In 1972 he successfully ran for the State Senate. George represented the Yukon-Kuskokwim and Bristol Bay Districts in the Alaska State Legislature for 16 years, serving in both the House and Senate.

Grabbing public toilets

The comment left here

pointed out that generic grab bars in public toilets were not best suited to individuals at home.

Here are examples from our publicly funded senior center. Click on the pictures below to see a larger version. Try the frailty simulation with either toilet [When you visit the senior center –
https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/06/ when-you-visit-the-senior-center/]

Place one hand behind your back and stand on one foot. Now, sit down. Then, stand up.

I think each wall tile is 4 inches square (on a side, a.k.a., 4 by 4 inches).

This bathroom is as it appears after (and before) the $280,772 Alaska state community development block grant for senior center improvements. [Bethel Senior Center Building Grants
https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/17/senior-center-building-grants/]

This first photo is of our “handicapped” toilet (one of two women’s toilets in the Bethel senior center ground floor.) There are 2 bars, to an elder’s right and back (as seated). Click on each photo to see a larger view.

EHSC “Handicapped” toilet

Here’s the only other woman’s toilet on the first floor. For both, note the grab bars, the extra stall width, the floor to seat height. We fortunately have a variety of older body-types (and abilities) so having just the one standard inflexible set of fixtures levels the playing field and provides equal opportunity aches, pains, strains, ligament tears, fragility fractures.

EHSC Second women’s toilet, 2006

How well did you do on the tests?


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Ethnic stereotyping and ageism

The post office box this week held an issue of the New Yorker which generated mixed feelings. Many New Yorker cartoons (http://www.cartoonbank.com/) are funny because they skewer our fallacies and foibles using the stereotypes we all have about each other. Most of the stereotypes protrayed are of rich white folk.

This recent cartoon is funny because it reveals the biased attitude many employers have towards older workers. Unfortunately, the medium of expressing a worthy idea is based upon an ethnic stereotype which is problematic, at the best.


by Lee Lorenz

Hold it—we almost forgot his benefits package.” (Two eskimos sending a third out to sea on a small slab of ice.)

ID: 122851, Published in The New Yorker September 11, 2006, http://tinyurl.com/fzgsq

The stereotype underlying the cartoon’s point about ageism is false. Recently we had a physician lie about just such a scenario, up north. People were quite hurt by the accusation.

JAMA falls foul of fabricated suicide story [JAMA is Journal of the American Medical Association]

by Deborah Josefson, San Francisco

An essay published in JAMA’s Piece of my Mind section, has stirred controversy after it was revealed that the events depicted in it were fictional.

The essay was written by a medical student, Shetal Shah, and appeared last October (JAMA 2000;284:1897-8). In his essay, Mr Shah described an encounter with a 97 year old Inuit [sic. Eskimo people live in Alaska and Inuit people live in Canada.] man, a toothless elderly member of the Siberian Yupik tribe, who, feeling useless, came to say goodbye to the young medical student before committing suicide by walking off into a frozen tundra in the morning fog.

In a letter to JAMA, Dr Michael Swenson, a physician with Norton Health Sound in Nome, Alaska, and Shah’s tutor during his elective, denied the existence of such a patient. Moreover, Dr Swenson charged that Mr Shah’s false account promulgates false stereotypes about the Inuit people and perpetuates ancient myths…. Dr Swenson said that he understood Mr Shah’s tweaking of events to make them more of a story but said that the account was entirely fictional and as such reflected more of our culture’s prejudices towards elderly people than those of the Siberian Yupik….

Read the story in the British Medical Journal, on-line here

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/323/7311/472/a

I’m not sure there is any evidence for any such a scenario in the past, except maybe under extreme conditions of long ago.

Certainly, such a slur against a large group of US citizens should not have been printed in the New Yorker. As the response to the BMJ article said,

When will medical journals learn to leave anecdotes for Cosmopolitan and fictionalized accounts for the New Yorker? The author’s explanatory note is lame in the extreme. BMJ 2001;323:472 ( 1 September )

On the other hand, I am not as troubled by Sam Gross’ cartoon at the bottom, in part because he skewers every stereotype and in part because it highlights so well the predominant establishment attitude around here about caring and valuing older people.

This is 2006. We have no nursing home; we had an assisted living residence, which was never used as such. Another assisted living residence was promised to open September 2005. After several people inquired publicly, the health corp. finally announced it might open in 2008.

July 15, 2006, Assisted living home construction could begin soon

Construction on an Assisted Living Home in the YK Delta for elders and adults with disabilities may be just beyond the horizon.

“Establishing an assisted living home is important because we have an aging population in our region and we don’t have a facility where we can take care of them properly,” said Gene Peltola, CEO of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.

Despite the fact that the elderly make up one of the fastest growing populations in the YK Delta, the region remains as the only area in Alaska that has no long-term assisted living facility.

http://www.ykhc.org/1253.cfm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


by Danny Shanahan

“Remember, son, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement.” (Father talking to son as he pushes an elderly Eskimo out to sea on an ice floe.)

ID: 46757, Published in The New Yorker November 26, 2001, http://tinyurl.com/gqwvu

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


by Christopher Weyant

“It’s your mother. She’s floated back.” (Two eskimos watch a third float back on his ice floe.)

ID: 122883, Published in The New Yorker September 18, 2006, http://tinyurl.com/znx2s

I have never appreciated mother-in-law jokes as they are inherently misogynist. The above is next week’s New Yorker take on Eskimos.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

by Sam Gross

“Are you sure this ice floe is going to pass by the nursing home?” (Elderly Eskimo on ice floe shouts back to family who are waving good-bye.)

ID: 42864, Published in The New Yorker November 22, 1999, http://tinyurl.com/j6soq

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ann Fienup-Riordan, Ph.D. has explored Alaska Eskimo stereotypes and other portrayals in the movies—
Freeze Frame book jacket

http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/FIEFRP.html

“Freeze Frame, Alaska Eskimos in the Movies” by Ann Fienup-Riordan, Pub Date: August 2003,
ISBN:Paper: 0-295-98337-X


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Bath falls common among older adults, but can be prevented

This isn’t new news but the use of videotape for actual “ethology” (observation of behavior) is a good idea. It is most worthwhile to remind everyone that ordinary bathroom fixtures are not suitable for those needing assistance and are not appropriate for older people; frequently not even appropriate for anyone, tall or short, lithe or lazy. See the Bethel Senior Center for what should be banned in public facilities (When you visit the senior center). Emphasis added.

Public release date: 13-Sep-2006,

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-09/uomh-bfc091306.php

Installation of proper equipment essential

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower can be a perilous journey for older adults, even when they have bathrooms already equipped with safety features, according to research by the University of Michigan Health System.

Researchers videotaped people ages 60 and older who demonstrated (while fully clothed) how they normally climbed in and out of the shower or tub. One-third of the 89 participants in the study had difficulty, such as plopping onto a tub seat or hitting the side of the tub or the shower threshold with their legs.

“We found that there are a lot of independently bathing older adults who have trouble or are unsafe getting into and out of the tub or shower stall,” says lead author Susan L. Murphy, ScD, OTR, an occupational therapist and research assistant professor with the University of Michigan Medical School’s Division of Geriatric Medicine, part of the Department of Internal Medicine. The study appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

“For older adults, losing the ability to bathe is associated with having falls, fracturing bones, and even being admitted to a nursing home. It is important that we take steps to help to prevent bathing disability before it occurs,” Murphy says.

One of the major problem areas the researchers found involved sliding glass doors in showers. Three-quarters of participants who used shower stalls with sliding glass doors tried to utilize the door for stability or balance.

“This is extremely unsafe because shower doors were not designed to support a person’s weight,” Murphy says. “This problem could be easily remedied by educating older adults not to use the door as a support or possibly replacing it with a shower curtain, which was used only rarely by older adults in this study.”

Participants in the study were residents of two congregate housing facilities and had no cognitive impairment. They were videotaped as they demonstrated how they used their environment while getting into and out of the shower or tub – that is, whether they used grab-bars, towel bars, shower curtains, glass doors, tub seats, and other parts of the tub to assist themselves.

The videotapes were also evaluated for the participants’ fluidity of movement and whether they had difficulty negotiating the environment. While the majority of people using both tubs and shower stalls used safe environmental features such as grab bars, many used unsafe features in addition to the safe ones. Nineteen percent of participants using a tub were evaluated as using unsafe features, and more than 70 percent of those with shower stalls used unsafe features, such as the glass door, towel bar or a tub seat. One participant had a plastic lawn chair as a tub seat, a particularly dangerous device given curved shape of the tub floor.

Some safety problems researchers observed can be fixed easily such as the installation of a shower curtain in place of a door, and proper instruction about built-in bathroom safety features (such as grab bars designed for weight-bearing) for new residents of senior housing facilities. A focus on better designs of bathrooms in senior housing facilities was also suggested by the researchers.

“We think the results from this study demonstrate the need for healthcare professionals to become involved in helping to prevent bathing disability, instead of just treating people in the hospital after they have had a fall in the bathroom,” she says. “While bathrooms in senior housing facilities are designed to be safe, we have found that older adults often do not know the difference between a grab bar and a towel bar. They also have unsafe strategies of getting into and out of their shower or tub. Occupational therapists often see older adults for bathing problems and would be ideal to intervene with older adults before they start to lose the ability to bathe.”

###

In addition to Murphy, the authors on the paper were Neil B. Alexander, M.D., professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System; Linda V. Nyquist, Ph.D., senior research associate-social sciences, Institute of Gerontology; and Debra M. Strasburg, M.S., P.T., research physical therapist, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System.

The research was supported in part by grants from the AARP Andrus Foundation, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research & Development, and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Claude Pepper Older Adults Independence Center. Murphy is a recipient of a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, and Alexander is a recipient of a K24 Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research from NIA.

Citation: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Aug. 2006, “Bath Transfers in Older Adult Congregate Housing Residents: Assessing the Person-Environment Interaction.”

Contact: Katie Gazella, kgazella AT umich DOT edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System


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Old age isn't a disease.

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