December 15, 2017
So that is it, one year of a blog is complete. I guess technically 11 months because this was started in February, but since it is the end of the year, it still feels like an accomplishment. This blog reviewed a lot of information over the year, and I thought a review might be helpful.
We started off with an introduction to the blog and some discussion about why talking about long-term care, and aging in general, is important. I think by now, everyone reading this could answer that in their own words or maybe even with their own stories.
Next we went onto talking about different options, such as community-based care or home care. These options are when someone still lives in the home, but receives services in the community or has services come to them. Most often, this is what people want, to stay in their home. There are a lot of options out there for these types of services, but as discussed, there isn’t as much financial help for these options.
If staying at home isn’t an option, there is the option to move to a long-term care community. This is a huge decision and involves so many factors. Thankfully, VOYCEconnect is here to help.
This is a free service to get information on options that are out there, and maybe even talk more in detail about Medicare and Mediciad. But remember, Medicare will not pay for someone to live in a nursing home long-term. It will only pay for someone to be in rehab after a hospitalization.
What if you or a loved one moves into a home? Then you need to know the rights that residents have while living in long-term care. Resident Rights are extremely important and not a lot of people understand that they do have rights. The long-term care community is there home, and they should be able to make choices, participate in their care, and self-determine just like they would in a house. The Ombudsman Program is here to help if you want to talk about Rights or have specific issues to discuss.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Lastly, we discussed a few of VOYCE’s great events in 2017. Check out our website in the events tab to see photos and read about the great times we have had this year.
So that was 2017. What do you want to hear in this blog in 2018? Comment on FaceBook or send ideas into: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 15, 2017
Hi, this is Katelyn. Writing to you a blog that is a bit different than what you are used to. My blog is focused heavily on providing you information and making sure you can make educated decisions. However, this month is special because it is the month of our Caregivers Awards Luncheon, a day where we celebrate excellent caregivers who make a positive difference in the lives of those living in long-term care.
So SPECIAL ADDITION. Here are some feel-good stories from my life about people who impacted me and brought me to this field. Experiences like these give people passion and make them excellent caregivers. I am going to skip Frank because you know him already.
Louise: When I was in Girl Scouts, we decided to go after the Bronze Award as a group. Our project was to visit a nursing home and make a scrap book for someone living there. This was terrifying to me, not necessarily because we were visiting a nursing home, but because I was very shy. I didn’t love talking to new people. Louise and I got along alright, but we didn’t have any profound conversations, she didn’t give me any life-changing advice, we didn’t become best friends forever, I didn’t officially adopt her as another grandmother. No movie-like stuff. But when her family sent over the photos for me to make her scrapbook, I realized there was a lot I didn’t know about her. I saw photos from when she was a kid, photos from her wedding, and photos of her and her husband on their motorcycles, cruising around the United States. I spent lots of time working on that scrapbook, which is not a hobby I would say I should continue, but it turned out well. When I gave it to Louise, she slowly turned through the pages with a smile on her face. Making her smile made me feel good, and she deserved that moment of happiness and great memories.
Janet: In college, I decided to intern for an organization that ran the Foster Grandparent program. This program is nationwide so you may be familiar, but older adults go into schools and act as “tutors”, giving one on one attention to kids who need it. I got a call one day from my supervisor, seeing if I was available for an odd task. One volunteer, Janet, was taking the bus to the hospital up in the big city to have a colonoscopy. However, she found out that she needed to have someone with her to ride the bus, since she would be medicated when returning. So a few days later, I found myself sitting on a bus next to Janet, riding with her for her appointment. For a long care ride, I was worried about conversation, but it wasn’t hard. It flowed and Janet had a great time acting like I was her grandchild. When the medications hit, this joke became even more entertaining. So in this situation, it was a bit more movie-like. But there was a point when I could tell she was getting nervous. We were getting closer and she was quieter, and when we went in, I stayed with her as long as I could. Having me there was not only necessary to get the ride on the bus, it was comforting to her. From then on, we went on monthly walks together and I even helped her move from her apartment to a senior living community. She attended my graduation party with a smile on her face and got to meet my family. This taught me the power of just being present.
Roy: Another college story. I was in a class that required us to visit a nursing home once a week for the semester and talk to one resident. I was assigned to Roy. Roy and I got along well. It was a great experience. However, his wife was in the long-term care community as well because she had Alzheimer’s. It became quite clear that Roy did not need to be in the home and he was living there for his wife. Seeing them together was a huge life lesson. Her Alzheimer’s was pretty advanced, but the love that Roy had for her never faded. When the nurses tried to work with her, she would get agitated and upset often. Roy never was impatient or looked annoyed. One day when I was visiting, she was getting upset about not knowing her name. He rolled over to her and took her hand and said, “My name is Roy Smith, what is your name?” She calmed down and maybe even smiled with a reply, “My name is Mrs. Roy Smith.”
Rose: Rose lived in a long-term care community and had manic depression. She called me often at work to discuss issues she was having and her concerns. Each day, the stories were bigger and bigger. The concerns she had were most likely not legitimate, but it was sad to me that she felt this way every day and had these fears. So I listened to her and we talked about the issues she was having. I was amazed at how she always remained positive. She would call me at 1 AM and leave me voicemails until my mailbox was filled with her talking about her issues, but also singing to me. Her laughter over the voicemail could make any Monday morning better. It struck me that she just needed someone to talk to and I didn’t mind being the person that was there for her. One day, she was telling me another concern she had, and I listened. Then she got very serious and stated, “you are the only person who doesn’t immediately tell me I am crazy when I talk.” I am happy I got to be that person for Rose.
Join us for our Caregiver’s Luncheon on November 30 to hear great stories about direct care staff who make a positive impact on the lives of residents every single day.
October 16, 2017
October is not only the start of fall and the month of Halloween. It happens to also be Residents’ Rights Month. As an employee for the non-profit organization who is federally mandated to advocate for residents and their rights, I figured we should dedicate this month’s blog to Residents’ Rights.
Here the rights that residents have while living in long-term care:
You may ask, why do these need to be stated? Because as the federally-mandated advocacy organization, we see these rights violated regularly. There are reasons that rights are not upheld, and there are reasons that residents sometimes do not advocate for themselves.
Staff may not uphold the rights of a resident because they:
Residents often do not advocate for their rights because they:
September 18, 2017
Did you miss our radio show on August 6 because it was a bit too early? Check it out here.
We were also on the September 17th show, watch for that link soon!
August 15, 2017
Time for another special addition of our blog! VOYCE has so many great volunteers and events and we want to make sure to take the time to thank them for all they do.
So SPECIAL ADDITION. Here is some information about our new Young Professional’s Board and how you can support them by attending our Trivia Night!
VOYCE recently created a Young Professional’s Board. This is a group of young professionals who are interest in VOYCE and our mission. Their focus is to get other younger individuals engaged with VOYCE and the issues in long-term care, as well as lead small fundraising events to help VOYCE. This Saturday, VOYCE’s Young Professional’s Board is hosting a Trivia Night to create more awareness of VOYCE’s services in the community and raise money. This is their first ever event, so please consider joining us to support their efforts!
Here are the details for the event:
Date: August 19, 2017
Time: 7 PM
Location: Five Star Senior Center
2832 Arsenal Street
St. Louis, MO 63118
Cost: $160 for a table of 8
Other: Superhero theme!
Reasons to Attend
Check out this link to register a table or individual seat! Seating is limited!
Connect With VOYCE
680 Craig Road, Suite 245