Category Archives: Nursing

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Parkinson's Awareness

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that is chronic and progressive, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time.

As many as one million individuals in the US live with Parkinson’s disease. While approximately four percent of people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before the age of 50, incidence increases with age.

Its major symptoms vary from person to person, but can include tremor, slowness of movements, limb stiffness, and difficulties with gait and balance. The cause of the disease is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage the symptoms.

If you have questions about wheelchair accessible vehicles and are in the New England area give us a call @ 508-697-6006

 

National Nurses Week May 6-12

A Brief History of National Nurses Week
1953 Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.

1954 National Nurse Week was observed from October 11-16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. Apparently, a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds.

1972 Again a resolution was presented by the House of Representatives for the President to proclaim “National Registered Nurse Day.” It did not occur.

1974 In January of that year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN ) proclaimed that May 12 would be “International Nurse Day.” (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.)Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated “International Nurse Day.”

1974 In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

1978 New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6as “Nurses Day.” Edward Scanlan, of Red Bank, N.J., took up the cause to perpetuate the recognition of nurses in his state. Mr.Scanlan had this date listed in Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events. He promoted the celebration on his own.

1981 ANA, along with various nursing organizations, rallied to support a resolution initiated by nurses in New Mexico, through their Congressman, Manuel Lujan, to have May 6, 1982, established as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

1990 The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6-12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6-12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.

1996 The ANA initiated “National RN Recognition Day” on May 6, 1996, to honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year. The ANA encourages its state and territorial nurses associations and other organizations to acknowledge May 6, 1996 as “National RN Recognition Day.”

1997 The ANA Board of Directors, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.

A Helping Hand: Useful Apps for Caregivers

Caring for a loved one with a disability on your own (or even with the support of the rest of the family) can be a demanding job. It’s safe to say that most of us would welcome extra help. A surprising place to find some additional support is your smartphone. Apps come in all shapes and sizes, and can help lighten your load and make your everyday tasks just a little bit easier. Here are some of our favorite and most useful apps for caregivers.

CarePartners (Free)
Created by Lifeline, this free mobile app makes caregiving a team effort. Invite your family members or other loved ones to a private, secure network where you can coordinate and organize tasks, assign jobs to group members or ask for volunteers, and add your tasks to your phone’s calendars to set reminders.

CareZone (Free)
Carry your loved one’s most important information with you wherever you go. Store social security numbers, insurance information, medications (including dosages, refills, etc.) and emergency contacts with this app and be sure your information is safe with constant back ups, encrypted data and private storage that is never shared with a third-party.

PocketPharmacist (Free)
Stay in control of your loved one’s prescriptions and medications with access to extensive drug information, including overlapping side effects, precautions and costs. You can also organize prescriptions and set medication reminders with this app, as well as sync it with Walgreens to easily refill your Walgreens prescriptions.

iRelax (Free)
Melt away the day’s stress and escape to a calming oasis with the iRelax app. Listen to soothing sounds like the ocean surf, a forest night or just white noise and let your mind and body find complete relaxation. You could even enjoy these tracks with the one you’re caring for, as they make for an excellent break throughout the day.

Helpful Tips for Caregivers

Spending an average of 20 hours per week, more than 65 million people provide care for a chronically ill, people with disAbilties or aging friend or family member each year. For these individuals, caregiving can prove to be a rewarding opportunity, however there are many challenges they must face along the way. If you provide care for a person with a disAbility, here are some important things to keep in mind in order to ensure your own well being.

Ask for and accept help when you need it. As anyone can attest to, when one thing goes awry, other things can follow. Sometimes caregiving can become an overwhelming task and your to-do list will seem infinite. If you feel the stresses of your responsibilities becoming too heavy a weight, don’t hesitate to ask others for help. There might be other family members or friends willing to take your loved one to their appointments or even prepare meals in advance for them.

Do the best you can and don’t give in to guilt. Understand that there will be situations you won’t be able to fix or undo. Focus on what you are able to provide, and push aside feelings of inadequacy.

Seek social support and get to know other people in your position. Local and online support groups can be an amazing resource for meeting other, often experienced, caregivers able to provide encouragement and advice. Maintaining social and emotional connections can significantly improve your ability to manage the stress associated with caregiving.

Be willing to learn. Organizations such as the Red Cross offer courses on caregiving and there are countless online resources designed to teach you more about the particular condition your loved one is facing. An educated approach to caregiving can benefit both you and the ones you care for.

Take care of yourself as you do your loved ones. It’s important not to put your own health and well being aside when caring for a person with a disAbility. Make sure you’re seeing your doctor as often as it is recommended and stay on top of any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing. Make it a point to get a good night’s sleep as often as possible and consume a healthy, balanced diet.

Caregiver Fatigue Syndrome

Caregiver Fatigue Syndrome

Caregivers walk a very delicate line. They are some of the strongest, most selfless individuals around — doing most anything and everything for their loved ones — but many are exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed trying to balance the rewarding process.

Caregiver stress, aka Caregiver Fatigue Syndrome or Caregiver Burnout, is the byproduct of the countless responsibilities, physical demands, strained time and rollercoaster circumstances that come with the turf. And, since many caregivers consistently put others before themselves, if not addressed, this stress will only snowball.

It’s like the airplane oxygen illustration: Before you help others assemble their masks, you must first ensure you have your own. In this regard, before a caregiver can expect to offer their loved one in a wheelchair or loved one with a disability the best care, they must first take care of themselves.

Any imbalance, and the quality of care for your loved one can decrease while your personal stress and fatigue begin to climb.

Physical Symptoms
Many outsiders don’t realize what it takes to be a caregiver. Unless they’ve been in a similar situation, it’s hard to grasp the physical strain of all the lifts and pulls. Transport has been simplified with the help of mobility vehicles, but there are still the routine transitions from bed to bathroom to dinner and then back to bed. Caregiving is hard work.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have caregiver burnout:
● Decrease in overall energy
● Decrease in immunity (subject to more frequent colds/flus)
● Inconsistent sleep patterns
● Chronic back and/or joint pain
● Weight gains

Emotional Drain
In addition to the uncertainty of medical circumstances and the rollercoaster ride that your loved one may be experiencing, it’s not uncommon for a caregiver to feel alone or assume that nobody understands their situation. Activities and hobbies that once brought you joy may be sidelined to your responsibilities and the constant championing of your loved one might not leave much room for your own pursuits.

You may experience:
● Irritability and frustration
● Difficulty relaxing
● Impatience
● Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
● Dissatisfaction

Mental Exhaustion
Scheduling, logistics, medications and meals — caregivers are the gatekeepers, chauffeurs, advocates, cooks and everything in between for their loved one. There are too many moving parts to name. It’s no wonder things begin to get mentally draining.

Mental exhaustion may be exhibited through:
● Difficulty concentrating
● Feelings of confusion
● Periods of tunnel vision

No matter the symptoms, caregiver fatigue is a serious concern and you are not alone. Don’t buy into the idea that you’re the only caregiver facing these challenges.

If high-quality care for your loved one tops your list, remember that the best starts with the best you.

Nurses Leading the Way

Print
National Nurses Week
begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. As of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12) each year. International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12th of each year.

The theme for National Nurses Week in 2014 is “Nurses Leading the Way…”

A Brief History of National Nurses Week
1953
Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent aproposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.

1954 National Nurse Week was observed from October 11-16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. Apparently, a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds.

1972 Again a resolution was presented by the House of Representatives for the President to proclaim “National Registered Nurse Day.” It did not occur.

1974 In January of that year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN ) proclaimed that May 12 would be “International Nurse Day.” (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.)Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated “International Nurse Day.”

1974 In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

1978 New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6as “Nurses Day.” Edward Scanlan, of Red Bank, N.J., took up the cause to perpetuate the recognition of nurses in his state. Mr.Scanlan had this date listed in Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events. He promoted the celebration on his own.

1981 ANA, along with various nursing organizations, rallied to support a resolution initiated by nurses in New Mexico, through their Congressman, Manuel Lujan, to have May 6, 1982, established as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

1990 The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6-12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6-12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.

1996 The ANA initiated “National RN Recognition Day” on May 6, 1996, to honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year. The ANA encourages its state and territorial nurses associations and other organizations to acknowledge May 6, 1996 as “National RN Recognition Day.”

1997 The ANA Board of Directors, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.

 

Student Engineers Build Feeding Arm For Hingham ALS Patient

VMiNewEngland.com

Pimkin needed help eating and he asked UMass Lowell’s engineering students to invent a machine that could feed him. He heard about the group of students through someone online and then successfully approached them.
“They interviewed me and decided that they wanted to make me the subject of their project,” he told Patch through email.  “Before they made the arm, they came to my home.  Took measurements and then worked on the machine.  It took about six months or so.   During this time, we stayed in contact sharing ideas about how the device would be most useful.”
The students built a  “feeding arm”  which Pipkin uses everyday and has helped him become more independent.
“I’ve lost so much of my independence with this terrible disease, Pipkin said.   “So every little bit of independence I can get back, is a very big deal for me.”
The mechanical device picks up food and delivers it to Pipkin and helps him improve his self-care and his daily needs.  The ALS patient says he uses the arm to eat foods like yogurt, oatmeal and grits but has a hard time eating larger foods.
Pipkin was also very gracious for the students’ work and hopes more feeding arms will be created in the future for ALS patients.
“I thought the students seemed dedicated and truly wanted to help me,” he said. “They seemed to really care that the arm would work and function properly.”
Pipkin has been battling ALS for eight years, which is rare – usually the deadly disease claims its victims within 4-6 years.
Before being diagnosed,  Pipkin was living in Manhattan and pursuing a successful career in marketing global fragrance brands for companies such as Elizabeth Arden, Calvin Klein and Estee Lauder.   Pipkin’s last project was spearheading the successful launch of Mariah Carey’s first fragrance “M” in 2007.
Thanks to his brave efforts, Pipkin is being named the official chairperson of a new campaign by the Needham-based ALS Therapy Alliance to raise awareness, money and hope for people fighting ALS.
“It is important to contribute to ALS research because there are people like me, every day, fighting to stay healthy in the hopes that there will be a breakthrough,” says Pipkin. “Doctors told me that I would not live more than a few year; eight years later, I am still here and I’m in relatively stable health. I want to encourage people to keep fighting ALS,”
“We had our stressful moments,” said the Fitchburg 22-year-old. “But we worked it out.”

Another VMI Wheelchair Van on it’s way to Massachusetts

Here we have a brand new 2013 Toyota Sienna Wheelchair Van that is being custom built for Ventura P. It’s going through final inspection in AZ and will soon be on a truck bringing it to Vmi New England in Bridgewater, MA for the installation of a mobility seat, hand controls, electric parking brake and a Ez-Lock Wheelchair Tie Down.

VMI Summit Wheelchair van conversion in final inspection

VMI Summit Wheelchair van conversion in final inspection

VMI New England van soon to be on it's way to Boston, MA

VMI New England van soon to be on it’s way to Boston, MA

Got to make sure everything on the mobility van is perfect

Got to make sure everything on the mobility van is perfect

What a great looking Toyota Sienna Wheelchair van

What a great looking Toyota Sienna Wheelchair van

Soon to be on it's way to the guys in Bridgewater, MA to have the final up-fit  for Ventura

Soon to be on it’s way to the guys in Bridgewater, MA to have the final up-fit for Ventura

VA Nurses: Quality and Innovation in Patient Care: VMi New England and Automotive Innovations are proud to Raise Awareness for National Nurses Week.

Army nurse in uniform

Veteran Nurses Week

“Veterans and Nurses, in partnership, make a world class patient experience,” says Cathy Rick, VA Chief Nursing Officer.

Celebrate National Nurses Week with VMi New England and Automotive Innovations.

The American Nurses Association has designated this year’s National Nurses Week theme: “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care.”

Join us in celebrating the men and women who serve this country by caring for its Veterans.

80,000 Nurses Caring for America’s Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has one of the largest nursing staffs of any health care system in the world.

Numbering more than 80,000 nationwide, the VA integrated nursing team provides comprehensive, complex, and compassionate care to our nation’s Veterans.

The Veterans Affairs nurses are a dynamic, diverse group of respected, honored, and compassionate professionals. The VA is the leader in the creation of an organizational culture where excellence in nursing is valued as essential for quaity health care to those who served America.

“VA nursing is at the center of generating value-based innovation. Their work is a demonstration of integrity, commitment, respect and excellence as we shape efforts to ensure access to personalized, proactive health care for Veterans,” according to Cathy Rick, VA’s Chief Nursing Officer.

She adds, “I am extremely proud to call myself a VA nurse.”

National Nurses Week: Every year — May 6th through May 12. May 12 is Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

VA nursing provides the largest clinical training and cooperative education opportunities in association with undergraduate and graduate programs at numerous colleges and universities.

The VA nursing team is composed of registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs), nursing assistants, and intermediate care technicians.

In the 1990s, VA provided clinical experience to one out of every four professional nursing students in the country. VA nurses are highly valued members and leaders of the health care team, contributing their expertise and knowledge to the care of patients.

In addition to clinical care, VA nursing is also a significant part of advancing research in VA and keeping up with the latest technological innovations. Nurse researchers help to promote inclusion of evidence into practice to provide quality care for Veterans.


Components of VA Nursing

Professional nursing supports the mission of the VA health care system by providing state-of-the-art, cost-effective care to patients and families as they respond to illness and health issues.

In addition to medical, surgical and psychiatric units, VA nurses work in intensive care, spinal cord injury, geriatric, dialysis, blind rehabilitation, specialty care (such as diabetes clinics), hospice, domiciliary, oncology, and organ transplant units.

VA nurses provide care across a variety of settings including primary, ambulatory, acute, geriatrics, rehabilitation, and extended care settings.

They work in outpatient clinics, community living centers, and home-based primary care programs.

VA nurses also play a considerable role in emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery.

VA nurses proudly serve America’s heroes by practicing the art and science of nursing in order to provide holistic, evidence-based, high quality care.

Interested in a career as VA nurse? Start here: VA Careers