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.