Caregiver reminders for the New Year

 

New Year’s 2018: Resolutions for Caregivers

Posted by Peter Andersen,

As the New Year approaches, it often brings a feeling of optimism. That’s a welcome gift, especially for those of us caring for the elderly.

To help maximize this optimism, we’ve gathered 13 New Year’s resolutions geared specifically toward caregivers.

Resolution 1: Write a personal mission statement for the year. Chicago-based author and senior caregiving expert Joy Loverde offers a way to plan for a positive year ahead. Loverde is the author of several books, including Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? “At the end of every year I create a personal mission statement… that provides me with a path for success in my personal relationships,” she explains. With goals clearly stated, “I never have to wonder – Did I say I love you enough?” Set a few benchmarks for yourself and post them where you can see them for daily motivation.

Resolution 2: Learn to take a break. This definitely should be one of your New Year’s goals. The key word here is “learn.” People tell you every day you should take a break, but we all know it’s easier said than done. “Caregivers are known for putting their loved one’s needs above their own,” says Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers in Towson, MD. “While the goal is to give your aging loved ones the best quality of life possible, you also need to understand the importance of taking care of yourself. Time-outs, yoga and getting ‘you time’ time in are great starters to creating work-life balance.”

Resolution 3: Get moving. Another priority goal: Activity. Keeping your body moving, blood circulating and muscles working is crucial to your own health, but you may not feel like you have time. Start with a commitment of 5 to 10 minutes and then increase that if you can. It doesn’t have to be all at once to bring benefits. It’s also a good way to engage more with aging loved ones. For example, Ross suggests creating a 3-day walking challenge. “Help them walk a few minutes each day, and increase the time daily – with a rest day every so often, of course!” This way, both of you gets some activity.

Resolution 4: Eat smart. Grabbing some grub on the run is no crime, but restaurant food (even fast food) can get expensive and isn’t always the best way to support your health and your family’s. Most major food magazines and websites feature recipes that take 30 minutes or less. And lots of grocery stores now offer online ordering, enabling you to schedule a pick-up or in some cases a home delivery.

Resolution 5: Be more social. “Social interaction is important for brain activity as well as morale,” Ross notes. Avoid caregiver isolation! In addition to seeing friends, engage in hobbies and other activities that you like – and don’t feel guilty about it! Get crafty about combining activities, like finding an art gallery, book talk or class you can attend during your parent’s weekly physical therapy appointment, or asking a friend to tag along while you’re running errands.

Resolution 6: Plan ahead. Caring for our parents often gives us an opportunity to consider our own desires for aging well. The New Year is a terrific time to jot down a few ideas about how and where you’d like to age, and then meet with your CPA, banker or financial planner to discuss what’s needed to get there. Also make sure you have the right legal documents to ensure your wishes are followed, such as durable and health care powers of attorney, wills, etc.

Resolution 7: Tackle stress. Stress has an enormous impact on our day to day quality of life, and our overall health. “Stress is like the monkey on our back, gripping your neck with its hands until you can’t breathe,” says Bobbe White, author of If Stress is Garbage, I’ve Bin There, Recycled That. That’s why it’s critical to reduce stress wherever possible. Even small things like 5 minutes of quiet breathing in your car every day, or subbing one yoga session for an exercise class helps take the edge off.

Resolution 8: Capture memories. One of the hardest things about losing a parent is wanting to hear some of their old stories or understanding family connections. This year, commit to sitting down with your older loved ones to get them to share your and their favorite memories. You may just take some notes, or you can make audio or video recordings using your cell phone. This is also a great way to get your kids engaged with their elders – young people are very adept at making excellent digital audio and video.

Resolution 9: Investigate options. Although it can feel uncomfortable, planning ahead for assisted living, long-term care and death makes going through those transitions easier for everyone. Resolve this year to investigate options for care and the monetary requirements for getting it. This includes understanding your parents’ desires and financial position, as well as your own.

Resolution 10: Increase safety for your parents. A recent study published in the Journal of Safety Research found that each year, “millions of people over 65 are treated in emergency rooms, with over 800,000 hospitalized for broken hips or head injuries, and 53% of those with fall-related hip fractures fall again within six months.” Whether your parents live independently or with you, make a point this year to learn about fall hazards, including medications and medical conditions. Then take steps to reducing the likelihood of a trip and tumble, like re-routing cables and cords and investigating a medical alert solution with fall detection.

Resolution 11: Get organized. This is another item that’s on everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions, but it’s a good one, especially when you’re caring for aging parents. Make a short list of things that need better organization, like the kids’ homework zone, Mom’s closet or even the files on your computer. Then make a plan to complete at least one each month. If you’re not a master organizer, you probably have a friend who’s one. If you feel emotional about clearing up the clutter, you may need more structured assistance. “I see drawers and closets stuffed to the gills – and typically what is being kept is because [we] feel guilty about letting things go,” says Bill Bliesath, a professional organizer with offices in Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Someone who’s not close to you can often be more effective at helping you work through those feelings so you can make better decisions about what to keep, donate or toss.

Resolution 12: Create a family calendar. “It’s too easy to lose track of the multiple deadlines and requirements without a planner,” Bliesath notes. An old-school desk planner or calendar is useful, but online versions that reside in the cloud and are accessible from any device any time are even better. Most enable you to assign each person a color, and control access to editing. Most importantly, you can set up reminders so you don’t miss a thing. It’s also another way to get kids engaged. “Parents should be involved daily checking the planner and helping the kids keep it updated,” he adds.  “Learning good planner use skills is an incredibly valuable life lesson.”

Resolution 13: Ask for and accept help. This may be the most important New Year’s resolution of all for caregivers. None of us likes to feel needy, so we frequently forgo asking for assistance. This year, resolve to lightening your emotional and physical load as much as possible. “Start accepting help from friends, family, neighbors, and professionals who are willing to pitch in and help with caregiving,” suggests Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, founder of Generations Health in Chester, MD, and author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One. And don’t be afraid to ask people for specific support, like picking up your kids at school or dropping off the dry cleaning. You might even consider a ride-haling service to ferry your parent or children from one appointment to another.

Following some or all of these resolutions will make life better for you and the person you’re caring for.

 The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:

For information about Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-745-5051 to speak with Jan D. Somers, MSW, LCSW, BCD, Education Director, Parkinson & Movement Disorder Information Center, The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is a non-profit foundation. We provide support groups, educational conferences, resources, research updates/ clinical trials information and PD events in the SFV/Ventura/Central Coast/ Inland Empire.

As we rely on donations to continue providing these services at no charge, if you would like to support our efforts, you can donate with ease and security at our website or mail us your gift. Please make sure and note our website as a bookmark in your computer. It is:  www.neurocommunity.org 

 The NeuroCommunity Foundation is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donors may deduct contributions to the foundation as provided in section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

 Mailing Address: 

The NeuroCommunity Foundation

23705 Vanowen St. # 216

West Hills, CA 91307

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gait study at CSUN Register now for PD individuals

REGISTER for PD GAIT STUDY at CSUN seeking participants now!

This study is on the gait (walking patterns) of individuals with Parkinson’s disease

Each participant will need to complete four 1-hour visits where they will be partaking in 20 minutes of exercise, with a different exercise mode being performed each visit. These exercise modes include treadmill walking, overground walking, elliptical training, and recumbent stepping.

Click here for an informational flyer Gait study 

If you’d like any additional information or have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  Danica Tolentino, Graduate Researcher

danicamarie.tolentino.606@my.csun.edu

(818) 263-6181 Center of Achievement through Adapted Physical Activity

Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Northridge

 

Autoimmunity and Parkinsons Disease

Researchers have found the first direct evidence that autoimmunity — in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues — plays a role in Parkinson’s disease, the neurodegenerative movement disorder. The findings raise the possibility that the death of neurons in Parkinson’s could be prevented by therapies that dampen the immune response.

The study, led by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, was published today in Nature.

“The idea that a malfunctioning immune system contributes to Parkinson’s dates back almost 100 years,” said study co-leader David Sulzer, PhD, professor of neurobiology (in psychiatry, neurology and pharmacology) at CUMC. “But until now, no one has been able to connect the dots. Our findings show that two fragments of alpha-synuclein, a protein that accumulates in the brain cells of people with Parkinson’s, can activate the T cells involved in autoimmune attacks.

“It remains to be seen whether the immune response to alpha-synuclein is an initial cause of Parkinson’s, or if it contributes to neuronal death and worsening symptoms after the onset of the disease,” said study co-leader Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci., professor in the Center for Infectious Disease at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in La Jolla, Calif. “These findings, however, could provide a much-needed diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease, and could help us to identify individuals at risk or in the early stages of the disease.”

[Read more…]

2018 Medicare changes-New Medicare Cards are coming

Medicare changes for 2018

New Medicare cards are coming

Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity. See an example of the new Medicare card at the Medicare.com website.

Things to know about your new Medicare card

  • You don’t need to take any action to get your new Medicare card.
  • The new card won’t change your Medicare coverage or benefits.
  • Medicare will never ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you by calling Medicare directly.
  • There’s no charge for your new card.

Whether you have been in Medicare for quite a while or are new to the federal health plan for individuals over 65, there are some important changes to the program for 2018.

Medicare experts strongly suggest that even if you are satisfied with your current coverage you should review your plans during open enrollment, which closes Dec. 7.

Here’s what’s new for 2018:

Part B premiums: Medicare Part B pays for doctor visits and other outpatient services.

• If you are on Medicare but not yet collecting Social Security benefits, your Part B monthly premium is expected to hold steady at $134.

• If you are collecting Social Security, which automatically pays your Part B premium, you’re paying about $109 a month in 2017 because of a law that prevents Medicare premiums from lowering Social Security payments. That amount could change for 2018 depending on how the 2 percent Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) affects your individual monthly payment.

Medicare Advantage (MA) premiums dip: The average monthly premium is expected to be about $30 next year, a slight decrease of $1.91 a month. MA plans are a private insurance alternative to original Medicare. They cover Part A (hospital), Part B (doctor and other outpatient services) and usually Part D, prescription drugs. Note: This is just an average. Premiums vary widely based on where you live and what your plan covers.

More choice of MA plans: The number of MA plans available across the country is increasing. In 2018, 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to an MA plan, and 85 percent will be able to choose among 10 or more MA plans.

Prescription drug (Part D) premiums dip: These monthly charges are expected to decline slightly to an average of $33.50, compared with $34.70 a month in 2017. This premium decline will be the first for Part D since 2012. Premiums vary by where you live and what plan you select. Make sure your current plan still covers all your medications — and explore the cost.

Part D coverage gap narrows: Once the total cost of your prescriptions reaches a certain threshold — set each year by the federal government — you pay more for your prescriptions. That’s because of a quirky aspect of Part D called the coverage gap, also known as the doughnut hole. For 2018, once you have incurred $3,750 worth of drug costs, you’ll be in the coverage gap. At that point, you’ll pay 35 percent of the cost of brand-name drugs and 44 percent of generics. You’ll continue to pay those prices until the total cost of your drugs reaches $5,000. Once you’ve hit that limit, you’ll no longer be in the doughnut hole and you’ll pay no more than 5 percent of your drug costs for the rest of the year.

The doughnut hole has been narrowing each year since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. The gap will close in 2020, and beneficiaries will pay 25 percent of the cost of all their prescriptions.

High-income surcharges: Medicare beneficiaries with incomes at a certain level pay higher Part B and D premiums. What’s different for 2018 is that more people will be subject to these surcharges because the income thresholds have changed. For 2018, if you are an individual earning $133,500 a year or a couple earning $267,000 a year, your premiums will increase. You can find the complete chart of the surcharges at Medicare.gov.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:

For information about Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-745-5051 to speak with Jan D. Somers, MSW, LCSW, BCD, Education Director, Parkinson & Movement Disorder Information Center, The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is a non-profit foundation. We provide support groups, educational conferences, resources, research updates/ clinical trials information and PD events in the SFV/Ventura/Central Coast/ Inland Empire.

 As we rely on donations to continue providing these services at no charge, if you would like to support our efforts, you can donate with ease and security at our website or mail us your gift. Please make sure and note our website as a bookmark in your computer. It is:  www.neurocommunity.org 

 The NeuroCommunity Foundation is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donors may deduct contributions to the foundation as provided in section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

 Mailing Address:  The NeuroCommunity Foundation

                                            23705 Vanowen St. # 216

                                                 West Hills, CA 91307

MS Research progress for 2017

Important Research Progress in 2017: Stopping MS, Restoring What’s Been Lost, and Ending MS Forever

Significant research advances were made in 2017, offering new leads toward our vision of a world free of MS. The Society’s research portfolio has 360 projects under active management, and in 2017 the Society invested $40 million for new and ongoing research projects and initiatives around the world. We support collaborations and innovation, convene thought leaders, leverage new technologies and data, invest in training to ensure a robust future workforce, and learn from other diseases, funders and people living with MS.

This year, the first therapy specifically for primary progressive MS was approved by the FDA, and progress occurred in many other approaches that will identify solutions for people living with MS today and ultimately lead to prevention and a cure. Here is a brief summary of significant 2017 research progress and initiatives aimed at stopping MS in its tracks, restoring function, and ending MS forever.

STOPPING MS – Toward New Therapies and New Understanding

[Read more…]

Sugar and our brain

Americans love sugar. Together we consumed nearly 11 million metric tons of it in 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture, much of it in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages like sports drinks and soda.

Now, new research suggests that excess sugar — especially the fructose in sugary drinks — might damage your brain. Researchers using data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) found that people who drink sugary beverages frequently are more likely to have poorer memory, smaller overall brain volume, and a significantly smaller hippocampus — an area of the brain important for learning and memory.

But before you chuck your sweet tea and reach for a diet soda, there’s more: a follow-up study found that people who drank diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia when compared to those who did not.

[Read more…]

Dec 9th How to Shake the Shakes program at UCLA

At UCLA  on December 9th, ” How to Shake the Shakes” program. 9am – 12 noon

CALL    (310) 571-5741  for additional  information and registration before Dec. 7th

EMAIL:  ucla.tremor@gmail.com

The program is titled “How to Shake the Shakes “with Dr. Yvette Bordelon and  Dr. Nader Pouratian speaking.   

December 2017 News and Support group listings

DECEMBER NEWS from The NeuroCommunity Foundation 

IN THIS TIME OF GIVING, WE ARE COUNTING ON YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! 

 We are pleased to continue to provide YOU and your family personal contact with our Education Director in providing Information and Resources, Education, Symposiums, Up-to-date Research & Clinical trials, Advocacy, Wellness and our PD Support groups!

Just click on the donate button below and then click on the donate button on the top right at our website.   Thank you!       ———————————————-

CLICK HERE:  PD SUPPORT GROUP LISTINGS for DECEMBER 2017

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DECEMBER GUEST SPEAKERS  for PD Support Groups

Read about the guest speaker by Clicking on their NAME                                       Elaine Miller-Karas,  LCSW  Topic: How to restore or increase resiliency to your nervous system. (Claremont)

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Don’t miss all the new information in Wellness Therapies, Be Inspired, Helpful Information and so much more!

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PD EDUCATION FROM HOME ( go to PD Education Events on the Home Page) 

-MJ Fox Third Thursday: 2017 Parkinson’s Research Year in Review   

-LSVT :Webinar: Treating the Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson Disease with LSVT BIG®   and LSVT LOUD®

-PD Telephone at home: Hallucinations and Delusions in PD 

-PD Expert Briefing   No webinar in December

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MAILING ADDRESS: The NeuroCommunity Foundation   

32705 Vanowen St.  # 216   West Hills, CA  91307

TELEPHONE: (818.745.5051)

Join the online clinical study

Have you heard of the NEW  online study that empowers people with PD to partner  with researchers and accelerate the development of break-though treatments?

The MJ Fox foundation has a new program called FOX INSIGHT.

It’s open to anyone with or without PD.

To learn more about it, go to: https://foxinsight.michaeljfox.org

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:

For information about Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-745-5051 to speak with Jan D. Somers, MSW, LCSW, BCD, Education Director, Parkinson & Movement Disorder Information Center, The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is a non-profit foundation. We provide support groups, educational conferences, resources, research updates/ clinical trials information and PD events in the SFV/Ventura/Central Coast/ Inland Empire.

 As we rely on donations to continue providing these services at no charge, if you would like to support our efforts, you can donate with ease and security at our website or mail us your gift. Please make sure and note our website as a bookmark in your computer. It is:  www.neurocommunity.org 

 The NeuroCommunity Foundation is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donors may deduct contributions to the foundation as provided in section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

 Mailing Address: 

The NeuroCommunity Foundation

 23705 Vanowen St. # 216

 West Hills, CA 91307

 

You can be the unexpected artist with PD

CAN YOU IMAGINE…..

 Chip Colley was an outdoorsman, not an artist. “I had friends who were artists, but I couldn’t paint at all,” he says.

Colley grew up fishing with his father on the Escambia Bay near his hometown of Pensacola, Florida. When his son, Zachary, was old enough, Colley introduced him to the timeless father-son tradition of pre-dawn angling.

And, when he was first diagnosed with PD, Colley fled to the cypress bog behind his house to reflect on this new, largely unwelcome phase of his life.

Early on in the disease, he was hit hard by bouts of insomnia that would last until three o’clock in the morning. Not a huge fan of television (“It stresses me out.”), he struggled to occupy these sleepless nights.

During the day, Colley frequented the three art galleries in town. He enjoyed perusing the creations of the professional artists until one day, one of those artists came up to him and asked, “Why don’t you try to paint something?”

He initially dismissed the idea outright. “My hands were always shaking so hard that I couldn’t even write my own name,” he says.

However, during one of the endless, empty nights, Colley made a decision that would forever alter his outlook on his disease. He grabbed a sheet of paper and some pencils and began to draw.

To his surprise, the drawings turned out “pretty good.” Colley began to expand his scope, digging through boxes of his children’s old art supplies. “I started painting with anything I could get my hands on,” he says.

He had questions about his newfound penchant for portraiture, but continued to allow his creative juices to flow. The next time Colley went to his neurologist for a checkup, he presented the doctor with a stack of paintings and asked, “What’s this about?”

The physician was impressed, but not surprised by Colley’s prowess. He suggested Colley enroll in a study about PD and creativity being conducted by the University of Florida. “We walked in and they just handed us a bag of art supplies and told us to do our thing.”

Colley’s art has gradually gotten better. He prefers painting and sculpting, sometimes combining the two to create paintings with embossed surfaces. “It’s been great. I’ve met so many people since I started doing art,” he says. “When you’re focused on a project, you tend not to think about your physical problems. It just takes you away.”

His advice for fellow sufferers: “Pick up a paintbrush, dance, sing. Do anything you want, but do not just sit there. Enjoy your life. I’m considered an artist now. I would never have dreamed it in a million years.”

 

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Shop with AmazonSmile and Support The NeuroCommunity Foundation

Did you know that you can support The NeuroCommunity Foundation through your everyday online purchases? Amazon.com has a charitable program called AmazonSmile. It is a simple and automatic way for you to support The NeuroCommunity Foundation every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to The NeuroCommunity Foundation!

It’s simple:

1) Go to AmazonSmile from the web browser on your computer or mobile device.
2)Login with your amazon.com username and password or create one if you are a new user.
3) Search for The NeuroCommunity Foundation in the search box on the right side where it asks which charity you would like to support.
4) Select The NeuroCommunity Foundation from the search results or type in The NeuroCommunity Foundation should the select not include our organization.
Happy shopping and thank you for supporting The NeuroCommunity Foundation

Support us when you shop for back-to-school items.

Just Click Here and Shop

Northridge Foundation For Neurological Research & Education

Smile with Back to School shopping

Dear The NeuroCommunity Foundation friends,supporters and participants.

If you happen to shop at Ralphs and would like to support The NeuroCommunity Foundation, we would be most appreciative!. If you do shop at Ralphs, we will receive 1 % of your purchase through their community
contribution program. The NeuroCommunity Foundation's Non-Profit Org. number ( NP0 # ) is 82287

All you need to do is enroll online at www.ralphs.com OR by calling Ralphs at
800-443-4438 after September 1, 2016.

If you happened to enroll prior to Sept 1st, Ralphs requires you to register again.

For your convenience, step-by-step website registration instructions are found below or can be found at www.ralphs.com, click on Community, click on Community Contributions, click on ‘Enroll Now’. If you don’t have computer access, please call us at 1-800-443-4438 for assistance.

Use you Ralph’s Rewards Card to Contribute Here’s How:

If you do not have a Ralph’s online account
1. Go to www.ralphs.com/account/create
2. Follow the easy steps to create an online account
3. You will be instructed to go to your email inbox to confirm your account
4. After you confirm your online account by clicking on the link in your email, return to
www.ralphs.com and click on ‘Sign In’, enter your email address and password.
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Enroll
b. Type our NPO number 82287 or Neurocommunity.org
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED YOUR REWARDS CARD ON-LINE
(This means that you have already entered your email address and assigned yourself a password)

1. Log in to www.ralphs.com
2. Click Sign In
3. Enter your email address and password
4. Click on ‘Your Name’ (In the top right hand corner)
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Re-Enroll
b. Type your NPO number or Name of your Organization
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process