Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ankle Pain

I first learned about ankle care early one morning when my father was in a rehab center after a major stroke. Not long after my mom and I arrived we noticed swelling of one of his ankles. We questioned the nurses, who had not noticed it, and it was finally sorted out that he had to have sprained his ankle the night before when one of the evening nurses had assisted him out of bed and to the bathroom.

After that I learned all about how to care for a sprained ankle and more importantly how to prevent one through high alertness when assisting someone in standing and transferring.

If you have someone that has weakened ankles or poor balance, then I strongly suggest you read over information such as the Ankle Pain - Treatment page at the University of Maryland Medical Center to familiarize yourself with the varying causes of ankle pain and the ways to treat is - and when to call a doctor.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Are You Prepared for Zombies? The CDC can help make sure

If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency.

Yes, I realize that it sounds like a joke, but this is actually very serious.

The CDC understands the concerns that everyone has in keeping their family safe in the event of a zombie apocalypse. If there were an emergency that demanded defending the general public against zombies the CDC is prepared to take action. On their Zombies Blog the CDC assures the public that in the event of an emergency the CDC is prepared to work with local emergency response teams to minimize the danger to the public as quickly as possible through consultation, lab testing and infection control.

You should be warned that there could be the possibility of isolation and quarantine to help control the spread of zombies, so visit the CDC website and familiarize yourself with how such an action might affect you and what you should know before the CDC calls for something as drastic as quarantine or isolation.

The CDC will be relentless in its efforts to get ahead of the issue and understand if it is a virus, toxin or other treatable kind of pathogen that is creating the zombie uprising. They will also be tracking reported incidents in an effort to get ahead of the wave and stop the spread of zombies. Once they understand how the zombie cycle works, how the infection or pathogen is spread, they will be better equipped to advise the general public on measures that can be taken to protect themselves from becoming the next zombie.

Please note that it is a good idea to visit the CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response page and familiarize yourself with the various specific hazards such as bioterrorism (zombies are likely to spread much like a bioterrorism threat), radiation emergencies (because radiation has long been thought to be one of the causes of zombies rising), chemical emergencies (another possible cause for zombies), and natural disasters such as severe weather issues. Any disease caused by zombies would spread faster in areas affected by natural disasters and flooding.

Also make sure that you are familiar with the mass casualties event preparedness and response - because zombies are going to cause a lot of casualties and it is quite likely there will be mass panic in the cities as people attempt to flee ahead of the uprising or to loot businesses after the initial wave of zombies has passed.

Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure that you are prepared for coping with a tragic event, because there is going to be a lot of disruption and panic and trauma in the wake of a zombie attack in your area.

Chances are we will never have to suffer the horror of a zombie uprising, however, it is best to prepare for the worst case scenario and have a survival kit ready. If you are fully prepared to deal with the zombie uprising, then you will be able to handle almost any other hazard that might otherwise leave your life and the lives f your friends and family in upheaval.

It is all about being prepared, and I know that my parents would have gladly pitched in in creating a zombie preparedness kit and a plan for where the members of the family were to meet up in the event of such an emergency.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hopefully be working sometime soon

Tomorrow I go in for the orientation to be hired on as a caregiver. FINALLY. I have been trying to get this job since last year, and was supposed to have been hired in January according to the State of Alaska. Things just keep dragging slowly along, though, and now tomorrow I go through orientation and they send off my prints to have a Federal Background check done on them, then when they get that back they'll officially hire me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

VA helping out family caregivers of post 9/11 veterans

The VA has started helping out post 9/11 family caregivers.

From the VA website:
VA now provides additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver. Eligible primary Family Caregivers can receive a stipend, training, mental health services, and access to health insurance if they are not already under a health care plan.

Assistance with the application process is available. Caregiver Support Coordinators are stationed at every VA Medical Center; or dial toll-free 1-877-222 VETS (8387).

Also see the new support line:

National Caregiver Support Line

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is pleased to announce the launch of a toll-free National Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274.

It looks like the VA is starting to do more for Family Caregivers, its just a shame they have all but failed to help out the rapidly dwindling numbers of WWII vets that could have used a bit more help. Even now, the first program they have up there are for veterans AFTER 9/11, I still can't find where they offer similar help for the family caregivers of veterans pre-9/11 going back to the Greatest Generation, even though in talking about Family Caregivers the Secretary of Veterans Affairs states:

...Their sacrifice is enormous, every day, year after year, for Veterans, who safeguarded this Nation. Caregivers are our indispensable partners in Veteran’s healthcare, and they deserve our support.

Eye Exams - get a baseline exam at age 40

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology everyone should get a baseline eye exam at age 40, even if they do not have any risk factors for eye disease.

They recommend a screening exam during a regular pediatric appointment before age three. And suggest children have eye screenings between the ages of 3 and 19, then at least one full exam by age 29 and two more full exams by age 39. Various risk factors and chances of injury to the eyes can make more frequent exams necessary, but these are the baselines.

Then at age 40 it is recommended that everyone have a baseline exam even if they have no signs of trouble or risk factors. 40 marks a point when doctors can detect early signs or disease or vision changes that are starting to occur and can discuss proper times between follow-up exams with the patient.

Starting at age 65 it is important for the eyes to be examined on a yearly basis to watch for cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration among other age related eye issues.

For more information see Eye Exams at the American Academy of Ophthalmology website.

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Soon I will be working again

It has been a long road, but with any luck this time next month I will be working as a caregiver - only this time the position will be a paid position. I'm going to need to keep working at a second job, since the care position is not going to provide enough income to pay my bills all on its own.

At least I will be working again and that will count toward my social security and medicare - or at least it had better. I really don't want to end up discovering that it does not count toward those. I assume it will, since I am going through a third party service and will be paid by the State of Alaska rather than the service I am working for. But I need to remember to ask the people at the service about that.

Right now I am just thrilled to be working soon, I have been hoping through hoops for this job since last December and unable to look for work elsewhere because each time it has been "you'll be hired in about a month..." and then that has been followed up by another delay. I think the delays are all out of the way now though, so I should be working soon.

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