January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month. Due to holidays, travel and hectic schedules, blood is often in short supply in the winter months. Fewer donors can result in putting our nation's blood supply at a critical low.
About 9.2 million people donate blood each year in the United States. Are you one of them? If not, you’re not alone – according to the American Red Cross, an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10 percent actually do it. If you have donated, your donation may have helped somebody in a hospital – such as a Kindred Transitional Care Hospital – who needed blood to survive. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
Donating blood is safe and the actual donation process takes only about 15 minutes. Type O is the most commonly-requested blood type, but donors with Type AB+ plasma can donate to all blood types.
January 19-24 is National Activity Professional Week. In honor of this event, the Kindred Continuum interviewed Lori Chepan, Activity Director at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation – Elizabeth City.
After college and some time off with my son, I wanted to go back to work part-time, so I came in as the Activity Director’s assistant. She encouraged me to take the Activity Director course, to get the certification. I did that, and I’ve been full-time here since 2002.
We do crafts, and have a men’s support group, and for the women, we do manicures. And we have wine and cheese once a month which folks just love.
At the holidays, we have big parties, caroling and a visit from Santa. Last summer, we had a pig pickin’ family day, with sno cones and popcorn, all free to residents’ families and the employees and their families.
A new report shows that patients and families feel that while staff are often caring, they could do more to preserve patients' dignity by allowing them more say in personal decisions. Read the story
A new Gallup poll has shown that support for the Affordable Care Act is at an all-time low, with 54 percent of those polled disapproving of the law and only 38 percent saying they approve. Read the story
In the wake of a chemical spill that contaminated tap water in West Virginia, hospitals and nursing homes were first on the list to receive emergency water supplies and patients and residents were largely untouched by the calamity as a result. Read the story
Glaucoma, which is often hereditary, results from a build-up of fluid inside the eye that presses on the optic nerve damaging it and leading to loss of vision. There are often no early symptoms of glaucoma, which is why regular vision exams are so important, especially after the age of 40.
, glaucoma affects over 2.2 million Americans, but only about half of those know they have it. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, and those at highest risk are people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics and people who are severely nearsighted.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, and most people with open-angle glaucoma don’t experience symptoms until some loss of vision has already occurred. Loss of peripheral vision might be the first noticeable symptom.
More and more, those caring for the elderly are seniors themselves, according to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, a New York nonprofit advocating for workers caring for the country’s elderly and disabled. The overall aging of the population as well as a need for supplemental income among seniors are two of the possible reasons for the trend. Read the story
Among the overall population of direct-care workers, 29 percent are projected to be 55 or older by 2018, up from 22 percent a decade earlier...
In a case in which a patient's personal information, stored on a laptop computer, was stolen from a provider, a judge ruled that individuals cannot sue providers under HIPAA in this type of situation. The Department of Health and Human Services, not individuals, in responsible for enforcing HIPAA, the judge said. Read the story
Advance Directives, or Living Wills, allow you to document your wishes for end-of-life medical care. In the event that you become incapacitated and unable to express your wishes, Living Wills guide your loved ones and medical professionals involved in your care when important decisions about life-sustaining treatment must be made.
Patients are asked if they have Advance Directives when they are admitted to a Kindred facility, said Kathee Paradowski, Clinical Informaticist Consultant in Kindred’s Hospital Division.
“The goal of an Advance Directive is to make sure that patients are making informed decisions and that we’re following their wishes,” Ms. Paradowski said.
Once the patient’s wishes have been determined, the physician writes orders based on the patient’s desires and the Advance Directives are entered into the patient’s record.
Kindred Nursing and Transitional Care – Pacific Coast in Salinas, California has created their annual Activity Garden Calendar for 2014. The Activity Department developed four patio gardens which they plant and maintain throughout the year with the residents. The gardens have greatly enhanced the atmosphere for residents, family, and staff. Activity Director, Mercy Rosario and Activity Assistant, Valerie Henderson both have strong backgrounds in horticulture. With the help of the other activity staff they have created artistically arranged plantings of ornamentals, flowering shrubs and vines, fruit trees, seasonal vegetables, and succulents.
Unhealthy behavior associated with high anxiety might lead to a greater stroke risk, new research finds. Read the story
"Assessment and treatment of anxiety has the potential to not only improve overall quality of life, but may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke, later in life."
Health care subsidy recipients are required to report life events such as a new job or divorce to their insurance exchange to ensure correct tax refunds are given and additional taxes are not owed. But the requirement is a new responsibility. Read the story
In a recent study, high levels of “bad cholesterol” and low levels of “good” cholesterol were associated with an increased amount of amyloid plaque build-up, which can compromise brain function. Read the story
Students from Jackson Elementary School in Manitowoc, Wisconsin filled the halls of Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation – North Ridge to sing carols and deliver gifts and homemade cards to the residents. This is a tradition that is in it's fourteenth year. While a small group of students were selected to make the trip, the entire school participates by holding fundraisers to collect funds to buy gifts for the residents. See a video of the children and the smiles they brought to many faces here.
Medicaid expansion and large investments in infrastructure needed for electronic health record systems and improved quality and coordination-of-care measures pose difficult challenges for small, rural hospitals with limited means. Read the story
Innovations and medical advances have improved the process of stroke rehabilitation for many patients. But experts believe that personal attention, an understanding of a patient's specific, individual goals – which can range from getting back to work to being able to join friends for lunch out to playing basketball again – and monitoring emotions and other intangibles, remain hugely important to rehab success. Read the story
I don’t think we spend enough time asking patients what they want. This is an opportunity for us to gain a better understanding of patient goals – Mary Van de Kamp, MS, CCC, SLP, Senior Vice President of Quality and Care Management at Kindred Healthcare
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