Safe and Sound. Old Colony Elder Services hosts training on Social Worker Safety.

Old Colony Elder Services (OCES)the Brockton based regional agency serving older adults and individuals with disabilities, held a two-day social worker safety training at their office that involved all the organization’s staff including Care Managers and Protective Services Workers.

The extensive training was facilitated by Sara McCabe who works with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and is the current Residential Director with the Wayside Youth & Family Support Network in Framingham, MA. Ms. McCabe is certified by NASW as a trainer and has been teaching the topic for seven years.

Topics for the Safety Training For Social Workers program included working with violent consumers; assessing and predicting risk factors; verbal de-escalation; developing a safety plan of action; setting boundaries; developing safety protocols; and tracking safety incidents.  Continuing Education Units (CEUs) were given to participants.

“Safety for social workers is an essential concern in our workplace,” noted Terri Kourtz, Protective Service and Money Management Director of OCES.  “This training program is a catalyst for thinking and taking proactive steps towards maintaining safety for all of our staff and consumers.”

About OCES

Founded in 1974, OCES serves 20 communities in Plymouth County as well as Avon, Easton and Stoughton. OCES is a private, non-profit organization located in Brockton and designated as one of 27 Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OCES’ mission is to support the independence and dignity of elders and individuals with disabilities by providing essential information and services that promote healthy and safe living. The agency has 173 employees and operates more than 15 programs serving older adults, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit www.oldcolonyelderservices.org.

 

According to Right at Home South Shore president, Love and Companionship Result in a Healthier and Longer Life

Libet Callahan, RN, BSN, president of the South Shore's Right at Home

With the arrival of Valentine’s Day on February 14, February has been designated as the month of love. But dark chocolate isn’t the only sweet gift that is good for the heart – building strong relationships and socializing with others play a vital role in living a longer and healthier life. The medical profession has been telling us for years that eating right and getting regular exercise will improve longevity. However, many physicians are now saying that maintaining positive relationships also can contribute to keeping people healthy. In numerous studies, researchers have found that people who have strong friendships and have the opportunity to socialize with others, age better, recover from illness more quickly, have stronger immunity and live longer, more personally fulfilling lives.

The connection between relationships and life expectancy is not a new theory. In a recent study at Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill involving more than 300,000 men and women across the developed world, researchers found that those who were considered to have poor social connections and limited opportunity for socialization had an average of 50 percent higher odds of death (an average of 7.5 years) than those with “robust” social ties and regular socialization. That is a significant difference not only in longevity, but also, in quality of life.

Among the aging, the lack of ongoing relationships and regular socialization is a common concern. For many aging adults their relatives, neighbors and friends move, go into long-term-care or die, leaving them isolated and alone. One health problem reported by Medical News Today links the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in old age to social isolation. Loneliness was linked to lower levels of cognitive function as well as more rapid decline of general physical function. People who identified themselves as “lonely” experienced double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s than those who described themselves as “least lonely”. It is estimated that 28 percent of Americans older than age 65 live alone, which exacerbates this problem. It is important for seniors and their caregivers to be aware of the potential for social isolation and how to create opportunities to develop personal bonds with others.

Here are some considerations to minimize senior isolation and loneliness:
Encourage your aging loved one to participate in local activities at their church, synagogue or senior center. Many senior centers offer transportation to and from the facility at low or no cost.
Coordinate with siblings and relatives to ensure that your loved one receives a visit or at least one phone call daily.
Adult day care centers can be a great resource for socialization and cognitive stimulation.
Senior Homecare agencies like Right at Home can provide vetted companions that offer socialization as well as help with food preparation, light housekeeping and transportation to doctor appointments, shopping or just to go visit a friend.
Keep in mind that love from friends and family could be the key to ensuring a longer, happier life, not just on February 14, but all year long. Remember your aging loved ones this Valentine’s Day by giving a cherished gift – your time.
About Right At Home

Right at Home provides non-medical in-home care services to seniors and disabled adults throughout the South Shore. Right At Home is among the first in the state to earn Accreditation from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts. As a private-pay home care agency, Right At Home can provide services in settings other than the home, such as in assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement facilities, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals.

Right at Home provides care services of companionship, homemaking, physical assistance, hygiene and wellness. In addition, Right At Home accommodates clients in special care situations providing home care for Alzheimer’s and other dementia, osteoarthritis, hypertension/stroke, diabetes, heart disease, neuromuscular diseases and disorders, cancer recovery, hospice/palliative care support, mental health, traumatic brain injury and paraplegia/quadriplegia. All Right At Home caregivers are fully insured and bonded, must pass a vigorous background check, complete a training program and pass a competency test before being placed with a client.

The company serves the following areas: Abington, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton (East Side), Carver, Cohasset, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Middleboro, Milton, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Randolph, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, Weymouth and Whitman. Right at Home has offices located at 800 Hingham Street, in Rockland, MA and 38 Resnik Road in Plymouth, MA. For more information contact 866-681-3545 or visit the website at http://www.rightathome.net/southshore/.

Take Stock of Aging Parents’ Health – Right At Home Offers 5-Minute Online Assessment Tool

Libet Callahan, RN, BSN, president

The holiday visits are behind us and now it’s time to review and take stock. Those of us with aging parents should heed the signs that indicate that an aging loved one may be declining, jeopardizing their safety and well-being at home. With offices in Rockland and Plymouth, Right at Home of the South Shore has launched a free, 5-Minute Online Care Assessment tool.

“There are a number of visual clues indicating a decline in health or independence that you should pay attention to,” explained Libet Callahan, RN, BSN, president of the South Shore based office of Right at Home, providers of non-medical in-home care services to seniors and disabled adults.

Callahan lists the 10 signs to watch for in your aging loved one that are cause for concern:

1.Weight loss
2.Not maintaining his/her personal appearance and hygiene
3.Not remembering when to take medication and not knowing what condition each medication is treating
4.Not eating nutritious meals or not eating at all
5.Food in the refrigerator or on the shelves that is past its expiration date or molding
6.Not maintaining the home by doing chores such as cleaning bathrooms, washing floors or regular vacuuming
7.Not paying bills – unpaid or unopened piles of bills are a red flag
8.Not taking proper care of a pet
9.Avoiding or having difficulty ascending/descending steps
10.Limiting contact with or lacking an interest in the outside world

According to Callahan, “If you believe that your loved one may be having difficulty, you need to address it with your loved one and other close family members. Your aging loved one may be in need of a number of services – from companionship to personal care and homemaking.”

If your aging loved one is showing one or more of these signs, take the Right At Home 5-Minute Online Care Assessment. Visit http://www.rightathome.net/southshore/.

Single-service care options such as meals-on-wheels or an adult daycare may be enough. But, oftentimes a multi-service provider such as Right At Home is needed to provide the companion, homemaker and personal care services that enable seniors and those with disabilities to remain in the comfort of their home for as long as possible.

For questions or more information, contact Right At Home at 781-681-3545.

About Right At Home
Right at Home provides non-medical in-home care services to seniors and disabled adults throughout the South Shore. Right At Home is among the first in the state to earn Accreditation from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts. As a private-pay home care agency, Right At Home can provide services in settings other than the home, such as in assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement facilities, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals.

Right at Home provides care services of companionship, homemaking, physical assistance, hygiene and wellness. In addition, Right At Home accommodates clients in special care situations providing home care for Alzheimer’s and other dementia, osteoarthritis, hypertension/stroke, diabetes, heart disease, neuromuscular diseases and disorders, cancer recovery, hospice/palliative care support, mental health, traumatic brain injury and paraplegia/quadriplegia. All Right At Home caregivers are fully insured and bonded, must pass a vigorous background check, complete a training program and pass a competency test before being placed with a client.

The company serves the following areas: Abington, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton (East Side), Carver, Cohasset, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Middleboro, Milton, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Randolph, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, Weymouth and Whitman. Right at Home has offices located at 800 Hingham Street, in Rockland, MA and 38 Resnik Road in Plymouth, MA. For more information contact 866-681-3545 or visit the website at http://www.rightathome.net/southshore/.

Old Colony Elder Services Employees Hold Canned Food Drive for The Charity Guild

OCES staff hold food drive for The Charity Guild

This holiday season, the staff at Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), the Brockton based regional elder services agency serving seniors, their families and caregivers throughout greater Brockton and Plymouth county, has gone above and beyond to help those in need. The agency collected several large boxes of canned food donations from their staff during their Holiday Party held last week.

The canned food drive donations were delivered to The Charity Guild food pantry and thrift shop located on Main Street in Brockton.

For more information about The Charity Guild, visit their website at thecharityguild.org.

About OCES
Incorporated in 1974, Old Colony Elder Services is a private, non-profit corporation designated as one of 27 Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OCES offers a number of programs to serve seniors, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers such as Family Caregiver Support; Adult Family Care; Supportive Housing; Nutrition; Money Management; Protective Services and Home Care.

OCES serves elders, their families and caregivers in 23 towns in Southeastern Massachusetts:

Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater and Whitman.

The organization’s mission is to provide services that support the dignity and independence of elders by helping them maximize their quality of life; live safely and in good health; and, prevent unnecessary or premature institutionalization.

The agency has 157 employees. For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit the website at www.oldcolonyelderservices.org

Aging Parent Needs Assistance? Right At Home Advises of the Top 10 Signs and Online Assessment Tool

Libet Callahan, RN, BSN, president of the South Shore office of Right at Home

Holiday visit or wellness check? The answer is both. The holidays are often a time for happy reunions with aging parents, aunts and uncles who you haven’t seen in months or perhaps even years. A holiday visit is the perfect time to assess how your loved one is doing because you are able to look for visual clues indicating signs of decline that you would not be able to glean through a telephone call.

Libet Callahan, RN, BSN, president of the South Shore office of Right at Home, providers of non-medical in-home care services to seniors and disabled adults throughout the South Shore, advises family members of the 10 signs to watch for that are a cause for concern:

Weight loss

Not maintaining his/her personal appearance and hygiene

Not remembering when to take medication and not knowing what condition each medication is treating

Not eating nutritious meals or not eating at all

Food in the refrigerator or on the shelves that is past its expiration date or molding

Not maintaining the home by doing chores such as cleaning bathrooms, washing floors or regular vacuuming

Not paying bills – unpaid or unopened piles of bills are a red flag

Not taking proper care of a pet

Avoiding or having difficulty ascending/descending steps

Limiting contact with or lacking an interest in the outside world

According to Ms. Callahan, “Ultimately, a single, isolated sign doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one is in trouble. Sometimes you can just feel a change in a person even if you can’t articulate it. If there are numerous signs and you believe that your loved one may be having difficulty, you need to address it with your loved one and other close family members. Your aging loved one may be in need of a number of services – from companionship to personal care and homemaking – and Right at Home can help.”

Single-service care options such as meals-on-wheels or an adult daycare may be enough. But, oftentimes a multi-service provider such as Right At Home is needed to provide the companion, homemaker and personal care services that enable seniors and those with disabilities to remain in the comfort of their home for as long as possible.

If you have concerns about a family member, take Right At Home’s online Care Assessment by visiting http://www.rightathome.net/southshore/. For questions or more information, contact Right At Home at 781-681-3545.

About Right At Home

Right at Home provides non-medical in-home care services to seniors and disabled adults throughout the South Shore. Right At Home is among the first in the state to earn Accreditation from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts. As a private-pay home care agency, Right At Home can provide services in settings other than the home, such as in assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement facilities, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals.

Right at Home provides care services of companionship, homemaking, physical assistance, hygiene and wellness. In addition, Right At Home accommodates clients in special care situations providing home care for Alzheimer’s and other dementia, osteoarthritis, hypertension/stroke, diabetes, heart disease, neuromuscular diseases and disorders, cancer recovery, hospice/palliative care support, mental health, traumatic brain injury and paraplegia/quadriplegia. All Right At Home caregivers are fully insured and bonded, must pass a vigorous background check, complete a training program and pass a competency test before being placed with a client.

The company serves the following areas: Abington, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton (East Side), Carver, Cohasset, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Middleboro, Milton, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Randolph, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, Weymouth and Whitman. Right at Home has offices located at 800 Hingham Street, in Rockland, MA and 38 Resnik Road in Plymouth, MA. For more information contact 866-681-3545 or visit the website at http://www.rightathome.net/southshore/.