PA LINK + YOU: Working Together for Improved Life

Author

PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources (PA MEDI)

Posted on

Apr 18, 2022

Book/Edition

Pennsylvania - Greater Pittsburgh Area

The mission of the PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources is to improve access to long term services and supports for individuals, their loved ones and caregivers, regardless of age, income, or ability, through an integrated network of partner agencies committed to expanding the use of community based solutions, promoting person centered decision making, and enhancing the quality of services. PA Link provides a myriad of services including:

Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) - Is a program designed to guide Pennsylvanians on the wide range of public and private resources available, based on an individuals needs, preferences, values, and strengths with a focus on an individuals prioritized goals.
Information + Referral/Assistance -No Wrong Door access ensuring that linkages to appropriate services and programs are provided with minimal confusion to the individual.
Benefits Counseling and Application Assistance - Assisting with awareness, understanding and access to public and private resources to obtain services to remain as independent as possible in a chosen setting.
Partnership Development and Trainings - Opportunity for professional networking to share ideas and best practices. Providing free or low-cost trainings to increase knowledge and skill sets of agency staff.
Community Outreach and Education - Information and education provided to the general public to inform them of available resources, access to those resources and how to connect to long term services and supports.
Person-Centered Transition Support - Transitions between systems, programs, settings and life stages, such as nursing home transition, youth transition and military reintegration.
Quality Assurance - Collection of data vital for programming, grant preparation and service system improvements.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Marlene OLeary, PA Link Lead Coordinator Service Area 3 (Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Green, Washington).

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Importance of Documenting Medical History

The US National Council On Aging reports that 95 percent of senior Americans over 65 live with at least one chronic condition. The percentage of older adults with two or more chronic medical conditions comes in at 80 percent, and the number of conditions that an individual experiences tends to increase as they age. As they grow older, senior citizens may find it very difficult to keep track of their comprehensive medical history, any complications, and daily medications. Maintaining detailed records of past and present medical issues is one of the most effective ways to guarantee ongoing health success.The Significance of  Tracking Medical HistoryA medical history doesnt only track illnesses or diagnoses from years gone by. It encompasses all facets of an individuals health journey, including pharmaceutical medications, hereditary predispositions and carrier status, and minor conditions that might become problematic in the future. Maintaining documentation from all physician and hospital visits documents allows for more informed and safer medical decisions in the future.Medications and Prescriptions  Many senior adults, especially those living with dementia or other memory issues, fail to consistently take daily required medications, with more complications becoming evident as new treatments and doses are introduced. Keeping a full roster of which prescription drugs you take, those you took in the past but no longer take, and any complications you experienced gives doctors and medical professionals the insight they need to recommend new medications that dont result in unwanted side effects or dangerous contraindications.Genetic Diseases and Family History  Knowing and documenting a personal medical history does more than just assist a personal health journey. An accurate and comprehensive medical history gives children and grandchildren a framework to better understand what medical conditions they may be predisposed to, and any genetic diseases they might be carriers for.Even if an individual doesnt currently live with a specific condition, a family predisposition might cause these conditions to appear in their family. When physicians are performing tests and attempting to identify conditions based on their symptoms, the collected data is invaluable for rapidly narrowing down the possible pool of diagnoses as well as providing your family the help they need as soon as possible.More Targeted Care  While healthcare professionals strive to provide each of their patients with individualized care, you understand your own health better than anyone else. Especially when you go to a new physician for care or are admitted to the hospital due to health concerns, being familiar with your complete medical history allows you to ask relevant questions and expedite the process of getting the treatment you need. If all of your medical history is amassed and preserved as written documents, you can also have more confidence in your healthcare professional to represent your best interests if you are incapacitated. You can then idenitfy those close family members you trust to make decisions on your behalf based on your medical history.How To Create a Personal Medical HistoryNow that you know more about the criticality of keeping and understanding your medical history, you should learn how to actually collect all the required data.Typically you can request this information from physicians and hospitals via paper forms or online customer service portals. For more in-depth information, like unrecorded family medical history, you can contact extended family members such as cousins or siblings, in order to gain a more holistic view of your familys health issues. Often, this information is invaluable for younger family members when they have hard-to-diagnose health situations.At My Care Finders, we are dedicated to finding the best senior living solution for you or your loved one. A medical history is just one of many ways we help you to narrow down the possibilities and make the very best choices for your situation.

Post-Injury Assistance for Seniors

Assisted living residences offer senior adults the opportunity to live mostly independent lives, even if they do need some assistance once in a while. However, many individuals are not comfortable with the conversation about assisted living. In fact, some people reject the need for a move to assisted living, even if they have sustained an injury at their home. If someone you love has been hurt at home recently but objects to the idea of senior living, we are here to help you initiate and navigate these challenging discussions.Understanding Concerns About a Move to Assisted LivingWhen a senior loved one is resistant to the idea of moving to an assisted living residence, it helps to speak with them about their feelings and concerns. Often, their objection to assisted living should not be considered irrational it is simply not something they think is necessary. Family members should understand that this resistance often arises from anxiety about losing independence and the familiarity of their home environment. Its essential to listen carefully to their concerns, validating their emotions without dismissing them prior to discussion.Tips to Navigate Discussions Post-InjuryBegin by acknowledging your loved ones desire to remain at home and the reasons for their feelings.Thoughtfully explore the problems they experience when performing tasks, and discuss how an injury has adversely affected their daily routine.Talk about the benefits that assisted living can offer, such as safety, medical attention, and social opportunities.Ensure that your family member feels free to express any fears they may have regarding assisted living facilities.Immediately following an injury, your family member may not be open to a change of lifestyle. The aging process is natural, but there may be embarrassment about the situation and no one wants to feel like they are causing an inconvenience. However, they may change their mind once they have had the opportunity to consider the reality of their situation. Be patient and give them time to get used to the idea of a move to assisted living.Another possible objection is that your family member doesnt want to become a burden. This fear is related to their feelings of autonomy, but it can go deeper. For one thing, your senior loved one may have concerns about their financial status. Asking for financial assistance is uncomfortable, especially for an independent person who is aging. Some individuals object to any help at all, whether from paid healthcare professionals or people they love.An appropriate way to dissuade these concerns is to provide assurance that the new circumstances will not a burden on your family. Let them know that they are secure, safe and cared for will provide them with immense relief. They have worked hard their entire life and deserve the help they need in their golden years, whether that help is with small daily tasks or involves more intensive caretaking.If They Wont Accept Help After an InjuryDepending on the circumstances surrounding your family members illness and injury, you can also honestly let them know that refusing help is not beneficial for anyone. If a senior adult is injured in their own home and does not have the ability to summon prompt medical attention, their condition can become more complicated resulting in additional medical expenses and stress for all involved. Assisted living communities allow any capable resident the opportunity to live an independent life with the comfort and safety of 24/7 security.My Care Finders is a team of professional senior care advisors who are committed to helping your family make the right choice about assisted living. We are here to answer any questions you may have call today.

Foolproof your Home: Senior Safe Strategies

As our loved ones age, ensuring their safety and well-being becomes a top priority. For many seniors, the desire to age gracefully in the comfort of their own homes is strong. However, as homes age with them, they may pose various risks and challenges. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore foolproof strategies to make your home safe for seniors, enhancing their independence and well-being.Understanding the Importance of Senior SafetyAging comes with its own set of challenges, including decreased mobility, vision impairments, and other health concerns. It's essential to create a safe living environment that addresses these challenges and minimizes the risk of accidents and injuries. By prioritizing senior safety, we can help our loved ones maintain their independence and quality of life.Introducing Aging in PlaceAging in Place is a concept that emphasizes the ability for seniors to remain in their own homes as they age, rather than moving to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. This approach allows seniors to maintain their sense of independence and familiarity with their surroundings, promoting overall well-being and happiness.Identifying Home HazardsBefore implementing safety measures, it's crucial to identify potential hazards in the home. Common hazards for seniors include slippery floors, poor lighting, cluttered walkways, and inaccessible bathrooms. By conducting a thorough home safety assessment, we can pinpoint areas that require attention and make necessary modifications to improve safety.Essential Home ModificationsOnce hazards have been identified, it's time to implement modifications to enhance senior safety. These modifications may include:Installing grab bars in bathrooms and near stairs to prevent fallsAdding non-slip flooring and mats in high-traffic areasImproving lighting throughout the home to reduce the risk of trips and fallsInstalling handrails and ramps for easier mobilityLowering countertops and cabinets to make them more accessibleUpgrading bathroom fixtures to include features such as walk-in showers and raised toiletsBy making these modifications, we can create a safer and more accessible living environment for seniors, allowing them to navigate their homes with confidence and ease.Leveraging Technology for SafetyIn addition to physical modifications, technology can also play a crucial role in enhancing senior safety. Smart home devices such as motion sensors, doorbell cameras, and medical alert systems can provide added security and peace of mind for both seniors and their caregivers. These technologies can help monitor for potential emergencies, provide assistance in case of falls or accidents, and allow for remote monitoring of the home.TruBlues Senior Safe SolutionsAt TruBlue, we understand the importance of senior safety and independence. That's why we offer a range of services specifically designed to make homes safer and more accessible for seniors. From home assessments and modifications to ongoing maintenance and support, we're here to help seniors age in place with confidence and peace of mind.Taking Action for Senior SafetyEnsuring senior safety in the home requires careful planning, assessment, and implementation of foolproof strategies. By identifying hazards, making necessary modifications, leveraging technology, and partnering with trusted experts like TruBlue, we can create a safe and supportive environment that allows seniors to age in place with dignity and independence. With the right approach and support, we can make our homes safer and more comfortable for our aging loved ones, ensuring their well-being and happiness for years to come.

Local Services By This Author

PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources (PA MEDI)

Social Services 1100 Claremont Rd, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 17015

Free service that provides objective information and assistance to access community-based services and supports for older adults and for persons of all ages with disabilities.

PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources (PA MEDI)

Health & Help Lines 1100 Claremont Rd, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 17015

Free service that provides objective information and assistance to access community-based services and supports for older adults and for persons of all ages with disabilities.

Cumberland County Office of Aging and Community Services

Area Agencies on Aging 1100 Claremont Rd, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 17015