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July 24th, 2019
As we age, we face new challenges in life; whether that challenge is buying your first home or at an older age contemplating leaving that home. At some point, household tasks, cooking, laundry or yard work might be too much for one to handle. Asking for help can be hard when facing new challenges, especially when living in the same environment and having a routine for a long period of time.
Today we caught up with one member of our Board of Director’s Sister Georgann Vumbaco to help understand the dos and don’ts of helping an aged family member make a change in their living situation. Sister Georgann is a Eucharistic Minister in Meriden. In this role she has the the opportunity to be present with seniors and their families as they try to grapple with planning for aging. We wanted to gain some perspective on what emotional/spiritual issues might be facing someone at this stage in life. Sister was more than happy to share some insights with us.
Sister responded “It is important to support your loved one- this is number one! They need to feel that they have people that will back up their decision, even if their first choice does not work out. She went on to say “Family members also have to realize that they cannot make all the decisions for them, but instead help them in deciding by giving them the best options to choose from. It is important to NOT have your own agenda about what is felt to be the best decision. Let your loved one know what is available to them in terms of extra help and let them choose from options that are found to be appropriate. Be present for them, this type of decision is not going to be made in hours or days, it is a long process”.
“How best to do this, Sister?”
“Listen to your loved one. They know themselves best, present what you see, but also listen to how they feel or what they feel they need help with”.
You as a loved one may see that they are not eating properly or the house is not as tidy as it once was; they may feel that cans and jars are hard to open, that they are lonely, and do not feel steady on their feet. If your elderly loved one does not feel that you are listening or if you do not ask, they will not tell you”.
Sister concluded by saying….
“People want to live their lives to the fullest. They want to feel that the next big step is not their last or final step, but the beginning of another chapter. When changes are being made for people, it makes their world smaller as essentially physical things, and emotional things are being taken away. Mentally they can feel abandoned and demoralized, taking their mental stability away”.
We would like to add…..
Do your homework!! Look at different options whether home healthcare, retirement community/ long term living community, moving the loved one into a family member’s home or scheduling family members to help in extra areas. There are benefits to each option, two would allow the loved one to stay in their home, which for them may be ideal, the other two would remove them from the home; however, would give them more social interaction and support. Remember that when moving a loved one into your home and scheduling family to come in and help with tasks, that it takes time and dedication each week. For example helping with meals is more that just one week and is necessary to check up on them to ensure that they are eating. If moving a loved one into your home, try to integrate some of them into your home, it can be as simple as putting their favorite chair next to yours in the living room. When looking at home healthcare and long-term living facilities, remember to look at reviews, take tours, and ask questions! Take a look and print out our “Tips for Choosing a Facility” under the Resource tab.
At The Bradley Home….
We have a community full of care and support. Residents can flourish and take part in what interests them or can share with the community their interests. Friendly residents from the Welcoming Committee helps in showing them around and different activities. Art and weaving are some favorite activities that allow you to stay active, create, socialize, and retain/strengthen motor skills. Recreational activities gives social interaction, mental/physical exercise and fun! Residents that would like to give back to the community can also volunteer to do various tasks including but not limited to passing out water pitchers, working in the on-site store, and delivering mail.
Thank you Sister Georgann for reminding us of what is most important in helping to care for our love ones!
The Bradley Home Emergency Communication Plan
This guide briefly explains the Emergency Preparedness Program in place at The Bradley Home and Pavilion.
The Emergency Preparedness Program, which includes an Emergency Operations Plan, is a comprehensive approach to meeting the health and safety needs of our resident population and provides our staff with guidance on how to respond to emergency situations that could impact the operation of the facility, such as natural or man-made disasters.
This guide details expectations of residents and their families during an emergency event at The Bradley Home or a community disaster.
The guide also provides families or responsible parties with alternate methods to contact the facility during a disaster when normal means of communications (telephones) may be inoperable.
Communications During a Disaster or Emergency Event
Staff members will communicate in person with residents when there is an emergency or disaster.
Typically, normal telephone communications will occur between the facility and resident family members or responsible parties when there is an emergency that impacts the operations of the facility.
In the event of a disaster or other event that causes the loss of normal telephone communications, the facility may make alternate arrangements to contact resident families or responsible parties through the use of cell phones or other means.
The facility may designate a specific phone number for pre-recorded messages to provide updated facility status information, specific instructions to staff who may not be able to call the facility, or provide information to resident family members.
If telephone communications (normal and cell) are inoperable the facility may share information relative to the status of the facility or disaster on its webpage at www.thebradleyhome.com. The Bradley Home and Pavilion maintains a Facebook page @thebradleyhome.
The facility may contact the news media (WTNH-Channel 3 and WFSB-Channel 8) and issue a press release relative to the facility status or other relevant information.
ABOUT OUR EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
- A detailed plan containing emergency procedures (reviewed and revised on an annual basis) that the staff follow for various emergencies.
- Staff are trained each year on the Emergency Operations Plan and Fire Procedures.
- Fire Drills are conducted on a regular basis at varying times to ensure the fire alarm system is operational and to evaluate staff response upon alarm activation.
- Disaster Drills are conducted twice per year to evaluate staff knowledge, response and competence.
HOW WE ADDRESS DISASTERS
Establishing Incident Command
- The Leadership Team will establish a Command Center for more serious incidents to provide guidance to staff and to communicate with emergency responders and agencies.
- Information and direction will be provided to residents and families as soon as possible – please be patient.
- The safety of the residents and staff will be a priority.
Sheltering in Place
- In many incidents it may be safer to shelter in place, remaining in the building following the direction of staff.
- The facility maintains emergency supplies consisting of food, water and other supplies in the building.
- When power is lost there are two emergency generators that will provide sufficient power to most areas.
If Forced to Evacuate the Building
- Evacuation of a healthcare facility is rare; however, the facility is prepared to do so if necessary for the safety of the residents.
- The decision to evacuate all or part of the building comes from the Command Center depending on the disaster.
- Residents and families will be notified of the evacuation as soon as practical. Often times families may be able to take a resident home for a few days, or until the emergency is over.
- Staff are trained on how to evacuate residents using the elevators, or if necessary, just the stairwells.
- If the facility is forced to relocate or evacuate residents the release or sharing of resident information with other healthcare facilities and emergency agencies may be done as permitted by law.
How we will Evacuate
- Residents will be prepared for evacuation by assigned staff. This may include collection of certain personal belongings, medications and other articles deemed necessary by staff. Typically, these items are placed in a labeled bag and accompany the resident to the evacuation destination.
- Residents will be moved in small groups to an internal staging area prior to being transported to other receiving facilities.
- It may be necessary to place a band containing certain personal information on the resident’s wrist during an evacuation.
- A Resident Evacuation Form will be completed by staff and accompany the resident along with the Medical File/Chart.
OUR FIRE PROCEDURES
- Staff receive annual Fire Safety Training. This “hands on” training includes:
- What to do if they discover a fire
- How to rescue an individual from the fire room or area
- How to use a fire extinguisher
- Evacuation of the fire area
- The fire procedures are reviewed and revised on a regular basis.
- Fire drills are conducted on a regular basis.
The Bradley Home’s winter newsletter can now be viewed. This newsletter featuring the purchase of our new van. A great thanks goes out to everyone that has contributed to this purchase!