18 Feb CASE MANAGERS – MARCH 2023
Brain Injury Facts
According to the National Council on Aging, it is estimated around forty million older Americans (age 65+) experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Additionally, older adults who suffer from a TBI are at an increased risk for developing mental health disorders, such as major depression and panic disorder.
There several things that you can do to avoid experiencing a brain injury. Since most TBIs in older adults happen during a fall, if we can prevent a fall, we can most likely prevent a brain injury AND injury to other parts of the body.
Here is a list of changes you can make to prevent falls in your home:
Hallway & Stairs: Add secure handrails to both sides of stairs and avoid stacking things on the stairs. Keep hallways clear of clutter, rugs and small furniture.
Bathroom: Mount grab bars by the toilet and both inside and outside of your tub or shower. Place non-skid mats or carpet on all surfaces that get wet. Dry off in the shower to avoid a wet floor.
Bedroom: Place a nightlight near your bed and keep a flashlight in the night stand drawer in case of a power outage. Keep a landline or charged cell phone near your bed.
Kitchen: Keep items you use in easy to reach places. Have a place to prepare food where you can sit down if need be. Always clean spills right away.
Pets: Make sure your pets and their toys are out of your walking path. This may be easier said than done, but is crucial to avoid a fall.
Keep cords near the wall and out of the walkways. Remove rugs and door mats are fat without a rubber backing. Make sure there is enough room to walk between furniture. It may be hard to stop using your favorite chair, but if it means avoiding a fall, it is likely worth it. Read more about keeping your home safe at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/preventing-falls-home-room-room
Another way to prevent falls is to explore using assistive equipment such as a walker. A discussion with your doctor should come first. Keep in mind that Medicare often pays for a walker or our Loan Closet may have one for you to use.
If your plan is to age at home, it is important to take steps to do this safely. Would you like to explore this with a Case Manager? Call me at 608-848-0440 to set up a home visit to discuss your needs.
March weather is torture, in my opinion. We get a glimpse of spring and then suddenly we are under a winter storm advisory again. Bring on the warm weather already! And in the meantime, join us for a movie, lunch or a game! Best regards,
Lead Case Manager
ORGAN AND BODY DONATION
Save a Life
As we move through March I would like to bring attention to National Donate Life Month, which is April. A time to celebrate and acknowledge the generosity of those who have saved lives by organ or body donation. There are many misconceptions and questions when it comes to this process. Below is some information to consider when looking into organ donation.
At any given time, there are an average of 100,000 people in the United States awaiting an organ transplant. Out of these 100,000 people, 20 die every single day, waiting for an organ that never comes. Every ten minutes someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list. Needless to say, there is an urgent need. There is no age limit for organ donation and you don’t have to worry whether your organs are “good enough” to donate, because a team of doctors decide at the time of death, whether organs are suitable for donation. For questions about organ donation call the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at 608-266-1865.
More than Organs
Whole body donation is another option for those who want to give back after death. Body donation aids in research and educational purposes within the medical field and once the donation is completed, a cremation or burial is still an option. One important factor about body donation is that you have to complete an application ahead of time for the process. For more information on body donation, call the Body Donor Program at UW Madison at 608-262-2888.
Common Myths about Organ Donation
Myth: If I am an organ donor, doctors won’t work as hard to save my life.
Truth: Emergency crews, hospital staff and doctors do everything they can to save the life in front of them and have taken an oath to do so.
Myth: You can’t have an open casket funeral as an organ donor.
Truth: Those who donate organs are honored and funeral homes make sure there are no visible signs of donation if the family wants to have an open casket.
Myth: There are hidden costs that my family will have to pay to have my organs donated.
Truth: There is never ever a charge to the donors’ family when organs or bodies are donated.
Happy March! Wasn’t it just Christmas last week??? Time sure does fly. I hope you have a wonderful start to the spring, and with the weather getting nicer by the day, I hope to see more of your smiling faces at the center!