Archive for July, 2010

Shared Sites

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

At NJFA’s June 10th Conference, Donna Butts from Generations United presented a keynote on Shared Sites, serving diverse groups. Shared Sites are defined as “programs where older adults and young people receive services at the same site and both generations interact during regularly scheduled intergenerational activities.” Generations United refers to these centers as, “Intergenerational Shared Sites”. NJFA thought this was a timely topic as the use of space for intergenerational services is also a cost savings for many municipalities that are facing tight budgets.

Donna stated that Generations United feels the needs of children, youth and older adults can be meet and improved by sharing resources through shared sites. Intergenerational services also address the social implications of an increasingly age-segregated society. Some of the benefits of shared sites:

  • enhance quality of life for all participants
  • provides needed services to the community
  • increases cost savings & opportunities to share resources
  • enhances employee benefits for programs with on-site care (day)
  • attracts additional funding & positive public relations
  • improves attitudes about different age groups

Generations United also notes that children benefit from interpersonal relationships with persons from a different age group and report that they have “higher personal/social development scores than preschool children involved in non-intergenerational programs.” Likewise, studies show that seniors involved in intergenerational programs have positive health gains. Some of the services that may be included in a shared site are: childcare center, before/after school programs, early childhood programs, schools, youth recreation programs, camps, adult day services, assisted living/residential care settings, senior centers, and community recreation programs. Some examples include; Adult day program and child care program in same site, senior center located in a public school, after school programs held at a senior center or community/multigenerational center with programs for both generations.

In the powerpoint presentation that Donna shared in the breakout session at the conference, she highlighted the value of shared sites, including:

  • Best opportunity to build relationships and share resources between generations
  • Physical and financial resources used most effectively, maximizes grant investments
  • Significant local public and private appeal
  • A strong sense of place, create community focal points for service delivery
  • Incubators for new program development
  • Improves sustainability of programs

Donna’s keynote presentation was very motivating, feedback from attendees was positive and many attendees stated that they found her remarks inspirational. During the presentation, Donna gave many examples and talked about successful programs, also noting how to create a successful program. NJFA would like to again thank Donna Butts for joining us at the conference and providing such valuable information to all who attended.

For more information about Shared Sites or Generations United visit their website:

http://www.gu.org/

2010 Conference Session: Ethical & Legal Response: Identifying and Reporting Elder Abuse

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

At NJFA’s 12th Annual Conference on June 10th we were pleased to offer a workshop titled, “The Ethical and Legal Response: Identifying and Reporting Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation”. This session featured, David Ricci, State Coordinator of Adult Protective Services; Pat Bohse, Manager, NJ4A; Linda Murtagh- Social Work Supervisor, Ocean County Board of Social Services; and Vincent Olawale- Human Services Division Manager FOCUS, Hispanic Center of Community Development, Inc. The presenters advised the group on how to identify elder abuse and the different forms it takes. Elders can experience abuse in many ways, physical, mental/emotional, financial and also through neglect. 

Also in the discussion was NJ Laws regarding elder abuse and reporting, as well as, the states rules and regulations regarding referrals made to Adult Protective Services. The law regarding Adult Protective Services applies to any “vulnerable adult”, meaning anyone over 18 years of age or older who resides in a community setting and who, because of a physical or mental illness or disability, lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or carry out decisions concerning his or her well-being. When reporting elder abuse, you should provide the name and address of the adult and as much information as possible about the concern and the person responsible for any abuse. The report should be investigated within 72 hours according to NJ State Law. Depending on what is found, the adult protective services worker may refer the older adult to services and may contact other Departments, such as the Office on Aging or Division of Developmental Disabilities.

The new NJ State Law regarding the reporting of abuse that was discussed in this session. The law makes it mandatory for certain professionals to report elder abuse, such as optometrists, psychologists, podiatrists, and physical therapists. The new law establishes mandatory reporting for these healthcare professionals and first responders because they are likely to come in contact with vulnerable adults.

Another part of the presentation included Pat Bohse of NJ4A and Bohse & Associates, showing a video about elder abuse. The video shows professionals, elders and family members talking about specific examples of elder abuse as well as numerous facts and figures about the problem. The point of the video is to raise awareness about the problem of elder abuse and encourage people to report it so that more elders can get help if they are in an abusive situation.

 Evaluations from the session indicate that attendees found the presentation informative and that the speakers were engaging. We’d also like to take this opportunity to again thank our wonderful presenters for taking the time to put together this session on a very important subject.

It’s getting hot out there!

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

It’s getting hot out there!

We are experiencing extreme temperatures all over New Jersey and surrounding areas this week. Here are some tips for staying cool and safe.

  • Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Make sure children and the elderly are drinking water, and ensure that persons with mobility problems have adequate fluids in easy reach.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, spend time in air-conditioned places such as libraries, malls or other public buildings during the hottest hours of the day. Check with your municipality to see if cooling centers are available.
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing.  Wear a hat when outdoors.
  • Avoid any outdoor activity during the hottest hours of the day. Reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day.
  • Don’t leave children, a frail elderly or disabled person, or pets in an enclosed car as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.
  • Talk to your health care provider about any medicine or drugs you are taking. Certain medications, such as tranquilizers and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease, can increase the risk of heat-related illness.

Heat and humidity can become a serious health hazard, especially for children, elderly or those with chronic conditions, such as respiratory issues. Please remember to not only follow the above steps to keep yourself safe, but also check on family, friends and neighbors, again paying close attention to older adults, children and those who are ill.

Conditions caused by excessive heat include dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion is a mild condition that may take days of heat exposure to develop. Someone suffering from heat exhaustion may have pale, clammy skin and sweat profusely. They may also feel tired, weak or dizzy and can suffer from headaches. Heatstroke can take just a few minutes to make someone very ill. A person with heatstroke will have dry, hot skin and a body temperature of 106 degrees or more, they will also have an absence of sweat and a rapid pulse. Someone suffering from heatstroke can become delirious or unconscious and needs immediate medical attention.

With temperature reaching over 100 this week, it is important to look for signs of heat related problems for yourself and your loved ones. It is also important to take action to prevent them, such as following the tips above.

 If you need more information or would like to find a cooling center in your area, please contact your municipality or your County Office on Aging.

Contact information for your County Office on Aging can be found at http://www.njfoundationforaging.org/services.html

To find a Senior Center in your area visit:

http://web.doh.state.nj.us/apps2/seniorcenter/scSearch.aspx

To get more information from NJ Division of Aging and Community Services visit http://www.nj.gov/health/senior/index.shtml or call 1-800-792-8820.