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Calling 911

Calling 911

CALLING 9-1-1    

Keep calm, don’t panic.

Get to your phone and dial 9-1-1. Do Not Hang Up. 911 operators GPS system will locate your phone.

Keep calm, don’t panic. You are going to be asked questions – Speak clearly. 911 dispatches within I minute of answering a call. They are sharing the information you are giving to the services.

Here are some questions you should be prepared to be asked:

a. Fire? Ambulance? Police? Do you require assistance from law enforcement?   medical professionals, and/or fire fighters?

Only Fire may access a locked home or business.  Is the person unconscious? Bleeding? In severe pain? Speak clearly.

b. Give a calm and detailed, concise, description: What happened? Share as many details as you know. Calml Be aware of your surroundings and the location. Try to be able to give road signs, business names, and intersections.

c Give the dispatcher your name and address where the incident is occurring.

d. Stay Calm Speak clearly and stay on the phone.

Listen to the dispatcher. Follow orders. The better and faster you follow orders, the higher everyone’s rate of survival will be. Remember that even if the dispatcher is still asking questions or giving instructions, help is on the way.

Don’t hang up until directed to do so by the dispatcher.  Anything can happen, and the emergency services need to know your situation at all times.

When the responders arrive – Identify yourself as the 911 caller and then keep out of their way,

Brain Less Traveled

Brain Less Traveled

Brain’s Less Traveled  

So, I am definitely a right-sided dominant person. My right hand and foot are even a little larger from using for so long, I guess. Last year, I was speaking with local occupational therapists, who were reporting success with increasing the capabilities of post stroke patients, now needing to use their “other side”. One of the good side effects, seems to be that it awakens and strengthens the neural connections in the brain, and may even grow new ones.   The human brain is an organ that improves through mental stimulation. The brain continuously adapts, grows and rewires itself through the growth of new neurons.

It is similar to how physical exercise improves a body’s functioning and grows muscles.  Brain mapping on CT and MRI shows that creativity is housed in the dominant hemisphere of our brains. Noble prize -winner Roger Sperry has researched the vastly untapped potential of the brain using our non-dominate side. While at Caltech, Lucia Capacchione discovered that our non-dominate brain is an untapped channel. She has done research showing that musicians, that use both hands have a 9% increase in their corpus callosum, which is the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres. Dr Alison Hale, is a physicist, that works primarily with children with cognitive disorder like ADHD and autism says better exchange between hemispheres can benefit all mental processing.

So, with all the benefits of accessing the brain’s less traveled path, why not give it a try?  Hale advises trying to engage in several kinds of activity that use your non-dominant hand. Try brushing your teeth, opening doors, eating (chopsticks are extra credit). I was not sure that opening doorknobs with my “other” hand would open a newfound creativity objectivity. However, I have learned to brush my teeth, button my cloths and put on make-up (excluding mascara). It felt awkward and you will likely to have much less control over what your non-dominant hand can do, but when you use your opposite hand you are rewiring and growing your brain! I am all for taking a chance to permanently grow my brain. I made a vow to start using my left hand for as many tasks that were previously done with my right. Anytime to grown my brain is too good an option to pass up.

I find wearing pockets helps, so if I trying something new, I keep my good hand in a pocket. You can lean on the sink while you learn to brush your teeth with your other hand. You’ll probably notice it’s much harder to be precise with your movements. When I first started to brush my teeth with my left hand, it was hard to actually move my hand instead of my head. Remember you are in your bathroom, nobody is looking.

I have also found that if you put Parkinson’s and boxing in your search engine there is a tremendous amount of information about the success of using boxing moves to help rewire the damaged part of the brain. While every individual has a unique game plan for living with Parkinson’s disease, exercise is often an important part of the management.  Not only is it good for general health, but certain forms of activity can target specific Parkinson’s symptoms.  Boxing moves of right/left benefits both agility and hand-eye coordination. It also can build vocal muscle strength, potentially help speech (some say grunting or yelling while punching aids with vocal projection). That indicates that it may offer an outlet for frustration toward symptoms. Like many types of exercise, boxing can ease a range of symptoms, like walking, balance, performance of daily activities and so quality of life!

The brain is an organ that improves through mental stimulation and exercise. The brain continuously adapts, grows and rewires itself through the growth of new neurons. If you don’t use the brains filing cabinets you may find they just empty out. So, what do you have to lose, start inside your house? Look silly but start today and learn to travel down your brains less traveled path.


Start ….To Be Organized

Start ….To Be Organized

                                 HOW TO  GET  STARTED ………. TO BE ORGANIZED
Here are some important guidelines on how become a responsible partner and learn to control your health decisions. All of us need to be the manager of our own health, or we need a family member or advocate who is familiar with our health situation.

Be Prepared, a three-ring binder will help you keep track of your doctors, nurses, and insurance issues, as well as your medications. Keep all information Current. When you list your medications add Over the Counter as well. Take your up to date note book with you so that when you write down your questions leave space for answers and have the MD stay until you understand his answers

Embrace Your Mortality – When we recognize the process of life we can choose to live our life according to what we value, what is important to each of us? Life is meant to be fulfilling, meant to be enjoyed.  By recognizing that life is not infinite, we are able to better focus on what makes life meaningful in each of our lives and living the life we want instead of waiting until “later” to enjoy our lives.  Aging with Dignity PO Box 1661 Tallahassee, FL

Decide what is MOST Important To You and what are you willing to give up getting it? When we are active participants in our healthcare, life has more meaning and fulfillment.  The Guide to Talk with your Doctor NIH Institute on Aging Brochure number No.05-3452 is a great help.   If you are concerned that you may not be able to ask, take a family member of a friend who will be willing to make sure you get your answers.

Ask questions that are focused on the significance of illness or condition. Your physician may focus on the disease process.  The more important focus, for you, is likely what is the significance of the illness or condition in your life; how may it impact your ability to do the things your love to do? A helpful Guide is NIH publication NO.08-7105 MD’s Talking with Older Patients

Ask your family what they understand about your wishes. Use advance care directives as a starting point for the conversation – Five Wishes is an excellent resource to open the conversation about what each of us wants for our future. It allows a person to specify what matters to them, in writing, so that there is no confusion in the future.  These conversations can be hard and families do not like talking about “bad things” but understanding one another’s goals and wishes can avoid a great deal of stress and uncertainty in the future

FIVE WISHES is available through Aging with Dignity PO Box 1661 Tallahassee, FL 32302 or can be obtained locally (free of charge) from Hospice & Palliative Care Palmetto Region (HPCPR) by calling at  803 548 3708 ask for Melissa.  HPCPR is available to provide one-on-one discussion regarding Five Wishes or for small group discussion as well (free of charge).

Decide who will have a say in what happens to you if you cannot speak for yourself….…but only choose person to make decisions for you. Because being the decision maker for a loved one can be difficult; it’s important to choose someone, who understands your goals and wishes and is willing to follow through on what you want. Choose someone you trust to make decisions, on your behalf, should you be unable to speak for yourself.  Often times family members disagree on what decisions should be made and allow emotions to speak, having one person named, whom you trust to carry out your wishes, guarantees that what you want is respected. Info available through Education in Palliative and Ed-of-Life Care (EPEC) 750 N Lake Shore Dr Suite 601 Chicago IL 60661
This information is made available by Hospice & Palliative Care of Palmetto Region

Medical Health History. How do I write mine?

Medical Health History. How do I write mine?

To create a detailed health history you should include:

•Individual contact information for each of your physician practices ie.. orthopedic, arthritis, gynecology, cardiac, internal medicine, neurology etc.
•Each section should include test results that have been done in the past such as any lab test, blood work, EKG, scans, MRI’s.
•Highlight past complications to surgeries and include anesthesia difficulties.
•Document activities you are currently doing to focus on a healthy lifestyle.
•Encourage to give a real account of daily alcohol and drug use.
•Specifically document if they are ½ dosing of medications
•Give specific drug sensitivities and allergies
•Be as specific as possible on family past medical history including age and cause of death.

Reasons why your Living Will should be in your glove compartment and your travel suitcase?

Reasons why your Living Will should be in your glove compartment and your travel suitcase?

Why do you need to have a Living Will
A living will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatments. The most important fact is that paper copy of Your Living Will  must be WITH you when you enter the hospital.  Not in your safe deposit box, Not with your children and Not as part of your electronic medical record.  Your spouse vocally sharing your wishes is NOT legally binding.

Realize if you arrive in an ER unconscious, we have mere minutes to determine what you want done and comply with your intentions.

Your Living Will guides your medical decision-making in the event :
You are unable to make medical decisions
You are in the medical condition specified in the state’s living will law
(such as “terminal illness” or “permanent unconsciousness”)
Other requirements also may apply, depending upon the state.

A medical power of attorney (or healthcare proxy) allows you to appoint a person you trust as your healthcare agent (or surrogate decision maker), who is authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf. Before a medical power of attorney goes into effect a person’s physician must conclude that they are unable to make their own medical decisions. In addition:
If a person regains the ability to make decisions, the agent cannot continue to act on the person’s behalf.
Many states have additional requirements that apply only to decisions about life-sustaining medical treatments.
For example, before your agent can refuse a life-sustaining treatment on your behalf, a second physician may have to confirm your doctor’s assessment that you are incapable of making treatment decisions.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Advance directives are legally valid throughout the United States. While you do not need a lawyer to fill out an advance directive, your advance directive becomes legally valid as soon as you sign them in front of the required witnesses. The laws governing advance directives vary from state to state, so it is important to complete and sign advance directives that comply with your state’s law.   Also, advance directives can have different titles in different states.

Emergency medical technicians cannot ask for a Living Will  or medical powers of attorney BY LAW ( 1962 SC)  in South Carolina. Once emergency personnel have arrived, they must do whatever they are able to stabilize a person for transfer to a hospital, both from accident sites and from a home or location. Upon review of the Living Will and after a physician fully evaluates the person’s condition and determines the underlying conditions, advance directives can be implemented

North Carolina (CMC Pineville SCCL closest hospital) ) does honor advance directives from another state; others will honor out-of-state advance directives as long as they are similar to the state’s own law.
Advance directives do not expire. An advance directive remains in effect until you change it. If you complete a new advance directive, it invalidates the previous one.
You should review your advance directives periodically to ensure that they still reflect your wishes. If you want to change anything in an advance directive once you have completed it, you should complete a whole new document.
For more information go to : The Vial of Life Program ……

What is Durable Power of Attorney or Healthcare Power of Attorney

What is Durable Power of Attorney or Healthcare Power of Attorney

HCPOA or DPOA understand the differences so you can get the services you require.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) and Why do I Need One, is a question being asked more frequently.  It is important to understand how it is different than a Healthcare Power of Attorney.  Is it to be effective now or when I am incapacitated?  What can you do to make sure it can it be enforced? I have been asked many of these questions and sought out the knowledge of Mallissa Church an expert attorney in this area.

Durable Power of Attorney

What does it do?
Identifies a designated person –an Agent -who may make decisions for you, the Principal, and handle your personal business on your behalf.
It is a flexible document –as Principal, you may designate as many or few powers to your Agent as you wish.
It gives you peace of mind knowing you and your personal affairs will be managed by someone you trust.
Why do I need it?
It provides a seamless process for someone else to help you and help manage your finances and personal affairs if you become ill or incapacitated. It can prevent the need for someone to seek Guardianship and Conservator-ship.
It allows you to make decisions about specific powers you want to grant and the persons to whom you grant them.

South Carolina just enacted a new General Durable Power of Attorney Statute (effective January 2017). The new law is more comprehensive and includes new requirements not previously included in the old statute.

Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPOA)is power to make healthcare decisions. Note not all healthcare providers honor a General Durable Power of Attorney with healthcare decisions.  An HCPOA can be made effective immediately, before you are incapacitated. Healthcare Power of Attorney, designates someone to receive healthcare information about you and make specific healthcare decisions on your behalf.  It does not grant any powers regarding financial decisions. It does allow you to make specific end-of life decisions becomes effective only effective after you are incapacitated

Durable Power of Attorney can be used as a Medicaid and Long-Term Care Planning Tool. It will help in qualifying for Medicaid using Spend-Down principal. DPOA allows your Agent to strategically make gifts to decrease your assets.  This agent can include spend-down assets by paying “reasonable compensation” to the Agent. DPOA may retain Home Services, Home Health Assistance and Select In-Patient Care for the Principal.  The new statute allows you to permit your Agent to retain home services, health assistance if you need it and also select in-patient nursing care for you.

The new South Carolina revision allows you to sue anyone who doesn’t honor the document (and recover costs). Your Durable Power of Attorney must meet the following requirements:
The document must be executed like a Will.
Meet the statute requirements.
Be recorded at the Register of Deeds office in the county where the Principal lives.
The new statute also provides a form your Agent may complete indicating your intent for the Durable Power of Attorney to be effective immediately.

These are some basic facts that will be useful in moving forward to obtain the necessary documents should you or a loved one become unable to care for themselves.  This is an area where you really do need to get professional advice before you really need it.