Tips for you, your loved ones, and your animal companions

Celebrating 40 years of helping elders, persons with disabilities, and caregivers  lead independent lives.

Volume 7 | Issue 1B |  July 2015
When it comes to being proactive, knowledge is your best friend. In this issue, you can learn about:
What is long-term care, and how long is it needed?LongTerm
Long-term care refers to a variety of services and supports designed to help you with personal care needs, like eating, bathing, dressing, walking, and toileting, with a goal of helping you to live as independently as possible. The term you will often hear now is "long-term services and support" (LTSS).

About 70% of people over age 65 need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. Most long-term care is provided in the home, and most personal care is provided by unpaid family members and friends.

It's hard to predict how much or what type of long-term care you might need, but here are some risk factors to consider:
  • Age: The need for LTSS increases with age.
  • Gender: Women are at higher risk for LTSS needs than men, because they often live longer.
  • Marital status: Single people are more likely than married people to need care from a paid provider.
  • Lifestyle: Poor diet and exercise habits can increase a person's risk.
A number of public programs, including Medicare and Medicaid may help pay for some LTSS under certain circumstances. There are also private long-term care insurance policies on the market.... [read more]

It's important to start planning for LTSS now to maintain your independence and to make sure you get the care you may need, in the setting you want, in the future. To learn more about long-term services and supports, contact us.
Care Transitions helps you find your way homeCareTrans
When you or a loved one is in a hospital or nursing home for rehabilitation, going home is the most important thing on our minds.  There are several important things to consider during care transitions, such as:
  • You understand what medications to take when and why medication is needed
  • You have scheduled all your follow-up medical appointments and have transportation
  • You are aware of available support for your caregiver
We're here to help give you options to find the right path home and the best plan to keep you there... [ read more]
Do you have a safety plan for your best friend?Pet
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) offers recommendations for actions to take before an emergency to keep your whole family - dogs, cats, bunnies, birds, and other animals - safe in an emergency.

Your pets should have their own emergency kits, which you should prepare in advance, including:
  • Whatever you need to transport and house your pets: collars, leashes, harnesses, carriers, etc.
  • Medications and medical records in a waterproof container
  • Food, drinking water, bowls, and litter boxes
  • In case of separation: current photos in case; a list of dietary requirements and eating schedules, medical or behavioral issues; your own and your vet's contact information
  • Toys, beds, or other items that provide comfort

You should also identify the people in your life and places in your community that can offer assistance.... [read more]

What would you do if...?ShowMe
Your neighborhood is being evacuated, and you are helping to carry the message door-to-door, but your elderly neighbor, Joe, who lives alone and has a hearing disability, doesn't understand what you're trying to convey. What do you do?

Show Me for Emergencies is a free mobile application   designed
to assist first responders, emergency staff, volunteers, and individuals working in emergency settings communicate with people who have difficulty communicating verbally during an emergency.... [read more]

The app can be downloaded to smartphones, tablets, and other devices running Android via the Google Play Store or iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches through the App Store.

Learn more at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management website.
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Here at FCHCC, we offer many different programs and services designed to meet your unique needs.  Think of us as the guide to what you need. We don't know all of the answers, but we know who to ask. If we can't help you, we'll tell you who can. It all starts with the Information & Caregiver Resource Center. Call 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 during normal business hours or email anytime.

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Roseann Martoccia
Franklin County Home Care Corporation

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