Bridgeway Buzz

Palliative vs. Hospice Care

What is the difference between palliative and hospice care? As palliative care becomes more prevalent, it’s important to know the differences to help improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones.

Palliative care is meant to soothe or relieve symptoms of a disease or disorder while maintaining the highest quality of care possible. Hospice care is designed for those in the end stages of a terminal illness. Choosing to receive palliative care does not mean that you have chosen to stop curative treatment.

Some conditions in which palliative care can be used include when someone is receiving chemotherapy treatments or surgery. There is no age requirement, it can provide comfort to anyone. Not everyone needing palliative care will have a life-threatening disease.

To receive palliative care, there are specialized doctors who work with other specialists to make sure that the best quality of life is achieved for both the patient and their family members. Financial coverage for palliative care services varies.

Hospice is a type of palliative care specifically meant for those with 6 months or less to live due to an illness. This service is usually covered by insurance, Medicare, and/or Medicaid.

The following are some signs that you may be a candidate for hospice care:

  • Your condition is stable but the illness continues to progress
  • You’ve made frequent trips to the hospital for the same symptoms
  • You wish to remain at home rather than being in the hospital
  • You are no longer receiving treatments to cure your illness or disease

Hospice care allows you to remain and receive medical care in your own home, if desired and possible. You can make the decision to no longer receive aggressive treatment. The hospice team can cook, clean, as well as perform other chores. This will allow your loved ones to have some relief. Additionally, hospice programs offer bereavement counseling, sometimes for up to a year.

 

For more information, contact your physician or visit:

http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/palliative-care

http://palliativedoctors.org

 

Medicare vs. Medicaid

What difference is between Medicare and Medicaid? Check out the information below to learn more!

Medicare:

Medicare is a Federal Insurance Program paid for by a Trust Fund funded with Payroll Taxes. To qualify for Medicare, you must be 65 years or older and have worked for at least 10 years and paid Medicare payroll taxes while working.

If you are under 65, you may be eligible if you:

  • Have received at least 24 months of Social Security disability benefits or a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).
  • Have permanent kidney failure and need routine dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).

There are Parts A-D in Medicare. Here is a quick breakdown of each one and what they cover.

Part A

  • Inpatient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

 

Part B

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Some preventive services

 

Part C (Medicare Advantage):

  • Includes all benefits and services covered under Parts A and B
  • Usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • May include extra benefits and services for an extra cost

 

Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage):

  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future

 

Medicaid:

Medicaid is a federal and state assistance program. Medicaid supports low-income individuals and families by covering costs associated with both medical and long-term custodial care for those who qualify. Each state differs in coverage and application process, contact your local office for more information.

 

According to Medicaid.gov, their mandatory benefits generally include services such as:

  • Certain inpatient and outpatient hospital services
  • Early and Periodic Screening, and Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) services for children
  • Nursing facility services
  • Home health services
  • Doctor's services
  • Rural health clinic services
  • X-ray and laboratory services
  • Family planning services
  • Certified pediatric and family nurse practitioner services

 

Some of the covered services do overlap; it is possible to have both Medicare and Medicaid at the same time.

 

For more information, please visit:

https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/medicare-vs-medicaid/

https://www.healthmarkets.com/resources/health-insurance/medicare-vs-medicaid-infographic/

https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11306.pdf

 

For more information on Medicaid, visit HealthCare.gov/do-i-qualify-for-medicaid. If you have questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

 

Flu Safety

With the flu season upon us, make sure you are taking all precautions to stay healthy this winter!

 

  1. Get the flu shot-Always make sure if you are 65 years of age or older to get the flu shot to give you the best defense.
  2. Practice good habits such as covering cough, sanitizing, and avoiding those who are sick
  3. Seek medical help quickly if you start experiencing flu symptoms
  4. Get the pneumococcal vaccine, this will protect against pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections

 

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

 

While a cold can resolve quickly, symptoms can last for up to two weeks. However, unlike the flu, symptoms are generally mild and in most cases, do not lead to any serious health complications.

 

You may have a cold if you are experiencing:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • mild-to-moderate fever
  • cough
  • headache or body aches
  • mild tiredness

Flu symptoms can be similar to a cold, although they tend to be more severe. Symptoms can include:

  • dry, hacking cough
  • moderate-to-high fever (although not everyone with the flu will run a fever)
  • sore throat
  • shaking chills
  • severe muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • stuffy and runny nose
  • profound fatigue (may last up to two weeks) 

Visit your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

 

 

For more information, please visit:

http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/cold-or-flu#FluPrevention0

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm

Tableside Presentations for our Bridgeway at Bridgewater Residents!

Recently, our Bridgeway Bridgewater location’s Dietary department debuted a new customer service initiative: tableside presentations at dinner! The first one launched earlier this month for both our long term and rehabilitation residents was the dessert, Bananas Foster.

 

 

Yes, in the 1950’s in Louisiana, there was a real gentleman that this dessert was named after.  The owner of Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans noted that bananas were always in plentiful supply so as an homage to his friend, local official Richard Foster, he created this wonderful dessert called “Bananas Foster”.   Our residents and patients loved the flair of seeing the dessert made before them and as an added treat, our new chef, Ruth, who conducted the tableside preparation, made crepes finish off the dessert.  She comes to Bridgeway with a background in pastry work and her talents were a big hit with everyone!

 

 

Last week, Ruth gave our residents another treat with tableside pasta! Residents enjoyed the tableside service and the change in pace! They are looking forward to what the kitchen comes up with next!

 

 

In case you can afford the calories (trust me, they are worth it!), here is a version of the Bananas Foster recipe from the New Orleans restaurant’s website http://www.neworleansrestaurants.com/new-orleans-recipes/recipes_brennans.php:

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup banana liqueur

4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved

1/4 cup dark rum

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

 

Directions:

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet.

Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan.

When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum.

Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum.

When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream.

Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Congressman Leonard Lance Visits Avalon Assisted Living

 

The Avalon at Bridgewater, part of the Bridgeway Senior Healthcare Continuum of Care, hosted Congressman Leonard Lance for a luncheon to tour the facility and meet with those in the Avalon community.

In 2011, Leonard Lance was appointed to the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has a broad legislative jurisdiction including national energy and environmental policy interstate and foreign commerce, consumer affairs and consumer protection, travel and tourism and, finally, health and health facilities.

 

Residents and staff had the floor as they asked pertinent questions regarding senior care and the future of health care benefits. Some of the questions touched base on Medicare and Medicaid as well as funding for communities like the Avalon.

Leonard Lance has been a supporter of seniors in our community through his efforts in sponsoring, “The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act,” “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,” and “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.” These acts all support better care of patients in skilled facilities as well as protecting the facilities themselves.

 

Because of these efforts, staff at the American Health Care Association of New Jersey have referred to Congressman Lance as “quite the champion.” His advocacy is evidenced by being one of few congressmen who annually visits residents in nursing facilities and his support for legislation important them.

Both residents and staff enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with Leonard Lance. He continues to be an advocate for seniors in our community.

 

Susan Lanza Receives ACHCA Eli's Pick Facility Leadership Award

American College of Health Care Administrators

1101 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 450 | Washington, DC 20036

Ph: (202) 536-5120 | www.achca.org

Susan Lanza Receives ACHCA's Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award

Washington, DC -- May 6, 2016 - The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is proud to honor Susan Lanza, , Administrator of BRIDGEWAY CARE AND REHAB CENTER AT BRIDGEWATER in Bridgewater, NJ as a 2016 recipient of the ACHCA Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. The award, named in memory of visionary ACHCA member Eli Pick, recognizes administrators whose teams have achieved dimensions of organizational quality that few others have been able to reach. Two hundred and eighty-eight administrators were awarded leadership awards nationally.

Ms. Lanza was one of 247 recipients who received the Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award with virtual recognition. This award recognizes the administrator of record who provided leadership throughout the award year. Eligibility for this award is based on three years of skilled nursing facility (SNF) survey data, including the Health, Fire (Life Safety), and Complaint Surveys, as well as top quartile performance on designated Quality Measures. The criteria also included an 80% or greater facility occupancy and a three year avoidance of a Special Focus Facility status.

The ACHCA firmly believes that post-acute and aging services facility excellence is a reflection of leadership excellence. The prestigious Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award is made possible with the support of eHealth Data Solutions.

Founded in 1962, the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is the only professional association devoted solely to meeting the professional needs of today's post-acute and aging services leaders. Focused on advancing leadership excellence, ACHCA provides professional education and certification to administrators from across the spectrum of long term care. For more information about ACHCA, contact the national office at (202) 536-5120 or visit www.achca.org.

 

For more information contact Shauna Stevenson:  sstevenson@achca.org or (202) 536-5120.

April is National Stress Awareness Month

APRIL IS NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS MONTH

The Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit organization, has been funding National Stress Awareness Month for over 20 years. Stress is a part of our daily lives. We all know the symptoms and how it affects us. This month, try to take steps to recognize and relieve your stress to lead a healthier life

 

HOW TO RELIEVE YOUR STRESS

Here are some options for stress relief:

Try out Yoga

With movements to help with posture and controlled breathing exercises, yoga is a great stress reliever. Meditation is also another option.

Get Enough Sleep
Stress affects the body most when you cannot sleep. The quality and amount of sleep you get affects your mood, overall functioning, and concentration. Make sure to have a set bedtime routine and to get yourself on a schedule to increase the quantity and quality of your sleep.

Get Active
Physical exercise increases your endorphins which enhance your overall well-being. Your mental focus increases and exercise gives you the ability to let go of some of that stress.

Laugh More
Laughter helps to cool down your stress response. Read some funny jokes online or catch a comedy with a friend!

Focus on the Now
Rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, focus on what is in front of you.

Assert Yourself

This will be tough for many to agree to, but it is very important. Make sure to not say yes to all commitments and to have a balance between work life and home life.

Stay Positive
Try to put a positive spin on each situation. Let that positive mindset become your focal point to improve your overall mood.

Help Others

Volunteering and assisting others will help take your mind off of your own stress.

 

For more information and other ways to relieve stress this month, check out:

Take Five Against Stress

Mayo Clinic

National Stress Awareness

Congratulations to Karen Cumello, MA, BSN, RN-BC!

Bridgeway sends a big congratulations to Karen Cumello, MA, BSN, RN-BC, our Staff Development and Employee Health Coordinator at Bridgeway Hillsborough! The New Jersey Association of Directors of Nursing in Long Term Care (NJADONA/LTC) announced that Karen has won the 2016 Annual Employee of the Year Award in the Specialized RN category! She was selected from nominees throughout the state of New Jersey’s 373 Skilled Nursing Facilities. The award will be presented to Karen at NJADONA/LTC’s 27th Annual Convention Awards Dinner being held at Bally’s Atlantic City on Monday, April 4th. 

 

 

Karen lives in Branchburg with her husband, Tom, her two children, Marisa and Alexa, and their dog, Lola.  She graduated from the University of Rochester with a BSN and then received her Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration from NYU.  Karen is Board Certified in Gerontological Nursing.  She has been a nurse for thirty years, the past four years at Bridgeway as the Staff Development and Employee Health Coordinator. The thing she loves most about her position is orienting new employees and educating staff.  Karen has a great passion for geriatric nursing and enjoys being part of the Bridgeway Nurse Leadership Team! We are thankful to have such a wonderful staff member as part of our Bridgeway family!

Volunteer Spotlight on Bonnie Hanna

Bonnie Hanna has been a volunteer at the Avalon at Bridgewater since it opened in 2000! She was first introduced to the Avalon as a family member looking for care for her mother-in-law in our Generations Village unit. This is when Bonnie began volunteering.

Fast forward over 15 years, Bonnie still comes to the Avalon every week. Our residents always love when she comes with plenty of stories to share! She has a weekly Yahtzee game running with our Generations Village ladies that has become the highlight of their day!

When asked about volunteering, Bonnie said “I enjoy being with the residents and sharing many memories of my experience as a retired RN, my childhood, and my family. Finding poems, articles to read that sparks a memory or a smile. Sharing my dolls and teddy bears at the annual event and especially hearing about their own dolls or teddies.”

Bonnie volunteers at Avalon because she considers it a payback for the care given to her family member, “I know that over the years I have made many friends. I tell my friends I would be comfortable living here.”

Over the years, Bonnie has learned “that seniors can enjoy each other’s company and participate in activities together. I also have seen residents caring & watching over each other.”

Bonnie has enjoyed celebrating 100th birthdays, visiting, and giving our residents a smile and a hug which always makes a difference in their day. At the end of the day, Bonnie loves to hear “Thank you for coming from the residents and staff.” This makes it “a worthwhile investment of time spent here.”

When it comes to the Avalon staff, Bonnie said, “My compliments to the staff that care for the residents. Many have been here since the Avalon opened. They are compassionate, caring and patient and concerned for the wellbeing of the residents.” Our residents and staff at the Avalon love having Bonnie as a part of our community! We are thankful for her time and commitment to our residents.

Celebrate National Activity Professionals Week!

National Activity Professionals Week is January 17th-23rd! During this week we take the time to recognize all who take part in activities for our residents. All four of our buildings are celebrating in their own way, but this year is a special one for Bridgeway Bridgewater because we have a new member on our team!

Erin Chansky, Activities Director and Nick Lonero, Assistant Activities Director

Erin Chansky has joined the Bridgeway team as our new Activity Director! Having previously worked at the Avalon at Bridgewater in activities, Erin is excited to be a part of the Bridgeway family again! Her previous experience includes being an Activities Director in Vermont and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Recreation Management from the University of Vermont. When asking Erin what is the most important aspect of her job, she feels it is “Ensuring that all of our residents have appropriate and enjoyable recreational experiences daily.” What she enjoys most is making meaningful connections with residents. Seeing a smile on our residents’ faces is what keeps her coming back each day! We wish Erin the best of luck in her new position!

 

This year, the National Activity Professionals Week theme is “Miles of Smiles.” Each day our residents will be taken to a new location in the United States and learn something new along the way! Some of the exciting activities planned include celebrating MLK Day, a trip to Flaming Grill, and an afternoon at the casino with professional dealers! Throughout the week, residents will have smiley face stickers which they can give to the activities staff members who make them smile! The staff member with the most stickers at the end of the week will receive a special prize!

 

We are excited to see what our Activities Teams come up with this week to celebrate!

 

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