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Caregiving Now!

Eastern Orthodox Management Corporation
A Prestigious New Award and the Ichabod Washburn Hospice Residence

The Award

caregvingHoly Trinity Nursing & Rehabilitation Center received national recognition in March when it was awarded an AMDA Foundation/Evercare award for “Improving the Quality of Life for Persons Living in Nursing Homes” at the annual Long Term Care Medicine conference in Tampa, FL. The American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) and Evercare acknowledged Holy Trinity for their “Resident Centered Dining Program” which was implemented last year. This resident-centered program was recognized for its impact on “Culture Change,” increased social interaction, greater resident and family satisfaction, improved clinical outcomes, and its ability to be replicated. Holy Trinity Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is one of three skilled nursing centers that were selected by the AMDA Foundation from submissions from across the nation. Holy Trinity intends to use the award proceeds to further other resident-centered “Culture Change” efforts at the facility.

The Ichabod Washburn Hospice Residence hospice

The Washburn House began in 1869 as the home for Aged Woman, and in 1896 the beautiful brick mansion at 1183 Main Street was built. It functioned as a rest home and nursing home until 2008, when the Trustees of the home realized they were no longer able to function as a rest home/nursing home. The trustees decided to close the facility, and after a lengthy process, awarded all of the assets to the Eastern Orthodox Management Corp, which sole function at the time was to manage Holy Trinity Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located on Barber Avenue in Worcester. Once the assets were awarded to the EOMC, plans began to assess the needs in the Worcester area market, while staying true to the original wishes of Mr. Washburn, the founder of this wonderful institution. It was decided that a hospice residence would be the best use for the original historic structure.

This $2 million remodel was completed in six months, and added individually controlled central heat and air conditioning in each room, en-suite baths, and updated mechanical systems throughout the building. The Ichabod Washburn Hospice Residence will have 15 private rooms with private baths, 4 apartments, designed for families that require an extensive stay, and several private spaces to allow families and friends to gather. A residential kitchen will be open to family members, staff, and volunteers to make individual meals for residents. Laundry services will be provided by staff and volunteers of the residence. Extensive landscaping to enhance the outdoor garden areas is underway this spring.

Summer Heat and the Elderly

We all know the dangers that winter weather can cause for the elderly, but, because we all look forward to warmer weather arriving, we sometimes forget that it, too, can be harmful. As with many things, hot weather can affect the elderly much more severely than it does younger people. For example, elderly people are more easily susceptible to heat exhaustion and seizures than are younger people.

In extreme heat, we all need to take extra precautions. With an elderly person though, it is even more important, especially if the person is overweight, has heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic health conditions that place them at a high risk for heatstroke, heat exhaustion or other heat related illnesses. Also, although it’s an affliction that’s not discussed very often, heat rash that can get infected if not treated and can lead to serious consequences.

Make sure the elder loved one in your life has sunscreen and sunglasses anytime he or she goes outside, even if for the briefest walk to and from the mailbox. Watch carefully for signs of dehydration and disorientation, as these can come on suddenly and much sooner than we often assume possible. Beware of heat stroke: it is life-threatening and can cause damage to the brain and organs in the central nervous system if not caught and treated promptly. Body temperature will skyrocket and external measures must be taken to cool the body down safely because an older body cannot regulate its own temperature under such intense circumstances. The best way to prevent heat stroke is to stay cool and drink lots of fluids.

Heat exhaustion, while still dangerous, is a milder form of heat-related illness. It will develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Elders with high blood pressure are particularly prone to heat exhaustion. Again, keeping the elderly cool, hydrated, and rested will greatly decrease the chance of heat exhaustion during the hot days of summer.

If you DO believe your loved one is experiencing a heat stroke or heat exhaustion, call 911 immediately and in the meantime keep him or her calm and in the shade or a cool room, and if possible, rub a cool wet cloth on the neck, forehead and other exposed parts of the body. Keep rotating the cool wet cloth on the neck. If no fan or air conditioning is close by, create a breeze with a newspaper, magazine, or anything nearby you can grab. Try to keep your elder still and have him/her sip a non-alcoholic beverage until professional medical help arrives.

Even if the elder in your life lives in air conditioned surroundings, promises to stay out of the sun and keep him or herself hydrated, it’s a good idea, once the summer months arrive, to check in periodically ~ in person if possible or by phone if not ~ to make sure everything is OK.

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