ADVOCACY for the ELDERLY
In my clinical practice, I had always been intrigued by the elderly, that I wanted to know more of this aging process, learn from them so that I can design a culturally and age-based care for them. While they make a perfect "specimen" and subject for my newest art of photography (pictorialism, photo journalism) as a part of my studies on Redefining the Arts in Nursing, they are the most special group to me, the most important concern in terms of nursing care and advocacy.
Aging in Healthcare
Across Asia and North America, a startling demographic change is underway. Longevity is increasing in developed and developing countries alike; fertility rates are declining in many parts of the world, and elderly populations are on the rise. Baby boomers in the U.S. are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day, and Japan’s population is aging and declining faster than previously thought. In China and India, fewer young people mean those nations are facing the prospect of a diminished labor pool and slower economic growth. Worldwide, many people today can expect to live 20 to 30 years longer than their grandparents.
Now policy makers and business leaders, academics and health care professionals are beginning to take stock of this “graying” of the global population. What are the consequences of these dramatic changes? How are policies and market forces helping or hindering the case for the world’s elderly population? Will these longer lives prove to be happier and healthier lives, as well?
A discussion that brings together leaders in health care and demography to discuss this trend will be at Asia Society on Sept 30, 2013 6:30pm - 8:00pm, 725 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021
DESIGNING ELDER CARE
Assessment of Needs
- Estate Planning
- Emergency Loan Assistance
- Legal Consultancy& Advocacy
- Individual Case Management
- Technical Support
SERVICES for AGING IMMIGRANTS
Aging seniors or Elderly Immigrants who are educated and trained
To advocate for their rights to:
1. Culturally sensitive & competent Health-care services or therapies
2. Fair housing practices
3. Technological literacy
4. Financial independence
who are nurtured and honed in Senior-friendly spaces/environments with family, friends, and the general community of Richmond Hill and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Aging Seniors or Elderly Immigrants empowered to support other Immigrant Seniors in the community with similar situations, issues or challenges in their pursuit of optimum health and well-being as well as meaning and purpose in life.
To reach out to invisible Aging Seniors or Elderly Immigrants living in our community who are seriously challenged by chronic illness, loneliness, isolation/separation from close family, and lack of information on access to government benefits, by addressing unmet needs and encouraging active participation in TNO Community Center's community activities for the Richmond Hill neighborhoods
To provide Space for Intergenerational Dialogue where Elderly Immigrants and Younger Immigrants interact, recall, and document their family and social histories living in Queens, New York.
To encourage Seniors to expand their range of choices & strengthen support networks that help them address their health, housing, psycho-social, financial, or legal/immigration issues (See www.thenursingoffice.com).
I. Case Management Program
A. Establish Case Management Protocol for technical, legal, financial, health, housing, etc., challenges of Aging Senior citizens and Elderly Immigrants, regardless of race, gender, color, religion, or ethnicity.
B. Draw up Support network, contacts, resource, & point person to meet the specific challenge of the aging Senior citizen and/or Elderly Immigrant.
C. Implement Plan of action to address urgent and/or pending issue of Elderly Immigrants and secure a Safe Space to protect confidentiality.
D. Execute timely, appropriate Documentation (paper, electronic, etc.) and Reference files on each Immigrant Senior’s case.
E. Resolve urgent issues with the least harm, at the least cost to the aging Senior citizen and/or Elderly Immigrant person.
II. Intergenerational Dialogue Program
F. Connect with Younger Immigrant groups to write, document via various media, their dialogue on family & social histories, by mentoring the youth and/or learning from them how life challenges were overcome.
III. Education, Training, and Advocacy Program
G. Conduct Education/literacy, Work Skills-training, and Advocacy-training classes necessary to upgrade aging Seniors’ learning & awareness on self- care, health care services, fair housing, financial and legal issues, such as, living will, estate planning, property management, pensions & benefits, such as Medicare/Medicaid, social security, taxes & retirement issues (both here or abroad).
H. Conduct and hold affordable Classes in Health Care-Giving in order to develop basic skills in self-care and home care-giving among the Elderly Immigrants and their family members.
I. Connect with Diabetes Health & Wellness Academy for healthy nutrition and diabetes prevention classes.
IV. Employment Referral & Placement Program
J. Connect skilled, trained, and experienced Home Care-Givers with health care agencies that provide FT or PT employment for willing, able, and healthy Elderly Immigrant Seniors.
V. Extended Arts Program
K. Provide spaces for Creative, Interactive, and Socializing activities that are Senior and Elderly Immigrant-friendly in the Community Center.
L. Conduct Visual arts, Performing arts, or Literary arts Workshops for elderly and aging Seniors as well as younger family members, to encourage individual and group collaborations that nourish and enhance their artistic/literary expressions and skills.
M. Connect with neighboring Senior centers (i.e., Hillcrest Senior Center, Alpha Phi Alpha Senior Center, Jamaica Library, etc.), arts and culture centers, and schools to collaborate on art/cultural exhibits and other activities, such as, Once Upon a Time, Inc. at 87-61 111th St., Richmond Hill, NY 11418; PS 90 Horace Mann School: Boys and Girls Club, Sikh Cultural Society, etc.
VI. Health and Wellness Program
To promote Non-conventional Modalities of Healing and Wellness for Individuals, Children, and their Families and Care-givers.
To provide a Sanctuary (or Safe Space) for Non-conventional Healing Modalities for Practitioners, Clients, Families, and Caregivers.
To utilize Native American, Asian, African, and/or Middle Eastern traditions in Circle Stages, Ethnic Food, Music, Dancing, and Storytelling as Healing Formats and/or Environments.
To allow the Creative Modes of Non-conventional Traditional Healing and Self-care to Flourish and Prosper for the General Wellness of the Community.
To connect and/or integrate non-conventional modes of healing & wellness with institutional health facilities open to collaborating with alternative medicine and innovative, nurse-driven healthcare solutions.
Non-conventional Healing (def.): Any or all healing modalities that flow with or use natural energies or elements not dependent on pharmaceutical or artificial chemical drugs; any modality that ensures health & wellness beyond codependency on drugs.
PROGRAMS &/OR ACTIVITIES
1. CIRCLE OF HEALING (STAGES)
Getting Acquainted, Building Relationships, Addressing Issues, and
Introduction, Incident, Impact, Reflection
3. FOOD AS MEDICINE
Proper Choices, Preparation, Cooking, Enjoyment
4. MOVEMENT AS HEALTH
Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi Exercises, Rhythmic Dancing
5. STILLNESS MEDITATION
Qi Gong, Healing Sounds, Breathing Techniques, Focused Prayer
6. HOLISTIC HEALING
Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda
7. THE NURSE IS IN: Health Screening, Education, & Outreach
Nutrition & Organic, Natural Foods Education
PLAN, DO, ACT
Adult Day Care Project
May 13, 2014, NYC
The Nursing Office and The Philippine American Group for Aging Seniors of America met to discuss issues relating to the aging Filipino-Americans. Discussions included plans for establishing coalition with area nursing homes to provide programs culturally appropriate to the Filipinos to promote image of nursing homes to a community where nursing homes are the last resort to provide care.
Brainstorming opened up possibilities for an Adult Daycare Facility to provide services to active seniors and extend their care and stay in the comfort of their homes. And the mission goes and moves forward.
A Day in the Life of a Gerontological Nurse
A short take on the life of a Gerontological Nurse is captured and presented in a short video production. This is an award winning presentation produced by Myrna D. Santos, MSN, RN and Cynthia Margalit, MSA, RN.
Gerontology: Art and Science of Aging
How culture and nursing impact and affect aging
While I am delighted with this final phase of life, as I enjoy narratives of their lives with all the wisdom gained through their ages, I’m saddened as well with the problems that accompany them: depression, homelessness, malnutrition, failure to thrive, financial and physical dependence, verbal abuse and neglect.
As the aging population is growing, I felt that I should make the aging process as pleasant and peaceful experience through gerontology, the art and science of aging. My goal is to provide quality care to the elderly and prepare to move forward as we plan together on how to celebrate their 100th birthday.
While their physical space has shrunk smaller in that nursing home, their needs back to basics: roof over their head, food in their stomach and clothing in their backs. Surround them with memories of their rich lives, photos of their loved ones, phone to connect with their family and friends, TV for entertainment and stimulation, snacks to provide nutrition, clock and calendars to keep them oriented, religious memorabilia to maintain their faith. Take care in your choice of color in their rooms, red blanket, a sign of energy and life. Think safety walkers and comfortable shoes as they need. This is the life of gerontological nurse.
~Myrna D. Santos, MSN, RN