November18,2011

Family Caregivers Need Access & Training on Assistive Technologies

Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving Logo
By Guest Blogger Kathleen Kelly, MPA, Executive Director, Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving

As the demographics shift to reflect an aging population, innovation abounds in the area of developing new assistive technologies to make life tasks easier for an individual with disabilities or for a family caregiver. How can you find out about existing or new technologies? One answer is finding information on the Internet, and a recent online survey of caregivers provides some insight into this question.

Recently, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services embarked on a project entitled, “Accelerating Adoption of Assistive Technology to Reduce Physical Strain among Family Caregivers of the Chronically Disabled Elderly Living at Home.” A large title – and charge – to figure out the best ways to match assistive technologies to specific needs and then, get those technologies into the hands of family caregivers to use.

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November16,2011

America: It’s Time to Get Seizure Smart! What You Learn Could Save a Life

The Epilepsy Foundation's Get Seizure Smart logo
By Guest Blogger Tony Coelho, Epilepsy Foundation Interim CEO

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month and the Epilepsy Foundation’s national initiative – Get Seizure Smart – is a grassroots public awareness campaign aimed at getting information about seizure first aid and recognition into the hands of as many Americans as possible, so they will know how to respond if they see someone having a seizure. Even though epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder affecting all age groups, it is still largely misunderstood by the general public.

This year, another 200,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy, and an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 will die of seizures and related causes. Some people live well with controlled seizures, while others – approximately one-third of Americans with epilepsy – have seizures that are resistant to medical treatment. It causes many people to live with constant anxiety, wondering when the next seizure will strike. No age group or demographic is exempt. It is estimated that 1 in 100 children will be diagnosed with epilepsy before age 20, and the number of cases in the elderly continues to soar as the baby boomer generation approaches retirement age. Currently, more than 570,000 adults ages 65 and older in the United States have the condition.

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November11,2011

Wounded Warrior Careers: It’s Ability, Not Disability, That Counts

Guest Blog by the National Organization on Disability Team

With the U.S. military engagement in Iraq drawing to a close, this Veterans Day is an appropriate time to take a closer look at the challenges of the more than 110,000 post-9/11 Veterans with service-connected disabilities of 60 percent or greater, as rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These disabilities often demand a long and difficult period of recovery and adjustment – but they need not be barriers to fulfilling civilian employment and independence.

Even for Veterans without severe disabilities, the challenges of transitioning home from a military career to the civilian workforce can be daunting. Today’s Veterans are older and far more likely to have spouses and children than previous generations of Veterans. But despite their considerable military experience, they are less likely than Veterans of previous wars to have held a full-time civilian job, prepared a résumé or experienced a non-military job interview.

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November10,2011

The American Diabetes Association – Advocating for the Rights of People with Diabetes through Education, Negotiation, Litigation and Legislation

A group of people raising their hands.
By Gary Gross, J.D., Managing Director for Legal Advocacy, American Diabetes Association

November is American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association is rallying the public to take actions against the disease through this year’s theme, I Raise My Hand to Stop Diabetes®. The Association will pay tribute to those who have raised their hand and work to Stop Diabetes every day. People, places and programs that are working hard to change the future of diabetes will be highlighted. At the same time, Americans will be rallied to join these champions in the Stop Diabetes movement by pledging to become involved.

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November09,2011

Pay It Forward for Veterans in Your Community

Picture of banner that says Everyday is Veterans Day

By Guest Blogger Bill Lawson, National President, Paralyzed Veterans of America

“How can we give back to Veterans?” It’s a commonly asked question, and one that is uncommonly tough to answer. On the one hand, it means that America really cares about its Veterans. On the other hand, it’s very difficult to know what to give someone who is prepared to defend your freedom with his or her life.

From this grateful Veteran, may I suggest an answer that we can all take to heart this Veterans Day, “Pay It Forward.”

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