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South Side Senior News & Notes

3/6/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Summa hospitals receive distinction for care of seniors

GREATER AKRON — Summa Health System’s wholly owned hospitals — Summa Akron City Hospital, Summa St. Thomas Hospital, Summa Barberton Hospital and Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital — announced they have received NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) designation.

According to Summa officials, NICHE is the country’s leading nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals improve care of older adults. The program is based at the New York University College of Nursing and is comprised of 500 hospitals and health care facilities throughout North America. NICHE’s designation signifies a hospital’s organizational commitment and continued progress in improving quality and enhancing the patient and family experience, according to Summa officials.

“Our findings at Summa mirror these national findings,” said Lanie Ward, Summa Health System senior vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer. “Training our nurses and all members of our health care team to better understand the unique needs of our senior patients is of utmost importance to our caregivers and our entire health system.”

With Americans living longer, the demand for geriatric care is increasing at a rapid pace. According to a 2013 report from the American Geriatrics Society, older adults now account for a disproportionate share of health care services and comprise some 35 percent of all hospital stays, said Summa officials.

“NICHE designation demonstrates our leadership and commitment to meeting and exceeding the special care needs of older adults in the communities we serve,” said Kathy Blake, vice president for seniors and post-acute services at Summa Health System. “We are committed to providing the best experience possible for all of our patients, so this effort to become a NICHE hospital fits perfectly with our overall goals.”

For more information, visit www.summahealth.org.


ODA accepting nominations for Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) is accepting nominations for outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2014 Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

Individuals and organizations interested in nominating a neighbor, colleague, family member or friend may visit www.aging.ohio.gov/news/halloffame/ for more information, to submit a nomination or download the nomination form. Nominations are accepted year-round.

According to ODA officials, nominees for the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame must be age 60 or older and be native-born Ohioans or residents of the state for at least 10 years. Posthumous nominations will be accepted. The nominee (or a representative of the nominee if he or she is unable) must consent to the nomination. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

According to ODA officials, nominees will be evaluated on the impact of their current contributions, or a continuation of contributions begun before age 60, in areas of endeavor including, but not limited to: arts/literature, business/technology, education, health/fitness, community activism and science/medicine. All eligible nominees will be evaluated by a selection committee using a formal rating system, according to ODA officials.

The induction is held each May, and those selected will join more than 350 older Ohioans inducted into the hall since its inception in 1978, according to ODA officials.

To learn more and view past inductees, visit www.aging.ohio.gov/news/halloffame/.


STEADY U Ohio reminds seniors to prevent falls

COLUMBUS — Winter is far from over, and slippery conditions can lead to a fall, which for many older adults can be a life-changing event.

The STEADY U Ohio initiative offers simple steps seniors can take to ensure that wintry conditions don’t send them slipping and tripping, according to ODA officials:

  • Bundle up to stay warm, but make sure you can see in all directions and move easily and freely.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots with treads, even if you’re just going out to get the newspaper.
  • Wear sunglasses to reduce glare from the sun and snow and help you see where you are walking.
  • Do some light stretching before you venture out.
  • Carry a small bag of salt, sand or kitty litter to sprinkle in front of you for traction on icy paths.
  • If you must walk on icy surfaces, slow down, shorten your stride and walk with your feet pointed out slightly and knees gently bent to improve traction and balance.
  • Snow can hide curbs and uneven surfaces. If you can’t see where your foot will land, find another way.
  • Replace worn rubber tips on canes, walkers and crutches. Ask a mobility equipment dealer about winter canes or cleats you can add to existing equipment.
  • Dry off shoes, canes, crutches and walkers as soon as you get indoors.
  • Carry a cleaning cloth and stop to clean your glasses if they fog up.
  • If you are going out alone, carry a cell phone; know who you will call if you fall, and make sure that person knows what to do if you call.
  • Ask your post office, newspaper and garbage collector about service options when conditions are bad.

For more falls prevention tips and resources, visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov and follow SteadyUOhio on Facebook and Twitter.


Kathleen Collins contributed to these reports.

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