Elva made the following announcements:
As Ambassadors who have been attending meetings for a while are aware, Elva is a proponent of telemedicine (where appropriate) and is advocating to CMS (Centers for Medicaid & Medicare) to reimburse doctors for Medicare visits which are done via telemedicine (video conference). CMS already reimburses doctors for Medicaid telemedicine visits which are done in school nurses' offices. This is a huge benefit to parents (who don't have to take off work, driving to school when transportation is sometimes a problem, take the child to the doctor and take him/her back) and to school districts (because it cuts down on absenteeism). Currently, CMS approves reimbursement for Medicare visits only in rural areas under specific conditions.
Dr. Hall-Barrow also talked about medication compliance. She said that adolescents who receive an organ transplant are notorious for not taking their medications as prescribed which can be catastrophic. So the Children's Health compounding pharmacist embeds a "Proteus sensor" into each pill and when the adolescent takes the first pill, the nurse receives a ping on her smartphone and if the child is supposed to take a second pill, but doesn't take it, the nurse can immediately pick up the phone and remind the child to take that second pill. Etc. Compliance greatly improves with this.
[Note: one of our Ambassadors asked Elva after the 2/13 meeting for a suggestion for medication reminders because this member said they were forgetting to take their medication at the proper time. Proteus is not the solution for this, but Elva promised to refresh her research to see what kind of tools are on the market today for medication reminders (this member does not use a smartphone, so apps are not the answer). If you have a suggestion that works for you, please email Elva.
2. Elva Speaking. Elva's upcoming speaking gigs where she will talk about Ambassadors:
2/24 Tarrant County College is hosting a regional conference of the "Association of Nutritionists & Foodservice Professionals." Their theme this year is "Keeping Our Elderly Population at Home: Out of Hospitals and Out of Nursing Homes." They offered Elva $100 to speak for 30 minutes and Elva will use the $100 to pay for a vendor table at the City of Arlington "2017 Aging Well Expo" on 3/30/17 described below.
3/9 and 3/17. Two different UTA professors/instructors in the School of Social Work asked Elva to speak to their "Aging in America" class.
3/14 Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church in Carrollton, asked Elva back to speak to another group about end-of-life options (documentation plus how to keep from getting taken to the cleaners on funeral costs).
3. Elva's New Year's Resolution Update. At the January Ambassadors' meeting, Elva said that her one resolution for this year was to make 2 new friends who are at least 10 years younger. Elva is 71 years old. Note, this is not to be taken that Elva thinks "old=bad and young=bad." Far from it, but Elva has been paying attention to advice that we should all have friends in various age brackets because we don't want to be age 81 or 91 and our friends have mostly died off, and we're left with no friends. At the January meeting of the Arlington on Tap meeting, I met a woman who is a firefighter and who is married to a firefighter. We were chitchatting before the meeting started and I told her about my resolution and she immediately said, "Oh, I'll be your friend. I actually need more female friends." A week later, she texted me and asked me if I'd like to attend a "pole dancing" thing with her. After I stopped laughing, I texted her back that sometimes I can't even open a pickle jar so I'm quite sure that I'm not strong enough to do any pole dancing. Anyway, she is a very nice woman and she then invited me to go on a Top O' the Hill" tour (not really interested in doing this but several Ambassadors told me later that it's worth it, so I will go with her). And she and I sat together again at the 2/15 Arlington on Tap meeting and met a third friend (nurse anesthetist at Methodist Hospital in Dallas who lives in Arlington). The three of us have made plans to do several things, including the nurse's 60th birthday party this week and a "Four Day Weekend" comedy club visit on Saturday. So we shall see, but probably the New Year's Resolution has been fulfilled.
4. Terry Meyer. Elva recognized Ambassador member Terry Meyer who is the Arlington Fire Department's Volunteer of the Month for volunteering with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Terry is a regular participant at the Ambassadors' Evening Meetings (don't think he has missed one yet).
5. City of Arlington 2017 Aging Well Expo. Thursday, March 30. Bob Duncan Center. Elva is working with City and my job was to book speakers. Keynote speaker will be O.K. Carter (former editor of Arlington Citizen Journal and board member of Arlington Historical Society). Other speakers will be on the topics of gardening, maximizing your healthcare dollar, fraud/security, downsizing, latest research on aging/dementia, and financial planning. Free box lunch if you call by 3/15/17 to register (817) 277.8091. Door prizes.
6. Next Evening Meeting of Ambassadors. Thursday, 2/23 6:00-7:00 pm. West Police Service Center Community Room, 2060 W. Green Oaks Blvd. Discussion of "how to get along with difficult people." Bring your experience and wisdom to share.
TIPS & TRICKS
Member Jean Widman shared a couple of ruses that "bad hombres" are using:
1. Placing a baby doll in an infant seat alongside a highway, near a brushy area where bad guys hide, knowing that a female/mother will stop to see about the baby. Then the car is hijacked or female is attacked.
2. Throwing raw eggs onto a windshield. If this happens to you, don't turn on the wiper washer solution or turn on the wipers because the eggs will smear and you won't be able to see anything at all and you will have to pull over (and they know that).
1. Dr. Sandra Marquez-Hall, PhD, and Neika Nowamooz, MEd, from University of North Texas Health Science Center spoke about the SAGE program (Seniors Assisting Geriatric Education). They are seeking senior "mentors" to help UNTHSC students who are enrolled in various disciplines such as medical students, advanced practice nurses, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. The mentor would allow the student(s) to visit in the mentor's home and allow them to take vitals and interview the seniors about their health status, attitudes, eating habits, etc. More information is available at email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (817) 735-0289.
2. Terry Sutton, Dir. of Marketing & Education for ServiceMaster and expert on hoarding disorder, spoke about hoarding. He explained the different levels of hoarding, different types of hoarding including collections, animal hoarding, information hoarding, shopaholics, memory keepers, etc. He explained what usually causes it (bitterness, broken heart) and why just cleaning up a hoarded place does not solve the problem. Terry can be reached at (817) 542-2403 or email email@example.com .
Lastly, announcements from the floor were:
1. Cheryl Abellanoza, Graduate student from UTA Dept of Psychology, is seeking volunteers for some research which entails playing a memory game at home. More information can be found at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cheryl_Abellanoza .
2. Member Liz Blunt let members know about a group she is leading called "Elder Orphans which is meant for people who have no relatives or intimate friends to call on for emergencies. More info at lizbeth@gmail .
3. Member Peggy Masters gave a brief update on the City of Arlington Transportation Advisory Committee. The Committee's Report is due to the City in fall of 2017. Questions can be directed to Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org . A special thanks to Peggy for her donation of $25 to Ambassadors which she earned by speaking to a church group about Ambassadors. Her $25 will be spent towards the cost of the $100 vendor table at the Aging Well Expo mentioned above.