I will be interviewing Jerry Wayne from the North Valley Jewish Community Center on August 18th, 9AM Pacific

August 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

On August 18th, 9AM Pacific, I will be interviewing Jerry Wayne from the North Valley Jewish Community Center, Inc. The North Valley Jewish Community Center (NVJCC) is a non-profit organization, founded upon Jewish ethics and values. “The-J”, Your Jewish Community Center is committed to meeting the ever changing needs of the entire Jewish Community, to strengthening Jewish identity and to enrich the quality of Jewish life. Our objective is to facilitate programs that benefit our children, families, adults, and seniors, and in so doing to support the entire community for generations to come.

If you are a senior looking for new friends and new things to do, we invite you to join the NVJCC Senior Club.
Our active group of seniors 70+ has traveled to San Diego to see The Dead Sea Scrolls, to Palm Springs to see The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, and enjoyed plays in Glendale at the Glendale Center Theater.  We have visited the Skirball Museum, enjoyed lunches at neighborhood restaurants and have heard many wonderful speakers on current or provocative events.  We have also celebrated holidays together and enjoyed new friendships.

We meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Temple Ramat Zion, corner of Devonshire Blvd and White Oak in Northridge at 1:00 P.M. Come join us.  Friendships are very important and you can make some long lasting ones at our Seniors Club.  

For more Information, call Mollie Mole’ at (818) 360-9384 or the NVJCC Office at (818) 360-2211.


Have a kind and respectful day.

Hospice Radio with Dr. Zoe A. Lewis interviews Viki on June 14, 10AM pacific

May 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Hospice Radio with Dr. Zoë A. Lewis interviews Viki about her new book, The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making – Making Choices for Those Who Can’t on June 14th, 10AM pacific, on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drzoehospiceradio

Active in both physician and community education on Alzheimer’s disease and end-of-life care for more than 15 years, Dr. Lewis has presented for Medical Grand Rounds, State and National level conferences, and at skilled nursing facilities and nursing and medical schools across the country. In 2009, she was one of many chosen faculty speakers in her area of expertise, ‘dementia and hospice care’, for the National Council on Aging. and has presented in the past for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization on volunteer service in hospice.

Dr. Lewis is an internist, hospice physician,author, consultant, radio show producer and host and national speaker. She is actively promoting her books, “I Hope They Know: The Essential Handbook of Alzheimer’s Disease and Care,” and “La Guía Holística para la Enfermedad de Alzheimer”. She appears for community service grassroots outreach, often by invitation from the Alzheimer’s Association local chapters at a variety of venues.

“Keep Your Wits! Seasoning For Reasoning”, is her current research project. This is book for Alzheimer Disease Prevention, looking at diet and exercise as possible strategies for prevention. Hope Through Knowledge Resources is a Miami Beach, Florida, privately funded grassroots semi-volunteer coalition, operating as a national web-based resource with newsletter and internet radio program serving as a focus on aging, dementia care and end-of-life care issues. The focus of the community outreach is to meet the needs of consumers, the general public and service providers by describing an array of existing services, programs and resources for the general public.

Website: http://hopethroughknowledge.org/
Books: “I Hope They Know… The Essential Handbook on Alzheimer’s Care”

Order her book in English: http://www.virtualbookworm.com/bookstore/product/I_hope_they_know.html
Order her book in Spanish: http://www.virtualbookworm.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=bookstore&Product_Code=I_Hope_They_Know_SPANISH&Category_Code

Have a kind and respectful day.

Better Hearing and Speech Month – Stop and listen and get people the help they need

May 13, 2010 by  
Filed under For Patients & Families

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) http://www.asha.org

It is so important to make sure that your aging loved ones get check ups for both hearing and seeing. Oftentimes, a person starts to withdraw and to be less involved in life if he or she is having difficulties being able to hear or see. He or she may not realize things have changed drastically because the changes happen slowly over time. I didn’t realize that my dad had such poor vision until I sat with him during his eye appointment. Then I understood how much he was missing and how I needed to make sure we modified his space to help him with his visual limitations.

Language barriers also create an obstacle to getting what one needs. Too often I see healthcare professionals discount or ignore someone with speech limitations and turn to the family member instead. It also happens in our day-to-day life when we want someone in front of us in line to hurry up but they can’t because it takes them longer to speak.

Just because people can’t speak well or speak fast, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a voice in their lives. There are other ways to communicate. People can write, type, point to words or pictures on a board or sign. Many times it is just about having patience. Having the patience to sit still while the other person finds the words. And what I have found with my hospice work is that people communicate even when they can’t say a word. So, sit still and listen. You make a difference when you do.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Interview with Terri Corcoran from the Well Spouse Association on May 24, 9am pacific

May 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Interview with Terri Corcoran from the Well Spouse Association on May 24, 9am pacific on blogtalkradio.com/kindethics. Terri is the PR Representative, Secretary of Board of Directors and Co-editor of the quarterly newsletter of the Well SpouseTM Association. She is also a full-time caregiver for her husband who suffers from Fragile-X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome, a neurological illness causing progressive physical and mental deterioration.

The Well Spouse™ Association (WSA) is a nonprofit organization which advocates for and addresses the needs of individuals caring for a chronically ill and/or disabled spouse or partner. We offer peer to peer support and educate health care professionals and the general public about the special challenges and unique issues “well” spouses face every day.

WSA was founded in 1988 by a group of 10 who got together as a result of Maggie Strong’s book Mainstay: for the Well Spouse of the Chronically ill, published in 1987. Now the membership is close to 2000.

WSA offers: an online discussion Forum; a quarterly printed newsletter with stories by members; a twice-monthly e-newsletter with caregiving stories and helpful information; local face-to-face support groups throughout the U.S. and some in Canada; respite weekends; mentoring by fellow members; website containing many stories and resources regarding spousal caregiving; an annual conference.

Contact info for Well SpouseTM Association, support for spousal caregivers:
Email: info@wellspouse.org
63 West Main Street, Suite H, Freehold, NJ 07728
Phone: 800-838-0879

Have a kind and respectful day.

Kindness Reminder: Cook an old family recipe

April 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Ask Viki, Featured


People ask me, what can I do to make my loved one’s life a little better. Here is this weeks Kindness Reminder. To sign up for more fun and thoughtful ways to say I care and I am thinking about you, go to my website at KindEthics.com and sign up in the box at the top right.

When people live in institutions, they don’t get to experience the joy of a home cooked meal or the ability to cook the old family recipes anymore. And even those who don’t live in a facility, they still aren’t cooking like they used to. A good friend of mine, Jacque, used to prepare a stew or pot roast in a crock pot for me to take to my Dad’s house. He lived with his two sisters and the three of them loved the smell of the crock pot cooking all day.

If you can’t cook for the person, perhaps you can have someone prepare a favorite recipe and deliver it to the person. At the assisted living/dementia facility where my dad and my aunt lived, they had a family cooking area. My husband baked a chocolate souffle for them from scratch. They sure enjoyed watching him put it all together and they really enjoyed eating it.

Have a kind and respectful day.


December 3, 2009 by  
Filed under For Patients & Families

I wanted to let you know about a resource I recently discovered which helps the veterans who need senior services get the benefits they need. VeteranAid.org

Here is Debbie’s story by Debbie Burak:

I’m often asked the question “why” I have taken this mission on. It is a 9-year journey of how I arrived at this point but as with many things, it is the climatic ending of a movie or a good book that has the most impact and drives the point home. In this case it was the ending of my mother’s life that became so pivotal for me.

I spent the last 10 days of her life at her bedside in Hospice, and watched how this life we take for granted slips quietly out of a room. How our survival instincts give way to resignation and acceptance that this fight is over. I looked into the eyes of my dying mother who continuously asked if her check from
the VA had come so that there would be money to bury her instead of cremation. The answer was always the same……..No. Even in her weakened state she would have known if I had lied and said yes. I couldn’t do that to her or to me.

My parent’s time in assisted living began as a result of a fire that rendered them homeless in a matter of minutes. My mother had been trapped in an 8ft enclosed patio with no exit, and at the last minute two angels came to her rescue. One jumped inside the patio while the other straddled the wall and together they pushed and pulled her up and over the wall to safety.

Monies had long been exhausted for their care, and they had not planned well enough to bear the burden of so many years in the care of others. So while her question about the check coming from the VA may seem insignificant, it would have allowed us to honor her burial wishes. Her fear of facing another fire was more than any of us could endure. I thought about how different this ending could have been, how different things would have been for both my parents if we had known about Aid and Attendance
from the beginning. $160,000 would have gone a long way to have made their lives better, and to help
lessen the financial hardship placed upon our family over 9 years. I thought about all the inquires to the VA for benefits for them, and repeatedly being told there was nothing, when all along there was.
To now have the pension awarded to my mother and be denied to the very end, to the last breath, yes, it was a defining moment in my life.

One of the last things my mother said to my sister and I was to “promise her that we would make certain that she was really dead before we let them put her in.” We promised and we made sure. I also promised something else that day, and that was to make certain that she did not wait in vain. That there would be a greater good that would come from this sorrow. If one veteran and their family have better choices, then she made a difference.

I prefer to believe that this is her gift to give, and I am simply the messenger. Debbie Burack

Have a kind and respectful day.

Visiting hours – When to follow the rules and when to break them

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under For Patients & Families

There are no visiting hours at nursing homes. You are allowed to visit your loved one at any time of the day or night. Don’t let them tell you that you are not allowed. In fact, I encourage you to stop by either very early or very late to check on how your loved one is being treated by the night nurses.

There are visiting hours at hospitals to make sure that the patients have enough quiet time to heal. Sleep and rest are crucial for the person that is recovering from an illness or surgery. There also needs to be time that the nurses and other staff can get their work done without you being in the way.

In general, I respect visiting hours. But I know that there are times when visiting hours should be respectfully broken. When someone is dying, there should be open visiting as you will want to spend every precious last moment with your loved one before they die. Or, you may want to ask if you can be of help keeping the patient calm when the person is afraid or is sundowning so the nurses have time to care for all of their patients on the floor. Or perhaps you can help when the person needs to be in restraints. It is great if you can sit with the person to keep them relaxed or distracted and reduce the need for restraints. There may be cultural reasons as well to stay after hours as many people feel safer when someone from their culture/family is present.

If you are going to be there after visiting hours, then you have to be there to help, not to get in the way. If you are constantly bothering the nurses and making it hard for them to take care of the many different patients they have to see that night, then you are being a problem. And the nurse has the right to ask you to leave. Visiting a patient is not a right but a privilege. If you are impeding in the healing process of your loved one or other patients, then the hospital can ask you to leave.

In the early days after my mom’s stroke, my brothers and I took turns sleeping on the floor beside my mother’s hospital bed. My mom was a difficult patient. She would scream out for help, she was afraid of hospitals and she was also very obese. I was able to help comfort my mom so she didn’t bother the nurses as much and I was also able to help the nurse turn her when needed. Nowadays, I wouldn’t advise helping to move a patient. As family members, we haven’t been trained in how to lift appropriately and may put ourselves at risk of injuries. I made sure that I didn’t get in the nurses way and tried to help in anyway possible.

If you are going to be there after hours, be polite, be appreciative, be helpful and be respectful of the healthcare staff. They are allowing you a privilege to be there after hours so make sure you say thank you.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Finding the money to modify the senior’s home for safety.

October 15, 2009 by  
Filed under For Patients & Families

From http://ageinplace.com. Thanks Mark Hager for these great resources.

Here are some places to research for help paying for aging in place home modifications or services:

• Use the Eldercare locator from the US Government ( http://www.eldercare.gov/ or 1-800-677-1116) to connect with your local Area Agency on Aging. They will have the most relevant information available.
• Local cities have CDBG (community development block grants) for home repair. And/or contact the local Mayor to find local funds.
• Rural Development is also a great resource for low-interest 1% loans/forgiveable loans and grants for home repair/home mod. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/
• Sometimes community foundations will also fund a variety of start-up programs and may know where to turn locally.
• Habitat/Rebuild Together are also up in our neck of the woods Indiana/Michigan.
• Larger churches in our area volunteering, especially the men’s groups for some handyman/home fix up.
• Reverse mortgages. Not for everyone, but can help many.
• If you’re a veteran, try the Veteran’s Administration

For more help, contact:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/aging_in_place
Facebook: http://www.profile.to/aginginplace

Have a kind and respectful day.