Back to School and Mental Health

Health and Wellness

With the first few weeks of school behind us, I am reflecting on what it was like this time of year for my kids as they got ready to board school buses for their first day of class or move into dorms. During this back-to-school season, it’s normal for parents and kids to have mixed emotions of being both excited and scared, but so much has changed over the past two years. All of us can relate to how the pandemic caused widespread disruption to our lives and the lives of our children, especially as far as school is concerned. …

Flu Season Protection

Health and Wellness

The fall season is here. School is back, Halloween is coming, and the flu virus too. Prior to COVID-19, the flu was among the most deadly respiratory diseases that greatly affected the very young and very old. As with a lot of viruses, the flu virus is very tricky, and there is always a war going on at the microscopic level of immune systems. The making of the annual flu vaccine is an arduous task from the World Health Organization (WHO). They know the virus will emerge in the peak season, but it’s all very nuanced and studied guesswork on …

Chronic Pain and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Health and Wellness

Studies have shown that pain has long been recognized to have a negative effect on emotional status, ability to work, social activities, interpersonal relationships, and functional ability and leads to the increased utilization of healthcare services. I chose this topic because it is personal to me. I have bone-on-bone arthritis in my hip, and my quality of life has been greatly effected because the pain is exhausting.  With that said, I am lucky because I have the tools to either ask for help or get help myself. Can you imagine having chronic pain and not being able to express your …

Dementia and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Health and Wellness

What is Dementia? Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Although it is well known that older people are at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, it is less well known that individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially Down syndrome, are also at high risk of the disease, and research shows that people with IDD have a prevalence of dementia. What are some signs of Dementia? Early signs may include changes in health, and in …

Nursing News – Monkeypox

Health and Wellness

As you’ve likely heard, Monkeypox is spreading across multiple countries, including the United States. Here is a basic overview of the virus, as well as some tips for protecting yourself from contracting the virus. What is Monkeypox? Monkeypox is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, it can result in hospitalization or death. What are the symptoms of Monkeypox? Monkeypox causes rashes, bumps, or blisters on or around the genitals or in other areas like your hands, feet, chest, or face. It can also cause flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and …

7 Tips for Protecting Skin While Supporting People with IDD

Health and Wellness

With the people we support at The Arc of Monroe getting older and having more medical complexities, one of the most important things we can do is protect their skin. Pressure ulcers (AKA “bedsores”) are a dangerous type of skin breakdown that can lead to infection, pain, or even death. They are caused by pressure on an area of skin that interferes with blood flow to the area causing the skin and underlying tissues to break down. A mild pressure ulcer may just look like redness or discoloration on the skin, but if left untreated, it can progress through the …

Risks and Benefits of Soaking up the Sun

Health and Wellness

Our Wonderful (but also dangerous) Sunshine I think we can all agree that the sunshine we get is not enough. We live in Rochester, NY after all. According to science, beautiful sunshine-filled days afford us with many benefits. Did you know that our bodies produce Vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight? Vitamin D helps our body maintain calcium, and we have stronger bones as a result. Vitamin D is also critical for our immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, we can help strengthen it and reduce the risk of illness. It’s not just in our head; …

Celebrating Nurses at The Arc of Monroe

Health and Wellness, Staff Perspectives

The observance of Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of the founder of modern nursing – Florence Nightingale. I am a bit partial, but just one week doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to express our gratitude for the selfless nurses in our lives and let them know just how much we appreciate their caring and gentle nature. But hey, it’s a start! Below are only a few of examples of what our nurses do out in the field every day: Advocate with health care providers and others involved in an …

Arc of Monroe End of Life Committee Offers Support for Caregivers

Health and Wellness, Staff Perspectives

Written by Sue Sproule, Director of Nursing at The Arc of Monroe End of Life – What does it mean to the caregiver? Even when you know the end of life is approaching for someone you support, you might not feel prepared. Looking after a person who is dying can be very stressful. It’s common to feel like you don’t know what to do, what to say or how to cope. You might feel angry, sad or totally unprepared. You could also feel frightened about how it will happen and if you will be able to cope. However, once you …

The Arc of Monroe Forms New End of Life Committee

Health and Wellness, Programs and Services, Staff Perspectives

Written by Sue Sproule, Director of Nursing The Arc of Monroe nursing team works hard to best serve our staff and the people we support. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, the team ran 990 medical appointments for the people we support. Our latest endeavor is to develop an “End of Life” committee. What does end of life mean? I asked a few people who are on the committee, and this is what they shared: “Doing it my way. Living every day, including the last days of my life in comfort, support, and dignity where I want and with …