Wednesday, November 02, 2011

almost stone age caregiving

Keep in mind reading this entry that for the people referenced, today begins their 5th day without electrical related services.

In one New Hampshire town, 140 or so elderly and wheelchair using residents are trapped on the upper floors of a building because the elevators aren’t working. No power real concern for wheelchair-bound on upper floors

In Pennsylvania, “A tractor motor turns the generator that powers the breathing machine …She has Lou Gehrig’s disease, and her tenuous lifeline has been in place since Saturday. That’s when a rare October snowstorm knocked out power to homes …” Power outages from Saturday's snowstorm are threat for people with medical problems

In New York, “Visiting Nurse Service aide rushed around the dark house looking for a flashlight to set up a backup device that does not need electricity … It was already too late.” Halloween weekend snowstorm outage claims Bronx great-granny; lost oxygen during power failure

Are home generators the answer if you live with medical needs?

In Connecticut, “It is the latest of three carbon monoxide deaths since Saturday's massive winter storm” Carbon Monoxide Claims Another Life

In Massachusetts, “The state fire marshal says two people are dead in Palmer in what is believed to be carbon monoxide poisoning” 5 people killed in Mass. after October storm

Think having a ‘medical certification of emergency’ on file with a power company means something? – A spokesman for First Energy, parent company of Met-Ed, said “medical declarations are noted by the company but the thousands of outages from the storm make prioritizing a specific customer impractical.”

Probably too often I use a phrase “the tip of the iceberg”. Media focuses on the most dramatic. Countless others, among the over 1.5 million still without power, challenged with living with disabilities, chronic illnesses and of course their caregivers are also facing their 5th day of almost stone age living and caregiving.

November is National Family Caregiver Month and I for one find these unsung efforts heroic.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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  1. Your posts always remind us of the things most of us never think about in storms.

  2. I live in Florida where we have suffered outages for as long as three weeks due to hurricanes. So I know first hand what it is like to be without electricity. It is a serious matter. In fact, I attribute my worsening in recent years in part to the stress of living through those experiences. So my heart goes out to those suffering.

  3. I can't imagine being those many days without power. I know when our area recently lost power for a mere 12 hours at the most, the authorities were warning people that needed electricity to run machines to get to the local hospitals. But that is assuming people have the means to get there or it overloads ambulances for transportation, etc. Home generators could be the answer, assuming one could afford one.

    I can only hope power will be restored sooner than later for those going without.


  4. Your posts are always thought provoking ...
    we were without power for 3 1/2 days. By Day 2 without a nebulizer, I was ready to take Queenie to the ER. I can't imagine what it would be like should she need continuous breathing like someone with ALS

  5. A local Y in Brooklyn is interested in starting a group for caregivers. If you or someone you know is a caregiver please take a moment to fill out this survey and pass it along to others.
    Thank you in advance for your time!


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