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Fall 2012 / Winter 2013

Medical Alert for Cellular Customers Franciscan Lifeline now offers a solution for people at risk of fall or other medical emergency without a home phone. The cellular medical alarm is monitored by Doyle Medical Monitoring. The state-of-the-art service provides customers with a button they can wear that they can press if they need help. The customer is put in immediate contact with the response center which will dispatch nearby friends, family or emergency services if needed. The service offers Franciscan the opportunity to protect those at-risk individuals who have been unable to use a traditional medical alarm due to the lack of a landline. More than 30% of homes had only a wireless phone as of the latter half of 2010, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Up until now, these people were at risk in case of medical emergencies such as falls because most medical alarm systems use landlines. Franciscan’s new cellular service alleviates the concern and connects customers to the help they need immediately. Customers in Central New York are responding positively to the new services and installations are underway. Call (315) 492-8175 for more information.



Special Programs of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Network

Message from the President Dear Valued Partner, I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and sound. As we enter a new year, we should stop and reflect on the blessings we received in the past year. Even with all our individual problems, we can always find something with which we are blessed. Whether it is improving health, love from family, friends or a loyal pet, we should always find the positive blessings we have in our daily lives. No matter how bad things seem to be, it can always be it worse. If you noticed my greeting on this letter, it referred to you as a partner. You are Franciscan’s Partner. We are PARTNERS IN GOOD HEALTH. It is becoming more and more important to the insurance companies that patients take responsibility for their good health. Patients will need to partner with all their health care providers at every level of care. It is Franciscan’s hope that our partnership will allow you to improve your condition, keeping you safe and comfortable at home.  Home is where most patients desire to be, and working together to achieve that will be our goal. We will use the latest in technology, coupled with our professional staff, to assure your ability to live at home. Franciscan has the ability to



dispense and monitor your medication, provide around-theclock safety monitoring, and much more. As a partner, Frank L. Smith, Jr. we need to work together and communicate with your primary physician(s) and specialist(s). If we understand your problems and concerns, we can work to help you solve them. Partnership is a two-way street with each partner playing their role to achieve the main goal. I am comfortable that our partnership will flourish as we move into the future. If you would like to know more about our services and technology, call (315) 458-3200, and one of our dedicated employees will assist you. Thank you for your loyalty and God Bless you and your loved ones.

Frank L. Smith, Jr. President and CEO, Franciscan Companies


 mbracing E Age Expands


Seniors: Watch Out! A company referring to itself as Senior Alertline is targeting seniors, posing as Philips Lifeline, a medical alert service offered by Franciscan Companies. Senior Alertline calls large numbers of seniors, using an automated dialing technology, with the goal of obtaining access to their credit card information. A variety of tactics are being used including the promise of a free gift, inexpensive service and free equipment. Senior Alertline created a website that essentially copied the Philips Lifeline website, with the same photography and design, as well as some of the same phone numbers. According to Mark Rutherford, Senior Director of Healthcare for Philips Lifeline, “this appears to be a fast moving outfit, as they have already changed their website and they are now copying another provider’s website.” This enterprise is also being pursued by a state attorney general in the Midwest, as hundreds of senior related scams have already been reported. We at Franciscan take this scam very seriously. “Seniors are vulnerable to these types of scams; they tend to be more trusting. We encourage all customers to verify the name of the person who is calling, the company and then call them back using a number you already have, not the one they provide to you”, says Beverly Lawton, executive director of Franciscan Lifeline. Franciscan has informed customers about the current scam and we are urging them not to give out their credit card to anyone they don’t know or trust.

Caffeine in the Elderly Patricia Briest, RN, MS, FNP-BC

For most of us, caffeine has been part of our normal diet since youth. Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate, and as an additive in gum, diet beverages and pills, and even in some vitamin tablets! Caffeine is touted as the most widely-used drug. As with all drugs, caffeine has its benefits as well as its negative effects. Doses of 100-200 mg result in increased alertness and wakefulness, and help people to concentrate. In a typical cup of coffee (not including decaffeinated coffee), there are between 100-200 mg of caffeine – and the effects can stay with us for 3 ½ - 4 hours. The average person can safely consume 1-2 cups of coffee/day, unless otherwise warned by their doctor. Others may drink more caffeine with no ill effects; since we are all different, we may react differently to caffeine. As caffeine is a stimulant and does cause some changes in the cardiovascular system, it may cause an increase in blood pressure for some people who are sensitive to its effects, and it may also interfere with cardiac rhythm. Withdrawal from caffeine (when you are used to having 1-2 cups or more per day) may include lack of concentration, jitteriness and headache (remember the last time you were told to fast for a medical test or blood work?). As we age, our muscles can become progressively weaker. Studies have shown that caffeine may benefit the elderly by strengthening muscle power. However, with the aging process comes a sensitivity to the effects of caffeine, so we may need to reduce the caffeine in our diets, particularly if we note difficulty sleeping (remember - caffeine is a stimulant) or an increase in blood pressure. Joyce Willis This past November, the media highlighted concerns about deaths related to caffeinated energy drinks. According to media reports, otherwise healthy individuals died as a result of consumption of excessive caffeine, allegedly from energy drinks which were consumed. It was calculated that the average person would need to drink 80-100 cups of coffee over a short period of time to equal the amount of caffeine some individuals had consumed as a result of drinking mega-powered energy drinks. When we think about our daily habits, many of us probably consume more caffeine that just a cup or two of coffee. Chocolate candy, hot chocolate, cola drinks – all contain caffeine. Add in a stick or two of “energy boosting” gum and a cup of tea and a chocolate chip cookie… it all adds up. In general, if your blood pressure is under control and you sleep well at night, you probably are not getting too much caffeine. It is always a good idea to ask your doctor, though, and follow his or her advice. If all is well – enjoy that cup of Joe!


Sleep Tips for a Lifetime: Help for Women Donna Metz, RRT, RPGST, St. Joseph’s Sleep Laboratory

Getting enough sleep is important—and sometimes also challenging—for everyone. For women getting enough sleep can be especially difficult. But as woman continue to tackle the multiple responsibilities of home, work, and family, getting enough sleep is crucial as it positively impacts concentration, job performance, social interaction, and overall well being. Through the course of their lives, women experience various factors that can make it tough to get a good night’s sleep. Young women tend to sleep the most soundly and are less prone to sleep disturbances. As women move further into adulthood, that can all change. Menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and motherhood can all have a detrimental effect on sleep, as many of us know all too well. As women continue to age other factors such as physical ailments, breathing disorders, and hormonal changes like menopause can negatively affect women’s sleep. Jane Barretta Women who experience bloating, cramping, headaches, and emotional changes related to their menstrual cycle often have short-term sleep difficulties, which usually disappear a few days after their menstruation begins. Women who suffer more severe menstrual symptoms may experience lingering sleep problems and even chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia can lead to depression, so it is beneficial for women with difficult menstrual cycles to seek professional help to reduce menstrual symptom severity. In addition to menstruation, many women experience sleep changes with pregnancy. As the levels of the hormone progesterone increase, so does a pregnant woman’s need for longer nighttime sleep. Then, in the last trimester of pregnancy, slow-wave sleep decreases and the number of awakenings increases. Finally, after the baby is born, the stresses of pregnancy on sleep are replaced by the demands of a new baby. Pregnant women should try the following to get a good night’s sleep:

Menopause also impacts sleep. As sex hormones fluctuate, they affect sleep hormones both directly and indirectly. Often, menopausal women experience a decrease in deep sleep and more awakenings throughout the night. Many women find hot flashes and night sweats cause repeated awakenings. In severe cases, women can awaken from hot flashes hourly. These awakenings can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and depression. Here are some suggestions that may help alleviate sleep disturbances associated with hot flashes: • keep your room cooler • use light-weight and comfortable bed linens, like cotton • eliminate caffeine, sugar, and alcohol from your diet • increase vitamin E in your diet • have a light snack at bed time • consider hormone replacement therapy • a void hot showers or baths within one to two hours of bed • go to bed and get up at the same time everyday While we all face certain challenges that can negatively impact sleep throughout the course of our lives, by taking these steps, there will hopefully be more restful nights in our future!

Welcome Home With Home health care has proven to be an effective alternative to hospitalization by transferring skilled services and products into the safe, comfortable environment of home.

Therapies provided: • Total Parenteral Nutrition

• Steroid Therapy

• IV Antibiotics

• Hydration Therapy

• Remicade

• Pain Management

• maintain a balanced diet

• Immune Globulin Therapy

• Chelation Therapy

• keep a regular bed time and awakening time

• Epogen, Neupogen, Leukine Therapies

• Growth Hormone Therapy

• Chemotherapy

• Synagis

• avoid spicy food for two hours prior to bed

• avoid extra stresses • t ry muscle relaxation techniques, as medications to help sleep should be avoided • 315.424.7027


Superstorm Sandy Response Superstorm Sandy was a tremendous concern to the team at Franciscan because thousands of our patients rely on electricity to power their equipment. Most oxygen patients use an electric concentrator to receive the correct oxygen flow. If power was lost, these patients would not have been able to receive their needed

oxygen. Similarly, the equipment used by our ventilator and sleep apnea patients runs on electricity. With impending power outages due to Hurricane Sandy, employees of Franciscan Health Support, Lourdes Health Support in Binghamton and St. Elizabeth Health Support Services in Utica worked around-the-clock to

bring tanks to oxygen patients that can be regulated with a valve. We also checked on all ventilator and apnea patients to ensure they had backup battery systems in case of outages. Luckily, Sandy had minimal effect on our region. Franciscan is proud of its response and will mirror it during future weather events.

Senior Fair Franciscan Companies participated in the annual Senator DeFrancisco’s Senior Fair at the NYS Fairgrounds in September. Pictured here is Ryan Thompson, account executive for Franciscan Health Support. In addition, representatives from our licensed home healthcare company, Lifeline Medical Alert, Embracing Age, wellness programs and Take Shape for Life weight loss companies provided seniors with important information.

Avoid Crisis: Available Services You Need to Know About


Franciscan’s purpose and goal is to enable people to live home and live well. Before a crisis occurs with a loved one, here is information you need to keep them living at home, safely, for as long as possible. Franciscan Health Support specializes in sleep disorder treatments, oxygen and respiratory therapy and home medical equipment. Services are provided 24/7, 365 days/year. 315.458.3200 Embracing Age keeps seniors living independently at home. Members utilize an Elder Life Specialist who assists with various services including companions, transportation, home health aides, Lifeline Medical Alert, housekeeping, meal preparation and an escort for errands. 1.855.MY.HELP.2 Franciscan’s licensed home care agency offers high quality nursing services, home health aides, personal care services, physical therapy and other related needs for patients in their private residence, senior apartment building, assisted living facility, or any other place they call home. 315.458.3200 The St. Francis Day Program for Seniors provides a fun, safe environment with activities, nutritious meals and assistance with personal care. Call for a free guest day. 315.424.1003 website: Lifeline Medical Alert keeps seniors connected to help with the touch of a button in case of a fall or other medical emergency. In addition, the medication dispenser ensures pre-loaded medication is taken at the correct times. 315.492.8175


Jumping for Joy

Embracing Age Expands Embracing Age has expanded to offer transportation, companion, light housekeeping and shopping services. In response to the needs of the community, Embracing Age now has a state-of-theart van to transport people door-todoor. For a small fee, we will take you to doctor’s appointments, the grocery store, and anywhere else you need to go.

For the fourth year, Franciscan Companies raised money for breast cancer research in October. During the “Jumping for Joy” event, in honor of our colleague and survivor, Joy Burns, employees wore jeans to work in exchange for their donations. They raised $700, which will be matched by the company.

“It’s a comfort knowing Embracing Age is there if I need them.”

The Embracing Age team also noticed a need for caregivers to provide in-home support services tailored to seniors. Thus, our caring and qualified caregivers now provide companionship, socialization and help with household tasks including light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry and grocery shopping. Linda Worden All our services are designed to provide personal support for better living at home. Call Embracing Age’s DeWitt office today at 1-855-MY-HELP-2 (toll-free).

Rewarding our Readers Be sure to read each issue carefully, as the names of three readers are now included in the text of each issue. If you find your name, call 315.458.3600 ext. 123 and you’ll win a $25 gift card!


special programs Franciscan Companies 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3600

Auburn Health Support Services 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.294.5464

CNY Infusion Services 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 102 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.424.7027

Embracing Age 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 1.855.MY.HELP.2 1.855.(694.4572)

FHS Services, Inc. 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3600

Franciscan Health Support, Inc. 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3200

Franciscan Health Support Services, LLC 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3200

Lourdes Health Support, LLC

St. Francis Social Adult Day Care

1155 Upper Front Street Binghamton, NY 13905 607.724.0115

Franciscan Management Services, Inc. 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3600

1108 Court Street Syracuse, NY 13208 315.424.1003

St. Joseph’s Sleep Lab

Oneida Health Support

945 Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13210 315.475.3379 and 4400 Medical Center Drive Fayetteville, NY 13066 315.329.7378

333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3200

Kinney Drugs at Franciscan

St. Elizabeth Health Support Services, Inc.

101 Union Avenue Syracuse, NY 13203 315.474.8851

3899 Oneida Street New Hartford, NY 13413 315.734.4407

Loretto Health Support Lifeline 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.492.8175

The Sleep Laboratory at Oneida Healthcare 601 Seneca Street Oneida, NY 13421 315.363.4419

Beyond the Walls is published by Franciscan Companies Comments, suggestions or inquiries should be directed to Kelly Quinn, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, at 315.458.3600 ext.123 or Franciscan Companies  333 Butternut Drive, Suite 100, DeWitt, NY 13214

American Heart Month National Cancer Prevention Month National Senior Independence Month 3-9 National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week 11-17 Random Acts of Kindness Week

FEBRUARY National Blood Donor Month National Glaucoma Awareness Month 13-19 Healthy Weight Week 24 Lung Health Day

JANUARY Safe Toys and Gifts Month

December DeWitt, New York 13214

Calendar of Events

333 Butternut Drive, Suite 100 Syracuse, NY Permit No. 276


PRSRT STD U.S. postage

Beyond the Walls  

Fall 2012 / Winter 2013

Beyond the Walls  

Fall 2012 / Winter 2013