Date(s) & Time(s)::
May 17, 2012
Location: AIHS offices, 2927 Lake Avenue, Fort Wayne
Phone: Maureen Widner, 260-745-1200, extension 285
Aging and In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana (AIHS), the Area III Agency on Aging, today announced the first session in the AIHS Community Education Series – “Be Your Own Health Care Advocate: A How-To for Seniors & their Caregivers” to be held Thursday, May 17, 9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. at AIHS offices, 2927 Lake Avenue, Fort Wayne.
The workshop session is designed to assist attendees in learning ways to improve their understanding of their current health situation and prepare to improve overall health and wellness by gaining knowledge and skills. Workshop instructors are Chris Forcucci, RN, Senior Vice President, Integrated Services & Research, AIHS, and Maureen Widner, Vice President, Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and Community Planning, AIHS. For more information, or to register for this no-cost session, contact Maureen Widner, 260-745-1200, extension 285.
Forcucci, who joined AIHS from The University of Iowa where she spent the last eight years in nursing research, urges potential attendees to ask themselves the following questions: Have you received information from your health care provider that you simply did not understand? Have you ever returned home from a medical appointment and realized you can’t remember an important bit of information you received from your provider? Have you become frustrated because you were unable to communicate a burning question to your health care provider during your visit? “If you answered “yes” to any of the questions,” Forcucci says “you are not alone!”
According to The Journal of Family Practice, April 2012, “up to 80% of medical information received is forgotten by patients immediately, and nearly half of the content that’s retained is incorrect.” Other studies have shown that a lack of understanding of basic healthcare information reduces the success of treatment and increases the risk of medical error resulting in a higher risk of hospitalization and longer hospital stays.
Widner invites seniors and their caregivers to attend and learn a number of simple, helpful strategies that will assist them in becoming their own “Health Care Advocate” and improve their health literacy skills. Health Literacy is one’s ability to understand health information and then use that information to engage in the health care process. Improved health literacy corresponds to correct medication use, increased health screening, and more effective application of preventive measures.
Widner developed AIHS’ Aging & Disability Resource Center for the nine county area served by AIHS. She has over 20 years of experience working with seniors and individuals with disabilities and providing information about community resources and referrals, and is part of the Allen County Case Coordination System which is a local initiative to streamline access to services offered by social service agencies.
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