Tag Archives: facility

RECOVERING FROM A STROKE

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Twenty-five years ago, Bill and his wife and their six children had gone to have dinner with Grandpa at his home. Seated around the kitchen table, they all enjoyed the Kentucky Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, biscuits, and gravy. The room was filled with chatter and laughter. Then suddenly, something radically changed. Grandpa seemed confused. He was having trouble understanding what others were saying. It was as if he could not hear.

No one in the room recognized this as a stroke. No one knew that sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden difficulty walking, or loss of balance and coordination were all signs of a stroke. No one knew the importance of getting the stroke victim to a hospital immediately. They only knew that one minute Grandpa was fine, and at the next minute things had radically changed.

It was obvious that Grandpa could not stay in the house by himself. If he could not hear, he would not be able to talk on the telephone. He could not use the phone to call for help in an emergency. He would not be able to hear the doorbell ringing. He would not be able to speak with someone who came to the door.

The dilemma that families in this situation face is immense. Immediate family members may work or have young children at home. Some immediate family members may live hundreds or thousands of miles away. Placing the stroke victim in a nursing home is a very expensive option. The stroke victim’s family and the stroke victim himself often would prefer that the individual be able to continue to stay in his own home.

What services are available to help a stroke victim recover? Rehabilitative therapy usually begins in the hospital, often within 24 to 48 hours. When a patient is ready to be discharged, a hospital social worker will help develop a plan for continuing rehabilitation and care.

Some patients go to a skilled nursing facility when they are discharged. Others go to a setting specializing in rehabilitative therapy. Others return home directly.

Piecing together care in the home can be difficult. Family members and retired nurses and individual Certified Nursing Assistants may be able to cover the shifts, but it is a challenge to find them on your own. In addition, what happens if someone is sick or on vacation? Who takes care of paying the employees? Using an agency such as American Home Health definitely has its advantages.

Agencies such as American Home Health can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), or Registered Nurses (RNs). American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee.

For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE

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If you’ve lived in the same house twenty or thirty or forty years, you probably have a bunch of junk in your basement.  Once upon a time, each item had a purpose.  Now some of it is household hazardous waste.

What exactly is considered household hazardous waste?   Half-empty gallon cans of oil based paint.  Part of a quart of oil based stain.  A half-empty bottle of pesticide you used for a crabapple tree.  Burned out fluorescent bulbs.  An old thermometer.  An almost empty aerosol can of Endust.

Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing.  Remember the times your son changed the oil in his car?  What did you do with the used oil?  You couldn’t pour it down the drain.  You weren’t allowed to pour it down the storm sewer.  You weren’t supposed to put it into the garbage.  So you had him put the dirty oil back into the empty bottles.  You now have a case of used motor oil.  What should you do with that?

A person is tempted to call one of those “Just Point” disposal companies.  You know the kind.  The customer points at an object he no longer wants, and (for a fee) the object disappears.  It is so tempting to make a big pile of unwanted hazardous waste and “Just Point” at it.

Here’s a better and cheaper alternative.  Take the stuff to one of four Illinois-EPA long-term household hazardous waste collection sites in Naperville, Chicago, Rockford, or Lake County.  The Illinois EPA also coordinates one-day household hazardous waste collections each year in the spring and fall.  For information, call (217) 524-3300.

Below is a list of items accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Naperville:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Automotive fluids (including oil, gasoline, and anti-freeze)
  • Asbestos materials (in a size that will fit in a 55-gallon drum and not in excess of 50 pounds)
  • Batteries (including automotive, marine, and sump pump)
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fluorescent bulbs, CFLs (sealed, unbroken only)
  • Household cleaners, drain openers, and pool chemicals
  • Mercury
  • Paints and stains (oil based only)
  • Peanut oil
  • Poison, pesticides, and fertilizers
  • Non-controlled prescription and over-the-counter medications)
  • Propane tanks (20 pounds)
  • Solvents and strippers
  • Thermostats
  • Unknown hazardous substances

ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED

  • Ammunition
  • Compressed gas (other than propane)
  • Empty spray cans and containers
  • Explosives
  • Helium tanks
  • Latex paint (see below)
  • Paper, glass, metal, wood, and Styrofoam
  • Radioactive materials
  • Sharps (needles or lancets)
  • Smoke detectors
  • Tires, trash, and non-hazardous materials
  • Unopened, useable consumer products

LATEX PAINT AND STAIN DISPOSAL AND RECYCLING

Latex paint is not a hazardous material. To discard leftover latex paint in the trash, it must first be hardened.  Leave the lid off, or, to expedite the process, add an absorbent such as cat litter, oil dry, or sawdust.  Once the liquid paint is absorbed, place the can in the garbage with the lid off, so the driver can tell the paint is dry.

The Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Naperville is open to all residents of Illinois.  For additional information about hours of operation and drop-off procedures, go to “Household Hazardous Waste Facility” on the Naperville Web site.

—By Karen Centowski