Tag Archives: state

A FORMIDABLE FOE: LEWY BODY DEMENTIA

Born at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago on July 21, 1951, Robin Williams was the son of Robert Fitzgerald Williams, a senior executive in Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln-Mercury Division. His mother, Laurie McLaurin, was a former model from Jackson, Mississippi. During a television interview on Inside the Actors Studio in 2001, Williams credited his mother as an important early influence on his humor. He said he tried to make her laugh to gain attention.

Williams attended public elementary school at Gorton Elementary School in Lake Forest and middle school at Deer Path Junior High School. When he was twelve, his father was transferred to Detroit. When he was sixteen, his father took early retirement and the family moved to California.

He began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1970’s. He also starred in numerous films including Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) and the box office hit Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).

On August 11, 2014, the world learned that Williams had committed suicide by hanging himself in his California home. He was sixty-three years old. The autopsy report showed no alcohol or illegal drugs were involved. Prescription drugs in his system were at “therapeutic” levels. The final autopsy report noted that Williams had been suffering “a recent increase in paranoia.” An examination of his brain tissue suggested Williams suffered from “diffuse Lewy body dementia.”

According to a Mayo Clinic article “Lewy body dementia” at https://www.mayoclinic.org., “Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement (motor control).

“Lewy body dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. People with Lewy body dementia may experience visual hallucinations, and change in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement and tremors.”

If you have a family member who suffers from Lewy body dementia and needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), 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. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

LOOKING BACK IN TIME

Two hundred years ago, on December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the Union. When we think of Illinois today, we think of Chicago with 2,707,120 people, skyscrapers, trains, four lane highways, and world-class hospitals. We think of Chicago as the economic engine of the state. Things were quite different two hundred years ago.

The area originally known as the Illinois Territory was blessed with navigable rivers, fertile prairie land, dense timber, and a climate suited for agriculture. Hidden beneath the surface were seams of coal and layers of limestone. The area also had a rich history of Indian occupation, as evidenced by the following:

  • Thousands of years before Illinois became a state, Paleo-Indians, a nomadic people, and their descendants, archaic Indians, lived in Illinois. According to “Illinois History” at http://www.illinoiscourts.gov, the culture of these Indians dated before 5000 B.C. Their descendants were the Woodland Indians.
  • By 900 A.D., Middle Mississippi Indians had built huge earthen mounds in Illinois, such as Cahokia Mounds near St. Louis. They also had developed complex urban areas. The largest city, Cahokia, was estimated to have had a population of between 10,000 to 40,000 at its peak.
  • The descendants of the Middle Mississippi Indians were the Illiniwek tribes. You probably recognize some of the names of the twelve Illiniwek tribes such as the Winnebago, the Fox, the Kikapoo, the Macoutins, the Miamis, and the Illinois.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 charted this region and organized counties. Early villages in Illinois were primarily in the southern part of the state along the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Wabash, Big Muddy, and Ohio rivers. A map courtesy of the Illinois State Museum shows numerous early villages including Alton, Vandalia, Salem, Lawrenceville, Vienna, and Edwardsville.

In 1818, prior to achieving statehood, Illinois adopted its first constitution and selected Kaskaskia as its first state capitol. However, according to “Illinois History,” an Illinois Courts article at http://www.illinoiscourts.gov, the granting of statehood was controversial. First, the population was less than the 60,000 which was required. Second, in order to include the Chicago port area in the new state, Congress had to draw the Illinois border fifty-one miles to the north of the original Northwest Territory boundary.

Two years later, the state capitol was moved eighty miles east to Vandalia. During the next twenty years, three different buildings in Vandalia served as the state capitol. The last one, which still stands today, was built in 1836.

The population of Illinois was growing northward, and it seemed prudent to locate the capitol in the middle of the state. Abraham Lincoln, a legislator from Sangamon County, helped convince colleagues to move the capitol from Vandalia to Springfield. The new building was begun in 1837.

—By Karen Centowski

GOVERNOR’S MANSION RESTORED

Did you know that the Illinois Governor’s Mansion in Springfield is the third-oldest governor’s mansion still in use in the United States? Designed by Chicago architect John M. Van Osdel, the sixteen room Italianate mansion was completed in 1855.

After decades of neglect and lack of upkeep, the Illinois Governor’s Mansion at 410 E. Jackson Street in Springfield had suffered significant interior and exterior deterioration. Roof repairs were a priority to prevent further water damage to the interior.

In May of 2015, the non-profit Illinois Executive Mansion Association launched a campaign to raise $15 million from private donors to restore the 162-year-old mansion. Two years later, the association had reached its goal. The yearlong renovation began.

During the renovation, Governor Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana, lived in the Director’s House on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. When asked about living on the fairgrounds, “I have to say, I’ll be happy not to be listening to the speedway anymore,” Diana joked. “I’ll be listening to the trains instead.”

When the renovation is complete, the mansion will be ADA-accessible and have a fully functioning kitchen in the private residence. It will also have a revamped visitor’s experience to showcase the history of Illinois. According to The State Journal-Register posting May 21, 2018, “The mansion will include exhibits highlighting 1893’s World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois life during the Civil War, the children who have lived in the mansion, and an “Art of Illinois” project showcasing 80 pieces of fine and decorative art throughout the building.”

According to The State Journal-Register, the goal is to complete restoration in time for the August 2018 bicentennial of Illinois statehood. “This is one of the most historic, beautiful governor’s mansions anywhere in the United States, and we’re very proud to have it restored to its historic beauty,” Governor Rauner said.

What’s ahead for the mansion? Diana Rauner, who had co-chaired the non-profit Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association, said, “Ensuring that the building is well-taken care of is really important. One of the things that we’re so proud of is that this building will now be part of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Department of Natural Resources. It will be well-curated and well-cared for.”

—By Karen Centowski


To see photos taken during the restoration, go to Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/illinoismansion/

THE ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE  

Books

When Illinois became a state in 1818, Northern Illinois was still a wilderness.  Only a handful of settlers lived around the area which is now Chicago.  Kaskaskia, which had 7,000 residents, became the state capitol.

In 1818 the new state legislature passed a law stating that “the section numbered 16 of every township, and when such section has been sold, shall be granted to the State for use of the inhabitants of such townships for the use of schools.” As a result, one-room schoolhouses began to appear.  Since the state legislature had not appropriated money to pay to operate schools, many of these first schools were charter schools.  Some schools were subscription based, with neighboring families paying for an itinerant schoolmaster.

A huge change occurred in 1855.  The state legislature passed the free school law which gave townships the ability to establish school districts with elected board, which in turn had the power to levy taxes.  The number of one room schools increased substantially.  The schoolhouses were placed within each county so that no family would be more than two miles from a school.  Children aged five to eighteen walked to school, rode horses, or came to school by horse and buggy.

In 1857 Illinois State Normal University was founded to prepare individuals to teach.  According to the article “Earliest Educators” in the February, 2014 issue of Illinois State, “For the first four decades, the only curriculum offered was a fundamental teacher preparation sequence that required three years to complete.  After 1900, a two-year degree was added, which was sufficient for those planning to teach in rural schools.”  At that time the number of one-room schools in Illinois had grown to 10,000.

Teaching in a one-room schoolhouse was a challenge.  The schoolhouses were placed within each county so that no family would be more than two miles from a school.  The teacher had to arrive at the schoolhouse at 7:00 A.M.  The first task was to start the fire in the stove by using corn cobs and scraps of paper.  Then the teacher added chunks of coal.  The floor had to be swept in the morning and often a second time in the afternoon.  Blackboards had to be washed.  Windows had to be washed.  Pails of water needed to be brought from the well for the students and teacher to use to wash their hands.  In the winter, the sidewalks had to be shoveled.

Classes began at 9:00 A.M. and ended at 4:00 P.M.  The teacher taught grades one through eight.  In addition, the teacher supervised and often participated in recess.  In the evening, the teacher had to grade papers and prepare the lesson plans and worksheets for the next day.

Interestingly enough, discipline was not a problem.  “Good discipline was assumed to be the chief order of the day by children and parents, as well as by the teacher,” recalled former teacher Roy Schilling in an interview for “Earliest Educators.”

1872 RULES FOR TEACHERS

  1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
  2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
  3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
  4. Men teachers may take one evening a week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
  5. After ten hours in school, teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
  6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
  7. Every teacher should lay aside from each day’s pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
  8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
  9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

1915 RULES FOR TEACHERS

  1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.
  2. You are not to keep company with men.
  3. You must be home between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless attending a school function.
  4. You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.
  5. You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.
  6. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
  7. You may not smoke cigarettes.
  8. You may not dress in bright colors.
  9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
  10. You must wear at least two petticoats.
  11. Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.
  12. To keep the school room neat and clean, you must sweep the floor at least once daily, scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water, clean the blackboards at least once a day and start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.

—By Karen Centowski


Taken from One-Room Schools of Knox County, by the Knox County Retired Teachers Association.

MY DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK

Nursing Talk

Dear Cassandra,

Why is American Home Health so hung up on little things like clinical notes? Almost every week someone from the office contacts me about my clinical notes. I go to work and take care of my client. Sometimes I don’t have time to write the nursing notes. Sometimes the supervisor says she can’t read them. Once I spilled coffee on the clinical notes. Once the client’s dog ate them. What am I supposed to do?

Perplexed in Palos Hills

Dear Perplexed:

What are you supposed to do? What kind of question is that? You know that you are supposed to write clear, legible nursing notes every two hours. You know the times and dates on the nursing notes have to match the times and dates you Clock In/Clock Out. You know that the nurse working the last shift of the week is to mail the nursing notes to the office. You know one week’s worth of notes is to remain in the home for reference.

Frankly, I’m surprised you haven’t been fired by now. Your excuses sound like the excuses of a high school student. The dog ate the nursing notes. Please! Every teacher has heard that excuse. So you spilled coffee on the notes. Well, rewrite them. So you have poor handwriting. Well, print.

Maybe you think good handwriting is not important. A man recently tried to rob a bank. His handwriting was so poor that the teller could not read the note. She asked him to write the note over again. Instead, he fled. The teller, of course, had activated the silent alarm. The robber was arrested by police waiting outside the bank.

Why is it critical to send the notes to the office in a timely manner? In some cases, American Home Health cannot bill for services without a copy of the clinical notes to accompany the invoice. In addition, in the event of an audit by the Department of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) or the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the auditors review the clinical notes to determine the quality of care. The auditors also compare the times recorded on the notes to time billed. Discrepancies can mean paybacks to the funding body. If nursing care is not documented, it is as if it did not happen. That brings questions of possible fraud. Do you want to be accused of fraud? If, God forbid, a child should die under unusual circumstances, the nursing notes would be reviewed by the authorities.

Always proofread your clinical notes. If you work for multiple clients, check to be sure you wrote the correct client’s name on the clinical notes. Did you sign and date the notes? Did you sign the notes using the name which appears on your license even if you have a different legal name?

Do your clinical notes contain medical bloopers? Below are actual statements found in clinical notes of other medical providers:

“Patient was unresponsive and in no distress.”

“Patient is non-verbal, non-communicative, and offers no complaints.”

“Patient was apprehended and guarded.”

Do your notes contain a malapropism? That is an unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase especially the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended. Did you write, “We had to use the fire distinguisher.” Did you say, “The client had an expensive pendulum around his neck, and it got caught in the Hoyer lift.”

What else can you do to correct the situation? Get a Palmer method handwriting manual and start practicing to improve your handwriting. Talk with your supervisor about time management skills. Keep liquids away from the clinical notes. Keep the notes in a safe place so dogs and children can’t get them. If you are responsible for sending in the notes, be sure you send the whole weeks worth of notes and that no pages are missing. Don’t wait until the end of your shift to document the events of the entire shift. Above all, change your attitude about the importance of clinical notes. Your job depends on it.

—Cassandra

Note: First published on American Home Health's news, January 2012.

ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN ISSUANCE OF DRIVER’S LICENSES

Illinois Drivers License

On May 17, 2016, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced a significant change in the issuance of new driver’s licenses and renewals of existing licenses and State ID cards. The changes are being made to better identify and prevent fraud and identity theft and to meet the requirements of REAL ID mandated by the Department of Homeland Security.

If a driver goes to a Driver’s License Examining Facility to obtain a new driver’s license/State ID or to renew an existing license, he will no longer receive his permanent driver’s license/State ID at the end of the application process. Instead, he will be given a temporary secure paper driver’s license/State ID. This paper document is valid for 45 days. The old driver’s license/State ID card will be given back to the applicant with a hole punched in the driver’s license/State ID.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated that it will accept the paper document along with the old driver’s license/State ID to board an airplane until the individual receives his new driver’s license card/State ID.

The information for the new driver’s licenses/State IDs will be sent to a central location in Illinois. Fraud checks will be conducted to ensure the applicant’s identity. Then a higher quality, more secure driver’s license/State ID will be printed and mailed to the applicant’s address within 15 business days.

The transition to central issuance will take place in phases. Beginning May 17, 2016, Safe Driver Renewal applicants will receive by mail their new driver’s licenses with the upgraded security features. Beginning in late June 2016, Driver’s License Examining Stations throughout the state will implement a gradual rollout of the new central issuance with the new card design. All driver service facilities will have transitioned to central issuance by the end of July 2016.

For more information, go to www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

-By Karen Centowski

LATE VEHICLE REGISTRATION FINES PRODUCE A NEW CASH COW IN ILLINOIS

Cash Cow

Since the Illinois Secretary of State stopped sending vehicle license plate sticker renewal reminders in October of 2015, many motorists missed the deadline for renewing their vehicle license plate stickers. CapitolFax.com has reported that Illinois motorists paid $1.7 million in late vehicle registration fines for the month of March, 2016. The total Illinois late vehicle registration fines paid in 2016 are up to $6.5 million.

By comparison, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office collected $2.2 million in late vehicle renewal fees during the first three months of 2015. Over 247,000 motorists in Illinois received fines for late vehicle registration renewal in the first three months of 2016, compared with 111,000 motorists in January, February, and March of 2015.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office had stopped sending reminder notices to save $450,000 a month during the budget stalemate in Springfield. However, the result has proved very unpopular with Illinois motorists who see this as a cash cow, something which makes a lot of money for the State of Illinois at the expense of the residents. Illinois legislators have responded to the cries of their constituents by introducing a bill to provide relief.

On April 12, 2016, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 4334, which prohibits the Secretary of State from charging fees to vehicle owners who renew their vehicle registration late due to the Secretary of State’s suspension of mailed renewal notices. In addition, the bill provides that a vehicle owner who receives a ticket for expired vehicle license plates within one month of the expiration date does not have to pay the fine if the plates expired during the period in which the Secretary of State had suspended mailed vehicle registration reminder notices.
House Bill 4334 is now before the Illinois Senate. The bill would take effect upon becoming law. However, it is not retroactive to October of 2015 when the Illinois Secretary of State stopped sending vehicle registration reminder notices.

Meanwhile, set up some system to remind yourself of the time to renew your vehicle sticker. Select a date a month or two in advance of the renewal deadline. Then write this on your calendar, enter it into your Smartphone, put a sticky note on your refrigerator, or tie a string around your finger. Do something to avoid this trap!

—By Karen Centowski