February 2016 Newsletter

alt textFebruary is American Heart Month, National Wise Health Consumer Month as well as the month we tell our sweethearts how much we love them. But what if you had no “special someone” to share a little kindness with you? Read on to learn about our Friendly Visitor program, how accessing medical records is getting easier and the value of loving your pet.

How We Help

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Did you know February 20th was Love Your Pet Day? Of course, most pet owners love their pets every day! For some people who don’t have family or friends to socialize with on a regular basis, their pet is a best friend and loving member of their family, playing a very special role in their life and well being. Robert “Bob” F. is pictured with his pet dog Pearl. Bob lives in his own home with Pearl and the assistance of dedicated caregivers. Pearl loves to sleep in Bob’s bed and he enjoys feeding Pearl table scraps, even though he knows Pearl has her own food.

P.S. Did you know that cats with microchip identification are 20 times more likely to be found than cats without chips, and dogs with chips are 2½ times more likely to be found? Love your pet by getting a microchip for him or her.

How You Help

Why not improve your heart health with a little volunteering as a MonarchCare Friendly Visitor? The MonarchCare Friendly Visitor program uses volunteers to provide social contact with those who are alone or isolated. Activities include reading, talking, walking, sharing a hobby, watching TV/movies/sports, listening to music. Last month our volunteer coordinator, Maritza, trained six new volunteers and we hope to have a second training in March.
Call or email Maritza for more information.

BIG Thank You to Premier Residence of Hollywood for hosting our annual board of director’s retreat this January. After a well-facilitated strategy session (thanks to Impact Broward’s Executive Service Council Volunteers) we had a relaxing networking wine and cheese mixer with our current and potential new board members.

Did You Know?

February is National Wise Health Consumer Month

Many individuals may have experienced or know someone that has experienced issues with obtaining their medical records from a physician and/or hospital. Recently there have been some changes involving HIPPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, that will make it easier for all of us to get their records.

New guidelines include the following:
  • You do not need to state a reason for requesting your medical record.
  • Access cannot be denied out of concern that the patient may be upset by the information.
  • You cannot be required to pick up records in person, you may request records be sent via email or mail.
  • You cannot be denied records if you have failed to pay medical bills, however, a fee may be charged for copies of the records but not for the cost of searching and retrieving the data.

Federal officials have stated that obtaining medical records have long been a top complaint from consumers. We as guardians, face these challenges on behalf of our wards as well. These changes put in place will hopefully eliminate some of the issues consumers have in an already complicated medical system.

Look out for the flu!  This month MonarchCare has been hit hard with seasonal illness, despite most staff getting the flu shot!  But did you know some herbal products make Tamiflu, the medication often prescribed to prevent or treat flu, less effective? 
According to a study published by Dr. John Arnasen, herbal products containing echinacea, chai, goldenseal or the labrador tea plant inhibit Tamiflu's effectiveness.  Some suggested ways to recover more quickly from the flu include: take Vitamin D, use unprocessed honey and eat plenty of Phytonutrients (fruits and veggies), get more sleep and avoid drinking alcohol.

Upcoming Events

Get ready for our 3rd Annual Connectors’ Coronation Networking event, tentatively scheduled for 5/12/16 in North Broward County. And make sure you mark your calendar for the Palm Beach Kick Off Party on 3/31/16 (click here to register.) Lastly, email us to join our Task Force so you can attend the exclusive Networking Meetings every month!

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Your support enables us to continue our work that has rescued susceptible individuals from financial exploitation, restored institutionalized persons to independent lifestyles and reconnected isolated persons with long-lost family and friends. Thank You!

Knyvett Lee, NCG
MonarchCare Founder, CEO

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