WISCONSIN’S VOLUNTEER OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM FOR LONG TERM CARE

Guests:  Julia Pierstorff, Volunteer Coordinator for the Ombudsman Program;  Dale Sankey, Volunteer Ombudsman
 
Volunteers are often called unsung heroes. This is certainly true of the volunteers who are part of the Volunteer Ombudsman Program within Wisconsin’s Board of Aging and Long Term Care. This ongoing program which currently serves residents in nursing homes in 30 Wisconsin counties, trains volunteers to personally visit nursing homes, socialize with the residents, and advocate for their wants and needs. The trained eyes and ears of these volunteers can make a significant difference in the lives of the residents and improve their nursing home experience.
 On tomorrow’s program, Julia Pierstorff and Dale Sankey describe the training volunteers receive, what is required of them, the challenges they may encounter, and how this program benefits the day-to-day lives of nursing home residents.
 Volunteers are always needed.  To learn more about becoming a representative of the Wisconsin Board on Aging & Long Term Care in the role of a Volunteer Ombudsman, call 800-815-0015.

THE REALITIES OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Guests:  Nancy Abraham, founder of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness); Dylan Abraham, living with schizophrenia; Lindsay Wallace, Executive Director, NAMI Dane County

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) got its start in Madison, Wisconsin 40 years ago when a small group of families advocating for support for their children diagnosed with mental illness gave birth to what is now a national organization with chapters all over the country. Nancy Abraham was one of NAMI’S original founders after her son, Dylan, was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

On tomorrow’s program, Nancy and Dylan Abraham and Lindsay Wallace share their personal stories dealing with the issues of mental illness.

As Nancy looks back to those early days when Dylan was diagnosed after graduating from high school, Dylan describes the dynamics of living with schizophrenia over the decades and how through proper treatment and support his life became stabilized and productive. Recently retired, today Dylan is a remarkable spokesperson on helping people better understand the realities and complexities of mental illness.

Lindsay Wallace’s personal journey with mental illness provides additional insight into her leadership role at NAMI Dane County. She describes confronting mental illness today and NAMI’s current efforts to decriminalize it and divert individuals away from jail into community-based treatment.

This is the topic of NAMI’s 2018 Awards Banquet and Gala, Thursday, April 5, 5:30-8:00 pm at Monona Terrace: STEPPING UP: DECRIMINALIZING MENTAL ILLNESS IN DANE COUNTY, with keynote speaker, Judge Everett Mitchell. Anyone wishing to attend may purchase tickets at namidanecounty.org/banquet, or call 608-249-7188.

THE WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY IS HOME TO WISCONSIN’S RICH HERITAGE

Guest:  Ellsworth Brown, PhD, Director, Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society is our state’s memory and foremost storyteller. It is considered one of the nation’s finest historical institutions and is both a state agency and a membership organization.

For the past 14 years, the WHS has been under the leadership of Dr. Ellsworth Brown and a strong leadership team that includes, professionals, volunteers, donors and staff. Dr. Brown will be retiring as Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society at the end March 2018.

On this program, Dr. Brown shares highlights from his 14 years of spreading and expanding Wisconsin’s story and reminds us of how the Wisconsin Historical Society reaches the four corners of Wisconsin and beyond in numerous impactful ways.

For example: For those who have enjoyed Old World Wisconsin or the Circus World Museum, these are Wisconsin Historical Society attractions. Perhaps a genealogical search or researching the oral histories of Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust or Wisconsin Women’ History interests you. These are all possible at the WHS along with finding an abundance of other collections such as a wide range of menus from the mid-1800’s to the present day. And there is so much more.

Why is the preservation of our history critical to the present and future? Find out on this program. Learn more about all the programs and services the Wisconsin Historical Society offers on their website, www.wisconsinhistory.org.

WOMEN’S HEALTH ADVOCACY SUMMIT IN MADISON

Guest:  Sara Finger, Executive Director, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health

ALL WOMEN RISE is the theme of this year’s 9th Annual Wisconsin Women’s Health Advocacy Summit which will be held Monday, March 12, at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison. Women’s health advocates, providers, survivors, policy makers and supporters from all over Wisconsin will gather together to make sure policy which affects women happens WITH women and not TO women. “Be in the kitchen and not on the menu,” says Sara Finger.

On this program, Sara Finger will talk about the major issues of concern to women today and how the agenda of the Summit will address them. The Summit is open to the public – women and men. “It’s for all those who want to be informed, involved and inspired,” states Sara Finger.

For registration information and Summit details, go to supportwomenshealth.org.

CAREGIVING NEEDS AND TRANSITIONS

Guests: Wendy Sulzer, Branch Manager, BrightStar Care and Bonnie Banker, Executive Director, BrightStar Senior Living

Family members do it first – take care of each other.  And then the time comes when family members become family caregivers for those who are no longer able to totally care for themselves.  The value of family caregivers is in the billions and is priceless.  What would our health care system do without them?

There often comes a time, though, when no matter how devoted the family caregiver is, additional help is needed.  Professional caregivers are then introduced to the care team, and the dynamics change.  The caregiving continues at this new level until it reaches a point when moving to a community care setting finds its way into the conversation.

Difficult decisions for families;  stressful times;  questions swirl: how will you know what to do and when to do it?  How will your role change?

On this program, Wendy Sulzer and Bonnie Banker take us through the caregiving journey from family caregiving to working with professional home caregivers to possibly moving to a community care facility.  They will share tips on how to make the transitions successful.

For more information, go to brightstarcare.com/madison or brightstarseniorliving.com/madison.