Eden Medical Center

Senior Well-Being: How to Maintain Mental and Physical Health While Sheltering in Place

Posted on Jun 1, 2020 in Affiliates, Eden Medical Center, Scroll Images, Wellness

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. – As shelter in place restrictions are gradually eased this summer, people are still being advised by public health officials to stay home as much as possible and to maintain physical distancing. While some restrictions are loosening, the virus is still circulating in the community and it remains dangerous—especially for older people. Sheltering in place can help keep you safe, but for some it can have a downside too, leading to feelings of isolation, loneliness or even depression.

During the pandemic many older adults have found new ways to stay connected through technology, others may not have access to the internet at home or may not feel comfortable with video calls or social media platforms that could help keep them connected to friends and family.

What can be done? Recognizing feelings of isolation, loneliness or depression is the first step in alleviating them. Taking some simple actions can help make sheltering in place more tolerable.

James Chessing, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist at Sutter’s Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, says, “Sheltering in place is certainly a major challenge, but still only a challenge, one of many that a senior has dealt with in his or her life. Framing it that way calls to mind the coping skills that were used to surmount past challenges, as well as the memory of having succeeded in dealing with other tough situations. While the current situation may certainly be different, the skills or coping devices used in the past may be applicable now. Remembering that feeling of success may give hope.”

Dr. Chessing’s tips to help older people stay socially connected while maintaining physical distance include:
• set up regular phone call check-in times with loved ones
• become pen-pals with a friend or relative
• take advantage of the pleasant summer weather and set up outdoor seating (spaced the minimum six feet apart) to enjoy face-to-face conversations
• get some training or coaching on how to set up a video visit or talk via FaceTime—try asking a your adult child or a tech-savvy teenage grandchild

Just as human connection impacts mental health, so too does physical health. It’s important to your mental health to maintain your physical well-being. One strategy to keep your physical health strong is to maintain a regular schedule, says Pamela Stoker, an injury prevention specialist with Eden Medical Center’s Trauma department.

“Maintaining a regular daily schedule can provide comfort, familiarity, and health benefits. We recommend creating a daily schedule with regular mealtimes, regular bedtime and wake-up, and regular exercise. Irregular meals and sleep can have a negative impact on your hormone levels and medication responses. An irregular schedule can also cause your blood sugar to fluctuate, which can lead you to make unhealthy food choices—like reaching for cookies when you’re tired. And changes in sleep patterns, like staying up late one night and going to bed early the next, can affect metal sharpness, lower your energy level, and impact your emotional well-being.”

“The good news is that regular exercise helps keep your body strong, protects you from falls, and improves your mood,” says Stoker.

Adding to the feelings of depression and loneliness can be the feeling of lack of control, says Dr. Chessing. Even before the pandemic, some older people may have struggled to maintain independence while accepting the help of family and friends. Well-meaning family and friends may try to be helpful by delivering groceries or handling other errands in order to keep you safe from the virus, but this help may cause feelings of discomfort. You may not want to rely on others too much and you may feel your independence is slowly being stripped away. It is important to discuss these feelings with loved ones; remind them of your strengths, while acknowledging your own limitations. As Dr. Chessing reminds us “having open communication will allow you to explore the facts and weigh the risks in order to make informed decisions about behaviors.”

In uncertain and distressing times such as these, you or someone you love may find that it’s not enough just to stay connected with others and maintain a regular schedule—you may find professional help is needed. In the extreme, feelings of depression, loneliness, and lack of control can lead to destructive behaviors like excessive drinking, violence or self-harm. That’s why Dr. Chessing recommends staying in close contact with your doctor and reaching out for help if you feel overwhelmed.

The hardest part may be asking for help, but help is available without judgement.

Call your doctor or call:
Friendship Line California 24/7, toll free: 888-670-1360. Crisis intervention hotline and a warm line for non-emergency emotional support for Californians over 60. The phone line is staffed with specialists to provide emotional support, grief support, active suicide intervention, information and referrals.
Crisis Support Services of Alameda County, 24/7, toll free, 1-800-260-0094. Additionally, Crisis Support Services of Alameda County has expended service to include friendly visits by phone for home-bound seniors.

First Responders Salute Eden, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation Healthcare Heroes

Posted on May 15, 2020 in Affiliates, Eden Medical Center, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

CASTRO VALLEY, CALIF. –It was a wonderful afternoon for a joyful first responder parade to salute and thank the dedicated Eden Medical Center and Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation nurses, doctors and staff working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two mounted officers from East Bay Regional Parks, riding Domino and Guinness, lead off the parade. They were followed by dozens of first responders representing the Alameda County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol/Castro Valley, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, East Bay Regional Parks and FALCK Northern California ambulance.

In turn, about a hundred Eden and SEBMF nurses, doctors and staff members held handmade signs, waved and shouted their appreciation back to the first responders in a heartfelt show of mutual support.

Sheltering in Place May Not Keep You Safe from Falls: Tips to Protect Yourself at Home

Posted on May 11, 2020 in Affiliates, Eden Medical Center, Safety, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

CASTRO VALLEY, CALIF. –According to the National Council on Aging, more than 75 percent of falls happen inside or near the home where people often feel safer and roam without thought to the safety hazards around them. With the current shelter in place orders keeping people home, focusing on fall prevention is even more necessary.

Kimberly Windsor, R.N., who is the trauma program manager for Sutter’s Eden Medical Center says, “Falls are the majority of traumas seen at Eden and a few minor changes can help you avoid a fall.”

Home Safety
Look around your home, paying attention to walkways, bathrooms, kitchen, and bedrooms.

For general use areas: keep the floor clear of clutter that can be a tripping hazard. Keep a phone within reach should you need to call for help (especially near the bed at night). Secure floor rugs with double sided tape or slip resistant backing.

Bathrooms: remember that towel racks are not grab bars. Grab bars should be properly installed near the tub/shower and toilet. Use nonslip strips or mats in and outside the shower. Avoid the water being too hot, which can cause dizziness or burns. Keep a towel close to avoid losing your balance when reaching.

Kitchen: place frequently used items within reach. Putting things within reach will help you avoid relying on a step stool or chair that you can easily lose your balance on. If you use a step stool, make sure it has a handle for safe usage. Remove any rugs or floor mats that are not secured to the floor with nonskid tape or rubber backing. Clean up spills immediately—kitchen floors can be slippery and dangerous when wet.

Bedroom: make sure there is a nightlight to light the walkway or a light within reach of the bed should you need to get up at night.

Minor changes in your home environment will help you avoid falls. Other adjustments can also help: make sure you eat properly, limit alcohol consumption, take prescribed medications only as directed, and get enough exercise.

Exercise
Remember that exercise is important to keep your body strong and prevent falls. If you feel comfortable walking around outdoor in your neighborhood, make sure to watch for cars and follow all traffic signals while crossing streets. If you prefer to stay home, you can find ways to exercise like marching/walking in place, following along with an exercise show on television, or putting on music and dancing around your newly clutter-free floors!

During these times of shelter in place, safety is on everyone’s mind. With a few simple changes and care you can take the steps to be safe in your home to prevent falls.

Sutter’s Eden Medical Center Welcomes New CEO

Posted on Oct 25, 2019 in Eden Medical Center, People, Scroll Images

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif.Patricia Ryan recently began her new role as chief executive officer of Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

Eden Medical Center CEO Patricia Ryan

Ryan comes to Eden, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit integrated network of care, from O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, California where she was chief operating officer. At O’Connor, she also served as interim CEO for one year, and most recently was the hospital executive. Ryan has extensive leadership experience in acute care hospital operations, physician partnerships, joint venture management and the continuum of care, including skilled nursing, home health, acute rehab and behavioral health.

“I’m so pleased to have a leader as capable and enthusiastic as Pat to lead Eden Medical Center. Her outstanding healthcare leadership experience will ensure we evolve along with our community,” said Julie Petrini, president and CEO of Sutter Bay Hospitals.

Prior to O’Connor Hospital, Ryan held vice president positions for Sutter’s Mills‐Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, California. At Mills-Peninsula, she provided strategic and operational leadership as Vice President of service lines and as Vice President of ambulatory services.

Previously, Ryan held leadership positions for Princeton Healthcare System in New Jersey, Main Line Health System in Pennsylvania, Manor Healthcare Corporation in Maryland and Continental Medical System in Pennsylvania.

Ryan earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Juniata College in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in health administration from the Pennsylvania State University.

Outgoing CEO Stephen Gray will transition to his new role as chief Administrator of Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center and Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Santa Cruz.

Stupski Foundation to Enhance Palliative Care for Alameda County Patients with $3.5 Million Grant to Sutter Health

Posted on Sep 30, 2019 in Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Eden Medical Center, Expanding Access, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Scroll Images

(OAKLAND, Calif) –The Stupski Foundation has awarded not-for-profit Sutter Health a $3.5 million, three-year grant to build a comprehensive Palliative and Advanced Illness Care (PAIC) program for northern Alameda County.

This significant grant will enable Sutter to build on successful palliative care programs already in place at the healthcare network’s Alameda County hospitals, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, while incorporating elements of both the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s (PAMF) innovative ambulatory palliative care and support services program and Sutter’s impactful home-based Advanced Illness Management Program.

The grant will help caregivers at these Sutter organizations integrate palliative and advanced illness care services across care settings, to provide more continuous and comprehensive support for patients and families facing serious illness. This collaborative model extends services to thousands of additional people in the county who suffer from the complex challenges of serious illnesses such as cancer, dementia or advanced heart, lung or kidney disease, by providing more timely, seamless and flexible services to address their physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs. Multidisciplinary palliative care teams at Sutter include specially trained doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists.

“We are honored to partner with the Stupski Foundation to improve patient and family experience by enhancing serious illness care across Alameda County,” says Elizabeth Mahler, M.D., Sutter Health Vice President Clinical Integration, Office of Patient Experience. “This generous grant will help us serve thousands more patients and families with collaborative care that seeks to decrease suffering by putting the personal preferences, needs and values of patients and families front and center.”

“Sutter Health has been recognized as a national leader in serious illness care since the creation of its Advanced Illness Management (AIM) program,” Dan Tuttle, director of health at the Stupski Foundation says. “This grant supports their efforts to roll out an even more comprehensive palliative care model for people with serious illness, bringing home-based care to hundreds of patients and new inpatient and outpatient services to thousands more throughout Alameda County every year. We hope that healthcare continues to move from inside clinic walls to meet people where they need it and we see quality home-based palliative care as a critical part of that shift.”

Reaching More Patients in Need

Sutter Health Palliative and Advanced Illness Management programs serving Alameda County are running close to maximum capacity, currently serve about 3,000 patients annually. Sutter palliative care program leaders estimate that an additional 2,000 patients will benefit from improved PAIC coordination, capacity and services made possible by the Stupski Foundation grant.

This new comprehensive model of care in Alameda County will encompass four key components of serious illness care including specialty palliative care, advance care planning, family caregiver support and links to social services.

“This grant gives Sutter the opportunity to more broadly provide compassionate care to the communities we serve. It will allow us to create a path of care, comfort and support for those patients and families who are facing an advanced illness in a way that we have previously not been able to provide,” says Jeffrey Stoneberg, DO, Palliative Care Medical Director at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Sutter will launch the ambulatory based PAIC program at Alta Bates Summit next year, followed by Eden starting in 2021.

Physical Therapy Takes a Giant Step Forward

Posted on Sep 25, 2019 in Community Benefit, Eden Medical Center, Expanding Access, Innovation, Scroll Images

(CASTRO VALLEY, Calif) –The community came together at the recent Castro Valley Fall Festival to support advanced health care at Sutter’s Eden Medical Center, raising more than $10,000 –which will be matched by an additional $10,000 from the Rotary Club of Castro Valley —toward the purchase of an Ekso GT Robotics Exoskeleton therapy device. The wearable robotic technology helps survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury and other forms of lower extremity weakness to walk again by providing comprehensive gait therapy beyond what a physical therapist can do with conventional tools.

 

“We are proud to support Eden Medical Center in their vision to bring this remarkable technology to our local community, and we can’t say enough about how proud we are in the community’s outpouring of support at the Fall Festival,” said Todd Anglin, president of the Castro Valley Rotary.

To complete the funding of the exoskeleton, Sutter Health will match more than $100,000 toward the $207,000 needed.

“We are so honored that the Rotary and so many community members came together at the Fall Festival to achieve this generous match,” said Stephen Gray, immediate past CEO of Eden. “Donor gifts will directly enhance the level of care we are able to bring to this community and we are grateful for this partnership with the Rotary.”

Eden Medical Center, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit integrated network of healthcare, treats more than 700 stroke patients each year and serves as a referral center for advanced neurological conditions. The Ekso GT Robotics Exoskeleton provides advanced rehabilitation technology to achieve optimal outcomes for stroke patients.

Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the nation and regaining mobility is one of the biggest challenges during stroke rehabilitation. Over 60% of acute stroke survivors are unable to walk or experience difficulty with walking. Physical therapy guided by trained specialists can help patients to regain the strength, balance, and endurance they need to walk following a stroke.

Rehab centers at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and Sutter Roseville Medical Center also have the exoskeleton therapy device.

To make a gift toward purchasing the exoskeleton for Eden Medical Center, click here.