Friday, September 9, 2011

Heroes to be honored at 60th Governor’s Safety Conference

The French novelist Romain Rolland once simply stated: "A hero is a man who does what he can."

On September 28 and 29th, 40 men and women who did what they could will be honored with the Governor’s Lifesaving Award at the 60th Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference.

Recipients are selected by an independent committee of the conference advisory board comprised of business and labor representatives. Those receiving the honor include an Edmonds school cafeteria worker who saved a young girl from choking, a group of workers in University Place who rescued a man washed down a sewer line, a utility crew in Aberdeen who happened upon a burning house, and a Spokane man who helped rescue a car crash victim from a burning vehicle.

The conference, sponsored by the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board and the Department of Labor and Industries, includes several safety demonstrations, workshops, and special events such as the 14th Annual Forklift Rodeo and the 38th Annual Poletop Rescue Competition.

To read more about the recipients of the award and their heroic acts, check out this fact sheet.

If you're interested in attending the conference or would like more information, call toll-free 1-888-451-2004. TDD users may call 360-902-5797.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Honoring our elders – WA No. 2 in nation for long-term care

A national survey ranks Washington as the second-best state in the nation when it comes to caring for seniors.

The report by AARP wasn’t an opinion survey or based on anecdotes. This was hard science and numbers, judged by measuring 25 indicators of quality for long-term care of the elderly.

Here’s a quote from the story published in The Columbian:

“It’s not really a surprise to see that,” said Klaus Micheel, planning and advocacy manager at the Southwest Washington Agency on Aging and Disabilities in Vancouver. “Washington has been known for many years for providing quality long-term care and having a system that allows the frail senior population to receive care in their own homes instead of being locked up in a nursing home.”

For all 50 states, Washington ranked second for supporting family caregivers, third in providing people with choices for long-term care and second in the percent of Medicaid spending that goes for home and community-based care. That’s because we know that letting people remain in their own homes – and be cared for by family members – is the most respectful, compassionate and smartest thing we could do. Institutions are necessary and they do good work. Our first choice, though, is keeping people in their own homes.

There is room for improvement. Tough budget times have meant cuts to all state services. And the report points out some places Washington should beef up, like the turnover rate for caregivers.

On specific indicators, Washington ranked second in the percent of Medicaid spending going toward home and community-based care, third in providing consumers with choices for long-term care and second in support for family caregivers.

Related links:

Columbian story: WA No. 2 in nation for long-term care

AARP of Washington state