Dee Dee Perkins, clinical coordinator of inpatient rehabilitation at Baton Rouge General Medical Center's Mid-City site, spoke to caregivers on September 9, 2010, in the first of a series of seminars called "The Sandwich Generation." The seminars are geared towards caregivers who are caring for both their own nuclear families and an aging parent or other loved one. The first seminar in the seriesa focused on home safety.

Perkins, an occupational therapist, demonstrated the use of a simple device, simply termed a sock aid, that helps patients put on their own socks more easily. Perkins spoke of the importance of providing tools that help seniors maintain their independence.

Dr. Gregory Ward, medical director for Baton Rouge General's Rehabilitation Center, also offered tips for caregivers at the first seminar. Ward pointed out that fall prevention is an integral part of helping seniors maintain their independence, noting that 66% of emergency room visits are older adults and the result of a fall. He also points out that only half of patients who have suffered a broken hip are able to return home or live independently; hip fractures are a common complication of falls among the elderly.

A wealth of additional information was provided to participants, including key indicators that a loved one is at risk of falling, such as touching walls and furniture as they go by to maintain balance. The seminars will be held bi-monthly at the Medical Center's Mid-City location. The next session, to be held in mid-November, will focus on depression in the elderly.

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