Medical Home Meeting: April 8, 2015

On April 8, Marianne Beach welcomed us to the Medical Home Work Group as Dr. Sadof was out-of-town.  Ralph Poland was our first speaker.  He treated us to a convincing argument for encouraging families to consider SafetyNet by LoJack™.  SafetyNet is a radio frequency based system designed to aid in locating missing persons who suffer from a cognitive disorder such as dementia or autism.  For those of us in Western Massachusetts who have experienced the limitations of GPS, it is important to note that SafetyNet is NOT a GPS product.  Instead, you will be using a radio frequency transmitter (contained in a bracelet) and receiver.  The transmitter emits a radio frequency signal that is track-able by participating public safety agencies.  This system has been used successfully with dementia patients.

Ralph encouraged us to learn about Bill H.913:  An Act concerning the safety of autistic and alzheimer individuals. This bill was introduced to the legislation asking for the provision of insurance coverage for the use of electronic tracking devices to protect the safety of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Alzheimer’s Disease.

For more information about this bill, take a look:

If you would like to contact your legislators about this bill, please use this “Find a Legislator” website for street address, email address and phone numbers.

Next up was Jennifer Charbonneau from Pedi Pal speaking about options for special needs families in the Berkshires.  She explained that most families travel east for medical care (Springfield, Worcester, Boston) and may not know about services available to them closer to home.  Pedi Pal at HospiceCare in the Berkshires  provides palliative care to alleviate pain and provide support to children and their families. Jennifer emphasized that Pedi Pal is a holistic approach, offering emotional, physical, spiritual and social support. Their website states that palliative care may include complementary health services such as music therapy, reiki and other physician-approved therapies.

Our last speaker was Faith LaFayette from F.O.R. Families, serving 1400 Massachusetts families who are struggling with homelessness.  This home visiting program works with families to aid the transition from homelessness to stable permanent housing. Services are at no cost to participants.  Faith spoke about the difficulties faced by families living in hotels with special needs kids. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development is working to get families out of local hotels.

Our next meeting is Wed, May 12th from 9:15-10:30am.  We hope you will join us.

Now, to celebrate our beautiful May weather, let’s dance with some local folks at Whole Children: