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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Death and the Elderly: Caregiving, End-of-Life Issues, Family Challenges Research Paper Flowchart

Health care programs are important, quickly developing and evolving in colleges and universities. Nursing, health care administration, medical coding, nurse practitioners, physician assistant programs, medical billing, urgent care administrators, nursing home administration, and more are growing.

As our health care system changes, and the population ages, it is very important for all health care professionals to understand the inter-relationships between institutions, communities, and families.

Here is an effective flow chart / guide for structuring a research paper on topics dealing with caring for the elderly and end-of-life issues.

1. What is the research problem / social issue? Identify and define clearly.

You may wish to brainstorm and develop bullet points, and even do mind-mapping in order to arrive at a primary thesis / main topic. Here is an example / description of mindmaps and mind mapping:

It is often effective to look at the core primary problem and to find an article that contains a very thorough literature review:

Ethics: Ethical Challenges in the Care of Elderly Persons
Ludwick, R., Silva, M. (December 19, 2003). Ethics Column: "Ethical Challenges in the Care of Elderly Persons". Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol. 9 No. 1. Available:

2. What has been written about the problem in the past? What are the core issues?

It is often good to research and read an array of articles. This is a good opportunity to review articles in a repository.

National Institute of Health: Bioethics Resources
End of Life / Palliative Care

May extend to related issues. In this case, it is useful to look at ethical issues with respect to end-of-life issues, and it has to do with younger individuals
Boy On Life Support Stirs Debate On Faith, End-Of-Life Care

3. What are the facts? What do we know about the extent of the problem? Studies? Govt statistics? Describe.

Hospitals Ordered to Follow End-of-Life Wishes (with podcast)

4. What can we find in the following areas? (scroll down and click on the link to the search function)

also: investigative journalism? look up documentaries / investigative journalism, etc.

5. What have people done to address the issue? What are the various perspectives / solutions? Describe.

Caring for the Elderly and the Disabled Is a Family Affair

What to Do the Next Time Dad's Heart Stops (article, with podcast)

Ethics policies on euthanasia in nursing homes: a survey in Flanders, Belgium.

6. Case studies / examples / the human face...

Can search for examples, and also use statistics

Caregiving in the U.S. 2009

7. Your analysis -- what do the facts tell you? What are things that can be done? What is being tried? Is it working? Is it not? Why not?

This is a good place to list the key concerns and considerations that relate to the primary thesis.

For example, you could discuss the different approaches to health care, including home health care, nursing homes, and evaluate which ones work and which ones do not. You could then start to formulate recommendations.

Another example could be that you discuss new trends and issues with family dynamics, work issues, and financial considerations when it comes to the elderly.

Evaluating different responses to caregiver burnout and the psychological dimensions of having elderly family members could be discussed.

8. Conclusions and recommendations.

Your final paragraph should be substantive and it should have an in-depth discussion. Make sure that you use APA style, since this paper deals with social and psychological topics.

You may find a very helpful bibliography-making software program at ( For APA style questions, check out


APAStyle at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Assistive Technologies for Online Learning

For many -- not just those with special needs -- participating in an online course is very difficult without assistive technologies. Augmentive and alternative communication products can help students with disabilities. It is useful, however, to look at some assistive technologies as effective for learners who have specific learning preferences and who may benefit from being able to access content in more than one format.

Take a look at the different assistive technologies that are available. You may be surprised how affordable they are, and how helpful they might be for you, especially with respect to keyboards, touchscreens, screen-readers (and "talking books"), and speech recognition.

BAUM Retec AG: Products and services for the visually impaired (Germany)

Claro Software: speech technology, image technology and touch technology.

Dolphin screen-reader with Braille and speech support:

Provides large cursors

Dolphin Oceanic Ltd.: .Magnifies the screen or allows users to listen with screen readers and experience refreshable Braille. Dolphin software also creates altformat reading materials for people with vision impairments or dyslexia - Braille, large print, DAISY talking books or MP3s.

Enabling Technologies, Inc.: Braille embossers / printers

Extra Corporation (Japanese): Jaws for Windows in Japanese

Freedom Scientific Products

Freedom Scientific Products for Blindness
JAWS® screen reading software
PAC Mate Omni™ accessible Pocket PC
MAGic® screen magnification software
PEARL® portable reading solution
OpenBook® scanning and reading software
SARA™ scanning and reading appliance
PAC Mate™ Portable Braille Displays
Focus Braille Displays
Focus 40 Blue Wireless Bluetooth Braille Display
FSReader DAISY player
StreetTalk™ VIP GPS solution
ScanTalker® talking barcode reader solution
FSTTY deaf-blind telephone communications
FaceToFace™ deaf-blind personal communications

Freedom Scientific Products for Low Vision

TOPAZ® desktop video magnifier
TOPAZ® Connectivity Pack
ONYX® Portable Video Magnifiers
PEARL™ portable reading solution
SAPPHIRE® Handheld Video Magnifier
RUBY® Handheld Video Magnifier
SARA™ scanning and reading appliance
MAGic® screen magnification software

GW Micro: Window-Eyes, Notetakers, DAISY Readers, Braille Displays, Low Vision


Close-captioning software

Speech Recognition and Assistive Writing

Speech recognition is often considered as an assistive writing tool for people with learning disabilities such as:

Dyslexia-- a disability in which a person has trouble reading words, sentences, or paragraphs.

Dysgraphia-- a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters correctly or write within a defined space.

Acapela Group: Text to speech solutions

Dexterity and Mobility

Applied Human Factors: screen keyboard computer access

Madentec Ltd.: New keyboards and joysticks

Origin Instruments: The HeadMouse Extreme replaces the standard computer mouse for people who cannot use or have limited use of their hands.

Tobii Technology: Tobii Technology specializes in eye tracking and eye control. This technology makes it possible for computers to know exactly where users are looking.


Metroplex Voice Computing, Inc.: Speech-recognition mathematics

Browsealoud is designed to improve website accessibility for those who struggle to read content online. It works by reading website content aloud in a high quality, human-sounding voice at no cost to the end user and zero implementation for the web owner.

Language and Communication

ZYGO: The Optimist-MMX is usable like a laptop from the keyboard. It can easily convert to a touch-screen tablet. It's durable, drop and spill resistent, and will withstand the demands of every day use.

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