When someone mentions the word “hospice,” people often cringe or change the subject, fearing that hospice care somehow means giving up on life. Others view hospice with a lack of respect, as if it isn’t real medical care. I know this firsthand. I used to be employed in hospice as a volunteer coordinator. Keep Reading
When someone in the family has dementia, two important facts need to be respected, particularly around the winter holidays: We want to spend the time we can with our loved ones. Yet, people, noise and activity can easily overwhelm those with dementia. Keep Reading
In the U.S., millions of injured, ill and disabled veterans depend on friends and family for care. In fact, according to the RAND Corporation, there are 5.5 million unpaid military caregivers in the United States. Of that group, nearly 20 percent are caring for someone who served after 9/11. This new era of caregivers is facing unique challenges. Keep Reading
People with dementia frequently make mistakes in judgment and understanding. They begin to have communication problems as use of language becomes more difficult. People with dementia also have high levels of confusion about the world we live in. Combine all these factors, and situations are ripe for misinterpretation. Besides hallucinations and delusions, there can be alternate interpretations for the situations below: Keep Reading
There are momentous occasions in a person’s life: getting a driver’s license, having a child, graduating school, or, often overlooked, becoming the caregiver of a parent or another older loved one. Caregiving can take many forms. Family caregivers often accompany their parent to their doctor appointments and possibly even sit in the exam room with them. While there’s no studying involved for this exam, it’s important to be prepared, especially when you are advocating care for someone else. Below are 12 suggestions on what to do before, during and after a visit with the doctor. Keep Reading
Most seniors want to age in place. According to AARP, 90 percent of those 65 and over want to stay in their home for as long as possible and 80 percent think their current residence is where they will always be. However, to stay at home, older adults often require assistance with everyday activities from bathing and going to the bathroom, to running errands and preparing meals. Family and friends can often chip in, but sometimes they are not available, they live far away or it is more than they can juggle. That’s where home care comes in. Keep Reading
People with dementia have many abilities and functions preserved for a long time – even through the end of life. When we take time to understand what people with dementia can still do, we are taking the first steps in creating better days for them. Here are two examples of how focusing on what is still possible can make a difference (all identifying information has been changed for privacy reasons). Keep Reading
Case managers play a critical role in the health care system, but many do not know they exist. Case managers help individuals and their families understand a person’s illness or injury and then work with them and other health care professionals to develop a treatment plan. Keep Reading
The new school year is well underway and the first report cards will be out soon. Most children started off to elementary school with new backpacks, shiny three-ring binders and pencils sharpened in hopes of academic success. Parents also work to promote good learning, with the understanding that their children’s school performance can influence future co-curricular activities, college choices and vocation. Keep Reading
You noticed a bruise on your grandma’s arm. “It was just a little fall,” she says. Maybe she is right, it was a minor incident. But what about the next time? Falls can be serious, sometimes fatal, for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Keep Reading
You’ve likely heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital takes that concept further by supporting the notion, “You become what you eat.” The study, which compared diet quality and physical function in over 50,000 women, found that those who maintained a healthy diet over the years were less likely to develop problems with physical function as they grew older. Keep Reading
Did you know nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries – approximately 2.6 million seniors – who are discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days? These unplanned readmissions are not only costly (an estimated $26 billion every year in the U.S.), but harmful for patients. Who wants to get out of the hospital and get worse instead of better? Yet, research shows up to 75 percent of hospital readmissions may be preventable. Keep Reading
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