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Archive for November, 2010

Alzheimer’s: Not Just About Memory But Ability To Plan, Organize And Reason

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Most of us notice subtle signs of change when our parents begin to age. It is expected they begin to move more slowly, have less strength, dexterity and energy. It is also normal to have reduced hearing and vision issues or possible problems with incontinence. Even some memory changes are a normal part of the aging process. Beginning as early as our 30’s, the brain’s weight, size of its nerve network, and its blood flow can begin to decrease. It is fairly common to have less recall of recent memories and to be slower remembering names and details.

Many elderly people are experiencing some or all of the above symptoms of aging but most of them still live at home, drive their cars, do their own shopping, cooking and participate in social activities. So when are friends or adult children of an elderly parent supposed to realize that something is wrong? One can find the answer from WCBS medical correspondent Dr. Max Gomez and countless others in the elderly healthcare industry. Those who suddenly find themselves dealing with a parent or loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease will be looking for answers and a way to cope. Many turn to Skilled Nursing Facilities to ease the burden of caring for their loved ones.  Often the very functionality of a parent, albeit somewhat compromised by age, can mask symptoms of disease or serious problems that can easily be overlooked.


The Phantoms of the Brain by ~richworks on deviantART

Even with his medical training, Dr. Gomez says he missed the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease until three years ago, when he discovered his father had lost every dollar he’d earned. His father retired OB/GYN Dr. Max Gomez, Sr., admittedly was poor with money management, but Dr. Gomez suffered more than a few bad investments. He is now penniless, living in a care facility paid for by Medicaid. Although no longer practicing medicine, Dr. Gomez still had the title of medical director at a clinic. The clinic named him legally responsible for multiple commercial loans, and took out mortgages in his name. The FBI began investigating the situation when Dr. Gomez’s identification was found to have been used to file millions in false Medicare claims. It was also discovered that a former girlfriend had been writing checks worth thousands of dollars against his savings account.

In Alzheimer’s disease, nerve cells die in key brain regions. One of the first is the hippocampus. Damage to the hippocampus, and later the frontal lobe, affect the ability to plan, organize and reason, both crucial aspects for managing money. “You can’t retain the facts because of memory, and you can’t utilize the facts efficiently,” explained, Mony Jon de Leon, director of the NYU Center for Brain Health. “It’s very hard – as people become deteriorated – to manage finances.” In conclusion, even though an elderly parent is functional, lucid and appears to be in control, taking an inventory of sorts of their financial situation and how they are handling their money, may be a good safeguard. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia it might be a good idea to get a consultant from an Assisted Living Dementiafacility to help assess their condition.

A Few Early Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Challenges in ability to plan or solve problems
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work, family or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Memory problems that affect behavior and reasoning.

For example, losing or misplacing an item with the inability to retrace steps and actions to locate it.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for independent accommodations such as Assisted Living Facilities Los Angeles, Care Homes, Skilled Nursing Facilities, as well as a variety of Home Healthcare services nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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The Oldest Descriptions Of Cancer And Where We Stand Today

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Human beings have had cancer throughout recorded history. So it is no surprise that from the dawn of time, people have written about cancer. Some of the earliest evidence of cancer has been found in fossilized bone tumors, human mummies in ancient Egypt, and in ancient manuscripts. Bone remains of mummies have revealed growths suggestive of the bone cancer, osteosarcoma. Bony skull destruction as seen in cancer of the head and neck have been found, as well. The Edwin Smith “Papyrus,” is a copy of part of an ancient Egyptian textbook on trauma surgery discovered in Egypt dating back to about 1600 B.C. Although at that time, it was not referred to as “cancer,” it describes 8 cases of tumors or ulcers of the breast that were treated by cauterization, with a tool called the fire drill. The writing says about the disease, “There is no treatment.”

Origin Of The Word Cancer

The origin of the word cancer is credited to the Greek physician Hippocrates, considered the “Father of Medicine.” Hippocrates used the terms carcinos and carcinoma to describe non ulcer forming and ulcer forming tumors. In Greek, these words refer to a crab, most likely used to describe the disease because the finger like spreading projections from a cancer called to mind the shape of a crab. The Roman physician, Celsus later translated the Greek term into cancer, the Latin word for crab. Galen, another Roman physician, used the word oncos, the Greek word for swelling, to describe tumors. Although the crab analogy of Hippocrates and Celsus is still used to describe malignant tumors, Galen’s term is now used as a part of the name for cancer specialists — oncologists.

Renaissance Period

During the Renaissance, scientists in Italy developed a greater understanding of the human body. Scientists like Galileo and Newton began to use the scientific method, which later was used to study disease. Autopsies provided an understanding of the circulation of blood through the heart and body that had until then been a mystery. In 1761, Giovanni Morgagni of Padua was the first to do something that has become routine today: he did autopsies to relate the patient’s illness to the pathologic findings after death. This laid the foundation for scientific oncology, the study of cancer.


Breast Cancer Awareness by ~saralyssan on deviantART

19th Century

The 19th century saw the birth of scientific oncology with use of the modern microscope in studying diseased tissues. Rudolf Virchow, often called the founder of cellular pathology provided the scientific basis for the modern pathologic study of cancer. Morgagni linked autopsy findings seen with the unaided eye with the clinical course of illness, so Virchow correlated the microscopic pathology. This method allowed a better understanding of the damage cancer had done, but also laid the foundation for the development of cancer surgery. Body tissues removed by the surgeon could now be examined and a precise diagnosis made. The pathologist could also tell the surgeon whether the operation had completely removed the cancer.

Theories On The Causes Of Cancer

Since ancient times, physicians have puzzled over the causes of cancer. The Egyptians blamed cancers on the gods. One theory was that the human body was made up of 4 types of body fluids. They believed that if the fluids were not in balance, it resulted in cancer. The lymph theory contended that acidity and alkalinity lymph fluids passed through blood caused cancer. In the 1800’s, German pathologist, Johannes Muller demonstrated that cancer is made up of cells and not fluid. His student, Rudolph Virchow determined that all cells, including cancer cells are derived from other cells. Virchow proposed that chronic irritation was the cause of cancer, but he falsely believed that cancers “spread like a liquid.” Another German surgeon, Karl Thiersch, showed that cancers metastasize through the spread of malignant cells and not through some unidentified fluid.

In the 17th and 18th Centuries, some believed that cancer was contagious. In fact, the 1st cancer hospital in France was forced to move from the city because of the fear of the spread of cancer throughout the city. Although human cancer itself is not contagious, we now know that certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. Oddly enough, until the 1920’s, trauma was thought to cause some forms of cancer.

Modern Day

The American Cancer Society is the “nationwide community based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from the disease, through research, education, advocacy and service.” The ACS has set aggressive challenge goals to dramatically decrease cancer incidence and mortality rates by 2015 while increasing the quality of life for all cancer survivors. Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities help seniors cope with the conditions of cancer. They provide around the clock care to help them deal with the symptoms and conditions caused by cancer. Many seniors go on to survive cancer and lead active lifestyles within their communities. Hospice Careorganizations help those who are in the last stages of cancer. They help ease their pain and keep them as comfortable as possible towards the end of their life.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living San Antonio and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Elderly Patients Need To Be More Assertive With Their Doctors

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Many of our seniors have grown up in an era where doctors were looked upon as authority figures. Their education and judgment was not to be questioned and whatever was advised was to be trusted 100%. Keep in mind that this was an era, in which some men believed that the only reason women went to college was to get their “Mrs.” degree. I doubt Sheila Schwartz, an attorney, social worker, wife, mother of 4 and grandmother of 11 shares the same sentiment about higher education for women.

But she does admit that she fell into the role of playing the “good patient.” “That’s what I was brought up to do,” she said. “I was an empowered mother. I was an empowered social worker. I was an empowered student. I was not an empowered patient.” About 10 years ago at age 60, when Mrs. Schwartz who was leading an extremely active life, started feeling tired, achy and dizzy for no apparent reason, she paid a visit to her primary physician. After a slight rise in blood pressure, her doctor changed her medication but with no improvement. The doctor finally told her that she needed to “slow down,” that she was too busy and she would be fine if she curtailed her hectic schedule. Being respectful of your doctor or anyone else is a matter of good manners, but assuming that he or she is always right is a big mistake.

Often elderly patients and Assisted Living Residents don’t want to “rock the boat,” by mentioning their concerns or symptoms they are experiencing. Some elderly people even look at their doctor appointments as mini social events. At one recent appointment after kibitzing about a mutual enthusiasm for basketball, the elderly patient told her doctor she was “feeling fine.” 2 weeks later, the same elderly patient was in the hospital being treated for a severe urinary tract infection that caused a sudden onset of dementia like symptoms. When later questioned about it, the patient said she thought “maybe she did have a bladder infection because of a few symptoms,” but thought it would “go away,” and did not want to “bother” the doctor by mentioning it. In Mrs. Schwartz’s case, her condition continued to deteriorate. She was on vacation when she began to feel especially weak and went to a local doctor. That doctor thought she might have an adrenal gland problem. When she returned home, she went to see a nephrologist who ran a few laboratory tests and found that indeed, she did have an adrenal abnormality that was wearing out her kidneys.


the doctor is in-charlie brown by ~yasena on deviantART

Adrenal glands are tiny organs that rest on top of each kidney. Despite their small size, they play an important role in the body, producing numerous hormones that affect our development and growth, affect our ability to deal with stress, and help to regulate kidney function. Because the hormones released from the adrenal glands are so important to the overall functioning of one’s body, adrenal disorders can have serious consequences on one’s health. Tumors of the adrenal glands can secrete excess hormones, causing an increase in blood pressure or heart rate and reduced immune function. Disorders that result in decreased adrenal gland function, such as autoimmune diseases or cancer, can lead to low blood sugar and heart failure.

The hormone, Cortisol, continually released from the adrenal glands in response to chronic stress can damage body tissues. Long term adrenal stimulation can lead to high blood pressure and stomach ulcers, and deplete white blood cell levels, increasing the risk of infection. Over time, the adrenal glands themselves can become unable to produce sufficient levels of cortisol to deal with the constant stress.  Symptoms of poor adrenal function include fatigue, muscle aches and low blood sugar. Mrs. Schwartz’s adrenal dysfunction could have been discovered early on in her condition with a simple blood test and resolved with a relatively simple surgical procedure. Because of the delay, she ended up needing a kidney transplant.

Running the risk of questioning your doctor when what they tell you does not make sense may annoy them, but it may save you from conditions that are more serious. If taking that approach makes you a “bad patient,” it would be worth it. In an article about her experience written by Schwartz’s daughter, Elizabeth Cohen, author and CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, were three extremely valuable tips for being the type of “bad patient” that just might save your life:

Ask Lots Of Questions

If you do not understand something, ask for clarification, and if you still don’t understand, ask again. The doctor or nurse might be visibly annoyed, but that should not stop you. Remember, your health depends on your ability to comprehend what the doctor is telling you.

Don’t Worry About Whether Your Doctor Likes You

If you hesitate to do anything that might upset the doctor, such as asking many questions, you’re putting your health in jeopardy. While it’s a natural inclination to want to be liked, your health comes first and your popularity second.

Remember This Is A Business Transaction

You are paying the doctor for a service; you’re not in a popularity contest. Of course, you should be respectful of your doctor, just as you would be respectful to a waitress, your car mechanic, or anyone else you obtain a service from. But you don’t owe it to your doctor to be the perfect patient.

Because elderly patients have a hard time assessing their symptoms and medical conditions to inform their primary care physician, most are opting for Assisted Living Care so that doctors can regularly check their health conditions. It gives the senior and their families a peace of mind knowing they are cared for in the best possible way. Seniors have the comfort of a doctor checking up on their health conditions any time they need.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living San Jose and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Snap Crackle And Popping Joints

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

If you’ve ever jumped out of bed in the morning and hurriedly jaunted toward the bathroom or coffee maker, you’ve no doubt heard a few cracking, popping noises coming from your bones. Maybe it comes from your ankles, feet or knees. Stretch out your arms, and you’ll likely hear it from your wrists or elbows. Believe it or not, the crackle sound is not actually coming from your bones. The truth is that nothing is being cracked.

A joint is where the ends of 2 bones meet. Where the bones come together they have a covering of “articular cartilage.” This is surrounded by the “joint capsule,” inside of which there is synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is the lubricant for the joint and also serves as a source of nutrients for the cells that look after the cartilage. Synovial fluid has dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide within it. When the right pressure is applied to a joint, the area inside the joint capsule expands. Synovial fluid cannot expand unless pressure inside the joint capsule drops and the dissolved gases can escape out of the fluid. This process of cavitation that causes the cracking sound comes from the gases rapidly being released from the fluid in the form of bubbles. Thia accounts for the “popping” sound.


Good Morning by ~v-morgan-p on deviantART

Many people associate the sounds with old age or arthritis. However, cracking joints isn’t restricted to older people or those with orthopedic problems. Cracking in joints is also heard coming from healthy young people and can occur for a variety of reasons. There is some evidence that with age the cartilage starts to deteriorate, leading to the cracking sound when squatting or moving a joint quickly. This usually does not require treatment if it’s not associated with significant pain or stiffness, but could be a sign of early joint problems. When cracking of joints occurs frequently along with stiffness, pain, or tenderness, it could be an indication of osteoarthritis. Exercise to help strengthen muscles along with rest, ice, and anti inflammatory medications usually can help improve the condition. In severe cases, physical therapy may be needed. Assisted Living Facilities and nursing homes have specialized physical therapists as a part of their staff to help seniors with these issues.

Some people stretch and intentionally try to crack their joints. Just about everyone has probably known a compulsive knuckle cracker or neck popper. There is evidence of increased mobility in joints right after popping. When joints are manipulated, the Golgi tendon organs (a set of nerve endings involved in humans’ motion sense) are stimulated and the muscles surrounding the joint are relaxed. This is part of the reason why people can feel “loose” and invigorated after leaving a chiropractor’s office, where cavitation is induced as part of the treatment. Backs, knees, elbows and all other movable joints are subject to the same kind manipulation as knuckles are. Seniors residing in Assisted Living and Nursing Homeshave specialized care to deal with their arthritic pain and joint problems so they can experience increased ease of mobility while carrying out their day to day activities.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Chicago and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Massage Therapy: A Soothing Treatment Promoting Senior Well Being

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Nestled in the middle of California’s Napa Valley Wine Country, it was the ultimate experience of self indulgence, relaxation and rejuvenation. The entire region is known for it, but we seized ours in the tiny town of Calistoga. Prior to the mud bath, we stripped down and rinsed off in natural mineral water showers, then reluctantly slithered our bodies into the tubs of warm gooey detoxifying mud. It smelled strongly of the earth as it enveloped and soothed muscles we did not know had been aching. After relaxing there for nearly an hour, it was back to the mineral water shower and then under the warm, suppressing weight of the blanket wrap, we slide. One more step before the best part, and that was floating around in the natural mineral springs Jacuzzi tub before heading directly to the peaceful nirvana of the massage table. Ahhhhh! The strong confident hands of the therapist manipulated our every muscle, tendon, ligament and joint to the point of ultimate well-being and complete relaxation.

Although exercise is widely recommended for healthy living at any age, as we get older, our body is naturally prone to becoming less active. Lack of physical activity can lead to the onset of other conditions, which, if not treated, can greatly reduce quality of life. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork has been promoting massage therapy for some time now. According to a recent study, there is a general awareness of massage therapy but a lack of understanding of its benefits. A number of studies have shown that massage therapy can have a direct impact in managing the effects of aging.


A Day at the Spa 2 by *ky-sta on deviantART

According to the Touch Research Institute, massage therapy is extremely useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients, as it facilitates relaxation and communication. In the case of arthritis sufferers, it can greatly help in pain management and help increase range of motion. It also triggers natural joint lubrication, which is extremely vital for those suffering from arthritis. Massage therapy has also shown promise by helping to increase strength and muscle coordination. It can also help improve one’s posture by reducing muscle tension, which has the added benefit of improving quality of sleep. Touch therapy or massage is also known to boost one’s natural energy levels, which in turn assists with improving mental awareness. Massage and touch therapy services are offered at Assisted Living Homes and Retirement Facilities to help seniors with joint problems, muscle pain and relaxation.

Until recently, the interests of the pharmaceutical industry dominated the common approach to pain management. Exercise, proper diet and massage therapy have gained immense popularity and outstanding positive results as effective and natural solutions to some of the elements linked with the process of aging. The overall sense of well being provided by therapeutic massage helps motivate and encourage seniors to improve other aspects of their lives such as diet, exercise, and general health care.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living San Antonio and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

A Relaxation Technique You Can Do Anytime And Anywhere

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Who hasn’t experienced a moment of stress before someone offers the advice, “ Take a deep breath?” Research shows that the benefits of taking deep breaths to reduce anxiety are just as effective as getting a massage. Seattle based Group Health Centre for Health Studies conducted a study of 68 people suffering from depression and anxiety. A generalized anxiety disorder is a condition involving excessive worrying that makes normal life difficult and more stressful.

Over a period of 3 months, the patients were given 1 of 3 treatments. One group had massage. The other two groups had relaxation therapy: breathing deeply while lying down, or thermotherapy: having their arms and legs wrapped up intermittently with heating pads and warm towels. All 3 therapies were given in a relaxing environment with soft lighting and quiet music. After receiving the first treatment, all the groups reported their anxiety had decreased by about 40%, and by 50% 3 months later at the end of the study.

Lead researcher, Dr Karen Sherman, said they were surprised to find that the benefits of massage were no greater than those of the same number of sessions of ‘thermotherapy’ or the deep breathing. The researchers in the study agreed that the goal of massage therapy is more than relaxing people and also involves reducing physical tension. Susan Findlay, spokesman for the General Council for Massage Therapies, said massage was not just about dealing with emotional issues and relaxation. “Massage therapists do corrective work with soft tissue such as muscles and tendons. They try to make these tissues work as well as possible,” she said.


Morning Relaxation by ~DREAM-PHOTOGRAFY on deviantART

What Are The Benefits Of Practicing Deep Breathing?
It does not cost anything
Since it can be done anywhere, it is a very simple exercise for reducing stress and an effective technique for leading a healthy lifestyle
Deep breathing releases endorphins, the body’s own painkillers, into the system. This can help relieve headaches, sleeplessness, backaches and other stress related aches and pains
Deep breathing helps to clear and focus the mind
Deep breathing strengthens weak abdominal and intestinal muscles

Studies have shown deep breathing benefits those who suffer from Asthma
In her book, “Jump Start Your Metabolism: How to Lose Weight by Changing the Way you Breathe”, author Pam Grout says shallow breathing impoverishes the cells of the body and slows metabolism. “Without enough oxygen, your metabolism automatically slows down,” says Grout. One of the ways exercise increases metabolism is by increasing the oxygen to the cells. Chronic stress, worry or anxiety can lead to quick, shallow breathing which, over time, can become a habit. Bringing conscious attention to our breathing, lengthening and deepening the drawing in of oxygen, nourishes every cell of our body and promotes relaxation. Prolonged exhalation helps get rid of stale air and toxins in our lungs.

A Simple Deep Breathing Exercise
To ease tension and give your health and energy a boost, begin by sitting or lying comfortably. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, counting to six. Hold breath while slowly counting to six. Exhale slowly through your mouth, slowly counting to eight. The key is to concentrate on counting while inhaling and exhaling. Feel you lungs fill up with precious oxygen. Feel your heart rate slow. By exhaling more breath than you inhale, you cleanse all the stale air held in your lungs. Repeating the exercise several times will produce a sense of relaxation. Assisted Living and Retirement Communities help seniors manage their stress levels by providing classes such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi. Classes such as the ones mentioned help seniors lower their blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and maintain physical fitness. Other activities such as fish gazing and animal therapy also help promote the well being of elderly citizens and inadvertently reduce their stress levels.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for independent accommodations such as Assisted Living Facilities Los Angeles, Care Homes, Skilled Nursing Facilities, as well as a variety of Home Healthcare services nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

What Are Financial Institutions Doing To Protect Seniors From Fraud?

November 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Case after case is being reported of seniors losing their life savings and homes because they are no longer mentally capable of making sound financial decisions. More than just making poor decisions, they are frequently the target of others taking advantage of the situation. Adult social service agencies report that 25 to 35% of perpetrators are often acquaintances, friends or family members. Sadly, many of the victims are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia and so they are easily taken advantage of. Many families make the right decision by placing their elderly loved ones who are suffering from dementia in an Assisted Living Dementiafacility. All the seniors needs are taken care of on a day to day basis pertaining to their condition, so families no longer have to worry or be concerned for their safety and well being.

New research shows that one of the first signs of impending dementia is the inability to understand money and credit, contracts and agreements. Those suffering may unbeknownst to spouses or other family members, suddenly cease to pay their bills, sign contracts or transfer funds in poor judgment. Worst yet, many fail to monitor their savings or bank accounts making them prime targets for fraud. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the largest nongovernmental regulator for securities firms doing business in the United States, recently met with individual financial services companies and the Alzheimer’s Association to formulate guidelines on how to deal with clients who have trouble remembering and reasoning, a problem that is not new but is increasing as the population ages.

Last year, Fidelity Investments surveyed 350 investment advisers. The advisors were asked if they suspected that any of their clients had Alzheimer’s or diminishing cognitive function, and if so, what they did about it. The advisers also were asked if they had mentioned the problem to their clients. 84 percent said they thought they had clients with Alzheimer’s or symptoms indicating that they were developing it. In addition, 96 percent said they did not feel prepared to deal with those clients. Half said they were not comfortable even raising the subject of dementia. They worried that they might be wrong about a client’s mental capacity, and even if they were right, they did not know what they were supposed to do about it or where to refer the client for assessment and help.

Money Rules Man by `BenHeine on deviantART

Several bankers associations have undertaken campaigns to educate bank employees on how to recognize and prevent financial exploitation. The Utah Bankers Association in cooperation with the State Division of Aging and Adult Services developed and conducted “train the trainer” workshops for bank tellers on how to recognize exploitation and the state mandated their obligation to report suspected abuse. Additionally, The Oregon Bankers Association launched an initiative in partnership with the State Attorney General’s office, AARP and a state social service agency to train bankers on how to identify suspicious activity. Assisted Living DementiaFacilties are also pro active about helping family members effectively interact and cope with dementia patients. By spreading awareness about the symptoms and forms of dementia it can help those seniors suffering from it, lead as fulfilling a life as possible.

The Nevada Bankers Association also distributes handouts with tips for consumers and bank employees that include contact numbers to report suspicious activities. Union Bank of California has produced a video which portrays several scenarios to point out signs of elder fraud to employees. The California Community Partnership for the Prevention of Financial Abuse is the state’s first public/private partnership initiative developed in response to the increasing social problem. Their mission includes:

  • Training employees of financial institutions to recognize and report suspected abuse
  • Raising community awareness through regional campaigns
  • Increasing communication between banks/credit unions, adult protection service and law enforcement agencies
  • Educating and empowering seniors
  • Becoming a funding source for the many underfunded and understaffed programs in communities who support abuse prevention

Financial institutions have the unique opportunity to witness financial abuse. They administer accounts, trusts and other assets. Branch employees become familiar with their customers’ spending habits such as denominations and amounts of money withdrawn on a regular basis. Because of the familiarity, they can also detect a decline in a senior customers’ ability to conduct transactions. There are currently civil, criminal and welfare and institution codes to protect banks and financial institutions from any liability when reporting suspected elder financial abuse.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Houston and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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