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Archive for May, 2011

Arthritis & Mice: The Links To Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

May 20, 2011 Leave a comment

BBC health reporter, Caroline Parkinson, recently reported on a study about Alzheimer’s disease. The study included laboratory mice and a protein present in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The study concluded that the protein could be an answer to Alzheimer’s Disease. The 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures reports that there are an estimated 5.3 million people in the United States suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This debilitating disease has costed an annual total of $172 billion and is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Many of the patients suffering from Alzheimer’s depend on assisted living facilities so they can get the proper medical care they need on a daily basis. However, approximately 10.9 million unpaid people serving as caregivers for those with the disease.

The study observed the immune systems of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The immune system of these patients becomes over active and produces a protein that may attack plaque in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. One such protein, GM-CSF was given to mice with memory loss and the mice fared better. The test results measured memory and learning capacity and compared it to the performance of mice of the same age that were normal. The healthy mice treated with GM-CSF performed slightly better than their untreated peers.

mice in love by *Emielcia on deviantART

Researchers have suggested the protein may attract an influx of cells called microglia from the peripheral blood supply around the brain, which in turn attack the characteristic plaque that forms in the brain of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Experts in the UK said the study was a crucial step and further tests will be undertaken to see if the protein works for people with Alzheimer’s. It has already been recognized that people with rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. It was originally though that the protective link was due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) taken by people with the arthritic condition. However tests confirmed that this was not the case. In another study at the University of South Florida, researchers genetically altered mice to have memory problems similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
They then treated that group and other healthy mice with the protein. Another set of mice, both healthy ones and those with Alzheimer’s symptoms, were given a dummy (placebo) treatment. At the end of the 20-day study, the Alzheimer’s mice treated with GM-CSF fared substantially better on tests. The brains of GM-CSF- treated Alzheimer’s mice showed more than a 50% decrease in beta amyloid, the substance which forms Alzheimer’s plaques.

An artificial version of GM-CSF, a drug called Leukine, is already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and has been used to treat cancer patients who need to generate more immune cells. Researchers have concluded that clinical tests on humans are needed to confirm their conclusions. This study is a promising factor for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This could positively change the progress of Alzheimer patients living in assisted living facilities.

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 Los Angeles 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.

Arizona Is One Of The Hot Spots For Senior Assisted Living Facilities

May 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Aside from immigration controversies and the Grand Canyon, Arizona is a well known destination for retirees and ‘snowbirds’ seeking a dry climate and abundant sunshine. Southern Arizona especially caters to senior citizens with its numerous assisted living facilities and senior care options. Sun City is an entire unincorporated population center near Phoenix, built especially for retirees and senior citizens looking to spend their golden years in an assisted living community.

According to a 2008 Census estimate, 13.3% of Arizona’s population was in the 65 years and older category, which is higher than the national average of 12.8%. Currently there are approximately 864,524 seniors over the age of 65 living in Arizona. The number of residential assisted living communities has greatly contributed to these statistics. It is estimated that between the years 2000 and 2020, the number of Arizonans over age 85 will increase by 102%.

Governmental agencies in Arizona recognize the need for a number of different assisted living definitions :

Assisted Living Facilities are residential care institutions that provide specific services such as assistance with daily activities, supervisory, personal and directed care services on a continuing basis.

Assisted Living Homes provide resident rooms to 10 or fewer residents.

Assisted Living Centers provide resident rooms or residential units to eleven or more residents.

Some of the assisted living facilities and communities offer in and out of home Respite Care services.  Their assisted living community environments are rich in daily activities, with restaurant-style dining, graciously appointed interiors and apartment style rooms.

Disintegrate and Fade by *kimjew on deviantART

Seniors from all over the country are experiencing a better quality of life by moving to an assisted living facility in Arizona. Assisted living referral services are placing seniors in Arizona and other hot spots in the United States. Hot spots for assisted living facilities are in Florida, Arizona, California and Virginia. The number of states offering assisted living communities for seniors is increasing by the day. Seniors look forward to spend their remaining years in areas that have great sunny weather. These referral services find an assisted living facility based upon a senior’s personal preferences and specific medical conditions. Some of the aspects that assisted living referral services look into include: preferred location, age of the senior, when they want to move and more. Many senior and elderly citizens do not realize that assisted living facilities customize specific service plans for their residents, so as not to change their habits and lifestyle, while at the same time catering to their exact needs. Assisted living facilities provide top of the line medical care so seniors with complex medical conditions can live in comfort. Placing a senior loved one in an assisted living facility can be a sensitive issue for some families. But assisted living medical professionals are able to help patients and their families make the transition as easily as possible.

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.

America’s Other Drug Problem & The Role Assisted Living Facilities Are Playing

May 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Medication non-compliance kills more senior citizens each year than accidents, influenza and pneumonia combined. This is costing society a whopping $175 billion annually. Hospitals, pharmacies, employers, pharmaceutical companies, managed care organizations and taxpayers all pay a part of the cost. Drug non-compliance is defined as the act of forgetting or overuse of medication and can also include the alteration of current dosage schedules without the consultation of a medical professional. Medication non-compliance is the leading cause of death among senior citizens in America today. But there is hope. Assisted Living Facilities are encouraging seniors to join them so that they can carefully monitor their medications and maintain a healthy dosage. Assisted Living Facilities strongly believe that the risk of medication non-compliance could be drastically minimized if more seniors got on board.

Many seniors, particularly those taking four or more prescription drugs on a daily basis, have problems with medication compliance.

Some Of The Common Reasons For Medication Non-compliance:

  • Fear or hesitancy of taking drugs
  • Denial of illness or need for certain medications
  • Misunderstanding the instructions for taking the medication
  • Belief that they’ve been cured when symptoms disappear
  • Forgetfulness
  • Cost of prescriptions

Pills by *ringux3 on deviantART

In many cases, it’s a combination of several reasons, all of which can lead to troublesome side effects, ineffectiveness, drug overdose, and serious complications leading to hospitalization or even death. If an elderly relative is having trouble with a complicated medication regiment, usually a family caregiver takes on the roll of organizing, compiling and managing the senior’s daily medication schedule. But family members don’t always have the time to keep watch and make sure their senior loved ones are following a proper medication regiment. This is where Assisted Living Facilities come into play. Assisted Living Facilities and their medical staff are responsible for the daily monitoring of health conditions and the progress of their senior patients and will adjust their medication accordingly.

Caregivers and seniors usually keep an updated written Medication List that includes the patient’s name and date of birth, all medications, their dosage and times for ingestion. These lists are kept handy and in more than one location so it is helpful in case of a medical emergency. Caregivers utilize daily planners, pill organizers and automated medication dispensers to help seniors organize their medication schedule but these methods can easily be mixed up and become confusing for the senior and caregiver. Assisted Living Facilities offer the assurance that medication non-compliance won’t be an issue your senior loved ones will have to face. Better yet, medical professionals are nearby to assist in any health issues or conditions that the senior is suffering from. Many elderly citizens find that assisted living facilities can offer them the comfortable lifestyle they’ve always wanted. Assisted living facilities provide the medical care and recreational amenities seniors require to carry out a fulfilling day. Assisted living facilities customize specific service plans for their seniors, so as not to change the habits and lifestyle they are accustomed to, while at the same time catering to their exact needs.

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.

Basic Things To Look For In A Skilled Nursing Facility

May 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Before considering placement in a nursing home, one should explore the possibility of using alternative services or programs that permit an older person to receive the needed care in his or her own home or in a community setting. An increasing number and variety of community based health, supportive services and specialized living arrangements have been created in communities throughout the nation. For some persons, such alternatives may serve as an effective action that will prevent or delay the need for skilled nursing home care. For others, however, this is not possible; for these persons, nothing can substitute for a good Skilled Nursing Facility.

A Skilled Nursing Facility should be staffed to provide around the clock licensed nursing services to residents who require them. One of the first and most important things to ask when doing research on a Skilled Nursing Facility is if they have a current license from their respective state. This should help insure the level of compliance with certain basic requirements. Another important point to ask is if the home is certified to participate in financial benefits from government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Aside from the obvious, participation in the programs nearly guarantees compliance to standards, as Medicare and Medicaide can withhold payments if the standards are not met.

Medicare will help pay for up to 100 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility only if the person has spent at least three days in a hospital and such continued care is recommended by the person’s physician and approved by Medicare. Medicaid usually picks up the charges after 100 days for those who are eligible for both programs and continue to need the care. There are a few basic questions to address that will provide insight into the suitability of the facility.

Nursing: Community Outreach by *emodist on deviantART

General Ambiance:

Is the general atmosphere of the home warm, pleasant and cheerful?

Is the administrator courteous and helpful?

Are staff members cheerful, courteous and enthusiastic?

Do staff members show genuine interest in and affection for residents?

Do residents look well cared for and generally content?

Are residents allowed to wear their own clothing, decorate their rooms and keep a few prized possessions on hand?

Is there a place for private visits with family and friends?

Does the facility have a written statement of residents’ rights?

Do residents, other visitors and volunteers speak favorably about the home?

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General Physical Considerations:

Is the nursing home clean and orderly?

Is the home reasonably free of unpleasant odors?

Is there easy access to toilet and bathing facilities?

Is the facility well lit inside and outside?

Are rooms well ventilated and kept at a comfortable temperature?

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Safety:

Are wheelchair ramps provided where necessary?

Is the nursing home free of obvious hazards to residents such as underfoot obstacles or unsteady chairs?

Are there grab bars in toilet and bathing areas and handrails on both sides of hallways?

Do bathtubs and showers have non slip surfaces?

Are there smoke detectors, an automatic sprinkler system and portable fire extinguishers?

Does the facility have an automatic emergency lighting system?

Are exits clearly marked with signs and are they illuminated?

Are exit doors unobstructed and unlocked from the inside?

Are there “no smoking” signs posted?

Is an emergency evacuation plan posted in prominent locations?

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There are a number of factors to consider when researching a good Skilled Nursing Facility and the above pointers are an important start at determining its suitability for you or your loved one.

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 Phoenix, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living 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.

America’s Obesity Problem Affecting The Condition Of Senior Citizens

May 19, 2011 1 comment

How big of a problem is obesity in America? Recent calculations show that America leads all other countries with just over 30% of the population categorized as obese and nearly an additional third as being overweight. In comparison to the United Kingdom, who comes in at 23% and Canada, whose obese population makes up just over 14% of the total, it would appear that weight is a significant concern in America. Being overweight increases the chance of suffering from health conditions no matter what your age. But the issue of obesity and the health problems that follow has become a major concern for the assisted living industry and the seniors that are affected by it. A lifetime of poor eating habits and not enough exercise is causing seniors to suffer even more in their old age.

Health Problems Directly Linked To Obesity That Seniors Can Suffer From:
Cardiovascular Disease
Heart Disease
Diabetes
Stroke
Certain Types Of Cancer
High Blood Pressure
High Cholesterol
Metabolic Syndrome
Sleep Apnea
Asthma
Arthritis
Gallbladder Disease
Liver Disease
Urinary Incontinence
Depression

Since 1970, the percentage of overweight children ages 6 to 19 has tripled and is predicted to rise. Most of these children will continue dealing with obesity well into adulthood. The conditions of obesity cause the body to deteriorate making it extremely difficult for people to enjoy their senior years. Being overweight is the most common nutritional disorder of US children and adolescents and a growing problem in seniors according to medical professionals. There are a number of factors contributing to overweight children, with sedentary activity and poor eating habits taking the lead.

Obesity by *sxc-sophie on deviantART

“Screen time” is the term coined as the amount of time a person spends in front of a computer or television screen, which means they are physically inactive. Children rack up screen time hours at home and at school while more screen-based activities are luring children away from outdoor play and exercise. The video game industry has received its fair share of the blame and subsequently earned itself millions in attempts to redeem itself. The development of games that are conducive to movement such as dancing and jumping has caught on, though it remains to be seen to what degree this will help the obesity problem.

Achieving a healthy weight is possible with a combination of diet and exercise. It’s difficult to find actual research data that reflects how many Americans actually follow a daily exercise regimen. Compared to the rest of the modern world, it is probably significantly lower. Americans typically drive to and from their destinations, take escalators or elevators instead of stairs and work longer hours. With the convenience of fast food, transportation and entertainment it is difficult to find time to exercise. Lifestyle changes that start at an early age can help prevent many diseases that frequently debilitate our aging and senior population.

The number of advertisements relating to obesity have increased on television and other forms of media. Recent product developments geared toward those with weight loss and fitness goals in mind stretch beyond the traditional idea of dieting. One example of obesity focus in the media is the popular NBC’s hit show, The Biggest Loser. The newer trends promote healthier eating, such as replacing traditionally fatty foods like french fries with fresh fruit, yogurt and baking or grilling meat instead of deep frying. Yet many people struggle with knowing the difference between foods that sound healthy and foods that are actually lower in fat and calories. This confusion makes it difficult to know what the recommended 2000 calorie diet should look like. By taking care of your body during your childhood and adulthood you can guarantee yourself the chance to enjoy your senior years with limited health problems. Seniors that have spent a significant part of their lives following an unhealthy lifestyle can still find improvement in their health conditions if they make certain changes. Assisted Living Health professionals go out of their way to create awareness and inform their patients about healthy living and eating habits. Assisted Living Communities have a specific curriculum designed to keep their seniors engaged in physical activities. They also make sure the elderly are getting the proper nutrition they need through their meals.

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.

A Tribute To A Pioneer And A Hero: Dr. Robert N. Butler 1927-2010

May 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Josh Tapper, a fellow of News21, a national initiative to promote innovation in journalism, at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism wrote about his last conversation and interview with Dr. Robert N. Butler just days before he died on July 4th. However, it was a last phone conversation that did not happen that moved me. It was described in a response to an obituary published in the LA Times written by his grandson, Brooks J. Hall. He had missed the call from Dr. Robert N. Butler just days before his death and Mr. Hall described the voice message as, “Hey kiddo, I hope you are well and just wanted to tell you I love ya.” After reading the response article, it became apparent that Dr. Butler was also a wonderful grandfather in addition to his lifetime achievements in the area of aging.

It was he who in 1968 coined the phrase “ageism” in describing discrimination against the elderly and how it still plagues American society, and how the lack of primary care doctors spells trouble for aging baby boomers. Dr. Butler was a physician, gerontologist, psychiatrist, and Pulitzer-winning author, who was the first director of the National Institute on Aging. Butler is known for his work on the social needs and the rights of the elderly and for his research on healthy aging and the dementias. Having grown up with his grandparents, Butler was shocked by the dismissive and contemptuous attitude toward the elderly and their diseases by many of his teachers at medical school, an attitude that no doubt led to his career and dedication to the issue. Days before his death, he was still putting in 60-hour workweeks as the founder and C.E.O. of the International Longevity Center in New York.

elderly sign by *stephyPHOTOG on deviantART

In Tapper’s final interview with Dr. Butler, he “cautioned that old age shouldn’t be taken for granted or romanticized.”  However, Dr. Butler also reflected on the joys of aging, and said that he “still found fulfillment in his writing and advocacy.” He also said he had “been tempered by the years,” and he “doesn’t blow his stack as much,” He also shared that he “didn’t have the tempestuousness he had 40 years ago.” I believe Dr. Butler was a pioneer, a grandfather, and loved by many.

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.

A Lifeline As Close As Your Mailbox – United States Postal Service Helping Seniors Out

May 19, 2011 3 comments

Many homebound,  disabled or senior citizens may not be aware that the USPS offers a couple of programs that can provide piece of mind that someone is checking on them once a day and will even bring your mail to your front door under certain circumstances.

The Carrier Alert Program

In July 1982, the United States Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers(NALC) launched Carrier Alert, a joint effort to partner with local social service agencies across the country to offer a measure of security for one of the most vulnerable segments of our society—homebound citizens. During its 25-year history, Carrier Alert has used letter carriers’ unique daily presence in America’s communities to keep a watchful eye on elderly, infirm and disabled citizens. The value of the program has been repeatedly demonstrated as alert letter carriers have helped thousands of these citizens receive assistance. In many cases, their actions have literally saved lives.

Delivering mail to the same residences day after day, letter carriers become familiar with customers’ habits and often notice changes in routine that could mean a patron is in distress. Accumulating mail is a common clue, but lights burning in midday, pet dogs crying, drawn draperies, or in some areas, no tracks in the snow—can all signal trouble within. When a volunteer carrier notes something unusual concerning a patron registered with Carrier Alert, he or she reports it to a postal supervisor or other designated individual who in turn contacts the sponsoring local agency. They check on the person and if something’s wrong, contact family, police or emergency services as appropriate. Because participation is voluntary and operation depends on local agencies, the Carrier Alert program is well established in some regions and little known in others. Where it is in use, it earns constant praise–just as letter carriers across the nation do every day, with or without a formal program. Check with your local post office to see if a Carrier Alert Program is offered in your neighborhood. If not, rest assured your letter carrier is vigilant of your presence and well-being.

Mailbox by *skshoup on deviantART

Door Delivery of Mail for Physically Disabled or Elderly

In 1998, the US Congress passed the “Mail Delivery to Physically Handicapped Act.” It provides the service of mail being brought to your door as opposed to being deposited in your mailbox at the street. For door mail deliver to begin, approval of your application by your local Post Master is required . Contact the Post Office and they will inform you of the process. The application needs to include a certificate from a licensed physician stating that the resident is physically handicapped to the extent that anything other than door delivery would pose a medical or physical hardship. If your door delivery is authorized, you’ll need to provide either an approved house-mounted box that provides adequate protection and security for the mail or a door slot. A mailbox with a lock must have a slot that is large enough to accommodate your daily mail volume. The Postal Service neither opens a locked box nor accepts a key for this purpose.

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, Board and Care Facilities, 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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