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Archive for June, 2011

Where To Turn When There’s A Problem At A Senior Care Facility

June 28, 2011 3 comments

The word “ombudsman” is defined by Dictionary.com as follows :
om·buds·man – /ˈɒm bədz mən, -ˌmæn, -bʊdz-, ˈɔm-, ɒmˈbʊdz mən, -ˌmæn, ɔm-/ (om-buh dz-muh) –noun a government official who hears and investigates complaints by private citizens against other officials or government agencies. a person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems, as between employees and an employer or between students and a university.

If you reside in a senior care facility or have a family member who does, you may not know where to turn if a problem arises that cannot be resolved with the management or is believed to be of a criminal nature, a government Ombudsman Program is where you can go for help. The California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is authorized by the Federal Older American Act and its State companion, the Older Californians Act. The primary responsibility of the program is to investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, and assisted living facilities. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates elder abuse complaints in long-term care facilities and in residential care facilities for the elderly.

The goal of the program is to advocate for the rights of all residents of long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman’s advocacy role takes two forms :

To receive and resolve individual complaints and issues by, or on behalf of, these residents;

To pursue resident advocacy in the long term care system, its laws, policies, regulations, and administration through public education and consensus building. Residents or their family members can file a complaint directly with the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman or by calling the Crisis Line. All long-term care facilities are required to post, in a conspicuous location, the phone number for the local Ombudsman office and the Statewide CRISISline number 1-800-231-4024. This CRISISline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take calls and refer complaints from residents.

Elder Abuse Recipe Card by *d00mtree on deviantART

Ombudsman services are free and confidential. Contact your local LTC Ombudsman.

Program for the following resident services :

Questions or concerns about quality of care
Questions or concerns about financial abuse
Suspected physical, mental or emotional abuse of residents
Witnessing services for Advance Health Care Directives
Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident care plan meeting
Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident or family council meeting

Information provided by CA.GOV – California Department of Aging.

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.

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When the Elderly Fall, It’s Not Always Just A Matter of Getting Back Up

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Elderly people have the highest risk of falling and hurting themselves. Hip fractures are the most common result of these falls. “They fall because they lose their coordination. They have difficulty with their eye sight and they have difficulty with their balance, and they become weak,” says Dr. Charles A. Peterson, an orthopedic surgeon at Seattle Orthopedic and Fracture Clinic. “When they fall, they tend to have a higher frequency of fractures due to osteoporosis and weaker bones.” Most often, an individual knows immediately that he/she has a broken hip.

Symptoms of hip breakage can include stiffness, contusions, or inflammation in the hip area. The elderly are not able to quickly heal from an injury such as a hip fracture. Their bones are fragile and weak resulting in requirement for long term assistance and health care. The best option for seniors who are suffering from injuries such as hip fractures would be to move to an assisted living facility in their area. Assisted living facilities provide the assistance and medical care that seniors need. They help seniors bathe, get dressed and provide any other assistance to perform their day to day routines.

Falling by *m-a-t-h-e-s on deviantART

Although surgeries to repair fractures are relatively straightforward for seniors, complications afterward can increase their mortality rates to about 25 percent in the year after surgery. Some complications can include blood clots and infection. As we grow older our ability to ward off infection is not as strong. Post-surgery complications more often lead to death if a patient already suffers from another serious medical condition. A lengthy process is usually associated with recovery after hip surgery. The typical hospital stay lasts four days to a week, but a longer stay isn’t unusual. After a hospital stay, patients can go many different routes towards their recovery depending on insurance, age and medical complications. Assisted living facilities are a more affordable option than staying in a hospital.

Physical therapy is part of the recovery process for seniors suffering from hip fractures. This is one of the many medical services offered at an assisted living facility. Physical therapy for a hip fracture usually consists of muscle regeneration and strengthening, balance exercises, bed mobility, transfer and gait training. Occupational therapy focuses on the activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, and bathing. The amount of physical therapy a patient receives depends upon the type of health care insurance they have and their recovery progress. Therapy typically lasts about four to six months post operation. Depending on the doctor and how the patient is coping the physical and psychological demands of their condition could receive more intensive therapy. Assisted living facilities are a great option to consider for seniors who have undergone surgery due to a hip fracture.

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 Dallas 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.

Watchful Waiting: Stuck In The Middle With An Aging Parent

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The process of family members observing the decline of a parent’s physical well being isn’t something that occurs overnight. It’s an evolution and although there is an abundance of information and resources out there that provide solutions for practical matters, it doesn’t make dealing with the emotional aspect any easier. As difficult as it is in its own right, unless you have a parent who dies suddenly or contracts a terminal illness that requires acute care in a hospital setting, you are bound to find yourself in the abyss of “watchful waiting.” This can turn into a long period of uncertainty dealing with intervention and assistance on practical issues and the emotional roller coaster ride that accompanies it.

I’m the middle child in the family and find myself in the position of not only attempting to provide support to my elder sibling, who because of geographical proximity has become our declining mother’s “caretaker” but also in the role of “buffer,” the one who has the “luxury” of addressing the emotional side. I admit it, since I’m not a psychologist or an expert on the subject; I’m going strictly on instincts and the miniscule bit of information out there that addresses this issue. And, it is an issue. How one must feel, and how they act out when they lose the ability to control their own life, is complex and painful. It’s not too difficult to figure out that denial plays a huge part, and emotions such as extreme sadness, anger and resentment can surface.

aging by *amhd on deviantART

For the children, it can be difficult to know when a parent’s decline in independence has become a serious problem. Keeping an eye on the deterioration of a parent’s activities of daily living — basic skills such as personal care and hygiene, mobility in the home, taking medications, eating and dressing, housekeeping, paying bills, doing yard work and scheduling appointments, but it’s even more difficult finding the time to address the emotional aspects. It very well may be impossible for one person to do it all. My husband and I recently paid a weekend visit to my mother, not just for the purpose of spending time with her, but also to give my “caretaker” sibling a break.

Although my mother verbalized her appreciation for “all the things” my sibling does for her, she also expressed a bit of denial about her even needing some of the services and features that have been set into place. She didn’t really think the installation of grab bars in her bathroom was something she needed, and said, “maybe when I get old” it might be helpful. Believe me; at this very point in time, the bars may very well prevent her from taking a fall. I decided at that moment it would serve no purpose in trying to reason or explain to her that she IS old, and her lack of mobility, balance and steadiness was obvious. Therefore, in order to keep her agreement to have them installed in place, I just agreed that it was an excellent idea.

Throughout the weekend, I listened to her lament the lost of her independence on many issues such as driving, managing her finances, etc. as I simultaneously agreed and disagreed with her take on the necessity of other practical “solutions” that are in place; home visits by a physical therapist, a medical alert system, a regimented prescription taking system, etc., etc. I guess caring for an elderly parent is a joint effort, and I’m okay with being the middleman.

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 Dallas 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.

Vanity Hair – Highlight Of The Week For Homebound Seniors

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Most assisted living facilities and nursing homes offer services for getting a shave, cut, wash and blow dry for their residents. But what if seniors living at home are finding it increasingly difficult and exhausting to wash their own hair? Why not talk it over with an elderly relative or friend and offer to arrange a weekly visit to a local hair salon or barber shop?

Seniors living alone at home rely heavily on routine to give structure to their everyday activities, but as they lose the independence of driving and physical ailments prevent them from doing certain hobbies such as gardening or cooking, they may find themselves staring out a window all day instead. Mental and physical activity, socializing and interaction with others are such important factors in keeping up morale and healthy living. There should be more to life than looking forward to, (or dreading) going to regularly scheduled doctor appointments.

 

Paul's Hair Salon by *MiniStarr on deviantART

Depending on your area, you might want to call around to see if any salons or barbers specialize in senior citizen services and/or offer senior discounts on certain days. If driving themselves to the appointment is not an option and there aren’t any family members or friends available to drive, you could research senior transportation services offered by most communities, arrange a pick up, and drop off for a weekly trip to the hairdresser. It might not be for everyone, but for some, it could very well be the highlight of their week!

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.

Understanding Cultural Differences – What Role Do They Play In Healthcare

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Ramon Jimenez, chairperson of the diversity advisory board of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons could not have said it better, “Cultural competency will have to be on everybody’s radar screen for generations to come. When the day comes that the melting pot is truly a melting pot, then we won’t need this, but that day isn’t here yet.” Patients differ in many ways. Some of these differences are due to patient illness, personality, socioeconomic class, or education, but the most profound differences may be cultural. Many health professionals think that if they just treat each patient with respect, they will avert most cultural problems. That is not always the case. Some knowledge of cultural customs can help avoid misunderstandings and enable practitioners to provide better care.

Cultural generalizations will not fit every patient whom physicians see, but knowledge of broad patterns of behavior and belief can give physicians and other health professionals a starting point from which to provide a variety of ethnic and cultural different patients with the most appropriate care. Cultural Sensitivity & Competence for health care professionals is achieved through formal coursework, informal interaction, networking, and experience.

A few examples of why understanding differences is important :

A person of Chinese ethnicity was hospitalized and put in room number 4. In Chinese (and Japanese), the character for the number 4 is pronounced the same way as the character for the word “death.” Just as many American patients might not be comfortable in room 13—a number that is considered bad luck—many Chinese and Japanese patients would prefer not to be in a room called “death.” Even the most sensitive health care provider could not be expected to know the significance of the number 4 without some knowledge of these cultures or their languages.

Culture by *AagaardDS on deviantART

Lack of eye contact in American culture may indicate many things, most of which are negative. A physician may interpret a patient’s refusal to make eye contact as a lack of interest, embarrassment, or even depression. However, a Chinese patient may be showing the physician respect by avoiding eye contact. If the patient is female and from a Muslim country, and her physician is male, she may be trying to avoid sexual impropriety by not making eye contact. A Navajo patient may be trying to avoid soul theft or loss. Knowing the meaning of eye contact, or lack thereof, may help avoid misinterpreting a patient’s behavior.

Nurses are generally taught the importance of touch. Yet, if they are caring for a patient of the opposite sex and that patient is an Orthodox Jew, for example, it is important to know that, for that religion, contact outside of hands-on care is prohibited. A custom in many cultures, including Mexican, Filipino, Chinese, and Iranian, is for a patient’s family to be the first to hear about a poor prognosis, after which the family decides whether and how much to tell the patient. Members of such cultural groups may believe that it would be insensitive for a patient to be told bad news and that it could affect their prognosis for recovery.

Some groups share the belief that only God knows when someone will die naturally, so (according to the Hmong, for example) the only way a physician could know when someone will die is if that physician planned to kill the patient. Not all members of a group share these beliefs, so physicians should not automatically assume that every patient who is a member of one of these groups would want to be shielded from information. Nevertheless, a physician who is aware of such cultural differences could arrange to discuss with the patient, in advance, just who should be given information regarding the patient’s condition.

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 Philadelphia 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.

Top 10 Ways To Prepare For Retirement

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Today, only 43 percent of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement. In 2005, of those who had 401(k) coverage available, 25 percent did not participate. Although today in 2010 because of the recession, many employers do not offer any type of benefits. Since the average American spends 20 years in retirement, putting money away for retirement is a habit we can all live with. The US Department of Labor has put together a list with helpful ways to protect seniors as they approach retirement.

Know Your Retirement Needs
Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you’ll need about 70 percent of your preretirement income – lower earners, 90 percent or more – to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your financial future.

Find Out About Your Social Security Benefits
Social Security pays the average retiree about 40 percent of preretirement earnings. Call the Social Security Administration at 1.800.772.1213 for a free Social Security Statement and find out more about your benefits at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

Learn About Your Employer’s Pension Or Profit Sharing Plan
If your employer offers a plan, check to see what your benefit is worth. Most employers will provide an individual benefit statement if you request one. Before you change jobs, find out what will happen to your pension. Learn what benefits you may have from previous employment. Find out if you will be entitled to benefits from your spouse’s plan.

Contribute To a Tax-Sheltered Savings Plan
If your employer offers a tax-sheltered savings plan, such as a 401(k), sign up and contribute all you can. Your taxes will be lower, your company may kick in more, and automatic deductions make it easy. Over time, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate.

 

Dad's Retirement by *jamesthemarno on deviantART

Ask Your Employer to Start a Plan
If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, suggest that it start one. Certain employers can set up simplified plans.

Consider Basic Investment Principles
How you save can be as important as how much you save. Inflation and the type of investments you make play important roles in how much you will have saved at retirement. Know how your pension or savings plan is invested. Financial security and knowledge go hand in hand.

Put Money Into an Individual Retirement Account
You can put up to $4,000 a year into an individual Retirement Account (IRA) and gain tax advantages.

When you open an IRA, you have two options – a traditional IRA or the newer Both IRA. The tax treatment of your contributions and withdrawals will depend on which option you select. In addition, you should know that the after-tax value of your withdrawal will depend on inflation and the type of IRA you choose.

Don’t Touch Your Savings
Do not dip into your retirement savings. You’ll lose principal and interest, and you may lose tax benefits. If you change jobs, roll over your savings directly into an IRA or you new employer’s retirement plan.

Start Now, Set Goals and Stick to Them
Start early. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Put time on your side. Make retirement savings a high priority. Devise a plan, stick to it, and set goals for yourself. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start saving. So start now, whatever your age!

Ask Questions
These tips point you in the right direction. Nevertheless, you’ll need more information. Talk to your employer, your bank, your union, or a financial adviser. Ask questions and make sure the answers make sense to you. Get practical advice and act now. Financial security doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and commitment and, yes, money, another good reason to get the best advice when searching for an assisted living option for yourself or an elderly love 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, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Phoenix 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.

Thinking About Assisted Living Facilities – Are Your Parents Ready?

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Home care refers to any kind of professional care for seniors and the elderly which takes place within their home. This kind of care helps senior citizens who want to continue living in their homes but need some assistance to carry out their daily routines. The alternative to home care would be assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities are for seniors who need to live in a place specifically designed for their care. As seniors get older they need more medical attention and assistance to help them cope with their health conditions.

They need someone to help them with bathing, getting dressed and other such routine tasks. Medical specialists are available at the facilities to attend to their diseases and conditions in order to make them as comfortable as possible. At some point in our lives, all of us will require assistance in managing the things that we once handled with no effort. Less efficient movement and capability are all a natural part of the aging process. Along with the planning of retirement and financial investments we should all take the time to select ideal assisted living facilities to spend our golden years in comfort.

Passages by *saperlipop on deviantART

Some people get to a point where they require assistance sooner than others, and this dynamic varies from age to age. In cases where an unexpected illness or accident requires home care, the changes are easy to identify. When there’s a gradual decline, the little aches and pains that grow into big aches and pains slowly diminish a person’s ability to manage their daily life. Accepting the fact that you require help to perform the most basic of routines is not an easy thing to come to terms with. For some people taking the assistance or admitting they need assistance is a matter of pride and dignity. This is why this issue is sometimes hard for families to deal with. Some people can transition into this lifestyle gracefully. Seniors suffering from a prolonged illness, poor nutritional balance or complicated health conditions are signs that assisted living is required.

Before other serious health conditions develop, nutrition should be addressed properly. Assisted living facilities will make sure seniors under their care eat proper meals and get the medicine they need. Often seniors living on their own forget to take their medicines or don’t get the nutrition they require making their conditions worse than they already are. There is also the risk of seniors not realizing that their combination of medications could be a dangerous cocktail to their body. Assisted living facilities know what a delicate matter this is to you and your family. They counsel the patient and the families concerned to make the transition as smooth and comfortable 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 health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living New York 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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