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The Return Of The Little Black Bag In Healthcare

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Right around the same time some private physicians are refusing to accept new Medicare patients in fear of lower government reimbursements, another physician based concept is taking hold. The Academy of Home Care Physicians has a mission statement that promotes the art, science and practice of medicine in the home. Established in 1988, the Academy “envisions a healthcare system in which any patient who needs it can receive comprehensive primary care in their home.” Research shows that for every elderly person in a nursing home, there are three more patients equally as sick and fragile who are living at home. In a recently article published in The New England Journal of Medicine on “Why Health Care is Going Home,” Dr. Steven H. Landers stated that, “Our financing system, malpractice laws, and consumer culture all encourage utilization of costly services and have contributed to unsustainable increases in the cost of care. In home care is often less costly, and since it is highly desirable for patients, it offers a potential win–win solution.”

He added that, “The transformation of patients’ homes into central venues for health care may take years or decades, depending on how the national and institutional politics play out. New payment models are needed to cover services that haven’t previously been offered at home and to realign physicians’ incentives. Yet, ultimately, health care organizations that do not adapt to the home care imperative risk becoming irrelevant.” In today’s generation of physicians, few have been educated in medical school or continuing education to provide the kind and level of care that could be made available. Few have been educated to provide home health agencies with professional support as medical directors; fewer still have learned the advanced team techniques that allow them to work with other health professionals, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists and others by providing continuity of care across the care continuum. Concerns over reimbursement also have been a barrier.

The American Academy of Home Care Physicians serves the needs of thousands of physicians and related professionals and agencies interested in improving care of patients in the home. Members and volunteers work to reduce barriers and enhance practice education. Notable successes include fostering increased reimbursement, sponsoring multiple educational and scientific seminars and providing the practice community with a variety of helpful publications. Academy members include home care physicians who make house calls, care for homebound patients, act as home health agency medical directors or refer patients to home care agencies. Specialties include internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, geriatrics, psychiatry, emergency medicine and more.
Other members are directors of agencies actively planning for future home care organizations, medical directors of managed care plans, nurse practitioners who make house calls, physician assistants, and administrators of medical groups interested in home care. The services provided by home care agencies and physicians are billed under a set of codes designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants are required to oversee or directly provide progressively more sophisticated and more frequent home visits.

Beyond the licensure and certification processes, no similar evaluation mechanism exists for skills obtained through continuing education and practice experience. The Home Care Credentialing Examination fills this gap and enables home care medical providers to demonstrate their proficiency. Patients also benefit from proficiency testing and the Academy’s recognition of those who receive the credential since the exam assesses the knowledge and skills identified by respected experts as necessary to provide safe and effective medical care in the home. Upon the completion of this educational activity, the participant should be better able to:
Discuss and apply knowledge of clinical problems, effective approaches to end of life/palliative care, functionality, social services and legal/ethical concerns related to home care. Attest to his or her added competency in home care medicine by demonstrating knowledge, skills and proficiency in managing common problems faced in home care. As a public service, The American Academy of Home Care Physician’s website provides a list of its members and medical groups that provide home 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 Chicago, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities 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.

Napping In The Afternoon Can Improve Learning & Memory For Seniors

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Napoleon Bonaparte napped because he had chronic insomnia and could only sleep about three hours a night.
Thomas Edison napped in lieu of sleeping at night. He believed that sleeping was a waste of time, “a deplorable regression to the primitive state of a caveman,” but he napped frequently and for long periods. Albert Einstein felt that his daily naps “refreshed the mind” and made him more creative. During World War II, Winston Churchill scheduled his cabinet meetings around his daily catnaps. Salvador Dali napped in his armchair, holding a spoon over a metal pan on the floor below. When Dali hit REM sleep and lost muscle control, the spoon would fall from his grip, bang the metal pan and awaken him. Studies show that taking a nap is a great way to increase alertness and reaction times, improve mood, and reduce accidents. For many people, napping is also a highly pleasurable experience.

Although most assisted living communities have activity-packed calendars, many seem to leave a couple of hours open in the afternoons so residents can rest or simply have free time. Recent research is providing evidence that a well-timed afternoon nap may be the best way to combat sleepiness, improve performance, and overcome the late day grogginess commonly known as the “midday dip.” Gregory Belenky, MD, Research Professor and Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University, says, “A large number of the world’s people divide their sleep into two blocks, with the afternoon sleep called a siesta in most Spanish speaking countries. Mediterranean countries have always kept attuned to the biorhythms that American culture tries to ignore, and they’ve found a way to work around the body’s internal clock. It’s called the riposo in Italy.

Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece traditionally observe an early afternoon shutdown that begins at noon to 1:30pm and runs until 2:30 to 4pm.  Museums, most churches, shops, businesses, just about everything except restaurants, lower the shutters and lock the doors so that proprietors can either go home or head to a local trattoria for a long lunch and perhaps a snooze during the day’s hottest hours. There are a variety of studies that prove that nighttime sleep improves learning. The idea is that newly learned knowledge or skills are integrated in the brain during sleep. But do naps serve the same role? A new study by researchers at Harvard University has provided strong evidence that it does. The Harvard researchers found that taking a 45 minute nap helps improve learning and memory and has a benefit similar to that of nighttime sleep.

Combining nighttime sleep with napping has twice the positive effect. It is even possible that divided sleep is more recuperative than sleep taken in a single block. Author, Cathleen Schine, romantically describes her families’ love affair with the art of napping when she writes, “naps float, weightless and temporal, they are nature’s whim.” Although appreciative of the Harvard research, when describing her son’s early inability to sleep, she said, “I was even more grateful for a family legacy that taught me, and allowed me to teach him, that not everything has to be useful, not everything has to lead to something more.” She adds that, “Sometimes, for no reason and with no purpose, you can just curl up on the couch, feel the soft breeze, and drift into a soft, delicious sleep that leads to nowhere in particular, and back again.” When fatigue sets in, a quick nap can do wonders for your mental and physical stamina.

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 Chicago, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities 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.

Everyday Products That Can Contribute To Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

There is much controversy surrounding the benefits of avoiding many chemical laden products that most of use on a daily basis. Some rely completely on information provided by the medical field and the FDA, believing the lucrative market for “natural products” is simply a moneymaking industry surviving on the wings of scare tactics. Perhaps it would be wise to take a look at the type of products we use. Try asking someone who survived a serious form of cancer by using medically unconventional treatment methods. They became cancer free and for the most part monitor the food they eat and their use of products in order to stay that way. Many studies have been done linking various foods and chemical intake by way of common products with certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia and cancer. These kinds of studies are monitored by Assisted Living Health Care professionals to make sure they are offering the quality care seniors need. Assisted living facilities make sure to take the time to select food, products and medications that would be ideal for seniors and their health conditions.

Concerns About Aluminum

Almost every over-the-counter product that contains it will have it in the form of Aluminum Chlorohdrate or Aluminum Zirconium. Natural health groups have been pressing government and regulation agencies for years to take a hard look at the long-term safety of Aluminum in cosmetic products. Aluminum is what gives antiperspirants their wetness-fighting ability, and they are highly effective. Commercial deodorants can contain up to 25 percent Aluminum salts by weight. Theories regarding the accumulation of aluminum, lead, mercury and other substances in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s and dementia are unbelievable to many in the medical field. They believe that twisted fragments of protein within nerve cells or abnormal clusters of dead and dying nerve cells, and protein clog up the cell. The destruction of nerve cells leads to the decrease in substances secreted by neurons that send messages to other neurons and this appears to disconnect areas of the brain that normally work together.

Dementia is known to have developed in some people during kidney dialysis because of the amount of Aluminum in the water used during treatment. Although there is no solid evidence linking Aluminum with Alzheimer’s and dementia, looking at some of the symptoms of Aluminum toxicity like nervousness, forgetfulness, speech disturbances, memory loss and reduced mental faculties, one might start to wonder. Some toxic metals like aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel are taken into our bodies through the air, food, products and water. The toxins from these metals remain in our bodies for years and have possible links to Alzheimer’s disease, Aluminum toxicity or mercury poisoning.

Aluminum Cans by *flamingroseninja on deviantART

Drugs, Food & Products Containing Aluminum

Antacids contain Aluminum Hydroxide. Anti-diarrhea products may contain Aluminum salts and Aluminum Magnesium Silicate. Antiperspirants and deodorants contain Aluminum Chloride. Baking powders contain Aluminum Sulfate or Sodium Aluminum Sulfate. Bleached flour contains Potassium Alum. Buffered aspirin contains Aluminum Hydroxide or Aluminum Glycinate. Canned goods, cooking utensils may contain Aluminum salts. Aluminum coated waxed containers used especially for orange and pineapple juices, causes the liquid inside to absorb aluminum. Beer and soft drinks that are stored in Aluminum cans also absorb small quantities of Aluminum. Food additives in cake mixes, frozen dough, self-rising flour contains Sodium Aluminum Phosphate. Processed and grated cheese contains Sodium Aluminum Phosphate. Anti-dandruff shampoos contain Magnesium Aluminum Silicate. Other shampoos may contain Aluminum Lauryl Sulfate. Table salt contains Aluminum Calcium Silicate. Tartar sauce, tobacco smoke may also contain high levels of Aluminum. Eye drops used for the treatment of glaucoma and increased pressure in the eye contain mono-basic and dibasic Sodium Phosphate and Sodium Hydroxide in a buffered water solution. Sodium hydroxide goes by other names like Lye and Caustic Soda and is used in detergents, drinking water, food preparation, pulp and paper, textiles, toothpastes, soaps and for unblocking drains.

Foils or Aluminum containers may have trace amounts. Pancake mixes, and grains may contain aluminum. Pickling salts for pickles or maraschino cherries can contain Aluminum Ammonium Sulfate and Aluminum Potassium Sulfate. Mercury is the most toxic element among the risk factors that causes damage to our bodies. Small amounts are found in shellfish and some fish. It is used in dental amalgam fillings, bactericides, fungicides, paint, thermometers and vaccines. Mercury can cause changes in the lymphoid tissue; it affects the immune system, nervous system, kidneys, and it produces resistance to antibiotics. Mercury is extremely toxic and poisonous to our bodies. Symptoms of mercury toxicity include fatigue, indigestion, muscle and joint weakness, nervousness, depression, or weight loss. Medical health care professionals in the assisted living industry are aware of the symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. They are skilled at handling seniors with these conditions. They provide recreational and medical amenities that Alzheimer patients need to live in comfort and happiness.

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 Chicago, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities 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.

Ethical Decision Making On End of Life Issues

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Different Strokes, child actor, Gary Coleman passed away in May 2010 after suffering a fall in his home that resulted in brain hemorrhaging, the next day, coma and his being put onto a life support system. According to multiple sources, Coleman’s Will stated his wish to not have his life prolonged if two doctors agreed that his condition was terminal. However, in the same document he also added the stipulation that if he was in a comatose state for 15 days, he wished to have life support removed at that point. As reported in articles on his passing, life-support systems were removed after only one day at the request of his ex-wife and partner.

End-of life decisions similar to this are made every day in Intensive Care Units in hospitals across the country, involve decisions that are complicated, emotionally charged, and usually involve the patients’ wishes, family, and the healthcare providers. Many times the end-of-life decision making process begins when the near death state of a patient suffering from disease, complications from stroke, heart attack, Alzheimer’s and other conditions involves the fact that life could not be sustained without life support; has been deemed terminal; and there is an absence of any prognoses for recovery. Advances in medical technology increases the ability to prolonglife and ironically, sometimes cause roadblocks in this difficult end-of-life decision-making process. New drugs, devices, and procedures become available every day for usein hospitals that increase the ability to counteract or modify theeffects of diseases or injuries caused by accidents that, in the past, were fatal.

Slowly Dying by *photonig on deviantART

With all of the enthusiasm surrounding technology and cure and often times, the need for imminent action, sometimes patients’wishes, quality of life, and consideration of the burden oftreatment to the patient compared with the benefit are overlooked.
Communication between healthcare providers and family members and consideration of the patients’ previously documented or expressed wishes are critical in making an ethical end-of-life decision. The request for a meeting of a multidisciplinary ethics committee that includes physicians, nurses, a social worker, a chaplain and the family members is sometimes used to inform and “sort out” the many factors involved in making a final decision that allows for the patients’ peaceful passing.

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 Chicago, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities 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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