What NOT to Expect From Skilled Nursing Homes

If you are placing a family member in a skilled nursing home, don’t expect your loved one to get personalized one-on-one care.  It just doesn’t work that way. Buzzers ring and residents wait, sometimes for long periods  of time. The administrators and staff will tell you all your loved one’s needs will be taken care…

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It’s Time to Change the Medicare Hospice Dementia Criteria

It is time for Medicare to change its hospice criteria for people with dementia.  The current criteria isn’t reflective of the progression of many dementia patients with other chronic illnesses.  It can be difficult to get  dementia patients accepted to hospice because either they haven’t lost 10% of their weight or still speak more than…

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Living Long Doesn’t Mean Living Well

I recently read one of the best articles on aging and healthcare in our soceity by Micheal Wolff in The New Yorker.  The name of the article is “A Life Worth Ending”.  http://nymag.com/news/features/parent-health-care-2012-5/ .  It is the story of caring for an aging parent and how the dying process was drawn out without any input from family.…

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One Nursing Home’s Alternative To Anti-Psychotic Medications.

The Boston Globe, part two in the series on the use of anti-psychotics in nursing homes, offers a look at  alternatives.  The article focuses on a nursing home, The Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley and how they do not have anyone on these medications for behavioral issues.  According to the data released by the…

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Nursing Home Use Of Antipsychotics: A Boston Globe Series

I want to thank the Boston Globe writers, Kay Lasar and Matt Carroll, for doing the series on the use of anti-psychotic medications to treat Alzheimer’s disease  and persons without a mental illness called “A Rampant Prescription, A Hidden Peril.”  I applaud them for their research and investigation into the over use of these drugs in…

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Is the Nursing Home Model The Best Option For The Future?

I often find myself wondering, while visiting a nursing home, how our healthcare system for the elderly ended up this way.  I have become very good at ignoring the smells, sounds, cries and staff’s freguent insensitivities and focusing on my client.  I also have to help  the family with the emotional, physical, psychological and financial…

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The Man Who Mistook His Catheter Bag For A Phone

This was a  spouse/caregiver’s call to me for help.  “He is trying to use his bag as a phone.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  The caregiver was unhinged, scared and confused.  What had happened to make these sudden changes?  What happened was, my client had a minor procedure for back pain that…

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Care Coordination: Is It A Doctor’s Role?

Today, I read an entry from Merrill Goozner on his Gooznews blog called “AMA:Pay Docs for Care Coordination”.  He writes at the beginning: “The little-known American Medical Association committee that recommends physician pay scales to Medicare’s fee-for-service program today asked the agency to reimburse physicians for coordinating care for their chronically-ill patients. In a letter to…

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