Caring for Elderly Parents from Afar

Caring for MomFamilies used to stay in the same general location. This made it convenient for grown children to keep tabs on their elderly parents and make sure that they were doing well and receiving proper care. Now that so many families are scattered across the country, it can be a bit more challenging to care for our aging loved ones. If your parents live in Phoenix but you are up in Portland, rest assured there are still plenty of ways to be an effective long-distance caregiver. Consider the following tips and ideas for caring for elderly parents from afar: Read More …

How to Help Elderly Overcome “Drug” Addiction

Creative Commons/Borya

Creative Commons/Borya

By Rohit Agarwal

Recent studies and theories show that elderly citizens of all countries seem to be affected by what appears to be a rebellious nature to prevent themselves from becoming delusional or losing control of themselves. This is dangerous not because of their change in nature but because of the reason behind this change, because leading studies have also shown that the elderly face a new trouble: drug addiction.

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How Much does Caregiving Cost?

Nearly Half of Family Caregivers Spend
Over $5,000 Per Year on Caregiving Costs

30% Spend More than $10,000 Per Year, 21% Don’t Know How Much They Spend

Caregiver Costs

San Mateo, CA; September 15 2014 — Almost half (46%) of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on caregiving expenses, according to a new Caring.com report. A family caregiver is defined as someone who takes care of a family member or friend, but is unpaid for their services. Their caregiving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical bills, in-home care, nursing homes and more. Read More …

About Operating Room Safety

 Make Sure You’re in the Safest Possible Operating Room

Operating Room

The Hazards of Hospitals

We all think of the hospital as a place we go to get better, but hospitals in the United States are making people sicker at alarming rates. Between overtired interns, germ-covered doctors,  haphazard record keeping, and equipment failures, you might find yourself in more trouble than you were when you checked in. Here are some alarming statistics, followed by some patient recommendations.

  • 1.7 million infections are contracted in hospitals each year.
  • 1 in 5 patients suffer harm from medical errors, and 99,000 die from them.
  • You’re 30,000 times more likely to die from a hospital visit than a plane crash.
  • And more die from infections each year than from car accidents, breast cancer or aids.

High Anxiety

The simple mention of having a medical procedure brings out anxiety in most people. It’s human nature to become fearful when preparing to undergo a surgical procedure that requires in-patient treatment, sedation and operating rooms, as it is associated with pain and mortality. Read More …

HealthSpot visits reimbursed by Medicaid!

HealthSpot and CareSource Team to Improve Access to Healthcare
Managed Care company creates value for Medicaid members, increasing access to care through HealthSpot telehealth platform.

Telehealth KioskDUBLIN, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE, 8/20/2014)–HealthSpot®, a pioneer in patient and provider driven healthcare technology, and CareSource, an Ohio nonprofit managed care company dedicated to meeting the needs of healthcare consumers for more than 25 years, announced an agreement to increase access to quality healthcare for CareSource Medicaid, CareSource Just4Me and MyCare Ohio members.

HealthSpot has built a comprehensive healthcare delivery platform that combines cloud-based software with the award-winning HealthSpot station. The stations connect patients to medical providers from a variety of Ohio’s health systems including Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth and University Hospitals. For the past 18 months, these providers and others have been using the stations for diagnosis of high frequency illnesses, such as the flu and upper respiratory issues.

“HealthSpot is the first open platform that enables community providers to see patients outside their facility and truly create value for everyone in the healthcare ecosystem.”

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101 MiniTrends in Health Care

Watch for Trends Ahead

This image is from MiniTrends, a book by John Vanston that I strongly endorse. I’ve known John for years and did consulting work for his company, Technology Futures. His book inspired the vision of Modern Health Talk, because it helped me see unfulfilled opportunity at the intersection of trends. (Click image to see book)

“What the Hell is happening to health care?”

“And is it an Opportunity or a Threat?”

Insights by Wayne Caswell, Founder of Modern Health Talk.

An awful lot has changed in just the last few years and even more will change in the near future, with the aim of reducing (or at least containing) our health care costs. What’s behind these MiniTrends, and what is their implication for providers, payers and consumers? That’s the $1.5 trillion question. Here I talk about many, many MiniTrends–surely you can find 101 of them if you look! 

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

That quote is important, because 429 of the original Fortune 500 companies [1955] are no longer in business today. That’s a scary thought for those sitting at the top of the healthcare mountain, because they know they must adapt to the megatrend of health reform and Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) or die. And they are looking down with fear at the hungry competitors who are already exploiting the many related minitrends, because for them these are times of great opportunity.

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Convincing Mom to Exercise

 

Convincing Mom to Exdercise

Image credit: Healthways FIT

Since the day you were born, you’ve never won a debate with your mom. It didn’t work when you wanted that G.I. Joe. It didn’t work when you wanted to take a late night ride in Tommy Lombardo’s Corvette. And it didn’t work when you thought replacing your bedroom door with a bead curtain was a good idea.

But convincing mom to hit the gym is a fight you have to win. And here’s all the ammunition you’ll need to counter her arguments. Read More …

Exploring New Health Technologies

Monitoring Vital SignsBy Beth Kelly

There are more new health technologies on the market than ever before. Mobile phones and tablets provide health apps, many of which are capable of interacting with wearable fitness tracking devices. Trackers and their accompanying apps, which can be used to measure heart rate and steps per day, take medical awareness a step further than programs that simply focus on caloric intake.

EDITOR: While the accuracy of many of these wearable devices disappoint medical professionals, the simple ability to track progress, no matter how accurate, is a big step forward. And accuracy will improve over time with better sensor technology.

Managing diabetes and other medical illnesses, losing weight, and obtaining a higher level of health has never been easier as a result of the new technologies. Read More …

Four Health Monitoring Apps for Caretakers

Health Monitoring Apps

According to a survey by Manhattan Research, some 95 million Americans used their smartphones in 2013 to find health information or to use it as a healthcare tool. That’s an increase of 20 million from the previous year but just the tip of the iceberg. According to information published by the FDA, this market is exploding, and they expect to see 500 million users worldwide using health care apps by 2015, growing to 50% of the more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users by 2018.

The Manhattan research revealed that for 38% of mobile phone users, their device has already become essential for locating health and medical information. This is good news for caretakers who are charged with monitoring a senior’s health because of the many outstanding, cutting edge apps available.

With some 7,000 health & wellness apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad alone, deciding which to download may seem overwhelming, as we described two two years ago in How to Find Mobile Apps for Home Health Care. These four, however, can provide you with a good start. Read More …

Top Home Tech for Seniors [INFOGRAPHIC]

Home Tech for Seniors and Caregivers infographic courtesy of Home Access Products.

With innovations in health care, medicine, and nutrition, it’s no surprise that Americans are getting older. By 2030, nearly 20% of Americans will be over 65– and nearly 90% of them want to stay in their own homes as they age.

As aging in place continues to rise, seniors are increasingly looking towards technology to stay safe and connected. From personal alert systems to cell phones and tablets, seniors are embracing technology and all of its benefits. Whether aging seniors are tech-savvy, or prefer simple ways of communicating at home, these products and services can assist seniors with safety, entertainment, health/wellness, communication, and assistance. Read More …

Meaning And Depth of the Primary Care Crisis

photo image of Stephen C. Schimpff, MDThis is Part 1 of a Series on The Crisis in Primary Care by Stephen C Schimpff, MD

The primary care physician (PCP) should be the backbone of the American healthcare system. But primary care is in crisis – a very serious crisis.

The first statement is my considered opinion and I will attempt to convince you of its truth. The second sentence is a simple fact.

Accounting for only 5% of all health care expenses, the PCP can largely control the “if and when” of the other 95% and hence can be the one to best affect quality of care and the totality of costs. This crisis limits the effectiveness of the primary care physician such that care quality is nowhere near what it could be or should be and the costs of care have skyrocketed. Read More …

The Retirement Home Option

Two old womenGuest article by Gina Cook

Everyone knows that the senior population is growing fast.  By 2051 one in four people in the population is likely to be a senior over the age of 65.  Yes, this will put a strain on our healthcare system, but this has been known for years yet what has been done to prepare?  Very little!

Working in a retirement home in Scarborough, Ontario, I see this every day.  On a daily basis we get phone calls from social workers and families saying that they need immediate care for a senior.  We spend a great deal of time educating families who are told that their loved one is ready for discharge from hospital and they don’t know where to turn.  They end up at our home often with very little information and are distressed, confused and frankly without being given the information they need to make an informed decision. Read More …

Caring for a Stroke Patient

Caring for a Stroke PatientBy Rohit Agarwal

Stroke also referred to as ‘Cardiovascular Accident’, is a type of a medical condition involving brain function disturbance due to lack of blood flow to the brain. There can be a number of causes that lead to a stroke, like blockages and hemorrhages.

This is a high level medical emergency that can be fatal. There is a high risk of a stroke to people of old age, diabetic patients, people who take high cholesterol diet, consumption of alcohol and smoking. Stokes should be taken seriously as it is considered to be the second leading cause of death in the world.

When a person survives a stroke there is always a risk of further repercussions that might include a second stroke, decreased brain functions, temporary loss of dexterity and paralysis. Hence, special care should be given not only in the hospital but at home as well, so we discuss home care tips for stroke patients. Read More …

It’s Time to Take Care of Yourself

Screenshot 2014-01-20 19.40.50By Mary Ross, Health & Wellness Expert

The stress of being a loved one’s caregiver can be overwhelming. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of family caregivers reported a decline in their own health since care began. They also reported that this decline affected the quality of care they gave, and that they put their care recipient’s needs over their own and didn’t go to the doctor or have time to take care of their own needs. This stress can cause caregivers to become depressed, exhausted or ill. There is even a name for a caregiver whose health starts to deteriorate due to the stress of their responsibilities: caregiver syndrome. If you’re tasked with taking care of a loved one, reduce the stress and risks to your own health with these tips: Read More …

A Guide for the Older Caregiver

Elderly woman in wheelchair walking with sonAccording to the Family Caregiver Alliance, a caregiving spouse who is between the ages of 66 and 96 and under excessive mental or emotional strain has a 63 percent greater risk of dying compared to those who are not tasked with caregiving. Family caregivers of all ages are less likely to take care of themselves due to the increased responsibilities and often don’t get enough sleep and exercise, eat poorly, and postpone their own medical appointments. It’s important to remember that taking responsibility for your personal health and well-being will allow you to better take care of your loved one.

If your spouse is contemplating major back surgery, this will entail recovery time you need to be prepared for. If minimally invasive surgery has not yet been considered, it may be an effective alternative. In recent years there have been many advances that have made this a more appealing option for those who have been diagnosed with damaged intervertebral discs, spinal osteoarthritis and other problems that cause back pain. The recovery time for a minimally invasive spine surgery is generally shorter than open-back surgery and is one of its significant advantages. Laser Spine Institute offers some of the latest minimally invasive procedures to patients across the U.S. Visit laserspinelocations.com to determine the nearest location to you and find out if this may be an option that not only helps your spouse find pain relief quicker, but eases the burden on you as well.

No matter what type of procedure your spouse undergoes, following these tips can help make a positive difference during your time as a caregiver. Read More …

The Patient-Centered Medical Home, an Interview

The PCMH and Home Care Data: An Interview with Melissa McCormack is a byline article by Melody Wilding

PCMH LogoThe Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Model is a new approach which seeks to enhance care coordination and community-based care.

To learn more about how health care data fits into the PCMH model and how the new approach will helps seniors, we spoke with PCMH specialist Melissa McCormack of Software Advice, a source for medical systems reviews.

How does home care fit into the PCMH model? 

The PCMH model is all about putting the patient at the center of care. Under traditional fee-for-service models, doctors have no incentive to follow their patient’s health outside of the office, because they receive no compensation for doing so. But the PCMH model rewards doctors for keeping their patients healthy, which incentivizes them to monitor their patients’ health not just in the office, but at home, too.

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As Boomers Age, Who Will Care for Seniors?

the romanian mob

Photo by Flickr user jonrawlinson

Guest article by Albert Lester (editor enhanced)

Americans keep living longer. According to the CIA World Factbook, 26% of Americans are older than 55. Just more than 40% fall in the 25-54 age range, double the rate for those under age 14, and dwarfing the number of 15-24 year olds. Moreover, our population growth is less than one percent. For baby boomers, some of whom have already entered retirement, this brings an interesting question: will there be enough entitlement funds to help support them in old age, and will there be enough caregivers in the smaller generation groups that follow them to meet the demand? Read More …

16-year old makes Cancer Breakthrough with Open Access

In this video interview, Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, talks with 16-year-old Jack Andraka about how he researched journals online to invent a breakthrough cancer diagnostic test that won the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

As Jack said in the video, the test costs just $0.03, takes just 5 minutes, can discover certain cancers earlier, and is 100% accurate in clinical trials so far. Read More …

Don’t Look Back – the inspiring story of Danny & Shelly

Don't Look Back. Shelly now walks a mile three days a week using the gait trainer shown here.Danny Long became a 24×7 caretaker for his wife, Shelly, after a botched spinal cord operation in 2008. The surgery was supposed to improve the failing sense of touch in her hands and feet, but instead it left her a quadriplegic with no feeling at all, except the severe pain in her back.  Afterwards, no doctor would predict that she could ever walk again. But today, with help from her friends and faith, and the loving support of her creative and supportive husband, Shelly walks a mile every three days using the large gait trainer shown.

At some point, Danny decided to document her progress and their therapy journey in a series of videos. One showed how he adapted an old exercise bike to work for someone in a wheelchair. Another showed home-build parallel bars that Shelly used to practice standing and walking. And a third showed the walking harness he made to establish weight bearing safely. There are other videos on his Vimeo page, but the one I include below is a summary of their story.

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