Life in General
Lowering Health Care Costs Is Hard Because Every Patient Is Unique — That’s Bull $hit.
Below is my scathing response to this recent article in The Atlantic, by Dr. David A. Shaywitx, director of strategic and commercial planning at a San Francisco based biopharmaceutical company.
I’m not surprised that this article was written by someone representing a biopharmaceutical company who sees every cure as a new drug and has a profit motive to find ways to justify high costs – in this case the “complexity of patients.”
This is exactly what’s wrong with our health care system – it’s actually a sick care or disease management system that has nothing to do with keeping people well and healthy and that treats symptoms to keep patients alive but coming back as paying customers. Read the rest of this entry »
Want to add more and better years to your life? Now is the time.
We’re living longer than ever: The average American born in 2013 will be alive nearly four years longer than someone born 20 years ago. But until recently, it wasn’t clear if the years we’ve added to our lives were good-quality years.
A recent study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School starts to answer that question. Researchers found that today, 25 year olds can expect to live “2.4 more years of a healthy life” and 65 year olds can look forward to 1.7 extra healthy years than people who lived two decades back.
Find out what you’re already doing right and where you can still improve in our list of 100 ways to live to 100. (This Huffington Post article expands on each of the items listed below.) Read the rest of this entry »
If you are a family caregiver, think about how much time do you spend, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Some 65 million unpaid family caregivers look after elderly or disabled loved ones, averaging 20 hours/wk. AARP did a study that put the 2009 annual burden on unpaid family caregivers at $480 billion/year, including lost worker productivity, reduced earning capacity & retirement income, and increases in their own physical & emotional health and related costs. It’s more than the $361B in Medicaid spending and nearly as much as the $509B in Medicare spending.
The infographic below, from Top10OnlineColleges.org, identifies JOB stress as a leading factor in poor health, but so is not getting enough sleep. Of course the two are closely related. After the infographic and listed highlights (for blind people using a screen reader) are related infographics and articles on both Stress and Sleep. Enjoy, but don’t stress out. Read the rest of this entry »
The Impact of Mindset on Quality of Life…
and What Healthcare Providers and Patients Can Do About It
by Samantha Rodgers
Many factors impact a person’s quality of life. Often we focus primarily on physical health and, while that certainly plays a role, it’s not the only component impacting life quality. Healthcare providers and researchers have studied the effect of mindset over the past years, and have learned that what a person thinks or believes and how he or she feels emotionally also plays a role in quality of life.
According to a study conducted by the Department of Healthcare Management and Hacettepe University in Turkey, happiness or a lack thereof has a definite impact on the quality of a person’s life as they age. Similar to improving physical health with medical treatments, healthcare providers and their patients are now also working together to improve quality of life by changing thoughts and attitudes, and boosting emotions. Read the rest of this entry »
By Dr. Alexis Abramson
When it comes to technology, businesses are realizing that the 50+ demographic — which has at times been overlooked in terms of the marketing of new technologies — is actually extremely interested in innovative “50+ friendly” technology.
As a matter of fact, the marketplace for technology to assist aging adults is expected to grow sharply from $2 billion today to more than $20 billion by 2020, according a report from Aging in Place Technology Watch — and boomers are going to be on the receiving end of the advancements and innovations.
I’m often asked about 50+ technology in my Dr. Alexis Approved blog — so I thought I would share a few of the most frequently asked questions. I hope they help you learn more about the advanced technology (and fun gadgets!) available for boomers, caregivers and seniors. Read the rest of this entry »
Just 30% of full time workers are engaged at work, while half are uninspired, and another 30% simply “roam the halls” spreading discontent. Some call this presenteeism. Either way, there’s a personal and economic cost.
A Huffington Post article and infographic (below) encourages us to re-think what success means and reassess our priorities, possibly leading to jobs that we really WANT to be doing.
According to Arianna Huffington, “We’ve all bought into this male definition of success, money and power, and it’s not working. It’s not working for men, and it’s not working for women. It’s not working for anyone.”
That’s where their Third Metric infographic comes into play. After the graphic I list some of the key points, as well as related statistics from a similar infographic on sleep. That way, blind people using screen readers can “see” the data too.
Editor: I’ll add some of my own advice in teal.
In 2012, approximately 12.6 million Americans were the victims of identity theft, according to NBC News. Predators in nature, identity thieves like to target the aged and weak, singling them out as easy-to-ambush prey. And, according to the FBI, the elderly do tend to have certain attributes that make them especially choice targets for con artists. For example, senior citizens are usually more trusting than younger generations and fall easier for identity theft scams, such as phishing. Many seniors also have a substantial nest egg saved up, making them even more attractive as potential victims.
If you have elderly relatives, educate them about the many types of identity theft scams, especially phishing. Otherwise, they could become victims of identity theft and even potentially lose their entire life savings to these crooks. Read the rest of this entry »
By Amanda Benjamin
The thought of being the victim of a home invasion is upsetting, to say the least. While a crook breaks into your home when it’s empty, a home invader enters when you’re still there. A home invasion is far more traumatic than a burglary, and it can happen to any home in any neighborhood whenever.
However, there are a number of ways to protect yourself from a home invasion, both before it happens and if you find yourself the victim of being one. Here are some of the ways you can personally protect yourself:
- Avoid ostentatious displays of luxury possessions like expensive cars, electronics, furs, jewelry, art or designer clothing.
- Keep any cash, gold, silver and expensive jewelry in a deposit box at a bank — or very well hidden, in the home.
- Consider installing a floor safe somewhere in your home. Read the rest of this entry »
YES. According to this article and most of the studies I found, optimism appears to be good for your health and pessimism seems to be bad. But I also found one study that suggested the opposite – that people who are overly optimistic about their future actually faced greater risk of disability or death within 10 years than did those pessimists who expected their future to be worse. So I guess the question about the glass being half full or half empty still depends on your perspective.
Optimism about the Future
This week I was one of several presenters giving short talks to the World Future Society about what makes us optimistic about the future. Rather than rant about health reform, as I often do, I chose instead to talk about BIG Broadband and Google’s choice of Austin for its next gigabit fiber network, Kansas City being their first. I spoke of the applications enabled by Internet access that’s more than 100 times faster than what we currently have, how it enables exciting new applications and innovations in telehealth, telework, distance learning, e-commerce, e-government, and more.
But this article takes a different spin, with text provided by Anne Boysen, one of the other speakers. Her interesting approach fits nicely with the half empty / half full question, because she looks at several trends that bring out the pessimist in us, followed by balancing trends that give us hope.
Read the rest of this entry »
Do you have an ache or health question? Would you like to know more about a body part or learn more about a health topic? With healthcorpus, you can click anywhere on the virtual body to show where it hurts and describe symptoms. That way you can better describe your condition to family, friends or your doctor. You and your doctor can also use healthcorpus to find the most relevant medical articles and information related to your selection.
Create a page and edit text – Start writing your health-related pages straightaway. Format as you like, include images and link to content on the web.
Click body to add a marker – Browse the human anatomy, find relevant body parts and click to mark the locations you want to highlight.
Drag marker to text – Drag and drop the marker into your text to link your note with the body.
Keep it private or share it – Once your page is written, you can keep it private, share it with a secret link via email, or share it with everyone as a public page.
Patients can use this free tool to communicate with their doctor, and the doc can use it to better communicate with patients. That’s important for several reasons.
Patients often complain that doctors don’t seem to actually listen to what they’re telling them, instead staring at a computer screen and tapping on a keyboard. Likewise, nearly 80% of patients forget what the doctor tells them as soon as they leave the office or are discharged from the hospital, and 50% of what they do remember is incorrect, according to this report in the Wall Street Journal.