Posts Tagged ‘care facilities’

Senior Living Options & Costs Infographic

As seniors age, they may need help with daily tasks. Helping them decide on appropriate living arrangements is critical to staying safe and healthy. Investing in home modifications and some sort of medical alert system is a cost effective way for seniors to feel safe and secure while living an independent lifestyle, as this infographic suggests. Read the rest of this entry »

The Waiting Room, a feature length documentary

 

The Waiting Room - Title Text

Certified Nurse Assistant Cynthia Y. Johnson at Highland Hospital in The Waiting Room

Certified Nurse Assistant Cynthia Y. Johnson at Highland Hospital in The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room is like a punch to the gut for people cast off and left out of our U.S. medical care system, what some call the best in the world. When Democrats and Republicans vie for your votes and debate healthcare reform, remember that these are not the people they are talking about. Most don’t even notice the plight of those at the bottom — this ugly underside. But our politicians, and the billionaires who set their agenda, should be made to watch this documentary, because these are the 47 percent they talk about — the people left out of the American Dream. They’re real people.

This character-driven documentary film uses unprecedented access to go behind the doors of Oakland’s Highland Hospital, a safety-net hospital fighting for survival while weathering the storm of a persistent economic downturn. Stretched to the breaking point, Highland is the primary care facility for 250,000 patients of nearly every nationality, race, and religion, with 250 patients – most of them uninsured – crowding its emergency room every day. Using a blend of cinema verité and characters’ voiceover, the film offers a raw, intimate, and often uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers cope with disease, bureaucracy, frustration, hope and hard choices during one typically hectic day.

The ER waiting room serves as the grounding point for the film, capturing in vivid detail what it means for millions of Americans to live without health insurance. Young victims of gun violence take their turn alongside artists and uninsured small business owners. Steel workers, cab drivers and international asylum seekers crowd the halls. (movie trailer follows)

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A Proposed Hybrid, Public/Private Model of Health Care

Occupy Healthcare is a movement to influence and impact the future of healthcare, as well as an online community to discuss healthcare reform issues. Recently they invited me to submit my perspectives, and below is what I sent.

Occupy Health Care – a proposal from Wayne Caswell, Modern Health Talk

Occupy Healthcare logoHistorically, the biggest impact in health outcomes has come from public health initiatives such as clean water, sewage systems, and immunization programs. But that success is minimized by a “sick care” system that is profoundly broken, with perverse incentives to view patients as customers, treat symptoms, and pay practitioners for each test, drug and procedure.

ACA is meant to fix that, with more emphasis on positive outcomes and overall health & wellness, both to minimize the need for medical care in the first place and thus reduce costs, and to maintain a healthy and productive workforce that contributes to a vibrant economy. ACA is a good start, but there’s still more work to be done, and it won’t come from private industry or the insurance model, because natural incentives prevent it.

Contrasting Incentives

I believe that the key to health reform is getting the incentives right, and that means getting private insurance companies out of BASIC health care entirely. Their profit motive gives them an incentive to increase costs, knowing that higher costs = more insurance customers paying higher premiums. What I propose instead is a hybrid public/private model that capitalizes on contrasting incentives, eliminates the need for health insurance, and saves over $1 trillion per year.

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CAPABLE means Home, not Nursing Homes, for Seniors

Source: Newswise (6/26/2012) — Nursing homes do not have to be inevitable destinations for frail older adults. Many—even those with long-term health problems—can remain at home and be independent. All it takes is a little help to change “disability” to “capability”.

A handyman with a few nails to fix a wobbly bannister can make the difference between staying at home and a nursing home stay. Visits from a nurse or occupational therapist can help simplify a bewildering medication regimen or improve the ability to get around the house and neighborhood. Simple, inexpensive steps may change the equation for thousands of seniors, but in reality, services like these are rarely available for many at greatest need—the poorest and sickest older adults receiving Medicare and Medicaid.

CAPABLE, short for “Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders,” and a $4 million Health Care Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is about to change that reality. Read the rest of this entry »

The Caregiver: Key to mHealth

By David Lee Scher, MD

The caregiver is an individual who attends to the needs of a child or dependent adult.

Parent as caregiver for her child

There is an estimated ten million caregivers over the age of 50 caring for their parents in the USA.  Caregivers attend to people who are predominantly relatives (86%), with 36% being parents and 14% being children.  One third of caregivers take care of two or more people.  Much has been said about the need for patient engagement and people taking more responsibility for their own care, however caregivers have the unique responsibilities of their own care as well as their charged.  That being said, they require mHealth tools that address both issues.  I will discuss the role of mHealth and the role of the caregiver.  This will not be an endorsement of any specific product.

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Adult Day Centers

eoy appeal mary 2Mary is all smiles these days as she boards the Elderhaven van. At Elderhaven Adult Day Health Center Mary spends the day dancing, listening to music, playing games, and laughing with the new friends in her “crocheting group.”

Last holiday season, Mary’s situation was very different.  Her multiple health and cognitive issues challenged Mary’s family in balancing the demands of caregiving and the demands of working full-time. This overwhelming situation prompted Mary’s family to make the difficult decision to place Mary in a nursing home.

Things began to change earlier this year when one of Mary’s relatives began volunteering at Elderhaven. He observed the loving care extended to the seniors by the Elderhaven staff, and the entertaining activities enjoyed by the clients– dancing, playing games, exercising, and making new friends. After touring the center, Mary’s family enthusiastically agreed that this would be an option that would allow Mary the joy and dignity of living at home with family. Mary would be in a safe and stimulating daytime environment. Mary’s hypertension and other chronic illnesses are now carefully managed each and every day by our full-time nurse.

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The Future of U.S. Healthcare, by Barry Bittman, MD

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IBM Software Aims to Extend Seniors’ Independent Living

IBM Software Aids Research Aimed at Extending Seniors’ Independent Living

IBM "Smart CondoEDMONTON, Alberta and MARKHAM, Ontario, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — [CASCON]

IBM today announced its software is being used to correlate data from sensors capturing patient activity and replicate that in a virtual world with avatars that represent the elderly subjects in a unique pilot aimed at providing health researchers and students with insights on how to care for Canada’s aging population.

Since June, 2011, University of Alberta researchers in collaboration with Edmonton’s Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital have been using IBM software to study elderly clients who volunteer to stay in a model, self-contained “independent living suite” at the facility. The suite is instrumented with sensors and equipped with smart devices collecting information about their daily activities.

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Stratus Video Call Center is like a Virtual Waiting Room

Stratus Video Call CenterAs healthcare providers gear up for telehealth, they’ll face new issues such as 24×7 remote monitoring and the need to support virtual doctor visits by telepresence over the Internet. I wrote before here and here, there must be compatibility among different video systems, including the enterprise class-systems in hospitals and consumer-class systems in PC & mobile devices.

Until today, the two prominent solutions I knew about  were Vidyo and a Lifesize Communications technology called ClearSea. Both are cloud-based services that translate between incompatible video systems, but now there’s another option.

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The Hazards of Hospitals (an infographic)

Hazards of Hospitals infographicWhy US Hospitals aren’t nearly as Safe as you think

The infographic below is under a Creative Commons license. Here are some highlights:

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, and haphazard record keeping, you might find yourself in more trouble than you were when you checked in.

Some of the statistics presented include:

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

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