Family inHome Caregiving Blog
There has been a lot in the news recently about the potential for replacing humans with robots in many aspects of our lives, including caregivers, nurses and other people who touch our lives. Although the cost cutting element is appealing, it's not clear that it will work in real life situations. The jury is still out on the subject, however a recent study found that doing surgery on bladder cancer with a robot did not reduce procedural complications than having the surgery done by a human. So, I am happy to report that humans are here for long term care.
With billions of dollars of cash in the bank, Google has been looking to diversify into new areas and medical technology is a key initiative. Their latest project is called the Baseline Study, where the company will collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from thousands of people to create a full picture of what a healthy human being should look like. The company has almost 100 experts in the fields of physiology, biochemistry, optics, imaging and molecular biology which are working in the Google X division (this segment heads up the company's research). The researchers will use Google's massive computing power to analyze the data and look for biomarkers which may be used to find things like why some people's bodies break down fatty foods effectively and other important markers. Google is tapping into the potentially huge market of disease prevention, rather than treatment.
There has been a lot of press recently about how good a Mediterranean diet is for you, and the magazine Diabetes Forecast had some great suggestions in their latest issue which are delicious and also are good for you. The diet revolves around eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, herbs and spices and olive oil. Seafood is also an important part of the daily diet, as is eating eggs, lower-fat chees and yogurt only in moderation. Red wine may also play a role. A Mediterranean-style eating pattern has been found to lower the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, high LDL (bad cholesterol), heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown to protect against chronic diseases, memory problems and certain types of cancer. It also improves the health of people with certain diseases like diabetes. So get out your knives and chopping block, and start cooking some nice healthy Greek food!
Gilroy, CA Caregiver Private Duty In Home Senior Companion Aide Jobs Available (Also Aromas, Carmel, Carmel-by-the-sea, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Corral de Tierra, Del Rey Oaks, Gilroy, Gonzales, Greenfield, Hollister, King City, Monterey, Morgan Hill, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove, Paicines, Pebble Beach, Prunedale, Salinas, Sand City, San Juan Bautista, Seaside, Soledad And Tres Pinos)
I am happy to say that business is booming at Family inHome Caregiving! We have had a greater than anticipated influx of new Clients over the past two weeks, many of which have been referrals from past and current Clients. Our reputation for having the best caregivers in Monterey County is growing. We are currently looking for a handyman as well as qualified caregivers.
Family inHome Caregiving of Monterey is seeking compassionate, mature and dependable caregivers (Companion Aides) who want to improve the lives of our elderly Clients by providing in-home, non-medical care, particularly those seeking live-in positions or those who can work 24-hour shifts. Our services include:
Monitoring of safety while bathing
Information and referral services
Other services that improve the safety, security and quality of life of seniors.
If you believe you would make an exceptional Companion Aide, we would love to hear from you! We prefer those with experience helping the elderly, disabled and others with mobility problems. Having cared for those with dementia and/or Alzheimer's is a plus. To work for us, you must have excellent references, a clear criminal record, a good driving record, and an insured reliable vehicle. To apply, please visit our web site www.fhcofm.com, click on careers where you can fill out an application online. We have immediate openings all over Monterey County. Service areas include:
Aromas, Carmel, Carmel-by-the-sea, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Corral de Tierra, Del Rey Oaks, Gilroy, Gonzales, Greenfield, Hollister, King City, Marina, Monterey, Morgan Hill, Moss Landing, Paicines, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Prunedale, Salinas, San Juan Bautista, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad And Tres Pinos
Sadly, research has shown that nurses typically spend less than two hours of a 12-hour shift in direct patient care while working at hospitals. The rest of the time is spent looking for supplies and medications or missing test results and filling out paperwork. As the health care reform laws kick in, hopefully this will change. Many hospitals are trying to transfer duties like paperwork to Certified Nursing Assistant's (CNAs) so that nurses can have more direct contact with patients and their families. This is extremely important now that patients are being discharged more quickly in the past as the nurse needs to sit down with the patient, their family, caregivers and other interested parties and explain what needs to be done after the discharge. I have seen many cases where patients are rushed too quickly out of the hospital and it often results in repeat visits, which hospitals are penalized for under the new health care reform laws.
The Congressional Budget Office is saying that the outlook for Medicare is not as bleak as they once thought, and that it will remain financially solvent through 2030, five years longer than previously expected. This is a huge change from their last outlook in February of this year when they said the fund for seniors would run out of money in 2025. Medicare spending on health care costs has been growing slower than expected and the economists are now predicting that this trend will hold. "It's pretty great news, and what's striking is that as costs increases have come down, all of the quality measures have gone up," John Rother, CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care, told the Wall Street Journal. I hope that these positive trends continue. It's a huge swing in a short amount of time.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will start regulating laboratory testing, something which has been vehemently fought against by laboratories and pathologists because they say it would stifle innovation on new tests. As a compromise, the FDA has said it will phase in the rules over a nine year period and focus in the short term on tests where a wrong result would have the highest risk to the patient. "Just as drugs need to be safe and effective for treating diseases, medical devices used to help diagnose disease and direct therapy also need to be safe and effective," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told the press. I agree. Historically, test kits and systems sold to hospitals, labs, physicians and the public have been regulated but if a test is developed by a laboratory and used there it's not, which doesn't seem to be fair.
A new survey found that 7.4% of Americans have asthma, down from the 8.6% reported over the last several years. The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is great news. However, the CDC's lead author Jeanine Schiller is cautious because the rate is still high. "I wouldn't say it's good news-yet," she said. Experts aren't sure what causes asthma but it can be triggered by many things including smoke, air pollution, pollen and (believe it or not) cockroaches. If you have asthma, one of the best things to do is try and avoid pollen. Make sure that you get rid of anything in the garden that you think is triggering your attack and replace it with something which doesn't leave you with a coughing fit.
There was an interesting story in The New York Times called "The Future of Robot Caregivers" in which the author (Louise Aronson, associate professor of geriatrics at the University of California San Francisco) said that each time she makes a house call, she stays much longer than she should. Because she is compassionate, she sits and talks with the senior and lets them tell stories even though she knows her reimbursement rate from Medicare will be the same regardless of how much time she spends with the patient. Sadly, she writes, "I can and do, write prescriptions for her many medical problems, but I have little to offer for the two conditions that dominate her days : loneliness and disability." This is something we often see when we go out to talk to a family. Often times, caregivers are needed just to make sure the senior gets some social interaction and doesn't become depressed and stop eating. The author goes on to write, "What she needs is someone who is always there, who can help with everyday tasks, who will listen and smile. What she needs is a robot caregiver." The fact is, many people simply can't afford to have a human caregiver there 24-hours a day and indeed researchers are working on prototypes of robot caregivers. I am not sure that they will evolve to a human-like state enough to replace real caregivers in my lifetime, but it's an interesting concept to try and find ways to use technology to keep more seniors out of nursing homes.
There have been a number of studies questioning the use of niacin in order to prevent high cholesterol. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that not only is there little benefit to taking niacin in order to prevent a heart attack or stroke, it also comes with significant risks. As many as one in 200 of those taking niacin in combination with laropiprant, a drug used to reduce facial flushing caused by niacin, may have died. This drug combination was also found to cause gastrointestinal problems, musculoskeletal infections, bleeding and diabetes. There are almost 700,000 prescriptions for niacin in the U.S., so talk to your doctor about this study if you are currently taking it.