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Republicans Toying with Social Security Privatization Plan Which Could Be A Disaster For Seniors
Posted on 03 October 2010. Tags: alzheimer'sAromasbig surCaliforniacaregivercaregivingcarmelcarmel highlandscarmel valleyDementiaelderelder caregilroyhollisterHospiceking citylive-inmarinamemory walkmontereyMoss Landingpacific grovepebble beachprivate dutyprunedalesalinassand cityseasideseniorsenior care

The upcoming mid-term elections have both Republicans and Democrats targeting an important voter segment: senior citizens. I hope you all go to the polls! The Wall Street Journal ran an article 9/29 talked about the growing battle over a number of issues, including Health Care and Social Security. With inflation at a stand still causing the elderly to get by without cost of living increases necessary to cover rising health care and other day-to-day costs, these are hot issues.
According to the article, Republicans are focused on telling elderly voters that the Democratic health care overhaul will cripple Medicare by cutting $50 bil. from the program, while Democrats are telling older voters that the Republicans wan to gut Social Security, with some calling for a partial phase out of this money into private investment accounts.
This is a terrible idea in my opinion. At my last job I watched a man who was almost 70 and just getting ready to retire sitting at his computer crying as the market crash wiped out much of his 401K plan which he had planned to tap to have a peaceful and happy retirement. This was a few years ago but I just saw him last week–still sitting at his desk and unable to retire.

One problem these lawmakers may not have considered is the growing number of seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. My company, Family in Home Caregiving of Monterey, services these people with private duty caregivers which drive all over the peninsula to meet whatever needs they have. From Salinas to Gilroy to Monterey, our caregivers sometimes take the place of family, and we form a special bond with them.
A frequent problem is getting them to take their medications. Many are forgetful or just don’t care. We don’t delve into their financial situations, however, I have spoken to many other people in the industry and there are a lot of seniors slipping into dementia and Alzheimer’s which unfortunately haven’t prepared for this situation with a living trust or someone who can take over their affairs.
What would happen to these people if their social security were invested in the stock market and we had another prolonged economic downturn? It’s unlikely they would be able to make the proper financial decisions in order to protect their assets. My company motto is to allow seniors to remain independent and live in their own homes as long as possible. One sad story I recently witnessed was a caregiver looking for a job because the person she was caring for was being foreclosed on and they had to move in with a relative. I hope politicians don’t enable this to happen by throwing what should be a safe annuity payment, social security, into the volatile stock market. In the 2008 presidential election, voters 65 and older were 16% of the vote. 30% of voter were over 60 in the 2006 mid-term elections–I hope to see more seniors at the polls in these important elections.
Lost and Alone in a Nursing Home, and Without Proper Medications, Seniors Suffer
Posted on 03 October 2010. Tags: alzheimer'sAromasbig surCaliforniacaregivercaregivingcarmelcarmel highlandscarmel valleyDementiaelderelder caregilroyhollisterHospiceking citylive-inmarinamemory walkmontereyMoss Landingpacific grovepebble beachprivate dutyprunedalesalinassand cityseasideseniorsenior care

There was a disturbing story in the New York Times today about patients in nursing homes having to go out to pain clinics to get medication because of a policy many live-in facilities have which will not allow them to dispense certain medications without a written or faxed prescription from the Doctor on file.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is now scrutinizing this practice, which can result in seniors being in pain for days before the proper paperwork arrives. The practice is an unfortunate consequence of the DEA cracking down on abuse of prescription narcotics, which some people get filled and then sell on the black market. Some unscrupulous Doctors have even been involved in this practice.
The DEA has also examined some nursing homes which allegedly dispensed narcotics without a written order from a Doctor, resulting in the current situation where some of the elderly living in assisted living facilities are left to suffer in pain, particularly on weekends when it’s difficult to get in touch with their primary care physician. Even on a good day Doctors are busy–according to the medical directors association, a doctor at a nursing home typically writes 169 prescriptions per month for a controlled substance. And many assisted living facilities don’t have a Doctor on staff causing further delays.

I’ve written on my blog many times about the unintended negative consequences of the new health care reform laws, which is costing seniors time and money. And many of them simply don’t have an abundance of either. I founded my company, Family inHome Caregiving of Monterey to help seniors from of all walks of life stay in their own homes and remain independent. I have Clients all over the county from Pacific Grove to Castroville and Salinas, and up to Moss Landing and Aromas. They are thankful that there is someone to help.
For many of them, we stop by and make sure they take their meds, get a hot meal, and get out and about and socialize with others which improves their mental faculties. They are the lucky ones who have friends and family looking after them, or have had the foresight to put money away and establish a trust or buy long-term health care insurance so they can be taken care of properly.
Unfortunately, there are millions of others which are shut away in nursing home and have no one looking after their best interests. As the NYT article pointed out, this often results in pain and suffering. It’s bad enough being left on your own with no friends and family, I hope the DEA can resolve this issue quickly.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Oh What a Tangled Web the Brain Weaves
Posted on 03 October 2010. Tags: alzheimer'sAromasbig surCaliforniacaregivercaregivingcarmelcarmel highlandscarmel valleyDementiaelderelder caregilroyhollisterHospiceking citylive-inmarinamemory walkmontereyMoss Landingpacific grovepebble beachprivate dutyprunedalesalinassand cityseasideseniorsenior care

New theories and possible solutions to treating Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia appear in the press on a weekly basis. The latest report in the Monterey Herald this week called attention to a recently published study with a new theory by Alison Goate of Washington University in St. Louis, MO in the PLoS Genetics journal. For a full copy of the study, click on this link.
Much of the research on Alzheimerse revolves around beta-amyloid plaque, although success has been mixed–I wrote in my blog about Eli Lilly’s pulling a promising new drug (Semagacestat) from the market in August after finding that those on the drug fared worse than those given a placebo.
The more recent report focused on protein tangles that clog brain cells. This could determine how quickly a person develops symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. This, paired with a second protein called tau, might signal how aggressive the onset of the disease becomes. 

The research report found that patients with mild Alzheimer’s and high levels of tau harbored a genetic alteration that predicted that they would worsen faster. The race is on now to figure out how to lower tau levels in patients which could be developing Alzheimer’s Disease, because this could slow down its onset.
The new study posits that both proteins, tau and amyloid, play a role in how quickly people develop Alzheimer’s. Many harbor the disease for years, even decades, without showing symptoms. The study from Goate showed that there was up to a seven-fold difference in how quickly people deteriorated if they had a gene which caused them to produce abnormal tau. Genetic testing may one day be able to uncover signs that people are going to develop Alzheimer’s and many other terrible diseases.
Although the research is promising, unfortunately it’s just the first-step in what is likely to be a long research project to explore this line of thought. Goate told a reporter that tau is just likely to be one of many genetic markers to be discovered that impacts Alzheimer’s Disease.

For regular readers of my blog, you know that I own a company which provides private duty caregivers to people all over Monterey Country, from Carmel and Pebble Beach up and down to King City and up to SalinasMarina and Seaside. Unfortunately, many of them have dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, and are hoping for new drugs to come on the market as there are scant few to treat the disease.
That’s one reason I am a major supporter of the Alzheimer Association’s annual Memory Walk, their largest fundraiser of the year. This great organization is the largest private funding group for Alzheimer’s Research and the Family inHome Caregiving team has raised over $20,000 for this noble cause. To track our progress or find out more about the event (10:00 a.m. at the Custom House in Monterey on Saturday, October 16) click on this link. As always, thanks for your support.
Physical Therapists in Monterey CA Offer Home Safety Tips To Avoid Falls
Posted on 30 September 2010. Tags: exercise programhealth care providersPatrice WinterSeptemberside

Physical Therapists Offer Home Safety Tips To Avoid Falls

As the nation observed the third annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23, the American Physical Therapy Association urged older adults to take a moment to complete a room-by-room checklist to identify and repair possible fall hazards in their homes and begin an exercise plan to reduce chances of falling and risk of injury. 

"It’s critical that seniors remain active in and outside their homes to help reduce their risk of falling," says APTA spokesperson Patrice Winter, PT, MPT. 

"However, hazards in the home are one of the leading causes of falls in older adults. Removing throw rugs, rerouting electrical cords, and installing handrails are simple ways in which one can make a home safer. Furthermore, an older adult’s risk of falling can be decreased through an individualized exercise program, designed by a physical therapist, to improve his or her strength, mobility, and balance." 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults ages 65 and older fall each year in the United States. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injuries and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma for the aging population.

In addition to addressing home safety and exercise, older adults should ask all health care providers to review their medicines — both prescription and over-the counter — to reduce side effects and interactions. They should also have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.

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To learn how Family inHome Caregiving can help you care for an elderly loved one in the Monterey area, visit

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Carmel, CA Caregiving And Home Health Agencies Will Benefit From Technology Provided By Cable Operators

by Richard Kuehn on 03/22/15

Home health care is one of the three major verticals (along with government and education) that cable operators are touting as huge opportunities for expansion.  Earlier this month, Nizhoni Health Systems (a home health company) announced that it would be using Comcast's network.  Cable operators will be able to provide secure networks which can put home care agencies in touch with clients, and things like monitoring vital signs can be sent over secure encrypted networks to the home care agency.  Doctors would be able to check in on these patients that are at home as well.  A patient could be hooked up to a blood pressure or blood glucose monitor which could send test results directly to the physician's office.  Using nanotechnology, throat swabs could even be run to determine if the patient has the latest version of the flu without bringing them to the doctor where they could potentially infect more people.  These are all great advances which will enable clients to remain independent in their own homes while getting the advantage of personal health care monitoring without having to go to the doctor all of the time.

Carmel, CA Medicare Doctors And Health Care Providers May Not Face 21% Rate Cut On April 1

by Richard Kuehn on 03/21/15

At last, there appears to be a fix for Medicare payments to doctors and other health-care providers rather than the haphazard annual patchwork that legislators have passed in the past.  There's no guarantee that the bill will pass.  However, many are hopeful that the $200 billion package (over 10 years) that is before the House will go through, avoiding an automatic 21% rate cut Medicare providers will face if nothing is done.  The system has been broken for years because in 1997 a law was passed which ties payments to increases in the economy.  Since then, however, health care costs have risen more quickly than inflation and Congress has passed what has been nicknamed the "doc fix" each year rather than passing something comprehensive.

Carmel, CA April 1 Deadline For Retirement Withdrawals If You Turned 70.5 In 2014

by Richard Kuehn on 03/21/15

Just a reminder that if you turned 70 ½  at any point during 2014 you are required to make a withdrawal by April 1 (called a required minimum distribution) from retirement accounts like IRAs and 401Ks.  There are only two exceptions to the rule.  You don't have to do it if it is ROTH IRA and you can generally delay withdrawals from your employer's plan if you continue to work.  There is a very steep penalty for not taking your RMDs or taking too little.  If you are in this situation, talk to your bank or financial advisor soon.

Carmel-by-the-sea, CA Caregiver Private Duty In Home Senior Companion Aide Jobs Available (Also Gilroy, Hollister, Monterey, Morgan Hill, Pacific Grove & Pebble Beach)

by Richard Kuehn on 03/21/15

Carmel-by-the-sea, CA Caregiver Private Duty In Home Senior Companion Aide Jobs Available (Also Aromas,  Carmel, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Corral de Tierra, Del Rey Oaks,  Gilroy, Gonzales, Greenfield, Hollister, King City, Marina, Monterey, Moss Landing, Morgan Hill,   Paicines Pacific Grove, 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.  Our services include:

        Caring companionship

        Meal preparation

        Incidental transportation

        Running errands

        Light housekeeping

        Medication reminders

        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, click on careers where you can fill out an application online.  We have immediate openings all over Monterey County.  Service areas include:

Carmel, CA Elder Abuse Warning, Fake IRS Agents Calling Seniors

by Richard Kuehn on 03/21/15

There was an elder abuse alert today in The Wall Street Journal which said that the number of con artists posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents has surged over the last few months.  A spokesman for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) advises you to hang up if someone calls claiming that you owe money to the IRS.  After you hang up, it's advised that you then call TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 or go to to report the incident.  The IRS never initiates contact by email, phone or text mail but instead will mail you a bill if you owe money for unpaid taxes.  Those calling will make threats like having your drivers license revoked, which even the IRS does not have the power to do.  Since late 2013, 3,000 victims have lost an average of $5,000 each.

Carmel, CA Heart Disease, Cancer May Be Warded Off By Mediterranean Diet

by Richard Kuehn on 03/20/15

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and whether or not you develop it is partly out of your control (genetics) but mostly in your control (exercise and diet).  Many experts believe that in addition to having a diet high in vegetables and whole grains, many of us need to reduce our overall caloric intake and cut back on protein.  The Mediterranean Diet has long been looked at as an ideal model, and it’s delicious as well!  Although there is debate about what this diet actually consists of, it’s known that it contains a lot of fish, fruits and vegetables and extra virgin olive oil.  It’s also relatively low in protein compared to what Americans are used to eating (17% Mediterranean versus 35% for Americans).  And it’s not just heart disease which can be caused by eating a lot of animal proteins.  A study which was published in Cell Metabolism showed that middle-aged Americans who ate a lot of animal protein were more likely to die of cancer and other causes, compared to people who opted for plant-based proteins.  So think carefully about the benefits of switching to a more Mediterranean-style diet. 

Carmel, CA Cancer Treatment Receiving The Help Of Robotic Technology

by Richard Kuehn on 03/20/15

The weapons that oncologists typically have against cancer have traditionally been surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  A health care technology company based in India called Perfint has now developed a fourth—an image-guided robotic system.  Dubbed Maxio, it helps doctors get through delicate procedures.  For instance, it can help the doctor insert a needle into a tumor and then monitor the placement and effect on the tumor.  The company says its technology has now been used 1,500 times by renowned hospitals in the U.S. where it received regulatory approval last May.

Carmel, CA Researchers Looking For The Fountain Of Youth, And They May Have Found It In Rapamycin

by Richard Kuehn on 03/20/15

Since the beginning of time people have been looking for the proverbial fountain of youth..  Some researchers believe they may have found something akin to this in a compound called rapamycin which seems to slow aging and the damage it can do, at least to certain cells. In the medical community, Mouse UT2598 is now viewed as a superstar.  The average lifespan for a mouse is 2.3 years but at more than 3 years old he is going strong and looks no different from his younger friends.  His fur is glossy, black and lean and he is surprisingly active considering he is about 100 years old in human years.  More impressive than what’s on the outside, however, is what’s on the inside.  His liver and heart function are those of a much younger mouse and his tendons have more spring and flexibility than they should.  There’s also less evidence than normal of tumors in his organ so he is less likely to get cancer than other mice.  In labs around the world, researchers are testing a number of drugs like rapamycin in the hopes that one day we can all be as healthy as Mouse UT2598 as we hit our stride at 100 years old

Carmel, CA Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Researchers Have A New Tool

by Richard Kuehn on 03/20/15

ElMindA has come out with a new device which can observe the effect of billions of neurons that fire when you think talk or breathe.  MRIs show us the roadways of the brain, CEO Ronen Gadot told FastCompany, but not the traffic.  The device uses up to 256 electrodes and sits on your head like a hairnet.  It can then monitor how brain networks respond to one another.  The technology was approved last July by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and may help people with Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s, ADHD and PTSD.  For the first time, researchers say, they will be able to monitor the brain to see how it reacts to a new drug versus the brain on someone who is given a placebo.

Pacific Grove, CA High Blood Pressure Solution Found Naturally : Beet Juice Can Reduce Hypertension

by Richard Kuehn on 03/19/15

Daily consumption of beetroot juice for four weeks has been found to significantly lower blood pressure, according to a new study which was published in the February issue of Hypertension.  It also helped to relax arteries and improve blood vessel function.  Compounds which are in the beets called dietary or inorganic nitrate, enter the circulation system and some are converted to nitric oxide, a powerful vasodilator, or blood-vessel regulator, according to the study.

Family inHome Caregiving, In-Home Care, Carmel, CA