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

by Richard Kuehn on 06/21/15

Monterey, 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,  Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Moss Landing, 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:

Aromas, Carmel, Carmel-by-the-sea, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Corral de Tierra, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey,  Moss Landing, Paicines, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Prunedale, Salinas,  Sand City, Seaside, Soledad And Tres Pinos

Carmel, CA Alzheimer’s Study Looking For Healthy 65 To 85 Year Old Volunteers

by Richard Kuehn on 06/21/15

Alzheimer’s disease is a terribly debilitating disease which takes its toll on the entire family.  There’s currently no cure for it, although there is promising research on a number of fronts.  One trial that is currently underway looks hopeful.  However, they are having trouble getting enough volunteers (you need to be between the age of 65-85 with no overt sign of dementia) to participate as the study involves volunteers receiving an hour of IV injection of the anti-amyloid plaque drug called solanezumab.  However, if you are afraid you might get Alzheimer’s disease, this might be the trial for you.  If you are interested in helping, please go to http://a4study.orgRegular readers of my blog know that both my grandmother and my father had this terrible disease when they passed away.  The Alzheimer’s Association is a great non-profit that can help you deal with the stressful situation of caring for someone with increasing memory loss.  For more information, call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900 or drop by their office at 21 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite B, in Ryan Ranch in Monterey.  Family inHome Caregiving is currently raising funds for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  If you would like to make a donation, click here.

Carmel, CA 40% Of Medicare Providers Being Docked For Non-Compliance With Reporting Rules

by Richard Kuehn on 06/21/15

Many health care providers are struggling with new Medicare rules and recent data shows that a whopping 40% of health-care providers are going to have their payments docked by 1.5% this year because they didn’t submit data on patients’ health to the government.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that more than 460,000 providers out of 1.25 million failed to comply with the Physician Quality Reporting System in 2013. This should make them pay more attention to Medicare guidelines as reimbursement rates are already low.

Carmel, CA Diabetic Macular Edema And Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Common Vision Loss Problems For Diabetics

by Richard Kuehn on 06/20/15

As we age, many of us will face deteriorating vision.  This can be a simple change in prescription or the signs of a serious disease.  If you have diabetes, the danger is greater that you could get a more serious condition such as diabetic macular edema or proliferative diabetic retinopathy.  “Vision loss is one of the most common complications of diabetes,” Dr. Raj Mautri, told Diabetes Forecast.  There have been advances recently in screening for these conditions, an important change because these conditions can come on prior to you actually experiencing any vision loss.  Talk to your physician if you have diabetes, your vision and other areas of your health need to be closely monitored.  

Carmel, CA Retirees With Pensions From Union Plans May Face Benefit Cuts

by Richard Kuehn on 06/17/15

A new Federal law which was passed last December in order to shore up some troubled pension plans is causing some retirees to face a cut in their monthly pension payment.  The law was passed in order to shore up so called “multiemployer plans” which are typically negotiated by a union with multiple employers across various industries.  Under previous law, pension payments could be reduced only when a plan became insolvent.  “This could cut people’s benefits as much as 60%,” Karen Friedman, EVP of the Pension Rights Center, told Kiplinger’s Retirement Report.  “This is so unprecedented in every way,” he said.  There are currently about 1,400 multiemployer pension plans covering 10 million participants.

Carmel, CA Diabetes And Cancer A Bad Combination

by Richard Kuehn on 06/17/15

A new study found that when a diabetic is diagnosed with cancer, their blood glucose monitoring often goes out the window as they worry about the more deadly disease they’ve been diagnosed with.  Researchers found that at the time of cancer diagnosis, there was a 6% drop in diabetes medication use in diabetic cancer patients compared with diabetes without cancer.  Although it can be difficult struggling with multiple diseases at the same time, don’t let it get you down and don’t stop taking your meds.

Carmel, CA Seniors 65-74 Faring Better Financially Than Other Age Groups

by Richard Kuehn on 06/15/15

A new study by AARP has found that those in the 65-74 age group have fared better than other economic groups since the recession.  The median assets of people aged 65-74 doubled between 1989 and 2013, a far greater gain than other groups experienced.  Many senior citizens aren't having an easy time, and one of the biggest challenges is that people are living longer so they need to make their retirement funds stretch.  This sometimes requires working well past they had planned to.  In the late 1990's, only one in five Americans in their 60's had a job.  That has since risen to one in three.  Working into your late 60's does have its benefits.  If you can afford to work longer, every year you postpone retirement increases your payment by 8% (up to the age of 70).

Pacific Grove, CA Caregiver Class On Driving And Dementia To Be Held July 23 At Sally Griffin Senior Center

by Richard Kuehn on 06/15/15

The Health Projects Center (a local non-profit) has a number of free classes this summer under their “Caregiver University” program.  One interesting one for caregivers will be held July 23 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Sally Griffin Senior Center on 700 Jewell Avenue in Pacific Grove on driving and dementia.  This class will help caregivers recognize signs that a person has lost the skills to drive safely.  It will give them tips on how to start a conversation about safe driving.   It will also go over California DMV guidelines and give information on reporting an unsafe driver, if it comes to that.  For more information, call 459-6639 or go to

Carmel Foundation Holding Acrylic Art Class June 24

by Richard Kuehn on 06/15/15

The Carmel Foundation has a number of classes running this summer, including an Acrylic Art Class which starts on June 24 and runs through August 12.  This fun class will be held in the Seideneck Room.  For more information call 624-1588 or email the instructor, Melissa Bispo at  The fee is $110.

Carmel, CA Seniors Are More Commonly Having To Retire Without Paying Off Their Mortgage

by Richard Kuehn on 06/14/15

Despite the rebound in the stock market, wages have been stagnant for many workers which is causing those hiring to have to raise wages and hire employees from the competition.  Many older workers are having to support kids who lost jobs during the recession and are afraid to seek new employment for fear they may not last in a new environment.  Recent statistics show that in 2011, three times the number of older home owners who were retiring still had a mortgage compared with 2001.  About 6.1 million homeowners aged 65 and older were paying a mortgage in 2011, up from 3.8 million a decade before.  Although there is no easy solution to the problem, industry experts are saying that interest rates are so low it's probably not a huge problem as long as you budget properly for retirement.

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