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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.

…continue reading from medicalnewstoday.com

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

Family inHome Caregiving Blog

Monterey, CA Alzheimer's Support Group To Be Held next Month At CHOMP

by Richard Kuehn on 07/30/15

CHOMP has a number of upcoming events and classes this summer including an Alzheimer's Family Support Group Thursdays from August 13-27 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.  This is a great place to meet other people that are going through the same issues you and your family are.  For more information, call 1-888-452-4667 or got to www.chomp.org.

Monterey, CA CHOMP To Hold Pilates Classes

by Richard Kuehn on 07/30/15

CHOMP has a number of upcoming events and classes this summer including Pilates for Bone Building which will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from August 31 through October 21 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. or from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  There is another class which will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from September 1 to October 21 (with no class on September 7) from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the "It's My Life" studio.  This class is for those that are able to get up and down from the floor.  For more information, call 1-888-452-4667 or got to www.chomp.org.

Pebble Beach, CA Medicare Plans To Pay A Flat Rate For Hip And Knee Replacements Starting In 2016

by Richard Kuehn on 07/29/15

Medicare plans to start paying hospitals a flat fee for Knee and Hip replacement surgery, one of the most common procedures for senior citizens.  The average cost for this procedure, which was performed 400K times in 2013, ranged wildly from $16,500 to $33,000.  The proposed action could save the government $150 million over five years.

Monterey, CA Breast Cancer Early Support Group Held At CHOMP On Wednesdays From 1:00 p.m. To 2:00 p.m.

by Richard Kuehn on 07/29/15

CHOMP has a number of upcoming events and classes this summer such as the breast cancer early support group on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the Cancer Center classroom.  For more information, call 1-888-452-4667 or got to www.chomp.org.

Monterey, CA Caregiver Support Group Held At CHOMP On Tuesdays At 11:00 To Noon

by Richard Kuehn on 07/28/15

CHOMP has a number of upcoming events and classes this summer such as the drop in Caregiver Support Group which occurs every Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to noon at CHOMP's main campus in the Terrace West conference room.  This is a drop-in support group so no reservations are required.  For more information, call 1-888-452-4667 or got to www.chomp.org.

Pebble Beach, CA FDA Strengthens Safety Warnings On Over-The-Counter Painkillers

by Richard Kuehn on 07/28/15

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has strengthened its safety warnings about heart-attack and stroke risks linked to a class of common pain relievers that includes medicines such as Celebrex, Advil, Motrin IB and Aleve.  The class also includes the generics ibuprofen, naproxen, diclodenac and meloxicam.  The FDA said new data have caused it to conclude that the medicines—called NSAIDs, for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—definitely cause an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. It long has required a warning on the class of drugs, saying they “may cause” an increased risk.  The agency will require that makers of prescription versions of the medications change their labels.

CHOMP Holding Class On Better Bones And Balance Involving Pilates

by Richard Kuehn on 07/28/15

CHOMP has a number of upcoming events and classes this summer such as the Better Bones and Balance talk which will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between September 1 and October 22 either from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the main CHOMP facility in the "It's My Life studio."  Learn Pilates-based exercises in order to correct posture, strengthen muscles and improve balance and flexibility.  Exercises are done either in a seated or standing position.  The class is designed for those who have difficulty getting up and down.  For more information, call 1-888-452-4667 or got to www.chomp.org.

Pebble Beach, CA Peninsula FDA Proposes Adding A Sugar Guide To Food

by Richard Kuehn on 07/27/15

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed adding a sugar guide to food.  I think this is a great idea.  The proposed rule would set the recommended intake of added sugar for packaged food and beverages at no more than about 200 calories a day, or 10% of the 2,000-calorie diet generally used for nutrition guidance. That would cap intake at about 13 teaspoons of added sugar—or a bit more than in a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, which has nearly 10 teaspoons.  The FDA said a fresh review of dietary research indicates that a healthy diet, which would decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and drinks below current U.S. eating patterns, is likely to reduce a person’s risk of heart disease.  Sugar currently is one of the few major food components that doesn’t have a recommended consumption level on U.S. food labels, because the FDA hadn’t proposed a specific limit. Critics have blamed pressure from food companies.

Salinas, CA Peninsula Wellness Center Has Free Celebration This Weekend

by Richard Kuehn on 07/27/15

The Peninsula Wellness Center (near Home Depot at 1910 North Davis Road in Salinas) is having a pre-opening celebration this weekend on August 1 (from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a free BBQ) and on August 2 (from noon to 3:00 p.m.) where there will be fun, food and more!  There is a 25,000 square foot facility with lap and warm water pools; a group exercise studio, sports performance studio and state-of-the-art equipment, for more information, call 1-855-902-4848 or go to www.peninsula-wellness-center.com

Salinas, CA Seniors Dine In At Applebee's On July 31

by Richard Kuehn on 07/27/15

If you are looking to meet new friends, there is a group called "Dine Out Seniors" which is having their next meeting on July 31 for lunch at 11:30 a.m at Applebee's on 1301 North Davis Road in Salinas.  Seniors who are divorced, widow/widower or new to the area are invited to attend.  Please call 917-1269 or 442-0133 to reserve your spot.  At Family inHome Caregiving, we believe the key to longevity is good nutrition, the proper amount of exercise and plenty of social stimulation.  Without the latter, you can feel lonely and depressed.  This is a good opportunity to make new friends!

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