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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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Salinas, CA Hospitals Benefiting From Health Care Reform Laws

by Richard Kuehn on 09/13/14

All of the newly insured people under President Barack Obama's health care reform has resulted in booming business for many hospitals across the country but has also brought in higher than expected costs for insurance plans.  People are showing up at emergency rooms at a high rate, which can result in huge hospital bills.  However, hospitals are benefitting from this influx of volume which can be very profitable.  More than 8 million people have obtained private coverage in health-law marketplaces over the past year, and that doesn't even include millions more that were added to Medi-Cal & Medicaid.  Also helping is that the economy is picking back up which has resulted in more people getting insurance through their employers.   

Salinas, CA Caregiver From Emeritas Care Facility Sentenced For Stealing From Patients

by Richard Kuehn on 09/13/14

A former caregiver at Emeritas Care Facility was convicted of felony elder abuse and sentenced to 240 days in Monterey County Jail after stealing jewelry from patients.  The man had the nerve to take the residents jewelry and replace it with costume jewelry, thinking that they would not notice.  After complaints from residents, the police searched his home in January and the missing jewelry was found.  If you have the need to hire a caregiver, make sure they are bonded and insured.  We do thorough background and reference checks and make sure that all of our employees are well qualified. 

Salinas, CA Windsor Gardens Settles Asbestos Lawsuit

by Richard Kuehn on 09/12/14

The owners of Windsor Gardens nursing home and S&F Management Company settled a lawsuit and paid the District Attorney's office $295,000 in civil penalties and costs after renovations were made and more than 1% of asbestos was left in patient's rooms.  The Stahl Companies, which did the work, are paying $70,435 of the costs.  The California Hazardous Waste Law requires a thorough survey to be conducted after work is done to indicate if wallboard or structures contain asbestos.  Windsor Monterey Care Center and S&F also settled a 2011 law suit and paid $110,000 in civil penalties relating to a 2009 renovation of their Monterey facility.

Pacific Grove, CA Physician Assistants One Of The Fastest Growing Professions In America

by Richard Kuehn on 09/11/14

With hospitals and other large medical practices being pushed to lower costs, physician assistants are being given more power and you will be seeing much more of them in the coming years than you have in the past.  Hospitals like PA's because their salary is typically less than half of a physician, and yet insurance companies reimburse at about 85% of the rate of a doctor.  This is now one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the numbers are expected to rise 38% between 2012 and 2022, with about 6,500 to 7,000 new ones each year.  Without the years and years of training and residency, you can become a PA with just two years of professional schooling and PA's often pull in a six figure salary.  With their increasing responsibility, this could go up.  They can perform physical exams, diagnose illnesses, assist in surgery, order lab tests and even prescribe medication now. 

Carmel Foundation Offers A Wide Array Of Classes For Seniors

by Richard Kuehn on 09/11/14

The Carmel Foundation offers a wide array of classes for seniors.  One of them that they offered recently that sparked my interest was called digital story telling.  It teaches seniors how to share memories, stories and philosophies on life with their families, precious memories which can be passed down from generation to generation.  To view some of this digital artwork, click here.  One of the most interesting things about my job is the people that I meet.  Most of our clients are in their 90's or even older.  Many went through the Great Depression, World War 2 and saw so many interesting things during their lifetimes.  It's great when you can pass on these fascinating memories to your family.  Of course some are good and some are bad, but the history is so important.  Classes are constantly changing.  For information about classes offered at the Carmel Foundation, click here.

Greenfield, CA Caregiver Private Duty In Home Senior Companion Aide Jobs Available (Also, Carmel, Gilroy, Hollister, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach & Salinas)

by Richard Kuehn on 09/10/14

Greenfield, 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, 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:

        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, 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

Pacific Grove, CA Elder Abuse Potential : Police Warns Of Telephone Scam : Potential For Identity Theft

by Richard Kuehn on 09/10/14

The Monterey County Sheriff has warned of a telephone scam that could easily suck in a number of elderly victims.  Someone posing as a "Microsoft Windows Technician" has been calling local residents and telling them that they have called you to diagnose error messages which you have been getting on your computer.  They then ask you to go to your computer and give them a series of numbers which is your Internet Protocol (IP) address and remote access address.  If you provide them with this information, they can then remotely log into your computer and get anything you have on there, including your banking information, passwords and other data which would enable them to steal money from you or open new charge accounts in your name.  The Sheriff did not disclose how many seniors have fallen for this scam but it must be large to put out a public warning like this.  

Pacific Grove, CA Retirement Can Be Expensive : Caregivers, Dental and Vision Not Covered By Medicare

by Richard Kuehn on 09/10/14

When planning for retirement, many baby boomers don't put aside much for medical costs, figuring that Medicare will take care of them.  Unfortunately, that's not true.  Sunit Patel, senior vice-president of Fidelity Benefits Consulting, told Kiplinger's Retirement Report that a couple age 65 will spend a whopping $220,000 on health care costs during retirement.  That figure doesn't even include potential long-term care costs, according to an article in the August issue.  People should budget for Medicare Part B, a part D prescription drug plan and Medigap coverage, uncovered drug costs, dental and vision costs, etc.  Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover glasses, dentures and other dental work or in-home caregivers to help you remain independent.  Many people just don't realize how expensive retirement can be.

Carmel, CA VNA & Hospice To Present A Talk On Hospital Stays At Carmel Foundation Today

by Richard Kuehn on 09/10/14

VNA & Hospice is going to have a talk on how to handle getting through a hospital stay today at 2:30 at The Carmel Foundation in Diment Hall at Lincoln and Eight Streets in Carmel.  Pravina Sharma, the director of care management for Community Health Innovations will give advice on how to obtain important information and support while in the hospital.  When discharged from the hospital you will be given choices from an array of home health companies such as Alliance Home Health and VNA as well as private duty caregiving companies like Family inHome Caregiving.

Pacific Grove, CA Savor Your Food : Eating Slower Can Lead To Weight Loss, Which Can Help Stave Off Heart Disease, Stroke And Diabetes

by Richard Kuehn on 09/09/14

Many seniors have problems with excess weight, which can bring on diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many other serious health problems.  Getting enough exercise and chewing your food properly are two keys to success in keeping off unwanted pounds.  A number of researchers have been developing tools which tally the number of bites you take each day, with the target being 100.  In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this target was used to develop a commercial product which will be ready in a year which will count the number of bites that you take each day.  Although paying about $200 for such a device does seem like overkill to me, I think paying more attention to how fast you are eating and trying to savor your food rather than wolf it down is good advice.

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