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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

Family inHome Caregiving Blog

Salinas, CA Compassionate Care Alliance Produces Staged Readings Of Call 911 At Villa Serra Vintage Senior Living On February 1

by Richard Kuehn on 01/25/15

The Compassionate Care Alliance will stage a reading of “Call 911” at Villa Serra Vintage Senior Living on February 1 at 1320 Padre Drive from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  This play explores the dynamics of a family facing a health care crisis.  For more information, please call 655-9506 or go to their website.  The Compassionate Care Alliance is a non-profit which provides comprehensive information and resources on end of life care.  They strive to raise public awareness and create opportunities for dialog about end-of-life-issues, care choices and planning. 

Save Our Salinas/Circle Of Peace Hosting A Time For Grieving & Healing Support On February 12

by Richard Kuehn on 01/24/15

Save Our Salinas/Circle of Peace is hosting a support group called "A Time for Grieving & Healing Support" on February 12 and February 26 (and thereafter the second and fourth Thursday of every month).  If you are interested in attending, you can call 585-5908 or 442-8570 or go to the Hebron Family Center on 683 Fremont Street in Salinas at 6:00 p.m. on either the 12th or the 26th of February.

Salinas, CA Alliance On Aging To Host Seminar On Medicare On January 28

by Richard Kuehn on 01/24/15

The Alliance on Aging will host a workshop on Medicare basics from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on January 28 at their offices at 247 Main Street in Salinas.  This free seminar will focus on Parts A-D prescription plans.  For more information, call 758-4011 or visit their website to find out more about their services.  This non-profit provides a wide array of benefits to senior citizens.

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

by Richard Kuehn on 01/24/15

Sand City, 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, Marina, Monterey, Moss Landing, Morgan Hill,   Paicines Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Prunedale, Salinas, 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

Monterey, CA Alzheimer's Association Holding Workshop To Discuss Conservatorships, Living Trusts And Power Of Attorney For Those With Diminished Capacity

by Richard Kuehn on 01/24/15

The Alzheimer's Association is holding a workshop on dementia and capacity assessment, cognitive methods and legal perspectives on January 27 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. at their Ryan Ranch facility at 21 Lower Ragsdale in Monterey.  There will be a presentation by Dr. Patricia McKeon, Ph.D., neuropsychologist and elder care specialist as well as Lori Espinoza, a partner in the Espinoza Law Firm.  She specializes in conservatorships, trusts and estate litigation.  If you have questions about conservatorships, living trusts or Power of Attorney, this is the place to go.  For more information, call 800-272-3900.

Monterey, CA Cancer In The Future May Be Diagnosed By A Simple Blood Test

by Richard Kuehn on 01/23/15

A company based in Redwood City called Genomic Health is developing a line of liquid biopsy tests that can detect genetic evidence of cancer in a vial of blood.  The company has announced that it expects to have its first test on the market by next year.  Oncologists should be thrilled with this new diagnosis tool which was announced at the J.P.. Morgan Health Care Conference.  Dubbed the Oncotype test, it will be able to detect fragments of genetic material that find their way into the bloodstream.  What an exciting new technology.

Monterey, CA Caregiver Gets National Award : Credits CHOMP Support Groups For Their Help

by Richard Kuehn on 01/23/15

It was nice to read in the Monterey Herald today that a local man, Solomon Terry, was given the national “Wind Beneath My Wings” award for caring for his wife who died last spring after a three year battle with lung cancer.  They were together for 35 years and he had to bury her on what would have been their 33rd wedding anniversary.  His wife worked in the hospice industry for 30 years, the last 18 years at CHOMP’s Westland House.  She went to work even while undergoing chemotherapy.  Although the caregiving was draining, it has inspired him to spend most of his days at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) participating in support groups and programs provided for cancer patients and survivors.  “Even though we lost that battle, we haven’t lost the war because we’re fighting for others who are going through the same struggle,” he told the Monterey Herald.  Family caregivers have an extremely stressful life.  If you are caring for a loved one, I encourage you to check out one of the many support groups offered by CHOMP.  ”All different kinds of caregiving occurs, but the common denominator is bringing caregivers together so they can lessen the emotional burden, and get information and education to perhaps lessen the physical burden, so that they can go home and care for this other person refreshed, with their cup filled,” Mary Welschmeyer, a Registered Nurse who serves as a clinical instructor for CHOMP’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, told the Herald.

Monterey, CA Right To Die Bill Introduced By Senator Bill Monning

by Richard Kuehn on 01/23/15

Senator Bill Monning has introduced a controversial bill called the End of Life Option Act, a right-to-die bill which would allow people who are terminally ill to die when they are ready.  The Carmel resident held a joint press conference with the co-author of the bill, Senator Lois Wolk, along with the family of Brittany Maynard who moved from California to Oregon last year because they do have a right-to-die bill.  After being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer she decided to end her life.  However, in California, helping someone end their life, even if they are terminal, is a felony.  “Our hope is to see the end-of-life option as part of a continuum of established rights available to patients,” said Monning, who is married to a physician and said he has “watched close friends suffer through their final days.” The bill would allow doctors in California to prescribe a lethal dose of medications under certain circumstances. In 1992, voters rejected Proposition 161 which would have legalized physician-assisted dying and another bill failed in 2007.  But with momentum for this right growing in many states, the time may be right for California to join the ranks of Oregon, Mexico, Montana and Vermont where the terminally ill can legally end their own lives.

Monterey, CA Living Longer Is Good For Some, Not So Good For Others

by Richard Kuehn on 01/22/15

News that people are living longer is good for some, but not so good for others as AT&T pointed out on its earnings call Friday.  The company said it would take a whopping $7.9 billion charge because the nonprofit Society of Actuaries recently updated its mortality tables for the first time since 2000.  They now estimate the average lifespan will be two years longer than it was when they updated their tables last.  Mercer LLC estimates that total pension liabilities were at $2 trillion at the end of 2013 and the new longevity estimates could add 7% to this amount, or $140 billion.  I think it’s a shame that these numbers aren’t updated more frequently.  This is going to have a huge impact on the bottom lines of a number of public companies this year and shareholders will suffer for sure.  

Community Hospital Of The Monterey Peninsula, CHOMP, Has Free Classes On Living Well, A Program Developed At Stanford University

by Richard Kuehn on 01/22/15

CHOMP has a number of great classes starting soon such as the “Living Well Workshop” which was developed at Stanford University to help those living with ongoing health problems take charge of their own health and develop a self-management program.  The classes will be on Saturdays at the Oldemeyer Center at 986 Hilby Avenue in Seaside starting on February 21 and then running through March 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  If you are interested, you can attend a free one-hour session on Saturday February 7 from 11:00 a.m. to noon.  Although there is a $15 fee, it’s refunded if all six classes are completed.  To register, call 625-4867For more information on classes at CHOMP go to

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