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Monterey, CA Bayonet And Blackhorse Golf Course Hosts Happy Hour August 28 For Seniors

by Richard Kuehn on 08/23/15

If you are looking to get out and meet new friends and get a good meal as well, there is a group called Dine Out Seniors Which Meets Regularly.  Their next meeting will be on August 28 at 4:00 p.m. at the Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf Course on One McClure Way in Seaside (this is the old Fort Ord Officer’s golf course).  There will be a happy hour with appetizers served.  Call 917-1269 for more information or to make reservations.

Carmel, CA Right To Die Bill Revived In The State Senate

by Richard Kuehn on 08/23/15

Legislators in Sacramento are once again reviving the right to die bill, which could give terminally ill Californians the same rights as those in Oregon, enabling them to end their life on their own terms.  Many people don’t want to spend their final months or days in pain and being a burden to their friends and family.  They want to be remembered as healthy and full of life.  The Catholic Church and others have vehemently opposed the legislation, which faces an uphill battle.  "People are counting on us to win the freedom to end their life the way they choose," Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, (D-Stockton), coauthor of the legislation said Tuesday at a news conference to unveil "The End of Life Option Act,'' now bill AB 2x-15.  "We will use whatever means are available to us. We wanted this to go forward."

Carmel, CA Alzheimer’s Association Offers Free Online Classes

by Richard Kuehn on 08/22/15

The Alzheimer’s Association is a great non-profit that has support groups and can help you deal with this stressful situation of caring for someone with increasing memory loss.  They have a number of in-person classes and support groups, and if you aren’t able to attend in person click here for online webinars such as:


Conversations about Dementia
 
Learn helpful tips to guide you in having difficult conversations with family members, including going to the doctor, deciding when to stop driving, and making legal and financial plans.

Compassionate Communication: Connecting with a  Person with Alzheimer’s
Communication is more than the ability to exchange words—it is the ability to connect with someone. This program will provide strategies on improving overall communication skills in connecting with memory-impaired individuals.

Healthy Habits for a Healthier Brain
For centuries, we've known that the health of the brain and the body are connected. But now, science is able to provide insights into how to optimize our physical and cognitive health as we age. Join us to learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.

Help & Hope in Alzheimer's Science and Care 
In recent years we have entered a period of tremendous advances in Alzheimer research, encompassing genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's, imaging studies to identify Alzheimer's in the living brain, blood tests and other biomarkers that may one day be used to diagnose Alzheimer's, how our lifestyle influences our risk of Alzheimer's as we age, and more.

Lo básico: lapérdida de memoria, la demencia y la enfermedad de alzheimer

La enfermedad de Alzheimer y otras demencias relacionadas no son una parte normal del envejecimiento.  Lo Básico: La Pérdida de Memoria, La Demencia y La Enfermedad de Alzheimer es un taller presentado por la Alzheimer’s Association, para todos los que quieran saber más acerca del Alzheimer y otras demencias relacionadas.

Responding to Challenging Behaviors: Successful Strategies and Interventions
Provides participants with helpful tips to address behavioral aspects of dementia.  The program shares examples of some of the most common behaviors associated with the disease, and empowers caregivers to try a new approach.

Basics of Alzheimer's and Dementia for LGBT Care Partners
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are not a normal part of aging. This webinar provides an overview about dementia and LGBT caregiving concerns. The featured speaker is David Troxel.

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 Retiring Baby Boomers Pouring More Money Into Annuities

by Richard Kuehn on 08/22/15

Annuities are gaining popularity as a huge number of baby boomers retire and seek financial stability in their golden years.  However, you need to be careful in choosing an annuity.  Fees can be high and yields are tied to interest rates so they are currently low.  There are also different types of annuities.  Variable annuities feature stock-market funds while the more conservative (called fixed or guaranteed-rate) have bond like yields which are currently paying only 2-3%.  Since interest rates are likely to rise, it’s prudent not to lock up a lot of funds in a guaranteed-rate annuity now.  Rather, many seniors are putting money into short-term t-bills, saving the funds to buy these instruments after the Fed hikes interest rates.

Carmel, CA Obese Diabetics May Have To Undergo Surgery To Go Into Remission

by Richard Kuehn on 08/21/15

It’s no secret that there is a strong link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes and recent research shows that surgery may be the best way to go.  Published in the journal JAMA Surgery, the research shows the superiority of bariatric surgery over lifestyle changes in resolving the chronic condition involving high blood sugar.  In the trial, obese adults with diabetes were randomly assigned to one of two surgical procedures or intensive lifestyle intervention and followed for three years.  Forty percent of those who had received a gastric bypass procedure and 29% who received a gastric band were considered in remission from diabetes and no longer needed to take medication after three years.  By comparison, no one in the group who received intensive lifestyle intervention resolved their diabetes.  Talk to your physician about your options if you are extremely overweight and diabetic.

 

Carmel, CA Breast Cancer Diagnosis Doesn’t Mean Surgery For Many Women, According To A New Study

by Richard Kuehn on 08/21/15

Most women who are diagnosed with Stage O breast cancer opt for a lumpectomy, a mastectomy or a double mastectomy.  However, new research which was reported yesterday in the journal JAMA Oncology indicates this might not be necessary.  This is a huge finding for the 60K American women who undergo this surgery each year.  The study showed that women who underwent this surgery had about the same chance of dying of breast cancer as the general population and the few that did die did so despite having the surgery.  This study is likely to be hotly debated in the medical community.  Ask your oncologist about it if you receive a Stage O diagnosis.

Carmel, CA Caregiver Alert : Seniors On High Blood Pressure Meds More Prone To Fall In The Summer, Particularly Women

by Richard Kuehn on 08/21/15

Older people that are taking blood-pressure medication may need lower dosages during the hot summer months to help prevent fainting, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine.  The study found fainting episodes, called syncope, were significantly more common in summer than in winter among patients taking antihypertensive drugs. Almost 75% of patients with summer syncope were aged 60 or older.  Summer syncope was associated with dehydration and was more common in women.  By contrast, more men developed syncope in winter.

Carmel, CA Jury Still Out On Statin Alternatives

by Richard Kuehn on 08/20/15

I wrote recently on my blog about a new class of cholesterol lowering drugs (alternative to statins) which are hitting the market.  However, like so many new drugs, they are very expensive and insurance companies will be watching closely to see who they are prescribed to.  The first of the new drugs to be approved by the FDA was Praluent, from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi SA and will launch at a list price of $40 a day, or $14,560 a year. The FDA is expected to approve a second drug, Amgen Inc.’s Repatha, by August 27.  Many insurers plan to require rigorous evaluations before authorizing prescriptions, to make sure patients can’t get their cholesterol down with traditional statins.  Between 10% and  25% of people who have tried statins report having muscle pain, which limits the dose they can tolerate or precludes them from taking a statin at all.   “Clearly there is a group of patients that has statin intolerance,” said Leslie Cho, section head, preventive cardiology and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. A study she led involving about 1,600 patients with initial complaints of statin intolerance found that just over 70% could actually take the medicines, while about 30% were truly statin-intolerant.  

Carmel, CA Nursing Homes And Rehab Facilities Bill Medicare As Much As Possible

by Richard Kuehn on 08/20/15

The Wall Street Journal broke a story about nursing homes bilking Medicare, something which has been going on in the industry for many years.  The story talked about Jack Furumura who became severely dehydrated in 2013 and shed more than 5 pounds, partly because staff in his rehab facility didn’t follow written plans for his nutrition or the facility’s policies, a state inspection report showed.  During many of his 21 days there, the 96-year-old man suffering from dementia received two hours or more of physical and occupational therapy combined, records show.  That qualified as what Medicare terms an “ultra high” amount of therapy to help with tasks such as walking, even as he deteriorated. And it allowed the nursing-home operator to bill Medicare top dollar for his entire stay.  Patients getting ultrahigh therapy—at least 720 minutes a week—generate some of nursing homes’ biggest payments from the taxpayer-funded program.  If you have a loved one entering a rehab facility, keep an eye on their care, particularly with dementia patients, who can’t look out for themselves.

Carmel, CA Paramedics Embrace New Business Model Of Non-Emergency Care

by Richard Kuehn on 08/19/15

Paramedics are embracing a new business model.  Many companies, in addition to responding to medical emergencies, are starting to offer house calls for regular medical care and post hospital release care.  This makes a lot of sense given the growing shortage of primary-care physicians as more people rely on expensive urgent care facilities.  A new training program is racing across the country called community paramedicine which teaches paramedics topics such as chronic disease management, medication compliance and home safety.  This gives the elderly and the frail another resource to rely on for chronic disease management.  The paramedics can do on the spot blood tests, explain post hospital release medical instructions and report back to the hospital how the patient is doing.  

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