Pacific Grove, CA Aging At Home Is Now In Vogue : Assisted Living On The Outs

COVID-19 has made aging at home in vogue.  The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article on how coronavirus is changing the way Americans face retirement by “accelerating developments already under way,” physician Bill Thomas said to the reporter.  “It’s going to make people rethink retirement altogether,” Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity said.  Most people will age at home, and remain independent, she said.  I believe that her view is true.  With roughly 40% of COVID-19 being staff and residents of nursing homes, nobody wants to go into a facility these days.  We have been getting a number of calls from fearful children who want to get their parents out of assisted living and back home, where they can reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure.  Although COVID-19 will eventually be wiped out, there will clearly be more devastating diseases in the future which makes these facilities dangerous.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-covid-19-will-change-aging-and-retirement-11605452401

The History Of Family InHome Caregiving Part 4 : Cooking In A Skilled Nursing Facility

This article is the fourth in a series of articles about myself, my past, and how I decided to start a home care agency on the Monterey Peninsula.  In the first, I talked about a wonderful experience I had with a bedridden woman who eventually got up, went out and about and even on a tour.  It shows that with enough encouragement, a lot can be accomplished.

https://www.familyinhomecaregiving.com/the-history-of-family-inhome-caregiving-part-1-the-rocking-chair/

In the second part of the series, I wrote about how my colleagues and myself had to come up with interesting activities for the residents to keep their minds and their bodies engaged.  Read here about the wheelchair races we held:

https://www.familyinhomecaregiving.com/the-history-of-family-inhome-caregiving-part-2-the-race-is-on/

In the third, I discussed my prior experiencing working on the Alzheimer’s wing in a skilled nursing home.  It can be quite a challenge!

https://www.familyinhomecaregiving.com/the-history-of-family-inhome-caregiving-part-3-alzheimers/

In my most recent blog, I will talk about my experience doing food service in a large skilled nursing facility, which can be quite a challenge.  Working in a skilled nursing home is hard work and a lot of it. Not only are there caregivers, housekeeping and medical staff, but you also have nutrition staff that helps prepare the food and serve the meals to patients in their rooms and in the dining room. I remember one time I was asked to help out in the kitchen because they were low on staff, and it was an eye-opening experience. Not only do you need to know a variety of diets, like low carb, low salt, etc., but you need to know how to combine them and make them taste good as well. They asked me to peel some potatoes (more than two hundred!) and 90 minutes later, I finished.  My hands sure hurt (have you ever peeled two hundred potatoes?). After the potatoes, I moved on to cleaning lettuce, and a lot of it! That day they would make meatloaf and fish, and I was surprised at how much meat was used. It was needed because we had around 200 patients in the facility. Mixing all the ingredients was easy, as they had a big professional mixing bowl. Once dinner was made, the employees that delivered the meals to the rooms came in to pick up the preloaded meal carts.  Each tray had the room number and name of the patient that the meal was for. This was done so that special diet patients received the correct meal. We also had the patients that came into the dining area to eat their meal with others, a very social time of day. They pre- ordered their meal, so we had them lined up on a metal shelving unit with, again, their name and room number so the correct person received their proper meal. Sometimes the meals were mixed up, so one person would get the fish when they ordered the meatloaf and vice versa, but believe me when I say that the patient would let us know in no uncertain terms when there was a mix up. During that evening I was serving a meal to a person that had mild dementia and she thought she had ordered fish, but the card read meatloaf. There was a big commotion and the floor supervisor and the kitchen supervisor had to come in to calm the patient down and figure out what had happened. It turned out that the person writing the cards out mixed this lady’s order up with another lady in the same room. Once we found that out I went to the other lady (who stayed in her room to eat) to see if she received the correct meal.  Well, of course she had not so I received another ear full before I could explain what had happened.  Once I brought the correct meal in she was all smiles and happy to see that I personally brought her meal. She had forgotten what had happened just a few minutes earlier. Patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s are extremely difficult to work with.  You need a lot of experience to know how to deal with them. It takes patience, kindness, understanding and compassion. I would hope that in today’s world the meal preparation and delivery around Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and Salinas have new technologies that can make the process easier and make for a great experience for patients. I have seen Park Lane’s restaurant and it is genuinely nice.  You can order your food like a regular restaurant so you can have a bigger variety of meals to choose from. Technology has been a friend during this time of Covid-19 and has helped to make some things easier and safer. I hope your next meal is a great meal! Bon Appetit

 

Carmel, CA Aging At Home Is Now In Vogue : Assisted Living On The Outs

COVID-19 has made aging at home in vogue.  The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article on how coronavirus is changing the way Americans face retirement by “accelerating developments already under way,” physician Bill Thomas said to the reporter.  “It’s going to make people rethink retirement altogether,” Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity said.  Most people will age at home, and remain independent, she said.  I believe that her view is true.  With roughly 40% of COVID-19 being staff and residents of nursing homes, nobody wants to go into a facility these days.  We have been getting a number of calls from fearful children who want to get their parents out of assisted living and back home, where they can reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure.  Although COVID-19 will eventually be wiped out, there will clearly be more devastating diseases in the future which makes these facilities dangerous.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-covid-19-will-change-aging-and-retirement-11605452401

Monterey, CA Alzheimer’s Sufferers Get New Hope

According to a study which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Eli Lilly and Company’s experimental drug could slow the cognitive decline of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  The downside, however, is that the drug is intravenous, not in a pill form.  An early clinical trial studied 257 with early signs of Alzheimer’s.  Of those, 131 received the drug and 126 received a placebo.  Researchers found that those who got the drug showed a slowing of cognitive decline and the ability to perform daily functions by 32% after 76 weeks, compared to those who received a placebo.   The study also looked at the build up of amyloid beta plaque and tau proteins, both of which are signs of Alzheimer’s disease.  At the 52-week mark in the Phase 2 Clinical Trial, almost 60% of participants who received the drug were amyloid-negative.  At week 76, amyloid plaque levels decreased by 85% in those taking the drug versus those who received the placebo.  Regular readers of my blog know that both my father and grandmother had this terrible disease when they passed away.  There are great people at our local chapter of Alzheimer’s Association in Ryan’s Ranch.  They also have a 24-hour hotline if you need support at 800-272-3900.

New COVID-19 Laws In 2021 That Apply To Long Term Care Facilities In Monterey

Seniors are extremely worried about coronavirus, although at least the majority of Monterey County residents over the age of 75 have gotten their first vaccine shot, if not both.  But progress was made on the political front in 2020 and we expect more good news for seniors regarding the fight against the pandemic from the Biden Administration.  New laws that took effect in California this year are a requirement that each long-term care facility has a full-time infection control expert.  It also requires nursing homes to report each COVID-19 death to state officials within 24 hours.  This is critical as we continue to track the growth of coronavirus infections.