Finding EXCELLENCE in Senior Healthcare

As a health care professional for the past 15+ years I’ve always felt pretty confident I could find a good doctor, pharmacist, caregiver, physical therapist, or nurse if the time ever came that I needed one…especially in a crisis. I was recently put on the caregiver side of the health care equation – nothing earth shattering, but my son broke his leg and it came with a unique set of circumstances. Lost dreams of a summer soccer season, bike riding and swimming with friends, and a choir trip to Alaska were all things that suddenly seemed very much shattered. As his mom and caregiver I found myself wondering about all these things and a hundred others. I was squarely in a situation that was out of my control to direct. We were at the mercy of whatever orthopedic doctor the scheduler assigned to us.

I imagine this is how family members feel when a senior in crisis is referred to a nursing home for rehab or to a home care agency for on-going care. How do I know I’m going to like the person that is assigned to me? Will they take enough time for me? Will they answer my questions? Are they any good at what they do? Do they provide quality care? How do I know that what they are telling me is correct? How do I know what I don’t know?

What happened next on our broken leg journey was nothing short of anxiety inducing. The doctor we saw didn’t have time for us, he couldn’t relate to my son, and looked at me like I was crazy when I asked about pain control. We left his office without any instructions on my son’s restrictions or care. We also left with newfound gratitude for my profession as an occupational therapist; we would have been totally lost otherwise. What I realized after the shock of the appointment wore off was this: a broken bone had become routine to this doctor. It was a mechanical issue that needed repair – there was no passion for the care of the patient. To my son and our family a broken bone was anything other than routine; it was a loss of some short-term hopes and dreams. This is no different for a senior who sustains a fall, has a heart attack, or develops dementia – plans are changed, dreams are shattered, lives are disrupted…that IS NOT routine. How do you find an individual provider or senior care agency that will help you compensate, adapt, and be compassionate around these issues?

Here are a few ideas:

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The Shift That Will Utterly Transform Society

Below is an article from NextAvenue that I would like to share. The post is by Sue Campbell.

Editor’s note: This article is part of a year-long project about aging well, planning for the changes that aging brings and shaping how society thinks about aging.

The number of Americans over age 50 is climbing steadily — and they are part of a new life stage that acknowledges they’re older, yes, but not “old old.”

PBS documentary filmmaker Christine Herbes-Sommers is exploring what’s happening to the growing number of people in this newly created phase: “Who are they, what are they doing, what are their bodies and minds doing? How are they working?”

(MORE: Transforming Life As We Age)

Her project, Coming of Age in Aging America, seeks to answer those questions in an upcoming documentary. The planned hour-long PBS film (out next year) will be used to spark discussions in cities and towns about what should change in our policies, thinking and behavior around aging.

This four-minute video brilliantly sums up the ideas behind the larger project. It’s worth checking out:

 

Tammy Sullivan
Home Care Solutions
952-924-0677
caremaster25@gmail.com
HomeCareSolutionsMN.com

Resource for Alzheimer’s/Dementia: MEternally

MEternally is who you are, where you come from, what may not be seen but is still there. We believe that connections can be made between those with dementia and those who love and care for them through pictures of things that they love and identify with. These same pictures can provide comfort and promote reminiscence.

What started as a college class project has turned into a business dedicated to create comfort, promote connections, and inspire reminiscence. Below is an article that was written which actually gives a very good history of how it all came about. Snap of the past, connects to today – Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Through our software and DVD products we provide collections of common and creative themes and continue our progress towards custom and deeply meaningful products at reasonable prices for those affected by dementia. The first DVD in the series (Favorite Things – Nature Collection) is ready to ship with others scheduled throughout the year. We also have an active software pilot which we offer through our website, in exchange for feedback on how we can make our product better. People can sign up to participate in the software pilot, purchase DVDs, or find out more about us on our website. MEternally.com

Review in Alzlive.com

When Care At Home Is No Longer Possible

While you and other families provide 75 percent of long-term care in this country, at some point it may become impossible to provide care in the home. Necessary care may be too specialized, too expensive, or may be required 24 hours a day. For many families, moving a loved one to a residential care setting is the most difficult decision they will ever face.

Residential Care May Be The Right Decision If:
  •  The person has health needs that can’t be met at home.
  • The caregiver is emotionally and physically exhausted and family and community resources have already been tried.
  • The person can’t be safely cared for at home.
  • The caregiver’s safety is at risk.
  • Although the person you care for may not need residential care now, it’s smart to prepare for that possibility. It’s stressful to arrange for care during a crisis; you may find yourself with care you would not have chosen if you had more preparation time.
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Who Needs Estate Planning?

Why estate planning is so important, and not just for the rich.

You have an estate.
It doesn’t matter how limited (or unlimited) your means may be, and it doesn’t matter if you own a mansion or a motor home.

 

Rich or poor, when you die, you leave behind an estate.
For some, this can mean real property, cash, an investment portfolio and more. For others, it could be as straightforward as the $10 bill in their wallet and the clothes on their back. Either way, what you leave behind when you die is considered to be your “estate”.

 

“But, I don’t need estate planning … do I?”
Let’s think about that. If the estate is small, should you still plan? Well, even if you’re just leaving behind the $10 bill in your wallet, who will inherit it? Do you have a spouse? Children? Is it theirs? Should it go to just one of them, or be split between them? If you don’t decide, you could potentially be leaving behind a legacy of legal headaches to your survivors. This, quite simply, is what estate planning is all about – deciding how what you have now (money and assets) will be distributed after your lifetime.

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Care Management: What it is and how we help

Geriatric Care Managers, also known as Care Consultants, Care Coordinators or Elder Care Managers are professionals who specialize in working with seniors and their families to coordinate their care needs. A Geriatric Care Manager may be a nurse, social worker, counselor, psychologist or gerontologist who has training and experience specifically in working with older people.  Geriatric Care Managers help with short-term projects or can be involved in a more on-going relationship. Geriatric Care Managers offer a large variety of services to assist older people and their families in meeting their care needs.

Geriatric Care Managers can:

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