« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

January 2008

Staph Infections: How To Control Their Spread in Nursing Homes

Note from Carol: Sorry about duplicating the "Role Reveral" post. It was one of those days...Here's something fresh. Thanks for being loyal readers. Carol

According to a new study, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a strain of staph infection, is becoming a major source of illness acquired in nursing homes. Little is known about how to prevent its spread among nursing home residents because most studies have been done in hospital settings.

Read full post:

Tax Tips for Caregivers and Seniors

AgingCare.com has a good article on tax tips that you may want to look into. It is written by June A. Schroeder, RN, CFP, an expert in this field. We can all use a little tax help. The article begins:

"It isn’t just time, but money that most caregivers donate to help maintain the ones they love.  I know.  I did it for years following willingly in the footsteps of my mom who also did it for years.  The financial toll is often insidious. You shop and include their groceries, pay for repairs and the gas for trips to the doctor, you lose time at work and pretty soon we’re talking big money. To compensate you cut back on vacations, cut or discontinue savings, don’t get your teeth cleaned or you may even take out loans to cover caregiving costs."

Read full post:

Alzheimer's and Teens: Help Them Understand

My oldest son was a young teen when his grandfather was suddenly afflicted with dementia.  When teenagers see a beloved grandparent change personalities, forget their name, not recognize them - it's devastating.  The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has a new Web site devoted to these young people. To read "New Initiative for Teens Impacted by Alzheimer's Disease" click here.

What If Insurers Stop Paying for Hospitals' Mistakes?

With healthcare ranking as one of this election year's top issues, we're bound to see many stories of interest for those of us caring for elders (or with health issues of our own). Here's one of the latest. From The Wall Street Journal comes a story titled "Insurers Stop Paying for Care Linked to Errors: Health Plans Say New Rules Improve Safety and Cut Costs; Hospitals Can't Dun Patients."

Read full post:

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) Offers Fabulous Tool

The National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) has added new and updated data to its terrific resource “Caregiving Across the States.” The database profiles caregiving and aging resources for each state and the District of Columbia, as well as information on publicly-funded caregiver support programs. This database is interactive. All you need to do is click on the map to find the state you are interested in researching. Click here to go to "Caregiving Across the States."

Alzheimer's vs. Dementia: What's the difference?

A woman with whom I work is questioning whether the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is correct for her father. I agreed that, from different things she's mentioned to me about her dad, I've wondered, too, if he actually had AD, or if it was vascular or another type of dementia (he'd had a stroke). I asked what type of doctor he'd seen, and suggested a specialist, since he'd seen only his family physician. After the one physician diagnosed him with Alzheimer's, they put him on medication to slow the disease, though he still entered a nursing home. In a week, my friend will take her dad to a neurologist and they will run some tests.

So, for general purposes, what is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's disease?  David Roeltgen, MD, wrote a good, understandable article on this subject for ouralzheimers.com. If you're interested in an overview, I suggest you click here and read "The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease."

Classic Career Book Updated for Retirement

Whatcolorparachut_3 The classic career book, What Color Is Your Parachute?, has been updated for baby boomers. I can also see the book as a way for younger boomers to tactfully encourage a retired parent to consider the idea that some kind of work may make him or her more content than all day golf has been doing (ever had a newly retired dad hanging around telling you exactly how to do everything you've been doing for the last 30 years?).

Continue reading "Classic Career Book Updated for Retirement" »

For Dementia Patients, Drugs Shouldn't Be Used to Control

I'm hearing, as a columnist, more questions about the use of medications to "calm" dementia patients. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article titled Nursing Homes Struggle to Kick Drug Habit, written by Lucette Lagnado (discussed in a recent post by MK). Also, in the book "Old Age in a New Age," which I have reviewed on this site and will likely be referring to frequently, author Beth Baker cites drugs as a use of "restraint."

Read full article: