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More Geriatricians Essential to Treat Boomer’s Addictions and Mental Health

According to The American Geriatrics Society, there is now approximately one geriatrician for every 2,600 people 75 and older nationwide. While not all elders need a geriatrician, many do. The physical illnesses that come with aging often have nuances that are not always understood by the family doctor. When the mental health issues that can accompany aging are factored in, the need for more geriatricians increases. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may have depression or other mental health issues in addition to his or her dementia, and most family physicians aren’t trained to properly diagnose these complicated cases.

Read more about how more geriatricians are essential to boomer health:

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Is Alzheimer’s disease the default diagnosis for confused elders?

Alzheimer's organizations  have worked diligently to raise public awareness of the disease. Their efforts are paying off handsomely. I’d challenge nearly anyone to find a friend or neighbor who hasn’t heard enough about Alzheimer’s disease to give some type of description of the symptoms. The downside of this awareness, however, is that even doctors can jump to possibly faulty conclusions when they see an elderly person showing signs of memory loss or significant confusion.

Read more about how Alzheimer's may have become the default diagnosis for confused elders:

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Understand Hospitalization Codes or Risk Medicare Denial

Your mom has fallen in her home and you’re now sitting with her in the hospital. Nothing is broken, they said, but she suffered a back injury they want to monitor. They’d like to keep her in the hospital for observation. You say sure, why not? She stays several days and then is released to a rehab facility for follow-up care.  Medicare pays for the first 20 days a patient is in a rehab facility only if the patient is admitted and remains in the hospital for three days prior to treatment. But, according to AAPR, hospitals are increasingly leaving Medicare hospital patients “under observation” without officially admitting them.

Read more about understanding Hospitalizaton codes and Medicare:

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Option of Hospice Care Freeing for Many

People who read my work on a regular basis know that I am grateful to hospice for the care of both of my parents. Without the skilled, compassionate care of the hospice staff, both of my parents would have suffered far more than they did. As it was, they’d both had long, slow declines and pain had become the focus of their days even though they received excellent care in the nursing home. When Dad and Mom qualified for hospice care, meaning that their physician considered their conditions terminal, I filled out the paperwork for each of them.

Read more about hospice and what they do:

 

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Know Your Hospitalization Codes or Risk Medicare Denial

Your mom has fallen in her home and you’re now sitting with her in the hospital. Nothing is broken, they said, but she suffered a back injury they want to monitor. They’d like to keep her in the hospital for observation. You say sure, why not? She stays several days and then is released to a rehab facility for follow-up care.  Medicare pays for the first 20 days a patient is in a rehab facility only if the patient is admitted and remains in the hospital for three days prior to treatment. But, according to AAPR, hospitals are increasingly leaving Medicare hospital patients “under observation” without officially admitting them.

Read more about hospitalization codes and Medicare coverage:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

 


Fighting Back: People with Alzheimer’s and Their Caregivers Face a Battle

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of Alzheimer’s disease is the feeling of helplessness that can overtake the lives of people diagnosed with the disease and those who love them.  Alzheimer’s disease cannot be prevented or cured at this time. Lifestyle changes and some medications may help some people stave off the destruction of the disease for a time, but in the end, the disease wins.

Read more about people fighting Alzheimer's:

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Know Your Hospitalization Codes or Risk Medicare Denial

Your mom has fallen in her home and you’re now sitting with her in the hospital. Nothing is broken, they said, but she suffered a back injury they want to monitor. They’d like to keep her in the hospital for observation. You say sure, why not? She stays several days and then is released to a rehab facility for follow-up care.

Medicare pays for the first 20 days a patient is in a rehab facility only if the patient is admitted and remains in the hospital for three days prior to treatment. But, according to AAPR, hospitals are increasingly leaving Medicare hospital patients “under observation” without officially admitting them.

Read more about Medicare colds and being admitted to the hospital:

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Administration on Aging programs provide assistance for caregivers nationwide

Nearly any family caregiver has felt isolated and alone at one time or another. For many, that feeling is chronic. Friends don’t understand the strain we are under. Some people get no support from their extended family or friends. Where can we turn when there seems to be nowhere to turn? Believe it or not, many resources are at your fingertips on the Administration on Aging website.

Read about the valuable resources on the AoA website:

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Proposed Settlement May Expand Medicare Coverage for Important Services

In a proposed settlement of a nationwide class-action lawsuit, the Obama administration has agreed to change the decades-old practice of denying Medicare coverage for skilled nursing care or physical therapy unless the patient could be shown to have a likelihood of medical or functional improvement.

According to a story in the New York Times, “Federal officials agreed to rewrite the Medicare manual to make clear that Medicare coverage of nursing had therapy services does not turn on the presence or absence of an individual’s potential for improvement, but is based on the beneficiary’s need for skilled care.”

Read more about proposed Medicare expansion for skilled therapy:

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Know Your Hospitalization Codes or Risk Medicare Denial

Your mom has fallen in her home and you’re now sitting with her in the hospital. Nothing is broken, they said, but she suffered a back injury they want to monitor. They’d like to keep her in the hospital for observation. You say sure, why not? She stays several days and then is released to a rehab facility for follow-up care.Medicare pays for the first 20 days a patient is in a rehab facility only if the patient is admitted and remains in the hospital for three days prior to treatment. But, according to AAPR, hospitals are increasingly leaving Medicare hospital patients “under observation” without officially admitting them.

Read more about the Medicare "observation trap":

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook