Aging Well in America–Healthy Living 2.0

Free event for people over the age of 50 on ways to live well, longer in our community!

arthur murray

* Healthy Food Choices
* Aging Life Care Management
* Making it to 100

* Dance Lesson by Sean Offer
* Get moving & have fun!

The community resource table will be available.

Our events are educational.  Leave your checkbook at home!
Seating is limited. Reserve your spot by calling 813 949 0752 or email: brenda@SeniorInformationResources.org

 

Evaluating Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled nursing facilities, better known as nursing homes, promote care to those individuals who can no longer care for themselves at home. A wide range of nursing, rehabilitative, social and medical services are delivered on a 24-hour basis. Skilled nursing facilities help people during a time when they cannot adequately care for themselves. These facilities provide necessary nursing and medical intervention while promoting the restoration of a person’s maximum independence. Evercare Connections

1. Know your rights. If a hospital informs you that your loved one must be discharged within 24 hours, remember that you have appeal rights under Medicare. This could allow you to extend your relative’s stay by two additional days and give you more time to research nursing homes. For details about appeal rights, ask the hospital for a copy of “An Important Message from Medicare,” or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

2. Turn to the Eldercare Locator for help. This resource will connect you with your local agency on aging, which can give you the names and locations of all nursing homes in a given area. Call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116.

3. Prepare to do lots of clicking. Consumer Reports recently completed an investigation of nursing homes across the country and made its findings available free of charge online. This will ultimately lead you to nursing homes in your state to consider and to avoid.

4. Tap into other resources. You also can check less complete surveys of nursing homes through the Nursing Home Compare database on the Web site of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Many state health agencies also track nursing homes in a similar way. To find such a resource, do a quick Internet search using the name of your state along with the words “health department.” Then visit that state Web site and find a phone number you can call. Ask the person who answers whether there’s a way for you to see nursing home surveys or ratings for your state.

5. Check state survey reports. When you visit a nursing home, ask for a copy of a report known as Form 2567, or the state inspection survey. This report will reveal the results of unannounced visits by state surveyors who spoke with residents and checked on sanitary conditions and care issues.

6. Contact your state’s long-term care ombudsman program. Another important resource for you can be the ombudsman who monitors nursing homes in your state or local area. You can do another quick Internet search using the name of your state and the word “ombudsman” to find the contact information you’ll need. You also can ask for this contact information when you call your state’s health department.

7. Make unannounced visits more than once. As you zero in on two or three nursing homes, visit them at different times of day. Are many residents still in bed at 10 a.m. or so? Do many eat dinner in their rooms rather than in the dining room? Both of these can be signs of an under-staffed facility that isn’t giving residents enough stimulation.

8. Stay alert for other telling details. Are toileting needs being met right away? Are safety precautions in place to prevent accidents? Are exercise and rehabilitation sessions scheduled regularly? How does the staff interact with residents? How does the food taste to you?

9. Sit down with the administrator. Ask about his or her views on long-term care, and find out if the nursing home has seen a lot of high-level turnover in recent years. If it has, that could be a sign of instability.

10. Inquire about Medicaid. If your relative lives in a nursing home for a long time, his or her financial resources most likely will be exhausted or “spent down,” and he or she will then be eligible for Medicaid. Get in writing the nursing home’s payment policy once private funds or Medicare reimbursements run out. Does the nursing home accept Medicaid payment eventually? If so, at what point?

Sources: Consumer Reports’ Nursing Home Guide, “Consumer Reports Complete Guide to Health Services for Seniors” by Trudy Lieberman and the Editors of Consumer Reports, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services © 2009 MSNBC Interactive. Reprints

Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Normal Aging

Thought for the day: A person with dementia does not necessarily have Alzheimer’s but a person with Alzheimer’s definitely has dementia.

As we age, just as our bodies start to physically slow down so too does our brain. It is natural for it to take longer for us to retrieve memories, process questions, solve problems etc. as we get older. It is not normal however for us to forget things altogether or not to be able to generally deal with activities of daily living. That is usually an indication of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. MCI is a term used to describe when a person has memory or other thinking problems greater than normal for someone their age and education. Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily living.

Like a fever or a stomach ache, dementia, is the symptom not the underlying cause. There are well over a hundred causes of dementia. Some are reversible. Some dementias are caused by onetime events and do not progress. Others get worse over time (are progressive). Dementias caused by urinary tract infections (UTI’s) , dehydration, thyroid problems or certain vitamin deficiencies are often easily reversible. Memory loss associated with a stroke (or other vascular issues) is the typical irreversible non progressive dementia example. Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent dementia cause (it accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases) and it is progressive (Parkinson’s related dementia is another progressive type).

Because each type of dementia cause is different, it is important to obtain a proper diagnosis. Dehydration might just require more liquid or a trip to hospital for an IV. An UTI will need antibiotics. Vascular dementia may not require any medication but attention to the underlying heart or vascular problem so another stroke does not occur causing more damage. Even with the progressive types, the medical treatment is different for those with Alzheimer’s than for those with Parkinson’s or Huntington’s. etc.

For most of the progressive types, there is no cure. But there are medications that can slow the progress. Also, there is great benefit to understanding the general progression because the way a caregiver approaches a loved one during the different stages is different. For example, in the later stages of Alzheimer’s it is inappropriate to correct the patient or to constantly ask them if they remember who you are. Behaviors like this only agitate them and cause them to feel bad.

Over the next few months, we will be discussing Alzheimer’s in a little more detail. In the interim, to find out more about Dementia and Alzheimer’s see our website or go to ALZ.ORG (the website for the Alzheimer’s Association). They have a wealth of information on those two topics with links to the primary sites associated with some of the other major dementias (eg Parkinson’s related dementia).

Frieda & Arthur Moseley, In-home care providers
Frieda & Arthur Moseley, In-home care providers
Arthur Moseley and his wife Frieda are the owners of the Tampa and Pasco Offices of Griswold Home Care, one of the area’s leading referrers of non medical private pay home care services (the caregivers they refer provide companionship, homemaking services and personal care). NR30211139 NR30211332

Senior housing offers a better lifestyle

Traditional lifestyles have evolved greatly in America over the past several decades; perhaps nowhere is this more evident in than in the senior living industry where the old stereotypes of senior communities have been replaced with model lifestyle and care environments.

“Life expectancy in America is now at an all time high, says” Kelly Foley, Executive Director at Brookdale Senior Living in Lutz, FL. “Now seniors and families have new questions about where and how seniors can find the best lifestyles and care options. But really, it’s all about knowing where to turn for help, because the services are all out there and available.”

Take, for example, activities. There are many places where senior centers offer daily programs and meals to older adults, along with a calendar of activities that include exercise, discussion groups, arts and crafts, health information and social events. For those with physical or other issues which preclude them from remaining unsupervised, there are also adult day care programs.

Many hospitals provide wellness centers, and those who have loved ones with specific senior diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s can usually find an association that provides help and answers for them.

“Beyond the traditional care outlets, today there are home health agencies, in-home and care companions and hospice care,” says Foley. “And if full time senior living is an option there is every kind of lifestyle and care option available, from independent living, to assisted living and Alzheimer’s care, skilled nursing and communities that offer continuing care within a Life Care Plan.”

The move to pursue senior living with or without care services at a rate the senior or their family can afford is often triggered by life-changing events when a decision must be made quickly. The biggest problem is– knowing where to turn for a quick education about the choices and options in the senior living network, especially where the health of the individual is an issue.

“There is no substitute for planning ahead,” says Foley. “But the good news is that there is help available for anyone who needs it. At our community we probably spend more time getting to know and advising individuals and families who are making this decision for the first time than we do working with those actively seeking to move into our community.

“It can be difficult to navigate through all the options, especially where old stereotypes exist,” says Foley. “But we’ve found that many people are just happy to get the information they need to make the right decision – and we’re happy to help them chart the best course for their families.”

For more information call Kristin Albritton 813.909.9679
brookdale lutz

Getting older isn’t for sissies!

bc sunnyMost people won’t seek help until their hair is on fire!

Here’s a startling fact: Today’s baby boomers will live 40-50 years beyond retirement.  For some, that’s longer than they were in the work force!

As the last self-sufficient generation in America, we are expected to maintain control of our physical and financial well being.  We must learn how to maximize assets and utilize all  possible benefits in order to remain independent.

In a split second, you can become one of 65 million Americans who is caring for a loved one, spending thousands of dollars annually and taking as much as 10 years off your life!

Where do you go for help?

Search our website for the help you need.

From being downsized at the job–to preparing final arrangements for a loved, we’ve all been there!  We know how costly it can be to make the wrong choices or fail to plan for the inevitable.

Our goal is to help others navigate through the maze of growing older in America while living well in our community.  With some forethought and planning, your hair will remain intact!