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A Growing Challenge for Society and How to Tackle It

Elderly Healthcare: A Growing Challenge for Society and How to Tackle It

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According to WHO reports, if the period from 2015 to 2050 is taken into consideration, the number of older adults has doubled. This reflects a 12 to 22 percent growth. Based on this, there is an assumption that the number of older people in the age of 60 years is increasing from 900 million to 2 billion by that time. The reason behind this is that healthcare is consistently progressing and as a result, life expectancy is also increasing with the coming of a large number of elderly populations globally.

Elderly Healthcare: A Growing Challenge for Society and How to Tackle It

So, elderly healthcare is a growing concern across the world, and the USA is no exception. This led to a demographic crisis that creates a challenge for society. The WHO treats a person as an elderly who have reached the age of 65 or above. Over and all the older population encounter various difficulties in day to day life, and they need constant medical support.

Challenges In Front of a Society Dominated By the Elderly

Improved healthcare results in increasing life expectancy, but it equally creates the need for innovations in the field of healthcare and medical assistance. Prevention of illnesses help to deal with the existing diseases, and the efforts should be to improve the scope of preventive healthcare.

In developed countries, a large number of deaths are reported from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. These are progressive diseases and should be detected early. Timely medical checkups enable to identify the risk associated with the elderly people and take necessary measures on that. The elderly population is more susceptive to illnesses because the immune system goes for a toss in old age. Apart from this factor, neurological degenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer are also becoming common among them. So geriatric care or elderly care is needed in a society with such a larger elderly population.

Challenges In Front of a Society Dominated By the Elderly

How to counter the challenges?

Daily assistance becomes necessary in this situation. As the number of health problems is numerous among the elderly, the effort is to find a multi-faceted approach to healthcare. Some essential measures which can be taken in this regard are –

•    The first and foremost is that of a preventive healthcare system in society. It should include medical routine checkups that help to detect anything in advance before they become chronic. This helps to maximize the treatment process.

•    Secondly, the elderly people themselves and their immediate families should know about the diseases that are imminent in the old age so that they can be identified in the early stage and start the required treatment.

•    Thirdly there is the need for proper insurance care designed for the elderly. This is because the expense involved in medical care is growing at an exorbitant rate. The cost of nursing and related medical care is increasing rapidly, and so a quality insurance program and other welfare measures should be the top priority of the country.   

•    The effort should be directed to ensure a healthy body and mind of the elderly people as it will make them less vulnerable to diseases. It is essential to ensure a regular exercise regime and help them to maintain a nutritious diet to retain their health. Mobility is restricted in old age, and this creates the need for a regular exercise to maintain their health and boost the immunity system.

Medical Records Play an Important Role in Ensuring Quality Care

While talking about the improvements in health care, medical records are one of them. It refers to as the repository of a patient’s medical history and the ongoing treatment procedures. Various relevant information provided by the patients and the care team is included in these records.

Medical record review is an essential part of the whole care management system. By reviewing them, the healthcare professionals know about any error and monitor the treatment process and then reach on a calculated decision on the condition of the patient. Apart from all these, medical records fulfill several requirements in the medical world.

Final Notes

Aging is a continuous process, and it creates a significant impact on the physical and mental capacities of an individual. Apart from treatment and the regular exercise they also need constant support from their families and the infrastructure. Since it is not possible for the families to involve in the process of care, they rely on healthcare consultants or agencies to disperse the service.  To assist elderly people to live independently will add to their dignity and will improve their quality of life.


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Healthcare Surrogates and the Role They Play in the End Life Care Treatment

Healthcare Surrogates and the Role They Play in the End Life Care Treatment

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Definition of the Term

The term healthcare surrogate is related to the end life care treatment of an individual, most often an elderly patient. It is a designated title that is given to a competent adult who is responsible for making healthcare decisions on behalf of a patient who is damaged due to illness.

The responsibilities of a healthcare surrogate are diverse. It includes applying for public benefits on behalf of the patient to enable him to pay the cost of healthcare, getting the patient admitted in a hospital or getting transferred from one facility to another, be it a nursing home, home care or any hospital.

Alternatively known as health care proxy, a healthcare surrogate is an advocate of the patient that makes important decisions about personal care of the patients. The importance of healthcare surrogate is that elderly person lying at hospitals often found in a condition when they are not able to make decisions regarding their health. Moreover, it is also noticed that many times the family members are also not able to make decisions confidently. So in such situations surrogate decision making is inevitable and necessary.

healthcare surrogate

This healthcare decision making could be done entirely by the surrogates or sometimes jointly by the patient and the surrogate. They usually confront with a lot of decisions in both the intensive care units and the hospital ward setting. The hospitals are bound to accept the role played by the surrogates and to support them when they make significant decisions about the patient for example, such as removing life support.

The patient can himself choose a healthcare surrogate through the medical power of attorney in a legal manner in ahead to achieve better care and treatment at the end of the years. The healthcare surrogate is authorized by filling out the Designation of Health Care Surrogate form. For the purpose, it is advisable that the patient should discuss his wishes reading his treatment and care with the surrogate in advance. Because in case the surrogate is not aware of the interest of the patient he or she would make decisions keeping in mind the best interest of the patient.

This concept of healthcare surrogate comes under the advance directive principles stated by the law of the country.

Advance directives are a written statement where a person states how he wants his medical decisions to be realized in the due course of time. Some do it in the wake of their deadly illness while some healthy people do it as part of their estate planning.

The Florida healthcare surrogate law is also called Advance directives that talk about these healthcare surrogate professionals. The state of Florida has its legal advance directives. It is written in chapter 765 of Florida statutory obligations regarding advance healthcare directives. This law recognizes the right of an adult to prepare advance directives in the presence of his physician to provide or withhold the treatment or in extreme situations can withdraw life support. It also states that the patient can designate another person to do the same on behalf of him. Moreover, the law also makes it clear that you need not necessarily have to be incompetent to choose a healthcare surrogate.

Do You Know 27 Percent of The Americans States that They Have Not Given Proper Thought to This Aspect?

Yes, they have given little thought about how their end of life care should be materialized. So in the absence of advance care directives, they rely on their respective state’s default surrogate statutory regulations. These regulations usually grant a person or some selected type of people to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the patient.

Advance Directives in the USA, A Statistical Analysis

As stated by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in the year 2014, only about a quarter or 26 percent of the people has an advance directive in the form of a living will.

•    As per statistics that were done in the year 2017, more than one-third of the US adults enjoy an advanced medical directive or a living will. The same study says nearly 37 percent of the Americans have prepared their advance directives especially for an end to life care. Another fact pointed out by this research is that almost half of the American people enjoying living wills are not suffering from chronic illness.

•    A total of 150 studies conducted between 2000 and 2015 talks about the completion of advance care directives in the USA. The participants were both healthy and sick, and it has found that 36.7 percent of adults completed an advanced directive of some kind. Among the population, 29 percent has living wills, 33 percent had health care powers of attorney, and 32 percent had undefined advanced directives.

It has said those elderly patients and those who are receiving care while suffering from a severe illness like cancer are expected to have advance directives. Those end-of-life cares are commonly found with patients suffering from dementia. It is less common with people infected with HIV/AIDS. What is clear from this study that only a meager portion of the population has the willingness to go for a consensus on end of life treatment and it is really surprising.

The proponents of advance care planning are of the view that the legalities involved in the mater should be removed so that it helps the completion of the process and bring some flexibility into the matter.

Eligibility for the Position

An individual adult who is of 18 years old and above can be a healthcare surrogate. The patient should ask the surrogate in advance if he would like to act before making advance directives or living will. The patient is also allowed to find the second alternative in case the first surrogate is not available.

The patient must sign the Designation of Health Care Surrogate form or can have someone else signed on behalf of him at your instruction. The process should be witnessed by two adults. Most importantly, your witnesses cannot be your designated surrogate. One witness should not be your blood relative or your spouse.

Powers and Limitations of a Surrogate Professional

Surrogate healthcare must use substituted judgment in the process of decision making on behalf of the patient. He or she may refuse or consent to the healthcare of the patient. Though in practice, the surrogate is bound to act in the best interest of the patient irrespective of the fact whether he is appointed by the court or the patient. In case of absence of a living will the healthcare surrogate can use this substituted judgment based on what the patient would desire in such situations. This process requires further discussion with others who know the patient for a long time. Several states have formulated measures to prevent any misuse of the power of a surrogate and the subsequent suffering of the patients.

Challenges Involved in Surrogacy Decision Making

Despite the legal enforcement in this matter, some evaluations are necessary in this regard such as whether the decision of surrogates can reflect a family or cultural values, whether the decision of a surrogate demonstrates the patient’s values and how to formulate a more accurate decision-making process.

When a surrogate is hierarchically appointed, little importance is given on the collaborative decision-making process. The family surrogates often face challenges in understanding the possible healthcare options so that they can make a well-informed decision which represents their loved one’s values and goals in life.

Does the Patient Have The Right To Decide?

As per rule, every patient has the right to make decisions relating to his or her health, and it includes the right to choose or refuse any medical treatment. When the person is not in a condition to do this, the primary physician has the right to decide the course of treatment.

What Happens When a Patient Fails To Name A Representative For Himself?

In case the patient fails to choose a representative he should make a living will to state his wishes about his medical treatment. But it is always preferable to choose a healthcare surrogate when the patient is in the best state of health so that no confusion arises in the last days of treatment.

The Florida Healthcare Surrogate Law Has Entrusted the Doctors to Choose From the Following List of People in the Absence of a Healthcare Surrogate

The guardian of the patient

•    The spouse of the patient

•    His adult children

•    His parents

•    His adult brothers and sisters

•    His relatives who know the patient well and his wishes

Usually, in the United States, such an agent is chosen by the current physician or advanced practice registered nurse. The hierarchies of healthcare surrogates are varied from state to state, but in most cases, these people are picked up. When lots of such people are available within the priority category, a consensus is reached among them about who will take care of the patient.

In the absence of any of this someone else can be designated by the hospital ethics committee after consulting with the doctors. 

A patient also must fulfill specific criteria to be able to select a healthcare surrogate. He must have any disability such as mental illness or any impairment that restricts his ability to perform daily routine activities, or cognitive degeneration or lack of all the people that are listed above. However, the state of Florida is an exception here because one can choose a designate without suffering from any illness. 

Final Insights

Promoting end life care has been a significant concern in the country since the days of Medicare, the national health insurance program for older adults over 65. It started reimbursing physicians in the hope of improving advanced care planning counseling. The effort is to how to widen its reach so that more and more seniors could enjoy the better end of life treatment.

Healthcare for the elderly in America is an ongoing concern. The growing number of senior American adults has raised enormous concern for medical professionals and the healthcare planning advocates. The number of Americans with chronic diseases is also showing an alarming rate. Hence it is necessary that the patient’s families and physicians should get into effective communication about the healthcare and end of life care of the patients. No doubt, a healthcare surrogate from a quality provider would make things easier to manage.


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5 Tips for Communicating With Seniors with Dementia

5 Tips for Communicating With Seniors with Dementia

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Old age is often associated with several health conditions, and dementia is among them. Dementia is not only about memory loss. It affects an individual’s ability to reason, understand and process information as well as their ability to converse. Thus, communicating with seniors living with dementia may at times be challenging and frustrating.

 communicating with seniors living with dementia may at times be challenging and frustrating

It hurts to see your loved one struggling to recognize their closest people, especially when the condition progresses. People with dementia are more prone to anxiety and mood swings which often result in depression. Now, it’s essential for you as a caregiver to learn how to communicate with them effectively without hurting their feelings. Here are five tips you can use to communicate with seniors with dementia.

  • Explain Things Carefully and more Than Once

Short term memory loss is common among people with dementia. Thus you may have to express one thing repeatedly to ensure that your senior understands what you are trying to communicate. You will need to speak calmly and slowly to avoid irritating them. Ensure that your questions are simple. Ask one thing at a time and if they don’t understand, repeat your statement. Again, if they seem not to understand you better, try to incorporate non-verbal communication to make sure they understand what you are saying.

Short term memory loss is common among people with dementia.

Jane Byrne at FirstCare.ie points out that there are many types of dementia, each with their own causes and symptoms. “However, there are similarities across the board, which we need to combat. Dementia is so widespread nowadays that all healthcare professionals really have to stand up and take notice.”

  • Be Patient

Seniors with dementia are often slow to respond to conversations. Sometimes they get confused and even recall things from the past that never happened. They also struggle with grasping words and sometimes they may talk about things that do not make sense. Don’t rush to point out their mistakes or force them to respond quickly. Instead, pay attention to what they are saying and show them you surely understand.

  • Grab their Attention Softly

Ensure you get their attention first before you start communicating with them. If there are distractions and noise, move into a quieter place. If they don’t recognize you, don’t be upset. Remind them how you are related to them to help them focus on the conversation. Remain calm and understanding, and although sometimes they can be irritating, try as much as possible to play cool and soft.

Ensure you get their attention first before you start communicating with them.

  • Be Clear and Concise

Try as much as possible to use simple words and sentences when conversing with dementia patients. Refrain from raising your voice and always maintain a low pitch. Even when they don’t seem to understand you, speak to them slowly and use names when referring to someone or places instead of using pronouns-he, she, it or they. This will help them not to get confused during the conversation.

  • Avoid Lengthy Conversations

People with dementia get easily distracted, and you can quickly lose their attention with your wordy explanations. They tend to forget a simple conversation after a minute or two. Thus you don’t expect them to remember or understand long-winded information.

In conclusion, talking to seniors with dementia is not a simple task. It requires a lot of patience, understanding, and use of non-verbal gestures. Don’t let them irritate you when they don’t understand what you are saying. Instead, break down the information into short and clear sentences to ensure they stay engaged in the conversation. Let them feel you understand them to avoid them being emotional or getting angry.


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How Important Is The Role Of A Care Coordinator In Modern Healthcare System?

How Important Is The Role Of A Care Coordinator In Modern Healthcare System?

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Even though the USA government has invested a lot of resources in health care services, often it is criticized for delivering fragmented care. The care coordinators play an important role in preventing this notion of fragmented healthcare by enabling patients to shift from one care area to another with ease. 

In modern-day healthcare, patients require someone to assist them in accessing the continuity of the care program. The very name of care coordinator refers to a trained nurse who is responsible for streamlining the care and treatments given to a patient suffering from chronic diseases such as heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

He plays a significant role in the care of an individual patient who is suffering from any chronic illness. His position is that of a supervisor towards administering interdisciplinary care by coordinating with the different specialists to give better attention to the patient. He is equally responsible for monitoring and evaluating the care being delivered.

Job Duties

There is a wide range of responsibilities associated with a care coordinator, so their responsibilities vary. It usually starts with a meeting with the patients and their family members to discuss the requirements and the services and help they want. From that, a care plan is formulated, and it demands the coordinator to be often in terms of other care departments to make sure the services are delivered in a standard manner. Some routine tasks they have to perform which includes-

•    Creating a care plan and reorganizing things as necessary when an emergency comes.

•    Paying a visit to the patients and examine the care they have received and put it in a document.

•    Communicating with the rest of the medical team to establish the interventions that have been made and also decide when any such further responses are required.

•    Staying updated with the latest developments in this field by way of various reading, participating in workshops and connecting with other professionals in this field to enhance the knowledge base. The care coordinators must possess some listening skills as it is imperative to listen to what the patient is trying to say, as a mark of showing respect to his rights and conforming to the laws and the standard of care authorized by the employer. He should also be responsible for the safety of the team as the supervision of the whole medical team is entrusted upon him.

•    Staying updated with the latest developments in this field by way of various reading, participating in workshops and connecting with other professionals in this field to enhance the knowledge base.

The care coordinators must possess some listening skills as it is imperative to listen to what the patient is trying to say, as a mark of showing respect to his rights and conforming to the laws and the standard of care authorized by the employer. He should also be responsible for the safety of the team as the supervision of the whole medical team is entrusted upon him.

Work Setting

In multiple settings they work, ranging from the emergency departments in the hospitals, ambulance care, and specialty units, at people’s homes and long term care facilities. They are needed any time by the patients to navigate the healthcare arena.

So, it could be an office based job emphasizing on administering care to the elderly patients or could be a hospital-based job responsible for ensuring the responsibility of the patients or could be in specialist’s clinics where the patients visit these professionals.

If to see from the perspective of a patient, the care coordinators are deeply valued by the patient because in case they are the first people to be contacted if there is a change in the requirement or if there is any irregularity with the service.

Many of the older adults who have some incapacity require highly complex care, and the care coordinators enable them to get rid of this burden by eliminating all the obstructions come in the way of proper care.

If there is a seamless service being delivered to the patient it will prevent the further deterioration of the health of the patients and will also minimize the overall healthcare cost and any possibility of additional intervention of care shortly.

This indirectly helps a patient to regain his independence to a certain extent where there is no longer any intervention required in the process of care.

Education Qualifications

There is no formal degree available for care coordinators in a nursing school. Usually, a bachelor degree in nursing is required to get an entry into this field. However, in certain instances, a degree in a related field such as healthcare administration will be sufficient to climb the ladder of success. Some employers may ask for a master’s degree in nursing. If anyone has considerable experience in working in a clinical area, then that person will also be hired.

However, the renowned American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AACN), a non-government organization that offers a course on various dimensions of care coordination.

•    Patient advocacy

•    Patient and family education and engagement

•    Coaching and counseling

•    Patient-centered care planning

•    Nursing process

•    Teamwork and collaboration

•    Population health management

•    Nursing informatics

The nature of care is different for different patients depending on their health condition. , and thus they aim to maximize the healthcare services based on these requirements.

Remuneration

In the USA, the salary of the care coordinators depends on the location and the employer. The reputed Glassdoor analysis has stated the average salary of a care coordinator as $76,710 per annum. It also says that the highest paying states in the USA for care coordinators are California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Oregon.

Research says that there will be an increasing demand for nurses in the coming years in the USA and it is expected to rise by 15 percent by the year 2026. This is because the number of Baby Boomers is growing in the USA and this gives rise to the necessity of a proper healthcare system. Moreover, healthcare organizations are earnestly looking for ways to minimize the cost of healthcare, and this makes the care coordinators extremely valuable medical professionals in the most real sense.


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Challenges on the road to elderly Healthcare in the United States

Challenges on the road to elderly Healthcare in the United States

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Nobody can escape old age; it is a natural progression, an eternal truth in mankind. Aging comes with a lot of challenges, both mentally and physically as it causes the onset of multiple numbers of diseases. Though there is no anonymous opinion found in the exact elderly age, yet people over the age of 65 is generally considered under this category.

The older population in America born between 1946 and 1964, which are popularly called baby boomers covers 28 percent of the country’s population and hence elderly healthcare is a growing concern in the country. This is because age comes with several numbers of debilitating diseases like heart problem, Alzheimer, cancer, diabetes etc which interfere in their general ability to perform day to day tasks.

As healthcare services have improved in modern days, the life expectancy of people has also increased across the world resulting in a growing number of elderly populations in this earth. This subsequently creates the demand for a serious focus on how to cater to the need of the preventive health checkups and the medical necessities of the elderly people.

Presently there are around 12 million older Americans that need immediate help because they are completely relying on nursing homes or their family members to carry out the day to day activities like bathing, dressing, eating and paying monthly bills.

The issue with the aging population is that they are prone to develop chronic diseases, physical disabilities and the most difficult situation called co-morbidity which again makes the treatment very difficult.

Elderly Healthcare in the United States

The healthcare needs of the elderly population cannot be overlooked. It is a welcoming thing that the government of the United States spends double on healthcare compared to other developed nations. As statistics claim, about 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product is spent on the health care systems.

The percentage of the country’s economy is dedicated towards the health care of individuals aged 65 and above goes beyond 5 percent which is stated to be doubled by the year of 2030 and will triple by 2050.

Geriatrics Care that Dedicated Towards Elderly Healthcare

It is a branch of medicine that is dedicated for the unique health care requirements of the elderly and dedicated towards the prevention and treating of diseases and disabilities of the aging population.

This geriatrician is a trained medical professional who specializes in the treatment of elderly but in reality, it includes a broad spectrum of healthcare professionals including the nurses, social workers, physical therapists, nutritionist, and psychologist.

Elderly healthcare cost

In 2016, less than half of the US population was convinced that the elderly health care system is in the right place and dealing with the aging population. However, it was cleared from many reports that several such elderly people did not even take preventive measures to prepare themselves for age-related complications.

The cost of the treatment of the growing number of senior adults in America is not paid by the seniors but by the government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the veteran’s administration and sometimes the private insurers. These programs cover the doctor fee, hospitals stay, assisted living facilities pay, nursing homes, prescription fee etc.

As many as 40.3 million of USA senior adults are experiencing benefits out of this, which covers almost 13.4 percent of the population.

Growing Need of Healthcare Professionals

As statistics have shown, the country is experiencing fewer births and longer living adults. This necessitates the growing demand for elderly healthcare and nursing facilities in the country.

Around 60 percent of the elderly population in America is suffering from arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension etc. They need regular health checkups and require taking prescriptions and a healthy diet. 

They require a robust healthcare system to access medical care like hospitals, medical centers, physicians, nurses, therapists, dieticians, chiropractors, acupuncturists etc. This is the reason why healthcare in America is the fast growing.

Baby boomers prone to develop dementia, brittle bones and other musculoskeletal problems and it put them in a position where they cannot manage their day to day life on their own. Recovery takes longer due to their old age and thus they become a burden for their immediate families which makes them susceptible to abuse.

Shortage of Elderly Care Staff

There is already a shortage of staff for elderly healthcare in the country. Hospitals, aged care homes, and all other care facilities are trying to cater to the needs of the growing number of elderly in the country. According to reports, there is already a shortage of trained nurses for the elderly care in the country and the demand is growing by 10 percent.

As much as 80 million people in the country will be requiring greater healthcare and an acute shortage of the providers of such care services.

Initiative of the Government

Due to this reason, the federal government has been trying to divert the responsibility of elderly care to the local communities. They want the baby bombers to be looked after where they reside and work.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act came in 2010 was a significant development in the wave of this growing healthcare needs of baby boomers. It was created with the aim to enable access to health insurance, protection of the interest of the patients from the coercive actions of the insurance companies and reduce the overall costs.

Reportedly, the Federal government has dedicated $11 billion for the development of the community health care centers as the number of elderly people using these centers is expecting to be doubled in the coming decade.

The Coming of the Special Care Centers

The coming of the special care centers is a wonderful development in this respect. They play a great role in managing the life of the elderly population in the USA and have helped to shift the burden from the immediate family members. These centers provide a lot of professionals and staff to take care of the elderly population and help them to manage their life better without depending on others.

The chronic disease management program is a part of this initiative which teaches elderly people to become self-sufficient in managing their routine works and thus lead a life with dignity.

The Demand is Growing for Care Professionals

Numerous efforts are being made to train and hire more and more nurses. Nursing is also going to be most sought after professions in the coming years in the country. Geriatric and aged-care nurses will bear the fruit. The nursing informatics is a system through which nurses can diagnose the patient and monitor them from a distance through their smartphones. The home care nurses are especially in demand that takes care of the elderly at home and helps them with their day to day medical necessities.

The memory care coordinator is another professional who helps elderly people diagnosed with dementia and other memory loss illnesses. They usually work in the residents of a special care facility helping patients to deal with various stages of memory loss and to manage their condition.

Health coaches or wellness coaches are type of professionals who are responsible for educating and supporting senior adults about how to achieve health goals by way of making changes in behavior and lifestyle.

The role of a Health Coach in managing the healthcare of the elderly

A health coach is a trained professional who after one year of training get certified to become work in a private setting or special care set up. He or she will focus not only on the diet of the elderly people but also on an improvement in their lifestyle.

Often doctors, nutritionist, and dieticians do not have that much of time to continuously take care of an elderly patient and this gap has been filled by a health coach.

A health coach does not prescribe you a specific diet or a specific way of eating. He or she will assist the elderly people in experimenting with different type of diet and eating habits that will suit them. They also try hard to alter the diet and lifestyle of the senior individuals so that they continue to make good progress.

No doubt health coaches are one of the most sought after professionals that are highly demanded the care of the elderly. At this present age when lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and depression, which are the major killers, health coaches provide the patients with the much-needed lifestyle and nutritional guidance and their role is of tremendously important.

Heath coaches are not medical professionals and they cannot diagnose health conditions or cannot prescribe medicines and suggest any higher or lower doses for the complications suffered by elderly people, yet they play a great role in the well being of the senior patients. They have changed the perception of old age by helping senior adults to treat and to see old age from a different perspective.

The country has done much more towards healthcare compared to other developed nations since there were complaints about elderly people not receiving proper medical facilities. Undoubtedly, the healthcare system in America is undergoing massive changes to prepare itself for meeting the demands of the baby boomers population. More is the number of older population; more will be the demand for medical care in the long run. Baby boomers will continue require nurses in the coming years which mean healthcare is one such profession which will continue to flourish in the coming years.


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Taking Too Many Medications Can Negatively Affect Your Health

Taking Too Many Medications Can Negatively Affect Your Health

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As the population ages the number of medications they are taking also increases. Polypharmacy is the simultaneous utilization of different meds.

While there are quite often well-meaning plans behind this—treating a few incessant conditions at the same time, for instance—it can cause reactions and even extra health concerns. Seniors, who are bound to take a wide range of prescriptions, are at the most astounding danger of adverse impacts from Polypharmacy.

While you should not stop taking medicine on account of this without your specialist’s confirmation, you can play a functioning job in guaranteeing that you diminish any conceivable dangers.

Impacts

While a medication might be prescribed to you on account of a particular intended purpose, drugs don’t act in separation in your body system.

Polypharmacy represents a few concerns:

•       Excessive known reactions, especially for the older, as sensitivities to prescription increment with age

•       Additive reactions when a few drugs prompt comparative physical reactions

•       Dangerous drug interactions, which may generate new reactions not commonly connected with either medicine

•       Diminished adequacy of one medicine because of the metabolic activity of another prescription

•       Confusion concerning prescription use, bringing about missed portions, additional dosages, or different blunders

Why It Occurs

Polypharmacy is common these days. Frequently, seniors or individuals with numerous medical issues need to take a few meds to control different ailments. While these prescriptions, exclusively, might be justified, there are times when the quantity of medications recommended for a given issue is more than is vital. There are an assortment of different reasons Polypharmacy can happen too, including:

•       Prescribing falls: If you have multiple health conditions, you may encounter what is depicted as an “prescribing  fall,” in which you are given a solution to balance reactions of another prescription or to check a communication between at least two other recommended drugs.

•       Disconnected medical care: This is bound to happen in the event that you or your cherished one is cared for several  specialists, including doctors or physicians who may just observe you for a short  timeframe, for example, during an urgent hospitalization. One specialist may give you a solution that mixes or balances the impact of a prescription you already take, especially if you are getting care at an alternate healthcare center than usual.

•       Pharmacy changes: If you fill your presciptions at various drug stores, none are probably going to have a total rundown of your prescription routine (except if you have visited different areas of a pharmacy store chain). Collaborations between drugs may go unnoticed when the blend would have raised a warning in the event that you were getting the majority of your solutions from a similar spot.

Prevention from Polypharmacy

Polypharmacy can be overseen as a team collaboration between healthcare specialists, patients, and families.

American pharmacist with senior woman in pharmacy

What best you can do:

•       Pick a point person: Be sure to choose an primary care professional or a geriatrician with whom you are comfortable and plan regular meetings with this practitioner. Normally, when you see a doctor, your primary care specialist gets a discussion note, alongside all new prescription recommendations, from your expert. When you see your primary care specialist, he should know the majority of your medicinal issues, which other specialists you see, and which other drugs you take. This specialist can perceive signs and side effects of polypharmacy and can stop excess or superfluous meds in the event that you are taking any.

•       Keep track of drugs: List out the majority of your meds and supplements, and survey it normally for vital updates. Convey this rundown to every one of your appointments and show it to your primary care specialist as well. Approach them to check the rundown for any possible complications and remember to talk and discuss about all of your medical symptoms, as some may be side effects of your prescriptions.

•       Talk to your drug specialist: Pharmacists are trained to search for any drug interactions and different issues, yet they can possibly do that on the off chance that they have all your data. Give them your medicine list and request that they look it over. This is particularly vital in the event that you get your prescriptions from more than one drug store.

•       Don’t stop taking medication without consulting from your doctor. Your doctor might prescribed more than one heart or diabetes prescription since one isn’t sufficient to control your condition. While Polypharmacy can be destructive, medication adherence is vital as well.

Anyone can become confused by the medical terminologies and instructions, especially when taking several medications for many health problems. If that’s the case for you, it’s advisable to consult a good patient navigator.

For more information on the above topic and its related services. Please visit babyboomhealth.com.


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home health care durham nc

Why Chronic Disease Self-Management is Considered as a Better Alternative of Patient Care?

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Individuals suffering from chronic diseases often experience a change in behavior and it impacts the overall lives of the patients and their immediate families. Experts say that the best way to manage the condition of elderly patients suffering from chronic diseases is by making them self sufficient in managing their illnesses and it will prove effective in the long run. This indirectly helps them to live their lives with dignity by enabling them to manage their day to day activities and by bringing back their lost confidence. The aim of chronic disease self-management program is to making the elderly people to implement the support practices in developing the necessary skills and confidence they need to lead their lives in a dignified manner without waiting for help from others.

What Does Research Say?

From various researches, it has become clear that the self-management program has considerably improved the patient’s health-related behavior and has registered reports with positive clinical outcomes. Evidence derived from clinical trials also supports the effectiveness of patient care self-management program.

Taking help of self-management care policies will leave a positive impact on the overall health of an individual with chronic conditions and will add to the satisfaction of the clinician and the patients. This support that is designed towards the self-management of illnesses forms a principal part of the chronic diseases care program that aims to achieve complete patient satisfaction.

Self-management is a Great Shift from the Traditional Patient Care Program

It includes various processes such as patient’s problem-solving skills; promotes self believe, and how to implement these steps in real life situations to help the patients.

patient care program

Now the focus is shifted towards an environment where family physicians can teach self-management by holding patient-physician interaction sessions to spot problems from the perspective of patients. It is done to remove any barrier come in the way of patient care by way of offering individual monitoring and also through available community self-management lessons.

The emphasis of this program is on the implementation of those patient care practices that can purposefully help the chronically ill patients to manage their lives. Research has claimed that this self-management program has brought improvements in patient care management and changes the lives of many patients.

Chronic Diseases in the US

Chronic illnesses are rising in the United States and across globally due to the coming of advanced health care facilities and also because of the prevalence of various lifestyle habits like unhealthy diet, smoking, and an absence of physical activity increases air pollution etc. Research has identified that as many as 45 percent of the American population are suffering from at least one chronic disease. The cost for chronic disease accounts for 75 percent of the total health care and this is alarming.

Comorbidity Factor Makes Elderly Care Difficult

caring-for-difficult-elderly-parent
A shot of a senior man sitting on the sofa with his daughter, looking at a photograph. He is cuddling his daughter, looking sad and holding the photo.

One more factor that adds to the worry is the comorbidity factor. It refers to a situation when a patient is suffering from a primary chronic illness along with several other multiple disorders. This makes the patient care a complicated process.

As much as 25 percent of elderly individuals who are enjoying Medicare a national health insurance program are diagnosed with more than 4 chronic conditions. Most of the elderly people with several serious health issues such as diabetes, heart diseases, asthma, Alzheimer, depression are not getting proper care and treatment.

Final Opinion

In the process of assisting elderly patients in decision making and ensuring healthy behaviors in them requires close coordination between the clinician team, the patients and their families. The patient care self management for program has helped many such elderly people to better manage their conditions. Encouraging them to take part in such programs will improve their lives and they will become self-sufficient to perform their routine tasks.


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Things to Know About Effective Memory Care for the Elderly

Things to Know About Effective Memory Care for the Elderly

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As the world celebrates the National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month every November, it is high time to pay attention to effective memory care for the elderly.

Memory care is also defined as one of the major priorities as identified by the National Institutes of Health towards coming across improved treatments and innovative interventions for the devastating disease “Alzheimer’s Disease.” When it comes to ensuring the best-ever memory care for the elderly, reputed elderly healthcare organizations or baby boomers are known for providing the same effectively.

As per the Alzheimer’s Association in the United States of America, an approximate 45 percent of American seniors who are aged 85 and above suffer from the disease. Given the seriousness of the medical condition, the high-end elderly healthcare units or organizations make it a point to deliver effective memory care to the elderly present there. Working in the guidance of a professional memory care coordinator, the elderly men& women can fight Alzheimer’s Disease effectively.

Top Facts About Memory Care for the Elderly

The overall demand for high-quality memory care for the elderly is estimated to rise rapidly over the coming times.

Top Facts About Memory Care for the Elderly

Most of the high-end baby boomers out there are expected to ensure effective treatment of the aged people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. As the elderly care industry is gearing up improvements in the recent era, there are more advanced memory care units delivering top-class services.

Here are some points to consider:

Memory Care is Comprehensive:

While memory care in support from a professional memory care coordinator might appear expensive for some, it is comprehensive and highly effective at the same time. Assisted living on a regular basis provides the aged individuals with personal care & support including timely meals, help with dressing, bathing, and normal day-to-day activities. Such advanced memory care facilities are known to extend a bit further by providing in-depth care to those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The memory care units also provide 24-hour care & supervision for patients at different stages of the disease.

Memory Care Communities Serve People with Dementia

The overall environment of the memory care units or communities is quite secure. The atmosphere gets designed & developed by some of the leading dementia experts towards reducing the overall risks or dangers from wandering of the patients. The hallway along with other design features tend to be color-coded. This helps the patients in navigation and reduces the overall anxiety amongst the residents. The presence of the safe environment for the patients in the memory care communities also encourage the residents to be independent –as long as possible.

Memory Care Units Provide Programs:

Towards helping with specific behavioral issues, the memory care units are known to provide specific programs at the same time. In addition to the high-end leisure programs, additional programs like therapeutic programs are also included. These programs aim at addressing issues like wandering, memory impairment, and other common behavioral issues associated with dementia towards improving the overall quality of life. Effective memory care tends to be evolving as major elderly healthcare providers aim at offering highly advanced memory care programs that address individual stages of the disease.

Memory Care Improves Quality of Life:

Communities offering memory care programs have reported representing higher quality of life and safety amongst the patients. Additional benefits of effective memory care for the elderly include reduced medications, reduced side effects from the medication, fewer injuries, falls, and fewer hospital visits. There have been cases of increased wellness and nutrition at the same time.

Know about the potential benefits of effective memory care for the elderly.

Call today for a free consultation, 919-622-0840 or email me at babyboomhealth@gmail.com.


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Chronic Disease Self Management Program to Improve Elderly Healthcare

Attending Chronic Disease Self Management Program to Improve Elderly Healthcare

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Due to improved medical facilities in current years, the elderly people are living longer and this creates an urgent need for their care and maintenance. The number of baby boomers in America is growing and it indirectly creates a demand for providing the best healthcare to them. As people start aging, a lot of chronic health conditions come to surface, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s etc. and this interferes in their normal day to day life.

The pioneering national health institute in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 50 percent of the USA adults are suffering from one health condition. This results in the growing expenditure on the health care sector. According to 2015 census, 7 out of every 10 adults between the age group of 50 to 64 have been identified with one chronic illness and almost 50 percent of the population is found with 2 or more chronic ailments. So elderly and healthcare is a growing concern in the states of the USA. However, with the coming of special patient care centers this issue has been addressed to some extent.

Chronic Disease Self-management Program

CDSMP, as it is called, was developed by a few researchers from Stanford University during the early 1990s.  It was an educational workshop designed for individuals about how to deal with chronic conditions on their own. The aim of CDSMP is to promote confidence among older adults on how to manage their health effectively and lead a healthy and active life.

This program teaches participants to develop problem-solving, decision-making strategies and other techniques to deal with problems brought by these chronic conditions. The workshops progress with a specific health goal and embarking an action plan to meet the goal. It is a 6 weeks learning program held once in a week and the feedbacks are shared on regular intervals for each patient.

These workshops are usually conducted in healthcare facilities and hospitals. This program is especially recommended for individuals who are diagnosed with more than one chronic condition and it has a serious impact on the daily life of an individual or who are encountering difficulties in implementing the health recommendations.

Does it benefit older adults?

Attending Chronic Disease Self Management Program to Improve Elderly Healthcare

Researches speak strongly about the effectiveness of this program in improving the physical condition and the quality of life of older adults. People participated in this program have reported an increased energy level and a decrease in the pain and said to have developed a better communication with their respective physicians. This program also brings back the confidence of old people and encourage them to take part in social activities which previously was not possible due to their health conditions. It also reportedly minimizes depression-related disorders among people.

Future of CDSMP

This program has gained wide recognition in the United States and has got numerous funders from the government. Because of the fact that the concept has grown so much over the years, it created lots of challenges in the better implementation of this program.

As it is an evidence-based program there is a constant pressure to modify this program and it especially comes from the patients who have not participated in it. So there is the constant effort to maintain the standard of the program. With the growing amount of trainers required for this program, it is posing a challenge to maintain the quality of the program. Despite the challenges, CDSMP helps to better manage healthcare among elderly in the United States and still continue gain acceptance from a wide group of population. 


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Age-Related Changes To The Response Of Drugs

Strategies for Reducing Polypharmacy in Older Adults

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Polypharmacy refers to the impact of simultaneous use of different medications consumed by a person to manage co-existing health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension. Often use of multiple medications becomes problematic, there are many patients prescribed with several medicines by different healthcare providers. Furthermore, drug reaction can also take place if healthcare providers are unaware of a patient’s complete medication state.

Polypharmacy in Older Adults

Among older adults, polypharmacy is common. Above the age of 65, people consume almost 34% of remedy medications and purchase 40% of over-the-counter (OTC) and often take at least five medications per week.  12% of both men and women take more than 10 medications a week.

Rather than using the multiple dosages, finding the right medication in the right situation and for the shortest period of time can provide much safer and effective solutions to improve the quality of the patients’ health.  This article explores the problems related to polypharmacy in elderly patients, including age-related changes in response to drugs, drug-drug and drug-herbal interactions with the medication routine. The article also covered the strategies to lower these risks.

Age-Related Changes To The Response Of Drugs

Elderly people react to the medications differently than younger ones.  Although the change in age doesn’t impact the absorption rate of the drugs, aging usually changes the body fat and water composition. With the alteration, the water composition decreases and the body fat increases which results in causing higher concentrations of water-soluble drugs and longer half-lives of fat-soluble drugs.

Digoxin and few other drugs are bound to plasma proteins so that the free portion of the drug is active. The decrease in serum albumin level is common in elderly people with chronic illness, severe debilitation or malnutrition which can lead to higher drug blood levels.

Use Of Dietary And Herbal Preparations Without A Prescription

Dietary supplements and herbal preparations have become popular. Ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, echinacea, ginseng, garlic, saw palmetto, kava, and valerian root are some supplements that are popular for their purported use in preventing or treating various health problems; viz., depression and the common cold. They are available over-the-counter (OTC), so patients don’t even consider taking advice from a doctor or other healthcare providers. Therefore, before taking such supplements with the prescribed medications be sure about the impact of the reaction as it can lead to serious adverse effects.

Unfavorable Reactions To Drugs

The effects of drugs vary in older adults as compared to the younger patients. As per the calculations, 35 % of the old generation suffers from the unfavorable therapeutic effect per year and 29% of such reactions require hospitalization and physician’s care.

There are times, adverse reaction to one, goes unrecognized or misinterpreted, causing the healthcare provider to subscribe to inappropriate medications for the condition.

Nurse’s Role in Reducing Medication Risks in Older Adults

The nurse can be a crucial part in helping older patients manage their medication and prevent polypharmacy. The inputs to lower the risk of polypharmacy are summarized below:

  • Nurses should keep a complete list of the medical provider along with their contact information, such as dosages, dosing frequency, and the reason for taking the drug.
  • The nurse should have the complete list of medical providers and their contact information.
  • They should guide their patients with possible solutions to avoid the adverse effects of the drugs.
  • Nurses should let their patients know about the importance of taking medications in a correct manner.

Other Methods To Reduce Polypharmacy Risk and Medication problems

Health care providers should explore non-pharmacologic alternatives to drugs, such as dietary alterations. Nevertheless, having information about the effective therapies in elder patients is also a context of concern. Healthcare providers must evaluate and balance a drug’s potential adverse effects against its potential benefits to recognize the suitable approach for an elder patient.

The advancement in information technology like electronic medical records, electronic laboratory records, and electronic prescribing are innovative ways to decrease the risk of adverse drug reactions and interactions. There are several guides applicable in the industry which can help older adults to have an independent and improve their medication management.


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