Filed under Senior Health

Becoming an Adult Child Isn’t Easy

Take a few minutes to check out and consider reading Growing Up is Hard to Do: Forced into Adulthood by an Aging Parent, by Sarah Khan. Her dad was hospitalized at 62, though he was still employed and went back to work after his hospitalization. The article is online at The Atlantic website. No matter when … Continue reading

New Health Care Directive Registry in Virginia

In case you missed this news on December 7, 2011, you may want to learn more about the new Virginia health care directive registry. It’s a free service. This article, Virginia Announces Free Online Health Care Registry, appeared on Richmond’s NBC News 12 site and explains more. The Virginia Department of Health, working in a … Continue reading

Great Radio Show, Dr. Berwick! Emerging Rock Star?

National Public Radio’s On Point program with host Tom Ashbrook comes out of WBUR in Boston. The December 6, 2011 program featured Dr. Donald Berwick sharing his thoughts, ideas, and vast knowledge about improving health care — and Dr. Berwick was only a few days past taking leave as head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). On the talk show … Continue reading

Another Article on the Geriatrician Shortage

Read the Associated Press article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, about the the shortage of geriatricians. In Boomers’ Aging Casts Light on Geriatrics Shortage, reporter Matt Sedensky describes the increasing shortage of  geriatricians –physicians who are trained to treat aging seniors. For those of us who are moving toward retirement, this is a serious problem. Given … Continue reading

Peer-to-Peer Aging Parent Info in the Digital Age

Again and again over the past five years, I’ve chatted with other adult children who are beginning to help out aging parents in a variety of ways. In each conversation I am struck by the degree of information sharing about issues such as medical care, chronic diseases, aging in place, technology, and so much more. Collaboration … Continue reading

How Does One Decide to Stop Getting Medical Tests?

I am astonished at the number of diagnostic tests prescribed for older seniors. When my husband’s mother was 90, she had a gynecological exam — we suggested it and the doctor carried it out — and though I knew the doctor was gentle, Mother cried out because of the discomfort. Afterward we wondered why we put … Continue reading

Great KevinMD Post on Medicare Reform

Stop by the KevinMD blog and read Government Austerity with Medicare Reform as a Top Priority.  The blog post, by medical student Nathanael Heckman, addresses the issue of medicare reform and life expectancy. Raising the age for eligibility is inequitable, because the rich live longer and the poorer Americans need the care that Medicare provides. … Continue reading

7 Communication Techniques Made a Difference at the Hospital

I’ve observed how good communication can help a hospitalized  aging parent maintain an optimistic outlook. This summer Dad was admitted to Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA (read my blog posts from RMH last May) and to section 8G at the Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Hospitalizations are an enormous challenge for a family, … Continue reading

Low Sodium Diet, Part I: Senior Parents Get Started in Their 80’s

Read other Low Salt Journey installments: Senior Parents Get Started in Their 80′s: Part I, Hospital Cafeterias With No Low-Sodium Options? Part II, Making Sense of Sodium Labels and Numbers: Part III, and 5 Lessons Learned About Cutting Back on Sodium: Low-Salt Eating: Part IV. My father left the hospital just over two weeks ago, after his heart attack. His discharge  instructions directed him to … Continue reading

Medicare Trust Fund Projections: What it All Means to Me

Older Americans and their adult children can be frightened or at least puzzled by the annual reports of the Medicare Trustees. Each year a report makes financial projections for the fund that pays for senior health care expenses (Medicare). Almost every year some politicians spin dire scenarios about the “certain” near bankruptcy of Medicare. The  image at … Continue reading

Senior Patient Hospitalization, #5: The ER Worked Fast

If you like this post, please read my Senior Parent Hospitalization posts: Report #1: This Hospital Gets It, Report #2: Peace and Quiet, Report #3: Four Ways to Reduce Stress for Patient Families, Report #4: Observations from My Dad, Report #5: The Emergency Room Worked Fast, and Report #6: Learning About Cardiac Procedures and Surgeries. It was long past … Continue reading

Senior Parent Hospitalization Report #2: Peace and Quiet

If you like this post, please read my Senior Parent Hospitalization posts: Report #1: This Hospital Gets It, Report #2: Peace and Quiet, Report #3: Four Ways to Reduce Stress for Patient Families, Report #4: Observations from My Dad, Report #5: The Emergency Room Worked Fast, and Report #6: Learning About Cardiac Procedures and Surgeries. The last time I spent a … Continue reading

Elders’ Mental Wellness and Outlook on Life

Recently I listened to an NPR radio program, On Point, featuring a discussion about Mental Wellness in the Elderly. The program originates at WBUR in Boston with host Tom Ashbrook. Ashbrook’s guest was Dr. Marc Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist (there aren’t many of these physicians in the whole United States) and the medical director for mental health and … Continue reading