Tagged with medical care

When Family Members Accompany an Aging Parent to the Doctor

Visiting the doctor’s office with an aging parent can be one the most puzzling situations for adult children as they provide increasing support. The dynamics of the situation can be confusing, especially in a time when family roles and responsibilities are changing. My husband visited the doctor with his 90-year-old mother on several occasions. At … Continue reading

End-of-Life Documents — Don’t Mess Around

Many years ago, shortly after my daughter was born, my parents asked my husband and me about our will. It turned out, however, that they were less concerned about a will than they were about whether we had signed medical directives or health care proxies that defined what should be done is case one of us, … 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

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

Washington Post Article on Hospice and Palliative Care

Today’s Washington Post features an article, Progress Needed on End of Life Care, by Janice Lynch Schuster, describing the urgent need for improvements to palliative and  hospice care. The article describes the problems that still exist for many patients at the end of their lives who experience unnecessary suffering and pain. I’ve written about our … Continue reading

Aging Parents, Adult Children: Caregiving and Empathy

When you have senior parents who need increasing support, empathy is critical. You try hard, and not always with success, to understand what they are experiencing. That’s called empathy. The concept of empathy has received a bit of a bad rap the past year or two with politicians actually taking the time to deliver statements … Continue reading

Redesigned Medicare Caregiver Site: A Graphical Tour

To discover Medicare and caregiving resources, check out the redesigned caregiving website, debuting Tuesday, April 12, 2011. It’s user-friendly and graphically interesting with a focus on easy information access. At the same time updated site promotes learning, sharing, supporting, and collaborating. Adult children, even if they are not providing a huge amount of caregiving support, would … Continue reading

Medicare Projections: Congressional Budget Office

Read CBO: Seniors Would Pay Much More For Medicare Under Ryan Plan in the Kaiser Health News. A graph using Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data depicts the costs to a Medicare beneficiary (what a person will pay) in 2022 and 2030. In the article Congressman Ryan says, “Washington has been making empty promises to Americans from a … Continue reading

The Good Caregiver: Rules of the Road for Adult Children

I have just read The Good Caregiver cover-to-cover. The recently published book, by Robert L. Kane, M.D., is an all-in-one user’s guide with thorough, indexed, and therefore easy-to-find information about every aspect of elderly parent caregiving. Though he is a world-renowned specialist on aging and long-term care (Read Dr. Kane’s faculty bio), and he produces lots of … Continue reading

Will Concierge Medical Practices Cause Medicare Decline?

Read High-end Medical Option Prompts Medicare Worries, an article posted by the Associated Press today (April 2, 2011). The article, by health reporter Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar, examines the increasing number of practices that are moving toward concierge medicine (also called retainer-based physician practices). Concerns abound about how this might affect the access to care by Medicare beneficiaries. Although … Continue reading

Different People – Different Dementias

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a March 14, 2011 article, The Many Faces of Dementia which describes different types of the brain diseases as well as the importance of accurately and carefully diagnosing the type of brain abnormality that is affecting each person. Collecting information for a diagnosis involves not only the physician and patient, … Continue reading

Communication is Critical in Aging Adult Health Care

A friend’s 85-year-old mother had surgery requiring two different types of cardiologists. Besides the primary care physician (PCP), her parent was seeing the two heart physicians and two additional specialists for other reasons. When my friend, on a visit to the primary care physician with her mom, asked a question about dizziness and the possibility that … Continue reading

Long-lived Seniors Give Advice to Med Students

A delightful article appearing in the September 7, 2010 Cleveland Plain Dealer describes a panel discussion presented to second year medical students at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Panel members, all in their 90’s, told the medical students what physicians need to do to be more helpful to elderly patients. The article, Elders … Continue reading

Palliative Care on the Diane Rehm Show (NPR)

Listen to an amazing episode of The Diane Rehm Show (NPR) that explores the recent study on palliative care in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Diane’s guests include Dr. Jennifer Temel of the Harvard Medical School, a lead author of the study, and Dr. Diane Meier, who leads the Center to Advance Palliative Care at … Continue reading

Hospital Acquired Infections: Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU in Washington, DC, broadcast a program on hospital acquired infections on Monday, June 28, 2010. Once you go to the program link — it has not yet been posted as a podcast — the part of the program on hospital acquired infections begins at 18:22.  Kojo’s guests included: