Sykes Elder Law is a Pittsburgh law firm in Mount Lebanon, PA that focuses on helping seniors achieve a more secure future by protecting their spouses, home, life savings, income, dependents, and quality of life. Services include medicaid planning and estate planning in Pennsylvania. Check out their video to learn more!
The Asbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Asbury Heights, a senior living community and care facility in Mt. Lebanon, has been awarded a 5-star overall rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The quality standards assessed for the overall rating are health inspection, staffing and quality measures.
“We are honored to be so highly rated by CMS,” says John Zanardelli, President and chief executive officer, United Methodist Services for the Aging. “At Asbury Heights, we work hard to meet and exceed the needs of our residents with top quality health care and resources.”
Troubled and broken. Disorganized and non-compliant. By the end of 2010, Etna Commons was in desperate need of repair.
Fast forward to the summer of 2012. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was back to reevaluate. Now managed by SeniorCare Network, a Presbyterian SeniorCare affiliate, Etna Commons features new walls, fresh paint, beautiful landscaping, new carpeting throughout the building and an organized filing system.
Evaluating for acceptable physical condition and above-average organizational practices, HUD handed out a new rating to the Etna Commons team: Superior.
“We inherited a trouble site,” says Linda Fulmer, Community Manager at Etna Commons. “Transforming this property has truly been a team effort. My team went right to brainstorming and began to really think about what we could do to get our building off of the HUD troubled list.”
That’s why it’s important for seniors to know how to spot a potential scam. Following are checklists for mail, telephone and computer that can help protect an older adult:
- Consider a second set of eyes to look over bill payments and mail.
- Don’t send any personal information – Social Security or Social Insurance number, bank and credit card account numbers, phone numbers or address – through the mail to anyone who you don’t know, no matter what they’ve offered or promised.
- Never respond to a sweepstakes letter by sending a check to claim a prize.
- Only send checks to charities with which you are familiar and that have been cleared through a second source such as the Better Business Bureau or Canadian Council for Better Business Bureaus.
- Don’t respond to requests to send a “deposit” to “get started” with a work-at-home offer or a pyramid scheme.
- If you continue to get mail that is obviously a scam, take it to your local post office and the mail will be forwarded to the Postal Inspector.
- Buy and install a locking mailbox, or set up a P.O. box.
- Don’t leave bill payment envelopes in your unsecured mailbox for pickup – take them to a postal mailbox.
- If you’re getting unnecessary mail, contact the sender and ask to have your name removed from the mailing list. To cut down on the volume of unwanted bulk mail, get off as many national mailing lists as possible.
- Know when bank statements, credit card statements and pension payments are supposed to arrive each month. Consider getting statements online.
“Remember that time when…” Uncle Bob began, launching into a story that soon had everyone smiling and laughing. “At Dad’s surprise birthday party, the real surprise came when Mary was carrying the cake into the dining room. She tripped over the cat and the cake went flying right out of her hands and into Mom’s lap! Dad didn’t miss a beat—he grabbed a glass of water from the table and doused the candle flames as Mom was yelling ‘Make a wish! Make a wish!’ We couldn’t believe it—there was more food on her lap than on the table and all she was concerned about was Dad making his birthday wish!”
Sharing “remember when” stories like these warms the heart of every family member in the room as those special moments of shared history are remembered. When a mind-altering disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia begins affecting the memory of someone you love, shared recollections become all the more important.
For someone experiencing memory loss, memories from long ago are usually more vivid and easier to recall than more recent memories. If the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia has trouble recalling specific details from the past or present, you and your family can help remember for them.
According to a study, Evercare/National Alliance for Caregiving Study of Caregivers — What They Spend, What They Sacrifice, caregivers reported they were spending on average 35.4 hours a week caring for their loved ones, with 19 percent providing care for more than three years and 32 percent caregiving for more than five years.
Disagreement over the television setting can be problematic even in families where no one has hearing loss, so it is no great surprise that this is a great issue among families with one or more hearing impaired members. Market research shows that enhancing the television viewing situation was rated the most desired improvement in terms of wireless capabilities.
Many in the hearing healthcare industry predict that overcoming the obstacle of an inconvenient gateway device would represent a breakthrough for the industry and for users.
The ReSound Unite TV Streamer accessory is such a breakthrough- it connects to the audio output of a television or other audio device and transmits the sound directly to the hearing instruments. The hearing instrument program used for audio streaming can have the hearing instrument microphones turned off or on according to whether the user also wants to be able to hear and converse with others while listening to the streamed sound.
We all know that getting proper nutrition and staying hydrated are the keys to leading a healthy life. But what if you have a senior loved one who recently returned home from the hospital and is not well? Are there certain foods that can help speed recovery and help him or her feel better sooner? According to WebMD and other research, the answer is “yes.”
Eating the right foods can help your senior loved one prevent complications such as dehydration, and constipation. Among the first suggestions are to include lots of fiber and lean protein in his or her diet.
Fiber will help keep your senior loved one regular and may prevent long-term issues such as intestinal problems and diabetes. High fiber foods include whole grain breads, fresh fruits, vegetables (fresh or frozen), oatmeal and certain cereals. Before purchasing any cereal, make sure to read the label to see that is has high fiber content.
Some fresh fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, apples, broccoli and sweet potatoes, contain numerous vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, iron and other nutrients that are essential for healthy living, bone building and cell recovery. Be sure to include as many of these as possible in your senior loved one’s diet.
By Aaron E. Katz, M.D.
Prostate health issues are becoming increasingly common in men, particularly those who are 50 years old and older. In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The disease is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages. Thanks to a simple physical exam and the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, most prostate cancers can be detected before there are symptoms. If you do get prostate disease, you can harness the power of potent natural medicines to strengthen your body’s own ability to heal. But why wait for a negative diagnosis?
Here are steps that men can take to improve their prostate health, today.
Improving Your Diet — Reduce fat: Studies suggest a correlation between dietary fat and prostate cancer. Eat less than 30 percent fat overall and favor unsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils over saturated and trans fats.
Eat organic: Eat a largely organic and vegetarian diet.
Americans are living longer and are in better physical condition than their predecessors because today’s senior citizens are more aware of the need to remain physically active into their “Golden Years.” Whether you are a senior yourself or you are looking for ways to help the seniors in your life live longer, healthier lives, it is important to remember that physical fitness can benefit people of all ages and physical conditions.
Many older adults may not get started with an exercise or physical fitness program because of their fear of injury, aggravating another medical condition or being strained beyond their limitations. Don’t worry, it is normal to feel this way. It is important to remember, however, that you should always begin by having a conversation with your family physician before starting with any new program. Everyone is different, but your doctor will know your medical condition and history as well as any limitations you may have. By discussing the degree and intensity of your exercise program, together you can agree on what has the potential to work best for you.
There are nearly 100,000 emergency hospitalizations each year for adverse drug events that involve U.S. senior citizens, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Of the thousands of medications available to patients, a small group of blood thinners and diabetes medications caused two-thirds of the emergency hospitalizations, the report said.
The study used data collected from a nationally representative sample of 58 hospitals participating in CDC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project.
Almost half (48.1 percent) of these hospitalizations occur among the elderly aged 80 years or older, and two-thirds (65.7 percent) of the hospitalizations were due to overdoses, or to situations in which patients may have taken the prescribed amount of medication but the drug had more than the intended effect on the patient’s body. Four medications, used alone or together, accounted for two-thirds of the emergency hospitalizations:
- 33 percent, or 33,171 emergency hospitalizations, involved warfarin, a medication used to prevent blood clots.
- 14 percent involved insulins. Insulin injections are used to control blood sugar in people who have diabetes.
- 13 percent involved antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin or clopidogrel, which prevent platelets, or pieces of blood cells from clumping together to start a clot.
- 11 percent involved diabetes medications that are taken by mouth, called oral hypoglycemic agents.
Having someone check on you or your senior loved one could make you feel more at ease. A Home Instead CAREGiverSM can provide personal care services including medication reminders and transportation to doctors’ appointments to help give you peace of mind.
CAREGivers from Home Instead Senior Care can make a difference in the lives of older adults and their families by providing support with activities of daily living to help keep them independent for as long as possible. For more information about Home Instead Senior Care visit www.homeinstead.com/greaterpittsburgh or call 1-866-996-1087
More information about how to be better prepared for medical emergencies can be found at www.SeniorEmergencyKit.com. To learn more about this study, go to http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p1123_elderly_risk.html.
By Denise Stahl, Executive Director, UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute
Families are often given the difficult job of making critical decisions about the care of their loved ones who have become seriously ill and are unable to speak for themselves. But all too often, families are making those decisions without knowing exactly what their loved ones would have wanted. That’s why UPMC is joining with healthcare leaders across the country to encourage families to start the conversation about advance care planning for National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16.
Advance care planning is the process of planning ahead for future medical care should you become unable to make your own decisions due to a life-limiting illness or injury. The best time to think about advance care planning is before you are sick so that you understand what your options are and can communicate them to your loved ones and your doctor. An advance directive, or living will, is a written document stating your wishes that guides the decisions of the health care team and provides comfort to your family.
A Pharmacist’s Guide To Avoiding Dangerous Drug Interactions, Reactions And Side Effects Common Drug Combinations Can Be Lethal
Dangerous drug interactions and common drug-induced illnesses are a hidden epidemic in the United States. Unqualified use and abuse of prescription drugs is becoming commonplace as many doctors prescribe multiple meds because either they don’t have the time to fully diagnose, or worse, they are pressured to prescribe (sell) highly profitable drugs. In the United States alone adverse drug interactions cause death, injury or hospitalization to more than 2 million people each year and that number could be the tip of the iceberg, as millions of cases go undetected or unreported.
Are Your Meds Making You Sick? A Pharmacist’s Guide to Avoiding Dangerous Drug Interactions, Reactions and Side Effects is a highly accessible and clearly formatted quick reference for the layperson. Written by Robert S. Gold, RPh, MBA, a clinical hospital pharmacist and affiliate instructor of clinical pharmacy at Purdue University with over 27 years of experience, Are Your Meds Making You Sick, shows readers how to protect themselves by learning to think like a clinical hospital pharmacist. Gold lists “16 Rules of Safe Medication Use” that can help prevent the most common adverse and dangerous drug interactions. He then gives specific examples and scenarios featuring the thirty-six drugs that are the most prevalent offenders and explains how even seemingly good drugs can harm a patient’s kidney, liver, brain and heart if the patient’s medical history and physical vulnerabilities are not taken into account.
The Bookworm Sez: “100+: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith” by Sonia Arrison
Every year, there’s another candle.
You remember a time when you got excited about it. Another flame on your birthday cake meant that you were getting big, growing up, not a baby anymore. Each candle was one year closer to Big Kid status.
Then one day, you stopped counting candles. Who needed to be reminded about growing older, anyhow?
But what if a single cake wasn’t enough to hold all the birthday candles you’d need? Could it be possible to need one more cake – or two? In the new book 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith by Sonia Arrison,you’ll find out.
Family Hospice and Palliative Care, Western Pennsylvania’s leading non-profit hospice organization, will host an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Jan. 26th to mark the opening of its second inpatient unit in Allegheny County.
The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury – located on the second floor of Canterbury Place, a UPMC Senior Community at 310 Fisk St in Lawrenceville – has 14 home-like private patient rooms and offers round-the-clock inpatient hospice care. The new inpatient unit is modeled after Family Hospice’s original inpatient facility, The Center for Compassionate Care, which opened in Mt. Lebanon in 2008.
The Center for Compassionate Care Canterbury will operate under Family Hospice’s license and will offer a full-time Family Hospice staff, including a palliative care certified physician, nurses, social work and spiritual care.