Archive for October, 2010

Drug Assistance Programs in San Diego CA Keep Seniors on Track

I wanted to share this informative article from usatoday.com. Sometimes our elderly loved ones end up with so many prescriptions over the years that they lose track of what they are taking and why. By consulting with a pharmacist regarding everything your senior is taking, not only could you possibly alleviate some medications, you could also stop a potentially hazardous mix of medications that could make them sick. If you need advice or have questions about elder care in San Diego, please visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com for information about how we can help.

Drug Assistance Programs Keep Seniors on Track
By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News

Irene Mooney survived four heart attacks and still copes with high cholesterol, persistent indigestion and heart problems. Recently, she developed some dangerous new symptoms — suspicious bruising all over her body and severe fatigue. "I could barely put one foot in front of the other," she says. A pharmacist discovered the culprit: some of the very medications Mooney was taking to manage her medical conditions.

The pharmacist met with Mooney, examined her 13 medications and then contacted her doctor, who cut the dosage of one drug and replaced another, reducing her risk of uncontrollable bleeding. Mooney, 82, one of the devoted card players at her seniors’ complex, soon noticed the change. "I’ve been so much better," she says.

The help Mooney got — called "medication therapy management" — was provided by Senior PharmAssist, a Durham, N.C., non-profit group that makes sure seniors use the right prescription drugs and take them correctly to prevent harmful side effects or drug interactions.

Now, medication management is coming to nearly 7 million seniors and disabled Americans enrolled in Medicare drug plans. Under new, tougher Medicare rules that took effect in January, private insurers that offer drug coverage must automatically enroll members who have at least $3,000 in total annual drug costs, take several drugs and have chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease


…continue reading from usatoday.com

When A Loved One Needs In-Home Help in San Diego CA

When A Loved One Needs In-Home Help
By Kristen Gerencher, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The signs can hit you quickly or sneak up on you gradually. But what do you do if Mom or Dad isn’t safe living alone anymore?

"The worst thing you can do is ignore it," said Bob Mecca, principal of Robert A. Mecca & Associates, an independent, fee-only financial planning firm in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

If an elderly relative starts to need help to get through the day, families who want to avoid institutions often face two choices: hire a home-care aide or become one yourself. Both these options allow the older person to remain at home where he or she may be most comfortable, experts say, but each has its own pitfalls.

Families who choose outside help must decide what level of care their loved one requires and whether they want to go through an agency or hire a caregiver privately. And people who join the ranks of the 65 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. can face health-draining burnout if they don’t budget for respite care for themselves.

There are two main kinds of in-home care. Personal or home-care aides provide companionship and support a person’s activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals and doing laundry. Home health aides may do all those things plus tasks such as administering medication or recording changes in a client’s condition. They also may work under a nurse’s supervision.

…continue reading from marketwatch.com

Age Advantage helps many families in the San Diego area with care and assistance for senior loved ones. If you need Home Care in San Diego, please visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com. 

 

New Alzheimer’s Guidelines in San Diego CA Aim For Early Diagnosis

New Alzheimer’s Guidelines Aim For Early Diagnosis

By: Kate Kelland

(Reuters) – Experts on Alzheimer’s disease are proposing new criteria for diagnosing the dementia which would pick it up at an earlier stage and should get more patients onto treatment or into trials of new drugs.

An international expert group said the new guidelines would revise the definition of Alzheimer’s to take into account recent scientific developments – including the use of so-called biomarkers, or biological signals, which can show if a person is at risk of the disease before they have any symptoms.

This pre-clinical stage, which can be about 10 years before dementia sets in, is widely seen as the best time to intervene in Alzheimer’s. Recent studies have shown that brain scans, spinal fluid analyses and other tests can help predict who will develop Alzheimer’s and they are becoming crucial to researchers and drug firms trying to develop new treatments.

"It’s very important for us to move from the old way of seeing Alzheimer’s disease to a new one that incorporates the importance of biomarkers," said Bruno Dubois from France’s Salpetriere Hospital.

"There is no longer a reason to wait until patients have developed full-blown dementia," said Dubois, who leads the International Working Group for New Research Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is a fatal brain disease in which people gradually lose their memories and their abilities to reason and care for themselves. It affects more than 26 million people globally and there is no cure.

A report last month said the worldwide costs of coping with dementia will reach $604 billion in 2010, more than one percent of global GDP output, and those costs will soar further as the number of sufferers triples by 2050.

…continue reading from news.yahoo.com

If you need help with Elder Care in San Diego, please visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com for more information.

 

 

What To Expect When You’re Getting Older in San Diego CA

What To Expect When You’re Getting Older

(ARA) – The signs of aging aren’t always as obvious as a few more wrinkles and grey hairs. The body naturally changes as you get older, but what exactly can you expect and how do you make sure you’re aging in a healthy way?

The experts at Mayo Clinic offer a list of things to look for as you age, and tips on how you can stay healthy:

Heart
As you get older, your heart must work harder to pump the same amount of blood through your body. Your blood vessels may narrow if hardened deposits of fat have formed on your arteries. This can lead to high blood pressure hypertension).

You can help prevent high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and reducing your salt intake.

Muscles, joints and bones

Your bones shrink in size and density as you age, which makes you susceptible to fracture. Your muscles and joints also lose some flexibility and strength.

To help your body stay flexible and to keep your bones strong, get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D and calcium and engage in weight-bearing exercises like walking, climbing stairs and light weight training.

Eyes
Experienced eyes have thinner retinas with lenses that are less clear. Focusing on objects close up may become more difficult and you may be sensitive to glaring lights, particularly when driving at night. Common eye conditions include glaucoma and cataracts.

Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and get regular eye exams to help catch any problems early.

Ears
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions reported in aging adults. The thickening of eardrums can cause you to have difficulty hearing high frequencies and you may notice an increase in ear wax.

Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noises and wear hearing protection when doing noisy tasks like mowing the lawn. Have your hearing checked regularly.

If you’ve got health concerns or questions about what you can expect as you get older, a great resource to have on hand is the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 4th edition. You’ll have great information at your fingertips including:

  • Preventive screening recommendations and tests to consider based on your age
  • Hundreds of pages of fully updated information on diseases and conditions
  • How to protect yourself and prepare for flu pandemics
  • How to make sense of your symptoms
  • A medication guide

Also included is general information designed to help you navigate the changes and health care decisions that come as we get older.

For more information and healthy aging tips, visit MayoClinic.com. To purchase your copy of the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 4th edition, visit bookstore.MayoClinic.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent.

For information about Home Care for a loved one in the San Diego area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.