MorningStar Senior Living – Nevada Senior Guide

http://www.morningstarseniorliving.com/communities/morningstar-of-sparks/

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At MorningStar, it’s in the air.  In the very chemistry of the place.  You can feel it.  You can see it with your own eyes, every day:  our staff flat out loving our residents, loving them like they do their own moms and dads.

Ken Jaeger, founder of MorningStar, proved his acumen for the senior living industry through 15 years of executive roles, garnering experience in acquisitions, construction and management.

In 2003, an idea began to take shape, a pressing dream to create his own brand of senior living defined by the human touch.  “I wanted to re-create my grandmother’s house, a place where one can go and feel a sense of family.”

Ken had specific designs on how to foster the ultimate environment for the well being of seniors.  Out of these convictions, he established three precepts for MorningStar:  Honor God.  Value All Seniors.  Invest generously in his team.

From his first home in Denver, MorningStar Assisted Living of Littleton, the difference was manifest: all the amenities of a five-star resort infused with the warmth of a real home.

And now, ten years and 12 homes later, MorningStar has become a landmark name in senior living.

From independent living to assisted living, from basic care through Alzheimer’s support, MorningStar’s continuum of service allows residents to extend their stay until a diagnosis calls for 24-hour nursing.  Through Respite Care and Day Programs, MorningStar also opens its homes for short-term stays.

Our website offers even more about the MorningStar difference.  There you’ll read about WellStar, our signature program which encompasses the physical, social, spiritual and intellectual sides of wellness.  You’ll see a gallery of our award-winning architecture and gracious design.  And find a Decision Guide that helps families understand & navigate the complex world of senior living, complete with downloadable templates.  Read especially “Testify to Love,” which captures the sentiments of residents, their families and our staff as to why we do what we do and the impact we have.

We see our residents as heroes—men and women who have exacted out of life all its triumphs and trials, who in raw courage and tenacity have invested their days.  Seniors are a testimony to the colossal events in history.  They’ve witnessed world wars and the worldwide web—all in one glorious sweep.  If anyone deserves honor and respect, it is our seniors.  This is MorningStar’s high and chosen calling.

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MorningStar Senior Living of Sparks, 2360 Wingfield Hills Drive, Sparks, NV  89436
Phone:  775-626-5665

Study Shows that People Who Undergo Cataract Surgery to Correct Visual Impairment Live Longer

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Australian researchers find a 40 percent lower mortality risk among patients who had their vision corrected through the procedure  

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 4, 2013 – People with cataract-related vision loss who have had cataract surgery to improve their sight are living longer than those with visual impairment who chose not to have the procedure, according to an Australian cohort study published this month in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. After comparing the two groups, the researchers found a 40 percent lower long-term mortality risk in those who had the surgery.

The research is drawn from data gathered in the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a population-based cohort study of vision and common eye diseases in an older Australian population. A total of 354 persons aged 49 years and older and diagnosed with cataract-related vision impairment –  some of whom had undergone surgery and others who had not – were assessed between 1992 and 2007. Adjustments were made for age and gender as well as a number of mortality risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, body mass index and measures of frailty and comorbid disease. Follow-up visits took place after five and ten years since the baseline exam.

Previous research had indicated that older persons with visual impairment were likely to have greater mortality risk than their age peers with normal vision, and that cataract surgery might reduce this risk. These studies – unlike the Blue Mountains Eye Study – compared people who had undergone cataract surgery with those in the general population or with those who had not had cataract surgery, and did not link vision status to the surgical status.

“Our finding complements the previously documented associations between visual impairment and increased mortality among older persons,” said Jie Jin Wang, Ph.D., of the Westmead Millennium Institute and one of lead researchers of the study. “It suggests to ophthalmologists that correcting cataract patients’ visual impairment in their daily practice results in improved outcomes beyond that of the eye and vision, and has important impacts on general health.”

The association between correction of cataract-related visual impairment and reduced mortality risk is not clearly understood, but plausible factors may include improvements in physical and emotional well-being, optimism, greater confidence associated with independent living after vision improvement, as well as greater ability to comply with prescription medications.

Dr. Wang noted one limitation of the study is that participants with cataract-related visual impairment who did not have cataract surgery could have had other health problems that prevented them from undergoing surgery, and that these other health problems could partly explain the poorer survival among non-surgical participants. This issue is addressed by the researchers in a subsequent study.

Caused by the clouding of the lens, cataract is a leading cause of treatable visual impairment that will affect more than half of all Americans by the time they are 80 years old.[1]  Surgical removal of the opaque lens with an artificial lens implanted is a successful procedure of cataract treatment. If completing everyday tasks is difficult, cataract surgery should be discussed with an ophthalmologist − a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.

Seniors who are seeking eye care but are concerned about cost may qualify for EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which offers eye exams and care at no out-of-pocket cost to qualifying seniors age 65 and older. Learn more at www.eyecareamerica.org. For more information on cataracts and other eye health information, visit www.geteyesmart.org.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology 
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.

About Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, publishes original, peer-reviewed, clinically applicable research. Topics include the results of clinical trials, new diagnostic and surgical techniques, treatment methods technology assessments, translational science reviews and editorials.

Health Care for Senior Citizens – About Arthritis by KV Gopalakrishnan

August 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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Once you cross the threshold of fifty years, it is best to be aware of some typical diseases which have the potential to diminish your enjoyment of everyday living. Arthritis is certainly one of the ailments that falls into this class. This article offers you, in a nutshell, information about the disease, as well as the lifestyle modifications, which might enable you to prevent it and address it if needed.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is typically the swelling and infection of one or more body joints, where a pair of bones meet. Arthritis develop when the cartilage, which protects a joint and enables it to move freely, gets affected. Since the cartilage facilitates in absorbing impact when stress is exerted on the joint like when you walk or jog, its damage affects movement of the joint. When the normal quantity of cartilage material diminishes, the bones may begin rubbing with each other, triggering discomfort, swelling (inflammation), and rigidity, resulting in Arthritis.

Causes for Arthritis

The damage to the cartilage and joint soreness can occur due to a variety of factors. This impairment to the cartilage can occur due to normal wear and tear of joints, a damaged bone, infection in the region caused by bacteria or virus, and in some cases due to an auto-immune condition wherein body immune system erroneously assaults healthy tissues. Generally Arthritis gets cured once the particular trigger goes away or is addressed. At times the disease does not get cured. When this occurs, it is called chronic Arthritis.

Signs and symptoms of Arthritis

The indicators of this illness include joint ache, joint inflammation, restricted movements of one’s joints, soreness on the skin close to a joint, stiffness especially in the early morning and warmth all-around a joint. An early on diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis is definitely a crucial factor in treating it and also preventing it from turning into acute.

Treatment options for Arthritis

The healthcare specialist treating Arthritis is referred to as a Rheumatologist. The comprehensive treatment solution of Arthritis consists primarily of life-style modifications, physical exercise program, and if needed medicines, dietary supplements and surgical procedure. Immediate therapy include things like, heating or cooling, Orthotics (splints) support, water treatment and massage therapy. The objective of treatment is usually to minimize suffering, enhance function, and prevent further harm to the joint. Nevertheless, in a few instances, the root cause can not be remedied.

Cure for Arthritis – Lifestyle changes

Life-style modifications are the favored treatment solution for Arthritis as well as other types of joint inflammation. Primarily, it is important to get rid of any excess weight to reduce the stress on the affected joints. Physical exercise may help alleviate stiffness, minimize suffering and fatigue, and boost muscle and bone strength. It is best to seek advice from your therapist to design a workout plan that may suit your needs.. Work out plans may also incorporate low impact aerobic activity, flexibility workouts and power training for muscular tissues. If necessary, the therapist can recommend usage of some unique devices to help you to drive, dress and do other everyday activities.

Other tips which can enable you to get relief include:

 

  • Having 8-10 hours of sleep,
  • Avoiding remaining in one position.
  • Avoiding extra pressure on joints and
  • Practicing yoga and meditation.

 

So far as nutrition is concerned, it is best to eat healthy diet which include:

 

  • Substantial amount of fruits and veggies,
  • Omega three rich foodstuff such as fish, soybeans and walnuts.
  • Complex carbohydrates with minimal salt, sugar and fat
  • Green tea is claimed to scale back inflammation and degradation of cartilage.

 

Prevention of Arthritis

For prevention of Arthritis, please take care to avoid strain or injury to joints and also to have timely cure of infections in the region of joints. It might be far better to stay away from jogging after you cross fifty years of age mainly because it can result in weakness to knee joints and lower back.. Swimming is an effective alternative for jogging.

The lifestyle adjustments and the dietary recommendations described in the section ‘Cure for arthritis – Lifestyle changes’ are equally relevant in preventing it.

The goal of this short article is to present you with basic information about Arthritis as well as emphasize the significance of lifestyle modifications for curing and preventing it. Having said that, you should invariably seek the advice of a healthcare professional to treat the ailment.

Senor Citizen Consultant

Retired from Government service and enjoying life.

My aim is to help senior citizens by giving useful tips to enable them to enjoy health, wealth and happiness.

http://enjoyafter50.com/ <-Visit this website for tips and tricks to make your retirement life happy and enjoyable.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=KV_Gopalakrishnan

Sunscreen on Your Feet?

July 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Sunscreen on Your Feet?
Doctors Urge Sunscreen Use and Exams to Prevent Skin Cancer on Feet

CHICAGO—July 8, 2013 Many people do not think about their feet when applying sunscreen, but did you know that the skin on your feet is highly susceptible to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer? The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) warns that skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.

While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.

The foot and ankle surgeons of ACFAS offer these tips to keep your feet safe this summer:

  • Lather up with sunscreen from head to toe—literally—when at the pool or beach to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
  • Check your feet and toes regularly for symptoms such as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle anywhere on the foot – even under toenails and on your soles.
  • Look for moles or freckles that change in size or shape. If you notice anything suspicious, promptly schedule an appointment with your foot and ankle specialist to have the mark examined.
  • Schedule routine exams with your foot and ankle specialist so he or she can keep track of suspicious, changing marks.

According to Boston foot and ankle surgeon Thanh Dinh, DPM, FACFAS, early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren’t looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.

For more information on skin cancer of the foot or other foot and ankle health information, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon’s patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org,

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The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society of over 6,800 foot and ankle surgeons. Founded in 1942, the College’s mission is to promote research, provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org.

Ophthalmologists Warn that Fireworks-Related Injuries Can Cause Permanent Vision Loss

July 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

 

Ophthalmologists Warn that Fireworks-Related Injuries Can Cause Permanent Vision Loss
American Academy of Ophthalmology and Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology urge parents to closely supervise children when around fireworks

LAS VEGAS – June 26, 2013 – As the Fourth of July holiday approaches and Americans make plans to celebrate the stars and stripes with a little red glare from celebratory rockets, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology urge the public to take important steps to prevent fireworks-related eye injuries. The academies ask parents and other adults to be especially cautious when children are in the presence of fireworks.

Of the more than 9,000 fireworks injuries that occur in the United States each year, [I]approximately 45 percent are sustained by children age 15 and under.[II] Eyes are among the most injured body parts,[III] and one in six fireworks-related eye injuries results in permanent vision loss or blindness.[IV]

All fireworks are dangerous if not properly handled; however, sparklers cause the most injury and are particularly dangerous since many children handle them on their own. Sparklers typically burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is nearly 1,000 degrees hotter than the boiling point of water, double the heat required to burn wood, hot enough to melt glass and cause third-degree burns to the skin.[V] Out-of-control bottle rockets also cause some of the most serious eye injuries, including corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and rupture of the eyeball – all of which can lead to potential blindness.

Both Academies advise the public that the best way to avoid potentially blinding injuries is to attend a professional public fireworks display instead of using consumer fireworks. For those who still decide to use legal consumer fireworks, the Academy recommends they follow these safety tips to prevent eye injuries:

  • Never handle fireworks without protective eyewear and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
  • Never let young children play with fireworks of any type. If older children are permitted to handle fireworks, ensure they are closely supervised by an adult and wear protective eyewear.
  • Clear the area of flammable materials and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians.

For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows:

  • Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows.
  • Do not touch unexploded display (show) fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

“It’s vital that the public take seriously the dangers of using consumer fireworks. If mishandled, devastating injuries can occur – particularly to the eyes,” said Adam J. Rovit, M.D., president of the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology. “We urge parents and adults to be on high alert about these risks, especially if children are in the presence of fireworks, and take these safety measures to reduce the risk of eye injury.”

The Academy and the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology believe these tips can help to ensure safe Independence Day observances for everyone. If, however, a fireworks-related eye injury occurs, call 911 and seek medical help immediately. These injuries typically need advanced care by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.

For more fireworks safety tips and additional information on how to maintain healthy vision, visit www.geteyesmart.org.

About the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology
The mission of the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology is to promote and advance the science and art of medical eye care. The Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology’s members are dedicated to treating and preventing eye diseases for all patients.  Learn more at Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons – Eye M.D.s – with more than 32,000 members worldwide.  Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org.

About EyeSmart
The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve their healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trustworthy and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.orgto learn more.

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[I] Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2011 Fireworks Annual Report, accessed at http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/113888/2011fwreport.pdf

[II] Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Fireworks-Related Injuries to Children, accessed at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/108/1/190.full

Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2011 Fireworks Annual Report, accessed at http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/113888/2011fwreport.pdf

[IV]  British Journal of Ophthalmology, Ocular firework trauma: a systematic review on incidence, severity, outcome and prevention, accessed athttp://bjo.bmj.com.proxy1.library.jhu.edu/content/94/12/1586.full#ref-11

[V] National Fireworks Protection Agency fireworks tips, accessed at http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/public%20education/fireworkssafetytips.pdf

The Senior in Senior Citizens Doesn’t Automatically Mean Senile by Jeanne Gibson

April 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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I am well aware that teenagers often think that people over thirty don’t know  anything. They are partially right—many of us don’t know much about  things that interest teenagers, and don’t really want to. But that’s not what I  meant by the title of this article.

When a group is formed at church or in some other organization, a Senior  Citizen is seldom asked to lead it. It is just assumed that they aren’t capable  of thinking clearly enough for such an important job.

If a senior citizen applies for a regular 9-5 job, he or she is not likely to  get it if there are other equally qualified applicants, or often some not as  qualified applicants.

Should a Senior Citizen choose to run for President, a major talking point  against him is his age. He is referred to as dottering, senile, not all there,  and/or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. (Although, I don’t see how they could  prove that last point since even doctors admit that they have to examine a brain  after the patient has died to be sure of that diagnosis.)

Today, I was called “Hon,” at least 3 times by a clerk that waited on me in a  local store. Do you think she would have called a woman in her 30’s or 40’s  “Hon?” I don’t think so. Do we older people look like little children or  something?

Sometimes, when a older person loses a spouse or someone close to them, they  experience a temporary period of time during which they may appear to be  withdrawn and confused, but this is not limited to seniors. It is often used,  however, to take advantage of seniors.

Recently, an elderly relative of mine lost her husband, who left a legally  witnessed will, leaving everything to her, but, within a few weeks relatives  began to descend on her, claiming that “Dad,” or “Uncle,” or “Grandpa,” had  promised him or her a particular item.

His wife, still grieving, and a bit bewildered by it all, rather than risk  dishonoring a promise her husband may have made, handed over the items without  question. It was months later that she realized she had been the victim of  greed.

Even senior citizens are sometimes guilty of assuming another person is  senile just because of their age.

I overheard two older single men in a group I belonged to discussing a  lovely, but very quiet widow lady in our group. One suggested that the other  invite the lady in question to a movie, but the reply was, “No way. I think  she’s senile because she doesn’t say much. Besides, she’s too old for my taste.”  Neither man was under 70 and both were overweight and almost bald. They assumed  that this woman was senile without even knowing her. The truth is that she was  younger than either of them and her shyness kept her from talking much until she  got to know a person well.

Senior citizens are not all senile, as some people seem to think. True, many  are not quite as strong in body as they were a few years ago, but most still  have as much if not more wisdom than many younger people today. If you are  guilty of leaping to conclusions due to a person’s age, take another look. You  may be missing out on one of the very best relationships of your life.

Jeanne Gibson writes from her home in Springfield, Oregon on a variety of  subjects such as marriage, divorce, kids, cats, electric bikes, working from  home and senior citizen issues. To learn more about keeping your brain alert,  check out her blogpost at: http://sowingseedsthatmatter.blogspot.com/2010/07/perk-up-old-brain-cells.html

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Hearing Loss in Senior Citizens by David Crumrine

April 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Many senior citizens are affected by some hearing problems. If left  untreated, any extent of hearing loss may worsen over time. It is important that  senior citizens with difficulty hearing consult their doctor. Companions or  caregivers who notice a senior citizen is experiencing trouble hearing should  facilitate and encourage the senior to seek medical attention. Knowing the  symptoms and taking appropriate treatment measures can help stop and, in some  cases, even reverse hearing degradation.

Hearing is very important for daily functioning so problems with hearing are  quite serious and should be addressed as soon as possible. Senior citizens who  experience hearing problems may feel isolated or embarrassed as a result. Still,  if you find that you have trouble hearing, talk to your doctor about the many  treatment options available.

Symptoms

Senior citizens who have hearing loss often complain of:

  • Having trouble hearing on the phone
  • Difficulty with following conversations, especially when multiple people are  talking
  • Needing to have volume levels of electronics so high that others notice and  complain
  • Difficulty hearing things over background noise
  • Sensing that people always seem to mumble
  • Cannot understand when women or children speak to  you

Diagnosis

 

If a doctor finds that you have hearing loss, they may refer you to an  otolaryngologist who specializes in the ear, nose, and throat. After this doctor  conducts diagnostic tests, they may refer you to an audiologist who is trained  to measure hearing function. Audiologists can test your hearing for certain  pitches and loudness levels in order to find if a hearing aid is needed. These  tests are painless.

Hearing loss is caused by degeneration of nerves with age, one of the reasons  it is prevalent among senior citizens. Other common contributions to hearing  loss are earwax build-up, exposure to very loud noises over long periods of  time, viral and bacterial infections, heart conditions, head injuries, tumors,  medications, and heredity.

Types of Hearing Loss

Some different types of hearing loss include:

Presbycusis: This is age-related hearing loss. Senior citizens  affected by this condition can either have a hard time hearing or have low  tolerance for loud noises. It can be caused by damage to the inner ear known as  sensorineural hearing loss.

Tinnitus: This condition is characterized by hearing ringing, roaring,  or some other continuous noise in the ears. It can be caused by exposure to loud  noises, hearing loss, medications, other health problems, allergies, and  conditions of the heart and blood vessels. The source of noise caused by  tinnitus is unclear and varies in how long it affects the sufferer. Senior  citizens can treat the condition by either using a hearing aid to make other  sounds louder or using a masker that makes tinnitus noise less noticeable.  Others use music to drown out the extra noise. Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and  loud noises can decrease the effects of tinnitus.

Conductive hearing loss: This is caused by blockage between eardrum  and the inner ear. This can be caused by ear wax build-up, fluid in the middle  ear, abnormal bone growth, punctured ear drum, or ear infections. For ear wax  blockage specifically, it is suggested that sufferers use mild treatments like  mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial ear drops to soften ear wax. If  you think the eardrum may be damaged, you should contact a doctor.

Treatment

Senior citizens who suffer from hearing loss have many options for treatment  and alleviating symptoms of decreased hearing functioning. These include:

Hearing aids: these are small devices placed on the ear that make  certain noises louder. Audiologists can help find the right hearing aid for you  and may allow you to test it in a trial period. Pick a hearing aid manufacturer  who will work with you while you adjust to wearing the product, and be sure that  you are aware of how to maintain a hearing aid, such as replacing batteries and  how to use it properly.

Assistive / Adaptive devices: There are a variety of products that fit  within this category like:

  • Telephone amplifying device: can be a receiver or entire phone that makes  phone conversations louder
  • TV and radio listening systems: avoids having to turn the volume up on  regular devices
  • Assistive listening systems: these are sometimes available in public venues  like theaters, churches, synagogues, and meeting places
  • Alerts: allow for signals that replace doorbells, smoke detectors, and alarm  clocks in order for the hearing impaired to hear them properly. These usually  employ vibrations or flashing lights to replace noise.

Cochlear  implants: If hearing loss is severe, a small electronic device can be placed  under the skin, behind the ear. It allows sound to bypass the malfunctioning  part of the ear and send signals directly to the brain. This process is not  helpful for all cases of hearing loss or deafness.

 

Tips for Senior Citizens

For senior citizens affected by hearing loss, here are some helpful hints for  communication:

  • Let people know you have trouble hearing them
  • Ask people to face you, talk slower, or ask them to speak without  shouting
  • Pay attention to facial expressions and gestures
  • Let people know when you don’t understand them
  • Ask people to reword things for you when you don’t  understand

Tips for Caregivers

 

Elder caregivers taking care of senior citizens who suffer from hearing loss  can use these helpful hints when speaking to their patients:

  • Face the person and talk clearly
  • Speak at a normal speed and do not cover the mouth
  • Stand in good lighting and avoid background noises
  • Use facial expressions and physical gestures
  • Repeat yourself if necessary
  • Keep a hearing impaired person involved in a conversation rather than  talking to others  about the individual while in their presence
  • Be patient,positive and relaxed during the interaction
  • Ask how you can help them understand you

The Caring Space http://www.TheCaringSpace.com

David Crumrine at the Caring Space We are an organization that connects  caregivers and care seekers, providing an easy and affordable resource for  families seeking care for friends/loved ones and caregivers seeking  employment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Crumrine

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The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor by Nina Kramer

April 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Las Vegas, Press-Media Releases 

The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor by Nina Kramer

“‘You have cancer’ are three of the scariest words you will ever hear,”
says Nina Kramer, author of the new book, The Harrowing Medical Journey of
a Cancer Survivor. “But how you react after hearing those words can mean
the difference between thriving and deteriorating.”

Kramer’s journey through the world of cancer treatment began in 2000 when
she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Every year over 73,000 people are
diagnosed with the disease in the United States. Men are three times more
likely than women to develop it and about 5% will die from the disease, but
the death rate has been declining over the past twenty years.

Like many, Kramer’s journey began with a routine physical. What followed was
anything but routine.  Her first detour began with a trusted doctor. She liked him and
followed his instructions faithfully but, as she was to learn, he was not giving her the best and most advanced treatments. The number one rule when facing an illness as serious as cancer, she quickly discovered, is to do your research and seek out the best doctors and institutions that treat your disease.

The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor is Kramer’s courageous
story as she copes with a severe illness that lasted more than a decade. It began with a diagnosis of low-grade bladder cancer, continued with the removal and/or reconstruction of vital organs, and ended with dialysis and a kidney transplant. Although the story is specific to bladder cancer and its aftermath, it covers aspects inherent in any serious,
and sometimes life-threatening, illness.

With candor, honesty and life-affirming messages, The Harrowing Medical
Journey of a Cancer Survivor shares:

* The impact of emotions on surviving a serious illness – fear, denial, anger, anxiety and depression can have devastating results
* The search for experts – the single most important thing you can do when
battling a severe illness is to find the best hospitals and doctors specializing in your disease
* The focus on other passions – engrossing yourself in activities other than the illness to relieve your mind from the constant anxiety of worrying about it
* The importance of cancer support groups and psychotherapy – talking to other people can help you explore your feelings so they don’t interfere with or hamper your recovery
* Spending time on what you love – do everything you can to fight your illness, but spend time doing the things that bring you pleasure and satisfaction
* Having sex – the human contact and intimacy, as well as the erotic pleasure, can be a wonderful antidote to pain and misery

“I wanted to share my story with other cancer victims,” adds Kramer. “As I travelled this frightening medical journey, I learned a lot about how to survive and even thrive under sometimes terrifying circumstances. I wanted to share this experience in the hope that it would help others undergoing frightening medical journeys.

Nina Kramer, is a published novelist and author of the new nonfiction ebook,
The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor. She has held various
positions from journals manager to assistant vice president with medical,
scientific and technical publishers while pursuing her craft as a writer.
While undergoing cancer treatment, she made an arduous trip through some
remote locations in China—described in her Medical Journey book—as
research for her next novel set in the Middle Kingdom, Phoenix Rising; Tigers Flying. She divides her time between New York City and Stockbridge, MA.

Blog: http://ninaikramer.wordpress.com/cancer

The Harrowing Medical Journey of a Cancer Survivor is available in ebook format
through www.authorhouse.com. www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com,
and all online booksellers.

Review Copies Available Upon Request

Northern Nevada Medical Center Pain Management Center First Program in Nation Awarded Certification in Low Back Pain

Sparks, NV, April 4, 2013 – Northern Nevada Medical Center’s Pain Management Program recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ in Low Back Pain. The program is the first in the nation to receive this certification.

This certification recognizes NNMC’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. To achieve this prestigious certification, the hospital underwent a rigorous on-site evaluation by The Joint Commission. NNMC earned certification by proving compliance with nationally developed standards including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

The Pain Management Center is co-managed by NNMC and Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists and offers a multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pain.

“At the Pain Management Center, our goal is to return patients to a maximum level of functioning and independence by identifying the source pain and using advanced techniques to reduce the level of pain and suffering,” said Denis Patterson, DO, Medical Director of the Pain Management Center. “We are honored that The Joint Commission has recognized our program as a center of excellence.”

The Pain Management Center works with patients to identify the source of pain, which may be a specific disc, nerve root, joint or tendon. Physicians then use innovative image-guided techniques and therapies to target the precise area of the pain. 

“The Joint Commission certifications verify that NNMC’s Pain Management Center is truly a center of excellence for low back pain, and this is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide,” said Tiffany Meert, Chief Operating Officer, Northern Nevada Medical Center.

“In achieving Joint Commission certification, Northern Nevada Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its low back pain patients,” said Jean Range , M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process, and I commend Northern Nevada Medical Center for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

NNMC also has certifications in stroke, knee replacement, hip replacement and spine surgery by The Joint Commission. NNMC is also an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. NNMC is the only hospital in the state with all of these distinctions.

For more information about the Pain Management Center , contact 775-284-8650

The Vision Council Launches Online Resource for Low Vision and Saving Sight

March 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

The Vision Council is pleased to announce the launch of www.whatislowvision.org — a new web site created to educate the public on low vision, its symptoms, and the resources available to help.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130228/PH61076LOGO-a )
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130228/PH61076LOGO-b )

As America’s baby boomers enter their senior years, they may notice a gradual loss in some areas of sight. Loss of peripheral or central vision could indicate low vision, a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, pharmaceuticals or surgery. More than 2.9M people in the U.S. suffer from low vision and it is most common in people age 60+.

What is low vision?
“More likely than not, everyone knows someone with low vision — maybe a mother, sister, neighbor, or co-worker,” said Dr. Paul Michelson, Chair of The Vision Council’s medical arm — known as the Better Vision Institute — and  a low vision consultant.  “Recognizing the symptoms of low vision early and taking the proper actions may help preserve sight and in some cases, lessen the advance of low vision.”

Low vision can impair the ability to complete activities of daily living or follow routines and enjoy pastimes — such as reading — that people take for granted.

Symptoms
At first, people might notice a bit of distortion in their vision.  An object that is straight in reality — a telephone pole, for example — may appear curved or wavy to a person with low vision.  A low vision diagnosis is often the result of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or another aging eye disease.

Low vision differs from presbyopia, which is when the ability to focus on near objects diminishes. Presbyopia, which can be corrected with reading glasses or other optical solutions, typically emerges between ages 40 and 45.  Signs of low vision are broader than presbyopia and include:

  • Areas of blurred or distorted vision or spots and blotches in your vision
  • Shadowed or darkened field of view or noticeable loss of peripheral vision
  • A gradual loss of central vision
  • Cloudy and blurred vision or exaggerated “halos” around bright lights
  • Blind spots in your field of view

Preventive Measures and Resources
Seeing an eye doctor at the first sign of any visual changes can help to detect the diseases that result in low vision.  In general, seeing an eye doctor is an important step in maintaining eye health.  The onset of low vision is a slow progression of symptoms and the ultimate goal is to maintain remaining sight and prevent further deterioration in vision.

Sometimes, a pharmaceutical or surgical solution may stop further development of one of the diseases associated with low vision, but there are also eye care providers who specialize in low vision.  These specialists can introduce patients to low vision devices such as stand magnifiers, closed-circuit TVs, and telescopic lenses that help people affected by low vision maintain independence and improve their ability to perform daily tasks.

Dr. Michelson continued, “We urge people to check on family, friends, and neighbors who might be experiencing some of the signs of low vision. Vision training, vision rehabilitation, and low vision devices can help people maintain and optimize visual function, and preserve as much sight as is possible.”

At the onset of any symptoms of low vision, The Vision Council reminds people to:

  • Seek an accurate diagnosis and develop a good relationship with an eye care provider
  • Know the risk factors of not maintaining sight and the overall prognosis

To learn more about low vision and find resources, visit www.whatislowvision.org.

”The information and resources on this new website can teach people more about the changes they are experiencing and help them make the most of their remaining vision — which can lead to increased independence and quality of life,” said Dr. Michelson.

About The Vision Council
The Vision Council is the global voice for vision care products, practices, and services.  We represent eyewear manufacturers and suppliers in the optical industry by providing education, consumer outreach and advocacy.  The Vision Council also serves as a resource to the public who want to learn more about options in glasses and sunglasses, eyewear trends, and advances in technology.  Learn more at www.thevisioncouncil.org or find us on Facebook.

 

CONTACT: Erin Hildreth, The Vision Council, +1-703-548-5089; or Susan Caldwell, Access Public Relations, +1-540-204-4033

Ophthalmologists Consider Five Tests and Treatments that Would Benefit from Doctor-Patient Conversations

March 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

American Academy of Ophthalmology Joins Choosing Wisely® Campaign to Advance Quality Eye Care and Promote Health Care Savings

The American Academy of Ophthalmology today announced it is participating in the Choosing Wisely® campaign, a national initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation to encourage conversations between patients and their doctors about treatment options and efficient use of health care dollars. The Academy is one of 17 organizations joining Choosing Wisely today – representing more than 350,000 physicians, nurses, pathologists, radiologists and other health care professionals – to release lists of commonly performed tests, procedures and treatments that patients and physicians should discuss.

The United States spends more on health care than many other industrialized nations, yet often does not achieve better health outcomes. This may be explained in part by an overuse of unnecessary and duplicative medical tests. Choosing Wisely, which promotes best practices and better management of health care resources, complements physicians’ efforts to use evidence-based medicine to meet patients’ needs.

To ensure that the best care options are considered for ophthalmic patients, the Academy has identified five common tests and treatments that ophthalmologists and patients should discuss:

  1. Preoperative Medical Tests: Don’t perform preoperative medical tests – such as an electrocardiogram or blood glucose test – prior to eye surgery unless there are specific signs indicating a need for them.
  2. Imaging Tests: Don’t routinely order imaging tests when there are no symptoms or signs of significant eye disease.
  3. Antibiotics for Pink Eye: Don’t prescribe antibiotics for pink eye that is caused by an adenovirus.
  4. Antibiotics for Eye Injections: Don’t routinely provide antibiotics before or after injections into the vitreous cavity of the eye.
  5. Punctal Plugs for Dry Eye: Don’t treat dry eye by inserting punctual plugs before attempting other options, such as medical treatments with artificial tears, lubricants and compresses.

“Some experts estimate that up to 30 percent of health care delivered in the U.S. may be unnecessary or duplicative,” said David W. Parke II, M.D., CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Not only does this represent significant waste, but it also underscores patients’ unnecessary exposure to risks associated with any test or procedure. The American Academy of Ophthalmology is participating in Choosing Wisely as a way to support evidence-based medicine and promote greater patient involvement in their eye care. By increasing conversations between ophthalmologists and those they treat, we can better guarantee that patients receive the right eye care at the right time.”

The Academy’s health policy committee led the development of the list of five tests and treatments with input from members and ophthalmic subspecialty societies. Numerous recommendations and supporting evidence were researched and reviewed under the leadership of William L. Rich III, M.D., the Academy’s medical director of health policy.

“In medicine, more isn’t necessarily better,” said Dr. Rich. “Conversations around the five tests and treatments identified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology can reduce the potential for over-treating our patients. We will continue our work to identify treatments that could benefit from better conversations between ophthalmologists and their patients.”

To date, twenty-five specialty societies have released lists through Choosing Wisely. The lists released today will be promoted nationwide through the Choosing Wisely campaign’s consumer partners, including Consumer Reports, AARP, Wikipedia and the National Business Coalition on Health.

The Academy’s participation in the Choosing Wisely campaign is one component of its ongoing efforts to promote responsible use of health care resources, without sacrificing quality of care. The Academy also provides a wide variety of educational programs, products and services to ophthalmologists — medical doctors specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye disease and conditions — and the patients they serve in order to improve patient care. The organization’s EyeSmart® program features the most trustworthy and medically accurate consumer information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries.

To learn more about Choosing Wisely and to view the complete lists and details about the recommendations, visit www.ChoosingWisely.org. To learn how patients can start conversations about the five ophthalmic tests and treatments above, visit www.geteyesmart.org.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s— with nearly 32,000 members worldwide.  Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org  The Academy’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org  to learn more.

About the ABIM Foundation
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit www.abimfoundation.org, read our blog blog.abimfoundation.org, connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About Choosing Wisely
First announced in December 2011, Choosing Wisely is part of a multi-year effort led by the ABIM Foundation to support and engage physicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources. Participating specialty societies are working with the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician’s role in helping patients make wise choices. Learn more at www.ChoosingWisely.org.

Lisfranc Injury: Easy to Miss, Hard to Get Over

March 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Health and Home Care 

Left untreated, this little-known foot injury can lead to serious long-term problems

 

Elite athletes like NFL quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Santonio Holmes had productive seasons ended by the little-known and often overlooked Lisfranc injury, a serious foot injury that few have heard of and no one wants.  But foot and ankle surgeons at the Annual Scientific Conference of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) this week are evaluating how to effectively diagnose and treat this injury, which can result in severe long-term complications like chronic pain, osteoarthritis and even foot deformities.

Relatively uncommon, found in only 1 of every 55,000-60,000 people annually, Lisfranc injuries occur in the midfoot – where the long bones leading up to the toes (metatarsals) connect to the bones in the arch (tarsals).  “The Lisfranc complex is a critical joint in propulsion during walking and running.  Unfortunately, injuries there are easily overlooked.  As many as thirty percent of Lisfranc injuries are missed at initial diagnosis by providers who are not foot and ankle specialists.  The long-term effects can be debilitating,” observes Cleveland, Ohio foot and ankle surgeon Mark Hardy, DPM, FACFAS, and a conference presenter.

 

Diagnosis can be difficult because the signs, even during examination and imaging, can be extremely subtle. Injuries most often occur to car accident victims where the foot is jammed into the floorboard or to athletes when the foot is planted and twisted.  Direct trauma injuries can result when a heavy object is dropped on the foot.  “Most people don’t have an appreciation of the amount of force required to disrupt the Lisfranc complex.  Whether you’re an athlete or a laborer, early and appropriate treatment is mandated,” says Hardy.

 

Lisfranc injuries can also result simply from missing the last step on the stairs; even a minor slip and fall can cause serious injury. Symptoms of a Lisfranc injury may include swelling of the foot, pain throughout the midfoot upon standing or during examination, inability to bear weight, bruising on the bottom of the foot in the arch area, and an abnormal widening of the foot, possibly signaling dislocation.

 

Lisfranc injuries fall into three categories; sprains, fractures and dislocations. Sprains typically do not require more than rest and recuperation time, as they are comparable to ankle sprains.  In a fracture, a break in a bone in the Lisfranc joint occurs. In a dislocation, the bones are forced from their normal positions. In severe cases, both fractures and dislocations occur. In fractures and dislocations, surgery is often the best option. Patients hope for a non-surgical response, but foot and ankle surgeons are well aware of the dangers associated with putting off necessary surgery.

 

“A number of factors impact the surgeon’s decision on treatment options; the patient’s age, overall health and activity level,” says Hardy. “Because of the possible long-term impact of this injury, our chief objective is ensuring a positive outlook for the future.”

 

Wires, pins and even surgical buttons can be used to stabilize the joint, both permanently and in some cases temporarily. Some promising studies have focused on the effectiveness of a minimally invasive technique that can help reduce the recuperation period.

 

“Lisfranc injuries can be successfully treated when properly diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.  If you have experienced any sort of foot trauma and symptoms appear, it’s time to see a foot and ankle surgeon,” urges Hardy. “Especially in the case of Lisfranc injuries, the earlier someone visits a foot and ankle surgeon, the greater the likelihood of a positive outcome.”

 

For more information on foot and ankle injuries and conditions, visit the ACFAS patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org.

###

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society of over 6,800 foot and ankle surgeons.  Founded in 1942, the College’s mission is to promote research and provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its consumer website, FootHealthFacts.org.

New International Federation on Ageing Report Declares Vision Loss No Longer an Inevitable Part of Ageing

February 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Calls for Investments in Preventive Eye Health to Reduce Social and Economic
Burdens of Vision Loss

The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) today released a new report describing the health, social and economic burdens of vision loss on a global society that is rapidly ageing. The report calls for increased public education and awareness programs, improved public policies and greater integration of preventive eye health interventions into public health systems.

The report, titled “The High Cost of Low Vision: The Evidence on Ageing and the Loss of Sight ,” highlights that vision loss is no longer an inevitable part of the ageing process, as people can now age with strong, healthy vision, given 21st-century innovations in diagnosis, biomedicine, nutrition, technology and preventive care.

“The economic implications are equally huge as we now have it in our grasp to delink vision loss from ageing, which will have great impact on active, productive and more enjoyable ageing. This shift in the traditional perception of ageing is truly transformative,” said Jane Barratt, BSc, MSc, PhD, Secretary General of the IFA. “As 80 percent of vision loss is preventable, it is our ethical responsibility and a public health imperative that we take action now.”

“As the 21st century’s seminal challenge of population ageing leads to increasing prevalence of deteriorating vision, it brings about huge social, personal and economic consequences,” said Kathy Spahn, President and CEO of Helen Keller International. “This report is both timely and critical as a tool for raising awareness of and driving solutions for preventable vision loss, which can have a positive and profound impact on economic growth and the human condition.”

The over-60 population is expected to reach 2 billion by mid-century. As this cohort rapidly grows to become the largest population segment of many societies globally, rates of preventable vision loss are also soaring. Today, 285 million people around the world are visually impaired, including 39 million who are totally blind, and that number will explode without preventive measures. The direct costs of vision impairment worldwide are estimated to reach $2.8 trillion by 2020, and the indirect costs will add another $760 billion.

“IFA’s report highlights the critical need for action and investment in preventive eye health,” said Francisco Rodriguez, MD, Retina and Vitreous Specialist and Scientific Director, Fundación Oftalmológica Nacional in Colombia. “Across the globe, new policies to improve the diagnosis, management and care associated with preventable eye diseases – especially among ageing populations – will go a long way in alleviating the burdens triggered by age-related vision loss.”

“As millions around the world are living longer – bringing about increasing prevalence in visual impairments – global institutions, governments, the scientific and medical communities, payers, patient groups, NGOs and businesses must partner to find innovative solutions to treat and prevent vision loss – one of the greatest challenges of global population ageing,” said Dr. Kemal Malik, Head Global Development at Bayer Healthcare.

The report emphasizes that measures to prevent vision loss are cost-effective and calls for urgent attention in key areas: Download the Executive Summary
Download the Report
Media Contact:
Melissa Mitchell
+1.212.332.3942(T) +1.646.404.1149(M)
mmitchell@globalcoalitiononaging.com
About the International Federation on Ageing
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA)is an international non-governmental organization with a membership base of NGOs, the corporate sector, academia, government, and individuals. IFA aims to generate positive change for older people throughout the world by stimulating, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information on rights, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life of people as they age.
“The High Cost of Low Vision: The Evidence on Ageing and the Loss of Sight” was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant by Bayer Healthcare to the International Federation on Ageing.

Renown Provides Advanced Training for Healthcare Professionals

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Renown Provides Advanced Training for Healthcare Professionals

RENO, Nev. (Oct. 30, 2012) – Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health is teaming up with the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians (NAFP) to provide advanced training for healthcare professionals across northern Nevada this weekend in a three-day educational conference.

The 23rd Annual Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine Conference will be held at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, Calif., Friday through Sunday, Nov. 2 – 4. This continuing medical education program is designed for internal medicine and family physicians, hospitalists, cardiovascular specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurses and all other physicians and healthcare personnel.

Topics include the most recent advances and current established guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke and diseases or problems associated with heart disease.

The conference is sponsored by Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. For more information and to register for the conference, visit renown.org/UpcomingEvents. Registration will also be available at the conference. To download a copy of the event program, click here.

About the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians:
The NAFP promotes the profession of family practice by preserving the scope of practice, promoting primary care research and encouraging family physicians to assume leadership roles. The NAFP works as an advocate for family physicians and their patients to various government and non-governmental organizations affecting healthcare access and delivery.

About Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health
Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health has more than 30 years of recognition as the region’s leader of heart and vascular care. More heart procedures are performed at Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health than anywhere else in northern Nevada. Renown’s heart physicians have access to sophisticated diagnostic and surgical equipment such as the D-SPECT camera that detects heart attacks faster, the da Vinci® S HD™ Robotic Surgical System, 64-slice CT scanner, nuclear medicine, MRI and cardiac catheterization so patients can be diagnosed and treated quickly. For more information, visit renown.org/heart.

There’s No Place Like Home

September 1, 2012 by · Comments Off on There’s No Place Like Home
Filed under: Health and Home Care, Press-Media Releases 

There’s No Place Like Home
By Michael Clark

If you are on Medicare and have had a recent hospital stay, experts say there is about a 1-in-5 chance you will find yourself back in the hospital again within a month. Hospital readmissions are not only expensive they are hard on both patients and families. According to analysts, three-fourths of these readmissions are potentially avoidable.
Now, the Nevada Partnership for Value-driven Healthcare (NPV) has an initiative with an ultimate goal of reducing these hospital readmissions by at least 10%. The No Place Like Home Campaign is being implemented in Nevada by HealthInsight, the state’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.

Typically, problems begin when patients receive inadequate preparation for discharge from the hospital. The handover from the hospital to outpatient providers is poorly handled, and patients and their family caregivers are left to cope on their own with medical issues that they don’t understand. In fact, only about half of discharged patients follow up with their primary-care physicians after they leave the hospital, and those who don’t are much more likely to be readmitted than those who do see a doctor.
“Have we properly prepared the patient for a return home?” asks Deborah Huber, executive director of the non-profit organization HealthInsight, a prominent member of the NPV. “Poor communication is at the heart of the problem.”
Huber points out that too often people released from hospital care do not know when to go to their primary-care doctor, or which medications to take, or the costs involved. Making matters worse, there are no clear lines of authority. As a result, the system sets these individuals up to fail and creates a dangerous situation for patients, according to Brian Jack, an expert on hospital engineering.

In one study, for example, 78 percent of patients discharged from the ER did not understand their diagnosis, their ER treatment, home care instructions, or warnings signs of when to return to the hospital. Health care providers are partly responsible for this lack of comprehension.

IHI, a Boston-based nonprofit organization, advises hospitals and other institutions to use a patient-centered approach that looks at post-discharge care through a patient’s eyes. By doing “deep dives” into several patient histories, IHI says, and finding out why the patients were readmitted, it’s possible to understand where the entire process falls short and begin to fix it.

Another area that needs improvement has to do with what is called the transitions of care…do the health care providers receiving the patient know what the ones sending the patient home knows? “The patient gets stuck in the middle. They don’t know what to do,” Huber noted. And what about Advanced Planning…end of life care? Have patients and their families made these ultimate decisions? If not, these issues must be addressed. What if patients don’t want to go back to the hospital? Are they aware of what palliative care or hospice can do? “Medicare provides a good hospice benefit. The whole family can benefit from that.”

Here the goal is to make someone as comfortable as possible and give family members the support they need to help them through this difficult time. “These are the type of things I see every day with my home health patients, I see where patients would not have to return to acute if the goals set here could be obtained,” said Lucia Cleveland a home health occupational therapist.

HealthInsight’s goal is to reduce 30-day readmissions by 20% by October 2013. Finally, Huber observes “this is a community problem, not merely a hospital problem.” This community effort will produce sustainable and replicable strategies to achieve high-value health care for individuals in our communities and save potentially millions of dollars in healthcare costs.

“One way we support this statewide community effort is through a web-based campaign where providers, payers, and patients can pledge their support and become an active participant,” noted Jackie Buttaccio, HealthInsight’s Quality Improvement Manager. “The website is a one stop shop for all things readmissions with resources and tools that can be downloaded, and local success stories can be shared. “ The address is http://noplacelikehomenv.com

HealthInsight also supports this work through face to face workshops for providers to learn more about what they can change about their systems of care to keep patients safe from an avoidable hospital readmission.

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!