Two-year-old Sawyer Balonek of Las Vegas has been diagnosed with Bruton Agammaglobulinemia, an inherited immunodeficiency disease. He has to have an infusion of immunoglobulin every four weeks from plasma extracted from blood given by volunteer donors.
The blood products needed by Sawyer are provided by the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is the predominant blood supplier in Las Vegas and has held several blood drives in Sawyer’s honor to help make sure he gets the blood products he needs. Sawyer’s parents agree that Sawyer is alive today because of the excellent medical care he has received and the blood products provided by the Red Cross.
In 2010 a group of local hospitals invited the Red Cross to bid for the contract to supply blood in southern Nevada. The Red Cross won the contract, supplanting United Blood Services (UBS) as the provider of blood products for nine of the 14 hospitals in Las Vegas. In order to meet the demand, the Red Cross strives to collect almost 900 units per week.
According to Julia Wulf, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Blood Service Region, “It is very challenging for us to collect enough blood in Las Vegas to meet the needs of the southern Nevada hospitals we serve. We need more donors and we need businesses, churches and other organizations to sponsor blood drives here.”
To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.
For more information about scheduling a blood drive call (702) 522-3998.
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About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
A newly published AARP report illustrates a profound demographic shift that will have consequences for decades to come, particularly in the senior living and long-term care industry. Baby boomers are entering their retirement years, while the ratio of potential family caregivers to those who require long-term services and support is beginning to drop. Fewer available caregivers will mean the senior living industry must rapidly adapt to a surging market. The AARP’s full report is available here: http://bit.ly/156phYi
Family caregiving is a low-cost but often burdensome approach to elder care. Becoming a primary caregiver often involves leaving behind a career, among other sacrifices. Plus, these well-intentioned caregivers may not have the expertise necessary to provide the level of care needed by an aged parent. Adults in these roles often feel enormous pressure and stress, sometimes even resentment. At any rate, the nation’s changing demographics will make today’s family caregiving situation far different in the near future.
Between 1990 and 2010, there were about 7 potential caregivers for every one person aged 80-plus. That ratio is at the start of a freefall that will force society to change the way it cares for its elderly members. By 2030, the ratio of caregivers to elderly will be 4 to 1. All remaining baby boomers will have reached their years of highest risk (80+) by 2050, when the caregiver ratio will have plummeted still further to 3 to 1.
Kevin Williams, president of SeniorMarketing.com, suggests innovative thinking will be required to bridge this care gap: “Naturally, with fewer family caregivers available, the responsibility will largely shift to senior living communities, care agencies and already overextended government programs. But it will take more than simply building more communities or training more staff—assuming an adequate number of candidates are even available. Technological innovation may be the silver bullet to raise the standard of living for aging boomers, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.”
The nation of Japan, which has the greatest life expectancy and one of the oldest average populations in the world, has recently experienced a demographic transition of its own. Recently, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare put out a call for 2 million new professional caregivers, but only received 1.3 million eligible candidates. With low birth rates being the norm, that shortfall will only increase. A tech-savvy society to begin with, the Japanese have embraced robotics and automation as a solution to the elder care issue. Motorized, assistive devices can help older individuals perform tasks themselves, while automated pill dispensers can prevent dangerous medication mistakes. A recent blog post on The Economist explained Japan’s inventive approach to the elder care dilemma: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/05/automation-elderly
Williams concluded: “This demographic shift is a great challenge but also a great opportunity. Forward-thinking, entrepreneurs will be leading the way in this new environment. Technology to assist with daily tasks, provide medical care, monitor, and connect seniors to loved ones is advancing at a faster pace every year. It’s not unreasonable to predict that the future will witness even better care for our future seniors.”
Baltimore-based SeniorMarketing.com was created with twin goals in mind. First, the company helps connect caregivers and seniors with local, affordable care options. Second, the company increases income for senior living communities and health care agencies.
Kevin M. Williams, President
5024 Campbell Blvd., Suite D-3
Baltimore, MD 21236
Senior citizens purchase 35-40% of all prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Seniors between the ages of 65-84 take from 14-to-18 prescriptions annually. Up to 25% of these medications are considered unnecessary or inaccurate.
The Internet offers numerous articles and other information on how senior citizens can protect themselves from over-medication and other unnecessary treatments. Some of these articles are written by physicians who realize that medical drugs are not the answer to all health conditions. Additionally, a recent midwestern newspaper article indicates that less than half of our medical care is supported by adequate scientific evidence. These kind of articles also offer recommendations for protection from the harmful side effects of too much medication.
1. Good insurance pays. Although health insurance is a good thing to have nowadays, do keep in mind that your insurance and drug plans could be prevailed upon for medical business reasons. If you already have medicare and other health insurance, your health condition could inadvertently be targeted for more treatments than really necessary.
2. Common sense. Listen to your best instincts about the treatments you might or might not need. Do not passively accept medication without knowing its exact health goal and purpose first. Ask questions about your prescription and why you need it for your specific condition? Make sure this treatment makes sense to you.
Although senior citizens account for only 13% of the population, they purchase up to 40% of all medications. Therefore, document any side effects from your prescriptions, and report them to your doctor, e.g., headache, cough, drowsiness, dizziness, pain, itching, gas, upset stomach, or constipation. Your doctor can change these medications if they cause you discomfort.
3. Take someone with you to an appointment. Take a friend or family member with you when you see your doctor. This person will add to your advocacy by giving you emotional support, and by helping you thwart questionable prescriptions or treatments. Three heads are better than one. Also, remember that 77% of the seniors between the ages of 65-70 have at least one chronic illness. Thus, you could really need one or two prescriptions of some kind.
Yet, other prescriptions are questionable. For example, if you have a desirable cholesterol level lower than 200-mg/dL, and your doctor prescribes a statin drug to enhance your cholesterol level, you will need to question that recommendation to find out exactly why you need it for your apparent condition. Will it affect your other bodily systems in some way, good or bad? In another reported situation, a study at a northwestern state university found that some doctors were prescribing powerful anti-psychotic drugs to patients for mild depression, anxiety, and insomnia. These drugs are approved only for serious mental and emotional disorders. Otherwise, the effects from these drugs can be harmful.
Still other adverse medical effects can be somewhat innocent. In one case, a senior started taking two common OTC pills daily to help reduce hip pain. However, these pills thinned that person’s blood, which caused his or her small colon fissures to bleed. After the resulting bleeding showed up in the stool, this senior was much relieved to find out it was not caused by cancer.
4. Learn about your medical condition. If you have a computer available, search the Internet for reliable information about your condition, and how to treat it. If not, try a public or medical library to find out as much about it as you can. This kind of knowledge is defensive power in favor of your continued good health.
5. Keep and carry your own set of records. Carry your basic health history and information with you, in writing. List your chronic conditions, medications, allergies, blood type as well as your doctor’s name and phone number. Also keep a copy of these life-saving records in the open at your residence in case of an emergency, or in case you become unconscious and cannot provide this information verbally. Additionally, if possible, add copies of your laboratory test results to these records. Your life could depend on them.
6. Report suspected abuse or fraud. Medicare fraud costs tax payers multiple millions of dollars, and causes health insurance premiums to rise sharply. Study the suspect fraud carefully, and then report it. Such abuse can be reported to a senior-medicare patrol in your area or state if they exist. These offices or patrols are found at the government agencies on aging. For starters, see the links below for prevention and protection.
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For senior citizens, having medical coverage through the federal government’s Medicare program is literally a lifesaver. Many of these senior citizens would not be able to afford the basic medical care that they need without Medicare. This social insurance program allows them to stay healthy and enjoy a longer life than they might otherwise enjoy without the assistance of Medicare. But as great as the program is, it’s only designed to cover the basic insurance needs of our nation’s elderly. That’s why the option of being able to purchase a Medicare supplemental insurance plan is so key to the health and well-being of American senior citizens.
A Medicare supplemental insurance plan is designed to cover holes and gaps in basic Medicare coverage. Since most senior citizens are beginning to deal with aging-related issues by the time they turn sixty-five years of age and are eligible for Medicare, most of them need more than just the basic coverage offered by Medicare. This means that left with only Medicare coverage, most of these senior citizens will be left with inadequate coverage, which they may not realize until they suffer a health emergency and realize that they can’t afford the care that they need.
While Medicare is federally subsidized, Medicare supplemental insurance is administered by the state governments and is sold by private insurance companies. If you’re interested in purchasing a Medicare supplemental insurance plan, first make sure that you understand the Medicare regulations in your state. You don’t want to settle on a plan only to find that it’s not available in your state. And be sure to shop around. You won’t get the best price if you don’t take the time to get at least three price quotes from different companies to compare and see what deals are available to you.
If the task of researching Medicare supplemental insurance seems too daunting to tackle on your own, you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. That is why so many quality insurance brokers are able to stay in business. They make it their aim to understand not only the different Medicare supplements that are available through different insurance companies, but also to understand the needs of the senior citizens in their area so that they can recommend the best insurance products to their clients. With the help of a good agent and a basic understanding of the Medicare supplement, you’re sure to be able to get the coverage you need.
Medicare Supplements for you will find and compare the best options for your Medicare Supplemental Insurance needs. You can make an informed decision after perusing the information we provide you. Did you know you can cut costs and continue to see your preferred doctors?
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If you are a senior citizen and do not have health insurance, the thought of having to go to an emergency room in case of illness may be troubling you. You should have planned for your retirement but if you did not include the details of having Health Insurance after you retire, you are at the mercy of the ER and without coverage you may even have to forego treatment. For many people in the US, health care costs often result in bankruptcy even when they have insurance because not all illnesses are covered by the policy. When it can happen to the people who have insurance, it can be a nightmare for those who do not have it.
In recent months, the issue of health insurance for senior citizens has received extraordinary coverage and attention in the US because of President Obama’s plan to have universal health care available to all citizens. This measure from the Obama administration has drawn critics and supporters alike and the battle lines are drawn in an increasingly bitter battle. The issue at stake is whether there should be a public option that would enable the senior citizens access to health care provided for by the government. The public option does not guarantee free coverage but includes an option for the employers and the government to provide for an eventuality.
Senior citizens need healthcare and they need it more than the other age groups as they need access to quality medical assistance because of their advancing age that makes them vulnerable to disease and disability. It is for this reason that medical care in many countries is free for senior citizens and they have access to the best medical facilities. Likewise, the US should also have a health care system that provides for its senior citizens and ensures that they get proper treatment for their various ailments.
In the context of the baby boomers retiring in large numbers and without the proper tools for some of them to plan adequately for their retirement and health care, there should be a comprehensive plan for access to medical coverage by the insurance companies as well as the government. There are several insurance companies that have special plans for senior citizens as they allow for the coverage with all facilities provided for them. However, there are other companies that do not encourage coverage for senior citizens on the grounds that they are a high risk category and hence the premiums do not justify coverage. There are some commentators who call for an old age premium to be placed on the coverage plan so that senior citizens can get coverage at the rates provided by the insurers, albeit with a premium.
The point that is being made here is that senior citizens better plan for their retirement when they are in their forties and fifties so that they do not become a burden on their children and that they retain coverage beyond retirement and after they are well into their sixties.
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Elder and Special Needs Law Attorneys Association Kicks Off Celebration at Annual Conference in Atlanta
Washington, D.C. — The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is proud to celebrate “25 years of sharing and caring” through the Elder and Special Needs Law profession. Since 1988, NAELA’s mission has been to establish NAELA member attorneys as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. Through its meetings, publications, educational materials, and advocacy efforts, NAELA has established itself as a leader in Elder and Special Needs Law.
NAELA members go beyond traditional estate planning, helping their clients make complex decisions in areas such as how to plan for the rising cost of long-term care (especially for the Baby Boom generation that is living almost a decade longer than its parents) and transferring decision-making in the event of incapacity. In addition, NAELA members assist families with acquiring and maintaining public benefits to cover the lifelong costs of caring for those with disabilities. NAELA members are advocates for the rights of seniors and people with disabilities to have access to better medical care, the ability to stay in their own homes, and maintain self-respect and as much independence as possible.
“NAELA always has been at the forefront of Elder and Special Needs Law. Founded by a core group of 42 attorneys who were dedicated to meeting the legal needs of older Americans and persons with disabilities and special needs, NAELA now has a membership of 4,400 which continues to grow. NAELA members are the reason that the Academy has thrived, by contributing not only to NAELA but also to the communities they serve,” said NAELA President Gregory S. French, CELA, CAP.
NAELA is a founding member of the Elder Justice Coalition, a coalition of organizational members that support the fight against elder abuse, promote awareness of elder justice issues, highlight government’s responsibility to help create systems to ensure elder justice, and the passage of the Elder Justice Act (S.333).
NAELA also is a founding member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, a coalition of aging organizations that serve older Americans and are dedicated to providing a voice for seniors and their families in the ongoing national debate on aging policy.
Visit the 25th anniversary website to learn more about NAELA’s history, read reflections by NAELA Past Presidents, view member photos, and more.
NAELA will kick off the 25th anniversary celebration at its Annual Conference, being held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia, from May 2-4, 2013. The Annual Conference is an unparalleled venue for Elder and Special Needs Law practitioners to learn, network, and engage with leading experts in the field. Members of the media are encouraged to attend the Annual Conference. For more information, contact Abby Matienzo.
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.
Dr. Quinn Pauly Joins Premier Care at Renown Medical Group
To help meet the need of patients in northern Nevada seeking more convenience and greater access to their primary care physician, Renown Medical Group is pleased to announce the addition of Quinn Pauly, M.D. as a new Premier Care physician.
Dr. Pauly is board certified in family medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and completed his residency at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, Calif.
The Premier Care Program, first introduced to the region through Renown Health last October, offers patients greater access to their primary care physician beyond traditional scheduled office visits. The program is based on a national trend and is made possible through a reduced practice size.
“Patients are requesting enhanced access and expanded personalized care,” said Larry Trilops, vice president of Ambulatory Services at Renown Health. “This program allows us to meet customer demand.”
What’s the difference?
Renown Medical Group offers same or next day appointments with your doctor if he’s available or another doctor, within Renown’s Medical Group consisting of more than 80 providers and 15 locations, if he’s not.
In contrast, the Premier Care program offers more access through a reduced practice size. With monthly membership fees (not covered by insurance) ranging from $35 – $55, you may communicate directly with your primary care physician 24/7, including weekends.
“My focus has always been to take time to listen to my patients so I can attend to their healthcare needs thoroughly,” Dr. Pauly said. “I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families and strive to give my patients personalized, compassionate care”.
Key Premier Care Benefits include:
• A smaller, low volume practice.
• Convenient appointments with your dedicated Premier Care physician with little to no waiting guaranteed.
• Online communication directly with your physician, regarding scheduled appointments, sick visits or general medical advice, with a response within 24 hours, seven days per week.
• Extended office time for appointments.
For more information about Premier Care, please visit renown.org/premiercare or call 775-982-8265.
About Renown Medical Groups
Renown Medical Group has more than 80 providers at 15 locations including Reno, Sparks, Fernley and Silver Springs.
Earlier this year, Renown announced awards that recognized two Renown Medical Group sites for initiatives for excellence in patient quality. In 2010, Renown became the first NCQA recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) in Nevada, and in 2011, Renown became the fourth organization in the country to be recognized as a Level III PCMH under the new 2011 standards.
Renown Medical Group physicians provide preventive care and health education for all ages and treat most common illnesses and injuries including colds, flu, and aches and pains. They also coordinate their patients’ medical care including checkups, immunizations, referrals to specialists, lab and x-ray services and hospital admissions. Physicians see patients by scheduled appointment. Medical Group locations accept most insurance plans, including Hometown Health, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Great West, Coventry/First Health, Humana, Principal, Tricare and Medicare.
For added convenience, Renown Medical Group is the only primary care provider in the region that offers a secure, online venue for patients to manage their healthcare. With MyChart, patients can schedule and keep track of appointments, obtain certain test results and request prescription refills 24 hours a day. To sign up, ask a Medical Assistant for your access code at your next office visit. Same-day appointments are available by calling 982-5000, Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Fridays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, visit renown.org/medicalgroup.
YESTERDAY… Southwest Medical Associates (SMA) traces its beginnings back to 1972, when Anthony M. Marlon, MD first established a private medical practice in Las Vegas. His goal? To provide compassionate and innovative health care services. Because of his vision, his small practice quickly grew. Today, we’re one of Nevada’s largest multispecialty medical groups. And, although we’ve grown, we haven’t lost sight of our original commitment – to provide our patients with comprehensive, affordable medical care.
AND TODAY We’re dedicated to providing you with the best health care possible. Our advanced technological capabilities and state-of-the-art equipment, combined with our passion for people, makes us the right choice for you and your family. With decades of experience and over 13 specialties and programs, SMA is the trusted name in health care in the Las Vegas Valley.
SERVICE. KNOWLEDGE. COMMITMENT. We have a long history of community service and philanthropy. Whether it’s in collaboration with the Boy Scouts of America, the College of Southern Nevada Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, the March of Dimes and the United Way, or through our employees, we’re helping individuals, families and communities live healthier lives.
By giving our time, talents and financial resources, we hope to advance health, education and well-being.
Our Volunteer Program offers the opportunity to learn about the medical field or give back to the community while helping someone in need.
University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Nursing Grant will be used to fund two graduate fellowships in the Master of Nursing (MSN) program and two graduate fellowships in the Doctor of Nursing (Ph.D.) program.
Nevada Senior Guide: Level of Care Directory – LAS VEGAS
Retirement Community: Complete independent living with amenities such as transportation, daily scheduled activities, housekeeping, and full meals.
Assisted Living: Assistance is provided for daily activities such as dressing, bathing, grooming and medication management.
Memory Care: Specialized facility for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or any other form of dementia in a secure environment.
Category 1: Resident must be able to leave their bedroom area in 4 minutes or less with no assistance in case of fire or emergency.
Category 2: Resident must be able to leave their bedroom area in 4 minutes or less with assistance in case of fire or emergency.
Rehab: Skilled nursing services providing rehabilitation as prescribed by a doctor.
Respite: 24 hour care for anyone in need of assistance, including memory care for a short period of time. Usually 7 – 30 days.
Skilled Nursing Facility: Provides skilled nursing services under the supervision of licensed nurses.
Intermediate Care: Offers a level of care between an Assisted Living facility and a Skilled Nursing facility under the supervision of licensed nurses.
Long Term Acute Care: Offers a higher level of medical care and rehabilitation than is offered at a skilled nursing facility for long or short term stays.