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April 18, 2016 by Leigh St John · Comments Off on The Development of Old Age and Related Issues Filed under: General
In traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures the aged were highly respected and cared for. The Igabo tribesmen of Eastern Nigeria value dependency in their aged and involve them in care of children and the administration of tribal affairs (Shelton, A. in Kalish R. Uni Michigan 1969).
In Eskimo culture the grandmother was pushed out into the ice-flow to die as soon as she became useless.
Western societies today usually resemble to some degree the Eskimo culture, only the “ice-flows” have names such a “Sunset Vista” and the like. Younger generations no longer assign status to the aged and their abandonment is always in danger of becoming the social norm.
There has been a tendency to remove the aged from their homes and put them in custodial care. To some degree the government provides domiciliary care services to prevent or delay this, but the motivation probably has more to do with expense than humanity.
In Canada and some parts of the USA old people are being utilised as foster-grandparents in child care agencies.
SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS
What is Aging?
Aging: Aging is a natural phenomenon that refers to changes occurring throughout the life span and result in differences in structure and function between the youthful and elder generation.
Gerontology: Gerontology is the study of aging and includes science, psychology and sociology.
Geriatrics: A relatively new field of medicine specialising in the health problems of advanced age.
Social aging: Refers to the social habits and roles of individuals with respect to their culture and society. As social aging increases individual usually experience a decrease in meaningful social interactions.
Biological aging: Refers to the physical changes in the body systems during the later decades of life. It may begin long before the individual reaches chronological age 65.
Cognitive aging: Refers to decreasing ability to assimilate new information and learn new behaviours and skills.
GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING
Eric Erikson (Youth and the life cycle. Children. 7:43-49 Mch/April 1960) developed an “ages and stages” theory of human development that involved 8 stages after birth each of which involved a basic dichotomy representing best case and worst case outcomes. Below are the dichotomies and their developmental relevance:
Prenatal stage – conception to birth.
Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
Mature age- Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Wisdom.
This stage of older adulthood, i.e. stage 8, begins about the time of retirement and continues throughout one’s life. Achieving ego integrity is a sign of maturity while failing to reach this stage is an indication of poor development in prior stages through the life course.
Ego integrity: This means coming to accept one’s whole life and reflecting on it in a positive manner. According to Erikson, achieving integrity means fully accepting one’ self and coming to terms with death. Accepting responsibility for one’s life and being able to review the past with satisfaction is essential. The inability to do this leads to despair and the individual will begin to fear death. If a favourable balance is achieved during this stage, then wisdom is developed.
Psychological and personality aspects:
Aging has psychological implications. Next to dying our recognition that we are aging may be one of the most profound shocks we ever receive. Once we pass the invisible line of 65 our years are bench marked for the remainder of the game of life. We are no longer “mature age” we are instead classified as “old”, or “senior citizens”. How we cope with the changes we face and stresses of altered status depends on our basic personality. Here are 3 basic personality types that have been identified. It may be a oversimplification but it makes the point about personality effectively:
a. The autonomous – people who seem to have the resources for self-renewal. They may be dedicated to a goal or idea and committed to continuing productivity. This appears to protect them somewhat even against physiological aging.
b.The adjusted – people who are rigid and lacking in adaptability but are supported by their power, prestige or well structured routine. But if their situation changes drastically they become psychiatric casualties.
c.The anomic. These are people who do not have clear inner values or a protective life vision. Such people have been described as prematurely resigned and they may deteriorate rapidly.
Summary of stresses of old age.
a. Retirement and reduced income. Most people rely on work for self worth, identity and social interaction. Forced retirement can be demoralising.
b. Fear of invalidism and death. The increased probability of falling prey to illness from which there is no recovery is a continual source of anxiety. When one has a heart attack or stroke the stress becomes much worse.
Some persons face death with equanimity, often psychologically supported by a religion or philosophy. Others may welcome death as an end to suffering or insoluble problems and with little concern for life or human existence. Still others face impending death with suffering of great stress against which they have no ego defenses.
c. Isolation and loneliness. Older people face inevitable loss of loved ones, friends and contemporaries. The loss of a spouse whom one has depended on for companionship and moral support is particularly distressing. Children grow up, marry and become preoccupied or move away. Failing memory, visual and aural impairment may all work to make social interaction difficult. And if this then leads to a souring of outlook and rigidity of attitude then social interaction becomes further lessened and the individual may not even utilise the avenues for social activity that are still available.
d. Reduction in sexual function and physical attractiveness. Kinsey et al, in their Sexual behaviour in the human male, (Phil., Saunders, 1948) found that there is a gradual decrease in sexual activity with advancing age and that reasonably gratifying patterns of sexual activity can continue into extreme old age. The aging person also has to adapt to loss of sexual attractiveness in a society which puts extreme emphasis on sexual attractiveness. The adjustment in self image and self concept that are required can be very hard to make.
e. Forces tending to self devaluation. Often the experience of the older generation has little perceived relevance to the problems of the young and the older person becomes deprived of participation in decision making both in occupational and family settings. Many parents are seen as unwanted burdens and their children may secretly wish they would die so they can be free of the burden and experience some financial relief or benefit. Senior citizens may be pushed into the role of being an old person with all this implies in terms of self devaluation.
4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:
Physiological Changes: Catabolism (the breakdown of protoplasm) overtakes anabolism (the build-up of protoplasm). All body systems are affected and repair systems become slowed. The aging process occurs at different rates in different individuals.
Physical appearance and other changes:
Loss of subcutaneous fat and less elastic skin gives rise to wrinkled appearance, sagging and loss of smoothness of body contours. Joints stiffen and become painful and range of joint movement becomes restricted, general mobility lessened.
Increase of fibrous tissue in chest walls and lungs leads restricts respiratory movement and less oxygen is consumed. Older people more likelyto have lower respiratory infections whereas young people have upper respiratory infections.
Tooth decay and loss of teeth can detract from ease and enjoyment in eating. Atrophy of the taste buds means food is inclined to be tasteless and this should be taken into account by carers. Digestive changes occur from lack of exercise (stimulating intestines) and decrease in digestive juice production. Constipation and indigestion are likely to follow as a result. Financial problems can lead to the elderly eating an excess of cheap carbohydrates rather than the more expensive protein and vegetable foods and this exacerbates the problem, leading to reduced vitamin intake and such problems as anemia and increased susceptibility to infection.
Adaptation to stress:
All of us face stress at all ages. Adaptation to stress requires the consumption of energy. The 3 main phases of stress are:
and if stress continues tissue damage or aging occurs. Older persons have had a lifetime of dealing with stresses. Energy reserves are depleted and the older person succumbs to stress earlier than the younger person. Stress is cumulative over a lifetime. Research results, including experiments with animals suggests that each stress leaves us more vulnerable to the next and that although we might think we’ve “bounced back” 100% in fact each stress leaves it scar. Further, stress is psycho-biological meaning the kind of stress is irrelevant. A physical stress may leave one more vulnerable to psychological stress and vice versa. Rest does not completely restore one after a stressor. Care workers need to be mindful of this and cognizant of the kinds of things that can produce stress for aged persons.
COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:
Sigmund Freud noted that after the age of 50, treatment of neuroses via psychoanalysis was difficult because the opinions and reactions of older people were relatively fixed and hard to shift.
Over-learned behaviour: This is behaviour that has been learned so well and repeated so often that it has become automatic, like for example typing or running down stairs. Over-learned behaviour is hard to change. If one has lived a long time one is likely to have fixed opinions and ritualised behaviour patterns or habits.
Compulsive behaviour: Habits and attitudes that have been learned in the course of finding ways to overcome frustration and difficulty are very hard to break. Tension reducing habits such as nail biting, incessant humming, smoking or drinking alcohol are especially hard to change at any age and particularly hard for persons who have been practising them over a life time.
The psychology of over-learned and compulsive behaviours has severe implications for older persons who find they have to live in what for them is a new and alien environment with new rules and power relations.
Older people have a continual background of neural noise making it more difficult for them to sort out and interpret complex sensory input. In talking to an older person one should turn off the TV, eliminate as many noises and distractions as possible, talk slowly and relate to one message or idea at a time.
Memories from the distant past are stronger than more recent memories. New memories are the first to fade and last to return.
Time patterns also can get mixed – old and new may get mixed.
Intelligence reaches a peak and can stay high with little deterioration if there is no neurological damage. People who have unusually high intelligence to begin with seem to suffer the least decline. Education and stimulation also seem to play a role in maintaining intelligence.
Intellectual impairment. Two diseases of old age causing cognitive decline are Alzheimer’s syndrome and Pick’s syndrome. In Pick’s syndrome there is inability to concentrate and learn and also affective responses are impaired.
Degenerative Diseases: Slow progressive physical degeneration of cells in the nervous system. Genetics appear to be an important factor. Usually start after age 40 (but can occur as early as 20s).
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Degeneration of all areas of cortex but particularly frontal and temporal lobes. The affected cells actually die. Early symptoms resemble neurotic disorders: Anxiety, depression, restlessness sleep difficulties.
Progressive deterioration of all intellectual faculties (memory deficiency being the most well known and obvious). Total mass of the brain decreases, ventricles become larger. No established treatment.
PICK’S DISEASE Rare degenerative disease. Similar to Alzheimer’s in terms of onset, symptomatology and possible genetic aetiology. However it affects circumscribed areas of the brain, particularly the frontal areas which leads to a loss of normal affect.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE Neuropathology: Loss of neurons in the basal ganglia.
Symptoms: Movement abnormalities: rhythmical alternating tremor of extremities, eyelids and tongue along with rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement (akinesia).
It was once thought that Parkinson’s disease was not associated with intellectual deterioration, but it is now known that there is an association between global intellectual impairment and Parkinson’s where it occurs late in life.
The cells lost in Parkinson’s are associated with the neuro-chemical Dopamine and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are associated the dopamine deficiency. Treatment involves administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa which can alleviate symptoms including intellectual impairment. Research suggests it may possibly bring to the fore emotional effects in patients who have had psychiatric illness at some prior stage in their lives.
AFFECTIVE DOMAIN In old age our self concept gets its final revision. We make a final assessment of the value of our lives and our balance of success and failures.
How well a person adapts to old age may be predicated by how well the person adapted to earlier significant changes. If the person suffered an emotional crisis each time a significant change was needed then adaptation to the exigencies of old age may also be difficult. Factors such as economic security, geographic location and physical health are important to the adaptive process.
Need Fulfilment: For all of us, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we are not free to pursue the higher needs of self actualisation unless the basic needs are secured. When one considers that many, perhaps most, old people are living in poverty and continually concerned with basic survival needs, they are not likely to be happily satisfying needs related to prestige, achievement and beauty.
Self actualisation: Expressing one’s interests and talents to the full.
Note: Old people who have secured their basic needs may be motivated to work on tasks of the highest levels in the hierarchy – activities concerned with aesthetics, creativity and altruistic matters, as compensation for loss of sexual attractiveness and athleticism. Aged care workers fixated on getting old people to focus on social activities may only succeed in frustrating and irritating them if their basic survival concerns are not secured to their satisfaction.
Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:
Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
Awareness of scarcity of remaining time. This produces further curtailment of activity in interest of saving time.
Havighurst, R. et al (in B. Neugarten (ed.) Middle age and aging, U. of Chicago, 1968) and others have suggested that disengagement is not an inevitable process. They believe the needs of the old are essentially the same as in middle age and the activities of middle age should be extended as long as possible. Havighurst points out the decrease in social interaction of the aged is often largely the result of society withdrawing from the individual as much as the reverse. To combat this he believes the individual must vigorously resist the limitations of his social world.
DEATH The fear of the dead amongst tribal societies is well established. Persons who had ministered to the dead were taboo and required observe various rituals including seclusion for varying periods of time. In some societies from South America to Australia it is taboo for certain persons to utter the name of the dead. Widows and widowers are expected to observe rituals in respect for the dead.
Widows in the Highlands of New Guinea around Goroka chop of one of their own fingers. The dead continue their existence as spirits and upsetting them can bring dire consequences.
Wahl, C in “The fear of death”, 1959 noted that the fear of death occurs as early as the 3rd year of life. When a child loses a pet or grandparent fears reside in the unspoken questions: Did I cause it? Will happen to you (parent) soon? Will this happen to me? The child in such situations needs to re-assure that the departure is not a censure, and that the parent is not likely to depart soon. Love, grief, guilt, anger are a mix of conflicting emotions that are experienced.
CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH
Our culture places high value on youth, beauty, high status occupations, social class and anticipated future activities and achievement. Aging and dying are denied and avoided in this system. The death of each person reminds us of our own mortality.
The death of the elderly is less disturbing to members of Western society because the aged are not especially valued. Surveys have established that nurses for example attach more importance to saving a young life than an old life. In Western society there is a pattern of avoiding dealing with the aged and dying aged patient.
Stages of dying. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has specialised in working with dying patients and in her “On death and dying”, NY, Macmillan, 1969, summarised 5 stages in dying.
Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
Acceptance of the inevitable.
Kubler Ross’s typology as set out above should, I believe be taken with a grain of salt and not slavishly accepted. Celebrated US Journalist David Rieff who was in June ’08 a guest of the Sydney writer’s festival in relation to his book, “Swimming in a sea of death: a son’s memoir” (Melbourne University Press) expressly denied the validity of the Kubler Ross typology in his Late Night Live interview (Australian ABC radio) with Philip Adams June 9th ’08. He said something to the effect that his mother had regarded her impending death as murder. My own experience with dying persons suggests that the human ego is extraordinarily resilient. I recall visiting a dying colleague in hospital just days before his death. He said, “I’m dying, I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it”, and then went on to chortle about how senior academics at an Adelaide university had told him they were submitting his name for a the Order of Australia (the new “Knighthood” replacement in Australia). Falling in and out of lucid thought with an oxygen tube in his nostrils he was nevertheless still highly interested in the “vain glories of the world”. This observation to me seemed consistent with Rieff’s negative assessment of Kubler Ross’s theories.
THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE
The aged share with the young the same needs: However, the aged often have fewer or weaker resources to meet those needs. Their need for social interaction may be ignored by family and care workers.
Family should make time to visit their aged members and invite them to their homes. The aged like to visit children and relate to them through games and stories.
Meaningful relationships can be developed via foster-grandparent programs. Some aged are not aware of their income and health entitlements. Family and friends should take the time to explain these. Some aged are too proud to access their entitlements and this problem should be addressed in a kindly way where it occurs.
It is best that the aged be allowed as much choice as possible in matters related to living arrangements, social life and lifestyle.
Communities serving the aged need to provide for the aged via such things as lower curbing, and ramps.
Carers need to examine their own attitude to aging and dying. Denial in the carer is detected by the aged person and it can inhibit the aged person from expressing negative feelings – fear, anger. If the person can express these feelings to someone then that person is less likely to die with a sense of isolation and bitterness.
A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE
The following notes are my interpretation of a Dr. Depak Chopra lecture entitled, “The New Physics of Healing” which he presented to the 13th Scientific Conference of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Depak Chopra is an endocrinologist and a former Chief of Staff of New England Hospital, Massachusetts. I am deliberately omitting the detail of his explanations of the more abstract, ephemeral and controversial ideas.
Original material from 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,
Phone. +303 449 6229.
In the lecture Dr. Chopra presents a model of the universe and of all organisms as structures of interacting centres of electromagnetic energy linked to each other in such a way that anything affecting one part of a system or structure has ramifications throughout the entire structure. This model becomes an analogue not only for what happens within the structure or organism itself, but between the organism and both its physical and social environments. In other words there is a correlation between psychological conditions, health and the aging process. Dr. Chopra in his lecture reconciles ancient Vedic (Hindu) philosophy with modern psychology and quantum physics.
Premature Precognitive Commitment: Dr. Chopra invokes experiments that have shown that flies kept for a long time in a jar do not quickly leave the jar when the top is taken off. Instead they accept the jar as the limit of their universe. He also points out that in India baby elephants are often kept tethered to a small twig or sapling. In adulthood when the elephant is capable of pulling over a medium sized tree it can still be successfully tethered to a twig! As another example he points to experiments in which fish are bred on
2 sides of a fish tank containing a divider between the 2 sides. When the divider is removed the fish are slow to learn that they can now swim throughout the whole tank but rather stay in the section that they accept as their universe. Other experiments have demonstrated that kittens brought up in an environment of vertical stripes and structures, when released in adulthood keep bumping into anything aligned horizontally as if they were unable to see anything that is horizontal. Conversely kittens brought up in an environment of horizontal stripes when released bump into vertical structures, apparently unable to see them.
The whole point of the above experiments is that they demonstrate Premature Precognitive Commitment. The lesson to be learned is that our sensory apparatus develops as a result of initial experience and how we’ve been taught to interpret it.
What is the real look of the world? It doesn’t exist. The way the world looks to us is determined by the sensory receptors we have and our interpretation of that look is determined by our premature precognitive commitments. Dr Chopra makes the point that less than a billionth of the available stimuli make it into our nervous systems. Most of it is screened, and what gets through to us is whatever we are expecting to find on the basis of our precognitive commitments.
Dr. Chopra also discusses the diseases that are actually caused by mainstream medical interventions, but this material gets too far away from my central intention. Dr. Chopra discusses in lay terms the physics of matter, energy and time by way of establishing the wider context of our existence. He makes the point that our bodies including the bodies of plants are mirrors of cosmic rhythms and exhibit changes correlating even with the tides.
Dr. Chopra cites the experiments of Dr. Herbert Spencer of the US National Institute of Health. He injected mice with Poly-IC, an immuno-stimulant while making the mice repeatedly smell camphor. After the effect of the Poly-IC had worn off he again exposed the mice to the camphor smell. The smell of camphor had the effect of causing the mice’s immune system to automatically strengthen as if they had been injected with the stimulant. He then took another batch of mice and injected them with cyclophosphamide which tends to destroy the immune system while exposing them to the smell of camphor. Later after being returned to normal just the smell of camphor was enough to cause destruction of their immune system. Dr. Chopra points out that whether or not camphor enhanced or destroyed the mice’s immune system was entirely determined by an interpretation of the meaning of the smell of camphor. The interpretation is not just in the brain but in each cell of the organism. We are bound to our imagination and our early experiences.
Chopra cites a study by the Massachusetts Dept of Health Education and Welfare into risk factors for heart disease – family history, cholesterol etc. The 2 most important risk factors were found to be psychological measures – Self Happiness Rating and Job Satisfaction. They found most people died of heart disease on a Monday!
Chopra says that for every feeling there is a molecule. If you are experiencing tranquillity your body will be producing natural valium. Chemical changes in the brain are reflected by changes in other cells including blood cells. The brain produces neuropeptides and brain structures are chemically tuned to these neuropeptide receptors. Neuropeptides (neurotransmitters) are the chemical concommitants of thought. Chopra points out the white blood cells (a part of the immune system) have neuropeptide receptors and are “eavesdropping” on our thinking. Conversely the immune system produces its own neuropeptides which can influence the nervous system. He goes on to say that cells in all parts of the body including heart and kidneys for example also produce neuropeptides and neuropeptide sensitivity. Chopra assures us that most neurologists would agree that the nervous system and the immune system are parallel systems.
Other studies in physiology: The blood interlukin-2 levels of medical students decreased as exam time neared and their interlukin receptor capacities also lowered. Chopra says if we are having fun to the point of exhilaration our natural interlukin-2 levels become higher. Interlukin-2 is a powerful and very expensive anti-cancer drug. The body is a printout of consciousness. If we could change the way we look at our bodies at a genuine, profound level then our bodies would actually change.
On the subject of “time” Chopra cites Sir Thomas Gall and Steven Hawkins, stating that our description of the universe as having a past, present, and future are constructed entirely out of our interpretation of change. But in reality linear time doesn’t exist.
Chopra explains the work of Alexander Leaf a former Harvard Professor of Preventative Medicine who toured the world investigating societies where people lived beyond 100 years (these included parts of Afghanistan, Soviet Georgia, Southern Andes). He looked at possible factors including climate, genetics, and diet. Leaf concluded the most important factor was the collective perception of aging in these societies.
Amongst the Tama Humara of the Southern Andes there was a collective belief that the older you got the more physically able you got. They had a tradition of running and the older one became then generally the better at running one got. The best runner was aged 60. Lung capacity and other measures actually improved with age. People were healthy until well into their 100s and died in their sleep. Chopra remarks that things have changed since the introduction of Budweiser (beer) and TV.
[DISCUSSION: How might TV be a factor in changing the former ideal state of things?]
Chopra refers to Dr. Ellen Langor a former Harvard Psychology professor’s work. Langor advertised for 100 volunteers aged over 70 years. She took them to a Monastery outside Boston to play “Let’s Pretend”. They were divided into 2 groups each of which resided in a different part of the building. One group, the control group spent several days talking about the 1950s. The other group, the experimental group had to live as if in the year 1959 and talk about it in the present tense. What appeared on their TV screens were the old newscasts and movies. They read old newspapers and magazines of the period. After 3 days everyone was photographed and the photographs judged by independent judges who knew nothing of the nature of the experiment. The experimental group seemed to have gotten younger in appearance. Langor then arranged for them to be tested for 100 physiological parameters of aging which included of course blood pressure, near point vision and DHEA levels. After 10 days of living as if in 1959 all parameters had reversed by the equivalent of at least 20 years.
Chopra concludes from Langor’s experiment: “We are the metabolic end product of our sensory experiences. How we interpret them depends on the collective mindset which influences individual biological entropy and aging.”
Can one escape the current collective mindset and reap the benefits in longevity and health? Langor says, society won’t let you escape. There are too many reminders of how most people think linear time is and how it expresses itself in entropy and aging – men are naughty at 40 and on social welfare at 55, women reach menopause at 40 etc. We get to see so many other people aging and dying that it sets the pattern that we follow.
Chopra concludes we are the metabolic product of our sensory experience and our interpretation gets structured in our biology itself. Real change comes from change in the collective consciousness – otherwise it cannot occur within the individual.
Chopra, D. The New Physics of Healing. 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,
Phone. +303 449 6229.
Coleman, J. C. Abnormal psychology and modern life. Scott Foresman & Co.
Lugo, J. and Hershey, L. Human development a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology of individual growth, NY, Macmillan.
Dennis. Psychology of human behaviour for nurses. Lond. W. B.Saunders.
Dr. Victor Barnes is an Adelaide psychologist and hypnotherapist. He has also had three decades of experience in adult education including serving as Dean of a Sri Lankan college (ICBT) teaching several Australian degrees. His overseas experience includes studies and consulting experience in USA, PNG, Poland and Sri Lanka.
Dr. John Lunetta, D.O. arrived in Las Vegas more than a year ago to help with the American Red Cross Blood Services regional expansion. For decades, the Red Cross blood supply in Southern Nevada came from other areas of the country, mostly from Idaho, Montana and Utah. But over the course of the last year and a half, the team has grown the program of blood collection to that of supplying nine of the area’s 14 hospitals.
But Dr. Lunetta’s presence here makes this program so much more than a simple blood collection service. Licensed to practice in seven western states, and eight of our local hospitals, Dr. Lunetta assists local doctors when they have questions about using Red Cross blood products. Transfusion recommendations to find the most compatible blood or questions about reactions to transfusions are all topics on which Dr. Lunetta can speak.
Dr. Lunetta also brings with him the latest in patient blood management education. His contemporary approach allows local doctors to, when appropriate; use less product resulting in less risk to patients.
But there are additional American Red Cross Blood Services here in Las Vegas not available in some other regions known as clinical services. With the medical equipment and the skilled nurses that work with Dr. Lunetta, Clinical Services can offer one-on-one patient contact delivering care through an apheresis machine, which uses centrifugal force to separate blood into its constituent components. This is a method used in the treatment of leukemia patients, sickle cell patients, and a large number of neurologic and oncology patients. Dr. Lunetta also oversees treatments involving some new technology using extracorporeal photopheresis, or ECP. In layman’s terms, it’s like a tanning bed for your blood. Due to Dr. Lunetta’s expertise, some area patients will soon be able to receive treatment here that they could only get in California previously. It’s used to treat patients who suffer from Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma in which the skin is attacked by the patient’s own T-cells. The treatment calms those cells down and the skin begins to heal. An average patient needs to receive 150 – 300 procedures once every two weeks. Another more common use of this treatment is for patients who have graft vs. host disease; usually as a result of a bone marrow transplant, or other organ transplant such as lung or heart.
Many more procedures and innovations are in the pipeline that Dr. Lunetta and his staff may be able to offer in the future and the Red Cross is pushing the development of new ways in which Blood Services can help in our community. From his involvement with donors at blood drives to his work with patients who get the blood transfused, Dr. Lunetta is involved every step of the way.
Dr. Lunetta is available for interviews for print, online, radio and television. Well-spoken and with a talent to break complex medical ideas down into language that we can all understand, Dr. Lunetta is a delightful guest and talented subject matter expert.
To book Dr. Lunetta, or to interview him on his range of expertise, please contact the office of Lloyd Ziel at the contact below.
Public Information Officer | Communications and Public Affairs
Circle of Life Hospice helps people in the advanced stages of a chronic or terminal illness who have made the decision to live their remaining days with dignity and surrounded by compassionate caregivers. Our hospice team consists of nurses, aides, social workers, spiritual care advisers, physicians, volunteers, dietitians, therapists and bereavement counsel with that will facilitate helping you “live with” versus “dying from” an illness.
If we can help you see death through new eyes , it will help you to transform your grieving process and change how you view your world, forever.
We have learned from our patients that the Art of Living at the end of life is a time of life that can involve tremendous personal and spiritual growth.
So many of the most important decisions we make in life are made when we are least prepared to make them. So it is, when the time comes to choose whether, or which nursing home facility in which to place an aging parent. It’s estimated that 60% of nursing home admissions are made from a hospital, rather than from a home, or an assisted living facility. Your loved one may have suffered a broken a hip or a stroke, or may be suffering from dementia. The time constraints in this type of situation press care givers to make a quick decision regarding care of their love one, without the luxury of investigation and due diligence that such a decision deserves.
We will attempt in this post, to review resources which are available to help you make a decision of this kind, whether the situation is a hurried one or not. Making such a decision depends, in large measure, on the condition of the parent and what types of care or treatment will be required for their individual circumstances. It will largely depend on whether they are injured due to a broken hip, or other disabling condition, suffering from Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, or other conditions.
There is a growing amount of information available online to assist in this process. At the federal government level, there are many resources to assist. The website, http://www.eldercare.gov/eldercare.NET/Public/index.aspx is a good place to begin. You can either search by location or by topic to find resources available in your state or city. There are a large number of resources listed on this site which address many of the concerns and problems faced by care givers to our aging populations.
Additionally, to assist with evaluating potential nursing homes, a publication called, Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home, (http://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/02174.pdf) presents a fairly complete outline of considerations when attempting to evaluate a place for an aging parent. Subjects such as “Choosing the Type of Care You Need” to “Steps to Choosing a Nursing Home” are included. The Nursing Home Checklist (http://www.medicare.gov/nursing/checklist.asp) will also provide many ideas for evaluating and screening potential facilities.
The federal government also funds state level Ombudsmen to assist in these matters. The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center website (http://www.aging.state.nv.us/) will allow you to find these resources in your state. For Nevada, that contact information can be found here. (http://www.aging.state.nv.us/) The Las Vegas office of the Ombudsman can be called at (702) 486-3545. Concerns ranging from finding an appropriate care facility to reporting cases of elder abuse can be directed to the State Ombudsman’s office.
Among non-government agencies, there are many advocacy groups that can also provide assistance. The Consumer Voice provides a Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home .
Beyond these and other resources that you may uncover in your search for a nursing home, many of the considerations you may want or need to consider have to do with costs. Medicare will only pay for medically necessary care in a nursing home. It will not pay for non-medical everyday assistance with normal living. If your loved one needs assistance with walking or eating, these things are not covered. Most nursing home costs are paid out of personal savings, social security benefits, Long Term Care (LTC) insurance benefits, or Medicaid if the patient qualifies. Nursing home costs are estimated to average $200 per day for patients, and this doesn’t include cost for treatment needed for additional services, such as dementia care, for example. Long Term Care insurance must be purchased and in force, prior to your loved one’s need for services.
Once you’ve done the initial research, nothing replaces visiting the facility and seeing for yourself. Visit often and at various unexpected times, to be sure that the facility is the type of environment you would want your parent or loved one to be exposed to. Considerations include turnover rate of personnel in the home. Does the home offer “consistent assignment” which means do nurses and aids treat the same patients on most of their shifts. Consistency and familiarity are important considerations for your loved one. Relationships built between patient and nursing home staff can provide a measure of security for your loved one. If a home employs a high number of temporary workers, or turnover is high, that consistency can be lost.
Four items to think about in any nursing home placement include, how convenient is the home to all family members, quality of care for chronic conditions including dementia and/or physical disability, supportive environment for the potential resident, and do costs fall within an affordable range. And once this decision is made and your parent or grandparent is now in such a facility, keeping an eye open for negligence or even abuse is important. Unfortunately, this is a growing problem as our population ages and requires higher levels of care. So if such a thing should happen to your loved one, the services of a trusted attorney may be required. Our firm does provide such services, and more information can be found here. (http://www.richardharrislaw.com/personal-injury/nevada-nursing-home-abuse-lawyer.php)
RENO, Nev. (July 5, 2013) – Renown Health is excited to welcome 100 new
employees, including 71 local registered nurse (RN) graduates, several
experienced RNs, and 20 more employees in front-line patient care and other
roles. The new hires will meet for their first day of orientation at Renown
Regional Medical Center on Monday, July 8.
“We are pleased that so many of the area’s graduates choose Renown as the
place to build their career. Renown nurses and other healthcare
professionals have a tremendous opportunity to develop skills in multiple
areas. The Renown Health network includes three acute care hospitals, a
rehabilitation hospital, a skilled nursing facility and a large physician
practice,” said Michelle Sanchez-Bickley, Vice President Human Resources.
“With the wide range of clinical services we offer at Renown, employees have
a wealth of options to explore.”
As a private employer, Renown has developed programs to train healthcare
professionals and works closely with the university and community colleges
to offer residencies, clinical rotations, mentoring programs and local
faculty. The newly graduated RNs will participate in Renown’s nurse training
programs, which provide clinical support, education and mentoring. According
to Sanchez-Bickley, “Our residency and preceptorship programs are extremely
beneficial for new nurses they transition from the classroom to the
Renown is the region’s largest private employer and according to a recent
report from the Center for Regional Studies at University of Nevada, Reno,
the healthcare sector is a chief driver of western Nevada job growth. In
fact, healthcare employment grew by 9.6 percent over the past five years
while other sectors experienced a decline in jobs.
“We are committed to hiring, developing and retaining local employees,” said
Sanchez-Bickley. “To have a recruitment class of this size is very exciting
for Renown, and I hope for the new employees as well.” In total, Renown
employs 5,200 people and more than 1,400 of those are RNs.
Renown is a strong supporter of regional nursing programs, partnering with
the University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing, Truckee Meadows
Community College, Western Nevada College and Carrington College. “Through
these partnerships,” said Sanchez-Bickley, “we are able to strengthen our
community ties, helping to provide education and support to individuals who
are looking to enter into the healthcare industry.”
# # # #
About Renown Health
Renown Health is Reno’s only locally owned, not–for–profit integrated
healthcare network. As the region’s largest private employer with a
workforce of more than 5,000 members, Renown provides more services than all
other local healthcare networks combined. It is comprised of three acute
care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, a skilled nursing facility, the
largest medical group and urgent care network and the region’s largest and
only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown
also carries a long tradition of being the first in the region to
successfully perform the most advanced procedures.
Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center
recently achieved the Pathway to Excellence® designation, becoming the first
and only hospital in Nevada to receive this designation by the American
Nurses Credentialing Center. As a Pathway to Excellence designated
organization, Renown is committed to nurses’ satisfaction.
When it comes time to retire from work, there are some significant choices that you will need to make. One of them is whether you will continue to get up at the same time in the morning as when you had to go to work. Most people opt to not get up as early, but some still like doing that because it is such a habit.
Another choice is about where you want to live after retirement. It isn’t like anyone is saying you have to leave your house if you don’t want to, but many people think that finding an alternative kind of senior citizen housing is more appropriate than where they currently live.
There are so many baby boomers who are retiring right now, that there has been kind of a boom in the amount of places available for seniors to live in. There are a great amount of active retirement communities and assisted living facilities and even more and more nursing homes for people who need a lot of extra help.
But as far as where you are supposed to live, that is something that is completely up to the individual. And that kind of choice is one of the big characteristics of baby boomers; expecting to have a large amount of choice over their lives. That idea of being in charge of your own life certainly has not changed appreciably in any way since back when the boomers were in college.
In general, there are three choices in senior housing. These are identified by the amount of extra nursing and personal care that the residents require throughout the day. The active senior communities are where the folks live who need the least amount of extra personal care during the day. These are often based around sports like golf or tennis and have very active people living there.
The nursing home setups are where the people live who need the most extra assistance. These are staffed by nurses and doctors 24 hours a day and the people who live there need the most amount of extra care during the day.
In the middle are the assisted living facilities where people who need just a small amount of extra personal or nursing care live. This can be a place like a senior apartment complex or an entire community full of small homes where the residents live.
But no matter what amount of extra assistance a person needs after retirement, the internet can certainly help you find the best senior citizen housing option for you and your particular situation.
A senior care consultant can play a very helpful role in your loved one’s care. There is no set requirement for the professional background of a senior care consultant; they can be nurses, doctors, or even experienced caregivers. The main thing that this profession needs is a good idea of all the options available to a senior citizen in need. Senior care consultants are advisers to families with a loved one that needs help. They handle all sorts of issues that might arise. In short, a senior care consultant is a catch-all position for keeping senior citizens happy and healthy.
Consultants don’t help just senior citizens. They are there for the support of families and caregivers as well. A senior care consultant, then, needs to be very well versed in the issues that affect all of these folks. Families often have many needs, some of which they might not even know about. A consultant can help you address any problems that might occur, even the ones that you are not anticipating.
Why should you go with a senior care consultant? There are many reasons, but the most important of these is that they will act as an advocate for your loved one and your family. These people have your best interests in heart, and they will find the very best options for your family. Rather than settling for any old service, you will have the very best options arranged easily for you and your family’s needs. As an advocate, the senior care consultant will make sure that the care they receive is top notch. For example, if you cannot decide which in home care provider to go with, the senior care consultant will have had experience dealing with the providers in your area and will have a good idea of which provider is best for your family’s situation. There are many good in home care providers; a consultant can help you find not only a good one, but the best one.
There are also other types of things that a senior care consultant can take care of. Nutrition is another big area of concern. Having a proper diet is crucial for maintaining proper health and weight. People tend to lose weight when they get older because they are not getting the proper nutrients in their diet. A consultant can have connections or the know how to provide the proper amounts of nutrients to your loved one’s diet. Age related weight loss can result in illness or weakened bones; this makes everything that is put into our bodies extremely important. A good consultant will know exactly which foods and vitamins will help your loved one out in the most effective manner.
Matthew G. Young is a freelance writer who specializes in financial, sports, and health-related topics. To learn more about in home health care visit Paradise In Home Care
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:
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.
Imaging Tests: Don’t routinely order imaging tests when there are no symptoms or signs of significant eye disease.
Antibiotics for Pink Eye: Don’t prescribe antibiotics for pink eye that is caused by an adenovirus.
Antibiotics for Eye Injections: Don’t routinely provide antibiotics before or after injections into the vitreous cavity of the eye.
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.
Leaders who develop palliative care best practices receive 2013 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards.
(Garrison NY, January 15, 2013) Five physicians who have distinguished themselves in caring for patients near the end of life have been named recipients of the 2013 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards.
“The Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards are in their fourth year, and the winners continue to exemplify excellence in doctoring for people with advanced illness,” said Richard Payne, M.D., Esther Colliflower Director of the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life and a member of the selection committee. “They serve as beacons in their communities by being role models of quality comprehensive care.”
The awards were made in three categories: a senior award and a mid-career award of $25,000 each and three early-career awards of $15,000 apiece. Each recipient has been exemplary in one or more of four areas: medical practice, teaching, research, and community.
The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation, whose mission is to enrich the doctor-patient relationship near the end of life, funds the awards. The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute that has done groundbreaking work on end-of-life decision-making, cosponsors the awards. The Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life oversees the selection process.
“Establishing high-quality end-of-life care has been a priority for The Hastings Center during its four-decade history,” said Mildred Z. Solomon, president of The Hastings Center. “The outstanding work of these physicians illustrates what we aim to promote in the care of all patients with advanced illness throughout the nation. The compassion and skill of these doctors are making a profound difference to patients and families, and we are enormously proud to honor them.”
The 2013 recipients are:
Senior Physician Award: Charles G. Sasser, M.D., FACP, FAAHPM, director of palliative care services at Conway Medical Center in Conway, S.C. He is a pioneer in palliative care who has been a model and mentor to generations of palliative care providers. Under his leadership, Conway established the first interdisciplinary team for palliative care services in South Carolina – a team that included nurses, social workers, pastors, and physicians. Colleagues praise the value he places on doctor-patient discussions and his mentorship of colleagues from all specialties and practices of medicine.
Mid-Career Physician Award: Daniel C. Johnson, M.D., FAAHPM, national physician lead for palliative care at Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute, as well as director of Palliative Care Innovations and Development at Kaiser Permanente-Colorado and director of the Life Quality Institute in Denver. Dr. Johnson led the expansion of services at Kaiser Permanente-Colorado, partnering with local organizations to more than quadruple patient and family access to end-of-life care. At the Life Quality Institute, an organization dedicated to advancing palliative care through education, he oversaw the development of its award-winning education program for medical students, residents, and other health professionals.
Early-Career Physician Awards:
Drew Rosielle M.D., a palliative care physician and program director for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, for his commitment to evidence-based palliative and end-of-life care and education.
Jane de Lima Thomas, M.D., a palliative care physician and associate director of the Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, for her leadership and impact on the development of the field of palliative care through training and modeling excellence in palliative care practice.
Alen Voskanian, M.D., regional medical director, VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, Torrance, Calif., for his effort to expand and develop innovative models of ambulatory palliative care and to raise awareness of the benefits of palliative and end-of-life care through work with government agencies and professional organizations.
The prize recipients were selected by a committee convened by The Hastings Center. In addition to Dr. Payne, the committee consisted of Thomas P. Duffy, M.D., of Yale University; Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., of Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and Larry R. Churchill, Ph.D., of Vanderbilt University.
Senior Living Facilities – Some Criteria to Take into Consideration
by: Justin Woods
Once the professionals retire from the work, life becomes too dull for many of them. Though they live under the same roof with their children and grandchildren, still they feel the strong sense of mental loneliness. They miss the office environment where they used to share their feeling and experiences with the other colleagues and it was a real fun for all of them. The working sons and daughters are snowed under the workloads and find no time to chat with the elder parents. Some children are deeply immersed into the thought for their own loaves and fishes. Joining the senior living facilities is a prudent decision for the retirees to cut the shackles of loneliness and share the spaces and experiences with the others.
Senior living facilities: Are they ideal for you- Well, there are many criteria to mull over prior to opting for such choice. The persons feel strong pang of isolation when they have to move out of their houses. Their houses are the largest reservoirs of many fond memories. Still, sometime they have no other way but to choose the senior living facilities. Their children may be settled abroad or in some other parts of the country. They may be too self-centered to take care of the ageing parents. In such cases, the elder persons will feel good by living the rest of their life with the other retired seniors. Sharing the experiences and memories of the bygone days with the other members of the senior living facilities prevents the aggressive depression from setting in.
Senior living facilities: Choose the right one- The elder age is often infested with the minor and major health hazards. So, you need the facility to avail the quick services of a bunch of specialist doctors and trained nurses in times of your needs. Cleanliness and a flock of dedicated and well-behaved staffs are the major considerations prior to making any decision. There are other criteria too to be taken care of before choosing the senior living facilities. The location of the place is also an important factor. The elder persons hate the blaring horns, too much hustle-bustle and love the cool breeze, hues of flowers and sprawling garden in front of the building. So if the senior living facilities offer these criteria, you can go ahead to look for the other benefits.
Quality of food is another essential consideration to ponder over. Gather sufficient information about the qualification of the staffs, provision of any entertainment facility such as TVs or DVDs. The old age does not mean an end of life, it often implies to turn a new leaf. If you have been always a book worm, then ask the authorities if there is any library in the compound of the senior living facilities. Some senior facilities also offer ample spaces to play golf or badminton or lawn tennis. Such indulgence is not only good for the bodies but also a vital tonic for the mental refreshment.
Senior living facilities: Cost factor- It is the deciding factor for many retirees but it is not fair to compromise a lot to find the affordable senior living facilities. The investors often pass the bulk of the multifamily apartment purchase loans borrowed to accommodate the senior citizens to members of the house, but one should avert the over-the-top priced living facilities.
About The Author
Justin Wood is a financial advisor who have good information on Senior living facilities & multifamily apartment purchase loans. For more information please visit http://www.nationalcommercialpropertyloans.com/
The author invites you to visit:
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.
Local nonprofit seeks qualified patients to receive medically necessary surgery at no cost
Dr. Kevin Petersen, and Kelly Petersen, co-founders of Helping Hands Surgical Care (HHSC), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to fund and facilitate surgeries for uninsured Nevadans without the means to pay for medically necessary surgeries, announce the second annual Charity Surgery Day, Nov. 13, 2012. HHSC doctors will provide 10 free surgeries that day to uninsured Nevadans without the means to pay and who do not qualify for government assistance through plans such as Medicare.
Dr. Petersen, a board certified general surgeon who has practiced for more than 26 years, along with his wife, Kelly, HHSC’s unpaid executive director, launched HHSC last year to end chronic pain and suffering for Nevadans with no other options. Since the organization’s inaugural Charity Surgery Day on Nov. 15 last year, HHSC has performed 24 free surgeries for uninsured Nevadans.
HHSC is seeking patients who may qualify to receive medically necessary surgery at no cost on Charity Surgery Day. Applicants must qualify both financially and medically and are screened via an advisory panel comprised of medical professionals.
Qualified patients must have a stable, chronic, non-emergency condition that requires surgery to restore a disabled patient to normal function or to remove a potentially life threatening condition, such as hernia repair, gall bladder removal, select gynecological surgeries, select back surgeries and cataract removal. Candidates must reside in Nevada, lack medical insurance and the resources to pay for surgery. They must also be acceptable surgical candidates. To review patient eligibility requirements and apply for surgery, visit www.HelpingHandsSurgicalCare.com and click on the How to Apply link.
In addition to Petersen, doctors working with HHSC include Allan Stahl, M.D., cardiology, Michael Verni, M.D., urology; Cameron Earl, M.D., plastic surgery; Jeannie Khavkin, M.D., otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery; Yevgeniy Khavkin, M.D., spine surgery; Ronette Cyka, M.D., gynecology; and George McMickle, M.D., ophthalmology and eye surgery. Medical District Surgery Center, has once again committed to donating the use of operating rooms on Charity Surgery Day.
“This past year has been one of the most gratifying in my entire career,” said Dr. Petersen, who has personally performed several of the organization’s free surgeries over the past year. “Helping people to get back their lives, to go back to work, to restore their ability to provide for their families and to start enjoying life again, is incredibly rewarding and reminds me of the reason I practice medicine,” said Petersen. “The spirit of HHSC has caught on in the medical community, and we are grateful for the other doctors who have willingly joined our program. It is truly a team effort that takes members of the entire medical community working together to make a difference.”
While all participating doctors waive their fees, surgery isn’t free. Costs such as lab fees, anesthesia, prescription, nurses and surgical techs must still be paid.
To volunteer to provide medical services, to make a donation that covers hard costs of surgery, or to inquire about patient qualifications to receive charity surgery, call 702-242-5393 or visit www.HelpingHandsSurgicalCare.com.
About Helping Hands Surgical Care
Helping Hands Surgical Care is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to fund and facilitate surgeries for uninsured and underinsured individuals without the means to pay for medically necessary, quality of life surgeries. Founded by Dr. Kevin Petersen of Las Vegas, Nevada based No Insurance Surgery, Helping Hands Surgical Care values the health and well-being of each individual regardless of their ability to pay. The organization is guided by its focus on the physician-patient relationship and its dedication to transforming and improving the lives of those it serves. For more information, visit www.HelpingHandsSurgicalCare.com or call 702-242-5393.
Fall Prevention Week Is Rapidly Approaching! “Don’t Fall Down! Fall Prevention 101 for Older Adults” Now Available as E-Book
The third week in September has been nationally recognized as “Fall Prevention Week” and we need your help to increase awareness of the growing public health concern of falls among our aging population!
Falls are the leading cause of accidental death and non-fatal injury for people over the age of 65. The greying of America is causing major concern among government agencies due to the financial and emotional costs to individuals, their families and society. In 2000, the average cost of a fall was over $28,000 (CDC, 2006). The good news is that up to 50% of falls can be prevented through increased awareness and behavior change.
“Don’t Fall Down! Fall Prevention 101 for Older Adults” explains situations that increase the risk of a fall and how a person can reduce that risk. Some factors can be changed and others must be accepted. The first step a person can do to prevent falls is become aware of things that contribute to instability and then make the necessary change when possible.
Balance is a complicated messenger system and this 70-page book offers scientifically-researched concepts in an easy to understand manner. The reader will gain a better understanding of what may be causing loss of balance, how to reduce the risk of a fall and where to go for help.
The index includes a “Help, I’ve Fallen and I CAN Get Up” demonstration, Fall Risk Medications List, Home Safety Checklist and a Senior Resource Directory.
Written in large print, this is a must read for older adults, loved ones, family members, caregivers, staff members, program planners, activity directors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and doctors.
Knowledge is empowering. This easy to read book encourages a person to take responsibility his/her well-being in order to remain independent.
To request a review copy of this e-book, or to arrange an interview with the author, please contact:
Name: Kelly Ward, aka, “The Fall Prevention Lady”
Renown Health is committed to providing media with the latest news and events, national health trends and observances. Subject matter experts are available to discuss the following topics. Please contact Dan Davis at 775-982-6370 or email@example.com to schedule an interview. Photos and video can also be made available.
INSIDE RENOWN HEALTH
• Hand Foot and Mouth Disease – During August, Washoe County School District and the Washoe County Health District issued warnings to parents of school children about hand, foot and mouth disease. A Renown Health pediatrician is available to answer questions about the disease and to suggest ways to prevent its spread.
• FastTrack ERs – The Emergency Rooms (ERs) at Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center now have the region’s first and only FastTrack ERs. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the system is designed to treat patients who need immediate attention for small emergencies including minor cuts and burns, allergic reactions and other minor injuries. A Renown Health representative is available to discuss how FastTrack ER will help improve a patient’s ER experience.
• Pathway to Excellence® – Both Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center have been recognized as the first two Pathway to Excellence® hospitals in Nevada by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This award honors a work environment designed to improve overall nursing satisfaction and retention of quality nursing staff. A Renown Health representative is available to discuss what this honor means for patient care.
NATIONAL TRENDS LOCALIZED
• Digital Accountability to Get Healthy – Getting exercise, eating right and losing weight always seems to be a challenge. Already connected to the digital world, people have turned to using social media tools and platforms to achieve their health goals. Renown Health has Healthy Tracks, an online program, to encourage employees to get screenings, exercise and eat nutritiously. A representative can speak on the benefits of digital accountability and how community members can become part of the Healthy Tracks challenge.
• Swallowing foreign objects – Each year, more than 100,000 cases of kids swallowing foreign objects are reported in the United States. Sometimes, the swallowed object may not harm a child at all. Other times, a doctor’s visit may be necessary. A Renown Health representative is available to talk about what to do if your child swallows something he or she should not.
• Dense breasts causing mammogram concerns – More women are learning from their physicians that they may have breasts too dense for mammograms to give a good picture. Women whose breast tissue is very dense have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women whose breasts contain more fatty tissue. In addition, dense breast tissue makes spotting possible tumors on a mammogram more difficult. A Renown Health specialist can discuss other preventative measures and screenings women should take.
IMPORTANT HEALTH DATES/OBSERVANCES
• National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight. Nearly one third of America’s children are at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke. A pediatrician from Renown Health can discuss ways to prevent childhood obesity and keep children healthy.
• Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – More than 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and approximately 15,000 women die annually from the disease. Ovarian Cancer is referred to as the silent killer because it usually is not discovered until its advanced stages. A gynecologist is available to talk about ways women can discover and effectively treat ovarian cancer early.
• Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Prostate Cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America affecting 1 in 6 men. Renown Institute for Cancer offers patients PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screenings, da Vinci Robotic Surgery and leading radiation treatment options including TomoTherapy. Low-cost health screenings are offered every Wednesday. A local doctor is available to speak about this screening and cancer treatment options.
As our loved ones begin to age, we have to wonder if they need elderly care services. How does one determine if your parents need to live in a nursing home, if they require in home healthcare, or if you’ll be able to take care of them yourself? The elderly have many more options today than they once did. Not everyone needs constant care, but sometimes it’s difficult to figure out the best option. Most seniors won’t admit they need help, so it’s up to you to look for certain cues to figure out what is best for them.
If your loved ones want to keep their independence and don’t have dangerous health issues, consider independent living communities. They will have their own apartments and will be living with others their age. This is a wonderful option for healthy seniors who may be looking to get involved in activities and want additional company. They won’t feel like you’re leaving them in a nursing home. Instead, they will be part of a social community.
Assisted living is the best choice for those who are beginning to have trouble with daily tasks and have less severe health problems. If you notice that the house is not always clean, they forget to do laundry or take medication, or they can’t cook their own meals, these are your cues for assisted living or home aides. If you move them into an assisted living home, they will receive help with grooming, bathing, and meal preparations. If your parents want to remain at home, you can have healthcare aides provide similar tasks.
The final option are nursing homes and facilities. Nursing homes are good for seniors who need 24-hour care. It is the best choice for people who have debilitating illnesses, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Nurses will be on staff all the time to help your parents with daily activities. This also happens to be the most expensive choice, but sometimes you have no other option. Your parents need help and you cannot give them the proper care they need. If you’re unsure, speak with your parents’ doctors to find out if nursing homes are the best solution.
Before you make a decision, talk about elderly care services with your parents. Don’t just ship them off one day and expect them to be okay with it. Sometimes you will have to take matters into your own hands, but explain to them that you only have their best interest at heart and this is for their benefit.
Assisted Living, sometimes called Personal Care, is a type of care that supports individuals with their basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), including bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and, in some cases, medication assistance or reminders. Residents of Assisted Living communities, whether stand-alone or part of Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), benefit from the community’s planned social, educational and recreational programs, as well as the daily opportunities for socialization with peers. Three daily meals are generally provided.
Assisted Living housing tends to be more intimate, offering an enhanced home-like atmosphere. Apartments are generally studio or one-bedroom, with kitchenettes. Safety features such as call systems and handrails are standard.
Paying for Assisted Living
Assisted Living can be paid for from private funds or with a mixture of private funds and long-term care insurance. Supplemental private insurance will not pay for Assisted Living.
Overview of Nursing Care
Often called skilled nursing and rehab centers or nursing homes, Nursing Care communities offer both long-term skilled nursing care and short-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. While supporting individuals with their basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), including bathing, dressing, preparing meals, these communities also provide complex medical care in which the services of licensed nurses and therapists (physical, occupational, nutritional and speech) are utilized. These services are often utilized by individuals requiring short-term medical support after an injury, surgery or illness-related hospital stay. Nursing Care communities generally have 24-hour licensed care staffing.
Nursing Care housing is generally a private suite or shared accommodations. Well-designed communities enhance recovery and healing with planned social, educational and recuperative programs, as well as with an emphasis on home-like comforts.
Paying for Nursing Care
Reimbursement for Nursing Care community patients and residents depends largely on length of stay. Different funding sources kick in at different intervals. Short-term rehabilitation stays are often covered by Medicare and/or private insurance, including long-term care insurance. (Certain criteria in terms of length of hospital stay and care requirements while in the Nursing Care community have to be met to receive Medicare payments and it is worthwhile to discuss these with a discharge coordinator at the hospital.) For long-term care residents, private funds, Medicaid, and long-term care insurance are the typical methods of payment.
The following information is available for individuals who are in the process of making a decision about home care or an alternative to assisted living facility living. If your loved one has decided he or she would prefer to remain in the comfort of their own home rather than an elderly living facility, take the time to decide the best in senior care option for your loved one; it’s important to thoroughly research any professional in senior home care provider who will be visiting your home on a regular schedule.
If you’ve decided on home care as an alternative to assisted living facilities, the following information is important to consider before starting your search. First determine which type of services you or your loved one will need. It may be best to consult a physician or hospital discharge planner for assistance in evaluating your loved one’s special needs and care requirements. After acquiring the names of several service providers, take the time to consider their offered services and reputations. Here are a variety of questions to ask senior care providers and other individuals concerning the track record and history of an elderly living facility alternative care provider:
How long have you been in business as a provider of home care services?
How do you select and train your employees?
Do you provide nurses and/or therapists who evaluate patient home care needs?
Who supervises the provision of care?
How do you involve or include the patient and his or her family in care plan development?
How do you bill for services?
What procedures are in place in case of emergency?
How is patient confidentiality handled?
Can the home care provider supply a list of references?
Before choosing your senior living facility alternative and settling into a home care plan that works for you, remember that a little initial research can go a long way towards making the patient/senior care provider relationship beneficial to all.
An Alternative to Assisted Living Facilities: Assisted Living Care
You want your parent, friend, or loved one to enjoy their freedom and independence for as long as possible, and remain comfortable in their own household. As an alternative to elderly living facilities, home care is becoming a popular choice for seniors, as it enables them to remain in the safety and comfort of their own home, and relieves care giving duties from relatives and family members. Often times, your loved one may need help with activities or tasks that go overlooked-such as opening jars, driving, maintaining a clean household, and bathing. An alternative to assisted living facilities, home care provides support for those in need with personal care and daily activities and can provide part-time, full time, and as-needed support.
However, it’s important to understand that senior living caregivers do not always provide health-related services. Home health providers offer medical care, such as trained nurses or physical therapy services for seniors. Assisted living caregivers assist with non-medical senior care.
As your parents age they may require assistance, but assisted living care enables your parent or loved one to continue living independently for as long as possible.
Consider assisted living care as an alternative to assisted living facilities. Your loved one may only need care for a few hours a day, but their quality of life can improve significantly with in-home assistance. Although this decision may be emotional and challenging, it’s sometimes necessary to keep your loved ones safe, cared for, and comfortable.
Erica Ronchetti is a freelance writer for Visiting Angels, the nation’s leading, network of non-medical, private duty home care agencies providing senior care, elder care, personal care, Home health care, respite care and companion care to help the elderly and adults continue to live in their homes across America. Visit the Visiting Angels website to find out more information on alternatives to assisted living facilities.
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
- 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