Taking Charge

Medicare Patients Beware!

Question:  My mom was in the hospital for three days and then transferred to a skilled nursing facility for recovery.  Why is Medicare refusing to pay for her stay in the nursing facility?

Senior Corps Volunteers

Bad news: So many people need assistance. Good news: You can enlist in Senior Corps!

In 2009, President Obama signed the Serve America Act. It assists older adults in sharing their skills, talents and lifetime experiences with members of their communities. Just last year, California’s Senior Corps volunteers:

Why Am I So Blue?

 

Feelings of grief, loneliness and financial insecurity are often considered parts of the normal aging process.

Depression involves a lot more than just feeling blue, however. According to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation or GMHF, if left untreated, severe or clinical depression may seriously impact a person’s physical and mental well-being. Reported incidences of depression among adults aged 65 and above exceed 6.5 million. Unfortunately, only 10 percent seek medical treatment or psychological support.

The Things I Write

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Finding a Professional Geriatric Care Manager

As part of the normal aging process, many people need assistance with specific types of care. This might mean help with bathing, dressing, preparing meals and accessing transportation. It might also include finding medical services, social orientation and psychological support. A geriatric care manager or GCM is a human service professional who assists individual older adults in meeting their care needs.

Many older adults hire GCMs to do the following:

Talking With Your Doctor

Question: Why does my doctor want me to bring all my medications to my scheduled wellness exam.

Answer: By reviewing all your medications – both prescription and over-the-counter drugs – your doctor can better work with you in preparing your personal health plan.

Flu Shots are Important!

Every year, between 5 and 20 percent of people in the U.S. come down with the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications, and flu-related deaths average 23,500 each year. More than half of such hospitalizations involve people age 65 and older. Keeping that in mind, there is no question that as soon as new vaccines become available, it’s time to get on board!  

Innovative New Hearing Tools

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one-third of people aged 60 and above have problems hearing. Certain sounds come through well; others not so well, and others not at all. Few age-related hearing problems can be completely cured, but innovative new tools are available.

Support Services for Seniors Who Hoard

Compulsive cluttering, or hoarding, is defined as the unnecessary retention of objects or animals that may subject the hoarder and others to safety and health hazards. Perhaps because many symptoms of hoarding intensify over time, they seem to be more common in seniors than in younger adults.  

Video Games for Seniors: An Innovative Technological Tool

Although many people think of video games as mindless kid activities, current research confirms that they may actually enhance one’s ability to think, reason and respond quickly.

According to the National Science Foundation, many seniors, who have experienced declines in their perceptual, motor and cognitive skills, increase hand-eye coordination, memory and muscle control by playing certain video games. New studies are attempting to determine if video games might help forestall normal types of age-related cognitive and physical declines.

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