Elder Guru

Comparing Long-Term Care in Canada and the United States

When elder care in the United States is compared to other countries, it ranks near the bottom in certain aspects including affordability, care coordination, access, and timeliness of care. Canada comes out looking better, however, there are loads of out-of-pocket expenses that make elder care management quite difficult at times. Overview of Canadian Long-Term Care Canadian long-term care assistance varies from state to state, both with the cost and what the government will provide. The majority of the elderly remain in their own home or with family members and receive…

Nursing Home Coronavirus Safety

Senior care communities were in the news early on. For a short period in February 2020, the epicenter of the novel (new) corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nationally, could be found at the Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. Nursing home coronavirus safety was an immediate concern. Since the first resident tested positive for the virus on February 19, it saw a disproportionate number of its residents affected by corona virus. Since that time, and as of this writing, 37 deaths have been linked to the COVID-19…

Panama Eldercare and Senior Care for Expats

Panama eldercare and senior care is a topic that might cross the mind of retirees looking to become expats in popular places like Boquete, Panama or other spots in this retirement-friendly country. According to one source, between 20,000 and 30,000 Americans and Canadians live in Panama. If you’re hoping to be one of them, you might be wondering about eldercare should you need it, whether for yourself or any loved ones going with you. It’s one thing to retiree abroad, and another to grow old abroad. Before you pick your destination,…

Medicare.gov’s Nursing Home Compare Search Tool

One question caregivers and family are often faced with when their loved one can no longer live independently due to illness or frailty is: How do we choose a nursing home? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as every individual case is different. Do you select the nursing home just down the road that isn’t as nice as the one two towns over but would allow for more family visits, for example? What about a facility that has the friendliest, most capable staff but fewer resident activities? One…

Do You Need An Elder Care Mediator?

Families don’t always agree on care giving issues for older adults. A trained, impartial, and compassionate adviser may be just what a family needs – before arguments start. Enter elder care mediators, professionals experienced in conflict resolution. Often they’re attorneys, social workers, psychologists, or counselors. Mediators talk family members through difficult situations and misunderstandings, and help brainstorm solutions. As a neutral third party, mediators can advocate for both elderly adults and caregivers when the tough decisions come around. The mediator does not provide advice or “take sides” but facilitates dialogue,…

New Alzheimer’s Data: 2016 Alzheimer’s Facts And Figures Released

The Alzheimer’s Association recently released updated Facts and Figures, with emphasis on the disease’s effect on families and caregivers. The 2016 edition includes a special report of the financial impact of Alzheimer’s on families. Other highlights from the report include: Prevalence More and more Americans – 5.4 million in 2016 – are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, that number may rise to 13.8 million. Mortality Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. 700,000 deaths from Alzheimer’s are projected in 2016. Fatalities from the disease…

Oral Health And Stroke Prevention Go Together

Need a reminder to brush your teeth? Oral bacteria are linked to the risk of stroke, according to a study done by researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan. The single hospital study observed hemorrhagic stroke patients. In a hemorrhagic stroke, blood vessels rupture in the brain and cause bleeding. The researchers found that 26 percent of patients who suffered hemorrhagic strokes also had the cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) oral bacteria in their saliva. Patients with the S. mutans bacteria also had more cerebral microbleeds,…

Medicare and Social Security: Resources To Know

Medicare offers a new interactive map showing geographic disparities in chronic disease among Medicare recipients. This map examines racial and ethnic disparities, as well as geographic, across the United States. Take a closer look for data on many specific topics, including: The prevalence of 18 chronic conditions Medicare spending Hospital utilization, preventable hospitalizations and readmissions Mortality rates Offered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health, the map is designed to help target populations for interventions. Users can sort by state or county of residence, age,…

Aging Well In The 21st Century

How can we make the future better for aging adults? The National Institute on Aging (NIA) recently released a report (which you can read in full here) on how to improve life for older Americans long-term. Their recommendations intend to “reduce the burden of illness, enhance quality of life, and maintain health among older adults.” With a population of 72 million Americans over 65 expected by 2030, the NIA’s strategies are both timely and promising. The NIA plans to: Better Understand the Aging Process Investigate the biology of aging as…

Are Dementia Rates Falling?

Are seniors in the United States developing dementia later and less often? One study’s results say so. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 11, followed more than 5,000 Americans for 40 years. The participants’ average age of dementia development rose from 80 to 85. They also experienced a 20 percent reduction rate in their risk of developing the condition. Study author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, professor of neurology at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, points out that America still has a large population of dementia…

10 Things You Should Know About Caregiving

Caregiving’s a tough job, but you’re not in it alone. Put these tips and resources in your toolbox. For All Caregivers Prepare Early Even if your family’s healthy, having a plan can ease stress if illness or disability does strike. Talk to parents or any loved one about their potential needs, hold a family meeting, and agree on an action plan. Medicare charts what every caregiver should know, and the Family Caregiver Alliance provides a Caregiving 101 primer. Topics you’ll want to consider include legal planning, financial planning, and first…

New Veterans Affairs Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program

Caregivers for veterans have a new way to connect with one another. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) now offers a Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program. Since caregiving can be isolating, and since veterans have unique needs, this program provides specialized support and guidance. The program is open to caregivers for veterans of all eras. Caregivers can participate as mentors or mentees. Mentors volunteer with their local VA medical center Voluntary Services department and receive training before they’re paired with another caregiver. Once mentors and mentees are matched, they communicate…