This Week in Senior Living News
Taking a daily dose of aspirin has long been touted as an effective way to ward against heart attacks, but could it be harming seniors’ eyes? U.S. News Health says that recent evidence suggests that taking aspirin daily could double seniors’ risk of an advanced form of macular degeneration.
The Huffington Post offers advice on making 2012 the year you embrace aging, citing changing perceptions of the aging process and a desire to live life to the fullest.
Senior Living News:
Learning to live with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is incredibly challenging. But a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t mean you’re not you. Everyday Health offers advice on enjoying life, accepting your diagnosis without feeling embarrassed and avoiding trying to predict the future.
It’s easy to get caught up in our busy daily routines, forgetting to follow our physician’s advice for taking medications. But failing to follow medication dosage instructions can be dangerous. The Chicago Tribune explains why following doctor’s orders can save you thousands of dollars — and avoid unnecessary hospital stays.
Caregiver Stories and Advice:
Caregiving is an incredibly rewarding, yet very challenging experience. One of the most difficult tasks caregivers face is dispensing medications to the loved ones they care for. Some medications must be taken four or five times each day, while others just once a week. The many medications can easily become confusing, and potentially dangerous overdoses or interactions are a constant worry. Hernando Today has some great advice for caregivers to help make the task more manageable and less overwhelming.
Uh-oh, ladies. Do men make better caregivers? Not necessarily, but they are more practical. Learn more at TheStar.com.
When an aging parent moves in, it can be an overwhelming situation for both parties. eCareDiary.com offers some coping strategies and advice.
We’ve all heard the horrifying stories of medical errors. Scalpels left inside someone’s body, the wrong operation, the wrong diagnosis, fatal medication errors. It does happen. Some experts are looking to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to reduce the likelihood of disastrous errors. Get the details at Forbes.com.
Mobile technology is consistently praised as the answer to making physicians — and the healthcare industry as a whole — more efficient. Instant communication, immediate access to the latest research and treatment options, a patient’s full medical history on the click of a button. Just look at the example above, where EHRs are showing promise to reduce medical errors. But there are two sides to every story. ZDNet.com evaluates mobile tech in healthcare from the pessimist’s point of view, noting that the constant use of mobile devices could mean physicians are multi-tasking and distracted.
Specifically, they’re not talking about checking vitals or health records, but nurses, surgical assistants and even surgeons themselves texting, updating their Facebook status or checking out the weather while they’re practicing. Clearly, this is a bad idea. The solution? Hospitals, clinics and other healthcare companies should protect mobile devices, blocking access to unnecessary apps. But is that an invasion of personal privacy?
Operations and On the Political Beat:
Frequent hospitalizations are common among the elderly, especially among those who have chronic or life-limiting illnesses. But hospitalizations can bring up a host of other issues, such as hospital-inquired infections or medical errors. A new study finds that taking a proactive approach to educating the patient, caregiver or senior living facility staff can reduce re-admissions. Further, identifying facilities that have higher hospitalization rates and educating staff about conditions that can be adequately treated in place and the use of effective measures such as POLST forms can both reduce hospital admissions and ease the transfer process for those that are necessary. Check out the findings at The Hospitalist.
Alarm fatigue and compassion fatigue refer to nurses and other healthcare staff “burning out” from years of stressful service. Both can lead to serious medical errors. One hospital in St. Louis is aiming to reduce compassion fatigue through staff training, which includes stress reduction techniques, meditation, and strategies for handling difficult circumstances. Read more at FierceHealthcare.com.
Things that make you say, “Huh?” and our favorite unexpected news of the week:
There’s always been kind of an underground battle between profit and non-profit healthcare providers. And public perception of for-profit operations tends toward the negative, with assumptions that for-profit institutions are financially-driven, with patient-centric care a secondary concern. New research is now showing that employees of non-profits report higher levels of job satisfaction than their counterparts working for for-profit entities. More evidence to suggest for-profit status is bad news in healthcare? You decide: Read the article at The Non-Profit Quarterly and give us your opinion in the comments below!