Reviews of nursing homes help families choose

It is important to research any facility that you are considering for a loved one. A recent study by gerontologists at the University of Southern California concluded that Yelp and other online platform reviews of nursing homes are an additional tool families may use when making decisions for their family member. Yelp uses software to weed out fake reviews and has partnered with ProPublica which created the tool, Nursing Home Inspect which uses federal data. Another online place to research is Nursing Home Compare which is administered by the federal government and uses a 5 star rating system. Its ratings Continue Reading

Many Americans Try Retirement, Then Change Their Minds

Many people put a lot of care into planning for when they retire but not what they will do during their retirement. Numerous studies conclude that retirement is fluid with people returning to work after reaching retirement age. While for some, income is an incentive, for others, returning to work gives them a sense of purpose and social engagement. Read the complete NYT article. By Paula Span | New York Times Sue Ellen King had circled her retirement date on the calendar: March 8, 2015. She had worked as a critical care nurse and nursing educator at University of Florida Continue Reading

Detail Your Last Wishes

An important part of estate planning is designating a health care proxy and developing an advance directive for your care. It is important to give your primary care physician and health care proxy copies of these documents. In addition to giving them copies, you should request they are part of your electronic health records. Currently, the national standard for electronic records is that they need to have the capacity to show whether or not you have an advance directive somewhere. To learn about a real-life example of the importance of your advance care planning, read this NYT article. By Daniela Continue Reading

In Japan, elderly residents risk dying a “lonely death”

In Japan, elderly residents of the danchi (apartment complexes) risk dying a “lonely death” or dying alone, their body only discovered days after their death. These elderly residents live alone and isolated so much so that an entire industry has developed in specializing in cleaning out apartments where decomposing remains are found. Additionally, many elderly Japanese write “ending notes” that organize their final affairs and ensure a clean orderly death. The danchi (apartment complexes) were built in post war Japan and were a symbol of Japan’s posterity – they introduced Japan to the Western concept of the nuclear family instead Continue Reading

Funeral Directors Are Taking Advantage Of Technology

The National Funeral Directors Association recently held their annual convention in Boston where funeral directors from around the country gathered together to learn about new trends and how to handle topical issues in their field. Funeral directors are taking advantage of technology to aid families in creating personalized tributes to loved ones. To read the complete Boston Globe article, follow our link. Funeral directors work to put some life into death by Laura Crimaldi| Boston Globe Bob Biggins had a plan for navigating the exhibition floor at the funeral directors convention in Boston this week: Skip the caskets and steer Continue Reading

JAMA study says few nursing home residents receive palliative care

A recent study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal demonstrated that few nursing home residents receive palliative care. Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for seriously ill patients by relieving their symptoms and easing their stress which may be provided in conjunction with other medical treatment. The study found the need for better communication between nursing homes and residents and residents’ families regarding hospice and palliative care services their facilities offer. Follow our link to read the complete article Continue Reading

Estrangement is not all that uncommon

A recent study debunks some myths about estrangement. Estrangement is defined as one or more relatives intentionally choosing to end contact because of an ongoing negative relationship. Debunking Myths About Estrangement By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS | New York Times It’s the classic image of the holidays: Parents, siblings and their children gather around the family table to feast and catch up on one another’s lives. But it doesn’t always work that way. After years of discontent, some adults choose to stop talking to their parents or returning home for family gatherings, and parents may disapprove of a child so intensely Continue Reading

Massachusetts Hospitals ill-prepared for patients with dementia

Massachusetts is the only state to establish a committee to aid hospitals in developing a comprehensive plan for addressing the needs of patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. A hospital stay can be traumatic for someone with Alzheimer’s and speed their decline often losing abilities they had, like dressing themselves and walking, before their hospital admission. The committee, formed in 2016, released a 70 page report with resources and suggestions. Dementia patients often need hospitals, which are often ill-prepared by Felice J. Freyer | Boston Globe Steve Johanson had a fierce and knowledgeable advocate at his side when he visited a Continue Reading

A lack of experience is not necessarily a bad thing

When it comes to the age of your physician, older isn’t always better. Research shows a consistent positive correlation between lack of experience and better quality of care. Additionally younger doctors are more likely to adopt innovative practices and are more likely to discuss important issues, such as end of life issues, with patients. For Doctors, Age May Be More Than a Number by HAIDER JAVED WARRAICH | NYT Article When I went on Terry Gross’s radio show last year, the very first question she asked me was one I get asked during my work as a doctor all the Continue Reading

Attacks On Nursing Home Residents Is Increasing

The murder of an older nursing home resident by a younger one in Randolph is part of a troubling nationwide pattern of violent sometimes deadly confrontations in which younger stronger men attack and sometimes kill older more frail roommates.  The attacks often involve residents suffering from dementia or mental illness, men separated by generations living in close proximity with each other. Although rare, the number of these violent interactions is increasing.  For the complete Boston Globe article, follow our link.   Continue Reading