Alzheimer’s Researchers Challenged Finding Qualified Participants for Clinical Trials

A major challenge medical researchers face is finding qualified participants for clinical trials. Compounding this problem is there are multiple studies competing for clinical trial participants and delays in diagnosis of possible trial participants. For the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times. For Scientists Racing to Cure Alzheimer’s, the Math Is Getting Ugly By Gina Kolata | New York Times The task facing Eli Lilly, the giant pharmaceutical company, sounds simple enough: Find 375 people with early Alzheimer’s disease for a bold new clinical trial aiming to slow or stop memory loss. There are 5.4 million Continue Reading

How to Discuss End of Life Matters With Your Asian Parents

In Chinese culture, death is a taboo subject leading to an aversion of discussing end of life issues with family members. First generation children do not ask their parents about their final wishes for fear of upsetting their parents. There are different programs in the Greater Boston area that are addressing how to discuss end of life with senior family members while showing sensitivity to Chinese culture. For the complete article, follow our link to the Boston Globe. Breaking taboo, Chinese elders learn to express end-of-life wishes By Robert Weisman | Boston Globe Nine wary residents gathered around a table Continue Reading

How to Manage Multigenerational Households

Multigenerational households (where two or more adult generations live together or include grandparents and grandchildren) are on the rise. Create a checklist of needs vs wants while looking at homes. Draft a family agreement which addresses how the family would pay for the home and related expenses including an “exit strategy” in the event a family member moves out. For the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times. What to Know Before Buying a Home With Your Parents By Claire Zulkey | New York Times For Diana Limongi, the practical benefits of sharing a two-family house in Continue Reading

New Alzhemier’s Drug Shows Reduction of Plaques and Slowing of Dementia

At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, results of a new drug were announced which for the first time in a clinical trial resulted in the reduction of plaques and slowing the progression of dementia. More trials will be necessary to verify if the new drug is truly effective but this drug may be the first to successfully attack both brain changes and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. To read the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times. New Alzheimer’s Drug Slows Memory Loss in Early Trial Results By Pam Belluck | New York Times The long, discouraging quest Continue Reading

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