Dr. Mauk’s Boomer Blog

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Each week, Dr. Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.

Guest Blog: Do You Know – How Patient Education Can Help Chronic Disease Management?

Healthcare facilities all around the world often face difficulty in treating patients with chronic diseases and look for ways to make it easy for patients to live with it. Chronic disease management by educating the patients either via  online school or through regular sessions is known to an effective way of inculcating in them an awareness of how they can play part in coping with their health conditions. Patient education for chronic disease management helps in empowering them and taking actions that will enable them to achieve their health goals. Here is everything you need to know about educating patients for chronic disease management:

What Exactly is Chronic Disease Management?

Chronic disease management (CDA) is support and care to assist the patients having chronic diseases. It teaches them skills, gives them the knowledge and resources that they need to manage their daily life in a better way. This often includes regular visits from a family physician, other care providers, or referrals to specialized programs and services. The skills that are usually taught vary with diseases. Chronic diseases commonly include diabetes, asthma, chronic kidney disease, arthritis, depression, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What are the Key Elements of Good Chronic Disease Management?

To be more effective, good chronic disease management should offer support and care that is proactive, team-based, and must be well integrated with the primary health care provider (e.g. your family physician, etc.). It must be easily accessible and should well-coordinated. It should be focused on adopting a healthy lifestyle and overall well being of the patient. CDM aims to encourage the patient to take care of themselves and involves family to encourage them to extend their support to their loved ones suffering from some serious health issues. It helps the patient to live a healthier and happier life by teaching them to cope up with their health condition.

How Patient’s Engagement and Education is Beneficial for the CDM?

Chronic disease management sessions are usually patient-centric. Since their aim is to enable patients to take care of themselves, the patient’s constant engagement is what makes it an absolute success. It is easy to keep the patient under observation as the healthcare provider can keep a constant check of what the patient is eating etc. or can control his routine. However, CDM does not have this privilege, rather their work is to train patients to follow a healthy lifestyle even in the absence of their healthcare provider. Patient’s knowledge and the urge to a better life is what helps them to live the disease but in a happier and healthier way.

When to Begin With the CDM?

Chronic disease management starts way before the patient is actually diagnosed with an illness. The primary health care provider, through regular checkups, encourages patients to take preventive healthcare measures by adopting healthy habits. Through such precautionary measures, the early onset of the disease can be mitigated.

What Do Patients Learn From CDM?

CDM helps the patient to differentiate between major and minor health-related issues and enables them to differentiate between both. For Example, if a person has a cardiovascular disease, through CDM he will be able to learn that what he should do in case of minor chest pain. Either he should instantly rush to the hospital or should talk to his healthcare provider on phone. Having knowledge of one’s health condition will enable them to make a better and timely decision and will save their money and time too.

Besides, knowing at what time you should be taking your medicine and what should you eat will make it easy for the people around you to extend their support, love, and care towards you. It will keep you going with your life, the way it is.

To Sum it Up!

You might have heard the cliché ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ and this how chronic disease management works. Involving the patient in their health care routine and talking and guiding them throughout the process is likely to give them a ray of hope. It is surely the best possible way of dealing with chronic disease. It just not eases their pain but also keeps them motivated to opt for a better and healthier lifestyle every day.

By |2020-05-19T11:04:29-05:00May 19th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Do You Know – How Patient Education Can Help Chronic Disease Management?

Guest Blog: 5 Ways Families Can Pay For Long-Term Care

Long Term Care Word Cloud

Depending on what long-term care option your loved one chooses, prices can vary. Many families may be surprised to find out that Medicare and private health insurance policies don’t typically cover the cost of care. Learn how you can pay for long-term care by reading on!

1. Long-Term Care Insurance

In addition to your health insurance, families can purchase an additional long-term care insurance policy for their loved one. Policies generally cover most services offered by a home care agency, nursing home, or assisted living facility. It’s best to purchase a long-term care insurance policy when your loved one is in good health as they may not qualify if there are any pre-existing conditions.

2. Life Insurance

If your loved one already has life insurance, they may be able to add a long-term care rider to their policy. An accelerated death benefit allows your loved one to get a tax-free advance on their policy while they are still alive to pay for the cost of care. If your loved one doesn’t require long-term care, their beneficiaries receive a tax-free benefit as long as the policy is in effect.

3. Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage allows the homeowner to draw on their home’s equity to pay for long-term care. Your loved one can receive a lump sum or monthly payment and even open up a new line of credit. In the event of their death, heirs are left with the remainder of the home equity after paying off the amount owed. There are both pros and cons of having a reverse mortgage.

4. Annuities

An immediate annuity and deferred long-term annuity can usually be purchased through your loved one’s insurance company. A single premium payment for an immediate annuity means they receive a specified amount of monthly income for a designated period of time. With a deferred long term annuity, they will have two sources of funding—one fund that is specifically for long-term care and another fund to use however they would like.

5. Out-of-Pocket

For seniors who don’t have an insurance policy or qualify for Medicaid, they must pay out-of-pocket. Planning for long-term care way before it’s needed can prevent stress and financial burden. This can benefit those who don’t want to pay high insurance premiums. However, only 1 in 4 adults over the age of 45 are actually prepared for the cost of care.

About the Author: Peter Kang is a writer for eCaregivers. He is inspired by his caregiver experience with his late grandfather and role model, a Korean War veteran, to help families find affordable care for their loved ones. Follow Peter on Facebook and Twitter.

By |2020-05-19T08:40:43-05:00May 19th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Ways Families Can Pay For Long-Term Care

Guest Blog: Should We Be Saving for Our Care in Old Age?

bigstock-Portrait-of-a-cheerful-old-cou-20181236

‘Carpe diem’ is a phrase that you’ve no doubt heard before. Your grandchildren might be announcing instead that ‘YOLO – you only live once’. The message is simple – live each day as though it’s your last, you never know what’s around the corner. According to those phrases, saving for old age might be a waste of money. We never know if we’ll make it to retirement, or how far into our retirement years we’ll get. Aren’t there more important things to be spending our money on than our old age care? Should we be saving at all?

What are your future prospects?

As much as you might convince yourself that you never know what lies ahead, the reality is that you can assume that you’ll live to see old age. Thanks to medical advances, more and more people are living full and healthy lives past an age that would previously have been considered to be ‘old’. After those healthy years, in many cases, come the not-so-healthy years when medical costs and care costs increase.

If you’re trying to convince yourself that saving isn’t worthwhile because you might not ever be ‘old’, bear in mind that by 2030 it is expected that 1 person out of 5 in the U.S. will be 65 or over.

Should you save for old age?

Your future is unknown. A majority of people pay a small fortune in costs for their care when they reach old age. The amount of support available could increase by the time you’re there, or it could dramatically decrease. It is far better to assume the latter and be prepared for every eventuality than to assume that you’ll have financial support and then discover later on that you don’t.

As you age, you may become less able to earn money and may be less capable of making your own decisions. If you don’t prepare in advance, then the eventual burden of your old age care will fall to your loved ones. By saving for old age, you are able to ensure that you get the best place to live, the best support and the best medical treatment, without impacting on the finances and livelihoods of younger family members.

Ecuva is an online health and wellness store where customers can purchase daily living aids, disability aids and items that can make old age easier, more comfortable and more independent.

By |2020-05-14T09:02:34-05:00May 18th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Should We Be Saving for Our Care in Old Age?

Guest Blog: Three key ways architecture benefits the elderly

elderly couple walking

Most people don’t realize just how big of an impact architecture can have on the lives and well being of elderly individuals. For many years, innovative designs for care homes and retirement living have gone a long way in helping to both support and reassure elderly residents so they feel comfortable in their surroundings, and will do for many years to come. Here are three key ways in which architecture benefits the elderly.

Exposure to sunlight

One of the first architectural considerations for any residential project is ‘how does the building sit in relation to the sun?’ This can influence many factors such as the garden, conservatories and large windows, all because we want residents to have the best exposure to natural light as possible. Designs for many care homes ensure that there are no rooms that face exclusively north, so all residents receive direct, natural sunlight into their room at some point during the day. Not only are there psychological benefits of enjoying the sunshine, but exposure to the sun in moderation provides a healthy dose of Vitamin D, absorbed into the body to help strengthen bones which is a huge boost for the elderly to starve off the effects of frailty with age.

Green space

Residential architecture is not just about the building, but landscaping the garden area too. Retaining some green outdoor space is important for elderly residents for whom it may not be possible to venture to the nearest public park whenever they wish, so they can relax outdoors without completely leaving their home. For more mobile elderly residents, gardens also provide the opportunity to continue with a relaxing gardening hobby, or to even take it up. In care homes, gardens are kept in pristine condition all year round by qualified gardeners, and when the months begin to get warmer, residents can enjoy the various plants and colorful flowerbeds – some of which they may have helped to plant themselves.

Built to adapt

When it comes to care home facilities and retirement housing, architectural designs must cater for the ever-changing needs of the residents. Therefore, it has to be built to adapt. Many elderly who use wheelchairs will require spacious rooms with height adjustable surfaces, particularly in the kitchen, and ramps fitted on all entrances and exits. These features take even more prominence in care homes with more residents present, with designs also incorporating wide corridors to allow residents in wheelchairs or on mobility scooters to pass one another with ease, and interior walls within a resident’s living space fitted as panels that can be easily knocked out to create a larger open plan floor space if necessary.

Author bio: Mick Goode is a co-founder and co-director of Croft Goode Architects, based in Lancashire, UK. As a BIM-focused practice of chartered architects, we have a vast range of experience designing for all kinds of projects, including those for retirement living and healthcare buildings for the elderly and disabled.

By |2020-05-14T09:02:18-05:00May 17th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Three key ways architecture benefits the elderly

Guest Blog: Four Ways to Make Travel Easier for Seniors

Traveling is stressful for everyone, but traveling as a senior citizen comes with its own unique challenges. In order to make your next trip as easy and enjoyable as possible, be sure to keep these four easy tips in mind.

1. Prepare for Security Checkpoints

If you have to go through a TSA checkpoint before your trip, make sure you plan for it ahead of time.

TSA agents typically try to make things as easy and efficient as possible for seniors, especially those who are in wheelchairs or have other mobility limitations.

To help them do their job properly, make sure you let the agent know about any medical conditions — like pacemakers or implants — that might set off alarms. You should also try to get a physician’s statement verifying your implant to avoid delays.

2. Invest in Quality Pillows

Hotel pillows are often not as comfortable as the ones you have at home. Either bring one with your or invest in a quality pillow before you go to make sure you sleep comfortably at night.

You’ll also want to invest in a neck and back pillow for car and plane rides. This way, you won’t have to deal with any pain on your way to your destination.

3. Pack Light

Try to fit everything you need in a roll-aboard suitcase and a medium-sized carry on bag. Don’t bring more than you can carry — otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lot of discomfort.

If possible, bring both your bags on the plane and stash one in the overhead rack. This will make things easier when you land since you won’t have to hang around the baggage claim area.

4. Manage Your Medication

Make sure your medications are safe and accessible throughout your trip. Store them in a zip-lock bag and keep that bag in your carry-on. Keep copies of your prescriptions and physician statements in the bag as well.

When you get to your destination, you may want to ask for reminders from the hotel or cruise staff to help you take your medication at the same time each day. You can also set an alarm on your watch or cell phone so you stay on top of everything.

Traveling as a senior doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe and comfortable throughout your trip.

 

By |2020-05-14T08:58:29-05:00May 15th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Four Ways to Make Travel Easier for Seniors