Tools on the Horizon for Dementia Caregivers

It’s not just loss of cognition that haunts those with dementia. Accompanying it are disruptive behavioral symptoms that can include depression, agitation, aggression, psychosis, disinhibition, sleep disturbances and apathy. The fall-out is often placing the loved one in a nursing home, not to mention extraordinary stress for family caregivers. It’s no secret that these symptoms are often managed with psychotropic medication like antipsychotics. For one thing, there can be side effects with these drugs, including death. More importantly, there are …

An Evacuation Plan at Your Parent’s Nursing Home: 9 Questions to Ask

Media images of nursing home residents being evacuated after an explosion this week at a nearby fertility plant in West, Texas, raise an important issue. That is, if your loved one is, or may some day be, in a nursing home, do you know what its evacuation and emergency plans are? According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in 2012 on any day, more than 1.4 million Americans live in 15,800 nursing homes; more than 3 million have …

Nursing Home Near Texas Blast: ‘Everything Went Flying Everywhere’

Sometimes it seems there’s a special place in hell reserved for older people. When disaster strikes, it finds the most vulnerable among us. Maybe it’s because they’re often clustered in large groups. Maybe it’s because they’re less likely to be able to save themselves. And maybe in part it’s a numbers game: there’s simply more and more senior citizens. We saw it in New Orleans during Katrina and in the Northeast during Superstorm Sandy. And we saw it again when …

Woman Dies After Nurse Refuses to Do CPR

“Is there anybody willing to help this lady and not let her die?” That was the plea of a fire department dispatcher in Bakersfield, Calif., on Feb. 26 when she learned that the nurse on the other end of the line would not perform CPR on Lorraine Bayless, an 87-year-old resident of the Glenwood Gardens independent living facility. The nurse said that no one at the facility was authorized to help Bayless, who had crumpled to the floor in a …

Strange Math: More Seniors But Fewer Nursing Homes

Let’s look at the numbers: By 2030, 20 percent of the U.S. population will be at least 65, up from 13 percent today. The number of 85-year-olds will increase more than 50 percent. But the number of nursing homes dropped almost 9 percent from 2000 to 2009 and the number of under-construction nursing home units declined by a third from 20007 to 2011. What’s wrong with this picture? An in-depth analysis of the coming nursing home shortage by The Fiscal …

The Takeaway: What Dad Wants in a Nursing Home; Debt Deal: Hip-Hop Style

When it comes to “home away from home,” men are left behind. In her search for the perfect rehab for her father, Pam Gerhardt found that many assisted living facilities often forget about the other half. It’s hard enough getting your stubborn “still-young-at-heart” dad to agree to go to a home. So when he gets there, he should feel comfortable, right?