Deb’s father, Dr. Jones, was a prominent doctor in the Phoenix area. He is older now and lives alone, so Deb wants him to have a round-the-clock caregiver to make sure he is safe. When Bob Koch heard about Deb’s concerns, he immediately wanted to help. Bob recommended the services of Homewatch CareGivers, but he was too late.
Deb decided to go with a private caregiver, not affiliated with a home care agency. The caregiver was helping Deb’s father in his home when she slipped, fell and fractured her hip. Because the caregiver was on the job at the time of the accident, she sent Deb the hospital bills. Furthermore, Deb must keep paying the caregiver’s salary while she is unable to work due to the injury. And during the emergency, Dr. Jones was left without the immediate help of his caregiver.
“They’re still paying for this person to be off work,” said Bob, who is the Area Vice President of Operations for the Mountain West for Gentiva Home Health Services. “The caregiver didn’t do anything wrong. The poor person just fell. But the reality is that Deb has to pay for this caregiver’s hospital bills and salary because she didn’t More >
Many seniors have a long list of medications they take every day. Problems often surface because certain medications do not interact well with each other. Furthermore, certain supplements, vitamins and even foods can also cause issues.
For example, a person who regularly takes a blood thinner and then takes vitamin E or fish oil could end up with abnormal bleeding. An estimated 100,000 Americans ages 65 and older are hospitalized each year for adverse drug reactions, according to a 2011 study in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Additionally, the FDA says adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., ahead of pulmonary disease, diabetes, AIDS, pneumonia, accidents and automobile deaths. To prevent these problems, it is important for a senior to go through regular medication reviews with a health care professional.
Nothing is Unimportant
To make sure a medication review is successful, it’s important for the person asking the questions to know about everything a person ingests. Many clinicians performing a medication review will ask about: What prescriptions do you take? If the questions stop there, they may never know about any supplements, over-the-counter medications, or foods that can cause detrimental drug interactions.
A thorough medication review More >
The average American reads at an 8th grade level, but health care information is communicated at a college-graduate level. This disconnect leads to confusion, frustration and a feeling of helplessness for doctors and patients.
The American Medical Society addressed the problem in a video uploaded onto YouTube. In the video, the AMA gives doctors recommendations on how to make sure patients understand what they are told during office visits: To view the video, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGtTZ_vxjyA&feature=player_embedded
However, patients do not have to sit and wait for their doctor to employ the best practices recommended by the AMA. Instead, they can take action to encourage their doctor to take these steps. Then the patient leaves each office visit truly understanding their health issues, the reason for treatment, and the way to make sure that treatment is successful.
The AMA recommends doctors make their offices an open and shame-free environment. They can do this by creating an attitude of helpfulness in each employee. When patients enter a doctor’s office, they often think of it as a hostile environment. This attitude puts the entire responsibility on the provider to make patients feel safe and comfortable. Patients can and should ask for help, and be willing to More >