Many ‘Gen Xers’ Desolate as They Navigate Adulthood: Study

Despair runs rampant through Generation X as these Americans struggle through middle age, a new study reports.

So-called indicators of despair — depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse — are rising among those in their late 30s and early 40s, and it’s occurring across-the-board, researchers say.

“These are getting worse as people age through their 30s,” said lead researcher Lauren Gaydosh, an assistant professor with the Vanderbilt University Center for Medicine, Health and Society. “For example, heavy drinking is really peaking again, almost to levels equivalent to where they were at college age.”

Previous studies have drawn attention to these “deaths of despair,” but initially it appeared they were occurring mainly among poorly educated whites, Gaydosh said.

Full story at US News

An Age-Friendly Rural America

AS RURAL America ages and shrinks, officials should strategically plan to help older adults age in place and ensure their communities are accessible to young and old alike, aging experts said Tuesday.

Older adults across the country face a variety of challenges, including social isolation, food insecurity, a lack of transportation, strained finances and mobility issues, according to a recent AARP survey of local aging agencies across the U.S. But older adults living in rural areas are more likely than their urban counterparts to face several of these challenges at once, the survey shows, carrying serious implications for their health.

“Those with multiple unmet social needs may experience even greater risk of poor health,” Lori Parham, who directs AARP Maine, said during a panel at the Aging in America conference in New Orleans on Tuesday. “There’s really a vested interest in figuring out how to look at all of these issues and the whole person as we look at the number of people who are continuing to age.”

Full story at US News

Where There’s Rarely a Doctor in the House: Assisted Living

The patient moved into a large assisted living facility in Raleigh, N.C., in 2003. She was younger than most residents, just 73, but her daughter thought it a safer option than remaining in her own home.

The woman had been falling so frequently that “she was ending up in the emergency room almost every month,” said Dr. Shohreh Taavoni, the internist who became her primary care physician.

“She didn’t know why she was falling. She didn’t feel dizzy — she’d just find herself on the floor.” At least in a facility, her daughter told Dr. Taavoni, people would be around to help.

Full story at the New York Times

Signature’s PDPM Playbook: Data, Specialization, and 600 More Nurses

Therapy has taken center stage in the run-up to the new Medicare payment model for skilled nursing facilities, but a growing chorus has begun to frame the change as a return to the primacy of nurses in nursing homes — with a leading provider planning on adding 600 of them to meet the new priorities and expected demand.

As Signature HealthCARE’s senior vice president of data informatics and management information systems, Vinnie Barry and his team have taken the lead on preparing the provider for the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), set to take effect October 1. And as the Louisville, Ky.-based provider has crunched the numbers, a few clear trends have emerged: Moving forward, Signature plans to focus on honing its clinical capabilities and changing the way it markets its services to hospital partners in key regions.

While Barry expects Signature to see overall reimbursement gains as a result of the new incentives, he emphasized that the company is willing and ready to take a short-term earnings hit in order to properly staff up its facilities to eventually capture that new revenue.

Full story at Skilled Nursing News

What to Look for in a Geriatric Care Manager

WHEN OLDER ADULTS CAN no longer care for themselves, it’s usually up to their family members to take over the responsibility. But it’s hard to know where to begin managing the care of someone who has chronic health conditions, requires frequent doctor visits and needs assistance at home – which may be in another town. “Families are often overwhelmed and ask, ‘What do we do? How do we handle this?’” says Nancy Avitabile, president of the board of directors of the Aging Life Care Association.

Avitabile is an aging life care manager (also known as a geriatric care manager), a type of elder care professional trained to jump into these challenging situations and offer solutions, guidance and hands-on management.

“It’s not uncommon for adult children to involve a geriatric care manager when things are getting complicated with a new diagnosis or a change in function or cognition, especially when the family lives far away and they need guidance on which options are available,” says Dr. Christine Ritchie, a geriatrician, palliative care physician and professor at the University of California—San Francisco School of Medicine.

Full story at US News

Senate hearing examines ‘devastating’ nursing home abuse

The phone rang shortly before Christmas in 2014.

When Maya Fischer answered, a nurse from the nursing home where her mother had been staying for more than a decade was on the other end of the line. In her Minnesota home, Fischer braced herself for difficult news.
“When you receive a phone call from the nursing home, your first thought is that … my mother has passed,” Fischer said.
The news was indeed troubling, but it was not what she expected.
“I was not at all prepared for the call that I received. … The call that my mother had been a victim of a sexual assault in her nursing home,” Fischer said. “For me and my family, it’s been devastating.”

LTC Properties: Senior Care Centers Won’t Survive Bankruptcy, Transfer Ongoing

“As you know, Senior Care declared bankruptcy in December, and we don’t believe they have the ability to emerge from the process as a viable, ongoing concern,” CEO Wendy Simpson said Friday during the company’s fourth quarter 2018 earnings call.

The Dallas-based Senior Care Centers left landlord LTC without $1.8 million in rent for the month of December in the wake of its filing, which the provider blamed on prohibitively expensive lease payments. At the time, Simpson announced plans to re-tenant the 11 properties in its portfolio with an operator that had overseen the facilities prior to Senior Care Centers — a process that remained ongoing as of Friday.

Full story at Skilled Nursing News

Osteoporosis Often Missed in Elderly Men

Osteoporosis is typically thought of as a woman’s disease, but elderly men are also prone to bone loss — even though they often aren’t treated for it, a new study finds.

Among men and women aged 80 and older, women were three times more likely to get osteoporosis treatment, researchers reported.

Ten million Americans have osteoporosis, according to the study. Each year, the disease causes 2 million fractures, costing $19 million. As the population ages, this could rise to 3 million fractures at a cost of $25 million by 2025.

Full story at US News

Home Instead Senior Care Partners with GrandPad To Provide Enhanced Integrated Care Solution

Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor for the Home Instead Senior Care®  network, today announced a partnership with GrandPad®, the first tablet-based solution designed exclusively for seniors. The two organizations are coming together to offer innovation that will change the way we care for the growing number of older adults.

The partnership provides a platform for Home Instead franchise owners to offer integrated care solutions that will enhance the client experience while a Home Instead CAREGiverSM is in the home. It also sets the stage for Home Instead to offer new services, such as interactive remote care, which would create new opportunities for the delivery of technology-based home care across underserved populations and rural geographies.

The agreement includes an equity investment in GrandPad. Additionally, Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead, Inc., has been added to the GrandPad board of directors.

Full story at Home Instead

Why Power of Attorney Can Be Key for Senior Health Care

IN THE VAST constellation of legal documents you could encounter over your lifetime, some are more critical than others. For older adults, a few legal instruments take on outsized importance, particularly in the context of ensuring adequate health care as we age. While some documents that older adults may need are focused on the financial side of your affairs, others concern how decisions will be made about your health care. The information that follows will focus on the documents related to health care that may come into play as you age.

As you navigate these legal waters for yourself or a loved one, some legal terms and documents you may encounter include:

  • Living will
  • Advance directive
  • Do not resuscitate order
  • Physician orders for life-sustaining treatment
  • Health care proxy
  • Power of attorney
  • Guardianship or conservatorship

Full story at US News