Fall prevention gets harder when elderly leave hospital

More efforts are needed to prevent falls among the elderly, especially those just discharged from the hospital, Australian researchers say.

Older adults have a greater risk of falling to begin with. But this risk heightens considerably within the first six months of a hospital release, authors note in Age and Ageing.

More than half of those who do fall during this period suffer serious injury, such as hip fractures, they say.

Exercise interventions, vitamin supplementation and patient education about high-risk scenarios are known to reduce the risk of falling for elderly people in general. But in a new review of previous research, the Australian team found that these strategies were not as effective in older people following hospital discharge.

Full story at Reuters

New Resources on Community-Based Managed Care and Building Competitive Pricing

Two new resources are available for community-based organizations to help with business planning and contracting with health care organizations and payers.

“Fundamentals of Community-Based Managed Care: A Field Guide ” from the American Society on Aging is the second in a series of three issues of the publication Generations to focus on how best to build and preserve community-based organization (CBO) partnerships with the healthcare sector, in the interest of helping CBOs survive in the new financial climate, and for addressing the Triple Aim of improving care, improving population health, and reducing costs. This issue also addresses the social determinants of health and the role they play in aging in the community.

A resource guide on pricing  from the Aging and Disability Business Institute  explores financial contracting and provides guidance to community-based organizations on how to build competitive pricing models for contracting with health care payers. The pricing guide also explains the differences between common types of payment arrangements such as Per Member Per-month (PMPM), per episode, and capitation.

Full story at acl.gov

Ford Expands U.S. Medical Ride Business Built Around Its Vans

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday that it was expanding a medical transport service called GoRide in Southeast Michigan, one of several efforts by the U.S. automaker to build new ride service businesses around its Transit commercial van.

Under a multi-year agreement with Michigan healthcare system Beaumont Health, Ford will use Transit vans to transport patients to medical appointments, or from hospitals to home or rehabilitation centers.

Ford already has 15 vans serving Beaumont facilities as part of a previously announced test project and plans to deploy 60 vans by the end of the year, the company said.

Full story at the New York Times

Webinar: Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Primary Care

Although a growing body of research suggests that social determinants of health—social, functional, environmental, cultural and psychological factors—are intricately linked to health and wellness, our fragmented medical and social services are often underequipped to address these needs. The Ambulatory Integration of the Medical and Social (AIMS) model—developed by the Center for Health and Social Care Integration (CHaSCI) at Rush University Medical Center—integrates masters-prepared social workers into primary care teams to identify, address, and monitor social needs that influence health.

Preliminary evidence indicates that AIMS reduces clients’ emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and readmission rates. AIMS also creates opportunities for community-based organizations (CBO) to develop partnerships with local health clinics to integrate care and promote better health outcomes.

Please join the Aging and Disability Business Institute  on April 24 at 1:00 PM Eastern for a one-hour webinar. This webinar will highlight training and implementation support for CBOs interested in replicating AIMS.

For more on this Webinar, visit acl.gov

Congress voices concern over CMS’ response to nursing facility abuse

Republican lawmakers on Monday told the CMS they are concerned the agency may not be doing enough to prevent patient abuse in skilled-nursing facilities.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee highlighted recent media reports describing instances of abuse, neglect and patient harm occurring at nursing facilities across the country.

“These reports raise serious questions about the degree to which the CMS is fulfilling its responsibility to ensure federal quality of care standards are being met, as well as its duty to protect vulnerable seniors from elder abuse and harm in facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” the letter stated.

Full story at Modern Healthcare

New Funding Opportunities To Conduct Research on Exercise Interventions for People with Disabilities, and Health & Function for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Two new grant opportunities from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research(NIDILRR) at ACL have been announced: the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on exercise interventions for people with disabilities, and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on health & function for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The purpose of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities (including international activities) to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities.

DRRP on Exercise Interventions for People with Disabilities — The purpose of this DRRP is to generate new knowledge about the effectiveness of exercise interventions for people with disabilities.

Full story at acl.gov

Home Sharing: Growing Trend or Desperate Need?

You may remember the show “The Golden Girls,” which showcased four aging womenwho took a creative approach to senior living: shared housing. They were way ahead of their time. Is home sharing a viable option for older adults? It can be a desired lifestyle choice for many but equally a life necessity for others.

Many baby boomers have a real desire to age in their own home, provided they’re capable and it’s safe. But sometimes the economic realities of upkeep, the need for companionship and socialization and even help around the house makes you want to consider a more formal senior community. Home sharing provides an alternative to senior living, whose costs can range from $2,500 a month in an independent community to over $100,000 a year in a skilled nursing facility.

Full story at US Health News

New Technologies Help Seniors Age In Place — And Not Feel Alone

Nancy Delano, 80, of Denver has no plans to slow down anytime soon. She still drives to movies, plays and dinners out with friends. A retired elder care nurse who lives alone, she also knows that “when you reach a certain age, emergencies can happen fast.” So, when her son, Tom Rogers, talked to her about installing a remote monitoring system, she didn’t hesitate.

With motion sensors placed throughout the house, Rogers can see if his mom is moving around, if she’s sleeping (or not), if she forgot to lock the door and, based on a sophisticated algorithm that detects behavioral patterns, whether her activity level or eating habits have changed significantly, for instance.

“It gives both of us peace of mind, particularly as she ages and wants to live at home,” said Rogers, who lives near Washington, D.C., hundreds of miles away from her.

Full story at Kaiser Health News

A tale of love, family conflict and battles over care for an aging mother

“Edith + Eddie,” a short documentary vying for an Academy Award Sunday, is a gripping look at a couple in their 90s caught up in an intense family conflict over caring for an aging parent. As a columnist who covers aging, I’m familiar with such stories. But as I immersed myself in the details of this case, I found myself reaching a familiar conclusion: real life is more complicated than in the movies.

On my first viewing, the events depicted in the 29-minute film were unsettling. It begins in the fall of 2014 with Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, who were married only a few months before, enjoying a series of intimate moments — dancing together, holding hands, exercising and chatting comfortably. It ends months later with the couple being separated by Edith’s court-appointed legal guardian, with police on the scene, and Edith taken off abruptly to Florida. Shockingly, Eddie died only a few weeks later.

Full story at news-medical.net

How Knowing When to Call in Professional Help is Key

Even though we would like to think we can, it’s impossible to handle all of life’s nuisances on our own. In fact, many of history’s most successful people attributed their successes to knowing when to seek the help of others. This goes for all areas of life whether it be business, education or dealing with a problem. For me, dealing with a major problem is where I finally learned this significant life lesson.

Trying to always handle things myself, I came to a road block when a huge problem arose within my family. After recently putting my grandmother in a nursing home, she made us aware that things really weren’t going so well. She was complaining to us that the food seemed to be making her sick. My family and I shrugged her complaints off for a while and just thought she was being dramatic and trying to get taken out of the home. However, as time went on, we realized that she was right. She looked worse than ever, seemed a lot thinner and didn’t have much energy. The staff started to give her more medications to help her stomach which ended up having a whole host of negative side effects.

Full story at the Huffington Post