Older Oklahoman’s vulnerable to scams, abuse

As much as 10 percent of Oklahoma’s adults age 60 and older are victims of physical, psychological, sexual or verbal abuse.

Also, senior citizens are seriously neglected or victims of financial exploitation, according to a new report co-authored by Lance Robertson, assistant secretary for aging in the Trump administration. Robertson served as Oklahoma’s director of aging services from 2007 to 2017.

Now, elder-abuse costs in the United States are estimated to be $8.2 billion a year, according to Robertson and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams.

“Elder abuse is a critical social, health and economic problem,” the report notes.

Full story at newsok.com

Video recordings spotlight poor communication between nurses and doctors

Communication breakdown among nurses and doctors is one of the primary reasons for patient care mistakes in the hospital.

In a small pilot study, University of Michigan researchers learned about potential causes of these communication failures by recording interactions among nurses and doctors, and then having them watch and critique the footage together.

Several themes emerged to help explain the poor communication, and both nurses and physicians improved their communication styles, said Milisa Manojlovich, U-M professor of nursing, who defines communication as reaching a shared understanding.

One barrier to good communication is that the hospital hierarchy puts nurses at a power disadvantage, and many are afraid to speak the truth to doctors, Manojlovich said.

Full story at Science Daily

The hidden male caregiver

When we think of family caregivers, we tend to think of women. And in fact the typical caregiver is a middle-aged woman caring for a relative, often her mother.

But the face of American caregiving is changing rapidly, according to “Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers,” a recent report from AARP. Eight years ago, just 34 percent of caregivers surveyed were men. Today, 40 percent of the 40 million Americans caring for a loved one are male.

In many respects, male caregivers resemble their female counterparts. Both say they had little choice about taking on caregiving responsibilities, whether they are caring for a parent, a spouse or partner, or other relative. Both are more prone to health problems and depression than non-caregivers. Both often not only manage finances and medical care, but also provide personal care, including helping their loved one with eating, bathing, dressing and toileting.

Full story at San Diego Union Tribune

A Milestone for Community Living: Reflecting on 19 Years of Olmstead

The right to live independently, integrated into the community, is a cornerstone of the disability rights movement. It’s also the core of the mission for the Administration for Community Living — it’s even built into our name. ACL was created around the fundamental principle that all people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and fully participate in their communities.

For decades, people with disabilities have worked to turn this principle into a reality. Looking at this history, certain moments stand out as turning points. For example, the passage and implementation of landmark legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act have each helped make community living possible for more Americans.

Full story at acl.gov

Why Mental Illness Is So Hard to Spot in Seniors

THE INSTITUTE OF Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) issued a report in 2012, “The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?” that said 14 to 20 percent of U.S. adults over age 65 have one or more mental health or substance use conditions. That’s about 8 million people. Yet a number of studies also indicate that mental illness in older adults is underrecognized and underdiagnosed.

For instance, a telephone survey of nearly 10,000 adult households, published in 2003 in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found that half of adults over age 65 with a probable mental illness were significantly less likely to be receiving any mental health treatment than younger adults. Of those, only 7 percent had used specialty mental health care.

“Indeed, compared with younger adults and middle-aged adults, adults over age 65 were much less likely to be asked by their primary care physician if they felt tense or anxious and were much less likely to be referred by their primary care physician for mental health specialty care,” says Dr. Susan W. Lehmann, clinical director of the division of geriatric psychiatry and neuropsychiatry and director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Day Hospital at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A more recent study of seniors receiving home health services found that 23 percent screened positive for depression, yet less than 40 percent of those people were receiving treatment for depression, she says.

Full story at US News

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

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

Frail, Old and Dying, but Their Only Way Out of Prison Is a Coffin

Kevin Zeich had three and a half years to go on his prison sentence, but his doctors told him he had less than half that long to live. Nearly blind, battling cancer and virtually unable to eat, he requested “compassionate release,” a special provision for inmates who are very sick or old.

His warden approved the request, but officials at the federal Bureau of Prisons turned him down, saying his “life expectancy is currently indeterminate.”

Congress created compassionate release as a way to free certain inmates, such as the terminally ill, when it becomes “inequitable” to keep them in prison any longer. Supporters view the program as a humanitarian measure and a sensible way to reduce health care costs for ailing, elderly inmates who pose little risk to public safety. But despite urging from lawmakers of both parties, numerous advocacy groups and even the Bureau of Prisons’ own watchdog, prison officials use it only sparingly.

Full story at The New York Times