Monthly Archives: July 2010

Talking Tips: Insight Into How Your Aging Parents Feel

Adult children often struggle emotionally when their parents start to show signs of old age. But, says elder-care planner Wendy Johnstone, they’re not the only ones. Aging parents have their own issues. She writes, at Our Big Earth:

It’s important to remember that our aging parents receiving care are experiencing their own roller coaster of emotions – knowing that they need help but resisting for fear of losing control and independence, feelings of uselessness and …Read more ›

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Aging in Place: Ideas for Beautiful Remodels, Not Just Accessible

Aging in place remodeling doesn’t have to mean “converting the home into a series of sterile, hospital-like rooms,” says Dan Harding of Calfinder Remodeling Contractors. It can instead involve adding beauty and modernization.

In a blog post at, Harding points out that creatively designed windows can artistically provide some of the extra light seniors need, without electricity. A recessed tub, set down into the floor, allows for easier entry “without sacrificing the all encompassing …Read more ›

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Medicaid Warning: Home-Care Cuts May Be Coming

If Medicaid is paying for your aging parent’s home care, you may want to start saving money or researching alternatives. States have been cutting assistance, and they’re not done yet, says The New York Times.

Since the start of the recession, at least 25 states and the District of Columbia have curtailed programs that include meal deliveries, housekeeping aid and assistance for family caregivers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ….

Because Medicaid …Read more ›

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Medcottage Unveiled: “Granny Pod” Nursing Home for Your Backyard

We’ve been hearing about it for a while. But the time has finally come: Last week, N2Care debuted a prototype of the MedCottage.

CBS News calls it “the backyard nursing home.”

It’s “a portable 12-by-24-foot high-tech hut,” explains AARP. Instead of going to a nursing home, loved ones can stay in this dwelling—one that some derisively call a granny pod.

“The cottage contains air-filtration systems, video links, devices that …Read more ›

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Senate Examines Continuing Care Retirement Communities

For seniors who want to plan for everything, Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer a thorough option. They include regular housing, assisted living and nursing homes, which you can move into as you need. Residents pay a large upfront fee plus monthly ones.

But in this economy, the Senate Select Committee on Aging wondered about CCRCs’ financial stability, reports U.S. News & World Report. So they ordered a study on the organizations. The committee discussed the …Read more ›

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First-Person Story: Finding a Nursing Home During a Crisis

Last week, we covered how important talking about long-term care early can be when your aging parent has a degenerative disease. Recently, Sparky Harlan, CEO of a youth center in California, blogged about what he went through when scrambling to find his mother a nursing home during a crisis. She had a stroke, he said, and “within a few days, I had to find and approve a skilled nursing facility for …Read more ›

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What to Do When Medicare Won’t Pay for More Tests

“How can Medicare (and how dare Medicare) determine that I’ve had ‘too many tests’?” asks a reader at The Los Angeles Times blog Bucks. “Medicare has informed me that I’ve had ‘sufficient’ tests this year and that they won’t pay for any more.” If you’re caring for an aging parent and this issue comes up, here’s part of what Medicare expert Joe Baker advises in the blog post:

It may be that you received duplicated tests …Read more ›

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Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visits: The Changes Explained

Next year, as you may have heard, Medicare will begin covering an annual checkup instead of the current one-time introductory one. In a recent blog post at The New York Times, Medicare expert Joe Baker explains what to expect with that exam.

According to preliminary guidelines released earlier this month by the agency, the first wellness visit must include, among other things, establishing a patient’s medical history; assessing health risk factors and current physical condition, …Read more ›

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Assisted Living Questions: Dental Care in the Hair Salon?

Dental work in a hair salon and surgery in your bed? That’s what some seniors are experiencing in assisted living facilities, says dentist Stuart Boekeloo, D.D.S. And he’s out to change it.

A couple of years ago, an award-winning assisted living facility invited Dr. Boekeloo to be their on-site dentist, he writes at He asked where he’d be working.

The answer stunned me.

I was told that the last dentist used mobile equipment in the hair …Read more ›

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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse: What to Look For

If you’re considering moving your aging parent into a nursing home but are worried about abuse, here are some signs lawyer Nick Johnson recommends looking for. They can at least trigger your suspicions, he says in his post at the Citizens for Patient Dignity blog.

  • Sudden disassociation (which might warn of excessive medication).
  • Other patients showing signs of neglect. (Check in on the ones with few visitors, who are more at risk.)
  • “Sudden symptoms of extreme distress, …Read more ›
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