The use of telehealth improves home care for seniors
October 24, 2013 Patricia O’Brien
Nothing can take the place of human touch when it comes to patient care. For those of us in home care, technology does not replace direct patient contact, but rather serves as a powerful ally. I like to say that technology known as telehealth enhances my team’s intelligence.
What is telehealth? Telehealth is defined as a means for exchanging health care information using communication technology. It can be as simple as a conversation between two providers discussing a patient’s status over the phone, or as sophisticated as performing robotic surgery between locations miles apart or even on opposite sides of the globe.
For nursing home residents with advanced dementia, managed care may mean equal or better outcomes
If a loved one of yours is a nursing home resident with advanced dementia, there’s a good chance that keeping him or her comfortable is your main goal--that’s the preference of more than 90% of family members in this situation. Yet many of these residents commonly experience stressful, aggressive interventions, like hospital transfers or tube-feeding, which don’t improve their quality of life or help them live longer.
Dr. Susan Mitchell is a senior scientist at Hebrew SeniorLife whose pioneering research focuses on decision-making, health outcomes and resource utilization for older people near the end of life, particularly those with dementia. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Mitchell about the motivation and vision behind her work.
Of the many medical specialties available, why did you become a geriatrician?
On July 9, New England Baptist Hospital and Hebrew SeniorLife issued a joint press release announcing their preferred provider agreement. At a time when hospital mergers, affiliations and acquisitions seem to be taking place throughout Greater Boston at record speeds, why does this agreement matter to seniors and their families? Seniors and those who care for them need to pay attention to all that is happening in health care today. The landscape continues to change. We cannot afford to let our guard down. Services are being cut and seniors need advocates.
Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke occurs when blood circulation to the brain fails, primarily due to a blood clot or narrowing of the artery leading to the brain. This deprives the brain of much-needed oxygen and nutrients. As scary as this can sound, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of suffering a stroke.
It’s important to control your blood pressure by having it checked annually and treated if it is high.
Having a heart attack can be a frightening experience, but with the appropriate recovery approach, it’s possible to return to normal life with productive activity. It’s important to understand that having a heart attack means you will have to make changes in your life, depending on how badly your heart was damaged and what degree of heart disease you have.
In the fall of 2012, Hebrew SeniorLife gathered together geriatric thought-leaders, researchers and physicians for our inaugural "You and Your Aging Parents" program, an important discussion about the steps one should take to help aging parents as they make decisions regarding health and well-being. Overwhelmingly positive response indicates the need for this information and Hebrew SeniorLife continues to offer this program. Check our events listing for upcoming events.
Have you heard of Parkinson’s Disease? What about Cerebral Palsy or Muscular Dystrophy? Chances are you’ve heard of these disorders or know some basic facts about them. What about Aphasia? Although, it affects one million Americans and is more common than the diseases I just mentioned, most people have never heard of it.
June is National Aphasia Awareness Month and a great opportunity to educate the public on a common, but rarely understood disorder.
Every June, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country as a way to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. I’m thrilled by any opportunity to offer patients more information when it comes to their health, so that they are empowered to make the best decisions possible.
Taking ownership of one’s health care, which is something strongly encouraged at Hebrew SeniorLife, relies greatly on patient education. In honor of Men’s Health Month, I’m highlighting three health issues older men frequently face – and what they can to do prevent them.
It’s no secret that seniors are often taking more than one prescription medication. As we age, we are more likely to develop chronic illnesses – and frequently need medication to lead healthy and active lives. However, medications in older adults come with safety concerns, especially when multiple prescriptions are involved. There are more chances for overdoses, under-doses and dangerous side effects.