Death With Dignity

This video about end of life options and death with dignity ties in well with last weeks blog. The Death with Dignity National Center can provide more information about this issue. We will focus on this issue in a future post.

Check out our blog about Hospice Care Utilization for more info about the benefits and use of hospice care.

Hospice Care Utilization

The Under-Utilization of Hospice

I recently heard from a former student who is working as a caregiver on an oncology floor. The student wrote about the difficulties of working with patients with terminal diagnosis. It reminded me of an excellent article that was given to me by a nurse mentor of mine named Lynn. “Letting Go” was published in 2010 by the New York Times and speaks to the under-utilization of hospice/comfort care and the sometimes extreme lifesaving measures individuals take without being aware there is even an alternate option of finding peace and comfort in their final days. So why aren’t Americans using hospice services?

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Telemedicine- Changing Healthcare

What is Telemedicine

Telemedicine is another attempt to cut health care costs while providing effective care. Recently, it has gained popularity in the news but it is not a new concept. It has been around for years but is becoming increasingly utilized with the crisis of our healthcare system. Telemedicine companies are reporting enormous growth and there have been favorable reports from customers using the telemedicine system. Continue reading

Life Expectancy

About the Life Expectancy in the US…

What’s the life expectancy of a US citizen?  Can you figure out what your own life expectancy is?  Can you live longer? Recently there has been a lot of talk about the average life expectancy in the US. We’ve assembled resources that may answer a few of your questions. Continue reading

Putting in and Caring for Dentures

Denture care is an important part of life for many people.  Cleaning, inserting and removing dentures may happen several times a day for those utilizing dentures and taking proper care of them.

Denture Care

denture care

Upper Denture

Dentures should be cleaned every day and, preferably, after each meal. We don’t have to worry about the dentures getting tooth decay, but we do need to worry about food becoming trapped under them causing infection and breakdown of the gums. Dentures may also rub on the gums causing open sores and pain.

A few important tips for denture care

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US Health Outcomes

Why are we last?

For being the most expensive healthcare system in the world, the US doesn’t rank among the highest in health outcomes when compared to other developed countries.  In fact, in a recent 2014 study (The Commonwealth Fund Report) comparing the US with 10 other developed countries, the US came in last.

“Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last or near last on dimensions of access, efficiency, and equity.”

Last year a report was prepared by doctors and other researchers led by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. This report studied 17 developed countries including the US. Continue reading

ADN vs BSN: One Nurses Journey

My Nursing Journey

There has been a long standing debate about whether or not Registered Nurse (RN) employers should require an Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) or a RN with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). Both sides have a compelling argument and research supports the impact of furthered education.

adn bsn

Photo from nursingexplorer.com Link to article above

I started my nursing career as a housekeeper in a nursing home.  After six months, I became a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). Three years later I was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and two years after that I graduated with my ADN and sat for my RN boards. I definitely took the long route as I have always worked full time and put myself through school.

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Baby Boomers and Small Businesses

Leading the Way in Small Businesses

Hopefully, the stereotype that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has been disproved by the baby boomer population. Baby boomers (defined as being born between 1945 and 1964) have seen and been a part of huge advances in technology. Not only are the baby boomers technologically savvy, they are leading the US in starting up small businesses.

 Why are the Baby Boomers Starting more Businesses?

Some are calling the Boomers entrepreneurship the new “mid-life crisis”. Currently, boomers are retiring and using their savings to start up more businesses than any other generation. Many boomers are immediately coming out of retirement to start businesses having the education, finances, experience, and resources to become successful business people. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the self-employment rate for adults 55 and older is 16.4% while the rate of the entire labor force is only 10.4%.

baby boomers

The sisters with one of their favorite Baby Boomers. Dave Foley continues to use his reinvent himself and is a true entrepreneur.

The 2008 Kauffman Foundation research study reports; “The fact that the largest age group of our population is also the most entrepreneurial bodes well for the United States’ economic future,” said Robert E. Litan, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “This study shows how several other emerging trends, from job tenure to regulatory changes due to the current recession, should facilitate entrepreneurship in coming years.”

Contrary to popularly held assumptions, it turns out that over the past decade or so, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity belongs to the 55-64 age group. The 20-34 age bracket, meanwhile, which is usually identified with swashbuckling and risk-taking youth (think Facebook and Google), has the lowest. Perhaps most surprising, this disparity occurred in the 11 years around the dot-com boom—when the young entrepreneurial upstart became a cultural icon.

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Should you Sit in Public Bathrooms?

Should you sit?

To sit or not to sit, that is the question. It was the question that came up on hike today with a nurse friend of mine.  She asked if I sit in public bathrooms. This started a tangent talking about what we see go on in the bathrooms with patients. Does this knowledge affect the habits we have in our own lives? I decided to look into what the research tells us about public bathrooms. Continue reading

Depression in Older Adults

Depression and the Elderly

Depression affects 15% of older adults over the age of 65. Depression is not a normal part of aging and is different from sadness. Unlike young adults, elders usually have more than one co-morbidity which can cause and/or affect depression. Being aware of common causes, signs and symptoms and treatment options is critical knowledge for healthcare workers, older adults and anyone in contact with a person over the age of 65.

Common factors that cause depression in the elderly include:

footcare

Elder receiving assistance with ADL’s

  1. Health issues
  2. Loss of purpose
  3. Isolation
  4. Loneliness
  5. Recent bereavement
  6. Loss of independence
  7. Sleep problems
  8. Moving from home
  9. Stressful life events

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