Caregivers of Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease Benefit from Case Managers

case manager support for caregiversToday, millions of Americans and their loved ones are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. As more people reach retirement age, the death rate of Alzheimer’s has increased significantly and more individuals affected by the disease are passing away in their homes. At home, seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are dependent on caregivers, who are often family members and loved ones. Continue reading “Caregivers of Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease Benefit from Case Managers”

Medicare at a Glance

Medicare is a federal program, and as such the law in New York should be same the as in any other state. Medicaid is a federal state cooperative program, where each state can choose different benefits for its residents; as such, each state may have different benefit levels and requirements. Continue reading “Medicare at a Glance”

New York Implements New Home Health Aide Law

On December 2, 2016 Governor Cuomo signed a bill which will increase the level of care that the nearly 300,000 home health aides across the state will be able to provide. If a home health aide completes additional training, they will be able to administer medications and monitor equipment for people in need of professional care at home. With the need of home health aides continuing to grow, the possibility of further advancement may encourage more people to enter the profession. Continue reading “New York Implements New Home Health Aide Law”

Are You Being Overprescribed?

Modern medicine is a marvel – it’s certainly one of the factors that has allowed human beings to develop new ideas and to flourish. The advent of hygiene helped us through the Dark Ages, literally. The discovery and understanding of germs decreased infant mortality rates. Penicillin nixed painful and often fatal infections. These discoveries, among many others, have helped us develop a complex medicinal treatment system which has saved countless lives. Medicine has even developed beyond survival and toward new goals of comfort, healing, and the extension of life. Today, it is prescribed for almost every thinkable ailment. But there comes a time to ask ourselves, “How much is too much?”

America is plagued by what some call an overtreatment epidemic, which particularly affects our most vulnerable – children, the disabled, and the elderly. Oftentimes, without the patient’s consent, potentially dangerous medications, such as antipsychotics and hypnotics, are prescribed, and since few would question the doctor’s orders, these patients could be taking pills they don’t need. No medication is without side effects, and it is usually in the patient’s best interest to be able to make an educated decision. A healthy dose of skepticism could be the right prescription: Is a blood pressure medication right for me if it causes me to faint? Do I really need to take steroids to control my asthma? Is it worth it to take a prescription just because it negates the serious side effects of another?

According to The New York Times, over 40 percent of people aged 65 and up take five or more medications, and, every year, nearly one-third of that percentage experiences a “serious adverse effect.” A panel of 11 geriatric care and pharmacology experts updated the Beers Criteria, guidelines whose purpose is to prevent or at least minimize drug-related catastrophes in senior citizens. The team commenced a review of more than 2,000 research studies of drugs prescribed for older adults and highlighted 53 potentially disastrous medications or classes of medication; with these figures in mind, The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society also published its own research on the subject in 2012.

The act of taking drugs itself can easily become overwhelming. Since it is frequently difficult to keep track of one’s medications, senior citizens are encouraged to utilize the Foundation for Health in Aging’s “drug and supplement diary” and to share the list with every health care provider they see. It is best to seek the expert advice of a doctor before making any long-term decisions that could affect your health.

If you are concerned for your well-being or the well-being of a loved one, consult the experts in geriatric care management. P&P Medicaid provides a full range of geriatric care management services to help individuals and their families make decisions about and oversee their long-term care needs. Please call P&P Medicaid Consulting, Inc. at (516) 541-4770 for more information.