Steve Jobs: Lessons for long-term care?

Click on the image below for the rest of the story …

Nursing Home News Roundup – March 2012

For-Profit vs. Non-Profit Nursing Homes

Those of us who love old people either work in or know people who work in nursing homes.  Or, we have had loved ones in facilities.  There are strong feelings both ways.  Non-profit operators claim to give the best care because of their mission-driven attitude, unencumbered by financial demands.  For-profit operators claim to give the best care because they’re the ones providing the highest acuity and re-investing profits into facilities.

Here’s an article that shows how this argument is moot and that the two types of operators are a lot more alike than they realize … [click on the image below]

Transforming Long-term Care Blog

Transforming Long-term Care Blog

In the end, as you search out a long-term care facility either for placement of a loved one or for your own career, you need to find one that is, like the author of the article states, ‘built to last.’

You Can’t Handle The Truth!

You can't handle the truth

America Can't Handle The Truth

Let these numbers sink in for a minute …

[From USA Today Article] Starting on Saturday, Baby Boomers begin turning 65 and qualifying for Medicare — one every eight seconds. A record 2.8 million will qualify in 2011, rising to 4.2 million a year by 2030, projections show.

In all, the government expects 76 million Boomers will age on to Medicare. Even factoring in deaths over that period, the program will grow from 47 million today to 80 million in 2030.

At the same time, health care costs are projected to outpace inflation, and medical advances will extend lives, straining the program’s finances. It’s expected to cost $929 billion by 2020, an 80% increase over 10 years.

Is there a better example of the lack of true political leadership in the United States than this?  Neither Democrat nor Republican can claim they have been confronting these brutal facts.  Rather, each group sticks their finger in the air and responds to the political winds.

Are there any real (and digestible) plans to address the tsunami?  Anyone?

Inspiration!

As we prepare for the new year and for new year’s resolutions, I thought we ought to re-post this article about a lady who truly fires me up!  I know it’s dangerous to say it, but, ‘if she can do it …’

Ironman at 73!

From the article:

In 1982, Shapiro watched television as athlete Julie Moss crawled across the Ironman finish line in Hawaii. Like thousands of others, Shapiro was galvanized. Anybody can ride a bike, she figured. And she already knew how to swim.

“I’m going to do a triathlon,” she promised herself.

Since that day, Shapiro has won eight Ironman races in her age group, come in second three times in her age group in the world championships and won the half-Ironman world championships twice.

“My habits and my lifestyle and who I am are because of Ironman,” Shapiro told me, her taut frame atop a chrome chair with rainbow splashes on its cushions.

Along the way, she also suffered three serious crashes, one which required her being helicoptered to a hospital.

“You fall off the horse, you get back on,” she said.

“There are no short cuts to Ironman,” Shapiro explained. “Training is not easy. You have to have a passion.”

Some may think someone like Shapiro never has a bad day, always feels like cycling, running or swimming. Not so.

“Training is not easy,” she repeated.

If it sounds like Shapiro was talking about life, you would be correct.

“A sign of maturity is delayed gratification. It’s the essence of life.”

After missing some cutoff times in several Ironman races over the years, does she see another world championship in her future?

“This year, I’m ready,” Shapiro said, smiling and clenching her fists with excitement. “I’m ready.”

Like all of us, Shapiro wasn’t born ready. She worked to get there.

Read the rest of the story here.

Still Alice

As I was recently driving through Boston/Harvard, I remembered scenes from the book Still Alice.  If you love old people, you’ve got to read this book.

It’s the best book I’ve ever found that brings the layman (like me) into the complicated realm of Alzheimer’s.

The book tells the tale, in a novel format, of a Harvard professor with early onset Alzheimer’s through HER eyes.  And, I suppose seeing it through the professor’s eyes is what makes the book so compelling.

The other day I ate a vegetarian meal.  A couple hours later, I was trying to recall every item on the plate. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the word ‘Asparagus.’  Instead of shrugging it off and moving on to something else mentally, I dug in and tried with all my mind to recall the word.  No luck.  I thought of this book.  I worried.  I could visualize the vegetable.  I could smell it.  But, I could not name it.  10 minutes later, I gave up.  What explains that?  I don’t know.  Could it be a ridiculously early hint of things to come decades from now.

I truly hope not.  I can’t think of a more tragic disease.  I lost my father to cancer (he was way too young).  I lost my friend to a car accident.  And while there’s nothing to gain by ranking the level of bad of bad things, Alzheimer’s ranks up there.  When your mother looks at you blankly and has NO IDEA who you are and the disease will lead to her death too … ? … brutal.

Read the book.  Get involved.

Social Security brought to its knees

Booming Senior Citizen Population Will Bring Social Security to Its Knees: Deficit Committee

Significant changes in seniors’ security blanket program detailed by committee in ‘The Moment of Truth’ report

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Dec. 3, 2010 – Most of the initial reactions to the proposal on December 1 by President Obama’s special committee seeking ways to reduce the U.S. deficit focused on changes to Medicare as being the most dramatic of the adjustments recommended. Medicare, no doubt, is critical to senior citizens but the program closer to the hearts of millions of seniors is Social Security – the security blanket. The committee’s report does urge drastic changes in this program to and says unless the nation acts the booming number elderly will “bring the Social Security program to its knees.”

Read the rest here.