Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Looking for Medical Alert Call Button?

The appeal of a system that allows a person to call for help during an emergency (person has collapsed on the floor, for instance) is obvious.

But which is the best system?

The priciest is the heavily-advertised “Life Alert” product (undoubtedly the advertising budget plays a big role in this fact). And according to a Consumer Reports article in its “On Health” publication, other services are not only less expensive but provide more. Consider Bay Alarm Medical (877-522-9633) or Lifestation (877-478-3390).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do Memory Supplements Work?

According to a recent review of research studies by Consumer Reports, the answer is not likely.

The 3 most prescribed are Ginko, B vitamins and fish oil. The latter helps stave-off memory decline, but only if it comes from eating omega-3-rich fish (like salmon & tuna), not pills or capsules. The others do not help.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Do Memory Pills Work?

Memory loss is a well-known consequence of dementia but there is, as of yet, no “magic” pill.

For Alzheimer’s, Aricept is the best available but it only slows symptoms (including memory loss) for 6 months or so.

Consumer Reports is particularly skeptical of other remedies in pill form such as fish oil, B vitamins and gingko extract. It contends that extensive studies do not show benefits from these popular supplements.

However, eating omega-3 rich fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, has been shown by some studies to be helpful with memory.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

More Tips on Choosing a Nursing Home

Is the food okay? You can’t expect gourmet selections. But the food quality and presentation will exhibit the kitchen’s care – and that will reflect the nursing home’s more general attitude toward its residents. Serving (“plating” in the restaurant trade vernacular) meals in an attractive way makes for happier diners. Judge the food quality by having a meal or two. The sales staff will probably invite you for a meal without your having to ask.

Finally, visit off-hours (early morning and after dinner). Any differences noted in staff attitudes or facility orderliness from “regular” visiting time? 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Tip on Choosing a Nursing Home – Do You Like the “Feel”?

A nursing home is like a hospital. It is unavoidably antiseptic. The decorative touches may be appealing or not. Likewise the food. But what really matters is whether the staff is caring.

How are you greeted when you first walk in? Friendly or businesslike?

Walk down the halls. Notice the interaction between staff and patients. Is warmth and compassion present? Of course, you want to make sure the care is competent, but if it’s delivered without friendly interaction, your loved one’s emotional needs are likely to be unmet.

Without that, unhappiness for all is almost a given. Nice surroundings, furnishings and gourmet fare will not compensate.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Screening a Nursing Home

Visiting a nursing home and observing how patients interact with staff can tell you a lot about how happy residents are. You should also try to talk to the relatives of patients. What do they like - or not - about the place?

To be sure, a professional sales staff can tell you about the features and strong points about the facility. But the answers are understandably biased so full candor can hardly be expected. Family members, however, should be straight-forward. After all, you’re in the same situation and want what’s best for your loved one. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Confusing Legal Terms

Elder Law and Estate Planning lawyers often use confusing terms to describe the documents that they prepare. One example is a “living trust” also called a “revocable trust” or “inter vivos trust”. All of these refer to a document that attempts to avoid probate by having a trust set up to take possession of a person’s assets and spell out the terms of distribution in the document, thus avoiding the need to file for probate (but not always).

“Living Will”, often a part of a document called an “advanced directive”, does not refer to a Last Will and Testament. It is a document which recites an individual’s wishes about end-of-life decisions such as when treatment should be halted and nature allowed to take its course.

“Last Will and Testament” describes a document that is filed for probate and designates who gets what of an individual’s assets when he or she passes away.