“Tech support” scam

June 17, 2024 — The multilayered “phantom hacker” or “tech support” scam is by far the most lucrative scam to date—$542 million was transferred to fraudsters between January and June 2023. Two-thirds of those victimized were persons over age sixty-five! Here is the typical scenario: Tech support. A call, email, or text is received “from tech support” at a... Read More

What is a hospitalist?

June 10, 2024 — If your loved one gets admitted into the hospital, they may be disappointed that their primary care doctor is not the physician taking care of them. Instead, their care will be coordinated by a “hospitalist.” This is a doctor who specializes in caring for patients during a hospitalization. Like most specialists, hospitalists have had many... Read More

Sadness isn’t all bad

June 3, 2024 — Many aspects of aging involve sadness and loss: Loss of independence, a serious diagnosis, death of a partner, spouse, or friend. You as a family member may experience sadness as you witness your loved one’s struggles. But also, for your own caregiving-related losses, such as of leisure time with friends and family or opportunities at... Read More

When to use “urgent care”?

May 27, 2024 — Where do you go? Your relative has distressing symptoms. The primary care doctor’s office is closed, or they don’t have an opening anytime soon. The Emergency Room is open 24/7 but will involve long waits and a lot of stress. An urgent care center is a great middle ground. It’s generally convenient—open evening hours—and is... Read More

Ride hailing for older adults

May 20, 2024 — Transportation problems create unhealthy social isolation for many older adults. Rides from family and friends are the first thought, but they aren’t always available, limiting your loved one’s opportunities. And older adults often feel uncomfortable being beholden to others for their transportation—and, ironically—for their “independence.” Ride services offer an alternative in many parts of the... Read More

What is “vascular dementia”?

May 13, 2024 — About 10% to 20% of cognitive impairments are a result of vascular dementia, also called “stroke dementia.” Vascular dementia arises when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a blood clot or from bleeding in the brain (for instance, after hitting one’s head during a fall). Vascular dementia can come on suddenly, from... Read More

Talking with Dad about his hearing loss

May 6, 2024 — Hearing loss affects 50% of people over age eighty-five, most commonly men. Poor hearing diminishes quality of life. It may bring on frustration in daily interactions with others. It can even be at the root of withdrawal from social activities, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and memory issues. Even so, many elders deny they have problems with... Read More

Home visits are in!

April 29, 2024 — If the person you care for needs therapy or other medical services but has trouble getting out, house calls are a great solution. Historically, Medicare has had strict rules for home-based services and how “homebound” a patient must be for the services to be covered. It also limits the number of visits per week or... Read More

Adaptive clothing

April 22, 2024 — If you have dressed a relative with dementia or assisted a family member with Parkinson’s, you know there are challenges involved. Dressing requires physical coordination, fine-motor skills, flexible joints, and range of motion. Not being able to dress oneself is both frustrating and embarrassing. Fortunately, clothes designers have developed garments with important adaptations. Adaptive clothing... Read More

What is “inflammaging”?

April 15, 2024 — Chronic inflammation is like the body (your “house”) catching fire. We have all dealt with acute inflammation. It comes with injury, such as a sprained ankle. Or infection, such as staph, bronchitis, etc. Inflammation is a sign that the body’s defenses are rushing in. In the normal course of events, healing occurs and the immune... Read More