Alzheimer’s and Leaving

Alzheimer The person with Alzheimer’s often times will follow the person who has visited them or stand at the door and watch them leave. People with Alzheimer’s have a hard time processing what goodbye is and why the person would be leaving – or furthermore, what leaving or saying goodbye actually means.

When guests leave the house of a cognitive person they say goodbye and return to whatever else they need to do. People with Alzheimer’s are taking queues from people around them. Persons with Alzheimer’s will often try to follow their departing visitors not so much because they want to be with them, but because they feel like they need to be doing what they are doing.

You can assist in goodbyes by distracting the person with Alzheimer’s during the goodbye. You can take them by their arm (think father walking daughter down the aisle type arm holding) and ask them to help you with something. You can even keep them distracted while their visitors leave.

The simpler a goodbye, the better.

ID Theft Expert: A Consumer’s Guide to ID Theft Awareness and Avoidance

The FTC estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year, so chances are high that you or someone you know has fallen victim to what has become one of America’s fastest-growing crimes. While there are no guarantees as far as prevention, there are certain steps every consumer can and should be taking – before and after the fact – to greatly reduce their potential risk.

ID theft expert Brian Lapidus, chief operating officer of Kroll’s Fraud Solutions, has unique frontline experience helping today’s businesses and consumers safeguard against and respond to data breaches. Below he offers some important advice that every consumer should know about protecting themselves from the damages of fraud. At Kroll, Lapidus oversees a highly-skilled team that includes veteran licensed investigators specializing in supporting breach victims and restoring individuals’ identities to pre-theft status.

ID Theft Expert: A Consumer’s Guide to ID Theft Awareness and Avoidance

  1. Beware the word ‘prevent.’ No person and no product can prevent identity theft. As long as criminals can benefit from stealing, there will be theft. Sensitive personal information (SPI) is everywhere, housed and archived in a mind-boggling variety of ways. Individuals and companies can reduce access to SPI and improve safeguards around it by working to change how we share, collect, store and dispose of information.
  2. There are no ‘guarantees.’ This mantra holds true for a lot of things in life and dealing with identity theft is no exception. While a number of instances of fraud can be restored to pre-theft status, some identity dilemmas simply can’t be fixed. If you’re on the ‘no fly list’ thanks to an imposter or an error, you’ll stay there. A third-party solution cannot deliver a remedy.
  3. Watch for ‘shoulder surfers’ and ‘skimmers.’ Shield the entry of personal identification numbers (PINs), and be aware of people standing entirely too close by when using your credit or debit card in public. Especially with the advent of cell phone cameras, a sneaky, shoulder surfing thief can get your private information pretty easily, if you’re not careful. It’s also advisable to use teller machines that are familiar to you, so you are in a better position to identify when the equipment looks different or doesn’t “feel right.” Your increased awareness may reveal a skimmer’s attempt to steal PINs and banking details at that site.
  4. Keep your Social Security card safe at home. Unless you’re on your way to fill out a job application, there are very few reasons to carry around the crown jewel of SPI. At lunch a few weeks ago, the woman beside me opened her wallet for a credit card and there was her Social Security card, too. Remember, ID theft and fraud are not exclusively credit-related – thieves can use a clean Social Security number to construct a whole new life.
  5. Destroy before you dump that old computer. Erasing data just enables the computer to write over that space again; it doesn’t actually eliminate the original bits and bytes. Physically remove the hard-drive to ensure you’re not tossing out or passing along your personal details. Our company is often called upon to recover data from an erased or damaged drive; we’re very good at it – and so are some professional thieves.
  6. Choose ‘forget me’ instead of ‘remember me.’ How many Web sites do you frequent that invite you to enable an automatic log on the next time you visit? Don’t check that box! When convenience trumps confidentiality, you’re asking for trouble. The harder you make it for hackers to follow your trail into an online store or bank account, the better.
  7. Don’t rely on fraud alerts or credit freezes alone. Fraud alerts are meant to stop an identity thief from opening new accounts in your name. Credit freezes let you restrict access to your credit report, which would also make it hard for someone else to open new accounts. But, neither one will stop a thief from trading your SPI for cash, or using it for tax fraud or in any of the countless other ways fraudsters exploit stolen identities.
  8. Practice prudent posting. Social networking sites on the internet enable individuals around the world to chat, share photos, recruit employees, date, post resumes, auction property, and more. Because the Web makes it possible for any posted document to link with another, any data you put out online have the potential to stay there for what amounts to electronic eternity.
  9. Keep that key. When you check out of a hotel where you were issued a card-key to unlock the door to your room, don’t leave the card-key behind. Hold on to it until you’re safely home and can shred or otherwise discard it safely. Some say it’s an urban myth that the card-keys hold vital details like credit card numbers, while others report having tested and confirmed the presence of private data coded into the magnetic strip. Even if there’s no definitive answer, why risk it?
  10. What’s in your wallet? Make photocopies of the personal material in your wallet: Driver’s license, credit cards, insurance cards, all of it – front and back. Should your wallet be lost or stolen, you won’t be left wondering what was actually taken, and you’ll be able to quickly notify the appropriate agencies about what has taken place.

Help your parents get home care

The vast majority of Americans want to live at home for as long as possible: Nearly 90% of people over the age of 65 said so in a 2010 AARP survey.

Senior Care

And with assisted living costing more than $40,000 a year on average, staying put can also save money. But the physical and medical problems that go hand in hand with aging can make home life difficult.

That’s why seniors — and their adult children — are increasingly hiring help to extend their time at home. Demand for these services is so strong that the Labor Department expects the number of aides to rise by 70% through 2020, making it the fastest-growing job in America.

The cost of help, though, can add up fast, averaging $21,000 a year for a typical part-time schedule, says MetLife. And more often than not, the government or insurance won’t foot the bill. Take these steps to find the right care:

Identify the need

After a hospital stay or health crisis, it’s often obvious that a parent should have help. In those cases a doctor may prescribe short-term skilled nursing care or physical therapy visits, which should be covered by Medicare.

Other times, the need is tougher to spot: dirty dishes in the usually tidy kitchen, stubble on Dad’s typically clean-shaven face.

“When you see longtime habits changing, that could be a sign,” says Kathleen Gilmartin, chief executive officer of home health franchiser Interim Healthcare.

Your own heavy caregiving load could also be the trigger: “Home health aides give family caregivers a break from the stress and let them manage their own life,” says Denise Brown, founder of online support site

The type of care varies, from health aides and nursing assistants who can help with bathing, dressing, and medication reminders to workers who’ll do light housework and fix meals. In both cases you’ll pay about $20 an hour through a home health agency, says MetLife (for live-in care, the average tab is $250 a day). By hiring directly you can pay about a third less, says Steve Horen, CEO of the home agency Koved Care.

A geriatric-care manager ($150 to $200 an hour) can do an assessment of your parents’ needs. Locate one at

Hire carefully

A geriatric-care manager or home health agency will screen candidates and conduct background checks. You can find an agency at Advertise directly, and you’ll need to do the due diligence, including checking references and credentials. Health aides and nursing assistants are generally certified by the state.

Why retirees need to be more aggressive

No matter where you get the names, interview at least three potential hires. Look for a pro who has experience taking care of someone with your parents’ particular needs. “If your father is grumpy and doesn’t like to eat in the morning, ask the caregiver how she would handle that,” says Jody Gastfriend, vice president of senior-care services at

When you hire through an agency, the company acts as the employer, withholding taxes and paying unemployment and workers’ comp insurance. While many people who hire direct pay cash, by law you must contribute to Social Security and Medicare on the caregiver’s behalf. A service like or will handle taxes and insurance for $700 to $800 a year.

Once you’ve found someone you like, make him or her feel valued and comfortable. These jobs don’t pay great, so try to be flexible about scheduling. And, adds Gastfriend, “express thanks for the often challenging work they do.”

Investigate aid

Some 70% of home health bills are paid out of pocket, according to the market research firm Home Care Pulse. Still, don’t overlook any aid options.

Most long-term care insurance policies cover visits when a person cannot perform two to three “activities of daily living,” such as meal prep or bathing. Medicare pays only for doctor-ordered, skilled nursing care. If your parents have very little in assets, Medicaid usually covers part-time help. Check for eligibility and find local services at To top of page

When Doctors Don’t Know the Best Medical Advice

 Some of their outdated tips may compromise your care or sabotage your health goals. Here, medical advice you can safely ignore.

Doctors help bodies heal and stay healthy, but they’re still human. So your physician might not have gotten every memo on the latest findings from health research done in the past few years.


As a result, some of her recommendations may be out-of-date, unhelpful, or even harmful. Case in point: Although research has proved that cloudy mucus often isn’t a sign of a bacterial infection, physicians are six times as likely to prescribe antibiotics to patients whose nasal discharge has a greenish tint compared with those whose discharge is clear.

We’ve combed through the most recent research and consulted experts on the latest thinking in nutrition, fitness, sleep, back pain, and more. Read on to learn what long-standing advice you should trash—and the smarter, science-backed tips you should replace it with.

Old Medical Advice: Many dentists advise their patients to scrub away cavity-causing plaque as soon as possible.

Nine in ten Americans believe that it’s important to brush immediately after each meal, according to an American Dental Association survey.

New Medical Advice: Rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating, but wait 30 minutes before you brush.

Making a beeline for the sink may harm your teeth by rubbing in acids from foods and beverages such as citrus fruit, vinegar, and soda. This could wear down the tooth enamel and underlying dentin. “Similar to scrubbing detergent into a pan, brushing can rub in acid and lead to damage,” says Steven Ghareeb, DDS, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry and a dentist based in Charleston, West Virginia.

Old Medical Advice: If your mucus is green, you have a bacterial infection and need an antibiotic.

Many doctors still believe this myth because it seems biologically plausible, says Rachel Vreeman, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University and coauthor of Don’t Cross Your Eyes … They’ll Get Stuck That Way. A yellow or greenish-looking nasal discharge suggests that bacteria are present and producing pus. But the science has shown this isn’t always true.

New Medical Advice: Don’t press your doctor for antibiotics. The tinted mucus is a normal by-product of the healing process. To fight an infection, white blood cells release enzymes to kill invaders. Some enzymes contain iron, which has a greenish color. Cloudy mucus doesn’t automatically signify a bacterial infection. “You’re likely battling a virus, which will go away on its own,” says Aaron Carroll, MD, Dr. Vreeman’s coauthor.

So why does your doc still break out the prescription pad? Some physicians just assume patients want an antibiotic because they often request one. But overprescribing has consequences. “Giving people more antibiotics can lead to resistance,” says Dr. Carroll. If your doctor suggests an antibiotic, ask if it’s really necessary.

Read more:

Tis the Season! (Flu Season) – Home Health Care

Influenza (flu) season is fast approaching.  Although this year’s flu season will likely not be the subject of as intense media control as last year’s season, the flu remains a potentially dangerous problem.  Historically, seniors and the very young are at greatest risk of complications from the flu.  The 2009 H1N1 pandemic appeared to disproportionately affect young people, but the risk to seniors remains.  Each year, up to 36,000 deaths in the United States can be attributed to the flu or its complications.  At this time, it is uncertain what strain of flu will be most prominent during the 2010-2011 flu season.  Regardless of the strain of flu circulating, there are some things that you can do to protect your health

Avoid the flu

Avoid the flu

1)  Get your flu vaccine – The old adage of “forewarned is forearmed” certainly applies to your body’s immune system.  Vaccines expose your body to a fragment of the flu virus, giving your immune system a “sneak peek” at what the virus looks like, and allowing it to prepare.  Once the immune system is primed, the body can respond faster to a subsequent flu infection, preventing or attenuating the symptoms of the flu.  Although no vaccines are 100% effective in preventing the flu, the flu vaccine is probably the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself.  This season’s flu vaccine targets three different strains of flu, including last year’s pandemic H1N1.

2) Encourage those around you to get the flu vaccine –  One of the best ways to protect yourself from the flu is to make sure those around you are protected as well.  Caregivers, medical staff and families of individuals at risk for complications from the flu can inadvertently spread the disease unless they also are protected.  Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and transmission is possible up to 24 hours before the infected individual even has symptoms!  Anyone who is in regular contact with elder individuals, young children, or those with compromised immune systems should be vaccinated.

3) Wash your hands – Influenza is spread by contact with respiratory secretions.  If an ill individual coughs in their hand and then touches a doorknob, the virus can survive for hours, waiting for the next person to touch the doorknob.  Frequent hand washing can decrease the risk of acquiring the virus.   No special soaps are necessary.  Plain soap and water is fine, and hand sanitizers are a convenient, acceptable alternative.

4) Control your co-morbidities – The majority of deaths associated with the flu are from complications of the flu rather than the flu itself.  Co-morbidities such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung disease can all predispose patients to flu complications.  Make sure you have good control of your baseline medical problems going into the flu season.  A patient who has poorly controlled heart failure will have a more difficulty time with the flu than a patient whose heart failure is under good control.  Also, be cautious of over-the counter cold medications if you have heart disease, as many of these medications can raise the blood pressure.  Talk with your doctor before taking over the counter cold and flu medications if you have chronic medical problems for which you take medications on a daily basis.

Dr.Todd Bell, Associate Professor Dept of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Director, West Texas Influenza Center 

Contact Absolute Care Providers for any questions!

How to Protect Old and Fragile Bones from Breaking

After USPSTF’s recommendation of Vitamin D to prevent falls, a Tufts study finds Vitamin D can also inhibit fractures in older patients — but they have to take it regularly at high doses.

You may remember that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, in one of its rare recent positive recommendations, conditionally approved Vitamin D as a way to keep elderly people from falling — they found a “moderate net benefit” to seniors’ skeletal muscle from regular doses.

Now the Tufts meta-analysis suggests that if Vitamin-D-enriched old people do fall, their bones are less likely to break.

But they have to be taking a lot of the stuff.

Protect Old and Fragile Bones

Protect Old and Fragile Bones!

Researchers looked at 11 randomized clinical trials involving 31,000 older adults, and found, per its lead investigator, that “taking between 800 IUs and 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day significantly reduced the risk of most fractures, including hip, wrist and forearm in both men and women age 65 and older.”

Taking less than 800 IUs, however, doesn’t seem to do anything, the researcher found.

Tufts says we get about 150 IUs a day of Vitamin D via normal food intake, and most multivitamins contain 400 IUs of it, so your older patients should have regular D supplements.

Edroso, Roy. “DecisionHealth Daily :: Study: Vitamin D Helps Keep Old Bones from Breaking.”DecisionHealth Daily. Decision Health, 6 July 2012. Web. 20 Aug. 2012.