Archive for November, 2011

  • Why hire a Geriatric care manager?

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    The medical/healthcare system has been getting more complex for everyone. Adding to this complexity are all of the new mandates included in Obamacare, which serve to only make our healthcare system more confusing, convoluted, and legally questionable.

    One thing’s for certain: Obamacare does not benefit any one over the age of sixty.

    Every day more MD’s are refusing to accept Medicare, thus nearly eliminating access to MDs, let alone the regular visits needed by many.

    Long term insurance policies, Medicare supplemental insurance options and Medicare Part D are all getting more confusing for those trying to ascertain which benefits they really have.

    Finally, critical medication shortages are plaguing community pharmacies and hospitals, leading to unacceptable delays for many who need them.

    What does this mean for someone who is elderly, disabled or suffers from dementia? How do they begin to make sense of this mess and get the care and treatments they need?

    c/o Rep. Brady (R-TX) and Sen. Brownback (R-KS)

    Enter the Geriatric Care Manager (GCM). Typically an experienced Registered Nurse with home health experience, the GCM is the person to hire to alleviate the stress of navigating the healthcare system.

    A GCM is not an entirely new concept, but rather one that has developed over the past 12 years. As the healthcare system becomes more complex, the demand for GCM’s has increased accordingly.

    Imagine an 80+ year old client that faces the prospect of having no regular MD and cannot get themselves to the pharmacy or complete errands. Now imagine that this individual has hearing, vision, mobility and memory issues. These are the people our increasingly complex healthcare system is leaving behind.

    A GCM offers quality, individualized assessments, customized care plans, and care coordination to ensure appropriate care is administered that is unique to each individual.

    A GCM can offer the following services:

    • Assistance in getting to medical appointments
    • Support for shopping and socialization
    • Healthcare advocacy to ensure the right care and benefits are received
    • Relocation and alternate living assistance
    • Home modification and medical equipment assistance to ensure a safer living environment.

    When family members live a long distance from their loved one, the services of a GCM can bridge this gap by managing and observing the care received on a regular basis. The GCM can also review their benefits and conduct an Insurance Policy Review.

    The transient nature of our society means the days when family members are directly responsible for the care of their extended families are in the past. The Geriatric Care Manager’s role has expanded and covers more services, and serves individuals and families for acute and chronic conditions, produces referrals for elder law attorneys, physicians, Adult Protection Services Guardians, powers of attorney, discharge planners at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living communities and hospice care.

    One thing’s for certain, our healthcare system is not getting any simpler to navigate. The Geriatric Care Manager is stepping in to serve as a healthcare advocate when people need it the most.

  • Steve Jobs and the Occupiers: Two very different visions for America

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    I am reading Walter Isaacson’s new book on the life of Steve Jobs. Like many adoring Americans, I will always be influenced by Jobs. I have enjoyed the experience of his many brilliant innovations.

    Steve Jobs: An optimistic vision for America's opportunity and growth

    A passage in the book continues to resonate with me. He told President Obama last year that he will be a one-term president if he continues his anti-business policies, stating that regulations and costs of operation are stifling economic activity. Jobs added that America’s education system needs a transformation if our country is going to be competitive.

    What a critical yet positive statement about what America needs to thrive. Contrast this with the “Occupy Wall Street” invasions of our public spaces across the country. The unruly, unsanitary and illegal behaviors of OWS protesters are not going unnoticed, yet they don’t appear to be coalescing into a cohesive movement.

    I have followed the OWS protests and have read differing points of view on their meaning. Many in the media are ignoring the real reasons behind these “never-ending” occupations of urban public parks.

    One theory is that the Obama campaign machine is recruiting and compensating these lost youth in an effort to promote Obama’s agenda of change. Couple this with the threats and actions of the unions that are advocating city riots and upheaval during the next year. Their intentions to orchestrate or co-opt OWS are obviously designed in an attempt to derail the GOP efforts for 2012.

    How will this play out? The agitating and increasingly violent behavior of OWS protesters may backfire on Obama and the unions who are openly supporting them as they begin to make their case for another four years.

    Given the choice between a positive, pro-growth vision provided by Steve Jobs or the anti-business class warfare vision provided by OWS, Obama and his left-wing allies have chosen the latter as the foundation for their 2012 campaign.

    OWS: A pessimistic vision of class warfare and revolution

    Conventional wisdom has said that, if next year’s election is a referendum on Obama, he’ll lose, but if it’s a choice, he’s got a chance. By closely aligning with OWS, Obama has just made a “choice” election much clearer for Americans and considerably weakened his prospects for a second term.

    The embrace of OWS by Obama and the unions may be more effective at solidifying opposition to a second Obama term while failing to energize his base. Consider Obamacare. The unions practically wrote the law, yet they secured waivers for themselves so they don’t have to comply with its damaging provisions. Is this the kind of change OWS protesters can believe in?

    Considering what’s at stake, including the repeal of Obamacare and reversing Obama’s socialist agenda, his open courting of OWS should be welcomed as a blessing.