Do You Want to Learn More About Caregiving?

Giving

Challenges in Caregiving: Giving Care, Taking Care, a caregiver training conference will be offered on Monday, June 3, 2013 at the Tukwila Community Center in Tukwila, Washington. The event is hosted by Aging and Disability Services Administration, Full Life Care and Pierce County Community Connections/Aging and Long Term Care along with the support of numerous community organizations. The conference is designed to provide current, practical skills and resources that community caregivers can use in their daily caregiving responsibilities. The conference is intended for:

• Family caregivers (spouses, adult children, parents of adults with disabilities, or other relatives)
• Home care workers and adult day services staff
• Adult family home or assisted living staff
• Social service or mental health professionals who work with family caregivers

The Early Registration fee (by May 15) for individual caregivers is $30. Scholarships are available for unpaid family caregivers. The Early Registration fee for agency-based caregivers is $50. Fees include workshops, lunch and resource exhibits. Registration forms will be available in April and space is limited – so don’t delay! For more information or to receive a full brochure and registration materials, please call 1-800-422-3263 or 360-725-2544.

~Professional Medical Corp.

Are Your Medical Bills Out of Control?

If you are like many America’s facing unexpected medical bills the task of sorting through invoices can be tedious.

Patients are frustrated to receive multiple bills, for such things as hospital services, with little to no explanations as to what the invoice includes.

None of this surprises Pat Palmer, the founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America. “We get feedback from consumers saying that providers are telling them ‘We can’t give you an itemized statement’ or ‘You should have asked for it before you left the hospital.'”

For those with confusing or huge hospital bills some experts’ advise patients to take the following steps.

Knowing your patient rights within a doctor’s office or hospital is the first step in avoiding financial disagreements. Make it clear that you are aware of your legal right to have such things as an itemizes invoice.

Get explanations in writing and take protests to the top. All communications with a provider should be in writing and if customer service departments are not helpful avoid them and write a letter to the chief financial officer.

Ask for help from you insurer. They have a responsibility to some degree to what happens between you and a contracted physician and can often be a great ally.

And finally seek help and file complaints if your bill is much higher then you expected or can afford. Organizations such as Medical Billing Advocates of America and Health Proponent can help you fight charges or lower your bill.

To learn more read HERE

~Professional Medical Corp.

New Mental Health Coverage

Obamacare Bumper StickerMental health has been on the minds’ of Americans in recent years, with the rise of gun violence and substance addiction, many are asking for a better solution to this epidemic.
In the beginning of this month President Obama pledged to strengthen our nation’s mental health systems by fixing Americans access to healthcare. Obama’s administration plans on preventing mental health issues by making counseling and addiction serves available to everyone. When the 2010 Affordable Care Act is fully implemented next year, millions of Americans stand to gain access to such care for the first time.
Opponents to Obamacare worry that the Affordable Care Act will be a serious strain on providers.  With the concern now on whether the providers and the delivery systems can take care of all of them, the debate over Obama’s initiative has many asking, what is really best for our patients?

For more information READ HERE

Are They Your Vaccinations?

Medical personnel and flu shotsThe flu season may finally be coming to an end in the U.S. and after an extreme season, compared to previous years, many are eager for it to conclude.

Getting vaccinated has become one of our best defenses against the illness, but a recent report put the vaccine’s effectiveness at 62 percent, and many American’s are not sold on getting the vaccination.

There is also a rising debate for whether the vaccine should be mandatory for hospitals and other high risk organization. Hospital administrators are grappling with whether to compel doctors, nurses and other medical staff to get vaccinated which as of now is not required.

The flu continues to hit older people hard, with more than 50 percent of hospitalizations involving adults 65 years and older. For hospital workers alone 60% get the shot, according to a report by the California Department of Public Health. The federal government has set a goal of 90% by 2020.

With an estimated 36,000 people dying from the flu and its complications in a typical season, the debate for vaccination isn’t going away anytime soon. One thing that president-elect of the California Medical Association, Richard Thorp, hopes is that “we all agree that you come to the hospital to get well, not to get sick.”

To read more please click HERE

~Professional Medical Corp.

Excuse me doctor, did you say YOGA?

So, you went for a routine doctor’s appointment with all the typical aches and ailments generated by your aging body and the doc said something you didnt expect. Perhaps you should Practice Yoga. You must admit, you were slightly bewildered and moderately confused. What happened to the 4 advil and a glass of water prescription? You’ve heard of this yoga business, but certainly never thought at your age that you should or even could start legitimately practicing…or could you?

Yoga is an ancient healing practice that has, within the last 100 years, become westernized and used in many ways within modern society. Yoga can often be “interpreted” by excercise enthusiasts looking to rev up its intensity, it can also be a free flowing spiritual experience, or even in some cases find its roots in the ancient mood lifting practices of its originators. Regardless of the type, yoga itself can in fact be a powerful tool to help keep you young, and maintain your overall health and well-being. Yoga has been proven to lower blood-pressure, reduce stress, ease pain, and improve balance. Its worth a shot and with the proper teaching, yoga can benefit you no matter how old you “think” you are.

Here are some tips for your yoga endeavor…whether you are starting on your own (which you absolutely should) or whether its just what the doctor ordered:

1: Yoga can be good medicine: Yoga offers main health benefits including, but not limited to, improving sleep, lowering blood pressure, reducing pain, and increases overall mental health.

2: Yoga is not just for the fit and flexible: Yoga is not just for those that can seemingly twist their bodies into pretzels. Yoga is for everyone and has a extremely diverse range of participants from all age brackets to prove it. The only requirement for a yoga class is the ability to breathe.

3: You dont have to stand on your head: Ive been doing yoga for 5 years and have yet to stand on my head. Yoga isnt about getting to the most extreme point possible…its about allowing your body to flow to its own measure of extreme…regardless of what anyone else is doing around you. Its your practice, your body, and your mind. Its so important to find a yoga class that fits your level such as a yoga for beginners class with a well trained instructor.

4: There are many styles of yoga, from “hot” to gentle: For example, ashtanga yoga is very athletic, while kripalu yoga tends to be gentler and viniyoga is generally done one-on-one in a therapeutic setting. Most western yoga is based off of something called “Hatha” yoga…which is a series of postures being held for 3o seconds to 1 minute. It is designed to balance the mind, body, and spirit while strengthening week muscles and stretching tight ones.

5: Yoga should never hurt: If it hurts…YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR! And any good yoga instructor should tell you that. Yoga is meant to strenghten and calm. In each posture you should find yourself pleasantly stretched. Its not to say you shouldnt push yourself to try to achieve new things each class, you should always listen to your body, and your breath, and if its too much then just stop. Pain is not a part of the gain in yoga.

6: Yoga is not ONLY a workout: Yoga is a powerful tool for mind-body medicine by creating a holistic approach to excercise. Yoga is about recognizing that your physical ailments are about more than the feeling of pain, but generally have emotional and spiritual connections as well. Yoga taps into that and offers medicine for the physical, emotional AND spiritual.

7: Ask for help for a smooth start: Dont be afraid to ask for help when beginning a new practice. Let the instructor know its your first time and when you sign up at a studio, be very clear about intentions, your level of yogi spirit, and your doubts and inihibitions. The best instructors will work with you to develop your practice and find a place that’s comfortable and effective for you.

Utilize these tips and remember to choose a reputable studio in your area. If you can take the heat, hot yoga is a great way to instantly loosen your muscles and find a little more ease in your postures. If you the heat is too much to stand, head to a studio with a large variety of class offerings and good reviews. Ask a lot of questions and make sure the instructors are receptive to you. Most importantly embrace your yoga adventure and open your mind to a life changing experience!!

-Professional Medical Team

Caring for the Brain

As we celebrate the increase in the average human life span, we tend to forget that along with this increase comes the increase in the need to take care of our bodies and in particular our brains. Dementia is becoming progessively more common and the risk is often a factor of things like weight, blood pressure, and lack of mental activity. However, if we maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, coupled with daily brain stimulation, we can combat this evil of aging and find ourselves in a better place in the future.

At the Karolinska Institutet, professor Laura Fratiglioni and a team of diligent researchers have been  studying the processes that attribute to the development of Dementia and are are working to create strategies to combat it.

“The brain, just as other parts of the body, requires stimulation and exercise in order to continue to function. Elderly people with an active life – mentally, physically and socially – run a lower risk of developing dementia, and it doesn’t matter what the particular activities are”, says Professor Laura Fratiglioni.

Fratiglioni’s team as well as other teams across Europe, are using various forms of physical, social, and mental interaction on a controlled research group and seeing the delay of onset Dementia through their support in preserving cognitive function. Education in early life has also shown to play a role in preventing Dementia and Fratiglioni says its never too early to start taking steps towards brain preservation. In a few years they believe they will have key knowledge and a solidified outline as to how the general population can begin to make adjustments to avoid not only Dementia, but perhaps other prominent degenerative brain conditions as well.

Information courtesy of: Medical News Today

Written by: Tessa

Professional Medical Corp

Male Caregivers: A Different Story, by Elinor Ginzler

It’s a well-known fact that most caregivers are women: Of the 43.5 million adults who care for an older family member or friend, nearly two out of three are female, according to a report published by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC). Still, that means that one out of three caregivers — about 14.5 million — are men. That’s a significant number: about 6 percent of all adults in the United States. And while male caregivers deal with many of the same issues as their female counterparts, they also face some unique challenges.

Some key differences:
• Male caregivers are less likely to be the sole or primary caregiver but are just as dedicated to their role: The duration of their caregiving experience is about four years, the same as women.
• They’re less likely to provide personal care:
• 24 percent of male caregivers help a loved one get dressed, compared to 28 percent of female caregivers.
• 16 percent help with bathing, versus 30 percent of females. This makes sense to me: It’s just not as easy for an adult son to help his mom in the shower as an adult daughter. No wonder data shows that over 40 percent of men use paid assistance for their loved one’s personal care. That can be a really good solution to this touchy issue.
• Men tend to live farther away, and as a result they have to travel farther or spend more time organizing the care from a distance. What’s more, men are more likely to use an outside service to provide for the transportation needs of their loved one.
• They’re more plugged in. Men have an advantage in their comfort level with technology. They’re more likely to use the Internet as a caregiving resource.
• More men work full time. Though men and women devote the same amount of time (an average of 19 hours a week) to caregiving, 82 percent of male caregivers have full-time jobs, compared to 70 percent of female caregivers. Consequently, two-thirds of men say they have to make workplace adjustments, such as going in late, leaving early, or taking time off.

I remember on Star Trek that when Captain Kirk needed the Enterprise to go faster, he’d call down to Scottie, the engineer, who’d reply with something like, “We’re already at 100 percent capacity. We can push the drive system to 102 or 103 percent, but it’s not recommended!” I think that’s how many men must feel about balancing work life with their caregiving responsibilities.

Although traditional gender roles have shifted dramatically over the last 30 years, many men are hesitant to let a boss know about their role as a caregiver, much less ask for help. Although it’s the 21st century, the notion that men are from Mars and women from Venus remains vivid in many people’s minds. In fact, men can have a particularly difficult time dealing with the perception that their request to take time off to care for Mom will be seen as a sign of weakness or a lack of commitment to the job. While women might feel the same pressures, there’s no doubt in my mind that these stereotypes are still alive and well in the workplace.

But at the end of the day, it is still about people caring for a beloved family member or friend. Caregiving men, although fewer in number, are just as dedicated, diligent and determined to help their loved one live the best life that he or she can. Family caregiving remains the backbone of the long-term care system in this country. Men and women every day give of their time and money, and it’s a commitment that we should all appreciate. I applaud all caregivers, whether they are from Venus or Mars!

Courtesy of AARP