Better Health While Aging | Practical Information For Aging Health & Family..
A doctor's podcast for older adults and family caregivers, hosted by practicing geriatrics specialist Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH. Learn what really works, when it comes to improving health and well-being while aging. Dr. K and her guests discuss common health problems that affect people over age 60, the best ways to prevent and manage those problems and they also often address common concerns..
Dr. K talks with Michelle Allen, LCSW, about what families should know, when they want to obtain or hire in-home care to help an older person with aging in place. Michelle is an experienced social worker and geriatric care manager based in Atlanta, and is a featured expert providing guidance in Dr. K’s Helping Older Parents Membership Community. They discuss:
How geriatric social workers (and geriatric care managers) help older adults and families address aging issues
Why families and older adults usually seek out privately paid in-home care
Why most of the home care services older adults need to age in place are not covered by Medicare
What is “home health care,” and how to get Medicare to pay for certain medically skilled home services
What to know about hiring paid in-home caregivers
The pros and cons of hiring through an agency versus hiring an individual caregiver
Why families have to pay taxes, if they hire someone without going through an agency
Common mistakes that families make, when hiring in-home help to assist an older person
Why aging in place may not work out, and how to plan for other options
The benefits of working with “life care planning” elder law firms, which provide geriatric care coordinators such as Michelle
Dr. K talks with geriatrician Shachi Tyagi, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburg. Her research focuses on two common issues in older adults, insomnia and having to urinate at night (nocturia). They discuss:
Why nocturia becomes common as we age
Common health problems that may be related to nocturia
The relationship between nocturia and sleep problems
How nocturia should be assessed and how it can be managed
Brief behavioral treatment and other recommended insomnia treatments that can also improve nocturia
Why sleep medications should be avoided in aging
How to reduce the risk of nighttime falls related to nocturia
Options for addressing nocturia and sleep issues in dementia
Tips on tracking bladder and sleep symptoms, and how to get help from your health providers
Dr. K shares a personal story and explains why it’s so important to take the time to talk with others and make plans to provide others with guidance, since most of us will at some point be unable to make our own healthcare decisions. She covers:
The importance of National Healthcare Decisions Day
What “advance care planning” means, and why it’s more than completing legal forms
Four key steps in advance care planning
Why it’s essential to have conversations with others, including with healthcare providers and with family
Two free online tools you can use to guide you through reflection, conversations, and completing paperwork
Five common pitfalls to avoid if possible
Five questions you can ask yourself, every April when it’s National Healthcare Decisions Day
Dr. K addresses frequently asked questions about older adults and decisional capacity. She also provides practical advice on what you can do if you’re concerned that an older person is making “bad” decisions. She covers:
What does the term capacity mean when it comes to decision-making?
What is the difference between incapacity and incompetence?
How is capacity determined?
Does capacity have to be determined by legal professionals? Is it a legal decision whether someone has capacity?
Do I have to have a legal or clinical determination of incapacity for a specific decision before I override the decision of an older person with dementia?
Do I need a legal or clinical determination of incapacity before I take the car keys away from an older parent who has dementia and is an unsafe driver?
Is neuropsychological testing required to assess capacity?
What to do if you’re worried about an older person’s capacity, or actions
Dr. K talks with Stephen Golant, PhD, Professor of Geography at the University of Florida and the author of “Aging in the Right Place.” Dr. Golant has a doctorate in social gerontology and social geography, and is a well-known expert on the housing and long-term care needs of older adults. They discuss:
What is environmental gerontology, and why environment is so important to aging adults
How one’s housing, neighborhood, and community affect one’s ability to age well
Why older adults like to remain in their own homes
The problems many older adults encounter when they try to age in place, and what it means to “age in the right place”
A definition of successful aging
Why we shouldn’t reflexively promote aging in place, and what to encourage instead
How to determine where is the right place to age, and which questions older people should ask themselves
Why it may be better for seniors to live in a neighborhood of people their own age