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In This Episode:

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

Related episodes: 

059 Interview: Long-Term Care Insurance & Financing Late-Life Care Needs

017 Interview: Paying for Long-Term Care & Other Family Caregiving Challenges

Related Resources:

For more information on the Helping Older Parents Membership Community, where people helping aging parents can regularly get guidance from Dr. K and from Michelle Allen:

Learn More About the Helping Older Parents Membership Community!

Never Miss an Episode! Sign up here to be notified of our latest podcast episodes by email. Click here now.

The post 093 Interview: Hiring In-Home Care for Aging in Place: What to Know appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

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

Related episodes: 

032 5 Top Causes of Sleep Problems in Aging

088 Interview: Avoiding Inappropriate Prescribing in Aging & What to Know About the Beers Criteria

Related Resources:
Never Miss an Episode! Sign up here to be notified of our latest podcast episodes by email. Click here now.

The post 092- Interview: Addressing Nighttime Urination & Insomnia in Aging appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

Dr. K speaks with senior attorney David Godfrey, JD, of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, about drafting better power of attorney documents so as to reduce the risk of abuse. David works closely with the National Center on Law and Elder Rights and authored an issue brief in 2018 that covers advance planning and how to avoid exploitation. They discuss:

  • What is a general durable power of attorney (POA) and why every person should complete one
  • Common reasons why older adults may need someone else to transact business for them, such as temporary or permanent incapacity
  • Why court intervention may be necessary if an older person does not have a POA
  • How POAs can be used for financial exploitation, and how drafting protections in the POA document can reduce the risk of abuse
  • 6 key precautions to take, when drafting a general durable power of attorney
  • How requiring third party accounting can reduce family conflict
  • Why it s a good idea to require a second signature for major transactions
  • The benefits of granting the power to revoke the POA to a third party
  • How older adults can find affordable legal assistance, for help drafting a POA
  • Options for older adults who have no close family available to serve as an agent
  • Resources to help guide agents to manage power of attorney duties

Related episode: 

037 Interview: Using Powers of Attorney to Help Older Adults

070 Interview: Addressing & Preventing Financial Exploitation in Aging

Related Resources:
Never Miss an Episode! Sign up here to be notified of our latest podcast episodes by email. Click here now.

The post 091 Interview: Reducing the Risk of Power of Attorney Abuse appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

Dr. K provides more information on what s included in the 2019 update of the American Geriatrics Society AGS Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults, with a focus on which drugs she thinks are most important to avoid. She also addresses which medications are associated with falls, cognitive impairment, and other key conditions. She covers:

  • How the 2019 Beers Criteria is organized
  • Options for accessing the 2019 update
  • Which medications should be avoided in people with memory problems, per the Beers Criteria
  • Which drugs to avoid or use with caution if you have a history of falls or fractures
  • Other common risky medications to be aware of
  • What to know about opioid painkillers and the 2019 Beers Criteria
  • 5 things you can do to be proactive about medications safety in aging
  • Where to find consumer brochures that can help you discuss deprescribing for the most common risky medications

Related episodes: 

088- Interview: Avoiding Inappropriate Prescribing in Aging & What to Know About the Beers Criteria

073- Anticholinergic Medications & Protecting Brain Health

031- Choosing the Safest Over-the-Counter Painkiller in Aging

046- Interview: Deprescribing & Reducing Risky Medications in Aging

034- Preventing Falls: 10 Types of Medication to Reconsider

Related Resources:
Never Miss an Episode! Sign up here to be notified of our latest podcast episodes by email. Click here now.

The post 090 More on Avoiding Risky Medications & on Using the 2019 AGS Beers Criteria appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

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

Related Resources:
Never Miss an Episode! Sign up here to be notified of our latest podcast episodes by email. Click here now.

The post 089 Giving Yourself (And Your Family) a Gift on National Healthcare Decisions Day appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

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

Related episodes:

013 Interview: Solving Hard Problems in Helping Aging Parents
037 Interview: Using Powers of Attorney to Help Older Adults

Related Resources:

The post 038 FAQs On “Incompetence” & Losing Decision Capacity appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

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
  • Dr. Golant’s plan for where to live as he ages

Related Resources:

The post 035 Interview: Aging in the Right Place appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

Dr. K explains the most common causes of insomnia and other sleep problems in older adults, and how to get them correctly diagnosed. She covers:

  • How sleep changes with normal aging
  • Common physical health and mental health problems that can affect sleep
  • What types of medications are especially associated with sleep difficulties
  • What to know about sleep apnea and sleep-related breathing disorders
  • Restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movements of sleep
  • What to do if you’re concerned about insomnia

Related Resources:

The post 032 5 Top Causes of Sleep Problems in Aging appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

Dr. K explains the six key things every older person should do, for healthier aging. She covers her recommendations for:

  • Promoting brain health and emotional well-being
  • Promoting physical health
  • Checking for and addressing commonly neglected senior health problems that can sabotage healthy aging
  • Optimizing the care of chronic medical conditions
  • Getting recommended preventive health services
  • Addressing medical, legal, and financial advance planning

Related episodes: 

011 Vitamin D: The Healthy Aging Dose & FAQs

005 Interview: Otago & Proven Exercises for Fall Prevention

Related Resources:

The post 029 The Healthy Aging Checklist appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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In This Episode:

Dr. K reviews her four most used fall prevention approaches, which are routine in geriatrics care but are often overlooked by busy primary care providers. She covers:

  • The three questions about falls that PCPs should be asking older adults
  • How the CDC’s STEADI fall prevention algorithm can help you understand what your health provider should be doing
  • Why medication review is an essential part of fall prevention
  • The importance of checking blood pressure sitting and standing
  • How a physical therapy evaluation can help
  • The recent research suggesting Tai Chi helps prevent falls
  • How to get a good home safety assessment done
  • Why Vitamin D is no longer recommended for fall prevention (but is still worth taking)

Related episodes: 

052 Maintaining Mobility & Preventing Falls in Aging: Myths & Truths

034 Preventing Falls: 10 Types of Medication to Reconsider

004 What to Do If You re Worried About Falls

005 Interview: Otago & Proven Exercises for Fall Prevention

011 Vitamin D: The Healthy Aging Dose & FAQs

Related Resources:

The post 075 Preventing Falls: 4 Approaches to Ask Your Doctor About appeared first on Better Health While Aging.

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