Heartfelt Solutions for Seniors, Inc. - Your Personal Assistant – Providing Senior Care in the Chicago Metro Area.
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Email: info@HeartfeltSolutions.net
Phone: 708-467-0499
Fax: 708-467-0157
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CHALLENGES AND RISKS
Read more about the challenges of family caregiving and the risks of medical mishaps and financial abuse faced by our aging population. Learn how Heartfelt Solutions for Seniors can help relieve your burden and help protect your loved ones. Click here to read about our services.
 
FAMILY CAREGIVING
  • Adult children provide 70-80% of all services to non-institutionalized aging parents for an average of 35.4 hours/week. i
  • The following was reported in a 2009 study of family caregivers in the United States conducted by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving ii:
    • In the past 12 months, an estimated 65.7 million people in the U.S. have served as unpaid family caregivers to an adult or a child.
    • 17% reported that their health has gotten worse as a result of caregiving.
    • The longer a caregiver has been providing care, the more likely she or he is to report fair or poor health. Specifically, 23% of those who have been providing care for five years or more report their health is fair or poor.
    • Half of the caregivers (53%) say that their caregiving takes time away from friends and other family members.
    • Those who have sacrificed this time with family and friends are far more likely to feel high emotional stress (47%) than are those who have been able to maintain the time they spend with family and friends (14%).
    • More than one-third (37%) have children or grandchildren under the age of 18 in the household.

MEDICAL MISHAPS

Communication between Doctor and Patient

  • Studies have shown that:
    • Only 15% of patients fully understand what their doctors tell them and 50% leave their doctor's offices uncertain of what they need to do to take care of themselves.
    • Doctors listen to a patient's concerns for an average of just 22 seconds before interrupting. iv
  • During doctor's appointments:
    • 65% of the time doctors neglected to mention side effects of new medications,
    • 66% of the time doctors didn't tell patients how long to take the drug and
    • 42% of the time doctors didn't give details on how often to take the medicine. iii
  • Good communication between doctors and patients leads to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, lower blood pressure for patients with hypertension and reduced pain for patients. iv
  • When patients have support communicating with doctors:
    • 50% are more likely to be satisfied with their doctor's ability to give information and
    • 30% are more likely to be satisfied with their physician's interpersonal skills. v

Medications

  • Seniors represent just over 13% of the population, but consume 40% of prescription drugs and 35% of all over the counter drugs.
  • On average, individuals 65 to 69 years old take nearly 14 prescriptions per year and individuals aged 80 to 84 take an average of 18 prescriptions per year.
  • Studies of patient behavior show that LESS THAN 50% of the people who leave a doctor's office with a prescription take the drug as directed. vi
  • 4 out of 10 adults delayed care or failed to follow prescriptions to save money. vii
  • The Massachusetts State Pharmacy Board estimated that 2.4 million prescriptions are filled improperly each year in this state alone. vi
  • More than 200,000 people die each year from medication-related problems. Adverse drug reactions alone are between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death. viii
  • Adverse drug reactions and noncompliance are responsible for 28% of hospitalizations of the elderly.
  • Each year 32,000 seniors suffer hip fractures caused by medication-related problems. vi

Hospitalizations and Discharges

  • One in five Medicare patients that are discharged will be re-hospitalized within 30 days - usually within 7-8 days following discharge. One half of the patients had not seen the doctor for follow up.
  • Unplanned hospital readmissions account for $17.4 billion of the $102.6 billion that Medicare paid hospitals in 2004.
  • 41% of patients are discharged with test results still pending. Ten percent of these results might change the management of patient care.
  • 61% of physicians are unaware of test results returning after discharge that may change management. vii

Read about our Health Advocacy Services

ELDER FINANCIAL ABUSE

  • One in 25 cases of all elder abuse is financial abuse.
  • Nationally, 2.5 million to five million incidents of abuse occur annually.
  • Nationally, five to 10 incidents of abuse occurs every minute.
  • Nearly one half of reported cases of financial abuse and/or exploitation involves victims age 80 and up.
  • The annual financial loss for elderly victims is over $2.6 billion. If medical care and other services are added, the cost rises to $13 billion.
  • Elder abuse threatens the health, dignity and economic security of millions of Americans.
  • Losing one's life savings and/or housing can be devastating and life-threatening. ix
Read about our Money Management Services
 
REFERENCES
i Designing and Implementing a Medical Advocacy Program: Patient Partners. Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference. March 15 2010 - Chicago, IL by Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County.
ii Caregiving in the U.S. Executive Summary. National Alliance for Caregiving conducted in collaboration with AARP, November 2009
iii Levine, Meredith. 2004. "Tell the Doctor All Your Problems, but Keep It to Less Than a Minute." The NewYork Times, 6/1/2004
iv Goodman, Brenda. May/June 2009. "The 18-Minute Doctor's Appointment Challenge." Arthritis Today, p. 61-65
v Goodman, Brenda. May/June 2009. "The 18-Minute Doctor's Appointment Challenge." Arthritis Today, p. 61-65., citing a study by Wolff, J. and Roter, D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on 7/14/2008 entitled "Hidden in Plain Sight: Medical Visit Companions as a Resource for Vulnerable Older Adults."
vi Preventing Medication-Related Problems: Targeting Sustainability in a Complex Adaptive System. Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference March 15 2010 - Chicago, IL by Koffend, Koffend and Roush.
vii Understanding and Negotiating Todays Healthcare System. A Care Transitions project offered by Piedmont Hospital Sixty Plus. Visiting Nurse I Hospice Atlanta ; The Atlanta Regional Commission, Area Agency on Aging. Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference March 15 2010 - Chicago, IL.
viii Ernst and Grizzle 2001; Lazarouet al. 1998
ix Innovation in Elder Financial Abuse Prevention: The 'Be Wise' Community Outreach Model Empowering Seniors, Advocates and Financial Professionals to Stop Elder Financial Abuse, Elder Financial Protection Network; Duane and Karr, Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference March 15 2010 - Chicago, IL.
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