- Life Insurance: An Important Financial Decision for Seniors
As we grow older it’s important that our families have the care they need. I found this out myself personally when my parents made the decision to retire and we came to realize just how important life insurance is for financial security. For instance, life insurance can provide additional financial support to a surviving spouse […]
- Genetics, the New Frontier
Have you ever wondered what the underlying building blocks of your DNA tell you about your unique health road map? Knowing information about our DNA tells part of our story of what might affect our health. For some people, knowing about their DNA might provide invaluable insights that could encourage a change in behaviors or […]
- Meet a Neuropsychologist, Brenda Austin, PhD
A neuropsychologist is someone who specializes in brain function disorders and is an important part of a geriatric medical team.
- See to Your Life Goals
Prioritizing your life goals should be a life-long process. It should not be one that ceases as soon as you get your last degree or first job. Take our short quiz to help you reflect on what you want to do with the rest of your life.
- See to Your Life Values
One definition of “values” is: “One’s judgment of what is important in life.” We would also say that values are a set of ideals we develop over our lifetime. For instance, values are religious and spiritual beliefs, ideas about the role of family and our attitudes toward money. Unlike goals we set for ourselves (which […]
- See to Your Health Goals
Surveying the goals you have for your health throughout your life will help you achieve them.
- Hospital Discharge is Much Smoother With a Good Plan
After medical treatment, surgery, or other hospital procedure, there are important questions and arrangements that need to be made to ensure the best recovery. These include care, medication, possible complications, therapy, medical supplies, and other care needs before hospital discharge. Having a plan in place can help to make the experience smoother and to prevent mistakes that could have serious consequences.
- Have You Chosen Your Health Care Agent?
Designating a Health Care Agent is the most important part of your Advanced Care Plan. Let us help you navigate the first steps of this process.
- Life Values Decision Guide
Create and share Values Statement with your family to help them make decisions for you if you are incapacitated or not able to make decisions for yourself.
- Right Care Action Week
We support the efforts of the Lown Institute to promote better care for American families in our health care system. Right Care Action Week is Oct 16-22.
- Four Professionals Who Can Help with Senior Finances
Managing finances in the senior years is difficult for two reasons: First, the complexity of remembering to pay bills and balance a checkbook, let alone remembering to manage investments, can become overwhelming. Second, money often runs out when long-term care and other medical bills start to pile up. Here are four professionals you should know […]
- Six Things A Patient Can Do to Prevent Surgery Infection
The last thing anyone wants to get when they go to the hospital, especially for an elective surgery or procedure, is an infection! If you are considering having an Orthopedic Procedure such as your knee scoped, hip replaced or ACL repaired, there are things you can do to lower your risk of Surgical Site Infection (SSI).
- An Open Letter to Chelsea and Ivanka – Worry about Your Parent’s Health
Pneumonia should not be taken lightly in people over 65. The candidates for President and their loved ones shouldn’t take their health lightly either.
- The Holy Grail of “Care Coordination”
Coordinated care is a buzz word for health reformers, but it is ultimately the job of patients and families. This means being organized, having access to their own records and being willing to ask questions.
- Money Matters: Talking to Seniors About Their Finances
Discussing finances with your senior parents is uncomfortable, but identifying difficulties managing finances is a crucial step to maintaining independence and safety.
- Need More Help?
Defining your own goals for your health is the first step to getting the best care. Take the following short survey to get started at planning for your best health.
- Post-Hospital Complication Prevention Guide
Understand what complications you may experience after a hospitalization and what questions to ask your doctor before you leave.
- Heatstroke Evaluation Tool
Heat stroke is more possible, and dangerous, than you think. Take this quiz to assess your risk and take action to prevent a heat-related death.
- Assisted Living Decision Guide
Don’t choose a Residential Care Facility or Assisted Living for you or your family member without taking these steps.
- Discharge Supplies & Services Guide
Use this checklist to make sure you have the information and supplies you need before going home from the hospital.
- Discharge Medications Guide
An organizational tool to assist you with medication changes after you leave the hospital.
- Safe Driving Evaluation Tool
Driving is both a freedom and a source of increasing danger as we age. In fact, it’s an inevitable outcome that everyone reaches an age where they become an unsafe driver at some point. It’s important that as we grow older, that we ensure that we all remain safe drivers. Take our short quiz to […]
- The Move to Assisted Living – Avoiding the Guilt
A checklist of key steps to picking the right Assisted Living or other Residential Care Facility for the Elderly for you or your family member.
- Summertime Killer – Heat Stroke Easier Than You Think
The risk of heat stroke is spiking in large sections of the U.S. this summer. The CDC and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently issued a warning about dangerously hot weather in the Midwest and Southern US for July of 2016. Dangerously high heat is a heat index of 90 degrees or higher, and can […]
- Inform Yourself Before You Consent
Why do we treat medical consent as a task to be checked off instead of an opportunity to convey important information to patients and their families?
- Muhammad Ali’s Poetic Advance Directive?
Muhammad Ali intuitively understood the idea behind advance directives.Reading about and reflecting on the life of Muhammad Ali after his death due to complications of Parkinson’s Disease, I came across his poem about the Attica Prison Riots – particularly with regard to his ideas that touch on the philosophy of dying with dignity and on his own terms. In writing […]
- Is it Time to Give Up Driving?
Almost everyone reaches an age when they become an unsafe driver. For some, the time to give up driving can happen at a young age.
- A Healthy Outlook is Vital to the Cancer Recovery
In the pendulum swing of illness and recovery many cancer survivors discover that your outward appearance can hide dark emotions that lurk deep.
- A Geriatrician is Key to Helping Families Manage Care
Taking care of a senior is hard enough. A senior with a degenerative condition like Parkinson’s requires thought, a multi-disciplinary team, and outside resources like a Geriatrician.
- DNE: Do Not Escalate. An Underutilized Directive
It’s about a patient’s quality of life. For some people in Long Term Care this often ignored option is a better choice than aggressive treatments.
- Five Critical Questions About Your Diagnosis
Finding a doctor you trust before you get sick is step one. Step two is being informed and asking the right questions when something goes wrong.
- Spinal Stenosis: What’s the Right Answer?
Spinal Stenosis is one of the leading causes of pain and disability in people over 65. Currently, it is estimated that 1 in 1000 people over 65 and 5 in 1000 people over 50 suffer from spinal stenosis.
- Frontline’s Being Mortal
Frontline’s ‘Being Mortal’ honestly discusses the difficult conversations and decisions that must be made when confronted with unexpected illness.
- Six Steps to Avoiding Insurance Medication Denials
Healthcare is difficult enough to navigate without Insurance Denials. Here are some ways you can avoid common pitfalls in the process.
- A Lucky Life, Interrupted…
A Lucky Life Interrupted is a recent memoir by my dad, Tom Brokaw, about his time as a journalist and the year he was treated for multiple myeloma.
- Time to Ditch the DNR
Complex decisions cannot be fully addressed with a simple DNR. Learn more about what’s involved (and what isn’t) with a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ directive.
- A Month Without Alcohol
5 reasons to take a month off from alcohol. Just the motivation you need to participate in what’s come to be known as Juiceless January.
- Medical Futility: The F Word
Medical Futility is a term that was first coined in 1962. No one likes to talk about it, but in the age of increasing pressures for medical resources and limits on spending, we cannot ignore it any longer. Medical futility is defined as: a judgment that further medical treatment of a patient would have no […]
- Family Medical History Is Crucial Information
What’s in our genes is a vital diagnostic tool. Getting your physician the most thorough Family Medical History is a key first step.
- The ‘Wonderful World’ of Advance Directives
Only 20% to 30% of Americans have Advance Directives and many are sitting in a drawer somewhere, and not representative of a real process or discussion
- Frequently Asked Questions About Medicare Programs
Medicare is a government health insurance program for persons 65 and older. There are several different types of Medicare Programs to navigate. If you are 65, you may apply up to three months in advance of the first day of the month you turn 65 or up to three months after the month you turn […]
- How Eldercare Handicaps Women
Jennifer Brokaw, daughter of Tom, points to the burden of medical-decision making, for which wives and daughters bear the brunt of eldercare.
- In Remembrance of Newtown
In honor of the first anniversary of the Newtown shooting, I want to share a memory I have from my time as an Emergency Physician. Warning: It is graphic, so stop reading here if you don’t want to read about something pretty gory. It was 1996 and I had just finished my residency training in […]
- 7 Essential Actions When You Get Bad News
Bad news from your doctor creates a lot of stress and anxiety for obvious reasons: fear of the unknown, fear of suffering and sometimes, an existential crisis. Most people who get bad news also deal with the strain of managing the people in their lives and all of the burdens that come with receiving modern […]
- A Tale of Two Families: The Importance of Advance Care Planning
Even today, there is a lot of confusion about the terminology around end of life planning or Advance Healthcare Directives. The following stories (fictional) are meant to illustrate the different outcomes associated with simply having an Advance Directive compared with the process of Advance Care Planning. Family #1: Noreen, age 68, took great care to […]
- Simplicity through Innovation
A friend who is also involved with the International Rescue Committee, told me about solar phone chargers that also work as lights. They are being sold and distributed in the third world and refugee camps as a solution to lack of electricity. A portion of sales in the US are used to subsidize affordable prices […]
- Our Narratives Through Change
“Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” – David Foster Wallace Our youngest daughter just graduated 8th grade, and I am really trying not to leave claw marks on her elementary school. After a total of eleven years there, I’m finding it difficult. First, I am going to miss the familiar […]
- 15 Questions for a Concierge Physician Practice
Considering changing to a Direct Pay/Concierge or Boutique Physician? Because there is a shortage of primary care physicians, and primary care has suffered declining reimbursement rates from insurers, Direct Pay Medicine is a growing trend. However, because it’s relatively new, there is a striking lack of standardization in pricing or types of services offered. Here […]
- Re-Making Advance Directives
On April 16th, we honored the sixthNational Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD). NHDD was established with the goal of increasing the number of people who have Advance Health Care Directives (only 30% of Americans have one) and increasing communication about health care wishes to loved ones and health care providers. However, in order to achieve those […]
- 10 Misunderstandings about Health Care
In the on-going and ever fervent debate about health care in America, we want to share what we perceive to be some important misunderstandings Americans have about it. While the Affordable Care Act will allow more people to have access to health care, there are some important misperceptions out there that will not likely be […]
- Healthcare Decision Awareness
CELEBRATE YOUR HEATH AND GIVE A GIFT AT THE SAME TIME! National Health Care Decisions Day is TODAY! National Health Care Decisions Day was started six years ago to raise awareness of a need for each of us to think about our own futures with regard to health care. It is a fact that we […]
- Ask Your Doctor About…..
Last week, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation announced the results of the Choosing Wisely initiative, which asked specialty societies to publicize their own specialties’ most over-used tests and treatments. Here are some examples: -Routine CT scans and antibiotics for uncomplicated sinusitis NOT RECOMMENDED. -Xrays for back pain of less than 6 weeks […]
- Do You Know These Buzz Words in Health Care?
There’s a lot of buzzing in the health care industry these days, despite the fact that President Obama left health care out of his State of the Union speech! The Affordable Care Act is officially “in process” and all stake holders are scrambling to meet the new requirements that will dictate how much money they […]
- The 31 Flavors of Cancer and the Trouble with Screening
Last week the US. Preventative Task Force recommended against the routine use of PSA tests to look for prostate cancer in otherwise healthy men with no symptoms. Patient advocacy groups are organizing to fight the latest task force recommendation by showcasing men who were supposedly saved by this test (by having their prostate cancer diagnosed […]
- Talking about Difficult Things
These are discussions most physicians avoid like contagion: talking to patients about illness and dying. Once we doctors “go there”, we’re on uncertain ground. While we learned to do a physical exam, start an IV, intubate and take a clinical history in our training, most of us haven’t learned the delicate dance of an end-of-life […]
- Accountable Care Organizations. The new HMO?
If you haven’t already heard the term: Accountable Care Organization, get ready. It will be on the tips of everyone’s tongue in the next 18 months. Accountable Care Organizations are the new way that the “powers that be” are going to try curb our spiraling health care costs and improve our quality of care. As […]