Daily Archives: November 19, 2017

Illness and Mortality Prompt Two

Illness and Mortality is never an easy discussion to have with people, let alone your own family members. We have learned since we were little that we need to take care of ourselves so that our bodies can continue to function for an extended period of time. However, our body functions can start to slow down with age which can cause health complications later on. Through the readings and talking to people who have dealt with having to put someone they loved and cared for in assisted living, I have learned that long-term care and handling with death is never going to be an easy concept to understand and the education in that area is necessary in order to make sure the proper actions are taken.

Within my research, the myths that surround this topic are as follows. The first myth is that if you put people in an assisted living environment then they will be cared for 24/7. This has been proven otherwise in the article by Michael J Berens titled “How the Aged and Frail are Exploited in Washington’s Adult Family Homes”. In the article, Berens mentions how older men and woman were being abused or neglected care but the “caretaker” was pocketing money regardless. The second myth is that long-term health care is affordable. According to an article in Forbes written by Richard Eisenberg titled “Americans’ Estimates of Long-Term Care Costs are Wildly Off”, the average cost of a room rental for one at a nursing home is about $92,000 and assisted living is half of that an average of $44,000 a year. The third myth is that family members are the best care givers. Coming from what I have witnessed personally with my uncle and my grandma, it is a stressful situation to put yourself in. It is straining mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically to have take care of a loved one at such extremities.

Now in contrast to the mentioned myths above, here are some facts. The first fact is that long term health care is expensive – as proven in the Forbes article mentioned above. The second fact is that it is not an easy decision to decide on if you should or should not put a loved one in someone else’s care whether that be through assisted living, a nursing home, adult day care, etc. It is never going to be easy and that is something that I feel a lot of individuals need to educate themselves on to make the best decision. The third fact is that not all family members make the best care takers because everyone has their life to take care and taking on another one can be very stressful and some family members may not be ready for that much responsibility.

I think that when it comes to long term care and death that we all need to educate ourselves a little bit more about what the next step might be or talk to people who have firsthand experience with these topics because they can provide the most insight.

 

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A strangely timely post: dying and death

In a strange lining up of events, the post topic this week revolves around death and dying. On Wednesday evening, I received a call from my mom about my great grandmother passing away. She was 88 years old, and had lived a very long life – which is why it’s ironic (if we’re using the loose Alanis Morisette type of irony here) that this week was also the post about illness and mortality. While I’m choosing not to go into detail about my great grandmother, outside of the fact that she was very cool and in her heyday, had a long braid she’d wear down her back and would pull ropes from the water when her daughters and grandchildren would go water skiing, helps offer some more perspective on this incredibly complicated topic.

One of the myths that is most commonly held about the topics of aging, illness and mortality is definitely one through our sociocultural lens – we have to recognize, before anything, that the way that each individual culture treats those as we age is unique through the cultural perspective we share. In countries such as Japan, the misconceptions that we may have (that those who are aging may not be fit for certain things) may not be as common, but can present their own type of conditions and terms.

One of the things that is commonly a misconception in senior care, particularly, is the idea of restrictive senior homes or being completely isolated on the family farm – the way that senior care is usually portrayed tends to be very polarized, when in reality, there are chances for it to, most of the time, work somewhere on the spectrum of the two – and these elders, as they age, can and should be able to make transitions in the type of care they need. Some of these options include the traditional senior-home facility, a less intensive community-living situation for senior citizens, the creation or extension of multigenerational households, or simply aging in place, either with a caregiver, a devoted family member who acts as an assistant at times, or on their own. This spectrum exists and is able to cater to and serve a wide range of those who are aging – making for important understanding of the range of options, in lieu of just thinking a senior care facility is the only choice.

However, when selecting this, you need to keep in mind something: that all of it is a business, as everything else we’ve learned in this class points to. There is a business incentive, a profit motive, to be made in certain aspects of senior care, and ensuring that you are understanding of the implications of these facilities is important – not only for the dollars being spent, but also for the person who is being served. When exploitation of financial gains happens, it isn’t too far of a stretch to comprehend that it could extend into financial and emotional manipulation and abuse as well – as everything goes, making sure you are aware of options and aware of the implications of industry is important. And by making yourself aware of the multitude of options that do exist in senior care, you are able to effectively mitigate damages – and though many of the people reading this are far off from having to manage their own, knowing how family members, and then eventually yourself, may have options for experiences later in life, is a good thing to know.

Mortality/Illness Prompt 2

The first myth people probably believe without researching these issues is that their loved ones will be taken care of with the best care when they admit them into a nursing home. Some nursing homes do not live up to the quality of care that humans should receive; while they are by no means inhumane, they sometimes have issues with patient care. Another myth may be that people believe some of the elderly can be okay one their own, or have a hard time accepting that they must put a loved one into a home. Therefore elderly people live at home where they are unable to clean, cook, and function by themselves. A third myth that people probably believe is that very expensive nursing homes are just attempting to take money from consumers. This is not true, as it costs a lot of money to run a successful and comfortable nursing home. Consumers should attempt to look deeper into what they can afford, since they are trusting their loved one in the care of strangers.

Mortality/Illness Prompt 1

I chose the resource relating to nursing homes and making the decision of how to care for an elderly loved one. This is a topic that hits somewhat close to home for me, in my personal life and work life. My grandfather is aging and has fallen several times but refuses to be put in the care of a nursing home. This has been remedied by my parents moving next door to my grandparents, but not every person has this luxury. As a consumer, most people are looking to put their families in the care of someone else. This is a huge decision, one that I believe some take shortcuts with. Quality nursing homes are not only hard to find, but expensive as  a consumer (not to mention the moral aspect of putting your parent in a home). The cost of a nursing home can be too much for most families and likely by the time they have to make the decision, they are most likely frustrated with the difficulty of caring for this loved one. This leads to many elderly people being left in their homes or stuck in second rate nursing homes. As a responsible consumer looking to make the right decision, this can be troubling. In the article, alternatives to nursing homes in which patients are placed into residential homes and cared for by families as caregivers is spotlighted. However, many of these homes are rampant with neglect and abuse with the owners simply looking to collect a paycheck. I was unaware that this existed and nonetheless was so popular in Washington. As a previously uninformed consumer, this is terrifying. I would suggest people look into as many nursing homes as they can or attempt to keep the family close by; my work experience of showing up to many elderly patients living alone who fall and hurt themselves is a good example of why consumers must find an answer to this issue.

http://old.seattletimes.com/html/seniorsforsale/2010939195_seniors31.html

 

Food Prompt 1

As i get older, i notice my body reacting differently in ways that i know might be correlated to my diet. “you are what you eat” is a saying that makes more sense as i start to become more health and food conscious. Most of the articles i have read about food habits and diets have mentioned that people (Americans) eat more and more convenient. Eating is now a pass time. Snacking has taken the place of full meals.  We are obsessed with what looks good and tastes good oppose to what is good for us.  What will it take to bring back the importance of making a full balanced meal and eating it company?

in a poll conducted in December regarding food labeling, many people reported wanting more food labels listing calories on places like restaurant menus and grocery stores. They stated feeling more confident and likely to make healthier food choices if they could see the calories listed on the menu. More woman than men are likely to report being in favor of wanting food labels on restaurant menus. While men do not speak out directly, most are in favor of food labels on menus at a sit-down restaurant as well. Many people reported already having the knowledge of how to make healthy food choices when grocery shopping which was a shock to me. So, what needs to happen to really encourage people to always be conscious of what they consume? if people are truly knowledgeable to make the right decisions then why don’t they?  what needs to be done to not only aid people to make the right dietary choices, but want to make the right dietary choices.

Although the choice to eat healthy is a personal decision, we do not decide between the options we have to pick from. In order to make an impact on physical health and childhood obesity in America. We have to consider the quality and nutritional value of the foods offered. Food makes a journey from the production facility/farm all the way to your home and on your dinner plate. It is important to be aware of the products we are buying and serving to our selves and our families. To be able to track the journey of your food means to be able to ensure people are capable of making good diet choices.

Sources:

http://beta.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-akst-snacks-20141221-story.html

http://www.nccor.org/projects/hei/

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/12/31/poll-says-majority-americans-support-menu-labeling.html

 

 

Illness & Mortality

After visiting a few of the provided websites, there was one specifically that stood out to me; it was the state agency website with information about aging in place – DSHS: Aging and Long-Term Support Administration.

Reading through the information on this website with the eyes of an uninformed consumer was easy for this post because this is not something I have to ever think about.

When you first arrive to the website, the title is at the top centered, Services that help an adult remain at home. All of the categories and subcategories are in a different color (blue) and a larger font than the rest of the information making it easy to navigate through and find what you’re looking for without reading paragraphs at a time. There are also great informational videos and reference numbers to call if you have further questions (right hand side gray box – at least 5). While all of the links provided are very helpful, an older person navigating through the website might have a more difficult time keeping track of all of the information and different webpages.

Overall, I think that this website has great useful information. It’s clear, concise and every category is relevant to the subject on aging in place.

 

https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/home-and-community-services/services-help-adult-remain-home

Food post Prompt One

I want to start off by stating that I had vague knowledge about the importance of not exceeding the recommended daily intake for added sugar. However, after reading some of the food matters resources now I have a better understanding about the added sugar daily intake recommendations which are 25g for women,38 g for men and 12-25g for children. In addition I am aware of the reason  why we should not exceed these recommendations. Also, I learned that there are at least 61different names for sugar listed on food labels and how this sugar is in most packaged foods sold in supermarket. However, the most important information is that added sugar is hiding in foods that we consider to be healthy such as energy bars, yogurt since manufacturers are not required to say whether the total  sugar includes added sugar. Making it very difficult to know how much added sugar we are consuming. Therefore it is very important for us as consumers to  know how Making healthy food decisions requires having complete information on the food label. When sugars are hidden in most packaged foods, it’s a difficult choice to make. I believe this information is extremely important for everyone to know and as a result I would definitely share this information with my family, friends and those in my community. Because knowing this information can help us make healthier choices.

Policies decisions that can have an effect peoples choices and health outcomes around food labeling  is the having FDA include more information in labels specifically with the recommendations on the added sugar that is safe to consume. This would be a policy decision that can have positive effect on the choices and health outcomes of an individual. However there are other policies that fail to address the public health risk about consuming large amounts of added sugars. Since food and beverage manufacturers along with industry supported organizations such as trade association, front groups, and public relations firms have actively sought to deceive the public and ensure that we continue to consume large amounts of sugar, this is due to through some of the same tactics employed by the tobacco industry, sugar interests from various sectors have intentionally worked to interfere with the science that links consumption of added sugars to adverse health effect by attacking the science and spreading misinformation. Sugar interest have attempted to influence policy in the direction of continued high consumption of sugar by American.

Also, I found very important to know that there solutions are possible and there are various initiatives being developed and implemented in many places across the country. For example communities an d decision makers need to adopt policies that stand up against political and corporate influence and are informed by the scientific evidence demonstrating the harmful health impacts of added sugar. And having sugar interests held accountable by scientific and public health experts, investors, decision makers, the media, and the  public for their efforts to obscure the science on sugar and its detrimental health effects. Also, communities should be empowered to make democratic decisions about their food systems and public health.

Even though more than half Americans say they already have enough information at restaurants to decide whether they are making healthy choices I assume there are quite a few people that have at least basic knowledge about food labels and nutrition recommendations in these. However, if I share this information with people less well informed than myself they may be surprised to know how we are consuming huge amounts of addend sugar without even knowing since the added sugar is hidden if food labels. But what would probably be more shocking for them would be to know that food and beverages manufacturers want Americans to keep consuming large amounts and their campaigns to obscure scientific evidence about the negative effects of  the consumption of added sugar.

Finance post/s Prompt Two

The Fiduciary Rule, is a rule in which financial advisers will not be able to put their own interest ahead of their clients. Meaning that Fiduciary Rule would request all financial advisers to put customer’s interest first. Financial advisers will not be allowed to receive any commission or accept compensation or payments that would create a conflict of interest. The first resource tutorial on “John Oliver’s Retirement Income episode” does an excellent job at explaining from a consumers point of view the Fiduciary Rule and what would benefit consumers the most. For example,  this particular resource states that according to conservative estimates, more than $17 billion is unnecessarily lost every year from retirement saving under our current system due to conflicted investment advice. Also, the resources has important information about the high fees that compound over time, the differences between managed and index funds and which is more beneficial to the consumer. In addition this resource has a link to support the Fiduciary Rule and includes some tips to remember when saving for retirement which are important for all consumers to know.

 

 

 

Early Life & Childhood/Youth post Prompt Two

I believe that in order to address certain consumer health issues with 10 year old children, I would have to use  simple language when addressing such an important topic such as consumer health. First of all I would provide him/her with important information  necessary for them to start making good and healthy choices. I would try to cover some of the interest of the child. For example if the child has very low physical activity due to playing video games for a long period of time or watching television then I would start off by asking why the child like to engage in these activities, Then I would let the child know that I respect his opinion but that perhaps he can make better choices because his/her current interest may have a negative effect on his/her health. And I would mention to the child the risk of low physical activity such as how and why it’s affecting their health. In addition I would have to provide the child with ideas and options to increase his/her physical activity time. For example, I would let the 10 year old know that low levels of physical activity can affect their health even if they don’t feel it is affecting them in any way. And provide facts such as how low levels of physical activity is liked to a greater risk for obesity and diseases like diabetes, this can be done by providing them with videos about the risks of low levels of physical activity. Moreover, I would talk to him/her about the different variety of activities that can increase his or her physical activities such as outdoor play, or if the 10 year old is interested in video games I would recommend them choosing an active video game on Xbox 360 Kinect (a motion sensor-based console, that requires total body participation this way the children can start to choose options that can benefit her/his consumer behaviors.

Illness and Mortality: Prompt 1

I found the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) site to be very helpful. There was a page on there called, “Getting Started.” It includes a “What You Need to Know” section. This section included things like explaining the basics of finding adult care, what that includes, and the types of care that are available. There are resources within the website that are helpful to people as it provides links to other pages with more information and has a phone number for people who may want to call in with further questions. Besides the getting started page there is a “Medicaid” and “Long Term Care Housing” page that explains what Medicaid is and how it applies to residential care facilities. The latter page explains the different types of adult care that are available ranging from nursing homes to assisted living facilities to retirement communities, and explains what each of them mean.

Overall, I believe the DSHS website was helpful because it explains all of the terms found within it and how it applies to the subject that is being addressed. My only complaint is that people may get lost in the various pages provided and the links within the pages themselves. However, there is a phone number provided along with the times that people can call in case anyone has further questions.

https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/long-term-care-services-information