Wednesday, July 29, 2009
In one story, an older woman forgets her husband as she gets on the bus. Read the story, if you want to know what happened.
The taxpayers and anyone with health insurance are paying for this sort of behavior over and over. But how do we as a nation avoid acting like Big Brother while holding the line on the costs incurred by people who won't take responsibility for their own health? We fine people who don't wear seat belts. Can we fine people for eating hot dogs?
The article (well worth reading) has excellent examples from the Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts of how return hospital visits can be minimized. It doesn't have any suggestions on the hot dog problem, however. If you want to read the article, here is the link:
I believe that all of our proposed plans in Congress are just too cumbersome. I fear that public health control will be like dealing with the IRS. My idea is to cover everyone with a $5,000 annual deductible disaster plan. You pay premiums via a low income tax. If you want more coverage, you buy it on the open market through private insurance companies. If you don't have an income, and if you are on some sort of government aid, then the coverage comes for free.
This would make people care more about the first $5,000 they pay for health care. People might ask more questions or take better care of themselves because they'd have a financial incentive. But if they have a catastrophic illness or accident, then they won't be bankrupted.
At the same time, we need to be looking for cost-cutting best practices nationwide and providing incentives to hospitals and doctors to copy them.
If you like my ideas, talk them up.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Another Hurdle to Health Care Reform: Too Few General Practice Doctors - Knowledge@Wharton
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My biggest problem is what the plan will do to small and growing businesses, burdening them with more taxes, penalties and mandates. It will also place a greater burden on the poor working class, forcing them to purchase insurance they can't afford. That is what has happened to my daughter, who is a part-time nursery school teacher in Massachusetts. The state will not approve her application for state-paid insurance because she currently has personal insurance, but she can't afford her premiums. If she drops her insurance, she has to pay a fine to the state. Her employer doesn't cover her. What a mess! Not only that, her insurance in Massachusetts is twice what it was in Connecticut because the insurers in MA must take everyone. Our federal insurance will be a mess like this.
Meanwhile, how can new and small businesses grow or simply stay in business with the sudden new burdens of paying for expensive plans or paying fines? What will part-time workers do? Pay a fine and stay uncovered? How does that help anyone? What will the plan do to people who are aging, laid-off, retired and not covered by Medicare? Can they afford insurance under the new plan?
I went looking for answers in The Wall Street Journal. Good reading. But it didn't make me feel any better.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Older folks don't want to move to assisted living. And anyway, assisted living can be really expensive.
But what does it take to age in place successfully, affordably and safely? This article explores the topic. Well worth reading....
Here is a synopsis:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Check out the blog from the Courant.
Help the MacLeod family turn the page - Susan Campbell | Fear, itself
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Friday, July 10, 2009
This may be one of the best articles I've read so far on the topic. It offers in a sidebar of resources to tap, complete with Web sites. I've put a link below and urge you to read it.
I can't wait for Aging in Place in Darien to have its own Web site and to become an independent nonprofit. We are still a pilot program, under the wing of the Community Fund of Darien. I'm getting really impatient, but I know I have to bide my time and let the process of planning for our future work out in an orderly fashion. I just hope the naysayers who want to keep the organization small and part of some other nonprofit don't win the day. I hope we can find seniors in Darien who will want to become board members and who will want to champion a village or other independent, nonprofit AIP organization in Darien. I hope we can find the impassioned ones.
To read the Boston suburb article, click here:
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Here is the first one:
The Dexter-Miller Community, Inc. located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a non-profit neighborhood services cooperative. Members are willing to exchange services with each other to simplify and enhance their quality of life. Members agree that every service exchanged in the community has equal value based solely on the time spent providing it and that everyone has something to offer. Membership will be limited to 50-100 households in Northwest Ann Arbor. When membership approaches 100 households we intend to split into two geographically more compact groups in order to keep management and contacts simple and local. There is a $15.00 initiation fee plus dues of $10.00 per year.
New members receive scrip worth 16 DEXMILS (DM). One DM is worth 15 minutes of service from another member or the loan of equipment for one hour. Each year upon renewal, members may request 8 more DM, if needed. Otherwise, DM are earned by providing services or equipment to other members. A Membership Directory lists services and equipment offered by each household. Those seeking services or equipment call or email a provider directly and arrange the exchange Professional Service contractors recommended by coop members are listed on our website with satisfaction ratings from community members. Combining work of professional contractors with other community members sometimes results in substantial discounts. More information is available at www.DEXMIL.com
Monday, July 06, 2009
http://www.greatbooks.org/THE WATERGATE INITIATIVE/NETWORK
Making Your Good Life Even Better
FROM HERE TO THERE
Whether you live in a city, a suburb, or a rural area – you will benefit by having
these qualities in your life, if you want to stay in your home, and not move to an
1. People: People who you are committed to help when they need it – and --
people whose help you will accept when you need it. Each of us needs to be part
of a defined group in our geographic location -- a Network builds bonds on a daily
basis, weaving an intimate thread of community.
2. Information. The world is changing quickly – we need to be informed so we
can take care of ourselves and respond to the changes. We need information on
medical services and reverse mortgages, and recommendations on everything from
plumbers to contractors. We need to know what’s happening in our neighborhoods
and our local government. We need different kinds of help -- from a drive to the
doctor to spreading the word on our yard sale. We need information on support
groups from caregivers to cancer survivors.
3. A health care team standing by to help you when you need it – for services
beyond what your own doctor provides. That team includes a Home Care
Company, a Geriatric Care Manager, and a Hospice with its Palliative Care
doctors. It certainly includes your local Hospital, with which you can work to
create new programs specific to your Network members.
(Mrs. Arthur Cotton Moore)
Founder: The Watergate Initiative + TWI/Network
Thursday, July 02, 2009
What strikes me is that any great initiative, such as improving transportation for seniors, comes from one or two driven individuals with great passion. Successful social entrepreneurship comes from people with a mission, and that mission usually comes from a personal experience or need.
|Volume 5. Summer 2009|
In this Issue
ITNOrlando: We're Off to the Races!
By Fran Carlin-Rogers, Board Member, ITNOrlando
Start Your Engines
Orlando began preparations to expand senior transportation options back in the mid 90s, long before we had ever heard of the Independent Transportation Network®. A visionary leader at the Central Florida Area Agency on Aging recognized that senior transportation was a key component of each strategic plan identifying critical needs of elders. Several programs were started which set a tone of innovation around this topic. Local and statewide transportation summits focusing on the triumvirate of safe roads, safe drivers and transportation alternatives, and an informative publication, "What Do You Do When Your Car Won't Get You There," helped prepare our community to start travelling together.
Sheldon Suroff: ITN Closes the Circle
For Sheldon Suroff, ITNAmerica's newest affiliate ITNStCharles closes a circle that started in 1994 when his son was killed by a 92 year old wrong-way driver suffering from dementia. After Jason's tragic death at 21 years old, Sheldon and his wife Karen turned their grief into activism, establishing a nonprofit organization, Concerned Americans for Responsible Driving (CARD), and creating the Impaired Driver Law.
Volunteering Gives New Perspective on Aging
By Bill Clark, Volunteer Driver,
Getting on in years is not easy, especially when it comes to getting from one place to another. When no family member is available to help, driving yourself to the appointment appears to be the only option. This decision can cause mixed feelings. Eyesight is not what it used to be and reaction time is slower. Guilt about driving under these conditions may arise, but what are the other choices? Aging requires visiting doctors more often, and with blood draws, x-rays, and other transportation needs, it is not unusual to have more than one appointment in a week.
Liberty Mutual Debuts "Driver Seat Game"
Liberty Mutual, ITNAmerica's national insurance partner, launched its online Driver Seat Game, a video game that allows players of all ages to experience first-hand the physical and cognitive limitations that older drivers may experience while operating a motor vehicle. The goal of the game is to make players sensitive to the physical obstacles faced by their parents at various stages of aging and inspire conversations between adult children and their senior parents.
The Older Driver Evaluation Process
Healthcare practitioners play an important role in addressing driving safety with their patients. Changes that often come with age—vision and hearing loss, slower reaction times, chronic illness and medication—can affect driving ability. The problem is that patients might not know it.
|The Road Ahead is the e-newsletter of ITNAmerica, and is generously supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies.|
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