Posted by: Laurence Harmon on 6/29/2009 | 0 Comments

Traceway at Tupelo has revolutionized the nursing home industry by de-institutionalizing it. Residents live in 10-person homes; specially-trained nursing assistants--"universal workers"--make "house calls" to care for them. 

The living environment has changed as well:  Residents are challenged to engage in meaningful life activities. The days of warehousing the elderly to await the inevitable are over. Instead, care is delivered in a facility specifically designed to be home, not "home-like." The Green House model intends specifically to be the most efficient home health delivery system in the world. 

Residents live in private rooms with private bathrooms. The centerpiece of each home is a large living area called “the Hearth,” which is outfitted with a fireplace, large-screen TV, and a variety of comfortable chairs and sofas. 
The placement of the Hearth was a strategic decision: Residents can choose their level of involvement with others, either by joining them, leaving their own doors open, or closing the door to maintain privacy.  
There’s an open kitchen with a breakfast bar and a large dining table. Meals are prepared on-site, rather than delivered on carts and trays. Snacks, too, are readily available.  
What’s the message? The Green Houses approach demonstrates that frail elders do not need to be in institutional settings. 
Minnesota’s Presbyterian Homes, a leading senior housing provider, has adopted the Green House model in its Waverly Gardens development. The Liberty™ Personally Designed Living resident care program creates “households,” which operate according to how the residents want to live their lives. The approach is intended to emphasize residents’ skills and capabilities, while helping them to compensate for their disabilities.






Posted by: Laurence Harmon on 6/26/2009 | 0 Comments

Previously, dogs have been proven to sniff out certain cancer cells, and their ability to detect illegal drugs and explosives is well known. 

Recent research suggests that a dog's highly sensitive nose can detect tiny changes that occur just before a diabetic's hypoglycemic attack.  Indeed, researchers at Queen's University found that 65 percent of a 212-member study group with insulin-dependent diabetes reported that their pets whined, barked, licked or made some other display when an attack was imminent.

Aylesbury, England's Cancer and Bio-Detection Research Center found that dogs can detect certain odors down to parts per trillion--tiny, tiny amounts--and further research will be dedicated to developing electronic means that will mimic a dog's olfactory senses to detect cancerous cells as well as hypoglycemic incidents.

Posted by: Laurence Harmon on 6/25/2009 | 0 Comments
  • Bankruptcies among those of us 55 and older are up 30 percent.
  • In just the last decade, the number of bankruptcies for people 55 or older has jumped from eight percent to 23 percent.
  • According to a recent AARP survey: More than one-fourth of respondentssaid they are having trouble paying their mortgage or rent.  One-third have stopped putting money into retirement accounts.  More than one-fourth have postponed plans to retire.
  • Seniors now face a sour real estate market where values are depressed and buyers are scarce: The National Association of Realtors says the median price of an existing home declined 12.4 percent in 2008.
  • The poor economy is also affecting seniors’ ability to transition into and remain in assisted living facilities, where occupancy is down two percent since 2006.
  • Devastated by losses in their 401(K) plans, some seniors are “retiring from retirement” and re-entering the workforce. The data indicate that workers aged 55 to 64 who have been in their plans for 20 years saw a 20 percent loss of value in 2008 alone.
  • The seniors who have jobs are hoping to keep them and keep them longer. An October 2008 survey by AARP showed that 70 percent of workers 62 and older are now planning to delay retirement and work longer if the economy doesn’t improve significantly.
  • The number of people older than 55 with full-time jobs increased from 15.5 million in 2005 to 17.9 million in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • U.S. Census figures show that the number of adult children moving back to the nest has been rising since the 1970s, and is accelerating because of record foreclosures.
  • An estimated 56 percent of men and 43 percent of women ages 18 to 24 now live with one or both parents.
  • Additionally, an estimated 65 percent of all college graduates have moved back in with their parents.
2007 Consumer Bankruptcy Project,
Love & Rainville, The Economic Slowdown's Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans,
Morin & Taylor, Luxury or Necessity? The Public Makes a U-Turn,
National Association of Realtors, March Existing-Home Sales Slip but First-Time Buyers Rise,
McKnights Long-term Care News and Assisted Living, Occupancy rate stays stable for skilled nursing, drops for assisted living,
Employee Benefit Research Institute, Retirement Research,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Labor Market in 2008: Economy in Recession,
Pew Research Center, What a Year! People-Press Poll Reports in 2008,
U.S. Census Bureau News, As Baby Boomers Age, Fewer Families Have Children Under 18 at Home,
Associated Press, Social Security unveils new online application,
HarrisInteractive, The Harris Poll® #58 - July 26, 2006,
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