I read an article today about why the transitions in healthcare (moving from one place to another) alone are causing a large number of avoidable issues. The author focuses on the notion of going from assisted living to skilled nursing or even skilled nursing to a hospital and while I absolutely agree with this, I think we can take it one step further and say it starts really when we move them out of their homes. An ounce of prevention will most certainly lead to more than a pound of cure. The initiatives in place to help individuals manage their own chronic conditions and proactively have a say in their own care will really help to keep individuals safer and healthier at home. Our goals at GrandCare are simple: to enable a loved one to stay “in place” for longer – wherever that may be. Some use a technology to stay independent at home, others (professional caregivers) use it take care of multiple residents and enable more independence, less personal intervention, more space & privacy and more enhanced safety. This can help a wing to transition to higher levels of care without moving residences. NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) are exactly where this country is headed and it has to be that way. We simply don’t have the brick and mortar available nor the personal caregivers available for the aging population! So, we use technology assists to enable our caregivers to extend their reach and continue to provide care, we use technology to help individuals remain at home….
GrandCare is just one piece of the puzzle (we can connect individuals, remind them to do things, encourage doctor/patient collaboration, guide in total wellness & chronic disease mgmt…now we just need some reimbursement policies in place to help cover this obvious solution…
By Fran Cronin
With more than 1.6 million Americans now living in nursing homes, many of us are all too familiar with the debilitating cycle of a nursing home admission followed by repeated hospitalizations, a spiraling into decline, and ultimately death.
I know for my 87-year old father, now living in an assisted living facility, the prospect of a nursing home leaves him hoping he will just drift off one night in his sleep.
A new study released this week by Brown University and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, confirms what many of us have observed: health care transitions, such as moves in and out of the hospital from a nursing home, do not lead to positive outcomes. More common are frequent medical errors; poor care coordination, infections and additional medications. For patients with acute dementia, these transitions can exacerbate already present symptoms such as agitation, confusion and emotional distress.
The scope of this syndrome — in which health care transitions often turn into emergencies — is expressed in a key Brown finding: almost one in five nursing home residents with advanced dementia experienced repeated hospitalizations in the last 90 days of life. Some were even moved as late as the last three days of their life. Burdensome transitions were also found to correlate with other indicators of poor end-of-life care.
This is a far cry from the overt wishes of most families, says Dr. Joan Teno, one of the study’s lead authors and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University….
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