Keeping Our Minds Young – Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s and Caregiving Considered

One of the most heartbreaking things for families is when an elderly member of the family loses their memory. It can be devastating, and it can make a family member who has been doing part-time caregiving almost want to give up. The family member feels guilty, and also realizes that 1/2 the time their elderly parent or loved one doesn’t even know who they are. It’s so sad.

What can be done to stave off memory loss?

Well, science still isn’t sure, but one thing is certain – the old adage; “if you don’t use it, you lose it” seems to be some pretty solid common sense. What tasks help the brain stay healthy? Well, crossword puzzles, companionship, making new friends, expanding the environment (mapping out where things are in our minds), and learning new things. This is something that an in-home caregiver can help with; someone to talk to, someone that can ask questions keeping them engaged, and someone to listen allowing them to articulate and in the process keep the mind thinking.

What else can be done? Well, there are many vitamins that the brain needs, and if you ask your physician about it, they can make some recommendations, and also make sure that none of the vitamins being taken interfere with the medication that’s been prescribed. An in-home caregiver can then remind them when to take vitamins along with when to take medications.

Will this stop Alzheimer’s? No, there is no cure yet, but research health scientists are working very intensely on the problem and Big Pharma is spending big on clinical trials, no winners yet, but you can bet that Pharmaceutical Companies and BioTech startups won’t give up on this quest, as there are huge dividends for the first drug proven to cure or stop the progression of the disease.

One article on this topic I recently read, which was very interesting appeared in Forbes. The article was titled: “How Close Are We To A Cure For Alzheimer’s?” published on February 13, 2018. You might wish to look it up, as it has links to six other pertinent articles on this topic.

For now, our best bet is to keep the mind active and alert by making sure it is used early and often – and nutrient rich, meaning the right diet and vitamins. Please consider all this and think on it – it’s time we all put the caring back into in-home care for our families.

Knee Replacement Cost Guide

Knee replacement surgery has become quite common and more affordable in the last few years. It is now considered as a safe option for people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This is especially a boon for patients who have end-stage arthritis of the knee.

The constant increase in the number of patients undergoing knee surgery surgery can be attributed to a number of reasons, including the following:

Increased affordability: Now a greater number of patients prefer to opt for knee replacement surgery because the cost of implants has decreased significantly in the recent past.

Range of implants available: Thanks to advancements in medical technology, there are a number of knee implants available today to fulfill the individual needs of the patients. From implants with 180 and 360 degrees motion to 3D-printed knee implants, there is nothing that isn’t available to benefit patients with different severity of osteoarthritis.

Improved surgical outcomes: Open knee replacement is a thing of the past. Now, several new technologies are available that offer greater benefits and ensures positive outcomes. Thanks to minimally invasive technology, surgery is not that painful anymore. Nor does it take weeks of hospitalization for the patient to recover.

But still, the cost of knee surgery in the Western countries continues to remain on the higher side. For patients in such countries who wish to undergo affordable knee surgery, flying to the top medical tourism destination is an option. Some of these medical tourism hotspots for knee replacement include India, Thailand, and Turkey.

The Average Cost of Knee Replacement: Top Countries

The average cost of knee surgery in the Western countries may start from $30000. Further, it is seen that the cost of knee replacement surgery varies not only from country to country but within a country or a city as well. This is especially true about the US.

For example, the knee surgery cost in Dallas, US, may vary between $16,772 and $61,585, depending on the hospital. Paying a higher price for a procedure does not necessarily mean that the quality that the hospital offers to the patient is any better than the hospital that is less expensive.

There are several factors that can be attributed to the disparity between the pricing of the same procedure within the same city. Competition, state taxes, location, and the level of free care provided by the hospital are some of them.

The cost of knee replacement in India, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, and Taiwan, on the other hand, is much more reasonable than in the Western countries. The cost drops by as much as 50 to 80 percent in these countries. This explains the patient mindset when they decide to travel to the overseas to get knee implants.

Type, Material, and Manufacturer of Implant

There are different types and material of knee implants available today to choose from. Each implant has a specific purpose and is most suitable for a specific patient group. For example, older adults can manage everyday activities with an implant that allows flexion of 110 degrees. However, younger adults may need a high-flex knee implant because of an excessive activity level.

Cobalt chromium alloy, titanium alloy, oxidized zirconium, and polyethylene implants are commonly available nowadays. Each implant material has specific pros and cons associated with them. They vary in terms of pricing, use, availability, and longevity.

Type of Surgery

An individual is either recommended to undergo (TKR) or partial knee replacement. The difference lies in the portion of the knee joint replaced during the procedure. The duration of hospitalization and the recovery period in the case of TKR is greater than that of partial replacement. Therefore, there is a direct impact on the total cost that the patient has to shell out of his pocket for the procedure.

Type of Hospital

Hospitals with the most advanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies tend to charge higher than other hospitals. This is despite the fact that the experience and the qualifications of the surgeon handling the case could be the same. The cost also depends on the location of the hospital. Centrally-located and easily accessible hospitals are expensive than remotely located ones.

Experience of the Surgeon

The cost of knee surgery also depends on how experienced the surgeon is. Surgeons with vast experience are the most sought after. In fact, it has been scientifically proved that surgeons who perform more than 50 TKR a year have less than one-third complications rate as compared to those who perform less than 50 TKR per year.

Most patients prefer to be treated by a surgeon who is experienced. But there is an extra price that they must pay for it.

Rehabilitation Cost

Rehabilitation after surgery includes physiotherapy, which is conducted at an extra cost. The doctors usually advise the candidate to undergo physiotherapy for at least 6 to 12 weeks for better outcomes and pain relief. Each session of physical therapy may cost anywhere between $20 and $350, depending on the country where you are getting treated. Rehabilitation is an important aspect of recovery after knee replacement. Therefore, patients must take into consideration these expenses while planning for the surgery.

Incidental Costs

The patient may have to incur incidental costs in case of any complication. Additionally, the costs may increase when the duration of stay inside the ICU post surgery is extended. Like any other surgery, there are certain complications associated as well. Post-surgical infection delayed wound healing, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism are some of the examples. The management of such conditions has an impact on the overall cost.

Other Costs

  • Unanticipated care and management of a pre-existing condition may add to the total bill amount.
  • The greater the number of days you spend at the hospital, the bigger is the billing amount.
  • Cost of private or single accommodation is greater than shared or multi-bedded accommodation.
  • Follow-up visits after discharge from the hospital cost extra.
  • Loss of earning resulting out of hospital stay and impact of surgery may add to the financial burden.

Tips To Choose A Hospital Overseas For Knee Surgery

Choose the country wisely. Countries that offer cheaper treatment do not necessarily compromise with the quality of medical services.

Choose the surgeon wisely. Do not choose someone who is experienced but charges a whopping amount.

  • Choose a surgeon whose clinic is less crowded. Surgeons who are hugely popular tend to remain busy and spend less time per patient. This may hinder personalized care that you may desire to have.
  • Seek help from a hospital or a medical tourism facilitator to arrange for additional needs. This may include accommodation, local travel, translator services, and hospital transfer.
  • Check the credibility of the hospital online before selecting one. Look for patient testimonials and Google reviews.
  • Check the accreditation of the hospital. Prefer to choose a hospital that is certified by Joint Commission International (JCI).
  • Ask for all the information beforehand about the type of implants that will be used. Also, ask for a detailed profile of the surgeon who will conduct the surgery.
  • Seek an estimate for potential costs associated with airline tickets, hotel, food, and other expenses.

How to Make 200k By Staying Healthy

Staying healthy seems like a punishment to many until it is accompanied by the opportunity to earn you 200k.

Given that both cost savings and staying healthy are desirable but challenging aspects with an impact on your financial wellbeing, several approaches can be employed to ensure that both are achieved seamlessly without discarding the other.

Here are some of the approaches to staying healthy and earn 200k in cost savings and as extra income from various incentivized wellness programs.

  1. Insurance discount

Insurance premiums are periodically deducted in your income to facilitate payment of medical bills in case you fall ill. Some insurance providers encourage healthy living among their clients so as to reduce the cost of claims. Customers who stay healthy benefit from discounts on premium payable or cashback refunds. Some insurance providers give up to 15% as a refund to customers who exhibit healthy living in their activities and medical records.

  1. Paid wellness challenges

Several wellness challenge applications that encourages healthy living by incentivising the entire process using financial rewards exist on the market. Subscribers commit to a programme and set a goal which upon being met will be paid with cash and cash equivalents. However, if the subscriber fails to meet the target, for example losing 500 calories in a week, the application deducts an agreed amount from their committed funds. This approach provides both positive and negative motivation aimed at encouraging healthy living.

  1. Alternative workout

The average gym membership cost is approximated at $58 a month, exclusive of the extra charges such as the registration/initiation fee and other fringe costs. It translates to roughly as high as $1000 a year depending on the location. Earn this $1000 by using alternative workout regimes with equipment that are freely available in your house or engage in outdoor activities and freely access public facilities.

  1. Cycling to work

The average commuting cost and time in America is $10 and 25 minutes respectively. This translates to an annual cost of $2600. Cycling to work not only eliminates this cost but it also provides you with an ample 50 minute mental and physical workout to and from work.

  1. Go veggie

You can save up to $25 a week or $1200 annually by omitting meat and meat products in your meals. Increased intake of vegetables not only helps you to stay healthy but stopping meat consumption also boost the ‘health’ of your wallet through cost savings.

  1. Befriend technology

Wearable gadgets and smart watches have inbuilt healthy living applications that tracks physical activities such as walking, the heart rate, calories burned or added, etc. This data can be synchronized to other stakeholders such as retail stores and businesses that encourage healthy living, and the user earns points that are converted into cash discount redeemable at the store.

It pays, literally, when you stay active and healthy, and within 1-2 years of staying healthy you can make up to 200k. Staying healthy and being physical active saves you money in the in the long run (pun intended).

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9912986

You Need Patient Advocacy

Healthcare in the U.S. is broken and only getting worse. Here are just a few examples of why:

  • Of the $3 trillion spent on healthcare annually, $1 trillion is wasted;
  • Many doctors are providing too much unnecessary treatment;
  • Providers are paid for quantity of care vs. quality of care;
  • Healthcare costs are through the roof for everyone; and
  • Many patients are not aware of their rights and responsibilities within their healthcare.

Many people settle for the care they get from their healthcare providers when they should not. If you ordered a cheeseburger and got a hamburger, wouldn’t you take it back? Do you use that same tactic in your healthcare? Maybe not. You’re not alone, most don’t.

Have you ever had an experience at a doctor or hospital that was uncomfortable or frustrating? Had errors on your bills? Left a doctor’s appointment feeling puzzled? Many experience this every day. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to deal with poor treatment.

Advocacy is a patient-centered method that can address many of the ills of America’s healthcare delivery, spending waste and inefficiencies.

Being a social worker for 20 years in many areas of healthcare, I’ve seen plenty happen to people who were uninformed or didn’t know what to say, do, or ask. Many times, negative outcomes were preventable.

What is patient advocacy?

This means championing the cause of meeting a patient’s needs and desires during their healthcare journey. This could mean speaking with doctors on a patient’s behalf, facilitating communication between healthcare providers, supporting a patient’s end-of-life wishes, correcting an erroneous bill, helping with insurance claims and so many other things.

Advocates also have focuses such as billing, insurance claims and appeals, specific diseases (cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke), or getting and keeping good care (like me). There are professionals such as hospital advocates, patient navigators and nurse navigators in healthcare facilities to assist patients with their needs while they are in the hospital.

If you hire a private advocate (one with no corporate/non-profit interests) and pay them directly, their job is to go to the mat for your best interests. If you want to know where the loyalty of any advocate is, find out where their paycheck comes from, and you will have your answer. It’s not always with the patient, unfortunately.

Insurance does not cover advocacy (so private advocates must be paid out-of-pocket), as the government has not regulated our profession. Anyone can say they are an advocate because of this, even my sixth-grader, no matter what their level of experience is. Make sure to check their education, skills and experience before hiring them. Ensure that they are the right fit for your specific needs.

In advocacy, intelligence is not a substitute for experience. Many very sharp people have called on my services because they didn’t know how to handle their healthcare situations, some after making matters worse. They alienated the healthcare providers or they were labeled as “troublemakers.” Communication shuts down between families and providers – which is an awful scenario that does not help the patient’s interests. Advocates can assist you in a situation such as this, and many others depending on their specialty.

Healthcare is a business and you are a consumer. Further, you are responsible for your own healthcare. Patients have to take care of themselves and yield to a provider’s orders, as they are the experts on healthcare. Yet, patients have the right to question any medication, test or procedure proposed to them. Patients must do their part to have good health, as they are the experts on themselves. One cannot drink and smoke heavily and expect a miracle cure for their body after abusing it.

Healthcare spending can decrease once patients learn to use the healthcare system correctly, and a good private advocate can show you how to do that while saving you time, money and frustration.

Not only individuals and families can benefit, but corporations and non-profits can save by enlisting an advocate’s services. It will show their employees (especially those that are caregivers or have chronic illnesses) that there is a more efficient way to experience healthcare treatment, and possibly solve problems which can increase productivity!

What Are the Benefits of Dental CT Scans

The work of the dentists is never easy without the use of special equipment. Most of the work done by the experts revolves around the diagnosis. Unless accurate diagnosis is done, the treatment will not be beneficial. That is why dentistry relied so much on X-Ray images to identify oral infections and diseases. Despite the benefits of the X-Rays, they are inadequate. They failed to cover some parts of the mouth. That is dangerous since the hidden mouthparts might be infected without the knowledge of the dentists.

The insufficiency of X-Rays led to the adoption of the CT scans. The CT scans enable the dentists to get 3D images of the mouth. That reduces the difficulty of examining the mouth. It becomes less difficult for the dentists to identify oral infections. No special preparation ought to be done by the dental patients prior to the examination. However, they are advised by the dentists to wear loose clothes. Anything that might tamper with the imaging should not be worn. That includes hearing aids, sunglasses, and jewelry.

The CT scans offer a wide range of benefits in dentistry. Listed below are some of its great benefits.

Reveals everything in the mouth

The CT scan does not hide anything. The scan captures every part of the mouth using different angles and views. Thus, the dentists will have a better view and idea of what is happening in the mouth of the patients. In fact, the dentists prefer the scan when planning to carry out a complete evaluation of the entire mouth.

Bone and soft image tissue

The CT scan is more effective than the traditional X-Ray imaging. The typical dental X-Ray was used to capture images of the jawbone and teeth. However, the CT scan provides more details. The scan captures details of the teeth, bones and soft tissues in a single scan. Thus, dentists have a complete view of every part in one image.

It is quick

The CT scan is very quick. For a full mouth scan, the imaging process is likely to take 20 to 40 seconds. A scan targeting a specific part will take less than 10 seconds. Apparently, the patients are not supposed to be exposed to radiation for a long time. That is dangerous. The imaging process takes a short time but it is very effective.

Controlled radiation

The CT scan uses radiation. Exposure to radiation is one of the causes of cancerous growth. That is why most people believe that the equipment is risky. When a small amount of radiation is used, it does not have any bad effect. The CT scan equipment gives dentists the ability to control the radiation. That has helped in reducing the risk of getting cancer, making the equipment a safer alternative.

Say No to Toxic Shampoo and Foods

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t always just mean eating our vegetables. Today’s world bombards us with toxins every day as pollution is all around us. Toxic waves from our mobile phones and microwaves, oil spills destroying oceans, aluminium oxide sprayed in the skies, toxic poisons in our genetically modified food and even toxins in our makeup and soaps. These all do damage to us on a daily basis.

These cannot be avoided but we need to be aware of what we are putting on our skin, our hair and in our mouth. Protection from these harmful toxins come from vitamins, herbs and phytonutrients.

Some shampoos for example have a toxin in them called Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. This makes the shampoo foam when we mix it with water but it is also a degreasing agent which is why grease comes off easily when you wash your hands with soap. The problem is that when you’re putting this on your hair it is also entering the blood stream through your skin. Once this is in your blood stream it circulates to your organs and increases their toxicity. This can cause irritation in the eyes, affect your reproductive system and cause cell mutations.

Your skin does not protect your body because when toxins are absorbed by the skin they bypass the liver, enter the bloodstream and tissues directly. Also you are probably also using the shampoo in a hot shower which has opened all your pores in your skin and it becomes absorbed more easily.

When eating toxic food our body’s natural defences can help to break down some of the toxin. Enzymes in your saliva and stomach breaks them down and they go through your liver and kidneys to be left in the toilet but when something enters through your skin this does not happen so your shampoo may be poisoning your body.

There can even be a problem with natural shampoos as they tend to leave a residue on the hair that can make it look dull and feel unclean. They are also not always as pH balanced as you think, can damage the ends and they don’t lather as well so you don’t feel as if they clean properly.

Some shampoos and cosmetics can have what’s called dioxane in them and this can be linked to breast cancer. Diethanolamine or DEA is another ingredient in both shampoos and some cosmetics in concentrations that are often not safe. It reacts with preservatives and creates nitrosodiethanolamine which has also been known to cause cancer. This can stop you from absorbing Choline, which is one of the B vitamins important in development of the brain and during pregnancy. Parabens also found in shampoos can affect your hormones which maintain and regulate all functions in your body. Parabens are often disguised as Propylparaben, Parahydroxybenzoic acid, propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid and several other names all containing the words benzoic acid or the word paraben at the end so start to read labels to see what is in your shampoo.

Another poison we may be putting into our mouth is called MSG which is commonly found in soups, sauces and other packaged foods. It could also be in your shampoo disguised in the form of glutamic acid or amino acid. Propylene Glycol found in antifreeze, tyre sealants, paint and varnish could also be in added in there because it acts as a solvent. It can irritate your skin and affect your liver and kidneys. Some side effects such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness and in some extreme cases even death can be caused by these poisons.

So your seemingly harmless bottle of shampoo, soap or washing up liquid from the supermarket may not be as harmless as they look. Start to read labels and take your vitamins, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, drink enough clear filtered water and eat three fruits and three vegetables daily as well as at least one serve of protein. If you don’t protect yourself from these substances that pollute our world you may find one day it’s too late and you need to take a whole stack of prescribed medication for the illnesses these toxins and our polluted food and air have given you.

7 Factors to Poor Posture and 2 Steps You Can Take Right Now To Better Your Own

Have you ever noticed a famous actor, known for their good looks, maybe Brad Pitt, standing stooped over? Of course not! Part of the appeal is their tall, proud posture, whether you consciously notice or not. Perhaps that’s why no childhood is complete without an occasional reminder to “Sit up straight!” Your mom was training you to become a Hollywood star.

While the desire for your own good posture could be due to the effect that poor posture has on your visual appearance, it may surprise you that posture has much more to do with whether you look proper or sloppy. Let’s look at another type of celebrity – a singer such as Adele, and try a little experiment on yourself. Sing your favourite song, or the national anthem with your shoulders rounded forward and head stooped down. Your whole chest caves in and prohibits your lungs from expanding and your voice from belting out those big musical notes. It’s much harder to sing properly without good posture. Remember Usain Bolt, the fastest human? Do you think he’d run as fast and place as well if he kept his head down?

If you’re concerned with your health you should know that the way you carry your body physically can have a major impact on your physical performance and mental sense of well-being. Studies are now showing the connection between poor posture and health problems ranging from weight gain, insomnia, and even depression and mental decline. Chiropractors are well aware of the significance of this connection between posture and health, which makes them a reliable authority on this and how it relies on good spinal health.

There are many causes of poor posture. In some people, unfortunately postural issues are due to other conditions or diseases that involve bone deformity or bone loss, however, in the vast majority of cases, posture is directly related to a person’s habits and daily activities. Here are some of the most common causes of poor posture:

  • Looking down a lot during activities such as using a cellphone or playing video games
  • Working at a desk or computer for long periods of time (even at a desk with good ergonomics)
  • Poor ergonomics at work (chairs, desks, keyboards)
  • Improper sleep support (mattress, pillows)
  • Obesity
  • Muscles weakness
  • Poor self-esteem (people with low self-esteem tend to have a flexed/inward posture as a way to avoid being noticed)

As noted, there can be other health conditions and diseases that can contribute to poor posture, but as you can see, most contributors to poor posture are also things that are within your control.

Chiropractors and other health experts have found that people who have a tendency to slouch while standing, sitting, and even walking also tend to experience many kinds of health conditions, which can be mild or even severe. Many health problems such as headaches, muscle stiffness, shortness of breath, susceptibility to infectious illnesses, may actually be indirectly impacted by your posture and the positioning of your spinal column.

Your spine is important because it keeps your entire body in alignment and balance. It also houses and is meant to protect your central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Your nervous system is responsible for the communication between your body and brain. The better your spinal alignment, the easier it is for your brain and body to share information and maintain good posture. Slouching, and being in poor posture makes it harder for this to happen – signals don’t transmit as well and muscles have to work harder to try to keep you upright. This extra, more difficult work can degrade the health of the spine and nervous system over time. When your brain and body need to work harder on your posture, they work less on keeping your other systems and functions working optimally. As this happens to the nervous system, other functions of the body may begin to have trouble working correctly, leading to inflammation, digestive issues, and more.

How To Keep Good Posture All Day Every Day

If you want to avoid these health problems, you’ll want to focus on maintaining proper posture as often as you can. It may be as simple as reminding yourself throughout the day to keep your shoulders pulled back, your head held high atop your neck and torso, and your spine in a neutral position as much it can.

If you find it difficult to maintain these positions of proper posture, it is a sign you need the professional help of a chiropractor. Your poor posture can be due to a combination of factors that include poor spinal alignment, poor nervous system signal flow, and muscle weakness. In most cases, these problems can all be corrected with a properly designed and executed plan that addresses all three of these issues as needed.

Do You Have Poor Posture?

Here is a simple test than can be an indicator of poor posture:

  1. Have someone take a picture of you standing without shoes on a flat surface, looking ahead of you. Think of a side profile of a police mug shot, for your whole body, top to bottom. The person will likely have to stand 10-15 feet away.
  2. Draw a straight vertical line from the inside of your ear down to the floor. If the line doesn’t pass through the middle of your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle, it’s likely you have poor posture.