Daniel Straus: HealthBridge Improving Assisted Living Facilities

assisted-livingThere is always room for improvement with assisted living facilities. This can come from either the organization itself or policy makers. In terms of the latter, the Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Reform Act of 2014 was introduced by state legislators in California. Should this become law, there will be additional checks and balances at the facilities, increased training, an online consumer information system and more.

Such checks would be carried about the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division. There would be “surprise” visits, which would take place at least once a year. These extensive inspections would replace the current five year checkups. In addition, the Department would also be forced to initiate and execute investigations more efficiently and faster.

Enhancing assisted living facilities is not something new to the likes of Daniel Straus, Healthbridge. As CEO, he believes that it is “gratifying” to be able to respond to extremely high standards of care, safety and services. Facilities Straus has developed seek to provide a high level of care, to reassure families of residents that those in care are enjoying the utmost support to efficiently enhance dignity and quality of life. Residents in Straus’ facilities live in an environment in which their needs are met through thoughtful and diligent staff members in line with Straus’ goal of creating a “standard of excellence in healthcare,” in which he takes pride.

So with new legislation and dedicated, thoughtful healthcare staff and management, there is every chance assisted living facilities will become stronger and more vibrant in 2014.

Holistic Senior Wellness

senior-wellnessThe tailored wellness program – LifeWorks Senior Wellness Program – created by Lifetime Wellness, engages a holistic approach that seeks to “nurture the whole person,” enhancing their quality of life.  This is particularly important for senior wellness given that all-too-often seniors are treated in a way that just looks at the immediate issue and thus neglects overall health.

To achieve this, the program specializes on six main wellness elements.  According to program director, Brenton Onofre, the goal of the program is “to provide quality of life for our residents while they are living here by creating purpose each day and providing ways for residents to better themselves and help others.  “We understand that to enhance both a person’s health and quality of life requires more than just clinical expertise. We’re always looking for ways to meet everyone’s interests and offer the opportunity for purposeful interaction, both with fellow residents and the staff.”

A holistic approach to senior wellness is the main tenet of the program.  Looking at the senior as an entirety enables the one administering the treatment to thoroughly enhance quality of life, ensuring nothing is missed.  Instead of just helping the elderly get involved in activities that can be challenging for them, this “innovative approach” does everything.  It doesn’t just look at the mental side for example, or just focus on physical limitations.  It spans:  intellectual, emotional, social, physical, vocational, and spiritual, all at once, developing a group of activities that stretches these elements.

In addition to mind, body, intellectual based activities, there are also religious events held through the LifeWorks Senior Wellness Program. Brenton explains, “we work to integrate this into our residents’ rehab program so that have a more comprehensive understanding of what they can do to continue good health once they return home.  Our Wellness Works program strives to make a lasting impact on any resident that transitions home from our facility, and the best way to do that is through caring and education.”

Arthritic Pain Management Solutions for Seniors

arthritisWhen people get older, the cartilage in the bones often wears away.  The body is not able to rebuild cartilage so when this loss occurs, new bone is formed instead.  The individual experiencing this will notice that certain everyday actions such as bending down or tying shoes will be more challenging.

Data from the National Health Interview Survey attained a few years ago (2007-9) found that 22 percent of US adults (around 50 million individuals) had reported, doctor-diagnosed arthritis.  Around 8 percent of US adults (an estimated 21 million individuals) reported limitation in their standard activity levels. Based on this data, it was thus determined by the reporters that by 2030, around 37 percent arthritic sufferers will be complaining of arthritis-attributable activity limitations.

Prevention is thus key.  According to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paminder Kang, most cartilage breakage issues in the hip start with pain and swelling.  But before surgery, there are many things the patient can do to help themselves.  Taking a dosage of glucosamine chondroitin may relieve some arthritic symptoms.  And stretching daily is a great way of attaining relief.

Another pain specialist, Harvey Finkelstein, can offer seniors a full assessment and, based on their condition, age and pain level, may be able to provide them with a non-invasive chronic treatment.

Vis-à-vis spinal arthritis, hot or cold therapeutic treatments are a non-invasive way to get some relief as well as anti-inflammatory medications or regular pain relief medications like Tylenol.  When it comes to osteoarthritis however, a multi-disciplinary approach is more likely to offer relief, which chronic pain management specialists such as Finkelstein may be able to offer.