Friday, September 5, 2008

The Coming Shortage of Health Care Providers

Trouble Ahead

As the work force dwindles, who will take care of our aging population?
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our nation is woefully unprepared to meet the work force challenges posed by an aging population.

There aren't enough workers trained to care for older folks today, let alone 10 or 20 years from now when the elder population will reach record levels. Shortages in nursing, social work, physical therapy and other fields critical to senior care are likely to worsen unless a comprehensive strategy is developed and put into action.

Ironically, many of the baby-boomers who are about to retire over the next few years will leave those very same jobs. In 2000, about 13 percent of the work force was 55 and older. By 2015, that is expected to rise to 20 percent.

Complete Article

Discussing Care Options With Elderly Parents

By Beth Macy

The bank didn’t call until her father tried to draw his third cashier’s check. If he simply sent $98,000 to cover the taxes on a prize he’d won — to a post office box in Canada — the lottery would send him $1 million.

Or so the scam went. Barbara McVi cker rushed to the bank, only to learn that her father had already sent away $68,000 of his life savings. Then came the FBI investigation.

Then, more drastically, what McVicker calls “The Talk.”

She had tried before to initiate the conversation with her elderly parents. But like many, they were reluctant to discuss such an uncomfortable and role-reversing subject.

The elephant was definitely in the room, and he needed some answers:

Complete Article

GE Designing Products for People With Varied Abilities

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug 18, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Although each of us has a unique profile consisting of height, age, ability, strengths, weaknesses, and preferences, most homes are designed to fit a "standard" person. As a result, many of us struggle to reach or operate sink fixtures, cabinets, and appliances.

Universal Design is a design concept that meets the needs of people with varied abilities. It not only addresses the current difficulties people face, but also the possible physical challenges later in life.
"The time has come for kitchens and homes that fit the real needs of real people--needs that will change over time," observed Marc Hottenroth, Industrial Design Leader for GE Consumer & Industrial. "Our Industrial Design team will continue to take a leadership role in addressing these issues," he said.

Complete Article

Animal Companions for Seniors in California

Creatures comforting

Couple share their wide assortment of adopted exotic animals with seniors

Published: Monday, August 18, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 18, 2008 at 6:05 a.m.

"It's a magical place."

Rob Lyon and his wife, Robin, help seniors feed some of the 70 animals on their Sonoma ranch. The pair also take their animals, including a camel, to nursing homes and retirement communities to visit with residents.
Robin and Rob Lyon have a ranch, E-I-E-I-O.
And on this most unusual ranch on a hill above Sonoma there is an emu, Doris, that the Lyons adopted after she was found injured and abandoned on the ninth hole of a Rohnert Park golf course.

There's also a locally renowned 1,750-pound camel, named Kazzy, who will duck into the bedroom of an ailing person and rest her great head on the bed, like a golden retriever.

And Chester, an African serval cat that struggled at birth at an Oklahoma zoo but now thrives with the Lyons. And a mellow, black-splotched white dog named Chester, whose master died in the 9/11 attacks. And, a dancing macaw parrot, Theo, that needed a home after its family broke up following a divorce.

In all there are 82 animals on Lyon Ranch, many quite exotic and most as hand tamed and cuddly as a kitten. Every one of the 82 has a story.

And so do the Lyons.

Complete Article