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Can Healthcare for Seniors Go Too Far?

Healthcare for SeniorsMost people desire the most beneficial medical care for our family members, but is it possible that sometimes, less is the most beneficial? As reported by a recent study published in Plos One by Dr. Martin Makary, professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a full 21% of medical care people receive is unneeded – which means that huge numbers of people put through a variety of treatment plans, tests and scans are receiving little if any benefit. And these kinds of unwarranted healthcare services come at a price: as much as $210 billion annually, as revealed by the National Academy of Medicine.

As a particular example, screening for survivors of early stage breast cancer frequently includes advanced imaging such as PET, CT and bone scans, and tumor marker screenings – while the American Society for Clinical Oncology expressly advised medical doctors in 2012 not to order these sorts of tests. Yet approximately half of patients within that criteria received these types of scans between 2007 and 2015.

The end result is avoidable pain, suffering, and financial expense for screenings and procedures that will have no bearing on improving or lengthening life, according to Dr. Lisa Schwartz, professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Dr. Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a University of California-San Francisco professor, takes it a bit further, declaring, “It’s just bad care.”

On account of the Choosing Wisely campaign, created by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation in 2012, awareness is being raised about irrelevant treatments. “Patients used to feel like ‘more is better,’” said Daniel Wolfson, Executive Vice President of the ABIM Foundation. “But sometimes less is more. Changing that mindset is a major victory.”

It’s important for all of us to be proactive in informing ourselves to the fullest extent possible about any sort of health issues our senior family members are facing, and to talk with the healthcare team about any tests or procedures that are in question.

Did you know Independence-4-Seniors Home Care offers transportation and accompaniment to health appointments and procedures, and can serve as an advocate for senior citizens to help make sure they’re receiving the very best possible medical care? Just a few of the numerous ways we are able to assist:

  • Give prescribed medication reminders
  • Pick up medications
  • Plan and make nourishing meals in accordance with any required dietary program
  • Evaluate the home for fall risks
  • Provide mobility and ambulation assistance
  • Ensure safety during bath/shower time
  • And much more

Call us at (630) 323-4665 to learn more!

Posted December 20, 2017
Tags: home care, Senior Health

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Quotes from our ClientsI don’t know how we would have gotten through this without you and your staff’s assistance. You probably already know this, but I feel compelled to give you a “report card” on the day staff:
Virginia: She’s an angel, and at the same time, a “whirling dervish” with a non-stop take charge energy level. I can’t say enough good things about her. She cares about her clients and their demise hurts her.
Lucy: Kind and caring. Good Activity level.
As you know, the night crew is on duty when we were generally sleeping, so we had less interaction. Monica is a good and caring person. (She called after Linda’s passing to give her condolences). So is Sue. With less demands, the night crew is different in operation. You guys have the right folks on the right shifts.
That’s what my daughter Keri and I thought. Thought you should know.
In closing, let me say that your service exceeded our expectations. I’ll definitely recommend your firm to anyone that I hear needs help.

- Thanks again, M.R.


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