Healthy Options 3/6/24: Advocating for the care needs and rights of elders in nursing homes & assisted living facilities

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

Healthy Options: For Well-being & Being Well

This month:

-What does an elder advocate do?
-What are the steps that are needed to create a plan in the event that you or a family member require medical care in a health care facility such as rehab/or a nursing home?
-What could go wrong when you (or a family member) need advanced care in a facility and are being discharged from a hospital?
-Are you required to go to a nursing home that a hospital discharge planner suggests?
-What are your legal rights when being faced with a hospital discharge that attempts to place you or a loved one in a substandard care facility?
-How can you evaluate the quality of a health care facility? What is a good strategy to help you or a loved one be admitted to a good quality health care nursing home?
-What are some legal documents necessary as part of a long term plan for health care? Why should you discuss this plan with a lawyer?
-What is the difference between standard Medicare plans and supplemental policies (Medigap), and Medicare Advantage plans? Why is it important to understand these differences and why do standard Medicare supplemental plans offer more flexibility and allow for more treatment options?
-What are some creative options to avoid isolation as one ages?
-What should you do for yourself or a loved one to create an  “aging in place” environment?

Guest(s): Elder Advocate Jack Halpern, founder and chairman of MyElder.  (and Facebook)

Previous Healthy Options programs on related subjects:
Healthy Options 12/6/23: Brain Health and Aging Well
Susan Wehry, M.D., geriatric psychiatrist and director of AgingME, on healthy aging, being resilient and engaged as we age, how to handle “dementia worry” (anxiety one might have, about fearing a dementia diagnosis), and how to counter the impacts of severe isolation & loneliness which arose acutely throughout the pandemic, and is still being experienced by many people- including those with dementia.

“The Gift of Caring: Saving Our Parents from the Perils of Modern Healthcare,” about how the current health care delivery model is ill-equipped to provide comprehensive, person-centered care to seniors, and how many treatable conditions and symptoms are dismissed as “just old age.” The discussion highlights specific tools that we can use to help prevent these mistakes and what we need to know to achieve healthy aging.

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.