Nursing Home Reform – 1950 and Beyond


Previously, we learned how the concept of the elderly living in a care home began with the horrible, degrading almshouse of the early 19th century. Now we are entering the 1950s and we will see the struggle politicians and health care advocates have had in making adequate and affordable care available for our senior citizens.

The desire to do away with the concept of the almshouse succeeded by the early 1950s. A significant Amendment to the Social Security Act included the requirement that states had to have some form of licensing for nursing homes. Nursing home scandals began to make the news in the early 1960s due to noncompliance by staff and financial irregularities. Continue reading

How Nursing Homes Began in America


Recently I was thinking about seniors in previous eras – who took care of them? Where did they live? I thought that nursing homes came into being fairly recently, say in the 1900s. In addition, I thought that before nursing homes were established families took care of their aging parents by bringing them into their homes.

Well, I was partly right.

Recent statistics indicate that nearly six percent of older adults live in a fully equipped residential facility that will provide for their care. Nursing homes have become quite common in the twenty-first century. Continue reading

Obesity-Related Health Spending Doubled Over Last Decade


Health care reform is a hot topic right now as President Obama presses forward with his plan for all Americans to have access to adequate health care. However, those who are involved in health care related fields recognize the real cost savings will more likely be achieved when obesity and its related health risks are brought under control.

Health authorities are concerned about the continuing increase in obesity, and therefore, increase in the cost of treating diabetes, heart disease and other ailments associated with obesity. Continue reading

Food Safety Tips


During the summer, many people take advantage of the beautiful weather to spend time outdoors. They enjoy physical outdoor activities as well as picnics, BBQs and family reunions. All too often people become ill due to foodbourne diseases because they do not follow proper food safety tips.

The World Health Organization (WHO) determined the need for a set of guidelines to establish food safety throughout the world due to the millions of people who became ill because of poor food safety habits. Continue reading

Senior Citizens: Unprecedented Future World Growth Causes Concern


In a good news bad news scenario, the good news is that the world population is living longer due to improvements in health care. Of concern is who will take care of them and how much it will cost.

As part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging commissioned a study that was produced by the U.S. Census Bureau, named “An Aging World: 2008.” Continue reading

Is Preventive Care a Life Saver?

Health care reform is once again a hot issue due to President Barack Obama’s attempt to push through a bill that will provide all Americans with affordable health care.

The attention to health care reform highlights the importance of preventative care in saving lives as well as dollars. Preventive care provides a way all for Americans to take charge of their own health care issues. Continue reading

Why Are Adults Dying of Preventable Diseases?


Recently I read about a disturbing trend in the United States. Apparently, more adults are dying of diseases that are preventable than are dying in automobile accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS.

When I read that shocking statement, I thought how in the world could that be.

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), every year more than 50,000 adults die from a disease for which they could have received protection by vaccination. Continue reading

Skin Cancer: Signs and Symptoms

When my mother was diagnosed with skin cancer, the doctors were not really surprised. She exhibited a number of signs that skin cancer was a possibility. A tow-head as a child, she was always light complected. She had a mole on her check near the lower right nostril, and she spent hours outdoors for many years. Her life style made her a prime target for skin cancer.

Mom was an avid gardener, rode three-wheeled Honda’s for hours in the mid-sixties to the 1980s, and traveled extensively during the summer months. She and Dad loved to camp out, and after their retirement they spent as much time as possible on the road. Continue reading

Skin Care Basics


We all enjoy the wonderful weather summer brings, and it is only natural to want to spend time outdoors. Many grandparents attend Little League games, athletic competitions their grandchildren may be involved in, or outings sponsored by the local Senior Center.

And of course, we all know how tempting it is to get in a round or two of golf now that we are in our senior years and have plenty of time. Continue reading

How to Protect Yourself and Your Senior Against H1N1

WHO Headquarters in Geneva

WHO Headquarters in Geneva

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) announced Thursday July 17, 2009 that the H1N1 flu is the fastest moving pandemic ever, and that there was no longer any reason to continue counting every case. Now national health authorities only need to report clusters of severe cases or deaths caused by a new virus.

A pandemic is defined as an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region. For example, when an infectious disease such as the flu, small pox, or typhoid spreads across the United States or the world, that is a pandemic. Continue reading