The Brain is Like a Computer | Is It just Getting Older, or Is It Getting Dementia?

What is dementia? Here are some simple concepts to start with: The brain does three very important things. Each of these is impacted when a person develops dementia. The brain can be thought of as an amazing, living super computer. Dementia is a general term for diseases that injure the brain over time. An old brain is not the same as an injured brain. Three Important Things a Brain Does The first moments of life are unforgettable. A baby is born and starts crying. From that moment forward, the brain will experience a lifetime of […]

Is Mom in the Hospital? Remember the 8 Ds

Dr. Warren Wong

The hospital is a hard place for older patients. In a previous post, I described three awful things that happen too often. I was frequently asked to help care for frail older patients in the hospital. Based on these experiences, I came up with 8D's.

When you have an older loved one in the hospital, think of these 8 Ds:

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Mom’s Hospitalized – Time to Cross our Fingers

In our last post, Dr. Bruce Leff talked about Hospital at Home. When someone becomes acutely ill or injured, hospital care is needed to treat the problem.  But hospitalization causes its own problems.  One of Dr. Leff’s patients described the hospital as a “crappy hotel.” I’ll describe three things that make the hospital feel like a crappy hotel.1. Who’s in charge? 3 different doctors in 2 days???When a patient is hospitalized at night, the nighttime doctor examines the patient and writes the orders. The next morning, the doctor goes home. Another provider assumes care. However, […]

Hospital at Home, Bringing the Hospital to the Home

The hospital can be a dangerous place, especially for older patients. Decades ago, I met a physician named Dr. Bruce Leff. He asked the question: Can we bring the hospital to the home? There’s a reason he asked that question. He has a great explanation.

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I say it over and over again: There's no one more important than the caregiver in the daily life of a frail person.

Warmest Aloha,


[email protected]

 

 

Managing Diabetes Better in Older Patients – What does that mean?

Diabetes is one of the most common conditions managed by doctors. Diabetes results in increased risk for cardiovascular, kidney, eye diseases, infections, and amputations. Is Diabetes well managed in older adults? From a geriatrician’s perspective, management could be much better. The reason why might be unexpected. Many older adults are over treated, not under treated, with serious consequences.

I hear you: Listening with your heart

Alyson Kuhn is co-author of the book I hear you: Talking and listening to people with Alzheimers. In a previous post Alyson said: “My goal was always to help my mother feel in charge.” In it, Alyson talks about learning to “kuhncierge” to care for her mom.

In this post, Alyson talks about communications. It is the most overlooked and neglected aspect of caring for people with dementia. For some caregivers, communicating is intuitive; for others, it’s like learning a foreign language. It’s a skill we can all polish—and apply to everyone we care about. Alyson provides three practical pointers.

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I say it over and over again: There's no one more important than the caregiver in the daily life of a frail person.
Warmest Aloha,


“I hear you” by Jane Mahakian, PhD and Alyson Kuhn
is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com,
and through your local bookseller

I’m not sure I should go back on hospice. What do you think?

Most of my patients who passed away received hospice care at home. Hospice provides the best care possible at end of life. The hospice team focuses on physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing. Comfort and dignity are provided to both the patient and loved ones.

I am a strong advocate for hospice care. But, for many patients the choice to enroll in hospice is a difficult one. A recent patient told me why she dropped out of hospice:

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My goal was always to help my mother feel in charge

My friend Alyson Kuhn is co-author of the book I Hear You, about talking and listening to people with Alzheimer’s.  Alyson and her co-author, gerontologist Jane Mahakian, provide great insights about how to avoid “talking down” to someone living with dementia.
 
There is no greater gift to a person than conversing with love and respect. In today's video, Alyson presents a “social solution” to entice her mother to eat lunch.

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