Successful Meals with Alzheimer’s Patients

Those of us who’ve provided care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease [] know about the challenges of maintaining proper nutrition — let alone getting through a traditional sit-down meal. In response, many give up on getting together around the table, opting for simple handheld snacks or takeout. But with some planning, tableside meals can be an invaluable daily source of personal connection and positive reinforcement. A few simple principles can help you make mealtime more practical and less stressful for you and your loved one: As much as possible, limit noise and other distractions in the dining area. T ry to provide a calm setting free of unexpected interruptions. Depending on your loved one’s cognitive abilities, promote independence by providing some degree of food choice. If your loved one has difficulty with standard flatware, a wide range of special utensils[] can help. Simplify presentation. Remove unnecessary table items to minimize confusion. Solid-colored placemats and dishes may help your loved one focus on eating. Don’t pressure. Impatient prodding can make your loved one even less eager to dig in. Demonstrate successful eating and provide gentle encouragement. Above all, be flexible when a meal doesn’t go as you’d hoped. Just as young children’s mealtime capabilities change over time, so will your loved one’s. For example, you may need to cut food into bite-size pieces, either now or down the road. Always be alert to chewing and swallowing problems, as well as major changes in appetite, which may signify significant health changes. Learn more [] about Alzheimer’s-related eating issues.

Medicare Drug Program: Changes Ahead (Please Finish)

It is possible that about 2 million Medicare participants could be switched over to a different insurance plan for their prescription drugs next year. Some may have to even shop around to avoid the double-digit premium increases coming. Starting from November 15, open enrollment periods may see some increased action through the last day of the period on December 31.

“Everybody needs to shop around every year,” said Patricia Nemore, senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “Just because you like your plan this year doesn’t mean that plan will work the same next year.”

Often plans change their coverage each year. They change which drugs they will cover, for safety reasons, as well as the premium they will charge per month to remain competitive.

On average, Medicare Part D plans will charge a monthly premium of $28 in 2008, but the premiums vary widely across the nearly 1,800 plans around the country. The premiums range from $9.80 for a basic benefit to $107.50 for enhanced coverage.

Luxating Patella

Obama did little more than echo that truism. But one can imagine how it made Clinton burn. He is, after all, a relatively young man who has decades to brood over his lost opportunity for greatness and yet is constitutionally barred from doing anything about it.

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