News and Events - THE GRAND

COVID-19 Update March 23

March 23, 2020

Dear Families, Friends and Staff Members,

I want to update each of you on measures we are taking to help improve communication with our loved ones. The GRAND of Dublin and Vrable Healthcare have purchased tablets to set up skype accounts dedicated to allowing family, friends and residents the ability to more freely communicate during this unsettling time.  We have also set up conference call lines for scheduled group calls.  While quarantines increase, it’s unlikely all family and friends can even congregate in one area to call a loved one.  With scheduled conference line times, family and friends from across the world can dial in for a group call with their loved ones.

If you are interested in scheduling a Skype video call or group phone call, please call the facility at (614) 889-8585 and ask for the activity department or email the facility at grand-family@grandofdublin.com for scheduling.  We will start scheduling these calls effective Monday, March 23, 2020.

I again want to thank everyone for their patience while we deal with this national emergency.  Our staff has been nothing short of amazing in this crisis.  While more and more business shuts down, our staff continues to make the trek to work each and every day to care for those we love.  I especially want to thank our staff members.   Long Term Care workers are a special group.  I have seen this firsthand as we deal with this difficult situation.   Our staff is leaving their own families at home to care for our residents and your loved ones.  Our staff continues to come to work while dealing with the uncertainty of day care, school closings and general uncertainty regarding this issue.

I feel it is important that we establish a method for increased communications between our residents, family members, community and medical professionals. To achieve this goal I want to establish lines of communication with all resident family members and friends.

Please continue to check our facility Facebook page for general updates.

On behalf of myself, The GRAND of Dublin and Vrable Health Care, I want to thank each of you for everything you are doing to ensure our residents are taken care of with as little interruption as possible.  Please reach out to the facility at (614) 889-8585 with further specific questions.

Sincerely,

Blu Johnson
Administrator
The GRAND of Dublin

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Update March 20

On behalf of The GRAND of Dublin and Vrable Healthcare, our concerns go out to all those impacted by COVID-19.  As always, our focus remains on the health and safety of our residents and staff.

We continue to monitor the latest information from local and state of Ohio Departments of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We have been participating on conference calls with the Governor’s office and ODH.  We are we are working diligently to required preventative measures to manage the situation safely and effectively.

As we work together to manage through this national emergency, we would like to share how The GRAND of Dublin is addressing the evolving situation and the proactive, preventative steps we are taking to minimize disruption to patient care and customer service. The GRAND of Dublin is:

  • Working on additional means of communication, including group and video calling.
  • Remaining fully staffed and continuously working on contingency plans.
  • Dedicating resources to the monitoring and evaluating responses to clinical and operational challenges arising from the outbreak.
  • Maintaining daily communication with our vendors, residents and families.
  • Assessing contingency plans across our organization designed to withstand the uncertainty of the outbreak.
  • And as always, committed to maintaining clinical best practices in the care, cleaning, and infection control.

We will continue to monitor the situation and react as quickly and efficiently as possible, always keeping the best interest of our loved ones at heart.  If you have any questions, concerns, or encounter any extraordinary circumstances regarding this situation, please reach out directly to us by contacting me at (614) 889-8585.

Sincerely,

Blu Johnson, Administrator
The GRAND of Dublin

 

COVID-19 Update March 17

March 17, 2020

Dear Families, Friends and Staff Members,

As the nation and the healthcare industry continue to deal with the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, I want to thank everyone for their patience while we deal with this national emergency.  I especially want to thank our staff members.   Long Term Care workers are a special group.  I have seen this firsthand as we deal with this difficult situation.   Our staff is leaving their own families at home to care for our residents and your loved ones.  Our staff continues to come to work while dealing with the uncertainty of day care, school closings and general uncertainty regarding this issue.

 

I feel it is important that we establish a method for increased communications between our residents, family members, community and medical professionals. To achieve this goal I want to establish lines of communication with all resident family members and friends.

A periodic / general informational email list is being established so you can receive updates concerning any federal, state, local Covid-19 updates as well as any updates from the facility.  If you wish to be a part of this distribution list, The GRAND of Dublin asks that you contact us to have your email added.

I would also direct you to our facility Facebook page.  We strive to keep this updated with pertinent information. The GRAND of Dublin’s Facebook page is located at https://www.facebook.com/thegrandofdublin/ or you can go to your Facebook page and search The GRAND of Dublin. The facility has set up their page to allow family and friends to leave messages directly for their loved ones.  If you wish to leave a message for one of our residents, you can do so at the following link and your message will be delivered to the resident. http://www.grandofdublin.com/resident-messages/

The GRAND of Dublin is always taking steps to protect our residents and limit exposure.  While some steps have been unpopular, we only take these steps as mandated by the government and to protect those we all love. The GRAND of Dublin has been mandated by the Federal Government to restrict visitors from the facility with the exception of staff, medical professionals, emergency personnel, local/state/federal officials and family members of residents who are actively experiencing end of life symptoms.  We have also been advised to restrict group activities in the facility to ensure we are following social distancing recommendations given to us by the Centers for Disease Control.  The following activities or programs will be affected by this restriction:

  • Care Conferences
  • Therapy Activities
  • Leave of Absences by Residents
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the dining room.
  • Routine Ancillary Physician appointments unless it is an emergency

For safety, the facility is monitoring daily temperatures and respiratory symptoms of all staff members, residents and visitors.  We remain in close contact with our medical doctors and have protocols in place for dealing with residents if they were to exhibit symptoms of the virus.  In preparation for this outbreak, we have made arrangements to order and obtain extra supplies to ensure our staff has what they need to complete their jobs. We continue to monitor our supply stock daily and react accordingly.  We are working in close coordination with our vendors and sister facilities to keep supplies adequately stocked.   At this point in time we have no shortages or outages.

 

Please keep in mind, we will not be able to address specific patient concerns in informational announcements, but will communicate any change in condition to a resident’s responsible party if the situation arises.  We recognize this is a very difficult time for everyone involved.   We will continue to work diligently with families to find alternate means of communication so our residents do not miss out on the important contact that occurs with family.  We will continue to monitor and react to recommendations and updates from local state and federal agencies regarding the Covid-19 outbreak.

On behalf of myself, The GRAND of Dublin and Vrable Health Care, I want to thank each of you for everything you are doing to ensure our residents are taken care of with as little interruption as possible.  Please reach out to the facility at 614-889-8585 with further specific questions.

Sincerely,

Blu Johnson
Administrator
The GRAND of Dublin

COVID-19 Update – TRUMP DECLARES NATIONAL EMERGENCY

March 13, 2020

ATTENTION FAMILY AND VISITORS:

RE:    COVID-19 Update – TRUMP DECLARES NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Vrable Healthcare, Inc. and The GRAND of Dublin continue to work with all governmental bodies to limit the transmission of COVID-19.  President Trump recently declared a national emergency.  In his speech he called for skilled nursing facilities to suspend all visitations to nursing homes absent emergent / end-of-life circumstances.

Effective immediately, The GRAND of Dublin will be following governmental recommendations and temporarily halt visitation[1].

Again, we love to have visitors and family and understand spending time with family is of the utmost importance. Therefore, we are suggesting alternate means of communication.  Alternate means of communications can include Skype, Facetime, Facebook, etc.  The GRAND of Dublin will assist however they can to help accommodate this.

In the event of true end-of-life emergency, we will do our best to accommodate an emergent visit.  Outside activities and activities from outside vendors will also remain on hold.  We are asking families to cancel any outside appointments that are not medically necessary.

The health and safety of our residents and families continues to be our highest priority. Because the population we care for is especially vulnerable to potential infection, it is absolutely essential that we take these preventive steps.

The GRAND of Dublin and Vrable Healthcare will continue to follow governmental recommendations on additional prevention steps, including following handwashing and sanitation procedures.  Based on this, our process may be updated or changed at any time.  We thank you greatly for your consideration and for working with us to best limit risk to those we love.

Sincerely,

Blu Johnson,
Administrator

[1] Absent hospice or other emergent, end-of-life circumstances.

 

 

 

March 13, 2020

 

ATTENTION FAMILY AND VISITORS:

 

RE:    COVID-19 Update – TRUMP DECLARES NATIONAL EMERGENCY

 

Vrable Healthcare, Inc. and The GRAND of Dublin continue to work with all governmental bodies to limit the transmission of COVID-19.  President Trump recently declared a national emergency.  In his speech he called for skilled nursing facilities to suspend all visitations to nursing homes absent emergent / end-of-life circumstances.

 

Effective immediately, The GRAND of Dublin will be following governmental recommendations and temporarily halt visitation[1].

Again, we love to have visitors and family and understand spending time with family is of the utmost importance. Therefore, we are suggesting alternate means of communication.  Alternate means of communications can include Skype, Facetime, Facebook, etc.  The GRAND of Dublin will assist however they can to help accommodate this.

 

In the event of true end-of-life emergency, we will do our best to accommodate an emergent visit.  Outside activities and activities from outside vendors will also remain on hold.  We are asking families to cancel any outside appointments that are not medically necessary.

The health and safety of our residents and families continues to be our highest priority. Because the population we care for is especially vulnerable to potential infection, it is absolutely essential that we take these preventive steps.

The GRAND of Dublin and Vrable Healthcare will continue to follow governmental recommendations on additional prevention steps, including following handwashing and sanitation procedures.  Based on this, our process may be updated or changed at any time.  We thank you greatly for your consideration and for working with us to best limit risk to those we love.

 

Sincerely,

 

Blu Johnson,
Administrator

[1] Absent hospice or other emergent, end-of-life circumstances.

COVID-19 Update

March 12, 2020

ATTENTION FAMILY AND VISITORS:

RE:     COVID-19 Update

Vrable Healthcare, Inc. and The GRAND of Dublin are working in coordination with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), the Ohio Department of Health (“ODH”) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) on limiting the transmission of COVID-19.

ODH recently released additional guidance on how skilled nursing facilities should continue to be proactive in limiting risk. The GRAND of Dublin has already begun screening visitors, staff and residents and taken other precautions outlined in the Joint Director’s Notice from ODH.

Effective immediately, The GRAND of Dublin will be following governmental recommendations and limiting the entrances of visitors to only the main, front entrance.  All visitors will be required to check-in and undertake screening and must clear the screening to be approved to visit.  Visitors must also present a valid government identification card and provide their name address and telephone number.

The GRAND of Dublin is limiting the number of visitors to one (1) visitor per resident, per day, absent emergent circumstances.  While we love to have visitors and family and understand spending time with family is of the utmost importance, we are suggesting alternate means of communication.  Alternate means of communications can include Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, etc.  The GRAND of Dublin will assist however they can to help accommodate this.  In the event of true emergency, we will do our best to accommodate an emergent visit.  At this time we will be eliminating outside activities and activities from outside vendors.  We also ask that you limit any outside appointments that are not medically necessary.

The health and safety of our residents and families are always our highest priority. Because the population we care for is especially vulnerable to potential infection, it is absolutely essential that we take these preventive steps.

The GRAND of Dublin and Vrable Healthcare continues to follow governmental recommendations on additional prevention steps, including following strict hand-washing and sanitation procedures.  Based on this, our process may be updated or changed at any time.  We thank you greatly for your consideration and for working with us to best limit risk to those we love.

Sincerely

 

Blu Johnson,

Administrator

Drug Class Series: Antiemetics

Drug Class Series: Antiemetics

Andrea Hartley, CPhT
Pharmacy Technician/Central Supply Manager
The GRAND of Dublin

Continuing the series of articles featuring common drug classes, this article is about antiemetics, or medications that treat or prevent nausea and vomiting.  The nausea and vomiting can be from any cause, including motion sickness, illness, drug side effects, and chemotherapy reactions.

Below I list some of the more common antiemetic medications and the most notable information about them.

dimenhydrinate (Dramamine); usually used for motion sickness; available OTC as an oral tablet and a prescription injection.

diphenhydramine (Benadryl); usually used for motion sickness, also commonly used as an antihistamine in preventing and treating allergic reactions as well as itching; available OTC as a tablet, capsule and liquid to be taken by mouth and as a prescription injection.

meclizine (Bonine); usually used for motion sickness and vertigo, also an antihistamine; available as OTC and prescription tablets.

promethazine (Phenergan); available in an oral tablet OTC and as a prescription in the form of a rectal suppository and injection.  Also an antihistamine used for minor allergies and used to relax patients in a clinical setting.

metoclopramide (Reglan); available in a regular and disintegrating oral tablet, liquid and injection; also used to treat gastroparesis and esophageal problems and usually used for nausea caused by these problems; available as prescription only.

ondansetron (Zofran);available as a regular oral tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet, an oral liquid and an injection; frequently used in pregnancy to treat nausea and nausea caused by radiation and chemotherapy treatment;  available as prescription only.

prochlorperazine (Compazine); technically an anti-psychotic but it is frequently used as an antiemetic.  It’s available as an oral tablet, rectal suppository and an injection and is prescription only.

scopolamine (Transderm Scop patch); used to prevent motion sickness, it’s available as a prescription only patch that’s worn behind the ear for three days at a time.

chlorpromazine; another one that’s technically an anti-psychotic but it is frequently used as an antiemetic.  It’s available as an oral tablet and injection and is prescription only.

Trimethobenzamide (Tigan); available as an oral capsule and an intramuscular injection.

I hoped this gave you a little information about these common drugs.  Next time I will be giving you information about a relatively new class of drugs:  antivirals.

The 5 Stages of Grief

The 5 Stages of Grief

Catherine Denlinger
Director of Social Services, MSW, LSW
THE GRAND of Dublin

Given the tragedies that happened over the weekend in El Paso and Dayton, I thought I would briefly talk to you about grief and how to cope with loss in general.

There are 5 stages of grief that one typically goes through and there is no timeline on each stage.  Everyone grieves at their own pace and on their own terms. The important thing to remember is that grieving is a natural and a necessary course of emotions that everyone goes through.

Grief Cycle

Below are the 5 stages of grief:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

 

  1. Denial – Initially we are in shock that this happened. We are telling ourselves that this can’t be real.  I must be dreaming.  Please tell me I’m dreaming.  Numbness takes over our bodies and we seem to be frozen, unable to comprehend what’s happening.  This is a normal reaction to loss, tragedy, trauma, etc.
  1. Anger– We are annoyed easily, blame others, question our faith, and feel very negative about everything and everyone. The underlying feeling of anger is pain.  In order to grieve we need to feel angry.  It’s ok to be mad, to be upset, and to be furious.  We need to look for a reason.  Why did this happen?  Why did this happen to me, to us, to him, to her, to them?  Looking for an answer to explain what happened so that we can understand the why.  This is a normal reaction to loss, tragedy, trauma, etc.
  1. Bargaining – If only…What if…Please God…. This stage is when we try to come up with a plan to fix it.  Trying to figure out how we can give something of ourselves and in return we wake up and this was all just a bad dream.  This is when we are going through the guilt.  Why not me? It should have been me? Let me take his/her/their place.
  1. Depression – Emptiness. The loss is real and we feel it.  It’s the heaviness in our bodies and in our hearts.  This is one of the hardest stages to go through for many people.  The pain and loneliness can feel overwhelming.  This is most definitely when you need support from others.  You don’t have to go through this alone.
  1. Acceptance – We never forget, we find peace within ourselves. As hard as it is to do it is necessary.  We must try to live in a world without our loved one.  Things change, we change and we never replace.  We just learn to live with it day by day, month by month, and year by year.

In summary, be in shock, be mad, be a negotiator, be down and at some point…move forward.  It’s okay to experience these emotions.  It’s necessary to be able to move on, to have good days, to feel happy again, to experience pleasures, and to enjoy life.  If you find yourself unable to have these good feelings then please seek help.  There are many resources to help you with the grieving process. You are not alone.

If you’re ever in the situation that you need long term care, skilled care, any care in a Nursing Center and you are going through struggles in your life please reach out to your social worker.  We can help! We have resources to assist you with managing your feelings and improving your mood.  When in a Nursing Center and the social work administers a PHQ-9 mood assessment (discussed in a previous article) they are asking these questions for a reason.  When answering these mood questions and scoring a lot of points, take advantage of the question, “would you like to talk with someone about how you’ve been feeling?” “Would like to talk with a counselor or our physician?” “Would you like to talk with me about how you’ve been feeling?” Social workers in Nursing Centers are not grief counselors; however, we are trained to have the basic skills that are needed to provide support and encouragement to you.  We want to help you.   If you need help, we are here for you.

Understanding Skilled Nursing

Understanding Skilled Nursing

Jada Palm
Hospital Liaison
The GRAND of Dublin

What is skilled nursing?

Skilled nursing is a type of intermediate care in which the patient or resident needs more assistance than usual. This setting is designated for physical, occupational, and speech therapies, to aide in strengthening the patient who has a goal of returning to their home at baseline. Skilled nursing services are offered to patients who need IV medications administered, who may have wound care needs, or who may need teaching on medication management, an example of this would be newly diagnosed diabetics.

What is the difference between short-term care and long-term care?

Short term care is a temporary solution that may last from a few days to a few months and is typically provided for rehabilitation and allow for recovery outside of a hospital. Long term care is typically utilized for in-house placement for the duration of the patient’s life, providing permanent custodial assistance.

What social activities are offered?

The GRAND social activities - skilled nursingSkilled nursing facilities offer a full calendar of social events and activities. Residents are encouraged to join in as many activities and social events as they like. Some examples include; art classes, ice cream socials, bingo and cards, game and movie night, quest performers and church services.

In addition, they offer wellness programs, exercise classes, beauty salons, small dining areas, café and restaurant style dining rooms, and outdoor sitting and walking areas.

What should I bring with me?

It is recommended that you bring comfortable clothing for working out in therapy along with well-fitting shoes. Personal hygiene items (all labeled with your name), photo ID, insurance cards, advanced directive paperwork (Power of Attorney and Living Will paperwork).

The GRAND Skilled Nursing roomWhat are the rooms like?

Some facilities offer both single and double occupancy rooms. Each facility has its own characteristics which make it unique and sets it apart from the other down the street. An example; The GRAND offers single occupancy rooms with walk-in showers, individual heating/cooling units, refrigerators, Wi-Fi and cable. Patient’s medications are locked securely in each patient room and we strive to provide a home like atmosphere.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare part A covers skilled nursing care under certain conditions for a limited time.

  • You must have a qualifying hospital stay. This means you meet the minimum 3 night inpatient hospitalization requirement.
  • You have part A and days left in your benefit period.
  • Your doctor has ordered skilled services due to a medical condition which requires the need for 24/7 nursing care and therapy services offered 5 to 6 days a week.

Medicare covered services include:

  • A semi-private room
  • Meals
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Speech-Language Pathology Services
  • Medical Social Services
  • Medical supplies and equipment used in the facility
  • Ambulance transportation (when other transportation endangers ones health) to the nearest supplier of needed services that aren’t available at the SNF
  • Dietary Counseling

Medicare part A will pay as follows:

  • Days 1-20 – pays at 100% with no patient responsibility
    (Remains $0 co-insurance for 2019)
  • Days 21-100 – patient responsibility of $170.50 per day co-insurance
    (2019 co-insurance will be $170.50)

Additional information can be obtained through Medicare.gov

How do I find out what my insurance will cover?

Insurance benefits and eligibility will be checked prior to admission to the building, but you may also call the member services number on your card and a customer service representative will provide you with details of your coverage options.

What is the next step and what can I expect once I select a facility?

Once you have selected a facility you will notify your hospital social worker and he/she will send the referral to the building for review. You may choose to tour the building. Your clinical is then reviewed by the admissions and nursing team to make ensure the facility can clinically manage your stay, and then the hospital liaison will visit you in the hospital to answer any questions you may have. If you need an authorization from your insurance to admit, the facility will then start that process. Once authorization has been received the facility will communicate with the hospital social worker.

What are your staffing ratios?

At The GRAND skilled setting, our ratio is 1:12 or 1:13, with an STNA on each hall. Our staffing ratios are significantly above average.

How often is therapy provided and will I have a schedule?

The GRAND therapy - skilled nursingTherapy is provided at the discretion of your ordering physician, the therapy team, and your needs. You can ask for a specific schedule if that works better for you. At The GRAND, the therapy team will meet with you either the day of your arrival or the next day.  An example, some prefer mornings, some prefer afternoons and some prefer to have their therapies separated. Meaning occupational therapy may be planned for the afternoon and physical therapy planned for the mornings.

The GRAND of Dublin Main StreetWhat sets your facility apart from the others?

The GRAND offers several amenities that set us apart from our competitor’s. We have Digger and Finch pub, our ice cream parlor, Movie Theater, beauty salon, pharmacy, chapel, licensed in-house therapy team and team of dedicated nurses and STNA’s and low patient/staff ratios, we offer outstanding service to our residents.

What are your visitation hours and/or restrictions?

Each facility will have set hours of operation. The most common hours of operation most facilities follow are 8am to 8pm, 7 days per week. The GRAND’s hours are 8:30am to 8pm, Monday through Friday and 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday. There may or may not be restrictions on when visitors can be with their loved one. The GRAND does not have such restrictions and provides security 7 nights per week.

Drug Class Series: Antidepressants

Andrea Hartley, CPhT
Pharmacy Technician/Central Supply Manager
The GRAND of Dublin

Drug Class Series: Antidepressants

antidepressantsContinuing the series of articles featuring common drug classes, this article will be about antidepressants.

This class of medications is used to treat depression as well as anxiety and other psychiatric or sleep disorders as determined by a physician.  Nearly all antidepressants are taken orally and all require a doctor’s prescription.

There are 4 types of antidepressants within the class, based on how they work in the body:  SSRIs, Tricyclics, MAOIs and Atypical.  Side effects of medications within the same antidepressant group are very similar.

Below are the medications in the antidepressant class along with the most noteworthy facts about them.

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors):

Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Serzone (nefazadone), Luvox (fluxoxamine), Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), Effexor (venlafaxine), Cymbalta (duloxetine).

SSRIs ease depression by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that carry signals between brain cells. SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin in the brain, making more serotonin available. SSRIs are called selective because they seem to primarily affect serotonin, not other neurotransmitters.  They are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant and generally cause the least amount of side effects.

Tricyclics (TCAs)

Anafranil (clomipramine) Elavil (amitriptyline) Norpramin (desipramine), Pamelor (nortriptyline), Sinequan (doxepin), Tofranil (imipramine), Vivactil (protriptyline),Asendin (amoxipine)

This type of antidepressant was discovered in the 1950s.  TCAs are named after their chemical structure, which contains 3 rings of atoms.  This type of antidepressant impacts several different neurotransmitters in order to change the brain and for that reason can cause many unwanted side effects.

MAOIs

Marplan (isoxarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), Emsam (selegiline), Parnate (Tranylcypromine)

MAOI stands for MonoAmine Oxidase Inhibitor.  This was the first variety of antidepressant developed.  They are effective, but are known for causing many side effects; frequently ones that are unsafe.

Atypical or Miscellaneous

Wellbutrin aka.  Forfivo, Budeprion, Aplenzin(bupropion), Viibryd (vilazodone),  Desyrel (trazodone),Trintellix (vortioxetine),  Remeron (mirtazapine), Serzone (nefazodone)

Medications are placed in this category because they don’t fit into the other groups.  This is because they treat depression in a completely different way or they combine multiple characteristics of other groups to work uniquely.  They are each unique medications that work in different ways from one another.

When you stay at The Grand, the knowledge of our doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and pharmacy technician is at your disposal.  If you have a questions about your medications, just ask!

May is Older Americans Month, Focus on Aging!

May is Older Americans Month!

by Meghan Elliott, RN, Director of Nursing
and Sarah Schubert, LPN, MDS
The GRAND of Dublin

Older Americans Month, AgingAging is something no one can escape. While society frequently reinforces an anti-aging atmosphere, there are many reasons to celebrate and embrace the changes that occur throughout the aging process. Many physiological changes occur during this process, but very important mental aspects change as well. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of those aged 60 or over suffer from dementia and depression; it is important to note that the majority of aging Americans do not. For those aged 65+, a lot of reflection tends to occur. These individuals look at their past and present relationships, and think about what they have accomplished or not accomplished throughout their life. This is a great time to interact with our “older” family members and friends as the insight they have is immeasurable.

Open a Dialogue and Ask Questions

This is also a critical time to focus on what that family member or friend may desire in terms of end of life care, or how they envision spending their final days, months, or years. Please take the time to ask your loved one their thoughts and feelings about alternate living arrangements, medical procedures they would want performed and those they would not. Also ask about a plan B, what if that preferred plan isn’t possible, then what? These questions are vital to the comfort and security our older population has when faced with a new or chronic health problem that requires treatment. These types of discussions are critical not only in a medical scenario, but they are also important ways to connect with that individual and appreciate their perspective on life. You may be incredibly surprised by the answers your loved ones will give you. Open, honest, frank discussions about life lessons, goals, failures and successes from the older population can mold and shape how WE live our lives. Those of us in healthcare want to take the time to thank our elderly population. You teach and guide us more than we could ever educate you. Happy Older Americans Month! Your wisdom is appreciated.