Dr Liz Geriatrics

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Wealth and Capacity; Who Gets to Decide?

Earlier this week, Dr. Nancy Hoffman, neuropsychologist and I (Geriatrician in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area) presented a talk about undue influence and how to address financial elder abuse. Today, I read that Sumner Redstone, 92, is ousting long time CEO/directors of his $40 billion dollar empire (including CBS and Viacom) and his estranged daughter (and VP of Viacom) is taking control. There seems to be a lot of legal action and uncertainty about the next steps for these businesses.

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Bladder Infections in Elders: What to Know

Bladder Infections in Elders: What to Know

With my elders with dementia, it is often not so straightforward.  Sometimes the symptom is that the person more is more agitated, aggressive or more lethargic. The person with dementia may not feel well, but not be able to communicate their symptoms.  This is serious.

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The Power of  Music

The Power of Music

So it seems that music can make a difference for patients whether suffering from dementia, undergoing medical procedures or post-surgery. 

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Beware Medicare Fraud!

Beware Medicare Fraud!

Someone calls and says you must join their prescription plan or you’ll lose your Medicare coverage. Don’t believe it. Whenever someone asks for your bank account number or your Medicare number, stop. Only give personal or financial information when you have verified who you’re talking to. Call 1-800-MEDICARE to make sure you’re talking to a legitimate representative.

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Choosing the Right Care Community

Choosing the Right Care Community

Here’s a recent horror story that may make the point: I had a patient with complicated medical issues who had a hip replacement operation. To my dismay, the hospital discharged this man to “assisted living.”

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The ‘Stigma’ of Dementia

The ‘Stigma’ of Dementia

What is the ‘stigma’ associated with the diagnosis of dementia? How can we work to change this and help families and society at large understand that this is a brain disease and how to support those affected?

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Just Walk!

Just Walk!

Even if you walk slowly, even if you walk uncertainly, even if your joints are a little sore, even if you’re a little afraid of falling, even if walking makes you tired, just walk! 

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Don’t Give up Too Soon

Don’t Give up Too Soon

If you have an elder who goes into the hospital, and you don’t think his or her problem has been solved yet, ask the medical team why it hasn’t been solved. Push to keep the patient in the hospital until the problem is solved. Don’t give up. Ask the hard questions.

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A  Reclining Wheelchair is not a Luxury

A Reclining Wheelchair is not a Luxury

When you have a frail, elderly person who is having lots of trouble getting around, it’s important to get him out of bed each day, just to move around and retain what strength he can. It’s most convenient to transfer the patient from bed to a wheelchair. But if the patient really can’t walk any more, then that patient should use a reclining wheelchair if at all possible

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Be Ready for the Worst

Be Ready for the Worst

Disasters. Natural and man-made. What happens to your loved one if the power goes out? What if they no longer can rely on transportation or find their medications? These issues are important to think about and plan for when caring for someone with dementia.

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Denial and the Family

As I do geriatric house calls around the Bay Area, adult children and other relatives of my patients often say, “He’s just not the way he used to be. Why can’t he be the way he used to be?” Children...

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