PODCAST

MelissaBPhD's podcast

Melissa B PhD

In today's busy society, people aren't typically thinking about aging or elder care. By 2030, there will be more older adults than children under age 5 for the first time in human history. Here's a fantastic podcast with different topics ranging from clinical care of older adults to things that family caregivers need to know. Hosted by Dr. Melissa Batchelor (MelissaBPhD) 'This Is Getting Old' highlights all of the things we need to do to create an age-friendly world - because when things are age-friendly, they are friendly for everyone.
EP88: Part 4: Maximizing Independence In Eating with Melissa Batchelor
Typically, around 85% of people will experience swallowing problems medically known as dysphasia at the end of life. Your loved ones or the people you care for can have trouble swallowing food, liquids, or both.  This is a 4-part series on Alzheimer's Care and Swallowing Problems, and this episode is focused on Maximizing Independence In Eating.            In Part 1, I talked about The Basics of Swallowing Problems.             In Part 2, Modifying Textures + Flavor Building            and Part 3, Adaptive Equipment. If you missed an episode, you can check them out where you found this one – or on my YouTube Channel, MelissaBPhD.  ✔️ Main Point 1: Basics of Offering Feeding Assistance Sit with the person during meals Eat together if possibleMake eye contactOffer verbal, visual, and sensorimotor cuesOffer small amounts of food at a slow, consistent rate    ✔️ Main Point 2: Maximize independence for Self-Feeding Verbal and Visual CuesNOSH adds Sensorimotor Cue with Handfeeding TechniquesUse of finger foods if utensils are hard to manage: – Best for Regular and Mechanical Soft Diets SandwichesIce CreamFrozen yogurtsChicken nuggets ✔️ Main Point 3: Handfeeding Techniques: Developed for persons living with Alzheimer's Disease, but can be used for other difficultiesLimited range of motion in upper arm, elbows, shoulderTremorsLimited dexterity of hands, fingersArm weaknessLack of endurance to self-feed for an entire meal Main Point 4: General Guidelines for How and When To Use Each Handfeeding Technique Sit on the dominant side of the person you are assistingTailor amount of support to their ability in the momentPromote self-feeding as much as possibleTo assist: – Start with Over Hand,  – then Under Hand,  – And Save Direct Hand for those who are totally dependent Many people in my studies had not fed themselves for a year or two. When we started using the handfeeding techniques with them -- many started feeding themselves again.    Visit https://melissabphd.com/nosh__courses/ for videos demonstrating the different handfeeding techniques. If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question. About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
6d ago
7 mins
EP87: Part 3: Adaptive Equipment with Melissa Batchelor
Typically, around 85% of people will experience swallowing problems medically known as dysphasia at the end of life. Your loved ones or the people you care for can have trouble swallowing food, liquids, or both.  This is a 4-part series on Alzheimer's Care and Swallowing Problems, and this episode is focused on Adaptive Equipment. In Part 1, I talked about The Basics of Swallowing Problems.  In Part 2, Modifying Textures + Flavor Building  and Part 4, Maximizing Independence In Eating. If you missed an episode, you can check them out where you found this one – or on my YouTube Channel, MelissaBPhD.  ✔️ Main Point 1: Selecting Adaptive Feeding Devices: Considerations     What is the underlying issue?          – Limited range of motion          – Dexterity limitations          – Improving ease of self-feeding          – Reducing spillage          – Swallowing problems ✔️  Main Point 2: Non-skid/ Non-slip mats       -Nonskid and non-slip mats are really good for holding not just dishes.       -You can put these on a wheelchair seat to prevent that from sliding out.       -Use them on the bedside table if they need to get to a cup.   -Use those sticky little square things and put them around toothbrush   handles or maybe a razor so that the person has a bigger grip.  ✔️  Main Point 3: Cups/ Mugs        -Cups that have a weight in the base are perfect for preventing spills.       - Use a cup with a wider base so that it's easier for them to set it down           - A closed handle cup is also recommended     - If the patient has too much of a tremor, find them a cup with an open  handle        -Nosey Cups are practical so that when you drink from the regular side of the cup and tip it up, there's a spot for the nose, so you don't have to hyperextend your neck.       -Talking about lids, you could have a long spout type or short spout, and that also could have a straw hole that helps control the flow of the liquid and prevent splashing or spilling.  ✔️ Main Point 4: Plate Guards     -Partitioned plates have compartments and give an edge so that you can scoop each of those food items separately.       -A scoop bowl or a dish with a high curved rim on one side is helpful so that  the patient can use the utensil and it's lower on one side to get into the bowl and then scoop the other side.     -You can modify plates and either buy the plate with the plate guard on it, or you can buy pieces that clip onto your existing plates.  ✔️ Main Point 5: Utensils -The added weight on the end of the utensil's handle helps stabilize somebody's hand if they have a tremor or weak grip strength. -Coated spoons are not recommended for Alzheimer's patients who bite on the utensil every time you put it in their mouth. -Bendable utensils help maximize the person's ability to feed themselves if they have a limited range of motion.  -Put a strap on the utensil so it might be like a Velcro hook or has a loop closure.  -Utensil tubing lets you put it on the end of any handle and objects more than just utensils. You could put it on the end of a razor or a toothbrush.  If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.  About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/
Nov 23 2021
11 mins
EP86: Alzheimer’s Care: Swallowing Problems Part 2: Modifying Textures + Flavor Building
Typically, around 85% of people will experience swallowing problems medically known as dysphasia at the end of life. Your loved ones or the people you care for can have trouble swallowing food, liquids, or both.  This is a 4-part series on Alzheimer’s Care and Swallowing Problems, and this episode is focused on Modifying Textures + Flavor Building.  In Part 1, I talked about The Basics of Swallowing Problems.  In Part 3, I will review what Adaptive Equipment is and how to use it; and In Part 4, I will talk about how to maximize independence in eating. If you missed an episode, you can check them out where you found this one – or on my YouTube Channel, MelissaBPhD.  Main Point #1 - How to choose recipes that can be adapted for a variety of textures Intergenerational considerationsEase of recipeModifiable textures Main Point #2 - Kitchen Items to Help Prepare Foods BlenderThe Magic Bullet® or Nutribullet® Hand-held Blender (Immersion Blender)Food ProcessorHousehold Mesh Strainer or SieveBaby Food Grinder   Main Point #3 - Tips for Flavor building when modifying textures for meals Use Fats, Dairy, or Vegetables to build flavor. - Butter - Margarine - Sour Cream  - Pureed Cottage Cheese - Cooking fats - Oils - Gravies - Whipped toppings  - Heavy cream - Mashed or blended avocado - Hummus Liquids to make foods easier to swallow, such as:  - Broth - Milk - Fruit Juices  - Vegetable Juices - Water   If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.  About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN:   I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Nov 16 2021
6 mins
EP85: Alzheimer's Disease Care: Swallowing Problems Part I: The Basics with Melissa Batchelor
Alzheimer's Disease Care: Swallowing Problems Part I: The Basics with Melissa Batchelor   Typically, around 85% of people will experience swallowing problems, medically known as dysphasia, at the end-of-life. What this means is that your loved one, or someone you care for, has trouble swallowing food, liquids, or both.    This is a 4-part series on Alzheimer's Care and Swallowing Problems, and this episode is focused on The Basics.          In Part 2, I will talk about how to Modify Textures + Flavor  Building.  In Part 3, I will review what Adaptive Equipment is and how to use it; and in  In Part 4, I will talk about Maximizing Independence in Eating.   If you missed an episode, you can check them out where you found this one – or on my YouTube Channel, MelissaBPhD.  ✔️ MAIN POINT 1: WHAT IS A SWALLOWING PROBLEM   What is Dysphagia? Some people will have trouble swallowing certain foods or liquids;      others can't swallow at all Signs of dysphagia – Coughing or choking when eating or drinking – Bringing food back up, sometimes through the nose – A sensation that food is stuck in your throat or chest – Persistent drooling of saliva   Complications of Dysphagia: Malnutrition DehydrationAspiration Pneumonia   Treating Dysphagia: Speech-Language Therapy to learn new swallowing techniquesChange consistency of food and fluids to make them safer to swallowAlternative forms of feeding – Tube Feeding or Handfeeding   ✔️  MAIN POINT 2: SWALLOWING PROBLEMS: WHO, WHAT, AND WHY  ▪      Demographics ▪ Estimated that 9 million Americans experience difficulty swallowing ▪ 1 in 5 older adults; 40% of those living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities ▪ Alzheimer's Disease: 80%  ▪ Parkinson's Disease: 60%   ▪  Underlying Health or Chronic Conditions Nervous System ▪ Stroke, Head Injury, Parkinson's Disease or Dementia Cancer  ▪ Mouth or Throat Cancer Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)Other Conditions: ▪ Trouble with swallowing or chewing ▪ Have trouble moving or have lost feeling in parts of your mouth, such as lips or tongue ▪ Tooth pain; Missing teeth   ▪  Psychosocial Considerations ▪ Impaired social and psychological well-being ▪ Increased worry about choking in front of others ▪ Caregiver fear/ anxiety ▪ Caregiver burnout in managing the needs of unfamiliar disease ▪ Lack of comprehensive guidelines for the management of dysphagia in older adults.   ✔️ MAIN POINT 3: LEARNING THE LINGO TO ADAPT FOOD AND FLUIDS    Diet Consistencies: Regular DietMechanical Soft Diet – These foods require less chewing than foods on a regular diet. – Foods may require different textures and thicknesses, such as chopped, ground, or pureed foods Pureed Diet – Minced, Pureed, or Liquidized Foods don't require chewing, such as mashed potatoes or puddingCan also blend or stain other foods to make them smootherLiquids, such as broth, milk, juice or water, may be added to foods to make them easier to swallow.   Liquid Consistencies: Pudding Thick (Extremely thick)Honey Thick (Moderately thick)Nectar Thick (Mildly Thick)Thin (Slightly thin)   If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.  About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Oct 30 2021
8 mins
EP84: How to Age Well: The Power Positive Aging
How do you feel about becoming older? Do you see it as a rite of passage or a dreaded occurrence that you must endure? As we become older, "health" means more than simply being free of illnesses. Every older person may achieve "positive aging," also known as "healthy aging," if they strive to make better alternatives to improve their life in the long run. Dr. David Lereah, PhD, is one of the few who fully grasps this concept. Thus, don’t miss another life-changing episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World with Dr. David Lereah, PhD. Let's all take a leaf out of his book as he shares his life story, how he survived stage three esophageal cancer, and show how minor changes to your daily habits may help you enjoy your years as much as possible. Part One Of 'How to Age Well: The Power Positive Aging' The Power Positive Aging: A Potpourri Of Rich Experiences Dr. David Lereah's book, The Power Positive Aging, started from a vision of helping older adults in need combined with his cancer battle journey, his Meals on Wheels volunteering realizations, and missions from his non-profit organization United We Age.  Diagnosed with stage three esophageal cancer, Dr. David Lereah went on a journey—a terrible journey. He went through intense chemotherapy, radiation, and a seven-hour surgery.  That's where it all started for Dr. David Lereah. He looked at life-threatening diseases as an inconvenience. He researched how to cope with aging, and that's where he discovered the power of positive aging. One thing led to another, and he wrote the book—The Power Positive Aging.  "You may experience some loss in strength as a normal part of aging, but a decline in and of itself isn't normal." Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN How To Have A Positive Experience With Aging?  Personally, Dr. David Lereah discovered six building blocks for positive aging. He relates it to everyone through his book because he believes everyone is in the same boat coping with physical and mental decline as we grow old. The Six Building Blocks To Cope With Aging   Tapping With Our Spirit-We all know about our spirit, we talk about it, but we don't do anything about it. Instead, we worry about wrinkles on our face. We worry about losing our mobility. We may be physically declining, but our spirit could be strengthening. Thus, tapping into your spirit while physically declining is a significant asset and helps people confront the marks of aging.  Positivity-which is using affirmations and a lot of different techniques to stay positive. Mindfulness: Living in the present moment, which is the meditative practice of an optimistic age. The Four A’s Of Positive Aging  Accept: Accept your mark of aging, whether mobility loss, age spots, wrinkles, or accept it. Adapt: After accepting comes adapting, which means using a walker when you've lost your mobility. Appreciate: Appreciate everything you have in life while confronting a mark of aging like mobility and loss.  Attitude: You have to have the right mindset about aging. We've climbed the hill in our lives. But you know what? We're not going down the hill. We'll stay on top and look at the scenery—that's what attitude is all about with aging. Social Support-We're social animals, we're human beings, and we need support from friends and family. Such support is essential when you're aging because you may be losing your spouse at some point. You may be losing some close friends. Thus, it would be best if you expand your social network continually.  Balance-When you age, you get out of balance. You're no longer bringing up a family with children. You're no longer striving in your career to get better and better at what you're doing now. You're retired, you're an empty nester, and you've got time on your hands—you're out of balance. And when you're out of balance, you experience stress, and you experience anxiety. We need to stay balanced in our twilight years, and that helps immensely. Part Two Of 'How to Age Well: The Power Positive Aging' United We Age—Social Support For older adults In Need The United We Age non-profit organization came from Dr. David Lereah's experience with Meals on Wheels, where he delivers hot meals to older adults in need. While volunteering for Meals from Wheels, he noticed that half the older adults on his route lost their zest for life. They were just like if you're in a laundry room waiting for the clothes to dry.  One reason was that they did not have social interaction as they were vacant of any social interaction. They didn't have a family; no family was visiting them. It turns out that half the people in long-term care facilities don't have family visiting them for one reason or another. It might be because their children live a thousand miles away, or they don't have a relationship with their family at all—they're lonely. "The best thing is to eliminate your expectations when you're in your twilight years, have possibilities instead—that way, you won't be disappointed." David Lereah, PhD From there, Dr. David Lereah created United We Age, where they…. Assure that every person experiencing a quality of life that declines due to aging has a social support network, especially living alone.  Raise Awareness and Image Building for Older Adults Assure that age is not a barrier to older adults participating in the online (internet) world.​ Inspire a movement where all generations of people are more aware and supportive of people aging.​     Assure that age is not a barrier to older adults participating in the online (internet) world​Inspire a movement that affects changes in cultural beliefs and attitudes to make America a more age-friendly nation.   About David Lereah, PhD: Dr. David Lereah was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer, went on a journey, and wrote the Power of Positive Aging. He created a non-profit, United We Age, designed to support older adults in need. Other Valuable Resources From Dr. David Lereah: Amazon Alexa and Echo Dot use Speak2, a voice technology platform, provides older adults in need to reduce social isolation and is available for free. Voice-assisted way to connect to the internet, send and receive messages using voice commands. Echo Show 2 Partnering with Meals on Wheels.To purchase a copy of The Power of Positive Aging – click here How to prepare to grow old quiz: https://www.unitedweage.org/survey Connect With Dr. David Lereah, PhD: United We Age Website:   https://www.unitedweage.orgTwitter: @UnitedWeAge @NextAvenue @GensUnited @amazonEmail:  dlereah@unitedweage.orgPhone: 703-843-1124 About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults.  I worked full-time for five years as an FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor.  My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Oct 12 2021
26 mins
EP83: Creative Aging Sparks Joy, Connection, Purpose
If you wish to maintain health and longevity as you age, it may be helpful to include a special muscle group in your workout: your creative muscles.  According to ongoing studies, creativity is essential for healthy aging. Engaging in creative activities like singing, theater, and visual art may help older people feel better. Further, creativity, linked to the personality characteristic of openness, can help people live longer. In this  episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World, we're privileged to have Teresa  Bonner, the Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies. Join us as we share meaningful conversations about creative aging and how it sparks joy, connection, and purpose among older adults.  Part One Of 'Creative Aging Sparks Joy, Connection, Purpose' Aroha Philanthropies And Creative Aging “Creativity is hardly the exclusive province of youth. It can blossom at any age—and in fact, it can bloom with more depth and richness in older adults because their vast stores inform it of knowledge and experience.”          —Dr. Gene Cohen, Geriatric Psychiatrist These words of Dr. Gene Cohen, the founding Director of The George Washington University’s Center for Aging, Health and Humanities (for which I am the current Director), is Aroha Philanthropies' motivation in advocating creativity in aging. According to Dr. Cohen's landmark report, 85% of older adults are community-based, are aging well,  can learn, be creative, and be so much more. With this visions in mind, Aroha Philanthropies are on a mission to expand creative aging programs nationally. They're engaged in funded training for organizations to learn how to make successful programs for older adults—to learn an art form over time and to get better and better as they learn from a teaching artist.  Furthermore, Aroha Philanthropies has built national partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, including botanical gardens, science museums, etc., to offer creative programs for older adults. This partnership has called on museums of all kinds around the country to develop creative aging programs and actively work against ageism in their institutions. What's even more promising is that they've tapped on The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, where they've funded 36 state programs to develop and/or expand creative aging. Aroha Philanthropies' efforts in evangelizing about the benefits of getting involved in the arts were not in vain. What they've learned from almost 2 000 participant survey responses is that after engaging in creative aging programs, older adults; Developed relationshipsLearned various art formsBecame cognitively and socially engagedMade meaningful social connections through art-making "Creative aging programs were highly effective at helping older adults grow artistically, mentally, and socially. 75% of 2,000 older adults reported that their mental engagement had increased because of taking creative classes." Teresa  Bonner,  Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies How Do You Define Creative Aging? Creative aging is about learning an art form over time in a supportive environment. Such a supportive environment allows older adults to grow and become creative, more artistic and increase their social connections and social network. It is a broad topic that includes everything from programs designed to provide help for people suffering from diseases such as dementia to programs for caregivers who help with art therapy programs.  The learning and connection, and relationship building happen through the work of the teaching artist. In part, these teaching artists know how to have conversations with people and generate conversations among them through the art form.  That's the heart of successful creative aging programs. Older adults are learning over time from a teaching artist; they get better and make new friends.  Examples of the classes offered in creative aging programs are: Acting WritingDrawingDancingSculptureMask makingOpera singingLearning graffitiShort Video Filming Drumming and beatingTechnical and historical aspectsChoir and theatre arts performingWeaving where they also know about the  history and the people What Do You Consider To Be A Supportive Environment? Supportive environments for creative aging provides opportunities for those who are 55 and better to access and benefit from arts programming designed to teach older Americans an art form over time. Aroha Philanthropies want to expand these opportunities through increased investment in creative aging programs. Part Two Of 'Creative Aging Sparks Joy, Connection, Purpose' Elements That A Thriving Creative Aging Program Have As a safe space for being creative, a successful creative aging program is:    Designed To Meet The Express Needs And Interests Of Older Adults   Rather than assuming that older adults don't have much capacity, they're allowed to come together and have rich stories to share. They learn new skills, get involved in new activities, and enhance their own lived experience    They Are Led By Teaching Artists   Teaching artists are professional, working artists who are also skilled in arts education. They create space for participants to offer feedback to one another, discuss their work, talk about memories, and talk about dreams.  It's a two-way process, which is an essential aspect of community building among participants. Teaching artists are part of the secret sauce; they create that chocolate for the brain!    Experiential And Sequential   A successful creative aging program is experiential—they're more hands-on. At the same time, it is sequential, meaning older adults learn to create over time. They're not just learning about the great masters of the art; they're making the art themselves.  Moreover, each class builds on the skills they learned in the prior classes. Essentially, these are often so interesting to older adults.     Builds Social Interaction And Engagement    In every creative aging, session participants are encouraged to share their experiences and memories. They discuss their work and offer feedback, which is an excellent way for people to begin building their social network.   Celebrate Achievements    The common theme of successful creative aging programs is the celebration of the participants' creations. The culminating activity is open to friends, family, and sometimes the public. This allows friends, family, and others in the community to see older adults in a new light. These are the kinds of things that move us from seeing an older adult as old and seeing them as a person and creative individual.  “The financial burden of social isolation for older adults is at 6.7 billion dollars because social isolation produces significant negative health impacts. Creative aging programs are a societal benefit in addition to an individual and community benefit. There are all kinds of great reasons that creative aging should be going forward all over the country.” -Teresa Bonner,  Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies What Are The Benefits Of Being Part Of A Creative Community? Creative aging helps older Americans combat social isolation, an increasing problem for America's growing older population, especially throughout the pandemic. Furthermore, doing the celebrations, sharing what is created, and building connections are solid and powerful pieces of combating ageism. We see an older adult as a person—not like an older person—a person who's had a whole life of experiences. The Power Of Connecting Through Art When you're working through the art form, you are vulnerable. Creative aging is not like having a cup of coffee after choir practice. It's where you're talking about your own life, dreams, and interests, which naturally leads to relationships among people that can be important.  Arts are a connecting point in a time where the connection is essential. Older artists find joy, purpose, community, and creativity in these programs. How Do You Find A Creative Art + Aging Group In Your Area?  There are many resources for learning about Creative Aging. If you're interested, you can check on the following; Aroha Philanthropies Website:  aroha philanthropies.orgFacebook: www.facebook.com/arohaphilanthropiesTwitter: www.twitter.com/ArohaPhilInstagram: @arohaphilanthropies Lifetime Arts-which provides consulting and training on how to run creative aging programs. Creative Aging Resource- a rich website devoted to creative aging,  also developed by Lifetime Arts National Assembly of State Art Agencies-They offered grant programs this year and awarded funds to 36 states that are either developing creative aging programs or want to create them and wish to learn about them.  The American Alliance of Museums-They had put out a significant report calling on museums to ethically and strategically prioritize developing creative aging programs that work with older adults differently. Countering Isolation with Creativity About Teresa Bonner, Executive Director, Aroha Philanthropies: Teresa Bonner brings more than thirty years of professional experience in philanthropy, foundation, and nonprofit leadership to her role as Executive Director for Aroha Philanthropies. She is a frequent presenter on philanthropy and creative aging, including sessions at the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Grantmakers in the Arts, Grantmakers in Aging, Americans for the Arts, Philanthropy New York, and the American Society on Aging. Teresa previously served as Director of the U.S. Bancorp Foundation. She managed $20 million in Foundation grantmaking annually. She led the company's community relations activities, the Piper Jaffray Foundation, and two nonprofit organizations, Milkweed Editions and the Library Foundation of Hennepin County. Arts and cultural programs have long been a significant focus of her professional experience and a personal passion. She is a principal in Family Philanthropy Advisors, with offices in Minneapolis and the Bay Area. Teresa graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Dakota with a degree in journalism. After completing Law School at the University of Minnesota, she clerked for the Hon. Gerald Heaney of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and was a partner at the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist and Vennum before moving to the nonprofit sector. About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as an FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Oct 5 2021
24 mins
EP82: Alzheimer's Disease Care: 3 Tips for Eating and  Drinking at Home
Alzheimer's Disease Care: 3 Tips for Eating and Drinking at Home I went home to help my 70-year old mother take care of my 91-year old grandmother, who'd been in a nursing home for a year and a half during COVID. Grandma Trudie was extremely debilitated, and in this episode, I share. When your loved one is as weak as my grandmother was, you may need to make some adjustments that allow her to continue to feed herself. This video is part of a 3-part series on Alzheimer's Care and the other videos can be found where you found this one. ✔️ Tip 1: Drinking with Closed Handle Cup My mom purchased an insulated cup that probably didn't weigh more than like a pound and a half - at the most - but it was too heavy for my grandmother to pick up by herself. Tip number one is to think about getting a cup with a closed handle. If the cup has two handles, one on each side, it will be easier for the person to hold the cup with two hands. ✔️ Tip 2: Mechanical Soft Diet  For patients who usually don't have teeth, creating a mechanical soft diet is very important. Foods mechanically are foods altered by blending, grinding, chopping, or mashing the foods so that they are easier to chew and swallow. ✔️ Tip 3: Using an Apron My grandmother, even though she can feed herself, sometimes spills her food when eating.  Instead of putting a traditional bib on her, my Mom had the idea to use an apron. This is a really unique thing caregivers can do pretty easily to maintain someone's dignity and to be respectful of them. The apron  allows them to eat on their own, and still look cute and fashionable.  You can check out the Part 1 & 2 episode where you found this one – in Part 1, I talked about 3 Tips for Transferring & Getting Dressed; and in Part II, I talked about 3 Tips to Shampoo Hair in Sitting in a Chair. If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Sep 28 2021
4 mins
EP81: Alzheimer's Disease Care:  3 Tips to Shampoo Hair in Sitting in a Chair
I went home to help my 70-year old mother take care of my 91-year old grandmother, who'd been in a nursing home for a year and a half during COVID. Grandma Trudie was extremely debilitated and my Mom needed me to help her figure out how to provide basic care - including how to wash her hair.  In this episode, which is part of a 3-part series on Alzheimer's Care, I will give you 3 Tips for how to shampoo someone’s hair while sitting in a chair.  My Grandma Trudie has pretty significant seborrheic dermatitis on her scalp, which is a common skin condition that causes scaly red patches, red skin, and stubborn dandruff. Treatment for it involves using a certain type of shampoo to remove the buildup of dead skin with gentle removal of the dead skin a few times a week until it clears up.   On top of not being able to recline or having the setup of a beautician's shop, she is also always cold - so we needed to wrap her up and make sure we didn't get her wet (or make a mess!)  3 Tips to Shampoo Hair in Sitting in a Chair ✔️ Tip 1: Be organized and make sure that you have all of the equipment you will need. Prepare a couple of towels and washcloths, and then have the special shampoo that you need to wash somebody's hair with. We had a brush and then a comb that had two different layers to it, which would allow us to gently brush the dry skin off of her scalp and then comb it out of her hair. ✔️  Tip 2: How to Shampoo Hair in a Chair.  We didn’t need to run the water on her, because her hair is so thin that we could wet it with a washcloth. We added her medicated shampoo and used the brush to gently massage her scalp. Then we had her lean forward a little and I used my hand to guide the water into the bowl my Mom held below her while pouring water from the pitcher. Then we dried the hair and used the comb to get the dead skin off the scalp and hair. ✔️ Tip 3: Incorporating Play and Staying #Fancy.  Apparently my family and I like to play “peep eyes"quite a bit. While we were working on Grandma’s hair, my Mom played “peep eyes” with my Grandma as she was finishing drying off her face after we rinsed her hair. The final product was a  beautiful Grandma and Mama! Remember that even though caregiving is stressful and presents some unique challenges to deal with, it is always important to remember to build in some fun and to be playful because those are the memories you’ll have forever that are good.  (You can check out the Part 1 & 3 episodes where you found this one.) Part 1: 3 Tips to Transferring & Getting Dressed https://youtu.be/XztGYUbAy7Q Part 3: 3 Tips for Eating and Drinking at Home.   If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you ASAP with an answer to your question.    About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN:   I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Sep 21 2021
5 mins
EP80: Alzheimer's Disease Care:  3 Tips for Transferring & Getting Dressed
I went home to help my 70-year old mother take care of my 91-year old grandmother, who'd been in a nursing home for a year and a half during COVID. Grandma Trudie was extremely debilitated, and could only bear her body weight when she first came home. She could not pick up her feet to even step side-to-side or pivot - which had the potential to put a lot of work on my Mom’s back until Grandma Trudie regained some of the strength in her legs..  In this episode, I share a 3-part series on Alzheimer's Care. When your loved one is as debilitated as my grandmother, you can't move her from place to place easily.  3 Tips for Transferring & Getting Dressed ✔️ Tip 1: Consolidate Movement to Minimize Risk of Injury   Thinking through moves from bed to chair; with bedside commode stop in between. Lining up and minimizing the number of transitions   Do as many steps in getting dressed or undressed while sitting, then moved her, Getting her into bed to lie down with one movement  ✔️ Tip 2: Using a Hospital Bed: It Goes UP for a reason Lowest position when getting in or out of bedSave Your Back – Roll the bed up as high as you need it to be to provide careUse Side rails when bed is being used. ✔️ Tip 3: The Power of the Rolling Side to Side To get her brief onShe could help by grabbing the siderails – doubles as good exercise! (You can check out the Part 2 & 3 episode where you found this one.) Part 2: 3 Tips to Shampoo Hair in Sitting in a Chair Part 3: 3 Tips for Eating and Drinking at Home. If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.    About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN:   I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Sep 16 2021
4 mins
EP79: What is Ageism?
Have you ever felt like someone discriminated against you because of your age? Maybe you didn't get that promotion because you were too young, or perhaps you felt like they didn't hire you because you were too old.  In either scenario, I doubt you ran down the road and told your friends because you had just been the victim of a “raging ageist”.  In this episode of This is Getting Old podcast, we tackle the biggest problem with America's mindset about aging and the prejudices that today's current older adults face and generations to follow will too, unless we make some major cultural changes. Key points covered in this episode:  ✔️ In the next ten years, we all know we're going to have more older adults on the planet than children for the first time in human history. And we largely attribute that to the Boomers.  ✔️ Did you also know that two years ago, millennials took over as the largest generation? This year (2021), Millennials are beginning to turn 40, makingthem old enough to sue for age discrimination in the workplace. So this includes people like  Justin Timberlake, Eli Manning, Alicia Keys - anyone born before 1997. ✔️ Ageism is the only form of discrimination largely absent from our national dialogue around diversity and inclusion. While the other "-isms" split us up, it is a fact that aging is something that we're all doing.    ✔️ Ageism is also the only concept that we socially accept - and even project - onto ourselves. We have about 25 years to find the policies and solutions to make the world more age-friendly and eradicate ageism.  If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.  About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Sep 2 2021
3 mins
EP78: New Drug for Alzheimer’s Disease with Howard Gleckman
New Drug for Alzheimer's Disease "Don't let yourself be sucked in by all of the publicity and marketing about the new drug for Alzheimer's. Think about whether it's got any benefit, the side effects— which can be very severe, and think about where that money otherwise would go." Howard Gleckman, Senior Fellow, Consultant, and Editor, TaxVox Blog ________________________________________________ Aducanumab (brand name AduhelmTM) received expedited approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 7, 2021, making it the first Alzheimer's disease drug approved after 18 years.    Since then, the FDA has changed the approval's original wording to suggest that it be used exclusively in select individuals with moderate cognitive decline or early Alzheimer's disease.   Further research is now being done because of the FDA's recent approval of Aduhelm, which sparked worries about its safety, efficacy, and cost.    In today's episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World, we will be talking about The New Drug for Alzheimer's Disease known as Aducanumab (marketed as AduhelmTM). Today, I am joined by Howard Gleckman, a Senior Fellow with the Urban Institute, who will shed some light on the newest drug available for Alzheimer's disease. Part One Of 'New Drug for Alzheimer's Disease’ Understanding Alzheimer's Disease In A Nutshell Alzheimer's disease is only one form of dementia; there are many other types, including Vascular disease, Lewy Body disease, Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD), Parkinson's, and mixed pathologies. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form – 60-80% of all cases of dementia, but many people do have mixed pathologies, meaning they have more than one form of the disease. This is complicated because confirming what type or types of dementia a person has can only be done by autopsy (I've done a previous podcast on how Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed if you would like to learn more).    You can also learn more about Alzheimer's Facts and Figures (2021), an annual report published by the Alzheimer's Association, to learn more about the different types of dementia and associated characteristics (pages 6 and 7 of the 2021 report).  Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer's Disease Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are trouble with your memory – remembering recent conversations, names, or events – or being depressed or apathetic, which means having a general lack of interest or enthusiasm about things you were formerly excited about.   As the disease progresses and moves into the moderate and advanced stages, symptoms include difficulty communicating with words, being disoriented, confused, having poor judgment, behavioral changes, and ultimately, in the end stages, difficulty speaking, walking, and swallowing.  "Not all people with MCI transition into Alzheimer's disease. We don't know or understand the mechanism of why that happens, why some people transition, or some people don't. So then you could be potentially giving a drug to a group of people that would have never progressed to Alzheimer's disease."  Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN The Brain Changes From A Grape To A Raisin With Alzheimer's In Alzheimer's disease, the brain shrinks – can be seen on a head CT; and two proteins called beta-amyloid and tau develop and somehow become toxic to the brain. The beta-amyloid clumps into plaques, which slowly build up between neurons, and abnormal tau accumulate, eventually forming tangles inside the neurons. As the level of amyloid reaches a tipping point, there is a rapid spread of tau throughout the brain. These plaques and tangles cause the neurons to lose their ability to communicate. The NIH has a great 4-minute video that shows you this process visually. Drugs For Alzheimer's: What's On The Horizon? Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that also plays an essential role in cognitive function related to memory and paying attention.  Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine – so cholinesterase inhibitors are oral medications that prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine.   Right now, we have at least 3 Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors drugs approved by the FDA that work for a certain period but don't modify the disease course.   Scientists are working on new treatments for Alzheimer's that include  anti-amyloid therapy, anti neuroinflammation therapy, Anti-Tau therapy, Neuroprotection, cognitive enhancers, and medications that relieve the behavioral and psychological symptoms often seen in dementia.   Part Two Of 'New Drug for Alzheimer's Disease’ Aducanumab (Brand Name AduhelmTM) The Newly Approved Alzheimer's Drug. Should You Take It? How Aducanumab (AduhelmTM) Works (Or Suppose To Work)? Aducanumab (Aduhelm) is a monoclonal antibody developed in a facility to bind to the amyloid molecule that causes plaques in Alzheimer's patient's brains. According to most experts, the plaques develop first and harm brain cells, prompting tau tangles to grow within them, eventually killing the cells.  When Aducanumab binds to the plaque, the body's immune system attacks it, mistaking it for a foreign intruder and removing it. The goal is that after the plaques are eliminated, the brain cells would stop dying, and thought, cognition, function, memory, and behavior will improve. How Aducanumab (AduhelmTM) Is Administered? The newly approved Aducanumab (AduhelmTM) is a Medicare part B drug. Most of us are familiar with the Part D drugs, which are the pills that we buy in the pharmacy. Part B drugs, on the other hand, are injectables or infusion drugs. That means you generally get this drug at a physician's clinic, an infusion center, or a hospital. Simply put, to take the drug, you need an intravenous infusion every four weeks — forever. Who Qualifies For Aducanumab (AduhelmTM)? Physicians may prescribe the medication for treatment in people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease based on the clinical studies that were conducted.  Early-stage Alzheimer's disease patients refer to people with Alzheimer's disease in the early stages of the disease, such as moderate cognitive impairment or mild dementia. People living with early stage Alzheimer's disease may be able to operate normally, or they may need assistance with more complex tasks such as bill payments, grocery shopping, cooking, or managing their checkbook. Those who need help with bathing, grooming, or other basic tasks are not in the early stages of the disease, and the medication is not recommended for them.   However, it's best to note that Alzheimer's disease does not affect anyone with moderate cognitive impairment or mild dementia. There are a variety of additional factors that contribute to these issues. Alzheimer's can only be diagnosed by an amyloid PET scan or lumbar puncture, both of which confirm the presence of Alzheimer's amyloid plaques. Most insurance plans now cover a lumbar puncture; however, an amyloid PET scan (which costs about $5,000) is not. Furthermore, what makes Alzheimer's disease different from other chronic conditions is the blood-brain barrier. How do you get the drug through that blood-brain barrier that's meant to protect the brain? "FDA's decision is giving people false hope. It's making them believe that if they scrape together somehow all of this money, there's going to be this magic cure for this disease, and we don't have the evidence that that's true."    Howard Gleckman, Senior Fellow, Consultant, and Editor, TaxVox How Much Does Aducanumab (Aduhelm) Cost? Howard Gleckman explained that Aducanumab is estimated to cost $56,000 per year by Biogen, the company that manufactures it. It is unknown if this medicine will be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance. Biogen said they're working on a deal with the Veterans Health Administration (VA) to pay for this drug for veterans receiving VA treatment. However, VA said they would not include it in their formulary, and private insurance companies are all over the place.    Similarly, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is still not sure if they will cover the drug. And if they do, AduhelmTM would be covered by Medicare Part B (because it's an infusion) rather than Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage). And even if they do decide to cover the medication, Medicare only pays 80% of Part B costs and 20% is out-of-pocket for consumers. Annual out-of-pocket costs would be over $11,000 -these costs  make the drug out of reach for many Americans. Howard asks that when considering the cost being $56 000 a year per person, what will it cost Medicare annually? When the drug has not been found to be effective,  we could be investing in the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) that we have evidence do work. The bottom line is that geriatricians and healthcare providers are left to explain to patients why they are not eligible to take this medication, and why  it's considered a "scam" by scientists and healthcare professionals alike. But, Does Aducanumab (AduhelmTM) Work? Briefly stated, there were two major clinical studies to determine the drug's efficacy, side effects, and overall safety. One of the trials returned positive, indicating that the medication helped to halt the loss in cognition, memory, and functioning that is so common in Alzheimer's disease.    The results of the other extensive research were negative. The findings indicate that there's no evidence to prove whether the drug is working or not.   Another element to decide is that the perceived upside — if the medication performs as much as it did in the successful trial — is next to nothing.    The Role Played By The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) The FDA was established in 1906 to protect consumers from unsafe medications and unsafe substances that falsely claimed efficacy for some treatment without proof.  Long-standing FDA Approval Process for all drugs built on how clinical trials are conducted to move medication from the laboratory into use by human beings. With that, FDA approval can take 12-15 years at an average cost of $2.6 billion to a manufacturer. Biogen spent about 18 billion dollars to develop this drug.    Moreover, in 14 clinical trials, after significantly reducing beta-amyloid, this drug did not result in a significant change in Mini-Mental State Examination scores. In other words, there has been no convincing clinical evidence that clearing beta-amyloid from the brain results in any benefit to the patient. The FDA ignored the recommendation of an Independent Data Monitoring Committee that found zero evidence that this drug slowed down AD progression; in fact, patients given Aducanumab in the trials did worse than patients who received the placebo.  The Independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended that the Phase III trial of Aducanumab be terminated.   These actions made by the FDA in ignoring the recommendations of the Expert Alzheimer's Disease Panel and approving the drug for use caused three members to quit and raised several controversies.  About Howard Gleckman, Senior Fellow, Consultant and Editor, TaxVox Blog Howard Gleckman is a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute. He is also affiliated with Urban's Program on Retirement Policy and is the author of the book Caring for Our Parents. He also writes two regular columns for Forbes.com, on tax policy and eldercare.   Connect with Howard by checking out his Personal Blog   About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN:   I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as an FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Sep 1 2021
35 mins
EP77: Repetitive Verbalizations & Alzheimer's Disease
In this episode of This is Getting Old podcast, listen if you are coping with handling an older person or loved one going through repetitive verbalizations and Alzheimer's Disease.  Let me tell you a story of two residents that I used to take care of a long time ago — Walter and Miss Lucy and how we managed their behaviors. Every day, about three o'clock in the afternoon, Walter would begin to yell, "I'm a bad man!" And he would do that all the time. And the irony is, Walter used to be a pastor when he was younger. But as soon as that happened, instead of giving him some medication to manage his behavior, we knew we just needed to take him out to have a cigarette.  When Miss Lucy would start calling the hogs in her wheelchair shouting "Zoe! Zoe!" in the afternoons, we knew that it's time that she needed some snuff or smokeless tobacco. We would give her some snuff, and she would take off down the hall.  Key Takeaways: ✔️ If a patient with advanced Alzheimer's is a lifelong smoker, we can no longer change that behavior as carers. While smoking isn't ideal, one way to manage that behavior in a non-pharmacological way is to give them what they needed at that time, which was nicotine.  ✔️ The same thing could happen with someone that you're caring for. Think about their habits before, and it could be they need caffeine, going for a walk to get some exercise in. If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.  About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Aug 26 2021
4 mins
EP76: Aging: Words Matter - Part 2 with Patricia D'Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP
Self-imposed ageism is real. I’d be interested in your thoughts about this quote - drop a comment below. In the words of Maggie Kuhn founder Gray Panthers, "The first myth is that old age is a disease, a terrible disease that you never admit you've got, so you lie about your age. Well, it's not a disease—it's a triumph because you've survived. Failure, disappointment, sickness, loss—you're still here." While I know Maggie Kuhn did great work founding the Gray Panthers and was actually a early advocate for not forcing people to retire at age 65 - and had an age-inclusive focus and advocated for college students to be taken more seriously - the thought of equating aging to mere survival of failure, disappointment, sickness and loss to only reflect one side of the coin of aging. Where is the celebration of major life milestones, her achievements, her “wins” in the third-third of her life?  It’s one quote, from one moment in time, so I digress...but I hope this makes you think about how you think, and and how WE talk, about aging in 2021. Today’s episode picks up with how should we be telling the story of aging? We'll talk more about Reframing Aging to continue the 2-part series of Aging: Words Matter at This Is Getting Old: Moving Toward An Age-Friendly World.  Tune in as Patricia D'Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP, further elucidates why words matter, particularly regarding how they may generate and promote discrimination, fear, and misconception around aging.   Part One Of 'Aging: Words Matter Part 2.' The Leaders of Aging Organizations collaborated with the FrameWorks Institute, which studied and reflected on the gap between popular views and misconceptions about aging.  They discussed ways to move to more positive narratives that "progress a perspective of older age as a time of challenges and possibilities, counteracting the fatalistic notion that aging outcomes couldn't be even better." How Should We Be Telling The Story Of Aging? We all take cognitive shortcuts to interpret and understand all sorts of experiences, thoughts, and feelings about aging. We take these for granted, and they are primarily automatic assumptions. However, remember that a compelling narrative builds understanding, shifts attitudes, and generates support for policy solutions.   Framing Is About Choices      Frames are choices about how information is presented, what to emphasize, how to explain it, and what to leave unsaid.  When a Frame "works," it shifts thinking in multiple ways— knowledge increases, attitudes improve, and policy support grows. Our goal with this project is to be able to get policies that support us as we age. - Patricia D’Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP What Should We Do? In our communications, we can make choices that activate productive cues/shortcuts to advance helpful models about aging.It's Important to tell the positive story of aging, but not just any story. We can get people to talk about aging and change the discourse on what people think about it. As we start to do that, ultimately, our goal t is to be able to get policies that support us as we age so we can get that discussion going and get people to start to think about aging differently. Consider the following for a compelling narrative: Why does this narrative matter? Include tested values that we know move the needle on thinking about aging How does this narrative work? Provide explanation   What can we do about it? Offer concrete systemic solutions.  Incorporate the values of Justice and Ingenuity Justice – Highlight that our society should treat older people as equals and ensure meaningful opportunities to contribute Ingenuity – Provide encouragements and positive reinforcements like saying, "We are resourceful and can find new and creative solutions for the challenges that come as we age." Avoid   Equating aging with decline Cuing individualism Portraying older people as other  Describing the aging of the population as a crisis Talking about resources as fixed or finite   Advance ✔️ That context and environment shape decisions and outcomes   ✔️ The value of ingenuity ✔️ Inclusion and the use of "we." ✔️ An explanation that underlying social conditions influence   health, financial security, employment  ✔️ Systemic solutions   Part Two of 'Aging: Words Matter Part 2.' Research Findings: Word Choice Matters! Words like "seniors" and “the elderly" drive thinking that we are less competent as we age. This terms are “othering” rather than being inclusive.  Using words like “older adult” or “older people” - but realize that in using these terms, an 18 year old may think about people in their 50’s.References to “older adults” generally call to mind someone in their mid-fifties, which doesn't quite get us as advocates to the age range we want to address“Older people” evokes people aged 60 or older and at the same time brings with it the most positive, least paternalistic view of the age described in the public mind.   So experts need to communicate with the public to make sure that the thinking for Americans is positive about aging because it can shorten your lifespan, and you end up with more health problems because of it.  Impact Of Reframing Aging With AP/ AMA/ APA Style Guides   Adopting the concepts of Reframing Aging will improve how we hear, read about aging in a way that again cues the more productive thinking about aging.The American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and even the Associated Press (AP) have updated their style manuals to adopt language around aging. So instead of using the word "seniors" and "elderly," they refer to older people or be specific about the age group. “The first step in fixing ageism is to raise awareness.” - Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN Role Of Implicit Bias Around Aging   Defining Ageism and Implicit Bias?   Ageism is the discrimination of any person of any age—the tendency to regard older people as debilitating. We have some subconscious thoughts about that. It starts when we're very young about taking in information about aging and older people.  Consequently, it becomes thoughts and feelings that you have that you don't even realize. Such thoughts and feelings are implicit biases. We have an implicit bias about many things, but it's the internalized bias tied to how we want to process so much information.    Implicit Biases Can Be Harmful   Implicit biases can be harmful and challenging for all of us to think about that. Some of the things that we work on are we help people develop "well-framed messages." We ask people what they think about aging. They give us their answers which are more around those negative models that we talk about—us versus them, the fatalism, the individualism. We read them well-framed sentences about aging, and a couple of minutes later, we see the difference in how the same people respond. Conclusively, our research shows that communicating a positive understanding of the aging process mitigates sources of implicit bias. Join the cause of Moving Towards an Age-Friendly World by checking on the following helpful resources: Call out ageism when you see it or hear it - Words MatterPractice using the tips on the Quick Start Guide Learn (Getting Started)about the Swamp of Public Opinion on Aging and other research on the Reframing Aging Initiative webpage (www.reframingaging.org)  Request a workshop or presentation for your organizationAssociated Press (AP), American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide recommendations    How to access trainingSubscribe to the Caravan newsletter About Patricia D’Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP: Patricia M. "Trish" D'Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP, is GSA's vice president of professional policy affairs. In this role, she is responsible for managing the Society's relationships with other organizations in the aging arena, leading major Society programs and projects, and developing a strategy for future growth of the National Academy on an Aging Society (GSA's nonpartisan public policy institute). She is also the project director for the Reframing Aging Initiative, a long-term social change endeavor designed to improve the public's understanding of what aging means and the many ways that older people contribute to our society. About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as an FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Aug 24 2021
28 mins
EP75: Aging: Words Matter - Part 1 with Patricia D'Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP
Words are powerful. They influence how we think, behave and approach things. They can produce labels, misunderstandings, misrepresentations and change our perceptions in profound and meaningful ways. In this episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards an Age-Friendly World showcases GSA's work on Reframing Aging. Tune in as our guest —Patricia D'Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP—offers us ways to reframe our language when talking about and thinking about aging. Part One of 'Aging: Words Matter Part 1.' What Is The Reframing Aging Initiative?  Reframing Aging is a social change endeavor designed to improve the public's understanding of aging. The GSA's ongoing effort is fostering a new language in talking about getting older that leads to more substantial support for age-friendly services and policies. This initiative, in turn, plays a critical role in ensuring that the public recognizes that there is much we can do collectively to ensure well-being as we age by following the concepts of Reframing Aging.  Reframing Aging is an evidence-based communications strategy led by 10 National Aging Organizations – American Federation on Aging, the American Society on Aging, the American Geriatrics Society, and Grantmakers in Aging.  Ageism is often not recognized. Ageism intersects with all of the -isms and impacts all of us; no matter how old we are. What we've learned in our research is there are challenges in how the public thinks around aging. Some of that comes around the following:   Cultural Models That Drive People's Thinking   Cultural models are patterns of thinking or assumptions created through years of experience.  People rely on cultural models to interpret, organize and make meaning out of all sorts of stimuli, including experiences, feelings, thoughts, and communications.   Impact of Ideal vs. Perceived Real Views Of Aging   Ideal views of aging is that older adults accumulated Wisdom, are self-sufficient, are staying active, and earned the leisure perceived  Whereas the "Real" views of aging are deterioration, loss of control, and dependency We can see challenges here when many people see aging as getting older means more health issues, which means more doctor's visits and medications than, one of the advantages of getting older is you get to relax more. “Self-ageism is either delaying care or not allowing you to get the care you need because of self-imposed ageism. - Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN   Impact of individualism    An excellent example of individualism is when somebody says something like, "If you exercise and eat right, you'll age well." Except we need to think about the systems around us that make sure that we have that opportunity to eat well and exercise. Then just saying if you only eat well doesn't get you to that systemic solution that we need to create.  Another place where that's important to think about is when people talk about financial planning. So when you're retiring, if you only just put money away every month, you would have money for when you retire.  Well, if I am in a system where I'm working three jobs to make ends meet, I may not be in the position right now to be able to save for retirement. It doesn't absolve people from having to take some action. So we need to ensure that there are policies in place that support all of us as we age.   Impact of “Us” vs. “Them” Dichotomy Thinking about Aging     When we start to tell stories that create that "us" versus "them," it does put people and make people think that we are two different models in our brains. When we start to think about this, it impedes how we think about support for aging in any way. There's this dichotomy of everybody on a cruise, that life of leisure or somebody jumping out of the air, out of an airplane, or everybody is very sick and decrepit.  They need help, they're frail, they need help with whatever is going to happen. Those kinds of pictures don't help us gain support and understand what aging means and how we all contribute to society even as we age. Impact of Fatalism  Fatalism is the culture that makes people think, "If this is a tsunami, I'm going to run someplace. I'm getting out of here."  We learn in those fatalistic crises kind of messages, which when you work in policy, you have to make it a crisis so that anybody will take action.  But honestly, what we learned through the research is people say, “There's no solution here, so I'm going to go someplace else”. So when we talk about this tsunami, as much as it does make people look at it differently, let's go someplace else where we can make a difference.  But there are things we can do to collectively age well. There are solutions. We can solve problems; we have a collective responsibility to create policies that benefit all generations; and recognizing what is around us shapes us - social determinants of health matter - from age-friendly cities with adequate transportation, housing, and other age-friendly domains. Part Two of 'Aging: Words Matter Part 1.' Why Reframe Aging?   Ageism Harms Us All   Ageism is discrimination against a person based on age, and it shapes the way we think about ourselves and others as we age.  Many people don't realize how ageism impacts our health. One area where we have seen is that one in every seven dollars spent in health care, which roughly equates to sixty-three billion dollars a year, is paid due to ageism.   Experts Vs. Impressions Of The Public Related To Aging   Public perceptions about older adults are incomplete and unrealistic. We see issues where people have their own biases—our own internalized biases about aging. We might hear people say, "Oh, I have this pain in my back. It must be because I'm getting old."  I believe that you have a pain in your back. I think that you are getting older. You are aging, but I don't think that the sole reason that you have this pain in your back is that you're old. So you must get to your health care professional and get it checked out.   Ageism Is Not Considered A Problem   We hold implicit, subconscious biases as well as external and internal biases. Most people don't recognize ageism as a problem at all. It's the only "ism" that's socially accepted, and it's self-imposed of all of the "isms," and it's the only one that we're all doing together. Broader Public Pushes Aging Away Vs. Experts Who See Aging As A Possibility. People don't think about ageism because we don't think aging is just part of us. So, where experts might think that aging is something we embrace, the public tends to push aging away.  Interestingly, during interviews with people, you see people in the interview asking them questions about aging; you notice the push away. So it's not just the verbal cues; it's the non-verbal cues as well about aging that we need to think about. “When you don't know what to do, you tend to do nothing, so nothing changes. Aging is not all pessimistic; there are a lot of opportunities.” -Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN But It's Not All Pessimistic.  The public has three significant patterns of thinking, which may be a bit more recessive cognitive patterns but we’ll learn to activate our communications when we understand them.  We Have Some Opportunities As Well:    Problems Can Be Solved.   We all believe that the problems can be solved and that comes out in a value of ingenuity. It comes out in the way that we build momentum. In the United States, we put people on the moon —so we can solve problems.   Collective Responsibility   In society, we have a collective responsibility for all. We see schools now where we have older people involved in pre-K and kindergarten programs. People of all ages are attending universities.  We see age-friendly movements. One of them is around university recognizing that you have an opportunity for a second, third career. That intergenerational opportunity of people interacting— that experience and knowledge that can be transferred is so important   What Surrounds Us Shapes Us   What's in our community helps us to recognize that we're all responsible for all of ourselves as we age. In talking about the social determinants of health, we think about do we have transportation? Do we have access to grocery stores? So those are the positive pieces that we want to cue. About Patricia D’Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP: Patricia M. "Trish" D'Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP, is GSA's vice president of professional policy affairs. In this role, she is responsible for managing the Society's relationships with other organizations in the aging arena, leading major Society programs and projects, and developing a strategy for future growth of the National Academy on an Aging Society (GSA's nonpartisan public policy institute). She is also the project director for the Reframing Aging Initiative, a long-term social change endeavor designed to improve the public's understanding of what aging means and the many ways that older people contribute to our society. About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as an FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Aug 17 2021
23 mins
EP74: Five Tips For Aging Well
We have a lot more control over aging well than most people think. Successful aging can be attributed to a wide range of habits that are modifiable - meaning if you have don’t have  healthy diet or don’t exercise, you can begin to make small changes over time that will improve your overall health. It’s never too late to get started. In this episode of Dr. Melissa Batchelor's This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World, powerhouse healthy-aging advocates, authors, and speakers Bob and Fran German share their healthy-aging journey and discoveries.    They share their Top Five Strategies to be young at any age and live your best life—full of excellent health, energy, and boost your own happiness. Part One of 'Five Tips For Aging Well.' Bob and Fran’s Stories Fran's Story Bob and Fran were a typical couple until 1992, when Fran was 52 years old. She was diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease called Myasthenia Gravis— an illness that causes severe muscle weakness. They went to 11 different neurologists to try to find a way to cure the incurable disease. Every doctor gave her that same pitch, and she'd never get better on it.  But Fran was stubborn, and she wanted to find a way to get better. "I took excellent care of myself. Changed to a whole foods plant-based diet, and cut out all animal products. Within a short period, I was off all medication, and I was symptom-free. Fifteen years later, the incurable disease that was supposed to shorten my life never reared its ugly head again." shared Fran.  Bob's Story Bob always tries to keep his body in good shape. He's slim and enjoys walking, running, and keeping fit. Until one day, he started to develop discomfort in his groin. Bob went to a urologist, and they found a tumor outside his left kidney.  Bob and Fran traveled to the Duke University Medical Center and had the tumor removed. Post-operation, the doctor told them that it was a cancerous growth—kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma.   According to Bob, "The one thing the doctor had mentioned was even though he got the tumor, he said this type of cancer is known to return. That also was an impetus for me to change." “After we both have that devastating, life-threatening illness, we changed our lifestyle to a much more healthy one.”  Bob German, Healthy-Aging Advocate, Author, and Speaker How Their Lives Got Better By Making a Few Changes  Bob and Fran changed their eating and sleep habits. They also do their best to develop techniques to lower stress, which is often a precursor to illness. On top of that, they did a different type of exercise regimen and learned some strategies for building and strengthening their energy.    "Now, here we are in our 80s, and honestly, we feel better than we ever have in our life. We do have endless energy. It is fun." says Fran and Bob. Bob and Fran are in their 80's but they…. Have more energy than their 22-year old granddaughter. Hike mountains in North Carolina.Authored a book, "101 Ways To Be Young At Any Age!"Lived in Thailand part-time for nine years & Fran cooks fabulous Thai dishes.Taught at the Buddhist University for six years.Founded an anti-child trafficking organization.The oldest-newest YouTubers ever in their 80's! Part Two of 'Five Tips For Aging Well.' With all those rough and rocky roads Bob and Fran have been through, not to mention the devastating, life-threatening illness, they've made it a goal in life to die young as late as possible. In line with that, their mission is to get people to come on this journey with them. For starters, here are the Five Tips for Aging Well from Bob and Fran.  Five Tips For Aging Well    EAT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!   Every bite of food that you take either feeds illness or fights it!  Eat as your life depends on food—because it does. We believe that we should use the power of food to make the right choices. We encourage people to increase the whole foods they consume and reduce processed foods and animal products. Not only is it suitable for people, but it's ideal for the planet.     KEEP MOVING!   Sitting is the new smoking!   People don't get out, and they watch TV way too much. Bob says that you have to get off your "butt" and your "buts." You have to change your mindset on exercise and do exercise every day, preferably in the morning. We advocate even designing a little regimen that we call "The Hour of Power." So every morning, this would include some easy stretching and aerobic exercise, like walking briskly and walking for maybe 20 to 30 minutes. Moving is so essential not only to your physical well-being but also to your emotional well-being.  “Without the right mindset about ageism, you can shorten your lifespan for an average of seven years or more.” -Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN   REDUCE STRESS   Do anything possible to reduce stress levels that you may be experiencing. That means considering taking on some mindfulness practice.  Your mind should be on the present moment; it's focused on the attention of what you are doing right now. Too many times, our mind drifts away. It glides into the past, where we think about things that have happened that aggravates us or gets us angry. Other times we think about things in the future that we worry about. That's human nature, but those are stressors: anger and worry. They immobilize you, and they stress you out—very unhealthy.  Take on meditation every day. Sit quietly for 5 to 10 minutes, at least once a day, and focus on your breath. Just breathe easily. You can sit in a comfortable place. No electronics, no TVs going. Just sit in a quiet room and relax your body and clear your mind. It will do wonders for you and lower your stress.    PRACTICE QIGONG FOR ENDLESS ENERGY     Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of wellness. You can Google it or go to our YouTube channel—" Young At Any Age." We have 40 different Qigong lessons that you can follow along. There's nothing to memorize, and it's effortless. Anybody could do it, and you could do it either sitting or standing, simple movements that help energize you and lower stress at the same time.     MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY   It's often said that as you get older, you don't need as much sleep—that's not true. It's beneficial to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night because this is when your cells regenerate, and it helps your mood, mental sharpness, and physical well-being.  Your bedroom should be used only for two things—sleep or sex. It should be dark, calm, quiet, and no TV or computers in the bedroom. It's also advisable to avoid things that would prevent you from sleeping, like caffeine or alcohol, or sugary foods before bedtime.  Connect with Bob and Fran through these useful links: ❤️ Bob and Fran's Healthy-aging YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/3c9om3T   ❤️Buy Bob and Fran's book, "101 WAYS TO BE YOUNG AT ANY AGE!" at  https://amzn.to/3a9g6Q0. ❤️ Visit Bob and Fran's website: https://www.bobnfran.com/. ❤️ Email Bob and Fran at bobnfran@gmail.com ❤️Visit Bob and Fran's ACT Project Website: https://bobnfran.wixsite.com/actproject. ABOUT BOB & FRAN GERMAN: Healthy-Aging Advocates, Authors, and Speakers. Bob and Fran are now both in their 80's and say that they feel Better Than Ever! They have enjoyed an incredible life together, a wonderful family, successful careers, worldwide travel, and countless adventures. And thankfully, they both overcame life-threatening diseases (kidney cancer and Myasthenia Gravis).  For years they have spent most of their time inspiring others to join them in their life goal to "Die Young, As Late As Possible" by making the right lifestyle  choices to get them to that goal. About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as an FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Aug 10 2021
30 mins
EP73: 5 Tips for Becoming an Age-Friendly Business: Restaurants
Are businesses in your city going the age-friendly path? If they are not, they make up the many companies worldwide that are missing out on this crucial initiative that supports and benefits senior consumers. In this episode, I provide essential yet often forgotten things that businesses should include in their spaces to accommodate the needs and ensure the continued patronage of older adults. It makes common sense that the more comfortable an establishment is for older people, it will also be comfortable for others. An age-friendly business means it's friendly for EVERYONE. -Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN Key points covered in this episode: Tip #1: Readable Receipts. Normal aging causes presbyopia - which is farsightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, occurring typically in middle and old age. With things opening back up in a post-COVID world, I can't tell you the number of people my own age who get their check, and they're like, "what does that say?! So we need a better process and format for receipts! Tip #2: Adapt Service to Improve Hearing. My friends and I frequently go to The Wine House for wine tastings. Typically, the sommelier stands in the middle of the room and discusses the wines, but the people at the tables can't hear a word being said - and what happens when people can't hear you? They start talking to themselves, resulting in more chatter and background noise. In activities such as this, it is best to invest in a system with a microphone and use overhead speakers and ensure an excellent experience for your customers. Tip #3: Increase and Contrast Menu Font. Use a white background with dark, bold lettering that's at least a 12 to 14 font size (at a minimum). If you can have an iPad or any type of device where people can magnify and make the font as big as they need it to be, it is advisable. Tip #4: Use Technology to Improve Accessibility. Another way to have an age-friendly menu is if you're able to use some electronic device that has a text reader option. This would also allow for greener updates to the menu and use of multiple languages for diverse customers. Tip #5: Have a Magnifying Mirror in Your Bathroom. One of the things you need to do before you leave the restaurant is to make sure you don't have anything stuck in your teeth or that your hair/ makeup are good to go! A magnifying mirror with a light on it in the bathroom will help people see and check themselves out before they go out the door! About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/
Aug 3 2021
3 mins
EP72: Ageism In The Workplace with Randi Zuckerberg
Age is just a number. But in the workplace, your age can have a negative impact - maybe you were passed over for that promotion because your boss thinks you’re “too young”. Or maybe you feel that you weren’t hired for a position because the organization implied you were “too old”. Either way - this is ageism and we need to be more aware of it so we can address it. In data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is predicted that by the year 2024, workers aging 55 and older will represent 25 percent of the United States workforce. This trend will permeate many industries - and requires developing policies and protocols against stereotyping and age-related discrimination for people of all ages. In this episode of This is Getting Old podcast, I share the screen with investor, performer, media entrepreneur and "professional mom to startups" Randi Zuckerberg and engage in an insightful conversation on ageism in the workplace. Key points discussed in this episode: ✔️ The truth about aging women in tech. The culture continues that tech startups are mainly for young people. ✔️ Why starting a business late in life can be an advantage. Despite the industry being youth-centric, Randi posits that instead of feeling insecure about that, entrepreneurs should think of that as a competitive advantage with wisdom and experience to lean on. "You have such a bigger Rolodex at age 40 than you had at age 20 of contacts who you could hire or work with or partner or raise money from." ✔️ Seniors have high spending power. Women at 65 and older are the cornerstones of purchasing decisions in many households in an age where they have disposable income from their career, and they're using it. According to Randi, this age group is also driving so much tech adoption and the fastest growing demographic on social media. "I think it is a smart business decision to think about that woman as your customer. And I think more businesses are getting savvy to the fact that not only can they not ignore that customer, but they should also focus a lot of their efforts on her." Connect with Randi Zuckerberg Randi likes to call herself "a professional mom to entrepreneurs" because nothing gives her greater joy than working closely with startups and founders. Through her company, Zuckerberg Media, she has created award-winning content and experiences that educate families and bring to light digital literacy and safety issues. She is the best selling author of four books, producer of multiple television shows and theater productions, and hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM. Randi has been recognized with an Emmy nomination, two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award, and a Kidscreen Award. Before founding her own company, Randi was an early employee at Facebook, where she is best known for creating Facebook Live, now used by more than two billion people around the globe. When she's not Facebooking or actual written-word booking, she can be found at the theater, on the golf course (newly obsessed golfer,) travelling the world (physically or virtually) to speak at conferences or doing her best to unplug at home with her husband and three children. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/randizuckerberg/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randizuckerberg Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randizberg Twitter: https://twitter.com/randizuckerberg ______________________________________________________________________ About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Jul 27 2021
9 mins
EP71: Alzheimer's Disease and Marriage
That moment comes in the life of married couples when the other half may begin to experience memory issues. Typically, this will change the dynamics of the marriage itself because the person who's experiencing Alzheimer's or dementia will not function in the way they used to.  In this episode of This is Getting Old podcast, listen if you are struggling to handle a spouse or a senior loved one repeating themselves a lot, or maybe they're stuck on a specific story that they're telling.    Key points covered in this episode:  ✔️ When the couple still retain their cognitive ability, and the other person can still get around, splinting allows assisting a person living with a memory problem by having the partner help and do things for them.   ✔️ Working through repetitive verbalization. If a spouse or someone is saying to you, "I want to go home", many times, rather than getting frustrated with them telling you the same thing repeatedly, respond with: "it seems to me that you're nervous or are you scared of something?" Asking them this question focuses on what they're truly feeling rather than what's being said.    ✔️ Address the underlying emotion. After you identify the cause beyond the intent, the best way to handle that is to help them work through the feeling so that you can hug them or comfort them and meet the underlying emotional need.    If you have questions, comments or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.    About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN:   I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Jul 20 2021
3 mins
EP70: Transportation Options for Older Adults: NV Rides
Transportation Options for Older Adults: NV Rides with Jennifer Kanarek "One of the best ways to get people interested in caring for older adults is to have a positive experience—NV Rides volunteer driving program does just that." -Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN ______________________________________________ When you're young and you got your driver's license, driving yourself from place to place was an entirely new level of independence. Losing the ability to drive as we grow older can happen for a lot of different reasons (and is not a normal part of aging), but usually is due to disabilities that occur due to many different chronic conditions that impact vision, hearing, and movement. (See my episode on Five Signs it’s Time to Take the Keys with Alzheimer’s disease for more information on what it takes to be able to drive if you are experiencing memory problems). Whenever anyone has to give up their keys—it's an automatic loss of independence. There are options to help people get around - we will go over those and talk about a unique and innovative volunteer program called NV Rides. NV Rides fills in a major gap that public transportation, carpooling, Uber, or Lyft options can’t provide — NV Rides partners volunteer drivers with older riders to provide door-to-door OR door-through-door transportation to a wide range of activities - from medical appointments to social events. Today we're privileged to have Jennifer Kanarek, MSW, the Program Manager of NV Rides, to share this fantastic program and transportation options for the older adults and our under capacitated fellows. NV Rides partners volunteer drivers with older riders to provide door-to-door OR door-through-door transportation to a wide range of activities - from medical appointments to social events. Today we're privileged to have Jennifer Kanarek, MSW, the Program Manager of NV Rides, to share this fantastic program and transportation options for the older adults and our under capacitated fellows. Part One of 'Transportation Options for Older Adults: NV Rides with Jennifer Kanarek' According to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, about 600,000 older adults stop driving each year. This makes it hard for older adults to make doctor's appointments, get to the grocery store, shop for necessities, visit family members and friends, or attend social events. More importantly, not having transportation increases social isolation, which can have adverse health outcomes and impact overall well-being. Interestingly enough, transportation is one of the most significant responsibilities for family caregivers. In fact, about 40% of caregivers spend at least five hours a week providing or making transportation arrangements. I know this to be true with my children and have long driven the #MamaTaxi! Read the full blog at: https://melissabphd.com/podcast-blog/
Jul 13 2021
25 mins
EP69: Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance? And Future Trends
"More than 40% of people over 65 years old misperceive that Medicare covers long-term care." -Marc A. Cohen, PhD Long-term care is care across a range of settings and can include medical and non-medical services that assist individuals who cannot care for themselves for extended periods. Also, long-term care is often provided at a person's home, largely by family and friends. Thus, it's a challenge to discern whether you even need long-term care insurance coverage. If you can afford this type of policy, it's even harder to know if the insurer and the policy will still be there with adequate coverage whenever you need it. In this episode of This Is Getting Old, Marc A. Cohen, PhD., will talk about the basics of how long-term care is paid for now - and discuss future trends for the long-term care insurance industry. Part One of “Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance? And Future Trends” How Is Long-term Care Currently Financed? Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are services designed to help people with functional incapacities, limitations, or cognitive issues. These circumstances limit a person’s ability to perform basic activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, toileting; all the things that one would need to be able to do in order to live independently. Unlike acute medical care, with services like hospital care, physician care tends to focus on curing people of specific ailments; long-term services and supports are designed to help people living with chronic illnesses maintain their function or reduce the decline in functioning over time. In today’s market, long-term care is financed in three major ways: ✅ Out-of-pocket: Disabled older adults and their families pay out-of-pocket for care. ✅ Medicaid: A federal-state social safety net program. Older adults must qualify for Medicaid by meeting very low income and asset thresholds. ✅ and private long-term care insurance. Is Private Long-term Care Insurance Still And/Or Going To Continue A Valuable Product For Consumers? The long-term care financing problem in the United States is enormous. People over age 65 today, around twenty-five million of them will require long-term care services and supports projected to cost trillions of dollars; including family support provided care, which is not often evaluated. When we look at the dollars spent and put a dollar value to the care provided by families, it's more than seven times what our public program, Medicaid, pays. So given that the bulk of care is provided by families, we have these situations now, where the caring family network is stretched. We used to talk about the “Sandwich Generation” - where you had an older adult caring for an elderly parent and a school-aged child— Dr. Cohen now calls this the “Panini Generation”. In other words, paying for and providing long-term care can create a situation that crushes families. Given these circumstances, we need to have more financial resources flowing into this system. The problem is so big that no one sector can handle it on its own. That means that we can't fully publicly finance long-term care —and we've already proven that it can't be a privately owned, privately funded solution. Therefore, we need roles for the public and private sector in order to find a viable solution. Part Two of “Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance? And Future Trends.” Can Long-term Care Insurance Still Play A Meaningful Role In Addressing The Challenges Of Long-term Care Financing? And What Public Policies Need To Change For Long-term Care Insurance To Remain A Viable Product? We've seen in the private market that private insurance companies can no longer handle that “catastrophic risk” that is called “long-tail risk” or “long-term risk”. Another one is that the private insurance industry is much better at handling folks who need care for one, two, three, four, maybe five years, but they get in trouble with rating agencies who think that they're taking on uncapped liabilities. With that, the private sector has stopped providing coverage. So the long and the short of it is that each financial option has a clearly defined role. The private insurance sector has to worry about developing insurance products that will work based on their terms. The public sector takes on the predominant part of the risk—the catastrophic. The idea is that by doing that, older adults can put together a package of comprehensive insurance that starts with the private sector and moves to the public sector. "It's no longer an accident that we live long lives —we expect to live long lives, but that brings functional impairment and cognitive impairment levels that we haven't seen. And because the long-term care financing problem necessitates bold action, it's going to require bold action." -Marc A. Cohen, Ph.D A Catastrophic Public LTSS Insurance Program Can Significantly Help The Market Thrive And Meet America's LTSS Financing Challenge. The notion of “catastrophic public long-term services and support” is an idea that proposes financial help would be variable, depending on your economic circumstance. For example: ✅ If you're lower middle class, the public program would pay after you need care for one year. ✅ If you are a little bit wealthier, you would pay for the first two years with your savings or insurance, and then the public program would kick in. ✅ And if you're wealthy, then potentially you have to worry about the first four years of care, and then the public program provides coverage. What's nice is there are a couple of good things about this scenario: ✅ First of all, when you have a well-defined public role, it will help people understand, "Oh, I've got some personal accountability or responsibility for worrying about whether it's one year, two years, or three." ✅ Number two is about how the middle-income folks accessed Medicaid because they spent down their income and assets. Well, if you have an insurance solution for those folks, that means you have fewer claims on the social safety net. This further means that states will have some pretty significant savings to their Medicaid programs. So it'll be relatively attractive to states and the people accessing Medicaid—people for whom there are no insurance alternatives and no savings alternatives. ✅ The third thing that it does is that it will stream new money into the system. All of us know what happened during the pandemic, especially in the beginning when the pandemic ravaged elders in nursing homes in particular. Part of the issue is that we have underfunded the entire long-term care system. So there has not been enough money to support levels of wages that we need to attract and keep people working, develop career ladders, pay for high-quality care and safety. A public insurance program with private insurance filling in the gaps and savings will stream more money into the system and will have everyone benefit from a better system. Congress.gov will have information on The WISH Act proposed by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY-3) shortly! About Marc A. Cohen PhD Marc A. Cohen, Ph.D. is a Professor of Gerontology at UMass Boston and the Co-Director of the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston. He is also a Research Director at the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst. Before joining UMass in 2016, Dr. Cohen founded and led LifePlans, Inc., a long-term services and support (LTSS) research and risk management company. Over his 30 year career, Dr. Cohen had conducted extensive research on LTSS financing and delivery issues, testified before Congress, served on an appointed Massachusetts' LTSS financing task force, and chaired a study panel on designing state-based LTSS social insurance programs. He has been quoted extensively by major news outlets and is viewed as a thought-leader on issues affecting eldercare financing. He received his Ph.D. from the Heller School at Brandeis University and his Master's Degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Connect With Dr. Marc A. Cohen through the following social media platforms: Twitter: @UMassBoston @LeadingAge @CCEHI @CommCatHealth Facebook: @UMassBoston @communitycatalyst @LeadingAge Instagram: @UMassBoston @LeadingAge For more valuable resources, check out the episode of Elder Care: Past and Future with Joanne Lynn, MD, MA, MS, and Carrie Graham, PhD, MGS.  Watch the full episode here: https://youtu.be/4S8ongyzMco About Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as an FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
Jul 6 2021
41 mins

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