Frances Shani Parker, eldercare consultant and Detroit, Michigan author of Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes, writes this blog. Topics include eldercare, hospice, nursing homes, caregiving, dementia, death, bereavement, and older adults in general. News, practices, research, poems, stories, interviews, and videos are used often. In the top right column, you can search for various topics of interest to you. You can also subscribe to this blog or follow it by email.
One out of every 20 older adults in America will be a victim of financial
exploitation this year. They will come from varied social positions, geographic locations,
occupations, races, and nationalities. You or someone you know could be a
victim. You may also know the perpetrator of the crime. Perpetrators of embezzlement,
which is theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust, are often relatives and friends you know and trust.
This heart wrenching topic
brings to mind an important question that should be considered: What can others do to assist older adults in making good decisions for protection against financial abuse?With our quickly aging population, financial exploitation of vulnerable older
adults has become a profitable and easy way for many to make money. Horror
stories about stolen identities, looted bank accounts, and transferred property
ownership abound. The devastation left behind is sometimes insurmountable.
Is there a way to protect
older adults from this travesty while still allowing them their dignity
during the process? Dr. Peter Lichtenberg, Director of the Institute of
Gerontology at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, is creating the
Lichtenberg Financial Decision-Making Rating Scale for just that purpose. This assessment
will determine whether older adults are at risk for being victims of financial
abuse and their ability to manage their money and other assets. He hopes to be able to pilot the 61-question
assessment by the end of the year. The assessment and a more general
10-question screening exam would be used by professionals who work with older
adults such as attorneys, law enforcement officials, and people who work at
financial institutions. They would be in positions to determine whether those surveyed are experiencing undue outside influence and whether they are competent in
making good financial decisions. With this knowledge, they can better protect those most at risk for being exploited.
Last Will and Embezzlementis a groundbreaking
documentary film that is on national tour. Produced by Pamela
Glasner, whose brother was victimized by embezzlement, the movie raises
awareness about financial exploitation of older adults. The movie stars Hollywood icon Mickey Rooney
sharing his firsthand account of being victimized. The
following movie trailer gives a brief summary of the documentary and the magnitude
of this problem.
Do you ever wonder what it
feels like to have dementia? I do. As a hospice volunteer in Detroit nursing
homes, I have spent considerable time with residents who have
dementia. This poem describes how I think many of them feel.
For a more personal
experience of what it’s like to have dementia, a sensitivity training
simulation can be very beneficial. The Virtual Dementia Tour® is an
interactive learning experience designed to help those caring for people with
Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The tour includes five tasks to
complete in the manner that a person with dementia would experience them.
Have you ever worried about
telling someone bad news in the wrong way. Is there really a good way to say
something bad? Imagine how often many doctors have to deliver bad news at
critical times in people’s lives and the serious ramifications that can follow
if they are unsuccessful in their approach. The reluctance of doing this causes
some doctors to go so far as to detach themselves from patients and avoid
breaking the news at all.
The ABCDE Plan is one strategy that provides a patient-centered
framework for doctors to deliver troubling news to patients and families.
Doctors learn how to create a safe environment, use timely communication
skills, and how to display empathy. Doctors’ personal reactions to death and
dying are also considered. With the population increase in older patients who
are terminally ill, doctors need a constructive plan for breaking bad news
Another strategy is used at
Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Medical interns in their first term learn how to
deliver bad news to patients through role-playing with actors. These scenarios
are followed by faculty feedback on how well the interns did delivering bad
news. They are also taught how to advise patients after the bad news is
delivered. The following video demonstrates how this is done: