Proposed Budget Cuts Threatening Gainesville Behavioral Health Programs

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Behavioral Health Programs

The Gainesville behavioral health programs are under threat from the drastic and immediate reduction of state budget allocated for mental health and drug treatment programs. This is the biggest ever that now will consequently result to more costs to taxpayers to maintain hospitals, jails, as well as police.

This reduction in mental health and drug treatment funding passed by the Florida state will have a ripple effect to many different sectors and individuals in town. Most especially Gainesville behavioral health programs that sustain and keep the wellness of people enjoying these programs as of today. The 25 percent reduction is considered the biggest ever and now concerns doctors, home advocates, law enforcement, and prison officials.

The government and community services dedicated to behavioral health programs that serve a thousand people to keep up with the daily struggle of behavioral health conditions and drug dependency will be greatly impacted and certainly transition to worse situations in years. Gainesville behavioral health programs have been instrumental in improving the lives of the many a hundred individuals who have undergone the programs and successfully transitioned to a life of normalcy. Now, the worse times are coming and it does not only involve institutions anymore but also regular townspeople who are benefitting from these programs.

The state has a very objective and calculated reason behind the budget cuts and the numbers that they will throw you with every single piece of challenge in their decision will surprisingly amaze you. There has been a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion and the option is between cutting the funding to nursing homes or reduce spending on drug treatment and mental health services.

For many in the government positions and on an economic stand point, this may be the better option. It is considered a win-win decision that will have slow and minimal impact to existing programs in the state and different towns and cities. There’s no doubt that the two are bad options but the lesser evil turned out to be the latter.

One of the highlighted good point about this is keeping the budget on nursing homes, which the state Senate greatly leverages. They point out the importance of caring for the seniors and continuing the advocacy in that area while not totally eliminating the programs dedicated to behavioral and mental health dedicated for children to people below the age of 60.

As per the state Senate, Gainesville behavioral health programs will remain and will continue to operate to cater to the needs of the people subscribed to these programs and future subscribers. It remains an advocacy that the state government and different city and town community will drive despite the lack, or the cut, in funding. It remains a strong and important advocacy deeply rooted in the hopes of helping out the community and improving the life of people suffering from behavioral health issues.

While many will cry foul over this, the state Senate has assured that this is just a minimal impact decision that has to be made in order to sustain the future and evolve the priorities of government spending. Moreover, the state Senate is positive that the tidal waves of impact being expected by many institutions and individuals today may not be the huge and will eventually ebb away down the line as government programs in these areas will evolve maturely.

The state of Florida Senate has recommended other more cost effective approaches into addressing the general behavioral health needs. One of these would be the recommendation for people to subscribe to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous as viable and cheap options for individuals who are suffering from alcohol and narcotics addictions. They push for these programs track records as being great and credible across the country and the world. This type of recommendations are a result of coming up with solutions in the midst of the existing situation. It’s a triage concept that allows for the state to leverage existing and known working programs to utilize while making do of the little amount of money left to operate other programs.

Despite the general sentiments of negativity, many are hopeful that everyone will get through this worst part of the economic and government policies. Many are hopeful that existing programs will continue to address the needs of those who are suffering from behavioral health concerns. Many are also hopeful that the campaign for the advocacy on these areas will continue to be supported by both the Florida state House and Senate.

Understanding the Need for Counseling for Aging Population Mental Health

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Mental Health

Mental health for seniors have always come with it a specific type of prejudice and stigma. The perception about mental concerns for seniors have been so misunderstood to the point that it has become stigmatized, demonized, mocked, minimized, stereotyped, feared, danced around, and rationalized in most schools, institutions, media outlets, public safety protocols, and even friends and family conversations.

The World Health Organization has estimated 15 percent of adults aged 60 and above suffer from a mental health concern. That doesn’t mean that people at that age with mental health concerns are showing signs of weakness or flaw of character or a lack of faith or a moral failing. However, it is important to consider how mental conditions impact human thinking, mood or feeling as well as their ability to relate more effectively with other people. Not only that the diagnosis as well as treatment of mental health conditions for aging population becomes really complicated but the logistics of addressing this concern has evolved to something really complex.

Understanding the need for counseling for aging population mental health should be a top priority, not only for the government or for the community but also the inner circle of the senior individual suffering a mental health concern. One of the fundamental step in understanding is knowing what causes mental health illness, the types of mental health concerns and learning some quick help guides in helping a senior who is mentally ill.

Cause of Mental Health Concern

There is not a single trigger or a single cause of a mental health concern. Moreover, it is not something that is resulted from a particular event. In fact, mental health concern is an evolved condition brought about by interlinking causes, one of these would be genetics or commonly, family history of mental health conditions. Another part of these causes would be the environment as well as the individual’s lifestyle choices.

For individuals exposed to prolong stress, physical, emotional or sexual trauma, being a victim or commission of crime, and other stressful and/or traumatic conditions and experiences in life are susceptible to mental health concerns at the later part of life. Some biochemical processes as well as nutrition and brain structure may sometimes contribute in large part to the susceptibility of acquiring or developing a mental health condition at the later part of life.

Most Common Mental Health Concerns in People Aging 60 and Above

Here are the most common mental health condition that you will encounter with sufferers who are aged 40 and above are the following:

Bipolar disorder
Anxiety disorder
Major depressive disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Dissociative disorder
Obsessive Compulsive disorder
Post-traumatic Stress disorder
Schizophrenia
Substance Abuse
Schizoaffective disorders
Alzheimer’s disease
Dementia

How to Help a Senior with Mental Health Concern

There are a few help recommendations that you can undertake in order to help a senior with mental health concern. Understanding what they are going through as well as finding the need for counselling would be the best approach.

  • Organizing a medical file, whether it is digital or printed. The files should include the name, date of birth, medications, dosages, vitamins, doctors, contact numbers of doctors, etc. Also, make sure to create a back-up copy.
  • Make sure to prepare doctor’s appointments by providing the doctor of your observation of the senior’s adherence to medications, vitamins, etc. Provide any observation of allergies, missed medications, side effects, and so forth.
  • Always accompany the senior to doctor’s appointments. Bring with you a pad and pen to make sure you can easily write down the doctor’s observations, recommendations and advice.
  • Help the senior remember their doctors as well as other alternative therapies or medications.
  • Do some research and readings about the senior’s symptoms, medications, behavior and way of life. Obtain reputable information around recommendations and treatments.
  • Help the senior plan for and commit to taking their medications as well as ensuring that they have medications at the given schedule. Take note and recognize changes in dosages or changes in formulation.
  • Monitor the senior’s reports of somatic complaints as well as ER visits. Always bring the ER paperwork to the doctor during the doctor’s appointment.
  • Encourage the senior to take part in many social interaction and community activities. This will help the senior to surround himself with a lot of social support instead of being isolated and feeling alone and helpless. Involving the senior to a great community and social interaction is crucial to the senior’s mental health.
  • Encourage the senior to perform some mental and physical exercises that are within the senior’s abilities and physical condition.

Medical Equipment Best for Home Care: Types of Home Lifts for Seniors

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Home Lifts for Seniors

Technology has wonderfully evolved over the years and it has made drastically created a great change for senior living. Today, there is a wide variety of medical equipment made for home care. One of these is home lifts, which provide a great way for seniors to conveniently and easily move and travel through stairs, regardless of height. All of these wide variety of lifts are available right at our fingertips.

These home lifts work wonderfully for areas that used to be uninhabitable for seniors and transform them back into everyday living areas for seniors. As a result, it gives them a more improved quality of life and more optimism in their outlook.

Since there’s many types of home lifts for seniors, let’s take a look at each of them so you can make a better decision on what to use at home.

Wheelchair Stair Lift

This is a type of stair lift where the platform is built to easily slide a wheelchair into it instead of a fixed chair. However, there are brands that come equipped with a folding down seat where you can use the lift even without a wheelchair present. This comes pretty handy with seniors who are not so mobile anymore and are in daily need of wheelchairs.

Stair Chair Lift

It is the most common type of lift and used traditionally at home. It is very much ideal for any home with multiple levels. Stair chair lift allows seniors who are still able to move to safely take the stairs up or down on their own. It is most of the time fixed and look bulky for the average staircase, this offers a great amount of time savings for care givers and family members.

Personal Elevators

Personal elevators are a new fashion in home medical equipment. This is pretty much ideal for homes with three or more levels. You might think that building this into your home will be expensive. But you will be surprised that personal elevators are not really that expensive as they sound. In most cases, houses with multiple levels of several floors have built in small rooms or closets on top of each other where adding personal elevators could be convenient and possible.

The use of a personal elevator have really great benefits especially with multi-level homes. It can aid a senior who uses a walker or even an elderly dog.

Ceiling Lift

This type of lift is designed for elderly who have really limited mobility and have difficulties transferring themselves to their wheelchair or commode. These contraptions come with notable features of two post lifts equipped with it for easier movement and transport. This makes short term use and profitability very possible.

Wheelchair Platform Lift (for Porches)

This is commonly known as the vertical platform lifts and considered to be the modern handicap ramp. Wheelchair platform lifts are placed to the side of the front porch to provide more accessibility for seniors to the mailbox as well as offer another angle for them to enjoy life. Adding this to your home not only adds more appeal to the eye than the regular ramp but also it is more cost affordable.

Pool Lift

The pool lift looks the same as the chair lift but it is made of waterproof material. Seniors can enjoy the pool, whether to swim and come back at it later or just enjoy the water and the sun while on it.

Portable Hoyer Lift

This is much similar to the ceiling lift. The only difference is that the ceiling lift is secured in place while the Hoyer lift is on wheels, which makes it easier for day to day simple room transfers. It was originally manufactured to be a manual lift powered with hydraulic pumps. However, updated releases now come with battery power.

Dumb Waiter

Dumb waiters work like mini manual elevators and are designed exactly like old school restaurants and hotels use. This makes it easier to transport prepared meals or groceries, laundry baskets and all other heavy items up to the second or third floor or down the ground floor.

Recliner Lift Chair

The recliner lift chair is powered by 1-2 motors that make it practically stand up as well as slowly drop back to a normal position. There are also newer models that come with additional features, such as swing out trays, massage options and built-in storage.

Bathtub Lifts

The bathtub lifts enable seniors to be lowered down to the floor of the tub as well as enable them to risen back to the rim. It is powered by battery and are designed to be portable so it can be used by other family members as well.

The Right Furniture Designs Tips for Senior Living

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Senior Living

When choosing furniture for senior living facilities or for home care, it is best to know and understand the right furniture designs tips for senior living. There must and should be a careful consideration at the same time attention to the selection of fabric, functionality of the furniture, design, as well as whether or not the material is compliant to the standard health regulations.

Each of these characteristics play a critical and significant role in the daily life of the resident as well as the staff member of the facility or even the family member regardless if it is about offering ease of movement or ease of maintenance.

Below are the few things we consider are the right furniture designs tips for senior living that are good for both senior living facility and home care.

Meeting of Design and Functionality

Functionality should be the topmost priority for every furniture design for seniors. In order to meet their day to day needs, the materials that should be used should be durable, supportive and strong. They rely on these furniture for their daily movements, such as standing up, walking between rooms or even sitting down. That being said, in order for to aid seniors in their daily movement efforts, it is important to avoid choosing furniture designs with sharp edges or glass. Love seats or standard sized chairs are also most preferred than sofas because these have armrests that offer excellent support to help in their daily movement transitions.

To add to the design concept that should be adopted for senior living, circular pieces of furniture and those with soft edges are mostly preferred on an angle and shape perspective. An example of this is choosing a dining table that has a rounded design or those with eased corners.

Color and Material of Fabric

When choosing a material of fabric for a furniture designed for senior living, such as a chair, it is best to choose the fabric material that has low maintenance and easy to clean. Moreover, choosing a fabric material that is stain resistant at the same time has a high wear and tear resistance are mostly recommended for hospital and healthcare use.

Now, when choosing a color, it is best to keep things simple. Choose a color that has little to no patterns and pick furniture colors that highly contrast the walls in order for seniors to easily distinguish them. Color is very critical and important to senior living and healthcare as well as their health and wellness.

Material should be Health Compliant

There are strict healthcare laws that are in place for every community. For senior living facilities, they are strictly subject to complying with the Prevention of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs). These laws govern what material of furniture should be used for senior living. That said, this should not be taken lightly and should be complied with utmost priority. There are many other standards that are being complied by senior living facilities, such as the life planned communities (LPC), continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), assisted living facilities (AL), and others that are also good to check out.

If you are out shopping for furniture for senior living, make sure you buy your furniture from certified manufacturers or resellers that comply with the laws that govern existing health compliance. Look for furniture that are purposely designed to prevent infection and healthcare environments. Consider choosing furniture that don’t have seams or surface joints and those that don’t support microbial growth. If you prefer wood furniture, choose the ones that have undergone special treatment, such as UV inhibitors that reduce the sunlight’s harmful effects and silver ion technology that prohibit the growth of antimicrobial elements.

Quality and Comfort

At the end of the day, the best furniture designs tips for senior living is one that offers lasting comfort and built with the highest quality. While the color, material and design are all very important, the greatest decision maker will be the day to day quality and comfort meant for seniors as well as the family members or the staff. Ultimately, the design tip that you should embrace is combining all of those together and achieve a look that feels like it is someone’s home rather than in a hospital.

If you want to learn more or you have more questions about furniture designs tips for senior living, feel free to leave us a note through our contact us page and we will be happy to assist, guide and provide you with more information.

Answering Frequently Asked Questions Seniors Have About Medicare

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Medicare

President Barrack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010 as a health insurance reform legislation. If you want to know more information and detailed explanation about the Affordable Care Act, you can visit www.medicare.gov or you can get in touch with someone from the Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders or SHINE through their website, www.FloridaShine.org

With the signing of the new Medicare act, there’s been questions rising to further understand what Medicare is all about as well as some other concerns that need more clarity. Here, we will attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Florida health care for seniors.

What is Medicare?

It is the federal health insurance program dedicated for people ages 65 years old and up as well as for people with certain disabilities ages 64 years old and below.

How does it work?

There are four parts of the Medicare program that you need to understand:

Medicare Part A refers to hospital insurance. This part of Medicare helps you pay for your hospital bills, home health care, rehabilitative nursing facilities, and hospice. In most cases, you don’t have to pay any premium for Medicare Part A because you’ve been paying it through your payroll tax while you were working.

Medicare Part B refers to medical insurance. This part of Medicare helps you to pay for your doctors’ fees as well as outpatient care. Medicare Part B requires you to pay a monthly premium. There is one thing that you need to understand and keep in mind: if you don’t sign up for Part B the moment you become eligible at age 65 or when you have already been disabled for 2 years but ultimately decides that you need some time in the future, you will may be required to pay a penalty for all those years that you’ve been eligible but didn’t sign up.

Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage Program. This is an option where you can choose to have Medicare Parts A and B be provided by a private institution or a private insurance company if they offer a Medicare Advantage Plan that covers both Medicare Part A and Part B as well as other additional benefits as part of their package.

Medicare Part D refers to the coverage of prescription drugs. The way Medicare Part D works is typically the same as Part B where you will may be required to pay a penalty for the years you have become eligible but didn’t sign up.

What is Medicare Advantage?

This is a type of health insurance plan where you can get your original Medicare benefits through a private insurance company. This was created by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 as well as the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. Below are some of the examples of the Medicare Advantage Program:

  • Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO)
  • Private Free-for-Service plan (PFFS)
  • Health Maintenance Organization plan (HMO)

What is HMO?

The Health Maintenance Organization program features specific list of networked hospitals, doctors and other providers where you can receive benefits. These in-network program provides additional benefits that are not covered in the original Medicare. These include prescription drug coverage, reduced cost-sharing, fitness and wellness programs.

Can you elaborate more on Medicare Part D?

The Medicare Part D took effect on January 1, 2006 where anyone who is entitled to Medicare Part A or anyone enrolled to Medicare Part B, regardless of income, will be eligible to enroll in this plan, which is a prescription drug benefit program that is designed to help Medicare members handle the rising cost of drugs at the same time give them access to prescription medication easily. This is a great addition to the Florida health care for seniors.

What are the things that I need to keep in mind when choosing a Medicare health plan?

You will need to consider and answer the following questions before you choose a Medicare Health Plan:

  • Do you already have a doctor or eyed a doctor of your preference?
  • Are you deciding to choose a new doctor?
  • Do you consider the liberty of going to any hospital or any doctor very important to you?
  • Will you be needing a prescription drug plan?
  • What’s your previous at the same time current health condition?
  • Do you currently take prescription drugs?
  • Are these drugs that you are taking covered in the formulary of the plan?
  • Have you asked your doctor about your healthcare needs?

Helpful Facts About Mental Health Services for Adults

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Mental Health Services for Adults

There’s so much questions and confusion around mental health and the services required for adults. With all the assumptions present and vocally rampant, it is dangerous to take each piece at face value without fully knowing and understanding the context behind the sensitive nature of mental health services for adults.

There are as many as one in five older adults that experience mental health concerns that are uncommon and unnatural part of aging. The most common of these mental health concerns are mood disorders or anxiety, such as depression. These mental health concerns typically respond to treatment in most cases. However, the sad truth is that older adults never receive or do not seek treatment or help that they critically need. If left untreated or undiagnosed, these mental health concerns create serious and critical implications for older adults as well as their loved ones.

We have compiled a few helpful facts about mental health services for adults that might help you gain more knowledge and understanding in order for you to be able to respond appropriately to situations.

Mental health problem is not normal and not part of aging

While most people observes this inaccurately but mental health problems can’t be associated to the normal part of aging. While most older adults experience a lot of losses, a sign that an older adult has a clinical depression is when deep sadness lingers. On the same context, an anxiety disorder is completely different from normal worries. Some facts below:

  • Around six percent of older adults have depressive illnesses that can be diagnosed.
  • One in four Americans adults have mental disorder during any year that can be diagnosed.

Mental health is equally important as physical health

A great mental health basically contributes to the overall great feeling of well-being. Just as you put a ton of importance of physical health to stay healthy and functioning, an untreated mental health disorder can definitely diminish your ability to function and can even lead to other concerns, such as poor quality of life, substance abuse, increased mortality. Moreover, research has proven that mental illness can contribute to the slow healing of physical illness.

Older adults that are healthy are more prone to grow, thrive and enjoy life

Exercising both your mind and body at the same time maintaining your social connections are definitely good for your mental health. Walking, reading and socializing are just among the activities that keep you live and enjoy life at any part of your age.

Regardless of your medical history, older adults are at risk for mental health problems

More mental health problems can appear late in life even though most older adults spend a lifetime managing chronic mental health illness. Parkinson’s disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, or diabetes as well as some medications can lead to mental health deterioration. Even older adults without a history of any substance abuse may abuse drugs, alcohol or medication at a later part of their lives.

One of the major risks among adults is suicide

Today, the suicide rate is at a highest among older adults. A couple of facts below:

  • The suicide attempts of older adults are far more lethal. There is one suicide for every four attempts for those aged 65 years old and above compared to the one suicide for every twenty attempts for all of the other age groups.
  • The highest suicide rate is from those aged 85 years old and above and the second highest is from those aged 75 to 84.

The following symptoms may need a call for help:

  • Sadness that is observed to be lasting more than 2 weeks
  • Consistent worrying of regular issues, such as health, family and money
  • Consistent difficulty of concentrating or focus or trouble sleeping
  • Feeling confused even in familiar places or high frequency of trouble remembering things
  • Taking more medication than prescribed or having more than one alcoholic drink a day

It is common to misdiagnose or avoid

  • Only around fifty percent or around half of older adults who discuss their mental health issues receive appropriate and adequate treatment from physician
  • About fifty percent of the time physical care physicians fail to diagnose depression

Older adults may not automatically have mental health problems but they have a unique need for mental health care

As mental health problem should not be naturally associated to aging, older adults have changing chemistry and bodies as well as changing family, relationships and friendships. Most of all, older adults go through different changes of living situations throughout their lifetime. All of these have an effect on their overall mental health and they all need to be considered in the treatment.