• Janet Neilson

    What really happens in Canada?

    Americans are familiar with the stories of Canadians who would have died because of their government's health care rationing had they not been able to get care in the United States. Perhaps just as troubling, however, are the less dramatic but much more common instances of minor indignities, inequities and inconveniences imposed by the Canadian health care system.

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  • Plan now for an Advanced Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney, before you and loved ones need to use it.

    Several times a month, a call comes into Elder Law and Advocacy's office in San Diego that goes something like this: "Hello, my wife (husband, or parent) has advanced Alzheimer's disease and her doctor told me I need to get power of attorney. Can you help me?"

    Misconceptions about creating and using a power of attorney for health care or finances creates problems for many families. Here's what you need to know.

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  • Hot sun

    Our risk of hyperthermia problems increases with age

    Summertime, and the living is...hot -- TOO HOT. Alas, we are less able to handle hot days as we age. The wonderful summertime of youth can become a serious problem for a Senior. Heat-related illnesses, known as hyperthermia, can include heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after exercising in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Here's advice to help older people avoid these problems.

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  • Dealing with disasters

    Tips for dealing with the immediate shock and facing the challenges.

    Disasters affect us for months, and live in our memories for years. For those who lost homes due to fires, floods, tornadoes, landslides, hurricanes or other so-called natural disasters, life will never be the same.

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  • Young people need to understand dementia and share their feelings about it. These tips will help the entire family.

    Alzheimer's disease can have a big impact on every member of the family, including children. Each child reacts differently to someone who has Alzheimer's. The young people in your life might have questions about what is happening. It's important for you to take the time to answer these questions openly and honestly.

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  • What can you do to maintain the dignity of your loved one during a hospital stay?

    As a nurse, I make it a priority to maintain the dignity of my patients. But to my shock, I was faced with a whole new situation when my mother was hospitalized several years ago and was not able to care for herself.

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  • People covered by Medicare have different options each year.

    Choices range from Original Medicare to a variety of Medicare supplemental plans. The right choice next time might not be the same as last time. It's an important decision about a complex matter, so make sure you know how it works.

    NOTE: This article was written before Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014. ACA does not focus on Medicare, but it may affect some of the information in this article. As always, you should consult insurance experts to determine what is right for you.

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  • Long-distance, long-term care

    Q: How can I be an effective caregiver from far away? I don't feel comfortable just jumping in.
    -- Ed W., San Diego, California

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  • Here are the facts about how hospice and palliative care can give your family help and hope when they need it most.

    Hospice and palliative care services focus on meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a person with advanced illness, and also provide support for the patient's loved ones. Care can be provided wherever the patient resides, including the person's home, residential or skilled nursing facility, or assisted living environment.
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  • Lay the groundwork for a successful transition when seniors can no longer live at home.

    Many boomers will eventually have aging parents who are no longer able to continue living on their own. Facing decisions about when and where to move your parents can be overwhelming. Each step of the process has its own emotional and practical challenges, but thoughtful planning can minimize the stress required to facilitate a smooth relocation.

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  • Wielding a defibrillator might seem like an intimidating endeavor, but knowing how it works could help you save someone's life one day.

    You've seen it on hundreds of TV shows -- paramedics arrive on the scene to tend to a heart-attack victim, and they whip out an electrical device that seems to jump-start the patient back to life. Could you jump into the paramedic's place to save that heart-attack victim's life?

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  • The causes of your symptoms might not be what you think.

    Many midlife women, during the years before and after menopause, are plagued with emotional and physical symptoms. If you're woman in midlife with any of these problems, this article can help you discover what could be the cause.

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  • Older adults and those in the hospital are at increased risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

    Every year, approximately 2 million Americans are affected by deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the thigh or leg. Approximately 600,000 experience pulmonary embolism (PE). For up to 200,000 of those with PE, the blood clot in the lung proves fatal -- almost twice as many deaths per year as AIDS, breast cancer, and highway fatalities combined.

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  • Protect Your Eyes

    You can and should slow Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    Boomers beware: Scientists predict a surge in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Every year more than two million people in the U.S. discover they have this incurable disease of the retina, which destroys functional vision.

    Here are answers to frequently asked questions about age-related macular degeneration.

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  • A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has more than just medical implications — there are financial issues, too.

    An estimated 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease; this number is expected to double by the year 2050 as the elderly segment of our population grows. Not only does the disease have a significant emotional impact on individuals and their families, it also causes severe family financial burden and places considerable demands on the greater public health system. 

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  • Marilee Driscoll

    Long-term care insurance determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can't take care of yourself.

    Long-term care insurance is potentially one of the most important purchases you'll ever make. It likely determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can no longer care for yourself.

    There are lots of decisions to make -- and they need to be informed decisions. Tempting as it is to think you'll never be in the position to need long-term care, you risk literally everything if you hide from this issue.

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  • The best approach depends on your age.

    Stroke ranks higher than heart attack in scaryness, say surveys. So stroke prevention is something we all care about.

    Of the two main stroke-prevention procedures, new research points to which is the better choice.

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  • ADVISOR ANSWERS

    Q: My mom is insured through a Medicare HMO; however, the hospital closest to her home is not in her HMO's network. What do we do if there's an emergency? I don't know if we would instruct the ambulance to go to a different hospital -- is that even possible or advisable? She doesn't want to get hit with a big hospital bill because she isn't covered.
    -- Willa M., Rainbow, California

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  • Mobility-adapted car

    Don't let mobility challenges slow you down.

    One in five people will experience some type of disability in their lifetime. When your own or a loved one's personal mobility becomes a problem, the restrictions on your daily life can be overwhelming. Suddenly there are limits on where you can go, what you can do, and who you can visit.

    Many people in this situation have decided to not let personal mobility limitations get in their way. While life may never be exactly as it was, there are solutions — mobility aids.

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  • Warrior 05

    Progress has been made in War On Cancer, but we face many challenges

    We seem to be waging war on many fronts: drugs, crime, illegal immigration, drunk driving, Afghanistan, Iraq, terrorists in general, terrorism on airplanes in particular. But our most serious war -- the one most likely to affect all of us -- is one we are still losing: The War on Cancer.

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