Archive for May, 2006

Administration on Aging Pandemic Preparation

The Federal agency, Administration on Aging, has a preparedness guide. One is for general emergency assistance and one is specific to a pandemic influenza.

Unfortunately, each Emergency Assistance Guide chapter is it’s own pdf file to download, Start here,
http://www.aoa.gov/press/preparedness/preparedness.asp

For a copy of the Letter from the Assistant Secretary about Pandemic Flu preparation (pdf file)  click here.

 For a copy of the AoA Pandemic Flu Plan (pdf file)  click here.

A copy of the “Long-Term Care and Other Residential Facilities Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist” is available at http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/LongTermCareChecklist.html.

Preparedness suggestions include:

  • Have a structure for planning and decision-making, with a multidisciplinary group created to specifically pandemic influenza preparedness planning.
  • Develop a written pandemic influenza plan that identifies the person or persons authorized to implement the plan and the organizational structure to be used.
  • Develop a facility communication plan that includes key points of contact such as local and state health department officials, and a person responsible for communicating with staff, residents and families.
  • Have a plan to provide education and training to ensure that all personnel, residents and family members of residents understand basic prevention and control measures for pandemic influenza.
  • Have an infection control plan in place for managing residents and visitors with pandemic influenza.
  • Have a plan to get and use vaccines and antiviral drugs.
  • Address issues related to sudden increased needs, such as prioritizing services, staffing and supply shortages, and alternative care for residents who need acute care when hospital beds are unavailable.

I haven’t had a chance to review these yet. I have yet to see any evidence of local planning for the elderly. We just last week went through breakup and spring flooding. It happens every year. Yet once again an elder was moved to higher ground, but without taking along the required meds which were left in the house or clinic.

Also, no one recalls a fire drill in the past several (five +?) years at the senior center. See the checklist for When you visit the senior center – https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/06/when-you-visit-the-senior-center/

The End of Retirement

I guess I feel comforted to know it isn’t just my non-profit occupation which means no retirement, but many more, who have followed more conventional jobs, are also out of luck. Anyway, this is a thoughtful piece “Using history as our guide”—

by Teresa Ghilarducci
Monthyl Review, Volume 58, Number 1

….
The changes in the retirement future of Americans stem from the decline of union contracts, a dramatic shift in presidential and congressional attitudes about government responsibility for social insurance, and the substitution of defined contribution or 401(k)-type accounts for traditional defined benefit pensions….

Jobs and the Older American

Under what conditions can society provide jobs that older people want, not jobs that older people have to take? Currently it seems employers are offering jobs to older people that employers have previously reserved for other marginal workers. Instead of sixty being the new thirty, it would be the new seventeen as older people fill the area with the predicted largest growth in new jobs—retail clerks. This seems to be the direction in which we are going.

Since 1949, men and women over age sixty-five have said “ciao” to the labor market in recessions, and men withdrew from the labor force at the average yearly rate of 2.4 percent and women by 1.5 percent. Yet, in the most recent recession, men over age sixty-five still said “ciao” by 3.9 percent; but women said “hello” by increasing work effort by 5.3 percent. The labor force participation rate for slightly younger men and women, aged fifty-five to sixty-four, was higher over the most recent business cycle. However, if we remember our economics lessons, labor force participation and working are not the same thing. AARP analyst Sara Rix characterized 2002, the year the upturn began, as a mixed year for older workers. Despite the rapid increase in labor force participation, many of the elderly found unfavorable working conditions. If the elderly were laid off, they had half as much chance of being reemployed as younger people. The average duration of unemployment is higher for older workers and rose in 2002; the average search for job seekers over age fifty-five was sixteen weeks, up from 12.7 in 2001. Significantly, older men’s job security has gotten much worse. Their median years of tenure—the number of years a person has been employed by their current employer—has fallen dramatically, by almost 50 percent from 15.3 years for men aged 55–64 to just 10.2 years. (The decline is much smaller for women, from 9.8 years in 1983 to 9.6 years in 2002.)….

Read the entire article here–
http://www.monthlyreview.org/0506ghilarducci.htm

Think ahead to stay safe at home

Think ahead to stay safe at home
Most people say they want to live at home as they get older yet few have a clue about the complexities involved….

Liz Taylor mentions seven major barriers to address. Some of these are familiar, such as isolation or safety mods. But the need for a reliable person to monitor in-home care (patient advocate) isn’t usually anticipated. A crucial yet often neglected step is to prepare oneself to determine when it is time to move. All of the Growing Older columns are available at www.seattletimes.com/growingolder.

  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Physical activity
  • Malnutrition
  • Oversight: I firmly believe no one should have in-home help without a close friend or family member available to monitor. If you have no one like this to call on, I recommend hiring a geriatric-care manager (see last Monday’s column) to serve in this capacity.
  • Safety
  • Live in the right house (structural arrangement)
  • Know when to move


O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

Arctic sunset

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