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8 Apr 2014

Knowledge helps you and your doctor prevent medication errors

Q: Lately it seems I am reading and hearing more and more about medication errors. It appears that these errors happen in numerous ways both at home as well as in health care facilities such as assisted living and hospitals. Do you have any safety tips for unsuspecting consumers? A: A person can never be too careful in understanding their medications. Let’s start at the doctor’s office. First make sure all of your doctors know about everything you are currently taking. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and any dietary or herbal supplements. Also make sure your doctor knows about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to previous medications. If you do have allergies you might consider wearing a medic alert bracelet and carrying a card in your wallet with specific information. If your doctor writes a new prescription for you make sure you can read his or her writing. If you can’t the pharmacist might not be able to read it either. Be sure...
Author: Betty Berry

1 Apr 2014

Ombudsman gives voice to those in long-term care facilities

Q: I just placed a family member in a nursing facility and there was mention of the long-term care ombudsman. What does an ombudsman do? A: “Ombudsman” is a Swedish word meaning “citizen representative.” The long-term care ombudsman is a state-certified community volunteer trained to investigate and resolve problems for residents of long-term care facilities. The ombudsman’s main goal is to ensure residents get services to which they are entitled. Many residents have little or no contact with the outside world or control over their lives. The ombudsman is residents’ advocate and helps improve the quality of their lives. At least one experienced and trained ombudsman is assigned to each facility and must spend a specified period of time there each month. He or she is available to help resolve problems regarding residents’ rights, physical and mental care, dignity, meaningful activities, legal or financial problems and red tape. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of Ventura is...
Author: Betty Berry

25 Feb 2014

The growing need for family caregivers

Q: I am reading and hearing more and more about family caregivers and family caregiving. Do you have any facts or figures about this subject? A: You are hearing more because the need for this type of care is growing every day. During any given year, one-third of the U.S. population provides care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family members or friends. A total of 78 percent of adults living out in the community and in need of long-term care depend on family and friends as their only source of help. Both men and women serve as caregivers. However, the typical caregiver is described as a 49-year-old woman who is married with a family of her own and employed outside of the home. She is usually caring for a widowed mother. Of the male caregivers, 60 percent also hold a full-time job. The impact of this growing need is far-reaching. It is felt not only by the caregiver but also the caregiver’s family. Businesses feel the impact through indirect costs. One in five caregivers...
Author: Betty Berry

21 Jan 2014

Goebel Center Offers Tax Services for Seniors

Q: Will the Goebel Senior Center be providing income tax preparation services this year? A: Yes. The service is available Jan. 30 through April 11 and is for all adults 60 and older and for younger people with an income of $50,000 or less. Services will be provided from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays at the Newbury Park Library, 2331 Borchard Road in Newbury Park, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays at the Goebel Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. No appointments will be taken as service will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Taxpayers whose returns include Schedule E, rental income, are ineligible. Those filling out a Schedule C, profit and loss from business, are eligible only if there is a profit and expenses are less than $5,000. Taxpayers should present a Social Security Card and picture ID. They should bring the following. Social Security benefits statement: SSA1099; Wage and earning statements: W2s and...
Author: Betty Berry

14 Jan 2014

Nursing Home Care Can Be Expensive and Requires Planning

Q: I have been talking with friends about the cost of nursing home care, and we differ on how these costs can be covered. Can you shed some light? A: About half of all nursing home residents start out by paying costs out of their personal resources. As these resources decrease, those who have long stays eventually become eligible for Medi-Cal assistance. Medi-Cal, a state and federal program, will pay most nursing home costs for patients with very limited income and assets. Medi-Cal will, however, only cover the costs of nursing home care in a Medi-Cal-certified facility. Many incorrectly believe a.inline_topic:hover { background-color: #EAEAEA; } Medicare and supplemental insurance will cover the costs of nursing home care. Under certain conditions, Medicare will pay for some costs for beneficiaries who need skilled care or physical or speech therapy. To be covered, they must meet strict qualifications, and even then, coverage is for a limited time. Medicare never...
Author: Betty Berry