Best Around the (Home Care) Web III

Each week, the Alliance scours the blogosphere for the news affecting — and of interest to — the home care industry.  Here are highlights from this week:

Treating Older Veterans for PTSD and Dementia

Because post-traumatic stress syndrome can trouble veterans’ physical health, their emotional lives and their relationships (there is also a connection to dementia, researchers are finding), the Department of Veterans Affairs and veterans advocacy groups have made it their mission to inform service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan about their PTSD risk.

But older veterans tend to know less about the syndrome, even as it haunts many of them. Their generation had less experience with psychotherapy, which once carried a stigma. Even now, if they do seek help, they are likely to describe their problems as physical. — via the NYT’s New Old Age Blog

New Group to Advocate for Improved Interoperability Standards

Top executives from Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Greenway and McKesson appeared on the same stage at HIMSS 2013 Monday to announce that they will collaborate to push for interoperability standards to enable advancements in patient data exchange. McKesson CEO John Hammergren and Cerner’s Neal Patterson joined colleagues Jonathan Bush, CEO athenahealth, and Tee Green, CEO Greenway, to introduce the CommonWell Health Alliance (commonwellalliance.org).

The organization will become operational early next year but wanted to announce its formation and publicize its mission statement during the March 3-7 HIMSS meeting. The five charter members expect that they will soon be joined by many others. “One of the key challenges we face is not just automated healthcare but connected and together care,” said McKesson’s Hammergren. “Data liquidity is necessary to make it happen.” —  Via, HomeHealth News

Shingles Vaccine FAQ

Whether to get the shingles vaccine is a complex personal decision, and here are some points to consider as you make it: Your risk of shingles  – a painful, blistery rash – rises dramatically as you age. The vaccine, Zostavax, is about 51% effective at preventing shingles but far more effective at preventing a potentially life-ruining complication, a chronic pain condition called postherpetic neuralgia. The vaccine is approved for age 50 and up, and it is generally covered by health insurance if you’re over 60, but coverage for younger people gets spotty, and Zostavax is not cheap, costing up to $200 or so. And preliminary studies suggest that the vaccine’s protection wears off somewhat after a few years. — Via WBUR’s CommonHealth Blog

Accessible Homes Don’t Have To Be Ugly Homes

[Architect Deborah Pierce] embraces a philosophy called “universal design,” which promotes pleasing environments useable by people with disabilities — and by everybody else. She guides readers through the components of accessible homes, from safer baths and more convenient kitchens to garages and outdoors spaces.

And she showcases 25 homes across the country: a loft in Seattle, a farmhouse in Maine, a colonial in suburban Boston, a multi-level house built into an Oakland hillside. Architects (only one house is her own project) have rendered them accessible for a variety of residents, from children with cerebral palsy and middle-aged people with injuries to older adults planning to age in place.

“Everyone’s afraid of accessible design,” Ms. Pierce told me in an interview. “People think it will make their homes ugly. They think it will be institutional, medicinal.” Her book provides ample evidence to the contrary. — via the NYT’s New Old Age Blog

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Author: Tom Meyer

Tom Meyer is the Alliance's Membership Coordinator and Webmaster. His email address is tmeyer@thinkhomecare.org.

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