senior with medicare billsDear Jessica,

My father was admitted to the hospital twice in one year for the same type of illness. The second bill was a little more than half the amount of the first one, but Medicare paid hardly any of it.

And although his doctor recommended he go to a rehabilitation center after the second hospital stay, his Medicare wouldn’t cover it.

It doesn’t make sense that my father receives the same treatment but is billed differently and Medicare pays differently. What is going on?

Regards,

Frank

Woman helps Central Ohio senior with Medicare Open EnrollmentEvery fall we receive questions about Medicare open enrollment from adult children in the Columbus area. Because many of them are not yet eligible for Medicare, they need advice on how to help their aging parent navigate through the yearly open enrollment process.

mac rehab costsDear Cassie:

My father will be having hip replacement surgery later this month. I’m trying to figure out how much a nursing and rehab center will cost and how much of it his Medicare will pay for? He lives in Central Ohio just outside Columbus.

Can you help? It all seems so confusing!

Renee

two senior women eatingYour senior parents need help.

You know it. They probably know it although they may not want to admit it.

mac diabetes copyquarter of American adults over 60 have Type 2 diabetes. If your parent has diabetes, how can you help? If your parent does not have diabetes, how can you help prevent it? 

The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases with age, and the risk of Type 2 diabetes affecting other body systems also increases with age.

adult child hugging motherA person who has dementia may have difficulty finding the right words; they may repeat certain sounds, words, and phrases, seem confused, and be unable to adequately express themselves. This frustrating condition causes people to feel helpless, anxious, irritable, and depressed – a very difficult state to witness, especially when it attacks a person who is very important to you. Many family members of dementia patients feel as if their loved ones have become mere shadows of their former selves. Fortunately, between the confusion, there are good days and bad, and remarkable moments when the loved ones they remember shine through. 

senior woman getting flu shot by doctorDear Dr. Dineen:

My 87-year old mother moved in with us this past summer. She is still fairly active and independent but just wasn’t safe on her own any longer. I’m trying to convince her to get a flu shot. Since she had it last year, she doesn’t want to get it again. Mom thinks if she gets it every few years she will be fine.

My concern this year is that now that she is living with us, she will be around many more people than she is used to coming in contact with during flu season. We have three teenagers and their friends are here all the time. I think it will increase the likelihood of her getting sick if she won’t get the flu vaccine.

Should I keep trying to convince her or is it really only necessary to get the shot every few years?

Kirsten

kbeamish JNW5309Dear Kara:

My husband and I are very active, and when the weather in Columbus is nice we enjoy taking a daily walk. But as soon as it gets a little colder outside, we both prefer to stay indoors. I had a hip replaced a few years ago, and I’m a little anxious about falling on the ice. Now that it is starting to get cold out again, we are looking for ways to stay mentally and physically active indoors.

Do you have any suggestions?

The Edwards

cbeckman 0595Dear Cheryl:

My father will soon be having hip replacement surgery at a Columbus area hospital. He put this surgery off for quite a long time and now his hip is in pretty rough shape. Dad also has a few other health problems, including diabetes,  that may complicate his recovery.

My sister and I are trying to set realistic expectations for him for his recovery. He somehow has the idea that he will only need to go to a skilled nursing and rehab center for 7 days after he leaves the hospital. I just can’t see that being enough time.

What should we be saying to him to help him prepare for this transition?

Jerry