Home for the Holidays – Tips for coping

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays ‘Cause no matter how far away you roam When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!” Really?  I may have to protest Perry Como’s illusion of family gatherings.  For many, these forced get togethers are dreaded and for others the holidays are another reminder that they have limited or no family to celebrate with.  The Mayo Clinic offers this advise on surviving the Holiday blues. Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping By Mayo Clinic Staff But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would. Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. Reach out. If you feel

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Natural Sedatives in your diet

We all know the tryptophan and Thanksgiving turkey connection, but overloading on turkey is not the only natural way to help promote sleep.  Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses in the processes of making vitamin B3 and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep. It can’t be produced by our bodies, so we need to get it through our diet. From which foods, exactly? Turkey, of course, but also other meats, chocolate, bananas, mangoes, dairy products, eggs, chickpeas, peanuts, and a slew of other foods.  Before you call the doctor and ask for an Ambien or Restoril for insomnia, consider adding these foods that promote natural sleeping to your diet.  Natural sedatives offer a more restful sleep and don’t effect our circadian rhythm. (sleep/awake cycle) as sleeping pills.  In addition to tryptophan, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B help aid in production of turning serotonin into melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. As the sun sets, your body produces more melatonin and when you rise in the morning, melatonin levels taper off to allow you to wake up. Some people take melatonin to adjust the body’s internal clock. It is used for jet lag, for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes, and for helping blind people establish a day and night cycle. 

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Medicare Part D Fact Sheet

Medicare Part D Plan Open Enrollment Every October 15 through December 7th Medicare Part D plans have Open Enrollment. The programs begin on January 1st. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage with a formulary of prescription drugs, managed by a plan sponsor. If a person participates in Medicare Part A or Part B, then the Part D enrollment is voluntary. If a person has Medicaid, then they must enroll in a Part D plan, or one will automatically be assigned. Medicaid coverage helps with costs of premiums, deductibles and co-pays. FLORIDA APPROVED PART D PLANS FOR 2019 SilverScript Choice Wellcare Classic Basic Plan for the Average Person Monthly premiums average $32.50 per month Annual deductible is $415.00 Co-pays for prescriptions is 25% up until $3,850 has been paid out of pocket “Donut Hole” – is a gap in prescription coverage Coverage for drugs stops at $3,850 Beneficiary is responsible for 100% of drug costs from $3,850 until $5,100 out of pocket Once the annual cost of drugs reaches $5,100, Medicare Part D pays 95% of costs        During Open Enrollment Oct – Dec Letters will be mailed to all “choosers” regarding their status The designated person that choose a plan any year since 2006, will remain the “chooser”  and will select a plan for the beneficiary “Once a chooser, always a

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Influenza Toolkit for Long-term Care

All long term care facilities are required to have an effective immunization program that reflect current standards of practice.  Receipt of vaccinations is essential to the health and well-being of long-term care residents.  Influenza outbreaks place both the residents and staff at risk of infection.  If your facility does have an outbreak, the CDC offers the following guidance. Flu Vaccines must be offered to patients October 1st through March 31st.   Facilities are encouraged to promote 100% staff participation in flu shots to prevent outbreaks.  Got to www.flu.gov for useful information and resources for your Influenza Vaccination Program. The following forms can be used for education, promotion and documentation of your facility’s Immunization Program.  CLICK HERE for the CDC Long-Term Care Toolkit for valuable information. INFLUENZA VACCINE INFORMATION SHEET (English) INFLUENZA VACCINE INFORMATION SHEET (Spanish) POSTER/FLYER 65 YEARS+ (English) POSTER/FLYER 65 YEARS+ (Spanish) POSTER/FLYER HEALTHCARE WORKER (English) POSTER/FLYER HEALTHCARE WORKER (Spanish)    

Medication Management in Transitions of Care

EFFECTIVE OCT. 1, 2018   Facilities that are found non-compliant will have their Medicare Payment reduced 2%. Drug Regimen Review Quality Measure – At the Beginning of the Stay the following questions will be asked:  Did a complete drug regimen review identify potentially clinically significant medication issues?  Did the facility contact the physician or designee by midnight of the nest calendar day and complete prescribed/recommended actions in response to the identified potential clinically significant medication issues?  At the End of The stay the following question will be asked:  Did the facility contract and complete the physician or designee prescribed/recommended actions by midnight of the next calendar day each time potential clinically significant medication issues were identified since the Admission?  (This Quality Measure will affect the FY 2020 payment determination and subsequent years) Medication reconciliation is the formal process in which health care professionals partner with patients to ensure accurate and complete medication information transfer with the patient from one care level to another.  Patients admitted to a hospital have a 50% chance that a medication error will occur.  Many adverse drug events (ADE) occur as a result of poor communication between health care professionals and patients or caregivers when they are admitted to the hospital, change rooms within the hospital, are discharged to a skilled nursing facility and discharged home to the

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Medication Management Program

On October 1,  2018, data will be collected to ensure that medication reconciliation is also completed at the time of admission.  The new Quality Measure – Drug Regimen Review, will evaluate the percentage of resident stays in which drug regimen review was conducted at time of admission and if facility staff followed up with the physician before midnight the next calendar day.   Facilities that are found non-compliant will have their Medicare Payment reduced 2%. Skilled nursing facilities are required to reconcile patient medications prior to discharge back to the community.  F661 – Discharge Summary states “Facility staff must compare the medications listed in the discharge summary to medications the resident was taking while in the facility.  Any discrepancies must be assessed and resolved, and resolution documented in discharge summary with rationale.” The Advancing Excellence “Medications at Transitions and Clinical Handoffs” (MATCH) toolkit incorporated experiences and lessons learned from staff of facilities that have implemented MATCH.  The toolkit helps facilitate a review and improvement of current practices to strengthen the process and improve patient safety. The World Health Organization has developed a Standard Operating Protocol for Medication Reconciliation and assuring medication accuracy in transitions in care. To write your policy and start your program, click the link below: