Nursing home residents gain more power (Washington Post)

There’s an article in today’s Washington Post about new Medicare rules that give nursing home residents more power.

The article’s author shares these highlights of the new rules:

* Making the nursing home feel more like home: The regulations say that residents are entitled to “alternative meals and snacks . . . at non-traditional times or outside of scheduled meal times.” Residents can also choose their roommates, which may lead to siblings or same-sex couples being together. And a resident also has “a right to receive visitors of his or her choosing at the time of his or her choosing,” as long as it doesn’t impose on another resident’s rights.

* Bolstering grievance procedures.

* Challenging discharges: Residents can no longer be discharged while appealing the discharge. They cannot be discharged for nonpayment if they have applied for Medicaid or other insurance, are waiting for a payment decision or are appealing a claim denial.

If a nursing home refuses to accept a resident who wants to return from a hospital stay, the resident can appeal the decision. Also, residents who enter the hospital have a right to return to their same room, if it is available.

A state’s long-term-care ombudsman must now get copies of any involuntary discharges so the situation can be reviewed as soon as possible.

* Expanding protection from abuse.

* Ensuring a qualified staff.

Here’s a link to the article:

Health & Science
New rules give nursing home residents more power
By Susan Jaffe 
Kaiser Health News 
Washington Post
December 27, 206  at 10:44 AM




New York – State law makes brain donation difficult

Generally speaking, brain donation is allowed in all states. However, New York makes brain donation difficult because state law requires that the brain be procured at a hospital. No New York hospitals are willing to plan in advance for brain donation. Most New York hospitals are reluctant to cooperate, even on a last-minute basis. If you live in the state of New York, the best option is to have your loved one transported across state lines for the brain procurement. Ask your funeral home or cremation organization if this is a viable option.

DLB Overview from UK Medical Professional Reference Website

Last week, I stumbled across a medical professional reference website for UK doctors.  The overview of Dementia with Lewy Bodies is pretty good.  These topics are addressed — pathogenesis, epidemiology, typical presentation, diagnosis, differential diagnosis, investigations, management, medication, prognosis, and references.  Though the language is technical, many within Brain Support Network will have no difficulty understanding the text.

Here’s a link to the webpage on DLB:

Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Last Reviewed May 2014

For the diagnostic criteria, you can see the Brain Support Network website,

The best sections are management and medication.  Note in particular the list of non-pharmacological interventions.



Problems families dealing with dementia may face

I recently stumbled across the website,, which is a resource for UK physicians about various disorders.  The website contains a helpful page about caregiving for someone with dementia.  Though it is written with physicians in mind (ie, how physicians can be supportive of families), I think the page provides a good summary for laypeople as well.

In addition, I think much of this article applies to caregivers who are NOT dealing with dementia.  Much of the information and advice is generic.

Here’s a link to the full article:

Supporting the Family of People with Dementia
Patient, a UK organization
Last reviewed May 2014

Note that in the UK “caregivers” are referred to as “carers.”  (It’s a superior term in my mind.)


Short description of Lewy body dementia

The website DementiaGuide ( describes itself as “helping people affected by dementia.”  It looks to be a business wanting to enroll families for a fee in dementia symptom tracking.

Their short webpage on the three most common types of dementia includes a paragraph of Lewy body dementia.  See:

Differentiating Different Types of Dementia Symptoms
Identifying unique symptoms that correlate with common types of dementia

I’ve copied a short excerpt below.  Every day I went to the webpage, the day the short article was “posted” changed to the day I went looking so I’m not sure how relevant the date is.


Excerpt from:
Differentiating Different Types of Dementia Symptoms
Identifying unique symptoms that correlate with common types of dementia

There are many conditions that can cause dementia. These underlying conditions are also referred to as types of dementia. The three most common types are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy body dementia.

Dementia symptoms that generally occur in all three types include significantly impaired intellectual functioning, memory loss, loss of ability to solve problems and maintain emotional control, neglect of personal safety, hygiene, nutrition and personality changes. Each dementia type has its own distinctive symptoms.

With the last dementia type, Lewy Body dementia, the differences in dementia symptoms are more distinctive. Hallucinations can occur at the early stages and not in the latter stages. Their cognitive impairments fluctuate frequently (moment-to-moment, day-to-day). So, one moment, someone with Lewy Body dementia can’t remember what day it is, but the next moment, he or she can remember everything they did years before. Unlike the other two dementia types, impaired memory does not occur first, but waits until they have had the dementia for a period of time. People with this dementia type may have distinctive Parkinson-like symptoms: tremors, slow movements, stooped posture, stiffness in arms/legs, shuffling walk patterns, and mask-like facial appearance. Dementia symptoms can be unique to the dementia type and help medical experts to differentiate the diagnosis.