In a nation full of hot-button issues, few are as torrid as federal health care reform. More than a year and a half since its passage, the law — officially dubbed the Affordable Care Act but derisively called “Obamacare” by its critics — is still being fought in the courts, Congress and statehouses across the country. But for all the political and legal wrangling, the law is marching forward.
When Dr. Gerald Rogan’s mother was hospitalized after contracting an infection at an assisted-living facility, he learned firsthand that family advocacy is key.
Until about a year ago, 86-year-old Clair was living in her own home on the East Coast with her husband of 60 years. When her husband died suddenly, her daughter quickly moved Clair into a senior living complex in Sacramento to be near family.
In 2002 Michael Walter was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but to his wife, Beth, the diagnosis just didn’t seem to fit the symptoms. So she Googled “ALS brain-related disease” — frontotemporal degeneration popped up.
Consider the annual physical and why both doctors and America’s work force find them frustrating: The worker has to carve out time to take all the exams and tests, often in different locations and on different days, and doctors lament the lack of time to discuss the results with patients.
Doctors in the Capital Region aren’t just checking your temperature and blood pressure when you come in for a checkup these days; in growing numbers, they’re also checking your mood.
California might be facing a long-term nursing shortage of epic proportions, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a job. Blame it on the Great Recession, but for new nurses it’s harder than ever to get a foot in the employment door.
Since they first began squirming in their bassinets in the late 1940s, baby boomers have created unprecedented demand for the industries that cater to their needs. The generation has moved from toys to blue jeans to cosmetic surgery. Now the oldest boomers are in their mid-60s and are purchasing life insurance and long-term care assistance.
Unless you get on the wrong airplane or harbor a relentless cancer, doctors say you can pretty much count on living to be 90. A hundred years ago, it was age 50. For many women, that would have meant dying before menopause. Now it means living half a lifetime with hormones on the fritz.
It’s too soon to tell whether health insurance brokers are an endangered species on the cusp of going the way of the Dodo or, more recently, the travel agent.
When 52-year-old Rosey Ramsey had a stroke in August 2002 she was one of the lucky ones.
A growing senior population is changing the way society approaches life and death. “People are dying differently now,” says Judy Citko, executive director of the Coalition for Compassionate Care. In the past, patients had to choose between giving up on treatment or forging ahead with sometimes drastic measures. In contrast to the traditional focus on treatment of individual episodes at any physical and financial cost, medical experts, patients and their families are demanding a new way of approaching their final months and years.
When his mother fell for the second time, Steve Smith was ready to put the plan in motion.
About 35 percent of the 25 million people in the United States aged 71 or older have mild cognitive impairment or dementia, according to a 2008 Duke University study.
An infant in Redding is turning blue, slipping away with a failing heart and lungs until a specialist in Sacramento steps in and saves the baby’s life, guiding a team of nurses via a video link.
Dr. Jan Nolta is a whirlwind of energy, and this July morning she is blitzing through UC Davis’ brand-new Institute for Regenerative Cures, a state-of-the-art lab where scientists and researchers are working on breakthrough discoveries and stem cell therapies.
California will need close to a million new medical assistants, lab techs, respiratory therapists and other skilled health workers in the next 20 years in addition to new doctors and nurses, a recent study estimates. But the state doesn’t have enough educational capacity to train them all.
After four quarters of increasing venture investment, 2010 is off to a slow start. Venture capitalists invested $4.7 billion in the year’s first quarter, down from $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The life sciences sector, including biotechnology and medical device industries, took the biggest hit with a 26 percent decline in venture investment over the previous quarter.
With conventional health care becoming more technologically advanced and increasingly expensive, Dr. Maxine Barish-Wreden sees the future of medicine embracing meditation, massage, yoga, tai chi, nutrition and other “softer therapies.”
Thought-controlled spaceships, clones or avatars? Computer chips in your brain? A cure — or even reversal — of Alzheimer’s disease?