Richmond Sprint Triathlon

Majeske / Norton succeeds again! You thought they couldn’t do it? Well they did!

Not only did they finish but they cam in 13th place. Not bad for 2 old farts!!!!

This was one heck of a race, with difiicult weather conditions and a tough course. Cheryly managed a smooth and powerul swim. She then did the 20k bike in near record fashion (beating her personal best). Finally Mike chugged through the 5k run in less than a 10.5 minute pace. WOW!

Congratulations to these two champions.

View the results of the race

Who will join them next year?????

Parkinsons and Exercise

Anyone with decades of experience in health care knows that the focus is no longer on TLC, patient-health worker partnership or prevention. Instead the system has become a beaurocratic mess with guidelines for care established by Medicare and private insurance companies. Control by insurance managers and health institution administrators has health care professionals degraded to technician status to function only to keep the assembly line moving and trouble free. Health professional’s autonomy and creative thinking skills have been weakened. Ideas or programs to enhance patient health are not valued if immediate profits can not be generated. I was asked to leave my job because I saw value in programs that improved patient health but the facility saw a loss of revenue. I saw ways to improve job satisfaction and efficiency. I saw
programs handed to me which were poorly designed and needed revision prior to implementation. But my role was not to think or be creative. I was to comply with the system and its pitfalls because it produced a steady revenue. Innovative pilot projects and new programs would require an inital expenditure but health care savings could be realized in the future. Where are the professionals and health care facilities that are willing to take a risk and investigate whether proposed pilot projects would be cost effective? If effective, these programs should be paid for my Medicare and private insurance.

Therapists (PT or OT) initially conducted a group exercise class for Parkinson’s Disease patients. The group met twice weekly for 40 minutes and patients paid $30/month for the classes. Medicare B does not pay for group classes. The patients were challenged and functional gains were evident; comaraderie and group spirit were high. Therapists were pulled away from this role because we could generate more revenue by treating a patient individually through Med B. Our charges for evaluation, exercise, gait or whatever on one patient far exceeded the nominal out of pocket expense for the group class. The new instructor was a clerical assistant with no education, no exercise training and basically no interest. Anecdotally, the group has lost function and spirit. But the therapy department has won by adding dollars to the kitty!

Many of the residents in the large retirement facilty have functional declines due to boredom, lack of effective activity programs, depression or laziness. Med B will pay for “skilled” therapy services to get them to a higher baseline. This means I act as a cheerleader and phys ed instructor to get them moving again. If the patient fails to maintain their gains when therapy has finished, I can treat them again for the same.

Medicare doesn’t care how often this cycle is repeated as long as gains are being made. Why not have therapists or exercise specialists supervise patients in an exercise facility like a Y to maintain their fitness?

Because Medicare won’t pay for seniors to attend such a program. But if a regular fitness program was more cost effective than multiple Med B billings, could we not convince Medicare to pay for such programs? Only if more people see value in this and take a risk.

Companies have demonstrated the value of employee fitness programs but efforts by senior residential care communities to maintain the health and well being of their residents is lacking. The impetus is to build a bigger therapy staff to repeatedly pull from Medicare’s pockets rather than try a wellness approach. The impetus is for nearly all residents to have therapy so the bonus checks of middle and upper managers stay
fat.

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Victory Nissan Sprintriathlon

Cheryl Majeske was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease in May 2002 at age 47. Cheryl’s profession as a Physical Therapist prepared her to accept the movement changes that accompany Parkinson’s Disease.

Because she was always committed to exercise for optimal health and fitness, incorporating a daily exercise routine to manage and hopefully delay physical deficits was an easy transition.

300 meter pool swim- 20k bike- 5k run. The bike is scenic and rolling to flat, run course is flat through the award winning Twin Hickory neighborhood. This event benefits the Shady Grove YMCA and the Massey Cancer Center. This year Cheryl and husband Mike registered as a team. Cheryl competed in the swim, bike and Mike competed in the run.

CHERYL’S TRIATHLONS:

Oct 12, 2003 AARP Triumph Classic Cheryl Majeske 49 swim bike run finish 9:35 48:32 34:32 1:40:20

Oct 17, 2004 Riverside Sprint Triathlon Cheryl Majeske 50 swim bike run finish 9:28 47:49 33:33 1:37:33 A year older but faster!

May 29, 2005 Victory Nissan Sprint Triathlon Cheryl 50 Mike 53 swim bike run finish 6:20 41:10 30:51 1:22 Faster yet with a little help from my friend!

CHERYL’S CYCLING:

July 31, 2004 To The RESCUE Bicycle Tour 1/2 Century

May 14, 2005 Capitol To Capitol Ride 1/2 Century

A Bear In The Yard

On a warm Saturday afternoon around 2 PM EST, The Bear strolled into our driveway. Debbie saw him first and yelled for all of us to see. The dogs, who were outside but oblivious, started barking. The Bear headed north through the mountain laurels

He then showed up in Ken’s back yard and took his sweet time while Ken took pictures and I took a video. Kathy, Debbie, Noreen and Riley all enjoyed viewing this magnificent creature.

It was tagged on its ears and has visited us in the past. The Bear especially enjoys opening bird feeders.

Hope to see him next year!

You can view photos by Ken in the Photo Gallery.

Goodbye Giant

We lost a friend. On the same day The Bear appeared, our friend Giant was laid to rest. He was a great dog, always had a smile and a wag of his tail whenever he saw you. He was mischievous and like to take off when he could, but who wouldn’t? He loved his walks on the golf course and going for rides in the truck. Giant was not allowed outside of the kitchen but mysteriously the leather couch always had an indention in the seat coushion in the morning. Although his passing is sad, we celebrate his life and the joy and comfort our favorite pets bring to our lives.

You can see photos of Giant in our gallery.