Tag Archives: Aging

Depression in older persons can be treated

forehead-65059_640Fortunately, the treatment prognosis for depression is good. Once diagnosed, 80 percent of clinically depressed individuals can be effectively treated by medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or any combination of the three. A novel treatment transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been cleared by the FDA and may be helpful for mild depression that has not been helped by one medication trial. Medication is effective for a majority of people with depression. Four groups of antidepressant medications have been used to effectively treat depressive illness: selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (NSRIs), and less commonly, tricyclics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs),  Medication adherence is especially important, but can present challenges  among forgetful individuals. It is important to note that  all medicines have side effects as well as benefits., and the selection of the best treatment is often made based on tolerability of the side effects.
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Mental Illness in Senior Citizens

Mental illness affects one out of every five senior citizen Americans. Just a handful of the significant mental health problems that may occur during old age include delirium, dementia, depression, schizophrenia and psychosis. Older adults who suffer with mental health conditions often tend to have very abnormal behavioral and cognitive patterns that are many times associated with a decreased capacity for them to function properly.
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Before You Leave Your Home: Eight Questions To Ask Before Buying Into A Senior Community

In an article on Forbes USA, Ashlea Ebeling states that moving into a continuing care retirement community requires a big investment and a lot of research. She invites us to ask the right questions “…Are you (or your aging parent) the kind of person who likes to plan for all contingencies? Then you might want to consider a continuing care retirement community–a development that usually includes independent apartments or town homes for spry seniors; assisted living units for those who need some help; plus a nursing home…”

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Living Well Independently: 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home

Shannon Martin and Alex Chamberlain affirm how difficult it can be to acknowledge the fact that your parent needs some help with day-to-day activities, let alone introducing to them the idea of hiring a professional caregiver for help. They give us nice  and easy to follow advice on how to go about it. Their article on parentgiving 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home proposes that “…approaching the subject requires patience and tact. However, there are certain considerations to keep in mind that can help you approach a conversation about in-home care with your parent with greater success…”

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Not All Assisted Living Facilities Are Safe. A Report Describes How Elders Are Dying in Nursing Homes.

America’s largest elderly people live in California. 3.7 million over age 65. Most of these seniors live in institutions and although some of these facilities provide an outstanding care for many seniors,  a staggering number of others are being abused and neglected and even are dying on these residential care facilities. Some of these facilities are so eager to retain the residents that they ignore the issues that will need real medical care and well trained medical staff and keep the residents away from the needed care until it is too late.

Tanya McRae  conducted an investigative report on abuse and neglect of the elderly at skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes. In the video, one daughter shares her story of her mother’s horrific death, and attorneys explain staggering number of other criminal cases.

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House Safety: An Important Matter When Aging in Place

Our homes fulfill many needs for us. Often, the most basic need is for shelter from the elements and intruders. Once we are protected and secure, other needs can be met. Comfort and a place for self-expression are vital for our well-being. Home gives a feeling of independence. Our home should also be a place in which we can be safe from accidents and injuries.

Housing Safety Checklist for Older People prepared by Sarah D. Kirby, Extension Housing Specialist, and published by NORTH CAROLINA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race,color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. The guide-checklist stresses that “…Home accidents are a major source of injuries and can cause death. Older persons, whose bones are often less dense and more brittle, are especially vulnerable to serious injuries from home accidents. A simple fall that results in a broken bone can become a serious, disabling injury that limits one’s independence…”

On the guide, you will find a series of checklists. Use these lists as you go through your home. Make a check mark next to those items or behaviors that you already have. If there are items that you do not check, then your home is not as safe as it could be. By improving those items not marked, you can make your home a safer and more comfortable place to live. While the suggestions in this publication are for older people, they apply to all age groups as well.

To Download the guide, click here.

Caring for The Elder at Home: The Need For a New Paradigm.

Family meetingThe increasing number of people turning 65, the high number of elders with health constraints, and the sky-rocketing price of health care posits the question of how are we going to care for all the elders who constitute, today the upcoming silver tsunami?

More than 40 percent of adult patients in acute care hospital beds are 65 or older. Seventy million Americans will have turned 65 by 2030. They include the 85-and-older cohort, the nation’s fastest-growing age group. Elderly people often have multiple chronic illnesses, expensive to treat, and they are apt to require costly hospital re-admissions, sometimes as often as 10 times in a single year. Living Well Assisted Living at Home has designed a new model of comprehensive care that will help care for elders at home, including those who are frail, recovering from surgery, accidents or any illness. The model also strives to care for those suffering from dementia, at home.

In an article written by Milt Freudenheim for the Health section of the New York Times, in June 28, 2010, we find how geriatricians and other professionals are lobbying for best practices in the field of aging.  In the article it is stressed the fact of how “..to stay independent, the elderly will need to stay healthy. Many of these people could be back on the golf course and enjoying their grandchildren if we did the right thing for them,” said Mary D. Naylor, a longtime geriatric care researcher and professor of gerontology in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsilvania. Her research showed that even fragile older people could avoid a quick return to the hospital if they are managed by teams of nurses, social workers, physicians and therapists, together with their own family members. Hospital re-admissions, which cost $17 billion a year, could be reduced by 20 percent — $3.5 billion — or more, she said…” Obviously a new approach to care for the elder is imperative if we wnat to promote wellness in this sector of the population and reduce the increasing costs of caring for seniors.

Mr. Freudenheim continues by saying: “…Many internists, family physicians and other primary care doctors are lobbying for payments for a team approach based in the physician’s office. The concept, which they call a patient-centered medical home, will be tried out under the new health care law by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurers. Secretary Sebelius has called the medical home idea “one of our most promising models for improving the quality of care and bringing down health care costs…”

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