Good mental health care is a part of good geriatrics

Tom Dening is Professor of Dementia Research at the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham. He tweets at @TomDening shutterstock_162166118

Sir Simon Wessely (yes, we are going through a phase where the RCPsych Presidents get gongs – I suppose it’s cheaper than investing in mental health services) has made some eloquent points about the current state of mental health provision.

He didn’t specifically mention older people, though of course they have common mental disorders like depression. Also he didn’t talk about the complex world where physical and mental ill health conspire against people and bring them into contact with geriatrics or old age psychiatry, or both. Continue reading

Living with frailty – Support and assets

Tom Gentry (@TomoGentry) writes for AgeUK from the perspective of older people who live with frailty. His latest article discusses research findings on how people are supported to maintain independence, and where support may be lacking.

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Frailsafe is growing…

Zoe Wyrko is a Consultant physician at University Hospital Birmingham and is the Director of Workforce for the BGS. She tweets at @geri_babyfrailSafeLogo

Sometimes, when you are closely involved with something it can be hard to see how far you have come until you stop and take a look back. In February I wrote about how the checklist to improve the care of older people living with frailty had developed from a ‘good idea’ into a multi-organisational collaborative project funded by a Health Foundation grant. Tom Downes has also previously blogged about the project.

Pilot sites have been selected, agreements signed, and multidisciplinary teams chosen within hospitals to take the work forward. Continue reading

Chinese Geriatric Medicine

Prof Kenneth Rockwood is Director of Geriatric Medicine Research at Dalhousie University, Canada, adjunct Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester and serves on the International Advisory Panel of Age and Ageing journal. shutterstock_171428474

The Chinese Geriatrics Society met on May 24 2014, brought together for the 7th National Conference on Prevention and Control of Common Diseases in Elderly People. As a speaker and honorary conference co-chair, I’ve been able to see some of the workings up close.  Geriatrics transcends many aspects of culture, so that much would be familiar to any BGS meeting attendee – and not just the apparently universal audiovisual glitches (I did not go unspared). Continue reading

Why you could be vice chair for Northern Ireland British Geriatrics Society?

Rosemary Kelly is a Consultant in Geriatric Medicine at the Lagan Valley Hospital in  Lisburn. She recently stepped down as chair of the Northern Ireland British Geriatrics society. She writes about her motivation for taking up the position, and her experiences in the postRosemaryKelly

A few days after my 16th birthday, my father died aged 43 leaving me the eldest of 5 children. And in the midst of the grief I decided at 16 I wanted to study medicine. Not unusual you might say, except no-one had ever studied medicine in any generation of my family that could be traced and being now  from a single parent, low income background the challenge was even greater. Why medicine?  Because even at that young age I knew the handling of my father’s young death should have been different. And I wanted to make a change. The enormity of what I set out to do was lost on me but I was being driven by a passion that brought me as a naive student to Dublin to study. That naivety and passion has been my strength since. I entered medial school never having known a doctor let alone have one as a role model. And now all these years later that step out of social background has led me to sit at a table with professors and stand on platforms in front of hundreds of people. I became chair of the Northern Ireland British Geriatrics Society. Continue reading

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

A report published in Age and Ageing calls for more care to be taken when using bedrails in hospitalsshutterstock_138827276

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal Age and Ageing, therefore emphasises the need for careful selection of patients for whom bedrails are to be used, as well as the need for monitoring and maintenance of hospital bed systems.

Bedrails are commonly used as safety devices to prevent people falling from bed. However, although the risk for any individual is extremely low, people can and have become trapped or even strangled in almost all of the spaces that can exist between bedrails or between mattresses, rails, and head- or foot-boards. Continue reading

The NHS Benchmarking Network needs your help!

The British Geriatric Society are pleased to announce that our partnership project with the NHS Benchmarking Network is now live for data collection. Care of older people in acute settings is an exciting new project for 2014 which looks at pathways for older people through secondary care.image_mini

The project has been developed in conjunction with the BGS, and it will consider the path older people take through secondary care. The project looks at the journey from A&E through to short term assessment units, elderly care wards and supported discharge processes. Links with other sectors including primary care, community services, mental health and social care particularly at the front and back end of hospitals will be of particular interest and are explored in further detail in the project. Continue reading

Announcing Eileen Burns as President Elect of the BGS

The British Geriatrics Society is pleased to announce that Dr Eileen Burns has been elected its twenty-first President Elect. Dr Burns will succeed Professor David Oliver when he assumes the President’s mantle at the BGS Annual General Meeting in October.EileenBurns

Eileen has been a geriatrician in Leeds for twenty-two years, was clinical director for a large teaching hospital department in the first decade of the noughties and is currently clinical lead for integration in Leeds. She is well known amongst those BGS members who have been active on the Society’s various committees, having served on several of these over the years. She currently sits on the Policy and Communications Committee and she has contributed to numerous consultations on behalf of the Society. She has also served as Chairman of the Community Geriatrics Special Interest Group for many years, presiding over one very successful stand alone community geriatrics event and several parallel sessions on the subject at our scientific meetings. Continue reading

The British Geriatrics Society welcomes the NICE Delirium Quality Standards

Duncan Forsyth is Consultant Geriatrician in Cambridge and was a specialist adviser to the Quality Standards Development Group.shutterstock_20378521

On July 24th 2014, NICE published its Delirium Quality Standards to assist health and social care drive-up the quality of delirium management in hospital and care home settings. The standards cover: assessment; prevention; use of antipsychotic medication; communicating the diagnosis; information and support to those who have delirium and their carers. Delirium is probably the commonest complication of hospitalisation in older people and has a high prevalence in those in long-term care. Continue reading

When simple is no longer simple

Lawla Law has recently published her paper Effects of functional tasks exercise on older adults with cognitive impairment at risk of Alzheimer’s disease: a randomised controlled trial in Age and Ageing journal. This week she described the findings of the trial on the OUP blog:

Cognitive impairment is a common problem in older adults, and one which increases in prevalence with age with or without the presence of pathology. Brain AgingPersons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have difficulties in daily functioning, especially in complex everyday tasks that rely heavily on memory and reasoning. This imposes a potential impact on the safety and quality of life of the person with MCI as well as increasing the burden on the care-giver and overall society. Individuals with MCI are at high risk of progressing to Alzheimer’s diseases (AD) and other dementias, with a reported conversion rate of up to 60-100% in 5-10 years. These signify the need to identify effective interventions to delay or even revert the disease progression in populations with MCI.

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