Frazer Anderson is a Consultant Community Geriatrician in East Hampshire. He is Honorary Secretary of the BGS.
Now that the vote on the name of our Society has been concluded – and regardless of the result this was the most successful exercise in participatory democracy the Society has ever carried out – I would like to suggest another way of looking at the issue.
In John Gladman’s excellent Marjory Warren Lecture at the Spring Meeting in Nottingham, he presented some challenging statistics on what older people actually want and – more importantly – don’t want. In a nutshell, older people don’t want to be old if it involves disability, dependence and suffering. Continue reading →
Patricia Cantley works as a consultant physician in the Midlothian Hospital at Home Team, offering an alternative to hospital admission for frail and older patients. She also works in the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh and in the Community Hospital in Midlothian. She tweets under her married name of Elliott as @Trisha_the_doc
I’ve been reading a lot recently about the word Frailty and its importance within Medicine for Older People. We see a lot of frail people and as geriatricians they are our core business both inside and outside the hospital.
Healthcare professionals have debated over the last few years how to define Frailty, and even how we might begin to measure it. It is no longer adequate simply to shrug and say “we know it when we see it”. Continue reading →
In a recent paper by Utz and colleagues (2014), the following is offered:
“The term loneliness is often equated with social isolation or social participation. However, seminal work attempted to distinguish loneliness from these constructs by defining it as the cognitive or psychological appraisal of social relationships and activities. For example, loneliness has been conceptualized as the lack of “meaningful” social relationships or “incongruence” between actual and desired levels of social interaction.” Continue reading →
John Starr, Professor of Health & Ageing, Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, University of Edinburgh.
I have been a consultant geriatrician in Edinburgh for over twenty years. I studied in Cambridge and London, and worked in Kent, the West Midlands and London before moving to Scotland.
Recently, one of my PhD students had just got a post-doc post. He’s a mathematician by training and we’ve been working on applying graph theory to EEGs to understand changing connections in the brain before the onset of dementia. He’s shortly going on to work with the Dementia Research Institute, including the vast genomic data of UK BioBank. He has no background in biology so I was explaining to him how all our cells have the same DNA, but not all the genes are expressed by all cells. Continue reading →
Dr Shibley Rahman is an academic physician interested mainly in dementia and frailty. He tweets at @dr_shibley
My most recent experience of delirium was truly terrifying, to the point that, as a care partner of a close relative with dementia experiencing delirium, I felt I needed counselling about this admission to a London teaching hospital.
I have now witnessed delirium ‘around the clock’ for half a month so far.
Delirium research is not taken as seriously as it should be.
Where for example is the research which explains the neural substrates of hypoactive and hyperactive delirium? How long do ‘sleep episodes’ last for? Is it a good idea to wake someone up while he is sleeping? Are there are any neuroprotective agents which prevent long term deterioration after delirium? How much of the delirium will the person experiencing it actually remember? Continue reading →
Professor Martin Green OBE has had an extensive career in NGO development, both in the UK and internationally, and is Chief Executive of Care England, the largest representative body for independent social care services in the UK. He will be speaking at Living and Dying Well with Frailty event on 6 March. Follow the conference on the day via #bgsconf
We have now got a Department of Health and Social Care, what a difference that is going to make (I said sarcastically). With increasing regularity, the Government seems to think that messing about with the headed paper is a route to change. How much evidence do they need that changing titles and rejigging the logos is not going to deliver the transformational change that is required in order to deliver the route map to integrated services. If we had spent one tenth of the money we have spent on new titles, new structures and new logos on culture change, we would be in a far better position than we find ourselves today and the integrated services that citizens are crying out for might be a more attainable goal. Continue reading →
Fran Kirkham is an F2 doctor at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, having graduated from the Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine in 2016. She originally did an English degree at Cambridge University and worked in PR and Communications for 7 years. She hopes to pursue a career in Community Geriatrics.
“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”
~ The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
An FY2 taster week can have a multitude of meanings. For some, it offers a reprieve from their mundane day job, almost as desirable as annual leave. For others, it is an opportunity to try a specialty that piqued their interest as a student. Yet others use it for cynical CV-building, knowing exactly to what profession they aspire and ‘proving commitment’ by spending an extra week doing the job they plan to do for the next 40 years. This may gain marks on the flawlessly-designed points-based applications which determine our chances of working in a specialty that bears any resemblance to our future career hopes or a location which is vaguely practical. Of course, a week is not realistically enough to get a sense of any job, nor ‘prove’ commitment to anything. But, as with many things in the NHS, this is the system in which we operate, so we make the best of it. Continue reading →
David Scott is a 78 year old retiree from Teacher Education with type 2 diabetes and heart failure. In retirement he has developed a strong interest in patient engagement issues. These are engaged with via the Alzheimer’s Society, NiHR (specialist group on Ageing) Age UK and the Stem Cell Bank. He attended the BGS Autumn Meeting 2017 as a patient representative. Register for the BGS Spring Meeting, 11 – 13 April at NCC in Nottingham.
How was your BGS Autumn Meeting 2017? I enjoyed meeting a lot of people with plenty of experience and don’t the Geriatricians look young these days! Remember that I am 78 years plus. What about that location? Very intimidating on first arrival but once in your allocated space, superb facilities. Plenty of toilets, plenty of overall space, good catering – with alternative if you didn’t mind going a bit further. Found the steps down between levels quite hard but recognise the need to do your daily exercise! One or two smaller rooms got a bit crowded for some presentations but, in general, presentations well supported. Continue reading →
Bridget Leach has been a nurse for over 30 years. She currently work in falls prevention but was also a ward nurse and ward sister for many years.
LOST: Sense of humour OWNER: NHS Reward for return: happier, healthy & retainable workforce.
The above may seem flippant but a simple google of the term ‘Do hospital managers have a sense of humour?’ returned a myriad of articles including academic research.
Some of the articles were what I would consider odd; for example; a member of hospital staff doing tricks with disappearing scarves while …”the surgeons began cutting away dead flesh …” to a ‘humour cart’ containing, amongst other things, ‘funny props’; I know plenty of hospital staff who, in certain circumstances, would consider a bedpan on the head and a proctoscope a funny prop so who knows? Continue reading →
In 2013 Professor David Oliver wrote a blog, the Geriatrics “Profanisaurus”, a list of words and phrases that should be banned, he encouraged other ‘BGS-ers to join in the fun and add their own “unutterables”.
My contribution to this list is some frequently encountered diagnoses that should be approached with scepticism.
‘Bilateral cellulitis’: If both legs are infected then the person should be unwell. Usually red legs are caused by a combination of underlying pathology; acute lipodermatosclerosis, venous hypertension, venous stasis dermatitis, lymphoedema or panniculits. The legs are hot and swollen but in the context of someone who is afebrile with minimal inflammatory response. The reason they are not responding to antibiotics is because they do not have an infection. Continue reading →