A world first study into deaths of Australians admitted into aged respite care – usually to provide a planned or emergency break for their carer – reveals that older people in respite care are significantly more likely to die from preventable injury causes such as falls than those who are permanent nursing home residents.
The study found that preventable deaths from choking are twice as high as for long term residential care. Other preventable deaths such as from suicide are also higher in these temporary residents.
The research – published in Age and Ageing journal, by Monash University researchers – has serious implications for the 80% of older Australians who are cared for in the community by spouses, family members and friends. Of these more than 50,000 go into temporary respite care each year. Continue reading →
A new report published in Age & Ageing gives updated figures on the prevalence of sarcopenia (muscle dysfunction), and calls for active screening of older adults along with exercise programs to help manage the condition. The systematic review revealed new details around sarcopenia – an important health condition which is associated with an increased risk of falls and functional dependence.
The report shows that sarcopenia may affect as many as 1 in 20 adults, and up to 1 in 3 care home residents. These findings come from an international collaborative study, which uses a new international consensus definition of sarcopenia to draw together all the results from recent cutting-edge research.
The report also reveals that there are successful treatments available to manage the condition. Exercise interventions, including endurance and resistance training, appear to improve muscle strength and function, as do short term nutritional intervention trials using proteins, essential amino acids, leucine or beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (although evidence from longer-term trials is sparse). Continue reading →
This week sees the 2013 BGS Autumn Scientific Meeting take place in Harrogate. This international multi-disciplinary conference is for professionals concerned with the the health and care of older people. We will be presenting a packed scientific programme, with updates on a variety of clinical topics covering several special interests.
The third day of our conference opens with two parallel sessions (9.00-10.30):
Session Q: Bereavement: Beginning with Prof David Jolley (University of Manchester) on psychiatric disorders after bereavement. Next is Mr Alan Casseden (Cruse Bereavement Care) on who will be encouraging attendees to reflect on their own death. Finally Dr Peter Dean (Coroners Office) describes changes in the coroner’s jurisdiction.
Session R: Care Homes: Dr Clive Bowman (City University, London) begins with a presentation entitled: “Care Home Medicine: Outside the box but not at large.” Dr Adam Gordon (Nottingham) will discusses “Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment in care homes”, and Ms Julie Whitney (Kings College Hospital) will speak about on falls prevention in Care Homes. Continue reading →
This week sees the 2013 BGS Autumn Scientific Meeting take place in Harrogate. This international, multi-disciplinary conference is for professionals concerned with the the health and care of older people. We will be presenting a packed scientific programme, with updates on a variety of clinical topics covering several special interests.
This year the meeting is preceded by a conference on Managing Complexity in Older People within the Community organised by the Community Geriatrics Special Interest Group. This conference will address how healthcare professionals, working together, can best aim to reduce admissions/re-admissions into hospital by ensuring that older patients receive adequate and appropriate preventative and interventionist care within the community. Presentations included:
Prof Paul Knight is President of the BGS and is Director of Medical Education and Consultant Physician at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow.
The issue of malnutrition has been brought into sharp focus by the Francis report, where harrowing witness accounts highlighted how patients suffer when patient nutrition and assistance with feeding is not given adequate priority. However, as geriatricians, we have long recognised the importance that adequate intake of food and fluid plays in gold-standard patient care. Continue reading →