Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds

Dr Zoe Wyrko is a Consultant physician at University Hospital Birmingham and is the Director of Workforce for the BGS. In this blog she discusses the recent Channel 4 programme in which she appeared, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. She tweets @geri_baby

I’ve always had a soft spot for care homes. As a child I would occasionally go into work with my Mum and meet some of the old ladies she talked about. When I was older I started work in the same nursing home as a kitchen girl on Saturdays, and then later progressed to health care assistant. I remain proud of my training record from that time, showing I am competent to deliver personal care, clean dentures and cut nails.

This is why I was excited when an approach came from CPL productions, who were looking for geriatricians to be involved with a television programme they wanted to make about introducing children to a care home environment. Continue reading

A call for collaboration…

Cassandra Leese is a Nurse, Clinical Supervisor and a wannabe dog owner.  She occasionally remembers to tweet @contrarylass

In today’s economic climate, when health and social care are really feeling the crunch, I often find myself feeling morose about the future. Day after day we see the terrible pressures our overstretched services are under, read about the heartbreaking death of another promising doctor burnt out from battling it out in secondary care; or hear about another valuable service making drastic cuts. And selfishly, I’m rather cross that all this seems to have come at a time when I’m incredibly excited to have finally found my place in the nursing landscape, that of gerontology and geriatrics. Coming along to my first BGS West Midlands meeting this spring was a welcome reprieve from the madness spewed daily by the tabloids and renewed my faith that the good guys are still out there! Continue reading

Low grip strength is common among older people undergoing rehabilitation and living in care homes

Dr Helen Roberts is a Senior Lecturer in Academic Geriatric Medicine at the University of Southampton.GripStrength

Older (and middle-aged) people with low muscle strength are at risk of poor current and future health. Grip strength is often used as a proxy for general muscle strength and is most easily measured using the maximum grip strength a participant can generate when asked to squeeze the handle of a small hand held device (see photograph) with each hand while seated, using a standard protocol (see our research paper).  Research among people living in their own homes has shown that low grip strength, defined as < 20kg for women and < 30kg for men, is associated with a higher risk of frailty, difficulty walking, falls and fractures, more admissions to hospital, poor quality of life and an increased risk of death.  This is costly to both the individual and to society. However the grip strength of people who need rehabilitation or live in care homes has been little studied. Continue reading