Walking now prevents dementia later, study finds

A new study published in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, suggests maintaining a higher level of physical activity during middle age may be a key strategy for the prevention of dementia in older age.

Past studies have suggested that physical activity such as walking can be a protective factor against dementia but this study suggests that maintaining a higher level of physical activity before older age is more important for the prevention of dementia than physical activity only in older age. Continue reading

Education as protector against dementia, but what exactly do we mean by education?

Francisca S. Then is researcher at the Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health (ISAP) and the LIFE – Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases at the University of Leipzig, Germany, with a major research focus on the epidemiology of cognitive decline and dementia. She discussed her recent Age & Ageing paper ‘Education as protector against dementia, but what exactly do we mean by education?

diploma-1390785_960_720Attaining a higher level of education is considered to be important in order to keep up good cognitive functioning in old age. Higher education also seems to decrease the risk of developing dementia. This is of high relevance in so far that dementia is a terminal disease characterized by a long degenerative progression with severe impairments in daily functioning. Continue reading

Can Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment make a difference to care home residents?  

Adam Gordon is Clinical Associate Professor in Medicine of Older People at the University of Nottingham, a visiting Professor at City University London and an Honorary Consultant Geriatrician at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  He tweets @adamgordon1978.  Here he talks about a new research project considering the value of CGA in care home residents

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) works. At least, it does when performed in an inpatient setting in an acute hospital. This has been shown over numerous systematic reviews and meta-analyses to be the case.  Older people with frailty who receive CGA experience better outcomes in terms of functional status, cognition, readmissions to hospital and numbers of days spent at home.

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Bone health in older people: new Age and Ageing collection brings together leading research

aaA new collection of research published today by Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, brings together some of the leading international research on bone health in older people.

Thirteen key papers were chosen for their originality and influence, with more than 350 citations in peer reviewed journals. They cover topics including kyphosis and vertebral fracture, predictors of fracture risk, frailty, environmental factors and exercise.

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Urgent Care: The Value of Occupational Therapy

otKarin Orman is Professional Practice Manager at the College of Occupational Therapists

The College of Occupational Therapists published a report on the value of occupational therapy across urgent care at the start of Occupational Therapy Week in November. The report argues that urgent care is a term that encompasses a wide range of services and settings from primary care to care homes. Traditionally occupational therapists have been commissioned to work in secondary services but increasingly the profession is developing roles within primary care and with non-statutory providers such as housing associations offering timely, short term interventions that reduce or delay the need for more complex support and packages of care.

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Let’s talk about sex

aaTaylor-Jane Flynn is a Psychology graduate from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and is about to commence postgraduate training in Counselling Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University. Alan Gow is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Heriot-Watt, and tweets @AlanJohnGow.

Their recently published Age & Ageing study examines how sexual behaviours are associated with quality of life in older adult: Taylor-Jane tells us more.

I found my inspiration for our recent Age & Ageing study while working as a Health Care Assistant caring for older adults. In recent years, many of those who opened up to me on a personal level expressed their need and want to have intimacy and companionship in their lives. However, sex has generally been seen as a taboo subject, especially among older adults. Continue reading

Increasing participation of older people in research: an innovative study design

aaIn this blog, Andy Clegg, Senior Lecturer at Leeds University and Consultant Geriatrician at Bradford Royal Infirmary, expands on a recent Age & Ageing paper, looking at the use of the innovative cohort multiple randomised controlled trial (cmRCT) design to increase participation of older people in research studies

There are many challenges involved in recruitment of older people to research studies, particularly randomised controlled trials. Study exclusion criteria and refusal rates are a major issue and the presence of cognitive impairment and ethical decisions adds complexity. Concerns with study information and consent procedures are the most common reasons given for not participating in clinical trials. Understanding and weighing up the complex information about randomisation and control groups is not easy, particularly in the presence of sensory and cognitive impairment.

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EASY-Care and needs assessment

ccChris Craig is a Research Assistant at NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands, at the University of Nottingham. He has been working on a study called ‘Supporting Older People’s Resilience through Assessment of Needs and Outcomes’ (SOPRANO).  Here, he discusses a new Age & Ageing paper on EASY-Care on which he was corresponding author.

EASY-Care is a Comprehensive Geriatric Needs Assessment tool. It consists of 49 core questions covering physical, mental, social and environmental domains. For a tool accredited to be used as part of the Single Assessment Procedure in England, we expected to find literature documenting EASY-Care’s use in the community. However literature retrieved in our systematic search did not report implementation of the tool in practice. Our review summarises trials, reviews, commentaries and opinion pieces detailing EASY-Care’s validity, and acceptability.

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BGS Rising Star Award: Roman Romero-Ortuno

BGS Logo CMYKRoman Romero-Ortuno is a Consultant Geriatrician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Roman was jointly awarded the 2015 BGS Rising Star award; in this blog he discusses his research on operationalisations of frailty in older adults and integration of care.

I am honoured to be one of the recipients of the 2015 British Geriatrics Society (BGS) Rising Star Award. I am delighted that my research contributions have been deemed to have potential for translation into improvements to the care of older people.

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New research highlights unseen dangers of pelvic fracture

A new study published in Age & Ageing finds pelvic fracture mortality rates equivalent to those for hip fracture, despite lack of attention or funding.  shutterstock_53196796

The study into osteoporotic pelvic fractures in older patients has shown worrying effects on mortality, length of hospital stay and independent living.
It finds that mortality rates for pelvic fractures are comparable to those for hip fractures, but that the issue receives far less attention or funding. It calls for new guidelines and better management of pelvic fractures in older people, helping them to maintain an independent life.

Yousif Shanshal and Sheena Waters, co-authors of the report, said:

“Pelvic fracture patients incur a high cost to an already stretched NHS, with increased lengths of stay and high mortality rates. They are usually frail elderly patients with multiple comorbidities, and often don’t regain normal function after their injury.

Following the work of the National Hip Fracture Database and the Best Practice Tariff, care for hip fracture patients has improved across the country. We now need to do the same thing for pelvic fracture patients.

It’s crucial that these patients are cared for by a geriatrician, in close liaison with their orthopaedic colleagues, and that a multi-disciplinary team is fully involved in each patient’s recovery and discharge.”

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