Back to the Future? Please, no more studies “in the elderly”!

Shane O’Hanlon is a geriatrician and digital media editor for the British Geriatrics Society. He tweets @drohanlon Zoe Wyrko is a geriatrician and workforce lead for the British Geriatrics Society. She tweets @geri_baby

Sometime back in the 80s, when we were both nippers, Marty McFly got the chance to travel 30 years into the future and see how the world would change. Around this time in the medical literature it became common to take an interesting concept and tag “in the elderly” onto the end of it. Back then, we had articles on burns, epilepsy, even blunt chest trauma “in the elderly”. It was generally accepted that once you hit 65, *everything* changed. Suddenly you would be most unlikely to have surgery, palliation became the default, and you were fairly much on your way out. Because, after all, while nobody would ever dream of grouping neonates up to 40 year olds (the age we have just reached) into one group, surely it is acceptable to assume everyone from 65-105 is identical? Continue reading

BGS Deputy Honorary Secretary role – should I apply?

Dr Shane O’Hanlon is a consultant in geriatric medicine. He was Deputy Honorary Secretary from 2015-16 and is the current Honorary Secretary of the British Geriatrics Society.

If you’re thinking “That’s not for me” then allow me to persuade you otherwise! We are all extremely busy in our clinical roles and loath to take on anything extra. But some opportunities offer more in return for the time you invest, and this is one.

Ok, why should I even think about applying?

We need you! The BGS counts on its members to help shape the future of the society; across the four nations hundreds of people help out every year in varying ways. One of the nice things about this role is that you get to know who does what all across the UK, and you support the Hon Sec (who is the lynchpin) in helping to make sure that the work flows to and from the right people. This often involves inviting people to respond on behalf of the BGS to policy consultations from bodies such as NICE, the GMC and the Royal Colleges. Continue reading

Shane O’Hanlon’s Age & Ageing Christmas Review- Part 2

Shane O’Hanlon is the Digital Media Editor for the BGS. He tweets @drohanlon

shaneThe second part of our look back at the most downloaded Age & Ageing articles of 2016…

  1. Jeanet Blom and team conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a proactive, goal-oriented, integrated care model in general practice for older people in the Netherlands. No beneficial effects were found on QoL, patients’ functioning or healthcare use/costs, but GPs experienced better overview of the care and stability, e.g. less unexpected demands, in the care.

Continue reading

Book Review: Problem Solving in Older Cancer Patients

Dr Shane O’Hanlon is a consultant geriatrician with a special interest in surgical liaison and cancer care for older people. He tweets @drohanlon

book reviewAs geriatricians seem ever thinly spread, the possibility of us providing input to the population of older people with cancer seems challenging – especially when you consider that a majority of cancer diagnoses and deaths occur in the over 65s. However oncogeriatrics has taken root in the past 2 or 3 years and there are now a few centres nationally offering just this approach. For those geriatricians who are hoping to provide it (or oncologists who are trying to entice them) this book will be of great interest.

“Problem solving in older cancer patients” is published in association with the Association of Cancer Physicians (ACP), and also the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) (but this of course does not affect the objectivity of this review!). It represents a great team effort by a range of geriatricians and oncologists, including trainees. Continue reading