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Today, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health launched the MENTAL Health Challenge to combat the social isolation and loneliness that older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans often experience. A total of $750,000 in prizes will be awarded for development of an easy-to-use online system that offers recommendations for programs, activities and resources that can help users connect to others and engage in the community, based on their individual needs, interests, and abilities. The winning system will be announced and demonstrated in January 2021 at CES. And ultimately will become the centerpiece of a national public awareness campaign.

Social disconnection has enormous health consequences. Social isolation has been found to be as harmful to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and people who are socially isolated or lonely face higher risk of hospitalization; depression, anxiety and suicide; heart failure and stroke; dementia; and even premature death. Not surprisingly, a recent analysis found that Medicare spends an additional $6.7 billion every year on enrollees who are socially isolated.

Full article at ACL

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

A new study finds that 1 in 5 people under age 40 now have metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that together increase the odds for many serious conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The rate of metabolic syndrome is rising in all age groups — as many as half of adults over 60 have it. But among 20- to 39-year-olds, the rate rose 5 percentage points over five years, the study reported.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of heart disease risk factors that occur together. They include:

  • A large waistline,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Higher-than-normal blood sugar levels,
  • High triglyceride levels (triglycerides are a type of blood fat),
  • Low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol.

Full article at US News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

A 100-year-old Indiana woman who has lived through World War II, survived cancer and successfully battled her way back from a bout of pneumonia last year, learned earlier this month that she’s also a survivor of COVID-19.

Leora Martin of Elkhart found out a week before her birthday on June 13 that she had tested negative for the virus after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in April — one of 76 residents at her assisted living facility to be infected. She and her twin sister, Delora Bloomingdale, who lives in California, celebrated their birthdays as centenarians and Leora’s recovery while conversing through Zoom.

“It was sort of a relief,” Martin told The Elkhart Truth of her recovery. “You have to remember, I’ve been through cancer. I had to go to the hospital for five days with rods in my body –- that was not comfortable, but I survived. They didn’t think I would survive pneumonia last year either, but I did.”

Full article at AP News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

It often seems the older a person gets, the less they sleep, but new research suggests that inconsistent sleep patterns might predict a future diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers who studied 2,930 older men for more than a decade found that those with a particular sleep problem — called circadian rhythm disruptions — were three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. A central nervous system disorder, Parkinson’s affects balance and movement, and often causes tremors.

The study findings “can potentially help with the early detection of Parkinson’s in older adults,” said study lead author Yue Leng, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

Full article at US News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

State regulators say mismanagement at an assisted living facility in northeastern Wisconsin made a deadly coronavirus outbreak worse.

Forty-six people have been infected by COVID-19, including 10 residents who died, at Country Villa Assisted Living in Pulaski.

The Wisconsin Division of Quality Assurance determined the facility failed to adequately monitor residents with coronavirus symptoms and did not follow public health guidelines until it was too late, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.

The division ordered owner Chad Reader to submit a plan to correct the deficiencies and pay a fine of $7,600.

Reader said it’s been difficult to lose residents to a “terrible disease” and contended the facility moved quickly to adapt to changing state and federal health guidelines. The facility has now addressed the state’s concerns, he said.

Full article at AP News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Interventional radiologists participating in a collaborative house call model in rural Indiana helped reduce emergency department use by 77 percent and hospital readmissions by 50 percent for nearly 1,000 elderly homebound patients with chronic illnesses, according to a research abstract presented during a virtual session of the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting on June 13. The novel care model brings interventional radiology treatments into patients’ homes to provide more value through in-home advanced specialty care, prevent common complications of chronic diseases, and avoid unnecessary emergency department visits and hospital admissions.

“Older homebound patients, including those in nursing home settings, have few resources available to receive specialty care and often delay care until preventable issues become urgent and acute,” said Nazar Golewale, MD, lead author of the study and an interventional radiologist with Modern Vascular & Vein Center in Valparaiso, Indiana and the northwest Indiana area. “By providing image-guided treatments in a patient’s home, we are improving access to care that otherwise would need to be delivered in the hospital.”

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Older men who have a weak or irregular circadian rhythm guiding their daily cycles of rest and activity are more likely to later develop Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study by scientists at the UC San Francisco Weill Institute for Neurosciences who analyzed 11 years of data for nearly 3,000 independently living older men.

The scientists said their discovery of the link between circadian rhythms and Parkinson’s — a disease characterized by loss of control over movement, balance and other brain functions — suggests these circadian disruptions may reflect neurodegenerative disease processes already affecting the brain’s internal clock well before a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and that they could be considered an early warning sign of the disease.

“The strength of the circadian rhythm activity seems to have a really important effect on health and disease, particularly in aging. In this latest study we found that even small changes in circadian rhythm in older men were associated with a greater likelihood of getting Parkinson’s down the line,” said study senior author Kristine Yaffe, MD, the Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair and vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, a professor of psychiatry, neurology, and epidemiology and biostatistics, and a member of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Kidney function declines naturally with age, even if a person is in good health, a new European study says.

Researchers assessed nearly 3,000 people in Norway, Germany and Iceland, age 50 and older, in order to learn more about how kidney function changes with age.

“What happens in our kidneys when we age is representative of all the other things that happen in our bodies. The kidney function deteriorates, not because we get ill, but as part of aging,” said lead author Bjørn Odvar Eriksen, leader of the Metabolic and Renal Research Group at the University of Tromsø (UiT)–The Arctic University of Norway.

Because loss of kidney function happens to everyone, Eriksen said it is an ideal way to determine aging in general.

Full article at US News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Persistently engaging in negative thinking patterns may raise the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, finds a new UCL-led study.

In the study of people aged over 55, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, researchers found ‘repetitive negative thinking’ (RNT) is linked to subsequent cognitive decline as well as the deposition of harmful brain proteins linked to Alzheimer’s.

The researchers say RNT should now be further investigated as a potential risk factor for dementia, and psychological tools, such as mindfulness or meditation, should be studied to see if these could reduce dementia risk.

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

When COVID-19 strikes the young, the lion’s share of patients still show symptoms, a new report on a coronavirus outbreak aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier suggests.

In late March, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Guam after numerous sailors on the ship developed COVID-19. In April, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the outbreak by checking the lab findings for 382 service members on the carrier.

In the outbreak, there was widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) among young, healthy adults living in close quarters who mostly showed mild symptoms, the researchers reported June 9 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.

Full article at US News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators