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Should I Get Involved in Helping a Neighbor With Dementia?

I live in a large co-op apartment building in Manhattan. Our staff is lovely and caring. A staff member told me that a resident is getting very forgetful and that she likes to spend her time in the lobby. I asked if she had family and was told she had only one brother in Japan. I was probably chosen as a confidante because I cared for my husband who had Alzheimer’s at home. Despite that experience, I was at a loss to give advice.

One day, I got on the elevator with this lovely, forgetful neighbor. She could not remember the number of the floor on which she lived. I offered to accompany her downstairs to learn her apartment number. She thanked me but was naturally embarrassed at the need for help and declined. She acknowledged that she was getting forgetful, and I told her my husband had the same problem and I understood.

I now find myself very worried about what will happen to this nice lady who has no one to help her. The thought has also crossed my mind that she may be a danger not only to herself but also to others living in the building. I am aware of the right of an individual to age in place versus the need for assistance, but this can’t be a unique problem. Is there a protocol for managing agents of buildings to follow? Linda, New York

Full story at The New York Times

Many ‘Gen Xers’ Desolate as They Navigate Adulthood: Study

Despair runs rampant through Generation X as these Americans struggle through middle age, a new study reports.

So-called indicators of despair — depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse — are rising among those in their late 30s and early 40s, and it’s occurring across-the-board, researchers say.

“These are getting worse as people age through their 30s,” said lead researcher Lauren Gaydosh, an assistant professor with the Vanderbilt University Center for Medicine, Health and Society. “For example, heavy drinking is really peaking again, almost to levels equivalent to where they were at college age.”

Previous studies have drawn attention to these “deaths of despair,” but initially it appeared they were occurring mainly among poorly educated whites, Gaydosh said.

Full story at US News

Hospitals Chafe Under A Medicare Rule That Reduces Payments To Far-Flung Clinics

Eric Lewis’ plans of expanding his community hospital’s reach have been derailed.

As CEO of Olympic Medical Center, he oversees efforts to provide care to roughly 75,000 people in Clallam County, in the isolated, rural northwestern corner of Washington state.

Last year, Lewis planned to build a primary care clinic in Sequim, a town about 17 miles from the medical center’s main campus of a hospital and clinics in Port Angeles.

But those plans were put aside, Lewis says, because of a change in federal reimbursements this year. Medicare has opted to pay hospitals that have outpatient facilities “off campus” a lower rate — equivalent to what it pays independent doctors for clinic visits.

Full story at npr.org

Increased muscle power may prolong life

Increasing muscle strength is good, but increasing muscle power may be even better for enjoying a longer life, according to a recent study.

Professor Claudio Gil Araújo, who is the director of research and education at Exercise Medicine Clinic — CLINIMEX in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, led the new study.

Muscle power differs from muscle strength in that it relies on generating force and velocity while coordinating movement. For example, lifting a weight one time requires strength, but lifting it several times as quickly as possible requires power.

Full story at Medical News Today

Could this brain stimulation technique reverse memory decline?

New research suggests that transcranial magnetic stimulation could reverse age-related memory loss. In fact, the technique restored the memory of senior participants to the level of young adults.

It is a known fact that a person’s memory tends to decline with age. Between 15 and 20 percent of people over the age of 65 years have mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — a condition that is no cause for concern on its own but that raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Misplacing things once in a while or having trouble finding one’s words can be a natural partof the aging process. However, researchers may now have found a way to reverse this form of age-related memory loss.

Full story at Medical News Today

An Age-Friendly Rural America

AS RURAL America ages and shrinks, officials should strategically plan to help older adults age in place and ensure their communities are accessible to young and old alike, aging experts said Tuesday.

Older adults across the country face a variety of challenges, including social isolation, food insecurity, a lack of transportation, strained finances and mobility issues, according to a recent AARP survey of local aging agencies across the U.S. But older adults living in rural areas are more likely than their urban counterparts to face several of these challenges at once, the survey shows, carrying serious implications for their health.

“Those with multiple unmet social needs may experience even greater risk of poor health,” Lori Parham, who directs AARP Maine, said during a panel at the Aging in America conference in New Orleans on Tuesday. “There’s really a vested interest in figuring out how to look at all of these issues and the whole person as we look at the number of people who are continuing to age.”

Full story at US News

People are living longer despite care inequalities

The World Health Organization report that life expectancy has increased by 5 years, but data show inequalities in access to health services among countries.

The World Health Statistics series is an annual snapshot of global health compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The World Health Statistics 2016 report focuses on the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by all of the United Nations’ member states in September 2015.

The SDGs aim at achieving a more sustainable future for all. The main goals include eliminating poverty and inequality, providing affordable and clean energy, reducing the impact of climate change, giving better access to education, and promoting peace.

Full story at Medical News Today

CPAP Brings Longer Life for Obese People With Sleep Apnea: Study

There’s good news for the millions of obese Americans with sleep apnea: Researchers report the use of the CPAP mask may greatly increase their chances for a longer life.

Use of the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask was tied to a 62% decline in the odds for death over 11 years of follow-up.

That benefit held even after factoring in health risk factors such as heart disease, weight, diabetes and high blood pressure, said a French team of investigators led by Dr. Quentin Lisan, of the Paris Cardiovascular Research Center.

Full story at US News

Health Promotion Program Developers—Is Your Program Ready for the List?

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) hosts a list of health promotion programs that meet ACL’s evidence-based program requirements for Older Americans Act Title III-D funding. This list is just a small part of the health promotion-related technical assistance NCOA offers to the network through their National Falls Prevention Resource Center and the National Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Resource Center. This list takes the guess work out of trying to find and implement a program that meets the III-D funding requirement.

Currently, a vetting initiative is underway to evaluate programs and add new evidence-based programs to this list! This vetting process is conducted regularly, in order to provide the network with current, relevant, and robust evidence-based programming options.

Full story at acl.gov

Scientists Test Whether Brain Stimulation Could Help Sharpen Aging Memory

It’s an unfortunate fact of life — as we age, we tend to become more forgetful.

Aging brains struggle especially with working memory. Called the workbench of the mind, working memory allows us to store useful bits of information for a few seconds and use that information across different brain areas to help solve problems, plan or make decisions.

Researchers are trying to understand why this ability fades as we age and whether we can slow, or reverse, that decline.

One leading hypothesis contends that working memory works by far-flung brain areas firing synchronously. When two areas are on the same brain wavelength, communication is tight, and working memory functions seamlessly.

Full story at npr.org