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BY NOW, YOU’VE HEARD the stories and seen the video. Loved ones who cannot visit their mom, dad, husband or wife in a senior home due to the coronavirus pandemic have resorted to phone calls and hand signals outside windows. The isolation inside and out is deafening, but the helplessness from the caregiver’s side hurts even more.

In many ways, all caregivers become long-distance caregivers at a time like this. Thirteen percent of Americans provide long-distance care already. So, what are some things we can be doing now – and once this passes, that we can do later? Let’s take a look.

Keep the Home Safe: Wire Up

If you can’t be in the home where your loved one is, at the very least, you can check in. First, let’s work with what we might have and what we can send in.

Full article at US News

Assisted Living Administrator Continuing Education CEUs

Scientists have discovered a possible link between Parkinson’s disease and a gene impacted by a neurotoxin found in blue-green algae.

University of Queensland scientist Dr Jacob Gratten said the findings increased the understanding of the environmental risk factors of Parkinson’s disease.

“We looked for a link between Parkinson’s and changes in the human genome that control how genes are turned on and off, because these changes can be influenced by the environment,” Dr Gratten said.

“We found a gene, previously not known to be linked to Parkinson’s, which displayed reduced activity in people with the disease.

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.

In addition, people of all ages, with or without disabilities, seem to be at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 if they have serious chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. 

Reducing exposure is especially important for people at higher risk of complications!

If you are at higher risk, CDC recommends that you:

  • Stay at home as much as possible if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time. CDC has great resources to help you plan.

Full article at ACL

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Take a walk, weed your garden, go for a swim or dance — it could keep your brain from shrinking as you age, a new study suggests.

Being physically active may keep your brain four years younger than the rest of you, which might help prevent or slow the progression of dementias like Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.

“We recently published a paper using information of both current and past physical activity and found they both are associated with lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead researcher Dr. Yian Gu, an assistant professor of neurological sciences at Columbia University in New York City. “The current study is a step further to show that physical activity is also protective against brain volume loss.”

Full story at US News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Seniors at a Northern California assisted living facility were placed in a two-week isolation Wednesday after a resident in her 90s died of the new coronavirus.

Health officials defended their approach of not quarantining the Carlton Senior Living facility in Elk Grove even as a new dispute arose over whether Sacramento County officials were getting a sufficient number of kits to test residents and staff for the virus.

Elderly people with underlying health issues are particularly vulnerable to the virus. A nursing home in suburban Seattle has had the deadliest outbreak in the U.S., with 22 residents succumbing so far. Family members there criticized facility operators and local government for not moving more quickly when the virus first appeared.

Full article at AP News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Researchers report an advance in the development of a blood test that could help detect pathological Alzheimer’s disease in people who are showing signs of dementia. This approach could be less invasive and less costly than current brain imaging and spinal fluid tests. The blood test detects the abnormal accumulation of a form of tau protein known as phosphorylated-tau-181 (ptau181), which is a biomarker that suggests brain changes from Alzheimer’s. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was published on March 2 in Nature Medicine.

Over the past 15 years, research advances in the development of biomarkers like tau protein have enabled investigators to more accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, select research participants, and measure response to investigational therapies. Tau and other biomarkers can be detected with PET scans of the brain and lab tests of spinal fluid. However, PET imaging is expensive and involves radioactive agents, and spinal fluid tests require spinal taps, which are invasive, complex and time-consuming. Simpler biomarker tests are still needed.

“The considerable time and resources required for screening research participants with PET scans and spinal taps slow the pace of enrollment for Alzheimer’s disease treatment studies,” said Richard J. Hodes, M.D., director of NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA), which funded much of the study. “The development of a blood test would enable us to rapidly screen a much larger and more diverse group of volunteers who wish to enroll in studies.”

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Surgeons at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University are pioneering the use of robotics in neuroendovascular procedures, which are performed via the blood vessels of the neck and brain.

A study by Pascal Jabbour, MD, Chief of the Division of Neurovascular Surgery and Endovascular Neurosurgery, demonstrated that the use of these robots to aid surgeons during diagnostic cerebral angiograms and transradial carotid artery stenting was both safe and effective. The research was published March 1st in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery

“This technology could be groundbreaking, acting as a precursor for remote stroke interventions,” Dr. Jabbour said.

When a patient suffers from a stroke, time is of the essence because the blocked vessel must be opened as quickly as possible to prevent permanent damage. Patients living in remote geographic areas have further to travel for stroke intervention, and, often, by time they arrive at a stroke center, it is too late, explains Dr. Jabbour.

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Physical activity may help seniors live longer and healthier — and exercise doesn’t have to be intense, two new studies say.

“Finding a way to physically move more in an activity that suits your capabilities and is pleasurable is extremely important for all people, and especially for older people who may have risk factors for cardiovascular diseases,” said Barry Franklin, past chair of the American Heart Association’s Council on Physical Activity and Metabolism.

Brisk walking, for example, can help manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and improve blood sugar, Franklin said in an AHA news release.

Full article at US News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Scientists at the Laboratoire des Maladies Neurodégénératives (CNRS/CEA/Université Paris-Saclay) and the Neurocentre Magendie (INSERM/Université de Bordeaux) have just shown that a metabolic pathway plays a determining role in Alzheimer’s disease’s memory problems. This work, published on 3 March 2020 in Cell Metabolism, also shows that supplying a specific amino acid as a nutritional supplement in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s restores spatial memory affected early. This is a promising path for reducing memory loss related to that disease.

The brain uses a large part of the energy available to our body. To work properly, neurons and the surrounding cells, particularly astrocytes, must cooperate. The early phase of Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a reduction in this energy metabolism, but until now we did not know whether this deficit contributed directly to the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

With many illnesses, older adults and people with disabilities face higher risks of contracting the disease and/or experiencing complications, particularly if they also have chronic medical conditions. Consequently, there often are additional prevention and treatment recommendations for these populations. That currently is not the case for COVID-19.

At this time, CDC recommends that everyone, regardless of age or disability, take the same precautions to avoid illness. These include everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory diseases, including colds, flu and COVID-19.

Full article at ACL

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators