U.S. News and Caring.com Launch Assisted Living Directory

CHOOSING AN APPROPRIATE assisted living community is a challenging decision for residents and family members alike. To help, U.S. News is now publishing an extensive directory and data resource on nearly 9,000 assisted living communities, in collaboration with Caring.com.

The new Assisted Living directory offers comparison information on key factors including size, location and health services offered for the millions of Americans making this decision each year. Families can use the directory to match the right community to their loved one’s unique needs.

The directory provides comprehensive information about health services, activities and amenities offered at each residence. Reviews from residents and families add perspective for almost all licensed assisted living communities in the U.S. The tool is designed to let individuals easily conduct a customized search for a highly rated facility by location, resident rating, Alzheimer’s and memory care and size.

Full story at US News

For patients with diabetes, ticagrelor reduced heart attacks, strokes

In late-breaking clinical trial results presented in a Hot Line Session today at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2019, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Greater Paris University Hospitals — AP-HP/Université de Paris presented the results from The Effect of Ticagrelor on Health Outcomes in Diabetes Mellitus Patients Intervention Study (THEMIS), a clinical trial sponsored by AstraZeneca that evaluated whether adding ticagrelor to aspirin improves outcomes for patients with stable coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus but without a history of heart attack or stroke. Taking ticagrelor in addition to aspirin reduced the risk of a composite of cardiovascular death, heart attack, or stroke. Patients on this dual-antiplatelet therapy also experienced greater risk of major bleeding. In THEMIS-PCI, a study that specifically looked at THEMIS patients with a history of previous percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) that includes stenting, versus the overall THEMIS population, investigators found even more favorable results for patients taking ticagrelor plus aspirin. Results of THEMIS are published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine and results from THEMIS-PCI are published simultaneously in The Lancet.

“With prolonged dual-antiplatelet therapy, we need to be thoughtful in considering which patients are most suited to taking the regimen — that is, those at high ischemic risk and low bleeding risk,” said THEMIS co-chair Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at the Brigham and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Our findings show that the greatest benefit occurred in those patients with diabetes and stable coronary artery disease with a history of prior stenting for whom ticagrelor, when added to aspirin, reduced important cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks, strokes and amputations.”

Full story at Science Daily

How chikungunya virus may cause chronic joint pain

A new method for permanently marking cells infected with chikungunya virus could reveal how the virus continues to cause joint pain for months to years after the initial infection, according to a study published August 29 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Deborah Lenschow of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues. According to the authors, uncovering the mechanisms for long-term disease could aid in the development of treatments and preventative measures for this incapacitating, virally induced chronic arthritis.

Chikungunya virus is spread by mosquitoes and causes severe joint and muscle pain. Approximately 30 to 60 percent of people infected with the virus continue to experience joint pain for months to years after the initial infection. However, the cause of this persistent joint pain is unclear, as replicating virus cannot be detected during the chronic phase. To address this question, Lenschow and colleagues developed a reporter system to permanently mark cells infected by chikungunya virus.

Using this system, they show in mice that marked cells surviving chikungunya virus infection are a mixture of muscle and skin cells that are present for at least 112 days after initial virus inoculation. Treatment of mice with an antibody that blocks chikungunya virus infection reduces the number of marked cells in the muscle and skin. Moreover, surviving marked cells contain most of the persistent chikungunya virus RNA. Taken together, the findings provide further evidence for musculoskeletal cells as targets of chikungunya virus infection in the acute and chronic stages of disease. According to the authors, this reporter system represents a useful tool for identifying and isolating cells that harbor chronic viral RNA in order to study the mechanisms underlying chronic disease.

Full story at Science Daily

Dementia Care in Assisted Living Homes

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND dementia are becoming an increasingly big part of the health care conversation in America as the population ages and more people develop these cognitive ailments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease today, a figure that’s anticipated to nearly triple to 14 million by 2060.

For many people, once dementia has progressed to a certain level, they may need more care than family members can provide and may need to be placed in a long-term care facility– either an assisted living community or a nursing home.

Some of these facilities provide amazing care and support of older adults dealing with cognitive decline or dementia. Others may not. And if you’re considering placing a loved one into an assisted living facility that offers dementia care, there are a few factors you should consider when evaluating whether a specific community is the right one.

Full story at US News

Recognizing When Your Parents Need Help

Sometimes it’s obvious when older parents need outside help — like when they’re having difficulty managing numerous chronic illnesses or losing mobility and unable to maneuver well even at home. But mental problems may not be as easy to spot.

For instance, is Dad’s forgetfulness — his misplacing house keys or missing appointments — normal aging or a sign of something more serious, such as dementia?

It can be hard to judge the severity of problems if you live far away and speak infrequently. But even if you live close by, you might not realize the cumulative effects of gradual changes.

Full story at US News

How to improve your memory: 8 techniques to try

Most people have occasional lapses in memory, such as forgetting a new acquaintance’s name or misplacing the car keys.

Most of the time, this is simply a sign that a person is a bit too busy or is preoccupied. On the other hand, having a consistently poor memory can be problematic for someone.

Many factors play a role in memory loss, including genetics, age, and medical conditions that affect the brain. There are also some manageable risk factors for memory loss, such as diet and lifestyle.

While not all memory loss is preventable, people may be able to take measures to protect the brain against cognitive decline as they age.

Full story at Medical News Today

Dementia care program improves mental health of patients, caregivers

UCLA-led research finds that a comprehensive dementia care program staffed by nurse practitioners working within a health system improves the mental and emotional health of patients and their caregivers.

While the program did not slow the progression of dementia, it did reduce patients’ behavioral problems and depression, and lower the distress of caregivers, the researchers found.

The paper is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The findings, based on data from the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program, suggest that such programs are a promising approach toward improving the psychological health of patients and caregivers, said Dr. David Reuben, chief of the UCLA Division of Geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the study’s lead author.

Full story at Science Daily

LTC Properties Inks $38M Deal for Two Ignite Transitional Skilled Nursing Facilities

LTC Properties (NYSE: LTC) on Friday announced a $38 million pair of transactions that will see the real estate investment trust (REIT) strike up a new relationship with transitional-care operator Ignite Medical Resorts.

The two separate agreements consist of a $19.5 million deal to purchase a recently constructed 90-bed skilled nursing facility in the Kansas City market, and an $18.4 million land-and-development deal for a second 90-bed SNF set to open in the fall of 2020, LTC chief investment officer Clint Malin said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

The Niles, Ill.-based Ignite Medical Resorts, a chain with a focus on high-end transitional care properties, will serve as the operator for the two Missouri buildings, with Avenue Development handling the design and construction process for the new property.

Full story at Skilled Nursing News

Osteoporosis drugs may lower mortality risk by 34%

New research has found a correlation between taking osteoporosis drugs and a lower risk of premature mortality. However, many people ignore their doctor’s advice when it comes to taking medication for bone health, the investigators note.

Osteoporosis is an age related condition that renders bone frailer and more prone to fractures. While this condition is more common in women, it also affects many men too.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoporosis of the femur neck or lumbar spine — the most widespread forms of osteoporosis — affect 24.5% of women and 5.1% of men who are 65 years of age or over in the United States.

Full story at Medical News Today

Evaluating blood flow is key to early diagnosis and treatment for people with critical limb ischemia

Non-invasive techniques and devices for assessing blood flow and other diagnostic considerations for people with critical limb ischemia are addressed in a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published in the Association’s flagship journal Circulation.

The statement provides perspective on the strengths and limitations of current imaging techniques, including the ankle-brachial index, toe brachial index, toe systolic pressure, transcutaneous oximetry (TcPO2) and skin perfusion pressure (SPP). It also examines tools such as the laser Doppler, speckle imaging devices and others, as well as identifying opportunities for technology improvement and reducing disparities in detection and treatment.

The authors noted sex and ethnic differences in how critical limb ischemia is diagnosed, coexisting conditions and disparities in treatment. Women are more likely to experience emergency hospitalization, have differences in blood flow, and higher disability and death rates.

Full story at Science Daily