Category: Senior Citizens

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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

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

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

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

Young patients with no risk factors for stroke may have an increased risk if they have contracted COVID-19, whether or not they are showing symptoms of the disease. Surgeons at Thomas Jefferson University and collaborators analyzed patients presenting with stroke from March 20th until April 10th at their institutions. The strokes they observed were unlike what they usually see.

“We were seeing patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s with massive strokes, the kind that we typically see in patients in their 70s and 80s,” says Pascal Jabbour, MD, Chief of the Division of Neurovascular Surgery and Endovascular Surgery in the Vickie & Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience — Jefferson Health. He is a senior author of a study published in the journal Neurosurgery June 4th, that examines and characterizes strokes of patients who tested positive for COVID-19, done in collaboration with surgeons from NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

The coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll on Americans’ mental health, with more than 88,000 people developing anxiety or depression as a result, according to Mental Health America (MHA), a U.S. community-based nonprofit organization.

Also, more than 21,000 Americans who completed MHA’s free online mental health screening last month said they thought about suicide or self-harm on more than half of the days in May.

The numbers suggest a coming mental health epidemic, according to MHA’s president, Paul Gionfriddo.

“Our May screening numbers were unprecedented,” he said in an organization news release. “And what is most troubling is that the numbers — consistent with the numbers from the U.S. Government’s Census Bureau — demonstrate not only that there is not yet any relief from the mental health impacts of the pandemic, but that the impacts actually seem to be spreading and accelerating.”

Full article at US News

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement in response to data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the number of nursing home residents who have contracted COVID-19 as well as an announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding additional penalties on nursing homes. 

The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL: 

“These numbers show what we have known for months, that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts the elderly with chronic diseases and the dedicated staff who care for them. Today’s report validates the need for the assistance that nursing homes have been calling for since the beginning of this pandemic. Especially as we continue to expand testing for residents and staff in long term care centers in June, we should anticipate the number of cases to rise as asymptomatic residents and staff will be identified.  While an increase in these reported numbers may be startling, it will improve our ability to confront this threat and protect our residents.

Full article at AHCA

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Secretary announces establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters (NACCD). See the notice published in the Federal Register.

The Advisory Committee will provide advice and consultation to the HHS Secretary on pediatric medical disaster planning, preparedness, response, and recovery with respect to the medical and public health needs of children in relation to disasters. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will provide management and administrative oversight to support the activities of the Advisory Committee.

Full article at ACL

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators