Tag Archive : elderly health

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Therapy Dog Visits Children and ElderlyShe may not be able to speak, but she can listen. For Lexi, an adopted 5-year-old lemon beagle-mix, gentleness comes naturally.

At a recent Literacy Night at Spring Grove Elementary, the cream-and-brown-spotted pooch moseyed around calmly as dozens of children flocked to pet her. She stood motionless as the children caressed her back, tail, belly and head.

Lexi, the featured dog of the night and many others, is a volunteer for Touching Moments, an organization that uses animals as therapy and comfort for children and the elderly.

Based in La Crescent, Minn., the program features a variety of animals, including cats, dogs, a rabbit, guinea pig — and even a ferret — that travel to southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin nursing homes and elementary schools to provide comfort and friendship to those in need.

“To do a job like this takes a special animal,” said volunteer Amber Cordes. “(People) can connect with the animals in a way that they can’t always connect with a human.”

Full story of therapy dog at Lacrosse Tribune

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Depression Can Lead to Hospital Risk in Elderly MenNew research suggests appropriate care for depression could reduce the length and need for hospitalization in elderly men.

A new study found in the Canadian Medical Association Journal discovered depressed elderly men have a twofold risk of admission to hospital.

“Men with depression had a twofold increase in the mean number of hospital admissions, and these lasted on average twice as long as for men without depression,” writes Dr. Matthew Prina, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge University.

Researchers from Australia, the UK and the Netherlands followed 5,411 men aged 69 years and older in Perth, Western Australia, to determine whether hospital admissions were higher for men with depressive symptoms than for those without.

Investigators used the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale to determine if an individual was depressed.

Full story depression in elderly men at PsychCentral

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Study Shows Surge in Elderly Drivers Causing More ClainsA new study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) says that the imminent surge of elderly drivers on the roads won’t cause a rise in collision claim frequency, despite the long-held association between elderly drivers and higher collision rates. The expected increase in the number of elderly drivers is a simple matter of demographics. As the baby boomer generation enters retirement, and our population ages, the demographics of drivers will change accordingly.

The HLDI has concluded that a rise in elderly drivers, and subsequent accidents, will be offset by a decrease in younger drivers, who remain the most prone to collisions. The HLDI is U.S.-based, however the demographics of Canada and the U.S. are very similar, and therefore similar conclusions can probably be reached regarding the behavior of elderly drivers. 

Elderly drivers, 60 and over, are predicted to see the biggest increase of any age group. The youngest age groups of drivers are predicted to only see minimal growth.

Full story elderly drivers at Collision Repair Magazine

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Elderly and Their Pets

November 26, 2012 | Elderly care, Elderly Health, Nursing Homes | No Comments

Elderly and Their PetsUnderstanding why elderly pet owners develop deep and meaningful relationships with their pets is clear – pets provide essential elements of unconditional love and companionship for seniors.  For these reasons, family members may choose to give a pet to their aging parents during the holiday season.  A pet in the elderly household does more than lift spirits, they provide a motivation to be needed, to feel touch, be emotionally close to and to have someone to talk to.

Pets are often a much-needed stimulus for seniors to stay healthy while maintaining a responsible role in caring for their furry friend, according to Pernille Ostberg, MBA, RPh, president and CEO of Matrix Home Care. “However, we encourage the gift-giver to make certain the pet is well-trained so they can be an asset in a senior’s home, not a liability,” she said.

Kat Macenas, co-owner of Leader of the Pack canine services in Delray Beach, Florida, specializes in behavioral training for dogs and cautions that elderly pet owners need to understand their limits.  “A smaller dog that needs less care is better suited for a senior, because the owner may not be able to do it all,” she said.

Full story of the elderly and their pets at The Sacramento Bee

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Pollution Hurts Brain Function in ElderlyLiving in areas of high air pollution is an environmental risk to seniors’ brain health and function, U.S. researchers found.

“The study shows the unexpectedly adverse effects of air pollutants on brain function in the elderly,” Caleb Finch, the ARCO/William F. Kieschnick Professor in the Neurobiology of Aging at the University of Southern California at Davis, said in a statement.

Jennifer Ailshire — a sociologist, demographer and postdoctoral student at the USC Davis School of Gerontology — said the study involved about 15,000 men and women age 50 and older, whose cognitive tests were matched with maps of air pollution.

After accounting for several factors — including age, race/ethnicity, education, smoking and respiratory and heart conditions — the study found the more the air pollution, the lower the tests scores.

Full story of pollution and elderly brain function at UPI

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