Tag Archive : nursing care

/ nursing care

The physical challenges associated with recovery from a stroke are well documented however the impact of a stroke on emotion is less well understood.

New research from the University of Aberdeen, published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology has identified key areas in which stroke can impair emotion regulation and found that these difficulties continued 18 months after the stroke.

The findings of this study have implications for the long-term treatment and recovery of stroke patients and may help pave the way to help guide treatment interventions following stroke.

Every year there are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK, which equates to one stroke every three and a half minutes*.

Full story of the new understanding of emotional impacts of strokes at Science Daily

Stroke survivors who consistently control their blood pressure may reduce the likelihood of a second stroke by more than half, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

For the study, researchers analyzed the results from the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) trial, which enrolled 3,680 ischemic stroke patients ages 35 and older in 1996-2003. Ischemic strokes are caused by a clot or other blockage in a blood vessel supplying the brain. Participants had been tested for several risk factors, including blood pressure levels at baseline, a month after the start of the study, at six months and every six months thereafter up to 24 months.

Full story of blood pressure control and strokes at Science Daily

Family caregivers show an increase in the beneficial stress hormone DHEA-S on days when they use an adult day care service for their relatives with dementia, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Texas at Austin.

DHEA-S controls the harmful effects of cortisol and is associated with better long-term health.

“This is one of the first studies to show that DHEA-S can be modified by an intervention, which in our case, was the use of an adult day care service,” said Steven Zarit, Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State. “The study is also one of the first to demonstrate that interventions to lower stress on caregivers, such as the use of adult day care services, have an effect on the body’s biological responses to stress.

Full story of adult care and stress hormones at Science Daily

Seniors want greater access to home- and community-based long-term care services. Medicaid policymakers have been happy to oblige with new programs to help people move out of expensive nursing homes and into cheaper community or home care. It seems like a “win-win” to fulfill seniors’ wishes while also saving Medicaid programs money, but a new study of such transitions in seven states finds that the practice resulted in a 40 percent greater risk of “potentially preventable” hospitalizations among seniors dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

“We are trying to move people into the community and I think that is a really great goal, but we aren’t necessarily providing the medical support services that are needed in the community,” said Andrea Wysocki, a postdoctoral scholar in the Brown University School of Public Health and lead author of the study published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. “One of the policy issues is how do we care for not only the long-term care needs when we move someone into home- and community-based settings but also how do we support their medical needs as well?”

Full story of homecare based services at Science Daily

To prevent people with disabilities from homelessness the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced nearly $98 million in funding for 13 state housing agencies for rental assistance to low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom are transitioning out of institutional settings or are at high risk of homelessness.

HUD’s support of these state agencies is made possible through the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (PRA Demo) which enables persons with disabilities who earn less than 30 percent of median income to live in integrated mainstream settings.

Full story of permanent housing for low income at HHS.gov

Imagine that your mother is in a long-term care facility. On your weekend visits, she’s told you that the nurses and aides there are taking things from her, pinching her and refusing to change her diapers when she soils them.

You want to believe your mother, but you’ve been told that her nursing home is one of the best in the state. You also know that your mother has mild dementia and that when you gently raise the issue with others, the nursing supervisor seems to get really offended.

What can you do?

Well, in some states, you can record everything that happens in your mother’s room.

In Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, you can legally put a nanny cam or “granny cam” — a motion-activated video camera — in your mother’s nursing-home room. Several other states have been considering following suit. Even state attorneys general in Ohio and New York have made surreptitious video recordings to collect evidence of abuse and neglect.

Full story of nanny cams in nursing homes at AARP

The smallest acts of kindness can be the best medicine.

That’s what Lori Mesko, a registered nurse at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., recently learned.

She told The Huffington Post in an email that she’s wanted to take care of others since she was a young girl. “Growing up with a older mother who was sick quite often made me realize I wanted to be a nurse,” she said.

Last month, Mesko was treating an elderly patient named Marjorie Fisher. Peggy Fisher-Kmieciak, Fisher’s daughter, wrote that her mother had been having a tough time lately in a post on the hospital’s website. But, she wrote, they were happy to have Mesko helping them that day on Botsford Hospital’s 2 South Progressive Care Unit.

Fisher’s potassium level was dangerously high. Left untreated, the condition could have caused her heart to stop beating. The physician prescribed the cure — a tall glass of medicine to drink. But Fisher resisted. “She just did not want to take any nourishment just then,” Fisher-Kmieciak wrote about her mother.

Full story of a nurses kind act for the elderly at the Huffington Post

Age UK said hundreds of thousands of people need support with “basic tasks” such as washing and dressing but do not get it as local authorities continue to restrict access to social care.

New figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show a substantial drop in the numbers given help and the numbers actually being assessed – despite almost static demand.

A total of 1.3 million adults received social services in England in 2012/13, a 9% drop on 2011/12 and 25% on 2007/8.

Among the 1.3 million people receiving help, 1.1 million received services in the community (a fall of 10% on 2011/12), while 209,000 received residential care (down 2% on 2011/12). A further 87,000 received nursing care (less than a 1% change on 2011/12).

The number of new inquiries made to council social service departments in 2012/13 was 2.1 million (down less than 1% from 2011/12, but up 1% from 2007/08).

Full story of the help for the elderly at the Nursing Times

As a medical resident 30 years ago, Ava Kaufman remembers puzzling over some of the elderly patients who came to the primary-care practice at George Washington University Hospital. They weren’t really ill, at least not with any identifiable diseases. But they weren’t well, either.

They were thin and weak. They had no energy. They tired easily. Their walking speed was agonizingly slow. “We couldn’t put our finger on a specific diagnosis or problem,” Kaufman says. “We didn’t have a word for it then.”

Today we do. It’s called frailty. There have always been frail people, but only in recent years has the term “frailty” become a medical diagnosis, defined by specific symptoms and increasingly focused on by those who deal with the medical issues of the elderly. Clinicians now are looking at ways to prevent or delay frailty, sometimes even reverse it.

“Frailty is not an age, it’s a condition,” says Kaufman, a Bethesda internist and geriatrician. “We know it when we see it, and it’s always been with us.”

Full story of aging and medical conditions at Live Science

It is 1976. Brad Stuart is in his third year of medical school at Stanford, doing his first clinical rotation. He is told to look at an elderly man with advanced lymphoma. The patient is feeble and near death, his bone marrow eviscerated by cancer. The supervising oncologist has ordered a course of chemotherapy using a very toxic investigational drug. Stuart knows enough to feel certain that the treatment will kill the patient, and he does not believe the patient understands this. Like a buck private challenging a colonel, he appeals the decision, but a panel of doctors declines to intervene. Well, Stuart thinks, if it must be done, I will do it myself. He mixes the drug and administers it. The patient says, “That hurts!” A few days later, the man’s bed is empty. What happened? He bled into his brain and died last night. Stuart leaves the room with his fists clenched.

To this day, he believes he killed the patient. “I walked out of that room and said, ‘There has got to be a better way than this,’ ” he told me recently. “I was appalled by how we care for—or, more accurately, fail to care about—people who are near the end of life. We literally treat them to death.”

Here is a puzzling fact: From 1970 until 2009, spending on health care in this country rose by more than 9 percent annually, creating fiscal havoc. But in 2009, 2010, and 2011, health-care spending increased by less than 4 percent a year. What explains the change? The recession surely had something to do with it. But several recent studies have found that the recession is not the whole story. One such study, by the Harvard University economists David Cutler and Nikhil Sahni, estimates that “structural changes” in our health-care system account for more than half of the slowdown.

Full story of elderly and hospital care at The Atlantic