Aging, Geriatrics, Social Issues / 04.10.2022

If you have aging parents, the one thing you will want to be aware of is the most common health concerns that plague the elderly. While there is no way to definitively say who will suffer from any one of these diseases or conditions, they are most common among the elderly. For this reason, and because the elderly may be prone to memory lapses, it is important that you find a way to communicate with their primary health provider to ensure that everything is as it should be. With HIPAA in effect, you may need to get their approval to speak with their doctor or if they’ve been declared incompetent, the proper authorization from the courts would be necessary. At any rate, these are the health concerns you should be on the lookout for, as they truly are most prevalent in the elderly. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Frailty, Geriatrics, JAMA / 22.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH Geriatrics & Preventive Cardiology Associate Epidemiologist Division of Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As the population is living longer, there is increased risk of frailty and vulnerability. Frailty is defined as reduced physiological reserve and decreased ability to cope with even an acute stress. Up to half of adults over the age of 85 are living with frailty and preventative measures are greatly needed. We tested the effect of vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the risk of developing frailty in healthy older adults in the US enrolled in the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) trial. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Frailty, Geriatrics, JAMA, Medical Research Centers, Supplements / 15.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH Geriatrics & Preventive Cardiology Associate Epidemiologist Division of Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As the population is living longer, there is increased risk of frailty and vulnerability. Frailty is defined as reduced physiological reserve and decreased ability to cope with even an acute stress. Up to half of adults over the age of 85 are living with frailty and preventative measures are greatly needed. We tested the effect of vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the risk of developing frailty in healthy older adults in the US enrolled in the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) trial. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, JAMA / 15.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jing Li, PhD Assistant Professor of Health Economics The Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy and Economics (CHOICE) Institute University of Washington School of Pharmacy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dementia and other cognitive impairment are highly prevalent among older adults in the U.S. and globally, and have been linked to deficiencies in decision-making, especially financial decision-making. However, little is known about the extent to which older adults with cognitive impairment manage their own finances and the characteristics of the assets they manage. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, PLoS, Social Issues / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Holly Bennett PhD Research Associate Population Health Sciences Institute Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle upon Tyne MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Life expectancy has been increasing over time and we want to ensure these are years in good health rather than increasing years in poor health. There has mainly been good news for those living with long term health conditions. With better treatment, prevention and care, the proportion of remaining years lived disability-free has increased for more recent generations. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Dental Research, Geriatrics, NYU / 23.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bei Wu, PhD Dean's Professor in Global Health Vice Dean for Research Rory Meyers College of Nursing Affiliated Professor, College of Dentistry Co-Director, NYU Aging Incubator New York University New York, NY 10010 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Social isolation and loneliness are global public health concerns. Social isolation is the lack of social contacts and having few people to have regular interactions; while loneliness is the distressing feeling of being alone or separated. Approximately 24% of community-dwelling older adults aged 65 and above are considered to be socially isolated in the United States, and 43% adults aged over 60 years old report feeling lonely. Increasing evidence suggests that social isolation and loneliness are risk factors for older adults’ health outcomes, such as depression, comorbidities, cognitive impairment and dementia, and premature mortality. However, one key limitation in the literature is that only a few studies have examined the impact of social isolation and loneliness on oral health. (more…)
Aging, Geriatrics / 08.10.2021

There are several reasons why the elderly select assisted living facilities over their lifetime homes, nursing care, and old age homes. Health issues and getting help in case of an emergency also play a role. For those considering this option, it may be useful to know what advantages this mode of living offers, as experienced by those in assisted living facilities. Let us look at the reality of this choice to determine whether it’s the best fit for you.

The Most Common Reasons

The first reason for opting for assisted living is that it provides a solution to elderly people for the housing dilemma. Many people who have already made this move were living in a house that had become difficult and expensive to maintain. Many found that they could no longer keep up with housework adequately. Some also felt that an assisted living facility offered better security than a large property. Assisted living may offer smaller apartments for their residents. This allows you to retain your independence while benefitting from the other advantages already mentioned. This is also a good alternative to an old age home or nursing care which somewhat reduces your freedom. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Geriatrics, Sleep Disorders / 07.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jonathan L. Silverberg MD PhD MPH Associate Professor Director of Clinical Research Director of Patch Testing George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Washington, DC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atopic dermatitis affects people of all ages, including geriatric patients. Previous studies found age-related differences in the clinical manifestations of atopic dermatitis between children and adults. Though, few studies examined whether there are age-related differences of AD severity between geriatric and younger adults. We performed a cross-sectional real-world observational study and found that geriatric age (≥65 years) was not associated with atopic dermatitis severity. However, geriatric age was associated with increased sleep disturbances, delays falling asleep and nighttime awakenings from itch, as well as fatigue. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA, USPSTF / 02.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chien-Wen Tseng, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.E.E. The Hawaii Medical Service Association Endowed Chair Health Services and Quality Research Professor, and Associate Research Director Department of Family Medicine and Community Health University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Age-related hearing loss cannot be reversed and can be a significant problem for older adults. Four out of 10 adults who are age 70 and older report hearing loss and it can worsen isolation, cognitive decline, and quality of life, as well as interfere with someone’s ability to live independently. There are simple screening tests to detect hearing loss, so the Task Force did an extensive review of whether there are health benefits to screening for hearing loss in people who do not have symptoms before they notice any hearing problems. The Task Force determined that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for hearing loss in adults who are age 50 and older and do not have signs or symptoms of hearing loss. This is an I statement. (more…)
Aging, Geriatrics / 29.01.2021

As you age and get older, you need to make sure your health is at the forefront of everything you do. You need to focus on keeping healthy, ensuring you have a balanced diet that includes your recommended daily allowance of nutrition, fat, and carbohydrates. Having a balanced and healthy diet can keep you in good health and keep illnesses at bay. Exercising too is good for you, even if it just a brisk daily walk. Here's more info on how to maintain health as a senior. seniors-walking-aging-geriatrics.jpegStay Active Keeping and staying active physically is important. Nobody is saying you have to run marathons (unless, of course, you want to) but undertaking even 15 minutes of exercise a day will leave you feeling good and re-energized. If mobility is an issue, there are plenty of beneficial and fun sit-down exercises you can try from the comfort of your chair. Be Mentally Active You don't just need to keep your body in shape; you also have to focus on your mental strength and ability. Doing puzzles, crosswords, or having a game of chess can keep your brain stimulated and exercised. There are lots of single-player games, as well as multi-player games online and offline that can train your brain and keep it working as well as it can. (more…)
Aging, Geriatrics / 29.01.2021

There are many types and levels of support available for senior citizens, ranging from wellness checks to full-time care. Start planning for your senior years and ensure you get the retirement you desire! Explore the possibilities and consider every option: test yourself with ‘what if?’ scenarios to help you make an informed and considerate choice.

Domiciliary care

Domiciliary care provides support with activities and hygiene regimes within your own home. Typically, domiciliary care provides a set number of hours of care per day; however, live-in domiciliary carers are also available to provide more intensive care. Choose a domiciliary care provider to support you in your senior years.

What are the benefits?

Domiciliary care promotes independent living and allows the service user to remain at home, which can be beneficial to wellbeing. The user also retains their independence with the ability to set their schedule (bathing, eating, and drinking) at a time that suits them. Implementing domiciliary care staff also has the advantage of both being a source of social interaction, as well as not interrupting your surrounding social life! In-home care is also very flexible, which means that your personalized plan can be adapted as needs change. (more…)
Aging, Geriatrics / 26.01.2021

elderly-aging-older-parentsOne of the most difficult conversations that you will need to have with your aging parents throughout their retirement is about the future. Though no matter how difficult this conversation may be, it is vital that you can plan for what might happen as a family to ensure that you are prepared for anything that comes your way. If you are struggling to do this, here are some top tips to help you comprehensively plan for your parent's future, so they can have the most comfortable lives possible, and you do not have to worry for them.

1.    Look at Assisted Living Facilities

Although you might believe that your parents will always be healthy enough to live at home, this is not always the case. There are many common health conditions such as dementia, which may leave your parents needing round-the-clock care, as well as general ill health and frailty as they start to show the signs of aging. To make sure that you know that your parents are well-looked after when the time comes, you should consider researching assisted living facilities now. This will allow you to relax in knowing that both you and your loved one are happy with the home you have chosen for them. For instance, if you are looking for assisted living Fort Lauderdale, Belmont Village can offer your parents a range of care options, and you can rest in the knowledge that they are being cared for.

2.    Sort Their Finances

Many adult children leave their parents to handle their finances for fear of taking over or looking greedy when it comes to their eventual passing. However, helping your parents sort their finances out now can ensure that they will be able to pay for all of the medical care they may need and ensure that they have enough money to live on until the end of their lives. Sorting these finances out early, such as looking at the pension schemes and organizing the assets they have to their name, will ensure that they do not come unstuck later and enable them to set a budget around their financial situation.

3.    Create a Will

Although it is easy to dismiss probate as something that you do not want to think about or discuss with your parents, helping them create a will and knowing what is inside of it is important if they pass away suddenly and unexpectedly, then you can help them to make a will by contacting a solicitor or encouraging them to complete a DIY will-making kit. You should always make sure that DIY wills are legally valid, though. Knowing what is inside of the will can be important so that you can make sure that their wishes are carried out on their death and that no forgery or other issues occur. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas S. Reed, AuD Assistant Professor | Department of Epidemiology Core Faculty  | Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is known that hearing aid ownership is relatively low in the United States at less than 20% of adults with hearing loss owning and using hearing aids. However, many national estimates of hearing aid ownership are based on data that is over 10 years old. Our team was interested in trying to understand whether ownership in hearing aids had changed over time. We used data from 2011 to 2018 in a nationally representative (United States) observational cohort (The National Health and Aging Trends Study) of Medicare Beneficiaries aged 70 years and older to estimate the change in hearing aid ownership. In our analysis, the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries 70 years and older who reported owning and using their hearing aids increased 23.3% from 2011 to 2018. However, this growth in ownership was not equal across all older adults. For example, while White males saw a 28.7% increase in hearing aid ownership, Black females saw only a 5.8% increase over the same 8-year period. Moreover, adults living at less than 100% federal poverty level actually saw an overall 13.0% decrease in hearing aid ownership while those living at more than 200% federal poverty line saw an overall 30.6% increase.   (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Lancet, Lipids / 11.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Børge G. Nordestgaard, MD, DMSc Professor, University of Copenhagen Chief Physician, Dept. Clinical Biochemistry Herlev and Gentofte Hospital Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Denmark  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have yielded mixed results regarding the association between elevated cholesterol levels and increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in individuals above age 70 years; with some studies showing no association and others only minimal association. However, these previous studies were based on cohorts recruiting individuals decades ago where life-expectancy were shorter and where treatment of comorbidities were very different from today (more…)
Author Interviews, Frailty, Genetic Research, Geriatrics, University of Pittsburgh / 13.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Caterina Rosano, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Epidemiology University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most people think about dopamine’s role in mobility in the context of Parkinson’s disease, but not in normal aging. We were curious to see if a genetic predisposition to produce more or less dopamine was related to mobility in individuals who had some level of frailty, yet did not have dementia, parkinsonism or any other neurological condition. While several genetic elements control dopamine signaling, my team and I focused on a gene called COMT, which breaks down dopamine to control its levels within the brain. We also considered the frailty status of participants, which is a common consequence of aging marked by a decline in physiological function, poor adjustment to stressors and a susceptibility toward adverse health outcomes. We suspected that frail participants could be particularly vulnerable to COMT-driven differences in dopamine levels. We examined this gene in more than 500 adults above the age of 65 in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California and Maryland, excluding any participants taking dopamine-related medications or diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. We then looked for potential links between genotype, frailty and speed. We discovered that frail participants with a high-dopamine COMT genotype had a 10% faster walking speed compared with participants with the low-dopamine COMT genotype.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cameron C. Wick, MD Assistant Professor, Otology/Neurotology Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com: What do you see as the primary message of your findings for the general public? Response:  Older adults not satisfied with their hearing aids achieved clinically meaningful improvement in both hearing and quality of life with a cochlear implant compared to an optimized bilateral hearing aid condition. MedicalResearch.com: Do you see your findings as changing the way older adults with hearing loss are managed? Response:   Yes and partially because this study is unique in its design and the outcomes that were measured. Specifically  the study is a prospective, multicenter clinical trial conducted at 13 locations across the United States. All patients were setup with a 30-day optimized hearing aid experience before cochlear implantation (context: sometimes hearing aids are not appropriately optimized so baseline testing may not reflect the "best" that hearing aids can do). This study assesses both hearing data as well as quality of life data before and 6-months after cochlear implantation. After implantation patients were tested in both the unilateral (cochlear implant alone) and bimodal (cochlear implant plus hearing aid in the opposite ear) conditions.  My paper is a subanalysis of adults 65 years and older (range 65 - 91 years) enrolled in the clinical trial. The principal investigator of the clinical trial is Dr. Craig Buchman. Dr. Buchman and myself are at Washington University in St. Louis which was the lead center for the clinical trial. The findings of the study are meaningful because they demonstrate clear superiority of cochlear implants over hearing aids in many key areas, such as understanding speech, hearing in background noise, and ability to communicate. Hearing loss, which becomes more prevalent as we age, can negatively impact communication leading to social isolation, depression, frustration, and possibly cognitive decline. This study highlights that if patients are not satisfied with their hearing aid performance then they should be referred to a center that can evaluate for cochlear implantation. Cochlear implant indications have evolved considerably since they were first FDA approved in 1984. This study emphasizes that patients do not have to be profoundly deaf to experience significant hearing and social benefits from cochlear implants. Also, it demonstrates that cochlear implant surgery is well tolerated even as adults age and acquire other health ailments.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Geriatrics, Lipids / 08.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH Geriatrics & Preventive Cardiology Associate Epidemiologist Division of Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Statins are cholesterol lowering medications that have been proven to prevent heart attacks, strokes and death in middle-aged adults. Current guidelines for cholesterol lowering therapy are uncertain as to treatment for older adults due to a lack of available data, even though older adults are at the highest risk of heart disease and death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Geriatrics, JAMA, Medicare / 12.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rishi KWadhera, MD Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians Cardiovasular Diseases Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the U.S., income inequality has steadily increased over the last several decades. Given widening inequities, there has been significant concern about the health outcomes of older Americans who experience poverty, particularly because prior studies have shown a strong link between socioeconomic status and health. In this study, we evaluated how health outcomes for low-income older adults who are dually enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid have changed since the early 2000’s, and whether disparities have narrowed or widened over time compared with more affluent older adults who are solely enrolled in Medicare (non-dually enrolled). (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Geriatrics, JAMA, NYU / 24.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin H. Han, MD MPH Assistant Professor Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care New York University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the past, the prevalence of cannabis use (both for recreational and for medicinal purposes) was very low among adults age 65 and older. As a reference, the national prevalence rate of past-year cannabis use among adults age 65 and older in 2006-2007 was 0.4%, it has increased dramatically since then. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Thyroid Disease / 15.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carol Chiung-Hui Peng, MD Department of Internal Medicine University of Maryland Medical Center Baltimore, MD  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In recently published meta-analyses, focusing on the general population, showed that both overt hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism were linked to higher all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. However, there is still debate and conflicting evidence on managing overt and subclinical hypothyroidism in the elderly. This study aimed to evaluate and confirm the association between hypothyroidism and mortality in the elderly population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Frailty, Geriatrics / 30.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Clark, Ph.D. Executive Director, Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Harold E. Clybourne, D.O. Endowed Research Chair Professor of Physiology OHIO University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Muscle weakness strongly contributes to mobility limitations and physical disability. Over 40% of the 46 million older adults in the U.S. have one or more physical limitations when performing daily tasks essential for maintaining independence. Preserving physical function is a major public health priority as it will drastically reduce health care costs and improve quality of life. Over the past several decades, the scientific and medical communities have recognized that muscle weakness is a major factor in determining the incidence of physical limitations and general poor health in older adults. It has long been presumed by many that age-related weakness is principally caused by loss of muscle mass (i.e., sarcopenia). However, over the past 10-20 years the presumption has been questioned. For instance, a 2009 study reported that the decline in leg extensor muscle strength in older adults —observed longitudinally over 5 years—occurs more rapidly than the concomitant loss of quadriceps mass, and that in a subset of older adults that actually gained muscle mass there was still a substantial loss of strength. Findings of this nature clearly illustrate that that the loss of strength is only modestly associated with loss of mass in older adults. The mechanisms of muscle strength, however, are multifactorial and determined by a combination of both neurological and muscular factors (of which muscle mass is one of the factors). (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Geriatrics / 13.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: XinQi Dong MD, MPH Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Population Health Sciences Director of the Director of Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 08901XinQi Dong MD, MPH Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Population Health Sciences Director of the Director of Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 08901  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This study was done among community-dwelling US Chinese older adults aged 60 and above living in the greater Chicago area. The baseline cohort consisted of 3,157 participants, and we followed up with them from 2011 to 2017. There were heterogeneities in the associations between the strictness of definitions and subtypes of elder mistreatment (EM) and yearly mortality.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Frailty, Geriatrics, Heart Disease / 29.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr-Dalgaard MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that having atrial fibrillation puts you at a higher risk of falls, especially if you are elderly and frail. Additionally, some of the medications used to treat it can cause bradycardia (low heart rate), which could itself increase the risk of falls. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate if common medications used to treat atrial fibrillation in older patients were associated with fall-related injuries and syncope (fainting). The medications investigated were rate-lowering drugs (beta-blockers, digoxin, verapamil, diltiazem) and the anti-arrhythmic drugs (amiodarone, propafenone, and flecainide). (more…)