Should elderly patients be sent home from the hospital to recover? Some doctors think so

Should elderly patients be sent home from the hospital to recover? Some doctors think so

When 86-year-old Carol Wittwer took a taxi to the emergency room, she expected to be admitted to the hospital. She didn’t anticipate being asked if she cooks for herself. If she has friends in her high-rise. Or if she could spell lunch backward. Wittwer’s care is part of a new approach to older patients as US emergency rooms adapt to serve the complex needs of a graying population. That means asking more questions, asking them earlier and, when possible, avoiding a hospital stay for many older patients. The surprising truth?…

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Age is just a number. Elderly people can exercise and socialise to stay fit and prevent weakness

Age is just a number. Elderly people can exercise and socialise to stay fit and prevent weakness

Age-related frailty may be a treatable and preventable health problem, just like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study. “Societies are not aware of frailty as an avoidable health problem and most people usually resign themselves to this condition,” said Jerzy Sacha from the University Hospital in Opole, Poland. “Fortunately, by opting for a proper lifestyle and adequate physical, mental, and social activities, one may prevent or delay the frailty state.” The research team reviewed over one hundred publications on recognising, treating, and preventing frailty, with the aim of…

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Regular Meditation May Reduce Risk of Memory Loss in Elderly

Regular Meditation May Reduce Risk of Memory Loss in Elderly

A new study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, shows that older adults who practice meditation regularly may have improved memory functions and better objective cognitive performance  than those who don’t. Moreover, these two functions are also key risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that destroys your memory and also affects your thinking and behavioral skills. Researchers from West Virginia University in the United States found out that in older adults with subjective cognitive decline, a condition that may represent a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, practicing…

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Low Protein Levels May Increase Kidney Function Decline in Elderly

Low Protein Levels May Increase Kidney Function Decline in Elderly

Older adults with low blood levels of a circulating protein in the blood may be at an increased risk of experiencing decline in their kidney function, a study has found. The findings showed that higher blood levels of a protein called soluble klotho — with anti-ageing properties — may help preserve kidney function. “We found a strong association between low soluble klotho and decline in kidney function, independent of many known risk factors for kidney function decline,” said David Drew from Tufts University in Massachusetts, US. The kidney has the…

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Exercise May Boost Memory, Brain Activity in Elderly

Exercise May Boost Memory, Brain Activity in Elderly

To increase brain function and boost memory in older adults, it is important to maintain high levels of fitness through physical activity such as walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing. Brain function and memory are the hallmark impairments in Alzheimer’s disease. According to this study, the age-related changes in memory performance and brain activity largely depend on an individual’s fitness level. Older adults who exercised showed good cardiac fitness levels which improved their memory performance and increased brain activity patterns compared to their low fit peers. “Therefore, starting an exercise programme,…

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An Hour-Long Nap May Boost Memory, Thinking In Elderly

An Hour-Long Nap May Boost Memory, Thinking In Elderly

An hour-long nap after lunch may help older adults to preserve their memories, improve their ability to think clearly as well as to make decisions, a study has found. Sleep plays a key role in helping older adults maintain their healthy mental function, necessary for people as they age, the researchers said. In the study, led by Junxin Li from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, the team examined nearly 3,000 Chinese adults aged 65 and older to learn whether taking an afternoon nap had any effect on their mental health….

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Vitamin D Deficiency May Up Chronic Headache Risk In Elderly Men

Vitamin D Deficiency May Up Chronic Headache Risk In Elderly Men

Deficiency in the levels of Vitamin D may increase the risk of chronic headache in middle-aged and older men, according to a new study. The findings showed that individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels had over a two-fold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the those with the highest levels. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with chronic tension-type headache, perhaps by causing musculoskeletal pain. Previous studies have found Vitamin D to play a role in various neurovascular diseases. The study adds to the accumulating body of…

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Female doctors better at treating elderly, finds Harvard study

Female doctors better at treating elderly, finds Harvard study

Female doctors are better than male doctors in treating elderly patients in hospitals, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard University. They found that chances of patients dying or getting readmitted in the next 30 days went down if the doctors were women. It is the first time that a study has documented how male and female physicians’ treatment leads to different outcomes for patients in the U.S. The researchers estimated that if male physicians could achieve the same outcomes as their female colleagues, there would be…

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Brain Activity May Predict Risk of Falls in Elderly

Brain Activity May Predict Risk of Falls in Elderly

Measuring the level of brain activity in healthy older adults while they are walking can predict their risk of falling, suggests a study led by an Indian-origin scientist. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults and all too often lead to physical decline and loss of independence. “Previous studies have shown that when older people perform cognitively demanding tasks, their brains are required to become more active to handle the challenge,” said lead author Joe Verghese, Director at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in…

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Alzheimer’s Proteins Behind Vision Loss in Elderly: Study

Alzheimer’s Proteins Behind Vision Loss in Elderly: Study

Researchers have found a group of proteins — known to be the likely cause ofAlzheimer’s disease — that get accumulated in the ageing retina causing damage to it and are also the key reason behind a vision loss condition among individuals aged 50 and older. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — a leading cause of vision loss among people aged 50 and older — is a progressive disease that causes the death of the retinal photo receptors, the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. The most severe damage occurs…

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