Category Archives: Health

The Flu | Yep, this could be a bad year.

A page one article in today’s Morning Call (Allentown, PA) warns, “A nasty flu season in Australia — where flu cases more than doubled this year — could signal a bad flu season here, health experts say.”

And this STATnews article echoes that, “Flu experts see potential for a nasty winter season.”

Original Title: 76-132-Flu.tif:Influenza A viruses F. A. Murphy/CDC

Click here to go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Flu Website.

 

“Drug Companies Make Eyedrops Too Big — And You Pay for the Waste” – ProPublica

“The makers of cancer drugs also make vials with too much medication for many patients. The excess drugs are tossed in the trash — another reason health care costs are so high.”

eyedrops-waste-3x2Gregory Matthews, who is partially blind because of glaucoma, uses eyedrops every day to preserve his remaining sight. (Matt Roth for ProPublica)

by Marshall Allen

“If you’ve ever put in an eyedrop, some of it has almost certainly spilled onto your eyelid or cheek.

“The good news is the mess doesn’t necessarily mean you missed. The bad news is that medicine you wiped off your face is wasted by design — and it’s well-known to the drug companies that make the drops.

“Eyedrops overflow our eyes because drug companies make the typical drop — from pricey glaucoma drugs to a cheap bottle of Visine — larger than a human eye can hold. Some are so large that if they were pills, every time you swallowed one, you’d toss another in the garbage.

“The waste frustrates glaucoma experts like Dr. Alan Robin, whose patients struggle to make pricey bottles of drops last. He has urged drug companies to move to smaller drops — to no avail.”

Click here to read this ProPublica article in its entirety.

 

 

“Cancer Linked to Obesity” – Time Goes By: What it’s really like to get old

cancer weight

Read this column here.

“Teach Back – One Strategy to Improve Health Literacy” | A Webinar on October 26

teach back

Low health literacy is extremely common, and lack of health literacy interferes with the ability of patients to understand their health conditions and their role in managing them.  Please join in this Webinar as Mary Powell, PHD, CRNP, CDE discusses how teach back can be utilized as a strategy to recognize patients with low health literacy and help improve their literacy levels. Dr. Powell, who is an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Nursing Program at Neumann University, will describe attributes of a health literate organization and introduce the Teach Back Toolkit. Dr. Powell will also identify opportunities to use teach back to improve care transitions.

Quality Insights has announced this Webinar:

Registration
Registration is required, so please register today. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email which will contain the login details.

Target Audience
Physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care team members in the states of Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia who work with patients to improve coordination of care.

Six surprising ways exercise can improve your mental health

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by Jane Sandwood

“What is the first thing that comes to mind when you’re depressed? You probably don’t think, ‘Hey, I should go for a run!’ This is especially true if getting motivated to do physical exercise is difficult for you. Yet, this is precisely the habit you need to get into if you want to improve your mental health. Here are six reasons why that is.

“Free Your Mind of Negativity

“Exercise will take your mind off the nonstop flood of thoughts in your head and get you out of the house. Your thoughts have the potential to turn negative when you have unstructured time. You can redirect your thinking in a more mindful and positive direction by filling your time with physical activity.”

Read this article in its entirety at the Mental Health of Lancaster County blog site.

“Oral Health in America: Experiences of Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities”

The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities has created an infographic that depicts an overview of the oral health experiences of older adults and persons with disabilities. This resource highlights who is impacted, what happens as a result, why this happens, and where we can go from here. The infographic includes compelling data, such as people with disabilities forgo dental treatment due to cost nearly three times more than people without disabilities, and more than 1/3 of adults 65 years or older have lost all of their teeth.

oral health profileClick on the graphic or here to download the complete infographic report including experiences of older adults and persons with disabilities.

 

“Get Off The Couch Baby Boomers, Or You May Not Be Able To Later” – NPR

get off“Young bodies may more easily rebound from long bouts of sitting, with just an hour at the gym. But research suggests physical recovery from binge TV-watching gets harder in our 50s and as we get older.” Lily Padula for NPR

“Count the number of hours you sit each day. Be honest.

“‘If you commute an hour in the morning and hour after work — that’s two hours, and if you sit at an eight-hour-a-day desk job that’s 10,’ says epidemiologist Loretta DiPietro of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

“Then you come home at, say, 6 p.m., eat dinner and crash into your recliner for another three to four hours,’ says DiPietro. ‘That’s 13 to 14 hours of sitting.’

“Being immobile like that for many hours each day does more than raise the risk of a host of diseases. DiPietro and her colleagues have good evidence that, as the years wear on, it actually reduces the ability of older people to get around on foot at all.”

Continue reading this article at NPR.

Administration for Community Living releases first ever National Data on Adult Maltreatments

Earlier this week, at the National Adult Protective Services Association conference, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) released the first consistently, systematically, and nationally collected data on the abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities.

This report is the first of a series based on data from the first year of the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS). NAMRS is a voluntary data reporting system collecting data from state and local Adult Protective Services systems.

Fifty-four of 56 states and territories contributed data to NAMRS in its first year. This high level of voluntary participation reflects the value that leaders in the field of adult maltreatment see in this data.

While NAMRS is still in its infancy, the information it will provide in the years to come will directly inform prevention and intervention practices at all levels of the adult maltreatment field. It will provide a better understanding of the characteristics of those experiencing, and perpetrating, abuse and identify system gaps for responding to maltreatment and preventing repeat maltreatment. As states and territories will continue to improve information systems, add data elements, train staff on new data collection methods, and report additional data, NAMRS data will become an extremely valuable tool.

Data collected by NAMRS includes APS staff and case-load, response and response time, intake and investigation practices, maltreatment type, victim characteristics, and perpetrator characteristics. For example, 44 states and territories reported opening investigations for over 877,000 clients.

Many in the adult maltreatment field, including the federal Elder Justice Coordinating Council, have recognized the need for national data on adult maltreatment. After the passage and funding of the Elder Justice Act, ACL awarded the first-ever federal grants to enhance Adult Protective Services. These grants were used by many states to build data systems and align them with NAMRS.

View the first NAMRS report.

“Self-reliant older baby boomers are now better-connected to goods, services and care” – American Society on Aging

self reliant senior

by Stephen W. Golant

“It is fair to surmise that the 100,000 young people in their late teens and twenties who converged in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to participate in the 1967 Summer of Love were not especially tuned in to how their grandparents were coping with getting old. It is even less likely that these young baby boomers thought much about their own old age. This socially rebellious group, which rejected middle-class values and parental controls, and who romanticized communal living, could hardly imagine that in their old age they would end up living in cul-de-sac suburbs and traveling in their cars to regional malls to buy furnishings for their single-family detached dwellings.

“With their anti-government sentiments, they could hardly have foreseen how important Social Security and Medicare would become for their future health and financial well-being. Yet perhaps they were well-advised not to look to their grandparents as exemplars on how to live in old age. If they had been aware in the late 1960s of the challenges of dealing with old age, they may well have carried signs calling for ‘no more nursing homes for the old.’

“Fast forward five decades, and these now aging baby boomers are still showing their independent spirits. They are opting to age in place for as long as possible, even as these residential decisions clash with the opinions of many experts who argue that the baby boomers’ current dwellings are designed for the young and are unequipped to accommodate those individuals who suffer from physical and activity limitations, chronic health problems, and social losses.”

Continue reading this article in its entirety here.

“Older adults report frequently mishearing clinicians” – STATNews Morning Rounds

“Another effect of age-related hearing loss: problems understanding what your clinician is telling you.

Seniors-hearing

“In a new survey of 100 older adults, 43 of them said they had misheard a physician, nurse, or both during either a primary care visit or hospital stay. The study did not look at whether any of these miscommunications caused medical errors, but the authors noted that the prevalence of errors goes up among older patients, and communication issues are considered to be a leading cause of errors.” – STATNews