ElderCarelink Blog

Diagnosing depression in elders is difficult

by Dorian Martin
January 31st, 2012 at 10:14 am

Mom’s placement in a nursing home due to her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Alzheimer’s disease had ripple effects throughout our family. One of the most difficult was Dad’s diagnosis with depression. It turns out he’s not alone getting this diagnosis. A new study out of Rutgers University found that 6.2 percent of whites, 4.2 percent of African Americans and 7.2 percent of Hispanics were diagnosed with depression.

However, treatment varied among groups. Of those who were diagnosed with depression, 73 percent of whites were treated with antidepressants, psychotherapy or both, while 60 percent of African Americans and 63.4 percent of Hispanics were treated.

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Could nicotine improve Mild Cognitive Impairment?

by Carol Bursack
January 30th, 2012 at 10:05 am

Nicotine as administered through a medical patch, rather than a tobacco product, was shown in a recent study to have some benefit for nonsmokers with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Not everyone with MCI goes on to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but many people do. Therefore, the interest in studying mild cognitive impairment is intense.

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AARP study reveals rising medication costs for seniors

by Dorian Martin
January 27th, 2012 at 10:49 am

One of my regular duties is picking up my dad’s prescriptions at the pharmacy. He’s on five different medications for issues ranging from high blood pressure to an enlarged prostate. Fortunately, his Medicare Part D insurance lowers the cost until the end of the year when the donut hole kicks in. That’s when my mouth drops at the price for his prescriptions.

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Live alone longer? Seniors connect via the Internet

by Judy Kirkwood
January 13th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

By the time we got my mother a laptop computer, she was too cognitively impaired to work the keyboard as she had when she was an ace executive secretary. It might have made a world of difference had we gotten her connected with the Internet earlier.

In a collaborative effort to enrich the lives of shut-ins, Microsoft, Selfhelp Community Services, New York’s Department of Aging, and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications combined forces to promote Internet use by seniors in an innovative but simple project: The Virtual Senior Center. Although this was a funded project that benefited a limited number of people, it is conceivable that results could be replicated across the country.

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Improving elder health care transitions

by Carol Bursack
January 11th, 2012 at 10:13 am

Fortunately for me and my family, I was able to make myself available to help each of my elders after their many hospitalizations. Typically, however, many families simply don’t have anyone in a position to help, and elders go home only to return quickly to the hospital setting because they didn’t have the community support needed for recovering.

Billions of dollars are spent annually by elders returning home from hospital stays. According to the US Administration on Aging, almost one out of every five Medicare patients ends up back in the hospital within 30 days. Most of these readmissions are due to poor transitions due to poor communication and medical mismanagement.

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