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Archive: June 2015

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The changing profile of the family caregiver in America

posted Thu, Jun 18, 2015   by AARP Public Policy Institute

The profile of the average family caregiver in America is changing as the population ages, according to a new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving. While the typical family caregiver is a 49 year old woman, taking care of a relative, caregivers on the whole are becoming as diverse as the American population. The report draws special attention to some vulnerable groups of caregivers who face complex, high burden care situations, sometimes resulting in higher stress and strain.

Robert Butler's daughter recalls his death and end of life

posted Thu, Jun 18, 2015   by The New York Times Opinionator blog

Our deaths are the last message we leave for those we love, writes Alexandra Butler, daughter of aging pioneers Robert Butler and Myrna Lewis, in the New York Times Opinionator blog. "How my parents died — in comfort — was the way they cared for me after they were gone. I was not ready to lose them in my 20s, but they had prepared and so I was protected."

Elder financial exploitation: Crime and serious health risk

posted Thu, Jun 11, 2015   by The Huffington Post

In his latest piece on improving the health of older adults for the Huffington Post, AFAR Medical officer Richard Besdine, MD, writes about the crime of elder financial exploitation and how it poses a "triple threat" to the health, social welfare, and economic well-being of one in twenty older adults.

CHCF: Mapping Palliative Care Need and Supply in California

posted Tue, Jun 9, 2015   by Uneven Terrain

While the availability of specialist palliative care services in California hospitals and community settings has increased, it is still short of demand. This data visualization from the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) illustrates the estimated need for palliative care in each California county among patients in the last year of life. It also shows the number of palliative care programs (prevalence), the number of patients served annually (capacity), and the sufficiency of supply (need divided by capacity).

For many, delirium a surprising side effect in the hospital

posted Tue, Jun 2, 2015   by PBS NewsHour/Kaiser Health News

Delirium is a sudden disruption of consciousness and cognition marked by vivid hallucinations, delusions and an inability to focus that affects 7 million hospitalized Americans annually, Kaiser Health News and the PBS NewsHour report. The disorder can occur at any age — it has been seen in preschoolers — but disproportionately affects people older than 65 and is often misdiagnosed as dementia. While delirium and dementia can coexist, they are distinctly different illnesses. Dementia develops gradually and worsens progressively, while delirium occurs suddenly and typically fluctuates during the course of a day. Some patients with delirium are agitated and combative, while others are lethargic and inattentive.Federal health authorities, who are seeking ways to reduce hospital-acquired complications, are pondering what actions to take to reduce the incidence of delirium, which is not among the complications for which Medicare withholds payment or for which it penalizes hospitals. Delirium is estimated to cost more than $143 billion annually, mostly in longer hospital stays and follow-up care in nursing homes.

 

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