“Seniors who benefit from animal companionship have received a helping hand in caring for their four-legged friends by way of a new collaborative funding program.
Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities have entered into a three-year partnership to help provide food, supplies, and access to care for pets belonging to Meals on Wheels clients. The program, dubbed Meals on Wheels Loves Pets, has already distributed $354,500 in grants to support senior nutrition program pet services nationwide.
The collaboration is part of a strategic effort to combat social isolation and loneliness among seniors across the country by ensuring both humans and their animal companions receive the care they need to continue living together and staying healthy.
“The companionship a pet offers enhances the physical and mental health and well-being of homebound seniors, which is particularly valuable as so many older adults are feeling even more lonely and isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Meals on Wheels America president and CEO, Ellie Hollander.
Pets are especially important for the 58 percent of Meals on Wheels clients who live alone, the organization says, adding that, with nearly seven million seniors living at or below the poverty line, many find it difficult to care for a pet and will often feed their animal before they feed themselves.
“This support enables programs in 33 states to provide pet supplies and care to local seniors, making it more feasible for seniors to remain safe and healthy at home with their beloved companions during this public health emergency and beyond,” Hollander says. “
Read the original arrticle here: https://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/funding-helps-senior-citizens-companion-animals-stay-together/
“An updated report by a group of specialists lists 12 modifiable factors that, if a person acts on them, could reduce their dementia risk. Before this update, the report had listed nine modifiable factors.
The 2020 report by the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care appeared at the end of July in The Lancet. It provides some important updates to the previous document, which the journal published in 2017.
The Lancet Commission is a team comprising 28 experts on dementia from institutions all around the world. The report’s first author is Prof. Gill Livingston, from University College London in the United Kingdom.
The Commission also presented its conclusions at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in July, which this year took place online.
Report co-author and AAIC presenter Dr. Lon Schneider, from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, comments on the report. He says, “We are learning that tactics to avoid dementia begin early and continue throughout life, so it’s never too early or too late to take action.”
“HALIFAX, N.S. — New research is further revealing that the risk of developing dementia can be substantially reduced by leading a healthier lifestyle, including cutting down on drinking, head injuries and exposure to air pollution.
The details are in a new report published in The Lancet medical journal.
Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, professor in Dalhousie University’s department of medicine, specializes in geriatrics, frailty and dementia. He is part of the Lancet’s Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and cure, which includes 28 international experts in the field.
Rockwood, who’s been studying dementia since 1979, said early perceptions that you can’t prevent it no longer hold.
“Yes, there is a genetic predisposition in a lot of people,” he said, adding that the extent of that risk varies. “But we also know there’s a lot of people who develop dementia in late life who don’t have, apparently, a genetic predisposition, so they’re getting it on some other grounds. And the other grounds on which they’re getting it includes a number of things that we can actually help with.”
He cited high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of exercise and being sedentary as significant examples.
The Lancet commission, which has been meeting since 2016, compiled a report with nine risk factors in 2017. Those included less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and low social contact.
“So we have a body of work now showing that the degree of frailty increases the risk, not just you’ll get those abnormal proteins, but that those abnormal proteins will be expressed in you as clinically detectable dementia.”
– Geriatrics specialist Ken Rockwood
This year, three more risk factors were identified: excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution, according to the article, which can be found online through this link. “
Read the full article here: https://www.journalpioneer.com/news/canada/research-shows-healthy-lifestyle-can-reduce-dementia-risk-480477/
“The signs of physical abuse among elderly people can be challenging for health care professionals to recognize, resulting in as few as one in 24 cases being reported to authorities. However, a new study in Annals of Emergency Medicine explores injury patterns and characteristics to help experts spot key differences between abuse and unintentional injury.
“The first place that many vulnerable older patients turn for care is the emergency department,” said lead study author Tony Rosen, MD, MPH, FACEP, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and director of the Vulnerable Elder Protection Team based at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s emergency department. “Emergency physicians have a unique opportunity to identify the ‘red flags’ for elder abuse. Improving the ability to recognize, treat, and prevent these incidents can improve the lives of millions of older patients.”
The study, “Identifying Injury Patterns Associated with Physical Elder Abuse: Analysis of Legally Adjudicated Cases,” compares 78 physical abuse cases with visible injuries among patients aged 60 or older with 78 patients of similar age and sex who visited a New York City emergency department for an unintentional fall between 2001-2014.
Abuse-related injuries are frequently attributed to an unintentional fall, the authors note. By comparing a group of patients injured by an unintentional fall with medical and legal records of prosecuted abuse cases, the study reveals several distinct injury patterns:
- Victims of abuse often have head or neck injuries without visible harm to other parts of the body. Abuse victims are more likely than patients who fall to have injuries on the face, head and neck area (67 percent versus 28 percent).
- Abuse victims are less likely than patients who fall to have scrapes, fractures or injuries below the waist (8 percent versus 50 percent).
- Facial injuries to the left cheek are frequent (22 percent) in abuse cases; a finding that confirms that abusers tend to be right-handed, the authors note.
- Neck injuries raise suspicions of abuse because the neck is often protected by the head or the face during an unintentional fall. Among more than 800 examined injuries, researchers found neck injuries and ear injuries resulted from abuse rather than a fall (15 percent versus 0 percent for neck injuries and 6 percent versus 0 percent for ear injuries). “
“COVID-19 has killed nearly 150,000 Americans, and about half of them were residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In misguided attempts to save space in hospitals for younger people, a handful of Democratic governors—with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the lead—sent elderly COVID-positive patients to nursing homes, creating wildfires of infection and death. These fires quickly spread, as the underpaid staff at nursing homes often work multiple jobs in multiple facilities.
If the pandemic has a silver lining, it is that it has forced us to reexamine how our culture treats the elderly. It has forced us to reconsider shuttling our relatives off to facilities to die alone, apart from their families. Even before the pandemic, nursing homes were woefully underfunded and understaffed, and many residents died because of despair or neglect. This is not how we honor our elders. It is essential to rethink how we treat the elderly in our society. Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), ranking member on the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, has introduced legislation proposing that Medicaid (or another established funding mechanism) receive resources to fund in-home care of the elderly. This would mean funding for nurses or other care aides who visit their patients at home or even reside in the home. Democrats, usually comfortable with this kind of spending, support his proposal. But many pro-life and pro-family groups also support it.
This is because they recognize that we need a cultural shift to in-home care rather than nursing home care. Many of the elderly want this. And many families do as well—at least when they can get the right help. It’s easy to understand why the elderly want it. Our throwaway culture tends to downplay the emotional costs of nursing homes, but consider the trauma of being pulled out of one’s home and relationships and thrust into an unfamiliar institution full of strangers. Staying at home means home-cooked meals. It means seeing children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other family members far more often. It means familiar surroundings and comfort.”
Read the full article here: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/07/honoring-the-elderly