What type of childcare arrangements do parents choose before their children are 18 months old? Does the choice of childcare affect children's language skills and mental health at the age of five? These are some of the questions that are explored in a new report prepared by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health as part of a collaborative project with the Ministry of Education and Research. The report indicates that there is no evidence that early centre-based childcare is harmful for most children. Most pre-school children in Norway attend different types of childcare arrangements on a daily or weekly basis, and by far the majority are in centre-based childcare (kindergarten). In contrast to most other countries, children with physical and/or mental disabilities are not separated from the other children, but attend regular groups or classes in public kindergartens and schools.
For all long-term care residents, pressure reduction foam mattresses were cost-effective 82% of the time compared to standard mattresses, with average savings of $115 per resident, the researchers showed. Foam cleansers for incontinence care would be cost-effective 94% of the time compared to soap and water, saving an average of $179 per resident. The clinical benefits of foam cleansers for bedsores, or " pressure ulcers, " however, require confirmation through more research, the team noted. "These results provide specific evidence to support practice guidelines, which recommend reducing risk factors and improving skin health to prevent pressure ulcers, " said Ba' Pham, lead author on the study and a senior research associate with the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) Collaborative.
Family members or friends caring for aging or disabled individuals in California are under both financial and emotional strain and are likely to face even greater burdens, given recent cuts in state support for programs and services that support in-home care, write the authors of a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The study looked at California's estimated 6 million-plus informal caregivers of all ages and found higher levels of serious psychological distress and negative health behaviors, such as smoking, compared with the general population. Of particular concern are an estimated 2.6 million caregivers between the ages of 45 and 64 who may be setting themselves up for an unhealthy future due to higher rates of poor health behaviors, compared with both non-caregivers in the same age range and older caregivers.
Higher flu vaccination rates for health care personnel can dramatically reduce the threat of flu outbreak among nursing home residents, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. The study, which focused on nursing homes in New Mexico, found that when a facility had between 51 and 75 percent of its health care personnel with direct patient care vaccinated, the chances of a flu outbreak in that facility went down by 87 percent. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long recommended that health care personnel in nursing homes get vaccinated against the flu, but we didn't know just how much help these recommendations might be in reducing flu outbreaks among residents, " said Aaron Wendelboe of the University of Oklahoma, the lead author of the study.
Many older adults lose their independence as their health declines and they are compelled to move into assisted care facilities. Researchers at the University of Missouri and TigerPlace, an independent living community, have been using motion-sensing technology to monitor changes in residents' health for several years. Now, researchers have found that two devices commonly used for video gaming and security systems are effective in detecting the early onset of illness and fall risk in seniors. Marjorie Skubic, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the MU College of Engineering, is working with doctoral student, Erik Stone, to use the Microsoft Kinect, a new motion-sensing camera generally used as a video gaming device, to monitor behavior and routine changes in patients at TigerPlace.