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[ Increased Surveillance Of Nursing Home Residents Following Changes In Medication May Decrease Falls ]

Increased Surveillance Of Nursing Home Residents Following Changes In Medication May Decrease Falls

Nursing home residents taking certain antidepressant medications are at an increased risk of falling in the days following the start of a new prescription or a dose increase of their current drug, according to a new study by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Published online in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, the study found that nursing home residents have a fivefold increased risk of falling within two days of a new prescription for or an increased dose of a non-SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant such as bupropion or venlafaxine. The findings suggest that nursing home staff should closely monitor these residents following a prescription change to prevent potential falls. "Our results, " says lead author Sarah D.

Much-Needed Break To Family Caregivers Provided By Adult Day Care Services

Adult day care services significantly reduce the stress levels of family caregivers of older adults with dementia, according to a team of Penn State and Virginia Tech researchers. "Family members who care for dementia patients are susceptible to experiencing high levels of stress, " said Steven Zarit, professor and head, department of human development and family studies, Penn State. "One way of alleviating that stress is through the use of an adult day care center, which allows them a predictable break from caregiving responsibilities." Not only do caregivers benefit from using such services, but dementia patients also gain from the break. Zarit and his colleagues showed that dementia patients who attend adult day care centers have fewer behavior problems and sleep better at night.

Home Medical Devices Should Be Easy-To-Use And Caregivers Well-Trained

A new report from the National Research Council recommends steps the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies and professional associations can take to ensure that the medical devices and health information technology used in home health care are easy and safe for laypeople to use and that caregivers, whether formal or informal, are well-trained. For many reasons -- including the rising cost of health care, the aging of the U.S. population, and patients' desire to remain in their homes -- health care is increasingly moving from formal medical facilities into homes. A wide range of procedures, therapies, and monitoring tasks are now carried out far from any hospital or clinic, often with no health care professional on-site. So far, however, little attention has been paid to ensuring that this transition of care into the home happens safely and effectively.

Blacks, Hispanics And Asians In Nursing Homes Increases As Their Share Of Elderly In The Total Population Increases, But Not Whites

Nursing homes in the United States are shrinking and their residents are becoming proportionately more black, more Hispanic, more Asian, and less white, according to a new study by Brown University researchers. The nationwide trend, reflected in metropolitan areas from New York to Los Angeles, results from changing demographics and disparities in what people can afford. The study is published in the July edition of Health Affairs. In the last decade, minorities have poured into nursing homes at a time when whites have left in even greater numbers, according to a new Brown University study that suggests a racial disparity in elder care options in the United States. At first blush the analysis, published July 7 in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that elderly blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are gaining greater access to nursing home care.

VA Issuing First Payments To Caregivers

The Department of Veterans Affairs will send out more than $430, 000 in stipend payments to nearly 200 Family Caregivers of Veterans in July. These Family Caregivers were the first to complete their Caregiver training under the program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. The first payments to 96 recipients were issued today. "This is a long-awaited day for many Family Caregivers who diligently worked to achieve this landmark legislation to enhance services for Family Caregivers, " said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. "I am proud VA can now offer direct support to the loved ones who give the Veterans we serve a greater quality of life by allowing them to remain at home surrounded by family and friends." Family Caregivers will receive an average $1, 600 in monthly stipend payments.

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