Health and Fitness

Majority Who Care For A Relative Suffer From Anxiety And Stress, According To Study

Eight out of 1ten people in charge of caring for a relative suffer from anxiety and stress, regardless of their socio-demographic variables. Families, and particularly daughters, assume the "informal care" of dependent elderly people in most of the cases. This follows an investigation carried out by Ruth M В Calero PГ rez and directed by professor JosГ MВ Roa Venegas at the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Granada. The work in the UGR shows that in some cases this care in the family creates inappropriate behaviour in the relationship, and that the negative effects on the physical, psychological and social caregiver are highly related to the previous life history between caregiver and care recipient, social isolation felt by the caregiver, and the feeling of loneliness in the relationship with the care recipient. To carry out this work, the researchers applied a questionnaire to a population of 203 subjects whose only requirement was to be the informal caregiver of a dependent elderly person.

Spain Complaint: Too Many European Retirees With Expensive Health Problems

NPR reports: "Most countries in the European Union offer universal health coverage for their citizens. And when a citizen from one EU country travels to, or lives in another one, they also are covered. But now Spain is complaining" about the rule, "as more and more northern Europeans choose to retire along its Mediterranean coast." NPR likens the situation along Spain's Costa del Sol to that of Florida, where many U.S. seniors with costly health problems retire (Socolovsky, 1/19). This information was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with kind permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up for email delivery at kaiserhealthnews.org. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

Lighter Sedation For Elderly During Surgery May Reduce Risk Of Confusion, Disorientation After

A common complication following surgery in elderly patients is postoperative delirium, a state of confusion that can lead to long-term health problems and cause some elderly patients to complain that they "never felt the same" again after an operation. But a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that simply limiting the depth of sedation during procedures could safely cut the risk of postoperative delirium by 50 percent. "Merely by adjusting how a person is sedated can have a profound effect on their postoperative cognitive state, " says study leader Frederick E. Sieber, M.D., an associate professor of anesthesia at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Sieber says propofol, a short-acting anesthetic commonly used to induce anesthesia and keep patients asleep, and similar anesthetics may not behave as the clear "on/off phenomena" they were long thought to be, with effects disappearing as soon as the drugs are withdrawn.

January 15: Seniors Vaccination Day

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and AARP will team up for a vaccination event in Washington, DC on Seniors Flu Vaccination Day this Friday, January 15, 2010. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kathy Greenlee, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Nicole Lurie and AARP DC President, Denise Rolark Barnes will visit the Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center to encourage senior citizens to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. The officials will hold a speaking program and tour the wellness center's flu vaccination clinic. Who Secretary Sebelius, Secretary, HHS Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, HHS Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, HHS Denise Rolark Barnes, President, AARP Washington DC When Friday, January 15, 2010 2:30 PM EST; Media pre-set at 2:00 PM Where Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center 3500 Martin L. King Jr. Ave SE Washington, DC 20032 National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), January 10-16, 2010, is a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as fostering greater use of flu vaccine.

Cognitively Impaired Elderly Women Get Unneeded Screening Mammography, Study Finds

A significant percentage of U.S. women 70 years or older who were severely cognitively impaired received screening mammography that was unlikely to benefit them, according to a study of 2, 131 elderly women conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco. Overall, 18 percent of severely cognitively impaired women in the study received screening mammography, compared with 45 percent of women with normal cognitive status. However, severely cognitively impaired women who were married and had a net worth of more than $100, 000 had a screening rate of 47 percent. "Screening" mammography is imaging conducted to detect masses that are not causing any symptoms but may grow to cause symptoms in the future. It is distinguished from mammography conducted after a suspicious mass has been detected on physical exam. "Even a screening rate of 18 percent may be considered too high, '' says lead author Kala Mehta, DSc, MPH, a geriatrics researcher at UCSF. In order to benefit from screening mammography, she explains, "a woman must have a life expectancy of at least four to five years, '' whereas the severely cognitively impaired women in this study had a life expectancy of 3.

Addressing Unfunded Retiree Liabilities

Research shows that, nationally, states are facing more than $550 billion in unfunded liabilities associated with health care and other non-pension benefits for retired state employees, a situation many states are now struggling to fix. New research from North Carolina State University has identified a number of trends that are consistent among those states with the biggest funding problems - information that may help states find a solution to the funding shortfall. "We've identified some state government characteristics that seem to contribute to these unfunded liabilities, and have found some states that have done a good job of limiting their liability, " says Dr. Jerrell Coggburn, associate professor and head of the Department of Public Administration at NC State. "Tracking these characteristics, and those states that have done well, could help guide those states that are currently weighing how to move forward to address their own unfunded liability concerns." Coggburn co-authored the research with Dr.

Minister Aine Brady Urges Care For Older People During Continuing Severe Cold Spell, Ireland

Aine Brady, T.D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, urged older people to continue to take extra care during the current cold spell and asked the public to make a special effort to keep an eye on their older neighbours and relatives, particularly those living alone. Urging older people to follow the advice in the recently published HSE information booklet 'Keep Warm Keep Well' the Minister advised that older people should keep warm, eat well and avoid unnecessary travel. "Particular care should be taken due to the increased risk of falls as a result of icy footpaths and roads. People should call on elderly relatives and neighbours and ensure they have sufficient supplies of food and of any prescription drugs they may need. It is also important to ensure that older people have sufficient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in their homes." The HSE Information Line on 1850 24 1850 should be used to contact the Local Health Office or access services provided by Public Health Nurses or Community Welfare Officers (CWO).

Yoga Reduces Cytokine Levels Known To Promote Inflammation

Regularly practicing yoga exercises may lower a number of compounds in the blood and reduce the level of inflammation that normally rises because of both normal aging and stress, a new study has shown. The study, done by Ohio State University researchers and just reported in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, showed that women who routinely practiced yoga had lower amounts of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood. The women also showed smaller increases in IL-6 after stressful experiences than did women who were the same age and weight but who were not yoga practitioners. IL-6 is an important part of the body's inflammatory response and has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, arthritis and a host of other age-related debilitating diseases. Reducing inflammation may provide substantial short- and long-term health benefits, the researchers suggest. "In addition to having lower levels of inflammation before they were stressed, we also saw lower inflammatory responses to stress among the expert yoga practitioners in the study, " explained Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology and lead author of the study.

'Longevity Gene' Helps Prevent Memory Decline And Dementia

Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that a "longevity gene" helps to slow age-related decline in brain function in older adults. Drugs that mimic the gene's effect are now under development, the researchers note, and could help protect against Alzheimer's disease. The paper describing the Einstein study is published in the January 13 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Most work on the genetics of Alzheimer's disease has focused on factors that increase the danger, " said Richard B. Lipton, M.D., the Lotti and Bernard Benson Faculty Scholar in Alzheimer's Disease and professor and vice chair in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology at Einstein and senior author of the paper. As an example, he cites APOE О 4, a gene variant involved in cholesterol metabolism that is known to increase the risk of Alzheimer's among those who carry it. "We reversed this approach, " says Dr. Lipton, "and instead focused on a genetic factor that protects against age-related illnesses, including both memory decline and Alzheimer's disease.

Health Care Reform Legislation Could Hurt Seniors

Health care reform legislation could be worse for America's seniors than the Administration and Congressional leaders are publicly stating, according to The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors advocacy organizations. Among other concerns, The Senior Citizens League is focusing on two main objections to the current health care reform bill: 1. Shaky Medicare Financing: The bill will not shore up Medicare's financing, despite claims to the contrary; and 2. Reduced Access to Care: Seniors may have reduced access to medical care as providers experience cuts and go out of business. 1. Shaky Medicare Financing: Lawmakers supportive of the bill have consistently stated that health care reform would keep the Medicare trust fund in the black for several additional years. However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calls that claim into question, accusing the government of "double-counting." In its December 23, 2009 memo, the CBO states that, "в the majority of the health insurance trust fund savings would be used to pay for other spending under the [health care bill] and would not enhance the ability of the government to redeem the bonds credited to the trust fund to pay for future Medicare benefits.

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