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Health and Safety Executive Warns Of Importance Of Risk Assessments When Caring For Vulnerable People, UK

Organisations responsible for the care of vulnerable people must ensure that an effective risk assessment regime is in place and that any risks are properly addressed and managed, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) The warning follows the death of an inpatient, Sylvan Money, who was found hanging in her room at the Bronllys Adult Mental Illness Unit in Brecon in January 2004. Powys Local Health Board was prosecuted by HSE under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It pleaded guilty to the charge during an earlier hearing at Brecon Magistrates Court, and was fined 30, 000 with 46, 849.50 costs at a sentencing hearing in Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Friday (18 Sep).

Training By Experience For Medical Students Involved In Nursing Home Program

A geriatric training method pioneered by Marilyn R. Gugliucci, PhD, president of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (the educational branch of The Gerontological Society of America) has proved successful enough that she plans to implement it on a national level. This project, called Learning by Living, involves students residing in a nursing home for two weeks to better understand the experience of aging in a long-term care setting. Gugliucci started this type of training four years ago with students at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she serves as director of geriatrics education and research.

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At-Home Care May Be An Alternative To Hospital Care For Elderly Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

Hospital-at-home care may be a practical alternative to traditional hospital inpatient care for patients with acutely decompensated (suddenly worsening) chronic heart failure, according to a report in the September 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Nearly 7 million Europeans and 5 million North Americans are affected by chronic heart failure, a progressive and disabling syndrome, according to background information in the article. Hospitalization for chronic heart failure for older patients has increased and occurs in 2 percent to 3 percent of patients over age 85 every year. In the United States, decompensation (worsening) of chronic heart failure leads to more than 1 million hospital admissions per year and a 50 percent risk of subsequent hospitalization within six months of discharge.

GAO Finds That A Federal Program Is Missing Problem Nursing Homes

The Associated Press reports: Federal investigators report that a government-run program designed to bring "extra scrutiny to poorly performing nursing homes" is missing "hundreds of troubled facilities" that could qualify the closer look. "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services identifies up to 136 nursing homes as 'special focus facilities' subject to more frequent inspections because of their living conditions. In every state except for Alaska, there are between one and six such facilities. But investigators said four times as many homes, or 580, could be considered among the nation's worst." Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., the chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, said the new investigation by the Government Accountability Office indicated that the government's "special focus" is too limited.

Blogs Comment On Health Reform, Population Control, Provider Education, Other Topics

The following summarizes selected women's health-related blog entries. "Health Care Reform is a Woman's Issue, " Nancy Folbre, New York Times ' "Economix" : An exchange between Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) at Friday's Senate Finance Committee hearing illustrates why health reform is such an integral issue for women, Folbre -- an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst -- writes in the blog. In a discussion of what benefits private insurers should be required to offer, Kyl said he "'does not think he should be required to pay premiums to help finance maternity costs, since he has never needed maternity care, '" Folbre reports.

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Homewatch CareGivers New, Expanded Pathways To Memory trade; Program To Help Enhance Cognitive Function For Patients With Memory Loss

Based on the ground-breaking program released in 2005, Homewatch CareGivers, the largest, most experienced international provider of full-service home care, announced the release of its newly expanded Pathways to Memory™ Program, a set of therapeutic activities delivered in a nurturing, failure-free environment that stimulates and enhances cognitive function for patients with early to mid stage dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and other memory loss conditions. Now with more than 100 memory-enhancing activities, Pathways to Memory has achieved from 50% to more than 200% improvement in memory screenings with clients. The program is available exclusively through Homewatch CareGivers-certified specialists.

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