Are there different levels of death? Are you alive if you’re brain dead but on life support?
Many journalists and members of the public are unclear about the nuances of brain death. According to this new tip sheet from author and researcher Alan Cassels, this confusion directly affects issues such as organ donation rates.
Cassels notes that while a patient’s organs can be “kept alive” while awaiting transplantation, brain death is legally the same as cardiopulmonary death – death is death. It matters because the organ donor transplant list keeps growing. Continue reading
Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on the southeastern United States. It left at least 43 people dead and forced many from their homes, due to rising rivers that flooded many communities. In parts of North Carolina, the storm was particularly cruel to lower income residents, reported The Washington Post.
Disasters like this may be hardest on older residents – who may not drive, have serious chronic health conditions or mobility problems. Older people who were forced to evacuate their homes may not have enough medication on hand, or may need ongoing, life-saving treatment, like dialysis. They may be at a loss in figuring out how to obtain needed care, but it is possible. Continue reading
Photo: Liz Seegert/AHCJBernard Cunniffe, shown with his wife Beverly, was assisted by his city’s Community Paramedics initiative after an accident.
When 84-year old Bernard Cunniffe fell in the bathroom one morning, his wife called the paramedics. However, rather than transporting the retired NYPD officer to the emergency department, the specially-trained responders assessed him for trauma, evaluated his vital signs and settled him into his bed.
Cunniffe, who is homebound because of multiple medical conditions, was uninjured but had low oxygen saturation, the likely cause of the fall. The community paramedics quickly stabilized him in consultation with an on-call physician and avoided a trip to the hospital. The Cunniffes were thrilled with the experience. Continue reading
An innovative program in Orange County, N.C., taps into older adults’ leadership skills — and trains them to give back to the community. Project EngAGE helps people age 55 years and older build relationships with community leaders and organization so they can advocate for other older adults who may need social services, housing or other assistance.
Jan DuMont, 71, a retired nurse who moved to the area from Washington, D.C., enrolled in the 13-week program, which covers a range of health and aging services specific to the older population. As this News-Observer article explains, they serve as senior resource leaders who address important concerns among other older adults in the community. “We help to address gaps in the system,” she said in a phone interview. Continue reading
Fall has arrived so it’s time for older adults to get their flu shots. Or is it?
Older adults are at greater risk of serious complications of the disease than those under age 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They recommend that everyone get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible, as the best way to prevent the flu. Continue reading