Tracy Breton, a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative and legal affairs reporter at the Providence Journal for 40 years, and now professor of English and nonfiction writing at Brown University, finally got the opportunity to report out the elder abuse series she’s wanted to do for a decade. Continue reading
Despite efforts to curb the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes, about 20 percent of residents – more than 250,000 vulnerable individuals – are still given these potent medications, according to a new report from the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC).
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) estimates that only a very small percentage of the senior population will ever have a condition warranting use of these powerful medications, psychotropic drugs still are being overused among the elderly, especially for those suffering from dementia, the report concluded. Continue reading
Should health providers be doing more to screen for fall risk in older adults? New research seems to indicate that fall screenings and risk prevention planning between providers and patients could save the health system millions of dollars, and possibly thousands of lives.
Falls cost the health system about $50 billion annually. It is a serious and growing public health issue, according to the study, “Medical Costs of Fatal and Nonfatal Falls in Older Adults,” by CDC researchers. Continue reading
Diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease has not changed much in the past 25 years. However, new research may enable earlier diagnosis and treatment according to panelists at one Health Journalism 2018 session.
Alzheimer’s disease places an unacceptable and intolerable toll on people with the condition, their families, and the health system, noted experts in the session, “What reporters need to know about the changing scene of Alzheimer’s research.” Continue reading
In a recent story for the Baltimore Sun, reporter Andrea K. McDaniels explored a dilemma getting increasing attention these days – the shortage of affordable and accessible oral health services for the nation’s seniors.
“Jocelyn Chapman’s 86-year-old mother needed major dental work, and her family was trying to figure out how to pay for it,” the story began. Continue reading
Too many physicians are prescribing opioid medications for hospitalized older adults who may not need them. A new study found that one-third of 10,000 older patients were prescribed opioid pain medications, including Percocet and OxyContin, while hospitalized for non-surgical conditions.
These patients had a longer length of stay (six days vs. four) and were more often readmitted within 30 days. They were also more likely to be restrained or have bladder catheters while hospitalized, according to the retrospective analysis. Continue reading