Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Researchers have found that loneliness takes a physical toll, and is as closely linked to early mortality as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day or consuming more than six alcoholic drinks a day. Loneliness is even worse for longevity than being obese or physically inactive. In other aging news: exercise, strengthening your brain, and poverty.
Having fled quickly — often without medications, wheelchairs or pets to comfort them — refugees from the Camp Fire manage as best they can in makeshift shelters miles from home. A virus is spreading, and medical attention is spotty.
For example, a 63-year-old transgender woman wonders if she would be accepted at a long-term care center. Would she have to hide who she is and go back into the closet “to get the care I deserve to get?” In other news on aging, predicting Alzheimer’s, knee replacement surgery and staying active in the later years.
Turning 65 is far more life-changing than turning 21 ever was.
“I think it’s a breakthrough,” Clifford Rosen, an endocrinologist and physician, said of the study. While researchers have known that older women with osteoporosis benefit from drugs called bisphosphonates, this study supports their value for younger women with less brittle bones. Some, however, remain cautious. In other news on aging, two big studies focus on Alzheimer’s prevention.
For families living with dementia, natural disasters can be particularly terrifying, heightening confusion, disorientation, anxiety and paranoia.
Marijuana dispensaries are reaching out to seniors seeking help with the aches and pains of aging. They’re discovering an array of products, and some interesting side effects.
None of the residents died or were injured in the fire, but the state’s Department of Social Services accused the staff of being unprepared and leaving before everyone was taken to safety. Nursing homes news comes out of North Carolina, Colorado, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Tennessee, as well.
As suicide rates rise among the elderly, some health care providers think that even though it’s difficult to do so, it’s valid to discuss the topic and help those who think there are fates worse than death. In other news on aging: muscle loss and loss of independence, bereavement time for long-term care workers, malnutrition, dementia, and more.
Death and its companion, grief, are often ignored at nursing homes and assisted living centers. Yet ignoring the loss can lead to depression, staff burnout and other problems.
The study follows a Kaiser Health News and New York Times investigation that found nearly 1,400 nursing homes have reported fewer registered nurses on duty than Medicare requires or failed to provide reliable staffing information to the government.
Experts in the Netherlands place emphasis on reducing stress, bringing together patients with dementia, and accessing childhood memories and emotions, rather than on drug treatment. Meanwhile, researchers in the U.S. are studying a gene mutation that could unlock some of the mysteries surrounding Alzheimer’s.
Seniors who outlive their friends — and sometimes family members — know it’s tough to make new friends. But they also know it’s essential to well-being.
With the motto “Where Heroes Meet Angels,” a small Veterans Affairs effort pairs vets in need of nursing home care with caregivers willing to share their homes. Medical foster homes save money, but it’s difficult to find enough spaces for all those who could benefit.
As the outbreak enters its second month, investigators are still scrambling to locate its origin. In other public health news: domestic violence, Alzheimer’s, anti-depression medication, eyeglasses, Lyme disease, autism, and more.
Across the country, community groups, hospitals and government agencies are stepping in to support the estimated 42 million family caregivers.
A study has found that relying on data about doctor-diagnosed arthritis alone may miss almost half of cases in a younger population who may see doctors less often or ignore occasional joint symptoms. In other news on aging: thinning bones, the benefits of volunteering and Alzheimer’s.
Scientists hope that by looking into the brains of older adults who don’t have Alzheimer’s they’ll be able to unlock the key to maximizing people’s memories.
It was announced that former first lady Barbara Bush will not seek further medical treatment beyond comfort care for her failing health. People who opt for comfort care receive treatment only for their symptoms, such as shortness of breath or pain, rather than trying to prolong life.
There’s a growing population of older adults without children having to navigate getting older and the pitfalls that come with it. But it can be done successfully, experts say. In other aging news: the financial toll of dementia, older patients who have been living with HIV, positive perceptions about aging, and more.