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When I answered the “so what” question for my past grant,
Nursing Interventions for Sensory Impaired LTC Elders (unpublished grant
proposal, 2005), I had compelling reasons for why nurses should investigate
sensory impairment, specifically vision and hearing impairment in older adults.
I could justify why it was important for nurses to partner with
interprofessional colleagues to develop and test interventions to improve
vision and hearing function that prevent or limit disability. p. 3-5
Shows Promise for Treating AD-Related Agitation
According to a study published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association, the antidepressant drug citalopram
(Celexa®, Cipramil®) significantly relieved agitation in
a group of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In lower doses than those
tested, the drug might be safer than antipsychotic drugs currently used to
treat the condition.
Study Completed for Neuroelectrophysiological Device
Neuronetrix has completed a significant clinical
study milestone involving its proprietary Cognision™ System. The
multi-year study was designed to evaluate the system’s ability to discriminate
early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients from age-matched healthy
controls. The Cognision System is a proprietary neuroelectrophysiological
device that provides objective assessments of cognitive function.
Program Keeps Older Adults with Dementia at Home Longer
An 18-month pilot program that brought resources
and counselors to older adults with dementia and other memory disorders
significantly increased the length of time they lived successfully at home. The
program’s findings were published online in the American Journal of
Exposure May Increase Risk and Severity of Alzheimer’s
A new study published online in JAMA Neurology
reported that exposure to the pesticide DDT may increase the risk and severity
of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in some people, particularly those 60 and older.
With an increase in the number of patients
diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is not surprising that there is a
consistent increase in use of nutraceuticals and other over-the-counter
medications to combat memory complaints and ideally treat dementia. Throughout
this review article, the authors highlight recent literature updates on B
vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and gingko biloba. Similar
to any other medication, it is imperative to evaluate the risks and benefits in
older patients, especially in light of comorbidities and existing medications. p. 11–17.
Considering both demographic and technological changes in society, the potential of technology to support older adults has recently attracted much attention. For physically frail individuals with cognitive impairment, user-friendly technologies may facilitate activities of daily living. The current study assessed the performance of older adults without cognitive impairment (n = 27) and with mild cognitive impairment (n = 26) using three types of technology. Relationships between performance in the technology-based tasks and cognitive abilities (e.g., visual-spatial abilities), personality characteristics (e.g., self-efficacy), and previous technology experience were examined using a mixed-methods approach including video analyses and psychological testing. Findings underscore that both cognitive abilities and personality-related characteristics contribute to individual differences in users’ performance. Nuanced knowledge of older adults’ specific difficulties, abilities, and resources may help improve the fit between user needs and technological requirements, with implications for technology developers and practitioners. p. 18–24.
This article describes a quality improvement program
to reduce the prevalence of physical assaults in a university-affiliated,
234-bed Veterans Affairs (VA) long-term care (LTC) facility, which experienced
a rise in the number of physical assaults to >4 per 1,000 bed days of care
in four LTC units. Analysis of 55 events (29 patients) at this VA LTC site
during 2007 revealed 19 resident assailants (8% total population), 10 victims,
and 30% repeat events. Of the residents who exhibited assaultive behavior, 44%
had dementia and 32% had schizophrenia as a major diagnosis. Following a
process improvement plan, new occurrence assaultive behaviors declined from
>4 to <1 per 1,000 bed days and remained low during 5-year follow up. p. 25–30
Around the world, an increasing number of grandparents are raising
grandchildren in households without a biological parent. This is no less true
in the united states, where grandparents raising grandchildren are at increased
risk for depression and declining physical health. The purpose of this article
is to explore the recent literature as it relates to the psychological and/or
physical health of grandparents raising grandchildren. On reviewing 19 articles
from the past 10 years, it is clear that the literature consistently verifies
the health risks, especially depression, for grandparents raising
grandchildren; however, the lack of research regarding grandfathers and
non-african american caregivers is apparent. The factors influencing
grandparents raising grandchildren are numerous, which calls for care providers
to assess the needs, situations, and perceptions of grandparents individually.
Finally, a need has arisen for more research suggesting and validating
interventions that health care providers can use to support this population of older
adults. p. 32–42
This study explored how nursing staff promote
person-centeredness in long-term care settings. The study used an
anthropological free-listing approach to data collection and qualitative
content analysis to analyze written self-report descriptions from a convenience
sample of Swedish long-term care staff (N = 436). The analyses resulted
in four themes that illuminate how nursing staff promote person-centeredness:
Promoting Decision Making, Promoting a Meaningful Living, Promoting a
Pleasurable Living, and Promoting Personhood. The study contributes to the
literature by providing concrete descriptions of how person-centeredness was
facilitated by staff in their everyday practice and contributes to move
person-centeredness from the philosophical, policy, and conceptual domains
toward clinical implementation. The study also suggests that promoting pleasure
for residents is a dimension central to person-centeredness and to
health-promoting gerontological nursing, and that “small talk” is an emerging
nursing phenomenon that deserves more research attention. p. 46–53
The aim in this study was to identify specific
aspects of care that increased satisfaction of family members of Greek and
Italian residents with dementia in mainstream or ethno-specific aged care
facilities in Australia. Relatives of 83 aged care residents with Greek or Italian
backgrounds who were also cognitively impaired were interviewed. They rated
their satisfaction with the facility and suggested improvements regarding the
care provided. Family members with relatives in ethno-specific care were more
satisfied, in terms of the facility’s ability to meet the resident’s language
and cultural needs, social/leisure activities, and the food provided. The
presence of a bilingual staff member and greater perceived reduction in family
caregiver stress upon admission were associated with higher satisfaction.
Results implicate the role of activities programs, catering, resident
interaction, supporting caregivers upon admission, and bilingual staff members
to increase family satisfaction, with the potential to improve the care provided
to residents in mainstream care. p.