Articles Posted in Uncategorized

The prevalent use of forced arbitration agreements by corporations continues to plague our society.  Not only are they used in long-term care facilities like nursing homes, they are also used in big businesses such as banks.  Just last week, Wells Fargo took the heat in hearing rooms of congress and national television alike for scamming thousands of customers with fake accounts.

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Among the 1.4 million older adults in the United States who receive long term care in nursing home facilities, the prevalence of functional limitations is high.  According to an article recently published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association, the number of people with functional limitations is predicted to increase by about 120% worldwide, with those under the care of an institution rising by an estimated 130%.  Functional decline is well known to be a strong indicator of long-term institutionalization and its regular evaluation after nursing home admission is deemed a primary measure indicating the quality of care provided.  Not much is known about the functional status trajectory of older adults living in nursing home facilities where the facility environment, as well as individual factors, could exacerbate, accelerate, or lessen the decline based on the nursing care, rehabilitation, and medical services provided.

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How great the impact cancer has on exacerbating existing health problems or even creating new health problems in older adults is not well understood.  It is estimated that by 2030, almost 1 in every 5 Americans will be over the age of 65.  According to a recent report provided by the American Cancer Society, the number of older adults diagnosed with cancer will grow from 61% to 70% by 2030. It is common for older cancer survivors to experience additional age-related health conditions, including functional decline, joint problems, sensory impairment, and urinary incontinence.  With the ever-growing older adult population, the need to investigate this unanswered question of how cancer effects health status and what strategies need to be developed to enhance health outcomes become more pertinent.

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When considering the health and well-being of elderly people, oral health does not often come to mind as an important component.  In literature regarding risk factors for diminished well-being among older adults, it is uncommon for oral health to be explicitly listed, although other health illnesses and disease conditions are often discussed.  Although it may sound shocking to most, untreated dental decay is the most prevalent health condition in the world according to global burden of disease estimates.

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Pressure ulcers remain a huge problem in United States nursing home facilities despite the existence of prevention guidelines.  Nursing home residents who stay for long durations of time and are vulnerable to less mobility are at particularly high risk of developing pressure ulcers.  Substantial literature indicates that pressure ulcer prevention strategies exist.  However, there is still inadequate knowledge on how to achieve consistently successful implementation of pressure ulcer prevention strategies.  According to the Institute of Medicine, the best way to prevent pressure ulcers in nursing homes is to improve “staff training and empowerment, access to resources, and implementation of quality improvement processes.”

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Fruit lovers rejoice! New studies have found that eating fresh fruits every day can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.  We all know that eating fruit is healthy, but not everyone knows how beneficial eating fruit is for the heart.  Strong evidence shows that fruit has the power to decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular-related death.

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Diabetes Mellitus is derived from the Greek word diabanein, which literally means “passing through” or “siphon”.  This term refers to one of the main symptoms of Diabetes—excessive urination.  Diabetes is also known as hyperglycemia, which is the state of too much glucose (sugar) in the blood.  Hyperglycemia occurs when the body is unable to regulate the level of glucose in the blood, resulting in too much glucose.  This excess of glucose in the blood is processed by the liver where it is converted into a form (glycogen) to be stored for future use.  Blood glucose level is regulated by insulin, a hormone made in the islet cells in the pancreas.  Insulin acts as a key, enabling the body’s cells to absorb and use glucose.   When insulin levels are insufficient, glucose from the blood is unable to enter the body’s cells, thereby preventing it from being used as fuel to support its continued function.

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Pain is prevalent among nursing home residents and can take a major toll on mood, sleep, and overall function.  Despite the severity of the consequences, pain is not often managed adequately for this vulnerable group. There are many limitations to pain assessment and treatment in nursing homes.  Long-term care staff of these facilities often have difficulty evaluating and treating pain in elderly patients.

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Aging has been defined as the multifaceted process of the collection of biological damages in the molecules, cells, and organs of the body. These damages are thought to cause decrease in function and increase in susceptibility to disease and death. Despite how complex aging is, recent studies have shown that changes in diet and genes can significantly lengthen healthy life span in laboratory organisms.

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