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Geriatrics, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Food Services Using Energy- and Protein-Fortified Meals to Assist Vulnerable Community-Residing Older Adults Meet Their Dietary Requirements and Maintain Good Health and Quality of Life: Findings from a Pilot Study
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
The effects of “standard (STD)” vs. “protein- and energy-enriched (HEHP)” food-service meals on the nutrient intake, nutritional status, functional capacity, and wellbeing of older adults was investigated using a 12 week, double-blinded, parallel group design. All participants received dietetics counseling and either an
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The effects of “standard (STD)” vs. “protein- and energy-enriched (HEHP)” food-service meals on the nutrient intake, nutritional status, functional capacity, and wellbeing of older adults was investigated using a 12 week, double-blinded, parallel group design. All participants received dietetics counseling and either an STD (2.3 MJ and 30 g protein per meal) or a HEHP (4.6 MJ and 60 g protein) hot lunchtime meal for at least 3 days/week; those who did not want food-service meals were included in the control group (CON). Twenty-nine participants completed the study (STD = 7; HEHP = 12; CON = 10). From baseline to week 12, the HEHP subjects increased their mean daily energy intake from 6151 ± 376 kJ to 8228 ± 642 kJ (p = 0.002 for effect of time) and protein intake from 67 ± 4 g to 86 ± 8 g (p = 0.014 for effect of time). The MNA (Mini Nutritional Assessment) score was increased significantly in HEHP by 4.0 ± 1.1 points (p = 0.001), but not in the STD and CON groups (2.8 ± 2.1 points and 1.8 ± 1.1 points, p > 0.05). No difference was found for other clinical outcomes between the groups. The findings indicate that provision of HEHP-fortified food-service meals can increase energy and protein intake and improve the nutritional status of nutritionally at-risk older people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing, Nutrition and Physical Activity)
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary The Acute Care for Elders Unit Model of Care
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 8 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
Older patients are at risk for loss of self-care abilities during the course of an acute medical illness that results in hospitalization. The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit is a continuous quality improvement model of care designed to prevent the patient’s loss
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Older patients are at risk for loss of self-care abilities during the course of an acute medical illness that results in hospitalization. The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit is a continuous quality improvement model of care designed to prevent the patient’s loss of independence from admission to discharge in the performance of activities of daily living (hospital-associated disability). The ACE unit intervention includes principles of a prepared environment that encourages safe patient self-care, a set of clinical guidelines for bedside care by nurses and other health professionals to prevent patient disability and restore self-care lost by the acute illness, and planning for transitions of care and medical care. By applying a structured process, an interdisciplinary team completes a geriatric assessment, follows clinical guidelines, and initiates plans for care transitions in concert with the patient and family. Three randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews of ACE or related interventions demonstrate reduced functional disability among patients, reduced risk of nursing home admission, and lower costs of hospitalization. ACE principles could improve elderly care in any acute setting. The aim of this commentary is to describe the ACE model and the basis of its effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Strategies to Promote Broad-Based Implementation of Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Units
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Open AccessFeature PaperCase Report Vet Connect: A Quality Improvement Program to Provide Telehealth Subspecialty Care for Veterans Residing in VA-Contracted Community Nursing Homes
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract
Veterans residing in Veterans Health Administration (VA) contracted Community Nursing Homes (CNHs) receive primary care from the CNH they reside in, but often travel to Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) for specialty care services. The Vet Connect project is a quality improvement project
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Veterans residing in Veterans Health Administration (VA) contracted Community Nursing Homes (CNHs) receive primary care from the CNH they reside in, but often travel to Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) for specialty care services. The Vet Connect project is a quality improvement project aiming to implement video technology to support access to specialty care. Methods: Eight Denver VAMC specialty care providers and three project nurses underwent telehealth training and obtained appropriate equipment. To identify in-person visits eligible for substitution of video visits, project nurses review charts of CNH Veterans, consult directly with Veterans, and obtain recommendations from staff. Project nurses serve as tele-presenters within the CNHs, while VA specialists provide care from the VAMC. After each visit, team nurses coordinate care with and deliver specialty care recommendations to CNH staff. Results: We assessed clinical, business, and technical domains of the Vet Connect project, and utilized process mapping to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation. Clinically, starting on 26 June 2017 through 1 June 2018, N = 203 video visits have been conducted with 11 different CNHs in three subspecialties: geriatrics, palliative care, and mental health. These visits generated 49 referrals for 37 Veterans. Fiscally, cost analyses indicate that per visit, the health care system saves an estimated $310. Technologically, the success rate was 83%. Process mapping helped identify facilitators and barriers to implementation of the telehealth program, including cultivating buy-in from key stakeholders (i.e., medical and mental health providers, telehealth staff, and CNH staff), communication allowing for ongoing program adaptation, and building relationships. Conclusion: Subspecialty care delivery to nursing homes using video visit technology in the Vet Connect program is feasible using centralized organization to coordinate complex clinical, business and technical processes. Vet Connect has proved sustainable and has potential to expand within and outside of the VA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessReview Assessment of Smart Watches for Management of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ageing Population: A Systematic Review
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
Advancement in wearable technologies is providing promising new ways to monitor and improve patient care to the ageing population. With the global demographic transition of developed countries to an ageing population, implementation of these technologies could benefit patients and clinicians. This systematic review
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Advancement in wearable technologies is providing promising new ways to monitor and improve patient care to the ageing population. With the global demographic transition of developed countries to an ageing population, implementation of these technologies could benefit patients and clinicians. This systematic review assesses experimental studies performed utilizing these technologies. A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature was performed on the application of wearable technologies in the patients 60 years old or greater or what is considered ageing population. Search results were reviewed and synthesized to attempt to ascertain its possible clinical application and impact. A total of 422 papers were identified for review. Eight papers were relevant to the ageing population. The majority of papers identified were experimental studies. This was because the technology is still new to the field of medicine. The studies were performed in North America, United Kingdom, Germany and Indonesia. All showed promise that wearable technologies can benefit the management of non-communicable diseases in the ageing population. Current studies focus on the experimental nature of wearable technology. Further clinical trials are needed to assess the benefit in the management of ageing populations in the clinical setting. Full article
Open AccessReview Orthogeriatrics and Hip Fracture Care in the UK: Factors Driving Change to More Integrated Models of Care
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
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Abstract
In the United Kingdom (UK), approximately 80,000 hip fractures each year result in an estimated annual cost of two billion pounds in direct healthcare costs alone. Various models of care exist for collaboration between orthopaedic surgeons and geriatricians in response to the complex
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In the United Kingdom (UK), approximately 80,000 hip fractures each year result in an estimated annual cost of two billion pounds in direct healthcare costs alone. Various models of care exist for collaboration between orthopaedic surgeons and geriatricians in response to the complex medical, rehabilitation, and social needs of this patient group. Mounting evidence suggests that more integrated models of orthogeriatric care result in superior quality of care indicators and clinical outcomes. Clinical governance through national guidelines, audit through the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD), and financial incentives through the Best Practice Tariff (providing a £1335 bonus for each patient) have driven hip fracture care in the UK forward. The demanded improvement in quality indicators has increased the popularity of collaborative care models and particularly integrated orthogeriatric services. A significant fall in 30-day mortality has resulted nationally. Ongoing data collection by the NHFD will lead to greater understanding of the impact of all elements of hip fracture care including models of orthogeriatrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication A Healthcare Pathway to Nirvana? The SNF Transition to Home
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
While the majority of attention and the literature has focused on transitional models out of the acute care setting, transitions from the post-acute setting—especially from the skilled nursing facility (SNF)—are not well understood. What are the ‘best practices’, or thoughtful considerations, for a
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While the majority of attention and the literature has focused on transitional models out of the acute care setting, transitions from the post-acute setting—especially from the skilled nursing facility (SNF)—are not well understood. What are the ‘best practices’, or thoughtful considerations, for a successful transition back to home and the community? Facilitation of a smooth and seamless transition relies on the abilities of the SNF and primary care teams, as well as community agencies, to coordinate care in a patient-centered manner together. This article will focus on this specific transition within the healthcare continuum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessArticle Pharmacist Clinical Interventions and Discharge Counseling in Medical Rehabilitation Wards in a Local Hospital: A Prospective Trial
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
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Abstract
Patients undergoing rehabilitation experience numerous changes in medication regimens during care transitions, exposing these patients to an increased risk of drug-related problems (DRPs). A prospective, non-randomized, quasi-experimental study was conducted in medical rehabilitation wards to evaluate the impact of pharmacist-delivered interventions and counseling
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Patients undergoing rehabilitation experience numerous changes in medication regimens during care transitions, exposing these patients to an increased risk of drug-related problems (DRPs). A prospective, non-randomized, quasi-experimental study was conducted in medical rehabilitation wards to evaluate the impact of pharmacist-delivered interventions and counseling on 30-day unplanned health care utilization and medication adherence for selected rehabilitation patients. A pharmacist provided medication reconciliation and counseling before discharge. Phone follow-up was completed 30 days after discharge to assess for unplanned health care utilization rate and medication adherence. A total of 85 patients (n = 43 in prospective intervention group and n = 42 in historical usual care group) were included. Among the intervention group, 23 DRPs were identified in 14 (32.6%) patients, resulting in 51 interventions. The intervention group had a significantly lower unplanned health care utilization rate than the usual care group (25.6% vs. 47.6%, p = 0.035). The risk of unplanned health care utilization was reduced by over 60% (Odds ratio (OR) = 0.378; 95% CI = 0.15–0.94). Patients reporting medium to high medication adherence increased from 23.6% to 88.4% 30 days after counseling (p < 0.05). Pharmacist medication reconciliation and discharge counseling reduced unplanned health care utilization 30 days after discharge and improved medication adherence. Full article
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Open AccessReview Chronic Kidney Disease and Older African American Adults: How Embodiment Influences Self-Management
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
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Abstract
Patients living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) must balance the medical management of their kidney disease and other chronic conditions with their daily lives, including managing the emotional and psychosocial consequences of living with a chronic disease. Self-management is critical to managing chronic
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Patients living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) must balance the medical management of their kidney disease and other chronic conditions with their daily lives, including managing the emotional and psychosocial consequences of living with a chronic disease. Self-management is critical to managing chronic kidney disease, as treatment consists of a complex regimen of medications, dosages, and treatments. This is a particularly important issue for older African American adults who will comprise a significant portion of the older adult population in the coming years. Yet current conceptualizations of self-management behaviors cannot adequately address the needs of this population. Embodiment theory provides a novel perspective that considers how social factors and experiences are embodied within decision-making processes regarding self-management care among older African Americans. This paper will explore how embodiment theory can aid in shifting the conceptualization of self-management from a model of individual choice, to a framework that cannot separate lived experiences of social, political, and racial factors from clinical understandings of self-management behaviors. This shift in the conceptualization of self-management is particularly important to consider for CKD management because the profound illness burdens require significant self-management and care coordination skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Disease Self-Management in Older Adult Populations)
Open AccessArticle Relationship between SHARE-FI Frailty Scores and Physical Performance Measures in Older Adult Medicaid Recipients
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
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Abstract
The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe-Frailty Instrument (SHARE-FI) is a frailty assessment tool designed for primary care settings comprised of four self-report questions and grip strength measurement, yet it is not known how SHARE-FI scores relate to objective physical performance
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The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe-Frailty Instrument (SHARE-FI) is a frailty assessment tool designed for primary care settings comprised of four self-report questions and grip strength measurement, yet it is not known how SHARE-FI scores relate to objective physical performance measures that assess physical functioning, fall risk, and disability. This cross-sectional, observational study examined the association between SHARE-FI scores and a battery of physical performance measures in a sample of older adult, Medicaid waiver recipients (n = 139, mean age = 74.19 ± 8.36 years). We administered the SHARE-FI, Timed Up and Go (TUG), gait speed, and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) in participants’ homes. Among clients, 45% were frail, 35% pre-frail, and 20% non-frail. There were significant differences in all physical performance measure scores with respect to SHARE-FI category. SHARE-FI continuous scores significantly predicted TUG time, all domains of the SPPB, gait speed, and inability to complete the chair rise test. Self-reported walking difficulty and objectively measured gait speed were significantly correlated. The SHARE-FI continuous frailty score predicts scores on a variety of validated physical performance measures. Given the fast administration time, the SHARE-FI could potentially be used to serve as a surrogate for physical performance measures with known association with physical function, fall risk, and disability. Full article
Open AccessReview Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Team Model of Care: A Clinical Overview
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Reports of To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm have called for more interprofessional and coordinated hospital care. For over 20 years, Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Units and models of care that disseminate ACE principles
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The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Reports of To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm have called for more interprofessional and coordinated hospital care. For over 20 years, Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Units and models of care that disseminate ACE principles have demonstrated outcomes in-line with the IOM goals. The objective of this overview is to provide a concise summary of studies that describe outcomes of ACE models of care published in 1995 or later. Twenty-two studies met the inclusion. Of these, 19 studies were from ACE Units and three were evaluations of ACE Services, or teams that cared for patients on more than one hospital unit. Outcomes from these studies included increased adherence to evidence-based geriatric care processes, improved patient functional status at time of hospital discharge, and reductions in length of stay and costs in patients admitted to ACE models compared to usual care. These outcomes represent value-based care. As interprofessional team models are adopted, training in successful team functioning will also be needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessArticle Should I Stay or Go: Rural Ageing, a Time for Reflection
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: Studies have shown that older people prefer to continue living in their own home and community as they age; however this is dependent upon available services and social support. In Australia about two thirds of people will age at home. The
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(1) Background: Studies have shown that older people prefer to continue living in their own home and community as they age; however this is dependent upon available services and social support. In Australia about two thirds of people will age at home. The Australian Government provides home care packages to support ageing in place yet in rural areas not all services are available. The lack of employment opportunities in rural areas often results in family residing at a distance reducing available social support. This study aims to evaluate informal social support and its influence on ageing in place amongst older people in three Australian rural communities in Australia. (2) Methods: A multiple embedded case study was undertaken in three diverse rural communities. Eleven older rural residents ageing in place aged 65+ were interviewed about their ageing experience and plans for their future in the light of available social support along with 15 members of their social networks. Social networks were then visually depicted with the use of ecomaps and network members were interviewed. (3) Results show that kin and non-kin social networks support ageing in place however ageing is a time of change and reflection. (4) Conclusions: There is a need for more discussion within these networks when it comes to future planning. Full article
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Open AccessReview Screening Methods for Age-Related Hearing Loss in Older Patients with Cancer: A Review of the Literature
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
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Abstract
As people grow older, they may experience loss in hearing sensitivity. Age-related hearing loss may negatively affect the patient’s quality of life as it may lead to social isolation. In older patients with cancer, hearing loss can seriously interfere with the patient’s ability
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As people grow older, they may experience loss in hearing sensitivity. Age-related hearing loss may negatively affect the patient’s quality of life as it may lead to social isolation. In older patients with cancer, hearing loss can seriously interfere with the patient’s ability to deal properly with all aspects of their disease, and may have a cumulative effect on their already decreased quality of life. Therefore, the proper screening of those conditions is essential in order to optimise the patient’s comfort during and after treatment. This review article aims at providing a concise image of the nature of age-related hearing loss, and provides an overview of the screening methods that could be used in older patients with cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing, A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Effectiveness of a Community Health Worker-Led Diabetes Intervention among Older and Younger Latino Participants: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
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Abstract
Diabetes management for older Latino adults is complex, given a higher incidence of multiple coexisting medical conditions and psychosocial barriers to self-management. Community health workers (CHWs) may be effective in reducing these barriers. The REACH Detroit CHW randomized controlled intervention studies with Latino/as
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Diabetes management for older Latino adults is complex, given a higher incidence of multiple coexisting medical conditions and psychosocial barriers to self-management. Community health workers (CHWs) may be effective in reducing these barriers. The REACH Detroit CHW randomized controlled intervention studies with Latino/as with diabetes found improvements in self-management behaviors and glucose control after participating in a CHW-led intervention. Using data from the REACH Detroit Partnership′s cohort 3, this study used descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression analyses to evaluate whether the six-month CHW intervention had a greater effect on older Latino/as (ages 55 and older) than younger participants between baseline and post-intervention follow-up at six months. There were significant intervention effects by age group that varied by outcome. Compared to a control group that received enhanced usual care, there were statistically significant intervention effects demonstrating greater self-efficacy scores 1.27 (0.23, 2.32); p < 0.05, and reductions in HbA1c 1.02 (−1.96, −0.07); p < 0.05, among older participants in the CHW intervention, and increases in diabetes support 0.74 (0.34, 1.13); p < 0.001; and understanding of diabetes management 0.39 (0.08, 0.70); p < 0.01 among younger participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Disease Self-Management in Older Adult Populations)
Open AccessArticle Geriatric Patient-Aligned Care Teams in Department of Veterans Affairs: How Are They Structured?
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Geriatric Patient-Aligned Care Teams (GeriPACT) were implemented in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (i.e., Patient-Centered Medical Homes for older adults) to provide high quality coordinated care to older adults with more risk of negative health and psychosocial outcomes. The objectives of this
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Geriatric Patient-Aligned Care Teams (GeriPACT) were implemented in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (i.e., Patient-Centered Medical Homes for older adults) to provide high quality coordinated care to older adults with more risk of negative health and psychosocial outcomes. The objectives of this paper are: (1) to present data on GeriPACT structural characteristics; and (2) to examine a composite measure of GeriPACT model consistency. We utilized a web survey targeting 71 physician leads resulting in a 62% response rate. We found GeriPACTs employed a range of staffing, empanelment, clinic space, and patient assignment practices. The mean value of the GeriPACT consistency measure was 2.03 (range: 1–4) and 6.3% of facilities were considered consistent to the GeriPACT model. We observed large variation in GeriPACT structure and in model consistency. More research is needed to understand how these variations are related to processes and outcomes of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Open AccessArticle Illness Representation and Self-Care Ability in Older Adults with Chronic Disease
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
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Abstract
Chronic illness affects >50% of adults in the United States and accounts for >80% of healthcare spending. The purpose of this study was to determine whether beliefs about one’s chronic disease (illness representation) are associated with self-care activation, emergency department (ED) visits, or
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Chronic illness affects >50% of adults in the United States and accounts for >80% of healthcare spending. The purpose of this study was to determine whether beliefs about one’s chronic disease (illness representation) are associated with self-care activation, emergency department (ED) visits, or hospitalizations. Using a cross-sectional design, we recruited older adults with heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic kidney disease. The Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) measured perceptions about disease. The Patient Activation Measure measured self-care activation. ED visits and hospitalizations were measured by self-report. IPQ-R scores were analyzed using latent profile analysis to identify subgroups. Participants included 187 adults (mean age 65 years, 54% female, 74% Black). We found three subgroups (stable, overwhelmed, and confident). Groups did not differ demographically or by disease. The stable group (few consequences, non-fluctuating pattern) had the fewest hospitalizations. The overwhelmed group (many consequences, fluctuating pattern, high negative emotion) had high hospitalizations and low self-care ability. The confident group (high disease control, well-understood) had the highest self-care ability, but also high hospitalizations. ED visits did not differ by group. We found three subgroups that differ in their illness representation and health outcomes. Findings suggest that assessing patients’ illness representations may have important implications for subgroup-specific interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Disease Self-Management in Older Adult Populations)
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Open AccessArticle Use of Clinical Video Telehealth as a Tool for Optimizing Medications for Rural Older Veterans with Dementia
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) allow delivery of primary care to rural veterans who are far from a main Veterans Affairs (VA) campus. However, CBOCs often do not have physicians with geriatric training. We used a clinical video telehealth (CVT) dementia service (Teledementia clinic)
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Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) allow delivery of primary care to rural veterans who are far from a main Veterans Affairs (VA) campus. However, CBOCs often do not have physicians with geriatric training. We used a clinical video telehealth (CVT) dementia service (Teledementia clinic) based in the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System to optimize dementia patients’ medications and potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). We analyzed 199 CVT patient encounters from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 and compared different medication changes per encounter between the initial CVT consults and the follow-up visits for all medications and PIMs as listed in the 2015 Beers Criteria, to see if there was a decrease of each kind of change, which is being used as a surrogate for optimization. We found that initial CVT consults, compared to follow-up visits, had greater medications added (0.731 vs. 0.434, p = 0.0092), total overall medications changes (1.769 vs. 1.130, p = 0.0078), and the stopping of 2015 Beers Criteria PIMs (0.208 vs. 0.072, p = 0.0255) per encounter. The fewer PIMs discontinued and fewer medication additions in follow-ups implies that our patients’ medications tend to stay optimized between visits. The teledementia service represents a novel way to provide geriatric assistance to CBOC VA primary care physicians for rural veterans with dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Advance Care Planning for Older People with Cancer and Its Implications in Asia: Highlighting the Mental Capacity and Relational Autonomy
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 15 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
With dramatically increasing proportions of older people, global ageing has remarkably influenced healthcare services and policy making worldwide. Older people represent the majority of patients with cancer, leading to the increasing demand of healthcare due to more comorbidities and inherent frailty. The preference
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With dramatically increasing proportions of older people, global ageing has remarkably influenced healthcare services and policy making worldwide. Older people represent the majority of patients with cancer, leading to the increasing demand of healthcare due to more comorbidities and inherent frailty. The preference of older people with cancer are often ignored, and they are considered incapable of making choices for themselves, particularly medical decisions. This might impede the provision of their preferred care and lead to poor healthcare outcomes. Advance care planning (ACP) is considered an effective intervention to assist older people to think ahead and make a choice in accordance with their wishes when they possess capacity to do so. The implementation of ACP can potentially lead to positive impact for patients and families. However, the assessment of mental capacity among older adults with cancer might be a crucial concern when implementing ACP, as loss of mental capacity occurs frequently during disease deterioration and functional decline. This article aims to answer the following questions by exploring the existing evidence. How does ACP develop for older people with cancer? How can we measure mental capacity and what kind of principles for assessment we should apply? What are the facilitators and barriers when implementing an ACP in this population? Furthermore, a discussion about cultural adaptation and relevant legislation in Asia is elucidated for better understanding about its cultural appropriateness and the implications. Finally, recommendations in relation to early intervention with routine monitoring and examination of capacity assessment in clinical practice when delivering ACP, reconciling patient autonomy and family values by applying the concept of relational autonomy, and a corresponding legislation and public education should be in place in Asia. More research on ACP and capacity assessment in different cultural contexts and policy frameworks is highlighted as crucial factors for successful implementation of ACP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncology Care and Research in the Elderly)
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Open AccessCommunication Balance and Gait of Frail, Pre-Frail, and Robust Older Hispanics
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Older Hispanics are an understudied minority group in the US, and further understanding of the association between frailty, gait and balance impairments in disadvantaged older Hispanics is needed. The objectives of this study were to compare the balance and gait of older Hispanics
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Older Hispanics are an understudied minority group in the US, and further understanding of the association between frailty, gait and balance impairments in disadvantaged older Hispanics is needed. The objectives of this study were to compare the balance and gait of older Hispanics by their frailty status. Sixty-three older Hispanics (21 men, 42 women, mean age 75 ± 7 years) attending senior centers in disadvantaged neighborhoods were grouped by their frailty status and completed balance and walking tests at a preferred speed and during street crossing simulations. Sixteen percent (n = 10) of the participants were frail, 71% (n = 45) were pre-frail, and 13% (n = 8) were robust. Frail participants had poorer balance than robust participants (F = 3.5, p = 0.042). The preferred walking speed of frail and pre-frail participants was lower (F = 6.3, p < 0.011) and they took shorter steps (F > 3.5, p = 0.002) than robust participants. During street crossing conditions, frail participants had wider steps (F = 3.3, p = 0.040), while pre-frail participants walked slower (F = 3.6, p = 0.032), and both took shorter steps than robust participants (F > 3.5, p < 0.043). Frailty and pre-frailty were prevalent and associated with gait and balance impairments in disadvantaged older Hispanics. The findings can inform the development of programs and interventions targeting this vulnerable underserved population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
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Open AccessReview The Resurgence of Home-Based Primary Care Models in the United States
Received: 24 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 14 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
This article describes the forces behind the resurgence of home-based primary care (HBPC) in the United States and then details different HBPC models. Factors leading to the resurgence include an aging society, improved technology, an increased emphasis on home and community services, higher
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This article describes the forces behind the resurgence of home-based primary care (HBPC) in the United States and then details different HBPC models. Factors leading to the resurgence include an aging society, improved technology, an increased emphasis on home and community services, higher fee-for-service payments, and health care reform that rewards value over volume. The cost savings come principally from reduced institutional care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. HBPC targets the most complex and costliest patients in society. An interdisciplinary team best serves this high-need population. This remarkable care model provides immense provider satisfaction. HBPC models differ based on their mission, target population, geography, and revenue structure. Different missions include improved care, reduced costs, reduced readmissions, and teaching. Various payment structures include fee-for-service and value-based contracts such as Medicare Shared Savings Programs, Medicare capitation programs, or at-risk contracts. Future directions include home-based services such as hospital at home and the expansion of the home-based workforce. HBPC is an area that will continue to expand. In conclusion, HBPC has been shown to improve the quality of life of home-limited patients and their caregivers while reducing health care costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Open AccessArticle Culture, Ageing and the Construction of Pain
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, the authors seek to discuss some of the complexities involved in cross-cultural working in relation to the communication and management of pain in older people. Specifically, the paper addresses the culture construction of ageing and how pain is often constructed
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In this paper, the authors seek to discuss some of the complexities involved in cross-cultural working in relation to the communication and management of pain in older people. Specifically, the paper addresses the culture construction of ageing and how pain is often constructed as a natural part of ageing. The authors also suggest that with the rise of the ideology of active-ageing, many older people who are disabled or living in chronic pain, may feel a moral imperative to hide pain and ill-health. The discussion extends into looking at the impact of culture and the communication of pain, including specific idioms of distress, somaticize and the lay-management of pain through stoicism. The literature utilised in this paper was based on a thematic review, exploring the cultural dimensions of health, illness and pain in old age. The review also drew on the authors’ previous publications, as well as their extensive community research experience working with ethnic minority communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing, A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Frailty Screening and Case-Finding for Complex Chronic Conditions in Older Adults in Primary Care
Received: 9 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 7 July 2018
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Abstract
With the aging population, escalating demand for seniors’ care and limited specialist resources, new care delivery models are needed to improve capacity for primary health care for older adults. This paper describes the “C5-75” (Case-finding for Complex Chronic Conditions in Seniors 75+) program,
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With the aging population, escalating demand for seniors’ care and limited specialist resources, new care delivery models are needed to improve capacity for primary health care for older adults. This paper describes the “C5-75” (Case-finding for Complex Chronic Conditions in Seniors 75+) program, an innovative care model aimed at identifying frailty and commonly associated geriatric conditions among older adults within a Canadian family practice setting and targeting interventions for identified conditions using a feasible, systematic, evidence-informed multi-disciplinary approach. We screen annually for frailty using gait speed and handgrip strength, screen for previously undiagnosed comorbid conditions, and offer frail older adults multi-faceted interventions that identify and address unrecognized medical and psychosocial needs. To date, we have assessed 965 older adults through this program; 14% were identified as frail based on gait speed alone, and 5% identified as frail based on gait speed with grip strength. The C5-75 program aims to re-conceptualize care from reactive interventions post-diagnosis for single disease states to a more proactive approach aimed at identifying older adults who are at highest risk of poor health outcomes, case-finding for unrecognized co-existing conditions, and targeting interventions to maintain health and well-being and potentially reduce vulnerability and health destabilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Open AccessArticle Older African American Men’s Perspectives on Factors That Influence Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management and Peer-Led Interventions
Received: 2 June 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
Older African American men are at increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) but demonstrate high rates of poor illness management. They also participate in interventions targeting illness management at extremely low rates and are at high risk for dropout from clinical trials.
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Older African American men are at increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) but demonstrate high rates of poor illness management. They also participate in interventions targeting illness management at extremely low rates and are at high risk for dropout from clinical trials. One modifiable factor that has been identified in the literature that contributes to these disparities is health beliefs particular to men. Yet, despite the fact that illness management interventions have been developed to meet the needs of African Americans, none have followed recommendations to use gender-sensitive programming to meet the needs of men. The primary aim of this study was to advance our understanding of the intersection of age, race/ethnicity and gender on T2D self-management among older African American men, and to explore their preferences for a peer-led T2D self-management intervention. Two focus groups were conducted with older African American men (n = 12) over a 6-month period. Sessions lasted 90 min, were audiotaped, and analyzed using thematic content analysis techniques. The most prominent themes included: (a) the influence of gendered values and beliefs on health behavior; (b) quantity and quality of patient-provider communication; (c) social and structural barriers to T2D self-management; and (d) preferences for peer-led T2D self-management interventions. Results suggest that these themes may be particularly salient for T2D self-management in older African American men, and that this population may be receptive to a peer-led T2D self-management intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Disease Self-Management in Older Adult Populations)
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Open AccessReview Recognizing Catatonia in Medically Hospitalized Older Adults: Why It Matters
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
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Abstract
Catatonia is a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by a variety of motor, behavioral, emotional, and autonomic abnormalities caused by general medical, neurological, and psychiatric disorders, as well as by medications and drugs of abuse. Although there has been a plethora of research on catatonia
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Catatonia is a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by a variety of motor, behavioral, emotional, and autonomic abnormalities caused by general medical, neurological, and psychiatric disorders, as well as by medications and drugs of abuse. Although there has been a plethora of research on catatonia over the last twenty years, it is still underdiagnosed. Studies of catatonia involving older adults have been sparse, despite its apparent high prevalence, higher risk of serious complications, and of association with non-psychiatric causes. This paper aims to provide an introduction to catatonia as a syndrome, as well as an account of its specificities in older adults, especially those in general hospitals, with the aim to raise awareness of catatonia amongst clinicians working with this age group in acute medical settings, so improvements in its diagnostic rates, treatment, and outcomes can be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychology)
Open AccessCase Report A Stab in the Dark: A Case Report of an Atypical Presentation of Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA)
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
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Abstract
Background: Giant cell arteritis/temporal arteritis (GCA) is an inflammatory condition that affects large to medium vessels such as the aorta and its primary branches. Patients classically present with fatigue, fever, headache, jaw claudication and in severe cases, may suffer either transient (amaurosis fugax)
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Background: Giant cell arteritis/temporal arteritis (GCA) is an inflammatory condition that affects large to medium vessels such as the aorta and its primary branches. Patients classically present with fatigue, fever, headache, jaw claudication and in severe cases, may suffer either transient (amaurosis fugax) or permanent visual loss. The reference standard for diagnosis is the temporal artery biopsy (TAB) and the mainstay of treatment is with immunosuppression. Our patient JG, presented with a range of non-specific symptoms that mimicked generalised sepsis, but was ultimately diagnosed with GCA through effective, methodical multi-disciplinary team (MDT) work. Clinical case: JG, an 81 year old gentleman, presented acutely with a 3–4 weeks history of fatigue, lethargy, pyrexia and a marked inflammatory response suggestive of a sepsis but without a clear primary source or clinical features of vasculitis. His inflammatory markers were markedly raised although his erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was not elevated. He was initially treated for sepsis of unknown origin however, body imaging after admission suggested a possible infection around a previous aortic graft site. This was refuted in subsequent 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET/CT) scanning. Microbiological, parasitic, as well as autoimmune assays were unremarkable. He underwent a TAB which was diagnostic for GCA and as a result, was started on oral corticosteroids with immediate symptom relief. He was discharged and followed up on an outpatient basis. Conclusions: This case highlights how a vasculitis can present with a range of non-specific symptoms that may resemble a fever of unknown origin (FUO)/sepsis that can lead to a delay in making the correct diagnosis. It also highlights the importance of considering a diagnosis of vasculitis in patients who present with a FUO where there is no clear focus of infection. Delays in diagnosis and management of these conditions can potentially lead to significant irreversible morbidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Rheumatology)
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Open AccessArticle Associations between Religiosity, Spirituality, and Happiness among Adults Living with Neurological Illness
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
The study examined the associations between religiosity, spirituality, and happiness in 354 outpatients suffering from neurological disorders. After accounting for severity of cognitive decline, physical activity level, depression severity, and demographic variables (i.e., subject age, sex, ethnicity, and marital status) multivariate linear regression
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The study examined the associations between religiosity, spirituality, and happiness in 354 outpatients suffering from neurological disorders. After accounting for severity of cognitive decline, physical activity level, depression severity, and demographic variables (i.e., subject age, sex, ethnicity, and marital status) multivariate linear regression revealed a unique association between the Spiritual Well-Being Existential Spirituality scale (SWBS ES), and not the SWBS Religious Scale (SWBS RS), with both the Pemberton Remembered Happiness Index (PHI R) (p < 0.001), and the Pemberton Experienced Happiness Index (PHI E) (p < 0.001). Interventions focused on existential spirituality may improve health related quality of life among adult medical patients with neurological illness. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Optimising Clinical Trial Design in Older Cancer Patients
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
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Abstract
Cancer is predominantly a disease of older patients, with over half of those aged over 65 years of age being diagnosed with cancer at some stage. Despite comprising a significant proportion of the patients that we see in clinical practice, there is a
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Cancer is predominantly a disease of older patients, with over half of those aged over 65 years of age being diagnosed with cancer at some stage. Despite comprising a significant proportion of the patients that we see in clinical practice, there is a lack of representation of older patients in cancer clinical trials. This is mainly due to restrictive trial inclusion criteria that prevent older patients from participating. Also, trial endpoints, such as overall survival, may not represent the most important and most meaningful endpoints for older patients. The latter may place more significance on quality of life and other outcomes such as functional independence. Baseline assessment using Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment, may provide a better framework for quantifying patient outcomes for varying degrees of fitness or frailty. This short communication makes the case for more age appropriate endpoints, such as quality of life, toxicity and functional independence, and that novel trial designs are necessary to inform evidence-based care of older cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncology Care and Research in the Elderly)
Open AccessArticle Prediction of Emergency Department Re-Visits in Older Patients by the Identification of Senior at Risk (ISAR) Screening
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
The “Identification of Seniors at Risk” (ISAR) screening is a tool to identify seniors at risk of adverse outcomes. We investigated whether seniors with a positive ISAR screening have an increased risk of Emergency Department (ED) re-visits and health-service costs. In a pilot
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The “Identification of Seniors at Risk” (ISAR) screening is a tool to identify seniors at risk of adverse outcomes. We investigated whether seniors with a positive ISAR screening have an increased risk of Emergency Department (ED) re-visits and health-service costs. In a pilot project, we enrolled 96 ED patients (≥70 years) who received an ISAR screening in the ED. We compared the rate of ED re-visits and in-hospital costs between ISAR positive (≥2 pts) and ISAR negative (<2 pts) patients. In some patients, a geriatrician performed a single Geriatric Consultation (GC) during the ED stay to assess older patients’ needs.32% of the study population had an unplanned ED re-visit (31 of 96). Fifty patients were ISAR positive (52%) and showed an increased risk of ED re-visits compared with ISAR negative patients (dds ratio (OR) 6.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2–21.0, p = 0.001). The positive ISAR screening tool fairly predicted ED re-visits in seniors (area under the curve (AUC) 0.711). A single GC during the ED stay did not reduce the risk of unplanned ED re-visits in ISAR positive patients (p = 0.80) ISAR positive patients with GC did not have higher in-hospital costs than ISAR negative patients without GC. Based on these findings, we aim to establish a comprehensive outpatient geriatric assessment program to identify relevant risk factors for ED re-visits and to recommend preventive strategies in ISAR positive ED seniors. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Qualitative Exploratory Study of Informal Carers’ Experiences of Identifying and Managing Oral Pain and Discomfort in Community-Dwelling Older People Living with Dementia
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 16 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Increased prevalence of dementia and poor oral health in older people is associated with more people living with dementia who experience oral pain and discomfort. However, little is known about how informal carers manage oral pain for people living with dementia in the
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Increased prevalence of dementia and poor oral health in older people is associated with more people living with dementia who experience oral pain and discomfort. However, little is known about how informal carers manage oral pain for people living with dementia in the community. This study aimed to explore informal carers’ experiences of identifying and managing oral pain and discomfort in people living with dementia, and barriers and enablers they encountered. Focus groups with informal carers of people living with dementia were conducted, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using thematic analysis. Carers’ accounts suggested that day-to-day contact was required to identify oral pain and discomfort, and a symptomology of the signs and symptoms was developed. Carers’ accounts also highlighted issues in maintaining oral health, difficulties in accessing the mouth, managing dentures, competing demands, and difficulties in accessing treatment due to health service-, behavioural- and treatment- related barriers. Enablers included informal carers’ pivotal role in the identifying and managing oral pain and discomfort in people living with dementia. The study concludes that carers want more partnership work with dental professionals, and clearer care pathways are required to meet the oral health needs of people living with dementia who experience oral pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing, A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
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