The BGS blog aims to present issues relevant to people working to improve the health and care of older people. It will highlight the latest news and activities from across all the BGS campaigns, events, publications and activities as well as original articles commissioned by leaders in geriatric medicine.
We have an exciting range of guest bloggers and welcome news and commentary on geriatric medicine from all those working in the field of older people's healthcare in the UK and abroad. Read our guidelines on submitting a blog for more details.
All content is moderated by our Blog Editors. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily of the British Geriatrics Society.
Welsh NHS – The role of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Acute Frailty Medicine
Over the past 20 years we have seen a proliferation of Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) roles emerge across all services. The ANP role is testimony to the nursing profession being dynamic, progressive, and adaptable to the changing needs of the National Health Service.
Ensuring that older adults are not forgotten about in Government Cancer Strategies
Oncogeriatrics, or geriatric oncology, is not niche. 1 in 2 of us will face cancer in our lifetime. The number of older adults living with cancer is set to triple between 2010 and 2040, and 60% of cancer diagnoses are made in the older population. We know that the ageing population will add complexity to cancer management; and will require services to juggle issues that teams managing older adults are already expert in managing — issues like comorbidity, frailty, polypharmacy, and functional decline.
Using the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine to evidence clinical expertise
In March of this year, after being qualified for almost five years, spending all my career in older people’s healthcare, and obtaining a masters level qualifications both in advanced practice and care of older people, I decided to take the DGM.
Fears about and previous bad experiences with deprescribing
Our new research published in Age and Ageing has established that most people living with dementia and mild cognitive impairment and their caregivers are willing to have one of their medications deprescribed (78.5%).
Allelujah for Ageing, Geriatric Medicine and the NHS: Reflections on the new film and an expert panel discussion
Many of you will have seen the ‘teaser’ for the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s ‘Allelujah’ at the BGS Autumn Meeting in November 2022. Or perhaps some of you were fortunate enough to see the original theatre production, either in person at The Bridge Theatre or, like me, as a cinema relay.
Lost in translation
Polypharmacy, the use of multiple different prescribed medications, has become part of everyday life for many and tends to increase the older we become. Older people are more likely to experience adverse effects from polypharmacy due to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes associated with age; that is, changes in how the body processes and responds to specific medications.
Hearing-aid use reduces dementia or is it dementia reduces hearing-aid use? Its both!
The publication of the Lancet Commission Report on Dementia prevention, intervention, and care in 2017 brought hearing loss into the spotlight as a leading potentially modifiable risk factor for late-life dementia.
Introducing new BGS Digital Media Editor, Dr Katy Bettany
I remember the exact moment I knew Geriatric Medicine was the specialty for me. I was a Foundation doctor at the time, and attending my first Geriatrics for Juniors conference in Newcastle back in 2017. As I looked around the room at the other delegates and speakers, I realised that these were my people.
Want to Peer-Review for Age and Ageing?
Age and Ageing is the journal of the British Geriatrics Society and is currently the highest-ranked Geriatrics and Gerontology journal, with a with a Journal Impact Factor™ of 12.782 in 2022 (Journal Citation Reports, Clarivate, 2022). Age and Ageing is constantly seeking new clinicians and academics from a wide range of backgrounds to peer-review for the journal, in order to ensure the publication of rigorous scientific research of clinical relevance to the practice of geriatric medicine.
The European Academy for Medicine of Ageing – an experience like no other!
On Saturday, I returned from my third week at the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing (EAMA). This week had been held in Nice, France. Whilst I won’t deny that being able to stroll on the beach between sessions (and dip in the ocean for those who were brave) made a *nice* change from the streets of London or Birmingham, it really was the company I spent it with that made my experience unforgettable.
Updating the BGS recommended curriculum in geriatric medicine
There is a national shortage of geriatricians, with just 1 consultant geriatrician per 8,031 patients aged over 65 in the UK. This ratio is set to deteriorate further; the ageing population will increase the denominator, whilst there is little to no projected increase in the numerator.
Anticipatory medications do not always help older people dying at home
Our new research published in Age and Ageing reveals the complexities of making anticipatory medications available for people nearing the end of life at home. Patients, informal carers and health professionals interviewed for the research said their presence could cause distress as well as comfort.
Myocardial infarction in the very old
It is a fact - at least in France - that patients with a myocardial infarction (MI) are referred to cardiologists as a priority. Of course, this makes sense when cardiovascular expertise is the priority, e.g. in the case of cardiogenic shock or in the case of ST segment elevation.
The human cost of the crisis in social care
I write this blog at a time when the NHS and social care crisis is again in the headlines. In my 28 years as a consultant geriatrician, I have not encountered such a crisis before.
New evidence for the benefits of hospital at home services
An award-winning paper published in Age and Ageing provides vital evidence for use by decision makers in the design, planning and provision of healthcare services for older people. Here two of the authors of the paper share their summary of the findings.
The Price of Poverty - The dire impact of the cost of living crisis in older adults
The UK is experiencing a cost of living crisis and older people are particularly vulnerable to the impact this has on their health. Age UK estimated that 1.1 million older households were in fuel poverty at the end of 2021. A year later and this figure has almost trebled. An estimated 8,500 people died last year in England and Wales as a result of living in cold homes.
Avoiding hospital associated harm for older people this winter
As we pass the winter solstice and the days start to lengthen, it feels hard to believe we will ever leave ‘winter’ in the NHS. Back-to-back ‘crises’ for health and social care, a perfect storm of a continuing pandemic/pandemic recovery, a chronically under-funded and under-staffed health service and social care sector and a cost of living crisis mean that our patients are going to struggle even more than usual this winter.
BGS highlights from 2022 - a personal reflection
This pre-Christmas blog was to have been a round-up of key BGS publications and activities for 2022, but it will now have more of a personal bent, if you will forgive the indulgence.
Will testing for more viruses in care homes be helpful? Help us find out!
Winter infections have always been a problem for care homes and the residents that live in them. Those of us working in care of older people usually enter the festive season knowing that we’ll spend much of our time caring for care home residents affected by flu, pneumonia, and norovirus. Individual residents often fare poorly, and their difficulties are compounded when homes have to close due to outbreaks.