The BGS blog aims to presents 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 geriatric medicine. Read our guidelines on submitting a blog for more details.
All content is moderated by the blog editor. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the British Geriatrics Society.
Playlist for Life
Dementia Action Week is 16-22 May and the theme this year is diagnosis. For me things have become more personal with a close family member just having received a diagnosis of dementia. To say it’s hard is an understatement and it certainly feels a very far cry from the call for people to ‘live well’ with dementia. There’s no getting away from the negative aspects around the time of diagnosis of dementia, but it’s not long before positives need to be found. And for me, and my family, that has been trying to keep as many aspects of life as accessible and constant as possible. One of those, and something that can bring much joy in life, is listening to music.
Long-term lifestyle behaviors of older women with exceptional episodic memory
More than 100 years after its discovery, Alzheimer's disease (AD) has become one of the greatest medical and social challenges of our generation.
From Bulawayo to Leicester, how continuous education informs professional practice
My passion for facilitating education and learning meant developing new ways of influencing change. Therefore, through collaborative working with the British Geriatrics Society, I have expanded my network.
On International Nurses Day; Leadership Matters
Leadership has played a pivotal role in setting out my main priorities as vice-chair of the BGS Nurses and AHP council. My goal has been delivering high- quality person centred care for the older population. Nursing leadership is most successful when the entire team is also successful. To achieve this, I have a key role in influencing and engaging all members of the healthcare team to drive and improve healthcare for older adults.
Following the road less travelled from accountant to academic nurse
Leaving university at 22, my only aim was to be paid well and I planned to achieve this by training as a Chartered Accountant. My aim was met, but over the years, I found the work as an auditor unsatisfying. A career break to care for my three young children resulted in me deciding to train as a nurse. My first staff nurse job was on a healthcare of the older person ward. The ward had a high proportion of patients with dementia. I had received no training on how to care for these patients’ complex needs during my nursing diploma and none was offered post-qualification.
Using the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine to evidence clinical expertise
The four pillars of advanced practice are the elements that are required for a clinician to practice at an advanced level: clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research. Skills in each of these areas are usually gained through master’s level postgraduate education and clinicians practising at this level are characterised by having a high level of autonomy in their roles, keen problem-solving skills and the ability to make complex decisions in collaboration with other members of the multidisciplinary team, individuals and their families or carers.
Planning for dying
Future care plan discussions must become a mandatory part of patient care in any healthcare setting. These discussions must start early, at the time of chronic illness diagnoses, and not when the patient is wheeled into intensive care or about to arrest. Only by doing so will we be able to provide personalised care to our patients.
Just call me Aude - why end of life care matters
On a post-take ward round before Easter, I met a 97-year-old retired priest. Recently she had been in hospital for three weeks after a fall and fractured pubic ramus.
Who wants geriatric medicine?
Geriatric medicine remains a Cinderella speciality. Increasingly, super-specialisation demands that heart failure is referred to a cardiologist, cancer to an oncologist and dementia to a psychiatrist. Geriatricians have been at the forefront of confronting ageism, but care by geriatricians can be seen as second best. Yet super-specialists, who can be fantastic at managing problems in the non-frail, can be less good than geriatricians when managing the same problems in the context of multimorbidity, disability and frailty. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, epidemiologists and intensivists were asked what to do. Even when it was clear that older people were most affected, no one thought to ask geriatricians, initially at least.
My Fellowship Journey: Doing What l Value
I have reached that point in my PhD when everyone is asking me me “when is your PhD ending?”. I’m about halfway through and I’m enjoying it. I’m not wishing it away just yet!
United We Stand: supporting refugees
We know that there will be significant health needs because of the war in Ukraine and that older adults will be at particular risk of adverse outcomes from environmental exposure, lack of basic resources, and delays in healthcare provision.
How can a smartphone app help diagnosis of spinal fractures?
A smartphone app has been shown by researchers to improve the diagnosis of vertebral fractures by helping medical professionals to make referral decisions based on how people are experiencing back pain.
Can your neighbourhood change the way you age?
Neighbourhood characteristics – from the location of medical services and how much green space there is, to the number of people involved in volunteer activities – can have a significant impact on older people’s ability to age successfully at home.
Age and Ageing turns 50: Reflections on our first issue
Fifty years on from the first ever issue of Age and Ageing, BGS Digital Media Editor Charlotte Squires takes a look back at the first issue and what has (or hasn't) changed in geriatric medicine.
Addressing the shortage of care workers: What next?
Late last year, the BGS co-signed a letter to the Secretary of State calling for immediate action to relieve the crisis in social care. Now that care workers have been added to the UK's Shortage Occupation list, what are the next steps needed to address the social care shortage?
Improving the quality of care in care homes: What does the evidence tell us?
In this guest blog Candace Imison, from the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination, speaks about a recently published Collection that brings together NIHR-funded research in care homes and asks how this research could be used to improve the quality of care.
Weight just a minute!
One in ten older people are malnourished or at risk of being malnourished in the UK, explains BGS Nutrition and GI SIG Chair, Dr Harnish Patel.
The challenge of person-centred acute hospital care for people living with dementia
Providing person-centred care in acute settings to people living with dementia is a complex challenge, but a new BGS position statement hopes to offer clarity and guidance, as explained by Professor Rowan Harwood.