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.
‘Five a day’ keep dementia away, say researchers
Having at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily might help prevent dementia in older adults according to a study published in Age & Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society.
Older HIV-infected adults are geriatricians’ business
The HIV-infected population is ageing due to the success of combination therapy, which prolongs survival, and because of the growing number of newly diagnosed cases in older adults. Over half of people infected with HIV are over 50, the age cutoff accepted by the scientific community to consider someone an HIV-infected older adult.
MAPLE-V: taking a collateral history for cognition
Rebecca Winter's passion includes teaching undergraduates and postgraduates within the multidisciplinary team about dementia care, after realising that many people often do not know what is meant by a collateral history for cognition and just how important the collateral is to making an underlying diagnosis of dementia.
It’s not how old you are that matters, but how you are old...
The NHS England Five Year Forward View notes that support for frail older patients is one of three areas where the NHS faces particular challenges. So it's potentially game-changing to make positive steps towards addressing this through routine frailty identification and promoting interventions on falls risk identification and medication review.
Reflections on attending a research ethics committee meeting
Liz Charalambous is in the second year of a PhD researching volunteers in dementia and acute hospitals. Her project came about as part of her clinical work as a staff nurse in older person acute care. She describes her experience of dealing with the research ethics committee meeting.
Frequent sauna bathing protects men against dementia
Frequent sauna bathing can reduce the risk of dementia, according to a 20-year follow-up study in Finland. Men taking a sauna 4–7 times a week were 66 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those taking a sauna once a week. The association between sauna use and dementia risk has not previously been investigated.
Raising the status of care home nursing
Miriam Stanyon is a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham but also worked, until recently, as a care assistant in care homes. Here she talks about work to establish agreed competencies for Registered Nurses working in care homes.
How do geriatricians improve outcomes after hip fracture?
Jenny Neuburger discusses her research paper, published Age and Ageing, showing that geriatrician involvement in hip fracture care can improve patient outcomes. Patients treated on wards with higher numbers of geriatrician hours tended to have lower mortality within the 30 days after presentation.
A new holistic approach to pain management in older people
Pain in older people is under-reported and poorly appreciated. For many, it is seen as part of normal ageing, and being subjective it's difficult for clinicians to quantify. Consequently, it may be overlooked as an important factor affecting older people’s wellbeing. Two studies published in Age and Ageing aim to assess and characterise pain.
Hospital discharge – everyone loses when it's handled poorly
A research study undertaken by Healthwatch Essex into experiences of patients discharged from hospitals in the county encourages local health and social care commissioners to overcome artificial boundaries and develop a unifying vision of care to provide high quality care.
Developing guidance on how to measure lying and standing blood pressure
The clinical lead for the National Audit of Inpatient Falls has developed new tools to standardise fall prevention in hospitals. The first is on the measurement of lying and standing blood pressure, as, surprisingly, on average only 16 per cent of patients over 65 in an acute hospital had blood pressure recorded after 48 hours.
Cause of death? Dementia...
In England and Wales more people now die of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease than anything else. A similar picture is likely in the rest of the UK. What does this mean for healthcare professionals involved in the management of people with dementia and our approach to the older population?
How can hospitals empower older people with advanced disease?
In this blog Lucy Selman discusses her recent Age and Ageing paper on an international study of patient empowerment in hospitals in London, Dublin and San Francisco.
Inspiring carers - all too often overlooked
Commonly misunderstood and under-appreciated, carers have been absorbing the pressures of the care system for years. While public concern over sustainability of care in the face of an ageing population is an important debate, it is inspiring carers - all too often overlooked - whose stories Alex Greenwood shares here.
Wrinkly hands or ‘cocaine ‘fro’? You decide…
If we are intolerant to the individual preferences of our colleagues then are we entering dangerous territory in how we approach patients? Liz Charalambous reflects on perceptions, appearance and performance.
Nursing documentation: mind the gap?
Research highlights the importance of nursing documentation for older patients in acute hospital settings. The research published in The Journal of Research in Nursing found that paperwork is time consuming, takes nurses away from caring for patients, and can be counterproductive to delivering good quality nursing care.
Only half of people with dementia get annual medical review
People with dementia experience more mental and physical health problems than people without dementia, and more frequently take medication, so ensuring they get fair access to mental and physical healthcare is important. But only half of people with dementia received a documented annual review.
Personal reflections on the Global Summit on Ageing and Health
BGS president Eileen Burns attended and spoke at a Global Summit on Ageing held in Shanghai in 2016. Here she reflects on the conference, the economics of ageing which was discussed, and Chinese attitudes to health and care.