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.
Happy older people do live longer
There is a growing interest in the pursuit of happiness to improve health of older people. Happiness or positive emotion has been linked with a range of better health outcomes. However, the evidence of the effect of happiness on living longer is inconclusive.
Return of the BGS Fringe
Borne from the question “could humanities help us resist the inhumanities of life in hospital? The first fringe was an attempt to explore how the humanities can positively impact on the working lives of geriatricians, the MDT and our patients
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: How to assess the mental capacity of people with dementia
The importance of supporting the rights of people living with dementia is increasingly recognised, and key to this is respecting the wishes and decisions of the individual
BGS Deputy Honorary Secretary role – should I apply?
If you’re thinking “That’s not for me” then allow me to persuade you otherwise! We are all extremely busy in our clinical roles and loath to take on anything extra. But some opportunities offer more in return for the time you invest, and this is one.
Autumn Speakers Series: “Interface medicine”
“Interface medicine” has a number of definitions in different contexts—it seemed an appropriate title to describe primary care-trained doctors working in community or hospital settings whose aim is to maximise quality of life for older frail patients using skills and knowledge from both general practice and geriatric medicine.
Reflections of an Editor
The learning opportunities that the editor’s role has afforded have been quite phenomenal. When you get to see over 1000 articles per annum you are pushed into thinking about all aspects of the speciality and clinical research methods
Are you really as old as your arteries?
In recent years, the architecture and actions of arteries have gained increasing importance in understanding the cardiovascular system, with arterial stiffness emerging as a robust, non-invasive technique for assessing cardiovascular risk
Tribalism Kills; The Journey Towards Genuine Integration
Tribalism does not work. We exist in a world where the cost of care for older people living with frailty, multi-morbidity, and dementia is threatening the very existence of our NHS.
Cardiovascular risk factors and frailty in a cross-sectional study of older people
Screening older people to identify frailty could include opportunities to review lifestyle advice and medication to optimise levels of Cardiovascular risk factors for prevention of disability and death in frail older people.
The link between pain and frailty revealed: it’s time to move towards more effective pain management in older people
The presence of pain may contribute to and/or accelerate the process of frailty in older adults through the following mechanisms: reduction of mobility and physical activity, depression, social isolation and reduction of nutritional intake. These changes could leave older adults more vulnerable and less able to effectively adapt to physiologic stressors.
Managing Frailty and Delayed Transfers of Care in the Acute Setting: A call to get involved!
This project provides a unique data set on the pathway of frail older people through secondary care, from assessment in A&E, assessment units, inpatient wards and supported discharge. The project gives insight into why this cohort of patients appear to be more prone to delayed transfers of care. The BGS has also worked with the NHS Benchmarking Network to develop a short service user audit which will be included in the project.
Department of Facebook Cats
Now that the vote on the name of our Society has been concluded – and regardless of the result this was the most successful exercise in participatory democracy the Society has ever carried out – I would like to suggest another way of looking at the issue.
10 days in a hospital bed leads to 10 years’ worth of lost muscle mass in people over age 80
I have lost count of the number of times I have quoted this fact, I use it when teaching on frailty, and I have used it when assessing people in the emergency department to explain the risks of hospital induced deconditioning. I regularly hear other Geriatricians use this fact. It is emblazoned across much of the #EndPJParalysismaterial, and is quoted (unreferenced) on the NHS improvement website.
Improving Continence Care for Older People
1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men over the age of 65 experience urinary incontinence. It is a significant problem associated with falls, fractures, social isolation, depression, urinary tract infections and moisture lesions. Faecal incontinence affects up to 10% of the population, although its prevalence is much higher in older people, nursing home residents (up to 60%), patients with cognitive impairment and neurological conditions.
Yoga-based exercise can improve well-being for older people
Yoga-based exercise offers a safe and accessible way to improve health-related quality of life and mental well-being for people over 60. Evidence for a moderate benefit of yoga in later life now extends beyond improved balance and flexibility.
How to … be a jolly good fellow
Taking a step off the conveyer belt of medical training can be a daunting move for trainees, who have become accustomed to the continued encouragement for career progression. It’s a choice that is not actively encouraged, but does allow(s) space to refocus through dedicated time doing a different kind of work.
Forging international links, sharing ideas and developing friendships
Over the course of five days we worked together under the supervision of our Brazilian and UK mentors to share ideas, learn from each other and work on developing new collaborative research projects.
Are we really representing the BGS?
The Hospital to Home (H2H) Programme is one of six programmes within the UEC Delivery Programme, led and governed by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
The Paper Boat
One strategy that I have found useful over the years, especially when talking to relatives of the patients under my care, is to paint a picture that they can relate to by using a simple analogy.