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.
A Short Decision Support Tool to Help you Decide about Antibiotic and Artificial Hydration Use in Advanced Dementia
Based at the University of Zurich and in collaboration with researchers from Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, we developed two short Fact Box decision support tools on antibiotics for pneumonia and artificial hydration in advanced dementia.
NHS – An overcrowded bus
NHS has been in a crisis for a few years now and if anyone thinks it can’t get any worse, they are in for a shock. It is like an overcrowded bus which keeps picking up passengers at every stop where more people get in than that get out. The bus is jam packed with little space to manoeuvre, untidy, and is tipping dangerously.
Adverse drug reactions in older adults – what is preventing prediction?
As people age they are more likely to experience chronic medical conditions and be prescribed regular medication. Taking five or more regular medications is referred to as polypharmacy. A diagnosis of three or more chronic conditions at the same time is recognised as multi-morbidity.
Autumn Speakers Series: Practising what we preach – Sit Less Move More!
There has been a flurry of activity in research, as well as in practice, on the importance of patients moving more and the perils of deconditioning whilst in hospital. #EndPJParalysis has had a huge profile and is starting to make inroads in terms of getting patients dressed and potentially more comfortable to move about more. But are we seeing a change in how much patients are moving?
Is ‘patient’ a dirty word?
I believe that we, people working with older people, are the forerunners in person-centred care. In fact, one of the main reasons that I love my job is the ability to tailor treatment to an individual’s wishes and goals. So in this age of person-centredness, I’d like to ask you: Is ‘patient’ a dirty word?
The Oxford Handbook of Geriatric Medicine (3rd edition): the geriatrician who is available for advice at all times
The past decade has seen a proliferation of textbooks in geriatric medicine – definitely a good thing for the specialty and our patients. But in this competitive space it has become more challenging to find a single book to recommend to non-specialty trainees or medical students!
Television is the new best friend of many… Is this an issue we should be interested in?
Over the past year there has been increasing press focus on loneliness in the older population and its negative impacts on health. Suddenly it’s the new kid on the block and we should all be thinking about it.
'Care workers' not 'carers'
The National Association of Care & Support Workers conducted its first research into the well-being of care workers this year. Overwhelmingly, the results indicate that there is still a lot of work required to improve the mental health and well-being - as well as the professional standing - of care and support workers.
The Community – Where Life Happens
Most people spend most of their lives not in hospital. This, contrary to the peculiarly hospitalist view of most physicians, is the case even for older people with frailty. It’s odd, therefore, for geriatrics, a medical specialty that prides itself on holism, on adding life to years, on focussing on health rather than disease, to still do most of its work in hospital.
Even flocks of starlings can teach us about frailty and resilience
Until recently, frailty has been almost entirely seen through the prism of 'deficits', but there has been growing attention to protective factors, or ‘assets’, and the importance of 'resilience'.
Working Together Across the Great Healthcare Divide
It’s traditional to start any piece of writing on older people with frailty with a reminder that there are a lot of them, and that there will be a lot more of them in the future. This will not come as a surprise to frequenters of the British Geriatrics Society website.
Surviving St3: Lessons from my first year as a specialist registrar in geriatric medicine
Drinking, smoking and badminton – reaching a consensus on falls prevention
Muscle weakness and poor balance are key risk factors for falls. I have long thought that if we would work out a population approach this would be a great step forward in the area of falls prevention.
Do antipsychotic drugs have a role in the modern management of delirium?
Antipsychotic drugs are recommended for the management of distress caused by delirium when it is unresponsive to other de-escalation techniques. This class of medication is known to have many potential adverse effects, especially in older people with background cognitive impairment
‘Watch your step’- Why it’s important to assess vision for falls prevention?
Try balancing on one leg with your eyes closed - tricky isn’t it? We know that we need the right input from the visual, proprioceptive and somatosensory systems to stay on our feet
Community services – do they compare to what it says on the tin?
People may argue that services in the community must be developed to provide care appropriate to the needs of the population now and in the future, but how can this be done?
A dream on fire – perioperative geriatrics across the world
It starts with a dream – in each case, someone thinking that we need to do something to provide better care for older people undergoing surgery. I recently had the fortune of doing clinical observerships and experiencing what perioperative geriatrics is like in three different places.
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.