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.
From Beer to Nosokinetics - it's all in the flow!
Nosokinetics – a great word upon which to hang the peg of my understanding and progress. Publication of an associated bi-monthly newsletter had provided a repository of published analysis and knowledge related to the subject. Brilliant thinks I; and with glee noted all that had been written and provided to those interested up to 2010. Then the newsletter stopped and Nosokinetics apparently lost to the sands of time!
Have you ever thought about doing research?
Being excited by science and lifelong learning is a common reason for many of us choosing to go to medical school in the first place. If what you like about your job as a clinician includes asking ‘why?’, answering clinical questions, being asked what you found and what you think of your findings, wondering what is best for your patients, working alongside other personality types with different skills and perspectives... You might enjoy research…
What you don't know about rehabilitation
There are things we know, and things we know we don’t know, but there are also things we don’t know we don’t know… So goes the wisdom of (would you believe it) Donald Rumsfeld, back in 2002.
Will vertebroplasty come good?
Over 500 publications in the last 5 years including an updated Cochrane review published early this year on vertebroplasty has not quelled the debate if it is an effective treatment for painful vertebral fragility fractures. The Cochrane review was very clear that vertebroplasty offered little benefit in reducing pain and disability when it was compared with a placebo (sham procedure). So, why are there still proponents of the intervention?
Vertebroplasty should not be offered as a treatment for spinal fractures due to osteoporosis
Vertebroplasty, a treatment that involves the injection of a type of acrylic cement, is a treatment first introduced in the late 1980s to treat acutely painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Early observations from case series published over the next decade and a half, indicated that it could quickly and dramatically improve the pain.
Caring for older adults with Intellectual Disability: some NICE advice
About fifteen years ago I had a ‘conversion’ experience. I was jointly running a regional memory clinic set up shortly after cholinesterase inhibitors were licensed, and I realised that one section of the population were being left out: people who in those days were labelled as having a Learning Disability, now relabelled Intellectual Disability.
Sunrise in Sarcopenia Land
Back in 2010, when the first edition of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia (EWGSOP) guidelines were published in Age and Ageing, sarcopenia was a niche research area, of interest mostly to epidemiologists and muscle physiologists.
Report from the Irish Gerontological Society Scientific Meeting 2018 – ‘Transforming Ageing across Borders’
Autumnal scenes and sunshine welcomed delegates to the 66th Irish Gerontological Society’s (IGS) Annual Scientific Meeting at the beautiful - if labyrinthine - Slieve Russell Hotel and County Club in County Cavan in late September 2018.
GIRFT comes to Geriatric Medicine
GIRFT (Getting It Right First Time) is an NHS England programme which combines data analysis to identify variation between hospitals and providers (good and bad) with visits.
Health services must address multiple conditions in dementia care
Living with dementia poses many challenges and may be coupled with other health problems, as the changes associated with ageing can lead to the accrual of illnesses and disabilities.
Book review: Aging gracefully!?
This is a review of the book Developing a Relational Model of Care for Older People which aims to clear away the misconceptions surrounding the care of the older people and persuasively argues for a new approach based on interpersonal relationships.
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.