Journal of Gerontological Nursing

News 

News

Abstract

Results of a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggest that veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a greater risk for dementia than veterans without PTSD, even those who incurred traumatic injuries during combat.

The study included 10,481 veterans 65 and older who had been seen at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at least twice between 1997 and 1999. Outpatient data were gathered for all identified patients until 2008. Participants who had been wounded during combat (with and without a PTSD diagnosis) were also identified to provide a group with confirmed injuries and combat experience. A group with two visits, but no PTSD or combat-related injuries, was identified for purposes of comparison.

Approximately 36% of the veterans in this study had PTSD. Nearly 11% of those with PTSD but not injured and 7.2% of those with PTSD and injured had dementia, compared with 4.5% and 5.9%, respectively, in the non-PTSD groups. These results remained significant after other risk factors of dementia (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke) were taken into account.

Interestingly, despite the increased risk for those with PTSD, most veterans with PTSD did not develop dementia during the period studied. The authors noted there could be several explanations for their findings: It could be that cognitive impairment in PTSD is an early marker of dementia, having PTSD makes one more likely to get dementia, or PTSD and dementia have some characteristics in common.

Source.“Pivotal Study Finds Link Between PTSD and Dementia.” (2010, September 2). Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://www.americangeriatrics.org/press/news_press_releases/id:1126.

A 12-by-24-foot portable, modular medical home can be the answer for families who wish to take care of loved ones on their property as an alternative to long-term care facilities. The MedCottage ( http://www.medcottage.com), equipped with technology and amenities for the health, comfort, and safety of older adults or those recovering from illness or injury, was developed as an alternative model for health care.

MedCottage contains a family communication center that provides telemetry, environmental control, and dynamic interaction to offsite caregivers through smart and robotic technology. Technology inside monitors vital signs, filters the air for contaminants, and communicates with the outside world via high-tech video and cell phone text technology. Sensors alert caregivers to an occupant’s fall, and a computer can remind the occupant to take medications. The technology also provides entertainment, offering a selection of music, reading materials, and movies.

The MedCottage features three rooms:

Features of the MedCottage include:

The MedCottage can be purchased or leased and temporarily placed on the caregiving family’s property. Like an RV, it connects to a single-family house’s electrical and water supplies. It is already authorized for use in Virginia and is designed to comply with local zoning ordinances throughout the nation.

Source.“MedCottage Makes Debut, Introducing New Way to Care for Loved Ones.” (2010, July 19). Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://medcottage.com/press/press-releases/87-medcottage-makes-debut-introducing-new-way-to-care-for-loved-ones.

Journal of Gerontological Nursing (JGN) readers who pick up the second edition of Geropsychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, published in August by Jones and Bartlett Learning, may notice a pair of familiar names on the cover. The update to the 2005 text is authored by Karen Devereaux Melillo, PhD, GNP, ANP, BC, FAANP, FGSA—a JGN Editorial Advisory Board member—and Susan Crocker Houde, PhD, ANP, BC—one of JGN’s Public Policy section editors. In addition, JGN Editor, Kathleen C. Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN, contributed to the newest edition.

Geropsychiatric and Mental Health Nursing addresses the knowledge and skills necessary in the assessment and nursing care of older adults experiencing common late-life mental health and psychiatric problems. The second edition has been completely revised and…

Veterans Study Shows Link Between PTSD and Dementia

Results of a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggest that veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a greater risk for dementia than veterans without PTSD, even those who incurred traumatic injuries during combat.

The study included 10,481 veterans 65 and older who had been seen at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at least twice between 1997 and 1999. Outpatient data were gathered for all identified patients until 2008. Participants who had been wounded during combat (with and without a PTSD diagnosis) were also identified to provide a group with confirmed injuries and combat experience. A group with two visits, but no PTSD or combat-related injuries, was identified for purposes of comparison.

Approximately 36% of the veterans in this study had PTSD. Nearly 11% of those with PTSD but not injured and 7.2% of those with PTSD and injured had dementia, compared with 4.5% and 5.9%, respectively, in the non-PTSD groups. These results remained significant after other risk factors of dementia (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke) were taken into account.

Interestingly, despite the increased risk for those with PTSD, most veterans with PTSD did not develop dementia during the period studied. The authors noted there could be several explanations for their findings: It could be that cognitive impairment in PTSD is an early marker of dementia, having PTSD makes one more likely to get dementia, or PTSD and dementia have some characteristics in common.

Source.“Pivotal Study Finds Link Between PTSD and Dementia.” (2010, September 2). Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://www.americangeriatrics.org/press/news_press_releases/id:1126.

MedCottage Offers Long-Term Care in the Backyard

A 12-by-24-foot portable, modular medical home can be the answer for families who wish to take care of loved ones on their property as an alternative to long-term care facilities. The MedCottage ( http://www.medcottage.com), equipped with technology and amenities for the health, comfort, and safety of older adults or those recovering from illness or injury, was developed as an alternative model for health care.

MedCottage contains a family communication center that provides telemetry, environmental control, and dynamic interaction to offsite caregivers through smart and robotic technology. Technology inside monitors vital signs, filters the air for contaminants, and communicates with the outside world via high-tech video and cell phone text technology. Sensors alert caregivers to an occupant’s fall, and a computer can remind the occupant to take medications. The technology also provides entertainment, offering a selection of music, reading materials, and movies.

The MedCottage features three rooms:

  • A kitchen with a small refrigerator, microwave, washer-dryer combination, and medication dispenser.
  • Bedroom with hospital-caliber bed and additional accommodation for a caregiver’s visit.
  • Bathroom with a host of smart devices, including a toilet that measures weight, temperature, and urine content.

Features of the MedCottage include:

  • A virtual companion that relays health-related messages (e.g., medication reminders).
  • A video system that monitors the floor at ankle level, allowing privacy, but a ensuring caregiver would know if there were a problem.
  • Pressurized ventilation that can keep airborne pathogens in or keep outdoor air out.
  • A lift, attached to a built-in track in the ceiling, that can move a patient from bed to bathroom so the caregiver could avoid heavy lifting.
  • Lighting at knee height illuminating the walls and floors to reduce fall risk.

The MedCottage can be purchased or leased and temporarily placed on the caregiving family’s property. Like an RV, it connects to a single-family house’s electrical and water supplies. It is already authorized for use in Virginia and is designed to comply with local zoning ordinances throughout the nation.

Source.“MedCottage Makes Debut, Introducing New Way to Care for Loved Ones.” (2010, July 19). Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://medcottage.com/press/press-releases/87-medcottage-makes-debut-introducing-new-way-to-care-for-loved-ones.

Updated Book Features JGN Editors, Board Member

Journal of Gerontological Nursing (JGN) readers who pick up the second edition of Geropsychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, published in August by Jones and Bartlett Learning, may notice a pair of familiar names on the cover. The update to the 2005 text is authored by Karen Devereaux Melillo, PhD, GNP, ANP, BC, FAANP, FGSA—a JGN Editorial Advisory Board member—and Susan Crocker Houde, PhD, ANP, BC—one of JGN’s Public Policy section editors. In addition, JGN Editor, Kathleen C. Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN, contributed to the newest edition.

Geropsychiatric and Mental Health Nursing addresses the knowledge and skills necessary in the assessment and nursing care of older adults experiencing common late-life mental health and psychiatric problems. The second edition has been completely revised and updated to include crucial areas such as assessment, diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and behavioral management strategies in nursing care of older adults. New to this edition are case studies in each chapter in addition to discussion questions.

Effects of Childhood Abuse Linger into Old Age

Adults who experience serious abuse or adverse experiences as children could face a life span shortened by 7 to 15 years, according to data revealed at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting.

The study examined 132 healthy older adults (mean age = 70). Forty-four percent served as primary caregivers for family members with dementia, and 56% were not caregivers. The researchers took blood samples from each person, measuring the levels of two cytokines known to be stress markers: interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). They also used a series of surveys to determine the participants’ level of depression, health status, health behaviors, and whether they had experienced childhood abuse or neglect. The surveys also looked for childhood adverse events, such as the loss of a parent, serious marital problems between parents, or mental illness or alcoholism within their family. Lastly, from the blood samples, the researchers were able to measure the lengths of telomeres. Shortened telomeres have been associated with aging, age-related diseases, and death among older adults.

Nearly one third of participants said they had experienced some form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse during childhood. Participants who said they had either been abused or experienced adverse events as children showed higher levels of IL-6 than those who did not. Caregivers in that group also had higher IL-6 levels than those who were not caregivers.

Caregivers who had been abused as children showed higher levels of TNF than nonabused caregivers or controls, whether they were abused or not. Individuals who faced adverse experiences as children showed no significant increase in TNF levels.

Participants who reported being abused showed greater levels of depression than those who were not, but those who faced childhood adversity showed no significant increase in depression. Lastly, the study showed that those participants who had experienced two or more kinds of childhood adversity had telomeres significantly shorter than those who had not. In addition, caregivers showed significantly shorter telomere length than those who were not caregivers.

Source.“Childhood Abuse, Adversity May Shorten Life, Weaken Immune Response Among the Elderly.” (2010, August 16). Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100815111450.htm.

10.3928/00989134-20101101-07

Sign up to receive

Journal E-contents