Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailty

Astronauts and seniors with frailty have much in common and innovative research may help solve problems for both

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailtyFor decades, researchers have studied the effects of reduced physical activity on astronauts during prolonged journeys to space. But what's surprising is one of the uses of that research. It turns out that understanding the effects of space travel on the body may be important to understanding what happens to us on Earth as we…

Group effort brings music to Kindersley’s Heritage Manor

Volunteer musicians perform weekly – bringing pleasure to the residents and the band members

Group effort brings music to Kindersley’s Heritage ManorJoan Janzen of The Clarion Every week, the residents at Kindersley’s Heritage Manor look forward to a group of volunteer musicians coming to visit their facility to provide some old-time musical entertainment. “Some say it’s the highlight of their week,” says pianist Marilyn Stevenson. “It’s a wonderful way for seniors to keep mobile if they…

We must do more for seniors coming home from hospital

It's clear the status quo isn’t meeting the needs of our aging population. So what can be done?

We must do more for seniors coming home from hospitalBy Ruta Valaitis and Maureen Markle-Reid EvidenceNetwork.ca Despite having diabetes and arthritis, Verne was a thriving independent 72-year-old who lived at home with his wife when he had a stroke. He had excellent emergency care in the hospital and began his recovery there. But he didn’t adjust well after arriving home. He started to show…

Health foundation and friends support Heritage Manor upgrade

New furniture for the sun room purchased using funds from last year’s harvest by the Kindersley Antique Threshing Club and funds from Elsie Neil and family

Health foundation and friends support Heritage Manor upgrade  Kenneth Brown of The Clarion The residents of Heritage Manor have a new space to enjoy thanks to a contribution by the local health foundation made possible by its special donors. The Kindersley and District Health and Wellness Foundation (KDHWF) has purchased new furniture for the sun room at Heritage Manor using funds that…

Who’s caring for the nursing home carers?

Nursing home care aides are burning out but measures can be taken to improve their work conditions. And that will result in better care for their patients

Who’s caring for the nursing home carers?By Carole A. Estabrooks and Stephanie A. Chamberlain Contributors Many of us have moms and dads or older friends and relatives in nursing home facilities. We care very much about their well-being and the supports they receive. But who’s caring for the care aides who do the bulk of the front-line work in nursing homes?…

When disasters strike, seniors need priority attention

The majority of deaths and injuries resulting from natural disasters involve seniors

When disasters strike, seniors need priority attentionBy John Hirdes and Sandy van Solm EvidenceNetwork.ca The combination of an aging population with increases in natural disasters has had deadly consequences for seniors. Quebec health authorities estimate that as many 70 people died as a result of the recent heat wave with a humidex of over 40C. Most heat-related deaths in Montreal involved seniors with chronic conditions.…

Why the workforce gender gap matters to business

Reducing barriers to adding women to the workforce in Canada could add $150 billion to $420 billion in GDP over 10 years

Why the workforce gender gap matters to businessBy Denise Mullen and Kristine St.-Laurent Business Council of British Columbia In British Columbia and Canada more broadly, the proportion of females aged 15 and over who participate in the labour force remains nine percentage points below that of males. And it has stayed this way since the early 1990s. Why does this matter? Sometimes,…

Canada’s health system fails the elderly

Solving long hospital wait times requires a fundamental shift in the way we care for the elderly

Canada’s health system fails the elderlyBy David Wiercigroch and Caberry Weiyang Yu EvidenceNetwork.ca Hospital overcrowding is not a new issue. Limited bed spaces have plagued Ontario hospitals for years and are increasingly straining our system. Not only are long wait times a shameful expectation when patients arrive in the emergency department, providing care in a busy hospital hallway has become…

Getting to the heart of medical error and malpractice

Securing a meaningful and enduring reduction in medical error requires a cultural transformation

Getting to the heart of medical error and malpracticeIn a 2003 Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) survey, “about a quarter [of adults] said that an adverse event had occurred in their own care, or that of a family member.” Half claimed that the adverse event had produced “serious health consequences.” Three-quarters claimed that it had “led to a hospital visit or longer…

Medical errors too common but patients are paving the way for change

The Elizabeth Wettlaufer case should serve as a warning to all of us about the issue of patient safety

Medical errors too common but patients are paving the way for changeBy Fiona MacDonald and Karine Levasseur EvidenceNetwork.ca We’ve all been there: it’s 3 a.m. and your partner, child, sibling or parent becomes ill suddenly and needs medical care. Will they be safe? The ongoing public inquiry into the safety and security of residents in the long-term care homes system is shedding new light on the…

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medications

By thinking twice before prescribing and talking with patients about the risks of medications, clinicians are tackling overuse

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medicationsBy Karen Born and Wendy Levinson EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians are living longer than ever and we are also taking more medications than ever. And this can make us sicker, not healthier. A report released recently by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in four seniors in Canada take 10 or more medications. That’s…

Putting our health-care workers to better use

It’s not just about having more doctors. It’s time we used all the skills that the wide variety of health workers have to offer

Putting our health-care workers to better useDoes Ontario have enough doctors? Surprisingly, the answer is: Yes, we may have enough doctors. How is this possible when many people don’t have a doctor, or wait days, weeks or even months for a medical appointment? We have more doctors than ever before, but many aren’t located where we need them and many aren’t…

How to keep your aging mind sharp

Research supports the ‘use it or lose it’ theory of mental ability

How to keep your aging mind sharpJust as we need to exercise our bodies to keep them healthy as we age, we must also exercise our minds to keep them from deteriorating. Research shows that people who engage in more activities that stimulate the mind have sharper cognitive functioning as they age than people who do not challenge their brains. In…

Facing frailty head-on

A national seniors strategy needs to account for complexity in the aging process, including risk and vulnerability

Facing frailty head-onBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians 65 years and older now outnumber children 14 years and under, which means our needs as a society are changing. We’re succeeding in shifting the aging curve through preventive interventions and better public health – that’s good news. But the changing demographic is causing strains in our…

When prescriptions do more harm than good

A new national program has pharmacists dispensing advice on how to curb harmful medications, particularly for seniors

When prescriptions do more harm than goodBy Phil Emberley and Wendy Levinson EvidenceNetwork.ca Pharmacists should be talking to patients about stopping or tapering dangerous medications, like benzodiazepines, to help curb long-term use and dependency. Sleep doesn’t come easy as we age. Take Ilsa, a 78-year-old recent widow. Since her husband passed away, she has slept poorly. A recent hospitalization and the disorienting…