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21 Oct

HealthDay Now: The Motivations Behind Conservatorships

In a HealthDay Now interview, we spoke to two experts to discover why 1.3 million Americans, including Britney Spears, are currently under a conservatorship — a legal arrangement that allows a court-appointed guardian to take control of another individual's daily life and decisions.

Health News Results - 44

Give Others Help, Get Back Health Benefits: Study

When it comes to helping others and your health, it might be better to give than to receive, a new study suggests.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 Americans between 34 and 84 about their social involvement and how much they thought they could rely on their family, friends or a spouse if they needed help.

On a key measure of health -- chronic inflammation -- positive social rela...

How 1.3 Million Americans Became Controlled by Conservatorships

Pop singer Britney Spears was at the height of her fame in 2008 when, through a series of arcane legal maneuverings, her father gained conservatorship over her and took control of her personal and financial affairs.

Spears' plight and the #FreeBritney movement has shone a bright spotlight on America's guardianship system, which experts say is shrouded in secrecy, ripe for abuse and in des...

Pandemic Day Care Closures Forced 600,000 U.S. Working Moms to Leave Jobs

When child care centers were forced to close in the pandemic's early months, hundreds of thousands of American working mothers lost their jobs, new research shows.

The study is just the latest illustration of the toll the pandemic has taken on working women in the United States.

Over the first 10 months of the U.S. pandemic, more than 2.3 million women left the labor force, accordin...

1 in 3 Caregivers for Elderly May Be Untrained, Unscreened

A new report raises questions about the training and qualifications of many caregivers for the elderly across the United States.

The study by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, found that nearly a third of Americans who arranged for paid care of a frail elderly adult or person with dementia hired someone from outside of a regulated agency.

Known as "gray market...

Grief Can Strike Even Before a Loved One Is Gone

Feelings of grief are expected after the loss of a loved one, but having those feelings when your loved one has a terminal illness is also real and can fluctuate over time, experts say.

Individuals can adjust to their emotional pain, according to a new study focusing on what is known as "pre-loss grief" observed at two points in time for people whose family members had advanced can...

Lots of Teens, Young Adults Are Helping to Care for Older Loved Ones

TUESDAY, April 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) - Many people regard middle-aged caregivers as the "sandwich generation" -- folks caring for young kids as well their aging moms, dads or grandparents.

It turns out that's not the whole picture, according to a new study, which found that 14- to 24-year-olds may be providing care much more often than expected.

"We generally talk about caregivi...

Strain of COVID Care Has Many Health Professionals Looking for an Exit

After the pandemic, the next great health care challenge in the United States could be retaining highly trained doctors, nurses and scientists, a new study warns.

Up to one in five employees at an academic medical institution are considering leaving their professions because of the strains of coping with the pandemic, according to the researchers.

"It's sobering to learn that, d...

6 Steps to Reduce Caregiver Stress

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease can be mentally and physically exhausting, so you should take steps to manage and reduce stress, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.

"Finding ways to manage and reduce stress is of paramount importance for every Alzheimer's caregiver. Untreated stress can lead to physical, mental and emotional caregiver burnout," Jennifer Ree...

Very Low COVID Transmission in Day Care Centers: Study

Children in day care centers had low coronavirus infection rates early in the pandemic, and are unlikely sources of COVID-19 transmission, a new study from France finds.

COVID-19 can infect people of all ages, but children tend to develop mild, if any, symptoms, and very rarely need to be hospitalized. Very young children's role as asymptomatic coronavirus spreaders remains unknown and th...

Too Many Kids With Special Needs Are Going Without Adequate Support

As many as one in five U.S. children has special health care needs, and some of their caregivers are struggling to get them the support, care and services they need, new research shows.

Kids with special health care needs may have physical conditions (such as asthma or diabetes), mental health issues (including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or anxiety), developmental disorders ...

COVID Vaccine Advised for Alzheimer's Patients, Their Caregivers

All Alzheimer's disease patients and their family caregivers should be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America says.

"Getting vaccinated is one of the most important steps families affected by Alzheimer's disease can take to protect themselves and their loved ones," said Dr. J. Wesson Ashford, chair of the foundation's medical, scientific and memory screening ad...

Caregivers Feeling the Strain This Tough Holiday Season

The coronavirus pandemic makes the holidays even more difficult for caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, an expert says.

"Even in the best of times, holidays can be a mixed bag for families who are caring for a loved one with an age-related illness that causes physical and mental changes. Focus on family togetherness and joy," said Mary Catherine ...

Avoid Injury While Caregiving at Home

Caring for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also lead to injury.

To keep yourself in good physical shape while caregiving, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) offers some tips for careful lifting:

--Keep your head and neck in proper alignment with your spine. Your head, neck and back should be as straight as possible.

--Maintain the natural curve o...

Depression Can Deepen Over Time for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Add a heightened risk for depression to the list of challenges facing the caregivers of loved ones who have Alzheimer's disease.

A new study found that older adults caring for spouses newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's had a 30% increase in symptoms of depression compared to those whose spouses didn't have Alzheimer's or related dementia.

And with care often lasting for y...

Many Americans With Dementia Live in Homes With Guns

Many people with dementia may have access to a gun in their home, yet few families have gotten advice from a doctor on how to handle the situation, a small new study finds.

In the United States, somewhere between 39% and 49% of older adults live in a home with firearms, the researchers said. Meanwhile, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, the most...

COVID-19 Brings New Challenges to Alzheimer's Caregiving

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease comes with daily challenges and disruptions, and those have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the risk of infection, contact with your loved one may now be off-limits or severely restricted. Caregivers probably need to wear masks, which may be confusing to someone with Alzheimer's. And, if your loved one gets sick, how do ...

Spirituality Helps Stroke Survivors, Caregivers Bounce Back

Could a higher power help stroke recovery? People who are spiritual may be better able to deal with stroke-related disability, new research suggests.

The Italian study linked spirituality -- be it through religion or simply a strong sense of purpose and connection to others -- to a lower risk of depression for people with low to moderate disability after a stroke and their caregivers...

AHA News: Caregiving Is Never Easy, and COVID-19 Has Made It Harder

Melia Wilkinson cares for her husband, Kerry, who in 2014 had a massive stroke.

Today, the 57-year-old has no use of his left hand, limited use of his left leg, and relies on a cane to get around the house. Kerry can do many things on his own, Melia said, but she helps him with daily activities, such as dressing, and manages his medical care.

While caregiving has always been cha...

Caring for Dementia Patient During Pandemic? Try These Stress-Busting Tips

The coronavirus pandemic will put extra stress on caregivers of loved ones with dementias, so the Alzheimer's Foundation of America offers some advice.

"Reducing stress is always important for caregivers, and even more so now," said Charles Fuschillo Jr., the foundation's president and CEO.

"Disruptions in daily routines, social isolation and anxiety are all added stressors c...

Pandemic Adds to Challenge of Caring for Loved One With Dementia

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Annette Adams-Brown's 87-year-old mother was an avid follower of TV news. Now Adams-Brown has to channel-surf for a less stressful pastime.

Her mother, Bertha, has dementia, and each time she hears the news about a terrible disease spreading through the country, it's like she is hearing it for the first time.

"It produces a lot of anxiety," said...

Caring for Relatives With ALS Almost a Full-Time Job for Youth: Study

Kids and teens spend as much as five hours a day helping care for relatives with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a new study finds.

Although the young people often help with bathing, dressing, eating and other caregiving activities, they may not have enough training or information about the disease, the study authors said.

The resea...

What People With Parkinson's Need to Know About COVID-19

The new coronavirus poses a significant risk to people with Parkinson's disease, and experts say they and their caregivers need to take precautions.

"People living with Parkinson's disease are at high risk if they contract COVID-19, whether they are above age 50 or if they have young-onset Parkinson's disease, which occurs in people younger than 50," said Dr. Frederick Southwick, an i...

U.S. Primary Care Docs Unprepared for Surge in Alzheimer's Cases

Many U.S. primary care doctors worry they aren't ready to care for the growing ranks of Americans with Alzheimer's disease, a new report suggests.

In a Alzheimer's Association survey, half of primary care doctors said the U.S. medical profession is unprepared for the coming surge in Alzheimer's cases.

Right now, it's estimated that more than 5 million Americans age 65 and ol...

Helping Seniors Manage Meds After Hospital Reduces Readmission: Study

Helping older people manage their prescribed medicines after they leave the hospital reduces their risk of readmission, researchers say.

Many older patients take multiple medicines and these often change after a hospital stay. This can cause misunderstandings that result in patients taking too much or too little of their medications, or not taking them at all, the authors of the new s...

Who's Caring for Family Caregivers? 1 in 5 Says Health Is Poor

Caring for a loved one at home can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming and take a toll on your own health, a new study suggests.

According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 of the nearly 18 million Americans who provide informal, unpaid care may be in fair or poor health.

"As the population of America ages and...

Caregivers Give Short Shrift to Their Own Health

More than 43 million American adults care for their loved ones every year, but a new survey shows they are more likely to neglect their own health in the process.

The survey found that those who regularly care for a family member or friend with a health problem are less likely to access needed services due to cost or lack of health insurance.

"Caregivers provide tremendous b...

Many Child Care Centers Don't Require Flu Shots

As an early flu season spreads its misery across the United States, new research shows that few child care centers require children or their adult caregivers to get a flu shot.

Flu can be especially dangerous for children, who have a greater risk than adults for serious complications, hospitalization and even death, the researchers noted.

"When ki...

Caregivers Need to Care for Themselves

If you're a caregiver for a family member, you need to look after your own mental health to provide the best care for others, an expert says.

Caregivers are at increased risk for depression and anxiety. Clinically significant symptoms of depression occur in 40%-70% of caregivers, and major depression occurs in 25%-50% of these caregivers, according to the Family Caregi...

Family Can Help Keep Delirium at Bay After Surgery

Many older hospital patients suffer delirium after surgery, but a new program that involves the patient's family in recovery may help, a new study suggests.

Called the Tailored, Family-Involved Hospital Elder Life Program (t-HELP), it appears to help lessen the burden of postoperative delirium while maintaining or improving physical and thinking functions, and shortening the time pat...

What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?

Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician ...

Dementia Caregivers Often Face Sleepless Nights

Sleep loss is a problem for people who care for loved ones with dementia, which can put both caregivers and patients at risk, researchers say.

Investigators at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, found caregivers lost between 2.5 to 3.5 hours of sleep a week due to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

"Losing 3.5 hours of sleep per week does not seem much, but caregiv...

How to Protect a Loved One With Dementia During a Heat Wave

Heat waves can pose a serious risk to people with Alzheimer's disease, so their families should know how to keep them safe, advocates say.

Extreme heat is "dangerous for everyone, but especially for someone with Alzheimer's disease, who may be unable to spot the warning signs of trouble or know how to get help," said Charles Fuschillo Jr., president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Foundati...

Recognizing When Your Parents Need Help

Sometimes it's obvious when older parents need outside help -- like when they're having difficulty managing numerous chronic illnesses or losing mobility and unable to maneuver well even at home. But mental problems may not be as easy to spot.

For instance, is Dad's forgetfulness -- his misplacing house keys or missing appointments -- normal aging or a sign of something more serious,...

Too Often, Caring for Aging Parent Means Trouble at Work

Many adults with full-time jobs who care for an aging parent face significant work disruptions and lack employer support, a new study finds.

Work disruptions range from mild, such as adjusting work hours, to severe. Severe disruptions include moving from full- to part-time jobs, taking a leave of absence or even early retirement.

The study included 642 workers at a public un...

Meals on Wheels Delivers an Extra Health Bonus for Seniors

Meals on Wheels might do more than deliver hot food to isolated seniors: New research suggests it can serve as an early warning system for declining health.

The study included Meals on Wheels drivers in Guernsey County in Ohio and San Diego County, who were trained to use a mobile app to alert care coordinators if the drivers had a concern or noticed a change in a senior's condition.<...

Abuse, Injury More Likely When Child is With Male Caregiver: Study

Young children are far more likely to suffer abuse-related injuries when left in the care of a man, versus a woman. And those injuries are likely to be more severe, a new study finds.

The study included more than 1,600 children under age 4 who were seen for injuries at a pediatric emergency department. Of those, 24% were found to have been physically abused.

Nearly 80...

Falls Are Increasingly Lethal for Older Americans

Deaths from falls are increasing sharply among elderly Americans, a new study finds.

Nearly 25,000 people 75 and older died as a result of falls in 2016 -- almost three times as many as in 2000. And experts warn that the toll is likely to rise along with population shifts.

"As the United States population continues to age, we can expect more deaths from falls," said researc...

Most U.S. Middle-Class Seniors Will Lack Funds for Assisted Living by 2029

A decade from now, more than half of middle-class seniors in the United States will be unable to afford needed housing and personal assistance, a new study contends.

The number of middle-income people over 75 will nearly double to 14 million by 2029, up from about 8 million today, projections show.

About 54% of these seniors won't have enough money to afford an assisted ...

Untrained Caregivers Bear Burden of Care for Families: Report

Twenty million largely self-taught home caregivers in the United States perform complex medical tasks for family members and friends, a new report says.

That means that half of the nation's 40 million family caregivers do things typically performed by health care professionals, such as giving injections, preparing special diets, handling tube feedings, and dealing with specialized eq...

Caregiving May Not Be as Taxing to Your Health as Feared

Being a family caregiver may not be as hazardous to your health as most people think, researchers say.

Decades of research papers and media reports have warned that family caregivers are at risk for health declines. One suggested reason is that the stress of caregiving can increase inflammation and weaken the immune system.

For this study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Univer...

Elder Abuse On the Rise in America

As the American population ages, elder abuse rates are increasing, particularly among men, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Between 2002 and 2016, the rate of assaults among men 60 and older jumped 75%, while it rose 35% among women between 2007 and 2016. Among older men, the homicide rate increased 7% between 2010 and 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Di...

Plunging Temperatures a Threat to People With Alzheimer's

The polar vortex that has enveloped much of the United States this week poses a special danger to people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

"This type of weather can be hazardous for everyone, but even more so for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease, who may have difficulty noticing temperature and weather changes or knowing who to call for help," said Charl...

Many Female Health Care Workers Make Poverty-Level Wages: Study

Every day they help feed, bathe and care for the frailest Americans. But female health care workers in the United States often get shortchanged on wages and health insurance, a new study finds.

In fact, about one-third of female health care workers made less than $15 an hour, and that number rose to half when these workers were black or Hispanic.

The study authors estimated...

What Makes for a Good Nursing Home?

Families of nursing home residents are more likely to be satisfied with facilities that have higher staffing levels and are nonprofits, a new study finds.

"The findings show that facility-level factors associated with higher family satisfaction are rather similar to the ones we already know predict resident satisfaction as well," said study leader Tetyana Shippee. She is an associate ...

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