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geriatric research

Making Sense of Nutrition in the News

Advice for older adults from our Institute for Aging Research Nutrition Scientist

February 3, 2016

Nutrition scientist Shivani Sahni, Ph.D. speaks to colleagues at IFAR

One thing not up for debate is that nutrition is an important part of overall good health. But that’s where agreement seems to end – at least according to reports in the media. Eat more protein; but all red meat is risky. Eggs send bad cholesterol levels through the roof; no wait, now it’s OK to eat them again. And recently, news about whether supplements, including calcium and vitamin D, protect us or actually cause harm has been fodder for headlines. So how do you parse the contradictory messages?

Caring for Seniors with Advanced Dementia and Other Terminal Diseases

October 15, 2015

Caring for Seniors with Advanced Dementia and Other Terminal Diseases

With aging there are many diseases that may impact quality of life and lead to eventual death. The end stages of Alzheimer’s disease, or other advanced illnesses can be challenging for patients and their families. At Hebrew SeniorLife we find that family members are looking to doctors and nurses to help their loved ones in what may be the end-stage of life.

5 Ways Good Nutrition Can Help You Stay Strong

August 13, 2015

5 Ways Good Nutrition Can Help You Stay Strong

Hebrew SeniorLife’s Harvard Medical School-affiliated Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) is celebrating 50 years of research focused on finding ways to optimize quality of life for all of us as we age. For half a century our researchers have explored age-related syndromes, debunking the myth that growing old has to mean growing frail.

Making Sense of Delirium and Improving Life for Older Adults

August 5, 2015

Making Sense of Delirium and Improving Life for Older Adults

As a newly trained attending physician, I vividly remember several patients who became extremely confused during their stay at the hospital. They were disoriented, and had problems with attention and memory. I realized that something was wrong. What was causing their confusion? They were all older adults and had been admitted for different conditions such as congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease, and cancer.

Not Just Bone Density Anymore: Genetics, Aging and Osteoporosis

New ways of studying osteoporosis may help better predict fracture

July 15, 2015

New ways of studying osteoporosis may help better predict fracture

One of the defining moments of my work in aging research was learning how dramatically age affects the deterioration of the skeleton. This realization motivated me to perform research focused on understanding age effects on the skeleton. Thus I have spent my career studying the impact of low bone density and working to characterize the contributors to age-related bone loss (osteoporosis).

New Research May Help Older Adults Retain Muscle Mass and Strength

We are what we eat—right down to our bones

June 10, 2015

New Research May Help Older Adults Retain Muscle Mass and Strength

As we age, many of us will face a number of health-related challenges. One big concern for older adults is a decrease in muscle strength (sarcopenia) and bone loss (osteoporosis). There is evidence that up to 50% of adults may suffer muscle loss as they age and further research estimates 54 million U.S. adults have low bone density or osteoporosis. Unfortunately, an osteoporotic fracture occurs every 3 seconds according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

The Next 50 Years in Aging Research

Looking ahead with IFAR Director Dr. Lew Lipsitz

April 16, 2015

The Next 50 Years in Aging Research

Before we look ahead, I think it’s important to see where things began for aging research at Hebrew SeniorLife. Since 1965 the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) has been at the forefront of geriatric research to improve the quality of life for seniors. IFAR research has contributed to some of the most important innovations in senior care:

Institute for Aging Research Expands Studies of Balance and Aging Across the Globe

February 26, 2015

Institute for Aging Research Expands Studies of Balance

It was six years ago in 2009 that a colleague of mine had to cancel lunch with Dr. Jue Zhang, a visiting scientist from Peking University, and asked me to stand in as host. At the time I had no way of knowing how profoundly that lunch would affect the course of my career. What started as conversation between two scientists getting to know each other over Chinese food has grown into a robust and productive aging research collaboration.

Assessing Delirium in the Elderly

New Research Sheds Light on Delirium’s Impact on Health Care Cost and Patient Outcomes

May 13, 2014

Assessing Delirium in the Elderly

I have devoted my research career to advancing the understanding of a serious condition called delirium and the impact it has on clinical outcomes. As a medical resident, I observed symptoms of confusion and disorientation in many of the seniors I cared for during my hospital rotations. These symptoms were generally shrugged off as just something that sometimes happens to older patients. Little, if anything was done to prevent or treat it despite its devastating effects.

Medicare 3 Day Rule Changes

What older adults should know about this controversial Medicare policy

November 21, 2013

Medicare 3 Day Rule Changes

Imagine this scenario: your 75-year-old mother falls and can no longer walk independently. You take her to the hospital emergency room. Although she doesn’t need hospitalization, she does need rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility to regain her ability to walk.

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