Identifying and effectively treating older patients who suffer from depression continues to be a challenge. Primary care providers (PCPs) tend to screen for and treat depression, and although well-intentioned, treatment in a primary care setting does not always yield the best outcome for older patients.
PCPs actually now screen patients for depression more often than they used to, however increased screening has not always led to better treatment. Depression in older adults can present differently than in younger patients, and PCPs who aren’t aware of that may underestimate the severity of depression in their older patients.
Dementia is one of several medical conditions associated with increased rates of depression. Depression in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, occurs in up to 25 percent of patients, and is more frequently diagnosed in patients with mild to moderate AD. Even higher rates of major depression have been linked to dementias associated with Parkinson’s disease and strokes.
About 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease have trouble with their speech. Thanks to Lee Silverman Voice Technique, a voice therapy offered at Hebrew SeniorLife, Helene “Honey” Deutch, a Hebrew Rehabilitation Dedham patient living with Parkinson’s disease, has seen remarkable improvements in her ability to communicate with others. Along with being able to speak, Honey has regained her confidence and enjoys all that life has to offer.
What is good health? I think it’s safe to say that the answer to that question is not the same for everyone. To some it may mean the absence of disease. For others it may be effectively managing a chronic condition. But for many of us, good health involves a combination of physical, psychosocial and emotional well-being and the interplay between all three.
Music can transcend words and reach deep into the soul to provide comfort, healing and awakening. Our music therapy program at Hebrew SeniorLife engages even the frailest of seniors in our care, providing a way to engage with the world, increase socialization and improve quality of life. Watch the video below to see the effect music therapy has on our residents.
Diabetes is a disease that prevents the body from producing or properly using insulin. Insulin is an essential hormone that helps the body convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for everyday life.
There are four primary types of diabetes —type 1, type 2, gestational and pre-diabetes. With type 1, the body is unable to produce insulin, whereas with type 2, the body is resistant to insulin and not able to use it properly. Gestational diabetes causes insulin levels to increase in some pregnant women and pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when the blood glucose levels in a person's body are higher than normal, but not quite so high for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Hebrew SeniorLife has a new Executive Director of Home and Community-Based Services, Maureen Bannan, RN, MA. I recently spoke with Maureen about her experiences working in health care and her vision for Hebrew SeniorLife.
Can you share a little bit about your experience in home and community health services?
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. Palliative care, while similar to hospice, is offered to patients earlier in the disease process and provides specialized medical treatment to manage symptoms. Often times pneumonia, delirium and eating problems accompany the terminal disease, and palliative care can help cope with those complications and improve quality of life for patients.