RI ARA HealthLink Wellness News
Aging Into a Better Life A Vermont elderly care initiative rooted in the home is being eyed as a model for SEVERAL YEARS AGO, Jeanne Daley was hit with three back-to-back challenges: Her husband died, she fell and fractured a knee and an elbow, and her son was transferred to Colorado for work, not long after she'd moved to Pennsylvania to live near him. "I was just about ready to give up on everything," she says. But then, another son in Vermont set her up in an income-restricted apartment complex designed for older adults in Burlington. "I came up to Vermont and thought maybe I'd last six months if I was lucky – and that was five years ago,"
Daley says. Daley's building isn't standard lowincome housing. It's part of the state's Support and Services at Home program, a housing-based initiative that addresses many health and social needs of lowincome seniors and some disabled adults in the settings where they spend the most time: their homes and their communities. One of roughly 5,000 SASH participants across Vermont, Daley participates in meditation and art classes offered through the program, and has her blood pressure checked weekly by a wellness nurse who works in the
apartment complex. "I'm really starting to feel younger – it's taken me back 10 years. I no longer feel my age since I've been up here," says Daley, who will turn 92 in October and has ditched her walking cane for dancing shoes since moving to the apartment. By integrating housing, health care and social services, SASH program coordinators seek to help older adults age healthily and independently, reducing their medical costs and delaying or preventing institutional care while in turn easing the burden on the nation's health care system.
Piloted in 2009 by the affordable housing nonprofit Cathedral Square, the SASH program has become a model for home-based health approaches as an aging America yields more complex and costly health conditions and payers and providers increasingly consider prevention as well as treatment to curb those costs. "This is a hard thing to do – I see this as changing the paradigm of how health care and supportive services are delivered," says SASH Director Molly Dugan. "We know things about them that their doctors don't know, that other community providers don't know, because we see them day in and day out."...Read More
Could Taking That Antibiotic Have Serious, Long-Term Consequences? Widely prescribed fluoroquinolones can cause rare but disabling side effects that may be permanent. In a suicide note Oliver Newell left on his computer, he apologized to family and friends for leaving them and described, in brief, some of the struggles he'd endured over the preceding months: "all systems affected (muscles, joints, skin, nerves, heart, intestinal, memory, hearing, etc....). And really no end in sight to the ongoing and continually emerging symptoms."
To the very end it seemed the 51-year-old software developer and member of the senior staff at MIT's Lincoln Laboratories, who lived in Billerica, Massachusetts, wanted to warn others about what had happened to him. He died by his own hand, but not in the stable state of mind that had characterized him for the 50 years prior, his siblings say. "He was a very resourceful
and smart scientifically oriented tough guy. He's not someone who would go off and cry wolf about things," says his brother Nick Newell, who lives in Reading, Massachusetts. Oliver hadn't suffered from mental health issues previously, Nick says, but everything changed after Oliver, who had been experiencing abdominal pain from what was suspected to be
a prostate or urinary tract infection, took an antibiotic in February 2012. After just three doses Oliver felt weakness in his legs and tingling in his hands and feet. Due to side effects, the medication was quickly stopped, and in total, he took just seven pills of ciprofloxacin (Cipro) – one of a class of powerful, widely prescribed antibiotics called fluoroquinolones – according to records Oliver and his siblings kept….Read More
According to Science, Self-Esteem Peaks at *This* Age
Raise your hand if you ever felt like an awkward tween/teen/adult. And you were afraid you’d feel that way forever. No? Just us? The good news is, you’re on the up and up—and science can prove it. According to a new report in the Psychological Bulletin, selfesteem doesn’t actually peak
until you’re about 60 years old. (60!) The report gathered data from more than 300 published studies on the topic, and a pattern held throughout. Per the paper, “self-esteem increases in early and middle childhood,
remains constant (but does not decline) in adolescence, increases strongly in young adulthood, continues to increase in middle adulthood, peaks between age 60 and 70 years, and then declines in old
age, with a sharper drop in very old age.” Read: Ages 60 through 70 are prime “I don't care” years. We never thought we’d say this but…getting older has its perks.
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