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Coronavirus: Centenarians recovering from the virus

Sandish Shoker, BBC News, East Midlands

Scientists have said coronavirus affects the elderly population more than any other age group. But amid the stories of suffering, there have also been rays of hope. BBC News hears from three centenarians who have survived Covid-19. Among the many patients who left hospital in Derby after having had Covid-19 was Jane Collins, aged 104. “She’s survived two world wars, multiple recessions, and is still batting,” said Ms Collins’s great niece, Sarah Balmforth.”She still likes the odd sip of champagne, which is what we think has preserved her for so long.” Ms Collins, who lives in the city, spent several weeks in hospital but has since returned to her care home to recover.

Read the rest here:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-52732899

The coming long-term care crisis

Meagan Day, Jacobin Magazine, www.jacobinmag.com (US)

Americans are aging, and millions will be unable to afford long-term care. The only way to avert social catastrophe is to implement a Medicare-for-All system with comprehensive long-term care benefits. By 2050, one in five US residents will be of retirement age. As we hurtle headlong toward this reality, we face a choice: we can either invest public money in comprehensive long-term care for seniors, or not.

If we don’t, the consequences will be grim. The average annual cost for a home health aide tops $50,000. The annual cost of a private nursing home room now exceeds $100,000, and it’s rising. At present, Medicare does not cover most long-term care needs; seniors often find that their best option is to deplete their life savings so they can qualify for Medicaid. But even then, benefits are limited, and the costs of home health aides and institutional care are not fully covered. Private insurance that covers long-term care is too expensive for many seniors, leaving them at the whim of the threadbare social safety net.

Read the rest here:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/10/long-term-care-crisis-seniors-medicare-aging

Frail elderly “failed by care deserts”

BBC News, Nick Triggle

The system for looking after frail older people in England is falling apart, with what are being dubbed “care deserts” emerging, a charity says. An analysis carried out for Age UK indicates about 30% of areas now have no residential care beds. The situation is even worse for nursing homes – needed for the most frail – with more than 60% having no places. Recruiting staff and keeping services running were proving a real challenge some areas, the charity said. Age UK believes the situation is now so bad that about 1.4 million older people are not getting the care they need – nearly one in seven of the over-65 population. Ruthe Isden, from Age UK, said: “The system is failing people – and that is having catastrophic consequences.” The government has promised plans to reform the care system will be put forward soon.

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htps://www.bbc.com/news/health-48228623

Jarring photo of elderly woman slumped over pillow in Ohio nursing home sparks investigation

Sia Nyorkor, Reporter, Cleveland 19 News, UK

Julia Wiggins, the family’s pastor, posted these photos to Facebook on Feb. 19. The woman pictured is 80-year-old Esther Brown, a resident of Altercare Nobles Pond in Canton. Her son, James Brown, said they have filed a complaint with the facility about the care his mother is receiving. Cleveland 19 News reporter Sia Nyorkor spoke to Beverly Laubert, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman with the Ohio Department of Aging regarding the allegations. The department advocates for people receiving nursing home care, home care and assisted living.

Read the rest and view the video here:
http://www.cleveland19.com/2019/02/21/jarring-photo-elderly-woman-slumped-over-pillow-canton-nursing-home-sparks-investigation/

Nursing homes sedate residents with dementia by misusing antipsychotic drugs, report finds

Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Children complained about parents who were robbed of their personalities and turned into zombies. Residents remembered slurring their words and being unable to think or stay awake. Former administrators admitted doling out drugs without having appropriate diagnoses, securing informed consent or divulging risks. These are just some of the findings outlined in a new Human Rights Watch report, “‘They want docile:’ How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia.” The 157-page report, released Monday, estimates that each week more than 179,000 people living in US nursing facilities are given antipsychotic medications, even though they don’t have the approved psychiatric diagnoses — like schizophrenia — to warrant use of the drugs. Most of these residents are older and have dementia, and researchers say the antipsychotic medications are administered as a cost-effective “chemical restraint” to suppress behaviors and ease the load on overwhelmed staff.

What’s revealed in this report echoes the findings of a CNN investigation published in October. The CNN story described how one little red pill, Nuedexta, was being misused and overprescribed in nursing homes. What’s more, CNN learned that this overuse benefited the drugmaker to a tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, largely at the expense of the US government. The CNN report prompted an investigation into a California-based pharmaceutical company. The Human Rights Watch report shows that concerns about overmedicating nursing home residents with inappropriate drugs extends beyond this one pill.

Read the rest here:
http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/05/health/nursing-homes-dementia-antipsychotic-drugs/index.html

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