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Seniors care in BC: Dementia wave set to make institutions more responsive to residents

Kevin Griffin, The Vancouver Sun

Erna Dreger held out as long as she could. She kept her husband Paul out of the seniors care system for nine years, caring for him at home after he was diagnosed in 2003 with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. But Paul, now 80, liked to go for walks by himself. Erna realized his wandering had become dangerous when he got lost and she had to call in police to find him.

“I knew I had to be smart before something tragic happened,” said Erna, 77.

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New evidence that childhood viruses may play a role years later in Alzheimer’s disease

Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press, The National Post

WASHINGTON — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a role in Alzheimer’s, scientists reported Thursday in a provocative study that promises to re-ignite some long-debated theories about what triggers the mind-robbing disease. The findings don’t prove viruses cause Alzheimer’s, nor do they suggest it’s contagious. But a team led by researchers at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System found that certain viruses — including two extremely common herpes viruses — affect the behaviour of genes involved in Alzheimer’s.

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London nursing home bungled hiring of killer nurse Wettlaufer: Ex-manager

Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press

Meadow Park Nursing Home in London should not have hired Elizabeth Wettlaufer without checking with her supervisor at the Woodstock home that fired her, a key official told a public inquiry Wednesday. Melanie Smith worked at Meadow Park directly under care director Heather Nicholas, who hired Wettlaufer knowing she had been fired by Caressant Care and without speaking to either of the nurse’s supervisors at that facility — relying instead on those selected by Wettlaufer as references. Under those circumstances, said Smith, who would go on to leapfrog her former boss Nicholas to become administrator, a nursing home should speak to an immediate supervisor before committing to the hire.

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Cooking for one: How to cut costs and work while keeping nutrition up

Lori Culbert, Vancouver Sun

One of the biggest challenges for seniors living at home is cooking healthy meals when they are often eating alone and don’t have big appetites. We assembled some helpful tips from experts. Most seniors in B.C. still live independently at home, where cooking — often for just themselves — can seem like a hassle. “That’s a challenge for many people, young and old alike,” said Rachel Murphy, an assistant professor at UBC’s faculty of medicine who has an expertise in aging and nutrition. Simple solutions, like eating a tin of soup with a piece of toast, won’t provide the nutrients needed for aging bodies. So, Murphy has some advice on how to cook small meals and still get big nourishment.

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Lack of insulin tracking at care home where Wettlaufer worked allowed for abuse

Kate Dubinski, CBC News

Insulin was easily accessible to nursing staff at Meadow Park Long-Term Care in London, Ont., where killer nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer found her last victim, the home’s former co-director of care testified Wednesday. And nurses were free to administer insulin without a double-check by a colleague, because the layout of the home made it impractical for two people to do so, Melanie Smith told the public inquiry into resident safety at long-term care homes. 

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