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Incontinence in Long-Term Care Residents with Dementia

Incontinence in Long-Term Care Residents with Dementia

Teaser: 

Jayna M. Holroyd-Leduc, MD, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto; Clinician-Investigator, University Health Network, Toronto, ON.
Cara Tannenbaum, MD, FRCPC, MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Montreal; Director, Geriatric Incontinence Clinic, McGill University Health Centre; Director, Institut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montreal, Montreal, QC.

Urinary incontinence is a prevalent condition among long-term care residents, particularly those with dementia. The costs and morbidity associated with urinary incontinence are significant. Urinary incontinence can be easily assessed within the long-term care setting. Several modifiable risk factors should be identified and addressed. Effective behavioural treatment options for incontinence exist and several treatment strategies can be used successfully for patients with dementia.

Key words: urinary incontinence, dementia, long-term care, diagnosis, management.

CME: Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Older Adults

CME: Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Older Adults

Teaser: 


The accredited CME learning activity based on this article is offered under the auspices of the CE department of the University of Toronto. Participating physicians are entitled to one (1) MAINPRO-M1 credit by completing this program, found online at www.geriatricsandaging.ca/cme.htm

Jean Bourbeau MD, MSc, FRCPC, Montreal Chest Institute of the Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University Health Centre; Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, QC.

With the population progressively aging, the geriatric aspects of COPD deserve special consideration. Older adults with respiratory symptoms and a current or previous history of smoking should be considered for a diagnosis of COPD. Objective demonstration of airflow obstruction is mandatory for the diagnosis of COPD. The majority of older people can adequately perform spirometry for an objective demonstration of airflow obstruction. Nonpharmacological treatment includes smoking cessation, vaccination, self-management education and communication with a case manager, and pulmonary rehabilitation. Bronchodilators are the most important agents in the pharmacotherapy of COPD. Inhaled corticosteroids are indicated for patients with recurrent exacerbations who are already on optimal bronchodilator therapy.

Key words:
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, older adults, diagnosis, spirometry, management.

Hemoptysis in Older Adults: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management

Hemoptysis in Older Adults: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management

Teaser: 

Samir Gupta, MD, FRCPC, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Robert Hyland, MD, FRCPC, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Hemoptysis is an important clinical problem that is especially ominous when seen in older patients. The main causes of hemoptysis in first world nations are bronchogenic carcinoma, bronchitis, and bronchiectasis. In older patients cancer remains the main concern, especially if there is a smoking history. The diagnostic approach to nonmassive hemoptysis starts with a chest x-ray, followed by a CT scan and then fibre optic bronchoscopy, which is well tolerated by older adults. In massive hemoptysis, chest x-ray is usually followed immediately by fibre optic or rigid bronchoscopy. Older patients require closer monitoring due to poor cardiopulmonary reserve; management options include endoscopic interventions, bronchial artery embolization,
surgery, and radiation.

Key words:
hemoptysis, etiology, management, older adults, bronchiectasis.

Management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Older Adults

Management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Older Adults

Teaser: 

Ashraf Alzaabi, MD, FRCPC, Respirology Fellow, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Theodore K. Marras, MD, FRCPC, Respirologist, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the older adult is a common disease with significant mortality. This review focuses on the management of CAP, with specific reference to the older adult. Common etiologic organisms and organism-specific risk factors that tend to be associated with increasing age are presented. A systematic approach is described to help physicians decide on the best treatment site (ambulatory, long-term care facility, or acute care hospital). The rationale behind initial empiric antibiotic therapy and drug resistance are discussed. Recent guidelines for the selection of empiric antibiotic therapy are compared and a synthesis of guidelines for antibiotic selection and recommendations regarding parenteral to oral switch-therapy are presented. Guidelines are suggested to help the physician safely discharge the patient home.

Key words:
pneumonia, management, older adults, guidelines, resistance.

Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Older Adults

Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Older Adults

Teaser: 

George P. Chandy, MD, MSc, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.
Shawn D. Aaron, MD, MSc, Department of Medicine and the Ottawa Health ResearchInstitute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has been increasing in prevalence over the past several decades. The impact of COPD on the health status of Canadians will continue to be a major issue, despite declining rates of smoking, as physiologic manifestations of COPD may only be evident decades after the initiation of smoking. Given the delay between the initiation of smoking and the development of significant disease, COPD is primarily a disease of the older population. While a cure for COPD is not available, a number of medications have been noted to have a significant impact on symptoms, exercise tolerance, and quality of life.

Key words:
COPD, treatment, management, older adults.

Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions in Older Adults Part II: Management

Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions in Older Adults Part II: Management

Teaser: 

G.A.E. Wong, MBChB, MRCP(UK), and N.H. Shear, MD, FRCP(C), Divisions of Dermatology and Clinical Pharmacology, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Cutaneous adverse drug reactions are a common problem affecting ambulatory and hospitalized patients. Older patients may be predisposed to adverse drug reactions due to inappropriate medication prescription, age-associated changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, altered homeostatic mechanisms, multiple medical pathologies, and use of drugs with a narrow therapeutic margin. In this second of two articles, the management of cutaneous adverse drug reactions
is reviewed.

Key words: adverse drug reaction, skin, cutaneous, rash, drug eruption, treatment, management.

Pharmacological Management of Alzheimer Disease: An Update

Pharmacological Management of Alzheimer Disease: An Update

Teaser: 

Ging-Yuek Robin Hsiung, MD, MHSc, FRCPC and Howard Feldman, MD, FRCPC, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

In the past decade, there have been numerous advances in our understanding of the molecular biology and pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Although to date no pharmacological treatments have been shown to alter the pathology of AD, several medications have been proven to offer symptomatic improvement and to delay the progression of cognitive, behavioural and functional deficits. This article reviews the currently available medications for management of cognitive symptoms in AD, as well as other promising drugs that are under investigation.

Key words: Alzheimer disease, management, cholinesterase inhibitors, donepezil, memantine.

Introduction
An estimated 8% of the Canadian population over age 65 suffers from dementia, of which 60–70% is caused by Alzheimer disease (AD). The incidence of dementia doubles for every five years of increased age between 65 and 85 years.1 The management of dementia is a significant burden to our health care system, with an estimated annual cost of $3.9 billion in 1991.2 Epidemiologic studies suggest that if the symptoms of dementia can be delayed by just two years, prevalence will decrease by 25%, with significant savings to the long-term care of these individuals.

Screening and Management of Diabetic Microvascular Complications in Older Adults

Screening and Management of Diabetic Microvascular Complications in Older Adults

Teaser: 

Amish Parikh, MD and I. George Fantus, MD, FRCPC, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Microvascular complications of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) can be classified into three major categories: retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Numerous studies have consistently shown that the development of complications in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is related to several factors. The most important ones, however, include glycemic control (as measured by hemoglobin A1c) and the duration of diabetes. This article reviews the details of screening and management of diabetic microvascular complications in older adults. It incorporates guidelines from both the Canadian and American Diabetes Associations, as well as reviews of recently published literature.
Key words: diabetes mellitus, retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, screening, management.

Recognition Most Crucial Issue in Delirium Management

Recognition Most Crucial Issue in Delirium Management

Teaser: 

I am writing this editorial shortly after returning from the 2nd Canadian Colloquium on Dementia (CCD2), held from October 16-18 in Montreal. This was one of the finest meetings I have ever attended, and if you are interested in cognitive disorders you should reserve time to attend the next meeting, planned for 2005 in Ottawa.

Several of the topics in this issue of Geriatrics & Aging also were addressed at the Colloquium. The crucial issue of recognizing delirium (and dementia and depression) is addressed here by Rola Moghabghab and her colleagues, as they describe the process of implementing nursing best practice guidelines for the recognition of these disorders.

Although there are proven strategies for handling these concerns, recognition is crucial in order for these to be implemented. Several of the speakers at the CCD2 also commented on the issue of what happens after delirium. Dr. Jane McCusker addresses this topic more systematically in her article on the long-term prognosis of delirium.

The theme of under-recognition of delirium and its consequences is addressed more comprehensively by Drs. James L. Rudolph and Edward R. Marcantonio, followed by articles that examine delirium in more specific settings. Dr. Yoanna Skrobik discusses the recognition and management of delirium in the critical care setting, while Dr. Lars S. Rasmussen reviews the detection and prevention of postoperative cognitive dysfunction in older adults. Although the incidence of postoperative delirium is quite variable, it can reach as high as 50% in certain circumstances (older patients with hip fractures), and is a considerable concern whenever it does occur. In fact, I am writing this editorial immediately after seeing a patient in clinic who says, with confirmation from her daughter, that her memory has never returned to normal since her coronary artery bypass surgery six years ago.

We also have our usual varied collection of columns in this issue. Dr. Joseph H. Friedman reviews the incredibly common issue of drug-induced parkinsonism in older adults, while Dr. Osman O. Al-Radi discusses the pathophysiology of mitral regurgitation and its implications for surgical management. Our senior editor, Dr. Shabbir Alibhai, and his colleagues Drs. Foster and Oughton have reviewed the literature on the role of calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation for the primary prevention of fractures.

Enjoy this issue, and I hope to see you in Ottawa for the 3rd Canadian Colloquium on Dementia.

Falls: A Perfect Paradigm for Multifaceted Management

Falls: A Perfect Paradigm for Multifaceted Management

Teaser: 

When medical residents rotate through our geriatric service at the University Health Network, we provide a group of seminars on the "Geriatric Giants": confusion, instability and falls, incontinence, geriatric pharmacology and failure to thrive. I have to admit that my personal favourite among the geriatric giants is the topic of falls. I find it to be a perfect paradigm for the clinical practice of geriatric medicine, and thus an excellent tool for teaching the general principles of geriatric care.

What are those principles? I think the first is that any number of problems can result in falls, and that the overwhelming majority of falls in the elderly are not caused by a single factor but by the combination of a multitude of problems. This allows me to demonstrate to the students the various factors that can predispose to falls. These can be intrinsic to the patient (age-related changes or diseases), or external to the patient (environmental factors). The key for the doctor is to determine what factors are operant in a particular patient, and of these, which are modifiable. The next step is to determine which factors can be improved rapidly (e.g., stopping certain medications) and which require long-term strategies (e.g., proximal muscle strengthening). I also emphasize to the residents that there is no such thing as a trivial fall, although some falls only result in trivial injuries. That person's next fall might result in a devastating injury.

The nature of the scientific study of falls in the elderly took an exciting and dramatic turn in the early 1990s, with the article by Mary Tinetti in the New England Journal of Medicine.1 Her study demonstrated that proper attention to falls risk factors in a primary care setting could actually reduce the number of falls these people would have (absolute risk reduction of 12%, number needed to treat to prevent one fall is 8). This demonstrated clearly that with a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, complex functional issues in the elderly could be systematically approached and improved.

The new issue in falls prevention is how to reach all those at potential risk. With our rapidly aging population, the individual doctor-patient interaction, while very important, is not enough. The next step in falls prevention is the implementation of community-based programs (e.g., exercise programs) that can have a broader impact. These programs have shown clear efficacy in high quality clinical trials, and we now need to determine if they will be effective when introduced into the community at large.

This issue of Geriatrics & Aging has been designed to provide the tools for primary care physicians to assess the risk factors for falls in their elderly patients, and to allow them to prevent some of these devastating occurrences. Gabriele Meyer, Andrea Warnke and Ingrid Mühlhauser tackle the general topic of fall and fracture prevention in the elderly, and Dr. Fiona E. Shaw addresses the thorny problem of falls in those with dementia. Drs. Nadine Gagnon and Alastair Flint review one of the crippling consequences of falls, namely fear of falling, which dramatically reduces function and quality of life. Dr. Boyd Swinburn and Richard Sager give some practical advice in their article on the promotion of exercise prescriptions for elderly populations. Dr. Margaret Grant provides treatment strategies for one of the most potent risk factors for falls, orthostatic hypotension, while Dr. Karim Khan, et al. present strategies for the optimal delivery of falls prevention programs to the elderly in the community.

Enjoy this issue.

Reference

  1. Tinetti ME, Baker DI, McAvay G, et al. A multifactorial intervention to reduce the risk of falling among elderly people living in the community. N Engl J Med 1994;331:821-7.