Camille’s dark glasses disguised a black eye she suffered falling from bed, cowering to take cover. Someone fired shots near her bungalow’s back window again, a routine rhythm of her slice of Chicago that she has heard for years now. The 82 year old walks with a cane but carries a brick in her purse. She’s not afraid to use it on a badly behaving neighbor. Most would think she has more ...

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Cancer screening can save lives. Mammographies reduce the chance women will die of breast cancer; and colonoscopies reduce the chance people will die of colon cancer. But should my 93-year-old father receive a screening colonoscopy? The test is uncomfortable, carries risks, and costs money. Even more importantly, my dad probably won’t live long enough to benefit from the test. That’s why most medical experts think people like my dad—people unlikely to ...

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As we continue to lead longer and healthier lives, too many Americans aren’t taking advantage of an easily accessible set of tools that could protect their well-being into old age: adult vaccines. As a nation, we’ve embraced a regular schedule of vaccines for our children. But science shows that they are proven life-savers for us grown-ups, too. The numbers are staggering: tens of thousands of Americans die each year from flu ...

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Part of a series. A pill to end aging. Is there or could there be such a pill? Some researchers think so. Many believe that rather than attack the causes and treatment of chronic illnesses one by one, it would be better to understand the biology of aging and from that learn how to slow the process and hence prevent or delay the onset of various ...

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My alarm went off at 4:15 a.m. I lay in bed dreading the day ahead of me. By 4:50 a.m., I arrive at the nursing home where I was doing a geriatric rotation. A stack of charts and a patient complaint list was awaiting me. On the list were the usual suspects: a follow up for lab results, a fall, abdominal pain. And at the bottom was a note on ...

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STAT_Logo He struggled to hear when people talked to him. He asked the same questions over and over. He fell asleep when really important conversations were going on around him. But it wasn’t until he missed an emergency call that I knew I had to act. I spoke to a higher-up about this elderly doctor out of concern for patient ...

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There's a common affliction that's rampant in my practice, but it's not a gastrointestinal condition. It's called polypharmacy, and it refers to patients who are receiving a pile of prescription and other medications. I see this daily in the office and in the hospital. It's common enough to see patients who are receiving 10 or more medications, usually from 3 or 4 medical specialists. Of course, every doctor feels that he ...

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In about 1990 we got our first computer. I say "we" because my husband and I shared a desktop which I used infrequently. I mostly used it for word processing, and the Internet was very young. At the turn of the millennium, my children were using computers, and they were limited to 1 hour of computer time a day, which was on a shared desktop. By 2001, I was communicating ...

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It seems that everyone has advice about sleep these days, and we have become immune to it. “Avoid naps, caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Get exercise. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Turn off the TV and any electronic devices hours before bedtime. Enjoy a relaxing ritual. Keep to a routine.” Please do all of these, because they actually work! Shifting your bedtime later to achieve sleep consolidation ...

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An eleventh nursing home resident has died after an air conditioning failure following last week’s Hurricane Irma. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, located outside of Fort Lauderdale, was one of 160 nursing homes that had no electricity and no air conditioning, as power lines across the state were decimated by the storm. Yet, it was the only nursing home facility in the state of Florida where multiple deaths occurred ...

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