Adult day centers help older patients and their families

by Deborah Stricoff

Are you caring for an elderly loved one or someone with dementia? As a caregiver, you may need respite and you can get it with the help of an adult day center knowing that your loved one is safe and cared for. Many people are not aware of adult day programs and the benefits they provide, and it’s important to get the word out.

Adult …

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Dean Kamen invents a brain controlled prosthetic arm

Dean Kamen discusses one of the first brain-controlled prostheses in the history of robotics. Possessing fine motor skills in addition to strength, Kamen’s arm is capable of picking up a raisin without dropping it.

Fascinating lecture from TEDMED 2009.

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Questions for doctors are powerful patient tools

by Toni Bigby

Our Federal Government is investing in a consumer education campaign called, “Questions are the Answer.” The idea is to encourage people to watch out for themselves a little better and be their own advocate by asking their doctors questions like, “Why do I need this surgery?” and “Are there any side effects from this drug?”

Why are we as health care consumers, who collectively spend trillions of dollars each …

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Health information online won’t make doctors obsolete

More patients are on the web researching health information, and for the most part, this is a good thing.

But are doctors in danger of being “phased out” by Google and other search engines?

In an interesting perspective piece by Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman in the New England Journal of Medicine, the answer appears to be no.

Data without expertise in interpretation is largely meaningless. Consider this patient the authors …

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Advance planning helps families cope with loss

by Crystal Phend

Advance planning improves end-of-life care for elderly patients and helps families cope with the loss, researchers found.

In a randomized trial, hospitalized patients over age 80 who were formally assisted with documenting their end-of-life treatment wishes and with designating a surrogate were almost three times more likely to have those wishes followed (86% versus 30% in usual care, P<0.001).

Family members of patients in the advance planning intervention reported significantly …

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Sex habits of older women and men

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Thirty-somethings can expect to enjoy at least another 30 years of sex, researchers have found.

At age 30, men will be sexually active for another 35 years, while women will be active for another 30, Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, and Natalia Gavrilova, PhD, of the University of Chicago, reported online …

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Patient input in their treatment should be valued by doctors

Thanks all who responded to my recent USA Today piece, Patient-satisfaction surveys have drawbacks.

But in a letter published in the paper yesterday, a reader from Oklahoma City was quite unhappy with my take.

Mark R. Heaton writes, somewhat angrily:

Dr. Kevin Pho’s recent opinion piece was not only arrogant but also grossly naive.

His basic premise was twofold:

• Doctors know best and should therefore ignore patient feedback regarding possible tests and treatments.

• …

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Taxing junk food may improve your health

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Taxing junk food may help reduce obesity and improve health, researchers have found.

Patients got significantly less of their energy (calories) from soda or pizza when there was a 10% increase in the price of either (P<0.001), Penny Gordon-Larsen, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues …

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