Navigation Links
Elderly long-term care residents suffer cognitively during disasters
Date:10/21/2011

In a summer with unprecedented weather events, from tornados, floods, fires and hurricanes, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that physiological changes associated with aging and the presence of chronic illness make older adults more susceptible to illness or injury, even death, during a disaster.

Investigators followed 17 long-term care residents, with a mean age of 86, who were evacuated for five days due to a severe summer storm and were relocated to different facilities with different care providers and physical surroundings. The displaced participants experienced delirium, cognitive changes, hospitalizations, and death, according to research published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing.

"Older adults often have visual and hearing deficits, making it more difficult to interpret their environments and precipitating increased stress," said lead author Pamela Cacchione, PhD, APRN, GNP, BC. "This stress can also exacerbate chronic illnesses, further precipitating delirium."

The 17 participants were part of a broader intervention study testing the effectiveness of a nursing intervention to improve vision and hearing impairment and decrease incident delirium and other outcomes.

As part of the parent study residents were measured with four different tests. The MMSE is a 30-item mental status test that includes questions on orientation, language, attention and recall. The GDS is a 30-item interview based depression rating scale requiring yes or no responses, the NEECHAM is a 9-item nurse rated scale that includes the participant's vital signs and pulse, which is designed to assess for acute confusion/delirium and the mCAM, another delirium assessment tool which includes tasks to assess attention.

The participants were all screened with the NEECHAM and the mCAM on the day of the severe storm and three times a week for two weeks upon their return to their home facility. The scores were compared with their Week 1 scores.

"This study provided documentation of what clinicians have known for some time, but such anecdotal accounts are seldom described with the clinical instrumentation described here," said Dr. Cacchione. "Unexpected relocation often leads to poor outcomes for nursing home residents."

The study, published in September 2011 issue, found that more than half the residents were negatively affected by evacuation and showed signs of delirium within the two weeks immediately following two participants were hospitalized and one died.

"Nurses in all care settings, not just LTC sites, should be aware of the potential difficulties older adults may experience as a result of a natural disaster, especially when evacuations and relocations occur," said Dr. Cacchione. "Basic physical care, ongoing assessment of chronic conditions, medication management, the return to familiar surroundings, and the return of valued objects should be facilitated as soon as possible."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joy McIntyre
joymc@nursing.upenn.edu
215-898-5074
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Lasers Safe for Removal of Pacemaker Wires in Elderly: Study
2. Elderly patients may be undertreated for prostate cancer
3. Elderly breast cancer patients risk treatment discrimination
4. Some memory complaints in the elderly may be warning signs of cognitive problems
5. Institute for Aging Research study finds Bostons elderly homeless sicker than others
6. Blood Protein Might Signal Death Risk in Elderly
7. Researchers building new sensor that could stop falls by elderly, before they happen
8. Contrary to earlier findings, excess body fat in elderly decreases life expectancy
9. Trastuzumab raises risk of heart problems in the elderly with history of heart disease or diabetes
10. Small amount of exercise could protect against memory loss in elderly, CU study suggests
11. Sleep Apnea Could Up Risk of Dementia In Elderly Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Remember the old saying “rub some dirt ... Perry A~, author of “Calcium Bentonite Clay” the health benefits of integrating clay into ... detoxifying the body. , A former motivational speaker, Perry A~ has since dedicated her ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Association of Home Care Coding & ... Health and Hospice ICD-10 Transition Workgroup are working closely with the American Hospital ... to address concerns over the use of 'A' as the seventh character indicating ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... four states in the U.S. require dental technicians to be certified or obtain ... dental industry, NADL created the “What’s In Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... NURSES EXPECTED AT AORN SURGICAL CONFERENCE & EXPO , WHAT:     , This ... an estimated 5000 perioperative nurses in attendance to study the latest evidence-based ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Steven Tonkinson, 36, of Coconut Grove, Florida, ran the Miami Marathon on January ... year, he ran all 26.2 miles with a green 25-pound ShelterBox strapped to his ... This Sunday, while many are watching the Superbowl, Steven Tonkinson will strap on the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  Avista Pharma Solutions ... Eric Setzer as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mr. Setzer ... years of experience in various roles within growing technology ... he served as the Executive Director of Finance at ... Raleigh, NC . Previously, Mr. Setzer ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 Vestagen Technical ... high performance apparel for healthcare and other demanding applications, ... Chief Executive Officer. He replaces Dale Pfost , ... Chairman. Mr. Bold is also joining Vestagen,s Board of ... new class of active barrier technologies that combines fluid ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... -- Astellas Pharma Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Yoshihiko ... as president, Americas Operations, for Astellas US LLC, with ... South America , effective April 1, 2016.  Robinson previously ... in the United States -- a ... , who is retiring in June 2016.  --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: