Higher Mortality and Hospital Use Linked to Dependency in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Among Cancer Patients

Elderly couple cooking together

A recent study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital advises that older cancer patients receive routine assessments of their ability to conduct certain daily living activities to identify those who need supportive intervention. The study, led by Clark DuMontier, MD, geriatrician and research fellow in Brigham and Women’s Division of Aging, found a correlation between patients’ ability to live independently and their odds of being hospitalized or dying.

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Tearing Down the Silos: Promoting Collaboration in Geriatrics Care and Education

Birds eye view of providers standing in circle

Caring for a hospitalized older adult requires the coordinated efforts of various specialists and geriatricians throughout the patient’s hospital stay. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an attending physician in the Division of Aging is facilitating such collaboration by developing a co-management service that embeds geriatrics within the hospital’s internal medicine floors.

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Inflammation Biomarkers Predict Postsurgical Cognitive Outcomes in Older Adults

brain scan images

As people live longer and lead more active lives in their later years, many opt for elective surgeries to improve their quality of life. With more older people undergoing major surgeries, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of patients developing postoperative delirium and cognitive decline.

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Predicting Health Outcomes in Older Patients with Hematologic Cancers

Gait speed and grip strength are objective measures of physical health that have been shown to predict important health outcomes in older adults such as functional decline, acute care use and death. According to a recent study, these measures are particularly important to assess in older patients with hematologic malignancies including leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
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Preventing Delirium During Hospital Stays With Nonpharmacologic Interventions

Delirium, a sudden onset of confusion frequently seen in older patients, was once thought to be a temporary condition that patients “snapped out of” after being discharged from the hospital. However, it is now recognized that delirium may lead to longer-term cognitive impairment and poor health outcomes, including an increased risk of death, nursing home placement and memory problems.
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Exploring Cognitive Impairment in Hematologic Cancer Patients

Many older patients with hematologic cancers have another condition to worry about—one they don’t always feel comfortable discussing with their health care team. As people are living longer, memory problems have become increasingly prevalent. However, little is known about the impact of cognitive impairment, and specific domains of cognitive impairment, on older cancer patients and their survival.

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Enhancing the Care of Frail Older Adults With Complex Needs Through Home Visits

In this bird's eye view, a female doctor sits on a living room couch with a senior female patient. She holds a clipboard as the patient gestures and speaks. There is a doctor's bag and medical equipment on the coffee table.As a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Laura N. Frain, MD, MPH, saw firsthand the challenges of caring for older adults, particularly those living with frailty, cognitive impairment/dementia and multiple geriatric syndromes within the primary care system. Now, as a geriatrician in the Brigham’s Division of Aging, she leads collaborations with primary care to develop and implement new models for co-managing outpatient geriatric patients.
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Assessing Older Trauma Patients to Ensure They Get the Specialized Care They Need

Closeup shot of an elderly man holding his wife's hand while she is ill in the hospitalWhen an older person suffers a trauma resulting in multiple broken bones and other injuries, often due to a fall or car accident, ensuring he or she gets appropriate care can be challenging. This is especially true when health care providers don’t have training or experience in geriatrics.
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Older Patients Requiring Surgery After a Bone Fracture Benefit from GIFTS Program

Elderly patient lying in bed and having blood pressure measuredFalls that lead to bone fractures occur frequently in older people. These injuries, especially those that require surgery, often start patients down a path toward mounting health problems that threaten their ability to live independently or maintain a good quality of life.
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Unique Program Addresses the Complex Needs of Older Cancer Patients

Blurred shot of a team of doctors standing together in a hospitalTreating cancer is always a challenge, but elderly patients can add another level of complexity. For that reason, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute banded together to create the Older Adult Hematologic Malignancy Program.
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