recentpopularlog in

jerryking : elderly   8

Opinion: My declining years – and yours
JULY 5, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by MARGARET WENTE

According to the experts, certain parts of my brain responsible for cognitive function are literally shrinking. My brain’s blood flow is slowing down, just like the rest of me. The inescapable result is lapses in the synapses. I’ve always thought that the worst threat to my vanity was advancing wrinkles. But now I know it’s cognitive slippage.

Perhaps it’s some consolation that my friends are getting dotty, too. Sure, they’re working gamely to keep their brains in tip-top shape. They do word puzzles, or try to learn a language. They take supplements and eat more leafy greens. Good luck to them. So far, nobody has figured out how to turn back the neurological clock.

The more I learn about brain aging, the more obvious it is that the kids really are smarter than we are. “The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks,” writes Arthur Brooks (no cognitive slouch himself) in a new essay for The Atlantic. He found that most of us reach our mental peak around 20 years after the start of our careers. We do our best work in our 40s and 50s and it’s all downhill from there.

People in different types of work peak at different ages, just as athletes do. Those who rely heavily on fluid intelligence – the ability to reason, think fast and solve problems in unique and novel situations – peak much younger than average. Mr. Brooks says his line of work is a good example. (He has just retired as the head of a well-known U.S. think tank.) “The most profound insights tend to come from those in their 30s and early 40s.”

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, chess grand masters and nuclear physicists are even more precocious – which means they burn out early. By the time they hit their 30s they’re already in creative decline. By contrast, lawyers, judges and professors draw more on what’s called crystallized intelligence – a stock of knowledge built up over time.They can coast on that knowledge well into their 60s. For most of us, however, cognitive decline begins in middle age.
aging  Arthur_Brooks  cognitive_skills  decline  elderly  elder_wisdom  journalism  Margaret_Wente  mental_dexterity  precociousness  retirement 
july 2019 by jerryking
Old like me. Why elderly care needs more risk - The Globe and Mail
Saskia Sivananthan

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Mar. 23 2014

We must rethink our approach to managing risk in nursing homes, especially when doing so means limiting residents’ freedom to choose their own way.

It’s a poignant reminder of the daily challenges staff and residents at every nursing home face. They are also part of a theme that played into almost every aspect of my stay: How do you balance safety with autonomy for residents?

Safety is clearly important; often people move to nursing homes precisely because they can no longer manage living without 24-hour care. At the same time, this tightrope balance invokes the fear paramount in most people’s mind when they think about institutional living – losing their autonomy, not choking on breakfast.

The regulations for long-term care in most provinces prioritize medical needs and safety over autonomy. Public reporting of quality indicators at long-term care homes include safety as one of five attributes of a high-performing system – but autonomy is not considered.....we take these calculated risks every day: slicing bread, crossing the street, staying up late. Suddenly being regarded as unable to make decisions you’ve made all your life contributes to a feeling of disempowerment. In our attempt to remove all risk in nursing homes we have ended up with regulations that are so extreme that residents may no longer have autonomy or feel at home....Many of the new models of long-term care homes coming out of Europe have embraced this concept of calculated risk. There is a much lauded dementia village Hogeweyk in the Netherlands.....Denmark also focuses on autonomy. Nursing homes there are truly run as ‘homes’ rather than institutions, with the result that residents become family. One facility of 23 residents, 70 per cent of whom have dementia, takes Caribbean vacations together. Imagine the risk.

We must rethink our approach to managing risk in nursing homes, especially when doing so means limiting residents’ freedom to choose their own way.

One writer described a nursing home in Denmark as a place where “…old people could drink, laugh and love themselves into death.” When I have to go back to a nursing home, that’s where I want to go.
aging  elderly  free_will  freedom  nursing_homes  safety  autonomy  tradeoffs  disempowerment  risks  risk-taking  counterintuitive 
march 2014 by jerryking
GE's Immelt Targets Elderly Japan - WSJ.com
JUNE 1, 2010 |WSJ| By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI. Targeting Japan's
growing elderly population, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt pushed the country
Monday to invest in health-care IT systems & devices that make home
treatment easier. Immelt, who was in Tokyo speaking at GE's
"Healthymagination" conference, said health care is a growing business
in both developed & emerging markets but the Japanese could play a
leading role in several trends taking place in the industry. "So if I
were to write a business plan for you, it would be to dominate
health-care IT and home health-care devices," ... "Those are places in
health care you can actually lead." Fielding a question about how to
re-energize a Japan beset with deflation, an aging population & the
rise of Asian neighbors, Immelt said the high rate of Internet
connectivity makes the country fertile ground to develop Web-based
information technology systems that combine electronics medical records
with the tools for clinical decision making.
GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  Japan  elderly  healthcare  health_informatics 
november 2010 by jerryking
Well - Physical Toll of Dementia Often Overlooked in Treatment - NYTimes.com
October 19, 2009 | New York Times | By TARA PARKER-POPE . The
lack of understanding about the physical toll of dementia means that
many patients near the end of life are subjected to aggressive
treatments that would never be considered with another terminal illness.
health  Alzheimer’s_disease  dementia  nursing_homes  palliative_care  living_wills  elderly  TARA_PARKER-POPE  mental_health 
october 2009 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read