ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
CAREGIVING
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Add your Article

Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- More and more people with diabetes are living to older ages, thanks to medical advances. But the long-term facilities, such as nursing homes, that care for aging Americans may not be ready for the additional challenges that come with treating patients with diabetes.

"We need to spend appropriate time to think of a way to successfully provide care for people with diabetes as they enter their elder years, and we're just beginning to understand how to do that," said Dr. Paul Strumph, vice president and chief medical officer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Although as many as one in four nursing home residents has diabetes, not all are getting care that meets the American Diabetes Association's goals for community-dwelling adults, according to a recent study.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, found that while 98 percent of nursing home residents with diabetes had their blood glucose levels monitored, only 38 percent met short-term glucose goals.

The better news from the study was that 67 percent of the nursing home residents with diabetes met their long-term glucose control goals, which meant they scored less than 7 percent on their A1C tests. A1C is a measure of long-term blood sugar control.

"One of the key differences in managing diabetes in a nursing home is that it's often not the condition of primary importance," said Helaine Resnick, director of research at the Institute for the Future of Aging Services for the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

Resnick said one of the concerns she had with the study findings was that no one has yet to come up with specific guidelines for caring for elderly people with diabetes. Glucose control goals for someone who's 40 and living at home may well be different than for someone who's 85, cognitively impaired, and living in a long-term care facility, she said.

"Diabetes medications are designed to lower glucose levels, which can prevent complications from developing in diabetic people. But, when you take medicines to lower blood glucose, it can go too low, which can be extremely dangerous, especially for older adults," Resnick said, noting that it's difficult to find "the appropriate balance between keeping sugars low with the risk of keeping it too low."

Strumph pointed out that the needs of older people with diabetes may be different as well. People with type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes who need insulin often choose to use an insulin pump when they're younger, but pumps may not be the best choice for someone who's older and not as aware, he said.

"Someone in a nursing home could pull out a pump site and not know. In that case, you may want to be on a longer-acting insulin instead. We haven't yet defined what the ideal insulin [regimen] is for someone in a facility with a fairly predictable schedule," Strumph said.

Both Strumph and Resnick said it's important for family members, the nursing home resident, and the staff to come up with a realistic care plan.

"Families need to become more actively involved in working with care teams, and that's true for diabetes and for other conditions. Ensure that the facility understands the family's and the resident's preferences. Is your mother more interested in keeping her blood glucose control tight and risk [low blood sugar]? Or is it better for her to ease up on glucose control and work more on quality-of-life issues? Resnick said.

"Families have to be very involved, and the communication needs to be ongoing, because people's values can change," she added.

-Serena Gordon

More information

For tips on selecting a nursing home, visit the AARP Web site.



SOURCES: Paul Strumph, M.D., vice president, chief medical officer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, New York City; Helaine Resnick, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of research, Institute for the Future of Aging Services, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Washington D.C.; June 2007, Diabetes Care

Last Updated: Jan. 05, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com