ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
CAREGIVING
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
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
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
The Raw Food Diet
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FITNESS
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Football Can Shrink Players
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Countdown to Hair Loss
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Add your Article

Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of family members looking after people with dementia admit they have behaved abusively toward their relative, a new British study finds.

Actual physical abuse was rare, being reported by only three of the 220 caretakers in the study. But the researchers, who published their findings in the Jan. 23 online issue of BMJ, say that 115 (52.3 percent) of those surveyed acknowledged some abusive behavior toward the relative under care, with "significant" abusive behavior described by 74 (33.6 percent) of caregivers.

The results indicate "the extreme difficulty of caring for persons with dementia," said study author Dr. Claudia Cooper, a psychiatrist and research training fellow in health sciences research with the Medical Research Council, the British equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The most common form of abuse (26 percent) was screaming or yelling at the person with dementia. Insults or swearing accounted for 18 percent of reports, with threats of sending the person to a nursing home happening in 4.4 percent of cases.

"Mostly people said they wished it hadn't happened," Cooper said. "People with dementia can act aggressively. They [the caretakers] were reacting to being the subject of aggression or being in a difficult situation."

The British government is considering a revision of its policies for safeguarding vulnerable adults, focusing on paid caretakers. The newly reported study of family caretakers was done, because "previous smaller studies that asked about abusive behaviors reported high rates," Cooper said. "Given those studies, which indicated that about a third of family carers reported significant abuse, we needed to know more about it."

Cooper and her colleagues interviewed family members of people living at home with dementia in London and in Essex, a borough near London. The results were pretty much as expected, she said. "We predicted that a third of family carers would report significant abuse. We also expected few cases of physical abuse or frequent abuse."

The study is part of a larger program aimed at reducing abusive behavior in such families, Cooper said. "We need to know exactly what is going on before looking for ways to reduce it," she said.

The incidence of such abuse in the United States is not known, since comparable studies have not been done here, said Beth A. Kallmyer, director of client services at the Alzheimer's Association. But the association "gets a lot of questions about it," Kallmyer said, enough so that it maintains a 24-hour telephone service, at 800-272-3900.

"One of our messages is that people can't do this alone," Kallmyer said. "It is a progressive disease, so that the ability of the person being cared for diminishes with time. That creates great stress."

To help caretakers determine whether the stress has grown too great, the association has provided a caregiver stress test, at www.alz.org/stresscheck, she said.

"We want them to reach out, because if they don't reach out they get burnt out," Kallmyer said.

Another report in the same issue of BMJ dealt with a different matter of concern for the elderly: the effectiveness of specialized geriatric hospital units.

Older people who are cared for in such units have a better chance of returning home after discharge than those treated in conventional hospital facilities, said a report by physicians at the University Hospital of Getafe in Madrid.

A review of 11 studies that compared care provided by acute geriatric units run by specialists with conventional hospital units found elderly patients had a better ability to function back at home and a reduced risk of returning to the units in the three months after discharge.

But further studies are needed to determine if the benefits persist over the longer term, the report said.

-Ed Edelson

More information

For more on elder abuse, go to the The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging.



SOURCES: Claudia Cooper, M.D., research training fellow, health services research, Medical Research Council, London; Beth A. Kallmyer, director, client services, Alzheimers Association, Chicago; Jan. 23, 2009, BMJ

Last Updated: Jan. 23, 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com