Caring for Elders: Tips for Managing Pain

Caring for Elders: Tips for Managing Pain

By Elizabeth Landsverk, MD

Older adults are more likely to experience pain than the general population but they may be less likely to be treated for it. The most common reason that pain in elders is under treated is that it is under reported. Many elders consider pain a natural consequence of aging – something they just have to live with – and don't report it to their doctors. Untreated chronic pain puts a great deal of stress on the body and on the individual's emotional health as well. It can lead to depression, anxiety, reduced mobility and strength, and loss of appetite and sleep.

The Dangers of Undiagnosed Dementia: A Doctor's Story

The Dangers of Undiagnosed Dementia: A Doctor's Story

BY CAROL BRADLEY BURSACK  | 2.3.2017

Many people understandably wonder if there is any point in seeking an official diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia when there is no cure and doctors are limited in how much they can help manage the symptoms. While this kind of thinking is practical in some ways, it can have terrible consequences for a person experiencing cognitive issues (and their family members). Even a general diagnosis can aid families in getting practical help for their loved ones and open up educational opportunities to help them through the difficult territory of dementia care. It can also ensure they are receiving appropriate medical care and help to prevent elder abuse.

I approached Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk, Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Medical Director at Silverado Senior Living in Belmont, CA, about the dangers of allowing cognitive changes go undiagnosed. Below, Dr. Landsverk shares a personal story along with some wise words of advice for all of us.

Caring for Elders with Dementia: Tips for Family Members

Caring for Elders with Dementia: Tips for Family Members

By Elizabeth Landsverk, MD

Someone in the United States develops dementia every 66 seconds1. The diagnosis is devastating for those who have the disease and also imposes a crushing burden on their families. The decision on the best way to care for a loved one with dementia is dependent on many factors, particularly the stage of the illness and of course the family's ability to provide the necessary care.