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Editor's e-Note
Researchers recently looked at long term care facilities in Belgium, England, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland for factors that contributed to recognition of residents’ terminal phase and the expectation of their deaths. From a range of European universities and institutes, they found that increased physician visits improved awareness of patients’ imminent death and increased ability of clinicians to provide palliative care in the last week of life.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and Twitter, too.

— Kate Jackson, editor
e-News Exclusive
LTCF-Physician Collaboration Helps Ensure Timely Palliative Care at End of Life

Joint collaboration between long term care facilities (LTCFs) and physicians can facilitate the recognition of a resident’s terminal phase and help ensure timely provision of palliative care, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

In “Physician Visits and Recognition of Residents’ Terminal Phase in Long-Term Care Facilities: Findings from the PACE Cross-Sectional Study in 6 EU Countries,” the authors looked at LTCFs in Belgium, England, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland. They examined elements including the number of physician visits, the residents’ main treatment goal, and whether physicians recognized residents’ terminal phase and expected each person’s death.

They found that the number of physician visits to residents varied significantly between countries (ranging from 15 visits in the last week of life to one) and that physicians from Poland and Italy were least inclined to recognize when a resident was in the terminal phase. Overall, however, the authors found a positive association between the number of physician visits and the recognition of a resident’s terminal phase, as well as a correlation between number of physician visits and residents having palliation as a main treatment goal in the last week of life.

Full story »
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Other Geriatrics News
Canadian Doctors Prescribe Museum Visits
In a unique partnership between the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Medecins Francophones du Canada, a medical association, prescriptions are being given that entitle the user to tour the museum’s collection. Participating physicians prescribe the art immersion, according to the museum’s full-time resident art therapist, as an adjunctive remedy for a range of conditions such as depression and anxiety, cardiovascular conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease. Fortune magazine reports on studies showing the health benefits of art therapy and art appreciation.

Aid in Dying Soon Will Be Available to More Americans
This summer, two new states will join seven others that allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication for their terminally ill patients who desire it. According to a New York Times report, by October, more than one-fifth of Americans will reside in the nine states that allow individuals with fewer than six months to live some control over the way they die. But will they use it? The New York Times reports on the consequences and likely outcomes of these changes.

Link Between Common Prostate Cancer Treatment, Dementia Detailed in New Study
Recent research indicates that androgen deprivation therapy, a common treatment for prostate cancer, which works by lowering testosterone levels, is linked to dementia and, possibly, Alzheimer’s disease. Science Daily reports on new research by scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania involving 50,000 patients worldwide.

An Hour of Light and Sound a Day Might Keep Alzheimer’s at Bay
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