Getting On, HBO's off-kilter new comedy series, is about nurses and doctors working in a female geriatric care unit at a California hospital - not exactly the sort of setting that would seem to inspire humor. Still, the show has genuinely funny moments, even while it remains realistic about its environment.
The Buddy Program, an initiative that pairs medical students with those in the early stages of Alzheimer's for social activities, not doctoring, is proving therapeutic for both sides. Students learn about dementia outside the classroom so it is demystified and humanized, while people with Alzheimer's get to act as mentors. The mentors not only have fun, but also feel that they are contributing to future physicians' understanding of a disease they will inevitably face with their patients.
Emergency Rooms of Their Own: A growing number of American hospitals have been debuting emergency rooms designed specifically for older adults, generally those 65 and up. Special accommodations include things like nonskid floors, rails along the walls, extra heating units, thicker mattresses to reduce bedsores and artificial skylights intended to combat "sundowning."
We've talked about older Americans and technology in the past, and here's another testament to the fact that those of retirement age are really making use of the latest technologies - from mobile phones to DVRs to the "simple" internet. Check out this short article from the New York Times article - it says that people over 65 "spent 47 percent more time than the previous year watching embedded video within social networks." That's a lot of growth!
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