Items in FPM with MESH term: Long-Term Care
ABSTRACT: Elderly patients with unintentional weight loss are at higher risk for infection, depression and death. The leading causes of involuntary weight loss are depression (especially in residents of long-term care facilities), cancer (lung and gastrointestinal malignancies), cardiac disorders and benign gastrointestinal diseases. Medications that may cause nausea and vomiting, dysphagia, dysgeusia and anorexia have been implicated. Polypharmacy can cause unintended weight loss, as can psychotropic medication reduction (i.e., by unmasking problems such as anxiety). A specific cause is not identified in approximately one quarter of elderly patients with unintentional weight loss. A reasonable work-up includes tests dictated by the history and physical examination, a fecal occult blood test, a complete blood count, a chemistry panel, an ultrasensitive thyroid-stimulating hormone test and a urinalysis. Upper gastrointestinal studies have a reasonably high yield in selected patients. Management is directed at treating underlying causes and providing nutritional support. Consideration should be given to the patient's environment and interest in and ability to eat food, the amelioration of symptoms and the provision of adequate nutrition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has labeled no appetite stimulants for the treatment of weight loss in the elderly.
ABSTRACT: Compared with community-dwelling persons, residents in long-term care facilities have more functional disabilities and underlying medical illnesses and are at increased risk of acquiring infectious diseases. Pneumonia is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in this group. Risk factors include unwitnessed aspiration, sedative medication, and comorbidity. Recognition may be delayed because, in this population, pneumonia often presents without fever, cough, or dyspnea. Accurate identification of the etiologic agent is hampered because most patients cannot produce a suitable sputum specimen. It is difficult to distinguish colonization from infection. Colonization by Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative organisms can result from aspiration of oral or gastric contents, which could lead to pneumonia. Aspiration of gastric contents also can produce aspiration pneumonitis. This condition is not infectious initially and may resolve without antibiotics. Antibiotics for the treatment of pneumonia should cover Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, gram-negative rods, and S. aureus. Acceptable choices include quinolones or an extended-spectrum beta-lactam plus a macrolide. Treatment should last 10 to 14 days. Pneumonia is associated with significant mortality for up to two years. Dementia is related independently to the death rate within the first week after pneumonia, regardless of treatment. Prevention strategies include vaccination against S. pneumoniae and influenza on admission to the care facility. This article focuses on recent recommendations for the recognition of respiratory symptoms and criteria for the designation of probable pneumonia, and provides a guide to hospitalization, antibiotic use, and prevention.
Patient-Physician Partnering to Improve Chronic Disease Care - Improving Patient Care