Seniors' Care at NYGH: A video series on health and aging

Seniors' Care is a six-video series about common health challenges in older adults. As you age, it's important to adopt a healthy lifestyle and be aware of early signs and symptoms of health issues so preventative measures and early interventions can be taken.

To support older adults and their families through changes in health, North York General Hospital (NYGH), with funding from the North York General Foundation, has developed an education series on Parkinson's disease, chronic disease management, osteoporosis, falls prevention, dementia and delirium. North York General's Specialized Geriatric Services help older adults get healthy, stay strong and live independently. Learn more about our services by visiting: www.nygh.on.ca/seniorscare.

Seniors’ Care at NYGH: Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease which mainly affects seniors and 90% of patients are over 60. The number of Canadians with Parkinson’s disease is expected to double by 2030. While Parkinson's disease is mainly characterized by physical symptoms (tremors and slow movements), it's often the non-physical symptoms that have the greatest impact on quality of life.

NYGH Physician Dr. Joyce Lee says Parkinson's disease can affect a person's mood, anxiety levels, how they think, and even their sleep. Blood pressure and bowel habits are often also affected. Dr. Lee stresses the importance of understanding the disease, and seeking support to better manage the symptoms in order to live well with Parkinson's.

Learn more about North York General’s Living Well with Parkinson’s Program.

Seniors’ Care at NYGH: Chronic disease management

Many older adults in Canada are living with one or more chronic conditions that will have a long-term impact on their lives, such as diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Because of these multiple health issues, NYGH Physician Dr. Patrick Chu says a holistic approach to care is ideal. Programs and workshops can help provide older adults with the tools and resources to live an active life with a chronic condition.

Learn more about North York General's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and Geriatric Day Hospital.

Seniors’ Care at NYGH: Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a brittle bone disease that is the leading cause of hip fractures in older adults. Monica Lee, Pharmacy Practitioner at NYGH, says men over 50 and women post-menopause are at greater risk of osteoporosis. With early diagnosis, interventions and an assessment for falls, you can reduce the risk of fractures so you can continue to live a safe and active life.

Learn more about North York General's Osteoporosis and Fracture Prevention Clinic.
Seniors’ Care at NYGH: Falls prevention

Falls can happen to anyone, but the risk of falls and their impact on your health is greater as you get older. About one in three people over the age of 65 who live at home will experience a fall — 40% of falls cause hip fractures. Renee Heitner, Physiotherapist at NYGH, says you can reduce your risk of falls with an assessment of your health and by learning how to stay safe in your home with the proper supports. Renee stresses the importance of maintaining your strength and endurance by exercising, and recommends those at risk join a falls prevention program.

Learn more about North York General's Geriatric Day Hospital.

Seniors’ Care at NYGH: Dementia

Dementia is a brain disorder associated with memory loss that impacts activities of day-to-day life. About 15% of Canadians over 65 are living with dementia. NYGH Physician Dr. Goran Eryavec says an early diagnosis with early intervention and treatment can slow the progression of the disease, giving patients a higher quality of life for a longer period. If you have concerns about your memory, Roula Mandas, Social Worker at NYGH, recommends you talk to your family physician about getting connected to a program like NYGH's Memory Clinic.

Learn more about North York General's Memory Clinic.

Seniors’ Care at NYGH: Delirium

Delirium is an acute confusion that comes on very suddenly and can affect how a person recovers in hospital, quality of life and length of stay. About 15% of older adults will come to the emergency department with delirium and about 60% will develop delirium in hospital. Donna Ruffo, Nurse Practitioner at NYGH, says by finding and treating the underlying cause, the confusion should go away. Delirium can last a few days, weeks or even months and she stresses the importance of family support and its role in identifying changes in mood and behaviour.

Learn more about North York General's Acute Care for the Elderly Unit and the Acute Care for the Eldery Clinic.

* Fellow: Residency graduate undergoing continued specialty training

The Pulse banner This article first appeared in the June 2015 issue of The Pulse, North York General Hospital's community newsletter. See the issue  and subscribe.

June 4, 2015