Signs of Memory Loss in Aging Adults

Memory Loss pic
Memory Loss
Image: WebMD.com

Dr. Alexander Salerno, the lead physician of Salerno Medical Associates, has dedicated much of his career to providing elderly individuals with integrated care. With his experience assisting the elderly, Dr. Alexander Salerno also founded the Community Health Outreach Program—formerly known as the Senior Health Outreach Program—which offers mental health care and other medical services to the elderly.

Although the occasional memory lapse can frustrate and even worry the older adult, such events are not typically cause for concern. Even if an individual forgets the name of an acquaintance or the purpose of an errand, he or she is likely to retain the ability to function as normal and to make rational decisions. For some elders, however, memory loss becomes intrusive enough that daily functioning and quality of life suffers.

Older individuals with serious memory loss may forget how to perform simple, daily self-care tasks, such as bathing or dressing. They may become lost in places they know well, lose the ability to follow directions, or repeat a question having just heard the answer. Planning and problem-solving skills may suffer, even in familiar situations, and orientation to time and place may decrease. Individuals with such issues may wish to consult a qualified physician, who can assess the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and similar conditions.

An Introduction to Hospice

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Hospice
Image: http://hospicenet.org/

As second-generation head of Salerno Medical Associates in New Jersey, Dr. Alexander Salerno offers integrated care to a diverse patient population. Dr. Alexander Salerno also stands out as founder of the Community Healthcare Outreach Program, formerly known as the Senior Health Outreach Program, and is dedicated to improving access to services within under-resourced communities.

Unlike traditional medical care, which offers treatment in the hopes of extending life expectancy or facilitating a cure, hospice care focuses solely on quality of life and comfort. It is intended for patients whose medical condition is considered terminal, and as such it offers pain and symptom management as well as occupational, physical, and other supplemental therapies. Hospice addresses the needs of the entire family, not only the patient, and as such also provides caregiver support and grief counseling.

Hospice can be considered an option when the patient’s life expectancy is six months or fewer. However, if the patient does exceed this prognosis, care continues as long as it is relevant and therapeutic. The patient may receive care at his or her home or at a medical, nursing care, or specialized hospice facility, depending on availability and individual patient needs. Patients with terminal illnesses and their families can discuss the details of hospice with a doctor or other professional.

An Introduction to the Shingles Vaccine

Shingles Vaccine pic
Shingles Vaccine
Image: webmd.com

Dr. Alexander Salerno, head physician at Salerno Medical Associates, works to improve overall health outcomes in underserved populations in East Orange, New Jersey. To that end, Dr. Alexander Salerno leads the Community Healthcare Outreach Program (CHOP), which brings integrated care to elderly patients and those with mental health challenges.

Caused by a virus known as varicella zoster, shingles causes a painful blistering rash that typically presents on one side of the patient’s body. The rash lingers for up to three weeks, though some patients experience lingering severe pain for months or years after the disease clears. This condition is known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and can be so severe as to cause anxiety, depression, and other disruptions to daily life.

Fortunately, the shingles vaccine has proven effective at reducing the risk of varicella zoster infection by up to 70 percent. Effectiveness is highest for patients in their 50s, although those in their 60s may still enjoy a prevention rate of as much as 55 percent. The vaccine’s effectiveness against PHN is similar at approximately 59 to 67 percent.

The vaccine consists of weakened varicella zoster virus, which prompts the production of antibodies when introduced into the patient’s system. Approved for use in the United States since 2006, it has earned the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control for all individuals over age 60.