STUDY SAYS

Elder abuse and mistreatment is underreported and sometimes goes undetected. A new study has found that using the Detection of Elder Mistreatment Through Emergency Care Technicians (DETECT) screening tool results in more medic reports of possible elder mistreatment.

The three-year study, published in JAMA, measured the association between the DETECT tool and medic reports made to Adult Protective Services in 246 North Texas cities.

DETECT was designed to assist medics in identifying mistreatment of older adults within elder communities during an emergency response. “The DETECT tool relies entirely on the medics’ systematic observations of the older adults’ physical and social environment; no direct questioning of the older adult or their caregivers is involved.”

When using the DETECT screening tool, medics look for the following:

• Unusual odor (urine, feces)

• Inside of the home is in extreme disarray or there is hoarding

• Living environment poses a health or safety concern (fire hazard, insect or rodent infestation, or urine or feces present)

• If caregiver present, they appear to lack knowledge of the patient or older adult’s medical needs

• If a caregiver is present, they appear unengaged and inattentive in caring for the patient or older adult

• If a caregiver is present, they appear frustrated, tired, angry, or burdened by the patient or older adult

• If a caregiver is present, they appear overly concerned (anxious, hovering)

• Is the patient or older adult isolated in the home?

• Does the patient or older adult appear depressed, anxious or emotionally distressed for reasons other than their immediate medical condition?

• Does the patient or older adult have poor personal hygiene (including soiled in urine or feces)?

• Is the patient or older adult inadequately clothed or wearing dirty, torn or soiled clothing?

• Does the patient or older adult have difficulties taking their prescribed medications as directed?

• Does the patient or older adult appear to be hoarding or saving old medications?

• Does the patient or older adult have unmet needs for assistance with eating, toileting, transferring, dressing or bathing?

“Use of the DETECT tool was associated with the investigation and intervention of elder mistreatment cases that may have otherwise gone unnoticed and unreported,” the study concluded. “The findings suggest that incorporating the DETECT screening tool into the routine practices of medics is associated with substantial increases in the frequency in which medics report potential cases of elder mistreatment to APS.”

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NUTRITION STATION

Which vegetables are lowest in carbs?

Vegetables are important for low-carb diets, however some contain more carbohydrates than you might think. According to Runner’s World, there’s simple trick to identify veggies with the lowest carbs:

“Vegetables that are grown above ground - tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli - tend to contain fewer carbs than those that are grown below ground - potatoes, parsnips, onions, carrots.”

Many above-ground vegetables are good sources of fiber and antioxidants, and contain fewer than 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup.

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DISEASES 101

What is scabies?

Scabies is a skin infestation caused by a microscopic mite, which spreads via direct, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. Common symptoms include intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The parasite affects people of all backgrounds worldwide and spreads rapidly in crowded conditions, such as in prisons, nursing homes, extended-care facilities and child-care facilities.

“The most common signs and symptoms of scabies are intense itching (pruritus), especially at night, and a pimple-like (papular) itchy rash,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The itching and rash each may affect much of the body or be limited to common sites such as the wrist, elbow, armpit, webbing between the fingers, nipple, penis, waist, belt-line and buttocks. The rash also can include tiny blisters (vesicles) and scales. Scratching the rash can cause skin sores; sometimes these sores become infected by bacteria.

“Tiny burrows sometimes are seen on the skin; these are caused by the female scabies mite tunneling just beneath the surface of the skin. These burrows appear as tiny raised and crooked (serpiginous) grayish-white or skin-colored lines on the skin surface. Because mites are often few in number (only 10-15 mites per person), these burrows may be difficult to find. They are found most often in the webbing between the fingers, in the skin folds on the wrist, elbow, or knee, and on the penis, breast, or shoulder blades.

“The head, face, neck, palms and soles often are involved in infants and very young children, but usually not adults and older children.”

Scabies mites can live on a person for up to 1-2 months, however, they can only survive for 48-72 hours off of a person. They will also die if exposed to temperatures 122 degrees F or higher for 10 minutes.

Treatment products for scabies kill the mites and sometimes their eggs, but are only available with a doctor’s prescription

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HEALTH STAT

228 million: The World Health Organization estimates that in 2018, 228 million clinical cases of malaria occurred worldwide. 405,000 people died of malaria, most of them children in Africa.

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