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Many older adults don’t plan ahead for
end-of-life decisions. And even when
they do, their wishes are sometimes
misunderstood. That’s what researchers
found when they separately interviewed
350 veterans age 55 and older and the
person they chose to make medical
decisions for them should they become
unable to communicate their wishes. More
than 40;percent of the pairs reported that
they hadn’t spoken about the veteran’s
preferences for end-of-life care.
When asked about situations involving
severe physical or mental disability or
pain, even the pairs who had said they
communicated still gave di;erent answers
about 30;percent of the time. Doctors can
o;en help seniors and their families with
advanced care planning, and Internet-based tools are available as well. Here’s a
good list: bit.ly/advancedcareplanning.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Geriatrics
Society, published online March 20, 2017
More older adults are undergoing total hip replacements,
and they seem to be faring better a;erward, research ;nds.
The operation—which involves replacing both the top of the
leg bone, called the femur, and its socket—is performed
in order to restore movement to the hips due to
damage from arthritis, bone disease, or injury.
When researchers gave a questionnaire
to 188 people (average age 69)
before and a;er the procedure,
they learned that the operation
appears to improve quality of
life. Scores for questions about
mental and social health, plus
physical functioning, all improved
a;er a year and remained signi;cantly
better a;er ;ve years than prior to
SOURCE: Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery,
published online March 15, 2017