News and Articles

Care Managers Can Help Identify Depression in the Elderly

Depression Affects Millions of People in the United States

Depression in an elderlyDepression is a medical condition that affects millions of people in the United States, including up to 5 percent of Americans age 65 or older. The prevalence of depression is significantly higher – between 11.5% and 13.5% – in older hospitalized patients and in who require home health care.

Unfortunately, older Americans also face a greater risk that their depression will not be properly diagnosed or treated, in part because they may be less likely to share feelings of sadness or vulnerability and in part because symptoms may be dismissed as a normal part of aging.

The experience of depression is more than just feeling sad or blue but rather a serious mood disorder that requires treatment. It is important to recognize that, although depression may be more common in older adults, it is not a normal part of aging.

Care managers can help older patients and clients understand the risks associated with depression, identify troubling symptoms that could be signs of depression, and access services for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

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 Understanding the Long-Term Challenges of Chronic Kidney Disease

Case Managers Can Help Clients Reduce Risk Factors, Avoid Complications

Man getting dialysisIn the back wall of a human’s abdominal cavity are two small organs. Each is the size of a computer mouse. These organs – kidneys – filter all the blood inside the body every 30 minutes to remove toxins, excess fluid, and waste material. They also secrete hormones to help regulate blood pressure and stimulate red blood cell production and other chemicals crucial to life.

In the U.S., 30 million people live with chronic kidney disease (CKD), also known as chronic kidney failure. Risk factors include including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or having a family member with kidney disease. People over age 60 are also at greater risk.

Early detection and management of health conditions than can lead to kidney disease is vital. Both help prevent progression leading to kidney failure, and ultimately the need for a transplant or dialysis. Care managers can be invaluable to people who are at risk for kidney disease or are already experiencing it.

How Kidney Disease Affects the Body

When kidneys begin to fail, waste products and toxins are not being adequately filtered and removed from the body. The additional toxic load can cause trouble sleeping, skin conditions, muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Some people experience swelling in the feet and ankles, as well as fluid in the lungs, making breathing difficult.

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Case Management Reduces the Burden of Type 2 Diabetes

Integration of Motivational Interviewing Techniques May Improve Outcomes

Man checking for diabetesThere is abundant evidence the current medical system is not meeting the needs of people with Type 2 diabetes, nor adequately educating patients on the strategies they may use to delay or eliminate the onset of the disease.

One reason may be that people are being cared for in an acute care system not well suited to address the complex and on-going needs of someone suffering with a chronic disease. Primary care systems have the expertise and experience to optimize care in many situations, but chronic illnesses with several accompanying comorbid conditions strains the system to overload.

These challenges underscore the importance of high quality case management, which has shown to be effective in improving outcomes and reducing the risk of complications of Type 2 diabetes.

Financial Burden Rising for System, Families  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 23.1 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and an additional 7.2 million people have the disease but are unaware of it.

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