See my commentary in JAMA news update: Social Isolation -The Other Covid-19 Threat in Nursing Homes
Click here to listen to a podcast from AMDA-on-the-go, with Dr. Watson and leading psychologist, Dr. Richard Juman, on mitigating emotional impact of COVID.
Listen here for the updated podcast 6 weeks in – self-care for the long haul.
For other resources about expressing wishes for end-of-life, learn about the Conversation Project
The most important goal = brain safety!
The brain is our most important organ and becomes increasingly vulnerable with age, illness and injury. It should be considered first and foremost before any and all medical decisions to prevent delirium, a common and serious condition in older adults.
What is delirium? It is a sudden confusional state (worse than normal) that significantly increases the risk of injury, hospitalization and death. There are many causes that all add up and most can be prevented, but they are rarely considered beforehand. Understanding and preventing risks for delirium, such as unsafe or too many medications, too much anesthesia, unnecessary medical procedures and trips to the ER, is the number one goal in geriatrics.
Quick tip: older adults should never use over-the-counter products containing diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl or Tylenol PM. These drugs cause delirium and increase the risk for dementia.
Click here to listen to my podcast about antipsychotic use in nursing homes for AMDA on-the-go.
Click here to read my article on KevinMD about use of sleeping pills in older adults.
Printable Screening Instruments
General psychiatric resources
Dr. Watson provides practical training on managing residents living with severe personality disorders (50 minutes).