• 2019 Senior Report Senior Report: Older Americans have more options for home care, but still struggling.

    The United Health Foundation has released results of a sweeping new study benchmarking the health of older adults. The America's Health Rankings® Senior Report was created in partnership with GAPNA to improve the health of America's seniors.

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  • FREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

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    38th Annual GAPNA Conference

    October 3-5, 2019 at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.

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  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

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Loss of Vision Associated with Loss of Cognition

Loss of vision may be associated with cognitive function impairment in older people, according to a study by researchers supported in part by National Institute on Aging.

The investigators sought to determine which factor – declining vision or cognitive function – contributed more to the association over time. They identified declining vision as having a greater association with cognitive deterioration than the reverse. Study results appeared in JAMA Ophthalmology online on June 28, 2018.

Visual impairment affects almost 3 million older adults in the United States. This can significantly affect physical and psychological health, resulting in reduced quality of life. The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment increases with age, particularly among people aged 75 and older.

For this research, Diane Zheng of the University of Miami and colleagues analyzed data from the Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study, a longitudinal study that enrolled more than 2,500 participants aged 65-84 in the Salisbury area of Maryland. The study team used the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart to measure visual acuity, and the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) to measure cognitive function; participants were assessed in four rounds between 1993 and 2003.

The percent of participants with MMSE scores indicating cognitive impairment increased from 11% at baseline to 20.6% in the fourth round. Visual impairment was associated with poor cognitive function both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Worsening vision had a stronger association with declining cognition than the reverse. Researchers noted maintaining good vision may be an important strategy for reducing age-related cognitive decline.

For details, see Zheng, D. et al. (2018). Longitudinal associations between visual impairment and cognitive functioning: The Salisbury eye evaluation study. JAMA Ophthalmology, 136(9), 989-995. doi:0.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.2493

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