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New seniors’ wing at Queensway-Carleton Hospital shines light on growing concern

Susan Sherring, The Ottawa Sun

For anyone who has ever cared for their elderly parents, a special aunt or a dear friend, news of a special hospital unit designed specifically for seniors is incredibly welcome news. A 34-bed unit is opening at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital with the aim of meeting seniors’ specific needs and working hard to get them home sooner. Dr. Fraser Miller, the QCH’s chief geriatrician who will run the facility talked of his personal experience when his own parents’ health began to fail.

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Largest Canadian study on dementia hopes to develop new treatments and interventions

Karen Seidman, Montreal Gazette

The largest Canadian study ever on dementia launches Wednesday with a goal of developing new interventions to slow or halt diseases that affect more than half a million Canadians.The clinical study on neurodegenerative diseases is being conducted by the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. It will be administered by the consortium’s scientific director Dr. Howard Chertkow, a neurologist at the Jewish General Hospital. A network of 350 researchers across the country is mobilizing in an attempt to untangle some of the mysteries of age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.The goal is to enrol 1,600 participants at 30 sites in Canada to study dementia in all its forms, in the hope of creating strategies for early detection and intervention and improving the lives of those living with dementia.
An estimated 564,000 Canadians live with dementia, but the number is expected to soar to 937,000 by 2031. Left unchecked, one in five people in the country risk developing Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Worldwide, the cost of treating dementia is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2018. “We really have to mobilize and fight this disease, which is such a tragedy and a burden,” Chertkow said in an interview. “This represents the Canadian government realizing it’s time to step up to the plate and create a national dementia strategy.”
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Health Canada releases new labeling standards for acetaminophen products

Steven Senne, The Canadian Press, Montreal Gazette

OTTAWA — Health Canada has released updated labelling standards for over-the-counter products containing acetaminophen to try to reduce the risk of liver damage.

The department says the changes will include clearer instructions on packages that encourage using the lowest possible dose, not exceeding the recommended daily amount of 4,000 mg for adults and not using products for more than five days for pain or three days for a fever. The announcement follows a Health Canada safety review on acetaminophen in 2015. Label changes are set to apply immediately for companies seeking to introduce new products on the Canadian market.

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In social isolation, or loneliness, a marker for early death more accurate than obesity

Katie Hafner, The New York Times

About 10,000 similar calls come in weekly to an unassuming office building in this seaside town at the northwest reaches of England, which houses the Silver Line Helpline, a 24-hour call centre for older adults seeking to fill a basic need: contact with other people. Loneliness, which Emily Dickinson described as “the Horror not to be surveyed,” is a quiet devastation. But in Britain, it is increasingly being viewed as something more: a serious public health issue deserving of public funds and national attention.

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Ottawa Hospital managers, after eating the food for a week, say changes are coming

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Hospital CEO Dr. Jack Kitts recently ate hospital food, and you won’t believe what happened next. Well, if you have even eaten hospital food, you probably will. He and other managers didn’t particularly like what they tasted and saw. After food managers chocked down three meals a day for a week, there was a consensus that things had to change.
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