It will be a pleasure to join the Older Persons and share their time at a social gathering and while enjoying their grand stories and the amazing backgrounds – as these special individuals are great historians. The C Diff Foundation not only cares about, and care for our older population — we make it a priority to continue educating and advocating with seniors about
C. difficile infection prevention, treatments, clinical trials, and environmental safety worldwide.
There is a C. diff. vaccine Clinical Trial presently enrolling participants +50 years of age. For additional information on the Clover trial and a brief list of C.diff. infection prevention and treatment clinical trials — click on the following link to be redirected:
Seniors have an increased risk of acquiring a Clostridium difficile infection, along with many other infections and illnesses.
Ways to prevent a C. diff. infection:
- Hand-washing https://cdifffoundation.org/hand-washing-updates/
- Limit Antibiotic Use and discuss antibiotics with healthcare providers.
- Visit healthcare providers for yearly physical exams.
- When in a hospital – ask healthcare professionals entering the room to kindly wash their hands and wear proper personal-protection equipment (gowns and gloves) if necessary.
Older adults become more susceptible to infections due to several factors. As people get older, it is more frequent that they have comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, renal insufficiency and arthritis. Many comorbid conditions, both the number and type of comorbid conditions, predispose people to infections. Often, when people age, there is immunosenescence, which means that the immune system doesn’t function as well or as vigorously. The combination of increased comorbid conditions and the decrease in activity of the immune system can make people more prone to infections. The other syndrome that occurs when people become old is frailty. When people become frail, their body mass index drops and they have a harder time functioning independently, in terms of their daily living activities. They become more prone to falls and injuries. All of these things predispose older people to infections. There is an increased association with being older and an increased risk of infection, but it probably has more to do with how successfully some people age. Some people age and they remain active and healthy, and individuals such as that probably do not have an increased risk of infections. But individuals who become frailer and more dependent on others for maintaining their health status and their daily activities, their risk for infections increases greatly.
As people age, they become more susceptible to disease and disability. However, much of the burden of ill health among older people can be reduced or prevented by adequately addressing specific risk factors, including:
- development of noncommunicable diseases
- social isolation and exclusion, mental health disorders
- elder maltreatment.
To review a few:
Falls and the injuries to which they often lead cause a large share of the burden of disease and disability on older people. The risk of falls increases steeply with age. Injuries from falls (such as femur fracture) usually require hospitalization and costly interventions, including rehabilitation, and cause much of the functional limitations that lead to the need for long-term care, including admissions to nursing homes.
Frailty in itself can considerably increase the risk of falls, which can happen in all settings. About 30–50% of people living in long-term care institutions fall each year. Convincing evidence, however, shows that most falls are predictable and preventable. Some injury-prevention measures (such as hip protectors) have been shown to be cost effective or even cost saving, and there are examples of successful implementations of strategies to prevent falls, supported by public policies.
Risk factors of noncommunicable diseases
Healthy ageing is a lifelong process. Patterns of harmful behavior, often established early in life, can reduce the quality of life and even result in premature death. Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol contribute to the development of chronic conditions: 5 of these (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and mental disorders) account for an estimated 77% of the disease burden and 86% of the deaths in the European Region. The most disadvantaged groups carry the greatest part of this burden.
Another important fact our members share with the older persons gathered at our workshops and monthly health education clinic is educational material provided focused on the diagnosis of Sepsis.
According to a study published in 2006, while people aged 65 years and older make up about 12% of the American population, they make up 65% of sepsis cases in the hospitals.
Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body’s often deadly response to infection or injury. Sepsis kills and disables millions and requires early suspicion and rapid treatment for survival.
Sepsis and septic shock can result from an infection anywhere in the body, such as pneumonia, influenza, or urinary tract infections. Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die. Many who do survive are left with life-changing effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and fatigue, organ dysfunction (organs don’t work properly) and/or amputations.
How does sepsis occur in older people?
Researchers believe that as we age, our immune system becomes less effective at fighting infections. This results in older people contracting more infections and they are more severe. Every infection we get means we have a risk of developing sepsis.
As well, as people age, they may develop chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or heart failure. It’s not unusual to see someone with two or more chronic diseases.
Any type of infection can cause sepsis, from the flu to an infected bug bite, but the most common infections that trigger sepsis among older people are respiratory, such as pneumonia, or genitourinary, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI). Infections can also happen through infected teeth or skin sores, either from a simple skin tear because the skin may be dry or fragile, or a pressure sore from sitting in a wheelchair or lying in bed. There are many ways an infection can take hold.
During our gatherings to celebrate International Older Persons Day there will be education provided to this golden population who have our respect and are appreciated worldwide.