Predicting Stroke Risk


Doctors know patients with atrial fibrillation are at a higher risk of having a stroke, and now a new study finds that integrating two separate clinical risk score models more accurately helps doctors assess the stroke risk of patients with Afib.

The composite stroke decision tool studied by researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City combines the widely used CHA2DS2-VASc with the Intermountain Risk Scores (IMRS) to derive and validate new stroke prediction scores.

The study shows the new model, IMRS-VASc, was significantly more effective in predicting stroke risk and will give clinicians a more effective and accurate tool to assess patients with cardiovascular disease.

Atrial fibrillation, the most common heart arrhythmia in the world, affects more than 2.7 million American adults. The abnormal heart rhythm causes blood to pool and clot in the heart, and when those blood clots break free, they can cause a stroke.

Researchers found that the new IMRS-VASc risk score model nearly doubles their ability to appropriately predict stroke risk compared to the traditional CHA2DS2-VASc risk tool. The development of the IMRS-VASc risk score model is the first step in a research pathway for other conditions that will ultimately result in time and cost savings for both patient and physician.

Researchers presented results from the study at the Heart Rhythm Society’s 39th annual Scientific Sessions in Boston earlier this month.

By |July 24th, 2018|Categories: News Posts|Comments Off on Predicting Stroke Risk

The Promise of Smart Home Technology for Seniors Living at Home : Brooklin Nash

“With the IoT, we’re headed to a world where things aren’t liable to break catastrophically – or at least we’ll have a hell of a heads’ up. We’re headed to a world where our doors unlock when they sense us nearby.”

~ Scott Weiss

This quote from famous venture capitalist Scott Weiss highlights how much the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing our lives. It’s not just about connected devices and smart refrigerators. It’s about making smart home technology a norm. And it can be a norm that makes independent living for seniors much better in the long run. Here are a few ways smart home technology can directly benefit seniors living at home.

#1: Smart Home Technology Makes Independent Living Safer

Caring for seniors living at home can be both rewarding and challenging. With independent living, safety is always a concern. What happens when a senior loved one needs to be left alone, for example?

By introducing smart home technology into the mix, you can help ensure that your loved one is safe while home alone. The IoT means that seniors living at home can easily access everything they need – from the medicine cabinet to the front door to a voice command for emergency services.

#2: Alerts & Real Time Monitoring Make Independent Living More Realistic

More immediately, smart home technology and IoT makes independent living both safer and more realistic. Tech innovations now allow the control, monitoring and reception of alerts from physical devices in the home. With the touch of a button on an app, you can control appliances, security systems and more.

Users can also receive alerts on heart rate, blood pressure and a host of other health factors. You can have a safe amount of control over the home while letting your senior loved one live their independent life.. With this level of innovation, there is less of a necessity of back and forth.

#3: IoT Makes Independent Living More Accessible

In the past, there were generally two options: moving seniors into assisted living homes or having them move in directly. Smart home technology empowered by IoT and a fine tuned UX means seniors can access the tools they need to remain independent. There is no need for fancy tech that is difficult to understand.

What other ways do you see the promise of smart home technology taking hold for seniors living at home?

Brooklin Nash writes about the latest tools and small business trends for TrustRadius. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading YA dystopian fiction (with guilty pleasure) and cooking.

By |July 23rd, 2018|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on The Promise of Smart Home Technology for Seniors Living at Home : Brooklin Nash

Peripheral Artery Disease


Peripheral artery disease (PAD), the most common type of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), affects 8–12 million Americans, 12–20% of those over the age of 65, and could reach as many as 9.6 million Americans by the year 2050 (Cleveland Clinic, 2012).

Risk Factors/Warning Signs

The risk factors for PAD are the same as those for coronary heart disease (CHD), with diabetes and smoking being the greatest risk factors (AHA, 2005). Ac¬cord¬ing to the American Heart Association, only 25% of those older adults with PAD get treatment. PAD increases the risk of CHD, heart attack, and stroke.


The most common symptoms of PAD are leg cramps that worsen when climbing stairs or walking, but dissipate with rest, commonly called intermittent claudication (IC). The majority of persons with PAD have no symptoms (AHA, 2005). PAD is a predictor of CHD and makes a person more at risk for heart attack and stroke. Left untreated, PAD may eventually lead to impaired function and decreased quality of life, even when no leg symptoms are present. In the most serious cases, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation of a lower extremity.


Most cases of PAD can be managed with lifestyle modifications such as those for heart-healthy living. This includes maintaining an appropriate weight, limiting salt intake, managing stress, engaging in physical activity as prescribed, quitting smoking, and eating a heart-healthy diet.
Patients with PAD should discuss their symptoms with both their healthcare provider and a physical therapist, because some patients find symptom relief through a combination of medical and therapy treatments (Aronow, 2007; Cleveland Clinic, 2012).

Adapted from Mauk, K. L., Hanson, P., & Hain, D. (2014). Review of the management of common illnesses, diseases, or health conditions. In K. L. Mauk’s (Ed.) Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Used with permission.

For more information on PAD, visit NIH at:



By |July 21st, 2018|Categories: News Posts|Comments Off on Peripheral Artery Disease

Guest Blog: 5 Simple Ways for Seniors to Combat Hip Pain

Almost one-fourth (23.9 percent) of seniors between the ages of 60 and 90 suffer from frequent hip pain.

Whether it’s the result of a bad fall or is brought on by a combination of poor mechanics and old age, it’s important for seniors to know that they’re not doomed to suffer from hip pain for the rest of their lives.

Read on to learn some simple tips to help seniors combat hip pain.

1. Do Hip Bridges
A hip bridge is one of the best exercises you can do to combat hip pain.

To do this exercise, simply lie on your back with your feet hip-distance apart and planted on the ground. Press into the ground and lift your hips in the air, trying to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (don’t arch your back).

Hold for 3-5 seconds, then return to the beginning. Complete ten repetitions.

2. Use Ice Daily
Icing your hip can work wonders for relieving pain and inflammation, especially if your hip pain is brought on by bursitis or arthritis. Depending on your pain level, you can ice your hip up to 4-5 times per day in 10-15-minute increments.

3. Raise the Seat
Many seniors find that their hip pain is aggravated when they try to lower themselves onto and raise themselves up from a chair, sofa, or even a toilet. Devices like a chairlift or a raised toilet seat can help reduce hip strain for seniors as they stand up and sit down.

4. Stretch Consistently
Consistent stretching is also important for relieving pain and improving hip mobility. The figure 4 stretch is one of the best for hip pain.

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Lift the leg that’s bothering you and cross it over your other leg so that your ankle is resting on your opposite thigh. Pull the bent leg in toward your chest, clasping your hands around the back of your thigh if possible. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release and switch sides.

5. Use Natural Anti-Inflammatories
Finally, instead of using over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, which can cause serious issues for seniors, try using a natural anti-inflammatory like curcumin (found in turmeric). Turmeric is safe for most people, and research shows it works just as well as ibuprofen for improving joint pain and function.

By |July 20th, 2018|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Simple Ways for Seniors to Combat Hip Pain