The potential benefits of Aduhelm are small, its effectiveness is not certain, and even the FDA Thursday shifted its guidance on who should get the drug. But physicians are dealing with an onslaught of interest from patients and their families, and figuring out which patients are best positioned to be helped by the drug will be difficult.
Aduhelm, approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month despite questions about its efficacy, could be prescribed to at least 1 million patients a year, for a price tag of about $56 billion. Experts suggest there might be better ways to spend that money.
Millions of older adults want to be comfortable going online and using digital tools to enhance their lives. But many need help. A number of groups around the country offer assistance.
Experts offer advice on how seniors struggling with physical, emotional and cognitive challenges following a year of being cooped up can address issues such as muscle weakness, poor nutrition, disrupted sleep, anxiety and social isolation.
A little-discussed, long-term toll of the pandemic is that large numbers of older adults have become physically and cognitively debilitated and less able to care for themselves after sheltering in place.
When the covid pandemic hit, Dr. Rebecca Elon was thrust into a new role, primary caregiver for her severely ill husband and her elderly mother. “Reading about caregiving of this kind was one thing. Experiencing it was entirely different,” she says.
How do dozens of people living communally decide what to do during a public health crisis when members have varying tolerance for risk and different opinions about safe practices?
Whether it’s making plans to hug their grandchildren, scheduling long-overdue medical appointments or just petting the neighbor’s dog, seniors are inching back to a lifestyle they’ve missed during the pandemic.
Relatives and advocates are calling for federal authorities to relax restrictions in long-term care institutions and grant special status to “essential caregivers” — family members or friends who provide critically important hands-on care — so they have the opportunity to tend to relatives in need.
Health organizations have begun sending doctors and nurses to apartment buildings and private homes to vaccinate homebound seniors, but the efforts are slow and spotty.