Medications linked to falls
A study by University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers, “Meta-analysis of the Impact of 9 Medication Classes on Falls in Elderly Persons” by John C. Woolcott, MA; Kathryn Richardson, MSc; Matthew O. Wiens, BSc, Pharm, PharmD; et al, was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (November 23, 2009). It notes that falls among the elderly are significantly associated with a number of classes of drugs including sedatives and medications to treat mood disorders. Falling and fall-related injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in developed countries, the study noted.
The UBC study updated, expanded, and analyzed 22 international observational studies from 1996-2007 investigating falls among people age 60 and over. The analysis included data on more than 79,000 participants and both over-the-counter and prescription medications.
According to the study, antidepressants had the strongest statistical association with falling, considering the sedative properties of the older drugs in this class. Antipsychotics/neuroleptics and benzodiazepines, such as valium, also were significantly related to falls. Narcotics were not significantly related to falls but require further study. Other medication classes studied include hypertensives, diuretics, beta-blockers, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Seniors increasingly are being prescribed more medications. UBC research shows that one in seven people age 80 and older had at least one prescription for an antidepressant in 2006. Since seniors are often on multiple medications for multiple conditions, it remains a challenge to determine which medication classes are associated with falls.
Last November’s seniors housing fire sale
While some insiders have predicted that the seniors housing market is poised to survive the recession relatively well, two of the industry’s larger companies have landed on sour times, unable to carry on without cutting properties in November 2009.
Sunrise Senior Living, Inc., completed the $204 million sale of 21 assisted living communities, located in 11 states, with BLC Acquisitions, Inc., an affiliate of Brookdale Senior Living Inc. During a nine-month period last year, those 21 communities contributed almost $14 million in net losses to Sunrise.
The company’s struggles are nothing new. Sunrise has been under extreme pressure from financial burdens since the third quarter of 2008 when it posted its worst losses in eight years. Indeed, Sunrise is down but definitely not out, and will use $25 million of the property sale to pay down its bank credit facility. The company expects to record a gain of $50 million in connection with the closing of this transaction.
In an even bigger fire sale, CapitalSource, Inc. closed on the transaction of 37 skilled nursing homes for an all-cash sales price of $100 million. The company will use the proceeds to repay $55 million of debt associated with the assets sold, with the remainder adding to parent company liquidity.
Earlier in November, CapitalSource sold 143 long-term care facilities to Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc., for $331 million in cash and stocks. The company said it will be exiting skilled nursing home ownership, but should continue to provide financing for owners and operators of long-term care facilities.
The American Health Care Association set the theme for the 2010 National Nursing Home Week as “Enriching Every Day,” which will take place on May 9 to 15
Atlanta has been chosen as the 2010 destination for NADONA/LTC’s national conference, to be held from June 12 to 16
Long-Term Living 2010 January;59(1):12