Each year brings a host of new medical discoveries that help people of all ages live richer, fuller lives, and 2014 was no different. Many of the breakthroughs made this past year will specifically help seniors improve their quality of life. Below are six of the most relevant discoveries, furnished by leading provider of live-in, hourly and dementia care in Scottsdale, Home Care Assistance.
1. Bionic Eye
Though currently designed for those with retinal pigmentosis, the new development of a bionic eye may soon help people, elderly and otherwise, who have lost their sight due to other conditions, including macular degeneration. This will help improve the quality of life of those treated and also help seniors maintain their independence.
For those with heart failure, this breakthrough may be a literal lifesaver. The development of this synthetic hormone mimics the action of relaxin, a natural hormone occurring in pregnant women that helps the heart cope with increased work and stress. It is being used to keep people who have had heart failures alive longer.
3. Blood Test Diagnosis for Alzheimer’s
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s in seniors can be challenging, especially in the early stages. A new blood test developed this year has been found to have a 95-percent accuracy in diagnosing Alzheimer’s, leading to earlier and more accurate treatment by physicians and better long-term care by Alzheimer’s caregivers in Scottsdale.
4. Pacemakers with Self-Charging Batteries
Rather than needing multiple surgeries throughout their life to replace pacemaker batteries, seniors will instead soon be able to opt for a pacemaker with a piezoelectric nanogenerator, which recharges through the movement of the body.
5. Fecal Transplants
Antibiotics can severely deplete good bacteria from the gut, which can lead to a host of new intestinal and digestion problems. Clostridium difficile is just one serious disease that can come of depleted gut bacteria. Doctors are now performing fecal transplants in suffering patients to tremendous success at a relatively low cost. And while in the past these transplants were done via a colonoscopy, newer methods include a sanitized pill that will reduce costs even more.
6. Potential Cure for Baldness
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have been able to make epithelial cells in a lab. These calls are one of the two types needed for hair growth and something that previously eluded doctors trying to prevent or reverse hair loss. Though there is still work to be done before baldness can be reversed, this finding is a huge step in that direction.
At Scottsdale Home Care Assistance, we believe in keeping adult children and caregivers up-to-date on the most relevant and useful information regarding senior care. We also believe in making senior health and safety our number one priority. If your senior loved one needs help around the house, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, and assistance cooking, give us a call at (480) 448-6215. Our Experienced Care Managers look forward to speaking with you.