Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine

7/9/20
WBEN featured Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, in an extensive interview about the New York State report on COVID-19 infections in nursing homes. “If we want to protect nursing homes in the future, we have to do as great a job as possible in reducing community-based infection. Yes, almost certainly it was nursing home staff and family members who inadvertently brought the virus to nursing homes but this was well before we knew the nature of the illness,” Troen said.
7/9/20
A story in the Billings Gazette reporting on nursing home deaths in Montana quotes Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. “It’s almost as if you could not create an environment that would be more predisposed to, unfortunately, causing infection,” he said.
7/3/20
Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, provides insight in an article about the impact of COVID-19 nursing home residents and their families. “Family members are often essential members of the clinical care team for older adults who are so frail, and especially those with dementia,” says Troen. He thinks a designated family member who is “able and willing to follow all the procedures” that apply to staff could safely go into nursing homes on a regular basis. Troen also says COVID-19 can be kept out of nursing homes, with “intensive, appropriate, and persistent procedures” that include frequent testing of staff.
7/3/20
An article in the Austin Chronicle discusses COVID-19 and how it’s affecting nursing homes. Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, said: “Family members are often essential members of the clinical care team for older adults who are so frail, and especially those with dementia.” Troen also said COVID-19 can be kept out of nursing homes, with “intensive, appropriate and persistent procedures,” that include frequent testing of staff. “It can be done, but it requires a lot of resources and understanding and working with family members and the community,” he said.
6/10/20
The coronavirus is hitting older people especially hard. Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, provides insight into how COVID-19 affects older adults. “It’s important to recognize that older adults actually have different manifestations,” he says. “So even though we know about the classic symptoms that are associated with COVID-19, including respiratory tract symptoms and fever and cough, it turns out that many older adults may not have those at all,” says Troen.
5/18/20
Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, was quoted extensively in an article about the tragic toll that COVID-19 is taking on residents of nursing homes where almost 40 percent of the nation’s deaths from the virus are occurring. Troen said that even before the pandemic, nursing homes were “a ripe environment for infections.” He noted that many residents are vulnerable with medical conditions and cognitive impairment.
5/16/20
An article about COVID-19 sufferers having what’s being called “long-tail” COVID-19 symptoms, meaning they have symptoms for weeks, even months, mentions Bruce D. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, who was quoted in a previous story about nursing home deaths.
5/15/20
A Newsweek article on the role vitamin D plays in fighting the coronavirus mentions Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. He said there is a strong body of evidence from before the pandemic demonstrating that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with an increased susceptibility to respiratory tract infections.
5/4/20
Assisted living facilities are complaining that state health officials have shoved them to the end of the line for distribution of resources needed to treat COVID-19 patients. Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, said adult care facilities and assisted living facilities are often not necessarily skilled nursing facilities, so they are not typically poised to provide that day-to-day medical care they often are called upon to provide. “My concern is that assisted living facilities are being lumped into the same category as skilled nursing facilities," Troen said.
4/29/20
Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, is quoted in a story on the struggles nursing homes face to contain COVID-19 among residents. Troen says nursing home patients have a number of other ailments that make them at risk for death from COVID-19 because once they get it, they have less reserve to fight off the infection. “Even in a non-COVID-19 pandemic time, there are 1 to 3 million serious infections that occur every year in long-term facilities … As many as 380,000 die each year,” he says.
4/23/20
Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, spoke about new reporting regulations for nursing homes due to COVID-19 during an interview with WBEN. “The whole coronavirus pandemic points to a lot of unfortunate inefficiencies and disparities in our health care system,” Troen said.
4/16/20
In an interview, Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, discusses topics related to COVID-19, including the spike of cases in nursing homes. “Unfortunately, nursing homes represent an environment that some might say is really a ‘perfect storm’ for both the transmission and subsequent very deleterious consequences for the coronavirus,” notes Troen. Residents and care staff are in close proximity in nursing homes, and “most of these residents are very vulnerable, frail, older adults, who — with multiple medical comorbidities — are at higher risk not just for catching the disease — but once getting the coronavirus, really can suffer dire consequences, and as we found out, death,” he said.
12/27/19
Bruce R. Troen, MD, director of UB’s Center for Successful Aging, is interviewed for a story about the value of Meals on Wheels, which provides older adults with nutritious meals year-round. “Older adults, who may be keenly aware of the limitations they face on a day-to-day basis, unfortunately can often feel more sad about the impending holiday season even though most of us are often excited and experiencing joy with the holiday season,” said Troen, professor of medicine and chief of geriatrics and palliative medicine.
12/6/19
An article on the benefits of vigorous exercise, especially for women, quotes Kenneth L. Seldeen, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. “Women are more likely to be frail as they age — a condition of greater susceptibility to illnesses, falls, and disability,” said Seldeen. “Boosting muscle function and quality with exercise is the best way to stave off frailty.”