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  The New England Journal of Medicine publishes a perspective by Drs Smith, Lo and Aronson
Jan 06, 2014 Alex Smith, Bernard Lo, and Louise Aronson published a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine about the physicians responsibility in care of older adults who self-neglect. They argue for a greater role for persuasion, physician home visits, and not setting too high a threshold for safety in the home. An audio interview with Alex Smith accompanies the article. Eric Widera wrote a GeriPal commentary about this piece, viewable here .

  GeriPal featured in SFCAMC "In the News"
Jan 06, 2014 From Scientists, Gift Ideas for the Elderly (New York Times, 2/2/14, by Paula Span) We tried, my sister and I. Every fall and winter, we discussed what extremely practical gift we should get our father for his September birthday and for Hanukkah. A flannel shirt, because his current two were fraying. A warm new sweater, because he disliked paying utility bills and always kept his apartment cool. A leather wallet, because his old one, stuffed with years of photos and credit cards and no-longer-relevant ID’s, was held together with rubber bands.

And we failed, consistently. Months or years later, we’d find the shirts and sweaters still in their gift boxes, unworn. He was saving them, he said, because what was wrong with his old ones?

(This was a guy, I remind you, who discovered that he and his friend were both sending credit card payments to the same address and so started mailing them in together to save postage. When the inevitable happened and Discover mixed up their payments, a snafu only resolved after many phone calls, did they stop this practice? No, they just stapled their checks to their statements and continued, each preserving his savings of 44 cents every other month. I have told this tale before and a reader emailed me: “Did we have the same father?”)

Anyway, we could have used the smart NIH for gift list posted this week on the GeriPal blog, written by geriatricians and palliative care specialists, most of them at the University of California, San Francisco.

Compiled by Dr. Anna Chodos, a UCSF research fellow who more typically publishes stuff about T-cells, antigens and underserved populations, the “very geri” holiday list includes useful gadgets and gizmos for people with mobility problems, like grabbers and jar openers and glam crystal-encrusted canes.

And aids for those with difficulty hearing and seeing, like magnifying glasses and TV amplifiers.

And products to help jog failing memories, like medication reminder clocks.

And some fun ideas, just because.

Also, there were links to help you find this stuff, though I notice Dr. Chodos is offering no counsel on how to get your elders to actually use it. That part’s up to you.

I get press releases daily from companies announcing new products for old people, and I regretfully say we don’t post about them because we have way to assess how well they’d function under real-world conditions. We need an independent, Consumer Reports-like organization to road-test products intended for older and disabled people.

In the meantime, though, I consider the U.C.S.F. folks a reliable guide. And if you or your older relatives have used any of these products, I’d like to hear what you think.

As for my father, Murray Span, he had a Hanukkah request, which never happened before. Last winter, during a discussion group or maybe a concert at his facility, he lent his favorite sweater vest to another resident who felt chilly. She subsequently wore it back to her room and forgot she’d ever borrowed it. Dad didn’t want to embarrass her by asking for its return or asking the staff to intervene, so he asked me for a new one.

Great! A gift he would actually use! I happily located a navy blue vest I thought he’d like — but I never got to give it to him. He died last year at about this time, before Hanukkah. I sent it back.

But among the belongs I’ve kept is the wallet held together with rubber bands, just because.

  UCSF Geriatric Fellowship Matches Exceptional Fellows for 2014-15
Jan 09, 2014 The Division of Geriatrics at UCSF is excited to present the names of the incoming fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year. They are Stephanie Rogers and Claire Larson, both from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Internal Medicine Residency program, Daphne Lo from the University of Colorado, and Allen Tong from UC Davis. This is the first year that Geriatric Medicine fellowships from around the country participated in the match and we are overjoyed that all four of our available clinical fellowship spots were filled with such talented and passionate individuals.

  Dr. Aronson had a busy 2013 visiting professorships and many grand round talks at multiple universities!
Jan 10, 2014 Louise Aronson spent much of 2013 championing Public Medical Communication, Narrative Advocacy, and Reframing Geriatrics in visiting professorships and grand rounds talks at Columbia, Cornell, Drexel, Duke, Hofstra, Kaiser Oakland, UC Davis, UPenn, and UT Southwestern, as well as in keynote, plenary at the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Reynolds Meeting, College of Physicians, Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland, Texas American College of Physicians, and the Millennial Medicine conference.

  Louise Aronson was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Jan 10, 2014 Our very own Dr. Aronson was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society by the senior medical student members of UCSF’s chapter in the class of 2014. Alpha Omega Alpha is to medicine what Phi Beta Kappa is to letters and the humanities and Sigma Xi is to science, and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine.

  Mike Harper was appointed by Kathleen Sebelius to a National Advisory Committee (ACICBL).
Jan 22, 2014 Dr. Michael Harper has been appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to serve a 3-year term on the Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community Based Linkages. The ACICBL provides advice and recommendations on policy and program development to the Secretary concerning the activities under Part D of Title VII of the Public Health Service Act and is responsible for submitting an annual report to the Secretary and Congress. Programs under Part D include, Education and Training Related to Geriatrics (Geriatric Education Centers, Geriatrics Training for Physicians and Dentists, and Geriatric Academic Career Awards) and the Area Health Education Centers.

  Carla Perissinotto Featured in Inside UCSF's Mission-in-a-Minute Videos
Jan 28, 2014 Carla was one of 30 people across UCSF to be chosen to make a "Mission in a Minute" video about her mission to improve the lives of vulnerable older adults. Here’s the link to the “Mission in a Minute” video page: And here’s a direct link to her YouTube video:

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