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Over the last few years, the human body's microbial population has been the subject of numerous discussions and controversies. But few topics have sparked as much interest as the concept of fecal microbiota transplantation, or FMT. This rather easy procedure has become a lightning rod for debates ranging from its effectiveness to ethical issues regarding donations.
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Over the last few weeks, researchers have discovered a natural yet nasty phenomenon leading to troubles in the elderly. The reports focus on two very different parts of our bodies, the immune system and the microbial population in our guts. Though both studies were conducted in mice, the results unveil an inconvenient reality we may all face as we get older.
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The evidence is clear: Large-scale private equity investments in nursing home facilities too often jeopardize the quality of care and put seniors' health at risk. So what can we do to stop it? Here are some ideas.
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Two Sundays ago, I was watching the Academy Awards with my parents and during its last moments I had something of a surreal epiphany. I never thought I'd say 'Warren Beatty' and 'my father' in the sam...
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Whether it's young children growing up and needing your time for activities and school or aging parents needing extra attention, the generation caught in the middle of this is being spread thin. The sandwich generation has become the norm for Canadians, bringing packed schedules and extreme stress.
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As the founder of Microsoft, there are few people on the planet who have helped to guide technological progression (at least in the realm of computing) as much as Gates over the course of his 42-year career. The thrust of his argument is this: if robots replace human workers whose pay would otherwise be taxed, why then should the labour of the robots not also be subject to taxation?
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Many drugs prescribed to seniors have either not been adequately studied for this age group or have not been formally approved for the conditions they are being prescribed to treat. They are sometimes prescribed without any evidence they are safe and effective for them, and in some cases, even when they are known to present a possible risk (antipsychotics prescribed to older patients with dementia, for example).
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The beginning of a new year and the accompanying reflections of what the future holds is the perfect time to tell family and friends your healthcare preferences in case one day you are unable to speak for yourself. This is called advance care planning and it is good to do for your peace of mind and for your loved ones too.
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This week, as expected, flu has taken over the headlines. All across Canada, hospitals are being overwhelmed by patients suffering from this well-known disease. Yet, among those looking for medical assistance, many will not have the influenza virus but another lesser known pathogen.
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Our population is now the oldest it ever has been, with more people currently aged 65 and older than there are children under the age of 15. As with any significant demographic shift, this trend has significant implications for society at large, impacting health care, finance policy, infrastructure, family relationships, and legal issues.
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Of the $220 billion spent on health care annually in Canada, 45 per cent is spent on those over 65 years old, although they only represent 15 per cent of the population. It's time we improved the quality and quantity of care delivered for frail Canadians - and improve the health system for everyone in the process.
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National Seniors Day happened in Canada on Saturday and we didn't do anything about it. Countless moments and opportunities squandered to say, "Wait, I should call my grandparents," or "I should go to that senior's home and say hello to some residents," or even say some kind words to a senior on the street. We didn't do any of it. Did you?
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In a country as diverse and varied as Canada, such a per capita funding model creates winners and losers. For provinces with flourishing economies and/or younger populations, the formula may be a welcome one. But for many provinces and territories, this funding formula fails to recognize and accommodate their particular challenges and needs.
As a memory doctor, the most difficult thing I have to do is to tell the patient and their family about the diagnosis of dementia. The second most difficult thing I have to do is recommend driving cessation. There's no question that driving cessation has potentially dramatic effects on independence and quality of life for patients (and their spouses).