Geriatrics

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A new study has found that sedentary older adults who add less than an hour of moderate physical activity per week can improve overall physical functioning.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 1600 men and women ages 70-89 over an average of 2.6 years. All had problems moving normally at the beginning of the study and most reported fewer than 20 minutes of physical activity a week.

Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, elderly, couple, worried
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Last year we ran a story about the shortage of geriatricians in West Virginia. In it, we featured Todd Goldberg, the only full-time geriatrician in Charleston and head of the West Virginia University geriatrics fellowship program.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll from the statehouse, where a special session of the Legislature resumed Monday morning. Gov. Jim Justice met with House Democrats about his tax reform proposal for several hours on Monday.

We'll also hear a conversation between Appalachia Health News Coordinator Kara Lofton and Charleston geriatrician Todd Goldberg, who is preparing to leave the state.

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Herb Myers is one of the only geriatric psychiatrists currently working in West Virginia’s nursing homes. He is also an old friend of health reporter Kara Lofton. Lofton sat down with Meyers a few weeks ago to discuss the state of geriatric psychiatry in West Virginia and what will happen when Meyers retires next year.

LOFTON: You have worked in geriatrics for a number of years in West Virginia. Psychiatry is not something you usually associate with a nursing a nursing home. Why is that important to have geriatric psychiatry in a nursing home?

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At Edgewood Summit retirement community in Charleston, 93-year-old Mary Mullens is waxing eloquent about her geriatrician.

“Poor old doctor Goldberg…There’s only so much a person can do, and he sure got a lot to do and does it so well,” she said.

Todd Goldberg is one of just 36 geriatricians in West Virginia, according to the American Geriatrics Society. The state needs more than four times that many.

“With the growing elderly population across America and West Virginia, obviously we need healthcare providers,” said Goldberg.