We have all heard that the devil is in the details.  Turns out that was the impetus behind Van Halen’s request years ago to always have a bowl of M&Ms back stage with all the brown ones removed.  As David Lee Roth explained if they couldn’t do that chances were they didn’t take care of the bigger requests well either like preparing for the group’s electricity-draining, pyrotechnic-laden concert performances.

Funny how something like that can give a person a spark of inspiration but that is exactly what happened according to a recent publication by the AMA. It said that similarly, there are small details in the presentation of older patients with multiple conditions that should alert physicians to deeper problems lurking beneath the surface, says geriatrician Andrea Wershof Schwartz, MD, MPH.

The short detail test for seniors according to the article is watching how an older person walks, how easily they can remove their socks and how their feet look.  Dr. Schwartz, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, says all these can show a doctor easily if a person is losing the ability to care for themselves. Truly, with Maine’s aging population this might be a good test next time you are around a senior you love.

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