Articles of Interest


As seniors get sicker, they’re more likely to drop Medicare Advantage plans

NPR reports that seniors with serious illnesses should be careful when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan.

The patient wants to leave. The hospital says “No way”

In this age of patient-centered care, columnist Paula Span takes a look at the complex issues that come into play when a senior leaves the hospital A.M.A.—against medical advice.

Older Americans don’t get—or seek—enough help from doctors and pharmacists on drug costs, poll finds

The cost of the medications they take is a burden for seniors—but few share this information with their doctors, say researchers from the University of Michigan. Says Dr. Preeti Malani, “We see a need for health professionals to find ways to more routinely engage with patients about cost, especially through formal medication reviews such as the one that Medicare will cover.”

Alzheimer’s deaths jump 55 percent: CDC

“We are staring at a tsunami of Alzheimer’s disease,” says an expert, who notes, “Out of every 5 Medicare dollars, 2 of them are spent on someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia—that’s just not sustainable.”

Leaving hospital, older patients resist home help at their peril

Almost one-third of senior patients who are offered home health care upon hospital discharge turn it down, says a report from Kaiser Health News. Better communication might be the solution.

Feds to waive penalties for some who signed up late for Medicare

Here’s some good news from Kaiser Health News for procrastinators, or people who are just plain confused about the healthcare system: Certain seniors who didn’t sign up for Medicare at age 65 may not have to pay a penalty.

Baby boomers are downsizing—and the kids won’t take the family heirlooms

The silver? The china? Grandma’s ornate curio cabinet? No thanks, says the younger generation. The Boston Globe reports on an experience that is becoming very common as the baby boomers seek to pass their treasures to their children.

How to care for aging parents from a distance

U.S. News & World Report says that when elderly parents need help, but adult children live far away, it’s important to know about resources that can help—including aging life care professionals (also known as geriatric care managers).

US Death Rates from Alzheimer’s Disease Increased 55 Percent

With the aging of the baby boomers, a growing number of families will be providing care to loved ones with dementia, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Says CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, “As the number of older Americans with Alzheimer’s disease rises, more family members are taking on the emotionally and physically challenging role of caregiver than ever before. These families need and deserve our support.”

A police training program in age-related health helps communities better serve older adults

The American Geriatrics Society examines an understudied aspect of community policing: how our law enforcement officers can help seniors with whom they come into contact. The AGS calls for better training in the areas of dementia, elder abuse, and the services in the community that can help seniors in need.

Health Care? Daughters Know All About It

Trumpcare? Obamacare? What about “daughter care”? The New York Times recently reported on a topic that is quite familiar to aging life care professionals: the heavy burden women carry in supporting loved ones with chronic illness, especially dementia.

Family caregivers help with wider range of healthcare tasks than thought

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society demonstrates a truth that aging life care professionals know very well: Family caregivers are carrying a heavy burden! The study was performed by a Yale University research team, who noted that caregivers often give up the social activities they enjoy as they gradually spend more time on their loved ones’ healthcare routines.

Few Researchers Consider the Effect of Hearing Loss in Physician/Patient Communication, NYU Study Finds

Many doctors fail to take into consideration how hearing loss affects older patients’ ability to understand instructions and recommendations, said NYU professors in a recent study. Recommended the study authors, “Common sense, low (or no) cost strategies can be employed to mitigate the negative impact of both hearing and vision loss in patient communication. Some accommodations (e.g., minimizing ambient noise, speaking face to face, creating patient education materials with large-print font) are so simple and potentially beneficial that they could be implemented universally.”