Why does an emergency hospital visit often lead to decline in older patients? It’s complicated, but there are mitigating steps hospitals and family caregivers can take, says Navigating Aging’s Judith Graham in an article for Kaiser Health News.
STAT reports that one of the flu viruses this year is the H3N2, one which is especially dangerous—and deadly—for older adults. Says an epidemiologist, “We don’t have a flu vaccine problem so much as we have an H3N2 vaccine problem.”
The AARP recently explored the human connection between home care workers, clients and family.
After a five-decade rise in the number of women in the workplace, the numbers leveled out. Why? A New York Times analyst says, “Focused laser-like on child care, we haven’t noticed that the United States is walking into an elder-care crisis.”
An article that recently appeared in Forbes asked, “Do your parents have a financial caregiving plan? Hint: It’s you.”
There are plenty of support services available for family caregivers—but understanding and accessing them can be very challenging, reports Mather Lifeways.
Consumer Reports recently offered advice to families seeking to hire home care for their loved one. The author suggests enlisting the help of a geriatric care manager (aging life care professional) to help things go smoothly, and invites readers to the ALCA website.
CBS Moneywatch says that even people who have carefully budgeted for their own potential long-term care costs can be blindsided when a relative who didn’t do the same needs care. FYI: aging life care professionals can be of great help in these situations.
In the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Marc Agronin takes an in-depth look at the tremendous impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and offers suggestions on how families and our culture can better the situation.
“Ageism is so hard to root out because it allows us to ward off a paralyzing fact with a pleasing fiction. It lets us fool ourselves, for a time, into believing that we’ll never die.” From the New Yorker, a look at the “sharp shift in the age of authority” that has resulted from the tech revolution—but also, from prejudice against older adults.
People who would never crack a racist or sexist joke will nonetheless make ageist remarks without even thinking about it. But that is changing. More experts are taking on the negative images of aging—and many of them are older adults. This is an instance where “Nothing about us without us” is a good rallying cry.
Anyone who is planning to downsize, or to help a parent do so, will appreciate this lovely rumination about the meaning of possessions by psychiatrist Anna Fels.
Architectural Digest presents simple, elegant design choices that can allow seniors to safely live independently for longer.
CNN reports that older adults continue to be disproportionately affected by natural disasters, but making the decision to evacuate is not a simple one.
University of Michigan experts say many seniors are under the mistaken impression that sleep problems are just a part of growing older. So, they self-medicate with sleeping pills—and they don’t tell their doctor about it.
Politico, a national and global political news and information company, recently investigated the many ways our growing senior population is expected to challenge American policy.
With support from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the American Society on Aging has released a publication examining a wide range of issues affecting families who provide care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory loss. (Requires Adobe plugin)
As we’ve noted before, many adult children today have a lack of interest in inheriting possessions that their senior parents consider treasured heirlooms. CNN reports that some elders are instead creating a high-tech collection of memories.
The Boston College Center for Retirement Research recently took a look at the money management challenges that arise when a person has cognitive impairment.
The cost of long-term care is high. The cost of care when a person has dementia is very high—averaging $321,000. And families are out of pocket for 70 percent of that cost, says a Brown University researcher.
After the New York Times published an article about aging parents leaving a lot of stuff to their kids who don’t want it, readers chimed in. One points out, “Gen X-ers and older millennials are contending with as many as four households of parental belongings, if a young couple are both children of divorce.”
For some, Hurricane Harvey is bringing back memories of Sandy in 2012. Here’s another reason to help senior loved ones prepare for emergencies: They may be vulnerable even if aren’t injured in the initial situation, say University of Michigan experts.
There’s been an unprecedented spike in high-risk alcohol consumption among older adults. NPR reports that abuse and dependence among the senior population has more than doubled since the year 2000.
You’ve probably heard about the opioid epidemic is striking older adults hard. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently announced that while fewer younger people are misusing these drugs, the number of seniors to do so continues to rise.
“Older people don’t want 1,000 apps for their smartphones. They want a screen that has numbers and letters in a large font so they can read them. They don’t dislike technology. They just want it to be easier, and we can do that.” The San Diego Union-Tribune takes a look at the growth of “senior tech.”
Researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital report that when an elder has a life-limiting illness, family members need a lot more support from friends and family, as well as from paid caregivers.
NPR reports that seniors with serious illnesses should be careful when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan.
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.”
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.
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.
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.”