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May 2010
In This Issue...

Recently in Aging Well...

Cardiac Rehab: High Value, Low Usage
Although cardiac rehabilitation can be incredibly effective for older adults suffering from heart conditions or recovering from surgery, it’s vastly underused.
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Hearing Loss — More Than a Communication Barrier
Practitioners can be proactive in detecting hearing loss and addressing associated deficits.
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COPD and Nutrition — Dietary Considerations for Better Breathing
A good diet exerts a positive influence on breathing abilities of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sufferers.
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Other Aging News...

Down Syndrome Patients Could Unlock Mystery of Aging
Older adults with Down’s syndrome may hold the key to discovering the genetic roots of aging, according to an article in USA Today.

Risks Seen in Cholesterol Drug Use in Healthy People
The use of statins among older adults as a preventive measure against developing heart disease finds experts on both sides of the issue, according to an article in
The New York Times

New Study Shows Value of Living Wills
Advance directives are essential instruments for older adults to make their medical care wishes known regarding measures to be carried out as the end of life approaches, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

Wired World Can Be Terror or Delight
Elders’ interest in e-mail, instant messaging, the Internet, and other technological innovations depends on whether they find them intimidating or empowering, according to an article in
The Boston Globe

Editor’s E-Note

In response to the massive wave of aging Americans, we’ve created numerous elder-friendly opportunities and services, including businesses, travel groups, restaurants, and universities, that welcome and embrace third agers.

It only makes sense that we’ve modified and adapted dedicated emergency departments (EDs) that cater to the aging population comprising their patients. These specialized units feature handrails, pressure reduction mattresses, lighting appropriate for low vision, and concerted efforts to reduce noise levels, among other amenities.

Although such EDs aren’t yet operational on a widespread basis, the concept is likely to catch on as an efficacious and economical way to address older adults’ healthcare needs. The benefits, including the opportunity for comprehensive follow-up after discharge, warrant thorough investigation of prospects for implementation on a broader scale.

We welcome your comments at And visit Aging Well’s Web site at for news, articles, and information important to professionals in the field of aging, as well as to subscribe to our print or digital issues.

— Barbara Worthington, editor

E-News Exclusive

Emergency Care for Older Adults — What You Need to Know
By Mark Rosenberg, DO, MBA, FACEP

We are getting older, and the numbers don’t lie. In 2011, 79 million baby boomers will turn 65. In 2020, more than one half of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65. It is not uncommon to see people living well into their 90s. These numbers will have a huge impact on emergency care in our country.

As people get older, they are more likely to have chronic diseases and other health issues unique to aging that require more frequent emergency department (ED) visits. Because of the 24/7 availability of EDs and difficulty getting an appointment with primary doctors, older adults frequently visit EDs for unscheduled medical care. A medical staff trained in geriatrics, an elder-friendly environment, and specific follow-up care are essential when caring for an aging population.

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