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Aging Well Magazine - eNewsletter
October 2009
In this issue...
Advertising Opportunities

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Other Aging News…

Shrinking Social Security Checks
In light of the economy’s current inflation, older adults will see their Social Security checks shrink next year, according to an article in The Miami Herald.

Nursing Home Insider’s View
Taking an insider’s view of life in a nursing home reaffirms and solidifies the choices of aspiring professionals who seek to work with older adults, according to an article in The New York Times.

The Awards of Losing
The competitive mindset of baby boomers makes it difficult to taper off their demanding workouts as they age, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Elders Remaining in Workforce Longer
Older adults are choosing to remain longer in the U.S. workforce, according to an article published in USA Today.

Editor’s E-Note
Consumer Cellular

Cooler temperatures envelop us, colorful leaves swirl through the air, and school is once again in full swing. As we approach winter, the time of year we all recognize as the flu season, 2009 presents a novel challenge. This year the H1N1 flu adds a new dimension to flu season concerns, threatening to create significant problems.

When the H1N1 flu first appeared on the scene in the spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scrambled to analyze data related to the outbreak, such as numbers of confirmed and probable cases, hospitalization rates, and deaths. From April 15 to July 24, 2009, states reported a total of 43,771 confirmed and probable cases of H1N1 flu infection. From among those cases, 5,011 people were hospitalized and 302 individuals died.

Statistics on the H1N1 flu’s impact on specific U.S. age groups have some positive implications for older adults. Analysis reveals that the infection rate was lowest in adults aged 65 and older. The data support studies indicating that older adults may possess preexisting immunity to this particular strain of flu, representing a departure from the norm for seasonal influenza where the impact on elders is more significant.

As the flu season ramps up, don’t overlook opportunities to model and recommend preventive measures, such as frequent hand washing. Pay particular attention to your patients and clients and make every effort to track their symptoms and concerns. Your expertise can help to minimize the effects of the flu and make the coming winter a time for health and enjoyment.

We welcome your comments at Visit Aging Well’s enhanced and improved Web site at for news, articles, and information important to professionals in the field of aging and to subscribe.

— Barbara Worthington, editor

E-News Exclusive

Choose the Perfect Fit.

Medicare’s Missing Link: Care Coordination and Family Caregiving
By Dan Tobin, MD

As healthcare reform is being debated in Congress and on Main Street, vital and practical issues in eldercare and family caregiving are being overlooked. Some 30 million U.S. baby boomers are family caregivers for their aging parents, trying to keep their parents safe at home and helping them navigate the complexities of Medicare while managing an advancing illness. If they had their say, most elders would prefer to age in their own homes. Regardless of how the overall healthcare debate unfolds, some incremental and cost-sensitive changes in Medicare that support care coordination, family caregiving, and aging at home could help older Americans and family caregivers while reducing hospitalizations and institutional care.

The Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare, which has tracked services provided to the Medicare population for more than 20 years, has consistently found a lack of uniform hospital utilizations in serious illness. Instead, it found that in regions where people receive more care, they do not necessarily get better care or better outcomes.

Medicare’s “fee-for-service” structure focuses on acute care and “well” visits and neglects serious chronic illness care coordination, which often falls on overwhelmed family members. This has been well documented in studies by organizations such as The Partnership for Solutions, the National Family Caregivers Association, the Family Caregiver Alliance, and the National Alliance for Caregiving.


Recently in Aging Well…

Robot Technologies: Exciting New Frontier
The future holds promise for assistive devices that can not only serve as companions but also help with elders’ daily routines. Read more

Long-Distance Caregiving
Professionals help to fill the gap between caregivers and faraway aging family members who require specialized care and monitoring. Read more

Emergency Preparedness for Frail Elders
Effective preparation for older adults in emergency situations requires prioritizing tasks and planning for a variety of circumstances. Read more

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