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|Other Aging News…
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
Nursing Home Insider’s
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
Older adults are choosing to remain longer
in the U.S. workforce, according to an article published
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 AWeditor@gvpub.com.
Visit Aging Well’s enhanced
and improved Web site at www.agingwellmag.com
for news, articles, and information important to professionals
in the field of aging and to subscribe.
— Barbara Worthington, editor
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…
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
Professionals help to fill the gap between
caregivers and faraway aging family members who require
specialized care and monitoring. Read
Emergency Preparedness for Frail
Effective preparation for older adults in emergency
situations requires prioritizing tasks and planning
for a variety of circumstances. Read
|Ask the Expert
Have a question you want answered by one of our experts? Send your question to AWeditor@gvpub.com and it may be featured in an upcoming e-newsletter or print issue.