more for the 42 million primary caregivers
May 3, 2018 - For today, there are no doctor’s
visits. No long afternoons with nothing to do. No struggles over
bathing — or not. At the National Gallery of Art in Washington,
D.C., a group of older adults — some in wheelchairs, some with
Alzheimer’s — and their caregivers sit in a semicircle around a
haunting portrait of a woman in white.
June 21, 2017 - The 84-year-old man who had
suffered a mini-stroke was insistent as he spoke to a social
worker about being discharged from the hospital: He didn’t want
anyone coming into his home, and he didn’t think he needed any
Kaiser Health News runs series of reports; SeniorJournal.com to
include other types of senior care facilities
Aug. 30, 2016 - Are America’s hospitals prepared to meet the
needs of the senior citizens? Kaiser Health News finds they can
be hazardous places for elderly patients, who are at increased
risk of falling, drug-induced injury and confusion.
for dementia patient who fell from wheelchair at Pathway Memory
Care, suffering "Gruesome Injuries" - How can families
better protect loved ones
By Tucker Sutherland, editor
August 29, 2016 – The reports of
elderly people being harmed in care facilities due to neglect or
incompetence seems to be a growing, and this case of an
85-year-old man left unsupervised who fell from his wheelchair
into a fire ant bed appears to be another example that worries
those with family members in care centers.
March 9, 2016 – A bill introduced in the House
of Representatives this week,the Credit for Caring Act, that
supports America’s family caregivers by offering a federal tax
credit of up to $3,000 for those who qualify, has won the support of
unpaid caregivers assist about 8 million older adults
Feb. 15, 2016 - Being a caregiver for an older adult
isn’t easy. A new study suggests that family and unpaid
caregivers who provide substantial help with health care
were more likely to miss out on valued activities, have
a loss of work productivity and experience emotional,
physical and financial difficulties, according to an
article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.
looks for hospice visits in last two days if life
Feb. 8, 2016 - A new study raises serious
concern about hospice care – or lack of - being delivered to
Medicare patients. It finds the dying are less likely to be visited
by professional staff in the last two days of life if they were
black, dying on a Sunday or receiving their care in a nursing home.
Video tells the success story from Portland,
Feb. 5, 2016 - Many of us who are fervent about
society helping meet the dire needs of senior citizens that are
unable to help themselves, fail to realize the daily challenge of
millions of seniors who need transportation to get to and from their
dialysis treatment, their stroke rehab, or other life-saving
services. There are some, however, that are very much aware and are
making things happen to give new hope to these seniors.
Patient preferences, Medicare, technology,
hospice care all factors
Watch video report
Feb. 3, 2016 - Two decades ago, the majority of
deaths in the U.S. due to terminal illness were reported to occur in
the hospital. The first international comparative study of
end-of-life care practices finds the U.S. now has the lowest
proportion of deaths in the hospital and the lowest number of days
in the hospital in the last 6 months of life among seven developed
Jan. 13, 2016 -
Daphne Brown, 65, was putting away
the dishes in her Washington kitchen
when she fell to the floor. Jane
Bulla, 82, fell at home in Laurel,
Maryland, but managed to call for
help with the cellphone in her
Two other robots on tap to help visually impaired; promote curiosity and determination in children
Dec. 3, 2015 –A four-legged robot that enhances mobility, so that the elderly can remain physically active and enjoy a healthier life with reduced reliance on the assistance of caregivers or expensive home renovations has been announced as A new project of the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), the National Institutes of Health. More...
In 2025, over 24 million will be living in U.S. after cancer diagnosis
Nov. 18, 2015 - The number of cancer survivors — people who live after a cancer diagnosis — is at almost 14 million and expected to grow substantially over the next few decades as the U.S. population ages and early detection methods and treatments continue to improve. More...
Falls and brawls top list of causes for eye injuries in U.S., treatment cost jumps 62% in 10
Nov. 16, 2015 - Falling and fighting top the list of major causes of eye injuries resulting in hospitalization over a 10-year period, says a new study. Falling was the leading cause, usually involved seniors age 60 or older, which were the most costly to treat. More...
Nov. 9, 2015 - It may seem counterintuitive that exercise could help people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, but a new study being presented today finds that a
low-impact exercise program is improving quality of life for many older adults with these conditions. More...
Study rejects biologic age as limiting factor for stem cell transplants
Nov. 5, 2015 - More than 40 percent of older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) can remain in long-term cancer remission through a modified, less aggressive approach to donor stem cell transplantation, according to the results of a phase 2 study led by oncologists at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
New study cites safety concerns, calls for alternatives
Oct. 21, 2015 - More than three-quarters of senior citizens receiving an antipsychotic prescription in 2010 had no documented clinical psychiatric diagnosis during the year. These drugs are known to be high risk of serious side effects – especially for older adults – yet the seniors being treated with antipsychotic medications increases with age.
- Antibiotics are prescribed
incorrectly to ailing nursing home residents up to 75 percent of the time, the nation’s public health watchdog says. The reasons vary — wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong duration or just unnecessarily – but the consequences are scary, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More...
Shingles is one being skipped the most; are you up-to-date?
Sept. 15, 2015 - Three out of four Americans older than 60 don’t get a shingles vaccine to protect themselves from the virus’ miseries: rashes over the face and body, stinging pain that can last for weeks or months and the threat of blindness.
Vaccine recommendations for senior citizens by U.S. government
Sept. 15, 2015 - The U.S. government has an on-going campaign encouraging senior citizens to get a set of vaccinations recommended by the National Vaccine
Program office. Following are the vaccines you need and how to learn more about them.
Advice for older people on staying safe in hot weather; risk of heat-related health problems increases with age
July 9, 2015 - Summer weather can pose special health risks to older adults and people with chronic medical conditions. It is critically important that the elderly, especially those most susceptible to hyperthermia and other heat-related illnesses, know how to safeguard against these threats. More...
was just lying there being eaten alive' - said Billie Pender, who had
repeatedly complained about a broken windowsill in mother’s room
By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News
May 14, 2015, Lockhart, Texas - The
call from the nursing home came just before dawn, jolting Martha
Sherwood awake. During the night, fire ants had swarmed over her
85-year-old mother, injecting their stinging venom into Natalie Sealy’s
face, arms, hands and chest. “She was just lying there being eaten
alive,” said daughter Billie Pender.
New Genworth cost of care study has
some good news – home health care cost increasing slower than facility
April 10, 2015 –
For senior citizens it may be hard to not get depressed when reading the
latest report from Genworth on the cost of long term care in the U.S. It
just keeps on climbing at a pace well above inflation or the growth in
Social Security benefits. The 2015 Cost of Care study has one bit of
better news, however, the cost of home health care, which most seniors
seem to prefer, is rising more gradually than the cost of care in
nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Wireless says it is affordable, contract-free wireless plan
to offering seniors flexibility and convenience
March 24, 2015 – The number of senior
citizens in the U.S. keeps expanding as older Americans
continue to extend the average age of longevity. There is a
price – we must consistently maintain our health. Now, a
company – Seniors Wireless – wants to make it easier and
affordable. Today they introduced a program that provides
seniors age 55 and older unlimited, direct access to
board-certified doctors via telephone or video, for any
reason, anytime and anywhere for one dollar a day.
May aid caretakers,
physicians to prepare, help patients, families make
difficult personal decisions
9, 2015 – Death is an unpleasant subject but its
inevitability has become well recognized by the time we
reach our senior years. It is something most senior citizens
have had to deal with up close and personal. A new study in
the journal Cancer that identifies the eight highly specific
physical and cognitive signs associated with imminent death
in cancer patients.
Concerned that someone in your family has been abused in a
nursing home, >Click
Family member asked whether the
dying person - age 50 plus - suffered pain, depression or periodic confusion
By Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News
Feb. 3, 2015 - It’s been more than 15 years since the Institute of
Medicine released its
seminal 1997 report detailing the suffering many Americans
experience at the end of life and offering sweeping recommendations on
how to improve care. So has dying in America gotten any less painful?
People living alone are
less likely to take medicine, wait longer to see doctor,
live less healthy lives
20, 2015 – A study of adults in western Sweden, who had
experienced a stroke before the age of 70, found those who
live alone are the most likely to die within 12 years but
men have a considerably greater risk of dying prematurely
than women or men who live with a partner.
Study finds those who have fallen in last
two years is more prevalent than in 1998
19, 2015 – Falling is bad news for senior citizens - it is
the most frequent cause of injury in older adults in the
U.S. and leads to substantial disability and mortality. The
really bad news is that despite increased cautions to
seniors about these dangers the number of people 65 and
older that are falling is increasing.
Dec. 15, 2014 - Ever been lost on a new
trail on a hike? Or confused between north and south in a
new city? Or after a certain age, unsure if you really took
that anti-cholesterol pill last night, or was it the blood
pressure pill? They kind-of look the same. Your gut may
soon provide the answer.
National Hospice and
Palliative Care Organization expands its available video resources to
focus on advance care planning, grief, caregiving and more
Dec. 4, 2014 – Hospice and palliative care are
things we seldom think about. So, many of us have just a foggy idea of
what it is, and, too often, have to get a crash course when the need
arises. Senior citizens and their caregivers need to be better informed
and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is making it
easier with a group of videos that can be viewed free online.
Streamlined information-sharing is in development now
by University of Missouri researchers
20, 2014 – It will be great when technology has developed the ability to
monitor senior citizens that are at risk of falling in their homes,
alerts first responders of a fall and then forwards necessary health
information to the hospital about to receive the patient. Such
streamlined information-sharing is in development now by University of
Doctors, nurse practitioners and physician
assistants have long list of reasons they skip end-of-life care
in counseling heart patients
June 4, 2014 - Healthcare providers are
reluctant to discuss end-of-life care with heart failure
patients and their families because they feel uncomfortable
broaching the topic or lack time, according to a new study
presented this morning at the Quality of Care and Outcomes
Research 2014 Scientific Sessions.
Many seniors don't realize long-term care is not a
regular service of Medicare
By Steve Tripoli, NPR News,
NPR’s Shots blog.
May 29, 2014 - One of the toughest
money decisions Americans face as they age is whether to buy long-term
care insurance. Many people don't realize that Medicare usually doesn't
cover long-term care, yet lengthy assisted-living or nursing home stays
can decimate even the best-laid retirement plan.
Technique called DICE helps manage the most troubling
symptoms of dementia, lessen use of drugs by building link between
caregivers, patients and health providers; recommended by Medicare
21, 2014 - A new approach to handling agitation, aggression and other
unwanted behaviors by people with dementia may help reduce the use of
antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs in this population, and make
life easier for them and their caregivers, a team of experts says. It
has already become a part of Medicare’s recommended toolkit for carrying
for dementia patients.
Tackle tough medical, nursing tasks; less likely to
get support from family, friends, health care professionals
April 14, 2014 - Spouses who are caregivers not
only perform many of the tasks that health care professionals do - a
range of medical/nursing tasks including medication management, wound
care, using meters and monitors, and more - but they are significantly
more likely to do so than other family caregivers, who are mostly adult
Study suggests elderly Americans are completing
living wills and appointing health care surrogates more than ever before
April 2, 2014 - A record number of elderly people
are completing living wills to guide end-of-life medical treatments – up
from 47 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2010 – according to new
research from the University of Michigan and the Veterans Affairs Ann
Arbor Healthcare System.
Two medical groups continue to recommend annual
mammograms beginning at age 40
April 2, 2014 – Not all physicians are in total
agreement with a report in the Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA) that raises new questions about mammograms. At
present, breast cancer screening based primarily on risk - as discussed
article - would miss the overwhelming majority of breast cancers
present in women and result in thousands of unnecessary deaths each
year, according to a statement from two medical groups closely
associated with mammograms.
were happier when caring for a family member who survived a more severe
March 20, 2014 - Stroke caregivers are happier when
they continue to enjoy their own hobbies and interests, according to new
research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. It
also helps if they are older and the person they are carrying for has
less cognitive impairment, depression or memory problems.
Is this a break-through in health care adjusting to
meet the demands of an aging society that is different than the one we
grew up in?
By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com
March 18, 2014 – Probably more common sense should
be applied to the medical care of older people. A study released today
by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
lauds the accomplishment of international doctors who solved the problem
of a blood test for pulmonary embolism (blood clot in lungs) that was no
longer working for senior citizens. Seniors seem to find themselves
increasingly excluded from certain medical testing due to their advanced
UCLA Longevity Center helping both patients
and caregivers live with diseases that fray their bond of shared
Anna Gorman, KHN Staff Writer,
This KHN story was produced in collaboration
The Washington Post
March 12, 2014 - Just as they had so many
times during the past 60 years, Marianna and Albert
Frankel stepped onto the dance floor. He took her hand in his,
and smiling, waltzed her around the room. “I remembered how it
used to be and we could really do the waltz and he would whirl
me around until I got dizzy,” said Marianna Frankel, 82, who is
10 years younger than her husband.
Confidence an important buffer to the stress of old
age, Concordia University study shows
March 12, 2014 - The importance of boosting
self-esteem is normally associated with the trials and tribulations of
adolescence. But new research from Concordia University shows that it’s
even more important for older adults to maintain and improve upon those
confidence levels as they enter their twilight years. That’s because
boosting self-esteem can help buffer potential health threats typically
associated with the transition into older adulthood.
The risks of hypoglycemic conditions in
elderly should be considered in decisions to prescribe and
March 10, 2014 - Elderly patients 80 years or older
treated with insulin for diabetes were more than twice as likely to
visit the emergency department (ED) and nearly five times more likely to
be hospitalized for insulin-related hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and
insulin-related errors (IHEs).than patients 45 to 64 years old.
"There are four ears listening to what the doctor
By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser
March 1, 2014 - It used to be difficult for
Edith Couturier, an 85-year-old resident of the District of
Columbia, to explain to her adult children on the West Coast all the
details of her medical appointments. But now she doesn't go alone —
she takes along a volunteer "medical note taker."
Large study concludes bereavement does greatly
increase risk but it is still small
Feb. 24, 2014 – A large study has confirmed what
many have suspected – the risk of a heart attack or stroke increases
during the 30 days following the death of a partner, at least for
seniors. But, the good news from this large study is that only a small
fraction of surviving partners suffers these potentially deadly events.
The bad news is that the risk is about double of that for those not
suffering from this bereavement.
Retiring to a warmer climate among
strangers isn’t necessarily a good idea, if it means you are
disconnected from the people who mean the most to you
2014 - Feeling extreme loneliness
can increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14 percent,
according to research by psychologist John Cacioppo, one of the nation’s
leading experts on loneliness.
Thousands of cremated remains stacked up around the
country go unclaimed
Feb. 18, 2014 – Thousands of cremated remains in
the U.S. go unclaimed each year and line the storage shelves of funeral
homes, cremation providers and government agencies across the country. A
new website, founded by Michael Neal, a funeral director in Washington,
Pa., is aimed at linking these remains with their loved ones.
Long-term care at home meets desires of older
patients and can save Medicaid money
Feb. 12, 2014 – What looks like a “win-win” for
everyone – senior citizens and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services – is not turning out that way, according to a new study in the
online Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The seniors
want to age at home, rather than in nursing homes, which can save money
for Medicaid. The problem the study found was that as these older people
eligible for Medicaid and Medicare were moved into community care
there was a 40 percent greater risk of "potentially preventable"
70% who were depressed had received no treatment;
those who were male, Mexican- or African-American or over 80 least
likely to receive treatment
By Milly Dawson, HBNS
Feb. 6, 2014 - A leading cause of disability,
depression rates are increasing in the U.S. and under-treatment is
widespread, especially among certain groups including men, the poor, the
elderly and ethnic minorities, finds a new study in General Hospital
Now patients and their designated
care-givers can not only get info from physicians, but
also directly from laboratories
Feb. 3, 2014 - Patients or someone they designate
will soon have direct access to completed laboratory test reports from
the lab performing the test. As part of an ongoing effort to
empower patients to be informed partners with their
health care providers, the Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services (CMS) and two other agencies in the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) joined forces to issue the new
Editor’s Note: There are over 360
Accountable Care Organizations working with Medicare to provide
higher-quality coordinated care for seniors. Doctors, hospitals and health care
providers establish ACOs to work together to provide better health care, while working to
slow the growth of health care cost.
By Jessie Gruman,
President, Center for Advancing Health
Jan. 16, 2014 -
Have you heard that soon most primary care in the U.S. will be delivered
by teams? Yep. Team-based care is one of the characteristics of the
patient-centered medical home, a way of organizing the care of patients
that allows primary care clinicians to see more patients in a day while
at the same time delivering better care.
“Drinking too much alcohol has
many more health risks than most people realize.”
Alcohol screening and counseling is
an effective but underused health service but most doctors do not raise
the subject with patients: CDC reports
Jan. 8, 2014 - Only one in six
adults - and only one in four binge drinkers - say a health
professional has ever discussed alcohol use with them and senior
citizens are the least likely to have ever had such a discussion,
according to a new Vital Signs report from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘Conceived as a humane alternative to
nursing homes, assisted living facilities typically offer apartment-like
rooms, meals, and help to people too ill or frail to live independently,
most of them elderly’
By A.C. Thompson, ProPublica
Jan. 2, 2014 - The one-story beige
building on Southwest Hill Road in McMinnville, Ore. – an old mill town
between Portland and Salem – has seen plenty of trouble over the years
of its operation as an assisted living facility. Two men have been
jailed for committing sex crimes inside its walls.
Palliative care focuses on improving
the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses, relieving
symptoms, pain and stress - It’s not hospice
By Jenny Gold, KHN Staff Writer
Jan. 2, 2014 - When palliative care specialist Dr.
Tim Ihrig crosses the threshold of the Avelleyras home, he steps over a
doormat that says, "One nice person and one old grouch live here." It doesn’t take long to figure out
who the nice person is.
Cannot cure dementia but there are things that can
keep people with dementia at home longer; Identifying and treating
depression of patients and caregivers may enable them to address their
other unmet needs.
Dec. 19, 2013 - Most people with dementia who live
at home have multiple unmet health and welfare needs, any number of
which could jeopardize their ability to remain home for as long as they
desire, new Johns Hopkins research suggests. The study also suggests
that identifying and treating depression in people with dementia and
their caregivers may enable them to address their other unmet needs.
Increasing age and body mass index just make matters
Dec. 17, 2013 - Health experts see sedentary
behavior – when the effort does not raise the energy required above your
resting level – as a risk factor for poor health. New research on
thousands of senior women finds they spend about two-thirds of their
waking hours in such dangerous behavior.
Age, race, education level, and health status impact
advance directive completion
December 10, 2013 – During the past two decades,
high-profile legal cases surrounding end-of-life decisions have received
widespread attention in the United States, prompting increased media
focus and numerous debates on the subject. Despite this continuing
nationwide dialogue, many Americans still tend to avoid addressing their
own end-of-life (EOL) issues, including the completion of advance
Survey finds 43% of adult children plan discussions
with parents during holiday system on issues of well-being
Dec. 10, 2013 – As families gather during this
holiday season, major topics of discussion by 43 percent of adult
children who will visit their parents or in-laws will include issues
such as health, finances, housing, mobility and memory loss, according
to research commissioned by A Place for Mom, which has created a helpful
"Senior Safety & Well-Being Checklist."
60 percent of flu-related hospitalizations in the
U.S. occur in senior age group; learn about extra-strong vaccine for
senior citizens - flu locator
Dec. 9, 2013 - National Influenza Vaccination Week
opened Sunday and seniors are prime targets of the campaign by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Senior citizens – age 65 and
older – last year recorded the highest flu-related hospitalization rates
since the CDC began tracking this information during the 2005-2006 flu
Concussion secrets unveiled as NIH
scientists film early damage and describe brain’s response to injury -
Dec. 9, 2013 - There is more than meets the eye following even a mild
traumatic brain injury, a serious health concern for seniors.
Approximately 22% of all TBI-related hospitalizations involved
adults aged 75 years and older. While the brain may
appear to be intact, new findings reported in Nature suggest that
the brain’s protective coverings may feel the brunt of the impact.
People over 50 who identified blood pressure
medication by shape, size or color instead of name had poorer adherence,
poorer blood pressure control and an increased risk of hospitalization
By Stephanie Stephens, HBNS Contributing Writer
Dec. 5, 2013 - Older people who identify their
blood pressure medications by shape, size and color instead of by name
may risk poor blood pressure control and increase their risk of
hospitalization, finds a recent study in the
Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. Read
Video series of safety tips, holiday help with
Alzheimer’s patients and website on living with dementia all available
Dec. 3, 2013 – Emeritus Senior Living is promoting
their services for seniors and their caregivers with innovative
information services that are providing useful and helpful information.
The latest include tips on celebrating the holidays with an Alzheimer’s
patient, a video series providing tips to help seniors and caregivers
lead safer and healthier lives and a new website with a variety of
resources for people living with dementia.
Hospitals around U.S. increasingly
starting palliative care, designed to relieve seriously
ill patients’ pain, stress and symptoms regardless of
how long they will live
By Anna Gorman, KHN Staff Writer
Dec. 3, 2013 - Leanne Henry
winced. Five weeks had passed since her liver
transplant, and she hurt just lying still. Katie Schlenker softly
touched her leg. “Are you still in a lot of
pain?” Henry, a petite mother of
five who has been hospitalized since early
September, closed her eyes and nodded. “It’s not
like an ache,” she told her doctor. “It’s pain
that just won’t go away.”
Caring for aging parents is often referred to as the
new mid-life crisis
Nov. 22, 2013 – A new survey of nearly 400 aging
parents and adult children finds the children are generally more
concerned about their aging parent's wellbeing than the older adult is
about his or her own situation.
Scammers are trying to con seniors
into giving out sensitive information while signing them up for plans
they do not need
Nov. 21, 2013 - Fraudsters are
capitalizing on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and
Medicare’s Open Enrollment. The shifts in the healthcare landscape have
prompted some criminals to carry out health care scams targeting
seniors, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Aging-in-place care reduces costly emergency and
residential care – major contributors to soaring Medicare and Medicaid
Nov. 12, 2013 - A report revealing the economic, social and human
considerations of "aging in place" - eldercare that allows seniors to
remain at home - has been issued by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Based on
work with a network of eldercare-related service providers in
Hawaii, NFF's report identifies universal barriers to
aging-in-place as well as solutions that promise to deliver cost savings
while improving the lives of seniors.
New evidence to to help guide shared decision-making
among the patient, family members and care team - see video
Nov. 8, 2013 - Half of elderly patients who start
dialysis after age 75 will
die within one year, according to new research from
Mayo Clinic finds that.
Although, age alone was not a good measure. The findings will being
presented this week at the American
Society of Nephrology's Kidney Week 2013 in Atlanta.
By Ted Doolittle, CMS
Deputy Director, Center for Program Integrity
Nov. 7, 2013 - The Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wants everyone to
join in the fight against fraud, waste, and abuse as
part of our comprehensive strategy to protect
federal health care programs and taxpayer dollars.
We are now making it easier than ever before for
health care providers, managed care plans, and
individuals and families with Medicaid benefits to
use the education and training materials on the new
Medicaid Program Integrity website.
National Diabetes Month emphasized by
National Eye Institute to highlight a leading cause of vision loss in
1, 2013 - If you are one of more than 11 million seniors with diabetes,
you probably already know the importance of watching your diet and
keeping track of your blood sugar. But did you know it’s also important
to have regular eye exams? In the United States, diabetic eye disease is
the leading cause of vision loss among working-age adults.
care should not be set aside
simply because you’re getting
older;” statement focuses on
patients age 75 and older
Oct. 31, 2013 —
Strategies to prevent heart attack,
stroke and other major cardiac
events should be individualized for
older adults - age 75 and older -
who should also play a role in
choosing their therapies, according
to an American Heart Association
scientific statement published in
its journal Circulation.
Falls continued to be the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries
(35.2%) in the United States; Falls cause 61% of all TBIs among
adults aged 65 years and older
29, 2013 - Anyone who cares for or just cares
about an older adult - a parent, grandparent, other family member, or even
a close friend - will say they are concerned about keeping their loved one
healthy and independent. But few will say they are worried about a
traumatic brain injury (TBI) robbing their loved one of his or her
independence. That’s because many people simply are unaware that TBI is
a serious health concern for seniors.
Palliative Care Awareness Month; palliative care involvement being introduced too late in an illness -
see video in story
Oct. 28, 2013 -
Palliative care, a specialized, multidisciplinary team approach to
caring for seriously ill people and their families, is often errantly
reduced to end-of-life care. This misconception has led to palliative
care involvement being introduced late in an illness, often depriving
patients and their families of comprehensive symptom control, support
and assistance with complex decision-making throughout the course of
their illness when it could provide the most benefit.
Community health awareness delivered by paramedics
leads to 32 percent reduction in EMS calls
Oct. 20, 2013 - Emergency Medical Service (EMS)
staff are accustomed to responding to emergencies, especially for senior
citizens. A study presented today at the Canadian Cardiovascular
Congress finds they may be able to prevent many emergencies as well,
judging by the preliminary success of a pilot project at a Hamilton
building for seniors.
Taking care of a chronically ill person in your
family is often associated with stress, and caregiving has been
previously linked to increased mortality rates
Oct. 16, 2013 – You can forget about what we have
always heard - that those caregivers who assist chronically ill or
disabled family members undergo tremendous stress that takes years off
their lives. New research says these caregivers enjoy an 18 percent
survival advantage over non-caregivers.
As a 75-year-old I have an opinion on this new JAMA
study finding docs keep on doing PSA screening for old guys despite the
experts advising against it
Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com
Oct. 15, 2013 – Okay, I am 75 years old. I have
sort of stopped telling people my exact age, because most of them
quickly apply the old-age-label to you and begin to treat you as a
has-been. It really hit me when I watched the television show about
zombies – The Living Dead – with some of my grandchildren and one
of the young ones said, “You can tell the zombies because they walk like
‘Older adults face significant health challenges if
their oral health is poor, and there is no coordinated program to help
fund necessary services.’
10, 2013 - The oral health of older Americans is in a state
of decay, according to a new national report released today by Oral
Health America (OHA). It finds more than half of the country received a
"fair" or "poor" assessment when it comes to minimal standards affecting
dental care access for older adults.
Meals on Wheels helps some
Medicaid-receiving seniors stay out of nursing homes, saving 26 of 48
states money allowing more seniors to stay in their own homes
Oct. 7, 2013 - Home-delivered
meals bring not only food to seniors but also the opportunity to remain
in their homes. A new study by Brown University public health
researchers projects that if every U.S. state in the lower 48 expanded
the number of seniors receiving meals by just 1 percent, 1,722 more
Medicaid recipients avoid living in a nursing home and most states would
experience a net annual savings from implementing the expansion.
Alzheimer’s Association to continue linking America
with local resources, 24 hours a day
Sept. 27, 2013 - The
Alzheimer’s Association has been granted up to $985,135 per year over
five years to continue providing a 24-hour phone line for people with
Alzheimer’s disease and those who care for them from the Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS), according to Kathy Greenlee,
administrator of the Administration for Community Living, part of HHS.
shows the two-marker urine test is more effective than PSA test alone,
or PSA testing that’s incorporated into a commonly used online tool -
the Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator
Sept. 25, 2013 - A new urine test
for prostate cancer that measures minute fragments of RNA is now
commercially available to men nationwide through the University of
Michigan Mlabs, according to a news release issued by the Prostate
Cancer Foundation. The new test - Mi-Prostate Score (MiPS) - improves
the utility of the PSA blood test, increases physicians’ ability to pick
out high-risk prostate tumors from low-risk tumors in patients, and may
help tens of thousands of men avoid unnecessary biopsies.
5Star, included in all new GoPlans for Jitterbug,
transforms the phone into a personal medical alert device, company says
Sept. 24, 2013 – The Jitterbug cell phone, designed
for senior citizens and their families, has new service plans offering
unlimited access to medical alert services, medical professionals, and
other exclusive health management tools, all combined with minutes for a
flat monthly fee. GreatCall, Inc., creator of the phone, announced the
new plans last week.
Millions of senior citizens who want to spend as much
of their lives as possible in their homes expected to welcome Labor
Department action making work conditions better for two million care
17, 2013 - Fulfilling a promise by President Obama to ensure that direct
care workers receive a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, the U.S.
Department of Labor announced a final rule today extending the Fair
Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime protections to most of
the nation's workers who provide essential home care assistance to
elderly people and people with illnesses, injuries or disabilities. Read more...
Progression from a localized infection to full-blown
deadly sepsis can occur in mere hours, especially in older people
Sept. 10, 2013 – Sepsis kills more than a million
Americans every year. It's the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
but older adults, especially those with weakened immune systems, chronic
conditions, and those over the age of 85, are most likely to die from
this medical condition that develops when the body initiates a powerful
immune response against an infection.
gather in New Hampshire today to discuss threat to health, the waste of
money by unnecessary care
; Medicare covers annual cognitive test
in wellness visit
2013 – The ongoing debate in medical circles over when people – in
particular senior citizens – should be screened for various afflictions
has not hit the battle against dementia. A political drive, led by the
UK and US, to screen older people for minor memory changes (often called
mild cognitive impairment or pre-dementia) is leading to unnecessary
investigation and potentially harmful treatment for what is arguably an
inevitable consequence of ageing, warn experts on bmj.com today.
Nursing homes moving toward more
patient-center treatment as urged by CMS initiative
Aug. 28, 2013 – The Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cheered new data showing that nursing
homes are moving away from the use of antipsychotic drugs for the
treatment of patients with dementia and other behavioral health
problems. Instead, they are pursuing more patient-centered treatment.Read more...
Seniors over age 65
living in rural North Carolina believe they can control their health
better than a medical professional
By Valerie DeBenedette, HBNS Contributing Writer
Aug. 21, 2013 - A
survey of older rural adults found a high degree of medical skepticism,
the belief that one knows and can control their own health better than a
medical professional can, reports a recent study in the Journal of
Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. For some, these beliefs
correlate with a higher tendency toward self-care.
Seniors kept for observation varies by hospital;
Medicare doesn't pay for expensive follow-up nursing home care for
By Susan Jaffe, KHN
Aug. 1, 2013 - Medicare patients' chances of being
admitted to the hospital or kept for observation depend on what hospital
they go to - even when their symptoms are the same, notes a federal
watchdog agency in a report released Tuesday, which also urges Medicare
officials to count those observation visits toward the
three-inpatient-day minimum required for nursing home coverage.
45 percent have
delirium in recovery room; adverse effects on hospital outcomes;
increased nursing home admission
July 24, 2013 – Close to half of senior citizens
undergoing surgery with general anesthesia are found to have delirium in
the post anesthesia care unit (PACU), according to a study in the August
issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the
International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).
States struggling with high demand and limited
resources to provide non-Medicaid long-term services and supports
July 16, 2013 - A report highlighting the
challenges facing states in providing long-term services and supports (LTSS)
was released today, just as states begin to implement LTSS options in
the Affordable Care Act that increase access to Medicaid home and
community based services (HCBS). Most states did not increase funding
for non-Medicaid services – including senior centers, information and
referral, transportation and caregiver supports, such as those under the
Older Americans Act.
Most who died were senior citizens, single, living
alone, males; CDC launches new website
June 7, 2013 – The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention are urging people – senior citizens in particular – to
prepare themselves for the extreme heat of summer after releasing a
report showing the U.S. averages 658 deaths a year from this heat – more
than die from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined.
AGS updates tip sheet on what senior citizens and
caregivers need to know about using retail clinics; Wellcare makes deal
for Medicare health plan members
Tucker Sutherland, editor
May 23, 2013 - Health care services by retail
clinics can be a safe option for older adults for occasional, minor
health problems, but should not take the place of an individual’s
primary care provider, according to a newly
tip sheet by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and
Healthinaging.org. A sign of the growing popularity of these clinics
an announcement this week by WellCare Health Plans that it will offer
its Medicare Advantage members access to the more than 370 Take Care
Clinics located at select Walgreens.
‘prehabilitation,’ precursor to rehabilitation, is
recommended at time of diagnosis up until treatment begins; rebab cost
20, 2013 - A majority of cancer survivors will have significant physical
and psychological impairments as a result of treatments and these often
go undetected and/or untreated, resulting in disability, according to a
new review. It finds cancer survivors suffer a diverse and complex set
of impairments, affecting virtually every organ system.
Popular with residents but it had no effect on
depression or general quality of life
May 2, 2013 – Exercise often seems to be an
automatic recommendation for anything that ails a senior citizen. New
research indicates, however, that this common solution for better mental
and physical health has met its match in trying to help elderly living
in nursing homes and assisted living facilities escape from depression.
Ethnic minorities, rural residents least likely to
call 911 at onset of a stroke as recommended by American Heart
April 30, 2013 — Time is critical to stroke victims
but more than a third don’t get to the hospital by ambulance, even
though that’s the fastest way to get help, according to new research in
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American
Heart Association journal.
Spread of E. coli ST131 already a pandemic but has
received little attention in the U.S. – ‘making development of
strategies to halt further emergence and spread of these strains a
public health priority’
March 12, 2013 - Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia
coli (E. coli) continues to proliferate, driven largely by expansion of
a strain of E. coli know as sequence type ST131. A new study points to
hospitals and long-term care facilities (LTCF) as settings in which this
antibiotic-resistant strain is increasingly found, particularly among
Women's premiums may increase by 20 to 40 percent
under the new pricing policy: they live longer than men
Michelle Andrews, KHN, Insuring Your Health
27, 2013 - Starting next year, the Affordable Care Act
will largely prohibit insurers
who sell individual and small-group health policies from charging women
higher premiums than men for the same coverage. Long-term-care insurance, however, isn't bound by
that law, and the country's largest provider of such coverage has
announced it will begin setting its prices based on sex this spring.
‘Cases of diabetic
retinopathy among people aged 65 or older will quadruple to 9.9 million’
- State Independent Living Council Stresses You Are Not Alone
22, 2013 - For most people, age brings a decline in vision. Some of the
most frequently diagnosed age-related diseases trigger the loss of
vision or blindness, including cataracts, age-related macular
degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
NHPCO calls for earlier and more frequent
conversations between patients and healthcare professionals
6, 2013 – Research published yesterday in JAMA found the rate of
hospice use doubled from 2000 to 2009 but 28 percent of these
dying Medicare patients used the service three days or less.
This is “a call for action,” says a statement from the
Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
The use of hospice care has doubled but it tends to
be for a very short period before death - see video
Feb. 5, 2013 – In a study that included data on
more than 800,000 Medicare patients who died between 2000 - 2009, a
lower proportion died in an acute care hospital in recent years,
although both intensive care unit (ICU) use and the rate of health care
transitions increased during the last month of life, according to a
study appearing in the February 6 issue of JAMA.
Medicare pays for most hospice care
and a patient's doctor and hospice medical director must certify patient
has 6 months or less to live; patients must agree not to seek curative care
Jan. 23, 2013 - Many people who are
terminally ill delay entering hospice care until just a few days or
weeks before they die, in part because they or their families don't want
to admit that there's no hope for a cure.
Review by International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)
Nutrition Working Group examines role of nutrition in sarcopenia,
with focus on protein, vitamins D and B, and acid-based diet.
Jan. 18, 2013 - Sarcopenia - the decrease in the amount and quality of muscle
- is a common consequence of aging, and poses a
significant risk factor for disability in older adults. Falling,
which can lead to fractures and other injuries for seniors, is often caused by
poor muscle strength resulting from sarcopena.
U. of Florida
researchers think they have opened the way for research to move
forward on hearing-loss drugs for older and younger Americans
Jan. 17, 2013 –
A pill to make you hear better? A joy to millions of senior citizens
suffering with hearing loss. It maybe closer than you think.
University of Florida researchers say they have solved one of the
problems that has slowed development of a hearing pill.
even suggest there may be survival benefits associated with overweight,
mild obesity among the elderly
15, 2013 – Putting senior citizens age 75 and up – described as of
“advanced age” - on an overly restrictive diet to treat their excess
weight and other conditions appears to have little benefit, according to
researchers at Penn State and Geisinger Healthcare System.
One company offers radar beam for in-home monitoring of vital signs,
activities of daily living and falls; another collects data from motion,
temperature, door, chair, bed, pill box sensors, caller ID information
to catch telephone scams
2013 - In an inconspicuous control room at the Sioux Falls, S.D.,
headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, nurses
keep round-the-clock watch on motion and humidity sensors in the living
rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms of elderly men and women in five states.
People who develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
are typically age 65 and older, but participants in CLL clinical trials
are usually several years younger
12, 2012 – Although most people are age 65 or older – senior citizens –
when they develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), most of the
clinical trials use younger participants. And, age is not usually
considered when treatment is determined. A new study says this is a
mistake – the therapies should be different for older CLL patients and
younger ones, although the disease is incurable.
Seniors citizens and caregivers may find these simple
ideas to be very easy to use and helpful in meeting a challenge many
older people face - see video winner
Dec. 10, 2012 – Some very good ideas that could
even be lifesavers have been selected winners in a contest seeking ideas
on how people can use technology to help them remember to take their
medications – a significant problem among senior citizens. The top four
entries and the popular choice award all received cash prizes but the
real reward will come from helping assure patients take their meds as
10, 2012 - Editor’s Note: Too often baby
boomers and senior citizens ignore the Medicaid program, assuming they
will never need that medical assistance for the poorest. It also happens
too often that many who thought that find they do, as medical, housing
and long-term care expenses devour their nest egg. Medicaid becomes the
last resort for survival. It has become a real focus of controversy as
federal and state governments struggle to fund it. This report focuses
on possible solutions for those seniors who qualify for Medicare and
Medicaid – the “dual-eligibles,” they are called - as well a younger
patients who cannot afford care.
Read more, see
Legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski teams with author
Ellyn Spragins to release "Had I Known Then," A collection of letters
from former joint pain sufferers to their younger selves
Dec. 7, 2012 – In a unique way to encourage those
with joint pain to consider joint replacement, an orthopedics company
has published an online booklet that features a U.S. Olympics coach and
several others who regret not having their painful joints replaced
earlier. Senior citizens and baby boomers, the most likely to have
debilitating osteoarthritis, often delay hip or knee replacement surgery
for years due to fear, misinformation or a lack of awareness about
Read more, see
Tel Aviv University research finds a 20-25 percent
reduction in pressure ulcers with a fish oil enriched diet; maybe it has
a role in general pain management, too
Dec. 4, 2012 - Chock-full of Omega-3 fatty acids
and antioxidants, fish oil can help lower blood pressure, reduce
inflammation in the skin and joints, and promote healthy fetal
development. Now, a Tel
Aviv University researcher has found that it has a positive
effect on bedsores, too - a common problem in critically ill patients.
People with cancer are significantly happier than
those with urinary incontinence, but new research seeks ‘debility’ score
Nov. 13, 2012 – It is well established that how
unhappy a disease makes older people is determined by the degree to
which it disrupts their daily life. A new research project, however, has
now found a way to measure how much a disease disrupts daily function.
Almost every stereotype we associate with being
elderly is something negative, from being ‘crotchety’ and unwilling to
change to being forgetful
Nov. 12, 2012 -Many baby boomers, just a short time
away from becoming senior citizens, really want to improve the way
people view aging. Too often, however, they reinforce negative
stereotypes of old age when interacting with their own parents, coloring
the way those seniors experience their twilight years.
Amount of care and assistance from informal
caregivers had an important impact on self-care ability and
Nov. 12, 2012 – Elderly patients being treated in
home healthcare after a stay in the hospital are much less likely to
return to the hospital if they experience strong “social environmental
factors,” especially if this care is provided by a family member or
other informal caregiver.
Study is among first to show that the ‘quality’ of
relationships is important to survival - family, community, religious
12, 2012 —The quality of a woman's social
networks - the personal relationships that surround her -
appears to be just as important as the size of her networks in
predicting breast cancer survival. Kaiser Permanente scientists found
women with small networks and low levels of support were 61 percent more
likely to die from breast cancer and other causes than those with small
networks and high levels of support.
second term will be about bringing the law to life; Obama
reelection, Democrats holding the Senate will solidify the
law in American history - see editor's notes on benefits for
By Jay Hancock, KHN Staff Writer
Nov. 7, 2012 - President Barack Obama’s
victory cements the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage
to millions but leaving weighty questions about how to pay
for it and other care to be delivered to an increasingly
unhealthy, aging population.
Dramatic one-hour radio show by Tom Ashbrook has
already generated 230 comments - available online
19, 2012 – Assisted suicide, euthanasia, right to die, death with
dignity – or whatever it’s called -is an unpleasant topic that most had
rather not discuss but it grabs the attention of many seniors. Tom
Ashbrook of the radio show “On Point,” has lots of people talking,
mostly about the voting taking place in Massachusetts that may make it
insurance companies are slow to pay and have been known to deny
By Kristian Foden-Vencil, Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oct. 17, 2012 - Long-term care insurance is
the financial equivalent of doing push-ups -- it's good for you,
but not too much fun. As a result, not many people buy long-term
care insurance, which pays for care when they get too old or
sick to take care of their basic needs like cooking or bathing.
The Joint Commission releases 'Speak Up: What you
need to know about your serious illness and palliative care' – advice to
help patients, families cope; see video
Oct. 11, 2012 – Palliative care is still not a
well-known or understood service, although it has proven to help many
patients and the families of patients living with a serious illness or
health problem in dealing with emotional, physical and spiritual
concerns. A new educational campaign has been launched by The Joint
Commission that may heighten awareness of this special health care.
Authors say high Medicare SNF benefit use at the end
of life highlights a need to incorporate quality palliative care
services in nursing home
Oct. 1, 2012 – Most Medicare patients enroll in
skilled nursing facility (SNF) care for rehabilitation or
life-prolonging care, but in reality, many are dying patients discharged
to a SNF for end-of-life care, where the available care may not be
available. A new report finds that almost one-third of Medicare senior
citizens received care in a SNF in the last six months of their lives
under the Medicare post-hospitalization benefit. A reason for this shift
may be the cost.
Anxious seniors or their caregivers often sign every
document that's put in front of them, perhaps only glancing at the
By Michelle Andrews
Sept. 18, 2012 - When Paul Ormond signed John
Mitchell into a nursing home in Dennis, Mass., in June, he was handed a
few dozen pages of admission papers. Ormond, Mitchell's legal guardian
and an old friend, signed wherever the director of admissions told him
to. Read more...
Free blood pressure screenings today (Sept. 15) in all Walmart stores offering immunizations; also on Sept. 22 and 29
10, 2012 – Sam’s Club announced it is joining Walmart to offer 10 vital immunizations this cold and flu season at all 552 Sam’s Club locations
with a pharmacy, which will open to the public. In partnership with Mollen Immunization Clinics, Walmart and Sam’s Club are offering a menu of
10 immunizations by registered nurses through November 15, including shingles, flu and pneumonia. The program began Aug. 27 at the 3,800
Walmarts with pharmacies.
American Geriatrics Society Foundation launches website to help seniors and caregivers manage complex health issues,
2012 - Providing the up-to-date, expert health information that all older adults - especially those with multiple, complex health problems -
and their caregivers need, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Foundation for Health in Aging launched its new website,
Healthinaging.org, on Wednesday.
Latest criteria since 2003 to identify commonly prescribed drugs that are potentially risk for seniors
Sept. 14, 2012 - The American Geriatrics Society, which published an
updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults
on March 1, 2012, has now added a number of tools to help caregivers protect senior citizens from a wide range of dangerous
medications. These dangerous drugs can cause serious side effects and adverse events in people 65 and older and was last
revised in 2003.
Older adults generally open to robot assistance in the home, but preferred it for daily living tasks rather than personal
Sept. 13, 2012 – Research has well established that the elderly in the U.S. prefer to maintain their independence and
remain in their homes as they age. A key to making this possible can be robotic technology. A new study has produced results that surprised
many – seniors are not opposed to a little robotic help, but they are a little picky about which things robots should do for them.
Next month Medicare will prod hospitals to improve their practices; Those with high readmissions for heart attack,
pneumonia, and heart failure will get paid less
By Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director, Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality
Sept. 11, 2012 - If you or a loved one has ever been in the hospital for a serious condition, the last thing you want is
a fast return trip. But that's what happens to 1 in 5 patients covered by Medicare, the health insurance program for people 65 and older,
a major studyfound. Hospital readmissions within 30 days are costly for Medicare and for patients.
Watch video by pharmacy professor on basics of medication management
Aug. 22, 2012 - As researchers develop high tech solutions like smartphone apps, computerized tools and even ingestible
devices to help individuals taking multiple medications manage their pills, it becomes increasingly important to not forget the simple stuff.
And, this can be critical for seniors – the most often to visit emergency rooms with drug reactions.
Plans F and C are the most popular supplemental
plans, chosen by nearly two-thirds of beneficiaries; Will increasing premiums be slowed?
By Michelle Andrews
Aug. 20, 2012 - Occasionally, this column answers reader questions about
health insurance and how the health law affects them. How will the new health law affect
Medigap policies? I’m on Medicare with a Medigap Plan F. Premiums are rising 20 percent a year.
It’s a real strain for me?
Seniors using these neighborhood clinics now almost 20% of all traffic
Aug. 16, 2012 - Fast-growing retail medical clinics are attracting senior citizen patients and delivering more preventive
care, particularly flu shots and other vaccinations, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation.
Will help at-risk feel confident about safety of foods they prepare, eat; helpful to physicians, health care providers to educate at-risk patients
Aug. 9, 2012 – A booklet – Food Safety for Older Adults – is one of six being published by the Food and Drug
Administration and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide food safety advice developed specifically for the needs of people most
vulnerable to food poisoning and those who prepare food for them.
Cataracts most common cause of fractures due to visual impairment; cataracts cause 49% of neck fractures related to
poor vision -
features cataract surgery on 95-year-old retired professor, Melvin Seeman
31, 2012 - Medicare patients 65 years and older - senior citizens - who underwent cataract surgery had a lower odds of hip fracture
one year after the procedure, when compared with patients with cataract who did not have cataract surgery, according to a study in the August
issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
more, see video...
Study says senior citizens with serious illness find smoking, drinking tough habits to break
31, 2012 – Those who frequent hospitals are often shocked to see a frail senior citizen sitting in a wheelchair smoking a cigarette outside
the hospital. A new study confirms this is not uncommon. It found only 19 percent of those suffering from lung disease quit smoking and
concludes that to change behavior in many of these seniors is a daunting task.
YourTurnToCare.org designed for national audience of caregivers for the elderly; companion to TV series
July 31, 2012 —
KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station serving Southern
and Central California, has launched
Your Turn To Care, a “robust” website designed to serve as a resource for
families, caregivers and seniors across the country who are faced with the challenge of taking care of ailing or aging loved ones or dealing
with aging-related issues.
Assisted living poorly defined, typically includes a broad range of options with varying levels of care; offers
alternatives to nursing home care for some
By Katherine Kahn, Contributing Writer
July 10, 2012 - A new study finds an association between an increase in assisted living options, which provide older
adults with an array of services such as help with everyday tasks in homelike settings, and a decline in nursing home occupancy. This shift in
delivery of care has both positive and negative implications for seniors.
July 10, 2012 - If you hire a caregiver from an agency for an elderly family member, you might assume the person had
undergone a thorough criminal background check and drug testing, was experienced and trained for the job. You’d be wrong in many cases,
according to new Northwestern Medicine research.
When a cure
for cancer is no longer an option, the focus of care often shifts from prolonging life to promoting the quality of life
July 9, 2012 - Better quality of life at the end of life for patients with advanced cancer was associated with avoiding
hospitalizations and the intensive care unit, worrying less, praying or meditating, being visited by a pastor in a hospital or clinic, and
having a trusting alliance with their physician, according to a report published Online First by
Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network
Among findings by Bureau of Labor – oldest spend most time on leisure or sports and religion; least on
July 9, 2012 - In 2011, 16 percent of the U.S. civilian non-institutional population age 15 and over were
eldercare providers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. This and other information about eldercare providers and the time they spent
providing care were collected for the first time in the 2011 American Time Use Survey (ATUS).
Postoperative delirium a common complications in hospitalized senior citizens over 65; may be key to improve
recovery of cognitive ability
5, 2012 - Older patients undergoing cardiac surgery often experience changes in cognitive function, such as memory problems or an
inability to focus, in the days immediately following their operations. While these changes are usually temporary, for unknown
reasons, a significant number of cardiac patients will encounter long-term cognitive problems, lasting as long as a year after their
Researchers say sex is good for health and well-being; formal policies needed
June 28, 2012 - Older
people, including those with early stage dementia, often continue to enjoy a sexual relationship in their own homes, but once they move into
residential care, lawful and consensual sexual expression is frequently frowned upon, report specialists from the Australian Centre for
Evidence Based Aged Care in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
Stratford Retirement is making the new guide free to help people make informed decisions about the costs of senior
26, 2012 - Caregivers and the elderly searching for assisted living facilities in
the United States
now have a new resource to help guide them through the maze of payment options associated with care facilities.
Caregiver must become dependable all-around partner; these five tips can relax patient as they heal - know the train has a
By Guy Magar, Hollywood Director
June 22, 2012 - Whether it’s your wife or husband or child, or a relative or close friend you are caring for, it is paramount that you
become the best caregiver possible for your loved one. As a caregiver for my wife Jacqui during her brave journey to beat
AML (acute myeloid leukemia), here
is what I learned and can share as I honor and applaud caregivers everywhere.
Among patients older than 80 years, living alone was not associated with an increased risk of mortality
June 18, 2012 - Living alone was associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular death for middle-aged
people and seniors up to 80 years old in an international study of stable outpatients at risk of or with arterial vascular disease (such as
coronary disease or peripheral vascular disease).
‘Loneliness is a common source of suffering in older persons. We demonstrated that it is also a risk factor for poor health
outcomes including death…’
June 18, 2012 - In older persons, loneliness is known as a common source of distress and impaired quality of life. A new
study, however, finds that loneliness in people over 60 years of age is even more serious – it can lead to functional decline and death.
‘…overuse of antipsychotics is a common and well-recognized problem that puts frail elders at risk and costs taxpayers
hundreds of millions of dollars each year’
May 23, 2012 – Senators from both parties joined with the Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Sen. Herb
Kohl, D-Wis., to propose legislation to combat the costly and inappropriate – yet widespread – use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes.
Study wins grant to disseminate program in Florida; training at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville -
May 18, 2012 - Recent studies show that palliative care interventions aimed at addressing patients' emotional, spiritual
and social needs have a significant impact on cancer patients' quality of life, and may even improve their survival. Despite this, most cancer
patients being cared for in their communities do not have access to these services.
Read more, see video...
Each year, about one-third of seniors experience serious adverse effects as a result of drug interactions, says CVS
executive pharmacist - see video
By Papatya Tankut, vice president, CVS/Pharmacy
May 9, 2012 - If you’re over the age of 60, chances are you’re taking multiple medications. In the last 10 years, the
percentage of people over 60 who take five or more medications has jumped from 22 percent to 37 percent. Right now, there are more than 30
million Americans taking five or more prescription drugs regularly, often called “polypharmacy.”
Read more, see video...
‘Aging is a process where so many things are lost. Part of what seniors try to hold onto
is their independence.’
May 1, 2012 - If a senior citizen’s driving raises concerns, approach the matter
compassionately to preserve the person’s dignity and keep them and others safe, recommends a geriatric specialist with the Harris County (Tx)
Hospital District. The decision to end driving for a senior can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, affecting the person’s
mental state and overall well-being.
Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing focuses on long-term care for senior citizens; The Center for Medicare Advocacy
23, 2012 - The Center for Medicare Advocacy issued a statement last week saying that huge savings in nursing facility costs, and advances in
resident care, could be achieved if facilities eliminated the inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs and provided sufficient staff to meet
Benefit Finder allows citizens to quickly find benefits they may be eligible to receive out of over 1,000 Federally-funded benefit and
April 18, 2012 - Over 50 million U.S. citizens – many of them senior citizens - have turned to Benefits.gov for
life-altering government assistance information since its launch in 2002, according to a statement in the monthly eNewsletter,
of the government website on its 10th anniversary.
Discussion begins about need to create end of life quality measures to inform consumers and provide nursing homes with
incentive to improve care
April 16, 2012 - While nursing homes are the place where an estimated 30 percent of Americans die, there currently exists
no way to compare which institutions do a better job at managing end of life care. A new study appearing this week in the
Journal of Palliative Medicineis starting a discussion over the need to create end of life quality measures in order to both inform consumers and provide nursing
homes with incentive to improve care.
UCLA study finds that most lack access to health insurance, adequate food
11, 2012 – If you have an elderly relative living in a California and being cared for by Medi-Cal caregivers, the odds are the caregivers live
near the poverty level and have poor access to personal health care and food for themselves, says a new study from the UCLA Center for Health
Life-saving drugs in the hands of paramedics cost about $50; mixture of glucose, insulin, potassium
March 27, 2012 - Paramedics can reduce someone's chances of having a cardiac arrest or dying by 50 percent by immediately
administering a mixture of glucose, insulin and potassium ("GIK") to people having a heart attack, according to research presented today at
the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session.
Almost 90 percent say they are satisfied with the long-term care in their nursing home
March 27, 2012 - As loved ones age and face challenges that prevent them from living on their own, family members often
struggle with the decision to place their relatives in nursing homes. Sometimes viewed as last alternatives, long-term care facilities can
have reputations as hopeless, institutionalized environments. A survey in Missouri, however, has found that nearly 90 percent of nursing home
residents and their family members are satisfied with the residents’ long-term care facilities.
Five million in U.S. care for people with dementia; stress puts them at high risk of depression
March 13, 2012 - A
new study out of UCLA suggests that using yoga to engage in very brief, simple daily meditation can lead to improved cognitive functioning and
lower levels of depression for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease victims.
Findings highlight need for longer-term monitoring of depressive symptom severity and change by clinicians, caregivers
March 8, 2012 - Persistent depression symptoms may be associated with significantly greater declines in cognitive
performance in senior patients with coronary artery disease, who underwent cardiac catheterization, according to a study published in the
March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Short telomeres in cellular aging associated with risk for chronic diseases - see second report below on several UCSF
studies of stress damage on telomeres and repair by exercise
Feb. 27, 2012 - The ability to anticipate future events allows us to plan and exert control over our lives, but it may
also contribute to stress-related increased risk for the diseases of aging, according to a study by UCSF researchers.
‘Every adult is going to face this nursing home crisis in some way…’
By Steve Yoder, The Fiscal Times
Jan. 26, 2012 - The latest casualty of the Great Recession may soon be the nation's elderly. Cuts in government payments
for patient care and less construction of new nursing homes are already taking a toll. Add to this the aging baby boom generation and you have
a worst-case scenario in which older people who need full-time care won't be able to get it. “We believe we’re at a tipping point,” says Mark
Parkinson, head of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents nursing homes.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) appear to cause risk to rise with higher doses
Jan. 19, 2012 - Nursing home residents with dementia who use average doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
are three times more likely to have an injurious fall than similar people who don’t use these drugs.
GTC sets goal on worldwide network, ships more miniature GPS devices to Aetrex Shoes
Jan. 18, 2012 – Caregivers are increasingly turning to miniature 2-way GPS embedded in shoes to monitor the location of
senior citizens afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, according to GTX Corp. The company announced the second delivery of 1,500 GPS
devices to footwear-maker Aetrex Worldwide.
Medicare testing if expanding services will improve care, lower costs for seniors and other disabled
Dec. 20, 2011 - Up to 10,000 Medicare patients with chronic conditions will now be able to get most of the care they need
at home under a new demonstration announced today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
40% of seniors cared for by home health agency are taking a prescription that is potentially unsafe or
ineffective; Affordable Care Act offers hope
Dec. 2, 2011 – Senior citizens receiving home health care may be in danger of taking a drug that is unsafe or ineffective
for older people, says a new study that found nearly 40 percent of seniors receiving medical care from a home health agency are taking at
least one prescription medication that is considered potentially inappropriate for their age.
Hospice patients have an estimated life expectancy of 6 months or less; about 69% receive care at home from a family
Nov. 30, 2011 - Family Caregivers for hospice patients are “second order patients” themselves and should be routinely
assessed for stress that may signal their own care needs, according to a study by Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, University of Kentucky.
‘..greatest challenge may be simply preparing physicians to talk about end-of-life care with their patients, … it can
be an intensely emotional and difficult’
By Jessica Marcy
Nov. 16, 2011 - A
poll released Tuesday found that an overwhelming majority of doctors support
palliative care, with 96 percent responding that they believe enhancing the quality of life for seriously ill patients is more important than
extending life as long as possible. Despite these sentiments, many physicians responded that they have some hesitations about palliative care
and that there are barriers to its full adoption.
New Caretaker Quickly Marries
87-Year-Old, Changes Will in Her Favor
11/9/11 – Jewell
Hall, 87, hired Marjorie Messer as his caretaker and she quickly became his wife, and changed his will. Hall’s guardian, Carol Bertsche,
is now in Probate Court in San Antonio, Texas, seeking to have the marriage annulled. Hall has been diagnosed with “serious dementia.”
Messer has also been charged with “theft from elderly by deception.”
San Antonio Express-News
About half the cut in payment rate in 2012 - 2011 was result of provision in
2010 health law that lowered the fees
By Phil Galewitz,
Capsules: The KHN Blog
Nov. 2, 2011 - Medicare will
cut payment rates to home health agencies by 2.3 percent in 2012 — the sixth
consecutive annual decrease in fees to the industry. The decision, which will lop off an estimated $430 million from the program next year,
follows concerns by a congressional advisory panel that the agencies are overpaid.
Losing the ability to communicate frightens all caregivers the most, says survey for National Family Caregivers Association
Oct. 25, 2011 – Family caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients are most fearful of the health and physical decline of their
loved one, and right behind that is their concern about their relative’s loss of the ability to communicate. This communications decline is
also a major source of stress, since it hinders their ability to provide optimum care.
Developed in response to needs for clear, unbiased information about caregiving
Sept. 21, 2011 - Five new fact sheets detailing critical issues in caregiving and long-term care in the U.S. have been
released by the Family Caregiver Alliance's National Center on Caregiving.
Australian SMILE study tested ‘clown doctors,’ found 20% reduction in agitation - comparable to anti-psychotic drugs
Sept. 21, 2011 - Humor therapy is as effective as widely used antipsychotic drugs in managing agitation in patients with
dementia and avoids serious drug side effects, says a new study to be presented this week at the National Dementia Research Forum in Sydney,
The more memory complaints senior citizens have, the worse off their cognitive functioning
2011 – Family members and physicians need to be aware that what may at first seem to be the memory lapses in senior citizens that come with
aging, may actually be cognitive problems that are far more serious, according to findings published today in the
Journal of the American
Geriatrics Society. Read more...
Demand for workers fueled in part by stepped-up efforts to keep seniors and the disabled out of
Jessica Marcy, KHN Staff Writer
WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 16, 2011 - At her home health care agency here, Venus Ray quizzes 65 job applicants
assembled before her: Can they cook? Do they know the right way to wash their hands? Can they safely transfer patients into
wheelchairs? If they give wrong answers, speak English poorly or — God forbid — forget to turn off their cell phones, she asks them to
At 92, Mabel Bean of Weymouth plays piano
for elders over the phone
- Mabel Pratt Bean, 92, Weymouth, plays the piano for people over the telephone. She doesn't get out as much anymore but she calls
friends, and others who would like to have a spirit lifting song played for them. “Are you busy? It’s Mabel,” she’ll say, when she calls
up a friend, family member, or someone who could use an uplifting tune.
Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Mass.
Sen. Kohl releases GAO report showing need for strong screening of those making financial decisions for incapacitated
Aug. 11, 2011 – There is a greater need for screening and oversight of guardians appointed to make financial decisions
for senior citizens and other adults that are incapacitated – primarily on Social Security - says Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), Chairman of the
Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Medicare’s Low-Income Subsidy is easy to check for eligibility, says CMS
9, 2011 - Some senior citizens and others in Medicare could qualify for assistance with their prescription drug costs, and be
eligible this year to pay no more than $2.50 for generic drugs and $6.30 for each brand name drug. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services estimates more than 2 million people may be eligible for the subsidy, but are not currently enrolled.
Caregivers fail to understand what is important to their relatives
Aug. 1, 2011 – Caregivers, too often, fail to understand what is important to their relatives suffering with mild to
moderate dementia, which results in frustration for the patient, according to a study from Penn State and the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging.
Study confirms drug costs are significant barrier to effective medical treatment
1, 2011 – Despite the high cost of drugs for cancer treatment, the cost burden may be no greater for these patients than for other senior
citizens on Medicare. A new study finds one in ten of Medicare’s elderly do not stick to their prescribed medication due to the expense.
Increasingly complicated procedures are routinely expected of family caregivers
By Jennifer Ludden, NPR News
July 18, 2011 - A new study by the AARP estimates that for the more than 40 million Americans caring for an elderly or
disabled loved one, the value of their work is $450 billion a year. That's a good deal for society. But for the family members doing the work,
the study finds they need a lot more help.
‘… if you have a cardiac arrest 200 miles away or on our doorstep, the quality of the outcomes is identical’ - What is
cardiac arrest? - see below news story
July 12, 2011 - A broad, regional system to lower the temperature of resuscitated cardiac arrest patients at a
centrally-located hospital improved outcomes, according to a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Cooling
treatment, or therapeutic hypothermia, is effective yet underused, researchers said.
Whooping cough (Pertussis), increasing since 2007, is highly contagious; outbreaks among elderly in nursing homes and
July 11, 2011 – Senior citizens – people age 65 and older – no longer have to get separate vaccinations to prevent
tetanus and diphtheria. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the Boostrix vaccine, which will prevent both of these diseases,
plus pertussis (whooping cough), which is increasing among the elderly.
Cancer more likely in senior citizens - everyday
damage to cells and genes eventually builds up; cells don't die when
they should, cancer may be next
By the National Cancer Institute
8, 2011 - In many American families, including those from minority
populations, people from a wide range of ages live together under the
same roof. The elder folk in these homes face what are called the
“diseases of aging,” including hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and
cancer. Cancer is a common event among older people, and as we age the
risk increases, even if no one in our family has had the disease.
U.S. seniors visit ERs more than other age groups;
review covers patients from the USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, New
Zealand and Israel
June 6, 2011 - More needs to be done to improve the
care that older adults with cognitive impairment - including dementia
and delirium - receive when they visit hospital emergency departments,
according to a research review in the July issue of the Journal of
Council on aging says Older Americans Month good time
for seniors to check on 2,000 benefits programs
11, 2011 - In recognition of Older Americans Month, the National Council
on Aging (NCOA) encourages seniors to take advantage of all of the
online services offered through its BenefitsCheckUp.org web site, which
helps senior citizens find local assistance organizations.
Genworth Study helps senior citizens and caregivers
compare local costs; assisted living also climbing but home health care
May 10, 2011 – The cost of a private room in a
nursing home jumped 3.4 percent in the last year to a staggering $77,745
a year, according to Genworth’s 2011 Cost of Care Survey. Not far behind
is a 2.4 percent jump in the cost assisted living facilities, which is
$39,135 a year. The bright light was on home health care, which most
senior citizens prefer, that held steady.
Nearly three in ten between the ages of 57 to 85 use
at least five prescription drugs
April 21, 2011 – The prevention of suicide and the
misuse and abuse with prescription drugs by older Americans will be the
focus of a new effort by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration to expand a grant program targeting seniors. The SAMHSA
is asking for applications for the $3.56 million in grants.
Private room in nursing home now averages $85,775
per year; home health aide cost shows smallest increase
April 20, 2011 – Senior citizens and baby boomers
are facing a continued increase in the cost of long-term care (LTC) in
the U.S., although the increase this year is less than cost increases
for other goods and services. Still, the John Hancock survey says
the annual cost of a private room in a nursing home has climbed to
Many seniors suffer cognition loss but then go back
to normal one month later
March 14, 2011 - Battling an illness, lack of sleep
and strange surroundings can make any hospital patient feel out of
sorts. For senior citizens, hospitalizations actually may cause
temporary memory loss and difficulty in understanding discharge
instructions, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. Read
Chase Card Services joins to back AARP’s ‘Drive to
End Hunger’ - video
April 4, 2011 - What would it
be like to spend only $8 per day to cover all of your meals? For 6 million older Americans,
this is not a hypothetical question, according to the AARP Foundation,
which has joined with Chase Card Services to combat senior citizen
hunger in America.
Senior citizens may be helped the most by new
drug education, chronic disease coaching by druggists
By Michelle Andrews,
Kaiser Health News
15, 2011 - The average adult fills about a dozen prescriptions
and refills every year; after age 65, they fill more than 30
prescriptions annually. For many people, their local pharmacist
may be as familiar as their doctor — and often a lot easier to
get time with. Some pharmacists are building on that position,
expanding their role from drug dispenser to drug educator and
chronic disease coach.
‘With this type of
care, most people wouldn’t need to relocate to nursing homes’ - see
March 8, 2011 -
America’s 75 million aging senior citizens soon will face decisions
about where and how to live as they age. Current options for long-term
care, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, are costly
and require seniors to move from place to place. University of Missouri
researchers have found that a new strategy for long-term care called
Aging in Place is less expensive and provides better health outcomes.
Working with engineers at U. of Rhode Island she
has patented the Activity Analyzer
March 7, 2011 – Virtually all senior citizens know
they need exercise - they need to at least move around. Most, however,
seem to have a problem getting motivated. There may be hope, however,
coming from the efforts of a nursing professor inspired by her
97-year-old aunt who lives on her own.
Noted book author offers tips she learned from
helping her mother
Dr. Eva Mor, author of “Making the Golden Years Golden”
March 7, 2011 -
Several months ago, I was interviewed for a magazine article on the
subject of seniors and driving and an uncomfortable question came up.
“When should we take away our aging parents' driving license,” I was
NHPCO, backed study says 88 percent could have negative margins by 2019
March 7, 2011 –
The profit margin for companies providing hospice care could decline
from the two percent it achieved in 2008 to a negative 14 percent by 2019 due to recent
cuts to Medicare reimbursements, according to the results of a survey
released today by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
The independent study was commissioned by NHPCO.
HHS approves $100
million in effort to stem the growth of chronic health conditions
March 1, 2011 -
Senior citizens relying on the Medicaid program for medical care may
soon be offered a financial incentive to persuade them to adopt
healthier behavior, such as quitting smoking or losing weight. Last week
Health and Human Services said it is offering $100 million to states for
Study says elderly
patients only willing to take medications to prevent cardiovascular
disease if benefits far greater than risks
Feb. 28, 2011 –
Senior citizens think a little differently about health and medications
than younger people who are not so encumbered by chronic disease. A new
study finds these elderly patients also have views that differ with the
guidelines for medical care that are scientifically prepared to enhance
15,000 facilities nationwide are included online to help senior citizens, caregivers find
9, 2011 – A new national ranking of over 15,000 U.S. nursing homes has
been released online by U.S. Media Group, publisher of U.S. News &
World Report. The Best Nursing Homes ranking evaluates facilities
across the nation. The publisher touts the list as a “worthwhile tool
for millions of elderly Americans and their families in search of a
Jan. 31, 2011
- Financially strapped governors, Congress and the Obama administration
could be headed for a showdown over the Medicaid health care program
that covers 48 million poor, disabled and elderly people nationwide.
With first Boomers
turning 65, and economy still recovering, the number of older Americans
struggling to make ends meet likely to continue to grow
Jan. 24, 2011 -
One in six older Americans lives below the federal poverty line,
according to a new government analysis which almost doubles the number
of very poor seniors compared to the standard estimate. The National
Council on Aging has launched a pilot program to help with a personal
approach to financial counseling, education, and benefits coordination.
Read more... Senior Citizen Alerts
Funds will go to
states, tribes and territories under the Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Jan. 13, 2011 –
Many senior citizens stressed about paying their energy bills during the
cold winter got the word yesterday that help is on the way. The Health
and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the
availability of additional funding to help eligible low-income families
or all ages
meet their home energy needs, bringing the total made available since
October 1 to $3.9 billion.
Editorial writers ask if limited benefits are worth
the patient and clinician time and effort;
researchers say 'yes' do to significant, durable improvement in
incontinence and quality of life,
Jan. 12, 2011 - Men who
suffered with incontinence – lack of bowel control - for at least one
year following radical prostatectomy, achieved a significant reduction
the number of incontinence episodes after participating in a behavioral
training program that included pelvic floor muscle training, bladder
control strategies and fluid management.
Original sponsor of provision intends to reintroduce
legislation allowing Medicare to pay for such discussions with doctors
that many view as helpful to critically ill seniors
Jan. 10, 2011 - Three days after enacting a
Medicare regulation that would have reimbursed doctors for discussing
end-of-life planning with patients during their annual checkups, the
Obama administration has reversed course and last week withdrew the
regulation, according to a report in ElderLawAnswers.com.