Category Archives: Aging

“When death is imminent, end-of-life care decisions sometimes go out the window” – STATnews

Woman supporting mother with cancer

by Jay Baruch

Two medics roll Mrs. M into the emergency department. Sweat drips from her forehead. Her chest heaves in and out as she tries to suck every last oxygen molecule from inside the oxygen mask. I introduce myself and she opens her eyes but her glassy stare lands beyond me. “She has metastatic breast cancer,” says one of the medics. ‘She’s in hospice. But her son wants everything done.’

“‘Doing everything isn’t a plan that’s compatible with hospice,’ I mutter.

“‘We didn’t know what to do,’ says the medic, shaking his head. ‘She wasn’t this bad when we arrived at her home. She was working to breathe, but not like this.’”

Read this STAT article in its entirety, click here.

OPINION: “‘It’s the Grandparents Stealing From the Grandchildren'” – The Atlantic

There’s a fiction at the heart of the debate over entitlements: The carefully cultivated impression that beneficiaries are simply receiving back their ‘own’ money.”

gparents stealingby Eric Schnurer

“One day in 1984, Kurt Vonnegut called.

“I was ditching my law school classes to work on the presidential campaign of Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate against Ronald Reagan, when one of those formerly-ubiquitous pink telephone messages was delivered to me saying that Vonnegut had called, asking to speak to one of Mondale’s speechwriters.

“All sorts of people called to talk to the speechwriters with all sorts of whacky suggestions; this certainly had to be the most interesting. I stared at the 212 phone number on the pink slip, picked up a phone, and dialed.

“A voice, so gravelly and deep that it seemed to lie at the outer edge of the human auditory range, rasped, ‘Hello.’ I introduced myself. There was a short pause, as if Vonnegut were fixing his gaze on me from the other end of the line, then he spoke.

“It’s the grandparents stealing from the grandchildren.”

Click here to continue reading this provocative and controversial opinion piece at The Atlantic.

“How bankers and doctors can collaborate to detect ‘early warnings’ of Alzheimer’s” – STAT

Close-up woman standing and holding the wallet empty of moneyAPStock

by Jason Karlawish

Banking and medicine have little in common. One is for creating and managing wealth, the other for managing health. Yet together they could help detect and fight the growing burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. I call this partnership of banking and medicine whealthcare.

“Thanks to decades-long advances in personal and public health, the average 65-year-old American can expect to live another 19 years. This remarkable progress presents a challenge: Many people might not have enough money to live that long.

“The monthly pension check has gone the way of the electric typewriter and calculator. Retirement funds, if we have any — half of American families have saved less than $5,000 for retirement — are ours to manage, and we really need that cash to pay for our living expenses and most of our long-term care. Aging Americans are also taking on more debt, such as their children’s and grandchildren’s student loans.”

Keep reading this article at STATnews, click here.

“The data are in, but debate rages: Are hospital readmission penalties a good idea?” – STAT

HOSPITAL BAR CODESEvan Vucci/AP

by Casey Ross

A closely watched experiment in health care has unfolded over the last few years: Financial incentives for hospitals to reduce readmissions. It was a feature of the Affordable Care Act, and researchers are now assessing its impacts. But even as data have arrived, an impassioned argument has broken out among experts — looking at the same numbers, they have reached different conclusions about whether the policy is making Americans healthier.

“And, underscoring that disagreement is a deeper one — about what kind of evidence is needed before a health policy is enacted on a national scale.

“The policy, known as the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, created financial penalties for hospitals whose readmissions exceed the national average for patients suffering from heart failure, heart attacks, and pneumonia.”

Keep reading this STAT article, click here.

“What You Can Do About Bullying in Assisted Living | Unfortunately, patterns of mistreatment don’t always end after middle school” – next avenue

Bullying-in-Long-Term-Care-Communities_175811082-750x485

by Jess Stonefield

Part of the Transforming Life as We Age Special Report

“A few years ago, a former co-worker got a call informing her that her grandmother had been in a fight. She had punched another resident at her assisted living facility and the director needed a member of her family to come and calm her. In the moment, some colleagues laughed at the thought. “Go, Grandma! Way to take matters into your own hands!” But as it turns out, the matter was serious. It was an example of the pervasive problem of bullying in assisted living communities.

“The idea that bullying would exist among older adults may surprise many, and it often goes undetected or unaddressed in assisted living communities. But an estimated 10 to 20 percent of residents in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and senior centers are mistreated by peers, according to an AARP article quoting an Arizona State University gerontologist.

“What’s the big deal about bullying?”

Click here to read this next avenue article in its entirety.

Community Health Choices implementation timeline

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to increasing opportunities for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities to remain in their homes. If you’re 21 or older and have both Medicare and Medicaid, or receive long-term supports through Medicaid because you need help with everyday personal tasks, you’ll be covered by Community HealthChoices.

Community HealthChoices will coordinate your health care coverage to improve the quality of your health care experience — serving more people in communities rather than in facilities, giving them the opportunity to work, spend more time with their families, and experience an overall better quality of life.

CHC timeline

To download the above graphic as a .pdf format for sharing / printing / enlarging, click on the graphic or here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY – “Developing Solutions for Social Isolation in the United States: Learning From the World”

We’re providing a total of $2.5 million in funding, looking for the best ideas from around the world that can address social isolation in the United States.

SOCIAL ISOLATION

by Maryjoan Ladden

I remember reading the story of a dying patient who, when asked who to call as his life was ending, he replied, ‘no one.’ He had absolutely no immediate family or close friends. Dr. Druv Khullar who wrote the piece noted ‘the sadness of his death was surpassed only by the sadness of his solitude. I wondered whether his isolation was a driving force of his premature death, not just an unhappy circumstance.’

“This profoundly sad story struck me to my core.

“Not everyone has a social network to call on when they need people by their side. Many people feel disconnected from society and from life, and that contributes to a host of physical, mental and emotional health problems. In fact, according to experts, social isolation is as bad for your health as smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and high cholesterol.”

Click here to continue reading.

 

If you have an idea from abroad that just might work in America, see our new Call for Proposals!

 

See full Call for Proposals for more information.

 

“Cataract Surgery May Prolong Your Life” – The New York Times

“After 72 very nearsighted years, 55 of them spent wearing Coke-bottle glasses, Jane Quinn of Brooklyn, N.Y., is thrilled with how well she can see since having her cataracts removed last year.

cataractsPaul Rogers

by Jane E. Brody

“‘It’s very liberating to be able to see without glasses,’ Ms. Quinn told me. ‘My vision is terrific. I can even drive at night. I can’t wait to go snorkeling.’

“And I was thrilled to be able to tell her that the surgery very likely did more than improve her poor vision. According to the results of a huge new study, it may also prolong her life.

“The 20-year study, conducted among 74,044 women aged 65 and older, all of whom had cataracts, found a 60 percent lower risk of death among the 41,735 women who had their cataracts removed.” – Continue reading this New York Times article, click here.

“Aging in Pennsylvania: 65-plus population has grown by 13.5 percent this decade” – Central Penn Business Journal

building“A drone offers a detailed aerial view of the construction site at Frederick Living, a senior-living community in Montgomery County. Senior-living communities continue to expand across the commonwealth to meet growing demands from an aging population. – (Photo / File)”

by Jason Scott

“Pennsylvania is a slow growth state with the exception of residents who are 65 or older.

“The senior citizen population in the commonwealth grew by 13.5 percent from 2010 to 2016, according to a recent research report from the Pennsylvania State Data Center, which analyzes data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s total population rose just 0.6 percent over that span.

“There are now 2.2 million people age 65 or older in Pennsylvania, according to the center. That represents 17.4 percent of the total population in Pennsylvania, up from 15.4 percent in 2010.”

Continue reading this article at Central Penn Business Journal.

The Pennsylvania State Data Center has this information that shows the population age demographics by county here: State & County Population Estimates, 2010 to 2016″

Friday Wrap-Up, December 1, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.