by Bruce Horowitz
“Imagine this scenario, perhaps a year or two in the future: An effective COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available and the world is moving forward. Life, however, will likely never be the same — particularly for people over 60.
That is the conclusion of geriatric medical doctors, aging experts, futurists and industry specialists. Experts say that in the aftermath of the pandemic, everything will change, from the way older folks receive health care to how they travel and shop. Also overturned: their work life and relationships with one another.
“’In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience,’ said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a think tank on aging around the world. ‘We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die or someone I love could die. When those events happen, people think about what matters and what they will do differently.’
“Older adults are uniquely vulnerable because their immune systems tend to deteriorate with age, making it so much harder for them to battle not just COVID-19 but all infectious diseases. They are also more likely to suffer other health conditions, like heart and respiratory diseases, that make it tougher to fight or recover from illness. So it’s no surprise that even in the future, when a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and widely used — most seniors will be taking additional precautions.”
WEBINAR | Be sure to let people you know about this special presentation on August 19; there will be morning and evening presentations.
The hazards of drugs in our communities is staggering. It’s not just about those who use drugs anymore. This presentation is a safety awareness program that is far-reaching.
The program is designed to provide the general public with current information on the Drug Crisis. This program is not just about those illegally using drugs, but innocent parties that need to understand the dangers of accidental exposure and health hazards of prescriptions, illicit opioid drugs, methamphetamine, BHO / Marijuana and designer drugs that are a safety risk.
“‘It just weighs on your psyche’: Black Americans on mental health, trauma, and resilience” – STAT: Daily Recap
Photos and interviews by Crystal Milner
“I’m feeling it, my friends and family are feeling it: the weight of this moment is immeasurable. Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This has been compounded by the tragic deaths of Black men and women — lives cut short at the hands of police and vigilantes.
“Ahmaud Arbery shot while jogging. Breonna Taylor killed in her home. George Floyd suffocated as the world watched. Rayshard Brooks asleep in a Wendy’s parking lot. Robert Fuller found hung from a tree in Palmdale, Calif. We lament the Black lives lost, past and present.
“Repeated trauma and stress have real effects on health, both physical and mental. Though the dialogue surrounding mental health is changing, it’s often considered a taboo subject in the Black community. Navigating the intersections of Black identity has always been layered and complex. With these ideas in mind, I photographed family, friends, and others in my community of Southern California and spoke with them about how being Black in the U.S. affects them, especially right now. Here are their stories and portraits.”
“Art Ballard loads a 25-pound plate onto the leg press. ‘At my age, the best thing you can do is find a routine.'” (Heidi de Marco/KHN)
by Heidi De Marco
“MONROVIA, Calif. — Most mornings, like clockwork, you could find Art Ballard pumping iron.
“At least five days a week, he drove to Foothill Gym, where he beat on the punching bag, rode a stationary bike and worked his abs. After he joined the gym five years ago, he dropped 20 pounds, improved his balance and made friends.
“At 91, he’s still spry and doesn’t take any medication other than an occasional Tylenol for aches and pains.
“’Doctors love me,’ he said.
“But when California enacted a statewide stay-at-home order in mid-March, his near-daily physical exercise and social interactions abruptly ended.”
Keep reading this inspiring article, click here.
Patients on board with health trackers but don’t trust consumer wearables, survey finds” – Fierce Healthcare
“Nearly half of patients managing chronic conditions said they would physically visit the doctor less if they could share health data digitally, according to a recent survey. (Sony)”
by Heather Landi
“Patients who manage chronic conditions are eager to use a monitoring device to manage their health. But consumer smartwatches might not be the answer.
“Three in four patients say they would wear a specialized monitoring device only used for their specific condition if prescribed by their doctor, a survey from electronics company Sony found.
“Nearly 90% of those surveyed believe they could better manage chronic conditions with a health monitoring device. More than half of patients said they would potentially switch doctors if another doctor prescribed a specialized device, according to the survey of 2,000 people conducted by Sony.
“However, while consumer-facing companies like Apple and Fitbit offer wearables with health tracking capabilities, only 28% of patients would trust a consumer device to help manage their chronic condition and 45% said they were unsure, according to the survey.”
“Affectionate touches tap into the nervous system’s rest and digest mode, reducing the release of stress hormones, bolstering the immune system, and stimulating brainwaves linked with relaxation.”
by Ashley Yeager
“It had been seven weeks since I’d touched another human being. Arms outstretched, I walked quickly toward my dad, craving his embrace. In the instant before we touched, we paused, our minds probably running quick, last-minute calculations on the risk of physical contact. But, after turning our faces away from each other and awkwardly shuffling closer, we finally connected. Wrapped in my dad’s bear hug, I momentarily forgot we were in the midst of the worst global crisis I have ever experienced.
“’Touch is the most powerful safety signal of togetherness,’ says Steve Cole, a psychiatrist and biobehavioral scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Like more than 35 million other Americans, I live alone, and with the guidelines of physical distancing set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I hadn’t been getting close to anyone to avoid being infected with (or potentially spreading) SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. I’d been working, thankfully, at home and staying connected with friends and family through Zoom and Skype, but those virtual interactions were no replacement for being with loved ones in person.”
Fizikaflex Helps Seniors Stay Healthy and Active | Sign up for a free 3 month subscription to Fizikaflex.
This morning, Martha Harris, founder and CEO of Fizika Group was the cross-training presenter with the Lebanon County Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner network. In a Zoom meeting, she shared an important story about fitness, diet and healthy habits Click here to view it) that resonated with everyone.
Martha’s now got to meet partners in all three of the counties in Service Area 13 as she’s presented at cross-training meetings for each county.
She’s also making a very special offer to persons in Berks-Lancaster & Lebanon Counties; an offer of a free three month subscription to Fizikaflex.
Read the article below for a lot more information about Fizikaflex.
“Fizika Group, LLC, a social enterprise based in Lancaster, today announced the release of Fizikaflex™ a new digital health platform designed to help seniors stay healthy and active as they age.
“Fizikaflex is an attractive, secure web-based application that enables seniors to record their daily health inputs, such as exercise and nutrition, document progress in reaching personal health goals, and compare their results with peers. User preferences enable synchronization with FitBit™ for daily step count, and dietary preferences based on eating restrictions.
“‘The need for Fizikaflex is evident in the rapid growth of dementia and other forms of brain diseases worldwide. While there is no known cure, scientists know that lifestyle choices can influence the risk factors that contribute to brain disease,’ said Martha Harris, Founder and CEO of Fizika Group. ‘Our goal in creating Fizikaflex is to provide a simple, easy to use tool that can motivate and inform seniors and the communities in which they live, to make healthy habits habit forming.’
“Fizikaflex is designed for use by senior living communities and affordable housing complexes that want to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. No software installation is required.” Continue reading this article, click here.
“1 in 7 adults would avoid seeking care because of an inability to pay, new poll says” – STAT: Morning Rounds news letter
“One out of every seven, or 14%, U.S. adults would avoid seeking health care for a fever and a dry cough for themselves or a member of their household over concerns about their ability to pay. And 9% report that costs would still prompt them to avoid care even if they may have been infected by Covid-19, according to a new poll by Gallup and West Health, the research and policy organization.
“Those most likely to avoid seeking care are adults under 30 years old, non-white individuals, those with a high school education or less, and those in households with incomes under $40,000 per year. Among those avoiding care due to cost concerns, 6% of respondents reported they or a family member had been denied care due to heavy patient volume caused by the pandemic. However, this may have reflected state policies that canceled selective surgeries and related appointments. The survey queried 1,107 U.S. adults between April 1 and April 14.
“Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.”
“Long-term care is provided in different places by different caregivers, depending on a person’s needs. Most long-term care is provided at home by unpaid family members and friends. It can also be given in a facility such as a nursing home or in the community, for example, in an adult day care center.
“The most common type of long-term care is personal care—help with everyday activities, also called “activities of daily living.” These activities include bathing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet, eating, and moving around—for example, getting out of bed and into a chair.
“Long-term care also includes community services such as meals, adult day care, and transportation services. These services may be provided free or for a fee.”
“More than 10,000 People in Long-Term Care Facilities Have Died Due to COVID-19” – Kaiser Family Foundation
“KFF Data Note Presents State-Level Cases and Deaths in Such Facilities”
More than 10,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the U.S. have died from COVID-19 infections, according to a KFF analysis of state data. That number is an undercount since not all states are currently reporting such data.
Among those reporting data, the largest death tolls as of April 23 were in several Northeastern states, including New York (3,505 deaths), New Jersey (2,050), Massachusetts (1,205) and Pennsylvania (845). The data also show that there have been nearly 51,000 infections with COVID-19 at more than 4,000 long-term care facilities in the 36 states reporting such data. New Jersey reported the highest number of cases (11,608) and North Dakota the least (61).
Residents of long-term care facilities are among the most vulnerable to infection and serious illness from COVID-19, given the population density in such facilities and residents’ underlying health conditions. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of nursing homes in the U.S. had infection control deficiencies in 2017, a problem that may contribute to high numbers of cases and deaths.
Long-term care facilities account for a notable share of all COVID-19 cases and deaths in many states. In six states – Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah – such deaths account for over 50 percent of all COVID-19 deaths. Overall, cases in long-term care facilities make up 11 percent of all coronavirus cases in the 29 states that report cases. Deaths in long-term care facilities account for 27 percent of all deaths in the 23 states that report deaths.
“The situation in many nursing homes is an emergency. It may be time to consider sending military health response teams to nursing homes and temporarily moving nursing home residents who are able to community and rural hospitals where there is room,” said Drew Altman, KFF’s President and CEO.
Until recently, there was no federal requirement for nursing homes to report coronavirus outbreaks and COVID deaths, leading to an information gap for families, residents, and policymakers. On April 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released guidance that would require nursing homes to report cases of coronavirus directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This data is not yet available.
KFF is gathering data obtainable through state COVID reporting or state press releases. We include all available long-term care facility data reported by state, including cases among both residents and staff, where available. Definition of long-term care facility differs by state, but data reflects a combination of nursing facilities, residential care communities, adult care centers, intermediate care facilities, and/or other congregate settings.
For more on methodology, as well as the full data note and other KFF analyses related to COVID-19, visit kff.org.
Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.