“The situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly, and the National Council on Aging is taking proactive steps to share the best information we have to protect the public’s health, especially among older adults. Now is the time to stay informed and follow basic tips to protect yourself and those around you.
“Older Adults at Higher Risk
“The CDC has identified older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. According to the CDC, early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.
“This is likely because as people age, their immune systems change, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection, and because many older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. Age increases the risk that the respiratory system or lungs will shut down when an older person has COVID-19 disease.
“Avoiding panic, steering clear of sick people, and washing your hands are the most important things to do in preparation for COVID-19, experts say.”
“Even if COVID-19 runs rampant in the United States,” says Connor, “I don’t see us reverting to radio stations and no power. Keeping extra candy bars around is a good idea, but just because life is always better with candy,” says John Connor. (Credit: Getty Images)
“The outbreak of COVID-19, which began in China in December, has since migrated across borders and oceans to at least 47 countries and has resulted in nearly 3,000 global fatalities. Last week, world stock markets tanked over the economic fallout resulting from the spread of the virus.
“But while experts caution that cases will rise here in the United States, they also caution against panic, especially as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says any immediate risk is low. To date, only about 60 people have contracted the virus in the United States, two-thirds of them travelers on a Diamond Princess cruise ship.
“Some experts are feeding unnecessary public alarm by advocating that families assemble emergency kits of first aid, flashlights, candy, and battery-powered radios as a precaution, says John Connor, an associate professor of microbiology in Boston University’s School of Medicine and a researcher at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL)”
Read this Futurity.org article in its entirety, click here.
“This infographic offers an overview of the social determinants of health, their implications for health outcomes and costs, and solutions to address unmet needs.
“How can a diabetic person manage their diet if they don’t know whether they will be able to afford their next meal? This is just one example of the profound influence of social determinants like food security on our health outcomes.
“A recent study found that people are more than two times more likely to go to the emergency room if they struggle with food insecurity, access to reliable transportation or community safety. Building healthier communities will require collaboration across sectors to provide solutions like school food programs, ride-sharing initiatives and early childhood education.” SOURCE: The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation
“CPR, by Default: When very old patients suffer cardiac arrest, doctors usually try to revive them — even if they were already near death.” – The New York Times
by Paula Span
“A few months ago, an ambulance brought a woman in her 90s to the emergency department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“Her metastatic breast cancer had entered its final stages, and she had begun home hospice care. Yet a family member who had discovered her unresponsive that morning had called 911.
“The paramedics determined that she was in cardiac arrest, began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and put a breathing tube down her throat.
“’It’s a common scenario,’ said Dr. Kei Ouchi, an emergency physician and researcher at Brigham and Women’s who reviews such cases. ‘And it’s not going to have a good outcome.’”
Continue reading this article at The New York Times; click here.
Wealthy men and women generally have eight to nine more years of “disability-free” life after age 50 than poor people do, according to a new study of English and American adults.
“Credit … Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images”
by Heather Murphy
“Yes, indeed, it’s good to be rich in old age. According to a new study, wealthy men and women don’t only live longer, they also get eight to nine more healthy years after 50 than the poorest individuals in the United States and in England.
“‘It was surprising to find that the inequalities are exactly the same,’ said Paola Zaninotto, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London and a lead author of the study.
“The findings, published on Wednesday in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, emerged from two primary questions: What role do socioeconomic factors play in how long people live healthy lives? Do older adults in England stay disability-free longer than those in the United States?”
How Healthy is Your Community?
“Prescription drug overload: Critics fighting to curb an epidemic of medication side effects” – The Boston Globe
“Are you taking too many meds?
“If you’re an older American, chances are your medicine cabinet is crammed with bottles of pills to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and treat everything from acid reflux to underactive thyroid.
“Forty-two percent of adults over 65 take five or more prescription drugs, and nearly 20 percent take 10 or more, according to the Lown Institute, a health care think tank in Brookline. The institute warns of a growing epidemic of overmedication that’s sent millions of seniors to hospitals and emergency rooms in the past decade with often serious side effects.
“Lown, which published a report on ‘medication overload” last year, will release a national action plan later this month alerting patients, caregivers, doctors, and pharmacists — as well as policy makers — to the perils of overprescribing. The plan was developed by a group of patient advocates, geriatricians, nurses, and health insurers concerned about the unintended consequences of the ‘pills for all ills’ mind-set.”
Continue reading this article at The Boston Globe, click here.
Body-wide inflammation is tied to most chronic diseases, limiting people’s health and longevity.
by Jane E. Brody
“The quest for a fountain of youth is many centuries old and marred by many false starts and unfulfilled promises. But modern medical science is now gradually closing in on what might realistically enable people to live longer, healthier lives — if they are willing to sacrifice some popular hedonistic pleasures.
“Specialists in the biology of aging have identified a rarely recognized yet universal condition that is a major contributor to a wide range of common health-robbing ailments, from heart disease, diabetes and cancer to arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. That condition is chronic inflammation, a kind of low-grade irritant that can undermine the well-being of virtually every bodily system.
“Chronic inflammation occurs to varying degrees with advancing age in all mammals independent of any existing infection.”