Category Archives: Health

“Oral Health in America: Experiences of Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities”

The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities has created an infographic that depicts an overview of the oral health experiences of older adults and persons with disabilities. This resource highlights who is impacted, what happens as a result, why this happens, and where we can go from here. The infographic includes compelling data, such as people with disabilities forgo dental treatment due to cost nearly three times more than people without disabilities, and more than 1/3 of adults 65 years or older have lost all of their teeth.

oral health profileClick on the graphic or here to download the complete infographic report including experiences of older adults and persons with disabilities.

 

“Get Off The Couch Baby Boomers, Or You May Not Be Able To Later” – NPR

get off“Young bodies may more easily rebound from long bouts of sitting, with just an hour at the gym. But research suggests physical recovery from binge TV-watching gets harder in our 50s and as we get older.” Lily Padula for NPR

“Count the number of hours you sit each day. Be honest.

“‘If you commute an hour in the morning and hour after work — that’s two hours, and if you sit at an eight-hour-a-day desk job that’s 10,’ says epidemiologist Loretta DiPietro of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

“Then you come home at, say, 6 p.m., eat dinner and crash into your recliner for another three to four hours,’ says DiPietro. ‘That’s 13 to 14 hours of sitting.’

“Being immobile like that for many hours each day does more than raise the risk of a host of diseases. DiPietro and her colleagues have good evidence that, as the years wear on, it actually reduces the ability of older people to get around on foot at all.”

Continue reading this article at NPR.

Administration for Community Living releases first ever National Data on Adult Maltreatments

Earlier this week, at the National Adult Protective Services Association conference, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) released the first consistently, systematically, and nationally collected data on the abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities.

This report is the first of a series based on data from the first year of the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS). NAMRS is a voluntary data reporting system collecting data from state and local Adult Protective Services systems.

Fifty-four of 56 states and territories contributed data to NAMRS in its first year. This high level of voluntary participation reflects the value that leaders in the field of adult maltreatment see in this data.

While NAMRS is still in its infancy, the information it will provide in the years to come will directly inform prevention and intervention practices at all levels of the adult maltreatment field. It will provide a better understanding of the characteristics of those experiencing, and perpetrating, abuse and identify system gaps for responding to maltreatment and preventing repeat maltreatment. As states and territories will continue to improve information systems, add data elements, train staff on new data collection methods, and report additional data, NAMRS data will become an extremely valuable tool.

Data collected by NAMRS includes APS staff and case-load, response and response time, intake and investigation practices, maltreatment type, victim characteristics, and perpetrator characteristics. For example, 44 states and territories reported opening investigations for over 877,000 clients.

Many in the adult maltreatment field, including the federal Elder Justice Coordinating Council, have recognized the need for national data on adult maltreatment. After the passage and funding of the Elder Justice Act, ACL awarded the first-ever federal grants to enhance Adult Protective Services. These grants were used by many states to build data systems and align them with NAMRS.

View the first NAMRS report.

“Self-reliant older baby boomers are now better-connected to goods, services and care” – American Society on Aging

self reliant senior

by Stephen W. Golant

“It is fair to surmise that the 100,000 young people in their late teens and twenties who converged in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to participate in the 1967 Summer of Love were not especially tuned in to how their grandparents were coping with getting old. It is even less likely that these young baby boomers thought much about their own old age. This socially rebellious group, which rejected middle-class values and parental controls, and who romanticized communal living, could hardly imagine that in their old age they would end up living in cul-de-sac suburbs and traveling in their cars to regional malls to buy furnishings for their single-family detached dwellings.

“With their anti-government sentiments, they could hardly have foreseen how important Social Security and Medicare would become for their future health and financial well-being. Yet perhaps they were well-advised not to look to their grandparents as exemplars on how to live in old age. If they had been aware in the late 1960s of the challenges of dealing with old age, they may well have carried signs calling for ‘no more nursing homes for the old.’

“Fast forward five decades, and these now aging baby boomers are still showing their independent spirits. They are opting to age in place for as long as possible, even as these residential decisions clash with the opinions of many experts who argue that the baby boomers’ current dwellings are designed for the young and are unequipped to accommodate those individuals who suffer from physical and activity limitations, chronic health problems, and social losses.”

Continue reading this article in its entirety here.

“Older adults report frequently mishearing clinicians” – STATNews Morning Rounds

“Another effect of age-related hearing loss: problems understanding what your clinician is telling you.

Seniors-hearing

“In a new survey of 100 older adults, 43 of them said they had misheard a physician, nurse, or both during either a primary care visit or hospital stay. The study did not look at whether any of these miscommunications caused medical errors, but the authors noted that the prevalence of errors goes up among older patients, and communication issues are considered to be a leading cause of errors.” – STATNews

“Why social smoking can be just as bad for you as daily smoking” – The Conversation

mind smokeSocial smoking is just as bad on your heart as regular smoking, a new study suggests. – California Department of Health Services, CC BY-NC-SA

by Bernadette Melnyk, Dean and Professor of Nursing, The Ohio State University

“‘Everything in moderation.’

“It’s a common justification made for behaviors that may fall outside the realm of healthy. Whether it’s a drink or two or indulging in a favorite dessert, consuming small quantities, rather than abject abstinence, is a more palatable and acceptable option for most people.

“The less-is-more approach may be sound when applied to many aspects of our frenzied daily lives, but when it comes to smoking, the same rationale cannot apply.

“A new study that I conducted with other nursing and health services researchers has found that those who enjoy the occasional cigarette in social situations are risking their health just as much as the person who smokes a pack or more a day.”

two (or more sides) to every story

A column in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster, “Within confusion in Washington, there are positive economic signs”, harshly states:

“Too many Americans, workforce dropouts, are sitting on the employment sidelines. The economic expansion we could achieve has the power of making employees out of these dropouts. This has the incredible additional benefit of reducing the number of Americans needing welfare-related supports such as Medicaid, SNAP and dozens of other poverty programs.”

and concludes, “Moving people from dependency to self-sustaining must be our achievable goal. Can there be an objection to this?

Simplistic, one-sided draconian commentary may be one side of the story. There are another side.

work requirementsThis article from The Conversation, “How welfare’s work requirements can deepen and prolong poverty: Rose’s story”, is another perspective. This side may represent the fate of a much larger population.

 

 

“A comprehensive guide to the new science of treating lower back pain” – Vox

“A review of 80-plus studies upends the conventional wisdom.”

backpain_lead.0

Updated by

“Cathryn Jakobson Ramin’s back pain started when she was 16, on the day she flew off her horse and landed on her right hip.

“For the next four decades, Ramin says her back pain was like a small rodent nibbling at the base of her spine. The aching left her bedridden on some days and made it difficult to work, run a household, and raise her two boys.

“By 2007, she couldn’t so much as sit or walk for more than a few minutes without experiencing what felt like jolts of electricity shooting up and down her spine.

“In 2008, after Ramin had exhausted what seemed like all the options, her doctor recommended nerve decompression surgery. But the $8,000 operation didn’t fix her back, either. The same pain remained, along with new neck aches.”

Click here to read this Vox article in its entirety.

“Took The Wrong Medicine By Mistake? Study Finds Such Errors Are On The Rise” – NPR

ade“The rate of serious medication errors that occur outside of health care facilities doubled from 2000 to 2012, a new study finds.” – Gillian Blease/Getty Images

by Courtney Columbus

“When people take medicine at home, mistakes happen.

“Some people end up taking the wrong dose of a medication or the wrong pill. Sometimes, they don’t wait long enough before taking a second dose.

“Other times, it’s a health professional who’s at fault. A pharmacist might have dispensed a medication at the wrong concentration, for example.

“These kinds of mistakes are on the rise, according to a study published Monday in the journal Clinical Toxicology.

“The researchers looked at a small subset of the medication errors that happen in the U.S. every year. The FDA estimates that about 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors annually in the U.S.”

Click here to read this NPR article in its entirety.

Is Lead Lurking in Your Home? | a program for Lancaster City and County residents

by Aimee Tyson, Program Manager, Community Services, Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority

Do you have children under the age of 6 in your home or do you have children under the age of 6 that spend more than 6 hour a week in your home?  If your home was built prior to 1978, you may be putting them at risk of lead poisoning.

Due to the news stories about the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan most people have heard about the detrimental effects of lead poisoning in children.  Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that was added to paint and gasoline until 1978 and in rare cases is still used in consumer products. People are most commonly exposed to lead through paint, soil, and water.

Lead poisoning is bad for everyone but is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children under the age of 6. It is not possible to reverse the negative effects of lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning causes the following in children:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system, including lowered IQ scores
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behavior problems including ADD
  • Hearing and speech problems

Children with lead poisoning have a higher incidence of dropping out of school and higher likelihood of involvement with juvenile justice systems.

What Can You Do to Make Your Home Lead Safe?

You can make efforts to make your home lead safe using a licensed and certified lead contractor.  If you have a low household income and lack the financial means to make your home lead safe or if you are a renter with a low income, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority may be able to help.

In addition to the efforts undertaken by the Partnership for Public Health (see their website at https://www.partnershipforpublichealth.org, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority are helping low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters in Lancaster County through the provision of a grant to reduce or remove the lead based paint hazards in the home. Click on the graphic below to download a flyer explaining the details of the program for residents of Lancaster City and County.

lead lurking