aging

"I'm not anti-hospice at all," says Joy Johnston, a writer from Atlanta. "But I think people aren't prepared for all the effort that it takes to give someone a good death at home."

For Boomers Reframing Aging, Age-Proofing A Home Won’t Come Cheap

Oct 24, 2019

Dennis and Chris Cavner, in their early 70s, are preparing to move less than two blocks away into a 2,720-square-foot, ranch-style house they bought this year. But first a renovation is underway, taking the 45-year-old property all the way back to its studs. When the work is finished, these baby boomers are confident the move will land them in their forever home. 

‘Fear Of Falling’: How Hospitals Do Even More Harm By Keeping Patients In Bed

Oct 17, 2019
Nurse escorts elderly man using walker
Wikimedia Commons

Dorothy Twigg was living on her own, cooking and walking without help until a dizzy spell landed her in the emergency room. She spent three days confined to a hospital bed, allowed to get up only to use a bedside commode. Twigg, who was in her 80s, was livid about being stuck in a bed with side rails and a motion sensor alarm, according to her cousin and caretaker, Melissa Rowley. 

Eating a handful of almonds, walnuts, peanuts or any type of nut on a regular basis may help prevent excessive weight gain and even lower the risk of obesity, new research suggests.

It may be that substituting healthy nuts for unhealthy snacks is a simple strategy to ward off the gradual weight gain that often accompanies aging, according to the researchers. Nuts also help us feel full longer, which might offset cravings for junk food.

The University of Miami is leading a national study of aging people with HIV. Researchers will explore the impacts of non-infectious conditions, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, on both women and men with HIV.

Dr. Louise Aronson says the U.S. doesn't have nearly enough geriatricians — physicians devoted to the health and care of older people: "There may be maybe six or seven thousand geriatricians," she says. "Compare that to the membership of the pediatric society, which is about 70,000."

Why So Many Older Americans Rate Their Health As Good Or Even Excellent

Jun 13, 2019
Older hand holding another hand
NPR

A common myth about aging is that older adults are burdened by illness and feel lousy much of the time. In fact, the opposite is usually true. Most seniors report feeling distinctly positive about their health. 

Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’

May 2, 2019
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Dr. Hasan Shanawani was overcome by frustration. So, last week he picked up his cellphone and began sharing on Twitter his family’s enraging experiences with the U.S. health care system. 

Seniors Aging In Place Turn To Devices And Helpers, But Unmet Needs Are Common

Feb 14, 2019
Older hand holding another hand
NPR

About 25 million Americans who are aging in place rely on help from other people and devices such as canes, raised toilets or shower seats to perform essential daily activities, according to a new study documenting how older adults adapt to their changing physical abilities. 

Women tend to have more youthful brains than their male counterparts — at least when it comes to metabolism.

While age reduces the metabolism of all brains, women retain a higher rate throughout the lifespan, researchers reported Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

There's a worrying slowdown in progress against medical conditions that disable, sicken or kill.

An international coalition of brain researchers is suggesting a new way of looking at Alzheimer's.

Instead of defining the disease through symptoms like memory problems or fuzzy thinking, the scientists want to focus on biological changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer's. These include the plaques and tangles that build up in the brains of people with the disease.

But they say the new approach is intended only for research studies and isn't yet ready for use by most doctors who treat Alzheimer's patients.

Research has shown that sharp reductions in the amount of food consumed can help fish, rats and monkeys live longer. But there have been very few studies in humans.

Now, some researchers have found that when people severely cut calories, they can slow their metabolism and possibly the aging process.

The roast turkey and pecan pie may be the same as always, but growing numbers of families plan to add a tradition to their Thanksgiving holiday this week: a frank talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Paul Malley, president of Aging with Dignity, the agency behind Five Wishes, a popular living will template, says requests for the documents that guide decisions surrounding serious illness and death typically surge starting now.

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

When Annie Dennison was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she readily followed advice from her medical team, agreeing to harsh treatments in the hope of curing her disease.

Florida scientists are studying the genetic makeup of centenarians to develop new drugs that could delay or possibly even reverse age-related diseases.

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

Older or disabled Americans with Medicare coverage have probably noticed an uptick in mail solicitations from health insurance companies, which can mean only one thing: It’s time for the annual Medicare open enrollment.

In early June, Donna Bilgore Robins stood on a patio in Beaver Creek, Colo., under a crystal-clear blue sky and tried to catch her breath.

She couldn’t.

In just 20 years, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will increase by 100 percent. That's roughly 80 million Americans, and as the LGBT community ages alongside their heterosexual friends and neighbors, doctors focused on that population say LGBT persons face unique concerns when it comes to aging, and a host of health care disparities ranging from housing discrimination to social isolation.

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

There are many recommendations for preventive care in the health law. Services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have to be provided without charging anything out of pocket.

The dictionary defines ageism as the "tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment." But research indicates that ageism may not just be ill-informed or hurtful. It may also be a matter of life and death.

Not that it's literally killing people. Researcher Becca Levy, a professor of epidemiology and psychology at the Yale School of Public Health, says it depends on how much a given individual takes those negative ideas to heart.

The next generation of senior citizens will be sicker and costlier to the health care system over the next 14 years than previous generations, according to a new report from the United Health Foundation. We're talking about you, baby boomers.

The report looks at the current health status of people ages 50 to 64 and compares them to the same ages in 1999.

We think of aging as something we do alone, the changes unfolding according to each person's own traits and experiences. But researchers are learning that as we age in relationships, we change biologically to become more like our partners than we were in the beginning.


The next White House Conference on Aging - which is aimed at finding new ways to improve the lives of older Americans - will take place July 13 in Washington, D.C.
 

A healthy diet is good for everyone. But as people get older, cooking nutritious food can become difficult and sometimes physically impossible. A pot of soup can be too heavy to lift. And there's all that time standing on your feet. It's one of the reasons that people move into assisted living facilities.

But a company called Chefs for Seniors has an alternative: They send professional cooks into seniors' homes. In a couple of hours they can whip up meals for the week.

Mildred Barnett of Tampa says she once saw a picture with three faces: one of a baby, one of a woman and one of an older lady.

"And it says, ‘the sunrise is as beautiful as the sunset,’ and with proper planning, it most certainly can be," she said.

Barnett is a VA geriatric psychiatrist who recently remodeled her home to accommodate her 81-year-old mother. 

Florida Not the Healthiest for Seniors

Jun 13, 2014
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"Minnesota Nice” might be the key to good health for seniors.

America’s Health Rankings Senior Report rated Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for adults aged 65 and over — beating out Hawaii. And that retiree and snowbird haven, Florida? It came in 28th.

Federal agencies are teaming up to improve oversight of nursing homes, a practice that now misses a third of the cases of substandard care, according to Kaiser Health News.

Mike Lang / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Agencies that depend on funding under the Older Americans Act of 1965 face millions more in automatic cuts come Oct. 1 unless Congress acts to stop the funding reductions from the sequester, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. The sequester has already reduced funding by $87 million to programs that help seniors stay in their homes instead of turning to institutionalized care; that amount is set to double. Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Sarasota County has a higher percentage of people over 65 than any other large county in the nation. And some business leaders now say that all those seniors -- rather than a demographic drawback -- could be a valuable asset. 

They could actually help diversify the economy - even turn the county into what they're calling a "mecca" for those who want to learn what an aging population looks like. 

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