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Archive: August 2016

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‘America’s Other Drug Problem’: Copious Prescriptions For Hospitalized Elderly

posted Tue, Aug 30, 2016   by Kaiser Health News

An increasing number of elderly patients nationwide are on multiple medications to treat chronic diseases, raising their chances of dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects, writes Anna Gorman in Kaiser Health News. Often the drugs are prescribed by different specialists who don’t communicate with each other. If those patients are hospitalized, doctors making the rounds add to the list — and some of the drugs they prescribe may be unnecessary or unsuitable. “This is America’s other drug problem — polypharmacy,” said Dr. Maristela Garcia, director of the inpatient geriatric unit at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. “And the problem is huge.” This article was reported during a fellowship supported by New America Media, the Gerontological Society of America and The Commonwealth Fund.

NY Times op-ed: "Jailing Old Folks Makes No Sense"

posted Tue, Aug 30, 2016   by New York Times op-ed

Geraldine Downey, director of the Center for Justice, and Frances Negrón-Muntaner, professor at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, both at Columbia University, write in the New York Times that, "if prisoners older than 50 have served decades-long sentences and have shown evidence of rehabilitation, the only rationale for holding them appears to be endless punishment and retribution." Even as the overall prison population continues to decrease, it is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 400,000 over 55s — a staggering increase from 1981, when there were only 8,853. The numbers are rising despite recognition that continuing to lock up older prisoners not only does nothing to reduce crime, but is also expensive and inhumane. More and more aging people are becoming seriously ill and dying in prison. Prisons are not equipped to be nursing homes.

WHO Call for Submissions, Age-friendly Practices Against Ageism

posted Mon, Aug 22, 2016   by International Federation on Aging

Ageism is a serious concern for older people and is heartbreakingly ubiquitous, from the negative ways older people are portrayed in the media, to employment limitations, to social environments that restrict the full participation of older people in societies. To raise awareness for this year’s United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) theme, Take A Stand Against Ageism, cities and communities are encouraged to share their concrete actions to combat ageism by submitting Age-friendly Practices against Ageism. Deadline for submissions is September 15, 2016.

Older Americans 2016: Key Indicators of Well-Being

posted Wed, Aug 17, 2016   by Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics

This new report takes a close look at the key indicators of well-being in older adults in the United States, as they live longer and face new economic, health care, and residential living challenges. 41 indicators of well-being are broken into six broad groups – population, economics, health status, health risks and behavior, health care, and environment. This year’s report also includes new indicators on social security beneficiaries, dementia, long-term care providers, and transportation, plus a special feature on informal caregiving.

What U.S. cities can do to help seniors live better

posted Fri, Aug 12, 2016   by WBUR.org

Our nation’s 65-and-older population is growing rapidly, but most U.S. cities are totally unprepared for that demographic shift. We don’t simply need more public transportation and affordable housing. We also need more benches at bus stops, longer crosswalk signals, and more homes with master bedrooms on the first floor. Americans may shudder at the thought of aging, but it happens to us all. On Point takes a look at getting our cities ready for a graying population, and what makes communities aging-friendly.

Hospital stays often worsen disabilities of elderly patients

posted Wed, Aug 10, 2016   by PBS

Many elderly patients deteriorate mentally or physically in the hospital, even if they recover from the original illness or injury that brought them there. Research shows that about one-third of patients over 70 years old and more than half of patients over 85 leave the hospital more disabled than when they arrived. Specialized medical units to meet their needs, like San Francisco General's Acute Care for Elders (ACE) ward, may be the answer.

Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. Seniors Has Some Form of Disability

posted Mon, Aug 8, 2016   by HealthDay

A new U.S. government report on aging finds that close to a quarter of Americans over 65 have some form of disability, according to a news release from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, which authored the report. The Forum found that in 2014, "22 percent of the population age 65 and over say they have at least one limitation in vision, hearing, mobility, communication, cognition, or self-care." That finding means millions of Americans -- often spouses or children -- are becoming caregivers for disabled, aging loved ones.

Washington Post: Baby boomers are taking on ageism & losing

posted Thu, Aug 4, 2016   by The Washington Post magazine

At a time when conditions have vastly improved for women, gay people, disabled people and minorities in the workplace, prejudice against older workers remains among the most acceptable and pervasive “isms,” writes Lydia dePillis in the Washington Post magazine. And it’s not clear that the next generations — ascendant Gen Xers and millennials — will be treated any better. Structural, economic and demographic changes have created new types of ageism that are more subtle and widespread. Older workers have the misfortune of wanting to work longer just as a new generation is trying to get an economic foothold. In a weak economy, companies are sometimes all too happy to dump veteran employees, with their higher health-care costs and legacy pensions, for younger ones who expect neither.

GOVERNING magazine cites GIA on age-friendly communities

posted Tue, Aug 2, 2016   by GOVERNING magazine

A new article in GOVERNING magazine, "The Growing Imperative for Age-Friendly Communities" by Adam Davis of DHM Research, cites GIA's work, saying, "places that take the needs of an aging population seriously now will fare best over the long haul." The article also cites the recent GIA-funded study by Margaret Neal and Alan DeLaTorre at Portland State University on making the economic case for age-friendly communities.


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