elderly

Cost Of Long-Term Care For Older Adults Is Rising, But What Can Be Done?

Sep 6, 2017

Americans are spending billions of dollars each year on long-term care for older adultsand many are struggling to figure out how to pay for care for a loved one, or how to fund future care for themselves.

Medicaid-Funded Home-Based Care Could Be Next On Chopping Block

Jul 31, 2017
Heidi De Marco / Kaiser Health News

Ten years ago, a driver ran a stop sign as Jim McIlroy rode into the intersection on his motorcycle. Serious injuries left McIlroy paralyzed from the chest down. But, after spending some time in a nursing home, he returned to his home near Bethel, Maine.

Elderly Hospital Patients Arrive Sick, Often Leave Disabled

Aug 9, 2016
Heidi de Marco/KHN

SAN FRANCISCO — Janet Prochazka was active and outspoken, living by herself and working as a special education tutor. Then, in March, a bad fall landed her in the hospital.

Doctors cared for her wounds and treated her pneumonia. But Prochazka, 75, didn’t sleep or eat well at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. She became confused and agitated and ultimately contracted a serious stomach infection. After more than three weeks in the hospital and three more in a rehabilitation facility, she emerged far weaker than before, shaky and unable to think clearly.

House Calls Could Improve Care of Elderly

Sep 29, 2015
Gerd Altmann/Creative Commons

The elderly population in America is set to double over the next fifty years.  There will be 98 million elderly people - those 65 or older- by 2060, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.  This aging population is going to bring new healthcare challenges and states seeing the biggest increases
--Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona--are looking for innovations to help address the coming grey tide. Arizona is finding house calls could be one way to improve patient well being, as well as decreasing costs

Last October, Jeanette Mariani was an independent 87-year-old, living alone in Dallas and getting around with a walker. Then one night she switched off the light and tried to make her way into bed. A chair was in the way. And she fell.

"There I was, lying on the floor," she recalled. "I pulled down one of my pillows. I didn't reach very high, just pulled it down, put my head down on it and thought: 'Well, I'll wait until morning.' "

The next day, she called for help.

The Great Digital Divide In Healthcare: Older Americans May Be Left Behind

Nov 14, 2014

When it comes to the benefits of electronic health records, older Americans may be left behind, says a new University of Michigan study.

Less than a third of Americans age 65 and over use the Web for health information and barely 10 percent of those with low health literacy – or ability to navigate the health care system – go online for health-related matters, according to the nationally-representative study that appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.    

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"End of life choices can be even more complicated when an older person is hospitalized and can't always speak up for him or herself. Dr. Alexia Torke is associate director of IU Center for Aging Research. In a recent study, she found out that most often, family members end up acting as surrogate decision makers."

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“Another possible change in health policy now, the Medicare system is considering starting to pay doctors for their time to they spend counseling patients about how they want their lives to end. Five years ago, you’ll remember the political blowup over what were then being called “Death Panels.” I asked Sound Medicine’s health policy analyst Dr. Aaron Carroll what has changed.”

Surrogate Decision Making

Jun 9, 2014

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that half the elderly adults in their study had surrogates making medical decisions on their behalf. Alexia Torke, M.D., lead author of the study, discusses what it means to be a surrogate decision-maker.