Illness Rises Among American Adults
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Almost half of middle aged Americans suffer from one or more chronic illnesses.
Living longer with chronic illness is possible with better medical care and pharmaceuticals, however, disease prevention is the real goal.
The increases were due mainly to rises in three conditions: hypertension, diabetes and cancer, according to the report. These increases may be due to more new cases, or due to people living longer with the conditions because of advances in medical treatments.
The report also said that middle-aged adults with at least two chronic conditions had increasing difficulty, between 2000 and 2010, in getting the care and prescription drugs they needed because of cost. In 2010, 23 percent reported not receiving or delaying the medical care they needed, and 22 percent said they didn’t get the prescriptions they needed. In 2000, these rates were 17 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
CDC Suggests Hepatitis C Testing For Baby Boomers
Baby boomers should be tested for hepatitis C because of the inherent risk factors of the disease.
Hepatitis C can damage the liver, often without being symptomatic.
The virus is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants and potentially 800,000 people do not know that they have it.
And a recent analysis by the CDC found that more people in the U.S. die from hepatitis C than HIV/AIDS.
The current guidelines call for testing when someone has known risk factors.
Such as? Blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1992 (when effective screening for hepatitis C virus became common), or recreational injection of drugs — even once — could have led to a liver infection that has gone undetected all these years.
just being a baby boomer is risk factor enough, the CDC has concluded. “Baby boomers are five times more likely than other American adults to be infected with the disease,” the CDC says. “In fact, more than 75 percent of American adults with hepatitis C are baby boomers.” Infection rates were highest in the ’70s and ’80s.
Hepatitis C is highly treatable so being tested is important.
Baby Boomers Need to Know These 8 Things About Medicare
There are 8 important things that Baby Boomers need to know about health care.
As those aged 65 transition into the medicare system there may be overlap with employee benefits.
Make sure you know what’s available, what you need to pay for, and what works best for you.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that 52 percent more folks are working beyond their sixty-fifth birthday than there were ten years ago. Recognizing this trend, more corporations are trying to integrate Medicare into their coverage options. Each company seems to have their own way of dealing with the trend and how it impacts company-provided health insurance coverage.
To that end, each employee needs to discover the coverage their employer offers at age 65. With some government and civil service jobs, free health care insurance continues from the date of retirement until death. Many companies also contribute to or pay their retirees’ health care premiums in full. Kaiser Family Foundation says that percentage dropped to 28 percent in 2010 from 40 percent in 1995. In some instances, the employee is covered mostly by Medicare. Other folks are covered primarily by their employer. Further complicating the issue are family members.
Posted in: Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Medicare, Research, Resources, Wellness
Tags: baby boomers, health benefits, health insurance for people over 65 years of age, helathcare, Medicare, over 65 health care
Aging Boomers Redesign Homes of the Future
Baby boomers housing issues is a growing topic as the population ages and needs change.
“Unassisted Living: Ageless Homes for Later Life” (the Monacelli Press; $45) written by Wid Chapman and Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld not only offers ideas but designs as well.
Read the whole interview here.
The 72 million American baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are turning 65 at the rate of roughly 10,000 a day, and many are considering not just how to age (with or without annuities? soy sauce? crow’s feet?), but also where. Wid Chapman, an architect, and Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld, a gerontologist who specializes in the relationship between aging and the built environment, collected 33 examples of residences that have been recently designed to bridge the distance between one’s vital and declining years.
Posted in: Quality Control, Research, Resources, Wellness
Tags: aging, architechture, baby boomeer housing, baby boomers, home design, homes of the future, retirement, retirement homes, retirement living, retirement plans
The Mental State of America
1 in 5 American adults is on some kind of mood altering drug.
Antidepressants are the psychiatric medications used to treat mood disorders that are defined by having depressive symptoms.
The most widely used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that includes medications such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline) and Lexapro (escitalopram). Less used, but a popular alternative to SSRIs are serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs); some of the commonly used medications in this drug class include Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine).
Women 45 and older are the most frequent users of anti-depressants.
Posted in: Quality Control, Wellness
Tags: anti-depressants, baby boomers, Cymbalta, depression, Effexor, Lexapro, mental health, mental health drugs, mental illness, Paxil, Prozac, seratonin, SSRI's, women's health, Zoloft
Living Wills a Touchy Subject for Baby Boomers
Baby boomers avoid making living wills because they feel too young and healthy.
Who can even think of writing a will between yoga class and triathlon training?
Kathy Brandt says wills and health care proxies are a good idea for everyone whether they are healthy and young or older and not so healthy.
Brandt, a senior vice president at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, said the two documents can spare families a painful fight and ensure that patients receive — or don’t receive — the medical treatment they wish should they end up in a situation where they can’t speak for themselves
Saving loved ones from making the tough decisions as we age could be the kindest gift of all at the end of our lives.
Posted in: Doctors, Health Care Policy, Hospitals, Medicare, Quality Control, Research, Resources, Wellness
Tags: baby boomers, end of life care, end of life counceling, health care proxy, hospice care, living wills
When Are You Too Old to Drive?
Should we be concerned about elderly drivers?
Reese Witherspoon was hit by an elderly driver this week which has prompted the conversation.
“When is it time to surrender the car keys?”
It is not an easy conversation to initiate but as Baby Boomers age it will be increasingly necessary to discuss the driving ability of an aging population.
In a study released in January, scientists from the University of Rochester suggested older people have trouble driving because they have a heightened awareness of people and cars moving around rather than what’s right in front of them. In particular, drivers over 80 have an elevated crash risk when trying to deal with more complex road situations, such as intersections, left turns and reacting to an imminent crash, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The American Automobile Association estimates 37 million drivers will be 65 and older by 2020, and 90 percent of them will be licensed. Drivers 85 and older has surpassed 3 million.
Women Benefit from Moderate Drinking
Harvard researchers suggest that Middle-aged women who drink alcohol in moderation have a better chance than nondrinkers of staying healthy as they age.
Moderate drinking; 3-15 drinks per week for women, showed 28% higher odds of being free from chronic illness, physical disability, mental health problems, and cognitive decline at age 70.
The study applied to middle aged white women and while it is not a prescription to start drinking or to over indulge it is encouraging for those who imbibe in moderation.
Obesity Hurts Everyone
If you think that being overweight effects only the obese then think again.
Obesity is fast replacing tobacco as the single most important preventable cause of chronic non-communicable diseases, and will add an extra 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the United States by 2030.
Some 32 percent of men and 35 percent of women are now obese in the United States, according to a research team led by Claire Wang at the Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University in New York. They published their findings in a special series of four papers on obesity in The Lancet.
Posted in: Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Nutrition, Quality Control, Resources, Wellness
Tags: baby boomers, cancer, chronic illness, health care costs, heart disease, obesity, obesity epidemic, risk factors for heart attack and stroke, Stroke, type 2 diabetes
Exercise is Your Best Bet to Beat Alzheimer’s Disease
Here are a few Alzheimer’s facts that might keep you motivated to exercise and stay fit.
An estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease (2010).
This figure includes 5.1 million people aged 65and older and 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
One out of eight people age 65 and older (13 percent) has Alzheimer’s disease.
Women, who on average live longer than men, are more likely than men to have Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is the most frequent cause of dementia, accounting for 70 percent of all cases of dementia in Americans aged 71 and older.
By 2030, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old.
That year, the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s is expected to reach 7.7 million, more than a 50 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 order older currently (2009) affected.
Learn more about the benefits of exercise for Alzheimer’s.