New and noteworthy tidbits on the aging beat

Judith Graham

About Judith Graham

Judith Graham (@judith_graham), a Colorado-based freelancer, is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging, and as such curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on aging issue resources and tip sheets at judith@healthjournalism.org.

Alzheimer’s

Jennifer Robison of the Las Vegas Review-Journal takes an in-depth look at the financial impact of Alzheimer’s on families and programs that might help them bear the expense.

The bottom line: Costs associated with Alzheimer’s, whether for assisted living (which is not covered by Medicare) or in-home assistance (often not covered, also) or respite care (sometimes covered, depending on the state and program), are an enormous, often catastrophic, burden for families.

LGBT aging

Judith GrahamJudith Graham (@judith_graham), AHCJ’s topic leader on aging, is writing blog posts, editing tip sheets and articles and gathering resources to help our members cover the many issues around our aging society.

If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to judith@healthjournalism.org.

Jen Christensen of CNN examines the aging of a LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual, transgender) generation that came courageously out of the closet and led the fight for civil rights.

The bottom line: Historically, LGBT have isolated themselves as they’ve aged, re-entering the closet, as it were. Retirement options are slowly improving for this group, due in part to new federal policies.

Medicare

There’s been lots of debate recently over the pros and cons of raising the age of eligibility for Medicare to 67 from 65. Sarah Kliff’s analysis in The Washington Post is a useful addition to a long list of stories on this topic.

The bottom line: The issue has been studied and there’s data out there for journalists to turn to in reporting on this topic. Analysis needs to be fact-based and sophisticated.

End-of-life

A clash between doctors and a family over end-of-life care will come before the Supreme Court of Canada in the next several weeks. In this story, CBC News writes about the painful details of a very difficult case that raises questions of medical futility, religion, and ethics.

The bottom line: The line between what constitutes “killing” and what constitutes “letting die” is not at all clear in some circumstances.

Core Topics
Health Reform
Aging
Oral Health
Other Topics

Nursing homes

ProPublica is preparing to unveil several major additions to its Nursing Home Inspect database of information about nursing home deficiencies.

The bottom line: It’ll be easier to search for deficiencies by nursing home and rank problem nursing homes.

Demographics

Milwaukee Public Radio covered the release of a major new report on Milwaukee County’s aging population and policy efforts needed to adapt to demographic changes.

The bottom line: The elderly aren’t just one population. They represent several populations with distinct needs under one umbrella label. Services for those in the latter stages of middle age and in the earliest stages of older age need special attention, since this is the fastest growing group and one that’s not especially well served.