More than a quarter of older Medicare beneficiaries have yet to document their advance care planning (ACP) wishes, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Latinos, African-Americans, those with lower education levels and people with lower incomes were at greatest risk of not discussing or carrying out ACP.
That leaves many people subject to receiving end of life care that they may not want and may go against their values and wishes, according to Alexander Smith, M.D., senior study author and an associate professor of medicine, geriatrics and palliative care at UCSF. Continue reading
What happens now? For those working in aging services, opinions range from cautiously optimistic to downright fearful.
Aging experts and service providers worry about the fate of innovative home- and community-based programs that allow older adults to age in place, about vital services funded under the Older Americans Act, and about the millions of older adults who rely on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to get by. Continue reading
While the dust may still be swirling around the presidential election, voters in Colorado were crystal clear about their support for Proposition 106, The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act. Nearly two-thirds of voters (64.6 percent) approved legalizing assisted death for patients with a terminal illness who desired it. A prognosis of death within six months would be required.
As The Denver Post reported, patients meeting this and other criteria would be allowed to self-administer aid-in-dying drugs to die voluntarily. Continue reading
Our nation’s aging prison population is bringing to the forefront issues of geriatric mental health among inmates. There are no federal guidelines for treating older, frail inmates who may suffer from chronic mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. Continue reading
The next presidential administration will need to tackle dozens of pressing health care challenges. A panel of experts convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) says caring for our older adults must be among the administration’s top priorities.
As part of NAM’s Vital Directions for Health and Health Care initiative, aging experts were asked to provide guidance on U.S. policy to improve the health of an aging population. Continue reading