Author Archives: Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Shingles tip sheet details often-ignored health issue

Photo: NIAID via Flickr

When was the last time you thought about shingles? Not the ones you put on your roof, but the itchy, burning, painful rash that affects about a million older adults each year. For some people, shingles can be downright dangerous. So why aren’t more older adults getting vaccinated?

As Paula Span wrote in this New York Times article, “People once vigilant about vaccinating their children are not nearly as careful about protecting themselves as they age, even though diseases like influenza, pneumonia and shingles (aka herpes zoster) are particularly dangerous for older people.” Continue reading

Communities grapple with the needs of aging suburbanites

Photo: Rachel via Flickr

Mom, dad, 2.4 kids, and a dog. The very picture of suburbia has changed vastly since families migrated from cities in the 1950s and ’60s. Those kids are now aging baby boomers, often caring for elderly parents. If they remained in the suburbs, they now are facing a host of challenges they probably didn’t anticipate.

Meeting the needs of aging suburbanites is a growing problem that few community planners considered during the post-World War II building boom. Continue reading

New global aging index tracks population health and well-being

Photo: Bridget Coila via Flickr

How are countries around the world adapting to the dramatic increase in their older populations? A new index provides some alternative context for measuring the health of aging inhabitants.

The Index of Societal Aging, created by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of California’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, uses specific measures across five social and economic indicators, including an evidence-based metric to assess effectiveness over time and across many nations. Continue reading

Research details how racial disparities, stress and poverty can affect Alzheimer’s risk

Image: Shadowmother via Flickr

Stressful life events, poverty and racial inequities contribute to dementia risk in late life, according to new research unveiled at a recent global gathering of Alzheimer’s experts in London. One major stressful early life event may equate to as much as four years of cognitive aging, with African Americans are most at risk, one study said.

This and other studies presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2017) in July add to the growing body of evidence of the role that social determinants of health can have on Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading

New report looks at long-term care affordability, recommendations

While an estimated 70 percent of older adults will need some long-term services and supports (LTSS) at some point in their lives, three out of four Americans over age 40 don’t think they will have enough financial resources to meet their health needs as they age. However, a new report concludes that improving financing and delivery of long-term care is possible — even in today’s politically charged environment. Continue reading