Category Archives: Aging

Mental health issues of older adults can go beyond depression

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com, Practical Diabetology and Home Care Technology report. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Esti Alvarez via Flickr

Photo: Esti Alvarez via Flickr

The National Council on Aging defines mental disorders as “health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behavior (or some combination thereof), associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.”

As the U.S. population ages, the need for mental and behavioral health services is increasing. Continue reading

Aging brains benefit from higher intensity physical exercise, study indicates

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com, Practical Diabetology and Home Care Technology report. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Louise Mackie via Flickr

Photo: Louise Mackie via Flickr

More confirmation on the benefits of exercise for older adults.

In a recent study, those who reported doing little to no exercise showed greater long-term decline in memory and thinking skills, compared with those having high activity levels. The difference was equivalent to 10 years of aging, according to researchers at the University of Miami, Florida, and Columbia University, New York. Continue reading

Choices earlier in life are key to aging well, retaining functional ability #AHCJ16

Tara Bannow

About Tara Bannow

Tara Bannow (@TaraBannow covers medicine, health finance, health policy, fitness and nutrition for The Bulletin, a daily newspaper in Bend, Ore.

Photo: Tara BannowColin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging and publisher of the Journal of Active Aging, carried an audience member on his back to demonstrate the effects of carrying extra weight.

Photo: Tara BannowColin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging and publisher of the Journal of Active Aging, carried an audience member on his back to demonstrate the effects of carrying extra weight.

Saturday’s “Aging well” panel at Health Journalism 2016 featured what might well be a first for the Association of Health Care Journalists’ annual conference: a piggyback ride.

Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging and publisher of the Journal of Active Aging, implored an audience member to hop on his back. He proceeded to pace around for a few minutes, remarking that he was feeling the effects of carrying extra weight.

“What happened with John hopping on my back is what happens in real life,” Milner said. “By midlife, we begin losing our functional abilities.” Continue reading

What is a successful death? It depends on who you ask

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com, Practical Diabetology and Home Care Technology report. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

art for SuccessfulDeath_Blog_Aging_Seegert-7811851336_3d9fb5a179_z

Photo: Ted Van Pelt via Flickr

While the idea of hospice and palliative care are slowly becoming part of the national health conversation, many people still struggle when it comes to talking about end-of-life issues.

Just like we all want a “successful life,” we also want to have a “successful death.” But what exactly does that mean? As new research shows, the definition varies depending on the stakeholder. Continue reading

Understanding and covering the evolving landscape of the ‘good’ death

Eileen Beal

About Eileen Beal

Eileen Beal, M.A., has been covering health care and aging since the late 1990s. She's written several health-related books. including "Age Well!" with geriatrician Robert Palmer, and her work has appeared in Aging Today, Arthritis Today,WebMD and other publications. She leads AHCJ's Cleveland chapter.

road-to-cleveland-2Until the 1920s, most Americans died relatively quickly and at home, surrounded by things and people – including their minister, priest or rabbi – they knew and who knew them. And, because they died where they lived, and among those who cared for them, the fear, pain, relief and release that death brought was common knowledge.

Today, however, death and the dying process are a mystery to most Americans. Only rarely, and usually in a crisis situation, do we get a peek behind the curtain at the anger, fear, pain, guilt, yearning, etc., that dying people experience, whether they are being cared for in a health care facility or at home. Continue reading