Category Archives: Aging

Helping Lakota elders with advance care planning

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: Mary IsaacsonPowwows provide a good venue for Pine Ridge elders to discuss advanced care planning and wills.

Photo: Mary IsaacsonPowwows provide a good venue for Pine Ridge elders to discuss advanced care planning and wills.

A unique outreach program is helping elders of the Lakota nation to address issues of palliative and end of life care among residents of reservations throughout South Dakota. The program incorporates culturally appropriate language and uses peer educators to promote advance care planning and wills.

When Mary Isaacson, an assistant nursing professor at South Dakota State University, began exploring the issue with older adults from the Pine Ridge reservation in 2014, she found an overwhelming need for education and materials. Within a year, Pine Ridge elders Patricia Catches The Enemy, Valaria Red Cloud and Garfield Apple collaborated with Isaacson to develop a Lakota-specific advanced directive brochure and received training to be advance directive coaches. While attending events, such as powwows and flea markets, and visiting community centers where elder meals are served, they hope to start conversations about advanced care planning and wills. Continue reading

New tip sheet offers assistance in covering LGBT aging issues

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.

Image by Ulrich Joho via flickr.

Image by Ulrich Joho via flickr.

Covering LGBT aging can be an exercise in frustration for journalists. Though more older adults are living openly as LGBT these days, health data on this segment of the population often is missing from government reports and statistics, according to Matthew Bajko, assistant editor at the Bay Area Reporter.

Bajko, who covers aging, politics, and HIV/AIDS for the San Francisco-based paper, has written a new tip sheet for AHCJ members on covering aging among the LGBT population. Continue reading

Celebrity deaths and moving end-of-life conversations forward

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: Jonathan Bayer via Flickr

Photo: Jonathan Bayer via Flickr

It’s been some month. With so many high-profile deaths reported this January — David Bowie, Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, Dan Haggerty of Grizzly Adams, the husband and the brother of singer Celine Dion, Mott the Hoople’s Dale Griffin – it’s enough to give you the shivers.

We know about these deaths because they’re high-profile celebrities and rock icons.We don’t generally know about the thousands of other, less-famous people who also died this month from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, complications from multiple chronic conditions or other causes. With the world paying attention — in part thanks to Bowie’s final gift of “Blackstar” – it’s an opportunity to extend the discussion surrounding palliative care, hospice and how we want to die. Continue reading

Common respiratory virus often flies under diagnostic radar, especially for seniors

Mark Taylor

About Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor is an independent health care journalist based outside Chicago. Taylor was legal affairs reporter for Modern Healthcare magazine and writes for newspapers, as well as Medicare NewsGroup and Hospitals & Health Networks. He is a former Kaiser Media Fellow and a founding member of AHCJ.

Photo: Alyssa L. Miller via Flickr

Photo: Alyssa L. Miller via Flickr

While waiting for a shuttle bus at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in Orlando, I met a fellow conference attendee who worked for a drug company. When he mentioned his company was researching a vaccine for a viral infection called respiratory syncytial virus, commonly known as RSV, I had to scratch my head.

I stupidly thought it was one of those recently concocted pseudo-conditions drug companies occasionally tout to market new products. Continue reading

Increase in ‘gray’ divorce hurts finances, health for many women

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: Jason Parks via Flickr

Photo: Jason Parks via Flickr

When older women get divorced, their new status often puts both their financial future and health at risk than that of older divorced men, a variety of studies have documented.

Researchers at Bowling Green State University in Ohio recently found gray divorced women suffered the most economically, with more than one-quarter (27 percent) of them classified as poor. Just 11 percent of gray divorced men are in poverty. Never-married women also suffer economically in their later years, with 25 percent living in poverty. Continue reading