Tag Archives: elderly

Wellness center tackles low-income seniors’ oral health challenges

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Neil Moralee via Flickr

Photo: Neil Moralee via Flickr

An innovative new nonprofit dental clinic in a San Diego senior center is bringing badly needed preventive and restorative care to low-income elders.

The clinic, which celebrated its grand opening in October, also has a broader goal. Organizers at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center hope that by providing timely oral health care services to patients, they can improve their overall health as well. Continue reading

Reporter explores the secondary health problems of elderly during hospitalization

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 and other outlets. 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: Heidi de Marco/KHNRon Schwarz, 79, who was hospitalized after falling in the shower, was featured in Anna Gorman’s series for Kaiser Health News on the risks that elderly patients can face when hospitalized.

Photo: Heidi de Marco/KHNRon Schwarz, 79, who was hospitalized after falling in the shower, was featured in Anna Gorman’s series for Kaiser Health News on the risks that elderly patients can face when hospitalized.

People go to the hospital to get better, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with elderly adults, who can be at greater risk of getting discharged in worse condition than when admitted. This risk not only contributes to higher overall financial and physical health costs – longer hospital stays, time in rehab, worsening memory or fragility – but also threatens a senior’s ability to continue to live at home independently.

Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Anna Gorman looked into this problem – and what’s being done to address it – in her series, Diagnosis: Unprepared. Continue reading

Community paramedics help medically complex homebound avoid hospitalization

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 and other outlets. 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: Liz Seegert/AHCJBernard Cunniffe, shown with his wife Beverly, was assisted by his city’s Community Paramedics initiative after an accident.

Photo: Liz Seegert/AHCJBernard Cunniffe, shown with his wife Beverly, was assisted by his city’s Community Paramedics initiative after an accident.

When 84-year old Bernard Cunniffe fell in the bathroom one morning, his wife called the paramedics. However, rather than transporting the retired NYPD officer  to the emergency department, the specially-trained responders assessed him for trauma, evaluated his vital signs and settled him into his bed.

Cunniffe, who is homebound because of multiple medical conditions, was uninjured but had low oxygen saturation, the likely cause of the fall. The community paramedics quickly stabilized him in consultation with an on-call physician and avoided a trip to the hospital. The Cunniffes were thrilled with the experience. Continue reading

Adding context to studies on sex and aging adults

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 and other outlets. 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: Patrick via Flickr

Photo: Patrick via Flickr

Sex.

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about it. There’s good news and bad news on the older adult sexual health front.

First the good news, at least if you’re an older woman. Frequent, enjoyable sex can lower risk of hypertension according to a new study by researchers at Michigan State University. Continue reading

Modifying use of some prescription drugs may reduce fracture risk in older adults

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 and other outlets. 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: Marko Javorac via Flickr

Photo: Marko Javorac via Flickr

Some fragility fractures – those that occur at standing height – may be preventable by modifying a patient’s prescription drug regimen.

Older adults are more prone to these types of fractures, costing the U.S. health system about $16 billion annually in direct medical costs. Patients who already have had one fracture are more likely to incur additional ones. Continue reading