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Able Data

Advance directives

Adult day care center use

Aging in place

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Anti-aging medicine

Biology and genetics

Cancer

Cognitive aging

Chronic pain

Caregiving

Cardiovascular disease

Clinical Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

CMS Fast Facts

Creativity

Communicating with older adults

Demographics

Diabetes

Direct care workers

Disabilities

Disparities

Drugs and devices

Elder abuse

End-of-life care

Ethnic aging

Exercise

Federal agencies

Geriatrics

Global aging

Healthy aging

Healthy Brain Initiative

Healthcare Equality Index (HEI)

HIV/AIDS and aging

Home health care

Hospice and palliative care

Hospice Care in America 2013

Hospital utilization

Hospitalizations: Age 85 and older

Housing

Income

Legal resources

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community

Longevity

Longevity gene

Long-term care

Medicare and Medicaid

Medication management

Multicultural aging

Neighborhoods

Nutrition

Nursing homes

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015

Oral health

Pets: Health benefits

Physical activity

Population trends

Readiness assessment

Retirement

Reverse mortgages

Science of aging

Sleep

Social Security

Storytelling

Transitional care

Women's health

Workforce

Volunteering – older adults

Able Data

Able Data provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment. Their database includes 40,000 assistive technology products classified in 20 areas — from assistance with daily living tools to workplace support devices.

Advance directives

Some websites offer introductions to and advance directives.

POLSTs are primarily for those with serious life-threatening illnesses or advanced life-limiting conditions. The POLST initiative began in 1991 through the efforts of The Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University. Here is an OHSU's information guide comparing POLSTs and Advance Directive. POLSTs documents are currently used in 14 states and being considered in 22 more. The National Catholic Bioethics Center, however, “favors the designation of a health care agent” (a person) over any type of advance directive, including POLSTs.

Rebecca Sudore, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco; staff physician, San Francisco VA Medical Center discusses several problems with advance care planning and what she calls a "new paradigm" of advance care planning.

Lots of information and sources are available in the tip sheet "What do reporters need to know about Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)?"

Here are articles about advance directives and POLSTs.

Adult Day Care Center Use 

Differences in Adult Day Services Center Characteristics by Center Ownership: United States, 2012 and
Differences in Adult Day Services Center Participant Characteristics by Center Ownership: United States, 2012
The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 4,800 adult day services centers nationwide serve nearly a quarter million participants daily. They have released two new data briefs to aid in understanding who these participants are, how they use these facilities and the  economic variables within the for-profit and nonprofit adult day care sector. Another interesting breakdown that reporters might find helpful includes prior emergency department visits and hospital readmission patterns. 

 Aging in place

All Together Now: Integrating Health and Community Supports for Older Adults
Brief from American Institutes for Research’s Center on Aging. First in a two-part series about policies and programs that provide resources and services for aging in place shows current programs are vastly underfunded and fragmented, and how policy needs to evolve to meet the needs of the aging population.

Growing Expectations
April 2016 report on older adults and technology use shows greater tech awareness among adults 59 to 85; cautions tech companies to pay attention to service, support, design for this growing demographic

National Creative Aging Network
A directory of creative aging programs in America serving older people. It includes intergenerational activities in urban, suburban and rural communities in a variety of settings. The initiative is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, MetLife Foundation, and The Michelson Foundation. 

Aging Initiative
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing a National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging  aimed at protecting the health of older people. This site provides information on the initiative, as well as research on aging, smart-growth issues and environmental hazards.

Community Partnerships for Older Adults
This national program aims to help communities develop options that meet the needs of older adults.

Center for Healthy Aging
The National Council on Aging encourages the development and implementation of evidence-based programs that provide proven health benefits to seniors.

CR Society
A 5,000-member anti-aging group that advocates better health and longer life based on evolving knowledge garnered from continuing research in various branches of science.

Aging Well in Communities, Center for Civic Partnerships
This initiative helps communities plan for an aging population.

National Aging in Place Council

Aging in Place Initiative

Village to Village Network

NORCs: An Aging in Place Initiative

Center for Technology and Aging

Center for Aging Services Technology

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

The Endocrine Society

The FDA on anti-aging supplements

National Research Center for Women and Families

The Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging

MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society

Aging in Place: A State Survey of Liveability Policies and Practices,” December 2011, by AARP.

The Maturing of America: Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population,” published by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and several other partners in June 2011.

The National Academy for State Health Policy reviewed new state options for funding home and community based services under health reform in this report. Families USA summarized these provisions in a fact sheet. And Health Affairs examined at the issue in a March 2011 article

Here is a list of local and state agencies on aging.

There are several new, emerging models of aging across the country.

So-called “villages” – seniors in a community who join together, purchase some services cooperatively, and agree on self-help – are a relatively recent example. This village movement began in Boston with Beacon Hill Village, founded in 2001. Check the Village to Village network for more examples.

Another example are “naturally occurring retirement communities.” For more information about this model, which originated in New York City, see the NORC website.

A Platform for Aging in Place: The Increasing Potential of High-speed Internet Connectivity: Information and communication services, delivered over a high-speed Internet connection, increase the potential for older adults to live independently, safely, and comfortably in their own homes. And yet, few older adults have a fast Internet connection at home. Some of the most promising Internet-based services and applications involve virtual visits with clinicians and family caregivers, automation of routine home activities, and in-home monitoring for older adults with limitations in activities of daily living. This July 2013 report, from AARP's Public Policy Institute, presents an overview of these services. It also offers recommendations urging policymakers to ensure that affordable high-speed connectivity is available to all citizens and promoted as an aging-in-place solution.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures — updated report on the prevalence, mortality, morbidity, costs of care of Alzheimer’s among the U.S. population and the toll on family caregivers 

A February 2014 report from Alzheimer's Disease International and The Compass Group,  Nutrition and Dementia,  investigates whether the right nutrition might help the millions worldwide with this disease. Researchers found that malnutrition – or what they call under-nutrition -- was a major problem; 20-45 percent of those with dementia experience "significant" weight loss over a year. The report also looks at dietary factors across the lifespan that may affect onset of dementia later in life. For more information on how to cover nutrition and aging, check out Melinda Hemmelgarn's tip sheet. 

A November 2013 data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics compares residential care communities with and without special dementia care units in 2010. About 4 in 10 residents (42 percent) living in residential care communities had Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Some states have specific requirements for residential care for these patients such as locked doors, and specially trained staff.

Among the major findings:

  • 17 percent of residential care communities in the U.S. Had special dementia care units in 2010

  • Beds in these special units accounted for 13 percent  of all residential care beds

  • Facilities with special dementia care units were more likely to be chain-affiliated and built specifically as a residential care community, and less likely to be certified or to participate in Medicaid.

  • At least 7 out of 10 residential care communities with dementia special care units had features such as specially trained staff (88 percent), an enclosed courtyard (82 percent), doors with keypads or electronic keys (79 percent), and locked exit doors (76 percent).

  • More residential communities with dementia care units were located in the Northeast or a metropolitan statistical area and less likely to be situated in the western U.S.

There are some helpful charts to put the data in visual perspective. Reporters may want to see how local residential facilities compare to the national data, or use these figures in combination with a story like this one from KSWB-San Diego – on how a daughter decided her parents needed to move to a care facility.

The government’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center is a rich resource for reporters writing about this issue. 

The Alzheimer’s Association also disseminates lots of information, including topic sheets and brochures about dementia.  

The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation publishes a list of medical providers involved in caring for patients with dementia, available by ZIP code. 

National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Aging & Disability Resource Center /Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Toolkit

Alzheimer’s Disease: State Fact Sheets

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Alzheimer’s from the Frontlines: Challenges a National Alzheimer’s Plan Must Address, report by the Alzheimer’s Association

Dementia Capability Toolkit

Types of Dimentia

NINDS Multi-Infarct Dementia Information Page

Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

This fact sheet provides the high points in Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis.

This series of videos from Johns Hopkins includes conversations with family members that offer ideas and advice for Alzheimer’s and dementia patient caregivers.

National Alzheimer’s Project Act

In January 2012, the Dept. of Health and Human Services released its draft framework for a national plan to address ADRDs.

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that in 2010 nearly 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $202 billion. Costs for government programs and private insurers will soar in the years ahead as the Alzheimer’s Association predicts.

Workforce issues and associated costs are documented in The Institute of Medicine report Retooling for an Aging America and Caring in America:  A Guide to America’s Home Care Workforce.

Some useful sources for journalists are available from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s membership list that helps journalists locale an expert in his/her city/region.

This is another list of useful sources for policy and/or research.

See more sources, publications and resources in the tip sheet "What reporters should know about Alzheimer’s and related dementias."

Anti-aging medicine

Adverse Events Associated with Testosterone Administration

Latest research on Resveratrol

National Institute on Aging began a national trial of testosterone replacement in healthy men in 2009

There are also some books and reports in this field.

Santiago Toledo (M.D., medical director, Orthopedic Rehabilitation Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) talked about the trends & challenges in rehabilitation medicine in a presentation.

Anthony Atala (M.D., director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine; chairman, department of urology, Wake Forest School of Medicine) explained the history and specifics of regenerative medicine and tissue regeneration, helping the assembled journalists better understand this growing field.

Get more tips on covering the anti-aging movement from reporter Arlene Weintraub.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine: Focuses on topics such as anti-aging foods , fitness, lifestyle and environmental impact, along with news of more traditional clinical research and treatment. AAAM also publishes Longevity Magazine, a free e-journal. Reporters may wish to monitor discussion forums for consumer-focused article ideas.

Biology and genetics

Here are a couple of presentations from AHCJ annual conferences.

George M. Martin (M.D., professor emeritus, Department of Pathology, University of Washington; adjunct professor of genome sciences (retired) and director emeritus of University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center) presented an "Introduction to the biology of aging" discussed the genetic basis for aging and potential related research.

Matt Kaeberlein (Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Pathology, University of Washington) explained the evolutionary and physiological basis for aging in the presentation "Programmed aging." He also explained possible methods to slow aging or delay aging-associated diseases.

Peter Rabinovitch (M.D., Ph.D., director, University of Washington Nathan Shock Center for Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging) delivered a presentation titled "'Wear and tear' with aging: The free radical theory of aging." Rabinovitch's presentation laid out both sides of the discussion surrounding the free radical theory of aging, one of the oldest, most popular and most contentious fields in the study of aging.

At Health Journalism 2009, Carl Eisdorfer (M.D., Ph.D., Knight professor and director, University of Miami Center on Aging) shared his "Observations on aging" as part of the "Biology of aging" panel. Eisdorfer's presentation covered a wide range of topics, from the reasons for the aging of the American population to general life lessons.

Cancer

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine compared the health care experience for cancer patients older than 65, in Canada, Belgium, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States. They examined several clinical measures during the final six months of life.

Chronic pain

Cognitive aging

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action: Forgetfulness at older ages is often equated with a decline in cognition, or cognitive aging — a public health issue that goes beyond memory lapses and one that can have significant impacts on independent living and healthy aging. This IOM study examines this decline. It assesses public health dimensions of cognitive aging with an emphasis on definitions and terminology, epidemiology and surveillance, prevention and intervention, education of health professionals, and public awareness and education. 

Communicating with older adults

Communicating with Older Adults: Recognizing Hidden Traps in Health Care Decision Making —  An introduction to common heuristics (mental shortcuts) and biases (predictable systematic errors in reasoning) that could affect health care decisions made by older adults, health care providers, and caregivers. intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and other health care practitioners who seek to have the best possible interactions with older patients. Understanding the various heuristics and biases that affect our thinking can lead to more informed and productive decisions. Important read for journalists too —  as our own biases can affect how we approach coverage of aging.

ICAA's Guidelines for effective communication with older adults (PDF, 223 KB) — The International Council on Active Aging White Paper. The ICAA wants to change the way older adults are perceived, by changing the language we use and the messages we send about them. This white paper aggregates consensus opinion of stakeholders and organizations about attitudes, words and images, and offers specific recommendations and guidelines  for messaging, print and in-person communication.

Caregiving

Caring Across Generations Preparing for the  Elder Boom — white paper on solutions for long term services and supports: how do we better provide long-term services and supports (LTSS) for our aging population and people with disabilities? This white paper outlines the gaps in coverage and lack of sufficient care resources for older Americans, people with disabilities, the family members that support them, and the care workforce necessary to create family-centered caregiving system built for the 21st century.

Family Caregiver Council Resources: The Family Caregiver Council, a coalition of 13 national family caregiver organizations and other experts launched a new set  of resources designed to help the estimated 44 million family caregivers in the U.S. learn more about issues ranging from housing and transportation to hiring outside help. The goal is to provide a one-stop website that can help caregivers learn more about specific family caregiving issues they may be experiencing, how to better take care of themselves as well as their loved ones. 

Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update: This AARP Public Policy Institute report on the price of unpaid family caregiving finds that in 2013, about 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $470 billion in 2013, up from an estimated $450 billion in 2009.

Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to People with Cognitive and Behavioral Health Conditions, United Hospital Fund and AARP Public Policy Institute
This new report documents demanding challenges, including high levels of self-reported depression among family caregivers who provide complex chronic care to people who also have cognitive and behavioral health conditions.

"Family Caregivers are Wired for Health," Pew Internet & American Life Project (June 2013)
Nearly 4 in 10 (39 percent) of U.S. adults are caring for someone with a significant health condition, including caring for many older adults with multiple chronic conditions. As this study found, the Internet plays an increasingly important role in helping family caregivers manage care, get information, and find support.

Cardiovascular disease

AHA Statistical Update Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics
2013 Update; A Report From the American Heart Association

CDC Interative Atlas for Heart Disease and Stroke
County-level maps of heart disease and stroke, along with maps of social environmental conditions and health services for the entire United States or for a chosen state or territory. Congressional boundaries and health care facilities can be added with an overlay.

Global Cardiovascular Infobase
Profiles of Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Diseases in the World is a collaborative effort headed by the World Health Organization. It provides cardiovascular data on demographics, mortality, morbidity, risk factors and related health care are linked to country maps.

2012 Chartbook on Cardiovascular, Lung, and Blood Diseases (NHLBI)

American Heart Association Interactive Cardiovascular Library
Watch animations about a variety of cardiovascular conditions, treatments and procedures.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s List of Spokepeople  includes a brief bio and area of expertise. Contact the the Communications Office at nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov or 301-496-4236

American Heart Association
National media can call 214-706-1173; local media is asked to contact their local/state office (use the dropdown menu)

Becker’s Hospital Review of 25 top Cardiology Programs

Media-friendly cardiologists

Thomas Bashore, M.D., Duke University Medical Center; specialist Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Structural Heart Disease; 919-684-2407 (office);  Duke Media Relations: Sarah Avery; 919-660-1306; sarah.avery@duke.edu

Nieca Goldberg, M.D., NYU Langone Medical Center; specializes in cardiovascular disease in women. Media contact: Jim Mandler, senior director for media relations, health, clinical, and research; 212-404-3525; Jim.Mandler@nyumc.org

Steven Nissen, M.D., chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, past president, American College of Cardiology. 216-444-6697 (office); media relations: 216-444-0141

James Weiss, M.D., chief, Department of Medicine, Cardiology, UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, Los Angeles; 310-825-8811 (office).

Gregg Fonarow, M.D., director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, CHAMP - Cholesterol, Hypertension, and Atherosclerosis Management Program, clinical co-chief, Cardiology, UCLA Medical Center; 310-825-8816 (office). gfonarow@mednet.ucla.edu. Media contact: Rachel Champeau, 310-794-2270; rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu

Clinical Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

This is a position paper from the National Bone Health Alliance Working Group, a public-private partnership of 56 partners from the government, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors collectively promoting bone health and disease prevention, improved diagnosis, treatment and enhanced research. They recommend  that postmenopausal women and men aged 50 years should be diagnosed with osteoporosis if they have a demonstrable elevated risk for future fractures based on specific bone density measurements, called T-scores, or have already sustained specific types of fractures. This conflicts with the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which recommends screening for women at age 65, or younger if there are known risk factors.

CMS Fast Facts

CMS has released a new quick-reference statistical summary on annual CMS program and financial data. The November fact sheet includes updates on Medicare and Medicaid populations; Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and premiums for 2015; Medicare FFS persons served and payments by type of service (calendar year 2013); Medicare Part D utilization and expenditures (calendar year 2013); Medicare prepaid contracts (October 2014); Medicaid beneficiaries and payments by selected type of service (fiscal year 2011); and preliminary CMS financial data (fiscal year 2014).

More detailed data is available from the Medicare & Medicaid Statistical Supplement and the CMS Statistics Reference Booklet.

Creativity

National Center for Creative Aging

EngAGE   (provides arts programs onsite in senior housing communities in Los Angeles area)

Elders Share the Arts (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Center for Elders and Youth in the Arts (San Francisco Bay area)

Alzheimer’s Poetry Project (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Arts for the Aging (Bethesda, Maryland)

Songwriting Works (Port Townsend, Washington)

The Seasoned Performers:  A New Stage in Life (Birmingham, Ala.)

Lifetime Arts:  at the intersection of aging and the arts (New Rochelle, N.Y.)

“The Creativity and Aging study” by Gene Cohen, 2006

Creativity and Aging:  Best Practices,” National Endowment for the Arts, 2006

Demographics

Administration for Community Living (ACL: Population estimates of those 60   by state). The breakouts include on race/gender/institutionalization, among other estimates. Search reports and information from 2006-2014. This is a good resource to help spot trends. 

Diabetes

NCHS Data Brief: Diabetes: Nearly 10 percent of Americans and 21 percent of adults 65 and over have diabetes. The National Center for Health Statistics has issued a data brief detailing the use of health services by age group. Not surprisingly, the use of health services, medication, and complications increases with age.

Direct care workers

Direct Care Alliance  

Center for Personal Assistance Services   

National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center

PHI 

PHI National Clearinghouse on the Direct Care Workforce

National Association of Health Care Assistants

Caring Across Generations

National Domestic Workers Alliance

National Private Duty Association

Private Duty Homecare Association

Disabilities

Older Americans With a Disability: 2008–12: Nearly 16 million older adults have at least one disability. Data was collected from the American Community Survey (ACS) on six types of disability: hearing, vision, cognition, walking, self-care, and independent living. People who reported any one of the six disability types are considered to have a disability. Data was compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. The report was commissioned and funded by the National Institute on Aging of the NIH. It is the first Census report on disabilities among older people and looks at disability status by age, gender, marital status, education and poverty status.

Disparities

National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report - 2016 chartbook from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). includes a summary, charts and graphs focusing on quality and disparities across measures of effective treatment. A PowerPoint slide presentation is also available.

Drugs and devices

NCHS Brief: Strategies Used by Adults to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs: United States, 2013:
This brief looks at how U.S. adults attempted to reduce costs of prescription drugs through techniques like not taking or filling prescriptions as prescribed, cutting pills in half, or using alternate therapies. The report highlights age and socioeconomic breakdowns.

DrugWatch: A continually updated resource and database of recalled medical devices,  new information about research breakthroughs, clinical trials, recalls, and warnings from the FDA. Patient advocates and  and assistance with filing legal paperwork are available to consumers who may have been harmed by a device or drug.

Federal agencies

new Wiki from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press now available in beta. As this article in Columbia Journalism Review explains, it’s a collaborative effort to make understanding and filing FOIAs a little easier and more bearable by pooling everyone’s shared wisdom. there’s also a page for just about every federal agency, including contact info, response time, fees and agency involved cases. a forum provides opportunity to discuss current efforts and get advice from other reporters. 

Elder abuse

You Only Pray that Somebody Would Step In: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Elder Abuse in America, a report from the Frameworks Institute. This report is part of a broader effort from the Frameworks Institute to reframe public understanding of elder abuse. The report analyzes qualitative data to examine patterns of public thinking and understanding of the issue with those of experts on elder abuse.

National Center on Elder Abuse

National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

Elder Justice Coalition

Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect, University of California, Irvine

International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

National Adult Protective Services Assn.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Elder Justice Act

GAO Report (March 2011): Elder Justice

GAO, Nov. 2012 report:  Elder Justice:  National Strategy Needed to Effectively Combat Elder Financial Exploitation

End-of-life care

End-of-life discussions: Perspective from a nurse who is a patient: Amy Berman – a nurse, a nationally recognized expert in care of the aged and senior program officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation – has a fatal form of breast cancer. She recently wrote eloquently for The Washington Post about why she feels the advanced-care planning conversations she has had with her health-care team have been so important. CMS will soon decide whether or not to pay doctors and other health care providers for these kinds of conversations about end-of-life planning. Berman's perspective is interesting as reporters prepare to cover the decision.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization publishes a list of resources here. 

The Center to Advance Palliative Care

The presentation from Rosemary Gibson, author of The Treatment Trap and Wall of Silence, offers 10 points on end-of-life care and health reform.

Ethnic Aging

Stanford School of Medicine Ethno-Med

The Stanford School of Medicine provides learning modules for the thirteen major ethnic groups in the U.S., from Alaskan Natives to Vietnamese-Americans. Each module covers demographics, culturally appropriate care, access and utilization. While this site is skewed towards health professionals, journalists can quickly get up to speed on current education about ethnic-oriented aging.

Exercise

Exercise is vitally important for older adults.  Learn about the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life exercise initiative for older adults. 

See what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about strength training for older adults.

There are some communities and organizations that experimented with programs designed to promote exercise, including:

Geriatrics

There are a couple of studies focusing on super-aging problems:

  • Emily Rogalski, Ph.D., assistant research professor, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University explains the background and construction of one major study of super-agers in this presentation.

  • Michael Province, professor and director, Division of Statistical Genomics, Washington University School of Medicine explores the role of genetics in aging, and efforts to track to the responsible genes, assuming they exist in this presentation.

American Geriatrics Society

American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Section on Geriatrics, American Physical Therapy Association

U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals: Geriatrics

Veterans Administration: Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care

Geriatrics Workforce Policy Studies Center

California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics

2005 White House Conference on Aging

The Grey Literature Report from the New York Academy of Medicine: According to NYAM, "Grey literature" is the term for non-commercially published documents, such as reports, technical documents, clinical proceedings, market research, etc. that are not easily accessible by the public. The site offers many links to association, NGO, government healthy aging and prevention documents as well as resource links to policy centers and databases.

Global aging

Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.

A new multi-collaborator report looks at the shift in demographics and burden of disease from 1990-2013. While outbreaks of acute diseases like MERS and SARS make headlines, the real issue among the aging global population is chronic, debilitating disease — which requires more attention and effort from health systems around the world. Full article available for AHCJ members from Science Direct.

Webcast: A report from the World Economic Forum on key challenges, solutions & opportunities

AHCJ WebcastFebruary 2013
One key issue addressed at the recent World Economic Forum was the rapidly increasing global aging population; and how to prepare for its profound impact on global health, as well as the direct economic, social and political implications.

Global experts from the WEF Global Agenda Council on Ageing led this discussion in Davos and presented a new report outlining key challenges/opportunities associated with global aging, including how to improve healthy aging through the innovation of global health systems and investment in long-term health options; as well as specific initiatives to seize the social and economic opportunity created by the aging population.  

This webcast featured leaders from the WEF Council on Ageing discussing these topics and sharing specific outcomes from their discussion in Davos.

Healthy aging 

White House Conference on Aging Policy Brief: Healthy Aging is the first of what will be several upcoming briefs on aging issues in a run up to the 2015 conference this summer. Other briefs will include including long-term services and supports, elder justice, and retirement security. 

"Fostering Engagement and Independence: Opportunities and Challenges for an Aging Society" is a special supplement to the Society of Public Health Education journal Health Education & Behavior. The goal is to examine innovative ways of influencing the health and well-being of the growing senior population.

The State of Aging and Health is an interactive map based on the 2004 and 2007 CDC State of Aging and Health reports – map is viewable by region, state, city and MMSA. It examines 15 key indicators of health status, behaviors, preventive care, and injuries of adults 65 in the US. This data provides an excellent baseline for follow-up reporting on any of these measures.

The Healthy Brain Initiative 2013-2018

This report from the Alzheimer's Association and the CDC provides the Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013–2018, outlines how state and local public health agencies and  their partners can promote cognitive functioning, address cognitive impairment  for individuals living in the community, and help meet the needs of care partners. 

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, with an estimated 5 million Americans suffering from the disease in 2013.  By 2050, that number could triple, according to a joint report from the Alzheimer's Association and CDC. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) established the Alzheimer’s-specific segment of CDC’s  Healthy Aging Program, referred to as The Healthy Brain  Initiative. Several organizations, including the Alzheimer's Association, National Institute on Aging, Administration on Aging, AARP and others, partnered with the CDC to create a road map to guide a coordinated public health response across agencies and organizations.The overall intent of the Healthy Brain Initiative is to better understand the public health burden of cognitive impairment through surveillance; build a strong evidence base for policy, communication, and programmatic interventions for improving cognitive health; and translate that foundation into effective public health practice in states and communities.

Much has happened since the first The Healthy Brain Initiative report was published in 2007. The Alzheimer’s Association and CDC revisited the Road Map with a specific focus on the role and contribution of state and local public health agencies. While federal agencies play a critical role in leading and funding efforts to address Alzheimer’s disease, state and local agencies organize and provide public health services on the ground level.

Download the full report here.

Ideas for coverage:

  • What Alzheimer's initiatives are available in your community?

  • Are there partnerships or programs to report on? What programs are underway by state, county, or city public health departments, local Alzheimer's Associations or other health organizations?

  • Are there local families/caregivers you can profile?

  • What's being done to educate providers and caregivers to spot early warning signs? Can initiatives be integrated into patient centered medical homes?

  • Has the economy forced cuts to senior programs or caregiver support services?

  • What does the public need to know about caring for someone with cognitive decline or promoting good cognitive behavior?

  • Are there any clinical trials or studies underway at local medical/academic institutions?

  • What about emergency/preparedness planning? What plans are in place in your community/city?

  • What are some of the costs of care – unpaid/paid caregiving, lost days of work by care providers, medication, counseling, hospitalizations, cost of programs

Healthcare Equality Index (HEI)

The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the national LGBT benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBT patients, visitors and employees. The HEI 2014 evaluates a total of 1,504 healthcare facilities nationwide. Download the 2014 report here.

HIV/AIDS and aging

The AIDS Institute

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day – Sept. 18 annually

San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (New York City)

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

AIDS Community Research Initiative of America

Research Network on HIV/AIDS and the Elderly

Publications

The Body:  Aging & HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS and Aging:  Emerging Issues in Research, Care, Treatment and Prevention

National Institute on Aging:  HIV, AIDS, and Older People

CDC:  HIV/AIDS among Persons Age 50 and Older

National Association of Social Workers:  The Aging of HIV

Home health care

Healthy Aging Begins at Home: A report from the Bipartisan policy Center on why housing plays such an important role in the health of older adults and ideas on how to make homes and communities more elder-friendly – from local initiatives to federal policy. Get the full report, infographics and background materials.

Avalere Health released a study, Home Health For America, which analyzes Medicare home health care users. They are generally older than age 75, and three-quarters suffer from four or more chronic conditions. They need more help with ADLs, are generally lower-income, and are more likely to be minorities. Some charts and graphs in the report can be coupled with the Home Health Compare database to provide an interesting snapshot of home care users in your community.

Medicare’s page on home health care. The agency notes that patients have to meet various requirements to qualify for coverage.

Medicare’s home health compare. See how home health agencies in your area stack up on various quality measures.

National Association for Home Care & Hospice

American Association for Homecare: This organization is the lobbying arm for the home care industry in Washington, D.C.

Home Health Care Nurses Association

California Association for Health Services at Home

Home Care Association of New York State - Many states have associations of home care providers.  Do an Internet search for one in your state.

Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) proposed this legislation in 2011.

Leading Age: Represents home health, senior housing, and various long-term care providers.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Medical Device Home Use Initiative. As the population ages, more complex medical devices such as ventilators or infusion pumps are being used in home settings.  The FDA launched this initiative in April 2010.

The presentation from Kathleen Kelly, M.P.A., executive director, Family Caregiver Alliance explains the key players in hospital to home, the transitional care model.

Hospice and palliative care

Health Literacy and Palliative Care workshop summary
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) Roundtable on Health Literacy convened a one-day public workshop to explore the relationship between palliative care and health literacy and the importance of health literate communication in providing high-quality delivery of palliative care. This report summarizes the discussions that occurred throughout the workshop and highlights the key lessons presented, practical strategies, and the needs and opportunities for improving health literacy in the United States.

This hospice consumer guide from The Washington Post offers information on costs, services, profits, and various other comparison tools. CMS won’t have “hospice compare” data ready for several more years, so The Washington Post stepped in and created their own Consumer Guide to Hospice. The database is searchable by state, county and hospice name. It provides consumers with basic information such as accreditation, per-patient spending on care, years of operation, crisis care, and live discharges. 

A study, "A Controlled Trial to Improve Care for Seriously III Hospitalized Patients" found many people nearing the end of life are not informed of their treatment options and their doctors are unaware of their preferences for treatment, which contributes to a lower quality of life at the end of life.

According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, in 2009:

  • 1.1 million people received hospice services

  • Medicare spent $12 billion on hospice services

  • 3,500 hospice providers received Medicare reimbursement, a 50 percent increase from 2000; most of the growth has been among for-profit hospice providers

Palliative care

Palliative care is a relatively new addition to the continuum of medical care. Palliative medicine was recognized as a new specialty in 2006 by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine maintains a national directory of physicians who are board certified in palliative medicine.

Hospital-based palliative care

Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association

The Center to Advance Palliative Care at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine has a training program to help doctors and nurses establish palliative care programs in their hospitals. Harvard Medical School reports a workforce shortage of 5,000-11,000 palliative care physicians.

Research

A 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people with metastatic lung cancer who received palliative care early in their diagnosis and had less aggressive end-of-life care lived 2.7 months longer than those who received standard treatment.

New developments/trends for reporters to watch

The Office of the Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice crack down on hospices that aren’t following Medicare rules.

Bloomberg News published an investigation of hospices that enrolled people who were not terminally ill, a violation of Medicare eligibility requirements.

Kaiser Health News reported on a whistleblower complaint that was joined by the federal government against a for-profit hospice that allegedly submitted false Medicare claims for non-terminally ill people. The whistleblowers allege their employer offered incentives to employees (massage chairs, trips to exotic locations, etc.) to encourage them to meet aggressive enrollment targets. See the U.S. Department of Justice press release.

These reports are in addition to earlier actions by the Justice Department against hospices for abusing the benefit.

Here are more resources to explore:

Medicare website with information on the hospice benefit  and a report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission

Get a list of hospitals with palliative care programs by state or the number and distribution of hospitals with palliative care according to congressional district.

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

America’s Care of Serious Illness: A State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation’s Hospitals

National Palliative Care Research Center

International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences for Outcomes and Risks of Treatments (SUPPORT)

More tips and sources are included in the tip sheet "Reporters' guide to hospice and palliative care."

Hospice Care in America 2013

An annual overview from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), with facts and figures, of important trends in the growth, delivery and quality of hospice care across the country.

Hospital utilization

CMS Data Brief:  Sharp Reductions in Avoidable Hospitalizations Among LTC Facility Residents — Between 2010 and 2015, the hospitalization rate for six potentially avoidable conditions —  bacterial pneumonia, urinary tract infections, congestive heart failure, dehydration, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma, and skin ulcers decreased by 31 percent for Medicare and Medicaid dually-eligible beneficiaries living in long-term care facilities. That resulted in 133,000 fewer hospitalizations over the last 5 years.

In July 2015, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released Fast Stats, a new online tool from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project that provides access to the latest HCUP statistics from 41 states on numbers of hospital discharges by payer group (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, uninsured) and by condition category (surgical, mental health, injury, medical). Reporters can conduct state-by-state comparisons and analyze the effects of Medicaid expansion on hospital utilization levels and payment sources.

ICD-10 Conversion Tool

On Oct. 1, 2015, the United States began using Clinical Modification ICD-10-CM for diagnosis coding and Procedure Coding System ICD-10-PCS for inpatient hospital procedure coding. This tool offers free conversions of codes from the earlier ICD-9 system.

Hospitalizations: Age 85 and older

According to a new brief from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the number of adults age 85 and older rose 31% between 2000 and 2010 - from 4.2 million people to 5.5 million. In 2010, they represented 14% of the population age 65 and older. This brief breaks down hospital care for the 85-and-up demographic, examining days of care and number of discharges in comparison to the general population, as well most common causes of hospitalization and the likelihood of hospitalization compared to other age groups. 

Housing

Independent Living

Assisted Living

Memory Care

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Skilled Nursing Facilities

Income

The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income
Income disparities affect people at every stage of life — including how long they live and how well of they are in retirement. People who are better-educated and earn higher incomes live longer, on average, than those with less education and lower incomes. The gap between high and low earners is widening, according to a September 2015 report from the  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  

The report found that high earners have disproportionately received larger lifetime benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare, primarily because of a longer life span. “The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income”, offers the first comprehensive estimates of how lifetime benefits are affected by the changing distribution of life expectancy and how the growing gap in longevity affects traditional policy analyses of reforms to the nation’s leading entitlement programs.  Skim the contents here or download a complete PDF version here.

Legal resources

American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law & Aging

National Association of Elder Law Attorneys

National Senior Citizens Law Center

Center for Elder Rights Advocacy

Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994

An effort by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to significantly increase government oversight of dietary supplements was voted down

A directory of senior legal aid services in every state

National Association of Senior Legal Hotlines

National Legal Resource Center  (provides legal support to the aging advocacy network)

The Center for Social Gerontology law and aging program

National Consumer Law Center Elder Initiative

AHCJ conference presentation about Washington State’s Death with Dignity Act

National Senior Citizens Law Center: A nonprofit organization focused on protecting the rights of low-income older Americans. The organization uses advocacy and litigation to ensure economic security, health care, rights under federal and state law are maintained – including access to affordable care, expansion of SSI and other income support programs, and ensuring seniors' civil rights are not violated. Several interesting case studies and articles are available on the site, which may provide impetus for local angles or investigation of similar issue.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (LGBT)

Meeting the Unique Legal Needs of LGBT Seniors, a June 2016 report from Justice in Aging. Aging LGBT adults face unique systemic challenges including greater risk of aging in poverty, ensuring access to partner benefits, discrimination within the health system, and legal or not, trampling on many of the same rights heterosexual seniors take for granted.

Eight policy recommendations for improving the health & wellness of older adults with HIV: The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging has provided the country's first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults: expanding medicaid coverage better provider training, and more emphasis on socio-economics and disparities are some of the issues covered.  

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging serves the often overlooked population of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults.

FORGE Transgender Aging Network

Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders

The LGBT Aging Project

Diverse Elders Coalition

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:  Aging

National Center for Lesbian Rights:  Elder Law

American Society on Aging:  LGBT Aging Resources Clearinghouse

The Aids Institute:  HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness

Old Lesbians Organizing for Change

Publications

The Aging and Health Report:  Disparities and Resilience Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Older Adults

LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities

Outing Age 2010:  Public Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders

Longevity

Mortality in the United States 2015
National Center for Health Statistics data brief, released in December 2016, on longevity and death, shows a slight decline from 2014.

The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life is a book that examines the challenges of our society with a growing aging population.

Longevity gene

Long-term care

Long Term and supportive care - September 2016 report from McKinsey on how the government, private payers, providers, and technology companies are innovating to address individuals with complex medical and supportive care needs. 

Long-Term Services and Supports: Changes and Challenges in Financing and DeliveryThis Alliance for Health Reform toolkit explains the current LTSS system, trends in the delivery of care and the current policy challenges.

The toolkit includes: 

  • An overview of funding for LTSS

  • Summaries of, and links to, key reports and news articles

  • Contact information for leading experts (current as of June 2015)

Raising Expectations, 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers: In June 2014, AARP, The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation  released their second long term care scorecard, a state-by-state breakdown of performance of long-term services and supports that help older adults, adults with disabilities and their family caregivers. The rankings looked at 26 performance indicators within five dimensions of care for each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and classifies them against each other.

With the Balancing Incentive Program, the Affordable Care Act provides states with program funding intended to remove barriers to home-and community-based LTSS. This page explains the program and provides links to proposals from states requesting funding — with detailed program and financials. It provides information on what individual states hope to enact around community-based long-term care services.

LongTermCare.com allows you to look up the cost of various long-term care services by state.   While it’s industry sponsored, the data is useful.  Also included here is information about various state long-term care insurance partnerships.

A survey compares how states do when it comes to providing long-term services and support to vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.

The National Care Planning Council has a website that offers information about finding long-term care services and planning for long-term care.

The National Council on Aging is an essential resource for all things related to aging. Search by topic for more information at their site. 

National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care  

CompleteLongtermCare.com allows you to look up the cost of various long-term care services by state.   While it’s industry sponsored, the data is useful.  Also included here is information about various state long-term care insurance partnerships.

A guide to long-term care insurance from America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry source. 

MetLife Mature Market Institute 2011 Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs. 

Congressional hearings held after the Obama administration terminated a national long-term care insurance program.

Medicare doesn’t pay for custodial care; it only pays for medically necessary care at home or in a skilled nursing facility, under limited circumstances.

See an in-depth look at Medicaid and long-term care.

A 2009 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation: Closing the Long-Term Care Funding Gap: The Challenge of Private Long-Term Care Insurance

Below are some materials on long-term care.

At the Crossroads: Providing Long-Term Services and Supports at a Time of High Demand and Fiscal Constraint is a report from AARP Public policy Institute analyzes challenges facing states as the demand for long term care services and support (LTSS) increases. While some Medicaid-funded services expand under the Affordable Care Act, many other LTSS program budgets are being slashed – like those for transportation, home delivered meals, and senior centers. 

Full report (53 pages); Issue Brief (2 pages) and ChartPak (30 pages).

Medicare and Medicaid

Impact of Changing ACA Age Rating Structure  a Miliman Research Report, conducted for AARP Public Policy Institute  shows that changing the 3:1 limit on age rating to 5:1 would significantly raise premiums for older adults relative to younger adults, minimally impact overall enrollment, and increase federal spending.

Justice in Aging Issue Brief: How Medicaid funding caps would harm older Americans. Importantly, they could limit medically necessary care.

State Health Care Spending, a May 2016 report from Pew Charitable Trusts. The report examines spending and trends for various programs, from Medicaid to Children’s Health Insurance. It looks at the impact of the Affordable Care Act on spending and roadblocks to comprehensive evaluation. Many elderly are “dual eligibles” – low-income seniors who receive benefits under both Medicare and Medicaid. How states choose to spend Medicaid dollars can directly affect their health and quality of life.

Medicare Trends and Recommendations: An Analysis of 2014 Call Data from the Medicare Rights Center’s National Helpline
In 2014, the Medicare Rights Center’s (Medicare Rights) staff and helpline volunteers fielded more than 17,000 questions and issues through the organization’s national consumer helpline. Callers included over 11,000 Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers across the country. As in previous years, callers were geographically and socioeconomically diverse, and needed help with a wide array of complex Medicare issues.

CMS has released a new Medicare Part D Prescriber Look-up Tool. Data from the 2013 Medicare Part D Prescriber Public Use File can now be easily searched to find information on drugs prescribed by physicians and other practitioners for Medicare beneficiaries. Information available include drug name, number of prescriptions dispensed (including original prescriptions and refills) and drug cost.

On July 28, 2015, CMS released updated Medicare state-by-state enrollment numbers, which show that more than 55 million Americans are covered by Medicare. In comparison, approximately 19.1 million Americans were covered by Medicare in 1966. In 2012, there were nearly 52 million beneficiaries covered by Medicare. The jump in enrollment over the past three years is attributable to the first wave of Baby Boomers retiring. CMS also released state-by-state Medicaid enrollments on a monthly basis. As of May 2015, over 71.6 million individuals were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with 12.8 million more gaining coverage since 2013. More information is available on Medicaid.gov. This chart provides stats on enrollment as of May 2015 in the various types of plans.

CMS has released Home Health Compare, which allows consumers to assess quality of patient care star ratings on an agency’s relative performance for 9 of the 29 quality measures. Ratings are calculated using information from patient assessments performed by the HHA and from Medicare claims submitted by the HHA.

The nation’s population of older adults is growing, and a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, “The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare,” predicts a continuation of this upward trend. By 2050, the number of people 65 and over “..will nearly double, the population ages 80 and older will nearly triple, and the number of nonagenarians and centenarians—people in their 90s and 100s—will quadruple.” The KFF report evaluates the implications of this trend for Medicare and the federal budget, and examines how providers will meet the needs of an older population. A Health Affairs companion article provides some analysis for certain findings in the report. 

CMS consumer guide to observational status
An easy-to-understand two-page explanation of what it means to be an in-patient or under observation, and what Medicare will and will not pay for. Although the language is pretty basic, it's a helpful overview of exactly what the price of admission (or no admission) may cost.

The 2014 OIG work plan sets up how the Inspector General's office will scrutinize claims that CMS pays to hospitals, nursing homes, and home care agencies, as well as for prescription drugs, medical equipment and other care services.  Among them: Part A (inpatient claims, such as the two-midnight rule for hospital admissions, high level-therapy at SNFs, interrupted long-term facility stays, new oversight of hospital pharmaceutical compounding, and questionable Part B claims. There is a wealth of potential story ideas within the report, particularly when coupled with available data from Hospital Compare, Nursing Home Compare and Home Health Compare.

Medicare Fact Sheet (Primer) from Kaiser Family Foundation: How much do you know about Medicare? This super-detailed and easy to understand "Medicare at a Glance" primer is almost guaranteed to make you more knowledgeable. Well thought out graphs and charts add to understanding of necessarily dry facts & figures. Go learn something new.

100 FAQs about Medicare 

The Essentials:

What is Medicare

Medicare handbook for members

The finances of Medicare

Projections for growth in Medicare from Congressional Budget Office

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, June 2011 data book

Medicare, a chartbook, 2010

Medicare, a primer

Medicare: The basics, the politics and the resources

How Medicare Works with Employer-Based Insurance

Out-of-pocket spending by Medicare members:

Health spending by Medicare households

Advocacy groups:

Medicare Rights Center

Center for Medicare Advocacy

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Dual Eligibles: Some seniors have so few resources that they qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, a joint federal/state program for the poor. An overview of dual eligibles

Community-based Care Transitions Program

Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative  

Health Care Innovation Awards

Independence at Home Demonstration Project  

Innovation Advisors

The Innovation Center chose 73 individuals out of 920 applicants to help spur delivery system reform in their communities and provide expertise in health care finance, health system analysis and other specialties. Their names and affiliations are available online.

Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

There are several types of ACOs, each with a slightly different twist. In December 2011, the Innovation Center named 32 “Pioneer ACOs” at health care systems throughout the country.

Another type of ACO is already a permanent part of Medicare, within the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

Aging Nation: Troublesome Health Care Issues

The 2012 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the (Medicare) Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds

Medication management and adherence

Medication Mangement and Adherence for Older People – a report from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Center for Home Care Policy & Research

Your Medications: What to Ask  – from the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging

How to Create a Pill Card – from AHRQ

Identifying Medications Older Adults Should Avoid: Updated Beers Criteria (2012) from the American Geriatrics Society

This recent story from ProPublica on the billions of dollars wasted on name-brand prescriptions under Medicare. 

ProPublica’s Prescriber Checkup - a database of physicians and drugs in Medicare Part D

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists: 703-739-1300

Medicare Part D Claims Data database

2014 drug finder: compare prescription drug costs across all Medicare and Medicare advantage plans

2011 Ambulatory Care Health Data from the National Health Interview Survey

Multicultural Aging

Diversity Style Guide
From the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University; this guide includes hundreds of terms related to race/ethnicity, disability, immigration, sexuality and gender identity, drugs and alcohol, and geography. amalgamates information from more than 20 different style guides, journalism organizations and resources. 

The Role of Medicare in Hispanics’ Health Coverage, from the National Council of La Raza

The proportion of elders from ethnic and racial communities will double.

Ethnic Elders Newsbeat site

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) develops Geriatrics Cultural Navigator, an iPhone app. AGS is addressing the need for culturally competent patient communication that involves the stigma many traditional cultures attached to mental health concerns. Contact is Jill Lubarsky.

Federal laws and regulations are codified in Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and guidances issued by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. See this excellent summary from attorneys at the National Senior Citizens Law Center.

To review 14 standards laid out in federal National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS), see this write-up from Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  For a consumer perspective on CLAS, look at this publication from the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.

The Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum worked with the American Journal of Public Health to devote its entire May 2010 issue to the cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic differences between sub-groups within these broad categories.

Key sources for reporters covering diversity and aging include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Office of Minority Health and the U.S. Administration in Aging’s (AoA) state-by-state statistical breakdown of minorities.

Another valuable source for any reporter looking for recent research and experts on minority aging is the Gerontological Society of America.

GSA communication director Todd Kluss can provide a PDF of this 38-page booklet and contacts for listed speakers at GSA's 64th annual meeting in Boston. He’ll also search GSA’s journals on any subject and provide relevant journalists pieces at no charge.

Stanford Internet-based Successful Aging (iSAGE): A completely online educational program for health care providers, social workers, allied professionals and others caring for older adults. Modules target targeted specific older ethnic and minority populations. This self-paced training program is designed to provide deeper understanding of the science behind healthy aging and end of life care.  Many videos available; good for quick topic overviews.

Health Care Disparities

How Neighborhoods Affect the Health and Well-Being of Older Americans   a 2017 report from the Population Reference Bureau summarizes recent research on the association between neighborhood characteristics and the health and well-being of older adults.

See this helpful list of resources from the U.S. National Library of Medicine regarding health care disparities. Other important sources include the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Minority Health website, with Kaiser’s Monthly Update on Health Disparities, and the Commonwealth Fund, especially its website on vulnerable populations

Six resource centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMARs) funded by the National Institutes in Aging, are key sources on this topic.

Specialized resources

National Hispanic Council on Aging: Hispanic seniors represent 7 percent of the U.S. older adult population and, by 2050, they will make up 20 percent of the nation’s older adults. The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) is a national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and their caregivers. NHCOA has developed a Hispanic Aging Network of community-based organizations across the continental U.S., the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that reaches millions of Latinos each year. NHCOA also works to ensure the Hispanic community is better understood and fairly represented in U.S. policies.

Asociacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores (National Association for Hispanic Elderly)

Hispanic Health and Aging in a New Century

National Caucus and Center on the Black Aged

National Asian Pacific Center on Aging

Profile of Asian American Seniors in the United States

Indian Health Service

Statistics

Statistical profile: Black  Older Americans  Age 65  

Statistical profile: Hispanic Older Americans Age 65  

Statistical profile: Asian Older Americans Age 65

Statistical profile: American Indian and Native Alaskan Elderly

National Caucus and Center on Black Aging (NCBA): This group’s primary focus is on low-income African-Americans, quality of life, aging with dignity. They offer a health and wellness program which addresses social justice issues in health care – access, barriers, cost. They also provide educational programs on aging-related health issues specific to minority populations.

Neighborhoods

How Neighborhoods Affect the Health and Well-Being of Older Americans: A 2017 report from the Population Reference Bureau summarizes recent research on the association between neighborhood characteristics and the health and well-being of older adults.

Nutrition

AARP fact sheet 

This fact sheet from AARP provides some basic stats about hunger among the 50 population. It’s a bigger concern than many people realize. Included is a state-by-state ranking and proportion of the older population at risk. Some good story ideas in here based on the data. 

SNAP and the state of senior hunger in America

Millions of older Americans go hungry or have food insecurities each year. SNAP is the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program that helps seniors afford nutritious meals on a budget. This fact sheet provides stats and data on senior hunger. This report offers more insight and detail into the problem, policies, and programs to address hunger and its effect on older adults.

Nursing homes

PHI Report: Raise the Floor: Quality Nursing Home Care Depends on Quality Jobs (April 2016) According to the report, Low Pay and inadequate training of CNAs Are Creating a Care Crisis in nursing homes while demand increases. (note that PHI Policyworks is an advocacy group working to strengthen the direct-care workforce 

AHRQ’s Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2014 Comparative Database Report is available for download. The report compares patient safety culture in 263 U.S. nursing homes and 18,968 staff. The report also presents results by various nursing home characteristics (size and ownership) and respondent characteristics (job titles, work areas, direct patient contact, shift worked and tenure in nursing home). The report presents statistics, including averages, standard deviations, minimum and maximum scores and percentiles, on the patient safety culture composites and items from the survey.

Find or compare a nursing home at Medicare.gov. Get the data in spreadsheet format from AHCJ. CMS also releases a list of "special-focus facilities" that have longstanding quality issues.

Consumer Reports has long offered useful information on nursing homes. Its report, "Why the Fed's Web Site Falls Short," September 2006, is available here. CR also created a "Nursing Home Quality Monitor," which is available online as a clickable state map.

AARP offers a host of information, including this guide to state sources of nursing home performance data.

State's quality care information can be found in this guide to State Website Information About Nursing Homes. You can generally find up-to-date contact information and links to websites for the licensing and certification agency in your state.

Regulatory agencies

Consumer organizations

Other sources

Reports

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015

The National Academy on Aging offers a summary of this legislation, which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act of 1965, a federal law with longstanding bipartisan support. The law provides for the organization and delivery of social and nutrition services to older Americans and their caregivers.

This bill reauthorizes programs through 2018 and includes provisions that aim to protect vulnerable elders by
strengthening the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program and existing elder abuse screening and prevention
efforts. The bill also promotes the delivery of evidence-based programs, such as falls prevention and chronic
disease self-management programs. The reauthorization streamlines federal level administration of programs,vpromotes the efficient and effective use of transportation services, and improves coordination between programs at the federal, state, and local levels.

Here is a related tip sheet.

Oral health

"Oral Health: An Essential Element of Healthy Aging" - The Gerontological Society of America has dedicated an entire issue of its monthly newsletter to an exploration of the importance of oral health for elders. 

Health benefits of pets

Physical activity

Physical Activity Snapshots of 131 Countries: The Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!), a council of physical activity researchers has released baseline data cards for 131 countries across the world. These cards offer a detailed look at physical activity research, policy and surveillance worldwide. GoPA! was launched in 2012 after publication of the landmark Lancet Physical Activity Series which described a worldwide physical inactivity pandemic. It is a global organization consisting of physical activity researchers, epidemiologists, public health policy makers and practitioners. The group produces and analyzes reliable, high quality and current global data, information and knowledge on the topic of physical activity and health

Population trends

Gauging Aging: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understanding of Aging in America: A breakdown of what experts know, what the public believes, and how little overlap there is between the two, is dead-on, as well as providing necessary background for deep-diving, thought-provoking articles. Its easy-read, bullet-pointed format makes it a gold mine of ideas for those articles, and page lay-outs make it easy to make notes in the margins.

65 in the United States: 2010

This June 2014 report highlights several trends among America’s older population. There are more than 40 million people over age 65. That figure is expected to more than double by mid-century, to 83.7 million people and one-fifth of the U.S. population by 2050. The report presents population trends among older adults, as well as data on life expectancy, how well they age, their financial and educational status, medical, long-term care and housing costs, where they live and with whom, and other factors important for aging and health.

Retirement

Center for Retirement Research, Boston College

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

Retirement Research Center, University of Michigan

Employee Benefit Research Institute Retirement Confidence Survey

EBRI: Work to Age 70? For many, that still won’t pay for retirement

Fidelity Investments Estimates that a couple retiring in 2012 Will Pay $240,000 out of pocket in medical expenses throughout retirement

Transition boomers and Retirement Income Survey

The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement, AARP

Readiness Assessment

One of the first steps in undertaking a major organizational change is the evaluation of the preparedness of the organization for that implementation. A readiness assessment addresses the organizational, structural, and human factors that impact change implementation. It analyzes an organization’s infrastructure, culture, leadership styles, performance, processes and resources. Readiness assessments identify organizational needs and help administrators develop a plan – whether upgrading IT or introducing QI goals to staff. It also looks at the people within the organization and how adaptable they are to change.

Reverse mortgages

A fact sheet on reverse mortgages from the Federal Trade Commission. 
Another fact sheet on reverse mortgages from the National Council on Aging. 

A Q&A on reverse mortgages from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

A helpful primer on how reverse mortgages work. 

Science of aging

Disease drivers of aging e-briefing — comprehensive summary report on the The 2016 Advances in Geroscience Summit, from the New York Academy of Sciences in April (see my story here. Individual panelist presentations (slides & audio), and speakers list with contact information is available. Definitely a must-add resource for anyone reporting on the science of aging.

Sleep

These resources provide information about sleep conditions and improving sleep. 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
2510 North Frontage Road

Darien, IL 60561

630-737-9700

American Sleep Apnea Association
6856 Eastern Avenue, NW, Suite 203

Washington, DC 20012
202-293-3650

Better Sleep Council
501 Wythe Street

Alexandria, VA 22314-1917

703-683-8371

National Sleep Foundation
1010 North Glebe Road, Suite 310
Arlington, VA 22201
703-243-1697

Social Security

Social Security Spotlight is a report and interactive data project from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security Foundation details Social Security’s economic impact in states and counties nationwide. It includes data on beneficiaries by state, county, Congressional district, race/ethnicity, age and gender.

Storytelling

This free white paper from Tableau will help you understand and decide which chart is best for the type of data you're analyzing and the questions you want to answer. The paper is free to read online but downloading the PDF requires registration (name/email/phone). 

Transitional care

Where do they go from the hospital? (Mary Naylor presentation)

Care transitions: Role of geriatric care managers (Emily Saltz presentation)

Direct-care workers and transitional care (Dorie Seavey presentation)

 Women's health

Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald makes the case for women's health rehabilitation in this presentation.

Workforce

Eldercare Workforce Alliance’s Journalist Toolkit

May is Older Americans month and, in recognition, the Eldercare Workforce Alliance has released the Older Americans Month Toolkit for journalists and other stakeholders. It is designed to help easily identify resources that focus on the health and safety of older Americans. Of particular interest are links to personal stories by professionals, caregivers and older adults that can serve as a starting point for story ideas or sources. Links to professional training and guides, as well as Eldercare Workforce-specific programs are also included.

Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce (Institute of Medicine, April 2008 report)

Caring for an Aging America Act (introduced in Congress May 2011)

Aging and the Health Care Workforce (Population Reference Bureau)

The Impact of an Aging Population on the Health Workforce in the United States (Center for Health Workforce Studies, University of Albany)

Who Cares for Older Adults?  Workforce Implications of an Aging Society (Health Affairs)

Eldercare Workforce Alliance

Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations

American Geriatrics Society

American Geriatrics Society:  Geriatrics Workforce Policy Studies Center

National Association for Geriatric Education

Gerontological Society of America

American Assn. for Geriatric Psychiatry

American Academy of Nursing

American Physical Therapy Association

National Gerontological Nursing Association

Direct Care Alliance, Inc.

Service Employees International Union

Caring for Caregivers:  Latinos in the Direct-Care Workforce from the National Council of La Raza

PHI is an organization representing home health aides, certified nurse aides, and personal care attendants:  the workforce that provides care to seniors and people with disabilities in their homes. 

See also organizations listed under “Direct Care Workers”

There are several presentations on this topic.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Workforce (Valerie Gruss presentation)

Addressing current and future health workforce hurdles (Michael Evans presentation)

Geriatricians and the Aging Population (Herbert Sier presentation)

Volunteering – older adults

Profile of Older Adult Volunteers 65
(a report from the Corporation for National and Community Service)

Volunteer Growth in America: A Review of Trends Since 1974
(a report from the Corporation for National and Community Service)

AoA’s Civic Engagement Initiative

The Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative

Retaining Older Volunteers is the Key to Meeting Future Volunteer Needs
(a report from the Urban Institute)

Will Retiring Boomers Form a New Army of Volunteers?
(a report from the Urban Institute)

The Health Benefits of Volunteering:  A Review of Recent Research 
(Corporation for National and Community Service)

Age4Action Network

AARP Experience Corps

National Academy on an Aging Society:  Civic Engagement Resources