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Tip sheets

Journalists and experts have written about covering issues around aging and presented discussions on the topic at AHCJ conferences and workshops. This is a collection of the most useful and relevant tips. Click the title of the tip sheet that interests you and you will be asked to login because these are available exclusively to AHCJ members.

Featured tip sheet

The health risks of elder financial exploitation

September 2017
We all have read the stories: elderly adults scammed out of their life savings by unscrupulous contractors, telemarketers, caregivers, bankers, or even family members. Not only is this ethically horrific, but there are often serious health consequences for the victim.


Look for additional tip sheets based on subject:

Advance directives

Aging-in-place

Anti-aging movement

Arthritis and gout

Baby boomers

Biology and genetics

Caregiving

Dementia

Diabetes

Drug therapies

End-of-life issues

Healthy aging

HIV/AIDS

Hospice

Home health care

Housing

Long-term care

Medicaid

Medical issues

Medication

Medicare

Mental health

Multicultural aging

Nursing homes

Palliative care

Social Security

Transitional care

Workforce

Other topics

Advance directives

What to keep in mind when reporting on 'brain death'

Alan CasselsOctober 2016
When reporting on aging, one complicated issue journalists eventually will encounter is “brain death.”

Understanding the nuances of this issue is vital since media reporting shapes public perceptions and so can impact more than 120,000 Americans on waiting lists for a replacement heart, liver or kidney. Nearly two out of three Americans over age 50 are on an organ donor waiting list, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, but because of insufficient organ donations sometimes caused by the confusion around brain death – they may not receive one in time.

Author and researcher Alan Cassels explains some ways to improve reporting on this important issue, including definitions and potential sources.

What do reporters need to know about Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)?

August 2012
You’d think that advance directives signed by people with serious, life-threatening illnesses would ensure their treatment preferences or end-of-life wishes would be carried out. Too often this isn’t the case. One solution lies in Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLSTs), which are summaries of a patient’s advance directives related to their current medical situation. When signed by the patient’s physician (and increasingly, the patient), these summaries become physician’s orders. They are medically and legally recognized documents that are placed up front in the patient’s written and electronic medical records.

Can advance care planning help you avoid the treatment trap?

April 2011
Rosemary Gibson, author of "The Treatment Trap" and "Wall of Silence," offers 10 points on end-of-life care and health reform.

Redefining the 'planning' in advance care planning

April 2011
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.

Washington state's death with dignity act

April 2009
Cassie Sauer; vice president, communications, Washington State Hospital Association; came to Health Journalism 2009's panel on "Bioethics for journalists: Communicating the tough cases" to deliver a presentation concerning "Washington State's death with dignity act." Sauer described the details of the act, which took effect in March 2009, and gave reporters tips for covering the story and others like it.

Aging-in-place

Covering the aging-in-place trend in your community

June 2012
Aging-in-place is a broad term for arrangements that allow seniors to remain at home rather than relocate as frailty or disability increases their need for help with daily activities. However, aging-in-place is not easy to achieve. Health care journalists Lani Luciano introduces major resources, information and questions to help reporters explain aging-in-place and examine the issues and trends surrounding the concept.

Reporting on the high cost of falling

January 2017
A combination of factors made freelance journalist Mark Taylor think more about the cost and dangers of falling. He's in his early sixties and has cared for enough family and friends who have fallen to know that falls pose a huge risk.

When he attended the Gerontological Society of America's annual conference, he stumbled across a poster session illustrating the enormous cost of falls on our nation’s seniors, both physically and financially. The price tag for falling victims and their families and society was estimated to exceed $34 billion in 2013. He learned that falls are not an expected, normal consequence of growing older and they can be prevented. His tip sheet contains more important information about aging and falls to help inform your reporting on the topic.

Anti-aging movement

Covering the anti-aging movement

Arlene Weintraub
Arlene Weintraub

October 2012
The term “anti-aging” often conjures up visions of L’Oréal face creams and Botox, but today’s anti-aging industry encompasses much more than that. Most anti-aging doctors promote a regimen that includes dietary supplements like resveratrol, plus a host of hormone products, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH). The scientific validity of claims attached to these substances is highly questionable, yet the anti-aging industry continues to bring in an estimated $88 billion a year in sales.

The seemingly endless search for the fountain of youth offers a host of story ideas for enterprising health journalists. Arlene Weintraub, who has covered health and science for 15 years and is the author of “Selling the Fountain of Youth: How the Anti-Aging Industry Made a Disease out of Getting Old — And Made Billions,” offers useful background on the anti-aging movement as well as hot topics, potential story ideas and sources.

Baby boomers

Baby boomers opting for alternative health care

Phyllis Hanlon
Phyllis Hanlon

January 2014
As of July 1, 2011, baby boomers in the U.S. numbered 41.4 million, representing 13.3 percent of the population. By 2060, that figure is expected to skyrocket to 92 million. This generation has exerted significant influence on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of life and now, as it moves into and beyond the 65-year mark, is targeting health care.

The average 65-year old American is diagnosed with multiple medical issues that may include hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, according to an infographic assembled by Concordia University.

While many boomers still rely on traditional Western medicine, a greater number are looking for complementary and alternative solutions to address these issues.

Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century

April 2009
Buddy Ratner, bioengineering professor and director in the University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials program, spoke at the "Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century" panel at Health Journalism 2009. He gave a presentation on tissue engineering and the healing properties of biomaterials. Ratner outlined just how such materials can be improved and used for increasing life expectancy and repairing damaged tissues, among other things.

Aging and ability: The trends & challenges in rehabilitation medicine

April 2010
Dr. Santiago Toledo brings a rehabilitation focus to the discussion of baby boomer health care.

Regenerative medicine: New approaches to health care

April 2009
Anthony Atala, M.D., director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and chairman of the department of urology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, as part of the "Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century" panel at Health Journalism 2009, delivered a presentation titled "Regenerative medicine: New approaches to health care." In his presentation, Atala explained the history and specifics of regenerative medicine and tissue regeneration, helping the assembled journalists better understand this growing field.

Biology and genetics

Resources from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research

August 2016
Clinical literature is filled with questionable evidence and poor data quality reported in randomized controlled clinical trials and observational studies. It is critical that journalists have the skills to navigate the system and independently evaluate the quality of evidence. Clinical decisions may be based on inappropriate methods unless questioned and addressed by skilled journalists.

Health journalists in particular have an obligation and opportunity to tease the threads of innovation, drug discovery, and regulatory environments to provide informed context and a powerful narrative. 

This is particularly critical when evaluating studies regarding older adults and other vulnerable groups. When reviewing methodology, these factors should be taken into consideration.

Northwestern University super-aging study

April 2010
Emily Rogalski explains the background and construction of one major study of super-agers.

Are genetics involved in super-aging?

April 2010
Michael Province explores the role of genetics in aging, and efforts to track to the responsible genes, assuming they exist.

Introduction to the biology of aging

April 2009
George M. Martin, M.D., professor emeritus, Department of Pathology, University of Washington; retured adjunct professor of genome sciences and director emeritus of University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, presented an "Introduction to the biology of aging" ini which he discussed the genetic basis for aging and potential related research.

Programmed aging

April 2009
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.

'Wear and tear' with aging: The free radical theory of aging

April 2009
Peter Rabinovitch, M.D., Ph.D., director of the 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.

Caregiving

Tips for reporting on elder abuse

August 2015
Elder abuse was a key agenda item at this year’s White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA). While much of that panel discussion focused on financial exploitation, this is only one type of abuse that an older person might suffer.

It’s estimated that between 1 million and 5 million older adults (or 1 in 10 people age 60 years or older) has suffered from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, are neglected or abandoned. If financial abuse is included, the figure is closer to two in 10. Major financial exploitation was self-reported at a rate of 41 per 1,000 surveyed, higher than self-reported rates of other types of abuse, according to the Administration on Aging.

Caregiving comes to the forefront of issues around aging

February 2013
The challenges of caregiving are getting new attention from AARP and the federal government as baby boomers struggle to assist their aging, ailing parents. Judith Graham and Eileen Beal share facts, studies, story ideas and lots of resources for reporters to cover caregiving issues. This is a big topic and will only continue to grow in importance as the baby boomers age.

Challenges in Caring for Older Adults: A Team Sport 

March 2013
Sharon A. Levine, M.D., professor of medicine, Boston University; Geriatrics Section, Boston Medical Center, spoke at Health Journalism 2013 on the panel "The growing complication of coordinating senior care."

Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care 

March 2013
Susan Reinhard, Ph.D., R.N., senior vice president, AARP Public Policy Institute, spoke at Health Journalism 2013 on the panel "The growing complication of coordinating senior care."

Hospital to home: Tomorrow's transitional care models

April 2011
Kathleen Kelly, executive director of the National Center on Caregiving, offers this presentation on family caregivers, the challenges of caregiving and take-away information on policy.

Dementia

What reporters should know about Alzheimer’s and related dementias

Eileen Beal
Eileen Beal

February 2012
Over the next 20 years, the percentage of Americans age 65 and older will rise from around 13 percent of the population to approximately 20 percent.

Along with this increase, there will be a jump in the number of people with Alzheimer’s or related dementias (ADRDs). Estimates vary, but it’s been suggested that as many as 13.2 million Americans could be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050 – almost a three-fold increase from 4.5 million in 2000.

Eileen Beal covers this issue that touches every community and is important to every reporter covering aging and health.

The drive toward earlier Alzheimer’s treatment

March 2013
Scott Turner, M.D., Ph.D., director, memory disorders program, Georgetown University, spoke at Health Journalism 2013 on the panel "The drive toward earlier Alzheimer’s treatment."

Diabetes

A look at the wide-ranging complications of diabetes among older adults

February 2017
The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is projected to skyrocket among older adults in the next two decades. This trends places millions of older people at risk for serious and life-threatening complications, such as renal disease, retinopathy, heart disease and amputations. That can lead to reduced functioning, the need to enter an institution and higher mortality – with resulting higher costs to the health system.

By 2034, diabetes is expected to affect around 14.6 million Medicare-eligible individuals. Spending related to the disease among the Medicare-eligible population is projected to increase to $14.6 million by 2034, with associated spending nearly quadrupling from $45 billion in 2009 to $171 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). 

Find out more about how diabetes can add to the complications of aging and some solid resources to consult for your stories.

Diabetes in senior population impacts all aspects of health care

April 2013
“The aging population is a significant driver of the diabetes epidemic,” according to a consensus report from the American Diabetes Association and American Geriatrics Society. Patients, providers, and the entire health system must grapple with the impact of the disease as more boomers enter their senior years.

When covering health trends or researching statistics, bear in mind that diabetes in older adults impacts many facets of health care, including hospitalizations, costs, population health, access, quality of life years and policy, for starters. Here are some facts, important story ideas and resources to get you started on reporting on diabetes in the aging community.

Drug therapies

Resources from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research

August 2016
Clinical literature is filled with questionable evidence and poor data quality reported in randomized controlled clinical trials and observational studies. It is critical that journalists have the skills to navigate the system and independently evaluate the quality of evidence. Clinical decisions may be based on inappropriate methods unless questioned and addressed by skilled journalists.

Health journalists in particular have an obligation and opportunity to tease the threads of innovation, drug discovery, and regulatory environments to provide informed context and a powerful narrative. 

This is particularly critical when evaluating studies regarding older adults and other vulnerable groups. When reviewing methodology, these factors should be taken into consideration.

End-of-life

The Conversation Project: Stories that Change the Culture

March 2013
Ellen Goodman, co-founder and director, The Conversation Project, spoke at Health Journalism 2013 on the panel "Covering end-of-life issues." Her presentation includes information about end-of-life decisions and making sure they are expressed and respected.

Arthritis and gout

Writing about arthritis: What you need to know

April 2015
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, affecting about 52.5 million people, or one in five adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is projected that 67 million adults will develop some form of arthritis by 2030, yet the condition often is overlooked when it comes to public awareness of chronic diseases.

Arthritis causes pain, fatigue and sleep deprivation. It affects a person’s ability to conduct activities of daily living, such as walking or bending. It also complicates other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Roughly $128 billion in total arthritis-related health costs in 2003 (the most recent year available) included $80.8 billion in medical care spending and $47 billion in lost earnings, the CDC said.

The term arthritis is an umbrella for more than 100 conditions affecting the joints, surrounding tissues and other connective tissue. Symptoms vary but generally include aches, pains and stiffness in and around joints. Certain rheumatic conditions can affect the immune system and internal organs. Symptoms can either develop gradually or appear suddenly. Among the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia.

Painful big toes: Just the beginning in covering gout

January 2014
Gout is a devastating disease at any age, but can hit older adults especially hard. It is the most common inflammatory arthritis seen in the elderly and researchers report an escalating incidence and prevalence of gout. As this tip sheet by Eileen Beal describes, gout is very painful, manifesting with pain, swelling, heat, tenderness, and stiffness in the joints.

Elderly gout patients have higher health care utilization and costs than those without the disease. Gout represents about six percent of total health costs for seniors with this condition. By proactively managing the condition, it’s possible to avoid or minimize painful gout attacks.

Healthy aging

How ‘age friendly’ is your community? Here are some tips to assess it 

March 2016
You may be familiar with the term “age-friendly city,” but do you know what goes into being one?

It’s a concept we’ll likely be hearing more about as the worldwide older population is poised to surpass those under age 65 by mid-century.

Thousands more cities and towns need to be better prepared for the wave of aging baby boomers. That means making changes to meet the long-term health, housing, transit, social and civic needs of a population that routinely live well into their 80s and 90s. Key considerations include universal design, accessibility, health care services, “walkability” and ability to age in place.

Here are some important ways to assess age-friendliness and livability.

Covering how your community prevents falls, promotes safety for older adults

November 2014
Every 15 seconds, an older adult falls. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults age 65 and over. Additionally, the ACSM says that one in every three older adults takes a serious fall each year – resulting in more than 20,000 fatalities.

In 2012, 2.4 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments, with some 722,000 of these patients hospitalized, according to statistics from the CDC. These falls resulted in direct medical costs of more than $30 billion, and those costs are expected to skyrocket to between $44 and $54 billion by 2020 as the population ages.

Frailty: What you need to know

October 2014
The term “frailty” seems to be practically synonymous with aging. And while it’s true that adults naturally have a gradual physical decline as they age, not every older adult is frail and not every frail person is old.

Aging, also called senescence, refers to the biological process of growing older. As people age, it becomes more difficult for the body to repair itself and maintain optimal health, according to Neal S. Fedarko, Ph.D., professor of medicine, division of geriatric medicine and gerontology, Johns Hopkins University. People age differently based on both genetics and lifestyle factors.

Frailty is considered a chronic and progressive condition, categorized by at least three of five criteria: muscle weakness, unintentional weight loss, low physical activity levels, fatigue and slow walking speed. The body loses its ability to cope with everyday or acute stress, becoming more vulnerable to disease and death, as Samuel Durso, M.D., director of geriatric medicine and gerontology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine explained in a recent AHCJ webcast.

Older adults vulnerable without vaccinations

Eileen Beal
Eileen Beal

March 2014
In the United States, far too many people – including many older adults – don’t get the vaccines they need to prevent getting and spreading preventable diseases.  In a recent CDC press release, Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H, says many people think “that infectious diseases are over in the industrialized world."  

However, global travel and trade can spread diseases quickly, leaving seniors vulnerable to infection. Here, Eileen Beal discusses the risks of not being vaccinated and the reasons seniors aren't getting vaccinations, and also provides resources for people looking for more information on vaccines. 

Baby boomers opting for alternative health care

Phyllis Hanlon
Phyllis Hanlon

January 2014
As of July 1, 2011, baby boomers in the U.S. numbered 41.4 million, representing 13.3 percent of the population. By 2060, that figure is expected to skyrocket to 92 million. This generation has exerted significant influence on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of life and now, as it moves into and beyond the 65-year mark, is targeting health care.

The average 65-year old American is diagnosed with multiple medical issues that may include hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, according to an infographic assembled by Concordia University.

While many boomers still rely on traditional Western medicine, a greater number are looking for complementary and alternative solutions to address these issues.

What reporters should know about nutrition and aging

October 2013
Eating “well” is critical throughout the lifecycle to prevent chronic disease, and support both physical and mental health. Each stage of life presents unique nutritional needs and challenges; however, dietitians who work with seniors, or adults, aged 65 and older, consistently identify the following nutrition-related concerns specific to aging, many of which are interrelated and influence a senior’s ability to live independently.

Reporters should be aware of these concerns and explore how the community and those who support seniors are addressing these needs.

Covering lifestyle, genetics and policies that lead to healthy aging

March 2013
For Dr. John W. Rowe and Robert L. Kahn, authors of “Successful Aging,” the book that got the nation thinking about healthy aging, it’s a goal: “[L]ow probability of disease and disease-related disability, high cognitive and physical functional capacity, and active engagement with life.” For the quick-read version of the book, see Rowe and Kahn’s article in The Gerontologist.

For other thought leaders, it’s a public policy issue. And for those who are actively promoting healthy aging, it’s the outcome of the life-long interaction of various “dimensions” of health (genetic, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational, environmental).

Health journalist Eileen Beal explains the concept of healthy aging, what it involves and suggests a number of story ideas and points reporters to good sources to help in telling the stories of their communities.

HIV/AIDS

Covering the special health issues that LGBT seniors face

January 2016
A growing subset of the senior tidal wave known as the “gray tsunami” are those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

LGBT seniors increasingly are living out of the closet, yet remain largely invisible in government statistics. Few national health surveys include questions about sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving researchers to only guess at the true size of the nation’s LGBT older adult population.

In this tip sheet, Matthew S. Bajko explains some of the unique health issues that LGBT seniors face, such as social isolation and housing issues. He also offers stories ideas, contact information for sources and some relevant research. 

Covering HIV/AIDS and older adults

Janice Lynch Schuster
Janice Lynch Schuster

January 2013
The CDC estimate that 636,000 people have died from AIDS in the United States since the virus was first identified in the early 1980s. Today, more than a million people live with HIV – however, nearly 20 percent do not know they are infected. Those over age 50 represent approximately 15 percent of the 50,000 new diagnoses annually, nearly one-fourth of all existing cases of HIV, and nearly 30 percent of those with AIDS.

What do you need to know about AIDS in the older population?

Janice Lynch Schuster runs down the facts and figures for reporters, as well as the public health challenges to preventing the disease and the ramifications for those living with it. She also lists story ideas and sources for your reporting.

Hospice

Reporters' guide to hospice and palliative care

Rosemary Gibson
Rosemary Gibson

June 2012
As 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, Medicare spending will skyrocket. About 30 percent of Medicare’s costs are for care in the last year of life. Research has shown that 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.

Every family is touched by the end of life of a loved one. Every reporter who covers Medicare policy and health and aging issues will want to know about hospice and palliative care.

Home health care

Home health care’s role in post-acute care

December 2013
Depending on the source, the home health care industry is either a boon to older adults or an industry rife with fraud and abuse. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in-between. For most part, home health care can be a cost-effective alternative to hospital or facility care, providing many clinical and skilled nursing services in a non-institutional setting. Hospitals are under intense pressure to reduce or avoid re-admissions within 30 days of patient discharge, clinicians want alternatives to institutionalized care, and insurers – especially Medicare – realize cost-savings through home-based short-term nursing and therapy services.

Here are some of the things to be aware of when covering home health care.

Housing

Reporting on the high cost of falling

January 2017
A combination of factors made freelance journalist Mark Taylor think more about the cost and dangers of falling. He's in his early sixties and has cared for enough family and friends who have fallen to know that falls pose a huge risk.

When he attended the Gerontological Society of America's annual conference, he stumbled across a poster session illustrating the enormous cost of falls on our nation’s seniors, both physically and financially. The price tag for falling victims and their families and society was estimated to exceed $34 billion in 2013. He learned that falls are not an expected, normal consequence of growing older and they can be prevented. His tip sheet contains more important information about aging and falls to help inform your reporting on the topic.

How ‘age friendly’ is your community? Here are some tips to assess it 

March 2016
You may be familiar with the term “age-friendly city,” but do you know what goes into being one?

It’s a concept we’ll likely be hearing more about as the worldwide older population is poised to surpass those under age 65 by mid-century.

Thousands more cities and towns need to be better prepared for the wave of aging baby boomers. That means making changes to meet the long-term health, housing, transit, social and civic needs of a population that routinely live well into their 80s and 90s. Key considerations include universal design, accessibility, health care services, “walkability” and ability to age in place.

Here are some important ways to assess age-friendliness and livability.

Understand senior housing and how it influences health, well-being

Richard Peck
Richard Peck

March 2012
The nexus between housing and health is evident in assisted-living centers or nursing homes, which take care of people with minor or substantial physical limitations who require regular assistance.

But even when older people are independent, housing arrangements can affect health by influencing their access to medical care, engagement in activities, social connections and other components of well-being.

Senior housing options have proliferated over the past several decades and it’s important to understand what’s available or being planned in your community. Richard Peck, who has covered aging-related topics for 30 years as editor of Geriatrics and editor-in-chief/contributing editor of Long-Term Living, offers a general description of the choices available, as well as story ideas and links to useful resources.

Long-term care

Bleak future for the funding of long-term care

Wallace Roberts
Wallace Roberts

December 2013
A new scientific measure was introduced at this year’s annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) that may have serious implications for how Americans are going to pay for long-term care. It’s called, “Not going to happen.”

At a symposium on the topic, Marc A. Cohen, chief executive officer of LifePlans, Inc., a research organization for private insurance companies selling long-term care insurance, painted a bleak picture for the role of the private sector in this field. He said there are only 11 companies now selling a meaningful number of long-term care policies while there were 102 in 2002.

Covering long-term care: Programs, data and questions to ask

January 2011
Long-term care has been in the news with the October 2011 demise of the CLASS Act – the first attempt by the government to establish a national long-term care insurance program. Now, the question is how the long-term care needs of people with chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes or heart disease will be addressed going forward as the Baby Boomers enter later years.

This has actually been a pressing, unresolved question for a long time. Although few people realize it, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care, for the most part. To be more precise, 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.

That leaves middle class seniors having to pick up the tab for long-term care services out of their own pockets. Few people appear to have prepared adequately for this eventuality or to appreciate just how expensive it can be.

Judith Graham, AHCJ's topic leader on aging sorts out the options, the statistics and offers resources to help reporters cover long-term care for their readers and viewers.

You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Policy and Problems in Long-Term Care

April 2008
Presentation from Joshua M. Wiener, Ph.D., senior fellow and program director, Aging, Disability and Long-Term Care, RTI International, on the "How will retiring boomers affect the national health agenda?" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Medicaid

Finding the stories about how the AHCA would affect Medicaid, older adults

Dan GoldbergMay 2017
Medicaid has evolved a lot in the five decades since it was signed into law. Now, the American Health Care Act would cut more than $800 billion from Medicaid over 10 years. Rightfully, there has been a lot of focus on what that would mean for low-income adults. But Medicaid also is a lifeline for roughly 6 million seniors, most of whom cannot afford Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements.

Because Medicaid is a jointly operated program, federal actions often require state reactions and state budgets provide a trove of stories. Medicaid is among any state’s most expensive, and fastest growing, programs so every governor looks for ways to contain costs.

Clearing up confusion about ‘dual eligibles’

August 2014
Dual eligibles are low-income elderly or disabled people jointly enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. The distinctions are sometimes bewildering. It’s easy to confuse which program pays for what, what each agency considers “appropriate” care, what factors go into measuring outcomes and how the separate structures of Medicare and Medicaid affect costs and quality.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2009, the federal and state governments spent more than $250 billion, combined, on health care benefits for the nine million dual eligibles. Seven million were “full duals,” who qualified for full benefits from both programs. The other two million were “partial duals,” who did not meet the eligibility requirements for full Medicaid benefits but received some benefits through the Medicaid program. 

Medicaid and State Budgets:The Crunch Continues

June 2010
Barbara Lyons explains the impact of cuts to state Medicaid programs.

The Human Face Behind State Budget Cuts to Health Care Programs

May 2010
Allison Hirschel talks about how a little-noticed state spending cut slashed a program providing important Medicaid extension services.

Medicare

10 things reporters should know about covering Medicare

August 2016
If it’s hard for health care journalists to keep up with Medicare’s flood of announcements about new and revised programs, imagine what it must be like for the poor consumers who actually have to use Medicare.

In fact, Medicare’s complexity has been identified in research as a significant deterrent to broader consumer use of the program’s wide range of benefits. Even though Medicare has an open enrollment period each year that basically amounts to a free “do over” for consumers, seniors can be so intimidated by the process that they just stick with what they have even if it’s inferior to other options.

With this in mind – and having spent the past two years answering reader’s Medicare questions for PBS NewsHour – here are 10 items (and, yes, this is a made-up number for the list gods) that health care journalists might like to know as they shape their plans for Medicare coverage

Tips on prying loose records using FOIA requests, lawsuit


Fred Schulte

September 2015
Obamacare gets blamed for a lot of things in Washington these days. But impossibly long delays in acting on Freedom of Information Act requests?

That may sound like a stretch. But it’s what Justice Department attorneys claimed in response to a FOIA lawsuit the Center for Public Integrity filed last year. We were trying to make public financial audits and other documents detailing government oversight of the fast-growing Medicare Advantage health insurance program for seniors. (Disclosure: I’m a plaintiff in the suit).

Clearing up confusion about ‘dual eligibles’

August 2014
Dual eligibles are low-income elderly or disabled people jointly enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. The distinctions are sometimes bewildering. It’s easy to confuse which program pays for what, what each agency considers “appropriate” care, what factors go into measuring outcomes and how the separate structures of Medicare and Medicaid affect costs and quality.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2009, the federal and state governments spent more than $250 billion, combined, on health care benefits for the nine million dual eligibles. Seven million were “full duals,” who qualified for full benefits from both programs. The other two million were “partial duals,” who did not meet the eligibility requirements for full Medicaid benefits but received some benefits through the Medicaid program. 

Latest innovations in Medicare

July 2012
Don’t look only to Washington policymakers for strategies to control medical costs and improve care for our aging population. New pilot projects that could accomplish these goals, which are at the heart of health reform, are being tested in communities across the country.

Medicare: The basics, the politics and the resources

January 2012
Medicare is one of the largest government programs in the United States. Health reporters are bound to hear about it every day. Judith Graham, AHCJ's topic leader on aging, has assembled a quick guide for reporters that nails down the basics of the program, the politics and changing landscape of the program, as well as essential resources and the questions that reporters should be asking and writing about for their news outlets.

Medical issues

What to keep in mind when reporting on 'brain death'

Alan CasselsOctober 2016
When reporting on aging, one complicated issue journalists eventually will encounter is “brain death.”

Understanding the nuances of this issue is vital since media reporting shapes public perceptions and so can impact more than 120,000 Americans on waiting lists for a replacement heart, liver or kidney. Nearly two out of three Americans over age 50 are on an organ donor waiting list, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, but because of insufficient organ donations sometimes caused by the confusion around brain death – they may not receive one in time.

Author and researcher Alan Cassels explains some ways to improve reporting on this important issue, including definitions and potential sources.

Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction: America’s Hidden Disabilities

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

What reporters should know about Alzheimer’s and related dementias

February 2012
Over the next 20 years, the percentage of Americans age 65 and older will rise from around 13 percent of the population to approximately 20 percent. Along with this increase, there will be a jump in the number of people with Alzheimer’s or related dementias (ADRDs). Estimates vary, but it’s been suggested that as many as 13.2 million Americans could be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050 – almost a three-fold increase from 4.5 million in 2000. Eileen Beal covers this issue that touches every community and is important to every reporter covering aging and health.

Medication

Medication management and adherence in older adults 

December 2013
Some 45 percent of older adults struggle with two or more chronic conditions and the health ramifications of those with multiple conditions are vast. People coping with several chronic illnesses have more difficulty with activities of daily living and may struggle to complete simple physical activities.

Many are taking multiple medications, often prescribed by multiple providers, who may or may not communicate with each other. Medication management and adherence may be a key component to allowing older adults to age in place.

This tip sheet provides more background on the impact of medication management, as well as story ideas and the resources to help you do more informed reporting on the topic.

Mental health

Mental health needs of aging prisoners is a fruitful area for coverage

November 2016
All but a relative handful of incarcerated persons in the United States go home. But those sentenced to longer – if not lifetime – prison stays mainly account for an increasingly older population in state and federal correctional facilities.

While the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics has been tracking that surge, it has not tallied the prevalence of mental illness among prisoners who are aging. Moreover, aging persons — imprisoned or not — are at greater risk for certain mental illnesses.

A comparatively small coterie of university researchers, alongside physicians and others providing care for those behind bars, say older inmates’ mental illnesses run the gamut. These researchers and clinicians have begun, even if incrementally, to try to empirically measure mental health problems among aging inmates, adding, they say, to what is a relatively small body of research about this group of individuals.

Tips to keep in mind when reporting on the mental health of older adults

April 2016
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. Addressing and treating mental and behavioral health problems is especially important for older adults living in underserved communities, and for those living in poverty, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

Recent studies indicate that about one-fifth of adults age 65 and older (20.4 percent) met the APA criteria for a mental disorder (including dementia) over the prior 12 months. While many older adults suffer from depression, anxiety and mood disorders also are common. Good mental health is important for overall wellbeing. Here are some tips and sources for writing about mental health as people age.

Depression in older adults all too common

October 2013
With age and the advance of illness, depression often strikes older adults. How often? Estimates vary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that up to 5 percent of adults age 65 and older have major depression. Other experts believe that figure hovers around 7 percent to 9 percent.

The numbers are much higher for seniors who are hospitalized (11.5 percent are clinically depressed) or who require home healthcare services (13.5 percent), according to the CDC. Again, estimates from other sources are higher. The take-home point is that depression is even more common in seniors who need institutional care or nursing care in their homes.

Geriatric mental health issues 

March 2013
Bert Rahl, L.I.S.W.-S., director, Mental Health, Eldercare Services Institute LLC, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, spoke at Health Journalism 2013 on the panel "The growing complication of coordinating senior care."

Multicultural aging

Aging Latinos: Increasing diversity will increase challenges for aging network

The age boom —the 77 million boomers reaching old age together – is already straining national, local and personal resources as the country tries to manage health care and services for the millions who are living longer, dealing with multiple chronic conditions or who require a continuum of care – beginning with assistance with the tasks of daily living and ending with palliative care and end-of-life services.

Janice Lynch Schuster
Janice Lynch Schuster

As stakeholders experiment with how best to redesign and deliver care that supports and engages older adults they also must account for changing demographics. According to the Census Bureau, the majority of aging boomers (72 percent) are white. Their experiences may prove less instructive in understanding the particular needs of racial and ethnic minorities, whose numbers will surge when today’s millenials reach retirement age. Today, Latinos are just 11 percent of the boomer generation, but comprise one-fifth of the millennial generation, and one in four of today’s children under the age of 18. 

Diversity in aging:
Putting gray in the rainbow

Paul Kleyman
Paul Kleyman

April 2012
Most health journalists know that the U.S. population is rapidly aging thanks to 78 million Baby Boomers who started turning 65 years old in 2011. What’s not as well appreciated is the increasing diversity of our aging population. By mid-century, the proportion of elders from ethnic and racial communities will double from about two out of every 10 seniors currently to just over four in 10 older people (42 percent).

Paul Kleyman explains that older adults from “minority” racial and ethnic groups often encounter different health problems and require different responses than the majority white population. To help health reporters cover our increasingly diverse older population, this tip sheet includes four key concepts and helpful links intended to point the way toward more ethnically representative – and interesting – stories.

Nursing homes

Getting dental care to elders in nursing homes

July 2014
Getting oral health care services to elders in nursing homes is a crucial task, yet one that is often overlooked. Untreated oral disease can have a devastating impact on the lives of these frail patients, leading to suffering and tooth loss, poor nutrition and serious, even fatal infections.

While federal law requires nursing homes to assist patients in obtaining routine and emergency dental care, state laws vary. In addition, nursing home directors, staff and family members may overlook the importance of oral health care, not only for the increasing number of seniors who have kept their teeth into old age, but for those who use dentures.

Covering the Health of Local Nursing Homes

Covering the Health of Local Nursing HomesThis reporting guide gives a head start to journalists who want to pursue stories about one of the most vulnerable populations – nursing home residents. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this guide offers advice about Web sites, datasets, research and other resources.

After reading this book, journalists can have more confidence in deciphering nursing home inspection reports, interviewing advocacy groups on all sides of an issue, locating key data, and more. The book includes story examples and ideas.

Using Nursing Home Compare

Charles Ornstein of ProPublica offers some tips on using the government's site to evaluate nursing homes. He identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the data and gives information about some other sources of information about nursing homes.

How to cover your local nursing home

April 2007
Extensive list of sources and what to look for, from the class "Tools for covering nursing homes" at Health Journalism 2007. By Trudy Lieberman, director, Health and Medicine Reporting Program, City University of New York; Charles Bell, programs coordinator, Consumers Union; and Charlene Harrington, Ph.D., R.N., associate director, Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, University of California, San Francisco.

Palliative Care

Palliative care: Our language matters

April 2014
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis.

The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment.  Here, Daniel Johnson discusses the relevant issues and provides tips for better coverage of palliative care.

Reporters' guide to hospice and palliative care

Rosemary Gibson
Rosemary Gibson

June 2012
As 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, Medicare spending will skyrocket. About 30 percent of Medicare’s costs are for care in the last year of life. Research has shown that 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.

Every family is touched by the end of life of a loved one. Every reporter who covers Medicare policy and health and aging issues will want to know about hospice and palliative care.

Social Security

Primer on Social Security

Bob Rosenblatt
Bob Rosenblatt

December 2012
Entitlement reform. Everyone seems to think that it’s inevitable, now that the elections are over.

Two big targets of reform are programs that serve seniors: Medicare and Social Security.

In a new tip sheet, Bob Rosenblatt, one of the most experienced aging reporters around, explains the ins and outs of the Social Security and how essential it is, financially, to many older adults. Without Social Security, large numbers of seniors would be poor and unable to afford health care bills, as well as other expenses.

Rosenblatt’s tip sheet gives the background needed to understand why Social Security is at a crossroads, as well as numerous resources and story ideas for reporters on the aging beat. Also, you’ll learn details about how benefits are calculated that sheds light on why many older women find themselves unexpectedly impoverished after divorce or the death of a spouse.

Transitional care

Home health care’s role in post-acute care

December 2013
Depending on the source, the home health care industry is either a boon to older adults or an industry rife with fraud and abuse. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in-between. For most part, home health care can be a cost-effective alternative to hospital or facility care, providing many clinical and skilled nursing services in a non-institutional setting. Hospitals are under intense pressure to reduce or avoid re-admissions within 30 days of patient discharge, clinicians want alternatives to institutionalized care, and insurers – especially Medicare – realize cost-savings through home-based short-term nursing and therapy services.

Here are some of the things to be aware of when covering home health care.

Where do they go from the hospital?

Mary Naylor, Ph.D, F.A.A.N., R.N., Marian S. Ware professor in Gerontology, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, offers this information on core components of the transitional care model and its relevance to the Affordable Care Act provisions.

Care transitions: Role of geriatric care managers

Emily Saltz, executive director of Elder Resources, explains the function of geriatric care managers, who exactly their clients are, how services are paid for and their challenges.

Workforce

Direct-care workers and transitional care

Dorie Seavey, Ph.D., director of policy research at the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, offers key facts on America's direct-care workforce and eldercare and disability services industry.

Long-Term Care Workforce

As baby boomers age, Dr. Valerie Gruss says the nursing shortage will only become more acute – particularly in the arena of long-term care.

The nursing workforce: Addressing current and future hurdles

Presentation by Michael Evans, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.C.H.E., Maxine Clark and Bob Fox dean and professor, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop. 

Geriatricians and the Aging Population

Dr. Herbert Sier explains the background and benefits of specialized geriatric medicine.

Other topics

The health risks of elder financial exploitation

September 2017
We all have read the stories: elderly adults scammed out of their life savings by unscrupulous contractors, telemarketers, caregivers, bankers, or even family members. Not only is this ethically horrific, but there are often serious health consequences for the victim.

What reporters should know about Parkinson’s disease and aging

May 2017
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affect about one in 100 people over age 60. Since it is a progressive disease, symptoms worsen over time. There’s no known cause or cure, but medication and surgery can help manage symptoms. Most people's symptoms take years to develop and can live for years with the disease.

The incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age. However, an estimated 4 percent of people with PD are diagnosed before age 50. Actor Michael J. Fox was only 29 years old when he learned he had the disease. Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.

Resources for reporting on the health care needs of older LGBT adults

Eileen BealDecember 2016
Three things have come together to throw a spotlight on the health care needs and challenges of older adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

In this tip sheet, Eileen Beal explains why and shows how that means there’s more demand than ever before to better cover the health and care needs of what until recently had been a “marginalized minority.”

She also offers a number of specific story ideas and an extensive source list - with contact information.

Caring for an aging prison population presents challenges for all communities

May 2016
With an increasingly aging prison population, how to care for inmates with chronic illnesses or other infirmities and those at the end of life has become an urgent challenge for federal and state governments, and for inmate and elder rights advocates.

An increasing number of prisoners need wheelchairs, walkers, canes, portable oxygen, and hearing aids. Many are incontinent or forgetful and need assistance to get dressed, go to the bathroom, or bathe, according to the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research. Authorities must balance appropriate care with ballooning health costs, determine who will provide care and pay for it. The situation is squeezing state correctional budgets, health services, safety-net programs and local communities.

Liz Seegert offers statistics, story ideas and resources for reporters to cover how this is impacting their local communities.

What reporters should know about the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act 

May 2016
It took five years for Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, (P.L. 114-144), but President Obama signed it into law on April 19, 2016. The new legislation funds the OAA through FY2019.

It includes several important updates to the original 1965 legislation (and subsequent revisions), including funding increases, greater focus on elder abuse, help for non-profits, service organizations and consumers, more emphasis on home and community based services, and technical assistance for senior centers.

AHCJ's core topic leader on aging, Liz Seegert, runs down key components of the law, history of the law, what programs it affects and offers up story ideas and a list of experts to serve as sources.

For context, add a global dimension to your reporting

February 2016
Veteran health care journalist Trudy Lieberman says that she's long observed that U.S. health reporters are reluctant to reach out globally to inform their reporting. She points out that the health stories we’re asked to report are the same ones our counterparts abroad are writing and that this "reportorial parochialism results in poor understanding of foreign health care and makes it easy to report misleading or false claims because we have no knowledge to judge their correctness or to give context so audiences can judge for themselves."

She has gathered nine journalists from seven countries, representing the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. The panelists represent different areas of expertise ranging from hospital safety practices and insurance systems to antibiotics, overtreatment, and conflicts of interest in medicine.

In this article, she suggests some ways to add an international perspective to your health care reporting and why it might be important to your readers, listeners and viewers. 

Covering the special health issues that LGBT seniors face

January 2016
A growing subset of the senior tidal wave known as the “gray tsunami” are those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

LGBT seniors increasingly are living out of the closet, yet remain largely invisible in government statistics. Few national health surveys include questions about sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving researchers to only guess at the true size of the nation’s LGBT older adult population.

In this tip sheet, Matthew S. Bajko explains some of the unique health issues that LGBT seniors face, such as social isolation and housing issues. He also offers stories ideas, contact information for sources and some relevant research. 

Covering the annual ‘holiday check in’ on aging relatives

December 2015
Family gatherings during the holidays are an ideal time for adult children to assess the wellbeing of aging parents and other older relatives. This is especially important for those who may visit just a few times a year, since changes in mental or physical health and safety issues in the home may be more noticeable. Holiday visits are a good time to ensure that aging parents can still care for themselves.

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is also an optimal time for journalists to cover these issues. Media from Maine to Rochester to Chicago report annually on how to take advantage of family visits to look for signs that aging parents may need help. It is a story which bears repeating – because this year might just be the year of a significant change. 

How to help an older audience get the most value from your reporting

Most journalists do a great job of writing for their audience. However, sometimes it’s easy to forget that part of the audience may include older adults – who often struggle with issues of health literacy, cognitive impairment or language problems.

As Medicare Open Enrollment season gets underway, this is a good time to consider story structure and how the information seniors may rely on is framed. While most of these tips probably are more applicable to journalists at consumer media, writers for more specialized journals and outlets can also benefit.

Reporting on hype, hope around treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

There seems to be no end of news reports about promising therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. With the aging of the population having become one of the more serious and complicated aspects of modern American health care, these typically age-associated conditions are driving a lot of research into new drug and other treatment approaches.

Aging: The health care story of the 21st century

Eileen BealHow did we get here? Scientific discoveries that began in the 1920s, and continue today, gave birth to the longevity revolution, changing the nature of health care from acute to episodic/chronic care, where care is provided, who is providing that care and the costs associated. Some of these issues – and where they intersect – are easy to spot: Alzheimer’s impact on long-term care, family finances, nursing homes and the effect of new drugs on the treatment of chronic conditions, survival rates and the insurance industry come immediately to mind.

Others, including the issues in this tip sheet, take a bit more digging.

When is it time to stop cancer screening in older people?


Alan Cassels

In the U.S. there are frequent appeals for people to submit to regular cancer screening—whether it’s for colon, cervical, prostate, lung or breast cancer screening—but when is it too much of a good thing? When should older people, perhaps those with limited life expectancy, stop getting periodic screening?

At study published in JAMA Medicine in 2014 found that “large numbers of elderly U.S. people with limited life expectancy continue to be screened for cancer even though such tests are of little benefit and can pose substantial harms.”

Tips for covering scientific conferences

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor

How can journalists make the most of their time and energy when covering a scientific or professional conference?

Mark Taylor, a Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Journalism in Aging Fellow, recently attended the annual Scientific Meeting of the GSA, which featured more than 500 presentations, symposia and poster sessions. He has also attended other scientific conferences in his two decades as health care journalist, and here, he shares hard-earned wisdom on successfully covering such massive events. 

Covering smell and taste losses in older adults

Barbara Bein
Barbara Bein

September 2014
Unlike problems in vision and hearing, age-related losses to smell and taste have only recently gained attention. Like declines in the other senses, losing the ability to smell different odors and scents and to taste food can lead to serious quality-of-life and safety issues.

When the sense of smell or taste diminishes, the world becomes a different place. Adults who have trouble smelling and tasting often have poor appetites, which can lead to weight loss, malnutrition and weakened immune systems. Losing the ability to enjoy food can also contribute to emotional problems such as anxiety and depression.

Barbara Bein shares tips on how to cover smell and taste disorders in older adults.

Covering the silent - and growing - epidemic of senior substance abuse

August 2014
Older Americans have been misusing, abusing and becoming addicted to alcohol, tobacco and herbal “substances” for decades. Now they are also abusing drugs – both prescription and illegal – in increasing numbers, according to this NIA/NIH update. The most prevalent abuse is in the age 50 to 59 (trailing-edge boomer) cohort, where abuse of illicit drugs and non-medical use of prescription drugs rose from 2.7 percent to 5.8 percent between 2002 and 2010.

A CASA Columbia study found that substance abuse was an especially serious issue for older and aging women, who “get addicted faster, using smaller amounts of a substance, than any other demographic group.” The report also found that when older women show signs and symptoms of alcohol and/or prescription drug abuse, most physicians “don’t even consider an addiction diagnosis.”

Getting dental care to elders in nursing homes

July 2014
Getting oral health care services to elders in nursing homes is a crucial task, yet one that is often overlooked. Untreated oral disease can have a devastating impact on the lives of these frail patients, leading to suffering and tooth loss, poor nutrition and serious, even fatal infections.

While federal law requires nursing homes to assist patients in obtaining routine and emergency dental care, state laws vary. In addition, nursing home directors, staff and family members may overlook the importance of oral health care, not only for the increasing number of seniors who have kept their teeth into old age, but for those who use dentures.

New realities of aging: Resources for reporters 

March 2014
Links to research and resources, compiled by Eileen Beal, from a panel at Health Journalism 2014. It includes information about frailty, senior mental health and coordinated care.

Resources on aging in the rural population

June 2013
AHCJ member Eileen Beal put together this useful compilation of resources, briefings and contact information for sources to help reporters cover seniors in rural areas.

Covering lifestyle, genetics and policies that lead to healthy aging

Eileen Beal
Eileen Beal

March 2013
For Dr. John W. Rowe and Robert L. Kahn, authors of “Successful Aging,” the book that got the nation thinking about healthy aging, it’s a goal: “[L]ow probability of disease and disease-related disability, high cognitive and physical functional capacity, and active engagement with life.” For the quick-read version of the book, see Rowe and Kahn’s article in The Gerontologist.

For other thought leaders, it’s a public policy issue. And for those who are actively promoting healthy aging, it’s the outcome of the life-long interaction of various “dimensions” of health (genetic, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational, environmental).

Health journalist Eileen Beal explains the concept of healthy aging, what it involves and suggests a number of story ideas and points reporters to good sources to help in telling the stories of their communities.

Are services keeping up with an increasingly aging population?

Tips from the Age Boom Academy

Presentations by Don Sipes, vice president, regional services and CEO, Saint Luke's Northland Hospital-Smithville campus, Kansas City from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Observations on aging

April 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.