As annual Medicare open enrollment begins next week for more than 46 million Americans age 65 and older and an additional 9 million people with disabilities, there is moderately good news ahead for beneficiaries — at least for now. But Medicare advocates are alarmed about significant proposed changes to the program in just-released House and Senate budget proposals.
The House’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget, which passed on Thursday, would cut billions in mandatory program spending, raise the eligibility age for both Medicare and Social Security and encourage Medicare to model itself more like Medicare Advantage programs to control costs, according to an article in The Atlantic. Continue reading
There’s some good news for post-menopausal women: many of them report becoming happier later in life, especially in the years between 50 and 70, according to new research from Australia.
A 20-year longitudinal study found that negative mood and depressive symptoms decreased significantly as women transition from mid-life (ages 50 to 64) to later life (65 and older). For many women, this appears to be related to the positivity around more “me” time as they wind down from full-time work and family responsibilities. Continue reading
More than half of older adults have sleep problems and a third of them take sleep medication despite potential health risks, according to the latest National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted by the University of Michigan.
A majority of respondents said they hadn’t talked with their primary care provider about the problem because they incorrectly believe that sleep issues are just part of aging. Many are putting themselves at risk of physical or mental harm without realizing it, according to experts at the UM’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. Continue reading
Photo: Vee via Flickr
Reporting on end of life can pose surprising challenges and opportunities.
If you haven’t yet listened to JoAnn Mar’s remarkable radio series on end-of-life issues, add it to your playlist right now. An AHCJ reporting fellowship allowed Mar to take a deeper dive into how people prepare for their last phase of life, and why good conversations with loved ones on the topic can be so important. The entire series, aired on KALW FM, San Francisco in January. Continue reading
It is mind-boggling that there are people in this world who so easily take advantage of vulnerable older adults. Yet, elder abuse – psychological, physical, and financial – is an unfortunate reality. The CDC estimates it affects one in every 10 community-dwelling adults age 60 and older.
The problem is likely much greater. For every reported case of abuse, approximately 23 others are not reported. Financial exploitation of older adults is the most prevalent form, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. One study found that self-reported financial exploitation happens at a rate of 41 per every 1,000 older adults surveyed. That number may be higher because many older adults are reluctant to admit they were scammed. Continue reading