Author Archives: Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Flu season hitting older adults hard

Photo: KOMUnews via Flickr

The headlines say it all: In Houston, “Elderly should avoid the flu at all costs this season;” in Cleveland, “Flu deaths continue to rise;” and in New Orleans, “Flu overwhelming emergency rooms.

This flu season is terrible. Really bad, this Time explainer notes. Unfortunately, it has been the most vulnerable — mostly children, those with serious chronic conditions, and older adults — who are paying the highest price. Continue reading

University program focuses on care for the caregiver

Photo: r-hol via Flickr

Anyone who has helped an ailing loved one knows that the job of a caregiver is not easy. When cognitive decline is part of the mix, the job becomes even more challenging.

Researchers and occupational therapy students at the University of Buffalo (UB) are developing a model to help ease some of the burdens on those caring for frail elders with dementia. They are partnering with regional PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) programs to meet the unique needs of older caregiving spouses. Continue reading

Family caregivers to get help if RAISE Act is signed

Photo: Brian Walker via Flickr

New bipartisan legislation to support family caregivers is on its way to President Trump for his signature. The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage Family Caregivers Act (RAISE) directs the Department of Health and Human Services secretary to develop and sustain a national strategy to recognize and support more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States. Continue reading

Look at the role of nursing home specialists in reducing hospital readmissions

Photo: Senior Guidance via Flickr

A new medical specialty may be forming to meet a rising demand for care in nursing homes. A recent study found that physicians and advanced practitioners (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) who focus on nursing home-only care increased by a third between 2012 and 2015.

This apparent trend may be significantly affecting outcomes and continuity of care, concluded researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Continue reading

New article looks at investigation of the dark side of hospice care

Photo: PJ Johnson via Flickr

Hospice care is supposed to ease the final days for those at the end of their life, as well as their families. Sadly, it is not always the case. When hospice caregivers don’t show up, desperate calls to agencies go unanswered and loved ones are in pain, it is family caregivers who must cope, frightened and alone.

The result is what Kaiser Health News Executive Editor Elisabeth Rosenthal calls “DIY hospice care:” It is not an issue that has received much attention, but a recent investigation by KHN reporters JoNel Aleccia and Melissa Bailey found that it happens more frequently than many suspect. Continue reading