Author Archives: Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, 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.

New data updates the economic value of family caregiving

Photo: Betty Tsang via Flickr

About 41 million unpaid family caregivers provided an estimated 34 billion hours of care — worth $470 billion — to their parents, spouses, partners, and friends in 2017, according to a new report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). The report explores the growing scope and complexity of caregiving today, which includes an aging population, more family caregivers also in the paid workforce and an increasing amount of medical and nursing tasks now provided at home.

Ensuring better recognition of and support for family caregivers has become a health, economic, and social imperative, according to the report. Several co-authors discussed the analysis at a Nov. 14 press conference during the Gerontological Society of America annual meeting in Austin, Texas. Continue reading

Are the eyes a window into Alzheimer’s risk?

Photo: Nan Palmero via Flickr

Can your eyes predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) years before cognitive symptoms appear? Findings in a recent study may hold promise for such early detection, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

AD starts altering and damaging the brain years — even decades — before symptoms appear, making early identification of risk paramount to slowing its progression. Continue reading

Tip sheet, article focus on creating a podcast about aging

Photo: Matthew Keefe via Flickr

Ever thought about starting a podcast? You’re not alone. There are an estimated 750,000 podcasts, and 30 million episodes available across various platforms, according to Podcast Insights. Podcasts come in all lengths, formats, and subjects imaginable — and maybe even some you’ve never thought about.

But doing a podcast well and gaining a steady audience require a little more than you and your beer buddy hanging out in your basement with a microphone and recording device. How to best break through and get noticed? Continue reading

Expert panel tackles elder abuse at workshop on aging — part one

It’s hard to fathom how someone could abuse a vulnerable older person, especially a family member. Unfortunately, elder abuse is growing – by some estimates, one in 10 Americans 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse.

Funding needs to increase at the federal, state, and local levels to address the causes, consequences and solutions to this issue. As a society, we need to come to terms with this challenge and do a better job of taking care of our elderly population, according to panelists at AHCJ’s October workshop on aging and health in Los Angeles. Continue reading

New ratings say only modest proportion of nursing homes are high performers

Photo: Josh Rushing via Flickr

Fewer than 20% of nursing homes in the U.S. are considered “best” under a revamped analysis from U.S. News and World Report, which is out with its 2019-20 ratings on Tuesday.

Ratings are provided for homes in every state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. California tops the list, with 169 nursing homes receiving a “high performing” rating in short-term rehabilitation and 157 “high performing” homes in long-term care, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida. Hawaii, Alaska and Washington, D.C., have the highest proportion of “best nursing homes,” with at least half of all Medicare or Medicaid-certified nursing facilities in these states receiving a high-performing designation in either short-term rehabilitation or long-term care or both. Continue reading

Panelists discuss challenges of reporting on mental health and older adults

Image by Alex via flickr.

Covering mental health issues among older adults first means understanding the differences between issues of social isolation, loneliness, depression, and the effect of cognitive decline. Each issue may affect a person or several may be occurring simultaneously. Don’t interchange the terms however, because they’re not the same condition.

At last week’s Journalism Workshop on Aging and Health in Los Angeles, panelists stressed the importance of getting it right. You can be alone, but not lonely, or socially isolated. You can be socially isolated but not lonely. You can be either, or both. Continue reading