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.

An aspirin a day for your heart? Maybe not

Photo: Curtis Perry via Flickr

New guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association say healthy adults without known heart disease should no longer take an aspirin a day to prevent a heart attack. It could actually do more harm than good.

The revised guidelines come in the wake of several major studies published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine which showed that low-dose aspirin did not extend life in otherwise healthy older adults and any preventive benefits were offset by the danger of internal bleeding and other side effects in people considered to be at low or moderate risk for heart disease. Continue reading

Medical marijuana’s popularity growing among seniors

Photo: Dank Depot via Flickr

There are plenty of stories about older adults increasingly turning to medical marijuana to combat various ailments — from pain relief to Parkinson’s disease. A recent preliminary retrospective study found that it may be a safe and effective alternative to opioids.

Researchers from the Dent Neurological Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., found that more than two-thirds of study participants experienced at least some relief from pain. However, only one-third of them also reduced their use of opioids. Continue reading

Are we facing a crisis in the direct care workforce?

Photo: Anne Worner via Flickr

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a rash of headlines about workforce shortages in home health care and nursing homes. As we all know by now, the population is aging and studies show most seniors want to age in place.

Realistically, many of them need, or will need, some extra help to do so. And those who can’t live out their lives at home will likely wind up in a nursing home.  Time Magazine asked “Who will care for the Baby Boomers?” and called the situation “a growing American crisis. “ Continue reading

Senate Finance Committee hearing focuses on nursing home abuse

Compelling, heartbreaking stories of abuse and neglect from the daughters of two elderly women drove home a call for tighter regulations, better oversight and more careful screening of nursing home staff during a Senate Committee on Finance hearing on March 6. The hearing comes in the wake of another horrific story, when a woman in a 14-year coma at a long-term care facility in Arizona gave birth after being raped.

Legislators from both sides of the aisle expressed outrage over mistreatment, neglect and other serious violations at nursing homes, despite years of efforts to enact additional reforms and more government supervision. Continue reading

FDA warning letter prompts some creative writing

It seems we just can’t shake our obsession with youth or the idea or living forever. While the field of geoscience is legitimately working on ways to age longer and healthier, some companies are marketing unproven, potentially risky transfusions of “young blood” to those able to afford it or willing to ignore questionable and unproven claims behind the process.

Last week, the FDA said “enough.” Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and the director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Peter Marks, M.D., issued a strong warning for consumers to avoid this unapproved and potentially dangerous therapy. Continue reading

Older women in New York City: Is a crisis coming?

Photo: Ed Yourdon via Flickr

Older adults are New York City’s fastest growing population. There has been a 20 percent jump in the 65-and-over population since 2005 and the majority (60 percent) of New York’s 1.3 million older adults are women. And many of those women are struggling.

The New York City Council addressed this ongoing but, often unseen, crisis facing women as they age in a Jan. 23 hearing. Testimony by activists, experts and representatives from the NYC Department for the Aging and the Commission on Gender Equity, painted a vivid and disturbing picture of the many economic challenges facing older women in New York City. [A video of the hearing is here]. Continue reading