Category Archives: Aging

HJ23 session: Putting a face on family caregiving

Julia Yarbough, a former local TV journalist in Chico, CA, addresses attendees during the “The biggest untold story in health care: 53 million family caregivers” session at HJ23.

Caregiving. It seems almost everyone has a story, whether they’re a millennial, baby boomer or older person caring for a parent, spouse or family member with disabilities. A new AARP report found that family caregivers provide a whopping $600 billion worth of uncompensated care across the U.S. annually more than the federal government spends on long term services and supports.

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Teeth have an expiration date

Karen Michel

 Karen Michel

In the next few months, what I’ll be spending on fixing my teeth will eat up much of what I’ll earn this year, including Social Security benefits. I’m not alone in this dental distress. Those of us 65 and older will, for the most part, need more maintenance and replacement versus younger folks in that most visible part of our anatomy.

Nearly half of us don’t have dental insurance, according to a 2020 University of Michigan poll. Yet issues like dry mouth, root decay and gum disease are more common in older adults, researchers at the American Dental Association found. And the use of multiple medications can also lead to or exacerbate these conditions. That can mean older adults with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease or arthritis may be more prone to gum disease and other oral problems, but less likely to get dental care than their peers without these conditions, according to the CDC.

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Alzheimer’s panel at HJ23 will explore unanswered questions

Photo courtesy of the National Institute on Aging

If any headline could sum up the state of research into Alzheimer’s disease it may be this: “Study reveals that much still not known about cognitive decline.”

Despite decades of research, there’s so much scientists have yet to learn about this degenerative disease. Risk factors, causes, amyloid plaque, tau tangles, Lecanemab, biomarkers and more are topics of dozens of research studies underway.

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What to know about older adults on insulin under Medicare 


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich via pexels.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which went into effect on Jan. 1, boasts several health-related provisions that benefit older adults. Among them: lowering the cost of insulin to a maximum of $35 per month.

That’s excellent news for the nearly 16 million people over 65 who have diabetes and use, or may need, insulin to maintain their glucose levels. Insulin prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, causing extensive financial hardship, missed doses, and in some cases, even death due to lack of affordability. The Inflation Reduction Act fixed that, at least for older adults. (Republicans quashed a proposal to extend the cap to everyone who uses insulin). Journalists can use this opportunity to educate their audience about the change in pricing and dispel any myths or misconceptions about the law.

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4 tips for reporting on press releases
about new study results for drugs


Photo courtesy of Eisai Inc.

Many reporters on the health beat face tight deadlines to publish stories based on press releases from the pharmaceutical industry about new study results and regulatory approvals.

Companies understandably want to put the best spin on data in their releases. But it’s our job to put study results in context and inform our audiences about what key information has yet to be revealed.

For this reason, we offer four tips for helping your readers, listeners and viewers get a more complete understanding of cases where incomplete study data is released.

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