Most older adults say they’re more lonely than ever and have little contact with friends or neighbors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new poll released Sept. 14 from the University of Michigan. The results further reinforce the concern for the long-term mental and physical health effects of the pandemic on older adults.
Some 56% of respondents over the age of 50 reported in June 2020 that they sometimes or often felt isolated from others ― more than twice the 27% who felt that way in a similar poll in 2018. Nearly half of those in the latest poll also said they felt more isolated than they had just before the pandemic arrived in the United States. A third said they felt they had less companionship than before. Continue reading
The COVID-19 pandemic has put us all under tremendous stress. Social isolation, loneliness, fear of getting sick, an uncertain economy … the list goes on. According to a mid-July Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, 53% of adults in the United States reported negative mental health effects due to concern and anxiety about the novel coronavirus.
One demographic at especially high risk of mental health issues is older adults, due to their higher probability of contracting the disease, known mental and physical health consequences of isolating, and existing co-morbidities. “The share of older adults (ages 65 and up) reporting negative mental health impacts has increased since March,” according to KFF. Continue reading
Much advice has appeared in the media over the past two months about how to manage anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
Plenty of speculation, particularly on social media, has accompanied it: Will suicide rates increase? Will adolescent suicide rates decline with increased supervision? Will prescriptions for antidepressants rise? Will this trend revolutionize telemedicine in mental health? Continue reading
Source: “Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement,” Milliman, November 2019.In a recent report on the level of parity between care for patients with mental health versus physical health conditions, actuaries from Milliman reported which states (shown in white and light blue) have the highest rates of parity and which states have the lowest rates (darker and deep blue). One of the strengths of the report is that it has data on parity for each state.
A recent report indicates that health insurers are failing to comply with mental health parity laws for people with employer-sponsored health coverage and their families.
In the report, “Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement,” actuaries from the consulting firm Milliman document wide disparities in access to behavioral health care services for employees, family members and retirees with health insurance through an employer.
The report shows that disparities between physical and behavioral health care for both in-network access and provider reimbursement rates are making it harder for Americans to find affordable and available mental health care and addiction treatment. Continue reading
Are you familiar with the concept of memory cafes? If not you should learn more, because there’s likely one in or near your community.
They’re a growing trend worldwide as more families and communities seek accepting environments for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Continue reading
In September, Yen Duong, Ph.D., had just started work for North Carolina Health News when Hurricane Florence was churning up the east coast.
Duong’s assignment was to cover health care in Charlotte. Being three hours inland from the coast turned out to be somewhat fortuitous for Duong who had just started her second journalism job after a summer at the Raleigh News & Observer as a mass media fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Continue reading