The numbers are inescapable. By 2030, almost one in every five Americans will be 65 or older, yet many specialists say the United States is ill-prepared to handle this silver tsunami, particularly when it comes to health care.
A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
Many of the organizers of Health Journalism 2013 in Boston, March 14–17, see the world through gray-colored glasses, which means the conference features several information-packed panels and workshops about senior care and related research.
As a health reporter who often writes about aging issues, I can tell you that readers seem to have an insatiable appetite for information on this topic; I field a lot of angst-ridden emails and calls, particularly about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and choosing the right nursing home.
This year’s conference delves into all of these, and then some. Friday’s panels include a session on the complications of coordinating senior care, (with eldercare specialists I have not yet had a chance to interview so I am excited about new sources!), and a session on end-of-life care –a topic few families seem to get around to discussing.
The end-of-life panel features Ellen Goodman, a former Boston Globe Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who co-founded The Conversation Project, a Boston-based enterprise that spurs end-of-life discussions and provides resources to ease the process.
Goodman is passionate about the subject – Globe stories about her new Project have been popular with readers – and if anyone can interject humor in this topic, it is Goodman. Continue reading