Photo: Kimberly LeonardHealth journalists learned more about public health issues, including opioid treatment and long-term care, at a D.C. chapter meeting.
A panel of Altarum Institute experts dove into the politics and policy of broad topics in public health, including the untold stories of the opioid crisis, persistent but overlooked concerns over long-term care funding and the importance of access to dental services.
The opioid crisis continues to escalate and, despite widespread coverage of the challenges across the country, there are new and important angles to the story, suggested Tom Coderre, a senior adviser at the D.C.-based research and consulting organization, during a June meeting of the AHCJ’s Washington, D.C., chapter, hosted by the Aspen Institute. Continue reading
While an estimated 70 percent of older adults will need some long-term services and supports (LTSS) at some point in their lives, three out of four Americans over age 40 don’t think they will have enough financial resources to meet their health needs as they age. However, a new report concludes that improving financing and delivery of long-term care is possible — even in today’s politically charged environment. Continue reading
A majority of Americans over age 40 think the United States is unprepared for a rapidly growing population of older adults.
While more than half believe Medicare should help pay for long-term care costs, few realize that the program does not cover many long-term care expenses such as nursing homes or home health aides. Continue reading
Bruce Chernof, M.D.
Bruce Chernof, M.D., is a geriatrician, president of The SCAN Foundation, based in Long Beach, Calif., and a former chairman of the Federal Commission on Long Term Care. He was in the audience for last week’s White House Conference on Aging, listening from multiple perspectives. Overall, he said in a phone interview, he was pleased with the outcomes.
Q: What were your overall impressions of the conference?
A: It’s important the President was there and spoke up as forcefully as he did. We needed the President to take part in this conversation. It was a very interesting and different conference but I liked the underlying theme: how do we discuss and transform aging? Everyone likes to talk about the scary stuff first – the diseases, the falls, the dementia. There’s not enough focus on the positive aspects of aging, and that limits our ability to focus on everything older adults can and do contribute. Continue reading
In a run-up to the July 13 White House Conference on Aging, (WHCOA) policy experts are stressing the need for increased funding for long-term services and supports (LTSS).
G. Lawrence Atkins, Ph.D. executive director, Long-Term Quality Alliance and president, National Academy of Social Insurance, reviewed key lessons from the Federal Commission on Long-Term Care and aging services innovations to frame future care delivery.
Atkins is the former chair of the commission, which issued a comprehensive report in 2013 calling for more funding and services for care and caregivers of older adults. About 78 percent of adults over age 65 has some type of unmet care need, requiring help with independent household activities of daily living. More than a quarter of older adults rely on outside help; 75 percent turn to family members to help meet their needs. Continue reading
A newly-released report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University says the U.S. is woefully unprepared to meet the escalating need for affordable, accessible housing that offers social connectivity and support services for America’s seniors. Many older adults already must decide between paying for food, medication or rent, and as the population ages this crisis is getting worse.
The new report, Housing America’s Older Adults, says that existing housing often lacks basic features needed by seniors, such as wheelchair accessibility. This lack of necessary features forces many frail and disabled older adults from their own homes. Additionally, isolation among adults who can no longer drive is an increasing problem, due to lack of public transportation and inadequate pedestrian infrastructure. These “disconnects between housing programs and the health care system put many older adults with disabilities or long term care needs at risk for premature institutionalization,” the report says.
The report calls for a combined effort of public, private, non-profit organizations to assess and address housing options that support aging in community. It also calls on individuals and families to be more proactive in determining current and future housing requirements. Many adults who are about to turn 65 are not doing enough to prepare themselves or their environments for aging in place, according to this article in the Washington Business Journal. AARP’s Public Policy Institute documented the decline in living standards many people face as they reach retirement age and struggle with changes in income and rising health care costs due to multiple chronic conditions.