Tag Archives: older adults

New tip sheet focuses on writing for an older audience

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.

Photo: Condoriano via Flickr

Photo: Condoriano via Flickr

Most journalists do a great job of writing for their audience. But it can be easy to forget that part of your audience may include older adults who often struggle with issues of health literacy, cognitive impairment or language problems.

As Medicare Open Enrollment season gets underway, this is a good time to consider story structure and how the information seniors may rely on is framed. While most of these tips probably are more applicable to journalists at consumer media, writers for more specialized journals and outlets can also benefit. Continue reading

Caring for older adults: What physicians, patients should question and what reporters should look at

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.

Hospital patient

Photo by dyniss via Flickr

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today published the results of its examination of care to determine the top five things patients and physicians should question when caring for older adults. 

  • Recommending percutaneous feeding tubes in patients with advanced dementia; instead of offering oral-assisted feeding.
  • Using antipsychotics as first choice to treat behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
  • Using medications to achieve hemoglobin 7.5 percent in most adults age 65 and older; moderate control is generally better.
  • Use of  benzodiazepines or other sedative-hypnotics in older adults as first choice for insomnia, agitation, or delirium.
  • Use of antimicrobials to treat bacteriuria in older adults unless specific urinary tract symptoms are present.

AGS partnered with the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s “Choosing Wisely” campaign to evaluate information from ABIM societies and AGS members. They looked at whether physician-ordered tests and procedures were sufficiently evidence-based, whether the potential health benefits were worth any risks they might pose, if they were redundant or medically necessary. The goal of the campaign is to pinpoint and eliminate unnecessary health spending. Continue reading