Across all continents, an estimated six million people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; one million of them live in the United States. Each year in America, another 50,000 to 60,000 new Parkinson’s cases are detected, creating an even wider circle of loved ones, clinicians and caregivers to combat the neurodegenerative disorder.
Over the next three decades, the population of adults older than age 85 will triple, and demand for direct care workers—personal care aides, home health aides and nursing assistants—will rise dramatically. We will need 1 million new direct care workers from 2014 to 2024, according to PHI research.*
The 6th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality is holding its first meeting in the United States, October 4-7, in Los Angeles. Originally begun in Australia, this conference brings together participants from many disciplines, including theologians and faith community representatives, academics, and aging service providers to share together wisdom and insights on the spiritual journey of aging.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse at the Administration on Aging, one in 10 Americans older than age 60 has experienced elder abuse or neglect, and people with dementia are at a higher risk for such abuse. This month the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) developed a new framework to address elder abuse prevention and prosecution.
During the last five years, three out of five (62 percent) Americans age 50 and older have provided financial assistance to members of their family, including adult children, parents, grandchildren, siblings or other relatives, according to a new Merrill Lynch study. This is a reminder of the generosity that runs through our culture, and of the importance people place on helping family, especially during challenging times.
As a gerontologist and public health practitioner, I know knowledge and self-efficacy can foster a healthier lifestyle. Programs providing solid, accurate information on health and wellness and teaching the necessary skills to achieve that wellness are paramount to our elders’ health. One such helpful program is Healthy People 2020.
Last week, we asked you which ASA member benefit has helped you the most this year in your work with older people. The results leave little room for doubt that our webinars are top of the list: 48 percent of respondents chose this member benefit. If you haven't yet taken advantage of one of our many webinars, we invite you to do so soon! Here’s what one member had to say: “The free webinars have been so helpful in working with my aging clients. The subjects and presentations have all been so informative.”
Tapping into long-lost visual or auditory memories can evoke strong happy reactions in those with Alzheimer’s, improving their mood for hours afterwards. This is one of the outcomes from a newly published program, begun in 2011, called Bird Tales.
Medicaid is a means-tested entitlement program financed by a partnership between the federal government and states, and it provides the bulk of long-term care for more than 60 million low-income Americans. Medicaid also accounts for 17 percent of all hospital spending, and is the single largest source of coverage for nursing home care. Older adults and people with physical disabilities account for 18 percent of Medicaid enrollees, but 66 percent of the costs.