- An April 23, 2012 Huffington Post article by Maddy Dychtwald argued for increased awareness, organizing, and funding for Alzheimer’s research. Dychtwald highlighted George Vradenburg’s argument that while Alzheimer’s claims more victims than HIV, the government spends far more money – $3 billion a year – on HIV/AIDS research. According to Dychtwald, “We can take a page from the HIV/AIDS handbook — and, similarly, follow the lessons of those who lobbied for more resources to be devoted to breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and other killers. We need to take action – all of us.”
- An April 24, 2012 Huffington Post piece by Eric Hall, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation, applauded Pat Summitt’s public role as an Alzheimer’s advocate and what it means for early-onset Alzheimer’s awareness. According to Hall, when the news reports on Summitt’s dementia, it’s a win for Alzheimer’s advocacy – “The “win” couldn’t have come at a better time, as the government is crafting the first-ever national plan to address Alzheimer’s disease. The plan includes long-overdue attention to young-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a rare form of the brain disorder that affects people under age 65, even those in their 30s and 40s.”
- An April 24, 2012 Kaiser Health News article reported on a recent poll that found large numbers of seniors are not receiving adequate attention from physicians and healthcare providers. According to a new survey from the John A. Hartford Foundation, large percentages of elderly persons felt that physicians paid inadequate attention to issues related to medications, physical safety, and mental health. According to the article, the results may be attributed to doctors’ and nurses’ lack of training in geriatric medicine. Providers need to recognize that “care of an 80 year old differs from that of a 50 year old,” said Dr. Rosanne Leipzig, professor of geriatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. [more on poll here]
- An April 24, 2012 New York Times article reported on the rising cost of long-term care insurance and the gap between premiums and payouts. According to the article, providers are cutting down on care plans that include unlimited payouts. The largest long-term care insurance claim as of December 31 totaled $1.7 million in benefits; however, these types of payouts are dropping as providers place caps on payouts. About 10 percent of long-term care claims initiated in 2011 began before the policyholder was age 70. While most claims begin at older ages, accidents and illnesses can cause younger people to need care for extended periods. The five most common reasons for making a claim under such a policy, according to the association, are Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, circulatory illness or injury.
- An April 23, 2012 NewMexicoWatchDog.org article reported on New Mexico’s impending old age crisis. According to the article, New Mexico has the fourth-highest rate of population growth for persons 85 and older.