Finding quality health care for seniors can be a daunting task. The health benefits that a person had access to when they were gainfully employed is drastically reduced or eliminated when they retire. When employer health benefits are no longer an option, retirees have to find and pay for health care on their own. Medicaid and Medicare programs help defray the majority of health-related costs for lower income elderly persons.
Consider the last time you felt isolated or lonely. What did you do about it? Perhaps you called a friend to get together for dinner or met a family member for a walk. Now consider what your options would be if you were elderly and no longer had a driver’s license and no friends or relatives that lived close by.
Influenza is not to be taken lightly for people age 65 and older. In recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 71 to 85 percent of flu-related deaths occurred within this age group. This group also experienced between 54 and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations. This greater risk of complication is attributed to the natural weakening of our defense systems as we age. While flu seasons can vary in severity, it is extremely important to take the proper precautions to protect yourself from the disease.
Some seniors think that foot pain is a normal part of aging that can’t be avoided. Poor foot health can impact a person's ability to live alone and participate in social activities. Foot pain does not need to be a cause of limited activity. Undiagnosed foot conditions can lead to other problems including knee, hip and lower back pain which also lead to decreased mobility and activity.
In this political season, presidential candidates are beginning to touch on a subject that hits close to home for all PACE organizations: How are we going to care for aging seniors in the coming years? As the baby boomers start reaching an age that will demand more in the way of personal assistance and social support, we need to be paying attention to how the candidates propose we handle the oncoming turmoil.