More than 70,000 residents and staff members at nursing homes and assisted living facilities have died of COVID-19, and others are under strict rules designed to keep the disease from spreading. That has evoked concern that living in a communal facility could be dangerous.
Although the family patriarch did not face a life-threatening emergency, the episode was a reminder that you have to prepare for a real crisis.
New research suggests the pandemic’s deaths are taking an enormous toll on surviving family members and worrisome ripple effects may linger for years.
Older adults with the ability to use technology have more access to virtual social interactions and telehealth services, and more opportunities to secure essential supplies online. Those who don’t know how to use it or can’t afford it are at greater risk of social isolation, forgoing medical care and being without food or other necessary items.
Half the states are rolling back strict policies that have kept family members out of nursing homes because of fears of spreading the coronavirus.
Some are grieving the loss of precious time in late life. Others are adjusting their ideas of what is possible and making the best of it.
People who put off care as COVID-19 surged are easing back into the medical system. Here’s how to know if it’s safe.
The guidance to stay sheltered as society slowly reopens wears on older Americans, who have a growing sense of isolation and depression.
Still, medical experts say, it’s not a black-and-white decision of either go on a ventilator or die.
“The awful truth is families have no control over what’s happening,” one advocate says.
Older bodies respond to infection in different ways. Seniors may sleep more or stop eating. They may be confused or dizzy. They might simply collapse.
Reports offer a glimmer of hope, especially for older adults.
Families are weighing the challenges of providing home care with the isolation or potential danger of leaving folks in senior housing or long-term care.
Just how careful should older people be? Here’s what geriatricians think is reasonable.
The good news: Life expectancy for people who make it to 65 has increased. Yet, coastal and urban people fare better than those in rural and middle America.
Because seniors are at higher risk of cognitive impairment, proponents say screening asymptomatic older adults is an important strategy to identify people who may be developing dementia and to improve their care. But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force cited insufficient evidence the tests are helpful.
For those worried they have an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, testing is an option. But words to the wise: It’s hardly foolproof and could even backfire by heightening your fear of memory loss.
If you’re told Medicare’s home health benefits have changed, don’t believe it: Coverage rules haven’t been altered and people are still entitled to the same types of services. All that has changed is how Medicare pays agencies.
On the bright side, advances in medical science and a push for healthier lifestyles might extend the quality of life for aging boomers. Among clouds on the horizon: ageism, strained long-term care services and the need to work well past retirement age.
Relationships between adult children and their parents can fray with age. Experts offer help on how loved ones can preserve the love and negotiate those tension-filled final years.