Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Census news: American Factfinder database updated

US CENSUS BUREAU: American Factfinder Update: American Factfinder has recently been updated with "Social, economic and housing characteristics, demographic and housing estimates, and Public Use
    Microdata Samples (PUMS) data" from the 2006 American Community Survey:

http://factfinder.census.gov/jsp/saff/SAFFInfo.jsp?_content=su2_new_features_10_6.html

Related Census Bureau News Release: "New Census Bureau Data Reveal More Older Workers, Homeowners, Non-English Speakers" (CB07-CN.10, Sep. 12, 2007).

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/010601.html

September 25, 2007 in Statistics | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 24, 2007

U Mass Gerontology Institute seeks fellows

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON VISITING GERONTOLOGY INSTITUTE
     FELLOW: "The Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts
     Boston seeks applicants for a visiting fellow during the 2007/8 and
     2008/9 academic years. The fellow is expected to pursue a research
     project that fits within the Institute's priority areas and to
     contribute to Institute endeavors through such activities as lectures,
     workshops, brief seminars, assistance with publications, assistance
     with grant writing, or participation in program development. We are
     particularly interested in contributions that will lead to joint
     projects with Institute faculty. One fellow will be appointed and will
     receive a stipend of $24,000 each academic year. One fellow will be in
     residence for three months during the Spring semester of 2008 (January
     28 through May 14), the second fellow will be in residence either
     during the 2008 Fall or 2009 Spring Semester. The fellow should have
     an established record in Gerontology. Applicants should submit a
     curriculum vitae; a letter of application specifying semester of
     residence; their research plans during residence, as well as their
     plans for other contributions to the Institute; and copies of 4-5
     recent publications. Applications will be accepted until the position
     is filled. Applications should be sent as soon as possible to:

Maximiliane E. Szinovacz,
Director, Gerontology Institute
University of
Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393.

http://www.geront.umb.edu/inst/

for further information  about the Institute. For additional information
contact Maxi Szinovacz at 617 287 7320 or

maxi.szinovacz@umb.edu

September 24, 2007 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

LTCI premium hikes reek of bait and switch

It's a problem that will likely cost every tax payer.  Long-term care insurance companies, taking advantage of the elderly.  But now, State Senator Chris Marr is asking Washington's insurance commissioner to crack down on requested price increases. In some cases, it seems, prices are so out of control, some seniors have had to drop their policies before ever using them.  Many claim that's exactly what insurance companies are banking on. Then, when seniors need health care, they're either forced to drain their savings, if they have any, or turn to the state to pay for it.  One spokane couple is fighting back, and have been surprised by the response.  "It's unconscionable is what it is," says Wanda Flood.

Source and more:  KXLY.com, http://www.kxly.com/news/?sect_rank=2&section_id=560&story_id=14392

September 24, 2007 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

RWJF call for proposals

Due Date:  Sept 28, 2007

Area:  Quality/Equality        

Purpose:  Through this special solicitation, we are seeking proposals for projects that will improve our understanding of how to measure equity and patient-centered care and the role of both in promoting quality. For the three topic areas below, approximately $3 million will be available starting in 2008. Grants between $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the topic, will be available for policy relevant research grants.

Three topics have been identified to address specific knowledge gaps needed to advance our regional quality strategy:

  • Topic 1—Performance Measurement
  • Topic 2—Patients' Experience with Care and Survey Instruments
  • Topic 3—Shared Decision-making and Diverse Populations

More info:  http://www.rwjf.org/applications/solicited/cfp.jsp?ID=19921
                                    

September 24, 2007 in Discrimination, Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

NBER publishes results of global "life satisfaction" survey: US is #81 on health care issues

During 2006, the Gallup Organization conducted a World Poll that used an identical questionnaire for national samples of adults from 132 countries. I analyze the data on life satisfaction (happiness) and on health satisfaction and look at their relationships with national income, age, and life-expectancy. Average happiness is strongly related to per capita national income; each doubling of income is associated with a near one point increase in life satisfaction on a scale from 0 to 10. Unlike most previous findings, the effect holds across the range of international incomes; if anything, it is slightly stronger among rich countries. Conditional on national income, recent economic growth makes people unhappier, improvements in life-expectancy make them happier, but life-expectancy itself has little effect. Age has an internationally inconsistent relationship with happiness. National income moderates the effects of aging on self-reported health, and the decline in health satisfaction and rise in disability with age are much stronger in poor countries than in rich countries. In line with earlier findings, people in much of Eastern Europe and in the countries of the former Soviet Union are particularly unhappy and particularly dissatisfied with their health, and older people in those countries are much less satisfied with their lives and with their health than are younger people. HIV prevalence in Africa has little effect on Africans’ life or health satisfaction; the fraction of Kenyans who are satisfied with their personal health is the same as the fraction of Britons and higher than the fraction of Americans. The US ranks 81st out of 115 countries in the fraction of people who have confidence in their healthcare system, and has a lower score than countries such as India, Iran, Malawi, or Sierra Leone. While the strong relationship between life-satisfaction and income gives some credence to the measures, as do the low levels of life and health satisfaction in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union, the lack of correlations between life and health satisfaction and health measures shows that happiness (or self-reported health) measures cannot be regarded as useful summary indicators of human welfare in international comparisons.

Read the report:  http://www.princeton.edu/~rpds/downloads/Deaton%5FAging%5Fand%5Fwellbeing%5Faround%5Fthe%5Fworld%5FAug%5F07%5FALL.pdf

September 22, 2007 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Japanese elderly ignore robot entertainer

Ifbot, the resident robot at a Japanese nursing home, can converse, sing, express emotions and give triviaBot quizzes to seniors to help with their mental agility. Yet the pale-green gizmo has spent much of the past two years languishing in a corner alone.  "The residents liked ifbot for about a month before they lost interest," said Yasuko Sawada, director of the facility in Kyoto, western Japan, shaking her head as she contemplated the 495,000 yen ($NZ5860), 45-cm-tall (18-inch-tall) "communication robot". "Stuffed animals are more popular," she remarked dryly.  High-tech gadgets and futuristic robots which Japan had hoped might lend a hand when the population turns grey haven't caught on with the elderly, who according to forecasts will make up around 40 per cent of the population by the middle of the century.

Source and more:  New Zealand Herald, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10465061

September 22, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

St. John's Elder Law Clinic to be featured on 20/20

Professor Ann Goldweber, Director of St. John’s University School of Law’s Elder Law Clinic, was interviewed by ABC-TV’s “20/20” national newsmagazine for a feature scheduled to air on September 28 titled, “Home Improvement Contractor Fraud.” The interview took place on the Queens campus on Monday, September 17.

Professor Goldweber explained the legal rights consumers have when selecting a home improvement contractor and the legal options available if a consumer has been scammed.

“ABC (“20/20”) came to us and we were delighted to participate in the program and to educate the public about their legal rights in these types of cases,” said Goldweber. “In the Elder Law Clinic, we have many elderly clients who have been defrauded by unscrupulous home improvement contractors. The clinic provides legal representation to these victims and also has a community education outreach program to inform seniors about their legal rights before selecting a home improvement contractor.”

Source/More: http://www.stjohns.edu/campus/pr_uni_070921.stj

September 22, 2007 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not elder law: clues to human origins

A team of scientists working in Georgia has unearthed the remains of four human-like creatures dating to 1.8 million years ago. In the journal Nature, the researchers outline details of the partial skeletons uncovered in a Medieval town. The bones reveal a mixture of primitive and advanced features, team leader David Lordkipanidze explained. These early hominids may have been among the first to leave Africa to colonise the rest of the world. Discovered in the early 1990s, the Dmanisi site has proved a rich source of remains and artefacts from the dawn of the Pleistocene period. Studying the various skulls and jaws has given scientists important information about the early species that lived here.  But, until now, they had little information about the rest of the skeleton.

More at the BBC.

September 19, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

U. Alabama seeks director for Elder Law Clinic

The University of Alabama School of Law is seeking applicants for the full-time faculty position of Director of the Elder Law Clinic. The appointment is under the Law School's long-term contract-track and will commence in the summer of 2008. The Director will oversee and/or conduct all phases of legal advocacy for elder clinic clients, teach and supervise law clinic students, manage other clinic staff, and teach other courses in the law school's curriculum, as needed.

Minimum qualifications include a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school, a distinguished academic record, and experience as a clinical teacher or practicing lawyer. Candidates must either be licensed to practice law in Alabama or become licensed no later than one year after accepting the position. Preference will be given to applicants with significant experience in elder or civil legal matters. Applications should include a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references directed to Professor Robert Kuehn, Associate Dean for Skills Programs, The University of Alabama School of Law, Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0382. For further information regarding the position, contact (205) 348-0316 or rkuehn@law.ua.edu. For fullest consideration, apply by November 1, 2007. The position will remain open until filled.

The University of Alabama is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Requests for reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process should be made to Associate Dean for Administration Noah Funderburg, Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0382, (205) 348-4508.

 

September 19, 2007 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Senate passes mental health parity bill

The Senate passed legislation Tuesday night that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses when policies cover both.  The bill, which passed by unanimous consent, moves advocates one step closer in their years-long quest for a concept known as mental health parity. Passage came on the same day that supporters inundated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, urging a vote on mental health parity legislation in the House.  The call-in was organized by Wellstone Action, a group founded to carry out the work of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., who had championed the legislation for years. The House version is called the "Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act."

Source and more:  San Francisco Chroncle

September 19, 2007 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Newly available CRS reports on the OAA

OpenCRS has just made available the following reports:

RL32437
Older Americans Act: History of Appropriations, FY1966-FY2004
June 18, 2004

Download Locations:

Open CRS (User submitted)

RL31336
The Older Americans Act: Programs, Funding, and 2006 Reauthorization (P.L. 109-365)
December 18, 2006

Download Locations:

Open CRS (User submitted)

September 19, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

30% of Israelis provide care to elderly

   

Providing primary or secondary care to elderly or sick relatives or friends can be an extremely heavy social, physical and emotional burden, according to the results of a Central Bureau of Statistics survey examining the role of unpaid caregivers in our society.  The study, published Monday, found that 30 percent of Israel's adult population was directly involved in the daily care of an elderly or sick relative or friend, and focused on the role of ordinary people who act as caregivers outside the professional or voluntary frameworks. More than 46% of those who reported caring for someone else said the task was emotionally, physically and socially stressful.  However, the researchers, who used a sample of 7,500 people over the age of 20, also discovered that the overwhelming majority of these unpaid caregivers drew great satisfaction from the help they were giving: 89% said that caring for another person, either family or friend, instilled within them a sense of pride, and 90% said they felt greatly appreciated by the person they were caring for. In addition, 90% said they believed the assistance they were providing was of a satisfactory standard.  Only 6% said they had sought out professional assistance in coping with the hardships of caring for another person.

Source:  Jerusalem Post, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1189411421982&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

September 18, 2007 in Statistics | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

IA insurance commissioner recommends greater supervision over LTCI sellers

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss has proposed substantial changes to her division to better control long-term-care insurance and address complaints from consumers.  In a 37-page report to Gov. Chet Culver, Voss made 27 recommendations Monday on everything from reviewing the conduct of long-term insurers to creating a Web site for seniors. Some of the suggestions have already been implemented. Others will require legislative approval.

Among her ideas:

- Require insurers to prompt- ly pay claims that are not in dispute, and set up an independent review process for policyholders to appeal claims that have been denied.
- Standardize policy terminology and definitions.
- Work with other state agencies to better educate consumers about financial and long-term-care issues.
- Require more education for insurance agents who sell long-term-care policies. The Iowa Insurance Division has already adopted this measure.
- Meet at least annually with seniors and their families for input on insurance issues that matter to them.
- Create a consumer protection unit. It would handle all consumer complaints for all types of insurance.

The consumer protection unit would be under the command of the division.  In hearings this summer, some consumers asked the division to create a stand-alone consumer advocacy office similar to the advocacy system for utilities. But Voss said that wouldn't work with an industry that is open to so much more competition.

Source/more:  Des Moines Register, http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/BUSINESS/709180410/-1/BUSINESS04

September 18, 2007 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 17, 2007

FL governor visits Stetson Elder Law Center

Florida Governor visited Stetson University’s College of Law, where he toured the Elder Law Center and addressed an ethics class about the importance of public service and the valuable role attorneys play in shaping public policy.  “Public service is one of the greatest callings a person can have in a democratic society,” said Governor Crist. “The opportunity to shape and influence the future of our state and our nation requires great leadership and courage. Taking on such a challenging and rewarding profession is an enormous responsibility but provides a deep sense of gratification.”

Source:  http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/48732115_florida_florida_

governor_applauds_florida_fish_and_wildlife_conservation_commission_postpon
Cool, Becky!

September 17, 2007 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

UN on Manageing Health Care in an Aging World

Here's an excerpt:   The World Economic and Social Survey 2007: Development  in an Ageing World (http://www.un.org/esa/policy/wess)  addresses this question. It concludes that ageing will contribute to rising health-care costs over the coming decades, but is not the most important factor behind the projected increases.  It also suggests that any increases in health costs due to ageing  should be manageable, particularly if Governments put greater emphasis on preventive measures which could limit the incidence of chronic diseases.

http://www.un.org/esa/policy/policybriefs/policybrief2.pdf

September 17, 2007 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ca legislature passes health care "reform" bill; guv to veto

The state Legislature approved an overhaul of California's health care system Monday, but even before the votes were tallied Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to veto the bill and call lawmakers into a special session after the current session ends this week.  Schwarzenegger said he would reject AB8, by Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, because it puts too great a financial burden on employers and does not address the needs of 2.8 million of California's estimated 4.8 million uninsured residents.  "First and foremost, AB8 does not cover everyone," the governor said. "Any reform that leaves millions without health insurance and fails to address our dangerously overcrowded emergency rooms simply maintains a broken system."  Schwarzenegger also said he wants a bill that better shares the costs of expanding coverage. "I have always said that I would not sign a health care bill that puts the vast majority of the financial burden for reform on any one segment of our economy," he said.

Source/more:  SF Chronicle, http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/09/11/BAA9S31CT.DTL

September 14, 2007 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Upcoming gerontology conferences via conferencealerts.com

September 2007

14 Seminar & Workshop on Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics in Clinical Practice  New York  New York
20 4th Young Medics' International Conference  Yerevan  Armenia
21 5th Biennial World Congress on Men's Health & Gender  Vienna  Austria
24 2nd Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health Conference: New Directions in Seniors' Mental Health  Greater Toronto Area - Mississauga  Canada
29 Family Medicine: Focus on Aging Issues  San Diego 
30 Intensive Update with Board Review in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine  New York  NY

October 2007

05 Dental-Medical Management of an Aging Population  Minneapolis  Minnesota 
This course brings together a team of experts ingeriatric dental and medical care to discussclinical management strategies for older adultswith dementia, stroke, and drug therapy issues.

06 AGEING FEMININITIES: REPRESENTATION, IDENTITIES, FEMINISM  Bristol  United Kingdom
18 Frontiers of Clinical Investigation Symposium, Aging 2007: From Bench to Bedside  La Jolla  California
18 4th Canadian Colloquium on Dementia (CCD)  Vancouver  Canada
18 1st International Congress on Aging and Dependence  A Coruña , Spain  Spain
21 Aging With Passion and Purpose, A Conference on Aging  Omaha  Nebraska
26 4th International Symposium on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in the Middle East  Athens  Greece
28 Alzheimer’s Foundation of America 2nd National Concepts in Care Conference  Philadelphia  PA
28 7th Pan Pacific Connective Tissue Societies Symposium  Cairns  Australia

November 2007

01 36th Annual Scientific & Educational Meeting  Calgary  Canada
02 Psychopharmacology of Aging  La Jolla  California
15 SMA's Annual Scientific Assembly: Medical Advances in 2007  New Orleans  Louisiana
15 60th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America  San Francisco 
26 Workshop on Human Longevity  Bangi-Putrajaya  Malaysia
28 2007 Link-Age meeting and IBMC Fall symposium: The free radical theory of ageing: 50 years and beyond: a tribute to Denham Harman  Porto  Portugal

September 14, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Canadian Institute for Health Information publishes report on medication use by seniors

Abstract:  t is important that Canadians have access to safe, appropriate and effective drug therapies; the right drug, for the right condition, for the right person, at the right time. It is also recognized that drugs can lead to adverse drug reactions regardless of appropriate use. Adverse reactions not only lead to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, but can also lead to an increased economic burden through additional drug use, hospitalization and repeated physician visits.

Evidence shows that older adults (65 years and older, hereafter referred to as "seniors") are more at risk for adverse effects due to complex drug therapies and age-related changes to the way drugs are processed by the body. A 2002 literature review noted that "28% of all emergency department visits were drug related, of which as many as 24% resulted in hospital admission." The study showed that 70% of the drug-related emergency visits are preventable and that, "women and elderly individuals seemed to be at greatest risk."

Although prescribing information is not readily available, drug claims data can provide insight into prescribing trends of drugs in seniors. Making use of some of the methods developed by the Health Quality Council in Saskatchewan for their 2005 report, Improving the Quality of Drug Management of Saskatchewan Seniors Living in the Community, this analysis will examine claims trends of seniors in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick from 2000 to 2006. Specifically, it will look at drugs identified by Dr. Mark H. Beers as drugs that are "potentially inappropriate" to prescribe to seniors due to an elevated risk of adverse effects. This list of drugs has become internationally recognized as the "Beers list." This analysis examines seniors who made at least one claim for a drug from the Beers list ("Beers users"), as well as seniors who made claims for a drug from the Beers list on a regular basis ("chronic Beers users").

Report:  Drug Claims by Seniors: An Analysis Focusing on Potentially Inappropriate Use of Medications, 2000-2006

September 14, 2007 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

NY Dep't of Insurance creates special elder fraud unit

Superintendent Eric Dinallo has announced the formation of the New York State Insurance Department Elder Protection Unit, which he said will support elderly residents in dealing with their insurance concerns.
"Job one is to protect consumers, and the elderly are among the most vulnerable," said Dinallo. "We have established this unit because we have seen a growing number of complex insurance issues directly affecting seniors and a growing number of complaints. Seniors must navigate an array of insurance offerings, including an expanding life settlement industry, Medicare Advantage and supplemental plans, long term care insurance and community care residential centers."  Dinallo cited reports of unfair and deceptive sales practices resulting in seniors being sold insurance products they do not fully understand as one reason for forming the unit. He identified assisted living coverage, the suitability of products for seniors and deceptive marketing practices with both life insurance and annuities as the areas of prime concern.  "We will relentlessly pursue any agent, broker or insurer who engages in deceptive or illegal practices against New York's seniors. We will work to educate consumers on the many options available to them and the challenges those may offer," he vowed.  The Elder Protection Unit will, among other things, set standards for insurers, agents and brokers in the sale of insurance products for senior citizens; initiate studies and special examinations to ensure that the insurance marketplace serves the needs of senior citizens; and formulate legislative and regulatory proposals.

Source/more:  Insurance Journal, http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2007/09/12/83435.htm

September 13, 2007 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Upcoming conference: Seniors' mental health

2nd Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health Conference: New Directions in Seniors' Mental Health

2007-09-24 Greater Toronto Area Canada

2nd Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health Conference: New Directions in Seniors' Mental Health

24 to 25 September 2007
Greater Toronto Area - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Website: http://www.ccsmh.ca
Contact name: Kim Wilson

Conference will be held September 24th and 25th 2007 at the Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference Centre which is located in the Greater Toronto Area in Mississauga Ontario. Call for Abstracts now available at www.ccsmh.ca

September 12, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)