Wednesday, November 19, 2014
This is one list where we don't want to be last-yet we are. According to a Commonwealth Fund November 19, 2014 story, U.S. elders are the sickest when compared to 10 other countries. 11-Nation Survey: Older Adults in U.S. Sickest, Most Likely to Have Problems Paying for Care notes that "[c]ompared with their counterparts in other developed countries, older adults in the United States are sicker, see more doctors, take more prescription drugs, and have a harder time affording the care they need, according to a new Commonwealth Fund survey of people age 65 and up." The survey is published in Health Affairs . The abstract for the article explains
Industrialized nations face the common challenge of caring for aging populations, with rising rates of chronic disease and disability. Our 2014 computer-assisted telephone survey of the health and care experiences among 15,617 adults age sixty-five or older in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States has found that US older adults were sicker than their counterparts abroad. Out-of-pocket expenses posed greater problems in the United States than elsewhere. Accessing primary care and avoiding the emergency department tended to be more difficult in the United States, Canada, and Sweden than in other surveyed countries. One-fifth or more of older adults reported receiving uncoordinated care in all countries except France. US respondents were among the most likely to have discussed health-promoting behaviors with a clinician, to have a chronic care plan tailored to their daily life, and to have engaged in end-of-life care planning. Finally, in half of the countries, one-fifth or more of chronically ill adults were caregivers themselves.
The full article is available on the web as a pdf here.