The Oct. 7 article on California’s aging population focuses welcome attention on the needs of this fast-growing demographic. However, there is temptation to concentrate only on the negatives when there is another side to the story. Older Californians are valuable — our only growing natural resource — with the potential to make our communities better. Any discussion of higher healthcare costs should also acknowledge the economic contribution of these people. Consumers 60 or older are expected to account for at least 40% of U.S. consumption growth through 2030.
Technologies aimed at keeping older people healthy have long combined cumbersome form and infantilizing function. Way back in 1947, you could strap on a wearable heart-rate detector and go for a stroll. (At 85 pounds, it was “wearable” only on your back, and not for long.) In 1975 the American International Telephone Corp. began selling necklace-style alert systems that could summon an ambulance in an emergency. By 2009 you could buy a wearable device to detect if you’d taken a fall in your home.
In cities across America, people with disabilities face uneven access to buildings, transportation and leisure activities. Change isn’t coming fast enough, and activists worry that lawmakers are in the process of watering down the protections that do exist. In Pittsburgh, where accessibility is mediocre at best, local advocate Alisa Grishman can attest to the city’s problems. Grishman, who uses a wheelchair and a walker, pushes for improvements to the city’s sidewalks and local businesses — and she urges local politicians not to get complacent about the status quo.
GETTING TO MEDICAL appointments on time is challenging when you feel sick, don’t drive or have limited means of transportation. Too often, patients spend long hours traveling back and forth for crucial treatments or routine check-ups. Older patients, low-income patients and those with multiple medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to gaps in timely transportation options. In response, on-demand, ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are playing a growing role in nonemergency medical transportation. Health care providers, insurers and others are working with these services to make better use of their resources and reduce transportation frustration for patients.
Older voters could be a decisive bloc in the midterm elections, particularly since recent polls have showed registered voters 65+ leaning decisively towards Democratic congressional candidates, a sharp reversal from previous election cycles. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in September found 73% of “seniors” have the highest level of interest in the midterms, the most of any group. Several other polls also suggest older voters are eager to send Washington a message on three issues that are vital to them: Medicare, prescription drug costs and Social Security.
October is National Disability Awareness Month according to The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) under the United States Department of Labor. This would be a good time for federal employees, though, to ask themselves some questions about protecting their income.
National Organization on Disability Urges Corporate America to “Look Closer” and Rethink Hiring Practices | Hastings Tribune
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) – in partnership with several of America’s leading companies – today announced a national public-awareness campaign designed to urge U.S. employers and job recruiters to think differently about people with disabilities when they seek to add new talent. Called “Look Closer,” the multi-media campaign was unveiled in Times Square, in the heart of corporate America. “Millions of Americans with disabilities are ready to work. We need hiring and recruiting managers to look closer at their abilities and consider this largely untapped talent pool,” said Governor Tom Ridge, NOD Chairman and the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. “There is reason for optimism. Today’s strong economy is forcing employers to consider talent that they might previously have overlooked. But with 80-percent of Americans with disabilities out of work, more must be done to bridge this troublesome employment gap. We all must ‘Look Closer’ and recognize the extraordinary talents of people with disabilities.”
A little more than a year ago, we banned the term “anti-aging” from Allure’s vernacular. It got people talking. A lot. All around the world. It spawned many a think piece on aging and language and the language of aging. Within minutes of the story going live, brands, individuals, and organizations reached out to say they wanted to join us in the movement. Some, like AARP, acted fast and issued statements of solidarity. A few skin-care companies cheered us on in private calls but admitted they weren’t quite ready to change their own messaging.
Americans are getting older. That’s an opportunity for Best Buy. In August, Best Buy announced it would buy GreatCall for $800 million. GreatCall makes Jitterbug cell phones with big buttons and bright screens designed for senior citizens, as well as medical alert devices that can detect falls and summon help. Best Buy (BBY) may not seem like the first place to find an over-70 crowd. But buying GreatCall allows Best Buy to expand its customer base overnight
The disability discussion continues to attract centre stage treatment across most parts of the world. In the developed world laws and policies are being backed by concrete action in seeking to effectively integrate that very crucial part of everyday life.
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