When the late Dr. Robert N. Butler coined the term ageism in 1968, he intended to raise awareness of the blatant denigration of the aging population. Butler, the first to publicize age-related stereotyping, focused his life on changing negative perceptions society levied against an aging cohort. In the 50 years since, ageism has taken a backseat to more pressing issues—race, color, religion, sex and national origin. For example, when Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended in 1972 to extend protections to job applicants based on the characteristics listed above, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was not similarly amended. Earlier this year, the Seventh Circuit Court leveraged that fact in their ruling against a job applicant claiming disparate impact under the ADEA.
Millions of Americans aged 65+ are struggling with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or dementia, and the prevalence of depression in older adults is expected to more than double by 2050. Suicide among older Americans is also on the rise. Unfortunately, the prevalence of mental health concerns among aging Americans does not correlate to high levels of care. Just 10 percent of older adults experiencing mental health issues get the treatment they need due to stigmas toward both mental illness and aging, a lack of specialists trained in geriatric care, high health insurance co-pays and difficulties navigating a complex health care system. This begs the question: What would age-friendly mental health care in America look like, and why is age-specific mental health support so important?
U.S. households spent $980 billion on health care in 2017, which works out to more than $3,200 per person, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ annual report on health spending. While that may have been a bitter a pill to swallow, you might be as surprised as I was to learn that consumers directly paid for only a third of the nation’s $2.9 trillion personal health care costs.
Annie Segarra is a disability rights activist from South Miami-Dade. She uses Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to talk about living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder.In her videos and posts, Segarra tackles stereotypes, misconceptions and the media’s failures in covering people with disabilities.
Oh, we’re not planning to vaccinate.” These are the words a friend says to me in the midst of a conversation about their impending child. I silently count to ten. “How come?” I ask, trying to keep my voice light and airy. Trying to pretend that I don’t feel as though my friend has verbally slapped me across the face with this breezy declaration.
Woman with autism admitted to Florida Bar, becoming “first openly-autistic lawyer,” employer says | CBS News
Sacramento clinic serves as life-line for the undocumented seeking care | Center for Helath Journalism
“Aging is Living.” The Couple Working on Several Fronts to Confront a Graying America | Inside Philanthropy
The over-65 population is the fastest-growing demographic in America, according to the United States Census Bureau, yet few foundations dedicate themselves to working on behalf of this group. Frustrated with this dynamic, Gary and Mary West are pursuing community-, state- and national-level change through their foundation, research institute and policy center. The couple made their money through West Corporation, a private telecommunications provider based in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2006, the Wests sold their shares of the company for $1.4 billion. That was when they turned their sights on philanthropy, founding the Gary and Mary West Foundation.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) offers a myriad of opportunities to learn about and participate in the study of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. And for good reason. A person born in 1900 had an average life expectancy of 47 years. By 2011, the average person had gained 31 years and could now hope to live to 78. “As growing numbers of people live well into their 80s and 90s, age-related diseases and conditions—and the disability often associated with them—continue to be a major public health concern,” the NIA states on one of its many sites encouraging Americans to get involved in the research being done on all fronts on aging.
The information and links provided here are a courtesy. The National Advisory Board does not necessarily endorse or share the views contained in any article, report or web site. No link provided here should be considered an endorsement of any opinion, product or service that may be offered in the article or at the linked-to site.