Boosted by today’s lower birth rates, longer lifespans and aging baby boomers, the group that makes up the nation’s oldest citizens is growing rapidly. By the 2030s, people 65 and older are expected to outnumber those under age 18 for the first time in U.S. history, the Census Bureau projects. By 2035, there will be 78 million older Americans compared with 76.7 million under 18. Nearly 1 in 5 people living in Allen County is projected to be 65 or older by 2030, according to Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University. There have been at least eight proposals for senior housing projects in Allen County since 2017. Is Indiana ready? A study last year of state resources for the long-term care of older adults and people with disabilities and for their caregivers ranked Indiana last among the states and the District of Columbia. The AARP Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation have issued the study every three years since 2011.
Sick children deserve optimal medical care. So why were my colleagues and I saddened by a California midterm ballot initiative aimed at doing just that? Like the majority of Californians, I voted for the initiative to authorize $1.5 billion in bonds in grants for the “construction, expansion, renovation, and equipping of qualifying children’s hospitals.” Voting “yes” was the socially responsible, compassionate choice. My chagrin came not from what the measure will do for our state but from what is missing in health care funding — not just in California, but across the nation.
Two students at Cooley Law School reached out to News 10 because they feel their disabilities aren’t taken seriously. Taylor Moore and James Smith say they both have intellectual disabilities that affect the way they learn. They said they need certain accommodations to level the playing field, graduate, and be successful. “Well, I feel like I’ve been discriminated against,” Smith said. “We didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for these disabilities,” Moore added. Smith, who is a disabled veteran says he suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving. He says as a result of the injury, he was left with memory loss, anxiety, a sleeping disorder and more.
I’m an environmentalist opposed to single-use straws. My disability has challenged my views. | The Washington Post
I rejected single-use plastic straws at restaurants long before it became the trendy thing to do. Then I sprained my jaw. Two years ago, I was chewing a tortilla chip when I heard a loud crackle of bone and a distinct pop, followed by a shrill ringing in my ear. By the time I pushed my jaw back into position, the swelling had already started. I had seriously sprained my jaw, a problem that my doctor attributed to Ehler-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disease that means I am deficient in collagen, which keeps our bones and joints in place. For the next few days, I could barely open my mouth, eating only soft foods like mashed potatoes and porridge. I had to sip smoothies and other beverages through a straw.
Older adults with untreated hearing loss incur substantially higher total health care costs compared to those who don’t have hearing loss—an average of 46 percent, totaling $22,434 per person over a decade, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This is one of the largest studies to look at this issue, following many individuals for a full 10 years. The project was done in collaboration with AARP, University of California San Francisco and OptumLabs.
When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe devised a plan to create two new visa categories, he wanted to appease Japanese companies that are gripped by labor shortages and desperate to hire more foreign staff. But Abe’s contentious plan has profound implications for Japan and has ignited a debate it has avoided for decades: Should the world’s fastest-aging country, and one of its most ethnically homogeneous, accept immigrants to stabilize its population and economy?
Two important institutions in any community are church and school. For almost 100 years, one family has worked to give Philadelphians a lift with the church they founded in 1926 and a day care center established in 1980. Sisters Darlene Davis and Deborah Greasham learned from their grandparents and parents that service to the community is the most important work one can do.
Prejudice directed at older people results in $63 billion in excess health costs each year in the United States, a new study claims. Ageism, which is the marginalization of the elderly in society, accounts for one of every seven dollars spent on the eight most expensive health conditions for Americans older than 60. Those conditions include heart disease, chronic respiratory disease and mental health disorders. The researchers also found that ageism was linked with 17 million cases of those eight health conditions in one year. “Ageism is one of the least visible prejudices,” said study author Becca Levy, a professor at the Yale University School of Public Health.
To be sure, Margaritaville is not representative of how most of us will spend our retirement years. Fewer than 14 percent of Americans 75 and older occupy some form of senior housing today. Three-quarters of those over 50 say they would prefer not to move at all. And untold numbers of seniors who might need or want to enter an age-restricted or assisted-living community won’t be able to afford to do so; 30 percent of those 65 and older have an annual income below $23,000, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The least-expensive homes in Margaritaville are more than 10 times that, before the monthly association fee of roughly $200 — and those sums don’t include meals or care. (For statewide comparison, a private room in a skilled-nursing facility has a median cost of $9,000 per month, and in an assisted-living residence, $3,500 per month, according to LeadingAge Florida, an association of elder-care organizations. Continuing-care communities that guarantee all levels of lifetime care on-site have charges that range from $2,500 to $5,400 per month, plus substantial entry fees.)
We changed queer literature, and the world, by writing our own stories. With disability, we can do it again. Story creates culture. It teaches us to feel, think and behave in ways generally approved of by those around us. Story conditions us. This conditioning, or bias, is not always visible to us, but it constrains and guides our behavior. Implicit bias can’t be changed until we learn to see the old, embedded story and then find a new and better story to overwrite it.
Going shopping makes Mike Adams feel “very disabled”. He says: “I can go into a shop and be made to feel invisible. There’s an apprehension. Staff are unsure of engaging with me so they swerve the conversation altogether.” Tough times on the high street mean the big retail chains are crying out for customers, yet Adams – the founder of Purple, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the spending power of the UK’s near 14 million disabled people – argues that shops are badly serving a £249bn market. Adams was behind this week’s “Purple Tuesday”, which saw stores and shopping centres festooned in the signature colour of the disability rights movement.
The NAB wishes you a Happy and Restful Thanksgiving Holiday!
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