Find an Aging Life Care Professional, formerly called geriatric care manager. The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) was formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Inc. This national directory is easy to use. Credentials of members listed will vary widely. The credentials of the Advanced Professionals may be the most useful. Not all areas of the US are covered.
Caregiver Resource guide from the nonprofit Family Caregiver Alliance (based in San Francisco) includes a page for finding an in-home service provider. 19 pages, 2008
Eldercare Locator is a way to search for services supporting senior independent living. US Department of Health and Human Services provides a free public service through the US Administration on Aging, to help seniors and caregivers find resources anywhere in the country. In addition to the website, you may call 1-800-677-1116 on weekdays to speak with someone who can help (English or Spanish). Very easy to use, by putting in your zip code.
Falls caused about 3 million trips to the ER, and over 800,000 hospitalizations for older people. Head injury and hip fractures were the most common reasons for fall-related hospital stays. Find out steps you can take: home safety, exercise, eye exams, and medicine use. Unintentional fall death rates have been rising in the last 10 years (see graph)
The Safe Living Guide is an easy to read and practical guide to making one’s home safe from injury. Topics include preventing falls in the home (a major problem in the US and Canada), medication safety, and indoor/outdoor checklists, such as examining how you reach your mailbox. Very thoughtful guide by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Division of Aging and Seniors, revised 2016
A new question to ask your nursing home caregivers: Did you get your flu shot? Nursing homes who pay for their employees’ flu shots may have higher compliance, and higher rates of employee immunization, along with resident immunization, reduced influenza outbreaks, and therefore fewer deaths. See resources, including summary by Lisa Shugarman of the Rand Corporation “Vaccination of Nursing Home Staff, Residents, Key to Reducing Influenza Outbreaks”
Older adult health issues at MedlinePlus addresses topics such as healthy aging, nutrition, eyesight, bruising, memory loss, aging parents, older drivers and when is the time to give up driving, depression, injuries, sleep problems, preventing confusion, skin problems, safety checklist and more. Click on Exercise for Older Adults to find out about balance, strength and flexibility exercises.
Older Americans 2016: Key Indicators of Well-Being describes the overall status of the U.S. population age 65 and over. Most health data from 2014, but may be older or newer. Population, health care use, income and economics, housing, health status, health behaviors, informal caregiving. By the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, August 2016
If you’re a caregiver for a senior, find additional resources here. The Aging Life Care Association (formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) has compiled an extensive list of resources for seniors and their caregivers. Categories include associations, community/social services, government and care management. Consumers can also search for an Aging Life Care Expert
AARP provides resources on health and healthcare. Resources include health and health insurance topics of interest to people ages 50 and up. Updated 2019
See our main page for public reporting of quality ratings and comparisons for individual hospitals, nursing homes, health insurance plans, and other health care services. Check your physician’s credentials and doctor’s license in this category
Small Michigan study of people ages 60+ who fell at home and also had an assistive device such as a cane or walker. Most who fell were not using their device at the time of the fall. Top reasons: I don’t always need it; I hold onto other things such as the furniture or walls; I forget to use it or forget where I left it; and It makes me feel old. An astounding HALF of people said they never had instruction on using their cane or walker. Published April 2017 in The Gerontologist (Luz, Bush, Shen); 8-page pdf available free
A survey in late 2014 by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found caregivers average 24 hours a week in caregiving. Nearly 1/3 (32%) of caregivers use paid help from aides, housekeepers, drivers and others. Recipients who had Alzheimer’s, long-term physical problems or age 65+ were more likely to have paid help in addition to their caregiver. Info about caregiver preparation to perform medical or nursing tasks. Detailed report, 2015, 87 pages. (An older study in 2007by the National Alliance and Evercare Health Plans, part of UnitedHealthcare, calculated that family caregivers spend an average $5531 a year caring for older loved ones. Long-distance caregivers had the highest average expenses at $8728 per year.)
Learn the basics on prescription drug coverage under Medicare. Six-page Tip Sheet explains how prescription drugs, medicines and immunizations might be covered under Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) or Medicare Part D (the drug plan for seniors). Includes guidelines for cancer drugs, injectibles and IV drugs. Generally, Part A (hospital insurance) does not cover outpatient drugs. Publication 11315-P revised October 2018
Cancer, arthritis, trauma-related disorders, mental disorders, and heart conditions were identified as the top 5 most costly illnesses for adults ages 18 to 64 in 2012. For seniors, COPD and asthma replaced mental disorders. Medical expenditures (payments) according to MEPS data (household component) show average costs (ages 18-64) were $8125 for a cancer patient, $4852 for an adult with heart disease, $2603 per trauma patient, $1727 for mental health care, and $1909 for someone with arthritis. Average out of pocket payments by consumers not shown. AHRQ Statistical Brief 471, April 2015
Online guide describes the benefits of exercise and physical activity for older people (ages 50+). Includes sample exercises for endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility; also diet and nutrition tips. From the National Institute on Aging
Healthcare expenses for seniors are outlined in this MEPS report on Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and over. Median annual expenditures were $4,206 per person. Average annual expenses for those with expense were $9,863 in 2011. Using medical inflation rates, $9,863 was about $12,194 in 2019 dollars. Medicare paid over 62% (up considerably from 10 years earlier); private insurance paid 16%; out-of-pocket amount declined to 12%. 96% of seniors had some healthcare expense, most often office-based care and prescribed medicines. Medications took up 22% of the total, averaging $76 per purchase. For seniors, the inpatient room rate averaged $3,199 per day (sticker shock, and nearly $4,000 in 2019 dollars); ER visit was $884 on average; office visit was $228. MEPS Statistical Brief #429 uses 2011 data, published Jan. 2014.
Fast Facts by American Health Care Association (AHCA) shows a few characteristics in aggregate on 15,655 skilled nursing homes US (June 2015). Brief sketch only.
Johns Hopkins (Baltimore) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) again lead the list of top 50 hospitals for geriatric care, from US News & World Report. List shows hospitals that do well at treating seniors (at least 3,391 cases over 3 years) combining multiple specialties. Many of the 50 have Alzheimer’s Centers. Medicare survival (30-day mortality data) from 2015-2017.