Quality Elder Care Is Personal to Me

A recent study on the healthcare status of American seniors, a major study on Alzheimer’s disease and a video clip of BSmithrestaurateur, model and fashion guru B. Smith’s struggle with the disease prompted this post.

America’s Health Rankings Senior Report produced by the United Health Foundation says that Georgia ranks 40th on the list of how well states are caring for its seniors. The report is a comprehensive analysis of senior population health on a national and state-by-state basis across 34 health related measures from obesity and physical inactivity to poverty. Mississippi was 50th and Minnesota is ranked first.

The report highlights Georgia’s low percentage of quality nursing home beds; limited availability of home health care workers; and a high percentage of seniors living in poverty. As a 69-year old whose closest neighbors are older, one neighbor will be 100 years old in a few months and six others are well into their 70’s. The condition of senior funding and access to quality care and services is personal and paramount to me. My neighbors and I own our homes, pay taxes, vote religiously and count on elected officials to represent our interest in their policy decisions much the same as the folks in Minnesota. We expect our elected leaders to be honest in their personal and public lives, smart in investing money on the needs of people as well as business and compassionate in their understanding of the significant role government can and should play in building a sustainable and durable state economy. As the old folks say,” we don’t suffer fools” and expect our elected leaders to stand up for the needy, the middle class and the elderly. We’ve lived long enough to know that hard work and honesty are more important than glitz and glamour, that hard work and sacrifice made this country stronger, that civil and human rights are related and that our aging citizens warrant a life of dignity and quality care.

In 2030, when the last baby boomer turns 65, one of every five will be considered an older American that is about 72 million people. There will need to be more health services and reform if we are to properly meet the rapid demands of our growing older population. A key step in that direction was recently taken with a major study of an experimental drug for those with Alzheimer’s disease. About 5 million in the U.S have Alzheimer’s or similar dementia and that figure is expected to rise rapidly as baby boomers age. The study is being watched closely to learn more about the treatment of this disease on the elderly. That brings me to the upcoming CBS Sunday Morning feature on B. Smith. This is just a peak into the life of one of the millions with Alzheimer’s, hopefully with research and funding for this disease her story will not be as common in 2030.

Comments

  1. Gary S. Cox says:

    Why am I not surprised that Georgia ranks 40th in healthcare for seniors when we refuse to expand Medicaid for the working poor under the guise we cannot afford it. But, when the uninsured working poor gets sick they end up in the ER of the local hospital – and, we pay anyway in outrageous property taxes for indigent care costs … the Feds should be footing the bill, not the home owners of Georgia.

  2. Burroughston Broch says:

    Please check your math – the last baby boomers were born in 1964 and become 65 in 2029.

    More importantly, we must be involved if we seniors (and I am one) expect government to be responsive to us.
    We cannot trust AARP and other senior’s organizations to carry our message – we must carry it ourselves.
    Most of us were not focused on seniors when we were younger, and so we must force government to keep us in its focus for our needs as well as our votes.
    If need be, we must stand for office.