Until recently, very little was known about what it takes to live well into our 90s. That’s because there weren’t many people that old to study, and because records were sparse about their diet and lifestyle. But today men and women above the age of 90 have become the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, and there’s new research that helps explain why.
These bullet points from the infographic (below) are for screen readers and search agents
More seniors – The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. Life over 60 doesn’t mean that positive lifestyle and outlook changes can’t be made.
- 400 million – By 2050, the world will have almost 400 million people aged 80 years or older.
- 80% – By 2050, 80% of older peole will live in low- and middle-income countries.
- Help needed – The number of older people who are no longer able to look after themselves in developing countries is forecast to quadruple by 2050.
- The main health burdens of older people are from non-communicable diseases.
- WHO maintains that all health providers should be trained on ageing issues.
- Creating “age-friendly” physical and social environments can have a big impact on improving the active participation and independence of older people.
- The risk of premature death decreases by 50% if someone gives up smoking between 60 and 75 years of age.
By Henry Moss (original at American Society on Aging)
Caregiver burden is emotional and subjective. We try to measure it by looking at rates of depression and anxiety disorders in the caregiver population, and at the seriousness of these disorders. We know the highest rates of emotional burden and the deepest levels of depression are felt by caregivers who experience entrapment—a sense of powerlessness, aloneness and suffering associated with long periods of caregiving for the most difficult elders, especially those with dementia. We are aware of the many studies showing how excess stress and emotional burden can impact a caregiver’s health, finances and family life, creating even more anxiety and depression.
We already know that the 45- to 64-year-old population will grow only 1 percent between 2010 and 2030, while the age 80 and older baby boomer population increases by 79 percent. As the age 80 and older baby boomer cohort grows, the number of family caregivers available to assist them drops dramatically, from 7.5 in 2010 to 2.9 in 2050, a more than 50 percent decline. Alarm bells have been going off and researchers and advocates have been busy estimating the impact on the long-term-care system. Read More …
We have well over 700 health care infographics on Pinterest and are in process of manually indexing them HERE. This one is especially interesting. Using data from the World Health Organization, it shows that Americans spend well over twice as much per person on health care than other developed nations, yet we tend to live sicker and die younger.
Summary for screen readers:
Demographic & Social Economic Statistics — The chart shows 2011 population size with China first with 1.35 billion people, followed by India with 1.24 billion, and the US third with 313 million.
Gross National Income per Capita — Singapore came in first even though it has one of the smaller populations with just over 5 million people, followed by the US at number two and Germany at number three. Read More …
Dan Munro wrote that annual U.S. healthcare spending will hit $3.8 trillion this year (~21% of GDP).
11/20/2015: Spending actually has stayed mostly flat at about $3 trillion.
There’s good info in his Forbes article and the referenced Deloitte report, but it should not be taken politically one way or another. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data shows a slow bending of the cost curve, where the increases in health care expenditures are slowing slightly, the increase is slower than the economy, and it’s slightly slower than in previous years. Still, many of us hope to see costs decline outright, and by a lot.
To me, the real value is recognizing that there are hidden costs not captured in the official 2012 estimate of $2.8 trillion/year. Read More …
I’m happy that AT&T is reaching out to teach seniors about technology, because so few of them understand or use it, and the problem is worse than we think. I’ll discuss that after the video.
Want to add more and better years to your life? Now is the time.
We’re living longer than ever: The average American born in 2013 will be alive nearly four years longer than someone born 20 years ago. But until recently, it wasn’t clear if the years we’ve added to our lives were good-quality years.
A recent study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School starts to answer that question. Researchers found that today, 25 year olds can expect to live “2.4 more years of a healthy life” and 65 year olds can look forward to 1.7 extra healthy years than people who lived two decades back.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Dan Munro wrote a wonderful column on Forbes reminding us that King saw healthcare as a civil right. Sadly, we have made little progress on healthcare inequality, with roughly 50 million Americans without health insurance and another 40 million under-insured.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is poised to relieve some of that, with the individual mandate to buy healthcare insurance and subsidies for low-income Americans. But individual states are still allowed to choose whether or not to support and fund a key component of the ACA – Medicaid expansion. Many will, but some won’t.
Many doctors have walked away from taking Medicaid patients, and some have abandoned Medicare patients too. Read More …
Guest article by Albert Lester (editor enhanced)
Americans keep living longer. According to the CIA World Factbook, 26% of Americans are older than 55. Just more than 40% fall in the 25-54 age range, double the rate for those under age 14, and dwarfing the number of 15-24 year olds. Moreover, our population growth is less than one percent. For baby boomers, some of whom have already entered retirement, this brings an interesting question: will there be enough entitlement funds to help support them in old age, and will there be enough caregivers in the smaller generation groups that follow them to meet the demand? Read More …
By Caroline Montague
With an aging population and a generation of young adults struggling to achieve financial independence, the burdens and responsibilities of middle-aged Americans are increasing. Nearly half (47 percent) of these adults have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older). In addition, about one in seven middle-aged adults (15 percent) are providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child.
Adult children, worried about costs and the loss of their parents’ independence, must make difficult decisions about the best options for care for their loved ones. Assisted living communities, such as Emeritus assisted living, allow individuals to remain independent as long as possible in an environment that maximizes the person’s autonomy, dignity, privacy and safety. These types of communities also encourage family and resident involvement. (Editor: Emeritus is one of the largest and most well known, but you can also compare facilities in your area by zip code.) Read More …
By Wayne Caswell, Founder of Modern Health Talk
This article examines a future driven by Moore’s Law and the trend of circuits and components getting smaller, faster and cheaper exponentially over time and the eventual blending of science and technology (INFO + BIO + NANO + NEURO). I approach this topic from the unique perspective of an IBM technologist, market strategist, futurist, and consumer advocate. See About the Author and About Modern Health, below, to better understand what shaped this view of the future. You can also see my slide presentation and related articles & infographics at the bottom.
Futurists regularly consider alternative scenarios and examine factors that can steer the future in one direction or another. That way, clients can select a preferred version of the future and know what they might do to make that future happen.
It’s relatively easy to extrapolate past trends, assuming that nothing prevents those trends from continuing at the same rate, but will they? One can also look at what’s possible by tracking research lab activity and then estimating how long it will take to bring those new technologies to market.
But a potentially better approach is to start with a solid understanding of market NEEDS and what drives the development of solutions for them, or factors that inhibit solutions. Changes in politics and public policy, for example, can be a huge driver, with Obamacare as an example, or a huge inhibitor. That’s why I’m so interested in various healthcare reforms that accompany tech innovation. Read More …
With over 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, there may not be enough doctors to care for them as they age. As Seth Doane reports in this CBS News report, over the next ten years there may be 40,000 fewer doctors than needed. Will technology take up the slack? It may have to, and that’s one reason I started Modern Health Talk – to discuss those technologies.
The two-minute video is filled with lots of new statistics that I added to
our growing list about the Healthcare Problem & Opportunity.
There’s a Direct relationship between poverty, obesity, and the cost of health care.
Here’s some statistics, mostly from the 2010 census:
- 15.1% of Americans (46.2 million) live in poverty, including 22% of our children. 20% live in extreme poverty.
- 3.2 million Americans were kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance.
- 20.3 million were kept out of poverty by social security.
- The poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,113; the 2010 avg. income of the bottom 90% was $26.364.
- $6,298 — decline in median working-age household income from 2000 to 2010.
- 49.1 million — number of people under 65 without any health insurance.
- 13.6 million — decline in people under 65 with employer-sponsored health insurance from 2000-2010.
- Public health officials can accurately predict obesity and longevity rates by zip codes. One inner city example had an average lifespan of just 64 years while it was 90 years in a wealthier neighborhood just 8 miles away. (HBO’s documentary, The Weight of the Nation)
- Disadvantaged communities are at higher risk for many preventable health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis B and C, and infant mortality, largely due to the lack of health care, nutritious food at affordable prices, and sidewalks and parks to encourage exercise.
- Pressures from Job, Money, Divorce and Violence cause a vicious cycle of Stress = Obesity = Stress.
Tech innovation and automation also plays a role, increasing productivity and profits for some, but eliminating jobs faster than creating new ones. Dr. Oz apparently agrees, as shown in this article, which also features a CBS report on the jobs impact of robotics and a collection of slides that I recently presented to a local jobs group.
As our presidential candidates debate the issues, what will they say about Poverty in America? And how do they plan to address the problem?
The Line is an important documentary that cover the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line. They have goals. They have children. They work hard. They are people like you and me. Across America, millions are struggling every day to make it above The Line.
Poverty is a drag on the economy that also affects the cost of healthcare, as I’ve written before in this blog.
- America’s Obesity Epidemic – a BIG Problem
- Sleep Apnea and Poverty: How Socioeconomics Impacts Diagnosis & Treatment
- States Slash Home Health Care & Services for the Neediest
By Susan Redline, MD, MPH and Dr. Michelle A. Williams, ScD
Individuals from disadvantaged neighborhoods and racial/ethnic minorities are at increased risk for sleep disorders due to a variety of environmental exposures, occupational and psychosocial conditions, and possibly genetic factors. Editor: They also have higher rates of obesity and other health conditions, and they don’t live as long.
A wide range of serious health problems disproportionately afflict individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These conditions, which reduce quality of life and shorten lifespan, include heart disease, stroke, diabetes,asthma, and cancer. Other health problems commonly associated with poverty are obesity,pregnancy complications, increased infant mortality,HIV/AIDS and dental disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s “Healthy People 2020,” which sets 10-year national objectives for improving the health of the nation, has prioritized the need to close the gap in these “health disparities.” There are numerous potential targets for improving the health of low-income people, such as improving nutrition and access to health care. In addition, accumulating research points to a need to improve sleep as means for improving alertness and daily functioning, as well as for reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
by Stephen C Schimpff, MD
Most of us will not have the opportunity to just die of “old age” or to simply fall to sleep one night never to wake again. Most often, we develop an illness which causes our death. These have changed markedly over the years. For the pioneers, accidents, infections, childbirth were times and causes of great likelihood of death. A century ago, infections were the leading causes of death. Today, we will probably survive much longer than our ancestors but it is more likely we will die of heart disease, cancer or stroke. This is a dramatic change in the causes of death that has occurred over the years and with it is an equally dramatic change in the factors that predispose to those deaths.
This report complements my earlier article on Patients Find and Help Each other in Social Media.
Rest assured that I’ll be devouring its contents, contacting its authors, and reporting my findings.
Consumer Activity on Social Media Sites Dwarfs that of Healthcare Companies, Finds New PwC Study on Social Media in Healthcare
New York, April 17, 2012 – Social media is changing the nature of healthcare interaction, and health organizations that ignore this virtual environment may be missing opportunities to engage consumers, according to a new report by the Health Research Institute (HRI) at PwC US entitled, “Social media likes healthcare: From marketing to social business.”
The report found that social media activity by hospitals, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies is miniscule compared to the activity on community sites. While eight in 10 healthcare companies (as tracked by HRI during a sample one-week period) had a presence on various social media sites, community sites had 24 times more social media activity than corporate sites. The finding holds significant implications for businesses looking to capitalize on social media opportunities.
Liking, following, linking, tagging, stumbling: social media is changing the nature of health-related interactions.
Now that all four episodes of The Weight of the Nation have aired on HBO, I’m updating this article with new information, important statistics, and embedded versions of the trailer and each episode.
Obesity is a really BIG problem (excuse the pun), and with over two thirds (69%) of us overweight or obese, it’s now the largest threat to the health, wellness and future survival of our nation. Obesity has become an epidemic that needs swift action and an unprecedented public health campaign. Otherwise, we’ll end up like those fat Axiom characters in Pixar’s movie, Wall-E, and we’ll bankrupt America.
I hope everyone young & old will watch HBO’s The Weight of the Nation. It’s a four-part documentary that premiered on Monday, May 14 to explore our uphill battle with obesity. If you prefer to watch on your TV or want to learn more, you can visit the link above to buy the CD or the book that it’s based on. (An online version of the book is free.)
FORESIGHT may be the single most critical skill for the 21st Century. Knowledge quickly goes out of date, but foresight enables you to anticipate and navigate change, make good decisions, and take action to create a better future.
That’s why I’ve been a member of the Central Texas chapter of the World Future Society for years, where I meet interesting people with widely varied perspectives of the future. It’s also why I participate in so many Linkedin discussion groups on emerging healthcare issues.
The following ten forecasts came from the World Future Society’s special report, Forecasts for the Next 25 Years. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist magazine.
Forecast #3. Nanotechnology offers hope for restoring eyesight.
Flower-shaped electrodes topped with photodiodes, implanted in blind patients’ eyes, may restore their sight. The “nanoflowers” mimic the geometry of neurons, making them a better medium than traditional computer chips for carrying photodiodes and transmitting the collected light signals to the brain. Read More …
The rapid adoption of mobile and mobile devices is providing Internet access to those who had little or no none before.
With almost 90% of American twenty-somethings accessing the Internet through smartphones or tablets, the digital divide may narrow significantly by the end of the decade.
Despite this sunny future, a PEW Internet report looks at differences in digital access and use among American adults and finds one in five people do not use the Internet.
While increased Internet adoption and the rise of mobile connectivity have reduced many gaps in technology access over the past decade, for some groups digital disparities still remain.
The report finds that those most likely to be part of the digital divide include: Read More …