Health Reform 2.0: Improving Health Literacy of Older Americans

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increases access to health insurance coverage, establishes a minimum benefit package, makes coverage more affordable, and eliminates most cost sharing for recommended preventive services. Now it’s time to empower consumers to take advantage of these improvements. One way to achieve this goal is to increase basic health literacy. What is health literacy? Health literacy is the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services in order to make appropriate health decisions. Why …

Spring Fitness Tune-Up

Guilty as charged: I’ve grown lax about my workout program in the last few months, leading to a loss in strength and a gain in weight. How can I tell? Because my scale does not lie. Nor, tragically, do my jeans. Last winter seemed to pose a bigger challenge than normal to my (mostly conscientious) exercise habits and (fairly healthy) lifestyle. That long, cold season simply would not die, forcing me to trim my running schedule from three or four …

Aging Issues, Volunteerism Top Talks in Phoenix

“We have to start thinking about healthy aging starting at an early age,” Amy St. Peter, human services manager for the Maricopa Association of Governments, told attendees in Phoenix at the second of a series of five forums leading up to the White House Conference on Aging this summer. Experts on aging issues along with advocates and everyday older Americans gathered for the invitation-only confab to offer opinions and help set the agenda for the White House conference in Washington. …

Blacks Experience Blindness Most Often, but We Can Change Those Stats

A. Peter Bailey, a noted journalist in Washington, had worn glasses since he was 21 — for more than 50 years. But gradually, even with glasses, his vision became dim and he could hardly see people from a distance. Six years ago, Bailey had cataracts removed from his eyes. “Now that I’ve had the surgery I’ve only had to wear glasses when I’m reading,” he says. Get the latest tips on staying healthy — AARP Health Newsletter » It happens all …

Good Friends Make for Better Health

I got an email from someone I didn’t know this week, saying how comforting she had found my book, especially the chapter about friendship. ‘‘My ‘friends’ all know that I am deaf,” she wrote. “Some try to look at me more (that doesn’t last too long), some try to talk slower (that doesn’t last long). I am amazed at how impatient they get with me. I am amazed how inconsiderate they are. “I was at a lovely luncheon yesterday in a restaurant …

Historic FDA Approval May Help Lower Drug Costs

AARP applauds the FDA’s approval of the first biosimilar prescription drug product in the U.S. It is a welcome step toward a workable approval process that will provide consumers with much-needed access to safe, effective biosimilar drugs, as envisioned by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act in the Affordable Care Act. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what AARP hopes will be a robust market that will offer consumers access to lower-cost alternatives to very expensive biologic medicines, such as those …