The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program helps older adults with prediabetes make the required lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes, but there are currently few providers available to meet the growing need for the program
You’ve probably heard of diabetes—but what about prediabetes? Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. While almost half of older adults have prediabetes, nearly nine out of ten don’t know they have it. That’s why having this conversation is so important.
Did you know that over 3 million older adults ages 50-64 rely on Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credits to purchase health coverage? In fact, pre-ACA, almost half of them were uninsured.
Did you know? Diabetes rates are significantly higher among Americans age 65 and older than in any other age group. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Americans 65 and older reported having diagnosed diabetes in 2015, according to a recent AARP Public Policy Institute analysis. Diabetes, a chronic condition in which the body is unable to produce or use insulin efficiently, leads to higher-than-normal blood sugar levels and is associated with higher risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Long-term complications from diabetes include damage to nerves, eyes and kidneys. Widely recognized as a major public health concern, diabetes costs the U.S. health system around $176 billion annually.
Nearly 8 percent of adults age 65 and older are food insecure, meaning they do not always have balanced meals or enough to eat because they cannot afford it. However, there are significant racial and ethnic disparities in food insecurity among older adults. Black and Hispanic seniors are over three times more likely to experience food insecurity than their white and Asian counterparts. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 black seniors are food insecure, compared to about 1 in 18 white seniors.
En español | Food insecurity is a significant public health problem for older adults. In 2014, nearly 8 percent (3.47 million) of Americans age 65 and older were living in food insecure households, meaning they did not have balanced meals or enough to eat because they could not afford it. According to current estimates, the share of food-insecure older adults will increase 50 percent by 2025.
En español | As we approach the end of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s third health insurance open enrollment period, it’s a good time to look at how the ACA has affected older Americans.
The good news is that appropriate treatment can help most older adults with depression. What’s more, Medicare has recently improved its coverage for people with mental disorders. It now covers a free annual depression screening, and beneficiaries no longer have to pay more for outpatient treatment of mental illnesses than they do for physical illnesses. In addition, Medicare’s prescription drug benefit covers essentially all antidepressants used to treat people with depression.
I grew up next to the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state and I remember how native elders were revered throughout the community. At the annual powwow the elders shared their history through song and dance, and all generations sat together, joining in the chanting and drumming.
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