Baby boomers could redefine what it means to be retired in much the same way they have redefined other life stages. The book "What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life's Third Age" is based on surveys of more than 100,000 people and notes retired boomers can be split into different groups, including "ageless explorers" and "comfortably contents."
A survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones showed 16% of baby boomers and 6% of adults ages 75 and older said the novel coronavirus pandemic has had an extreme or very negative impact on their financial security, compared with about one-third of younger adults ages 18 to 39. Age Wave CEO Ken Dychtwald said older adults have safety nets, such as Medicare and Social Security, and are more likely than younger adults to rely on home equity to get through this financial crisis.
Age discrimination can increase during recessions as employers look to cut costs and replace experienced workers with younger talent that will work for less, writes Jack Kelly, CEO of WeCruitr, citing research from MarketWatch. One version of this practice, called "juniorization," calls for "downgrading a position, so that a well-experienced person is now deemed to have too much firepower for the job," Kelly writes.
Some nursing home residents are being transferred on short notice when their facility moves to caring for COVID-19 patients only, a decision that geriatrician Dr. Michael Wasserman says can be financially beneficial to facilities. Social worker Tracy Mintz says abrupt relocations can lead to what's called transfer trauma, which can cause disability and even death.
A study published in JAMA Network Open showed that 59.3% and 56.2% of older men and women, respectively, were overscreened for colorectal cancer, while 74.1% and 45.8% of older women were overscreened for breast cancer and cervical cancer, respectively. The findings highlight "the need for additional research to identify risks and benefits of screening in older adults and determine who may benefit from screening after the recommended upper-age limits," researchers wrote.
A survey of more than 800 older adults in March and April who had been in lockdown for 17 days due to the novel coronavirus pandemic showed 40% of those ages 60 to 70 were moderately or very stressed, while 74% of those ages 71 and older said they experienced little or no stress. Researchers reported in the Pan American Journal of Public Health that those ages 60 to 70 said they were drinking and eating more than usual, and while some got in more exercise, others exercised less.
Active adult communities generally do not contain a health care component, but as more people are aging in place, some developers are finding ways to include health care without changing their focus on lifestyle. One option is to add preventive health services that fall under the heading of wellness, and another is to partner with Medicare Advantage plans or other providers to integrate health care services into a property.
About 5% of Medicare patients surveyed had received home-based care from 2011 to 2017, and 75% of beneficiaries in that group were homebound, researchers reported in Health Affairs. "The significant unmet needs of this high-need, high-cost population and the known health and cost benefits of home-based medical care should spur stakeholders to expand the availability of this care," the researchers wrote.
US Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, has asked HHS to provide novel coronavirus pandemic aid to senior living facilities for older adults that is on par with resources sent to nursing homes. "This would allow these senior living facilities to first test both residents and staff to find out who is COVID-19-positive, and then to use PPE supplies to combat the disease and contain its spread," Granger said.
Join us tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 6, at 10 a.m. PT, for our next Future Proof episode. Larry Curley, executive director of the National Indian Council on Aging, will talk with our CEO, Peter Kaldes, about racial disparities and racist reactions to COVID-19, and aiming for equity in the Navajo Nation. Register here.
A call for proposals to our annual meeting, On Aging 2021, is open now through Aug. 26. This year we are especially focused on the issues of equity and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome submissions for virtual or in-person sessions. View the call for proposals and begin your submission.