Why Gray Divorce Is Increasing
Also: Is hospital at home in your future?
No. 5/April 20, 2022
NewScan is a biweekly briefing on news relevant to readers of The EndGame. NewScan is a premium feature exclusively for paid subscribers. Today’s edition is going out to all free and paid subscribers.
“Gray Divorce” Rates Rising
The divorce rate for couples aged 50 and older has been rising since the 1980s. The rate for couples 55 and over doubled between 1990 and 2010, and for those over 65 the rate has tripled. The reasons run the gamut and include money, sex, empty nest, infidelity, drug or alcohol dependency, boredom, growing apart, and major illness. Learn more
Is Hospital at Home in Your Future?
To stem the spread of COVID 19 among the elderly, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved waivers to allow hospitals to provide acute care for certain conditions in patients’ homes. Patients loved it. Providers agreed that in-home care leads to better care and “humanizes the patient and the provider.” A model program, pioneered by The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1995, demonstrated that in-home care decreased mortality and increase patient and caregiver satisfaction at a lower cost. Now the Advanced Care at Home Coalition, spearheaded by several major health systems including Johns Hopkins, is lobbying CMS to make the waiver program permanent. Learn more
On the Other Hand, Aging in Place has Drawbacks
Yes, most of us would prefer to age in our own homes. But aging in place also has some disadvantages to consider. Among them:
A sudden change in your health condition may require an immediate change in your living arrangement.
Homes tend to decline as you age in them.
You’re dependent on your partner – and you may need a backup plan.
If you decline mentally, you may be a risk to your own safety.
Fire hazards increase as people age. Learn more
But perhaps the greatest disadvantage of all is the burden a serious illness at home places on family members who must become nurses, care coordinators, and medication experts. In essence, says Howard Gleckman, an Urban Institute senior fellow, “these models save the health care system money by shifting the work from paid professionals to unpaid family members.”
More Elders Living on the Streets Because of Housing Costs
People aged 50 and older are becoming an increasing share of the homeless population in American cities, largely because they can’t afford to rent. In the 2017 assessment of homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said people 50 and older went from 23% to 334% of people in emergency shelters or transitional housing. A University of Pennsylvania study predicts homelessness for persons 65 or older will triple by 2020. Dr. Margot Kushel, director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at University of California, San Francisco, says: “A lot of the working poor are destined to retire onto the streets.” Learn more
Meanwhile developers are eager to respond to the wave of retiring Baby Boomers with luxury retirement communities in urban centers.
Owning a Pet May Slow Cognitive Decline
Researchers at the University of Michigan say a study of pet owners suggests that being a long-term pet owner slows the rate of cognitive decline in older adults. Over a six-year period, the cognitive scores of long-term pet owners declined at a slower rate than non-pet owners. Learn more
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