New report details healthcare for seniors; guidance for individuals caring for aging patients

The new Dartmouth Atlas report, Our Parents, Ourselves: Health Care for an Aging Population, funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation, offers a comprehensive look at Medicare data to show us how health care experiences vary across the United States for older adults.

Despite the fact that, on average, Medicare recipients spend more than half a month a year (17.1 days) in contact with the health care system, all those visits don’t always add up to good care. Depending on where they live, senior patients too often don’t receive medical care that reflects the best evidence available.

The report highlights several items that individuals caring for aging parents should be mindful of:

  • Does your parent take a high-risk medication?
  • Is your father undergoing prostate cancer screening with a blood test, called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test?
  • Is your mother undergoing regular breast cancer screening with mammography?
  • Does your mother or father with dementia have a feeding tube?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, consider talking with your family members about the best way to communicate their wishes and advocate for care that matches their needs.

The full report can be found here.


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