How seniors in Allegheny County combat social isolation

When you zero in on the Allegheny County residents who are 75 and older, the rates of living alone grow. Nearly half of them (roughly 53,000 people) live alone, and it’s more common among women, according to the 2014 State of Aging in Allegheny County report.

Living alone puts seniors at an increased risk for social isolation, according to the report.

Taking care of an older relative is hard. Will Pennsylvania’s CARE Act make it easier?

Health According to the AARP, there are about 40 million family members in the United States taking care of their loved ones at home.

That’s where the CARE Act comes in. Pennsylvania passed a bill in April to address some of the challenges caregivers face, and hospitals have until next April to figure out how to provide the support and education required by it. How effective it can be remains to be seen.

 

The problematic decline of geriatricians

In Oregon, there is about one geriatrician for every 3,000 patients over 75.

Census projections indicate that by 2030 the number of Americans over that age will be at the highest levels seen in the nation, yet there are only about 7,000 practicing geriatricians in the country today, according to a New York Times article.

Few nursing homes adjust care for obese patients

Nearly 25 percent of people entering nursing homes are moderately or severely obese, and that number is expected to grow.

Nursing home staff, who are already often overworked, are having trouble handling these patients and special needs that the facilities aren’t equipped to provide for, reports Kaiser Health News.

Law on cameras in nursing homes and what to do if you want one

Pennsylvania does not have a law on cameras in nursing homes. The state defaults to federal guidelines that protect the dignity and privacy of nursing-home residents, but they do not address the use of cameras. If you want the state to address this one way or the other, contact:

Your local ombudsman program or the state ombudsman. Here’s a list of contact information by county. Wilmarie Gonzalez, the state long-term care ombudsman, can be reached at 717-783-8975.