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Beyond the Headlines: Senior Health

Show topic: Senior Health
November 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
ABC7's Emmy award-winning public affairs show, "Beyond the Headlines," provides in-depth coverage of the topics and issues facing the people of the Bay Area. Throughout the year, "Beyond the Headlines" airs half-hour specials on issues, ranging from Bay Area housing to same-sex marriage.

BEYOND THE HEADLINES
November 29, 2009
Senior Health
Hosted by ABC7's Cheryl Jennings

This week's episode of "Beyond the Headlines" focuses on the fastest growing demographic in our population -- our senior citizens -- and how we can help them continue living healthier lives.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics:

  • The number of people age 65 and older is increasing at a faster rate than our total population.
  • Over the past 50 years, the American population has been growing steadily at 1.2% annually.
  • Growth of people age 65 to 74 has been climbing at 1.5%.
  • While seniors 75 and over has grown the fastest, surpassing other categories at 2.8% every year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • By 2029, all of the Baby Boomers, born 1946 to 1964, will reach age 65 and over, making them 10% of our total population.
  • By 2040, people age 75 and over will outpace the 65 to 74-year-olds, making Baby Boomers 16% of the population.

The aging generation of Baby Boomers may look at affordable housing in a different way. It's part of a growing trend called Co-Housing. ABC7's Teresa Garcia looks at what could be the first-ever such community development for seniors in the Bay Area.

Growing older does not necessarily mean becoming frail. Researchers say that regular exercise ? already shown to cut the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer ? may also play a key role in slowing the aging process. ABC's John McKenzie filed this report early last year.

Some diseases affect older adults more than other age groups, like Alzheimer's disease. A drug already approved to treat the late stages of Alzheimer's might be able to disrupt the disease in its early stages as well. As health and science reporter Carolyn Johnson explains -- research is underway right now at UCSF.

Older adults living on a fixed or limited income are forced to make some tough decisions about their expenses, including Medicare. There are so many components of Medicare. Today we're just going to focus on Medicare Part D because enrollment is happening right now.

Factors to consider in choosing a Part D plan:

  • The amount of the monthly premium
  • Whether the plan formulary includes or continues to include your present drugs
  • Be aware of the plan's restrictions.
  • Does the plan provide coverage for "Donut Hole" or coverage gap
  • Is my pharmacy is in the plans network?
  • WARNING!! If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, you cannot join a Part D Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • For assistance call Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-510-2020 or Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program at 1-800-434-0222

Studio Guests:

Lori Andersen
Director of Healthy Aging, Health Trust
www.healthtrust.org

Donna Schempp
Program Director, Family Caregiver Alliance
www.caregiver.org

Connie Corrales
HICAP Director, Council on Aging Silicon Valley
www.coasiliconvalley.com

Resource List:

Family Caregiver Alliance: (800) 445-8106
www.caregiver.org

Area Agency on Aging: (800) 510-2020

Help with Medicare Part D: www.medicare.gov

Alzheimer's Association
24-hour helpline: 800-272-3900

Mountain View/Greater Bay Area Office
1060 La Avenida
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: 650-962-8111

Santa Cruz Area Office
1777-A Capitola Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: 831-464-9982

Monterey County Office
182 El Dorado Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831-647-9890

Bay Area - Area Agencies on Aging
Marin County Division on Aging
(Service Area: Marin County)
Phone: 415-499-7118
I & A: 415-457-4636

City and County of San Francisco Depart. of Aging and Adult Services
(Service Area: City and County of San Francisco)
Phone: 415-355-3555
I & A: 415-355-6700

Contra Costa County Office on Aging
(Service Area: Contra Costa County)
Phone: 925-229-8434
I & A: 800-510-2020

San Mateo County Aging and Adult Services
(Service Area: San Mateo County)
Phone: 800-675-8437
I & A: 800-675-8437

Alameda County Department of Adult and Aging Services
(Service Area: Alameda County)
Phone: 510-577-1900
I & A: 800-510-2020

Council on Aging Silicon Valley
(Service Area: Santa Clara County)
Phone: 800-510-2020
I & A: 800-510-2020

Seniors Council
(Service Area: Santa Cruz County and San Benito County)
Phone: 831-688-0400
I & A: 831-462-1433

Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities CYO
(Service Area: San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin)
180 Howard St. #100
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-972-1200

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
2625 Zanker Rd.
San Jose, CA 95134
Phone: 408-468-0100

Family Caregiver Alliance
180 Montgomery St. #1100
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 800-445-8106

Bay Area - Area Agencies on Aging - can also refer you to your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy (HICAP) Program
1-800-510-2020

Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities CYO
(Service Area: San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin)
180 Howard St. #100
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-972-1200

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
2625 Zanker Rd.
San Jose, CA 95134
Phone: 408-468-0100

Additional Resources

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