aging | KUOW News and Information

aging

Flickr Photo/hapal (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Norma Rosenthal and Toby Donner about the joys and pitfalls of caring for aging parents. They share their own experiences on the blog "Girlfriends With Aging Parents."

Courtesy Greenwood Senior Center

Living with dementia can be isolating for both patients and their families. As social interactions get awkward, people begin to withdraw. Not only do their memories fade, but people themselves begin to fade from view.

At least that's the common perception.

Flickr Photo/egwnd

Marcie Sillman talks with Kevin Bovenkamp, assistant secretary for the Health Services Division at Washington's Department of Corrections, about the new challenges prisons are facing with a rapidly aging population including elder care, hospice services and assisted living.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Memory loss is one of the symptoms of dementia. So is wandering. Over the last five years, at least 10 people in Washington state have died after wandering away from where they live. It’s a problem that communities will have to confront as the population ages. But not all police departments are prepared for these kinds of incidents.

There are different challenges when searching for people with dementia than for other missing person cases. Certain kinds of information play a key role, too. For example, when an elderly person is reported missing medical information is critical; it can mean the difference between life and death.

The Dangers Of Wandering For Dementia Patients

Jul 19, 2013

When people have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, they are at risk for wandering.  What that really means is they get lost. For an elderly person, that can sometimes lead to death. In Washington in the last five years, at least 10 people with some form of dementia have died after getting lost.

Jason Alcorn from Investigate West  has been looking into the problem in collaboration with KUOW and KCTS 9 and he tells Ross Reynolds what he’s found.

Jean Raichle

One of the hardest things for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is loss -- loss of memory, loss of a loved one's ability to recognize family, and sometimes, loss of the ability to communicate. The changes can be devastating. But one Seattle woman found a way to be part of her mother’s new world.

Rita T / Flickr

By 2030, seniors will make up more than 20 percent of Washington state’s population.  Are we ready to care for the elderly? What’s it going to mean for federal programs like Medicare?  Ross interviews economist Dean Baker and labor activist Ai’jen  Poo.

As the human lifespan increases, families are putting more time and effort into caring for their aging parents and grandparents. By 2008, it was estimated that the average woman could expect to spend more years caring for an older family member than for her own children.

But providing in-home care doesn't work for everyone. For many families, finding the right nursing home or assisted-living arrangement is crucial. Ross Reynolds talks about the issues surrounding elderly care with Wendy Lustbader, a p​rofessor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

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