Good morning! You've heard this drumbeat already but it seems to be expanding into the mainstream: the World Economic Forum has declared
that given the coronavirus pandemic, homecare is the "safer, more affordable and higher-quality option for aging seniors" compared to institutional care. It's recommending that governments around the world look at regulatory policies, insurance coverage and broader health care reform and even 5G cellular networks to make at-home care more accessible for families.
Wildfires on the West Coast have been getting a lot of attention, but did you know that they're disproportionately affecting seniors? Kaiser Health News reports
that many retirement communities and assisted living facilities are located in at-risk wooded areas, and because seniors are less mobile or less likely to respond quickly, fire deaths tend to be people 65 and older. Respiratory pollution is another threat, according to this story from the Associated Press
. Researchers at Stanford University estimated that as many as 3,000 people over the age of 65 in California died prematurely due to smoke exposure during a six-week period this year. And the models show that severe fire seasons like this one may become routine--which could also mean long-term respiratory issues for residents.
There's an interesting tidbit about telehealth in a recent news release
from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services about adding new virtual services to the pandemic approval list. More than 36% of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries used at least one telehealth service between mid-March and mid-August. It will be interesting to see if that continues to grow after COVID-19 wanes.