seniors

Elder care, a community health forum

Nov 25, 2014
MTSOfan / Flickr

This forum aired on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Ryan Delane / WRVO file photo

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is courting senior voters as Election Day approaches. He stood with some local seniors in Syracuse, promising to protect Social Security. He admits there are some changes that could be made to the federal program.

“But it’s not in crisis," Maffei said. "It’s a program that continues to make sure that seniors can continue to live a dignified life, even if their private savings didn't work out, or something like that. And that’s the whole point of the program that Roosevelt put in.”

Moving out of a home and into senior housing may be a difficult decision. But with a wide variety of options available today, seniors can plan ahead with these choices in mind. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Barbara Dopyera Daley, a social gerontologist and elder life advocate in Syracuse. Daley discusses how to determine the right time to consider senior housing options.

Lorraine Rapp: When is the ideal time to be thinking about making this big move in one’s life?

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Upstate University Hospital's Community Campus will be opening up a new emergency room next week that caters to seniors. The goal behind the new E.R. at Upstate's Community General Campus, is to make sure an emergency room visit doesn't turn into an admission to the hospital.

Emergency Medicine Director Jamie Ciaccio says the new eight-bed unit, called Gem Care, will feature safety measures and aesthetics aimed at seniors, as well as a staff trained in geriatrics. Other healthcare professionals will also be available to assist elderly patients.

A new mobile app is expected to help improve the quality of patient care across the nation.  A team of University at Buffalo students have created it to help reduce hospital readmission rates.

Currently in the prototype stage, the “Discharge Roadmap” app will help patients once they leave the hospital but allowing them and their caregivers to fully participate in the discharge planning process.

Medicare will look different a year from now, as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.  But, Medicare advocates are worried about some potential changes to the program that pays for health care for the elderly.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proclaimed September "Assisted Living Month." The proclamation comes after state officials say more than two million New Yorkers will need some form of long term care by 2015.

The Syracuse Salvation Army is taking senior citizens to the New York State Fair this week.  It’s the kind of thing the Salvation Army has been trying to do since the city closed its own senior center. But the merging of seniors from the two centers has been an adjustment for some.  

When state lawmakers approved the budget this week, they restored a program that's vital to many senior citizens. Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage, known as EPIC, helps low and moderate income seniors with co-pays for prescription drugs not covered by Medicare Part-D. When it was defunded last year, seniors were forced to pay 25% of the costs of prescriptions. This made necessary prescriptions unaffordable for some.

Pharmacists at drug stores like the Gifford and West Pharmacy in Syracuse ran into a lot of problems when EPIC stopped helping seniors pay for prescription drugs. Gifford pharmacist Jim McLaughlin encountered many patients who had high co-pays and were forced to pay.

"It ends up costing more. Patients go without their medications and their symptoms start to come back, or they end up being hospitalized," McLaughlin said.