Author: Bruce Chernof, M.D.

Can Latinos in California Afford Old Age?

California is home to more than 14 million Latinos, who make up roughly 38% of the state’s population. In this community, caring for one’s elders is often a source of pride and a strong familial tradition. Yet a coming wave of need for services threatens the financial security of many Latinos in the state. Six of 10 Latino voters over the age of 40 say a close family member will likely need long-term care in the next five years, yet most do not know where they will turn for help, according to a new poll by The SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Resolving to Talk with Your Loved Ones About Aging with Dignity and Independence

As we ring in 2012, most of us take stock of this new beginning by creating New Year’s resolutions. We think about life’s everyday realities, such as what we eat, our exercise habits, our aspirations, and vow that this year will be different – better. As a physician, I encourage New Year’s resolutions, especially when they involve altering your lifestyle to support healthy aging. This year, I suggest a different kind of resolution, one that may be more difficult to consider. I invite you to think about what aging with dignity and independence means. Then take time to have the tough conversations with your loved ones about what is important to you as you grow older, and how you will get help should you require daily assistance.

Aging with dignity in California the governor’s imperative

California’s next governor will have an opportunity to play a major role in the health and well being of the state’s growing senior population. Right now, the system is inadequate to support vulnerable older adults who find it increasingly more challenging to live independently as they age. Roughly 70 percent of individuals age 65 and above will have long-term care needs at some point in their lives. When learning of this real likelihood, people feel deeply worried and unprepared. Here are some steps the governor can take to make the state’s senior population more secure.

Budget would cut support for seniors

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget for the coming year has serious implications for California’s low-income seniors.
According to a recent analysis by the UCLA Center for Health Policy, the proposal would dismantle California’s home- and community-based long-term care system. Full implementation of the proposed cuts would likely leave frail, low-income seniors – among the state’s most vulnerable residents – without needed support.

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