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Rural Aging 

United States

Rural Counties More Dependent on Social Security (October 31, 2011)

Any cuts to the Social Security program will disproportionately affect rural America. Rural counties are more reliant on income from Social Security than are the nation’s cities. Social Security payments are vital to rural counties and small cities because the money supports the economy of the local community.

Rural-Urban Health Insurance Cost Disparity Rises (July 16, 2011)

A study shows a growing disparity between rural and urban areas of Iowa in the cost, quality and availability of employer-based health insurance. Rural workers pay higher premiums and deductibles, and devote a higher percentage of their income to health insurance coverage than their urban counterparts. Additionally, many rural employers do not offer health insurance at all. Thus the study obviously concludes that urban residents are more likely to say they are in good health than rural residents.   

Report: US: Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options: Fixing the Mobility Crisis Threatening the Baby Boom Generation (June 2011)
A report released by the Washington D.C.-based Transportation for America coalition projects that by 2015, more than 15.5 million US citizens ages 65 and older are expected to live in communities where public transportation options are poor or nonexistent. The report includes different cases in different regions as examples of the current situation and the future one. The State of Montana, in particular, will have an aging population facing challenges related to the distances between cities and the lack of public transportation options available for traveling between them. Striking information is that “the New York metropolitan region, which has the most extensive transit access of any area, is estimated to add 101,159 seniors with poor transit access by 2015.”

Report: The Health Status and Unique Health Challenges of Rural Older Adults in California (June 2011)
Almost one in five older California adults age 65 and over live in rural areas. Rural elders experience more problems related to obesity, physical inactivity, food insecurity, heart disease, diabetes and repeated falls than their suburban counterparts. This policy brief examines the health of rural elders, the unique environment and other risk factors that affect them. It targets policymakers by proposing programs and policies aimed at addressing and improving these issues.

Rural Health Care Facilities Face Additional Challenges in Changing to Electronic Records (June 21, 2011)
Rural health care facilities are facing obstacles--insufficient pharmacies, fewer people and lack of internet access--in transferring medical records to an electronic system. E-records would increase the quality of care patients receive and make it easier for doctors to select more effective treatments. Starting in 2015, doctors not using e-records will lose a percentage of their Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements fees.

Rural Patients More Likely Than City Dwellers to Have Common Surgeries (May 16, 2011)
A study on Medicare patients challenges the idea of lack of access to surgery in rural areas; older residents there are actually more likely to have common surgeries than people in cities. However, there are still questions whether rural residents must travel risky distances to get the surgery, whether they were in worse health than city dwellers in the first place, or whether they have access to non-surgical treatments. So, the study does not dismiss the problems about access to surgical care across the rural US.

Losing Young People, Keeping Older People (May 6, 2011)
The Mountain States are aging quickly. West Virginians, Kanawha Countians and Charlestonians are getting older. The mayor in Charleston concluded  that this is occurring because old people are staying in the state while younger people go to other places seeking better job opportunuites. The Action Commissioner of the state said that every day there're 73 people in the sate who turn 60 years old.

In Rural Communities, Elderly Populations Rely on Other Seniors to Act as Caregivers (April 25, 2011)
To avoid being forced into nursing homes, seniors in rural communities tend to rely on and act as caregivers for one another. That includes driving neighbors around to get meals or to doctors’ appointments. Although this is a good and optimistic practice, it does not change the fact that the US is getting older, which means that the volunteers themselves are getting older. And at the end of the day, “if there's more elderly and there's less money, then what are you going to do?”

Psychological Support for Elders in Rural Areas (February 23, 2011)
Aging gracefully poses hardships all over the world. Adjusting to a new role in society, loss of independence, and even isolation are just some hurdles that older persons face today. In rural areas however, access to medical and mental health services is far more difficult than in the urban US. Traditional values of independence and strong family values often keep older persons from reaching out for or accepting help outside their circle, as it signifies failure. Can something be done to improve the standard of living for older persons in rural areas? Emotional support and healthcare are a start.

Report: US: Attitudes of Healthcare Workers towards Older People in a Rural Population: A Survey Using the Kogan Scale (February 22, 2011)
This paper reports on a survey that aimed to identify and evaluate the attitudes of nurses, healthcare assistants, and nursing students towards older people. The survey was undertaken in a rural county in the Republic of Ireland. It is reassuring that in thisstudy, researchers  found that these healthcare workers hold positive attitudes towards older people. In addition, itfound that students who went on toa higher level at the university appear to have lost their  more positive attitudes.  This is an importantbut soberingfinding in light of the shift towards nursing as an all-graduate profession.

USDA Rural Development recognizes 35th Anniversary of Milford Housing (August 27, 2010)
USDA Rural Development was in Milford today to recognize the board and management at Milford Housing for providing quality housing services to residents in Milford since 1975, especially for rural elderly. USDA Rural Development currently provides financing for 500 multi-family housing projects in rural Iowa.

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