Every day, nearly 4,200 Americans get the terrifying news from their doctor that they have cancer, and the numbers are increasing. Although cancer strikes people of every age, older people have the highest risk—and America’s population is aging.
The face of American society is changing with people living longer than ever before. Yet right now our nation lacks a system of care and support that enables older adults to age with dignity, independence and choice in the face of increasing health and daily needs.
Health care that puts people first means helping those with significant health conditions live the life they want to live—and not spend all their time inside a doctor’s office or hospital.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau report, the older adult population will continue to grow significantly in the coming years as a result of the aging “baby boom” generation. This will affect families, businesses and health care providers.
More than half of adults who reach age 65 will—at some point—need a high level of support with basic daily activities, such as walking, eating, bathing and getting out of bed. They may also need help with paying bills, taking medications regularly, and scheduling and getting to appointments and social activities.
With the increase in longevity and our society’s expansive aging population, more people are living with chronic health conditions, which can make it challenging to perform the activities of daily living.
With heart disease, we see major differences among different groups of people. It’s the leading cause of death for most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, and is especially common among vulnerable populations, such as ethnic minority groups and low-income populations.
The medications and treatments that we use to deal with different illnesses and injuries have been studied using clinical trials. Unfortunately, the people who often participate rarely include those from underrepresented backgrounds—African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and people living in rural areas. This lack of diversity in clinical trials hinders opportunities for discovering medication and treatment effects that may only occur in underrepresented populations.
Over 50% of Hispanic adults are predicted to develop type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2016). Addressing this particular disease burden on the community will require a variety of efforts, including increasing Latino/Hispanic representation in clinical trials.
For the handful of nations that possess nuclear weapons, how they are controlled and managed has been a fundamental issue since the dawn of the nuclear age. North Korea—a country steeped in secrecy—raises many questions in this regard.