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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Report: CT seniors gain access to care but health outcomes worsen

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Monday, June 3, 2024   

Connecticut ranks high for helping seniors access care in a new report.

The America's Health Ranking Senior report found Connecticut lost ground in the last year, although it maintains a high standing in the top 10. The state ranks high for geriatric clinicians and home health care workers.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer and executive vice president of UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual, said unpaid family care bolsters professional services.

"That care is provided by more than 37 million adults, ages 15 or older," Randall pointed out. "About 15% of people in our country are providing care for an older adult. You know, this complements the services that are more formal, like home health, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities."

An AARP report showed Connecticut family caregivers provided 390 million hours of care valued at around $7.2 billion. Randall noted caregivers need support since their health comes at the expense of caring for someone else's.

A newly signed paid family leave law provides caregivers up to 12 weeks of partially paid time off to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

The state saw drastic changes in health outcomes for seniors. More adults older than 65 were drinking heavily and in frequent mental distress. But, socioeconomic factors are taking a toll on seniors' health too. Randall stressed rising housing cost burdens, not just in Connecticut but nationwide, are also harming seniors.

"We also saw the housing cost burden rise 3% nationally, just between the years 2021 and 2022," Randall reported. "That means 741,000 additional households where older adults live are struggling with their housing costs."

National food insecurity and poverty for seniors is rising but Connecticut managed to reduce its numbers, while maintaining a strong 100% SNAP reach for adults 60 and older.

Disclosure: UnitedHealthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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