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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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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: MD senior health ranks 10th in nation; challenges remain

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Thursday, June 13, 2024   

A new report found Maryland's older residents face worsening physical and behavioral health and looks at the possible reasons.

The America's Health Rankings Senior Report showed Maryland has seen declines in behavioral health and health outcomes of its older population. More than 9% of seniors in the state reported "frequent mental distress," a number which has increased 19% since last year, reflecting national trends.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer and executive vice president of UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual, said economic factors may be at least partly to blame.

"We see some challenges in some economic measures," Randall outlined. "Like poverty, in worsening housing-cost burden and more seniors saying that they have food insecurity, that they're worried about getting access to food."

The report found 34% of Maryland seniors face a high housing cost burden, above the national average. Researchers also found some bright spots, including a national increase in senior health care providers.

The report showed mixed numbers in the state on quality of care, with high percentages of seniors getting flu and pneumonia vaccinations but a slight decline in the number of cancer screenings which fell to 77%, although the state's rank on the metric was unchanged this year at 10th in the nation.

Randall pointed out a national increase in high-speed internet access also benefited people in the senior age group.

"Eighty-five percent of seniors in our country have access to high-speed internet," Randall reported. "This is significant because it helps us connect with our family and our friends. It helps us connect with our health care providers, whenever we need to see a doctor or access care remotely."

Nearly 87% of Maryland seniors have high-speed internet access, but with it comes the potential for internet-based crime. The percentage of Maryland seniors reporting online scams was almost 12%, slightly higher than the national average.

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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