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In the news: Middle-aged Americans underestimate their future health care needs, finds University of Minnesota study

We may not want to think about it, let alone acknowledge it, but eventually we will all get older. But are we prepared for what getting older entails?

A new study published in the January issue of Health Affairs from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota shows that middle-aged adult Americans (ages 40-65) underestimate their future health care needs for long-term care services and supports. The study found 60 percent think they are unlikely to need care, while in reality only 30 percent will not need care.

Previous research indicates that as the American population ages most middle-aged individuals are under-informed about care and have made few plans such as saving money and having proper insurance to cover care needs as they arise.

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news-and-notes

Health Talk Recommends: U.S. causes of death then & now

Of the many spectacular inventions of the 1900s, it’s safe to say we never may have made it to where we are today without radar, plastics or the once-revolutionary vacuum tube triode (responsible, in case you’re wondering, for launching the age of electronics).

Medical advances made throughout the 20th century, too, are nothing to bat an eye at.

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news-and-notes

U of M School of Nursing receives $3M for Alzheimer’s, exercise research

A $3.04 million study investigating the effects of a six-month aerobic exercise program on memory and brain function in participants with Alzheimer’s disease will be led by Fang Yu, Ph.D., R.N., G.N.P., associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Support for unpaid memory loss caregivers in Minnesota key

U of M researchers investigate the effectiveness of an intervention aimed at providing care to Minnesota’s caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association has said for every one person affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in the United States, three family members are also affected.

For the 94,000 Minnesotans over the age of 65 living with some form of dementia, that means an additional 243,000 individuals and counting are in some way involved in unpaid care.

These individuals are often spouses or adult children, the latter often having additional care responsibilities in addition to helping a parent with memory loss.

Simply put by University of Minnesota memory loss and caregiving expert Joseph Gaugler, Ph.D., “Families are the frontline of dementia care.”

Investigating a better way

In an effort to help reduce some of the challenges and stress that caregivers can face, a recent study led by Gaugler, an associate professor and McKnight Presidential Fellow in the U of M’s School of Nursing, investigated better care for Minnesota’s unpaid caregivers.

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