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AFAR in the News: Scientific Director Steven Austad on Study on Older Adults and Managing Medications and Finances in HealthDay

May 2
2017

AFAR in the News: Scientific Director Steven Austad on Study on Older Adults and Managing Medications and Finances in HealthDay View MoreBACK

On April 28, 2017, HealthDay featured insights from AFAR Scientific Director Steven Austad, PhD on a study observing the rates of older adults that develop difficulty in managing medications and finances.

The article, Seniors May Have Trouble Managing Money, Medicines, details a study that monitored almost 9,500 participants, aged 65 or older, for ten years. None of the participants needed help managing their medications or money at the start of the study. The results showed 10% of participants between ages 65 and 69, needed help managing medications and 23% needed assistance managing finances. When the participants aged over 85 years old, these rates rose to 38% and 69%, respectively.

Dr. Austad highlighted that the design of this study reflected the American population in education levels, ethnicity, and other aspects. Highlighting the importance of the study as well, he explains: "It's incumbent on close relatives and friends, or geriatricians, to let [seniors] know this is something they need to be aware of and that there's no shame asking for help. Many of us ask for help doing our taxes, and for the same reason: it's complicated.”

Dr. Austad also suggested adding certain tests to annual physical exams for older adults that gauge their ability to calculate figures may also be useful in addressing this issue.

The full article can be read here.

A sign of the growing concern for financial mismanagement among older adults and the pressing need for research on the cognitive changes that make them vulnerable, this story has been picked up by a wide range of regional and national publications including WebMD

Steven Austad, PhD is a Distinguished Professor and Department Chair at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.


For more information on managing medications and finances in older adults, we encourage you to read about a study co-authored by the recipients of the Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging, Drs. Kenneth E. Covinsky, Sei J. Lee, and Alexander K. Smith, in a related feature story in Reuters here.





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