Seniors reveal top health care concerns and food insecurity tops the list
One year ago, seniors were most concerned about their mental health. Now – they worry most about their lack of access to food, support and transportation, according to Alignment Health.
Financial struggles are another crucial aspect of senior health care. Shockingly, 1 in 5 respondents admitted to skipping medical treatment because they couldn’t afford it. Furthermore, 14% of seniors reported having medical debt, with half of them owing an amount equivalent to at least one month’s living expenses. An alarming 89% expressed doubt in their ability to pay all their medical bills over the next year.
Dr. Adam Wolk, Alignment Health’s regional chief medical officer, emphasized the impact of inflation on food and transportation costs, noting the growing burden on seniors living on fixed incomes. He highlighted the difficult choices seniors often face, such as prioritizing housing over essential medical care.
The survey points to the need to address the social factors that determine our health and well-being – not just the physical aspects of it – to promote health equity. Federal agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, have recognized these issues and are making strides in allowing health plans to offer nontraditional benefits like grocery allowances and companionship support.
So, how can you help others? Reach out to elderly friends and family. They may be struggling with concerns that aren’t readily obvious. We can all pitch in to support our loved ones.
Are you a senior? Share your biggest health care concerns with us here.