Study: Health needs of old, yound should be balanced

As the Kenai Peninsula’s senior population continues to grow, so does the area’s need for services to keep them healthy and living happy.

While many of us could guess that this increasingly aging population will need more health care and assisted living services, those needs have started showing up in Central Peninsula Hospital’s community needs assessment.

Next to cancer care, residents recently surveyed on what health care items they felt were most needed in the area ranked Alzheimer’s, cardiology, dialysis and assisted living services highest.

Now that our hospital and area physicians have begun improving and expanding cancer care, the area’s health care providers should make sure they are ready to meet demands of the senior population.

Moreover, area health care providers must work to ensure younger residents remain healthy to ease the burden on the system later in their lives. Two statistics from CPH’s recent survey stand out in this regard.

The first is that about one-third of the people who live in the area are obese. The study indicates that obesity is directly linked to every chronic disease researchers measured. That is simply shocking. We must do something to encourage residents to eat healthier and exercise more in the interest of improving their overall health.

Moreover, the percentage of residents reporting more need for mental health services has risen steadily in the decade, but is most notably absent from the survey’s top needs.

Health care providers should not let this statistic be brushed aside. Mental health is critical to a community’s overall health and just under half of area residents report they would like more access to it.

It appears now that the area’s health care is at a crossroads — we must make sure care for elderly residents is improved and expanded and that specialties patients need are being provided.

However, we must make sure that the ball isn’t dropped on the younger generation and that we work to improve their mental and physical health as preventative steps.

More

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 22:53

What others say: Obama’s legacy a mixed one

President Barack Obama leaves office Friday after eight years as the most consequential Democrat to occupy the White House since Lyndon Johnson. And unlike that Texan, whose presidency was born in tragedy and ended in failure, Obama will not have the ghost of the Vietnam War haunting his days and eating his conscience as LBJ did all the remaining days of his life.

Read more

Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

Read more

Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

Read more

Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

Read more