|September 21, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, Elderly, Health, Research||
An international study out of Australia found that happiness peaks (on average) during a person’s 60’s, then begins to decline, before dropping off considerably. Earlier this year, Dr Tony Beatton of Queensland University of Technology and Professor Paul Frijters of The University of Queensland reported findings from their analysis of data from approximately 60,000 people from Australia, Britain and Germany. Highlights include:
- Persons entering middle/retirement age (55 to 75 years) reported the highest levels of happiness
- The data from Germany showed a decrease in happiness as persons entered adulthood, then a peak at age 65 – a pattern different from the other data
- Happiness dropped significantly after age 75 across cases
This research adds to the discussion of the ‘U bend of happiness” (see a great write-up on it in The Economist), the concept that happiness ultimately culminates in late middle age; but Beatton and Frijters also address the drop in happiness after age 75, suggesting that it is related to the onset or worsening of health problems. This aligns with prior research on the relationship between the presentation of depression symptoms and medical issues/illnesses among the elderly population.
Study Citation: Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012. “The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542
|September 23, 2010||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Elderly||
According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 1 in 10 American children live with their grandparent(s). The number of children whose grandparents act as their caregivers had been increasing steadily since 2000 but jumped drastically (by 6 percent) between 2007 and 2008.
The brief, entitled Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents by Gretchen Livingston and Kim Parker, analyzes this shift in familial structure that appears to be occurring more among whites (9 percent increase in grandparents as primary caregivers between 2007 and 2008) than Hispanic or African-American grandparents (2 percent increase). Other interesting demographics included in the report:
- 67 percent of the grandparent caregivers are under the age of 60
- 62 percent are female
- 66 percent are married
Whether directly or indirectly related to the recession, kinship care is becoming more common in this country. The economic, social, legal and emotional impact of becoming a full-time caretaker late in life can be eased somewhat through support groups, informational seminars and respite care offered by nonprofit organizations.
|August 12, 2010||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Elderly, Federal Government, Health||
People with Disabilities
Medicaid coverage for people with disabilities is to be expanded by increasing income eligibility limits. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities lays out the coverage for low-income persons with chronic conditions in a July 29, 2010 brief here.
Between 7 and 8 million uninsured children will gain health coverage under the legislation including those now in the non-Medicaid Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). The Urban Institute discusses how the coverage changes will impact children and their parents here.
The Medicare coverage gap begins closing this year when 4 million seniors who previously did not have prescriptions covered receive rebate checks. Details on how seniors benefit from this legislation from are available at Kaiser Health News here.