WWL>Topics>>5-22-14 1:10pm Angela: on LA's senior care

5-22-14 1:10pm Angela: on LA's senior care

May 22, 2014|

Angela talks with Dr. Penny Walker of United Healthcare about why the state of Louisiana ranks 49th in the nation in senior citizen healthcare.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well it's a happy Thursday for many reasons not the least of which the river walk is finally opened. What -- build up I will happen to drive by there at like 8 when he this morning. People were already lining up for their 10 o'clock open on the enthusiasm was tremendous but time job well done it's done it's open and I'm sure they're going to be thrilled with everybody. Drops by. OK we have a great day ahead of us. We're going to be talking a little bit on health today beginning with a report that came out yesterday. Concerning senior health and and that's important because. Lot of us a jump in and that. Into that bag pretty soon. And to our second show is going to be talking about some of that that actually Garland also talked about as it was so astounding. Here we are all these years being told. Donate eggs stony buttered -- and now it's it doesn't make any that -- so we're gonna figure that out. And then we're gonna talk on our third hour. From -- wonderful young man who runs Norris coming back -- -- -- a great program called nor green. And it's gonna give everybody an opportunity you're you're tired of seeing these vacant lots. Let's do something really creative with them so he's going to be talking about that. But we begin with us as our city and state are named number one in more and more rankings. It's kind of painful to see that were almost dead last in an important one. Louisiana was just named 49. In the United States in health care for our seniors. And that is not good. What we're doing what are we doing wrong and what do we need to do right to change it. This is urgent now and urgent because the reality is that the senior population. Is double in the next 25 years. Here to talk about the report. On our -- ranking. Is doctor penny walker who is senior medical director for United Healthcare the -- east region and I appreciate you joining us thinking Angela for having me. This report done by your foundation and I can't help but by the foundation. 24 -- if you were saying only the second. For the senior. Correct united health foundation -- nonprofit. Portion of the United Healthcare. And 24 years we've done adults and we've talked about the adult health ranking in trying to influence changes -- -- under 65 population. But this is -- psyche unit we've produced a report that looks at 34 determinant. And looks at how is how well our senior population greater than 65 years of eight. According. For me thinking we think a -- minute. We're at the bottom so and you know Mississippi. Just like their top rankings -- to be human if -- That he's an instrument and with 49 and 2013. Party in 2013 an hour 49. That things at worst hand as our seniors are falling which is good because you know falls can lead to hip fractures and other fractures and then that. Half of patient. Also though in the prevalence of underweights seniors underway is now is your time in -- -- hearings and daughter were under way is now. Leading to diseases you when -- underway you don't have enough. Body nasty fight off infections -- diseases that the bad thing to be under way this is very important that. Don't scanning the ticket again. Amen and we also are very fortunate to have home health care workers because on the hospital can be a dangerous I mean -- factions in -- house and run medications. So we won again our senior home from a half but as quickly as possible. And have home health workers to help take care of the home with a completely packed and see where we are good and and it was a very surprising -- unfortunately we have an extremely we have the highest prevalence of obesity. And we have obese children in the theme of these children -- obese adults lead obese seniors and a lot of it is iron just. Lovely life lots of hostels lots of news and unfortunately a lot of fried food and branded food and lots of stuff -- -- rabies. And you can take your grandmother's recipe and you can make it -- year by mom on -- such as you know -- readiness and past we considered grilling or baking. Of course. And. If you're not into the grandmother and even change. Well I think that. And lifestyle and the only support is really important in this the children are often learning healthier habits -- school. And they can share that with their parents and grandparents and make him cooking fun. I'm let the children bring home their recipes from school. And obviously have some web sites American health Springsteen's slash -- seniors also has some suggestions on how to lose. OK so obesity which we tackle constantly on the show because. Because of all the reasons we showed I keep going back to the most startling statement of all medical things I have brand. Is that this generation. Is the first generation to not live as long as your parents absolutely and that is frightening. Right it is and it's kind of scary because I think our our -- parents didn't exercise because they were really working in the yard. Most talked enough for the show that when I was growing up we like three TV channels. And on the weekends at one moment excite means that we would go out in the yard work in the yard and do a lot of our own work and really didn't have the need to go to the gym because the exercising or act. Now they've seen any of TV's Jeff computers and video games. And so there's more likely had to be inactive and. You know we all talked about and of course it is different. Literally my mother would say you know after breakfast plate and he backed -- four and -- didn't -- complain and -- had -- -- -- It was. On and over again that different circumstances maybe we need to rethink it. And moving on to. Another factor -- interesting it is. -- just. Absolutely and -- it. In your Louisiana it's very hot very early compared to some and -- in the midwest the northeast and not on north class so goods bearing up very early. So something and I like to remind the senior just. It is on measure doctors' OK with that park your car in the farthest parking place when you go to Ramallah to the grocery store to the library park your car further. They recommend thirty minutes exercise a day but it even break it up until five and ten minute increments and still get that thirty it's still the same values -- you exercise for thirty solid minutes. -- -- that is so realistic. Five minutes at a time ten minutes at a time we are so. In everything now everything's instant and I want the closest spot to the mall at the pleasure spot to the grocery store. In reality you what you're saying is correct will go a little -- welcome further. And Venus -- so -- hearing Angela alpha recommend you know we bloody air conditioned malls in the number of her -- is another one that you like he said just opened today. And go minutes you know -- it's going to be ninety Tamara going to the mall an exercise if he just walked on ten minutes a couple times today. Or if -- still working your senior. Have a lot working Joaquin meeting I'm mr. Hudson on an -- player you mean or talk to your colleagues wiring your meaning. And just -- in those 1015 minute increments. You know they have great mall walkers at lakeside I hope that they pick it up here at the downtown here. Pitcher right and they're very committed to have a ball and also the social activity if you get a walking group. I'm whether you're working or not working you begin a walking group you're more likely to succeed in your exercising -- support from different. We're gonna take a quick break we're gonna we're gonna take a break but we're gonna come back immigrant talk about. What does Minnesota have over a that there are number one stay with us I'm Angela under the and he will. Well we are joined by doctor penny walker who is. Get this correct. You -- senior medical director for United Healthcare in the southeast region we're talking about a study which came out yesterday ranking Louisiana. 49 in the nation for how it cares for its seniors. And and that's discouraging and also remember keep in mind. That the senior population is going to double. In 25 years and that's coming quick so it's important that we we acknowledge these issues and try to rectify the with doctor walker we were talking about some of the things we are not doing correctly. One of them is is our obesity rate is out of whack completely. Probably what -- -- equal to Mississippi you're right. We tied to come adults tied with Mississippi last year. This year we Aaron the most -- for seniors we are home. The other issue that we your feelings about -- Absolutely. Generally we recommend going to see your tennis and -- annihilation twice a year. On twice a year they can marketer or help on the can actually detect cancers on diabetes bleeding disorders but just looking your -- And unfortunately we have very high prevalence of tooth extraction from Louisiana. And that we also have a low amount and visits to the done to both of those are linked. Do you think that we have a higher than normal tooth extraction. Because I have an -- wellness visits with -- time list. OK. So they're very tied to each other people and have your wellness visits they can detect and -- small -- Phillips and the annual blue church. -- the worst in the nation that we are pretty. Well. We have a very high prevalence of tooth extraction. In Louisiana and be ranked 49. And we run 49 but that's okay. And then I'm nursing home armed nursing homes are brain according to some guidelines by the center for medical FEMA -- funds from articles. And that's like our Medicare. Foundation and that we are the lowest in that ranking to foreign -- starter high quality. And we have a lower than average quality star nursing hands and so what that means as a via low quality care. You're gonna have poor outcomes so our nursing home -- are not the quality of other states -- they won in two star or a day. -- there some of them are even know stars and not recommended to be admitted to. You go to C -- dot gov and look at the nursing homes Louisiana and see how poorly and it ranked well. Has that been the historical thing quietly so it that moved up and moved up a little bit from last year it's. As high as it was nursing hand quality went from. And now it's up to 32 of the value 32 that we still ranked fiftieth in the United States so that something that you know we need to improve the quality. A lot of arsenal's Tony would have -- of 24 hours I'll have like -- and -- on the percent so. We definitely need to work on improving quality as countless shout out to use them on our legislators. To look at -- -- -- hope they got this report they it's on the American health rankings dot org. There's a senior apartment -- report well and let us remember that seniors are always the ones who go vote absolutely so let's prioritize. Do we have any four or five star we do have some we do have -- -- some other states have meant -- -- -- talk about Minnesota. Actually hands quite a bit outstanding news compared to the U ranked number one and they worked first for -- help determine its combined. And why did they get that they have a very high rate of being held until benefits so they're not having the tooth extraction. They have a lot of volunteers in which we talked on your last segment. That's so important because if you're working with your colleagues in your partners and your other seniors you're gonna be out there be more active than a piece of in home. But the important thing you know that's very interesting because even though Minnesotan is such a stunning state -- It it gets very very cold and you think people would be more shot. And but that's not the case in it or act applicants they can be active inside their churches and -- foundations and time volunteer organizations. And -- maybe it is because they're suddenly make it land gouge you with other people. -- and then they they do opposites of Louisiana they have the highest percentage of quality nursing him so they're getting quality care when they need do you need to pound -- thing. But what is this community support -- dollars per adult age 65 plus in poverty. For Louisiana it's 672. Dollars per person. And in Minnesota it's 8000. 33. Unreal. So there putting a lot more money into their seniors on the status of that's the thing we need to sentence statement that the seriously if it if it's really coming down to absolutely I think not we have to do that high but. There's some things that we should be doing. I didn't mean to throw you on that but -- that it just jumped out that it does some bad -- -- harmony and the seniors Amir. And we have a higher percentage of people in poverty and when. For instance were twelve point 2% Minnesota's five point 4%. -- that is very interesting about. The effort volunteering. Opened your world absolutely and yeah. Very very very good now I do have to read this is annoy anybody who's listening is dying to know. The five best states. Or Minnesota Hawaii New Hampshire Vermont and Massachusetts. And the worst states. Mississippi. Office Kentucky Oklahoma and Arkansas. I'm just saying that because I'm looking at it's the self. The south. Is it just because of our lifestyle our food. When there's thirty. More rain in actually advocate smoking which is a little bit tired and felt and the other states we look at during -- and -- indeed been an act and I'm managing your pain. The poverty -- -- and -- -- -- an issue actually ranked 49 for poverty -- 49 for volunteers I'm we need in our seniors out there an active because not only improve -- Physical health -- improve the mental health when your partner with your colleagues to do things. The others that's thirty or determine that are looked at and it includes. Yet. Medical care. Things that mean I'm getting your flu vaccine we do now -- well we rink. Were twelve and that that we have opportunity campers. So having -- flu vaccines -- and it's almost inexcusable because now every drugstore. Almost groceries. It's -- -- you don't have to make the point with the doctor to have something that's so necessary but lately it prevents illness so it's very important. -- that -- connection still to this -- is killing our seniors. What else surprised you. A little surprised by -- -- low prevalence of a big -- seniors knowing that that is next in negative things that tauzin of Louisiana we don't hand -- -- seniors. Without -- we have obese exit but frankly. I guess I am also was really important as we do look at -- 34 masters and -- I get ass -- at times but -- year did they come from under the guidelines. We actually use twelve government and research organizations to get the Stan. And every year than that it is reviewed. By quality panel teammates -- that it's looking at the rate things look you know wide variety -- just that you know money but it health -- access to resources and so it's twelve different agencies that -- at this report an inch or. And it's -- quality an official report now that's very important because people are paying attention and I think were proud of ourselves on many levels post-Katrina that. How were being looked at and the various. Rankings of all kinds of things whether it's concerning terrorism or business or whatever. And we're getting up there and then to have this sort of smashes down the floor again and these things I'm sensing from you are correct double. Absolutely there summing things are actionable I mean we just are talking about non. Changing your recipes and really simple things like changing from from frying things to -- cleaning grilling thing that such at this simple thing. We also talked about how important activity is and how we have access to so many things in New Orleans we have access to festivals and access to air conditioned malls. That we have. Times are shopping malls or we can park further rain into simple small stuff that you make just one change in life. Pick out something small and doable -- from partners onto a walk with you and stick with it. That's right and and -- our senior groups that are fun out there. Yes we really there's a senior facility called saint Paul's right here in New Orleans. That has open means for seniors I mean on Mondays and Wednesdays. And then openings for seniors or they can cooking gather and socialize and be together. And have fun and have fun. Everyone stay with -- we're gonna go to the newsroom but we will be back and we're going to be talking about we need to change these rankings and in development a bit of oil. Well it's called the America's health rankings and it's a study that's been done the second year in the row. For seniors and Louisiana didn't show up very well and so we're looking at why and what needs to be done. In from river ridge had a question or comment Jan I'm so sorry Jan. Angela I am so privileged were about to be on your Q thank you so much. And I'd like nonprofit called people program. And I was being anti ship on went awry I need to call and let everyone know offer and how we work. With those statistics and want to do better with our seniors. Forty years ago and that the reason why -- prevent isolation. And how shall we say in activity. -- -- And even. We really want to be able -- camaraderie. Relationship building. So we holistic approach. And we have over 120. Passes the continuing education and to -- since but so proud. And we want actually used to be able to age and a healthy active way so that every day I cannot I played it a reason to them. And opted classified but also. -- we're seeing here. We are. Consulate community people that I'll hit single -- remain active remain healthy. And have a good time. You know Houston now this precious little non. Now gone sister Dorothy. And she was one of the early founders. And she this is -- back channel four. But call and the exciting class -- they would -- speakers they would for union. It just Richard -- not a senior center. It's not it's just a wonderful exactly what the good doctor. Andy Walker's trying to say the involvement with other people it's so important. It is yet from the comments received and from work there are such as the important for people program would have lived as long. I want and what I should be doing -- another precious comment once. He never really had a childhood. I've worked -- just a very young person and people problem has been able to allow me have a childhood in my -- years. Who wanted to -- I've always wanted to learn more about stress management how to work a computer but I never had the time now I do and it's very affordable. For me to be able to calm and do well. And -- aware of the two campuses. The campuses we want this lake shore drive. Right across to win the old effort used to be prejudging the and then we have the West Bank campus. A police spirit Catholic Church who use their facility we are not religious oriented organization even though we aren't. Sponsored by the system I think it was a we have a wonderful diversity and group holy spirit is across from Holy Cross College. In Algiers. Point. That's terrific and very very glad you thought called and I'm sure doctor walker would agree. That if one of the things we can do in taking charge of our lives yes we can change her eating habits and our cooking happened since -- Well we can have more fun and be with more people. That's right and that is exactly what the goal of our programming -- it's just delightful we just finished dealing with -- and figures show case. Where are we can't dance classes and chorus and poetry readings and we've even had the -- laureate common to poetry readings without. It just a wide diversity of classes that we offer and we people to know we -- a web page -- go to people -- dot board. Orgy you can see all the classes are offered even have a front section. -- have another question to an insurance information is so important to get -- seniors more involved. And has activities to stimulate their brains. To make better choices. The science of -- and answer phone number and contentment there. -- is and that phone number is vital for. 2847678. The people program. Right now they're listening for yourself for your neighbor for family person. Let me Tony it is so worth going. Like very much chance for calling me. -- -- It is about having fun not being. Just sitting home -- And but again these are things that we can change and it doesn't have to be overnight and actively. 100% is just. Take small steps -- we don't have been excellent. -- like to treatments. Beyond the football and taken of the break in but we're gonna come back and I want to ask you more about. General health can. Stay with -- we have doctor penny walkers are -- and Angela under the that you. And we are back talking senior health care. We got a bad report card and now we're looking -- the future what can we do get an okay. Doctor penny walker is our guest and before we go back into some of the things just some of your thoughts and you're with United Healthcare but. We are going through this metamorphosis. In health care and still many questions. The effect of the affordable care. How will it affect not just seniors and. Others in your opinion. Well I think that we're going to have to have more quality inefficient health care deliberative. Everybody the United States so I think that that's the it's called Affordable Care Act but I think the intent is to really have quality and efficient care provided to. All the members the United States. And how how we're going to be -- do that is that you can actually ranked actors on our quality and efficiency of care anti resource of one is called. My choice not seen so my choice not chance dot com -- can type in your zip code type and the specials you're looking for. And the quality efficient doctors will come up first. Rather than asking your neighbor Sally Sally did you go to the end and cellular phone went to doctor Smith because doctor Smith was nice. You're going to be able to be more engaged as a consumer. And look for answers people researcher for traders -- research what cars they research their TVs but most people don't research their health care. And so by going in my -- not chance you can look for equality doctor in the specialty that you need. An and that would be based on watch. Clinton is someone calling absolutely so -- a very good example that I like to use night talk with customers is that if you wanted to seen in the -- just for your diabetes. We use what the board recommends that endocrinologist due to take care of diabetics for the board recommends -- to hemoglobin a one sees the year. That's to check how -- your sugar is. And it stays on the blood -- first sixty days to ninety days. And let's not even -- Nana and another thing is to get your genial I exam on diabetics. Are known to have -- problems very quickly in the disease and an -- eye exams recommended by the an -- port. And giving your foot examined every time you go into the doctor's office and making sure your kidneys are functioning well. So if that doctrine and pronounces as practicing quality medicine for his diabetic. That doctor will get one star if the doctors also being efficient and not ordering tests that are needed like upon schema for the eight to -- not recommend it. So the doctors practicing good -- and tests that are appropriate and tests that are needed are ordered that doctor gets a level called -- the tier one possession and that's all available on the my -- -- -- -- -- And that is a wonderful service remains open everybody opened to everyone and for which it and I think everybody is just still wondering how did we get. In this health care. Such high cost of health care. It's seems so quickly every year everybody's health care went up. What is going on. It is doctors necessarily it's more I mean is more administrators making the big bucks as it. Drugs costing more. Well it's up only. There are more complicated medications coming on the market there's medications called specialty medications. That are in the pipeline. We have more and more infections that are resistant to you on Marion about it since nor am discover battery in about -- for those resistance. And we also. In America we're used to kind of like the fast food mentality where we won it we won it now and we won the best of everything and sometimes that really expensive test is not the right. So it's really important to work with your doctor to make sure on the bus medications for yourself. To make sure that you're getting the right house may be an X ray is appropriate test vs an MRI which is much more expensive. So we just need to be engaged consumers and really just if you are buying a car and it won Paris 101001 -- 50000. You really only needed 101000 dollar car he probably with our money would. Get the -- it's more fission. So same thing on health care -- we need to be engaged consumers and educate ourselves. If he had he had health care we actually have my choice that we actually have a health -- -- And that app you can look up how much is a mammogram at one half full person and -- -- how much as a MRI from one of the flee to another and actually make. Educated choices. See that's it's putting it in our hands and there's a positive there but I think there's an awful lot of us who are scared about it yet but we don't know. What we have to educate herself and let's talk in our final few minutes about. We're going back to. Our senior health care in the states is not good enough. Based on this the criteria you were talking about and things that we can do fight the obesity get moving more and dental care. An excellent in those three things are extremely important. And what you know health care is doing in partnership with American Heart Association is we have on built and developed three walking paths right here in New Orleans we -- in the Duncan plaza. One and home park and won recently in Lafayette square and their labeled an unmarked it'll say if you walk around this past six times you've walked a mile. And there's little signs around the path to do that that's another great way even he can't walk the mile walk half a mile and their locate conveniently all over the city. We also have partnered with the YMCA. Diabetic program and the boys and girls club for a BC with children -- joined Fermi. So he cannot contact the Boys and Girls Club and talk about the joined for me so really just be one of being -- we wanna prevent those children from becoming obese. That lead them be -- -- that need to be steepeners. Now it's it's a constant battle and then it just we have to be very alert at all times and when we see a report like this reminds us in some battles of are losing. So there's no. Your real quick let's go to keep in Slidell. Yeah. I've got a question about spirit with. Act work for a total of patience. Our. Doesn't do it rating. VA doctors. Any rating to create you know right now where rating doctors that our commercial on that to commercial members on -- and I mean do you mean. Medicare members but so -- we have not looked at the veterans. -- welcome. Most of us that are in the VA system. Our medic you know. Then what would be considered. You know Medicare at Medicare. After here in this thing though. And now are doing an investigation to British system here because. Until late treatments. And people dying. Or it. They're a lot more about that imported. -- now in tremendously sad and I think very eye opening for all of America. But I felt better yesterday because he seems very committed to. This is gonna end this kind of behavior and it. But to. But back to our doctor doctor pending marker so you're the study doesn't have anything to do with the -- but thank you very much -- for calling in -- will be doing shows in the in hope you'll call them. Okay that is great. Anyway we're talking about I find very interesting we're now in the mode. We were growing up in queued up you did what he said and that was it and now it's much more in. Absolutely I think consumerism. Needs us Brian not just to you -- appliances that we abide by it to our health care on the more engaged educated we are the better choices we can make. And that can only mean T the website. America's health rankings dot org they have the adult report and they have the senior report and we talked about that there were 34 determinant we looked at every determinant on -- report actually his actions that you can take so you can just. Click on others -- resource library there's -- web sites there's -- articles people can actually come in and share like I'm Janet talked about the people program. She can actually go to America's health rankings that org and type in some of her success stories and other people rebounds. If it gets down to the issues poverty. Things against suggestions. Silently. Much more toward. Government. Absolutely and I think -- -- on our legislators do need to read the report of the very important Catholic and that we've produced. As valuable information and valuable tools and actions he can use and legislators means. Very disturbing about the nursing home. Something state legislatures. Legislate tours at -- for not meeting standards. That's another athlete drifted a little. We get. Listening to people like with the report. Well we look forward to. See what the rankings work for those under sixty. Absolutely and that report comes on every year it's been around for 24 years and it's just valuable information and news in the same thing has actions for every determinant of -- and and doctor walker. And next year -- you will be. -- -- Mine so our legislators are concerned about what's going to Louisiana and they really like to go attend a 15% -- there. -- several points let's do it. It was my pleasure -- into. Thinking we'll be right that an Angel and admitted. One of the 49 in the nation in anything we certainly want it before. When it comes to health care for seniors. And how were treating seniors ultimately. And not to forget it. Our senior population is going to double in 25 years. Not very well. Our strength that we do have some that we don't have such a high prevalence of people falling which now can cause all kinds of issues. And we have a low prevalence of underweight people learn today. It's not good to -- to underweight. And and we have good health care workers. We don't have any and we don't have enough great nursing. And a lot. Stay with -- now we're going to be talking about in the next hour. You can eat -- you can and you.