Issues — Health Literacy

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The Ins and Outs of Life-and-Death Decisions

Why did one-third of the patients in a cancer study reject life-extending surgery? Poor doctor-patient communication was a major factor, but this commentary in the Journal of Participatory Medicine suggests other reasons, as well.


Doctors Behaving Badly

A National Cancer Institute study, reported at USA Today, reveals that doctors can be insensitive when delivering a cancer diagnosis. A third of patients surveyed got bad news from a doctor in a public area of a hospital or by phone, without any discussion of treatment options.


How to Pick a Nursing Home

Choosing a nursing home is one of the most difficult and stressful tasks you’ll ever face. Learn how to tell good from bad in this New York Times Patient Money column that is crammed with sensible advice and information.


Families Distrust Prognoses

When physicians state that a critically ill patient isn’t likely to survive, family members often don’t believe them. This artile on the website explores what lies behind that initial disbelief.


Time to Learn the Family Secrets

The task: to identify people more likely than most to develop particular cancers. Old-fashioned family medical histories made the call more accurately than expensive genetic testing, according to a Cleveland Clinic study reported in USA Today. The article explains how to collect and analyze family history.


A+ Healthcare Starts with Homework

To get the most out of a visit to a doctor, do your homework in advance. This article by the HealthDay news service in U.S. News & World Report tells you how to prepare so you’ll get all of your questions answered, as well as make a correct diagnosis more likely.


Consulting the Internet

Four out of five people who use the Internet will search for medical information, according to a survey reported in the Prescriptions blog in the New York Times. What kind of help are they looking for and where do they find it? Medical reporter Milt Freudenheim provides answers.


Let's Make a Deal

You may be able to negotiate with health care providers to reduce out-of-pocket medical costs—it’s worth a try, whether or not you have insurance. In this New York Times Patient Money column, you'll learn how and when to discuss the cost of treatment.


Is More Medical Care Better Care?

Americans usually think so. But David Leonhardt challenges this view in a New York Times business economics article. He says doctors need better information on which treatments actually work, and patients need clearer facts on benefits and risks of treatments.


When Caring for Mom Costs You Your Job

Celia Watson Seupel lost her job after her mother, who had dementia, moved in with her. In this New Old Age blog in the New York Times, Seupel notes that caring for someone with dementia is a full-time job, and what happened to her is fairly common.


Genetics as Cop-Out

The people most likely to blame genetics for causing preventable diseases like diabetes and lung cancer are those who take the biggest risks with their health, according to this story in U.S. News & World Report. They’re also the least likely to want information about healthier behavior.


The High Cost of Medical Illiteracy

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health. Not understanding medical information about your conditions can undermine your health more than low income or lack of education, according to research reported on the website.


What Doctors Don’t Tell You

An editor's choice piece from Medical News Today reports on a national survey of how people make medical decisions. It found that most don’t have enough information to make good choices, partly because doctors say too little about the risks of treatments they recommend.


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Our Mission

The Silver Century Foundation promotes a positive view of aging. The Foundation challenges entrenched and harmful stereotypes, encourages dialogue between generations, advocates planning for the second half of life, and raises awareness to educate and inspire everyone to live long, healthy, empowered lives.

Notable Quote

"It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment; in these qualities old age is usually not poorer, but is even richer."

Cicero (106-43 BC)