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Is The Economy Ruining Our Health?

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

When my friend Joan asked if I was putting enough money away for retirement, I told her that most recently; my savings account consisted of whatever was left in my checking account the day before payday. As facetious as that may sound, many of us are writing with red ink when it comes to finances, but is the abyss of the economic downturn affecting our health as well? Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, Director of Cardiac and Pulmonary Wellness Rehabilitation in New York, has seen a shift in tone from his patients who used to come to the office and exchange small talk, but now seem to focus on stories about the market’s dismal fortunes.

He says the change in tone has been accompanied with complaints about ailments large and small, including chest pain, gastrointestinal distress and muscle aches. That’s not surprising given that scientific research has long demonstrated a link between poor health outcomes and declining employment and stress. Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy shed at least 5.1 million jobs and the average national unemployment rate is hovering around 9 percent. Forbes author, Rebecca Ruiz thinks some reports are unsubstantiated and are exaggerating how bad the recession has been on Americas’ health.

One substantiated February 2010 telephone poll of 1,200 adults from the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation reported that the recession has forced Americans to skimp on healthcare. 53% of respondents said they cut back on healthcare costs by avoiding doctor’s visits, skipping dental checkups and not filling prescriptions, among other money saving strategies. Still, other surveys and mental health professionals suggest that the economic crisis has provided many with a golden opportunity to reevaluate what’s important in their lives. No doubt, it is beyond stressful when you’re worrying about finances and juggling money so you can stay in your home and put food on the table for your family.

Global Crisis by `BenHeine on deviantART

Neither is it uplifting if you are one of the 5 million plus Americans who lost their job and survived last year’s holiday season without an unemployment check, all because of an antiquated computer system at the EDD or a holiday break in Congress. Chicago psychiatrist, Paul Dobranksy, author of The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love, says, “it takes years to compile a meaningful picture of how the downturn has changed the intimate lives of Americans. “See me in 5 years,” he says. Manhattan psychoanalyst, Amy Joelson says many of her patients, for example, have expressed anxiety about spending money on frivolous items, but they still feel good about engaging in physical intimacy.

“People wrestle with guilt about indulging in all kinds of pleasures, like going shopping or eating at expensive restaurants; that’s seen as politically incorrect,” she says. “But you don’t need a 401(k) to have sex.” Experts also agree that tough economic times can motivate couples, singles, family and friends to gravitate toward simple pleasures and reinvent novel ideas for activities that lead to meaningful conversations and deeper relationships. At a time when there is so much negativity and polarization in our country, scrutinizing our mental health by throwing out doomsday attitudes and adopting a more positive outlook may be the ideal prescription and least expensive way for retaining our health.

The elderly have a positive outlook on our economy and the healthcare system. Assisted Living residents manage their finances so they can coast through these tough times and still be able to get the healthcare and assistance they need. Many seniors get financial assistance from the government so they can maintain their lifestyle efficiently without going over budget. Assisted living and nursing home facilities have financial specialists to help seniors manage their savings efficiently during this economic crisis. Many seniors are also considering Home Healthcare Medical and Home Care Non Medical services as a cost effective option to maintaining their lifestyle.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Dallas and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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