Emphasis needed on improving policy, practice and personal skills
WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey commissioned by the non-profit National Council on Aging (NCOA), with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), reveals a bleak and broken health care system for millions of Americans suffering from a variety of chronic conditions. The results of the Re-Forming Health Care: Americans Speak Out about Chronic Conditions and the Pursuit of Healthier Lives survey shows many chronic disease sufferers are delaying health care due to cost, living in pain and feeling abandoned by their health care providers.
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The survey of over 1,000 Americans 44 and older with a chronic illness such as heart disease, arthritis, hypertension and diabetes found that more than two-thirds (68 percent) have two or more chronic conditions -- and 20 percent have four or more chronic conditions. Alarmingly, one in four (25 percent) survey respondents have delayed health care or not filled much-needed prescriptions due to cost in the past year, despite the fact that they are frequently or sometimes living in pain (71 percent), stressed (65 percent) or depressed (50 percent).
While most survey respondents say they rely on the health care system for ongoing help, many feel as if they are not getting the support they need. Over half (57 percent) of Americans surveyed say their health care providers have not asked whether they have help to manage their problems and 45 percent say that they rarely or never receive referrals to resources such as classes, counselors, dieticians and health educators. Over one-third (38 percent) say they don't have the money it takes to do things that will improve their health, an
|SOURCE National Council on Aging|
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