Posts Tagged "vision"
September 28, 2021
Retirees Can’t Afford Hearing, Dental Care
Hearing loss can amplify cognitive decline by isolating retirees and forcing them to divert precious brain power to participate in a conversation. People who lose teeth have trouble eating, sacrificing their health. And poor vision, uncorrected by cataract surgery or the proper magnification in eyeglasses, is dangerous when driving at night.
These problems are facts of aging. But Medicare doesn’t cover their often-expensive solutions such as hearing aids, dental implants, or eyeglasses. A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation identified a gap between need and access is wide.
Among the 16 percent of Americans over 65 who said in a survey that they couldn’t get hearing, dental or vision services, nearly three out of four couldn’t afford them.
Three charts, based on Kaiser’s analysis of the survey data, show the average out-of-pocket spending for hearing and dental care was around $900 for the Medicare beneficiaries who used the services in 2018. The cost of vision care was significantly less, averaging $230.
Retirees usually don’t need all three services in a single year. For example, dental implants cost thousands of dollars, and an individual might get one or two in a lifetime. But when retirees do get the expensive dental care, a new Kaiser report shows the bill can really pack a wallop – and become an obstacle to getting the necessary care. …Learn More
May 6, 2021
Growing Job Demands Fall Harder on Some
As technology transforms the work world, jobs that were once routine might now require good interpersonal skills or the ability to quickly adjust to the situation at hand.
The people bearing the brunt of these challenges are the same people who were already at a disadvantage in the labor force: workers who never attended college.
New research on more than 700 occupations found that the types of jobs held by workers with only a high school education have become more difficult in recent years, which has sharply limited their job opportunities. The opposite is true for college graduates, whose jobs have gotten easier, opening up new opportunities for them.
“The changing nature of work over the past 15 years may have deepened inequality across educational groups,” according to the study funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration.
The data for this research came from an occupational database, as well as a one-time survey fielded by RAND in 2018 that asked workers to assess their current mix of natural abilities – as distinct from skills learned on the job – in four areas. The first area is cognitive abilities, which include communication and mathematical acuity. Physical abilities range from strength to flexibility. Sensory abilities include hearing and depth perception. Psychomotor refers to hand-eye coordination and fast reaction times.
The researchers first identified the abilities required to do more than 700 jobs held by the workers in the survey, as detailed in the federal government’s occupational database, and compared the current requirements with the 2003 requirements for each job.
The abilities required of workers with no more than a high school degree increased in all four categories. Construction workers are a good example. Their need for writing proficiency has increased dramatically. And today’s warehouse workers must move at breakneck speed to keep up with the sophisticated technology being used to fill orders for overnight delivery.
Contrast these workers to the college graduates, whose job requirements have lessened in three of the four categories. Only their need for sensory abilities, such as hearing and depth perception, has increased – and not by as much as the workers who didn’t go to college.
The researchers also found that the shifting job demands have very different implications for each group’s employment potential. …Learn More