STI Awareness Month

Despite common misconceptions, older adults are sexually active in their later years.  21st century older adults are living longer, healthier lives and have access to medications, such as Viagra, making more sex possible[1]. The sexual activity of older adults is gaining increased attention because STD rates are climbing among people 55 and older.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/sam/images/sam_2015_button_one.jpgWhile seniors are older and wiser, they are vulnerable to the same diseases as young adults. The lack of safe sex awareness among older adults places them at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as:

  • chlamydia,

  • gonorrhea,

  • syphilis, and

Risk factors for STIs in older populations include[3]:

  • normal sexual changes associated with aging (e.g., increased time to attain an erection, decreased vaginal lubrication, decreases in sexual hormones);

  • psychosocial changes (e.g., loss of partner or spouse and re-entering the dating scene); and

  • risky sexual behaviors, including no or infrequent use of condoms.

Unfortunately, many older adults are too embarrassed to ask to be tested for STDs thus older adults are more likely to receive diagnosis of a STD when it is too late[4]. They are not able to benefit from the medications available for treatment of the diseases in the early stages.

Health care providers should start the conversation about sexual health with their older adult patients to make the conversation easier.  Learn more about Sexual Health and Aging.

 


 

[1] Jameson, M. (2011, May 17). STDs, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Retirees, Senior Citizens – AARP. Retrieved March 28, 2015.

[2]  Office on Women’s Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . Healthy Aging. (2010, August 12). Retrieved March 28, 2015.

[3] Johnson, B. (2013). Sexually Transmitted Infections and Older Adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 39(11), 53-60.

[4] Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Older Adults. (2014, January 1). Retrieved March 28, 2015.


Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment ended on December 7. If someone missed the Open Enrollment Period and is truly dissatisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan, there is a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) that lasts from January 1 to February 14 of the following year. A person in a Medicare Advantage Plan can leave their plan, switch to Original Medicare, and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage during this period. Learn more about joining a health or drug plan.
There are specific times when a person can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or Medicare prescription drug coverage . They can also make changes to existing coverage:

1. If they first become eligible for Medicare or turn 65 during the Initial Enrollment Period
2. During certain yearly enrollment periods
3. Under certain circumstances that qualify the person for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

Learn more about the Medicare C & D enrollment periods and be sure to take advantage of everything Medicare has to offer.

[1] Understanding Medicare Part C & D Enrollment Periods. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Oct. 2012. Web. Dec. 2013.


BPHC released the new Governance PIN (http://bphc.hrsa.gov/policiesregulations/policies/pin201401.html).  There will be multiple opportunities for training regarding the new PIN, including TA calls specific for consultants and for special populations.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released Policy Information Notice (PIN) 2013-01: Health Center Budgeting and Accounting Requirements. The PIN is available at: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/policiesregulations/policies/pin201301.html