Thursday, July 26, 2007

Elderly - Health Literacy

People over 65 who can’t read or understand basic health info –prescription bottles, appointment slips, or even their doctors, etc.- are more likely to die sooner than more literate seniors. "Inadequate health literacy is associated with less knowledge of chronic disease and worse self-management skills for patients with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, asthma and heart failure," according to a study at Northwestern University.

From Scientific American: July 23, 2007

Confused older patients die sooner: study
By Ishani Ganguli

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Understanding doctors' orders can be a matter of life or death for senior citizens: those who had trouble comprehending their physicians died sooner than their more savvy peers, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Medicare clients who were confused by pill bottles or appointment slips were 52 percent more likely to die over the six years of the study, especially from heart disease.

"Patients with inadequate literacy know less about their diseases ... They are much more likely to be hospitalized," said Dr. David Baker of Northwestern University, who led the research.

"It's not just higher hospital rates. It's significantly higher mortality."

Baker and colleagues followed 3,260 Medicare patients 65 and older in four U.S. cities. To test the volunteers' so-called health literacy, which drops with age, they quizzed them on how well they understood prescription bottles, appointment slips and insurance forms.

@ Your Local Library: CalCat - WorldCat

Sixty things to do when you turn sixty:
60 experts on the subject of turning 60, edited by Ronnie Sellers Publisher Ronnie Sellers Productions, c2006.
~ first essay: Be a grouch / Garrison Keillor

The 100-year lifestyle by Eric Plasker

Avon, Mass.: Adams Media, c2007.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Blog Bridge mentioned an article in the WSL about July 14th being the 10th Blogiversary of blogging.

Jorn Barger’sRobot Wisdomis considered by many to be the first. He is credited with coining the term ‘weblog’ on Dec. 17, 1997 (Wikipedia).

“The dating of the 10th anniversary of blogs, and the ascription of primacy to the first blogger, are imperfect exercises. Others, such as David Winer, who blogged with Scripting News, and Cameron Barrett, who started CamWorld, were alongside the polemical Mr. Barger in the advance guard. And before them there were "proto-blogs," embryonic indications of the online profusion that was to follow. But by widespread consensus, 1997 is a reasonable point at which to mark the emergence of the blog as a distinct life-form.”

A decade of Scripting News
Sunday, April 01, 2007 by Dave Winer.
On this day, ten years ago, a weblog named Scripting News appeared for the first time at this address. Today, it is the longest continuing running weblog on the Internet.

Ten Years And Going Strong
By Slobokan
on Jul 10, 2007 at 15:35
It’s official. I have been blogging for 10 years. I’ve had a blast blogging about everything from elections and politicians to funny news events and even office supplies.

Others campaign for: Suck, Slapshot and Blue’s News which go back to 1994-95.

Whether blogging began sometime between April and December 1997 or in the earlier years of what the WSJ calls proto-blogs:

Light a candle, woodja !

Better Yet !

Get involved with Blog - A - Thon 2007. Sponsor a blogger and raise some $$ for charity. Check out Southern California Library Literacy Network and make a pledge.

Friday, July 13, 2007

National Commission on Adult Literacy

A new literacy website:

The National Commission on Adult Literacy
is an independent panel of leaders from labor, business, government, education, literacy, and philanthropy. Its aim, to focus attention on the great cause and need for adult education and literacy services in America. Site includes: Publications, Inspirational Essays and Links to literacy reports & organizations.
~ Dare to Dream: A Collection of Papers. . .
~ Mounting Pressures Facing the U.S. Workforce . . .
~ Adult Literacy & the American Dream by Forrest P. Chisman

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Literacy: Not a Static Commodity

Literacy skills show decline with age:
Reading for pleasure helps fight drop
Edmonton Journal: July 7, 2007 by Shannon Proudfoot,
CanWest News Service

Most Canadians, but especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, experience "significant" literacy loss as adults, a Statistics Canada report shows.

The decline in skills begins at age 25, peaks around 40 and then tapers off around 55 years old. For example, adults aged 40 scored an average of 288 on a standardized literacy test in 1994, but in a second survey nine years later, that had dropped to 275 -- a loss of reading ability equal to half a year of schooling.

Over their lifetime, the average Canadian will lose about one grade's worth of literacy skills, the report estimates.

"Literacy is not a static commodity that is acquired in youth and maintained throughout life," it concludes.

More education mitigates the decline, with university graduates scoring about 30 points higher than high school grads. People who didn't complete secondary school scored nearly 50 points lower than those who did, while employed Canadians scored 12 points higher than those not in the labour force.

The reading people do at work helps, but not nearly as much as reading a variety of materials for pleasure at home.

The data came from a series of international literacy surveys conducted in 1994 and 2003, with StatsCan gathering the Canadian component. This report focused on native-born Canadians, though other surveys show immigrants have significantly more literacy difficulties.

For Overview & Highlights: