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Jun 3, 2013 7:12 PM by Akeam Ashford

Louisiana 48 in Nation for Senior Health Care

A recent report by the United Health Foundation found Louisiana ranks near the bottom when it comes to senior health. The state was 48th in the nation. The report cited the state's large number of smokers, obese seniors, and physical inactivity, along with growing poverty among seniors.

The United Health Foundation's report noted a lack of board-certified geriatric physicians across the country. LSU Geriatric Physician Dr. Lainie Moncada says physicians in Lafayette aren't just watching the numbers climb. "We are fortunate enough to have three board certified geriatricians right here at UMC. We're also hoping to grow that number by having our geriatrics fellowship training program here also," says Moncada.

Patricia Hurst comes to UMC for all her medical needs. For Hurst, communication with her physician is key to living a healthy life. "I think we have fantastic health care and I think Lafayette, maybe it's unique, I don't know, but I haven't felt compelled to go anywhere else," says Hurst.

Moncada agrees with parts of the report. "All three of these factors: obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking contribute to a lot of our seniors having chronic multiple conditions. In order to address these problems, for example smoking, I always tell my patients that you're never too old to quit," says Moncada.

Although it had many shortfalls, Louisiana did place first in the availability of flu vaccinations given to seniors. Other notable strengths were in the amount of home health care workers and the low number of injuries seniors suffer because of falls.

Akeam@katctv.com

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