Video Firm Gives Elderly a Look at Options

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A company has produced four videos to help aging Americans and those who care for them sort through the bewildering choices about insurance and health care.

Jeanette Vaughan studied health care in college but couldn't think of a way to market her research. After seeing "L.A. Law" character Arnold Becker peddle a video of himself giving advice on divorce, Vaughn plunged in.

She made the video series "All About Aging" and created AgeView Inc., which distributes the tapes. The series sells for $195 and is marketed to hospitals, nursing homes and health care agencies. While the public can buy the series, Vaughan hopes agencies will buy it to show consumers for free.

By 2030, 21% of Americans will be over 65. But Vaughan said most of the country hasn't considered the idea of an older America.

"The first ones feeling the impact are the women over 40 who are working and also trying to take care of aging parents," said Vaughan, 28

Among the topics on the tapes are how to obtain Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and home health care; the psychosocial views of aging and how to relate to older relatives; and details on nutrition, safety and equipment use for elderly patients cared for at home.

Delores Moyer, executive director of Alverno Health Care Corp., based in Memphis, Tenn., is one of the agencies in 275 U.S. cities that use the tapes.

"We plan to start broadcasting the tapes across our closed-circuit TV network in the hospitals so patients and families can view the tapes while they are in the waiting room," said Moyer, whose company operates nine hospitals.

Vaughan said she plans to develop additional tapes. "It's not the answer to everything, but it points people in the right direction," she said.

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