Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Aging PA population brings challenges/Masha Gessen

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 16, 2017 4:20 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 16, 2017:

Longer life spans and aging Baby Boomers will soon lead to a surge in the number of Americans 65 or older.  By 2030, health care spending is expected to increase by 25%, largely because the population will be older.  Although there is a big push to offer assistance in keeping seniors as healthy as possible while "aging in place," nearly 42 percent of people who live to age 70 will spend time in a nursing home.  And, for those who want to age in place, the pool of potential family caregivers will be smaller for baby boomers than it was for their parents.

Pennsylvania has one of the fastest growing older populations in the country and that means challenges are imminent or may be here already.

On Thursday's Smart Talk, we examine the challenges of an aging population with Pennsylvania's Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne and Keira McGuire, producer and host of WITF's Health Smart series.

Health Smart latest episode "The Aging Boom" airs on WITF-TV Thursday night at 8.


Pennsylvania's Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne / Keira McGuire, producer and host of WITF's Health Smart series

Also, with all the attention of whether Russia interfered in last year's U.S. presidential election and if there was contact between the Trump campaign and Russia, what is life like inside Russia under President Vladimir Putin?  Russian author and activist Masha Gessen's latest book The Future is History looks back at the history and fall of the Soviet Union and then paints a picture of a nation that although not Communist, resembles a totalitarian state.

Gessen appears on Thursday's Smart Talk.

Masha Gessen is at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg Monday starting at 6:30 p.m.


Russian author and activist Masha Gessen


- I am at the end of the baby boom, born Dec 1963.  I am worried about my age and younger.  Pensions and decent paying jobs are gone for us.  The "Greatest Generation" and Early Baby Boomers have taken care of themselves at the expense of the children and grandchildren.           - Blaine

- Most individuals that become visually impaired or blind is related to age. The numbers of cases of the most common eye diseases like Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataracts, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration are expected to double by 2050 based on statistics by the National Eye Institute.

According to information from NIH the annual economic burden of vision loss, eye diseases and vision disorders in the U.S., as of 2013, was $139 billion.   - Paul

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