Ina Jaffe

Ina Jaffe is a National desk correspondent based at NPR West, NPR's production center in Culver City, Calif.

Covering California and the West, Jaffe has reported on nearly all of the major news events, elections, and natural disasters in the region. Currently, she covers issues related to aging. She also reports on regional and national politics, contributing election coverage in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

In addition to captivating and informing listeners, Jaffe's reports have garnered critical acclaim. Her 2012 investigation into how the West Los Angeles VA made millions from renting property while ignoring plans to house homeless veterans won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists as well as a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. A few months after the story aired, the West Los Angeles VA broke ground on supportive housing for homeless vets.

Jaffe's 2011 series on rising violence in California State Psychiatric Hospitals was also honored with a Gracie Award as well as awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the American Bar Association. Her three-part series on California's Three Strikes sentencing law won the ABA's Silver Gavel Award in 2010, as well as the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Before moving to Los Angeles, Jaffe was the first editor of Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon which made its debut in 1985.

Born in Chicago, Jaffe attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and DePaul University receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in philosophy, respectively.

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The Salt
3:35 am
Tue June 2, 2015

Mush No More: Retirement Home Food Gets Fresh And Local

Chef Eric David Corradetti presents dinner to residents at the Bethlehem Woods senior living facility in La Grange Park, Ill. His kitchen emphasizes fresh produce and meats and meals made from scratch.
Courtesy of Unidine

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 8:05 am

Want to eat food that's fresh, local and cooked from scratch? Consider a retirement home. Once known for bland, institutional fare, hundreds of retirement communities around the nation now tout their restaurant-like dining experiences.

One of those is Bethlehem Woods in La Grange Park, Ill. Resident Marge Healy counts on having dinner with the same group of friends every evening.

"We're almost like a family," she says, as her friends nod in agreement.

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Shots - Health News
4:56 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Are You Sick, And Sick Of Hearing 'Everything Happens For A Reason'?

Courtesy Emily McDowell Studio

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 3:24 pm

When a friend or loved one gets sick — really, seriously sick — it's hard to know what to say. So some of us say nothing. Which seems better than saying the wrong thing, though people do that too.

Los Angeles graphic designer Emily McDowell's solution to this dilemma are what she calls Empathy Cards. When someone is seriously ill, she says, the usual "Get Well Soon" won't do. Because you might not, she says. At least not soon.

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Shots - Health News
4:32 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Drop-In Chefs Help Seniors Stay In Their Own Homes

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 11:29 am

A healthy diet is good for everyone. But as people get older, cooking nutritious food can become difficult and sometimes physically impossible. A pot of soup can be too heavy to lift. And there's all that time standing on your feet. It's one of the reasons that people move into assisted living facilities.

But a company called Chefs for Seniors has an alternative: They send professional cooks into seniors' homes. In a couple of hours they can whip up meals for the week.

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The Two-Way
7:51 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

#NPRreads: Rube Goldberg Machine's Dark Origins And Spalding Gray's Last Days

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 8:56 am

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we bring you four reads:

From Ina Jaffe, a correspondent on NPR's National Desk:

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Shots - Health News
3:49 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Can A Person With Dementia Consent To Sex?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:18 pm

Sexual relationships in long-term care facilities are not uncommon. But the long-term care industry is still grappling with the issue.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

#NPRreads: From The Hell Of The North To 'Trash' Food

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we share with you five reads.

From Ina Jaffe, a correspondent on NPR's National Desk:

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Shots - Health News
5:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Videos On End-Of-Life Choices Ease Tough Conversation

Hawaii ranks 49th in the nation for use of home health care services during the last six months of someone's life. Videos from ACP Decisions show patients what their options are at the end of life.
ACP Decisions

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 9:39 pm

Lena Katakura's father is 81. He was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer and doctors don't expect him to survive the illness. Katakura says a nurse at their Honolulu hospital gave them a form to fill out to indicate what kind of treatment he'd want at the end of life.

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Humans
8:10 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Seniors Speed-Date In 'Age Of Love'

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 1:08 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's a new documentary out with a very simple message - people want to find that someone special no matter their age. It's called "The Age Of Love," and it takes us to a speed dating event for seniors. NPR's Ina Jaffe has more.

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Mental Health
5:11 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Behavioral Therapy Helps More Than Drugs For Dementia Patients

Caregivers who are trained in responding to anxiety or aggression in people with dementia can effectively reduce those symptoms, studies find.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 1:19 pm

When we think of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, we think of the loss of memory or the inability to recognize familiar faces, places, and things. But for caregivers, the bigger challenge often is coping with the other behaviors common in dementia: wandering, sleeplessness and anxiety or aggression.

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On Aging
4:17 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

GAO Report Urges Fewer Antipsychotic Drugs For Dementia Patients

About 1 in 3 patients with dementia who live in nursing homes are being sedated with antipsychotic drugs, the GAO says. Outside nursing homes, about 1 in 7 dementia patients are getting the risky drugs.
Wladimir Bulgar iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:16 am

Older adults with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia are at risk of being prescribed dangerous antipsychotic medication whether they live in nursing homes or not. That's according to a study from the Government Accountability Office published Monday.

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Politics
5:24 am
Thu January 15, 2015

House Rule On Social Security Funding Causes Controversy

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
4:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

How 'The Interview' May Change How Big Studios Do Business

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 12:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's Christmas day and it is opening day for the movie The Interview."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SETH ROGEN: Thank you so much for coming. And we thought this might not happen at all.

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On Aging
5:36 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Services Offer A Means To Foil Widespread 'Elder Fraud'

More than a quarter of the victims of financial fraud are over 60.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:50 pm

This is the season for generosity — and for con artists who take advantage of it.

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to scams; more than a quarter of the victims of financial fraud are over 60, according to the FTC. But now there are products on the market designed to protect seniors' nest eggs.

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Shots - Health News
5:15 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:34 pm

It's a sunny autumn afternoon and a good time to make apple crisp at Pathstone Living, a memory care facility and nursing home in Mankato, Minn. Activities staffer Jessica Abbott gathers half a dozen older women at a counter in the dining area, where the soundtrack is mostly music they could have fox-trotted to back in the day.

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Shots - Health News
3:35 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Nursing Homes Rarely Penalized For Oversedating Patients

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:26 pm

Antipsychotic drugs have helped many people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But for older people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, they can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has given these drugs a black box warning, saying they can increase the risk of heart failure, infections and death. Yet almost 300,000 nursing home residents still get them.

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Shots - Health News
4:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Old And Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes

Antipsychotic drugs aren't necessary in the vast majority of dementia cases, gerontologists say. The pills can be stupefying and greatly raise the risk of falls — and hip fracture.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 4:22 pm

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

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Shots - Health News
6:18 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Love And Sex In The Time Of Viagra — 16 Years On

Mountains of "little blue pills" and their chemical kin have transformed the way many people think about sex and aging.
Raphael Gaillarde Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 5:37 pm

The lives of older men have changed in a significant way since 1998, or at least their sex lives have changed. That's the year Viagra was introduced. Cialis and Levitra followed a few years later.

The once taboo subject of erectile dysfunction is now inescapable for anyone who watches TV. Late-night comedians continually mine the topic. By 2002, Jay Leno had told 944 Viagra jokes, according to the Wall Street Journal. We couldn't independently verify that number. Actually, we didn't try.

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Shots - Health News
8:39 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Feds Hope Hitting Nursing Homes In The Wallet Will Cut Overmedication

Federal prosecutors allege two nursing homes in California have "persistently and severely overmedicated elderly and vulnerable residents." Antipsychotic drugs like risperidone, also known as Risperdal, can be dangerous for elderly people, but are frequently prescribed to nursing home patients.
JB Reed Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 9:27 am

A federal lawsuit against two Watsonville, Calif., nursing homes may offer a new approach to dealing with the persistent problem of such facilities overmedicating their residents.

The lawsuit details multiple cases when the government says these drugs were inappropriately administered to patients.

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Shots - Health News
11:08 am
Thu August 7, 2014

House Calls Keep People Out Of Nursing Homes And Save Money

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 2:58 pm

When it comes to reining in medical costs, delivering more health care and bringing it right to the patient's home can, for a select group of patients, save money.

These particular patients are elders struggling with multiple chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, stroke, diabetes or dementia. They make up just 5 percent of the people on Medicare, but they account for about half of all Medicare spending.

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Law
5:19 am
Thu July 17, 2014

California's Death Penalty Declared Unconstitutional

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:38 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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