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Friday April 12, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“Should any political party attempt 
to abolish social security, 
unemployment insurance, 
and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, 
you would not hear of that party again I
n our political history.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower









Higher Than Expected Inflation
Lifts 2025 
Social Security COLA Estimate





BY TED GODBOUT

We’re still several months away from knowing what the final Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) will be for 2025, but the federal government's inflation data for March has pushed the COLA estimate higher, while dampening hope for future rate cuts.

That's higher than the inflation trends indicated last month based on February’s CPI-W data. Based on this trend, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) has adjusted its COLA forecast to 2.6% in 2025, up from 2.4% in February and 1.75% in January. Still, that’s a far cry from the 8.7% COLA increase seen in 2023.

TSCL notes that its estimates may change monthly, relying on the latest CPI data. The final COLA for 2025 may differ from these estimates because it's computed based on the average inflation rate during the third quarter (July, August, and September) determined by the percentage of change in the CPI-W and then compared to the same period a year prior. Six months' worth of data still needs to be collected, leaving plenty of room for change, the organization observes.  

Read more  





Republican Suggests
Thousands of Seniors
Shouldn't Be Voting




By Andrew Stanton

Republican Senate candidate Eric Hovde suggested most nursing home residents should not be voting because they only have "five, six months life expectancy."

Hovde is challenging Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, a crucial swing state that could determine which party controls the Senate and whether President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump wins the 2024 presidential race. While Baldwin has easily won reelection in the past, Republicans see the close presidential race as an opportunity to flip the Senate seat, largely rallying around Hovde ahead of the August 13 primary.

Hovde, who is endorsed by Trump, is facing criticism over recent remarks made about nursing home residents voting in the 2020 presidential election during an April 5 interview on the Guy Benson Show.

Read more  




Recent contact
with young children
linked to over 60s risk
of acquiring
pneumonia-causing bacteria




New research being presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2024) in Barcelona, Spain (27-30 April) finds that pneumonia-causing bacteria are common in the over 60s and that contact with pre-school and young school-aged children appears to be the most important factor in the onward transmission of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) to the over 60s.

Pneumococcus is the main bacterial pathogen involved in ear and sinus infection, but is also a major cause of more severe diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. Pneumococcal infections mainly affect children under two and the elderly, and claim almost two million lives worldwide every year.

The US CDC estimates that pneumococci cause more than half of all cases of bacterial meningitis in the U.S. with around 2,000 cases of pneumococcal meningitis occurring each year. Over 150,000 hospitalizations from pneumococcal pneumonia occur every year in the U.S., and pneumococci is also the most common bacterial cause of childhood pneumonia, especially in children under 5 years. In adults, pneumococci account for 10% to 30% of adult community-acquired pneumonia.

Read more  



Let’s Get Ready
for Allergy Season!





By Meredith White

It’s that time of year! Spring has sprung and so have allergies for some of us. There is still time to get ready for allergy season to help reduce the symptoms. Preparation for allergy season can make a difference for yourself and loved ones.

While you can get allergies at any age, seniors are particularly apt to develop them or continue to have them if they have any chronic ailments.

Seniors with allergies tend to really feel the impact of symptoms and this can impact their quality of living.

Here are 3 ideas ...

Read more  




18 Affordable Places
to Retire Outside
the US for
$2,000 a Month




By Rabia Mazhar

This article takes a look at 18 affordable places to retire outside the US for $2,000 a month. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on navigating the retirement period as a US citizen, you may go to 5 Affordable Places to Retire Outside the US for $2,000 a Month.

The Retirement Journey: Trends and Tribulations

According to the United States Census Bureau, more than one in five Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2030. With over 20% of a country’s population in the senior citizen category, the obvious question arises - what does retirement in America look like? For many, retirement is a time of financial difficulty. The National Council on Aging estimates that over 17 million American senior citizens are economically insecure - that’s about 1 in 3 older adults. For these 17 million older adults, incomes fall below 200% of the federal poverty level. The National Council on Aging also sheds demographic light on who comprises the 17 million. Here, it comes as no surprise that older women have a greater chance of living in poverty as they are behind on income due to wage discrimination and time spent on unpaid childcare and domestic labor. 

Read more  







7 STEPS TO HELP
YOU DEAL WITH
ANGER AFTER 60





BY SALLY FOX

Anger is natural, but when it builds up in us, it can be incapacitating, causing us to lash out at others, or lash out at ourselves and lead to depression.

When anger threatens to overwhelm your day, here’s a way you can shift your mood and carry on, without telling yourself that you, “shouldn’t feel angry.”

Growing up in the 50s, I heard the subtle – and sometimes not-so-subtle – message: “Nice girls shouldn’t be angry.” I learned to swallow my anger and allow it to rest, like bile, inside of me.

Anger and outrage aren’t bad – in fact, at times, they’re appropriate. Violence against women and girls should make us angry. But let’s use our anger to act, not stockpile it in our guts.

Learn more  









If someone were to ask you, "How are you doing?" chances are you would respond with a smile and politely say, "I'm okay, how about you?" It's a common courtesy to avoid delving into the nitty-gritty details of our struggles and worries. After all, who has the time for that? So, we simply brush it off and continue on our way, trying to maintain a sense of cheerfulness. 

But what if we were to take a moment and truly assess how we're really doing? What would we discover? Every now and then, I find myself doing just that, and to my surprise, I realize that I'm actually doing okay, considering everything. 

The most important thing for me is to be at peace with myself. It hasn't always been this way though. There was a time when I didn't particularly like myself. I was filled with anger towards my body for its health issues. I was frustrated that the plans I had made for my personal time after decades of work were shattered, and it seemed like a life of declining health, doctors, and nursing homes awaited me. 

However, amidst all of that, I have managed to not only live with these challenges but also accept them. It's true that some of my fears have come true, but I've learned to make peace with them.

It's taken some time, but I've come to embrace the reality that my choices are somewhat restricted and the fantasy of a carefree life may not materialize. However, I've also come to understand that although it's enjoyable to have a beautiful home, a fancy car, stylish clothes, and wealth, I possess all the essentials I require, no matter how simple they may seem.

Living in an assisted living facility wasn't exactly what I had in mind for my retirement years, but it's actually not too shabby. I have a cozy place to call my own, with the freedom to come and go as I please. If I ever need anything, all I have to do is ask and it's taken care of. The food could use some improvement, but I'm definitely not going hungry. While transportation is a bit of a challenge, my decreased mobility means I don't rely on it as much. Plus, I still have some extra cash at the end of each month for personal expenses. I know not every senior has it as good as I do, so I consider myself fortunate. Sure, my health could be better with a few chronic conditions, but I've learned that focusing on the negatives only makes things worse. The last thing I need is to mess with my own head.

So, when someone inquires about my well-being, I can genuinely respond with "not too shabby." I hope you can do the same. Wishing everyone a delightful weekend.......










Boomers Know Best —
If You Have to Hustle,
It's Not Passive Income





BY KENNY ROSE 



Key Takeaways:

- There's a clear divide in how different generations perceive and pursue passive income.

- Many people, particularly younger generations, misunderstand the true nature of passive income.

- True passive income typically comes from investments that require minimal ongoing effort, such as dividends from stocks, interest from bonds, or earnings from real estate and other alternative business assets.

Investors have coveted passive income streams since the early days of the COVID lockdown, when we were all sitting around on our laptops, figuring we might as well make a few extra bucks. Its popularity shows no sign of waning — not with inflation surging and eggs at $5 a dozen.

The pursuit of passive income ignites young and old investors alike. In a recent survey of 1,000 US investors with at least $10K in assets, the State of Alternative Assets report, respondents across age demographics ranked it as a top 2023 priority. But while passive income is a common goal, there's an increasingly clear divide in how generations understand and earn passive income. Gen Z and Millennials see it as a dependable stream of income outside their main paycheck and seek it via crypto and side hustles. Gen X and Boomers take the set-it-and-forget-it approach, and look for passive income via capital appreciation.

Read more  




Exploring Medicaid Payments
for Assisted Living:
What You Need to Know



BY DANIEL COBB

When it’s time for you or a senior you care for to look into assisted living, the cost can quickly turn into an obstacle. According to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey, the average senior pays $4,500 a month for assisted living, with prices going much higher in many places. Paying for this can be a challenge, especially for older adults with limited incomes. 

Many seniors with limited resources receive health care coverage through their state’s Medicaid program, which may open the door to financial assistance in paying for care. Assisted living communities house seniors in a safe, caring environment where their needs can be taken care of by trained staff. These are not medical facilities like skilled nursing homes, but they do offer help with activities of daily living and chore assistance. Many communities also offer premium features such as concierge services and lifestyle classes.

Assisted living communities house seniors in a safe, caring environment where their needs can be taken care of by trained staff. These are not medical facilities like skilled nursing homes, but they do offer help with activities of daily living and chore assistance. Many communities also offer premium features such as concierge services and lifestyle classes.

Read more  





50-year-old muscles just
can’t grow big like they used to
— according to science




There is perhaps no better way to see the absolute pinnacle of human athletic abilities than by watching the Olympics. But at the Olympics – and at almost all professional sporting events – you rarely see a competitor over 40 years old and almost never see a single athlete over 50. This is because with every additional year spent on Earth, bodies age and muscles don’t respond to exercise the same as they used to.

I lead a team of scientists who study the health benefits of exercise, strength training and diet in older people. We investigate how older people respond to exercise and try to understand the underlying biological mechanisms that cause muscles to increase in size and strength after resistance or strength training.


Old and young people build muscle in the same way. But as you age, many of the biological processes that turn exercise into muscle become less effective. This makes it harder for older people to build strength but also makes it that much more important for everyone to continue exercising as they age.

Read more  




What’s the Key to
a Secure Retirement?

The answer is long-term planning, 
but if you, like so many other retirees 
and others approaching retirement, 
have planning gaps, 
here’s what you can do.



BY ANNA M. RAPPAPORT


By the time a person approaches retirement age, they have enough life experience to know that change and the unexpected are, well, expected. On the other hand, human beings also tend to focus on what’s right in front of them, and retirees and those approaching retirement are no different.

Studies have found that many people at or near retirement age have major gaps in their planning, making them vulnerable to financial problems in retirement.

Misperceptions put retirement nest eggs at risk:

A result of gaps in knowledge and failure to think about the long term is a focus on cash flows and expected bills and not on unexpected events. The SOA Research Institute has studied shocks in retirement, and it found that retirees are resilient and able to deal effectively with many of them, but not all.

Read more  




9 Simple and Effective
Online Safety Tips
for Seniors 




By Ben Pilkington

A recent Pew Research survey found that three-quarters of people aged over 65 are online every day, 61% own a smartphone, and 45% are users of at least one social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

When people from any group go online more often, they expose themselves to more online risks.

And as seniors engage more with the online world, they are more likely to become targets for cybercriminals. It has been estimated that older people in the US lose $30 billion annually due to cybercrime.

Your best defense against cybercriminals is yourself.

Arming yourself with a few simple, effective, and memorable safety tips is the best way to protect yourself from online risks like scams, fake news, and abusive trolls.

Learn more  








MOST JOBS TODAY 
DID NOT EXIST IN 1940


About six out of every 10 jobs people do today didn’t exist in 1940, according to a new analysis of US census data from 1940 to 2018 led by an MIT economist. While many of those jobs were created by new technologies, some came from changing consumer needs. And while in the first 40 years of that nearly 80-year period most of the new jobs, which included many manufacturing and clerical positions, were scooped up by the middle class, the more recent jobs have tended to be either highly paid white-collar roles or lower-wage service jobs.








NEXT EDITION
MONDAY APRIL 15, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper







-30-

*************




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Wednesday, April 10, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“You will kill ten of us, we will kill one of you, 
but in the end, you will tire of it first.”
― Ho Chi Minh








New income limit
confirmed for
Social Security benefits
in April





Social Security announces new changes to SSI: More benefits for seniors and the disabled

New large COLA increase for 2025: How it will affect VA Benefits

New large direct payment Stimulus Check in April: $1,312 will be sent in a few days

The Social Security Administration (SSA) approved a new income restriction for receiving Social Security benefits in April. If you currently receive Social Security payments while working, then you should be informed of the new income restrictions that go into effect this month to ensure that you continue to receive your monthly benefits.  

Read more  





You can thank
the baby boomers
for the stunning strength
of the US economy




By Matthew Fox

- You can thank baby boomers for the strong US economy, according to market veteran Ed Yardeni.

- Boomers are by far the richest generation, and they're spending more money as they retire in droves.

- "Seniors are traveling more, dining out more, and visiting their health care providers more," Yardeni said.
 
The US economy has baby boomers to thank for its strength and resilience even as some worry about a potential recession.

According to market veteran Ed Yardeni, the baby boomer generation is powering spending in key areas of the economy that have seen massive job gains in recent years.

Read more  




Surveillance Colonoscopy
Rarely IDs Cancer
in Older Adults



By Lori Solomon

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is rarely detected from surveillance colonoscopy among older adults, regardless of prior adenoma findings, according to a study published online April 2 in JAMA Network Open.

Jeffrey K. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues estimated surveillance colonoscopy yields in older adults. The analysis included 9,601 individuals 70 to 85 years who received 9,740 surveillance colonoscopies at a large, community-based U.S. health care system (2017 through 2019) and had an adenoma detected ≥12 months previously.

The researchers reported that CRC yields were found in 0.3 percent of procedures, advanced adenoma in 11.7 percent, and advanced neoplasia in 12.0 percent. There were no significant differences in yields across age groups. CRC yields were significantly higher for colonoscopies among patients with a prior advanced adenoma versus nonadvanced adenoma (0.5 versus 0.2 percent). A similar pattern was seen for advanced neoplasia (16.5 versus 10.6 percent). Detection of advanced neoplasia at surveillance was associated with prior advanced adenoma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.65), body mass index ≥30 versus <25 kg/m2 (aOR, 1.21), and having ever smoked tobacco (aOR, 1.14). There was an inverse association between Asian or Pacific Islander race and advanced neoplasia.

Read more  




What seniors worry about



By Matilda Charles


According to an informal survey by writer Matilda Charles, the number one concern for seniors was about money, including paying bills. 

It's very helpful to have friends and acquaintances scattered across the country when I need to do another informal poll. This time my questions to them concerned what seniors worry about.

I got them started with a list of suggestions on a page, to be ranked in order, with a blank place under each one for comments, and space below for their own contributions.

And I wasn't surprised.

The number one concern was about money. Is there enough to last the rest of our life? Will grocery prices ever come down again? We're concerned about having to go back to work to keep from burning through our savings, running up medical bills, losing the house because of not being able to pay the mortgage and having the rent raised to an amount we can't pay.

Read more  




Older Adults
Who Never Got Married
Revealed The "Myths" 
About Being Single
Later In Life
That No One Talks About



By Liz Richardson

We recently wrote a post where older adults who never got married shared the "myths" about being single later in life that they want people to know. Over 100 of them originally submitted their stories and perspectives, so here are just 21 more of their thought-provoking responses:

1. "I never married. I had two kids, a sperm donor. I have an incredible village helping me raise my kids, and I knew that going in. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've thought, 'Hmmm, this would be easier with a partner.''

"More often than not, I see friends going through awful, painful divorces with a partner, kids caught in the middle, and I am SO glad I never got married JUST to have kids."

Read more  







HOW BEING “OLD”
MAKES ME
MORE SUCCESSFUL




BY STEPHANIE BRODT

When we were in our 20s and 30s we had many advantages in life. Do I need to list them all? I don’t think so. We are very aware of those advantages… both the real ones and the imagined.

But, as we age, we begin to realize (hopefully) that with all the disadvantages of growing older there are many, MANY advantages that come along with it as well.

When I was “let go” from my job at the age of 48, I was finding it hard to remember those supposed MANY advantages of getting older.

After all, I was a middle-aged, over-weight (not that THAT had anything to do with anything – just thought I’d add it here), unemployed secretary that had no idea of what the next step should be.

Learn more  













At the ALF. 
Poor turnout for eclipse.
Why Do Old folks 
stop caring about the
World around them?


Yesterday, a significant event unfolded across a vast area of the U.S. It was a rare occurrence that many of us will only witness once in our lifetime. The next one is not expected until 2079. Consequently, a few of us, including myself and fellow residents of the Asylum, stepped out of our rooms in the afternoon to gaze at the sky. Our moon positioned itself between the sun and the earth, although we didn't witness a total eclipse, it was still a momentous occasion. Interestingly, only around 30 out of the approximately 200 residents here showed interest in observing this phenomenon, despite the extensive coverage on TV and within the A.L.F. This made me ponder: when do we reach a stage in our old age where we no longer care about the world around us?

I've always been a news “junkie. “ When I was a kid (around 10 or 11 years old), I recall watching the news with John Cameron Swayze. It was just a 15-minute broadcast during dinner time, but I was captivated by it. My curiosity about global events persisted through my teenage years. Whenever Walter Cronkite or Huntley-Brinkley appeared on TV, I would pause to watch. Even today, CNN is on in the background as I write this blog. Despite my age, I'm still very much alive and interested. However, many of my neighbors seem oblivious to current events. It's not that they are mentally impaired, they simply lack interest. This concerns me because I wonder if I too will lose interest at some point. And that frightens me.


Firstly, I believe that by not actively seeking out information about the world around them, my neighbors are missing out on valuable knowledge and insights. Staying informed about current events allows us to understand the complexities of the world, make informed decisions, and engage in meaningful conversations. It broadens our perspectives and helps us become more empathetic and aware citizens.

Secondly, I worry that this lack of interest in current events may lead to isolation. In an increasingly interconnected world, being unaware of what is happening globally can create a sense of detachment and disconnect from society. It becomes challenging to engage in conversations or contribute to discussions when one is unaware of the latest news and developments. This isolation can have far-reaching consequences, both personally and socially.

Lastly, I can't help but wonder if I too will eventually lose interest in staying informed. As I grow older, will my enthusiasm wane, and will I become indifferent to the events shaping our world? It's a thought that lingers in the back of my mind, reminding me to cherish and nurture my passion for news while I still have it. I just wish more seniors, especially now that our democracy is threatened, would care just a little more. ……………….










Is Tipping 
Getting Out of Control?
Know when, 
and when not, to tip




By Donna Fuscaldo

If you feel like requests for tips are everywhere, you’re not alone. From dry cleaners to shops, prompts to provide a gratuity are popping up in unusual places. 

Tipping has long been part of American culture, expected in restaurants, hair salons and taxis — anywhere workers rely on them for a livable wage. An explosion of digital point-of-sale terminals and contactless checkouts has resulted in even more requests for tips. 

It can be frustrating and annoying for consumers who don’t want to give 20 percent for a $5 purchase at the convenience store every morning. Nearly 2 in 3 (66 percent) of U.S. adults in a Bankrate survey said they have a negative view about tipping. 

Learn more  





Should a POLST
Be Part of 
Your Care Plan?





The American Hospital Association estimates that half of Americans suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Following a diagnosis, many experience concerns about the kind of care they will receive. They may worry about how invasive it will be, and how it will affect their quality of life. Fortunately, you can proactively decide what treatments would – or would not – suit your preferences.

If you are one of the half of Americans with a condition that puts your health at risk, consider working with your health care provider to create a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST).

By creating a POLST, those with long-lasting or terminal conditions can ensure they receive their desired treatment should their health decline. Creating a POLST could help you plan your treatment for an adverse health event or the end of your life.

What Is a POLST?

Read more  





Hearing loss 
can lead to 
deadly falls,
but hearing aids 
may cut the risk





By Allison Aubrey



If your hearing begins to decline, your risk of falling may rise.

Research shows older adults with mild hearing loss are at a greater risk — more than double — of falling. Though it's not exactly clear how hearing loss increases the risk, it's known that falls are the top cause of death from injury among people 65 and older.

Now, new evidence shows that restoring hearing through the use of hearing aids may be protective, especially when people wear them consistently. That's according to a study published this summer in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"We found, quite significantly, that individuals that wore hearing aids compared to those that didn't, did show a significantly lower prevalence," explains Laura Campos, an audiologist and researcher at UCHealth in Colorado and the study's lead author. "They reported fewer falls," she explains, and their scores on a falls risk questionnaire showed they were at lower risk.


Read more  




Doctor’s Best Home Remedies
to Ease the Pain of a Gout Flare
— in 10 Minutes or Less




By Alyssa Sybertz and Ann Green

If you often find yourself sidelined by a sudden, throbbing pain in your joints, especially in your big toe, you may be suffering from a gout attack. Flare ups of this common type of arthritis can also cause the affected joint to feel swollen, tender and warm to the touch. Here, we break down what you need to know about gout and how to reduce your risk of developing it. Plus, we share the best 10 minute gout cure — and more easy home remedies — that alleviate pain fast.


What is gout?

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis and occurs when inflammation in a joint causes symptoms like redness, tenderness and swelling. “Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body, which deposits in joints and causes intermittent episodes of inflammatory arthritis,” explains Theodore R. Fields, MD, a gout specialist and attending rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY.



Read more   





Housing for Older Adults




By Mia Chapman



Race & Equity

By 2030, one-fifth of the American population will be aged 65 or over, which will only make worse a critical deficit in suitable housing that caters to their specific requirements. As individuals grow older, their housing needs change, including increased accommodations for those with disabilities. For many older adults, coping with a chronic illness throughout their aging journey will make it difficult to access adequate housing. Across the country, 78% of individuals aged 55 and above grapple with chronic conditions, and 85% among those aged 65 and older. As the age and health of the country shifts, there are also transformations in family systems and dynamics. Increasingly, North Americans are less likely to reside with extended family or even live within an hour of family members who offer intermittent care. While the physical closeness to adult children can serve as a vital support system for many older adults, 15.2 million older adults do not have children, and 22% of adults are currently or will eventually be alone during their elderly years. Generally, Americans are having fewer kids, have longer lifespans, and live alone.

Housing Solutions for Older Adults

As the population ages, there are a variety of cultural and programmatic solutions that address the housing needs of older adults. From cultivating a sense of community to improving physical health, different housing solutions can reap benefits for our aging population. 

Read more    




















NEXT EDITION
FRIDAY APRIL 12, 2024
©2024 Bruce Cooper










-30-

*************





THIS PAGE IS BEST VIEWED IN
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Monday, April 8, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com


“Life is an onion - 
you peel it year by year 
and sometimes cry.”

― Carl Sandburg





Can Statins 
Prevent Heart Disease
and Stroke 
in Older Adults?




By Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Two of the biggest risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol. Lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and quitting smoking can help improve both.

If lifestyle changes don’t make an impact, medications can help. For high cholesterol, the most prescribed medications are known as statins. The CDC’s Million Hearts Initiative estimates that statins can reduce a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke by 50%. Yet not everyone who can benefit from a statin may have been prescribed the medication.

“Despite their effectiveness, statins haven’t been widely prescribed for people who don’t have pre-existing heart disease. There was doubt over whether they should be used for patients with other risk factors beyond heart disease, partly because of a lack of data on these patients. There was also concern about side effects,” explains Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH, a Mass General Brigham geriatrician. Geriatricians specialize in treating older patients and Dr. Orkaby cares for patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Read more  




The new law
that will change
Social Security benefits:
Higher payments 
for some seniors






A new bill proposed by a New York senator aims to help millions of seniors keep up with inflation. The new will could make significant changes to how the Social Security benefits are calculated, potentially leading to higher payouts for some seniors across the country. Seniors have been complaining for years that Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) does not fully account for the inflation they pay for groceries, housing, and health care. Therefore, all of that could change if the Boosting Benefits and COLAs for Seniors Act is implemented, and seniors would probably receive larger benefit rises.

New law to change Social Security benefits calculation method
The idea, which would benefit seniors whose purchasing power is reduced by inflation even with annual COLAs, was proposed by New York Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. According to Senator Kirsten, although Social Security is a lifeline for the elderly, many Americans are finding it difficult to pay for necessities, especially health care, as benefits are not keeping up with inflation.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities claimed based on SSA research, Social Security is the primary source of income for most retirees, providing at least 50% of their income in 2015. Most retirees have modest incomes, with some at the top of the income spectrum. Additionally, low-income older Americans have very little pension income, and most in the bottom third of the income distribution receive no pension income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) also stated that about 1 in 4 of these households lived on less than $20,000 in 2015, and about half lived on $50,000 or less. 

Read more  




Are Retirement Programs
Affecting Your 
Social Security Payments?
What Financial Experts Say




By Vance Cariaga

Private retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs are designed to help Americans bolster their nest eggs so they don’t have to depend too heavily on Social Security checks. Although private plans don’t directly impact your Social Security payments, they could have an indirect effect.

As previously reported by GOBankingRates, a recent paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College suggests that eliminating tax preferences included in 401(k)s and other employer-sponsored retirement programs could help fix Social Security’s looming funding shortfall.

That shortfall involves Social Security’s Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund, which is expected to run out of money within a decade. When it does, Social Security will be solely reliant on payroll taxes for funding — and those taxes only cover about 77% of current benefits.

Read more  




Between 65 And Death,
An Excellent List For Aging




Unfortunately we can’t give credit to this wonderful list for aging (so we apologize in advance to whomever created it). This list was forwarded to us via email with a long list of forwards before that but the original sender and source were lost in the exchange. However, we felt it was an amazing list of things to consider as we are aging, later in life and before we die. So enjoy! We believe that aging well and gracefully includes aging with a great outlook on life!

Many of us are between 65 and death, i.e. old. My friend sent me this excellent list for aging. I have to agree it’s good advice to follow.

1. It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it.

Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard-earned capital. Warning: This is also a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Read more  




Older Adults Prefer 
Human Help
to Manage 
Health-Related Needs
and Recommendations, 
New Survey Finds





In the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital intervention, new survey data show that human help in health care is not only preferred by many older adults, but may also be an effective strategy to reduce over-utilization of emergency services and encourage follow-through on preventive care and health-related recommendations.

A new survey among over 500 Americans aged 65+ with health insurance, conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Papa, found that:

85% would be likely to follow up on a health-related referral if it required them to get support from someone who would help them in person, while only 35% would be likely to do the same if it required them to do so via a virtual care coordinator, and only 16% if it required them to do so via a chatbot.

Read more  







10 Best Exercises
for Seniors To Build
Lean Muscle



Counteract age-related muscle loss and boost 
bone density by adding these exercises to your routine.


By Jarrod Nobbe


As you age, building lean muscle becomes increasingly essential for your well-being and vitality. Yet, the notion that weight training is only for the young persists. In truth, incorporating free-weight exercises helps counteract age-related muscle loss, build lean muscle, boost bone density, and enhance metabolic health and functional independence—a fantastic deal, isn't it? So I've rounded up 10 of the best exercises for seniors to build lean muscle.

Building and preserving muscle mass as you age can be daunting, requiring dedication, perseverance, and time. However, the benefits are significant, and I firmly advocate for their importance. By crafting a personalized fitness regimen that includes free-weight exercises, following a balanced diet rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and getting proper hydration, you can work toward maintaining and even enhancing muscle mass over time.

Effective Exercises To Build Strength:

Learn more  















It’s not religion.
It’s Science

Today is Monday, April 8th, and the highly anticipated event that has been widely discussed in the media is just moments away. I am, of course, referring to the solar eclipse, a truly extraordinary occurrence that for many of us will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As someone who has lived a long life, I have had the privilege of witnessing three or four eclipses throughout my years. Each time, I cannot help but feel a profound sense of awe and humility.

The sheer magnitude of the solar eclipse is enough to leave anyone in awe. The moon, a celestial body that orbits our Earth, aligns perfectly with the sun, casting a shadow on our planet. It is a delicate dance of celestial bodies, a choreography that has been happening for billions of years. The fact that we, as humans, get to witness this cosmic spectacle is truly remarkable.

However, amidst the wonder and excitement, it is important to remember that the solar eclipse is simply a natural phenomenon. It occurs due to the precise timing and alignment of the moon, sun, and Earth. Just like the clock striking twelve twice a day with unwavering precision, the solar eclipse follows the laws of physics and astronomy. It is a testament to the beauty and intricacy of the universe we inhabit.

Unfortunately, there are some individuals who perceive events like the solar eclipse as signs from a higher power. They view it as a way for God to express His dissatisfaction with humanity or as a divine message. While it is understandable that humans seek meaning and purpose in the world around them, attributing every occurrence, whether positive or negative, to an unseen force may be a result of our unique cognitive abilities.

As humans, we are the only species that attributes events to supernatural causes. We have a deep-seated need to understand and explain the world around us. This need has led us to create religions, belief systems, and sacred texts that provide explanations for natural phenomena. For some, the solar eclipse may be seen as a confirmation of their religious beliefs, a sign of divine intervention.

However, it is important to approach such events with a balanced perspective. While we can appreciate the beauty and wonder of the solar eclipse, we must also acknowledge the scientific explanations behind it. Science and nature are not mutually exclusive from spirituality or religious beliefs. They can coexist, offering different perspectives and insights into the world we inhabit.

In the end, the solar eclipse is a reminder of the vastness and complexity of the universe. It is a humbling….







How to avoid
paying taxes on
Social Security income




By James Royal, Ph.D.

Yes, it’s possible to avoid paying taxes on your Social Security income, but it requires some careful maneuvering. While avoiding taxes on your monthly benefit check may sound like a good thing, retirees and other beneficiaries may want to think twice before trying to make it happen.

Here’s how the experts say you can avoid taxes on Social Security, why you might not want to, and what taxes you may end up paying on your monthly benefit check.

How much of your Social Security is taxable?
It’s possible – and perfectly legal – to avoid paying taxes on your Social Security check.

Read more  




20 reliable 
home remedies
that will 
actually work for you




By Amy McCarthy

Most of us grew up with home remedies being passed down by wise relatives, but a lot of the time, those "tips and tricks" are just old wives' tales. That said, there are a slew of home remedies that have been proven by science to work, from using fenugreek to boost breastmilk supply to grinding oatmeal for a skin-soothing bath additive. 

Looking for a guide to the home remedies that actually work? Flip through the slideshow below for easy DIYs that can help soothe burns, relieve sore muscles, and more. 

Olive oil, coconut oil, and safflower oil are versatile moisturizers for dry skin and chapped lips. Decant your favorite oils into small bottles, and rub a few drops into patches of dry skin for instant relief. 

Read more  




Why Quality of Life
Is Important for
Hospice Patients




By Kayla Keena

In the realm of hospice care, the goal is not only to provide medical support but also to ensure the highest possible quality of life for patients. Unlike traditional medical care that focuses on curing diseases or prolonging life, hospice care prioritizes the patient’s comfort and dignity, helping them to live their remaining days to the fullest. Learn more about why quality of life is important for hospice patients.

Provides Comfort and Peace:

Focusing on quality of life in hospice care provides patients with immense comfort and peace during their end-of-life stage. This approach acknowledges the importance of emotional and psychological well-being and physical health. Rather than concentrating solely on medical treatments, which can often be invasive and distressing, hospice care emphasizes creating a serene, supportive environment that caters to a patient’s holistic needs. 

This care seeks to minimize suffering, manage pain efficiently, and respect the patient’s wishes, bringing them a sense of peace and fulfillment. Focusing on these aspects eases their transition and offers a compassionate space for families to say their goodbyes.

Read more  



Why Long-Term 
Care Insurance
Falls Short 
for So Many




By Jordan Rau and JoNel Aleccia


For 35 years, Angela Jemmott and her five brothers paid premiums on a long-term care insurance policy for their 91-year-old mother. But the policy does not cover home health aides whose assistance allows her to stay in her Sacramento, California, bungalow, near the friends and neighbors she loves. Her family pays $4,000 a month for that. 

“We want her to stay in her house,” Jemmott said. “That’s what’s probably keeping her alive, because she’s in her element, not in a strange place.” 

The private insurance market has proved wildly inadequate in providing financial security for most of the millions of older Americans who might need home health aides, assisted living, or other types of assistance with daily living. 

Read more   




Never Worked Before?
You Could Still Be Entitled
to Social Security.




By Katie Brockman


You may be eligible to receive hundreds of dollars per month.

Social Security benefits can be a lifeline in retirement, and they're usually based on your work history. The more you've earned throughout your career, the more you can receive in benefits.

However, there's a special type of benefit reserved for certain individuals that doesn't necessarily depend on your work history. In fact, even if you've never worked a day in your life, you could still be entitled to hundreds of dollars per month from Social Security.

Read more  








WHY CUTTING ONIONS 
MAKE US CRY

Onions have a built-in defense system! When you cut into an onion, you damage its cells. To fight back, the onion releases a gas that floats up to your eyes. Onions contain sulfur compounds that are released when the onion is cut or crushed. When these compounds come into contact with the moisture in our eyes, they create a gas called syn-propanethial-S-oxide, which irritates the eyes and triggers our tear glands to produce tears in an attempt to flush out the irritant. This is why cutting onions can make us cry. So next time you're crying over onions, remember it's not sadness, it's science!







NEXT EDITION
WEDNESDAY APRIL 10, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper







-30-

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Friday, April 5, 2024

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“I am a firm believer in the people. 
If given the truth, they can be depended upon 
to meet any national crisis. 
The great point is to bring them 
the real facts, and beer.”
― Abraham Lincoln







More Baby Boomers
Opting to Age in Place





By Amy Connolly


More than three-quarters (78%) of older homeowners plan to stay in their current homes as they age mainly because there’s not much financial incentive to sell and move, according to new research by the real estate brokerage firm Redfin.

Most (54%) of baby boomers who own homes have no mortgage. Those who do have mortgages have much lower interest rates than they would if they sold and bought a new home, Redfin found. And with medical and tech advances, it’s increasingly easier for people to stay in their homes as they age.

Redfin research found only one in five (20%) of baby boomers are considering moving into a 55+ community or have already done so. Another 10% plan on moving in with adult children or into an assisted-living facility (10%). Others plan on moving in with friends (6%).

Read more  



This Eating Habit
Could Be
A Warning Sign
Of Dementia,
Experts Say





Studies have shown that everything from brushing your teeth to climbing the stairs can reveal signs of early dementia. And now, it seems that how you take your dinner could indicate whether or not you've got a condition called frontotemporal dementia. The uncommon subtype of dementia affects about one in every 20 dementia patients, Dementia UK says.They say it’s an ”umbrella term for a group of dementias that mainly affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for personality, behavior, language, and speech.”And unlike other forms of dementia, its early stages may not always be characterized by memory loss or impaired concentration. Instead, one of the symptoms of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bv FTD) is “obsessive or repetitive behavior” ― and that can extend to food.

How?......

Read more  





1 Huge Social Security
Problem Many Retirees
Aren't Prepared For





Katie Brockman

As retirement becomes more and more expensive, it's more important than ever that retirees are prepared for those costs.

Social Security can go a long way in retirement, but it's no secret the program is facing its share of challenges. While most adults are expecting to rely on their benefits to some degree in retirement, many are underestimating just how big of a role Social Security will play throughout their senior years.

This may sound harmless on the surface, but it could be far costlier than it seems. Here's what you need to know about the future of Social Security.

Read more  




Home security
can be a major concern
for older adults




 
Thanks to breakthroughs in medicine and nutrition in recent years, we are living longer than ever before. But this increase in life expectancy also brings an increase in the number of diseases, injuries and impairments that affect older adults. With this in mind, we at the local Visiting Angels office in Salem have created this series of articles to keep our older population and their families informed and to offer some practical advice for meeting the challenges faced by seniors and those who care for them.

Home security can be a major concern for older adults and their families. With a growing number of seniors choosing to remain at home during their golden years, they and their loved ones find themself facing worries about the potential health and safety risks of aging in place. Natural and man-made disasters, medical emergencies, and the threat of crime can all seem overwhelming, especially for families who are separated by distance.

However, home should not be a scary place, and many seniors are turning to a variety of products and services, most based on the latest technological innovations, to achieve a sense of security and allow them to live their lives free from worry as they go about their daily routines.

Read more  





Your guide to preventative
health screenings
you should get
in your 60s



By Sara Moniuszko



Preventative care and screenings are important steps you can take for your health at any age. When you reach your 60s, health experts have some additional recommendations to help reduce your risk of illness and detect diseases early for the best odds of successful treatment.

CBS News HealthWatch has compiled a series of guides to help you know which preventative screenings should be on your list as you move through the years from your 20s to your 60s.

"It's never too late," says Dr. Céline Gounder, a CBS News medical contributor and editor-at-large for public health at KFF Health. "If you're still a smoker, quit smoking. If you don't exercise at all, even just walking a little bit every day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator — very small things can really make a big difference for your health."

Read more  








8 Surprising Retailers 
That Offer Senior Discounts






Goodwill • Kohl's 
• Michaels • 
Pep Boys • Rite Aid 
• Ross Dress for Less 
• Savers • Walgreens











We've seen it all, 
But nothing like this





If you happen to be perusing this page, it is likely that you have witnessed firsthand six or seven decades of remarkable technological and scientific advancements, such as Polio vaccines, organ transplants, television, computers, and the internet. While these accomplishments are certainly impressive, perhaps even more so are the numerous life-altering global and national events we have experienced.

If you, like myself, are in your late seventies or eighties, you have lived through a world war, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of one president, the attempted assassination of another, and the resignation of yet another. You have witnessed the beginning of the nuclear age and the age of Aquarius. We have seen 14 presidents come and go, not to mention deadly storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Despite all of this, we have faced each challenge with determination, believing that ultimately, everything will work out for the best. However, never in all these years have I felt as concerned or as fearful as I do today.

The current state of the world is filled with uncertainty and unrest. We recently face a global pandemic that has taken the lives of millions, political divisions that seem insurmountable, and environmental crises that threaten the very existence of our planet. The rapid pace of technological advancement has brought both incredible opportunities and daunting challenges, from artificial intelligence to climate change.

As we reflect on the decades we have lived through, it is clear that the world has changed in ways we could never have imagined. The resilience and strength that have carried us through so many trials and tribulations will be needed now more than ever. It is up to us, the older generation, to share our wisdom and experiences with the younger generations, to guide them through these tumultuous times and help create a better future for all.

Despite the fear and uncertainty that may be present, we must hold onto hope and continue to believe in the power of humanity to overcome any obstacle. We have faced adversity before and emerged stronger on the other side. Let us draw on that strength and resilience once again, as we navigate the challenges of today and work towards a brighter tomorrow. …










Marijuana use among
older Americans is rising,
survey finds




By Jacob Knutson


The number of U.S. seniors who report using cannabis has climbed in recent years, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Driving the news: In 2022, 8.4% people age 65 or older said they used marijuana in the past year, a significant increase from about 0.4% of seniors who reported using it in the past year when polled in 2007.

The uptick in usage among seniors comes as marijuana use has become more common for all age groups. The increase could in stem in part from decreasing social stigma around the drug.

Read more  




Hobbies, travel, ‘extreme’ sports
top retirement ‘bucket lists’
for older adults


By Kimberly Bonvissuto

More than 40% of US adults have “bucket lists” of goals they want to achieve in retirement, including ones that they believe support their overall mental health, according to the results of a recent Forbes Health survey.

According to Forbes Health, bucket lists can help inspire activity as well as provide a sense of focus, momentum and fulfillment. A survey of 2,000 US adults conducted by OnePoll found that across all generations, survey respondents were most excited about finding a new hobby due to their bucket list (57%), along with travel (56%) and trying “extreme” sports (53%). 

But bucket list priorities shift over time for older adults nearing or navigating retirement, according to survey results. 

Read more  




10 QUESTIONS 
TO ASK
ABOUT YOUR 
HEART HEALTH
AFTER 50





BY SARAH BREWER

You have more control over your heart health than you might think. In fact, researchers estimate that almost one in three heart attacks are linked with eating an unhealthy diet while an unhealthy lifestyle – smoking, not exercising, drinking too much alcohol – accounts for many of the others.

Following a heart-friendly diet and lifestyle can reduce your future risk of a heart attack whether or not you have already experienced one.

Ask yourself these 10 heart health questions to see if you need to take action.

Of course, none of the following information is intended to be medical advice, but we hope that it gives you something to discuss with your doctor on your next visit.

What Is My Risk?...

Read more  




Not just kid play:
Toy companies aim more
products at older adults





Toymakers are tweaking original classic games or coming out with new ones that embrace an audience that's been around for a while: people over 65 years old.

The products are being marketed as a way for older folks to sharpen their brain skills as well as allay loneliness by helping them connect with other family members and friends, although some experts have raised doubts about toymakers' claims.

Toymaker Hasbro penned a licensing deal with Ageless Innovation — which designs toys with older people in mind — to come out with new versions of Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Life with a tagline “Generations” that offer bigger fonts on tiles and bigger game pieces.

Read more  




Weapon Against
Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
May Lie in
Common Kitchen Waste




By Jess Thomson


The coffee grounds you throw away every morning might hold quantum secrets that could help protect against dementia and other conditions.

Scientists have discovered that something called caffeic-acid based carbon quantum dots (CACQDs), which can be made from coffee grounds, may protect neurons in the brain from the damage caused by several neurodegenerative diseases, according to new research in the journal Environmental Research.

These CACQDs were only protective of the neurons against neurodegenerative conditions if the disease was triggered by factors including obesity, age, and exposure to pesticides and other toxic environmental chemicals.

Read more  









Americans’ Favorite Beers, 
by Generation 











NEXT EDITION
MONDAY APRIL 8, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper







-30-

*************





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LANDSCAPE MODE




Wednesday, April 3, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“How can you be content to be in the 
world like tulips in a garden, 
to make a fine show, 
and be good for nothing.”

 Mary Astell








Misconceptions about older adults’
sexuality can cause ageist beliefs.
Here’s what one study found




By Adelyn Mui


Society’s beliefs about aging and sex are complex and vary widely, but one common belief is that disinterest in sex is a standard part of aging. A recent study explores how misconceptions like these can complicate the acceptance of older adults’ sexual lives.

The study surveyed 270 young adults, ages 18 to 35, about their perceptions of sexuality in older adulthood, general attitudes towards sex and sex as a leisure activity. It was conducted by Liza Berdychevsky, professor of recreation, sport and tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Iulia Fratila, an assistant professor of global and community health at George Mason University.

“The entire premise is: How do we combat ageism?” Berdychevsky  said. 

The study found that young adults have a moderate level of knowledge and are typically open-minded regarding later-life sexuality. But it also revealed the ageist views and misconceptions that can potentially harm older adults’ sexual expression.

Read more  




Eating Peanut Butter
As You Age Has Some
Major Benefits





BY BETH BRADFORD

Many people will occasionally find ways to cut calories after recognizing how they might have overindulged in some unhealthy foods that add a little extra to their waistline. As you age, however, you might not need as many calories because you're less active. You might also need to think about getting the right nutrients in your body.

Older adults sometimes find it difficult to get enough nutrition in their bodies due to low appetite or limited mobility to fix healthy meals. Protein is essential for older adults to avoid muscle loss that could lead to frailty or falls, so older adults might need more protein as they age. It might also be harder for older adults to get enough protein because chewing or swallowing meat can become more difficult. 

To add more calories, protein, and other nutrients to their diet, older adults could turn to nutrient-dense peanut butter. Two tablespoons of reduced-sodium peanut butter provides 189 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 16 grams of fat (less than 3 grams of saturated fat). Peanut butter and other nuts have nutritional benefits that can improve your health as you age.


Read more  




Say That Again:
Using Hearing Aids
Can Be Frustrating
for Older Adults,
but Necessary




By Judith Graham


It was an every-other-day routine, full of frustration.

Every time my husband called his father, who was 94 when he died in 2022, he’d wait for his dad to find his hearing aids and put them in before they started talking.

Even then, my father-in-law could barely hear what my husband was saying. “What?” he’d ask over and over.

Then, there were the problems my father-in-law had replacing the devices’ batteries. And the times he’d end up in the hospital, unable to understand what people were saying because his hearing aids didn’t seem to be functioning. And the times he’d drop one of the devices and be unable to find it.

Read more  




Why Are Older Americans
Drinking So Much?



By Paula Span

The phone awakened Doug Nordman at 3 a.m. A surgeon was calling from a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, where Nordman’s father had arrived at the emergency room, incoherent and in pain, and then lost consciousness.

At first, the staff had thought he was suffering a heart attack, but a CT scan found that part of his small intestine had been perforated. A surgical team repaired the hole, saving his life, but the surgeon had some questions.

“Was your father an alcoholic?” he asked. The doctors had found Dean Nordman malnourished, his peritoneal cavity “awash with alcohol.”

Read more  



Senior Smiles:
Navigating Oral Health Challenges
In Aging Populations



By Jacob Patel


Imagine the agony of a relentless toothache, the embarrassment of a missing smile, or the difficulty of chewing your favorite foods. For many seniors, these are daily realities of declining oral health. As you age, you might experience oral health problems such as dry mouth, tooth decay, and gum disease. These issues affect your quality of life and may even hinder you from getting proper nutrition

Oral health problems can stem from numerous factors. These factors include changes in your body, chronic medical conditions, and limitations in dexterity.  You may find daily oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing more challenging to perform consistently and effectively.

This article explores the unique oral health challenges faced by aging populations. It also provides practical solutions to ensure a healthy, confident smile throughout your golden years.

Read more  





Set up this feature
on older adults‘ iPhones
to help them navigate
more easily

The trick to making iPhones easier to use for seniors





By Kurt Knutsson 

For those of us with older loved ones, we understand the challenges technology can present. But did you know their iPhone has a nifty trick up its sleeve? It’s called Assistive Access, and it’s essentially a powerful, helpful ‘Senior Mode’. This feature simplifies the iPhone interface, making it far easier for seniors to navigate. 

How to turn on Assistive Access on iPhone

Enabling Assistive Access on your loved one’s iPhone is easy to do. So, grab your iPhone and let’s begin.

- Swipe down from the top of the screen and search for Settings
- Once Settings pops up, tap to open it
 - Scroll down to find Accessibility and give it a tap
- Keep scrolling until you see Assistive Access and select it.....


Learn more  








How do they get cows to gain weight so quickly? It's all thanks to their special diet that is just bursting with energy and protein. They get to indulge in a delightful feast of corn, barley, and wheat. And you won't believe it, but this whole "finishing" process on the farm takes a whopping 30 to 40 months! At the A.L.F., they've got a formula that makes the process even quicker and cheaper for our herd of old folks we call “residents.” How marvelous!

My battle with weight has been a lifelong struggle. I naively believed that as I aged, my appetite would diminish (as it often does for many older individuals) and I would eventually shed some pounds. However, my assumptions proved to be incorrect once again. Instead, I have somehow managed to gain weight at an alarming rate, surpassing even the most voracious bovine in any American stockyard.

Here, at the A.L.F. (Advanced Livestock Farm…LOL), they've got a not so secret formula that makes the process even quicker and cheaper. It's like a magic potion for old people! Through years of research and innovation, they have developed a specialized feed that maximizes growth potential while minimizing costs. This secret formula is carefully crafted to provide residents with all the necessary food they need to gain weight rapidly. It’s carbs. Lots and lots of carbs.

By examining the regular menu at the Asylum, one can understand the overall meal composition.

Breakfast includes oatmeal, scrambled eggs with cheese, and hash brown potatoes (toast can be requested). Lunch features Chicken Alfredo, where chicken is served over pasta with a creamy sauce. Dinner consists of baked fish served with rice, peas, and carrots.

It should be emphasized that the while the protein serving sizes meet the minimum requirement of 3 oz., the proportion of carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, pasta) often surpasses that of the meat portion.

Yes. I could eliminate the carbs and focus on eating just the meat. While that might work for some residents who barely weigh 100 lbs., I'm a grown man and 3 ounces of meat wouldn't be enough to satisfy me, leading to snacking between meals.

Why do they want us to be overweight? Well, carbs are more affordable than meat, and it looks better on the state report. Let's delve deeper into this issue.

Every month, the facility weighs and documents each resident's weight. This information is included in a mandatory report sent to the State of New York. If the state notices a consistent decrease in the overall weight of a specific facility, it raises a red flag as a potential sign that the residents aren't getting adequate nutrition. Therefore, it's better to have an average weight that's slightly higher to avoid further scrutiny from the state. Additionally, the facility saves money. It's a win-win situation for everyone, except the residents.

It's nearly impossible to stick to a diet here. With a lack of diet-friendly options on the menu, the only way to succeed is by creating and preparing your own diet plan. I managed to lose over 70 lbs in 9 months on the Atkins diet 15 years ago, but that was because I cooked most of my meals at home. Unfortunately, that's not something I can do here.

In conclusion, for those who prioritize their diet and live in an assisted living facility without cooking options, the only way to maintain your weight is to eat out or order food in. Otherwise, be prepared to see your waistline grow. Now, where did I put those pork rinds? … 










Frailty status in older adults
associated with more adverse
events after surgery

Electronic frailty index may help 
identify patients who are at risk




By Ashish K. Khanna, M.D.


A new study from researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine shows that frailty is associated with higher rates of death and major morbidity after surgery.

The findings appear online today in JAMA Network Open.

“Frailty refers to a lack of functional or physiological reserve that determines whether patients bounce back from a health event such as surgery or illness,” said Ashish K. Khanna, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and vice-chair of research with the department of anesthesiology, section on critical care medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and corresponding author of the study.

According to Khanna, most rating scales to assess frailty require considerable time and resources. In-clinic assessments also often include patient self-reported questionnaires and physical examinations by clinicians with varying, sometimes subjective results.

Read more   




Future for seniors 
more promising





People are living longer these days, we’re happy to say. At the Press-Republican, we don’t keep statistics on such things, but we can tell by the obituaries we run daily. The indisputable trend is for more people to make it into their 90s and even over 100 than in decades past.

Our region’s senior residences are reportedly full, to the extent that the Samuel F. Vilas Home is building on an enormous extension.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that more than 22 percent of adults say they’ve provided care or assistance to someone, family or friend, in the past month. For a third of them, care involves 20 hours or more a week.

Read more  




Can surfing the web
lower risk of dementia?
What researchers are saying




A new study shows using the internet, even on your phone for just minutes a day, can lead to life changing rewards and huge health benefits later in life.

"I'm 89 years old, and I didn't grow up with all these electronic gadgets," said John Erario.

At 89, Erario might be right on time for taking on the internet.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that older people who use the internet between 6 minutes to 2 hours a day cut their risk of dementia by about half.

"I was afraid to touch different things, thinking I was going to blow up the computer," said Henrietta Brunson.

Read more  



How older adults 
can overcome
barriers to 
healthy eating





Good nutrition is important for older adults to stay strong and reduce the risk of disease. But as you get older it can be harder to eat in healthy ways. If you have health problems or can’t be active anymore, you may not feel as hungry as you used to. It can also be more difficult to plan and make meals.

Here are several common barriers that older adults face to healthy eating, paired with ideas to help you overcome them.

Learn more   



Here's One Silver Lining
to Retiring on 
Social Security Alone




By Maurie Backman



KEY POINTS:

- Social Security might replace just 40% of your pre-retirement wages if you're an average earner.

- For this reason, it's generally advisable not to retire on Social Security alone.

-The one "benefit" is that your Social Security income probably won't get taxed in this situation.


It's hard to retire on only Social Security, but at least you might get to keep your benefits in full.
Some seniors are forced to retire on Social Security alone in the absence of having savings. And it's fair to assume that people in that boat are likely to struggle financially, to some degree.

If you earn an average wage, you can expect Social Security to replace about 40% of your pre-retirement salary. This assumes that benefits are not cut in the future, though, which might happen if Social Security's trust funds run out of money.

Read more  








Here are some tips
 for keeping tulips alive


Trim the stems: Every time you change the water, trim a small portion off the bottom of the tulip stems. This helps them continue to absorb water efficiently.

Use cold water: Fill the vase three-fourths full with cold fresh water. Warm water will quicken the tulip's wilting pace.

Change the water: Change the water completely every couple of days to prolong your flower's life.

Keep in a cool location: Flowers kept in a cool location in a room will also last much longer.

Avoid direct sunlight: Direct sunlight will cause the blooms to wilt faster.

Use the pinprick method: This method opens a path for excess air in the stem to escape, allowing even more water to flow into the bud.

Give them enough space: Tulips tend to continue growing after being cut, so make sure they have enough space in the vase. 









NEXT EDITION
FRIDAY APRIL 5, 2024
©2024 Bruce Cooper








-30-

*************




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LANDSCAPE MODE






Monday, April 1, 2024





Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com


“Laugh and the world laughs with you, 
snore and you sleep alone.”
― Anthony Burgess







Retirees are 
more afraid of healthcare
than they are of 
running out of money





By Alessandra Malito

Even more scary than running out of money in retirement is paying for healthcare, which can be a major drain on any retiree’s nest egg. 

More than six in 10 people between the ages of 60 and 70 said healthcare costs were a top concern in retirement, while more than half of them said those worries were pushing them to spend less in other areas, according to a new survey from health-insurance marketplace eHealth and retirement-planning company Retirable. The companies surveyed 520 respondents, some of whom are already enrolled in Medicare while others are still awaiting retirement. 

Other top concerns included inflation, maintaining their lifestyles, market volatility and leaving behind an inheritance for their heirs.

Healthcare is one of the largest expenditures for a retiree, along with housing. But it’s hard to know for sure how much it will cost, whether retirement is years away or a person expects to live in retirement for decades. A single 65-year-old person could expect to need around $157,500 after tax to pay for healthcare in retirement, while an average couple of the same age could potentially need $315,000, according to the 2023 Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate. These figures do not include long-term care costs.  

Read more  




Social Security Cuts
Are In The News Again,
But Still Wrong Way To Go





By Christian Weller

Social Security benefit cuts are gathering political attention again. Increases in the age for receiving full retirement benefits are a specific cut that a large number of members of Congress have proposed. Congress will indeed adjust Social Security’s finances in the coming years to make sure the program can pay all of its promised benefits. Starting those adjustments with benefit cuts, especially regressive ones such as increasing the retirement age that hurt lower-income earners more than higher-income earners, is exactly the wrong approach, however. Raising additional revenues from high-income earners should be a preferred policy approach that strengthens rather than weakens the program.

Read more  




This Controversial Idea
Could Help Save 
Social Security
at the Expense of
Your 401(k) and IRA




Kailey Hagen

It's hard to overstate Social Security's importance to the tens of millions of Americans who rely upon it. Nearly nine out of 10 people 65 and older are receiving these monthly checks, and for more than a third of these retirees, the program provides at least half their monthly income. That makes Social Security's looming solvency crisis all the more alarming.

The latest Social Security Trustees Report estimates the government will need to make a minimum 20% cut to benefits in 2034 if the funding shortfall isn't addressed. But like most big issues in politics, finding a solution hasn't been easy. Recently, a pair of economists proposed a new idea that could fill most of Social Security's funding gap -- but it comes at a price.

Read more  





Like many older people,
Joe Lieberman died
after a fall.
It doesn’t 
have to be this way




By Jason Bae

Joseph Lieberman, the former U.S. senator from Connecticut and Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential campaign, passed away Wednesday at age 82 from complications after a fall. 

Learning that Lieberman had died after a fall wasn’t all that surprising. Every year 1 in 4 people older than 65 in this country suffer a fall, making it the leading cause of injury for this demographic.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m an urgent care physician in Palo Alto, and it’s rare to go a day without seeing an older patient for a fall-related injury. Last week, for example, I saw a patient in his 80s who had tripped while getting out of a car and had hit his head on concrete. He was in my clinic with his worried wife. With a cut on his forehead, he uttered, “I am just so mad at myself.”

Read more  




How sitting 
affects the health
of older adults and
what they can do
to become more active





Decreasing sitting time by as little as 30 minutes daily can lower blood pressure, according to a new study.

Researchers say reducing sitting time was comparable to increasing physical activity and lowering blood pressure.

They said that older adults typically sit 60% to 80% of their awake time.

Older adults might be able to lower their blood pressure by reducing sitting time, even by as little as 30 minutes per day.

That’s according to a new study Trusted Source by Kaiser Permanente that was published today in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Kaiser Permanente officials said they created a program to see if sitting less could reduce blood pressure in older adults.

Read more  



Owning a car
is increasingly difficult
for retired seniors.
For many, 
it's simply unaffordable





Anyone who has ever struggled to afford a car, or lived without one, knows how complicated life can get without access to a vehicle. Car ownership has always been expensive, but recent trends suggest that it is getting worse. New car prices have risen so much that purchasing one is quickly becoming out of reach for many buyers: A new car cost about $48,000 in May 2023, roughly 25 percent more than one cost in May 2020. Because of a microchip shortage and auto manufacturers using their limited supply on luxury vehicles that cost more money, consumers are increasingly turning to the used car market, driving up those prices, too. Over almost the same time period, the price of an average used car rose about 50 percent. Plus, there’s the cost of gas, emergency repair, regular maintenance, and insurance, which also has been rising. In addition, people who struggle to afford a car often end up with bad loans or unreliable vehicles. [Continued]


Read more  





7 Napping Tips
for a 
Refreshing Snooze




By Abigail Seaberg


A power nap, a cat nap, an afternoon snooze. Whatever you call it, the concept of a nap is nothing new. But is a quick bit of shut-eye good for you? And when and how often should you take one? For National Napping Day, which we are very happy to celebrate on March 11, we talked to the experts to find out how you can set yourself up for sleepytime success.

Is it healthy to nap?

The answer depends on the person, say experts. Marjorie Ellen Soltis, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Duke Health, does not consider napping every day to always be normal.

She says people who are regularly napping during the day should think about why that might be, adding they may not be getting adequate sleep at night.

Another potential reason for needing to nap all of a sudden: underlying health issues, says Sara C. Mednick, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine.

Learn more  








 


It’s April 1st. Better known as April Fools Day. And I’ll bet that, before this day is done, someone, somewhere will have succeeded, or at least attempted, to play some prank on your unsuspecting self. If you are like most people, you will be good natured about it and laugh it off and go on your merry way. No real harm done. For some, every day is April Fools Day. These people (estimated to comprise 33% to 38% of the American population) are the dyed-in the-wool supporters of Donald Trump. But unlike the rest of us, they don’t get the joke and they don’t know when they are being fooled. 

They are constantly bombarded with misinformation and lies from their chosen leader, yet they continue to believe and defend him blindly. This blind loyalty has led to a dangerous erosion of trust in facts and reality, as they dismiss any evidence that contradicts their beliefs as "fake news" or a conspiracy against their leader.

For these individuals, every day is a struggle to discern truth from fiction, as they are constantly fed a diet of lies and propaganda. They are living in a world where up is down, black is white, and truth is whatever Trump says it is. This constant state of confusion and deception has led to a deepening divide in our society, as those who support Trump become increasingly isolated in their own chamber of misinformation.

As we navigate through this era of "fake news" and alternative facts, it is more important than ever to critically evaluate the information we consume and to hold our leaders accountable for their words and actions. April Fools Day may come and go, but for those who live in a perpetual state of deception, the consequences are far from funny. …








A Pill to Slow Aging?

Researchers have been looking for decades 
for ways to delay human aging 
and prevent diseases. 
The prognosis for success appears to be improving



By Rachel Nania


Medical professionals have figured out a way to treat many of the diseases that accompany aging: We have medications for heart disease, diabetes, arthritis — even Alzheimer’s. But what if a pill could help prevent these diseases from ever occurring?

For decades now, scientists have been searching for such a medical Holy Grail: safe medicines that treat aging as a whole by slowing cellular decay or by making your body more resilient to the factors that trigger physical and mental decline.

Despite the research costs and scientific challenges, the path toward such a pill is attracting more interest than ever. The federal government is involved, as well as many prominent academic institutions. Billionaire “biohackers” have joined the fray, pursuing their own age-defying theories and sparing no expense.

Read more  




FEMA rolls out campaign
to help seniors 
prepare for disasters



By Dylan Croll


The federal government is working to prepare its older citizens, especially financially vulnerable ones, for national disasters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency — in coordination with nonprofit the Ad Council — is releasing new public service announcements Thursday that specifically target older adults, especially those with limited financial resources, disabilities, and living in rural areas. FEMA provided Yahoo Finance with an early look at its campaign.

The goal is to make sure seniors not only can ride out a major catastrophe but can financially weather the aftermath as well.

"We know that there are a lot of different inequities across society, and when a disaster happens, it just exasperates them," FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell told Yahoo Finance. "And so these targeted campaigns help us get into some of these more under-resourced communities, give them information on how they can take steps to help protect and prepare their families."

Read more  



Circadian disturbances and
frailty risk in older adults




Frailty is characterized by diminished resilience to stressor events. It is associated with adverse future health outcomes and impedes healthy aging. The circadian system orchestrates ~24-h rhythms in bodily functions in synchrony with the day-night cycle, and disturbed circadian regulation plays an important role in many age-related health consequences. We investigated prospective associations of circadian disturbances with incident frailty in over 1000 older adults who had been followed annually for up to 16 years. We found that decreased rhythm strength, reduced stability, or increased variation were associated with a higher risk of incident frailty and faster progress of frailty over time. Perturbed circadian rest-activity rhythms may be an early sign or risk factor for frailty in older adults.

Introduction: 

Frailty is defined as an age-related decline in multiple physiological systems

Frail older adults have increased vulnerability to stressor events, poorer quality of life and increased risks for major adverse health outcomes, including Alzheimer’s disease. Frailty has emerged as a practical and unifying concept in the care of older people who experience multi-organ problems more commonly than a single-system illness. To inform appropriate interventions for preventing frailty incidence or its further progress and to promote successful aging, research is urgently needed to better understand the mechanisms of frailty. This study was designed to investigate the role of the circadian function as potential physiological correlates of frailty development.


Read more   





Here's How Long Cooked Foods
Can Stay Unrefrigerated,
According to Food Safety Experts

Plus, how to know when your food 
is in the temperature danger zone.




By Kirsten Nunez

After prepping meals or cooking for guests, it can be tempting to leave food out and take a break from the kitchen. Or sometimes, you might simply forget or get distracted by other tasks (it happens to the best of us). Regardless of the situation, it's important to avoid letting food sit out on the countertop for too long—you might be left with a food safety hazard, along with a spoiled dish.

But how long is too long, exactly? To find out, we consulted food safety experts to determine how soon you should refrigerate food before it goes bad.

 
The Temperature Danger Zone...

Learn more   




1 in 5 older adults don’t
have someone they can depend on
in time of need.
It’s driving up ER visits
and food insecurity




BY ALEXA MIKHAIL

Emily Solos was a social butterfly thanks to a 50-year career in the retail industry. She frequently attended work events and connected with her colleagues in person.

“I love all that,” the 79-year-old who lives alone in South Florida tells Fortune. “And then, all of a sudden, that stops because of your age.” 

As she got older, Solos had trouble with her back and a car accident reduced her mobility. She wanted to keep her job but could no longer work in the same capacity. 

“The job offers are not out there for the older person, unless it’s just sitting behind a desk or doing something very quietly,” Solos says. Without work interactions, and with her daughter relocating further away, Solos became increasingly isolated and lonely.  

Read more   








How Americans Sleep

Quality of Sleep


72% of U.S. adults got sufficient sleep in 2020; 70% got sufficient sleep in 2022.
 
Hawaii is considered the worst state for sleep, with 46% of adults reporting sleeping less than seven hours a night. 

Minnesota and Vermont are considered the best states for sleep. 

In 2020, U.S. adults who reported “short sleep duration” was highest among men. 

28% of U.S. adults wake up feeling well-rested most days of the week.

21% of U.S. adults rarely or never wake up feeling well-rested. 

See more: 







NEXT EDITION
WEDNESDAY APRIL 3, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper









-30-

*************





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Friday, March 29, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“We are not just made of blood and bone – 
we are made of stories. Some of us have our stories told for us, 
others write their own – you wrote yours.”
― C J Cooke






'Out-of-Touch Billionaire'
Larry Fink Blasted 
for Calling 65 a
'Crazy' Retirement Age




BY JAKE JOHNSON


Larry Fink, the billionaire CEO of the world's largest asset management firm, wrote in his annual letter to investors on Tuesday that it is "a bit crazy" that 65 is viewed as a sensible retirement age in the United States, drawing swift backlash from Social Security defenders and policy analysts.

Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, replied that the CEO of BlackRock apparently doesn't know the U.S. already raised the full retirement age for Social Security to 67 under a law passed during the Reagan administration—a change that inflicted benefit cuts across the board.

"I love how rich people are treated as sources of great wisdom when they obviously don't know their ass from their elbow," Baker wrote on social media.

While Fink, who is 71, wrote that "no one should have to work longer than they want to," he argued that "our conception of retirement" must change, pointing specifically to the Netherlands' decision to gradually raise its retirement age and tie it to life expectancy. (Fink does not mention that life expectancy in the U.S. has been trending downward in recent years.)

Read more  




Huge Study Confirms
Viagra Cuts Alzheimer's Risk
by Over 50%




By MIKE MCRAE

An FDA-approved pharmaceutical used to treat erectile dysfunction could soon be recommended as a therapy for decreasing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

By analyzing medical insurance data alongside a laboratory investigation on the genetic and neurological effects of sildenafil – a drug sold commonly under the brand name Viagra – researchers in the US have validated the medication's potential in keeping critical proteins in nerve cells from tangling into a deadly mess.

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated enzyme blockers called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors not only have an ability to promote blood flow in the penis, but could prevent the neurodegeneration responsible for dementia.

Read more  



Aging-in-place may be 
a luxury you can’t afford





By Jessica Hall

People want to stay in their homes as they age for a variety of reasons, some for the familiarity, social connections, autonomy, or the cost, but a new report shows that it may be more expensive to grow old in your own home than in an assisted-living facility.

Over the past year, inflation and the cost of skilled workers has pushed up overall healthcare costs, but the biggest jumps came in areas such as home health services and homemaker services — the key components of helping older adults age in place.

The cost of long-term-care services increased across the board with cost hikes in the range of 1% to 10%, according to the 2023 Genworth Cost of Care survey. Inflation was the top factor contributing to cost increases for assisted living facilities, while a shortage of skilled workers was the top contributing factor for homecare services and nursing homes, the survey said.

Read more  




Gray divorce:
Rate of splits 
among older adults
have doubled 
in recent years




By LIZ BONIS & MEGAN BURGASSER

New research on divorce later in life shows it’s costly – both emotionally and financially. Now counselors are sharing what might help in healing.

“Gray divorce” is a term that comes from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to define divorces involving people 50 years or older.

The rate for it has doubled in recent decades. Nobody is quite sure why, but the emotional impact is lifelong.

Read more  




Many Americans
want to stop working at 60
and live to 100.
Can they afford it?




By Aimee Picchi



A significant swath of Americans now expect to spend almost 40 years in retirement, with about 1 in 8 workers planning to stop working before they turn 61. At the same time, most workers say they want to live until they're 100. 

That means some workers are eyeballing a four-decade retirement, an ambitious goal that comes with serious downsides. Among them: How to fund almost 40 years of retirement at a time when most workers are far from reaching their savings goals. 

The findings, from a recent survey from financial services firm Corebridge Financial, underscore the gap between Americans' lofty dreams for their golden years versus their financial realities. The median retirement savings balance for people who are between 55 to 64 — just years from potentially stepping back from work — is $185,000, according to NerdWallet.

Read more  




You’re Only as Old 
as You Feel




By Emily Laber-Warren

Not long ago, Stephanie Heller, a New Jersey realtor, was leaving her gym after a workout when she noticed a woman in the parking lot struggling to bend down. “I don’t know if she dropped something and had to pick it up, or if her shoe was untied,” Ms. Heller said, but she eagerly bounded over to help. The woman blamed old age for her incapacity, explaining that she was 70. But Ms. Heller was 71.

“This woman felt every bit her age,” she recalled. “I don’t let age stop me. I think it’s a mind-set, really.”

Each of us has a chronological age, the number we commemorate on birthdays. But some 50-, 60- and 70-year-olds look and feel youthful, while others do not. Scientists can measure these differences by looking at age-related biomarkers — things like skin elasticity, blood pressure, lung capacity and grip strength. People with a healthy lifestyle and living conditions and a fortunate genetic inheritance tend to score “younger” on these assessments and are said to have a lower “biological age.”

Learn more  










Why not hearing aids?


Why won’t Medicare cover hearing aides? The reason is simple.

"Medicare does not cover hearing aids because federal law prevents it from doing so. The Medicare Act of 1965 excluded hearing aids from coverage because it believed they were affordable enough for beneficiaries to buy on their own. However, hearing aids are no longer as affordable as they once were, and some hearing aid plans can cost thousands of dollars. Covering hearing aids might have resulted in higher rates for all Medicare recipients." 

Furthermore, the cost of hearing aids can be a significant barrier for many individuals, especially seniors on fixed incomes. The average price of a pair of hearing aids can range from $1,000 to $6,000, making them unaffordable for a large portion of the population. This financial burden often forces individuals to go without hearing aids, leading to a decline in their overall quality of life.

Not only do hearing aids improve communication and social interaction, but they also have a profound impact on mental health. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. By providing coverage for hearing aids, Medicare can help alleviate these mental health issues and improve the overall well-being of seniors.

Moreover, hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on an individual's ability to work and earn a living. Many jobs require good hearing, and without the necessary support, individuals with hearing loss may struggle to find employment or perform their job effectively. By covering the cost of hearing aids, Medicare can enable individuals to remain active in the workforce and maintain their financial independence.

It is also important to consider the long-term cost savings that can be achieved by providing coverage for hearing aids. Untreated hearing loss can lead to a range of health issues, including falls, cognitive decline, * and increased healthcare utilization. By addressing hearing loss early on, Medicare can help prevent these costly complications and ultimately reduce healthcare expenditures.

In conclusion, the importance of hearing aids in improving the quality of life for individuals with hearing loss cannot be overstated. Medicare's coverage of expensive oxygen concentrators demonstrates the recognition of essential medical devices, and hearing aids should be no exception. By including coverage for hearing aids, Medicare can ensure that all individuals, regardless of their financial situation, have access to this life-changing technology. It is time for policymakers to prioritize the well-being of seniors and take action to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible for all. ….

*See; The Growing Case For Hearing Aids As A Defense Against Dementia -https://www.forbes.com/health/hearing-aids/hearing-aids-dementia/








6 Best Clothing Items
to Buy at Thrift Stores,
Stylists Say



BY JULIANA LABIANCA


It's a known fact that clothing quality has gone down in recent decades—so finding items secondhand is often a great way to discover pieces with top-tier materials and craftsmanship. Plus, you can also pick up more unique things at thrift stores. But before you get started on your next shopping excursion, be aware that personal stylists say you should keep an eye out for certain things. Keep reading to learn the best clothes to buy at thrift stores.

1Denim:

Visit your local thrift shop, and you might come across a treasure trove of quality denim.

"Shop Levi Strauss, Lee, and Wrangler jeans, but also look for denim jackets, shackets, skirts, and shorts," says Elizabeth Kosich, certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling. "Turn your denim finds into a creative DIY project by embellishing with patches, embroidery, jewels, or a fun fabric liner. Or, reimagine denim separates and cut jeans to shorts or a jacket to a vest."

Learn more    




Millions of adults 
could be wrongly
diagnosed with 
high blood pressure




By Bronwyn Thompson


Leading heart health bodies have called for greater attention to be paid to how a patient has their blood pressure taken, over fears that millions of Americans may be misdiagnosed and wrongfully medicated because of inaccurate readings.

Researchers at Ohio State University, along with the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology, have found an alarming degree of wrongful blood pressure data due to where and how the test is taken.

An accurate reading can be obtained when a patient is seated in a chair, with their feet flat on the floor, back supported and with the arm in the blood pressure cuff placed on a surface and kept at heart level. The researchers found that other methods – such as taking it while a patient is on an examination table – can inflate numbers to give higher readings.

"That's not conducive to taking blood pressure accurately," said researcher Dr. Randy Wexler, a primary care physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

Read more   



5 Lesser-Known
Social Security Rules
You Should Be Aware Of




By Kailey Hagen



KEY POINTS:

- When you claim Social Security has an enormous effect on the size of your checks.

- Some seniors may owe taxes on their benefits.

- You and your spouse may not be the only people who can claim Social Security on your work record.


These things could have a huge effect on your monthly checks.

Everyone knows the basics of Social Security: You pay taxes throughout your working years, and you get some of that money back in the form of a monthly check in retirement. But there are a lot of rules affecting the size of your benefit that people aren't as familiar with. Here are five important ones to bear in mind.

1. Full retirement age (FRA)

The government assigns a full retirement age (FRA) to you based on your birth year. It's 67 for most workers today, though some older adults could have a FRA as young as 66. Your FRA determines when you qualify for the primary insurance amount (PIA) you've earned based on your work history.

Claiming before your FRA shrinks your checks by up to 25% if your FRA is 66 or 30% if your FRA is 67. For every month you delay benefits, your checks grow by anywhere from 5/12 of 1% to 2/3 of 1% until you reach your maximum benefit at 70. This is 124% of your PIA if your FRA is 67, or 132% if your FRA is 66.

Read more   



Can you afford 
long-term care
without insurance?



BY JOSHUA RODRIGUEZ


About 70% of people need some form of long-term care by the time they're 65 years old. Of course, that care comes at a cost. And, some people purchase a long-term care insurance policy to cover those types of expenses, while others pay for it on their own. 

But long-term care is expensive, and prices are only increasing, so chances are that at least some of the people who decide to pay for care on their own are unaware of just how expensive it is. But just how much does long-term care cost, can you afford it without insurance and would you want to pay for your care out of pocket?

Purchase a long-term care policy today to make sure you can afford the care you need. 


Can you afford long-term care without insurance?...

Read more   




Managing Your Finances
in Older Age





By Jana Pine

Money is something that many of us worry about, particularly when pressure on household budgets is mounting. As we get older, these concerns tend to mount, especially if we’re faced with a choice between spending on ourselves and leaving money to our nearest and dearest.

Fortunately, these concerns can be mitigated with the help of some astute planning. 

Planning Ahead: 
The earlier you start planning for retirement, the better. This is so for several reasons. First, by planning early, you’ll make yourself aware of any potential mistakes and challenges you’re at risk of stumbling into. Second, you’ll have more time in which to save money for your retirement. Third, you’ll reduce the risk of your plans being interrupted by cognitive decline, and your reliance on other people.

Read more   




New research shows that
social interaction 
really can be
a matter of life and death
for older adults




By Lois A. Bowers

As the holidays approach, the results of a newly published study offer a reminder of the importance of social connections. In fact, in some cases, it could be a matter of life and death.

The results also serve as a reminder of the potential benefits of senior living.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have found that older adults who never are visited by friends and family are at a higher risk of dying. They shared the findings of their research in the journal BMC Medicine, suggesting that they could be used to help identify people at a higher risk of dying due to social factors and to develop more effective interventions to combat the increased risk of death associated with social isolation.

Read more  








BONE FACTS


1. The human body has 206 bones in total.

2. Bones make up about 15% of a person's total body weight.

3. The longest bone in the human body is the femur (thigh bone).

4. The smallest bone is the stapes bone in the middle ear.

5. Bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt through a process called remodeling.

6. Bones store minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for bodily functions.

7. Bones contain bone marrow, which is responsible for producing red and white blood cells.

8. Bones are classified into four main types: long, short, flat, and irregular.

9. The human skeleton is divided into two main parts: the axial skeleton (skull, spine, ribcage) and the appendicular skeleton (arms, legs, pelvis).

10. Bones are incredibly strong and can withstand a significant amount of force before breaking.






NEXT EDITION
MONDAY APRIL 1, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper







-30-

*************





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Wednesday, March 27, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain, 
do you also believe that television shows 
are made inside your television set?”

 Warren Ellis






The Looming Crisis

for Social Security

Congress has just 10 years

to fix Social Security.



BY DAVID CAY JOHNSTON


When Darlene Friel was 14, her father died. Soon, her grandparents received monthly checks for Darlene as part of the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program, the formal name of Social Security. 

Friel collected about $500 a month until she graduated from high school at 18. Today, at 53, the Absecon, N.J., office manager worries about getting by when she is too old to work. "I fear the only Social Security money I will ever collect was after dad died," she says. 

Like millions of other Americans, Friel worries that there will be a day when Social Security isn’t there anymore. 

Today, we’re just 10 years from a full-blown Social Security crisis. The system now pays out more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes. The 12.4% tax — half of the tax is paid by workers through payroll deductions, the other half by employers — doesn't quite equal benefits. 

Read more  



Here's How Far

the Average Couple's

Social Security Checks

Go in Retirement



By Kailey Hagen

Being married in retirement can lead to slightly higher expenses, but for many, it also means you'll have help reaching your retirement goals. You'll also be able to count on two Social Security checks as long as at least one person worked enough to qualify.

But how far those checks go is as unique as each couple. To give you some idea of what to expect, we'll take a look at how much the average couple will get in Social Security benefits over their lifetime and how to decide when you ought to claim.

How much does the average couple get from Social Security?

Read more  



New effort to prevent seniors

from falling at home



By Danielle DaRosTue


Emergency rooms, especially in South Florida, are increasingly busy with senior citizens coming in with a common problem: they're hurt after falling at home.

Sometimes these falls result in broken bones, other times it's head injuries that can be fatal.

The fall-death rate among seniors has been climbing in the last few years: up 30 percent since 2007, according to the CDC.

With such a significant elderly population in Palm Beach County, doctors and researchers are trying something new to see if they can turn around the concerning trends: evaluating seniors inside their homes where they are most likely to fall.

Read more  



Older adults

receiving home care

are missing out

on palliative care: study




BY KRISTEN FISCHER

Researchers evaluated data from 247,377 older adults. The people had assessments between 2018 and 2019 using a tool called the Risk Evaluation for Support: Predictions for Elder-life in their Communities Tool (RESPECT). The tool identifies which people needed palliative care, and then predicts the individuals’ risk of dying within six months of the assessment. 

Half of the people who were expected to live less than three months received palliative home care. Those who received it had been labeled as terminal. Of the people studied 11.9% died within six months of an assessment.

Among those who died, 50.6% with a RESPECT-estimated median survival of fewer than three months received at least one nonphysician palliative home care visit before death. This proportion declined to 38.7% and 29.5% among people who died who had an estimated median survival between three and six months and between six and 12 months, respectively. 

Read more  



How Much 

Is Too Much 

Ibuprofen?



Written by Christine Pham, PharmD


Key takeaways:

Ibuprofen (Advil) is a common over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can help relieve pain. It’s typically safe for most adults and children to take at the recommended doses. 

The maximum daily dose of ibuprofen depends on whether you’re using it OTC or as a prescription. For adults and children ages 12 and older, the daily limit for OTC ibuprofen is 1,200 mg.

Taking too much ibuprofen can be life-threatening and require medical attention.

Read more  




7 Ways to Lower

Your Blood Pressure

Without Medication



By Lauren Del Turco

While plenty of health conditions make you painfully aware of their presence via any number of impossible-to-ignore symptoms, high blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension) can be a sneakier beast. You can literally walk around all day, every day without a clue that your blood pressure numbers are higher than they should be—many people don’t have physical symptoms that they can feel. Although people who have high blood pressure (which is nearly half of adults in the US) might not have any discomfort from it most of the time, it’s really serious. High blood pressure significantly ups your risk of heart attack and stroke, makes you more likely to develop kidney disease, and can even mess with your sex drive.

Rampant as high blood pressure is, getting it under control can be a tricky business. Kathryn Harris, MD, a cardiology fellow and the fellows representative for the Association of Black Cardiologists, tells SELF that more than half of people treated for high BP don’t have it under control, meaning that it stays high despite treatment like medication. While the ideal reading is less than 120/80 mmHg (the top number is your systolic pressure and the bottom number is your diastolic pressure), BP that lingers above 140/90 mmHg typically requires both medication and lifestyle changes to rein it in, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Learn more  












If you were hoping for a few brilliantly crafted paragraphs filled with insights about life as a senior citizen or a passionate political rant about the dangers of another Trump presidential term, I'm sorry to disappoint you. Today, I simply don't have anything to share. Usually, when I sit down to write my thrice weekly editorial, I have a couple of ideas or at least a general concept in mind. All that's left is to organize my thoughts and put them into words. But not today. Nothing has inspired me or sparked my interest enough to write about. Some might call it writer's block, but I prefer to think of it as brain lock. Brain lock, unlike the brain freeze you get from eating ice cream too quickly, is when your old worn-out brain decides to take a vacation. It shuts down, kicks off its shoes, and only focuses on mundane things like dinner plans and what's on TV. Today happens to be one of those days. Hopefully, this condition is only temporary, and by Friday, I'll have found a topic worthy enough to write about. ….









Life expectancy gap
between men and women
in the US widened significantly
during the Covid-19 pandemic





By Deidre McPhil

Women in the United States can expect to live nearly six years longer than men, as disparities in deaths from Covid-19 and drug overdoses drive the life expectancy gap to the widest it’s been in decades.

Overall, life expectancy in the US fell more than two and a half years since the start of the pandemic — down to 76.1 years in 2021, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Life expectancies for both men and women were affected, but not equally.

US has been falling behind on life expectancy for decades, study shows

The lifespan for women has been consistently longer than men, with the lowest difference of 4.8 years in 2010. But the gap grew by 0.2 years in the decade that followed and by 0.7 years in the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, life expectancy for women was 79.3 years, compared with 73.5 years for men — a gap of 5.8 years, the largest difference since 1996.

Read more  




Millions of retired Americans
aren't coming back to work
as predicted



By Alex Tanzi

    
More than three-and-a-half years after COVID struck, the U.S. still has around 2 million more retirees than predicted, in one of the most striking and enduring changes to the nation’s labor force.

The so-called Great Retirement induced by COVID-19 is evident in the divergence between the actual number of retirees and that predicted by a Federal Reserve economic model. While down from a 2.8 million gap late last year, it remains elevated today and has even risen from 1.7 million in June.

“While the gap seemed to be closing earlier in the year, it seems to have widened slightly since then,” said Miguel Faria-e-Castro, economic policy adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “As of September, we estimate about 1.98 million excess retirees.

Read more  




Health plays a role
in older adults'
vulnerability to scams,
poll suggests





Three out of every four older adults say they have experienced a fraud attempt by phone, text, email, mail or online in the last two years, a new poll shows. Three in ten say they've been victims of at least one scam.

The poll reveals an especially strong link between an older adult's health and their vulnerability to scams—both being able to spot one and becoming the victim of one.

Across the board, people aged 50 to 80 who reported being in fair or poor physical or mental health, those with disabilities, and those who rate their memory as fair or poor were more likely than others their age to say they'd experienced fraud.

Whether or not they'd actually experienced fraud, older adults with health issues were more likely to lack confidence in their ability to spot a scam.

Read more  



We must protect our
older citizens from
age discrimination




By Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

When you’ve spent the majority of your adult life working, you learn a thing or two about how to do it well. Experience in the workplace should be an asset to employers, not a reason to discriminate against employees.

I recently heard from an older worker who worked hard for 24 years at his company, and eventually managed a multimillion-dollar portfolio. However, despite excellent performance reviews and better sales compared to his younger counterparts, he was unexpectedly let go five years before he would have been entitled to significant retirement benefits. The timing of his dismissal certainly raises questions.

Yet due to a forced arbitration clause he doesn’t even remember signing, he was unable to obtain justice. Unfortunately, this is all too common.

Read more   



Spending the night
in an emergency room
puts older adults at higher risk
of dying in the hospital: study





Some patients who have to spend a night in the emergency room before being admitted to the hospital may face a higher risk of dying there, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers in France assessed statistics from 97 different emergency departments across the country between Dec. 12-14, 2022, focusing on patients who were older than age 75.

They compared patients in two different groups: those who were admitted to a regular hospital room before midnight, and those who had to spend a full night in the ER before they were given a room. 


Read more  






What's the deal with $1 Billion

What’s the deal with syndication deals? If you’re comedian Jerry Seinfeld, you already know, because they helped build your fortune. According to Bloomberg, the ’90s icon of observational comedy and bright white sneakers has a net worth of more than $1 billion, thanks in large part to the ~$465 million he’s made off syndication deals for his eponymous sitcom. The $94 million he got from a streaming deal with Netflix and the $100 million he’s raked in from touring since the 1980s could also buy a lot of coffee at the diner.







NEXT EDITION
FRIDAY MARCH 29, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper






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*************





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Monday, March 25, 2024


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com


“The unhappiest people in this world, 
are those who care the most 
about what other people think.”
― C. JoyBell C.








6.9 million Americans
have Alzheimer's disease:
How to reduce your risk




By Ken Alltucker



A new report estimates 6.9 million older Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2024, an increase of about 200,000 cases of the mind-robbing disease from 2023 and "a significant public health crisis," according to an expert.

Another 5 million to 7 million adults have mild cognitive impairment, a set of early changes to memory and thinking linked to Alzheimer's, according to an Alzheimer's Association's annual facts and figures report released Wednesday.

The report also highlights good news. Other studies indicate that dementia rates have declined over the past 25 years as more adults are achieving higher levels of education, staying active and exercising, reducing their blood pressure, avoiding cigarettes and staying socially engaged.


Read more  




Finding a doctor 
who specializes 
in senior care 
is hard. 
Here’s why.





Pat Early, 66, has lived with the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome since her 30s. She must rely on a stable of specialists — a rheumatologist, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, ophthalmologist and the like — to manage the fatigue, muscle pain and other complications of the disease, all helmed by her longtime primary-care doctor.

When that doctor started cutting back his staff, she began searching for someone new and stumbled across a medical practice of geriatricians — doctors who specialize in patients over age 65. Early didn’t consider herself old, so “it never even crossed my mind that that’s something I should be looking at,” she said. But she’s grateful for the switch.

“They said, ‘We want to have a personal relationship with you, and we want to stay with you until you die,’” Early said. They seemed deeply understanding of aging to end-of-life issues that older people and their families confront. “I feel so lucky because I know other people my age don’t have that.”

Read more  .



Aging comes with stigma.
Let’s admire the defiant




By Christine Ledbetter



Who do you want to be when you grow old?

Increasingly, senior citizens decide to keep working, including the two front-runners for the 2024 presidential election. Because many Americans consider the candidates too old for the job, age has become part of the national conversation.

Both Joe Biden, 81, and Donald Trump, 77, would be the oldest presidents at the end of their terms. Each has addressed his age quite differently this month.

In a new presidential campaign ad, Biden states, “Look, I’m not a young guy. That’s no secret. But here’s the deal. I understand how to get things done for the American people.”

Read more  




Donald Trump
has been all over the map
on Social Security and Medicare




By Sahil Kapur

Over the last quarter-century, Trump has backed plans to restructure the programs. Then he changed course in 2015. Here's what he has — and hasn't — said and done since then.

When former President Donald Trump said last week on CNBC that “there’s a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting,” it sparked an immediate outcry from President Joe Biden and began a battle over retirement programs that is likely to persist through the 2024 election.

Trump sought to clean it up, saying in an interview with the conservative website Breitbart, “I will never do anything that will jeopardize or hurt Social Security or Medicare.” Biden campaign spokesman James Singer accused Trump of trying to “trick voters,” saying, “Donald Trump tried cutting Social Security and Medicare by billions of dollars every single year he was in office.”

At the heart of the debate is the ticking clock: Actuaries say Medicare is solvent until 2028, while Social Security is solvent until 2033. After that, benefits will be forcibly cut unless more revenues are added. Biden’s new budget calls for tax hikes on upper earners to maintain the benefits. Trump hasn’t said how he would address the shortfall, leaving it an open question. His campaign didn't elaborate when it was asked multiple times to comment.

Read more   




The Mental Strengths
80-Year-Olds Possess
Might Surprise You

Research shows many octogenarians shine at 
performing 'comprehensive tasks which require a great 
storehouse of information.' 
And life experience makes a difference.





By Gary M. Stern

In this election year, 80-year-old and nearly 80-year-old presidential candidates have been scrutinized about their memory lapses, their advanced age and declining mental faculties. But some psychologists and neuroscientists contend that many 80-year-olds have mental strengths that can't be matched by the younger set.

Alan Swope, an emeritus professor of psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco, says "Older individuals can outperform younger people on tests of intelligence that are based on accumulated knowledge and experience."

What other strengths does an 80-year-old possess cognitively?

Read more  






Older adults often 
understand emojis,
but hesitate to use them





By Sanjana Gajbhiye


Ever wonder why your grandma sends you texts filled with hearts and flowers, but never a sassy “eyeroll” emoji?  It turns out, there’s more to the story than just a generational disconnect. A recent study from the University of Ottawa reveals that while many older adults understand emojis, they lack the confidence to use them. 

Lower emoji use among older adults

The study investigated how age affects adults’ use of emojis. The researchers studied 240 adults, aged 18 to 80, to see how often they used emojis, how many different emojis they used, and how well they understood them. 

“We found that older users are less likely to use emojis, use fewer emojis, and feel less comfortable in their ability to interpret emojis,” said study lead author Professor Isabelle Boutet.

However, most older adults still grasped the general meaning of emojis, both the basic emotions like happiness or sadness and the context-dependent use of emojis, such as understanding that a wink can indicate sarcasm.

Learn more  





Editorial


The Importance Of Staying Connected


If I possessed a magical wand, there is one thing I would do to enhance the lives of seniors - eradicate the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Although we have previously delved into this subject, I believe it is crucial to revisit it. What prompted me was something that was mentioned by one of my breakfast companions Sunday. She noted how fewer and fewer visits from loved ones there were this past year as compared to previous years. It was a rather disturbing observation.

Spending quality time with loved ones can provide a sense of belonging, support, and connection that can improve overall mental health. Research has shown that social interactions and relationships can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are common risk factors for mental health issues in older adults.

Engaging in activities with loved ones can also stimulate the brain and help maintain cognitive function as we age. Socializing, playing games, and having conversations can keep the mind active and sharp, reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

For older adults, spending time with loved ones brings a sense of comfort, understanding, and emotional support. It can also encourage them to seek help and treatment for their mental health issues, as loved ones can offer guidance in seeking professional help.

  Making meaningful time with loved ones  a priority can have a positive impact on mental and physical well-being, especially for older adults facing mental health challenges. It is important to nurture and maintain these relationships to support overall health and happiness in the long term.

Let me tell you, I completely disagree with the notion that social media has caused loneliness and isolation. Personally, I owe a great deal to platforms like Facebook. Thanks to them, I can stay connected with my friends and family, even those who are far away and whom I would have lost touch with otherwise. It's amazing how these platforms bridge the gap and keep us in the loop about each other's lives.  And besides, I love looking at other peoples dogs and cats..…











Senior living:
Who will care 
for older adults?
Plenty of know-how but
too few specialists



By JUDITH GRAHAM


Thirty-five years ago, Jerry Gurwitz was among the first physicians in the United States to be credentialed as a geriatrician — a doctor who specializes in the care of older adults.

“I understood the demographic imperative and the issues facing older patients,” Gurwitz, 67, chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, told me. “I felt this field presented tremendous opportunities.”

But today, Gurwitz fears geriatric medicine is on the decline.

Despite the surging older population, there are fewer geriatricians now (just over 7,400) than in 2000 (10,270), he noted in a recent piece in JAMA. (In those two decades, the population of those 65 and older has expanded by more than 60%.) Research suggests each geriatrician should care for no more than 700 patients; the current ratio of providers to older patients is 1 to 10,000.

Read more  




Are assisted living residents
moving in too early or too late?




By Lois A. Bowers

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine provides fresh insights into assisted living residents at move-in and a couple of years later and suggests questions to contemplate about the future of the setting.

Kenneth Lam, MD, an assistant professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and his co-authors set out to provide data related to how independent people are before they move into an assisted living community or nursing home; how much help they tend to get, and for what; and what the process leading up to a move looks like. They used data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, from 2011 to 2020, as the basis for the research.

What Lam and his colleagues learned is that the mean age of an older adult moving into assisted living is 85 (by comparison, it’s 82 for independent living and 83 for nursing homes), a finding that aligns with the results of other research. 

Read more  




Dying Broke:
A New Jointly Reported Series
on America’s 
Long-Term Care Crisis





Today, KFF Health News and The New York Times published the first phase of an investigation into America’s long-term care crisis, which has left many in the boomer generation facing the prospect of exhausting their financial resources as the price tag for care explodes. Dying Broke, the investigative series, uses KFF polling, original analysis and interviews with experts and impacted individuals and their families to examine the challenges facing families and caregivers in navigating long-term care. 

The financial and emotional toll of providing and paying for long-term care is wreaking havoc on the lives of millions of Americans. Paid care, either at home or in a facility, is often so expensive that only the wealthy can afford it, and many of the for-profit companies providing care raised their prices sharply during the pandemic. The ongoing shortage of health care workers is also worsening the situation. 

The project found that nearly three million older Americans who need long-term help are not receiving it, in large part because of the high costs of assisted living facilities, nursing homes and aides at home. The United States spends less on long-term care than do most wealthy countries. As part of this project, KFF conducted polling to help shed light on the U.S. public’s awareness of, attitudes about and experiences with long-term care services and supports. 

Read more  



Self-perception of health
influences physical activity levels
in older adults with arthritis




People with arthritis who report more negative feelings about how they are aging tend to get less physical activity and perceive themselves as less healthy, according to a new study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Weill Cornell Medicine. However, self-perception of good health explained the effect of negative thinking – providing an opportunity for clinicians to focus on a patient's outlook on aging as well as their overall health.

Physical activity is essential for older adults with arthritis, as it can help to reduce pain and stiffness, improve mobility, and maintain independence. However, many older adults with arthritis do not get recommended levels of physical activity. Our study suggests that self-perceptions of aging and general health may at least partly explain why."

For clinicians, the new study could serve as a conversation starter with older patients, Dr. Lieber says. "I think this study and others like it can help doctors begin or continue a discussion with their patients about the factors that may challenge them to be physically active."

Read more  




'The over-65 group 
is particularly value-conscious':
Older Americans are
 losing their appetite
for restaurants like 
Cracker Barrel
and Olive Garden —
here's what's 
keeping them away




By Serah Louis

Several fast-casual restaurant chains have reported declining foot traffic and sales following the COVID-19 pandemic — especially among their older clientele.

Company representatives at Cracker Barrel and Darden Restaurants — owner of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse — have pointed to increased prices and ongoing health concerns alienating some of their over-65 customers.

“We just have not yet recovered the visits with that group [over 65 years old] to the extent we thought we would, really, since the pandemic,” Cracker Barrel CEO Sandra Cochran said during a September earnings call.

But while some of these eateries have taken these changes in spending in stride by appealing to different demographics, it’s possible that others are being held back by their original consumer base.

Read more  







The United States of
Unhappiness


The US is falling behind in the happiness department—especially for people under 30. In this year’s list of the world’s happiest countries, the US dropped to No. 23 from No. 15 last year, marking the first time it hasn’t cracked the top 20 since the ranking began in 2012. Much of the dip stems from young Americans feeling worse about their lives, according to Gallup, which compiles the list. So, if you’re looking for a happy place to hunker down, Finland maintained its status as No. 1.







NEXT EDITION
WEDNESDAY MARCH 27, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper






-30-

*************





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Friday, March 22, 2024


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com


QUOTE

“Writing is throwing spaghetti at a wall 
to see what sticks.”

― Kelly E. Lindner







News Release

SOCIAL SECURITY


Social Security Announces Four Key Updates to Address Improper Payments

Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley today announced he is taking four vital steps to immediately address overpayment issues customers and the agency have experienced. Commissioner O’Malley testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance (excerpt):


“For 88 years, the hard-working employees of the Social Security Administration have strived to pay the right amount, to the right person, at the right time. And the agency has done this with a high degree of accuracy over a massive scale of beneficiaries. But despite our best efforts, we sometimes get it wrong and pay beneficiaries more than they are due, creating an overpayment.

When that happens, Congress requires that we make every effort to recover those overpaid benefits. But doing so without regard to the larger purpose of the program can result in grave injustices to individuals, as we see from the stories of people losing their homes or being put in dire financial straits when they suddenly see their benefits cut off to recover a decades-old overpayment, or disability beneficiaries attempting to work and finding their efforts rewarded with large overpayments. Innocent people can be badly hurt. And these injustices shock our shared sense of equity and good conscience as Americans.

Read full news release  




House Republican budget
calls for raising the retirement
age for Social Security




By Sahil Kapur

A new budget by a large and influential group of House Republicans calls for raising the Social Security retirement age for future retirees and restructuring Medicare.

The proposals, which are unlikely to become law this year, reflect how many Republicans will seek to govern if they win the 2024 elections. And they play into a fight President Joe Biden is seeking to have with former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as he runs for re-election.

The budget was released Wednesday by the Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 170 House GOP lawmakers, including many allies of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Apart from fiscal policy, the budget endorses a series of bills “designed to advance the cause of life,” including the Life at Conception Act, which would aggressively restrict abortion and potentially threaten in vitro fertilization, or IVF, by establishing legal protections for human beings at “the moment of fertilization.” It has recently caused consternation within the GOP following backlash to an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that threatened IVF.

Read more  





Do Personal Injury Settlements
Affect SSI or SSDI Benefits?





The answer to how personal injury settlements affect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits depends on your specific situation. However, there is a general answer:

SSDI – No, your settlement does not affect SSDI benefit payments.

SSI – Yes, in general, a personal injury settlement negatively affects SSI benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the SSDI program as well as the SSI program. Personal injury settlements uniquely affect these two SSA programs in part because each program follows different requirements to qualify. In addition, SSDI and SSI fit different purposes.

To qualify for SSDI benefits, a person must fit the federal government's strict definition of disability. They also must have paid into the Social Security system for a certain amount of time.

Read more  



Difficulty walking 
a curved path
may be an indicator 
of cognitive decline





About 20% of the world’s population has mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 10%–15% of whom will develop dementia

- There is currently no cure for MCI, but early diagnosis and intervention can help slow progression.

A new study has developed a way to use gait analysis to test for early cognitive decline.

The researchers found that difficulty walking a curved path was associated with early cognitive decline.
About 20%Trusted Source of the world’s population has mild cognitive impairment (MCI)Trusted Source — a condition affecting a person’s memory or thinking.

People with mild cognitive impairment are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other types of dementia.

Read more  



Downsizing for older adults
can be an emotional
but rewarding process



BY LAUREN J. MAPP

As the parents of El Cajon resident Lisa Bowen began to get older, it became more apparent that having them age in place in the Alpine house they had called home for more than 40 years would no longer be a safe option.

Selling and emptying the three-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot home so they could transition into a one-bedroom apartment in a senior independent living facility was no easy task. The house, which her father had built in 1978, held a lot of memories as the place where the couple had raised their three children. However, the multi-acre property had become too much for Bowen’s parents to continue managing.

Her father was recovering from a second stroke that had left him paralyzed on the left side at the time that her mother’s dementia had progressed to the point where her doctor decided she could no longer drive.

Read more  






How solo agers,
those older people 
without children,
can prepare for later years




By HELEN DENNIS 

Q. As a single woman in my late 70s with no children or grandchildren, I worry. Who will be there for me when I need someone – particularly if I need care? Also, as the years go by, I am increasingly uncomfortable when friends go to great lengths to tell stories about their children and share their photos. I am happy for them but feel like an outsider. Any suggestions? G.T.

Solo aging is an often overlooked topic. The term refers to singles or couples without children or other family support. AARP designates 50 as the qualifying age. The concern about care in later life is based on reality. Among those age 65 and older, 70 percent will need care at some point. However, 30 percent are unlikely to need care. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to determine which percentage will apply to which individual. 

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sara Zeff Geber, author of “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers: A Retirement and Aging Roadmap for Single and Childless Adults” (Mango, 2018). She advocates to “plan, form and maintain a community that becomes one’s support network.” And geography matters. Social networks evolve around where one lives. In our mobile society, families often live far away. Those in our network can help with a trip to the grocery store, a ride to an appointment, or assist with technology. See the Village movement as a support network in later life: https://www.vtvnetwork.org/

Read more  





Age Is No Barrier:
How Dental Implants
Benefit Seniors




By Jeffrey Gomez.

Tooth loss is a common experience as people age.  While dentures and bridges have traditionally been used to replace missing teeth, dental implants have emerged as a superior and long-lasting solution.  

For many seniors, concerns may linger about whether implants suit their age group. However, this article aims to dispel those myths and demonstrate how dental implants can significantly improve their quality of life.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant acts as a biocompatible anchor, a screw-like post made of titanium that replaces a missing tooth root and supports a natural-looking crown. Once the implant fuses with the jawbone through osseointegration, it becomes a strong and sturdy foundation. 

Learn more  











Learning something new every day is not just a hobby or a pastime for me; it is a way of life. It is an essential part of my existence, as it fuels my curiosity and drives me to constantly expand my knowledge and understanding of the world around me. I know it has helped me cognizant and aware here at the A.L.F. Learning has allowed me to adapt and grow in an ever-changing world.

However, I have noticed that not everyone here at the A.L.F. shares this same enthusiasm for learning. Many individuals, particularly seniors, seem to have lost interest in acquiring new knowledge or staying updated on important global events or health-related matters. It is disheartening to engage in conversations with them, only to be met with indifference or a blank stare.

I often wonder when and why we lose our desire to learn. Is it a natural consequence of aging, where the mind becomes less receptive to new information? Or is it a result of societal factors, such as the overwhelming amount of information available or the fast-paced nature of modern life? Perhaps it is a combination of both.

Regardless of the reasons, I find it unfortunate that some individuals lose their passion for learning as they grow older. Learning is not just about acquiring facts; it is about staying intellectually stimulated, broadening our perspectives, and challenging our preconceived notions. It is about embracing new ideas and experiences, fostering personal growth, and remaining relevant in an ever-evolving world.

For me, learning something new every day is not just a means to an end; I actually enjoy it. It keeps my mind active and my curiosity alive. It allows me to engage in meaningful conversations, contribute to discussions on important topics, and make informed decisions that impact my life and the lives of those around me.

In a world that is constantly evolving and changing, the importance of lifelong learning cannot be overstated. It is through continuous learning that we can adapt, grow, and thrive in an ever-changing landscape. So, let us not lose our desire to learn, but instead, let us embrace it wholeheartedly, for it is through learning that we truly come alive.   .........












IS YOUR BALANCE OFF?
WHEN TO SEEK 
MEDICAL ADVICE



BY CLAUDINE AHERNE



Have you noticed changes in your balance recently? Are you wondering whether these changes are normal or a sign of something that should be investigated?

Have you considered seeing your doctor but worried you might be wasting their time?

We often hear from people who have concerns about their balance but aren’t sure whether these warrant a visit to the doctor.

In this article, I will tell you the important signs that it’s time to consult a medical professional about your balance. You’ll find out why many people don’t visit their doctor (so you don’t make the same mistakes). I’ll share some inspiring personal stories of balance reclaimed.

Read more   



5 Loan Options
That Senior Citizens Could Explore
To Fulfill Their 
Money Needs In Retirement



By Karla Lopez

No one wants to face financial hardship in their golden years, yet the reality is that many do. Imagine still working well into your 70s, your back aching, your energy waning, and your dreams of travel and relaxation fading. Thankfully, many loan instruments are available to senior citizens to help pay for their retirement expenses. Read on to know more.

Online Personal Loans

A personal loan can be used for practically any purpose. For senior citizens, these reasons include making home improvements, financing medical expenses, or fulfilling long-held travel aspirations.

Find out which CBD product is best for you

Generally, you can apply for a personal loan in person or online. However, applying for a personal loan in person can be frustrating and tricky. That’s why online loans have gained immense popularity. The digital application process provides accessibility and convenience that traditional in-person applications often lack.

Read more  




Baby boomers
are spending big on
travel right now. 
Here’s why.





By Christopher Muther


Welcome back to Survey Says, a carefully curated collection of travel surveys that have piqued our interest. Translation: We found some fun tidbits and slapped them together. This week, we dive into the travel generation gap.

The airport is going to look a bit older this holiday season, and I’m not talking about the worn carpets in front of gates where passengers pace while waiting for their boarding group to be called. Baby boomers are making a grand return to the airport this year, according to several studies that claim those born between 1946 and 1964 have shaken off their COVID fears and are ready to head back out for the holidays and beyond.

Last year, baby boomers made up a fifth of passengers traveling for the holidays. This year, a third of passengers will be in the 60-plus club. According to the tax advisory company Deloitte, those Boomers will not only return in force for holiday travel, but they’re also saving up for 2024 excursions. Translation: if you have a parent or grandparent in the Woodstock generation, start lowering your holiday gift expectations. They’re saving up for a trip to Italy next year, so you’re getting a Chia Pet for Christmas.

Read more    





Martin Scorsese:
“I Have To Find Out
Who The Hell I Am.”



Now 80, the legendary director is on one of 
the most creative runs of his career— 
and consumed by the challenges (and opportunities) 
of all that he has left to do.





By Zach Baron



For years, Martin Scorsese would ask himself: What will happen when I get old? As a child, Scorsese was often sick with asthma, and as an adult, he spent a good part of his 30s weakening his heart, through excess and exertion, to the point of ending up in the hospital. Mortality has always been a specter in his life, and particularly in his films, which are a vast record of violent and untimely endings. But this recurring question wasn’t about death. This was: What will happen when I get old? What kind of work could I do? he would ask himself. Would there be any more depth?

In November, Scorsese will turn 81. Since his debut, 1967’s Who’s That Knocking at My Door, he has never stopped working for any noticeable amount of time. He has worked through addiction, four divorces, critical and commercial failure, and 13 losses (and one win) at the Academy Awards. He has made so many good—so many great—feature films and documentaries that I can’t begin to list them all, though we can marvel at even a partial list: Mean Streets, Italianamerican, Taxi Driver, The Last Waltz, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, No Direction Home, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Silence, The Irishman. A fun dinner party topic: Did Scorsese make the best movie of each decade since the ’70s? Probably not (I think his case is weakest in the first decade of this century), but you could argue it, and many people have. Still again, in the back of his head, this question about his talent and whether it would endure: “I always wondered, would it develop into anything if I got older? If I became old. Would it develop into anything? Would it be making the same movie? And if making the same movie, is that bad?”

“I don’t really belong there,” Scorsese said of his relationship to the Academy. “I don’t know if I think like them. I just mind my own business here.”

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High blood pressure?
Reducing salt in your diet
may be as effective as a
common drug, study finds




BY SARA MONIUSZKO

Want to lower your blood pressure? Cutting back on salt in your diet could help do just that — and according to new research, for many people it may be as effective as taking a common blood pressure medication.

The study, published Saturday in JAMA, found that reducing sodium consumption significantly lowered blood pressure in the majority of participants. 

Researchers examined 213 participants aged 50 to 75 on their usual diets as well as high- and low-sodium diets. The high-sodium diets contained approximately 2200 mg of added sodium daily, and low-sodium diets contained about 500 mg of sodium daily. The group included a mix of people with and without existing blood pressure issues. 

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HISTORY OF SPAGHETTI


Spaghetti and meatballs as a dish isn't as widely loved in Italy as it is in the U.S.

Spaghetti is arguably the most famous pasta shape to come out of Italy, and its early history is also not that clear. We know the name means “little strings,” and that spaghetti is the plural form of the singular spaghetto.

Spaghetti was being made in Sicily by at least the 1100s, but it wouldn’t achieve ubiquity until it arrived in the United States centuries later. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spaghetti was one of few Italian ingredients available stateside. The millions of Italians immigrating to America at this time also had access to meat and canned tomatoes, which is how spaghetti and meatballs became a staple of Italian-American households and restaurants.

Pedantic gourmands will tell you that actual Italians would never eat the two dishes together, and they’re probably right, but the story of pasta and meatballs isn’t quite that simple. In Abruzzo, for instance, a traditional dish pairs pasta with pallottine, which are a type of small meatball. According to David Gentilcore, professor of history at the University of Leicester, as early as 1632, a comic theater character says that he dreams “of a big dish of macaroni with meatballs on top.”

Source: 






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MONDAY MARCH 25, 2024
©2024 Bruce Cooper








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Wednesday, March 20, 2024





Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“Strength is the capacity 
to break a Hershey bar into 
four pieces with your bare hands 
- and then eat just one of the pieces.”
― Judith Viorst






Social Security Is Running 
Out of Money,
but Here's an Even More
Urgent Concern for Retirees



By Keith Speights

You work your entire career and finally retire. At long last, it's time to enjoy your golden years. Life should be smooth sailing, right? That's the ideal plan. However, the reality is that things can and usually do get in the way.

Unfortunately, two huge issues are steamrolling toward a collision with America's senior citizens. Social Security is running out of money. But there's an even more urgent concern for retirees.

Social Security's ticking bomb

It's no secret that there's a ticking bomb with Social Security. The popular federal program has two separate trust funds -- accounts in the U.S. Treasury. The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund pays Social Security benefits for retired workers and their survivors. The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund pays Social Security disability benefits. Both trust funds will soon be depleted.

Read more  




Knuckle-cracking is fine –
and bad weather doesn’t
make arthritis worse:
nine myths about 
your joints busted



By Hannah Devlin


Cracking your knuckles is bad …

It might get on other people’s nerves, but clicking your knuckles probably won’t exacerbate joint problems or increase the chances of arthritis. The joints are lubricated by synovial fluid, which contains dissolved nitrogen gas.

When you stretch a joint, the cavity containing this fluid expands, causing a pressure drop. This causes the dissolved gas to come out of the solution and form a bubble – and the rapid release of the gas creates a popping sound.

The same knuckle can’t be cracked again straight away because it takes around 20 minutes before the bubbles dissolve back in to the fluid. Several studies suggest the habit is harmless, including one from a California doctor who spent decades regularly cracking the knuckles on only one hand: an X-ray found no difference in the arthritis between both his hands. Another study of a group of 300 patients found no link between a history of joint-cracking and arthritis.

Read more  




Extra fees drive
assisted living profits





By Jordan Ra

Assisted living centers have become an appealing retirement option for hundreds of thousands of boomers who can no longer live independently, promising a cheerful alternative to the institutional feel of a nursing home.

But their cost is so crushingly high that most Americans can’t afford them.

These highly profitable facilities often charge $5,000 a month or more and then layer on fees at every step. Residents’ bills and price lists from a dozen facilities offer a glimpse of the charges: $12 for a blood pressure check; $50 per injection (more for insulin); $93 a month to order medications from a pharmacy not used by the facility; $315 a month for daily help with an inhaler.

Read more  




People get less bothered
and more comfortable with
bold colors as they age,
new study suggests

The study shows how colors generate 
fewer sensations in the 
human body after people age, 
which is reflected in their daily choices.



By Somdatta Maity


People get less bothered and more comfortable with bold colors as they age, new study suggests

Every decision related to fashion feels very definite. People try to translate their lifestyles, choices and favorite colors into their fashion. However, as people grow older, the whole shenanigans of dressing up seem to matter less. They are more willing to go with bold colors. Till now, the belief was that people mature with age and the so-called "judgment" matters less. However, researchers have come up with a scientific reason for this choice. As per a recent study published in Nature, people's perception of certain colors changes as they age. However, it happens in the case of only some colors, not all.

The study was conducted by researchers from University College London (UCL). The authors explained how colors were neither stable nor uniform sensations due to natural variations in the retinal cone and produced within humans due to different factors. The researchers' objective was to understand whether age had anything to do with this change in perception. For this purpose, the study had 17 young adults (average age was 27.7 years) and 20 healthy older adults (with an average age of 64.4). They placed all the participants in a blackout room with a highly sensitive eye-tracking camera. They then showed their subjects 26 different colors. Each color came in front of them for 5 seconds.

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What Seniors Need
to Know About Pet Care

Owning a pet can help senior citizens 
stave off loneliness, b
ut there are some things they need 
to know before bringing one home.



By Maggie Roth

Having a pet can present great benefits for older adults, but for some seniors, pet care might be more complicated than it was when they were younger. Here are some of the factors to consider before taking on a pet as a senior. 

A Sense of Community

An unfortunate fact facing the senior population is that many older adults experience social isolation and loneliness, especially if they live alone, can’t leave their homes, or have recently lost a spouse or other loved one. Twenty-four percent of adults aged 65 and older are considered socially isolated and 43 percent over 60 feel lonely, according to a 2020 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 

This is more than just an emotional issue. The same study indicates that social isolation can be associated with increased risk of dementia, heart failure, stroke, and depression. 

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"It’s Cowardly And Inconsiderate":
23 Things That Are Considered
"Normal" Nowadays 
That Older Adults
Are Tired Of Seeing






by Claudia Santos

From endless hours scrolling to tipping culture, there are a lot of things we do every day that feel pretty normal at this point. But I recently started to question some of these common practices when Redditor u/-----Diana----- asked the r/AskOldPeople subreddit to share the social norms that exist today that they disagree with. Here are just a few that Gen X'ers and Boomers can't stand.

1. "People posting their entire lives online. I'm probably excessively private, but it's really crazy how people are so willing and even eager to broadcast their personal lives to the world. I don't think people fully appreciate how possible it is to string together little details from multiple sources and form a detailed picture of someone's life. That should scare people."

2. "Children having access to social media. I think nothing good comes of it. I have other parent friends who have no issue with their kids scrolling TikTok or being on WhatsApp groups."

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At The A.L.F.





Today marks the official start of spring, but you wouldn't guess it from the chilly temperatures we're experiencing. However, despite the weather, there's a noticeable change in the atmosphere. It's not just about the weather, but also the collective mood of our residents.

Although this winter hasn't been extremely cold or snowy in the suburbs of NYC, it has been long and gloomy. Since September, there has been a constant chill in the air and the sun has been absent for days on end. As a result, most of our residents have felt isolated and trapped indoors, experiencing a serious case of cabin fever.

To make matters worse, winter adds another layer of isolation by keeping friends and relatives away. So, when spring finally arrives with the promise of good weather, it's a cause for celebration for all of us. Personally, spring brings back memories of happier times.

Fall and spring are the ideal times to explore New York City. During fall, you can enjoy the refreshing air and admire the stunning array of colors that paint the city. In spring, gentle breezes accompany the arrival of new life, making it a delightful season to visit. While New York may not be renowned for its horticulture, a leisurely walk through Central Park or the Bronx or Brooklyn Botanical Gardens will prove otherwise. Or, you can experience the beauty of our well-maintained grounds here at the Asylum. With 14 acres of lush greenery, including trees, rose bushes, tulips, and various planters and flower boxes, it's a sight to behold. And, who knows, you just might encounter a friendly old person who will more than happy to chew your ear off about anything and everything.

Being able to spend some time outdoors under the warm sun brings me great joy. Although I can no longer take long walks through the woods or enjoy leisurely drives to our beautiful state parks, catching a whiff of fragrant flowers or a glimpse of our blossoming elm trees is like a natural remedy for my mood. Plus, a lovely tan helps me shake off that cadaver-like look I’ve gained over the winter. …..








Older adults who use marijuana
are at high risk of
heart attack and stroke,
studies find





Marijuana use by older adults is rising and experts are worried they may not be aware of the cardiovascular risks.

According to new research presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, adults over the age of 65 who don’t smoke tobacco but use marijuana are at higher risk of both heart attack and stroke.

Researchers said they found those who abused weed had a 20% higher risk of having a major heart or brain event while hospitalized compared to older patients who did not use marijuana.

A second study followed nearly 160,000 adults with a median age of 54 for about four years to see if cannabis use would impact their risk of heart failure.

The team reported they found that people who use marijuana daily were 34% more likely to develop heart failure compared to those who reported never using it.

Read more  




Managing Chronic Back Pain –
Safe and Effective 
Techniques for Seniors




By Ella Woodward

Dealing with chronic back pain can be a tough nut to crack, especially for seniors trying to keep up with their daily hustle. If you’re on this journey, know that there are effective techniques that can ease the ache and help you get back to feeling your best. Let’s dive into some game-changing approaches tailored just for you.

Getting to Know Your Back Pain 

For seniors, chronic back pain can come from various sources, like aging, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis. Understanding the root cause is key to finding the right solutions that fit your needs like a glove.


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8 Reasons Even Retirees
Need Good Credit

Poor credit costs you both money and opportunities —
even during your golden years.




By Lucy Lazarony


It would be nice to think you could let things slide. But, no, you do need to maintain good credit in retirement.

It will save you money or hassles in more situations than you may realize. And bad credit can cost you in retirement just as it can cost you during your working years.

Consider these reasons that it pays to keep a stellar credit score in retirement.

Read more  




Married more than once?
Here’s what that means for
Social Security survivor benefits




BY LIZ WESTON

Dear Liz: I’m in a second marriage that’s lasted 10 years. Is my wife fully entitled to my Social Security after I die? My first wife and I were married for 19 years. Is my ex entitled to any of it?

Answer: Both your current spouse and your ex could be entitled to survivor benefits based on your work record. Typically someone must be married nine months to qualify for survivor benefits on a current spouse’s record. If the spouses divorced, the marriage must have lasted 10 years. Each survivor benefit can be up to 100% of your benefit. The amount may be reduced if the women start benefits before their own full retirement age, but they don’t have to share — the amount isn’t reduced because you’ve had more than one spouse.

Read more  





Behind the Scenes of America’s
Favorite Sitcom From the '60s:
The Adventures of 
Ozzie and Harriet



By Marissa Block




A Poster Family for American Ideals - or Not?  

Today, streaming platforms are saturated with a variety of shows to pick and choose from. There are cop shows for crime lovers, comedy shows for light-hearted amusement, and reality shows for those who like to distract themselves with other people's drama. But in the 50s and 60s, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was a popular go-to favorite for all those looking to be entertained. 

The sitcom starred the real-life Nelson family, shining a spotlight on them as the ideal American family. However, as you’ll soon discover, their life was far from perfect and was described as somewhat scandalous at times...

When Law School Fails, Start a Dance Band...

Learn more  






The chocolate crisis is here


Demand for chocolate is vastly outweighing the available cocoa supply, leading to skyrocketing cocoa prices that will inevitably make chocolate treats more expensive in supermarkets around the world.

The price chart for cocoa is something your algebra teacher would use to describe the term “exponential.” On Friday, benchmark cocoa futures surged to a record $8,018 per metric ton, a 25% increase last week alone and 215% higher than last year.

The price spike has caused large African cocoa processors—which take raw cocoa and turn it into something usable for chocolate companies—to slash production, since they can no longer afford to buy beans.

The first thing you need to know about cocoa trees is that they only flourish in a narrow band around the equator, which is why four West African countries (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria) produce almost 75% of the globe’s cocoa supply, according to Bloomberg Opinion’s commodity expert Javier Blas. Ivory Coast alone produces nearly half of the world’s cocoa, Reuters notes.

Due to bad weather, bean disease, and a lack of investment in new trees stretching back decades, recent cocoa harvests have been dreadful, resulting in a yawning gap between supply and demand.







NEXT BLOG
FRIDAY MARCH 22, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper








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