TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2023






“Most modern calendars mar 
the sweet simplicity of our lives 
by reminding us that
 each day that passes is the anniversary 
of some perfectly uninteresting event.”
― Oscar Wilde







Opinion: Yes, 
Social Security 
and Medicare 
still need to be reformed 
— and soon


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced last week that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are “off the table” in negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. In so doing, he deprived Democrats of a political talking point and reduced the likelihood of national default. Raising the debt ceiling — and thereby preserving the full faith and credit of the federal government — should proceed without negotiations or strings, let alone a contentious debate about third-rail entitlement programs.

Yet the discussion needs to happen sometime, and sooner rather than later. These entitlements — which already account for about a third of federal spending — remain on unsustainable trajectories, and protecting them for future generations is too important to keep reform off the table indefinitely.

Medicare’s trust fund is projected to run short by 2028, and Social Security will exhaust its reserves by 2034. When that happens, seniors face an immediate 25 percent cut in benefits. Clamoring for bailouts will be intense, but the country will struggle to afford them — especially in the looming era of higher interest rates, which make it more expensive to service the national debt. The longer Congress puts off fixes, the more painful they will become for the 66 million seniors, and growing, who receive monthly Social Security payments and the approximately 59 million people enrolled in a Medicare plan.



Pence Implodes 
2024 Presidential Run 
With Call To Privatize 
Social Security


Someone apparently has a very bad case of amnesia if they don't remember how this worked out for George W. Bush. The more he talked about privatizing Social Security, the more his approval numbers tanked. Former Trump VP Mike Pence supposedly wants to run for president in 2024. Good luck if you think this will help you win the nomination, Mike: Pence calls for Social Security reform, private savings accounts:

Former Vice President Mike Pence, a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, said Thursday that he wants to “reform” Social Security and institute private savings accounts for recipients.

“There are modest reforms in entitlements that can be done without disadvantaging anybody at the point of the need,” Pence told an audience at the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors summit in Washington, D.C. “I think the day could come when we could replace the New Deal with a better deal. Literally give younger Americans the ability to take a portion of their Social Security withholdings and put that into a private savings account.”



Medicaid rolls swell as 
8 million New Yorkers get 
coverage at expected record-
price of almost $35B
By Carl Campanile



The number of New York state residents who get government-funded Medicaid health insurance is expected to soar to nearly 8 million this year, data released from Gov. Hochul’s $227 billion budget plan shows.

Another 3.7 million of New York’s 19 million residents qualify for Medicare, the government’s health insurance for the elderly. Some elderly residents also qualify for Medicaid, which covers long term care like nursing home costs.

Excluding those only on Medicare, the number of residents enrolled in New York’s public health insurance hits 9 million when factoring in other programs covering those who don’t qualify for Medicaid — including asylum seekers and other illegal migrants, and those whose incomes are slightly above the Medicaid threshold.




Why States Need
Master Plans for Aging
By Liz Seegert


New York is the latest state to authorize creation of a Master Plan for Aging, starting the process of developing systems to help older adults lead independent, meaningful and dignified lives in their own homes and communities as long as possible.

While several other states also have developed or are developing similar long-term proposals, which typically address aging issues over a 10-year period, most states do not have a plan, despite clear data showing the need for additional aging services and support — from more accessible public transportation to community-based long term care options.

Master Plans for Aging, or MPAs, take a look at the entirety of state, county, local and federal policies and programs that directly or indirectly affect aging residents in each state. That might include health, transportation, housing, workforce, nutrition, home and community services, as well as specific projects such as age-friendly communities.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


Lifestyle...

Five New Year's Resolutions 
to Support a Healthier
2023 for Seniors

The start of the year is a time for resolutions and examining old habits. ChenMed, a leading primary care provider improving the lives of vulnerable seniors, offers some resolutions, for the 58.6 million Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older, that are easy to keep throughout the year. Making these practices a habit can help patients reduce the impact of rising healthcare costs and improve their quality of life.

Ask for the cell phone number for your primary care provider (PCP) and the main number to your doctor's office – add the numbers to your cell phone. Do not hesitate to text or call your PCP whenever you have a medical question or concern. Speedy replies from the doctor who knows you best can dramatically improve health – especially for those with complex health conditions.

Make sure your PCP is a true champion for you, welcoming same-day, and walk-in appointments, plus offering telemedicine options for care in the comfort and safety of your own living room. The world is in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in some parts of the world. Concerns about rising infection rates and new strains of the virus could make a combination of in-person and telehealth visits with doctors a best practice again. If you can't see or connect with your doctor whenever you need help, make it a priority to find a new and more responsive primary care physician.

Stay current on your vaccinations. Three respiratory virus threats are on the rise across the nation – COVID-19, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and the seasonal flu. Call your primary care physician for any questions if you are unsure about your current vaccination status. The CDC estimates more than 25 million illnesses, 270,000 hospitalizations, and 17,000 deaths from flu so far this season. In addition, the CDC COVID data tracker shows that the U.S. averaged more than 47,000 new COVID-19 infections every day during the week ending January 18, 2023. More than one million people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, since the deadliest pandemic in American history began, and the COVID Racial Data Tracker shows COVID has been particularly deadly for people of color including Black, Indigenous and Hispanic Americans. Statistics show Black people die of COVID at twice the rate of white people.








The unknown stomach bug that has virtually shut down the facility and has left several residents feeling ill continues, apparently unabated.
 
I don’t have any actual numbers, however, the very fact we continue to be in lockdown mode tells me it’s more than just a few.
 
Every time we go into one of these semi-quarantine situations, certain things immediately go into effect. Most notably is an end to communal dining. All our meals are served to us in our rooms. While this may sound like an okay thing, how and what we are fed is not akin to room service at the Ritz. It’s more like a meal shoved through a slot in the door of a solitary confinement cell at the local jail. Yes, it’s that bad. Maybe worse. In all my years here, I have never seen and tasted food as poorly prepared, served and cooked as what is being fed to us. And, the worse part of it, there’s no one to complain to. 

Normally, I would go directly to the food service manager and have a heart-to-heart. Unfortunately, our manager was fired last week leaving our kitchen and staff without a boss. Is that the reason for the bad food? Only in part. The other reason is nobody cares. Neither the kitchen staff nor our administrator have any incentive to improve the food and use this latest lockdown as an excuse for their shortcomings.
 
A memo sent Sunday night informs us they will continue the current lockdown until Wednesday. That’s two more days of no activities, no visits and the food barely fit for human consumption……………….

 










NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8 , 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper





-30-





MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2023





“Memories, even your most precious ones,
 fade surprisingly quickly. 
But I don’t go along with that. 
The memories I value most, 
I don’t ever see them fading.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro






The digital discrimination surrounding 
electronic coupons for senior citizens 
and low-income individuals
BY JOHN SHUMWAY


Every discount counts in the current times of inflation and coupons are surging in popularity. Digital coupons are leading the way, but they come with built-in discrimination.

According to CouponFollow.com, digital coupon consumption was projected to top $90 billion last year, and has doubled in five years, but you must have access.

Coupons are designed to draw you in to buy a product for your loyalty -- but digital coupons are shutting out seniors and those who need savings more than anybody else.




A 'concerning' number of women 65 
and older are dying from cervical cancer,
according to a new study
BY Rachel Grumman Bender


Nearly one in five new cervical cancers diagnosed from 2009 to 2018 were in women 65 and older, according to a new UC Davis study. But what has experts concerned is that, according to the study, more older women (71%) had late-stage cancer than younger women (48%), which corresponds to lower survival rates that only get worse with age.

In general, if cervical cancer is diagnosed after it has spread to nearby tissues, organs or lymph nodes, the five-year relative survival rate is 59%, according to the National Cancer institute (NCI). However, the study found that the late-stage five-year relative survival rate was lower for women older than 65 — only 23.2% to 36.8% — compared with women under age 65 (41.5%–51.5%). (By comparison, when cervical cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year relative survival rate is 92%, per the NCI.)

Current screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend that individuals over 65 years old who have had cervical cancer screenings with normal results within the past 25 years and have tested negative in the 10-year period before age 65 should not be screened for cervical cancer. Once screening is stopped, note the guidelines, they should not be started again.




A Healthy Lifestyle 
Might Delay Memory Decline 
in Older Adults
By Batya Swift Yasgur, MA


A new study suggests that following a healthy lifestyle is linked to slower memory decline in older adults, even in people with the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) gene, one of the strongest known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

A team of investigators in China analyzed 10-year data on over 29,000 older adults with an average age of 72 years. Of these, a fifth were carriers of the APOE4 gene.

The investigators created a healthy lifestyle score by combining how much participants engaged in six activities: healthy diet, regular exercise, active social contact, cognitive activity, nonsmoking, and avoiding alcohol. Participants were grouped into having "favorable," "average," and "unfavorable" lifestyles.

After adjusting for health, economic, and social factors, the researchers found that each individual healthy behavior was associated with a slower-than-average decline in memory during the decade, with a healthy diet emerging as the strongest deterrent, followed by cognitive activity and then physical exercise.




New Online Tool 
Helps Older Adults
Manage Their Finances


The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person's right to age well, has launched Budget CheckUp, a free online tool that gives older adults practical tips on how to create a monthly budget and manage their money. A grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation helped fund the tool's development.

"Budget CheckUp offers guidance on how to decrease expenses and stretch fixed-income dollars." --Josh Hodges

"Many older adults live on a fixed income, which is challenging when the cost of living and inflation are on the rise. The Budget CheckUp can help them stretch their dollars every month" said Josh Hodges, NCOA's Chief Customer Officer. "The tool offers guidance on how to create a monthly budget and decrease expenses, and it identifies programs that can help pay for medications and utilities. We are grateful to Bank of America for their generous support of this effort."





How to Get Rid of Eye Floaters: 
Possible Causes and 
When to See an Eye Doctor



Eye floaters, also known as vitreous floaters, are shapes that float across your field of vision. They may appear in one or both eyes. In some cases, medical options can help to resolve floaters. There are also things you can do at home to help prevent or get rid of them.

This article explains what causes floaters and how you can manage them on your own. It also looks at treatments, when to contact a doctor, and answers to some frequently asked questions.

What are home remedies to get rid of eye floaters?

If you are experiencing eye floaters, there are some things you can do at home that may help.

Eye floaters can be temporary. Sometimes, simply moving your eyes from side to side and up and down will remove them. If this does not work, there are certain foods and dietary supplements you can try.






Assisted living, like many long-term care facilities, have their faults. Many of which I have told you about in this blog. No privacy, poor food, lack of activities, surly staff and even surlier residents are among the things we have to put up with. However, when it comes to safety, most A.L.F.s do a very good job. I’m referring to things like access to medical care, security and a handicapped friendly environment, to name a few. And, when the temperature hovers near the zero mark, a warm place to lay your head at night.

This past weekend, the northeastern U.S. suffered under some of the coldest temperatures we have seen in many years. Even here in the NYC area where we seldom see single-digit numbers, the thermometer dropped to as low as three degrees (F) in Central Park and colder up here in Westchester county. Fortunately, I don’t need to worry about that. In here, the temperature was a balmy 78. And, believe me, I’m grateful for that. But it could have been very different. Which brings us to a brief discussion of homelessness in America.

Every time when I see a homeless person living on the streets or in their car or even in a shelter, I think “There but for the grace of g-d go I.” It was not so long ago that I was close to being among them.

After over two years of hospitalization, nursing homes, more hospitals, more nursing homes, I had all but exhausted my money. Fortunately, I had just turned 65 so Medicare paid my nursing home bill. But I had lost my $1000 per month apartment (it’s hard to pay rent when you have no money) so, technically, I was homeless.

However, like many homeless people, I did not fall through the cracks. I sought and received help. That help came via a knowledgeable social worker in the last nursing home in which I was a patient.

After it was determined I was well enough to leave the nursing home, I realized I had nowhere to go. Having helped me before, I went to the home’s staff social worker for help. After assessing my physical condition, my finances and my mental state, we concluded that an assisted living facility would be the best place for me. We began selecting the best one. A few months later I moved here. And I thank my lucky stars I did.
 
Yes, my lifestyle has changed. I am no longer surrounded by the material trappings of society. I am supplied with all the basics and even have some cash for incidentals. But more importantly, I have a safe, warm place to live. And on a four degree night, that’s all I need……..

EDITOR’S NOTE: It would be foolish for me to say I have a solution for the problem of homelessness. Just as there is no single cause, there in no single solution for why people have to, or prefer to live on the street. However, I know that there are many unused buildings and spaces in cities like New York where safe, simple housing for the less fortunate could serve as a real place to live. It’s just up to some of the special interest groups (like the real estate lobby) to do the right thing…..ed.
 









NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 , 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper




-30-













SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 
FEBRUARY 4, 2023 - FEB. 5, 2023







Taking the Road Slow Traveled

Immersing yourself in a different culture can be more satisfying than staying at a sterile resort or racing from town to town

By Edd and Cynthia Staton


Travel for most of us falls into two categories: vacations and trips.

Vacations are when daily life has you stressed to the max, so you arrive at your destination to relax and do as little as possible the entire time you're there. 

Trips are when you think you may be at a special place only once in your life, so you rush around trying to cram in as many activities, excursions and photo ops as possible.

Each approach comes with its own problems. Vacationers often spend the first few days of their time off unwinding and the last few days thinking about the problems waiting for their return. People on comprehensive, don't-miss-anything trips can be so exhausted by the last day that they feel they need a vacation.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



Shopping with your nose: 
How body odors influence 
your buying behavior

Sniffing out a deal.



Our sense of smell is often considered to be weak and unimportant, but it’s stronger than you might think it is. Smell can influence our mood, evoke emotions, and influence our behavior. And new research shows that body odors can also affect the speed of buying decisions.

Sniffing out a deal

We’ve known that common odors can influence buying decisions for over 30 years. For example, a 1990 olfaction study placed two identical pairs of Nike sneakers in rooms containing either a floral or a neutral scent, and those in the floral-scented room reported that they were 84% more likely to buy the shoes.

A more recent study showed that restaurant-goers who smelled the relaxing aroma of lavender stayed longer and spent more than those who smelled a lemon aroma. This new study is the first to examine the effects of body odors on consumer decisions. 




How Music Benefits Seniors
By James Skarnikat


As one that entertains seniors professionally, I’m constantly witness to the powerful effects of music on my venerable audiences.  Nearly all of my 2500+ concerts for seniors have demonstrated this to me.  Always at the end of my program, I’m approached by well-wishers eager to tell me how a song made them feel, or to be told a story about some memory stirred.

My programs usually go by the name ‘Jimmy’s Old Time Radio Show’, my attempt to find a title representative of the broad span of material I draw from, classic songs of many styles and time periods that my audiences heard on the “old time radio” of their youth.

I perform to seniors in all levels of care ranging from the fully independent to secure dementia wards, even palliative.  The average age of someone in my audience is approximately 90.  I couldn’t tell you how many people over 100 I’ve met, but it’s many, and it’s always an honour.





Older, wealthy Americans 
moving to Wyoming,
IRS data shows
By Mary Steurer 


In line with other Mountain West states, wealthier, older Americans made up an outsize share of Wyoming’s newcomers in 2019 and 2020, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service.

While the region as a whole has been experiencing a population boom for years now, things really ramped up during the coronavirus pandemic. “Many people chose to relocate to less populated, lower cost areas during the pandemic, and the increased availability of remote work made this possible,” Wenlin Liu, chief economist for the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division, said in a Monday report on the data.

Wyoming gained a net 1,400 people between 2019 and 2020. That wasn’t the case a few years prior — between 2014 and 2019, its population went down.






How to Completely Disappear 
From the Internet

We live in a world of mass surveillance. 
Want to mask your online identity? 
Here's the right way to do it.
By Eric Griffith



Some might say the internet was built on anonymity, paving the way for a place where free speech reigns supreme. But after years of learning about who's snooping into everything we do online, privacy on the web is hardly a given.

It's not just about government spying; it's also about how much data big companies such as Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook), and Microsoft have collected in order to serve up targeted ads—not to mention how much of your personal data gets scooped up in all the breaches and hacks.

There are always going to be good reasons for people to go online without being tracked. For one, anonymity may be the only way for a real whistleblower to reveal corruption, considering how some have been treated. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to stay anonymous, no matter what you're doing.



Why Older Adults 
Need Special Flu Shots
By Catherine Roberts

For many years, people who are 65 or older have had the option to get a flu shot that’s specially formulated for them.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declined to recommend that older adults get these shots instead of the standard flu shot options. This flu season, that has changed.

The CDC is now recommending that people 65 or older try to seek out one of these specially formulated vaccines.

“That’s a very exciting change,” says Jenna Bartley, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of immunology who’s with the Center on Aging at UConn Health. “What we’ve seen in multiple research studies now is that both the high-dose and the adjuvanted flu vaccine have superior antibody induction in older adults and result in overall better protection from flu.”




Older Adults Who Sleep Less 
Are More 
Likely to Develop Multiple 
Chronic Diseases
By Julia Ries  

Older adults who get five hours of sleep a night or fewer have a greater risk of developing multiple chronic diseases.
Sleeping less has previously been linked to a greater likelihood of developing certain chronic conditions, but this study focused on multimorbidity.

The findings underscore the importance of maintaining good sleep habits as people age.
Older adults who sleep just five hours a night or fewer have a greater risk of developing more than one chronic disease, new research shows. The findings underscore the importance of healthy sleep patterns throughout life, and especially in middle and old age. 

The new study, published in PLOS Medicine, examined sleep duration and its effect on multimorbidity—or the occurrence of more than one chronic condition, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, at once.1 People ages 50 or older who slept a total of five hours a night or less were found to have at least a 30% greater risk of multimorbidity. 




Effects of Excess Earwax 
on Hearing Aids 
A "Must Know" Due to FDA Rule Change


The recent rule change by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) making it easier to purchase hearing aids over the counter now allows more people with hearing loss to make a purchase without an exam. Without a prescription or professional fitting, some people may need more education on the importance of device care and maintenance. Clinere knows that when it comes to people who wear hearing aids, ear hygiene can impact the effectiveness of the device. For a decade, Clinere has been the product of choice for people who seek an effective product to manage earwax build up.

"Having a healthy ear care routine is key to not only maintaining ear health but also extending the life of your hearing aid," said Anne Brolly, senior vice president of product development and marketing at Quest Products, Inc. distributors of Clinere. "We know as the number of individuals with access to hearing aids rises, so does the need for proper ear care and hearing aid maintenance education, and Clinere aims to provide both."

As access to hearing aids increases, Clinere aims to provide proper ear care and hearing aid maintenance education.

For hearing aid users, it's especially important to combat excess earwax buildup, which can often increase the severity of hearing loss or result in hearing aid feedback, reduction in the effectiveness of the hearing aid, poor fit of the hearing aid, earaches and even serious infection. Ear and hearing aid health go hand-in-hand. Below are a few ways to take care of both:




Oklahoma senator’s drug 
costs proposal 
Draws concern from 
senior citizens groups
By Janelle Stecklein 


OKLAHOMA CITY — An effort by U.S. Sen. James Lankford to repeal part of a new law that’s supposed to give senior citizens relief on prescription drug costs is garnering outrage and concern in his home state.

The Oklahoma Republican has co-authored the Protecting Drug Innovation Act, which would:

Strip Medicare of the power to negotiate drug prices.

Eliminate a $2,000 out-of-pocket cost cap set to take effect in 2025 for senior citizens who elect to participate in the Medicare Part D program. There’s no existing cap, and 1.2 million enrollees spent over $2,000 in 2019, according to the AARP.

Repeal a provision that penalizes drug companies for increasing prices faster than inflation rates in an effort to provide relief for seniors’ drug plan premiums and cost sharing.





The long-term-care system 
is broken. 
How can we fix it?
By Chris Farrell
 

If you’re reading this column, odds are you’re aware the U.S. population is aging and older Americans are living longer, on average. Still, the numbers are striking. For instance, average life expectancy for men at age 65 in 1950 was 13.1 years and for women 16.2 years, according to the Social Security Administration. The current figures are 18.09 years and 20.7 years, respectively.

“Aging is actually living, and that longevity is a good thing,” said Ai-jen Poo, president of National Domestic Workers Alliance and executive director of Caring Across Generations during a recent panel discussion at Columbia University’s 2022 Age Boom Academy entitled Caregiving and Our Longer Lives. “Aging means longer to learn and to connect and to love and to teach.”

Aging also means the risk that older people will eventually need some kind of long-term care and services (LTSS) remains significant. LTSS is shorthand for people getting assistance with basic activities, such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals. Not everyone ages well and even the healthiest elders eventually deal with some physical and mental limitations, or worse.




53% Of U.S. Adults 
Don’t Fear Growing Old—
Study Finds People Actually 
Fear Less As They Age
By Alena Hall

Aging is an inevitable and sometimes daunting part of life, but according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll, 53% of people aren’t afraid of growing old. In fact, people seem to fear aging less with each year they grow older.

However, many aspects of the aging process do seem to be cause for concern. According to the survey, 63% of U.S. adults who said they fear aging are worried most about potentially declining health as they age, followed by losing loved ones (52%) and financial concerns (38%). Meanwhile, 30% of respondents noted a fear of loneliness and/or isolation as they grow old, and 20% worry about feeling bored or a lack of purpose as they age.

The Health Issues U.S. Adults Fear Most

It’s no surprise that a person’s overall health tends to decline as they get older, but not all health concerns are created equal when it comes to what people worry about most. According to the survey, 45% of U.S. adults who said they fear aging are most concerned about potential mobility issues, such as arthritis and joint deterioration, followed closely by cancer of any kind (44%) and cognitive decline, including all types of dementia (44%). 



Medicare cuts
 harming seniors' access to 
Surgical care set to take effect in 
Less than two months


The 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms the nearly 4.5 percent cut to surgeons and anesthesiologists, harming patient access to needed surgical care, the Surgical Care Coalition said today. 

"At a bare minimum, Congress must pass H.R. 8800 to prevent these cuts whose effects would be to harm Americans most in need of care," said Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. "Without Congressional action, vulnerable seniors' nationwide access to timely, high quality, and essential surgical care will be negatively impacted. If allowed to go into effect, these reductions will be yet another blow to an already stressed healthcare system. The ACS has always been willing to work with Congress to find permanent solutions to this issue in the long term, but we must act now to preserve critical access for patients."

Combined with a 4% Medicare cut stemming from the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, surgical care will face a nearly 8.5% Medicare cut on January 1, 2023. Meanwhile, significant medical inflation, along with staffing and supply chain shortages, continues to harm surgical care teams across the country.



How domestic violence
Impacts older adults
By Anthony Hill

Domestic violence can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. One local Bay area police department is trying to end domestic violence among older adults.

“Every night they would drink,” said one older adult who we decided not to identify. She knows how domestic violence looks firsthand because she’s lived through it. She said she was abused by a family member who moved in with her, and it began with verbal abuse. “Basically, I would just walk away and turn my back and try not to hear it,” she continued.

Several times she said she called the police, and the abuse would stop for the night but would continue the next day. “And she couldn’t stop. It was every night,” she continued. She said it wasn’t just verbal abuse. “It got physical one night, too. It got physical. And I just couldn’t deal with it anymore,” she said.

“An older adult would rather seek help from their family or their friends or their doctors,” said Rosa Contreras with the Spring of Tampa Bay.





Possible Marijuana Reform 
Puts Senior Living Industry 
at Cannabis Crossroads
By Nick Andrews


Some senior living residents use cannabis products in their communities, but as they do so operators have had to navigate a perilous and often confusing legal minefield.

Much of that has to do with the fact that marijuana is still a Schedule I drug on the federal level, a category also shared by heroin, LSD and MDMA. But there are signs the regulatory winds are shifting, if only in spirit for now.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the attorney general to review marijuana’s Schedule I status, potentially opening the door to more flexibility in its use down the road. 




Take Years Off Your Age: 
This Israeli Expert Says
It’s All Up to You


“Let’s say your chronological age is 40, and your biological age, which can be discerned by blood tests, bone density and the condition of your cornea, your liver or your microbiome (personal community of microorganisms), is 43,” Israeli obstetrician and gynecologist Ariel Ravel suggests in his new book, “The Imperatives of Future Medicines."

“What if I enumerated 10 things that, if you do them, you’ll not only set back your biological and chronological clock – you’ll even manage to take three years off your age – for the sake of argument here, to 37?

I’d say, go for it.

“It will sound strange, but I think that longevity is largely a decision. It demands that each of us to make decisions and act accordingly.”



Frequently asked questions 
About senior citizen insurance 
for USA


Senior citizens coming to the US may have a lot of questions and concerns regarding health insurance policies. When they arrive in the US, they do not get access to Obamacare or other government-sponsored insurance programs because they are visitors and not US residents, citizens, or legally permanent residents (green card holders). Senior travelers can buy visitors insurance plans from private insurance companies or providers to cover them during their temporary stay.

Here are the top 5 questions that are typically asked.

Should I buy separate policies for each parent?

It is your choice. You can buy separate policies for parents or a single policy for both. Typically, premiums do not change if you buy separate policies or a single policy. However, depending on the plan and parents’ age, some policies may ask you to complete separate applications.  As senior travelers find insurance plans offering limited coverage, it is essential to talk to your insurance executive and understand details of the coverage.   If your both parents have different travel dates and trip duration, you must buy two separate plans.




Depression Treatment Starts 
Changing the Brain 
Within 6 Weeks
By Cara Murez 

New research reveals that the brain is much more flexible than once thought and can change rapidly during treatment for major depression.

People receiving inpatient treatment for major depression had increased brain connectivity after just six weeks, German researchers report.

They compared brain connectivity -- various brain regions acting together in generating thought, emotion and behavior -- in 109 patients with serious depression to that in a control group of 55 volunteers without depression. MRI scans were used to identify which brain areas were communicating with others before and after treatment.




Sometimes older adults must 
Train for standing up from a chair
By Matt Parrott 



Jay Lloyd, a certified spin instructor and personal trainer at Little Rock Athletic Club, demonstrates the Bar Assisted Squat using a Smith machine at Little Rock Racquet Club. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Celia Storey)

A few common problems rob older people of their ability to move freely. Joint injuries, an exceedingly high body mass index and a lack of lower body strength are the main musculoskeletal factors that limit mobility for aging adults.

Although joint injuries are largely the result of accidents, the other two factors often can be prevented. This week, I'll present a few prevention tips and will introduce an exercise that's perfect for the older adult.




Signs That It’s Time for 
Memory Care
By Ruben Castaneda


Say your aging mom, who's living with dementia, has always been conscientious about opening her mail and paying her bills. You and other family members check on her regularly to see if she's OK. Yet, over time, you notice she's letting her mail accumulate unopened and forgetting to make her payments, or, she's paying the same bill multiple times. Or maybe, she's always cooked for herself, but lately, she's been unable to prepare meals. And as time passes, she may start having trouble with other basic tasks of daily living, like dressing herself or using the bathroom.

There may come a time when a person living with Alzheimer's disease, or another form of dementia, will need more care than can be provided at home. During the middle to late stages of Alzheimer's, it becomes necessary to provide 24-hour supervision to keep them safe. In some cases, more specialized care is needed.

Overall, more than 6 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. More than 11 million family members care for someone with dementia, and others live in assisted living communities, nursing homes or memory care units.




How To Stay Sociable 
As You Get Older: 
Tips For Seniors
By Ella Woodward


As we get older, it can be hard to make new friends or stay in touch with your current friendship group. 

That’s why many seniors find it hard to socialize and start to feel lonely. It might not seem like a major issue, but loneliness can lead to serious health conditions, both mental and physical. 

Being lonely can make you feel isolated and lead to you not taking good care of yourself, which can exacerbate any existing ailments you have. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can work to stay sociable as you age. Keep reading to find some practical ideas to help you get started. 




Residents of assisted living facilities 
Lost significant, concerning weight 
During the COVID-19 quarantine
By: Deborah Mann Lake 


Older adults residing in assisted living facilities and quarantined to their rooms during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lost significant weight, according to gerontology care providers and researchers from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.

Significant weight loss of at least 5% occurred in 40% of residents, with 47% of those losing 10% or more of their weight. Men in the study were 14 times more likely to lose significant weight due to quarantine.

The findings were presented at the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association 2022 National Conference earlier this month.

“Room quarantine can result in loneliness, decreased appetite, less meal encouragement, and less assistance with eating,” said lead author Maureen S. Beck, DNP, MSN, assistant professor in the Joan and Stanford Alexander Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at McGovern Medical School. “Losing 5% of their weight is significant for elderly patients and can lead to the loss of independent function.”




Now you've downsized, 
Where will you live?
By Pam Kirkby


Housing options for seniors encompass numerous different scenarios and are not what we may have envisioned. Whether you are a younger senior (like me!), an older senior, or helping parents make choices, it’s important to consider the viability different living situations.

Some folks love their homes and neighborhoods and don’t plan to leave. If that is the case, great! 

Aging in place is one option as long as there are strategies in place should the home become uncomfortable or dangerous. For example, if all of the bedrooms are on the second level and navigating stairs becomes a challenge, a stairlift can be installed quickly and easily. In bathrooms, tubs can be removed to make room for walk-in shower stalls.




How to fix Social Security 
and Medicare? 
GOP wants to raise benefits 
age to 70
BY AIMEE PICCHI



America's rapidly aging society is placing financial strain on its two core old-age programs, Social Security and Medicare. Now, as Republicans vie to win back control of Congress in the midterm elections, some lawmakers are embracing plans for overhauling the programs — including raising the age for seniors to claim benefits to 70 years old. 

Under a plan developed by the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives in the House, senior citizens would face a five-year delay to claim Medicare, the government health care program for seniors that currently allows people to access the program when they turn 65. And the retirement age for Social Security would also increase to 70, compared with today's full retirement age of between 66 and 67 years old.

he reason for the push? The "miracle" of longer life expectancies, according to the Republican Study Committee's documents. But while Americans are living longer than in earlier generations, the average age of retirement is 61 — or 5 years earlier than workers say they had expected to step back from the workforce, according to Gallup. In other words, people may believe they'll work longer, but on average, Americans are stepping back five to six years before they even reach Social Security's current full retirement age.




Dementia plummets by nearly 
One-third among U.S. seniors
By Judy Packer-Tursman

  

The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, falling dramatically from 2000 to 2016, a RAND Corp. study says.

Nationwide, the age-adjusted prevalence of dementia fell to 8.5% of people over age 65 in 2016, down by nearly one-third from 12.2% of people over age 65 in 2000, according to the researchers.

Females are more likely to live with dementia, but the sex difference has narrowed, the study found.

Among men, the prevalence of dementia fell by 3.2 percentage points, from 10.2% to 7.0% over the 16-year span. The decrease was larger among women, down 3.9 percentage points, from 13.6% to 9.7%.




5 ways to show seniors 
They are appreciated



Senior citizens account for a significant percentage of the overall population. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau released in 2020 indicate the nation’s 65-and-older population had grown by more than one-third over the preceding decade. By 2050, the number of senior citizens is expected to be close to 90 million.

People are living longer than ever, and as individuals age, the demand for senior services continues to grow — as does the need to be patient and respect the elderly. There are many ways to show seniors just how much they’re appreciated.

1. Help with chores. Lend a hand with chores around the house that may have grown difficult for seniors. This can include mowing the lawn, weeding garden beds, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or even taking the garbage pails in and out on collection days.

2. Visit more often. Frequent visits are one of the simplest ways to show seniors you care. Whether seniors live in a private home or managed care facility, visitors brighten their days, especially if they no longer get out and about as frequently as they once did. Spending time together and sharing stories can bring smiles to the faces of older adults.






WEEKEND TIP
Keep warm. Button up, And, watch out for falling Chinese spy baloons.




NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY,  FEBRUARY 6, 2023




©2022 Bruce Cooper



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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2023




“Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights 
belong to your older self.”
― Terry Pratchett





‘Seniors are getting ripped off’:
 progressive congressman 
Mark Pocan on overhauling 
Medicare
By Joan E Greve


Democrats may not control the House of Representatives any more, but Congressman Mark Pocan is not giving up on his legislative agenda. Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat and the former co-chair of the congressional progressive caucus (CPC), instead focuses on playing “the long game” of policymaking.

Pocan’s commitment to promoting progressive policies will be on display on Wednesday, as he reintroduces the Save Medicare Act. The congressman points to his advocacy for the legislation as just one example of how progressives can keep advancing their ideals in a Republican-controlled House and ensure that Democrats will be ready to act when they regain full control of Congress.

“I’ve been in local, state and federal government. Each time, you can impact more people’s lives, but it takes exponentially longer to get things done,” Pocan told the Guardian. “You’re always in the long game.”




13% of older adults 
show signs of food addiction


One in eight adults aged 50 to 80 years demonstrated signs of addiction to highly processed foods over the past year, a survey by the University of Michigan’s National Poll on Healthy Aging found.

“The word addiction may seem strong when it comes to food, but research has shown that our brains respond as strongly to highly processed foods, especially those highest in sugar, simple starches, and fat, as they do to tobacco, alcohol and other addictive substances,” Ashley Gearhardt, PhD, MPhil, MS, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, said in a press release. “Just as with smoking or drinking, we need to identify and reach out to those who have entered unhealthy patterns of use and support them in developing a healthier relationship with food.”

Data derived from: Addiction to highly processed food among older adults. https://www.healthyagingpoll.org/reports-more/report/addiction-highly-processed-food-among-older-adults. Published Jan. 30, 2023. Accessed Jan. 30, 2023.

Gearhardt and colleagues used a questionnaire consisting of 13 questions to determine the prevalence of food addiction amongst older adults. The 2,163 participants had to demonstrate two of 11 symptoms of addiction to highly processed foods, as well as report eating-related distress or life problems multiple times a week, to classify as having food addiction.




What Is Memory Care, 
and What Are Its Benefits?


Benefits of Memory Care

People living with memory dysfunction need specialized care. Although there is often an expense involved with getting care, the benefits make it worthwhile. Some of the many benefits of memory care may include the following:

- Round-the-clock supervision
- Assistance with medication compliance
- Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
- A secure environment that allows seniors to remain independent while reducing the risk of wandering
- Access to expert and individualized medical care
- Living Options for Seniors Living With Alzheimer’s or Dementia

If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may be seriously considering what the best next step is for securing their long-term care.




3 “A” Tips to Face the
Losses of Aging
By Eleanor Silverberg 



We age from the time we are born. We do not have to look much further than within our own families to see that this is true, observing the growth of the children in our lives. From infancy, they become toddlers, continuing to grow over the years into adolescents and then into young adults.

As lovely as the growth stages are, there are losses that come with the stages that can bring on grief feelings of sadness and growing pains. I recall the sadness that my neighbor, a stay-at-home mom disclosed to me when her daughter, the baby of the family went for her first day of kindergarten. Although her daughter was going through a healthy rite-of-passage, she acknowledged the sadness and difficulty of letting go of the baby and toddler stage, sending her youngest offspring into the world of primary school. This same daughter is now a mother with young children of her own.

My neighbor had less of a problem entering into the stage of becoming a grandmother than she did seeing her daughter off to kindergarten. For many though, becoming a grandmother, turning 50, 60,70, 80, retiring from work, facing the wrinkles that come with age, identifying as a senior is challenging. For some, aging can cause excruciating grief.





This Texas woman just turned 100.
But it's her life of service
that will amaze you.
By Ashley R. Williams



Six decades, over 18,000 hours and 100 trips around the sun add up to a lifetime of service for dedicated volunteer and centenarian Elaine Kuper.

Kuper, who celebrated her 100th birthday in November, devoted 61 years to volunteering at Texas Children’s Hospital before retiring in 2015. She is the longest-serving volunteer at the largest pediatric hospital in the U.S.

The Buffalo, New York, native, who relocated to Houston when she was 12, started volunteering at the hospital just over two weeks after it opened in February 1954. Her level of dedication even led her to take Spanish lessons so she could better guide Hispanic and Latino families around the hospital.







Any indoor environment where people gather, mingle and interact with one another is the perfect breeding ground for any and all airborne or surface-borne bacteria or virus. Add to that nearly 200 old people whose immune systems are already compromised and the chances if one person catches something it won’t be long before the entire population is at risk. Such is the case this week here at the A.L.F. Only now, instead of the dreaded COVID-19, it’s something else. And it’s making many of our residents violently ill.

 Although the specific virus has not yet been identified, it manifests itself in the GI tract and can cause people to experience, in a very short time, nausea, vomiting, chills, sweats, diarrhea and fever. And, it can last for up to three days. And, while we don’t know where it began, we certainly know how…
 
“The causes of gastrointestinal disease are well described, and pathogenic microorganisms are the common cause. These pathogens originate from fecal material of infected persons.”
 
Fecal matter! Isn’t that a pleasant thought?
 
Given that we are not a group of poop-tossing primates, we can only guess where the virus came from. And that guess would be it came from somebody who did not properly wash their hands after using the bathroom. It could be anybody from a resident, staff or visitor who touched an environmental surface (railing, armrest, table or light switch etc.)

As of today, we are quarantined (once again) and all activities have been canceled. Meals are being served in our rooms and, as usual, are awful. I wasn’t feeling
well earlier this week, and I thought I was getting over whatever I had. But on Thursday I was experiencing some nausea. I find the best thing to do for that is to drink a lot of fluids, eat lightly and get some rest.
 
So, whose fault is this? It would be easy to blame the facility, but the truth is they actually do a good job keeping the place clean. Unfortunately, you can’t be everywhere and you certainly can’t follow people around or wash their hands for them. Perhaps someone will invent a smartphone app that can detect surface poop, or something that makes you wash your hands after using the toilet….........…
 
 
 






NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4 , 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper





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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2023






“People take ownership of sickness and disease by saying things like 
MY high blood pressure MY diabetes, MY heart disease,
 MY depression, MY! MY! MY! Don't own it
 because it doesn't belong to you!”
― Stella Payton




Vision Impairment Found 
in More Than a Quarter 
of Older US Adults
By Julia Bonavitacola


A recent study has found that the prevalence of vision impairment in US adults 71 years and older was higher in 2021 compared with prior estimates.

More than 1 in 4 US adults 71 years and older were found to have vision impairment (VI) in 2021, which was a higher number than previous estimates according to JAMA Ophthalmology. The prevalence of VI also differed according to socioeconomic and demographic factors.

Older adults are more likely to be affected by VI, with 60% of people with VI or blindness being 65 years or older in the United States. Growth of the older population will cause a doubling of the number of people affected by VI from 2015 to 2050. This study aimed to give a national estimate of VI and blindness in the United States using testing of visual function. VI was defined according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.



Cap on insulin costs could 
save over a million older 
Americans an average 
of $500 per year
By Oliver Willis



A provision in the Inflation Reduction Act caps the cost of insulin for some Medicare recipients starting this year, and Democrats support a similar rule for privately insured Americans as well.

A study released on Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services found that people on Medicare could see their annual insulin costs reduced by an annual average of $500 based on a rule within the Inflation Reduction Act.

Insulin costs have increased significantly over the last decade. A 2020 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a month's supply of the vital medicine can cost patients anywhere from $334 to $1,000 per month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of kidney failure, adult blindness, and lower-limb amputations.



Skipping exercise in favor of sitting 
can worsen brain function
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.


Skipping out on exercise in favor of less demanding activities — such as sitting or lying down — was linked to a slight decline in memory and thinking abilities, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The differences, though small, show how even minor changes in physical activity levels can affect a person's health, including brain health, said lead study author John Mitchell, a researcher at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health in the United Kingdom.

Mitchell and his colleagues used data from the 1970 British Cohort Study — an ongoing study that tracks the health of a group of people born in the U.K. in 1970. The study’s findings were based on data from nearly 4,500 people who were followed up with from 2016 to 2018.





Study Finds Large Gap in 
Breast Cancer Treatment 
Recommendations for 
Patients Aged 70 vs 69



Radiation therapy often is given after breast-conserving surgery to help prevent a patient’s cancer from returning. While post-surgical radiation may be omitted for certain patients with early-stage breast cancer – including older patients with lower-risk disease – it remains standard-of-care for patients with a higher risk of cancer recurrence. In this analysis of nationwide data, however, researchers found that patients in this higher-risk subset who were age 70 at the time of diagnosis “were nearly twice as likely to be passed over for radiation” as those age 69. 

Patients diagnosed at age 70 were 53% less likely to be recommended post-operative radiation and 39% less likely to receive it, compared to patients age 69. There were no similar gaps between other year-over-year age groups (68 vs 69, 70 vs 71, etc.). The study, which is published in the International Journal of Radiation

 Oncology•Biology•Physics, is among “the first to demonstrate an age cutoff heuristic in oncology.” 

“Our findings suggest that cognitive heuristics, or ‘rules of thumb,’ play a greater role in physician decision-making than we previously realized. It’s important that we center individual patients, with the unique characteristics of their cancer, as well as their individual preferences, in treatment decisions,” said Suzanne B. Evans, MD, MPH, FASTRO, senior author of the study and a professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale Cancer Center. 








How to avoid paying taxes
on Social Security income


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.

But here’s the caveat: To receive tax-free Social Security, your annual combined, or provisional, income must be under certain thresholds:





ENDING THE COVID
EMERGENCY IS A
BIG MISTAKE

We live in marvelous times. We have become so technically advanced and so knowledgeable about how viruses work that, with the stroke of a pen, we can end a pandemic that has plagued this nation for over 4 years.
 
“President Joe Biden informed Congress on Monday that he will end the twin national emergencies for addressing COVID-19 on May 11, as most of the world has returned closer to normalcy nearly three years after they were first declared.
 
The move to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations would formally restructure the federal coronavirus response to treat the virus as an endemic threat to public health that can be managed through agencies’ normal authorities.
 
Biden’s announcement comes in a statement opposing resolutions being brought to the floor this week by House Republicans to bring the emergency to an immediate end.”
 
It sounds like a great idea. Declaring COVID is no more dangerous than a cold or the flu will put an end to all our fears.. Thousands of people will no longer face the threat of death or long-term illness simply because the government says so. And who wants to wear those pesky masks, anyway? And let’s not forget our seniors. They won’t have to worry about being the most vulnerable group of Americans because COVID is no longer a big deal. Take a shot and get on with life. Right?
 
How stupid can we be? COVID, and its ever-changing, ever-mutating variants are as much a threat today as it was when that dope we had for a president told us it would disappear in a couple of weeks. Yes, I know how well the vaccines work to dispel or make COVID less deadly, and that’s great. However, I know firsthand how at least one group is dying at a rate three to seven times higher than the general population. I also know how the threat of contracting the virus is still much a part of daily life in senior communities and I fear the impact any reduction in precautions will have on vulnerable groups like seniors. Lockdowns and quarantines have as much effect on the wellbeing of our older Americans as the virus itself has. 

What may be more upsetting than the announcement is the reason for doing it now. Rather than allowing science or facts to get in the way, Biden’s hasty decision was made strictly because of pressure put upon him by Republicans who want everything to go back to pre-covid conditions because, let’s face it, COVID ain’t good for business. And if it’s not good for business, it’s not good for Republicans and their benefactors.
 
Am I angry at Biden? I sure am. And I’m angry at my fellow Democrats because, like their Republican counterparts, the fog of partisan politics clouds their opinions to where it obscures reality. And that may be deadly for thousands of seniors who (for their health) don’t give a flying f**k about politics……………………
 







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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3 , 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper







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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2023






“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be 
an unnecessary freezing of water.”
― Carl Reiner




What does a world with 
billions of old people look like?
Asian countries are 
searching for answers



Apartments in Singapore’s Queenstown district will soon offer slip-resistant floors and doorways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. In Japan, a recently built light railway in the northern city of Toyama has carriages that, when they pull into a station, attach tightly to platforms, ensuring that the elderly don’t trip over gaps. At the Village Landais in southern France, every detail is geared toward helping Alzheimer’s sufferers live as comfortably as possible; groceries at village stores don’t have price labels, doing away with the need for residents to count the costs. (Those costs are covered by government agencies.) The idea is to give residents the experience of shopping without the confusion of transactions. Similar communities for people with dementia have been set up on the outskirts of Amsterdam and the shores of Lake Rotorua in New Zealand.

Collectively, these are vignettes of our shared future — of a world that is aging, and thus changing “in fundamental ways,” 

By the middle of this century, the number of people aged 65 and over around the world will total more than 1.6 billion people, up from around 760 million in 2021. In other words, there will be more than twice as many elderly people a generation from now.




Assisted living 
needs to be part 
of enhanced Medicaid 
HCBS program
By Kimberly Bonvissuto



A proposal calling for permanent enhanced federal funding to states to expand the Medicaid home- and community-based services program needs to go a step further to emphasize the benefits of assisted living, according to industry experts.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) on Thursday introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act to help “close a massive gap” in HCBS for more than 650,000 older Americans on waiting lists for services.

Jeanne Delgado, vice president of government affairs for the American Seniors Housing Association, told McKnight’s Senior Living that the proposal calls for “substantial investment in the caregiving infrastructure” — an estimated $300 million — by enhancing the Medicaid HCBS program, which provides opportunities for individuals to receive long-term services and supports in their homes or community, rather than in institutions such as nursing homes or other isolated settings. In many states, HCBS can be provided at assisted living communities through Medicaid waivers.





Study of 500,000 
Medical Records
Links Viruses to 
Alzheimer's 
Again And Again
By FELICITY NELSON


A study of around 500,000 medical records has suggested that severe viral infections like encephalitis and pneumonia increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Researchers found 22 connections between viral infections and neurodegenerative conditions in the study of around 450,000 people.

People treated for a type of inflammation of the brain called viral encephalitis were 31 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. (For every 406 viral encephalitis cases, 24 went on to develop Alzheimer's disease – around 6 percent.)




House passes bill to protect 
elderly, vulnerable Americans
from financial exploitation
By Eric Revell 


The House on Monday passed a bipartisan bill that aims to prevent the financial exploitation of elderly and disabled Americans by scammers amid a surge in such crimes that have impacted one in five senior citizens.

Introduced by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., the Financial Exploitation Prevention Act would allow a registered open-end investment company like those that operate many mutual funds to delay the redemption period of a security if they reasonably believe it was requested through the financial exploitation of a senior citizen over the age of 65 or a person with disabilities who cannot protect their interests. The House passed the bill on a 419-0 vote Monday evening.

"Sadly, about one in five senior investors fall prey to financial fraud, and those investors lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually in reported cases," Wagner said in remarks on the House floor. "However, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association, only one in 44 cases is ever even reported."






BACK IN THE DAY: 
Moms got the job done with 
Vicks salve 
and boiled-onion poultices


In an era of children’s cold-medicine shortages, it is interesting to recall the old days. Before miracle drugs and tastier fruit-flavored medications, mountain folks relied on home remedies. Those of us who grew up in the 1940s have vivid memories of childhood colds being treated with Vicks salve. Properly called Vicks VapoRub, it came in a little blue jar and was the Number One treatment for head and chest colds, sore throat, and the flu. The trusted salve was rubbed on the chest and poked up the nose so often that the smallest country child was familiar with the menthol scent of Vicks.  

Back then, children were only taken to the doctor in the most serious situations. Mothers depended on the almost magical relief found in the colorful cobalt-blue container, and generations of croupy children benefitted from this North Carolina invention. One story from the late 1800s declares that Pharmacist Lunsford Richardson developed it in desperation when three of his own children were sick at the same time.

Whatever the circumstances, he had a winning combination when he mixed Camphor, Eucalyptus Oil, and Menthol together as active ingredients. To stabilize the salve and mitigate some of the stronger odors, he added Cedarleaf Oil from cedar trees, Turpentine Oil from pines, Petroleum jelly, Thymol (from the herb Thyme) and Nutmeg Oil. In modern times when we are accustomed to long lists of manmade chemicals in products, we can appreciate the simplicity of his natural components.








I beg your indulgence. I have to forego my thought provoking, timely and often witty editorial today, I’m a little under the weather today. The truth is, I feel like crap. In the past 24 hours I have experienced almost every symptom one can including, but not limited to, chills, fever, body aches, nausea and diarrhea (sorry if you are having breakfast). I felt so poorly yesterday, I had to miss our monthly residents meeting. And I’m the moderator. That’s the first time in over 5 years I had to beg off. I don’t know what I’ve got, but after speaking to some of our staff I learned there are a number of residents who are feeling the same way. It does not take long for a illness to spread like wildfire here at the A.L.F. Hopefully, a round of self-medication (Tylenol and plenty of fluids) will do the trick and make me feel like my usual chipper self by tomorrow. Thanks………







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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper





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TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2023




“Pay heed to the tales of old wives.
 It may well be that they alone keep in memory what
 it was once needful for the wise to know.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien





Eating right and staying 
healthy as you age
By KATHY SMITH 


Men and women are living longer and enjoying energetic and active lifestyles well into their 80s, 90s and 100s. Eating well and being active can make a difference in the quality of life for people of all ages and especially older adults.

You are never too old to enjoy the benefits of improved nutrition and fitness. With nutrient-rich foods and activities with friends you can feel an immediate difference in your energy levels and enjoyment of life. As we get older our food and activity choices become even more important to our health.

As we age, an older adult needs fewer calories, but higher amounts of nutrients, especially calcium and vitamin D. For nutrition, you need to focus on quality not quantity. For optimal health physically and mentally, older adults need to make every calorie count. For a healthy eating plan, choose a variety of foods from all the MyPlate food groups regularly including fruits and vegetables, protein meats and food, whole grains, dairy products, and good fats.

Read more  >>




10 Home Upgrades 
You Should Make If 
You're Over 65, 
By MICHELLE COHEN


The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

A growing segment of the population is aging, and with this demographic shift has come a renewed interest in the needs of older people. According to a 2021 AARP survey,  75 percent of adults 50 and older hope to remain in their homes as a long-term choice. "Multi-generational" homes are in increasing demand, leading to a growing focus in architecture and design that considers elders with limited mobility as well as privacy and ease of living for everyone.

Not everyone can design their own home, of course. Some older adults plan to downsize or move to a condo or senior community. But if you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future, you may want to consider making some changes so you—and your friends and family—can stay safe and active at home, even with the physical limitations that may come with older age. Read on to hear from home and senior experts about the 10 home upgrades you should make if you're over 65.

1Make use of smart home technology.

Read more  >>



6 KEYS TO BEING 
CREATIVE AT ANY AGE
BY DOUGLAS WINSLOW COOPE


“Curiosity about life in all its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people,” noted the late Leo Burnett, outstanding advertising executive and founder of the firm that bears his name. If so, then by encouraging our own curiosity, we can become more creative.

Former journalist Harry W. Hoover’s little book Born Creative maintains that we all are born creative, but some of us don’t believe we are, and so we don’t exercise that skill.

Hoover cites a Harvard Business Review (HBR) study that found that those who think they are not creative, are not, and those who think they are creative, are. Inventor Henry Ford is credited with saying, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Read more  >>



Medicare coverage can 
be a bit of a mystery:
Here are the big coverage 
gaps to watch out for
BY RICHARD EISENBERG


Turns out, there are a number of big health expenses that Original Medicare, the federal health insurance program for Americans over 65, doesn’t cover. But—and it’s a big but—for most of those there’s often an exception to the rule. 

It’s also worth noting that Medicare Advantage plans—the private-insurance alternative to Original Medicare—sometimes offer coverage that Original Medicare doesn’t. But, as you’ll see below, that coverage may be skimpier than you think because Medicare Advantage benefits aren’t standardized.

“Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover everything Original Medicare covers and nothing more. A supplemental benefit could be robust, or it could be not,” says Casey Schwarz, senior counsel for education

Read more  >>





What to Look for in 
an Assisted Living Facility
By Lisa Esposito and C.J. Trent-Gurbuz



Different Assisted Living Options

If you need some help with activities of daily living, but you don't need the type of round-the-clock care a nursing home provides, an assisted living facility may be for you.

At these care centers, a staff member may help you take your medications on time, get into the shower and button your blouse each morning, but they won't continually look after you. You'll largely live independently throughout the day.

What to Know About Assisted Living Facilities

But not all assisted living facilities are created equal. Calling all 28,900 assisted living facilities in the U.S. the same is like calling all colleges the same: Sure, they serve the same general population and support the same general goals, but they vary widely in size, culture, specialties, cost, perks and, yes, even dining.

Learn more  >>






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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper





-30-









MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2023






"A man’s got to believe in something.
 I believe I’ll have another drink."
               ____W.C. Fields





Federal program offers paid training 
to older Americans so they can learn
skills to land jobs

Officials are hoping more older Americans apply to a federal program that provides approved applicants with paid work-based training.

Those aged 55 and older who want to get back into the workforce are encouraged to look into SER Jobs for Progress National. This is a federal program that helps those who qualify to train with non-profit organizations to learn new skills. 

The goal is to give older adults the chance to better their lives.

“It's various opportunities for the seniors that have worked in the past and have not worked in a while that want to get back into the working field,” Larry Mercado, Texas Senior Community Service Employment Program coordinator, said. 



Walkable Retirement Communities 
Are Hitting Their Stride
By John F. Wasik


When Joan Robinson was planning her retirement, she didn't look to a gated community in the Sunbelt. She wanted to be able to walk around and engage with people. A former theater teacher and arts administrator, she relishes — even in the middle of winter — her home in Wake Robin, a walkable retirement community in Shelburne, Vermont.

A couple walking their dog in the woods. Next Avenue, walkable retirement community
Wake Robin retirement community, Shelburne, Vermont.  |  Credit: Sam Simon
Wake Robin has more than 400 residents in 250 cottages and apartments on 136 acres near Lake Champlain along with multiple walking paths that connect sections of apartments and cottages with a building for residents who need more care.

Because the community is so walkable, Robinson is out nearly every day with her dog and "didn't feel that winter thing"— pining for a warmer, snowless locale. She meets lots of regular walkers and fellow residents, many of whom carry dog treats for her pooch.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Why do so many older adults 
choose Medicare Advantage?
By KATE ASHFORD 


In 2022, 48% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans instead of original Medicare, and experts predict that number will be higher in 2023.

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers and bundle Medicare benefits in a way many people find appealing — but they also limit care to network providers , often require preapproval to see specialists and can saddle beneficiaries with high out-of-pocket costs for serious conditions.

The number of older adults in Medicare Advantage is also notable because financial experts tend to recommend original Medicare with medigap.




Sudden Cardiac Arrest 
During Sports Activity 
in Older Adults


Quick Takes

Adults aged ≥65 years who had a sudden cardiac arrest while exercising were more likely to be male, had a lower event rate if they exercised than those who did not exercise, and had fewer comorbidities than those who did not exercise.
 
Survival was fourfold higher if they were exercising at the time of sudden cardiac arrest.

Sudden cardiac arrest was more frequent while cycling, gym activity, or running.

Witnessed cardiac arrest with bystander CPR, presence of a shockable rhythm, and early defibrillation were the most common factors that resulted in hospital discharge.






Here is why Hawaii has the 
longest life expectancy
 in the country
By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech



Story at a glance

Hawaii has the longest life expectancy at birth out of all 50 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On average, a person born in Hawaii can now expect to live until 80.7 years of age.

The factors that go into lifespan are complicated, but a few things that can positively affect life expectancy are diet, exercise and access to medical care.

Hawaii’s rich natural beauty and year-round warm weather are not the only perks of the Aloha State. Research shows Hawaii residents, on average, live the longest out of anyone else in the United States.  

In 2021, the average life span in the U.S. followed a now yearslong trend by dropping to 76.1 years, the shortest it has been since 1996.  








It’s Saturday night. And I’ve just finished shopping. 

No, I didn’t hop into the Honda and dash off to the mall. Today, like many seniors and non-seniors alike, I do most, if not all, my shopping from the comfort of my easy chair, at home, online. And, it’s not only non-food items in my shopping cart. There’s a bunch of stuff that, at one time, I would never have considered buying any other way but at my local grocery or supermarket. However, as convenient as it may be, does online shopping supply the same “thrill” we get when we travel down the well-stocked aisles of our local Stop&Shop, Walmart or CVS? I say no. 

Perhaps my age has something to do with me preferring to shop, in person, at a real brick and mortar store where there are real people and real merchandise I can touch, feel, and smell.

For over sixty-five years, I have shopped the old-fashioned way. By getting off my butt, and heading for Main Street or the mall or the A&P. This is something I have done even before I was old enough to understand what shopping was all about. I cannot count the number of shopping trips I took with my mom growing up in Brooklyn. Before I could walk, mom would bundle me into a stroller and push me the four blocks to Brooklyn’s version of the Casbah, Flatbush Avenue.

There, on a seven or eight block stretch of concrete, lay everything any civilized post WWII mom and her baby-boomer offspring could want. From butcher store to greengrocer to shoe store (Buster Brown’s) to bakery, it was all there. A bazaar as rich and varied as any middle eastern sook. It was a place where shoppers could experience what shopping was all about. A chance to get out and interact with people while obtaining the goods and services we wanted and the food and clothes we needed. And, we got it right away. Not two or three hours or a day or even a week later. It was there for us to take home and enjoy. Our need for instant gratification accomplished. 

Unfortunately, today I can no longer manage an extensive shopping trip. Though we have a bus that takes a group of us here at the A.L.F. to a local supermarket once a week, I find it too tiring to do anymore. Therefore, the little food shopping I do, I do online with Instacart or Amazon. And, while it took a bit of getting used to, I have learned to trust and accept this is the only way I have to supplement my often poorly prepared and nutritionally deficient in-house meals. Also, I have curtailed my need for immediate reward and accepted that waiting a day or three is manageable, and I won’t die if my pack of Jockey shorts or a new chair cushion is not ready for immediate use.

Amazon just announced it will charge for its “Fresh” food delivery, making it tough for seniors who rely on their service. I will have to compare prices with other online applications and shop more carefully. While this may not be as satisfying as standing in line at the checkout counter, or haggling with the shopkeeper, it will have to do..
 








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper




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FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2023








“Melt all the tanks in the world and make them rubbish bins. 
They will be much more useful for the humanity!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan




Midriff bulge linked 
to heightened risk of 
physical frailty in older age



Carrying far too much weight, including a midriff bulge, from mid-life onwards, is linked to a heightened risk of physical frailty in older age, finds research published in the open access journal BMJ Open.

Study: Body mass index, waist circumference and pre-frailty/frailty: the Tromsø study 1994−2016. Image Credit: ViDI Studio / ShutterstockStudy: Body mass index, waist circumference and pre-frailty/frailty: the Tromsø study 1994−2016. Image Credit: ViDI Studio / Shutterstock

Frailty is often wrongly perceived as a purely wasting disorder, say the researchers, who emphasize the importance of keeping trim throughout adulthood to help minimize the risk.




Healthiest states for seniors


To determine which states are most and least healthy for senior populations, Stacker consulted America's Health Rankings' 2022 Senior Report, where public health researchers analyzed metrics of senior health for every state, ranging from nursing home quality to preventable hospitalizations. The report was released in 2023.

Although the numbers in certain categories changed drastically in some states after the COVID-19 pandemic — and while that may have influenced the behavior of senior citizens regarding clinical preventive services — the health crisis was not considered individually in the report. The metrics are split into five categories: social and economic, physical environment, clinical care, behaviors, and health outcomes.

Nationwide, there have been demonstrable shifts in several key factors relative to overall health and quality of life for seniors. Poverty-stricken states rank poorly, and their seniors' eating and physical activity habits tend to be unhealthy. Seniors in these areas also tend to avoid getting medical attention due to the high costs of healthcare services. Drug-related deaths, for example, doubled between 2018 and 2020, while depression and obesity rose 9% and 16%, respectively, since 2011.




New Study Says Drinking Water 
Helps You Live Longer—
Here Are 5 Easy Ways 
to Up Your Intake
By LAUREN GRAY


Along with maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking, staying properly hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. In fact, a Jan. 2023 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in The Lancet journal eBioMedicine concluded that people who stay hydrated develop fewer chronic conditions and live longer than those who do not. Having reviewed data from over 11,000 individuals over a 30-year period, the NIH found that those who were better hydrated also showed fewer signs of biological aging.

Drinking Water Is Important and Why You Should Do It Every Day

"The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life," Natalia Dmitrieva, PhD, a study author and researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) said via news release.

Considering its clear benefits, you may be wondering how you can up your water intake for a healthier and longer life. Read on to learn five simple ways to add more water to your daily routine.




Best Cell Phone Plans 
for Older People
By Melanie Pinola


If you’re 55 or older, you might be able to save money with these deals from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon

The “big three” wireless providers—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon—all offer discounts for older people that could save you as much as $60 per month on the price of unlimited talk, text, and data plans.

Of course, there are catches. T-Mobile’s 55+ plans are available nationwide and cover up to four lines, but the deals from AT&T and Verizon apply only to Floridians with one or two lines. Autopay and paperless billing often are required as well.

Here’s a closer look at the offers from each of the providers.






Preplanning for Times 
When You Won’t be There: 
How to Go About It?
By Ella WoodwardJanuary 


Preplanning for times when you will no longer be there can sound like a morbid affair, but you may not feel that way after looking at it closely. Settling all your affairs for a time when you will no longer be there to settle them can only give you peace of mind and a sense of freedom. Most importantly, it gives you complete control over deciding what happens after death to your body, your estate, your assets, your pets, and everything else that belongs to you. As to how you should proceed, that’s what we will be discussing next.

Call Your Attorney

This is one of the most important steps that every senior is highly advised to take, whether they have any reason to expect death soon or not. Call your estate attorney to discuss options and prepare the essential after-death documents. If you don’t have an attorney and you live in Texas, for example, hire someone proficient in Texas Inheritance Laws. Common after-death documents that your attorney will help prepare and then execute after your passing include, but are not limited to:







I don’t get much mail anymore. Real mail anyway. But when I do, it’s usually junk mail, something from my legislator or a catalog for home décor. I usually just toss them in the trash. However, twice a month I receive mail I actually open. It’s my credit card statement(s), and lately they make me cringe, and for good reason. Not only have my bills gone up, but they have gone up significantly. And to make things worse, I’m getting much less bang for the buck.
 
I understand inflation. I know everything has gone up in price. Blame it on the pandemic, rising energy prices or whatever, inflation has always been a part of our lives, but it was manageable. Salaries would rise to meet the needs. Even people on fixed incomes could get by with a little budget tightening. Now, there is nothing left to tighten. And it’s becoming a real, life-changing situation for many seniors.  

Seniors are like regular folks. We drive cars, go to the movies and eat at fast-food restaurants. And, like real people, we have to buy clothes, toiletries, laundry detergent, and other things. Occasionally, stuff breaks and has to be replaced or repaired. Where’s the help with that? Laptops, smartphones and the like are no longer luxury items. They are essential in today’s society. And when they go bad, repairs or replacement can cost hundreds. With all the other things marginal-income seniors have to pay for, there’s nothing left. And they can’t get anything extra.
 
For those desperately in need, there are programs like  Medicaid and SNAP. Help with rent and even help to pay utility bills is available, but you have to be on the bottom rung of the poverty level to receive those benefits. What about the rest of us seniors who, according to the government, make too much or have too much net worth to qualify? And, by too much, I mean over $1400 in Social Security and having a net worth of more than $1500. I wonder how many government officials could get by on $1400 a month?

It’s time we get real folks, and face the fact that not all of us are “fat cats” living off bloated pensions or ill-gotten gains from  investments. The system has always made it tough for the average working chump to get ahead. It’s time for the “system” to do something about it. Raise the qualification limits so that more seniors can qualify for help and enjoy the lifestyle they deserve……………..
 
 





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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper






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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023





"You would think that a rock star 
being married to a supermodel
 would be one of the greatest 
things in the world. It is."

_____ David Bowie




California shooting suspects 
are senior citizens. 
Here’s why that’s so rare


Tragically, mass shootings occur often enough that they no longer seem like rarities. However, two back-to-back shootings in California in recent days stand out as unusual for another reason: In both cases, the suspected perpetrators were senior citizens.

Huu Can Tran, 72, who allegedly shot 11 people to death on Saturday inside a Monterey Park (Los Angeles County) dance studio before fatally shooting himself, is the oldest alleged perpetrator ever among mass shootings tracked by the Violence Project. Chunli Zhao, 66, who is suspected of shooting seven people to death at two Half Moon Bay locations on Monday, is also far older than the typical perpetrator of such crimes.

“This is particularly stunning to see two perpetrators this old in a row,” said Jillian Peterson, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. She is co-author of the Violence Project, which collects detailed information on U.S. mass shootings, defined as the killing by firearms of four or more people in a public event. The project’s goal is to identify root causes that could help stop such massacres in the future.





The Benefits of 
Continuing Care 
Retirement Communities



Independent living communities are for healthy, active older adults. Assisted living facilities suit those who need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and medication management. Skilled nursing facilities provide care to individuals with significant medical conditions.

Yet, as people age, the type and level of care they need often change. Older adults who start in one kind of community often must move to another facility that can support their evolving needs. Relocating can be stressful, as individuals leave their friends to start over in an unfamiliar environment, often while their autonomy and access to recreation diminishes.

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) present a solution for people who wish to avoid the strain of moving and remain in one senior living community that meets their evolving needs. Also called life plan communities, these establishments typically offer independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing in one centralized location.




Assisted Living Facilities
Pressed To Address Growing 
Needs of Older, Sicker Residents 
By Judith Graham


Assisted living communities too often fail to meet the needs of older adults and should focus more on residents’ medical and mental health concerns, according to a recent report by a diverse panel of experts.

It’s a clarion call for change inspired by the altered profile of the population that assisted living now serves.

Residents are older, sicker, and more compromised by impairments than in the past: 55% are 85 and older, 77% require help with bathing, 69% with walking, and 49% with toileting, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.




5 Ways of 
Motivating Seniors’ Life
By Amina Chaudhary


It can be easy to become complacent and lose motivation as we age. Seniors may find themselves feeling stuck in a routine or unmotivated to take on new activities and experiences. However, staying motivated to lead a productive and meaningful life is important. Motivation plays a significant role in physical and mental health, especially for seniors. It helps them remain physically active and socially engaged in leading productive lives. This article will explore the various strategies seniors can use to stay motivated and achieve personal goals. If you have a loved one who needs special care and motivation, check out this article until the end.

As people age, staying motivated and adopting healthy habits can be difficult. However, nutrition and healthcare are essential in maintaining physical and mental health. Proper nutrition helps seniors maintain their strength, energy, and well-being. For this, focus on foods high in nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, lean proteins, legumes, and nuts. A balanced diet should also include small amounts of healthy fats from sources like olive oil or avocados to keep joints lubricated and muscles functioning properly.

Additionally, seeking medical care can help prevent or manage chronic illnesses common among the elderly population. For instance, many seniors have dementia, and finding the right caregiver for your loved ones is important. However, you must know about crucial interview questions for caregivers before hiring him, as he can greatly affect your loved one’s happiness.






Higher Social Security
cost-of-living adjustments
may affect your taxes.
Here’s how to plan
By Lorie Konish






KEY POINTS:

Inflation has pushed Social Security’s annual increases up to historic highs for the past couple of years.
That may trigger a bigger tax bill for some beneficiaries. But proper planning can help.

Social Security recipients are just starting to see the record 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment in their monthly checks.

But come tax time, they could see surprises resulting from last year’s 5.9% increase, which at the time was the biggest COLA in four decades.

Last year’s 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment was like getting a 6% wage bump in 2022, according to Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League. Yet that boost to benefits was not enough to keep up with rising costs, according to recent research from the nonpartisan senior group.











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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper





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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023




“There's a fine line between fishing 
and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” 
_______Steven Wright






Managing Benefits for Loved Ones


When loved ones can no longer manage their government benefits on their own, a family member or friend will step in to help. For many government agencies and benefit programs, that means becoming a fiduciary. Simply put, a fiduciary is someone appointed by an agency to manage money or other things on behalf of someone else. Let’s learn more about becoming a fiduciary and other ways to help people with their benefits.

Becoming a Fiduciary

The rules and requirements of a fiduciary are different for each agency. Generally, fiduciaries are allowed to use benefit payments to take care of a loved one but must keep detailed records of how the money is spent and cannot mix it with their own finances. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has a guide on how to become a good fiduciary and avoid common mistakes.



Study shows older people 
in no rush to return 
to movie theaters
BY JON KELLER


The James Cameron film "Avatar: The Way of Water" has now made more than half a billion dollars in North America. But chances are, you won't see many older adults at the theater checking it out.

When pandemic restrictions eased, many couldn't wait to get back to the movie theater. But a new study found older adults are in no rush to return. And that trend is about more than just fear of COVID.

Before the pandemic, people over 40 bought 41% of all movie tickets in the US and Canada. Not anymore.

While high-tech blockbusters like the Avatar sequel are mopping up, Stephen Spielberg's semi-autobiographical movie "The Fabelmans" faltered at the box office, despite overwhelming critical acclaim.




Gig Work on the Rise Among 
Older Adults as Demand for 
Workplace Flexibility Grows


Many older workers are no longer settling for stressful working conditions or fully in-person jobs, finds a new AARP survey of adults age 40 and older. The aarp logo 2019COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shift in attitudes about work, with more people prioritizing work-life balance and making workplace flexibility as a job prerequisite.

Understanding a Changing Older Workforce: An Examination of Workers Ages 40-Plus shows that flexible work hours are now a job requirement for 79% of older workers, while 66% say they would only accept a new job if they are able to work remotely at least some of the time. Most older workers (90%) also say they require a job that provides meaningful work.

“During the pandemic, many people took time to reexamine their personal goals and how their job fits into their life,” said Carly Roszkowski, Vice President of Financial Resilience Programming at AARP. “Given the high level of burnout that so many older workers experienced during the pandemic, especially those who are caregivers, it should come as no surprise that work-life balance has emerged as not just a priority but a requirement.”  




Seniors, Make This Winter
an Active & Healthy One
By Cara Murez 


Winter may feel like a time for hibernation, but it’s important for seniors to safely keep up their hobbies and physical activity in the cold weather.

“It’s important to get outside as much as possible, whether it’s temperate or even if it’s colder, as long as it’s safe to do so,” said Dr. Angela Catic, an associate professor in the Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston.

“If it’s cold, bundling up and getting outside is good for your spirit and good for you physically,” she said in a Baylor news release.

Continue walking, biking or being in nature, Catic suggested, while being cautious of snow or icy conditions. But don’t pick up a new active sport like skiing or snowboarding, unless that was already a hobby, she cautioned.








REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS 
(RMDS) HAVE CHANGED
BY BEVERLY BOWERS 



Just before the end of 2022, the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 was signed into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. One of the changes included in the Act delays the age for required minimum distributions from IRAs and company retirement plans, and it is likely to impact you in some manner.

Perhaps you help a parent or other relative calculate their RMD even if you or your spouse/partner are not yet taking RMDs. In any case, it is important to have a plan or strategy for RMDs in your retirement years. You will be taxed as if your distributions are part of your ordinary income and that may affect your tax bracket and therefore the amount of taxes you pay.

What Are Required Minimum Distributions?

A required minimum distribution is the amount of money that must be withdrawn from an employer-sponsored retirement plan, traditional IRA, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA by owners and qualified retirement plan participants of retirement age.






As I stared out of my window at the bare trees, the gray skies and the brown patches on the sparsely vegetated ground, I could not help humming the words to the Mama’s And The Papa’s song “California Dreaming.” But it’s not gray skies or brown leaves that’s got me down. It’s the day-to-day tedium of life as a resident of an assisted living facility. Add to that the constant threat of a COVID breakout and the continued use of face masks and other precaution and you have the perfect atmosphere that is the reason for a feeling of melancholia which pervades every corner of the facility.  

Much of this tedium, for me, stems from not having anybody to talk to. My usual cadre of friends has been all but decimated by illness and death.

Two of my besties passed away a few weeks apart. They were wonderful folks whose conversation I treasured dearly. Another friend, whom I’ve known for almost as long as I have been here, injured herself in a fall and is currently in rehab in another facility. This leaves only one or two people who I can carry out a meaningful conversation. This has left me with only one person, my table mate at meals, to talk to. And he’s as bored as I am.   

The only thing left is TV and this blog. And I thank g-d for both. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime and The History Channel, I find something to watch. And writing this blog affords some of the intellectual stimulation that keeps me from going totally stir crazy.
 
Why this winter is particularly depressing, I don’t know. Perhaps the nearly 10 years I have been a resident here have finally caught up with me. Much like a job that you have that you hate, but you stay with it because it pays the bills. In other words, I have no choice.

Spring is less than 2 months away. Perhaps that “rebirth” will stimulate the environment here. Or better yet, maybe we’ll get some new residents (many move here as the weather gets better) who will abate some of the apathy and ignorance around here. Until then, the highlight of my week will come Friday when my clothes come back from the laundry. I find rolling up my socks very stimulating…….........................






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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper




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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2023





“Every man has his secret sorrows 
which the world knows not; 
and often times we call a man 
cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




Fewer medications for 
older adults can prevent 
falls, improve memory


Dear Carol: Countless articles, including yours, report that older adults are taking too many prescription drugs, some with potentially harmful side effects. Yet, it seems that every time my mom goes to see her doctor, she comes back with another prescription. The family wants her to have whatever medications she needs, but we’re afraid that some of them are not just unnecessary but might be harmful. Mom’s comfortable with the doctor she’s seen for 30 years and she came from an era where you didn’t ask questions. Can you suggest an approach that might convince her to see another physician? – BN

Dear BN: I agree that changing doctors might help your mom maintain better health. Her current physician may be providing fine family care, but treating older adults requires a change of focus where more isn’t necessarily better. Don’t put her previous doctor down. Simply emphasize that like all older adults, her body is changing, and she needs a doctor who specializes in her age group to maintain the best quality of life possible.

Geriatricians (doctors who specialize in older adults) are scarce but see if you can find one with an opening. If that’s not possible, look for an internal medicine specialist who sees a lot of older adults and understands their unique needs.





Men who use Viagra 
are 25% less likely to 
suffer early death
By Brooke Steinberg


A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that Viagra lowers the risk of heart disease in men by up to 39% — and it even helps reduce the risk of early death.

Researchers from the University of Southern California studied 70,000 adult men with an average age of 52 who’d been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction at some point between 2006 and 2020.

They looked at the participants’ medical records to see who had taken the drug and whether or not they have suffered heart problems during the follow-up period. Factors such as race, height and weight were taken into account when adjusting the findings.




Estate Planning: 
3 Things to Know 
About Being an Executor


An executor is a person or entity you choose to carry out your last wishes outlined in your will. Your executor should be someone you trust is responsible enough to manage your estate after you pass away.

Choosing an executor is a big decision when it comes to estate planning. So, what should I know about an executor? What should I consider before naming an executor? Here are answers to three common questions about executors.

Can an Executor Decide Who Gets What?

No. In most circumstances, an executor cannot decide who gets what property. Executors are responsible for carrying out the testator’s wishes as outlined in the will.




Older adults at risk 
of vitamin D deficiency


Dear Doctors: I have read that older adults may not get enough vitamin D in winter. My father-in-law is 73 years old. He’s from Florida, but he’s spending a year with us here in Maine. He can’t be outdoors all the time like he is at home. How important is vitamin D? How do we know if he’s getting enough?

Dear Reader: Your question keys right into why vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” It’s a nutrient essential to human health and well-being and is produced by the body in response to exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and maintain proper blood levels of both calcium and phosphorus. These functions are critical to the growth and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. Newer research shows the vitamin has an anti-inflammatory effect, helps the body fight infection and can reduce cancer cell growth in some situations. Vitamin D receptors are found in tissues throughout the body and in several major organs. This suggests additional roles for the nutrient that have not yet been identified.

How much vitamin D someone needs depends on their age. Children, teens and adults up to the age of 70 are advised to get 600 international units, or IU, per day. Absorption becomes less efficient as we age, so older adults, like your father-in-law, are advised to get 800 IU per day. For infants up to 12 months old, the recommendation is 400 IU of vitamin D per day. While the nutrient is found in some foods, such as fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, cheeses and some mushrooms, most of us don’t eat enough of these to fulfill our daily requirement. To compensate, a range of commonly consumed prepared foods are fortified with the nutrient. These include dairy products, many breakfast cereals and some brands of prepared orange juice.









Opinion: 
Rock star David Crosby’s 
message to seniors: 
“Do your thing for as 
long as you can”
By Paul Brandus
 


 
Senior citizens often say that one of the great things about being older is that they don’t give a damn what others think. They speak their mind, and if you don’t like it, that’s your problem.

One of them was David Crosby, who died Thursday at the age of 81.  

Americans younger than, say, 40, maybe even 50, may not know who Crosby was, and that’s too bad, because he was really something. Not just a member of two iconic rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s, the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash (later joined by Neil Young), but because in his later years he became something of an oracle, sharing his often painfully earned wisdom with the rest of us. 







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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023



©2023 Bruce Cooper


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MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2023




“Buy books. Unlike high calorie food, 
they don't give heart attacks.”
― Tanushree Podder





As U.S. hits debt ceiling, 
here’s what it could mean for 
Social Security and Medicare
By Lorie Konish



KEY POINTS:

If debt ceiling negotiations are unsuccessful, the U.S. could default on its debt.

Here’s why some worry that could result in Social Security and Medicare delays, and proposals for cuts to those programs.

Debt ceiling clash could push Fed to cut rates, restart QE, says SMBC Nikko Securities America’s LaVorgna
The clock is ticking for the U.S. to avoid a default on its debt, and some are sounding the alarm about potential disruptions to Social Security and Medicare.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the U.S. outstanding debt hit its statutory limit.

The debt limit or debt ceiling is the total amount of money the U.S. can borrow to meet its legal obligations including Social Security and Medicare benefits, as well as military salaries, tax refunds, interest on the national debt and other payments.




Older adults benefit when 
health care providers and 
affordable housing sites 
partner, finds research


Older adults benefit from enhanced partnerships between health care systems and affordable housing sites. These partnerships improve health care outcomes while reducing unnecessary spending and/or use, according to research published in Health Services Research.

"The effect of the Right Care, Right Place, Right Time (R3) initiative on Medicare health service use among older affordable housing residents" study was designed to evaluate the R3 program of Hebrew SeniorLife, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated nonprofit. The report was coauthored by Tavares, J. Simpson, L. Miller, EA, Nadash, P. and Cohen, M. of the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston.

Seniors living in sites with the R3 program had lower hospitalization rates, days, payments and readmissions than residents living in similar control sites. This is the first study to document a decline in 30-day re-hospitalization rates among low-income senior housing residents who have access to place-based wellness teams, when compared to low-income seniors in buildings without this level of support.




Senior Smoking: 
To Quit or Not
By Chris Draper

National Non-Smoking week is the third week of January. For those of us who are trying to quit smoking this new year, this is a good time to start. The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control will be educating the public about the dangers of smoking and helping people to quit. For the many seniors who would like to quit there is always the decision on whether or not it is worth it at their age.

What can we gain by quitting smoking at an advanced age?

Many seniors put themselves at risk of developing pneumonia if they continue to smoke. With weakened lungs and possibly a weakened immune system, all it can take is one bad cold for pneumonia to develop. Those seniors who have quit or never smoked are better able to fight off pneumonia.



What Older Americans 
Need to Know 
About Taking Paxlovid


A new coronavirus variant is circulating, the most transmissible one yet. Hospitalizations of infected patients are rising. And older adults represent nearly 90% of U.S. deaths from covid19 in recent months, the largest portion since the start of the pandemic.

What does that mean for people 65 and older catching Covid for the first time or those experiencing a repeat infection?

The message from infectious disease experts and geriatricians is clear: Seek treatment with antiviral therapy, which remains effective against new covid variants.

The therapy of first choice, experts said, is Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for people with mild to moderate covid at high risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus. All adults 65 and up fall in that category. If people can’t tolerate the medication — potential complications with other drugs need to be carefully evaluated by a medical provider — two alternatives are....



Doctor Who Hasn't Showered 
in Years Thinks Others 
Should Join Him
By ELIZABETH LAURA NELSON

If taking a shower is a regular part of your morning (or nighttime!) routine, then the idea of skipping it for a few days—let alone a few years—probably sends a shudder down your spine. But that's exactly what James Hamblin, MD, a physician and public health policy lecturer, says we should all consider.


The author of Clean: The New Science of Skin, published in July 2020, Hamblin told NPR in an interview that same year that he hadn't showered in five years. Before you question his hygiene or dismiss him as a quack, however, it's worth finding out exactly why he thinks most of us are showering too much. Read on to discover Hamblin's reasoning, and whether your health might benefit from taking a break from your daily shower habit.

Before we dive into Hamblin's personal hygiene habits, let's talk about our skin microbiome. You may have heard of "the microbiome" in reference to gut health: It's the colony of microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, and viruses, that inhabit a given environment.










When I began this blog close to 10 years ago, my main purpose was to inform people about assisted living from an insider’s point of view. Back then, this was called the WCenterBlog and targeted mainly at the residents and loved ones of residents of this one particular facility. I was new to blogging, and I had much to learn. One thing I found was, not only was nobody interested in this facility, nobody was interested in assisted living in general. As little as 10 years ago, assisted living was so new many folks did not know what it was, how they were managed, or who would be eligible to use it. I quickly repurposed the content to reflect a growing need for information about assisted living facilities were and what they were not.

Fortunately, over the years, not only has assisted living become better known, it has grown into a major industry attracting seniors looking for an alternative to a nursing home. A place where they could be independent while receiving help with some of the daily chores of living. However, there remains a great deal the public does not know or has been given incorrect information about assisted living, mainly from websites who are nothing more than referral services for facilities who pay to get on the list. They offer no information about costs or lifestyle and it’s only until they set you up with a face-to-face interview and tour do you get the real sales pitch. And make no mistake, selling a bed in an ALF is much like selling a used car. It’s what they don’t tell you is what you have to look out for.

Let’s set the record straight. If it’s tennis courts, swimming pools and a spa-like atmosphere you are looking for, an ALF is not what you want. That kind of place is called a fifty-plus community or senior living. Those places offer the benefits of home owning without the hassle of maintenance while providing some amenities geared to the lives of active older Americans. While medical facilities may be near, there is usually no on sight doctor or nurse. Meals are available at an extra cost, as are maid service and laundry. These places are costly and are not made for people who have serious medical problems or mobility issues. That’s where assisted living comes in.
 
Assisted living offers a degree of independence with a helping hand for those who need it. Usually, the amount of care one needs is determined in a pre-admission interview and consultation with a case management manager who will devise a care plan suited to meet the needs of the individual. Besides all maintenance, housekeeping, meals, laundry, on-sight medical professionals and activities, they will also take care of ordering and administering prescribed medications and procedures like changing dressings or insulin injections, as well as some physical therapy. Residents will usually have to pay for cable TV or land-line phone service. In-room cooking in most ALFs is prohibited and that means no microwaves or Mr. Coffee makers. Unlike a nursing home, an ALF will not dress you in the morning or put you to bed or bathe and groom you. They will not push you around in a wheelchair or deliver meals to your room unless directed to by a physician.   

What’s the cost of all that? It depends. The most basic facilities will still set you back five to six grand a month, with some fancy places costing as much as seven or eight. But it’s not the cost you need to worry about. The problem is, how will you pay for it? Some well-healed seniors can afford to pay out-of-pocket because they have long-term care insurance (expensive) or superb pension plans. Regular health insurance will not pay for assisted living. Nor will Medicare or Medicaid, unless you and the facility meet certain requirements. Without getting into details, if you want Medicare and/or Medicaid to subsidize most of the room and board, divest yourself of most of your net worth. And find a facility that accepts government subsidies as payment. BTW, the part of the rent that is not subsidized comes out of your pocket, usually by handing over all or most of your Social Security benefits. If you fall into that category (as I do) before you visit a facility, make sure they will accept Medicare or Medicaid. Otherwise, don’t waste your time. Upscale ALFs are not known for their charity.
 
Are subsidized facilities as good as those that are not? As far as care and safety go, they are. It’s the food and amenities that are lacking. The activities are basic and so is the food. As with anything, you get what you pay for.
 
A word about dementia, Alzheimer’s and cognitive care. Most ALFs do not offer memory care. Places that do are known as “enhanced” facilities. Some places offer both.

The best way to find the right place is with the help of a qualified social worker who can help navigate the vagaries of the healthcare system. And always visit the facility in person and talk with current residents if you can. They will tell you what’s good and what’s bad in their facility without the BS………………..
 








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FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2023







“You have to be born a sex symbol. 
You don't become one.
 If you're born with it, you'll have it 
even when you're 100 years old.” 
______Sophia Loren





Older adults' willingness 
to travel 
on foot or by bike 
may help prevent 
early functional 
disability and mortality


For some older adults, getting around in the community becomes difficult with age owing to decline in their physical or cognitive health, which impacts their quality of life and also becomes a social burden. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have shown that older adults' willingness to travel farther distances by walking or cycling may help prevent early functional disability and mortality.

In a study recently published in Health and Place, researchers developed a model that links rates of death and functional disability in an older adult population to the distances that they considered acceptable to travel on foot or by bicycle, for typical outings in their community. They found that older adults who were comfortable traveling only short distances—500 m or less for walking or 1 km or less for cycling—had higher risks of functional disability and mortality.




How seniors can engage 
with their communities

Though a significant percentage of individuals report desires to retire later in life, many people stop working around 62. The desire for a later retirement may stem from financial concerns or because some people wonder just what they will do when they’re no longer working.

Retirement is a time for hardworking individuals to enjoy themselves and their newfound free time. Interacting with the community can keep the brain engaged and foster beneficial social connections. In recognition of the value of staying engaged, the following are a few ways for seniors to become more involved in their communities.

• Join a club or group. Identify an activity you find interesting and determine if there is a way to get involved with it in your community. Senior centers or adult activity providers may sponsor local programs.




Biden admin to step up 
audits of nursing homes' 
antipsychotic use
By Brendan Pierson


The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it would step up efforts to crack down on the inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs at nursing homes based on unsupported diagnoses.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that it would begin conducting targeted audits of nursing homes to determine whether they improperly diagnose residents with schizophrenia to justify using antipsychotic drugs.

Nursing homes found to engage in a pattern of inaccurate diagnoses will have their rating on the agency's Care Compare website, which is aimed at helping consumers choose nursing facilities, downgraded to one star, out of a possible five, HHS said. Some states may tie star ratings to levels of Medicaid reimbursement.




How To Help Your Partner 
Cope With A Loss Of Mobility
By Ella Woodward



Have you noticed that your partner has begun to have difficulty moving about recently – perhaps struggling to get out of a chair or becoming tired after walking a very short distance? Or perhaps they have developed a medical condition or suffered an injury which makes moving about difficult, and require help to get from one place to another.  

If so, they may be experiencing a decline in their mobility, which requires treatment or some kind of mobility aid. They may also require psychological support, to help them manage the negative emotions that can be triggered as a result of being restricted in their movements. 

This diminishing of their physical capabilities may come as a bit of a shock to your partner, especially if they have always been active and prided themselves on their fitness. They may begin to struggle with both physical and mental symptoms, ranging from muscle discomfort to fatigue and depression, which may stop them doing activities they have previously always enjoyed. 









5 Secrets About Your
Social Security Benefits,
According to Financial Experts
By ZACHARY MACK


THESE TIPS CAN HELP ENSURE YOU'RE
 GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE PROGRAM.


As with buying a home or preparing to retire, getting to the point in your life when you begin to collect Social Security benefits can result in a lot of learning as you go along. But while it can be complicated to learn on the fly, there's no denying that it's a widely used and vital service. In 2022, 66 million Americans received monthly benefits, including 9 out of 10 people over the age of 65, according to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Fortunately, even a little insight into the program's lesser-known elements can give you a leg up on ensuring you're getting your fair share. Read on for secrets about your social security benefits you should know, according to financial experts.

1 You can assign someone to help you with your payments.

Keeping your finances in order can be a difficult task at any age, but it can be especially challenging as we get older. Fortunately, those who become unable to manage their own benefits can assign someone to help oversee the process and make sure everything is taken care of.







They used to call them food stamps, now it’s known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer). Simply put, it’s a way for poor folks to save on their grocery bills. The benefits are transferred to your account when you hand the cashier your EBT card or when you shop online. 


At the present time in order to qualify for the program, your monthly income cannot be more than about $1400 for a single person.[1] If you are approved, you could receive as much as $234 per month to spend on qualified food items. While that may not be much, in these times (when a dozen eggs cost over $5.00)[2] every bit helps. Unfortunately, many seniors who don’t quite make the cut (perhaps by only a few dollars) are hurting and hurting bad.

Daily, people are being nutritionally shortchanged because they barely miss the income maximum to qualify them for assistance. By government standards, those people are “middle income” citizens who don’t need help with their bills. Perhaps during better times, a monthly income of $2000 would have been enough to cover rent, utilities and food. But not anymore. Even the government recognized this when they gave Social Security recipients an 8.7% benefit increase. And, while that helps, in reality, it does little in the real world where food prices appear to rise every day. This leaves marginal citizens (mostly elderly on fixed incomes) in a bind. How do they pay the rent, which can be as much as 70% of their income, and be expected to maintain a nutritionally sound diet? We need to fix this.

Two years ago, we were quick to send $1400 to people receiving Social Security. That was great, but we did not specifically earmark the money to put a decent meal on the table of our senior citizens. The need remains. And the only way to make things right is to raise the minimum income requirement to $2500 for any senior on a fixed income. And, we need to make the process easier by making the SNAP program part of the Social Security system instead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which knows nothing about the needs of seniors. Unfortunately, because Congress is now in the hands of the “let’s cut Social Security and Medicare” Republicans, the chance of getting any social welfare bill passed is slim to none. Hey, you voted for them…………

 
[1]check with your states SNAP program for all qualifications.







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THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2023





“Alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, 
may produce all the effects of drunkenness.”
― Oscar Wilde






Loss of smell associated 
with frailty in older adults
By Cara Murez


Doctors already test seniors' hearing and vision. Sense of smell could be added to screenings one day, according to researchers who found links between its loss and risk of frailty in older adults.

"We use our sense of smell to identify the threat of a fire or to enjoy the fragrance of flowers on a spring day. But just like vision and hearing, this sense weakens as we age," said study co-author Dr. Nicholas Rowan. He is an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, in Baltimore.

"We found that both impaired olfactory identification and sensitivity functions are associated with frailty, which is interesting because it shows that it's not just your aging brain at work here, but it may also be something peripheral, like something at the level of your nose that is able to predict our impending frailty and death," Rowan added in a Hopkins news release.




The Safest Way to 
Get Up From a Fall
Use these tactics if you 
ever take a spill
By Stacey Colino


A fair amount of media and medical attention is paid to preventing falls among older adults — but there are times when people fall, despite taking the recommended precautions. Every year, more than 25 percent of adults age 65 and older fall, and falling once doubles a person’s chances of falling again, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Making matters worse, sometimes older adults have trouble getting up without assistance. This is partly because people don’t learn this skill, and partly because people become more stiff and less agile as they get older.

But there are effective ways to get up from a fall. “It’s a good idea to practice getting up, almost like a fire drill,” says Brianne Carroll, a physical therapist at the NYU Langone Orthopedic Center in New York, New York. That way, you’ll know what to do in the event that you fall. Plus, “being able to get up from the floor [without assistance] is a positive health behavior, just the same way that exercising is,” Carroll says.

What follows are step-by-step instructions for effective ways to get back up. First, take a moment to “scan your body for injuries,” advises Leah Verebes, an assistant professor in the physical therapy program at the Touro University School of Health Sciences in New York, New York. “If something hurts as you move, it is best to remain on the floor and seek assistance.” The concern is that if you’re seriously injured and you try to get up, you could make the injury worse.




Republican seeking to raise 
Social Security age claims 
‘people want to work longer’


Republican Representative Rick Allen of Georgia defended his position on raising the age when seniors can receive Social Security by saying people want to work longer.

Advocacy group Social Security Works posted a video of Mr Allen walking through the tunnels of the House of Representatives where he was asked about why he wants to raise the age of retirement.

“You know, that’s interesting that you ask that question,” he said. “People come up to me, they actually want to work longer.”




4 Little-Known Things 
Life Insurance Will Cover
By David Chang 


Most people think of life insurance as a way to financially protect their families in the event of their death. While this is certainly one of the most important services life insurance provides, it's not the only thing that it can cover. In fact, life insurance policies can provide coverage for a variety of different situations and unexpected events. Let's take a look at some of these lesser-known benefits of life insurance.

1. Accidental death benefits

Many life insurance policies offer an additional benefit if your death is caused by an accident. While this type of coverage is usually limited to a certain amount, it can be invaluable. It's especially useful if your job has a higher risk of accidents. This includes first responders, pilots, and construction workers. It may also provide additional funds if you suffer from injuries or disabilities caused by an accident.

2. Long-term care c.....





The sell-out and the speech
BY JAMES D. ZIRIN


According to a new survey, most Americans disapprove of Republicans’ handling of the history-making House Speaker election following 15 rounds of votes and high drama on the House floor.

After showing America how not to pick a Speaker, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) now shows America how not to design the rules of the House. His rules stack the deck for extremists, insurrectionists and election deniers.

McCarthy passed the first test of his House leadership as Republicans fell in line to back new rules for the chamber. Any pleasure he feels may be short lived, however, as the changes give him little leeway to negotiate compromises with the Senate, and raise the risk of a stalemate over the debt ceiling. 









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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2023





“Animals can be driven crazy by placing 
too many in too small a pen.
 Homo sapiens is the only animal 
that voluntarily does this to himself.”

― Robert A. Heinlein




Medicaid HCBS study shows
‘we still know very little’ about 
COVID in senior living
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


A new study reporting higher mortality rates among Medicaid home- and community-based services recipients — including assisted living residents — during the pandemic compared with people not receiving those services should serve as a “huge bucket of ice water” for the senior living industry, according to one expert not affiliated with the research.

“There is still a lot we do not know,” said one of the study authors.

In a Health Affairs study published last week, investigators from the University of California San Francisco and Brandeis University provided a glimpse into the COVID-19-related deaths of people with disabilities who did not live in nursing homes.




New Study: 
Covid Lockdowns 
Were Deadly
By Jeff Dunetz


Most American politicians accepted the politically expedient strategy to fight the COVID pandemic. A lockdown. Businesses were closed down, and people were ordered to stay in their homes.  As usual, the politically expedient solution was not the correct one.

A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper offers fresh evidence to show stay-at-home orders may have backfired.

“Micro evidence contradicts the public-health ideal in which households would be places of solitary confinement and zero transmission,” writes University of Chicago economist Casey B. Mulligan. “Instead, the evidence suggests that ‘households show the highest transmission rates’ and that ‘households are high-risk settings for the transmission of [COVID-19].’”





Many older adults lack 
clear eyesight, 
even with glasses, 
finds study


New research shows that 28% of people over the age of 71 have a visual impairment, even while wearing their regular glasses, contact lenses, or other visual aids.

"These findings are important to address, as poor vision is associated with several adverse outcomes for older adults, including depression, dementia, falls, motor vehicle accidents, and even death," said Olivia J. Killeen, M.D., a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Michigan Medicine, who is lead author of a new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

The research, which represents the first nationally representative data on objectively assessed visual function in over 14 years, found that different types of visual impairment are associated with older age as well as with less education and lower income. Both near visual acuity and contrast sensitivity impairments were greater among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic individuals, compared to non-Hispanic white individuals. Additionally, lower education and income were associated with all types of visual impairment.




On a Sinking Ship? 
Keep Your 401(k) OK
By JANET ASCHKENASY


If you’re concerned that your company is headed for failure and want to make sure your retirement funds don’t do the same, experts say the best thing you can do is to limit your exposure to employer stock in your company 401(k).

On the other hand, old-fashioned “defined benefit” pension plans, in which the employer promises to pay you a certain amount of money every month once you retire, are protected by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The PBGC is a federal agency which will pay you at least part of what your company has promised if the company’s plan is underfunded and the employer cannot make good on its pension obligations.

Recently, companies such as United States Steel Corp. (Stock Quote: X), the New York Times Co. (Stock Quote: NYT), and Kimberly-Clark Corp. (Stock Quote: KMB) all stated that 2008's horrid stock market impact on pension assets had eroded their year-end earnings. Employees concerned about traditional pension plans at companies like these can learn more about PBGC’s maximum monthly guarantees here .



                      


I’m 73 —
People say my outfits 
Are inappropriate, 
But I don’t care
By Brooke Kato





She’s a model senior citizen.

Sexy septuagenarian Colleen Heidemann is flaunting what she’s still got on social media.

Her trendy TikTok page features footage of her stunning photoshoots, her stylish outfits and even her jaw-dropping workout routines, in glamorous makeup to boot!

She’s attracted more than 318,000 followers, who are inspired by her sultry stance against senior stereotypes








The U.S. has a lot going for it. We are considered a wealthy, technologically advanced, civilized nation with a stable government and a legal system based on a model constitution. The only problem is, not every citizen has access to all that good. Many have fallen through the cracks and have become a blight on society that “The great society” has a problem dealing with. I’m referring to those folks we see living on the streets, sleeping on the subway, huddled in doorways or even living in their cars. While many of them have mental issues and shy away from help, most homeless people are the way they are because they can’t find an affordable place to live. Many are the working poor who, despite having 9 to 5 jobs, don’t make enough to pay the rent on even the most basic housing. All this while hundreds of square feet of space lay vacant.  

America’s view of homeless people comes from 19th and early 20th century stereotypes. When we see someone living on the street, we see what we used to call a “bum”, “tramp”, “hobo” or shiftless good-for-nothing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Recent stats show that as much as 44% of homeless people have full-time jobs. Many receive government benefits.
 
With more and more people working from home, many office buildings have unrented space. Similarly, shopping malls, once the pride of American suburbia, are closing by the dozens because people are making most purchases online. Both venues would make great living spaces. It would take a new approach to the way America thinks and a new look at who the homeless are to resolve the problem. It would also mean changing the way America’s real estate industry does business. While it’s okay to make money off of real estate, there must be some social responsibility involved with housing people. This should be an easy decision. All we need is the guts to do it………….
 









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TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2023





"There were a zillion bad jobs that doesn't exist any more. 
I mean, I could wake up one afternoon with zero money 
and know that by the end of the day, I would have money."

_____Fran Lebowitz






Companion care for the elderly: 
How much it costs and 
How to pay for it


As a person ages, even if they are still physically capable of living independently, they may find themselves needing emotional companionship. After all, as spouses, friends, or family pass, an elderly person’s social interactions can decrease, causing daily loneliness to skyrocket. At the same time, family members who work or live out of the area may not be able to provide that much-needed, in-person interaction with ageing loved ones.

Consequently, families may choose to hire an independent companion caregiver, or they may choose to hire an in-home care agency that provides in-home care companions.

Here are the basics on companion care services and how much they cost. 

What is companion care?

Companion care is a non-medical, in-home care service offering companionship to ageing adults, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. Companion care can be administered by a registered nurse, but certification is not required to administer this non-medical care. 





Social Security: 
How December’s CPI Numbers 
Relate to the 8.7% COLA
By Vance Cariaga


For the first time in more than a year, the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) should soon outpace the U.S. inflation rate. The question now is when Social Security recipients will finally catch up on inflation hits they took in previous years.


CPI: What Does December’s Consumer Price Index Report Mean For You? Experts Weigh In

Inflation as measured by the index used to calculate the COLA was 6.3% in December, according to the Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan seniors advocacy group. It cited the Labor Department’s latest inflation report, which was released on Thursday. That’s well below the 8.7% COLA Social Security recipients will receive in 2023.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



Researchers to evaluate benefits 
Of diet interventions in older adults 
With $2.1 million NIH grant


Maintaining a healthy weight during the golden years is a priority for many older adults. While previous research has shown that cutting calories can lower disease risk factors, it's unclear whether it can have a long-term positive impact on disease and disability.

With a $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine will evaluate the potential benefits of diet interventions such as time-restricted eating and caloric restriction.

"We will study whether these diet interventions provide benefit in preventing disease in addition to lowering risk factors," said Stephen Kritchevsky, Ph.D., professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, co-director of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Prevention and principal investigator of the study.




Financial Moves You Must Make 
When a Spouse Dies
The financial work you have to do 
when a spouse is laid to rest
By Allan Roth


Death is inevitable, and if you have a partner, one of you is highly likely to pass away first. This will leave the surviving spouse with financial tasks and decisions to make. Some of these tasks are critical and the surviving spouse needs to do them fairly quickly, all while grieving the loss of their partner in life.

My first recommendation is to prepare for the inevitable. Simplify your finances by decluttering the number of accounts you have, and make sure both of you are also partners in your financial matters so the other isn’t left clueless. This also protects both of you in case of cognitive decline. Make sure your spouse knows your wishes, and write them out in the appropriate estate planning documents, such as a will.

Read more >> CLICK HERE




6 WAYS BEING 60 
TAKES YOU BACK TO THE 60S
BY DEBORAH DREZON CARROLL 



There’s a lot to love about being in your 60s. And, if you are 60, you may remember the 1960s. That may depend on how many mind-altering experiences you had in the 1960s, however.

These two “60s” have a great deal in common, some good, some not so much. Here are 6 ways my 60s are like the 60s.

Shoes

In the 60s, people began wearing sandals as no time before. They were fashionable and indicated a certain freewheeling spirit in the wearer.








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MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2023








“Life is a terminal condition. Were all going to die.
 Cancer patients just have more information, but we all,
 in some ways, wait for permission to live.”
_____ Kris Carr




No, Social Security isn’t 
Suspending your number
By Mark Huffman



That 8.7% increase in Social Security benefits is drawing interest from scammers

It may be no coincidence that this month, with Social Security recipients are beginning to see a big increase in their benefits, is precisely when scammers have dusted off a couple of old Social Security scams.
All across the country, seniors have reported receiving letters from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA), informing them their Social Security number will be suspended within 24 hours.

The reasons for the suspension vary. Residents of Eastern Pennsylvania say the letters cite “fraudulent activity” associated with the number. One version of the letter claims the recipient’s Social Security number is associated with $14 million in fraud.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



Seniors shrug off White House 
Urgent pleas to get vaccinated 
As new variant spreads
By MEGAN MESSERLY and ADAM CANCRYN



The Biden administration is forwarding lists of senior facilities with zero people vaccinated to state regulators for review and possible penalties.

State and federal health officials are frustrated that thousands of seniors have landed in the hospital with Covid-19 since the holidays — despite the widespread availability of a vaccine designed to prevent exactly that.

Less than 40 percent of people over 65 have taken the updated booster shot that became available in the fall, according to the CDC, leaving millions with little protection against the latest strain sweeping the U.S.

The paltry uptake among seniors, who remain most at risk of dying from the virus, underscores the Biden administration’s challenge of beating back a third winter wave when so many Americans are either unaware or uninterested in another shot.




7 Surprising Alzheimer's Facts 
You Need to Know Now
By LAUREN GRAY


WHEN IT COMES TO THIS FRIGHTENING DISEASE, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a form of dementia that destroys memory and other crucial mental functions. This occurs due to a buildup of proteins in the brain, which can erode brain cell connections and cause the cells themselves to degenerate over time.

World Alzheimer’s Day: Surprising Risk Factors

Though a recent study published in the journal JAMA Neurology found that roughly half of middle-aged Americans fear that they will someday develop Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, many aspects of the disease remain shrouded in mystery, as far as the general public is concerned. Read on to learn seven surprising Alzheimer's facts you probably don't know.

1Alzheimer's cases are expected to double by 2050....

Read more  >> CLICK HERE
 


BUILDING AN AGING 
ALONE PLAN – 
SOLVING THE 
SOLO EPIDEMIC
BY CAROL MARAK 


Living alone is a luxury for single people. In my case, I relish having total privacy. It’s because I grew up sharing a bedroom with a sibling. Then, I left home for college and moved into a dorm, only to share another small room.

If I was lucky enough to move into a larger space, like a one bedroom apartment, it was with a roommate. The situation didn’t change much after graduation, because I was broke.

For some, the scenario continues until marriage, which doesn’t facilitate a “solo” space. But, if one remains single, he or she prefers to live alone after landing a job. It’s a status symbol – one that marks coming of “mature” age and claims of “making it.”





Are Apple AirPods Pro 
An alternative to pricey 
Hearing aids?
By Kurt Knutsson


New medical study finds that Apple's AirPods Pro are almost as good as hearing aids and a fraction of the cost

For older Americans, a hearing aid can be super expensive. The average cost of a doctor-prescribed pair can range from a whopping $2,000 to $7,000. 

The National Council on Aging recently revealed that only 20% of people needing a hearing aid use them, almost entirely because they can't afford them. However, a new study concludes that Apple AirPods Pro, which cost $249, are almost as good as hearing aids and a fraction of the cost. 

A new study concludes that Apple AirPods Pro, which cost $249, are almost as good as hearing aids and a fraction of the cost. 






“Hell in a handbasket”, “Highway to hell”, “Hellbent”, whatever you call it, we are on it and moving fast. And I’m worried. In all the years I’m alive, I have never seen America in such disarray. And believe me, I’ve seen a lot of s**t.


Politics in America today is not about governing. It’s about retribution and revenge and pandering to special interest groups who would like nothing better than to see our Constitution changed, gutted or done away with altogether.It’s also about pandering to the top 1% of America whose net worth is over $10 million at the expense of the rest of us who can’t take advantage of the tax breaks, government contracts even to the point of being bailed out when things go wrong. Try to tell that’s okay to the mom and pop store that just lost its lease after 50 years in business.
 
Although the current goings on in Congress is not the first time America has shamed itself (our dreadful history of racism, the Vietnam war to name a few) it is, to me, the most disturbing. The latest shenanigans in Washington are causing me to question whether the U.S. is going down a path from which we will not recover.
 
It started before the 2016 presidential election when then candidate Donald trump began his relentless attack on Hillary Clinton and her former boss, Barack Obama. First, questioning Obama’s citizenship and then going after Hilary and those emails. But as disgusting and vulgar as he was, what made me question our nation’s morals and our ability to do the right thing is when he actually won the election. Evidently, Americans preferred a blow-hard, reality show misogynist to a qualified public servant. And now, 5 years later, those misguided fools have taken over the House of Representatives threatening the very fibre of what America used to stand for and what our Constitution guarantees, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. [1]

Putting all that aside, what really has me concerned for our future is that we no longer have a loyal opposition. We have a Republican party that has decided that anyone who votes for anything the Democrats want is a traitor to the GOP and should be censured and shunned by the rank-and-file Republican legislators. This means nothing will get done. Things like improving our infrastructure and finding alternate energy sources or improving the lives of our senior citizens or devising a sane immigration policy will fall by the wayside as bill after bill is rejected even before they come to a vote.
 
The next big thing to watch may come as early as Thursday when we will have reached our debt limit. If the Republican majority does not raise our debt ceiling and allow us to default on our obligations, “It would greatly impact the economy and people in the U.S: A default would increase interest rates, which would then increase prices and contribute to inflation. The stock market would also suffer, as U.S. investments would not be seen as safe as they once were, especially if the U.S. credit rating was downgraded.” And who would be affected the most? Many of the people who voted for Republican candidates for Congress. The blue-collar worker. U.S. debt default could wipe out 6 million jobs [2] Something I’ll bet they didn’t think about when they pulled that lever or checked that box. But that’s just one old man’s opinion. What’s yours?………………
 

[1]The actual words in the Constitution are " The constitutional guarantee that no person or class of persons shall be denied the same protection of the laws that is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in like circumstances in their lives, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness."








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper



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FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2023




“Soon now, the faint tinkling of a broken filament 
will become another sound of another century.”

― Jane Brox, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light




Research shows that early 
Retirement can accelerate 
Cognitive decline


Early retirement can accelerate cognitive decline among the elderly, according to research conducted by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. 

Plamen Nikolov, assistant professor of economics, and Shahadath Hossain, a doctoral student in economics, both from Binghamton University, examined China’s New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) and the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS) to determine how retirement plans affect cognitive performance among plan participants. CHARLS, a nationally representative survey of people ages 45 and above within the Chinese population, directly tests cognition with a focus on episodic memory and components of intact mental status. 

With a higher life expectancy and a decline in fertility in developing countries, the elderly population has become the most significant demographic source in Asia and Latin America, generating an urgent need for new, sustainable pension systems. However, Nikolov’s research suggests that these retirement plans can have fortuitous downstream consequences. In a new study, Nikolov’s team shows that the access to retirement plans can play a significant role in explaining cognitive decline at older ages.




Long COVID stemmed from 
Mild cases of COVID-19 
In most people
By Sarah Wulf Hanson


Even mild COVID-19 cases can have major and long-lasting effects on people’s health. That is one of the key findings from our recent multicountry study on long COVID-19 – or long COVID – recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Long COVID is defined as the continuation or development of symptoms three months after the initial infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These symptoms last for at least two months after onset with no other explanation.

We found that a staggering 90% of people living with long COVID initially experienced only mild illness with COVID-19. After developing long COVID, however, the typical person experienced symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive problems such as brain fog – or a combination of these – that affected daily functioning. These symptoms had an impact on health as severe as the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury. Our study also found that women have twice the risk of men and four times the risk of children for developing long COVID.





No pain, no gain? 
Science debunks yet 
Another exercise myth
By Kevin Dickinson

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Exercise culture advertises intense workouts as the best way to see gains. But research suggests moderate exercise and physical activity is better, especially if you trade intensity for sustainability. You should strive to build habits around the physical activities you find enjoyable and fulfilling.


If you’re like me, you’re intimately familiar with what psychologists call “the intention-behavior gap.” It occurs when your current actions don’t align with your past intentions. While there are many areas in life where the intention-behavior gap can appear — work, family obligations, and retirement savings to name a few — the main culprit for most people (myself included) is probably diet and exercise.

“Only about 20% of Americans get the very minimum levels of exercise that every health organization in the world thinks is the minimum for an adult, which is 150 minutes a week. So 80% of us really struggle and fail to get very basic amounts of exercise, but almost everyone says that they want to get enough exercise,” Daniel Lieberman, a professor of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, said in an interview.




The nose knows: 
Study suggests it may be wise 
To screen for smell loss to 
Predict frailty and unhealthy aging



In a study using data from nearly 1,200 older adults, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have added to a growing body of evidence that loss of the sense of smell is a predictive marker for an increased risk of frailty as people age. Building on previous research showing that olfactory dysfunction is a common early sign of brain-linked cognitive decline, the new findings suggest the link to frailty is likely not just in the brain but also in the nose itself.

If further studies affirm the findings, the researchers say, screening older adults' ability to smell various scents could be as important as testing hearing and vision over time.

Results of the study, published Jan. 10 in the Journal of Gerontology, looked at the prevalence of frailty, an age-related syndrome of physiological decline, along with two different ways of assessing the ability to smell: olfactory sensitivity (the ability to detect an odor's presence) and olfactory identification (the ability to detect and name an odor). Olfactory identification ......








The New Retirement Law: 
What’s in It for You?
By Richard Eisenberg



Secure 2.0 is far-reaching legislation that changes rules on saving for retirement and emergencies and for taking money out of retirement plans

Congress and President Joe Biden just turned into law the biggest changes for retirement savings in the past 15 years.

"This important legislation will enhance the retirement security of tens of millions of American workers," said Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association, a national group of pension professionals.

Pam Krueger, founder of the financial advisor vetting service Wealthramp, said on a recent episode of the Friends Talk Money podcast that the legislation "opens up more opportunities to save more, removing barriers and restrictions to expand the tax-free benefits that Roth IRAs and 401(k)s can offer." (I co-host that podcast with Krueger and personal finance writer Terry Savage.)

What's in It for You?

The legislation, known as Secure 2.0 (a follow-up to the Secure Act of 2019), has significant new rules for saving for retirement, withdrawing money from retirement plans, dealing with financial emergencies and more. The most important provisions are described below.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE






As a fat guy, I take phrases like “One size fits all” with a grain of salt. As a resident of an assisted living facility, I cringe when I see instances of treating all old folks as if we were all alike. Older Americans, as any other group of individuals come in all sizes, shapes and abilities and to lump us all together is a disservice to seniors everywhere. And yet, it continues unabashed.

Understandably, most Americans don’t “hang out” with senior citizens. Certainly not as a group, gathered in one place. And when they encounter a senior, it’s usually in a setting the senior is unfamiliar with or has difficulty adapting to, like public transportation, supermarkets or restaurants. Places where seniors may not be at their best.

While some stereotyping is expected and even excused in such settings where encounters with the elderly are rare, there should be no reason for any of that in a place almost totally inhabited by sexa., septua., and octogenarians. And yet, I see instances of this every day here at the A.L.F. The one place they should know better.
 
The only instance where a distinction is made is where noticeable cognitive decline is observed. Those residents are and should be treated as a group. But what about the rest of us who all lead separate and different lives?

Actually, some consideration is made through the facilities “managed care” program which supposedly is tailored to the needs of each individual resident. But that only pertains to the “assisted” aspects. Those instances where the resident needs help with performing tasks like bathing or medical reasons like insulin injections or wound dressing. It has nothing to do with our personal need for independence. And. For me, that means having a small microwave oven and/or coffee maker in my room or in a nearby common area. 

Long-time readers of this blog know the problems I have with the food. While I prefer to eat most meals in the dining room with my friends, sometimes I feel like having something else, something different, something I made myself with my ingredients made to my taste. But, because I am lumped into a group that has, at times, exhibited less than safe use of the one resident microwave oven we have, the rest of us have to suffer. [1]

The excuse, which has been told to me year after year, is that there are insurance regulations that prohibit the use of any product deemed a fire or safety hazard. While this is probably true, there is no reason accommodations cannot be made that would allow the operation of such items for those residents qualified to use them. And there are plenty of us here who fit that bill.
 
I’m not asking to cook a roast, bake a cake or fry bacon and eggs for breakfast. I only wish to make a cup of coffee in the morning when I get up instead of having to trek to the dining room, or to heat some canned soup or ramen noodles or franks and beans. Whether that happens in my room or in a nearby location does not matter. What matters is that I am allowed the freedom and independence afforded to other Americans, young or old………………..
 

[1] At least once a year someone forgets and puts a metal container in the microwave resulting in a fire and destruction of the appliance.
 





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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2023





“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction,
 the cement that binds closer together, 
and the music that brings harmony.”
 - Friedrich Nietzsche.






Why California Seniors 
Are Getting High 
And Regretting It


A study recently published by the University of California San Diego (UCSD) shows that cannabis-related issues are skyrocketing among senior citizens.

The study states that cannabis-related ER visits for Californians age 65+ was just 366 in 2005. Fast forward to 2019 and the number went to 12,167 (a 3,200% increase). In California, cannabis became legal for medicinal use in 1996, and recreational use was legalized in 2016.

Researchers say that more and more older adults are experimenting with cannabis to alleviate chronic symptoms, but many are just curious and want to explore the substance that for so long had been taboo and illegal.

Read more  >>



Not all living trusts 
Are created equal.
By DENNIS FORDHAM


All living trusts, at a minimum, have one common denominator:  avoiding probate.  Beyond that, living trusts are not created equal.  Let us discuss some of the estate planning features that a well drafted living trust often contains.

A well drafted living trust administers a person’s assets during incapacity (prior to death) and at death, without any court supervision (e.g., conservatorships and probate), for the benefit of the settlor who created the trust and his or her loved ones.  Flexibility to deal with unforeseen events can be beneficial.

First, a trust should provide for the care of the settlor and the settlor’s loved ones if the settlor is incapacitated.




6 Surprising Facts 
About Retirement
By TROY SEGAL 



Many aren’t saving what they should, but it's not all bad news

Retirement is a topic that regularly makes headlines and not all of them are encouraging. Americans are living longer than ever before. However, if you assume most people are saving more to prepare for their longer-term needs, you’d be mistaken. Here are some of the startling truths about retirement in the U.S.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The post-career phase of your life could last a quarter-century or more.
Social Security benefits alone are likely not enough to ensure a comfortable retirement.
Many Americans have little to no retirement plan savings.




New study links 
Hearing loss with 
Dementia in older adults


A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that older adults with greater severity of hearing loss were more likely to have dementia, but the likelihood of dementia was lower among hearing aid users compared to non-users.

The findings, from a nationally representative sample of more than 2,400 older adults, are consistent with prior studies showing that hearing loss might be a contributing factor to dementia risk over time, and that treating hearing loss may lower dementia risk.

The findings are highlighted in a research letter published online January 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.





New Study Indicates 
This Vitamin Can Significantly 
Reduce Your Risk of 
Bone Fractures
By EDITH COWAN




Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is a type of vitamin K that is found in leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, kale, and spinach as well as fruits such as prunes, kiwis, and avocados. It is important for the proper functioning of the body’s blood clotting mechanism and for maintaining healthy bones.

A long-term study that analyzed the relationship between hospitalizations related to fractures and diet in nearly 1400 older women has found that vitamin K1 significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization.

Breaking bones can have a significant impact on one’s life, especially in older age when hip fractures can lead to disability, reduced independence, and an increased risk of mortality.

Learn more  >>









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-




WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2023





“Earth provides enough to satisfy
 every man's needs,
 but not every man's greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi




New Alzheimer’s Drug Leqembi 
Will Be Out of Reach for Most Patients
By Joseph Walker



A sweeping Medicare rule issued last year will keep the newly approved Alzheimer’s disease drug Leqembi out of reach of most U.S. patients for months to come. 

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Eisai Co. and Biogen Inc.’s Leqembi, known generically as lecanemab, for the treatment of people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, the vast majority of whom are insured by Medicare. However, Medicare won’t pay for the drug unless patients are enrolled in government-sanctioned clinical trials, and no such studies are ongoing or planned. 

The Alzheimer’s Association patient-advocacy group asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in December to reconsider its policy, a process that could take as long as six to nine months if it chooses to do so. 

Read more>>


7 FINANCIAL PERKS OF 
GETTING OLDER
BY DANIELLE MIURA


Aging isn’t easy. Wrinkles, grey hair, vision and hearing loss, and aches and pains pile up. But there are many perks of getting older, especially when finances are concerned.

Here are seven ways that growing older can have some financial perks.

Senior Discounts

If you are willing to admit your age, senior discounts are a great way to maintain a budget and enjoy the perks of being an older adult. Restaurants, hotels, car rental companies, retailers, grocery stores, theatres, museums, and mass transit provided reduced prices to those above a certain age.

While 65 is the official age to claim Medicare, senior perks can start much earlier. AARP negotiates discounts for members who are as young as 50. If you are unsure if you qualify for a senior discount, feel free to ask. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t advertise their deals; sometimes, they are given only to those who ask and show proof of their age.




Don’t Let Anyone Tell You 
Severe Depression Is Normal 
For Seniors. It Isn’t, 
And You Can Get Help
By Howard Gleckman


Twice over the past few weeks I’ve heard a variation of the same story: An older adult tells her primary care doctor she is feeling severely depressed. Each time, the physician responds by saying depression is normal for seniors. Something like, “What do you expect? You’ve got aches and pains. Your friends are dying. It is what happens.”

That response is wrong. And it is yet another example of the ageism that infects the medical profession and U.S. society at large.

Depression Is Not Normal

The National Institute on Aging published a valuable discussion of depression and older adults. In part, this is what is says: “Depression is a common problem among older adults, but clinical depression is not a normal part of aging.” In fact, adds NIA, “Studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems than younger people.”

Read more >>  




What Are the Levels 
Of Senior Living?
By Payton Sy, RN


Independent living is classified into six domains: hearing, seeing, mobility, communication, cognition and self-care. According to a 2019 analysis from the Administration for Community Living, more than 40% of seniors over 65 struggle to maintain their independence in at least one of these six domains.

There is a precarious balance between protecting independence while also maintaining safety and physical well-being. So, independence often becomes a point of contention between seniors and their loved ones and caregivers. Understanding the stages of independent living and the associated care available for each level is key to maintaining the optimal level of senior independence.

Independence Cultivates Overall Well-Being

Connecting seniors to a proper level of care is essential to their overall well-being.

“Research indicates that losing the ability to perform key activities of daily living on your own can negatively affect your mental health,” says Michelle Feng, a licensed psychologist and the chief clinical officer of Executive Mental Health in Los Angeles. Feng, who specializes in geriatric psychology, says that in her experience, “balancing independence and accepting support when available is key in maintaining physical and mental health as we grow older.”






7 Ways New Technology 
Can Make Your Life Easier



While you might say no to many of the new, gee-whiz devices that you see online and in stores, some are worth a second look.

Four journalists who specialize in technology reporting looked at new products that could offer legitimate benefits to users age 50 and older. They personally tried the products and offer their impressions.

Keyboard Call Blocker and Speaker

A keyboard for your tablet makes life easier, a call blocker for landlines has a satisfying big red button to push, and a Bluetooth speaker for your TV sits on your shoulders, looking a bit like a neck pillow.

1. Lightweight tablets get benefits of a laptop

The right stand can make using a tablet feel almost like you’re on a laptop. The Magic Keyboard, starting at $300, from Apple is a prime companion for the iPad Pro or iPad Air. The tablet snaps into place and the stand features a built-in trackpad. Still, with the added cost and extra weight, you’re close to just owning a laptop.

See more  >>  CLICK HERE





There are three groups of Americans who should be concerned about last week’s appointment of the new Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy. The young, the middle-aged, and old folks. We could also add The Poor to that group, but they usually get the shaft no matter who’s in charge.
 
Why should we be worried? Let me count the ways.
 
Who really runs the House?

 If you think all those men and women all dressed up in their Sunday best sitting on those leather chairs decide what legislation is passed or how money is spent, think again. Most of those folks are there just for show to make us believe we are represented in Congress. While we may have elected them, they are there because their party wants them there so they can vote the way their party wants them to vote regardless of how they may feel personally. And it’s the party in charge that gets to make the rules. This year it’s the Republicans.
 
Now, that would not be so bad if those Republicans were the Republicans of old. The Republicans who used to be the “Loyal Opposition” who will compromise with their colleagues across the aisle. But it’s no longer 1956 or even 1980 when real Republicans sat in the oval office. Today’s GOP is run by a few members of a “small cadre of right-wing Freedom Caucus members (who) were the ‘tail wagging the dog’ in McCarthy’s bid for the speakership. These extremists oppose spending on social programs no matter how important or popular those may be. (One commentator rightly branded them as “nihilists” who don’t believe in a functional federal government.)” 

“Freedom Caucus members reportedly are wringing other concessions from McCarthy in return for their votes that also could be devastating for older Americans.  These include rule changes that could make it harder to raise revenue and easier to cut spending on social programs.”

The hard right would get approval power over some plum committee assignments, including a third of the members on the influential Rules Committee, which controls what legislation reaches the floor and in what form. And spending bills would have to be considered under so-called open rules, allowing any member to put to a vote an unlimited number of changes that could gut or scuttle the legislation altogether. – New York Times, 1/6/23

Whose fault is this?


It would be easy to blame Donald Trump for stirring the pot. But DJ is too dumb and too politically naïve to have come up with anything as sophisticated as this. No, this comes from a group of people who don’t believe in democracy because democracy allows the have-nots to have as an equal a say in our government as the have’s. And that just won’t do. They cringe at the thought of a bunch of non-white, non-Christian, non-males running things. And, as far as the Constitution is concerned…well… there’s room for change too.

You can’t make this stuff up folks…………………








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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2023




“All of my best friends are dead people. 
Someday I've got to figure out how that happened.”
                                                                                             ― Claudia Gray,





Senior living residents 
Eligible for $7 million federal 
COVID-19 telehealth program
By Kimberly Bonvissuto



The launch of a federal telehealth model will provide any adult — including senior living and affordable senior housing residents — access to at-home COVID-19 rapid tests, telehealth sessions and antiviral treatments.


The Home Test to Treat program, details about which were shared last week by the National Institutes of Health, will be piloted this month in Berks County, PA, is a collaborative effort of the US Department of Health and Human Services and two of its agencies, the NIH and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.

The $7 million program was first announced by the White House in September. Bruce Tromberg, PhD, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and leader of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Tech program, said the program will allow infected individuals an alternative to venturing out for testing and treatment, potentially reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.




Safety tips for elderly 
behind the wheel


With the passage of time, the way of driving has changed a lot. Gone are
the days when there were only a handful of people on the road. This
makes it diffificult for all of us and especially the senior citizens to drive.
Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind to ensure safe driving for the
elderly.

Eye test

An eye examination to assess vision should be done regularly. Check if
you are suffering from eye conditions like cataract. You should undergo
tests at regular intervals prescribed by the doctor. Some people are
unable to drive at night due to eye disease. Check if you are affected by
such disease.




Pets may help protect brains of 
Older adults as they age, study finds
By Vishwam Sankaran


Adults over the age of 65 who owned a pet for more than five years scored better on memory tests than non-pet owners, according to a study.

The benefits that companion animals have on ageing brains was revealed by the study that was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan in the US.

They assessed data from a nationally representative survey conducted from 2010-16 that recorded the pet status of about 20,000 adults over the age of 50.




10 Social Security Myths 
That Refuse to Die
By Andy Markowitz


Social Security is enormous and complex, paying out more than $102 billion a month to some 66 million retirees, people with disabilities and their family members. It's wildly popular: A May 2021 AARP survey found that 85 percent of older adults strongly oppose cutting benefits to help reduce the federal budget deficit. And it's critical to older Americans’ financial health, providing a majority of family income for around half of people age 65 and older.

Given Social Security's importance, concerns about its current and future state are understandable and widespread. Some of those worries, and the many changes to the program in its eight-plus decades, have given rise to misconceptions about how it is funded and how it works. Here are the facts behind 10 of the most stubborn Social Security myths.

The 3 Biggest Myths About Social Security...

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE






Secrets to Aging Gracefully:
 Researchers Uncover Factors 
Linked to Optimal Aging



Rejuvenation Anti Aging Concept

A new study aimed to uncover the key factors that contribute to successful or optimal aging by following more than 7,000 middle-aged and older Canadians for approximately three years. The researchers found that maintaining excellent health and avoiding disabling cognitive, physical, or emotional problems was more likely among those who were female, married, physically active, not obese, had higher incomes, had never smoked, and did not have insomnia, heart disease, or arthritis.

Findings underline the importance of a strength-based rather than a deficit-based focus on aging and older adults.

What are the keys to “successful” or optimal aging? A new study followed more than 7,000 middle-aged and older Canadians for approximately three years to identify the factors linked to well-being as we age.









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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-





MONDAY, JANUARY 9, 2023





“Remember: the time you feel lonely 
is the time you most need
 to be by yourself. Life's cruelest irony.”

                                        ― Douglas Coupland,






F.D.A. Approves New Treatment
For Early Alzheimer’s
By PAM BELLUCK


The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new Alzheimer’s drug that may modestly slow the pace of cognitive decline early in the disease, but also carries risks of swelling and bleeding in the brain.

The approval of the drug, lecanemab, to be marketed as Leqembi, is likely to generate considerable interest from patients and physicians. Studies of the drug — an intravenous infusion administered every two weeks — suggest it is more promising than the scant number of other treatments available. Still, several Alzheimer’s experts said it was unclear from the medical evidence whether Leqembi could slow cognitive decline enough to be noticeable to patients.

Even a recent report of findings from a large 18-month clinical trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and co-written by scientists from the lead company making the drug, concluded that “longer trials are warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease.”

Read more  >>CLICK HERE

 

Weighing Risks of a Major Surgery:
7 Questions Older Americans 
Should Ask Their Surgeon
By Judith Graham



Larry McMahon, who turned 80 in December, is weighing whether to undergo a major surgery. Over the past five years, his back pain has intensified. Physical therapy, muscle relaxants, and injections aren’t offering relief.

“It’s a pain that leaves me hardly able to do anything,” he said.

Should McMahon, a retired Virginia state trooper who now lives in Southport, North Carolina, try spinal fusion surgery, a procedure that can take up to six hours? (Eight years ago, he had a lumbar laminectomy, another arduous back surgery.)

“Will I recover in six months — or in a couple of years? Is it safe for a man of my age with various health issues to be put to sleep for a long period of time?” McMahon asked, relaying some of his concerns to me in a phone conversation.




The World’s Best Places 
To Retire in 2023


If you’re considering retirement abroad, you need information, and you need lots of it. But more than that, you need guidance on how to interpret that information. That’s what we’re here for, and that’s why we’ve compiled the 2023 Annual Global Retirement Index: to help you with the exciting business of choosing where in the world will best suit your needs.

When it was first conceived, our Retirement Index was our special way of coping with an embarrassment of riches. At that stage, IL had already spent over a decade exploring all manner of dream locales. The result was a huge and exciting variety of choice and opportunity. Fast-forward to 2023.

More than three decades have gone by, during which our scouts have scoured every corner of the globe many times over. The result is a much bigger and ever-growing selection of outstanding destinations where you can live a healthier and happier life, spend a lot less money, and get a whole lot more.




Survey: Most Adults Willing to 
Stop Medications If OK’d by Doctors
By Karen Blum



The vast majority of older adults would discontinue their medications if their doctor said it was possible, according to a pilot study by researchers at the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in New York.

Some 91.3% of adults 65 years of age and older, presented with a video about medication deprescribing and related surveys responded that they would be willing to discontinue a regular medication if their doctor asked them to do so, the survey found. Nearly all (98.7%) said they had good knowledge of their medications and 64.1% said they would like to reduce the number of medications they take. These results were presented in a poster (#Mon PM-80) at the 2022 ACCP Global Conference on Clinical Pharmacy.

“Pharmacists and physicians know when and how to stop medications, but it can be a challenge to get the patient to be willing to do so,” said lead study author Robert Wahler, PharmD, BCGP, CPE, FASCP, a clinical associate professor of geriatrics and palliative care at the school. “One of the things we wanted to do is educate patients and their caregivers with a video, so they might be more likely to accept deprescribing.”






Best films turning 50 in 2023


As 2022 draws to a close, many film enthusiasts are already looking ahead to their most anticipated releases of 2023. However, it's also never too soon to start appreciating film anniversaries in the new year, and 2023 is chock-full of them. In fact, many iconic films are turning 50, marking half a century since some of the most exciting cinematic debuts of the 1970s.

The year 1973 in film involved some highly notable events. The iconic and controversial possession classic "The Exorcist" pushed the limits of what a horror film could be and became the exceptional horror film to receive a Best Picture nomination. American auteurs like Martin Scorsese and Terrence Malick announced themselves as exciting cinematic storytellers with their breakout features "Mean Streets" and "Badlands," respectively. Elsewhere, the year proved notable for Asian voices in cinema—"Enter the Dragon" mainstreamed martial arts films in a new way, while "Lady Snowblood" laid out an unbeatable template for samurai-driven revenge films.

Still, you might be wondering, which films turning 50 in 2023 are the best?









I remember my grandfather’s friend. His name was Mr. Victor. While I never knew if “Victor” was his first name or his last or very much else about him, I remember one thing. Mr. Victor had a cane.

It wasn’t one of those high-tech deals we see today. It wasn’t adjustable, nor could it stand on its own. And it certainly did not fold up. It was a plain, dark wood cane with a simple “hooked” handle. And he carried it with him all the time. Mostly hanging from his arm.

To my 8-year-old brain, Mr. Victor and his cane were the perfect example of what makes up an old man. He was slightly stooped over, always wore a suit and tie, which smelled of mothballs, and told jokes only he thought were funny. That was almost 70 years ago. Fast forward to today. I am now Mr. Victor, minus the suit, but always with the cane.

I know there are many of you who think that using a cane (or any mobility aid) is a concession to your advancing years. Using a cane, or walker, or Rollator somehow means you have lost the last vestiges of of youth. Never mind the wrinkles, the hesitating gate, the gray hair or that you can’t pass a men’s room without going in. It’s that cane that makes you old and refusing to use one will somehow keep you young. Unfortunately, it may also mean a long stay in the hospital and months of physical therapy.

What I didn’t know about Mr. Victor or why he may have used a cane was not because he couldn’t walk without it, but probably because he had balance issues. A problem that affects many older Americans. My legs work just fine and I have no pain when walking, But I have a problem walking a straight line or standing without having to lean on a wall for support. The cane, not only helps with my balance, but with my self-confidence too. Those who don’t have problems with their balance do not know how scary it can be when, suddenly, you find yourself on the floor unable to get up. So I’m here to tell you, don’t be an idiot or a slave to vanity. If you think you look foolish with a cane, think how foolish you will look laying flat on your back in the middle of the produce aisle at the Stop & Shop………..

Editor’s note: Besides the obvious a cane can be quite a useful implement. While keeping me from falling over, my cane can push a door open when I don’t want to touch the doorknob, keep an elevator door from prematurely closing, stuff garbage into an overflowing trash can and, when push comes to shove, a cane can be a really good weapon….ed. 
 



FYI





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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2023

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“We may not all break the Ten Commandments, 
but we are certainly all capable of it. 
Within us lurks the breaker of all laws,
ready to spring out at the first real opportunity.”
                                                                            ______Isadora Duncan





Drink more water: 
Staying well-hydrated linked to 
Developing fewer chronic conditions.
By Marina Pitofsky



Is drinking more water one of your new year's resolutions for 2023? Being well hydrated was linked to developing fewer chronic conditions, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health.  

The study, published Monday in eBioMedicine, used information from 11,255 adults in the U.S. Researchers examined the adults’ serum sodium levels, which can increase or decrease depending on a person's fluid intake.

The researchers found that adults with sodium levels at the higher end of the normal range were more likely "were more likely to develop chronic conditions and show signs of advanced biological aging" than their counterparts with lower sodium levels, according to a Tuesday news release from the NIH, which added that “Adults with higher levels were also more likely to die at a younger age.”  

Read more



Can Aquatic Therapy 
Help Older Adults?
By Rosie Wolf Williams


In 1948, Italian immigrant Candido Jacuzzi's young son had severe rheumatoid arthritis, and doctors told the boy's father that water therapy could help. Jacuzzi's family were inventors in agriculture and aviation, and Jacuzzi began to look at creating a pump that could be submerged in water and help ease his child's pain.

People have used water therapy to lower stress and relieve pain for centuries.

It was a success, and the company started to sell the product to medical supply stores and pharmacies. By 1956, the company's engineers had developed a home version that consumers could use.

Seventy-five years after Jacuzzi sought relief for his son, the brand is still strong. Although the Jacuzzi tub is a well-known brand name and a pioneer for hydro massage and whirlpool baths, people have used water therapy to lower stress and relieve pain for centuries.




Age-Related Macular Degeneration 
A Risk Factor for COVID-19 Infection 
And Severe Disease


Summary: More severe COVID-19 outcomes associated with age-related macular degeneration likely arise from a genetic predisposition in addition to higher levels of Pdgf in blood serum.

Source: Boston University

Recent evidence has emerged to suggest that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a clinical risk factor for increased risk for infection and mortality. AMD has been reported to confer higher risk of severe complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including respiratory failure and death (25 percent), a risk which is higher than Type 2 diabetes (21 percent) and obesity (13 percent).

Considering these observations, researchers from Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine hypothesized that AMD and COVID-19 share common genetic risk factors and designed and executed a study that identified a novel association of the two diseases with variants in the PDGFB gene. This gene encodes a platelet derived growth factor (Pdgf) which has a role in the formation of new blood vessels and is involved in the abnormal blood vessel changes that occur in AMD.




COVID-19 may reach human brain 
And stay for almost 8 months
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay


The SAR-CoV-2 virus propagated throughout the body, including into the brain, and persisted for almost eight months, according to a study of tissue samples from 44 COVID-19 fatality autopsies. None of the patients were immunised, and they all passed away from COVID-19. 38 patients' blood plasma tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, three patients' blood plasma tested negative, and three patients' blood plasma was unavailable.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US evaluated samples taken from autopsy carried out between April 2020 and March 2021. In 11 of the patients, they thoroughly sampled the neurological system, including the brain. The study was published in Nature.

Read more





50 Free Apps for Apple
And Android Phones
by Edward C. Baig and Ed Waldman



Smartphones are “smart” for all the remarkable things they can help you accomplish.

Learn a language, catch up on the weather, find a hiking trail, gaze at the starry sky, play a game or plan your next meal or vacation. You often gain these insights not from the built-in features of the phone but rather from the numerous apps you decide to add on, many of which are free. More than 90 percent of the roughly 4.5 million smartphone apps in the Apple and Google stores are free to download.

To help you discover these free apps, AARP selected 50 that can help save you money, entertain you, safeguard your health, reach your fitness goals, learn more about the world around you or make daily activities more efficient. We chose apps based on a combination of the following: ones that we’ve used ourselves, that reviewers or app stores rated highly, and that a variety of experts recommended. The apps must be offered on both the iPhone and Android operating systems. And we’ve focused on apps that you might not know about rather than popular ones that you may already have on your phone.

A word about free: We picked worthy apps where you don’t have to spend a penny to take advantage of their basic features. We did not reject apps that included options to purchase more content when you’re in the app — called a “freemium” app — but we made sure that enough valuable material was available before you might be asked to pay for additional features.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE



The Question Is…


Where is everybody? That’s the question on all of our lips here at the A.L.F. Although the recent COVID induced lockdown ended Tuesday, releasing most of our folks from their required quarantine and, despite that we have returned to normal activities (including communal dining) the dining room is eerily empty.
 
Usually, mealtimes are buzzing with activity. The clanking of dinnerware, the scurrying of servers and the animated conversation of residents make for a lively environment. However, as you can see from the photo, most of the seats are empty, with entire tables void of diners.

We were told, in a memo, that a “few” residents would have to remain in their rooms past the lifting of the lockdown because they had or were exposed to the virus. But by the looks of things, there are more than just a few. Dozens would be closer to the truth. Is there something they are not telling us? The silence, as they say, is deafening.

Unless we have reached the “End of days” and all the missing residents have been “raptured” up to heaven, we are in the throes of a curious situation. If there are residents who have COVID or have been exposed to COVID, why are not the rest of us back in our rooms?

Normally, the N.Y. State DOH requires all residents be kept from fraternizing if over 3 cases of the virus are present within the facility. Have most of the missing residents fallen ill to something else? Flu? RSV? That would be more likely because all of our residents and staff have been fully vaccinated against COVID. Or, is it something else? The administration is not saying.
 
Saturday will mark 10 full days after COVID put the entire facility in lockdown. That’s the minimum time necessary to make sure someone is free of the virus and can return to normal activities. If Saturday comes and goes without a significant number of residents returning to us, I’ll know there is more than meets the eye going on here. I love a good mystery, don’t you?…………
 







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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2023


©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-






THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2023


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com


“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind
 and nourish with repetition and 
emotion will one day become a reality.”
                                                                      _______ Earl Nightingale







They Treat Me Like I’m 
Old and Stupid’: 
Seniors Decry 
Health Providers’ Age Bias
By Judith Graham



There was the time several years ago when she told an emergency room doctor that the antibiotic he wanted to prescribe wouldn’t counteract the kind of urinary tract infection she had.

He wouldn’t listen, even when she mentioned her professional credentials. She asked to see someone else, to no avail. “I was ignored and finally I gave up,” said Whitney, who has survived lung cancer and cancer of the urethra and depends on a special catheter to drain urine from her bladder. (An outpatient renal service later changed the prescription.)

Then, earlier this year, Whitney landed in the same emergency room, screaming in pain, with another urinary tract infection and a severe anal fissure. When she asked for Dilaudid, a powerful narcotic that had helped her before, a young physician told her, “We don’t give out opioids to people who seek them. Let’s just see what Tylenol does.”




Why Nursing Home Reform 
Is Finally Coming
By Richard Eisenberg


Not a moment too soon. In a 2021 survey by The John A. Hartford Foundation (a funder of Next Avenue), 71% of respondents age 50 and older said they were unwilling to live in a nursing home.

The problems at these facilities — where people reside in close proximity for extended periods of time and the average age of residents is 86 — are many.

More than 133,000 nursing-home residents and staff members have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic — a disaster that NYU nursing professor Jasmine Travers has called "the 9/11 moment for nursing homes."

COVID Surge in Nursing Homes

In recent weeks, nursing-home COVID cases have been surging rapidly, according to AARP. During the pandemic, nursing-home COVID cases have been found especially in big, urban facilities and ones with a greater percentage of African American residents.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 

Immunizing Older Individuals 
Requires Flexibility, Nuance
By Chad Worz


When it comes to vaccination efforts, remember that patients 65 years or older are not a homogeneous group.

Nothing highlighted the need for and importance of vaccinations in older adults more than the COVID-19 pandemic. Like any infectious disease, COVID-19 struck hardest and most lethally in individuals 65 years or older, particularly those in congregate care settings, such as assisted-living and skilled-nursing centers. At press time, nearly 800,000 Americans 65 years or older have died because of COVID-19.1 The race to develop vaccines and the subsequent race to deliver them felt like preparing for war. It was a massive undertaking that needed to be done as quickly as possible. In that haste, many of the ills that plague our health care system were amplified.

In 2016, well before the pandemic, retired pharmacist Truman Lastinger, RPh, wrote that in the 1950s, “most rural customers did not have enough money to go to the doctor, even though an office visit was often $3 to $4...so druggists saw and [managed] cuts, bruises, bee stings, goiters, hernias, mastoid problems, sore throats, colds, rashes, ringworm, sandworm, athlete’s foot, and influenza, just to name some of the common problems. They [also managed] constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, [anemia], sexual dysfunction, [and] just about anything in the community that required attention.”2



Good News – 
New Study Finds That the
Prevalence of Dementia 
Is Declining


Alzheimer's Disease Dementia Concept

Dementia is a term used to describe a decline in cognitive function, including memory, language, and problem-solving abilities. It is often associated with old age, but it can occur at any age. There are many different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia.

The study also found a decrease in disparities based on race and sex.
A recent study conducted by the RAND Corporation found that the prevalence of dementia among people over age 65 in the United States decreased by 3.7 percentage points from 2000 to 2016.

The age-adjusted prevalence of dementia fell from 12.2% of people over age 65 in 2000 to 8.5% of people over age 65 in 2016, representing a nearly one-third reduction from the 2000 level. The prevalence of dementia decreased consistently over the entire study period, with a particularly rapid decline observed between 2000 and 2004.






DON’T LET INFLATION 
KEEP YOU FROM 
EATING HEALTHILY
BY JOY STEPHENSON


Many of us are feeling the squeeze rampant inflation puts on food budgets. Those of us on fixed incomes may feel it more acutely than others.

To give you an idea of the pressures we are facing, food prices have spiked more than 13 percent over the past year. Some specific grocery items, such as sugar, fats, and oils, have seen increases of almost 17 percent.

These increases, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, are the largest since 1979. And estimates that food prices may increase another 10 percent over the next year make matters even more challenging.

Translating all this into dollars and cents, it means that if you live in a two-person household, a year ago you were probably spending around $600 a month for groceries. With inflation, you’re now most likely spending closer to $700 a month for the same shopping bag – this is a whopping $1,200 a year! Many boomers can’t just go out and make extra money. The only solution is to cut grocery and other costs to make ends meet.












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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2023


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“If freedom of speech is taken away, 
then dumb and silent we may be led, 
like sheep to the slaughter.”
                                   ― George Washington




Multi-Generational 
Family Households 
Are Back
By Eileen Doherty, MS 


Years ago, grandparents and single aunts and uncles lived with families.  As the Baby Boomers entered middle age, multi-generational family households were replaced with older adults living in nursing homes.  More recently, care now includes assisted living, memory care, adult day programs, and hospice programs.

Today, according to Generations United, 26% of families were living in multi-generational families.  In the past year, the Colorado Gerontological Society used a community-directed approach to learn more about these families, especially communities of color. 

Based on a community housing survey of households who receive services from The Society, 33% of the older adults who responded lived in households with adult children and grandchildren because of lack of a job or inability to afford housing. Of those living in multi-generational family households, 48% were families from communities of color and 64% had an income of less than $2265/month.




Top 10 Best Housing 
Programs for Seniors



Getting an excellent housing program for a senior has never been easy. The affordable ones are often never exactly what you visualize for your aging loved ones. Conversely, higher-quality homes are typically more expensive. Fortunately, there are still several housing programs for seniors that are affordable and worth every dime you spend.

What Is a Senior Housing Program? 

As people age and later retire, their income levels are often much lower than their income during their working days. As a result, they sometimes have to move to more affordable residences. Senior housing programs make this possible by providing alternative affordable homes to low-income senior citizens.

Top 10 Best Housing Programs for Seniors


 If you are looking for housing programs for seniors, here are the top ten programs you may want to consider.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 

Medicare Plan Finder Likely 
Won’t Note New $35 Cap on 
Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs
By Susan Jaffe 



A big cut in prescription drug prices for some Medicare beneficiaries kicks in next year, but finding those savings isn’t easy.

Congress approved in August a $35 cap on what seniors will pay for insulin as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, along with free vaccines and other Medicare improvements. But the change came too late to add to the Medicare plan finder, the online tool that helps beneficiaries sort through dozens of drug and medical plans for the best bargain.

Officials say the problem affects only 2023 plans.

To fix anticipated enrollment mistakes, Medicare officials will give beneficiaries who use insulin a chance to switch plans next year. They can make one change after Dec. 8 and throughout 2023 through a special enrollment period for “exceptional circumstances.” Typically, people are locked in for an entire year.




Training, wage improvements 
Necessary to increase supply of
Direct care workers, task force says
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


Competitive compensation, skills training and job improvements are among the recommendations a state task force made to lawmakers to increase the supply of direct care workers in assisted living communities and other settings.

The West Virginia Direct Care Taskforce, launched over the summer by AARP West Virginia, developed legislative and regulatory recommendations to increase the state’s direct care workforce by at least 3,750 workers to meet current and future needs. 

The West Virginia Health Care Association was part of the task force, and CEO Marty Wright told McKnight’s Senior Living that he appreciated the collaborative focus on workforce challenges affecting the state’s 91 assisted living communities and 123 skilled nursing facilities that collectively employ almost 14,000 workers. 





5 REASONS OLDER WOMEN 
SHOULD LIFT WEIGHTS
BY JANE THURNELL



Many older women think weightlifting is for men, or (at the very least) for younger women. However, the benefits of weightlifting for older women are striking.

So, here are 5 reasons to lift weights when you are older. Let me see if I can persuade you to give it a go.

Weight Training Will Reduce Your Chances of Falling

Around a third of people aged 65 and over fall at least once a year. For some it can be a trivial fall, but for many it results in broken bones and loss of confidence. It also tends to increase the fear of falling again. Ironically, being afraid of falling can almost double your chances of actually falling.





Is This Any Way To Live?


The facility-wide lockdown ended Tuesday. Yet another reminder that COVID is still with us. Thankfully, most of our residents can return to their normal routine. And, therein lies the problem. Just what are they getting back to?

If doing nothing was a job, our residents would be tops in their field. And it’s not because there is nothing to explore. There are plenty of that. From bingo to arts and crafts and other group activities, our residents are presented with a variety of time-occupying things to do. The problem lies with the residents themselves and the pall that has settled over this place like a shroud since this virus (that appears to have older and more fragile people firmly in its grasp) came on the scene over three years ago. 

It has become obvious that many of us have resigned ourselves to, what, in our mind, is the inevitable. A life of continued masking, spur-of-the-moment quarantines and lockdowns and possible re-infections. At a time in our lives when we should be allowed to explore options and enjoy the freedoms afforded to all, we are told that to do so could cause illness or death. Some way to life, huh? And worse of all, this absurdity is not being addressed by anybody. Not assisted living management, not the DOH, and certainly not by the federal government. Their position; as long as there is no mass die off, the status will remain quo. 

There has to be somebody out there, some person or group that can come up with a solution that would be acceptable to all. There must be a way to keep us relatively safe, and yet, free of the restraints that make everyday life in long-term care facilities bearable.


Since my last post, we have had 4 additional cases of residents testing positive for COVID. They have been isolated and are all okay. But the question remains. “Where did they get infected?” Was it here? Most likely not. That means they caught it from someone outside or someone who brought it in here. This would show the problem lies, not with us residents, but with the public. And yet, we are the ones who are locked-down, forced to wear masks and be subjected to archaic methods of infection control. Lock ‘em up until it goes away.

If I sound bitter, that’s because I am. I’m tired of being treated like a second-class citizen. Or no citizen at all. An entity that has no representation. No advocate. No champion. Immigrants crowding our southern borders are given more thought and care than us. I see no one in our government who knows what is happening, let alone doing something about it. Despite seniors being among the largest voting groups, we are given short shrift. Maybe what we need is a gray insurrection. Where can I get bullet proof Depends?….........
 







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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-





TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2023





“I don't have a drinking problem
 'Cept when I can't get a drink.”
                                                                      ― Tom Waits




Lockdown Over
Facility returns to
Normal Tuesday




For seniors, 
Big changes coming 
With federal health 
Coverage plans


Just a reminder: 2023 will begin what could be consequential changes in aspects of older Americans, notably those age 65-plus and covered by Medicare.

As part of law of the Inflation Reduction Act passed by Democrats in the Congress and pushed by the Biden Administration, diabetics on original Medicare will see their cost for lifesaving insulin capped at $35-a-month under Part-D prescription drug plans. As the official Medicare site reports:

“Plans can’t charge you more than $35 for a one-month supply of each Medicare Part D-covered insulin you take and can’t charge you a deductible for insulin. Because this is a brand-new benefit, the new $35 cap may not be reflected in your estimated total costs when you review and compare plans. Your costs can’t be more than $35 for each month’s supply of each covered insulin. For example, if you get a 60-day supply of a Part D-covered insulin, you’ll generally pay no more than $70. Starting July 1, 2023, similar caps on costs will apply for insulin used in traditional insulin pumps (covered by Medicare Part B).”

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



What to Do When You Don’t 
Know What to Do
In Retirement?
By Nancy Collamer


Last year, my husband Joel, then 65, retired from a 30+ year career as an IT consultant. Initially, he reveled in his newfound freedom. But over time, the leisurely life lost its luster and Joel seemed a little lost himself.

Now as a retirement coach, I wasn't alarmed by Joel's growing restlessness. Retirement can be surprisingly challenging and it often takes two years or more before people settle in. Still, as his wife, it was eye-opening to experience the ups and downs of this transition firsthand.

Over the course of the year, Joel thankfully ultimately found his footing. I'd like to tell you how that happened and what you might do if you're about to retire or have retired so you can figure out what to do in retirement for maximum fulfillment.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


Coronary Artery Disease: 
What’s New In The Treatment 
Of Heart Disease
By Longjam Dineshwori


Coronary artery disease (CAD) has been one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Thanks to the evolution of medical treatment, interventional methods, and mechanical circulatory support devices, survival of the patients with coronary artery disease has now improved to a great extent. Coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Coronary artery disease develops one or more of your coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked due to plaque buildup in these arteries. This can lead to a heart attack, arrhythmia, heart failure, and other complications. A common symptom of CAD includes angina (temporary chest pain or discomfort), and shortness of breath (dyspnea). However, one may have CAD for many years without any symptoms until one gets a heart attack. Hence, coronary artery disease is called a "silent killer."

Now, let's talk about the treatment of heart disease and we are joined by Dr Sharath Reddy Annam, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Director of Cath Lab, Director of CTO and Complex Coronary interventions, TAVR & Structural Heart interventions, Medicover Hospitals.



Best Colleges for Retirees
By John Rampton 


Typically, retirement is a time when you can kick back and relax. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ve paid your dues, after all. However, learning new skills can help you keep your mind sharp.

Did you also know that in the U.S., many institutions offer senior citizens free college courses? Taking advantage of these programs is a great way to discover new interests, stay on top of your intellectual game, and prevent isolation.

Even better? A grade isn’t always important. Audit classes are often offered without homework or exams for seniors in many schools. Furthermore, retirees may be entitled to free tuition.







The 10 Best Historical Sites in the U.S.
That Should Be on Your Bucket List
By ERIN YARNALL


People travel for a lot of reasons, some people go out of town to explore the great outdoors, others want to check out unique architecture, but a lot of people visit places all throughout the country because of their historical importance.

Sure, you can read about these locations in books or watch a film or tv series about the historical events that shaped them, but there's no better way to learn about the history of a place than by actually taking a trip there. If you're curious about U.S. history or want to find out more about an under-the-radar historical site, take a trip to a spot on our list of best historical sites in the U.S.

The Best Historical Sites in the U.S.

1. Jackson Square – New Orleans, Louisiana
Jackson Square in New Orleans









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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper



-30-







HAPPY NEW YEAR
MONDAY, JANUARY 2, 2023





“Caregiving will never be one-size-fits-all.”
                                                                  ― Nancy L. Kriseman,





Probe: 
Alzheimer’s drug approval 
‘rife with irregularities’


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration’s contentious approval of a questionable Alzheimer’s drug took another hit Thursday as congressional investigators called the process “rife with irregularities.”

The 18-month investigation by two House committees detailed “atypical collaboration” between FDA regulators and a company it’s supposed to oversee -- Aduhelm manufacturer Biogen. The probe also cited Biogen documents saying the company intended to “make history” when it set what investigators called an “unjustifiably high” initial price of $56,000 a year for the drug.

The criticism comes as the FDA is expected to decide whether to approve another new Alzheimer’s drug in January. Thursday’s report urged the agency to “take swift action” to ensure that any future Alzheimer’s approvals aren’t met with “the same doubts about the integrity of FDA’s review.”




Smoking May Increase 
Chances of 
Mid-Life Memory Loss 
And Confusion


Middle-aged smokers are far more likely to report having memory loss and confusion than nonsmokers, and the likelihood of cognitive decline is lower for those who have quit, even recently, a new study has found.

The research from The Ohio State University is the first to examine the relationship between smoking and cognitive decline using a one-question self-assessment asking people if they’ve experienced worsening or more frequent memory loss and/or confusion.

The findings build on previous research that established relationships between smoking and Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, and could point to an opportunity to identify signs of trouble earlier in life, said Jenna Rajczyk, lead author of the study, which appears in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.




Loneliness is a public health 
Emergency we can’t 
Afford to ignore
BY LANCE ROBERTSON


There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about public health emergencies–and rightfully so. But amid the discussions on how to respond to pandemics and poverty, another silent calamity has taken hold: loneliness.

Traditional thinking employs the ideas of compassion, empathy, and the offer of companionship to combat loneliness. These are admirable ideals, but they don’t fully address the gravity of the issue. Myriad health afflictions are steeped in loneliness. It is a pre-existing condition with dangerous consequences.

Today more than ever, we need a policy that takes the significant physical risk of loneliness into account. We must treat it as the public health issue that it is.




Retirees Are One Reason 
The Fed Has Given Up on a
Big Worker Rebound
By Ben Casselman, Jeanna Smialek 


Alice Lieberman had planned to work for a few more years as a schoolteacher before the pandemic hit, but the transition to hybrid instruction did not come easily for her. She retired in summer 2021.

Her husband, Howard Lieberman, started to wind down his consulting business around the same time. If Mrs. Lieberman was done working, Mr. Lieberman wanted to be free, too, so that the pair could take camping trips and volunteer.

The Liebermans, both 69, are one example of a trend that is quietly reworking the fabric of the American labor force. A wave of baby boomers has recently aged past 65. Unlike older Americans who, in the decade after the Great Recession, delayed their retirements to earn a little bit of extra money and patch up tenuous finances, many today are leaving the job market and staying out.





5 Things You Should Know 
About Nursing Homes


As you age, you probably hope to be healthy and mobile enough to live in your home for the remainder of your life without assistance from live-in caregivers. However, that vision for your golden years often doesn’t work out for many older adults.

Many people won’t be able to age in place due to issues from a debilitating stroke, mobility challenges, chronic illness or cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

In fact, around 70% of people age 65 and older will need some form of long-term care such as assistance with activities of daily living like getting dressed, preparing meals and driving to appointments in our lifetime, says the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL).








Sunday marked my 10th New Year’s Day here at the A.L.F. And, like the rest of my fellow inmates, it was spent in my room, alone.

I’m not complaining about the lack of companionship or that we had no party this year. At our age, all that is just so much meaningless fluff. After all, what are we celebrating? It can’t be “A new beginning.” Chances are Jan 1, 2023, will not vary from the days leading up to it. At least not here.

As of this writing, we are still in the throes of another COVID induced lockdown because of an inordinate number of our residents testing positive for the virus. So, it’s no fraternizing and no communal dining. And, naturally, no activities outside of watching TV (thank G-d for Netflix) or going online for a virtual visit with friends and relatives.

Actually, for many seniors, there will be something a little different starting this month. A “whopping” 8.7 % increase in Social Security benefits. Most of us will see approx $140 extra in our accounts, and, while it’s not really enough to keep up with inflation, it’s better than past increases, which have been as low as 7/10 of a percent. Unfortunately, what most of us will not see is any reduction in our Medicare premiums, which will continue to take a huge chunk out of our fixed incomes.
 
More of what will remain the same is COVID. Despite that three years have gone by and that we have a very viable vaccine readily available, seniors will continue to endure ignorance and stupidity. The unvaccinated minions who think there is a tracking device in every shot or that masks don’t prevent the spread of COVID still walk among us. I fear many of us will end our time here on earth wearing a mask.

I don’t make new year resolutions anymore. Experience has told me to do so is an exercise in futility. Also, at my age, I have settled into a routine that suits my lifestyle which, is to do as little as possible and, to do only things I want to do. My philosophy, one that has kept me out of trouble most of my life, is to keep a low profile. Be assertive only when it matters and be armed with the facts before you go shooting your mouth off. I will continue with this policy for the new year and (hopefully) for many years to come.
 
Finally, for you, my dear readers, who are among a select few who still have an opinion, I promise to continue with this blog for as long as I can. I also promise to present articles that have a profound understanding of what it means to be a senior in a world dominated by a “youth culture” that has refused to learn from
 history. A history we took part in and, I’m ashamed to say, had much to do with the many problems the world has today.

I also wish you nothing but the best. And by the “best” I mean good health. I have come to learn that one’s health is all that matters. I cannot think of anything worse than having to wake up each day with nothing to look forward to but pain, suffering and a prognosis of more of the same. So, see your doctor, take your pills, submit to the tests and try to remain stress free. I need each of you alive and well……………

_________________________

Editor’s note:Let’s Not Forget….

While we mourn the passing of Barbara Walters, a pioneer female anchorperson in a field dominated by men, I would like to remind you of another pioneering female broadcaster who was Barbara Walters predecessor by 10 years. Her name was Carol Reed.

"Carol Reed, the weather girl", presented the weather portion of the evening newscasts on WCBS-TV in New York City from 1952 to 1964. Not trained in meteorology, she nevertheless proved popular with viewers because of her cheerful demeanor and her characteristic signoff, "Good night and have a happy!"  In 1958, she gained national recognition, as the commercial spokesperson for Nabisco. She died of cancer on June 4, 1970, in Mamaroneck, New York at age 44.

  





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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2023



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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HAPPY NEW YEAR
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2022





"He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; 
He who makes one is a fool."
______F.M. Knowles




As Covid Deaths Climb, 
Even Seniors Skip the 
Latest Booster
By Emily Baumgaertner 


Bonnie Ronk is something of a public health matriarch at the Mt. Diablo Center for seniors in this liberal Northern California suburb.

When Ms. Ronk, a great-grandmother whose red walker bears a sticker saying “El Jefe” (The Leader), tells her peers to pull their masks over their noses, they oblige. When she received both doses of the Covid vaccine and a booster and told others to do the same, they did.

But even Ms. Ronk, 79, has not gotten the latest Covid booster, which was updated to protect against the Omicron variant and has been available since September. She said she didn’t know about it.



Respiratory viruses could surge 
Following the holidays, 
Public health experts warn
By Jacqueline Howard


There is growing concern among infectious disease and public health experts that the US could face even more respiratory infections in January.

It is “highly likely” that respiratory viruses could spread even more following holiday gatherings and New Year’s Eve celebrations, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Monday.

Flu, Covid-19 and RSV: Tracking hospitalizations this brutal virus season
“These are highly contagious viruses – and people have generally put Covid-19 and Covid vaccination behind them. They haven’t been all that attentive to flu. They’re not wearing masks,” Schaffner said. “And if you’re close together with other people, it’s an opportunity for all three of these viruses – flu, Covid, and even RSV – to spread from one person to another. So, we do expect a post-holiday surge in these viruses.”





Co-Pay: 
What It Means 
And How It Works
By Sarbvir Singh, Aashika Jain


The Covid-19 pandemic has been instrumental in catalyzing the awareness around health insurance in India, where insurance penetration still paints a dismal picture. Witnessing significant growth, health insurance is no longer seen as a privilege but as a necessity. This is exemplified by the fact that there’s been a fresh 30% to 40% (YoY) growth in premium driven by standalone health insurers. More households today have at least one member covered under a health insurance policy than ever before. 

To put it simply, the general population today understands the implications of the rising cost of medical care. Moreover, they also realize the importance of protecting themselves financially against those costs by opting for a sound health insurance plan. 

So, in a world with intensifying diseases and soaring medical costs, what can people do to save up on their hard-earned money? Do they risk it all by not having any insurance coverage at all because of the premiums? Or is there a way where they can ensure they are protected in case of any medical emergency while not paying through the roof for insurance coverage? This is where the concept of “co-payment” comes into the picture, which is a common way to save up on premiums for the policyholder.




UCI develops first technology 
To aid disaster response 
For older adults


UC Irvine researchers have developed and successfully tested a new data exchange system to provide first responders with real-time, critical health information about senior care center residents, who are at greatest risk during disasters.  

Called CareDEX (Enabling Disaster Resilience in Aging Communities via a secure Data Exchange), the system enabled first responders to locate, rescue and treat elderly residents in a successful test during this year’s Great California Shakeout earthquake drill on Oct. 20.

The smart-platform technology is the result of a multiyear, multidisciplinary collaboration between UCI geriatric medicine and computer science experts, a nationwide provider of senior care services and federal and local first responders.







“Finding the Best Memory Care 
Assisted Living Facility—
10 Things to Consider,”
 Checklist for Families Seeking Dementia 
Care & Alzheimer’s Care Facilities Published



When it comes to finding a memory care facility for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. With so many options available, it can be tough to determine which facility is the best fit for your loved one. A checklist published by Insurance.Agency™ provides 10 key aspects to consider when searching for a memory care facility, so families can ask meaningful questions when making an informed decision when selecting a facility providing specialized memory care.

Memory Care

Memory Care Assisted Living Checklist for Families Seeking a Memory Care Facility Published

With so many options available, it can be tough to determine which memory care facility is the best fit for a loved one.

When it comes to finding a memory care facility for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. With so many options available, it can be tough to determine which memory care facility is the best fit for a loved one.

A new checklist published on the Insurance.Agency™ website provides some key things to consider when searching for a memory care facility, so families can make an informed decision that's best for their loved ones in need of this specialized medical care.

—10 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Memory Care Assisted Living Facility For Your Loved Ones:

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE 
 




Happy new year. There, that’s out of the way. I could also add “good riddance to 2022.” What a crappy year this has been. With COVID still hanging over our heads and inflation stealing money out of our pockets, a war in Ukraine that threatens world peace, killer snow and cold across much of the nation, and Donald Trump still walking free, what was good about it?

As for us seniors, it’s been more of the same old same old. They are still trying to screw us out of our benefits. Despite an 8.7% increase to our Social Security, we remain 47% behind inflation. And with a Republican majority in congress, the chances of any improvement for 2023 is slim to none. And we can forget about any reduction in Medicare premiums any time soon. Big Pharma and their Republican cohorts are trying their best to reverse Biden’s plan to have Medicare negotiate drug prices.


For me and my fellow residents here at the A.L.F. it appears we will end the year alone, in our rooms, unable to be with our friends to celebrate the new year. Like so many times in the last three years, we are under a quarantine/lockdown situation because of several new positive COVID test results. The stress this puts on all of us is tremendous.
 
The residents suffer from isolation and lack of activities. The staff suffers because their routine and duties are disrupted and the facility suffers because every time we go on one of these lockdowns; it cost them money in overtime and increased PPE.

What the new year will bring is anybody’s guess. Of course we would like to see prices come down. But that won’t happen unless we get our supply chain issues under control. I’d like to see the end of Donald Trump as a viable political entity. Whether that comes because of an indictment, prison sentence or a ruling that he can never be permitted to run for public office again makes no difference. I just want him gone.
 
Personally, I’m no worse off than in the past few years. Although my mobility issues are becoming progressively disturbing, my general health remains its old creaky self. I guess at my age “nothing new” is as good as it gets…….
 
 
 






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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2022



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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com


"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant
 and fill him with a terrible resolve."
 –Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto





Aura collaborates with Cyber-Seniors to 
Combat disproportionate rates of 
Fraud among older adults


Aura announced a partnership with Cyber-Seniors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering older adults with technology training and intergenerational support that keeps them socially connected and engaged.

Aura will partner with Cyber-Seniors to reduce the disproportionate impact of digital crime, scams and financial fraud targeting older Americans.

The partnership announcement comes just in time for National Family Caregivers Month and Giving Tuesday. Aura will work with Cyber-Seniors to provide monthly events for seniors and their caregivers around cybersecurity and digital protection, as well as a cybersecurity resource hub on Cyber-Seniors’ website. This builds upon Aura’s existing support of the senior community with 25% off Aura plans and in-depth digital security guides for adults 60 and older.



Updated CDC guidance for 
Senior living balances 
COVID prevention with reduced 
Services, programming
By Kimberly Bonvissuto




In updated COVID-19 guidance for certain congregate living settings such as independent living and assisted living communities, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the settings apply prevention strategies based on community transmission levels.

Although the update primarily focuses on streamlining guidance for homeless shelters and correctional facilities, LeadingAge said that some elements could apply to independent living settings as well as Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly residences.

In the updated guidance, the federal agency provides information on how congregate living settings can assess and mitigate risk by balancing the need for COVID-19 prevention with the effects of reducing access to daily services and programming.




What, me worry? 
Seniors may be a lot more 
Chill than younger folks
By Charles Passy

A new study tracked adults for more than 20 years, and found 25-year-olds reported stressors on nearly 50% of days, while 70-year-olds reported stressors on just 30%

Sure, you may have a few more aches and pains as you age. But there’s a good side to growing old: You’re likely to be a lot less stressed out.

That’s according to a new study led by David Almeida, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State University.

Almeida found that both the number of daily stressors and how much people react to those stressors decreases with age. His research was published in the Developmental Psychology journal.


“As younger people, we may be juggling more, including jobs, families and homes, all of which create instances of daily stress,” Almeida said in a statement. “But as we age, our social roles and motivations change. Older people talk about wanting to maximize and enjoy the time they have.”




FEELING GOOD ABOUT AGING 
ENHANCES OLDER ADULTS’ SEX LIVES


"Negative perceptions of aging are linked to higher likelihood of cognitive decline, higher likelihood of cardiovascular disease, and even shorter lifespans," says Hanamori Skoblow. "We wanted to see how it would affect people's sexual relationships. As expected, thinking positively about the way you age can also lead to a healthy sex life." (Credit: Getty Images)

Positive perceptions of aging can benefit sexual satisfaction among older adults, a new study shows.

“There’s really robust and quickly growing literature about perceptions of aging,” says Hanamori Skoblow, the lead author of the study published in The Gerontologist. “We know positive perceptions of aging can be really beneficial, but when they are negative, they can be really detrimental.

“Negative perceptions of aging are linked to higher likelihood of cognitive decline, higher likelihood of cardiovascular disease, and even shorter lifespans. We wanted to see how it would affect people’s sexual relationships. As expected, thinking positively about the way you age can also lead to a healthy sex life.”







Starting today, visitors to SSA.gov will 
Experience a fresh homepage 
And a new design to help them 
Find what they need more easily.


“SSA.gov is visited by over 180 million people per year and it is one of our most important tools for providing efficient and equitable access to service,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. “Whether providing service in person or online, our goal is to help people understand what they may qualify for and seamlessly transition them to an application process.” Improved self-service capability allows people to skip calling or visiting an office, which helps Social Security staff focus on those visitors who need in-person assistance.

For more information, please visit www.ssa.gov/news/news/press/releases/2022/#12-2022-1






Georgia Election

As I write this, the poles have just closed in Georgia. Therefore, I don’t know who won the race for the U.S. senate in that state. But there is one thing I know. If the Republican candidate, Herschel Walker, wins and becomes a United States Senator, it will be not just a disaster for Georgia, it will have said a lot about how much the Republicans care about America. Because, by electing an obviously

 ill-suited, functionally illiterate lout over a dedicated public servant, the Republicans will have shown their true colors. They would rather promote an unrealistic 19th century view of the world than look to the future and make this country a world leader in social reform, human services, and an equal opportunity for all. And think about this. Walker will be involved in the legislative process? The laws you will have to live by for years to come will have been made by a man whose deepest thought is whether he would rather be a vampire than a werewolf.


If a "Pearl Harbor" Happened Today

On this date, 81 years ago, the Japanese attacked the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The very next day, president Franklin Roosevelt went before a joint session of congress to declare war against Japan. The legislators approval was unanimous. [1] That’s because, back then, despite their differences, they were first and foremost Americans. And so were the American people who had elected Roosevelt to his third term as president. He also ran and won a fourth term in 1945. But what would that be like today?


What in case the Russians attacked a Navy base in Alaska? The next day, Biden comes before a joint session of congress and asks the legislature to declare was on Russia. The congress retires to vote as do the senators. But the Republican majority will not vote for anything any Democratic president wants. They use the excuse that the attack is fake because Fox news did not cover the story. Also, newly elected senator, Herschel Walker is not sure if Alaska is an actual state. The vote to declare war fails. Today, the Russian flag flies over the Alaskan capitol and all Alaskans are ordered to eat borscht as a sign of allegiance to their new rulers……..

[1]The only opposing vote came from Jeannette Pickering Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973)who was an American politician and women's rights advocate who became the first woman to hold federal office in the United States in 1917. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from Montana in 1916; she served one term until she was elected again in 1940. As of 2022, Rankin is still the only woman ever elected to Congress from Montana.[







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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-




TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“Hurricanes, tornadoes and volcanoes are all Natural Disasters.
We can’t fit Global Warming into that category.
We have only us to blame.”  _______Veronica M. White





Who Will Care for 
‘Kinless’ Seniors?
By Paula Span

Lynne Ingersoll and her cat, Jesse, spent a quiet Thanksgiving Day together in her small bungalow in Blue Island, Ill.

A retired librarian, Ms. Ingersoll never married or had children. At 77, she has outlived her parents, three partners, her two closest friends, five dogs and eight cats.

When her sister died three years ago, Ms. Ingersoll joined the ranks of older Americans considered “kinless”: without partners or spouses, children or siblings. Covid-19 has largely suspended her occasional get-togethers with friends, too. Now, she said, “my social life consists of doctors and store clerks — that’s a joke, but it’s pretty much true.”




Senior living leaders press Congress 
To pass bill expanding veterans’ 
Access to assisted living
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


The four main trade associations representing senior living providers held a grassroots “Day of Action” on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to support a bill expanding veterans’ access to assisted living.

Jeanne McGlynn Delgado, American Seniors Housing Association vice president of government affairs, told McKnight’s Senior Living that ASHA — along with Argentum, the National Center for Assisted Living and LeadingAge — initiated the effort to try to generate as many calls and letters as possible from industry professionals into congressional offices on one day. Their message was to urge inclusion of the Expanding Veterans Options for Long Term Care Act (S 4169 / HR 8750) into any year-end omnibus package.

The four associations also sent a joint letter to House and Senate leaders of various Veterans Affairs committees, as well as bill sponsors, to reinforce their desire for passage of the bill during the lame duck legislative session.




Assisted living too often fails 
Older, sicker residents, report says
By Judith Graham


Assisted-living communities too often fail to meet the needs of older people and should focus more on residents’ medical and mental health concerns, according to a recent report by a diverse panel of experts.

It’s a clarion call for change inspired by the altered profile of the population that assisted living now serves.

Residents are older, sicker and more compromised by impairments than in the past: 55 percent are 85 and older, 77 percent require help with bathing, 69 percent with walking and 49 percent with toileting, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.




Ageism in tech:
Elders should be included in 
The design of new technologies
By STEPHANIE HATZIFILALITHIS and NICOLE DALMER 


Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) we might hold toward others or ourselves based on age.

Ageism is a unique form of discrimination, given that it’s universal — it’s often referred to as the last acceptable form of discrimination. Ageism often intersects with other forms of discrimination, including sexism, racism and ableism.

When it comes to the development and distribution of technology, ageism has important implications. It not only shapes whether new technologies are adopted by older adults, but it also influences how new technologies are developed and marketed.

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of how digital technologies and platforms can discriminate on the bases of gender, race and class. However, ageism has received less attention.





Why We Mourn Celebrities
And Long-Forgotten Friends
By Jon Friedman


Whenever my old college roommate Harold calls, I always look forward to a fun, freewheeling conversation. We invariably reminisce about our favorite songs by the Rolling Stones (his favorite band of all time), lament the depressing state of New York professional sports teams, and laugh about the hijinks of our old university pals, while shaking our heads about how so many sensible young women failed to succumb to our charms and rejected us.

When he called me a few weeks ago, however, I immediately sensed something was amiss. Harold's demeanor was unusually quiet. When you get to our age, your first instinct is to wonder: Who died?

Sadly, I was right on the mark. "We've lost Gary," Harold said somberly.

The question that stayed with me was why, then, did the passing of a casual friend affect me so deeply?

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE









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©2022 Bruce Cooper


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MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, 
but the bible says love your Enemy”
                                                             ___Frank Sinatra




Significant Brain Changes Detected in 
Those Suffering Long COVID, New Study Says  
By Tracey Harrington McCoy


The brains of some COVID sufferers were changed by the disease, a new study utilizing specialized MRI machines has uncovered.

On Monday, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) released its findings after using the special type of MRI machine to gauge the long-term effects of COVID.

The scans revealed significant brain abnormalities in people post-COVID that may explain cognitive issues, anxiety and sleep issues, according to a statement from RSNA.

Researchers studied and identified changes to the brainstem and frontal lobe in patients, sometimes even six months after the COVID infection, RSNA said.




Elder Abuse Affects Millions 
Of American Senior Citizens
BY DR. JARROD SADULSKI  


Elder abuse is a problem that does not get a lot of attention; however, it is a major problem in U.S. society. According to the National Council on Aging, as many as five million elderly Americans are abused each year and elder abuse victims have suffered at least $36.5 billion in losses.  

The Different Forms of Elder Abuse 

The National Council on Aging notes that elder abuse takes different forms. For instance, elder abuse can involve: 

Physical abuse 
Emotional abuse such as verbal assaults or harassment 
Confinement  
Caregiver neglect and deprivation of personal needs  
Financial exploitation 

Who Commits the Majority of the Abuse? ....




Secrets of ‘SuperAgers’ who 
Possess brains as sharp as people
20 to 30 years younger
By Sandee LaMotte


Despite volunteering and working out at the gym several days each week, socializing frequently with friends and family, reading all manner of books and doing daily crossword puzzles, 85-year-old Carol Siegler is restless.

“I’m bored. I feel like a Corvette being used as a grocery cart,” said Siegler, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Palatine.

Siegler is a cognitive “SuperAger,” possessing a brain as sharp as people 20 to 30 years younger. She is part of an elite group enrolled in the Northwestern SuperAging Research Program, which has been studying the elderly with superior memories for 14 years. The program is part of the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.




Drug overdose deaths among seniors 
Have more than tripled in two decades
By Spencer Kimball


Deaths from drug and alcohol use are rising among America’s seniors.

Drug overdose deaths more than tripled among people age 65 and older during the past two decades while deaths from alcohol abuse increased more than 18% from 2019 to 2020, according to data published Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics.

More than 800,000 seniors suffered from drug addiction and 2.7 million suffered from alcohol addiction in 2020, according to separate data from the Health and Human Services Department.

In total, more than 5,000 seniors died of drug overdoses in 2020 and more than 11,600 succumbed to alcohol, according to the NCHS data. Though drug overdose death rates are lower for seniors than other age groups, they have increased substantially from 2.4 per 100,000 in 2000 to 8.8 per 100,000 in 2020.

“We’ve got a public health problem coming at our door — these trends have been increasing for a long time now,” said Alexis Kuerbis, a professor at the Silberman School of Social Work and an expert on substance use among older adults.






AIRLINE IS RECRUITING SENIOR CITIZENS
TO BE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
BY MATTHEW KLINT


 
 Budget carrier EasyJet is going on a hiring spree and rather than targeting the youth, it is targeting senior citizens in its purse to recruit more flight attendants. I think this is a great idea.

EasyJet Wants More Senior Citizens Citizens To Be Flight Attendants

Over the last year, EasyJet has seen a 30% increase in new flight attendants over the age of 60. Over the last four years, EasyJet has seen a 27% increase in new flight attendants over the age of 45. Now EasyJet is specifically targeting these older groups in a new recruiting drive aimed at “empty nesters.”

EasyJet explains that its new initiative comes on the heels of a new survey in the UK suggesting that 78% of Britons are resolved to take on new challenges once their children fly the nest and nearly 60% are open to a new career.

The new campaign spotlights a number of older EasyJet cabin crew who have joined the airline in the last year, including:








People who settle on assisted living as the choice for long-term care have one thing in mind.

Will the facility provide me with the help I need while letting me “Do my thing”? Often in direct conflict with management would like to have complete control of what you do 365/24/7. Or, so it appears.

I have always enjoyed my independence. The only time I have sought help is when there is something I can’t, (or shouldn’t) do on my own, like abdominal surgery or automatic transmission repair. That’s best left to professionals. Otherwise I’m a DIY guy. That’s why, when I first came to the A.L.F., I was surprised, and dismayed, at how much of that independence was not afforded to me.


Don’t misunderstand. There was much I could not do for myself. I was fresh out of a nursing home with severe mobility problems and in some pain. I was glad for the help. There was no way I could have cleaned my room, or made my bed, or cooked meals for myself. I wanted, and received, the care I needed. However, as time went on and my body became stronger and my mobility improved and the pain became manageable, I felt the need to do more for myself. Unfortunately, the facility did not agree and continued to manage my life the way they saw fit. Even to where it became annoying.

I’m a private person. When I close the door to my room, I expect what I do in that room to be my business and my business alone. Just like you when you close the front door to your house or apartment.The facility sees it differently. They believe their control has no boundaries and a closed door is an invitation to come in anytime they want. I can’t tell you how many times I have been caught in the “altogether” by an aid entering my room without knocking or, even when they knock, fail to listen when I say “Don’t come in.”
 
Have you ever seen a prison movie where the guards enter a cell and toss the contents, looking for contraband? They don’t ask the prisoners for permission, they just do it. The same is true about assisted living facilities. The facility may enter a resident’s room for any reason at any time. All done in the name of safety. 

Wanting residents to be safe is one thing, but trying to assure that safety while interfering with one’s independence and privacy is another. There has to be a way for long-term care facilities to balance resident independence and safety,
 
“The Covid-19 pandemic shined a light on how hard it is for long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities to balance residents’ health risks with their desire for independence and autonomy. A few have found the secret sauce. Most have not.”

A new study by the RAND Corporation, a California research firm, shows how facilities can reimagine the way they make these decisions and, perhaps, avoid the mistakes of the pandemic. The key takeaway: Operators of long-term care facilities need to make residents, their families, and front-line staff partners when they make choices that affect residents’ quality of life. This will require a fundamental change in management culture and won’t be easy. But it is critically important.” [1]
 
Here’s the solution to the problem as I (and others) see it. 

First, there must be a definition of who and what a “resident” is.

Residents of an assisted living facility have a status like no one else. In one sense, we are patients in a health care facility and, therefore, are overseen by the Department of Health. However, we are also residents, or guests, in a housing venue. We are not wards of the state. We pay rent just like we would if we lived in an apartment or hotel. And, for that fee, should we not expect a certain amount of independence and privacy afforded to any who pay rent to a landlord?

Next, there needs to be an evaluation of all residents as to their ability and to what extent an individual can live independently. In other words, don’t make rules that apply to everyone. Old people are not all the same. And, just because I walk with a cane does not mean I can’t be trusted with a microwave oven or a Mr. Coffee.
 
A report by the Rand Organization [2] agrees with me, and then some… 
 
· Proactively engage residents and their families in decision-making. This could include creating more robust resident councils than exist today.
 
· Consider ways for residents to organize themselves by their tolerance for risk.
 
· Improve communication with residents and families, especially in times of crisis.
 
. All of these changes will require a fundamental change in the hierarchical management of many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In the traditional model, both aides and residents are expected to do what they are told without complaint, and families are little more than an annoyance.


. “Participatory governance” that can “incorporate multiple and sometimes conflicting perspectives [and] balance individual preferences and social group well-being.” In the context of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, it means “weighing individual preferences for infection risk against protection of the facility community. Management, staff, residents, and their families share responsibility for developing and implementing policies. At the same time, government needs to change the way facilities are regulated so that they are rewarded for adopting these reforms.”

I don’t believe I will see any of what has been suggested because the state DOH is a government-dependent agency which relies on politicians for funding. And politicians are more interested in looking out for their own asses than making a better life for me…….
 

[1]https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2022/12/01/a-way-for-nursing-homes-to-balance-resident-independence-and-safety/?sh=47b7bf03bb56


[2]https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA2128-1.html








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










Significant Brain Changes Detected in 
Those Suffering Long COVID, New Study Says  
By Tracey Harrington McCoy 

The brains of some COVID sufferers were changed by the disease, a new study utilizing specialized MRI machines has uncovered.


On Monday, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) released its findings after using the special type of MRI machine to gauge the long-term effects of COVID.

The scans revealed significant brain abnormalities in people post-COVID that may explain cognitive issues, anxiety and sleep issues, according to a statement from RSNA.

Researchers studied and identified changes to the brainstem and frontal lobe in patients, sometimes even six months after the COVID infection, RSNA said.

Read more  >>



Smart Ways To Lose 
Weight Safely After 60
By Karoline Gore 


Weight gain is one of the most common things that comes with aging, and most people gain around 1 to 2 pounds every year. However, while putting on a bit of weight is natural and healthy, poor diet and lack of physical activity can result in obesity among seniors.  According to the CDC, 41.5% of adults aged 60 and older are obese. Obesity increases the risk of various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, which is why having a healthy lifestyle is so important once you hit your golden years. Exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep can help adults who are aged 60 and older to lose weight. But if you want to try other ways to shed the pounds, here are some safe and effective weight loss hacks that you should know.

Counter Food Cravings with the Right Scents

Older adults who need to gain weight are sometimes advised to use essential oils to boost their appetite. Some of these oils include lavender, peppermint, bergamot, and sweet orange as they promote good digestion, relieve nausea, and boost mood, all of which can help to indirectly improve appetite. However, if you have a tendency to overeat and your goal is to lose weight, then steer clear of these oils and make sure to only use scented products that won’t cause you to eat more than you should.

Read more  >> 



‘He didn’t ask me my age’: 
Customer says she automatically 
Received a senior discount at 
Ross Dress for Less


In a viral video posted on Nov. 15, TikToker Jennifer (@gigi_dolleyes) shared that the cashier at Ross gave her a discount after assuming she was over 55 years old. The video has over 187,800 views.

“WTH!! Getting old sucks,” the caption read. 

According to The Senior List, Ross offers a senior discount of 10% on Tuesdays if you’re 55 years of age or older. 

After ringing up her items, Jennifer says her total was $52 but was then changed to $44. She says she didn’t think twice as she needed to go pick up her daughter but once she got to her car, she looked at the receipt. 

“He gave me the 55-plus Tuesday discount. 10%,” she says in the clip. “I mean I’m not mad at it because hey, that’s $7.50 that I didn’t have to pay, but… he didn’t ask me my age.”

She then proceeded to ask her followers if she looked 55 years old. 

Read more  >> 




Older adults using social media to 
Keep in contact with friends and family



Many older Americans are turning to social media to stay in contact with family and friends. But even before quarantines and stay-at-home orders forced us to find new ways to communicate, seniors were among the fastest growing demographic for social media users.

A study by the Pew Research Center showed that 34 percent of those adults 65 and older use social media platforms. Analysis of a Pew Research survey reported in 2019 suggested that 68 percent of those between the ages of 55 to 73 owned a smartphone, as did 40 percent of those between the ages of 74 to 91. Fifty-two percent of those in the 55-73 age group and 33 percent in the 74-91 age group reported owning a tablet computer.

Through social media outlets such as Facebook, older adults are able to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation – which can lead to health problems, both mentally and physically – by staying in contact with family members who live far away or by reconnecting with old friends after years of drifting apart. This is especially true for seniors whose physical limitations may make it difficult for them to leave the home.

Read more  >> 


______special

IRS: You Can Contribute More to 
Retirement Starting in 2023
 


The IRS issued Notice 2022-55, which describes cost-of-living adjustments for retirement and pension plans. The changes are effective January 1, 2023.

Increases to Contribution Limits for Retirement Plans in the New Year

Beginning in 2023, workers’ maximum allowed contributions to 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans or, for federal employees, the Thrift Savings Plan will increase to $22,500 from $20,500.

Learn more  >>






Will COVID ever end? If you are a resident of a long-term care facility like me, you would say “No.”

This negativity comes not from our religious, sociological or educational backgrounds or beliefs. It’s just that we have never been among that group of Americans who have, mostly, forgotten about COVID and that it remains a daily threat to the lives of senior citizens. For us, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Every day, before I leave the COVID-free safety of my room, I do something I and my fellow residents have done for nearly 3 years. I put on my face mask. The mandate is simple, and direct.

As per the New York State Department of Health (DOH), every resident (and staff) vaccinated or not, must wear a mask in all common areas of all long-term care facilities. The only other facilities ordered to do this are the state’s prisons and jails.
 
So, while the rest of the state, and the nation, can freely travel, shop, work attend events unmasked (and unconcerned), we older Americans who are confined to assisted living facilities are in a constant state of fear of contracting this virus.

Living with the constant reminder that an unseen microbe lurks around every corner, ready to pounce on the first unprotected senior that walks by has taken its toll on the minds and moods of our residents. It also makes one wonder if we (the nation and the world) will ever be free of COVID. The prospect of living out one’s life never again to return to the days when it was okay to kiss a friend or relative, or ride on public transportation or not having to look forward to the next vaccination, is daunting. And, for us, a likely reality. And it doesn’t have to be.
 
Here are the facts: [1]
 
 
Nearly 9 in 10 COVID-19 deaths in 2022 occur in people 65 and older. 
Although the pandemic has been declared over, more than 300 people are still dying every day from the virus and most of them are 65 or older, according to the report. The data has many experts wondering what can really be considered “acceptable loss.”
 
“There’s a bit of ageism, so to speak, attached to it,” S. Matthew Liao, a professor of bioethics, philosophy and public health at New York University, told The Post. “People, even if they are older, they still have as much claim to live as me.”
 
Here are three more things to know:
 
94 percent of all U.S. citizens were estimated to have been infected with COVID-19 at least once by Nov. 9.
 
Protection against omicron rose from 22 percent to 63 percent nationally between December 2021 and November 2022.


Increasing first booster uptake from 34 percent to 55 percent, and second booster uptake from 11 percent to 22 percent, would increase protection against infection by 4.5 percent and protection against severe disease by 1.1 percent, a study found.
 
Unfortunately, because there remains a hard-core group of COVID-denying anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, we most likely will have to live with this scourge for many years to come, or until all of those unvaccinated minions are dead and buried……

[1] , The Washington Post reported Nov. 28.
 







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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 31, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










OLDER ADULTS LIVE LONGER IN 
COUNTIES WITH GREATER AGE BIAS
By Patty Shillington


AMHERST, Mass. – Older adults living in counties with greater age bias had better health outcomes than those living in areas with less age bias, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers, who were surprised at the findings.

“Quite the opposite of what we expected emerged,” says Allecia Reid, associate professor of social psychology and senior author of the paper published in the journal Social Science & Medicine. “Rather than dying earlier in counties with more negative attitudes toward older adults, we found in fact that older adults were living longer in counties with more negative attitudes towards older adults.”

Reid and colleagues had based their hypothesis on earlier research showing that minority groups, such as African Americans and sexual minorities, have worse health outcomes in counties with more negative attitudes toward their group.

Read more  >> 



The Rewards and Reality of 
Moving In With Your Adult Kids
By Randall H. Duckett


The baby — her face smeared with pureed peas, carrots and onions — squeals as Sunny, our rescue dog, scurries around the high chair, hoping the child will throw more scraps to the floor. On a chair at the dining table, our daughter tries valiantly to get food into her baby’s mouth. She chats with her college-student husband, who tonight has cooked a savory pasta dish, about her job as a law clerk. The couple’s cat, Hermes, pads across the printer on the countertop, ignoring the dog’s antics below. Across the table, my wife relates the events of her day caring for our granddaughter, which can be exhausting but feeds her soul. And me? Eating ziti with meatballs and marinara, I beam.

As empty nesters, my wife and I missed our crowded table. Now we’ve got that back, and much more, in this house of multigenerational madness.

Last year, after 35 years of marriage, we downsized from a 3,000-square-foot home in Knoxville, Tennessee, into half of a 2,200-square-foot house in the Philadelphia suburbs. With our 31-year-old daughter (who’s shy about using her family’s names in an article), my son-in-law and our granddaughter, we’re living a grand experiment in our 60s — something others our age either seem to dream about or dread.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



Seniors would rather swear off 
Air conditioning than visit a doctor: poll


One in four seniors would rather go a summer without air conditioning than visit the doctor, according to new research.

Some 2,000 Americans 64 and older were surveyed about unpleasant experiences more desirable than a doctor’s appointment. Around a third said they would prefer to let their spouse make all decisions in the home for a weekend; or to do the dishes immediately after they eat for a week; or to talk with their least favorite relative for an evening.

Conducted by OnePoll this fall and commissioned by ClearMatch Medicare, the survey found while 40% feel optimistic and calm when visiting the doctor, about one-third admitted they feel anxious or afraid — though most wouldn’t reveal those emotions to others.

Read more  >> 


Should Older Seniors Risk Major Surgery? 
New Research Offers Guidance
By Judith Graham


Nearly 1 in 7 older adults die within a year of undergoing major surgery, according to an important new study that sheds much-needed light on the risks seniors face when having invasive procedures.

Especially vulnerable are older patients with probable dementia (33% die within a year) and frailty (28%), as well as those having emergency surgeries (22%). Advanced age also amplifies risk: Patients who were 90 or older were six times as likely to die than those ages 65 to 69.

The study in JAMA Surgery, published by researchers at Yale School of Medicine, addresses a notable gap in research: Though patients 65 and older undergo nearly 40% of all surgeries in the U.S., detailed national data about the outcomes of these procedures has been largely missing.

Read more  >>  




Protecting Seniors from Holiday Scammers
By Kira Masteller & Lewitt Hackman



With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s not just family and friends that are all around us; the scammers are waiting in the shadows as well.

According to an Experian blog posted in 2020, one in four people fall victim to fraud during the holidays and one in five have experienced pandemic-related scams. These thieves often target the elderly – people aged 70 or more tend to suffer larger financial losses than those below 70. So how can we protect our Seniors from becoming victims of fraud this holiday season?

Financial Eldercare Begins With You

Nothing is foolproof, but taking the below steps may help your family members avoid dangerous websites and reduce the number of unwanted calls from spammers, robocallers, and telemarketers.

Learn more  >> 









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Strengthening SSI Can 
Improve Food Security for 
People With Disabilities and Older Adults
BY ALEXANDRA ASHBROOK


Disability is one of the strongest risk factors for food insecurity. In 2021, 28 percent of households that included an adult who was out of the labor force because of a disability were food insecure. This alarming rate is more than two and a half times the national rate of 10.2 percent.

To break the persistent link between disability and poverty — a root cause of hunger — the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) joined forces with the Disability Economic Justice Collaborative (DEJC).

One important opportunity to address poverty among people with disabilities — as well as older adults — is to strengthen the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program. SSI provides monthly cash support for millions of people who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or over with low incomes and limited resources.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



An 'explosive social and demographic change': 
Unprecedented number of Americans 
Face aging and death alone
BY JOSEPH MACKINNON


An alarming demographic trend is underway that may present the United States with both significant challenges and opportunities. Whereas in 1960 just 13% of American households had a single occupant, that figure is now closing in on 30%. Alternatively put: 26 million Americans 50 or older may now face aging and death alone.

What are the details?

The New York Times reported that one of the fastest-growing demographic groups consists of people 50 and older who live alone. There are nearly 26 million persons in this demographic, doubling that seen in 2000.

It has historically been the case that older people have been more likely to live alone, in part due to wives tending to outlive their husbands. However, since the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have both grayed into

Read more  >> 



Ways to pay for long-term care 
Without insurance or savings 


Dear Savvy Senior,

What types of financial resources are available to help seniors pay for long-term care? My 86-year-old mother will need either an assisted living facility or nursing home care in the near future, but she doesn’t have long-term care insurance and her savings are minimal.

– Researching Daughter

Dear Searching,

The cost of assisted living and nursing home care in the U.S is very expensive. According to the Genworth cost of care survey tool, the national median cost for an assisted living facility today is over $4,600 per month, while nursing home care runs more than $8,100 per month for a semi-private room. (See Genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html to look up costs in your area.)

Most people pay for long-term care (LTC) – which encompasses assisted living, nursing home and in-home care – with either personal funds, government programs or insurance. But if your mom is lacking in savings and has no LTC insurance to cover her costs, here are your best options to look for funding.

Read more  >>  



8 in 10 Nursing Home Residents 
Given Psychiatric Drugs
By Emily Paulin


Eight in 10 elderly nursing home residents on Medicare were prescribed psychiatric drugs during a recent nine-year period, a new government report has found. That’s roughly a million residents per year.

The report, released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, suggests that yearslong efforts to tamp down on inappropriate use of psychiatric drugs in U.S. nursing homes are failing.

The drugs, scientifically known as psychotropics, have long been criticized by nursing home resident advocates and lawmakers as “chemical straight jackets” used to sedate unsettled patients, particularly those with dementia. They include antianxiety agents, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants — which are often prescribed to epileptics — and other drugs that affect brain activity associated with mental processes and behavior.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 


______special



How life insurance 
Can benefit seniors
BY MATT RICHARDSON



Life insurance is generally thought to be advantageous for a wide variety of American adults.

Whether you're young and single, older and married or somewhere in the middle with children, the benefits of having a life insurance policy are multiple and significant. It's even more beneficial if you own a home, have debt or are anticipating major expenses in the future. Those benefits, however, range substantially and are often specific to the individual policyholder's personal financial situation and long-term goals.

One group that is often not thought of as benefiting from life insurance protections is senior citizens. Because of the sometimes costly price of securing a (minimal) policy at an advanced age, it's thought that life insurance isn't worthwhile.

But, just like all of the other groups mentioned above, life insurance can benefit seniors, too. It just may not be for the same reasons as those in other demographics.

Learn more  >>  


At the A.L.F....



Are you still smoking? Apparently, 9% of Americans over the age of 65 do. And, while that may not be the largest demographic group of smokers (that honor goes to those to those 45-64). We seniors are not the fewest.[1]

Here at the A.L.F., despite the stories, the science and the warnings about the dangers of smoking, there remains a hardcore group of stalwart smokers who engage in their dangerous habit two, three or more times a day. Sadly, although the Asylum won’t admit it, they are actually catered to.

 Not only is the smoking area complete with benches, it has a covered and heated smoking “shelter” to protect them from the weather.

One of the biggest threats to residents of long-term care facilities is fire. Trying to evacuate over 100 people who have mobility and cognitive issues from a 3 story building can become a nightmarish event. That’s why our facility has one of the best fire protection systems around. There are sprinklers throughout the building (including residents’ rooms) and self-closing fire doors in the corridors, and all the rooms have steel doors. Naturally, all the rooms have smoke detectors which is the reason we have an all-weather smoking area.

This conciliatory approach to our resident smokers is not because the facility is happy about the smoking. They cater to the smokers because they don' want the place to burn down. It appears, older smokers are not only a danger to themselves, they are dangerous to their fellow, non-smoking, residents as well. And, they are stupid too. 

Despite the in-room smoke alarms and all the warnings about smoking in or around the building, several residents actually lite up in their rooms and were found happily puffing away amidst the furious sound of a fire alarm and the flashing of high-intensity emergency lights. Therefore, they had the shelter built to stop smokers from smoking indoors. Sometimes it’s better to give in than to try to fight a losing battle.

If not nothing else, old folks are a stubborn lot. And telling them to do something, even if it’s in their best interest, is an exercise in futility. Their answer to why they still smoke is simple, though naïve. “All the harm has already been done, so why stop something I enjoy.” It’s tough to argue with that logic, as untrue as it is.

“The lungs begin healing right away after quitting smoking, which is why quitting sooner than later can lead to better overall health. Quitting smoking is one of the smartest things you can do to improve your overall health. Your lungs start healing immediately the moment you stop smoking.” [2]

If you are an old smoker, and the threat of death or illness is not enough to make you quit, there is this…

“There are countless benefits associated with quitting smoking. You’ll notice that your quality of life increases the moment you stop.

Food will start tasting better, and you’ll gradually regain your sense of smell. You’ll also start smelling better to others who are sensitive to the odor of cigarette smoke. Smoke can make you smell bad because it can cling to your hair and clothes, and cause bad breath. Quitting smoking can even make you look more attractive, as it may stop your nails and teeth from yellowing, and also improve the appearance of your skin and hair.
Smoking is costly, and you’ll save lots of money you would otherwise have spent on cigarettes and lighters. You’ll feel more energetic and less fatigued.”

As a reformed smoker (It’s been almost 40 years since I last had a cigarette) I know how difficult it is to stop. But I also know I would most likely be very ill or dead had I not.  I went cold-turkey, and it was difficult. There are other ways to stop, at any age. Find one that’s right for you. Your friends will thank you………
 








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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 31, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









An unusual "raise" awaits most 
Social Security beneficiaries in 2023


Following the release of September's inflation data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (i.e., the last data point needed to calculate COLA for the following year), the Social Security Administration announced an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment for 2023. This 8.7% "raise" is the largest on a percentage basis in 41 years. On a nominal-dollar basis, it's the biggest on record.

But there's a big difference between how much Social Security checks move up from one year to the next and how much of that increase beneficiaries get to keep. For example, the average retired worker is expected to receive an extra $146 each month next year. But with the cost of food, gasoline, electricity, medical care, shelter, and so on climbing, a considerable amount of this $146, or perhaps all of it, will go right back out the door as an expense. This is a very common occurrence.

However, something unusual is set to happen in 2023. For only the second time this century (2012 being the other exception), Medicare Part B monthly premiums will decline -- from $170.10 to $164.90. Medicare Part B is the segment responsible for outpatient care, and it's typically deducted directly from an individual's Social Security benefit each month. Lower-than-expected spending on Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm resulted in larger Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund reserves, which is being passed onto Medicare Part B recipients in the form of lower monthly premiums next year.

Read more  >> 



Are nursing homes 
Really in tough shape?
Full transparency needed before 
Any more taxpayer bailouts
BY RICHARD T MOORE 


THE HEADLINE  for a recent story iminously noted, “Massachusetts nursing home job vacancies hold at historic highs.” That isn’t news to anyone in government, the nursing home industry, or the job placement industry.  Worker shortages in nearly every aspect of life are a fact of life in most job fields, but in professions like education or health care – jobs that deal with people, it is a serious concern.

Imagine being bedridden in a Massachusetts nursing home and urgently needing to get help to the toilet, and no matter how much you press the call button at your bedside, staff don’t arrive in time, or at all for long periods of time.  In such all-to-often cases, that’s a real crisis!  However, in the larger picture, it means that safe, quality care for older adults and people with disabilities doesn’t exist.  Residents of nursing homes, many whose care is largely paid by taxpayers, deserve dignity and respect, but inadequate numbers of nurses and aides, who are generally overworked and underpaid, cannot provide good care, despite their best intentions.


Massachusetts regulations governing nursing home staff require: “sufficient nursing personnel to meet resident nursing care needs, based on acuity, resident assessments, care plans, census, and other relevant factors.”  Those same regulations define sufficient staffing as a “minimum number of hours of care per resident per day of 3.58 hours, of which 0.508 hours must be care provided to each resident by a registered nurse.”

Read more  >> 



Abnormal heartbeat identified in 
1 in 20 older adults using wrist-worn 
Wearable and smartphone
by Angelika Leute, Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern 


Consumer electronics provide a novel route to screen for atrial arrhythmias. A study offered smartphone and wearable-based continuous arrhythmia screening to older adults without known atrial fibrillation. Atrial arrhythmia was detected in five percent of the participants. The study was performed by AFNET. The principal investigator was Professor Larissa Fabritz, University of Birmingham and University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and a rising epidemic. It affects several million people in Europe, mostly older adults. In many people the arrhythmia is asymptomatic and often remains unnoticed for a long time. This can be dangerous as risk of stroke and other complications may be elevated in older adults with atrial arrhythmias—even if the arrhythmia appears only temporarily and is not noticed by the person concerned.

Timely detection of atrial arrhythmias potentially enables earlier therapy to prevent complications, for example by starting anticoagulation in order to prevent strokes. Therefore, experts advise screening in the older population in order to search systematically for arrhythmias. Modern wearables linked to the smartphone provide a novel route for this.

Read more  >>



The biggest security risks of using 
Fitness trackers and apps to 
Monitor your health
By Cheryl Winokur Munk



Fitness trackers, which help keep tabs on sleep quality, heart rate and other biological metrics, are a popular way to help Americans improve their health and well-being. 

There are many types of trackers on the market, including those from well-known brands such as Apple, Fitbit, Garmin and Oura. While these devices are growing in popularity — and have legitimate uses — consumers don’t always understand the extent to which their information could be available to or intercepted by third parties. This is especially important because people can’t simply change their DNA sequencing or heart rhythms as they could a credit card or bank account number. 

“Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can’t get it back,” said Steve Grobman, senior vice president and chief technology officer of computer security company McAfee.

Read more  >> 


__________________________________special


Financial Fraud And The Elderly
By Teresa Ghilarducci



As Americans get older, we can count on two things: more Americans will be cognitively impaired and losses to financial fraud will increase.

According to a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, people over 80 experience the highest average loss to financial fraud of any age group. The incidence of fraud for this age group is 18% and the median loss is $1300. Younger people report higher incidences of financial fraud, 44% of 20 to 29-year-old's report financial fraud, but with a lower median loss of $324.

The FTC reports financial fraud by age, but does not focus on the elderly losses.

Learn more  >> 










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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-




MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









‘This looks like the real deal’: 
Are we inching closer to a 
Treatment for Alzheimer’s?
By Ian Sample


At the end of November, thousands of researchers from around the world will descend on San Francisco for the annual Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease meeting. The conference is a mainstay of the dementia research calendar, the place where the latest progress – and all too often, setbacks – in the quest for Alzheimer’s treatments are made public for the first time.

This year’s meeting is poised to be a landmark event. After more than a century of research into Alzheimer’s, scientists expect to hear details of the first treatment that can unambiguously alter the course of the disease. Until now, nothing has reversed, halted or even slowed the grim deterioration of patients’ brains. Given that dementia and Alzheimer’s are the No 1 killer in the UK, and the seventh largest killer worldwide, there is talk of a historic moment.

The optimism comes from a press statement released in September from Eisai, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm, and Biogen, a US biotech. It gave top-line results from a major clinical trial of an antibody treatment, lecanemab, given to nearly 2,000 people with early Alzheimer’s disease. The therapy slowed cognitive decline, the statement said, raising hopes that a drug might finally apply the brakes to Alzheimer’s and provide “a clinically meaningful impact on cognition and function”.




Social Security left at-risk 
Americans behind in pandemic
By Lisa Rein


The abrupt halt to almost all in-person operations at the Social Security Administration during the coronavirus pandemic was debilitating for the most vulnerable Americans, a new report has found — undermining President Biden’s pledge to ensure equitable government services.

With its 1,230 field offices closed for two years, millions of disabled and poor elderly people could not get help applying for Social Security benefits, and for many of them, there was no online option, the Government Accountability Office found in a report released Thursday.

Spanish speakers, a growing share of Social Security beneficiaries, hit dead ends on the agency’s website. Overloaded phones crashed. The lack of access caused disability claims to plummet, and claimants who did apply confront still-lingering delays in getting their cases reviewed.




Share of older workers increasing: 
Bill in Congress puts focus on
55-and-up workforce
By Chris Graham


The share of workers ages 55 and older has more than doubled since 1995, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tells us that of the 9 million jobs expected to be added to the economy by 2030, more than half, 4.7 million, will be filled by workers over the age of 55.

Legislation from Virginia Democrat Don Beyer and Illinois Democrat Marie Newman would create an Older Workers’ Bureau, which would be focused on the challenges facing older workers such as age discrimination, work-limiting health conditions, and financially preparing for retirement.

“These workers need and deserve a unified source of information and support, which at present does not exist. The establishment of an Old Workers’ Bureau would provide a new, central office dedicated to supporting our older workers and ensuring they have the resources they need to be successful,” said Beyer, who was recently re-elected to represent Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District.




Protecting Spouses of 
Medicaid Applicants: 
2023 Guidelines


What Are Spousal Impoverishment Rules?

Spousal impoverishment is a concern for older couples when there is one spouse who requires long-term care and applies for Medicaid.

Before the federal government enacted spousal impoverishment protections, many healthy spouses faced poverty when their partners needed long-term care. The spousal impoverishment rules are based on the idea that spouses will provide for each other.

Community Spouse Resource Allowance

In 2023, the spouse of a Medicaid recipient living in a nursing home (called the "community spouse") may keep as much as $148,240 without jeopardizing the Medicaid eligibility of the spouse who is receiving long-term care.


______________________________special



Dying to be online
By Isra Safawi



Data surpassed oil as the world’s biggest commodity in 2017. Our data is constantly being ‘harvested, collected, modelled and monetised’.

We live in a hyper-connected world where things don’t seem to have happened unless you post about them. 

An emotion hardly seems validated until it’s been shared with others online. On average, we spend a quarter of our lives online. 

For people we never met in person, all they know about us is our digital self formed from our data spread out across the internet.

Our online activity creates a peculiar portrait of ourselves that will unavoidably long last our lifespan. 

So with life being lived increasing online, how is it that we have thought so little about our ‘digital death’?

It’s time we started giving our digital assets as much importance as we do with our physical ones. We need to focus on building systems that support and respect the bereaved, how different people grieve and deal with death; systems that shine light on how technology is being used at the end of a users life and how one's data rights, ownership, privacy, and control should continue after their death.










Retirement comes in different forms for different people. The quality of which often depends on the circumstances that brought about that retirement and how much preparation was done beforehand.
 
The textbook (or movie version) of the retired American worker goes something like this.


After working for the same company for thirty years, and having reached that age when he can collect the maximum social security benefits, Tom quietly says goodbye to his co-workers and begins his well-deserved reward for all the hard work he did all those years. That reward may comprise leaving his city apartment for a life in the country. Or moving to a warmer climate where he can play golf, go fishing and enjoy all the things he dreamed of doing all his working life. Naturally, he’s healthy, has money and he just got an offer for the home he shared with his wife for more than he will ever need. He also had the good sense to put a portion of his salary (and his wife’s too) in a solid IRA, some T-bills, and an annuity and a well-funded 401K. Yes, he’s set for the rest of his life.
 
While all that may be true for some, for the vast majority of retirees, it’s a fairy tale.
 
A more realistic scenario would be more like this.
 
Having worked at what is his third company in the last 15 years, 62-year-old Jim has just been informed that he and 1500 other employees will be laid off because the company has decided to “downsize.” As compensation, we will receive a severance package of one week’s salary for every year he has worked for the company. In Jim’s case, that’s 7 years or about $3500. He will also get about $700 from his 401k. He leaves on a Friday afternoon with no idea of what he will do next. At 62, and with few skills, his prospects of finding work soon are slim to none. 

After 6 months and with his unemployment insurance having ended, he is now digging into the little savings he had. The rent is due as is the utilities and car insurance. He’s “bleeding” money left and right. The only jobs available are Walmart, McDonald’s or bagger at the Piggly Wiggly. The only thing left is to apply for social security, which will give him about $1100 per month. He might just be able to get by if he’s really thrifty. While his future is uncertain, he knows one thing for sure. He will never have the retirement he dreamed of.


Since my divorce, I always knew I would never have a dream retirement. However, being a man with simple needs, I believed I could have some kind of leisurely life if not an opulent one.

Like our friend Jim, I was forced to retire early. That meant I would not receive the maximum Social Security benefits. While discouraging as that was, I still had hope of pulling off some decent, although prudent, retirement. I was on my way to doing just that when the one thing I hadn’t planned for happened. I got sick. Sick enough to land me in a hospital, nursing home and eventually here at the A.L.F. which, I can assure you, is nobody’s ideal retirement option.

I had no desire to move to Florida. I’m a city boy who enjoyed all NYC offered. I would never be bored. And, when I had enough of the city, I had planned to get into the car (or rented RV) and travel around the country to visit the places I always wanted to see. I had some savings and an IRA and a 401k and, with a fully funded Social Security account, I could do much of what I planned. But fate has a way of putting the kibosh  on even the most modest agenda.

For those of you who are indeed enjoying every minute of your post-employment life, I say “God Bless You.” You have done what only a handful of retired seniors have been able to do. The latest statistics show only about 50% of people over 65 have enough money to retire. The remaining seniors are just getting by or are living in poverty. And that’s a shame. There should be no person, who has worked all their lives, paid their taxes and contributed fully to their retirement account, that should have to live hand to mouth in their golden years.

Two things the government can do to assure a respectable retirement for all Americans is to (1) make sure nobody looses most or all of their retirement funds to illness, and (2), devise a meaningful social security system that gives back what the worker puts in and more. This is not charity. It’s a right that should be afforded to any working American. If they want to Make America Great Again, I suggest they start with how we treat our seniors…............








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2022



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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









This may be the best time to 
Exercise to improve heart health
By Gianna Melillo

Exercising in the morning is associated with the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke, according to new research on more than 86,000 individuals. 

Compared with individuals who were active midday, those most active around 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. had 11 percent and 16 percent lower risks of incident coronary artery disease, respectively. For women, risks were reduced by 22 percent and 24 percent at these times. 

Participants most active in the late morning had a 17 percent reduced risk of stroke, while women who were more active in the late morning had a 35 percent lower risk of stroke.  




Study focuses on improving support for 
Older adults who experience homelessness
Reviewed by Emily Henderson


Improving support for older adults who experience homelessness in three major Canadian cities is the focus of an ongoing study being led by Simon Fraser University adjunct professor Sarah Canham.

The research builds on a pilot study that documented evidence-based interventions, in shelter and housing services that support persons with experiences of homelessness for people aged 50 and older in Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary – cities that have seen a dramatic increase in homelessness among the 50+ age group. Their new project will evaluate these promising practices to improve services for those who are experiencing homelessness.

This trend is expected to continue as Canada faces an aging population, increasing urbanization and an ongoing shortage of affordable housing. Younger baby boomers are particularly at-risk for homelessness due to life course disadvantages associated with competitive job and housing markets and resulting challenges in accumulating assets to protect against housing insecurity."




CCRCs Are a Popular Option for 
Retirees Who Can Afford Them


Touring the grounds of Pine Run Retirement Community, in Doylestown, Pa., it’s easy to see the appeal of this continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) to its 450 or so residents. Opened in 2019, Pine Run’s $13 million community center feoels airy and modern. It’s a one-stop shop where residents can enjoy a meal in a fine-dining room or casual café, grab a drink at the bar, work out at the fitness center, swim laps in the pool, catch a lecture or movie at the auditorium, or visit the library, sundry store or salon. Elsewhere on the 43-acre campus, villagers can tend to plants at a greenhouse, tap into their creative side at the craft barn or stroll on a walking path safe from traffic. Villagers can sign up for day trips to area events and attractions and choose among more than 50 committees, clubs and special-interest groups to join, ranging from a bird-watching club to a group that creates programming for an in-house TV channel.

Like Pine Run, most continuing-care retirement communities strive to deliver a vibrant, active culture for residents. But the core mission of a CCRC—also known as a life-plan community—is to provide a setting where retirees can shift from independent living to higher levels of care as they age. When you’re still able to live in-dependently, you may choose a stand-alone home or apartment, depending on the CCRC’s offerings. Typically, a CCRC also has assisted living for those who need some help with daily activities, a skilled-nursing facility—whether for short-term needs, such as recovering from an illness or surgery, or for long-term care for chronic conditions—and a memory-care unit for those who have dementia.




Senior patients happy with telehealth 
And want it as care option 
ByTanya Albert Henry 


Most patients 65 or older prefer in-person care, but the majority tell researchers that they were satisfied with the care they received via telehealth and they want it to continue to be an option.

“Participants reported being satisfied with the convenience of telemedicine, the ability to connect, the effort made to help them understand their health issues, the quality of the video, the privacy and the duration of the visit,” says the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The typical patient grade for telemedicine was a six on a seven-point scale. Respondents said they favored telemedicine in bad weather or during pandemics, or when they were not feeling well or had restricted mobility. They also favored it when they already knew the physician well or had a good relationship with the doctor.








As police arrest more seniors, 
those with dementia face 
Deadly consequences
By Christie Thompson



One night in October 2021, Armando Navejas wandered away from his home in El Paso, Texas. The 70-year-old had Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and his family said he could barely speak. Scared for his safety, his wife Josephine called 911 for help tracking him down. 

By 2 a.m., Navejas was back in front of his house, shirtless and ambling around. According to video from a neighbor’s home security camera, an officer approached, shining a flashlight in Navejas’ face. Navejas appeared agitated, picking up a string of wooden blocks and walking toward the cop, who retreated behind a parked car. Navejas threw the wood limply toward the officer; it landed on the windshield. 

When Navejas turned away, the officer walked around the vehicle and fired a stun gun at Navejas’ back. His body went rigid. He fell face-first onto the sidewalk. 








The Thanksgiving Day dinner tradition continued yesterday here at the A.L.F., despite there not being too many of us here.

A quick look around the dining room and one could not help but notice all the empty chairs. But that’s a good thing. The lack of attendance for a holiday meal means many of our residents had somewhere to go on this holiday. And, for a group of seniors who have been forgotten and left out of most family functions and celebrations, a day out of here is a welcome respite from the drudgery of institutional living.

So, how was the meal? I’ll give this meal a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
 
The reason it just missed the 3 star rating was because the turkey (at least on my plate) arrived ice cold. It also lacked any turkey gravy. However, a quick nuking in the microwave solved the cold turkey problem, but there was no gravy to be had. Fortunately, there were several properly prepared side dishes to make one forget about the turkey.
 
The stuffing, though ordinary, was satisfactory, as were the slightly undercooked green beans and the buttery kernels of corn.
 
Rounding out the plate was a very sweet, marshmallow-topped candied yam and a small cup of cranberry jelly.
 
The meal ended with by either pumpkin or apple pie topped with a dollop of whip cream. All in all, not too bad for a place known for its culinary mediocrity.

Sadly, two of our tablemates were missing this year. One, because she broke her arm in a fall this week and the other who lost his battle with heart disease last month. Friends, unlike cold turkey, cannot be revived by a stint in the microwave……………..
 








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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Common Pain Relievers 
Can Make Arthritis Worse
By ZACHARY MACK


Even though it may not seem as serious as potential heart or cognitive issues, the aches and pains associated with arthritis can still profoundly affect everyday life as we get older. Many who live with the condition can manage their discomfort with a simple over-the-counter (OTC) medicine that provides relief and can make it easier to enjoy a more normal daily routine. But according to a new study, some of the common pain relievers you might be taking to treat arthritis could actually be making it worse. Read on to see which remedy may not be as effective as once thought.

People of all ages can suffer from aches and pains that may come and go over time due to injuries or other ailments. But as we age, the body can also develop a more chronic condition called osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease or simply referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis, the affliction typically affects the knees, hips, and hands as cartilage in the joints is damaged or breaks down, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unfortunately, it's also quite common, affecting more than 32.5 million adults in the U.S. and 500 million people worldwide.

While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it can be treated using a wide range of approaches, including physical therapy, increased physical activity, or even surgery, according to the agency. But for many patients, over-the-counter pain relievers can play a huge part in tackling the condition. However, new research could change the way we manage arthritis pain.



Older generations think healthcare system is OK, 
Not too worried about future: report
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


Americans, overall, have little trust in the US healthcare system to provide quality, respectful care for an aging population, according to a new study. But members of the Silent Generation and baby boomers hold a rosier view of care, and they don’t seem too concerned about end-of-life issues.

In a report from the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovations, 72% of respondents said they don’t believe the United States does a good job caring for the aging, and 76% see the aging population as a problem that families, institutes and the country are not prepared to accommodate. Only 14% indicated they believe the US is prepared to deal with the growing population of older adults.

But attitudes varied by generation, providing opportunities for senior living providers to open discussions with residents and families about preventive care to increase quality of life, as well as preferences for end-of-life care and arrangements.





How to be a good-enough home cook
You don’t need to be a master chef 
To feel confident in the kitchen.
By Allie Volpe


The running gag among anyone who’s ever tasted a morsel of my cooking is that I must not know what salt is. It’s a fair critique: I somehow manage to overcook and under-season virtually every meal I prepare. I’m clumsy and unconfident with a knife and prefer to prepare most foods in a microwave or Instant Pot.

Whipping up a meal is sometimes a nutritional puzzle. If all you’re working with at the moment are tortillas, frozen broccoli, and canned beans, you (like me) may struggle to conjure up something decent to eat.

Cooking can also feel like a chore. Parents not only have to feed themselves, but send their kids off to school with packed lunches and prepare snacks and dinner after that. One recipe can dirty up a whole sink’s worth of dishes. After the pandemic home cooking boom, it’s not surprising many people are feeling burnt out in the kitchen. According to a 2021 survey, 69 percent of respondents said they wished they could make a healthy meal more quickly and nearly half preferred less food prep.




The Most Common Signs of 
Poor Circulation 
And How to Improve Them
By Elaine K. Howley


The circulatory system and its vast network of arteries, veins and smaller blood vessels touch every single part of the body – every organ, every system – to help keep it running.

Dr. Yu-Ming Ni, a cardiologist at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute with Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, explains that the circulatory system is made up of arteries and veins that carry blood, nutrients, oxygen and waste products, such as carbon dioxide, to and from the various tissues of the body. “The circulatory system has two parts to it: There’s the arteries that deliver these nutrients, and then the veins that clear the waste products away.”

While this system usually does a great job getting blood – and the nutrients and oxygen it contains – to the farthest reaches of the body, sometimes circulation can be compromised.



______________________________________special


Why is turkey the main dish 
On Thanksgiving?
By Troy Bickham



Have you ever wondered why Thanksgiving revolves around turkey and not ham, chicken, venison, beef or corn?

Almost 9 in 10 Americans eat turkey during this festive meal, whether it’s roasted, deep-fried, grilled or cooked in any other way for the occasion.

Analysis of the world, from experts

You might believe it’s because of what the Pilgrims, a year after they landed in what’s now the state of Massachusetts, and their Indigenous Wampanoag guests ate during their first thanksgiving feast in 1621. Or that it’s because turkey is originally from the Americas.

But it has more to do with how Americans observed the holiday in the late 1800s than which poultry the Pilgrims ate while celebrating their bounty in 1621.







Life, as many seniors know, is not always a Norman Rockwell painting. Especially on Thanksgiving.
 
Instead of sitting around a table set with finery, surrounded by family and friends and groaning from the weight of a sumptuous bounty of food, many older Americans will find themselves alone in a cold apartment eating a microwave-heated meal supplied by the local chapter of “Meals On Wheels.”

One of the not-so-nice things about getting old is that you have outlived many of the folks you knew and loved.
 
Cousins, aunts, uncles and all those kids you hung out with have passed on or have left the area and with them, all the invitations to Thanksgiving dinners. And, though they were not your family, you still enjoyed the company, the laughs, the good cheer and, the food. But now, when you need the companionship the most, it’s gone.

Loneliness, to old people, is as much of an affliction as arthritis, high blood pressure or heart disease. It’s as pervasive as a cancer and can be just as deadly. And it’s more widespread than you might imagine.
 
“Many seniors may feel lonely and can be reminded of people they may have lost in the past. The lack of family get-togethers, an inability to get around, or the feeling that they cannot fully participate in holiday functions can lead to depression and isolation. Commonly known as the holiday blues, elderly depression during the holidays affects seniors around the world, and most often on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukkah.”

“Studies have shown that feelings of loneliness come with health consequences, and interaction with others is crucial to positive emotional health in the elderly population. The sadness associated with feelings of isolation around the holiday season can become more pronounced, given that the emphasis is on celebrating with friends and families.” 

While this may seem sad and depressing for many of you, it’s far better than the alternative. Believe me, I know.

Back before I became ill and old, I was a working stiff like the rest of you. I was also a divorcee. Being a divorced man in America is not a good thing. You have not only lost all of your ex’s friends and relatives, but being divorced has made you that “extra person” no one knows what to do with. Eventually, they forget about you and you find yourself eating a sliced deli-meat turkey sandwich with a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce on the side. That’s depressing for sure. The next year (still without an invitation for dinner), I went to a local diner for their “Thanksgiving Dinner, with all the Fixings.” While they did indeed have all the usual dinner favorites, they forgot one thing. They forgot to give you a loaded .38 and a quiet place to blow your brains out. Needless to say, I did not do that again.

Fortunately, for me, I have a family of sorts. This year, as I have for the last 9 years, I will celebrate Thanksgiving with a hundred people I live with here at the A.L.F. It’s a diverse group of people from different walks of life. But we do have one thing in common. Fate or misfortune or luck has brought a group of old folks who would otherwise be spending this most American of all holidays alone. And as crazy and weird as some of us may be, it’s better than the alternative.

We’ll be off this Thursday so there won’t be a new post until Friday. I wish you and yours a festive and safe Thanksgiving. …..
 









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2022



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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









RSV Is Sending Older Adults to the 
Hospital at Higher Rates Than Usual
By Julia Landwehr


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has hit the US harder and earlier than usual this year, and while children have primarily been affected, older Americans are also seeing a rise in hospitalizations from the illness.

As of the week ending Nov. 12, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows adults ages 65 and older are being hospitalized at a weekly rate of 2.4 per 100,000. During the same period in 2021, the weekly hospitalization rate for seniors was 1.5 per 100,000—and in pre-pandemic times, it was even lower than that.1

“COVID has not respected any of the traditional respiratory virus seasons and as a result, it has really turned RSV upside down,” John Sellick, DO, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, told Health. “With that much RSV in the kiddie population, we’re seeing the spillover into the older population.”




Wireless earbuds may help amplify 
Sound for people with hearing loss
By Dennis Thompson


Over-the-counter hearing aids now offer older Americans a more affordable option to deal with mild to moderate hearing loss.

But some hard-of-hearing seniors already tote around a device that might help just as much -- the wireless earbuds they use with their smartphone or computer.

Commercial earbuds can perform as well as hearing aids in certain settings, researchers concluded in a new study.

Apple's AirPods Pro pass four out of the five quality standards required for a device to function as a personal sound amplification device, researchers reported recently in the journal iScience.




Determining the appropriate 
Care when facing illness
By Kristin Glasure


When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, it can be challenging to prioritize advance care planning conversations with their family and doctors. However, it is important to ensure care is aligned with their wishes as early as possible. Confusion can sometimes arise around the specific differences between palliative care and hospice in deciding what level of care is best. While the objective of both palliative care and hospice is pain and symptom relief, the prognosis and goals of care are different.

Palliative care seeks to enhance the quality of life of patients and families who are faced with serious illness. It focuses on increasing comfort through prevention and treatment of distressing symptoms. In addition to expert symptom management, palliative care focuses on clear communication, advanced care planning and coordination of care. It is a resource for those living with a serious illness, such as heart failure, cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and many other diagnoses. Palliative care can be provided at home, in hospitals, in nursing homes, and in outpatient palliative care clinics. Palliative care encompasses the whole self, caring for the body, mind and spiritual needs of patients and their families, while also providing relief from pain and other symptoms. Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance plans cover the medical portions of palliative care, and veterans may be eligible for palliative care through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.




This Republican Social Security 
COLA Change Would Slash 
Benefits by $117 Per Month



For the past 82 years, the Social Security Board of Trustees has released a lengthy annual report that looks at the inner workings of Social Security and attempts to forecast how financially “healthy” the program will be over the short term (10 years) and long term (75 years). This report takes into account fiscal-policy changes, as well as a multitude of demographic shifts, such as birth rates and net-legal immigration.

Since 1985, every Board of Trustees report has cautioned that Social Security wouldn’t generate enough long-term revenue to sustain its existing payout schedule, inclusive of annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). As of the 2022 report, Social Security is staring down a $20.4 trillion (and growing) cash shortfall through 2096.

If nothing is done to resolve this shortfall, an across-the-board benefit cut of up to 23% to the Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund — which pays more than 48 million retired workers their monthly benefit — may be necessary by 2034.



_____________________________________special






Biden, like more Americans,
 is working past 80



President Joe Biden blew out 80 birthday candles on Sunday, becoming the first octogenarian to occupy the White House.

Concerns about Biden’s age have been swirling since his inauguration, when he became the oldest person to be sworn in as president at 78. But by punching in past 80, he’s one of an increasing number of octogenarians still working instead of playing bingo.

In 1980, just 2.5% of the 80+ US population were in the workforce, per a Washington Post analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

By 2019, the share had soared to 6%. It did dip last year to 5.5%.

The WaPo mostly chalks this up to the increase in life expectancy over the past several decades. In 1942, the year Biden was born, an American could expect to live 66 years on average. By 2019, life expectancy had jumped to 79.

Zoom out: If Biden chooses to run again in 2024, his opponent will certainly let you know that he’ll be 86 by the end of that term. That opponent could be Donald Trump, who is currently 76 years old.










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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









‘It’s like living in an igloo.’ People are 
Turning off their heat as prices surge
By Gabe Cohen



As the first frigid weather of autumn chills the Northeast, many people are faced with a tough decision: deal with the surging costs of heating their homes or live without it.

Home heating prices are skyrocketing yet again this winter, up 18% nationwide on top of last year’s 17% spike, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA).

Charmaine Johnson works in the call center at Philadelphia’s Heater Hotline, part of a non-profit that assists low-income families with their heating systems and bills. Johnson, 63, can relate to the concerns she’s hearing all day. She, too, is struggling to afford her heating bills.




Older Voters Were the 
Deciders in Midterm Elections
By Dena Bunis


Once again it was voters 50 and older who turned out in larger numbers in the 2022 midterm elections than their younger counterparts. And in many razor-thin congressional elections across the country, it was these voters who decided outcome after outcome, according to a new AARP survey.

The results of AARP’s postelection poll found that 61 percent of ballots cast were by age 50-plus voters in the 63 most competitive races for the U.S. House of Representatives, compared with 39 percent of ballots cast by voters ages 18 to 49.

The survey also showed that among older voters age 65 and up, there was a significant shift between how they said they planned to vote in an AARP poll this summer and how they actually cast their ballots. In July, 50 percent of 65-plus voters said they supported the Republican candidate, while 40 percent said they would be voting for a Democrat. In the postelection survey, that result flipped: 46 percent of 65-plus voters said they cast their ballots for a Republican while 49 percent went with a Democrat — a 13 percentage point switch toward the Democrats, the largest shift of any age group.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 
Finding Reason to Stay 
Alive Past Age 75
By Robert W. Goldfarb

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist, medical ethicist and adviser on health care to President Obama, decided he wanted to die when he became 75 years old. He announced his intention in an essay in The Atlantic Monthly when he was 57. Emanuel saw only decline after 75, when the heights to which he had ascended would pitch downward.


As a father, he would have already celebrated the college graduations and career choices of his children, their marriages and the birth and growing independence of his grandchildren. It would be time, he felt, to abdicate the role of patriarch, stepping aside so his children could climb their own mountains.

When Muriel died suddenly and unexpectedly, grief mounted my back and drove me into despair's black waters.

When Muriel died suddenly and unexpectedly, grief mounted my back and drove me into despair's black waters. Had I already read Emanuel's essay, I might have stroked deeper, hoping to drown. But I hadn't read it and imagined the arms of my children thrashing the dark water, hoping to grasp my hand and pull me to the surface. My death, so soon after their mother's, would have devastated the family Muriel and I had built. I would have to find a way to live even if I wanted to die.

Read more  >> click here

 


Florida seniors have 
Big medical debt
By Selene San Felice


Florida's oldest residents face the nation's biggest burden of medical bills, according to a new study.

What's happening: 14% of seniors in Florida — which has one of the largest populations of adults age 65 and older in the U.S. — have outstanding medical debt, a report by Alignment Health found.

34% of those owe a total equivalent to three months or more in living expenses, compared to 27% of their peers nationwide.

Why it matters: It can be extremely difficult for seniors to dig out from debt, particularly if they've left the labor force or are dealing with medical issues.




RSV hospitalization rate for seniors is 
10 times higher than usual for 
This point in the season
By Jen Christensen



The respiratory virus season has started early in kids this year and flooded children’s hospitals in many parts of the country – especially with respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV.

But adults can get RSV, too. Although RSV does not typically send as many adults to the hospital, it can be a serious and even deadly disease for seniors and people with underlying health conditions.

And with more kids getting RSV, the chances that adults will be exposed also rise. Some doctors say they are starting to see an uptick in adult patients.

What parents should watch for with respiratory illness and when it's time to go to the ER

This season, about 6 out of every 100,000 seniors has been hospitalized with RSV, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s significantly lower than the rate for children but still uncharacteristically high. In the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitalization rates for seniors were about 10 times lower at this point in the season.



______________________________________special





Paulina Porizkova Explains Why 
The Dating Pool At 57 Is More
Like A ‘Dirty Little Puddle’
By Elyse Wanshel


Great news, single ladies! Online dating also blows when you get older — even if you’re a supermodel.

At least, that’s according to Paulina Porizkova. In an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk” show Wednesday, Porizkova — best known as a Sports Illustrated cover star in the 1980s who went on to score a coveted Estée Lauder contract — hilariously spoke about her current state of singledom.

“Now I’m 57, and I’m in the dating pool,” Porizkova said about 30 minutes into the episode, streaming on Facebook Watch.

“What is that like?” Pinkett Smith asked, to which Porizkova responded plainly, “It’s a small pool — dirty little puddle.”

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE









Is Joe Biden too old to be president? My answer may surprise you.
 
Maybe. And that’s coming from a man who will be 78 next year.
 
But perhaps the real question should be, “At 80, is he currently able to carry out his duties as president?” To that, I give a resounding YES!
 
To date, I have seen nothing that would show Biden’s age has played a role in any of the decisions he has made as president. But just because his record so far has been satisfactory, we must not assume that, as he gets older, age will not become a factor in his judgement or the way he perceives a particular situation.

Most of you know my position on ageism. Those who judge a person’s ability based on a stereotype have spent little time with the elderly. Old people, like any other group, are all individuals with different levels of ability, mobility, and cognitive function. Just like everybody else. And to believe that just because someone walks with a faltering gait or has to think for a moment before finding the right words when answering a question is not sound of mind is foolish. A misappropriate response by a world leader, especially on matters with international implications, could be disastrous. Something our former president has yet to learn.

 However, we should always keep in mind that anybody who has reached their 80th birthday is not the same person as a man 30 years his junior. Time, on an 80-year-old male body, has to have taken its toll no matter who you are. I know. I live with at least 50 old men who are or will turn 80 soon. And, though each is an individual in his own right, there are many similarities among them.
 
For instance. It would be the rare octogenarian man who does not have problems with his prostate. And, even if it’s not cancer, that organ can cause problems. The most annoying of which is its ability to wrap itself around the urethra like a boa constrictor, causing one to run to the men’s room frequently. I’m guessing, the president is not immune to this. Would it interfere with his duties? Only if he had to “go” in the middle of a nuclear attack and he excuses himself before giving the order to counter-attack. Or, when at a White House press conference, he runs out of the room in the middle of answering a question posed by a Fox reporter. Tucker Carlson would never let Biden live that down. But there are other things too.

Old men are inherently cantankerous, which makes them bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative. If Biden exhibits any of these tendencies, he certainly does not do it in public. Again, unlike his predecessor, who appears to be in a constant state of cantankerousness. Not that Biden could breakout and hurl a few “testy” words at Kim Jong-un or make a snide comment about Vlad Putin. And that’s the problem. With old men, you just don’t know. Grumpiness goes hand-in-hand with unpredictability. And, at 80, it could manifest itself at any moment. That’s why I don’t want the president to run again.
 
For now, I think our president is okay.
 However, I know old men all too well. His presidential demeanor will, eventually, give way to the natural forces which afflict us all, causing him to make a serious error in judgement or fail in his ability to do the right thing. And wouldn’t it be sad to see a President of the United States removed from office because of incompetence....
  
 








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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com








It’s Really, Really Worth Trying to 
Avoid Getting COVID Multiple Times
By Maggie O'Neill


The potential risks of COVID reinfection are very real, regardless of your vaccination status, new research suggests. Having COVID more than once boosts your risk of hospitalization, developing long COVID, or even dying from the virus, according to a large new study published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The goal of the research was to determine whether the risk of complications goes up the more you’re infected with the virus, according to lead study author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, assistant professor at the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. “The answer is absolutely yes,” he tells SELF.

For the study, Dr. Al-Aly’s team used data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The researchers included 519,767 people who were initially infected and tested positive for COVID between March 1, 2020, and April 6, 2022. Of those people, 40,947 were reinfected between June 1, 2020, and June 25, 2022. The infected and reinfected groups were compared to a control group of more than 5.3 million people.




Strength training key to long life? 
Weak muscles ‘could be the new smoking’ 
When it comes to healthy aging
By John Anderer


Want to feel younger? New research from the University of Michigan suggests you may want to invest in some weights and begin a strength training course. According to a recent study, weak muscles could be just as influential on your longterm health as smoking cigarettes!

Not everyone ages at the same rate. Consider two adults, both 60 years old. While those two people may share the same chronological age, one may be far younger from a biological aging perspective. Aging is influenced by far more than days crossed off on the calendar; genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors all play a major role as well. Poor lifestyle choices like avoiding exercise, unhealthy diet, and smoking are all believed to accelerate biological aging processes. Dealing with a serious illness can also age the body at an accelerated rate.

In short, your body may be aging at a much faster rate than the birthdate on your driver’s license suggests. Now, for the first time ever, the team at UM reports that muscle weakness marked by grip strength, a proxy for overall strength capacity, is connected with accelerated biological age. According to the findings, the weaker your grip strength, the older your biological age.




How will aging nations 
Pay for their retirees?
By Samanth Subramanian and Clarisa Diaz

As the world’s population crosses 8 billion, it’s getting older. On average, the bloom of youth came around 1970, when the median age of the world was roughly 21; by 2100, that figure will have climbed to 41 or 42.

Forty is, of course, the new 20⁠—but this number is just an average. Many countries, particularly in Africa, will be younger, but the world’s most prosperous nations and its biggest economies will be considerably older. Their populations of retirees and senior citizens will swell, but their workforces—and, as a result, their tax revenues—will contract. And that presents an economic problem. How will these governments pay pensions, welfare, and healthcare costs for the old, even as they have fewer younger people to tax?

Funding for everything in an older society

Inevitably, governments in the US, Europe, China, and other aging nations will have to take on more debt, so that they can pay for their older citizens. “There was an increase in debt during the pandemic, which worried so many people, but compared to what’s coming, that will be a drop in the ocean,” said Manoj Pradhan, who founded Talking Head Macroeconomics, a research firm in London.




Tired? Weak? 
You’re not ‘just getting old’; 
Something is wrong
By Judith Graham



When Dr. Christopher Callahan examines older patients, he often hears a similar refrain.

“I’m tired, doctor. It’s hard to get up and about. I’ve been feeling kind of down, but I know I’m getting old and I just have to live with it.”

This fatalistic stance relies on widely-held but mistaken assumptions about what constitutes “normal aging.”

In fact, fatigue, weakness and depression, among several other common concerns, aren’t to-be-expected consequences of growing older, said Callahan, director of the Center for Aging Research at Indiana University’s School of Medicine.

Instead, they’re a signal that something is wrong and a medical evaluation is in order.




__________special



5 Unusual Ways Lazy People 
Are Boosting Their Bank Account



Feel like your bank account is draining week after week? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and we’re here to help.

We’ve done our research and found some strange and unusual but legit options to help you stack your bank account without having to leave the house. Some of these will help you save. Others will help you earn some extra cash to pad your wallet right away.

The companies on this list are legit - they’re all real companies that do what they say they’ll do.

Let’s take a look...

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE






Here’s a startling fact you may not have been aware of….
 
“Almost Twice as Many Republicans Died From COVID Before the Midterms Than Democrats”[1]
 
 “COVID-19 is killing more Republicans than Democrats, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study, titled Excess Death Rates for Republicans and Democrats During the COVID-19 Pandemic, used voter registration and death records to answer a question: is there a link between political affiliation and rates of COVID related death in the U.S.?

The short answer is yes. “In 2018 and the early parts of 2020, excess death rates for Republicans and Democrats are similar, and centered around zero,” the study said. “Both groups experienced a similar large spike in excess deaths in the winter of 2020-2021. However, in the summer of 2021—after vaccines were widely available—the Republican excess death rate rose to nearly double that of Democrats, and this gap widened further in the winter of 2021.”

Facts like this are why I shuddered slightly as I listened to Donald Trump announce his candidacy for president in 2024.

When I think of the things he could have done while president and didn’t, I get nervous about our future. During the worst pandemic in over 100, the leader of our nation, the man the country looked up to and is supposed to receive and disseminate accurate and truthful information and set an example for all of us to follow. Instead, this was his response…





May 2018: The Trump Administration disbands the White House pandemic response team.

Jan. 22, 2020: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

Feb. 2, 2020: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

Feb. 10, 2020: “I think the virus is going to be—it’s going to be fine.”

Feb. 10, 2020: “Looks like by April, you know in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

Feb. 26, 2020: “Well, we’re testing everybody that we need to test. And we’re finding very little problem. Very little problem.”

Feb. 26, 2020: “This is a flu. This is like a flu.”

March 4, 2020: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”

March 5, 2020: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
October 2, 2020: Trump and the First Lady test positive for Coronavirus. More than a dozen White House staff and aides test positive shortly thereafter.

Oct. 12, 2020: “I went through it. Now, they say I’m immune. I can feel—I feel so powerful.”

Dec. 8, 2020: Trump continues holding White House holiday parties despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit indoor gatherings and curtain travel amid the spike in virus infections. Masks are not required, according to guests.[2]


Covid is a political issue, but it’s not the only one.
 
We’ve been talking about Covid for a while, but sometimes it can feel like all we talk about is politics. That’s because there’s more to life than politics—there are things like love and family and friendship, too. And amid all this chaos, it’s easy to forget that there are people out there who still need our help.
 
So let’s take a moment to remember that these issues aren’t just political; they’re human as well. …......
 








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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










Doctors explain why pending 'ominous' cuts to 
Medicare would limit healthcare 
For seniors in the new year
By Jason Lalljee 


New changes are set to come to Medicare next year. They will likely make expenses tighter for doctors, and put vital healthcare out of reach for some older patients. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, announced several policy changes in early November that will come into effect at the beginning of next year.

Among them are Medicare cuts to doctors through the Physician Fee Schedule, which is used to determine which services doctors are reimbursed for, and how much they get. Medicare reimbursement will decrease by about 4.5%, and ​​surgical care will face a nearly 8.5% cut.





Is the 2023 Social Security 
Increase Too Small? 
Here's What Experts Say
By Dan Avery 


The COLA for 2022 was an impressive 5.9% but it still didn't match the rate of inflation.

The cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year will be 8.7%, the biggest increase since 1981, when it hit an all-time high of 11.2%.

But not everyone believes next year's boost isn't big enough to deal with ongoing inflation: 55% of retirees said the 2023 COLA should have been higher, according to a poll from The Motley Fool. 

They're not alone. Advocates for seniors argue the metric used to calculate the annual adjustment -- the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W -- isn't an accurate bellwether for their economic needs.




The Frailty Index: 
What It Is and Why 
You Should Care
By Stephen L. Antczak


"Not all eighty-year-olds are the same," said Dr. Neil David Saunders, my hernia surgeon at Emory Healthcare, during an interview I conducted about the importance of being patient while recovering from surgery, especially if you're older. 

We discussed the Frailty Index, which I had never heard of before this conversation. "Age is one thing, but it's also how fit you are for your age." As he told me, there's a medical concept called frailty, which has a particular meaning. It predicts how difficult it might be for a patient to recover from a surgery or if a patient will have a higher or lower complication rate during a procedure.

Recovery from an illness takes work, but if you're already frail to begin with, pushing through may seem impossible.

"It's fairly intuitive," Dr. Saunders said. "It takes into account your comorbidities, how well you do your daily activities, whether or not you're independent or in a nursing home," and so on.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE




Older Americans are moving in 
With people their age 
To play bocce, make art, and 
Be their true selves
By Robert Davis 


Carolyn Salmon, 82, and her husband used to live in a retirement neighborhood of about 500 homes just outside Port Townsend, Washington, but they never felt as if they were part of the community.

"We basically never saw our neighbors," Salmon told Insider. "We had a little group that would get together about once a month for dinner, but other than that we had no other real contact with them."

That was until 2014, when the Salmons and a group of eight other seniors began developing Quimper Village, a cohousing community in Port Townsend for people ages 55 and older. The group purchased nearly 3 acres of land and helped finance the construction of the 28-unit community, which was completed in 2017. The couple then purchased their 1,300-square-foot home in the community for about $400,000.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



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5 Tips for Wearing Jeans 
If You're Over 60
By Michelle Cohen


Nothing is more classic than denim, and once you have jeans you love, they'll be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come. Finding that perfect pair isn't always easy, though. This is true at any age, but with so many brands marketing toward a younger crowd these days, it can be even harder for older women. That's why we consulted fashion stylists to get the skinny (no pun intended!) on wearing jeans over 60. Read on for advice on fit, color, and more.

Pay attention to pockets.

The back pockets of a pair of jeans may be the last thing you pay attention to, but according to stylists, they can make a big difference.

"Back patch pockets help add volume, which is a good thing as we age," says Kosich. "Make sure they don't sit too low or are too big, though, otherwise the optical illusion effect will be a lower, wider bum." She also says that if you are fuller-figured around the hips, angled pockets will create a slimming effect.









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Older Adults And Debt: 
A Storm On The Horizon?
By Christian Weller



The relentless pace of the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes are coming against a backdrop of large numbers of older adults struggling economically and taking on debt to make ends meet.

Even before the pandemic, debt was growing among older households. And the pandemic hit older adults especially hard. They experienced outsized health and employment impacts and weren’t eligible for some of the more generous forms of pandemic relief, which focused on families with children at home. And even as the economy has rebounded, for many older adults, economic pressures continue.

Last year, poverty rates for those over age 65 went up, while falling for other age groups. And it’s not only those at the very bottom of the economic ladder who are struggling. The share of people reporting difficulty paying regular expenses (things like groceries, rent, and healthcare) has nearly doubled over the last 12 months and now stands at 35% among those 65 and over. Given these headwinds, many older adults are relying on debt to make ends meet.




Nationwide Caregiver Shortage 
Felt By Older Adults
By Ann Oldenburg


In a small town in Maine, a paid in-home caregiving aide’s shift ends at 2 p.m. The worker leaves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the client’s dinner. A cooler with drinks sits by the bed.

In another part of the state, a veteran coping with incontinence is unable to find a care worker to help him. He sleeps on trash bags and relies on a housemate to help him get to the bathroom.

America is facing a shortage of in-home caregiving aides — professionals who perform a multitude of tasks to help aging people unable to fully care for themselves in their homes, either because they have no family to help or to supplement family care. That shortage is particularly apparent in Maine, which has the highest percentage of residents 65 and older in the United States. Nearly 11,000 hours of personal care are going unstaffed each week in the state. And at two of its health systems, at least 100 people each week can’t be discharged from hospitals because they won’t get the necessary post-treatment care, according to Jess Maurer, executive director of the Maine Council on Aging.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



When Did Millennials Start Taking 
Style Tips From Senior Citizens?
By Julia Hobbs


"I am and always will be a lifelong Pleats Please fan,” writer, model and all-round influential thinker Naomi Shimada tells Vogue. “Growing up in Japan, I’ve seen older women wear Pleats Please all my life, and those women are actually my biggest style icons to this day.”

And Shimada isn’t alone. Thanks to the youth-driven, comfort-core movement that made Patagonia fleeces and ergonomic velcro sandals chic, we’ve entered a style realm usually inhabited by the over-65s. Retirement-wear is having a moment among the under 35s, which makes it highly likely that at some point this summer you’ll be opting for the same elasticated, easy-to-wear pieces your grandma is also wearing.

Let’s break down the retirement-wear look. What does it entail?




How to Notice Signs of 
Functional Decline in Seniors


After a certain age, some level of decline should be expected year after year. In our forties and fifties, this decline is incremental. It happens slowly, and while it can affect our physical and mental performance, most of us are still able to live our lives comfortably. But in our sixties and beyond, decline begins to speed up. Eventually, seniors reach a point of functional decline. This is the point where elderly care is required for seniors to live comfortably and safely.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to spot functional decline. While decline accelerates in seniors, it still happens gradually enough that functional decline can go unnoticed. As a result, seniors who require elderly care in some form — either from family caregivers, in-home elderly care professionals, or facility living — end up without the support they need. How to Notice Signs of Functional Decline in Seniors

So how can you spot signs of functional decline in elderly adults?

Learn the Signs of Functional Decline

To determine whether or not your loved one may need elderly care or another senior service, you need to know the signs of functional decline. Keep in mind that functional decline relates to physical and cognitive function, so you need to be aware of the signs of decline for both.



__________________________________________special




The Perks of Coffee: 
The Breakdown of Health 
Benefits and Preparation
By Sheryl Stillman



Sitting in a diner with my grandmother at age four or five, I experienced my first cup of coffee — we were nestled in a booth, side-by-side; she handed me three creamers, two packets of sugar, and a spoon. I suppose that was to disguise the bitter flavor. It wouldn't have mattered if the coffee tasted like dirt; this was my first foray into adulthood, and I loved it.

My mother and grandparents often sat around restaurants or at the kitchen table, laughing and telling stories into the night, exhaling a cigarette in one breath and inhaling caffeine in another. I wanted to be just like them.

However, my mom was not so happy about my drink of choice back then or with her mother for allowing me to have it. But, Grandma retorted back, "it won't kill her."








I don’t live in Arizona. I’ve only been to the state once in my life and that was to look into a crater formed by a giant meteorite. And yet I feel an affinity with Arizonans today because the Republican candidate for governor of that state has apparently lost, and lost big. By approximately 20,000 votes at last count. [1] 

That should be a wide enough margin so there will not be a recount. But will that be enough to make the vote-denying and Trump ass kissing Kari Lake finally shut up and go back into the hole she crawled out of? Not for a while. She hasn’t conceded and most likely won’t.[2]  Why? Because she has no other choice. Most likely, her broadcasting career is ruined, as is her reputation as a journalist. Unless Fox thinks it needs another blond air-head as a commentator. Once you hitch yourself to the Trump wagon, you’re stuck. Her only hope now is that Trump, who is expected to announce his candidacy for president in 2024 Tuesday, will choose her as his running mate. It’s almost a certainty, Mike Pence won’t be on that list.


[1]Hobbs secured 50.4 percent — a total of 1,266,922 votes — to Lake’s 49.6 percent — a total of 1,247,428 votes — with 98 percent of the votes counted, according to the Associated Press. 

[2] “Arizonans know BS when they see it,” Lake tweeted after the outcome was declared by multiple outlets, implying that she was not yet ready to concede. 

Editor’s note: Lawyers, political operatives and other people around the Republican nominee worked over the weekend from a “war room” inside a Scottsdale resort to prepare her for what they expect to be a stinging loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs, according to people familiar with the discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private details.

People around Lake have told her it would not be in her best interest to claim the election was stolen. They have also warned of possible harm to Arizona, and the country more broadly, if the state became home to a resurgent “Stop the Steal” movement.













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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2022



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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










5 mistakes you're making 
With Medicare open enrollment
By Kate Ashford


Millions of retirees are in the thick of Medicare open enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, but many find the process challenging. Some don’t understand the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, many are overwhelmed by Medicare advertising, and only 4 in 10 people review their plan options each year, according to a July 2022 report from health care consulting firm Sage Growth Partners.

This leads to Medicare open enrollment misses, including not confirming that your providers are in-network for the next plan year and not comparing your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage with other available options.

Here are some common Medicare open enrollment mistakes:

1. Not checking your doctors for 2023

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Why A Record Number Of Senior Citizens 
Are On The Verge Of Becoming Homeless
By Kari  Apted



Kim Hilton and Lisa Beaty, a couple profiled in the NPR piece, were forced out of their three-bedroom, two-bathroom Montana rental home after an investor purchased the property. The investor raised the rent from $1,000 per month (including utilities) to $1,800 per month (utilities excluded). Because the couple’s combined income from disability benefits only amounts to $1,500, they had no choice but to leave.

Losing their home also meant breaking up their relationship, partly due to stress and partly because 64-year-old Beaty had to move into her daughter’s one-bedroom apartment. Hilton, who is 68 years old, decided to temporarily live in his truck with his dog, Amora, until a spot at an assisted living facility opens for him. Because he lives in a rural area of Montana, the wait for an assisted living bed could take days or months.

Montana has experienced one of the largest U.S. spikes in rental costs, jumping 37% since 2019. The national average increase on rent was 11% in 2021. Meanwhile, the poverty rate for Americans aged 65 and older rose from 8.9% in 2020 to 10.3% in 2021, according to Ramsey Alwin, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging.




Long-term care system ‘collapsing’ 
Due to staffing challenges
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


“Our long-term care system is collapsing under the weight of high costs and low staff,” an aging services advocate recently told lawmakers in Kansas.

“It is hurting the quality and availability of services in our communities, and we are struggling to find solutions,” LeadingAge Kansas Chief Advocacy Officer Rachel Monger testified earlier this month before the Robert G. Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight.

LeadingAge Kansas was among groups with representatives at the hearing. “It’s getting harder to access care in Kansas,” she said of the senior living and care workforce crisis.

Monger referenced the organization’s Workforce Situation Report, released in September, to outline the effects of workforce challenges on residents and communities.




Top 5 Most Important Rules to Remember 
About the Interaction Between 
COBRA and Medicare



The COBRA rules and Medicare rules are complex on their own. Navigating the interaction between the rules is even more complex and can lead to an inadvertent compliance issue. Given today’s highly litigious COBRA world and the increase in DOL participant COBRA complaints, it is even more important than ever to have an understanding of these provisions and how they work together. Below we outline the five most important rules to remember about the interaction between COBRA and Medicare.

1. Entitlement Means Enrollment

The COBRA rules refer to Medicare “entitlement.” Many people would interpret this to mean the date the individuals becomes eligible for Medicare (generally, age 65[1]). But, the IRS has made it clear that “entitlement” means the effective date of enrollment, not the date of eligibility.

2. The Effective Date of Medicare is Key, Not the Application Date

Thus, the effective date of Medicare is the relevant date, not the date when the employee applies for Medicare. This is important because the effective date of Medicare can be retroactive. Specifically, the effective date of Part A is generally the first day of the month in which the individual turns age 65, as long as the individual applies within 6 months after the month in which he/she turns age 65. If he/she applies more than 6 months after the month in which he/she turns age 65, then Part A is effective retroactive to the 6th month before the month of application (e.g., an application filed in July is effective in the preceding January).

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


________________________________________special




Tips for overcoming 
Age-related cooking challenges
Bt Sara  Gantz


Cooking at home is a mood-booster, exercises muscles and the mind and can help us maintain a healthy diet, especially as we age.

But with age-related medical conditions come new challenges in the kitchen. People with dementia or memory loss might worry about forgetting the roast they put in the oven. Perhaps the meals you used to prepare for a family of five no longer make sense for a solo diner. Arthritis, lost muscle mass, decreased height and vision problems can affect how you cook.

Here are some tips to get the most out of home cooking:

Consider what you’re cooking

Research shows that people who cook for themselves eat out less often and consume less fast food, said Julia Wolfson, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies food systems and food policy. That can be especially important for older adults, whose metabolism has slowed and who might be at risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol — all medical conditions that are influenced by diet.




FYI





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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Getting COVID more than once
Might be even worse than we thought
BY LAURA BAISAS 

Infection with COVID-19 brings with it the possibility of a high fever, dry hacking cough, and losing taste
and smell. But, even months down the road, it carries the risk of developing long-COVID after infection,
or getting sick with the virus all over again. The elusive virus is really good at evading the immune
system, so it’s possible to be infected with COVID-19 multiple times per year, sometimes within only 90 days.

Those re-infections are proving to be risky, according to the results of a new study published today in the journal Nature Biology. The research from a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care system found that repeat infections with the virus contributes to significant additional risk to multiple organ systems in the body.

Some of the risks include hospitalization, problems with the lungs, heart, and brain; problems with the musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal systems, and even death. COVID-19 reinfection also contributes to chronic illnesses like diabetes and kidney disease and issues with mental health, according to the new research.




Almost 20 Million Older Americans 
Live With Sight-Robbing 
Macular Degeneration
By Cara Murez 


In a finding that suggests more Americans than ever are struggling with their sight as they get older, researchers report that nearly 20 million adults have age-related macular degeneration, AMD

Broken down, about 18.3 million people aged 40 and up had an early stage of the condition in 2019, while almost 1.5 million people had late-stage AMD.

"There haven't been many new examination-based studies of the prevalence of AMD, and the only nationally representative data on AMD were last collected in 2008. So, this limits the ability of researchers to update the estimates," said study author David Rein, director of the public health analytics program at NORC at the University of Chicago. "I think a strength of our study is our use of other data sources such as Medicare claims and population data from the Census Bureau to create contemporary estimates."




Bariatric Surgery Safe 
In Geriatric Patients
Contributor: Russyan Mark Mabeza, MPH


In geriatric patients, bariatric surgery has been shown to result in sustained reductions in medication use and significant improvements in quality of life. “There is rich literature regarding the benefits of bariatric surgery, but there continues to be some hesitation to perform these procedures in older patients,” explains Russyan Mark Mabeza, MPH. “In general, increasing age has been associated with greater operative risk, but this higher risk is not as well-defined in bariatric surgery.”

Clinical & Financial Outcomes in Older & Younger Adults

For a study published in Surgery & Obesity-Related Disorders, Mabeza and colleagues examined the incidence of, and factors related to, in-hospital mortality, postoperative complications, readmissions, and resource utilization in elderly patients undergoing bariatric surgery. “We assessed the clinical and financial outcomes of bariatric surgery for older adults compared with their younger counterparts,” Mabeza says. “Our overall goal was to provide concrete numbers regarding the risks, which could aid in surgical decision making and help with counseling of patients who would benefit from bariatric procedures.”




Here are the 10 industries with 
The highest share of older workers.
By Jacob Zinkula and Madison Hoff 


As the cost of retirement rises, many Americans will work later in life than previously planned.
One analysis put the cost of a comfortable retirement near $3 million.
Funeral homes and fishing are among the 10 industries with the highest share of older workers.

Many Americans were already facing a retirement crisis before inflation and plunging 401(k)s made the problem worse. It could force many of them to work later in life than they had otherwise planned.  

"The rise in the cost of living has most of the US expecting to be working past the age of retirement," according to a Better Benefits Guide analysis on older Americans in the workforce. 

A survey for Nationwide Retirement Institute conducted by Edelman Data & Intelligence also suggests some older workers may have to consider delaying their retirement plans. According to an infographic about the results, 40% "of older American employees are now expecting to retire later than originally planned due to inflation or rising living costs" and almost three-quarters of those people expecting this "are worried they won't have enough income in retirement." 




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Best Mutual Funds for Senior Citizens: 
An Overview


There is a wide range of investment and saving schemes for senior citizens. However, mutual funds are investors' most convenient and popular investment options. Mutual funds offer specialized retirement schemes that are suitable for retirees. It allows you to diversify your investment across different asset classes such as stocks and fixed-income instruments. You get to invest in a diversified portfolio in a single investment and the best part is you don't need to track or manage your investment frequently. You can access your mutual fund's investment any time you want to by logging in with your credentials. All you need to do is install the broker application on your smartphone. 

Ideally, mutual fund investments are made for the long term to achieve your financial objectives. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that mutual funds are risky. So, make sure to choose the right mutual fund that aligns with your investment objective, the timeline of your investment and risk appetite. In this article, we are going to learn about mutual funds, the best mutual funds for senior citizens and things to keep in mind while investing in the best mutual funds for retirees. 

What are mutual funds?

Mutual funds collect money from several investors to invest in various asset classes. Mutual funds are known for offering way better returns than bank deposits. The main objective of investing in a mutual fund is to grow your wealth and achieve your financial goals. Various mutual fund schemes are available in the market that suit different investors. Mutual fund for senior citizens is suitable for those who are in their 60s. Even if you are in your 30s, you can plan your retirement for yourself or your parents If you want to live a comfortable life post-retirement. You can opt for investing in SWP (Systematic withdrawal plan) if you want to earn regular income. 











There are about 100 steps from my room here at the A.L.F. to the seating area next to our dining room. I have made this short journey, back and forth, for the past 8 years with little difficulty, until recently. In the last year, I have noticed, and felt, a definite change in my ability to take this short walk. It’s not stiffness I feel, but a slowing down of the machinery. I liken it to a car stuck in second gear. The engine is racing, but the wheels ain’t moving.
 
This has only been recent. And I find it discouraging.
 
When I first came here directly from a two-year stint in a nursing home where I had to learn to walk all over again, I was in bad shape, mobility-wise.


At the nursing home, I had transitioned from a wheelchair to a walker to a Rollator. It was a long, difficult struggle involving many months of physical therapy. And, although I was still not walking well, there was a definite and constant improvement.

That improvement continued as I slowly became used to making my way to the dining area and back every day. Soon I abandoned the Rollator altogether and switched to a cane which I use to this day. Although I knew I could never walk unaided (I have balance problems) I did not think my ability to walk with a cane would become more difficult, but it has.
 
I noticed this change late last year when, after an attempt to take my morning walk around the premises ended with me having to cut that walk short. I wasn’t tired, but my legs were. I dragged myself back to my room. The next day, I went down to our physical therapy department and asked for help. After an evaluation of my abilities, they told me they believed PT could be beneficial. A week later , I began my twice-a-week, one hour therapy sessions. I noticed a slight improvement. Unfortunately, Medicaid will only pay for 6 weeks of PT and when it ended, so did any improvement in my mobility. I found myself back to where I began.

I can only attribute this to one thing. I’m old.
 
This is not a copout. It’s reality. And anybody who says that “It’s all in your mind” is an idiot.

Yes, there may be some mental reason, like depression, that might keep one from being active, but that’s not the main cause. The years have taken their toll on your body parts. Your muscles, which could open a tight jar lid with ease or allow you to play a set of tennis, have lost their elasticity. Not from under use, but from having used them too much. Screw muscle-memory. My muscles didn’t forget how to jump out of bed, nor did they forget how to run around the block. They can’t. They’re old, like the rest of me. And all the exercise in the world cannot restore what has been lost. 
 
Old age is insidious. It comes about slowly and cruelly.
 
The once-weekly pickup game of hoops with your friends becomes once-a-month, and then, not at all.
 
Running for the bus no longer seems important. There will be another in a few minutes. Why kill myself?
 
Soon, you don’t want to take the bus at all. UBER costs more, but it’s so much easier. You convince yourself that by taking a car service; you are saving time. But what you are really saving is any bit of strength you have left.

I’ll be 78 next year. That’s old in anybody’s book. But unlike those who try to fight against the inevitable, I have acquiesced to it. Instead of forcing myself to do stuff because it’s “good for me”, I’ll go the other way. I will only do things I like. And if that includes sitting in front of this computer for countless hours a day, so be it. Sedentary, I have found, is good. It strains neither body nor mind. And if I take an extra five or ten minutes to walk to breakfast. So what? They won’t let me starve.
 
The only thing I won’t give in to is when somebody tries to play with my head. My mind is the one thing I will continue to exercise. I’m still curious about stuff. I hate not knowing about something. I am constantly turning to GOOGLE for answers to questions. I may become a lump, but I’ll be a lump with a brain……………………..
 







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SATURDAY & SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12-13, 2022

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The Science Behind When You Should Retire


In the United States, you must be aged 66 or 67 to receive full Social Security retirement benefits. But should retire then? According to the experts, when is the healthiest time to retire?

Nearly half of Americans between the ages of 60 and 75 plan to work part-time after retirement, and almost 25 percent say they will retire after age 70 or not at all. These statistics aren’t surprising given that seniors and their financial welfare have experienced three recessions and a global pandemic. Happily, modern medicine means people are healthier and living longer, making 66 seem more like “mid-life” and not a financially viable time to retire.

If you’re looking to science for the magic number, be prepared for conflicting answers.

Read more  >> 



Optimism in older adults improves 
Functional recovery after stroke




For older adults who experience first-time stroke, approaching recovery with optimism improves functional recovery, according to a poster at the American Neurological Association annual meeting.

“We don’t have a great idea of why patients recover or don’t recover,” Kelly L. Sloane, MD, assistant professor of neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, said. “In cardiovascular literature, they describe that optimism and lack of depression are associated with better outcomes after myocardial infarction, so we are trying to address that question of psychological health and recovery after stroke.”

Sloane and colleagues sought to evaluate the associations of optimism and depression with functional recovery in stroke survivors.

The longitudinal cohort study utilized data from the 2005-’06 Stroke Recovery in Underserved Populations study, which included 879 participants aged 50 years or older with first-time stroke who were admitted to an inpatient medical rehabilitation facility.

Read more  >>  



Nose Picking Could Increase Risk 
For Alzheimer’s and Dementia


Griffith University researchers have demonstrated that a bacteria can travel through the olfactory nerve in the nose and into the brain in mice, where it creates markers that are a tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that Chlamydia pneumoniae used the nerve extending between the nasal cavity and the brain as an invasion path to invade the central nervous system. The cells in the brain then responded by depositing amyloid beta protein which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor James St John, Head of the Clem Jones Center for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, is a co-author of the world first research.

Read more  >> 


High-Tech Gifts Are Sure to 
Make Everyone’s List this Year
By Marc Saltzman


From smartwatches and e-readers to sleep-inducing earbuds and stay-warm mugs
White mouse cable forming a gift box on red background. Horizontal composition with copy space.


Every year we resolve to move more, read some beloved books, listen to some invigorating music or scintillating podcasts, and spend some time relaxing.

But first come the holidays and the stress of finding exactly the right presents for family and friends. If they’re into technology — or should be — you can help them with their January declarations to do better, and you don’t have to be a “digital native” to pick some great gifts that they'll use over and over.

Read more  >>  click here


Permanent Daylight Saving Time 
Will hurt our health, experts say
By Sandee LaMotte



The end of Daylight Saving Time is upon us again, an autumn tradition when the United States, Europe, most of Canada and a number of other countries move their clocks backwards an hour in a sort of Groundhog Day trust fall. We’ll move them forward (again) next spring when governments put daylight saving back in place.

Senate passes bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent
But are we putting our trust in an unhealthy, outdated idea?

Not according to the United States Senate, which in March passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 – if it becomes law, Daylight Saving Time will be permanent.

Read more  >>  






It’s Time to Cater to the 
Over-65 Crowd, Or Else!
H.Dennis Beaver, Esq.


Businesses can’t afford to ignore the fastest growing market in the world. Here’s how businesses shoot themselves in the foot with these valuable employees and customers (and by the way, don’t call them “seniors” or “elderly,” either).

“There is a huge market – millions of people – that could be a missed opportunity for American business,” says author Susan Golden, who teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the impact of longevity on our economy.

So, who are these people?

“The U.S. Census tells us they are the 10,000 people turning 65 every day. In the time it takes to read this sentence, another 20 will join that group. More importantly, in 15 years, Americans aged 65 and older will outnumber those under age 18,” she points out.

Read more  >>  



A Will is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: 
A Holistic Understanding 
Of Estate Settlement
By Davide Pisanu


We all love to prepare for the future. But how do we prepare for a future without us in it? 

This worry is top-of-mind for many Americans. In a 3,000-person poll by Maru Public Opinion for ClearEstate, 90% of us appoint an immediate or extended family member as our will executor. And those same executors – people we love, people who love us, people who we trust with our last wishes – describe their role as being one of the most difficult experiences ever.

Fifty percent of family members that accept executorship admit they received little guidance on that role. That lack of guidance compounded by the grief of losing a loved one results in unnecessary strife and mental health stress. 

During estate settlement, our loved ones are facing some of the worst experiences of their lives. Let’s explore the problem and how to ease the estate settlement process.

Read more  >> 



Why We're Failing Older 
Adults with Disabilities
By Nora Macaluso


Hearing loss is not uncommon, yet affordable solutions are. If we're unwilling to improve lives when we have the tools, what does that mean for those living with more complex disabilities?

As the population ages, the number of people with disabilities will rise, meaning more people will need access to therapies and support systems. That's already happening with hearing loss, which affects most people after a certain age — yet hearing aids remain out of reach for many.

f this easy fix for a common problem isn't widely available, what does that say about the outlook for more complex conditions, such as intellectual disabilities, that are more expensive and harder to address in older adults? 

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 


6 Perks And Advantages Of 
Luxury Retirement Homes
By Amy Gale

Retirement is a time to slow down and relax. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life. From the food you eat to the company you keep, retirement is a chance to enjoy yourself. Hence, look into luxury retirement homes if you want a comfortable place to spend your senior years. 

These homes offer some of the best amenities and services, giving you access to everything from spa treatments and golf courses to pools, fitness centers, and more. 

Find out which CBD product is best for you

Here are six perks of living in a luxury retirement home:

1. Staff-Assisted Living...

Read more >> 


Why do we die?
By William Park


Certain jellyfish and their relatives offer tantalising clues as to whether immortality is possible – so why does death become the rest of us?

Of all the weird and wonderful aquatic organisms that bob about in our oceans and rivers, you would be forgiven for overlooking the hydra. Named after the Ancient Greek mythological serpent that could regrow its heads, it is a freshwater relative of jellyfish, anemones and corals. A little like a dandelion seed, with a long body and tuft of tentacles on one end, there's not much to see. But they have a remarkable property that makes them a curiosity of biology: they can regenerate. If you cut a hydra into many pieces, each bit will regrow into a complete, new individual.

Their regenerative properties have piqued the interest of biologists looking for evidence of immortality in nature. Why do these species appear not to die by natural causes? And is death inevitable?

Learn more  >>  


Almost 1 in 3 U.S. Seniors Now Sees 
At Least 5 Doctors Per Year
By Amy Norton

Nearly one-third of older U.S. adults visit at least five different doctors each year — reflecting the growing role of specialists in Americans' health care, a new study finds.

Over the past 20 years, Americans on Medicare have been increasingly seeing specialists, researchers found, with almost no change in visits with their primary care doctor.

On average, beneficiaries saw a 34% increase in the number of specialists they visited each year. And the proportion of patients seeing five or more doctors rose from about 18% in 2000, to 30% in 2019.

Read more  >>  


Ringing in your ears? 
About 750 million people 
Have this perplexing condition


Tinnitus, commonly described as a ringing in the ears, may affect about 750 million people around the world, according to new research based on about 50 years of data.

The study, published this week in the research journal JAMA Neurology, suggests tinnitus is perceived as a major problem by more than 120 million people, most of whom are 65 or older.

Researchers estimate about 14% of adults experience tinnitus, and 2% experience a severe form of it. The prevalence also appears to increase with age: Tinnitus is reported in 10% of adults ages 18 to 44, 14% of adults ages 45 to 64, and 24% of those 65 and older.

Read more  >>  


An audiologist’s take on the news that OTC 
Hearing aids are on their way to consumers
By David Akbari


Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids herald a new golden age for consumer access and affordability and will lead to improvements in technology innovation and public health outcomes in the coming years. Consumers and hearing healthcare providers alike are uniquely positioned to benefit from this new finalized OTC rule. While nothing can replace the high-touch, hands on service delivery of a skilled licensed professional, OTC hearing aids will provide much needed relief to tens of millions of un- and under-served Americans suffering from perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss currently with limited and expensive options to treat their perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

OTC hearing aids have been a long time in the making. In 2016, the United States spent nearly twice as much on overall health care as other high-income countries yet had poorer population health outcomes. In 2016, then-President Obama commissioned research by the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology (PCAST) and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Among their findings was that even if every single audiologist and hearing instrument dispenser was fitting people full time with hearing aids, there would still be a huge and growing unmet need in the United States for hearing healthcare forming the foundation for the new OTC hearing aid category.

Read more  >> 


2 Best Telecommuting Work 
Opportunities for Seniors
By A. A. Francis

Working full-time or part-time as a senior citizen can be self-defeating in a world where the cost of living standards is always rising.

The median salary for most senior citizens working in 2018 was barely $22,000. However, the typical retiree needs at least $45,000 annually to cover their living expenses.

If you are age 65 and over, you can have more employment options that you can handle if you adjust to telecommuting.

All you need is a laptop and reliable internet to teach online or become a consultant.

Read more  >> 



Health concerns of the 
super-elderly to watch out for 


Although definitions vary, the super-elderly are commonly defined as individuals age 85 years or older. Special health concerns characterize this group, as highlighted by emerging research.

Here is a sampling of such findings on the health issues of the super-elderly.
Compression of morbidity

Compression of morbidity is defined as a decreased time between the manifestation of disability and death.

Read more  >>  



How to Plan for Your Long-Term 
Care Insurance Needs
By Naomi Barr

The healthier and younger you are, the less your long-term care policy will cost in the long run. 

Dreamstime

For millions of baby boomers, Gen-Xers, and millennials who have no long-term care strategy, the pandemic has sent a message: Act now or it will cost you later. 

It’s a sobering task no matter your financial situation to plan for the possibility of some future incapacitation. But putting it off until too late can have dire consequences for your savings. The reality is that more than two-thirds of Americans over the age of 65 will need some sort of daily care for an average of three years during their lifetime, according to the Urban Institute. 

Those costs can quickly add up. A stay in a nursing home can cost over $100,000 a year, and even care in your own home can easily top $5,000 a month or more. 

Learn more  >> 


America's nursing homes 
At a crossroads
By Emily Mongan

America’s nursing homes are at a crossroads. Operators are challenged by a history of insufficient funding under the Medicaid program and eroding Medicare payments. Coupled with long-term care facilities being ground zero for the COVID pandemic and the public being reticent to place their elderly parent in such a facility, skilled nursing homes are facing an uphill battle. It is time to rethink the structure of the senior care industry in the U.S.

The partnership between government and nursing home operators is failing. The Biden administration has called for improved quality and better outcomes from the long-term care operators across the country, but with decreased funding from programs like Medicaid and Medicare and high levels of preventable readmissions of these senior patients to hospitals, costing payors and patients an additional $10+ billion annually, we are left with a system crying out for help.

The incentives in the long-term care system are wrong. Increased length of stay and increased volumes are rewarded, while quality and positive patient outcomes receive much less attention. While there are annual inspections by health departments, absent the right positive incentives, operators risk fines and forced closures. Instead of rewarding providers for high quality and positive outcomes, regulatory bodies are focused on punishment.

Read more  >>  


Maximize Your Credit Card 
Rewards Points to Fight Inflation
By Donna Fuscaldo,  

With prices soaring for everything from food to utility bills, consumers are looking for ways to save. Increasingly they are turning to credit card reward points to fight inflation.​

It makes sense, given America's penchant for credit cards. According to a recent Wells Fargo survey, 71 percent of people living in the U.S. have a credit card that offers cash back or rewards. Of those cardholders, nearly half (49 percent) are relying on rewards points to offset some of the costs of everyday purchases.  ​

But they aren’t doing it as efficiently as they could. The same Wells Fargo survey found only 53 percent of rewards cardholders focus on high-value categories when they use their card, while 38 percent have not cashed in their credit card rewards or offers this year. ​

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


The Importance of Indoor 
Air Quality in Care Facilities
By Tony Abate


The importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) has been at the forefront of many people’s minds in the last couple of years, given the severity of the pandemic and pollution in major cities. For those living in assisted living and memory care facilities, the need for proper ventilation and high-quality IAQ was a foundation of these properties far before the pandemic, but the need for well-supported infrastructure and comprehensive building systems has become all the more crucial now.

Just as COVID-19 affected everyone, so does air pollution and other airborne bacteria and hazards. Yet, the effects of these factors are much more severe in the elderly because they are more susceptible and at greater risk for health issues relating to poor IAQ. This is important to consider and mitigate in assisted living facilities as poor air quality can lead to, and worsen, chronic health conditions, such as lung disease, asthma, pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious problems. Proper IAQ and ventilation are in turn smart and simple strategies to implement into properties to reduce the risk of health conditions and to support the safety and well-being of those in assisted living or memory care facilities.

In these facilities, residents are more at risk to serious illnesses and air-borne pathogens, such as MRSA and Norovirus. Indoor air purification systems can assist in preventing contaminants in a space, and have the potential to drive better health, wellness, and improved care with cleaner and healthier IAQ. Additionally, IAQ technologies also act to filter contaminants that prevent unwanted odors, which is of particular importance in a residential community facility. In this way, new technology can drive multiple solutions and new amenities for facilities, while improving the resident experience. 

Read more  >> 


Eye care: 
Why are seniors more likely
To suffer from eye diseases
By Dr. Manish Nagpal

As people grow old, the risk of particular eye diseases and conditions increases significantly and becomes only worse with time. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 285 million people globally are visually impaired. Almost 82% suffering from blindness are aged 50 or above. 

In fact, over 137 million Indians have near vision loss, and 79 million people suffer from impairment. And, understanding the warning signs of age-related eye issues and seeking professional care can safeguard our vision.

Read more  >> 



DigitalC helps older adults
Overcome tech barriers
By Chris M. Worrell


For many older residents of Greater Cleveland, the digital divide can feel like an overwhelming chasm. DigitalC, a Cleveland nonprofit, is working to ensure that older adults have the technological skills they need to re-enter the workforce.

The current round of free trainings, each of which lasts five weeks, is taking place at the DigitalC “tech hive” from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays. The most recent session began July 12 and has a dozen participants.

All individuals enrolled in the training will have the opportunity to take home the computer they learned on at no charge after their Aug. 9 graduation.

Learn more  >>



8 Best Checking Accounts 
For Seniors
By Karen Doyle


Senior citizens often get discounts and deals, and why shouldn’t they? Retirement often means a reduction in income, so a bargain is always appreciated.

Some banks cater to this demographic by offering checking accounts designed specifically for senior citizens. Other banks, while they might not have a distinct offering for those over 60, have checking accounts that make sense for seniors who may have significant investment assets, or for those who are concerned with getting by on less income in retirement.

Here are the best checking accounts for seniors.

Checking Accounts Designed for Seniors

Some banks have checking accounts they designate as being for seniors. They typically have the features they think senior citizens will want, like no monthly fee, free checks and free paper statements. Here are some checking accounts that were designed for seniors.

Read more  >>


This Is the No. 1 Way to Live "Longer 
And Healthier," Doctor Says
By Lauren Gray

Add years to your life by doing this for just 11 minutes a day.

If you're aiming to live a long life, the quality of your years is just as important as the quantity. After all, living longer on its own can be a blessing or a curse—and living a long, healthy life is the ultimate prize.

That's why one geriatrician (a doctor specializing in the health of seniors) is sharing a crucial piece of information about the single best way to live "longer and healthier." While many factors contribute to the complex metrics of health and wellness, he says this one factor is "the most important thing" in order to live a long life free of disease or disability.

Read on to learn the number one way to extend and improve your life, and to find out why it's especially important to do right now.

Read more  >>  



How urban design can fulfill senior 
Living needs for baby boomers
By Lois A. Bowers


The influx of baby boomers approaching the age where they are ready for a new phase of life is not about size alone; it’s also about influence, including that generation’s widening effect on senior housing as a keystone of urban design.

Today’s senior housing developments are being molded by several characteristics that are unique to this age cohort:

1. Baby boomers want to stay engaged in their communities and with their professions and pursuits.

This generation has been redefining retirement since the oldest members hit their mid-60s approximately 10 years ago. Today, baby boomers are aged 57 to 76. Many want to stay connected to their social and/or professional communities and plan to remain both active and productive, whether by volunteering or working part-time.

Read more  >>  


What to do with your 
401(k) In a bear market


Amid recession fears in bear market, experts say 401(k) investors should think long term 04:58

Americans are free to enjoy their golden years in any state they please, but a new study found that the ideal places to live on a retirement budget are in the South or the Midwest. 

Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri are the top five best states to retire when factoring in a range of criteria, according to Bankrate. The most affordable states to retire are Michigan, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Read more  >>  



Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
By Heidi Moawad, MD

If you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar can help you minimize the nerve damage of diabetic neuropathy. However, this complication can develop with long-term diabetes even when blood sugar is well controlled.

If you already are experiencing signs of diabetic neuropathy, it’s crucial that you get proper treatment to help prevent the progression of this nerve condition. Additionally, diabetic neuropathy can cause many complications, including falling, malnutrition, infected wounds, and more.

This article will cover the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Each of the different effects of diabetic neuropathy requires treatment with specific lifestyle measures and medical therapies.

Read more  >> 




NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









New Report Highlights the 
Cost of Falls for Senior 
Living Communities

Falls pose a significant risk when it comes to senior health. The CDC reports that an older adult, age 65+, suffers a fall every second in the United States. Falls are a leading cause of injury in older adults, and one out of four older adults experiences a fall each year.

Naturally, falls are a widespread concern in senior care settings, and they can have a significant impact on residents. The 2022 inaugural State of Falls report by SafelyYou focuses on not only how Americans feel about aging and falling, but also on the actual impact that falls have on adults who are living in and outside of senior living communities.

Fall Risk and Frequency

According to the report, Americans age 42 and older have a genuine fear of aging. That fear stems from anxiety about falls and deteriorating health, while some worry about caring for a loved one who is aging.




Older cancer survivors at 
Higher risk for bone fracture
 

Older cancer survivors have an increased risk for pelvic and vertebral bone fracture compared with older adults without a history of cancer, research published in JAMA Oncology showed.

The increased risk for fracture is most pronounced among older patients diagnosed within the last 5 years and those who previously received chemotherapy.

Survivors with a history of smoking had a higher risk, and some evidence indicated physical activity may be associated with a lower risk, the investigators noted.




Does beer hold the key to 
Fighting Alzheimer’s disease?
By Erin Keller


Researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca tested four common varieties of hop flower extracts that are found in beer to see how well they would help to prevent brain protein clumping, which can lead to Alzheimer’s.

Hop flower extracts are used in all beers and have natural anti-oxidants that are believed to protect cells in the body. 

In testing, researchers exposed the hops to amyloid proteins and human nerve cells in lab dishes and were able to block amyloid beta proteins from clumping around cells. 

The hop extracts also triggered renewal processes called autophagic pathways – where the body breaks down and reuses old cell parts to increase efficiency.




Solo Agers Facing the Future 
Need a Network of Friends
By Sharon Jayson,   


Stacy Davenport says she began to worry about her future just before she turned 60.

“I was flipping out and talked to a friend about why I was anxious about 60,” she says. “If I get sick, I have nobody to take care of me.”

The very next year — in 2018 — two minor strokes “woke me up to I’d better get my stuff in order.”

Davenport, a life coach in Austin, Texas, who is unpartnered and has no children, is among the 12 percent of the population age 50 and older who live alone. Often called “solo agers,” they may be widowed, divorced or never married.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



_________________________________special




Look to exercise to extend life, 
Even for the oldest, study says
By Sandee LaMotte



Physical activity guidelines for older adults stress doing at least two days of strength training and 2½ hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity each week. Yet many people downplay muscle strengthening, relying on the heart-pumping benefits of aerobic exercise.

That would be a mistake, a new study found. Independent of aerobic physical activity, adults over 65 who did strength training two to six times per week lived longer than those who did less than two, according to study author Dr. Bryant Webber, an epidemiologist in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We found that each type of physical activity was independently associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality in older adults,” Webber said in an email.








Maybe the Democrats didn’t do as poorly as expected. And maybe the Republicans are showing signs of moderating their views, it’s still not clear. What is clear is that America is divided almost in half. Hardly any of the races had a runaway favorite. The winners won by only a few percentage points and a few thousand votes. And in one race, the one in Georgia, it was closer than that, with each candidate receiving only about 48% fostering a runoff election next month.
 
It’s not like there wasn’t a clear choice. The goals of each of the parties are so diametrically opposed that there should not have been any close races. The traditional Democratic districts should have won their election just as the traditionally Republican areas should have clearly won theirs. There had to be something that blurred the lines between the two parties. I’ll give you one guess what (or who) that is.

Yes, you guessed it. It’s Trump. It’s always been Trump and will continue to be Trump and his wacky MAGA’s until that time when enough Republicans, as the RNC, come to their senses and denounce him for the phony fraud he is. And that time may be closer than we think. Trump is expected to declare his candidacy for president in 2024 any day now, although many Republicans have urged him to wait until the Georgia senate race is completed. Trump, of course, will do what he pleases. Will that further alienate him from the mainstream of the party? I think yes. The election proved an endorsement by Trump was not the panacea needed to win. 


Clearly, American voters are a fickle lot. Instead of thinking about the future of the nation, they only know the here and now. Gas, food, and rents are sky high. Screw my kids’ education. Screw a woman’s right to have control of her body. Screw healthcare for all ,the environment or the crumbling bridges. “MY SUV NEEDS GAS…NOW, and I’ll vote for any candidate that says he can get it for me.” Sadly, neither party knows how to do that……………………..
 






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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2022










Now you've downsized, 
Where will you live?
By Pam Kirkby


Housing options for seniors encompass numerous different scenarios and are not what we may have envisioned. Whether you are a younger senior (like me!), an older senior, or helping parents make choices, it’s important to consider the viability different living situations.

Some folks love their homes and neighborhoods and don’t plan to leave. If that is the case, great! 

Aging in place is one option as long as there are strategies in place should the home become uncomfortable or dangerous. For example, if all of the bedrooms are on the second level and navigating stairs becomes a challenge, a stairlift can be installed quickly and easily. In bathrooms, tubs can be removed to make room for walk-in shower stalls.




How to fix Social Security and Medicare? 
GOP wants to raise benefits age to 70
BY AIMEE PICCHI


America's rapidly aging society is placing financial strain on its two core old-age programs, Social Security and Medicare. Now, as Republicans vie to win back control of Congress in the midterm elections, some lawmakers are embracing plans for overhauling the programs — including raising the age for seniors to claim benefits to 70 years old. 

Under a plan developed by the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives in the House, senior citizens would face a five-year delay to claim Medicare, the government health care program for seniors that currently allows people to access the program when they turn 65. And the retirement age for Social Security would also increase to 70, compared with today's full retirement age of between 66 and 67 years old.

he reason for the push? The "miracle" of longer life expectancies, according to the Republican Study Committee's documents. But while Americans are living longer than in earlier generations, the average age of retirement is 61 — or 5 years earlier than workers say they had expected to step back from the workforce, according to Gallup. In other words, people may believe they'll work longer, but on average, Americans are stepping back five to six years before they even reach Social Security's current full retirement age.




Dementia plummets by nearly 
One-third among U.S. seniors
By Judy Packer-Tursman


The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, falling by nearly one-third from 2000 to 2016, a RAND Corp. study says. Photo by Nikki Vargas/Pixabay
Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, falling dramatically from 2000 to 2016, a RAND Corp. study says.

Nationwide, the age-adjusted prevalence of dementia fell to 8.5% of people over age 65 in 2016, down by nearly one-third from 12.2% of people over age 65 in 2000, according to the researchers.

Females are more likely to live with dementia, but the sex difference has narrowed, the study found.

Among men, the prevalence of dementia fell by 3.2 percentage points, from 10.2% to 7.0% over the 16-year span. The decrease was larger among women, down 3.9 percentage points, from 13.6% to 9.7%.




5 ways to show seniors 
They are appreciated



Senior citizens account for a significant percentage of the overall population. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau released in 2020 indicate the nation’s 65-and-older population had grown by more than one-third over the preceding decade. By 2050, the number of senior citizens is expected to be close to 90 million.

People are living longer than ever, and as individuals age, the demand for senior services continues to grow — as does the need to be patient and respect the elderly. There are many ways to show seniors just how much they’re appreciated.

1. Help with chores. Lend a hand with chores around the house that may have grown difficult for seniors. This can include mowing the lawn, weeding garden beds, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or even taking the garbage pails in and out on collection days.

2. Visit more often. Frequent visits are one of the simplest ways to show seniors you care. Whether seniors live in a private home or managed care facility, visitors brighten their days, especially if they no longer get out and about as frequently as they once did. Spending time together and sharing stories can bring smiles to the faces of older adults.








While I considered myself to be a typical teenager, the one area where my typicality ended was my taste in music. It’s not that I didn’t like pop music, I just preferred to listen to jazz or classical in a small venue rather than trying to hear myself think in a room full of screaming teens. Thus, in 1962, at the tender age of 17, I found myself in the basement of a small nightspot in New York’s Greenwich Village called the Bon Soir. 

In the basement at 40 W. 8th Street, the Bon Soir was a sophisticated nightspot, especially popular in the 1950s and 1960s, that featured gifted young performers on its nightly programs. One night, In 1962, along with my brother, I was seated at a table inches from the stage and watched a 21-year-old singer from Brooklyn sing her heart out. Her name was Barbra Streisand.

It’s rare one gets to see a true star at the very start of their career, and I have always considered myself fortunate to have been there to witness hers. I thought nobody would have remembered her humble beginnings, or the Bon Soir for that matter, so I was surprised to see there was actually an album of her early performances at that venue. Listening to it took me back to a better time and I hope it does the same for you……….











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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2022








New York State Master Plan for Aging
By Michael Paulsen


On Friday, Governor Hochul issued a new executive order to establish the New York State Master Plan for Aging. The EO directs the Department of Health, in coordination with the State Office for the Aging, to convene a Master Plan for Aging Council to advise the Governor in developing New York’s Master Plan for Aging. The council will also assemble the “Stakeholder Advisory Committee” to include health care and support services providers, older adults, and labor and community-based organizations, and will include ongoing opportunities for engagement with the public.

Initially proposed in the Governor’s 2022 State of the State, the Master Plan for Aging Council is tasked with coordinating existing and new policies and programs to create a blueprint of strategies to ensure that older New Yorkers can live fulfilling lives in good health, with freedom, dignity and independence to age in place for as long as possible. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is directed to prepare a preliminary report within six months and a final report within 18 months of holding its first meeting; the Master Plan for Aging Council is required to present its recommended Master Plan for Aging to the Governor within two years.




Signs That It’s Time for Memory Care
By Ruben Castaneda

Say your aging mom, who's living with dementia, has always been conscientious about opening her mail and paying her bills. You and other family members check on her regularly to see if she's OK. Yet, over time, you notice she's letting her mail accumulate unopened and forgetting to make her payments, or, she's paying the same bill multiple times. Or maybe, she's always cooked for herself, but lately, she's been unable to prepare meals. And as time passes, she may start having trouble with other basic tasks of daily living, like dressing herself or using the bathroom.

There may come a time when a person living with Alzheimer's disease, or another form of dementia, will need more care than can be provided at home. During the middle to late stages of Alzheimer's, it becomes necessary to provide 24-hour supervision to keep them safe. In some cases, more specialized care is needed.

Overall, more than 6 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. More than 11 million family members care for someone with dementia, and others live in assisted living communities, nursing homes or memory care units.




How To Stay Sociable 
As You Get Older: 
Tips For Seniors
By Ella Woodward


As we get older, it can be hard to make new friends or stay in touch with your current friendship group. 

That’s why many seniors find it hard to socialize and start to feel lonely. It might not seem like a major issue, but loneliness can lead to serious health conditions, both mental and physical. 

Being lonely can make you feel isolated and lead to you not taking good care of yourself, which can exacerbate any existing ailments you have. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can work to stay sociable as you age. Keep reading to find some practical ideas to help you get started. 




How to choose a medical 
Alert system for seniors
BY JENNIFER EARL

If you're looking to keep your elderly parents or other family members protected, especially if they're living alone, then you'll want to invest in a medical alert system. 

Accidents happen. Every year, 3 million senior citizens (age 65 and up) are treated for injuries related to falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Falling once doubles your chances of falling again," noted the CDC, adding that only half of the elderly who experience falls actually report it to their physicians.

While some seniors may resist the help, it's worth pursuing in order to ensure they're safe and get the attention they need in an emergency. It's always best to treat potential broken bones, head injuries or other serious injuries immediately.




Residents of assisted living facilities 
Lost significant, concerning weight 
During the COVID-19 quarantine
By: Deborah Mann Lake 


Older adults residing in assisted living facilities and quarantined to their rooms during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lost significant weight, according to gerontology care providers and researchers from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.

Significant weight loss of at least 5% occurred in 40% of residents, with 47% of those losing 10% or more of their weight. Men in the study were 14 times more likely to lose significant weight due to quarantine.

The findings were presented at the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association 2022 National Conference earlier this month.

“Room quarantine can result in loneliness, decreased appetite, less meal encouragement, and less assistance with eating,” said lead author Maureen S. Beck, DNP, MSN, assistant professor in the Joan and Stanford Alexander Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at McGovern Medical School. “Losing 5% of their weight is significant for elderly patients and can lead to the loss of independent function.”



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Manchin calls for deal on Social Security, 
Medicare, Medicaid in new Congress
BY ALEXANDER BOLTON 


Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Thursday called for a broad bipartisan deal to protect the solvency of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, popular programs that face serious funding issues over the next few decades.

“You’re going to get your financial house in order. We cannot live with this crippling debt,” Manchin, whose pivotal vote both delayed and helped pass big pieces of President Biden’s agenda, told Fortune’s Alan Murray at a CEO conference.  

“If we don’t look at the trust funds that are going bankrupt, whether they be Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, highway, all the ones — there are tremendous problems right now,” Manchin said when asked where he sees areas of potential compromise in Washington after the Nov. 8 midterm elections. 











Voting in the midterm elections is over, but not finished. In many of the contests, results may not be known for days. There are several reasons for this. Just the sheer number of people who have voted will cause delays in some areas. Some contests will be so close, a re-count may be needed and, in others, because of the stain Donald Trump put on the last election, many losing candidates will call “foul” and go to court. Eventually, however, we will know if the Republicans regain control of the House and/or the Senate. And, if polls are to be believed, things don’t look good for the Dem’s. Another place where it doesn’t look for Democrats, is the 2024 presidential election. 

The Republican’s appear to have their candidates nailed down. Undoubtedly, Trump will run again. If not on the Republican ticket than on one he creates himself. Also running will most likely be Florida’s Ron DeSantis. Both are strong candidates, at least among voters in their own party. Democrats, on the other hand, are not as lucky. Not only do they have a plethora of potential candidates, not one of them could beat Trump or DeSantis if the election were held now, in my opinion.

Let’s have look at the possible candidates.

The Favorites according to various polls: [1]
1. Joe Biden
2. Kamala Harris
3. Pete Buttigieg
4. Gavin Newsom
5. Elizabeth Warren
6. Bernie Sanders
7. Amy Klobuchar
8. Gretchen Whitmer
9. Cory Booker
10. Roy Cooper

My favorites and why:

1. Amy Klobucher…Moderate Midwesterner
2. Cory Booker… Attractive. Obama-like
3. Gavin Newsom…  Liberal, attractive with experience running a big state
4. Kamala Harris… Too attached to Biden. Hated by Republicans
5. Elizabeth Warren…Good candidate, but too much like Hillary.
6. Gretchen Whitmer…Brave governor of Michigan, but lacks a national following
7. Pete Buttigieg… Too young. Too gay.
8. Bernie Sanders… Republicans think he’s a Commie. Democrats think he’s a Socialist
9.Roy Cooper…Who?
10. Joe Biden… Too old (Sorry seniors, but you know it’s true)

Make no mistake. The 2024 race for president begins right after these midterm elections. The Democratic field will narrow. But as of now, no one stands out as a viable candidate to run against Trump or DeSantis. What will determine if any of the Democratic candidates has any chance against any Republican is what will the economy be like as we get closer to 2024. If it remains crappy, the Democrats have a chance. If it dramatically improves, we will see another 4 years of Trump or DeSantis. Four years of packing the SCOTUS and four years of red-hat-wearing wacko’s who want to make America Great Again even though most of them don’t know what that means.

Of course, if you are the person who holds the single winning 2 billion dollar Powerball Lottery ticket, you most likely don’t care about any of this…………………









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Take Years Off Your Age: 
This Israeli Expert Says
It’s All Up to You


“Let’s say your chronological age is 40, and your biological age, which can be discerned by blood tests, bone density and the condition of your cornea, your liver or your microbiome (personal community of microorganisms), is 43,” Israeli obstetrician and gynecologist Ariel Ravel suggests in his new book, “The Imperatives of Future Medicines."

“What if I enumerated 10 things that, if you do them, you’ll not only set back your biological and chronological clock – you’ll even manage to take three years off your age – for the sake of argument here, to 37?

I’d say, go for it.

“It will sound strange, but I think that longevity is largely a decision. It demands that each of us to make decisions and act accordingly.”



Frequently asked questions 
About senior citizen insurance for USA



Senior citizens coming to the US may have a lot of questions and concerns regarding health insurance policies. When they arrive in the US, they do not get access to Obamacare or other government-sponsored insurance programs because they are visitors and not US residents, citizens, or legally permanent residents (green card holders). Senior travelers can buy visitors insurance plans from private insurance companies or providers to cover them during their temporary stay.

Here are the top 5 questions that are typically asked.

Should I buy separate policies for each parent?

It is your choice. You can buy separate policies for parents or a single policy for both. Typically, premiums do not change if you buy separate policies or a single policy. However, depending on the plan and parents’ age, some policies may ask you to complete separate applications.  As senior travelers find insurance plans offering limited coverage, it is essential to talk to your insurance executive and understand details of the coverage.   If your both parents have different travel dates and trip duration, you must buy two separate plans.




Depression Treatment Starts 
Changing the Brain Within 6 Weeks
By Cara Murez 


New research reveals that the brain is much more flexible than once thought and can change rapidly during treatment for major depression.

People receiving inpatient treatment for major depression had increased brain connectivity after just six weeks, German researchers report.

They compared brain connectivity -- various brain regions acting together in generating thought, emotion and behavior -- in 109 patients with serious depression to that in a control group of 55 volunteers without depression. MRI scans were used to identify which brain areas were communicating with others before and after treatment.




Sometimes older adults must 
Train for standing up from a chair
By Matt Parrott 



Jay Lloyd, a certified spin instructor and personal trainer at Little Rock Athletic Club, demonstrates the Bar Assisted Squat using a Smith machine at Little Rock Racquet Club. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Celia Storey)

A few common problems rob older people of their ability to move freely. Joint injuries, an exceedingly high body mass index and a lack of lower body strength are the main musculoskeletal factors that limit mobility for aging adults.

Although joint injuries are largely the result of accidents, the other two factors often can be prevented. This week, I'll present a few prevention tips and will introduce an exercise that's perfect for the older adult.




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Your Holiday Dinner Is