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GOOD DAY. IT’S MONDAY, MAY 16, 2022






Has the U.S. 'botched' its Covid booster
Rollout for older Americans?
Experts call for a reboot.

By Liz Szabo


Even as top U.S. health officials say it’s time America learns to live with the coronavirus, a chorus of leading researchers say faulty messaging on booster shots has left millions of older people at serious risk.




Approximately 1 in 3 Americans 65 and older who completed their initial vaccination round still have not received a first booster shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers have dismayed researchers, who note this age group continues to be at the highest risk for serious illness and death from Covid-19.

The booster program has been botched from day one.

Read more  >>  https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/covid-booster-rollout-needs-reboot-older-americans-experts-say-rcna28235


Top 10 Reasons Seniors Do Not
Take Their Medications



Seniors are the fastest growing segment of our society, the largest consumers of health care dollars, resources, and medications. Yet, over 55% of them do not properly take their medications. Studies indicate up to 30% of all hospital readmissions are due to medication non-adherence.



In America, over 4.5 billion prescriptions are filled each year. Every 19 minutes, someone overdoses on a prescription medication. With the risk of hospitalization due to adverse medication outcomes in elderly patients at almost 6 times greater than that for the general population, we certainly need to do more. Here are some of the reasons seniors do not take their medications as prescribed:


Memory: Despite receiving written and verbal information, 27% of older people discharged from hospital after heart failure were classed as non-adherent within 30 days. The majority remembered receiving oral information, but less than one in four recalled any written information they were given. Almost one in ten did not remember receiving any information at all.




Antibiotics linked to
Inflammatory bowel disease
In older adults

By Chris Dall


A new study suggests antibiotic use in people over 60 may be linked to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).




The study, which will be presented at the upcoming Digestive Disease Week conference, to be held May 21 through 24, found that, in a cohort of more than 2.3 million adults ages 60 to 90, any antibiotic use was associated with a 64% increase in developing ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease—the primary components of IBD. The risk rose with each additional dose of antibiotics.


The lead author of the study said at a DDW media briefing that people over 60 are one of the most rapidly growing populations of patients with IBD, for reasons that are unclear. While antibiotics, along with genetics and family history, have been linked to IBD risk in younger populations, no studies have looked at the connection in older adults.




More physicians needed with
Training to care for older adults

By Kaitlin Schroeder


Geriatricians are in short supply, according to a new report, yet these particular primary care physician’s skills are high in demand to care for the health needs of older adults.


The Alzheimer’s Association 2022 Facts and Figures report includes a new section this year reviewing the dementia care workforce.



There were 163 geriatricians in Ohio at the time of the report. Older workers left in droves in pandemic; employers can help them return


The report says 55% of primary care physicians caring for people living with Alzheimer’s report there are not enough dementia care specialists in their communities to meet patient demands.



How Do Employee Shortages
Affect Assisted Living



All of us are experiencing the vexing effects of worker shortages, brought about by a global pandemic. Some store shelves are nearly bare due to supply chain issues. Fast food restaurants are practically begging for workers, offering sign-on bonuses as an enticement. Many non-essential services have been cut or greatly reduced. Entire industries have been slowed to a crawl. There are not enough workers to fill the available jobs. Those who are working are being pushed into filling the gap by working harder, or putting in overtime hours. All of us suffer as a result, some more than others. It is frustrating, annoying and exasperating.


Frustration and irritation pale however in comparison to the potentially life-threatening problems brought about by a shortage of workers in the field of health care, especially for those who depend on health care professionals to meet their ongoing daily needs. It can be a matter of life and death. Frances Fuller, award-winning author of “Helping Yourself Grow Old” addressed that question in a recent post on her website:


A friend of mine here in the elder care community was in pain. I could see it on her face. It was 10:00 a.m. and the medicine she was supposed to take at 7:00 had not arrived. A couple of Tylenol was all she needed, but residents in assisted care must surrender to the nursing staff every drug in their possession, the point being that they have admitted an inability to take the right medicine at the right time in the right amount.






100-year-old Brazilian breaks record
After 84 years at same company

By Luisa Sanchez


How long have you been working in the same company? Five years? Ten?

Walter Orthmann (Brazil) has been working at the same company for 84 years and 9 days, as verified on 6 January 2022.



His passion, discipline and commitment motivated him to keep doing what he loves and, eventually, become an official Guinness World Records title holder for the longest career in the same company.

Read more  >>  https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2022/4/100-year-old-brazilian-breaks-record-after-84-years-at-same-company-701664



AT THE A.L.F….



I’m a modern man. I believe in science. But I don’t enjoy taking pills.
 
I don’t have a problem swallowing them, nor do I find them otherwise offensive. My aversion to pills, and most medications, is I don’t like putting chemical substances into my body. And that goes for so-called “natural” curatives as well. Therefore, you can appreciate my discomfort when now, being a man of a certain age, pills have become a major part of my life.
 
It’s not like I didn’t take pills when I was young. But they were mostly the over-the-counter type, like aspirin.


I remember my mom would crush a half aspirin tablet and mix it with applesauce. To this day, I can’t eat applesauce without tasting that aspirin. Later, when meds like Tylenol came about, I took them too on a PRN basis. And, on the rare occasions when I caught an actual infection, my doctor would prescribe an antibiotic for a week. That’s was okay. Those were meds one would take for a short term and only when necessary. Today, my meds, and the meds that are given to almost all the residents here at the A.L.F. are for chronic, long-term usage. Many of them are life-saving and cannot be interrupted even for a day. It’s those medications I have a problem with.
 
All the pills I take daily are pills I will have to take for the rest of my life. These pills are not cures. They merely get rid of the symptoms associated with a particular disorder. And, while the lessening of symptoms is valuable, I cannot help but wonder what, in the long run, are those pills doing to my body? After all, swirling around with all the other chemicals (the one my body makes on its own like insulin, adrenalin, and melatonin) are these new, man-made intruders doing heaven-knows-what with my system. Nature certainly did not intend for me to have stuff with names like “Calcitonin”, “Prinivil”, “Allopurinol” or “Lexapro” flowing through my veins, forever. And to make things more depressing, the older I get, the more pills, tablets, capsules, and sprays I’ll have to take. And this onslaught, this affront to my body, will end only when I do.

I consider myself lucky. I take only four Rx pills once a day. However, I am an exception. Most of my fellow residents take more, much more. One of my table-mates takes 14 pills, twice daily and another three or four at night. That’s dozens of pills a week, hundreds every month. How the f**k can that be any good for you?

The question I, and many others, have been asking is “Are we old folks being over-medicated?”
 
A recent NPR report had this conclusion…
 
“An increasing number of elderly patients nationwide are on multiple medications to treat chronic diseases, raising their chances of dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects. Often the drugs are prescribed by different specialists who don’t communicate with each other. If those patients are hospitalized, doctors making the rounds add to the list — and some of the drugs they prescribe may be unnecessary or unsuitable.
“This is America’s other drug problem — polypharmacy,” said Dr. Maristela Garcia, director of the inpatient geriatric unit at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. “And the problem is huge.” [1]
 
At first glance, it would be easy to blame the doctors. But they can only use the tools that are available to them. Many don’t have the time to spend researching and customizing the treatment for the illnesses of each of their patients. They do what they know works. Mrs. Smith has high blood pressure. Give her a proven blood pressure medication and see what happens. It works most of the time, so it must be good.

 
I liken the treatment of old people to a bad (or crooked) mechanic fixing an old car. Instead of repairing the underlying cause of the problem, it’s easier just to pour some 50 weight motor oil in the crankcase to stop an oil consumption problem than it is to fix the valves or pistons or seals. Just like it’s easier, (and cheaper) to prescribe some prostate medication when what is really needed is surgery. And as long as the drug companies keep spending (and charging) millions of dollars for those pills, seniors will be well-medicated for years to come……………
 

 
[1] source: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/polypharmacy-americas-drug-problem








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GOOD DAY. IT’S FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022







Feeding America Study Shows Deepening Divide in
Senior Hunger Rates Along Racial and Ethnic Lines


Feeding America® today released The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2020, a study about seniors facing hunger in the United States. The report sheds light on the extent to which food insecurity – or having limited access to enough food to live a healthy lifestyle – affects individuals aged 60 and older.


The report shows that out of 76 million seniors, age 60 or older in the United States, 5.2 million were food insecure in 2020, the most recent year for which data is available. Food insecurity among seniors did not change significantly between 2019 and 2020, going from 7.1% to 6.8%. However, consistent with the overall population, there was a deepening divide along racial and ethnic lines. The Feeding America study shows that food insecurity worsened among Black seniors, rising from 15.5% to 19.6%, while improving for white seniors, dropping from 5.0% to 4.2%, leading to wider disparities between most groups. In 2020, Black seniors were 4.7 times as likely and Latino seniors were 3.1 times as likely to experience food insecurity compared to white seniors. While the study does not include separate food insecurity estimates for other demographic groups, it has been shown through other analyses that individuals who identify as Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian subgroups also have disproportionately high rates of food insecurity.


"Food insecurity is a complex issue, and seniors face many unique challenges when it comes to accessing food. Whether they are choosing between food and medicine or fuel, too many seniors have to make difficult decisions that could have harmful effects on their health and wellbeing and we are seeing that seniors from certain communities are more often having to make these decisions," said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. "We know that in order to achieve our vision of an America where no one is hungry, we have to address the structural and systemic barriers that disproportionately impact many communities of color. With the senior population projected to continue growing over the coming decades, for our parents and grandparents, the time to act is now."





Foot Pain? 6 Reasons
You Shouldn’t Ignore It

By Hallie Levine

If you are over the age of 50, you’re likely no stranger to foot pain. About a quarter of all older adults experience it, according to a 2011 study published in the journal PAIN — and there are several reasons why.


Being overweight can cause your feet to hurt; so can years in poor footwear. Even just the wear and tear that comes with activity and advancing age can contribute, says Sean Peden, M.D., a foot and ankle specialist at Yale University School of Medicine.


But foot pain should never be ignored, as research suggests it can impair balance and foot function, and may even increase a person’s risk of falling. It’s also important to know that not all foot pain is the same, Peden says. In particular, there’s a difference between muscle soreness from a hard workout and sharp pain that comes from a bone or a joint — that’s the kind that warrants a call to the doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment, he stresses.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


This is the COLA Social Security
Beneficiaries may get next year –
But don’t forget about inflation effects
By Alessandra Malito

Social Security beneficiaries may get another large cost-of-living adjustment in 2023, but they’ll still need to be wary of inflation and how it impacts their spending.


Based on April’s consumer-price index data released on Wednesday, the latest COLA estimate for 2023 is 8.6%, said Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League. Johnson tracks Social Security COLAs every year. If it’s true – the Social Security Administration releases COLA information for the following year in the fall – it would be the highest a
djustment since 1981. For the last decade leading up to 2022, Social Security COLAs had averaged somewhere under 2%.


But a high cost-of-living adjustment is only half the picture for Social Security recipients. Although this would mean an uptick in their monthly benefits, it’s a result of rising costs, so a higher COLA reflects the effects of inflation on their everyday spending.



The Surprising Benefits of
Hiring Older Talent
By Lewis Lustman

Morgan Freeman didn’t become famous until he turned 50 and got a role in “Driving Miss Daisy.” He won an Oscar at age 68.

Legendary comedian and actor Rodney Dangerfield’s career took off when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan show at age 46.



George Takei, Sulu on the original Star Trek, became an internet hero to Millennials for his advocacy of tolerance and living fearlessly decades after his show ended.

Hitting your stride later in life isn’t just relegated to show biz. There’s quite a bit of seasoned talent out there that may deliver significant benefit to employers who understand and appreciate the value of older talent.






Best Assisted Living Facilities 2022  
Top Ratings Near You | US News



What Is Assisted Living?


For many older adults, advancing in age may mean a time when living alone is no longer feasible. Certain aspects of daily living become more challenging such as caring for your home, grocery shopping, climbing stairs and personal hygiene. This may be time to consider moving into a senior assisted living community. Assisted living is for people who can live independently, but need assistance with some of the tasks of daily living.


For older adults with health or mobility issues requiring more support, assisted living residences offer services such as medication management and assistance with personal activities such as toileting, grooming and dressing. Services typically include meals, housekeeping, laundry and transportation. Activities that foster mental and physical stimulation and social engagement are a major focus in assisted living. Independent living is for seniors who wish to leave behind home and yard maintenance and who are seeking a community of others their age.




FROM THE EDITOR…




The facilities ranked high on U.S. News’ list of “Best Assisted Living Facilities” [1] all have one thing in common. They are physically attractive, perfectly situated, serve the best food, have amenities up the wazoo and all are expensive. Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. The cost of living in one of those resort-like venues can run as much as $6,000 to $7,000 a month. And it’s amazing how many people can afford it. At least for a while. But what happens when the money runs out? Where do these folks go? The thinking is, “any place but here.” The problem with most of any senior living environment is almost none of them are made for aging-in-place. They don’t expect you to live that long.
 
The median stay at an A.L.F. is only 18 months. Those who remain longer have beaten the odds. Which is great. What’s not so great is when the money runs out. That great place you called home. The place with the kind, skilled staff who look after your every need. The place that served those delicious Sunday dinners will kick your ass out so fast as soon as you miss your next rent payment, you will not have time to pack. When money stops talkin’, you start walkin’. So, where do people go?

 
If they are fortunate, and healthy enough, they might find a kind relative to take them in. This is rare. It’s just those relatives who suggested you go to an A.L.F. in the first place so they wouldn’t have to deal with you. The other option…find a place that depends on Medicaid and other government programs to subsidize your rent. Sounds great, right? “How soon can I move in?”, you ask. Not so fast, Rockefeller. You’re probably too “rich.”  

TOO RICH? How can I be too rich? I can’t afford to live here in the fancy place anymore.
 
According to the government, you’re too rich to receive Medicaid if your net worth is more than $2000. And without Medicaid, you will not be eligible for residency at a subsidized A.L.F. And, even if you find a way to “legally” suddenly become poor, the choices you have where you will live are few. There are only a handful of places that accept indigent residents. And those that do, did not make the U.S. News list. Not because they are horrible places where people live in filth and eat cat food for dinner. They don’t make the list because they lack the luxury that U.S. News, and others who rank A.L.F.’s think is what makes the top venues top venues.

It’s unfortunate that what’s thought of as “Top Rated” depends on how much money is spent on cosmetics and leisure. But I suppose it’s the only way to rank places that people who don’t know what seniors like or need can. The more it looks like a high-end resort, the better it must be. Hopefully, you know better.



If you are well-heeled and have enough money to last you until you are 100 or more, g-d bless. Find the most luxurious place you can and live the life you deserve. For the rest of us, let’s be practical. If you have a lot of money put aside just for such a purpose, make sure you have a plan if you outlive it. Think about how you might have to divest yourself of most of your net worth to meet Medicaid’s eligibility. And remember. All that glitters is not gold. Scratching the surface of some of the so-called high-end facilities may uncover dirty little secrets not mentioned in the glossy brochures. Do your due diligence.

As always, have a great weekend. If you get a chance, check out our weekend edition. It’s full of stories and articles you may have missed. Most of all, be safe. There are not too many of you and we need all of you back next week………………..


[1] See the original story > https://health.usnews.com/best-senior-living/assisted-living?int=top_nav_Best_Assisted_Living








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NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, MAY 16, 2022



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GOOD DAY. IT’S THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2022






Age Bias in the Workplace:
Still a Battle for Older Workers

By Jackie Stewart


A
wave of pandemic-related early retirements may be about to reverse itself. Instead of older Americans fleeing the labor force, more are expected to participate in it over the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects nearly 40% of adults ages 65 to 69 and nearly 25% of people ages 70 to 74 will still be working by 2030, up from 33% and 19%, respectively, in 2020. Some of those workers will be returning from early retirement, continuing the prepandemic trend of Americans working past age 65.


But labor participation rates tell only part of the story. Many older Americans also face age bias in the workplace even though the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discriminating against workers 40 and older. More than 14,000 claims of age discrimination were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in fiscal year 2020, and 78% of older workers reported seeing or experiencing age discrimination on the job, a 2021 AARP survey found.

Age discrimination benefits no one, including employers. The U.S. lost out on potentially $850 billion in economic growth in 2018 because of discrimination against older workers, says AARP. That figure could grow to $3.9 trillion by 2050. For older workers, discrimination is often devastating, but recognizing the signs and knowing your rights can be empowering. Although there are risks to fighting back and filing a complaint, "going quietly is generally not a good idea," says Tom Harrington, a principal at the Washington, D.C.-based Employment Law Group, which handles discrimination cases nationwide.




Pope's Wheelchair Use an
Example to Older Adults

By NICOLE WINFIELD

Pope Francis’ willingness to work despite knee pain that has made walking nearly impossible shows other older adults that they have wisdom and experience to offer younger generations, a top Vatican cardinal said Tuesday.


Cardinal Kevin Farrell offered the assessment a
s he introduced Francis’ message for World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. In the message released Tuesday, the 85-year-old pope urged older people to consider advanced age a blessing.


Francis is struggling to cope with strained ligaments in his right knee that have greatly limited his mobility. Last week, he was seen in public for the first time using a wheelchair. He recently said he can no longer walk and must rest his knee on doctors’ orders.





New study reveals older people support right to die,
Regardless of terminal illness

By Edith Cowan


An Australian-first study is delving into the contentious issue of what older people think about voluntary assisted death (VAD), regardless of any health condition.  


Participants in the study believed that, in principle, people should have the right to choose VAD even if they didn’t have a terminal illness, but stressed checks and balances must be in place. It is about having the choice over ending one’s life, they said, regardless of whether they would actually opt for it. Having the choice alone was empo
wering.


In an in-depth qualitative study, supervised by Edith Cowan University (ECU) psychology researcher Dr Eyal Gringart, 15 Western Australians aged 65 years or older were interviewed regarding their perspectives on voluntary assisted death.




Are some fonts ageist?
By Suzanne LaBarre

If you’re of a certain age, you might have noticed that you no longer read as quickly as you once did. This may be due to vision loss or cognitive changes. Or it might be due to something else: ageist fonts.


A major new study has found that fonts matter in determining how quickly a person is able to read on screens. But they matter more if you’re over 35.


Shaun Wallace, a doctoral candidate in computer science at Brown University, set out to glean “what gains in reading effectiveness are possible by manipulating font choice alone,” according to the study. Wallace’s team tasked 352 participants, ages 18 to 71, with reading text on their own personal devices to mimic a natural reading environment. Sixteen fonts were tested based on their popularity online, in newsprint, in PDFs, and among readability experts. They were Avenir Next, Arial, Avant Garde, Calibri, Franklin Gothic, EB Garamond, Helvetica Neue, Lato, Montserrat, Noto Sans, Open Sans, Oswald, Poynter Gothic Text, Roboto, Times, and Utopia.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE





Who was Jane Roe, and how did she transform abortion rights?

While her case was pending in Texas, Norma McCorvey gave birth to a daughter, whom she gave up for adoption.


On May 22, 1970, lawyers for a pregnant woman identified only as “Jane Roe” filed a lawsuit in federal court in Dallas challenging a Texas law prohibiting abortions except to save a mother’s life. The case went on to make history.


On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision ruled that women have a constitutional right to abortion. The landmark ruling still stands – but perhaps not for long. A firestorm has erupted over a draft decision by the current Supreme Court leaked to Politico that would overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to ban abortions. The draft decision isn’t final, but both the potential ruling and the leaking of the document are stirring new controversy.




At The A.L.F….



Tempers ran high at our monthly Food Committee meeting here at the Asylum Tuesday. The preparation, quality and variety of what we are served here has been in a steady decline since our new manager took over two months ago. And at Tuesday’s meeting, the anger and frustration over this matter came to a head. A barrage of criticism was fired at our manager. These included very specific “suggestions” about what she could do with the food and those who prepare it. The vitriol became so bad that our Recreation Director (who was present to moderate the meeting) had to step in and come to the aid of her stunned colleague, who was not prepared for the onslaught.

I, being the foodie I am, added my two cents to the foray, mentioning that the chicken Parmesan served at lunch earlier was not only poorly cooked but missing a key ingredient (mozzarella cheese) to boot. That prompted other attendees to offer their opinions of not only that dish, but other dishes that purport to be “Italian.” Some residents went as far as saying that serving food like that was disrespectful to residents of Italian descent. I just thank g-d they don’t do Jewish food. Did somebody say “bacon-wrapped kreplach?”

After a few more comments concerning the food, the discussion took a more personal and uglier turn. One of our residents brought to light an incident that occurred a few weeks ago.
 
A resident, finding fault with the meal and the service in particular, directed her displeasure at one server. Words were exchanged, which eventually became profane and ended with the resident using the “N” word. Using that word or any racial or ethnic slur is not tolerated here. The resident was reprimanded and banned from the dining room for one week. A “sentence” considered too light by many of us present. The discussion quickly turned from that of food to the problems encountered by the dining room staff and the harsh verbal treatment they get from some diners. Incidents of other racially inappropriate language were mentioned to the dismay of all of us.

 
I promised, as president of the Resident’s Council, to bring this matter up at our next meeting when we can discuss the matter in a proper setting with more residents in attendance.

Living as close to each other as we do here at the A.L.F., it is surprising there are not more racial incidents. But amazingly, there aren’t. And those that occur are handled quietly and personally, usually ending in an apology. But to direct one’s bigotry towards the people who take care of us is a different matter. One that becomes a problem for all. If we don’t have the respect of the staff, we are in deep trouble. All of us depend on these people for everything from making our beds to distributing our medication. To act poorly towards them is not only in bad taste, but terribly stupid as well……………………
 





Where’s The Pizza?






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GOOD DAY. IT’S WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2022




Is melatonin safe as a sleep
Aid for older adults?


Can’t sleep? You’re not alone, especially if you’re an older adult. According to Sleep Foundation, 40 to 70% of older adults have chronic sleep issues, and that may be just the tip of the iceberg, as many cases go undiagnosed.




Many turn to sleep medications for help, and one of the most common is melatonin. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of American adults taking melatonin as a sleep aid doubled from 1998 to 2018. The study also reported that since 2006, the number of adults taking higher than the recommended dose of 5 milligrams per day more than doubled.

Since 2006, the number of adults taking higher than the recommended dose of 5 milligrams per day more than doubled.


Read more  >>  https://www.seniorsmatter.com/is-melatonin-safe-as-a-sleep-aid-for-older-adults/2603331/




The 5 Best Ways For Senior Citizens
To Get Better Sleep

By Eugene Plotkin


Many older people complain about how it has gotten difficult to get a good night's sleep. Bodies go through a lot of changes when the aging process begins and sleep can sometimes be impacted. Sleep is important no matter your age, but it is crucial for senior citizens to be able to sleep well.



This is because sleep is one of the central pillars of good health. To stay healthy, you have to get enough of it. It takes a plan and a few changes to your lifestyle to be sure to get enough sleep to be able to maintain your health. When you start sleeping well, your immune system will be strengthened and allow you to fend off any illnesses. Plus, you will be able to stay more active which is also essential to staying healthy as a senior citizen.

In this article, we will go over several tips to help you get plenty of sleep when you get older.

Read more  >>  https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/50667/20220503/the-5-best-ways-for-senior-citizens-to-get-better-sleep.htm




Jumpstart Your Search for a
Part-Time Job in Retirement



A reader recently asked about how to go about finding meaningful part-time work after he retires in a couple of years. "I don't know where to look for meaningful part-time work," he wrote. "Next to that is how to reach out. To whom and how? How to get started on this?"



While 2.6 million more Americans than expected retired early during the pandemic, many are looking to return to the workforce, preferably on their terms. As of March 2022, 3.2% of workers who were retired a year earlier are employed again, according to an Indeed.com
analysis of Labor Department data. And, with inflation rising and stocks losing steam, it's likely that more retirees will want to — or need to — return to work, at least part-time.

So, how do you begin to find meaningful part-time work after retirement? Following are five steps to help get you focused and moving forward:




Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



The 'Scamdemic' is Another
Consequence of COVID



These schemes, and a multitude of others like them, are completely bogus, but they pose a very real threat to those who receive them. And while such scams and fraud are ubiquitous to everyone, they pose specific threats to those who are older.


Last year, more than 92,000 victims over the age of 60 reported losses of $1.7 billion to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center. That was a 74% increase in losses over the year before.

"The number of elderly victims has risen at an alarming rate, while the loss amounts are even more staggering," according to the center's 2021 Elder Fraud Report..

Read more  >> https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2022/05/06/the-scamdemic-is-another-consequence-of-covid/?sh=3cdf8ff10581


GO TO IT HERE




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GOOD DAY. IT’S TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2022






Assisted living communities in more
Danger of closing than nursing homes


Almost 20% (19.5%) of assisted living providers in Minnesota responding to a recent poll said they may be forced to close or sell facilities due to “dire financial conditions.” The number represents almost 400 assisted living locations across the state. By contrast, 11% of nursing home respondents said they were in danger of closing facilities over the next year, which equates to 40 nursing homes.

The survey, conducted by the Long-Term Care Imperative in April, with results released Thursday, also found that more assisted living communities than nursing homes have increased employee wages by more than 10%, although the “quite challenging” overall financial performance of assisted living communities is not as “gloomy” as the financial performance of nursing homes.

“While they [assisted living providers] are more able than nursing facilities to raise charges to stabilize their financial performance, the ability to do so will be limited by market realities, and in many cases, it has already been limited,” said the Long-Term Care Imperative, a collaboration of LeadingAge Minnesota, which is the state partner of the national LeadingAge association and also of Argentum, and Care Providers of Minnesota, which is the state affiliate of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living.




Sizing Up the Decisions of Older Adults
By Paula Span

During a recent Zoom conference call, four Adult Protective Services workers from California, using a tool called the Interview for Decisional Abilities, or IDA, were trying to figure out whether something fishy was going on with an 82-year-old woman they knew as Ms. K.


Adult Protective Services agencies in every state receive reports of possible neglect, self-neglect, abuse or exploitation of older people and other vulnerable adults. But agency workers consistently face a bedeviling question: Does the adult in question have the capacity to make a decision about their medical care, living conditions or finances — even if it’s not the decision that the family, doctor or financial adviser thinks should be made?


IDA was developed by two geriatricians to help train Adult Protective Services workers in how to handle that issue. The program helps them learn to use a structured interview procedure to gather information about a client’s decision-making ability. The two dozen California staff members taking the course had already completed 10 hours of individual online instruction; now they were practicing their new interviewing skills in small groups, role-playing with facilitators.




Older adults aren't more
Likely to fall for fake news


Older adults are no more likely to believe fake news than younger adults, with age-related susceptibility to deceptive news evident only among those categorized as the “oldest old.”


Not being able to distinguish fake news from real news can have serious consequence
s for a person’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being—especially for older adults, who in general have more financial assets and must make more high-stakes health decisions.



    “People have this perception that older adults are going to perform worse than young adults across the board but that is not the case.”




Bipartisan bill aims to update rules for
Federal benefits for elderly, disabled

By Lorie Konish

A federal benefits program for blind, disabled and elderly individuals could get a long-overdue update if a proposal in Washington is approved.

Two Ohio senators — Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Sen. Rob Portman — have teamed up to introduce a bill to
update the Supplemental Security Income program’s rules for how much money beneficiaries can have set aside. SSI was created by Congress in 1972.


The senators’ bill, called the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act, was introduced on Thursday.

SSI provides a maximum monthly benefit of $841 per individual or $1,261 for couples where both individuals are eligible for the program.







Human life span may have no limit,
Analysis of supercentenarians suggests

By Tom Siegfried

In 1875, Harper’s Weekly declared one Lomer Griffin of Lodi, Ohio, to be, “in all probability,” the oldest man in the union. His age, allegedly, was 116.


There were doubters. Lomer’s own wife, for instance, said he was only 103. And William John Thoms, an English author and demographer who had just written a book on human longevity, expressed skepticism of all such centenarian cl
aims. A human’s maximum life span was about 100, Thoms asserted. Certainly no claim of an age over 110 had ever been verified.



“Evidence of any human being having attained the age, not of 130 or 140, but of 110 years … will be found upon examination utterly worthless,” he wrote.


Learn more  >> CLICK HERE





From the editor…




After some scheduling confusion, we finally received our 2nd COVID-19 booster shot. Making us residents among the most protected group of people in the state, if not the nation. And we couldn’t be happier.

I have never seen a group of people more eager to receive a shot in the arm as I saw Saturday. The turnout was nearly 100% with no complaints, or bitching or politics involved. This says something about the way seniors in long-term care facilities have faced this pandemic. Head-on, relying on science and not conspiracy to keep them safe.


To say that we A.L.F. dwellers have been stoic would be an understatement. We have been rock-solid walls of courage in the face of a virus that has us old folks firmly in its sights. We have endured not only illness and death, but months of isolation and quarantine as well. And we came out of it only slightly worse for wear.



In the early days of the pandemic (when we had a president whose disbelief in science may have caused the premature demise of thousands of older Americans) we were dropping like flies. Hospitals were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cases coming through their doors. And, even after effective, well-designed vaccines became available in record time, seniors continued to be the most vulnerable, becoming ill in numbers that outpaced the general population. The only other group so affected were kids who could not be vaccinated. Sadly, it did not have to be that way.

Old people living in long-term care facilities (and seniors in general) don’t get out much. We don’t go to super-spreader events in the same numbers as young people. Our trips into the “real” world are limited, confined mostly to food shopping and visits to healthcare providers. So how come so many of us still contracted the virus in such great numbers? Although we protected ourselves by relying on the best information available, not so many of our fellow citizens whose ignorance or obstinacy unwittingly infected grandma and grandpa every time they went to the store unmasked or came for a visit with unvaccinated kids.  

Sadly, we are seeing a rise in the number of new cases of the virus. Virulent sub-strains have infected us in record numbers. Fortunately, because we have been vaccinated, the effects of these new variants are not as deadly. However, the question remains. “Why have so many Americans ignored the fact that vaccines and other infection control procedures will save us from serious illness and needless death?” We need to take a long, hard look at ourselves as a nation and decide how long  we will continue to sacrifice our elderly and our kids for an ideal that does not exist…………………………
 
 

FYI





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GOOD DAY. IT’S MONDAY, MAY 9, 2022






Column: It's time for U.S. Congress to debate
Social Security reform in the light of day

By Mark Miller

Social Security has never failed to make its benefit payments since the mailing of monthly checks began in 1940, but most Americans these days are worried about the future of the program.

Who can blame them? Social Security’s two trust funds are projected to run dry in 2034, and the program would be able to pay only 80% of its obligations to retirees and disabled workers at that point. Politicians don’t exactly generate confide
nce when they make irresponsible - and wrong - comments claiming that Social Security is going bankrupt or running out of money.


The result is public skepticism and concern. Forty-two percent of working Americans tell Pew Research Center pollsters that they doubt they will receive any benefits from Social Security. An equal share thinks they will receive a benefit, but at a reduced level. (https://pewrsr.ch/3FeMCBa).




Seniors living on the streets:
Rising rents, inflation push more
Elderly people out of their homes

By Rebekah Castor


More senior citizens are living on the streets.

Homeless agencies across the country say it's an alarming new trend because of rising rents and inflation.



"It's hard because you don't know where your next meal is coming from, where your next shower is coming from," said Darrell Gibson, 55.

Gibson has been on the streets in New Orleans for over three weeks. He has liver disease and recently lost his mother.





How To Avoid Mistakes When
Enrolling in Medicare

By Dena Bunis


Missing deadlines, delaying enrollment or choosing the wrong plan can cost you a bundle when it comes to Medicare. Here’s a list of 10 common mistakes new Medicare enrollees make and how to avoid them, according to the Medicare Rights Center, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit consumer service organization.


1.Not signing up for Medicare at the right time


Timing, as they say, is everything. It’s especially important when it comes to enrolling in Medicare. As you approach 65, you’ll want to enroll during what the government calls your initial enrollment period (IEP). This seven-month period goes from three months before the month in which you turn 65 until three months after.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Older adults are closing the
Generation gap on technology usage

By Branded Links


Today’s older adults recognize the benefits of technology in maintaining their health, independence, and connection to others. The pandemic has only amplified this adoption of technology, with 61 percent of adults 65 and older owning a smartphone now, up from just 13% in 2012. In fact, three in four people age 50-plus say they rely on technology to stay connected, with those in their 50s (76 percent), 60s (79 percent), and 70s (72 percent) all exceeding 70 percent.


“Technology has helped older adults, and everyone really, stay connected with family and friends during the pandemic,” states Tabat
ha McKay, area vice president/general manager for UScellular in New England. “The comfort level with technology over the last several years has increased. From smartphones and tablets to smart homes, older adults are proving they are willing and able to use technology.”


While older adults may not be using their smartphones as much as their younger counterparts, they are using their mobile devices more often for video chatting, online searches, entertainment, and social media. According to the AARP, seniors are helping to drive the growth in smart home technology as well.






Qualities to look for in a
Post-retirement job



The notion of relaxing on a beach all day in one’s golden years is still a retirement dream for millions of adults across the globe. But many individuals also harbor a desire to keep working after retiring. Whether it’s a volunteering gig or a part-time job retirees are looking for, certain qualities can make an opportunity uniquely suited to a post-retirement job.


• Flexibility: Retirees may be looking to contribute to their communities or simply earn a little spending money, but they will likely still want the freedom to travel or spend time with their families whenever they choose. So, flexibility is something to look for in a post-retirement job. This is what makes consultant work so attractive to retirees. In-person hours may not be required of consultants, who 
can then offer their input while visiting their grandchildren or traveling the world.


• Socialization: Though the ability to work from home can make it easier for retirees to earn some extra money, some seniors aren’t concerned about their finances but want to work so they can get out of the house. In that case, look for a job that offers the opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Socializing as an older adult is a great way to fend off loneliness. In addition, one study published in the journal of the American Public Health Association found that social support networks have a positive effect on cognition among older adults. So a post-retirement job that enables retirees to socialize could delay or reduce the severity of age-related cognitive decline.





From The Editor

AT THE ALF: …



Yes. We have a roof over our heads.

 Yes. We get three meals a day.

 Yes. We are relatively safe, and our basic needs are met. But we need and deserve more than food and shelter. We need a better quality of life than what we now have. And it’s not being provided to us. Besides the basics, we need joy. And there is precious little of that here.

Satisfaction depends on what age group you are listening to….
 
“While 76 percent of U.S. residents aged 75 and older say they’re satisfied with their lives today, only 19 percent of them believe their lives will improve over the next decade, according to a Pew Research survey on aging and quality of life. Compare this to 71 percent of people under the age of 50 who expect better lives 10 years from now. At the same time, just 30 percent of adults in the 75-and-older age group feel like the lives they're currently living are better than they were a decade ago.” [1]
 
Regardless of the age group, the relative order of characteristics supporting quality of life remains consistent, which one thing topping the list for all: The ability to talk and communicate.



Also viewed as important is the order they were ranked by adults of all ages.
1. Being able to feed oneself
2. Getting enjoyment out of life
3. Living without severe, lasting pain
4. Having long-term memory
5. Feeling what one does is worthwhile
6. Being able to dress oneself
7. Having good short-term memory.

Older people view all of these things as less important than their younger counterparts, with one exception: the ability to dress themselves.

As a resident of an assisted living facility, and an old man with mobility issues, I know firsthand how important all of those characteristics supporting quality of life mean to me. However, I would put number 2 (Getting enjoyment out of life) at the top of the list. As a point of information, all A.L.F. residents must be able to feed themselves, or they will not be here. Therefore, for this article, we cross that off the list.
 
If you permit, I’d like to give you my QOL list. Keep in mind, this is what’s important to me and does not consider any rules or regulations, mandates, or budget restraints imposed on me by the facility or the D.O.H.


1. Fewer rules and regulations. If people on the outside may legally do something, so should we.

2. Food that tastes and looks like what is available in any diner in the USA. Me, and most of our residents, eat here only because we have to, not because we enjoy the food.

3. More available public transportation options. The nearest bus stop is 14 blocks away, an impossible distance for me and anyone else living here. [2]

4. Allowing me to have a microwave oven and/or a coffee maker in my room. I’m not saying everyone here should be permitted to have one. The decision should be made on a case-to-case basis.

5. More “openness” from management as to what goes on here. This would include staff changes and scheduling and disruptions in service.

6. Dropping the mask mandate for A.L.F. who report zero instances of positive COVID tests.

There are other issues that are less important, which mainly have to do with maintenance and physical appearance of the facility.

I know I am living in a dream world by merely thinking any of my desires would actually come true. I also know that, for many of you, the items I listed appear arbitrary and petty. Believe me. They are not. I have had 8 years to think about what would go a long way in making this place “livable”, and I don’t take them lightly. As a member (and now president) of our “Resident’s Council” for over four years, I have received much feedback concerning just those issues. I am also being realistic when I say I understand why the powers that be would not want us to have those items I listed. The more they restrict us from doing things, the easier it is for them to do their jobs. With that being said, they should also remember why they are here and that their job should be to “assist” us and not to control us………………………


 
[1] Source: https://training.mmlearn.org/blog/what-does-quality-of-life-mean-for-seniors
[2] The County provides “Paratransit” service for us, but the reservation system is tedious and the service is spotty.






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GOOD DAY. IT’S FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2022








Strategies And Tips To Improve Your Life
Late In Retirement Or After Disability

By Anna Rappaport


We all want to avoid disappointment and unpleasant surprises later in life. Many people retire in their 60s or early 70s without considering some of the challenges they will likely face later in life. They save money, do their planning and retire with the feeling that all will be well.
Helping the needy

But things change and we need to adapt. Many retirees lose family members, suffer a decline in physical or mental capacity either gradually or suddenly, and their interests may change. Some of the changes that can occur include:


Family changes: death or divorce, or a family member who previously provided support becoming disabled or moving away.




Aging and fake news:
It's not the story you think it is


Not being able to distinguish fake news from real news can have serious consequences for a person’s physical, emotional and financial well-being — especially for older adults, who in general have more financial assets and must make more high-stakes health decisions.

So how good are older adults at detecting fake news?


A new study has found that older adults are no more likely to fall for fake news than younger adults, with age-related susceptibility to deceptive news evident only among those categorized as the “oldest old.”

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Florida (UF) and the University of Central Florida during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, was published May 2 online by the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Affordability, healthcare access key to
Best states, cities for retirees in 2022


Affordability, healthcare access and quality of life weighed heavily in two recent reports on the best cities and states to retire to in 2022.

Florida bested the rest again in Tulsa, OK-based RetirementLiving’s Best and Worst States for Retirement in 2022.


At the city level, Winchester, VA, ranked as the best U.S. city for older adults to age in place, according to Santa Clara, CA-based artificial intelligence technology platform Zemplee’s 2022 Top 10 U.S. Cities to Age in Place whitepaper and senior living guide.

Using reader feedback, RetirementLiving used housing costs, state taxes, healthcare availability and quality of life for retirees to rank the states.




Exercise May Slow Kidney Function
Decline in Older Adults

By Sheila Jacobs

Moderate-intensity physical activity can slow decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in sedentary older adults, a new study finds.


In the LIFE (Lifestyle Interventions and Independence For Elders) trial, investigators randomly assigned 1199 adults aged 70 to 89 years with mobility limitations to moderate-intensity physical activity or a health education workshop. Of the cohort, two-thirds had an eGFR less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, using cystatin C as the filtration marker. The activity
component targeted 30 minutes of walking daily as well as 10 minutes of lower-extremity strength training, 10 minutes of balance training, and large-muscle flexibility exercises. This analysis was an ancillary study of the original trial.


Over 2 years, the physical activity and exercise intervention led to mean 0.96 mL/min/1.73 m2 less decline in eGFR compared with a health education workshop, Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH, of San Francisco VA Health Care System in California, and colleagues reported in JAMA Internal Medicine.






How to determine if it’s time to downsize


Individuals work hard to save enough money to purchase their homes. And the hard work doesn’t end there. Once homeowners settle into a new home, they may set their sights on renovations that suit their individual needs. And even when buyers find a home that needs no such work, maintenance requires homeowners’ utmost attention.



All that hard work is perhaps one reason why seniors may be a little reluctant to downsize as they advance through their golden years. In addition to the sweat equity homeowners put into their homes, all the memories they’ve made within their walls can make it harder to put a home on the market.


Downsizing is a difficult decision that’s unique to each homeowner. Seniors who aren’t quite certain if downsizing is right for them can consider three key factors to make a decision that’s in their best interests.





FROM THE EDITOR: …




We were supposed to receive our 2nd COVID booster shot (our 4th shot overall) yesterday but, like everything associated with this pandemic, something went wrong, and they had to postpone it. Hopefully, vaccination for over 100 of us here at the A.L.F. will be rescheduled soon. Considering all the other infection control protocols imposed upon us by the DOH, one would think the administration of a state-recommended booster shot would have been better coordinated. But, we’re just a bunch of old people, and it’s okay if they inconvenience us because our time isn’t important.


Actually, we shouldn’t complain. Compared to some other long-term care facilities (assisted living facilities and nursing homes), we here in Yonkers have fared fairly well. Over the course of these past 27 months, we have lost only 3 residents (none of them occurring here at the A.L.F.) and a few hospitalizations and illnesses. Part of that is because of the staff and management who have done all that can be done to keep us safe. The other part of the equation goes to the cooperation by our residents themselves who, unlike some of their conspiracy-pro-MAGA-hat-wearing anti-vaxxers, are smart enough to realize that getting vaccinated and wearing masks is the best way to keep from dying.


It is beyond my ability to understand why my fellow countrymen (old and young) did not welcome the vaccine(s) with open arms. It could not have all been political. Some of it, I’m sorry to say, had to do with just plain old stupidity. It may be hard for those of us who are active participants in society to understand how, in today’s age of almost instant communications, so many people were unaware of, or unconcerned, that a vaccine that could save their lives was readily available and free. But nevertheless, close to 40% of Americans remain unprotected.

Some day we will see an end to this pandemic, at least to a point where it becomes no more virulent than the flu. And, as is done for most major news stories, we will analyze, investigate, and scrutinize all aspects of the greatest threat to human life this world has ever known. And after all the talk is talked and all the magazine articles have been written and read why the pandemic lasted so long, we will come to the only conclusion we can. Most of the people on this planet are A-holes.

Have a great weekend. We’ll be back on Monday and all next week with more of the latest news for informed seniors. And for those who are celebrating Mother’s Day, I wish the best of everything……..
 
 








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GOOD DAY. IT’S THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2022





Sleep apnea correlates with increased traffic
Accidents for older adults, sleep expert says

By Jane Mather-Glass

A new study out of Washington University shows a correlation between sleep apnea and traffic accidents in older adults. Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is interrupted at least five times an hour during the night, and it affects an estimated 30% to 50% of older adults. Since it prevents people from reaching a state of deep sleep, it puts people in chronic states of sleep deprivation, which can lead to risky behavior on the road.


Dr. Brendan Lucey, an associate professor of neurology at Washington University and the director of its Sleep Medicine Center, is one of the authors of the study. He and his team studied more than 100,000 driving trips to explore a connection between sleep interruptions and unsafe driving practices.


“My colleague, Ganesh Babulal, and his research group placed GPS data loggers in the cars that would continuously monitor information about the speed of the car, hard braking, and sudden acceleration,” Lucey said. “And using this data, they were able to create measures of aggressive driving or adverse driving behaviors.”




Naomi Judd’s death and the unique mental
Health challenges older adults face

By Sarah Jacoby


If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional information.


Before her death, country music icon Naomi Judd had been open about her experiences with mental health issues, particularly depression and suicidal ideation. Although no official cause of death has been shared yet, Judd's daughters attributed her passing to "the disease of mental illness."


Judd's death is a somber reminder that mental health issues can affect anyone — and some elderly adults may face uniquely high risks for developing a mental illness like depression. But effective treatments are out there, and sometimes all it takes is an honest conversation to get people the help they need and deserve.




The 5 Best Ways For Senior Citizens
To Get Better Sleep

By Eugene Plotkin


Many older people complain about how it has gotten difficult to get a good night's sleep. Bodies go through a lot of changes when the aging process begins and sleep can sometimes be impacted. Sleep is important no matter your age, but it is crucial for senior citizens to be able to sleep well.


This is because sleep is one of the central pillars of good health. To stay healthy, you have to get enough of it. It takes a plan and a few changes to your lifestyle to be sure to get enough sleep to be able to maintain your health. When you start sleeping well, your immune system will be strengthened and allow you to fend off any illnesses. Plus, you will be able to stay more active which is also essential to staying healthy as a senior citizen.



In this article, we will go over several tips to help you get plenty of sleep when you get older.




Senior-friendly tech: Digital roommates,
Animatronic pets and an airbag belt

To prevent broken hips


I know dozens of tech-savvy senior citizens relying on the latest technology to help with their lives.

Take my own parents, for example: Every morning, my 83-year-old dad rehabs his new Tivanium alloy knee on a recumbent bike while reading the news on his iPhone. He also answers phone calls right inside his ears with nearly invisible, Bluetooth-connected, fancypants high-tech hearings aids.


The same goes for my 77-year-old mom. She goes to YouTube to figure out how to do everything from fixing a lawnmower to antiquing a dresser. She FaceTimes with my daughter regularly and keeps her surprisingly busy schedule neatly organized on her smartphone.

More often than not in recent years, these increasingly high-tech adaptations in a seniors’ daily routine can make life better for both older adults and the people who love them.








How To Start Book Clubs for Seniors:

My recent read of The Thursday Murder Club got me wondering what I will be doing in my 70s and 80s if I live that long. Obviously, I will be in some sort of senior book club by then. I doubt that club will involve anything the main characters are doing in the aforementioned book, so don’t worry. No spoilers here. However, other than definitely wanting to be in a book club for seniors, I haven’t quite figured anything else out yet. So let’s focus on how to start book clubs for seniors (since figuring out everything else would take far too long). I’m a few decades early but I like the idea of advanced planning. Maybe you or someone you know is looking to join or start a book club for seniors.



Be Persistent

Whether you’re launching one or just looking to join, my first advice is to be persistent. If my previous experience is any indication, starting or joining book clubs for seniors might take a little time. I don’t mean to discourage anyone, but it might not just happen overnight. So it’s a good idea to pack some patience, reach out to whoever you think might help or be knowledgable, and keep it up until you find the right community.

The Benefits Are Numerous








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GOOD DAY. IT’S WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2022




Low Income Puts Older
People’s Rights at Risk


The United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) held its annual meeting on older people’s rights in April. During the meeting, the group highlighted how low income in older age can limit older people’s enjoyment of their rights, including the rights to food, health, and to live independently, and be included in the community.

For example, in Venezuela, monthly pensions for older people average 130 bolivars (about US$30), which covers less than 10 percent of a basic food basket. In the United States, older people on low incomes are often forced into institutional care as public health insurance heavily favors nursing homes over home- and community-based services. In Canada, many older people on low incomes, wh
o are already at particular risk of heat-related illness and death, have no access to cooling. During a deadly heatwave in the province of British Columbia last year, almost 90 percent of those who died were 60 years of age or older.

At a meeting side event organized by Human Rights Watch and the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC), Rose Marie, an older advocate from British Colombia on a low income, said, “Governments know [rising heat] is a public health emergency, and they need to treat it as such and prioritize the support for at-risk older people and people with disabilities, not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.”




Older Adults Produce More ‘Love Hormone’
Then Younger People
By Dr. Mallika Marshal

Older adults tend to be more satisfied with life than younger people and a new study may help explain why. It has something to do with the so-called “love hormone.”

Oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” is a brain chemical that tends to reduce anxiety and promote empathy and social bonding. Researchers in California asked 103 adults between the ages of 18 and 99 to watch an emotional video and then measured their oxytocin levels.


They found that those over 65 had the largest increases in oxytocin. They also found that those with larger oxytocin responses had a greater sense of satisfaction with life, donated more to charity, and demonstrated higher levels of empathy and gratitude.




IRS could aid seniors with
Return to snail mail

As long ago as the 1960s, it was recognized that low-wage earners should have a simpler method of filing their federal income tax returns. The “short form” return was established, under various names over time, and it was sent out with instructions every year via U.S. Mail.

Not today! In 2010, the Internal Revenue Service stopped mailing out paper forms or instructions except by specific request.


What is obvious is the IRS, as well as the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, now prefer that you download forms from the internet and/or file electronically.




Assisted living operators get second
Chance at Provider Relief Fund money


Some assisted living providers previously denied financial aid from the federal government for their COVID-19-related expenses or lost revenue now may be eligible to receive payments from the Provider Relief Fund.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the fund, said this week that assisted living providers that previously were deeme
d ineligible because their entity and/or taxpayer identification numbers could not be verified as known providers now will be able to submit their state/territorial licenses or nationally recognized certifications (if they operate in a state that does not license the profession or facility) to confirm their eligibility for COVID-19 relief.


The news came in an update to the answers to frequently asked questions on the HRSA website. Argentum noted the update.






Google’s Subsections May
Produce Better Results​

By Edward C. Baig


Google is synonymous with search.

But Googling something doesn’t always mean starting your search query at google.com
or entering the search phrase inside the address bar of your web browser, where Google is likely the default search option. Instead, certain queries are better handled through subsections of Google search, Google’s specialized tools for specialized searches.



Here’s a look at some of these tools. Plus, you might want to visit other resources outside of Google as part of your search mission.



 

FROM THE EDITOR...



While there is so much to appreciate about life here at the A.L.F., there is also a lot to hate. The best description of the mood of the residents of our facility today would be that of bipolarism. Not the manic-depressive kind, but the kind that takes you from highs to lows quickly.
 
If you were to ask the folks who call this place home if they were happy here, you would hear as many “Yay’s” as “Nays.” And many, if not most, would go both ways.
 
To say life here at the A.L.F. in this age of COVID and inflation is complicated would be an understatement. It’s downright exasperating.


For nearly two years, the facility has been playing a balancing game with COVID-19. The costs associated with keeping up with the infection control protocols mandated by our state’s DOH while trying to maintain a livable, home-like atmosphere for its residents has proven to be a nightmare. And it is showing regarding the services they are supposed to provide for us. Primary among This is staffing.
 
When I first arrived here back in 2013, there were so many staff members here they were literally tripping over themselves. There were aides permanently stationed on each floor 365/24/7. Rooms were cleaned, beds made, towels hung on racks in the bathroom every day. At one time, housekeeping staff would leave little notes on your pillow urging you to have a good day. Today, aides may be responsible for two floors, and they have to do double duty as housekeepers or dining room staff. Which brings us to the other major problem here. The food and how it’s served.

The food has never been great here, but it has been better. Much better. Part of the reason for the decline of this most important activity is as the result of staff shortages caused directly by lack of funds needed to provide a viable wage and a decent work environment for the food service staff.

In their defense, I know they have tried very hard to keep the quality of the food delivered to us as high as possible. Unfortunately, due to the shortage of staff and the lack of training of the staff, food is being improperly cooked and served. This goes directly to the quality of life for every one of our residents. Most of us show up for meals, not because we enjoy the food, but because we have to eat.

Other quality of life issues are not as clear. Among those is a cutback in activities and routine maintenance. In recent months, we have canceled or cut back several outside trips to various venues, like malls or restaurants. In addition, there are many cosmetic issues with our rooms that need to be addressed, like painting, new carpeting, and plumbing and electrical repairs. Nothing safety related, but none-the-less annoying and adding to the depressing climate around here.

Those are some “lows” here. But not all is gloom and doom. Most of our residents will bitch and moan publicly about the bad service and food, but in private they will admit to feeling safe and well cared for. The staff, what there is left of them, have gone far and above what their job description calls for. These folks have been at the forefront of the war against COVID-19 and have performed marvelously. As a result, we have had very few cases of the virus with no hospitalizations.[1]


We also have been very lucky to have a dedicated staff of medical personnel. From the people who correlate and distribute our daily meds to our nursing staff and our visiting physicians, we have had a continuous and well-coordinated health care program. And few of our residents have had any problems with that.

Are we happy here? Yes, and no. It depends on who and when you ask that question. But in today’s world, where things change by the minute, the question should be “Are any of us actually happy?”…………………..


[1] On Thursday, we are scheduled to receive our 2nd booster shot adding another layer of protection for America’s most vulnerable citizens.
 









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GOOD DAY. IT’S TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2022




Medicare Advantage plans at times deny seniors
Access to medical care, federal watchdog finds -

By Tami Luhby, CNN


Medicare Advantage plans, which are swiftly growing in popularity among senior citizens, have at times delayed or denied beneficiaries’ access to medical care — even though the requests met Medicare coverage rules, a federal watchdog said Thursday.


The report from the inspector general’s office of the Department of Health and Human Services is the latest red flag related to inappropriate denials by Medicare Advantage plans, which are run by private health care insurers. Annual federal audits have highlighted “widespread and persistent problems related to inappropriate denials of services and payment,” the office said.


Of the more than 64 million Americans covered by Medicare, more than 29 million are now enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. The policies often have lower premiums and provide more services than traditional Medicare. But they may also have more limited networks of doctors and require prior approval or referrals for certain services.



What’s the ideal number of
Sleep hours for older adults?
Study says 7



Seven hours of nightly sleep may be the sweet spot for optimal cognitive health in older adults, according to the results of a large study using patient data from the United Kingdom Biobank.


The study, published Friday in the journal Nature Aging, analyzed data from approximately 500,000 adults aged 38 to 73 years old. Participants were queried about their sleep habits and mental health and also received cognitive testing. Nearly 40,000 had received brain scans and had recorded genetic data.

Participants who reported either more or less sleep than seven hours were more likely to have impaired cognition, including deficits in processing speed, visual attention, memory and problem-solving skills, the researchers said. But those who slept for about seven hours each night experienced better cognitive performance and relatively good mental health, they added.




Most Antibiotics Prescribed to
Older Adults Are Unnecessary

By Lisa Rapaport

Three in four antibiotics prescriptions for patients 65 and older aren’t needed, a recent study found.

Two-thirds of antibiotics prescribed to Black people are unnecessary, as are more than half of such
 prescriptions for Hispanic individuals, according to preliminary results from a study presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon.

“Our results suggest that Black and Hispanic/Latinx patients may not be properly treated and are receiving antibiotic prescriptions even when not indicated,” said an author of the study, Eric Young, of University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, in a statement.






Can food reduce Alzheimer’s,
Other dementia risk?

By Lois M. Collins


Can eating certain nuts or berries reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease? And why do some researchers tout fatty fish and olive oil as preventing cognitive decline?

More than 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease and the toll is expected to be 13 million by 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or a different form o

f dementia. And it says that COVID-19 greatly contributed to an increase in cases in 2020. The impact of Alzheimer’s ripples out to family and others, as well. The association says there are more than 11 million Americans providing unpaid care to people with some form of dementia.

Since there’s no known cure, efforts focus on prevention.

Nutrition has increasingly been studied as a way to reduce forms of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most common. And the list of helpful foods is fairly long.











Find & compare doctors near you


Are you looking for a new doctor and not sure where to start? Medicare.gov makes it quick and easy to find and compare doctors and other providers in your area.

Here's how:

    Visit Medicare.gov, enter your location and select "Doctors & clinicians" under Provider Type. You can also search by specialty, like general practice or internal medicine.

    Review details about the doctors you're interested in, like their contact information, practice
locations, hospital affiliation, and performance information.


You can also select the "compare" button to compare up to 3 different healthcare providers you're interested in.

Find & Compare Doctors

Once you're ready to schedule a visit with a new doctor, be sure to call ahead to verify general information, like office location, if they're accepting new patients with Medicare, and if you need a referral.



|||||||||||||<>|||||||||||||||



During Older Americans Month, we honor our Nation’s seniors and the tremendous impact they have made in helping build a more perfect Union.  Older Americans contribute their time and wisdom to make our communities stronger, more informed, and better connected.  They are our loved ones, friends, mentors, essential workers, volunteers, and neighbors.  We celebrate their achievements and recommit to providing our elders with the support and services they need to thrive and age with dignity.

Older adults have always been a vital source of strength and resilience in America.  During the pandemic, many seniors came out of retirement to serve their communities in health care and education roles, filling job vacancies in critical shortage areas.  Moving forward, we must ensure that older Americans have the appropriate resources to maintain their independence and stay connected to their communities.

My Administration is committed to keeping older Americans safe and healthy as they age.  The American Rescue Plan allocated $1.4 billion to providing older adults with services for nutrition, health promotion, disease prevention, caregiver support, and long-term care.  It also provided additional Medicaid funding to support millions of older adults with disabilities and to help States improve the quality of caregiving jobs.  My Administration is also dedicated to improving the safety and quality of care in nursing homes — ensuring that they have sufficient staff, that families have the necessary information to support their loved ones, and that poorly performing nursing homes are held accountable.










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GOOD DAY. IT’S MONDAY, MAY 2, 2022





Three Stories That Show Why Seniors,
Particularly, Need Their Rights

National Rifle Association


Many criminals look at senior citizens as easy targets, believing they can rob or attack elderly Americans, whether at home or in public, with little chance of the victim fighting back. Crimes against the elderly at home are particularly
 common, with the Bureau of Justice Statistics reporting that elderly victims are significantly more likely to be victimized at or near their home than victims under the age of 65.

Furthermore, according to the DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime, when elderly people are victi
mized they usually suffer far greater physical, mental, and financial injuries than victims of other age groups.

“Elderly victims are twice as likely to suffer serious physical injury and to require hospitalization than any other age group,” the report stated. “Furthermore, the physiological process of aging brings with it a decreasing ability to heal after injury—both physically and mentally. Thus, elderly victims may never fully recover from the trauma of their victimization.”




Older adults’ home equity exceeds
Record $10.6 trillion: report


Homeowners aged 62 and older increased their home equity by 3.98% in the fourth quarter of 2021 to a record $10.6 trillion from the previous quarter, according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. That’s a difference of $405 billion.

The NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index rose in the fourth quarter to 370.56, another all-time high since the index first was published in 2000. According to the latest index quarterly report, the increase in older homeowners’ wealth mainly was driven by an estimated 3.7%, or $452 billion, increase in home values, offset by a 2.3%, or $47 billion, in
crease in senior-held mortgage debt.


“To help ameliorate the risks and concerns surrounding the ability of homeowners to age their way, it is critical that housing wealth is carefully and responsibly considered when developing a comprehensive retirement plan,” NRMLA President Steve Irwin said in a statement. “For many, housing wealth is indeed their greatest asset, and tapping that equity, under the right circumstances, will enable a secure path to aging security.”




Here’s how continuing care retirement
Communities work and why some go bankrupt

By Natalie Walters

The bankruptcies of Dallas’ Edgemere and three other Texas continuing care retirement communities raise questions about the viability of a business model that requires hefty entrance fees.

The entrance fee guarantees residents a spot for life at the facility, no matter the level of care they require in the future, whether that be assisted living, memory car
e or skilled nursing. And a percentage of the fee is often refundable to residents or their heirs.


But CCRCs are capital-intensive projects that generally require bonds to fund construction. That means communities that use the entrance fee model must not only keep up with debt obligations to bondholders and regular maintenance costs but also with the cycle of refunding deposits as residents move out or die.






How to stay mentally sharp after retirement


If asked to describe how they envision retirement, many professionals might reference travel, time spent with grandchildren and various recreational pursuits. Few, if any, would mention cognitive decline. However, cognitive decline poses a significant threat to aging men and women, especially during retirement.

Researchers have long since recognized that certain cognitive abilities begin to decline with advanced age, even among elderly individuals who are healthy. However, despite that decline, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention notes that dementias like Alzheimer’s disease are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, the CDC estimates that as many as 40 percent of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed. In addition, the CDC reports that it’s not uncommon for routine memory, skills and knowledge to stabilize or even improve as the brain ages.


That’s good news for retirees who want to spend their post-work life pursuing their passions and hobbies. Individuals also can embrace some strategies to stay mentally sharp in retirement.







How to Get Your Grown Children to
Move Out
By Elaine Silvestrini

If your adult children are still living in your home past when you thought you’d have the place to yourself, well at least you’re not alone. Nearly a third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 (and more than half of those 18-24) live with their parents, according to data from the U.S. Census. And those numbers have been steadily increasing over the last 60 years. (The pandemic gave those numbers a boost in 2020, but they’ve retreated somewhat in 2021; see table at below for a deep dive)


Many people like these multigenerational arrangements. They can be mutually beneficial, financially and practically speaking. But sometimes there’s an unpleasant imbalance. The progeny doesn’t pull their weight around the house, say, or just generally impedes what many parents expected to be their “empty nest” years – the reasons are myriad,


What if you want yours to move out, and they’ve rooted themselves firmly in your basement? What can you do? Therapists and financial advisors have some recommendations; most of them involve collaborative negotiations, reasonable expectations and an assisted pathway to your offspring living on their own. You could charge them rent, but covertly set some of the money aside to help them pay for their own home, for example.







According to the NRA (National Rifle Association), their goal is to protect American’s right to bear arms. By “arms”, they mean firearms (guns). But not the guns the people who drafted our Constitution had in mind. Back in 1776, a good soldier could reload his musket in 20 to 30 seconds. And he had to be a pretty good marksman to actually hit target with one of those things. A shooter had to think about how to shoot and what or who to shoot at. At no time could our founding fathers have imagined a world where guns could kill dozens of people in seconds and that any psychopath could own one.


While the NRA purports to be a defender of people’s rights (they love to quote the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution), what they really are is a lobbying group (a trade association if you will) for every gun manufacture in the world). And the easier it is for anyone to own a gun, the better the people they represent like it. And maybe if the firearms they could make and sell to the public were confined to single shot rifles and to be used for the sole purpose of hunting or target practice, I would not have a problem with allowing any sane person owning such a gun. It’s only when the purpose for obtaining a gun is for protection against other people do we run into that murky area of “American’s rights.”

Today, it’s very easy to get a firearm, especially one that is designated as a rifle. Sometimes it’s as easy as walking into a sporting goods store, filling out some paperwork, pay and walk out with a gun that is so powerful it could kill a herd of buffalo in seconds. Something no hunter should be without. The only good thing about guns like that is they are not easily concealed. Meaning, the buffalo can see you coming. Ut the NRA doesn’t stop at rifles. They also promote  cheap hand guns that you can tuck into your pants out of sight of law enforcement and your potential target target. And because hand guns are rarely used to hunt, their only purpose is to shoot, and kill, another human being. They honestly believe that everyone, as a way of protecting themselves against the vermin of this world, should have a readily available firearm in their possession. And, while they say only law-abiding citizens of “sound mind” should be able to own a gun, they have thwarted most efforts to assure only sane, non-felons have access to such weapons.

Something else the NRA delights in is the recruitment of people who would never have thought to own a handgun. And, as of late, that task has been made easy for them. The increase in crime statistics and the almost daily reporting of yet another act of violence is the best PR the NRA could have ever wanted. And stories like those enclosed in the article, (https://www.americas1stfreedom.org/content/three-stories-that-show-why-seniors-particularly-need-their-rights/) are yet another way of adding to their ranks of gun-toting folks who (although they will say otherwise) would be thrilled if some intruder actually tried to invade their property.
 
To be truthful, there are some older Americans who are very comfortable with guns. They were brought up with them, and they respect them. And, while I would like to see handguns as a means of personal protection done away with, I am realistic enough to understand there are some people with whom the use of such weapons are so much a part of their culture, trying to take those guns away would be futile. However, that does not mean the use of a dangerous piece of equipment like chain saw, a blowtorch or a semi-automatic gun in the hands of an elderly person should be a god-given right. Would you let a three-year-old use an arc welder? Of course not. So why should an untested novice be allowed to own something that is a danger to others and, most certainly, a danger to themselves?

Scare tactics have always been a part of the right-wing agenda. And the most vulnerable groups are the one those fanatics like to go after. And, I am sorry to say, many of my contemporaries, despite their wisdom, are easy prey for those who use the elderly’s natural disposition towards suspicion and conspiracy theories to their advantage. And the NRA is the most powerful of all those groups.

Mother’s day is coming up and the NRA would love you to give your mom a Glock-9mm as a gift. And don’t forget grandma………...

 





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GOOD DAY. IT’S FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2022




These 3 steps may reduce cancer risk in
Older adults, study suggests


A new study suggests taking vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and committing to a simple exercise regimen could reduce the risk of cancer in active adults 70 years old or older.

Researchers in Switzerland published their study in Frontiers in Aging on April 25.

The group studied more than 2,100 people from seven European countries. The mean age of the participants was 74.9 years and 61.7% were women. The group was first asked to limit their vitamin D and omega-3 intake. They were then separated into eight groups and given various doses and combinations of vitamin D, omega-3 and a controlled exercise program.





How active seniors can protect their vision


Retirement may be seen as a time to slow down and enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation, but today’s seniors clearly did not get the memo. Modern seniors look and act a lot different than traditional depictions of retirees.

The shift in attitudes regarding aging is noticeable in the growth of active retirement communities, which are designed for aging men and women who want to engage in activities where no chairs are required. Active seniors may not fit outdated stereotypes of cardigan-clad grandparents shuffling about dusty retirement homes, but even the most energetic retirees may still be vulnerable to age-related health complications. For example, the American Optometric Association notes that men and women over the age of 60 may be vulnerable to age-related vision problems. A certain degree of vision loss is natural as men and women age, but that doesn’t mean active seniors have to sit idly by. In fact, there are many ways for active seniors to protect their vision so they can continue to get up and go without having to worry about losing their eyesight.


• Make your diet work for you. The AOA notes that a number of eye diseases can develop after an individual turns 60, and some of these conditions can be minimized with wise lifestyle choices. For example, a healthy, nutrient-rich diet can protect vision over the long haul. The National Council On Aging notes that studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in foods like spinach, kale and salmon, can reduce individuals’ risk for age-related eye diseases. Seniors can speak with their physicians about other ways to utilize diet to combat age-related vision problems.




Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies


One morning you wake up and it’s … ah… ah… ah-CHOOOO! Allergy season can hit fast and hard, with sudden fits of sneezing, a nonstop runny nose and itchy eyes leaving you feeling miserable.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

For many, the path to relief begins with the rattle of a pill bottle — and that’s perfectly OK.

But there are other, more natural options that may be worth a try, says functional medicine specialist Melissa Young, MD. And most are simple solutions that don’t require the removal of a childproof cap.






Older people fret less about aging in place
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

The older you are, the less you fret about aging in your own home or community.

That's a key insight from a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, which found that U.S. adults ages 65 or older feel much better prepared to “age in place” than those 50-64, who are mostly still in the final stretches of their working years.


The poll also documented greater insecurity around aging in place for older Black and Latino Americans, the likely result of a deep-rooted wealth gap that markedly favors white people.

Aging in one's own home, or with family or a close friend, is a widely held aspiration, with 88% of adults 50 and older saying it's their goal in an earlier AP-NORC poll.






Find & compare doctors near you

Here's how:

Visit Medicare.gov, enter your location and select "Doctors & clinicians" under Provider Type. You can also search by specialty, like general practice or internal medicine.

Review details about the doctors you're interested in, like their contact information, practice locations, hospital affiliation, and performance information.

You can also select the "compare" button to compare up to 3 different healthcare providers you're interested in.

Find & Compare Doctors

Once you're ready to schedule a visit with a new doctor, be sure to call ahead to verify general information, like office location, if they're accepting new patients with Medicare, and if you need a referral.



FROM THE EDITOR…




When is one “officially” old? Some would say 65, when you can sign-up for Medicare, is a good indicator. Or, perhaps, it’s 62 when they allow you to collect social security benefits. If you are the AARP, 50 is when they think you are old enough to be on the cover of their magazine. For me, the magic age was 64 when I transformed from a mildly contented, fairly active middle-aged retiree to a sick, broken-down shadow of my former self.

The changeover came so quickly, with such fervor and completeness, I had no time to adjust to my new status as most people do. One minute I’m just a guy driving around, eating at Mc Donald's, taking photos and the next a patient in a nursing home surrounded by disabled, incontinent, frail, demented near-death old people. What happened to all the good stuff in between?

The normal progression from youth to seniority is supposed to go like this.

1.Feckless youth without meaning or purpose in their lives.
2.Young adult. Full of promise. Ready to take on the world.
3.Middle age. Family, friends, responsibility. Wealth building.
4.Late middle-age. Grand kids. Paid-off mortgages. Retirement planning.
5.Retirement. Travel. Hobbies. Alone time with spouse. Stress free. Time to appreciate sunsets.
6.Elderly. Failed body. Lost loved-ones, isolation, increasing health issues. Burdensome. Death.


Somehow, I skipped 4 and 5 and went straight to 6 (Minus the “Death” part). Was it a shock? You’re darn right it was. I was deprived of the “niceties” associated with maturity. And I didn’t like it.

To say I felt cheated is an understatement. I was robbed, mugged and assaulted. Not by some miscreant or government, but by my body (A body that I believed was treated rather well).

Fortunately, and due mostly to my current status as a resident here at the A.L.F., the trauma associated with suddenly being thrust into decrepitude has been tempered somewhat. I have been afforded the opportunity to regain some of my independence and mobility. Even the feeling of having a purpose in my life has returned. And, while I’m still surrounded by old people, there are enough clear-thinking, mentally fit humans here so that I don’t feel completely out of touch with reality. And that reality is, yes, I’m old. And, yes, I don’t like it. But just because I can’t embrace it does not mean I haven’t learned to live with it and use it to my advantage. Old age has its privilege. I’m looked after, taken care of, sheltered, fed and even amused. I fall asleep (when I want), knowing that tomorrow will not be just another day. There will be challenges to overcome and new things to learn. And best of all, I will not be doing those things alone. Do I enjoy being old? No! But it’s better than the alternative and, it's something I can live with…………………..
 







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GOOD DAY. IT’S THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2022




Older adults shouldn't start a routine
Of daily aspirin, task force says

By Allison Aubrey

People 60 years and older should not start taking daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Those currently taking it, can consult their doctors about whether to continue.

New guidance from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says people over the age of 60 should not start taking daily, low-dose aspirin to prevent cardiovascular events like heart attacks or strokes.

Low-dose aspirin had been a popular prevention measure, but as more evidence has accumulated its benefit has come into question. On Tuesday the task force finalized new recommendations advising against the practice. The task force concludes that initiating daily aspirin in adults 60 years or older has "no net benefit," and increases a person's risk of internal bleeding.



A simple and innovative way to
Prevent falls in the elderly

By Dr. Jordan Duncan

Falls among the elderly are a major problem in our society. It’s so important that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a page on its website devoted to the topic.

According to the site, 36 million people over the age of 65 report falling each year in the United States. This results in an estimated 8 million injuries, 3 million of which are treated in emergency departments, with 800,000 being hospitalized. In 2015, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion.  


To make matters worse, the CDC reports that this problem is on the rise. From 2007 to 2016 falls increased by 30%, and if that trend continues, they predicted that we can anticipate 7 deaths per hour from falls in the year 2030.  




Healthy Aging For Older Adults
Facilitated By Digital Fitness Program

By Geri Stengel


Exercise is essential for healthy aging. It can help prevent heart disease, strokes, and diabetes and improves the immune system. Working out can decrease your risk of falls. Because it produces endorphins, it can also improve your mental health. Two 31-year-old techies, Katie Reed and Kelly Froelich, started Balanced, a digital fitness app so older adults, like their grandparents, can personalize exercise routines to protect against injuries, pain points, and illness and achieve their personal goals such as improving balance, bone density, flexibility, or muscle mass.


The pair are moving away from old-fashioned labels like senior, elderly, and silver to describe the demographic and the products aimed at them. Importantly, exercise for older adults isn't being treated like a prescription or medicine; it's fun! Their message resonated with investors, and Reed and Froelich raised $6.5 million in pre-seed and seed rounds.


"I grew up with my grandparents in Palm Springs, CA," said Reed. "My grandfather exercised every morning." He is one of the inspirations for the startup.



Stigma surrounding mental health care
Impacts older adults

By Jamie Warren
.

According to the National Council on Aging, the stigma surrounding mental health care is one of the reasons older adults are less likely to receive treatment.

Lack of access to providers and the misconception that certain conditions are a normal part of aging may also play a role.

Wendy Cohen, with the nonprofit Duet, is working to break that stigma. She often volunteers her time with seniors who are no longer able to drive.








How to Remove the Personal
Data From Your Devices​

By Marc Saltzman


These days, the “circular economy” — an umbrella term for prioritizing the five Rs to reuse, repair, refurbish, resell and recycle existing products — is getting a lot of buzz.



This practice is good for your wallet and Mother Earth. It reduces waste and emissions and encourages repurposing existing items, which can help your local community.


But one big roadblock can get in the way of reselling or recycling your consumer electronics: the personal data that may reside on it. If you think you’re deleting files and folders and emptying your device's recycling bin or going a step further by reformatting the drive, residual data can still be accessed if you haven’t deleted properly.











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GOOD DAY. IT’S WEDNESDAY APRIL 27, 2022




Study offers new evidence that drinking coffee
Can protect against Alzheimer’s disease


Drinking coffee may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to findings published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. The study followed a sample of older adults for 10 years and found that those who consumed more coffee showed slower cognitive decline, slower Aβ-amyloid accumulation, and a lower likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia that involves progressive memory loss and cognitive decline. This neurodegeneration is believed to be caused by a build-up of a protein called Aβ-amyloid that causes inflammation in the brain. Scientific studies have uncovered promising evidence that coffee consumption might lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, but there has been minimal longitudinal research on this topic.

“Worldwide, a high proportion of adults drink coffee daily, making it one of the most popular beverages globally. In the absence of effective disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, our research is looking at modifiable risk factors that could delay the onset of the disease,” said study author Samantha L. Gardener of Edith Cowan University. “Even a 5-year delay would have a massive social and economic benefit, and these dietary modifications are generally accessible to all as well as being less expensive than medications and with less side effects.”




8 Surprising Triggers That May
Raise Your Blood Pressure

By Rachel Nania

People who watch their blood pressure are generally familiar with the more common factors that can cause their numbers to spike — salt and stress, for example.

But a handful of unsuspected foods, habits and health issues can play a role, too, and sabotage well-intentioned efforts to lower high blood pressure, or hypertension, a condition that affects nearly half of U.S. adults.

Here are eight surprising things that can send your numbers soaring.

Why is High Blood Pressure Dangerous?


Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



5 Useful Tips To Reduce
Sleeplessness Naturally
By Shalmali Totade

Sleeplessness is a common concern these days. While insomnia is a medical condition that few individuals face and it needs professional guidance, some experience short term sleep disorder from time to time due to stress, fatigue or a variety of other reasons. It becomes difficult for these individuals to sleep till early hours of dawn and then it's already time to wake up. Although the sleep patterns and durations differ from one individual to another, a human body needs at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily, to rest and recharge. You can try these below mentioned home remedies to get some quality sleep. However, if your problem persists, please seek medical help.

1. Yoga

It is a known fact that yoga has positive benefits for the body and mind. It also has a positive impact on sleeping patterns. Along with controlling stress levels, improving physical health and boosting focus, yoga also improves the sleep patterns. Choose a yoga pose which focuses on breathing exercises rather than physical postures. Slow and controlled breathing exercises will help in clearing the mind and boost focusing abilities. Practice 15 to 20 minutes of breathing exercises daily. You can practice more gradually. While focusing on the breathing techniques, sit in a position that is comfortable for your body. This will help you focus continuously for longer duration.




How to Get a Mortgage
Once You Are Retired



You may have heard stories of upcoming retirees who, planning to move after retirement, locate a new home and take out the mortgage before they actually retire. They think that once they are retired, they won’t be able to get a mortgage.

You don’t have to do it that way. You can get a mortgage once you are retired.


Key Takeaways

    Mortgage lenders can determine a retiree's income by reviewing withdrawals from retirement accounts or the value of assets and investments.
    You'll need to meet standard debt-to-income and credit score requirements to qualify.
    Your required down payment can vary, depending on the income-verification method used, but expect to put 5% to 30% down.






Who We Spend Time with
As We Get Older

By Nathan Yau


In high school, we spend most of our days with friends and immediate family. Then we get older and get jobs, get married, and grow our own families to spend more time with co-workers, spouses, and kids. Here’s how things change, based on a decade of data from the American Time Use Survey, from age 15 to 80.


This is useful for seeing how relationships stack up for specific ages, but let’s look at the overall trends for each category. Again, the charts below show the percentage of people at each age who spent time with a person during the survey day.

For privacy reasons, the American Time Use Survey does not ask who people were with when they were doing certain activities, such as sleeping or grooming. So the percentages would shift some if we had those bits of data.





FROM THE EDITOR:





This is a story about a bus ride. Not a bus ride taken recently, or last year or even 20 years ago. This story is about a special bus ride I took back around 1955 in Brooklyn, New York. And the reason it was special was not the destination or the bus. It was special because it was my first ride on public transportation by myself.
 
For me, Brooklyn was the best place in the world. It had everything. Shopping, parks, beaches, The Dodgers, and loads of baby-boomer kids to play with. And what connected them all were buses.
 
When people think of mass transit in N.Y.C., they think Subway. But the way to get around the city’s outer boroughs is by bus. They go everywhere and you are never a block or two away from a bus stop. As a kid, I traveled all over by bus with my mom and dad. Downtown, Coney Island, my grandparents, even the library. But it was not until I was the ripe old age of ten did, I ever think of getting on a bus and going somewhere by myself.
 
I had my bike, a blue Schwinn Hornet, that gave me some freedom. But bikes are for local, neighborhood trips. Prospect park, the candy store or my friend Joseph Charney’s house who lived ten blocks away. For a real adventure, one needed a proper means of transportation. And in Brooklyn, that was the bus. And, at ten, I was ready. But not so much my mom.
 

I don’t remember how I convinced her to let me go. Perhaps I just pestered her so much she just gave in. Whatever I did, it worked. But now came the hard part. Planning the details. That would take some doing.
 
Where would I go on this initial voyage? It had to be some place I knew and it could not be too far or too complicated. After some days of soul searching and planning, I decided to go to one of my favorite Brooklyn destinations. One I had been to many times with my folks. Sheepshead Bay. And the way to get there was the B49 bus that ran along Rogers Avenue. It was perfect. The nearest bus stop was just a block away and Sheepshead Bay lay at the last stop on that route. There was no way I could get lost.

The day arrived. The weather was perfect. It was a weekday in the summer, so there was no school. I woke up early. I had a lot of prep to do. No explorer just kisses his mom goodbye and walks out the door. No, they had a checklist, and I was no exception.
 
Written travel instructions. What bus to take. How much time was I to spend at my destination? Where would I eat? And, most important of all, how to get back. Check. Check. Check and check.
 
With what I am sure was a tear in her eye, my mom gave me final instructions. “Here’s money for the bus. You know how to put the coins in the fare box, right? And here’s some money for food.” I think it was a dollar, which was enough to buy a hot dog and a soda at McGinnis-Roth on Emmons Avenue. “And here’s a dime in case you need to make a phone call” “Be careful,” she said as I closed the door behind me.

I have to admit; I remember little about the ride itself. There was too much information coming at my ten-year-old brain to remember details. I know I asked the bus driver if indeed this bus went to Sheepshead Bay. He said it did, and I found my way to a seat near the rear door.

The ride seemed longer than it should have, but we eventually arrived at the last stop. I had made it. The wonders of Sheepshead Bay lay just a block away. I could smell the sea air, the faint scent of dead fish that emanated from the fishing boats that lined Emmon’s Avenue. It was those boats I came to see. I have always been fascinated with boats and water. And now, to linger and be close to them without my parents rushing me along was paradise.

I walked along the promenade, stopping at each dock to watch the fishermen clean their boats. The seagulls screeching overhead as the mates threw bits of fish parts into the bay. I was taking it all in. By myself. I was truly free. I was also getting hungry. I remembered the dollar mom gave me. I made my way over to a restaurant I had eaten at many times before. Primarily a seafood house, they sold other delicacies too. Burgers, sandwiches and, of course, hot dogs.
 

Carefully watching for traffic, I crossed busy Emmon’s and bellied up to the counter which opened out to the street. “A frank and a Coke, please.” And just like that, the guy behind the counter said. “You got money, kid?” I'm they never asked my dad if HE had money.
 
 My hand quickly found the pocket of my brand-new Wrangler dungaree’s. YES! The money was still there. I pulled out the wrinkled dollar bill. “You want mustard and sauerkraut on that dog?” he asked. “Yup, the works,” I said, holding out the dollar bill. I stood at the counter eating my frank and drinking my Coke. Did it somehow taste better? Maybe. But It was time to go. I pictured my mother peering out the window of our apartment, waiting for my return.
 
The bus stopped directly across the street from where it let me off an hour or two before. It was a no-brainer. I just had to do everything I did when I got on, but in reverse. I boarded the bus. The ding-ding of the coins dropping into the fare box was reassuring. I found a seat, again near the rear door, and we were off. Soon the scenery outside the streaky windows looked familiar. I knew I was near home. I reached up for the overhead cord that rang the bell that signaled the bus driver to stop. “Clarkson Avenue, next” he said. I made it. I was home and nothing bad happened. I actually had a good time by myself.
 
Over the years, I have had many solo adventures in public transportation. The buses and subways have given me a way of getting to work, going on dates, to school, or to just hang out. And it did so safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, my beloved transit system has become a dangerous place. The animals have taken over. Stabbings, shootings, muggings, rapes and assaults have become normal. I don’t know why. There are more cops than ever. I guess there are more wackos than ever as well. I can’t imagine allowing a ten-year-old kid to ride the subway or a bus alone today. But back in ‘55, when there was a kinder, gentler world, there was no problem letting a kid ride the bus by himself. I wonder what made that impossible today? ………..
 
 





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GOOD DAY. IT’S TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2022





Operator cites pandemic in ending
Assisted living services


A California senior living community is blaming the pandemic in announcing the end of its assisted living services after 60 years.


Atascadero Christian Home, which operates as Atascadero Christian Community, announced last week that it will close its assisted living operations in June. The move will affect 29 residents and 40 staff members, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

An industry in crisis

The closure highlights the senior living industry’s continuing staffing challenges, along with cost increases for food, labor and insurance — challenges worsened by the pandemic.


And there's more....

Long-term care,
Except for the long-term care part

By John O’Connor

“So how should we replace our skilled care beds?”


The question came during a trade show I attended more than a decade ago. What was a bit jarring at that time was that all the people in the room were nonprofit operators.


Wait, isn’t that the side of the field that puts needed services first, profits be damned? Yes, to a point. For as the saying goes: No margin, no mission.

Am I mentioning this to pick on nonprofit communities? Of course not. The work they do is beyond reproach and routinely heroic. But at the end of the day, they too must pay for things like wages, lights, gas and water. Sometimes that can mean making uncomfortable adjustments.




What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
From The Law Offices of
Roger S. Weinberg



Although there are many nursing homes throughout the state of Maryland that take excellent care of their patients, there are still places where malpractice occurs.

"By the time a decision is made to place a loved one in an assisted living facility, the family is no longer able to safely care for them on their own. People expect their loved ones to receive premium care above their capacity," says attorney Roger S. Weinberg. Issues in nursing homes are a problem that cannot be solved with inaction.

When faced with a situation where you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one, it can be overwhelming to handle. Knowing where to start and what to do next in a critical moment can cause intense stress. However, if you suspect any malpractice, there are steps you can take.

Trusting your instinct when it comes to instances of mistreatment in assisted living facilities can be challenging.




How these diehard cruise ship fans
Live at sea full time for next to nothing

By Hannah Frishberg

While the rest of us go on living our lives on land, a small segment of society is out at sea on vacation — forever.

“Where else can you have your resort take you to different countries while relaxing by the pool or sleeping in a comfortable bed?” retired accountant Angelyn Burk, 53, told CNN.


Burk and her husband, Richard, plan to spend 86 days of this year on the high seas, bouncing between Holland America and Carnival cruises –a decision they made out of passion but also due to budget.

“When planning out cruises, I try to stay on the same ship as long as possible, as long as it is cost-effective,” said Angelyn, explaining that the couple crunched the numbers and, thanks to deep discounts from their frequent past cruise journeys, their cruise time will only cost $89 a day for both of them — “well within our retirement budget.”





TUESDAY SPECIAL:

Reverse Mortgages and Eldercare:
What You Need to Know



A reverse mortgage can be a way to pay for in-home eldercare when you don’t have long-term care insurance (LTC) and need services that Medicare doesn’t cover. It can also be a burden if you have to move out of your home for more than 12 consecutive months to get care in an assisted-living facility or a nursing home.

The rules described in this article apply specifically to a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). The HECM is the most common type of reverse mortgage and the only one insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Key Takeaways

    Homeowners age 62 and older may be able to use a reverse mortgage to pay for eldercare.

    A reverse mortgage becomes due and payable when the homeowner lives somewhere else for 12 consecutive months.
    Taking out a reverse mortgage is a major financial decision that older homeowners should weigh carefully.

Why Use a Reverse Mortgage To Pay for Eldercare?




EDITORIAL COMMENT:




Whether you pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket or receive help from Medicare/Medicaid, if you are a resident of an assisted living facility, you are getting screwed. Not by the people who own your facility, but by the federal government.
 
Argentum (A senior living association) has estimated that the senior living industry has amassed more than $30 billion in losses over the course of the pandemic because of expenses related to increased wages, personal protective equipment and infection control. Yet, assisted living has received only one-twelfth of the $55 billion relief that skilled nursing facilities have received. The question is, why?  Any attempt at an answer would only be speculation on my part. But I’ll do it anyway.

Assisted living is a “bridge” between a nursing home and home care. Nursing homes are at the top of the skilled-care spectrum, while home-care and assisted living fill-in the middle and bottom ends, respectively. Nursing homes offer a unique blend of group and personal care for the elderly and infirm who could not possibly live on their own. It was expensive. On the average, about $13 thousand dollars a month.[1]. The cost for home health care in my state (NY), including homemaker services (cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.) is slightly more at close to $14 thousand dollars and that does not include the cost of food, cable, Wi-Fi or utilities. That makes assisted living the most affordable option. Assisted living facilities in New York City have an average cost of around $5,920 a month. This cost is the base cost for a one-bedroom assisted living apartment in New York. The prices range anywhere from $3,351 to $10,900 and a median annual cost of around $7,200. Cheap in comparison. So why the snub?


Maybe they think A.L.F.’s don’t need the money. After all, they operate so efficiently, they have overcome the additional costs of COVID-19 infection control procedures. Or, they think all the owners of assisted living facilities have to do is raise the rent and their costs will be covered. If people can afford to pay $7000 a month, surely a few more dollars is no big deal. The truth is very different. Most people who live in an A.L.F. are living on fixed incomes from social security and/or pensions and whatever savings they have. There are some high-end senior living venues that have well-healed residents, but those not the A.L.F.’s we are referring to. Take my place as an example. Most of the cost for room and board for our residents comes from taking all or most of one’s Social Security, plus a subsidy from Medicare and Medicaid that makes up the difference. No rich old folks here. Which means that the assault by the federal government on low and middle-income Americans continues in full swing here.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, over 300 assisted living facilities have shut down, forcing sick and elderly residents (many of whom thought they had a home for the rest of their lives) to find shelter elsewhere. Something which is becoming more and more difficult. Even in my facility, which has always been well-funded, the effects of PPE spending have become irritatingly clear. We see it in the shortage of staff, neglected maintenance, and food service. Fortunately, basic services have not fallen off, but I believe it is only a matter of time before we will see the erosion of those services. Of course, the biggest worry for us is the possibility of our facility succumbing to the financial crush and having to shut its doors, putting nearly 200 people out on the street.

While I don’t see a shut-down as an immediate threat, it is not an impossibility. An impossibility that could easily become a probability if the federal government does not provide the funds we desperately need…………………………
 
[1] I know. I paid it.









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GOOD DAY. IT’S MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2022





COLA Prediction:
What is the expected SS COLA for 2023?


The rise in inflation in the United States is causing a lot of people across the country to stress, but any retirees could receive a helping hand in the form of a larger cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2023.


The COLA for 2022 increased to 5.9 percent in what was the largest rise in almost 40 years, with this coming into effect from January 1, 2022, for Social Security beneficiaries and December 30, 2021, for Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries.

What is the expected COLA for 2023?

As a result of the spiralling Consumer Price Index, which rose to as high as 8.5 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2022, the largest increase since the period ending December 1981, next year's COLA is expected to be higher than the 5.9 percent for 2022.



Allergy Medicines to Avoid
By Hallie Levine

“Any decongestant will raise blood pressure, possibly causing an increase in heart arrhythmias,” says Kevin McGrath, M.D., an allergist in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. People with glaucoma or hyperthyroidism should also avoid decongestants, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Taken too late in the day, decongestants can make it difficult to fall asleep. They can also lead to nervousness and a jittery or shaky feeling, McGrath says.

While usually found in cold medicines, phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine are in some allergy products, as well. “In general, avoid anything that has a D in its name, like Zyrtec-D, since it has a decongestant added,” Niznik says. Allegra-D and Claritin-D are two other examples of allergy medicines that contain both a decongestant and an antihistamine.



Trust mills' have duped countless seniors:
Here's how to avoid them

By Stephen J. Lacey

In a precedent-setting case, the state of Ohio punished a father and son team for the unauthorized practice of law. This story really spotlights the obvious reasons why clients should only obtain living trusts from a qualified estate planning attorney. If your friends or family are considering buying a trust from someone who is not an experienced estate planning attorney, tell them what happened in Ohio! 


The Ohio Supreme Court ordered two companies that duped thousands of senior citizens into buying unneeded legal plans and annuities to pay $6.4 million in fines and barred them from doing business in the state. The companies, American Family Prepaid Legal Corporation and Heritage Marketing and Insurance Services, Inc., are co-owned by Jeffrey and Stanley Norman. 
Attorney Stephen J. Lacey: "Only a qualified estate planning attorney can expertly review a client’s financial and legal circumstances and then offer solid legal advice for planning purposes."

The local bar association brought the case forward and accused the Normans of running an illegal “Trust Mill” from 2003 through 2005, pressuring senior citizens into buying prepaid legal services and annuities they did not need with threats and exaggerated promises. 



The US Needs More Immigrants
To Care For Frail Older Adults

By Howard Gleckman

The US desperately needs more direct care workers to provide personal assistance to frail older adults and younger people with disabilities. Many native-born Americans were unwilling to do this work even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, shortages are far worse. Yet, the US continues to bar entry to those who are willing and able to care for frail older adults and people with disabilities—immigrants.

This week, I participated in a fascinating Brookings Institution panel discussion on immigrants and caregiving. Some panelists were immigration experts, two of us came from the long-term care world. Yet our conclusion was unanimous: Without a substantial increase in immigrant care workers, the shortage of people available to provide personal assistance will not abate anytime soon.

Yet, even as President Biden slowly unwinds some of the Trump Administration’s highly restrictive immigration rules, many curbs remain in place. Democrats are battling among themselves over how, and whether, to lesson some of these curbs. And Republicans are nearly unanimous in opposing more immigration.





If you’re getting on a bit, you should drink
Blueberry juice daily - here’s why

By Rob Waugh


Drinking blueberry juice is good for older people’s brains – with measurable benefits after just 12 weeks of swilling the stuff every day, according to University of Exeter researchers.

In the study, healthy people aged 65-77 who drank concentrated blueberry juice every day showed improvements in brain function in tests in an MRI scanner.




Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE
 


FROM THE EDITOR…


Am I happy? That’s a good question. Perhaps the better question should be, “Are any of us happy?” You may think you are happy, but what you are really feeling is contentment. Meaning, your life is not perfect, but it is okay. And, while there is nothing wrong with that, is just “Okay” good enough for you?
 
Happiness is different for each of us. We even think of what will make us happy differently. Many believe that having lots of money will make them happy. While, for others, it’s love. Unfortunately, for some, happiness is an unattainable illusion. We called those folks “depressed.”


The United States Declaration of Independence says we have the right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Notice it does not say we have a right to happiness; it only says we should have an unimpeded right to pursue it. Our founding fathers were realists. Even back then, they knew that nobody would ever be happy, but not to strive for happiness would be counterproductive. After all, if we were all 100% sure we could attain true happiness, we would never get beyond mediocrity. We would never have advanced, technologically, if all we wanted was “Good enough.”
 
Take the Wright Brothers as an example. The brothers are credited with inventing powered flight. In 1903, their first flight lasted 12 seconds for a total distance of 120 ft, shorter than the wingspan of a Boeing 747. What if they, or anybody, would have said, “Great, we did what we set out to do, we’re happy, let’s go home.” It might have been decades before we saw any attempt at a longer flight. Or what if Henry Ford was totally happy with the way the model-T sales were going? After all, he sold over 15 million of them with very few changes. That would have made lesser men thrilled. But old Henry knew he would not be satisfied until he built the best and most advanced vehicle technology would allow, proving that dissatisfaction is a deterrent to true happiness and, the mother of invention. It also proves human beings are designed never to be happy.

I knew, from an early age, I could never be happy. There are too many variables out there to make true happiness reachable for ordinary humans. Only those people who are either oblivious to what’s going on in the world or are mentally deranged believe they have attained a state of complete bliss.

The standard definition of happiness goes like this, “The quality or state of being happy. Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.” This is a bunch of crap. At one time or another, all of us will have experienced one of those conditions. But all of those are short-lived. Like a jolt of strong coffee to the psyche, its effects last only a short time.

I’ve won money gambling in casinos. And for perhaps 20 minutes I felt good. But by the end of the day, the euphoria had all but worn off, leaving me feeling the same way I felt before I won the money. The same for pleasure. Having great sex with someone you love is the most pleasurable experience a human can have (some say food does the same thing, but I’ll take a good schtup[1] over a slice of thin crust pizza any day). But the pleasure is fleeting, and afterword's we go back to being the same miserable person we were before we slipped between the sheets with our significant other.


Am I happy now? I’m not unhappy. I’m almost 100% stress-free, which makes me feel okay, but I hardly call that being happy. Truthfully, I don’t know what would make me a happy person. I know what would be a good start. For me, having total control of my life would go a long way to making me happy. But would it be good for me? Maybe not. I’m old, and my definition of “control” at this point in my life could be hazardous to my health and safety. So, that’s out.

I would also like to feel that I have accomplished something important in my life. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. It could be small, like getting condiments back on our dining room tables here at the A.L.F.  Or something big, like having a direct line to my states DOH. Just something that says, “I did that.”

My time for doing anything significant is running short. And being the realist I am, I suppose I won’t get anything done. But perhaps the “pursuit” is all the happiness I need…………………
 


[1] Schtup: Yiddish word meaning sexual intercourse.






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GOOD DAY. IT’S FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022




How pricey video games have sucked in
Millions of seniors citizens

By Andrew Court    

Older Americans are refusing to say “game over.”

Millions of senior citizens across the country are splashing serious cash on video games, saying they help keep their brains stimulated and create a bond with younger family members.


The findings come from a new survey published by gaming website FandomSpot on Tuesday. The surprising results buck the widely held stereotype that video games are purely played by teenage boys.

“Old people don’t just want to sit on the porch and watch leaves fall, they want to have fun,” FandomSpot’s Alyssa Celatti said in a statement provided to The Post. “This study might even encourage more senior citizens to give gaming a go for some of the benefits cited by their peers.”




Facing Your Face Mask Duties –
 A List of Statewide Orders (UPDATED)


Governors and public health officials across the country implemented stringent mitigation measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. As COVID-19 case rates fluctuate, face coverings remain popular as a preventative measure. Numerous jurisdictions have encouraged—or mandated—citizens to wear face coverings when out in public, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained effectively. Some directives also obligate employers to provide masks to their employees.


This post, last updated April 18, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. (Central), identifies the jurisdictions where face coverings are recommended or required. We will update this list regularly


Note that this list does not include face covering guidance at the local level.





A New Emphasis on Individualized
Treatment for Diabetes



The American Diabetes Association 2022 Standards of Care include new screening protocols, individualized care and the increasing use of technologies


Maybe you've been living with diabetes for years, or perhaps you were recently diagnosed. Or maybe you're one of the 8.5 million (23%) of U.S. adults, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates, who have diabetes and are undiagnosed. The CDC also estimates that 96 million people age 18 and over have prediabetes, with the majority not knowing it. If pandemic fears have kept you from regular medical visits and an annual check-up, get that appointment scheduled now.


Wherever you fit on this continuum, the American Diabetes Association 2022 Standards of Care has copious amounts of information for providers, patients and family members.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


The surprising reason why you should
Drink more water as you age

By Anagha Ramakrishnan

A study published in the Journal of Physiology found older adults should drink more water in order to regulate their body temperature. The researchers studied young and older men’s body temperature when exercising.

ExploreAdding 30 minutes of this exercise can help you live longer


As you exercise, your body’s temperature regulation adjusts how much you sweat to prevent further water loss and dehydration. However, the study found that as you age, the ability to regulate your body’s temperature decreases, making older adults more susceptible to dehydration.

“(Older adults) are less likely to be wary and more likely to ignore signs of dehydration and heat-related illness because they have a past history that is unrepresentative of their new status as older adult males,” Dr. Rand McClain told Healthline.



FRIDAY SPECIAL...

The Disadvantages of Aging in Place

Surveys show that most people would prefer to grow older, and even die, in their own home. This desire isn't hard to understand.


While you may have already downsized to a more manageable home or condo, you won't have to move again, which is emotionally straining, physically taxing and can be financially cumbersome. Aging in place also lets you remain in your familiar surroundings, close to friends and possibly family. And there are other advantages.

But there's a flip side to aging in place that needs to be weighed:

 Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE



From the editor:



We have weekly shopping trips to a local supermarket here at the A.L.F. and I used to go now and again, but my increasing mobility problems make it uncomfortable for me to walk up and down the aisles of the giant ShopRite. Nowadays, I do all of my shopping online. From underwear to shaving cream to cans of soup, everything I buy is just a click away. Instacart, and the other online shop-for-you services, are convenient and easy to use. But it’s not like actually being there.
 
Market Day is as old as time. In biblical times through the Middle Ages, the weekly market set up in the middle of town provided not only food but goods and wears as well. And, central markets became a meeting place too. It was a place where neighbors came to gossip and buyers to haggle with the vendors. It was how you replenished your larder and were entertained all at once. Today, buying food at a supermarket is more like a war of wits between the buyer, who is looking for a fair deal, and the seller, who is looking to maximize his profits. The seller usually wins. How many of us can roast coffee beans in our house or “puff” grains of rice for cereal?


Another “benefit” of having someone else do your shopping is the total elimination of the impulse to buy some you don’t need. Rodney or Shawna or any of the other nice folks at Instacart will not stop at the cookie shelf and casually toss a box of Mallomars into the cart just because you haven’t had them since you were 12. Or that tube of anchovy paste you know you do not know how to use, but you think you should have it, anyway. Rodney does not care about my compulsions.
 
I may be one of the few people (or men) who like to food shop. I suppose it stems from me being my mom’s unwilling “companion” as she schlepped me from store to store when I was young. Although I did not appreciate it then, she was preparing me up to be a wise purchaser, especially with food. I can tell you what a good eggplant should feel like, or how to tell if a fish is fresh by smelling its gills. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do much of that anymore. And I miss it……


 





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CHECK OUT TheSeniorLog WEEKEND EDITION
ALL THE SENIOR NEWS AND ARTICLES
YOU MISSED

NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2022


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GOOD DAY. IT’S THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2022




Why it pays for seniors to maintain good credit


The benefits of maintaining good credit include looking more reliable in the eyes of prospective employers and securing lower mortgage interest rates when buying a home.

Those rewards can benefit anyone, but they’re especially enticing to young people. But what about seniors? Do individuals stand to benefit significantly from maintaining good credit into their golden years?

According to the credit reporting agency Experian, senior citizens tend to have the best credit scores of any consumer demographic. That could be a byproduct of years of financial discipline, and there are many benefits to maintaining that discipline into retirement.



Can arthritis be reversed?


A person cannot reverse arthritis, but they can manage their symptoms. Arthritis commonly causes joint inflammation with swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, almost 60 million adults and 300,000 children have some form of arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

The symptoms of arthritis can come and go. A person’s symptoms may remain the same for years or worsen over time.







When Grandparents Provide Child Care,
Communication is Essential



Watching your grandchildren can be rewarding, but here are things to keep in mind before making the commitment

When Kevin and Amy Pieper's daughter, Terra Ippolito, found out she was pregnant 18 months ago, she started investigating child care options. Ippolito and her husband, Jake, found a day care they liked and were put on the waiting list.


When their daughter Juniper was born, the couple was still on the day care's waiting list, so they asked Kevin and Amy to help. There was one problem: The Piepers live in Henderson, Ark. and Ippolito and her family live more than 2 ½ hours away in Fayetteville, Ark.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


If Your Nails Are Breaking,
You Could Be Lacking Iron

By Juliana LaBianca


We all want strong, healthy nails. But when brittleness, dryness, and breakage come into the mix, acquiring them can be easier said than done. Brittle nails can be caused by various things, including age, poor diet, and even overdoing treatments at the nail salon. Sometimes, you know exactly what's led to your nail trauma (for example, if you're on your third gel manicure in a row, that's probably the culprit). Other times, the cause is more elusive. If that's the case for you, it could signal a nutrient deficiency. Read on to discover the nutrient you might be lacking that can lead to brittle nails.


One common medical cause of breakage-prone nails is iron deficiency anemia. This may occur if there is a lack of iron in someone's diet, an inability to absorb iron, blood loss, or even pregnancy. "Iron helps the hemoglobin in your red blood cells carry oxygen," says Dimitar Marinov, MD, Ph.D., a nutritionist who specializes in nutrition and dietetics. "As you develop iron deficiency, the capacity of your red blood cells to carry oxygen is reduced, which leads to reduced oxygen delivery to the nails and the development of brittle and curved nails."

There are a few nail-related symptoms to look out for if you think you may have iron deficiency anemia. The first is dry, brittle nails that appear split or have vertical ridges, says Nelya Lobkova, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist in New York City. Another is a condition called koilonychia—or "spoon nails"—which can cause nails to become flat or concave. Some koilonychia patients note that their concave nails could even hold a droplet of water.





Thursday Special

For Older Adults: A Hitchhiker’s
Guide To The Metaverse

By Richard Eisenberg

Every so often, a new buzzword seems to come out of nowhere and suddenly feel ubiquitous. Right now, that word is "metaverse," which means using virtual reality (VR) headsets or augmented reality (AR) eyewear or apps to make the internet more interactive and 3D.


Euromonitor International calls the metaverse movement one of the Top 10 global consumer trends for 2022 (another in its Top 10: digital seniors).

As you know, Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta. He calls the metaverse the next chapter for the internet and spent $10 billion on it last year.




FROM THE EDITOR…




My introduction to cable TV came in the late 1970s when Cablevision installed their little box on top of my 23-inch screen that sat in the living room of my little house on Long Island. At that time, we paid about $30 a month for premium cable, which included HBO and a dozen other movie channels. The same package today would cost way over $100 and the service would not have been as good. Now, I still have cable (actually, Direct TV) here at the Asylum. It cost me twenty dollars a month for a very basic package. None of the channels are commercial-free, which makes watching a movie next to impossible. And most of the movies available are crap. Enter ROKU and Netflix.

I bought a used ROKU device from a friend for $30, hooked it up, subscribed to Netflix for ten bucks and binged until the wee hours of the morning. That was four years ago. I am now on my 2nd ROKU and Netflix is $15. But it’s still worth it. My Wi-Fi is free, making it an even better bargain. I am also an Amazon Prime member, so I get their PRIME TV as well. Both of these services have been a lifesaver. Without them, the 16 months I spent in COVID-19 lockdown hell, would have been impossible to endure and still maintain my sanity.


Lately, people are finding fault with Netflix (They just reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers) mainly to free streaming channels and other, cheaper subscription channels. For now, I’m sticking with Netflix. Their service is impeccable with hardly any interruption in service. They also offer over 17,000 titles, so there is something for everybody.

The reason I’m telling you this is not to get you to subscribe to any service, but to inform seniors that they can get more out of that nice new TV their kids bought them than just watching endless game shows and the Food Network.

Many of our residents here complain about the poor choice of programs included in our Direct TV package. I have tried, with little success, to explain what ROKU (or any of the other streaming devices) can do for them. The concept eludes most of them. I will suggest at our next resident’s meeting that they should hold a class explaining these devices and how easy they are to use. I am sure we can convince someone from our maintenance department to help hook it up. It would be to the advantage of everyone here………………….








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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022



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GOOD DAY. IT’S WEDNESDAY APRIL 20TH 2022

(Today's editorial follows the news)



Older adults worried about memory loss
Have structural changes in brains

By Brian P. Dunleavy

People who complain of memory loss are experiencing cognitive decline because of changes in brain structure, a study published Friday found.


Among 900 older adults included in the study, those who reported memory problems had evidence of brain lesions called white matter hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scans, the data, published Friday by JAMA Network Open, showed.

Those with larger white matter hyperintensities, or more of them, suffered up to 428% faster cognitive decline with age than others without these lesions, the researchers said.




Nursing homes in desperate need
Of giant overhaul, experts say


The nation’s nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are in dire need of drastic overhaul to dramatically improve the quality and safety of their treatment of the aged, sick, and disabled. They too often now get what one expert has described as “ineffective, inefficient, inequitable, fragmented, and unsustainable” care.


To repair the glaring, longstanding wrongs in these facilities — problems that critics say contributed to 150,000 resident deaths during the coronavirus pandemic — requires sweeping practical, regulatory, and financial changes in an industry focused on profits and resistant to change, according to newly published expert research report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The academies, with members who are leaders in their fields, are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health.




5 best sports and physical activities for older adults
By Chantal Spector

If you are 55 and over and haven’t worked out in a while, it is important to listen to your body and start slow. When choosing an activity, look for sports that combine working on balance, core strength and posture — while ensuring fall prevention.

Here are a few physical activities that are great for older adult:

Take a walk

The easiest way to move is also one of the best. When you walk, you are working out your entire body and building core strength by holding yourself up. The CDC suggests older adults try to walk 30 minutes, at least five times per week. It can be incorporated into a routine. Make walking more fun by meeting with a friend or joining a walking group.
Water fitness classes

There is a reason why older adults love water fitness classes: According to AgeWell Atlanta, they are easy on joints and are often a social activity. Plus, the water acts as natural resistance to help build strength. Many community centers, senior centers and swimming centers offer classes.




Your Guide To Senior Apartments
By Nicole McDermott

For adults 55 and older who want the convenience of downsizing and lower-maintenance living—but don’t require the level of care provided at an assisted living community—a senior apartment can be a helpful solution. But when searching for a senior apartment that best suits your needs, you may feel unsure as to where to start.

Read on to learn more about apartments for seniors and how to choose one for you that balances safety, accessibility, cost and proximity to the important people and places in your life.

Find Care For The Ones You Love

What Is a Senior Apartment?

Senior living apartments are groups of individual residences that occupy a building or community complex designed with older individuals in mind. While no universal criteria differentiate a senior apartment from any other kind of apartment, some have minimum age requirements, such as 50+, 55+ or 62+. Many of these communities also offer perks and amenities, including:






6 Simple Ways To Deal With Anxiety
And Keep Calm

Aayushi Kasliwal


Are you anxious, worried, or freaked? Is your heart beating fast, your breathing is shallow and rapid, your mind is imagining doom, and you wish you could just relax…in the moment! Well, even the slightest of anxiety can be debilitating depending on how it manifests in your life. Some anxious thoughts or feelings, come and go as a normal part of the ups and downs of life. Still, you can manage these feelings better with some home remedies for anxiety. While prescription medication may work for some, others may be looking for natural remedies to curb anxiety and stress. Managing anxiety, stress, and even depression are all about finding ways to self-soothe at the moment. These natural remedies for anxiety may be your ticket to finding some solace in your stress turmoil.


Here Are Some Simple Ways To Relieve Anxiety

    Get Moving


Try to stick to an exercise routine or activity you enjoy doing, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing, or yoga that will help relieve stress, worry, and anxiety. Regular exercise lowers the level of stress hormones and also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers. Regular exercise is also shown to improve feelings of confidence and mood, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.




From the editor….




Conversation around the breakfast table yesterday turned from what was going on in Ukraine to that of a more personal nature.
 
One of my table mates asked, “Would you rather lose a vital body part and still have all of your faculties or be 100% intact and have a mind that’s turned to mush?’ There was no hesitation. “A body part”, everyone agreed. However, after we all let that sink in for a minute, someone brought up an interesting assumption.
 
“Yes,” she said. “But if your brain has become so addled that you don’t know you’ve lost your mind, it wouldn’t make a difference.” Trust a senior to bring you back to reality.
 
Despite that plausibility, we all agreed we would still rather have a fully functioning mind than a fully functioning body.
 
Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you still have most of your intellect intact. Which makes you part of the group that never wants to stop learning. That worries about what is happening to the planet and has compassion for the less fortunate. But more importantly, you maintain the ability to manage your own affairs. For me, that is my utmost priority.

If you ask most seniors, they will tell you the worst thing about getting old is losing your independence. This freedom to think, to act, to take control is ingrained into the human spirit. Since we were teens, the need to break free of our parents, to try new things, to succeed or fail on our own has been our primary goal. And one would think this would continue for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Not because we can no longer think for ourselves, but because of how others perceive our intellectual capacity. “You’re old, therefore you must be demented”, is the belief among the general public. And while in most cases this assumption carries little weight or consequences, with assisted living and other long-term care facilities, it is the basis of how they treat the people they take care of. And in many of those places, they are not equipped, or prepared, to cater to the needs of a resident with a fully-functional intellect.


Wanting control over one’s own life as a resident clashes directly with the administration of a well-run facility? They would like to control as much of your life as they can. Not because they are mean or inconsiderate, but because it makes things so much easier for them. A regimented society is a peaceful society.
 
This Orwellian view of things makes for some very unhappy campers, who feel we are being “lumped-in” with some of our less cognitive residents. This often causes conflict where conflict should not exist. I have to constantly remind people not to treat me like a child. Something a 75-year-old man should not have to do. And, I am kept from appreciating the amenities that seniors outside an institutional setting are free to enjoy. Like having a microwave oven or coffee maker in my room. And, not that I need one, a hair dryer too. To them, I’m a feeble-minded buffoon who is a danger to himself and others.
 
Perhaps there will come a day when I can no longer adequately make rational decisions or partake in normal activities. And if that time comes, I will gladly agree to whatever they think is best for me. But until that time, let me be me. I’ve been this way for a long time and, so far, it’s done me right. And please. Don’t compare me with anyone else my age. I am an individual and I intend to stay that way…….............
 







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GOOD DAY. IT’S TUESDAY, APRIL 19TH 2022


From the editor….




The day began with a bang. Literally and figuratively. The long-needed and longer-awaited-for repairs on our annex roof here at the Asylum had begun.


Men started work on the very roof that covers my head and the heads of about 25 other residents who live in a part of the facility that is attached to, but not part of, the main building called "The Franklin Annex." This appendage was constructed as an afterthought. It was supposed to house those residents who needed special attention from the staff. The rooms have wider doors, wheelchair-friendly bathrooms and showers. But that special unit never happened, and the rooms were changed to accommodate just us regular old folks. I’ve been living here for 7 years and enjoy it. But there is one problem. The annex was so hastily and cheaply constructed that having a room here has become a nightmare for some of our residents.

Besides problems with the plumbing, the safety railings, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning and the fact that cold air seeps through every crevice that is exposed to the outside, the main problem has been a very leaky roof.

The situation with the roof had become so bad that some residents had to be moved to new quarters while make-shift patchwork was done. Finally, it became clear what was really needed was a new roof. The problem was the cost. $100,000 plus is the rumored amount, and for this facility, such an expense could not have come at a worse time.

There is a wicked spring storm headed our way tonight. And, while the crew has stretched a sturdy covering over the partially denuded roof, I can only hope I will not have to be evacuated in the middle of the night. However, the roof is only part of the overall problem plaguing this facility.
 
Although management will not admit it, our little patch of green here in the hills of Yonkers, New York, like many other long-term care facilities, is strapped for cash. The pandemic, besides being deadly for many older people, has been disastrous for the coffers of places like ours. Complying with the regulations mandated by the government for PPE and infection control supplies has left many A.L.F.'s at or near bankruptcy. The promised funds that would bring relief to these struggling facilities have been stalled in the halls of congress for months. If the federal government doesn’t get up off its collective asses and pass the bills before them, the very people they seek to protect will be the real ones to suffer.......................

 



Medicare angers patient groups with
Limits on Alzheimer’s drug coverage


Although Medicare officials have slammed the door for now on paying for widespread use of a drug targeted for Alzheimer’s treatment, patient advocacy groups have thrown themselves into the battle over Aduhelm and whether taxpayers should pay its hefty price.


Aduhelm is the risky, costly prescription medication with sparse evidence of its purported benefits for those in early stages of cognitive decline.

The giant federal health insurer for seniors will cover Aduhelm only for patients participating in clinical trials that may yield more persuasive evidence about the drug’s safety and effectiveness, Medicare officials have decided. In doing so, they withstood a furious lobbying campaign from the nonprofits Alzheimer’s Association, a leading patient advocacy group reporting more than $400 million in 2021 revenue, and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, which reported $9 million in 2020 revenue.




Job insecurity among older adults may
Increase risk for memory loss

By Brian P. Dunleavy

People concerned about their job security in late adulthood are more likely to experience memory loss as they age, a study published Wednesday found.

Study participants who reported "job insecurity" in their 50s and 60s performed less well on tests designed to assess their memory and word recall compared with peers who felt secure in their employment, the data, which was published Wednesday by JAMA Network Open, showed.

Participants who reported feeling insecure in their jobs -- meaning they feared being fired, laid off or forced into retirement -- had, on average, about 3% lower scores on these memory tests, the researchers said.




COPD misclassification
Common in older adults
By Erin T. Welsh, MA

Among older adults, COPD misclassification is high and is associated with higher respiratory symptom burden, health care utilization and lower physical performance, compared with the general population, researchers reported.


“COPD misclassification may result in missed opportunities to provide disease-specific therapy that could lead to a reduction in disease burden and improve the long-term health of patients,” M.A. Malik Farooqi, MD, from the department of medicine at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, told Healio. “We aimed to assess the prevalence and health care burden of COPD misclassification in a general population of Canadian older adults.”

The longitudinal, cross-sectional study, published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research, included 21,242 Canadian participants with high-quality spirometry (mean age, 64 years; 42% men). Researchers evaluated the prevalence of self-reported physician-diagnosed COPD and compliance with spirometry airflow obstruction. Researchers then assessed associations between confirmed COPD, underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis with self-reported respiratory symptoms, health care utilization and physical performance.




Learning a second language may
Help stave off dementia

By John Ely Senior

Speaking another language — even partially — could help stave off dementia by up to seven years, researchers suggest.


Scientists believe speaking a foreign language gives the brain a workout, providing the mental stimulation needed to ward off cognitive decline.

Unlike other factors thought to protect against the memory-robbing condition, such as exercise or a specific diet, language 'remains with us all the time', they added.





TUESDAY SPECIAL...

Caring for the Elderly: How to Prepare for
Medical Emergencies With Senior Citizens


Health starts slowly declining as people age. Body vitals tend to lose energy and immunity starts to decrease, which makes people become more vulnerable to medical emergencies like high blood pressure and heart attacks. Older citizens need to be adequately equipped for these unfortunate situations.


If you care for an older person, follow these steps on how to prepare for and respond in an emergency:

1. Prepare an Emergency Contact List

Emergencies come without warning, so staying prepared to tackle them is important. If you have to care for an elderly person, it is essential to draw up a list of numbers that can be contacted in an emergency. These numbers should be personal physicians, immediate family members, etc. This contact list should be written in bold print and posted up in every room.








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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2022



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GOOD DAY. IT’S MONDAY APRIL 18TH 2022


Op-Ed




I cannot remember a time when we did not have problems with Russia. I was born in 1945, shortly after the second world war ended, and Russia had already become a thorn in our side. While the “Cold War” officially did not begin until June 1950 (Soviet backed North Korea attacked its neighbor South Korea), we got an idea of what our post-war relations with the Russians would be like.
 
The Berlin airlift.

 
“The crisis started on June 24, 1948, when Soviet forces blockaded rail, road, and water access to Allied-controlled areas of Berlin. The United States and United Kingdom responded by airlifting food and fuel to Berlin from Allied airbases in western Germany.”[1] It appears (as what Russia is currently doing in the Ukraine) starving a civilian population just for spite is not something new with them.
 
Actually, bullying indigenous populations is something Russians have been doing long before the cold war and even long before Communism.
 
Remember the Czar?
 
Probably not, but if you grew up with grandparents who felt the wrath of the Czar and his legions of Cossacks, you would know Russia and Russians have never been warm and fuzzy.

 What is it about Russians that makes them this way?

Essentially, Russians are miserable. They live in a miserable country, with miserable politics and even more miserable politicians. And if it isn’t the politicians that make them miserable, it’s the weather. A -20-degree day in Moscow is not out of the ordinary. And the cold weather lasts way after the rest of the world has put on their shorts and sandals. But to really know why Russia is the way it is and why Russians are the way they are, we need to look at Russian history…[2]
 
“Russia is a mix of Europe and Asia, established as a nation isolated from the rest of the world during centuries under the Mongolian domination, followed by over 300 years of czarism and then the Soviet regime. As an ethnic group, Russian roots come from the territory where nowadays is Kiev, capital of Ukraine. With wars and migrations, Russians expanded to the current territory surrounding Moscow.

It's not the Russian people we have to worry about.

There is only one Russian we should fear. Vlad (The Merciless) Putin.

We knew he was a ruthless schmuck, but he was THEIR ruthless schmuck. And if that’s what the Russian people wanted, who are we to say otherwise? But as soon as Putin slithered outside the confines of the Kremlin walls and made googly eyes at a really free and democratic nation, Ukraine, not only did we get to see the real Russian head of state for what he is, but we remembered why we despised Russia all those years. Putin is the same delusional psychopath leader the Russians always had.  And although he may have an occasional lunch at McDonald's and drink a Coke, he is still all borsht and vodka at heart.

The war in Ukraine is devastating, to be sure. The lives of every Ukrainian will be changed forever. But in the end, it’s the Russian people who are the real losers. They will never be free as long as they permit themselves to be ruled by people like Putin who, surrounded by ass-licking toadies who are too afraid to tell him the truth.  And if we are not careful and continue to choose people who buy into the machinations of a self-important airbag whose goal is to make sure the poor and downtrodden, don’t vote, we will become the same miserable bastards the Russians are……….........
 
[1]source: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/berlin-airlift#:
~:text=The%20crisis%20started%20on%20June,Allied%20airbases%20in
%20western%20Germany.

[2] https://medium.com/travel-tips-sharing/understanding-a-little-of-the-russian-mindset-6e8b24958919







New Bills Seek To Help Americans Retire
With Enough Money to Actually Live

By Lizzy Francis

Americans’ retirement plans may be getting a massive makeover. The Securing a Strong Retirement Act, AKA Secure 2.0, passed the House on a bipartisan basis (and overwhelmingly so, with 414 lawmakers voting yes and only 5 voting no) on March 29th. And it could soon pass the Senate.


The bill could fix many retirement issues facing American workers — and given that nearly half of older workers have no retirement savings and Boomers, on average, do not have enough money saved for retirement, it could come at no better time.

Although there are some key details to resolve — the House passed a version of Secure 2.0 that is separate from one the Senate has been working on, the Retirement Security and Savings Act — there are some major similarities to the laws that could benefit workers.




Older adults with rheumatoid arthritis still
Undermedicated, despite aggressive guidelines

By Noah Fromson


The inflammatory condition affects more than 1 million Americans.

Data from the 1990s and early 2000s estimate these drugs were prescribed to fewer than 30% of older adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers say the rise in prescriptions likely reflects a shift towards early treatment and expanded Medicare coverage. Despite this recent increase, Lee says, prescription practices of both rheumatologists and primary care physicians fall below the standard set by the American College of Rheumatology, which advocates that most rheumatoid arthritis patients receive some form of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.


“When you look at younger adults with this condition, more than 70 to 80% are on some form of treatment,” said Lee, who is also an assistant professor of rheumatology at University of Michigan Medical School. “Prescribing for older adults is challenging because polypharmacy and multimorbidity are common, and this population is more prone to the negative effects of disease-modifying drugs. However, we should be cautious older adults do not experience more pain and deformities that really limit their functioning because of undertreatment.”


Around 20% of patients not prescribed disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs took only steroids for their rheumatoid arthritis, which is known to cause pain and stiffness in the joints. Experts advise against the use of steroids, which can increase the possibility of gastric ulcer, poor glycemic control, and osteoporosis and subsequent fracture.  



How to rejuvenate the immune system of elderly people and
Reduce their risk of infectious disease:
Study results identify reason for why older adults are
Significantly more susceptible to infectious diseases



A new study, led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine, identifies a reason for why older adults are significantly more susceptible to infectious diseases than younger people, a critical societal issue most recently exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study results also pave the way for new potential therapeutic targets to rejuvenate the immune system in older adults and thereby reduce their risk of infectious disease.

"Through this study, we have gained a new understanding of why older adults are more susceptible to infectious diseases, which will enable us to identify potential new treatments," said senior author Michael Demetriou, MD, PhD, a professor of neurology at the UCI School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology at UCI. First author and assistant professor in the UCI Department of Pathology, Haik Mkhikian, MD, PhD, added, "We've identified a potential fountain of youth for the immune system."



Study Identifies Risk Factors for Skin Cancer in Older Adults,
Highlights Utility of Screening and Prevention

By Rose McNulty

Skin cancer is increasingly common, and certain risk factors such as skin type and sun exposure are already known to increase the odds of skin cancer development. But research is lacking when it comes to skin cancer risk in older populations, according to a recent study that aimed to provide insight into risk factors in a cohort aged between 70 and 93 years.

The study, published in BMC Geriatrics, explored associations between new skin cancers and history of previous skin cancer, sex, age, skin type, history of outdoor work, and socioeconomic status (SES). The potential clinical utility of regular total-body skin examination (TBSE) for earlier detection and prevention in these older patients was also assessed.

The retrospective cross-sectional study included data from 552 participants (346 women and 206 men) who were parents of children in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966)



Best Senior Living Ratings Will Debut May 10
By Michael Blaiss

U.S. News & World Report has served the American public for decades as an unbiased arbiter of quality across a variety of important choices. Whether purchasing a car or picking a college, selecting a hospital or moving to a nursing home – consumers come to U.S. News to research and make consequential life decisions.

Next month, U.S. News will add an important new offering – Best Senior Living – to its stable of trusted consumer guides. Today, families have limited information when comparing providers of independent living, assisted living, memory care or continuing care. The Best Senior Living ratings will fill this informational gap with comprehensive and transparent data and help older consumers and their families identify high-quality senior living communities that meet their needs and preferences.

The new ratings will be determined by an objective statistical assessment of each senior living community’s performance on consumer satisfaction surveys. U.S. News data analysts studied data from surveys of residents – and family members of residents – living in thousands of independent living, assisted living, memory care and continuing care retirement communities. Under an agreement with U.S. News, Activated Insights, a customer and employee analytics platform, worked with participating locations to conduct the surveys and then provided results to U.S. News for statistical analysis. Following its established practices to ensure objectivity and integrity, U.S. News developed the methodology. The results of the analysis will be published on usnews.com on May 10, where we will identify the Best Senior Living awardees and provide useful information about all participating communities.






Top Cellphone Options for Seniors
By Anna Medaris Miller and Lisa Esposito

When it comes to cellphone features and options, the choices can be overwhelming, especially when considering the unique needs of older adults. But when you know your needs and have a budget in mind, you can find the right fit for a happy cellular relationship.


“There is a whole suite of phones with greater accessibility and usability. There are models that offer an easy user experience while including features such as texting, mobile apps and a camera,” says Sarah Thomas, a San Francisco-based consultant who specializes in aging and is CEO of Delight by Design, a consulting firm.

Smartphone Options for Older Adults

Generally, the most popular phones are smartphones. These are cellphones that enable the user to do much more than just make phone calls, send text messages and get voicemail.

You can do things like surf the internet, view documents, take photos, play games and access applications (apps) that let you do things like pay bills, make travel reservations, get driving directions, shop and connect to social media sites, among other things.

Here are three smartphone models best suited for older adults:









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GOOD DAY. IT’S FRIDAY, APRIL 15TH 2022




Know It All


This week on theseniorlog we talked about “The Subway Shooter” (They caught the guy, by the way.) The poor state of maintenance here at the Asylum, (They began work on the roof yesterday.) How “I’ve come to be at peace with myself”, memories of opening day at Ebbet’s field, and the secret of financial freedom. A pretty eclectic group of topics, if I say so myself. As I’ve grown older, my craving for knowledge about a wide range of things has increased. And now, since I have a smartphone that actually works, my old pal GOOGLE has been a great help in allowing me to satiate my cravings.

Because my thumbs are too fat and stubby to actually use the keyboard feature on my phone, I use the little microphone icon and “tell” GOOGLE what I want. But, because GOOGLE does not always understand my New York accent, it often gives me answers to questions I did not ask, like today.


Conversation at the breakfast table Thursday focused on traditional ethnic foods. Especially foods eaten around the Easter and Passover holidays. A Jewish holiday staple came up, flanken. One of my non-Jewish table mates did not know what flanken was. Instead of trying to give my definition of the food known in English as “short ribs”, I let GOOGLE give it a go.
 
I cleared my throat, hit the microphone icon, and spoke at the screen. “What is flanken?” I asked. And as usual, GOOGLE did not hesitate to find the answer. But despite being very clear about what I was asking and no matter how distinctly I pronounced the word “flanken”, GOOGLE, in all of its goyish [1] wisdom, gave me the answer to “What is flunking?” I tried again, using my best Midwestern voice. “What is flanken?’’ Again, without skipping a beat, GOOGLE answered the question, “What is Franken?” Flanken was obviously not in its lexicon.

Speaking of food, the facility held its monthly meeting of the “Food Committee.” Every second Tuesday, our food service supervisor allows herself to be “grilled” (pun intended) by the residents. The meeting, usually well-attended, was particularly packed on this day. This usually means there are many unhappy campers who want to vent their frustrations in public. And there were a good number of those who made their thoughts known. But surprisingly, many of the attendees gave praise to the food. Some actually said “It was the best they ever had”. WTF? Are they nuts? Granted, not everything we are served is bad. Most is acceptable (if you were an inmate in Attica, that is), but so much of what we are served shows a complete lack of knowing how certain dishes should taste & look, and what side dishes go with what main courses.

For example, last Friday was pizza day. Pizza, which really does not need a side dish or at best a simple oil and vinegar salad if you absolutely had to have a side dish. But for some reason known only to the machinations of our chef, accompanying my pepperoni pizza, was a pile of vinegary three bean salad. YUCK! This prompted me to do something I may regret. I volunteered to be on the next food committee. Why may it be a big mistake? Because as of now, I am the only volunteer. Our present food committee quit and there are no other takers. I will have some time to think about it, however. My present position on the Resident’s council prevents me from being on two boards at the same time. Maybe the next time I get the urge to volunteer, I should GOOGLE “How to keep my big mouth shut?”
 
I’ll be back on Monday with a new week of idle chatter and real news…...
 
[1] From the Yiddish word “Goy”, meaning non-Jew.
 





Fourth Pfizer Dose Averts Most Severe
COVID Outcomes in Older Adults

By  Molly Walker


A fourth dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine provided modest protection against infection in older adults, as well as greater protection against more severe outcomes, real-world data from Israel showed.


In a cohort of 182,122 matched pairs of adults ages 60 and up, relative vaccine effectiveness ranged from 52% against asymptomatic infection to 76% against COVID-related death 14 to 30 days after the fourth dose, reported Noa Dagan, MD, of Clalit Health Services in Tel Aviv, and colleagues in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This study filled in some gaps about the effectiveness of a fourth dose that were not covered by other recent real-world studies from Israel, mainly regarding protection against more severe outcomes, such as COVID-related death.




To Families’ Dismay, Biden Nursing Home Reform
Doesn’t View Them as Essential Caregivers

By Judith Graham


When the Biden administration announced a set of proposed nursing home reforms last month, consumer advocates were both pleased and puzzled.


The reforms call for minimum staffing requirements, stronger regulatory oversight, and better public information about nursing home quality — measures advocates have promoted for years. Yet they don’t address residents’ rights to have contact with informal caregivers — family members and friends who provide both emotional support and practical assistance.

That’s been a painful concern during the pandemic as nursing homes have locked down, caregivers have been unable to visit loved ones, and a significant number of residents have become isolated, discouraged, or depressed.




Most older adults want to 'age in place'
But many haven't taken steps to help them do so:



The vast majority of people over 50 say it's important that they keep living in their current homes for as long as possible. But a new poll shows many of them haven't planned or prepared for "aging in place," and a sizable percentage might have a hard time paying for in-home help.


The pandemic's toll on older adults, especially those in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, has brought the issue of living independently at home into the national spotlight. So have policy proposals around changing the ability of Medicare and Medicaid to pay for virtual care and in-home help.

But the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging suggest many people in their 50s, 60s and 70s need to do more to modify their homes or plan for services they may need if they want to avoid or delay needing to move. The poll also shows differences in aging-in-place readiness among the 28% of older adults who told the poll that they live alone.




It's not just you --
We are all more forgetful during the pandemicy.
Here's how to fix it

By Madeline Holcombe


Are dates, details and daily tasks feeling a bit fuzzy these past couple of years? It's not just you, experts say.

It's not laziness or losing your sharpness -- being in a global pandemic for the last two years is actually making it harder for our brains to make and recall memories, said Amir-Homayoun Javadi, a senior lecturer in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom.


"We tend to habituate and get used to situations," said Javadi, who is also the chief executive officer of Active-Class, a learning management system. "The situation for the past two years has pushed us to not do much and not to plan."

And getting too used to life in this time can mean cognitive damage, memory disruption and trouble maintaining attention, he added.






Checklist for What to Do After Someone Dies
By Leanne Potts


When people die, they leave behind a life that must be closed out. The funeral must be planned, bank accounts closed, pets rehomed, final bills paid.


When someone you love dies, the job of handling those personal and legal details may fall to you. It’s a stressful, bureaucratic task that can take a year or more to complete, all while you are grieving the loss.

The amount of paperwork can take survivors by surprise. “It's a big responsibility,” emphasizes Bill Harbison, a trusts and estates lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee. “There are a lot of details to take care of.”


Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE







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CHECK OUT TheSeniorLog.comWEEKEND EDITION

AND AN ALL NEW BLOG

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY. IT’S THURSDAY, APRIL 14TH 2022





Vegan diet reduces arthritis
Pain and inflammation

By Andrei Ionescu

A new study conducted by a team of researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has found that a low-fat vegan diet, without calorie restrictions, significantly improves joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune condition which typically causes joint pain, swelling, and eventually permanent joint damage. Moreover, study participants following such a diet have also experienced weight loss and improved cholesterol levels.


“A plant-based diet could be the prescription to alleviate joint pain for millions of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,” said study lead author Neal Barnard, the president of the Physicians Committee. “And all of the side effects, including weight loss and lower cholesterol, are only beneficial.”

At the outset of the study, Dr. Barnard and his team asked participants to use a visual analog scale (VAS) to rate the severity of their joint pain in the two weeks preceding the study, from “no pain” to “pain as bad as it could possibly be.” Based on tender joints, swollen joints, and C-reactive protein values, the scientists also calculated participants’ Disease Activity Score-28 (DAS28), which indicates the level of inflammation in the body.



43% of seniors grapple with higher debt payments
As Fed raises interest rates

By Erika Giovanetti

In March, the Federal Reserve implemented the first of several interest rate hikes planned for 2022 to offset rising consumer prices. But at a time when inflation is rising at its fastest pace in 40 years, the Fed's economic policy may drive borrowing costs higher for seniors — many of whom rely on a fixed Social Security income.


About two in five seniors (43%) carry revolving credit card debt, according to a new survey from advocacy group The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). What's more, about half (49%) of respondents have spent their savings or have no emergency fund at all.

"Credit card debt in retirement can quickly get out of hand, and this is especially true during periods when interest rates climb," said TSCL Policy Analyst Mary Johnson.




Faster diagnosis of frailty in seniors aging at home
Is key to helping them stay independent

By Tammy O'rourke and Anne Summach



In the next 10 years, the number of Canadians living with frailty will grow to more than two million. Frailty matters because it not only affects seniors' ability to function, but also puts their health at risk.

Frailty is a state of reduced physical function for seniors living independently in the community. It looks different for different individuals and can affect endurance, balance, cognition or social engagement. Often frailty assessment is limited to in-office assessments by physicians. If it could be assessed in other settings, it may provide opportunities to respond to seniors' needs for services faster and with less burden on the health-care system.

As nurse practitioners, we led a quality improvement project to expand identification and response to frailty for seniors living in the community. The project also engaged social work staff and others working in seniors' services in Edmonton to assess older adults for frailty, performing these assessments at a seniors' centre in the community.




Study: Older adults with rheumatoid arthritis
Still undermedicated, despite aggressive guidelines

By Noah Fromson

Despite guidelines that call for early and aggressive treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a new study suggests many older adults are not prescribed disease-modifying medications for their inflammatory autoimmune disease.


Researchers at Michigan Medicine used the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to analyze all ambulatory visits for rheumatoid arthritis by adults 65 years of age and older, representing 7.8 million visits from 2005 to 2016. They found that only 45% of patients were prescribed disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, like methotrexate, which are used to treat inflammation caused by several diseases. The results are published in ACR Open Rheumatology.

"These medications have really changed the landscape of rheumatology, allowing low disease activity and remission to be achieved in people with rheumatoid arthritis, and now there needs to be a shifting consideration of how we can better target their use among older adults," said Jiha Lee, M.D., M.H.S., lead author of the paper and a rheumatologist at U-M Health. "The prescription rates for these disease-modifying drugs have improved over the past few decades, but there is more work to be done to ensure older adults are on optimized treatment."







If You Can't Stop Craving Ice,
Get a Blood Test
By Lauren Gray


Food cravings can occur for a range of reasons that are physical, mental, and emotional. And while some cravings may represent a sudden and intense but passing desire for a specific food, others are your body's convoluted way of alerting you to a more persistent underlying condition. Experts say there's one particular craving which may point to the latter, and if you experience it, a blood test can help you get to the root of the problem. Read on to find out which craving can signal a potentially serious health condition, and why it's important not to try to diagnose or treat it yourself.


Craving ice on a hot day is both normal and common. But if your craving is persistent, and seems unrelated to heat or thirst, it may be due to a nutritional deficiency. "Doctors use the term 'pica' to describe craving and chewing substances that have no nutritional value—such as ice, clay, soil, or paper," explains Rajiv K. Pruthi, M.B.B.S., on behalf of the Mayo Clinic. "Craving and chewing ice (pagophagia) is often associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia," he adds.


Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder worldwide, notes a 2013 study in the journal American Family Physician.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE






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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2022


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GOOD DAY. IT’S WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13TH 2022



Op-ed




Tu
esday morning, at the tail-end of the rush hour, some maniac tossed a smoke bomb onto the floor of a crowded NYC subway car and then shot at least ten people. The gas-mask wearing shooter then fled the scene at the next stop, leaving dozens gasping for air and bleeding from gunshot wounds. This is just another in a long line of gun-related crimes that have plagued the city I have called home for most of my life. And it bothers me, a lot.

I was born in NYC. I went to school there (K-college) and I worked there all my life. Furthermore, I have walked the streets at all hours and taken the subways and buses without fear, and I have never been a victim of a personal crime. Was it always safe? No, not always. New York is a big city and there are many people with so many views and opinions that conflicts are bound to happen. But there is a difference between what it was like ten years ago and now. In the past, people would settle a dispute with a good old-fashioned beat down. Maybe, under extreme circumstances, someone would pull out a switchblade. But now the weapon of choice by the new crop of vermin that have infested my city is a gun. And an automatic one at that. No skill is needed. No personal contact has to be made. Just stand at a distance and shoot. And maybe you’ll actually hit the guy you are shooting at. But more likely, since none of the would-be 'gangsta' hit-men knows how to shoot, the bullets will find their way to an innocent bystander who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like 16-year-old Angellyh Yambo, who was shot as she walked home from school on Friday. The killer, Jeremiah Ryan, is only 17.

It would be easy to point a finger at legislators and first amendment right-wingers for the proliferation of firearms. But there is more to it than that. Just because it’s easier to get a gun now than it was in the past represents only a means to an end. The real question that should be asked is what is it about people today that makes them think the only way to settle an argument or right a wrong is to kill the other person? Where does this come from? Where is that little chunk of brain cell that used to make us pause and think about the consequences of our actions? You can’t blame TV or the media. We have always had violence and gunplay on TV. But on TV, the guy that gets shot doesn’t really die. Does the kid with a ghost-gun he bought from some dude on the corner think that after he shoots someone, they get up and go home? Only a crazy person, separated from reality, would think that. Does that mean there are more crazy people on the loose? That may be a good excuse for some career criminal who has slipped through the cracks because of the flaws in our criminal justice system. But many of the shooters are kids without priors. What put them over the edge? I wish I had an easy answer. Or any answer.

They will catch the person who did Tuesdays violence, just as they apprehend most killers. And he will go through the system as criminals have always done. And he will do some time and serve a fraction of the sentence because we just can’t lock up everybody forever. But will anybody find out, or even care to find out, what made him do it? They are mentally ill, yes. But why are there so many more of them? What is it about the way we live that breeds this insanity? Have we completely lost our moral fiber?

Many of us grew up poor, in rough neighborhoods. And some of us went to jail. But most grew up living good, productive lives. There is something going on with today’s kids, and we don’t have a clue what it is. And until we figure that out, we will have more innocent people die on a street, leaving another family to grieve and ask why………………

 


Having a sense of purpose in life can
Slash risk of developing dementia

Feeling a sense of purpose or meaning in life can lower the risk of developing dementia, a study shows.

Researchers reviewed evidence from eight previously published papers which included data from 62,250 older adults across three continents.


They found higher purpose or meaning in life was ‘significantly associated’ with a reduced risk of dementia and cognitive impairment. Notably, having a sense of purpose was linked with a 19 per cent reduced rate of clinically significant cognitive impairment.


This means they were almost a fifth less likely to have experienced concerning declines in memory, language and thinking abilities.


Social media use linked to depression in adults
By Erika Edwards

While social media has been widely linked to anxiety and depression in teenagers, new evidence suggests that platforms such as TikTok and Instagram can leave middle-aged adults feeling sad, too.


The research, published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, is based on a series of surveys of 5,395 adults whose average age was 56.

The surveys, conducted from May 2020 through May this year, began as a way for researchers to learn more about how adults were coping throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over time, researchers increasingly became interested in whether social media use might be linked to changes in mental health.




Biden Must Restore Seniors' Access
To Essential Medicines
BY HOWARD DEAN , FORMER GOVERNOR, VERMONT

In its final hours, the Trump administration fired a parting shot at our nation's most vulnerable patients. On January 19, Medicare officials announced a new payment model that could wreak havoc on the chronically ill.


The proposed model—technically put forward by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation—affects Medicare's Part D prescription drug benefit, which relies on private insurers to administer seniors' drug coverage.

CMS heavily regulates these insurers' plans. One such regulation requires insurers to cover "all or substantially all" drugs in six protected classes: antiretrovirals, antineoplastics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and immunosuppressants.




Despite Seniors’ Strong Desire to Age in Place,
The Village Model Remains a Boutique Option

By Judith Graham


Twenty years ago, a group of pioneering older adults in Boston created an innovative organization for people committed to aging in place: Beacon Hill Village, an all-in-one social club, volunteer collective, activity center, peer-to-peer support group, and network for various services.


Today, there are 268 such villages with more than 40,000 members in the U.S., and an additional 70 are in development — a significant accomplishment, considering how hard it is to get these organizations off the ground. But those numbers are a drop in the bucket given the needs of the nation’s 54 million older adults. And villages remain a boutique, not a mass-market, option for aging in place.


Now, people invested in the village movement are asking tough questions about its future. Can these grassroots organizations be seeded far more widely in communities across the country as baby boomers age? Can they move beyond their white, middle-class roots and attract a broader, more diverse membership? Can they forge partnerships that put them on a more stable operational and financial footing?






Special Considerations For Divorces
Involving Middle-Aged And Older Americans:


PART 2: DIVISION OF ASSETS AND DEBTS, RETIREMENT BENEFITS, AND ESTATE PLANNING MATTERS

As discussed in Part One of our two-part series detailing the social phenomenon know as “grey” divorce, a number of recent studies, reports and other analyses have found an interesting trend in the divorce rates amongst adults of 45 years of age or older. While studies show that the rate of divorce for adults under 35 has significantly decreased in the past three decades, divorce rates involving middle aged and older Americans have risen.


Regardless of the potential rationale or basis for this societal phenomenon, its mere existence has also contributed to the rise of some special, unique considerations which should be evaluated in connection with divorces and dissolutions of couples in this particular age demographic.


In the first installment of this series, we examined the following three special considerations: spousal support; access to health insurance; and adult children. In this second and final installment, however, we will examine three additional special considerations for cases involving parties in this particular age demographic: in particular, the division of assets and debts, retirement benefits and assets and subsequent estate planning.








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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2022



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GOOD DAY. IT’S TUESDAY APRIL 12TH 2022





I could tell by the dour expression on my table-mate’s face that she was not a happy camper.
 
“What’s the matter with you?”  , I asked.
 
“A pipe burst on the third floor (the floor she lived on) and flooded half of the rooms. I’ve been up since 1:30. They had to move us out and the fire department came to turn off the water’', she said. “There’s an inch of water on the floor”, she continued.
 
This was just one of the many maintenance problems that has plagued this facility in recent months.
 
The annex where I live (Built sometime after the beleaguered main building) also has its issues. The results of poor construction and neglect have come to fruition. Our roof leaks like a sieve, causing management to find other accommodations for the affected residents.


If this were an ancient building, many of the problems would be routine and expected. But this building is less than 20-years-old.
 
When I first moved here, the place was ship-shape. A model of what an assisted facility should look like. Fresh paint, carpeted halls and tasteful wall coverings made this place look more like a hotel than a long-term care facility. However, even the prettiest face needs some TLC now and again, but it’s not happening here. The once smart wallpaper is now dull and in need of replacement. The carpeting in the common areas and the rooms are threadbare. The walls need painting; the windows need cleaning and some of the bathroom fixtures need repair.

If maintenance issues were the only sign of neglect, I would mark it off as a lack of personnel (something that is affecting most ALFs). But it’s more than that. The horror show that has become our mealtimes is a truer barometer of the systemic problems we have here. In a word, the food SUCKS.
 
I know you know that I have had a running battle over the food here almost from day one. None of the 10, 11, or 12 food service supervisors have gotten it right. How they can take decent raw materials delivered by our vendors and turn it into swill in a matter of minutes is beyond me. But in the past, at least the food was plentiful, and the menus varied. Now it’s repetitive and in short supply. Seconds (if you actually would want them) are not always available and the portion sizes are noticeably smaller. Breakfasts used to include at least one meat side (bacon, sausage, ham) at least 4 times a week. We haven’t seen so much as a speck of meat-based protein for 5 days.
 
Even main courses that feature meat, chicken or fish are piled high with cheap fillers like rice, potatoes and pasta. Canned veggies have replaced fresh and the deserts are dull and mediocre. Yesterday afternoon was the first time we had a slice of pie in over a month and a half. We used to get it once a week.


So, what’s going on here? While any speculation would be just that, one cannot disregard the reason for this obvious decline, money. 

This pandemic has affected all of our pocketbooks, but none more so than assisted living facilities who have been trying to recoup the tens of thousands of dollars spent (and continuing to be spent) on COVID related PPE supplies with little of promised government help on the way.
 
For now, it’s only the maintenance and the food that is suffering. To its credit, the facility is still maintaining a high standard of care and safety. But for how long? How much more money will have to go non-reimbursed before the very basics of care are affected? Will it take illness or death to make the point? I sincerely hope it will not come to that………………..
 
 
 


$2,753 monthly check:
what political organizations are
behind the proposal?

Those receiving Social Security benefits can count on their monthly payments being adjusted annually to account for inflation. This is especially important to maintain purchasing power for older Americans who often live on a fixed budget, as rising prices hit their pocketbooks harder.


This year the Social Security Administration implemented a historic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 5.9 percent, the highest in decades. The increase will raise the average monthly amount that the agency pays individual retired workers to $1,657 and couples that both receive benefits to $2,753 according to agency estimates.

Despite the record boost to monthly payments to Social Security recipients, including retired Americans - working and disabled individuals - as well as their spouses, widows, widowers, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, there are warnings that their buying power is falling behind. An update in October to an ongoing inflation study by The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior advocacy group, found that Social Security benefits had lost 32 percent of their purchasing power since 2000.




America's Senior Homeless Population
Is Growing as More Retire on Streets

By Anita Snow

Karla Finocchio's slide into homelessness began when she split with her partner of 18 years and temporarily moved in with a cousin.


The 55-year-old planned to use her $800-a-month disability check to get an apartment after back surgery. But she soon was sleeping in her old pickup protected by her German Shepherd mix Scrappy, unable to afford housing in Phoenix, where median monthly rents soared 33% during the coronavirus pandemic to over $1,220 for a one-bedroom, according to ApartmentList.com.

Finocchio is one face of America’s graying homeless population, a rapidly expanding group of destitute and desperate people 50 and older suddenly without a permanent home after a job loss, divorce, family death or health crisis during a pandemic.



6 Supplements That Don’t Always
Mix With Prescriptions

By Constance Sommer


Turmeric, ginseng, a probiotic, even vitamin C — all of these, when taken in packaged form, are supplements. Some have lined store shelves for decades. Others are ancient cures processed and packaged for 21st-century consumers.


Whatever their history, supplements are everywhere these days, and consumers are eating them up, spending billions each year on capsules, powders and gummies. More than half of adults age 20 and older have taken one in the last 30 days, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found — and that percentage increases with age. About 80 percent of women over age 60 take dietary supplements, the same report shows.

But what many adults don’t realize is that taking some of these supplements alongside prescription drugs and other medicines can have dangerous and even life-threatening effects. A number of supplements can enhance, diminish or negate a prescription drug in ways that can be consequential and unpredictable, says Laura Shane-McWhorter, a clinical professor of pharmacology at the University of Utah.​

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Antipsychotic prescribing increases in
Assisted living during pandemic



The prescribing of antipsychotic medications in assisted living communities and nursing homes has increased by 1.5% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent study.


The findings raise questions about the short- and long-term effects on the quality of care and health outcomes for residents, according to the authors. The investigators did not separate findings by setting in the study, from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Reducing off-label use of antipsychotics in assisted living communities has been a goal of the industry. A new assisted living community accreditation program launched last year by The Joint Commission is using medication management — specifically off-label antipsychotic drug use — as one of its performance measures. The National Center for Assisted Living’s Quality Initiative also considers antipsychotic medication use among its criteria. Recent years’ criteria for award recipients have included the use of off-label antipsychotic medications in 15% of residents or less.




TUESDAY SPECIAL

Special Considerations for Divorces Involving
Middle-Aged and Older Americans


Part 1: Spousal Support,
 Access to Health Insurance and Adult Children

In recent years, the growth in the divorce rate among middle-aged and older American couples has been an interesting trend that many researchers have been monitoring. Notably, studies, reports and other analyses from the past few years have found that, over approximately the past three decades, the divorce rate for adults under age 35 has continued to decrease, while the divorce rate for adults 45 years of age and older has continued to significantly increase over that same timeframe. The increase in the divorce rate has been especially pronounced when solely isolating the analysis to adults ages 55 – 64. This overall phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the rise of the “grey” divorce.


Regardless of the potential rationale or basis for this societal phenomenon, its mere existence has also contributed to the rise of some special, unique considerations which should be evaluated in connection with divorces and dissolutions of couples in this particular age demographic. While not intended to be all-inclusive, this two-article series explores some of those special considerations. In the first installment of this series, we will examine three special considerations—specifically, spousal support, access to health insurance and adult children.
Spousal Support


see part 2 tomorrow







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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2022



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GOOD DAY. IT’S MONDAY, APRIL 11TH 2022



From the editor




For most of my adult life, I have been at war. At war with parents, teachers, bosses, spouses, doctors, administrators and…myself. I don’t think I have known more than a few years of peace in my life, if any.

 
I understand life is a series of conflicts which most of us resolve and move on. And I did just that. I put out fires as they arose, but with each fire, with each conflict, a bit of my inner peace disappeared, never to be heard of again. This left me bitter and angry. I could not understand why things that came so easily to others were difficult for me. And who did I blame? I blamed myself. I believed my own real or perceived inadequacies were at fault. I hated myself.

Self-loathing has its consequences. Most notably, for me, was making poor decisions about my health. I was eating poorly, gaining weight (which led to isolation and seclusion). And I never, ever went to a doctor, probably the worst thing a middle-aged man should do. And what was worse, there was nobody around to tell me otherwise. Bachelorhood is not all it’s cracked up to be.

To my amazement, I survived those years until it all eventually caught up with me. A life-threatening case of ulcerative colitis, a few surgeries and a long hospital stay wiped away any shred of self-respect I might have had left. I was at the lowest point of my life and on the verge of slipping further into darkness. However, as fate would have it, a non-emergency hospital visit to correct a thyroid problem put me in contact with a person who turned my life around. This person was the resident psychiatrist who, after a half hour of me spilling my guts to her, gave me a diagnosis. I left the hospital with two prescriptions. One to correct my thyroid problem and the other to help with the one thing I never thought of: depression.

How long had I been depressed; I did not know. Perhaps I had this condition since childhood. But as with most mental illnesses, it went undiagnosed. Apparently, I had been carrying this burden for years. And now, with a few grams of a mild anti-depressant, what had been bothering me slowly subsided. Within weeks, the cobwebs lifted. Where there was fog now, there was clarity. The dim light at the end of the tunnel became brighter. The fugue playing in my head became light dinner music.
 
It still took a few years before I could state with any certainty that I had finally found what I was looking for. There were months of rehab ahead. My finances were in a shambles, and I owed thousands. But now, I knew that what was happening was not my fault. I did not choose illness over health, isolation over accessibility. I took control of my life, knowing that there will always be external forces beyond my ability to manage.

I don’t know what your physical condition is. If you are an old codger like me, I would guess you have persistent pain or two. But what I know is this. If there is something bothering you. If you find you are doubting yourself or others. If you are more irritable and making poor decisions, include a visit to a mental health professional as part of your routine medical care. A few minutes spent discussing your feelings with somebody could help put you on the path to finding the inner peace you deserve. It did for me…
 




The Case for Putting Seniors in
Charge of Universal Pre-K

By Marc Freedman and Carol Larson

What Is The Child Tax Credit? How The Build Back Better Act Can Affect It In 2022 The Build Back Better Act, still hanging in the balance, includes $400 billion for universal pre-kindergarten along with considerable subsidies for child care. That's enough money to dramatically change the lives and prospects of millions of American children and families—but for one unanswered question: Given today's crippling labor shortages, where will we find the workforce to provide care and education for the country's youngest students?


One of the most compelling and overlooked solutions resides at the other end of the age spectrum, in the vast and growing older population. We need an intergenerational early childhood Caring Corps as ambitious as the Climate Corps the administration is proposing.

The Caring Corps could start at 100,000 elders helping young children read, learn, and develop, then climb to 1 million elders over the six years of the administration's early childhood mobilization and investment.




Why Seniors Are the Best Age for
Studying and Discovering the World

By Susan Saurel


Transitioning from the 50s to the 60s and 70s is one of the most beautiful and important time periods or our life. That’s because this is when we take the time to look within and discover what’s been lying there, undiscovered, for such a long time. Our hectic daily lives can distract us from understanding what truly matters, so we might not be able to enjoy ourselves, have alone, quiet time, or pursue our passion until this transition. While this is quite sad, most people would agree it’s true. Indeed, starting to do all the above from a young age should be something normal, but there are just so many duties and responsibilities we cannot escape that making time for our souls can be challenging.


As older adults, we can now focus on ourselves, our inner passions, our studies, and our own world-discovery pathways. Here are some facts about senior life; I hope you find our advice useful as well.

    This Is When You Make Time to Rediscover Yourself

As Seniors, we are tempted to rediscover ourselves and our inner balance, one way or the other. It’s funny how the life cycle unfolds – as children, we are taught to respect rules; as teenagers, we try to break those rules that we’ve just learned, while during adulthood,....




For Older Americans,
Some Positive Health News
By Paula Span


Three recent developments — incremental and undramatic but encouraging — are likely to improve the lives and health of seniors.


The Covid pandemic has presented older Americans with plenty of grim news, from staffing shortages in long-term care and hospices to the punishing effects of loneliness and isolation. But there have been encouraging developments too — the kind of incremental progress that can take years to achieve, as lawsuits wend their way through courts, bills die in state legislatures and rise again, and the pandemic complicates everything.


The results are not always dramatic, but they can improve lives and health for older people, especially those with low income. Here are three...,.




Why Black and Hispanic Seniors Are Left
With a Less Powerful Flu Vaccine

By Arthur Allen


At Whitman-Walker Health, Dr. David Fessler and his staff administer high-dose influenza vaccine to all HIV-positive and senior patients. Although the vaccine is roughly three times as expensive as standard flu vaccine, it seems to do a better job at protecting those with weakened immune systems — a major focus of the nonprofit’s Washington, D.C., clinics.


At the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, meanwhile, Dr. Melissa Martinez runs a drive-thru clinic providing 10,000 influenza vaccines each year for a community made up largely of Black and Hispanic residents. It’s open to all comers, and they all get the standard vaccine.

These different approaches to preventing influenza, a serious threat to the young and old even with covid-19 on the scene, reflect the fact that federal health officials haven’t taken a clear position on whether the high-dose flu vaccine — on the market since 2010 — is the best choice for the elderly. Another factor is cost. While Medicare reimburses both vaccines, the high-dose shot is three times as expensive, and carrying both vaccines for different populations requires additional staffing and logistics.








15 Products for Older Adults:
A Guide for Caretakers

By Mary Nolan-Pleckham, RN

By 2034, the number of adults over age 65 is expected to be larger than the number of children in the United States for the first time in history.1 Having so many older adults means that the need for caregivers will continue to increase.


As a caretaker, you may be responsible for assisting with activities of daily living (ADLs). Depending on what your loved one needs, you might be responsible for feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, or even transferring them from bed to wheelchair.
 

Caregivers report physical and emotional strain as a result of their caregiving tasks.2 Thankfully, there are products that can help ease some of the demands of caregiving and help to keep your loved one in good hands.









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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2022



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GOOD DAY. IT’S FRIDAY APRIL 8TH 2022






The place, Brooklyn, New York. The year, 1957. It’s the opening day of the Dodgers 67th season in the National League and the 44th year playing in the venerable Ebbets Field ballpark. And I’m a 12-year-old kid and I cannot believe what’s about to happen. The beginning of the end, of not only one of America’s greatest sports franchises, but the end of my youthful innocence as well. After this season, the Brooklyn Dodgers Baseball club will never play another game in Brooklyn. The team is moving west to Los Angeles, abandoning the city and leaving a void in the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of fans.

The reason for the move is complicated. But it all stems from the team wanting (and needing) a new stadium and the City not wanting to provide one for them. At least not where the Dodgers owner, Walter O’Malley, wanted it. He wanted a new ballpark built near the transportation hub in Downtown Brooklyn. But Robert Moses offered him a site in Queens. Walter said no, and the rest is history. That, at least, is the basic story. O’Malley did the only thing he could do and moved the team to L.A. who offered him a good deal. A year later, the Dodgers arch rival, the N.Y Giants, would find greener pastures in San Francisco. At least the rivalry would continue.

I will not tell you I remember that last season. It was all sort of blurry. The truth is, I could hardly watch any of the games. For me and my friends, it was too painful. We were all died-in-the-wool Dodger fans [1] and we did not know what to do. Who were we supposed to root for? Certainly not the Giants and most certainly not the dreaded Yankees who were not only in another league, but played in a part of the city nobody from New York’s other boroughs liked, THE BRONX. It was too hard to bear or believe. The team I had given my heart to left me. I would not feel a pain like that again until 1984 when my wife said she wanted a divorce.

If you were not born in Brooklyn, and did not live practically in the shadow of Ebbets field, you cannot understand the relationship. Back then, summers meant only a few things. No school, an occasional trip to Coney Island and the Dodgers. There were no video games or texting or TikTok to occupy our time. There were only street games (punchball, stickball) and the Dodgers. And for them to leave us, not because they lost their fans but because a greedy, money-hungry owner could not get his way, made me question my faith in people, the government. God and the very fabric of the universe. I had, in one summer season, lost my naïveté and my ignorance. I now knew how the world worked. And it did not work on sentimentality or nostalgia. It ran on money and avarice and nothing would ever be the same.

The baseball drought ended in 1962 when the Mets opened in, of all places, the worst ballpark ever, the Polo Grounds. National League baseball was back in New York. And, while it was not the same, they filled a hole in the hearts of all of us who grew up in a time when there was something worth believing in. A place called Brooklyn, and a team called the Dodgers………………..
 

[1] All, that is except my friend Marvin Katz who for some reason liked the Giants.





Technology has been a boon to some older adults,
But a serious obstacle for others

By Tom Kamber


Back in graduate school my statistics professor, Mr. Sherrill, showed us a graph one day that looked like a two-humped camel. “This distribution,” he explained, “is called ‘bimodal.’ When there are two distinct trends within a population, instead of a normal bell curve, we get this two-peaked shape.”


For older adults dealing with the rapid and sometimes overwhelming impact of technology on our lives, the results are looking like one of Professor Sherrill’s two-humped camel graphs. Many older adults are thriving in the digital age—Zooming away happily with friends, ordering groceries online, and staying healthy with streaming fitness classes.

Others, unfortunately, are struggling to use technology and, in many cases, barely taking advantage of it at all. This “bimodal” pattern of technology impact for older adults has far-reaching implications for how we evaluate the benefits of technology and what we should do when it fails some of the most vulnerable citizens.



How Not to Care When People Don’t Like You
By Rebecca Fishbein


When I was in high school, I found out that my friends didn’t like me. One of the girls in my “group” told me I wasn’t invited to a birthday party because “everyone” thought I was annoying—which, to be honest, at 15 I probably was—and for months I was ostracized. It took some time for me to worm my way back into the gang, but until then, I was devastated, and I swore I would spend the rest of my life being likable.


But, as David Foster Wallace (sorry) wrote in Infinite Jest (sorry again), “certain persons simply will not like you not matter what you do,” and no matter how likable you think you are, you’re not going to win over every person you meet. “Remember that it is impossible to please everyone,” Chloe Brotheridge, a hypnotherapist and anxiety expert, tells us. “You have your own unique personality which means some people will love and adore you, while others may not.” Of course, while this concept is easy to understand on its face, it’s difficult to keep your perspective in check when you find you’re, say, left out of invitations to happy hours with co-workers, or getting noncommittal responses from potential new friends, or you overhear your roommates bad-mouthing you. Rejection is painful in any form, whether it be social or romantic, and it’s a big ego blow to get bumped from the inner circle.

Before you freak out, keep in mind that it’s not just normal to be occasionally disliked, but in fact, it’s healthy. Rejection is a way to suss out who’s compatible with whom, and just as getting romantically dumped by someone leaves you open to finding a better suited partner, getting axed from a social group gives you space to find folks that are a little more your speed. Plus, it’s empowering not to fear being disliked—not that you should run around violating social norms, but when you’re not wasting energy molding your personality to someone else’s to be accepted, you’re more likely to find people who genuinely like you for you, and those relationships are far less exhausting to keep up.




Protecting Seniors and Vulnerable Adults
Against Financial Exploitation


Regulators have listed the protection of senior investors at the top of their examination priorities for years. It should be no surprise with 10,000 people turning 65 every day in the United States (a number predicted to more than double over the next several decades), and Americans aged 70 and older holding 27% of all U.S. wealth. Also consider the fact that the risk of experiencing cognitive impairments, like Alzheimer’s dementia, increases with age. In the U.S., 11% of people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia. Diminished cognition affects approximately 20% of people aged 85 years or older.


Elderly populations are therefore vulnerable to scammers in various ways, and lawmakers are aggressively pursuing methods to protect senior investors from fraud. As financial stewards, investment advisors are poised at the front lines between their vulnerable clients and the scammers who are constantly in search of new ways to defraud them. According to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging (“Aging Committee”), the COVID-19 pandemic has created new avenues for scammers to exploit seniors.


Nevertheless, some efforts to protect senior investors from financial exploitation may invite civil litigation. This article discusses the challenges facing those in the financial services industry when seeking to protect vulnerable populations from fraud while not interfering with the right of an individual to control their own assets. This article also discusses regulatory efforts made to protect good-faith reporters of financial exploitation in addition to practical ways financial professionals can identify fraud before assets can fall into the wrong hands.





Eating Prunes May Reduce
Inflammation and Improve Bone Health


Study suggests daily prune consumption may reduce osteoporosis risk after menopause.

A study in postmenopausal people suggests eating nutrient-rich prunes every day may be beneficial to bone health, reducing inflammatory factors that contribute to osteoporosis. The research will be presented this week in Philadelphia at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2022.



An estimated 13.6 million people in the U.S. over the age of 50 will develop osteoporosis—a loss of bone strength caused by reduced mineral density of the bones—by the year 2030. Osteoporosis increases the risk of fracture, especially in older adults. People who experience menopause have lower levels of estrogen, which trigger an increase in inflammation in the body, which can also contribute to bone loss.






Add a Sponge to the Bottom of
The Pot to Save Your Plants

By Margaret Abrams


If Your Plants Are Dying, This Simple Trick Will Revive Them

For those of us without a green thumb, keeping houseplants alive can seem next to impossible. You either give them too much of something or not enough. Figuring out the ideal amount of water, nutrients, soil, and sun can take a lot of trial and error. If you want to get rid of some of that guesswork, we've compiled expert guidance to help you better care for your herbage. Read on to discover what you should add to the bottom of the pot if your plants are dying.


Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising at 1-800 Flowers
explains that "understanding your exact plant's care requirements, proper watering [routine], and drainage are key to helping it thrive." He advises plant newbies to look for signs that their greenery is overwatered or suffering from root rot, which can be fatal. "Root rot happens when water gets trapped in the planter and cannot drain through the soil easily," he says. "If new or old leaves begin dropping from the plant and are the color of green, brown, or yellow, or the soil has started to smell rotten, there is a good chance the plant has had too much water to drink."

If your beloved plant is showing signs of root rot, all hope is not lost, however. Palomares advises "placing a sponge at the bottom of the planter to save a plant that is currently experiencing root rot." According to Huff Post, you want to delicately remove the plant from the pot by turning it sideways and "hold it gently by the stems or leaves, and tap the bottom of its container until the plant slides out." Make sure there's no water trapped in the pot, and drain the water before you add the sponge. Then, add back in the dirt, and repot the plant.






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CHECK OUT OUR WEEKEND EDITION
AND READ AN ALL NEW BLOG
MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2022



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GOOD DAY. IT’S THURSDAY APRIL 7TH 2022







These days everybody’s bitching about how they don’t have any money, they can’t make ends meet and the price of everything is too high. They are right, of course. But that’s because they have not learned the secret of how to be financially independent and almost 100% debt free. Fortunately, I have learned that secret and will now impart that heretofore closely guarded information to you. But first, there are a few prerequisites necessary for you to qualify for the program.

First, you must be over 65 years of age or otherwise qualify for Medicare. Without the assurance of virtually free medical insurance, the “plan” does not work.


Besides Medicare, you must also be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits. This will pay for many of the little extras, like medical necessities you might need to maintain your lifestyle. Unfortunately, in order for you to qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain income requirements. Those requirements are simple. All you need to do is to show that your net worth is that of a vagrant spending his nights on a park bench. It varies state to state, but in N.Y. it’s $2000. [1]

Finally, and this is the tough one, give up practically all of your independence and leave your current abode and move into an assisted living facility. But not just any assisted living facility. The place you will need if you are to follow my plan to the letter is a facility that accepts Medicaid as partial payment of your room and board. Oh, did I mention you will also have to fork over most of your Social Security benefits to cover the costs that Medicaid doesn’t?
 
If you have too much money in the bank, you will need to find a way of divesting yourself of all that extra cash. This is difficult. You can’t give to your kids to keep for you. You can’t spend it on extravagant gifts or even elective surgery. You can give it away to charity or, do as I did, buy a pre-arranged funeral. Isn’t that pleasant?

 As a resident of an A.L.F. you will never have to pay for food or shelter again. All of your medical needs will be covered, including doctor’s visits, medications and mobility devices. Even you travel expenses to and from an outside doctor or treatment is paid for.

All of your basic needs will be taken care of. This includes housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, and meals. And, if you are really poor, you can qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) to help pay for little things like clothes, toiletries or an occasional trip to the local casino. Did I hear somebody say “Snake Eyes?”
 
 If you follow my method, you will reap these benefits and be well on your way to total financial freedom within a few weeks. In addition, with a little creativity, you can also be debt free as well. Just don’t reply to any requests for money even if they threaten to sue you. What are they going to do? Send the Sheriff to the A.L.F. to take your valuables? What valuables?

 
This method is not for everybody. It requires a keen financial mind and an understanding of how to work the system. Or, if you are on the cusp of senility, that works too.
 
I began using this method in 2013 and I have not had to worry about anything to do with finance since. And I even have enough extra cash to pay my Netflix bill. Which reminds me. The new season of “Better Call Saul” is on. Oh. Did I mention I get free Wi-Fi too?…..


[1] “A single applicant, aged 65 or older, is permitted up to $2,000 in countable assets to be eligible for nursing home Medicaid or HCBS Waivers. New York is a notable exception, allowing $16,800 (in 2022). Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid usually have the same asset limit.”




Advances In Medicine
Help Seniors Live Better, Longer


Advancements in medicine are making life better and longer for senior citizens. Here are some of the crucial advances, especially for seniors.

Vaccines


“Over the past two decades, widespread interest in RNA-based technologies (Ribonucleic acid) for developing prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines has increased. Interest heightened during preclinical and clinical trials, which revealed mRNA vaccines provide a safe and long-lasting immune response in humans,” according to a new report. It notes that the COVID pandemic helped speed up the process of designing and producing virus-specific vaccines.

Think about it. A COVID vaccine was developed, produced, approved and deployed to combat the deadly disease that was upending our world in a year’s time. It took researchers some 23 years, from 1930 to 1953, to produce the polio vaccine.





How Wealth Matters in the Health of Older Adults
By Patrick J. Kiger


After being released from a hospital intensive care unit, low-income 65-and-older adults face a starkly higher risk of developing new physical and cognitive problems than other patients their age who are better off financially, according to a study appearing in the Annals of Internal Medicine.



The study, led by researchers at Yale University’s School of Medicine, found that in the six months after being discharged from the ICU, those poor enough to be eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare were nearly 10 times more likely to suffer serious cognitive decline than patients with higher incomes who qualified only for Medicare.


Study coauthor Lauren Ferrante, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, called the finding — based on an analysis of data gathered from older ICU patients from 2011 to 2017 — a “shocking effect” of income disparities.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Family Members May Want Your Stuff —
Just Not the Stuff You Think They Want

"Brutal honesty" is a phrase my clients often hear me use. Being brutally honest is a skill that I've used most of my life, sometimes to my detriment. But brutal honesty has been truly important when helping people discuss their family's possessions. That's because you need to decide who would want — and not want — your stuff.


A lot of people — some of you reading this right now — have the misconception that nobody wants your stuff. Countless people over the years have told me, "My kids don't really care about anything I have."


I'm sure it may seem true — after all, we don't as a rule invite family members to pick around the house and identify some items they hope to inherit! But I can say this firmly: Along with your stories, your family members are going to want some of your possessions. They just might not be the ones you'd expect.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



Boost Your Budget® Week
Connects Older Adults to Benefits
National Council on Aging


The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person's right to age well, is launching its annual Boost Your Budget Week campaign, from April 11 to 15. Hundreds of community organizations throughout the country will help older adults enroll in federal, state, and local benefits programs that will help them gain financial security.


"Inflation is eroding the buying power of the fixed incomes many older adults depend on, which is barely enough to make ends meet," said NCOA President and CEO Ramsey Alwin. "People shouldn't have to choose between food, housing, and medicine in a country with our resources. Boost Your Budget Week helps struggling older adults find the support they need to live with dignity."

The campaign focuses on getting older adults and their caregivers to use NCOA's free, confidential online screening tool available in both English and Spanish—BenefitsCheckUp.org and BuscaBeneficios.org—to see what benefits they might be eligible for depending on their zip code.





THURSDAY SPECIAL

Should I Answer Debt Collector Calls?


If you have unpaid credit card debt or other types of debt, it usually doesn't just go away. When a debt is past due, your creditor(s) may hire a debt collector to collect the money you owe.

What is a debt collector?


According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the debt collector definition is "a person or a company that regularly collects debts owed to others, usually when those debts are past-due." Creditors may have their own debt collection department, or they may hire an outside agency to collect debts on their behalf.

Why would a debt collector call me?

A debt collector may attempt to reach you if a creditor believes you're past due on a debt. If a debt collector can’t reach you or doesn’t have your contact information, they are permitted to contact your friends and family members. However, when contacting third parties, debt collectors are limited in what they’re able to say.








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GOOD DAY. IT’S WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6TH 2022


FROM THE EDITOR:



How An Old Photo
Can Make You Feel Better



An old friend sent this photo. I’ve blurred the faces only to preserve her privacy, but as you can see, it’s a wedding photo. Actually, it’s an old wedding photo. I had never seen this photo before, but as soon as I looked at it, It brought back memories of a better place and a better time. 

 
The "better place" was home, and the time was forty years ago, back in 1982. The last time I saw these people, together, was over 30 years ago. The man in the photo has since passed away and the women lives many states away. Although we “communicate” with one another via Facebook, it’s not the same as a real connection.
 
The reason I was so affected by this picture is because of the memories it evokes. Memories of the last time I was actually happy. Any time you can summon up a happy memory is good. And this photo certainly did that for me.

We were two couples, married for only a short time. My wife worked with the young woman (I’ll call her “R”) in the photo, and one evening we were invited to their house for dinner. There was an immediate connection. Both he (I’ll call him “B”) and I were Jewish. The girls were not. They were without children, as were we. This made us available for almost everything. Dinners, outings, fun, games and vacations. And it’s one of those vacations I think about to this day. A fairy tale week spent on a tropical island.

But like all fairy tales, they don’t last. My marriage fell apart two short years after that photo was taken. Our friends fared only slightly better. They were blessed with a healthy baby boy. But the bubble burst for them too when, one morning on his way to work, “B” pulled to the side of a road in Pennsylvania and died of a massive heart attack, leaving his wife and two-year-old son all alone. Apparently, happiness for us was fleeting.

There is no moral to this story other than it’s best to enjoy life when you can. I have many regrets and have made many mistakes in my life. But I have been fortunate to have enough good memories so that the bad ones are few and far between. But the best is that time on that beach over 35 years ago. And whenever I feel depressed (and that’s more often these days) I can
immediately bring back that week on an island in the Caribbean on a pristine white-sand beach being uncharacteristically hedonistic and not caring. We had money, we had our youth, and we had all the time in the world. We shopped, played in the sand and had wonderful, marvelous dinners every night. That was my happy place then, and it remains so to this day. I thank you “R” for sending that photo, and I thank you and “B” for the wonderful friendship………

 
 



What Are the Fundamentals to Take Care of
Old Age-Related Vision Problems?

By Nikki Gabriel


People sense numerous vision changes as they get old. One of the best ways to counter such a condition is to seek help from private practice optometry. Such expert advice can help to give them a solution for the commonly seen changes like:

Finding difficulty in seeing nearby objects

Facing issues to differentiate between the colors

Taking time to adjust to changing light levels


These issues can get easily rectified with the help of an expert optometrist. After a checkup of the eyes, they can suggest corrective steps and optical devices like contact lenses or glasses. These will help people in their old age to get back their life to normalcy and see things clearly once again.





No joke: Assisted living operators ‘twist in the wind’
While others are prioritized

By Lois Bowers

Assisted living providers are being left to “twist in the wind” and possibly close facilities due to uncompensated COVID-19-related costs, while billions of dollars in relief are being earmarked for other groups not on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, Argentum asserted Friday.


It was April Fools’ Day, but the association was not joking. And Congress’ “continued reluctance” to provide targeted relief to the sector is no laughing matter, Argentum said.

“As supplemental relief measures are considered, we remind you that despite $6 trillion spent over six major pandemic relief packages, seniors and their assisted living caregivers have been consistently left behind and remain at significant risk of this virus,” Argentum President and CEO James Balda wrote Friday to Senate and House leaders.




BE FAST In Spotting A Stroke:
Time Lost Is Brain Lost

By Longjam Dineshwori

A 65-year-old woman in Mumbai made a miraculous recovery after she suffered from acute ischemic stroke. The doctors who treated her said that they were able to save her as she reached the hospital within 'window period' after the onset of stroke.


For stroke patients, "time lost is brain lost," said the doctors at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, where the woman was admitted. They highlighted the importance of recognizing the signs of stroke and receiving treatment within the window period (4.5 hours after symptom onset) to avoid brain damage and disability.


The patient, Reena Sharma (name changed), reached the hospital after 50 minutes of the onset of stroke.

On February 26, Reena Sharma (name changed), the 65-year-old resident of Mira Road, developed a sudden onset of left-sided weakness, speech difficulty and went into a semi-conscious state. Her family members suspected a stroke and took her to a general practitioner. Later, she was referred to Wockhardt Hospital for further treatment.




If You See Eye Floaters,
It Could Be a Sign of Diabetes

By Lauren Gray

This common symptom can lead to permanent vision loss, experts warn.


At some time or another, chances are you've seen "floaters" in your field of vision—small, dust-like specks that seem to move when your eyes move. But just what are these fleeting shapes, and why do they appear? Experts say there are a few reasons floaters may work their way into your sight, and while they're often harmless, they can also signal a serious problem in some cases. Read on to find out which chronic condition has been linked with eye floaters, and what else could be to blame for those strange shapes in your sight.


Floaters can take a variety of shapes: they're most often described as looking like dots, circles, thread-like strands, shadows, or cobwebs. "Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye," explains the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). "Though these objects look like they are in front of your eye, they are actually floating inside of it. What you see are the shadows they cast on the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and allows you to see."







Family Legal Issues | USAGov

Learn about common family legal issues.


    How to Find Adoption Records

    Divorce Decrees and Certificates

    Federal and State Agencies to Notify of a Name Change

How to Close Accounts and Cancel Benefits After Someone Dies



Do you have a question?

Call USAGov at 1-844-USA-GOV1 (1-844-872-4681) to ask us any question about the U.S. government for free. We'll get you the answer or tell you where to find it. We are open between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.


Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE








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GOOD DAY, IT'S MONDAY APRIL 4TH 2022


FROM THE EDITOR…


In a recent study by the University of Michigan,[1] Nearly half of all older adults now die with a diagnosis of dementia listed on their medical record, up 36% from two decades ago. Isn’t that a happy thought?


To put it in perspective, if you know 20 people over the age of 65, the brains of ten of them will have turned to Jell-O before they die. Welcome to old age.


There are only two things that I fear in life. One is homelessness. The other, losing my ability to think, which includes absorbing information, awareness of the world around me and maintaining some modicum of independence. I don’t fear getting old. That’s inevitable. I do fear growing old and becoming lost in a sea of foggy memory and forgotten faces. And yet, that appears to be the fate of too many of us as we approach the final chapter of our life.


The study of dementia and it’s more deadly cousin Alzheimer’s did not get serious until all of us baby boomers started turning 65, and then 75 and 80 and we noticed that many of our friends, those kids we used to know, were having memory problems at an alarming rate. People who used to be the sharpest knives in the draw had become unintelligible and withdrawn. And it was more than just the usual forgetfulness that comes with old age. It was now a real disease. A disease for which there was no cure. This was something we baby boomers could not let happen. And so, scientists, universities and pharmaceutical companies took a good, hard look at the problem. And what they found was not encouraging.

"Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer's disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of 2 proteins called amyloid and tau. Deposits of amyloid, called plaques, build up around brain cells. Deposits of tau form "tangles" within brain cells.


"Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of a progressive dementia in older adults, but there are a number of other causes of dementia. Depending on the cause, some dementia symptoms might be reversible. These include…

Vascular dementia. This may occur in people who have long-term high blood pressure, severe hardening of the arteries, or several small strokes. Strokes are the second most common cause of dementia.
Parkinson's disease. Dementia is common in people with this condition.
Dementia with Lewy bodies. It can cause short-term memory loss.
Frontotemporal dementia. This is a group of diseases that includes Pick's disease.
Severe head injury.

Less common causes of dementia include:

Huntington's disease.
Multiple-system atrophy. This is a group of degenerative brain diseases that affect speech, movement, and autonomic function.
Infections such as late-stage syphilis. Antibiotics work well to treat syphilis at any stage, but they can't reverse the brain damage already done.
Inherited dementia. Some disorders that cause dementia can run in families. Doctors often suspect an inherited cause if someone younger than 50 has symptoms of dementia." [2]

We are learning more and more about dementia and, hopefully, one day we will have a cure or at least some treatment. But there is one cause of this affliction that conflicts with everything we baby boomers are fighting against. Death, or at least early death.

Millions of dollars are spent by billionaires who are looking for immortality or extending life indefinitely. And in that lies the problem. The older we get, the more we will lose our cognitive abilities. So, in our quest for a longer, better life, we are adding to the very problem we fear most. A perplexing paradox indeed.


Here at the A.L.F. we do not have a memory care unit and therefore we don’t see too many cases of cognitive decline. But not a day goes by that at least one of our residents loses their way, forgets to eat or does not remember a doctor’s appointment and has to be gently reminded by an aide. And, while it’s sad to see, it's even sadder to think that I may just be a birthday or two away from joining them….....................…


1] https://neurosciencenews.com/aging-dementia-death-20290/

[2] https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/brain-and-nerves/dementia/causes.html


THESENIORNEWS
April 4, 2022

'First-of-its-kind' nasal spray that prevents
COVID-19 could be available this year

A nasal spray that blocks COVID-19 infection and treats people who are already sick could be available within the next six months, according to researchers at Cornell University. Their study discovered a small molecule that people can spray into their noses which prevents COVID from infecting human cells.


In experiments on lab cells and in mice, researchers found that the molecule N-0385 can both protect against infection in healthy individuals and eases symptoms in patients using the spray within 12 hours of exposure to COVID. For humans, the team believes this could soon become a new coronavirus treatment that only requires a few daily doses.

“There are very few, if any, small molecule antivirals that have been discovered that work prophylactically to prevent infection,” explains Hector Aguilar-Carreno, associate professor of virology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, in a university release. “A TMPRSS2 Inhibitor ACTS as a pan-SARS-CoV-2 prophylactic and therapeutic.”

Read more >> https://www.studyfinds.org/nasal-spray-prevents-covid-19/


More older adults getting treated
For substance abuse

The rate at which older adults were treated for substance abuse increased sharply from 2000 to 2017, UConn Health researchers report in the March 28 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The rates of older adults getting treatment increased substantially while the rate of younger adults remained stable over time.


The Baby Boom generation born from 1946 to 1964 has had consistently high rates of substance use. As members of this generation enter older adulthood, the numbers of older adults seeking treatment for substance abuse has also increased. According to data from the Treatment Episode Dataset, a nationwide compilation of services used, available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the rate of people aged 55 or over getting treatment for substance use increased from 8.8 per 1,000 people in 2000 to 15.1 per 1,000 people in 2017. The increase was almost entirely due to treatment for cannabis and cocaine use; alcohol-related treatment rates stayed about the same over time.

Although the data does not include information that would explain the increase, the researchers have hypotheses. The first is that the Baby Boomers began transitioning to older adulthood from 2001-2017, and their higher rates of substance use followed them.

Read more >> https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/03/220328112358.htm


Hotter nights increase risk of death
From heart disease for men in early 60s

By Andrew Gregory


Men in their early 60s have a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease on warmer than usual summer nights, according to new research.


Previous studies have focused on the potential for warm spells of weather that involve extreme or sustained periods of high temperatures to coincide with surges in deaths and hospitalisations due to heart conditions. However, until now, findings related to age and gender have been inconsistent.

Researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada set out to examine any possible link between high summer temperatures at night and increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths among people aged between 60 and 69.

Read more >> https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/mar/28/hotter-nights-summer-increase-risk-death-heart-disease-men-early-60s


Questions remain about safety of
Aspirin cessation in older adults

A subgroup analysis of the ASPREE trial could not conclusively demonstrate clear harm or benefit of either cessation or continuation of aspirin in older adults who regularly use aspirin without a clinical indication for its use, according to a research letter published online March 15 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.


Mark R. Nelson, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the University of Tasmania in Hobart, and colleagues performed a post-hoc analysis of participants from the ASPREE trial to examine the effect of aspirin cessation versus continuation among individuals aged 70 years or older who reported taking aspirin two or more days per week at trial enrollment. Participants were randomly assigned to either placebo (cessation) or aspirin (continuation). A composite of all-cause mortality, incident dementia, or persistent physical disability was assessed as the primary outcome.


The researchers found that 11 percent of the 19,114 recruited participants reported aspirin use before trial entry, and of these participants, 1,714 reported taking aspirin two or more days per week. During a median follow-up of 4.9 years, there was weak evidence of an increased risk for the primary outcome for aspirin cessation versus continuation; this finding seemed to be confined to non-White participants. The primary end point was experienced by 13.8 and 11.1 percent in the cessation and continuation groups, respectively (incidence rate, 28.8 versus 23.4 per 1,000 person years); the hazard ratio was 1.28 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.68). Among those taking aspirin for five years or longer, aspirin cessation appeared to increase cardiovascular disease events, although it was not associated with secondary end points.

Read more >> https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-03-safety-aspirin-cessation-older-adults.html



Eating two servings of avocados a week
linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease


Eating two or more servings of avocado weekly was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and substituting avocado for certain fat-containing foods like butter, cheese or processed meats was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease events, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

Avocados contain dietary fiber, unsaturated fats especially monounsaturated fat (healthy fats) and other favorable components that have been associated with good cardiovascular health. Clinical trials have previously found avocados have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors including high cholesterol.

Researchers believe this is the first, large, prospective study to support the positive association between higher avocado consumption and lower cardiovascular events, such as coronary heart disease and stroke.


Learn more >> https://newsroom.heart.org/news/eating-two-servings-of-avocados-a-week-linked-to-lower-risk-of-cardiovascular-disease?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email&utm_placement=newsletter



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NEXT NEW BLOG, TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-


Good Day. It’s Friday, April 1, 2022




Instead of playing a joke on this April Fool’s Day, I’d like to talk about a few people that ARE jokes.
 
The dictionary defines a “fool” this way…” A silly or stupid person; a person who lacks judgment or sense.” To make my list, a fool has to show his foolishness publicly. Let us begin….
 
FOOL #1. Vladimir Putin


 Perhaps the biggest fool of the 21st century. One has to wonder why a man who has everything (money, prestige, respect, power) wants to risk all of that by becoming the craziest bastard since Hitler. And for what? A return to a proven, failed economic and political system that nobody in his country wants. And do so by invading a sovereign nation and slaughtering thousands of innocent people. And trying to do it with an army that does not know what they are doing or why they are there. This man has ruined his credibility as a world leader forever, which puts him at the top of our April’s Fools list.


FOOL #2. Donald Trump.


 If Putin hadn’t come along, Donald Trump would have taken the number one position as top fool.


 As president, he constantly made a fool of himself. From his inane COVID comments (“Can we inject ourselves with bleach to cure COVID"), to his refusal to wear a mask in public or even admit he was vaccinated when tens of thousands of his fellow citizens were dying. But what put him on the list has nothing to do with his stupidity. It’s what he did after he lost the election. He refuses to recognize his defeat, still believing the election was stolen. And, even after many recounts and lawsuits which proved him wrong, he still believes he should be president. Now that’s a fool.
 
FOOL #3. January 6th rioters.


The primary reason the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th made this list is, not so much for thinking they could actually overthrow the election results, but for believing the buffoon who stood on a podium earlier that day inciting them to march on the Capitol, would actually lead them triumphantly into the building. Trump was nowhere near the rioters or the Capitol, instead watching the siege on TV.
 

FOOL #4. Anti-vaxxers.

It was always known that we could never get 100% of the U.S. population vaccinated against the COVID virus. But what we did not expect was that 30% would refuse the life-saving vaccine for reasons that make no sense. And, because of their refusal, over three years later, we are still under the grip of this plague with no end in sight. It’s hard to believe that there are Americans walking around who truly think the vaccine doesn’t work, or is a political trick, or causes birth defects and a host of other falsehoods and who think the statistics showing the vaccine is proven to reduce illness, hospitalizations and death are made up. To all those, I give the “honor” of FOOL.


FOOL #5. Alex Jones.

Alexander Emerick Jones is an American far-right radio show host and prominent conspiracy theorist. He hosts The Alex Jones Show from Austin, Texas. For that alone, he would make the list. But what clinched his position as fool number 5 is something he said about the massacre in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Here’s some background…
 
“The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut. The perpetrator, Adam Lanza, fatally shot his mother before murdering 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and later committed suicide. A number of fringe figures have promoted conspiracy theories that doubt or dispute what occurred at Sandy Hook. The more common conspiracy theory, adopted initially by James Fetzer, James Tracy and others, and further popularized by Alex Jones, denied that the massacre actually occurred, asserting that it was faked. The massacre was described by Fetzer and Tracy as a classified training exercise involving members of federal and local law enforcement,” [1]
 
None of that is true and Mr. Jones was successfully sued by the parents of the children that lost their young lives that day.
 
What makes Alex Jones a fool is not his conspiratorial beliefs, but for even commenting on a subject that has brought untold heartbreak to dozens of families. His insensitivity before, during and after the trial makes him a real, honest to goodness fool.
 

 Fool #6. Will Smith.

Mr. Smith would not have made this list if it weren’t for one particular show of foolishness. As the entire world watched, Will Smith, an important Hollywood figure and acclaimed actor decided he should show his disapproval of a remark made by comedian Chris Rock during the globally televised Academy Awards presentation this past Sunday. With that one impulsive act, Mr. Smith tarnished his reputation and possibly his earning power. This should have been a private matter between Smith and Rock and never should have become a public display of violence. Hence, the number five fool award goes to Will Smith. He should have known better.
 

If I had the time and the inclination, I could have added dozens more. I’m sure you could too. I’d be happy to know who would have made your April’s Fools list…………

[1] source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Hook_Elementary_School_shooting_conspiracy_theories



April 1, 2022

The Most Common Injuries
You Might Experience as a Senior
By John Moran

Ageing comes with several health challenges, which eventually affect mobility and cognition. With lower mobility and memory, seniors become highly vulnerable to accidents, leading to injuries, compromising their health and safety.

So, as a caregiver to a senior family member, you should put adequate measures to protect your loved ones from common injuries and accidents. Look for measures that keep them healthy and safe.

Here are the most common injuries among seniors and the relevant preventive measures.

Hip Dislocation.....

Read more >> https://seniorslifestylemag.com/health-well-being/the-most-common-injuries-you-might-experience-as-a-senior/

Couples’ Guide to Budget Planning
By Patricia Amend

A well-conceived, well-tested household budget plan is the cornerstone of any sound financial strategy. Without this important tool, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to work toward a happy and secure retirement.

Now may be a good time to create that plan or revisit the one you have, especially with inflation at a 40-year high. Supply-chain issues and the war in Ukraine are also increasing the uncertainty about prices of goods and services.

If only you could convince your partner of the wisdom of making a budget. As hard as you try, the two of you just can’t seem to agree on how to allocate the resources you have between you.

Read more >> CLICK HERE

As second COVID-19 booster dose is approved, senior living calls for help

As public health officials brace for a potential surge in coronavirus cases due to the BA.2 variant, the federal government on Tuesday approved a second COVID-19 booster dose for higher-risk individuals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended emergency use authorizations to allow a second booster dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to adults aged 50 or more years or to immunocompromised individuals The second booster should be given at least four months after the initial booster dose of any coronavirus vaccine, the agency said.

Immunocompromised people must be at least 12 years old to receive a second Pfizer booster and at least 18 to receive a second Moderna booster.

Read more >> https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/as-second-covid-19-booster-dose-is-approved-senior-living-calls-for-help/


New screening method reveals
why Alzheimer’s drugs often fail
By Ria Kakkad

Researchers have developed a new method to screen drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, shedding light on why current drugs have failed and identifying novel drug targets.

Image showings artwork representing Concept of memory loss and dementia disease and losing

Researchers at the University of California San Diego, US have recently developed a new drug screening method for Alzheimer’s by analysing disease mechanisms in human neurons. The research, which was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, highlights why Alzheimer’s drugs thus far have been ineffective and identifies new drug targets — this could potentially open new therapeutic approaches for treating the disease.

Read more >> https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/102245/new-screening-method-reveals-why-alzheimers-drugs-often-fail/


House approves SECURE 2.0
with strong bipartisan vote
By Mark Schoeff Jr.


The House approved with strong bilateral support Tuesday evening legislation designed to expand access to workplace retirement plans and increase retirement savings.

The Securing a Strong Retirement Act builds on the SECURE Act that Congress passed in 2019. Known as SECURE 2.0, the House passed the measure, 414-5, sending it to the Senate, where several retirement-savings bills are under consideration or about to be introduced.

The Senate could take up SECURE 2.0 or advance a similar bill and then work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation in a conference committee. The Senate timeline is uncertain.

Read more >> https://www.investmentnews.com/house-approves-secure-act-with-strong-bipartisan-vote-219289


Music Is Just as Powerful at
Improving Mental Health as Exercise
By David Nield


The next time you're not able to get out to the gym, maybe spin some records instead: new research suggests the positive impact on mental health from singing, playing, or listening to music is around the same impact experienced with exercise or weight loss.


That's based on a meta-analysis covering 26 previous studies and a total of 779 people. The earlier research covered everything from using gospel music as a preventative measure against heart disease to how joining a choir can help people recovering from cancer.

A growing number of studies are finding links between music and wellbeing. However, the level of the potential boost and exactly why it works are areas that scientists are still looking into – and that's where this particular piece of research can be helpful.


Learn more >> https://www.sciencealert.com/music-is-just-as-powerful-at-improving-mental-health-as-exercise-review-suggests?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email&utm_placement=newsletter




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©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-





Good Day. It’s Wednesday, March 30, 2022


Email > theseniorlog@protonmail.com










I’m a big science fiction fan. Not just any sci-fi mind you, but sci-fi that has some basis in fact. That leaves out Godzilla-like monsters, vampires, and (sorry) zombies. Of my favorite science-fiction story lines, those dealing with time travel and alien contact top my list. Lately though, my interests have turned to another genre. Immortality.
 
The reasons this fascinates me should be obvious. I’m not getting any younger and my time here on earth gets shorter by the hour. Therefore, the possibility of extending life for a few more years is of some interest to me. What if we could add 30 or 40 years to that threescore and ten, extending our lives way past 100? Or, even better, living forever? Does that interest you?

Living forever would come with some ground rules.
 
While you would never die from the normal aging process, you would be just as susceptible to death by getting shot in the head or run over by a bus or succumbing to a fatal illness as anyone else. The only thing different, your body parts would just stop wearing out. Your heart muscle would never weaken, even after beating millions of times. Your kidneys would continue to filter the toxins from your blood and your liver would keep supplying the chemicals and enzymes we need to live. All of your organs and body parts would always remain healthy, providing they are not injured or become infected with a life-threatening virus or bacteria. And the only thing you would have to do live indefinitely is  to stay relatively disease free. And in that lies the paradox. How to do that without becoming a total recluse.

You would have to shut yourself away from everyone. You would have to live your life in a bubble. Years and years would go by with no direct human contact. Your entire world would be your immediate surroundings. Sounds pretty gloomy, right? But think of this. Because you have been living for, let’s say, 200 years, you most likely have amassed a great deal of wealth. You could afford to live on a huge estate with forests, fields, and gardens. All your wants and needs will be provided to you. And here’s something else. The longer you live, the more likely science will discover new medications and procedures that will eliminate your chances of catching something that could kill you. Is immortality becoming more interesting now? There are those who think this theory is very interesting and are currently spending millions to find out why people die and how to stop it.

Billionaire Peter Thiel and former Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, by investing in Altos Labs, an anti-ageing start-up pursuing biological reprogramming, aiming to reverse time within a live mammal are among those that think it can be done. There are some scientists that believe the human being that can live 1000 years has already been born. Would you like that person to be you? Before you say yes, think about this. You will have outlived everyone you have ever loved. Your wife (wives) your kids and all of your friends and relatives. You will be known by many people but remembered by none. For some, that’s hard to take.
 
Personally, I’m not ready to commit to immortality just yet. I’d like to live a long time, provided I’m not in pain and my mind has not turned to Jell-O. There’s so much I would like to see come true. But the way the way we have screwed up the planet, I may not want to live long enough to see the end of it all…………                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 




March 30, 2022


FDA authorizes second booster shots for adults age 50 and older
By Brenda Goodman

The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines to allow adults age 50 and older to get a second booster as early as four months after their first booster dose of any Covid-19 vaccine.


The move extends the availability of additional boosters to healthy older adults. The FDA had previously allowed additional shots for anyone 12 years of age or older who was severely immune deficient. This group of people can now receive a three-dose primary series and two boosters -- a total of five doses.

"Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from COVID-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals. Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a news release. "Additionally, the data show that an initial booster dose is critical in helping to protect all adults from the potentially severe outcomes of COVID-19. So, those who have not received their initial booster dose are strongly encouraged to do so."




Older People Summon More Positivity in Response to Distress

Summary: With increasing age, people react more positively to both emotional and neutral stimuli, and are better able to positively reframe a negative experience into a positive one.


It’s an age-old question: do we – in older age – get better at regulating our emotions? Even responding more positively? The answer, according to a study conducted by UNSW psychologist Susanne Schweizer and colleagues from the University of Cambridge, seems to be ‘Yes’.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, exposed 249 participants aged 18–88 to a series of film clips that ranged in emotional valence: positive (e.g. laughing baby), neutral (e.g. weather forecast), or negative (e.g. footage of the Rwandan genocide). Study participants were recruited from the CamCAN (The Cambridge Centre for Aging and Neuroscience) sample, a balanced sample of the UK population expected to also represent the Australian population.




Ageing Population and Medical Devices

The shift towards home care for and ageing population has been occurring for several years. The advancement of medical device technologies has resulted in a significant increase in the number of conditions that can be managed in a home care setting. To capitalize on this strong demand and growth, manufacturers are increasingly producing consumer-targeted equipment.


Listed below are the key technology trends impacting the ageing population theme, as identified by GlobalData.
Wearable devices

Wearable devices have the potential to help and support senior citizens’ autonomy and improve their quality of life. Individuals can wear sensors to track various health matrices, aid in rehabilitation and treatment evaluation, identify potential illness, monitor safety concerns, such as falls, and serve as emergency alert systems. Fitness-tracking watches can also help encourage older adults to monitor their physical activity and sleep behaviours.




Pain Relievers Risky for Those With High Blood Pressure
By Kimberly Goad

If you didn’t know better, you might think over-the-counter pain relievers are risk-free. After all, they’re available without any sort of permission or prescription from a health care provider. But it turns out, they come with plenty of risks — especially for people with high blood pressure.


The American Heart Association (AHA) has long recommended acetaminophen (Tylenol) as a safe alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Research shows that NSAIDs can raise blood pressure; and if you already have high blood pressure, they can make it worse. They can also prevent a number of common blood pressure meds like ACE inhibitors and diuretics from doing their job.

However, mounting research, most notably a study published in February in Circulation, suggests that acetaminophen isn’t without blood-pressure pitfalls if taken regularly. Researchers enlisted 110 people with high blood pressure and randomly gave the maximum recommended daily dose of acetaminophen (4 grams) to some of the participants and a placebo to the others every day for two weeks. Then they gave the placebo group daily acetaminophen and the acetaminophen group a placebo for two weeks. At the end of the study, the researchers found that taking acetaminophen on a regular basis increased the systolic blood pressure (the number on the top) by about 5 mmHg (millimeters of mercury — a measurement of pressure) in people with hypertension. What’s more, the effect was similar to that of NSAIDs, .....

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



WEDNESDAY SPECIAL

Why Do We Die Without Sleep?
By Steven Strogatz

Why do we need sleep? In their long search for answers, scientists have often uncovered only more thought-provoking mysteries about what sleep is, how it evolved and the benefits that it provides. In this episode, Steven Strogatz — the noted mathematician, author and host of The Joy of Why — speaks with Dragana Rogulja, an assistant professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School who recently discovered how sleep deprivation causes death in fruit flies. Then he continues the conversation with Alex Keene, a neurogeneticist at Texas A&M University who studies cave fish to understand more about the evolutionary history of sleep.


Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn or your favorite podcasting app, or you can stream it from Quanta.
Transcript

Steven Strogatz (00:03): I’m Steve Strogatz, and this is The Joy of Why, a podcast from Quanta Magazine that takes you into some of the biggest unanswered questions in science and mathematics today. Today, we’re going to be talking all about sleep.....











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NEXT BLOG, THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-



Good Day. It’s Tuesday, March 29, 2022


Email > theseniorlog@protonmail.com






From the editor






I have been the chairperson of our Resident’s Council here at the A.L.F. for over 5 years. Yesterday, during our monthly meeting, I (and the 2 other members of the board) resigned. Officially, my resignation will go into effect when a new board has been duly elected. This may take some time as there were few residents who even expressed any interest in running.
 
There are several reasons I called it quits. The major one being, I think I have gone as far as I can go in this job. I have brought nothing new to the table in months and my inability to do anything about anything has left me frustrated. The other two board members have similar feelings. 


The other reason, it’s time to bring some fresh ideas to the meetings. Ideas from residents who have not become as jaded as I.


It’s difficult to head a group that has no power to change anything. We can only suggest things. We can’t demand them. Democracy in an assisted living facility does not exist. The inmates will never be given the chance to run the asylum. All I can do is listen to the complaints of residents and pass them along to management. Management has to take several factors into consideration before ruling on an issue. The first being money.


Chances are, if an idea is ever to see the light of day, it has to be free or cheap. Next, any change in policy has to be approved by the corporation that owns this facility. And last, and most important, will the request meet the safety standards set forth by the state DOH? This process can take weeks, adding to the frustration factor.

Last, my age is showing. I physically don’t feel up to doing anything. My days of “participation” are over. Also, my hearing is getting worse, which affects my ability to do the job properly.
 
Will I miss presiding over the monthly meetings? Yes. I’m a ham at heart and I love having a captive audience. ……..............




March 29, 2022


The ‘Great Retirement’ Disconnect
That Puzzles U.S. Economists

By Michael Sasso and Alexandre Tanzi

The pandemic pushed millions of older Americans out of the labor force. It should have spawned a surge in Social Security benefits applications — but it hasn’t. Perhaps because they aren’t retired.


The disconnect has economists wondering how many of these baby boomers might come back to the workforce — a key question when job openings have remained near record levels for months now.


Here’s a look at the data and the debate it has spurred:




AI and Human Enhancement: Americans’ Openness
Is Tempered by a Range of Concerns


Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand Americans’ views about artificial intelligence and human enhancement technologies. For this analysis, we surveyed 10,260 U.S. adults from Nov. 1 to 7, 2021.


Everyone who took part in the survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way, nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology.


Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.




The Mental Health Benefits of Doing Nothing

Set aside that to-do list and focus on being, not doing, for better mental and physical health



When I retired for good about ten years ago, the very idea of doing nothing was terrifying and intolerable, a situation to be avoided at all cost. As a professional woman, I'd been striving all my life. Back in the day, accomplishing my goals required Herculean effort — or sneaking in a back door entrance.



Ten years post retirement, I found myself extolling the virtues of doing absolutely nothing, or close to it — at least a little every day. Though it sounds counterintuitive, I learned that letting go of everything, even for a short time, has mental health benefits.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


5 Hobbies To Earn Extra
Income After Retirement

By Kevin Gardner

A growing number of retirees are seeking employment or starting their own businesses. For some people, seeking employment is about filling the now unstructured days. For others, it is a necessity to make ends meet. Either way, there are plenty of ways to turn your hobby into a profitable job in retirement. Here are five popular hobbies and interests that easily translate into income-generating opportunities.


1.Teaching

Formal teaching is an excellent way to share your knowledge of academic subjects with others. There are several routes you can take to this depending on how much flexibility you want in your schedule. Some of the most popular include:


Substitute teachers: Both public and private schools are facing shortages of qualified teachers, including substitutes. So, if you have ever considered teaching as a profession now is a great time to step up as a substitute.





The Power of Positive Aging
and How to Live It


Back in the 1990s, when I worked at Money magazine, David Lereah was a go-to source for our real estate stories. His job then: chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (he later held that job at the National Association of Realtors). I lost track of Lereah until his new, and wholly surprising, book recently arrived: The Power of Positive Aging. And boy does he have a story to tell.



At age 62, a few years ago, Lereah was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer. "The doctor looked at me and he didn't say 'You're going to be fine, we will beat this,'" Lereah told me. "He said, 'This is going to be most difficult challenge of your life and I don't have any guarantees.' He scared the s*** out of me. As he left the room, the nurse looked at me and said: 'David, if you beat this cancer, it was only an inconvenience in your life.' And that really rang a bell for me."


The nurse's words also changed pretty much everything about the way Lereah, who lives in Port St. Lucie, Fla., now looks at life and the way he deals with aging. And it's why he felt compelled to write the Positive Aging book — to help others see the light — and to start the United We Age nonprofit group.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE





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Good Day. It’s Monday, March 28, 2022


Email > theseniorlog@protonmail.com







If you are lucky, old age comes slowly, a gradual transition from one stage of life to another. You have time to plan, to reminisce, reacquaint with friends or make new ones. Or even begin a new career. This is the way aging should be. Gentle, fulfilling, and merciful.

On the practical side, easing into one’s seniority takes the pressure off having to make any last-minute decisions. What to do with that IRA or 401k? Should I sell my house or retrofit it for a time when I might not be as mobile as I am now? Yes, when you have time to plan, getting older isn’t so bad. But what if you were to suddenly become elderly? What would you do if, one day, you were living an active life of a middle-aged baby boomer looking to re-invent himself, and the next, an invalid with no idea what the future will bring? Or if there will be one at all?

At 62 I became ill. Two years later, after a lengthy hospital stay, I became a patient in a nursing home surrounded by people twenty or thirty years my senior. People I would never have had any contact with a few months earlier, but now they were all I knew. It was more than a culture shock. It was downright surreal. I became the unwilling star in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” And I was frightened as hell. 
in a matter of weeks, I was forced to make decisions that most people take years to make, Big decisions like where I was going to live, who would take care of me and would I have enough money to live on.

The good news is, I made those decisions. The bad news is, I may not have made the best choices. But, as I said, I had little or no time to research the pros and cons. Should I have paid the overdue rent on my comfortable apartment and kept it? I was too tired and too immobile to even think about living alone. I let it go. I wish now I hadn’t.
 
And then there’s money. I had to make a very hasty choice in order to qualify for Medicaid and subsequently the ability to live where I live now. I had to spend down my net worth or I would not meet the income requirements for subsidized assisted living and other Medicaid benefits. How did I do that? By doing something, I thought I would not have to do for many years to come. I pre-planned my own funeral. And if that isn’t a rude introduction into the wonderful world of decrepitude, I don’t know what is.


That was ten years ago. I had just turned 65. By today’s standards, relatively young. A time to finally enjoy the fruits of my labor. But instead of living a carefree life, driving around in my brand-new Mid-Life Crisis six-speed sports car, I was bent over a four-wheeled Rollator slowly making my way to the med room where a truckload of pills was waiting for me.

I’m 75 now. Soon to be 76. It took me 10 years, but I can finally say I have accepted my status. I’m old and I know it. And I know there is nothing I can do about it. However, that does not mean I have given up. I cannot reverse what time has done to my body, but I will not go down easily. I will push against the ravages of old age to my last breath. I refuse to go gently into that good night without a fight……..

Editor’s note: I have selected the articles in today’s “Senior News” section, not to make your life as a senior citizen easier, but to help you cope with what you have been given. Not everything mentioned in these articles will apply to you, but there are some useful tools to help you ease the journey.
 



March 28, 2022


How To Cope With The Aging Process  
Updated for 2022


As we grow older, many changes occur within us both physically and emotionally and it can be stressful to cope with the aging process. Vitality we once had as young men and women is now gone.


Indeed, even though people generally enjoy a longer life expectancy nowadays, the aging process can be a painful fact to come to terms with. The truth, however, is that many older people are afraid of what they don’t understand, which will only worsen as the years roll by.

Once you know the changes that are happening in your body as you age and how to cope with them, then you will be better prepared to deal with them, in terms of physical and mental health changes.




Feeling Older? Here’s How to Embrace It
By Christopher Mele


Too often, experts say, myths about aging get in the way of older people staying connected or pursuing what is meaningful to them.

The realization that you are getting older can come in waves.


You watch movies and point to the actors, saying: “She’s dead. Oh, he’s dead, too.”

Your parents move to a retirement community they call God’s waiting room.

You hear more snap, crackle and pop in your joints than in your breakfast cereal.

In society, youthfulness is glorified and getting older is cast as something to avoid, but as your age increases, your quality of life does not necessarily have to decrease, experts said.

Here’s what you should know:

What is ‘old’?



Getting Over Getting Older
By Susan Scarf Merrell

Forget about trying to reverse the process. It's never been a better timeto face up to aging. In fact, getting older truly does mean getting better.


Baby boomers: We were supposed to be the generation that turned aging into a bedroom act, making it sexy to grow old and gray, and get laugh lines. If 76 million of us wrinkled into middle age with style and verve, well, wow, the entire Western World might rethink the need to search for a fountain of youth. Most of us, however, don't seem to have found that sense of contentment with our aging bodies that we expected to. Instead, baby boomers have both masterminded--and fallen victim to--an anti-aging epidemic far more virulent than the average case of mass hysteria. It isn't simply that we're trying to exercise and eat our way to longer, healthier lives. Sales are up dramatically across the gamut of age-fighting weaponry, from wrinkle creams to collagen injections to cosmetic surgery. Nor are the warriors only women. According to a recent Roper Starch Worldwide survey, six percent of men nationwide actually use such traditionally feminine products as bronzers and foundation to create the illusion of a more youthful appearance.

What is it about aging that makes our sagging skin crawl? Are we frightened of looking and feeling old because it reminds us that we're mortal? That we might become infirm? What, in fact, does older age bring and how will it be different for us boomers than for the generations that came before?




Why We Can’t Tell the Truth About Aging
By Arthur Krystal

In short, the optimistic narrative of pro-aging writers doesn’t line up with the dark story told by the human body. But maybe that’s not the point. “There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life,” Simone de Beauvoir wrote in her expansive 1970 study “The Coming of Age,” “and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence a meaning—devotion to individuals, to groups, or to causes—social, political, intellectual, or creative work.” But such meaning is not easily gained. In 1975, Robert Neil Butler, who had previously coined the term “ageism,” published “Why Survive? Being Old in America,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning study of society’s dereliction toward the nation’s aging population. “For many elderly Americans old age is a tragedy, a period of quiet despair, deprivation, desolation and muted rage,” he concluded.


Four years later, the British journalist Ronald Blythe, who must be one of the few living writers to have spoken to the last Victorians (he’s now just shy of ninety-seven), had a more sanguine perspective. His “The View in Winter,” containing oral histories of men and women at the end of their lives, is a lovely, sometimes personal, sometimes scholarly testament that reaches “no single conclusion. . . . Old age is full of death and full of life. It is a tolerable achievement and it is a disaster. It transcends desire and it taunts it. It is long enough and it is far from being long enough.” Some years after that, the great Chicago radio host Studs Terkel, who died at ninety-six, issued an American version of Blythe’s wintry landscape; in “Coming of Age” (1995), Terkel interrogated seventy-four “graybeards” (men and women over the age of seventy) for their thoughts on aging, politics, and the American way of life.



The Future of Getting Old: Rethinking Old Age
By Shauna

What defines an “old” person? As it turns out, the answer varies depending on your age. If you’re under 30, studies show you’re likely to say old age begins at 60. If you’re in your 40s and 50s, you might say 70. If you are 60 or 70, your definition of “old” might be 74 or above. Turns out we tend to feel younger the older we get-many people in their 80s report feeling 70.

Lifestyle markers of old age change as we age too. While most 18-29 year olds say forgetting names is a sign of old age, less than 50 percent of those older than 29 consider it a sign of aging. Having grandchildren is also something that younger people see as an “old” characteristic, but older individuals may not. The number of years we’ve lived, it seems, isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator for how we’ve aged.

Today, our perception of age is changing more than ever. Thanks to advancements in science, medicine and technology, we may be living longer – well into our 70s, 80s and even 90s – and accordingly we will need to continue to redefine what it means to be “old.” These advances also present an opportunity to start thinking about a not-too-distant future where aging may not mean losing vitality and functionality physically, mentally and emotionally but maintaining or even gaining it as members of a new generation making meaningful contributions to society.



Getting Older? Here Are 7 Ways To Do It Right
By Erika Andersen

In 1900, the average 30 year old in the U.S. could expect to live another 35 years...in other words, to die by age 65.  Today, the average 30-year-old can expect another 50 years of life; to live until age 80. And by the time those 30 year 0lds actually are 80, who knows what their life expectancy will be?

Our ideas about aging, and what it means to be over 50 - or 60, or 90 - seem to be stuck somewhere back in the middle of the 20th century. We still consider 65 (or 55, in some sectors) as standard retirement age, and we expect everyone to start slowing down and moving aside for the next generation as their age ticks past the half-century mark.

Ever since I turned 60 a few years ago, I've been realizing that these standard societal notions of what it means to be old - especially for women - just aren't applying to me.  And most important, that I can craft my later years to be what I want them to be, rather than what anybody else tells me they must be.









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Good Day. It’s Friday, March 25, 2022


Email > theseniorlog@protonmail.com




March 25, 2022

Most Americans don't trust the federal government
to do what's right, new poll shows
By Kimberly Leonard

The US government has been struggling to lead the country out of a pandemic and while curbing soaring inflation. It faces another key test as Russia attacks Ukraine.

Yet officials' efforts may become hampered by a key reality: Most people living in the United States don't trust the federal government to do what's right, according to a new poll from the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to improve government.


Fifty-six percent of poll respondents said they did not trust the government much or at all. Only 40% of respondents said they trusted the federal government "a lot" or "somewhat."

Read more >> https://www.businessinsider.com/government-trust-public-service-republicans-democrats-independents-2022-3


Fewer hot showers, less meat:
How retirees on fixed incomes are dealing with inflation
By Abha Bhattarai


“Just surviving day-to-day has become a big concern of mine — because, how in the world?” said Morgan, 65, who lives in Asheville, N.C. “Yes, I can afford what I’m doing right now, but I’m starting to panic. I’m starting to think, ‘How am I going to keep paying for everything?’ ”


Rising prices are squeezing household budgets around the country and putting additional strain on its 56 million residents age 65 and up, many of whom rely on fixed incomes and limited savings to cover monthly costs for prolonged and unpredictable periods. Americans in that age range are more likely to live in poverty than younger adults are, Census Bureau data shows, with wide disparities by age, race and circumstance, including whether they rely solely on Social Security or have other sources of income.

The burden on older Americans is the latest example of how inflation — at 40-year highs — is exacerbating inequalities across the economy. Higher prices on food, gas and housing are weighing heavily on those who can least afford the increases and are creating new challenges for a population that is also most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. Adding to the strain, millions of older Americans have given up regular incomes to retire during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more >> https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/03/21/elderly-inflation-fixed-income/


Older Americans are given the wrong idea about online safety
– here's how to help them help themselves
By Nora McDonald


Recently, the U.S. Social Security Administration sent out an email to subscribers of its official blog explaining how to access social security statements online. Most people know to be suspicious of seemingly official emails with links to websites asking for credentials.


But for older adults who are wary of the prevalence of scams targeting their demographic, such an email can be particularly alarming since they have been told that the SSA never sends emails. From our research designing cybersecurity safeguards for older adults, we believe there is legitimate cause for alarm.


This population has been schooled in a tactical approach to online safety grounded in fear and mistrust – even of themselves – and focused on specific threats rather than developing strategies that enable them to be online safely. Elders have been taught this approach by organizations they tend to trust, including nonprofits that teach older adults how to use technology.

Read more >> https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2022/03/older-americans-are-given-wrong-idea-about-online-safety-heres-how-help-them-help-themselves/363473/


Bill would reform tax code to make long-term
care insurance more affordable, accessible


Legislation introduced last week in the House of Representatives would reform the tax code in an effort to make long-term care insurance more affordable and accessible for older adults. It has the backing of Argentum and the American Seniors Housing Association.

The Long Term Care Affordability Act was introduced last week by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), chair of the House Suburban Caucus. The bill is the House companion to tax code legislation introduced in the Senate by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).

“Retirement can be expensive enough for seniors, and we should be using every tool we have to make their lives easier and more affordable,” Wagner said. “This legislation would do just that by providing for favorable treatment of long-term care through retirement accounts, allowing greater access to the necessary care they deserve.”

Read more >> https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/bill-would-reform-tax-code-to-make-long-term-care-insurance-more-affordable-accessible/



Special Considerations for Divorces Involving
Middle-Aged and Older Americans

PART 1: SPOUSAL SUPPORT, ACCESS TO HEALTH
INSURANCE, AND ADULT CHILDREN

In recent years, the growth in the divorce rate among middle-aged and older American couples has been an interesting trend that many researchers have been monitoring. Notably, studies, reports, and other analyses from the past few years have found that, over approximately the past three decades, the divorce rate for adults under age 35 has continued to decrease, while the divorce rate for adults of 45 years of age and older has continued to significantly increase over that same timeframe. The increase in the divorce rate has been especially pronounced when solely isolating the analysis to adults ages 55 – 64. This overall phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the rise of the “grey” divorce.


Regardless of the potential rationale or basis for this societal phenomenon, its mere existence has also contributed to the rise of some special, unique considerations which should be evaluated in connection with divorces and dissolutions of couples in this particular age demographic. While not intended to be all-inclusive, this two-article series explores some of those special considerations. In the first installment of this series, we will examine three special considerations—specifically, spousal support, access to health insurance and adult children.

Learn more >> https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/special-considerations-for-divorces-2519704/?origin=CEG&utm_source=CEG&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CustomEmailDigest&utm_term=jds-article&utm_content=article-link



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MONDAY, MARCH 28TH




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Good Day. It’s Thursday, March 24, 2022


Email > theseniorlog@protonmail.com



From the editor…



Sitting in our lobby Wednesday afternoon waiting for the dining room to open for lunch, I watched as one of our marketing people (I.e., salesperson) gave a tour to a prospective resident. New residents and their families are shown things like the dining room, the library, beauty parlor and other public areas of the facility. They are also taken to a carefully decorated model resident’s room. The room is small, but cozy. Very motel-like. At first glance, the place has everything a senior citizen with limited mobility or other health issues would need. Not extravagant, but more than adequate.  However, not everything is always as it appears. Sometimes, it's less.

Most new residents, especially those who have been living in their own homes or with relatives, will immediately notice the difference. That “cozy” little room is only large enough for a bed (one twin) an end table, dresser and maybe a chair. There is a small sink that is not good for much more than washing some fruit or a plate after you have eaten some Chinese takeout. It’s not meant to prepare food. No cooking of any kind is permitted. That means no microwave’s or even a coffee pot. Most folks have small refrigerators to keep cold drinks or leftovers or “care packages” from friends.
 
Perhaps the biggest “shock” comes when you try to fit all the clothes you brought with you into a closet designed for a Benedictine monk. Many women have to hang their clothes in the bathroom, on the shower curtain rod, and move them to the bed whenever they want to use the shower. They don’t show you that on the tour.

A new resident learns quickly that they have been reduced to very basic living. The “luxury” of space, independence and amenities is left far behind. If you are looking for more, this is not the place for you. But you will get what you need. And sometimes getting back to the basics is a good thing.


Food and shelter and the clothes on our back and access to medical care are basically all we need. And that’s exactly what you get here. A no-frills lifestyle designed to keep you safe and not much more.
 
A spa or resort or active senior community, this is not. It’s a well-designed “warehouse” where those of us who are living out our lives spend our time. The only real amenity, less stress. The worries of everyday life virtually do not exist here.

Many folks may miss their former situation. I don’t. Having less gives you a different perspective on life. It allows you to focus on what is really important: yourself. And, while this may seem selfish, just remember that you have spent your entire life giving. Giving to your family, your friends and even to your boss. And all you have to show for it is some “toys” they said you had to have to be happy.
 
Of course, if you have a lot of money, you can have it all. And to that, I say. “Good for you.” But always remember, the more you have, the more time and effort you have to exert to keep it. The only thing I have to worry about keeping is my sanity because thinking about all the “stuff” I used to have makes me crazy………………….
 



March 24, 2022

Inflation Outstripping Social Security Adjustments,
Senior League Says
By Jacqueline Sergeant


What seemed like a generous raise for seniors in October has been all but wiped out by inflation.

The 5.9% increase in Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment, announced in October, was the highest in 40 years, lifting benefits by $92 per month. But 73% of seniors said their household expenses increased by at least $96 per month in 2021, and nearly half said their expenditures had increased by more than $144 per month, according to a survey by the Senior Citizens League (TSCL).

“Some people are just getting into some real bad situations,” said Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the league. “The problem is when living on fixed income, it’s not like you can go out and get a part-time job, because many seniors often retired because of health problems or other issues.”

Read more >> https://www.fa-mag.com/news/inflation-taking-heavy-toll-on-seniors-on-fixed-income-66949.html


The great inflation squeeze:
Here’s how retirees can navigate higher prices
By Michelle Fox


Americans are being squeezed by higher inflation.

That may have retirees on a fixed income concerned about getting by or running out of savings during their golden years.

Inflation rose 7.9% in February from 12 months ago, the highest in more than 40 years, according to the Labor Department.

Yet there is some good news for older Americans, according to J.P. Morgan’s 2022 Guide to Retirement. Since spending changes in retirement, it reduces the impact of some rising costs.

“This inflationary period has not been as bad for seniors as it has been for workers,” said certified financial planner Michael Finke, professor of wealth management at The American College of Financial Services.

Read more >> https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/22/how-retirees-can-navigate-higher-prices-due-to-inflation.html


Congress Extends Telehealth Coverage

The President and Congress extended Medicare telehealth coverage in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which also included additional Ukrainian relief.

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (“2022 CAA”). This new law includes several provisions that extend the Medicare telehealth waivers and flexibilities, implemented as a result of COVID-19 to facilitate access to care, for an additional 151 days after the end of the Public Health Emergency (“PHE”).

The 2022 CAA extension includes the basic PHE telehealth measures originally authorized in the Medicare pandemic response.

Read more >> https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/congress-extends-telehealth-coverage-1468897/


Senior citizens serving federal sentences
have fallen through the cracks
By Carrie Johnson Twitter


The government agency that oversees some of the oldest and sickest people in federal prison has a problem: it has been undercounting the number of prisoners under its jurisdiction.

The U.S. Parole Commission's miscounting came to light when self-described math wonk and Berkeley law professor Chuck Weisselberg noticed something strange this year as he read an annual report from the government.

The report said the number of people in prison who were convicted before late 1987 had grown by 69% in one year — "inconceivable," Weisselberg said.

"These are senior citizens serving federal sentences," he added. "They're the oldest and most vulnerable group of people in the federal prison system, and they seem to have fallen through the cracks."

Read more >>


How to Keep a Healthy Mouth:
8 Oral Health Tips for Seniors
By Patrick Adams


No matter your age, taking care of your oral health is of the essence. However, as we get older, our teeth also experience the effects of aging. As 1 in 25 people over the age of 15 in Australia have no natural teeth left, it’s imperative to start thinking about your dental health on time but even seniors need a dental routine that will help them prevent health issues such as cardiovascular diseases and respiratory infections. Here are some tips that will keep your pearly whites healthy.

1. Brush twice a day


For starters, you’ve surely been hearing about the importance of brushing your teeth regularly all your life. If you still have all your natural teeth, you certainly see all the perks that this habit brought along. However, even if you have veneers or some other type of dentures, taking care of them is of the essence. So, find a soft brush that will help you get rid of all the food that might have gotten stuck and use a toothbrush that contains fluoride, which is beneficial regardless of age.

Find out which CBD product is best for you

Learn More > https://seniorslifestylemag.com/health-well-being/how-to-keep-a-healthy-mouth-8-oral-health-tips-for-seniors/



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