GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2022







The dangers of heat-related
Illnesses to older adults

By Dr. Jeffrey Luther,

Now that it is summertime, the heat is building up.

As you age to around 55 to 65 years old, your ability to respond appropriately to the heat can start to become a serious problem, because as you get older you are at an increased risk of heat-related illnesses. These include:

  1.     Heat stroke.
  2.     Heat edema, or swelling in your ankles and feet when you get hot.
  3.     Heat syncope, or sudden dizziness after exercising in the heat.
  4.     Heat cramps.
  5.     Heat exhaustion.
Although heat affects everyone differently, it is especially dangerous in individuals aged 65 and older.




Nearly one-third of older Americans have
Less than $10,000 saved for retirement

By Alessandra Malito


Many older Americans are willing to work during their retirement years — and they may have to be — because they aren’t financially prepared for their old age.

Almost three in 10 people between 55 and 67 years old have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, though 32% of women specifically have less than $10,000 earmarked for their old age, according to a new survey from Sagewell Financial, a financial technology company focused on seniors’ money management. Four in 10 people had less than $50,000 saved for retirement, whereas 47% of women had less than that much compared with 30% of men.

More than seven out of 10 respondents said they plan or are willing to work in retirement, the survey found.




Study Links Stress to a
Faster-Aging Immune System




A healthy immune response is key to fighting off diseases like COVID-19. As we age, however, our immune systems become less efficient at preventing illnesses, recovering from infection, and responding to vaccines. But not everyone’s immune system ages at the same rate—factors like smoking can accelerate this decline, while exercise can slow it down.

A study published last week in PNAS reports another contributor to immune aging: social stress.

“Stress exposure is literally wearing your body down,” says Ryon Cobb, a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia. “It goes along with this idea that the body never forgets.” Cobb wasn’t involved in the research, but study coauthor and University of Southern California (USC) gerontologist Eileen Crimmins was one of his postdoctoral instructors.  



Feeling younger can help us rehabilitate


Subjective age the best predictor of rehabilitation outcomes, according to research from Bar-Ilan University

A new Israeli study shows that older people who feel younger show better rehabilitation results.

The researchers from Bar-Ilan University published their findings in the journal Gerontology.

The study tracked 194 adult patients aged 73 to 84 undergoing rehabilitation from osteoporotic fractures or stroke in several rehabilitation facilities across Israel.

The patients who had younger subjective age at hospital admission showed more functional independence upon being discharged a month later.







See Neil Diamond Now in a Rare
Post-Retirement Appearance

By Lia Beck


It's tradition for fans of the Boston Red Sox to sing "Sweet Caroline" during games at Fenway Park, but rarely do they get to sing it like this. On Saturday, June 18, Neil Diamond performed his 1969 hit at the stadium for the first time in nine years. It was also a rare public appearance for the 81-year-old singer, who retired from touring and most live shows in 2018 due to his Parkinson's disease diagnosis.

For 20 years, it has been a tradition for "Sweet Caroline" to play in middle of the eighth inning during games at Fenway Park. The last time Diamond himself performed the song at the stadium was in 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombing, as reported by Boston.com.

During the performance at Saturday's game, Diamond was joined in singing his popular song by actor Will Swenson, who stars as Diamond in the upcoming musical A Beautiful Noise, based on the singer's life. The show will premiere in Boston on June 21 before moving to Broadway in the fall.




From the editor:
Exciting, and a little bit
Scarry.

It's been a while since I have been very far outside the gates of the facility here in Yonkers, today, that all changes. I'm getting picked up and driven to the U.S. Court in Brooklyn, NY to testify for the prosecution in a Medicare fraud trial. Though not my first experience in a courtroom, it will be my first time on the stand. I know being a witness in real life is not like it is on TV, but somewhere in the back of my mind I picture a slick defense attorney trying to discredit me. But, as I told the AUSA, all I can do is tell the truth. I'll give you more details in future posts. 

Regretfully, because I won't have time to work on the blog, there won't be any new content on Thursday.  Unless I have to go into witness protection with a new I.D., I'll be back on Friday.........................










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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2022









Loss of autonomy:
How guardianships
Threaten people’s rights

By Melissa Hellmann



From Britney Spears to Wendy Williams, financial guardianships and conservatorships have entered the limelight as legal tools with the potential for abuse.

These high-profile cases have led to growing calls for reform. Disability rights organizations also have long advocated for less restrictive alternatives to guardianship for people with disabilities. Guardians, in some states called conservators, impact a large swath of the population: In 2018, there were an estimated 1.3 million active guardianship or conservatorship cases nationwide, according to a National Council on Disability report.

While the systems vary by state, a guardian or conservator is a court-ordered representative who makes financial or healthcare decisions for a person deemed incapable of properly caring for themselves. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the elderly or those who have experienced traumatic brain injuries are most likely to have guardians appointed.




Flu vaccination cuts older adults’ dementia
Odds by 40 percent over 4 years




Older adults with no signs of dementia and at least one flu vaccination were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease within the next four years than their unvaccinated peers, according to a new study.

Investigators used a large U.S. claims database to compare dementia outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients aged 65 years and older who had no initial evidence of brain disease. The more cumulative annual shots the patients had received, the greater their protection against Alzheimer’s, reported Paul. E. Schulz, M.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues.

During follow-up appointments over four years, approximately 5.1% of flu-vaccinated cohort developed Alzheimer’s disease, compared with 8.5% of their non-vaccinated peers. There were more than 900,000 patients in each group.




Don’t care about ‘privatizing’ Medicare?
You should!



M
edicare’s goal is to have all traditional Medicare recipients in managed care arrangements by 2030


That’s bureaucratic-speak for privatizing Medicare. The millions of people on traditional Medicare will be shifted against their will to programs in which commercial middlemen can profit by reducing the amount of care they receive.

Do people realize what “privatizing” Medicare means? Medicare was designed to give senior citizens direct access to medical care: no middlemen deciding whether you can see a doctor, which doctor you can see, or which covered service the doctor can provide. That’s why Medicare is so popular, successful and efficient.




15 Million-plus Senior Citizens
Suffer from Food Insecurity




The inflation uptick continues to impose serious hardship on hungry senior citizens—particularly and tragically those suffering from malnutrition. The victims are the most vulnerable of our aging population-- those who struggle to make ends meet on minimal fixed incomes at a time when the price of food is skyrocketing as the result of an uncontrolled, record-breaking rate of inflation.

There are many factors that triggered the inflationary surge, not the least of which was the devil-may-care progressive spending spree of the Biden administration and the Congress it controls. The numbers don’t lie. In December of 2020, a month before Joe Biden took office, the rate of inflation stood at 1.4%. Since President Biden assumed office in January 2021 the rate of inflation has ticked up to at least 8.5% and climbing, making life difficult for us all but in particular for the fixed income seniors who have no alternative other than to live with it or die. Before the surge a quart of milk cost about 90 cents. The price of that same quart of milk today is more than 20% higher at about $1.09 per quart.


It's not a matter of conjecture. A new Rasmussen poll shows that a growing number of us put the blame for the increasing cost of living on the president. It was bad enough in December at the end of his first year in office when only 32% of voters gave him an okay, but the newest survey shows that just 27% think he’s doing a good job; 57% give him a poor rating on his handling of the economy.






By John Rampton


Have you dreamed of early retirement? How about the freedom it brings – financial and otherwise? It's not just you who dreams of early retirement.

In fact, since 1992, people have embraced the F.I.R.E. movement. It has become more popular in recent years. As an example, Natixis Investment Managers reported that Generation Y (ages 26-61) wants to retire at the age of 60 on average.

There is a slight hiccup, unfortunately. 59% of Americans don't believe that have enough to retire, let alone retire early. There are a number of reasons why a majority of people feel this way. Everything from overwhelming debt, the impact of the pandemic, and inflation.

At the same time, all is not lost. As well as getting your retirement savings back on track, you might be able to still retire early. How? Well, let's show you the following guide.








People came to this country to escape religious persecution, hunger or poverty. They came here not because they would automatically become rich, or so they would never have to work another day. No, they came here because we were a nation that had very few restrictions on how we led our lives, what religion we followed, or how we made our money. If you had the will to work hard and keep your nose clean, the government wouldn’t butt into your lives very much. What that meant was that you could open a business almost anywhere and sell almost anything without the feds getting in your way. And, because there was no personal income tax before the 16th amendment was ratified in 1913, you kept all you made. Even the corporate tax (introduced the same year) was low, only about 1%. Therefore, if you were an immigrant who arrived here around the turn of the 20th century, you stood a better-than-average chance of making a good living. Or even becoming a millionaire overnight. But not anymore.

Today, the government wants a share of everything you earn. And, not only do they want their cut, they also want to tell you how you should run your business. The rules and regulations needed just to turn the key on a new business enterprise are staggering. Permits, licensing, OSHA, anti-monopoly statutes, unfair labor practice codes, building codes and environmental codes. And if you are selling a food item or a drug, a bunch of other restrictions apply.


Okay, maybe we need some oversight, so we have some assurance that our food isn’t filled with bug parts. Or our car’s brakes won’t fail on that steep hill on the way to grandma’s. And I can even understand that there should be some expectation of workplace safety. After all, we’d like to come home with the same body parts we left with that morning. In those cases, we probably need government regulation. Those are issues meant to keep the public safe. But why is it necessary for the government to stick their noses into my personal business? Why are they in my house, my bedroom, my doctor’s office and, if you are a woman, in your uterus?

Living in the U.S. is becoming more difficult every year. And more dangerous too. All because of the failure of our government to do the right thing. Not only do we have a Congress that has failed to protect us from maniacs with automatic weapons, but they also have worked their way into the reproductive systems of every woman of child-bearing age. And you know that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are those in congress and on the US Supreme Court who are licking their chops for the first opportunity to strike down some of the other freedoms we have worked hard for. Same-sex marriages, equal rights amendments, contraception are all candidates for the chopping block.

This is not what America was all about. The roads may not have been paved with gold, but there certainly were no roadblock either. Somewhere along the way, we have lost our desire to think for ourselves, preferring the government to do the thinking for us. And in doing so, we have lost the America we loved…….
 






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GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2022









Marijuana use linked to heart
Rhythm issues in older adults

By Michael Walter



Marijuana use among older adults is associated with a heightened risk of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, according to new research published in the American Journal of Cardiology.


“Marijuana is widely used across the United States, and marijuana use has increased from 2.4% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2018 among adults aged ≥65 years,” wrote first author Barbara N. Harding, PhD, with the Barcelona Institute of Global Health, and colleagues. “Marijuana use increases sympathetic nervous system activity and inhibits cardiac parasympathetic innervation, resulting in elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and an increase in myocardial oxygen demand.”



Harding et al. tracked data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), focusing on data from nearly 1,500 participants. All participants were between the ages of 45 and 84 years old and free of cardiovascular disease when they first enrolled in MESA from 2000 to 2002. After enrollment, follow-up examinations occurred every two to six years. Each individual underwent at least 24 hours of extended electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring.




Providing palliative care to wider group of people,
Including assisted living residents,
Gains bipartisan support



A demonstration project to deliver palliative care no matter where an individual lives — including in assisted living communities — and earlier in the disease process has gained bipartisan support.


In a June 16 letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, members of the Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus asked that the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation implement a community-based pilot project to enable palliative care to be provided at the same time as curative treatments for people with serious illnesses or injuries.


U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), John Barraso (R-WY) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) said that the “compassionate, comprehensive care” provided through palliative care addresses the individual as a whole, quality of life and symptom management.





The Importance Of Senior Living
In A Healthy Aging Plan

By Sandra Gordon



A
s we age, we can acquire health and physical issues that can impact our ability to live independently. In such situations, living at home—especially alone—might not be the safest option. Fortunately, planning ahead for a more suitable living environment can boost their overall quality of life. Read on to learn more about how various forms of senior living can fit positively into a balanced future and the importance of assisted living planning for a smart and healthy aging plan.


What Is Senior Living?


Senior living is a common, albeit outdated, term used to describe living environments designed for the specific needs of older adults. “Senior living allows older adults to continue to live and prosper in the safest, most appropriate environment based on their medical and physical capabilities and/or limitations,” says Ben Mandelbaum, CEO of Senior Planning Services in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Some examples of specialized care housing options and facilities for older adults include (but aren’t limited to):




Ability to balance is
Linked to a longer life

By Katie Hunt


An inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in later life is linked to nearly double the risk of death from any cause within the next decade, according to a new study.


The simple balance test may be useful to include in routine physical exams for people in middle and old age, the research, which was published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggested



While aging leads to a decline in physical fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, balance tends to be reasonably well-preserved until a person's 50s, when it starts to wane relatively rapidly, the research noted. Previous research has linked the inability to stand on...









Eating Processed Meats Can Cause
Skin Aging, Experts Warn

By Adam Meyer


As we get older, we tend to feel younger than we look. Of course, there will always be those lucky few who never seem to age, but for most of us, it's an unavoidable part of life. We notice wrinkles, cracks, and dry patches in our skin and assume they're natural signs of aging skin. But the foods we eat can play a significant role in the health of our skin, causing it to age faster than it should. Curious how what you eat can ramp up your skin's aging process? Read on to find out which popular food damages your skin and makes it age faster.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90 percent of Americans aged two and older consume more sodium than they need. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends a daily sodium intake of less than 2,300 milligrams. (To give you an idea how much that is, a single serving (100 grams) of bacon contains 1,800 milligrams of sodium.)

Sodium absorbs moisture in your body—that's why eating too many salty foods can make you feel dehydrated. Without adequate hydration, your skin isn't nourished, and is more susceptible to wrinkles and aging.




AT THE A.L.F….
    


I was pleasantly surprised Friday morning when an aide came to my room to tell me my 10-day DOH imposed quarantine was over, and I was now free to move about the building. And, more important, to once again be allowed to return to the dining room to eat with my friends. By my calculations, this “pardon” came a day early. Not that I have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is why was I forced into that situation in the first place? Why have I, just because I am a resident of an assisted living facility, singled-out as someone who needs “special” treatment just because one resident (who I had been in close contact with) contracted COVID while on an excursion outside the facility?


While there is a way for a concerned party to lodge a complaint against an individual or corporation that may have violated a DOH rule or regulation or to report a case of abuse, the process for complaining to the DOH about one of their own policies is nonexistent. There is no form or contact that I can go to if I have an issue with DOH policies or its personnel. Sadly, there is no recourse available to me to complain. Especially when the law is very specific…



(ACTUAL WORDING FROM NYS DOH BULLETIN)
Quarantine and Isolation for Congregate Settings and Special Populations
Correctional Facilities, Adult Care Facilities, Group Homes, Other Congregate Settings


CDC’s recommendations for shortened quarantine and isolation does not apply to correctional facilities, detention facilities, homeless shelters, and cruise ships. Those settings, as well as other congregate settings with high-risk individuals or at high risk for transmission, should continue to follow previous guidance for a 10-day quarantine or isolation foresidents/clients.

Other congregate settings that should continue to implement 10-day quarantine or isolation for residents/clients include adult care facilities, OPWDD facilities, and some OMH facilities, depending on ability of residents/clients in the OMH facilities to wear a mask, socially distance,
and follow other mitigation measures.
 

Historically, the DOH has never consulted with or considered residents or patients of long-term care facilities part of the equation when making policy affecting those parties. Is this elder abuse or ageism? Either way, we’re screwed…………

Editor’s note: Since there is no official way to complain about DOH policy, I can try a less formal path and contact the new head  of the DOH directly. I know it’s a long shot, but I have to try.








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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2022









Medicare Spending Spikes for
Dementia Diagnoses in Seniors


A diagnosis of Alzheimer disease or related dementia (ADRD) is associated with a large increase in Medicare spending, according to a study published online May 18 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


Geoffrey J. Hoffman, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used the 1998 to 2018 Health and Retirement Study with linked Medicare claims to assess incremental quarterly spending changes just before versus just after a clinical dementia diagnosis (diagnosis cohort, 2,779) and among 2,318 individuals screened as impaired based on the validated Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (impairment cohort).


The researchers found that overall spending was $4,773 per quarter, of which 43 percent was spending on hospital care ($2,048). Spending increased by 156 percent, from $5,394 in the quarter prior to diagnosis versus $13,794 in the quarter including the diagnosis. For the group with impairment, adjusted spending did not change from just before to after detection ($2,986 before and $2,962 after). There were no differences observed in incremental spending changes by sex, race, education, dual eligibility, or geography.




Light exposure at night linked to obesity,
Hypertension and diabetes among older adults

Reviewed by Emily Henderson


In a sample of older men and women ages 63 to 84, those who were exposed to any amount of light while sleeping at night were significantly more likely to be obese, and have high blood pressure and diabetes compared to adults who were not exposed to any light during the night, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Light exposure was measured with a wrist-worn device and tracked over seven days.



This is a real world (not experimental) study demonstrating the prevalence of any light exposure at night being linked to a higher obesity, high blood pressure (known as hypertension) and diabetes among older adults. It will be published on June 22 in the journal SLEEP.



Boom in Tech Support Fraud
Targets Older Adults



Unsolicited calls offering to fix nonexistent computer problems cheat people of millions of dollars

On a busy day last year, 61-year-old Neil (not his real name) got a call from a man who called himself "John" and said he was from Apple Tech Support. He claimed to have received a report that Neil's laptop was infected with a virus and offered to fix the security breach if Neil gave him remote access to his computer. Distracted by a dozen demands on his time, Neil agreed.


That was the beginning of a harrowing few hours with a practiced swindler. As John urgently warned that the virus threatened to corrupt and delete data and disrupt Neil's life, Neil grew increasingly anxious and agreed to pay the man on the phone hundreds of dollars to fix the problem.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


Your Guide To Luxury Senior Living
By Deb Hipp



Many senior living communities offer apartment-style living and daily meals, along with amenities and services like transportation assistance, fitness classes, events and activities. Luxury senior living communities, however, take these amenities and services up a notch, creating spaces that feel more like five-star resorts than places to retire.


From waterfront living to urban high rises, luxury senior living accommodations have much to offer older adults who can afford a more lavish lifestyle as they age.

What Is a Luxury Senior Living Community?






New Acuity Duo True Wireless Earbuds
Offer Senior Citizens
A Bespoke and Improved Hearing Experience


Hear+Hi, a subsidiary of California-based micro-electromechanical systems microphones and voice interface software developer GMEMS Technologies, has recently launched its latest assistive hearing device, Acuity Duo True Wireless Earbuds. The goal is to help senior citizens hear better while offering an enjoyable and personalized experience.



The new Acuity Duo combines an innovative True Wireless Stereo (TWS) headset with a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) co-processor to deliver tailored hearing for mobile calls, online meetings, media streaming and sound amplification.


The advanced 8-channel DSP processing and noise reduction algorithms filter, which suppresses background noise from human speech, facilitates improved sound quality and speech clarity.


AT THE A.L.F….


Something that recently happened to me made me realize just how much I depend on others for even the simplest trips anywhere. What used to be an easy decision for me now becomes a major undertaking. Because of some mobility concerns and other health-related issues, any spur-of-the-moment trips have become a thing of the past. While short trips via taxi or car service are not a problem, it is expensive. A trip to the supermarket or a diner can cost up to $30. Money which I don’t always have. Uber is a good alternative, but they too aren’t cheap. And there’s no senior discount. The real problem occurs when I have to make an extended trip somewhere out of my town. There is no way I can get there easily or cheaply.

 
One of the contributing factors that keeps older Americans virtual prisoners is a lack of proprietary transportation. I know many of you are thinking, “We have that. It’s called Para-transit or Access-A-Ride or some other means of low-cost transportation for the disabled.” But there’s a problem with that. It’s not a dedicated service.[1] A Para Transit bus may pick up 10 to 15 other riders before it gets to you. And it may make just as many stops before it gets to yours. Then, when you need to be picked up, the process starts over again. That, combined with a cumbersome reservation system, makes that form of transportation less than desirable for many seniors who need to have a more spontaneous means of getting around.
 
What I am proposing is a system similar to that used by Medicaid recipients to travel to and from medical appointments. Not just public transportation made for easy-access for the disabled, but a dedicated form of door-to-door livery options, via taxi, private car or ambulette. Such a system, obtainable at a cost consistent with the fixed income situations many seniors face today, would give mobility-challenged seniors the independence and freedom they need………
 


[1] For example. If I have to travel from my residence here in Westchester County to a location in New York City (a different county) I would have to make arrangements with two different para transit systems.






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GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2022







This Common Belief About Dementia
Was Just Proven Wrong

By Abby Reinhard


There are countless things we believe we know about dementia—and that familiarity comes from the disease's unfortunate prevalence. In the U.S. alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 5.8 million people are living with dementia. Hearing about "dementia" or "Alzheimer's disease" sparks fears of lost memories, changes in mood and behavior, and increased risk as you age. But one common belief about dementia was recently dispelled by an important new study. Read on to find out what researchers have just learned about dementia risk factors.


Dementia and Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of the condition, are a hot topic for research, as no cure or effective treatment currently exists. Studies have identified a variety of risk factors for the disease, including snoring, hypertension, and even failing to brush your teeth.

With so much information available about dementia, it can be overwhelming to know how to best mitigate your chances of developing cognitive decline. But new findings suggest that you can cross one concern off your list—even if it's something you already had.




Two-thirds of older Americans see
Health care costs as a financial burden

By Brad Dress

At least two-thirds of older Americans see health care costs as a financial burden, according to a new West Health-Gallup survey published Wednesday.

About 24 percent of Americans ages 50-64 say health care costs are a major financial burden, compared to 48 percent who say the costs are a minor burden, according to the survey.

Of Americans ages 65 and older, 15 percent call it a major burden and 51 percent a minor burden.



Most older adults believe they will need
ADL assistance, but few plan for it



A
s older adults face the prospect of needing assistance with daily activities in the future, few have given much thought to how they will continue to live independently, according to a new AARP survey.


According to the results of the organization’s “Long-Term Care Readiness” survey, 68% of older adults believe they will need assistance with their daily activities at some point, but only 28% have given much thought to how they will continue to live independently if they need that assistance.


A recent National Poll on Healthy Aging found a similar lack of planning among older adults, presenting an opportunity for senior living providers.


Attitudes on needing assistance varied by age in the AARP survey, with 74% of those 65 and older indicating they likely will need assistance, compared with 64% of respondents aged 50 to 64. The 65-and-older group also gave more thought to how they will live independently, with 31% indicating they had given it a lot of thought and 48% indicating they had given it some thought, compared with 25% and 47%, respectively, of respondents 50 to 64.



Willingness to Give Away Money Among Older Adults
Linked to Cognitive Profile of Early Alzheimer’s




To help protect older adults from financial exploitation, researchers are working to understand who is most at risk.

New findings from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, published this week in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggest that willingness to give away money could be linked to the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.


Sixty-seven older adults who did not have dementia or cognitive impairment completed a laboratory task where they decided whether to give money to an anonymous person or keep it for themselves.


They also completed a series of cognitive tests, such as word and story recall. Those who gave away more money performed worse on the cognitive assessments known to be sensitive to Alzheimer’s disease.





How Older Adults Can Use Social Media
To Market Startup Businesses

By Leslie Hunter-Gadsden


The means of marketing a business comes in many forms but with the number of times a day that prospective customers check their social media platforms, it is a good idea for small business owners to at least explore using social media to spread the word about their startup. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others offer business pages as an option to share content, beyond the realm of personal pages.

As with any marketing tool, there are do's and don'ts associated with social media; being unsure about which is which is why Patricia Wynn, owner of lifestyle assistant company Patricia Services LLC in Hillsborough, North Carolina, has yet to jump on the social media marketing bandwagon.

Wynn, 53, currently has an online presence for her company with a website through Vistaprint and a listing on Care.com. "I haven't taken the time yet to look deeply into setting up business pages on social media," Wynn said, "but when I get some free time, I will look at starting with the Facebook business page option. There is also an app called Nextdoor.com for local networking that I want to learn more about."









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GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022









Support For Legislation to Deliver Cost-Effective 
Assisted Living Care for America’s Veterans 


Argentum offered its strong support for the Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act, calling the “common sense” legislation a critical start to helping veterans access cost-effective assisted living care as the nation prepares for rapidly growing demand for assisted living and other long-term care options.


Argentum, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, American Seniors Housing Association, and LeadingAge are working in conjunction to promote the veterans bill, with the coalition signing a joint letter of support to Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The three lawmakers introduced the legislation last week.


“We strongly support establishing a pilot program as this legislation provides to help demonstrate the value of assisted living, so that more Americans can access this vital care. As our nation prepares for an exponential rise in the need for care services—with 10,000 Americans turning age 70 every day—we need to expand opportunities for our nation’s seniors to access their care,” said Maggie Elehwany, senior vice president, public affairs, Argentum.




Breakthrough finding could yield benefits 
For patients with diabetes
By Jacqueline Mitchell


About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year, according to the World Health Organization. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been damaged and no longer produce insulin; Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant, or insensitive, to insulin. Both versions of the disease result in elevated levels of blood glucose—or blood sugar—which can lead over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves if uncontrolled by treatment. Life-saving drugs and devices have been developed for patients with diabetes, yet many people still struggle with poor blood glucose control, leaving them at high risk for complications.

Now, endocrinologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have identified a key enzyme in the synthesis of a new class of lipids (or fats), called FAHFAs, that are made in human tissues and have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control and other metabolic-related parameters in humans and mice. The discovery, published in Nature, opens the door to potential new treatments for types 1 and 2 diabetes.


"The long-term goal is to safely replace insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells in people with type 1 diabetes, but this would require a way to protect those cells from attack by the immune system," said Barbara B. Kahn, MD, who is vice chair for research strategy in the Department of Medicine at BIDMC. "We have shown that these FAHFA lipids protect beta cells from immune attack and metabolic stress. If we could increase FAHFA levels, we think this could be beneficial for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Our new discovery is a breakthrough because, for the first time, we know how these lipids are made in mammalian tissues."




'Entitlement' Is Not A Dirty Word
By Robyn Pennacchia



There's a "Doctor Who" episode, in the first series of the revival, that takes place during World War II. And "no spoilers" for those who have never seen it, but it ends with the Ninth Doctor telling the British people, "You lot! Lots to do. Save the world. Beat the Germans. And don't forget the welfare state!"



On British TV, people are always praising the welfare state, and despite my own rather socialist bent and desire for Americans to have all of those things, it's always a bit of a shock to the system. Being an American, I'm just so used to hearing people use the term "welfare state" in a derogatory manner, to describe some state of endless and unknown horrors brought about by people becoming desperately spoiled and lazy and unable to fend for themselves as a result of having healthcare, food and shelter.


This weekend, I noticed a tweet from Occupy Democrats guy Peter Morely repeating a common center-left maxim: "Social Security and Medicare are NOT 'Entitlements'! We PAID for them." It got over 4,000 likes. It probably has more now. We can assume this was in response to Lindsey Graham's comments from last weekend about how, if Republicans take over in November, "entitlement reform" — by which he means cutting Social Security and Medicare — would be a major priority.




If Your Friends Don't Do This, 
It Could Be Hurting Your Brain
By Luisa Colón


Whether it's sitting down to a meal with a friend or going for a walk together, socializing is good for us—and that's not just based on the warm and fuzzy feelings we have after spending time with loved ones. "Social connections… not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking," the experts at Harvard Health explain. "Dozens of studies have shown that people who have social support from family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer."



However, a recent study revealed that the specific types of social interactions we have can make a difference to our brain health—and that one aspect of them in particular is crucial for maintaining our cognitive health. Read on to find out what your friends might be doing that could increase your chance of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.



Dementia isn't just common; it's increasing significantly each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 55 million people are currently afflicted with dementia and estimates that by 2030, 78 million of us will be living with the condition. Spotting the early signs can help people obtain a diagnosis as soon as possible, which the Alzheimer's Association says is crucial in order to get the best treatment possible (although there is no cure for dementia).







Japanese man, 83, becomes oldest person
To sail solo non-stop across Pacific
By Miranda Bryant

Before he set off, Kenichi Horie said his only fear about sailing solo non-stop across the Pacific Ocean was his age. But on Saturday, the 83-year-old – known as “Japan’s most famous yachtsman” – proved it was not an obstacle after all as he became the world’s oldest person to complete the challenge.



After more than two months at sea, the record-breaking octogenarian, who in 1962 also became the first person to successfully take on the feat, arrived in the waters off the Kii peninsula in western Japan at 2.39am local time.

Having crossed the world’s largest body of water, he had an inspiring message for the world. “Don’t let your dreams just stay as dreams,” he told CNN over satellite phone as he made his way from Shikoku Island to Wakayama. “Have a goal and work towards achieving this and a beautiful life awaits.”



AT THE A.L.F….




My 6th day in quarantine-hell began with me having to use the emergency intercom on the wall in my room. No, there wasn’t any real emergency, unless you call not getting served breakfast an emergency. As ten o’clock rolled around, I still had received no food. I knew something was wrong. They just forgot about me. My breakfast, comprising room temperature pancakes and a ton of greasy bacon, arrived a few minutes later. The only thing hot was the cup of farina. The O.J. was also okay. BTW, there was no butter to put on the pancakes, which would not have melted, anyway. I used the imitation maple-flavored multi-use syrup to compensate. They also forgot to send anybody to pick up my trash from two overflowing wastebaskets. I packed it up myself and left it outside my door. I think they are as tired of having to cater to my needs as I am being catered to. Hopefully, this nightmare will end this weekend.


Meanwhile, on the judicial front, things are getting interesting.
 
As you may know, I have been subpoenaed to be a witness for the prosecution (The U.S. Dept. Of Justice) in a Medicare fraud trial. Yesterday I found out I will have to appear in person at Federal Court in Brooklyn, NY. The A.U.S.A is aware of my mobility issues and has arranged for a car or ambulette to transport me to and from the trial. While I’m looking forward to the experience, I’m not so keen on traveling that distance. Such is the price we pay for justice………
 








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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2022







Seniors, overcharged by billions on Medicare,
Won’t see ’22 refund



T
ens of millions of seniors, hit by one of the largest increases in recent memory of their monthly Medicare charges due to a prescription drug regulatory debacle, will not see a penny refunded this year on what amounts to a federal overcharge.


This will occur, even though it was floated as a possibility and the cause of their health care coverage increase didn’t materialize.


The 2021 embarrassment for federal officials, instead, may turn into inflation anticipation, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has said.



Many younger baby boomers may
Outlive their 401(k) savings. Here’s why

By Annie Nova



Older Americans may have a number of different goals with their retirement savings. But usually their main goal is the same: to make it last.

Unfortunately, many younger baby boomers and members of subsequent generations who don’t have access to a traditional pension could outlive the funds in their 401(k) accounts, a recent study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found.


The economists compared the drawdown speeds between those with traditional pensions and those with only 401(k) savings accounts. Although most research on how long retirees’ money lasts is based on the former category, the majority of people now fall into the later




‘Startling’ lack of physical activity
Found in assisted living pilot study



R
esidents of assisted living communities may not be physically active enough to maintain and improve their health, a pilot study across eight communities has found.

Investigators from the University of Michigan School of Nursing followed 54 residents to see how certain health and social factors affected their daily physical activity. Most study participants were quite sedentary and had low levels of activity, they reported. Sitting times were often greater than 30 minutes or an hour.



“What I was fascinated by is that 72% of time-accumulated stepping was in less than two-minute bouts,” said Janet L. Larson, Ph.D., RN, in a statement. “That was startling. They’re not walking for any length of time.”





Use a Reverse Mortgage to
Pay for Long-Term Care?



A reverse mortgage allows older adults to tap into home equity yet still live in the home. For unexpected health care expenses, it might be a good idea – or maybe not.

NEW YORK – Someone turning 65 has nearly a 7-in-10 chance of needing long-term care in the future, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, and many don’t have the savings to manage the cost of assisted living.



But they may have a mortgage-free home – and the equity in it, giving them the potential option of a reverse mortgage to help cover care costs.

Here’s how to evaluate whether a reverse mortgage might be a good option.





What Really Happens
When You Donate Your Clothes—
And Why It’s Bad

By Taylor Bryant


Cleaning out the closet for most millennials goes like this: You slough through the items you haven’t worn in the past couple of months or longer. Pack them into a tote you don’t need but keep around, perhaps for moments like this. Sort the pieces you think you can get some money from at Buffalo Exchange or Beacon’s Closet if you live in New York City. Then, you bring the rest to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army and donate it. The idea, of course, being that your unwanted pieces will go to someone locally who needs it. Afterward, you pat yourself on the back. Turns out, though, the journey of a donated garment might not be as linear as you think it is.


What actually happens to your donated clothes is a very involved process with a lot of complicated layers, each worth taking the time to understand. Let’s start here: Contrary to popular (naive) belief, less than 20 percent of clothing donations sent to charities are actually resold at those charities. This infographic does a pretty good job of explaining it, but, generally, the other 80 percent is sent to textile recyclers who then determine the next cycle of the garment's life. Almost half of the donations will be exported and sold in developing countries, while the other half will be recycled into rags and household insulation. These actions are taken, primarily, because, as Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost Of Fast Fashion, explains, “There are just far more unwanted clothes in the United States than there is demand.” She goes on to outline: “Charities receive far, far more unwanted clothing donation than they could ever possibly sell in their thrift stores, so they have relationships with other textile sorting and exporting companies who can find a place to sell those clothes and find another market for them to go.”



AT THE A.L.F….




My status, apropos the quarantine, remains unchanged. No signs and no symptoms of ever having caught the virus from anybody here. Not that I expected there to be any. I was tested on Sunday, with negative results, but remain incarcerated for at least another 4 or 5 days. Fortunately, I have my toys to keep me busy. Unfortunately, what I don’t have is access to decent food.

 
While the meals here at the A.L.F. are (under normal circumstances) mediocre at best, they are even less appetizing when served to us lepers. The food is usually room temperature and never exactly what I ordered. Plus, I have to eat it out of a plastic container with plastic utensils. And I get served when I’m not accustomed to eat, which is screwing up my delicate digestive system. My only consolation is this should all be over by the weekend.
 
I’m supposed to have a teleconference (today, Tuesday) with the Assistant U.S. attorney concerning my status as a witness in an upcoming Medicare fraud trial. I should learn if I will have to appear in person or via a smartphone. More on that tomorrow…
 









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NEXT NEW BLOG WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2022









Record high inflation forces some older
Americans to make tough financial choices

By Lorie Konish


F
or many older Americans, record high prices are jeopardizing their financial security just as they approach or live in retirement, according to a recent survey from The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior group.

The survey was conducted online in the first quarter and included 3,056 participants, 96% of whom rely on Social Security as a source of income.


Seniors are spending savings, taking on debt



Half of respondents ages 55 and up have spent emergency savings in the past 12 months in response to high inflation, the survey found.






Arthritis treatment:
No evidence that diet helps

By Annie Lennon


Researchers conducted a review of studies analyzing the effects of diet on rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

They found that judging by current data, no single dietary intervention has substantial benefits for people with these conditions.

They also noted that most studies included in their review had poor quality data.

They thus recommended that further studies improve on methodological and reporting standards.


Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMD) are a range of conditions that affect peoples’ joints, cause pain, disability, and reduce Trusted Source health-related quality of life.

While some RMDs, such as rheumatoid arthritis, have effective pharmacological treatments to limit disease progression, for others, such as osteoarthritis, existing medications can only alleviate symptoms.




Aspirin Use Linked With Increased
Depression Risk in Older Adults


A
n umbrella review investigating factors associated with depression in older adults found convincing evidence that acetylsalicylic acid (asprin) use, as well as living 80 years or more, increases depression risk. Researchers published their findings in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

“Identification of the potential factors that increased or decreased the risk of depression could be important to provide prevention strategies,” researchers wrote.


The umbrella review included 25 studies, of which 22 were meta-analyses and three were qualitative systematic reviews. In all, the studies spanned nearly 1.2 million participants ages 60 and older and 82 unique factors that affected depression risk in the older adult population.






Pandemic Plus: More than 28 Million
Seniors Using Telehealth

By Steve Love


Tragically, more than one million Americans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and that number is probably understated. We’ve surpassed the 675,000 Americans who perished in 1918 from the Great Influenza pandemic. We recognize the population increases from over a century ago, but this is still a staggering number of people to die from this virus.

One positive takeaway has been the use of telehealth services, especially for older Americans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conduct a review of Medicare fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage telehealth claims comparing March 2019 through February 2020 to the same time period of March 2020 through February 2021.


The report, released in March, revealed some very positive findings. More than 28 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth during the first year of the pandemic. This represented more than two in five of these beneficiaries. They also used 88 times more telehealth services during the first year of the pandemic than the prior year. Telehealth usage remained high through early 2021, with most beneficiaries using the service as a substitute for office visits.




OF SPECIAL INTEREST...

What's It Like Having Dentures?
How I Made the Decision





A
fter neglecting my teeth for years, it was time. There's been some adjustment, but it's been well worth it.

It started with cotton candy and it ended with acrylic teeth.

I was a performing singer-songwriter for many years, but a poor caretaker for my teeth, placing a higher priority on maintaining my trim waistline than my receding gumline. Over decades of neglect, my natural teeth gave up the ghost one by one, tumbling out like slow-motion dice in a rigged game.  From cavities to crowns, partials to bridges, uppers to lowers, my mouth eventually became a  mosaic of my failed attempts to salvage my own teeth.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE


                                                       AT THE A.L.F….


As of today,I have served half of my 10-day sentence.[1] In most places, a 5-day lockdown together with a negative COVID test would be enough to get me sprung. But not here. As usual, senior citizens, and primarily those of us who are residents of long-term care facilities, are forced by DOH bureaucrats and no-nothing A.L.F. administrators, to suffer more than any other U.S. citizens. The reasons for this “honor” are difficult to understand. Let’s look at the possibilities.

It is true, traditionally, we seniors are at a disadvantage when we come down with a full-blown case of COVID-19. Many of us have respiratory conditions (COPD, emphysema) that get worse with this viral infection. Seniors also have weakened immune systems that make it difficult to ward off catching the virus. With that in mind, it would be easy to understand why seniors would be subject to these overcautious protocols. However, what the functionaries, who are more interested in covering their asses than showing compassion towards those they claim to protect, forget is we are the most protected group of Americans anywhere.


All of us here at the Asylum have been fully vaccinated. That includes both (Pfizer) vaccines and both of the boosters. And we have been vaccinated in a timely manner. All of our staff have been vaccinated and are tested regularly. And, they must wear PPE when dealing with any ill resident. Masks are worn by all residents and staff when in public areas, as are any visitors. These precautions are over and beyond anything required of the public, who are now allowed to go about their daily lives mask-free and, sometimes, vaccine free.

The bottom line, and the reason for my ire, boils down to politician’s (and those who depend on politicians for their jobs) failure to see beyond the next election, Never mind they are causing the elderly more distress, both physical and mental, by isolating them for an extraordinary amount of time. Their job is to get re-elected, and heavens forbid anything should get in their way………………..

[1] EDITOR’S NOTE: I was finally tested for COVID-19 Sunday morning. The result, as expected, was negative. I will still have to serve the remainder of my sentence.







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NEXT NEW BLOG TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2022

©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2022










10% of Americans over 60 have
Experienced some form of elder abuse



The National Council on Aging says one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse.

At the Lake Charles senior center, Bridget Joseph works with older people everyday. She said it breaks her heart to hear cases of them being mistreated.


“It’s unfortunate to find out that in our community, we have elderly people that are being misused, mistreated, forgotten about, and we don’t want that to happen,” Bridget Joseph with the Lake Charles Senior Center said.

In 2021, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office had 33 cases of cruelty to the infirmed. So far, 7 cases have been reported in 2022. That’s not counting financial abuse cases.




Older Adults Sacrificing Basic Needs
Due to Healthcare Costs



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The health problems Americans start facing when they reach 50 years of age are compounded when the high cost of healthcare prevents them from seeking treatment, taking their prescriptions or leading an otherwise healthy lifestyle. A survey of U.S. adults conducted by West Health and Gallup explored the various ways in which healthcare costs are affecting Americans aged 50 and older today.


The study shows that at least two-thirds of older Americans consider healthcare costs to be at least a minor financial burden. When looking at inability to pay for care, four in 10 report they are concerned; smaller but notable percentages are not seeking treatment, are skipping prescribed medicine or cutting back on basic needs such as food and utilities to pay for healthcare. These problems are generally worse for adults aged 50 to 64, as most do not yet qualify for Medicare, but they also affect those 65 and older


Older Americans at Risk Due to Cost of Healthcare

More than a third of adults 65 and older (37%) are concerned they will not be able to pay for needed healthcare services in the next year, according to the most recent West Health-Gallup survey. The situation is even worse for older Americans who are not yet eligible for Medicare, with nearly half (45%) of adults aged 50 to 64 reporting the same concern level. This puts nearly 50 million adults aged 50 and older at risk for more severe illness and even death due to the cost of healthcare.




Survey finds elderly happier, more content and
Healthier feeling than you might imagine

By Lesly Gregory


The “Second Half of Life Study” surveyed 2,500 people from age 18 into their 90s. It was carried out by National Geographic and AARP in January 2022 to explore how Americans view aging. A second part of the study involved 30-minute follow-up interviews with 25 adults 40 and older.


“Happiness in older age isn’t about wealth, beauty, or any of the other standards typically associated with youth-driven pop culture,” the study authors wrote on AARP. “As people age, an optimism and contentment emerge in parallel with an alignment of expectations and realities.”


While many Americans may associate the beginning of a decli
ne in satisfaction with life with their 60s — as people approach retirement age — the survey found one measure that suggests it is much later today.


In the survey, 70% of people 80 and over said they would be likely to take a “longevity” pill that extended their life by 10 years — even if it did not slow down the aging process. But that’s actually the low point:




New Study Shows Stress May Help
Prevent or Even Reverse Alzheimer's

By Susan McDonald


Stress: Its potential to cause physical harm conditions us to avoid it whenever possible, but new research shows that some level of stress may actually help ward off and perhaps even reverse Alzheimer’s disease.


Alzheimer’s, which affects 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older, is characterized by an unhealthy buildup of misfolded proteins like beta-amyloid and tau in the brain. Folding, a process that makes proteins biologically functional, is typically monitored by healthy brain cells that are also charged with destroying misfolded proteins. Errors in this neurologic process can result in an unhealthy b
uildup of misfolded proteins that, in turn, can cause neurodegenerative conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s disease.


A recent article in the publication Nature detailed how researchers from the U.K. Dementia Research Institute at Cambridge University discovered a way to add stress through heat shock therapy to other parts of affected brain cells so they can address harmful protein misfolding and any resulting buildups.







New Aging Survey Shows It’s
Time to Throw Out Stereotypes

By Sari Harrar


In late 2021, journalists at National Geographic magazine and AARP discussed working together to explore how Americans perceive aging as we emerge from the COVID pandemic. That began a research collaboration focused on asking people like y
ou questions that would probe the full breadth of aging issues — from health and finances to attitudes about happiness, home, optimism and even dying.


To make the study as useful as possible, we posed the same questions to Americans from age 18 into their 90s, to see how opinions vary over the arc of adulthood. More than 2,500 people participated, representing the full range of America’s backgrounds, demographics and ethnicities. Another 25 adults 40 and older participated in in-depth interviews.

Many of the often surprising results of the AARP–National Geographic “Second Half of Life Study” are in your hands. No single sentence can capture the gist of all that people told us, but we can say with confidence that most prevalent opinions and stereotypes of aging were proven wrong.


Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE






Back again, and still “locked up.” Okay, maybe not actually locked up but, most assuredly, confined to quarters. It doesn’t matter. There’s nowhere for me to be (I’m getting my meals and meds delivered) and I am restricted from participating in any activities, anyway. So, how am I keeping busy? All I can say is, thank heaven for Netflix, Amazon Prime and the internet.

Remember back when you were a kid, and you had to stay home from school because you were sick? Although there were no streaming movies or the World Wide Web, we kept from being bored.

There was a TV (I’m not THAT old). But after the morning kids’ shows ended about 10am, there wasn’t much for me to watch. Fortunately, there were books. Lots of them.
 
When I was very young, my choice of reading material centered on a collection of “Golden Books” from Dell publishing. I had dozens of them. Each beautifully illustrated and annotated with simple, easy-to-read text. Reading those books brought me to places where my imagination was free to wander. Later, books like the Hardy Boys held my interest.
 

I still like to read, but my eyesight, being what it is, makes reading actual ink-on-paper books difficult. And those Kindle books are not much better. So now, it’s mostly news articles online.


No book or movie or online magazine can take the place of human conversation. That’s what’s hardest about these quarantines. Humans are social animals. And there is nothing more social than having a meal and some sparkling conversation with friends. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait another 9 days for that……………………………
 
 








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©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2022









Medicaid Weighs Attaching Strings to
Nursing Home Payments
To Improve Patient Care

By Susan Jaffe



T
he Biden administration is considering a requirement that the nation’s 15,500 nursing homes spend most of their payments from Medicaid on direct care for residents and limit the amount that is used for operations, maintenance, and capital improvements or diverted to profits.

If adopted, it would be the first time the federal government insists that nursing homes devote the majority of Medicaid dollars to caring for residents.


The strategy, which has not yet been formally proposed, is among several steps officials are considering after the covid-19 pandemic hit vulnerable nursing home residents especially hard. During the first 12 months of the pandemic, at least 34% of the people killed by the virus lived in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities even though residents of those facilities make up fewer than 1% of the U.S. population.




Social Security Reform Plan
Gets a Big Endorsement

By Stephen Silver


Last week, a group of senators introduced an ambitious plan to keep Social Security solvent for seventy-five years while also increasing benefits. The bill is called the  Social Security Expansion Act, and its backers include prominent senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The introduction came after the release of this year’s Trustees Report which found that Social Security will be able to pay out full benefits through 2034, a year later than projected in last year’s report.

 
“At a time when half of older Americans have no retirement savings and millions of senior citizens are living in poverty, our job is not to cut Social Security,” Senator Sanders said in a statement announcing the bill. “Our job must be to expand Social Security so that every senior citizen in America can retire with the dignity they deserve and every person with a disability can live with the security they need. And we will do that by demanding that the wealthiest people in America finally p
ay their fair share of taxes.”


Now, the Sanders-Warren proposal has a key endorsement. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced a version of the same bill in the House of Representatives which The Senior Citizens League, a group that advocates for seniors and regularly issues reports about how inflation is affecting Social Security recipients, has backed.




Study Suggests Walking
Can Help Prevent Knee Pain



A
new study has found that walking can ward off knee pain for people with osteoarthritis. This condition affects more than 32 million adults in the United States.


As a form of exercise, walking traditionally has been promoted as benefitting your heart. Lately, it has been linked with battling depression and cognitive impairment as well. The new study, published by Wiley Online Library, suggests that walking could also help prevent joint discomfort.


“In individuals > 50 years old with knee osteoarthritis, walking for exercise was associated with less development of frequent knee pain,” the authors wrote. “These findings support that walking for exercise should be encouraged for people with knee osteoarthritis.”






Can seniors donate blood?
Risks and benefits of blood
Donation for older adults



While World Blood Donor Day is celebrated this year on June 14, the effort to raise awareness of this simple life-saving gesture is ongoing year-round.

“Donating blood is an act of solidarity,” the World Health Organization exclaims. “Join the effort and save lives.”



Yet, many questions and incorrect assumptions about the process and eligibility often cloud the donor experience and may lead many people to hesitate to do their part. One of those common questions: Can older adults still donate blood?







Alternative Pets For Older Adults
That Aren't Cats Or Dogs





Having a four-legged or winged companion isn't just for the young and working. In fact, according to new findings by Michigan Health, 55% of adults ages 50-80 have a pet. However, the same study has shown that 6% of those adults said they had injured themselves while walking their dog or doing other aspects of pet care. Having a pet can be beneficial for older adults, but it's also important to pick the right type of pet that will suit one's lifestyle and activity levels. That being said, here are three pet options for seniors who are looking for a furry companion, but don't necessarily have the energy to take care of cats and dogs.


Fish

When upkeep and costs are at a minimum, these scaled companions can provide an easy-to-care option for seniors, especially for those with mobility issues. While small freshwater fishes may require regular feeding along with special filters and lighting, once everything is set up, the overall upkeep of a fish is minimal, especially when automated feeders are utilized. Another benefit of adopting a fish is they do not require excessive amounts of cleaning and do not need a lot of space. Just simply observing an aquarium helps reduces anxiety by a measurable amount and lower heart rate among older adults by 5 to 6 beats per minute, according to Vivo Fish.

Hamsters

Hamsters are one of the more underappreciated pets, especially in comparison to their more popular rivals--cats and dogs. But for older adults who are looking for a low-maintenance, furry companion that does not require obedience courses or litter box training, hamsters may be just the best option for them. How to play with a hamster is one of the most common questions among new pet owners, but there are endless playtime options available like exercising in a ball or running on their wheels. On top of being low-maintenance, studies have shown that owning a hamster can help to decrease stress, and they're perfect for busy seniors since they don't need constant attention. These cuties are a joy to watch because of the fact that they're so tiny and each hamster has its own unique personality.




To quote the great philosopher Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” That’s right. I’ve been put in COVID-19 quarantine again. This time it’s for a period of 10 days.


No, I don’t have the virus. At least not that I know of. And it’s not the entire facility. It’s just me and the other two people I sit with at mealtimes. Why am I so “fortunate?” Because another one of my tablemates tested positive for COVID after having been admitted to a hospital Wednesday for a non-covid related reason. According to the protocols mandated by the DOH, all residents who have come in close (mask-less) contact with an infected person have to be quarantined for a period of at least 10 days.
 
Why are we singled out? Because, theoretically, we are the people who, because we don’t have to wear our masks while in the dining room, are most likely to have come in contact with an unmasked, positive resident. No matter that the resident in question has been around dozens of other residents and may, or may not, have been wearing a mask and may have infected others, we are the only ones being quarantined.
 
What exactly does being “quarantined” mean? Simply, I will be restricted to my room. I will be served all my meals in my room and may not take part in any activities or events nor have contact with any other residents. Any staff that entire my room must wear protective equipment and dispose of that PPE in a container placed outside my room. In addition, a sign warning others I am to be shunned like a leper has been attached to my door.

I have no problem with the facility taking any necessary precautions. However, I have questions. Why have they not tested me and my tablemates to see if we actually have the virus? And why hasn’t everybody who has come in contact with the infected resident been tested as well? And what about all the residents and staff I have been near all day? Why aren’t they being tested? Perhaps it’s because if they do test us all, they might find some additional positive cases, which would mean the entire facility would have to be locked down. And heaven's forbid that should happen. Therefore, it’s easier to put the burden on just a few of us most likely suspects.

 
Having come through over 16 straight months of quarantine/lockdown last year, I can do 10 days standing on my head. I just don’t appreciate the arbitrary and capricious manner in which they are doing it………..
 
 







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GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2022







14 Key Signs You Will Run Out
Of Money in Retirement



Y
ou don’t want to go broke in retirement. Despite all your preparation, however, you might discover that your retirement is going to cost more than you planned.



First and foremost, you need to become aware of the reasons that the budget you have in mind could be smaller than it needs to be. If you’re worried about having enough money, check out the signs that you might not be saving enough for retirement.


You could quickly run out of money in retirement if you need long-term care but didn’t have a plan to pay for it. More than half of adults turning 65 today will need long-term care and about 1 in 7 will need care for more than five years, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.


If you receive care in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you’ll have to shell out big bucks. The average annual cost of care in an assisted living facility was $48,612 in 2019, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey. The annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is over $102,000.




Startling Connection Discovered Between
Diet, Eye Health, and Lifespan



Researchers have discovered a connection between diet, circadian rhythms, eye health, and lifespan in Drosophila.

Sometimes there are weird and unexpected health connections in the human body. For example, the gut microbiome — the trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in our digestive tract — may have links to weight loss, Lou Gehrig’s disease, autism, COVID-19 severity, and drug safety and efficacy.

Now researchers have found another surprising connection. In an experiment on flies, they discovered that the aging process is driven by processes in the eye.

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time a link between diet, circadian rhythms, eye health, and lifespan in Drosophila. Publishing in the June 7, 2022 issue of the journal Nature Communications, the researchers from the Buck Institute additionally and unexpectedly found that processes in the fly eye are actually driving the aging process.




We Must End Ageism in Cancer Clinical Trials
By Dany Habr


C
ancer afflicts more older people than those in any other age group. In fact, over half of cancers diagnosed in the United States occur in those over the age of 65. That number is expected to reach 70 percent by 2030, as the population experiences an unprecedented boom of senior citizens. A growing number of targeted cancer therapies and immunotherapies are available today, but older people often don’t have access to these options, putting them at greater risk of dying from their disease. And even when they do have access to the latest medicines, these treatments, such as those for multiple myeloma, may not work as well in ethnic minority groups, especially in older patients. This gap in care for some older adults is even wider because of racial, economic, and geographic barriers.



If age is “just a number,” what is standing in the way of older people obtaining high-quality cancer treatment? One factor is the lack of clinical trial evidence that can help oncologists make informed decisions about the best possible treatment options. Historically, clinical trials haven’t told us much about how cancer treatments work in older populations. This problem arises primarily from continued underrepresentation of older adults in clinical trials. Studies show that people 65 and older living with cancer represent only about 40 percent of enrollees in registration trials of new cancer therapies; such trials are used to determine the benefit and safety of a potential new therapy and are a critical step in gaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This imbalance is even starker for those 80 years and older, who represent only 4 percent of those included in registration trials. Consequently, treatment strategies are often based on data from younger people.

Cancer societies, advocacy organizations, and regulatory agencies have made several recommendations to address this growing problem. These include various recommendations from regulatory and industry organizations like the FDA and the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for leveraging research designs to generate evidence from older people with cancer and giving the FDA more authority to require research involving older adults. Despite these steps, older populations are still underrepresented. A recent analysis of 302 industry- and non-industry-sponsored clinical trials showed that overall, the median age of participants was around 6.5 years younger than the median age of those who had the disease in the general population. The median age was even lower in industry-sponsored trials, further demonstrating the key role that the pharmaceutical industry has in ensuring older people are accurately represented in future clinical trials.




Older adults more likely to have multiple
Health ailments than prior generations




Later-born generations of older adults in the United States are more likely to have a greater number of chronic health conditions than the generations that preceded them, according to a study conducted by Penn State and Texas State University.

According to the researchers, the increasing frequency of reporting multiple chronic health conditions -- or multimorbidity -- represents a substantial threat to the health of aging populations. This may place increased strain on the well-being of older
adults, as well as medical and federal insurance systems, especially as the number of U.S. adults older than age 65 is projected to grow by more than 50% by 2050.


Steven Haas, associate professor of sociology and demography at Penn State, said the results fit with other recent research that suggests the health of more recent generations in the U.S. is worse than that their predecessors in a number of ways.





The #1 Worst Eating Habit for
Arthritis Symptoms, Says Dietitian

By Samantha Boesch

Arthritis can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable condition to have, and this is especially true when your symptoms begin to flare up. While there are many things that can contribute to flare ups, your daily eating patterns can be one of the main factors.


"People who suffer from arthritis live with the body in an inflammatory state," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our expert medical board, "so it's important to note that there is not one food or beverage that causes arthritis or arthritis flare-ups. It's more about your overall eating pattern and the foods you eat regularly."

And according to Goodson, one of the worst eating habits for arthritis symptoms is to eat refined or processed sugar on a regular basis.

"Refined or processed sugars top the charts when we talk about inflammation," says Goodson. "Processed sugars can prompt the release of cytokines, which act as inflammatory messengers in the body. So, when eaten regularly, this could exacerbate inflammation or arthritis symptoms."




FROM THE EDITOR...



One day last week I was hurriedly summoned to our conference room here at the A.L.F. While these spur-of-the-moment meetings are not new to me, I know, when they occur, something important is going on. In recent months, these meetings have been advance notices we were going to be in another COVID-related lockdown. However, when I arrived at the meeting room I was met, not by our administrator, but by a young woman who introduced herself as an agent for the U.S. Department of Justice. A few minutes later she was joined by her college (a young man who I recognized from a previous meeting) who promptly handed me a piece of paper with the words “SUBPOENA TO TESTIFY AT A HEARING OR TRIAL IN A CRIMINAL CASE” printed across the top. While this came as a surprise, it was not altogether unexpected. Here’s why.


All of us who have part “B” benefits from Medicare receive a monthly statement describing the claims for services that healthcare providers have presented to Medicare. The page(s) contains a detailed list, including the date the service was provided, the name and address of the provider, the actual service or procedure rendered, and the dollar amount the provider has asked for. Emblazoned across the top of the form are the words “THIS IS NOT A BILL.” It is exactly those words people who attempt to defraud Medicare are counting on you reading first. These crooks hope those words will stop you from reading further and just toss the statement in the trash. However, every now and again, a Medicare recipient actually reads the form. I am one of those people. And that’s how I caught a claim for a procedure I never received.

Because this is about a case that has not as yet gone to trial, I will give none of the details. What I can say is that the procedure that I was supposedly given included some surgical incisions and other invasive methods. This is something I would have remembered having done to me. Immediately after noticing the charge on my statement, I knew there was an error. An error that was so blatantly inaccurate, I became suspicious. I went online to report the erroneous charge and forgot about it until a few months ago, when I was first questioned by an agent of the DOJ.

I was asked some generalized questions, but nothing specific about what case they were investigating. On Monday, I received a call from the AUSA (Assistant U.S. Attorney) who, along with the attorney for the defendant, asked me specific questions about the incident in question. I was told that I may be called as a witness and would have to report to the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, NY. I told the AUSA about my mobility problems and he explained perhaps I could testify via video call. Or they would send a car for me. I said that would be okay. So why am I not bothered by the inconvenience of having to travel a long distance and possibly sit for hours in a courtroom? Because I hate crooks. Especially those who think because I am old I wouldn’t notice the illicit claim. And also because I don’t like someone using me as a pawn to defraud the American public.

Oh, BTW, this is a case that goes back to 2017. I suppose the defendant also counted on any witnesses to be too sick or too dead to testify. Surprise!

Please, when you get these notices from Medicare, take a moment to look through them. Perhaps you too could be the one that puts a crook in jail…………………….










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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2022










Are you a “stay-at-home” senior who might not feel
Comfortable in an assisted living facility?


The vast majority of seniors say that they want to spend their so-called “golden years” in their own homes. Assisted living facilities are not an option for those who want to socialize with neighbors, family and friends, are able to get around on their own and feel safe and secure in their own homes.

A poll conducted by Capital Caring Health, a nonprofit provider of elder health, and the online health website, WebMD, found that “88% of people between the ages of 50 and 80 said it was very or somewhat important to them that they live in their homes as long as possible.” But the reality is that not all of them are prepared.


“Aging in place is trending due in part to the fact that growing old is not as debilitating as it used to be,” says Gerry Hafer, Executive Director of the AMAC Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Association of Mature American Citizens. “The acceptance of healthier lifestyles and the benefits of modern medicine have helped to convince many seniors to stay at home.”

There is a caveat, of course, says Hafer, and that means you need to make an assessment of what you are able to do by yourself and what you can’t do. “The most critical issue you need to deal with is your health. Do you suffer from a debilitating illness? In fact, making the decision may require a conversation with your doctor.”




25 Groups Join to Advance a
Better Measure for the Cost of Aging




Equity In Aging Collaborative will advocate for use of Elder Index to determine program eligibility

The National Council on Aging (NCOA), in collaboration with the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is launching the Equity In Aging Collaborative—a coalition of 25 national and local organizations that will advocate for a better way to measure the true cost of living as Americans age.

"Inflation is decimating the little financial security older adults might have coming out of the pandemic," said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO. "But even before that, the federal poverty level failed to reflect older adults' real needs to age with dignity. The Equity in Aging Collaborative will work to ensure that the programs millions of people rely on actually keep pace with the costs of aging in Ameri
ca."


The Collaborative will build on 15 years of experience with the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index, or Elder Index. Developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Elder Index is a measure of the income older adults need to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity, factoring in household size, geography, housing, health care, transportation, food, and other daily essentials.




What exactly does age-appropriate
Style mean for older people?

By Helen Dennis



Q
. I am a newly retired 68-year-old woman. As a former attorney, I never had difficulty buying clothes. Not the case now. Recently I went to two large department stores and found nothing that seemed to be right for me. I even tried to buy jeans, which was worse than buying a bathing suit. Is there still a notion of looking “age-appropriate” or is that archaic thinking? I am curious about your thoughts on this. Many thanks. B.Y.

There have been some odd rules about what has been age-appropriate for older women, such as no long hair, no sleeveless tops and no mini-skirts or loud clothes. As Jennifer Alfano of Harper’s Bazaar writes, “What does age-appropriate mean when everyone from ni
ne to 90 is wearing jeans?”

Yet what should we think when we see an ad on the Internet from Walmart that advertises “Elderly Dresses?” Some were shapeless and others were figure-clinging and described as sexy. Not sure “elderly” is the best term.






'Solo ager' speaks up about the need
For guidance in end-of-life planning

By Carol Bradley Bursack


Dear Carol: I love your website and columns; however, I want to make a plea for information about how older adults who have no children can plan for their future. My husband and I are in our mid-60s, and he has early-onset Alzheimer’s so he’s in memory care. We have no children and no close family. How do I find someone I can trust to handle my legal decisions as my health declines with age? I don’t even know where to start. Thank you! — WR.

Dear WR: This is a good question. Currently, the term for people who are aging without a competent partner or adult children is “solo agers,” though even people who have adult children can run into complications. The reason they struggle could be due to physical distance, emotional estrangement or simply an incompatibility of opinions about how older adults’ lives should end. I see this incompatibility most often when it comes to financial issues, but it’s also a concern with if/how an older adult should be artificially kept alive beyond a certain point, or cremation versus burial. Sadly, having a spouse isn’t always enough, either, as you have found.


While drawing up the paperwork is usually easier for those who can designate an adult child as power of attorney (POA), appropriate professionals are skilled in helping people create a plan for their unique circumstances. In some cases, it’s enough to see an estate attorney, but since you’ll have questions beyond designating powers of attorney, an elder law attorney may be best. The basics, of course, are POAs for finances and health as well as a will that states how to distribute your property.





What is a Comfortable Lifestyle in Retirement?
By Deanna Ritchie

To retire comfortably, Americans say they will need $1.1 million. Unfortunately, less than one in four will have the savings to do so.



According to the 2022 Schroders US Retirement Survey, 22% of people approaching retirement say they'll have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living. The figure is down from 26% the previous year.

Overall, there is a general expectation among Americans that their retirement savings will be inadequate. In fact, the majority (56%) expect to have less than $500,000 saved by the time they retire and 36% anticipate having less than $250,000.

Not surprisingly, American workers were most worried about inflation shrinking their assets in retirement. The second most-feared scenario is becoming a reality, at least right now – 53% of respondents fear "a major market downturn significantly reducing assets."









WHY I WAS SERVED WITH A
FEDERAL SUBPOENA.
AND WHY I'M HAPPY ABOUT IT

Last week, I was met by an agent of the U.S. Department of Justice and served with a subpoena. While this might have been something to worry about for some, I was neither surprised by it nor do I see it as a bad thing. To find out why I was served and what it's all about, check out Wednesday's blog......








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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-







GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2022








Dems Release Plan to Boost
Social Security by $2,400 a Year

By Yuval Rosenberg and Michael Rainey


Good Thursday evening. The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol is set to begin its first in a series of public hearings at 8 p.m. ET tonight laying out its findings. “The committee plans to detail their findings of what they say was a months-long Republican conspiracy to overthrow Joe Biden’s legitimate election victory, led by President Donald Trump,” The Washington Post reports. The hearing will be televised live by all the major broadcast and cable news networks except for Fox News, and you can stream it at the committee’s website, its Youtube channel or at many major news sites, so you have plenty of viewing options.

Here's what else is going on.
Save Social Security by Taxing the Rich? Democrats Have a Plan


The Social Security trustees announced last week that the program’s trust fund will be depleted in 2035, at which point benefits would be cut by 20%, assuming Congress does nothing to alter its current fiscal trajectory. A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reintroduced legislation Thursday that would do just that, with a plan they say would fully fund Social Security for 75 years while boosting benefits by $2,400 annually for most participants.

The Social Security Expansion Act would pay for that increase in benefits by applying the current payroll tax of 12.4% to incomes over $250,000 — a big change from the current system, in which the payroll tax is capped at the first $147,000 in income. The proposed change would affect about 7% of taxpayers. The plan also calls for improving the way inflation is measured for the annual cost of living adjustments.




Rising debt may ‘adversely affect’
Older adults’ health

By Chris Clow


Older adults who find themselves burdened by debt in later life are faring worse on a variety of health-related issues when directly compared to their less-indebted counterparts. This is according to research from the Urban Institute, highlighted recently in a story published by the New York Times.

Researchers at the Urban Institute, by analyzing broad national data over nearly 20 years, have reported that indebted older adults fare measurably worse on a range of health measures: fair or poor self-rated health, depression, inability to work, impaired ability to handle everyday activities like bathing and dressing,” the story reads.


Those who reported themselves as in debt were also more likely to have ever had at least two or more illnesses diagnosed by a physician, including heart and lung disease, cancer, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and hypertension, the story reads based on the data.



Companion Walking Is Key to
Long-Term Health for Aging People




As a geriatric kinesiologist, I believe companion walking is the secret to helping older adults move more.

Edna, a 92-year-old woman who lived in an assisted living community, sat next to her window every day, watching other residents go in and out on permitted outings.



She used a walker to get around but mostly stayed glued to her window, anticipating the day she would be cleared to go outside for a walk.







Private Retirement Home Residents
Use More Hospital Care

By Diana Swift



Residents of private retirement (or assisted-living) homes have significantly higher rates of hospital-based healthcare service utilization, compared with patients receiving home care or living in long-term care (or nursing) homes, new data indicate.


In a population-based Ontario study, rates per 1000 person-months of emergency department visits, hospital admissions, days of alternate level of care (that is, less than full intensity of hospital care), and specialist physician visits were increased for residents of retirement homes in comparison with residents of long-term care homes.

On the other hand, retirement home residents had approximately 92 fewer primary care visits per 1000 person-months, compared with residents of long-term care homes.


"Our findings can help to inform policy debates about the need for more coordinated primary and supportive health care in privately operated congregate care homes," the authors write.







Experience: I’m a 79-year-old
World champion powerlifter




I started powerlifting when I was 65. I worked in real estate in Michigan for about 35 years, and when I retired I decided I wanted to lose a bit of weight. A friend’s husband, Art Little, who is a personal trainer, invited me to his gym. He introduced me to powerlifting and is still my trainer now.

The first time I went, he gave me a broomstick to lift. The next day I told myself I wouldn’t return, but I heard a voice in my head telling me to go back. So, I ended up returning day after day. After a few weeks, my trainer encouraged me to go to a tournament to watch others compete. I was really amazed by all these young women, but there was no one of my age. I asked my trainer if he thought I could do it and he said, “Oh, sure.”

The first time I competed was at a state meet. There were about 45 people across the different age groups, which ranged from teenagers to people my age. There were only three of us in my age category. I did the bench press, the deadlift and the squat – the three types of lifts in powerlifting – and came first in all three. I was amazed that I won, because the others had been doing it far longer. I just came in after two months and wiped them all out. After that, I knew powerlifting was for me.




AT THE A.L.F….



I’ve always said we residents here at the A.L.F. live in a bubble. I have even written many posts and rants expressing my feelings about why we have to wear masks given we are all vaccinated and have limited contact with the outside world. I believe we are the most Covid-protected Americans anywhere. However, as much as we may be safe from the virus, we are as vulnerable to the effects of rising prices (inflation) as the rest of the nation. Maybe more.
 
Almost all of our residents live on a fixed income. While some get funds from pensions, most rely solely on Social Security benefits to pay the bills. And as you probably know, Social Security benefits have never kept up with inflation. Even the proposed 8.6% increase planned for next year will fall horribly short of what is really needed.


Because, along with meals, laundry, towels and linens, housekeeping and maintenance services, not to mention HVAC and electric included with our rent, you might think we are immune from the rising prices ravaging the U.S. and the rest of the world. Of course, you’d be wrong. While we may not have to pay the 23% (approx.) rise in consumer goods and services out of our pockets, the cost of living is reflected in the decrease in amenities, staffing and quality of meals available to us. There have been cutbacks in almost everything from money spent on activities and transportation to planned entertainment, Even the dining room has not been spared. And, because A.L.F.’s accept Medicaid as partial payment of a resident’s rent bill, they (the operators) cannot raise the monthly rent. The only way they can legally get more for room and board is when we (residents) receive an increase in our Social Security. Then, and only then, can the rent go up and it can only increase 9% of what the dollar amount of the increase in our benefits is. Therefore, if I get $200 more each month in SS benefits, the facility can only increase my rent by $18, hardly enough to cover the rising costs associated with having to provide PPE supplies and equipment mandated by the state.

And for seniors living by themselves, it’s worse. Here at the A.L.F. we are assured of three meals a day. Meals that are “complete” if not in taste, at least nutrition. Not so many older Americans who have had to cut back on, not only what they eat, but how many meals they can afford as well. Many seniors have cut out at least one meal a day in order to make ends meet. Is this the way our mothers, fathers, our former educators or veterans should have to live? Our legislators seem to think so. They think all the money we had taken from our pay all those years we worked is theirs and what they decide to dole out to us is charity. 


I have to admit, though, inflation has not hit me as hard as some here. I usually have enough left over from what they take for rent to afford some incidentals. Nothing fancy, mind you. But everyday things a grown man needs like shaving stuff and an occasional pair of new underwear or T-shirt. And sometimes, some takeout food with friends helps bring some needed civility to my life. However, there are many here that haven’t worked long enough or paid enough into their SS retirement account to have anything left over. SSI (Supplemental Security Income) helps some, but many still have to do without many things needed for a dignified life. For those, a substantial increase in Social Security benefits is more than necessary, it’s essential……..........










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©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022








52% of Assisted Living Operators Say
Labor Woes Have Worsened Since January

By Nick Andrews


Assisted living operators are still struggling with workforce challenges in the summer of 2022 — in fact, more than half say their overall workforce situation has further worsened since January.

That’s according to a new survey from the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). The survey, published Tuesday, included responses from more than 120 operators managing a collective 4,000 assisted living communities.



In the survey, 52% of the operators reported that the current labor crunch is either “much worse,” (24%) or “somewhat worse,” (28%) while just 23% reported the situation was either “much better,” or “somewhat better.” Just over a quarter of respondents said that workforce challenges have stayed the same since January.



Most Essential Insurance
For Senior Citizens



There are so many of us that wonders if it is sensible to get Insurance for Seniors or not? The debate is whether senior citizens that are above the age of 60 should have access to basic life and health insurance or not? Over the past few years, the ratio for insurance has increased. However, there is always a difference between premium affordability and benefits.

The fast-paced life where there is immense pressure to get settled in every way by the age of 30 years is extremely demanding and time-consuming. Nevertheless,
that does not mean you should limit your old age or you cannot plan your financial security.


After the age of 50, you come into the category of a senior citizen. There are many insurance plans for senior citizens that are dedicated to providing protection till the very stage of life. For example, there is life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, and many more.



Do older adults experience much
Alone time at assisted living facilities?

By Dr. Sandra Petersen


Question: How interactive and involved are the caregivers at assisted living facilities? Do the residents experience much alone time?

Answer: Assisted living communities offer a variety of activities in which residents can choose to be involved. Most offer a calendar with daily activities tailored to the interests of their residents as a part of life enrichment programming. Of course, if someone chooses not to attend activities or simply needs some time to themselves, they can pursue independent activities such as puzzles or reading in the library. Or, some residents may need some downtime in their apartment, and that’s OK, too.


The assisted living care model is based on choice and independence, so that means the residents can be as active as they choose (or not), depending upon their preference. Staff members are trained to encourage residents to attend activities but are sensitive to the balance necessary for quality of life.

Staff members are trained to encourage residents to attend activities but are sensitive to the balance necessary for quality of life.




Older adults may have better listening skills in
Noisy environments than previously thought

Reviewed by Emily Henderson


Ever grumble about your grandpa's tendency to cheat during a spirited game of gin rummy; or mutter under your breath when grandma asks you to help clean the table at family dinner? Well, you might want to do it more quietly, because there's a good chance they can hear you better than you think.

According to a new, joint study by Baycrest and Western University, older adults may have better listening skills in noisy environments than we think. Whether at a crowded family event or a busy restaurant, older adults may enjoy and process conversations better than research has so far suggested. If so, this would improve their quality of life and help them make meaningful connections with others in similar situations, ultimately reducing their risk of social isolation and – since social isolation is a risk factor for cognitive decline – dementia.



Scientists have long thought that compared to younger adults, older adults seem to be less able to use speech "glimpses" (using the speech they hear more clearly during brief reductions in background noise) to better understand conversations in noisy settings. However, the Baycrest-Western University study shows that this may only be the case for the relatively boring, disconnected and unnatural sentences that are typically used in laboratory settings, but not for more natural speech. In other words, the difficulties older adults experience when listening to speech in noisy situations of everyday life may be less than long thought.






A Polyphenol-Rich Diet Prevents
Inflammation in Older People

Polyphenols in the foods that we eat can prevent inflammation in older people since they alter the intestinal microbiota and induce the production of the indole 3-propionic acid (IPA), a metabolite derived from the degradation of tryptophan due to intestinal bacteria.



This study, published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, was carried out by the Research Group on Biomarkers and Nutritional & Food Metabolomics of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences of the University of Barcelona and the CIBER on Fragility and Healthy Ageing (CIBERFES).

The team, led by Professor Cristina Andrés-Lacueva, from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences of the UB, is also a member of the Food Innovation Network of Catalonia (XIA).



AT THE A.L.F….




The original purpose of this blog, which I began 7 years ago under a different name, was to inform people of what life is like as a resident of an assisted living facility. At that time, A.L.F.’s were relatively new to the world of long-term care facilities. And many people, including myself, had never heard of them. The concept was as radical as it was new. Design a place where people with disabilities or those unable to perform all the functions needed to maintain their health by themselves could live in dignity in a setting that was not a hospital or nursing home. Make it a place where people could keep their independence and yet receive just as much “assistance” as needed. A.L.F.’s were supposed to be a “bridge” between living at home or in an institution. While many have kept that concept alive and well, many facilities have “strayed” and are now serving those who require help that is beyond the what a facility can provide. This often causes problems between residents who want a change and improve their lives and those who either don’t care or don’t know enough to care.


For the purpose of conversation, I have divided these segments of our population into two groups. Those that can see the problems around them and strive to make a change are what I will call the “Awares.” Besides wanting change here, this group is interested in the world outside the walls of the facility. They listen to the news, vote in elections, come to and take part in meetings and can speak on a variety of subjects other than their latest ache, pain or medical procedure. They talk to their doctors and question any change in their care. And, occasionally, read this blog. Also, they seek like-minded individuals to associate with.


For lack of a better word, and so as not sound condescending, I will refer to the other group as those who are unaware. While there are different degrees of un-awareness, they all have one thing in common: apathy. Many do not know there are group meetings where they can express their grievances. Or, if they do, have no interest in participating. These are the apathetic and are probably the worst segment of the un-aware. Then there are the others. They do not know who they should go to for help, whether it be a problem with the plumbing in their room or where they can get a new pair of glasses. Some wander the halls, not knowing where their room is or when it’s time to eat. These folks have cognitive problems and should not be here. I say this, not because I dislike these people, but because they were brought here under false pretenses. Essentially, they (or should I say

their loved ones) were lied to. They were led to believe their needs and wants would be taken care of. And, while most of those needs are addressed, one thing has been overlooked.How they interact with the rest of the population here. And, more important, what effect do those residents have on the way the rest of the population is treated?. I contend those of us who are “aware” suffer because we are forced to comply with rules and regulations that are clearly meant for the less-abled. Essentially, because of these people, the rest of us are treated like children. How fair is that?

At the beginning, I said I am here to inform those who are considering assisted living as a place to be cared for when home care or a nursing home is not the answer. In keeping with that, I want you to know that the A.L.F. model is good. And I am firmly committed to keeping them around. All I ask is if you are considering an A.L.F. as a place to live, or are a loved one seeking a safe, clean environment for an aging parent or relative, understand that these facilities cannot be all things to all people. And they cater to the lowest members of the group rather than those who need more independence…….........
 








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There are stories from our archives you
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NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2022

©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2022







Majority of Aging Adults Say
They’re Not Moving



B
aby boomers hold the majority of real estate wealth in the U.S.—and as they age, they increasingly say they plan to stay put in their current homes. Sixty-six percent of U.S. adults aged 55 and older say they expect to age in place, according to a new Freddie Mac survey.

But that could further exacerbate the housing supply shortage, the report notes. The housing supply in the U.S. has dropped to record lows over the past two years. Baby boomers are veering from traditional patterns of selling later in life and downsizing or moving to assisted living. That could prompt an even more severe housing shortage nationwide.


Baby boomers’ financial gains over the past five years may better equip them to stay in place, too, the survey says.

Still, baby boomers acknowledge that their home will require some degree of renovations to make the space more appropriate to age in place. But they feel confident that their personal savings and long-term retirement and investment accounts will allow them to afford to do so, the survey shows.




Does Aging-In-Place Work?
What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us.

By Elizabeth Bauer


Aging-in-Place — most of us think of this as the decision, as we get older, to stay in our longtime family homes, even as increasing infirmity or cognitive decline makes this harder. We know there are support programs available, providing home health aides, assistance with yardwork or a wheelchair ramp, a “senior freeze” to keep property tax increases at bay, and so on. And our homes hold so many memories and are a source of affirmation of the success we’ve had in our lives.

But is aging-in-place really the right decision? Or, put another way, does it “work”? Is it the right path for us all to take as we age, or would we be better off if we moved somewhere more suitable — a single-level house, or a condo in an elevator buildi
ng, or a home near public transportation, or any of the communities designed for older adults? Would we miss our neighbors in our old communities, or quickly adapt and be glad we’d gotten past our hesitancy?


In the book Aging in the Right Place from 2015, author Stephen Golant provides a number of reasons why that “right place” might be the longtime family home:




Are Most People Debt-Free
When They Retire?
By John Rampton


I
believe that it was Josh Billings, the pen name of 19th-century American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw, who once proclaimed, " Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of."


Managing debt is a challenge many of us face. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's quarterly report on household debt and credit, household debt totaled $15.58 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of $340 billion. That brings the total debt balance to $1.02 trillion more than it was at the end of 2020.


Still, getting out of debt is no easy task. It requires some sacrifice, discipline, and patience. What's more, you may have to change your habits. And, along the way, there will be unexpected expenses that can derail your repayment plan.

However, getting out of debt should be a financial priority. For example, you'll have more income. Take, for example, a $200,000 30-year mortgage at 4.5% interest. Having to pay that mortgage every month will cost you $1,013 a month. Even worse? The bulk of that will go toward interest rather than building equity.




America’s seniors are paying for
Medicare mismanagement

By Mario H. Lopez


Inflation and gas prices might be driving domestic political news, but for vulnerable communities hit hardest by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, health care is always top of mind. That concern rapidly can turn to frustration and anger when dealing with Medicare coverage — especially when promising new treatments are stifled by mismanagement in government bureaucracies.

If the Biden administration’s goal is to upset seniors — a key constituency in a pivotal election year — it is certainly succeeding. Despite inflating seniors’ Medicare Part B premiums to account for new drug costs that have not materialized, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) recently announced it won’t lower premiums again until next year, and perhaps not even then. The comedy of errors that led to this announcement is, in fact, a tragedy for seniors hoping to access Alzheimer’s treatments.


When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval last summer for aducanumab (brand name Aduhelm), the first new Alzheimer’s medicine in two decades, it was a watershed moment for millions of patients. This medicine is part of a new class of treatments targeting amyloid beta plaques, one of the root causes of Alzheimer’s disease, rather than merely treating symptoms. It represented hope for patients and loved ones grappling with a devastating disease — and an opportunity to address socioeconomic inequities associated with it. With seniors poised to benefit, and several similar medicines under FDA review, CMS kicked off a process to update Medicare coverage.





THURSDAY SPECIAL...

Best Senior Dating Sites In 2022:
Top 3 Online Dating Websites For Senior Singles



Senior dating is growing more common among the elderly. With grown children and approaching retirement, most seniors no longer have as many responsibilities as they previously did. As a result, they have more time on their hands, which they may spend in any way they like.



Before going into online dating, anyone who hasn’t dated in a while should clearly define their dating goals. Online senior dating sites are now available for such persons. These websites’ ultimate purpose is to bring together like-minded singles and help them get to know one another better. Older generations might use the services for a variety of reasons, including friendship, companionship, and serious romantic relationships.

With no further ado, let’s get started!
Top Platforms For Senior Dating Sites To Find Love In 2022…












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GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2022







Medicare trustees project trust
Fund solvent until 2028


The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will have sufficient funds to pay full benefits until 2028, according to the latest annual report released today by the Medicare Board of Trustees.

That’s two years later than last year’s report. The HI Fund, known as Medicare Part A, helps pay for inpatient hospital services, hospice care, and skilled nursing facility and home health services following hospital stays.


HI income is projected to be higher than last year’s estimates because both the number of covered workers and average wages are projected to be higher, according to the report. In addition, HI expenditures are projected to be lower than last year’s estimates in the beginning of the short-range period mainly due to the pandemic but are projected to become larger after 2023 due to higher projected provider payment updates.

“There is substantial uncertainty in the economic, demographic, and health care projection factors for HI trust fund expenditures and revenues,” the report notes. “Accordingly, the date of HI trust fund depletion could differ substantially in either direction from the 2028 intermediate estimate.”




We older people must fight for a better America,
And world, for younger generations

By Bill McKibben


I had the chance this month to spend a couple of weeks on an utterly wild and remote Alaskan shore – there was plenty of company, but all of it had fur, feathers or fins. And there was no way to hear from the outside world, which now may be the true mark of wilderness. So, bliss. But also, on returning, shock. If you’re not immersed in it daily, the tide of mass shootings, record heatwaves and corroded politicians spouting ugly conspiracies seems even more truly and impossibly crazy.

Camping deep in the wild is not for everyone, but there’s another way to back up and look at our chaos with some perspective – and that’s to separate yourself in time instead of space.

Until this past year it had never occurred to me to write anything like a memoir, because memoirs were for the exceptional: people who had overcome some great handicap, dealt with some revealing trauma, experienced something so remarkable that the rest of us could learn from the story.




New Tool Helps Older Adults Monitor
‘Attentional Performance’ During Driving


Researchers from North Carolina State University and Texas Tech University have developed a straightforward questionnaire that older adults can use to assess their “attentional performance” during driving. In proof-of-concept testing, the researchers have demonstrated the tool can predict which drivers are at increased risk of having accidents.

“We developed the tool, called the Attentional Failure during Driving Questionnaire (AFDQ), so that older drivers can recognize and monitor their ability to drive safely,” says Jing Feng, co-author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. “This study was focused on determining how effective the technique is at assessing attentional performance, and what it can tell us about actual driving performance.


As a group, older adults are more likely to get into fatal crashes – particularly past the age of 70. One reason is that, as we age, our attentional capabilities decline. For example, it becomes more difficult to monitor peripheral activities, such as what is happening to either side of the vehicle.



Reasons You Should Hire a
Professional Home Care Service

By Sarah Lowe


When people become older adults, it becomes hard to do the daily chores of life at that stage of life. More so, the health condition of seniors does not remain the same, and they become slow in certain activities – resulting in rapid fatigue.

Also, many seniors lack a sense of companionship, a friend, or just someone they can talk to and have a good time with.

In this blog post, we will discuss why good homecare services are beneficial for the well-being of senior citizens from the comfort of their own homes.


More Independence

Many times, you will see that people that turn old will often deny the fact that they find it hard to do their daily tasks with the same vigor as they did before. Partly, it’s a matter of having a sense of self-sufficiency and not wanting to lose their independence.




An Ongoing 'Quest for Sleep'


A new film profiles real-life insomniacs and their struggles to get a good night's rest, and experts share how chronic insomnia impacts health


From time to time, almost everyone has trouble sleeping. While frustrating, occasional bouts of insomnia are expected and manageable. But for people that have chronic insomnia, the problem goes beyond just feeling exhausted for a few days or needing an afternoon double espresso to make it to the end of the workday.

Rachel Mills, the producer behind a new film, "The Quest for Sleep," says, "Before making the film, I thought of insomnia as a nighttime issue. I was surprised at its impact on people throughout their daytime hours. Chronic insomnia interferes with a person's ability to function in their daily life and affects their relationship with friends, family and co-workers."

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE



FROM THE EDITOR…





It wasn’t an emporium or salon. And the guy who ran it was not named Raul or Serge or Yvonne.It was a barber shop, plain and simple, and the owner’s name was Vito. And he was most certainly not a woman. It wasn’t a social club like many have become. It was also not a place where you got a haircut to “make a statement.” “Crew” or “buzz cuts” were the order of the day and the only boys who wore their hair long in front (The DA) were juvenile delinquents. Back in the 1950s, in Brooklyn, you went to the barbershop for one thing. To get a haircut. And for most boys, it’s where you learned how to treat others (especially merchants).



I can’t say I remember my first professional haircut. But I know where it was and who did the deed. The shop was on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. And the barber’s name was Vito. “Vito’s” was just across the street from where we lived and I went there for no other reason than that. There were no groupies back then who would follow their favorite barber from establishment to establishment.
 
Vito’s was a small shop which did most of its business on Saturday morning. During the week there were only two barbers (although there were three chairs). Next to Vito was Nick. Nick was the guy you had cut your hair only when Vito was busy. At least, that’s what my dad told me. So, if Nick’s chair became available before Vito’s, I would respectfully decline and say, “I’m waiting for Vito.” To this day, I wonder if Nick was offended that he was rejected by a nine-year-old.

Loyalty was just one thing I learned at Vito’s. There were other barber shops in the neighborhood. But Vito had cut my hair since I was old enough to sit in the chair (albeit with a booster seat). He understood my style (in so far as a nine-year-old had any style). Short, but not too short. Clean-up the neck  to about mid ear. And don’t take too much off the top. If you were lucky, Vito would splash on some of that sweet smelling after shave lotion followed by just enough powder on the back of your neck to soothe the razor burn, but not so much as make it obvious you’ve been to the barber.  
 
Respect and patience were what else I learned at the barber’s. Patience, because sometimes the shop was busy, and you had to sit quietly in a chair and wait your turn. And respect, because the man who cut your hair used sharp instruments and had a license from the State of New York to do so. The license was in a frame and sat proudly on the wall in front of you. It was fancy, like a diploma, and had an embossed seal on it. Only a man with great knowledge of his craft could get something so official-looking, I thought. Like a doctor. No, you didn’t fool with a man like that. When done (and you knew you were done when Vito took off the smock and dusted the hair off your shirt, you paid the man and left a tip. The haircut probably cost a dollar, and my dad told me to give Vito a 25 cent tip, for which Vito appeared very thankful.


I’ve been to too many barber shops (even those that called themselves “stylists”). I have had my hair cut by many barbers, even a woman or two. And for everyone, I did the same thing I did at Vito’s many years before. Sit quietly, wait your turn, converse when spoken to, and leave a decent tip.
 
Some years ago, I visited my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. I walked past all the places I went to as a kid. Most of the stores were different businesses. The luncheonette on the corner where I bought my comic books and chocolate egg creams is now a convenience store. The Kosher butcher sells empanadas and the Chinese restaurant is now a dress shop. But to my amazement, the storefront where Vito and Nick plied their trade is still a barbershop. Different owners, but still a place where you got your hair cut. I suppose the smell of that sweet aftershave and maybe even the ghosts of Nick and Vito made it impossible for it to be anything else……









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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2022









What are my options for
Financing long-term care?



Question: I’m trying to help my mom plan for the next steps for my 86-year-old father. What are the options for financing long-term care? She’s so worried they’ll get turned down by Medicaid that she hasn’t even started the application yet. I’m hoping to let her know there are options.

Answer: It’s great you’re helping your parents with this. Long-term care is a very common need. More than two-thirds of current seniors can expect to need some long-term care. The costs can be daunting, particularly for seniors with significant needs such as memory care and or mobility issues. Here are some avenues to explore to help finance them:


Check whether your father’s life insurance policy includes a rider for long-term insurance. A rider for long-term care allows the holder of the policy to access some of the benefits in order to meet the costs of long-term care. Just know this option is likely to be costly. A less expensive option could be to add what’s known as an accelerated death benefits (ADB) rider to his policy. Be aware that both options come with restrictions and will reduce the policy benefits ultimately paid out to the beneficiaries.




Legislators must ensure affordable
Housing for low-income older Americans

By Marta Hill Gray


May has been Older Americans Month, but I’ll bet you haven’t seen a lot of celebrations. Despite a rapidly aging population, little has been done in the policy arena to ensure less wealthy older Americans can access affordable housing and receive the care they need with ease and dignity.

In 2019, there were 54 million Americans aged 65 and older, making up 16% of the population; that share is projected to grow to 22% by 2040. Almost 5 million of these individuals lived below the poverty line, and another 2.6 million were dangerously close. If you sense urgency in those numbers, you are on the right track.

Across the country, affordable housing is a critical issue; older Americans consistently see their resources dwindle and confront long waitlists at retirement homes. As affordable housing options shrink, the number of older adults experiencing homelessness rises. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, a University of Pennsylvania housing study issued a sobering estimate that the number of homeless older Americans will triple over the next decade. We must act fast and mobilize efforts to provide affordable housing options for older adults.




A young person's game?
A third of over 50s are investing in crypto




I
f you assumed crypto was just a young person's game, think again.

More people in the United States than ever before are turning to cryptocurrencies to help fund their retirement, it seems, even as the recent market carnage provides a stark reminder that this volatile market is not for the faint-hearted.

Some 27 per cent of Americans aged 18-60 - around 50
million people - have owned or traded crypto in the past six months, a poll published last week by crypto exchange KuCoin found.


Yet older people are more devoted to the young asset class than the general population, according to the survey carried out at the end of March, with 28 per cent of those aged 50 and above betting on crypto as part of their early retirement plans.



Old-age care guide that
NO family can afford to ignore



If it ever gets to the stage when I can’t look after myself, just take me outside and shoot me.

It’s a blunt phrase, which I hate, but is probably familiar to many, no doubt meant in jest but with a bitter grain of truth to it.

As a dementia nurse with more than three decades of experience, I know it’s something often said as a way of deflecting conversation about what may well be inevitable. And I understand the sentiment.
No grown-up likes the thought that, one day, we will lose our faculties; that we will need someone to help us with the most basic of tasks, from washing and dressing to eating and even going to the loo. Yet most of us will need to be cared for at some point, probably as we reach the later stages of life, whether by a family member or professional carers.




-|||-



At 99, iconic producer Norman Lear
Doesn't want to quit working.
Can work help us all live longer?

By Sandee LaMotte

American producer, writer and director Norman Lear, creator of such iconic 1970s television characters as the bigoted blowhard Archie Bunker in the sitcom "All in the Family," turns 100 in July.


On Thursday, at an early celebration for Lear at the Life Itself conference, a health and wellness event presented in partnership with CNN, he told the audience his secrets to living to a ripe old age: Lox and bagels, the love of his family, laughter and a life of invigorating work.


"I like getting up in the morning with something on my mind, something I can work on ... to some conclusion," Lear said.

Over the last century, Lear has done it all. He was executive producer of the cult movie classics "The Princess Bride" and "Fried Green Tomatoes" and was nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay for "Divorce American Style." His sitcom spinoffs of "All in the Family" dominated '70s and '80s television, tackling topics of racism, feminism and social inequalities no one had yet dared touch. His political advocacy even led to the establishment of the liberal political organization People for the American Way.








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GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2022








Social Security Gains
Another Year of Solvency




A
s of right now, Social Security will be able to pay scheduled benefits until 2034—one year later than reported last year—according to the just-released 2022 report from the Treasury Department’s Social Security Board of Trustees.

The new report found that without changes, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, one year later than last year’s estimate. At that time, the fund’s reserves
will become depleted and continuing tax income will be sufficient to pay 77% of scheduled benefits.


The report also found the combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, also one year later than projected last year, with 80% of benefits payable at that time.




Research may reveal why people can
Suddenly become frail in their 70s

By Ian Sample


A groundbreaking theory of ageing that explains why people can suddenly become frail after reaching their 70s has raised the prospect of new therapies for the decline and diseases of old age.

Researchers in Cambridge discovered a process that drives a “catastrophic” change in the composition of blood in older age, increasing the risk of blood cancers and anaemia, and impairing the effectiveness of white blood cells to fight infection.




The scientists believe similar changes occur in organs throughout the body, from the skin to the brain, potentially underpinning why people often age healthily for decades before experiencing a more rapid decline in their 70s and 80s.





Polypharmacy Significantly Linked
With Malnutrition in Older Adults

By Gianna Melillo


I
t is still unknown whether the relationship between polypharmacy and malnutrition is bidirectional and authors could not determine causation.

Findings of a systematic review published in Clinical Nutrition revealed a statistically significant association between polypharmacy and malnutrition among older individuals without frailty.



Broadly, polypharmacy is defined as the simultaneous taking of numerous medications, although the exact number of drugs that constitutes polypharmacy incidence varies. The phenomenon has substantially increased over the past 2 decades, according to authors, and is especially prevalent in older individuals due to this population’s altered pharmacokinetics and decreased renal and hepatic drug clearance.




Living with the unexpected changes


Good morning! Have you ever thought all is well, then out of nowhere, the bottom falls out from under you and your left wondering “how could this happen?”

If you have a cold, you take medicine to relieve the symptoms. You get a flu shot to prevent the virus. Then there are more serious diseases of which there is no cure. Some things are simply out of our control.


Parkinson’s disease is slowly progressive, leaving people with a difficult gait, rigid limbs, tremors, shuffling and a loss of balance. My dad had Parkinson’s disease. His gait was affected, thus his balance was also affected. The disease eventually started affecting his brain causing hallucinations.






=|||=





When is abdominal pain in seniors
More than ‘just a pain’?

By Erica Harrison


Of all the reasons older adults find themselves in an emergency room, abdominal pain comes in third place for adults over age 65, representing 6.6% of all visits nationally—just behind chest pain (7.8%) and shortness of breath (7.1%).


And according to research, those gut pains shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, 60% of older adults presenting to the emergency department with abdominal pain will be admitted to th
e hospital, 20-30% will require surgery, and five to 10 will die from their disease.


But why are abdominal conditions so serious for older adults? It turns out that physical changes associated with aging cause numerous subtle and delayed presentations of serious abdominal disease in older adults.




=|||=




The Benefits of Assisted Living


As the global population ages, there is a great deal of discussion about how best to spend the golden years of your life. If you’re someone who follows the news, you may know that there is some debate as to whether older individuals should be taken care of by their families or ‘farmed out’ to care homes or assisted living centers.


While there is certainly something to be said for remaining a member of the family as you age out of usefulness, there is also something to be said for the benefits of care homes and assisted living facilities. In order to try and balance out some of the negative discourse surrounding these centers for old folks, which is often being engaged in by the traditional media, here are some of the main upsides to living in an assisted living facility in old age.

After living a long and interesting life full of colleagues, friends, family, and strangers, the last thing you want to do is feel lonely in old age. One of the main problems with spending your elderly years with family or, worse, by yourself is the sudden drop off of that community in your life. Numerous reports and pieces of research have indicated that the communities we build are crucial to our happiness and well-being. After all, we are not meant to be isolated creatures!





From the editor…




I have to admit; I have not been to a dentist for quite a while. Not because I have not had the occasion to do so, but because I hate dentists. Actually, it’s not dentists themselves that I despise (I’m sure most of them are caring professionals), but the dental profession itself. Let me explain why.
 
For the past ten years, I have been directly affected by doctors, hospitals and pharmaceuticals. Those entities, combined with a myriad of healthcare services and facilities, have kept me alive.

As a patient in a large metropolitan hospital for months, I was treated with the absolute latest in what the medical profession offered. The tests, the procedures and even the equipment itself are marvels of science and technology. I underwent a very complicated and lengthy operation and came out of it almost unscathed. My surgery was performed using laparoscopy. As a result, I have little scaring and no unsightly stitching running down my torso. This meant a painless, complication-free recovery. I literally owe my life to modern medicine.


Advances in medicine are made every day. And, in the past 25 years, medicine, both preventative and curative, has become limitless in what can be accomplished. But that’s medicine. Dentistry, however, is stuck in the dark ages. And dentists practice their craft using the same archaic techniques invented over 100 years ago with little change. Why?

As I mentioned, I have not been to the dentist recently. Therefore, I felt unqualified to comment on today’s dentists, their equipment, and, more importantly, the progress made by the profession itself. Thankfully, I have the power of the GOOGLE at my fingertips. So, I entered the simple question, “What advances have been made in dentistry in the last 25 years?” into the search box. While I did not expect hundreds of improvements to come back, proving me wrong, I did expect more than 9 [1] as an answer. And almost all of those have to do with toothbrushes, tooth whitening, pain reduction and implants. Nothing has been done in the way of prevention, treatment and curing dental problems. In all these years that dentistry has been considered a science and a vital part of the health profession, they still have not figured out a way to end tooth decay or prevent or curtail gum disease or tooth loss. You would have thought that in 100 years, the practice of having to drill and fill cavities would have been supplanted by less crude method. Even the fact that we have to go to a professional to have our teeth treated is a product of a different era. Today, we can treat a good deal of health-related problems at home using over-the-counter products. Or, at most, a quick visit to the doctor or ER, and, wallah!, he prescribes a pill we take for a week, and we are cured. The infection goes away. The cut heals, the pain in the knee disappears.

So, what’s going on with the dental biz? Yes, I said biz as in business. Like everything on this planet, anything that has to do with our health costs money. Lots of it. The healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest growing fields. It employs hundreds of thousands of people. Most of whom make a good living out of us being ill. And, as the population gets older by the minute, the business of keeping us alive has a bright future ahead of it. However, like with other industries the real money is made by innovation. Tech companies like Apple have thrived because they are constantly coming up with new products. And with each come a price tag. The same with medicine. And who pays for it? We do, either directly or indirectly. This constant influx of cash has not only kept medicine alive but has given us a plethora of life-saving treatments and drugs. And let’s face it, with our health, we don’t mind the cost. But why hasn’t the dental industry followed suit? Because the money is not in prevention or easy cures. The big bucks come from keeping you so dependent on that guy in the white coat with his picks and his pliers and his x-rays and his drilling and filling that any real advances in dentistry would cause a collapse of the industry itself.


Just think what would happen if they suddenly came up with a product you could buy at the drugstore or 7/11 that you could apply to your teeth that would stop and remove decay on a tooth or teeth? Then, by applying another product, those cavities would be filled permanently. No drilling, no pain…and no visit to the dentist. The only time you would have to see the dentist would be to have a tooth extracted or replaced. Half of the dentists would have to close shop.

Look, all I’m saying is dentistry has not kept pace with the rest of medicine. Visits to the dentist almost always results in having something painful or expensive done to you. And remember, very few health insurance plans cover dental procedures. And Medicare doesn’t cover it at all. When your mouth has a problem, you’ll pay through the teeth to fix it. And it’s likely to remain this way for a long time……………….
 
[1] https://www.coastdental.com/blog/9-big-advancements-in-dentistry-in-the-past-25-yea






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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2022









Overcoming Your Bias Against
Aging Can Improve Your Life



Becca Levy of Yale University says we can fix even deeply rooted negative views about aging, which many of us do not see in ourselves

People's beliefs about aging have a profound impact on their health, influencing everything from their memory and sensory perceptions to how well they walk, how fully they recover from disabling illness and how long they live.

An older man walking in the woods with his grandchild. Next Avenue, overcoming age bias


When aging is seen as a negative experience (characterized by terms such as decrepit, incompetent, dependent, and senile), individuals tend to experience more stress in later life and engage less often in healthy behaviors such as exercise. When views are positive (signaled by words such as wise, alert, accomplished, and creative), people are more likely to be active and resilient and to have a stronger will to live.



Read more  CLICK HERE


Is it time to scrap the ‘senior citizen’ tag?
By Sushmita Bose


My aunt — my favourite aunt — has always been a sedentary person. Even when she was 30, there was nothing she’d like better than be a couch potato and watch movies on the trot on our VCR player. Later on, she graduated, with aplomb, to watching soap operas in the afternoon; at times, she’d bypass the ritual of the afternoon tea because it would be too much of an effort to get up, walk 14 feet to the kitchen, and embark on the onerous task of making tea. “Uff, I’m sooooo exhausted,” she would say.

Of course, everyone else in the family would constantly be on her case, and ask her to move around, go for a walk, take a yoga class. She would nod her head vigorously — but then settle down in bed. She was never out of shape, and was quite a looker, so one couldn’t use the “you’re becoming fat” line to bait her.



My aunt’s now touching 70, and mentally the same as she used to be — but she’s developed a few health problems. I was speaking to my cousin — her son — the other day (she has been living with him for a couple of months), and he said she refuses to budge from one corner to the other, which may be the reason why she’s developed these health issues in the first place. “Yeah, but — as far as I remember — she used to be like that even when she was in her 30s,” I said.




Coffee bad, red wine good?
Top food myths busted

By Rebecca Seal


Modern nutritional science is only a hundred years old, so it’s no surprise that we’re constantly bamboozled by new and competing information about what to put into our bodies – or that we sometimes cling to reassuringly straightforward food myths which may no longer be true. In a world where official dietary advice seems to change all the time, and online opinions are loud and often baseless, we ask eight food and drink experts to cut through the noise and tell it like it is.
What’s the truth about coffee?

“I’m surprised that people still think coffee is bad for them,” says Dr Astrid Nehlig, research director of the French medical research institute, Inserm, and one of the world’s leading researchers into coffee, health and brain function. When she first started researching coffee 30 years ago, she often encountered producers who were nervous that their products might be found to be harmful. “But a lot of progress has been made in the last 10-15 years.”


So what do we know, now? “Coffee contains more than 1,000 compounds, so what we are looking at is not just about caffeine,” says Nehlig. “It increases alertness but at the same time relaxes us. It focuses and increases attention, but prevents sleep, especially if you drink too much, or too late.” We are not all equal on this front: caffeine targets our brain’s adenosine receptors but half of us are immune to this effect – which explains all those people who drink espresso after dinner and conk out at 11pm. “It’s also about the accumulation of caffeine during the day, which is related to how we metabolise caffeine – in one group of the population, caffeine builds up in the body, but the other group eliminates it very quickly.”




Drinking coffee may be linked to lower risk of death,
Even with a little sugar

By Aria Bendix

Contrary to popular myth, forgoing coffee isn’t likely to improve your health. The opposite might be true: Years of research suggests that drinking coffee is linked with a lower risk of death.

The latest addition to that body of research was published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study looked at around 120,000 people in the U.K. who regularly drank unsweetened or sugar-sweetened coffee over seven years. The findings suggested that those who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups a day had a lower risk of death during those s
even years than non-coffee drinkers, even if they added a teaspoon of real sugar — not artificial sweetener — to every cup.


On the whole, people who drank unsweetened coffee were 16 percent to 21 percent less likely to die during the study period than people who didn’t drink coffee at all, the results showed.





Older Adults Favor a Good Quality Life
Over a Long Life


While three-quarters or more of those 60 and over have at least one serious health condition, nearly half rate their health as very good or excellent, according to new research from AARP in collaboration with National Geographic Partners. The Second Half of Life Research found that Americans are more likely to take steps to address their health as they get older, including actions like getting health screenings, eating more produce and monitoring their sugar intake. And having more healthy years matters more than simply living longer – most respondents were interested in a hypothetical pill that could slow down aging, but far fewer would take a pill to extend their life by a decade.

The oldest Americans are also some of the happiest: about one in three people 80 and older said they were very happy with their life, compared to just 16% of those ages 40-49. The Second Half of Life Study paired a national survey of adults 18 and older with in-depth interviews to paint a detailed picture of Americans' outlook on life in the years from 40 to 100, and how those perceptions evolve with each decade.


"The insights in this study demand that we reexamine our assumptions about aging, especially outdated stereotypes around growing older," said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP. "Far from being dragged down by worries about their health and finances, adults in their 70s and beyond are optimistic and positive about their lives. They have a clear-eyed view of what it means to age, and they want their final decades of life to be independent and healthy – as they define the terms!"






Should you use a reverse mortgage
To pay for long-term care?

By KATE ASHFORD

Someone turning 65 has nearly a 7-in-10 chance of needing long-term care in the future, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, and many don’t have the savings to manage the cost of assisted living. But they may have a mortgage-free home — and the equity in it, giving them the potential option of a reverse mortgage to help cover care costs.


Here’s how to evaluate whether a reverse mortgage might be a good option.

WHAT IS A REVERSE MORTGAGE?

A reverse mortgage is a loan or line of credit on the assessed value of your home. Most reverse mortgages are federally backed Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, or HECMs, which are loans up to a federal limit of $970,800. Homeowners must be 62 years old to apply.





It’s been an interesting week here at the A.L.F. and, sadly, a deadly week for America.
 
Our week began with a mediocre Memorial Day BBQ and transitioned into perhaps the worst meal I have had here, a breakfast of blintzes and bacon. The weather, too, has been strange. Three days of 80 degree plus temps and two days in the 60s. It makes me wonder what the summer will be like. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods? Maybe a plague of locusts? All that would pale compared to what happened in Texas and Tulsa and Buffalo a week earlier.

 
Gun violence has taken over the headlines, out pacing the war in Ukraine. While children and civilians are dying at the hands of a foreign invader over there, American kids are dying because we make it easy for mentally unstable people to walk into a gun store and buy a weapon as powerful as the ones they are using against the Russians. And what may be worse, the wacky Republican, NRA-loving senate has a problem with banning AR type weapons from being sold. We are a very sick society.
 
What will the weekend be like? Hopefully, uneventful. But we never know. What I know (The lord willing, and the creek don’t rise) we’ll be back Monday, with more news and information for you, today’s seniors. Meanwhile, check out articles from our past posts. And most of all, stay safe…………………
 
 






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GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2022







Medicare recipients to see premium cut —
But not until 2023




Medicare recipients will get a premium reduction — but not until next year — reflecting what Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Friday was an overestimate in costs of covering an expensive and controversial new Alzheimer’s drug.


Becerra’s statement said the 2022 premium should be adjusted downward but legal and operational hurdles prevented officials from doin
g that in the middle of the year. He did not say how much the premium would be adjusted.


Medicare Part B premiums jumped by $22 a month, to $170.10, for 2022, in part because of the cost of the drug Aduhelm, which was approved despite weak evidence that it could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.




Death rates soared for older
Americans during omicron wave

By Benjamin Mueller and Eleanor Lutz



Despite strong levels of vaccination among older people, COVID-19 killed them at vastly higher rates during this winter’s omicron wave than it did last year, preying on long delays since their last shots and the variant’s ability to skirt immune defenses.

This winter’s wave of deaths in older people belied the omicron variant’s relative mildness. A
lmost as many Americans 65 and older died in four months of the omicron surge as they did in six months of the delta wave, even though the delta variant, for any one person, tended to cause more severe illness.



While overall per capita COVID death rates have fallen, older people still account for an overwhelming share of them.





People who 'live in place' may
Enjoy better overall health




As people get older, it might get harder to do everyday activities such as cooking or driving. If a person is unable to take care of themselves, they may need to move into a nursing home or assisted-living facility for extra help. However, new research suggests people who live at home (“live in place”) or at an independent living facility may be more likely to live longer and healthier without needing to be transferred to a nursing home.

Most older adults want to live in their homes than go to a nursing facility, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Armed with this information, researchers at the University of Missouri sought to find ways to keep older adults at home without compromising their health and well-being. The team looked at eight years of health data from a senior living facility called TigerPlace that gives support to residents while providing privacy through individual apartments. There is also the opportunity to socialize in different events offered by the facility.



TigerPlace residents — with an average age of 84 — participated in health assessments by registered nurse care coordinated every six months. The exams measured a resident’s ability to complete daily tasks, cognition, depression, physical ability, and risk of falling. The researchers also received data on residents’ activity, respiratory, and heart rate levels through several motion sensors. The team used any abrupt change to the group’s routine or new falls to calculate a person’s risk for illness such as pneumonia.




Your Social Security Check Might Be Taxed.
Here's How That Could Change

By Lorie Konish



 Social Security benefits are taxed based on a unique formula established by Congress in the 1980s and '90s.

    Because the thresholds where those levies are applied have not been adjusted, more people have become subject to those taxes over time.

    Congress may address this issue when it eventually takes up Social Security reform in an effort to shore up the program.

Death and taxes are two certainties in life, as the saying goes.

But many pe
ople may not realize their Social Security benefits they receive from the government are also subject to taxes.



The way in which those levies are applied is unique.

A recent MassMutual quiz found just 42% of 1,500 respondents near retirement were able to correctly identify whether the following statement is true or false: "Social Security retirement benefits are subject to income tax just like withdrawals from a traditional [individual retirement] account."





How Seniors Can Get
Involved In Foster Care

By Virginia Pelley


There were more than 400,000 young people in the U.S. foster care system in 2021[1]. Many older adults—given their emotional maturity, broad life experience and parental wisdom—can be great resources to help these kids thrive.

Not everyone is cut out for the challenge of foster parenting, says John DeGarmo, founder and director of The Foster Care Institute and author of The Foster Care Survival Guide. But opportunities abound for seniors to get involved in foster care in some capacity.

“Every single community in this country has children in crisis, and foster care agencies would love for people to step up and help,” says DeGarmo. “The average agency is overwhelmed, understaffed and underpaid, and, as a result, foster parents are undersupported.”










I don’t know what they had originally planned for breakfast here at the Asylum on Wednesday, but it was crossed off our menu and a hastily scrawled note was added. “No eggs today, sorry.”
 
It’s not unusual when we don’t have some kind of egg dish on our menu as the main course. Often, we just have pancakes or waffles or French toast. However, always available for those who take exception to eating something sweet and doughy in the morning are hard-boiled eggs. As long as I can remember, there have always been hard-boiled eggs available. That is, until today. The reason for this is still unclear. Maybe it was a supply chain/delivery problem with the vendor, or somebody made a mistake in ordering. Or any other understandable excuse. I understand that, and besides, I can go a day without eggs. But what is not excusable and totally unacceptable is what they chose as a sub and, worse, how they cooked it. Only our “Bizarro World” kitchen could come up with a combination so abstract as to make one ask, “What are they smoking in there?”


I am not a big fan of blintzes. Very few people know how to make them correctly and almost all of them eaten today come, frozen, from a box. I also don’t think blintzes were meant to be breakfast food. And I am certainly sure they were never meant to be served with bacon. Besides the obvious “ethno-culinary” slur on my people, the combination was just awful. It was awful, not only because of the absurdity of it all, but because of the way it was cooked. Or should I say, “uncooked.”
 
Unlike frozen waffles, which only need to be heated or toasted before they go on the plate, blintzes are “raw” and require some actual cooking before you can eat them. This is a step in the preparation our cook skipped. Yes! We were served cold, doughy apple blintzes for breakfast, proving, once again, our cooks are clueless and should be allowed nowhere near an oven or sharp instruments.

Fortunately, our residents decided this was too crazy even for them, and didn’t eat them, most, instead, settling for toast along with the bacon. I had two bowls of today’s hot cereal (Farina) and called it a morning. ……………..FF
 








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GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2022






Who's Ready for a $145 Per Month
Social Security Benefit Increase?



Whether or not you realize it, you're likely going to be reliant, at least to some degree, on Social Security income when you retire.

Last month, national pollster Gallup surveyed currently retired workers and nonretirees to get a sense of how important Social Security income is, or is expected to be, in their golden years. According to the results, 89% of current retirees lean on their Social Security income to some varying degree to make ends meet, while a combined 84% of nonretirees anticipa
te it'll be a "major" or "minor" source of income during retirement.


Considering how important Social Security is to the financial well-being of tens of millions of retired beneficiaries, it's perhaps no surprise that the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is the most-anticipated announcement of the entire year.

What is Social Security's cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)?...




Long COVID affects more older adults;
Shots don’t prevent it



New U.S. research on long COVID-19 provides fresh evidence that it can happen even after breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, and that older adults face higher risks for the long-term effects.

In a study of veterans published Wednesday, about one-third who had breakthrough infections showed signs of long COVID.

A separate report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that up to a
year after an initial coronavirus infection, 1 in 4 adults aged 65 and older had at least one potential long COVID health problem, compared with 1 in 5 younger adults.

Long COVID refers to any of more than two dozens symptoms that linger, recur or first appear at least one month after a coronavirus infection. These can affect all parts of the body and may include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog and blood clots.




Suicide among seniors is a problem
Americans need to address

By Janet Y. Jackson


We’ve heard increasing stories lately about the epidemic rates of suicide and suicide attempts by young people under age 24, much of it exacerbated by bullying and social media trolls. It’s horrendous. However, what’s astonishing is the reality that seniors over 65, particularly those over 85, comprise an even higher percentage of those who succeed in killing themselves.

One in four people over 65 who attempt suicide will kill themselves as compared to one in 200 youths, according to Dr. Jerry Reed of the Practice Leadership at the Education Development Center, an organization that operates suicide-prevention programs nationwide. The recent death by suicide of country singer Naomi Judd highlighted the issue for me.



Naomi Judd was a beautiful, talented woman beloved by scores of fans. She had children, grandchildren and a husband of over 30 years who she professed to adore. She had reportedly been cured of hepatitis C with treatments pioneered by physicians here in St. Louis. Because her life seemed so idyllic, her death by suicide seemed all the more unfathomable, particularly to those of us looking from the outside in. That is the true quandary of suicide: Even those who seem to have everything can succumb to the mental health diseases that bring it on.




5 Signs Your Sleep Medication is
Hurting You, Doctors Warn

By Megan Hageman



T
he negative effects from a lack of sleep go far beyond the bags under your eyes. Not getting enough shut-eye can lead to memory problems, irritability, and more—something that people suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia know all too well. About one in three American adults struggle to sleep at night, according to the Sleep Foundation, and many turn to sleep medication for relief.

"Medications utilized for insomnia can help in different sleep cycles depending on what an individual needs," says Reema Hammoud, PharmD and AVP of Clinical Pharmacy at Sedgwick, a third-party claims manag
ement provider. "Some drugs help with falling asleep, some help with staying asleep, and others help regulate circadian rhythm."


These drugs, however, are meant for short-term use. When used for too long or in high doses, they can have detrimental consequences to your health. Read on to discover which signs might mean your sleep medication is doing more harm than good.






6 Techniques to Help You
    Stop Peeing So Much​​

By Michelle Crouch


Do you find yourself running to the bathroom all day long? Or waking up several times at night to pee? If you go more than eight times a day and more than once at night, you probably have what doctors call frequent urination.

It’s a common condition among older adults, although it can affect people of all ages.

Many people who have frequent urination also have overactive bladder, a condition in which you get an overwhelming urge to go that comes on suddenly and is difficult to control. Urine may leak out if you don’t get to the bathroom fast enough. As many as 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women experience it at least sometimes, according to the Urology Care Foundation.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE



From the editor…




Those of you who take the time and scroll all the way down on these posts notice an icon I placed there some months ago. The graphic shows an older man wearing a face mask. Superimposed over that figure is a red circle with a diagonal line, signifying that older people are being unfairly singled out when and where masks are to be worn.
 
The masks, which have been shown to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, when worn properly in public, have been a source of controversy since the pandemic began. Part of the contention centers around the inconsistency of the rules and regulations regarding which groups must wear a mask and those that have a choice.
 
Take a walk on any city street, and you see that while many citizens feel comfortable without a mask, others continue to use them. And that’s okay with most states and municipalities.
 
Enter a supermarket or big-box store and practically nobody has a mask on. And that’s also okay. Most of the nation recognizes that people should have the freedom to choose. And, though that right of choice is not an official constitutional amendment, it embodies what America is all about. As long as the government says, (depending on where you are) it’s okay for us to have a choice whether we mask-up.
 
As of now, here in NY State, mask mandates are a little stricter.
 
· A state order requires everyone over age 2 who can medically tolerate a face covering to wear one when outside their home if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
· We strongly recommend wearing a face covering as much as possible when you are with other people in an indoor setting that is not your home, even if 6 feet of distance can be maintained.
 
It’s the second part of that statement I have a problem with. Specifically, the part about “when you are with other people in an indoor setting that is not your home,”

The facility where I live is, for all practical purposes, my home. It’s where I get my mail, it’s where I eat my meals, and it’s where I lay my head to sleep. I consider all the people I live with as my extended “family.” People I care for and, hopefully, care for me. And because we care for each other, all of us have been fully vaccinated (boosters included) against the COVID-19 virus. And yet, unlike any other citizen of the great State of New York, and unlike every family living within this state, we are prohibited from having the same mask-wearing choices as the rest of its population. This, to me, violates our basic rights and is an infringement of our civil liberties. It is also a perfect example of, with senior citizens, rules and regulations are made without consideration of who they are dealing with or the consequences that follow. They are completely “arbitrary and capricious.”


We celebrated Memorial Day, here at the A.L.F., with what in the outside world would have been considered a “super-spreader” event. There were dozens of us, sitting close together eating, coughing, exchanging food and doing all the other things people do at BBQs, all without masks. And this is perfectly okay with the administrators and the NY State DOH. And yet, if we walk one step inside the building, the state says we must wear a mask. Again, arbitrary and capricious.
 
Do I mind wearing a mask? Yes. Do the other residents mind wearing a mask? Absolutely. Does the staff, having to constantly remind us to “put our masks on” hate this? Of course. But that makes no sense to the DOH who mandates protocols from their high perch in Albany and does not know what is happening in the real world……………………
 
 






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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022







Loneliness, social isolation, and financial exploitation
Can go hand in hand for older adults

By Christopher Zara

As Americans approach their golden years, many expect to spend time on the golf course, going on an RV tour of National Parks, or spending time with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, falling for financial scams is also becoming an increasingly common fixture of old age, too, especially for seniors who may be more socially isolated than others.


Americans over the age of 50 who are either lonely or dissatisfied with their personal relationships are more likely to fall for financial scams, according to the findings of a study from researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, which was published in the journal Aging & Mental Health. The study involved collecting data from 26 age 50+ adults over a six-month period, and found that “individuals with higher interpersonal dysfunction relative to others in the study reported greater FEV [financial exploitation vulnerability] throughout the 6-month observation period. Increased loneliness and so
cial dissatisfaction, relative to one’s average level, predicts subsequent increases in FEV, and may be an imminent risk factor for exploitation.”


The study is also noteworthy because it is the first time that researchers have been able to pinpoint loneliness and or social isolation as a factor that can potentially make an older adult more vulnerable to financial scams, according to one of the study’s authors, Duke Han of the Kick School.




Frequent Use of Antibiotics Tied to
Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Older Adults

By Adam Meyer


Older people who frequently take antibiotics are at greater risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2022. The study has not been peer-reviewed or published.

Previous research, published in 2020, found a link between antibiotic use and the onset of IBD in young adults. Research led by Adam Faye, MD, an assistant professor of medicine and population health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, looked at whether the same link could be found in older adults. Using the Danish National Prescription Register, researchers identified 2.3 million people age
s 60 and older from 2000 to 2018 and assessed the number of antibiotics prescribed, the timing of antibiotics, and the impact of specific antibiotic classes on the development of IBD in older patients.


During the 18-year study period, researchers found 10,773 new cases of ulcerative colitis and 3,825 new cases of Crohn’s, and exposure to antibiotics increased this risk, suggesting that environmental factors play a significant role in developing inflammatory bowel disease in this population.




Who’s the ‘User’ of Tech
For Older Adults?

By Jeff Link

O
n Valentine’s Day, 2009, Daniel Jue received troubling news from his brother Arthur. Their father, Raymond Jue, who was 72, had suffered a stroke and was lying on his bed, unresponsive. They rushed him to a nearby hospital in San Jose, California, and he was admitted to a patient room for treatment and overnight monitoring.


Prepared to come back and spend the night with their father, Daniel’s brother and mother went to the elder Jue’s home to collect a change of clothes and toiletries. They didn’t have time to retrieve them. As soon as they got inside the house, they heard the landline ring.

“And it was my dad, saying, ‘Help! Help!’” said Daniel Jue, recounting what his brother told him.



Social media helps improve mood
Among older adults by enriching
Their in-person encounters



New findings from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships suggest that social media may be a positive social resource for so
cially isolated older adults. A study among adults over 65 found that greater use of social media was associated with more positive mood among those with a smaller (but not larger) social network.

More and more older adults are turning to social media to connect with others. And yet little is known about how this unique form of social connection might impact the day-to-day lives of older people.



“When the pandemic lockdown forced everyone to stay home and rely on the internet for social connections and information sharing, I immediately became concerned with the ‘digital divide’ that greatly impacts the older adult population,” said study author Yijung K. Kim, a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Texas at Austin.





5 Benefits of CBD for Senior Citizens
By Danial Nasir


As people age, they can experience all sorts of health issues. While some can be treated with medication, others may require a more holistic approach. CBD oil has recently gained popularity as a treatment option for seniors because of its many potential benefits. Here are five reasons why CBD oil could be the right choice for your elderly loved ones.

1. Relieves Arthritis Pain

As people age, they face new challenges with their health. One of the most common problems is arthritis, which can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in joints. While there is no cure for arthritis, many seniors have found relief by using CBD products.

\
Find out which CBD product is best for you

CBD products are non-addictive and do not interact with other medications seniors may be taking. As a result, CBD provides an all-natural way for seniors to find relief from arthritis pain. This can make a big difference in the quality of life for many seniors. If you want to get a CBD flower for sale, you can easily find these products online.






FROM THE EDITOR…




Unlike your backyard BBQ, an outdoor cookout here at the A.L.F. becomes a logistical nightmare.

Preparations begin weeks in advance.

First, a menu has to be decided upon. This year’s Memorial Day victuals (voted on by the residents) comprised hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, potato salad with an assortment of beverages and watermelon for desert.

Next comes the seating. Where are nearly 200 people going to sit that is out of the sun? (It was close to 90 degrees here). Fortunately, we have portable tents and a large awning just for that purpose. And this year, they used a large white permanent tent that was erected in the parking lot as an addition to the outdoor seating. Of course, all of this p
reparation eventually depends on a staff of cooks, maintenance people servers and aids to make it all come together.

Yes, that’s a lot of planning for an event that lasts only 2 hours. And sadly, I have to report; it wasn’t worth the effort.

 I have been party to many of these BBQs in the years I have been here. And almost everyone is a disaster. Nobody here understands how to cook a burger, which is inevitably overdone and dry. The hot dogs had no BBQ flavor. And the ribs, though thoroughly cooked, had none of the familiar char we are used to. Even the watermelon slices were mostly rind with a small triangle of red, so you know it’s watermelon.

 The best BBQs are intimate affairs for families and a few friends. The food needs to be cooked to order. Something we can’t do here.

 I don’t want to put down the people who worked hard getting this all together. But I think they have to take a long, hard look at whether these affairs are worth the time and planning required……………..









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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2022






How Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Is Transforming Aging

By Andrew Zaleski



Those are just the well-known men who have talked about hormone therapies, of course. Speculation surrounds middle-aged rich guys like Jeff Bezos, who is rumored to be an investor in a buzzed-about anti-aging startup and seems to be aging in reverse into Billionaire Mr. Clean, with viral fit pics to match. (For the record, people close to Bezos attribute his transformation strictly to diet and exercise.)

In any case, it's not just the rich and famous: Doctor-approved doping is gaining ground among the everyday guy.


“You’d be surprised with how many people are on hormone therapies,” says Dr. Jessie Cheung, a dermatologist whose focus, in part, is on these treatments. “You look, feel, perform, think, recover, and age better.”




Social Security Stimulus:
Why Recipients Shouldn't Hold Out
For $1,400 Check Anytime Soon

By David Nadelle



The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan advocacy group, started a pressure campaign back in October to push Congress to assist those receiving Social Security with supplementary stimulus money. Since then, inflation has increased more than two percent, making last year’s historic cost of living increase a moot point and no stimulus money is on the horizon.


The letter, which was sent to Congress, calls for a one-off $1,400 Social Security stimulus payment for seniors, as GOBankingRates previously reported. It reads:


“We’ve heard from thousands of them [seniors] who have exhausted their retirement savings, who have started eating just one meal a day, started cutting their pills in half because they can’t afford their prescription drugs, to list just a few of the drastic steps so many have had to take because of what inflation has done to them this year.”




Aging experts offer tips
For longevity and health


UAB experts provide ways seniors can take and maintain control of their health in several areas of wellness.

Written by: Mary Ashley Canevaro

Aging streamUAB experts provide ways seniors can take and maintain control of their health in several areas of wellness.Lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet can be as important as genetics when it comes to living a long life and aging gracefully, and aging well can sometimes be as simple as following a few easy steps. Experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care, and the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine provide some simple steps older adults can take to maintain control of their health.


Exercise

A significant way older adults can age well is by regularly engaging in exercise and fitness; but when it comes to recommendations for specific exercises, recommendations may vary. Thomas Buford, Ph.D., a professor in the UAB Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and director for the Center for Exercise Medicine, says any movement is beneficial.

“While some health recommendations state 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity (or 10,000 steps per day), significant research states that lower levels — either in duration and/or in intensity — can still have significant health benefits for older adults,” Buford said. Buford says the best way to approach exercise is to find an enjoyable activity. Buford also recommends incorporating cardio, strength training, balance and stretching.




New tool helps evaluate older adults'
Decision-making ability

By David Brancaccio and Rose Conlon



T
here’s a new tool to help gauge the decision-making ability of older adults regarding a range of risks, from financial exploitation to self-neglect. The interview for decisional abilities, developed by geriatricians at Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania, isn’t intended to replace a formal psychiatric evaluation, but to help adult protective services workers in the field determine whether a person is capable of making informed choices about their lives or whether further assessment is needed.

The system works to establish three things: whether a person has understanding that a given risk exists; appreciation that they themselves might be at risk; and reasoning about what could be done to mitigate the risk.


“It’s meant to indicate, as a screen, if you will, that something is amiss and we need to turf this upstairs a bit to really figure out what’s going on. Because many of the things that cause impaired decision-making ability, in older and younger people are treatable — a drug that’s having a cognitive side effect, thyroid disease, any number of things,” said system co-creator Dr. Mark Lachs, chief of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and director of geriatrics at New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, in an interview with Marketplace’s David Brancaccio.






‘Are you my Jane?’
Childhood best friends
Reunite on their 94th birthdays



Joann Vandiver and Jane Scott discovered they were each other’s childhood best friend at the monthly birthday party for residents celebrating a February birthday. The two, both 94, were born on Feb. 12 and Feb. 10 and often celebrated their birthday with each other as kids.



For two childhood best friends who grew up living in the same neighborhood and playing together, their paths unknowingly kept crossing after graduating high school, including living at a Jackson senior living home.

Jane Scott and Joann Vandiver turned 94 on Feb. 10 and on Feb. 12, meaning they celebrated at the monthly birthday party at assisted living home American House of Jackson, formerly Elmcroft.

“I’m older” they went back and forth saying at the party until Scott—keeping the title of the oldest resident—told Vandiver that her birthday was Feb. 10, making her two days older than Vandiver.






From the editor…

A Memorial Day Message




As we approach this Memorial Day with its parades, sales and barbecues, we need to take pause and think about those we are celebrating and the reason we hold those memories so dear.
 
The men and women who gave their lives for our country did so, not only because they were defending the ideals of democracy but the Constitution of the United States that protects those freedoms. 
 
Our Declaration of Independence proclaimed we had the “Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Our Constitution gave us the laws to ensure those rights would be the law of the land. And contained within that document are the laws (amendments) that we have used to guide us to do the right thing. Adding, changing or discarding an amendment is difficult. And rightly so. [1]
 
The First Amendment gives us the right to practice religion, freedom of speech and the right to a free press. And immediately behind that The Second Amendment (the one which right-winger's love to drag out every time someone calls for gun control), which says we have a right to “bear arms.” But back in 1776, the need for a weapon differed greatly from what it is today. While the reasons that private citizens have to protect themselves are as important today as they were then, the implements we use now could never have been fathomed by the people who wrote those lines. Nowhere in that amendment does it say we have a right to arm ourselves to the teeth with weapons that are designed, not to “protect and defend”, but to kill as many people as you can as fast as you can. And that you may own and use those weapons, unfettered by any regulations.

In no way do I wish to sully the memory of those who died protecting our way of life. However, I cannot imagine any of those honored fallen heroes would have given their lives to protect a person’s right to kill 20 innocent people. And I can be sure they would never have gone to war if they knew their lawmakers back home would be too politically up the butts of gun lobbyists to give a damn about the lives those soldiers were sent to war to defend.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day. Don’t burn the burgers, and may you find the bargains you were looking for. 

We’re taking a few days off and will return with all new stuff on Tuesday, May 31st……………………………


[1] “An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or, if two-thirds of the States request one, by a convention called for that purpose. The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the State legislatures, or three-fourths of conventions called in each State for ratification.”







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NEXT NEW BLOG TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022


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GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2022







This Proposal Could Help Social Security
Recipients Avoid Losing Benefits



One of the best things about Social Security is that you get a choice as to when you claim benefits. You’re entitled to your complete monthly benefit at full retirement age, or FRA. That age kicks in at 66, 67, or somewhere in between, depending on your year of birth.

However, you’re allowed to file for Social Security outside of FRA. The earliest age you can sign up is age 62, but filing before FRA will result in a reduced benefit.


On the flipside, if you delay your filing beyond FRA, you’ll grow your monthly benefit by 8% for each 12-month period you wait to sign up. And that incentive lasts until age 70 (meaning, you can no longer grow your benefits past age 70, but any boost you lock in will be yours to enjoy on a permanent basis).






“Elderoscopy” medical checkup
Program for older adults




Many people, especially those 65 and older, postponed routine doctor appointments during the pandemic. As older adults are reconnecting with their communities, including addressing those overdue medical check-ups, aging experts are encouraging they add another “probing” exam to their to-do list: the Elderoscopy. Rather than a physical examination, this is a discussion. An Elderoscopy is a critical conversation between older adults and their loved ones, examining wants and needs and setting intentions for topics such as end-of-life plans, finances, relationships and more. Unfortunately, for some, making these tough decisions and documenting wishes can be just as uncomfortable as a medical procedure.

Research from Home Instead, Inc. and The Marist College Poll shows that 1 in 6 Americans would rather have a colonoscopy than simply talk to their loved ones about end-of-life plans. When factoring in age, nearly one-third of Americans over the age of 70 (29%) would prefer or are undecided when having to choose between a colonoscopy and discussing end-of-life plans.


“We see these conversations between loved ones happening every day, and rarely does someone say they wish they put it off longer,” says Matt Cohn, owner of the Home Instead offices in Baton Rouge. “To support local families, we have resources available to ensure a smooth transition of care – regardless of whether it is needed now or in a few years.”





Cranberries help improve memory and
Brain function in older adults

By Alison BosmanEarth


Flavonoids are compounds produced by plants and thought to confer significant health benefits on humans. In plants they act as essential pigments and are responsible for the colors found in buds, petals, fruits and autumn leaves. They are found in many brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, parsley, red grapes, cranberries, cherries and citrus fruits.

Research conducted by scientists from the University of East Anglia set out to test whether supplementing people’s diets every day with cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) could help improve memory and brain function in older individuals, and thereby reduce age-related neurodegeneration. Cranberries are rich in anthocyanins, a particular group of plant flavonoids that act as antioxidants.


“Dementia is expected to affect around 152 million people by 2050. There is no known cure, so it is crucial that we seek modifiable lifestyle interventions, such as diet, that could help lessen disease risk and burden,” explained lead researcher Dr. David Vauzour.







High-risk prescribing practices associated with
Increased risk of disability among older adults

Reviewed by Emily Henderson


F
or many, good health and longevity is only achievable with the help of prescription drugs. However, researchers in Japan have recently identified that some "high-risk" prescribing practices may be a cause for concern among older adults.

In a new study published in Geriatrics and Gerontology International, a research team led by the University of Tsukuba evaluated the relationship between high-risk prescribing practices and the risk for disability in people aged 65 years and older. High-risk prescribing practices include polypharmacy (the use of five or more prescription drugs) and the use of drugs with sedative or anticholinergic properties, including antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and antiparkinsonian drugs.


High-risk prescribing practices have been previously shown to be associated with physical frailty among older adults, and physical frailty corresponds with a risk for physical disability. In Japan, people who are aged 65 years and older and have a functional disability are eligible to receive long-term care (LTC) services. To receive these services, a LTC needs certification is granted based on the assessment of an applicant's eligibility and care requirements. Using LTC needs certification as a proxy for disability among older adults in Japan, researchers led by the University of Tsukuba conducted a population-based nested case-control study to determine whether high-risk prescribing practices are associated with an increased risk of disability.






Ways to Save on Your Next Road Trip
By Don Nichols


Veteran road trippers know how to cut costs on a driving vacation — particularly important in these days of sky-high gas prices and inflation. Consider their top ways to save while planning your next big car trip.​​
Lodging

Campgrounds in county and city parks are affordable, often-overlooked options, says Rob Taylor, the St. Augustine, Florida-based author of The Road Trip Survival Guide. Taylor and his family recently camped at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park in Jacksonville, Florida, for just $28 per night, with a full hookup for their Northland trailer. “Being a city-run park, it had other municipal services, like a Splash Pad, beach access and bike trails,” he says.


To get the best deals, Taylor suggests making reservations for campgrounds and hotels before leaving home. “Last-minute bookings aren’t cheap the way they used to be. In the last two years, you can’t just show up and get a last-minute deal, because there’s less availability.”

Learn more  >>   CLICK HERE





Outrage and Inaction

As always, after an incident as we had Tuesday in Texas, comes the rhetoric. Citizens, clergy, some media commentators and politicians express their outrage. They call for change, reform and tighter control on who can buy and own a gun. But all the background checks in the world could not have prevented that one sick individual from doing  what he did. As long as you can buy a gun as easily as you can a cup of Starbucks coffee, what happened at that elementary school will continue in countless numbers of yet-to-be-named schools, churches and sporting events. The only way to end this madness is to stop the sale of these weapons to the public. Nobody, anywhere, should ever be permitted to walk into a store, plunk down a few hundred bucks and walk out with a potential murder weapon.

Today was a day of contemplation. And that’s okay. Let’s hope that tomorrow will be a day of action. ……







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GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2022








Researchers find sleep benefit in
Higher dose of melatonin



The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin, but among older people levels of the hormone are on the decline.


Supplements show promise in small study of older adults

In a small study of healthy adults aged 55 and older, 5 mg of melatonin increased total sleep time compared to a placebo.



Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted the study in 24 healthy, older adults to evaluate whether a high-dose or a low-dose melatonin supplement could improve sleep. The team found that the higher dose had a significant impact, increasing total sleep time compared to placebo by more than 15 minutes for nighttime sleep and by half an hour for daytime sleep. Results are published in The Journal of Pineal Research.  




How Men Adapt to Being Solo Agers


I am euphemistically known as a "solo ager," a 66-year-old child-free widower with no plans to seek another primary intimate monogamous relationship. I must admit that the term "solo ager" is preferable to the horrible designation made by other social scientists who refer to me as an "elder orphan." That phrase reeks of an aging Oliver Twist, developmentally frozen in the pain of abandonment and fear.


I am certainly not orphaned. I am well loved by others, continue to be involved as a psychologist in meaningful professional work and live independently. I feel vital in my activities of daily living and am as busy as I want. That said, it is a truth that I am existentially and observably alone as I live into this stage of life. This alone-ness carries unique risks for those in my cohort.



It's Challenging for Men to Be Vulnerable

A good deal of consideration is currently being given to solo aging. Themes abound for connecting to others and making personal wishes, including legal and financial directives, formal and concrete. While good advice, much of it tends to go in one eye and out the other as I, and many men of my generation, view such guidelines through a traditional male lens.


Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


'Change the culture of aging':
What you can learn about dementia
Inside a Cedar Falls house

By Cleo Krejci


C
EDAR FALLS — Five minutes is plenty of time for those trying out what it's like to live with dementia.

Once-familiar carpeted hallways transform into a maze with no solution. Locating a coffee cup, feather duster or book lying about the house feels cumbersome; remembering what you planned to do with those items is worse.

By altering sight, sound and touch, the "dementia simulation house" at the University of Northern Iowa sends people into that world with a
higher purpose.



"What we're trying to do is educate people in the community, so that when people with dementia seek out their services, they're a little bit more understanding," said Elaine Eshbaugh, a professor of gerontology at UNI. "Our goal really is to keep people with dementia in the community just a little bit longer."




The Gender Pain Gap:
Why Women's Pain Isn't Taken as Seriously

By Ginny Graves


Imagine your lower back hurts so much that you book a doctor’s appointment. During the visit, the physician asks a standard medical question: “How would you rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10?” Whether you answer that it’s a persistent, irksome 3 or a debilitating 9, you assume your doctor will treat you according to your need.

But for too many women, that’s when a new kind of torment begins. Research suggests that health care providers are more likely to underestimate pain in women than in men, says Tina Doshi, M.D., an assistant professor of pain medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Doctors may be less likely to perceive a given score as the true reflection of a woman’s experience, so an 8 out of 10 from a woman may prompt a different treatment than an 8 out of 10 from a man.” This can occur regardless of physician gender and despite studies that show that women are beset by more painful conditions — we have more headaches, lower-back and neck pain and painful au
toimmune diseases. Research also shows that we report higher pain scores than men for similar ailments, which suggests that we feel our discomfort more intensely.


Although women are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, studies indicate that stereotypes play into how women are treated in the exam room, and that can affect our care. In one study, when medical students and clinicians saw videos of patients in chronic pain, they estimated women’s pain, on average, as lower than men’s — and were more likely to recommend psychological treatment to women and analgesics to men.




Blood pressure medicine may
Lower frailty for older adults



A commonly used blood pressure medication may help improve measures of frailty in prefrail older adults, according to a new study by researchers with UTHealth Houston.

The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology.

Prefrail adults are adults that exhibit signs of becoming frail. When adults become frail, they are particularly vulnerable to numerous adverse health outcomes including early mortality, functional decline, disability, and falls.


Using a randomized approach, researchers examined the use of the blood pressure medication losartan in prefrail older adults over the age of 70, and analyzed the effects of six months of losartan treatment on their physical function and the molecular pathways associated with frailty.






From The Editor…




I am not a gun person. I will not pretend to understand why people find it necessary to have a gun in their possession. I also don’t understand hunters, but I realize some people like to hunt and kill innocent animals. However, I don’t understand why they would pretend that an automatic weapon capable of firing up to 400 rounds a minute should be the weapon of choice.
 
I am not so naïve as to not realize that guns are part of American culture. At one time in our history, having a rifle and knowing how to use it meant the difference between life and death. After all, there were deer to shoot, varmints to kill, and Native Americans to murder. But this is the 21st century. We get our food online; we have all but wiped out most predators, and Native Americans now own casinos. And yet there are 393 million legally owned guns here. That’s more guns than there are people.

Yes. I don't understand why people like guns so much. However, there is one thing I understand. The value of human life. So, why do some of our lawmakers who proudly sign anti-abortion laws in the guise of protecting the unborn think nothing about protecting living kids like those who died Tuesday in Texas or the other thousands who are victims of gun violence? This is another instance of our government failing to protect us……….










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NEXT NEW BLOG THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2022



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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2022







Government watchdog:
1 in 4 older Americans on Medicare
Harmed during hospital stays



O
ne in 4 older Americans covered by Medicare had some type of temporary or lasting harm during hospital stays before the COVID-19 pandemic, government investigators said in an oversight report published Thursday.

The report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said 12% of patients had “adverse events” that mainly led to longer hospital stays but also permanent harm, death, or required life-saving intervention. Another 13% had temporary issues that could have caused further complications had hospital staff not acted.


Investigators reviewed the medical records of 770 Medicare patients discharged from 629 hospitals in 2018 to formulate a national rate on how often patients were harmed, whether preventable or not. An earlier Inspector General review published in 2010 found that 27% of patients experienced some type of harm – an investigation that led to new patient safety efforts and incentives.



Cannabis and Your Heart:
The Risks of Pot When Over 40

By Donna Fuscaldo


Marijuana may be legal in 18 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam, but that doesn’t mean frequent use is healthy. New research led by Stanford Medicine scientists found smoking pot more than once a month can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack in middle age.

What’s more, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the component of the drug that gets you high, can cause inflammation in the cells that line blood vessels. It’s also blamed for atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fats in the artery walls of lab mice. The good news for people using marijuana to stimulate appetite, control nausea or dull pain. Researchers discovered genistein, a molecule that occurs naturally in soy and fava beans, can prevent the inflammation and atherosclerosis from occurring without taking away the feelings of being high.


“As more states legalize the recreational use of marijuana, users need to be aware that it could have cardiovascular side effects,” Joseph Wu, M.D., professor of cardiovascular medicine and radiology and director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, says in a press release describing the research. “But genistein works quite well to mitigate marijuana-induced damage of the endothelial vessels without blocking the effects marijuana has on the central nervous system, and it could be a way for medical marijuana users to protect themselves from a cardiovascular standpoint.”


Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


Addressing Food Insecurity
Among Older Adults
By Alexandra Ashbrook


T
his blog is part two of a blog series on food insecurity among older adults in recognition of Older Americans Month.

Part 1 focuses on food insecurity’s prevalence among older adults as well as its disproportionate rates among Black and Latinx households and examines risk factors that make older adults more likely to experience food insecurity.

Millions of older adults struggle with food insecurity. Given the harmful impacts of food insecurity on older adult health and well-being, it is critical that stakeholders, including community-based organizations, health providers, and public agencies, connect older adults to the range of available nutrition and food programs. Of paramount importance is connecting them to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the only nutrition program available to all eligible older adults in every part of the country without the need for additional federal appropriations, or subject to a waitlist.
A considerable body of evidence shows that SNAP plays a role in improving food security, economic security, health, and diets of older adults by helping them afford to put food on the table. However, one out of every two eligible older adults miss out on the benefits of SNAP.


Key Programs Overview

The key programs available to older adults, age 60 and older, are administered by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). See the chart below for more details.



Why Wellness Programs are
Important for Senior Citizens



One of the most distinctive traits of a good healthcare community is its senior wellness program. Wellness programs for seniors have increased in popularity over the past decade. Research shows that those who embrace wellness as part of their everyday lives can see significant benefits in longevity and quality of life. Senior wellness programs aid in overall well-being and dealing with issues like depression, reduced mobility, lack of independence, safety concerns, and age-specific health. Quality programs also offer opportunities to be more active and social and promote a healthy lifestyle for a better quality of life.

Why Are W
ellness Programs Important?


A wellness program is a good way for a senior care community to support residents’ health, happiness, and engagement. There are many tangible benefits that seniors can expect from a wellness program, such as:…





Best Cities for an Early Retirement – 2022 Study
By Anja Solum


Fewer Americans plan to work past the age of 62. In a March 2022 survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 49.2% of Americans plan to work past the age of 62, a figure that is 6.2% lower than two years prior. However, it can be difficult to make early retirement a reality. Stretching retirement savings long enough to live comfortably is challenging, but some cities are better than others for bringing early retirement plans to fruition.


In this study, we determined the best places for an early retirement, comparing the 100 largest cities across four categories. They include tax friendliness, elderly care, affordability and livability. For more information on underlying metrics within each category and how we put together our findings, read our Data and Methodology section below.

Key Findings

Arizona cities are the most affordable for early retirees. Four of the top 10 cities are located in Arizona. Gilbert and Chandler claim the first two spots, while Scottsdale and Mesa rank fourth and seventh, respectively. All four cities are very tax friendly for retirees. Specifically, we estimate that the effective income tax rate for retirees is less than 19% on average in all four cities and the state of Arizona does not tax capital gains.





At The A.L.F….



This is a follow-up on something I posted two weeks ago.
 
At our last Food Committee meeting, a resident brought up a non-food related issue. He complained that, after one resident directed a racial epithet at another resident, the “punishment” was akin to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The resident was verbally reprimanded and had to eat their meals, in their room, away from others, for one week. Many of the residents present at that meeting felt the sentence was too lenient. I suggested we bring the subject of what should be appropriate to a vote at our next residents’ meeting., That meeting was Yesterday.
 
I posed the question to the residents early in the meeting. After a lively discussion about what disciplinary should be taken in such incidents which included everything from expulsion to re-education, we decided that removing one month of dining room privileges, plus being barred from taking part in all activities would make any resident think twice before using racial slurs.
 
Whether this will be approved by management is yet to be seen. But just the fact that so many of our residents found that kind of behavior abhorrent says a lot of those of us who call this place home…….







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GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, MAY 23, 2022






What Older Adults Should Know about
Getting Divorced and (Maybe) Remarried

By Tonya Graser Smith

My Great Aunt Gert was widowed after being happily married to the same husband – my Great Uncle Bob – for more than 50 years. She remarried at age 83 to a man, my Great Uncle John, who was 85. They had 10 good years together before he died at the ripe old age of 95. Their “gray marriage” was a rarity 30 years ago.





So was gray divorce – but it’s on the rise today. Not everyone has the happy ending Gert had. She had one long, happy marriage followed by another.

In the last five years, I have seen more long-term marriages end than ever before. It’s actually a global phenomenon. Most divorces still happen to couples in their 30s and 40s, but more couples in their 50s and 60s – who have been married for 25 years and up – are deciding to split these days.




Are Older Adults More Open to
Discussing Their Mental Health?


After months of the pandemic, more older adults are addressing their well-being and mental health

Bettina Dawes was sick of being trapped at home. She was overwhelmed by her fears of contracting COVID-19. She was tired of the thoughts that crowded her 78-year-old mind after nearly two years of not seeing family or friends. She was done, she says, of being told about lifetime chums dying alone. She had had enough of everything.


"I wanted to be done with life," says Dawes, who lives in Silver Bow County, Montana. "And once I realized that, I started thinking I either needed to kill myself or go get myself a therapist."





Painkiller Family Including Ibuprofen
May Increase Risk Of Chronic Pain

By Dr Katie Spalding


There’s a medical principle that goes back to the early 16th century: Dosis sola facit venenum – in modern language, you may know it as “only the dose makes the poison”. It’s the idea that, in the right quantity, anything can be harmful, even everyday medicines.


A new study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, has proven this maxim true for one of our most familiar painkillers. According to the paper, anti-inflammatory drugs – a group including first-aid mainstays like Advil (a brand name for ibuprofen) and aspirin – can increase patients’ chances of developing chronic pain.


“For many decades it’s been standard medical practice to treat pain with anti-inflammatory drugs,” said study co-author Jeffrey Mogil, a Professor in the Department of Psychology at McGill University and E. P. Taylor Chair in Pain Studies.





AI Identifies Key Predictors of
Depression in Older Adults

By Cami Rosso


Depression is a leading cause of disability globally. An estimated 300 million people worldwide—roughly 4.4 percent of the global population—are suffering from this common mental health disorder, according to a World Health Organization report. A new study applied artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning to identify both risk and protective factors for depression in middle-aged to older adults.


“To our knowledge, this is the first large, multi-country study to use machine learning to compare a broad range of social, health, functional, and cognitive variables as concurrent risk/protective factors for depression in middle-aged and older adults—and with analyses conducted independently for women and men,” wrote the researchers affiliated with Colorado State University, University of Zurich in Switzerland, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a serious mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest that may interfere with normal daily life activities.








What Happens
If Your Pet Outlives You?


When the ambulance arrived to remove the body of an older New York City resident, a woman in her eighties, they found Tina, an 11-year-old Chihuahua, standing guard. Emergency service workers took Tina to the city's animal shelter. Fortunately, a volunteer dog walker stopped by to walk Tina. When she heard where Tina was, she contacted Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) NY.


"Tina's owner was a client of ours," said Carrie Nydick Finch, deputy director of Programs and Strategy for PAWS NY, a nonprofit that provides services to vulnerable New Yorkers who need support caring for their pets due to physical and financial obstacles. "The volunteer dog walker knew Tina and her owner, a woman with mobility issues. She's been a client of ours for seven years."

Read more >> CLICK HERE


-\\-






Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame when I say, “The Federal Government has let us down.”
 
Nobody expects the government to be perfect. After all, bureaucracies are what they are. But with our health and safety, we could always count on good old Uncle Sam to do the right thing. In fact, many of us complained the government was too overbearing and too watchful to the point of interfering with our liberties and even commerce. And perhaps that still holds true. But we closed one eye where our medications or agriculture or food production were concerned. Nobody said there was too much regulation when new drugs are so carefully tested, or when the Department of Agriculture has very strict rules and regulations regarding how our food is made. In those cases, a little increased oversight is a good thing. But where was this watchful eye two years ago when the COVID pandemic took us by surprise, or more recently when suddenly there’s no baby formula on the shelves, and we have to go begging like some third-world country? In both cases, and many more, somebody dropped the ball. And we Americans are suffering because of that. 


It would be easy to blame former president Trump for our failure to recognize the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus. But he was just the last link in the chain. Where was the CDC, that grand and mighty guardian of our national health? They only had one job to do. And that was to alert all of us that a pandemic was possible, and we should prepare ourselves. But they didn’t. How much of our taxes are spent on that facility in Atlanta and the know-nothing people in charge? We wasted at least two or three months evaluating the situation when we should have spent that time building a supply network to make sure there was no interruption of goods and services.

“In February, a major baby formula manufacturing plant in U.S. went down. The FDA shut down Abbott Nutrition’s factory in Michigan. The closure came after Abbott’s nationwide recall of multiple brands of formula, including routine Similac cow milk-based formulas such as Similac Advance and several specialty formulas for allergic babies, including Similac Alimentum and and Similac EleCare.”
 
“Closing the factory had to be done amid an investigation into bacterial infections in connection to powdered formula produced at the plant, and the deaths of at least two babies. The problem is there just isn’t much redundancy in U.S. infant formula production. In other words, there aren’t enough other factories to pick up the slack when one goes down.” [1]
 
How many years have gone by and nobody in the government noticed the “monopoly” forming in the baby formula market? This is the same government that is so quick to break up telecommunications and media companies for having too much share of a market. Where was the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)?
 
All I’m saying there's something with a country that can manufacture, store and transport thousands of tons of weapons to Ukraine in a matter of days and can’t get baby formula on the shelves of supermarkets right here?
 
We need to take a long, hard look at all of our regulatory and watchdog agencies, and stop selecting the people who run them based on politics and appoint people who actually know something……….
 





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GOOD DAY. IT’S FRIDAY, MAY 20 2022






3 Types of Technology That
Improve the Health of Senior Citizens


Technology has played a huge role in the advancements in the healthcare industry. The identification, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of diseases are now much easier thanks to technology.


Various medical equipment and devices can be used in hospitals and healthcare settings to make things quicker and easier for health professionals and patients alike. New scanning technologies, dialysis
machinery, mechanical beds, and transportation equipment are also important for modern-day inpatient and outpatient healthcare.


There are also many technological devices that make life easier for patients when they are outside of the hospitals. For example, there is now an advanced type of hearing aid to help those with impaired hearing. There are different kinds of wearables that provide real-time health data for patients on a continuous basis.




Nearly 7 in 10 Americans want to live to 100,
study finds.
Here’s how retirement is changing
By Kate Dore, CFP®


Despite fears of outliving savings, most Americans still want to live longer, a study on longevity and retirement shows.

Nearly 70% of Americans want to live to age 100, with 29 years as the “ideal length” for retirement, according to an Edward Jones and Age Wave report that polled 11,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada in January and February.


“We’ve been aware of longevity rising for some time,” said Ken Dychtwald, founder and CEO of Age Wave. “But in the last year, there’s been a lot more talk about it.”







Long Covid Symptoms Are Often
Overlooked in Senior Citizens

By Judith Graham


Nearly 18 months after getting covid-19 and spending weeks in the hospital, Terry Bell struggles with hanging up his shirts and pants after doing the laundry.


Lifting his clothes, raising his arms, arranging items in his closet leave Bell short of breath and often trigger severe fatigue. He walks with a cane, only short distances. He’s 50 pounds lighter than when the virus struck.



Bell, 70, is among millions of older adults who have grappled with long covid — a population that has received little attention even though research suggests seniors are more likely to develop the poorly understood condition than younger or middle-aged adults.






Will the FDA change how it vets drugs
Following the Alzheimer’s debacle?

By Kozlov, Max


FDA commissioner Robert Califf has pledged to reform the agency’s accelerated drug-approval programme.


Nearly a year after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light to a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease, lawmakers are attempting to amend the process that led to its approval.



The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which oversees drug safety and biomedical research, announced last week that it hopes to grant the FDA greater authority to rescind accelerated approvals if a company fails to complete follow-up studies on the treatment in a reasonable amount of time.




5 Jobs Where Employers Usually
Hire Senior Citizens

By A. A. Francis

Even though we live in a world where forced retirement and ageism are a reality, it doesn’t mean that middle-aged and elderly people have no employment options.


There are plenty of jobs that employers explicitly set aside or target older workers for hire.

Here are five of those jobs.



Platonic activity companions

In the 21st century, there is a booming industry for platonic companions to give company to elderly, disabled, socially awkward, and lonely people.







‘You Look Great’ and Other Lies
By Bruce Feiler


My friend sat down and ordered a stiff drink. I didn’t think of her as the stiff-drink kind. An hour later, after our spouses drifted off into conversation, she leaned over the table. “I need your help,” she said. “My sister has a brain tumor. I don’t know what to do.”

Three years ago this month, I learned that I had a seven-inch osteosarcoma in my left femur. Put more directly: I had bone cancer. That diagnosis led me down a dark year that included nine months of chemotherapy and a 15-hour surgery to reconstruct my left leg.




At the time, my wife, Linda, and I were the parents of 3-year-old identical twin girls, and we were often overwhelmed with the everyday challenges of having a sick dad, a working mom and two preschoolers. We survived with help from many people. Our siblings organized an online casserole club, so friends could buy us dinner through a meal service. Grandparents rotated in and out of our basement. My high school classmates made a video at our reunion.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE



From The Editor…



In a few short months, I will be 77 years old. If genetics has anything to do with longevity, I figure I have 10 or 15 years left on the old odometer. And therein lies the problem. I know, at some point, my body and my health will fail me and I will lose most, if not all, of my mobility and independence. I will require increasingly more services just to keep me comfortable. Furthermore, I also know that those services cannot be provided where I live now, here at the A.L.F. So, what’s left? Where will I go when I can no longer take care of my own needs? The choices are limited. And none of them are nice. 

The natural transition from an assisted living facility is to a nursing home. In a nursing home, one transforms from being a resident to becoming a patient. If you think that the difference is just a matter of semantics, you’re wrong. The contrast between an A.L.F. and a nursing home is like night and day. I know. I was a patient in three nursing homes before I came here. They were not fun. Especially for a person whose mind is operating at full speed while his body has stopped altogether. Nursing homes are depressing. You are surrounded by people who are incapacitated at best and, at worst, on their way out. The sounds and the smells are enough to want to make you slit a wrist. Not to mention the humiliation and degradation of having someone dress you or feed you or, well, you know. The thought of having to go back to one of those places scares the s**t out of me. However, the alternative frightens me more.

Every day, a resident here is taken to a hospital. Most usually return in a day or two and resume their lives as before. Unfortunately, some never return. They have been sent to a nursing home or have passed away. That usually brings an end to the question, “Where will I live?” There is, however, another place.
 
They are not nursing homes, and they are not hospitals. They are called “Hospices.” A Hospice is comfort care without curative intent; the patient no longer has curative options or has chosen not to pursue treatment because the side effects outweigh the benefits. Few, if any, leave standing up.

At one time, there was another choice. It may appear crude or even morbid today, but was rather common in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Back then, many people died at home surrounded by loved ones. Care was provided by the family or a nurse. Times have changed and the thought of dying without being hooked to a battery of machines is considered barbaric.
 
The choices where one might spend their final days are few. I have seen people attached to respirators waiting for someone to mercifully pull the plug. That’s not the way I want to go out. When my time comes, I would prefer to drop dead suddenly and be done with it. Neat, clean and very final. But in the end, we rarely have a choice. 
 
If you are planning to be around for a while, check out our weekend edition. You can re-read some past articles or discover some you missed. Have a great weekend. We’ll be back on Monday with more……………………..
 

 





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GOOD DAY. IT’S THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2022







Americans can expect to pay a lot more
For medical care in retirement

By Stephanie Dhue & Sharon Epperson

“There’s a lot of upward cost pressure in the health-care system right now, due to investments that providers need to make to get ready for the next pandemic, due to issues around labor, particularly hospital nurses,” said Hope Manion, senior vice president and chief health and welfare actuary at Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity also found that most Americans have underestimated what health-care expenses will be in retirement, with the average person e
xpecting costs to be $41,000 — a $274,000 shortfall from its estimate.


“People do not realize that once they get on Medicare, they’re still going to be on the hook for some number of bills,” said Manion, adding that retirees must pay for premiums, over-the-counter and prescription drugs and some medical devices. 





Booster shot slowdown leaves
Older Americans at risk

By Nathaniel Weixel


The delivery of coronavirus booster shots in the U.S. has stagnated, particularly among older populations, leaving millions of vulnerable people at risk of serious infection and death.

After bottoming out in late March and early April, COVID-19 infections are steadily rising across the country.



More worrisome, hospitalizations have also increased 20 percent over the past two weeks, though deaths have stayed relatively low, especially compared to the winter peak, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

Studies show the protection against infection from the initial series of vaccines starts to wane after about six months.




Older people using TikTok to
Defy ageist stereotypes

By Amelia Hill

Older TikTok users are using the online platform, regarded as the virtual playground of teenagers, to defy ageist stereotypes of elderly people as technophobic and frail.

Research has found increasing numbers of accounts belonging to users aged 60 and older with millions of followers. Using the platform to showcase their energy and vibrancy, these TikTok elders are rewriting expectations around how older people should behave both on and off social media.


“These TikTok elders have become successful content creators in a powerful counter-cultural phenomenon in which older persons actually contest the stereotypes of old age by embracing or even celebrating their aged status,” said Dr Reuben Ng, the author of the paper Not Too Old for TikTok: How Older Adults are Reframing Ageing, and an assistant professor at Yale University.



Washington best, Nevada worst in new
Ranking of outlook for older adults



Washington state helps older adults live their best lives, whereas Nevada is at the bottom of states having the most improved outlook for older adults, according to a new ranking.

San Francisco-based Seniorly compared physical health, mental health, finances and social factors data across all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine how metrics have changed over the past decade. A total of 12 individual ranking factors awarded points with a best poss
ible score of 306.


Although no state earned a perfect score, Washington was the top state overall, scoring 248.8, just two points ahead of North Dakota. Washington scored highest across three of the four categories, ranking second in physical health and social factors and fifth in finances.






Learn How to Choose the
Right Medigap Plan

By Dena Bunis


If you decide to enroll in original Medicare, one way you can help pay the extra costs the program doesn’t cover is to buy a supplemental — or Medigap — insurance policy.

Private insurers sell Medigap policies, but states and the federal government strictly regulate them. These plans are available for people enrolled in Medicare parts A and B, not for those who elect a Medicare Advantage plan. Medigap plans pay for costs such as deductibles and copays and other charges that Medicare doesn’t cover.


In 2010 the federal government standardized the types of Medigap plans, creating 10 options designated by A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. In January 2020 two of the more comprehensive and popular plans, C and F, ceased to be available to people newly eligible for the program. That’s because in 2015, Congress decided to prohibit Medigap from covering the annual deductible for Part B, which pays for doctor visits and other outpatient services.


Learn more  >> CLICK HERE



FROM THE EDITOR…





The last time I drove a car was on May 8, 2009.
 
 I remember that date because the very next day I found myself in the back of an ambulance being driven to the E.R. with severe abdominal pain. That afternoon, I was admitted to the hospital. I never got back into my car again. Two years later, while I was a patient in a nursing home, my driver’s license expired. I did not bother to renew it. I knew my driving days were over.
 


One would think that somebody who has driven a car for nearly 50 years would miss the convenience, and even some fun, of barreling down the highway at 75 mph on my way to nowhere in particular. But oddly, I didn’t. Not for a while, anyway.
 
I suppose I was too involved with other things like my health, my finances and my living conditions to think about getting behind the wheel. And besides, my need for a car (at least one I drove myself) was not a factor. Where was I to go in my condition? All my trips ended in the doctor’s office or a hospital. However, in recent months, the call of the open road has increased. Like smoking or drinking, it’s a hard habit to break.

I can’t tell you how many times in the past 2 years I have wanted to hop into my Honda and just go to a diner, or McDonald’s or the Stop & Shop. And, as fall began this year and the trees changed color, darn if I didn’t feel an urge to drive upstate to some of my favorite leaf-watching spots.

Without a car, everything that used to be simple is now a major undertaking. I have no friends or relatives nearby whom I can call and bum a ride, and the nearest bus stop is 14 blocks away. I could call a cab or UBER, but that becomes expensive. And even the local Para Transit bus is a pain to arrange, and it’s not free. Also, any excursion on my own must be logged in at the front desk. If I’m going to be away for a while, I have to take some “supplies” with me. Just the thought of going through all that rigmarole wears me out. So yes. I do miss driving. But I’m a realist. I know enough about myself to understand that I should not be operating a 2000lb four-wheeled weapon of mass destruction. Here’s why.

My eyesight is not what it used to be. And though New York State says my vision (with glasses) is good enough to drive. I don’t. My peripheral vision has decreased, as well as my ability to see things clearly at night. It’s scary enough driving with good vision. Why would I want to risk my life or others just to satisfy a desire?
 

Even if my eyes were okay, there’s a little problem of my hearing to think about. The DMV allows hearing-impaired people to drive with some restrictions, which I could probably pass. But would you want a person who can’t hear out of one ear on the road? Especially when he can’t tell from which direction the fire truck or ambulance is coming. Not me. Therefore, I have resigned my commission as a licensed driver. Unfortunately, many seniors are not as aware of the decline of their senses and ability to react quickly to an emergency. And most of them are still driving. They look upon it as a right rather than a privilege. And g-d help anybody that would dare take that away. Do I understand those people? Yes. Do I agree with them? Of course, I don’t. My suggestion to anyone who sees an elderly driver near them on the highway is to give them a lot of leeway. Chances are, they don’t know you are there….
 
 








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GOOD DAY. IT’S WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2022






Social Security Payments Need to Be
$540 More Today To Equal Value in 2000

By Josephine Nesbit


T
his year’s Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) isn’t nearly enough to help boost seniors’ purchasing power. In fact, according to data from The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), high inflation has caused Social Security benefits to lose



In January, retirees saw a 5.9% COLA increase to benefits, the largest in four decades. However, this raise still doesn’t help seniors with rising costs as much as one would think. During the year ending in March 2022, TSCL found that beneficiaries saw a 10 percentage point drop in their purchasing power.


The study compared Social Security COLA adjustments with increases in the price of 37 goods and services typically used by retirees. Mary Johnson, TSCL’s Social Security policy analyst, said that benefits were the most impacted by increases in energy costs for home heating, gasoline and higher food prices, as well as a 14.5% increase in Medicare Part B premiums in January.





Expand affordable senior housing to help older
Adults age in place, 40 senators say



Expanding affordable senior housing and the programs that support it is the impetus behind a letter from 40 U.S. senators.



In a letter delivered Wednesday to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, a group of legislators led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) expressed support for “robust” funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Section 811 H
ousing for People with Disabilities programs in the fiscal year 2023 HUD appropriations bill.

The ask came on the same day that HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development on expanding the Section 202 program.





Proposed pilot program would expand
Assisted living access to veterans


A proposed bipartisan bill would create a pilot program to expand veterans’ access to assisted living.

The “Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act” would create a three-year pilot program at six Veterans Integrated Services Networks, including at least two program sites in rural areas and two in state veterans homes.



Current Department of Veterans Affairs policy restricts payment of room and board fees at assisted living communities.

Veterans eligible for the pilot would include those already receiving nursing home-level care paid for by the VA and those who are eligible to receive assisted living services or nursing home care.




Elderly Who Want To Age In Their Own Homes
Lack Affordable Long-Term Options



 An overwhelming majority of elderly Californians on fixed incomes and in need of long-term care prefer to remain at home, but a lack of affordable community-based options often leave them with a wrenching choice – burn through their retirement savings and/or home equity to age in place or be forced move to a long-term facility or nursing home. That is one of the key takeaways from a recent survey of more than 1,700 caregivers and other respondents in two California counties.



The community agrees that we need more access to caregiving services.


More than 93% of those surveyed believe it is important to have long-term care services that allow seniors and those who are disabled to safely remain in their homes. Unfortunately, there are limited affordable in-home supportive service options in California that allow seniors or those who are disabled to do so.  Despite their wishes, many simply end up in nursing facilities.

The caregivers – frequently spouses or adult children – often face financial hardship, especially if those requiring care are too young for Medicare or do not qualify for Medi-Cal. Nearly 8 in 10 (79.6%) of the survey respondents say their caregiving responsibilities have affected their ability to pay their household expenses. Adult children often forego saving for their own retirements, children's college education or home down payments because they must financially support and provide care for one or more of their aging middle-class parents.







24 Recipes That Make
The Most of Eggs

By Eric Kim


It can be difficult to get Quentin Compson — my 10-year-old, wire-haired rescue dog — to rise from her bed. But one guaranteed way is to boil an egg. The second I break open that shell, I know that I can look down at my feet and see her standing right there, tail wagging, waiting for a bite.



We have a system, in a way: I crack the hot egg against the counter and run it under the cold tap to cool it down, then  I peel it open with my fingers, eat the yolk over the sink and hand her the white. Every time I do this, I’m reminded of the children’s book “Elmer and the Dragon,” in which the protagonist eats tangerines and feeds the peels to his pet dragon. Quentin isn’t a dragon, but she’s full of fire whenever I peel an egg.

I don’t blame her. Have you ever eaten a perfectly boiled egg, unadorned save for a sprinkle of salt? Sometimes, when I’m especially hungry and harried,  I skip the salt — and might even prefer it that way. Because when you bite into a sublimely cooked egg, it’s the rich flavor of the still-warm yolk that lingers.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE
 






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GOOD DAY. IT’S TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2022







House passes bill to protect
Seniors from scams


The House voted 371 to 48 Wednesday to pass a bill aimed at protecting senior citizens from increasingly frequent financial scams.



The Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act would create a program within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to dole out $10 million in funding annually to investigate and stop fraud in collaboration with state securities regulators.



“Older Americans have given so much to our great country. We should always have their backs and help protect them from predators that want to take advantage of them,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), the bill’s lead sponsor, said on the House floor Wednesday. “It is incumbent on us to protect them from scammers and abuse.”




Poor vision in older adults often mistakenly
Conflated with mild cognitive impairment

Reviewed by Emily Henderson


Millions of older people with poor vision are at risk of being misdiagnosed with mild cognitive impairments, according to a new study by the University of South Australia.



Cognitive tests that rely on vision-dependent tasks could be skewing results in up to a quar
ter of people aged over 50 who have undiagnosed visual problems such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss for older people. It doesn't cause complete vision loss, but severely impacts people's ability to read, drive, cook, and even recognize faces. It has no bearing on cognition.





More people are turning to this
Housing idea for aging parents,
But obstacles still exist in much of the country

By Chris Farrell

Janie Morisette taught school in Hardin, Montana, for 32 years before retiring in 2019. Her longtime home, with five bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and an attached garage, was too much home for a 72-year-old. She and her daughter, who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, decided that Morisette would move to St. Paul and live in her daughter’s backyard.



Morisette calls her new home a “carriage house.” Her daughter says it’s “Janie’s coop” since they moved a chicken coop to make room. Urban planners and building inspectors call such homes “accessory dwelling units” or ADUs.


Morisette and her daughter replaced a small garage behind her house with a new building — the carriage house. The lower level of the $280,000 structure is a two-car garage. Morisette lives upstairs in a nearly 800-square-foot one-bedroom apartment; she moved into her home in April 2021 and pays her daughter rent.





Is AARP too liberal?
That's what its right-leaning rivals say

By Ken Schachter



A battle for hearts, minds and supplemental Medicare dollars is under way on computer screens and in mail boxes of senior citizens across the country..



Challengers, including one with top executives on Long Island, are leaning on their conservative political credentials to lure older Americans away from AARP.

Washington-based AARP is the market's 600-pound, silver-haired gorilla. The not-for-profit dwarfs its competitors, boasting a paid membership of almost 38 million as of February and revenue of $1.7 billion, according to its 2020 financial statement. That includes royalty revenue of $1 billion, notably $752.4 million from health products and services, for using the group's name and logo to market products.  Its biggest co-branding relationship is with health insurance provider UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Read more  >>  https://www.newsday.com/business/aarp-liberal-conservative-competitors-hche7y38







Best senior travel discounts in 2022
By Jim Miller


There are literally hundreds of different travel-related discounts available to older travelers that can add up to save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip. To qualify, you’ll need to meet the age requirement, which varies by business.

Some discounts may be available as soon as you turn 50, but most don’t kick in until you turn 55, 60, 62 or 65. Here’s a rundown of top travel discounts, along with some extra tips to help you save.

Ways to save

The first thing to know is that most businesses don’t advertise them, but many give senior discounts just for the asking, so don’t be shy.

You also need to be aware that when it comes to senior travel bargains, the “senior discount,” if available, may not always be the best deal. Hotels, resorts, airlines and cruise lines, for example, offer advanced bookings along with special deals and promotions from time to time that may be a lower rate than what the senior discount is.








As a blogger and an amateur journalist, I stand at the forefront in defense of freedom of speech. Having a platform to express myself and broadcast my thoughts at lightning speed is something those who wrote our Constitution could never have imagined. Therefore, I am also solidly committed to the concept of social media, 


A free press, the right to assemble and distribute news and information, is what this nation was established on. Our founding fathers knew this as they risked their lives, liberty and personal fortunes to protect that right. And I am sure those designers of our Constitution realized that along with freedom of speech came a certain responsibility. Something we who use and those who own and control our social media platforms have forgotten about. Allowing the dissemination of ideas so obscure, so conspiratorial and so violent as to cause injury and death to others should not be confused with one of our basic freedoms but as a stain on our souls and an affront to all we hold dearly as Americans…….








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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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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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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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REVIEWING SENIOR NEWS STORIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, MAY 7 & 8



NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, MAY 9, 2022



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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.



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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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