MARCH 30, 2023


“As much as I dislike utility companies, 
I do like having electricity!”
― Steven Magee

Rising Inflation: 
How Will Retirees Get 
Through Life

The U.S. has gone through massive crises that put a lot of households and businesses at rock bottom. It’s been over a decade since the Real Estate Bubble and the Great Recession. Yet their impact has been unforgettable. These are only two unforeseen events that sparked a surge of bankruptcies. And roughly a year before the pandemic, millions of Americans struggled to recover.

In 2020, the pandemic crisis transpired and scourged the U.S. economy. The restrictions led to limited operations across industries and overwhelming cash burns. In turn, millions of businesses had to shut down, either temporarily or permanently. It was most evident in the SME sector, with 9.4 million small businesses closing that year. Although the recession only lasted two months, the road to recovery was long and winding.

In the last two years, the economy has demonstrated a strong rebound. Thanks to easing restrictions that allowed business reopenings and increased operating capacity, unemployment was lowered, and the pent-up aggregate demand was fueled. At the end of 2021, GDP per capita reached $12,235, a 12 percent year-over-year growth. It even exceeded pre-pandemic levels with $11,300 on average.

Understanding the Risks 
of Retiring in Place for Seniors
By Claire Ward 

The term “retiring in place” can refer to two things. 

It can be a slang term for employees who do not work very hard but who work just hard enough to not be fired so that they can be eligible for retirement benefits once they reach retirement age.

In this article, we will look at the risks of the latter.

While retiring in place is not always a negative thing, and indeed, the risks will depend on the specific circumstances of the senior, it can be a risky route to take for many older people.

Researchers find that 
older adults 
suffering from depression 
age faster than their peers
by Kim Krieger

"These patients show evidence of accelerated biological aging, and poor physical and brain health," which are the main drivers of this association, says Breno Diniz, a UConn School of Medicine geriatric psychiatrist and author of the study, which appears in Nature Mental Health on March 22.

Diniz and colleagues from several other institutions looked at 426 people with late-in-life depression. They measured the levels of proteins associated with aging in each person's blood. When a cell gets old, it begins to function differently, less efficiently, than a "young" cell. It often produces proteins that promote inflammation or other unhealthy conditions, and those proteins can be measured in the blood. Diniz and the other researchers compared the levels of these proteins with measures of the participants' physical health, medical problems, brain function, and the severity of their depression.

To their surprise, the severity of a person's depression seemed unrelated to their level of accelerated aging. However, they did find that accelerated aging was associated with worse cardiovascular health overall. People with higher levels of aging-associated proteins were more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and multiple medical problems. The accelerated aging was also associated with worse performance on tests of brain health such as working memory and other cognitive skills.

What is life like 
in assisted living?
By Morgan Poole

When it comes to assisted living for seniors, many people have preconceived notions about what is looks like. Some of these outdated beliefs include losing privacy, eating distasteful food, and not having any fun activities to participate in. Ben Leavell, Executive Director of Waterford Place at Sunset Senior Communities, debunks some of these myths by discussing the amenities and rewards of assisted living.

Regarding privacy, Ben says residents have all the privacy they need in their homes, however, assisted living staff are on the campus to assist residents with individual needs. On the topic of food and dining, Ben states their food is “scratch made fresh” and the menu is created to satisfy the resident’s palettes. He also says Waterford Place’s food service director is a certified chef, and residents have two great dining rooms to enjoy their daily meals.

Lastly, regarding having a social life, Ben says the options to have fun are endless. Special amenities at Waterford Place include having access to a swimming pool, a new fitness center, woodshops, educational classes, social gatherings, events, and much more!

Riding the digital wave: 
how senior citizens can become 
tech savvy in three easy steps

In 2023, technology is advancing each day. Between work-from-home opportunities that rely heavily on virtual meeting platforms to artificial intelligence, now is not the time to fall behind– especially if you are a senior citizen. 

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2021, “96 percent of those 50 to 64 use the internet, compared with 75 percent of those 65 and older who report being internet users.” 

As more senior citizens embrace technology, advocates are calling for engineers and developers to innovate with their elders in mind. According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, senior citizens are open to technology and all of the benefits–once they have overcome the learning barriers. 

States With Expensive Utilities


MARCH 31 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 29, 2023


"I haven't reported my missing credit card to the police
because whoever stole it is spending less than my wife."
_______Ilie Nastase

Senior Climate Activists Rally 
Across US to 'Stop Dirty Banks'

"We will not go to our graves quietly knowing that the financial institutions in our own communities continue to fund the climate crisis," said longtime environmentalist Bill McKibben.


 Thousands of seniors outraged at big banks for continuing to underwrite the expansion of coal, oil, and gas projects took to the streets in cities across the United States on Tuesday to demand that financial institutions "stop funding climate chaos."

Held 24 hours after United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres—citing the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—called for an end to fossil fuel financing, the "Stop Dirty Banks" national day of action was organized by Third Act, an alliance of activists over the age of 60 co-founded by veteran campaigner Bill McKibben, and more than 50 other progressive advocacy groups.

The first elderly-led mass climate demonstration in U.S. history, which featured more than 100 rallies around the country, aimed to pressure financial institutions to stop bankrolling the planet-heating pollution that scientists have linked to worsening extreme weather.

Are marijuana and seniors 
a bad combination?

 Geriatrician Jennifer Watt opened the elderly man’s file. She was doing a follow up appointment with him after he’d come to an emergency room with delirium, a type of confusion that’s common in the elderly, and been admitted to the hospital. The notes said the issue had resolved itself, and it wasn’t clear what set it off. “There are lots of different risk factors for delirium, and he had things that would put him at risk,” she explains. But the trigger was unclear – until they started discussing his drug use.

He’d been looking for pain relief, and sought out some marijuana himself. “He began taking it, and got confused,” she says. “He was very honest with me when I asked. It was just that no one had asked before.”

Gabriella Gobbi, a professor of psychiatry at McGill University and psychiatrist at McGill University Health Centre, says she’s also seen several elderly patients with delirium caused by cannabis use. 

Alzheimer’s first signs 
may appear in your eyes

The eyes are more than a window to the soul — they’re also a reflection of a person’s cognitive health.

“The eye is the window into the brain,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Christine Greer, director of medical education at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Boca Raton, Florida. “You can see directly into the nervous system by looking into the back of the eye, toward the optic nerve and retina.”

One day doctors may be able to use eye tests to identify cognitive decline soon after it begins.

Research has been exploring how the eye may help in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms begin. The disease is well advanced by the time memory and behavior are affected.

“Alzheimer’s disease begins in the brain decades before the first symptoms of memory loss,” said Dr. Richard Isaacson, an Alzheimer’s preventive neurologist who is also at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Hospitalizations Linked 
With RSV Likely 
in Older Adults

By Julia Bonavitacola

Associated hospitalization burden could be 2.2 times higher in older adults with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) than was previously estimated, according to a recent study.

Older adults hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have a higher associated hospitalization burden than has previously been reported, according to a review published in Infectious Diseases and Therapy.

Hospitalizations could be up to 2.2 times higher than previously thought.

RSV is an acute respiratory infection (ARI) that affects older adults aged more than 65 years. Disease burden has been reported in past reports but were based on studies that had various ways of testing for RSV, which could underestimate the true burden of RSV. This review aimed to “improve the understanding of RSV-associated ARI hospitalization burden in older adults in high-income countries by adjusting for case under-ascertainment…”


Painful foot cramps recently reminded me of how important it is to stay hydrated. When I’m under-hydrating, I also see the telltale signs in my skin condition and the harsher-than-usual appearance of the fine lines under my eyes. Nothing like foot cramps and vanity to motivate me to drink more water!

So, What Does It Mean to Be Hydrated?

Hydration is the balance of fluids in the body, also known as water homeostasis.The body takes in and maintains a steady level of water in its tissues and organs, down to the level of the cell. When you use or lose more fluids than you take in, dehydration occurs.

Why is proper hydration important? Because our internal water supply serves many functions, including nourishing our cells, muscles, tissues, and skin. It lubricates our joints and helps us get rid of body waste. It also regulates our body temperature. The average percentage of water in the human body reports that we are mostly water, with an average of roughly 60%.

Did you ever hear the axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s another way of saying, “Why mess with perfection?”
There are few perfect things in this world. The colors of the sky when the sun goes down. Watermelon, and your grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. Any sane person would not want to change any of those. So who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to mess with another perfect thing, baseball?

 Baseball, an American tradition, has been around for more than two centuries. According to legend, the sport’s originator was U.S. Army officer Abner Doubleday (1819–1893), who was credited with inventing and naming the game in 1839, while he was attending school in Cooperstown, New York. And since that time, the rules have changed little. In fact, no major rule change was made until 1973 when the designated hitter rule went into effect. And then, only in the American league. That’s how much of a sacred cow the game of baseball was. Sacred, until this year that is when something called the “Major League Baseball competition committee”, voted to implement rule changes that began with  training games this month.

The reason for the changes, according to the Commissioner of Baseball and others, is to “speed up the game.” SPEED UP THE GAME? Who the f**k wants to speed up the game? The very reason people like baseball is because the game is not governed by time limits. It’s an open-ended game. There’s no clock signaling the game is about to end. The beauty of baseball is there is no clear winner until the last man comes to bat. Because of that, baseball epitomizes the American spirit and its work ethic. Even if things seem to be against you, you can still succeed if you are diligent, work hard and play by the rules.

People go to baseball games not so much to see who wins, but to enjoy the spectacle. And that spectacle includes not looking at the clock. Baseball is purposely slow. It’s as much a psychological thriller as it is one of athletic skill. The pitcher's behavior of pacing, rubbing the ball, looking in to the catcher, stepping off the mound, licking his fingertips, and scratching his crotch is designed to disrupt the batter's focus. To upset his timing. The most difficult thing in professional sports is hitting a baseball thrown by a major league pitcher. The second is to throw that ball so as not to let a major league batter hit it into the bleachers. All that will change when the new rule requiring the pitcher to throw the ball within 15 seconds will change completely the nuance of the game.

With most other team sports, it’s all “hurry, before the clock runs out.” Pass, kick, shoot, or dunk that ball (or puck) before the buzzer.

Growing up in Brooklyn, in the shadow of Ebbet's field, I attended many Dodger games. And, though I wanted the Dodgers to win, what I went for was to see my favorite players in action there, in front of me, just feet from my seat. I didn’t care how long the game took. The more time I had to spend with my heroes, the better.

I lost my taste for baseball when my beloved Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn and moved to LA. It was then I learned that baseball was not about the game or the players, but about money. Today, some 50 years later, with the rule changes, I suspect it still is……..



Credit Card Facts and Statistics

- The average number of credit cards per person in the U.S. is 3.8.

- Gen Z holds the lowest average number of credit cards at 1.7.

- Adults with an income under $100,000 who have credit cards are more likely to use them to carry balances from month to month.

- 87% of white adults, 92% of Asian adults, 72% of Black adults, and 76% of Hispanic adults have credit cards.

- The 7 largest credit card issuers generated $3.517 trillion in purchase volume in 2021, up 25.6%. They accounted for 77.1% of the industry’s $4.564-trillion total.

- Studies show that shoppers with credit cards are willing to spend more on items, check out with bigger baskets, and focus on and remember more product benefits rather than costs.

- The average credit card debt per household is $8,590.

- Credit card debt was the most widely held type of debt as of 2019.

- Debit cards remain the most frequently used form of payment, accounting for 10 of the 35 payments made, and a 28% share of payments.

MARCH 30 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 28, 2023


“My dog is worried about the economy because 
Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. 
That’s almost $21.00 in dog money.” 
— Joe Weinstein

FOR Q2 2023
By: Stacy Cline Amin, Wendy C. Chow and Rachel Park

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 requires drug companies to pay rebates to Medicare when prescription drug prices increase faster than the rate of inflation for certain drugs. This inflation rebate applies to Medicare Part B rebatable drugs, which are single-source drugs and biological products, beginning January 1, 2023. See our previous blog post discussing CMS guidance on the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program here.

Under the Rebate Program, the beneficiary coinsurance rate will be 20% of the inflation-adjusted payment amount for rebatable drugs and biologics, which will be less than what the beneficiary would pay in coinsurance otherwise. On March 15, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced 27 prescription Part B drugs which will have an adjusted coinsurance rate based on the inflation-adjusted payment amount. These adjusted coinsurance rates will apply for the time period of April 1 to June 30, 2023. You can find the list of the 27 prescription drugs here.

As information in the Average Sales Price (ASP) quarterly drug pricing files is updated, the price of Part B rebatable drugs with a coinsurance adjustment may vary over time. Starting on April 1, 2023, and for each quarter thereafter, CMS will specify whether a coinsurance adjustment applies to a Part B rebatable drug for a calendar quarter in the quarterly ASP public files on the CMS website. The ASP public files may be found here.

The Cost of Housing in America 
Has Become Untenable

A permanent cohort of people without housing has come to seem like a natural part of American life.
By Rebecca Gordon

In 1937, the American folklorist Alan Lomax invited Louisiana folksinger Huddie Ledbetter (better known as Lead Belly) to record some of his songs for the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Lead Belly and his wife, Martha, searched in vain for a place to spend a few nights nearby. But they were Black and no hotel would give them shelter, nor would any Black landlord let them in, because they were accompanied by Lomax, who was white. A white friend of Lomax’s finally agreed to put them up, although his landlord screamed abuse at him and threatened to call the police.

In response to this encounter with D.C.’s Jim Crow laws, Lead Belly wrote a song, “The Bourgeois Blues,” recounting his and Martha’s humiliation and warning Blacks to avoid the capital if they were looking for a place to live. The chorus goes,...


When you go to a hospital, you hope to leave in better health than when you arrived, but unfortunately, many of us end up getting sicker when we have a hospital stay. While this situation can confront any one of any age, our age group is at increased risk because we may have less robust immune systems that leave us more vulnerable to a variety of infections.

We also tend to visit the hospital more frequently than our younger counterparts. The longer the stay, the greater the chance something negative will happen.

I believe three hospital related illnesses or conditions pose the greatest health risks to boomers.

7 Ways To Make 
Assisted Living Facilities 
More Affordable
By Jennifer Taylor

Your golden years should be a time to relax and enjoy life. However, many seniors cannot afford assisted living facilities, which allow them to get the care they need while still enjoying their independence — and this is a problem likely to only get worse.

By 2033, more than 11 million middle-income seniors — ages 75 and up — may not be able to afford assisted living facilities, according to researchers from NORC at the University of Chicago. This same group will also not likely qualify for Medicaid to pay for their long-term care needs, placing the burden entirely on them.

As of 2021, the average cost of assisted living is $4,500 per month, according to Genworth. Considering the average monthly Social Security benefit is $1,693.88 per month — as of February 2023 — seniors would need to come up with around $2,800 per month out-of-pocket to pay this expense.

If you’re struggling to afford an assisted living facility for yourself or a loved one, you’re likely feeling pretty frustrated. The sky-high costs attached to these

Tips for Seniors Traveling 
With Mobility Issues – 
Thoughtful Pre-planning 
Will Ensure an Enjoyable Trip
By Justin Gagnon

Mobility and inclusivity are important aspects of travel, but crowded airports can pose significant challenges for those with mobility issues, especially when getting to a gate in time to board a flight. Here are some of the challenges that you may face in crowded airports, along with ways to take control of your travel experience:

Access to transportation: Getting to and from the airport can be a challenge for people with mobility issues. Solution: Many airports offer shuttle buses or other forms of transportation. These may not be accessible or may be crowded during peak travel times, so allow plenty of time to get to the airport. Newer models of power wheelchairs are foldable, lightweight, and make travel easier.

Navigating the airport: Busy airports can be difficult to navigate, especially if you have mobility issues. Long lines, crowded waiting areas, and confusing signage can make it challenging to get from one place to another. Solution: Allow extra time to navigate airports. Call ahead and reserve a push wheelchair service; while airports must provide these to passengers, be aware that a shortage of workers can cause delays in this service. Some airports have turned to innovative solutions like the WHILL Autonomous Mobility Service, which uses autonomous power chairs to transport passengers directly to their gates.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 27, 2023


“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; 
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors,
 and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles W. Eliot

Older Americans 
reject more vaccines, 
opt instead for 
‘natural healing,'
says report
By Melissa Rudy

Many adults age 40 and older are opting to skip vaccine immunizations despite their general concerns about virus infections, as revealed in research that AARP has just published.

Among all adults who had not received a flu vaccine, only 32% said they would get the vaccination even if their doctor advised them to do so.

Among those who had not gotten the pneumonia vaccine, only 49% would get it if their doctor recommended it.

For the shingles vaccine, 56% of unvaccinated older adults would get the jab on their doctor’s advice.

Here’s What Retirement 
With Less Than $1 Million 
Looks Like in America

Five retirees open up about their financial lives 
and how they spend their time and money
By Veronica Dagher and Anne Tergesen

Many Americans dream of saving $1 million for retirement. Most fall far short of that.

The typical family’s 401(k) and IRA-type accounts come to less than half that goal in the years approaching retirement age, according to the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute. Total household balances in retirement accounts for those 55 to 64 years old are $413,814 on average, according to its estimates based on 2019 data, the most recent available.

There is nothing magical about $1 million, but the less one saves, the bigger the risk that unforeseen shocks or the setbacks of life can derail your plans. Retiring on less than $1 million can bring greater anxiety about outliving your money, say retirees and financial advisers.

“For many, the expectation of retirement doesn’t match the facts of their everyday financial lives,” said Larry Raffone, chief executive of Edelman Financial Engines.

Should You Rent 
in Retirement?
By Liz Weston

Some people rent in retirement because they don’t have much choice; they can’t afford to own homes. But financial planners say renting can make more sense than owning in some circumstances, even for retirees who can afford the costs of homeownership.

Renting offers flexibility as well as freedom from all the chores and expenses of maintaining a home. Renting also may provide built-in communities for socializing, as well as accessible housing features such as one-floor living, which can help people age in place. People who are “house rich and cash poor” can sell their homes and use the equity to fund a more comfortable lifestyle.

“While retirees often don’t want to rent, it can be a smarter decision for a number of reasons,” says certified financial planner Lisa A.K. Kirchenbauer of Arlington, Virginia.

Protect Your Elderly Parents 
From Medicaid’s ‘Five-Year 
Look-Back’ Rule
By Stephen Johnson

If your parents are “active seniors” spending their golden years taking helmet-less bike rides together like the smiling silver foxes in the above stock image, you’re probably not concerned with how they’ll pay for a nursing home—that’s years away. But making a plan early can protect their money, and that money could eventually be your money if your parents like you enough.

A single private room in a nursing home in the U.S. costs an average of $297 per day, or $9,034 per month. That eye-popping figure is out of reach for most, but it can be offset by Medicaid, which will generally pay 100% of nursing home costs for eligible people. But there’s a catch. The government generally expects people to give almost their entire income back to Medicaid, as well as spend their saved assets before the benefits kick in. In other words, in order to take full advantage of the program, you generally can’t have very much money. So if your parents built up a lifetime of capital, it could all go to a nursing home soon after Mom breaks her hip in a bike crash or dad comes down with dementia.

11 Indoor Plants 
That Are Hard to Kill​

Expert advice to help you get in on this ‘green’ trend

By Susan Moeller

Jeanloz, 68, and her husband have almost two dozen indoor plants in their home in Chatham, Massachusetts, as well as a dozen or so in their antique shop.

“They have a lot of history and personality to them,” Jeanloz says of her plants, which include a 7-foot ficus tree. “The ones that are given to us have memories of the person who’s given it to us. … I’m proud to say that we have a couple of plants we’ve had for more than 40 years.”

Although Jeanloz has been growing plants indoors for years, she’s part of a hot trend. Even before COVID-19, houseplant sales had climbed 50 percent in the three years leading up to 2019, according to the National Gardening Association. Then came the pandemic, with its focus on home life, and suddenly it seemed that plant advice and hacks were all over Instagram, TikTok and other sites.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE

Let me begin by saying I am not one of those septuagenarian technophobes who thinks any electronic device without vacuum tubes is useless. On the contrary. I embrace anything that makes my life simpler, has value, and is within my price range. I was an early PC user and cell phone subscriber. And I can’t wait to download new versions of software (or apps as they call it now). But even I have to admit that with all its convenience, futuristic design and portability, buying, subscribing, paying for and making a phone call has become more complicated. Let’s compare.

The Phone Company

 Until 1984, there was only one telephone company. AT&T (or Ma Bell as it was affectionately called) was a true monopoly. If you wanted phone service, there was only one place to go. AT&T owned all the phone lines throughout the nation, as well as the cable that ran under the ocean to Europe and beyond. If you wanted a telephone installed in your home or office all you had to do is call or visit your local telephone company office, give them a small deposit and, in a day or two, a nice telephone installer would come to your place and do all the connectivity work needed to get you started. You would also be issued a phone number. If you were lucky, it was a number you could easily remember. My phone number, growing up in Brooklyn, was UL-6-1008. That was over 70 years ago and I still remember it. Nowadays, it is easy to get a phone, but hooking it up to service needs some considerations.
What company should I deal with? Which has the best deal? How many free calls do I get? What about data usage? Texts? These are problems we never had to deal with. Sometimes choice is good. Sometimes, not so much. Breaking up AT&T was supposed to bring in competition and thus, lower prices. In reality, it did just the opposite. Higher monthly costs and poorer service.

Making a call.

 Because the phone company had few options, making a call was easy. Grab the receiver, wait for the dial tone and press the number you had memorized or one that you have put in alphabetical order in the phone book next to the phone. No “unlocking” your phone with a special PIN number. No contact list. No area codes. Just one 6 digit number. If the person you called wasn’t there, you called back later. If they were on the phone with someone else, you got a “busy signal” and, you called back later. No voice mail or answering machines. If you missed a call, you knew they would call back.
Also, if you weren’t home (or some place that had a public phone) you were out of touch. You were not always available, always in contactable. You could take the receiver “off the hook” and the person on the other end would know you did not want to be disturbed. Today, you almost feel obligated to answer the phone when it rings, or beeps, or plays Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.


I received my phone bill the other day, and was I surprised. My usual charge of about $29 had jumped to a whopping $212. An extra amount of money was due because I had exceeded my free data usage. I called customer service. I told them to look at my history. I never could have used so much data ever. They told me they would get back to me. After three days, they offered to decrease my bill by one-third. That would 
lower the cost to approximately $150. Still too much. I told them I would not pay one cent of any data usage charge, and if they didn’t correct my entire bill, I would go elsewhere. I'm still waiting to hear from them. Back in the 1950s and 60s, the average price for a phone call from a private residence was 15 to 20 cents for a person to person call. And that was per call, not per minute. The more calls you made, the more your phone bill would be. No surprise extra charges.

Do I want to go back to the “good old days?” No. I enjoy having all the computing power I need right in my hands. And, as an older person who can’t get around like I used to, having a way to call for help is comforting. I just wish today’s service providers would simplify things more. Like having all providers offer a basic service for the same price. And, while they are at it, how about bringing back those nice telephone operators too?…………


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 24, 2023


I went to a homeopath once,
 but she just told me that I was allergic to everything that I liked. 
____Richard Herring

Being ‘socially frail’ 
comes with health risks 
for older adults
By Judith Graham

Consider three hypothetical women in their mid-70s, all living alone in identical economic circumstances with the same array of ailments: diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure.

Ms. Green stays home most of the time and sometimes goes a week without seeing people. But she’s in frequent touch by phone with friends and relatives, and she takes a virtual class with a discussion group from a nearby college.

Ms. Smith also stays home but rarely talks to anyone. She has lost contact with friends, stopped going to church and spends most of her time watching TV.

Ms. Johnson has a wide circle of friends and a busy schedule. She walks with neighbors regularly, volunteers at a local school twice a week, goes to church and is in close touch with her children, who don’t live nearby.

FDA Considers Authorizing 
Another Round of Updated 
COVID-19 Booster Shots 
for Some

The agency is reportedly considering authorization of another shot for older Americans and others at high risk for severe COVID-19 within a matter of weeks.

By Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder

The Food and Drug Administration is reportedly preparing a decision on whether another round of updated COVID-19 booster shots should be authorized for certain populations.

People familiar with the agency’s discussions told The Wall Street Journal that the decision, which would apply to the elderly and other Americans at high risk for severe COVID-19, could come within a few weeks.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA is considering authorizing a second omicron-specific booster shot for people aged 65 and older or who have weakened immune systems. One source said that the decision is not yet final, noting that officials could change their minds.

An FDA spokesperson said in a statement to U.S. News that “we hope that simplifying the COVID-19 vaccine regimen in the not too distant future will lead to the vaccination of more individuals in the coming years as we learn to live alongside SARS-CoV-2 – potentially reducing serious outcomes, including hospitalization and death,” referring to the virus that causes COVID-19 by its scientific name.

U.S. plans major revamp 
of troubled 
organ transplant system

Seventeen people die every day 
waiting for organ transplants in the U.S.

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

The federal government Wednesday outlined a plan to revamp the nation's organ transplant system, which has been plagued by problems, including damaged or discarded organs and long wait times.

Around 104,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for an organ transplant, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Seventeen people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.

The current system, experts say, is ineffective and usually benefits affluent white people who have the means to travel where organs are available.

"There are multiple problems that need to be addressed," said Dr. Stuart Knechtle, a general surgeon at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. “It’s clear that different groups of people by race and also by geographic location are served differently."

Survey Reveals 
Older Adults Eager to 
Get Ahead of Alzheimer's 
and Other Dementias; 
Industry Lags

Linus Health, a digital health company focused on transforming brain health, today announced findings from a new survey of 1,000 older adults in the US about their perspectives on Alzheimer's and other dementias. The survey explored their understanding of dementia and modifiable risk factors; preferences around diagnosis and testing; real-life healthcare experiences in primary care; and likely actions as new treatments become available. The results, published in the Patient Voices on Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Report, show that older adults overwhelmingly want to take more control of their cognitive health, but face gaps in awareness, coaching, and cognitive testing – underscoring the need for more proactive cognitive care and new ways to empower primary care providers (PCPs) to deliver it. Survey insights indicate that this need will only grow as new treatments, such as Leqembi™ – recently granted accelerated FDA approval for early-stage Alzheimer’s – come to market.

Already affecting more than six million people in the US alone, the findings show that Alzheimer’s and other dementias represent the top health concern for adults as they age – ranking higher than cancer or heart disease. A full 92% of respondents would prefer to learn of Alzheimer’s early, even before symptoms appear, with the most common reasons being the desire to plan ahead for long-term healthcare needs, begin treatment with available pharmaceuticals, and make lifestyle changes to protect brain health (all with 70% or higher responses among those preferring early diagnosis). Respondents also expressed interest in taking more control of their cognitive health more generally, with 95% indicating they would make lifestyle changes if they knew they were proven to help prevent or delay dementia risk.

The Best Side Hustles 
For Seniors In 2023
By Chris Carosa

Looking for something to do that brings in extra money? You’re not alone, no matter what your age. But when you’re retired, finding a side hustle can be both a challenge and easier than ever.

How many senior citizens have side hustles?

Every month, “nearly 300,000” people start some sort of side hustle. That’s based on an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data according to Side Hustle Nation. That same study suggests those side hustlers include one in twelve of those between the ages of 55 and 64 as well as one in twenty-five aged 65 and over.

It’s not unusual for retirees to take on some sort of side gig to earn extra income. The reasons range from a need to combat inflation to a quest to find something exciting to a curious enthusiasm to extend your hobby beyond mere recreation.

Someone sent me a message today via Facebook asking “What are you doing today?”

It was a simple question requiring a simple answer. “Blog, lunch, nap, dinner, Netflix, sleep.” I replied.

After I sent that reply, I immediately thought about the old Peggy Lee song “Is that all there is?” The song is a lament questioning the meaning of life and how empty it has become for many of us. The song also made me think about my own life now and how so very boring it has become.

Blog, lunch, nap, dinner, etc. is what I do most everyday now. There is the occasional doctor visit, committee meeting or call to the customer service department of my phone company complaining about the $200 bill I got this month, but mostly, it’s all the same every day. And it bothers me.

It’s not so much that I miss being active (I never was one for constantly having to have something to do all the time). However, I enjoyed exploring new places, meeting new people, sampling new foods or just hanging out with friends. And, even if I didn’t feel like doing anything, I had a choice. Nowadays, my decisions for the day aren't based on what I prefer, but on what I'm capable of. And, unfortunately, it’s not very much.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m thankful for being alive and still having all of my mental faculties intact. But sometimes the routine-no-surprises existence becomes too much and I long for a little excitement. But I live in such a safe, protected cocoon where nothing is supposed to just “happen.” If it’s not on the calendar, we don’t do it.” Spontaneity is neither encouraged nor welcome here.
Everyone's life is unique and complex, with each individual having different experiences. Some people may find meaning and purpose in their careers, relationships, hobbies, or personal beliefs, while others may struggle to find fulfillment. Ultimately, the meaning and purpose of life are subjective and may vary from individual to individual. It’s up to each person to determine what brings them the most satisfaction and fulfillment in their own life.
 BTW. In case you forgot, Peggy’s song ends on a high note (sort of)…

"I know what you must be saying to yourselves

If that's the way she feels about it why doesn't she just end it all?

Oh, no, not me, I'm not ready for that final disappointment

Because I know just as well as I'm standing here talking to you

That when that final moment comes and I'm
Breathing my last breath, I'll be saying to myself...

...If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is."


These are worst cities to live in 
if you have seasonal allergies

See more: 


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 23, 2023


“Never trust a person that tries to sell you by how righteous they are.
 I'm telling your right now, it's a scam.”
― Richie Norton

Deadly fungal infection 
spreading at an alarming rate, 
CDC says
By Linda Carroll

A drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus has been spreading rapidly through U.S. health care facilities, a new government study finds.

The fungus, a type of yeast called Candida auris, or C. auris, can cause severe illness in people with weakened immune systems. The number of people diagnosed with infections — as well as the number of those who were found through screening to be carrying C. auris — has been rising at an alarming rate since it was first reported in the U.S., researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

The increases, “especially in the most recent years, are really concerning to us,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Meghan Lyman, chief medical officer in the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, said in an interview. “We’ve seen increases not just in areas of ongoing transmission, but also in new areas.”

Are you a rapid ager? 
Biological age is a better health indicator 
than the number of years you've lived, 
but it's tricky to measure
By Aditi Gurkar

Do you ever wake up some days and think, “When I was younger, I could survive on just four hours of sleep, but now it seems like I need 10”? Or have you ever walked out of the gym and “felt” your knees?

Almost everyone experiences these kinds of signs of aging. But there are some people who seem to defy their age. The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg stayed on the bench until her death at age 87. The “Great British Bake Off” judge Mary Berry, now in her 80s, continues to inspire people all over the world to bake and enjoy life. And actor Paul Rudd was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2021 at age 52 while still looking like he’s in his 30s. Is age just a number then?

Researchers have focused a lot of attention on understanding the causes and risk factors of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, osteoporosis and cancer. But many ignore the major risk factor for all of these diseases: aging itself. More than any individual risk factor such as smoking or lack of exercise, the number of years you’ve lived predicts onset of disease. Indeed, aging increases the risk of multiple chronic diseases by up to a thousandfold.

6 Reasons You Need 
a Second Opinion, 
Doctors Say

When making any major decisions about your health, experts say it can't hurt to get a second opinion. In fact, a 2021 Mayo Clinic study found that doing so cuts the risk of misdiagnosis in half. And an earlier study by the Mayo Clinic found that one in five patients receive a different diagnosis from their second doctor—highlighting how variable and subjective diagnoses can be. Doctors are human beings, after all, meaning they can occasionally make mistakes, and their opinions can be swayed by unconscious biases.

Karla Robinson, MD, Medical Editor at GoodRx, tells Best Life that she often recommends seeking out a second opinion, even if it's just for peace of mind. However, Joshua Carothers, MD, Chief Medical Officer at VIP StarNetwork, says you should skip getting a second opinion when doing so will delay your treatment and worsen your condition. Ben Paxton, MD, a board-certified radiologist at Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott, also notes that getting a second opinion can sometimes be costly, particularly if you need to see multiple specialists or undergo additional X-rays and lab tests.

With all that in mind, read on for six scenarios in which doctors strongly advise seeing another doctor about your diagnosis.

Their Bodies Age, 
But Seniors Have Higher 
Emotional Well-Being – 
Here’s Why

Bodies lose their vigor with the passing of the years, but in the emotional realm, older people seem to rule supreme.

For the past 20 years, Susan Turk Charles, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, has been monitoring the shifting moods, the sense of satisfaction, and the outbursts of anger and sadness in people of all ages—with a special interest in how we handle and experience emotions as we grow older.

She fell in love with the idea of studying a process related to aging that is not defined by a decline. Unlike physical fitness or cognition, where you may see slowing or declines, emotional regulation and experience are often as good, if not better, as we age.

What is the secret behind this grizzled levelheadedness? How can we make sure that as many people as possible can benefit from it? And what can it teach the young? In 2010, Charles and Stanford psychologist Laura Carstensen coauthored an article on social and emotional aging in the Annual Review of Psychology. They have found that, on average, older people have more satisfying social contacts and report higher emotional well-being.

Scientists used menin 
to reverse aging in mice: 
Can they do it in humans?

A new study in mice proposes for the first time a novel factor that drives aging processes.

The authors of the study report that a reduction in the protein menin in the brain’s hypothalamus results in neuroinflammation that may cause characteristics of aging.

The study suggests that supplements of menin and the amino acid D-serine may be able one day to reverse aspects of aging in humans.

A study led by Dr. Lige Leng of Xiamen University in China has identified a previously unknown trigger of aging in mice, and potentially humans. It involves the age-related reduction of a protein called meninTrusted Source in the brain’s hypothalamus.

Scam Statistics and Facts

- In the US, one in ten adults will fall victim to a scam or fraud every year.

- 1.3 million children have their identities stolen every year. 

- You are more likely to become a victim of identity fraud by having your wallet snatched than you are via online fraud. 

- When it comes to victims of doorstep fraud, 85% are over 65.

- In 2018 internet-enabled theft, fraud, and exploitation were responsible for a  massive $2.7 billion in financial losses.

- In 2019 phishing attempts grew by 65%.

- 1 in 10 profiles on free dating sites is a scam.

- In 2018 82% of organizations were victims of payment fraud.

MARCH 24 , 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper




“Happiness is not something ready made. 
It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

Study Shows Retirees 
Underestimate Social Security 
by Nearly $2,000 — 
How To Resolve This Issue
By Vance Cariaga

Social Security is a major source of retirement income for many American seniors, meaning they have a vested interest in knowing what they can expect when they file for benefits. But a large number of people who are nearing retirement age don’t know what they’ll get when they start claiming Social Security.

With a Recession Looming: Make These 3 Retirement Moves To Stay On Track

Although most older adults have accurate expectations about their claiming age, they underestimate their annual Social Security income by an average of about $1,896, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). That’s 11.5% lower than the actual benefit due.

In many cases the gap is much wider than that. About one-quarter of older Americans underestimate their annual benefit by $5,167 or more, the study found, while 10% overestimate it by $5,319 or more.

Some seniors could start 
paying less for certain drugs 
whose prices rose faster 
than inflation
By Tami Luhby &  Donald Judd

Starting next month, some Medicare beneficiaries will pay less out of pocket for 27 prescription drugs whose prices rose faster than inflation late last year, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

The announcement came as President Joe Biden once again highlighted his efforts to lower Americans’ everyday costs amid higher-than-desired inflation.

In remarks delivered in Las Vegas, Biden touted the steps his administration has taken to reduce health care costs for seniors, while calling for several of the measures to be extended to all Americans and criticizing Republicans for attempting to stymy his legislative agenda.

Here's why retirement age matters
for Social Security and Medicare
By Tami Luhby, CNN

62, 65, 67, 70.

All these ages are important when it comes to Social Security and Medicare.

And these ages are also targets in the contentious debate over how to shore up the shaky finances of the massive entitlement programs.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley recently zeroed in on raising the retirement age for Americans in their 20s as a way to reform Social Security, saying it should match their life expectancy. The controversial position was echoed by GOP Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina on CNN's "State of the Union" last Sunday. Neither said what the new retirement age should be.

Yoga may reduce frailty, 
improve endurance in 
older adults, 
researchers say
By Kelsey Ables

Yoga has long been associated with a host of health benefits — and it may even boost physical capabilities associated with longevity, new research suggests.

A systematic review by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week found that yoga improves health indicators linked to reduced frailty and increased longevity in older adults. Looking at 33 randomized controlled trials across 12 countries involving more than 2,000 participants, researchers determined with “moderate certainty” that doing yoga improved certain frailty markers including walking speed, lower extremity strength and endurance.

Julia Loewenthal, a geriatrician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who was involved in the research, said this was significant because many frailty markers are “connected with clinically meaningful outcomes like living independently and mortality.” She said she hopes older adults will be “encouraged by this research and empowered to adopt a regimen that works for them.”


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec and Prevacid, are among the most widely used drugs in the US. They are frequently used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is marked by chronic acid reflux (also called “heartburn”).

PPIs decrease acid secretion in the stomach, and they do so quite well… perhaps, even too well! If you or someone you know is taking PPIs, there are a few things you need to know.

Here’s What You Didn’t Know About Acid Reflux & GERD

GERD occurs when the esophagus is chronically exposed to acid from the stomach. Many people assume that this reflux is a result of excess stomach acid, so they take acid blocking PPIs for their symptoms. However, excess stomach acid is not necessarily the culprit for acid reflux! Believe it or not, it turns out that acid reflux is often a result of LOW stomach acid. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s not!

Most likely you are in the kitchen mom (If they have kitchens up there) so you may not be listening. But here is something I need to do.

Dear Mom,

I wanted to take a moment to apologize for any times when I may have spoken or acted insensitively towards you, without fully understanding how you felt. As a younger person, I did not always have the same life experiences as you, and I know that can make it difficult for me to fully comprehend the challenges that you face.

Your son.

Actually, I need to express my deep regrets to all older people who, as a young person, I scoffed at, found fault with, and may have even mocked. Not knowing the details doesn't make up for my behavior. However, I am aware now, and I would like to apologize.

There is nothing like experiencing life first hand to put things into perspective.
No one can know what it’s like to be a cop until they come face to face with a gun-wielding desperate criminal. Or what a firefighter feels when running into a burning building. And certainly, no person can ever know what living with the debilitating effects of old age is like until they, themselves, are old and have to deal with the complexities of life which, at one time, were so simple, and now have become major challenges.

For the first time in my life, my body is making me conscious of how old I am.  

Simply walking down the hall to the dining room is becoming more and more of a struggle. I experience soreness in my feet, back and hips that causes a lot of discomfort, and the only way I can get rid of it is by taking Tylenol. Even then, the relief is only temporary. Fortunately, I can tolerate a great deal of pain and remain active and aware. For how long, I don’t know. There will come a time when all the pain relievers in the world won’t help. Something, I fear, is not too far in the future. I’ll have to deal with that when it happens.
Until now, I didn’t realize as people age, they may experience physical changes such as decreased mobility, decreased sensory acuity, and chronic health conditions. They may also experience cognitive changes, such as slower thinking and memory loss.
In addition to physical and cognitive changes, aging can also result in a change in priorities and outlook. Many older people report feeling wiser, more patient, and more accepting of life’s ups and downs. They may also value relationships and social connections more highly than material possessions or career success.
So, my old friends, relatives and people I never met, forgive me. I just didn’t know. And worse, I didn’t want to know. I was too wrapped-up in my own life to worry about a cranky, demanding old person. I didn’t understand what you were up against every day. Sadly, it took me more than a half-century to comprehend this………


For the sixth year in a row, Finland clinched the title of the world’s happiest country, according to the annual World Happiness Report. Despite spending half the year in darkness, Nordic countries made up the top three, with Denmark in second place and Iceland in third. But even those of us who don’t live in a country where saunas are commonplace (the US came in as the No. 15 happy place) have found things to smile about: The report found that global averages for happiness didn’t drop during the pandemic.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


 MARCH 21, 2023


“It is spring again. 
The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Republicans seek 
to flip the script on 
Social Security

Republicans are seeking to flip the script on Social Security as they dial up the pressure on President Biden.

Democrats for months have been on offense on Social Security, accusing Republicans repeatedly and publicly of wanting to make cuts to the entitlement program. But now some in the GOP are hitting back and trying to put the onus back on Biden to address the insolvency threat facing the program.

The dynamic was on full display in a pair of hearings this week that saw Republicans criticize White House officials and key in on the absence of a plan to shore up Social Security in the 2024 budget proposal the president released last week.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) was among other Republicans to broach the issue in a charged line of questioning against Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a Finance Committee hearing Thursday.

Senior care is 
crushingly expensive. 
Boomers aren’t ready.
By Christopher Rowland

Beth Roper had already sold her husband Doug’s boat and his pickup truck. Her daughter sends $500 a month or more. But it was nowhere near enough to pay the $5,950-a-month bill at Doug’s assisted-living facility. So last year, Roper, 65, abandoned her own plans to retire.

To the public school librarian from Poquoson, Va., it feels like a betrayal of a social contract. Doug Roper, a longtime high school history teacher and wrestling coach, has a pension and Social Security. The Ropers own a home; they have savings. Yet the expense of Doug’s residential Alzheimer’s care poses a grave threat to their middle-class nest egg. At nearly $72,000, a year in assisted living for Doug, 67, costs more than her $64,000 annual salary.

“It’s devastating,” she said. “You can’t wrap your head around it.”

“Do you remember when I was little, Daddy?” Kathryn Roper asks her father, Doug Roper, as she points to a 20-year-old family photo being held by her mother, Beth Roper, during a visit this month at a memory care facility. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

6 Warning Signs 
Your Senior Is 
Being Neglected I
n A Nursing Home
By Sarah Carlisle  

Nursing homes are places where seniors should feel safe and cared for the duration of their lives. However, mistreatment is still fairly common in these types of institutions. Neglect and abuse are actual occurrences, and you must be aware of them. Otherwise, you could bring your loved one to an abusive nursing home. 

The silver lining of these unfortunate instances is that the warning signs are quite visible as long as you’re observant. They may also be initially tricky to spot unless you know your senior loved one well. So, if you’re concerned about your relative’s well-being in a nursing home, familiarize yourself with the signs below. You may be able to provide immediate help if you do so.

Unexplained And Untreated Injuries

Bodies of the elderly are more sensitive to changes and are more prone to minor injuries. So, when they receive a small nick or bruise, it’s generally no cause for concern. The problem arises if these injuries manifest suddenly or never fully heal after days. It could be a sign of neglect. 

Sufficient sleep 
could improve 
the body's response 
to vaccination

How strongly a vaccine protects you may depend on getting enough sleep in the days before and after inoculation, finds a new meta-analysis examining the relationship between sleep duration and the body's response to vaccination.

Sleeping fewer than six hours per night around the time of vaccination was associated with a robust decrease in antibody response, according to the multi-institution study published March 13 in Current Biology. Adults are typically recommended to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.

The meta-analysis included data on the association between sleep duration and antibody responses for the influenza and hepatitis vaccines. While comparable data on COVID-19 vaccination were not available, researchers said their study highlighted the need to identify simple behavioral interventions, such as sufficient sleep, that could improve the response to COVID-19 vaccination amid the ongoing pandemic.

The Social Security solution 
hiding in plain sight
By Nathan Place 

When he pays his federal taxes for 2022, Elon Musk will owe exactly $9,114 for Social Security. So will Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and anyone else who made more than $147,000 last year.

That low bill is due to the cap on Social Security taxation. Under current law, every U.S. employee contributes 6.2% of their paycheck to pay for the old-age insurance program, and their employer chips in another 6.2%. But there's a limit on how much of each wage is subject to this taxation. In 2022, the cap was $147,000. This year it's $160,200.

In effect, what that means is that a podiatrist or software engineer earning $160,200 this year will pay the same Social Security tax as a multibillionaire. Some experts say there are good reasons to keep this rule in place. But others would like to see Congress remove it — or, as some put it, "scrap the cap."

"If I had the opportunity to move parts around for how you would make the program solvent, my first choice would be getting rid of this cap," said Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League, a Virginia-based advocacy group for American seniors. "I feel very much that it is a very regressive aspect of our tax code."

You can read this article for free, without subscribing, by saving to ""


On this, the first full day of Spring 2023, here are some interesting Spring facts

Spring fever is a real syndrome. When the temperature rises during the warm spell after a long winter, there is a dilation of the blood vessels so blood can be carried to the body surface where heat can be lost quickly. People experience an energetic feeling when this happens.

The first day of spring is called the vernal equinox. What does that stand for you ask? ‘Vernal’ is Latin for spring while ‘equinox’ is Latin for ‘equal night’.

The first spring flowers are typically daffodils, dandelions, lilies, tulips, iris and lilacs to name a few.

Baby birds learn to sing during spring. Although they are born with the ability to sing, they must learn the specific songs of their species. They often learn their songs within two months of being born.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 20, 2023


“These so-called bleak times are necessary to go through 
in order to get to a much, much better place.”
― David Lynch

As hearing health moves 
onto digital platforms,
experts emphasize that 
hearing aids won't be
By Annie Burky

Digital health innovators are looking to provide more options for auditory care outside of the tradition care path of in-school tests and hearing aids. But as new audio tools abound, audiologists are defending old tools, saying nothing will replace hearing aids.

Tuned is a digital hearing health company helping patients access “holistic audio care.” The platform, available as an employer sponsored benefit, connects patients with audiologists to help them access forms of audio care, old and new. Tuned recently completed a $3.5 million funding round led by Distributed Ventures that will be used to further stake the company’s claim in the future of audio  health.

“The misconception about hearing is that it's as if we're destined to have severe hearing loss, that everybody needs to have hearing aids.

Key Alzheimer’s risk factors 
affect men more than women, 
study shows
By Ramona Czakert Franson

Scientists at the University of Alberta have discovered that important risk factors in Alzheimer’s disease affect males and females very differently.

“Two types of risk for Alzheimer’s disease work differently for males and females, and dramatically so,” said neuroscience master's student Mackenzie Heal, lead author on the recent research.

Researchers analyzed data from 623 older adults over 44 years of their lives, from ages 53 to 97.

The researchers looked at two known Alzheimer’s risk factors — a gene called bridging integrator 1 (BIN1), and vascular health, measured by pulse pressure. They then compared a known early symptom, episodic memory decline, in males and females. Episodic memory refers to our recollection of everyday events like what we ate for breakfast the previous day.

Fewer older Americans 
report feeling lonely
By Cara Murez

On the third anniversary of the pandemic, a new poll shows fewer older adults are experiencing loneliness and isolation though the numbers are still high.

About one-third of adults aged 50 to 80 still sometimes or often experience isolation and loneliness, according to the University of Michigan researchers. They may go a week or longer without social contact from someone outside the home.

Still, that's fewer than the half of older adults who reported this in June 2020.

"Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we see reason for hope, but also a real cause for concern," said Dr. Preeti Malani, senior advisor and former director of the University of Michigan (U-M) National Poll on Healthy Aging. "If anything, the pandemic has shown us just how important social interaction is for overall mental and physical health, and how much more attention we need to pay to this from a clinical, policy and personal perspective."

High concentration of dually 
eligible older adults
in assisted living warrants study of 
care quality, researchers say
By Kimberly Bonvissuto

Older adults who are dually eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid programs are highly concentrated in assisted living communities, according to a research letter published in JAMA Health Forum.

The finding could represent “a disadvantage because Medicaid reimbursement rates are generally lower than private pay rates,” concluded the authors, from Brown University and Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center in Rhode Island. “Future research is warranted to evaluate assisted living care quality by the distribution of dually eligible adults.”

Almost one in five assisted living residents, the authors noted, relies on Medicaid to pay for personal care and supportive services. High concentrations of residents dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid in nursing homes are associated with lower staffing levels and more state-identified deficiencies, they said.

5 Surprising Foods 
That Can Spike 
Blood Sugar
By Kimberly Goad

Sugar is sneaky. Just when you think you’ve got its whereabouts figured out, you begin taking a closer look at nutrition labels, only to discover the sweet stuff is hiding out in any number of foods and beverages not on the cookie, candy and soda aisles.

The unsavory truth: Sugar is used by all kinds of food manufacturers to enhance flavor and texture.

In a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, researchers conducted a survey of 1.2 million packaged foods and drinks purchased in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013 and found that a whopping 68 percent of them included added sweeteners. Some of them were the obvious culprits — soda, for instance — but many were not.

That, of course, makes it tricky for anyone watching their sugar consumption, in particular the 37 million people in the U.S. with diabetes (or 1 in 10) and the 96 million more with prediabetes who need to keep an eye on all carbohydrate consumption. 

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE

Before the sun sets Tuesday evening (3/21/23) Donald J. Trump, the 45th, almost 46th and wannabe 47th President of the United States will have been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney on charges related to his financial dealings and the payment of hush money to Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star also known as Stormy Daniels. This will be the first time in American history a former president has been arrested for committing a crime. According to sources, he will voluntarily surrender accompanied by his lawyers. He will be booked, fingerprinted, and a mugshot taken. Most likely he will be released on his own recognizance. That’s all very nice. But it’s what happens next that has law enforcement worried. The reason, he has asked his followers to demonstrate (i.e. riot) against the indictment. The same group of wrongdoers urged by him to storm to the Capitol on the 6th of January last year, a clear indication of the psychopath he is.

Is this a witch hunt?

Is this part of a continuing “witch hunt?’’ Absolutely. Not a witch hunt in the traditional sense (as far as we know). But certainly one in so far as a threat to the community goes. The witch hunters of the late 17th century [1] just wanted peace and order in their newly formed community free of the undue influence of disruptors. A disruptor is defined as, an agitator. A person who stirs up others for a cause. An anarchist. A demagogue. Is there doubt in anyone’s mind that Trump fits the bill on all accounts?

It's worth noting that the term "witch hunt" has been used by politicians and others to discredit investigations into their actions. However, the use of the term doesn't necessarily reflect the validity or impartiality of the investigation. Ultimately, the legitimacy of any indictment or legal action taken against former President Trump will depend on the evidence and the decision of the court.

Even before Trump was elected president, folks have been questioning the legality of many of his dealings. After his election, the probes continued in full force, starting with his refusal to show his tax returns and leading to his eventual impeachment and the discovery of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. And now, his probable indictment in New York. In true Trumpian fashion, he has always answered his detractors with his favorite mantra. “This is just another witch hunt.” And that may be the most truthful thing he has ever said.
Sadly, for the citizens of N.Y, and the people of the U.S., Trump will not spend a minute in jail. He will continue to run his campaign and brag about how we need to “Take back America.” And appeal after appeal will keep any fines from being paid for years to come. And worse, it will keep the name “Trump” in play even longer. He is the stain that won’t wash out. The only thing good that will come out of this is seeing that mugshot plastered over the front page of every newspaper and as the lead story on every newscast…......…

 [1]The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between early 1692 and mid-1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the devil’s magic—and 20 were executed. In 1711, colonial authorities pardoned some of the accused and compensated their families. But it was only in July 2022 that Elizabeth Johnson Jr., the last convicted Salem “witch” whose name had yet to be cleared, was officially exonerated.

In U.S., 47% Do Not Expect Return
to Pre-Pandemic Normalcy

Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., relatively few Americans, 33%, say their lives are completely back to normal, and those who say their lives have not yet completely returned to normal are largely pessimistic about it ever happening. Nearly half of U.S. adults, 47%, think pre-pandemic normalcy is not attainable for them, but 20% think their lives will eventually get back to normal.

These expectations have improved slightly since last summer, but they are essentially unchanged from Gallup’s previous reading in October.

The findings are from a Feb. 21-28 update to Gallup's probability-based COVID-19 web panel poll.

As with many attitudes related to the pandemic, Americans’ views diverge sharply and most significantly by partisanship. Just as Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to perceive the pandemic is over, they are also more likely to say their own lives are completely back to normal.

Half of Republicans say their lives are back to normal, and 18% say that their lives are not yet normal but will be eventually. That leaves 33% of Republicans who say their lives never will be back to normal. In contrast, 53% of Democrats believe their lives will never return to normal. Independents’ expectations are closer to Democrats’.

TUESDAY, MARCH 21 , 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 17, 2023

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, 
you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
― Mark Twain

Social Security cost-of-living 
adjustment could be 
3% — or lower — next year

Seniors and millions of others on Social Security get an annual cost-of-living adjustment (or COLA) that's geared toward aligning their monthly checks with inflation. Next year, that COLA could be 3% — or even lower — based on recent inflationary trends, according to an early estimate from the Senior Citizens League. 

The estimate is based on the 12-month average rate for the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), a basket of goods and services typically bought by workers, according to Mary Johnson, the Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League. 

That 12-month average has been declining, even when inflation increased month-to-month as it did in January, she noted. Although inflation trends could change, price increases are now easing despite remaining well above the Federal Reserve's target of 2% annually. 

What raising the retirement age 
to 70 would mean for older 
Americans and Social Security
By Matthew Zeitlin and Anna Deen

Democratic and Republican congressional leaders have said that Social Security and Medicare will not be part of any fight over the debt ceiling, but a bipartisan group of senators and some conservative Republicans have toyed with changes to Social Security that could limit benefits.

The bipartisan group of senators has reportedly discussed a plan that could increase the full retirement age to 70. Other options for shoring up the program’s finances have been changing the formula for benefits that are paid out to retirees or increasing Social Security taxes, which are currently capped at applying to the first $160,200 of wage income.

This would not be the first time the retirement age for Social Security was increased in order to make the program’s finances pencil out. Life expectancy has risen since the system was established in the 1930s with a retirement age of 65. Reforms in the early 1980s started the process of slowly raising the retirement age to 67, as the life expectancy for those who reached 65 had risen a few years since the 1930s.

Homeowners insurance 
for senior citizens
By Mandy Sleight

Once you have wrapped up your working life and have your retirement future to look forward to, evaluating your homeowners insurance might not be at the forefront of your goals. While you’ll likely be looking forward to well-deserved time with friends and family, maintaining the right homeowners insurance could be an important part of your ongoing financial success, especially during your retirement years. Bankrate’s team of insurance experts put together relevant considerations and insight to ensure retired homeowners are making educated decisions about their homeowners insurance and policy needs.

Homeowners insurance policy considerations for seniors
Home insurance coverage for senior citizens is not much different from coverage for other age groups. But some seniors may have modifications done to their home that require additional coverage, like having a stairlift or wheelchair ramp. These home modifications should be discussed with your insurance agent to determine if you need to increase dwelling or other structure coverage.

Seniors may also want to consider higher limits for guest medical payments and personal liability coverage. A standard home insurance policy provides limited guest medical payments, but can be increased if needed to cover visitor injuries on your property. If you are sued because of injuries or damage you cause or happens on your property, having higher limits for personal liability can help you navigate a settlement or court case.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE

Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle 
Top List of Cities With 
Highest Need for 
New Senior Living Units
By Nick Andrews 

As the baby boomer demand wave crests, the senior living industry is projected to need many more units in some of the country’s biggest cities, including Dallas, Minneapolis and Seattle.

That is according to a report by Integra Realty Resources (IRR), published this week. The report is based on information from Claritas and the NIC MAP Vision database.

According to the report, senior living companies in Dallas will need to add nearly 4,900 units by 2028 to keep up with demand in that city. Operators in Minneapolis will need to add 2,700 units, while companies in Seattle must add 2,300 units to keep up with demand between now and 2028, according to the report.

Stay Organized with 
Calendar Apps, 
Reminders, Alarms
By Marc Saltzman

No matter how hard we try to keep our lives organized, it can be challenging to make time for loved ones, schedule and reschedule appointments, and plan activities weeks ahead. Factor in work — whether you’re a full-timer, side hustler or volunteer — and managing it all gets tough. But using technology to keep track of your daily routine can amp up your organizational skills.

Digital calendars synchronize among devices and people, smartphone alarms notify you when an important event is approaching and smart speakers let you capture a grocery list as you’re thinking about what you need. You can even create virtual sticky notes.

Calendar apps replace appointment books

With digital calendars, you have options. Depending on the hardware you use —  desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet — and whether you prefer Apple, Google/Android or Microsoft software, most devices have free built-in calendars that automatically synchronize your entries among apps.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE

Lunch had already been served when a resident, a woman whose husband had just gone to a nursing home, came in and sat at an empty table. She had already eaten lunch less than an hour before, so it wasn't that she had come late. She completely forgot .But it was how the server (a young women in her 20s) handled the situation that made me take notice. Instead of scolding or otherwise being cross with the resident, the server spoke to her using kind, gentle words. She calmly, in a non-condescending voice, explained she had just eaten lunch and could she get her a cup of tea or coffee instead. The elderly resident declined the offer and left the dining room, realizing her mistake. The situation was resolved without causing shame or discomfort for the resident. That’s the way trained personnel handle a difficult encounter with the elderly.

It’s true that many people today have little contact with the elderly, especially in developed countries where lifestyles are often focused on work, education, and other activities that do not involve intergenerational interaction. Older people are living longer and this is generating a higher number of elderly people who may not be as physically active, visible, or involved in activities that younger people typically engage in.
The rise of nuclear families and single households has resulted in a decrease in the number of multigenerational homes. This means that children and younger adults have less frequent opportunities to interact with their grandparents, great-grandparents, and other elderly relatives who may provide valuable insights and perspectives based on their life experiences.
The quick speed of modern life usually leads to less time for connecting with others and participating in the community, which can reduce the chances of intergenerational contact. However, it’s important to recognize the value of spending time with the elderly and to seek out opportunities for these types of interactions, as they can provide meaningful connections, wisdom, and a sense of perspective that can be hard to find elsewhere.
Older people may experience cognitive decline as they age, which can affect their decision-making, memory, and ability to perform everyday tasks. This decline can be due to various factors, such as physical and neurological changes, chronic illness, and medication side effects.
It is important to be patient and kind to older people, especially those who may be struggling with cognitive decline. They may need extra assistance, guidance, and support to navigate their daily lives. It is also essential to ensure that they have access to appropriate healthcare and social services that can help them maintain their independence and quality of life.
In general, treating older people with kindness and respect is a fundamental principle of human interaction. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion, regardless of their age or ability level……..


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 16, 2023

“Environment and development must go hand in hand, 
one cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the other.”
― Abhijit Naskar

Addicted to fast food? 
New poll shows 13% of 
older Americans meet criteria
By Sophia Choi

New research shows many people are addicted to processed foods such as ice cream, pizza and chips which can lead to several illnesses.

Nearly half of the adults surveyed showed at least one sign of addiction to processed foods. Most of them were women.

Hamburgers, soda, and energy drinks are all highly processed foods and highly addictive too.

“I mean, you know, we as humans crave what tastes good to us, and this tastes great to me,” Howard told Channel 2 investigative reporter Sophia Choi.

Things To Know About UTI 
Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
By Kayla Keena 

Don’t let the pain or difficulty of urinating go untreated. Read about the things you must know about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of UTIs.

The urinary system comprises the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection that occurs in this area. If you think you have a UTI or want to prevent one in the future, read about the things to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for UTIs. 

UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Typically, bacteria from the rectum enters the urethra. It travels upward through the urinary tract and can infect any part of the system. 

More Older People Are 
Opting to Age in Their Homes. 
Here’s How They’re Doing It.

It was the spiral staircase that prompted Pender McCarter to reconsider his situation.

“I’d lived in my 600-square-foot condo in Dupont Circle for 35 years and loved the spiral staircase, but when I turned 75, I realized that I needed to rethink my living arrangements,” says McCarter, a retired public-relations executive. So last year he moved into a one-level, two-­bedroom co-op in Dupont Circle that has a 24-hour front desk and access to cleaning services—helpful for an older person who lives alone.

Before McCarter made his move, he also looked at traditional retirement communities; cohousing communities; and “life plan” communities, which contain independent living, assisted living, skilled-nursing centers, and memory care in one development.

Survey results support 
socialization benefits of 
senior living communities
By Kimberly Bonvissuto

The results of a new poll on loneliness will come as no shock to senior living providers — adults aged 50 to 80 who live alone report higher rates of social isolation than those who live with others.

The latest University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging, released Monday, surveyed adults aged 50 to 80 about loneliness and social interactions and compared those results with responses to similar questions between 2018 and 2022.

Although the proportion of respondents who reported feeling isolated from others in the past year is now lower than in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a substantial number still report feeling socially isolated. 


Around a quarter of people over 65 suffer from depression. That’s a huge number of people who are not enjoying life. For some it’s because they are facing difficult medical treatment or are in constant pain or facing death (either their own or a loved one’s).

Some people feel distressed that they are coming to the end of their life. Many feel lonely or that they are no longer useful. Some feel they are invisible now that they have reached a certain age.

Others have money worries, but some are just generally down and depressed for no specific reason. Are you one of those people? Here are some evidence-based ways to become happier.

MARCH 17 , 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 15, 2023

“Men in general are quick to believe 
that which they wish to be true.”
___Julius Caesar


We don’t know the answer to how many years we have left, but have you asked yourself how many healthy years you have left?

In 2020 it was estimated that a woman or man born in the EU that year would have around 64.5 healthy life years ahead of them – approximately 77.6% of their total life for women and 81.9% for men.

This is a stark calculation – in other words people born in 2020 in the EU are likely to spend a fifth or more of their life unhealthy.

Healthy life years are also known as disability-free life expectancy. A healthy life is defined as one without limitation in functioning and without disability.

Insights into older adults’ 
nutritional motivations 
give providers 
‘Food for Thought’
By Kimberly Bonvissuto

Although most adults aged 55 or more years responding to a Mather Institute survey indicated that they were highly motivated to eat more healthfully, they also indicated that they need some help turning those motivations into healthy practices.

The results of a survey of 688 adults aged 55 or more years on a research panel maintained by Mather are outlined in “Food for Thought: Older Adults’ Views on Healthy Eating,” providing insight into ways providers might help residents along their health and wellness journey. 

Nearly three-fourths of respondents were somewhat (31%) or very (42%) interested in eating healthier, with 24% indicating that they already eat healthy, according to the survey results. 

Prostate cancer treatment 
can wait for most men, study finds

Researchers have found long-term evidence that actively monitoring localized prostate cancer is a safe alternative to immediate surgery or radiation.

The results, released Saturday, are encouraging for men who want to avoid treatment-related sexual and incontinence problems, said Dr. Stacy Loeb, a prostate cancer specialist at NYU Langone Health who was not involved in the research.

The study directly compared the three approaches — surgery to remove tumors, radiation treatment and monitoring. Most prostate cancer grows slowly, so it takes many years to look at the disease's outcomes.

“There was no difference in prostate cancer mortality at 15 years between the groups,” Loeb said. And prostate cancer survival for all three groups was high — 97% regardless of treatment approach. “That's also very good news."

Perceived stress linked 
to increased cognitive impairment 
among Black, white older adults
ByAndrew Rhoades

Perceived stress was associated with both prevalent and incident cognitive function impairment in Black and white older adults, underlining the need for stress assessments among high-risk adults in primary care, according to researchers.

“Perceived stress, especially in racial and ethnic minority groups, can directly affect cognition and also plays a role in worsening of unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, physical inactivity, and reduced medication compliance,” Ambar Kulshreshtha, MD, PhD, an associate professor of family and preventive medicine at Emory University, and colleagues wrote in JAMA Network Open. “Understanding the social and behavioral complexities associated with stress and unhealthy behaviors by race and ethnicity can help point toward interventions to prevent the progression of cognitive impairment.”

The researchers analyzed data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study, which investigated stroke prevalence in a national U.S. sample of older non-Hispanic Black and white populations.

Planning Your Dream Adventure

It’s not until retirement that people can finally relax and plan the trips they’ve always wanted.

Whether you’re about to retire or have already retired, what better way to celebrate than with an epic vacation? In fact, when it comes to bucket lists, deepening relationships with family and travel are the most popular choices. It is noteworthy, however, that baby boomers and Generation Z respondents differ to a great extent.

Only 18% of Gen Z respondents say family relationships are the most important area to focus on before they die, compared to 41% of baby boomers. In contrast, 42% of Gen Z respondents prioritize travel, compared with 25% of boomers. A bucket list is predominantly crafted by older generations, while young, idealistic generations prioritize their wanderlust.

Regardless of where travel ranks on your bucket list, It’s time to stop making excuses. Instead, it’s time to mark the transition into golden years with an adventure of a lifetime. After all, as Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

There is pain, and then there is PAIN!
From the time we take our first steps as a toddler exploring the world around us, we are subject to things that cause us pain.

From stubbed toes and paper cuts to minor burns and sprains, pain is something we all experience.

Pain is good. It lets us know something is wrong with our bodies. Like the “CHECK ENGINE” light on the dashboard of your car that’s been blinking for three weeks, it’s a reminder something needs attending to. Fortunately, most pain is short-lived lasting only for a second or two, and can be easily treated with an analgesic or, a kiss from mommy. For more serious pain, there are the wonder drugs like Percocet and Morphine to ease your suffering.
One good thing about the human brain, it is not capable of recreating the actual pain.  You remember that broken arm hurt like hell, but not the actual pain. 
I often think of the excruciating, relentless, mind-numbing pain I was in for a few days while waiting for surgery. It was a pain so strong that only IV Morphine supplied any relief. I thank heaven I can’t relive that torment. I don’t think I have the strength today to endure it. However, there is pain I, and many (if not all) of my fellow seniors put up with every day. It’s the pain that comes with the greatest insult to the human body there is, old age.

If you are of that “certain age”, you know what I mean. Hardly a day goes by that something doesn’t hurt. Lately, with me, it’s my feet. I’ve never had foot pain before, so this comes as something new. My podiatrist couldn't find anything wrong with my feet besides some neuropathy due to weak circulation and gout, which are just a part of getting older.
Even if my feet were okay, there would be something else to make me wince with every step. It might be the twinge of an arthritic hip, or the ache of a shoulder in the throes of an attack of bursitis. Fortunately, there's Tylenol that I pop in my mouth like so many M&M's. 

Speaking of Tylenol, I have a bone to pick with science. It’s concentrating too much of its resources on the wrong thing. Sure, it looks good in the company’s prospectus when it shows they are working on new drugs for things that kill us like cancer and heart disease. But what about things that make life miserable for millions of seniors? Nada. Zip. Zero. There are no miracle drugs in the works that cure aches and pains. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are cover-up drugs and do nothing to treat the causes. That is because society does not look upon old age as an illness. “It’s natural. Part of life”, they say. That's a code phrase for, “Don’t worry about them, they’ll be dead soon, anyway.” Which, I suppose that’s the ultimate cure for everything……………….


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 14, 2023

“God is not a vending machine where 
if you put in enough prayer quarters 
we get a Reese's Pieces bag that pops out.” 
_____Joel C. Rosenberg

More States are Looking 
to Legalize Killing People 
in Assisted Suicide
By Joy Stockbauer

New legislation seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is on the move in several U.S. states — perhaps most notably Connecticut (with a 75% approval rating) and Minnesota (with a 73% approval rating).

Connecticut’s Act Concerning Aid in Dying For Terminally Ill Patients sets the minimum age at 21, while Minnesota’s End-of-Life Option bill extends assisted suicide to patients as young as 18. While both bills insist that assisted suicide will be made available only to individuals suffering from incurable terminal illness, similar legislation around the world has earned the reputation of beginning a dangerous slippery slope.

“Once the ‘option’ of assisted suicide is used, it can be easily applied to others in similar circumstances,” author Megan Gannon, whose recent Newsweek op-ed details her perspective on physician-assisted suicide as a woman living with cerebral palsy, told The Washington Stand. “This can be done by anyone from the person suffering from the terminal illness, to health care professionals, to insurance companies and governments. Looking north to Canada confirms options become pressures, pressures become standard procedures, and standard procedures are codified into law.”

Biden's 2024 budget 
doesn't include plan to shore up 
Social Security's finances
By Alexandra Hutzler

President Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia on his new budget plan that will "generate economic growth."
When President Joe Biden unveiled his $6.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2024 on Thursday, notably absent was a plan to shore up the finances of Social Security.

Biden's placed an outsized emphasis on Social Security and Medicare since clashing with Republicans over the programs in his State of the Union address last month. He's repeatedly hammered the GOP over the issue, accusing some members of wanting to target benefits as Congress gears up for a battle over the debt ceiling and federal spending.

"I guarantee you I will protect Social Security and Medicare without any change. Guaranteed. I won't allow it to be gutted or eliminated, as MAGA Republicans have threatened to do," Biden said to applause as he rolled out his plan in a campaign-style speech to a union crowd in Philadelphia.

Eli Lilly Alzheimer’s treatment 
solanezumab failed to slow 
disease progression
By Spencer Kimball

- Solanezumab’s failure is a blow to efforts to treat Alzheimer’s in people who are in the very early stage of the disease and have not yet shown clinical symptoms.

- Solanezumab did not clear or halt accumulation of brain plaque and did not slow cognitive decline in the participants who received the treatment.

- Lilly is developing two other Alzheimer’s treatments that are in late-stage clinical trials, donanemab and remternetug.

Eli Lilly on Wednesday said it will halt development of its Alzheimer’s treatment candidate solanezumab after the antibody failed to slow disease progression.

Solanezumab’s failure is a blow to efforts to treat Alzheimer’s in people who are in the very early stage of the disease and have not yet shown clinical symptoms.

The study enrolled more than 1,000 seniors who had normal memory and thinking function, but showed signs of brain plaque that is associated with Alzheimer’s.

New Evidence of 
Four Distinct Pain Trajectories 
in Long-Term Care 
Community Residents

A new study from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University (IU) School of Nursing researchers published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society supports the existence of four distinct pain trajectories among long-term care community residents, reports News-Medical. They analyzed 46,103 pain assessments of 4,864 residents, nearly 66 percent of whom were female, from 44 communities. Fourteen percent of the study subjects exhibited persistent pain over time; 15 percent suffered from pain that initially worsened, held steady, then declined over time; 22 percent had pain that initially decreased, held steady, then increased over time; and 49 percent experienced a consistent absence of pain. Obesity, intact cognition, and living in a rural community were linked to the persistent pain presence trajectory. Meanwhile, hip fracture was associated with a five-fold higher risk of persistent pain. A higher mortality risk was observed among residents in the increasing-decreasing pain trajectory. Female gender, living in a rural community, intact cognition, and shortening and hardening of muscles were associated with all three of the trajectories involving the presence of pain. Finally, residents with normal body mass index or an Alzheimer's or related dementia diagnosis were less likely to be in any of the three trajectories involving pain. "Identifying residents likely to be underrepresented in the pain trajectories may provide impetus for [community] staff to improve pain assessment and evaluation," suggested IU's Connie Cole.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE 


Many of us continue to work past the point when society expects us to retire. Maybe we don’t feel ready to retire yet, maybe we just need the money.

Whatever the reason, it inevitably means that we are working with – and for – people who are younger than we are. Sometimes considerably younger than we are.

They’re All So Young!
I can’t remember at what point I realized that pretty much everyone I was dealing with in my life was younger than me. The doctor, the dentist, the boss, even their boss, the bank manager – all those people who used to be old!

I started a new job six months ago, after years of working from home. The people I work with on a day-to-day basis are young enough to be my kids – or even my grandkids.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 13, 2023

“There are very few things in the world I hate 
more than Daylight Savings Time.
 It is the grand lie of time, 
the scourge of science, 
the blight on biological understanding.”
― Michelle Franklin

Pfizer ready to launch
RSV vaccines for older adults, 
pregnant women in US, Europe
By Maggie Fick

- RSV causes potentially deadly illness in infants, elderly
- GSK, Pfizer in race to launch first-ever RSV vaccines this year
- 14,000 die annually in United States from disease caused by virus
- Analysts see multibillion-dollar market by end of decade

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N) is ready to launch its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for both older adults and pregnant women in the United States and Europe later this year, executives said on Thursday.

Both Pfizer and British drugmaker GSK (GSK.L) have RSV vaccines they hope to launch in the United States and Europe this year, pending regulators’ approval.


Healthcare costs are one of the most significant expenses in retirement. And this trend unlikely to change. Why?

- Longer lifespans of retirees will have higher total healthcare costs.
- Inflation on healthcare has dramatically increased in the last three years.
- Chronic illnesses and age-related health issues have increased.
- The median retirement age is 61, and Medicare starts at age 65.

So, How Much Is Needed for Healthcare Costs in Retirement?

How much you will need for health costs in retirement will depend on when and where you retire, your health, how you will pay for the costs, and how long you live. According to a study by Fidelity, a typical retired couple aged 65 in 2022 will need approximately $315,000 to cover healthcare costs in retirement.

But Medicare will pay for it all, right?

Bipartisan group introduces bill 
to help Americans maximize 
Social Security benefits
By Steven A. Morelli

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill to better inform the public about the optimal time to start claiming Social Security.

The group is also asking the Social Security Administration to research why Americans claim benefits early and how to educate the public on the optimal age to start benefits.

While some legislators are calling for cuts in Social Security, this group is saying that many retirees are already shortchanged. Most Americans claim Social Security benefits early despite longer lifespans, leaving millions of elderly with fewer resources later in life.

America After the 
Baby Boom
By Richard Eisenberg

Baby boomers' decades-long domination of the economy, power and culture in America is ending, says Washington Post columnist Philip Bump in his new book, "The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America."

The result, he writes, is "a historic disruption of the American Empire."

The 69.6 million U.S. boomers — down from their 78.8 million peak — were born between 1946 and 1964 and are now age 59 to 77. The generation has been surpassed in size by 72 million millennials, who are age 27 to 42 and often the boomers' kids.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

8 Flattering Jeans Styles 
If You're Over 50

 The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.
Getting older can feel like a near-constant style evolution. As you become more comfortable in your skin, you invest in more pieces that feel closer to your personal style—and part ways with those that hold you back or just don't feel like "you" anymore.

Regardless of where you are in your style journey, however, the backbone of your wardrobe is likely a pair (or two, or 10!) of jeans. But as your style and your body change, it can be difficult to find exactly the right fit. That's why we reached out to style experts and asked them to share their picks for the most flattering jeans for women over 50. Read on for style inspiration—as well as a few specific pairs to try.

You can't go wrong with a classic, says Brooklyn-based personal stylist Kelci Nienhuis. "This is a great everyday jean for all seasons. Wear with a boot in the winter, a ballet flat (yes, they're back!) in the spring, and your favorite slides in the summer."

Chances are you have survived yet another insult to your circadian rhythm, also known as the start of daylight savings time. You dutifully set your clocks, watches, microwave ovens and all the other non-satellite connected devices ahead one hour before you went to bed Saturday night. If you forgot and slept through all of Sunday, let me be the first to tell you...YOUR LATE!

All kidding aside, I hate having to re-set my life twice a year. It’s ridiculous and makes no sense in today’s 365/24/7 world. And I am not alone in my thinking. A recent pole shows 65% of Americans think we should abolish DST. In fact, almost one year ago to the day, the Senate approved the measure, called the Sunshine Protection Act, unanimously by voice vote. Unfortunately, The House of Representatives ( where all good things go to die) has not seen fit to bring it to a vote. So, no change this year.

With that being said, it may surprise you when I say, I prefer losing an hour of sleep. It means I have to endure one less long hour of night. 

I am not a “night person.” I like to go to bed late and rise early. For me, 11pm to 6am is enough time under the covers. Night is boring. Thank god I have Netflix and Amazon Prime to get me through it. I used to read at night. But, since my eyesight has become worse, struggling with the fine print of a book doesn’t work for me. It's a choice between watching TV or staring at the ceiling all night.

Nigh time also means sleep. Sleep means dreams. And, lately, my dreams have not been pleasant. In my dreams, all I can seem to remember are the bad things, instead of all the good that I have experienced. And, in their distorted dream state, they are scarier than the events that actually occurred. Fortunately, I don’t remember all of my dreams, which is fine with me. And hour less of sleep means an hour less of bad dreams.
On another topic, I did not watch the OSCARS last night. Nor, do I care about who won what. I don’t get most of the movies that are up for awards anymore. The language and the situations are for a new age of movie goers. And, what passes for award-winning acting today makes me wonder where they got their training…………………

 MARCH 14 , 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 10, 2023

“Cereal is a medium through which we learn 
to confuse hunger with marketing.”
― Bee Wilson

Disability Benefits 
for Senior Citizens

 Many older folks are asking me about getting disability benefits from Social Security. I’ll offer some tips on how to go about doing that in a minute. But first, here are some ground rules that vary depending on your age.

If you are over your full retirement age, forget about it. Once you reach that age, disability benefits are no longer payable. Or to put that another way, the retirement benefit you are getting pays the same rate as any disability benefits you might be due.

If you are under age 62 and disabled, then you should definitely file for Social Security disability. There is information about how to do that later in this column.

Smokers Generally Unaware 
That Quitting Smoking Will 
Reduce Risk of Dementia

Smokers are being urged to give quitting a go ahead of No Smoking Day (8th March), as research shows those who smoke are more likely to develop dementia.

The annual awareness day encourages smokers to make a quit attempt and this year’s theme is “stopping smoking protects your brain health.”

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, dementia is the most feared health condition for people over the age of 55—more than any other life-threatening disease including cancer and diabetes.

Yet YouGov data commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed just 18% of people who smoke know that smoking increases the risk of dementia, compared to more than 70% who know that smoking causes lung diseases or cancers.

Social Security Is Fine As Is, 
Say 63% of Americans Over 65 – 
72% Still Think There’s One 
Urgent Problem

While U.S. lawmakers tussle over how and whether to reform Social Security and Medicare, many of the nation’s seniors might be wondering what the fuss is all about. Nearly two-thirds of older Americans seem to think the programs are just fine the way they are, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll, conducted in January and released on Feb. 24, found that 63% of adults ages 65 and older say they are “satisfied” with Social Security and Medicare. That compares with 43% of those ages 50 to 64, 42% of those 30 to 49 and 35% of those 18 to 29. Lower- and middle-income adults are “modestly more likely” to be satisfied with Social Security and Medicare than upper-income adults.

It makes sense that retirees who rely on Social Security and Medicare would have a favorable opinion of the programs. However, overall satisfaction with the programs has also trended upward in recent years.

Adding antipsychotic med 
to antidepressant may help 
older adults with 
treatment-resistant depression
By Jim Dryden

Eric J. Lenze, MD, holds an antidepressant drug in one hand and aripiprazole, originally approved as an antipsychotic, in the other. Lenze, head of the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led a multicenter study that found, in older adults with treatment-resistant depression, that augmenting an antidepressant drug with aripiprazole helped a significant number of patients.

For older adults with clinical depression that has not responded to standard treatments, adding the drug aripiprazole (brand name Abilify) to an antidepressant they’re already taking is more effective than switching from one antidepressant to another, according to a new multicenter study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Aripiprazole originally was approved by the FDA in 2002 as a treatment for schizophrenia but also has been used in lower doses as an add-on treatment for clinical depression in younger patients who do not respond to antidepressants alone.


‘It feels unconditional’: 
the secrets of lifelong friendships - 
according to lifelong friends
By Emma Beddington

Trish and Mick started chatting about music on a staircase in 1970, when Trish and her flatmates (“strange, slightly hippy people,” Mick laughs) were trying to stop a neighbour’s party guests, including Mick, from getting into their flat. Julia and Susan found friendship when they became neighbours at the age of seven. Susan’s parents disapproved of Julia’s single mother’s lifestyle and forbade them to meet: “We developed a system of sound signals, found a place to hide notes to each other and met secretly in the local park,” Susan says. Ian and Roger bicker gently over which was the first Nottingham gig where they shared a bill in 1965, but say that Roger persuaded their bands (Tony D and the Shakeouts for Ian; The Sons of Adam for Roger) to jam together on stage.

Friendships start with these accidents – choosing a locker at school, who’s in the next room in your hall of residence, or attending the same protest – but staying friends over a lifetime can’t be accidental. “Friendships are a voluntary type of relationship,” says Mahzad Hojjat, a professor of psychology and friendship researcher at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. “In some ways they are the weakest tie, because you could just disconnect.” What stops friends from doing this? As new research shows that socialising helps people to live longer, I spoke to friendship lifers who have stayed close over decades of good and bad times and everything in between. Are there any secrets, and do they have advice for the rest of us?

Let me preface this by saying I am not one of those militant MAGA “It’s the Democrat’s plot to take away our rights” anti-maskers, on the contrary. As a senior who is vulnerable to just about every airborne disease that flies by, I strongly recommend we wear a mask when in public places or whenever we may find ourselves in the company of people whose hygiene may be suspect. But I've had enough of having to wear masks in a place where there is little risk of catching COVID. And I refuse to wear one in here.
Since February 2019, residents of long-term care facilities have been caught in the iron yoke of the N.Y. State DOH and their draconian approach to COVID-19 protocols.
At first, it was okay. Even necessary. This new, horrible, rapidly spreading virus was taking its toll on Americans from all walks of life. And we had little protection from it. We did not have enough of the proper equipment to deal with the thousands of cases flooding the ERs of our hospitals. N.Y. (Because we are a gateway state) was hit hard. Hundreds of people were dying daily. Therefore, we did the only thing we knew could keep us partially safe. We put on masks, stayed out of crowds and washed our hands. And it worked. The number of new cases stabilized. Masks, agreed the experts, were instrumental in protecting Americans. And, while some disagreed, most people gladly wore a mask if it meant they could go out in public and continue with their lives, although somewhat restricted. Then, when a viable vaccine was developed and millions of us flocked to vaccination centers, we finally had a handle on this scourge of humanity. Among the first to be vaccinated was us, residents of assisted living facilities. And, since then, we have been vaccinated against every new strain ans will continue to do so with each new variant that comes along. We have become so attuned to dealing with this virus, following infection control procedures has become second nature for us. But that was four years ago

Dutifully, like sheep, we don our masks, removing them only to eat only because the DOH says we must, completely disregarding the CDCs recommendation that regular wearing of masks is no longer necessary. All Americans have been given the freedom to conduct their lives without being forced to wear a mask. All but us. We have to conform to the rules and regulations the rest of America has long forgotten about. And it sucks. Apparently, what’s good for the gander is not good for older geese. And this old goose has had it.
It's time for me to get back to some kind of normal. I will respect those of us who want to wear a mask, and I will continue to wear one when I go outside the confines of this place. But wearing a mask for no apparent reason, for me, is over. I have no desire to continue the rest of my life with a mask on my face. It’s all about dignity and respect and not being treated like a second-class citizen……………..

Editors’s note: In 2022, when deaths from COVID-19 were on the decline, the CDC loosened its mask guidelines, which included universal masking in schools. It also issued new recommendations for taking precautions based on virus activity in a given geographic location.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


 MARCH 9, 2023

“The most exquisite pleasure in the practice of medicine 
comes from nudging a layman in the direction of terror,
 then bringing him back to safety again.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

Gillibrand and colleagues 
to propose the Social Security 
Expansion Act of 2023

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is helping to secure more social security benefits for all Americans.

Gillibrand is joining other colleagues in the senate and the house to introduce the Social Security Expansion Act of 2023. The bill would expand social security benefits by more than $2,000 a year and ensure social security is fully funded for the next 70+ years without having to raise taxes.

This bill would also help low-income workers stay out of poverty by improving the Special Minimum Benefit; restoring student benefits up to age 22 for children of disabled or deceased workers, and strengthening benefits for older Americans and people with disabilities.

“Even with social security income, many older Americans can’t afford basic necessities, things like housing, food, medicine and care. And while social security will not go broke anytime soon, starting in 2034, it won’t have enough to cover all of the promised benefits.,” said Gillibrand.

Social Security, 
Medicare clash 
comes down to 
what constitutes a ‘cut’

The coming battles over the nation’s safety-net programs are beginning, with an early clash over a thorny question of semantics: What constitutes a cut?

In the eyes of many Democrats, any change to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security that erodes benefits provided under current law would be considered a cut — and therefore stands as a non-starter with liberals as Congress seeks ways to rein in deficit spending. 

Across the aisle, Republicans have long promoted a series of safety-net changes — including proposals to hike eligibility ages, reduce benefits for wealthier seniors and tweak cost-of-living adjustments to produce long-term government savings — which they see as necessary “reforms” in the effort to shore up entitlement finances for the sake of future generations.

How Does 
Sleep Deprivation 
Affect the Elderly?
By Karla Lopez 

Sleep is one of the essential things a body must have. When one sleeps, the body supports healthy brain function and maintains optimal physical health. So, when a senior is sleep deprived, it causes adverse effects on their mood and health. 

Like all adults, the elderly require 7 to 9 hours of sleep. However, the elderly tend to sleep earlier and wake up earlier than they did before old age – it’s one of the changes that come with age.

When you add the consequences of sleep deprivation to seniors’ many health conditions, sleep is essential for older adults. In this article, we talk about sleep deprivation and how it affects the elderly. Do you want to improve your sleep health? Then, continue reading to get informed. 

Preying on Seniors: 
Preventing Elder 
Financial Abuse

It’s sometimes said that growing older is a privilege. Even so, aging can cause concerns about health issues, financial security, and family relationships. Every year it is reported that family members or “friends” with financial power of attorney purchase vehicles, deplete bank accounts, steal debit/credit cards, and buy real estate by abusing access to elders’ money and property.  If you are a senior, or you care for or love a senior, you may be aware of some of the issue of elder financial abuse.

As an attorney and mediator who handles estate-related cases, the amount of financial exploitation of seniors I see is staggering. These senior financial fraud cases may involve everything from taking grandma’s social security check to illegally transferring property into the name of a caregiver or loved one. Sometimes these matters are brought to the courts’ attention, but a better solution is to prevent financial abuse or overreaching from occurring in the first place.

How it Happens...

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


10 Heartburn Trigger Foods

Many people have suffered bouts of heartburn, but few may realize why or how it happens. Many scientists believe that genetics play a significant role in determining what foods will cause heartburn and what might not for an individual. Aside from genetics, there is something you can do to avoid the nasty sensation of stomach acids building up in your throat. After numerous tests, scientists have narrowed down the list to ten suspects. You might not personally experience difficulties when eating the heartburn trigger foods listed below, but they are some of the prime culprits. If you want to avoid that icky feeling, you might want to replace these foods that are high in acidity with something else.

1. Citrus fruits

Rich in vitamin C, citrus fruits are a dietary staple for most people. We tend to grab an orange juice in the store. We eat fresh oranges and even put them in cakes to achieve the ultimate sweetness. Something that many people don't know is that aside from all that delicious sweetness, a lot of acids may be a hassle to your stomach. They cause a reaction in your esophagus, and the amount of acid can rise and build up. If you have no intention of giving up oranges and other citrus fruits, just be sure to eat them with something else. Eating an orange or grapefruit on an empty stomach increases the risk for heartburn.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE


MARCH 10 , 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 8, 2023

“I'm like a menu at an expensive restaurant; 
you can look at me, but you can't afford me.” 
___Anna Kournikova

Social Security not adding 
a penny to the national debt
By Frederic Deckerand

The narrative that Social Security eats up government revenue, driving the federal debt upward, is deeply entrenched in the Republican Party’s psyche. Former-Vice President Mike Pence insinuated such February during a private meeting with business leaders when promoting the age-old Republican wish to privatize Social Security. So maybe Social Security won’t be off the table, as GOP leaders earlier promised, as the current debate over the debt ceiling unfolds.

The public has favored shoring up Social Security with more taxes. But, also, concern over federal deficits has increased among both Republican-leaners and Democratic-leaners. Concern over deficits translates into concern over the debt. Consequently, debunking the myth Social Security feeds the debt seems an inherent requirement in gaining support for progressive proposals to reform Social Security. That, in addition to outlining how cutting benefits unduly inflicts harm within the aging population.

Now consider all those misleading charts. Those charts showing Social Security the top spender of federal monies surely don’t help foster favorable public opinion or keep the GOP benefit-cutting hatchet in the sheath. Nor do stories like that February 9 on PBS Newshour when a segment on Medicare and Social Security closed with this on the screen: "Almost a third of federal spending this fiscal year is expected to go toward Medicare and Social Security." PBS Newshour (which I support and watch regularly) is not alone, of course; the spending attributed to Social Security and other social programs is a recurrent theme during this debt-ceiling news cycle. Even the Treasury Department on one website has, at the time of this writing, a bar chart with Social Security the top bar consuming 19 percent of all spending.


When I was growing up in the 1960s, we were taught to never trust anyone over 30. That works great when you are 19, 20 and 21. When you approach 31, 40, 50, 60 and beyond, you may want to modify that stance.

I have come to believe that growing older is a party to be savored. There are many reasons, but here are the top three:

I Have Freedom to Speak My Mind

When I express an opinion, I am given a modicum of respect because I am an older woman. I’m not so old as to be considered ‘doddering,’ but I do have opinions that are sometimes listened to.

Yet, I have given up the need to be right. When I don’t have to be right all the time, I can hear the heart of the other. I can accept and love without judgment. I can listen and learn and be willing to accept that the universe is so much larger than my own views.

Older people with anxiety 
frequently don’t get help. 
Here’s why
By Judith Graham

Anxiety is the most common psychological disorder affecting adults in the United States. In older people, it’s associated with considerable distress as well as ill health, diminished quality of life and elevated rates of disability.

Yet when the US Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, influential panel of experts, suggested last year that adults be screened for anxiety, it left out one group — people 65 and older.

The major reason the task force cited in draft recommendations issued in September: “(T)he current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for anxiety” in all older adults. (Final recommendations are expected later this year.)

Biden unveils plan averting 
Medicare funding crisis,
challenging GOP
By Jeff Stein

The White House on Tuesday proposed raising taxes on Americans earning more than $400,000 and reducing what Medicare pays for prescription drugs in an attempt to ensure that the health-care program for seniors is funded for the next two decades, challenging Republicans over an imminent funding crisis.

As forecasters warn that a key Medicare trust fund will run into major financial problems within five years, the administration proposed three key changes — including the tax hike and new rules to reduce prescription drug costs — to bolster the program for at least 25 years.

Roughly 60 million seniors depend on Medicare for their health insurance. Because the program is spending money at a much faster clip than it brings in funding, it faces automatic federal cuts starting in 2028, raising the nightmare scenario of medical providers refusing care to senior citizens if Congress and the White House don’t address the looming shortfall first.

The smart box 
that could spot first signs 
of brain decline in your home
By Joe Pinkstone

A £400 ($473) box that can be hung from the ceiling could help track signs of cognitive decline and reduce the risk of falls, according to new research. 

Smart homes fitted with the Sense4Safety system, developed by the University of Pennsylvania, have their inhabitants monitored not by video footage but by “silhouette extraction” technology. 

Depth sensors track a person’s gait as they move around and measure any alterations in walking speed, stride length and the time it takes to stand and cover a certain distance.

Prof George Demiris, of the University of Pennsylvania, said that the project had so far focused on the possible uses in fall prevention among people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), who are at increased risk.

Twelve days from now, on March 20th, Spring will arrive, and for me, it can’t come soon enough.
The months spent indoors, the constantly gray, overcast skies and the bare trees and brown lawn just add to the ever present gloom which permeates this place from November to March.
It doesn’t matter that we received little snow this winter. Just the fact the weather is too cold and nasty for anybody, but the hardiest of us to venture out is bad enough.

For those that are not confined to a long-term care facility, the cold weather might be just an inconvenience. It means bundling up in a bulky coat, wearing that wool hat your grand-kid got you, (the one with the pom-pom on it) and putting on gloves lest your fingers become more numb than they already are. But the good thing is , you have somewhere to go and something to do. For us, the only time we get to go out in the cold is either in an ambulance, an ambulette trip to the doctor or the occasional visit to the local supermarket. Mostly, we just stay indoors.

We had one comparatively mild day last week when the temperature ventured into the mid-50s. Naturally, I took the opportunity to walk to and from the dining room via the outdoor route. While it adds a few extra steps to the journey, the mild air felt good against my bare arms and face. Unfortunately, the breeze coming in from the west quickly cooled whatever warmth there was, which caused me to hasten my walk. But it was nice while it lasted.

Of course, there is no guarantee March will go out like the proverbial lamb. Spring snow storms are not uncommon in these parts,. But just knowing under all that snow, a crocus is ready to appear and a tulip bulb will give up the flower it so closely guarded all winter. And I’ll be there, cleaning the dead leaves off the patio furniture and moving my favorite chair so that every ray of sun finds its way to my face……………


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 7, 2023

“We work all our lives so we can retire – 
so we can do what we want with our time – 
and the way we define or spend our time 
defines who we are and what we value.” 
– Bruce Linton

Rising Inflation: 
How Will Retirees 
Get Through Life

The U.S. has gone through massive crises that put a lot of households and businesses at rock bottom. It’s been over a decade since the Real Estate Bubble and the Great Recession. Yet their impact has been unforgettable. These are only two unforeseen events that sparked a surge of bankruptcies. And roughly a year before the pandemic, millions of Americans struggled to recover.

In 2020, the pandemic crisis transpired and scourged the U.S. economy. The restrictions led to limited operations across industries and overwhelming cash burns. In turn, millions of businesses had to shut down, either temporarily or permanently. It was most evident in the SME sector, with 9.4 million small businesses closing that year. Although the recession only lasted two months, the road to recovery was long and winding.

In the last two years, the economy has demonstrated a strong rebound. Thanks to easing restrictions that allowed business reopenings and increased operating capacity, unemployment was lowered, and the pent-up aggregate demand was fueled. At the end of 2021, GDP per capita reached $12,235, a 12 percent year-over-year growth. It even exceeded pre-pandemic levels with $11,300 on average.

Read more  >>

More Medicare Advantage Plans 
Are Offering Extra Supports 
For Frail Seniors
By Howard Gleckman

Half of Medicare beneficiaries, about 30 million people, are enrolled in Medicare managed care plans such as Medicare Advantage (MA). And increasingly those plans are offering modest, but important, non-medical services to older adults living at home.

These supplemental services are the only long-term care-type benefits most seniors will receive through Medicare. The assistance may include anything from meal and prepared food deliveries to transportation, personal care, and home modifications.

Long-term Care Lite

Don’t confuse these MA benefits with long-term care insurance. They usually come at no extra cost to beneficiaries but their value is extremely modest, averaging well below $50 monthly and perhaps as little as $10, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. On the other hand, MA supports can be fully integrated with the plan’s medical care. That could be a major advantage, especially if the benefits are expanded. For now, think of these services as long-term care lite.

Read more  >>

11 minutes of daily exercise 
could have a positive impact 
on your health, large study shows
By Kristen Rogers

When you can’t fit your entire workout into a busy day, do you think there’s no point in doing anything at all? You should rethink that mindset. Just 11 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity per day could lower your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease or premature death, a large new study has found.

Aerobic activities include walking, dancing, running, jogging, cycling and swimming. You can gauge the intensity level of an activity by your heart rate and how hard you’re breathing as you move. Generally, being able to talk but not sing during an activity would make it moderate intensity. Vigorous intensity is marked by the inability to carry on a conversation.

Higher levels of physical activity have been associated with lower rates of premature death and chronic disease, according to past research. But how the risk levels for these outcomes are affected by the amount of exercise someone gets has been more difficult to determine. To explore this impact, scientists largely from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom looked at data from 196 studies, amounting to more than 30 million adult participants who were followed for 10 years on average. The results of this latest study were published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Read more  >>

With no place to go, 
some patients in Maine 
spend months in hospitals
By Joe Lawlor

Susan Cameron spent 164 days this winter in the same small hospital room at Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford — a gray room with a view of the parking lot.

Cameron was ready to be discharged weeks after being admitted for a series of breathing problems. But, like hundreds of other patients around the state, the 76-year-old remained hospitalized longer than necessary — in Cameron's case months longer — because she could not find a bed in a nearby assisted living facility and was not well enough to go home.

Hospital officials say there's a glut of patients stuck in the same limbo, although there is no statewide data to measure the scope of the problem. The backup is creating a domino effect, hampering patient care and jeopardizing the finances of health services, both at hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

7 Budget Hacks For Retirement, 
According to Financial Experts.

Pretty much any retirement advice boils down to one line: The earlier you start, the better. As reported by The New York Times, people who start saving for retirement at age 22 end up with nearly $560,000 more than those who started saving at 32. But even if you're nearing retirement age or have already retired, you haven't missed the boat—there are a few tips and tricks you can deploy at any time to build a solid nest egg. Read on to learn from financial experts what the best budget hacks are that'll set you up for retirement.

10 Awesome Home Hacks

For most of your career, there are limits on how much you can put into a retirement account like a 401(k). It's wise to max out the amount of your paycheck that goes into this fund. You should also make use of your employer's contribution matching program, provided they offer such a benefit (it's a common perk at mid-sized for-profit firms these days). But the big one comes when you hit 50: catch-up contributions.

Financial services company Western & Southern Financial Group explains that catch-up contributions basically lift the ceiling on how much you can contribute to a retirement fund. For instance, in 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will allow individuals to contribute up to $22,500 to a 401(k), up from $20,500 last year and $19,500 two years ago. But if you're over 50, you can add an additional $7,500 to that, bringing the total annual tally to $30,000.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE



©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 6, 2023

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. 
When I ask why the poor have no food, 
they call me a communist.”
― Dom Helder Camara

More seniors 
are becoming homeless, 
and experts say the trend 
is likely to worsen

On a chilly January morning, Tony Thomas stopped by a small house with the hopes of picking up some breakfast and coffee.

That Thursday, dozens of people were milling around in near-freezing weather in the backyard of Manna House, a nonprofit serving the local unhoused population. They waited for showers, clothes or hygiene kits, which included toothpaste, lotion, socks and hand warmers. Others ate or sipped coffee with powdered creamer and sugar. Most tried to keep warm, including Thomas, who wasn’t wearing gloves.

At 50, Thomas and many of the other people at Manna House, are part of a growing cohort of homeless older Americans, though he is on the younger side of that trend. As baby boomers age into senior citizens, a series of recessions and the lack of a strong social safety net have pushed more and more elderly people into homelessness — a number that’s only expected to rise.

Medical officials 
to stop nurses 
with fraudulent 
diplomas from caring 
for patients 
across the US

Medical licensing officials in multiple states are scrambling to stop nurses with fraudulent academic credentials from caring for patients, after three Florida schools were accused of selling thousands of bogus diplomas.

New York regulators told 903 nurses in recent weeks to either surrender their licenses or prove they were properly educated. Delaware and Washington state officials have yanked dozens of nursing licenses. Texas filed administrative charges against 23 nurses. More actions in additional states are expected.

In some cases, lawyers for the nurses contend states are questioning the credentials of caregivers who earned diplomas legitimately. But there's wide agreement in the industry that nurses with fraudulent degrees need to be rooted out.

"The public needs to know that when they’re the most fragile, when they’re sick, when they’re in a hospital bed, that the individual who is at their bedside has gone through the required training," said Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, president of the American Nurses Association union.

For older adults, 
every 500 
additional steps 
taken daily associated 
with lower heart risk

A study of people ages 70 and older found walking an additional 500 steps per day, or an additional quarter mile of walking, was associated with a 14% lower risk of heart disease, stroke or heart failure.

Compared to adults who took less than 2,000 steps per day, adults who took about 4,500 steps per day had a 77% lower observed risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event.

Only about 3.5% of participants who took around 4,500 steps per day had a cardiovascular event, compared to 11.5% of those who took less than 2,000 steps per day, over the 3.5-year follow-up period.

A new study found that walking an additional 500 steps, or about one-quarter of a mile, per day was associated with a 14% lower risk of heart disease, stroke or heart failure, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2023. The meeting will be held in Boston, February 28-March 3, 2023, and offers the latest science on population-based health and wellness and implications for lifestyle and cardiometabolic health.

Taking Vitamin D 
Could Help 
Prevent Dementia

Summary: Taking a vitamin D supplement daily may help stave off dementia in older adults, a new study reports. Researchers found taking vitamin D was associated with adults living dementia free for longer, and there were 40% fewer cases of dementia reported in those who frequently took vitamin D supplements. The effects were significantly greater in women than men.

Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute in Canada and the University of Exeter in the UK explored the relationship between vitamin D supplementation and dementia in more than 12,388 participants of the US National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center, who had a mean age of 71 and were dementia-free when they signed up. Of the group, 37 percent (4,637) took vitamin D supplements.

In the study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, the team found that taking vitamin D was associated with living dementia-free for longer, and they also found 40 percent fewer dementia diagnoses in the group who took supplements.

The Benefits of Working 
Part-Time in Retirement

The notion of working in retirement may seem paradoxical, but it is not. Although you may have moved beyond your primary career, you should still devote a part of your week to some type of money-making activity. It is possible to round out your schedule and add satisfaction to your retirement through part-time, freelance, or consulting work. Furthermore, there are financial benefits as well.

To that end, here are nine reasons to consider reentering the workforce.

1. Additional financial stability.

In most cases, retirees have sufficient savings and income from their retirement plans to meet their basic needs. Nonetheless, inflation, long-term care, and rising medical expenses need to be taken into account as well.

A survey conducted by the Insured Retirement Institute found only 18% of baby boomers are confident they will have enough money in retirement to live comfortably. Those who own an annuity, however, report 45% more confidence.

In part one of this post we talked about how some older folks who were having difficulty paying for food may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits where previously they did not qualify. In this post we’ll expand on that and let you in how to go about getting these benefits.
First, a little background…
“Food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federal program that provides nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and families, including senior citizens. In fact, a significant proportion of SNAP recipients are elderly individuals who struggle to afford nutritious food on a fixed income.
The eligibility criteria for SNAP is based on a number of factors, including income, household size, and expenses. Senior citizens who meet the program’s income and asset requirements may be eligible to receive food stamp benefits.
Senior citizens who receive Social Security benefits or other forms of government assistance may also qualify for SNAP benefits. Additionally, some states offer additional benefits to elderly individuals, such as home delivery of groceries or meal programs.
It’s important to note that SNAP benefits are meant to supplement a household’s food budget, and may not cover all of their nutritional needs. However, for senior citizens who struggle to make ends meet, SNAP benefits can help ensure they have access to healthy food options.”
For a more detailed explanation as well as where to begin the application process, I suggest this website:
If your application is accepted (meaning you probably meet the basic requirements) you will receive a message telling you when a representative will call you about a personal interview. These interviews are usually conducted by a social service worker over the telephone. It is here that your status will be approved or denied. While these interviews basically asked the same questions (How much is spent on rent. What is your monthly income? Do you have any additional sources of income, etc.)? It is important you answer the questions truthfully. The quickest way to get your benefits yanked is to hide any extra financial help you may be getting.
At one time, a resident of an assisted living facility would automatically be disqualified. Not anymore. The rules have changed. They now consider assisted living as “Congregate Living’’, meaning you live with others in a residential environment. Let the interviewer know you live in such a place and receive three meals a day and that they are included as part of your room and board. And, if asked why you need help with buying food, explain to the interviewer while you are fed 3 meals a day, the meals are lacking in items like fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain beads and cereals, and other nutritionally beneficial food items. Feel secure you are answering truthfully. Any residents of an ALF will tell you, most of the meals comprise large quantities of starchy, carb-laden food. 

At the conclusion of the interview, you will be told whether you have been approved. After that, you will receive your EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card in the mail, or you may pick it up at the Social Services agency office. The process usually takes about 7 to 10 days. You then, will need to call a special phone number to set up a PIN number, just like a debit card. After that, you are good to go. You can begin using your card immediately online or at any supermarket. The amount you spend on SNAP eligible items (most every food item is eligible) will be deducted from your EBT account. Today, a single individual can receive as much as $234 a month.
The term “Sticker Shock” used to apply only to new cars. If you have gone grocery shopping, you know that speaks to the cost of basic food items as well. SNAP will allow you to supplement the meals you receive. Why deny yourself the healthy and pleasing diet you deserve? It’s not charity. As a U.S. citizen, you paid for it. Do not feel ashamed to take advantage of what is rightfully yours. If we can spend billions on supplies for Ukraine (and I’m not saying we shouldn’t) we certainly should help our seniors receive the food they need. ……………

Scroll down to Friday’s blog to view part one of this post.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 3, 2023

“My problem with democracy is that it doesn't exist. 
I'm not opposed to it. 
And I'm not opposed to the tooth fairy either.”
― Charles A. Coulombe

Senate group wades into 
tough talks on Social Security

A bipartisan group of senators is treading carefully into the politically difficult discussion of making changes to Social Security to extend its solvency.  

Senators from both parties who have been involved in the talks are tight-lipped when it comes to revealing details, though reports have begun to surface of discussions of potential changes to the age threshold for retirement and raising the taxable wage cap. 

“All of the ideas on the table are the ones you would expect, but the thing that I like about these discussions is that there’s ideas on the table that nobody has talked about until now, but that have a track record of working, and that’s what I think is interesting,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said. 

Read more  >>

Retirees lost 23% of their 
401(k) savings in 2022
By Jessica Dickler

In a year marked by stiff economic headwinds, retirement savers paid the price.

Although the average 401(k) balance rose in the fourth quarter of last year, balances ended 2022 down 23% from a year earlier to $103,900, according to a new report by Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of 401(k) plans. The financial services firm handles more than 35 million retirement accounts in total.

The average individual retirement account balance also plunged 20% year over year to $104,000 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“Given all the stresses in the world today, such as natural disasters and geo-political events, Americans continue to confront challenging times in our economy,” Kevin Barry, president of workplace investing at Fidelity, said in a statement Thursday.

Read more  >>

FDA panel narrowly 
Pfizer vaccine for 
RSV in older adults

A panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) narrowly voted in favor of the country’s first RSV vaccine for older adults, paving the way forward for the shot to be approved by the full agency.

The panel voted 7-4 with one abstention that current data support the vaccine’s safety, and voted 7-4 with one abstention in favor of its efficacy, saying that the vaccine adequately protects older adults from lower respiratory tract disease related to RSV.

In August, Pfizer announced that the vaccine was more than 85 percent effective in preventing severe lower respiratory tract illness in older adults, as marked by three symptoms. 

Read more  >>

Michaels Slammed for 
Allegedly Overcharging 

These days, it feels like we have to pay higher prices for just about everything—the last thing we want is to find out companies are making us pay even more than we should be. Nevertheless, many popular retailers, from Walmart to Dollar General, have come under fire for potentially ripping off shoppers. And now, a beloved craft store is being name-checked as well. Read on to find out why Michaels has been accused of overcharging customers.

In Aug. 2022, plaintiff Yoram Kahn filed two separate class action lawsuits against Walmart, Inc. and Target Corporation, claiming that both retailers use a "bait and switch" tactic to overcharge customers.

Walmart and Target allegedly have "shelf pricing [that] frequently misrepresents the prices consumers are charged at the point of sale," according to the lawsuits. In other words, the price that rings up at the checkout is higher than what is listed on the shelf.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

7 Ways to Make Your 
Gray Hair Soft and Shiny, 
According to Stylists

Deciding to go gray can be an empowering experience. So long, expensive salon colorings, root touch-up kits, and dye-induced damage. In their place, you've got gorgeous natural locks and a streamlined maintenance schedule. But what's the best way to keep your gray hair soft and shiny?

If you think you can simply keep up your previous haircare regimen, though, think again. Gray hair requires its own unique routine to keep it looking its best. We asked hairstylists to share their favorite pro tips for achieving glossy gray strands. Read on to find out how they recommend caring for your gray hair, so your natural hair color can shine.

1 - Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

Gray hair requires a different shampoo and conditioner regimen than fully pigmented strands. While you may have once chosen products based on your hair's unique needs—for example, volume or anti-frizz—you'll likely want to switch to something that can add moisture.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE


Part 1

If you are an older American residing in a congregate living environment and are having a problem with the food you are given to eat, you need to know this. There is help available, and all you have to do is ask for it.
They used to call them food stamps that were used as money to buy eligible food at grocery stores and supermarkets.

 The beneficiary would need to separate those “eligible” items from the others on the checkout counter. Of course, everyone behind them in line could see you were using the coupons. For many (especially those who never thought they would ever need to use them) it was embarrassing and humiliating and many refused to apply for just that reason. Not so anymore. The SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) has been streamlined. No longer does one have to rip individual coupons from a book and hand them to a disapproving clerk. Today, the procedure is as easy as using a debit card. And, you can use it online with food delivery services like Instacart, Walmart and Amazon. Best of all, it will save you a bundle. And for those on a fixed income who have been affected most by the recent unprecedented rise in the cost of even the most basic of food items, SNAP can be the difference between eating at a subsistence level or eating the way a senior citizen of the United States of America should eat.

When I said that all an eligible senior had to do to receive SNAP benefits was to ask for it may have been an oversimplification. While the application process is relatively easy, the standards for eligibility are not. However, while the income requirements remain the same, there is a change in who may be eligible.
At one time, those people living in an assisted living facility did not meet the requirements for help with paying for food no matter how poor you were. The reason being, it was assumed you were getting three nutritious meals a day as part of your room and board, making you ineligible for SNAP benefits. Today, that has changed. In part two of this post, I will tell you how you may now get this benefit where before you could not. And all it takes is a little honesty and a lot of humility………… 

MARCH 4 , 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 2, 2023

“You will never be happy if you continue to 
search for what happiness consists of. 
You will never live if you are 
looking for the meaning of life.”
― Albert Camus

Drugmaker Eli Lilly 
caps the cost of insulin 
at $35 a month, 
bringing relief for millions
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Eli Lilly will cap the out-of-pocket cost of its insulin at $35 a month, the drugmaker said Wednesday. The move, experts say, could prompt other insulin makers in the U.S. to follow suit.

The change, which Eli Lilly said takes effect immediately, puts the drugmaker in line with a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act, which last month imposed a $35 monthly cap on the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for seniors enrolled in Medicare.

Insulin makers continue to face pressure from members of Congress and advocacy groups to lower the cost of the lifesaving medication. Insulin costs in the U.S. are notoriously high compared to the costs in other countries; the Rand Corporation, a public policy think tank, estimated that in 2018, the average list price for one vial of insulin in the U.S. was $98.70.

Read more  >>

Why Aren’t Doctors Screening 
Older Americans for Anxiety?
By Paula Span 

Susan Tilton’s husband, Mike, was actually in good health. But after a friend’s husband developed terminal cancer, she began to worry that Mike would soon die, too.

At night, “I’d lie down and start thinking about it,” recalled Ms. Tilton, 72, who lives in Clayton, Mo. “What would I do? What would I do?” The thought of life without her husband — they’d married at 17 and 18 — left her sleepless and dragging through the next day.

“It was very hard to shut it off,” she said of her worrying. “How could I get along by myself? What would I do with the house?”

Read more  >>

Extra SNAP benefits 
are ending. 
Here's what you can do 
to offset the loss.
By Medora Lee

Pandemic-era extra SNAP benefits are expiring this week.
It couldn't come at a worse time, with inflation remaining stubbornly high.
Here are some options to try to make up for some of the lost food budget.
Pandemic-era boosts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will all be gone this week, forcing millions of Americans to find alternative ways to pay for food. 

The timing couldn’t be worse. People are already squeezed, with inflation remaining stubbornly high. Annual grocery prices in January climbed 11.3%. Now, people will have even fewer dollars to stretch. 

“SNAP participants are going to see a reduction, and it's going to go back to what it was before the pandemic," said Man-Yee Lee, spokesperson at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which supplies hundreds of food pantries. "That could make sense, except food prices are so high now.” 

Read more  >>

Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill? 
Here’s What to Do
By Martha Groves

With tax forms arriving in mailboxes, many older Americans are sweating this year's April 18 tax deadline because they lack the funds to pay their bills in full.

If you owe the almighty IRS and can't pay, you have options. Whatever you do, don't do zilch. You can run, but you can't hide.

"The worst thing to do with the IRS is to do nothing at all," says Nina E. Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights, a nonprofit organization in Washington. "You really do need to take some steps if you have debt and can't afford to pay."

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE

A Simple Choice: 
Social Security 
or Billionaire Greed

Any politician who expresses concern about 
Social Security's finances without being willing 
to tax the rich is a phony. Nothing but a phony.


Like they used to say in the old neighborhood, some things ain't complicated. If your senator or representative won't tax the wealthy to protect and expand Social Security, then they care more about America's 728 billionaires than they do about the 66 million children, disabled, and older people currently receiving benefits—or the many millions that will follow them. They don't deserve to stay in office if they can't represent their own people.

Social Security is a vast, highly successful program. That makes it sound complicated. It's not. It was built on simple moral and operational principles. Among them was universality, the idea that the program should include everyone, and the notion that everyone should pay their fair share. Unfortunately, the millionaires and billionaires plundering the economy aren't pitching in the way they should.

That makes the choice for our elected officials simple, too: Are you going to make the wealthy step up or are you going to hide behind word-salad speeches and sleight-of-hand legislation? One thing is clear: any politician who expresses concern about Social Security's finances without being willing to tax the rich is a phony. Nothing but a phony.

Read more  >>

FRIDAY, MARCH 3 , 2023

©2023 Bruce Cooper


MARCH 1, 2023

"For-profit higher education is today a booming industry, 
feeding on the student loans handed out to the desperate."
____Thomas Frank

New Congress May End 
Taxing Social Security Benefits

More than half of Social Security recipients pay, or soon will, taxes on their benefits, and that number will only increase in the years to come.

"Every year, millions of seniors become eligible for either Social Security or tier I railroad retirement benefits,” Bob Carlstrom, Association of Mature American Citizens founder and president, said. “After working for decades, paying taxes on their hard-earned income to fund these federal programs, some seniors are forced to pay income tax on the benefits they receive from the federal government,” he added.

Before 1984, seniors’ Social Security was exempt from federal taxation, but a law that year changed the rules, making any individual who has an income of up to $34,000 eligible to pay taxes on up to 50% of their benefits.

Nature improves 
the life quality of 
older adults
By Andrei Ionescu

Many studies have argued that spending time in nature provides numerous psychological, emotional, and physical benefits. Now, by examining the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of a group of elders (people over 65) who regularly spent time in a nature area, an international team of scientists has found that fostering social connections around nature-based activities may improve health and quality of life.

In Japan, the term “shinrin-yoku,” or “forest bathing” refers to spending time in nature while engaging all of one’s senses. For elders who encounter difficulties in hiking over difficult trails, forest bathing could be an enjoyable and safe alternative to spend time in nature. In fact, this activity has become increasingly popular among older adults not only in Japan, China, and Taiwan, where this practice originated, but also more recently in the United States.

Between April and June 2022, the scientists surveyed a cohort of 292 older visitors to the Xitou Nature Education Area, a natural preserve in Taiwan. The participants – who were over 65 and visited the park at least once a week – were asked a variety of questions, such as whether they felt supported by others, how much they thought about their futures, and how much purpose they felt their lives had. The analysis revealed that those who discussed their experiences in nature with others had a greater sense of attachment to forest bathing and a stronger sense of purpose in life – factors which, according to previous research – are associated to better physical and mental health and higher quality of life.

How to take better care 
of your aging brain
By Marian Diamond

Your brain’s health may be the most powerful indicator of how long you will live. It is crucial to whether that life will be rich and satisfying from youth well into old age, or something substantially less rewarding, and for less time.

A car driven wisely, fueled with high-quality gasoline, given regular oil changes, and repaired with new parts as old ones wear out, is likely to last longer than one that’s abused or neglected. Likewise, the easiest way to have a healthy brain in middle age and beyond is to follow good physical and mental habits.

But what if a person comes late to repairs, like the owner of a car that rusts for years on blocks or runs too long on dirty oil? The car owner can always swap out the engine. You, on the other hand, have only one brain, basically composed of the same neurons you were born with, plus a few added to some narrowly specific areas. Once they’ve begun to deteriorate, can they be saved—or even made stronger?

(This article may be viewed for free by saving to

The 4 Most Common Types 
of 'Gray Affairs'
An author’s 30-year anecdotal study of infidelity 
finds older women are as likely as younger 
women to have extramarital affairs
By Sara Zeff Geber

Are extramarital affairs confined to those in the first half of life? Does a woman's interest in having a romantic relationship outside of the marriage vows wane after menopause? Apparently not, says Susan Shapiro Barash, author of "A Passion for More: Affairs that Make or Break Us," who released a revised and updated version of her 2001 book in October, 2022.

For the past 30 years, Barash has been studying female infidelity and her most recent finding is that "gray affairs," while unusual when she first started interviewing her volunteer subjects, are now quite common.

"What women over fifty reported in this round of interviews was a notable finding for me and a departure from the earlier years of tracking female infidelity."

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

World's most tattooed 
senior citizens have no regrets 
over inking 98 percent of their bodies
By Nasima Khatun

A couple has made history after they secured the top spot for the World's Most Tattooed Senior Citizens for the fourth year running and they say they have no regrets about inking 98% of their bodies.

Charlotte Guttenberg, 76, and Charles Helmke, 81 from Melbourne, Florida, both hold the coveted title in their respective genders after spending a combined total of 2,000 hours in the tattooist's chair in order to get to be graced with the honor.

As per the Daily Mail, the pair ironically met at a tattoo parlor where they hit it off and started dating, and now, almost two decades later, they have both reached a milestone that many could only dream of.


I’m sorry if this comes as a surprise, but assisted living facilities are not all luxury spa’s featuring fun and games and filled with wise, gentle and happy senior citizens who love and get along well with their fellow residents as described in many of those glossy brochures or online ads. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. Fights with other residents and staff break out all the time. And they are not necessarily all verbal. Many conflicts involve actual hand to hand combat.
Such an incident happened here over this past weekend and, while I did not witness this, nor do I have any details what started it, I understand it was very disturbing for many of our residents who only want some peace while they are here.

Why does this happen? Let’s look at some basics…
Problems with assisted living:
Assisted living facilities are designed to provide housing and support services for seniors and individuals with disabilities who require assistance with activities of daily living. However, like any other type of housing or care arrangement, there can be problems with assisted living. Some of the common issues are:
The quality of care in assisted living facilities can vary greatly. Some facilities may not have enough staff or may not provide adequate training to their staff, which can cause subpar care for residents.
Safety concerns can arise in assisted living facilities, including falls, medication errors, abuse, and neglect. These issues can be problematic for individuals with mobility or cognitive impairments.

Some individuals in assisted living may feel isolated or lonely, as they may not have as many opportunities for socialization as they did before moving to the facility.
While assisted living facilities are designed to provide support to residents, some individuals may feel that their independence is limited in these environments.
Assisted living facilities may have limited options for care or activities, which can make it difficult for residents to engage in activities that interest them.
Difficulty transitioning: Moving to an assisted living facility can be a difficult transition for some individuals, particularly if they are leaving their home or a familiar environment.
Fighting among residents:
Fighting among residents at assisted living facilities can be a concerning and challenging issue for staff members to address. It’s important to understand the underlying reasons for the fighting. Is it because of disagreements over personal space, possessions, or activities? Is it related to cognitive decline or mental health issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? Identifying the causes can help staff members develop targeted interventions.
Encouraging residents to communicate their needs and concerns to staff members, and provide them with opportunities to take part in group activities and social events, can help to reduce isolation and promote socialization, which can decrease the likelihood of conflict.
Assisted living facilities should be designed to create a peaceful and calming environment. Avoid loud noises, overcrowding, or other environmental factors that could contribute to agitation or aggression. Staff members should be trained to identify and manage conflicts when they arise. Conflict resolution techniques, such as mediation or restorative justice, can be effective in resolving disputes between residents.
Often there is a failure to provide individualized care that takes into account their specific needs and preferences. This can help to reduce the likelihood of conflict by addressing potential triggers before they escalate.
Behavioral therapy techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can be helpful in managing aggression and other challenging behaviors in residents with dementia or other cognitive impairments.
Also, family members can play an important role in reducing conflict by providing emotional support to their loved ones and helping to identify triggers or patterns of behavior.

Ultimately, preventing fighting among residents in assisted living facilities requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the unique needs of each resident and promotes a safe and supportive living environment.
While I have never had a fight with anybody, I have come close. When I first came here, I disagreed over the policy involving my ability to take pain relievers on my own, when I needed them. There was much yelling and shouting, which resulted in me having a heart-to-heart talk with the case management director. In a calm, but firm manner, I told them in no uncertain terms how I was to be treated in the future. It evidently worked. I have never had a serious disagreement with management since. Perhaps my years as a customer service representative and hours spent in conflict resolution scenarios had something to do with it………………


©2023 Bruce Cooper


FEBRUARY 28, 2023

“I am a very committed wife. 
And I should be committed, too—
for being married so many times.” 
—Elizabeth Taylor

New HUD Guidance 
Issued for Low-Income 
Elderly Support

Provision of transportation, health, and wellness programs outlined by the federal housing department.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published new guidance for supportive service programs for low-income seniors. Rental organizations receiving funding from the housing department requested more input and clarity for how best to plan and implement transportation, meal programs, and health and wellness activities for seniors living on their properties, and the HUD has published the new guidance based on those requests.

“We will continue working with owners as they develop or renew plans that support both individual residents and the communities within a property that are so often one of the social lifelines for seniors,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Ethan Handelman.

Retirement Does Not 
Exempt You From Taxes: 
How to Prepare for It

Retirement is a significant milestone for workers, especially those who are happy to reach their golden years. Upon receiving your last salary, you can start sleeping soundly. You don’t have...

Retirement is a significant milestone for workers, especially those who are happy to reach their golden years. Upon receiving your last salary, you can start sleeping soundly. You don’t have to bother setting the alarm for your nine-to-five job. You will no longer have to go through the hassle of commuting and getting stuck in traffic. Even if it’s a remote job, you will no longer have to drag yourself out of bed and face your laptop. At least, this is the dream of those of us dreaming of this great day.

Producers of ‘The Bachelor’ 
Resume Casting Senior Citizens 
for Long-Awaited Dating Show 
‘The Golden Bachelor’: 
Here’s How to Apply

“Welcome to the Mansion, sorry in advance if your Jitterbug service is spotty up here.”

Single senior citizens looking for love (or an opportunity to boost their following on “The Facebook”) may soon have their chance, as producers of ‘The Bachelor’ have resumed casting for a seniors version of the dating reality show.

It was first announced back in January 2020 that Bachelor Nation was stepping into the world of senior love and searching for people age 65 and older to participate in the “new, exciting dating show.” However, the show was soon postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social Security Says
Customer-Service Upgrade 
Unlikely This Year

Waits for phone help, disability decisions
expected to worsen in near term
By Sharon Jayson,  

That’s the takeaway from the fiscal year 2023 operating plan the agency submitted to Congress Feb. 10, which details how Social Security will use its $14.1 billion budget allocation for the year and acknowledges a “temporary degradation” of some services, particularly for people waiting for decisions on disability benefits or calling the SSA’s national 800 number for help.

Though less than the $14.8 billion the SSA requested, the new budget represents an increase of $785 million, or 6 percent, from the previous year’s spending on the agency’s administration and operations. AARP and its members fought for Congress to give the SSA a significant funding boost to address the customer service crisis.

But the SSA says that, in the wake of years of underfunding and historically high staff attrition, most of the new money has, in effect, been spent already. The agency doesn’t expect customer service to start improving before fiscal year (FY) 2024, which begins Oct. 1.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE

Web Browsers for 
Privacy and Security

Are you concerned about the safety and privacy of your online browsing? Look no further than our guide to the most secure web browsers. We've done the research to help you choose a browser that prioritizes your privacy and keeps your data safe. In this guide, we compare the top browsers and explore their features, performance, and customization options. From ad-blockers to built-in VPNs, we cover all the essential tools that make a browser secure.

In recent years, online privacy and security have become a growing concern for individuals and organizations alike. With the increase in cyber threats and the collection of personal data by tech companies, many people are looking for web browsers that prioritize user privacy and security.

This blog post takes a closer look at some of the most popular web browsers and examines their security and privacy features. By exploring these features, you'll have an easier time figuring out which browser best suits your needs.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


FEBRUARY 27, 2023

“Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; 
whoever sleeps long,
 does not sin; whoever does not sin, 
enters Heaven! 
Thus, let us drink beer!”
― Martin Luther

Understanding the Impact 
of Health Conditions and 
Medications on Seniors
By Payton Sy, RN

Rarely does a new parent give their baby medication without triple-checking the label and probing their pediatrician. Medical professionals recommend the same pause be given when both diagnosing and treating health conditions in older adult populations.

As the body ages – and thus changes over time – medications are metabolized, or broken down, differently. This leads to some medicines becoming extra potent and some losing their effect – but both scenarios can be dangerous. Similarly, the aging body also has an impact on the way that health conditions manifest. A urinary tract infection, for example, might appear as confusion in a senior, rather than the typical presentation of painful urination.

Geriatric medicine is complicated by both abnormal disease presentations and adverse medication reactions. Understanding the basics of why these two happen may help you advocate for individualized care for yourself or a loved one when you feel something isn’t right but aren’t sure what's wrong.

Flu vaccine was 68%
t less protective for seniors 
this season
By Spencer Kimball


- The flu vaccine has been 68% effective at preventing hospitalizations in children and 35% effective at preventing hospitalization in seniors this season, according to preliminary CDC data.

- Dr. Jose Romero, head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, said flu cases and hospitalizations are declining but that the U.S. could see a second wave later this year.

- The CDC recommends seasonal flu vaccination for everyone ages 6 months and older.

The effectiveness of flu vaccines can vary widely season to season depending on how well the strains included in the shots are matched to the circulating viruses.

The flu vaccine has been 68% effective at preventing hospitalizations in children but has been less protective for seniors this season, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccine was 35% effective at preventing hospitalization for seniors in one study, and 42% effective in a second analysis.

Unvaccinated more likely 
to have heart attack, stroke 
after COVID, study finds
Being fully vaccinated reduced 
the risk by about 41 percent.

A bout of COVID-19 is known to increase a person's long-term risks of having a major cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. But being fully vaccinated or even partially vaccinated appears to bring that risk down, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study, led by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, drew on medical records from over 1.9 million patients who were infected with COVID-19 between March 2020 and February 2022. Of those 1.9 million patients, a "major adverse cardiac event," namely a heart attack, stroke, or another cardiac event, was identified in 13,948 patients, and 3,175 died following the event.

Overall, the researchers found that being vaccinated—fully or partially—was linked to fewer cardiac events in the six months following a case of COVID-19. After adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, and time since the pandemic began, the researchers found that being fully vaccinated reduced the risk of having a major cardiac event by about 41 percent, while being partially vaccinated reduced the risk by about 24 percent.

Fighting age 
in cancer treatment

Age is the largest risk factor for getting cancer. In fact, 60% of cancer patients are over the age of 65. Seventy percent of all cancer deaths occur in people who are 65 plus.

For so many of these older patients, age is a main factor when considering treatment options. But one doctor is trying to change the protocol.

He wants to throw out the number and consider a person’s health instead. One size does not fit all when it comes to treating cancer patients.

“Any particular age is far less important than how you feel, how you’re doing, how you’re physically functioning, how you’re mentally functioning,” said Dr. William Dale, a geriatrician at Center for Cancer and Aging, City of Hope.

Dick Van Dyke 
Shares His Secrets
to Feeling Young at 97

At 97 years old, Dick Van Dyke is still performing and living life to the fullest. His most recent gig was on the competition series The Masked Singer on which he belted out "When You're Smiling" by Billie Holiday while in a giant gnome costume just last week. So, how does he stay feeling so youthful? The actor and dancer revealed his secrets to a long, full, and healthy life in a new interview. One secret is something out of his control, another has to do with his personal life, and one is something that you may be able to do yourself today. Read on to see what advice the legendary performer shared.

After starring in Mary Poppins, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Bye Bye Birdie, Van Dyke could have retired decades ago and still been an entertainment icon. But, he's kept working into his 90s.

In 2018, he appeared in Mary Poppins Returns, making not just a cameo but dancing a musical number. In 2020, he had a voice role in the TV show Kidding. And, earlier this month, he was a contestant on The Masked Singer. When it was revealed that Van Dyke was the celebrity in the gnome costume, the judges were shocked.

"I knew that they couldn't guess who I was. I don't think they expected anybody from my generation to be on that show," Van Dyke told Entertainment Weekly. "So I knew I was gonna fool them. They were so surprised. I stepped out and everybody's mouths dropped open. I think some people thought I was dead."

There are two things we need to change
First, we need to abolish daylight saving time. Why, in this modern day of electric lights and modern farming techniques, do we need an extra hour of daylight? It’s archaic and confusing. I’m not alone in this thinking. Hawaii, Alaska and Arizona do not change their clocks as do the entire nations of Japan, India and China. And they appear to do just fine with that. Besides, I still can’t figure out how to turn back the time on my Casio watch and clock radio.

The next thing we should get rid of is February. Yes, the entire month. February makes no sense, especially for old people.
Doesn’t time speed by fast enough already without having an entire month with fewer days in it? [1]

There are other reasons to do away with February. Besides being one of the coldest months of the year, it comes just before the month when spring arrives. Abolishing February would, by default, hasten everybody’s favorite season. Think of it. Without February, January would be the last full month of winter. Yay!

Also, all those illiterates who spell and pronounce it as “February” would no longer have to to show their ignorance. [2]
Financially, without February, there would be one less month we would have to pay rent, credit card and utility bills. And, it wouldn’t be too hard to adopt.
All we would have to do is to make all the remaining 11 months 33 days long except for July and August (the two summer months) which would have 34 days. An extra day each to enjoy our summer vacations. 

Of course, you would have the kids around longer before they have to start school and you would have one less month on your car lease. Also, anyone born in what previously was February would have to choose a different official birthday, but those are minor compared to the advantages. 

No doubt some folks will balk at this. Landlords, banks, Visa and MasterCard. I assure you, I will bring this up at our next Illuminati World Domination meeting in Luxembourg next month. Until then, “Novus ōrdō sēclōrum”…………..

[1] Why time passes faster as you age

[2]Perhaps we should thing about changing the name “liberry” too.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


FEBRUARY 24, 2023

“I filled my mouth with spaghetti and thanked God for the Italians.
Spaghetti, pizza, ice cream. If they weren't so busy making love and
whizzing around on Vespas, they'd probably rule the world.”

― Abbi Waxman,

Older voters balk at 
Nikki Haley’s 
competency test

Older Republicans say they aren’t opposed to Nikki Haley’s call for a new generation of politicians leading their party.

But when she calls for mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75, some of them start to feel insulted.

The 51-year-old Republican presidential contender has made evaluating the mental acuity of elder statesmen a key part of her opening campaign pitch. It’s one of the only ways Haley has sought to explicitly differentiate herself from former President Donald Trump, who is 76. And it’s one of the cudgels she’s deployed against 80-year-old President Joe Biden.


Stress can be an interesting phenomenon. In many ways, experiencing it throughout our day-to-day lives can be a good thing – pushing us to become more adaptable, and helping us to become more resilient.

As we get older though, and regardless of the reason behind its emergence, coping with stress can begin to feel more difficult than it once was. That’s why it’s important to have some good coping mechanisms in place for dealing with any stress that may come along.

On top of this, as we get older – and especially as we pass 60 – stress can begin to have different effects on the body. But what exactly are these, and what impacts can they have on your overall health?

Below I’ve outlined six of the most common ways in which stress can affect your body more after 60, to give you an idea of some signs to look out for.

Where can I afford to live 
in retirement? 
Senior housing and 
the 'forgotten middle'
By Jessica Hall

As housing costs soar, these are among the top questions retirees and near-retirees grapple with as they transition out of paid work and into a life on a fixed income. It's a particularly tricky issue for the so-called "forgotten middle" of the senior housing market--those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid and those who can't afford traditional senior living.

By 2029, there will be 14.4 million middle-income seniors, 60% will have mobility limitations and 20% of whom will have high healthcare and functional needs, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), which coined the term "forgotten middle." Many will need the level of care provided by traditional senior housing, but 54% will not have the money to pay for it, NIC estimated.

To address this market, 2Life Communities will break ground in about a month on a $155 million development that caters to this demographic.

Never Too Old For Sex!
By Meredith White 

Okay, so some of us are not comfortable talking about sex. Or maybe we are when it comes to ourselves but not our parents or seniors. But guess what? It is still a part of life and for some, seniors’ sex is still very much a part of their lives.

Is senior sex a good thing or a bad thing?

Any kind of connection or socializing is typically a good thing for seniors. Especially if they are suffering in any kind of way. Being with others even innocent affection like holding hands can make them feel good.

Some would suggest that seniors’ sex in a long term home is not appropriate but others disagree.

What Your Heart Rate 
Says About Your Health
By Hallie Levine

You probably already know several key numbers about your health: your weight, your blood pressure, your cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and possibly even your waist circumstance. But there’s another one that you should add to your list: your heart rate.

"If it’s too low, or too high, it can indicate heart problems,” says Michael LaMonte, research professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions and spokesperson for the American Heart Association. “But it can also be tricky, since your heart rate can be impacted by a lot of different things, including environmental conditions such as heat, humidity or cold.” Here’s a look at what an ideal heart rate is, and what a rate too high or too low may mean for you.

So, what’s your ideal heart rate, really?

The American Heart Association says anything between 60 and 100 beats per minute at rest is considered normal. But on the lower end is better — it means that your heart muscle is in better shape, so that it doesn’t have to work as hard to beat regularly, says cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director of Atria NYC and clinical associate professor of medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Research shows, for example, that men with a resting heart rate of over 90 beats per minute had three times the risk of death from any cause compared to men whose heart rate was less than 50.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE

It’s been a while since my words have graced this blog. I have been in a self-induced coma for the last year hoping, upon my wakening, the food around here might have improved. Sadly, my hibernation was for naught. It’s as bad, or perhaps worse, as it was. The portion sizes have become noticeably smaller. A sure sign the bean-counters have been hard at work. The DOH requires we are to be fed a minimum of 4 ounces of protein with each meal. And that’s exactly what we have been getting. In case you are wondering what 4 ounces of protein looks like, imagine an order of Chinese spare ribs (bone in). Then imagine that order comprised just two ribs. That’s approximately 4 ounces. Hardly what one would call an adult portion. Perhaps the DOH does not consider old people adults, preferring to treat us like children so they don’t have to deal with the reality of an ever-increasing senior population.

But that’s enough about social issues. That’s not what prompted my return. I would much rather talk about food, anyway.
I was brought up in what is perhaps the most food-oriented city in the nation. New York. Besides having most restaurants (about 28,000 of them)[1], the city is blessed with a variety of ethnic cuisines. Not just your usual Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Japanese or Indian fare, but foods from literally hundreds of countries and cultures. And all of them are authentic. Not just Americanized versions of what we think ethnic food should taste like. And that is what I miss having to eat three meals a day in this gastronomic wasteland. Variety.

The food fed to us is ethnic in name only. It has no resemblance to any food served in any country on the planet. Here’s an example.
They serve chili with no chili flavor whatsoever. Why? Because of the misguided belief the  digestive tracts of many of our residents won’t allow anything
with even a modicum of heat to be served lest a trip to ER should occur. That’s true for Italian food without garlic or oregano and very bland meat, chicken and fish dishes.  Only some of the foods smothered in BBQ sauce  like pulled pork sandwiches or BBQ chicken have any zip.  Even then, the sauce comes from a jar of what I think is Kraft BBQ sauce. Much too sweet and gloppy.
Fortunately, I compensate for the lack of seasoning with my special blend of garlic, onion, pepper flakes, basil and salt mixture that I have combined in a shaker jar and tuck into my pants pocket. I can then sprinkle as much of it as I want over whatever atrocity they serve to me. While this is not the same as adding the ingredients when cooking, it at least gives the illusion I am eating something more than just Pablum.…………….FF

[1] Just to give you an idea of the number of restaurants in NYC it would take you approximately 74 years to try them all. You can eat at a different spot once a day for 74 years and never go to the same place twice.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


 FEBRUARY 23, 2023

“The combination of olive oil,
 garlic and lemon juice 
lifts the spirits in winter.” 

_____Yotam Ottolenghi

What Is Elder Law?
By Eric Reed 

Elder law refers to legal issues that concern older adults, generally defined as people above the age of 65. It is often understood as an extension of traditional trust and estate law, but overlaps other legal specialties too. The growing number of elderly in the U.S. has created a need for lawyers trained to serve clients with the distinct needs of the elder, and several organizations now focus on elder law. Consider working with a financial advisor as you create or update your estate plan.

What Is Elder Law?

The National Elder Law Foundation offers a comprehensive definition of elder law. It is "the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and persons with special needs, their representatives about the legal aspects of health and long-term care planning, public benefits, surrogate decision-making, legal capacity, the conservation, disposition and administration of  estates and the implementation of their decisions concerning such matters, giving due consideration to the applicable tax consequences of the action, or the need for more sophisticated tax expertise."

Social Security Proposes 
Change To SSI Benefits
By Michelle Diament 

The Social Security Administration is looking to make a big change to the way that it determines monthly payments for people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Currently, SSI beneficiaries can see their payments docked — often by one-third — if someone else regularly provides them with meals or groceries. But under a new plan that would change.

In a proposed rule published this month in the Federal Register, the Social Security Administration said it wants to update its regulations to exclude food from the way it calculates what’s known as “in-kind support and maintenance.” In addition, the agency intends to tweak its definition of income to allow for this exception.

U.S. to select 10 
costliest drugs for 
Medicare pricing negotiation
By Ahmed Aboulenein

The U.S. government will select the 10 costliest prescription medicines to Medicare for negotiating prices with drugmakers starting early next year, the program's top official said on Friday.

President Joe Biden in August signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, allowing the federal Medicare health plan for people age 65 and older and the disabled to negotiate prices on some of its most costly drugs.

The law grants the government the right to choose any 10 from a list of the 50 medicines responsible for the highest Medicare spending that qualify for negotiation, but does not specify the exact criteria for choosing them.

FDA approves first 
treatment for leading 
cause of blindness 
in older people

Global vision and brain research non-profit BrightFocus Foundation celebrates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Syfovre (pegcetacoplan injection), the first-ever treatment to slow the progression of vision loss from geographic atrophy, an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration and a leading cause of blindness. 

“Today’s FDA approval of Syfovre provides hope to the more than five million people worldwide who are at risk of permanent vision loss from geographic atrophy,” said BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. “This first-of-its-kind treatment is a momentous step forward in vision research and will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of people.” 

An estimated one million people in the U.S. have geographic atrophy, an advanced and severe form of age-related macular degeneration in which regions of cells in the retina waste away and die (atrophy). This progressive and irreversible disease can lead to permanent vision loss. Nearly 20 million adults in the U.S. have some form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), almost double the previous estimate of 11 million people, according to a new report.    

The elderly are targets. 
My family learned too late 
how to fight scams.
By Lizette Alvarez

My 78-year-old mother-in-law handed an envelope containing $25,000 in cash to a Florida Lyft driver who showed up one morning on her doorstep during the early days of the pandemic.

The cash was intended to bail out her beloved nephew from jail, where he sat after crashing into a pregnant woman and killing her. Or so my mother-in-law was told by the man on the phone who pretended to be her nephew’s lawyer. The man instructed her to tell no one or he would rot in jail. On two consecutive days, she made large cash withdrawals at her bank and the “lawyer” sent the Lyft driver to collect the loot.

But there was no accident and no jail stint. My mother-in-law, reacting with her heart and not her head, was too scared to call her nephew or other family members to verify the tale. Days later, she mentioned to my husband that she had bailed the nephew out of jail — with no idea that she had been scammed.


©2023 Bruce Cooper


 FEBRUARY 22, 2023

“If I hadn't lost my hearing, I wouldn't be where I am now.
 It forced me to maximize my own potential.
 I have to be better than the average person to succeed.”
― Lou Ferrigno

What it means to enter 
hospice care as Jimmy Carter 
elects to stop medical treatment
By Mary Kekatos

What's the difference between hospice and palliative care?

People with serious illnesses or seeking end-of-life care can opt for hospice or palliative care.

Over the weekend, former President Jimmy Carter entered home hospice care, the Carter Center announced.

The center said in a statement that the oldest living president, who is 98 years old, had elected "to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention" after several hospital stays.

"He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers," the statement read.

This decline 
could be good news
By Lois A. Bowers

Good news for older adults and those who care about them: The prevalence of disabilities among Americans aged 65 or more years is “much lower” than it was for the same age group a decade earlier.

That’s according to researchers whose meta analysis results recently were published online in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The decline in disability among older Americans was “substantial,” according to the findings. Between 2008 and 2017, the odds of experiencing limitations in activities of daily living declined 18%, and the odds of experiencing functional limitations decreased 13%.

In 2008, 12.1% of older Americans reported ADL limitations, but by 2017, that percentage had dropped to 9.6%. “To put this into perspective, if the prevalence of limitations in daily living remained at the 2008 levels, an additional 1.27 million older Americans would have ADL limitations in 2017,” according to a press release touting the findings.

Recognizing hearing loss 
in older adults
By Adam Pope

 In an effort to improve the quality of life for those with hearing loss, adult caregivers can engage in meaningful conversations with their loved ones, providing them with the tools and support necessary to navigate the challenges that come with hearing impairment.

Aging may have its benefits, but apparently crystal-clear hearing is not one of them.

Nearly two-thirds of adults over the age of 70 in the United States experience hearing loss. Erika Walsh, M.D., director of the Division of Otology and Neurotology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, says hearing loss in adults is usually multi-factorial.

“Important contributors to hearing loss are lifetime cumulative noise exposure, genetic predisposition, prior history of chronic ear infections, exposure to certain medications and agents associated with hearing loss, exposure to toxins — alcohol and tobacco, and changes in the cochlea with time,” Walsh said.

Can Hearing Loss Be Reversed?
Research Reveals Clues 
That Could Regrow the Cells 
That Help Us Hear

Taking a bite of an apple is considered a healthy choice. But have you ever thought about putting in earplugs before your favorite band takes the stage?

Just like your future body will thank you for the apple, your future ears (specifically your cochlear hair cells) will thank you for protecting them. The most common cause of hearing loss is progressive because these hair cells—the primary cells to detect sound waves—cannot regenerate if damaged or lost.

People who have repeated exposure to loud noises, like military personnel, construction workers, and musicians, are most at risk for this type of hearing loss. But, it can happen to anyone over time (even concert goers).

How to Sell Your Stuff 
and How to Be OK With It
By Rashelle Brown

Whether you're downsizing, decluttering, or dealing with the estate of a loved one, chances are you've got some stuff you could stand to get rid of. And while you'll probably choose to donate or give away some items, other possessions can be sold, sometimes for quite a bit of cash.

In this article we'll cover how to sell items online, including tips on creating listings that will net top dollar, as well as how to avoid payment scams and stay safe when handing the items over in person. And if there are some items you haven't been able to part with for sentimental reasons, we've solicited expert advice on how to work through that, too.

Where and How to List Your Stuff

The key to getting the most for your items is a great listing. Before you start composing one, decide where to list your items. There are many online options; some of the best-known and heavily trafficked sites are eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE

Twelve years ago, I left Mt. Sinai hospital missing two things.
One of those was 8 or 9 feet of colon, the other, mostly all hearing in my left ear.
The colon had to go because it almost killed me. My loss of hearing because someone may have made a mistake. [1]

While I miss my colon (you become very attached to your internal organs after 62 years), the colostomy is something I have learned to live with it. The impact it has on my daily life is minimal. Losing hearing is something else. It affects most everything I do here.

Though I still have hearing in one ear, which allows me to carry on conversations with people, I miss half the things going on around me. Only sound that comes from directly in front of me or on my right side is audible. Frequently, people who unknowingly stand on my left side and say something, think I’m ignoring them when I don’t respond. This becomes worrisome in the dining room when a server (standing to my left) asks me what I want to eat. Often one of my tablemates has to repeat the question. And lately, I find myself asking people to speak up or repeat things which annoys them to no end.

Living in a “Mono” world.
One of my great pleasures was listening to music. Being a child of the sixties and seventies, music was everywhere, and it often came from expensive sound systems. The more amps and wattage, and speakers the better. The key was getting just the right balance of left and right tracks so that the sound reproduced was as close to the original as possible. Nothing compares to listening to the 1812 overture with the audio turned up to 12.
Today, for me, there is no stereo. I hear only in monaural and sometimes, only the right track. Many devices today don’t have the option to switch from mono to stereo like my computer and other portable sound reproducing devices. Even live music hurts my ear. Many of the higher frequency sounds are lost when there are other ambient noises in the room. It's come to the point where I no longer attend any of the live music events they present here.

By now, you are asking yourself, “Why doesn’t he just get a hearing aid ?” To which I answer, “I’d love to, but I can’t afford the type that would help my particular condition.”

A proper hearing aid runs about $3000 to $4000. And Medicare or Medicaid won’t pay for it. Why? The answer may amuse you. It appears having the loss of 50% of one’s hearing does not qualify as being “hard of hearing” or deaf. Only if the remaining hearing in my “good” ear gets worse I may be a candidate for a hearing aid. Sadly, Medicare doesn’t think hearing loss (or tooth loss) is that important to old people. There are no hearing or dental plans available, for now.
So, here I sit watching TV with the sound turned up and the closed captioning running across the bottom of the screen, wondering if they are accurately transcribing the dialogue. Hmm, I wonder if I qualify for a support dog. Do they even have "hearing " dogs"?

[1] The diagnosis was that a conflict of medications they were giving me (mostly antibiotics and steroids) caused irreversible damage to the nerves in one ear.


©2023 Bruce Cooper



"First open your heart, then open your Bible.”
____Rick Warren

Nearly 90% of seniors think 
the U.S. is facing a retirement 
savings crisis
By Chris Clow

According to a survey released on Wednesday by American Advisors Group (AAG), about 89% of seniors believe there is currently a retirement savings crisis in the United States. This offers further insight into the mindsets of older Americans who are navigating historic levels of inflation and increased living costs.

The survey — conducted in November 2022 with 1,523 participants — also showed that 43% of seniors rated the condition of their retirement savings as either “fair” or “poor,” and 47% of seniors said they found it difficult to save for retirement.

In addition, the survey showed that 44% of seniors do not feel they have saved enough to retire comfortably, and another 57% of respondents said they were either “somewhat” or “not at all” optimistic that their savings will last through retirement. Nearly 40% of seniors also said they were worried about their ability to make ends meet.

Older adults with
irregular sleep patterns 
may face higher risk of 
hardened arteries

Older adults with irregular sleep habits may face a higher risk for hardened arteries than their peers with regular bedtimes and hours of sleep, new research suggests.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found adults 45 and older who fell asleep at different times each night and slept an inconsistent number of hours were more likely to develop atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in artery walls that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

"Maintaining regular sleep schedules and decreasing variability in sleep is an easily adjustable lifestyle behavior that can not only help improve sleep, but also help reduce cardiovascular risk for aging adults," lead study author Kelsie Full said in a news release. Full is an assistant professor of medicine in the division of epidemiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Cost of getting sick for older 
people of color is 25% higher 
than for white Americans 
By Marc Cohen and Jane Tavares

As you age, you’re more likely to get sick. And health problems can affect your financial well-being too.

People with health problems spend heavily on health care – the cumulative cost of chronic diseases in the U.S. is nearly $4 trillion a year. And illnesses make it less likely that you can work as many hours as you might have put in otherwise. Getting sick may even mean you have to stop working altogether.

We are gerontology researchers who study financial vulnerability in later life. We wanted to see if it was possible to estimate the economic tolls of chronic health problems and whether race and ethnicity makes a difference.

To do this, we took advantage of a relatively new way to figure out the approximate costs of treating illnesses and the missed income among people who are employed but have to reduce their hours or stop working. This missed income also represents lost productivity to the economy. Experts often lump these two costs into a single “disease cost burden” estimate.

Cuts Are Coming to 
Social Security and Medicare 
Whether the Politicians 
Want Them or Not

Social Security and Medicare are on an “unsustainable course” and will run out of funds by 2037. That’s the conclusion reached by the General Accountability Office (GAO) and the Social Security Administration.

There is no saving these programs without massive changes. And demagoguing the issue, as Joe Biden and the Democrats are doing, only delays the day of reckoning. To pretend these programs don’t need intervention now — right now — is to play with dynamite. The sooner we can get started, the less pain will be inflicted on senior citizens.

Pain there will be. In order to put these programs on the path to long-term viability, it will take political courage absent from today’s politicians.


Most of us know that we can reduce our risk of developing heart disease with lifestyle changes – like incorporating exercise into our daily routine.

But did you know that heart disease can be reversed through those same lifestyle changes, especially proper nutrition? It may be hard to believe, but according to published studies, it’s true.

Your diet impacts your health directly. And the foods that you eat – or in some cases, the foods that you don’t eat – can make all the difference to your heart’s health.

Unfortunately, it seems like every day there’s a new diet craze that hits the newsstands, resulting in a lot of misinformation about what we should be eating.


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. 
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because 
we destroyed ourselves.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Under fire, Rick Scott changes 
plan to exempt Social Security, 
Medicare from sunsetting  

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) has amended his 12-point Rescue America plan to say that his proposal to sunset all federal legislation in five years does not apply to Social Security, Medicare or the U.S. Navy. 

After taking relentless fire from President Biden, Democrats and even fellow Republicans, Scott has amended Point Six of his plan, which includes the sunset proposal, to make “specific exceptions of Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services.” 

“Note to President Biden, Sen. Schumer and Sen. McConnell — As you know, this was never intended to apply to Social Security, Medicare, or the U.S. Navy,” Scott states in bolded language, addressing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). 

The nursing home 
booster conundrum

THREE YEARS LATER — America’s nursing homes have been at the epicenter of the Covid pandemic since its earliest days when the nation watched as cases of a new virus spread rapidly through a nursing home in Washington State.

Today, nursing home residents remain the most vulnerable group in the country when it comes to Covid, with hundreds of people still dying each week. But ensuring residents and staff have the best protection out there from the unpredictable virus hasn’t been easy, Krista reports.

The problem: Just over half of nursing home residents and nearly 23 percent of nursing home staff have received the bivalent booster, a precipitous drop from the more than 85 percent of residents and staff who received the primary vaccine.


Urinary incontinence is a serious problem that affects tens of millions of people in the U.S. and hundreds of millions worldwide. It is defined as the involuntary loss of urine, which can range from a small leak to complete loss of bladder control. While incontinence is often associated with older adults or those with chronic health conditions, it can affect people of all ages and can have a significant impact on quality of life and health.

The Toll Incontinence Takes

One of the biggest problems with urinary incontinence is the embarrassment and shame that often accompanies it. People with incontinence often feel self-conscious and avoid social situations, leading to isolation and depression. They routinely curtail their physical activities and exercise due to fear of accidents, which can contribute to further health problems.

In addition to the emotional impact, urinary incontinence can also have significant physical consequences. People with incontinence are at increased risk for skin irritation, urinary tract infections, and bladder and kidney damage. The constant leakage of urine can also lead to skin breakdown and increase the risk of infections and pressure ulcers.

Heavy drinking tied 
to higher risk, 
but mild intake 
may be OK

Heavy drinking is associated with a wide range of illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and cancer.

However, a new study suggests that mild or moderate alcohol intake could be associated with a reduction in a person’s risk of dementia, whereas heavy drinking is linked to an increased risk.

A range of other health, social, and economic factors may explain the association, which remains controversial.

Doctors do not recommend that people start drinking or increase their drinking, for whatever reason.

The evidence is clear that long-term, excessive alcohol consumption causes severe, life-threatening harm to health, including stroke, heart disease, liver disease, and cancer.

In the United States alone, around 140,000 peopleTrusted Source die every year as a result of excessive drinking, which shortens their lives by an average of 26 years.

Increasing Lifespan by 10%: 
Scientists Identify a New 
Promising Anti-Aging Drug

However, it is important to note that the researchers do not recommend taking this drug as there are some side effects.

Researchers in New Zealand have discovered a drug that has the potential for longer and healthier aging.

An Aotearoa New Zealand study, recently published in the renowned journal Nature Aging, has advanced the timeless pursuit of immortality.

The University of Auckland’s Waipapa Taumata Rau trial shows that administering a cancer treatment drug to healthy middle-aged mice (one year) for a prolonged period increases their lifespan by an average of ten percent, bringing it to around three years.

In this study, mice were fed a control diet or the same diet with the addition of a drug called alpelisib. Not only did the mice fed the drug-containing diet live longer, but they also showed some signs of being healthier in old age such as improved coordination and strength. However, the researchers are cautious about application to humans since the mice treated with the drug also had some negative markers of aging like lower bone mass.

Today, Americans celebrate Presidents’ Day. It used to be we paid homage to two of our greatest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. However, this day has become a day of celebrating, not so much any individual president, but the office of president itself. And, while the office may still be one deserving of respect, in the recent past, the man holding that office has left much to be desired.
The one thing Americans want from their president is a leader. Someone with honor who can bring together a nation as diverse as ours. While we may not all agree on some of his policies, we at least agree that he should be a person who can make rational decisions when things get rough. And, mostly, we got just that. We have been lucky enough to have elected men who put the needs of the nation above those of his own or his party. Until 2016, when somehow enough Americans became deaf, dumb and blind and chose the worst possible man to lead us. 

New Yorker’s knew Donald Trump for what he was, a boastful blow-hard who inherited everything he had and who had a reputation for demanding loyalty from those who worked for him. We also knew he had no experience leading anybody, nor did he have much knowledge of how the government operated. He believed the U.S. could be managed like a business (which he told us he was good at) and he knew how to make “deals” like the ones he wrote about in the book he actually didn’t write. But New York City does not dictate or reflect the beliefs of the other 320 million people who saw in Trump a plain-talking, non-politician who could restore America to its former glory (whatever that was). America was wrong. Instead of getting the plain talking man of the people we wanted, we got an ignorant political neophyte who thought a president should be allowed to do whatever he wanted by just the wave of a hand or a signature on a piece of paper.

America has had humble, plain talking leaders. One of them is the man whose presidency we celebrate today, Abraham Lincoln. 

Lincoln was a self-made man who grew up in rural America. He taught himself law. He was not new to politics. Lincoln won election to the House of Representatives in 1846, where he served one two-year term. He was the only Whig in the Illinois delegation, but he showed his party loyalty by participating in almost all votes and making speeches that echoed the party line. But the single thing he will most be remembered for is, after a brutal civil war, he kept the union together despite lingering differences. That’s Lincoln’s legacy. Trump’s legacy is that of a being a president who almost split us in two again, a possibility that lingers to this day.

We can’t leave Mr. Washington out of this discussion. Not because he was a great president, but for inventing the office in the first place. He literally played it by ear. While he knew how to lead men (he defeated the best army in the world at the time after all), he realized heading a government was not the same as commanding an army where his word was final. He had just fought a war against a dictator, the King of England, and he wanted no part of that. So he made himself “The President.” A presiding officer, who, together with a body of men from different backgrounds and experience, formed a cohesive unit to govern a fledgling nation. A plan, when used properly, has worked well for us. Trump almost put an end to that by appointing incompetents and firing them when they dared to disagree with him.

Trump taught us one thing, it’s not easy being president. You have no life of your own. Almost everybody wants something from you, and half of America hates you. He also taught us something else. You can say anything you want and a significant number of people will believe you if it’s what they want to hear. Trump knows how to exploit that and uses it to remain the head of the Republican party.

Since my birth, I have lived through the presidencies of 14 men. I have taken part in the elections of 12 of them. Not everyone I voted for won but all, except two, [2] have maintained the honor of the office. With any luck, I’ll remain cognoscente enough to vote for another two or three. I’m looking forward to it. Happy Presidents’ Day everybody…….............

[2] I’ll bet you forgot Nixon, the only president to resign from office.


©2023 Bruce Cooper



“Money may not buy happiness, 
but I'd rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.”
― Françoise Sagan

Longevity analysis identifies
8 key social factors
By Tracy Hampton

Social factors affect an individual’s future health, but there’s currently no practical way to summarize the prognostic impact of relationship strength, financial circumstances, and other aspects of our social lives.

Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco, are aiming to change that. The researchers recently took a comprehensive inventory of older adults’ social attributes and distilled it into a short survey that can predict longevity. The work, published in PNAS, will have applications in clinical, population health, and research settings.

For the study, the team analyzed information from 8,250 adults aged 65 and older. Within four years of a baseline interview, 22 percent had died. Prediction methods with a machine-learning tool called LASSO drew from 183 possible social predictors to reveal eight that predicted death within four years: poor neighborhood cleanliness, low perceived control over financial situation, meeting with children less than yearly, not working for pay, not active with children, not volunteering, feeling isolated, and being treated with less courtesy or respect.

More than 1 in 6 Americans 
now 65 or older as U.S. 
continues graying
By Linda Searing

 Some 17 percent of people living in the United States, or more than 1 in 6, were 65 or older in 2020, according to a report from the Administration on Aging.

That represents 55.7 million people, an increase of 15.2 million (38 percent) of people 65 and above since 2010, compared with just 2 percent growth in the under-65 population. It also reflects a consistent increase in the nation’s older population since 1900, when there were 3.1 million Americans 65 and older (4 percent of the population).

The report projects a climb to roughly 80.8 million residents 65 and older by 2040, more than double the number in 2000. It also predicts a doubling of the number of even older residents by 2040, with the count of those 85 and older expected to grow from 6.7 million in 2020 to 14.4 million by 2040. In 2020, there were nearly 105,000 residents 100 or older.

6 Surprising Health Trends 
You Should Actually 
Try After 50

If you're over the age of 50, you now have decades-worth of experience in health trends that have come and gone. Thankfully, with age comes the wisdom to know that not all trends are created equal, and very few actually merit a jump on the bandwagon. Yet experts say there are a handful of health trends that have stood the test of time—while also being especially beneficial to adults over 50. Read on to learn the six health tips that could help transform your health as you age, according to doctors.

1- Hack your sleep.

No matter your age, getting enough high quality sleep is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. However, a recent study found that adults over the age of 50 who got inadequate amounts of sleep were 30 percent more likely to suffer from multiple chronic diseases. That's why, if you're over 50, you should plan to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, using whatever tools are at your disposal. This could mean investing in a white noise machine, upgrading your mattress, cutting caffeine earlier in the day, or tracking your sleep with an app.

"How you start your day depends on how you spent your night," Harmony Reynolds, MD, a cardiologist and the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women volunteer medical expert. tells Best Life. Jennifer Berman, MD, a urologist and expert in anti-aging treatments, adds that "adequate sleep can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost the immune system, which can help to prevent chronic diseases and promote healthy aging."

Keeping Your Home
Warm In Winter – 
A Guide For Seniors
By Ella Woodward 

With energy costs reaching record highs, it’s more important than ever for seniors to find ways to keep their homes as warm and energy-efficient as possible. As such, many of us are looking for ways to stay toasty and warm, while improving our home’s energy efficiency.

If this sounds like you, keep reading for some tips to help you to hopefully stay cosy in winter.

Trap The Heat 

One of the best ways to ensure that you keep warm in winter is to prevent the heat being generated by your central heating system from escaping through any doors, windows, or apertures. To help retain that vital warmth, draw thick curtains over the windows once the sun has set, and close the doors to any rooms that are not being occupied. This will help to keep the heat concentrated in the rooms that you are using. You can also place draught excluders against all external doors, to prevent the warmth from leaking out and cold air from getting in. 

Column: Mike Pence, would-be president, 
has a plan to kill Social Security. 
It will cost you

Former Vice President Mike Pence dipped his toes into the presidential campaign waters Feb. 2 with a proposal that would mean the death of Social Security.

Pence made his remarks on stage during a conference of the National Assn. of Wholesaler-Distributors in Washington. The event wasn’t open to the public, but a video and transcript was posted by American Bridge, which is affiliated with the Democratic Party.

That’s when Pence unearthed the old Republican idea of privatizing Social Security wholly or partially.

We can replace the New Deal with a better deal.

“Give younger Americans the ability to take a portion of their Social Security withholdings and put that into a private savings account,” he proposed. “A very simple fund that could generate 2% would give the average American twice what they’re going to get back on their Social Security today.”

I’m a baby boomer, and proud of it.

I’m proud, not just for the accomplishments my generation made possible (social change, technology and music to name a few) but the sheer size of the baby-boom generation (some 75 million) magnified its impact on society. “The growth of families led to a migration from cities to suburbs in the postwar years, prompting a building boom in housing, schools, and shopping malls.”

Growing up in Brooklyn N.Y. there were kids. Lots of kids. So many kids that all you had to do was stand in front of your house and in just a few minutes, so many kids would show up that there was never any problem with getting enough kids to play a game of stickball or “Ringolevio.” [1] We played hard (sometimes sustaining minor injuries) and long. The game ended when it was dinner time or when the streetlights came on. Every kid knew the rules. And, unless the weather was terrible, we lived most of our lives out of doors, coming in only to eat, do our homework and sleep. Not so with kids today.

Yes, kids still have friends and they still play games. But the friends they have are online and the games come from the 4 inch screen of a smart-phone. The physical contact we had with our peers is all but gone. And in that is the root of much of what is wrong with the way people interact with one another. Many of the social skills we learned on the street, through interactive play, became the basis of our moral behavior as adults. Yes, we had our bullies and bad-actors but they were quickly discovered and isolated until their behavior changed. Bullies today are less readily identified. They can do their bullying online, anonymously.

Unfortunately, social interaction is not the only thing kids have to put up with today. There are a lot of scary things going on out there, Some of them deadly. 

Kids back in our day had only one real thing to worry about. 

It was the 1950s and the cold war was at its coldest. We were told that our enemy was the Russians and we had to be prepared for a nuclear attack that could come with little or no warning. We actually trained for that. At any time during the school day we could be told to get down on the floor, crawl under our desks and cover our heads. We thoroughly believed that would save us from a 10 megaton bomb dropped in the middle of New York City. They left out the grisly details about how we would all be burnt to a crisp no matter how much we hid under our desks. 

As bad as that was, today’s kids face real danger every day. The threat doesn’t come from somewhere overseas and certainly not as an ICBM. The killers are among us and they carry dangerous weapons that can be bought over the counter by anyone. They come without warning to kill as many people as possible before they take their own miserable lives. Sadly, today’s drills are much more realistic, and the kids know the threat is very possible. School, once a place of relative safety, has become a killing ground for deranged psychopaths.
Back in my day, we knew how to handle threats to our safety. We either told our parents who would tell their parents who would put an end to it. Or, we settled it the old-fashioned way with a punch in the nose. I certainly would not want to come face to face with an AR-toting teenager bent on murder. It was never easy being a kid, but at least we never had to face death every time we left our house, which makes me very glad I’m not a kid today………………

[1]"Ringolevio (also spelled ringalevio or ring-a-levio)] is a children's game which originated in the streets of New York City, where it is known to have been played at least as far back as the late 19th century. It is one of the many variations of tag. It requires close teamwork and near-military strategy. The rules are simple. There are two sides, each with the same number of players. There are no time limits, no intermissions, no substitutes and no weapons allowed. There are two jails. There is one objective."to catch the "prey" by grabbing hold of them and performing a chant. This chant varies between regions, with different versions of the game using chants such as "chain chain double chain, no break away" and "Ringolevio, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3". 


©2023 Bruce Cooper



“The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.”
― T.S. Eliot

Seniors who qualify for Medicare 
see drop in dental care
By Cara Murez

Researchers found an almost 5 percentage point increase in the number of people lost all their teeth after they turned 65 and became eligible for Medicare.

Without dental coverage, many American seniors on Medicare stop getting the fillings and crowns they may need, a new study finds.

The result isn't pretty.

"Without dental coverage for adults who are eligible [for] Medicare, we are seeing a rise in loss of teeth after age 65 among nearly 1 in 20 adults, which represents millions of Americans," said Dr. Lisa Simon, a resident in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

More people are at risk of 
heart failure worldwide, 
researchers say

Up to two percent of adults in Europe, North America and Israel are likely have heart failure, which carries a high risk of additional serious complications and death. This high prevalence, linked health risks and costs warrant urgent action, said researchers in the Academy of Medical Sciences.

The new estimates were based on digital health records for 11 countries and just published online in the journal Heart under the title “Prevalence, outcomes and costs of a contemporary, multinational population with heart failure.”

Heart failure occurs when the heart can’t pump blood around the body properly. It usually happens because the heart has become too weak or stiff. It doesn’t mean that the heart has stopped working but that it needs support to help it work better. Heart failure can occur at any age, but it is most common in older people and is a chronic condition that tends to get worse.

5 Stress Management 
Tips for Seniors
By Sandra 

Nobody wants to get stressed but it’s unfortunately a natural part of life. When you’re put in certain situations or feel certain emotions that disrupt your state of equilibrium, your body responds by activating your “fight or flight” response. This is a necessary survival mechanism; however, if you’re always in “fight or flight” mode, you’re doing your body more harm than good.

The problem is that, as you grow older, you’re also faced with various stressors or triggers that didn’t exist before. For example, you may experience grief as you lose some of your friends due to disease or advanced age. You may also feel constantly agitated by the status of your finances, health, and familial relationships.

All of these can increase the risk of developing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease, and more. A constant state of stress can also aggravate existing conditions. If you have kidney stones, for example, stress can make your kidneys function less efficiently; this can result in the formation of even more stones.

Playing golf may be 
just as healthy 
or better than 
Nordic walking 
for older people

Older adults may gain more health benefits from playing golf than participating in regular or Nordic walking, suggests a study published online in the journal BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine.

The health advantages of aerobic exercise in helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases are well documented as part of efforts to stave off high blood pressure, diabetes and dyslipidaemia (an abnormal amount of lipids in the blood causing problems such as high cholesterol).

However, most relevant studies have tended to focus on younger people participating in acute bouts of exercise lasting 30 to 60 minutes at moderate to high intensity with less information available on the impact of exercise on older people.

Why chocolate feels so good? 
It's down to lubrication

Scientists have decoded the physical process that takes place in the mouth when chocolate is eaten, as it changes from a solid into a smooth emulsion that many people find totally irresistible.

By analysing each of the steps, the interdisciplinary research team from the School of Food Science and Nutrition and the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds hope it will lead to the development of a new generation of luxury chocolate that will have the same feel and texture but will be healthier to consume. 

During the moments it is in the mouth, the chocolate sensation arises from the way the chocolate is lubricated, either from ingredients in the chocolate itself or from saliva or a combination of the two. 


©2023 Bruce Cooper



“Aging gracefully means being flexible, being open, 
allowing change, enjoying change and loving yourself.” 
____Wendy Whelan

Retirement Warning: 
More Than 11 Million Middle-Income
Seniors Face Assisted-Living Crisis 
in a Decade, Study Finds
By Vance Cariaga

Seniors who fall into the middle-income bracket could face a huge problem ten years from now, with many lacking the money to afford assisted living while also having too much money to qualify for government help.

By 2033, 11.5 million middle-income seniors aged 75 and older might not be able to pay for assisted living and are unlikely to qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care needs, according to a study from NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent research institution.

The study, released in 2022 and funded by The Scan Foundation, found that in 2033, nearly three-quarters (72%) of middle-income seniors will have less than $65,000 in income and annuitized assets. That’s the average amount needed to pay for private assisted living and medical care. Even if these seniors sold their homes, 39% of them would still have insufficient resources to pay the yearly costs.

Can using earbuds 
lead to hearing loss?

Earbuds are more popular than ever. Many people wear them all day, the tiny but powerful listening devices have taken the headphone community by storm.

Doctor of Audiology Melissa Segev with Audiologists Associates says problems arise when people underestimate how loud they set the volume on their personal audio devices.

"We're seeing patients who are wearing earbuds all the time, and we're actually seeing evidence of hearing loss at younger ages," Dr. Segev said.

‘It’s a major aspect of keeping 
my mind sharp.’ 
Video games aren’t just for kids 
By Jessica Hall

“The graphics have changed immensely. The games are now more detailed, realistic and faster,” said @GrndPaGaming, who declined to give his name. He first started playing on an Apple 1 AAPL, -0.73% computer, but now streams his gaming on YouTube GOOG, -0.95% GOOGL, -0.95%, where he has a following of more than 75,000 subscribers, and Facebook META, +0.51%. He said he’s a fan of survival games.

Read: Travel to your home town or play chess with your grandkids 3,000 miles away: Can virtual reality help older adults battle loneliness?

“It’s the challenge, the camaraderie between you and the player and teammates,” said @GrndPaGaming, who added that he plays games to help keep his mind off physical pain in his neck. “It keeps me mentally sharp. It requires mental capacity to solve puzzles. It’s a major aspect of keeping my mind sharp.”

Long-term air pollution exposure 
associated with late-onset depression 
in older adults: study

Long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with higher risk of late-onset depression in older adults, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Researchers looked at data from 2005 to 2016 for nearly 9 million older adults on Medicare, more than 1.5 million of whom had their first diagnosis of depression later on in life.

Based on where they resided, some people had more long-term exposure to air pollution, including from fine particulate matter PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. This group was found to have a higher risk of later-onset depression than people who were not as exposed to air pollution.

The results showed that each 5 unit increase of air pollution of PM2.5, nitrogen oxide and ozone was associated with a 0.91, 0.61 or 2.13 percent increased risk of depression, respectively.

How to Run Safely If 
You're Over 50, According
to Trainers and Doctors

Running is one of the most effective forms of exercise for those looking for a high-calorie burn and that coveted "runner's high." It can also motivate you to explore and get outside, even during the colder winter months.

Once you reach your 50s, however, picking up running as a hobby might seem a bit intimidating—maybe you even convinced yourself that you're simply "not a runner." But both trainers and doctors say that if you're smart about it, running and jogging can be a great way to stay in shape at any age. Read on to find out how they recommend running safely over 50.

As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to wear and tear—and it might feel like you can't "bounce back" as quickly as you once did.

No heart-shaped greeting cards. No boxes of chocolates. No bouquets of long-stemmed roses. No intimate candlelit dinners. The expressions of love, well known in the outside world, are rarely seen here at the A.L.F. 

It’s not that we don’t have the pretense of normalcy.

Our activity director and her staff mean well and try their best by decorating the place with paper hearts and plastic cupids, but the truth is, Valentine’s day doesn’t mean much here. Love, the kind you share with a spouse or significant other, is just a memory. Sometimes better left forgotten. 

Don’t misunderstand. We are not without love. It’s just not the same as the love one has with a person they thought they would be with the rest of their lives. At an A.L.F. and all long-term care facilities, mostly that person no longer exists. Death and estrangement take their toll.
Almost by definition, A.L.F.s are not happy places. Very few people come here because they want to. They come because all other living options won’t work for them. All residents here have special needs. Either physical, medical or cognitive, which makes it difficult or impossible to live at home. But as sad as that may be, there are those who have literally been rejected by the very people they thought would be there for them no matter what. Sometimes that person is a son or daughter who needs their own space unencumbered by the likes of a difficult old person. But more often they have been abandoned by a husband or wife whose wedding vows ended at “through sickness and in health”.

The number of widows, widowers, and divorcees living here is staggering. If I had to guess, I would say that most of our residents have been married at some time. And now, they are not. It’s hard to accept the meaning of Valentine’s day when its main component no longer exits. Unfortunately, the memory of true love lingers well after the fact. And it is just that which makes days like this often difficult to bear………



©2023 Bruce Cooper



" Love is our true destiny.
We do not find the meaning
of life by ourselves alone
- we find it with another."
___Thomas Merton

As Social Security’s full retirement 
Age moves to 67, some experts say 
it should not go higher
By Lorie Konish

More than 1 million people recently took to the streets in France to protest an increase in the country’s standard retirement age.

In the U.S., a similar battle may be quietly brewing in Washington.

The full retirement age for Social Security, when workers are eligible for 100% of the benefits they’ve earned, is transitioning to age 67. Eligibility for health care coverage under Medicare currently starts at age 65.

Yet as both programs face funding shortfalls, one Republican proposal has suggested pushing those ages higher.

The Republican Study Committee budget, put forward by House leaders, has called for Social Security’s full retirement age to gradually go up until it is increased by three years. Based on their proposal, people born in 1978 or later would have a full retirement age of 70.


Did you know that if you were married for at least 10 years, you may be able to claim Social Security benefits based on your ex-husband’s work record? This is particularly important for women who were stay-at-home moms who had a shorter work history and, unfortunately, lower incomes than their husband.

The Social Security benefit rules are complex and confusing, and even more so when you get a divorce.

Social Security Benefits on Your Ex-Spouse’s Work Record

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-husband’s record (even if he remarried) if:

Social Security Expert Says 
Americans Should ‘Consider 
Delaying’ Retirement
By Jack Phillips

Because of relatively high inflation, older Americans should hold off on retiring if they can, a policy expert warned this week.

After an 8.7 percent Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) was implemented starting this year, some have said that it may not be enough to combat the effects of inflation.

“For one in four, it is more than 90 percent of their income in retirement,” Ramsey Alwin, the president of the National Council on Aging, told CBS News this week. People who are thinking about retiring soon should rethink their plans and work longer if they can, Alwin said.

“Consider delaying Social Security,” Alwin said. The reason is that every year a person delays retirement, the amount they can receive increases by 8 percent until age 70.

Older workers are fooling 
when it comes to work, 
money and caregiving


Denial runs deep when it comes to money and retirement.

Older adults are working longer, but at first blush they contend they are working because they want to. Only when pressed do they admit they need the money.

That’s according to a study by Voya Cares, a program of Voya Financial Inc. that provides resources and advocacy for disability inclusion, and Easterseals, one of the nation’s leading disability and community services providers.

The study asked so-called employment extenders about their key reasons for working past traditional retirement ages. The majority said they continued to work because they either can or want to.

“Most of these career extenders don’t have enough savings. I think it could be denial. They’re not facing the reality of the situation,” said Jessica Tuman, vice president of Voya Cares and Voya Financial’s ESG Practice Centers of Excellence.

What you should know about 
hospice and end-of-life care.

Q. I became aware of hospice when visiting the mother of one of my friends who was terminally ill. The care was compassionate and indispensable. Would you please write something about hospice so your readers will know the importance of this resource? A.N. 

A hospice overview: Many think of hospice as a place that can be confusing. Typically, here in Southern California, hospice is not a place but a visiting service. It’s for those who are terminally ill, focusing on symptom management and comfort for the patient. The emphasis is on compassionate care rather than cure based on the belief that each person has the right to die pain-free and with dignity. To be eligible one must decline curative treatments for the terminal illness. A person can still receive care for problems that aren’t part of the terminal illness.

The most common place to receive hospice services is in the patient’s home. Services also occur in hospitals, nursing homes, large and small assisted living homes and other long-term-care facilities. Hospice is available to patients of any age, religion, race or illness. Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs and other managed care organizations cover hospice costs.


©2023 Bruce Cooper



“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job;
 it’s a depression when you lose your own.”
― Harry S. Truman


 I am on the phone to a major department store in London from which we have just bought a new television (current one bought in 2006, so it was well time).

We think we may need an additional part, but we’re a bit unclear, so I try the telephone “technical” department. They couldn’t help. I am told we need “customer service” and the call is transferred. The new advisor tells us we were right in the first place, so I phone back, get a different advisor and finally get the information I needed.

In other words, the usual run-around that one expects more from government (central or local) departments than from commercial enterprises.

I am tired and fed up. With each discussion, at some point, I mention, “My husband and I are in our 80s. This is really too technical for us, and we just need some help.”

Biden talked a lot about seniors. 
There’s an obvious reason.
Analysis by Philip Bump

 One of the most contentious moments of Tuesday’s State of the Union address was when President Biden challenged Republicans for seeking to cut Medicare and Social Security spending.

“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” Biden said. Republicans in attendance loudly objected. “I’m not saying it’s the majority,” Biden continued, adding that he was happy to provide a copy of the proposal to any Republicans who thought he was being misleading.

Biden was referring explicitly to a proposal from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) that would force Congress to reauthorize all legislation every five years — meaning that funding for everything would vanish unless once again supported by the legislative branch. But the president might also have been referring to other rumblings from Republican politicians about potentially targeting the programs. The Washington Post covered this last month; HuffPost spoke with a leading Republican after the speech who admitted that changes to the programs might be needed.

CVS to buy Medicare-focused
Primary care operator 
Oak Street Health for $10.6 billion
By Natalie Neysa Alund

CVS Health announced Wednesday it would buy Oak Street Health, expanding its healthcare services by adding hundreds of primary care clinics.

The deal is valued at about $10.6 billion including debt, or $39 per share, the drug store chain said.

Oak Street Health runs primary care centers for lower-to-middle income people with Medicare Advantage plans. Those are privately run versions of the federal government’s program for people aged 65 and older.

Alzheimer's Trials Need 
New Expectations, Experts Say
By Judy George

Expectations in Alzheimer's disease drug trials need to be revamped, a panel of experts suggested.

Assessing change in an 18-month randomized clinical trial can help identify effective interventions, but determining clinically meaningful benefit or meaningful slowing of disease is challenging to measure, reported Christopher Weber, PhD, of the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago, and colleagues in Alzheimer's & Dementiaopens in a new tab or window.

"This is a trailblazing era of Alzheimer's treatment that calls for mold-breaking thinking," co-author Ronald Petersen, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who led a work group convened by the Alzheimer's Association, said in a statement.

Should You Pass the Salt 
or Take a Pass On It?
Salt can be an enemy of health, but in moderation, 
it's something our bodies need
By Rosie Wolf Williams

The salt shaker can be a friend or foe. But can you live without any salt at all? Next Avenue asked some experts about what kinds of salt are available, how much is too much, and how we can include salt in a healthy diet.

"We need sodium, also known as salt, for our bodies to function optimally. Sodium helps with our nerve impulses and transmissions, contracting and relaxing our muscles, and helping to regulate the proper balance of water and minerals in our cells," says Angel Planells, Seattle-based RDN for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"We need sodium, also known as salt, for our bodies to function optimally."

"We obtain sodium through our foods and drinks and lose it primarily through sweat and urine. The kidneys act as the gatekeeper to help regulate the amount of sodium that needs to be excreted in the urine."

Read more >>  CLICK HERE

According to”The average length of stay in assisted living has dropped significantly over the past two years.” 
“In the past, the national average has been around two years. Today, the national average is closer to one year." 
If those statistics are accurate, I’ve outlasted my stay by about 8 years.
I came here in 2013, mainly because I had nowhere else to go. Nearly 10 years later, my status has changed by little. But it’s only been in the past year that I have serious doubts about my life here and how it has become less desirable.

My misgivings about the place I have called home since transferring from a nursing home stem mostly from me realizing that I have very little say in how the place is run, who runs it and how me and my fellow residents are treated regarding privacy, personal rights and services provided. I also believe that management lacks a basic understanding of what the wants, needs and desires of many of our residents are and how we wish to be treated. 

The biggest problem I have with management is their inability to treat us as individuals. They, like most Americans, lump old people into one category. The belief is, we are all tottering old fools incapable of deciding for ourselves about our safety, food choices, living conditions and matters of finance. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. And, as a facility that deals almost entirely with senior citizens, their lack of knowledge and understanding in that regard is worrisome. As I grow older and my ability to do things for myself becomes more problematic, I am increasingly concerned that I, as an individual, will be swept under the rug, as so many other older Americans have been, or worse, cubbyholed and forgotten.
I recognize that, as with any business, this facility has to be profitable to survive. And the best way to realize a profit is to standardize its operations. While that may be well and good where laundry, housekeeping and food service is concerned, where there are people, there are problems with regimentation. Unlike milk, we can’t be homogenized. As an example, I give you this.
For years I have asked that we be permitted to have a microwave oven and/or a coffee maker in our rooms. This has been summarily rejected. Supposedly, there is a state regulation against such things. Okay, I see where that may be a problem for some of our residents. Therefore; I stopped pursuing that matter. But why can’t we have a microwave in common areas like we have in our day room (what we call “The country kitchen”)? I’ve been told, by a management, there are insurance problems with having unsupervised appliances in certain areas of the facility. I think that’s a load of crap. We need another microwave oven and a way for residents to warm-up or cook meals or even to make coffee or soup or hot chocolate without having to walk to the one place in the entire facility with a working microwave oven. All I’m asking is that we be treated as individuals, wherein some of us will have permission to use the unsupervised equipment. That would go a long way in making this place less like an institution and more like a real place to live and thrive.
I’d move in a heartbeat if only I had somewhere to go. The way rents are, finding a place I could afford on my Social Security benefits is nearly impossible. So, I’m stuck here. The only thing I can do is to make it better for me and many of my fellow residents who would just like a bit more freedom……….


©2023 Bruce Cooper



“The world is a book and those who 
do not travel read only one page.”
― St. Augustine

Medicare Advantage Continues to 
Innovate With Rapid Growth 
in New Benefits
By Kacey Dugan, Vincent Giglierano

Medicare Advantage (MA) is the private plan option in the Medicare program. Enrollment in the program has surged in the past decade and now tops 30 million — nearly half of all Medicare enrollees. Notably, MA is the preferred option for over half of minority Medicare enrollees and for enrollees who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

While Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) have long offered enrollees supplemental benefits — such as vision, hearing and limited dental coverage — recent regulatory and legislative actions enable MAOs to offer a wider array of benefits. These new flexibilities have allowed MAOs to offer increasingly rich benefit packages, increasing their ability to recruit enrollees from traditional, fee-for-service Medicare. They have also increased competition among MAOs, who have sought to earn more enrollees, better outcomes and lower costs through the development of innovative and robust benefits packages.

When implemented and used appropriately, innovative supplemental benefits can drive enrollment, improve outcomes and members' experience, and offset costs through improved management of costly chronic conditions. Some of the fastest-growing benefit categories within MA are Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) benefits and flexible benefits, or “flex cards” — a newer mode of delivering multiple different supplemental benefits.

Telehealth Use Increasing 
Among Older Adults 
in Urban Areas
By Sophie Okolo

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, there has been a steady increase in telehealth and telemedicine appointments across the country, where care is delivered to patients via video or telephone.

An older adult during a telehealth appointment at home. Next Avenue, virtual appointment, telemedicine
Telehealth use increased with age, as 43.3% of adults aged 65 and over took advantage of telemedicine compared with only 29.4% of those between 18 and 29.   |  Credit: Getty
Recent studies have reported that those living in urban areas are more likely to use telehealth than those living in rural areas. 

New data shows which groups used telehealth the most during the pandemic. According to a recent National Center for Health Statistics report, in 2021, more than 1 in 3 adults reported using telemedicine in the previous year, and use was more prevalent among women, older adults, and those living in urban areas.

This is how the super-rich retire: 
Museums, ballet and 
concierge medicine
By Jessica HallFollow

Allen Lippman likes all the finer points of Manhattan, from good food and the museums and the ballet, to concerts at Lincoln Center — all things he continues to enjoy through his assisted living facility in a tony neighborhood in New York’s Upper East Side.

The center, called Sunrise at East 56th, is part of a new breed of luxury senior living communities that cater to well-heeled and discriminating older adults who want to stay in cities and keep enjoying all that the urban environment has to offer while receiving assistance with the activities of daily living or medical care. 

The facility offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, as well as a partnership with Northwell Health for concierge medical services. If needed, hospice care partners can come to the center, as well.

6 home remedies
that actually work 
according to science

The home remedies they pass from mouth to mouth, we all turn to someone to get by, on the advice of a grandmother or an aunt. Just consume or apply an item, food, herb or essence or mix a couple of them relieve symptoms.

So, a headache, cough, flu, nausea, ear infections, warts and many other conditions can find a solution, although at this point the moot question is always why it works.

However, in recent times, scientists from all over the world have been trying to answer this question in the laboratory, thus confirming its effect for those skeptics.

Beyond what ever enters first place in the visit to the doctorthen, 6 home remedies backed by science from research.


I realized the other day that I have been grand-parenting for over 20 years and I’m not as young as I used to be. I used to get on the ground with those kiddos and play-wrestle. I climbed trees and monkey bars.

I used to take them for exhausting walks in the woods and play in the rough water with them at the beach. Now I don’t even want to get into that bathing suit or burn my skin in the Florida sun or walk in that hot sand. So, what’s a grandma to do?

Plenty! Simply adjust what you do with special custom-made rituals that leave a sweet scent on their memory for years to come. Here are just a few suggestions that you can consider:

Navigating the Road

My daughter would often suggest that I use her big fully-loaded SUV when I would babysit her 4 kids. The minute I got behind the wheel, I would hear, “Gigi, turn a movie on.” My reply often was, “Honey, I don’t know how to do that. Let’s play a game instead.”

Don't forget to check out our WEEKEND edition. We have new content and a look at some articles you may have missed.........................


©2023 Bruce Cooper



“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the 
two elements about which one can never be sure.”
― Alice Hoffman,

Why Aren’t Older Workers 
Getting Those 
Age-Friendly Jobs?
By Richard Eisenberg

The good news, according to a recent research paper, "The Rise of Age-Friendly Jobs," by three noted economists, is that between 1990 and 2020, roughly three-quarters of U.S. occupations increased their age-friendliness. Specifically, employment in what these economists call "above-average age-friendly occupations" rose by 49 million over that 30-year period.

A Head-Scratching Finding

"I thought there'd be an increase in the number of age-friendly jobs, but I was staggered at how big the increase was," says Andrew Scott, a London Business School economics professor who wrote the paper with MIT's Daron Acemoglu and Nicolaj Søndergaard Mühlbach of the McKinsey consulting firm.

"Non-college grads, and particularly male non-grads, are losing out."

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE

The Impact of Remote Work 
on Weight and Obesity 
in Older Adults

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented increase in remote work, with many older adults transitioning to working from home to reduce their risk of infection. While remote work has many benefits, such as increased flexibility and reduced commute time, it can also negatively impact older adults' physical and mental health, including weight gain and obesity. In this article, we will explore the ways in which remote work can contribute to weight gain and obesity in older adults and provide strategies for preventing and managing these negative effects.

The Negative Effects of Remote Work on Physical Health

One of the major contributors to weight gain among older adults working from home is a sedentary lifestyle. Without the structure and routine of a traditional office environment, older adults may find themselves sitting for prolonged periods, leading to decreased physical activity and increased calorie intake. A study by Stanford University found that remote workers reported significantly more sedentary behavior, compared to office-based workers. Furthermore, older adults may also be at a higher risk of stress eating, which can lead to weight gain. The stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic, coupled with the isolation and lack of social support that often comes with remote work, can lead to emotional eating and an increased intake of high-calorie foods.

Furthermore, remote work can also affect older adults' access to healthy food options. Older adults who live in rural areas or have limited mobility may find it more difficult to access healthy food options, leading to a diet high in processed foods and added sugars. The lack of access to healthy food options can also make it more difficult for older adults to maintain a healthy diet, leading to weight gain.

Prevalence of disabilities 
among older Americans is 
much lower than a decade earlier

The prevalence of disabilities among American adults aged 65 and older is much lower than it was for the same age group a decade earlier, according to a nationally representative study published online in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH).

The decline in disability among older Americans was substantial. The odds of experiencing limitations in activities of daily living (such as dressing or bathing) and the odds of experiencing functional limitations (such as serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs) declining 18% and 13%, respectively, between 2008 and 2017.

In 2008, 12.1% of older Americans reported limitations in activities of daily living. In 2017, this percentage had declined to 9.6%. To put this into perspective, if the prevalence of limitations in daily living remained at the 2008 levels, an additional 1.27 million older Americans would have ADL limitations in 2017.

How to Feel Confident 
Driving as a Senior
By Ismail Khalid 

Driving can be stressful at any age, but many motorists find that they lose confidence as they get older. Sound, vision and reaction times can be affected as you get older, which can make the roads daunting especially as there are many brash drivers on the road. So, what can you do to feel confident behind the wheel as you begin to age?

First, you need to make sure that you are driving a car that you feel confident in. You need to keep the car in good condition with regular maintenance and make sure that you understand how all of the feature work and what all of the dashboard lights mean. Many people find it helpful to downsize to a smaller car when they get older so that they can drive a car with less power. You could borrow a smaller car from a friend or family member to see if this is a good option for you – just be sure to arrange temporary day insurance so that you can be insured for the day.

Like most things in life, practice makes perfect. If you are feeling anxious when driving, the best thing to do is to spend more time on the road. You can build confidence by sticking to quieter roads and by having a partner, family member or a friend in the passenger seat. 

The best technology to prevent falls,
monitor safety, and help 
older adults age in place longer

If you’re 65, you may have at least another 20 years of living to look forward to. And if you’re like the vast majority of older people, you want to remain in your own home for as long as possible. 

Ongoing health conditions mean many of us will need help as we age, and with the cost of assisted living out of reach for many families, “aging-in-place represents a better experience, at a relatively affordable total cost, than the one offered by the traditional route,” a report from The Boston Consulting Group concluded. It’s one reason why demand for products that help older people remain safely at home longer and provide family caregivers additional peace of mind is skyrocketing.

But with all the tech out there, and more under development, where to even begin?

It can definitely be an overwhelming prospect, according to Steve Ewell, executive director of the Consumer Technology Association Foundation. He recommends that the older adult and family members discuss key concerns together, before considering any products. Is medication compliance spotty? Is home security a concern? Are there balance issues that may lead to falls?

AT THE A.L.F....

Our latest facility-wide lockdown is over, bringing an end to a week of inactivity, and bad food. That’s the good part. Unfortunately, we never know what will hit us next. When you’re old anything can become a health crisis….........…


©2023 Bruce Cooper



“The only characteristic all airliners share 
is that upon proper urging they are 
normally capable of leaving the earth's surface.”
― Ernest K. Gann

Debt-Ceiling Talks Sideline 
Social Security, Medicare 
By Lindsay Wise

WASHINGTON -- Republicans are backing away from proposals to reduce spending on Social Security and Medicare as they enter talks with Democrats over raising the nation's borrowing limit, sidelining for now a politically perilous fight over how to best firm up the finances of the popular benefit programs.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) has said he wants to slash federal spending in exchange for voting to raise the debt ceiling, but in recent days he stressed publicly and privately that he isn't seeking cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Democrats for weeks have pressed Republicans to provide more specifics of what they plan to cut, while warning against entitlement-eligibility changes some GOP lawmakers had sought to tie to a debt-limit deal.

Following a meeting with President Biden on Wednesday, Mr. McCarthy reiterated that Social Security and Medicare, which account for large and growing chunks of the budget, were off the table in debt-ceiling discussions. "No, we're not talking about that," he told reporters, while providing no details about where he saw potential savings. He also threw cold water on the idea of a commission to recommend cuts to the programs.

Today’s independent living 
residents are older, wealthier
By Kimberly Bonvissuto

Independent living residents not only have grown older over the past seven years, but they also have improved their financial status, according to a new report from the American Seniors Housing Association.

“Independent Living Then and Now,” compiled with ProMatura, compares how the underlying attributes and expectations of independent living residents changed between a survey in 2012 and one in 2019/early 2020. It also examines how those changes are realigning residents’ priorities.

The report highlighted trends within demographic characteristics, health and abilities, financial information, decision making on moving, residences, and engagement and satisfaction. It is based on data involving more than 7,000 independent living residents living in freestanding independent living communities; combined independent living and assisted living communities; entrance-fee continuing care retirement / life plan communities; and rental CCRCs.

Study narrows down 
symptoms to seven
By Sheri Walsh

 A new study shows there are seven long-term health symptoms that are directly related to long-COVID-19, despite dozens of reported symptoms, giving researchers a better understanding of how the virus that causes COVID-19 may mutate or evolve.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found only seven out of 47 reported symptoms are the direct result of long-COVID or post-COVID conditions.

Those symptoms, which can last up to a year, include fast-beating heart, hair loss, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, joint pain and obesity.

"Despite an overwhelming number of long COVID symptoms previously reported by other studies, we only found a few symptoms specifically related to an infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19," Chi-Ren Shyu, director of the MU Institute for Data Science and Informatics, said in a statement Tuesday.

Why a new Alzheimer’s drug 
is having a slow US debut

The first drug to show that it slows Alzheimer’s is on sale, but treatment for most patients is still several months away.

Two big factors behind the slow debut, experts say, are scant insurance coverage and a long setup time needed by many health systems.

Patients who surmount those challenges will step to the head of the line for a drug that delivers an uncertain benefit. Here’s a closer look.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Leqembi, from Japanese drugmaker Eisai, in early January. It’s for patients with mild or early cases of dementia tied to Alzheimer’s disease.

The last acceptable prejudice

Bill Maher’s Real Time on HBO is an acquired taste. My beloved detests him and I love him, especially for his monologues at the end of the show. His monologue on April 23,2022 struck home because he talked about ageism.

He pointed out how disappointing Biden has been to comedians by not exactly being the doddering old fool they expected. Instead, at age 78, he has seriously proven the assumptions wrong. Then he got my full attention when he said:

“What a mind-blowing concept that must be to the younger generations for whom writing someone off simply for their age is the last acceptable prejudice. Oh yes, they hate every ism except ageism. It’s completely forbidden to tell any joke about race, gender, religion, weight — but age? Have at it”

The current bout of a facility-wide infection continues with no immediate end in sight. And, while I have no actual numbers of  how many of our residents are or have been affected by this gastrointestinal bug, it may be worse than I thought.
I had the opportunity yesterday, to venture outside my little hovel here at the A.L.F. giving me a chance to briefly converse with some other residents wandering the hall in search of something to do. And what I heard was not encouraging. Apparently,  some of our residents became so ill from whatever is going around, they had to be hospitalized and given a round or two of various anti-viral IVs.
Meanwhile, communication from our administrator remains as guarded as always in these situations, with only the minimal amount of information disseminated. We are supposed to get another update today as to our lockdown status. I’ll keep you posted……


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

Pence Implodes 
2024 Presidential Run 
With Call To Privatize 
Social Security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why States Need
Master Plans for Aging
By Liz Seegert

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

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

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

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Online Tool 
Helps Older Adults
Manage Their Finances

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are home remedies to get rid of eye floaters?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


©2023 Bruce Cooper


FEBRUARY 4, 2023 - FEB. 5, 2023

Taking the Road Slow Traveled

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

By Edd and Cynthia Staton

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

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

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

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

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE

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

Sniffing out a deal.

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

Sniffing out a deal

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

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

How Music Benefits Seniors
By James Skarnikat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Completely Disappear 
From the Internet

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

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

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

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

Why Older Adults 
Need Special Flu Shots
By Catherine Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strip Medicare of the power to negotiate drug prices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Health Issues U.S. Adults Fear Most

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

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

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

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

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

How domestic violence
Impacts older adults
By Anthony Hill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’d say, go for it.

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

Frequently asked questions 
About senior citizen insurance 
for USA

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

Here are the top 5 questions that are typically asked.

Should I buy separate policies for each parent?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

5 ways to show seniors 
They are appreciated

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

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

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

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

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


©2022 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

13% of older adults 
show signs of food addiction

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

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

Data derived from: Addiction to highly processed food among older adults. Published Jan. 30, 2023. Accessed Jan. 30, 2023.

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

What Is Memory Care, 
and What Are Its Benefits?

Benefits of Memory Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to avoid paying taxes
on Social Security income

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

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

How much of your Social Security is taxable?

It’s possible – and perfectly legal – to avoid paying taxes on your Social Security check.

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


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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Study of 500,000 
Medical Records
Links Viruses to 
Again And Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moms got the job done with 
Vicks salve 
and boiled-onion poultices

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

Eating right and staying 
healthy as you age

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

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

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

Read more  >>

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

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

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

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

1Make use of smart home technology.

Read more  >>


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

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

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

Read more  >>

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

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

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

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

Read more  >>

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

Different Assisted Living Options

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

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

What to Know About Assisted Living Facilities

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

Learn more  >>

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

Why do so many older adults 
choose Medicare Advantage?

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

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

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

Sudden Cardiac Arrest 
During Sports Activity 
in Older Adults

Quick Takes

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

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

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

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

Story at a glance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

Healthiest states for seniors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Cell Phone Plans 
for Older People
By Melanie Pinola

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call Your Attorney

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

_____ David Bowie

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of 
Continuing Care 
Retirement Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Ways of 
Motivating Seniors’ Life
By Amina Chaudhary

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

Managing Benefits for Loved Ones

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

Becoming a Fiduciary

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

Study shows older people 
in no rush to return 
to movie theaters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

What Are Required Minimum Distributions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper



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

Fewer medications for 
older adults can prevent 
falls, improve memory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Estate Planning: 
3 Things to Know 
About Being an Executor

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

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

Can an Executor Decide Who Gets What?

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

Older adults at risk 
of vitamin D deficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2023 Bruce Cooper

The information contained on's
 website, located in United States, NY,
is for general information purposes only. The information is provided
by Bruce Cooper and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date
and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express
or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or
availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services,
or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you
place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. may have medical information, such as
information on medical diseases and advice. may have fitness or nutritional information,
such as information on exercises and nutrition.
If you have any questions, please contact us
by email at



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senior Smoking: 
To Quit or Not
By Chris Draper

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

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

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

What Older Americans 
Need to Know 
About Taking Paxlovid

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

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

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

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

Doctor Who Hasn't Showered 
in Years Thinks Others 
Should Join Him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2022 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

How seniors can engage 
with their communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2022 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Accidental death benefits

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

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

The sell-out and the speech

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2022 Bruce Cooper



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

― Robert A. Heinlein

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

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

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

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

New Study: 
Covid Lockdowns 
Were Deadly
By Jeff Dunetz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

She’s a model senior citizen.

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

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

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

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

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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2022 Bruce Cooper



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

_____Fran Lebowitz

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

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

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

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

What is companion care?

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

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

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

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

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

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more >> CLICK HERE


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

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


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

See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery


©2022 Bruce Cooper



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

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

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

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

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

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

Seniors shrug off White House 
Urgent pleas to get vaccinated 
As new variant spreads

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

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

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

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

7 Surprising Alzheimer's Facts 
You Need to Know Now


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

World Alzheimer’s Day: Surprising Risk Factors

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

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

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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