GOOD DAY
It’s Saturday, September 18, 2021








SEPTEMBER 18, 2021


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Older Americans faced more financial challenges
during Covid than in other wealthy nations

By Lauren Aratani


O
lder Americans were more likely to suffer pandemic-related economic difficulties compared with older citizens of other wealthy countries, according to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund.



In a survey taken by adults 65 and older in 11 of the world’s wealthiest nations, 19% of US adults reported using up all or most of their savings or losing sources of income during the pandemic – the highest percentage of any country. The percentage is nearly seven times higher than Germany, where 3% of older adults reported economic difficulties.

The gap was even more pronounced when the survey results were disaggregated by race. Latino and Black Americans had higher rates of economic difficulties compared with white Americans, with 39% of Latino Americans and 32% of Black Americans reporting hardships compared to 14% of White Americans.



______________________________________


41% of Americans say it’s ‘going to take
 a miracle’ to be ready for retirement

By Jessica Dickler


Retirement is looking less and less like a given, at least in the United States.



Overall, 59% of Americans said they accept that they will have to keep working longer, while 36% now believe that they will never have enough money to be able to retire, according to the latest data from the Natixis Global Retirement Index.  

Even more — roughly 41% — said their ability to be financially secure in retirement is “going to take a miracle,” the report found.
More from The New Road to Retirement:


___________________________________________


Decluttering or Curating?


By following principles of feng shui, rightsizing your home can help promote well-being



The COVID-19 quarantines have brought a new perspective about how we inhabit our spaces. Even as we venture forth into the "new normal," many of us will continue to spend more personal and work time at home.

Not surprisingly, during those long lockdown hours within our own four walls, many of us discovered that we were drowning in belongings – drawers, closets, rooms and garages – our homes filled to the brim.


_______________________________________


Could Cheaper, Over-the-Counter
 Hearing Aids Finally Be Here?



Until now, folks suffering from hearing loss typically have had to fork out thousands of dollars for a device that could be adjusted only by a professional audiologist.



No wonder that only one-quarter of the nearly 29 million U.S. adults who could benefit from a hearing aid have actually tried one, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.


Less costly high-tech, over-the-counter hearing devices are being developed, and some have even arrived on the market from companies like the speaker manufacturer Bose.


_________________________________________


Hindsight is 2020: COVID-19's effects on older adults


Nobody would deny that 2020 resulted in less-than-perfect health.


The effects on the senior population arguably have been the most significant. Isolation, fear and loss have had undeniable effects not only on older adults’ mental health, but also on their physical health. The sudden change to a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of preventive / maintenance care or attention to underlying medical conditions — such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity — created a rapid deconditioned state that worsened their current comorbidities and created new ones.

Naturally, as fear of hospitals and other medical facilities grew, avoidance of treatment followed, and a deterioration of organic disease states rapidly grew. Now that the immediate threat is subsiding due to vaccinations, the focus for older adult healthcare can be redirected to the management of chronic diseases and the removal of barriers that prevent a return to their previous, active lives.






How to Grieve for a Very Good Dog
By: W. Hodding Carter


If I had lost a human partner, there would have been the usual funeral rituals, and being an emotional basket case would have seemed understandable. But our culture treats the death of a pet more like the loss of an automobile. When it wears out, you should just go buy another one. Well-meaning friends and family members had advised this in their attempts to help me feel better. What they didn’t get was that I had lost a soul mate—an irreplaceable relationship—not a piece of property.



During our more than 15 years together, Sunny was faithfully by my side as I went through a bitter divorce, raised my son alone, dealt with caring for my mother and her dementia, and endured the death of my parents, as well as PTSD caused by childhood trauma, empty-nest syndrome when my son went to college, stressful jobs, scary health issues, moving to a new town where I knew no one and, of course, the COVID-19 lockdown.

Sunny was like a handrail along the edge of a thousand-foot cliff. Navigating life’s challenges seemed doable because I knew I could hold on to her if needed. Now the handrail was gone. Trying to understand why I was in such pain, I sought out a few experts, who explained to me what it is about these transitions that makes them so difficult.







Flu season is coming fast and could be miserable
By Erika Edwards
Read more  >>  https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/flu-season-coming-fast-miserable-studies-warn-rcna1909
__________________________________________________________

The ‘first’ symptom of dementia may not be memory loss
Read more  >>  https://newsnationusa.com/news/health/dementia-the-first-symptom-of-dementia-may-not-be-memory-loss-major-study-finding/
__________________________________________________________

At the End of Life, Some Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
Read more  >>  https://www.nextavenue.org/vsed-option/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=42a07f3332-Tuesday_Newsletter_09_07_21_&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-42a07f3332-165407981&mc_cid=42a07f3332&mc_eid=94767a79b9
________________________________________________________

How the Pandemic Worsened Mobility and Increased Falls
Read more  >>  https://www.nextavenue.org/mobility-and-falls-pandemic/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=42a07f3332-Tuesday_Newsletter_09_07_21_&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-42a07f3332-165407981&mc_cid=42a07f3332&mc_eid=94767a79b9
___________________________________________________________

Retired Seniors in U.S. Aren’t Covered
by Biden’s Vaccine Plan

By Jonathan Levin, Josh Wingrove
Read more  >>  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-11/retired-seniors-in-u-s-aren-t-covered-by-biden-s-vaccine-plan
________________________________________________________

Healthcare accounts not utilized by older adults
By Keith A. Reynolds
Read more  >>  https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/healthcare-accounts-not-utilized-by-older-adults
________________________________________________________

Why the Cost of Long-Term Care Is
Out of Reach for the Middle Class

Read more  >>  https://www.nextavenue.org/the-cost-of-long-term-care-is-out-of-reach-for-middle-income-earners/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8f91f6e3b4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_09_09_&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-8f91f6e3b4-165407981&mc_cid=8f91f6e3b4&mc_eid=94767a79b9
___________________________________________________________

Bogus diagnoses allow for high rates
 of drugging in nursing homes

By Ivana Saric
____________________________________________________

A Surprising Number of People Could See Their
 Monthly Social Security Benefit Rise

 $100 (or More) in 2022
__________________________________________________________

Rides, meals and more for seniors
 — just a phone call away

___________________________________________________________

Social Security & You:
 Social Security will not go broke

By TOM MARGENAU
____________________________________________________________

CDC updates assisted living guidance for
 face masks, testing, quarantine

____________________________________________________________

Chronic Kidney Disease May Be
 Overestimated in the Elderly

___________________________________________________________

You're 80 Percent More Likely
 to Have a Stroke at This Time

By Lauren Gray
___________________________________________________________

What The Villages Lacks:
An Aging Expert Explains Why He's Not a Fan

_________________________________________________________

The unsung importance of casual
 relationships for older adults

By Judith Graham
_______________________________________________________

Where you live could determine
 how long you stay independent

By Vanessa Misciagna
________________________________________________________





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NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Thursday, September 16, 2021







SEPTEMBER 16, 2021




Nothing raises the blood pressure more than a bowl of salted peanuts here at the A.L.F. than a discussion about our dining situation. All aspects of it. From the service, the dinnerware and place-mats to the food itself. How and what is fed to us has always been a touchy subject. And rightly so.

For many residents, the dining room is the only place where they get to meet and interact with other residents. Not to mention partaking in the only meals most of them have all day. And it is the quality of those meals that often becomes the center of conversation both in and out of the dining room.

 
Each month for as long as I remember, we have held a meeting with our food service manager. These meetings (chaired and arranged by our resident food committee) are held once-a-month and are open to all residents. It is the one time residents, as a group, can meet, question, praise and complain about what goes on in the dining room. And the recent meeting held this past Tuesday was no exception.

Frankly, the food has not been very good here, and it became worse during and after our over 16 month pandemic lockdown.

The food was so bad; the facility was forced to fire the existing food service manager and hunt for a new one. Not an easy task. The job is thankless and difficult. The candidate must not only deal with a staff of poorly trained, underpaid servers and cooks, a food budget not much higher than that of a penal institution,  but a group of the grumpiest, most unappreciative, surly diners as well. Amazingly, they di manage to find someone who was willing to do the job. And this week we had our second meeting with him.

The previous meeting was a month ago. Just days after he was hired. He told us that if we gave him a month, things would change. I am happy to report; he kept his promise. Somewhat.
 
Long-time residents here have become accustomed to the rhetoric and to take anything anybody says with a grain of salt. But this time was different. Some meals that heretofore have been just awful suddenly became quite good. Notably among them was a dish of eggplant parmesan. Past efforts resulted in a dry, over-cooked, over-breaded and under-cheesed mess. It tasted nothing like the dish was supposed to taste. But what was set before us last week was, and I’m not exaggerating, restaurant quality. And a roasted chicken dish served the next afternoon was of equal quality. A very encouraging start.

 
The service has improved too. More servers doing their jobs the right way. A result of proper training. Most likely because of our new manager having 35 years in the catering and restaurant business.

Is everything perfect? No. And it’s not likely to ever be so. There are just too many variables and barriers to contend with. Budget and the ability to keep staff among them. However, after what we have been subjected to these past months (which can only be described as “criminal”) any improvement would be considered a godsend. Personally, I’m looking forward to the next weeks and months if only to see what’s new. We have been promised such dishes as BBQ ribs and chicken parmesan. Meals that used to be favorites here and somehow were removed from the menu. At the very least, it will be interesting to see how the promises are followed through. As I said, we’ve seen this before…………
 
 


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You're 80 Percent More Likely
 to Have a Stroke at This Time

By Lauren Gray


A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is blocked, stopping oxygen and nutrients from reaching your brain tissue and ultimately killing brain cells. Every forty seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke, and every four minutes, someone dies from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Of course, these numbers represent averages, not actual medical emergencies occurring evenly throughout the day. In fact, research shows that the distribution is more uneven than you might think: you're 80 percent more likely to have a stroke during one time of day compared with all the others.

Becoming aware of the riskiest hours for stroke could help you connect the dots to recognize the symptoms sooner. Being extra vigilant to warning signs during those hours—numbness or weakness on one side of the body, confusion, speech or vision problems, dizziness, or a severe headache with no known cause—could literally save your life. Read on to find out when you're most likely to have a stroke, and what you can do to slash your risk!


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Population of older Americans tops young children for first time


For the first time in the United States, there are more older adults than young children.


“The first of the Baby Boomers turned 65 in 2011,” said Kansas State University specialist in aging Erin Yelland. “So, the oldest of the Baby Boomers are just now turning 75, which means that this population is going to continue to rapidly grow.”

Older Americans – those age 65 and up – have topped 54 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, experiencing rapid growth over the past 10 years. The youngest age group – those age 5 and younger – has remained mostly flat in the U.S. and is estimated at just under 20 million.


__________________________________________


What The Villages Lacks:
An Aging Expert Explains Why He's Not a Fan



The chairman of the Center for the Future of Aging's concerns about this type of 55+ community

We learned from the 2020 U.S. Census that the fastest growing metro area in the nation is The Villages, a master-planned retirement community in central Florida. In a demographically changing and urbanizing America, this dominantly white, politically conservative stronghold bucked the trend as retirees lured by warm winters, pastel-hued homes, golf carts and pickleball courts flocked in.


We are all free to choose how and where we want to live, of course, and new housing solutions for the rapidly growing population of older Americans are needed. But to be honest, if communities like The Villages represent the future of aging, please count me and many of us out.





____________________________________________


The unsung importance of casual
 relationships for older adults

By Judith Graham


“Hi there!” he called out to customers at a gas station where he’d stopped on his way to the airport. “How’s your day going?” he asked the Transportation Security Administration agent who checked his ID. “Isn’t this wonderful?” he exclaimed to guests at the wedding, most of whom were strangers.


“I was striking up conversations with people I didn’t know everywhere I went,” said Keenan, 65, who retired in December as chief executive officer of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians. “Even if they just grunted at me, it was a great day.”

It wasn’t only close friends Keenan missed seeing during 15 months of staying home and trying to avoid COVID-19. It was also dozens of casual acquaintances and people he ran into at social events, restaurants, church and other venues.


____________________________________________


Where you live could determine
 how long you stay independent

By Vanessa Misciagna

Think about your address, your zip code. Maybe you’re there because you moved for work, or your family has never known another one, or maybe you're there because you had no where else to go.


Of all the factors that determine it, your zip code may actually be a major factor in how long you live independently.


"Like many studies, one finding leads to another leads to another," said Dr. Thomas Gill, geriatrician and professor at Yale.










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NEXT NEW BLOG FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Wednesday, September 15, 2021






SEPTEMBER 15, 2021





It’s been a while since I’ve done any real exercise. Okay, I DID NO REAL EXERCISE. The thought of staying in one place, stretching, bending, and lifting for no apparent reason at all, is something I wanted no part of. And for those people who went to a gym or fitness center just to hop on a treadmill or worse, a stationary bicycle and go nowhere, well, that’s just crazy. And besides, why would I want to pay for a membership when I can walk for free? And what better place to walk than in the world’s most walk-able city, New York. That’s why, whenever I could, instead of driving or taking public transportation, I would walk. It would not be unusual to find me, early on a Sunday morning, walking from the tip of Manhattan Island to Central Park (a journey of about 5 miles). Or the length of Central Park (3 miles) and back. That was my exercise. It was low impact and educational. There were at least 7 museums, two zoos, and a variety of historic sites along the way. All for the cost  of a subway ride. But that was a long time ago, in a different life. A life I no longer have.


Age and illness have taken their toll. Months of inactivity all but crippled me. Fortunately, I could fight back and, after years of physical and occupational therapy, I regained some of what I lost. But not nearly enough to get me to where I need to be. And so, I recently began another round of PT here at the ALF. And guess what? I’m doing exactly the things I hated years ago.
 
The last two sessions found me, not only on a stationary bicycle-like device, but on an honest-to-goodness treadmill too. Oh, the humanity.


Amazingly, I could go for 10 minutes on the bicycle and 5 minutes on the treadmill at 1.2 mph. Now, that may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, it’s a frigging’ marathon. And don’t think I don’t feel it. The “burn” that is.
 
According to vmfit.com…’’There are two types of “burning” you’re feeling when you exercise: muscular overload and localized muscular fatigue. The former happens when you exert more effort than your muscles have the capacity for, like lifting heavy. The latter happens when a muscle group gets tired, which differs from being overloaded.”

 
It is the latter (localized muscular fatigue) that got to me midway into my “walk” on the treadmill. But I did not stop. Not that I did not want to, but I knew that to stop would mean I was conceding to my weakness. Giving in to the pain. A personal failure. I pushed through the burn and completed my 5 minute goal. Maybe I’ll pay for it tonight or tomorrow. But I’ll know I accomplished something. I’m just glad the “torture” sessions are only 30 to 40 minutes long.

Because of the Jewish holidays I will miss my next two sessions. I’ll try to do more walking on my own. After all, “no pain, no gain.”…….

 






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CDC updates assisted living guidance for
 face masks, testing, quarantine



Assisted living communities should follow the same infection prevention and control procedures as retirement and independent living communities in most cases, according to updated federal guidance related to the coronavirus.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s changes focus on source control (face masks), SARS-CoV-2 testing and quarantine for fully vaccinated residents.

The CDC now recommends that assisted living communities follow the guidance for retirement communities and independent living — for the most part. When healthcare is being delivered, however — including by home health agencies or by staff members in the case of a COVID-positive resident — assisted living communities should follow the recommendations for nursing homes, the agency said.


_____________________________________________


Chronic Kidney Disease May Be
 Overestimated in the Elderly



Current chronic kidney disease (CKD) definitions that do not consider age-related estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline may inflate the burden of CKD in the elderly, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.


Ping Liu, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues compared the outcomes associated with CKD defined by a fixed versus an age-adapted eGFR threshold. The analysis included administrative and laboratory data from adults with incident CKD from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2017 (127,132 in the fixed cohort and 81,209 in the age-adapted cohort). The fixed eGFR threshold was 60 mL/min/1.73 m² versus thresholds of 75, 60, and 45 mL/min/1.73 m² for age younger than 40 years, 40 to 64 years, and 65 years and older, respectively.

The researchers found that the fixed-threshold cohort had lower risks for kidney failure (1.7 versus 3.0 percent at five years) and death (21.9 versus 25.4 percent) compared with the age-adapted cohort. Among 54,342 people ages 65 years and older with baseline eGFR of 45 to 59 mL/min/1.73 m² and normal/mild albuminuria who were in the fixed-threshold cohort only, five-year risks for kidney failure and death were similar to those of non-CKD controls, with a risk for kidney failure of ≤0.12 percent in both groups across all age categories. Further, the risk for death in this group was 69 times higher than the risk for kidney failure at age 65 to 69 years, 122 times higher at age 70 to 74 years, 279 times higher at age 75 to 79 years, and 935 times higher at age 80 years and older.


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Ten Films Revolving Around Seniors and What Life Brings:
 From 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' to 'The Duke'

By Brigid Brown

Some of our favorite actors are in their 60s and 70s (and climbing). They've not only lived a lot of life, and produced a lot of work, they also portray characters depicting what it's like for someone to reach their senior years.



Like, in The Duke, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren as pensioners, which comes out on September 17.

Based on a true story, Broadbent portrays a retired taxi driver who isn't okay with how retirees are being treated. As a form of protest, he steals a famous painting from The National Gallery, a portrait of the Duke of Wellington, holds it hostage and politely demands rights for senior citizens. Mirren portrays his devoted, yet concerned, wife, wishing she knew what he had been up to.


_______________________________________


Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes:
 Which Is Right For You?

By Dawnielle Robinson-Walker

When it comes to residential care facilities for seniors, “nursing home” is often the umbrella term used to describe both assisted living and nursing homes. However, these facilities are not the same.



Assisted living communities help residents with activities of daily living (ADLs) while nursing homes provide seniors with 24-hour monitoring and high-level medical care. Learning more about the various features and benefits of assisted living and nursing homes can help you determine the right fit for you or an aging loved one.

More than 800,000 Americans reside in assisted living communities, which offer a safe, long-term residential setting for active seniors who can no longer live on their own. Residents may be able to choose from private, individual studios with kitchenettes and shared apartments for friends and couples. And while these senior residents don’t require 24/7 skilled nursing care, help with daily living tasks (such as getting dressed and using the bathroom) and medication management is available if needed.









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NEXT NEW BLOG THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Tuesday, September 14, 2021







SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

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Bogus diagnoses allow for high rates
 of drugging in nursing homes

By Ivana Saric


Loopholes regarding the use of antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia and two other conditions have allowed these powerful drugs to proliferate in understaffed nursing homes, a New York Times investigation revealed.


Why it matters: Antipsychotics are so powerful that they have been referred to as "chemical straitjackets," and can pose increased risk of death for elderly patients with dementia.


The big picture: Because antipsychotics are so powerful and potentially dangerous, the federal government requires that nursing homes report how many of their patients are being treated with the powerful drugs, the Times noted.


_________________________________________


A Surprising Number of People Could See Their
 Monthly Social Security Benefit Rise
 $100 (or More) in 2022



Whether you're in your 60s and readying to hang up your work coat for good or just entering the workforce, there's a good chance that Social Security will play a key role in your retirement.


According to an April-released survey from U.S. national pollster Gallup, just 15% of nonretirees don't believe they'll need a cent from Social Security to make ends meet during retirement. By comparison, 38% of respondents expect it to be a "major" source of income. That's the highest percentage considering Social Security as a major source of income since this survey began 20 years ago.

Because Social Security is so vital to the financial well-being of seniors, disabled people, and even the survivors of deceased workers, there's arguably no announcement that's more anticipated each year than the October cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).


___________________________________________


Rides, meals and more for seniors
 — just a phone call away



Navigating the complex world of technology can be hard enough for young people, let alone for homebound older adults. GoGoGrandparent strives to change that.



In advance of Grandparents’ Day this past Sunday, Sept. 12, Justin Boogaard, CEO and founder of the platform that offers rides, groceries and other services for older adults, shed some light on the inspiration behind his business.

“It’s empowering older adults and people with disabilities to get what they want when they want, and we can be used as an extension of a care team,” he said.


____________________________________________


Social Security & You:
 Social Security will not go broke

By TOM MARGENAU

Social Security & You: Social Security will not go broke



Here we go again. Another round of scare stories about the impending doom of Social Security. Headlines, such as this one in my local newspaper — “Social Security moves closer to bankruptcy” — have many of my readers on edge.

These kinds of headlines were prompted by a report released last week from the Social Security Board of Trustees that said the nation’s bedrock social insurance program is one year closer to insolvency. It said that if no changes are made to the program by 2034, the system would be unable to pay full benefits. That’s one year earlier than the 2035 date in last year’s report.


___________________________________________


Fourth stimulus check a must for seniors
 despite Social Security bump, league says

By Sigrid Forberg



Though pleas for a fourth stimulus check have yet to die down, Washington seems to have lost interest in the idea of another universal cash handout.




Yet one advocacy group is hoping lawmakers will at least issue $1,400 checks to some of the nation’s most vulnerable: seniors.


The nonpartisan Senior Citizens League says that, while Social Security is poised for a big bump next year, it won’t be nearly enough to keep food on the table.










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NEXT NEW BLOG WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Monday, September 13, 2021





SEPTEMBER 13, 2021





Jury Duty

It’s been over 20 years since I last received a NOTICE FOR JURY DUTY. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise when, along with a Land’s End catalog and a membership offer from the AARP, a red and white envelope appeared in my snail-mail box. Frankly, I thought they had forgotten about me or no longer knew where I lived. But, like the IRS, the people that run the courts in my state have a way of always finding you.
 
The last time I was called for jury duty, I was living in another county and the courthouse was within walking distance of my home. Back then, I was eager to serve. Mostly because , for at least two or three days, I would not have to go to work. It was almost as good as a mini-vacation.

 
That was not the first time I had been summoned. My services had been requested twice before and, although I was glad for the break from work, sitting in a room full of other prospective jurors waiting to be called for a “Voir Dire”[1] was not something I was looking forward to. It’s stressful and boring. Until the last time that is.


Although I tried my best to fail the jury selection process, they picked me anyway. And, since I was the first to be selected, I immediately became the jury foreperson. It was a hate crime case where the defendant was accused of 2nd degree murder in the death of a gay man. Eleven days later and a hung jury, I was released from my service as a juror with the promise that I would not be called again for another 4 years. Now, twenty-plus years later, they want me again.
 
I set the notice aside, not giving it much thought. I believed that if you were over 75, you would be excused. I was wrong. While the rules may vary in certain states, in NY, there is no upper age limit. The only way to be excused is to get a note from a doctor describing any medical conditions that would prevent me from serving. I certainly have enough of those, so I’m not worried about having

to serve. But why would they want an old codger, whose attention span is that of a gnat on a jury, anyway? I don’t care what condition someone my age is, the stress of having to sit through a trial and subsequent deliberations would take its toll, not only on my mind, but on my bladder as well. Jurisprudence and an enlarged prostate do not mix well. Monday, I’ll stop by the medical suite and have my doctor write something. If I were younger and in better health, I would have no problem spending a few days in a courthouse. It would relieve some of the boredom. And the $40 per day they pay you ain’t bad either…………………….
 
[1] Voir dire. A preliminary examination of a witness or a juror by a judge or counsel.





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Retired Seniors in U.S. Aren’t Covered
 by Biden’s Vaccine Plan

By Jonathan Levin, Josh Wingrove


President Joe Biden’s new Covid-19 plan will mandate vaccines for 100 million working Americans, but one group was conspicuously absent from this week’s announcement: senior citizens. They’re also the most likely to be hospitalized or die from the virus -- by a wide margin.


Retired seniors have been far more accepting of vaccines than their working-age counterparts. Their full vaccination rate is about 82%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because they’re susceptible to severe illness, even relatively few unvaccinated seniors means more deaths -- and more crowded hospitals -- than would occur in a larger pool of younger adults.

About 75 million people in the U.S. are 60 and older. Recently, about four-fifths of the nation’s Covid deaths have occurred in that population.


________________________________


Senior Living Groups Praise Sweeping
New Vaccine Mandates,
 Blast Lack of Financial Relief

By Tim Regan


Senior living providers have been on the leading edge of implementing Covid-19 vaccine mandates for employees — and soon, they must be joined by every large company in the United States.


President Biden on Thursday announced plans to order companies with 100 or more employees to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for workers or test them for Covid-19 weekly.

The new emergency rule is under development at the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA will also require employers with more than 100 workers to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated. Businesses that ignore the new rule could face fines of as much as $14,000 per violation, a senior Biden administration official told the Washington Post.


_________________________________


Healthcare accounts not utilized by older adults
By Keith A. Reynolds


According to a news release, a poll of people age 50 to 80 found that those who do are more likely to have high incomes and education levels, and to be in good health and under the Medicare eligibility age. The poll found that out of the 29 percent of respondents who saved money for healthcare before they needed it, 19 percent used a personal bank account, only 9 percent used flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and 5 percent used health savings accounts (HSAs).


Meanwhile 40 percent of respondents say they have enough funds to pay for health costs without having to save and 27 percent reported they couldn’t afford to save for future health costs.

Having an FSA was more common among respondents aged 50 to 64, those who make more than $100,000, and those with a four-year college degree. Similar trends were seen in HSAs and other tax-advantaged options offered by employers. People who claim their health was fair or poor were less likely to have any of these accounts, according to the release.


_________________________________


Why the Cost of Long-Term Care Is
 Out of Reach for the Middle Class



More policy options may help alleviate the financial burden, though many are a long way off



The cost of aging in America, specifically for middle-income earners, has been spiraling out of control for years. But as the first boomers reach 75 this year, the financial reality of long-term care needs are moving front and center.


Seven out of 10 people will need long-term care during their lifetime — whether that's someone in the home to help with activities like bathing and dressing, a skilled nursing facility to recover after a hip replacement or assisted living or nursing home care when living at home is no longer viable, according to a recent Genworth financial survey.







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NEXT NEW BLOG TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14TH 2021





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REMEMBERING, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001






Waiting For The Casualties That Never Came


There were thousands of photographs taken. Each with its own story. The people that took those photos will never forget that Tuesday morning in September 2001. And for those of us who were directly affected by the events of that day, we have our own stories and memories to tell.
 
Those at the epicenter, later known as “ground zero”, have memories of fear, terror, death and heroism. For us who were far away, like me, what we saw and remember are not the images of fire and smoke, or the screams of people and first-responders racing, not away from the towers, but to them. What we remember are the people who saw and heard what was happening just a mile and a half away and could do nothing about it. For us, it was not about survival but how we would get home, far away as possible from the nightmare we all witnessed.

Seeing one of the Towers collapse before my eyes was bad enough, almost “cartoon-like.” Walking over the Williamsburg bridge, in almost total silence, with thousands of people needing to be some place, any place else, was surreal. They are images that will forever be with me. But out of all the images, photos and videos of that day, the one that stays in my mind is one that is not reproduced over and over like the others. Mainly because the scene depicts what did not happen instead of what did.

My office was about a mile and a half from the site of the World Trade Center and directly in-line with the twin towers. Even from that distance, the towers loomed over us. They were part of the scenery we saw every day. We saw them when we walked to and from the subway or as we drove down Hudson or Greenwich Streets or when we went out for lunch. They were there. Part of the city. Part of us.
 
Shortly after, the second tower collapsed, after 10 am, we were instructed to leave our building. Our business phones would be switched over to one of our out-of-town offices. I made my way east towards the nearest subway station. Of course, the trains were not running.

 
I walked uptown from my West 10th Street office, hoping to catch a bus north to a subway that might still be in service. My walk took me past St. Vincent’s Hospital.[1] I knew they had to be very busy as they were one of the closest hospitals to ground zero. I expected to see ambulance after ambulance, sirens blaring, lights flashing and harried medical personnel rushing to get critically injured people out of the ambulances and into the ER. But what I saw was, sadly, quite different.

Instead of a scene reminiscent of an episode of Grey’s anatomy or MASH, what I observed was almost the apposite. The doctors and nurses were not rushing from patient to patient in a triage situation. Instead, they were standing there on the curb, gurneys, wheelchairs and various other medical equipment next to them with nothing to do. It had been more than an hour since the first tower collapsed, and not a single casualty had needed their services.
 
No ambulance was screeching to a halt in front of the mid-century modern building. No mangled bodies lifted on to stretchers. No IVs started or CPR performed. There was nothing but silence and, I suppose, disbelief. It took a moment for me to realize what I think the medical personnel already knew. There were no people in need of emergency help because they were beyond anything anybody standing there in the mid-morning sun could do. There were no casualties because they were all dead. Three thousand people never made it out of those buildings.

The rest of my day was spent trying to get home. With traffic at a standstill and public transportation disrupted, my only option was to walk.
 
I made my way over the Williamsburg bridge, through the streets of Brooklyn and into Queens, my home borough, where I squeezed on to a bus which took me to a subway that was still running and eventually arriving home at 3pm. I called my brother in Florida to tell him I was okay and fell asleep.
 
I don’t remember dreaming. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Years have gone by with thousands of images and miles of news footage showing the horrors of that day. But the image I remember most is the one and the one I will never forget are those people in front of that hospital waiting for the casualties that never came…….............

[1] After losing a several-year-long battle with financial hardship, St. Vincent’s closed on April 30, 2010.

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GOOD DAY



SEPTEMBER 12, 2021

A Minor Miracle.

I just wanted to say a few words concerning the incidents of COVID-19 infections among our residents and staff. THERE ARE NONE. And I consider this to be a minor miracle considering that not 100% of our residents or staff have been fully or partially vaccinated. Although the numbers are high (98% and 75% respectively) there remains the ever-present possibility of re-infection and another lockdown. In fact, any instance of COVID-19 infection among staff of residents will immediately put us back where we were 18 months ago as per DOH regulations.
 
How have we avoided another lockdown when many other facilities across the nation are reporting large numbers of re-infection? The answer is simple. The management has followed the comparatively strict protocols set by the NY State Department of Health. These include daily testing of staff and enforcing things like hand washing, mask wearing and limited contact with visitors. And, while not all residents are happy with the rules, the vast majority of us have followed them without controversy. Why? Because nobody here wants to return to a lockdown/quarantine condition. We like our freedom way too much for that………………………



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Flu season is coming fast and could be miserable
By Erika Edwards

Health officials are urging people to get their flu shots now, in an attempt to prevent further strain on hospitals already overwhelmed by Covid-19 and other viruses. The push to get flu shots as soon as possible comes as two studies warn that this flu season could be a miserable one.



"There are some factors that we cannot control as far as how bad the flu season is going to be," said Xiaoyan Song, chief infection control officer at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., "but there are some that we absolutely have control over."

"Get vaccinated," she said.


______________________________________


The ‘first’ symptom of dementia may not be memory loss

Dementia is the broad term used to describe a number of different conditions that lead to progressive brain decline. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is generally characterised by memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Although there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, spotting it early enough can slow down its progression and help you or your loved one to prolong a good quality of life.



Most people associate memory loss with Alzheimer’s but research suggests it may not be the first indicator.

This is the key finding of systematic review that investigated the existing literature.

Researchers conducted a broad sweep of the literature – spanning from from 1937 to 2016 – in a bid to document the signs and symptoms preceding the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.


___________________________________________


At the End of Life, Some Are Taking
Matters Into Their Own Hands

It's called the VSED option — the refusal to eat or drink. The goal is to hasten death and it's perfectly legal.



Some patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses or chronic progressive diseases find the prospect of a long decline, great suffering or significant deterioration to be intolerable.


For those with the desire to hasten their own death, one option is to refuse to swallow food or sip liquids. The practice, known as "voluntarily stopping eating and drinking," or VSED, typically results in death within 10 days to two weeks.


___________________________________________________________________________________

How the Pandemic Worsened
Mobility and Increased Falls

As soon as COVID-19 hit and people began to isolate; some became less physically active and others reported falling


Many people who stayed close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic last year used the opportunity to get out and walk more. But others, especially those who described themselves as isolated, became less active. Those changes in mobility may have led to an increase in the number of falls among people between the ages of 50 and 80, and what one researcher called a "bowling ball effect" due to reduced mobility and decreased physical movement.


That's according to a new survey published by the University of Michigan. The National Poll on Health Aging found that between March 2020 and January 2021, 25% of people age 50 to 80 surveyed had at least one fall during the pandemic due to a loss of balance, a slip or a trip and 70% of them hurt themselves.






Vaccine protection against hospitalization
falling slightly in older adults, CDC says

By Katie Adams
Read more  >>  https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/pharmacy/vaccine-protection-against-hospitalization-falling-slightly-in-older-adults-cdc-says.html
__________________________________________

California tops list of states offering best
long-term care services for older adults

Read more  >>  https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/california-tops-list-of-states-offering-best-long-term-care-services-for-older-adults/
_____________________________________________

Companion dogs may be a key to solving dementia
_____________________________________________

Older Adults Have Gone Digital:
Four Trends That Are Here to Stay

Read more  >> https://www.marshalltribune.com/premium/brandpoint/older-adults-have-gone-digital-four-trends-that-are-here-to-stay,22421
______________________________________________

Do some cognitive functions improve with age?
By Erika Watts
Read more  >>  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/do-some-cognitive-functions-improve-with-age?c=1580280669625
_________________________________________________

Will Hearing Aids Ever Be Hip?
By JANE E. BRODY
__________________________________________________

Number of people with dementia
set to jump 40% to 78 million by 2030

By Stephanie Nebehay
Read more  >>  https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/number-people-with-dementia-set-jump-40-78-mln-by-2030-who-2021-09-02
_____________________________________________________

Screening for atrial fibrillation in the elderly
could help avoid stroke and death

Reviewed by Emily Henderson
Read more  >>  https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210830/Screening-for-atrial-fibrillation-in-the-elderly-could-help-avoid-stroke-and-death.aspx
___________________________________________

Late-summer sip:
A new world of booze-free options
By KATIE WORKMAN
Read more >>  https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-business-399052fc6e4142c93a18d1491066ffa7?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sep01_MorningWire&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers
________________________________________

After Closures For 'Unacceptable' Conditions,
New Orleans To Focus On Senior Living Centers

 By Bobbi-Jeanne Misick
Read more  >>  https://www.wwno.org/news/2021-09-06/after-closures-for-unacceptable-conditions-new-orleans-to-focus-on-senior-living-centers
_________________________________________

U.S. News launches 'Best Senior Living' program
Read more  >>  https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/u-s-news-launches-best-senior-living-program/
____________________________________________

Medicare Dental Benefit Pushed
to 2028 Under Democrats’ Bill


_________________________________________

The US workforce has gotten
significantly older and more diverse

By Alicia Wallace
Read more  >>  https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/06/business/labor-day-american-workforce-composition/index.html
_________________________________________

Assisted, independent living move-in rates
reached record post-pandemic highs in June

Read more  >>  https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/business-daily-news/assisted-independent-living-move-in-rates-reached-record-post-pandemic-highs-in-june-nic/





A Better Place


Doesn’t all our greatest art address the subject of death—its cruelty, its inevitability? The shadow it casts on our all too brief lives? “What does it all mean?” we ask ourselves.



Allow me to tell you: death means that the dinner reservation you made for a party of seven needs to be upped to ten, then lowered to nine, and then upped again, this time to fourteen. Eighteen will ultimately show up, so you will have to sit with people you just vaguely remember at a four-top on the other side of the room, listening as the fun table, the one with your sparkling sister at it, laughs and laughs. Or perhaps you’re all together but not getting your main courses because the chef, who should be in the kitchen, cooking, is getting dressed down by your brother-in-law, who did not care for the soup. Or maybe your party has been split into six groups of three, or three groups of six. While the specifics blur together, there will remain one constant, which is you, having to hear things like “Well, I know that your father did his best.”


People love saying this when a parent dies. It’s the first thing they reach for. A man can beat his wife with car antennas, can trade his children for drugs or motorcycles, but still, when he finally, mercifully dies, his survivors will have to hear from some know-nothing at the post-funeral dinner that he did his best. This, I’m guessing, is based on the premise that we all give a hundred and ten per cent all the time, in regard to everything: our careers, our relationships, the attention we pay to our appearance, etc.








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NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Thursday, September 9, 2021





SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

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After Closures For 'Unacceptable' Conditions,
New Orleans To Focus On Senior Living Centers

By Bobbi-Jeanne Misick


After New Orleans officials shut down several senior apartment complexes over the weekend, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said her administration is focused on ensuring that residents who were moved from those assisted living facilities in the city after Hurricane Ida are returned to facilities that are in better conditions.


“What we found was unacceptable and accountability will be across the board,” Cantrell said at a press conference on Monday. “But right now we will remain focused on improving the conditions in the facilities that we closed. We will not see this happen again.”

After the storm, the New Orleans Health Department conducted wellness checks at several senior apartment complexes and found eight facilities to be unfit for ongoing occupancy. Strike teams found five people dead in some of those homes, a statement from the city said.


_________________________________________


U.S. News launches 'Best Senior Living' program

U.S. News & World Report has launched a “Best Senior Living” initiative with the goal of releasing inaugural listings for consumers in the first quarter of 2022.


The program will cover individual independent living, assisted living, memory care and continuing care retirement/life plan communities.

Chad Smolinski, chief product officer for U.S. News, told McKnight’s Senior Living that the initiative is a logical step for a company that over the decades has shifted from a news and information publisher to a one with a mission to “help consumers make better decisions.” Today, the brand is known for its lists of hospitals and colleges, among other topics.


_____________________________________


Medicare Dental Benefit Pushed
 to 2028 Under Democrats’ Bill


Seniors on Medicare would get vision and hearing benefits over the next two years but would wait until 2028 for dental coverage under legislation a key House panel announced Tuesday.



The measure, set to be a central part of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion domestic policy package, would be one of the largest expansions of Medicare benefits since its prescription drug program was created almost 20 years ago.


“This is our historic opportunity to support working families and ensure our economy is stronger, more inclusive, and more resilient for generations to come,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement.


________________________________________


The US workforce has gotten
significantly older and more diverse

By Alicia Wallace


America's workforce is considerably older and more diverse than it was 40-some years ago.



Federal labor economists recently analyzed federal labor data to see just how much the nation's labor force has changed in recent decades, according to a Sept. 1 blog post on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics site.
In examining the Consumer Population Survey data, the economists looked "peak to peak," zeroing in on 1979 and 2019 — two high points of employment and economic activity.

Here's a quick look at how the American labor force has changed and some of the reasons behind the biggest shifts in its composition.


_______________________________________


Assisted, independent living move-in rates
 reached record post-pandemic highs in June


Move-ins outpaced move-outs in all three senior living segments — independent living, assisted living, and memory care — for four consecutive months from March through June of this year, showing continued improvement. That’s according to the latest monthly data from National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s NIC MAP Data Service, powered by NIC MAP Vision.


Further, June move-ins for the independent living and assisted living care segments reached their respective recorded highs since the start of the pandemic. Independent living reached 2.8% of inventory and assisted living reached 3.8% of inventory. Move-ins for the memory care segments also were high in the second quarter of the year, at 4.4% of inventory in June, down from the recorded high of 4.7% of inventory in March of this year.

NIC also released its latest monthly data Thursday on occupancy within the skilled nursing sector. The upward trend in skilled nursing occupancy continued in June. Occupancy increased for the fifth consecutive month, rising 86 basis points from May to end of June at 74.2%. Occupancy is now up 297 basis points from the 71.2% low point reached in January of this year.


_______________________________________




7 massive holes in social care reform
 as thousands will have to sell their home

By Dan Bloom


Boris Johnson stood up in No10 today and announced something that - in his words - “should have been done a long time ago”.


The Prime Minister finally unveiled his plan to fix social care in England, two years after he claimed was “clear and prepared”.


But he broke a manifesto pledge to pay for it - hiking National Insurance UK-wide by 1.25% from April, in a move that will cost £30k earners £255 a year.







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NEXT NEW BLOG FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Wednesday, September 8, 2021







SEPTEMBER 8, 2021


My Season Of Discontent


The weather here has been gorgeous. The big storm we had last week brought about nothing but bright sun and clear blue skies. And, although it’s been warm, there is very little humidity. The cool breeze that wafts across our sun-drenched patio has changed the mood of many of our residents who were locked in their rooms for the last 16 months. There’s nothing like nice weather to ease painful, arthritic joints and congested lungs. And normally, if this were any other time of year, I too would enjoy all that nature offers. But the days between Labor Day to after the Jewish holidays traditionally, for me, have harbored nothing but bad memories.


Most likely, my disdain for this time of year began early in my life. Kids in New York City return to school shortly after Labor Day. The joyful, carefree days of summer were over and it was back to rising early, trekking to school, putting up with the nasty kids, the boring classes and homework. That’s a lot to be sad about, especially when you consider the weather still looks and feels like summer. But that’s kid stuff. So why do I dislike these days now that I’m an adult? Because two life-changing incidents happened to me in early September.

The first happened in 1984 when, on a bright sunny Saturday afternoon, my wife stopped me at the entrance to our living room and, with tears in her eyes and purpose in her voice, announce, “I want a divorce.” A stiletto to the heart could not have been more painful or more final. I knew our marriage was in trouble, but I never thought it to be irretrievable. She thought differently. A so, our 8 year adventure together ended. I moved out of our house a few days later.

The second bad memory occurred  17 years later on an equally clear, mild September morn. It was the 11th day of September 2001 and for me ,and the world, nothing would ever be the same. Although I was not at ground zero, I was close enough to watch the towers come down. Towers, that only a few hours earlier, I observed from the window of my car as I drove over the Williamsburg bridge on my way to work in Greenwich Village. Little did I know I would be on that same bridge, on foot, desperately trying to get home to the relative safety of my apartment in Queens. I spent the rest of that day in front of the TV watching, with disbelief, the horror I had seen with my own eyes unfold.


 No, this time of year is not a happy time for me. And the prospect of going through another Winter under the constant threat of another COVID-related lockdown does nothing to lessen the feeling. The weatherman is looking for rain, perhaps later today or tomorrow. Somehow I don’t think that will make me feel any better…
 



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Steven Petrow's Advice On Stupid Things
Not to Do When You Get Old


The author’s new book gives ideas on how to age better than the generations before us



When author Steven Petrow was in his 50s and his parents were in their 70s, he began to see them making quite a number of decisions that he thought weren't in their best interests. He started to make notes, which led first to a New York Times column (more on that later) and now a book: "Stupid Things I Won't Do When I Get Old: A Highly Judgmental, Unapologetically Honest Accounting of All the Things Our Elders Are Doing Wrong."


Petrow, now 64, took time to talk with us about his book and what he's learned from writing it. What follows is our interview, edited for length and clarity.



____________________________________


Dementia: How often do you dream?
Your dreaming habits could determine your risk

By Solen Le Net

Despite predictions that dementia cases will triple by the mid-century, progress in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases remains slow. However, it is clear that lifestyle is key to improving conditions for at-risk populations. New research has found that brain activity during sleep could be key to warding off mental decline.



Dementia, which is typically caused by Alzheimer's disease, affects an estimated 850,000 people in the UK alone. There is mounting evidence that the disorder is caused by decreased cerebral blood flow, which damages and eventually kills brain cells. A new study conducted on mice, has shed new light on brain activity, notably blood flow, during the REM stage of sleep. Study authors believe the findings could pave the way for the development of new therapies.

In both mice and humans, REM sleep is characterised by rapid eye movements and vivid dreams.


_________________________________________


10 Choices That Can Help You Live Longer


If you are under 60 and in reasonably good health, I believe you will witness some groundbreaking health care advances within your lifetime. And, I believe, you will be able to grow young with the aid of these astonishing new technologies.


Quit your bad habits. I'm talking about cigarettes, alcohol and sugar.

Living to at least 100 is within reach for most people on the planet today. In the United States, 50% currently make it past 83 and 25% past 90. Going forward, these numbers will only improve for anyone who follows what I call a longevity-optimized lifestyle.


___________________________________


Study explores factors that drive older adults
to start or sustain physical activity

Reviewed by Emily Henderson

The importance of physical activity is well recognized by both science and the public. Yet, more than 80 percent of adults in the United States fail to meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans," which recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. Moreover, 40 percent of Americans over the age of 75 are entirely inactive.



Little is known about factors that are associated with increasing, sustaining, or declining physical activity levels over time, which is necessary to achieve and maintain the long-term benefits of being physically active. In older adults especially, these trends are poorly understood.


A study by Florida Atlantic University's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and collaborators explored what drives older adults from diverse backgrounds to start or sustain physical activity and what prevents them from doing so. The bottom line: knowledge and old clichés alone aren't enough.





Australian state leader plans ‘vaccinated economy’
 that will ‘lock out’ those who refuse COVID jabs



MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia (LifeSiteNews) – The leader of the southeastern state of Victoria in Australia warned unvaccinated people that they will be locked out of society under his plans for eventually reopening the economy.


In common with political leaders around the world, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews insists that receiving one of the experimental jabs is essential for “safety,” ignoring the fact that thousands of people worldwide have died or suffered other serious side effects after receiving one of the shots.



Andrews told a press conference last week that Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital, will move from a state of lockdown to “lockouts” for those who refuse to get jabbed.  









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NEXT NEW BLOG THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Tuesday, September 7, 2021






SEPTEMBER 7, 2021



Labor Day has come and gone and I hope yours was joyful and, most important, safe. For many Americans, Labor Day is being spent in a hospital bed fighting for their lives. Not a pleasant thought, I know. But it’s the reality of the times we live in. How did we become so distrustful of our fellow citizens? Why can’t some see what is right in front of their noses? The truth is, we may never be rid of this virus and its variants until we all work together to stop it. And that means getting vaccinated or, at the very least, following basic anti-infection protocols. We here at the A.L.F. had to forego our yearly BBQ again. The threat of a re-occurrence of the virus and subsequent lockdown remains a threat. Instead, we had just a little taste of what we might have had if there was a BBQ. Sadly, it ain’t much……...........









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Will Hearing Aids Ever Be Hip?
By JANE E. BRODY


You may be tired of reading columns about the dismally poor use of hearing aids by Americans. And, to be honest, I’d rather not have to write one every year or two. However, most people who could significantly benefit from these miracles of miniaturization still do not use them. But help is on the horizon.


Two-thirds of Americans aged 70 and older “have clinically relevant hearing loss,” according to the Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase the risk of cognitive decline, dementia, falls, cardiovascular disease, social isolation, depression and anxiety, but less than 20 percent of the adults who could benefit from a hearing aid currently wear one.

Although the need is generally greatest for those 65 and older, the Medicare legislation of 1965 excluded the coverage for hearing aids (as well as for vision aids and dental care) and never updated it. Medicare does cover the cost of a hearing exam performed by an audiologist, who can diagnose and prescribe treatment for hearing loss. But if the result is a prescription for hearing aids, which can range in cost from about $2,000 to $12,000 a pair, they will not be covered by Medicare and only rarely by private insurance.


_______________________________________


Number of people with dementia
set to jump 40% to 78 million by 2030

By Stephanie Nebehay


More than 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, a neurological disorder that robs them of their memory and costs the world $1.3 trillion a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.


The progressive condition can be caused by stroke, brain injury or Alzheimer's disease. With populations ageing, the number of sufferers is projected to rise to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050, the WHO said in a report.



Only one in four countries has a national policy in place to support dementia patients and their families, it said, urging governments to step up to the public health challenge.


__________________________________________


Screening for atrial fibrillation in the elderly
 could help avoid stroke and death

Reviewed by Emily Henderson

Screening for atrial fibrillation in 75- and 76-year-olds could reduce the risk of stroke, severe bleeding and death, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that has been published in the journal The Lancet.



Atrial fibrillation, a form of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, is associated with a five-fold increased risk of stroke. The symptoms are often deleterious since large blood clots can form in the heart, break free and risk clogging large vessels in the brain and cause stroke. Anticoagulant therapy reduces the risk of stroke. Still, countries do not screen the general population for atrial fibrillation, but rather treat those patients who are discovered during routine care.


"There has never really been a study that examines if it would be beneficial to screen for atrial fibrillation, which is why we wanted to investigate it."


_____________________________________


Late-summer sip:
A new world of booze-free options
By KATIE WORKMAN


Looking to kick back and enjoy the late days of summer with something non-alcoholic? There’s been a real transformation going on in the world of non-alcoholic beverages.



Craftspeople, mixologists and scientists have moved well beyond sweet “fake wines” and watery no-alcohol beers. There’s now a bountiful selection of zero-proof drinks that don’t feel like a substitution for something, but rather like a stand-alone genre of sophisticated drink choices.

Interest in a sober lifestyle has been growing for years, leading to the rise of mocktails and alcohol-free bars. The pandemic led even more people to question boozy drinking habits as they found themselves at home much of the time, feeling anxious, perhaps, or trying not to put on weight.










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NEXT NEW BLOG WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Monday, September 6, 2021










SEPTEMBER 6, 2021




5 minutes


I had my first physical therapy session last Thursday. As I sat, waiting for my therapist to finish with another patient, the memory of my first introduction to PT over 9-years-ago flashed before me. And that memory was not a nice one. It was bad, not because the therapy did not work, but because of the pain, frustration and depression I experienced. But this time it’s not the same. I’m here, not because I need to be here to save my life, but because I want to be here to improve it. That’s a big difference.

 
My last therapy began in 2010 and lasted (on and off) for two years and at three different rehab units. My goal was simple. Get out of the f***ing wheelchair that had become my nemesis and my shame. I say “shame” because I was almost completely helpless. Unable to lift myself in or out of that contraption. Back then, the process was slow and deliberate. I had to learn to walk again. Finally, after many months and countless numbers of therapists, I graduated from the “chair” to a walker and then to a Rollator just a week before I arrived here at the ALF. And now, I was back. Not to learn to walk, but to walk better, longer and steadier. I knew what lay ahead of me would not be easy. But this time I knew there would (or should)be results.


The session began with some balance tests. I stood, without my cane to support me, my feet heal to toe while the therapist tried to push me over. She told me to resist as best I could. To my surprise, I could maintain my balance. This was a baseline, a place to begin. On to the parallel bars. I remembered these well. It’s the first thing they allow you to do once you have mastered standing on your own. But unlike before, I had no trouble walking from one end to the other and back. And, even when she told me to walk heel to toe forwards and backwards, I could do it with little difficulty. A few more “exercises” on the bars and I was ready for the big test. The one I was most apprehensive about. The treadmill.


I had never used a treadmill. It’s not a device one should try without supervision. It could be downright dangerous.

 
The therapist asked how long do I think I could walk without stopping. I told her, “I didn’t know, but probably not for over three minutes. I stepped gingerly onto the device, clung on to the handlebars and waited for her to turn it on.

 
“We’ll start off at the lowest speed. One mile per hour and see how long you can maintain that pace. Silently, the ground beneath my feet moved. There was nothing for me to do but move with it. It was a creepy feeling. One rarely walks on a surface that’s constantly in motion. It was very much like those people movers they have at some airports. However, I quickly became used to it and had only minor difficulty keeping up. My biggest problem was keeping myself upright and standing erect. After what seemed like an hour, but in actuality, only 3 minutes, I became winded. I asked her to stop the treadmill. She said it was not bad for the first time, but I was sorry I could not have lasted longer. “We’ll try for four or five minutes next time. Okay?” I was quick to agree. All I wanted to do was rest. You never know how out-of-shape you are until you’ve been on a treadmill. Unlike a walk in the park, it’s merciless and impersonal. But truthfully, I can’t wait to try it again.



Because of Rosh Hashanah, there will be no session on Tuesday. But this coming Thursday I’ll be back at it. My goal will be 4 minutes (maybe 5). I’ll let you know if I make it..................


*   *   *


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Vaccine protection against hospitalization
falling slightly in older adults, CDC says

By Katie Adams


COVID-19 vaccines' efficacy in preventing hospitalization decreases over time among people ages 75 and older, but it was still above 80 percent at the end of July, according to data presented Aug. 30 to the CDC's independent panel of vaccine experts.



Protection levels stayed higher among adults under age 75. Sara Oliver, MD, a member of the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service, said COVID-19 vaccines' efficacy in preventing hospitalization among adults ages 18-49 remains at 94 percent or higher.


The data, which suggests COVID-19 vaccines' efficacy may be beginning to wane among vulnerable populations who were vaccinated earliest, was presented to the panel during a meeting discussing the U.S. booster plan, according to CBS News.


______________________________________________________


California tops list of states offering best
long-term care services for older adults



A comparison of cost, access and quality has launched California to the top of MedicareGuide’s list of top states for long-term care.


The Sunshine State topped the best lists for assisted living costs per month, adult day services total licensed capacity, homemaker services per month, and home health aide costs per month.


States rounding out the top five for long-term care are Minnesota, Washington, Texas and New York. Bottom-ranking states for older adults needing long-term care services are Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada and Mississippi.


_______________________________________________________


Companion dogs may be a key to solving dementia


New research measured an Alzheimer's disease-associated peptide (Aβ42) in companion dog brains and found that higher abundance is associated with increased cognitive decline. The data support that cognitive dysfunction in dogs models several key aspects of human dementia, underscoring the suitability and usefulness of companion dogs as an animal model for aging studies.


Dementia is an umbrella term for loss of memory and ability to learn, deterioration in thinking, behavior, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. The chance of getting dementia rises as one gets older: In general, 5-8% of people over 60 are thought to have some degree of dementia. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's Disease, for which unfortunately no cure exists yet. One main limitation in Alzheimer's research is the lack of useful animal models that develop dementia spontaneously, without genetic engineering, and also adequately reflect the genetic and environmental complexity of humans.


_________________________________________________


Older Adults Have Gone Digital:
Four Trends That Are Here to Stay



During the pandemic, many older adults went digital, adopting technology to manage daily tasks and stay connected to family and friends. As we emerge from COVID-19, here’s what we see ahead for older adults with respect to their use of technology.



Post-pandemic, older adults will continue to acquire and use tech


It’s probably no surprise that during the pandemic, older adults’ usage and acquisition of tech increased, according to AARP’s annual tech survey and we predict these trends will continue once the pandemic ends.


______________________________________


Do some cognitive functions improve with age?
By Erika Watts

   
For years, most research indicated that older adults experience a decline in brain functioning across the board. However, a new observational study, which appears in Nature Human Behaviour Trusted Source, suggests that may not be true.



The study’s authors found that rather than seeing a decline in all cognitive functions, older adults instead demonstrated improvements in some domains.


According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive functioning refers to “performance of the mental processes of perception, learning, memory, understanding, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intuition, and language.”


___________





Daughter on Universal Credit fears for dad often
left with 37p after paying bills


On a sunny day last week in the seaside resort of Bridlington, ­dozens of families gathered on the sand. For many of the children, whose families rely on Universal Credit, it was their first ever view of the sea.



They were using their buckets and spades not to build sandcastles but to create a giant sand sculpture, with the words “Cancel The Cut”.


Katy Howard, 30, was with daughter Casi-Rose, eight, and other members of Unite Community to protest the £20 cut to Universal Credit that is about to plunge millions into poverty.










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It’s Sunday, September 5, 2021







SEPTEMBER 5, 2021


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Annuities make it easier for retirees to spend
By Kate Dore


With fewer employer pensions these days, some retirees are hesitant to draw down their nest eggs. However, older Americans may spend more freely with a guaranteed source of income, such as Social Security or a private annuity.


That’s according to a research paper that examines spending in retirement. The report compared retirees with a life-long income stream to those living off an investment portfolio.




The findings suggest retirees with guaranteed income may spend twice as much as those tapping wealth from their retirement savings.


_______________________________________

Eating walnuts every day could
 lower bad cholesterol in older adults


Adding a fistful of walnuts to your daily diet – no matter what else you eat – could lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce heart risks in otherwise healthy older adults, a new study suggests.



The study, published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, found people who ate about half a cup of walnuts every day for two years modestly lowered their LDL, or "bad," cholesterol levels as well as the number of LDL particles associated with cardiovascular disease risk.


Previous studies show walnuts, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, are associated with lower rates of heart disease and stroke, as are nuts in general.


___________________________________________


Aging Care Leaders: Congress Must Pass "Gamechanger" Bill


Congress must pass a massive social programs bill that includes billions in funding for seniors and those with disabilities, leaders in home health and senior services said Tuesday.


“Homecare providers are too short-staffed to send help, adult daycare services too few and far between, and there are waitlists for affordable housing … so millions of families have been trying to fill this gap by stepping in as caregivers,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of Leading Age. “This is the most important moment in decades for older Americans and their families.”


She said that if Congress doesn’t act now to pass the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, the nonprofits and other groups providing senior care will be overwhelmed. The bill sets up a framework for construction of legislation to expand social programs—including around $400 billion worth that will go toward senior care, home- and community- based services, and pay raises for caregivers, among other items.


_________________________________


Comparing seniors who relocate long-distance
 shows where you live affects your longevity

By Peter Dizikes

Would you like to live longer? It turns out that where you live, not just how you live, can make a big difference.


That’s the finding of an innovative study co-authored by an MIT economist, which examines senior citizens across the U.S. and concludes that some locations enhance longevity more than others, potentially for multiple reasons.


The results show that when a 65-year-old moves from a metro area in the 10th percentile, in terms of how much those areas enhance longevity, to a metro area the 90th percentile, it increases that person’s life expectancy by 1.1 years. That is a notable boost, given that mean life expectancy for 65-year-olds in the U.S. is 83.3 years.


___________________________________________


More Than 80 Percent of Seniors Are Vaccinated.
 That’s ‘Not Safe Enough.’

By Paula Span


Dr. Won Lee began her initial visit to a new homebound patient, Almeta Trotter, last month by asking about her life, her health and how she was managing in her apartment in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston she shares with her longtime partner and a parakeet.


Eventually Dr. Lee, the medical director of the Geriatrics Home Care Program at Boston Medical Center, raised a key question. “I said, ‘What are your feelings about vaccination against Covid?’”



“I heard that I shouldn’t get it because I take blood thinners” for a heart problem, replied Ms. Trotter, 77.



*   *   *


Commentary: Old people ads
William Carter • Columnist



Apparently, according to all of the commercials out there these days targeting only old people, no matter what they’re advertising, I’m supposed to be practicing Tai Chi in a park somewhere with a bunch of other old people, or tottering into the kitchen to interrupt my wife as she’s making soup for lunch, sweep her into my arms and slow dance with her, cheek to cheek, for no other reason than, I guess, to indicate how happy we are to be retired and having soup for lunch. 


Old people also play a lot of cards in these commercials, discuss disposable catheters with each other or admire the free, plastic water bottles we received for renewing our yearly memberships to AARP.  

Old people seem to like to admit, too, how terrified we all are of climbing ladders to clean out our gutters, which, if the ominous, underlying message of one particular, clog-free gutter ad is to be believed, is the second leading cause of death of the elderly, topped only by stress-related heart attacks from screaming at squirrels that are invading our bird feeders. 







Home Is Where the Health Care Is: New Study Shows Increase
in Number of Homebound Older Adults
While CMS Expands Home Health Reimbursement Model

Read more  >>  https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/home-is-where-the-health-care-is-new-3675826/?origin=CEG&utm_source=CEG&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CustomEmailDigest&utm_term=jds-article&utm_content=article-link_______________________________

Don't Have Much of a 401k or IRA?
How Senior Citizens Build
A Retirement Fund On A Fixed Income

By Georgina Tzanetos
Read more  >>  https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/planning/senior-citizens-build-retirement-fund-on-fixed-income/
_______________________________________

3 Conversations Solo Agers Should Have
to Pre-Plan Their Funerals

Read more  >>  https://www.nextavenue.org/funerals-aging-alone/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=fb688f2c3e-Tuesday_Newsletter_08_24_21__&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-fb688f2c3e-165407981&mc_cid=fb688f2c3e&mc_eid=94767a79b9
___________________________________

What to Do When You Feel Like
 You Can't Do Anything

Read more>>  https://www.nextavenue.org/surgery-what-to-do/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=fb688f2c3e-Tuesday_Newsletter_08_24_21__&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-fb688f2c3e-165407981&mc_cid=fb688f2c3e&mc_eid=94767a79b9
____________________________________________________

Reliving high times?
Marijuana use on the rise in older men

By Linda Carroll

Read more  >>  https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/marijuana-use-rise-older-adults-n1238914
_________________________________________________________

Most retirees will need long-term care.
These are the best ways to pay for it

By Kate Dore
Read more  >>  https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/26/most-retirees-will-need-long-term-care-these-are-ways-to-pay-for-it-.html
______________________________________________________

Motor control in older adults may be exacerbated
by age-related executive functioning decline

Read more  >>  https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210826/Motor-control-in-older-adults-may-be-exacerbated-by-age-related-executive-functioning-decline.aspx
____________________________________________________

The Top 10 Reasons Americans Do Not Retire
By Marilyn Lewis
Read more  >>  https://www.moneytalksnews.com/slideshows/the-top-reasons-americans-do-not-retire/________________________________________________________

Choose Home Care Act Presents Senior Living Opportunities,
Draws Skilled Nursing Backlash

By Chuck Sudo
Read more  >>  https://seniorhousingnews.com/2021/08/29/choose-home-care-act-presents-senior-living-opportunities-draws-skilled-nursing-backlash/
______________________________________

Aging in Place Is Gaining Popularity Among Retirees.
Here's How to Prep Your Home.

By Debbie Carlson
Read more  >>  https://www.barrons.com/articles/aging-in-place-retirees-prep-your-home-51630076579?tesla=y
___________________________________

Gray Divorce’ Is on the Rise:
How to Strengthen Your Relationship at Any Age

By Becky Upham
Read more  >> https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/why-more-couples-are-divorcing-at-older-ages-than-before-and-what-you-can-do-to-avoid-it/
_______________________________________

Can virtual reality help seniors?
Study hopes to find out

By TERRY SPENCER
Read more >>  https://apnews.com/article/seniors-business-technology-health-education-007b522597b60b45fd9f3b2c4e0b5e87
_____________________________________________

Mentally stimulating jobs linked to
lower risk of dementia in old age

Read more  >>  https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-08-mentally-jobs-linked-dementia-age.html
_________________________________________________________

Age Can Impair a Man's Odds for Fatherhood
By Cara Murez
Read more  >>  https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-08-23/age-can-impair-a-mans-odds-for-fatherhood-study
___________________________________________________________

Study focuses on understanding how muscle fatigue
and changes in gait affect older adults
Read more  >>  https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210825/Study-focuses-on-understanding-how-muscle-fatigue-and-changes-in-gait-affect-older-adults.aspx
___________________________________________________________

Study shows that rewarded life experiences
are replayed and consolidated during sleep

By Ingrid Fadelli
________________________________________________________

Social Security, on surprisingly solid ground
By Eric Kingson, Nancy Altman
Read more  >>  https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-social-security-on-surprisingly-solid-ground-20210831-lflrsgmu6zgvlhwkoognh63tki-story.html
______________________________________________

Social Security Costs Expected to Exceed Total Income in 2021
as Covid-19 Takes Financial Toll

By Kate Davidson
Read more  >>  https://www.wsj.com/articles/social-security-costs-expected-to-exceed-total-income-in-2021-as-covid-19-takes-financial-toll-11630436193
______________________________________________________
How Long Can the IRS Levy
on Social Security Benefits?

Read more  >>  https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/how-long-can-the-irs-levy-on-social-6605536/?origin=CEG&utm_source=CEG&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CustomEmailDigest&utm_term=jds-article&utm_content=article-link
__________________________________________________

43 friends in the Senate
Read more  >>  https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/columns/editors-columns/43-friends-in-the-senate/________________________________________________

The Surprising Exercise You Stop Doing After 60
By John Anderer
Read more  >>  https://www.eatthis.com/the-surprising-exercise-you-stop-doing-after-60-say-experts/





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GOOD DAY
It’s Thursday, September 2, 2021







SEPTEMBER 2, 2021


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Social Security, on surprisingly solid ground
By Eric Kingson, Nancy Altman

The just-released 2021 Social Security Trustees Report shows that, even in the midst of a deadly, worldwide pandemic, Social Security has met and continues to meet all its obligations to the American people, just as it has done for more than 80 years. It has done so in times of war, economic collapse, and a once-in-a-century health-care crisis.



According to the 2021 report, Social Security currently costs around 5% of gross domestic product. At the end of the 21st century, that rises by only about one percentage point to 6% of GDP. Nearly all other industrial capitalist nations, right now, today, devote a larger percentage of GDP — with Germany, France and Portugal spending about 11% — to fund their retirement, survivors and disability systems. At a time when the age 65-and-over population is continuing to grow numerically and as a percent of the United States — from 54 million in 2019 (16.5% of the United States population) to an estimated 81 million in 2040 (22%) and 94 million in 2060 (23%) — that small increase in GDP is more than justified.


The report shows that Social Security’s earned benefits can be paid in full until 2034. Even if Congress does absolutely nothing during the next 75 years, the program would be able to pay around 78 cents of every benefit dollar earned by the American people.


________________________________________________

Social Security Costs Expected to Exceed Total Income in 2021
 as Covid-19 Takes Financial Toll

By Kate Davidson

WASHINGTON—The severe economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic last year weighed on the financial health of Social Security, but not nearly as much as many forecasters originally feared, according to new projections of the program’s finances.



Trustees for the Social Security trust fund in an annual report released Tuesday said the program is expected to pay benefits that exceed its income in 2021, the same as it anticipated last year at the outset of the pandemic.
While the pandemic had a significant impact on the program, the trustees said, they expect Social Security’s reserves to be depleted by 2034, only one year sooner than they estimated in their April 2020 report. Once the reserves are exhausted, benefits would be reduced automatically unless Congress steps in to shore up the program, which lawmakers have done previously.


How Long Can the IRS Levy
 on Social Security Benefits?


To levy on Social Security benefits, the IRS generally issues Form 668-W to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”).[i]  After receipt of the Form 668-W, Notice of Levy on Wages, Salary, and Other Income, SSA will withhold future amounts of payments due to the Social Security beneficiary and remit the same to the IRS for payment on outstanding tax liabilities. Often, the question I receive from clients subject to Social Security levies is how long will the levy continue?  This Insight tackles that interesting question.



After a tax assessment has been made, the IRS generally waits for the taxpayer to make full payment of the assessment or offer payment arrangements (e.g., an installment agreement or an offer in compromise).  But, if the taxpayer fails to do either, the IRS will begin issuing notices to the taxpayer to demand full payment.  Taxpayers who ignore these notices generally do so at their own peril.


Indeed, if a taxpayer fails to make full payment of an assessed tax, the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) specifically authorizes the IRS to collect payment through other means, including administrative levies.  Administrative levies are unique to the IRS.  Generally, creditors other than the IRS must obtain a court order to make a levy against a third party.  This is not so for the IRS, which simply has to serve an administrative levy notice.  See Barnard v. Pavlish, 187 F.3d 625 (3d Cir. 1999).


43 friends in the Senate

The drumbeat continues for more funding to help senior living and care providers simply survive in the wake of all of the pandemic-related expenses they have incurred. Or simply the release of funding that already has been promised.



You’ve seen the numbers. In a National Center for Assisted Living survey of 122 assisted living communities that we reported on in June, 49% of respondents said they are operating at a loss, and the same percentage said they have made cuts this year due to increased expenses and lost revenue due to COVID-19.


All of the major associations representing senior living operators have been making noise, alone and together, to try to get Provider Relief Fund monies — or, at a minimum, more information about those funds — released. In one example, the American Health Care Association / NCAL, the American Seniors Housing Association, Argentum and LeadingAge sent a letter to the administration earlier this month asking for the immediate allocation of remaining PRF dollars to senior living communities and nursing homes.

Read more  >>  https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/columns/editors-columns/43-friends-in-the-senate/

____________________________________________________


The Surprising Exercise
You Stop Doing After 60

By John Anderer

There are plenty of reasons to keep moving well beyond your 60th birthday. Regular exercise in old age helps preserve cognition, improve balance, and prevent bone loss—just to name a few perks. In fact, a recent study even reports that when we exercise, a specific hormone is released by the muscles into the bloodstream. From there, the hormone makes its way to the brain where it helps "supercharge" neurons, providing a serious brain boost. Researchers say one day the hormone may be developed as a form of Alzheimer's treatment.



With all of those benefits in mind, many older adults are inclined to hit the ground running with new and intense exercise routines and ideas. While intense workouts seven days a week are an admirable fitness idea in theory, it's also just as important for exercisers over 60 to work around their personal bodily limitations. For instance, the Mayo Clinic advises that older adults living with conditions including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure consult with their physician before starting a new workout regimen.


Besides speaking with a doctor, the exercises older adults choose to engage in should be carefully chosen as well. According to Leann Poston M.D., M.B.A., M.Ed., of Invigor Medical, seniors should prioritize exercises that strengthen bone density, improve balance, and add muscle mass. Moreover, it's super important to start slow. If an older individual is new to weightlifting they should "start with light weights or even soup cans and increase the weight as able," she explains.






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It’s Wednesday, September 1, 2021






“They know what the Destroyer learned a long time ago
—lying in bed doesn’t rehabilitate anyone.”
                                                                            ― Adele Levine



SEPTEMBER 1, 2021


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Mentally stimulating jobs linked to
 lower risk of dementia in old age



People with mentally stimulating jobs have a lower risk of dementia in old age than those with non-stimulating jobs, finds a study published by The BMJ today.


One possible explanation is that mental stimulation is linked to lower levels of certain proteins that may prevent brain cells forming new connections (processes called axonogenesis and synaptogenesis).

Cognitive stimulation is assumed to prevent or postpone the onset of dementia. But trial results have varied and most recent long term studies have suggested that leisure time cognitive activity does not reduce risk of dementia.


_______________________________________


Age Can Impair a Man's Odds for Fatherhood
By Cara Murez

It's no surprise to hear that women's fertility wanes as their biological clock ticks away.

But do men have a biological clock, too?


New research shows it's not exactly the same, but their likelihood of fathering a child does appear to decline, even with assisted reproductive technology, once they're past age 50.


Research completed among potential fathers both above and under age 50 in the United Kingdom found that even with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), the chance of achieving a live birth significantly declined once a man was over 50. However, that paternal age did not independently affect risk of miscarriage after assisted reproductive technology.


_______________________________________


Study focuses on understanding how muscle fatigue
 and changes in gait affect older adults



Older adults on a walk or hike, or just going about their daily routines, seem to experience greater fatigue than their younger counterparts. Such fatigue may ultimately affect their ability to participate in activities that are meaningful to them and help keep them healthy.


A University of Massachusetts Amherst team of scientists in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences is focused on understanding how muscle fatigue and changes in gait affect the ability of people in their 70s and 80s to remain active.


With a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Aging, biomechanical engineer Katherine Boyer will lead the study, which has started to recruit participants in Western Massachusetts.


____________________________________________


Study shows that rewarded life experiences
 are replayed and consolidated during sleep

By Ingrid Fadelli

Past neuroscience studies have consistently showed that sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation. For instance, some neuroimaging research showed that the brain regions that are activated while humans are encoding waking experiences can later be reactivated during sleep, particularly during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.


Interestingly, the same brain regions are also associated with increased local slow-wave activity (SWA). Interestingly, the activation of these brain regions and SWA are known to be associated with two mechanisms related to memory optimization, namely neural replay and synaptic homeostasis. These mechanisms are typically associated with improvements in behavior over time.


Researchers at University of Geneva in Switzerland have recently carried out a study aimed at investigating the ways in which the brain selects memories that will be reprocessed during sleep. Their findings, presented in a paper published in Nature Communications, suggest that the brain tends to prioritize the consolidation of memories or life experiences with high motivational relevance, namely those associated with rewards.






It was time for me to face reality. The over 16 months of isolation had taken its toll on my mobility.
 
BC (Before Covid) I had little problem walking around the perimeter of our 14 acre facility. Today, I barely could walk around our 15 car parking lot without feeling soreness in my legs, hips and knees (plus a good deal of gasping for air). I needed help. Fortunately, it was not far away. And the timing could not have been better.
 
Among the many “amenities” here at the A.L.F. is having several healthcare professionals on sight. Among those (and separate from the facilities staff) is a group of men and women who operate a physical therapy unit in our main building. The staff are all trained and dedicated PT’s who have helped many of our residents get and maintain their mobility and other motor functions. And, once a year, we residents are offered an evaluation of our physical condition. My time came yesterday.

After lunch, I made my way down to our lower-level where our physical therapy unit is located. I had been there two or three times in the past inquiring about using some of the equipment in my spare time. But this was the first time I was there as a potential patient.
 
I was met by a young lady dressed in dark blue scrubs. After the introductory formalities, we got down to business. Questions about my current condition were followed by listing what I hoped to accomplish.

I explained my desire to at least return to my pre-covid state and possibly even improving it. She listened intently and told me that was not out of the realm of possibility. We then began the “physical” part of the evaluation. Some of which I had been through before.
 
Before coming here to the facility, I had been a patient in a nursing home/therapy situation struggling to regain the mobility I lost after months of hospitalization. My goal then was just to lift myself out of a wheelchair and walk with the aid of a walker. It took 21/2 years to get that done. It was painful and, at times, discouraging. But I did it. That was ten years ago. Now, I was older and fatter.

The evaluation began with testing the strength of my legs. She pushed down on my ankles while I did my best to resist. It seems my legs were fairly strong. I knew that. The problem was mostly with my stamina and balance. I should not get as tired as fast as I do for the short distances I walk. Of course, there was a test for that which included, of all things, walking a certain distance in six minutes and, thereafter, testing my pulse and oxygen levels. I did not do as well as I had done with the strength test. My O2 dropped dramatically. And I could feel pain in my legs and hips. We both agreed I needed to do some work.
 
Therapy is not new to me. And brings back bad memories. But I am wiser now and know the benefits that can be derived from such a regimen. How long it will take I don’t know. But I will do my best.
 
She set up a schedule for regular physical therapy sessions. Twice a week for a half-hour to 45 minutes at a time. Now I have something to do besides writing this blog after breakfast.
 






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Choose Home Care Act Presents Senior Living Opportunities,
Draws Skilled Nursing Backlash

By Chuck Sudo


A bill introduced last month in the United States Senate would allow in-home care alternatives to skilled nursing facilities and poses substantial ramifications for private-pay senior living providers.


Sponsored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 would allow certain Medicare beneficiaries to receive extended Medicare services such as skilled nursing or rehabilitation services in their homes for up to 30 days following hospitalizations or surgeries, in addition to their usual home health allowance.


Additionally, beneficiaries may also receive traditional home health services for longer than 30 days, as needed.


______________________________________


Aging in Place Is Gaining Popularity Among Retirees.
Here's How to Prep Your Home.

By Debbie Carlson


The reasons given for this desire to age in place are myriad, from community ties to nearby family members to tax breaks such as property-tax exemptions. And of course there is the cost: If homeowners can stay in their dwellings, it may be possible to delay or forgo moving into assisted living that could cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey by insurance provider Genworth Financial, for instance, shows the national monthly median cost of assisted living is $4,300.


For people near or in retirement looking to remodel, architects and designers suggest incorporating a flexible design to allow homeowners to comfortably age in place. Adding universal design elements doesn’t require a complete rehab. By incorporating universal design, retirees can plan for longevity, rather than infirmity, says Sarah Barnard of Sarah Barnard Design. “There are a lot of different ways that we can ensure our comfort and independence,” she says.


Even if homeowners aren’t planning a full renovation, they can easily adopt a few simple upgrades that can make it easier to age in place. Here are some tips:


____________________________________


‘Gray Divorce’ Is on the Rise:
How to Strengthen Your Relationship at Any Age

By Becky Upham

The recent news that Bill Gates, 65, and Melinda Gates, 56, are divorcing after 27 years of marriage took much of the world by surprise. The power couple appeared to be the picture of marital stability and longevity, having raised three children while founding and leading the world’s largest nonprofit, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has distributed over $54 billion in grants since its inception.


While we don’t know all the reasons behind the Gates’ decision, it is clear they are not alone in separating after decades together.



Past research published in The Journals of Gerontology found that more than 1 in 4 people getting divorced in the United States are over age 50, and over half of those divorces happen after 20 years of marriage. Pew Research data from 2017 found that the rate of divorce after age 50 nearly doubled from 1990 to 2015. And a study published in June 2020 the Journal of Family Issues found that in people over 50 attitudes shifted to be more supportive of divorce from 1994 to 2012.


________________________________________


Can virtual reality help seniors?
Study hopes to find out

By TERRY SPENCER

Terry Colli and three other residents of the John Knox Village senior community got a trip via computer to the International Space Station in the kickoff to a Stanford University study on whether virtual reality can improve the emotional well-being of older people.


Donning 1-pound (470-gram) headsets with video and sound, the four could imagine floating weightless with astronauts and get a 360-degree tour of the station. In other programs, residents can take virtual visits to Paris, Venice, Egypt or elsewhere around the globe; attend a car rally, skydive or go on a hike.


“I feel great. It is amazing. It is like you are really there,” said Colli, 73, and a former spokesman for the Canadian embassy in Washington.











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It’s Monday, August 30, 2021






AUGUST 30, 2021




Physical pain comes early in life. At birth, or soon thereafter. Whether it be toothing pain, a stubbed toe or a paper cut, pain is something we live with. Fortunately, most pain we feel is fleeting. Lasting for only a few minutes or, at worst, a week or two. However, for many of us older folks, the pain we endure is constant and long-lasting. It does not go away with time. In fact, time often exacerbates the condition. We call this “Chronic pain” [1] and it’s something many (if not all) seniors live with every day.
 
According to a study[2]….
 
“People ages 65 and older were more likely to have pain than any other age group; in addition to having a higher prevalence of back pain, 42 percent had arm, hand, or shoulder pain compared with 30.7 percent for the population overall, and 50.3 percent had pain in their hips and legs compared with 36.5 percent of the population.”
 
Think about that for a moment. Most of the older people you come in contact with are in pain. Some of it severe. And yet they seem to carry out most of their daily activities with little difficulty. Or do they? Pain may be the elderly’s little secret.


Most of us old folks don’t like to admit we are in pain. Why? Because when we do, we either get little sympathy (not that we are looking for it) or they want to subject us to a battery of time-consuming, often painful tests which only confirm what we already know. Something is wrong. This leads to one or two options. They will prescribe a pill (adding to the already copious amount of medication we take every day). Or surgery which might or might not cure the problem. in any event, it ain’t going to be fun.

So, what do most of us do? We live with it, that’s what. And, unless the pain gets to a point where we can’t function, we ignore it and go on with our lives. Time is too short to waste on bemoaning our condition or allowing a little thing like an arthritic hip to keep us from a Bingo game or lunch with the girls. Does this make us superhuman? Some of the pain old folks suffer would make young people run to the ER demanding X-rays, CAT scans and MRI’s along with a Rx for Oxycontin or some other opioid. Old people just pop a couple of Motrin or Tylenol and limp off to the next activity.

This does not mean we are impervious to pain or we are not aware of it. Believe me, we feel pain as much as you do. Maybe more so. We just understand it better than young folks. An even embrace it. We wear it as a badge of honor and a sign that we have beaten the odds.
 
Humans were not meant to live to 90 or 100 years old. Our body parts, much like those of an old washing machine, were designed to run for only 60 or 70 years before the gears, pumps, hoses and belts begin to “act up’ and eventually fail. But unlike a Maytag or Whirlpool, our parts are not interchangeable. What works in your body will not work in ours. Unlike a washing machine or your old Dodge, we can’t go to Pep Boys and order a new oil pump. They just don’t make parts for a 1945 YOU anymore.


For me, well, I can’t remember the last time I woke up when something did not hurt. The night does strange things to an old body. Instead of resting and healing, the lack of activity works against us. The joints seem to dry up. The muscles lose their elasticity and tighten, and where did all that phlegm come from? As the day wears on, many of those pains will have gone, leaving me with only a bum hip and a constantly runny nose and the knowledge that this I will have to contend with this again tomorrow. Fortunately, I am well stocked with acetaminophen to get through the day.
 
So, the next time you meet a senior who might be a little cantankerous, grumpy or sullen, remember, they are probably in pain and they are doing their best to cope with it. Just be nice to them and thank your lucky stars they don’t have a gun…….........
 

[1]Chronic pain is long standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis. Chronic pain may be "on" and "off" or continuous. It may affect people to the point that they can't work, eat properly, take part in physical activity, or enjoy life.
[2]source: https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/more-than-half-of-americans-live-with-pain-according-to-report/



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Reliving high times?
Marijuana use on the rise in older men

By Linda Carroll


Marijuana use is on the rise among baby boomers in the United States, especially men, according to a study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.


The findings appear to reflect changing attitudes toward cannabis across the country, study co-author Bill Jesdale, an assistant professor of population and quantitative health science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worchester, suggested.



Use of the drug increased in older adults in both the states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use and in the states where it has not, he said. “It seems that something has happened to the country as a whole.”


___________________________________

Most retirees will need long-term care.
These are the best ways to pay for it

By Kate Dore


As retirees live longer, many worry about outliving their savings. However, many older Americans haven’t planned for a looming expense: the cost of long-term care.


The median cost of a private room in a nursing home was $105,850, and in-home care costs were $53,768 to $54,912 annually, according to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey.

Of course, these costs vary by location. While private room nursing homes charged a median of $13,535 per month in Massachusetts, retirees shelled out $7,619 per month in Tennessee in 2020, Genworth reported.


______________________________________


Motor control in older adults may be exacerbated
by age-related executive functioning decline



Aging-US published "Cognition and action: a latent variable approach to study contributions of executive functions to motor control in older adults" which reported that Aging is associated with profound alterations in motor control that may be exacerbated by age-related executive functioning decline.


However, comprehensive studies regarding the contributions of single facets of executive functioning to movement control in older adults are still lacking. A battery of nine neuropsychological tasks was administered to n = 92 older adults in order to derive latent factors for inhibition, shifting, and updating by structural equation modeling. A bimanual task was used to assess complex motor control.


A sample of n = 26 young adults served as a control group to verify age-related performance differences.

_________________________________________


The Top 10 Reasons Americans Do Not Retire
By Marilyn Lewis

You likely assume that people with monster retirement nest eggs got them by having a monster income. Well, while a big income certainly helps, it’s not the only way to retire rich — or, at least, richer.


Little things you do now can lead to lots more money down the road.


For example, here are several simple things successful retirees do, which you should be doing today, that will lead to a richer retirement tomorrow.







TV magician dies from Covid after refusing to have
vaccine because his wife was 'super apprehensive'

By Katie Weston

A TV magician has died from Covid after refusing to have the vaccine because his wife was 'super apprehensive' about getting jabbed.




Tony Junior, who appeared in the Channel 4 reality show Seasiders, was admitted to hospital at the start of his month after contracting the virus.


The entertainer had documented his battle with the disease on social media, saying no one on his critical care ward had received the jab.









Australia’s cane toads evolved as
cannibals with frightening speed
.By Max Kozlov

The list of ‘deadly animals in Australia’ just got a little weirder. The cane toad, a toxic, invasive species notorious for devouring anything it can fit in its mouth — household rubbish, small rodents and even birds — has become highly cannibalistic in the 86 years since it was introduced to the continent, according to a new study. Its counterpart in South America, where cane toads originated, is far less cannibalistic.


The discovery could help researchers to understand the evolutionary underpinnings of how this uncommon and extreme behaviour emerges. Scientists have seen cannibalism evolve in species before, says Volker Rudolf, a community ecologist at Rice University in Texas, who studies the phenomenon. But what’s exciting about this work, he says, is that the researchers are almost seeing it “develop in front of their eyes”, given that the behaviour arose in less than a hundred years — the blink of an eye by evolutionary standards.


“These toads have gotten to the point where their own worst enemy is themselves,” says Jayna DeVore, an invasive-species biologist at Tetiaroa Society, a non-profit organization in French Polynesia, and a co-author of the study, which was published on 23 August in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America1. Scientists estimate that there are well over 200 million of the amphibians in Australia. They have become so abundant, says DeVore, that they face more evolutionary pressure from each other, as they compete for resources, than from anything else in Australia.








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GOOD DAY
It’s Sunday, August 29, 2021








AUGUST 29, 2021

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Home Is Where the Health Care Is: New Study Shows Increase
in Number of Homebound Older Adults
While CMS Expands Home Health Reimbursement Model


JAMA Internal Medicine recently published an article finding that the number of homebound adults aged 70 or older more than doubled during the last decade. In 2011, approximately 5% of adults aged 70 or older were homebound compared with 13% in the same age group in 2020. The authors indicate the steep incline in 2020 was likely due to social distancing restrictions and other health precautions taken over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the high number of homebound adults aged 70 and older will likely continue throughout 2021 and have potential lasting effects on the overall health of the individuals and their health care delivery.



While telehealth has become a staple in the lives of many post-pandemic (as discussed in a prior blog post), it may not be reaching this vulnerable population. The JAMA article indicated that, of the survey respondents, 27.8% did not have a cell phone, 50.8% did not have a computer, and more than 50% did not email, text or go online in the last month. This means those in this population that need assistance with health care services may need to rely on in-person home care.

____________________________________


Don't Have Much of a 401k or IRA?
How Senior Citizens Build
A Retirement Fund On A Fixed Income

By Georgina Tzanetos

The question of how to squeeze extra money out of a fixed income budget has long perplexed both advisors and their retiree clients. The answer is of course not simple, but most people fall into one of two categories — those who can draw on retirement accounts and those who cannot.


A whopping 40% of Americans rely solely on Social Security for their income after the age of 65. How? Well, luckily for this group social security will likely be funded for the remainder of the time they will require it. Additionally, Medicare also covers the majority of healthcare costs.

But what if a Medicare supplement is needed? An unexpected health cost? A repair needed on an older home? The reality is, there is always something that extra cash will be needed for. For this group of retirees, the goal of building an emergency fund will be a little more challenging. Here are some ideas for those with a home and those without to boost their savings.



__________________________________________


3 Conversations Solo Agers Should Have
to Pre-Plan Their Funerals



According to Pew Research Center, older people are more likely to live alone in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. In fact, in the U.S., 27% of adults ages 60 and older live alone. This trend of solo aging shows no sign of slowing down, with only 30% of millennials living with a spouse and child.


While these are all interesting data points, the implications are far more significant. This shift toward solo aging, or adults without children, means thoughtful care must be placed on deciding who will help solo agers with end-of-life decisions, like planning a funeral or memorial service.

It can be overwhelming to think about these decisions and it may be difficult to know where to begin. Resources like Remembering a Life can help. Remembering A Life offers guidance on where to begin the planning process, the kinds of decisions that should be made and the many options available to make a tribute personal and meaningful.


______________________________________________


What to Do When You Feel Like
 You Can't Do Anything


With apologies to the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, I'll remember the summer of 2021 as my own Season in Hell. But I am pleased and proud to report that I pulled through the gloomy time. And I want to assure you that you can, too, should you be unlucky enough to have a similar experience.


Let me explain.

I had ankle surgery on June 8 and was ordered not to put any weight on that area for 12 weeks. Before the surgery, I'd been in the habit of walking about 10 miles a day around Manhattan. So, this prolonged period of inactivity figured to be jarring, to say the least.

I went through an immediate post-surgery period of self-pity, worried that I wouldn't be able to cope with whatever challenges that the world threw at me.






5 Myths About Libido for People Over 50

_________________________

Retirees are getting hit by rising prices.
Here's what will soften the blow

By Jeanne Sahadi
Read more  >>  https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/19/success/high-inflation-low-rates-retirees-feseries/index.html
__________________________

Third Pfizer Vaccine Dose Shown To Be 86% Effective
In Preventing Covid Among The Elderly

By Jonathan Ponciano
Read more  >>  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2021/08/18/third-pfizer-vaccine-dose-shown-to-be-86-effective-in-preventing-covid-among-elderly/?sh=1715bbf69af1
_________________________

How Women Over 50
Can Feel Invincible, Not Invisible

Read more  >> https://www.nextavenue.org/the-secondactwomen-founders-on-how-women-over-50-can-feel-invincible-not-invisible/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=a608fbc1d2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_SCHULZE_NL&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-a608fbc1d2-165407981&mc_cid=a608fbc1d2&mc_eid=94767a79b9
__________________________

CDC warns older adults, travelers in COVID high-risk groups
not to take cruises, even if they're vaccinated


_________________________


This bill aims to keep Social Security beneficiaries out of poverty.
Here’s where efforts to improve the program stand

By Lorie Konish
Read more  >>  https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/19/bill-in-congress-aims-to-keep-social-security-beneficiaries-out-of-poverty.html
_________________________


Social Security reports nearly 400,000 more
beneficiary deaths in 2020 than 2019

By David Weaver

__________________________


Neuro Surprise:
Some Brain Skills Might Improve With Age
By Dennis Thompson
Read more  >>  https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-08-19/neuro-surprise-some-brain-skills-might-improve-with-age


___________________________


Brace yourself
 — inflation's coming back stronger than ever

By Álvaro Vargas Llosa

_____________________________



Retirees are getting hit by rising prices.
Here's what will soften the blow

By Jeanne Sahadi

______________________________

Third Pfizer Vaccine Dose Shown To Be 86% Effective
In Preventing Covid Among The Elderly

By Jonathan Ponciano

________________________________


How to Make Health Care Less Ageist
Read more  >>  https://www.nextavenue.org/ageism-health-care/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f9275e1fd0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_08_19&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-f9275e1fd0-165407981&mc_cid=f9275e1fd0&mc_eid=94767a79b9
______________________________

How To Address Aging Parents’ Biggest Fear:
Being Put ‘In A Home’

By Carolyn Rosenblatt
______________________________


COVID is still a deadly threat to older Floridians
Floridians age 60 and over are the most vaccinated age group in the state —
but they’re still the most vulnerable age group.

By Ian Hodgson
Read more>>  https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2021/08/21/covid-is-still-a-deadly-threat-to-older-floridians/

_______________________________

The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment
will likely be bigger next year.
But there are reasons why retirees’
monthly checks might not go as far
By Lorie Konish

______________________________


That $56,000 Drug? Blame Medicare.
By Amy Finkelstein
Read more  >>  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/20/business/drug-cost-medicare-alzheimers.html






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The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment will likely be bigger next year.
But there are reasons why retirees’ monthly checks might not go as far

By Lorie Konish

The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 potentially will be the biggest in 40 years.


Estimates indicate the annual boost could be 6.2%, prompted by rising inflation.

But rising prices on grocery store shelves and at gasoline pumps aren’t the only reasons why those bigger monthly benefit checks will likely not go as far.

Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment is calculated each year using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, also known as the CPI-W. The calculation for 2022 will be based on data through the third quarter.


___________________________________________


Social Security reports nearly 400,000 more
beneficiary deaths in 2020 than 2019

By David Weaver

Last week, for the first time, the Social Security Administration (SSA) released information on the number of beneficiaries who died in 2020, the year the COVID-19 pandemic began. There were nearly 400,000 more beneficiary deaths in 2020 than the agency tabulated for 2019, representing a 17 percent year-over-year increase.


Double-digit percentage increases, year-over-year, were found for all beneficiary groups including retirees, spouses, widows, and the disabled.

SSA’s statistics almost certainly reflect the concentration of COVID-19 deaths among the populations the agency serves. The CDC's death data, which includes all individuals and not just Social Security beneficiaries, indicates about 500,000 more deaths occurred in the United States in 2020 than in 2019. The CDC estimates that approximately 375,000 deaths in 2020 were due to COVID-19.


_____________________________________________________


Neuro Surprise:
Some Brain Skills Might Improve With Age
By Dennis Thompson

There's an old saying, "Age and guile beat youth and exuberance," and new research suggests there might be something to that.


Some key brain functions can improve in people as they age, researchers report, challenging the notion that our mental abilities decline across the board as we grow old.

With increasing age, many people appear to get better at focusing on important matters and ignoring distractions — tasks that support other critical brain functions like memory, decision making and self-control, the researchers said.




________________________________________________


Too Much Screen Time
Could Raise Your Odds for Stroke

By Robert Preidt

You've heard the warnings about kids who are forever glued to their screens, but all that screen time can have devastating health effects for grown-ups.



If you're under 60, too much time using a computer, watching TV or reading could boost your risk for a stroke, Canadian researchers warn.

"Be aware that very high sedentary time with little time spent on physical activity can have adverse effects on health, including increased risk of stroke," said study author Dr. Raed Joundi, a stroke fellow at the University of Calgary, in Alberta.


____________________________________________________


That $56,000 Drug? Blame Medicare.
By Amy Finkelstein


In the endless struggle to rein in high drug prices, one glaring failure has been grabbing the headlines: the exorbitant cost of drugs that need to be administered by physicians.


Such drugs were once a rarity. But they are now more than one-fifth of all Medicare drug spending and growing rapidly, thanks in part to the biotechnology revolution, which has yielded an array of drugs that must be injected, infused or inhaled.

One of them, an Alzheimer’s drug called Aduhelm, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in June and is being priced by its maker, Biogen, at $56,000 annually. That’s roughly equivalent to the cost of 45 hours of home health care for an Alzheimer’s patient each week for an entire year.






McDonald's has run out of
milkshakes in the UK

By Charles Riley

London (CNN Business)McDonald's has been forced to stop selling milkshakes and bottled drinks at nearly 1,300 restaurants in the United Kingdom as Brexit-related staff shortages and supply chain delays caused by the pandemic continue to slam companies.


"Like most retailers, we are currently experiencing some supply chain issues, impacting the availability of a small number of products. Bottled drinks and milkshakes are temporarily unavailable in restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales," a spokesperson for the fast food giant said in a statement on Tuesday, confirming news first reported by the Independent.

"We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank our customers for their continued patience. We are working hard to return these items to the menu as soon as possible," the spokesperson added.








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It’s Wednesday, August 25, 2021





AUGUST 25, 2021




As an older person, I don’t have to tell you how precious sleep is. And for most of us, not only is it cherished, it’s elusive as well.
 
If your sleep pattern is anything like mine, chances are you have no problem falling asleep, but you do have difficulty staying asleep.
 
A few minutes in front of my TV watching a so-so movie on Netflix will put me out faster than any known sleep aid on the market. But just as quickly as I crash, it takes very little to wake me up. Almost anything will do it. A noise in the hall outside of my door. A passing motorcycle. A distant siren or even my next-door neighbor flushing her toilet will awaken me faster than the sound of the Mr. Softee jingle. But the one thing I never expected to be an agent of my awaking would be a small, furry animal.


 I am very fortunate to live in an almost pristine suburban setting. Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of our state’s 3rd largest city and yet close enough to enjoy all of what “civilization” offers. We are very much a part of the city and yet, we are surrounded by nature. A thick growth of urban forest forms a barrier which shuts out the world. The only traffic we see comes through our driveway. But life in the “woodlands” is not all peace and quiet. And, as I found out, not without its critters.  

From my window, I have seen almost every animal one would expect to see in a forest. These include wild turkeys, deer, chipmunks, squirrels, racoons, opossums, owls, woodpeckers, gophers, voles and mice. All of which have been very well-mannered going about their business with little or no contact with any of us humans who share the environment. However, there is one local resident who did not get the “memo” and did what he (or she) does best. I’m talking about our local resident skunk.

I’m not exactly sure what purpose a skunk has on this earth. But I am very aware of what effect they have on the indigenous human population and, to one human in particular, me. As far as I can determine, the sole purpose for at least one particular family of skunks is to find my bedroom window and spray their unique scent directly into my air-conditioner. And, by doing so, causing an immediate end to whatever sleep I got.
 
If this were only an infrequent happening, I would check it off as “just one of those things one has to put up with if one wants seclusion.” But the little bastard(s) has been going at it almost every night this month. Leaving me drowsy and bleary-eyed as I struggle to fall back to sleep. Which is almost impossible because skunk stench has an amazingly long “hang time.” “The memory lingers on”.

I must admit I have never actually seen the skunk in question nor do I know what is causing him to perceive a threat to him or his family. My fellow residents have told me they have seen the animal(s) in question running through the woods just beyond our facilities chain-link fence. While this does nothing to help with my problem, at least I know whatever I am smelling is not the result of a some tumor which has affected my olfactory system.

According to experts, the best way to get rid of skunks is to give them a dose of their own medicine. 

Ironically, skunks hate certain odors.. Citrus, ammonia, mothballs and predator urine (dog, coyote, etc) are three smells that can scare off skunks. Unfortunately, they can scare off old people as well. Therefor, it appears that, at least until winter comes and they hunker-down for the season, I will have to put up with them and be thankful for what ever sleep they allow………..

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CDC warns older adults, travelers in COVID high-risk groups
not to take cruises, even if they're vaccinated



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to recommend they avoid cruise ships, regardless of vaccination status.  


The new guidance applies to older adults, people with certain medical conditions and pregnant and recently pregnant people. Prior to Friday’s announcement, the agency recommended that only people who were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 avoid cruise ships.



The change comes as the U.S. faces its fourth wave of COVID-19, driven by the delta variant. As of Friday, the country has reported 987,417 new cases and 6,037 virus-related deaths in the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.


___________________________________________________


This bill aims to keep Social Security
beneficiaries out of poverty.
Here’s where efforts to improve the program stand

By Lorie Konish


Many Americans have trouble covering their costs of living with income solely from Social Security.



Now, a bill has been reintroduced in Congress aimed at reducing the risk that older Americans, women and people of color will live in poverty despite receiving their monthly checks.

The proposal, called the Social Security Enhancement and Protection Act, was put forward by Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., this week.

The measure aims to improve benefits in three ways.


____________________________________________________



More than weight loss: Intermittent fasting
may help protect older adults from injury



An intermittent fasting diet could help protect older people from falls and other injuries by building up their muscles, a study has discovered.



Intermittent fasting, also known as time-restricted eating, could also be a cost-efficient intervention to prevent type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and liver cancer, a team from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California says. Fasting for a longer period could also better protect against infectious diseases like COVID-19 and even save people from dying of sepsis.


Intermittent fasting is a dietary regimen that’s growing in popularity. The diet holds people to eating between an eight-hour window and could have multiple health benefits besides weight loss. Researchers fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet to mice from two different age groups — equivalent to 20 and 42-year-old humans.


_________________________________________________


Seniors Looking for Technology When
Making Senior Housing Choices


K4Connect recently released its “Summer Insights Report” extolling the values that technology can bring to senior living communities. While not surprising that a poll conducted by a company specializing in technology within the senior living setting found support for increased technology, a couple of the findings still proved insightful:


In a post-COVID world, residents are eager to return to more in-person interactions. However, they also recognize the opportunities technology can bring, with 89% of respondents saying a variety of content and experiences to choose from is important to them.


Staff are embracing of technology, especially when it helps them be more efficient with their jobs and reduces stress and burnout from time-consuming and redundant tasks.


______________________________________________

COVID is still a deadly threat to older Floridians
Floridians age 60 and over are the most vaccinated age group in the state —
but they’re still the most vulnerable age group.

By Ian Hodgson

As the delta variant spread across the state earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters that Florida was well-positioned to handle the next wave of COVID-19 infections.



The state had already vaccinated its oldest — and thus most vulnerable — residents, he said.


“I’d rather have 5,000 cases amongst 20-year-olds than 500 cases among seniors,” DeSantis said during an Aug. 3 news conference in the Everglades.


But public health experts say COVID-19 is still a threat to older Floridians.






Ian Botham's brilliant comparison
between 'woke' BBC and EU:
'UK got fed up!'

By Martina Bet


Former England cricketer Ian Botham has been appointed UK government trade envoy to Australia. Lord Botham, along with Baroness Hoey and several other MPs, have been made trade envoys in a bid to boost British business interests around the world. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the former cricketer would "bat for UK business down under".


Lord Botham once landed in hot waters for reportedly saying "Aussies are big and empty - just like the country", where he was affectionately known in the country as Guy the Gorilla.


He is one of ten new trade envoys.


Lord Botham, who played 102 Test matches for England between 1977 and 1992, is an advocate of field sports and a prominent Brexit supporter who was knighted in 2007, in recognition of his services to charity and cricket.






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GOOD DAY
It’s Tuesday, August 24, 2021










AUGUST 24, 2021


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How To Address Aging Parents’ Biggest Fear:
Being Put ‘In A Home’

By Carolyn Rosenblatt


Your aging parent may have demanded something from you long ago: “Promise you’ll never put me in a home!” And you may have promised that. Perhaps you never thought through the implications. For elders who saw what healthcare was like before Medicare in 1965, their fears are founded in what things looked like then: unregulated warehouses for old people. Assisted living did not yet exist. Choices were few and none of them looked like anything other than what descriptions they were given. These included “God’s waiting room”, “a place you wait to die”, “hell hole” “it’s a bunch of decrepit old people” and lots of other dark descriptions. No wonder they fear them.


Assisted-Living


Assisted living can work well for some but not all.


What’s in their minds about “homes”? To them, they are all lumped together in an image of nightmare existence such as from a Dickens novel. But today’s reality may be very different. Good and even excellent places to live are available for elders who have lost their independence due to aging. And sub-standard places also exist which would live up to the negative image in an aging parent’s mind.

What is a family with an aging parent supposed to do, with that never-put-me-in-a-home promise hanging over your head?


_________________________________________________


Disparities in older adults' access
 to primary care during the pandemic

by Rebecca Brown and Kira L. Ryskina


Telemedicine visits surged during the pandemic as primary care practices sought to reduce the risk of COVID transmission. Telemedicine provides a key lifeline for patients most vulnerable to COVID infection and eliminates transportation as a barrier to primary care. But it also raises access, quality, and equity issues for patients who may have difficulty using telemedicine, including older adults. A recent study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds that telemedicine could be beneficial to older adults, but there are significant disparities that must be addressed to improve care quality and equity.


We studied nearly 20,000 patients aged 65 and older who were seen at 32 primary care clinics in a large health system in the Mid-Atlantic. We found that use did not differ by age or gender, but did by race. Black patients were more likely to access primary care via telemedicine compared to white patients, while Hispanic patients were less likely. Overall, people who had a telemedicine visit actually had a lower risk of hospitalization for conditions thought to be preventable, probably because of appropriate triaging of high-risk patients to in-person visits. However, when we looked for differences by race and ethnicity, we found that Black patients seen via telemedicine had a higher risk of being hospitalized for these conditions compared to white patients. Among telemedicine patients, those in the oldest age group (85 and older) also had a higher risk of hospitalization for these conditions compared to adults 65 to 74 years of age.


____________________________________________________


Research reveals link between widespread pain
and heightened risk of dementia, stroke



Widespread pain is linked to a heightened risk of all types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and stroke finds research published online in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.


And this association is independent of potentially influential factors, such as age, general health, and lifestyle, the findings indicate.


Widespread pain is a common subtype of chronic pain that may reflect musculoskeletal disorders. Several studies suggest that it can reliably predict cancer, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiovascular disease, and it has been linked to a heightened risk of death.



_________________________________________________


A Senior Move Manager's
Personal Lessons in Downsizing


Downsizing reflections from the author of 'Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life'


Two years ago, my husband Bill and I bought a dream-come-true home in a senior living community. We were downsizing our possessions so we could upsize our lives. The timing was perfect, and I'd been a professional senior move manager for more than 20 years, helping other older adults downsize. What could go wrong?



Three months before our move date to the senior living cottage, Bill had a planned hip replacement. Two days later, he had a massive heart attack. In the blink of an eye, we went from moving under the best of circumstances to moving under the worst.





Labour to pledge shake-up of
universal credit as part of
wider ‘new deal’

By Patrick Butler


Labour will promise on Monday to overhaul the universal credit system by allowing low-income workers to earn more without seeing their welfare payments cut, in a move potentially costing billions of pounds annually.


The shadow work and pensions secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, is expected to promise to “make work pay” as part of a wider strategy to create “jobs you can raise a family on”.


The pledge is the first element of what is expected to be a significant overhaul of the wider work and social security system, including the universal credit benefit currently claimed by about 6 million people, as part of a “new deal” for working people.







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GOOD DAY
It’s Monday, August 23, 2021





AUGUST 23, 2021

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Brace yourself
 — inflation's coming back stronger than ever

By Álvaro Vargas Llosa

The Federal Reserve insists that the current price inflation is “transitory.” Every sign points in the opposite direction, however, and we need to understand the economic and political implications of what is about to begin — an era of high inflation.

Between the end of World War II and 1980, the West, including the United States, experienced price inflation. It came to an end in the early 1980s after the traumatic 1970s, which saw the collapse of the postwar Bretton Woods monetary arrangement, including the convertibility of U.S. dollars into gold, and the emergence of oil-producing Arab dictatorships as major players in global politics. We are about to embark on a new inflation-dominated era.


For years the United States and other Western nations have spent colossal amounts of money and incurred huge debts with only modest rises in consumer and producer prices. Inflation occurred elsewhere (in financial assets, for instance), but the Fed’s money printing did not bring generally higher prices because families and companies, reeling from prior excesses, paid off debts and reduced spending, while banks focused on restoring their capital base rather than lending.


____________________________________________________


Retirees are getting hit by rising prices.
 Here's what will soften the blow

By Jeanne Sahadi


As if the pandemic hasn't been hard enough on retirees, those living on low to moderate incomes have been hit with the one-two financial punch of rising inflation and low interest rates.


Those senior citizens found themselves paying more for essentials, while earning next to nothing on their savings and getting a monthly Social Security check that rose by just $20 on average this year. That annual cost of living adjustment by the Social Security Administration was based on inflation growth from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020.

But that rearview adjustment didn't account for the pandemic-induced inflation spike that occurred this year. In an email survey of retirees, the Senior Citizens League found that the vast majority (86%) said their expenses this year grew by more than $20 a month, with 40% saying they'd grown by more than $100, said Mary Johnson, the League's Social Security and Medicare policy analyst.


___________________________________________________


Third Pfizer Vaccine Dose Shown To Be 86% Effective
 In Preventing Covid Among The Elderly

By Jonathan Ponciano


A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been found to be 86% effective in preventing infection among those ages 60 and up, a new study by one of Israel’s top healthcare providers shows, as the Biden Administration prepares to roll out booster shots for Americans next month.
Virus Outbreak Uruguay


Initial study results published Wednesday by Maccabi Health Services found 37 people out of 149,144, or 0.02%, who received three doses of the Pfizer vaccine have tested positive for Covid-19, compared to 1,064 of the 675,630 people, or nearly 0.2%, who only received a second dose in January or February.





Maccabi, one of Israel’s top four healthcare providers, said it ensured the two groups had similar demographics and found the third doses were 86% effective after at least one week.


_______________________________________________________



How Women Over 50
Can Feel Invincible, Not Invisible


It was the shockwave of rejection letters from hiring managers that goaded Guadalupe Hirt and Barbara Brooks to launch SecondActWomen, a Denver-based company designed to help working women in their 50s and older (and also some in their 40s) start companies, pivot careers and stay employed. "They didn't even give us a chance," Brooks said.


That was three years ago, when Hirt and Brooks, now 47 and 54, were mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore to paraphrase the line from the film "Network."


Both women had long careers as marketing and public relations strategists. Hirt's mojo had been entrepreneurial, founding or co-founding four firms. Brooks had worked primarily for corporations. In 2011, she launched her own agency, then pivoted five years later to partner with Hirt, a longtime friend, on the start-up, DECIBEL Marketing.



______________________________________________________


How to Make Health Care Less Ageist


A Changing the Narrative campaign aims to reduce ageism by doctors, hospitals and medical staffers

Tere Dillard, of Decatur, Ill., has gotten used to taking her 89-year-old father Jim Lee to what she considers pointless tests ordered by his primary care doctor. One was a CT scan for mild dizziness. As caregiver for her dad and his wife Lenora, who's 88, it's not the only time Dillard has experienced what she calls "over-the-top tests."


"When I was in the initial appointment with him, I was surprised the doctor didn't look in his ears or listen to his heart," she says. "He basically asked him a couple of questions and then ordered a CT. And I feel like I have to take him when the doctor orders these tests even though I'm sure they're unnecessary because my dad's scared to death."





At our last resident’s meeting here at the A.L.F., we were informed that nearly 100% of our residents have received both of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations. But my joy turned to dismay when our administrator mentioned that only about 75% of our staff had received any vaccine at all. And, although the staff is tested daily, the news that there are possible ticking time-bombs walking among us is a matter of concern. That is why, when I heard the news that President Biden had issued a mandate ordering all those working in long-term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living facilities) would have to be vaccinated by September 27th. I thought “finally”, another weapon in the war against COVID. But this sword is double edged. Requiring vaccinations as a qualification of employment will only make an already strained staffing shortage worse.



Know this. People who work in the healthcare industry, mostly, are grossly underpaid. And the people who work as caregivers to the elderly and infirm in long-term care settings are especially poorly compensated. Besides the low salaries, very few benefits are offered to those folks. This, and considering the often thankless job they have to do, means there are no lines of people looking for jobs in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. And now, considering all the precautions every employee must submit to (PPE, washing hands constantly, daily testing etc,) the desire to work in this industry becomes even less attractive. In our state, New York, anyone who wants to work here must submit to a background check, reducing even further the number of potential candidates for employment. And now, ordering all employees of long-term care facilities to get vaccinated by September 27 or lose your job will do nothing except exacerbate the situation. There is, however, a solution.


If the federal government is going to mandate a life-altering regulation, they should pay for it. Either by insuring all those who work in these facilities receive a livable wage by supplementing existing wages. Or with a direct monthly payment to anyone who remains employed in the industry for at least 6 months. Inclusion in a federally subsidized health insurance program should also be considered. Naturally, this would mean the government acknowledging the problem, and bi-partisan cooperation to fund it. Good luck with that, right?

 
My immediate concern, and the concern of many of my fellow residents, is the very real possibility that we could lose 25% of our employees who would simply refuse to be vaccinated and chose dismissal instead which would leave this, and other facilities, in dire straights. This, like many of the decisions our government makes, was not fully thought out…….......……
 






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GOOD DAY
It’s Sunday, August 22, 2021






AUGUST 22, 2021


Email- theseniorlog@protonmail.com


During the next few days, I will have turned 76-year-of-age. Because this is no great accomplishment on my part, I no longer celebrate birthdays. But that does not mean I am not happy to have made it this far and so I would be amiss if I did not acknowledge the people who had a hand in helping me stay alive. These include the wonderful doctors and nurses at both Mt. Sinai hospital in New York and New York hospital, Queens. Without their skill and compassion, I would not be here today. I also have to thank the aides and therapists and social workers at the Franklin Center for Rehabilitation, also in Queens. They helped me get my life back, despite my cantankerous behavior. And finally, as much as I make fun of, complain about and often criticize this place, The Westchester Center for Independent and Assisted living in Yonkers, NY (aka, “The Asylum”) I must praise the yeoman-like job they did during the pandemic lockdown. Without their diligence, many lives might have been lost. Instead, we had only a few cases of the virus. So, although I don’t mind being wished happy birthday, don’t expect me to make a big deal over it. I had very little to do with it........

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Who can get a COVID booster shot,
and where do you get one?
 Here’s what we know so far.

By Nicole Lyn Pesce


After months of speculation about COVID-19 booster shots, the Biden administration is rolling out a plan to get fully vaccinated Americans another shot in the arm as early as next month.


“We have a responsibility to give the maximum amount of protection,” President Biden said in a press conference late Wednesday afternoon. “This will boost your immune response, will increase your protection from COVID-19, and it’s the best way to protect ourselves from new variants that could arise.”


The first round of boosters is likely intended for the same folks who were first in line during the initial vaccine rollout, including many healthcare providers, nursing-home residents and senior citizens who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and/or at risk of suffering more severe illness or death, particularly as the more infectious delta variant has led to a recent resurgence in cases and hospitalizations.


___________________________________________________


More Than Half of Americans Live
 With Pain According to Report

By Becky Upham

The majority of Americans — 58.9 percent of adults — are living with pain. Back pain is the most common type of pain, affecting nearly 2 out of 5 U.S. adults in the last three months, according to the findings from a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics.


“This survey gives numbers to something that we’ve been seeing in the population for a long time,” says Whitney Luke, MD, a pain medicine specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

“There’s a lot of things that contribute to chronic pain. An initial or acute injury to a part of the body can be the cause,” says Dr. Luke. Lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity, poor sleep, stress, smoking, and unmanaged depression or anxiety are also linked to experiencing higher levels of pain, she says.


____________________________________________________


5 Myths About Libido for People Over 50

Learn the facts about things you can do to keep your sex life enjoyable and fulfilling


By the age of 50, less than half the population is still having partnered sex. There are many reasons why, including hormone changes, marital strife, being single and the stressors of middle age. Another culprit not typically cited in the research — possibly because it's not offered as a survey question — is hopelessness.


I'm talking about how, at the first signs of declining excitement or functional mishaps, many formerly amorous folks make a sexual retreat. "This is what happens with age," they might say. "There's nothing to be done."



______________________________________________


What If We Blew Up America's
Retirement Savings System?



Clearly, what we have isn't working, but these experts have some smart alternative ideas


America's retirement savings system is a mess (that's a technical economic term). "System" is actually too grand a word for the ad hoc retirement savings plan edifice that has been built up over years.


To be sure, the system works reasonably well for those on the payroll of an employer with a retirement benefit plan and a relatively stable job. Employees at larger companies typically have 401(k)s with automatic enrollment, automatic contribution increases and a target-date default option that provides a well-diversified portfolio for those unable or uninterested in managing their portfolio.




REVIEWING THE WEEKS TOP ARTICLES FOR SENIORS
AUGUST 13TH - 19TH 2021



The Rising Toll of Autoimmune
Diseases in Older People

By Jessica Migala
Go to story>> https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/autoimmune-diseases-rising.html

_____________________________________________________


Isolation Is Debilitating for
Many Near the End of Life

Go to story>> https://www.nextavenue.org/isolation-debilitating/?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=c73b0ea3f5-Tuesday_Newsletter_08_17_21_&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-c73b0ea3f5-165407981&mc_cid=c73b0ea3f5&mc_eid=94767a79b9

_______________________________________________________


These are 10 of the best breeds that
are perfect for more elderly dog owners

Go to story>>  https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/lifestyle/family-and-parenting/here-are-10-of-the-best-adorable-breeds-for-the-more-elderly-dog-owner-3319070

________________________________________________

How to Choose the Best Bank Accounts for Seniors
Go to story  >> https://www.thebalance.com/picking-a-checking-account-for-seniors-4177585
_________________________________________________


Restoring a Sense of Belonging:
The Unsung Importance of Casual
Relationships for Older Adults

Go to story>> https://www.pasadenanow.com/weekendr/restoring-a-sense-of-belonging-the-unsung-importance-of-casual-relationships-for-older-adults/
____________________________________________________


What Covid-19 long haulers should know
about claiming Social Security disability benefits

By Lorie Konish
Go to story>> https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/14/what-covid-19-long-haulers-should-know-about-social-security-disability.html
______________________________________________

Why estate planning is not just for the wealthy
By Teresa J Rhyne
Go to story>>  https://www.whittierdailynews.com/2021/08/15/why-estate-planning-is-not-just-for-the-wealthy/
____________________________________________

Food stamp benefits to see largest
single increase in program history

By  ASHRAF KHALIL and JOSH BOAK
Go to story>> https://www.khou.com/article/news/nation-world/biden-expanding-snap-benefits-food-stamps/507-ef98c1e2-bdba-4273-8c51-af2605d1adb3
______________________________________________________

How Ageism Is Keeping
Me From Getting Hired

____________________________________________________

Biden presses Congress to let
Medicare negotiate drug prices

By Rachel Cohrs and Lev Facher
____________________________________________

The Link Between Happiness
and a Sense of Humor

By Arthur C. Brooks
Go to story  >>  https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/08/humor-happiness/619704/
______________________________________________

Senate Democrats seek to
overhaul nursing home industry

By Nathaniel Weixel
Go to story >>  https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/567238-senate-democrats-seek-to-overhaul-nursing-home-industry
_________________________________________________

Experts offer safety tips for seniors,
those with mobility issues

By Sarah Wojcik
Go to story  >>  https://www.candgnews.com/news/experts-offer-safety-tips-for-seniors-those-with-mobility-issues-121363
_______________________________________________

Nearly Half of Seniors Expect To Work After Retirement
— But There Might Be a Better Option

Go to story  >>  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nearly-half-seniors-expect-retirement-160050278.html







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GOOD DAY
It’s Thursday, August 19, 2021






AUGUST 19, 2021


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The Rising Toll of Autoimmune
Diseases in Older People

By Jessica Migala


For Debby Vivari, 68, it manifested as insomnia, a tightness in her face, and eyes so dry that no amount of artificial tears could stop the burn. The now-retired IT pro from Rockville, Maryland, was told she had Sjögren's syndrome, which attacks the body's moisture-producing glands.


For Hedy Govenar, it started in 2007 when she noticed her golf game was suffering. Her arms felt unusually heavy; soon the 77-year-old from Sacramento, California, was struggling to brush her teeth. The diagnosis: giant cell arteritis, a disease affecting blood vessels that feed the head, neck and arms.


What 70-year-old Gene Davis thought was a stomach bug only got worse, until the retired financial manager from Allentown, Pennsylvania, found he had to stay within sprinting distance of a bathroom at all times. His doctors informed him he had ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.


_____________________________________________________


Isolation Is Debilitating for
Many Near the End of Life


New research reveals how pervasive it is, while solutions are ‘staring us in the face'



Never have the debilitating effects of isolation been laid so bare as during the persistent COVID-19 pandemic. During the lockdowns of 2020, everybody got a taste of it. But for many older people and especially those nearing the end of their lives, social isolation and loneliness are often demons woven into everyday life.


Newly published research begins to reveal the extent of that, as well as some of the dangers.


"The first thing that was really striking to me was just how common of an issue this is and how little we typically recognize this, as clinicians caring for people at the end of life," says Dr. Ashwin Kotwal, assistant professor of geriatrics at the University of California in San Francisco, and lead author of the study.


_______________________________________________________


These are 10 of the best breeds that
are perfect for more elderly dog owners



The last 18 months have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club saw dog ownership rise by nearly eight per cent over 2020.


But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup – whether you want a large dog, family-friendly dog, or crossbreed.


While every person has different needs, for slightly older dog owners it can be worth looking for a dog with a particular range of attributes.



________________________________________________


The Joy of Finding 'Love Later On'


In a new memoir, noted cookbook author Peggy Knickerbocker writes of a love story she didn't expect



The first conversation that Peggy Knickerbocker and Robert Fisher had (after a brief introductory email exchange) was a phone call punctuated by awkward silences. They talked a bit about their pets, and briefly about his late wife of 44 years, and that was about it. In Knickerbocker's words: "We gave it our best shot."



However, they both realized they were willing to give it another shot. They returned to communicating via email and began laying the foundation for a love story that neither one, least of all Knickerbocker, then 63, expected.


________________________________________________


How to Choose the Best Bank Accounts for Seniors

Whether you’re looking for a new checking account for yourself or a loved one, it's worth the time to research checking accounts designed specifically for seniors. These specialized checking accounts sometimes offer features that you won't find in other accounts.


However, just because it’s labeled as a “senior” account doesn’t mean that it’s the better option. Sometimes a bank’s regular offering is a better deal, but you won't know for sure until you dive into the details for yourself.


The Perks of Using a Bank's Special Account


Whether you're a senior, a college student, or a small business owner, finding a specialized account that's designed for your situation can offer perks that you won't find anywhere else. Often, switching to these accounts costs little more than the time you invest in the search. Banks want the business of seniors, and they'll offer competitive perks to entice them to join. Look at some of the perks offered by well-known banks:









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, AUGUST 20TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Wednesday, August 18, 2021






AUGUST 18, 2021


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US mulls COVID vaccine boosters
for elderly as early as fall

By HOPE YEN


Warning of tough days ahead with surging COVID-19 infections, the director of the National Institutes of Health said Sunday the U.S. could decide in the next couple weeks whether to offer coronavirus booster shots to Americans this fall.


Among the first to receive them could be health care workers, nursing home residents and other older Americans.


Dr. Francis Collins also pleaded anew for unvaccinated people to get their shots, calling them “sitting ducks” for a delta variant that is ravaging the country and showing little sign of letting up.






_________________________________________________


How the COVID-19 pandemic
laid bare America’s diabetes crisis

By CHAD TERHUNE, ROBIN RESPAUT and DEBORAH J. NELSON


It took the deadly disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to expose a deeper, more intractable U.S. public-health crisis: For more than a decade, the world’s richest nation has been losing the battle against diabetes.


Long before the pandemic, Kate Herrin was among the millions of Americans struggling to control their diabetes.

Her problems often stemmed from her government-subsidized medical insurance. Doctors routinely rejected her Medicaid plan, and she repeatedly ran out of the test strips she needed to manage her daily insulin injections. She cycled in and out of emergency rooms with dangerously high blood-sugar levels, or hyperglycemia.






_______________________________________________


Restoring a Sense of Belonging:
The Unsung Importance of Casual
Relationships for Older Adults



In May, Vincent Keenan traveled from Chicago to Charlottesville, Virginia, for a wedding — his first trip out of town since the start of the pandemic.


“Hi there!” he called out to customers at a gas station where he’d stopped on his way to the airport. “How’s your day going?” he said he asked the Transportation Security Administration agent who checked his ID. “Isn’t this wonderful?” he exclaimed to guests at the wedding, most of whom were strangers.



“I was striking up conversations with people I didn’t know everywhere I went,” said Keenan, 65, who retired in December as chief executive officer of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians. “Even if they just grunted at me, it was a great day.”


___________________________________________________________


What Covid-19 long haulers should know
about claiming Social Security disability benefits

By Lorie Konish



Persistent fatigue. Shortness of breath. Migraine headaches.

These are a few of the symptoms that long-haul Covid-19 sufferers face.



For some, it can make it impossible to work, prompting them to ask: Am I eligible for Social Security disability benefits?



“We certainly have seen an increase of claims because of Covid-related issues, including long haulers,” said T.J. Geist, principal advocate at Allsup, a company which represents Social Security disability claimants.


Some claimants have been awarded Social Security disability benefits based on Covid-19 related symptoms, Geist said. But the majority of those have been people with lingering complications from being put on ventilators.

However, not many of those patients have been classified as Covid-19 long haulers.



___________________________________________________


Assisted Living vs. Memory Care:
Which Is Right For You?

By Tonya Russell


When older loved ones struggle to live safely and manage typical activities of daily living at home, long-term care is a common solution. The challenge becomes finding the right “new home,” especially if your elderly parent or spouse is experiencing memory problems.


“It’s vital to really look at the support needs and challenges the person you’re supporting is facing at this point and to try to look honestly at what’s working and what’s not,” says Teepa Snow, an occupational therapist, dementia care advocate and owner of Positive Approach to Care in Efland, North Carolina.


Learn about two common senior living types—assisting living and memory care—and how to determine the best care for your elderly parent or spouse.





Afghanistan…
A Lesson Not Learned

It would be negligent of me if I didn’t throw my two cents in regarding the current crisis in Afghanistan. So here goes.

“Have we not learned anything from history?”

Does no one remember Vietnam? I sure do. I spent most of the late 60s and 70s opposing that war and doing my best not to get drafted so as not to become cannon fodder for a bunch of war mongering politicians and generals who wanted to see if all that expensive military crap they spent our money on actually worked. And just so you don’t think I was a draft dodger, I registered and even took two pre-induction physicals and only by the grace of god and the selective service lottery, was I spared from actually having to serve.

I know some say it’s unfair to compare Vietnam with Afghanistan. And if politics and geography were the only criteria we were using for that comparison, I would agree. But those variables aside, the situation we put ourselves in and the mindset of the enemy and the indigenous population are almost the same.
 
In Vietnam, we were trying to prevent a domino-effect from happening. We thought if Vietnam went to the “commies” then the rest of Asia would follow suit.

In Afghanistan, we were afraid the “Death to America” Muslims who we believed were behind 9-11 and every other terrorist plot would hinder our never-ending thirst for Middle Eastern oil and, therefore, had to be eradicated.

 
Unfortunately, what we failed to realize, both in ‘Nam and Afghanistan is, the people of both those countries don’t give a flying fig who is in charge. As long as they may plow their fields, catch their fish, grow their poppies and breed a few camels, who cares if the country is run by Communists or Islamic fundamentalists. And, I will go so far to say that, in Afghanistan at least, the male population (the ones that would have to do all the fighting) would not mind if women went back to housework and baby making and forget about learning to read and write. Who needs an educated woman, anyway? And that’s not all we forgot.

We also forgot it is impossible to fight a war against a group of guerrillas who know the territory like the back of their hands and can slip in and out of towns and villages without being detected and sometimes with the help of locals who would rather not get involved. And besides, as much as many of them may hate the Communists (or in this case, the Taliban) they hate America even more. And to discourage our government from entering another losing effort, how about the fact, just as in Vietnam, another U.S. trained, equipt and supplied civilian army lost their will to fight for their freedom American men and women died for?

Am I happy President Biden decided enough is enough and to do something presidents for the past 20 years would not do, yes I am. Am I happy about the way Biden was lied to and bamboozled by the president/coward, Ashraf Ghani who fled the country as soon as he put the telephone down, no I am not. Why would any American president (Trump included) take the word of an Afghani leader as the truth? And one has to ask, “did not the officers who trained and worked closely with Afghani Government forces, realized or even have a notion those forces would never pick up arms and fight for themselves?” How could we be so f***ing stupid?

The Taliban said yesterday they would not hinder the evacuation of anyone who wants to leave the country. They also said they will welcome women to take part in government and not to interfere with their education. Sure. And if you believe that I have a herd of slightly used camels I’d like to sell you. One hump or two?………………………..
 





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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, AUGUST 19TH 2021





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GOOD DAY

It’s Tuesday, August 17, 2021





AUGUST 17, 2021


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News Release

SOCIAL SECURITY



Social Security Expands Compassionate Allowances Program for People with Severe Disabilities
Program Expedites Decisions for Disability Benefits


Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 12 new Compassionate Allowances conditions: Charlevoix Saguenay Spastic Ataxia (ARSACS), Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, CIC-rearranged Sarcoma, Congenital Zika Syndrome, Desmoplastic Mesothelioma, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – Adult, Pericardial Mesothelioma, Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma, Renpenning Syndrome, SCN8A Related Epilepsy with Encephalopathy, SYNGAP1-related NSID, and Taybi-Linder Syndrome. Compassionate Allowances is an initiative that quickly identifies severe medical conditions and diseases that meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.

“Everyone who is eligible for benefits under the programs we administer should receive them,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “Our Compassionate Allowances program helps us address barriers by helping accelerate the disability application process for people who are likely to get approved for benefits due to the severity of their medical condition.”

The Compassionate Allowances program quickly identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone; for example, certain cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and a number of rare disorders that affect children. To date, more than 700,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this accelerated, policy-compliant disability process, which has grown to a total of 254 conditions.


* * *


Medical marijuana use in assisted living
is possible, with careful planning


Fifteen years ago, assisted living communities didn’t have to think about resident medical marijuana use policies. Under the federal Controlled Substance Act, marijuana was an unlawful Schedule I drug and the rules prohibiting marijuana use in such communities were cut and dried — it was prohibited.

Today, the landscape is more complex, as 36 states have legalized medical marijuana. Although marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, in 2013, the Department of Justice issued a memo stating that it would refrain from marijuana prosecutions in states that have legalized cannabis. Although that memo was revoked by then-Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the administration change has put that revocation in doubt. Moreover, each year since 2014, Congress has attached an amendment to its annual federal budget prohibiting the DOJ from using federal funds to “prevent” states from “implementing” their medical marijuana laws. As Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently stated, the federal government’s enforcement of its marijuana laws has been “a contradictory and unstable state of affairs” creating “a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana.”


At the same time, between 2006 and 2013, marijuana use among those aged more than 50 years increased by more than 70% — and this baby boomer generation (albeit the oldest of the generation) is the exact generation that is moving into assisted living communities and expecting to have access to all medical treatments and options. The shifts in state law, public perception and use of marijuana have many assisted living communities exploring ways to accommodate residents’ use. In making a decision, a community first should weigh some key considerations.


_______________________________________________________


Why estate planning is not just for the wealthy
By Teresa J Rhyne


Maybe it’s the word “estate.” It sounds fancy and, well, it sounds like money.

Often, I hear from people who think they don’t need estate planning because they are not wealthy. Likewise, I hear “my estate isn’t complicated; I have a house, a bank account, and two adult children.”



Both statements reflect a misunderstanding of what an estate plan is and why every adult needs one.
It’s not all about money


Estate planning is not simply who gets your stuff when you die. Sure, that’s a part of it and an important part. But estate planning also includes planning for yourself in the event of your incapacity.






________________________________________________


Food stamp benefits to see largest
single increase in program history

By  ASHRAF KHALIL and JOSH BOAK

In concrete terms, the average monthly per-person benefits for food stamp assistance will rise from $121 to $157.


The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families—the largest single increase in the program's history.


Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps (officially known as the SNAP program) will rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels. The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.


The aid boost was first reported by The New York Times and the details were confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack formally announced the boost Monday morning.  




______________________________________________________


The Hypocrisy of Hiring Managers

The disconnect the author of a new report found between what hiring managers say about older workers and what they do.



Here's the latest discouraging news for older job applicants: Hiring managers around the world have serious concerns about the abilities of people 45+ to learn new technologies and skills and to work with other generations, even though when they hire them, 87% of those employees perform as well, or better, than colleagues a decade younger.



The data comes from a recent troubling research report, "Meeting the World's Midcareer Moment," published by Generation, a global employment nonprofit.






Britain’s Idyllic Country Houses
Reveal a Darker History


Dyrham Park, an English country estate nestled among steep hills seven miles north of Bath, fulfills your fantasy of what such a place should be. A house and a dovecote were recorded on the site in 1311. The deer park was enclosed during the reign of Henry VIII. The mansion that you see today is a mostly Baroque creation: long, symmetrical façades, looking east and west; terraces for taking the air; eighteenth-century yew trees, an orangery, a church, fascinating staircases, a collection of Dutch Masters. According to “The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire,” published in 1970, Dyrham Park constitutes “the perfect setting; English country house and church.” The house was a location for the movie of “The Remains of the Day.”



On the second floor is the Balcony Room, which affords fine views of the gardens. The room, once an intimate place to sit and drink tea or coffee with visitors, is wood-panelled. It has exquisite brass door locks. The fireplace holds a collection of seventeenth-century delftware, above which hangs a museum-quality Dutch painting of ornamental birds, by a court artist to William III. Facing into the room, with their backs to the wall, are two statues of kneeling Black men with rings around their necks.








Australia: New South Wales 'in worst ever Covid situation'


The leader of New South Wales has warned this is "the worst situation Australia's been in" since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.


State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said rules would be tightened in Sydney, the state capital, which is in lockdown.


Covid fines will also go up to AU$5,000 (US$3,685; £2,656) from AU$1,000.












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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18TH 2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Monday, August 16, 2021






AUGUST 16, 2021


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How Ageism Is Keeping
 Me From Getting Hired


Ageism isn't very sexy, and it is certainly not as provocative or prominent in the news as sexism or racism. But as someone in my 60s, I've been living with ageism for years while looking for work, without writing or complaining much and it quite simply is time to speak up.


When I search and apply for even part-time/temp positions in sales, marketing or publishing or I pitch a mainstream audience an article I'd like to write, I feel as if I'm operating from within a black hole.


My enthusiasm is met with either silence or a pseudo-conciliatory auto reply.








____________________________________________________


Biden presses Congress to let
Medicare negotiate drug prices

By Rachel Cohrs and Lev Facher

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Thursday took his most concrete action to date on prescription drug prices, calling on Congress to pass a number of long-stalled reforms that include allowing direct price negotiation within Medicare and capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors.


Under the shadow of sparkling chandeliers, Biden leaned forward to make an unambiguous, personal appeal from his bully pulpit — speaking candidly about his mother, Catherine Finnegan Biden, and the expensive drugs she needed toward the end of her life.


The announcement ends months of speculation about how aggressively the administration plans to pursue major pharmaceutical industry reforms even as it works closely with drug makers to manufacture and distribute Covid-19 vaccines.






_________________________________________________________________


The Link Between Happiness
and a Sense of Humor

By Arthur C. Brooks


When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror, like the passengers on his bus. If you laughed at that joke, it is because three things happened in your brain in lightning-fast succession. First, you detected an incongruity: You imagined my grandfather lying peacefully in bed, but then you realized he was actually driving a bus. Second, you resolved the incongruity: My grandfather was asleep at the wheel. Third, the parahippocampal gyrus region of your brain helped you realize I wasn’t being serious, so you felt amusement. And all of that gave you a little bit of joy.


I realize that after that analysis, you’re probably not laughing anymore. “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can,” according to the writer E. B. White, “but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” Fair enough. Humor is a serious business for happiness, however, and cultivating the skill of finding humor in life, even during the darkest times, can be the secret to keeping us from despair.


Researchers have theorized that a sense of humor is made up of six basic variables: the cognitive ability to create or understand jokes, an appreciation and enjoyment of jokes, behavior patterns of joking and laughing, cheerful or humorous temperament, a bemused attitude about life, and a strategy of using humor in the face of adversity. A sense of humor, then, can mean either being funny or enjoying funny things.


_______________________________________________________


Lower Back Pain?
Maybe It's Not Your Back


The problem could be your sacroliliac joint (or S-I Joint). Here are nine steps to relief.

Four years after successful spinal fusion, I began having lower back pain. "This is impossible," I complained to my surgeon. "The bone has successfully fused, and I don't have any discs compressing the nerves coming from my spine."


But the back pain was just as debilitating as the initial problems that led to my surgery. The only comfortable position I found was sitting up in a supportive chair. But have you ever tried to have a good night's rest sitting up in a chair?








6 - 7 minutes

It’s time, once again, to talk about my favorite subject, food. A subject that has been a bone of contention for me and most of the residents here at the A.L.F. To put it bluntly, the food here stinks. And, while it has never been great, since the pandemic it has gotten even worse. I won’t go into the details. Merely describing the food or the way it is presented and served would not explain our plight. Only those who have to actually eat it day in and day out can appreciate its true nature. But what I will tell you is that it is boring, poorly cooked, and served by a crew of well-meaning, but untrained and clueless staff. I’ve been here for 8 years and I can truthfully say the food has never been this bad. So why, now, do I bring this subject before you. Because our administrator, at a recent resident’s meeting, introduced our NEW FOOD SERVICE MANAGER. Number 8 or 9 (I’ve lost count) in a long series of people who tried and failed to straighten out the mess in the dining room.


The new guy comes to us with forty years’ experience under his belt. Experience where or with who we do not know. He also comes to us with promises. Promises we have heard before. Many times before. Most of which never came to fruition or, after a short time, are forgotten about and revert to the same old ways of doing things.



It’s not that they start out wanting to do a bad job or knowing they can never keep their promises. But something happens here after a short time. Something dark and almost mystical. It’s as if they are sucked in to a dark hole as soon as they go through the double doors of our kitchen. All of their years of supposed knowledge are swept from their memory and any innovation is quickly put aside, a victim of whatever goes on behind the scenes.



In his brief remarks made before us at the meeting, our new food service manager (not just a chef, but a manager) told us he was currently putting together a better trained staff of servers and cooks. Part of the problem, he explained, is staffing. There are not enough people willing to work at a job that pays less than unemployment insurance. But the UI is ending next month which will have more people looking for work. A larger staff would help a lot. That is without question. But nothing was said regarding how to attract the right people. Servers and dining staff have to be trained to work with older people. Many of whom have cognitive problems and disabilities to boot. Patience and the ability to withstand a little abuse are part of the job description for a server in a long-term care facility. Not an incentive to attract qualified people. But what about the food itself? After all, if you can’t eat it, who cares how it’s served.



Unfortunately, not much was said about the menu other than promising a change. It has to be a change for the better because it can’t get much worse. The problem stems from the food cooked. Hardly any of it is made from scratch. It’s all pre-fabricated, portion-controlled and institutional-grade. From the eggs in the morning to the meat loaf at dinner, it was made somewhere else and re-heated here. Even deserts, except for the occasional fresh fruit cup, comes from a can or a box. We haven’t seen a piece of pie or decent hunk of cake in months. Ice cream comes in little cups with only chocolate or vanilla as a choice. Fortunately, a Mr. Softee truck comes by twice-a-week and serves up some real ice cream to an appreciative crowd.


 
Everything from side-dishes to condiments has gone downhill. It is only on rare occasions do we get asparagus, spinach or Brussels Sprouts as a vegetable. It’s mostly a combination of corn, peas, and carrots that accompany our meals. A quick survey of people’s left-overs tells the story. Nobody eats the veggies.

 
I could go on and on about sauces and gravy which come right out of the jar. Or about the condiments which are never on the table and have to be asked for. I like ketchup with my eggs. But by the time the server comes back with two or three packets of ketchup, my eggs are cold. I now eat my eggs sans-ketchup.



The new guy promises to do better. He knows there’s a problem. The question is, does he have the wherewithal to fix it? Will he get the tools he needs to get the job done? Or, as others have found, will he come up against a wall constructed by the corporate bean-counters to keep costs as low as possible and to heck with what we might want. I’ve been here a long time and seen and heard everything and the one thing I know “The problem with promises is that once you’ve made one, it’s bound to be broken. It’s like an unspoken cosmic rule.”[1]…….
 

[1] quote by Bree Despain
 

 




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GOOD DAY

It’s Sunday, August 15, 2021







AUGUST 15, 2021


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COVID vaccine booster shots
likely coming for elderly, Fauci says

By Shant Shahrigian


Elderly people will likely need booster shots for COVID vaccines, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said Sunday.

The level of protection vaccines provide against the virus goes down over time, Dr. Anthony Fauci explained, citing the Pfizer drug as an example.


The Pfizer vaccine starts out about 90% effective against COVID, he said, going down to about 84% several months afterwards. Effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine has not yet been shown to decrease, he added, but Fauci expects that to happen eventually.




________________________________________________


Vaccine shots give COVID-19 survivors
big immune boost, studies show

By Lauran Neergaard


WASHINGTON — Even people who have recovered from COVID-19 are urged to get vaccinated, especially as the extra-contagious delta variant surges — and a new study shows survivors who ignored that advice were more than twice as likely to get reinfected.


Friday's report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adds to growing laboratory evidence that people who had one bout of COVID-19 get a dramatic boost in virus-fighting immune cells — and a bonus of broader protection against new mutants — when they're vaccinated.



"If you have had COVID-19 before, please still get vaccinated," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious delta variant spreads around the country."


______________________________________________________


Senate Democrats seek to
 overhaul nursing home industry

By Nathaniel Weixel


Senate Democrats on Tuesday introduced legislation aimed at bolstering nursing home staffing, transparency, accountability and oversight, after COVID-19 wreaked havoc on seniors in long-term care facilities.   

The bill, from a group led by Sens Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care: CDC officially recommends COVID-19 vaccine for anyone who is pregnant | Pressure builds for full FDA approval | Dems call for pandemic funding Crypto industry seeks to build momentum after losing Senate fight 20 Democrats urge leaders to fully fund pandemic preparedness in new package MORE (D-Ore.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats seek to overhaul nursing home industry Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act MORE (D-Pa.), proposes a series of comprehensive changes to an industry that advocates and lawmakers have said is in need of reform.


Nursing home residents make up only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, but they were disproportionately killed by COVID-19. According to federal figures,almost one in three COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. were connected to nursing homes.


_________________________________________________


Experts offer safety tips for seniors,
 those with mobility issues

By Sarah Wojcik



As humans age, they become frailer and more prone to serious injury or worse in the case of a fall.


With an increased awareness of their living space and the inclusion of helpful aids and devices, senior citizens and those with mobility issues can add a heightened level of safety to prevent injury and improve their quality of life.


Charlotte Balluff, a certified senior adviser and founder of A Place For You, a senior living and care consulting company, has been working with aging individuals for three decades.



Balluff offered a slew of tips for seniors or those with mobility issues to navigate their lives more safely.



___________________________________________________


Nearly Half of Seniors Expect To Work After Retirement
— But There Might Be a Better Option



Data from the American Advisors Group, the nation’s leader in home equity solutions, shows that seniors are pushing back retirement to make ends meet, and 2020 has only expedited that trend. This data was taken from AAGs Post-2020 Retirement Survey with over 1,500 participants ages 60-75.


“After the uncertainty created by the events of 2020, many seniors want to ensure that they will have the financial means and flexibility to enjoy the retirement they had hoped and planned for,” said AAG Chief Marketing Officer Martin Lenoir in a statement. “While we know that Americans are living longer, this survey illustrates that seniors are working longer into their retirement years too,” he added.





About 50% of seniors rely on Social Security for the majority of their income, according to data from the ConsumerAffairs Research Team. Over 14.8 million elderly adults are living out of poverty because of these benefits.


___________________________________________________


HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD AROUND US


Senate passes $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill
 in major victory for Biden

See story  >>  https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/567125-senate-passes-1t-bipartisan-infrastructure-bill-in-major-victory-for-biden

* * *

'Nothing's safe' as wildfire tears
 through California town

See  story> https://apnews.com/article/fires-environment-and-nature-california-wildfires-5cc1c7f994d0588c2894489377d0f1e0?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Aug06_MorningWire&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers

* * *

Andrew Cuomo resigns as governor of New York
See story  >>  https://www.axios.com/andrew-cuomo-resign-8e1b4dd7-50c5-425c-bb4a-359913a2189c.html


* * *

Fewer medals, more heart for US at a most unusual Olympics
See syory> https://apnews.com/article/2020-tokyo-olympics-soccer-sports-coronavirus-pandemic-international-soccer-7fb9b25558f8efb15a2f9cc05fbc52c6?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers

* * *
California becomes first state to mandate vaccines or
 testing for all teachers, school employees, Newsom says
See story  >> https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/08/11/california-mandates-covid-vaccines-testing-teachers-school-workers/8094400002/?utm_source=morning_brew

* * *
U.S. unemployment rate hits new pandemic-era low
See story  >>  https://www.axios.com/july-jobs-report-b62a8202-6d09-4041-804a-edd91e1bed6e.html?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email

* * *
Nagasaki marks 76th anniversary of atomic bombing
See story  >>  https://apnews.com/article/europe-business-bombings-63b48fdaf8e219c62663d48c138b6a3d?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers

* * *

‘Modern Family’ medicine: Bowen, sister help injured woman
See story  >>  https://apnews.com/article/oddities-entertainment-arts-and-entertainment-julie-bowen-2153544bf11a84a33afcbeb04704d396?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers

* * *

Canada reopens its border for vaccinated US visitors
See story  >>  https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-canada-business-health-travel-f2a37189b8c7ac90dddec1514a7f3fa8?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers

* * *
Afghanistan war: Taliban capture three regional capitals
See story  >>  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58135148

 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||



'Jeopardy!' names 2 hosts, Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik,
 to be faces of famed quiz show

See story  >>  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jeopardy-names-2-hosts-mike-richards-mayim-bialik-be-faces-n1276577


* * *

Dolly Parton releasing album with her first novel,
 a thriller titled 'Run, Rose, Run,' in 2022

See story  >>  https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2021/08/11/dolly-parton-writing-novel-set-nashville-james-patterson/8098709002/

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||



Longtime Florida State football coach
Bobby Bowden dies at 91

* * *

Hall of Fame Chicago Blackhawks goalie

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NEXT BLOG MONDAY, AUGUST 16TH 2021





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GOOD DAY

It’s Thursday, August 12, 2021






AUGUST 12, 2021


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Why Now Is the Time to Consider
 an Independent Living Community


The current housing market offers opportunities to sell your home and move to a community with on-location health care

What is independent living for older adults? For many, it is finding an active community to engage with, finding peace of mind for your finances and future and having never-ending activities lined up at your feet. Are you interested in diving into a future like this?


The idea of moving to an independent living community's campus can sometimes seem like a daunting idea. It may loom in the back of your head whenever you think of your retirement options. When is the right time to consider this option?





_______________________________________________


National group calls seniors 'victims' of
 hard-to-open packaging. Are they right?



WASHINGTON — Claiming senior citizens are “victims” of the packaging industry, a national senior advocacy organization issued a press release last week aggressively targeting plastic clamshell packaging.


The release, distributed by the Association of Mature American Citizens, is titled “Beware the plastic clamshell.” Citing articles from Consumer Reports, Packaging Europe and Plastics Today, the release details the “agony” and “wrap rage” “suffered” by “hapless consumers who risk injury.”


The wording may have been strong, but local senior advocates say that type of packaging is, in fact, problematic.


_________________________________________________________


Tough Luck, Taxpayer!—
IRS Continues to Levy on Social Security Benefits

Many taxpayers (if not all) would agree with the sentiment expressed on a wall plaque that recently caught my eye:

“Dear IRS: I would like to cancel my subscription. Please remove my name from your mailing list.” That feeling is intensified for those taxpayers who owe the Internal Revenue Service money for back taxes. The IRS has various tools at its disposal to collect outstanding tax liabilities: notices, liens, personal visits, etc. However, levies are perhaps one of the most powerful tools (weapons?) the IRS wields against taxpayers. In a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the lower court’s determination to dismiss the taxpayer’s lawsuit against the IRS. The IRS, the Court held, acted lawfully when it continued to collect the taxpayer’s Social Security benefits from a levy it issued prior to the ten-year collection statute expiration date.


Generally, if a taxpayer fails to pay any tax owed to the federal government within 10 days after notice and demand, the Internal Revenue Service may levy upon the taxpayer’s property or rights to property. Such levies may occur independently, successively, or continuously depending on the circumstances. By statute, some levies are continuous levies in that the recipient of the notice of levy must continue to remit or pay a specified amount to the IRS after the notice of levy has been served. Other levies are not continuous and require the IRS to serve additional notices of levy to seize such property or property rights. For example, levies on wages, salaries, and Social Security benefits are continuous. However, levies on bank accounts are not continuous.



_____________________________________________________


Seniors Looking for Technology
 When Making Senior Housing Choices


K4Connect recently released its “Summer Insights Report” extolling the values that technology can bring to senior living communities. While not surprising that a poll conducted by a company specializing in technology within the senior living setting found support for increased technology, a couple of the findings still proved insightful:


In a post-COVID world, residents are eager to return to more in-person interactions. However, they also recognize the opportunities technology can bring, with 89% of respondents saying a variety of content and experiences to choose from is important to them.


Staff are embracing of technology, especially when it helps them be more efficient with their jobs and reduces stress and burnout from time-consuming and redundant tasks.






This terrifying 'dragon' was
Australia's largest flying reptile

By Ashley Strickland

There was once a species of terrifying "dragon" flying over Australia 105 million years ago, according to new research. The fossil of a pterosaur with a nearly 30-foot (7-meter) wingspan once belonged to Australia's largest flying reptile.
A study on these findings published Monday in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


The pterosaur likely soared over a large inland sea that once covered much of outback Queensland, known as the Eromanga Inland Sea. Its spearlike mouth was perfect for plucking fish from the sea.
Scientists discovered a new partial skeleton of pterosaur and promptly named it 'Butch'


Researchers including Tim Richards, a University of Queensland postdoctoral student in the School of Biological Sciences' Dinosaur Lab, analyzed a jaw fossil from the pterosaur. It was originally discovered in a quarry just northwest of Richmond in northwest Queensland in June 2011 by fossicker Len Shaw. Fossickers search for gold and fossils.





 Applying for Medicare

My husband and I are nearing 65; here's how we began going down the Medicare enrollment road



In January, my husband Darnay and I started looking at all the things we needed to do financially to get ready for turning 65 later this year. Back in March, I wrote for Next Avenue about Step 1: cutting expenses. This month, I started wading into the minefield that is Medicare, our Step 2.


Darnay turns 65 in November and I follow in December. So, I began doing my Medicare homework back in April because, according to the Medicare rules, we can enroll as early as three months before our 65th birthdays, but no later than three months after or we'll face financial penalties for delaying.








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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, AUGUST 13TH  2021





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GOOD DAY

It’s Wednesday, August 11, 2021






AUGUST 11, 2021


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Pandemic pushed an additional
1.7 million Americans into retirement

By Stephanie Asymkos


The pandemic forced more older workers to retire — often before they were ready financially — a new study found, widening the country’s growing retirement inequality gap and leaving certain baby boomers vulnerable to poverty in their golden years.


During the pandemic, an additional 1.7 million Americans retired earlier than what would have been expected during the normal times, according to a recent report from The New School’s Retirement Equity Lab. While the bulk of these retirees were 65 and older, a significant amount were younger, without a college degree, and less financially prepared for the sudden change.


Involuntary retirement among older adults without college degrees isn’t endemic to COVID-19. Between 2019 and 2021, the retirement rate increased 5% among non-college-educated adults ages 55 to 64, while the retirement probability rate decreased by 4% for their college-educated peers.


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Assisted living faces ‘looming danger’ without
 Provider Relief funding, CareTrust CEO says


Assisted living operators face “looming danger” due to the federal government’s relative lack of financial support to the sector, CareTrust REIT Chairman and CEO Greg Stapley said Friday on the real estate investment trust’s second-quarter earnings call.


Skilled nursing providers, which account for 83% of the REIT’s portfolio, “have fared well as the government has provided significant funding and other measures designed to fill the gaps created by decreased occupancy revenue and increased operating costs,” he said.


Senior living operators have received less funding from the Provider Relief Fund established with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act than have skilled nursing providers, yet both types of providers continue to face “lingering effects” from the pandemic, including “depressed census, increased labor costs and a shortage of qualified workers,” Stapley said.


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MIT’s newest robot can help
elderly people get dressed

By Mark Wilson


A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a robotic arm that can slide one arm of a vest onto a person. And that’s more impressive than it may initially sound.

A few years ago, I was eating in a retirement home cafeteria when a woman in her eighties called me over and asked me to help put on her cardigan. I said no problem, then grabbed a sleeve and tried to get it on her arm. That’s when I realized that her body had stiffened over the years, and her back was hunched. I didn’t know how to line up the geometry between her arm and the sleeve without injuring her.


“You’re not gonna break me!” she quipped, reading my indecision. And so I bent her limbs and shoulders harder than I would have thought safe. After a minute of nervous coaxing, her cardigan was on, and she returned to her lunch.



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Dementia-Friendly ‘Apartment’
Showcases Safer Home Design



The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America unveils a full-scale apartment space customized for people with dementia


The Alzheimer's Foundation of America recently released a booklet and video, called "The Apartment," that illustrates how thoughtful design and current technology can increase the safety and quality of life for a person living with dementia.


The Apartment is an actual studio residence that was built in the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's New York City headquarters. The foundation worked with designer Rosemary Bakker, President of Age-Friendly Design, to create a residence model that would make life easier for individuals living with dementia-related disease.


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 How to Garden Like a Pro


Whether you’re working with a single pot, a kitchen garden, or substantial outdoor space, somewhere along the journey of becoming a good #plantparent, you are going to wind up killing at least one of your children. You will drown it with over-watering, or scorch it beyond resuscitation in a sunny window, or toss it in the trash when it starts looking raggedly. No judgement here. So what if your green thumb is a little black around the edges? It’s fine! Buy a new seedling. Let it grow!


But here’s the thing: If you *are* ever going to manifest an inspiring bounty of fresh herbs and edibles, you need to get some things straight about how to make it happen. Read on for tips on how to minimize the veggie carnage and maximize the at-home harvest. Once you get the hang of it, it’s still not…always…entirely…predictable! But after you start making salads with your own tomatoes, there’s no turning back. Trust me—as someone with 20 veggie plants on my deck at the moment, I should know.

Part I: Herbs

Most herbs thrive in warm weather—otherwise known as right now, summertime—and won’t survive outdoors when temps fall. Rosemary, chives, and thyme are exceptions, in that they can even withstand a blanket of snow. Whatever the herb, if you’re planning on keeping your garden outside, full-day sun (six to eight hours) is required. And if you’re going the indoor route (as in, kitchen countertop, not greenhouse) park them near the brightest window to give them the best chance to survive.


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The #1 Reason You Could Get Cancer,
 According to Science
By Michael Martin


Y
ou think of cancer as inevitable, like death and taxes, emphasis on the former. The statistics are indeed scary: In 2019, cancer overtook heart disease as the leading cause of death in middle-aged adults living in wealthy countries. Almost 4 in 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and nearly 600,000 will die of the disease. Yet you shouldn't feel helpless: In fact, 30 to 50 percent of cancer cases are fully preventable, the World Health Organization says. How? By avoiding these most common cancer-causing habits. Read on for the #1 cause and the rest of this life-saving list—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It.


The most common cancer is lung cancer, and the most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. Tobacco smoke contains 7,000 chemicals, and at least 70 of them are carcinogens, raising your risk of cancer in nearly every part of the body. According to the WHO, tobacco use is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer death; it kills nearly 6 million people a year worldwide.


The Rx: If you smoke, stop. (It's never too late: Studies show that even smokers who quit as senior citizens extend their lives.) If you don't use tobacco, don't start.










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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, AUGUST 12TH  2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Tuesday, August 10, 2021







AUGUST 10, 2021


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For Seniors Especially, Covid Can Be Stealthy
By Paula Span


With infections increasing once more, and hospitalization rising among older adults, health experts offer a timely warning: a coronavirus infection can look different in older patients.


One day in March of 2020, Rosemary Bily suddenly grew so tired she could barely get out of bed. “She slept a lot,” said her son-in-law Rich Lamanno. “She was wiped out for most of a month.” Ms. Bily, now 86, also developed nausea and diarrhea, along with a slight cough, and subsisted mostly on Tylenol and Gatorade.

A few days later her husband, Eugene Bily, 90, started coughing and became lethargic as well.




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Should Medicaid protect $8 trillion
from private senior living costs?


U.S seniors hold $8.05 trillion of home equity. Medicaid exempts between $603,000 and $906,000 of that wealth per person when determining financial eligibility for long-term care, the program’s most expensive benefit. That exemption is so high that scholars recently concluded “we estimate that nearly the entire elderly population would meet the home equity threshold.”



So 54 million elderly people, 78.7% of whom own homes, will not have to expend their home equity for long-term care thanks to Medicaid. Currently, “soaring prices amid high demand and tight supply” guarantee that the amount of home equity off limits for privately financing senior living will increase rapidly.

But not to worry. Ever since the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA ’93), state Medicaid programs have been required to recover the cost of care provided from the estates, including home equity, of deceased recipients. That law sent the message “we won’t wipe you out financially if you need long-term care, but you will pay back the cost of your care after you die when neither you nor a qualified surviving dependent need it.” It was essentially a government-backed loan protecting the dignity of people who failed to plan ahead to pay privately for long-term care. It isn’t welfare if you pay it back.


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Retirement dilemma:
 Pay off the house first or refinance?
By Liz Weston


Dear Liz: My husband and I are retired, with enough income from our pensions and Social Security to cover our modest needs, plus additional money in retirement accounts. We have owned our home for 35 years but refinanced several times and still have 15 years to go on a 20-year mortgage.

With rates so low, we were contemplating refinancing to a 15-year mortgage just for the overall savings on interest, but we started thinking about the fact that, at 67 and 72 years old, it’s unlikely that both of us will survive for another 15 years to pay off this loan. Since that’s the case, we’re now thinking about taking out a 30-year mortgage, with monthly payments $700 or $800 less than what we currently pay.


Our house is worth around 10 times what we owe on it, and if we had to move to assisted living we could rent it out at a profit, even with a mortgage. We also each have a life insurance policy sufficient to pay off the balance on the mortgage should one of us predecease the other.




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The Covid-19 pandemic prompted new
worries about Social Security.
 Here’s how the outlook has shifted with the recovery

By Lorie Konish


When the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic sent shock waves through the U.S. economy, its also prompted worries about how the ensuing downturn could affect Social Security.


The program’s trust funds were already running low. At the same time, the Social Security Administration was faced with the unprecedented task of moving its in-person services to mostly mail only.


Now, in the aftermath of those initial shocks, some fears of disproportionately large hits to the program’s trust funds or benefits have proven to be unfounded.




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Older Adults Should Meditate. Here’s Why
By Melyssa Allen

As you get older, you might begin to experience age-related health issues — such as chronic pain and poor sleep -- or emotional pain like grief and loneliness. Research points to a proven way to address these health concerns: meditation, which can help ease physical and emotional distress.


Mental Health Benefits

Not only does meditation help reduce stress, it can relieve anxiety and depression, growing research shows. For instance, the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) recommends meditation as part of a multidisciplinary approach to decrease anxiety and improve quality of life in cancer patients. And the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) highlights multiple research studies showing the positive effects of meditation on both mental and physical health.


Older adults face unique stressors, such as watching your social support network shrink as you lose loved ones and experiencing grief and loneliness more.



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How to Discover Your Purpose in Retirement

Insights from Richard J. Leider, co-author of 'Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old?'

According to a 2020 Edward Jones/Age Wave study, one in three new retirees struggles with finding purpose after leaving their job. In many ways, that's not surprising. Like author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer used to say, "If you are what you do, then when you don't, you aren't."



Richard Leider author of "Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Old". Next Avenue, finding purpose, retirement
Author Richard Leider says purpose can't be 'found'  |  Credit: Richard Leider

Yet according to a new book, "Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old? The Path of Purposeful Aging," by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro, finding purpose in retirement isn't just a nice-to-have — it's a necessity. (Next Avenue recently published an excerpt, "Are You Having a Late-Life Crisis?")









'Sympathy from us? Not a hope in hell!'
 Britons mock Germany over EU budget chaos

By PAUL WITHERS

BRITONS have brutally mocked Germany after politicians lambasted their surging contributions to the European Union's annual budget - which they claim are being wasted by rogue states.


Germany pumped in £16.4billion to Brussels’ coffers last year, new analysis by the German press agency DPA has reveasled. This compares to the £8billion paid by France and the £5.3billion spent by Italy. Poland was said to be the largest net recipient, receiving £10.5billion from the European Union’s budget than it paid in, while Hungary also benefitted significantly from large flows of funds handed out by the EU.

Even pro-Brussels politicians in Germany were outraged with the volume of cash being handed over to the alleged rogue states and the rate at which their own contributions to the EU budget is accelerating.









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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11TH  2021





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GOOD DAY

It’s Monday, August 9, 2021






AUGUST 9, 2021



Just thinking…

This headline really pissed me off…


I’m PO’d, not because I disagree with Brookdale’s CEO (in fact, I applaud him), but because the corporate genius's that run our assisted living facility have chosen not to take any such action. That makes me wonder what does Brookdale have that our (and possibly other government subsidized long-term care facilities) don’t have. How can Brookdale be so cavalier about insisting their employees be vaccinated and we can’t? Perhaps a little background is necessary.

Brookdale is the largest provider of long-term (nursing home and assisted living) facilities in the nation, with over 700 locations and over 62,000 employees. And, while the salaries for non-management and non-professional staff are not that great, they do offer benefits such as medical and dental and a 401K. We offer low pay and little in the way of benefits. Which makes it very understandable why Brookdale can insist on vaccinations and we can’t. Who would choose to work for a company that pays a few bucks more than minimum wage and makes you get a vaccine as well? The answer, naturally, is nobody. This means that, once again, poorer seniors living on a fixed (mostly Social Security) incomes are getting the shaft when it comes to being 100% protected from the virus and its variants.
 
Residents at Brookdale and other high-end facilities deserve the best. After all, they are paying for it.[1]. But don’t those of us who live in subsidized (Medicare and Medicaid) facilities deserve to be just as well protected? We already don’t get the best food or have the best amenities or recreational services. Our facilities are adequate, but in no way as lavish as those others. And, while we understand the difference and accept it, what me and my fellow residents cannot get is why should money be the major factor in why we aren’t deserving of the best anti-virus protection available? And that means having 100% of the residents and 100% of the staff vaccinated....


[1]The overall average monthly cost at a Brookdale location is $5,400. For assisted living, the monthly care fee average is $800 with a Basic Monthly Service Rate of between $2,600 and $3,800.




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Reducing Number of Drugs in Older Adults
 Shows Benefit 6 Months Later

By Allison Inserro

Polypharmacy in older adults has implications for safety and economics, as well as posing clinical risks, and the optimization of drug therapy is one of the cornerstones in geriatrics.


A recent retrospective study examined the effect of drug rationalization on comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) parameters, in which a detailed medication review is conducted, as well as the Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication (PIM) Use in Older Adults. The Beers criteria, a tool developed by the American Geriatrics Society, is a list of PIMs that are typically best avoided.

The retrospective and longitudinal study examined the records of patients visiting geriatric outpatient clinics between February 2015 and October 2018 in Turkey. Of 1741 patients seen, 515 were included in the analysis and had been followed for 6 months after a medication review, according to Beers and CGA. Patient mean age [SD] was 74.13 [7.29]; most were female.


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4 Symptoms of Stress You Should Never Ignore
By Sarah Elizabeth Adler


Wins and medals aren’t the only things grabbing attention at this year’s Olympic games in Tokyo: Mental health awareness is also in the spotlight, after U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from some events in order to focus on her emotional well-being.


Olympians or not, we’re all susceptible to stress, whether from job or family pressures or obligations like caregiving. Here are the physical and mental signs that experts say could signal trouble.  

1. Insomnia and difficulty sleeping

Can’t fall or stay asleep? Insomnia is a classic symptom of stress, says Connecticut-based clinical psychologist Holly Schiff. For example, Biles said she “could barely nap” before the Olympic team gymnastics final. And the consequences of lack of sleep, including fatigue and problems concentrating, can make it even harder to get through the day, creating a stress snowball effect.


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 Music can have a powerful effect
 on homebound seniors


An older woman with dementia may not remember the day of the week or what she last ate, but when given a headset, the dementia fog fades. She is transported into another world: one she remembers well. Memories of dancing with friends, singing along in the car and humming classic rock fill her mind.


This is according to Dan Cohen, dementia and Alzheimer’s expert and star of the critically acclaimed “Alive Inside” documentary, who divulges the profound impact of music on seniors living at home.

“People would light up when I connected them with songs they loved,” Cohen told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.

Cohen has a background in social work, and first grasped the importance of music for the elderly as a local nursing home volunteer. He observed that while nursing homes already had a variety of music for their residents to listen to, it was not necessarily music the residents loved — something Cohen took upon himself to change.


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Clarity on Covid Count:
Pandemic’s Toll on Seniors Extended
 Well Beyond Nursing Homes

By Judith Graham


As covid-19 resurges across the country, driven by the highly infectious delta variant, experts are extending our understanding of the pandemic’s toll on older adults — the age group hit hardest by the pandemic.


New research offers unexpected insights. Older adults living in their own homes and apartments had a significantly heightened risk of dying from covid last year — more than previously understood, it shows. Though deaths in nursing homes received enormous attention, far more older adults who perished from covid lived outside of institutions.

The research addresses essential questions: Which conditions appear to put seniors at the highest risk of dying from covid? How many seniors in the community and in long-term care institutions might have died without the pandemic? And how many “excess deaths” in the older population can be attributed to covid?


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'My household income dropped to one-fourth of what it was'
 A warning from woman widowed by COVID-19

By Michelle Boudin


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — COVID-19 has created an unexpected club that no one wants to be a member of -- COVID widows.

The virus is killing more men than women, leaving their loved ones behind and in many cases facing not only emotional struggles but financial burdens as well.

Pam and Rick Morell were ten days away from celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and had planned a trip to Maui that they never got to take.







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Why Ageism in the Workplace
 Still Seems to Be Okay


A chat with a researcher who found the younger people are, the more likely they hold ageist views of workers

A headline on Stanford University Business School's Insights site caught my eye recently: "Workplace Equality for All! (Unless They're Old)." The piece described fascinating research by NYU's Michael North and Stanford's Ashley Martin which found that workers who openly oppose racism and sexism were still prejudiced against older workers.



As these researchers explained in their American Psychological Association article about their study, ageism is alive and unwell in the workplace. What's more, North and Martin discovered after interviewing 348 people, the younger people were, the more likely they were to hold ageist views on older workers. Little surprise that an AARP survey said 78% of older workers saw or experienced age discrimination in the workplace in 2020; in 2018, 61% did.











If Tories want to help the hungry,
here’s what they should do


While Marcus Rashford’s rallying cry around the need to raise awareness and take-up of Healthy Start vouchers is incredibly helpful, the remainder of your article suggests that increased awareness alone might not be sufficient if full take-up of the vouchers is to be achieved (Marcus Rashford urges health staff to spread word about food vouchers, 4 August).



The government almost certainly holds the information it needs to identify which families are among the quarter of a million eligible beneficiaries who are not taking up the vouchers. Ministers could therefore overcome all the hurdles that stand in the way of take-up – including stigma, bureaucratic complexity and language barriers – by introducing an automatic registration system that swings the pendulum from “opt in” to “opt out”. This could lead to an additional £1m worth of vouchers being received by the poorest families each week, thereby reducing food insecurity and saving local authorities the resources currently required to make a decent fist of the opt-in process.

Andrew Forsey
National director, Feeding Britain







Sydney locals band together to support needy
and vulnerable during COVID lockdown

By Erwin Renaldi

Since her husband died from cancer 18 months ago, it's been much harder for her to make ends meet.

Zena, who only wants to be known by her first name, is one of many people struggling and in need of extra help as restrictions keep eight Sydney local governments areas (LGAs) in hard lockdown.


In response, the Community Care Kitchen (CCK) has set up a COVID relief hotline, offering food and other essential services to help people in tough situations.














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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, AUGUST 10TH  2021





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GOOD DAY

It’s Sunday, August 8, 2021





Thursday, August 5th marked my 8th anniversary as a resident of The Westchester Center for Independent and Assisted living. And during that time, I have had a love-hate relationship with the place. The love part comes because they provided me with a safe and mostly comfortable environment in which to live. They took me in when I had no place to go and provided the care and attention I needed. And, mostly, they have continued to do so. And for all that, I am eternally grateful. But (there’s always a “but”), I have had many bones of contention to pick with the way the facility has been managed and the way they have failed to fit the care level with the needs of the individual resident.

We have people here whose mobility and cognitive abilities range from very poor to almost normal and in between. Unfortunately, they have decided, instead of considering the individual, they lump us all into the same category, which is often too restrictive for many of our less needy residents. This causes friction among not only other residents but also with staff who have a tendency to impose a caretaker-keeper attitude towards many of the less impaired people here. I consider my inability to make the administration understand this need for independence to be one of my great failures as a long-time member of the resident’s council.

This month I will be 76-years-old. How many years I have left, no one knows. My hope is to be allowed to spend the rest of my days in relative peace and a modicum of iself-sufitiency and sovereignty over my thoughts..................




AUGUST 8, 2021

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How Disabled Americans Are Pushing
to Overhaul a Key Benefits Program
By Maggie Astor


When Congress created Supplemental Security Income in 1972, it left no question about its intentions. The program, lawmakers wrote, was “designed to provide a positive assurance that the nation’s aged, blind and disabled people would no longer have to subsist on below-poverty-level incomes.”

Today, it helps ensure the opposite.

The maximum annual benefit is $9,528, three-quarters of the federal poverty level. Payments decrease if recipients have more than $85 a month in outside income, and are revoked if they exceed $2,000 in savings. There are penalties for accepting groceries or even shelter from loved ones. The result is that it is structurally difficult to be on S.S.I. and not live in poverty.

The shift happened over nearly five decades in which Congress made no major changes to the program, which is run by the Social Security Administration and serves about eight million Americans. The outside income limits, for instance, have never been updated for inflation.



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Cutting 250 calories daily and exercising may
improve heart health in obese older adults

By Maja Hrabak-Paar et al.,

Cutting just 250 calories a day with moderate exercise reaped bigger rewards than exercise alone for older, obese adults. Among older adults with obesity, combining aerobic exercise with a moderate reduction in daily calories resulted in greater improvements in aortic stiffness (a measure of vascular health, which impacts cardiovascular disease), compared to exercise only or to exercise plus a more restrictive diet, according to new research published today in the American Heart Association's flagship journal Circulation.


Modifiable lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet and regular physical activity may help offset age-related increases in aortic stiffness. Although aerobic exercise generally has favorable effects on aortic structure and function, previous studies have shown that exercise alone may not be sufficient to improve aortic stiffness in older adults with obesity.

"This is the first study to assess the effects of aerobic exercise training with and without reducing calories on aortic stiffness, which was measured via cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) to obtain detailed images of the aorta," said Tina E. Brinkley, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "We sought to determine whether adding caloric restriction for weight loss would lead to greater improvements in vascular health compared to aerobic exercise alone in older adults with obesity."


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These retirees are more likely
to be ‘comfortable’ or ‘affluent,’

By Kate Dore

Although every retirement looks different, those with guaranteed income, little debt, a clear spend-down strategy and employer-provided assistance are among the most satisfied.   


That’s according to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Security Research Center, profiling five types of retirees. The study uncovered patterns among retirees who identify as “average,” “comfortable,” “affluent,” “just getting by” or “struggling.”     

One key finding was average, comfortable or affluent retirees often had guaranteed sources of income, such as a pension or Social Security.

 

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Tough Luck, Taxpayer!
—IRS Continues to Levy on Social Security Benefits


Many taxpayers (if not all) would agree with the sentiment expressed on a wall plaque that recently caught my eye: “Dear IRS: I would like to cancel my subscription. Please remove my name from your mailing list.” That feeling is intensified for those taxpayers who owe the Internal Revenue Service money for back taxes. The IRS has various tools at its disposal to collect outstanding tax liabilities: notices, liens, personal visits, etc. However, levies are perhaps one of the most powerful tools (weapons?) the IRS wields against taxpayers. In a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the lower court’s determination to dismiss the taxpayer’s lawsuit against the IRS. The IRS, the Court held, acted lawfully when it continued to collect the taxpayer’s Social Security benefits from a levy it issued prior to the ten-year collection statute expiration date.



Section 6331

Generally, if a taxpayer fails to pay any tax owed to the federal government within 10 days after notice and demand, the Internal Revenue Service may levy upon the taxpayer’s property or rights to property. Such levies may occur independently, successively, or continuously depending on the circumstances. By statute, some levies are continuous levies in that the recipient of the notice of levy must continue to remit or pay a specified amount to the IRS after the notice of levy has been served. Other levies are not continuous and require the IRS to serve additional notices of levy to seize such property or property rights. For example, levies on wages, salaries, and Social Security benefits are continuous.[1] However, levies on bank accounts are not continuous.

(a) Authority of Secretary

If any person liable to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay the same within 10 days after notice and demand, it shall be lawful for the Secretary to collect such tax (and such further sum as shall be sufficient to cover the expenses of the levy) by levy upon all property and rights to property (except such property as is exempt under section 6334) belonging to such person or on which there is a lien provided in this chapter for the payment of such tax. Levy may be made upon the accrued salary or wages of any officer, employee, or elected official, of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of the United States or the District of Columbia, by serving a notice of levy on the employer (as defined in section 3401(d)) of such officer, employee, or elected official. If the Secretary makes a finding that the collection of such tax is in jeopardy, notice and demand for immediate payment of such tax may be made by the Secretary and, upon failure or refusal to pay such tax, collection thereof by levy shall be lawful without regard to the 10-day period provided in this section.






Nursing home to workers: Get vaccine or lose your job
The nation’s largest nursing home operator told its workers this week they will have to get COVID-19 vaccinations to keep their jobs
Go to story  >>https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/nursing-home-workers-vaccine-lose-job-79272022
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FDA Accelerates Full Approval of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
as Delta Variant Surges
By Abigail Abrams
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has begun accelerating the process to fully approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, facing pressure to add resources from those who believe the lack of full approval is hampering efforts to get more Americans vaccinated.
Go to story >>  https://time.com/6087556/fda-pfizer-vaccine-approval/

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Cuomo investigation:
What we know and what's next

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s monthslong fall from grace reached a nadir Tuesday, when investigators said they substantiated sexual harassment allegations against him from 11 women, many of whom have worked for him.
Go to story  >> https://apnews.com/article/cuomo-sexual-harassment-what-to-know-2628bf06d048720cc265fa66771a5976

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Florida Covid-19 hospitalizations up 13% from
previous peak in July 2020
By Gregory Lemos
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are up 13% from Florida’s previous peak on July 23, 2020, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Go to story  >> https://abc17news.com/news/health-news/cnn-health/2021/08/04/florida-covid-19-hospitalizations-up-13-from-previous-peak-in-july-2020/

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Spirit Airlines apologizes as widespread
flight cancellations persist for fourth day
By Tori B. Powell

Spirit Airlines said that they "sincerely apologize" for widespread outages that have canceled hundreds of flights over the past four days. The airline's issues, first reported over the weekend, are due to overlapping problems including staffing shortages, severe weather and system outages, Spirit Airlines spokesperson Erik Hofmeyer said.
Go to story  >>  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/spirit-airlines-flights-canceled-operational-issues-day-four/

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Immigrant detentions soar
despite Biden’s campaign promises

By PHILIP MARCELO and GERALD HERBERT
WINNFIELD, La. (AP) — Alexander Martinez says he fled from homophobia, government persecution and the notorious MS-13 gang in El Salvador only to run into abuse and harassment in America’s immigration detention system.

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Large UK study: Actually, the vaccinated don't have viral loads
as high as the unvaccinated when they're infected

Nate Silver’s been beating the drum about this study all morning, wanting to know why American media isn’t giving it the same breathless attention that it gave to the questionable Provincetown study on which the CDC’s new mask guidance is based.
Go to story  >>  https://hotair.com/allahpundit/2021/08/04/large-uk-study-actually-the-vaccinated-dont-have-viral-loads-as-high-as-the-unvaccinated-when-theyre-infected-n406626

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Cuba Responds to Protests:
More Rice Rations, No Extra Freedom

By Frances Martel
The Ministry of Interior Commerce in Cuba announced Wednesday that it would increase rice rations by an extra three pounds per person per month, an attempt to quell the eruption of anti-communist unrest that has persisted since July 11.

Go to story  >>  https://www.breitbart.com/latin-america/2021/07/29/cuba-responds-protests-3-extra-pounds-rice-rations-no-extra-freedom/

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Israel launches 3rd COVID-19 booster shot to older citizens
Jerusalem: Israeli President Isaac Herzog received a third shot of coronavirus vaccine on Friday, kicking off a campaign to give booster doses to people aged over 60 as part of efforts to slow the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Go to story  >>  https://gulfnews.com/world/mena/israel-launches-3rd-covid-19-booster-shot-to-older-citizens-1.81115274

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Residents: Myanmar leaders use pandemic as political weapon
By DAVID RISING
BANGKOK (AP) — With coronavirus deaths rising in Myanmar, allegations are growing from residents and human rights activists that the military government, which seized control in February, is using the pandemic to consolidate power and crush opposition.
Go to story  >>  https://apnews.com/article/health-coronavirus-pandemic-myanmar-united-nations-12dd43272d9787af52a0d457abce1b7c?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningWire_July30&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers


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Hong Kong protester given 9-year term
in 1st security case
By KATIE TAM and JANICE LO
HONG KONG (AP) — A pro-democracy protester was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison in the closely watched first prosecution under Hong Kong’s national security law as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over the territory.
Go to story  >>  https://apnews.com/article/hong-kong-0502e534dc367a7bc0ba94590587b57c?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningWire_July30&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers

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Belarus Olympic runner
who feared going home lands in Poland

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and DAVID KEYTON
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who feared for her safety at home after criticizing her coaches on social media, flew into Warsaw on Wednesday night on a humanitarian visa after leaving the Tokyo Olympics, a Polish diplomat confirmed.
Go to story  >>  https://apnews.com/article/2020-tokyo-olympics-belarus-krystsina-tsimanouskaya-2fc1599621ab2dc75faed36deda57a57

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Israel Launches Airstrikes on Lebanon in Response to Rockets
By LAURIE KELLMAN and ZEINA KARAM
Israel on Thursday escalated its response to rocket attacks the previous day from Lebanon by launching rare airstrikes on its northern neighbor, the army and Lebanese officials said.
Go to story  >>  https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-08-05/israel-launches-airstrikes-on-lebanon-in-response-to-rockets?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email


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DOJ repatriates looted “Dream of Gilgamesh” tablet,
other artifacts to Iraq
By Jennifer Ouellette
Caveat emptor —
Hobby Lobby CEO Steve Green purchased the tablet from Christie's in 2014.
A rare cuneiform tablet engraved with a portion of the ancient Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh will be returned to Iraq, per the US Department of Justice, along with 17,000 other looted artifacts.
Go to story  >>  https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/doj-repatriates-looted-dream-of-gilgamesh-tablet-other-artifacts-to-iraq/?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email


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In heat emergency,
southern Europe scrambles for resources

By DEREK GATOPOULOS, MEHMET GUZEL and COLLEEN BARRY
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A heat wave baking southeast Europe has fueled deadly wildfires in Turkey and threatened the national power grid in Greece as governments scrambled Monday to secure the resources needed to cope with the emergency.
Go to story  >>  https://apnews.com/article/europe-middle-east-environment-and-nature-4063e18f2dabe137b09a5727e28005aa?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email


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Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney for Breach of Contract
Over ‘Black Widow’ Release

By Brent Lang, Rebecca Rubin   

Disney’s decision to release “Black Widow” on Disney Plus at the same time it hit theaters has sparked a legal battle with Scarlett Johansson, the actress tasked with playing the Marvel superhero.




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Rihanna Is Now Officially A Billionaire
By Madeline Berg

How the singer became the richest female musician on the planet. Hint: It wasn’t from performing.

Go to story  >>  https://www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2021/08/04/fentys-fortune-rihanna-is-now-officially-a-billionaire/?sh=3b00a29b7c96




Saginaw Grant —


Saginaw Grant, a Native American character actor with dozens of credits in films and television shows including "Breaking Bad" and "The Lone Ranger" — died on July 28, rep Lani Carmichael told CNN. He was 85. On top of his acting career, Saginaw was the "hereditary chief and the medicine man of the Sac & Fox tribe" as well as a man who "traveled the world speaking of his traditions, his experiences, his sobriety and his faith as both a Native American and a Christian," his rep added.






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GOOD DAY

It’s Thursday, August 5, 2021





AUGUST 5, 2021

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Seniors Rarely Discuss
Their Drinking With Their Doctors

By Robert Preidt

Plenty of seniors may struggle with problem drinking, but a new study shows that less than half of them discuss their alcohol use with their health care providers.

"Older adults are at high risk for the harms of alcohol use, especially for those with existing chronic disease and who take prescribed medications," said lead study author Pia Mauro. That makes "discussions about alcohol with providers particularly important in this population," she said. Mauro is assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City.

For the study, Mauro's team analyzed 2015 to 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health data on more than 9,600 U.S. adults aged 65 and older (51% females, 49% males) who reported alcohol use and a past-year health care visit for any reason.



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Loneliness is driving more older adults
to use opioids, prescription drugs


Loneliness has become major mental health talking point during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s particularly prevalent among older adults; something that generally went without discussion before quarantines allowed much of society to see how painful living alone can be for some. Now, a new study is revealing how dangerous feeling lonely can be for seniors, especially when it comes to taking medications. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco say older adults who consider themselves very lonely are much more likely to be using prescription painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs, and powerful opioids than more active seniors.


Study authors surveyed 6,000 seniors across the United States and discovered that only half say they’re not lonely. Meanwhile, 40 percent say they’re moderately lonely and seven percent consider themselves very lonely.


Unfortunately, the study discovered a link between levels of loneliness and use of prescription drugs, such as Valium, Xanax, BuSpar, and Ambien. The more someone feels isolated and alone, the higher the likelihood that they’re not just taking these medications, but also taking several different varieties at the same time.


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25% of older adults ‘unable to walk as
 far or in more pain since pandemic start’

By Jemma Crew

Around a quarter of older people were unable to walk as far or were living in more physical pain earlier this year compared to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, research suggests.


People reported being less steady on their feet, struggling to manage the stairs and feeling less independent since the start of the crisis, according to polling for Age UK

Some 27% of adults aged 60 and over said they could no longer walk as far, while 25% said they were in more pain.







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How to Get Things Done When
You Don’t Want to Do Anything

By Cameron Walker

This April, I was feeling good. I’d figured out the public pool’s lane-reservation system and swam several times a week. I couldn’t wait to write new stories once my kids went back to school. With vaccines on their way, I even made travel plans.

Three months later, I’m in a slump. The pool stopped requiring reservations, but I haven’t been since June. Between Covid-19 variants and Western wildfires, I’m not fired up about a family road trip. And when my editor asked me to research a story about motivation, all I could think was: Ugh.

Motivation is the energy that gets us to take action — and I’m not the only one finding it hard to come by. Some of us might have full-on burnout after a year-plus of loss, grief and pandemic challenges. Others could feel more like I do — nothing’s terribly wrong, but we can’t quite find our spark. Whatever situation we’re in, a closer look at motivation might give us more fuel to move forward, both day-to-day and into an uncertain future.



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In Secret, Seniors Discuss ‘Rational Suicide’
By Melissa Bailey


Ten residents slipped away from their retirement community one Sunday afternoon for a covert meeting in a grocery store cafe. They aimed to answer a taboo question: When they feel they have lived long enough, how can they carry out their own swift and peaceful death?


The seniors, who live in independent apartments at a high-end senior community near Philadelphia, showed no obvious signs of depression. They’re in their 70s and 80s and say they don’t intend to end their lives soon. But they say they want the option to take “preemptive action” before their health declines in their later years, particularly due to dementia.

More seniors are weighing the possibility of suicide, experts say, as the baby boomer generation — known for valuing autonomy and self-determination — reaches older age at a time when modern medicine can keep human bodies alive far longer than ever before.


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Ambulatory BP readings may provide best
 stroke prediction in older adults

By Scott Buzby

Among older adults, all measures of ambulatory BP were associated with risk for stroke while office diastolic BP was only weakly associated, and central BP measures were not associated with stroke at all, researchers reported.


“Based on our results, the widespread use of ambulatory BP monitoring in older adults may be recommended to replace office BP for improving risk stratification for future stroke,” the researchers wrote in a study published in Hypertension.


The CABL study investigated CV predictors of subclinical cerebrovascular disease in a community-based cohort of participants older than 55 years. Participants in the CABL study (mean age, 71 years; 40% men; 70% Hispanic) underwent applanation tonometry of the radial artery for central BP and 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring.










CUOMO MUST GO

It saddens me to do this, but I have to join the growing ranks of people that are calling for Andrew M. Cuomo, governor of my state (NY), to resign from his position. The report by the state’s Attorney General is too overwhelming to be passed off as just being over affectionate. What he did was inexcusable and far beyond appropriate behavior for anybody, and especially a man in his position. While the instances of sexual abuse are enough to warrant his resignation or impeachment, there is another reason he should go. And that is his callous disregard for the wellbeing of a vulnerable segment of the state’s population. Senior citizens who are residents of long-term care facilities in his state.


To understand this, we must go back to when the virus and its effect on the nation’s elderly population were in its infancy. Nobody, including the governor, knew what to do to keep us safe. So he (and others) did the only thing possible. Lock us down and isolate us from the rest of the population. And, at the time and given the circumstances, that was the right thing to do. It probably saved thousands of lives. But when things settled down, and we got a handle on the proper way to protect our citizens without causing undue hardship, who was left out of that equation? The one group that would be hurt the most from an extended period of isolation. The residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The governor, along with his henchmen the Department of Health, decided the best way to keep us (residents) safe was to lock us up and throw away the key, And to make things worse, to remain deaf to the pleas of residents, their families and administrators to allow some easing of the protocols, especially those pertaining to visitation. On this, he would not budge, sending thousands of lonely, frail people into what seemed like a never-ending nightmare of continued restrictions on our freedoms. But the cruelty did not stop there. When the vaccines were developed and finally distributed to us incarcerated seniors back in January, were the restrictions removed or eased? NO. They continued to keep us isolated (even when the rest of the state’s population could go about their business unencumbered by most of the formerly strict restrictions). A condition which continued for an additional 6 months after we had all been vaccinated. For that alone, he should resign and take the entire DOH with him………………….





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GOOD DAY

It’s Wednesday, August 4, 2021






AUGUST 4, 2021

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Though millions are at risk for diabetes,
Medicare struggles to expand prevention program

By Harris Meyer


Damon Diessner tried for years to slim down from his weight of more than 400 pounds, primarily because his doctors told him he was at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. His hemoglobin A1c level, a blood sugar marker, was 6.3%, just below the diabetes range of 6.5%.

Then, two years ago, one of his doctors helped get him into a YMCA-run Diabetes Prevention Program not far from his home in Redmond, Washington. The group classes, at first held in person and then via Zoom during the coronavirus pandemic, were led by a lifestyle coach. He learned how to eat better, exercise more and maintain a healthier lifestyle overall. He now weighs 205 pounds, with an A1c level of 4.8%, which is in the normal range.

“This has been a life-changing program,” Diessner, 68, an environmental consultant, said. “My cardiologist said you have clearly beaten diabetes. I tell everyone who has blood sugar issues or just wants to lose weight that this is the thing to do.”



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Nobody Wants to Live in a Nursing Home.
Something’s Got to Give.

By Michelle Cottle


Few people dream of living out their golden years in a nursing home. The very idea sparks existential dread in many Americans, conjuring images of grim, institutional dumping grounds where society’s frailest and most vulnerable members aren’t so much cared for as warehoused. Scattered horror stories of neglect and abuse supercharge more prosaic fears about losing one’s autonomy.

The coronavirus pandemic made things all the more terrifying, tearing through facilities with brutal efficiency. The official Covid-19 death toll in U.S. nursing homes stands at more than 133,000, accounting for more than 1 in 5 of the nation’s pandemic fatalities.

Even prepandemic, most Americans said they wanted to age at home — 76 percent of those 50 and older, according to a 2018 survey by AARP. The vast majority — over 90 percent of those 65 and older — are already doing just that. Looking to ease the strain this can put on families, President Biden has called for a $400 billion investment in home- and community-based care. Experts cheer the effort as crucial to addressing the challenges of America’s fast-graying population, a trend fueled by better medical care, longer life spans and a flood of aging baby boomers.


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Your Guide To Memory Care
By Becky Brown


Watching an older adult suffering from the progressive effects of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be distressing for family members who worry about their loved one’s safety, daily care needs and overall well-being as symptoms progress. Memory care facilities can provide them with much-needed relief. What’s more, they can help people with dementia maintain their quality of life and make the most of each day.

Here’s what you need to know about memory care.

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care is a unique subset of assisted living and nursing home care. These facilities have smaller staff-to-patient ratios and are designed to meet the specific social, medical and safety needs of people who have dementia or some form of cognitive impairment.






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1 in 20 Cases of Dementia Occurs in People Under 65

Dementia is largely a disease of old age, but a new study finds that up to 5% of all cases are among people in the prime of their lives.


Looking at 95 international studies, researchers estimated that nearly 4 million people worldwide are living with young-onset dementia -- cases that strike between the ages of 30 and 64.

In the United States, an estimated 175,000 people have the condition, accounting for roughly 3% of all dementia cases nationwide.







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Beyond the pandemic, another major health threat
to older Americans looms

By Dr. Andrea Singer

In the United States, 54 million people age 50 and over either have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Approximately one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone in her or his remaining lifetime. These injuries can cripple and even kill older Americans, as almost one in three hip-fracture patients and about 20 percent of all fracture patients die within a year. Despite these sobering facts, fewer than 12 percent of all eligible women on Medicare today receive the exam that can detect and help diagnose this debilitating condition.3 In recent years, misaligned payment policy has increasingly restricted access to this essential screening, posing serious health risks to older Americans.

A brief, inexpensive test, known as central dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), has long been the gold standard for diagnostic testing, allowing health care providers to detect and effectively treat osteoporosis. However, Medicare’s reimbursement rates for DXA scans have declined by more than 70 percent since 2007, from approximately $140 to just over $40 currently, making this specific screening modality no longer economically feasible for many clinicians to offer. Due to decreasing reimbursement rates from 2008 to 2019, over 10,000 health care providers nationwide found it was no longer financially viable to continue to offer DXA testing, representing a 44 percent decrease overall.

This ongoing decline in DXA testing availability has significantly threatened patient access to bone health screening and subsequent care. Further compounding the years of exaggerating problems, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted osteoporosis screening across the country, like many other health care operations. According to a global survey commissioned by organizations including the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 33 percent of providers were forced to postpone a DXA exam due to the pandemic. These delays may only further increase the proportion of undiagnosed bone health issues due to diminishing screening access, potentially translating to higher fracture incidence and more hospitalizations.


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An Overview Of Assisted Living
By Deb Hipp


Nearly 60 percent of seniors will need some form of long-term care, according to the Administration for Community Living[1]. If you or a loved one could use some help with daily activities to continue living independently, assisted living may be the answer. These communities help residents maintain their independence while providing assistance with personal care, mobility and other needs.

What Is Assisted Living?


Assisted living communities are for seniors who want to remain independent in a home-like setting but need non-medical assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating, bathing, dressing, maintaining good hygiene and toileting. The person in assisted living typically pays monthly rent for a private apartment or room and an additional fee for the level of care needed.

Residents generally have access to shared common areas. Depending on the community, shared areas may include dining and activity rooms, a cinema room, a library, a pool and walking trails or other nature settings on the grounds. Assisted living communities range from those offering basics like daily meals and activities to those with luxury accommodations and amenities, such as spas and bars.








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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, AUGUST 5TH  2021





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GOOD DAY
It’s Tuesday, August 3, 2021






It’s undeniable. These past months have taken a toll, not only on our health but on our finances as well. And now more than ever we need the tools to help us get get us trough these difficult times. Whether you are well-healed or living on a fixed income it never hurts to be prepared both for now and for the future. We have collected a number of interesting articles that, hopefully, will help ypu make the right decisions……BWC


AUGUST 3, 2021


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‘I’m going to go broke’:
This is how soaring inflation impacts
Americans living on Social Security

By Elisabeth Buchwald


Lately, just about everything is costing Todd Richardson more than it did before the pandemic.

He’s paying $2 more per pound of chicken wings, his cable and electricity bills have also gone up by $100 since before the coronavirus pandemic, and he’s anticipating that his landlord will raise his rent from $750 to $1,100.

But that’s not even the biggest shock to him.

“I can’t believe cat litter and food have gone up by $5. How could they even do that? It’s kitty litter and cat food for God’s sake,” he said.








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Inflation and You: 8 Tips for Your Finances


As we've all noticed, inflation has been on the rise lately — the Consumer Price Index rose from 1.6% at the end of the first quarter of 2021 to about 3.4% for the second quarter. And that has major implications for how you should be managing your money: your savings, your investments and your retirement planning.


"Inflation can have devastating effects on the economy, on your retirement plans and on your personal finances," my "Friends Talk Money" podcast co-host Terry Savage said on our new episode about inflation (you can hear it wherever you listen to podcasts or at the end of this article).

Be careful with inflation numbers comparing percentage increases with prices in May or June 2020.




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How to Deal With the Challenges of
 'The New Normal' Economy



As the nation (hopefully) is pulling itself out of the pandemic, some are calling this The New Normal economy. But for many of us, it's anything but normal, leading to frustrations and sometimes pain dealing with rising prices, longer lines and shortages of workers.


Take traveling, for example. The potent combination of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, declining infection rates in many places, flush household savings and the rapid reopening of the economy has fueled spiraling prices for airfares, hotel rooms, cabins and rental cars, assuming you can even snag reservations (famous national parks are pretty full).

Do higher prices signal a reprise of the soaring inflation rates of the late 1970s and early 1980s?




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Seniors squeezed:
Tips to weather rising inflation,
 retirement costs

By Brittany De Lea


Rising inflation has caused the price of household items to climb, which has hit some Social Security beneficiaries who received a modest benefit bump this year particularly hard. But experts say there are some small ways recipients can tighten their budgets.


"In general, people who are either receiving Social Security or about to receive Social Security – or nearing the time when they may or may not make a claim on Social Security – they’re very worried about it," George Mannes, senior editor of AARP’s magazine, told FOX Business.

Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League, told FOX Business there are several ways seniors can tighten their budgets in order to stretch their dollars further.


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This Expense Could Deplete
 Your Retirement Nest Egg.
 Are You Prepared?

By Maurie Backman


It's no secret that retirement can be an expensive period of life. With housing, healthcare, and keeping busy, you might find that you spend more money during your senior years than anticipated. And for that reason, it's important to come into retirement with a healthy amount of savings.

But there's another major senior living expense that could catch you completely off guard. And if you're not careful, it can potentially deplete your retirement savings and leave you miserably cash-strapped.
Gear up for long-term care


American men who turn 65 over the next few years will require an average of 2.3 years of long-term care, reports Medicareguide.com. For American women, that estimate rises to 3.2 years.


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‘I can’t live on $709 a month’:
 Americans on social security
push for its expansion

By Michael Sainato


Nancy Reynolds, age 74, of Cape Canaveral, Florida, works as a cashier at Walmart while struggling to make ends meet on her work income and social security benefits of just $709 a month.


“I can’t live on $709 a month, so I have to work. I have no choice, even though my body says you can’t do much more,” said Reynolds.

She explained her benefits are lower due to years where an abusive husband didn’t allow her to work, and she had also taken time off to care for her father before he died. Reynolds relies on Medicare insurance, though she still has to pay co-pays for doctor visits, and receives only $19 a month in food stamp assistance.


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What Is an Annuity and How Does it Work?


An annuity is an investment option that can provide a guaranteed income for an individual or their spouse throughout their retirement. They are purchased for a set period and payout a specific amount in retirement based on the investment strategy and amount invested.

Annuities tend to be good for people that want the option of a lifetime income during their retirement and may have concerns about outliving their savings. There are other factors that should be taken into consideration before getting an annuity. Annuities are designed to be a long-term component of a financial plan along with other retirement income streams.





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5 Signs a Reverse Mortgage Is a Bad Idea

Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to access their home equity to generate income in older age.


While a reverse mortgage may be ideal for some situations, it is not always best for others.

    If you want to leave your home to your children, having a reverse mortgage on the property could cause problems if your heirs do not have the funds needed to pay off the loan.

    Homeowners who obtain reverse mortgages must also live in the house, or else the loan can be nullified and lenders may foreclose on the property.

1. Your Heirs' Inheritance


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4 Tips to Get Hired in 'The New Normal' World of Work

With the job market heating up — a historically high 9.3 million job openings in the U.S. in April — what should you know about getting hired if you're looking for work? Will virtual interviews continue? Is remote work here to stay? Are diversity and inclusion efforts just a fleeting fad? I have answers.

My information and advice come from what I heard at the recent Indeed Interactive conference, a virtual event from the employment website that featured economists, employers and recruiters discussing hiring trends.

As the hiring process becomes more automated, it's more important than ever to use referrals to network your way into jobs.

Here are four of the key trends, along with tips on how to capitalize on them to power-up your job search:


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Never Pay the First Medical Bill You Get

It wasn't until 1993, at Washington D.C.'s Georgetown University Hospital, that I began to fully appreciate the complexity of America's health care system. Life magazine had devised a clever photo shoot to document all 100+ people who were reflected in some way in the bill for ONE heart surgery: a double bypass/heart valve replacement on a 64-year-old retired teacher. I was there as an ABC producer to capture the moment for a "Nightline" episode, "The Anatomy of a Hospital Bill."


Front and center before the photographer were the recovering patient, sporting a surgical scar down his chest, and the chairman of surgery who'd performed the operation. Around them: dozens of nurses, pharmacists, the priest who prayed with the patient before and after surgery, plus the janitors, electricians, security guards and food service workers who kept the hospital running. Plus, of course, the administrative staff who compiled the bill — a lengthy computer printout totaling nearly $64,000.

When you talk to experts who review medical bills for a living, they will tell you that almost every medical bill has some kind of an error.


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7 Mistakes People Make When
Choosing a Financial Advisor
.

Choosing a financial advisor is a major life decision that can determine your financial trajectory for years to come.

A 2020 Northwestern Mutual study found that 71% of U.S. adults admit their financial planning needs improvement. However, only 29% of Americans work with a financial advisor.1

After you choose your state and answer questions about your financial goals, you can compare up to three advisors local to you and decide which to work with.

Investing involves risk and no situation is the same. This is in no way intended as a personal recommendation and investment decisions are solely those of the reader.

1. Hiring an Advisor Who Is Not a Fiduciary


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Best Senior Discounts 2021
By Chuck Green


While some don’t relish the prospect of becoming a senior citizen, getting older does have some perks—like senior discounts. Since rounding up all the senior discounts you may be eligible for can be a job in itself, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s everything you need to know about the best senior discounts for 2021.


What Are Senior Discounts?

Senior discounts typically consist of benefits or reduced prices exclusively for those above a certain age (often 55 and up). They’re offered by retailers ranging from grocery store chains to luxury hotels and can often result in significant savings for senior citizens.

Below is a list of senior discounts for 2021 in various categories. Note that these discounts are subject to change—be sure to check with the retailer before attempting to use them.


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Estate Planning for New and Aging Parents

Many life events will prompt people to consider estate planning to protect their assets and family. Many will rush to an attorney before they travel (especially far), start a business, or complete a messy estate administration for a senior parent. An even more common event that triggers clients to prepare an estate plan is when they become new parents, or their aging parent’s guardian. Abandoning their lives of adventure and no longer living recklessly, they sell their motorcycles, stop hang gliding, and plan a family. Young couples often meet with an attorney to discuss their new family’s needs, and to create an estate plan to support themselves and their family.


As an estate planning attorney, I enjoy helping parents with their plans as their families change and grow, and as they, their children and their parents age.

This article provides readers with guidance on what they should anticipate when expanding their families and the various documents needed for a successful estate plan. While this article is geared towards parents or guardians, the advice provided below is also applicable to other family relationships as well.


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Your retirement savings could take a hit:
 What you need to know about taxes


Give yourself a big pat on the back if you have built up a nice retirement nest egg after years of scrimping and saving.


Congratulations, you're halfway there.

Many investors are so focused on accumulating wealth that they neglect the second part of the equation – pulling out money so that you don't deplete it unnecessarily from poor tax decisions.

"We spend years or decades trying to put money into retirement plans," said Michael Kitces, a financial adviser at Kitces.com. "But how do you get the dollars out and do it in a tax-efficient manner?"







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GOOD DAY

It’s Monday, August 2, 2021






AUGUST 2, 2021

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Protect Grandma, Not Just Britney,
From Conservatorship Abuse

By Kimberly Guilfoyle


Britney Spears has gained attention in her conservatorship case because she is a pop star, but usually it is an elderly grandma or grandpa who suffers from abuse in the system. This attention, fortunately, is bringing needed scrutiny to the crisis, which will hopefully bring relief to the elderly caught in the conservatorship trap as well.  

As people learn more about this issue, it is important to understand the utter and total power that guardians, who oversee a ward’s health and welfare, and conservators, who oversee all of the ward’s financial assets, have over their wards. It is this level of control and a system that requires guardians and conservators to be paid out of the ward’s estate — while they are supposed to be protecting it — that creates the inherent conflict of interest at the center of this crisis.



It’s way overdue for urgent action by our national leaders to address it.



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Medicare Proposes New Changes
for Telehealth Services in 2022

By Thomas B. Ferrante


On July 13, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advance copy of the calendar year (CY) 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed payment rule, to be published on July 23, 2021. While the proposed rule introduces some new virtual care services (including Remote Therapeutic Monitoring), CMS rejected all requests to permanently add new telehealth services next year.


This article discusses: 1) the current state of Medicare telehealth services; 2) requests for new telehealth services; 3) extending the timeframe for Category 3 temporary codes; 4) a new permanent code for virtual check-ins longer than 10 minutes; and 5) whether CMS should continue allowing direct supervision via telemedicine.
Medicare Telehealth Services Post-COVID

Telemedicine and digital health technology is becoming an established part of medical practice and is very likely to persist after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to CMS data, before the Public Health Emergency (PHE), 15,000 Medicare patients each week received a telemedicine service. By April 2020, that number grew to nearly 1.7 million Medicare patients each week. Nearly half of all Medicare primary care visits in April 2020 were telehealth encounters, a level consistent with health care encounters more broadly. Between mid-March and mid-October 2020, over 24.5 million patients (approximately 40% of all Medicare patients) had received a telemedicine service. The data reveals how providers have begun to successfully integrate telemedicine into traditional health care delivery approaches.


________________________________________________________


People who live to 100 have
unique gut bacteria signatures

By Rachael Rettner


People who live to age 100 and beyond may have special gut bacteria that help ward off infections, according to a new study from Japan.

The results suggest that these bacteria, and the specific compounds they produce — known as "secondary bile acids" — could contribute to a healthy gut and, in turn, healthy aging.

Still, much more research is needed to know whether these bacteria promote  exceptionally long life spans. The current findings, published Thursday (July 29) in the journal Nature, only show an association between these gut bacteria and living past 100; they don't prove that these bacteria caused people to live longer, said study senior author Dr. Kenya Honda, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo.


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Though Millions Are at Risk for Diabetes,
Medicare Struggles to Expand Prevention Program

By Harris Meyer


Damon Diessner tried for years to slim down from his weight of more than 400 pounds, partly because his size embarrassed his wife but even more because his doctors told him he was at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. His hemoglobin A1c level, a blood sugar marker, was 6.3%, just below the diabetes range of 6.5%.

Then, two years ago, one of his doctors helped get him into a YMCA-run Diabetes Prevention Program not far from his home in Redmond, Washington. The group classes, at first held in person and then via Zoom during the covid-19 pandemic, were led by a lifestyle coach. He learned how to eat better, exercise more and maintain a healthier lifestyle overall. He now weighs 205 pounds, with an A1c level of 4.8%, which is in the normal range.

“This has been a life-changing program,” said Diessner, 68, an environmental consultant. “My cardiologist said you have clearly beaten diabetes. I tell everyone who has blood sugar issues or just wants to lose weight that this is the thing to do.”


__________________________________________________________


10 Superfoods for Older Adults

You are what you eat.

The adage is true: to stay healthy you need to eat right. But that advice becomes especially important over time. Seniors in particular need to eat a variety of healthy foods to maintain strength, bone mass and cognitive function. The good news is that there are lots of tasty superfoods that can help you do just that.

What’s a superfood?

Alison Liggett Neov, a registered dietitian with Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, a senior living community in Falls Church, Virginia, says “the word ‘superfood‘ isn’t scientifically based or regulated; however, there are many nutrient dense foods that are great to include regularly in your diet.”









Millions of destitute Britons rely on charity handouts,
yet ministers feel no shame

By  Frances Ryan


A decade ago, the emergence of mass food banks in the UK could genuinely be described as shocking. The image of families queueing in their local church for a box filled with pasta and beans has not only since been normalised, it has spread.

This does not simply mean the number of food banks has grown in recent years – there are now more than 1,300 such places in the Trussell Trust’s network, compared to fewer than 100 in 2010, as well as hundreds more independent ones – but also that these have opened the door for other types of donation centres, each set up by community groups and charities in response to growing need.

As squeezed social security, low wages and high rents have left 2.4 million people in destitution, everything from clothes banks to hygiene product drop-off points have cropped up nationwide. When your zero-hours contract doesn’t pay out, you get your shampoo from a donation bin instead of Boots. If you have cancer and have been rejected for disability benefits, fruit and veg comes not from Tesco but your local food bank. Nowadays, Britain has an entire ecosystem of charity to meet our basic needs: donated dignity filling in where the state once stood.





PANDEMIC PART 2
Deja Vu all over again


How will history treat this horrific period in world history? Chances are it will not look kindly upon us.
 
Historians are pragmatists. And those in the future, say 50 to 100 years from now, not having actually lived through the pandemic of early 21st century America, will have only news reports, statistics and perhaps some anecdotes to base their assumptions on. And, as I see it, the only conclusion they can come to would be to look upon us as perhaps the stupidest generation of Americans to ever have lived. How stupid? This is how stupid. While Florida is reporting their highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began,[1] their idiot governor, Ron DeSantis, insists there will never be a mask or vaccine mandate in his state.


Why am I singling out Florida as an example of Americas stupidest state? Because so many of us seniors, people who are looking for a safe, decent place to live out their remaining years have chosen Florida more than any other state to live in.
 
Actually, I like Florida. I have visited there many times when my brother was alive. I found it quite pleasant and a virtual paradise for seniors. There are entire cities almost completely inhabited by seniors and the services provided for them are unmatched anywhere in the U.S. Which is why the attitude the state has towards keeping their number one demographic healthy surprises me. Doesn’t DeSantis realize that their number one commodity are the elderly, the same group that is the most vulnerable to the virus? Or have his views become so clouded that his actions are an effort to appease Donald Trump and his moronic army of delusional followers, of which Florida has many.

Not to be outdone in the stupidity department is Texas and it’s equally “genius” governor Greg Abbott who said

“I will not be implementing another mask mandate. He told CNN affiliate KPRC he believes enough immunity has been acquired through vaccines or exposure and it would be inappropriate to force people who are already immune to wear a mask.”
According to CDC data, 43.1% of the Texas population is fully vaccinated. The CDC advises people should get vaccinated regardless of whether they've had Covid-19 and many doctors believe the immunity you get from vaccination is likely stronger than the immunity you get from previous infection.”

Seriously. What’s wrong with these people? They can’t all be dumb-ass, science denying, conspiracy-believing high school dropouts. I’ll be kind and say they are just ignorant because nobody could be so dumb as to not see what is right in front of their eyes until it’s too late.
 
And just to be fair, I will not let my state, New York, off the hook. While 73% of eligible people have been vaccinated, herd immunity has not kicked-in. And the number of new COVID cases is steadily rising. And yet sports venues can be at full capacity, restaurants have reopened with indoor dining and NYC is holding a ‘WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert’ celebrating city’s comeback from Covid-19 on August 21 in Central Park. Proof of vaccination is required, but not masks. Fifty to sixty thousand people are expected to be there. Good luck with that. I hope they still have all those ventilators handy.
 
No. History will not be kind to us. I can hear the chuckling and wise-cracks coming from future high school and university students now as their teachers and professors try to explain why politics was the reason over one million Americans would die……………………..
 
[1] source: https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2021-07-31/florida-theme-parks-requiring-workers-to-wear-masks-again
 





SPECIAL EDITION

Tomorrow, Tuesday, we will present a “Special Edition” focusing on the financial needs and problems of older citizens. We have been collecting these stories and articles over the past weeks and we think you will find them interesting and informative.






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Low wages, high turnover rate:
Nursing home workforce challenges

By Morgan McKay

The COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous stress on the health care workforce. On Monday, the Senate held a hearing examining some of the challenges facing particularly nursing home and assisted living facility workers.

Nursing home and assisted living facility workers are being paid right now at or near the minimum wage, which for Upstate New York is $12.50 and for New York City is $15 an hour.

At the same time, across the state, fast food workers are making a minimum wage of $15 an hour.






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Older people may be more susceptible to
Covid variants than younger individuals
By Longjam Dineshwori


Older age appears to be a strong risk factor for COVID-19 severity and mortality. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, requiring hospitalization, intensive care, and a ventilator to help them breathe. They are also at higher risk of death, if they get infected. As per CDC, over 80% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65, and more than 95% in people older than 45. Countries around the world have been vaccinating high-risk populations, including older people, against Covid-19 on priority basis. But they aren't entirely safe just because they're vaccinated; the people around them need to be vaccinated as well.


Moreover, a new study has suggested that older populations are potentially more susceptible to new coronavirus variants even if they are vaccinated, highlighting the importance of promoting and accelerating vaccination drive to protect them. The study results were published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Older people have fewer antibodies against SARS-CoV-2






_____________________________________________________


Expanding Medicare Could Reduce
 Racial Health Disparities

By Dena Bunis


Racial and ethnic disparities in access to health insurance and care are greatly reduced when Americans turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare, according to a new study published by JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.


The research, conducted by the Yale School of Public Health, reviewed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data from 2.4 million Americans ages 51 to 79. Their analysis found that insurance coverage for Latinos rose from 77 percent to 91 percent at age 65 and for Blacks it went from 86 percent to nearly 96 percent. Among White Americans, coverage increased by a much smaller percentage — from 92 percent to nearly 99 percent.


"Our findings also suggest that expanding Medicare may be a viable means to reduce racial and ethnic disparities and advance health equity by closing coverage gaps across the U.S.,” the report says. Americans must be 65 or have a disability to be eligible for Medicare, although there have been proposals to lower the age to 60.


____________________________________________________


With a labor shortage, why are so many older
 workers unemployed for so long?

By Mitchell Schnurman

In the early months of the pandemic, nearly 1.7 million workers over the age of 55 dropped out of the job market. With a public health crisis taking a heavy toll on older people, many retired early or simply quit in order to stay safe.


An additional 4 million workers age 55 and over lost their jobs right after the pandemic began, usually through furloughs or layoffs.

Nearly two-thirds of those jobs have come back, although older workers as a group are recovering at a much slower rate than the rest of the working population. That’s disappointing, given that employers are complaining about a labor shortage and many older Americans haven’t saved enough for retirement.


_________________________________________________


US life expectancy in 2020
saw biggest drop since WWII

By MIKE STOBBE


U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years.


The drop spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials said is responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline. More than 3.3 million Americans died last year, far more than any other year in U.S. history, with COVID-19 accounting for about 11% of those deaths.

Black life expectancy has not fallen so much in one year since the mid-1930s, during the Great Depression. Health officials have not tracked Hispanic life expectancy for nearly as long, but the 2020 decline was the largest recorded one-year drop.








Calls for Covid Jab Mandates in
Health Jobs Add to Staffing Woes
By Tony Pugh, Allie Reed and Lesley Torres

Staffing concerns are thwarting nursing homes—the hub of Covid-19 spread—from mandating vaccines, illustrating the difficulty of ensuring widespread jabs everywhere.


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Bipartisan infrastructure deal sails
through first Senate vote

By Marianne LeVine, Burgess Everett

"I want to commend the group of senators who worked with President Biden," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) after the vote. "My goal remains to pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution this work period. Both. It might take some long nights, it might eat into our weekends, but we are going to get the job done. And we are on track."


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Susan Sarandon leads protest against the Squad
at AOC's office: "We're losing hope"



Actor Susan Sarandon organized a demonstration outside the Bronx office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Monday, reminding the progressive lawmaker that she had made "a lot of promises" to her constituency but has failed to pull out all the stops achieving her healthcare agenda.


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Mississippi argues Supreme Court
should overturn Roe v. Wade

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and let states decide whether to regulate abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, the office of Mississippi’s Republican attorney general argued in papers filed Thursday with the high court.


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Garland vows crackdown on gun trafficking
as violence surges

By MICHAEL BALSAMO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed Thursday that the Justice Department would crack down on gun trafficking corridors as part of a comprehensive approach to combat surging gun violence that also includes funding community intervention programs and other neighborhood groups.


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U.S. jobless claims show surprise gain,
well above expectations

By Jeff Cox

Weekly jobless claims unexpected moved higher last week despite hopes that the U.S. labor market is poised for a strong recovery heading into the fall.


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‘I was just trying to survive that day’:
Cops in Jan. 6 hearing describe beatings,
slurs from pro-Trump mob

By Kevin Breuninger

Mobs of Trump supporters attacked police officers, threatening their lives and hurling racial slurs as they stormed the Capitol, law enforcement witnesses told House lawmakers Tuesday in the Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing on the insurrection.



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Officials in Tokyo alarmed as
virus cases hit record highs
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials sounded the alarm Thursday as Tokyo reported record-breaking coronavirus cases for the third-straight day with the Olympics well underway.


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Outspoken Chinese billionaire Sun Dawu sentenced
to 18 years in prison for "provoking trouble"

By Haley Haley

Prominent Chinese billionaire Sun Dawu has been sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined nearly $500,000 after being found guilty of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" in China, a charge frequently used against activists and dissidents, BBC News reported.


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Seoul, Pyongyang restore cross-border communication lines
By Nam Hyun-woo

Expectation grows on improvement in inter-Korean relations. South and North Korea have restored their communication lines, Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday, with leaders of the two countries agreeing to rebuild mutual trust for better inter-Korean relations.


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India monsoon death toll rises to 164
as incessant rains continue

By Don Jacobson

July 26 (UPI) -- The death toll from floods triggered by torrential monsoon rains and landslides in the western Indian state of Maharashtra rose to 164 on Monday as rain continued across the region, officials said.


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Iran accused of using unlawful force
in water protest crackdown

Iran is using unlawful and excessive force in a crackdown against protests over water shortages in its oil-rich but arid southwestern Khuzestan province, according to international rights groups.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some French health workers resent,
resist mandatory vaccines

By CONSTANTIN GOUVY

PARIS (AP) — While most French health care workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus, a small but vocal minority is holding out. With infections exploding, a new law requiring them to get the shots is exposing the divide.


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To reach a peace deal, Taliban say
Afghan president must go

By KATHY GANNON

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban say they don’t want to monopolize power, but they insist there won’t be peace in Afghanistan until there is a new negotiated government in Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani is removed.


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Venice avoids designation as
UNESCO heritage site in danger

By COLLEEN BARRY

MILAN (AP) — Venice and its lagoon environment avoided placement on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites in danger Thursday following Italy’s ban on massive cruise ships traveling through the city’s historic center. Preservation groups immediately criticized the decision by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.



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Bob Odenkirk condition stable after 'heart related incident'
By ANDREW DALTON

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk had a “heart related incident” when he collapsed on the show’s New Mexico set, and his condition is stable as he recovers at a hospital, his representatives said Wednesday.


==========================================


New York State Launches $100M Tax Credit
To Support Broadway Reopening

By Greg Evans

A new $100 million tax credit to encourage and support the reopening of Broadway was launched today with an announcement by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.


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Ron Popeil, inventor and king of TV pitchmen, dies at 86
By ANDREW DALTON and TED ANTHONY

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ron Popeil, the quintessential TV pitchman and inventor known to

generations of viewers for hawking products including the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone and the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ, has died, his family said.










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Civil rights activist Robert Moses dies at 86

Robert Moses, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee project director in 1964, discusses the
importance of Freedom

Summer 1964 during the 50th Anniversary conference at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., in 2014.










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Iconic Borscht Belt comic Jackie Mason dead at 93
By Kathianne Boniello


Famed Borscht Belt comedian Jackie Mason, who rose from a modest childhood on the Lower

East Side to become one of the most famous funnymen of all time, has died. He was 93.



















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Why Ageism in the Workplace
Still Seems to Be Okay



A chat with a researcher who found the younger people are, the more likely they hold ageist views of workers

A headline on Stanford University Business School's Insights site caught my eye recently: "Workplace Equality for All! (Unless They're Old)." The piece described fascinating research by NYU's Michael North and Stanford's Ashley Martin which found that workers who openly oppose racism and sexism were still prejudiced against older workers.


As these researchers explained in their American Psychological Association article about their study, ageism is alive and unwell in the workplace. What's more, North and Martin discovered after interviewing 348 people, the younger people were, the more likely they were to hold ageist views on older workers. Little surprise that an AARP survey said 78% of older workers saw or experienced age discrimination in the workplace in 2020; in 2018, 61% did.


________________________________________________________


‘Social prescribing’ may help lonely older adults
to avoid harmful sedatives and painkillers

Reviewed by Emily Henderson

Lonely, older adults are nearly twice as likely to use opioids to ease pain and two-and-a-half times more likely to use sedatives and anti-anxiety medications, putting themselves at risk for drug dependency, impaired attention, falls and other accidents, and further cognitive impairment, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.


The study found that just over half of 6,000 respondents in a nationally representative survey of seniors living independently were not lonely, while 40 percent were moderately lonely, and 7 percent were highly lonely.

The proportion of seniors in each group who had prescriptions for opioids and anti-anxiety medications and sedatives, which included drugs like Valium, Xanax, BuSpar and Ambien, correlated with their degree of loneliness, according to the study, which publishes in JAMA Internal Medicine on June 26, 2021.


______________________________________________________


Antidepressants may work better
than exercise for elderly depression



Antidepressants may be more effective than exercise for seniors with depression, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.


Jesús López-Torres Hidalgo, M.D., from the Albacete Zone VIII Health Center in Spain, and colleagues randomly assigned 347 patients (65 years or older) with a clinically significant depressive episode to either a supervised physical exercise program or an antidepressant treatment by their general practitioners.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of improvement in depressive symptomatology in the physical activity group after one month was not significantly different from that in the antidepressant treatment group. However, at the end of three and six months, respectively, the proportion of those who showed improvement was significantly greater in the antidepressant group (60.6 versus 49.7 percent) when compared with the physical activity group (45.6 versus 32.9 percent). The number of patients withdrawing was greater in the physical activity group, but the proportion of participants with adverse side effects was greater in the antidepressant group.


_______________________________________________________


Dementia-Friendly ‘Apartment’
Showcases Safer Home Design



The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America unveils a full-scale apartment space customized for people with dementia

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America recently released a booklet and video, called "The Apartment," that illustrates how thoughtful design and current technology can increase the safety and quality of life for a person living with dementia.


The Apartment is an actual studio residence that was built in the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's New York City headquarters. The foundation worked with designer Rosemary Bakker, President of Age-Friendly Design, to create a residence model that would make life easier for individuals living with dementia-related disease.







Two weeks have gone by since this facility emerged from the long, dark nightmare of quarantine and isolation. And we are thankful for the freedom from the abject loneliness and deprivation. However, it is quite apparent that the months of trying to comply with the ever changing infection control protocols has wrought havoc with the everyday workings here. Shortcomings are readily noted in the staffing, maintenance and food preparation areas in particular.

Access to any actual data is impossible to get, therefore any comments I make comes solely from observation.
 
A quick tour of the facility reveals many things that need repair. Most notably “The Wall of Water” that has greeted residents and visitors since the place opened. A leak in the plumbing caused damage to the wall behind the waterfall, forcing the lobby’s number one feature to be shut down. Now, while the leak has been fixed, and the wall repaired, the waterfall has yet to be turned on. Why remains a mystery. But I can only guess that some strategic part is needed to repair it.

 
Other items that have gone unattended to include broken railings, stained ceiling tiles, resident’s rooms in need of paint and most important of all, ice and coffee machines and a working coffee maker in our dining room.
 
In the past, these problems were dealt with in a timely manner. Now, so much. Has the facility taken a bigger financial hit than management is letting on?

But all of that pales compared to the real and most urgent of problems. The matter of staffing. The lack of personnel has become the major reason for this, and other long-term care facilities to have failed in their efforts to provide the essential services that make this place livable. Especially in our food service area.
 
The other day there were just two people serving nearly 50 people and three people in the kitchen “cooking” the food. This causes meals to be served late, hastily prepared and usually cold with little attention paid to nutrition and “eye appeal.”
 
It is this shortage of staff that MUST be fixed immediately. And the only way that can be done is to make the job more attractive by offering higher pay and benefits. None of our employees get health insurance or 401k’s or much of anything at all. And what about daycare? There are moms who need to work but can’t because there is nobody to look after the kids. But higher pay and perks is not the only reason it’s difficult to get people to work here. And that has to do with the state-mandated vetting procedure that requires all prospective employees submit to a background check and cannot have been convicted of a felony. That rule should be temporarily suspended. I’m sure there are many people who need work and can’t get it because of a mistake they may have made years ago.

Drastic times call for drastic, and innovative measures. And only the state and the governor can make that happen…...........







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Senior Living: Heart failure and aging,
a guide to managing the condition

By Dr. Andrew Yoon

The average person’s heart beats about 2.5 billion times over their lifetime, providing a continuous supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the brain and other vital organs. As people age, even a healthy heart can begin to weaken as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, genetic disposition and other factors, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and ultimately heart failure.  

Many people confuse the term “heart failure” with heart attack. Heart failure is a condition where the heart is still working but at a reduced efficiency and not enough blood is being pumped to meet the body’s needs. A heart attack is one possible cause of heart failure. Most people with heart failure, however, have never had a prior heart attack and developed heart failure through other causes.

Older adults are at greater risk for heart failure

Heart failure disproportionately affects older adults and is the leading cause of morbidity, hospitalization and mortality in those at least 65 years of age, according to the National Institutes of Health. Age-related changes may increase a person’s risk of heart disease. One major cause of heart disease is the buildup of fatty cholesterol deposits in the walls of the heart’s coronary arteries, which accumulate over a person’s lifetime.


________________________________________________________


National Survey Finds Broad, Bipartisan
Support for Medicare Dental Coverage



Americans across the political spectrum are ready for Medicare dental coverage. A new YouGov survey found an overwhelming majority of likely midterm voters – including 82% of voters in 2022 Senate battleground states – favor adding dental benefits to Medicare.


More than three-quarters of American voters surveyed in July support adding dental coverage to Medicare as proposed in the $3.5 trillion budget plan introduced in the Senate. Nine out of 10 respondents believe dental care is a necessary part of overall health care and 55% hold their members of Congress responsible for the current lack of coverage.  

“These results make it clear to Congress – their constituents overwhelmingly support adding dental coverage to Medicare,” said Frederick Isasi, Executive Director of Families USA. “Our health should not depend on our wealth, yet the health of one out of every two people who rely on Medicare suffers because they can’t afford to get the oral health care they need. The time for Medicare to provide oral health care benefits is long overdue. It’s time for Congress to act.”


______________________________________________________


Older Adults More Likely to Develop
Chronic Wounds, Research Shows

By Lauren Massaro


Changes associated with aging that leave older adults at risk for chronic wounds include a higher prevalence of chronic comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, impaired mobility, incontinence, low weight, poor nutritional status, and cognitive impairment. These conditions give way to additional risk factors such as acute exacerbation of illness, multiple medication use, dehydration, and hospitalization, the review said.

Intrinsic changes in skin wound healing that occur with aging affect wound formation, chronicity, and healing, and contribute to a lower rate of wound closure in older adults. These intrinsic changes include alterations in the body’s inflammatory response, lower levels of supportive extracellular matrix and growth factors, delayed epithelialization, and decreased angiogenic activity.

Chronic wounds can be considered a geriatric syndrome, given their association with substantial morbidity and mortality, and their highly prevalent, multifactorial nature. Prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of chronic wounds is crucial because of the morbidity, high cost, and reduced quality of life associated with them, which may lead to pain, loss of function, distress, embarrassment, social isolation, hospitalization, and death.


________________________________________________________


Study links too many cups of coffee
with huge spike in dementia risk

By Brittany A. Roston


The world’s most popular beverage, coffee, may be risky to brain health if consumed in excess, according to a new study. The research comes from the University of South Australia, which says its study is the largest on this particular topic conducted thus far. The new study follows past research linking regular caffeine consumption with brain shrinkage.


The study involved data on more than 17,000 people who participated in the UK Biobank study. The findings were concerning, with the researchers linking the consumption of more than six cups of coffee daily with a 53-percent increased risk of developing dementia later in life.

The link between excess coffee drinking and a negative impact on brain health was solid, with the study’s lead researcher Kitty Pham explaining:





The town where your life could soon
be saved on nearly every street

By Peter Craig

If you are going to go into cardiac arrest, Immingham is probably the best place to go.


For the town will have the highest ratio of defibrillators to population than anywhere else in the country, according to campaigners fund raising for the vital equipment.

Oil giant, Phillips 66 is offering 20 new defibrillators for community groups and donated the first three to Councillor Willie Weir, owner of the County Hotel in Immingham.







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1.5 million reasons not to ‘rob’ senior living
to pay for roads, bridges and sewer pipes

Senior living and care leaders turned up the pressure on members of Congress on Friday, pointing out the dangers associated with a rumored plan to take $24 billion away from the Provider Relief Fund — meant to help operators with COVID-19-related costs — and repurpose those dollars to help pay for a bipartisan $953 billion infrastructure bill.

Other major associations serving the long-term care industry called for similar activism.











_____________________________________________________


Older people are worse at learning to self-help,
but just as good learning to help others


Older adults may be slower to learn actions and behaviours that benefit themselves, but new research shows they are just as capable as younger people of learning behaviours that benefit others.


Researchers at the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford found that youngsters, in contrast, tend to learn much faster when they are making choices that benefit themselves.

The study, published in Nature Communications, focused on reinforcement learning - a fundamental type of learning in which we make decisions based on the positive outcomes from earlier choices. It allows us to adapt our choices to our environment by learning the associations between choices and their outcomes.


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In a word: Stereotypes and the language of aging
By Jim WitherellSpecial

“Age is something that doesn’t matter — unless you’re a cheese.” — Billie Burke, who played Glinda the Good Witch of the North in “The Wizard of Oz” at the age of 54.

This week I’m sure of one thing: that this week’s column is going to be one for the ages. That’s because I’ll be looking at words that people of all ages should keep in mind — and some to avoid — when it comes to the matters of aging and ageism.

It was back in 1967 when the federal government passed the Age Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination against people 40 and older based on their age.


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What Does Medicare Cover for Alzheimer’s Disease?


Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that some people may get when they are older. It is a form of dementia. It can make people lose their memory, act differently and have trouble thinking and solving problems.


According to the US Food and Drug Administration, more than 6.2 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease patients also may suffer from depression, agitation, anxiety, and other health conditions.
Find out what Medicare covers for Alzheimer’s disease

If you have Alzheimer’s disease, Medicare will help pay for your care for medical and mental health conditions. This may include:

Ongoing hospital care, doctor visits and needed medical items.

This includes care for diagnosis and treatment:





THE RESIDENT’S MEETING

Yesterday, Monday, the residents of the place I call home held their first meeting since March 2020. This is the first time we have gathered, as a group, to air our differences, express our dislikes and offer solutions to the many shortfalls that are inherent in places like assisted living and long-term care facilities which have only become worse since the pandemic made us all virtual prisoners. And, as I had predicted the meeting, while well-attended, represented only a handful of the number of residents that should have been there.

Also missing was much of the spirit that the pre-pandemic versions of these meetings were known for. Perhaps it was that people were just tired of all the rhetoric or had become numb to the obvious violations of some of our basic freedoms which made all of us the objects of the strictest infection control procedures in American history. The crowd gathered in our auditorium appeared more relieved than angry. The consensus was, “let’s get this behind us and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

The meeting began with an address from our administrator, who looked more relived than us that most of the strict protocols had been lifted. But he also brought us back to reality when he mentioned all it would take to put us right back where we were would be just one resident coming down with the virus. A reality made more real when he told us that not all of our residents are vaccinated. This was news to me and the rest of us. How these people fell through the cracks I don’t know. However, it’s sad to think those folks could continue to live here. Just another one of the mysteries which surround the handling of this pandemic by the state and its henchmen, the DOH.

The meeting ended on a high note as we were informed that many of the pre-covid activities would return next week including trips to a local supermarket, restaurants and movie theaters. That will go a long way in improving the morale of our residents who have suffered, more than most, for the last 16 months…………
 






Tobacco firm Philip Morris calls for
ban on cigarettes within decade

By Zoe Wood