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  I believe in, and have followed, the old axiom “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately, while that may okay for cars and computers, as far a people go, not so much. They not only frown on DIY healthcare, but the results could end in disaster. Fortunately, the body is equipped with a marvelous system that lets you know when something’s wrong. It’s called pain. And not just any pain. It’s the pain that doesn’t go away by rubbing it or flexing or stretching. It’s the pain somewhere deep down inside that throbs with every heartbeat. It’s the pain that tells you something’s broke and a Tylenol ain’t going to fix it. And, while any pain is not pleasant, it at least prompts you to see a doctor. But what about those illnesses that progress (without warning) to where they can’t fix it? What they call “Silent Killers.” One of those is High Blood Pressure.

“You can have high blood pressure, or hypertension, and still feel just fine. That's because high blood pressure often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. But, high blood pressure, sometimes called "the silent killer," is very common in older people and a major health problem. If high blood pressure isn't controlled with lifestyle changes and medicine, it can lead to stroke, heart disease, eye problems, kidney failure, and other health problems. High blood pressure can also cause shortness of breath during light physical activity or exercise.”*

High blood pressure is increasingly common in old people because…

“The increase in blood pressure with age is mostly associated with structural changes in the arteries and especially with large artery stiffness. ... In the elderly, the most powerful predictor of risk is increased pulse pressure due to decreased diastolic and increased systolic blood pressure.”**

But what if your BP goes the other way? Instead of rising, it gets lower. Like mine did last Monday.

“Low blood pressure might seem desirable, and for some people, it causes no problems. However, for many people, abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension) can cause dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.
A blood pressure reading lower than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top number (systolic) or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number (diastolic) is generally considered low blood pressure.
The causes of low blood pressure can range from dehydration to serious medical or surgical disorders. It's important to find out what's causing your low blood pressure so that it can be treated.”***


Monday morning I dragged myself out of bed after a bad night’s sleep. It was one of those nights when I could not find any good position from which to fall asleep. Crampy legs, spasming back and a general feeling of restlessness. And, while I have had those nights before, this was as bad as they come.

Why? Who knows? I’m an old man, and anything can happen.

It was with this that I faced the day. A day which I had two medical appointments on my agenda. The first was with an optometrist. 

I now wear glasses for both reading and regular vision, making my twice-yearly exam very important. And, since I hadn’t had a new prescription for  nearly a year, I felt I was due. In fact, as I read the eye chart on the wall I knew my vision had changed because I could read nothing below line 5. Was it a ‘P’ or an ‘F’.? A ‘B’ or an ‘R’?

The “Doc” then put a gadget up to my eye that allowed him to get a good view of what was going on. And, what he found was something I did not want to hear. 

“I could give you a new prescription, but what you will really need is cataract surgery.”

Oh no. The other dreaded ‘C’ word. Actually, two words. Cataract and Surgery.

I knew eventuality I would fall victim to the scourge that befalls most old folks. The little “joke” that nature plays on seniors. It’s part of what I like to call “The Senior Package.” The group of afflictions, disorders and illnesses that affect all old people at sometime. It includes such things as arthritis, high blood pressure, hearing loss, and vision problems. Hardly anyone over the age of 65 will not experience one or more of those maladies. It appears, I have joined the club.

That was not the way I wanted to start the day. I told him I’d like to wait awhile with any surgery. And, since it was not an emergency, he said it was okay.

I left the optometrist’s office feeling depressed. I always thought I would not have to worry about that for a time.

My second appointment of the day was an outside one with my Nephrologist (kidney doctor). It required a short trip to his office a few miles away. Unfortunately, the 1:00pm pick-up allowed no time for lunch. I arrived hungry, sleepless and depressed.

After a short wait, they ushered me into an exam room where the nurse took my weight. No change from last time.

The doctor arrived a few minutes later. 

We discussed my blood work, and I was told it hadn’t changed from the last visit 6 months prior. That was good. I still had 3rd stage kidney disease, but it hadn’t progressed.

Then, he checked my blood pressure. As the cuff tightened on my arm, I swear I could feel the blood drain from my head.

“Are you feeling okay?” He asked. 

“No”, I replied. “I didn’t sleep last night and I’m feeling fatigued.”

“I asked,”, said the doctor, “because your blood pressure is low. Ninety-six over seventy-four.”

“But I’m being treated for high blood pressure. I take a pill every day for that.”

“You’re a little dehydrated which could have something to do with that. Or maybe they should decrease the blood pressure dosage. I’ll discuss it with your doctor,”, he said.

I left his office feeling worse than before.
Cataracts? Low blood pressure? WTF was going on?

What was going on is old age. Inescapable, unrelenting, unforgiving old age. And, when you get old and you have medical problems, when it rains, it pours. There is never such a thing as “just a visit to the doctor.” If you’ve got it, they’ll find it. I’m just thankful I didn’t have a third doctor’s visit that day because I guarantee, he’d find something else for me to worry about.

I’m not really worried. I know my doctors will eventually address those problems. I’ll see my primary care physician about my low BP, and will speak to an ophthalmologist about getting my eyes fixed. And then, it’s on to my next medical problem. As the great Gilda Radner playing Roseanne Rosannadana used to say, “It’s always something.”………………………

 
 
*source: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/high-blood-pressure
**source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805932/
***source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20355465


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Here is a follow up on the editorial which ran here on Monday regarding the “lateness rule” in our dining room.

We residents held our monthly meeting of our food committee this past Tuesday. As promised I brought up the subject of and pointed out the inequities of a rule we have which says that any resident arriving over 15 minutes late for meals cannot be served in the main dining room and made to eat their food in another area apart from the regular diners. I also told the story of the 94-year-old resident who fell victim to this rule and how cruel it was to force him to do an about face after he struggled himself into the dining room for breakfast on time. I am sorry to report that my plea to change the rule fell on the deaf ears of our food service director whose only comment was “The rules are the rules.”…………………...


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How to Live on Social Security Only
By Danielle Kunkle Roberts


Live on Social Security Only in retirement

When Social Security was signed into law in 1935, it was a huge step for the nation. This social insurance program has reduced the poverty rate for people over age 62 from roughly 50% down to less than 10% in 2019.

Social Security is just one way to help make ends meet in retirement, but for many people, it makes up a significant portion of their total income in retirement. If you are planning to retire soon but are heading into your golden years with less savings than you think you’ll need, there are some things you can do to help make ends meet.

  • Work Until Age 70
  • Pay Off Debt Before You Retire
  • Move into a Smaller Residence
  • Cut Other Costs Where You Can
  • Reduce Your Prescription Costs
  • Check Your Local Food Pantry Programs and Senior Centers
  • Reduce your Medicare Premiums





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The decade of the "young old" begins
By John Parker

People turning 65 will not retire quietly into the background, predicts John Parker
Leaders

THE YEAR 2020 will mark the beginning of the decade of the yold, or the “young old”, as the Japanese call people aged between 65 and 75. The height of the baby boom, the period of high fertility in rich countries after the second world war, was 1955-60. The traditional retirement age is 65, and 2020-25 is 65 years later. One might therefore expect peak retirement for baby-boomers in the coming years—except that they are not retiring. By continuing to work, and staying socially engaged, the boomers, in their new guise as the young old, will change the world, as they have done several times before at different stages of their lives.

The yold are more numerous, healthier and wealthier than previous generations of seniors. There will be 134m 65- to 74-year-olds in rich countries in 2020 (11% of the population), up from 99m (8%) in 2000. That is the fastest rate of growth of any large age group. Health worsens with age, but the yold are resisting the decline better than most: of the 3.7 years of increased life expectancy in rich countries between 2000 and 2015, says the World Health Organisation, 3.2 years were enjoyed in good health. The yold are also better off: between 1989 and 2013, the median wealth of families headed by someone over 62 in America rose by 40% to $210,000, while the wealth of all other age groups declined.

The yold are busier, too. In 2016 just over a fifth of people aged 65-69 were in work in rich countries, a figure that is rising fast. Working is one of the factors that are helping people stay healthy longer. A German study found that people who remain at work after the normal retirement age manage to slow the cognitive decline associated with old age and have a cognitive capacity of someone a year and a half younger.


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Social Security's outdated rules
By Mary Beth Franklin


A lot has changed since Congress approved major reforms to Social Security rules more than 35 years ago. Life expectancy has increased. Interest rates have declined. And inflation has transformed the taxation of Social Security benefits from a class tax to a mass tax, according to two new reports.

The result is Social Security now pays relatively higher lifetime benefits to wealthier retirees who can afford to delay claiming their benefits, and middle-income retirees are now shouldering more of a tax burden because the income thresholds for taxing benefits were never indexed for inflation.

Roughly half of all retiree households report that a portion of their Social Security benefits is subject to taxation, according to recent survey results from The Senior Citizens League.



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How Much Do Different Assisted Living Options Cost?
By Javier Simon

The average cost of assisted living was $4,000 a month in 2018, according to Genworth Financial, which has been tracking costs since 2004. Across the country though, the price of assisted living varies widely, depending on such factors as location, facility size and amenities. If you’re not sure whether or how you can afford this type of living arrangement, our free matching tool can connect you with a financial advisor. Here are the costs you need to consider.

A Breakdown of the Costs of Assisted Living

The costs of assisted living typically break down into two categories: rent and services. The former depends largely on location and apartment size. The latter usually includes three meals a day, housekeeping, social activities and nursing care, with the quality or level affecting the price. For example, a resident who needs about three hours of help performing tasks like taking medication, eating and bathing daily would pay more than someone who only needs assistance with one of those tasks.

A recent study by SeniorLiving.org put the overall annual price of assisted living at $30,438 a year in Missouri on the low end and $80,400 in Washington, D.C. on the high end. Of course, assisted living costs correlate to the area’s costs of living, which are usually higher in more densely populated cities. Indeed, the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) found in its study that San Francisco, New York City, San Jose, Boston and Los Angeles have the most expensive facilities.




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- 30 -

NEXT BLOG MONDAY DEC.16TH 2019


Though not required, please feel free to add your email or website to your comments





TheSeniorLog
Monday, December 9th 2019








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AT THE ALF:
A Cruel Rule


One of the primary functions of this blog has always been to familiarize folks with the everyday workings and routines associated with life and living at an assisted living facility (ALF). As the world becomes grayer and places for the older (and not always healthier) to live become a matter of concern, how one will fare in these places is more important than ever.
 
First, let’s define what we are talking about when we refer to an ALF.
 
An ALF is not a nursing home. They practice very little nursing or medicine here. Residents have access to physicians, but they force no one to go to one. And, if you need medical attention, all the staff will do is to call for an ambulance to take you to a hospital. About the only thing medicinal done at an ALF is the distribution of daily prescribed medications , giving insulin injections, application of creams or lotions and changing dressings.
 
An ALF isn’t a senior apartment complex or retirement community. ALF’s are not spas. There (usually) are no tennis courts or swimming pools. The amount of independence varies from facility to facility. And, if you think you will be allowed do anything you want, you won’t. That’s what I’d like to touch on today. Living under someone else’s rules.

Most people come to an assisted living facility directly from a home environment. They lived, by themselves, in their own homes until they couldn’t.
 
According to the website “Aplaceformom.com”*, the top reasons for moving to an ALF are…
 
1. A safer living environment.
 
2. Daily fitness and physical therapy.
 
3. Healthy dining.
 
4. Help with activities of daily living (ADLs).
 
5. More opportunities for socialization.
 
We are leaving out, as a reason for moving to an ALF, dementia or Alzheimer’s. There are specialized facilities for people with these disabilities. We know them as enhanced assisted living facilities. They give residents in these places special attention according to their needs. Some ALF’s have a special, and separate unit for those residents known as memory care units.

What this means for most people is, because they can no longer do everything they did before, they need a place where there are people to do those things for them. And, no matter how much a facility may say they encourage independence, they don’t. Sometimes it’s a matter of convenience (for the staff) and sometimes it’s a matter of state or local regulations. Either way, residents will have to obey the rules. Unfortunately, they do not make all of those rules and regulations with the resident in mind.

Ned (not his real name) is a ninety-four-year-old man in the condition you would expect a person of his advanced years to be. He has been a resident here for nearly two years. In that time I have watched Ned’s mobility decline. From a cane, to a Rollator, and now, a wheelchair Ned’s ability to get around has become more difficult.
 
Recently, Ned returned from a two-month stay in a hospital where they treated him for pneumonia. He now wheels himself (using mostly his feet for propulsion) slowly from place to place. And, by “place to place” I mean from his room to the dining room and back. He does this three times a day. And, with the help provided to him by the facility, he’ll be able to continue this routine for some time to come. But recently, a rule which has been in effect here for years, has taken direct aim at Ned and many residents like him.

Because there is not enough room, or enough staff, to serve all 195 residents at one time at one seating. They split mealtimes into two sessions. Approximately half our residents eat their breakfast, lunch and dinner at the early session (7:30, 11:30 and 4:30 pm respectively). The second seating times are 8:45. 12:45, and 5:45.
 
The facility is very strict with the residents adhering to that schedule. Once a resident decides at which seating session they wish to eat, they cannot arbitrarily change that time. A resident cannot just decided one day to eat an early breakfast, a late lunch and then an early supper. Supposedly, they do this so that the servers can learn the eating habits of the residents and can set the individual places before the diners arrival. Some diners have specific needs and wants and the facility does their best to accommodate them. So far, I have no problem with this arrangement. However, a situation arises when a resident is late for his assigned serving time. We call it the “15 minute rule.”
 
The rule states that they cannot seat a resident arriving over 15 minutes after the time when the other diners were let into the dining room. Instead, they banish tardy residents to an area known as The Country Kitchen.
 
The country kitchen is just off the main lobby and serves as a snack-lounge-gaming and meeting place. The room has a microwave oven (the only one in the facility that a resident can use) a sink, an ice machine and a coffee dispenser. There are about six round tables seating 18 people. It is here they send the tardy diner to eat his meal. And that is what I have a problem with. Case in point. Ned.

Ned tries his best to arrive on time for meals. And, although doing so is very difficult for him, he does so 99% of the time. However, one day last week, Ned didn’t quite make it. For whatever reason, he arrived at his table nearly 20 minutes late (breaking the 15 minute rule by 5 minutes).
 
Realizing he was late, he put all he had into moving his wheelchair as fast as he could. But to no avail. Late was late, and that was that. The rules bend for no one. And, although the server apologized, they sent him, like a kindergarten kid, to the country kitchen. I watched as he begrudgingly, and slowly, wheeled himself out of the dining room to await his breakfast.

Yes, they made a 94-year-old man with breathing difficulties turn around and leave. For what?

That’s not the only example of this atrocity. It occurs at every meal every day. There will always be someone who arrives late, it’s a human thing. So why make a such a big deal of it? And besides, who does this rule benefit?
 
It does not benefit the resident. That’s for sure. People, especially older people, don’t want to be late for anything. But sometimes circumstances beyond their control impede what they planned. An arthritic knee, a sleepless night because of chronic pain or just the desire to catch a few more winks can contribute to one’s being overdue for an event.
 
It does not benefit the server who they place in the role of the bad guy for having to tell someone they won’t serve them. Nor does it benefit the rest of the dining staff who have to stop what they are doing (usually serving other diners or doing kitchen chores) and make a special meal and walk it to the country kitchen. The only reason, as far as I can determine to implement this rule is to punish. And how sad is that? Don’t you think we, at our age, are beyond that? It’s time to end this practice once and for all**……………………………………………….
 

*source: https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/5-11-16-top-reasons-to-move-to-assisted-living/
**Editor’s note: The residents hold their monthly food committee meeting on Tuesday. I will try to bring this matter up and see if we can abolish or at least modify this cruel rule.

 


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3 Things Women Must Know About Social Security Benefits


Understanding the rules about Social Security benefits and when to start claiming Social Security can be difficult. But they’re critically important, especially for women — since women typically live longer lives than men. The new book, What’s the Deal With Social Security for Women?, by retirement consultant Marcia MacDonald Mantell, is extremely helpful. Here’s an excerpt about three important factors women should take into consideration when deciding the right time to begin claiming Social Security benefits. — Next Avenue Editors)

So much of your final decision about Social Security will depend on your personal situation at the time of claiming. Before deciding when to claim, however, there are other financial realities to carefully consider. Among them are the following:

1.    The Earnings Limit Test

2.    Taxation of Social Security Benefits Depending on your overall income

3.    Medicare Premiums and Social Security Benefits .



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Why the flu shot can't give you the flu
and why you might think it does



Just as the current influenza season is getting started, a new study finds a troubling decline in the number of babies and children getting their yearly flu vaccinations.

Researchers in the journal Pediatrics suggest several reasons fewer parents get flu shots for their children, including the rising popularity of the anti-vaccine movement, a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of the flu shots and worries about harmful side effects.

It may be too soon to predict how severe the flu outbreak will be this year; however, there were 142 pediatric deaths during the 2018-2019 flu season. There have been two child deaths so far this year, as of Nov. 2.

A national survey by Orlando Health from 2015 found that many parents are skeptical about flu shots, and more than half of parents surveyed believed that you can get the flu from the vaccine.


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The Single Worst Social Security Claiming Mistake You Can Make
By Sean Williams

Do this and you'll almost certainly regret it.

As of October, nearly 64 million people were bringing home a Social Security benefit check each month. Of these 64 million, more than four out of five are senior citizens, with approximately 62% counting on their monthly payout for at least half of their income.
Seniors' most important decision

It would be pretty fair to suggest that deciding when to begin taking Social Security benefits is the most important decision that seniors will make. That's because their claiming decision can have a big impact on what they'll be paid each month by Social Security, and may ultimately decide whether they can make ends meet during retirement.

As you may already know, there are more than a half-dozen factors that can impact what you'll receive from Social Security. Two of the best known are your work and earnings history. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will take your 35 highest-earning, inflation-adjusted years into account when calculating your monthly payout at full retirement age. This is why working into your 50s and 60s can be so important to boosting your overall benefit. By this age, you've probably built up experience and skills to command a higher annual wage or salary, which can aid in lifting your average monthly benefit. Mind you, the door swings both ways, with each year less of 35 being worked resulting in a $0 being averaged into your calculation.



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Senior Living Demand: Strong Demographics
Weakened By Strong Health

By Bill Conerly

Recent overbuilding in senior living communities has led to questions about basic demographics. Population trends are important and easily quantified, but the health and lifestyle choices of senior citizens is harder to analyze.

The easy part is the numbers. Everyone who will be 65 anytime soon has already been born. Foreign immigrants to the United States are mostly young, so building a wall won’t have much impact on the senior population. Mortality rates influence the projections, but the biggest surprises in recent years have been people 25 through 44.

(Recent data did show an increase in the death rate among 85 and older people. However, that group is pretty diverse, with the greatest increases in the very old, 96 years and older, with fewer people in the 85-88 category. The increased mortality was not a surprise when the older population is tabulated in one-year increments rather than lumped all together.)




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- 30 -

NEXT BLOG THURSDAY DEC.12TH 2019


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12/8/19








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A Little Politics As We
Close In On 2020


There are two things that surprise me as we close out 2019. The first is how grateful I am to have made it this far. A few years ago I wouldn’t have given myself a snowball's chance in hell to have lived this long. The second surprise is something I never thought would have that much meaning in my life or taken up so much of my very short attention span. And that thing is politics.
 
Like most Americans I took our form of government for granted. If you were born after WW2, except for a few minor glitches, we have enjoyed a system that has worked well for us as well as leaders who have represented themselves in a favorable manner. Who we elected really didn’t matter too much because we knew there were enough other level-headed elected representatives, senators and judges to make sure nobody did anything crazy. We also knew that if the guy we elected didn’t do a good job, we could always get rid of him in the next election. And, when electing a president, we just wanted some guy who looked and sounded presidential. Someone who would not steer us in the wrong direction or make a fool of us on the world stage. We didn’t care too much about the man’s politics because we knew there would always be enough lawmakers with common sense on both sides of the aisle to override any foolhardy agenda the executive branch may have promulgated. And again, we always knew that if the guy in the White House failed in his duties, we only had to put up with him for four years. And besides, how much could one man screw things up in four years? Well, my fellow Americans, now we know.

If someone would have told me five years ago I would watch a debate between two presidential candidates with as much fervor and interest as I would view the Superbowl, I’d have said they were crazy. But there I was. Eyes glued to the TV watching a former first lady and senator outwit a self-proclaimed “genius” businessman and reality TV host. I watched as he blustered his way around the debate stage promising things he knew he could never accomplish. I thought, “how could anybody vote for this guy. He doesn’t have a clue. He’s crude, rude and ill-informed and definitely knows nothing about politics or how Washington works. While on the other side we had an accomplished lawyer, U.S. Senator and first lady with a good idea of how to get things done in DC.” However, as the weeks wore on, and I observed the reactions both candidates received at their rally’s and campaign stops, I noticed something. The guy with the impossible hair and uncouth manner was bringing out a heck of a lot of screaming, cheering people every place he went. 

Yes, they were mostly white. Mostly middle-aged and, presumably, mostly middle class Americans. But they were something else. They were a segment of the population who were tired of not being listened to. The Democratic candidate who most of those folks would have supported in the past, was not the person they could identify with. She was too liberal. Too “all-inclusive”, too feminist, maybe too educated and, though nobody would admit it, too much in love with “them minorities.” For the first time, I felt that what we all believed would be a certainty, was not as much of a sure thing as we thought it would be.

I’m an old codger. The first president I voted for was Lyndon Johnson who became the Democratic candidate after the assassination of John Kennedy a year earlier. His opponent was Barry Goldwater, the first Conservative/Republican candidate. The differences between the two men was so clear that Lyndon Johnson won with the largest majority since 1820. However, Mr. Goldwater had an interesting campaign slogan*. You might remember “In your heart, you know he’s right.” While it might not have been obvious, they meant the slogan to appeal to the same segment of the population Trump’s “Make America Great Again” tome now hopes to grab, the isolationist, right wing, nationalist white American who, until now, remained mostly in the woodwork. Unfortunately, for Goldwater, there were just not enough of those folks around (or at least not enough who would admit it) to make much difference in the election. It took 52 years and a candidate who was as intolerant as they were to get them to come out of the shadows and vote. And, although it was hardly a landslide, they made enough of a show to get “one of their own” elected.

Some say that one of the appealing traits Mr. Trump has is his plain, man-of-the-people, almost “street” language way of speaking. However, if you use street language, you had better be street smart.** Disastrously, Trump has none of that. He speaks and acts on impulse. Not a good trait for a world leader. He treats the Constitution (the document that gives his office its very power) as just a bunch of suggestions to be interpreted any way it he feels meets his agenda.

Why am I telling you this? Because you, as an older American, are being directly targeted by the President of the United States and the party he leads. They are targeting you not only by proposing cuts to Social Security but by screwing around with Medicare too, as this article from “commondreams.org”*** explains…
 
"Trump’s new executive order does nothing to hold the Medicare Advantage plans accountable for their fraudulent overcharges or their inappropriate denials of care and coverage. Rather, it rewards them.
 
President Trump just announced a plan to give corporate health insurers more control over your health care. His new executive order calls for “market-based” pricing, which would drive up costs for everyone with Medicare, eviscerate traditional Medicare, and steer more people into for-profit “Medicare Advantage” plans.
 
Seema Verma, the Trump appointee who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), may not have warned Trump about the slew of government audits revealing that many Medicare Advantage plans pose “an imminent and serious risk to the health of… enrollees.” They also overcharge taxpayers to the tune of $10 billion a year."
 
This goes directly to that “compassion” thing I mentioned. Therefore, I ask you, where exactly is that compassion, the caring and yes, even the respect we as patriotic American seniors deserve? It certainly is not in the mind and heart of the President of the United States nor in the people that support him………………………………………………
 



* Johnson’s campaign slogan was “All the way with LBJ”, which really didn’t tell you much about the man. However, the Dems did counter the “In your heart you know he’s right” slogan with an almost slanderous “In your guts, you know he’s nuts.”

** The Urban Dictionary defines “Street Smarts” as: Intelligence gained outside of school. Just as useful as book smarts, and in many cases more so. It can be divided into 4 categories.

1.Getting Along With Others- Knowing which questions to ask and not asking too many,being polite and friendly, but also being assertive.
2.Common Sense- Knowing who you can trust, which areas in town are good and which are bad, etc.
3.Self-defense-Knowing how to fight and fend off an attacker, especially if you are small.
4.BS-detection-Knowing when people are trying to fuck you over, reading their intentions, and knowing that most corporate advertisements are complete bullshit.

*** source: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/04/watch-out-seniors-trump-just-launched-stealth-attack-medicare



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Home Care Services for Seniors
By Mike Weber

Want to age in place? Learn about home care services that can help you maintain your independence and stay at home for longer.

What are home care services for seniors?

While it may be hard to accept, most of us will require some type of care assistance after the age of 65. You may be used to handling everything yourself, dividing up duties with your spouse, or relying on family members for minor help around the home. But as you get older and your circumstances change, getting around and taking care of yourself can become more and more difficult. If the idea of moving to a retirement community, assisted living facility, or nursing home doesn’t appeal, home care services may be able to help keep you living in your own home for longer.

Home care services include:
  • Household maintenance.
  • Transportation.
  • Home modifications.
  • Personal care.
  • Health care.
  • Day programs.




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Here's where you can retire nicely on just
$30,000 a year ... outside the US

By Annie Nova


If you’ve been racking your brain about where to retire on a budget, it might be time to think outside the U.S.

A report by International Living, which publishes information about living overseas, lists destinations where you can coast through retirement on less than $30,000 a year.

To be sure, retiring in a new country will require studying up on tax implications, along with pulling off some other logistical maneuvering.

Yet for many older Americans, the work will be well worth finding a new, affordable place to spend their golden years.

The average monthly Social Security check is $1,404, and more than 40% of single adults receive more than 90% of their income from that check, according to the government.

Here are the international cities where that check will go far, according to International Living.


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Why Going Deaf and Losing Everything
Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

By James "Rev Shark" DePorre


For 18 years now I've written about my personal journey on the day before Thanksgiving on RealMoney. I do it for two reasons. First, I find it important to be grateful for the many blessings in life. Even when things look bleak, focusing on the positives leads to a better life than negativity and pessimism.

Second, I hope that my story helps to provide some hope to those dealing with difficult circumstances. We all go through challenges and positives at various times. Like the stock market, life is cyclical as well. Periods of struggle and difficulty are inevitable but so are the periods of progress and joy. The key is to maintain the right mindset.

I never dreamed that going totally deaf and losing everything would turn out to have such a positive impact on my life. I could have easily wallowed in self-pity for the rest of my life, but staying positive and hopeful eventual lead to a better life than imagined.

Continue reading >>

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Some nursing homes are illegally evicting
elderly and disabled residents
who can't afford to pay

By Katie Engelhart

When Jamie Moore arrived home on a Thursday evening in March, she was surprised to find her mother-in-law in her living room. Glenda Moore, 67, had been sitting in her wheelchair for hours. Without anyone to help her to the bathroom, she’d had an accident. She was also having trouble breathing. “It was awful,” Jamie Moore recalled.

Glenda Moore told Jamie that she had been discharged from the Bishop Care Center nursing home, in Bishop, California. She had been living at the nursing home — a sprawling brick building on the side of a state highway — for several weeks, recovering from a back surgery that unexpectedly left her unable to walk much or take care of herself.

Several days earlier, nursing home administrators had shown Glenda Moore a letter from Medicare, explaining that her rehabilitation coverage was ending. She was unable to pay the nursing home’s more-than-$7,000 monthly fee, so, thinking she had no other options, she left. (A relative dropped her off at Jamie’s home, where Glenda Moore had lived previously, without telling Jamie.)

“They pushed her out and she was not ready,” Jamie Moore, who has worked as a nursing assistant, said. “She was not ready at all.”

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I have to admit. I feel a little guilty every time I see a news story or see an advertisement for those “Black Friday” sales events and I buy nothing.
 
It’s not that I don’t get the urge. I’m as susceptible to the thought of a bargain as anybody. And, in the past I probably would be out there with the rest of the madding throngs digging through piles of shirts, jackets and housewares hoping to find something so ridiculously cheap that, even if I didn’t need it, I had to have it. As my mother used to say when she found a bargain on the dress rack at Loehmann’s, “At that price, it can hang in the closet.” However, things have changed in recent years. I no longer feel that compulsion to buy. The yearning I once had to consume conspicuously has disappeared. This, most likely, results from several things.

I earned my first wages at age 14. Kids could get their “working papers” from the state that allowed minors to work part time. These papers made me “official.” It meant I was “on the books.” and my employer had to pay into Social Security, disability and all the other things to which they subject the American worker. It also meant that I was now free to do what every other American can, and that was to use the money I earned (which was about seventy-five cents and hour) to buy whatever I wanted. There is probably no better feeling than walking up to the counter at the local store and being able to say “I’ll have one of those please” and then paying for it with your own money. Little did I know that “feeling” is what makes this world go round. And I. as a working man, was an integral part of that world. I was now a contributing member of society. A consumer. Fifty years later, that would all come to an end. 

I collected my first Social Security benefit at age 62 after nearly 50 years of steady employment. Fifty years of working and getting paid for it. Fifty years of paying takes and, yes, spending money. And, over those years, my spending habits changed from that of the impulse buying of luxury goods (cars, watches, high priced electronics) to the more mundane like rent, utility bills and food. Only upon a special occasion did I use my hard-gotten gains to treat myself or someone else to something posh. Such as making a good impression on that very special member of the opposite sex who would soon be my wife. But, upon retiring, that all changed. My spending went from things I wanted to things I needed. I had to carefully decide on what I bought. I had to ask myself “How much does this cost and do I really need this item.” For the first time in my life I felt what it was like to put thrift before anything else when deciding on what to buy. Just like poor people.

Not having that “extra cash” to spend changes one’s perspective of reality. It governs almost everything you do. From what you wear to what you eat. What you watch on TV to where you travel all depends on, not only how much you have to spend, but whether we should spend that money at all. Which brings us to Black Friday. 

If we are to believe the commercials and publicity that surrounds Black Friday and Cyber Monday, days in which all of us are expected to throw caution and our credit cards to the wind and go forth and spend, not to do so is almost un-American. To decry spending is blasphemy. Not to consume is treason. Therefore, in an effort not to feel like a traitor, I suppose I will take advantage of some of those bargains out there. But I’ll only buy stuff I really need.

I really want a 53 inch television. No matter that the wall of my room measures only10 inches larger or that the 42 inch TV I now have is perfectly good. IT’S ON SALE MAN!

I’d like a new watch. The one I have on is okay, but it can’t monitor my heartbeat, take my pulse or order a pizza. Goodbye $20 Casio, hello $230 smart watch.

And finally, there’s the new I-phone. It’s also “smart.” It does everything my laptop and Kindle does, but I can make phone calls with it. It doesn’t matter that I have a cell phone that costs me zero per month. I can’t use it to “tweet.”

I’m sure, if I can buy at least one of those items, I’ll be back in America’s good graces. I will have made a difference by tweaking the economy just a bit. I’ll tweet you about it as soon as they deliver my I-phone………………….
 

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Here are some of the best resources available
 to seniors who want to know their way around computers.


Now that we’ve established why computers are important in today’s world, and you understand what the main types of computer are, it’s time to get savvy with the wonderful ways you can use them.

Whether you want to learn how to use email, browse the Internet, do video calls with your grandkids, purchase gifts or other items online, or share and view photos with friends and family, it’s easier than you think.

If you have a family member (grandkids are naturals!) or friend to show you some basics, that’s great. If not, then there are several choices out there. Where do you start? Good news, there are lots of places for seniors to go and get computer literate.




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Hope for the senior citizens
By Samuel Adegboyega Oyegbile

The population of the senior citizens in our country is increasing as in the world over. According to 2006 population exercise, those aged 65 years above make up to 4.3 percent of the total population of Nigeria which was put at 140,431,790.  This group are mostly neglected by the government, the public and even the families. Many are lonely especially at 65years and above. Neglect, loneliness and lack of care lead to loss of joy and hope, which lead to premature death.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) “Every Person  in every country in the world  should have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. Healthy ageing is a process of developing and maintaining  functional ability which enables all to do what they value at an older age. These include basic needs to learn and grow, mobile, build relationships and contribute meaningfully to society from their wealth of experience. Environments are highly influential on our behaviour, our exposure to health risks (e.g. air pollution, violence), our access to quality health and social care and opportunities that aging brings.

Since Nigeria is a member-state of WHO, the global strategy is a step forward to contribute to achieving the vision that all people can live long and healthy lives. In Nigeria, the family structure – nuclear and extended – is changing rapidly with no safety net in place for most Nigerians.  The family traditionally was cradle of love, security and development where family needs including those of the aged were met. This bond is getting weaker and eroded due to poverty, societal materialism, competition and independence leading to lack of family support and care of the elderly. There is no social security to also bridge this gap, hence the aged are neglected and unhappy.



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Stop Telling Me I Look Younger Than My Age

I was at one of those horrible clubs when I first heard it.

You know the ones ― bottle service in sweaty silver buckets with the veneer peeling off; startup bros and sales guys prattling on in indecipherable jargon; a tacky menu of tiny food littered with foam and microgreens. It was my friend’s birthday. She was turning 30.

She showed up with someone I didn’t recognize. They looked effortlessly chic and fresh in crisp summer whites and gleaming Ray-Bans. He told me that he was on the “sixth anniversary of his 29th birthday.” I was irritated at being made to do math and felt underwhelmed and insecure with my chipped nails and ripped jeans. He turned to my friend and said it ― the statement I’d start hearing as soon as I leveled up to 30. “Don’t worry about getting old, honey! You look 10 years younger than your age.”

Now, having recently blown out the candles on my 39th birthday cake and made my wish (to climb Machu Picchu), I’m used to hearing that tired old tagline: “Happy Birthday! You ... look so much younger than your age.”

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6 Ways to Deal with Sentimental Items
When Decluttering


Organizing. and getting rid of, extra belongings can make it easier to downsize, clean a home and entertain guests.

But what should be done with a stack of boxes containing memorabilia stashed in a closet? Or a basement filled with items that represent the past 30 years?

“Clutter is real, and stuff follows us to the end,” says Felice Cohen, author and professional organizer based in New York City who teaches online organization classes to older adults.

    “Sentimental clutter is the hardest clutter to part with.”

Sorting through last week’s coupons can be much easier than tackling a bin filled with memories from the past.

Continue reading >>



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   Editor’s Note: After writing over 100 posts this past year I have decided to take a break. And, since this post just happens to publish on Thanksgiving day, what better time of the year to take that break. In place of my usual diatribe I will publish an essay I came across three years ago. Amazingly the theme of the essay still has relevance today.

I am sorry I do not know who wrote this. I have looked high and low and could not find any references as to its author. If you know who it is let me know and I will surely give them credit. In any event, I wish you and yours a very happy and digestible Thanksgiving. I’ll be having dinner here at the ALF with 100 of my closest friends………………………

 PLEASE NOTE: WE'LL BE BACK AT IT MONDAY, DECEMBER 2ND

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Thanksgiving Day:

It Could not have Come at a Better Time

 

As you read this blog, you have either already eaten your Thanksgiving Day dinner and are now feeling the pangs of indigestion, stuffiness, exhaustion, frustration, indignation, and regret, or you are still deciding whether or not you really want to go to your daughter’s second husband’s mother for dinner (remembering that she is a vegetarian and that you will probably be served Tofurky for dinner).

But, no matter what your situation, I can bet that the conversation around the table this year was (Or will be) very different from the usual mindless banter that we all have come to tolerate year after year.

Despite your best efforts to keep politics out of the dialogue, your endeavor will be in vein.

 Everyone seated around the table over the age of five will have his or her thoughts about the national nightmare we just suffered through.

 And, if your family (and friends) are anything like mine, you will find both sides of the aisle represented.

And it won’t matter if you are armed with the facts, you will not be able to dissuade anybody that voted for the opposition.

In fact, you lost as soon as you walked into the place.

So, what should you do (if you haven’t already done it)?

You can either keep your mouth shut and sit there with your Tofurky and herbal soda while your blood pressure pushes ever so gently on those artery walls, or, you can remind people why they are all where they are today and what this holiday is all about.

We have all been told (and I am simplifying the reason) that the folks who came over on the Mayflower (a.k.a. “Pilgrims”) did so to flee religious persecution*.

And, while that may or may not be entirely the truth, for our purposes it’s as good a reason as any.

Therefore, at the first opportunity or lull in the action, try to slip that thought into the discussion.

This should at least make 50% of the diners agree with you.

The other 50% will glare at you waiting for you to drop the “T” bomb.

But you won’t mention HIS name.

You will simply ask people what happened to the tolerance we (as a nation) used to have towards people of all faiths and backgrounds.

And then, after the murmurs, muttering and buzzing dies down, you will put down your fork, wipe the artificial vegetarian turkey gravy from your chin and proclaim,

“MAYBE AMERICA WAS NEVER AS TOLERANT OF OTHERS AS WE THOUGHT.”

AUTHOR'S NOTE: In order to maximize the effects of your observation, you must immediately go back to eating or drinking without really waiting for an answer. This will let the conversational stew boil. This also allows you to wallow in your role as the “Instigator” a bit longer.

You now have the opportunity to either foment the situation even further by asking “Who here thinks we should register all Muslims?” or just ask somebody to “pass green bean casserole please.”

It’s your choice.

In any event, I hope you have or had a great Thanksgiving day and will be able to leave the table with at least one good thought.

You won’t have to go through this for another year.

*Some say that the Pilgrims came here not so much to flee religious persecution, but to persecute………………..Anon

 

 

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10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with

Loved Ones in Assisted Living

When elderly loved ones reside in assisted living, leaving their retirement community can sometimes be challenging, or even dangerous to their health; which makes it difficult for them to travel to someone else’s home to celebrate the holidays. However, there are various ways to bring holiday cheer straight to their door.

Here are a few simple, yet meaningful, ways you and your family can celebrate the holidays with your loved one in assisted living:

· Create a holiday scrapbook featuring mementos and photos from past celebrations

· Reminisce about past holiday memories, get out old photo albums and share stories. Ask what their most memorable Christmas was or what gift they were most excited to get as a child

· Have a cookie-baking party in their home

· Bring decorations and help your loved one decorate their home

· Have a holiday movie marathon featuring all of the classics

· Organize an informal Christmas carol sing-along

· Throw a holiday card party: assign everyone a task, such as decorating cards, stuffing envelopes, writing out addresses, etc.

· Decorate personalized holiday stockings; one for each family member

· Make a gingerbread house

· If you have children, bring some holiday-themed children’s books in and have your children read them out loud to your loved one

“Retirement communities offer many different kinds of activities that will help people stay active and engaged in life,” Weuve said. “This is especially important for those who live alone.”

Source >> https://www.thegazette.com/cottage-grove-christmas-holidays-family-assisted-living

 

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For Older Adults, It's The Quality Of Friendships,

Not Quantity, That Improves Well-Being

 

LEEDS, England — Everyone knows that having friends boosts well-being. In fact previous research has even suggested that having numerous friends reduces the risk of medical conditions like heart disease. However, a new study finds that not all friendships are created equal. Researchers from the University of Leeds conclude that well-being is more closely related to how people feel about their friends than their overall number of friends.

The study sought to compare the friendships and social circles of younger and older adults. Since younger adults are more likely to connect with friends, family members, and acquaintances using online social networks, they tend to have contact with a wider circle of friends. Surely all of those online friends mean that younger people are happier than older adults, right? Not so fast. While older adults may have generally fewer friends, they also tend to be closer with those friends and interact with them on a face-to-face basis more frequently.

According to researchers, when it comes to friendship-induced feelings of well-being, that makes all the difference.

Continue reading >> https://www.studyfinds.org/for-older-adults-its-the-quality-of-friendships-not-quantity-that-improves-well-being

 

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Half of all older adults are worried about dementia

Nearly half of American adults between age 50 and 64 fear they will develop dementia, a new analysis has revealed.

In study published Friday in the journal JAMA Neurology, University of Michigan researchers report that 48.5 percent of 1,019 respondents to the school's National Poll on Healthy Aging feel they were at least somewhat likely to be diagnosed with cognitive decline. Another 4.2 percent felt they were "very likely" to develop some form of dementia.

"Memory loss is often a big concern for people as they age," study co-author Donovan Maust, director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Program at the University of Michigan, told UPI. "While there has been a lot of scientific focus on early diagnosis and early treatment of dementia, there are still no effective treatments. But, there is growing evidence that managing lifestyle and some chronic medical conditions can reduce risk."

The University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging is a national survey of adults between 50 and 80 years of age. The project received financial support from AARP and Michigan Medicine and was completed in October 2018.

Continue reading >> https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2019/11/15/Half-of-all-older-adults-are-worried-about-dementia-survey-says/5061573753007/

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Seniors May Be Overpaying for Medicine,

Study Looking at Medicare’s Use of Generics Suggests

By Ron Day

Medicare may not be getting the best prescription drug deals it can, meaning senior citizens using the plan are overpaying, a new study suggests.

Private insurance companies adopt cheaper generic drugs at a faster pace than government-run Medicare, a study by lobbying group Access for Affordable Medicines concludes. Generics are intended to be a lower-cost alternative to brand name pharmaceuticals.

Commercial health plans put generics on the lower-cost generic tier at least 90% of the time, according to data supplied by the AAM to Karma. Medicare drug plans usually put generics on a tier with more expensive brand names.

About 15% of Americans, or 44 million, are covered under Medicare and that number may rise to 79 million by 2030. That suggests vast amounts of money going to big pharma companies, who compete with generic firms producing FDA approved copies of the patented medications. AAM said in an earlier study that about $12 billion was spent on brand name, or non-generic drugs, where the Medicare coverage was less than 25%.

Continue reading >> https://karmaimpact.com/seniors-may-be-overpaying-for-medicine-study-looking-at-medicares-use-of-generics-suggests/

 

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11/27/19







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'Tis the season. The season to stuff yourself silly that is. It’s that time of the year when Americans throw caution, and their diets, to the wind and set forth to devour as much food as we can. And, we have the statistics to prove it.*
 
1.  About 50 million pumpkin pies are consumed each Thanksgiving
2.  A person consumes an average of 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving.
3.  The food with the most calories is none other than our beloved pecan pie.
4.  Americans consume 736 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving Day alone (about the weight of the Empire State Building).
5.  40 million green bean casseroles are made each year (Thank you Campbell’s Soup for your generous contribution to society).
 

There was a time when I could say that I contributed heavily to those stats. But now, not so much.
 
Not that my appetite has diminished. I can still pack away my share of food. It’s just that my eating habits have become more selective. At one time I would eat everything and anything. If it was fit for human consumption, I would eat it. Now, I limit myself to foods that make me happy. Fortunately, that represents a wide variety of things. Unfortunately, not all of those things are good for me. And my waistline shows it.

I knew old age would not be fun. A lesson I learned as I watched my parents grow older and fall victim to all the ravages time has to offer. The late-onset diseases. The slowness of gait. The aches and pains as body parts wear out. And the gradual onset of that malaise that overtakes one’s psyche, apathy. No, there was not much to look forward to. Except one thing. Something, I thought, every old person will capitulate to. A loss of appetite.

I had always been a chubby kid. Partially because of genetics and partially because of the mass quantities of food put down before me. Add to that the unstoppable insistence by my mother to “finish everything on my plate”, that permanently sealed my fate. I would be fat forever. I can still feel the humiliation when a salesperson at the A&S department store in Brooklyn told my mom “You’ll find clothes in his size in the HUSKY section of the boys' department.” If there was a gun department at A&S I would have found it and shot myself then and there.

With that in mind, I was all set to face old age with at least one good thing to look forward to. Something I was sure would happen because, it happened to all old people, right? And that was a loss of appetite.
 
Finally, I thought, I could fit into those skinny jeans I saw all the other kids wear. I’d be able to wear the “cool” clothes they never made for “husky” kids. I’d be able to shop anywhere and they would have my size.
 
I saw myself pushing away from the table having eaten only a few bites as the pounds and inches sloughed off my body.
 
In my head I could imagine people talking behind my back about how much weight I lost and how good I looked.
 
But alas. That was not to be. At least, not so far. Truthfully, the opposite happened. Instead of losing weight like most other old people, I am adding tonnage at an alarming rate. 

It’s not that I haven’t tried dieting. But, considering the amount of carb-loaded starchy and sugary foods they serve here at the ALF, I lost the battle before it began. They make every meal here of one part protein and two parts carbohydrates. Take yesterday’s menu as an example.

Breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal (carbs), Orange juice (carbs) rye toast (carbs) and an omelet.

Lunch was pizza. Two slices (carbs). the only protein here was the pepperoni on the pizza.

Dinner started with a small salad (okay) and chicken (about 3oz.) teriyaki with a side of spaghetti (carbs). And to top it off, ice cream for desert.

Could I have substituted a tuna platter or chicken salad for lunch or dinner? Yes.

Could I have not eaten toast with breakfast? Yes. Or could I have refused the ice cream dessert? Sure.

But I would have walked away from the table still hungry which would have made me head for the general store and buy something even worse. I may be an old person, but I have the appetite, and the cravings, of a seventeen-year-old. 

I still love a good cheeseburger with fries. 

I will eat pizza, hot or cold any time of the day or night.

A plate of spaghetti and meatballs or mac and cheese is all I need to make me content.

Chinese take-out or eat in does it for me every time and gooey chocolate cake makes me swoon. And, I would not refuse a two pound lobster, roast prime rib a baked potato and creamed spinach, ever.

I suppose the bottom line here is I like food and I like to eat. Consuming food, from the selection of a meal, to its digestion and elimination, makes me feel alive. Even normal. I may not walk too well, but damn, I can still eat like a man. 

Will there be a time when I will eat less? According to this article from “aplaceformom.com”, it could be soon.**

  “Aging changes can begin as early as age 30,” depending on the individual, says Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born, a licensed naturopathic physician. Starting with the heart, lungs, and kidneys, our bodies undergo various physiological shifts that affect our overall health as well as our eating habits and nutritional intake. In the mid-60s and early 70s, appetite may lessen as metabolism declines due to natural changes. People move less as they get older, and muscle mass decreases, so they burn fewer calories.”

“There may also be hormonal changes that contribute to lowered appetite: “In-depth studies have shown that elders aged 75 and older may not respond to the hunger regulatory hormones ghrelin and cholecystokinin in the same way they did when they were younger and that this may contribute to early satiety,” Dr. Jones-Born says”
I’m 74. According to the study sighted in the above quote, I have another year to go before my hormones go nuts. Until that time comes it’s “Yes, I would like double fries with that.” …......
 

*Source: https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/thanksgiving-day-food-facts
** Source: https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-10-8-loss-of-appetite/




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Pass Along These Pearls to Patients With Runny Noses
By Kathleen Kenny, PharmD, RPh

Nasal congestion and rhinorrhea are common and can occur year-round for many reasons. These minor maladies often can be treated with home remedies. There are times, however, when medical treatment is necessary.

CONGESTION AND RHINORRHEA
Nasal congestion occurs when mucus becomes sticky and thick, making it hard to expel, and when the nasal passages become inflamed. Rhinorrhea, also known as a runny nose, occurs when excess mucus drains from the nose. This mucus can be clear or opaque, constant or intermittent, and thick or thin.

CAUSES
Production of mucus in the nose and sinuses is necessary to keep the nose moist. The mucus typically is swallowed.1 Many conditions may cause the nose and sinuses to produce too much mucus, resulting in nasal congestion or a runny nose. Here are some of these conditions:

1.Colds and the flu.
2.Cold weather.
3.Crying.
4.Allergic rhinitis.
5.Vasomotor rhinitis.
6.Large/swollen turbinates.
7.Large adenoids.
8.Nasal polyps.
9.Foreign bodies.
10.Nasal cysts or tumors.
11.Choanal atresia or pyriform aperture stenosis.
12.Deviated nasal septum.

Continue reading >> https://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2019/november2019/pass-along-these-pearls-to-patients-with-runny-noses


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Why you shouldn't say ‘OK boomer’ at work


The phrase “OK boomer” has become a catch-all put-down that Generation Zers and young millennials have been using to dismiss retrograde arguments made by baby boomers, the generation of Americans who are currently 55 to 73 years old.

Though it originated online and primarily is fueling memes, Twitter feuds and a flurry of commentary, it has begun migrating to real life. Earlier this month, a New Zealand lawmaker lobbed the insult at an older legislator who had dismissed her argument about climate change.

As the term enters our everyday vocabulary, HR professionals and employment law specialists like me now face the age-old question: What happens if people start saying “OK boomer” at work?


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Combating Social Isolation in Older Adults


Social isolation and loneliness are among top concerns for older adults. Feelings of loneliness are linked to health concerns including depression and cognitive decline, and unfortunately, health issues that many seniors experience like mobility challenges or hearing loss can exacerbate loneliness. In fact, research External link disclaimer shows that loneliness is just as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

This is a vicious cycle all too many older adults are experiencing – the National Poll on Healthy Aging found and one in three older adults say they lack regular companionship. Findings from a recent survey conducted by GreatCall support this – with 52% of older adults ages 65+ experience feelings of loneliness a few times a year, 14% reported once a week, and 21% feel lonely every day.

GreatCall, in partnership with Laurie Orlov of Aging in Place Technology Watch, has compiled the latest research and emerging solutions to address social isolation in effort to increase awareness of this global issue. The research, titled “Fighting Social Isolation Among Older Adults” External link disclaimer shows:


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How assisted living facilities are adding
exercise and nutrition to help residents



It's important for seniors to stay active and keep their bodies strong and healthy. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd Edition, commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults ages 65 and older can significantly benefit from regular physical activity.

Physical activity helps seniors:

  •     Preserve their overall physical function and mobility
  •     Prevent and manage chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer
  •     Lower the risk of dementia
  •     Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  •     Increase social engagement

Assisted living facilities are implementing daily routines and programs to keep seniors physically fit, mentally sharp, and independent. According to Elder Care Alliance, the areas to target are:

Continue reading >> https://wgme.com/sponsored/spotlight/how-assisted-living-facilities-are-adding-exercise-and-nutrition-to-help-residents


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The Joys of the Minimalist Life in Retirement

“The freedom on the other side of our stuff makes us truly euphoric!” That’s the phrase minimalist Amy Rutherford, 51, of Parker, Colo., uses to describe the feeling of joy she and her husband Tim, 52, now enjoy after getting rid of most of their possessions.

Here’s how she and a few others have embraced minimalism, and their advice for people who’d like to do the same.

Amy Rutherford, who writes about early retirement on her website GoWithLess.com, is the first to admit that the journey with her husband to minimize, retire early and travel the world wasn’t always easy. But the couple, who’d both spent their careers in corporate sales, didn’t jump into the deep end all at once, either. Instead, theirs was a series of well-calculated baby steps.

First, the Rutherfords sold their 6,000 square-foot home in Parker and moved into a rental townhouse they owned in the same town. The new place was less than one-third the size (1,800 square feet).

    “To us, physical clutter equaled mental clutter.”

Next came the major downsizing tasks.





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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY NOV. 28TH 2019


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11/ 24/19




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If, after reading the above headline, you thought the topic for discussion today would contain some information on what, as an older person, you should be wearing, you have come to the wrong place. I know nothing about fashion or how one should dress. What I know about haute couture would fit nicely in a pair of Manolo Blahnick’s.* But what I know (based entirely upon observation) is that when one reaches a certain age, any fashion sense they had disappears. And, it vanishes to a point that one might ask “What the heck were they thinking when they put THAT on?”

Before I go any further, I must recuse myself from commenting on anything women wear. As little as I know about the way old men dress, I know less about what older ladies like to wear. However (again based solely on what I have noticed) women are only slightly more aware of how they look than men. And, that ain’t much.

There is however, a theme that runs through much of senior attire. Comfort is of the utmost importance and the hell with color coordination. This “throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may” attitude with what one wears I would usually find refreshing. Unfortunately, when it come to seniors, this supposed lack of style only provides ammunition for the many anti-senior ageists who like to find fault with and make fun of old people any time they can. And, when it comes to senior fashion, they might be correct. We, seniors, as a group dress ridiculous. For many, all that is needed to complete the "look” is some clown makeup and a fright wig.

Here, at the ALF, the men’s uniform of the day, leans toward outfits last seen worn by 1970s organized crime figures. This consists primarily of ‘warm-up’ pants and tops made of a velour-type material adorned with a stripe down the side of the pant leg and the words “Adidas” emblazoned on the front, back, sides or bottom (or all three) of the garment. Sometimes, the tops match the bottoms, but more often not. Track or running shoes round out the outfit although none of the old dudes wearing these clothes either run or workout. And that’s the good part. Dressing  that way requires some thought. Most of the old dudes around here never go that far. In fact, they most likely have no actual wardrobe plans for the day. For many, “If it was good enough to wear yesterday, it’s still okay to wear today.”

While I have no problem with dressing comfortably (to do otherwise would border on the insane), I believe comfort should never infringe on good taste. Unfortunately, most of my fellow residents have lost the meaning of good taste.

A statement made by historian Linda Przybyszewski** may explain some of why this may not be entirely old folks fault:

“I’m afraid it is unfortunately part of a general contempt for older women that society picked up — along with a contempt for older people in general — in the 1960s. You have this enormous group of young people setting trends by themselves when they reached adulthood. They consciously rejected what older people were doing for good reasons and some not good reasons. [One] not good reason: The basic vision of old people as stupid.”

Could it be the reason the elderly dress so poorly is that they are rebelling against society just as they did when they were young? LOL! That's nonsense. Old people dress the way they do because fashion, style, setting trends or being at the forefront of anything no longer has any meaning for them. They (we) couldn’t care less. If they (the kids) want to wear shorts that end somewhere above the ankle, or a football jersey three times the proper size or a pair of camouflaged pants worn 10 inches below the Jockey shorts, that’s just fine, but not me. I prefer to wear “timeless” clothes. Something I do for a few reasons.

When deciding on a daily wardrobe I realize that I am an adult. And that wearing clothes years too young for me will not restore my youth. Actually, it does the opposite. It draws attention to exactly what I don’t need. And that is to have others look upon me as a pathetic old fool grasping at anything to show that I am still “hip” and “with it.”

My apparel also has a practical side. One drawn from economics rather than style. Truthfully, I can’t afford to buy things based on what’s new. I need clothes that can be worn in any casual situation without being slovenly or unkempt. Therefore, I have a wardrobe consisting mostly of chino’s or “Dockers” style pants and jeans. This allows me to wear either a traditional top (button-down oxford shirt) or something more casual like a polo shirt or T-shirt. And, if purchased in a few different shades, can be matched and mixed in dozens of configurations so as to give the impression that I have more clothes than I actually do. Something women have known ho to do for centuries.

An article in nhmagazine.com by Lynne Snierson*** takes a similar approach:

“If you want to stay fashionable after 50, “aging rock star” isn’t a good look.”

“I think there are better directions to go,” says a diplomatic Pat Lonergan, the owner of Inside Out, a Portsmouth boutique carrying the latest styles in designer clothes and accessories for men and women.

Fashion and design go hand-in-glove, especially for senior citizens. At this stage of life, expressing and presenting yourself with panache is all about putting contemporary pieces you like together, and making them look chic without being too trendy or over the top, comfortable without being messy or sloppy, and attractive without being too flashy or overtly sexy.”

“You can still be edgy and have a youthful appearance to your style,” says Lonergan. “Instead of wearing all the trends on top of each other, pick one trend that really suits you and then have more classic lines around that trend. That look is sophisticated, progressive and young.”

I wish more seniors would abide by those suggestions. It would give ageists less to talk about. Dressing sanely and appropriately would go a long way in bringing seniors into the mainstream of society instead of having them segregate us into a unique entity and dealt with as a group of people whose agenda conflicts with that of mainstream America. …………
 
*Manolo Blahnik is a manufacturer of high-end ladies shoes which typically cost around $1000 a pair. I only know the name because Carrie Bradshaw (a character in the popular TV series, Sex In The City) thinks they are terrific.
**source: https://www.racked.com/2017/1/18/14112366/dressing-like-an-adult-sophistication
***Source: https://www.nhmagazine.com/advice-for-seniors-on-updating-your-wardrobe/


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3 Steps to Take If Your
Social Security Number Is Stolen


Following the major security breach at Equifax, many Americans are more worried than ever about their Social Security numbers being used to commit identity theft. Over 143 million Americans have potentially had their sensitive personal information exposed, and this is just one of dozens of major cyber-security incidents in recent years.

In addition to a breach, your Social Security number could also be stolen from documents in your mailbox, your trash can or by someone fraudulently posing as a representative of a trusted institution. If you believe that your Social Security number has been stolen, here are three things you can do to protect yourself:

1.Report the identity theft to the responsible government agencies.

2.Request a credit freeze with each of the three major consumer credit bureaus.

3.Contact the fraud department of any company where you suspect a fraudulent use of your Social Security number has occurred.

Read more >>    CLICK HERE


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Cruel jokes about the old are everywhere.
When will we face our ageism epidemic?

By Francine Prose


Watching Saturday Night Live over the past few seasons, I’ve noticed the increasing number and frequency of jokes about old people: the feebleness of the aging brain, the repulsiveness of the elderly body, particularly the elderly female body.

Partly because no one, it seems, is ever “called out” for ageism – I can’t think of one public figure who has been “cancelled” for mocking the aged – I persuaded myself that, as an older person, I was being hypersensitive. But then, this past weekend, on the Weekend Update segment, the cast member Micheal Che told a series of jokes about a report that a Chinese woman in her 60s had given birth. The labor, Che noted, had involved an unusual amount of “friction” and (I may be slightly misquoting here) the delivery had been like “removing a penny from a wad of chewing gum”. Moreover, he added, the new mother could nurse simply by leaning over the crib. The audience laughed. I winced. My husband said: “Ouch.”

I tried to think of another demographic – Asians? African Americans? Women? Members of the LGBT community? – who would have been the object of humor quite so cruel, so barbed, so personal. But it’s not only in the sphere of comedy, and on network TV, that the old are discussed in ways that would never be tolerated by (or about) another group.


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The senior citizens running for president
and how they try to look younger

By Roxanne Roberts

Can we talk about Joe Biden’s face? And Bernie Sanders’ heart attack? And Elizabeth Warren’s honey blonde hair? And Donald Trump’s unnaturally orange hue?

Can we talk about the senior citizens running for president?

Trump and three leading Democratic challengers are all septuagenarians, and there’s not enough hair dye or spray tan in the world to cover up that fact. They may be smart; they may be experienced but – sorry, boomers – 70 is not the new 50.

The median age for presidents at the time of their inauguration is 55. Trump was the oldest when sworn in at age 70.

Ronald Reagan was 69 and George Washington just 57.

That makes the advanced age of the top 2020 candidates historic: If elected, Warren would be 71 at her inauguration. Biden would be 78, Sanders 79, and Trump would begin a second term at age 74.

How much of this is about chronological age, and how much is the perception of age? Psychologists say it’s really about first impressions, a quick and often subconscious evaluation of a candidate’s health, strength and competence.



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What happens when your healthcare data
is stolen or held for ransom?
It depends

By Veronica Combs

Hospitals are reluctant to disclose attacks, and regulations don't offer clear advice about what to tell patients.

Cyber attacks on doctor's offices and hospitals are on the rise. Healthcare records are worth much more than a credit card number or Social Security number-- $250 per record vs. $5.40 for a number.

In the 2019 Travelers Risk Index, healthcare executives named cybersecurity as a top concern. The survey also found that executives are taking some steps to defend against these attacks: About half of the people surveyed had purchased cyber insurance and had written a business continuity plan. Only 34% have simulated a cyber breach to identify areas of system vulnerability.

Deciding whether to pay the ransom in a ransomware attack is only the first big decision to make. In the immediate aftermath of an attack, healthcare executives have to determine how state and federal rules apply to the data breach. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides some guidance and each state has its own set of laws. 

Continue reading >> https://www.techrepublic.com/article/what-happens-when-your-healthcare-data-is-stolen-or-held-for-ransom-it-depends/


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NEXT BLOG MONDAY NOV. 25TH 2019


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11/20/19




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Transitioning from the comparative warmth of my room, where I spent the night wedged between cotton sheets and a down comforter to a blast of cold air was, to say the least, attention-getting. And, despite the bright colors of the trees and the rows of white, purple and red chrysanthemums which border the edge of our driveway, there was no doubt winter was on its way. And I, as most of the old folks around here, are not looking forward to it.

Winter, to the elderly, is more than just freezing temperatures, icy sidewalks and numb fingers and toes. Winter also becomes a harbinger of what is coming, and to become, of all of us.
 
Singer/song writer Bobby Goldsboro’s lyrics…
 
“But in the autumn of my years I noticed the tears
And I knew that our life was in the past
Though I tried to pretend, I knew it was the end
For the autumn of my life had come at last.”
 
… says much about how we view the time-line of our lives. And, if autumn with all its beauty, signifies a slowing down, winter, to old folks, can mean only one thing. The end.

Is this why retired people move to places like Florida or Arizona? Does the warm weather mask the fact that what seniors are looking for is not just warmer weather but a way to put off the inevitable? Conversely, does that make those of us who don’t want to move to warmer climates, martyrs to the ravages of old age and crusaders against death? Probably not. But we can’t ignore the analogy.

Death aside, winter for me means not being able to enjoy what living in a suburban area has to offer. Not to sit outside and bask in the morning sun and soak up some natural vitamin D has a deleterious effect on my mood. I find myself more sullen and introverted than normal. I don’t enjoy taking part in many of the activities available to us. And now, since I no longer drive or even have ready access to transportation, winter becomes even more of a detriment to my psyche than ever. Sometimes, just being able to go to a mall or take the train to the city to enjoy the holiday atmosphere can help shake off the blues. But alas, transportation options for older Americans are limited.

There are other issues older people have with winter. Keeping warm being primary. 

According to health.gov.il,…

“At an older age and among the elderly, the danger of exposure to cold and of hypothermia is particularly high, and even with a mild drop in environmental temperature, there is already a risk of reduced body temperature.”

The law, in our state, says the landlord (or management) must supply a building with heat by October 15th. Fortunately, our management here at the ALF, uses the outside temperature as a guide rather than the rules. Therefore, the chance for any of us becoming hypothermic is non-existent. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel the cold.*

The danger presented by the cold to older adults is elevated due to a combination of bodily (physiological) and behavioral factors:

  1. Environmental cold is felt less by the elderly, and their ability to control and regulate body temperature is reduced.
  2. Elderly persons with conditions of chronic illness and multiple medications are more vulnerable to the cold.
  3. Elderly persons with poor nutrition are more vulnerable to the cold.
  4. The elderly tend to drink too little and to dehydrate even in the winter.
  5. The elderly are liable to remain inactive at home, dressed inappropriately for the weather.
  6. There is sometimes a tendency to heat the home less in order to save heating costs.

In addition:

The more personal and environmental risk factors the elderly person has, the greater the risk. It is therefore important to take the following precautions …

  1. Proper heating and avoiding exposure to the cold.
  2. Maintaining good health habits - drinking, eating and physical exercise.
  3. Consulting with the family physician regarding precautions to be taken for persons with chronic illness and/or being treated with sleeping tablets or tranquilizers.
  4. Seeking medical treatment if hypothermia is suspected.
  5. The level of caution needs to be redoubled in respect of elderly persons living alone.

The ideal indoor temperature for seniors is 68 to 75 degrees (20 to 24 Celsius). Additionally, room air should be kept sufficiently humid. Avoid air that is too dry and uncomfortable for breathing, while at the same time avoiding air that is too humid that could cause illness. 
To be fair, I don’t despise winter as much as I once did. This is probably because most of the things that one has to do to prepare for winter are no longer factors for me. If you are a homeowner, you know what I mean. 

The sealing-up of warmth-robbing cracks and spaces around windows and doors. The covering up of outdoor furniture. Draining outdoor pipes to keep them from freezing. Not to mention laying in a supply of ice-melting salt, shovels, ice scrapers, mittens, long Johns, wool hats and scarves and a liberal amount of holiday “cheer” for when those unexpected guests drop by. Fortunately, I don’t have to do any of this anymore. I can just stay in the virtually winter-proof environment of the ALF and watch other folks contend with the elements. It’s something else to be grateful for. 

As the song says…

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”

 
I think I’ll do just that.…………………………………………………………………………….
 

*source: https://www.health.gov.il/English/Topics/SeniorHealth/HealthPromo/Pages/coldness.aspx


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Social Security: Secrets, Myths and Misconceptions

Social Security isn’t the easiest thing in the world to understand. There are endless rules, and it seems like every rule has either an exception or so many options that it’s hard to get a grasp on what’s really going on. It no surprise, then, that myths, misconceptions and secrets surrounding Social Security have all developed over the years. The result: It’s incredibly easy to be completely misinformed when it comes to Social Security.

And that’s a major problem as many people rely on their Social Security benefits to pay for at least some of their basic living expenses. Here are six of the most common Social Security myths that persist today in America:

1. Misconception: You Have to Claim Your Benefits at Age 62

2. Myth: Married People Who Never Worked Are Not Eligible

3. Myth: You’ll Never Get Out of the System What You Put In

4. Secret: Claiming Early Means Your Benefit is Lower Only Until Full Retirement Age

5. Myth: Your Ex Can Sabotage Your Benefits

6. Misconception: Your Social Security Account is Like a Bank Account




 
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A bold plan to strengthen and improve
Social Security is what America needs

by Dean Baker

The Social Security 2100 Act proposed by Connecticut Representative John Larson is getting closer to being passed by the House of Representatives. It now has more than 200 co-sponsors. If it were to be approved and become law, it would both improve the program’s benefit structure and its financial picture.

The biggest item on the benefit side is that it guarantees a benefit of at least 125 percent of the poverty level for anyone who has worked for at least 30 years. The logic here is straightforward; we should be able to ensure that anyone who has put in a full lifetime of work will not be in poverty in their retirement years.

The second big change on the benefit side is that it changes the cost-of-living formula for adjusting benefits by tying it to an index of consumption items purchased by the elderly rather than the overall Consumer Price Index. The inflation adjustment for Social Security benefits has long been a major issue, with many politicians wanting to change the formula to reduce benefits.



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How to Eat Alone (and Like It)
By Jess McHugh


Table for one? It’s not as bad as it sounds. Here’s how to dine by yourself and enjoy every bite.

When the ancient Roman politician Lucius Lucullus noticed his night’s menu looking dull, he gave instructions to his cook to prepare a lavish, multiple-course feast. When the cook asked what type of guests to expect, he responded with indignation: “Dost thou not know that today Lucullus dines with Lucullus?”

For Lucullus, meals were more than a social exercise: They were a ritual in personal pleasure. Greek dignitaries, for instance, described their shame at how much money Lucullus had spent on a dinner for them. “Some of this expense, my Grecian friends, is indeed on your account; most of it, however, is on account of Lucullus,” he said.

For those of us who never refer to ourselves in the third person and often eat a cold egg roll standing over the sink for dinner, Lucullus’s attitude can feel more than a little foreign. Somehow all of the romance of food, drink and their various joys seems to go out the window when we go from eating with another person to dining with ourselves. And much of the advice available on eating alone amounts to “bring a book” (I have several hamburger-stained books that attest to this being a bad idea). Yet, there is a freedom in eating alone, even if we need a little help to relish in it: no discussions of what we should order, no small talk, no sharing.



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Assisted living shouldn't mean losing independence

Dear Carol: My mom, 78, has some physical disabilities because of severe arthritis. Even so, she’s fully able to manage the two medications that she takes. She can also fix the simple meals that she enjoys and entertain herself with music, TV and reading. She needs some assistance, but we’re skeptical of assisted living because her friend, also well able to take care of her immediate needs, got burned.

This friend liked living in her apartment except that the facility mandated taking over her medications and that she attend a certain number of meals. Their requirements made her angry and miserable. I understand that facilities have rules, but this seems inflexible. Mom’s always found being around a lot of people stressful. She needs help with showering as well as cleaning, but she won’t even try assisted living because of her friend’s experience. How do we help her stay safe but not take away her independence? — MS.

Dear MS: Thank you for bringing this important topic to our attention. Your mom seems to be an example of an older adult who’s developed physical problems yet remains clear in both the decision-making process and working memory. Assisted living might still be an option, but not the only one.

Continue reading >> https://www.grandforksherald.com/lifestyle/family/4760228-Bursack-Assisted-living-shouldnt-mean-losing-independence


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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY NOV. 21st 2019


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11/17/19


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Guess where I went yesterday. In one of my rare ventures outside the confines of the ALF, they took a group of us residents on a trip to a store whose name belies what’s inside. The Christmas Tree Shop goes far beyond its namesake. To be truthful, there aren’t many trees sold there at all. Except for a few of pre-decorated plastic trees, the leafy beauties hardly exist. But they have everything else Christmas.
 
A first-time visitor to the store might be a wee bit overwhelmed by all the stuff one can buy to decorate their homes for the holiday. From giant wreathes, candy canes, LED candles, and everything Santa Claus, this place has it all if, that is, Christmas is your thing. For a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, not so much. While, the meaning of Christmas has a message for all (Peace on earth and goodwill to all) the glitzy trappings turns me off. Truthfully, the red/green color combination makes me ill. So why, you say, did I agree to go on this excursion? It wasn’t for the tinsel or fake snow.

At this point it is important for you to know of my sometimes peculiar food choices. Unlike many of my fellow seniors whose snacking preferences are usually of the sweet variety*, my tastebuds skew more to the salty/spicy variety. And, I will go to the ends of the earth to satisfy those cravings. Therefore, when the opportunity to go to the one place I know of where they sell a giant stick of salty, spicy pepperoni, I could not resist.**

I have to admit my anxiety level heightened somewhat as the twenty passenger bus approached the giant strip mall on one of Hartsdale’s main streets. Do they still carry the item? How long would it take to find? (We only had about two hours to shop). And, how much would it cost? All legitimate concerns., I had come for only one thing.

As we disembarked from the bus (a process that took longer than unloading the QE2) I could see the glint in my fellow passengers' eyes as they gazed upon the myriad variety of colorful Christmas fare. I love watching non-Jewish adults at Christmas time. I could see every Christmas they ever spent in their faces. They transport themselves back to their childhood. A time before all the aches and pains. The endless doctor’s visits and the endless pills, salves, injections and procedures that have become their lives. The bus wasn’t just a bus. It was a time machine as well.

While most of our group spread out to all four corners of the store I, like a garlic seeking guided missile, headed to the back of the store where I knew I would find the 1lb. hunk of spicy porcine and bovine smokey goodness. I was not disappointed. There, located just below overstuffed casings of summer sausage was what I was looking for. A baseball bat sized stick of Bridgford Old World Quality Pepperoni. The salami god had smiled down upon me. I had found what I wanted, and, I found it fast. So fast, that I wondered what I would do with the rest of the nearly two hours we had left. Not interested in plastic “silver” bells, mirror balls, various elves, reindeer, festive stockings etc., I decided to explore the rest of the food section. 

Like most specialty food sections, The Christmas Tree Shop’s shelves were stocked with items you would never ordinarily buy as part of your regular food shopping. Things such as an eight-bottle-assortment of hot sauce. A swimming pool size container of caramel popcorn. Pennetone packed in a pyramid-shaped box. Or, a kit that allows you to make a house out of Oreo’s. I passed on those but purchased a bottle of Olive Garden Italian salad dressing and a bag of ginger flavored hard candies for medicinal use only. My shopping was complete, with an hour remaining. What to do. What to do. My stomach made that decision for me. 

You’ve got to love strip malls. The good ones have a variety of useful businesses. And this one was no exception. A deli, a Chinese restaurant, a burger joint and the most New York of all New York eateries, a by-the-slice pizza parlor. It was the latter which won my favor. Two slices of cheesy, tomatoey, thin-crusted pizza later, it was time to board the bus for home. 

It was a good trip on many levels. It gave me an opportunity to get away from the confines of an often boring facility and explore the real world. Something many people take for granted. Also, I could purchase something which I could not get elsewhere. And, as silly as a 1lb stick of overly spiced meat may be, to me it was, in a smaller way, of feeling normal again. Or at least as normal as someone who would eat a giant pepperoni could be. ……………………………………………


*https://www.homecareassistancemesa.com/sugar-cravings-in-aging-adults/

"Many seniors have a sweet tooth. Even those who never craved sweets before often find themselves snacking on candy as they age. There are several reasons for this phenomenon, and there are also several healthy alternatives that may prove effective.
Alterations in food preference are often caused by physiological changes. As the body changes, so does the average senior’s ability to perceive and appreciate varied flavors. Young adults usually have between 10,000 and 15,000 taste buds, which allow them to detect different types of tastes, such as salty, sour, bitter, and sweet. By the time seniors reach age 70, the number of taste buds can decrease by more than 60 percent, which impacts the ability to detect flavors, and food may start to taste bland or boring."

** While the item is available online, the cost, which includes a hefty delivery charge, is prohibitive to someone who is on a fixed income.



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How do people pay for senior living, and
how can you keep costs affordable?


Current assets and income are what most people use to pay for senior living, just as they would pay for expenses staying in their current home: savings, pension or retirement plan funds, social security and annuities. Like Joyce, one big source of funds comes from the sale of their current home.

Long-term care insurance is a possible source for those with chronic disability or illness, if they have a policy. Rules regarding benefits and eligibility vary per state and policy.

Veterans’ benefits, through the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension, can help veterans and spouses offset costs of long-term care and/or assisted living at some communities.

Selling or cashing out a life insurance policy may be one route for those who no longer need life insurance. There are many options, so you should shop around. Consult your tax, financial and legal advisors to determine the implications of this option.




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Can a life insurance policy help with long-term care?


Q. I’m looking at long-term care policies but they’re so expensive. I’m wondering if a long-term care rider on a life insurance policy would be more affordable - but will it give me enough coverage? How can I decide?

                                     — Still working

A. It’s a great question, and we’re glad to see you’re thinking ahead about future care.

Long-term care (LTC) planning is a very hot topic today. That is partially driven by the fact that the conventional LTC insurance market is imploding, said Ed Gaelick, a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant with PSI Consultants in Glen Rock.

“Many of the biggest insurance companies have either suspended the sale of their LTC insurance products, pulled out of the market entirely or limited their benefits to be much leaner; mostly a result of poor claim experience,” Gaelick said. “That means there are less choices to safeguard your assets and protect the quality of life for you and your family.”



Up-sizing In Retirement: Going Against The Grain
By Elizabeth Alterman

When Ruth Brod retired from her job as a probation officer in 2004, she and her retired husband, Al, decided to sell their 1,600-square-foot house in New Hyde Park, N.Y. and move into a 2,800-square-foot house in Delray Beach, Fla. Having ample room to accommodate visiting friends and family was only part of the reason the couple decided to upsize in retirement.

“The home prices had risen dramatically in the area where I lived, so I was able to afford to buy a nicer home,” Ruth explains. “I could’ve bought something just fine for half the price. But when you’ve worked hard all these years, it’s nice to be comfortable.”

The Brods’ spacious ranch on a quiet cul-de-sac is part of a vibrant 55-and-up community which has given them a chance to make new friends and embrace a range of activities there.




OK, Boomer: Are Baby Boomers Preventing
The Upward Mobility Of Younger Employees?

By Jack Kelly

“OK, Boomer” has become the go-to ad hominem attack on people 55 years and older. It's become a socially acceptable meme for younger generations to blame all of the evils and problems of society on a certain group of people.

We know that it's not right nor is it fair to target one class of people and make wild generalizations about everyone that falls into that group. While it feels good to rage and get it out of your system, the blame game on Boomers is not as simple as it seems.

The current trend of anti-Boomer anger centers on the accusation that Baby Boomers have taken all the good jobs. They refuse to surrender their job privilege and remain gainfully employed, despite the entreaties of younger workers begging for a chance to advance. The Millennials, Generation-Z and Gen-Xers say they’re stuck in their jobs and can’t advance because the Boomers just won’t leave. According to a recent USA TODAY/LinkedIn survey of 1,019 working professionals, 41% of Millennials—and 30% of all adults—reported that it's difficult to advance within their fields because Boomers are waiting longer to retire.




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Facebook is trying to make it easier to get in touch with people over Messenger, so it's rolling out a number of new ways to start chatting. As with all Facebook accounts, all Messenger accounts will now have dedicated links that people can visit to start a chat — they'll all be located at m.me/[username]. Facebook is also rolling out what it calls Messenger Codes, which are Messenger's equivalent to Snapchat's snapcodes. They look pretty neat: Messenger Codes are just a series of dots and dashes circling around your profile photo. When someone scans one with their camera, it'll presumably add that person as a contact.

read more >> https://www.theverge.com/2016/4/7/11383958/facebook-messenger-codes-announced-900m-mau


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