Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2022






100 questions to ask to get
To know someone better

By Katelyn Chef


W
hen we were younger, making new friends was simply a part of everyday life. However, it can be more challenging as an adult, especially when you factor in work stresses, cross-country moves and major life changes.

No matter if you’re looking for love, traveling somewhere new or trying to widen your social circle, the key to building meaningful connections is knowing the right questions to ask.

Hobbies and pop culture (think: books, movies, music and TV shows) are a good starting point since they are something we can all bond over, according to Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author.




Our Senior Ladies and Hair Loss
By M.L. Holly


When I was in my twenties, it never occurred to me that I would be talking about losing my hair. However, in my sixties, hair loss is my reality.

I am a shower person. There is nothing like standing under the sprinkling of water at the perfect temperature while washing my hair. Sometime last year, during my usual amazing spa shower and hair washing, I noticed too much hair in the drain catcher.

Find out which CBD product is best for you

Once I began to dry my hair, I realized that not only was it coming out as I washed it, but it was also coming out in my comb and my hands. Not just a little hair, it was a handful. I could not believe how much of my crown ended in the garbage. By the time I was finished and looked at the hair that was no longer attached to my scalp, I had some concerns. However, I decided not to let them turn into panic.




The 6 Best Herbs to
Plant for Beginners

By Dana Schulz

Compared to big, beautiful houseplants or flowering outdoor garden beds, herbs can feel like child's play. But the truth is that growing herbs takes just as much finesse, and they're not all created equal. If you're thinking of starting your own herb garden—whether inside on your windowsill or in the backyard—we've spoken to plant and garden experts about which herbs are the best for beginners. Read on to learn what makes them easy to care for, and how you can best keep them flourishing.

You don't have to love pizza and pasta to grow basil—though it certainly doesn't hurt! The Italian staple is considered one of the most low-maintenance herbs. "Basil's easy to care for and grow because it tolerates summer heat, it produces a ton of leaves, and it'll keep producing as long as you keep it pruned," says John Thomas, founder of Backyard Garden Geek.

Basil does well in a pot or the ground, but either way, it likes moist soil and requires about one inch of water per week, according to Daniel Powers, founder of The Botanical Institute. Of course, if you've planted outside, super-hot weeks may warrant a little extra water. "If you plan on growing basil in a pot, make sure that it gets plenty of sun," Powers says.




St. John’s Researcher Studying Sharks
For Clues to Cure Alzheimer’s,
Parkinson’s Diseases



Jai Dwivedi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of Laboratory Instruction in the Department of Biological Sciences at St. John’s University, has been fascinated by sharks since childhood—and that fascination has led him to research the species for clues to curing two vexing human conditions: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds, Dr. Dwivedi said. Sharks and stingrays, closely related, have the unique ability to replace deteriorating brain-cell neurons. Among humans, who are unable to replace such neurons, brain cell deterioration is thought to contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

“We study sharks because of what they can teach us,” said Dr. Dwivedi, who received his doctorate in biology from St. John’s in 2005. “If you want to know what might happen to humans in the future, why not study a species that has inhabited the planet largely unchanged for one million years?”



 





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

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

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


‘Grandfluencers’ Are Sharing
A New Vision of Old Age

By Charley Locke

Robert Reeves, 78, spends most days lounging by the pool, taking in the low-desert sun with his friends and neighbors. The four of them talk about what’s new — recovery from a recent corrective foot surgery, some chronic inflammation issues — and record videos for social media, where they’ve amassed millions of followers as the Old Gays.

On a blistering afternoon earlier this month, Jessay Martin, 68, headed across the street for the usual poolside confab, stopping to grab a Bud Light Seltzer Pineapple from the fridge on his way out to the patio. There, he sat down in a stuffed armchair beside a well-endowed wooden sculpture of the male form and rubbed sunscreen into his bald pate as the group discussed the day’s video concept: an outfit transformation set to the rapper Jack Harlow’s single “First Class.”

“I need to wear my pretty underwear for this,” Mr. Martin said. “I need to have my ruffles on my rump.”

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


What are my options for
Financing long-term care?



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

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

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





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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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



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



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

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

As a dementia nurse with more than three decades of experience, I know it’s something often said as a way of deflecting conversation about what may well be inevitable. And I understand the sentiment.

No grown-up likes the thought that, one day, we will lose our faculties; that we will need someone to help us with the most basic of tasks, from washing and dressing to eating and even going to the loo. Yet most of us will need to be cared for at some point, probably as we reach the later stages of life, whether by a family member or professional carers.



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

By Sandee LaMotte

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

By Bill McKibben


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

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

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



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



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

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

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



Reasons You Should Hire a
Professional Home Care Service

By Sarah Lowe


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

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

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

More Independence

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




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

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

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

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE


Majority of Aging Adults Say
They’re Not Moving

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

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

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

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



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

By Elizabeth Bauer

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




NEXT BLOG MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-





Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2022









7 changes Americans are willing to make
To fix Social Security —
Including one with 'overwhelming bipartisan support'

By Lorie Konish



There are just 13 years before Social Security may not be able to pay full benefits, according to a recent annual report from the program’s trustees.

In 2035, just 80% of benefits will be payable if Congress doesn’t fix the program sooner.

Shoring up the program will generally mean raising taxes, cutting benefits or a combination of both. Democrats have floated several proposals to increase benefits and raise taxes, including one House bill they hope to bring up for a vote this year. Republicans have expressed their opposition to their plans.




Over 60? Think of Your Stage,
Not Your Age

By Richard Eisenberg



Stanford researcher Susan Wilner Golden says people should be assessed based on what they do rather than how old they are

There's a serious problem in America, says longevity expert Susan Wilner Golden, in the way many of us — and businesses — view people over 60: as a monolithic group.

In her new book, "Stage (Not Age)," Golden makes a case that chronological age no longer defines us, especially in the second half of life. It's the stage of life we're in that's most important. A 50-year-old and a 75-year-old, Golden says, may well be in the same stage of life, what she calls the "reinvention stage."

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


Nursing Homes Must Exercise Caution
When Assisting Residents With
Medicare Advantage Changes



D
espite ample and specific guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) dating back to 2015 regarding the measures nursing homes should take when assisting residents with Medicare Advantage (“MA”) disenrollment, on June 29, 2022, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced a $7.85 million settlement with a Bronx nursing home and its administrative support contractor for switching a number of residents’ coverage from MA to Original Medicare, often without those residents’ knowledge or consent. The conduct cited in the settlement occurred from 2016 to 2019.

Under 42 C.F.R. § 422.62(a)(4), eligible institutionalized individuals “at any time may elect an MA plan or change their election from an MA plan to Original Medicare, to a different MA plan, or from Original Medicare to an MA plan.” Moreover, they generally are not limited as to the number of changes they choose to make. However, applicable regulations and guidance make clear that any change in coverage should be initiated by the Medicare beneficiary or the beneficiary’s authorized representative.

As part of the settlement, the defendants in the case — TCPRNC, LLC d/b/a Plaza Rehab and Nursing Center (“Plaza”), and Citadel Consulting Group LLC d/b/a Citadel Care Centers LLC (“Citadel”) — admitted, acknowledged, and accepted responsibility for the following:



Older Americans ready for fall
COVID-19 boosters, poll finds

By Adam Barnes


Most older adults who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will likely get an updated booster shot when they are available this fall.  

Overall, 61 percent of adults over 50 are very likely to do so, according to a new national survey from the University of Michigan.

The number is higher among particularly vulnerable groups as 68 percent, respectively, of people over 65, Black adults over 50 and people with low incomes are very likely to get a COVID-19 booster.  





Myths About Retirement
Financial Planning


Planning for retirement is important to ensure you have enough financial resources to enjoy yourself in retirement. However, there's a lot of uncertainty about how much you need to save and how you should be saving, leading to an increase in myths about retirement financial planning. Here are just a few of the most common myths that you should look out for as well as their actual realities.


Myth: You Need to Save X Number of Dollars Before You Retire

We all have varying needs and wants which can affect our retirement plans. That's why saying that you need to hit a specific dollar amount before retiring can be too arbitrary. If you're seeking to live modestly in retirement, your annual expenses are going to be much lower than someone who wishes to live more extravagantly. You will need to determine your retirement living goals and work toward saving enough to maintain the lifestyle you desire which is why a specific dollar amount doesn't fit everyone's requirements.   

Here's how you can start determining your retirement financial goals — decide what type of retirement life you want to have. Is it enjoying several cruises? Is it golfing daily? Is it flying frequently to visit your family? Or is it settling into a retirement community and enjoying the amenities, activities, and dining already provided at no extra expense? Start with your retirement plans before determining how much you need to save to make it happen.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE


From The Editor...



In another life, I must have been an explorer. Before circumstances put me in the situation, I find myself in today, nothing made me happier than getting in my car, pointing its nose in a direction away from home and driving somewhere I’d never been before. I could find myself in places like an Amish farm in Pennsylvania or a Shaker colony in Massachusetts. Many times, I would visit historic sites like Valley Forge or Gettysburg. One of my favorites were the homes of former presidents like FDR’s place in Hyde Park, NY, and the nearby home of Samuel B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph. Or. more often than not I would drive with no particular destination in mind and wind up near Chesapeake Bay, Maryland enjoying the best crab cakes I ever ate. Food is a very important part of exploring and sampling the local fare is part of the adventure. And, for those times when I didn’t feel like driving or I was over-extended on my credit card, I would explore closer to home. And all it cost me was the price of a subway ride.

A 20-minute subway ride would put me in the heart of one of the best places to explore in the world. New York City. And, while many don’t think of NYC as a great vacation spot, it still offers what most people want when they travel, excitement and adventure. But why would a born and bred native want to spend his free time in a place he knows well? The truth is, most New Yorkers see very little of what the city offers. Ask a group of native New Yorkers if they have ever been to the top of the Empire State Building or The Statue of Liberty or the United Nations, and they will tell you no. To be truthful, most New Yorkers just want to get out of the city as fast as possible after work and rarely take advantage of what out-of-towner’s see as legendary. So, when I retired and finally had time to do what I wanted, one of those to-do things on my list was to become a tourist in my own city. And, while viewing all the places in the guidebooks and finding them interesting and educational, the best thing about being a tourist in NYC is watching other tourists. They bring a new perspective to what we find mundane. That’s what I miss most now. I still have the urge to explore, and the fact I no longer have the means and the fortitude to do it makes me sad. Especially now.

My last trip to the city (and my first since 2012) was short and purposeful. All I got to see was some new apartment buildings along Manhattan’s East Side and the inside of the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn. I longed to be able to get out of the van they sent for me and walk around. But even if I could somehow get the driver to stop, it would be in vain. My long-distance walking days are over. Someday, when I win the lottery, I’ll hire a car and driver and I will go to all the places in the city I have never seen. And, for one day, I’ll be a tourist again………………
 
 





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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-







Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2022







Are senior citizens the future
Of smart technology?

By Robert Powell

Most of the current technology available is not designed with older aging adults in mind as the potential end user.

Keren Etkin, author of The AgeTech Revolution and publisher of The Gerontechnologist blog, is working to change all that. And she’s hopeful. In fact, she envisions a world in which technology, in the not-too-distant future, will take into account older adults in the design process as well as solve some of the biggest challenges in aging, including housing, transportation, social isolation and loneliness.

“Developing technology to tackle the challenges of aging is the single most important opportunity of the next decade,” she wrote in her book.




New prostate treatment getting patients
Home on the same day



A new prostate treatment at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) is getting patients home faster than ever and slashing waiting times.

The ‘Rezum’ treatment involves injecting steam into an enlarged but benign prostate via the penis, which helps block off the blood vessels that supply the gland, subsequently making it shrink.

The new procedure is minimally invasive and allows patients to go home on the same day with a catheter that will can removed after just a week, meaning the patient’s recovery time is much quicker than more invasive techniques.




Agetech Innovators Take On Fall Prevention,
Mobility Challenges For Older Adults

By Marion Webb


As the global population ages, a crop of tech startups is rising to meet seniors’ needs and improve quality of life, including by keeping them upright and mobile.

AI-enabled technologies that can detect changes in a person’s gait to serve as an early warning system for potential health problems, or assist with mobility issues, in the case of Parkinson’s disease patients for example, are expected to see rising demand.

So are innovations to help reduce risk of falling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people aged 65 and older suffer falls each year, with one in five falls resulting in serious injury – eg, head injuries or hip fractures. This leads to $50bn in medical costs, with Medicare and Medicaid footing 75% of the bill.




Telling your doctor the truth is important in
Receiving the best possible care


Trust has to run both ways in the healthcare setting, but too often, whether accidentally or intentionally, patients are not giving their healthcare providers the full story.

Brandi Giles, a nurse practitioner with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, sees this in a few common circumstances.

Home remedies and supplements

Grandma’s sure-fire cure has its place, but in some cases, it might interfere with a needed medication.

“My master's thesis is on Appalachian folk medicine for this very reason,” Giles said. “What I've seen is that people won't necessarily be fully transparent about what they're taking at home for symptoms or even supplements. They fear that their Western medicine providers or their nurse practitioner, their physician will look down on them or tell them to stop taking it, or they'll think that they don't agree with it.”






Research Links Red Meat Intake,
Gut Microbiome, and Cardiovascular
Disease in Older Adults

By Meng Wang


Does eating more meat—especially red meat and processed meat—raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, and if so, why? Despite intense study, the impact of animal source foods on atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is vigorously debated, and the mechanisms underlying potential effects of animal proteins remain unclear. Understanding the impacts of meat consumption is particularly important in older adults, because they are the most vulnerable to heart disease yet may benefit from intake of protein to offset age-related loss of muscle mass and strength.


Over the years, scientists have investigated the relationship between heart disease and saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, sodium, nitrites, and even high-temperature cooking, but evidence supporting many of these mechanisms has not been robust. Recent evidence suggests that the underlying culprits may include specialized metabolites created by our gut bacteria when we eat meat.

A new study led by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute quantifies the risk of ASCVD associated with meat intake and identifies underlying biologic pathways that may help explain this risk. The study of almost 4,000 U.S. men and women over age 65 shows that higher meat consumption is linked to higher risk of ASCVD—22 percent higher risk for about every 1.1 serving per day—and that about 10 percent of this elevated risk is explained by increased levels of three metabolites produced by gut bacteria from nutrients abundant in meat. Higher risk and interlinkages with gut bacterial metabolites were found for red meat but not poultry, eggs, or fish.




OP-ED





I will not go over all the details of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. For those of you who need a reminder of what the act contains, here’s a brief summary….

 • Enacts historic deficit reduction to fight inflation
• Lowers energy costs, increases cleaner production, and reduces carbon emissions
by roughly 40 percent by 2030
• Allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices and caps out-of-pocket costs to $2,000
• Lowers ACA health care premiums for millions of Americans
• Make biggest corporations and ultra-wealthy pay their fair share
• There are no new taxes on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses –
we are closing tax loopholes and enforcing the tax code.
 
As you can see, there’s something in there for everyone, especially seniors.
While the provisions affecting carbon emissions and lowering energy cost are good for America’s future, there are parts of the act that particularly interest seniors. The “capping” of out-of-pocket costs to $2000 and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices will not only put actual cash back into senior's pockets but make it possible for them to afford previously unaffordable medication. But, like with everything else, you can’t please everybody. There are some that are very unhappy with this act. It doesn’t take a genius to figure who that is.


Let’s get this out of the way. The vote in the Senate should tell you all you need to know about whose interests lie where. Not one Republican voted in favor of the bill, all 50 of them. That led to the Vice President having to break the tie and get the bill passed. Does that mean none of the Republican senators could find something good about it? No. In fact, the bill is what it is (a watered-down version of what Democrats actually wanted) because many Republican senators forced compromises. But when it came time to actually vote, heaven forbid any of them should show some guts and vote for what they knew was right. That’s because a “Yay” vote would be political suicide. They are a bunch of scared-as-shit little boys (and girls) who are afraid of what the kids back home might think. However, there is another reason those guys across the aisle couldn’t support the act. All of them are so dependent on the three groups most affected by the legislation for monetary support that offending them would mean the end to their livelihoods and all those nice, juicy perks that come with it. Of course, I’m speaking of “Big Pharma”, “Big Energy”, and all those disgustingly rich SOB's who don’t enjoy having to pay taxes on their ill-gotten gains.

Big pharma is PO’d because the act allows Medicare to negotiate the price it will allow drug manufacturers to charge its beneficiaries. Not able to charge $800 for a $2.00 pill bothers them. And then there are the folks that think fossil fuel is the bee's knees and that we should depend on it for eternity to power our homes and run our cars because all that nasty carbon in our air is caused by farting cows and not oil or coal. And who can’t but feel sorrow for that top 1% of the population whose net worth is over $10mil? and who now will have to fork over a larger chunk of their loot to the IRS. They thought they had the best government their money could buy. And they would have had it if it weren’t for the fact the Vice President is a Democrat.

The Act is not great, but it’s a start. We’ll never get what is actually needed to combat climate change or affordable health care or any of the programs we need to become a truly great society. That is, not until we decide to stop allowing greed, consumption, and the uncontrolled accumulation of wealth to govern our lives………………







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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2022








Seniors get nothing
By voting for the GOP

BY Juan Williams


I turned 68 years old this year.

I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016 or 2020.

I will not be voting Republican in this year’s midterms.

But polls show people over 65 leaning heavily Republican this November. An Economist/YouGov poll released Aug. 1 gave the GOP a 15-point advantage with this group.

To me, that means seniors will be voting against their own best interest.

Just last week, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Social Security and Medicare should no longer be guaranteed as mandatory for seniors. He favors having them reviewed by Congress every year.




Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities
Give seniors the help they need to age in place

By Star Bradbury


Have you ever heard of a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community? You may not know it yet, but a few local communities and neighborhoods are already trying to get more organized around this excellent idea.
 
Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) are self-help communities that started springing up in 1992 with the founding of Community Without Walls in Princeton, N.J. They are not a formal community, but occur naturally in neighborhoods in small cities and urban areas, and are not cohousing.  

They offer a very popular alternative to moving into a senior living community, as the aim of a NORC is to keep seniors in their own home. A NORC “is a community that has a large proportion of residents over 60 but was not specifically planned or designed to meet the needs of seniors living independently in their homes,” according to Wikipedia.





NORCs: The benefits and drawbacks of
Naturally occurring retirement communities

By Joy Intriago



As time progresses the housing options for seniors increase exponentially. In fact, there are so many choices that sometimes it’s hard to determine which option is best. One of the fastest growing housing selections is NORCs. An acronym for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, a NORC is a place that wasn’t originally intended for the senior community, but houses a large amount of retired and elderly citizens.

Sizable elderly populations such as NORCs come about when people decide to age in place at their homes instead of re-locating. Naturally occurring retirement communities now have the NORC Supportive Services Program (NORC-SSP) in place to assist with healthy aging. Some of the key services the NORC-SSP includes are health care management and prevention programs, education, socialization, recreational and volunteer activities/opportunities, and social work services. Yet, as with any of life’s major choices, there are visible benefits and drawbacks.

Benefit 1: Community Building

Throughout a person’s life, he or she develops relationships with peers, co-workers, neighbors, and community. Just as it is trying for a child to change schools halfway through the semester, it is tough for someone to be taken out of his or her home and re-located. NORCs offer the opportunity to stay with the community one has planted roots in, as well as participate in activities that bring the inhabitants closer together. Socialization is an extremely important aspect of happy living and aging.



Older adults may be more likely than previous
Generations to have multiple health concerns

By Kristen Dalli


A
new study conducted by researchers from Penn State explored how different generations fare when it comes to chronic medical conditions. According to their findings, older adults are more likely than earlier generations to struggle with several health concerns.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were beginning to see declines in life expectancy among middle-aged Americans, a reversal of more than a century long trend,” said researcher Steven Haas. “Furthermore, the past 30 years has seen population health in the U.S. fall behind that in other high-income countries, and our findings suggest that the U.S. is likely to continue to fall further behind our peers.”

Health risks for older adults

The researchers analyzed data from participants over the age of 51 enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study. They were most interested in understanding how many older people have more than one of the nine major types of chronic conditions: cancer, cognitive impairment, heart disease, diabetes, high depressive symptoms, high blood pressure, arthritis, lung disease, and stroke.



Older Generations Are
Reclaiming Rites of Passage

By Paula Span



Harry Oxman’s bar mitzvah at the Society Hill Synagogue in Philadelphia looked much like the traditional Saturday morning event.

He recited the customary prayers before and after the Torah reading. He discussed the meaning of the day’s Torah portion. He carried the sacred scrolls in a procession around the sanctuary. The rabbi offered a blessing; the congregation yelled a congratulatory “Mazel tov!” and tossed pieces of candy to symbolize the sweetness of the days ahead. Lunch followed, with toasts from family members.

The difference was that the celebration, a tradition that normally marks Jewish adulthood for 13-year-olds, occurred in 2019, when Mr. Oxman was 83. Because the 90th Psalm says that age 70 represents a full life span, some congregations offer this rite of passage — often for the second time — to those turning 83.





When admitting a loved one to a nursing home,
Be sure to read what you sign
(because you could be sued later)




When seniors need full-time institutional care, or when the injured or debilitated require similar 24/7 attention, loved ones — and even friends — must take care to read and re-read any documents that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities shove before them to sign during the stressful admissions process.

That’s because the owners and operators of the facilities soon may create a financial nightmare for the unwitting document signers, fueling what is the huge shame of the U.S. health care system: medical debt.

Most regular folks might think that the financial obligations incurred in long-term care facilities rightly belong to the adult residents. They’re 21 and older, and unlike minor kids carted into urgent, or emergency rooms for treatment, the residents typically have, until their situations suddenly shift, been responsible, including legally, for their lives and personal business.









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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2022




©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2022










Bernie Sanders crafts amendment to close
'holes' in Medicare that 'are harming seniors'

By Brett Wilkins


U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will offer an amendment to the Democrats' revived reconciliation bill that would affirmatively answer activists' demands to expand Medicare benefits, the senator's office told Common Dreams on Friday.

"Today, in the wealthiest country in the world, it is shameful that so many of our seniors must go without the dentures, eyeglasses, and hearing aids that they need."

Sanders' office said the Vermont independent will seek a roll call vote on including the overwhelmingly popular proposal to extend dental, hearing, and vision coverage to all Medicare beneficiaries, provisions that were previously stripped from Democrats' once-ambitious $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.




Think You Can't Afford Long-Term Care?
Read This Now

By Mark Henricks


The costs of long-term care for older adults can be significant, and federal Medicare health insurance benefits do not cover most of these costs. Most people who incur costs for long-term care cover them with a combination of personal savings, long-term care insurance and Medicaid, among other sources. Consider working with a financial advisor
 as you find ways to pay for long-term care needs.

Costs of Long-Term Care

The average semi-private room in a nursing home cost $6,844 per month in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. A private room averaged $7,698 per month. Assisted living facilities typically cost $3,628 monthly. Home health aides went for $20.50 an hour and a day in an adult day healthcare center ran $68.

While long-term care insurance can be a good way to pay for long-term care costs, not just anyone can buy a policy. Long-term care insurance companies won’t sell coverage to people already in long-term care or having trouble with activities of daily living. They may also refuse coverage if you have had a stroke or been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, cancer, AIDS or Parkinson’s Disease. Even healthy people over 85 may not be able to get long-term care coverage.




What Everyone Gets Wrong
About the Future of Social Security

By Katie Brockman


Social Security benefits are an integral source of income for millions of retirees, so it pays to understand as much as possible about how the program works.

There are some misconceptions about Social Security that could potentially affect your retirement plans, and there's one thing many people get wrong about the program's future -- especially when it comes to benefit cuts.

How stable is Social Security really?

One of the most common misconceptions about Social Security is that it's going bankrupt. While it is true that the program is on shaky ground, the situation isn't as dire as many people believe.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



Plan Ahead Before Seeking Nursing Home Care:
Avoid Unnecessary Debt for You and Your Family

By Natasha Meruelo


Many senior citizens may need the services of a nursing home or at-home care at some point in their life. You might assume that government assistance or health insurance will step in and cover the cost if you cannot afford these services. Unfortunately, neither health insurance nor Medicare covers long-term care. Because obtaining long-term care insurance can be very expensive, Medicaid could become your only option.

Medicaid coverage is not a given, however. If you have assets or recently transferred assets, Medicaid may determine you do not qualify for coverage until a certain amount of time has passed. If this happens, you and their family can face significant medical bills. If you cannot pay, nursing homes may take you to court to get reimbursed.

What steps can you take to avoid this? First, before applying for Medicaid, get a better understanding of the timelines in your state – known as lookback periods – that can affect your eligibility. Then you can engage in proper Medicaid or asset protection planning in advance of these timeframes. A good age to begin planning is around age 65, although everyone’s situation is different.





New report contains surprises
About best places to retire

By Kimberly Bonvissuto


Vermont is the best state — and Hartford, CT, is the best city — overall in the nation for senior living, according to a recent report examining quality-of-life factors for older adults and listing the best places to retire.


Caring.com
released a report on the country’s “Best and Worst Places for Senior Living.” The report considered 45 factors, including healthcare and affordable housing, as well as community engagement, transportation and workforce development, as drivers of quality of life across 50 states and 302 cities.

Vermont’s “scenic views and its close proximity to some of the most exciting cities in North America” make it a great place to retire, according to the website, which also rated it best for healthcare. But senior living options there tend to cost more than the national average, Caring said.




At The ALF….



Residents emerged from their cocoons Monday after a nearly 12 day interruption of what passes for a life here at the Asylum. Truthfully, we are becoming so used to these Covid related lockdowns, most residents just pick up where they left off. Bingo was back in full swing, as was the return to communal meals. And, while the fare was only slightly better than what was served to us in our rooms, it was the camaraderie which made the food palatable.

What was not palatable was the heat. The high today, here in the lower Hudson valley (LOHUD), hovered near the 95 degree mark, making it almost impossible to be outside. Usually, I try to get at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight a day. But after just 10 minutes, I was ready to pack it in and head for my nice, cool room, where my newly installed AC was cranking out lots of cold air. Not so for the rest of the facility. The old central air units could not keep up with the heat, making sitting in the common areas very uncomfortable. The dining room was particularly warm despite the AC units being set on high. Perhaps the rain forecast for later will help moderate the temperature. Besides, we could sure use the water around here.

As far as my bout with COVID is concerned, I’m pleased to say I am no worse for the wear. And, while I still don’t feel 100%, I feel much better. I asked if any of the other folks I hang with here came down with the virus, and I was pleased to find they did not. But there were several cases besides mine, and that’s what prompted the lockdown. Unfortunately, despite all the warnings, I observed many of our residents not wearing a mask or wearing it improperly. As our administrator told me a few weeks ago, it’s impossible to virus-proof the facility 100%. Some people are incapable of following instructions or, just, don’t want to. That makes the threat of re-infection a reality for me and for everyone here. Sadly, this has reinforced my theory that I will not see a complete end to this pandemic in my lifetime. Oh, by the way, did I mention there’s monkeypox and polio to worry about? Wear your mask and stay away from crowds. Better still, stay away from everybody…………………
 







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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-










GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2022







Drugmakers Try To Scare Seniors
In Last-Ditch Effort To Stop
Democrats’ Economic Plan

By Kevin Robillard and Jonathan Cohn



T
he ad running in West Virginia opens with a harrowing scene: An elderly woman waits in a doctor’s office for test results.

Reading from a chart, the doctor delivers the bad news: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) “is negotiating a bill that would strip nearly $300 billion from Medicare.” Research on the treatment the woman is receiving “may be stopped.”

“I wish I had better options for you, but I really think it’s time you started talking to your family,” the doctor adds before walking away and leaving the woman stunned.

The not-so-subtle implication of the ad: The Manchin-crafted economic deal the Senate will vote on this weekend is going to kill grandma. (Watch it above.)



Inflation Reduction Act would limit 
Medicare drug costs to $2,000 per year
By Harold Vazquez 



The Senate was set to vote on Sunday on a broad climate, tax and health care bill containing key measures to lower drug prices within the Medicare program, allowing the government to negotiate drug prices for the first time and protect senior citizens’ pockets. allowed to exit. The drug costs $2,000 annually.

The measures are part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a comprehensive package that increases the Affordable Care Act premium subsidies and expands and adds new clean energy tax credits, among other provisions. The bill is expected to be passed by the Senate this coming week and then to vote in the House of Representatives, where it is also expected to pass.

The bill would allow the government to negotiate prices on select drugs, spend $2,000 a year on senior citizens’ drugs, and penalize drug manufacturers who inflate prices that exceed the inflation rate within the Medicare program. Under the law that established the Part D drug program in 2003, which was influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, the government is prohibited from interacting directly with drug manufacturers. Individual insurance companies that participate in Part D can negotiate, but they do not have the bargaining power of the federal government. Allowing the government to negotiate directly is expected to save about $100 billion by 2031, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.




'Suicidal politics': Chris Wallace hammers
Ron Johnson's 'terrible policy' for Social Security

By Matthew Chapman


On CNN Thursday, analyst Chris Wallace tore into the proposal by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to require Social Security and Medicare to be continuously reauthorized — saying that the plan would be a disastrous policy, and a massively unpopular one as well.

"Chris, I want to have you listen to something that Senator Ron Johnson said about Social Security and Medicare," said anchor Brianna Keilar, playing a clip.

"What is mandatory are things like Social Security and Medicare," said Johnson in the clip. "If you qualify for the entitlement, you just get it no matter what the cost, and our problem in this country is that more than 70 percent of our federal budget, of our federal spending, what we ought to be doing is we ought to turn everything into discretionary spending so it is all evaluated, so we can fix problems or fix programs that are broken, that are going to be going bankrupt."



5% of people may suffer from long-term
Loss of taste and smell after COVID

By Linda Carroll


More than 5% of people who were infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may have a long lasting loss of the senses of smell and taste, a new study finds.

Using a mathematical model and data from 18 earlier studies, an international team of researchers estimated that among those who had COVID-19, 5.6% were left with a persistent loss of smell, and 4.4% had long lasting loss of taste. The researchers also found that women were more likely than men to have persistent issues with smell and taste, according to the report published in The BMJ on Wednesday.

“We’re pretty excited about this new study,” said study coauthor Dr. Christopher von Bartheld, a neuroscientist and a professor of physiology and cell biology at the University of Nevada at Reno. “Now we know approximately how many people lose their sense of smell, and it’s a pretty huge number.”




How Memory Care Innovations Will
Reshape the Senior Living Continuum

By Tim Mullaney



The most frequent comment I heard at our inaugural BRAIN conference two weeks ago was: This event was badly needed, because memory care is given scant attention at most industry gatherings.

I’ve observed this to be true. At most events, perhaps one or two panels — if that — will be devoted to memory care.

That is, memory care is treated as a discrete, relatively small part of the senior living industry, which might seem to be the case; the 10 largest assisted living companies encompass nearly 111,500 units, while the 10 largest memory care providers count only about 37,300 units, according to 2021 Argentum data.







Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage
Before Retirement?

By Donna Fuscaldo




E
ntering retirement debt-free is a dream for many, particularly when it comes to paying off their mortgage. Who doesn’t want that burden lifted? But getting in the black from a housing standpoint doesn’t always make sense. In some instances, paying off your mortgage may cost you more than hanging on to the debt.

Determining what’s right for you requires lots of considerations, including your finances and your emotions. What’s right for one person may be wrong for another. With that in mind, here’s a look at when it makes sense to pay off your mortgage and when it doesn’t.

Pay off your mortgage:

If you want to lower your baseline expenses.
Retirement is expensive, and housing is a big part of it. If you have the cash and it’s earning less than your mortgage interest, paying off your loan could be a viable option. Especially if the idea of being charged to borrow money is nagging at you.

Learn more >>  CLICK HERE





Update 4

Hopefully, this will be the last of these updates. Not only am I feeling much better than I did a week ago, but the facility-wide lockdown that has kept nearly 200 of us isolated is scheduled to end today, Monday. This will be very welcome by both residents and staff. However, there is one thing that bothers me. Although I feel better, I continue to experience some coughing and nasal congestion. I understand that COVID symptoms may linger long after the virus is no longer detected but, given that even the President became reinfected, how do they know for sure I am not contagious without giving me a test? Should I insist?


 I any event, I’m glad this latest affront to my (and my fellow resident’s) freedom has ended. I’m also glad that no new cases of the virus were detected. Likewise, I’m also forced to do something I rarely do. Admit I was wrong about how we are the most protected group of people in the state and how we (residents of assisted living facilities) have been singled out as the only group (except prisoners) mandated to wear masks indoors. Apparently, no matter how hard you try, the virus and its continuing mutating variants will find its way into even the most infection-controlled environments. Therefore, I am altering my position on mask-wearing here at the ALF. My new mantra; Keep safe. Keep masked!…….....
 
 








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-







Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2022







Protect Yourself from
Mortgage Refinance Fraud


Fritz Kreisler was a highly accomplished violinist and composer in the early 20th century. His compositions are regularly performed as encores and in recitals. In addition to performing the classic repertoire and his own compositions, Kreisler was known for premiering violin arrangements of unknown compositions by famous 17th and 18th-century composers, such as Vivaldi, Pugnani, and von Dittersdorf.


Except the compositions weren't written by those famous composers. Instead, they also were Kreisler's compositions – written so skillfully in the styles of the old masters that many experts were fooled.

The truth finally came out in 1935 when a music researcher pushed for more information about the original works Kreisler had arranged for violin. Kreisler eventually admitted that he had written the compositions early in his career when he wanted to enlarge his repertoire. He thought it would be "inexpedient and tactless" to perform a program of entirely his compositions.




Can You Take Over-the-Counter Medicines
For COVID Symptoms at Home?



As new omicron subvariant variants continue to spread, bringing mild COVID symptoms to some who get infected, more people are experiencing symptoms, health officials have said.


So what can you do to help yourself from home?

Chicago's top doctor addressed questions surrounding over-the-counter treatment for mild COVID symptoms Tuesday.

"Over-the-counter stuff really can be quite good," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. "So don't be afraid of taking some over-the-counter cough drops or cold and flu medication, or especially Tylenol or ibuprofen - assuming that you don't have some other condition where you shouldn't take those."



4 Important Things We
Get Wrong About Aging
BY MADELEINE HAASE

That’s straight from an expert with decades of psychological research focused on aging—so you can trust her that you haven’t left your best years behind. Laura Carstensen, Ph.D. is the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, where she studies motivational and emotional changes that occur with age and the influence these changes have on the way we process information.


Her research on aging has been revolutionary in the field of psychology: She says that “people haven’t been asking the right questions about aging. How are older people actually doing emotionally? We just sort of assumed we knew the answer.”

There were previous studies that found that older people said they were doing well emotionally—but researchers were so sure that couldn’t be true that they chalked it up to older people not knowing how to process their own emotions anymore, Carstensen says.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



Why life in your 70s may
Be your happiest ever
By Richard Eisenberg

I’m writing this unretirement column three days after turning 66 (and four months before reaching my Social Security “Full Retirement Age”). So, my 70s are just around the corner. Until recently, that gave me pause.


But after seeing what people in their 70s said in the recent AARP/National Geographic “Second Half of Life Study” and interviewing seven experts on aging — four between 70 and 81 — I’m now looking forward to my next decade.

After reading what I learned, I think you might become more enthusiastic about prospects for your 70s, too. (A few of today’s celebrity septuagenarians: Jeff Goldblum, Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Helen Mirren and Bruce Springsteen.)




3 ways women can take charge
Of their financial future


Janet Yellen made history in 2021 when she became the first woman to serve as U.S. treasury secretary. She now plays a critical and highly visible role in the country’s financial and monetary matters.

Yellen’s economic leadership comes at a time when women are increasingly taking charge of their money, and have more money and power than ever before. According to McKinsey & Co., women in the U.S. are set to inherit an estimated $30 trillion from aging parents or spouses by 2030.

However, while many women are comfortable in the financial driver’s seat, on the whole, they don’t engage with their finances as much as men. A 2020 U.S. Bank Women and Wealth Insights Study shows that more women than men associate financial planning with stress and anxiety. Women are also less comfortable making retirement and investment decisions, and they exhibit lower levels of financial literacy compared with men, according to a 2020 Federal Reserve survey.





Best fitness trackers for older adults
to encourage regular exercise,
Track health metrics and more

By Jessica Toms


Regular exercise is critical for older adults, but how do you know as a caregiver if your senior’s exercise program is achieving the intended results or providing the benefits they seek? As an older adult, it’s important to keep a close eye on baseline metrics and the body’s response to physical exertion. That responsibility often falls to the caregivers, who then also act as coach, champion and cheerleader.

Thanks to advances in wearable fitness tracking technology, access to exercise and health data is easier than it’s ever been. Beyond the basic step count, you can now easily track resting heart rate, sleep metrics, stress levels and even recovery rate between exercise. In fact, a recent study found that wearing a fitness activity tracker actually resulted in more time spent exercising among older adults who wore one regularly.

When it comes to outfitting the older adult in your care with a fitness tracker, there are several things to consider:






5 Signs Your Sleep Medication is
Hurting You, Doctors Warn
By Megan Hageman



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

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

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




Medicare recipients to see
Premium cut — But not until 2023


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

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

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




Death rates soared for older
Americans during omicron wave

By Benjamin Mueller and Eleanor Lutz

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



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

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




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



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

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

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




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

By Lorie Konish


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

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

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

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

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

The way in which those levies are applied is unique.

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



How Seniors Can Get
Involved In Foster Care

By Virginia Pelley

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

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

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



Overcoming Your Bias Against
Aging Can Improve Your Life



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

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


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

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


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

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

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




Coffee bad, red wine good?
Top food myths busted

By Rebecca Seal


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

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

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




Drinking coffee may be linked
To lower risk of death,
Even with a little sugar
By Aria Bendix


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

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

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




Older Adults Favor a
Good Quality Life Over
A Long Life


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

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

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




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

By KATE ASHFORD

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

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

WHAT IS A REVERSE MORTGAGE?

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



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

By Ian Sample


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

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

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


Polypharmacy Significantly Linked
With Malnutrition in Older Adults

By Gianna Melillo


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


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

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









NEXT BLOG MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2022




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IT’S FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022








As new Alzheimer’s drugs have failed,
scientists are shifting focus to
Other potential causes

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.


A
s yet another Alzheimer's drug targeting plaque buildup in the brain fails to improve cognition in patients, leading scientists said a significant shift is underway in the search for effective treatments for the disease.

The new direction in Alzheimer’s research — away from focusing solely on beta-amyloid plaques to other potential causes, including brain inflammation and conditions related to diabetes — comes from growing evidence that multiple factors contribute to the development of the disease.

“It doesn’t seem that there’s one single superstar mechanism that is the magic solution," said Dr. Vijay Ramanan, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.




Hey Seniors, Congress doesn’t need you,
And primaries are to blame

By Chris Raleigh



Seniors, once heavily courted by both parties, don't matter as much in electoral calculations as they once did, argues the director of campaigns and advocacy at the Center for Election Science, an organization that advocates for approval voting, which would fundamentally alter how primary elections are conducted.

Keep the seniors happy.

That was what I understood the mantra of Congress to be as I was growing up in Florida. There was no denying that with nothing but time on their hands to vote, senior citizens absolutely ruled as kingmakers of state and national politics. For decades, messing with any government program that impacted seniors was the quickest way out of Congress. What was popular with them got done.

That is why the current state of affairs should make us all concerned. Congress doesn’t do what’s popular for anyone anymore, not even for seniors.




Auricular Acupressure Improves Sleep
In Older Adults With Osteoarthritis

By Keith Arians
    

A
uricular acupressure therapy improved sleep and pain among older adult patients with osteoarthritis (OA) who reside in nursing homes, according to study findings published in Explore.

Researchers sought to assess the effects of auricular pressure on sleep quality and pain scores in older adults with OA and conducted a randomized, single-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial from June 1, 2020, to October 18, 2020.

A total of 52 older adult patients with OA who lived 4 different nursing homes in Korea were included in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to either the treatment group (n=26) or the control group (n=26). The mean age in the treatment group was 73.38±4.54 years and 79.27±4.50 years in the control group.



Pickleball fans are obsessed,
But injuries are on the rise
Amongst older adults



Pickleball is a recreational sport that is gaining in popularity, but while it’s a great way to stay active, doctors are warning adults of injuries that occur while playing the sport.

According to sports medicine experts, the most common pickleball injury is a problem with the rotator cuff tendon in the shoulder, which can cause shoulder pain, especially with movement and use. Doctors say problems can range from tendonitis and bursitis to a tear of the rotator cuff tendon, and bigger tears can create weakness and inability to use your arm.

“The unfortunate reality of the rotator cuff is that everyday use can cause tearing and damage,” said Dr. Bruce Moseley, an orthopedic surgeon in the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor. “You don’t necessarily have to do anything wrong or abnormal to get a rotator cuff tear – in many instances it just happens as a consequence of living.”







Subpar assisted living facilities:
What to do to ensure your loved ones
Don’t end up there

By: Deanna Allbrittin

8News’ investigations continue to reveal that about a dozen assisted living facilities statewide are operating in subpar conditions.


Our April investigation into Fillmore Place in Petersburg revealed it was one of 11 across Virginia operating with a provisional license, meaning they all failed to substantially comply with state standards.

And AARP’s Virginia Director of Advocacy David DeBiasi says those provisionally licensed are just the tip of the iceberg. He says Covid-19 exposed the depth of problems in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“We all admit there’s a problem, we just don’t know how to solve it,” DeBiasi said.



Update 3

This virus is wacky, and scary.
 
Tuesday, I woke up feeling lousy. Many of the symptoms that had subsided the day before had returned. But, by the end of the day, I felt a little better. Good, right? It would be if that’s the way it remained. But, like everything else about this roller coaster-turned-virus, it would quickly change. By evening, many of the symptoms had returned. And that’s the way it’s been since. I have a few hours when I believe things are getting better, followed by a steady return to feeling sick.

I’m writing this post late Thursday afternoon. I just awoke from a three-hour nap. And yes, I feel better than earlier. Even my clogged ears, which left me almost completely deaf, have “opened” up. Normally, with an ordinary virus, this would mean a return to normalcy. But it ain’t necessarily so with COVID. I could wake up tomorrow sicker than I was two days ago. The only good thing is, the vaccine and the boosters I took are doing what they are supposed to do. Keep me from becoming so ill I’ll need hospitalization. However, that does not refute the fact I could remain feeling some measure of illness for a very long time. And that’s scary. Especially for an old dude whose “good” days are numbered, anyway.

Meanwhile, I and the rest of the facility remain in lockdown until next Monday, when we may return to normal activities. I imagine those of us who actually contracted the virus will be re-tested, and I will be given the “all clear.” But, then again, who knows? …………….



 TheSeniorLog Weekend Edition

The weekend is upon us, but fear not. We've been collecting stories and articles of special interest to Older Americans all week. We know you'll find these articles informative and noteworthy. And best of all, you have two whole days to read them. 

In The Blog This Weekend

3 ways women can take charge of their financial future

Protect Yourself from Mortgage Refinance Fraud

Can You Take Over-the-Counter Medicines 
for COVID Symptoms at Home?

4 Important Things We Get Wrong About Aging

Why life in your 70s may be your happiest ever 

...and more








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GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 2022









Boomers are bringing ‘summer of love’-style
Change to sex in their older years

By Jessica Hall


W
hen Lisa Noll, 67, got divorced two years ago after 35 years of marriage, she thought relationships, romance and sex were a thing of the past. Now, she’s in a relationship with a man 10 years younger and has what she calls “a rich sex life.”

“I didn’t think people had sex anymore. I thought people got old and just stopped. It’s like a big secret,” said Noll, who splits her time between Colorado Springs, Colo., and Merida, Mexico. “I’m floored that I am having sex and a relationship and that it’s as good as it is. I’m a lot more confident now and know what I want.”

About 40% of people between ages 65 and 80 are sexually active, according to a survey from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, sponsored by AARP and the University of Michigan.





Tips to Help Someone
Through Sundowning
By Will Donnelly


Whilst we usually experience longer and warmer days during the summer months, this summer temperatures have reached record breaking highs. The heat poses a risk to everyone’s health, especially those living with dementia. You’re at greater risk of dehydration, tiredness and behavioural changes – including ‘sundowning’.

New research by Lottie has revealed the heatwave is exacerbating behavioural changes in those living with dementia – especially in the late afternoon. Over the last 7 days, there has been a surge of online searches from carers, looking for support on ‘sundowning’ and ‘dementia’:

It isn’t surprising that we’ve seen a rise in online searches during the heatwave for sundowning support. One in five people living with dementia experience sundowning symptoms and the heat can heighten behavioural sundowning episodes.




Even the simplest form of exercise
Can help with an aging brain

By Lauran Neergaard


Routine exercise could lead to Medicare savings later, study finds
A recent study found physically active younger adults could see big savings in Medicare costs as senior citizens.

New research hints that even a simple exercise routine just might help older Americans with mild memory problems.

Doctors have long advised physical activity to help keep a healthy brain fit. But the government-funded study marks the longest test of whether exercise makes any difference once memory starts to slide — research performed amid a pandemic that added isolation to the list of risks to participants' brain health.




Survey: Americans are retiring,
Plan to retire
Later than in previous years
By Chandler France


Americans say they retired or are planning to retire at an older age than in previous years, according to a survey by Gallup. In 1991, the average age for adults to retire was 57, while in 2022 the average age Americans retired was 61. Similarly, adults in 2022 said they plan to retire on average at age 66, while in 1995 the average age Americans said they wanted to retire was 60.

In addition to U.S. adults retiring or planning to retire at later ages on average, a lower percentage of older Americans are retiring in each age group, Gallup’s data shows. Between 2002-2007, about 2-in-10 adults aged 55-59 were retired (19%). For 2016-2022 that number has been nearly halved, with just over 1-in-10 adults in this age group being retired (11%), according to Gallup.

The same trend is true for adults aged 60-64. At the beginning of the century, 41% of Americans in this age group were retired, compared to 32% of 60-64 years old who are retired now, according to Gallup. While similar but less significant decreases have occurred for those aged 65-69 and 70-74, there has been very little change for those 75 years or older, with nearly 9-in-10 of these Americans being retired in two decades ago (89%) and now (88%).




Q&A

5 tips to help older people cope
With age-related changes
By HELEN DENNIS


Q. As a 79-year-old woman, I have noticed lots of changes. I used to play tennis and no longer do so. I used to stay up late at night and start my day early the next morning. Don’t do that either. I used to run and now just walk. In addition, I often wonder, “Who is it that is looking back at me in the mirror?” And my “used to” list is longer than my “can do” list. How do we accept our limitations? T.F.

“There is nothing permanent except change,” according to the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. That is so true when it comes to aging. If we are lucky enough to live a long life, it also is likely we will be confronted with age-related changes. And some of those changes will be losses. We know physical stamina can be reduced; years of running may cause joint problems and our immune system is affected. And then there’s that face we look at in the mirror. We may see character lines, commonly known as wrinkles, and skin that seems to hang a little lower. Yes, that is aging.

HelpGuide.org, a highly regarded online nonprofit guide to mental health and wellness, provides us with some tips on learning to cope with age-related changes. Here are a few.





Update 2


I think I now understand why COVID is not like many other upper-respiratory viruses like the flu or rhinovirus. It’s tricky and the course which the virus takes is hard to predict. I’m now on my 6th day after testing positive for COVID, and I should be feeling much better than I am. If anything, I feel slightly worse than I did yesterday. My cough has returned, as well as the body aches. And now, something new has been added to the repertoire. My ear, the only one that works, is clogged, causing an even greater loss of hearing than I had before. My TV volume is cranked up to 25, and I can barely make out some words. Hopefully, this recent development, along with the other symptoms, is only temporary, but with this virus, you don’t know. There’s always that danger of long-term effects to worry about……............









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GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022







7 Reasons You're Always Tired
What could be causing your fatigue —
And how to fight it
By Beth Howard


David Levine feels tired — a lot — and laments how he rarely makes it to the end of a movie. The 68-year-old Manhattan journalist has a pretty good idea why: A night in the sleep lab showed he had borderline sleep apnea. “But certain medications I take, especially Lipitor, make me even more tired,” he says. “I went off it for two months, and I felt a lot better.”

Levine is in good company. Research suggests that fatigue (or anergia, in medical lingo) runs as high as 50 percent in people 65 and older, compared with rates in the general population, which range from 10 to 25 percent.

Yet “fatigue is not a natural consequence of aging,” says Barbara Resnick, codirector of the Biology and Behavior Across the Lifespan Organized Research Center at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. “It’s more related to the changes that occur due to age and commonly associated diseases.”

Read more >>  CLICK HERE


What Is a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order?
Sometimes a "natural death" is the
Best option for everyone
By Angela Morrow, RN



A do-not-resuscitate order (DNR) is a legally binding order signed by a physician at a patient's request. Its purpose is to let medical professionals know you do not want to be resuscitated if you suddenly go into cardiac arrest or stop breathing.

People who are chronically ill often regard a DNR as a graceful way to leave the world on their terms. The details of a DNR are usually discussed at the time of admission to a hospital, nursing facility, or hospice program.

This article explains what resuscitation means, its side effects, and its survival rates. It also describes the rules that often frame do not resuscitate orders, how to make a DNR order work for you, and some of the ethical issues worth considering.




Seniors say inflation is
Having a ‘striking impact’
On healthcare costs
By Fran Soistman


S
ince most senior citizens live on a fixed income, they provide an early indicator of when inflation starts to hurt and — worse — how it can force us to make life-or-death budget decisions.

A new survey of more than 2,500 Medicare beneficiaries shines a light on the plight of seniors in the era of 9% inflation. The survey, conducted by eHealth, reveals the striking impact inflation is having on healthcare costs for a large and vulnerable group of Americans.

Seniors are feeling the pain of inflation now

More than 95% of those surveyed say they worry about the impact of inflation on healthcare costs. Roughly half (49%) describe themselves as “very worried.” A similar figure (45%) say they are already feeling the bite of inflation in their personal healthcare expenses.



Can Amazon change healthcare?
Experts sound off on tech giant’s $3.9B
Deal to buy One Medical

BY CHARLOTTE SCHUBERT



A
mazon has been edging into healthcare for years. In 2018 the company bought PillPack, which became Amazon Pharmacy. And it recently expanded Amazon Care, its primary care service initially designed for employees. Amazon’s purchase of One Medical brings the company fully into the field.

But not all of Amazon’s healthcare efforts have been successful. Last year, the company shut down its Haven healthcare joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase.

“You look at prior efforts to find a technology solution, a business model that’s going to solve it all — this acquisition will not be the first time that’s tried and likely won’t be the last,” said physician Joshua Liao, associate chair for health systems at the University of Washington Department of Medicine. “If there’s one lever pull that fixes healthcare, I don’t know it.”






6 Tips on Living to 100
From People Who Have Done It

By LAUREN GRAY


If you're interested in living to 100, several things can better your odds. For starters, don't smoke, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and reduce your alcohol consumption. But if you talk to centenarians themselves, you might be surprised to learn that the ones who've lived the longest lives have followed their own rules—and some of them are quite unusual.

Read on for six tips from some of the oldest people in the world on how to make it to 100—and live life to the fullest while you're at it.

1- Live in the moment.......






Update



  It’s been 5 days since I tested positive for COVID-19. And, while I’m feeling better than earlier in the week, I continue to experience the effects this virus is having on my immune system. I can almost detect all those brave antibodies armed with vaccine hand-grenades working overtime, throwing themselves into the battle, methodically killing the enemy virus. Unfortunately, those dead virus SOB's leave little artifacts behind in the way of mild headaches, sniffles, and chills. With any luck, these symptoms will be gone by the time our facility-wide quarantine ends next Monday. After a while, the “cabin fever” becomes as bad as the real one…....................









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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2022







Stimulus Update:
The Truth About Social Security Recipients
And a Fourth Stimulus Check

By Dana George


Despite inflation, the U.S. economy has managed to survive one of the worst global pandemics in history. But with an unemployment rate lingering at 3.6%, there's little chance that Congress will approve another stimulus check for the majority of Americans.

Still, that reality has not slowed rumors regarding a fourth stimulus payment to Social Security recipients. Social Security, paid to retirees and those who cannot work due to disability, may arrive reliably but it does not keep up with inflation. And that is one of the primary reasons Rick Delaney, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), sent a letter to Congress asking for a one-time $1,400 stimulus payment for those on Social Security.

Perspective

To put this in perspective, Delaney sent his letter in October 2021. That's seven months ago. In those seven months, coverage of the letter has made the rounds of talk radio, newspapers, and online publications (including The Ascent). The possibility of a fourth check has been covered so often that it's easy to understand how people might be confused.



Vitamin D supplements don't prevent
Bone fractures in healthy adults

By Kaitlin Sullivan

Vitamin D supplements are widely recommended to prevent bone fractures in older adults — but a clinical trial, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that they may not do much after all.

In 2011, the National Academy of Medicine (then called the Institute of Medicine) recommended the general public get between 600 and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. That recommendation was based on past research showing that the vitamin may support bone health by aiding in calcium absorption and decreasing bone turnover, which causes bone deterioration.

Subsequent studies have yielded contradicting results; some concluded supplementing with vitamin D was beneficial, while one even found that high vitamin D levels caused by taking supplements could be harmful and cause more falls. Other trials have looked at both calcium and vitamin D together, making it difficult to analyze the vitamin’s effects on its own.

That was the goal of the new randomized clinical trial to determine whether adding vitamin D alone would preventatively improve bone health in men ages 50 and up and women ages 55 and up.

The results? For people who are healthy, “more is not better,” said lead study author Dr. Meryl S. LeBoff, director of the Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.




Can COVID-19 alter your personality?
Here's what brain research shows.



Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and traumatic brain injury can cause changes in behavior by altering brain anatomy. Now it seems the coronavirus can too.

At the height of the COVID-19 tsunami that engulfed New York City in early 2020, a highly respected emergency room doctor, Lorna Breen, died by suicide. She had been serving as medical director at Manhattan’s NewYork Presbyterian Allen Hospital, and she was regarded as brilliant, energetic, and organized. She had no history of mental illness. But that changed after Breen contracted the virus.

The 49-year-old doctor first showed symptoms on March 18. After a 10-day illness, she returned to work. Her family was alarmed: She was confused, hesitant, nearly catatonic, exhausted. Something was wrong. They brought her home to Charlottesville, and Breen checked into a psychiatric ward at University of Virginia Medical Center. Soon after she was released on April 26, she took her own life.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


1 in 4 Seniors Who Take Xanax,
Valium Use Them Long Term



W
hen older people use drugs like Valium or Xanax to calm anxiety or help them sleep, they run a high risk of becoming drug-dependent, new research suggests.

In the study of almost 600 adults averaging 78 years of age, about one in four who were prescribed these types of benzodiazepine sedatives ended up using them for at least a year.

That's despite warnings against long-term use of the drugs, especially among older people. Benzodiazepines -- a class that also includes Ativan, Halcion and Klonopin -- can raise the risk of car crashes, falls, broken hips and other harmful side effects, experts warn.

So the new study "shows that we need to help providers start with the end in mind when prescribing a benzodiazepine, by beginning with a short-duration prescription and engage patients in discussions of when to reevaluate their symptoms and begin tapering the patient off," said lead author Dr. Lauren Gerlach. She's a geriatric psychiatrist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.




8 Tips to Keep Your Brain Sharp
and Healthy as You Age

By Krisha McCoy



So you’ve noticed some changes in your thinking. Perhaps you often misplace your keys or have trouble coming up with the right word in conversations.

Before you assume you’re developing a serious health problem, such as dementia, be aware that your brain changes with age, both in terms of its size and structure, and these differences can, and usually do, impact how well it works over time.

However, there are steps you can take to help preserve functions such as memory, even as your brain shrinks in volume and its nerve cells decline in size and ability to communicate with one another.

Based on currently available research, these eight tips can help you remain mentally sharp as you get older:








And the beat goes on. My heart beat, that is. The COVID has not affected that, thank god. Truthfully, it has had little of an effect on anything. The coughing and congestion I experienced earlier this week has subsided, as well as the body aches. I’m still coughing some and feeling out-of-sorts. Our in-house PA visited today, listened to my lungs, checked my pulse/ox levels and took my temperature, all showed normal. It looks like I dodged the bullet, this time.

At this time, the entire facility remains on precautionary lockdown until August 8, when we are expected to return to normal activities. Hopefully, I will be among those and not given an “extended” sentence because I actually caught the virus.
 
In a way, I feel blessed. Blessed that I live where I do. What we lack in amenities, they more than make up for by the concern they have for the health and safety of the residents and staff. Unfortunately, many others, especially seniors, are not as fortunate. For whatever reason, having the proper PPE, the availability of vaccinations and educating the public about the dangers of not following the protocols is lacking in many parts of this country. We must not forget, people are still dying from this disease and will continue to do so. If we learn anything from this, it’s that we don’t know as much about the American psyche as we thought. That’s why the outcome of elections is so hard to predict.

There is no way to tell what is in the hearts and minds of the American public at any given moment. Or what will tick us off and what won’t.
 
One would think the recent facts revealed in the January 6th hearings would have turned most Republican politicians and their constituents against the former president. But you would think incorrectly. Trump was right about one thing. He said he could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue and nobody would care. You would also think that having working vaccines against the greatest threat to world health since the Black Plague would make people line up by the hundreds of thousands at vaccination centers. But it didn’t.


And, if you thought that your local government wouldn’t put economic gain over the health of its citizens, again you’d be wrong. Not only have many of those states and local municipalities didn’t urge people to wear masks in public places, but encouraged people not to. And even now, when we are seeing a recurrence of infection, those ignoramuses that sit in the governor’s chairs in some states, still don’t get it. Why? Because the folks like sporting and entertainment venues, food establishments and the owners of other places where people gather en masse to spend money and contribute to the coffers of the re-election campaigns of those politicians think it’s not in their interests to make people wear a mask. So, the virus spreads, and will continue to spread and mutate. And we will spend billions of dollars on vaccines and healthcare for those infected without getting to the real reason we are in the mess we’re in, our bull-headiness. We need to put our personal desires (and our bank accounts) behind us and just do the right thing. We have done this before, and it made us the great nation we are. Now, we need to do it again. That’s how you really Make America Great Again…….........
 





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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-






GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, AUGUST 1, 2022







Deal on Capitol Hill could ease
Seniors' health costs



A deal on Capitol Hill that could cut prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare beneficiaries was cautiously cheered by older Americans and their advocates Thursday even as many worried it might never come to fruition.

The health care and climate agreement struck by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin includes landmark provisions that could help senior citizens, including a cap on out-of-pocket Medicare drug costs and a requirement that the government negotiate prices on some high-cost drugs.

Some of the issues addressed in the deal have been talked about for decades and proved elusive. But Manchin’s backing brought new optimism to many who have lobbied and prayed for relief.




Proposed bill would help older
Adults struggling with opioid use



More than 10% of drug overdose deaths in Maine were among residents age 60 and older last year

Senators from Maine and Maryland have proposed legislation they said would support older residents who are addicted to opioids.Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said Wednesday they’ve introduced a bill to address challenges that Medicare beneficiaries face when seeking treatment for addiction. Collins said the toll of the opioid epidemic on older adults is an underappreciated aspect of the crisis.More than 10% of drug overdose deaths in Maine were among residents age 60 and older last year, Collins said. The senators’ proposal would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to conduct outreach to beneficiaries to improve their awareness of treatment for opioid use disorder, they said.The proposal would also provide the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with important data, such as figures about the number of Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with the disorder, the senators said.“The opioid epidemic continues to claim the lives of far too many people, with a record number of both Mainers and Americans lost in 2021,” Collins said. "While many perceive the face of opioid addiction as young, the epidemic harms older adults as well. In Maine, more than 10% of drug overdose deaths last year were among residents age 60 and older. Our bipartisan bill would increase seniors’ awareness of, and access to, opioid use disorder treatment covered by the Medicare program.”




The Crisis Facing Nursing Homes,
Assisted Living and Home Care
For America’s Elderly

By Alexandra Moe

December blurred to January, and the night shift blurred into the day shift, as Momah Wolapaye, 53, rotated warm towels beneath the bedridden at the nursing care wing for the Covid-positive. Repositioning the residents every two hours prevented bed sores, and normally took two aides, but now only one was permitted in rooms. Straws were also forbidden, so after giving sponge baths, Wolapaye spoon-fed sips of water to the elderly, checked their breathing and skin coloration, and calmed the anxious who called into the night silence.

Most didn’t understand why they were suddenly in new rooms, sealed with painter’s plastic, and why they needed masks. Some wanted to leave, and Wolapaye spent 20 of the 30 minutes inside each room calming them and explaining “the virus.” It was December 2020, the pandemic’s second wave, and all but three staff on his team had caught Covid. His supervisor asked if he could work 16-hour shifts. He agreed. He tied his blue uniform in a plastic bag when he got home in the morning, told his sons not to touch it, and returned to work that evening to Goodwin Living, a long-term care community in D.C.’s suburbs.

Wolapaye stands out: He genuinely loves his job, one known for burnout, mistreatment and injury. “It’s my responsibility, being there with the residents. I take them to be like my own people.”


Poverty gap for Black and Latino
Senior citizens grew over last decade
Colorado News Collaborative

By Robert Davis



Although Melvin Page had a long career in public service, retiring proved to be much more difficult than he thought.

Three years into his retirement, Page suffered a brain aneurysm that left him with crippling medical debt and no chance of keeping his apartment. The then 70-year-old ended up experiencing homelessness in Denver for more than a year beginning in 2019. He told Denver VOICE that he was lucky to escape within a year, but getting back on his feet has been a struggle.

Nearly four years later, Page, 73, works part-time as a lot attendant for Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Denver International Airport. But his hourly income is not enough to pay for food, rent, and transportation each month. Page said he‘s grown increasingly reliant on his Social Security income to pay for necessities, and is worried that another economic shock could send him back to the streets.

“I’m still willing to go to work and I take full responsibility for my future,” Page said. “But I still can’t help wondering if I’ll be able to afford any more help than what I receive now.”







Reduce dementia risk with
These food and activity choices

By Sandee LaMotte

Eating more natural, unprocessed food, keeping active and having a good social life are all ways you can fight off dementia as you age, according to two new studies published Wednesday in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.



8 myths about diet, exercise and sleep

One study investigated how physical and mental activities such as household chores, exercise, and visiting with family and friends could potentially lower the risk of dementia. The other study looked at the impact of eating ultraprocessed food on the future risk of dementia.

Physical, mental and social activity helps

Over 500,000 people participating in the UK Biobank, which houses in-depth genetic and health information, were asked about how often they climbed stairs, walked or biked, did chores for home or work, or participated in strenuous sports.





From the editor…





Help! 
The COVID got me.

Actually, I’m not surprised. I knew it was just a matter of time. The number of new cases is on the rise and we haven’t been vaccinated (boosted) against the latest variant. And, despite living in one of the most protected environments around, there are still some residents who don’t wear their masks or wear them improperly (the below-the-nose and under-the-chin styles are very popular here). And then there are those who leave the facility to go shopping or to doctors where they come in contact with a population that is only 63% vaccinated.

Thankfully, as of now, my symptoms are mild. If you call a hacking cough, sneezing and constantly runny nose mild. I’m self-medicating with Tylenol, an OTC antihistamine and hot ginger and lemon tea. Of course, I remain in lockdown with the rest of the residents here while they wait to see if any more cases develop. What really makes me feel bad, however, is that two and a half years later, we remain in the throes of this scourge, and we have only ourselves to blame.

We think of ourselves as an advanced society. So much so that we believe all we have to do is put our minds to it and we can come up with a solution for any problem. And mostly, that’s true. At least with things mechanical. Sadly, when our bodies and our health run into trouble, we are not so good at problem solving. Think about it. How many diseases have we actually found a cure for? Mostly, what we do with illness is to lessen the symptoms or relieve the pain. And, in extreme cases, we surgically cut out the offending body part altogether. 

And then, there’s that “freedom” thing that keeps rearing its misunderstood head.

America was founded, so we believe, on the quest for freedom and independence. You know, those inalienable rights. That’s all well and good when we’re talking about not paying a tax on tea or having to be governed by a despot. But the whole “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” thing does not work in times of crisis like war or a pandemic. What we need (and history has proven this correct) is strong leadership backed by a willing and informed population. None of which was present when this COVID s**t began. And now, we are paying the price.

For those of us old enough to remember at one time, polio ran rampant through the population of young school-age kids and how thankful we were when Dr. Salk announced he had developed a vaccine that would end the threat that caused misery and death to thousands every year. We also remember that there was little opposition when it was announced that all kids would receive the vaccine, free, in every school in America. There were no mass rallies against the mandated inoculations. There were no politicians telling you it was okay if you didn’t want your kids vaccinated. And there was definitely nobody saying the vaccine was a government plot.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the reason we have become so jaded, suspicious and dumb, I think I can say with certainty, the internet and social media have much to do with it.

Back in 1955, the media was comprised of our local newspaper, radio and TV. And only professional journalists had access to them. They were people who were not prone to believing in rumors and innuendo, and what they put in print or on the air was carefully scrutinized. Today, to disseminate information, all you need is a laptop or smartphone and Bam!, you’re a journalist.

I don’t know when this will end. Nobody does. At some point there will be fewer and fewer cases and COVID will disappear. The question is, will I get to see it in my lifetime? ……………………..
 







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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-






Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2022










FROM THE NY TIMES
Thursday, July 28, 2022 8:42 PM ET

The Biden administration plans to offer updated Covid boosters in September, with reformulated doses expected from Pfizer and Moderna.

The F.D.A. has also decided against expanding eligibility for second boosters of the existing vaccines this summer. The new versions are expected to perform better against the now-dominant Omicron subvariant BA.5, although the data available so far is still preliminary.
-----//-----


5 things we still get wrong about sleep,
According to an expert

By Sandee LaMotte


People who often nap have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure and having a stroke, a large new study has found.

"This may be because, although taking a nap itself is not harmful, many people who take naps may do so because of poor sleep at night. Poor sleep at night is associated with poorer health, and naps are not enough to make up for that," said clinical psychologist Michael Grandner in a statement. Grandner directs the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at the Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, and was not involved in the study.

Study participants who typically napped during the day were 12% more likely to develop high blood pressure over time and were 24% more likely to have a stroke compared with people who never napped.




Are Your Healthy Habits
Making You Miserable?

By Rashelle Brown


As a wellness writer, I stay abreast of the latest health and medical research by reading books and scientific studies, attending webinars, and following top wellness influencers on the podcast circuit and social media. The upside is that I'm very well-informed on how to live a long, healthy life.

"I was tired of feeling guilty about my healthy habits (or lack thereof) and wondered whether I needed to go to extremes to avoid future ill health"  | 

Unfortunately, knowing and doing are two different things, so there's a downside, too: I often feel that my healthy habits are inadequate, and my attempts at getting "super healthy" usually end in disappointment. Undoubtedly, this cycle of trying, failing, and trying again has made me much healthier than I would otherwise be, but it can also make me feel miserable sometimes.  

Comparing Myself to Wellness Titans

Wellness podcasts are a big part of my problem. These shows feature big-name doctors and scientists with hundreds of thousands of followers, best-selling books, and famous TED talks — and none of them achieved that level of success by leading "pretty healthy" lifestyles.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 


Financial planner explains health
Care choices to consider




D
r. Carolyn McClanahan, a CFP at Life Planning Partners, joins Yahoo Finance Live to break down health care and Medicare options that investors should consider when planning for retirement.

Video Transcript

BRAD SMITH: Well, one area you always want to have less debt and more cash is in, well, retirement for sure. A new report by the US Department of Health and Human Services reveals private Medicare plans denied 18% of claims allowed under Medicare coverage rules, which is an estimated 1 and 1/2 million payments for all of 2019. So what does that mean for the future of Americans' Medicare plans?

Big question here-- here to discuss all of this, we've got Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, who is the founder of Life Planning Partners Incorporated as part of our retirement segment brought to you by Fidelity Investments. Doctor, great to have you here with us today. So first and foremost, when people are planning for this, when they've finally got to retirement, how can they avoid some of the largest pitfalls when it comes to having the proper Medicare and health care?

CAROLYN MCCLANAHAN: Right. The choice you have to make when you turn 65 is, am I going to go on traditional Medicare or am I going to go on Medicare Advantage? And that report you cited, it actually is about Medicare Advantage denials. So when you go on traditional Medicare, it's the government basically approving the claims. And traditional Medicare has-- they're very good about approving claims.




Alternative Medicine Popular Among Seniors,
But Most Don't Tell Their Doctors About It

By By Dennis Thompson


Lots of older folks are turning to alternative medicine to help them with the pains of aging – but they don’t necessarily think that’s any of their doctor’s business.

About 40% of older adults use at least one alternative medicine practice to help with body aches or mental strains, be it chiropractic care, massage therapy, meditation, yoga or another non-conventional option, according to the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

But only 18% of those who’ve tried an alternative medicine practice have actually talked about it with their health care provider.






Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities:

Federal Programs Provide Support for Preventing Falls, but Program Reach is Limited

The CDC reported falls were the leading cause of death from unintentional injury among older adults in 2020.

Nine federal programs specifically aim to help prevent falls or improve accessibility for older adults or adults with disabilities. They do so by providing home safety assessments, ramps, exercise programs, and more. But the programs need to share more information with one another.

We also found that adults with disabilities ages 45-59 reported fall injuries at higher rates than those 60 and up. However, CDC analysis of data on falls focuses on older adults.

We recommended looking at broader data on falls and sharing information better.

Some federal programs help prevent falls for older adults or adults with disabilities.






From the editor...



The bad things about a COVID lockdown include not being able to socialize with your friends and having your meals delivered to you in your room. The good things are not having to socialize with your friends and not having to go to the dining room for meals.
 
Without sounding pollyannaish, I believe every cloud has a silver lining. And a short-term “break” from the daily routine, for me, is one example. Even if the reason stems from dealing with a deadly virus.

We here at the Asylum are on our first full day of a scheduled 7-day State mandated quarantine prompted by a mini outbreak of the latest version of COVID-19. At first, I thought this would be another one of those here-to-fore 2 week wait and see deals where they wait to see if any other cases emerge, which would mean adding additional days to the lockdown. However, this time it’s different. Immediately after discovering a fourth case of COVID among us, the facility opted to have all of us tested with rapid tests. Evidently, the results showed there were no other incidents of the disease which cut the time in lockdown in half. We’ve been through this so many times before, most of us will look upon this as just another thing we seniors have to endure. And besides, after doing a 16-month stint locked away earlier in this pandemic, we can do a mere 7 days “standing on our heads.”


As I said, I’m not too angry about having to curtail some of my activities. To be truthful, I have been feeling tired and a bit out-of-sort lately. My mobility issues are making it increasingly more difficult for me to get around, and the three-times-a-day trek to and from the dining area just adds to the discomfort. Hopefully, this lockdown will give my stressed muscles and joints some needed rest and relaxation. Hopefully, staying off my feet will give me some relief.

I will not be too sedentary, though. Fortunately, my room is just a few steps away from an outdoor seating area where I can catch some rays and some fresh air. And yes, I will shower and shave, just like I do every day. I may be in lockdown, but we still must remain civilized, don’t you think?
 
It’s the weekend again, which means a day off for me from editing this blog. But fear not. I will not abandon your need to be informed. I’ve curated several new articles for you to read, as well as digging up some stories from past posts you may have missed. Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you bright and early Monday morning……………..
 
 






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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-








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







Allegations of fabricated research
Undermine key Alzheimer’s theory

By Aria Bendix and Denise Chow


A
llegations that part of a key 2006 study of Alzheimer's disease may have been fabricated have rocked the research community, calling into question the validity of the study's influential results.

Science magazine said Thursday that it uncovered evidence that images in the much-cited study, published 16 years ago in the journal Nature, may have been doctored.

The findings have thrown skepticism on the work of Sylvain Lesné, a neuroscientist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, and his research, which fueled interest in a specific assembly of proteins as a promising target for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Lesné didn’t respond to NBC News’ requests for comment, nor did he provide comment to Science magazine.




Study of sleep in older adults
Suggests nixing naps,
Striving for 7-9 hours a night

By Laura Williamson


Napping, as well as sleeping too much or too little or having poor sleep patterns, appears to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease in older adults, new research shows.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, adds to a growing body of evidence supporting sleep's importance to good health. The American Heart Association recently added sleep duration to its checklist of health and lifestyle factors for cardiovascular health, known as Life's Essential 8. It says adults should average seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

"Good sleep behavior is essential to preserve cardiovascular health in middle-aged and older adults," said lead author Weili Xu, a senior researcher at the Aging Research Center in the department of neurobiology, care sciences and society at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. "We encourage people to keep nighttime sleeping between seven to nine hours and to avoid frequent or excessive napping."




Top 8 Nutrients Women Over 50
Should Look for in a Multivitamin




A
t first glance, reaching menopause doesn't sound appealing at all. Hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, slow metabolism - these are some of the changes that await any woman who's just about to enter their menopausal stage. Yet, some women in their 50s say that it's a positively life-changing time in their lives, even with its drawbacks. Perhaps it's the experience, resilience, and wisdom that comes with aging, but going through menopause can help shift your perspective in life and what more you can do with it - yes, even in your 50s!

Before ticking off boxes in your post-50 bucket list, you should also be aware that your body will need a lot of support (and kindness) from you as it enters menopause. It's important to know what your body needs at this stage and what nutrients you need to supplement to maintain your health. Below are the vitamins and minerals you should look for in a postmenopausal multivitamin when you surpass the big 5-0.

What To Look For In Postmenopausal Multivitamins
ritual postmenopausal vitamins...




Is your smartphone ruining your memory?
A special report on the rise of ‘digital amnesia’

By Rebecca Seal



Last week, I missed a real-life meeting because I hadn’t set a reminder on my smartphone, leaving someone I’d never met before alone in a café. But on the same day, I remembered the name of the actor who played Will Smith’s aunt in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1991 (Janet Hubert). Memory is weird, unpredictable and, neuroscientifically, not yet entirely understood. When memory lapses like mine happen (which they do, a lot), it feels both easy and logical to blame the technology we’ve so recently adopted. Does having more memory in our pockets mean there’s less in our heads? Am I losing my ability to remember things – from appointments to what I was about to do next – because I expect my phone to do it for me? Before smartphones, our heads would have held a cache of phone numbers and our memories would contain a cognitive map, built up over time, which would allow us to navigate – for smartphone users, that is no longer true.

Our brains and our smartphones form a complex web of interactions: the smartphonification of life has been rising since the mid 2000s, but was accelerated by the pandemic, as was internet use in general. Prolonged periods of stress, isolation and exhaustion – common themes since March 2020 – are well known for their impact on memory. Of those surveyed by memory researcher Catherine Loveday in 2021, 80% felt that their memories were worse than before the pandemic. We are – still – shattered, not just by Covid-19, but also by the miserable national and global news cycle. Many of us self-soothe with distractions like social media. Meanwhile, endless scrolling can, at times, create its own distress, and phone notifications and self interrupting to check for them, also seem to affect what, how and if we remember.

So what happens when we outsource part of our memory to an external device? Does it enable us to squeeze more and more out of life, because we aren’t as reliant on our fallible brains to cue things up for us? Are we so reliant on smartphones that they will ultimately change how our memories work (sometimes called digital amnesia)? Or do we just occasionally miss stuff when we don’t remember the reminders?






Affording Long-Term Care
In a Nursing Home

 


Although Medicaid may make expensive nursing-home care possible, navigating admission to a relatively desirable Medicaid-enrolled nursing home is not always easy.

According to a 2021 cost of care survey by Genworth, $8,564.00 is the median monthly cost of a semi-private room in a Richmond-area nursing home. As you move closer to Washington, D.C. the average cost is $10,494.00.

Most nursing homes expect residents to pay out-of-pocket for their own care upon entry to the facility. Those individuals who cannot afford to pay privately tend to find placement in facilities with lower quality ratings. And at the steep price of over $100,000 per year—and rising—most families eventually need help paying for long-term care.



AT THE A.L.F.:



SURROUNDED BY COVID



In yesterday’s post I wrote about how COVID and its variants may be with us forever. Wednesday, my fears have come closer to reality, at least here at the A.L.F. For the fourth time since the pandemic began, we are in a facility-wide lockdown/quarantine until August 8. That’s a week of no activities, no socializing with other residents and no communal dining. As of supper yesterday, we are being served all of our meals in our rooms.


All this has come about because we now have at least 4 residents and 4 staff that have tested positive for the virus. This automatically puts into effect the protocols mandated by the state DOH.

Where the residents and staff who became infected contracted the disease can never be determined. But it’s almost certain they did not contract it here. All of our residents and staff have been fully vaccinated and follow PPE and masking procedures. But this is not a prison. The staff as well as our residents are permitted to leave the facility and go wherever they want. Undoubtedly, that’s where they came in contact with those who still think COVID is on the way out. Try telling that to 185 senior citizens who be eating their meals out of Styrofoam containers and using plastic forks. Disgustedly yours……..











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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2022









What LGBTQ Seniors Face in
Assisted Living and Care Facilities

By Sheila Mulrooney Eldred

Like most Americans, B. R. Simon Rosser and his husband don’t exactly have a fail-proof plan for long-term care. [1]

“Our plan is to stay eternally young,” jokes Rosser, professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and director of the sexual health minor. “We have not discussed it yet. I think this is something in the back of the minds of many LGBTQ people as they age and not something that is easily talked about.”

About 70 percent of Americans turning 65 today will need some type of long-term care in the future. But the LGBTQ community faces additional challenges: Older people in the LGBTQ community are at higher risk of discrimination in nursing homes and home care. More LGBTQ people anticipate needing care from non-family members. And research on aging LGBTQ folks is scant.

Editor's note [1], the photo is obviously not that of B. R. Simon Rosser and his husband.



The Case for Putting Seniors in
Charge of Universal Pre-K
BY MARC FREEDMAN AND CAROL LARSON



What Is The Child Tax Credit? How The Build Back Better Act Can Affect It In 2022

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

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




New Study Links Wine to Better
Cognitive Function in Elderly

By Shawn Zylberberg



A
Japanese study finds that people over age 75 may benefit from a regular glass of wine

The people of Japan have some of the highest life expectancies in the world, at an average of 85 years. But as they live longer, what dietary, fitness or socioeconomic factors affect health as they age? Exploring cognitive function, researchers at Osaka University and the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology recently collected health and lifestyle data from Japanese seniors over age 75 and found that moderate and consistent wine consumption was associated with higher cognitive function.

The study, published in BMC Geriatrics, followed 1,226 men and women in Japan, ages 75 to 87, during 2016 and 2017. The subjects were recruited from the SONIC cohort (Septuagenarians, Octogenarians, Nonagenarians and Investigation with Centenarians), an ongoing study that began in 2010 and has followed up on participants every three years.




How Older Adults Can Get
Help With Addiction

By Angela Haupt


You might be surprised to learn how many older adults are living with addiction, misusing substances like alcohol, nicotine and prescription medications—and experts say it’s not something to take lightly.

“Addiction in [older adults] is concerning for the same reasons that addiction is concerning with anyone,” says Joseph Gorordo, a licensed chemical dependency counselor in Austin, Texas. “It leads to a deteriorating quality of life that can cause a whole host of physical and social problems up to—and including—premature death.”

Developing a substance use disorder in older age might seem counterintuitive, but it’s often triggered by common changes that occur during that life stage. “As individuals get older, they begin to lose what had previously been big parts of their identity and purpose,” says Gorordo. “Children grow up and become self-sufficient. Careers that took up so much time and contributed so much structure end. Social supports, such as friends and family [members], begin to pass away.”





5 Ways to Make Gray Hair Soft and Shiny
By JULIANA LABIANCA


sWITCHING UP YOUR ROUTINE IS NECESSARY IF YOU'RE GOING FOR GLOSSY GRAYS.


Deciding to go gray is an empowering experience. So long, expensive salon colorings, root touch-up kits, and dye-induced damage. In their place, you've got gorgeous natural locks and a streamlined maintenance schedule. But if you think you can simply revert to your previous haircare regimen, think again. Gray hair requires its own unique routine to keep it healthy, soft, and shiny. Need help putting that strategy together? Here, hairstylists tell us their favorite pro tips for achieving glossy gray strands. Your best—and most natural–hair color awaits.

1Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

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

"Gray hair tends to lose its ability to stay hydrated as the hair follicle produces less sebum as we age, resulting in dryer, more coarse feeling texture," says Gregory Patterson, celebrity hairstylist and DIY expert for Sally Beauty. Because of that, "moisturizing and softening shampoos and conditioners are always recommended."





AT THE A.L.F.:




A memo, delivered to my door last night from our admin here at the Asylum, related the fact that over the weekend two more residents tested positive for COVID-19. That makes a total of three residents and two staff members, all testing positive. Two of the residents are not “in-house”, leaving us with one resident under quarantine (plus all the people that came in direct contact with her, including those she takes meals with). While this new information does not require any immediate reason to panic, the facility will beef-up precautions to assure the virus won’t become an outbreak and force the entire population to quarantine-in-place as we have done on several previous occasions.

What this shows is that we are still very far from returning to anything even resembling pre-pandemic America even though we have many, well-tested, viable vaccines and boosters. And we have had them for more than two years. It also proves despite that we here at the A.L.F. have all been vaccinated and double boosted, we remain susceptible to coming down with a case of COVID. Thankfully, the new cases are mild and do not require hospitalization. But the question remains. Will we ever see an end to this scourge that has devastated the lives of millions and has caused major physical, mental, and financial damage to ouraelves? Sadly, I’m leaning towards “no.”

I’m no scientist, but any fool can see this virus is not ordinary. It can mutate and adapt. Eight notable variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been found since September 2020. But there is something else that makes this virus different. Something more pernicious and more virulent than past plagues. This virus has become politicized.
 
It’s not unusual for new drugs or treatments, no matter how well tested, to have its opponents. Certain religious groups disapprove of anything but prayer to treat illness. And then there are those who are just plain ignorant and have no regard for anything “scientific.” But now another group of wackos has joined to mix. The anti-vaxxer-conspiracy-theorists who think, not only is the vaccine a left-wing plot, but the virus itself has political overtones. Sadly, that kind of thinking could have easily been prevented. At least in this country.

I can’t help but think how differently our dealing with the virus could have been had there been anybody but Donald J. Trump as our president. How much valuable time was lost because Trump decided not to recognize the COVID as a threat to this country. And, even after it became apparent it was more contagious than other global health issues, our president, our leader, the man who is supposed to set an example and whose every word and action is looked upon by millions as being trustworthy and “the right thing to do” failed to tell Americans to mask-up and avoid crowds. One word from him extolling the virtues of even the basic precautions at the start could have saved thousands of lives and kept the spread to a minimum. And then, even after vaccines were developed (vaccines that Trump himself put on a fast-track to produce), he still did not have the sense to come out and plead with detractors to get vaccinated. It is because of that inaction we remain in COVID’s grip and will stay that way.


“As of July 14, 2022, federal data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 78% of the total population in the United States have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. While vaccination coverage increased in the first half of 2022, vaccination and booster uptake has leveled off and remains uneven across the country. As the United States navigates another Omicron wave, individuals who have not received any booster dose are at higher risk of infection from the virus, and people who remain unvaccinated continue to be at particularly high risk for infection, severe illness, and death.” [1]

Trump is no longer in power but the party that put him in office and continues to perpetuate his ineptitude is as responsible as he is. Can we separate politics from common sense and end this scourge forever? I don’t know. But until we do, we may not see the end to COVID and its variants in our lifetime…………


[1] Source: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/latest-data-on-covid-19-vaccinations-by-race-ethnicity/






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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2022








Biden COVID Diagnosis
Highlights Risks to Older Patients

By Ralph Ellis


President Joe Biden is responding well to treatments for COVID-19, White House doctor Kevin C. O’Connor, DO, said Friday. But the 79-year-old’s positive test on Thursday is a reminder of one of the harsh but enduring truths of the pandemic: Older Americans are still more vulnerable to severe illness and death from the coronavirus than other age groups.

Though the Omicron subvariants that have dominated 2022 usually cause less severe illness and death than previous strains, COVID deaths this year have been concentrated in older Americans more than at any other point since vaccines became widely available, The New York Times reported.

As of early June, Americans in the 75-to-84 age group died four times more often each week than Americans 55 to 64 years old, the newspaper reported, citing provisional CDC data. At the peak of the Omicron wave last winter, Americans 75 to 84 were dying twice as often each week than people 55 to 64, according to the Times.





Should Retirees Be Less Worried About
Inflation Than Current Headlines Suggest?

By Chris Carosa

Are you living a comfortable retirement? Do the latest news reports cause you to worry about how ultra-high inflation affects your retirement? Should you proactively adopt strategies to tackle inflation right now?

Or is it something you simply don’t have to concern yourself with?

“The current inflationary environment poses unique challenges,” says Ted Wozniak, U.S. Head of Asset Management at SEI in Oaks, Pennsylvania. “It is driven by various forces such as supply chain disruption, foreign conflicts and government stimuli. With input cost on commodities such as grains and energy skyrocketing, inflation is prevalent in almost all sectors of the economy, to varying degrees.”

These headline numbers, of course, represent averages. They don’t necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. How inflation affects you may differ from how it impacts your neighbor next door or your nephew in Nebraska.




‘True Cost of Aging’ index shows many
Seniors can’t afford basic necessities

BY JUDITH GRAHAM


Fran Seeley, 81, doesn’t see herself as living on the edge of a financial crisis. But she’s uncomfortably close.

Each month, Seeley, a retired teacher, gets $925 from Social Security and a $287 disbursement from an individual retirement account. To make ends meet, she’s taken out a reverse mortgage on her Portland, Maine, home that yields $400 monthly.

So far, Seeley has been able to live on this income—about $19,300 a year—by carefully monitoring her spending and drawing on limited savings. But should her excellent health worsen or she need assistance at home, Seeley doesn’t know how she’d pay for those expenses.




$400 billion House spending package includes
Historic affordable senior housing funding

By Kimberly Bonvissuto

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a $400 billion spending package for fiscal year 2023 that includes the largest investment in new affordable senior housing since 2010.

The so-called “minibus” package contains six spending bills providing funding to various agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The HUD portion of the package would provide a 12% increase over last year’s budget, including a significant increase for the creation and operation of new Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly.

Specifically, the proposed bill would provide $323 million to create and operate 3,500 new Section 202 homes, $31 million to support budget-based rent increase at Section 8 project-based rental assistance properties, $6 million to get Section 202 / PRAC rents up prior to conversion, and $125 million for the renewal of service coordinator grants, according to LeadingAge.



10 Colleges That Offer
Free Tuition for Seniors

By Elizabeth Lotts


Seniors enjoy discounts for just about everything. Did you know that can even include the cost of higher education?

Some schools think it’s a smart idea. Whether through a state-supported program or school-based initiatives, there are plenty of opportunities to learn — and earn credit toward a degree — without the burden of crippling student loans.

The following colleges currently offer tuition-free, credit-bearing courses for students in their golden years. Admission to classes is likely to depend on whether space is available. Consider this your chance to advance a career, change direction or finish a degree you started many moons ago.






Y chromosome loss through aging can lead
To an increased risk of heart failure and death
From cardiovascular disease, new research finds

By Kenneth Walsh

The big idea

The Y chromosome can be lost through the process of aging, and this can lead to an increased risk of heart failure and cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study my colleagues and I published in the journal Science.


While most women have two X chromosomes, most men have one X and one Y. And many people with Y chromosomes start to lose them in a fraction of the cells in their body as they age.

While loss of the Y chromosome was first observed in 1963, it was not until 2014 that researchers found an association between loss of the Y chromosome and shorter life span. Y chromosome loss has since been linked to a number of age-related diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it has been unknown whether this loss is just another benign indicator of aging, like gray hair or skin wrinkles, or whether it has a direct role in promoting disease.

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE









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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JULY 25, 2022







GOP Support Among Seniors,
A Key Trump Base,
Drops Dramatically

By Ewan Palmer



T
he Republican Party has suffered a heavy loss of support from senior voters in recent months, a key demographic for the party in November's midterms and for Donald Trump's presidential ambitions, according to polls.

A recent survey conducted by CNN and the research firm SSRS found that 47 percent of those aged 65 and over said they would vote for a GOP candidate if the midterm congressional election for their district were held "today," with slightly more people aged 65 and over saying they would vote for a Democratic candidate (49 percent).

This is a major turnaround from May, when a previous CNN/SSRS poll found that nearly two-thirds of those aged 65 and over (62 percent) said they would back a Republican candidate in the midterms, compared to just 37 percent of seniors who said they would back a Democratic candidate.




Adults are missing out on a
Crucial medication review service

By Kara Gavin


Most older adults take multiple drugs but 80% haven’t had a medication review to check safety and potential savings, and 83% them don’t realize it may be covered by insurance.

For more than 15 years, Medicare Part D plans have paid for eligible older adults to meet with a pharmacist or other healthcare provider and go over all the medicines and supplements they take, so they can look for safety risks and ways to save money or streamline their doses.

But a new study shows that most people over age 65 with health insurance haven’t taken advantage of this service – and most don’t even know they can.




Daily coffee drinkers have better
Chance at longer life span

by Gianna Melillo

Previous research has linked coffee consumption with lower odds of developing type 2 diabetes, depression and other diseases.

To better distinguish the health effects of unsweetened, artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened coffee, researchers assessed data from the U.K. Biobank.

Information from more than 170,000 individuals were included in the prospective cohort study.

Drinking a mug of coffee each day may have benefits beyond an energy boost, as new research shows moderate consumption of the beverage is associated with a longer life span.

Study findings were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, and are based on data from more than 170,000 healthy participants registered in the U.K. Biobank.





Improving Eyesight May Help Prevent Dementia
New Dementia Prevention Method May
Be Behavioral, Not Prescribed

By Paula Span


As experimental drugs prove ineffective against increasing dementia cases in the U.S., researchers argue that improving eyesight can have an effect.

Dementia cases are climbing along with an aging world population, and yet another much-anticipated Alzheimer’s medication, crenezumab, has proved ineffective in clinical trials — the latest of many disappointments. Public health experts and researchers argue that it is past time to turn our attention to a different approach — focusing on eliminating a dozen or so already known risk factors, like untreated high blood pressure, hearing loss and smoking, rather than on an exorbitantly priced, whiz-bang new drug.

“It would be great if we had drugs that worked,” said Dr. Gill Livingston, a psychiatrist at University College London and chair of the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care. “But they’re not the only way forward.”






 How to plan for a post-50 career change

Professionals change careers for many reasons. Some do so in pursuit of a higher salary, while others seek a more even balance between their personal and professional lives.


Career changes can renew a person’s passion for working, which can grow stale for individuals who have been doing the same job for years on end. Though there’s not necessarily a bad time to change careers, there are times when making such a transition carries more risk. Such is the case for individuals over 50. Many individuals over 50 may not have the financial obligations they had when they were younger, as children may have grown up and moved out of the house. That can make changing careers after 50 more palatable. However, some individuals in their 50s may be hesitant to leave the security of an established career behind in favor of something new. Hesitance about job prospects after 50 also can make some less likely to take the plunge into a new career.

Though hesitancy about a career change after 50 is understandable, a recent survey from the American Institute for Economic Research found that 82 percent of workers who responded to the survey were able to successfully transition to a new career after age 45. In addition, projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that labor force participation among individuals aged 65 and over would increase significantly by 2022, nearly doubling the rate of participation in 1990. Those figures suggest that a midlife career change is not necessarily the same thing as a late-career career change. That should give professionals the confidence they need to successfully transition to a new career.



From the editor….



Seriously, what would you do if you, as a senior citizen, won the lottery? I’m not referring to the regular local lotteries. The ones that pay out a paltry ten or twelve million dollars. No, I mean the big one. The Mega-Millions lottery. The one that is now valued at $780 million or more by the time you read this.

Forget the odds are approximately 1 in 302.6 million that you’ll be the big, and only, winner. Let’s pretend you won it, it’s official, and the check has cleared. What are your plans? I know you must have thought about it whether or not you play.

Unless your name is Gates, Bezos, Buffett or Zuckerberg or one of the other 724 U.S. Billionaires, you most likely have a hard time even getting your head around having that much money never mind what you would do with it. But it sure is fun thinking about it. So, let’s go.
 
Before we fantasize about our mythical windfall, let’s add a few qualifications just to bring you back to reality.

Winning such a vast amount when you are 70 is a lot different from if you were 21. No matter what people would like to believe, you can’t take it with you and you have less time to enjoy it. That does not mean you can’t have fun. But you will have to squeeze that fun into a smaller time frame. This is not a bad thing.
 
Young winners must invest much of that money in some long-term, wealth-building venture. And then there is the problem of how to avoid paying taxes on the profit from those enterprises. But when you are 70 or 80, f**k investing and taxes. What you’ll want to do is spend it. it’s just a matter of whether you want to spend it on yourself or share your wealth. Let’s explore both avenues.


Spend the money on yourself.
The mind boggles at the choices. I suppose the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind (young or old) is where you will live. No matter where you live now, even if you live in a big well-appointed house, it will never compare to how and where you could live if money was no object. There are mansions, and then, there are MANSIONS. Take the Biltmore. You could have 175,000 square feet to roam around in. But why would you want to? For me, a two bedroom, two bath home near the ocean would be enough. And to get around, a car. Okay, maybe a nice car like a Mercedes or Bently. Of course, since I no longer drive, I’ll need a chauffeur, on a 24-hour call, to drive it for me. And speaking of “getting around” there’s nothing like a private jet to help you avoid those nasty security lines at the airport. The plane doesn’t have to be big like the A380 Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal opted for. A nice used one for a few million would do nicely.

What else would I buy for myself? I’d upgrade my wardrobe for starters. Not with fancy clothes, but clothes that fit my age-misshapen torso. The years have not been kind to my figure, and some custom-tailored clothes could do wonders hiding those imperfections. As for the other stuff I would give to me, there’s not much more. Unlike some guys, I’m not into the “toys.” I don’t need a giant flat screen TV or theater-grade sound. I’m deaf in one ear and stereo is wasted on me. I might shell out for a large-screen top-of-the-line computer and a new DSLR camera with all the lenses. You, I suppose, have your own “If I had the money, I would buy……” fantasy. So, go for it. 

Okay, you’ve spent some money on yourself. However, that only came to a few million. There is so much more left. What do you do with it?

Give it away?
This is a given. Society, and the tax rules make giving to charity a must. But to what charity? I’m sure you have your favorites, and I’ll bet at least one of those has something to do with finding a cure for your favorite disease. But before you fork over a few mil for a lab with your name on it, think about this. People have donated and bequeathed billions of dollars trying to find a cure for Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s and a host of other life-threatening afflictions. And, to this date, no cure has been found for any of them. NONE. Therefore, that’s not where my money would go. I’d rather give money to agencies and organizations that would do some good for people who just want a better life. Housing is a big problem now. It’s time for billionaires to start building and

supporting decent places for needy people to live. Really affordable housing for the elderly and homeless. And enough money to sustain those dwellings in perpetuity. There are ways to do it, but most billionaires don’t find decent apartments for the indigent as “sexy” as a new hospital wing or state park named after them. Look, it’s up to you, but wouldn’t it be nice to live in a country where its citizens did not have to live on the street?


Friends and relatives?

I’ve saved this part for last because it’s the trickiest and most delicate of all the things you could do with your money. There is no way you can get out of this without making enemies. No matter who you give money to, someone else will hate you for it. There is no happy median. If you decide to give equal amounts to each of your relatives, thinking that will end the disdain they have for you, you're wrong. It will make some hate you more. So how do you decide? If you don’t care what they think of you, it’s easy. Give the money to the relatives you like and nothing to those who stiffed you all your life. Revenge is always best when served cold. And nothing is colder than money. As for your friends, well, that’s a different story.

Unless you can keep the fact, you won all that money a secret, you will suddenly find you have a lot of friends. Some you will know, but most you will not. Those people are called charlatans or con men or scammers. I have a simple criterion for determining who my real friends are. If they did not stick with me through the bad times and the good, they were not friends. After my divorce, people I thought were my friends scattered like cockroaches in a spotlight. There was not one “I’m sorry” or, “Is there anything we can do?” from any of them. Only two or three people I knew cared enough to offer some solace and comfort in what for me was a devastating time in my life. I’ll never forget them, and they can have anything they need. For the others. Screw them.
 
As for how to manage your money, I can’t be much help. I’ve never had enough to make hiring a financial planner necessary. Get a good accountant and lawyer and keep as low a profile as you can. And, if you really can’t decide who to give your money to, my number is 914-36………








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2022









Johnson's Solution To Inflation:
Put Granny Back To Work

By Chris capper Liebenthal


Senator Ron Johnson (Q - Moscow) was making the radio and TV squawk show rounds last week to promote his latest lame brain scheme to fix the economy, deal with inflation, eliminate the alleged worker shortage and cure acne. OK, I made the last one up. But give him time.

He went on Fox with his latest great idea which was to put senior citizens back into the work force but don't make them pay a payroll tax. He said that it would address inflation, meet the need of of work requirements on welfare and fix the long term labor shortage.

Um, yeah. There's a few problems there.

If inflation is caused by "the government printing too much money," making sure that the government has even less money and increasing the need to print more would be defeating the purpose.


Read more  >>  CLICK HERE
 


Why brain stimulation should not be
Overlooked as an antidepressant
Treatment for older adults



In the U.S., rTMS was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 to treat patients suffering from treatment resistant depression, or in other words, patients who do not respond to standard antidepressants. It has since been approved or recommended in several other countries. The main advantage of rTMS is that it is a non-invasive, drug-free, and safe alternative treatment that really works: up to half of the patients for whom other antidepressant strategies have not worked will respond to rTMS.

This treatment would seem perfectly suited for older patients, given that they often suffer from various comorbidities and are typically taking several other medications that may complicate the use of regular antidepressants. However, since the early 2000s, it has been widely believed that rTMS is not beneficial for older patients. Gonçalo Cotovio, doctoral student in the Neuropsychiatry Unit and psychiatry resident in Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental, is first author of a new paper published in Frontiers, addressing this problem. According to Gonçalo, "while currently approved treatments require at least 4-6 weeks of treatment, many of the early papers used data collected from patients undergoing just 2 weeks of rTMS treatment, and this may be insufficient to obtain efficacy, particularly for older patients."

Gonçalo continued, "Amongst our group [the Neuropsychiatry Unit] and our collaborators in the United States [Harvard Medical School and Iowa University] this just didn't add up. We were observing many of our own older patients responding well to treatment and felt frustrated that others were being denied access to this treatment without clear evidence to sup




Declining tech literacy among older
Adults can put them at a disadvantage

By Thomas Goldsmith


As tech-literate adults age, older people in North Carolina and elsewhere are feeling more at home with computers these days. But as technology becomes increasingly complex, these same people often run into problems using smartphones, according to national numbers and leaders of Tar Heel senior centers.

Nationally, about three in four people 65 and older  use the internet, compared to virtually all people between 18 and 29. Growing computer skills among older people makes sense given the widespread use of technology in business and academia. But the smartphone use that’s virtually universal among the young only includes three out of five older people and can pose both operational and medical problems for them.

That’s the word from researchers and people including Brandi Bohanan, director of the Thomas A. Baum Senior Center in Dare County on the Outer Banks. She says requests for help with smartphones outpace asks for computer instruction among her members. So, what sort of issues require help for members?  




Devastation: How the Pandemic
Affected the Elderly

By Stephen Silver


The Covid-19 pandemic has had a terrible effect on the elderly and disabled population in the United States. Now, we have an idea of just how devastating.

According to The Hill, the Social Security Administration (SSA) released statistics stating that 5.6 million Social Security beneficiaries died in 2020 and 2021. That represents an increase of  840,000, or 17.7 percent, over the 2018-19 period. That number closely matches the figure of 825,000 deaths from Covid-19, as reported by the CDC as of the end of 2021. The Hill added that the death rate among Social Security recipients in 2020-2021 was 43.2 deaths per 1,000 beneficiaries, compared to the figure of 37.7 deaths in the two years pre-Covid.

The report added that the average annual death rate for Social Security’s disabled worker beneficiaries also increased by 16.9 percent in 2020-21, from the previous two years. The Social Security Administration announced in early June that, according to its latest trustees report, the OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, one year later than previously projected.






Isolated? Try this new FREE Senior
Website to Connect to Loved Ones


With seniors around the country facing isolation during COVID-19 lockdowns, the Birdsong Tablet, a senior focused tablet, is available in a FREE WEB VERSION accessible with only a web browser helping keep seniors connected to family and engaged during the pandemic.
Birdsong features include:

No-phone-needed video chat helping seniors connect with loved ones visually


Senior-friendly TV, movie and music ranging from Jack Benny, Milton Berle and Beverly Hillbillies episodes to songbooks to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby greatest hits

Word games such as Boggle, Hangman and crosswords as well as card games, number games, memory games, puzzles and trivia

Travelogues, virtual museum tours, TED Talks and other educational content

Spirituality resources for the major world religions




FROM THE EDITOR…


There’s a lot I can say about weekends at the ALF. Sadly, it would be the same thing I would say about the weekdays. Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday; it’s all the same. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The business office isn’t open on the weekends, so whatever “business” we have to attend to has to wait until Monday. Otherwise, the weekend days are no different than all the other days around here. Now before you think “Oh my. How boring it must be for you”, it isn’t all that sad. In fact, keeping to a routine, even on the weekends, is very comforting for many older residents. Me included.

Young people don’t like routine. And with good reason. They need to explore, discover, and experience new things so they can make their way in the world. Take food as an example. If we ate the same thing every day, we would have missed out on all the good things there are to eat. Sure, burgers are great. However, if we ate burgers all the time, we might never know what a pizza was. But it’s different with many older people. They don’t take well to change. Especially if that change might be or sound foreign. I see it in our dining room all of the time. ALF residents will reject a cheese quesadilla but have no problem ordering a grilled cheese sandwich. “Quesadilla, is that Mexican? It’s probably too spicy.”

For those of you seniors who readily look for new and exciting things to do, I need you to understand something about our residents. We don’t always remember things. It’s not Alzheimer’s or even cognitive decline. It’s more a matter of the need to forget things that no longer have relevance to how we live now. Living in an assisted living facility is much like having a personal secretary or executive assistant to remind you when you have to “take a meeting” or to remind you your Mercedes is ready at the dealers. Except here it’s, “It’s time for your shower, Mrs. Brown.” Or, “Where did you put your walker, Mr. Solomon?” Keeping to a routine eliminates the need for constant reminding which often leads to frustration and depression.

I don’t forget many things. Not the important things anyway. It’s not that I am different from most people my age. My not forgetting things has nothing to do with having a superior memory. My ability to not forget appointments or something I need to buy is almost totally dependent on Post-It Notes. Those little 3x3 yellow or blue or green sticky slips of paper have taken the place of what much of the temporal area of my brain used to do.[1] I have them stuck all over my room. And, what Post-It Notes don’t do, having a daily routine makes up for.

I get up at the same time every day. I eat my meals at the same time and same place almost every day and I work on this blog at the same time every day. And that’s the way I like it. Life has become for me a no-brainer. And, 
If something out of the ordinary comes along, I find pleasure in dealing with it. As long as I am not subjected to the constant pressure of having to come up with new ideas or deal with different people and their innate problems, I’m happy. 

I don’t need, nor want, any excitement in my life. Does that make Bruce a dull boy? Not in the least. Not having a need for cheap thrills does not diminish my need for knowledge. Researching articles and stories for this blog and my duties as president of the resident’s council keep me on my toes. And, as long as I can do it at my pace, without pressure, I will continue to learn and wonder and think. Therefore, having one day the same as the next is not a hindrance to experiencing new avenues. It’s the vehicle that allows me to do it.........................



It’s that time again. The weekend is upon us. That means a break for me and a chance for you to read new articles and stories and to catch up on news you may have missed. It looks like a hot one. Keep cool and hydrated and we’ll see you back here on Monday.


READ THE SENIOR LOG WEEKEND EDITION

[1] The area of short-term memory is located in the lower part of the temporal lobe and is of great importance for the temporary storage (a few tens of seconds) of an event, before it is eventually and permanently preserved.





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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, JULY 23, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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








Record Social Security bump could
Push seniors into higher tax bracket


Social Security recipients could see a record 10.5% cost of living adjustment next year, the bipartisan Senior Citizen League predicts, but that could bump some beneficiaries into higher tax brackets. Paying more in taxes could have the net effect of reducing retirees’ financial ability to move into a long-term care facility.

A 10.5% COLA in 2023 would mean about $175 more per month for the average beneficiary, increasing the average monthly retirement benefit of $1,668, Motley Fool reported. The amount of Social Security income exempt from taxes, however, would remain the same. According to a Washington Times report, that amount hasn’t changed since 1984.

Retirees must pay taxes on Social Security benefits if they have additional income from wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported of more than $25,000 for a single person or $32,000 for a married couple. Beneficiaries who earn more than $34,000, and couples who earn more than $44,000, can be taxed on up to 85% of their benefits.



Medicare Savings Programs


You can get help from your state paying your Medicare premiums. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay and deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions. These conditions are listed below under "How do I apply for Medicare Savings Programs?"
4 kinds of Medicare Savings Programs

Select a program name below for details about each Medicare Savings Program. If you have income from working, you still may qualify for these 4 programs even if your income is higher than the income limits listed for each program.

If you qualify for the QMB program, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare drug coverage.




Restoring Hearing With Beams of Light
By Tobias Moser



Human hearing depends on the cochlea, a snail-shaped structure in the inner ear. A new kind of cochlear implant for people with disabling hearing loss would use beams of light to stimulate the cochlear nerve.

There’s a popular misconception that cochlear implants restore natural hearing. In fact, these marvels of engineering give people a new kind of “electric hearing” that they must learn how to use.

Natural hearing results from vibrations hitting tiny structures called hair cells within the cochlea in the inner ear. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged or dysfunctional parts of the ear and uses electrodes to directly stimulate the cochlear nerve, which sends signals to the brain. When my hearing-impaired patients have their cochlear implants turned on for the first time, they often report that voices sound flat and robotic and that background noises blur together and drown out voices. Although users can have many sessions with technicians to “tune” and adjust their implants’ settings to make sounds more pleasant and helpful, there’s a limit to what can be achieved with today’s technology.





The Challenges of Aging with Disabilities



From physical disabilities to so-called invisible disabilities, such as depression or anxiety, older adults often struggle to age well with these myriad disabilities

Aging can be challenging. Older adults often deal with a variety of health and social issues. Many live on a fixed income in this ever more expensive country. They often face loneliness and isolation, conditions that were exacerbated during the COVID pandemic.

Throw in a disability and life can be especially difficult.

Just ask Sandy McLendon, a 67-year-old Iowa man who lives with heart disease and who needed surgery to repair a hip injury he incurred when he fell on ice in 2019.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE





7 Unique Health Benefits of Honey


Honey is a syrupy liquid that honeybees make from plant nectar. Loved worldwide for its sweetness and depth of flavor, it’s used in many foods and recipes.

The smell, color, and taste of honey vary based on the type of flowers it’s made from, so there are countless varieties available.


Honey has a number of potential health benefits and plays a role in many home remedies and alternative medicine treatments.

Here are 7 unique health benefits of honey.



From the editor…

How did you fair?
Find out here…https://neal.fun/life-stats/


FYI







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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-







Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com

GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2022








What seniors should know about
The new coronavirus subvariants

By Dr. Graham Tse,

It’s summertime.

And that means more gatherings with friends and family, picnics at your local senior center, bingo night – maybe you even have a cruise planned. But as people have begun getting together again, more folks are contracting COVID-19. The main culprits are a pair of omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, as well as others on the horizon (such as B.2.75).

These variants have become the dominant coronavirus strains and appear to be more contagious than their predecessors. Before these new strains, in earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that those 50 and older receive a second COVID-19 booster shot, which is now more critical than ever.

The recommendation from the CDC to get a second COVID-19 booster shot is essential for those 50 and older and those with medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease and other immunocompromised diseases. Adults who are 65 and older and have received at least two doses of the vaccine have shown a 94% reduced risk of being hospitalized because of COVID-19, according to the CDC.



Data shows that Smartphone Purchases
Continue to soar during the pandemic
Among 50+ US consumers
By Arooj Ahmed



Since the pandemic started affecting the mental well-being of people, everybody from Gen Z to senior citizens rushed towards their cell phones, and it ended up being an addiction. Data from AARP's, which is a non-profit American organization of 50-plus citizens, revealed a Tech Trends report, according to which smartphone purchases increased among adults ages fifty and above during the pandemic.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, older US citizens adopted technology very minimally and only when it was necessary. There is a general idea that older people hesitate while using digital devices or have limited knowledge of tech products. However, it is not true. Instead, seniors love to buy those devices from which they can benefit and resist only when they find something less important. But, during the lockdown caused by the pandemic, social media beats every other thing on the internet, and older people find digital devices a necessity. They became keener in getting information about medical care and also social connectedness was at its peak.

Moving on, if we look at the consumers between ages 50-59, 29 percent of them bought smartphones, 15 percent bought smart TV, 12 percent Tablet, the wearable device 11 percent and desktops 5 percent in 2019. And consumers between the ages of 60-69 bought relatively fewer smartphones at 23 percent, smart TV and Tablet at 11 percent, wearable devices at 6 percent, and desktops at 4 percent. Also, 70 plus respondents bought only 15 percent of smartphones. Senior citizens are unlikely to buy any of the digital devices as the percentage of purchases is very low. Next, in 2020 when the pandemic reached almost everywhere the seniors were asked how many of them purchased digital devices and they said almost 45 percent of people ages between 50-59 had purchased smartphones. There is a 16% increase in mobile phone purchases......




Congress’ Epic Fail In Caring
For Frail Older Adults

By Howard Gleckman


One would have thought that after more than 750,000 Covid-19 related deaths among older adults in the US and more than 200,000 deaths among residents and staffs of long-term care facilities that Congress would act to improve the nation’s long-term care system.

One would have been wrong. Except for including about $12 billion in federal funds to temporarily expand Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based (HCBS) long-term care program in 2021, Congress has done…nothing. In an extraordinary failure of leadership, a partisan, gridlocked US Senate appears to have abandoned any effort to improve a long-term care system that was at least partially responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of people and damaging the lives of countless others.

It wasn’t entirely a surprise. Indeed, you could see cracks in political support for even-modest long-term care reform more than a year ago.




Social Security Will See Big Changes in 2023,
But This Rule Will Continue to Cost Seniors Money



Social Security Will See Big Changes In 2023, But This Rule Will Continue To Cost Seniors Money

Each year some important changes happen to the Social Security benefits program. These affect both current retirees as well as workers who are going to collect benefits in the future.

But while many things will look different in 2023, there’s one rule that will stay the same. And the fact that this one aspect of the program doesn’t change at all is really bad news for retirees.

Social Security rules on a variety of issues change each year as a result of inflation. For example:








Why You Should Consider a
Vegan Diet As You Get Older

By Kayla Keena


Benefits of a Vegan Diet

As you age, food choices that otherwise wouldn’t have affected you before make a big difference. Here’s why you should consider a vegan diet as you get older.

The vegan lifestyle and plant-based diets have steadily grown in popularity over the last few years, and their consumers have become a significant market force. Vegan alternatives are springing up in grocery stores and restaurants, and after analyzing their many benefits, it’s clear to see why. They do wonders for people of all ages, and a vegan diet can significantly help as you get older. Read on to learn more about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

Your diet has a lot of influence on your health, and it’s clear to see why. Your body absorbs vast amounts of nutrients, oils, and fats. Vegan diets are great for people because, on average, they contain much fewer saturated fats, higher amounts of fiber, and lots of antioxidants. This leads to lower cholesterol, regulated blood sugar, and a steady weight. Antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help you better manage aches and pains and better prevent diabetes and cancer.





From the editor:


I rarely watch baseball anymore. It’s not that I don’t like the game, but it no longer does anything for me. Truthfully, my interest in the game has been declining for years. Some of it is because of my ever-shortening attention span. I can’t make it through a 3 hour game without falling asleep or surfing the channels looking for something else. I’m also more interested in how the team did than how they got there. And that, I can find online, instantly by Googling “MLB scores” on my smart phone. However, it was not always like this. There was a time when I was a rabid baseball fan. But that was a long time ago in a different place and a different era.

My most recent disinterest in baseball started when the final game was played at Shea stadium, home of the Mets. That was in 2008. Closing that ballpark broke the final connection with what baseball used to be. Baseball, apart from all other sports, had historical significance. It also has consistency and venerability. What happened on the baseball field affected, not just the local town where a game was played, but the entire nation. You may not have known who your U.S. Senator was, but you sure knew who played center field for the Yankee’s, and his batting average.

In order to understand my disillusionment, you have to know a little about where I grew up.


I was born in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs, or counties, that make up New York City. But for a kid back in the 1950s, Brooklyn might have been a separate city. We had our own downtown, our own city hall, our own newspaper, and our own major league baseball team. The Brooklyn Dodgers. Notice that they were called the “Brooklyn” Dodgers. Not the New York Dodgers. The Dodgers were our home team. As much of a home team as the one they had in Milwaukee or Boston or Chicago. And, if you grew up in Brooklyn, you lived, breathed and bled Dodger blue. People who live in Los Angeles and think they are Dodger fans do not know what being a Real Dodger fan is like. The L.A. Dodgers are a poor imitation of their Brooklyn ancestors. Yes, they have loyal fans. And yes, they have kept the original Dodger logo and colors and yes, they have a nice ballpark that puts old Ebbets Field to shame. But what they don’t have is heart and soul. A heart that comes from being at the bottom of the league standings for many years and a soul that was part of every fan that ever sat in those well-worn bleacher seats in that ballpark on Bedford Ave. I know. I was one of them.

It wasn’t until I was about 7 or 8 when I went to my first Dodger game. My father took me. I don’t remember any of that game, but I vividly remember my first look at that magic place the Dodgers called home. We entered the building from the main entrance. It was a short walk up a ramp to the seats. But before you got to the seating area, you were rewarded with a view of the “diamond”, and the field beyond. It was beautiful. The green, green grass stood out against the red clay of the infield. The lines that marked the batter’s box and the lines that led down to first and third base were an immaculate white, as were the bases. This was not just a ballpark. It was a cathedral where soon gods would come and play the only game that meant anything. Baseball. And those gods had names. God-like names like Reese, Snyder, Campanella, Hodges and Robinson. And I saw them all.

Over the years, I would go to many Dodger games. And when I couldn’t get to a game or the team was on the road, I watched them on Channel 9. I listened to great announcers who were as well known as the players. Red Barber, Al Helfer and later, the great Vin Scully.
 
And then, one day in 1957, they were gone. For me, and for most of Brooklyn, it was as if someone had taken a knife and torn out our hearts. The team, with perhaps the most loyal fans in any sport, picked-up and moved to Los Angeles. They followed their Northern rivals, The NY Giants, to greener pastures in the Golden State. That, to me, ended my love of baseball until the Mets came to town and re-kindled some of what was lost. The Mets were a terrible team. But they did something even the Dodgers couldn’t do. They brought old Dodger fans and old Giant fans together in neutral territory, Queens. Once again, we had a home team we could call our own. And that love affair lasted, for me, until they decided that Shea Stadium was outdated. There weren’t enough expensive seats in Shea or elite skyboxes. So they built a wannabe copy of Ebbets Field. A new ballpark that looks old. It’s hideous and says F**k You to every Dodger-Giant-Met fan who now has to sell a kidney just to sit in the bad seats.


I’m not naïve. I know baseball is a business and not just a game. But when I was a kid, at least they pretended it was a game and that a player hit home runs to win games and not only to increase his bargaining position when his contract came up for renewal.

Next week, some of our residents here at the A.L.F. will attend a Yankee game. It’s an all-expense paid outing provided by the Yankees. It includes transportation and field-level seats in a special handicap area. Our facility will supply sandwiches and drinks. I will not be attending. Not just because I hate the Yankees, but I know I won’t be comfortable having to sit through 9 innings watching players who, individually, make more money that the entire Brooklyn Dodgers team mad in a lifetime…………….
 

 





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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-








GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JULY 18, 2022









9 Ways Americans Want the
Government to Fix Retirement

By Brandon Ballenger


It costs twice as much these days to fill up your gas tank. The grocery bill rises every week. Kids need new shoes? Break out another couple hundred bucks.

Your budget is bleeding, thanks to inflation. How to stanch that financial hemorrhage? Hint: You can’t do it with thrift alone.

Sure, being frugal helps. But you can’t coupon your way to solvency, and brown-bag lunches or bringing your own coffee can get you only so far in an era of inflation.



Medicare Home Health Benefits:
What Caregiving Costs Are Covered

By Jennifer J. Salopek



Medicare, the government's medical insurance for people age 65 and older and younger people receiving Social Security disability benefits, isn't designed to pay for 24-hour care for a loved one at home.

But with a doctor's orders and plan of care, you can get costs covered for several necessary services if you are caring for a loved one who is homebound because of a chronic illness or injury.

Covered services include:

  1.     Home health services, part-time or intermittent, provided by home health aides.
  2.     Medical social workers, who help with emotional concerns and with understanding a disability or illness.
  3.     Occupational therapists, who help people do the daily activities they need to live life more easily.
  4.     Physical therapists, who help restore movement in those who might have weakened while being hospitalized.
  5.     Speech-language pathologists, often used after strokes to help restore communication and swallowing.
  6.     Skilled nursing care.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



New Report Reveals Significant Gaps in
Medicare Knowledge Among Older Adults



Seniors enrolling in Medicare face a process fraught with challenges, display significant gaps in knowledge of plan components, are overwhelmed by Medicare advertisements, and often fail to re-evaluate their plan options when selecting plans. As a result, many are enrolling in plans that fail to best reflect and support their evolving healthcare needs.

These are the findings of a new report, Hidden Crisis: The Medicare Enrollment Maze, issued today by national healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners. The report is based on a survey of 1,142 individuals ages 64 and older, which was commissioned by Healthpilot, an AI-driven, fully digital platform for Medicare education and insurance enrollment.

The report explores the profound impact of widespread confusion and overwhelming enrollment challenges on older Americans, as well as the entire healthcare system. With nearly 64 million Americans enrolling in Medicare in 2021 and the U.S. Census Bureau projecting more than 73 million Americans will enroll by 2030, the negative effects will only intensify.

Read more>  CLICK HERE



Economic worries further older
Americans’ pandemic-era
Plans to delay retirement, survey finds
By Andrew Osterland


What is retirement? When does it start? And how has Covid-19 affected Americans’ retirement plans?

An ongoing survey of U.S. retirees and near-retirees suggests there’s a wide range of opinions on these fundamental questions and a rapidly changing perspective on what retirement will look like in the future.

Last July, about one-third of the 11,000 older Americans surveyed by financial advisor Edward Jones and consultant Age Wave since 2019 said they expected they would delay their plans for retirement. But when asked earlier this year, that number had ballooned to 59%, with respondents saying they expected to work in some way in their golden years, either full-time, part-time or cycling between work and leisure.

The respondents also didn’t agree on what retirement is. Some thought it began at a specific age; others, when they left their main job or began collecting their pension. Still others thought the milestone marker of retirement was when they achieved financial independence.
More from Life Changes:





10 Things You Need to Know
About Long-Term Care Insurance



  • What is long-term care insurance?
  •     What does long-term care insurance cover?
  •     How do I choose the right long-term care insurance policy?
  •     How can I get help paying for long-term care insurance?
  •     What are some alternatives to long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance that helps cover the cost of long-term care services. These services can include things like in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home care. Long-term care insurance can help you pay for these services if you need them in the future.




From The Editor…


Lots of things make me feel old. Just looking at the calendar does that. Especially this time of year, when yet another birthday looms just around the corner. Oh, there are many other age-related reminders that things ain’t what they used to be. Notable among those (speaking from a man’s viewpoint, of course) is the sagging. And when I speak of sagging, I mean everything. Nothing on my body can stay up on its own. Fortunately, my clothes cover most of those indignities and, since I am not an exhibitionist, nobody will ever see that, anyway. But, while things like saggy bits, graying (or disappearing) hair, gnarly feet or milk-bottle thick eyeglasses may make me look old, there is only one thing that makes me feel old.

The one thing that sets us old folks apart from the others is the way we walk. In fact, if you had to list, in order, things that are common to old people, this would be at the top of that list. It's that very special gait that comes from the accumulation of a variety of afflictions gained over the years.


Young actors, who play the part of an elderly person and have the luxury of some great makeup to make themselves look older. But it's the “walk” most find difficult to master. It’s easy to overdo it. Yes, we stoop. And, yes, we walk slowly. But there is more to the walk than just how straight we stand or how fast we can move. Unfortunately, to understand that stride, one has to actually live with it.

If you are a young person, and you want to know what it feels like to walk like an old person, do this. Tomorrow morning, when you get out of bed and stand up, remember that very first step you take on your way to the bathroom. Few people, no matter how old, will be 100% steady on their feet for that first step of the day. Now, think what it would be like if every step you take the rest of the day felt like that first step. That’s what old people experience every day, all day. That connection between what your brain thinks, how you should walk and the actuality of what has happened to your bones and your muscles, has been broken. It’s like putting a powerful engine into a car with worn shocks, bad springs, a flat tire and wheels that are out of alignment. It’s no-go Fargo.

For me, nothing says “Old Man” more than the way I walk. Standing still, I could pass for a man ten years younger than my 76 years. However, as soon as I grab my cane and make my way from wherever I was standing to wherever I was going, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am old. Fortunately, I am not bent over, and I don’t shuffle my feet. My steps, while measured and carefully taken, are not wobbly yet. But don’t expect me to hurry. I’m slow as molasses on a cold day and getting slower. Recent attempts trying to speed up my pace have resulted in shortness of breath and some aching hips. I have to leave five minutes earlier just to get where I want, only to be five minutes late.

As of now, I’m doing okay. I know my limitations and adjust for them. And, being here at the ALF, the distances I need to walk to get from my room to the dining room or to an activity are purposely short. My only fear is that I will become less mobile. It’s already starting. Every month that goes by, I can feel myself walking slower and with more effort. Native Americans have a saying about how to truly experience how they feel, one has to “Walk a mile in my moccasins.” That’s great. But those moccasins better have orthopedic insoles……………….
 






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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-



 


GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2022







The worst virus variant just arrived.
The pandemic is not over.



The pandemic is a relentless race against Mother Nature. Waves of infection took millions of lives, and only highly effective vaccines prevented even more deaths. Now, the coronavirus is speeding up once again, mutating, evading immunity and still on the march. The arrival of subvariant BA.5 should be a reminder that the finish line in this race is nowhere to be seen.

What’s BA.5? This is the latest subvariant of omicron, which stormed the planet late last year and caused a huge wave of infection. As of now, BA.5 and a closely related variant, BA.4, account for about 70 percent of all infections in the United States, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in part on modeling. These two newcomers are easing out an earlier variant, BA.2.

The obscure names should not hide the punch of BA.5. Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, says that BA.5 “is the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen.” He adds, “It takes immune escape, already extensive, to the next level, and, as a function of that, enhanced transmissibility,” well beyond earlier versions of omicron. There has not been a marked increase in hospitalizations and deaths, he reports, because there is so much immunity built up from the winter omicron wave. But there are aspects of this new variant very much worth keeping an eye on as the United States remains stuck at an uncomfortably high plateau of pandemic misery. And the new variants are driving a case surge in Europe.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE  

 
Social Security Benefits Could
Rise by Double Digits

By Elizabeth O'Brien

Social Security recipients are projected to receive a double-digit raise next year, the biggest jump in more than 40 years on the heels of a hotter-than-expected inflation report, according to an estimate released Wednesday.

A 10.5% cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, would add an extra $175 to the average benefit, which for retired workers is $1,669, according to The Senior Citizens League, author of the estimate. The Social Security Administration will announce the actual adjustment for 2023 in October, based on a calculation that compares the average consumer price index from the third quarter of 2022 with data from the same period last year. Wednesday’s estimate factored in consumer prices from June, which came in at a 9.1% annual increase.

While a big raise would be good news for retirees, many of whom have been struggling to make ends meet on the 5.9% COLA for this year, it may come with unwelcome consequences, The Senior Citizens League said.




Poor physical and mental health among older
Adults linked to childhood abuse history



Older adults who were physically abused as children were significantly more likely to develop chronic pain and chronic physical illness in later life according to a newly-released study by University of Toronto researchers. They were also twice as likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders compared to those without this early trauma.

"Sadly, our findings suggest that the traumatic experience of childhood physical abuse can influence both physical and mental health many decades later. It also underlines the importance of assessing for adverse childhood experiences among patients of all ages, including older adults," said Anna Buhrmann, who began this research for her undergraduate thesis in the Bachelor of Arts and Science program at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and is a research assistant at the Institute of Life Course & Aging at the University of Toronto.

The physical illnesses that developed included diabetes, cancer, migraines, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The links between childhood abuse and poor physical and mental health persisted even after accounting for income, education, smoking, binge drinking, and other causes of poor health.




Could a computer diagnose
Alzheimer's disease and dementia?



It takes a lot of time -- and money -- to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. After running lengthy in-person neuropsychological exams, clinicians have to transcribe, review, and analyze every response in detail. But researchers at Boston University have developed a new tool that could automate the process and eventually allow it to move online. Their machine learning-powered computational model can detect cognitive impairment from audio recordings of neuropsychological tests -- no in-person appointment needed. Their findings were published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

"This approach brings us one step closer to early intervention," says Ioannis Paschalidis, a coauthor on the paper and a BU College of Engineering Distinguished Professor of Engineering. He says faster and earlier detection of Alzheimer's could drive larger clinical trials that focus on individuals in early stages of the disease and potentially enable clinical interventions that slow cognitive decline: "It can form the basis of an online tool that could reach everyone and could increase the number of people who get screened early."






Best pain medication for severe arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joint that affects people worldwide. Doctors will create treatment plans for people based on the level of pain they experience, such as those with severe arthritis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 58.5 millionTrusted Source people in the United States have arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation adds that 1 in 4 people experience severe pain, giving their pain a seven or higher on a scale of 0–10.

Arthritis can cause permanent changes to the joint. Although it can affect all people, it occurs most commonly in older people and both men and women in the United States.









It hasn’t reached the point of becoming dangerous, but the continuing shortage of staff here at the A.L.F. certainly has affected the quality of life of our residents.

Attracting qualified people to work here and at all long-term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living) has always been problematic. The reasons for which are many. Primary of those is money. Pre-pandemic, salaries for new hires were barely above minimum wage. And even now, they’re not much better. But that’s just the beginning of the hiring woes.

Working at facilities like ours sucks. The work is grueling, often dirty and mostly thankless. Besides having to clean up after our less-then-hygienically aware residents, staffers have to put up with all the eccentricities of an older population. While most of those issues are because of failing memories and confusion, some epithets hurled at staff are mean, cruel and often racial. No worker anywhere should have to put up with that. And yet healthcare employees encounter it daily.

However, it is sometimes the State of N.Y. that has led to the difficulty in hiring. The statute that governs who can be hired, while understandable, is also restrictive. The law says that no person convicted of a felony can work in a long-term care facility. In addition, all applicants must pass a background check and drug test. Although this sounds like the right thing to do, why should a person who made a mistake 10 or fifteen years ago have to pay for the rest of their life? Relaxing some of those restrictions could increase the pool of people willing to work at facilities like ours. Meanwhile, our residents will have to bear the consequences of less than adequate staffing.

Of the immediate effects of short-staffing, food services have taken the biggest hit. There are not enough servers, bus boys or cooks to properly cook, prepare, and serve our residents. This results in mealtimes starting late (sometimes as much as 45 minutes late).. Place settings are improperly set, food items left off plates, cold cups of coffee and warm drinks. Some residents waited as long as an hour to be served. This is another smudge on the list of quality-of-life issues that abound here.
 
Lack of staffing has led to the curtailment of some activities, including arts and crafts and group games. But that’s a minor point. What really concerns facility administrators and supervisors is the direct effect an inadequate resident-to-staff ratio will eventually have on the safety of many of our residents who need more than routine supervision.

Although we are not designated as a “Cognitive care facility”, we have many residents who are challenged to remember where they have to be or where their room is. Many residents need to be escorted to and from activities, including meals and doctor appointments. Often there are no staff ready to assist these residents when they need it. And, on more than a few occasions, other residents have taken it upon themselves to act as helpers. This is not a good situation.

It does not take a professional to notice some of the other problems of not having enough staff for the job. Maintenance, the service that does everything from repairing and maintaining our HVAC to painting and plumbing has been going downhill for years. Many of the rooms need painting and other cosmetic repairs that a short-staffed department has failed to keep up with. Worn carpets, torn wallpaper and broken railings in the corridors are the most noticeable as are dirty windows, broken shades and blinds and dirty outdoor furniture. No, it’s not a matter of life and death, but combined, these issues add to a marked decline in the living conditions here, which makes for many unhappy residents who had hoped to live out their lives with a modicum of peace and dignity.
 
Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. Money will always be an issue, as will the lack of benefits and working conditions. And facilities like ours which depend on Medicare and Medicaid subsidies to meet the ever-rising operating costs will suffer the most, taking its residents along with them……….........


EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s a new look to our weekend edition. From now on, every weekend edition will contain all new stories and articles of interest to seniors. This is in addition to our regular archival presentation. I hope you will join us………










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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-








GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2022









Estranged From Your Grandchildren?
There Might Be Hope
Experts offer advice for reconciliation when
The door is slammed shut
By Katherine Skiba



Grandparenting should be slurping ice cream, cheering at Saturday morning soccer games, and teaching a child to ride a bicycle, bake a cake or use a rod and reel. ​

But some people can’t enjoy these simple pleasures with their children’s children. They’re restricted when it comes to spending time with the kids. Children’s parents are the gatekeepers who decide how much access grandparents have to grandchildren, and sometimes family feuds mean that access gets limited.​

The impact on a banished grandparent can be loneliness, hurt, shame, blame and stigma from others who wonder what the older person did to “mess up [their] child,” says Megan Dolbin-MacNab, an associate professor at Virginia Tech who has studied grandparenting for more than 20 years and is a marriage and family therapist.​

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Here’s How Much Seniors Actually
Spend on Health Care

By Karla Bowsher


It costs twice as much these days to fill up your gas tank. The grocery bill rises every week. Kids need new shoes? Break out another couple hundred bucks.

Your budget is bleeding, thanks to inflation. How to stanch that financial hemorrhage? Hint: You can’t do it with thrift alone.

Sure, being frugal helps. But you can’t coupon your way to solvency, and brown-bag lunches or bringing your own coffee can get you only so far in an era of inflation.




How to Tell a Good Assisted Living Facility
From an Awful One

By Jeff Somers



Whether we like it or not, we’re all getting older. In fact, according to the U.S. census, the country as a whole is getting older, and the population of adults over the age of 85 is estimated to triple in the next 20-30 years. So it’s not surprising that there are close to one million people residing in assisted living facilities in this country—a number sure to grow rapidly as the country continues to gray up.

Assisted living is a great option for a lot of families because they’re flexible experiences. If your older loved one just needs some care and assistance, they can still have a pretty independent life while being supported by trained professionals and having easy access to medical care. While researching and assessing the training and qualifications of the staff is one major aspect of choosing an assisted living facility, there’s also the question of the atmosphere and “vibe” of the place.

Assuming the staff and quality of care are up to snuff, how can you tell if an assisted living facility is right for your aging loved ones? The answer is surprisingly simple: Treat the selection process like you’re buying a house.




Study: Light During Sleep in Older Adults
Is Linked to Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Obesity

By Ashley Gallagher


Study results show that there is a link between leaving the television on, night lights, and smart phones and higher disease rates.

Individuals aged 63 to 84 years who were exposed to any amount of light while sleeping at night were significantly more likely to be obese, have diabetes, and have high blood pressure compared with adults who were not exposed to any light during the night, according to data from a Northwestern Medicine study.

In the real-world study that was published in Sleep, investigators used wrist-worn devices to measure and track light exposure over 7 days.








Best smartphone assistive apps
For seniors with low vision

Assistive apps for smartphones could help seniors with low vision regain some of their independence and relieve caregiver burden at the same time. But there’s a problem: Many older Americans who could benefit from apps designed for those with visual impairment do not use them. In fact, while 15.2% of people over the age of 75 reported having vision loss that could not be corrected through prescription lenses, only 6% of older smartphone users take advantage of these types of apps.

Initial findings from a study cited in the Review of Optometry listed two reasons for this. First, most people who could benefit from the apps didn’t even know that they existed. Second, those who did know about the apps were unclear on how to use them and needed assistance to learn.

“While apps are likely to be more intuitive for younger users, extensive training may be required for novice users who are visually impaired seniors that are motivated to learn them,” the researchers said.










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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-










GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 2022









Experts weigh in on addressing
Mental health in seniors, mothers

By Anastassia Gliadkovskaya


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation affected 1 in 4 older adults.

It's almost two years into the pandemic, and now it affects two out of three adults in general and two out of five low-income older adults, according to data from the AARP Foundation.

Depression in homebound older adults is up to three times higher compared to their peers who are not homebound. But they face many barriers including social determinants to receiving existing mental health services, like a lack of transportation to go to clinic-based therapy, explained Namkee Choi, Ph.D., professor and chair of gerontology at the University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work, speaking at the recent Summit on Mental Health by the Association of Healthcare Journalists.

Most of these older adults rely on medications prescribed by a primary care physician, who is their main source of mental health care, Choi said. Yet antidepressants have limited efficacy, particularly among low-income homebound seniors, because of their inability to teach coping skills.




Should senior citizens invest
In the stock market?
By B.Gopkumar


Equity participation in India registered significant growth in the last few years, with the number of active investor accounts rising by over one crore in 2020 alone.

The data from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) show that majority of these new accounts belong to investors aged between 24 and 39. Active participation by millennials in markets is no secret, but when it comes to senior citizens, there seems to be a low affinity toward equity products.

Given how the stock market can be volatile, it is understandable that investors closer to the retirement age shy away from investing in equity. However, exposure to equity instruments is necessary for inflation-beating returns and for long-term wealth. Therefore, instead of limiting their portfolio to safer investment options, senior citizens can explore how to leverage the markets at minimum risk.




Over 50 and looking for a job?
Here’s what you need to know

By Cheryl Winokur Munk


With the bear market hitting retirement portfolios hard, bonds performing as poorly as stocks, and inflation raging, what seemed like a sure retirement income may be more of a pipe dream for many older Americans who had left the workforce, or planned to soon retire. The economic situation is sending more retirement-age workers back into the labor force. A recent CNBC survey found a majority of retirees would consider returning to work. But finding the right job isn’t always easy.

Many companies don’t offer the flexibility that many older workers want later in life. Age discrimination is another factor, with 78% of older workers claiming to have seen or experienced workplace age discrimination, according to 2021 data from AARP. That’s the highest level since 2003, when AARP began tracking the data.

Yet many companies are increasingly looking to attract mature workers, and with good reason. For one, the labor market is as tight as it’s been in decades and there are now two open jobs for every worker in the nation, and firms are struggling to recruit and retain talent. Research from employee scheduling company Homebase suggests that seniors are more engaged; more likely to look forward to work; more connected to their companies; and less likely to consider quitting. This makes older workers especially attractive in the currently tight labor market, said Jason Greenberg, head economist at Homebase.




Social Interactions Tied to
Sense of Purpose for Older Adults



Having positive social interactions is associated with older adults’ sense of purposefulness, which can fluctuate from day to day, according to research from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

And although these findings, published in the July 2022 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, apply to both working and retired adults, the research found that for better and for worse these interactions are more strongly correlated to purposefulness in people who are retired.

“Specifically for our retired older adults, this is a construct we should really care about,” said Gabrielle Pfund, who led the study as a Ph.D. student in the lab of Patrick Hill, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences. Pfund graduated in June and is now at Northwestern University.







How to Embrace Keeping
Your Hair Long After 50
By Juliana LaBianca


If there's one beauty myth that needs to be dispelled, it's that you have to cut your hair after 50. This myth originated for several reasons. As we age, our hair changes in texture and naturally thins, and many women find it easier to maintain at a shorter length. However, that doesn't have to be the case. If you'd prefer to keep your tumbling tresses, you absolutely can—all it takes are a few extra steps in your hair care routine. Here, professional hairstylists tell us the key ways to embrace long hair after 50 and keep it beautiful, shiny, and healthy.


The key to embracing long hair after 50 is making it look intentional and styled. You'll also want to ensure your strands frame your face in a flattering manner. An easy way to accomplish both is with face-framing layers.

"As we get older and things seem to start to droop, we want to keep the layers around the face so we can sweep up and away from the face to create the illusion of tighter skin," says Cody Renegar, an L.A.-based celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and Marie Osmond. Bring the idea to your stylist and they'll be able to create a cut that suits your features best.




From the editor…




Readers of this blog know I was subpoenaed to be a witness in a federal case against a doctor who was accused of committing Medicare fraud. The full account of how I became involved in this and my eventual participation and my day in court can be found here…seniorlogarticles.yolasite.com. If you are not familiar with this story, or for the sake of continuity, I suggest you read the preface before continuing. However, if, like me, you were wondering how this case was adjudicated, I can tell you the jury found the defendant guilty on one count of health care fraud and one count of false claim. He is set to be sentenced on November 7 and faces up to 15 years in jail. [1] I will keep you informed on that decision when it occurs.


First, let me say I take no credit for this conviction. Nor do I take any pride in having contributed to its outcome. This conviction, no matter what the sentence, is a tragedy and has ruined the life of a man and his family. Most likely, this will be the end of a long career as a physician. A physician who had an ongoing practice in Brooklyn and, by all accounts, served his patients and community well. I personally feel sorry for this man. But I don’t have any reservations about my part in reporting the original error I found on my EOB [2] statement. My actions were not taken because I wanted any kind of revenge or reward. I simply saw an error (that just happened to have my name associated with it) and reported it. And, if it were to be found to be a fraudulent claim, I did not want my name associated with it.

I’m telling my experience for two reasons. First, whether you use Medicare, anytime someone collects money from a false claim, it costs all of us money. I also want you to know that if you find and report an error on your EOB, you must be prepared to follow through on whatever happens. And that means the possibility of having to appear in court as a witness. You may not have a choice in the matter. If the government thinks they need you to bolster their case, you will be subpoenaed. And you will have to answer that subpoena of you may face legal action. Therefore, think about what you are about to do if you report an error. Personally, I might not be as eager to report an incident knowing what I now know. I’m not getting any younger, and my strength and ability to deal with situations like this are waning. Unfortunately, it’s exactly that attitude, fraudsters rely on when they devise a scheme. They know many of us oldsters either won’t even read the EOB or will not want to get involved. It’s sad, but true. In any event, I urge you to read those statements. If anything, it will give you an insight of how much you and the government are paying for healthcare…….......
 
[1]https://tdpelmedia.com/a-federal-jury-convicted-a-new-york-man-today-for-defrauding-medicare-and-medicaid
[2]EOB. Estimate of Benefits










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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2022







Medicare could have saved $3 billion
Buying drugs the Mark Cuban way

By Hussain S. Lalani, Benjamin N. Rome, Aaron S. Kesselheim


M
any of our patients struggle to afford their medicines, and it’s agonizing to have a front-row seat to this injustice. Despite politicians’ frequent promises to lower drug prices, Congress has failed to pass any meaningful reforms in decades. As different states experiment with their own solutions, one approach spearheaded by Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has attracted growing attention.

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company, which launched online in January, promises lower prices and complete transparency about how those prices are set. This venture offers a welcome reprieve to some patients, but it does not address the root causes of high drug prices. For that, we need congressional action.

Cuban’s new company purchases hundreds of generic drugs from manufacturers and sells them online directly to consumers. Each generic drug is priced at a cost negotiated with the manufacturer plus a 15 percent markup, a $3 pharmacy dispensing fee and $5 for shipping. Remarkably, this sometimes adds up to substantially lower prices for many patients.




More seniors are using
Computers for entertainment
And some are gambling at
Internet casino sites



The statistics show that a growing number of senior citizens are becoming tech savvy. Perhaps the isolation protocols of the pandemic have helped encourage the elderly set to accept computers as a means of keeping in touch with friends and relations and as a way to shop online.

The FandomSpot website, focused on Internet content, recently conducted a survey of 1,000 computer users aged 65-plus and found that most of them, 76%, go online because it helps to stimulate their brains. The poll also found that nearly half of those who took part in the survey had spent $500 or more on computer paraphernalia. As FandomSpot’s Alyssa Celatti told the New York Post, “Old people don’t just want to sit on the porch and watch leaves fall, they want to have fun. This study might even encourage more senior citizens to give gaming a go for some of the benefits cited by their peers.”

That’s all well and good, but there is a sinister side of online gaming when gaming is a synonym for gambling. Rethinking65.com, an online resource for financial advisors, warns that “As [online] gambling platforms multiply, some people in or near retirement might be tempted to roll the dice on their wealth accumulated over a lifetime. And financial advisors may find themselves on the front line of helping clients for whom casual gambling becomes a compulsion that could drain their savings.”




Why do more women get
Alzheimer's disease?

By Anna Guildford, Ph.D.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects nearly twice as many women as men.
About 60% of people with AD don’t express apolipoprotein E (APOE ε4), its most established genetic risk factor.
New research has shown the MGMT gene may be associated with a higher risk of AD in two different populations, particularly in women without APOE ε4.
The study found that the expression of MGMT contributes to the development of toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, especially in women.

AD is the most common form of dementia, a gradual condition that causes the brain to shrink and the cells to die. The condition affects a person’s ability to remember, think, and carry out simple tasks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 5.8 millionTrusted Source people in the U.S. are living with AD and dementia, which is predicted to rise to nearly 14 millionTrusted Source by 2060.

AD is caused by the toxicTrusted Source buildup of amyloid proteins around the brain cells and tau proteins inside the brain cells.




Life can be ideal with
Independent living


Independent living in one’s own apartment can be a great choice for many older adults. Apartment life on a residential campus like UHS Senior Living at Ideal can help older persons achieve the goals they have set for themselves as they age.

The “Ideal Life” offers both freedom and security.

“Our residents are able to maintain their independence and enjoy the security and amenities that are all part of adult apartment living today,” said Jim Shadduck, administrator of Ideal.

Residents enjoy comfortable apartment living on the quiet, pleasant, top-of-the-hill campus on High Avenue in Endicott, he noted.







7 High-Return, Low-Risk Investments for Retirees
By Matt Whittaker


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that life expectancy at age 65 for the U.S. population in 2020 was 18.8 years. This means that those who retire at the traditional age should be prepared to fund at least two more decades of living expenses.


Investing wisely can help supplement Social Security benefits. "Given low starting points of traditional bond yields, (retirees should) consider enhancing overall portfolio yields by looking outside of the bond market," says Christine Armstrong, executive director of wealth management at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Keep in mind that high return and low risk tend to be oxymorons in investing. "Higher returns are generally achieved only by taking more risk, either in the form of more repayment risk, more volatility or more liquidity risk," says Scott Duba, chief investment officer and managing director of wealth management at Prime Capital Investment Advisors. So be sure you understand the features of any investment that purports to offer both high returns and low risk before investing.



From the editor…


The Jury has made its verdict on the case of Medicare fraud in which I was a witness. Naturally, I have been following this case and was eager to see what the outcome would be. I know what it is, but you’ll have to wait until Wednesday. Now that the trial has ended, it is possible for me to tell you more about the details. I just need a little time to get it all together……………
 






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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-







GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JULY 11, 2022









Senior sex: Tips for older men
What you can do to maintain a healthy and
Enjoyable sex life as you grow older.



As you age, sex isn't the same as it was in your 20s — but it can still be enjoyable. Unlike some myths suggest, sex isn't just for the young. Many seniors still enjoy their sexuality into their 80s and beyond.

A healthy sex life is both fulfilling and good for other parts of your life too — such as your physical health and self-esteem.
Senior sex: What changes as men get older?

Changes to your body or lifestyle can make you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable — especially when it comes to sex.

You may notice changes such as:....




11 of the Easiest Ways to Protect
Your Retirement Money

By John Rampton


It's no secret that it's hard to plan for retirement. In addition to growing a sizeable nest egg, you must protect it from external factors like market volatility, inflation, and unforeseen expenses. And, to be brutally honest, that's been tough as of late.

Northwestern Mutual's 2022 Planning & Progress Study shows that personal savings are down 15% from $73,100 in 2021 to $62,086 in 2022. Moreover, 60% of American adults say the pandemic is "highly disruptive" to their finances.

In the midst of the pandemic, though, Americans saved around $2.5 trillion. Unfortunately, those cash reserves are drying up as people use them to deal with 40-year-high inflation. According to a Forbes Advisor survey, two-thirds of Americans are raiding their savings because goods and services are so darn expensive.




For older adults, hearing loss
And falls go hand in hand

By William Even, Au.D.

More than 1 in 3 Americans over age 65 will fall each year, according to the National Institute on Aging. In addition, approximately 1 in 3 individuals between 65 and 74 has hearing loss.  

Although these two statistics may not seem to share much in common, they are closely linked, said William Even, Au.D., a Faculty Associate and clinical audiologist in UT Southwestern’s Otolaryngology Clinic.

“It has long been known that some less common inner ear diseases can directly affect both hearing as well as balance,” said Dr. Even. “However, more recent research demonstrates a correlation between more common types of hearing loss and a risk of falls.”




Age discrimination may be taking toll
On health of older adults across U.S.

By Richard Payerchin


A new study found 93% of adults aged 50 to 80 years regularly experienced at least one of 10 forms of ageism, related to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination related to old age, aging processes and older adults. Those who encountered it more often were more likely to report their physical health or mental health were fair or poor, they had more chronic health conditions, and they had symptoms of depression.

“The fact that our poll respondents who said they’d felt the most forms of ageism were also more likely to say their physical or mental health was fair or poor, or to have a chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease, is something that needs more examination,” study coauthor Preeti Malani, MD, said in a news release.

The study, “Experiences of Everyday Ageism and the Health of Older U.S. Adults,” was published in JAMA Network Open. Researchers surveyed 2,035 people through the December 2019 National Poll on Healthy Aging of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE    




You Can Have a Robot
For a Roommate

How technology may help people age at home and address
Worrisome forecasts of a shortage of caregivers

One of the most emotionally laden and difficult conversations a family can have involves what to do when an older relative can no longer live independently — at least not fully. Most of us want to keep our independence for as long as possible, while loved ones may be concerned about our ability to manage it safely.


These days, though, technology can make living alone safer. It serves as a bridge, a way out of the house, connecting to experts at the other side who are there to help. It also provides older adults with cyberpets and "cyber sidekicks" that battle loneliness without needing to be bathed or fed. The New York State Department of Aging was impressed enough by these devices that it announced it would start distributing them to older adults who are most in need.

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE



From the editor…




Warning! I’m going to complain about getting old. Again. If you find my rants depressing, I’m sorry (not really). As an old man, it’s my prerogative to complain. In fact, after one reaches a certain age, I think it’s the law.
 
Getting old is cruel. Especially if you still have most of your faculties in working order. Your head says, “Sure, go ahead. You can do that.” But your body says, “F**k you, pal. Not today.” Actually, what your body means is “Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.”
 
I’m a realist. I understand the process of aging. Furthermore, I know body parts wear out, slow down, or stop working altogether. What I don’t understand is why this has come about so rapidly. At least for me. It feels like one day I was okay, and the next, I’m an old man. And worst of all, I know everybody else knows it too.

Today, I’m feeling quite decrepit. I arose from a very labored sleep, feeling as if every bone, muscle, and sinew in my body was on fire.
 
My intestines (what’s left of them) are the first to awake. Because I am missing about 8 feet of kishkes [1] (the big one) my insides shift when I lay in one position for an extended length of time, like sleep. Shifting innards lead to nausea and pain. For me, it’s my “Hello Bruce. Good morning” call.
 
Next to waking up is my bladder. Despite that, I have emptied it 3 or four times during the night, I still need to pee. Where it comes from, I do not know. I don’t drink THAT much liquid. Nevertheless, my body has found a few more pints for my kidneys to filter and send down the pipe.

Unfortunately, the rest of my body does not recognize the urgency of the request my bladder has made to it, and will not cooperate. Instead of allowing me to jump up from my reclining position and make a hasty bee-line for John, it hesitates like a clogged 2-barrel carburetor in an old Chevy. And, when it finally kicks in, it does so grudgingly. Things that should work together (knees, hips, legs, back) have made new alliances. My knees, the ones that used to be silent, crack with the report of a howitzer. The hips have joined forces with my back, each waiting for the other to obey my brain’s command. They finally decide to work together. Which would be great if only they had told my legs.


My legs were the first to suffer from long months of immobility. They stopped working. It took almost two years of intense PT to get them to a point where they would allow me to stand on my own. Now, they are making up for all that work they were asked to do. They have become amnesia victims. It’s as if they have forgotten everything they learned in life. The bicycle rides we took, the base-running, the long walks in the park. Nothing appears to matter. I made one mistake (I refused when they tried to get me out of bed) and now they are getting back at me.

Eventually, all the systems come alive and transport me to the Loo. My bladder gives a sigh of relief. I decide to reward it, and the rest of my body, with a shower. The warm water feels good. It takes much of the aches and pains away with it. This allows me to dress with little discomfort. How the rest of the day goes depends on many factors. The weather, the distances I have to walk, how my shoes feel and how much standing I have to do. These are all the things I have to contend with as an old person with a decrepit body. And it sucks! But what really sucks is knowing it will get no better.

 
There remains enough working gray matter left for me to understand my limitations. And that makes me sad. There was so much I wanted to do. I looked forward to an independent, gentle retirement. Who knew that getting old is nothing like that? There are no rewards for living a clean life. You are a product of your genes and that’s that. My mother suffered from the same mobility problems as I do. I even walk like her. And like her, I fought back. To no avail. Our bodies are given just enough time that's needed to fulfill some cosmic plan for the universe and that’s that. Why some people are allowed the dignity of aging gracefully, while others are thrust into it like lambs to lions, I don’t know. The only reason I have not slit a wrist is I accept my fate. I don’t like it, but I’m cognitent enough to know there’s not a damn thing I can do about it…………

[1]...or kish·ka [ kish-kuh ]. Yiddish, Slang. The innermost parts; guts.






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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2022









Senior living workforce, affordable housing priorities
Included in House appropriations proposal


Workforce development, dementia care and affordable senior housing are among the funding priorities affecting senior living included in the proposed House appropriations bill.

Argentum and LeadingAge applauded the reports accompanying the fiscal year 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development funding bills. The House Appropriations Committee held a markup hearing on the FY23 appropriations bill Thursday.

“On workforce alone, this appropriations outline will help bring more people into the profession where staffing challenges have affected communities far and wide,” Argentum President and CEO James Balda said. “More seniors will need assisted care than ever before, but Argentum projects that the workforce shortages in the near future will be at catastrophic levels if more is not done.”




Exercise Can Cut All Sorts of
Health Risks for Seniors.
Here's How to Get Going.

By Neal Templin


The CDC's recommendation on weekly exercise can be achieved by going to the gym twice a week and going on 30-minute walks on the other five days.

Imagine a medicine that reduced the death rate of breast cancer and risk of recurrent breast cancer by 50%, lowered the risks of colon cancer and type 2 diabetes by two-thirds, and those of heart disease, hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease by 40%. On top of that it can be as effective as antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy in countering depression.

That medicine exists, says Dr. Edward Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic: It’s called exercise.

“Movement is medicine,” says Dr. Laskowski, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation who says the health benefits he cites have been proven repeatedly by high-quality research.




Heat, air pollution
A deadly mix for older adults

By Steven Reinberg


On days when both heat and air pollutions were high, the risk of dying from heart conditions jumped nearly 30%, and the risk of dying from respiratory problems increased by 38%, a recent study found. Photo by David Mark/Pixabay

Heat coupled with smog can be a particularly lethal mix, especially for older adults, a new study finds.

Unfortunately, both hot temperatures and air pollution are going to increase as the planet warms, and so will deaths, researchers report.




Important Habits to Keep
Your Brain Healthy
By Sara Novak


One in three senior citizens will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. But that doesn’t mean we all face serious cognitive decline due to aging. You can take steps to protect your cognition now and in the future. And in the meantime, taking care of your brain also means you’re more likely to enjoy better mental health — if you treat your brain well, it will do the same for you.

Diet is one of the most important things you can do to promote good brain health, says neurologist Reina Benabou. Most research shows that a Mediterranean diet in particular improves cognition. This includes ample fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fish, olives and olive oil, meats eaten in small portions and red wine in moderation. On the other hand, excessive alcohol is a “direct hit” to cognition, she says. Over time, drinking too much is one of the worst things you can do for brain health because it damages tissue and brain cells. It can also cause mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Blood Flow to the Brain....





What’s the secret to a good marriage?
Couple married 79 years have the answer

By Rachel Paula Abrahamson


An Ohio couple, who just celebrated their 79th wedding anniversary, are sharing the secret to their lasting love.

Hubert and June Malicote — they’re both turning 100 next month — have been married since they were 20 and said they have never had a quarrel. (Their 70-year-old daughter, Jo, backs up that claim!)

“We didn’t go through life without problems, but we would never do anything to hurt each other,” Hubert told TODAY Parents. The WWII Veteran said he learned early on that a quick time-out is an effective way to deescalate conflict.




From The Editor...


When we are young, feet are usually the last thing we think about, unless you run into the leg of a chair or step on one of your little brother's Lego pieces in the dark. That’s when you verbally let go with a tirade of venomous epithets and demonic incantations that would make sailors blush. But those were rare occasions. Protected by only a thin layer of rubber, canvas or leather, our feet did their job without complaint or the need for any special care or attention. That was then. Now my feet have suddenly become something I think about, a lot.

As I transitioned from my middle years to early seniority, walking became not only something I did to get me from one place to another, but as enjoyment while getting in some needed low-impact exercise.

Living in perhaps the world’s most walkable city (N.Y.), where everybody walks and distances of a mile or two or five meant nothing to me. I had my camera, a bottle of water and the best backdrop any urban adventurer could want. There was something new around every corner and on every block. And, when I got tired and my legs dragged a bit, I could hop on a nearby subway and be home in less than an hour. But those days are gone forever. My legs lost much of their mobility and took my feet with them.

In recent months, I have been experiencing foot pain. It began gradually, an occasional twinge on the sole or a stitch near the instep. Then the entire bottom of my feet gave me pain. It was like walking barefoot on a rocky beach. Thick socks and gel insoles helped some, but did not completely ease the discomfort. It was time to see a doctor. Fortunately, we have such a person who comes here to the A.L.F. regularly. He is a podiatrist I visit every 5 weeks to have my toenails clipped. Yesterday was one of those visits. It would be a good time to ask him about my sore tootsies. Sadly, the doctor did not come in person. Instead, his two assistants (podiatry interns) were there to clip the toenails of a dozen other residents. However, I asked the young man, who was busy and deftly working on my gnarly toes, about my aching feet. He examined them and asked 
me a few questions. He concluded there were no visible signs of trauma. No broken bones, lesions or any other noticeable pathology. The best he could do was leave a note with the doctor. Meanwhile, I should stay off my feet as much as possible. What I really think I need is a good pair of custom shoes. Orthopedic shoes they used to call them. Unfortunately, they are very expensive. Medicare would pay for them, but I have to be diagnosed with a medical condition before I could get them for free. I guess I’ll wait to see the doc. Maybe we can work something out.

                            ___________________________ . ________________________


 We have come to the end of another week, which means we can take a break from our usual chores to enjoy all the wonders of summer. It’s a break for me too. I can put aside working on this blog for a few days. But fear not. I won’t leave you without something to read. Besides posting some great articles and stories from the archives, I have collected some senior-oriented stories that did not make it into the daily blog. They are slightly offbeat. I hope you like them……
 








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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, JULY 9, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






 


GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2022







Washington leaders agree Social Security
Needs to be fixed —But proposed tax increases
Are a key sticking point
By Lorie Konish

Congressional leaders can agree on one thing — Social Security needs to be fixed before the program’s funds are unable to pay full benefits in 2035.

But that is where the consensus ends.

Leaders from both the Republican and Democratic parties have each recently discussed the issue on Capitol Hill.

That was prompted in part by the release of the annual Social Security trustees report, which included the new projected 2035 date for when the program’s combined funds will become depleted. At that point, 80% of benefits will be payable.




Age Magnificently with the Help
Of a Geriatric Care Manager

By Joel Theisen, RN


Geriatric care managers help families map the coming changes and explore the options before they are even needed.

It can happen in an instant. One day your dad is living on his own, independent and mostly healthy despite advancing age. The next he’s in bed with a broken something, dependent on his grown children and forced to move into a long-term care facility because you don’t have time to research alternatives. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times.

Dad can’t avoid the getting older part, at least not if he’s lucky. But it’s not inevitable that he’ll have to give up his home, whether it’s an actual house or an apartment in a senior building. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive rather than reactive, and to find a professional who can help you and your father (or mother) figure out how to remain at home as long as possible, even if injury or illness comes into play. The benefits of staying at home can be both economical and psychological.




Back to Basics, Continued—
Elder Abuse and Elder Fraud


Several years ago, I blogged about the prevalence of elder abuse and the efforts of the CFPB to mitigate such abuse. See What to Do When We Suspect Elder Financial Abuse. A related topic to elder abuse is fraud upon the elderly. It seems that the Pandemic has only exacerbated both of these problems.

Sam Hall studies elder fraud. His report, that he has graciously allowed me to use in preparing this blog can be found at The Elder Fraud Report Revisited - NiceRx. Sam may be reached at https://www.nicerx.com/ or directly at sam@digitaloft.co.uk.

Elder fraud takes many forms. The most costly economic loss to elders is based upon “confidence fraud” often growing out of “romance.” Reports show that seniors who have been targeted for this type of fraud lose on the average of $56,000. Not surprisingly, this type of fraud is most prevalent in California and Florida, where a significant percentage of senior citizens reside.



The New Social Security
Trustees Report
By Allison Bell


Social Security will keep paying retirement benefits in 2035, even if its trust fund empties out, but the cut in the amount would be huge.

That’s the assessment of Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Munnell, one of the top academic retirement researchers in the world, says Social Security should receive enough payroll tax revenue to pay 80% of the currently promised benefits from current income in 2035, and about 74% of the promised benefits in 2096.

But the replacement rate, or the percentage of pre-retirement earnings provided by Social Security benefits, would fall off a cliff.

Today, the typical replacement rate is 38%.

In 2035, if Congress fails to act, the replacement rate will plunge to 27%, Munnell warns.






IRA rollovers often come with higher investment fees.
Here’s how much money that costs retirement savers

By Greg Iacurci


IRA rollovers — transfers from 401(k) plans to individual retirement accounts — are a common financial move when workers switch jobs or retire. But rollover IRAs can cost Americans billions of dollars in extra fees over decades, according to a study issued Thursday by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit research organization.

The dynamic is due to the lower annual fees for mutual funds generally available to 401(k) savers relative to costs incurred by IRA investors.


“Even small disparities in fees can lead to big reductions in savings,” according to John Scott, who directs Pew’s retirement savings project.
IRA rollovers are common for job switchers, retirees

Investors rolled $516.7 billion from workplace plans into traditional IRAs in 2018, the latest year for which data is available. That’s nearly 28 times more money than as contributed to traditional IRAs that year.







From the Editor…





I admit it. I have control problems. Some might even call me a control freak. To some extent, many of us have some issues with loss of control in certain situations. Take driving as an example.
 
There are very few drivers I ever felt comfortable with as a passenger. It’s not that they drove too fast or erratically. I’m sure they were very good drivers. But that does not make any difference to a control freak. The very fact I don’t have my hands on the steering wheel drove me crazy. Pun intended. And it wasn’t only cars. The “control thing” extends to most forms of transportation. Even those that don’t go anywhere, like roller coasters.
 
I have been on a roller coaster only twice in my life. And I hated it both times. Yes, they are scary. And yes, they may make your tummy turn. But that’s not the reason I won’t go on another one, ever. My dislike stems not from the twists and turns, but from me not having control over when they take that turn or plummet 90 degrees into the abyss.


My cousin, who is a great pilot and who I trust to fly a plane explicitly, once took me up in a single-engine aircraft. The thing was not much bigger than Mini Cooper with wings and appeared to be made of the cheapest material available. As this was my first time in such a small craft, I was, to say the least, apprehensive.
 
We flew around for a while. My cousin tried to keep the plane on a smooth, steady course. However, as calm as the flight was, I could not get over my sense of impending doom. My knuckles were white as I grabbed the sides of the tiny seat. I wished the flight to be over. Then my cousin asked if I would like to take the controls. At first, I balked, but did it anyway. To my amazement, as soon as my hands took hold of the yoke, a calm settled over me. Even though I knew nothing about flying and had flown nothing more sophisticated than a balsa toy glider, I could make the plane go up or down, left or right. I was in CONTROL.

What’s “control” have to do with BBQs? When one is a control freak, nothing anybody else cooks is any good. They all do it all wrong. A good example was our July 4th BBQ last Monday. It was terrible. The burgers were overcooked, with a cold slice of cheese on top. The chicken was too well done or under-cooked. And the sausage was made, not on the grill, but in the kitchen. It was clear. Nobody here knows how to BBQ. I have suggested they allow me to do the cooking, but they have some insane insurance regulations that won’t let me do it. They won’t even allow me to supervise. This means I will never eat properly grilled food again in my lifetime.

Fortunately, I have not reached the point where my condition has become clinical. Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is the psychological name for it. Other names for people with OCPD are dictator, autocrat, despot, tyrant and Donald Trump. I wonder what BBQs at Mar-A-Lago are like……………………..
 







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GOOD DAY.
IT’S WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2022










What behavioral changes can tell us
About cognitive decline in older adults


P
ersonality or behavioral changes could be signs of mental illness, like depression or bipolar disorder, but new research points out that differences in behavior could also be tied to cognitive decline.

A recent study specifically found behavioral changes in men – such as having false beliefs and a lack of enthusiasm later in life – were associated with a risk of faster cognitive decline compared to women.

According to Byron Creese, PhD, co-author of the study, behavioral changes were also defined as mild behavioral impairment (MBI) in the study. MBI describes a syndrome that can be made up of a combination of symptoms, including apathy or social withdrawal, changes in mood and anxiety, being more impulsive than usual, being socially inappropriate and having false beliefs or hallucinations.




Aging process:
Restoring sense of control



Thanks to breakthroughs in medicine and nutrition in recent years, we are living longer than ever before. But this increase in life expectancy also brings an increase in the number of diseases, injuries and impairments that affect older adults. With this in mind, we at the local Visiting Angels office in Salem have created this series of articles to keep our older population and their families informed and to offer some practical advice for meeting the challenges faced by seniors and those who care for them.

As people grow older the physical limitations which are often a part of the aging process can affect their ability to maintain their lifestyles as they once did. This loss of mobility or motor function, coupled with negative cultural attitudes toward aging, can sometimes rob seniors of their dignity and cause them to feel powerless over their own lives.

While there may be little that seniors and their loved ones can do to alter the aging process, there are ways to restore a sense of control and help older adults retain their dignity as they journey through their golden years.





What do elder law attorneys do?


Most seniors need legal advice at some point in their lives, and many of their legal issues require certain expertise.

While many lawyers focus on a specific area of the law – such as copyright, family law or criminal law – elder law attorneys focus on one specific segment of the population: older adults. The major areas of elder law are disability and special needs planning, long-term care planning, estate planning and settlement, guardianships and conservatorships, and elder abuse. Legal issues elder law attorneys may also handle include:  

  •     Estate planning
  •     Social Security benefits
  •     Medicare and Medicaid issues
  •     Long-term care arrangements
  •     Employment age discrimination.....







Mediterranean diet may
reduce chance of frailty



A new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that consuming a Mediterranean-style diet may prevent frailty. Defined as a recognizable state of increased vulnerability resulting from a decline in function across multiple physiological systems, frailty affects 10–15% older adults, and leads to other health issues. Although the general benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet are well known, its role in the reduction of frailty in older Americans who do not normally consume such a diet was unclear.

The study titled "Adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet and high intake of total carotenoids reduces the odds of frailty over 11 years in older adults: Results from the Framingham Offspring Study," showed that consuming a Mediterranean-style diet may prevent the development of frailty with aging. The study included 2,384 non-frail adults from the Framingham Offspring Study with Mediterranean-style dietary pattern score and antioxidant intakes [vitamin C, E, and total carotenoids] estimated from a food frequency questionnaire combined with frailty assessments that were conducted over ~11 years. Each unit higher score on the Mediterranean Style Dietary Pattern Score (i.e., higher adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet) reduced the odds of frailty by 3%.




Friends at first sniff:
People drawn to others who smell like them


Friends at first sniff: People drawn to others who smell like them
We smell each other's body odor, volatile molecules, and in same sex dyads, similar body odor predicts friendship. There is actual chemistry in social chemistry. Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science

It's often said that people who click right away share "chemistry."

This expression could be true in the literal sense, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances on Friday, which finds people with similar body odors are more likely to hit it off as friends.

"Nonhuman terrestrial mammals constantly sniff themselves and each other and, based on this, decide who is friend or foe," wrote a group of researchers led by Inbal Ravreby at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Since people seek friends who are similar to themselves, the team hypothesized that humans may smell themselves and others to subconsciously estimate body odor similarity and judge their compatibility.










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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2022







After record rate hike this year,
Medicare Part B could see a
Low premium increase for 2023




While Medicare Part B monthly premiums jumped almost 15% in 2022, unexpected savings on a new, expensive drug may mean a much smaller rise in rates for 2023.


Part B premiums rose by $21.60 – the largest real dollar year-over-year increase in the history of Medicare – to $170.10 per month for 2022, thanks in part to the high cost of Aduhelm, a newly-approved intravenous drug for Alzheiemer’s disease. However, at the end of 2021 after premiums were locked in, Biogen, the new drug’s manufacturer, essentially halved the price of the treatment. That savings could go toward lowering next year’s rate hike, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

It’s still too early to tell for certain what next year’s premium will be, as Medicare premiums are generally announced during the fall of the preceding year. (The rate increase for 2022 wasn’t announced until the second week of November 2021.) An early clue, however, is President Biden’s proposed 2023 fiscal year budget, which lists Part B premiums as remaining at the same rate as 2022. This is not in any way a final determination, but the money saved from Aduhelm’s lower price could be rolled over into next year’s pricing.



Seniors with prediabetes should eat better,
Get moving, but not fret too much

By Judith Graham


Almost half of older adults — more than 26 million people 65 and older — have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But how concerned should they be?

Not very, say some experts.

Prediabetes — a term that refers to above-normal but not extremely high blood sugar levels — isn’t a disease, and it doesn’t imply that older adults who have it will inevitably develop Type 2 diabetes, experts say.

“For most older patients, the chance of progressing from prediabetes to diabetes is not that high,” said Dr. Robert Lash, chief medical officer of the Endocrine Society, commenting on recent research. “Yet labeling people with prediabetes may make them worried and anxious.”



Why You Bruise More Easily as You Age
And What to Do About It

By  Marygrace Taylor


Bruises develop when the impact from an injury causes small blood vessels near the skin's surface, called capillaries, to break. The broken capillaries cause bleeding under the skin, which shows up as a bruise, according to the Mayo Clinic. The bruise fades as the blood from the broken capillaries gets reabsorbed into the body — a process that typically takes a week or two.

Here's a look at why bruises become more common with age, plus what you can do to keep the bumps at bay.

Why Do Older People Bruise More Easily?

Older adults have physiological differences that make them more prone to bruising, but lifestyle factors can play a role too.




Tips For Older Adults Buying
A New Car In Today’s Market

By Mindy Charski


Kyla Moles has purchased many cars in her life, but her latest quest for a vehicle felt more like a competition than a shopping expedition. "It was a harrowing experience," says the 53-year-old office manager and mom of three. Her more than seven-month attempt to buy a new 2022 Hyundai Palisade finally ended in March when she drove off a dealer's lot that is more than two hours away from her home in Dallas.

The distress came in many forms. Among them: Though she's known for her haggling skills, Moles discovered she had little leverage. Dealers of a different brand pressured her to purchase a used vehicle for more than the price of a new one. She spent hours searching the online inventories of dealerships throughout Texas and Oklahoma.

Moles's frustrating journey can be traced to a nationwide problem: Demand for automobiles is outpacing supply, which is strained by the global shortage of semiconductor chips. Sales of new vehicles during the first quarter of 2022 were the lowest in a decade, according to the research firm Cox Automotive.






If You’re Too Old for an Internship,
Try a Returnship Instead

By Arianne Cohen


When he’s not hanging out in his Santa Monica home or exploring remote corners of California, Chris Emhardt can be found surveying voting sites and installing the hardware needed to ensure local elections take place smoothly. In 2019 he retired from a four-decade career in similar work at media companies and had planned to simply take it easy and travel. But he’s back on the job and loving it. Two years ago he got a three-week election project, then a two-month gig, then a half-year. “The difference is I’m not trying to build or advance my career,” the 65-year-old says. He loves that he can just do what’s asked of him and head home at the end of the day—though he says he finds so much purpose in bolstering public elections that he regularly logs more than 40 hours a week. “I don’t mind going 110% for a month,” Emhardt says. “But I wouldn’t want to do that as a full-time job.”





FROM THE EDITOR…



PART TWO


The van that was to take me to the federal courthouse in Brooklyn arrived early. It didn’t matter. I was ready. I’d been ready for a few hours. This was one day I did not want to oversleep. As I made my way onto the front seat of the big Ford van, I could not help but think about the situation that brought me to this point.
 
Two weeks ago, an aide came to my door and told me I was wanted in the facilities board room. I knew only important things happen in that room, so I did my best to get there as quickly as possible. As it was, I had to wait a few minutes. Once inside, I was met by an agent for the U.S. Department of Justice. I had met with him about a year ago when we had a long chat about an error on an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) statement I received from Medicare.
[1] This time the visit was much shorter.
 
The agent asked me to sit down and then slid a piece of paper across the table. “This is a subpoena to appear as a witness”, he said.
 
“Subpoena!” “Witness!”. WTF, I thought. The agent briefly explained the subpoena, and he told me an assistant U.S. attorney would call me in a few days. I went back to my room with a lot of questions and even more trepidation. What did I get myself into?

The ride from Yonkers to the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn took about 40 minutes in rush hour traffic. I didn’t mind the ride. I had not been in the city for over 10 years and I felt like a tourist as I gazed out of the van window at all the new construction next to the FDR drive alongside the East River. A slow trip across the Brooklyn Bridge gave me a chance to look back at the new Freedom Tower constructed on the site of the World Trade Center. This was the first time I had been back at that location since they finished the building. It was as impressive as the photos I’ve seen.


We exited the bridge and made our way to the courthouse a few streets away. The street that ran in front of the building was barricaded by a security gate. We stopped at the gate and were met by a guard. Satisfied with my credentials (he also had my name on a list as a person who was to be allowed into the area), we proceeded to the main entrance. To my surprise, there was a phalanx of reporters and people with cameras approaching the van. As I stepped out, the crowd quickly dispersed. I could hear phrases like “Who’s that?” and “He’s nobody.” The interest in what was happening in that building was not about a Medicare fraud trial but what was to be the fate of R&B artist R. Kelly, who was to be sentenced because of his conviction in a sex trafficking scheme. BTW, He got 30 years.

As I stepped from the van, I was met by another agent and escorted into the building. Long carpeted runners led me to the security area where I was given a TSA-like screening. I had to give up my cell phone and my keys, which had a small pocket knife attached to them. They would be returned to me when I left the building.
 
The elevator took us to the 6th floor. There I was led to a wooden bench and told to wait. How long, nobody knew. It was 10am.
 
An hour went by. And then another. My butt was going numb from sitting on that hard bench. I got up to walk around. An agent who stayed with me asked if I was okay. I said yes and I asked where the men’s room was. “Down the hall and to the left,” he said. He did not come with me. I think I would have left right there and then if I was not so afraid of what not responding to a subpoena would be like. I waited some more. It was now 12 noon.
 
Two men approached me as I sat on that bench. One was the AUSA I spoke to on the phone. He apologized for the delay and told me the court was in recess until 2:00pm. They were breaking for lunch. I was asked if they could get me a sandwich. I declined. I was still full from breakfast. Instead, I was led to a small store in the building that sold snacks. I chose a bag of chips and bottled water. Paid for by the government. I waited in the cafeteria seating area and returned to the 6th floor a few minutes before two. At exactly 2 pm, an agent came for me. “They’re ready for you now”, he said. They may have been ready. I was not. But I was glad the day would soon be over, so I walked into the courtroom and was shown to the witness stand located to the left of the judge.


It was a huge courtroom equipped with all the modern conveniences. There were monitors near everyone and one for each juror. The desks where the attorneys sat ran longways down the length of the room. I was sworn in and took my seat in front of a microphone. The U.S. attorney was the first to question me. His questions were the same as he had asked me over the phone. Next came the defense attorney. He told me not to be nervous. I wasn’t. He asked if I remembered the details of the accusations against his client. I did. He asked me if the medical procedure describe in the EOB was done to me. I answered it was not. A few more questions about my situation at the A.L.F. and it was over. The judge thanked me and told me I was excused. I walked out of the courtroom and into the hallway. My 20 minutes of “fame” over. The agent thanked me and said I could leave. A few minutes later, I was out in front of the building and heading to the big van that had waited for me all that time. I don’t mind telling you, I felt a sigh of relief knowing it was over. The ride home took forever. But again, it gave me a chance to gaze at the city that had been my home for over 70 years. I miss the city, but not the traffic.
 
To say this was an experience to be remembered is putting it mildly. It was nerve-racking and, for a person in my condition, quite taxing. Would I do it again? Truthfully, I don’t know. I know it’s important. Even so, I have to wonder just how much did they really need my testimony. I’ll try to keep tabs on this case and will try to find out how the trial ended. It would be a shame if he got off with a slap on the wrist……………….
 
 
 [1] See part one of this story for details.






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GOOD DAY
IT’S MONDAY, JULY 4, 2022










The Disadvantages of Aging in Place


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

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

    You may have to move again if you can't be adequately cared for in your home, and it'll be much harder when you are older and in worse health.

    You can become isolated, especially if you can no longer drive.

    Caregiving help can get expensive and hard to find if you need it.

    If you have mobility problems, it's easy to be mostly confined to your home.

    Your home may become a burden, with its continual needs for maintenance and upkeep.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


How to design homes for
Life well beyond 100

By Nate Berg


It’s too early to predict all the ways that longer lives will change society, but at least one industry is starting to make some guesses. The developers, designers, and operators of senior housing are thinking about and planning for how these demographic shifts will affect their businesses and the services they provide.

To get ahead of the curve, some are designing their facilities for people who will technically be seniors for more than 40 years. They’re learning from communities around the world where people tend to live the longest and reconsidering the golf courses and bingo halls that were once central leisure activities. They’re also trying to design features that enable people to be healthy and active as long as possible.
Inspirata Pointe at Royal Oak in Sun City, Arizona [Image: courtesy Perkins Eastman]

It’s a dramatic change from the last-stop nature of retirement communities of the recent past. If people will soon be living many more years in homes and communities long assumed to have a quick turnover, the way these spaces are planned and built will have to change.




Seven Myths About Older Adults:


Many of our long-held preconceived notions about senior citizens are simply not true. In fact, for many people entering older adulthood, a new take on life is just beginning. People are working longer than ever, so for those entering their golden years, they may be finally enjoying retirement or an empty nest. It can be difficult to communicate with seniors if you’re starting with an incorrect perspective. Let’s explore some myths about older adults.

Myth 1: Slower pace = lower capacity


While age does affect the speed at which we process information, it does not necessarily diminish our ability to reason, manage information, or make decisions.

Myth 2: Logic = sense





Average assisted living rate tops $51,000 per year
As pandemic effects still felt across industry


The effects of the pandemic are still being felt across assisted living, with operators showing a second consecutive downward trend in rates in some areas, according to the results of a new report.

The Lincoln Financial What Care Costs analysis released Wednesday found that assisted living rates now average more than $51,000 annually.

Assisted living operators nationwide in 2021 charged average monthly rates ranging from $4,299 for a studio apartment (compared with $4,162 in 2020) to $5,084 for a two-bedroom apartment (compared to $5,224 in 2020), with pricing varying greatly based on geographic location.






Tips for Navigating the Health Care System

A veteran medical practitioner and administrator offers advice on dealing with America’s confounding medicine-insurance complex


The American health care system is complicated, difficult to navigate and can kill you if you aren't prepared, proactive and knowledgeable. From finding good doctors to being able to afford medication, the hurdles can feel insurmountable.

So says David Wilcox, who has spent nearly 30 years working in various capacities in hospitals and recently wrote a guide for patients, "How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System."

Learn more >>  CLICK HERE






Left-wing antisemitism, insurrectionists, election fraud, “packed” Supreme Court, restricting immigration and anti-abortionists [1] are just some of the threats to our freedoms. Today, as we celebrate the 246th anniversary of the officially recognized birthday of our nation, we can only wonder what our founding fathers would think of all the s**t that’s going on. My guess is they would be saddened and somewhat confused. This may not have been what they envisioned for the nation they risked everything for.

Of course, things were a lot different back then. The men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were of one mind. To create a nation free of all the old limitations to democracy. Citizens of this new nation would be governed, not by a monarch, but by people, elected by the people, to represent them and their interests in a congress. This congress would then vote on proposed laws and statutes. Then, if passed by both houses of congress, the bill would go to the president (also elected by the people) for his signature. Yes, it’s an awkward system and is not immune to error. But it is a system that, in its complexity, is not supposed to allow for frivolity or favoritism towards the interests of any one group or organization. In other words, a government “Of the people, for the people and by the people.” 


However, for all their wisdom, our founders could not have envisioned the nation nor the world as it is today. And I’m not talking about technology. We have changed as a nation. We are no longer a population of mainly white Christian Europeans. And that’s the way the authors of the Declaration of Independence wanted it…

“The Declaration condemned George III for his restrictions on immigration. Well-designed states, patriots believed, should promote immigration. This was why they denounced George III for endeavouring to ‘prevent the population of these states’. George III, the American Patriots pointed out, had reversed generations of imperial policy by ‘refusing to pass’ laws ‘to encourage … migrations hither’.[2]

While the founders were pro-immigration, they believed those who chose to come here would assimilate and adopt the ways of their new country without question. They could not have foreseen that with diversity comes discrimination.


There is something else George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison could not have predicted. A lopsided Supreme Court. In fact, they were so afraid of judges being in the “pocket” of one ruler, they made note of it in the Declaration….
 
“For the Colonists of the Revolutionary period, the answer was plain and simple: judges should be accountable to the people they serve, acting through their own legislatures, and not to the King alone. The Indictment, presented by the Declaration of Independence, charged that King George “[H]as made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”[3]
 
The Constitution changes the “Declaration” slightly…
 
 “Article III of the Constitution establishes and empowers the judicial branch of the national government. The very first sentence of Article III says: “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” So the Constitution itself says that we will have a Supreme Court, and that this Court is separate from both the legislature (Congress) and the executive” [4]
 
George, Thom, John and Ben could not have imagined a congress so divided and so bound to an a-hole, would-be king that they would appoint judges to the Supreme Court whose morals and personal beliefs would align so closely with that of a former president. And now we are reaping the consequences of that. The founders wanted to protect us from the machinations or the insanity of a single, all-powerful ruler. Recent events have shown that not everything works out the way you want………
 



[1] From the nation’s founding through the early 1800s, pre-quickening abortions – that is, abortions before a pregnant person feels fetal movement – were fairly common and even advertised.

Women from various backgrounds sought to end unwanted pregnancies before and during this period both in the U.S. and across the world. For example, enslaved Black women in the U.S. developed abortifacients – drugs that induce abortions – and abortion practices as means to stop pregnancies after rapes by, and coerced sexual encounters with, white male slave owners.

https://theconversation.com/abortion-has-been-common-in-the-us-since-the-18th-century-and-debate-over-it-started-soon-after-182496

[2]https://aeon.co/ideas/america-s-declaration-of-independence-was-pro-immigrant

[3]https://constitutingamerica.org/90day-dcin-accountability-of-judges-and-the-declaration-of-independence-guest-essayist-steven-h-aden/

[4]https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/interpretation/article-iii/clauses/45









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Back live today, with all new content.
GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022









COVID-19 booster increases antibodies
By more than 85% in nursing home
Residents and their caregivers


The pandemic has hit nursing home residents especially hard, with a disproportionately large share of COVID-19 infection and mortality rates in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But new research from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in partnership with Brown University shows that high levels of Omicron-specific immunity can be achieved in nursing home residents and their caregivers with a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, also known as the booster shot.

The findings were published this month in the journal eBioMedicine, part of The Lancet network.



Senior Citizens Will Soon Outnumber People Under 18.
Here's How Cultural Organizations Can Engage Them,
According to a New Study

By Sarah Cascone


The elderly are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and they have—contrary to some stereotypes—a deep desire to engage with arts and culture, according to a new report from the research group Culture Track.

Over 28,300 people aged 55 and older were surveyed online for the report, titled “Untapped Opportunity: Older Americans and the Arts.” It encourages museums and other institutions to disregard what it says are commonly held misconceptions about seniors losing interest in the arts over time, and to increase outreach to older audiences for programming.

Culture Track found that such an approach could encourage an intergenerational dialogue, and that it might be time to reconsider age-defined approaches to audience engagement that creates divisions between the generations.




Assisted Living: What You Need To
Know Before You Make A Decision



On that long list of worries and concerns about aging, there is one subject that always rises to the top of the list – money. For many seniors, that long-awaited time when we should be able to kick back and enjoy our new-found freedom is colored with a growing sense of worry regarding our limited resources. Having a place to live, without placing a burden on others, is paramount in the minds of many. Frances Fuller, award-winning author of “Helping Yourself Grow Old” addressed that question in a recent post on her website titled, “Can I Afford The Assisted Care I Need?” In that piece she wrote in part:

“The question of cost is basic when we begin to search for a place to spend our declining years. Our resources are limited, and we don’t know how long they need to last. While visiting a certain very beautiful community, I met a lively, well-dressed woman who was chatting with a friend in the common room. She told me she was 98 years old and had lived there for nineteen years. Honestly if I had heard this when I was seventy-five I would have found it scary. (The cost of getting old can be fearful.)

“Besides, even if our funds are unlimited, we have principles related to how we are willing to spend money. We have families, younger generations behind us. And we live, with tender consciences in a needy world.


Nearly 2 out of 3 Women Over Age 50
Face Discrimination​

By Michelle Crouch


Nearly 2 out of 3 women age 50 and older say they are regularly discriminated against, and those experiences appear to be taking a toll on their mental health, according to the latest "Mirror/Mirror" survey from AARP.

The poll of 6,643 women paints a disheartening picture of discrimination affecting women of all ages, ethnicities and races, with significant implications for their health and longevity.

Ageism was the most frequently reported type of discrimination among women 50 and older who experience discrimination regularly, with 48 percent reporting bias based on their age, according to the poll. Discrimination based on ethnicity/race/skin tone, weight, gender and social class was also widely reported.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE





Oliver Burkeman's last column:
The eight secrets to a (fairly) fulfilled life

By Oliver Burkeman



In the very first instalment of my column for the Guardian’s Weekend magazine, a dizzying number of years ago now, I wrote that it would continue until I had discovered the secret of human happiness, whereupon it would cease. Typically for me, back then, this was a case of facetiousness disguising earnestness. Obviously, I never expected to find the secret, but on some level I must have known there were questions I needed to confront – about anxiety, commitment-phobia in relationships, control-freakery and building a meaningful life. Writing a column provided the perfect cover for such otherwise embarrassing fare.


I hoped I’d help others too, of course, but I was totally unprepared for how companionable the journey would feel: while I’ve occasionally received requests for help with people’s personal problems, my inbox has mainly been filled with ideas, life stories, quotations and book recommendations from readers often far wiser than me. (Some of you would have been within your rights to charge a standard therapist’s fee.) For all that: thank you.

I am drawing a line today not because I have uncovered all the answers, but because I have a powerful hunch that the moment is right to do so. If nothing else, I hope I’ve acquired sufficient self-knowledge to know when it’s time to move on. So what did I learn? What follows isn’t intended as an exhaustive summary. But these are the principles that surfaced again and again, and that now seem to me most useful for navigating times as baffling and stress-inducing as ours.



From the editor...



Part One

Medicare is the closest we Americans have to a national healthcare system. “The Medicare program was signed into law in 1965 to provide health coverage and increased financial security for older Americans who were not well served in an insurance market characterized by employment-linked group coverage.” It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the only one we have. And, it’s not cheap or free. We (seniors) pay for it by having a monthly premium deducted from our Social Security benefits. And all Americans pay for it with their hard-earned tax money. Something so vital needs to be protected. That job goes to the U.S. Justice Department, who investigate and prosecute those who would take advantage of the flaws in the system to commit out-and-out fraud against it. However, there is another group of citizens in the mix, us. We, who reap the benefits of Medicare, are the first line of defense against those who would claim money for services or procedures never performed. I was one of those people and this is the story of what happens when you report a case of fraud.

Allow me to explain what I am about to tell you by saying I cannot give any details of this case. No names, no actual events and nothing specific about the investigation. The trial is currently in progress and I would not want to post anything that could jeopardize the adjudication of that trial. However, I will give you enough to show how important it is to read everything you get concerning your Medicare coverage.

In 2017, I went to our in-house medical suite to be examined by one doctor who routinely visits our facility. I have a particular condition that involves one of my basic senses. Though I have had this condition for several years, I had never been properly examined or had a diagnosis made by a specialist in this disorder.
 
The exam was conducted in one office in our medical suite. The office is devoid of any equipment except for a desk and a couple of chairs. The doctor was there with an assistant. I described my condition, and the doctor began his examination. Using only one instrument (one used by most doctors to examine this body part) he conducted the exam, which took approximately a minute. No other procedure(s) was performed nor was any medication used or prescribed. The doctor recommended I have further testing done to determine the extent of my condition. The entire visit/exam lasted about 15 minutes and I never saw that doctor again. 

One or two months passed since that exam and I had left the entire incident in the past. It would have remained that way had it not been for something I read in my monthly Medicare “Explanation of Benefits” statement. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, you get this statement. It’s the one that has the words “THIS IS NOT A BILL” prominently printed on the first page. Many people never get past those words. They usually toss that notice in the trash and forget it. I am not one of those people. I would like to know how much was claimed by a healthcare provider and how much the government actually allowed. That’s when I caught a glaring error. One I could not allow to go unreported. The doctor, who spent less than 15 minutes giving me a cursory exam, had put in a claim for a procedure that was so invasive and detailed I certainly would not have forgotten it was done to me. I went to the Medicare website to find out how to deal with such matters. I was only interested in reporting the error. I had no ulterior motive. Mistakes are often made, and I just did not want my money to pay for that mistake.


 That was back in 2017. There was no communication other than a case number, from Medicare until about two years ago, when I was visited by an agent for the Justice Department. He questioned me about the incident I reported. The agent thanked me for my time and left. Again, there was no follow up or communication from anyone, until three weeks ago when I was handed a subpoena to appear as a witness for the government against the doctor that had made a false claim, using my name as the patient is that claim. I was taken by surprise. It’s not everyday someone gets handed a government subpoena. What would happen next? Would I have to appear in court? Am I in any trouble? The answer, “yes”, “yes”, and “no.” I’ll tell you more about my day in court and more next week.  Until then, have a happy and safe July 4th weekend…

 
 






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IT’S WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2022







The dangers of heat-related
Illnesses to older adults

By Dr. Jeffrey Luther,

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

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

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




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

By Alessandra Malito


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

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

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




Study Links Stress to a
Faster-Aging Immune System




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

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

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



Feeling younger can help us rehabilitate


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

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

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

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

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







See Neil Diamond Now in a Rare
Post-Retirement Appearance

By Lia Beck


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

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

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




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

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

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










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Loss of autonomy:
How guardianships
Threaten people’s rights

By Melissa Hellmann



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

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

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




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




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

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

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




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



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


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

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




15 Million-plus Senior Citizens
Suffer from Food Insecurity




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

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


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






By John Rampton


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

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

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

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








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

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


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

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

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






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IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2022









Marijuana use linked to heart
Rhythm issues in older adults

By Michael Walter



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


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



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




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



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


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


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





The Importance Of Senior Living
In A Healthy Aging Plan

By Sandra Gordon



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


What Is Senior Living?


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

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




Ability to balance is
Linked to a longer life

By Katie Hunt


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


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



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









Eating Processed Meats Can Cause
Skin Aging, Experts Warn

By Adam Meyer


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

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

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




AT THE A.L.F….
    


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


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



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


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

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

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

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








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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2022









Medicare Spending Spikes for
Dementia Diagnoses in Seniors


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


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


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




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

Reviewed by Emily Henderson


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

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



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



Boom in Tech Support Fraud
Targets Older Adults



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

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


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

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


Your Guide To Luxury Senior Living
By Deb Hipp



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


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

What Is a Luxury Senior Living Community?






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


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



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


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


AT THE A.L.F….


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

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


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






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IT’S THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2022







This Common Belief About Dementia
Was Just Proven Wrong

By Abby Reinhard


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


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

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




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

By Brad Dress

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

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

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



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



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


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


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


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



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




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

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


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


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





How Older Adults Can Use Social Media
To Market Startup Businesses

By Leslie Hunter-Gadsden


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

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

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









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2022



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









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


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


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


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




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


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

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


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




'Entitlement' Is Not A Dirty Word
By Robyn Pennacchia



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



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


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




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


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



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



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







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

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



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

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



AT THE A.L.F….




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


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








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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2022







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



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


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


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



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

By Annie Nova



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

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


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




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



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

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



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





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



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

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



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

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





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

By Taylor Bryant


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


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



AT THE A.L.F….




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

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









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NEXT NEW BLOG WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2022









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

By Lorie Konish


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

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


Seniors are spending savings, taking on debt



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






Arthritis treatment:
No evidence that diet helps

By Annie Lennon


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

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

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

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


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

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




Aspirin Use Linked With Increased
Depression Risk in Older Adults


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

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


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






Pandemic Plus: More than 28 Million
Seniors Using Telehealth

By Steve Love


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

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


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




OF SPECIAL INTEREST...

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





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

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

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

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE


                                                       AT THE A.L.F….


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

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


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

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

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







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NEXT NEW BLOG TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2022

©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2022










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



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

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


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

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




Older Adults Sacrificing Basic Needs
Due to Healthcare Costs



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


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


Older Americans at Risk Due to Cost of Healthcare

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




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

By Lesly Gregory


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


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


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


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




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

By Susan McDonald


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


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


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







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

By Sari Harrar


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


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

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


Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE






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

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

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

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


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








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









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

By Susan Jaffe



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

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


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




Social Security Reform Plan
Gets a Big Endorsement

By Stephen Silver


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

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


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




Study Suggests Walking
Can Help Prevent Knee Pain



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


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


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






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



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

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



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







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





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


Fish

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

Hamsters

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




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


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

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

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







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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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







14 Key Signs You Will Run Out
Of Money in Retirement



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



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


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


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




Startling Connection Discovered Between
Diet, Eye Health, and Lifespan



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

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

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

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




We Must End Ageism in Cancer Clinical Trials
By Dany Habr


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



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

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




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




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

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


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





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

By Samantha Boesch

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


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

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

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




FROM THE EDITOR...



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


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

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

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

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

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










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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2022










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


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

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


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

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




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




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

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

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


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




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

By Helen Dennis



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

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

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






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

By Carol Bradley Bursack


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

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


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





What is a Comfortable Lifestyle in Retirement?
By Deanna Ritchie

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



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

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

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









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

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








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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-







GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2022








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

By Yuval Rosenberg and Michael Rainey


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

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


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

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




Rising debt may ‘adversely affect’
Older adults’ health

By Chris Clow


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

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


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



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




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

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



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







Private Retirement Home Residents
Use More Hospital Care

By Diana Swift



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


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

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


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







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




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

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

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




AT THE A.L.F….



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


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

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


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










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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022








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

By Nick Andrews


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

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



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



Most Essential Insurance
For Senior Citizens



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

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


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



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

By Dr. Sandra Petersen


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

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


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

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




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

Reviewed by Emily Henderson


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

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



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






A Polyphenol-Rich Diet Prevents
Inflammation in Older People

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



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

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



AT THE A.L.F….




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


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


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

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

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








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Be sure to check out the WEEKEND EDITION of TheSeniorLog
There are stories from our archives you
may have missed or want to read again

NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2022

©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2022







Majority of Aging Adults Say
They’re Not Moving



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

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


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

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




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

By Elizabeth Bauer


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

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


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




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


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


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


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

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




America’s seniors are paying for
Medicare mismanagement

By Mario H. Lopez


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

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


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





THURSDAY SPECIAL...

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



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



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

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












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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-






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







Medicare trustees project trust
Fund solvent until 2028


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

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


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

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




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

By Bill McKibben


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

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

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




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


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

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


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



Reasons You Should Hire a
Professional Home Care Service

By Sarah Lowe


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

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

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


More Independence

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




An Ongoing 'Quest for Sleep'


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


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

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

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE



FROM THE EDITOR…





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



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

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


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









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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-







GOOD DAY.
IT’S TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2022









What are my options for
Financing long-term care?



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

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


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




Legislators must ensure affordable
Housing for low-income older Americans

By Marta Hill Gray


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

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

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




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




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

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

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


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



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



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

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

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




-|||-



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

By Sandee LaMotte

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


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


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

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








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©2022 Bruce Cooper
-30-









GOOD DAY.
IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2022








Social Security Gains
Another Year of Solvency




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

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


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




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

By Ian Sample


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

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




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





Polypharmacy Significantly Linked
With Malnutrition in Older Adults

By Gianna Melillo


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

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



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




Living with the unexpected changes


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

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


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






=|||=





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

By Erica Harrison


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


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


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




=|||=




The Benefits of Assisted Living


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


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

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





From the editor…




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

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


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

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

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


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

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






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GOOD DAY.
IT’S FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2022









Overcoming Your Bias Against
Aging Can Improve Your Life



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

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

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


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



Read more  CLICK HERE


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


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

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



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




Coffee bad, red wine good?
Top food myths busted

By Rebecca Seal


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

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


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




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

By Aria Bendix

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

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


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





Older Adults Favor a Good Quality Life
Over a Long Life


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

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


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






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

By KATE ASHFORD

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


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

WHAT IS A REVERSE MORTGAGE?

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





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

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






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NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2022


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GOOD DAY.
IT’S THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2022







Medicare recipients to see premium cut —
But not until 2023




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


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


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




Death rates soared for older
Americans during omicron wave

By Benjamin Mueller and Eleanor Lutz



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

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



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





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




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

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



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




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

By Lorie Konish



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

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

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

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

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



The way in which those levies are applied is unique.

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





How Seniors Can Get
Involved In Foster Care

By Virginia Pelley


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

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

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










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


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

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








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






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



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

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


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

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




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



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

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

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

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




Suicide among seniors is a problem
Americans need to address

By Janet Y. Jackson


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

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



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




5 Signs Your Sleep Medication is
Hurting You, Doctors Warn

By Megan Hageman



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

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


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






6 Techniques to Help You
    Stop Peeing So Much​​

By Michelle Crouch


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

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

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

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE



From the editor…




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

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


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






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