TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“Hurricanes, tornadoes and volcanoes are all Natural Disasters.
We can’t fit Global Warming into that category.
We have only us to blame.”  _______Veronica M. White





Who Will Care for 
‘Kinless’ Seniors?
By Paula Span

Lynne Ingersoll and her cat, Jesse, spent a quiet Thanksgiving Day together in her small bungalow in Blue Island, Ill.

A retired librarian, Ms. Ingersoll never married or had children. At 77, she has outlived her parents, three partners, her two closest friends, five dogs and eight cats.

When her sister died three years ago, Ms. Ingersoll joined the ranks of older Americans considered “kinless”: without partners or spouses, children or siblings. Covid-19 has largely suspended her occasional get-togethers with friends, too. Now, she said, “my social life consists of doctors and store clerks — that’s a joke, but it’s pretty much true.”




Senior living leaders press Congress 
To pass bill expanding veterans’ 
Access to assisted living
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


The four main trade associations representing senior living providers held a grassroots “Day of Action” on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to support a bill expanding veterans’ access to assisted living.

Jeanne McGlynn Delgado, American Seniors Housing Association vice president of government affairs, told McKnight’s Senior Living that ASHA — along with Argentum, the National Center for Assisted Living and LeadingAge — initiated the effort to try to generate as many calls and letters as possible from industry professionals into congressional offices on one day. Their message was to urge inclusion of the Expanding Veterans Options for Long Term Care Act (S 4169 / HR 8750) into any year-end omnibus package.

The four associations also sent a joint letter to House and Senate leaders of various Veterans Affairs committees, as well as bill sponsors, to reinforce their desire for passage of the bill during the lame duck legislative session.




Assisted living too often fails 
Older, sicker residents, report says
By Judith Graham


Assisted-living communities too often fail to meet the needs of older people and should focus more on residents’ medical and mental health concerns, according to a recent report by a diverse panel of experts.

It’s a clarion call for change inspired by the altered profile of the population that assisted living now serves.

Residents are older, sicker and more compromised by impairments than in the past: 55 percent are 85 and older, 77 percent require help with bathing, 69 percent with walking and 49 percent with toileting, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.




Ageism in tech:
Elders should be included in 
The design of new technologies
By STEPHANIE HATZIFILALITHIS and NICOLE DALMER 


Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) we might hold toward others or ourselves based on age.

Ageism is a unique form of discrimination, given that it’s universal — it’s often referred to as the last acceptable form of discrimination. Ageism often intersects with other forms of discrimination, including sexism, racism and ableism.

When it comes to the development and distribution of technology, ageism has important implications. It not only shapes whether new technologies are adopted by older adults, but it also influences how new technologies are developed and marketed.

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of how digital technologies and platforms can discriminate on the bases of gender, race and class. However, ageism has received less attention.





Why We Mourn Celebrities
And Long-Forgotten Friends
By Jon Friedman


Whenever my old college roommate Harold calls, I always look forward to a fun, freewheeling conversation. We invariably reminisce about our favorite songs by the Rolling Stones (his favorite band of all time), lament the depressing state of New York professional sports teams, and laugh about the hijinks of our old university pals, while shaking our heads about how so many sensible young women failed to succumb to our charms and rejected us.

When he called me a few weeks ago, however, I immediately sensed something was amiss. Harold's demeanor was unusually quiet. When you get to our age, your first instinct is to wonder: Who died?

Sadly, I was right on the mark. "We've lost Gary," Harold said somberly.

The question that stayed with me was why, then, did the passing of a casual friend affect me so deeply?

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE









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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-


 
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, 
but the bible says love your Enemy”
                                                             ___Frank Sinatra




Significant Brain Changes Detected in 
Those Suffering Long COVID, New Study Says  
By Tracey Harrington McCoy


The brains of some COVID sufferers were changed by the disease, a new study utilizing specialized MRI machines has uncovered.

On Monday, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) released its findings after using the special type of MRI machine to gauge the long-term effects of COVID.

The scans revealed significant brain abnormalities in people post-COVID that may explain cognitive issues, anxiety and sleep issues, according to a statement from RSNA.

Researchers studied and identified changes to the brainstem and frontal lobe in patients, sometimes even six months after the COVID infection, RSNA said.




Elder Abuse Affects Millions 
Of American Senior Citizens
BY DR. JARROD SADULSKI  


Elder abuse is a problem that does not get a lot of attention; however, it is a major problem in U.S. society. According to the National Council on Aging, as many as five million elderly Americans are abused each year and elder abuse victims have suffered at least $36.5 billion in losses.  

The Different Forms of Elder Abuse 

The National Council on Aging notes that elder abuse takes different forms. For instance, elder abuse can involve: 

Physical abuse 
Emotional abuse such as verbal assaults or harassment 
Confinement  
Caregiver neglect and deprivation of personal needs  
Financial exploitation 

Who Commits the Majority of the Abuse? ....




Secrets of ‘SuperAgers’ who 
Possess brains as sharp as people
20 to 30 years younger
By Sandee LaMotte


Despite volunteering and working out at the gym several days each week, socializing frequently with friends and family, reading all manner of books and doing daily crossword puzzles, 85-year-old Carol Siegler is restless.

“I’m bored. I feel like a Corvette being used as a grocery cart,” said Siegler, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Palatine.

Siegler is a cognitive “SuperAger,” possessing a brain as sharp as people 20 to 30 years younger. She is part of an elite group enrolled in the Northwestern SuperAging Research Program, which has been studying the elderly with superior memories for 14 years. The program is part of the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.




Drug overdose deaths among seniors 
Have more than tripled in two decades
By Spencer Kimball


Deaths from drug and alcohol use are rising among America’s seniors.

Drug overdose deaths more than tripled among people age 65 and older during the past two decades while deaths from alcohol abuse increased more than 18% from 2019 to 2020, according to data published Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics.

More than 800,000 seniors suffered from drug addiction and 2.7 million suffered from alcohol addiction in 2020, according to separate data from the Health and Human Services Department.

In total, more than 5,000 seniors died of drug overdoses in 2020 and more than 11,600 succumbed to alcohol, according to the NCHS data. Though drug overdose death rates are lower for seniors than other age groups, they have increased substantially from 2.4 per 100,000 in 2000 to 8.8 per 100,000 in 2020.

“We’ve got a public health problem coming at our door — these trends have been increasing for a long time now,” said Alexis Kuerbis, a professor at the Silberman School of Social Work and an expert on substance use among older adults.






AIRLINE IS RECRUITING SENIOR CITIZENS
TO BE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
BY MATTHEW KLINT


 
 Budget carrier EasyJet is going on a hiring spree and rather than targeting the youth, it is targeting senior citizens in its purse to recruit more flight attendants. I think this is a great idea.

EasyJet Wants More Senior Citizens Citizens To Be Flight Attendants

Over the last year, EasyJet has seen a 30% increase in new flight attendants over the age of 60. Over the last four years, EasyJet has seen a 27% increase in new flight attendants over the age of 45. Now EasyJet is specifically targeting these older groups in a new recruiting drive aimed at “empty nesters.”

EasyJet explains that its new initiative comes on the heels of a new survey in the UK suggesting that 78% of Britons are resolved to take on new challenges once their children fly the nest and nearly 60% are open to a new career.

The new campaign spotlights a number of older EasyJet cabin crew who have joined the airline in the last year, including:








People who settle on assisted living as the choice for long-term care have one thing in mind.

Will the facility provide me with the help I need while letting me “Do my thing”? Often in direct conflict with management would like to have complete control of what you do 365/24/7. Or, so it appears.

I have always enjoyed my independence. The only time I have sought help is when there is something I can’t, (or shouldn’t) do on my own, like abdominal surgery or automatic transmission repair. That’s best left to professionals. Otherwise I’m a DIY guy. That’s why, when I first came to the A.L.F., I was surprised, and dismayed, at how much of that independence was not afforded to me.


Don’t misunderstand. There was much I could not do for myself. I was fresh out of a nursing home with severe mobility problems and in some pain. I was glad for the help. There was no way I could have cleaned my room, or made my bed, or cooked meals for myself. I wanted, and received, the care I needed. However, as time went on and my body became stronger and my mobility improved and the pain became manageable, I felt the need to do more for myself. Unfortunately, the facility did not agree and continued to manage my life the way they saw fit. Even to where it became annoying.

I’m a private person. When I close the door to my room, I expect what I do in that room to be my business and my business alone. Just like you when you close the front door to your house or apartment.The facility sees it differently. They believe their control has no boundaries and a closed door is an invitation to come in anytime they want. I can’t tell you how many times I have been caught in the “altogether” by an aid entering my room without knocking or, even when they knock, fail to listen when I say “Don’t come in.”
 
Have you ever seen a prison movie where the guards enter a cell and toss the contents, looking for contraband? They don’t ask the prisoners for permission, they just do it. The same is true about assisted living facilities. The facility may enter a resident’s room for any reason at any time. All done in the name of safety. 

Wanting residents to be safe is one thing, but trying to assure that safety while interfering with one’s independence and privacy is another. There has to be a way for long-term care facilities to balance resident independence and safety,
 
“The Covid-19 pandemic shined a light on how hard it is for long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities to balance residents’ health risks with their desire for independence and autonomy. A few have found the secret sauce. Most have not.”

A new study by the RAND Corporation, a California research firm, shows how facilities can reimagine the way they make these decisions and, perhaps, avoid the mistakes of the pandemic. The key takeaway: Operators of long-term care facilities need to make residents, their families, and front-line staff partners when they make choices that affect residents’ quality of life. This will require a fundamental change in management culture and won’t be easy. But it is critically important.” [1]
 
Here’s the solution to the problem as I (and others) see it. 

First, there must be a definition of who and what a “resident” is.

Residents of an assisted living facility have a status like no one else. In one sense, we are patients in a health care facility and, therefore, are overseen by the Department of Health. However, we are also residents, or guests, in a housing venue. We are not wards of the state. We pay rent just like we would if we lived in an apartment or hotel. And, for that fee, should we not expect a certain amount of independence and privacy afforded to any who pay rent to a landlord?

Next, there needs to be an evaluation of all residents as to their ability and to what extent an individual can live independently. In other words, don’t make rules that apply to everyone. Old people are not all the same. And, just because I walk with a cane does not mean I can’t be trusted with a microwave oven or a Mr. Coffee.
 
A report by the Rand Organization [2] agrees with me, and then some… 
 
· Proactively engage residents and their families in decision-making. This could include creating more robust resident councils than exist today.
 
· Consider ways for residents to organize themselves by their tolerance for risk.
 
· Improve communication with residents and families, especially in times of crisis.
 
. All of these changes will require a fundamental change in the hierarchical management of many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In the traditional model, both aides and residents are expected to do what they are told without complaint, and families are little more than an annoyance.


. “Participatory governance” that can “incorporate multiple and sometimes conflicting perspectives [and] balance individual preferences and social group well-being.” In the context of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, it means “weighing individual preferences for infection risk against protection of the facility community. Management, staff, residents, and their families share responsibility for developing and implementing policies. At the same time, government needs to change the way facilities are regulated so that they are rewarded for adopting these reforms.”

I don’t believe I will see any of what has been suggested because the state DOH is a government-dependent agency which relies on politicians for funding. And politicians are more interested in looking out for their own asses than making a better life for me…….
 

[1]https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2022/12/01/a-way-for-nursing-homes-to-balance-resident-independence-and-safety/?sh=47b7bf03bb56


[2]https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA2128-1.html








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-




FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










Significant Brain Changes Detected in 
Those Suffering Long COVID, New Study Says  
By Tracey Harrington McCoy 

The brains of some COVID sufferers were changed by the disease, a new study utilizing specialized MRI machines has uncovered.


On Monday, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) released its findings after using the special type of MRI machine to gauge the long-term effects of COVID.

The scans revealed significant brain abnormalities in people post-COVID that may explain cognitive issues, anxiety and sleep issues, according to a statement from RSNA.

Researchers studied and identified changes to the brainstem and frontal lobe in patients, sometimes even six months after the COVID infection, RSNA said.

Read more  >>



Smart Ways To Lose 
Weight Safely After 60
By Karoline Gore 


Weight gain is one of the most common things that comes with aging, and most people gain around 1 to 2 pounds every year. However, while putting on a bit of weight is natural and healthy, poor diet and lack of physical activity can result in obesity among seniors.  According to the CDC, 41.5% of adults aged 60 and older are obese. Obesity increases the risk of various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, which is why having a healthy lifestyle is so important once you hit your golden years. Exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep can help adults who are aged 60 and older to lose weight. But if you want to try other ways to shed the pounds, here are some safe and effective weight loss hacks that you should know.

Counter Food Cravings with the Right Scents

Older adults who need to gain weight are sometimes advised to use essential oils to boost their appetite. Some of these oils include lavender, peppermint, bergamot, and sweet orange as they promote good digestion, relieve nausea, and boost mood, all of which can help to indirectly improve appetite. However, if you have a tendency to overeat and your goal is to lose weight, then steer clear of these oils and make sure to only use scented products that won’t cause you to eat more than you should.

Read more  >> 



‘He didn’t ask me my age’: 
Customer says she automatically 
Received a senior discount at 
Ross Dress for Less


In a viral video posted on Nov. 15, TikToker Jennifer (@gigi_dolleyes) shared that the cashier at Ross gave her a discount after assuming she was over 55 years old. The video has over 187,800 views.

“WTH!! Getting old sucks,” the caption read. 

According to The Senior List, Ross offers a senior discount of 10% on Tuesdays if you’re 55 years of age or older. 

After ringing up her items, Jennifer says her total was $52 but was then changed to $44. She says she didn’t think twice as she needed to go pick up her daughter but once she got to her car, she looked at the receipt. 

“He gave me the 55-plus Tuesday discount. 10%,” she says in the clip. “I mean I’m not mad at it because hey, that’s $7.50 that I didn’t have to pay, but… he didn’t ask me my age.”

She then proceeded to ask her followers if she looked 55 years old. 

Read more  >> 




Older adults using social media to 
Keep in contact with friends and family



Many older Americans are turning to social media to stay in contact with family and friends. But even before quarantines and stay-at-home orders forced us to find new ways to communicate, seniors were among the fastest growing demographic for social media users.

A study by the Pew Research Center showed that 34 percent of those adults 65 and older use social media platforms. Analysis of a Pew Research survey reported in 2019 suggested that 68 percent of those between the ages of 55 to 73 owned a smartphone, as did 40 percent of those between the ages of 74 to 91. Fifty-two percent of those in the 55-73 age group and 33 percent in the 74-91 age group reported owning a tablet computer.

Through social media outlets such as Facebook, older adults are able to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation – which can lead to health problems, both mentally and physically – by staying in contact with family members who live far away or by reconnecting with old friends after years of drifting apart. This is especially true for seniors whose physical limitations may make it difficult for them to leave the home.

Read more  >> 


______special

IRS: You Can Contribute More to 
Retirement Starting in 2023
 


The IRS issued Notice 2022-55, which describes cost-of-living adjustments for retirement and pension plans. The changes are effective January 1, 2023.

Increases to Contribution Limits for Retirement Plans in the New Year

Beginning in 2023, workers’ maximum allowed contributions to 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans or, for federal employees, the Thrift Savings Plan will increase to $22,500 from $20,500.

Learn more  >>






Will COVID ever end? If you are a resident of a long-term care facility like me, you would say “No.”

This negativity comes not from our religious, sociological or educational backgrounds or beliefs. It’s just that we have never been among that group of Americans who have, mostly, forgotten about COVID and that it remains a daily threat to the lives of senior citizens. For us, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Every day, before I leave the COVID-free safety of my room, I do something I and my fellow residents have done for nearly 3 years. I put on my face mask. The mandate is simple, and direct.

As per the New York State Department of Health (DOH), every resident (and staff) vaccinated or not, must wear a mask in all common areas of all long-term care facilities. The only other facilities ordered to do this are the state’s prisons and jails.
 
So, while the rest of the state, and the nation, can freely travel, shop, work attend events unmasked (and unconcerned), we older Americans who are confined to assisted living facilities are in a constant state of fear of contracting this virus.

Living with the constant reminder that an unseen microbe lurks around every corner, ready to pounce on the first unprotected senior that walks by has taken its toll on the minds and moods of our residents. It also makes one wonder if we (the nation and the world) will ever be free of COVID. The prospect of living out one’s life never again to return to the days when it was okay to kiss a friend or relative, or ride on public transportation or not having to look forward to the next vaccination, is daunting. And, for us, a likely reality. And it doesn’t have to be.
 
Here are the facts: [1]
 
 
Nearly 9 in 10 COVID-19 deaths in 2022 occur in people 65 and older. 
Although the pandemic has been declared over, more than 300 people are still dying every day from the virus and most of them are 65 or older, according to the report. The data has many experts wondering what can really be considered “acceptable loss.”
 
“There’s a bit of ageism, so to speak, attached to it,” S. Matthew Liao, a professor of bioethics, philosophy and public health at New York University, told The Post. “People, even if they are older, they still have as much claim to live as me.”
 
Here are three more things to know:
 
94 percent of all U.S. citizens were estimated to have been infected with COVID-19 at least once by Nov. 9.
 
Protection against omicron rose from 22 percent to 63 percent nationally between December 2021 and November 2022.


Increasing first booster uptake from 34 percent to 55 percent, and second booster uptake from 11 percent to 22 percent, would increase protection against infection by 4.5 percent and protection against severe disease by 1.1 percent, a study found.
 
Unfortunately, because there remains a hard-core group of COVID-denying anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, we most likely will have to live with this scourge for many years to come, or until all of those unvaccinated minions are dead and buried……

[1] , The Washington Post reported Nov. 28.
 







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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-



THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 31, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










OLDER ADULTS LIVE LONGER IN 
COUNTIES WITH GREATER AGE BIAS
By Patty Shillington


AMHERST, Mass. – Older adults living in counties with greater age bias had better health outcomes than those living in areas with less age bias, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers, who were surprised at the findings.

“Quite the opposite of what we expected emerged,” says Allecia Reid, associate professor of social psychology and senior author of the paper published in the journal Social Science & Medicine. “Rather than dying earlier in counties with more negative attitudes toward older adults, we found in fact that older adults were living longer in counties with more negative attitudes towards older adults.”

Reid and colleagues had based their hypothesis on earlier research showing that minority groups, such as African Americans and sexual minorities, have worse health outcomes in counties with more negative attitudes toward their group.

Read more  >> 



The Rewards and Reality of 
Moving In With Your Adult Kids
By Randall H. Duckett


The baby — her face smeared with pureed peas, carrots and onions — squeals as Sunny, our rescue dog, scurries around the high chair, hoping the child will throw more scraps to the floor. On a chair at the dining table, our daughter tries valiantly to get food into her baby’s mouth. She chats with her college-student husband, who tonight has cooked a savory pasta dish, about her job as a law clerk. The couple’s cat, Hermes, pads across the printer on the countertop, ignoring the dog’s antics below. Across the table, my wife relates the events of her day caring for our granddaughter, which can be exhausting but feeds her soul. And me? Eating ziti with meatballs and marinara, I beam.

As empty nesters, my wife and I missed our crowded table. Now we’ve got that back, and much more, in this house of multigenerational madness.

Last year, after 35 years of marriage, we downsized from a 3,000-square-foot home in Knoxville, Tennessee, into half of a 2,200-square-foot house in the Philadelphia suburbs. With our 31-year-old daughter (who’s shy about using her family’s names in an article), my son-in-law and our granddaughter, we’re living a grand experiment in our 60s — something others our age either seem to dream about or dread.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



Seniors would rather swear off 
Air conditioning than visit a doctor: poll


One in four seniors would rather go a summer without air conditioning than visit the doctor, according to new research.

Some 2,000 Americans 64 and older were surveyed about unpleasant experiences more desirable than a doctor’s appointment. Around a third said they would prefer to let their spouse make all decisions in the home for a weekend; or to do the dishes immediately after they eat for a week; or to talk with their least favorite relative for an evening.

Conducted by OnePoll this fall and commissioned by ClearMatch Medicare, the survey found while 40% feel optimistic and calm when visiting the doctor, about one-third admitted they feel anxious or afraid — though most wouldn’t reveal those emotions to others.

Read more  >> 


Should Older Seniors Risk Major Surgery? 
New Research Offers Guidance
By Judith Graham


Nearly 1 in 7 older adults die within a year of undergoing major surgery, according to an important new study that sheds much-needed light on the risks seniors face when having invasive procedures.

Especially vulnerable are older patients with probable dementia (33% die within a year) and frailty (28%), as well as those having emergency surgeries (22%). Advanced age also amplifies risk: Patients who were 90 or older were six times as likely to die than those ages 65 to 69.

The study in JAMA Surgery, published by researchers at Yale School of Medicine, addresses a notable gap in research: Though patients 65 and older undergo nearly 40% of all surgeries in the U.S., detailed national data about the outcomes of these procedures has been largely missing.

Read more  >>  




Protecting Seniors from Holiday Scammers
By Kira Masteller & Lewitt Hackman



With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s not just family and friends that are all around us; the scammers are waiting in the shadows as well.

According to an Experian blog posted in 2020, one in four people fall victim to fraud during the holidays and one in five have experienced pandemic-related scams. These thieves often target the elderly – people aged 70 or more tend to suffer larger financial losses than those below 70. So how can we protect our Seniors from becoming victims of fraud this holiday season?

Financial Eldercare Begins With You

Nothing is foolproof, but taking the below steps may help your family members avoid dangerous websites and reduce the number of unwanted calls from spammers, robocallers, and telemarketers.

Learn more  >> 









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-




WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Strengthening SSI Can 
Improve Food Security for 
People With Disabilities and Older Adults
BY ALEXANDRA ASHBROOK


Disability is one of the strongest risk factors for food insecurity. In 2021, 28 percent of households that included an adult who was out of the labor force because of a disability were food insecure. This alarming rate is more than two and a half times the national rate of 10.2 percent.

To break the persistent link between disability and poverty — a root cause of hunger — the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) joined forces with the Disability Economic Justice Collaborative (DEJC).

One important opportunity to address poverty among people with disabilities — as well as older adults — is to strengthen the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program. SSI provides monthly cash support for millions of people who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or over with low incomes and limited resources.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



An 'explosive social and demographic change': 
Unprecedented number of Americans 
Face aging and death alone
BY JOSEPH MACKINNON


An alarming demographic trend is underway that may present the United States with both significant challenges and opportunities. Whereas in 1960 just 13% of American households had a single occupant, that figure is now closing in on 30%. Alternatively put: 26 million Americans 50 or older may now face aging and death alone.

What are the details?

The New York Times reported that one of the fastest-growing demographic groups consists of people 50 and older who live alone. There are nearly 26 million persons in this demographic, doubling that seen in 2000.

It has historically been the case that older people have been more likely to live alone, in part due to wives tending to outlive their husbands. However, since the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have both grayed into

Read more  >> 



Ways to pay for long-term care 
Without insurance or savings 


Dear Savvy Senior,

What types of financial resources are available to help seniors pay for long-term care? My 86-year-old mother will need either an assisted living facility or nursing home care in the near future, but she doesn’t have long-term care insurance and her savings are minimal.

– Researching Daughter

Dear Searching,

The cost of assisted living and nursing home care in the U.S is very expensive. According to the Genworth cost of care survey tool, the national median cost for an assisted living facility today is over $4,600 per month, while nursing home care runs more than $8,100 per month for a semi-private room. (See Genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html to look up costs in your area.)

Most people pay for long-term care (LTC) – which encompasses assisted living, nursing home and in-home care – with either personal funds, government programs or insurance. But if your mom is lacking in savings and has no LTC insurance to cover her costs, here are your best options to look for funding.

Read more  >>  



8 in 10 Nursing Home Residents 
Given Psychiatric Drugs
By Emily Paulin


Eight in 10 elderly nursing home residents on Medicare were prescribed psychiatric drugs during a recent nine-year period, a new government report has found. That’s roughly a million residents per year.

The report, released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, suggests that yearslong efforts to tamp down on inappropriate use of psychiatric drugs in U.S. nursing homes are failing.

The drugs, scientifically known as psychotropics, have long been criticized by nursing home resident advocates and lawmakers as “chemical straight jackets” used to sedate unsettled patients, particularly those with dementia. They include antianxiety agents, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants — which are often prescribed to epileptics — and other drugs that affect brain activity associated with mental processes and behavior.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 


______special



How life insurance 
Can benefit seniors
BY MATT RICHARDSON



Life insurance is generally thought to be advantageous for a wide variety of American adults.

Whether you're young and single, older and married or somewhere in the middle with children, the benefits of having a life insurance policy are multiple and significant. It's even more beneficial if you own a home, have debt or are anticipating major expenses in the future. Those benefits, however, range substantially and are often specific to the individual policyholder's personal financial situation and long-term goals.

One group that is often not thought of as benefiting from life insurance protections is senior citizens. Because of the sometimes costly price of securing a (minimal) policy at an advanced age, it's thought that life insurance isn't worthwhile.

But, just like all of the other groups mentioned above, life insurance can benefit seniors, too. It just may not be for the same reasons as those in other demographics.

Learn more  >>  


At the A.L.F....



Are you still smoking? Apparently, 9% of Americans over the age of 65 do. And, while that may not be the largest demographic group of smokers (that honor goes to those to those 45-64). We seniors are not the fewest.[1]

Here at the A.L.F., despite the stories, the science and the warnings about the dangers of smoking, there remains a hardcore group of stalwart smokers who engage in their dangerous habit two, three or more times a day. Sadly, although the Asylum won’t admit it, they are actually catered to.

 Not only is the smoking area complete with benches, it has a covered and heated smoking “shelter” to protect them from the weather.

One of the biggest threats to residents of long-term care facilities is fire. Trying to evacuate over 100 people who have mobility and cognitive issues from a 3 story building can become a nightmarish event. That’s why our facility has one of the best fire protection systems around. There are sprinklers throughout the building (including residents’ rooms) and self-closing fire doors in the corridors, and all the rooms have steel doors. Naturally, all the rooms have smoke detectors which is the reason we have an all-weather smoking area.

This conciliatory approach to our resident smokers is not because the facility is happy about the smoking. They cater to the smokers because they don' want the place to burn down. It appears, older smokers are not only a danger to themselves, they are dangerous to their fellow, non-smoking, residents as well. And, they are stupid too. 

Despite the in-room smoke alarms and all the warnings about smoking in or around the building, several residents actually lite up in their rooms and were found happily puffing away amidst the furious sound of a fire alarm and the flashing of high-intensity emergency lights. Therefore, they had the shelter built to stop smokers from smoking indoors. Sometimes it’s better to give in than to try to fight a losing battle.

If not nothing else, old folks are a stubborn lot. And telling them to do something, even if it’s in their best interest, is an exercise in futility. Their answer to why they still smoke is simple, though naïve. “All the harm has already been done, so why stop something I enjoy.” It’s tough to argue with that logic, as untrue as it is.

“The lungs begin healing right away after quitting smoking, which is why quitting sooner than later can lead to better overall health. Quitting smoking is one of the smartest things you can do to improve your overall health. Your lungs start healing immediately the moment you stop smoking.” [2]

If you are an old smoker, and the threat of death or illness is not enough to make you quit, there is this…

“There are countless benefits associated with quitting smoking. You’ll notice that your quality of life increases the moment you stop.

Food will start tasting better, and you’ll gradually regain your sense of smell. You’ll also start smelling better to others who are sensitive to the odor of cigarette smoke. Smoke can make you smell bad because it can cling to your hair and clothes, and cause bad breath. Quitting smoking can even make you look more attractive, as it may stop your nails and teeth from yellowing, and also improve the appearance of your skin and hair.
Smoking is costly, and you’ll save lots of money you would otherwise have spent on cigarettes and lighters. You’ll feel more energetic and less fatigued.”

As a reformed smoker (It’s been almost 40 years since I last had a cigarette) I know how difficult it is to stop. But I also know I would most likely be very ill or dead had I not.  I went cold-turkey, and it was difficult. There are other ways to stop, at any age. Find one that’s right for you. Your friends will thank you………
 








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©2022 Bruce Cooper

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









An unusual "raise" awaits most 
Social Security beneficiaries in 2023


Following the release of September's inflation data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (i.e., the last data point needed to calculate COLA for the following year), the Social Security Administration announced an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment for 2023. This 8.7% "raise" is the largest on a percentage basis in 41 years. On a nominal-dollar basis, it's the biggest on record.

But there's a big difference between how much Social Security checks move up from one year to the next and how much of that increase beneficiaries get to keep. For example, the average retired worker is expected to receive an extra $146 each month next year. But with the cost of food, gasoline, electricity, medical care, shelter, and so on climbing, a considerable amount of this $146, or perhaps all of it, will go right back out the door as an expense. This is a very common occurrence.

However, something unusual is set to happen in 2023. For only the second time this century (2012 being the other exception), Medicare Part B monthly premiums will decline -- from $170.10 to $164.90. Medicare Part B is the segment responsible for outpatient care, and it's typically deducted directly from an individual's Social Security benefit each month. Lower-than-expected spending on Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm resulted in larger Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund reserves, which is being passed onto Medicare Part B recipients in the form of lower monthly premiums next year.

Read more  >> 



Are nursing homes 
Really in tough shape?
Full transparency needed before 
Any more taxpayer bailouts
BY RICHARD T MOORE 


THE HEADLINE  for a recent story iminously noted, “Massachusetts nursing home job vacancies hold at historic highs.” That isn’t news to anyone in government, the nursing home industry, or the job placement industry.  Worker shortages in nearly every aspect of life are a fact of life in most job fields, but in professions like education or health care – jobs that deal with people, it is a serious concern.

Imagine being bedridden in a Massachusetts nursing home and urgently needing to get help to the toilet, and no matter how much you press the call button at your bedside, staff don’t arrive in time, or at all for long periods of time.  In such all-to-often cases, that’s a real crisis!  However, in the larger picture, it means that safe, quality care for older adults and people with disabilities doesn’t exist.  Residents of nursing homes, many whose care is largely paid by taxpayers, deserve dignity and respect, but inadequate numbers of nurses and aides, who are generally overworked and underpaid, cannot provide good care, despite their best intentions.


Massachusetts regulations governing nursing home staff require: “sufficient nursing personnel to meet resident nursing care needs, based on acuity, resident assessments, care plans, census, and other relevant factors.”  Those same regulations define sufficient staffing as a “minimum number of hours of care per resident per day of 3.58 hours, of which 0.508 hours must be care provided to each resident by a registered nurse.”

Read more  >> 



Abnormal heartbeat identified in 
1 in 20 older adults using wrist-worn 
Wearable and smartphone
by Angelika Leute, Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern 


Consumer electronics provide a novel route to screen for atrial arrhythmias. A study offered smartphone and wearable-based continuous arrhythmia screening to older adults without known atrial fibrillation. Atrial arrhythmia was detected in five percent of the participants. The study was performed by AFNET. The principal investigator was Professor Larissa Fabritz, University of Birmingham and University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and a rising epidemic. It affects several million people in Europe, mostly older adults. In many people the arrhythmia is asymptomatic and often remains unnoticed for a long time. This can be dangerous as risk of stroke and other complications may be elevated in older adults with atrial arrhythmias—even if the arrhythmia appears only temporarily and is not noticed by the person concerned.

Timely detection of atrial arrhythmias potentially enables earlier therapy to prevent complications, for example by starting anticoagulation in order to prevent strokes. Therefore, experts advise screening in the older population in order to search systematically for arrhythmias. Modern wearables linked to the smartphone provide a novel route for this.

Read more  >>



The biggest security risks of using 
Fitness trackers and apps to 
Monitor your health
By Cheryl Winokur Munk



Fitness trackers, which help keep tabs on sleep quality, heart rate and other biological metrics, are a popular way to help Americans improve their health and well-being. 

There are many types of trackers on the market, including those from well-known brands such as Apple, Fitbit, Garmin and Oura. While these devices are growing in popularity — and have legitimate uses — consumers don’t always understand the extent to which their information could be available to or intercepted by third parties. This is especially important because people can’t simply change their DNA sequencing or heart rhythms as they could a credit card or bank account number. 

“Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can’t get it back,” said Steve Grobman, senior vice president and chief technology officer of computer security company McAfee.

Read more  >> 


__________________________________special


Financial Fraud And The Elderly
By Teresa Ghilarducci



As Americans get older, we can count on two things: more Americans will be cognitively impaired and losses to financial fraud will increase.

According to a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, people over 80 experience the highest average loss to financial fraud of any age group. The incidence of fraud for this age group is 18% and the median loss is $1300. Younger people report higher incidences of financial fraud, 44% of 20 to 29-year-old's report financial fraud, but with a lower median loss of $324.

The FTC reports financial fraud by age, but does not focus on the elderly losses.

Learn more  >> 










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©2022 Bruce Cooper

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









‘This looks like the real deal’: 
Are we inching closer to a 
Treatment for Alzheimer’s?
By Ian Sample


At the end of November, thousands of researchers from around the world will descend on San Francisco for the annual Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease meeting. The conference is a mainstay of the dementia research calendar, the place where the latest progress – and all too often, setbacks – in the quest for Alzheimer’s treatments are made public for the first time.

This year’s meeting is poised to be a landmark event. After more than a century of research into Alzheimer’s, scientists expect to hear details of the first treatment that can unambiguously alter the course of the disease. Until now, nothing has reversed, halted or even slowed the grim deterioration of patients’ brains. Given that dementia and Alzheimer’s are the No 1 killer in the UK, and the seventh largest killer worldwide, there is talk of a historic moment.

The optimism comes from a press statement released in September from Eisai, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm, and Biogen, a US biotech. It gave top-line results from a major clinical trial of an antibody treatment, lecanemab, given to nearly 2,000 people with early Alzheimer’s disease. The therapy slowed cognitive decline, the statement said, raising hopes that a drug might finally apply the brakes to Alzheimer’s and provide “a clinically meaningful impact on cognition and function”.




Social Security left at-risk 
Americans behind in pandemic
By Lisa Rein


The abrupt halt to almost all in-person operations at the Social Security Administration during the coronavirus pandemic was debilitating for the most vulnerable Americans, a new report has found — undermining President Biden’s pledge to ensure equitable government services.

With its 1,230 field offices closed for two years, millions of disabled and poor elderly people could not get help applying for Social Security benefits, and for many of them, there was no online option, the Government Accountability Office found in a report released Thursday.

Spanish speakers, a growing share of Social Security beneficiaries, hit dead ends on the agency’s website. Overloaded phones crashed. The lack of access caused disability claims to plummet, and claimants who did apply confront still-lingering delays in getting their cases reviewed.




Share of older workers increasing: 
Bill in Congress puts focus on
55-and-up workforce
By Chris Graham


The share of workers ages 55 and older has more than doubled since 1995, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tells us that of the 9 million jobs expected to be added to the economy by 2030, more than half, 4.7 million, will be filled by workers over the age of 55.

Legislation from Virginia Democrat Don Beyer and Illinois Democrat Marie Newman would create an Older Workers’ Bureau, which would be focused on the challenges facing older workers such as age discrimination, work-limiting health conditions, and financially preparing for retirement.

“These workers need and deserve a unified source of information and support, which at present does not exist. The establishment of an Old Workers’ Bureau would provide a new, central office dedicated to supporting our older workers and ensuring they have the resources they need to be successful,” said Beyer, who was recently re-elected to represent Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District.




Protecting Spouses of 
Medicaid Applicants: 
2023 Guidelines


What Are Spousal Impoverishment Rules?

Spousal impoverishment is a concern for older couples when there is one spouse who requires long-term care and applies for Medicaid.

Before the federal government enacted spousal impoverishment protections, many healthy spouses faced poverty when their partners needed long-term care. The spousal impoverishment rules are based on the idea that spouses will provide for each other.

Community Spouse Resource Allowance

In 2023, the spouse of a Medicaid recipient living in a nursing home (called the "community spouse") may keep as much as $148,240 without jeopardizing the Medicaid eligibility of the spouse who is receiving long-term care.


______________________________special



Dying to be online
By Isra Safawi



Data surpassed oil as the world’s biggest commodity in 2017. Our data is constantly being ‘harvested, collected, modelled and monetised’.

We live in a hyper-connected world where things don’t seem to have happened unless you post about them. 

An emotion hardly seems validated until it’s been shared with others online. On average, we spend a quarter of our lives online. 

For people we never met in person, all they know about us is our digital self formed from our data spread out across the internet.

Our online activity creates a peculiar portrait of ourselves that will unavoidably long last our lifespan. 

So with life being lived increasing online, how is it that we have thought so little about our ‘digital death’?

It’s time we started giving our digital assets as much importance as we do with our physical ones. We need to focus on building systems that support and respect the bereaved, how different people grieve and deal with death; systems that shine light on how technology is being used at the end of a users life and how one's data rights, ownership, privacy, and control should continue after their death.










Retirement comes in different forms for different people. The quality of which often depends on the circumstances that brought about that retirement and how much preparation was done beforehand.
 
The textbook (or movie version) of the retired American worker goes something like this.


After working for the same company for thirty years, and having reached that age when he can collect the maximum social security benefits, Tom quietly says goodbye to his co-workers and begins his well-deserved reward for all the hard work he did all those years. That reward may comprise leaving his city apartment for a life in the country. Or moving to a warmer climate where he can play golf, go fishing and enjoy all the things he dreamed of doing all his working life. Naturally, he’s healthy, has money and he just got an offer for the home he shared with his wife for more than he will ever need. He also had the good sense to put a portion of his salary (and his wife’s too) in a solid IRA, some T-bills, and an annuity and a well-funded 401K. Yes, he’s set for the rest of his life.
 
While all that may be true for some, for the vast majority of retirees, it’s a fairy tale.
 
A more realistic scenario would be more like this.
 
Having worked at what is his third company in the last 15 years, 62-year-old Jim has just been informed that he and 1500 other employees will be laid off because the company has decided to “downsize.” As compensation, we will receive a severance package of one week’s salary for every year he has worked for the company. In Jim’s case, that’s 7 years or about $3500. He will also get about $700 from his 401k. He leaves on a Friday afternoon with no idea of what he will do next. At 62, and with few skills, his prospects of finding work soon are slim to none. 

After 6 months and with his unemployment insurance having ended, he is now digging into the little savings he had. The rent is due as is the utilities and car insurance. He’s “bleeding” money left and right. The only jobs available are Walmart, McDonald’s or bagger at the Piggly Wiggly. The only thing left is to apply for social security, which will give him about $1100 per month. He might just be able to get by if he’s really thrifty. While his future is uncertain, he knows one thing for sure. He will never have the retirement he dreamed of.


Since my divorce, I always knew I would never have a dream retirement. However, being a man with simple needs, I believed I could have some kind of leisurely life if not an opulent one.

Like our friend Jim, I was forced to retire early. That meant I would not receive the maximum Social Security benefits. While discouraging as that was, I still had hope of pulling off some decent, although prudent, retirement. I was on my way to doing just that when the one thing I hadn’t planned for happened. I got sick. Sick enough to land me in a hospital, nursing home and eventually here at the A.L.F. which, I can assure you, is nobody’s ideal retirement option.

I had no desire to move to Florida. I’m a city boy who enjoyed all NYC offered. I would never be bored. And, when I had enough of the city, I had planned to get into the car (or rented RV) and travel around the country to visit the places I always wanted to see. I had some savings and an IRA and a 401k and, with a fully funded Social Security account, I could do much of what I planned. But fate has a way of putting the kibosh  on even the most modest agenda.

For those of you who are indeed enjoying every minute of your post-employment life, I say “God Bless You.” You have done what only a handful of retired seniors have been able to do. The latest statistics show only about 50% of people over 65 have enough money to retire. The remaining seniors are just getting by or are living in poverty. And that’s a shame. There should be no person, who has worked all their lives, paid their taxes and contributed fully to their retirement account, that should have to live hand to mouth in their golden years.

Two things the government can do to assure a respectable retirement for all Americans is to (1) make sure nobody looses most or all of their retirement funds to illness, and (2), devise a meaningful social security system that gives back what the worker puts in and more. This is not charity. It’s a right that should be afforded to any working American. If they want to Make America Great Again, I suggest they start with how we treat our seniors…............








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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









This may be the best time to 
Exercise to improve heart health
By Gianna Melillo

Exercising in the morning is associated with the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke, according to new research on more than 86,000 individuals. 

Compared with individuals who were active midday, those most active around 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. had 11 percent and 16 percent lower risks of incident coronary artery disease, respectively. For women, risks were reduced by 22 percent and 24 percent at these times. 

Participants most active in the late morning had a 17 percent reduced risk of stroke, while women who were more active in the late morning had a 35 percent lower risk of stroke.  




Study focuses on improving support for 
Older adults who experience homelessness
Reviewed by Emily Henderson


Improving support for older adults who experience homelessness in three major Canadian cities is the focus of an ongoing study being led by Simon Fraser University adjunct professor Sarah Canham.

The research builds on a pilot study that documented evidence-based interventions, in shelter and housing services that support persons with experiences of homelessness for people aged 50 and older in Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary – cities that have seen a dramatic increase in homelessness among the 50+ age group. Their new project will evaluate these promising practices to improve services for those who are experiencing homelessness.

This trend is expected to continue as Canada faces an aging population, increasing urbanization and an ongoing shortage of affordable housing. Younger baby boomers are particularly at-risk for homelessness due to life course disadvantages associated with competitive job and housing markets and resulting challenges in accumulating assets to protect against housing insecurity."




CCRCs Are a Popular Option for 
Retirees Who Can Afford Them


Touring the grounds of Pine Run Retirement Community, in Doylestown, Pa., it’s easy to see the appeal of this continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) to its 450 or so residents. Opened in 2019, Pine Run’s $13 million community center feoels airy and modern. It’s a one-stop shop where residents can enjoy a meal in a fine-dining room or casual café, grab a drink at the bar, work out at the fitness center, swim laps in the pool, catch a lecture or movie at the auditorium, or visit the library, sundry store or salon. Elsewhere on the 43-acre campus, villagers can tend to plants at a greenhouse, tap into their creative side at the craft barn or stroll on a walking path safe from traffic. Villagers can sign up for day trips to area events and attractions and choose among more than 50 committees, clubs and special-interest groups to join, ranging from a bird-watching club to a group that creates programming for an in-house TV channel.

Like Pine Run, most continuing-care retirement communities strive to deliver a vibrant, active culture for residents. But the core mission of a CCRC—also known as a life-plan community—is to provide a setting where retirees can shift from independent living to higher levels of care as they age. When you’re still able to live in-dependently, you may choose a stand-alone home or apartment, depending on the CCRC’s offerings. Typically, a CCRC also has assisted living for those who need some help with daily activities, a skilled-nursing facility—whether for short-term needs, such as recovering from an illness or surgery, or for long-term care for chronic conditions—and a memory-care unit for those who have dementia.




Senior patients happy with telehealth 
And want it as care option 
ByTanya Albert Henry 


Most patients 65 or older prefer in-person care, but the majority tell researchers that they were satisfied with the care they received via telehealth and they want it to continue to be an option.

“Participants reported being satisfied with the convenience of telemedicine, the ability to connect, the effort made to help them understand their health issues, the quality of the video, the privacy and the duration of the visit,” says the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The typical patient grade for telemedicine was a six on a seven-point scale. Respondents said they favored telemedicine in bad weather or during pandemics, or when they were not feeling well or had restricted mobility. They also favored it when they already knew the physician well or had a good relationship with the doctor.








As police arrest more seniors, 
those with dementia face 
Deadly consequences
By Christie Thompson



One night in October 2021, Armando Navejas wandered away from his home in El Paso, Texas. The 70-year-old had Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and his family said he could barely speak. Scared for his safety, his wife Josephine called 911 for help tracking him down. 

By 2 a.m., Navejas was back in front of his house, shirtless and ambling around. According to video from a neighbor’s home security camera, an officer approached, shining a flashlight in Navejas’ face. Navejas appeared agitated, picking up a string of wooden blocks and walking toward the cop, who retreated behind a parked car. Navejas threw the wood limply toward the officer; it landed on the windshield. 

When Navejas turned away, the officer walked around the vehicle and fired a stun gun at Navejas’ back. His body went rigid. He fell face-first onto the sidewalk. 








The Thanksgiving Day dinner tradition continued yesterday here at the A.L.F., despite there not being too many of us here.

A quick look around the dining room and one could not help but notice all the empty chairs. But that’s a good thing. The lack of attendance for a holiday meal means many of our residents had somewhere to go on this holiday. And, for a group of seniors who have been forgotten and left out of most family functions and celebrations, a day out of here is a welcome respite from the drudgery of institutional living.

So, how was the meal? I’ll give this meal a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
 
The reason it just missed the 3 star rating was because the turkey (at least on my plate) arrived ice cold. It also lacked any turkey gravy. However, a quick nuking in the microwave solved the cold turkey problem, but there was no gravy to be had. Fortunately, there were several properly prepared side dishes to make one forget about the turkey.
 
The stuffing, though ordinary, was satisfactory, as were the slightly undercooked green beans and the buttery kernels of corn.
 
Rounding out the plate was a very sweet, marshmallow-topped candied yam and a small cup of cranberry jelly.
 
The meal ended with by either pumpkin or apple pie topped with a dollop of whip cream. All in all, not too bad for a place known for its culinary mediocrity.

Sadly, two of our tablemates were missing this year. One, because she broke her arm in a fall this week and the other who lost his battle with heart disease last month. Friends, unlike cold turkey, cannot be revived by a stint in the microwave……………..
 








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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Common Pain Relievers 
Can Make Arthritis Worse
By ZACHARY MACK


Even though it may not seem as serious as potential heart or cognitive issues, the aches and pains associated with arthritis can still profoundly affect everyday life as we get older. Many who live with the condition can manage their discomfort with a simple over-the-counter (OTC) medicine that provides relief and can make it easier to enjoy a more normal daily routine. But according to a new study, some of the common pain relievers you might be taking to treat arthritis could actually be making it worse. Read on to see which remedy may not be as effective as once thought.

People of all ages can suffer from aches and pains that may come and go over time due to injuries or other ailments. But as we age, the body can also develop a more chronic condition called osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease or simply referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis, the affliction typically affects the knees, hips, and hands as cartilage in the joints is damaged or breaks down, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unfortunately, it's also quite common, affecting more than 32.5 million adults in the U.S. and 500 million people worldwide.

While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it can be treated using a wide range of approaches, including physical therapy, increased physical activity, or even surgery, according to the agency. But for many patients, over-the-counter pain relievers can play a huge part in tackling the condition. However, new research could change the way we manage arthritis pain.



Older generations think healthcare system is OK, 
Not too worried about future: report
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


Americans, overall, have little trust in the US healthcare system to provide quality, respectful care for an aging population, according to a new study. But members of the Silent Generation and baby boomers hold a rosier view of care, and they don’t seem too concerned about end-of-life issues.

In a report from the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovations, 72% of respondents said they don’t believe the United States does a good job caring for the aging, and 76% see the aging population as a problem that families, institutes and the country are not prepared to accommodate. Only 14% indicated they believe the US is prepared to deal with the growing population of older adults.

But attitudes varied by generation, providing opportunities for senior living providers to open discussions with residents and families about preventive care to increase quality of life, as well as preferences for end-of-life care and arrangements.





How to be a good-enough home cook
You don’t need to be a master chef 
To feel confident in the kitchen.
By Allie Volpe


The running gag among anyone who’s ever tasted a morsel of my cooking is that I must not know what salt is. It’s a fair critique: I somehow manage to overcook and under-season virtually every meal I prepare. I’m clumsy and unconfident with a knife and prefer to prepare most foods in a microwave or Instant Pot.

Whipping up a meal is sometimes a nutritional puzzle. If all you’re working with at the moment are tortillas, frozen broccoli, and canned beans, you (like me) may struggle to conjure up something decent to eat.

Cooking can also feel like a chore. Parents not only have to feed themselves, but send their kids off to school with packed lunches and prepare snacks and dinner after that. One recipe can dirty up a whole sink’s worth of dishes. After the pandemic home cooking boom, it’s not surprising many people are feeling burnt out in the kitchen. According to a 2021 survey, 69 percent of respondents said they wished they could make a healthy meal more quickly and nearly half preferred less food prep.




The Most Common Signs of 
Poor Circulation 
And How to Improve Them
By Elaine K. Howley


The circulatory system and its vast network of arteries, veins and smaller blood vessels touch every single part of the body – every organ, every system – to help keep it running.

Dr. Yu-Ming Ni, a cardiologist at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute with Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, explains that the circulatory system is made up of arteries and veins that carry blood, nutrients, oxygen and waste products, such as carbon dioxide, to and from the various tissues of the body. “The circulatory system has two parts to it: There’s the arteries that deliver these nutrients, and then the veins that clear the waste products away.”

While this system usually does a great job getting blood – and the nutrients and oxygen it contains – to the farthest reaches of the body, sometimes circulation can be compromised.



______________________________________special


Why is turkey the main dish 
On Thanksgiving?
By Troy Bickham



Have you ever wondered why Thanksgiving revolves around turkey and not ham, chicken, venison, beef or corn?

Almost 9 in 10 Americans eat turkey during this festive meal, whether it’s roasted, deep-fried, grilled or cooked in any other way for the occasion.

Analysis of the world, from experts

You might believe it’s because of what the Pilgrims, a year after they landed in what’s now the state of Massachusetts, and their Indigenous Wampanoag guests ate during their first thanksgiving feast in 1621. Or that it’s because turkey is originally from the Americas.

But it has more to do with how Americans observed the holiday in the late 1800s than which poultry the Pilgrims ate while celebrating their bounty in 1621.







Life, as many seniors know, is not always a Norman Rockwell painting. Especially on Thanksgiving.
 
Instead of sitting around a table set with finery, surrounded by family and friends and groaning from the weight of a sumptuous bounty of food, many older Americans will find themselves alone in a cold apartment eating a microwave-heated meal supplied by the local chapter of “Meals On Wheels.”

One of the not-so-nice things about getting old is that you have outlived many of the folks you knew and loved.
 
Cousins, aunts, uncles and all those kids you hung out with have passed on or have left the area and with them, all the invitations to Thanksgiving dinners. And, though they were not your family, you still enjoyed the company, the laughs, the good cheer and, the food. But now, when you need the companionship the most, it’s gone.

Loneliness, to old people, is as much of an affliction as arthritis, high blood pressure or heart disease. It’s as pervasive as a cancer and can be just as deadly. And it’s more widespread than you might imagine.
 
“Many seniors may feel lonely and can be reminded of people they may have lost in the past. The lack of family get-togethers, an inability to get around, or the feeling that they cannot fully participate in holiday functions can lead to depression and isolation. Commonly known as the holiday blues, elderly depression during the holidays affects seniors around the world, and most often on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukkah.”

“Studies have shown that feelings of loneliness come with health consequences, and interaction with others is crucial to positive emotional health in the elderly population. The sadness associated with feelings of isolation around the holiday season can become more pronounced, given that the emphasis is on celebrating with friends and families.” 

While this may seem sad and depressing for many of you, it’s far better than the alternative. Believe me, I know.

Back before I became ill and old, I was a working stiff like the rest of you. I was also a divorcee. Being a divorced man in America is not a good thing. You have not only lost all of your ex’s friends and relatives, but being divorced has made you that “extra person” no one knows what to do with. Eventually, they forget about you and you find yourself eating a sliced deli-meat turkey sandwich with a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce on the side. That’s depressing for sure. The next year (still without an invitation for dinner), I went to a local diner for their “Thanksgiving Dinner, with all the Fixings.” While they did indeed have all the usual dinner favorites, they forgot one thing. They forgot to give you a loaded .38 and a quiet place to blow your brains out. Needless to say, I did not do that again.

Fortunately, for me, I have a family of sorts. This year, as I have for the last 9 years, I will celebrate Thanksgiving with a hundred people I live with here at the A.L.F. It’s a diverse group of people from different walks of life. But we do have one thing in common. Fate or misfortune or luck has brought a group of old folks who would otherwise be spending this most American of all holidays alone. And as crazy and weird as some of us may be, it’s better than the alternative.

We’ll be off this Thursday so there won’t be a new post until Friday. I wish you and yours a festive and safe Thanksgiving. …..
 









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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









RSV Is Sending Older Adults to the 
Hospital at Higher Rates Than Usual
By Julia Landwehr


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has hit the US harder and earlier than usual this year, and while children have primarily been affected, older Americans are also seeing a rise in hospitalizations from the illness.

As of the week ending Nov. 12, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows adults ages 65 and older are being hospitalized at a weekly rate of 2.4 per 100,000. During the same period in 2021, the weekly hospitalization rate for seniors was 1.5 per 100,000—and in pre-pandemic times, it was even lower than that.1

“COVID has not respected any of the traditional respiratory virus seasons and as a result, it has really turned RSV upside down,” John Sellick, DO, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, told Health. “With that much RSV in the kiddie population, we’re seeing the spillover into the older population.”




Wireless earbuds may help amplify 
Sound for people with hearing loss
By Dennis Thompson


Over-the-counter hearing aids now offer older Americans a more affordable option to deal with mild to moderate hearing loss.

But some hard-of-hearing seniors already tote around a device that might help just as much -- the wireless earbuds they use with their smartphone or computer.

Commercial earbuds can perform as well as hearing aids in certain settings, researchers concluded in a new study.

Apple's AirPods Pro pass four out of the five quality standards required for a device to function as a personal sound amplification device, researchers reported recently in the journal iScience.




Determining the appropriate 
Care when facing illness
By Kristin Glasure


When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, it can be challenging to prioritize advance care planning conversations with their family and doctors. However, it is important to ensure care is aligned with their wishes as early as possible. Confusion can sometimes arise around the specific differences between palliative care and hospice in deciding what level of care is best. While the objective of both palliative care and hospice is pain and symptom relief, the prognosis and goals of care are different.

Palliative care seeks to enhance the quality of life of patients and families who are faced with serious illness. It focuses on increasing comfort through prevention and treatment of distressing symptoms. In addition to expert symptom management, palliative care focuses on clear communication, advanced care planning and coordination of care. It is a resource for those living with a serious illness, such as heart failure, cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and many other diagnoses. Palliative care can be provided at home, in hospitals, in nursing homes, and in outpatient palliative care clinics. Palliative care encompasses the whole self, caring for the body, mind and spiritual needs of patients and their families, while also providing relief from pain and other symptoms. Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance plans cover the medical portions of palliative care, and veterans may be eligible for palliative care through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.




This Republican Social Security 
COLA Change Would Slash 
Benefits by $117 Per Month



For the past 82 years, the Social Security Board of Trustees has released a lengthy annual report that looks at the inner workings of Social Security and attempts to forecast how financially “healthy” the program will be over the short term (10 years) and long term (75 years). This report takes into account fiscal-policy changes, as well as a multitude of demographic shifts, such as birth rates and net-legal immigration.

Since 1985, every Board of Trustees report has cautioned that Social Security wouldn’t generate enough long-term revenue to sustain its existing payout schedule, inclusive of annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). As of the 2022 report, Social Security is staring down a $20.4 trillion (and growing) cash shortfall through 2096.

If nothing is done to resolve this shortfall, an across-the-board benefit cut of up to 23% to the Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund — which pays more than 48 million retired workers their monthly benefit — may be necessary by 2034.



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Biden, like more Americans,
 is working past 80



President Joe Biden blew out 80 birthday candles on Sunday, becoming the first octogenarian to occupy the White House.

Concerns about Biden’s age have been swirling since his inauguration, when he became the oldest person to be sworn in as president at 78. But by punching in past 80, he’s one of an increasing number of octogenarians still working instead of playing bingo.

In 1980, just 2.5% of the 80+ US population were in the workforce, per a Washington Post analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

By 2019, the share had soared to 6%. It did dip last year to 5.5%.

The WaPo mostly chalks this up to the increase in life expectancy over the past several decades. In 1942, the year Biden was born, an American could expect to live 66 years on average. By 2019, life expectancy had jumped to 79.

Zoom out: If Biden chooses to run again in 2024, his opponent will certainly let you know that he’ll be 86 by the end of that term. That opponent could be Donald Trump, who is currently 76 years old.










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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









‘It’s like living in an igloo.’ People are 
Turning off their heat as prices surge
By Gabe Cohen



As the first frigid weather of autumn chills the Northeast, many people are faced with a tough decision: deal with the surging costs of heating their homes or live without it.

Home heating prices are skyrocketing yet again this winter, up 18% nationwide on top of last year’s 17% spike, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA).

Charmaine Johnson works in the call center at Philadelphia’s Heater Hotline, part of a non-profit that assists low-income families with their heating systems and bills. Johnson, 63, can relate to the concerns she’s hearing all day. She, too, is struggling to afford her heating bills.




Older Voters Were the 
Deciders in Midterm Elections
By Dena Bunis


Once again it was voters 50 and older who turned out in larger numbers in the 2022 midterm elections than their younger counterparts. And in many razor-thin congressional elections across the country, it was these voters who decided outcome after outcome, according to a new AARP survey.

The results of AARP’s postelection poll found that 61 percent of ballots cast were by age 50-plus voters in the 63 most competitive races for the U.S. House of Representatives, compared with 39 percent of ballots cast by voters ages 18 to 49.

The survey also showed that among older voters age 65 and up, there was a significant shift between how they said they planned to vote in an AARP poll this summer and how they actually cast their ballots. In July, 50 percent of 65-plus voters said they supported the Republican candidate, while 40 percent said they would be voting for a Democrat. In the postelection survey, that result flipped: 46 percent of 65-plus voters said they cast their ballots for a Republican while 49 percent went with a Democrat — a 13 percentage point switch toward the Democrats, the largest shift of any age group.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 
Finding Reason to Stay 
Alive Past Age 75
By Robert W. Goldfarb

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist, medical ethicist and adviser on health care to President Obama, decided he wanted to die when he became 75 years old. He announced his intention in an essay in The Atlantic Monthly when he was 57. Emanuel saw only decline after 75, when the heights to which he had ascended would pitch downward.


As a father, he would have already celebrated the college graduations and career choices of his children, their marriages and the birth and growing independence of his grandchildren. It would be time, he felt, to abdicate the role of patriarch, stepping aside so his children could climb their own mountains.

When Muriel died suddenly and unexpectedly, grief mounted my back and drove me into despair's black waters.

When Muriel died suddenly and unexpectedly, grief mounted my back and drove me into despair's black waters. Had I already read Emanuel's essay, I might have stroked deeper, hoping to drown. But I hadn't read it and imagined the arms of my children thrashing the dark water, hoping to grasp my hand and pull me to the surface. My death, so soon after their mother's, would have devastated the family Muriel and I had built. I would have to find a way to live even if I wanted to die.

Read more  >> click here

 


Florida seniors have 
Big medical debt
By Selene San Felice


Florida's oldest residents face the nation's biggest burden of medical bills, according to a new study.

What's happening: 14% of seniors in Florida — which has one of the largest populations of adults age 65 and older in the U.S. — have outstanding medical debt, a report by Alignment Health found.

34% of those owe a total equivalent to three months or more in living expenses, compared to 27% of their peers nationwide.

Why it matters: It can be extremely difficult for seniors to dig out from debt, particularly if they've left the labor force or are dealing with medical issues.




RSV hospitalization rate for seniors is 
10 times higher than usual for 
This point in the season
By Jen Christensen



The respiratory virus season has started early in kids this year and flooded children’s hospitals in many parts of the country – especially with respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV.

But adults can get RSV, too. Although RSV does not typically send as many adults to the hospital, it can be a serious and even deadly disease for seniors and people with underlying health conditions.

And with more kids getting RSV, the chances that adults will be exposed also rise. Some doctors say they are starting to see an uptick in adult patients.

What parents should watch for with respiratory illness and when it's time to go to the ER

This season, about 6 out of every 100,000 seniors has been hospitalized with RSV, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s significantly lower than the rate for children but still uncharacteristically high. In the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitalization rates for seniors were about 10 times lower at this point in the season.



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Paulina Porizkova Explains Why 
The Dating Pool At 57 Is More
Like A ‘Dirty Little Puddle’
By Elyse Wanshel


Great news, single ladies! Online dating also blows when you get older — even if you’re a supermodel.

At least, that’s according to Paulina Porizkova. In an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk” show Wednesday, Porizkova — best known as a Sports Illustrated cover star in the 1980s who went on to score a coveted Estée Lauder contract — hilariously spoke about her current state of singledom.

“Now I’m 57, and I’m in the dating pool,” Porizkova said about 30 minutes into the episode, streaming on Facebook Watch.

“What is that like?” Pinkett Smith asked, to which Porizkova responded plainly, “It’s a small pool — dirty little puddle.”

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE









Is Joe Biden too old to be president? My answer may surprise you.
 
Maybe. And that’s coming from a man who will be 78 next year.
 
But perhaps the real question should be, “At 80, is he currently able to carry out his duties as president?” To that, I give a resounding YES!
 
To date, I have seen nothing that would show Biden’s age has played a role in any of the decisions he has made as president. But just because his record so far has been satisfactory, we must not assume that, as he gets older, age will not become a factor in his judgement or the way he perceives a particular situation.

Most of you know my position on ageism. Those who judge a person’s ability based on a stereotype have spent little time with the elderly. Old people, like any other group, are all individuals with different levels of ability, mobility, and cognitive function. Just like everybody else. And to believe that just because someone walks with a faltering gait or has to think for a moment before finding the right words when answering a question is not sound of mind is foolish. A misappropriate response by a world leader, especially on matters with international implications, could be disastrous. Something our former president has yet to learn.

 However, we should always keep in mind that anybody who has reached their 80th birthday is not the same person as a man 30 years his junior. Time, on an 80-year-old male body, has to have taken its toll no matter who you are. I know. I live with at least 50 old men who are or will turn 80 soon. And, though each is an individual in his own right, there are many similarities among them.
 
For instance. It would be the rare octogenarian man who does not have problems with his prostate. And, even if it’s not cancer, that organ can cause problems. The most annoying of which is its ability to wrap itself around the urethra like a boa constrictor, causing one to run to the men’s room frequently. I’m guessing, the president is not immune to this. Would it interfere with his duties? Only if he had to “go” in the middle of a nuclear attack and he excuses himself before giving the order to counter-attack. Or, when at a White House press conference, he runs out of the room in the middle of answering a question posed by a Fox reporter. Tucker Carlson would never let Biden live that down. But there are other things too.

Old men are inherently cantankerous, which makes them bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative. If Biden exhibits any of these tendencies, he certainly does not do it in public. Again, unlike his predecessor, who appears to be in a constant state of cantankerousness. Not that Biden could breakout and hurl a few “testy” words at Kim Jong-un or make a snide comment about Vlad Putin. And that’s the problem. With old men, you just don’t know. Grumpiness goes hand-in-hand with unpredictability. And, at 80, it could manifest itself at any moment. That’s why I don’t want the president to run again.
 
For now, I think our president is okay.
 However, I know old men all too well. His presidential demeanor will, eventually, give way to the natural forces which afflict us all, causing him to make a serious error in judgement or fail in his ability to do the right thing. And wouldn’t it be sad to see a President of the United States removed from office because of incompetence....
  
 








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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com








It’s Really, Really Worth Trying to 
Avoid Getting COVID Multiple Times
By Maggie O'Neill


The potential risks of COVID reinfection are very real, regardless of your vaccination status, new research suggests. Having COVID more than once boosts your risk of hospitalization, developing long COVID, or even dying from the virus, according to a large new study published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The goal of the research was to determine whether the risk of complications goes up the more you’re infected with the virus, according to lead study author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, assistant professor at the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. “The answer is absolutely yes,” he tells SELF.

For the study, Dr. Al-Aly’s team used data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The researchers included 519,767 people who were initially infected and tested positive for COVID between March 1, 2020, and April 6, 2022. Of those people, 40,947 were reinfected between June 1, 2020, and June 25, 2022. The infected and reinfected groups were compared to a control group of more than 5.3 million people.




Strength training key to long life? 
Weak muscles ‘could be the new smoking’ 
When it comes to healthy aging
By John Anderer


Want to feel younger? New research from the University of Michigan suggests you may want to invest in some weights and begin a strength training course. According to a recent study, weak muscles could be just as influential on your longterm health as smoking cigarettes!

Not everyone ages at the same rate. Consider two adults, both 60 years old. While those two people may share the same chronological age, one may be far younger from a biological aging perspective. Aging is influenced by far more than days crossed off on the calendar; genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors all play a major role as well. Poor lifestyle choices like avoiding exercise, unhealthy diet, and smoking are all believed to accelerate biological aging processes. Dealing with a serious illness can also age the body at an accelerated rate.

In short, your body may be aging at a much faster rate than the birthdate on your driver’s license suggests. Now, for the first time ever, the team at UM reports that muscle weakness marked by grip strength, a proxy for overall strength capacity, is connected with accelerated biological age. According to the findings, the weaker your grip strength, the older your biological age.




How will aging nations 
Pay for their retirees?
By Samanth Subramanian and Clarisa Diaz

As the world’s population crosses 8 billion, it’s getting older. On average, the bloom of youth came around 1970, when the median age of the world was roughly 21; by 2100, that figure will have climbed to 41 or 42.

Forty is, of course, the new 20⁠—but this number is just an average. Many countries, particularly in Africa, will be younger, but the world’s most prosperous nations and its biggest economies will be considerably older. Their populations of retirees and senior citizens will swell, but their workforces—and, as a result, their tax revenues—will contract. And that presents an economic problem. How will these governments pay pensions, welfare, and healthcare costs for the old, even as they have fewer younger people to tax?

Funding for everything in an older society

Inevitably, governments in the US, Europe, China, and other aging nations will have to take on more debt, so that they can pay for their older citizens. “There was an increase in debt during the pandemic, which worried so many people, but compared to what’s coming, that will be a drop in the ocean,” said Manoj Pradhan, who founded Talking Head Macroeconomics, a research firm in London.




Tired? Weak? 
You’re not ‘just getting old’; 
Something is wrong
By Judith Graham



When Dr. Christopher Callahan examines older patients, he often hears a similar refrain.

“I’m tired, doctor. It’s hard to get up and about. I’ve been feeling kind of down, but I know I’m getting old and I just have to live with it.”

This fatalistic stance relies on widely-held but mistaken assumptions about what constitutes “normal aging.”

In fact, fatigue, weakness and depression, among several other common concerns, aren’t to-be-expected consequences of growing older, said Callahan, director of the Center for Aging Research at Indiana University’s School of Medicine.

Instead, they’re a signal that something is wrong and a medical evaluation is in order.




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5 Unusual Ways Lazy People 
Are Boosting Their Bank Account



Feel like your bank account is draining week after week? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and we’re here to help.

We’ve done our research and found some strange and unusual but legit options to help you stack your bank account without having to leave the house. Some of these will help you save. Others will help you earn some extra cash to pad your wallet right away.

The companies on this list are legit - they’re all real companies that do what they say they’ll do.

Let’s take a look...

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE






Here’s a startling fact you may not have been aware of….
 
“Almost Twice as Many Republicans Died From COVID Before the Midterms Than Democrats”[1]
 
 “COVID-19 is killing more Republicans than Democrats, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study, titled Excess Death Rates for Republicans and Democrats During the COVID-19 Pandemic, used voter registration and death records to answer a question: is there a link between political affiliation and rates of COVID related death in the U.S.?

The short answer is yes. “In 2018 and the early parts of 2020, excess death rates for Republicans and Democrats are similar, and centered around zero,” the study said. “Both groups experienced a similar large spike in excess deaths in the winter of 2020-2021. However, in the summer of 2021—after vaccines were widely available—the Republican excess death rate rose to nearly double that of Democrats, and this gap widened further in the winter of 2021.”

Facts like this are why I shuddered slightly as I listened to Donald Trump announce his candidacy for president in 2024.

When I think of the things he could have done while president and didn’t, I get nervous about our future. During the worst pandemic in over 100, the leader of our nation, the man the country looked up to and is supposed to receive and disseminate accurate and truthful information and set an example for all of us to follow. Instead, this was his response…





May 2018: The Trump Administration disbands the White House pandemic response team.

Jan. 22, 2020: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

Feb. 2, 2020: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

Feb. 10, 2020: “I think the virus is going to be—it’s going to be fine.”

Feb. 10, 2020: “Looks like by April, you know in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

Feb. 26, 2020: “Well, we’re testing everybody that we need to test. And we’re finding very little problem. Very little problem.”

Feb. 26, 2020: “This is a flu. This is like a flu.”

March 4, 2020: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”

March 5, 2020: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
October 2, 2020: Trump and the First Lady test positive for Coronavirus. More than a dozen White House staff and aides test positive shortly thereafter.

Oct. 12, 2020: “I went through it. Now, they say I’m immune. I can feel—I feel so powerful.”

Dec. 8, 2020: Trump continues holding White House holiday parties despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit indoor gatherings and curtain travel amid the spike in virus infections. Masks are not required, according to guests.[2]


Covid is a political issue, but it’s not the only one.
 
We’ve been talking about Covid for a while, but sometimes it can feel like all we talk about is politics. That’s because there’s more to life than politics—there are things like love and family and friendship, too. And amid all this chaos, it’s easy to forget that there are people out there who still need our help.
 
So let’s take a moment to remember that these issues aren’t just political; they’re human as well. …......
 








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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










Doctors explain why pending 'ominous' cuts to 
Medicare would limit healthcare 
For seniors in the new year
By Jason Lalljee 


New changes are set to come to Medicare next year. They will likely make expenses tighter for doctors, and put vital healthcare out of reach for some older patients. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, announced several policy changes in early November that will come into effect at the beginning of next year.

Among them are Medicare cuts to doctors through the Physician Fee Schedule, which is used to determine which services doctors are reimbursed for, and how much they get. Medicare reimbursement will decrease by about 4.5%, and ​​surgical care will face a nearly 8.5% cut.





Is the 2023 Social Security 
Increase Too Small? 
Here's What Experts Say
By Dan Avery 


The COLA for 2022 was an impressive 5.9% but it still didn't match the rate of inflation.

The cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year will be 8.7%, the biggest increase since 1981, when it hit an all-time high of 11.2%.

But not everyone believes next year's boost isn't big enough to deal with ongoing inflation: 55% of retirees said the 2023 COLA should have been higher, according to a poll from The Motley Fool. 

They're not alone. Advocates for seniors argue the metric used to calculate the annual adjustment -- the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W -- isn't an accurate bellwether for their economic needs.




The Frailty Index: 
What It Is and Why 
You Should Care
By Stephen L. Antczak


"Not all eighty-year-olds are the same," said Dr. Neil David Saunders, my hernia surgeon at Emory Healthcare, during an interview I conducted about the importance of being patient while recovering from surgery, especially if you're older. 

We discussed the Frailty Index, which I had never heard of before this conversation. "Age is one thing, but it's also how fit you are for your age." As he told me, there's a medical concept called frailty, which has a particular meaning. It predicts how difficult it might be for a patient to recover from a surgery or if a patient will have a higher or lower complication rate during a procedure.

Recovery from an illness takes work, but if you're already frail to begin with, pushing through may seem impossible.

"It's fairly intuitive," Dr. Saunders said. "It takes into account your comorbidities, how well you do your daily activities, whether or not you're independent or in a nursing home," and so on.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE




Older Americans are moving in 
With people their age 
To play bocce, make art, and 
Be their true selves
By Robert Davis 


Carolyn Salmon, 82, and her husband used to live in a retirement neighborhood of about 500 homes just outside Port Townsend, Washington, but they never felt as if they were part of the community.

"We basically never saw our neighbors," Salmon told Insider. "We had a little group that would get together about once a month for dinner, but other than that we had no other real contact with them."

That was until 2014, when the Salmons and a group of eight other seniors began developing Quimper Village, a cohousing community in Port Townsend for people ages 55 and older. The group purchased nearly 3 acres of land and helped finance the construction of the 28-unit community, which was completed in 2017. The couple then purchased their 1,300-square-foot home in the community for about $400,000.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



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5 Tips for Wearing Jeans 
If You're Over 60
By Michelle Cohen


Nothing is more classic than denim, and once you have jeans you love, they'll be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come. Finding that perfect pair isn't always easy, though. This is true at any age, but with so many brands marketing toward a younger crowd these days, it can be even harder for older women. That's why we consulted fashion stylists to get the skinny (no pun intended!) on wearing jeans over 60. Read on for advice on fit, color, and more.

Pay attention to pockets.

The back pockets of a pair of jeans may be the last thing you pay attention to, but according to stylists, they can make a big difference.

"Back patch pockets help add volume, which is a good thing as we age," says Kosich. "Make sure they don't sit too low or are too big, though, otherwise the optical illusion effect will be a lower, wider bum." She also says that if you are fuller-figured around the hips, angled pockets will create a slimming effect.









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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

-30-




WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Older Adults And Debt: 
A Storm On The Horizon?
By Christian Weller



The relentless pace of the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes are coming against a backdrop of large numbers of older adults struggling economically and taking on debt to make ends meet.

Even before the pandemic, debt was growing among older households. And the pandemic hit older adults especially hard. They experienced outsized health and employment impacts and weren’t eligible for some of the more generous forms of pandemic relief, which focused on families with children at home. And even as the economy has rebounded, for many older adults, economic pressures continue.

Last year, poverty rates for those over age 65 went up, while falling for other age groups. And it’s not only those at the very bottom of the economic ladder who are struggling. The share of people reporting difficulty paying regular expenses (things like groceries, rent, and healthcare) has nearly doubled over the last 12 months and now stands at 35% among those 65 and over. Given these headwinds, many older adults are relying on debt to make ends meet.




Nationwide Caregiver Shortage 
Felt By Older Adults
By Ann Oldenburg


In a small town in Maine, a paid in-home caregiving aide’s shift ends at 2 p.m. The worker leaves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the client’s dinner. A cooler with drinks sits by the bed.

In another part of the state, a veteran coping with incontinence is unable to find a care worker to help him. He sleeps on trash bags and relies on a housemate to help him get to the bathroom.

America is facing a shortage of in-home caregiving aides — professionals who perform a multitude of tasks to help aging people unable to fully care for themselves in their homes, either because they have no family to help or to supplement family care. That shortage is particularly apparent in Maine, which has the highest percentage of residents 65 and older in the United States. Nearly 11,000 hours of personal care are going unstaffed each week in the state. And at two of its health systems, at least 100 people each week can’t be discharged from hospitals because they won’t get the necessary post-treatment care, according to Jess Maurer, executive director of the Maine Council on Aging.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



When Did Millennials Start Taking 
Style Tips From Senior Citizens?
By Julia Hobbs


"I am and always will be a lifelong Pleats Please fan,” writer, model and all-round influential thinker Naomi Shimada tells Vogue. “Growing up in Japan, I’ve seen older women wear Pleats Please all my life, and those women are actually my biggest style icons to this day.”

And Shimada isn’t alone. Thanks to the youth-driven, comfort-core movement that made Patagonia fleeces and ergonomic velcro sandals chic, we’ve entered a style realm usually inhabited by the over-65s. Retirement-wear is having a moment among the under 35s, which makes it highly likely that at some point this summer you’ll be opting for the same elasticated, easy-to-wear pieces your grandma is also wearing.

Let’s break down the retirement-wear look. What does it entail?




How to Notice Signs of 
Functional Decline in Seniors


After a certain age, some level of decline should be expected year after year. In our forties and fifties, this decline is incremental. It happens slowly, and while it can affect our physical and mental performance, most of us are still able to live our lives comfortably. But in our sixties and beyond, decline begins to speed up. Eventually, seniors reach a point of functional decline. This is the point where elderly care is required for seniors to live comfortably and safely.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to spot functional decline. While decline accelerates in seniors, it still happens gradually enough that functional decline can go unnoticed. As a result, seniors who require elderly care in some form — either from family caregivers, in-home elderly care professionals, or facility living — end up without the support they need. How to Notice Signs of Functional Decline in Seniors

So how can you spot signs of functional decline in elderly adults?

Learn the Signs of Functional Decline

To determine whether or not your loved one may need elderly care or another senior service, you need to know the signs of functional decline. Keep in mind that functional decline relates to physical and cognitive function, so you need to be aware of the signs of decline for both.



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The Perks of Coffee: 
The Breakdown of Health 
Benefits and Preparation
By Sheryl Stillman



Sitting in a diner with my grandmother at age four or five, I experienced my first cup of coffee — we were nestled in a booth, side-by-side; she handed me three creamers, two packets of sugar, and a spoon. I suppose that was to disguise the bitter flavor. It wouldn't have mattered if the coffee tasted like dirt; this was my first foray into adulthood, and I loved it.

My mother and grandparents often sat around restaurants or at the kitchen table, laughing and telling stories into the night, exhaling a cigarette in one breath and inhaling caffeine in another. I wanted to be just like them.

However, my mom was not so happy about my drink of choice back then or with her mother for allowing me to have it. But, Grandma retorted back, "it won't kill her."








I don’t live in Arizona. I’ve only been to the state once in my life and that was to look into a crater formed by a giant meteorite. And yet I feel an affinity with Arizonans today because the Republican candidate for governor of that state has apparently lost, and lost big. By approximately 20,000 votes at last count. [1] 

That should be a wide enough margin so there will not be a recount. But will that be enough to make the vote-denying and Trump ass kissing Kari Lake finally shut up and go back into the hole she crawled out of? Not for a while. She hasn’t conceded and most likely won’t.[2]  Why? Because she has no other choice. Most likely, her broadcasting career is ruined, as is her reputation as a journalist. Unless Fox thinks it needs another blond air-head as a commentator. Once you hitch yourself to the Trump wagon, you’re stuck. Her only hope now is that Trump, who is expected to announce his candidacy for president in 2024 Tuesday, will choose her as his running mate. It’s almost a certainty, Mike Pence won’t be on that list.


[1]Hobbs secured 50.4 percent — a total of 1,266,922 votes — to Lake’s 49.6 percent — a total of 1,247,428 votes — with 98 percent of the votes counted, according to the Associated Press. 

[2] “Arizonans know BS when they see it,” Lake tweeted after the outcome was declared by multiple outlets, implying that she was not yet ready to concede. 

Editor’s note: Lawyers, political operatives and other people around the Republican nominee worked over the weekend from a “war room” inside a Scottsdale resort to prepare her for what they expect to be a stinging loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs, according to people familiar with the discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private details.

People around Lake have told her it would not be in her best interest to claim the election was stolen. They have also warned of possible harm to Arizona, and the country more broadly, if the state became home to a resurgent “Stop the Steal” movement.













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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2022


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5 mistakes you're making 
With Medicare open enrollment
By Kate Ashford


Millions of retirees are in the thick of Medicare open enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, but many find the process challenging. Some don’t understand the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, many are overwhelmed by Medicare advertising, and only 4 in 10 people review their plan options each year, according to a July 2022 report from health care consulting firm Sage Growth Partners.

This leads to Medicare open enrollment misses, including not confirming that your providers are in-network for the next plan year and not comparing your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage with other available options.

Here are some common Medicare open enrollment mistakes:

1. Not checking your doctors for 2023

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


Why A Record Number Of Senior Citizens 
Are On The Verge Of Becoming Homeless
By Kari  Apted



Kim Hilton and Lisa Beaty, a couple profiled in the NPR piece, were forced out of their three-bedroom, two-bathroom Montana rental home after an investor purchased the property. The investor raised the rent from $1,000 per month (including utilities) to $1,800 per month (utilities excluded). Because the couple’s combined income from disability benefits only amounts to $1,500, they had no choice but to leave.

Losing their home also meant breaking up their relationship, partly due to stress and partly because 64-year-old Beaty had to move into her daughter’s one-bedroom apartment. Hilton, who is 68 years old, decided to temporarily live in his truck with his dog, Amora, until a spot at an assisted living facility opens for him. Because he lives in a rural area of Montana, the wait for an assisted living bed could take days or months.

Montana has experienced one of the largest U.S. spikes in rental costs, jumping 37% since 2019. The national average increase on rent was 11% in 2021. Meanwhile, the poverty rate for Americans aged 65 and older rose from 8.9% in 2020 to 10.3% in 2021, according to Ramsey Alwin, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging.




Long-term care system ‘collapsing’ 
Due to staffing challenges
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


“Our long-term care system is collapsing under the weight of high costs and low staff,” an aging services advocate recently told lawmakers in Kansas.

“It is hurting the quality and availability of services in our communities, and we are struggling to find solutions,” LeadingAge Kansas Chief Advocacy Officer Rachel Monger testified earlier this month before the Robert G. Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight.

LeadingAge Kansas was among groups with representatives at the hearing. “It’s getting harder to access care in Kansas,” she said of the senior living and care workforce crisis.

Monger referenced the organization’s Workforce Situation Report, released in September, to outline the effects of workforce challenges on residents and communities.




Top 5 Most Important Rules to Remember 
About the Interaction Between 
COBRA and Medicare



The COBRA rules and Medicare rules are complex on their own. Navigating the interaction between the rules is even more complex and can lead to an inadvertent compliance issue. Given today’s highly litigious COBRA world and the increase in DOL participant COBRA complaints, it is even more important than ever to have an understanding of these provisions and how they work together. Below we outline the five most important rules to remember about the interaction between COBRA and Medicare.

1. Entitlement Means Enrollment

The COBRA rules refer to Medicare “entitlement.” Many people would interpret this to mean the date the individuals becomes eligible for Medicare (generally, age 65[1]). But, the IRS has made it clear that “entitlement” means the effective date of enrollment, not the date of eligibility.

2. The Effective Date of Medicare is Key, Not the Application Date

Thus, the effective date of Medicare is the relevant date, not the date when the employee applies for Medicare. This is important because the effective date of Medicare can be retroactive. Specifically, the effective date of Part A is generally the first day of the month in which the individual turns age 65, as long as the individual applies within 6 months after the month in which he/she turns age 65. If he/she applies more than 6 months after the month in which he/she turns age 65, then Part A is effective retroactive to the 6th month before the month of application (e.g., an application filed in July is effective in the preceding January).

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


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Tips for overcoming 
Age-related cooking challenges
Bt Sara  Gantz


Cooking at home is a mood-booster, exercises muscles and the mind and can help us maintain a healthy diet, especially as we age.

But with age-related medical conditions come new challenges in the kitchen. People with dementia or memory loss might worry about forgetting the roast they put in the oven. Perhaps the meals you used to prepare for a family of five no longer make sense for a solo diner. Arthritis, lost muscle mass, decreased height and vision problems can affect how you cook.

Here are some tips to get the most out of home cooking:

Consider what you’re cooking

Research shows that people who cook for themselves eat out less often and consume less fast food, said Julia Wolfson, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies food systems and food policy. That can be especially important for older adults, whose metabolism has slowed and who might be at risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol — all medical conditions that are influenced by diet.




FYI





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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Getting COVID more than once
Might be even worse than we thought
BY LAURA BAISAS 

Infection with COVID-19 brings with it the possibility of a high fever, dry hacking cough, and losing taste
and smell. But, even months down the road, it carries the risk of developing long-COVID after infection,
or getting sick with the virus all over again. The elusive virus is really good at evading the immune
system, so it’s possible to be infected with COVID-19 multiple times per year, sometimes within only 90 days.

Those re-infections are proving to be risky, according to the results of a new study published today in the journal Nature Biology. The research from a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care system found that repeat infections with the virus contributes to significant additional risk to multiple organ systems in the body.

Some of the risks include hospitalization, problems with the lungs, heart, and brain; problems with the musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal systems, and even death. COVID-19 reinfection also contributes to chronic illnesses like diabetes and kidney disease and issues with mental health, according to the new research.




Almost 20 Million Older Americans 
Live With Sight-Robbing 
Macular Degeneration
By Cara Murez 


In a finding that suggests more Americans than ever are struggling with their sight as they get older, researchers report that nearly 20 million adults have age-related macular degeneration, AMD

Broken down, about 18.3 million people aged 40 and up had an early stage of the condition in 2019, while almost 1.5 million people had late-stage AMD.

"There haven't been many new examination-based studies of the prevalence of AMD, and the only nationally representative data on AMD were last collected in 2008. So, this limits the ability of researchers to update the estimates," said study author David Rein, director of the public health analytics program at NORC at the University of Chicago. "I think a strength of our study is our use of other data sources such as Medicare claims and population data from the Census Bureau to create contemporary estimates."




Bariatric Surgery Safe 
In Geriatric Patients
Contributor: Russyan Mark Mabeza, MPH


In geriatric patients, bariatric surgery has been shown to result in sustained reductions in medication use and significant improvements in quality of life. “There is rich literature regarding the benefits of bariatric surgery, but there continues to be some hesitation to perform these procedures in older patients,” explains Russyan Mark Mabeza, MPH. “In general, increasing age has been associated with greater operative risk, but this higher risk is not as well-defined in bariatric surgery.”

Clinical & Financial Outcomes in Older & Younger Adults

For a study published in Surgery & Obesity-Related Disorders, Mabeza and colleagues examined the incidence of, and factors related to, in-hospital mortality, postoperative complications, readmissions, and resource utilization in elderly patients undergoing bariatric surgery. “We assessed the clinical and financial outcomes of bariatric surgery for older adults compared with their younger counterparts,” Mabeza says. “Our overall goal was to provide concrete numbers regarding the risks, which could aid in surgical decision making and help with counseling of patients who would benefit from bariatric procedures.”




Here are the 10 industries with 
The highest share of older workers.
By Jacob Zinkula and Madison Hoff 


As the cost of retirement rises, many Americans will work later in life than previously planned.
One analysis put the cost of a comfortable retirement near $3 million.
Funeral homes and fishing are among the 10 industries with the highest share of older workers.

Many Americans were already facing a retirement crisis before inflation and plunging 401(k)s made the problem worse. It could force many of them to work later in life than they had otherwise planned.  

"The rise in the cost of living has most of the US expecting to be working past the age of retirement," according to a Better Benefits Guide analysis on older Americans in the workforce. 

A survey for Nationwide Retirement Institute conducted by Edelman Data & Intelligence also suggests some older workers may have to consider delaying their retirement plans. According to an infographic about the results, 40% "of older American employees are now expecting to retire later than originally planned due to inflation or rising living costs" and almost three-quarters of those people expecting this "are worried they won't have enough income in retirement." 




__________________________________________special




Best Mutual Funds for Senior Citizens: 
An Overview


There is a wide range of investment and saving schemes for senior citizens. However, mutual funds are investors' most convenient and popular investment options. Mutual funds offer specialized retirement schemes that are suitable for retirees. It allows you to diversify your investment across different asset classes such as stocks and fixed-income instruments. You get to invest in a diversified portfolio in a single investment and the best part is you don't need to track or manage your investment frequently. You can access your mutual fund's investment any time you want to by logging in with your credentials. All you need to do is install the broker application on your smartphone. 

Ideally, mutual fund investments are made for the long term to achieve your financial objectives. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that mutual funds are risky. So, make sure to choose the right mutual fund that aligns with your investment objective, the timeline of your investment and risk appetite. In this article, we are going to learn about mutual funds, the best mutual funds for senior citizens and things to keep in mind while investing in the best mutual funds for retirees. 

What are mutual funds?

Mutual funds collect money from several investors to invest in various asset classes. Mutual funds are known for offering way better returns than bank deposits. The main objective of investing in a mutual fund is to grow your wealth and achieve your financial goals. Various mutual fund schemes are available in the market that suit different investors. Mutual fund for senior citizens is suitable for those who are in their 60s. Even if you are in your 30s, you can plan your retirement for yourself or your parents If you want to live a comfortable life post-retirement. You can opt for investing in SWP (Systematic withdrawal plan) if you want to earn regular income. 











There are about 100 steps from my room here at the A.L.F. to the seating area next to our dining room. I have made this short journey, back and forth, for the past 8 years with little difficulty, until recently. In the last year, I have noticed, and felt, a definite change in my ability to take this short walk. It’s not stiffness I feel, but a slowing down of the machinery. I liken it to a car stuck in second gear. The engine is racing, but the wheels ain’t moving.
 
This has only been recent. And I find it discouraging.
 
When I first came here directly from a two-year stint in a nursing home where I had to learn to walk all over again, I was in bad shape, mobility-wise.


At the nursing home, I had transitioned from a wheelchair to a walker to a Rollator. It was a long, difficult struggle involving many months of physical therapy. And, although I was still not walking well, there was a definite and constant improvement.

That improvement continued as I slowly became used to making my way to the dining area and back every day. Soon I abandoned the Rollator altogether and switched to a cane which I use to this day. Although I knew I could never walk unaided (I have balance problems) I did not think my ability to walk with a cane would become more difficult, but it has.
 
I noticed this change late last year when, after an attempt to take my morning walk around the premises ended with me having to cut that walk short. I wasn’t tired, but my legs were. I dragged myself back to my room. The next day, I went down to our physical therapy department and asked for help. After an evaluation of my abilities, they told me they believed PT could be beneficial. A week later , I began my twice-a-week, one hour therapy sessions. I noticed a slight improvement. Unfortunately, Medicaid will only pay for 6 weeks of PT and when it ended, so did any improvement in my mobility. I found myself back to where I began.

I can only attribute this to one thing. I’m old.
 
This is not a copout. It’s reality. And anybody who says that “It’s all in your mind” is an idiot.

Yes, there may be some mental reason, like depression, that might keep one from being active, but that’s not the main cause. The years have taken their toll on your body parts. Your muscles, which could open a tight jar lid with ease or allow you to play a set of tennis, have lost their elasticity. Not from under use, but from having used them too much. Screw muscle-memory. My muscles didn’t forget how to jump out of bed, nor did they forget how to run around the block. They can’t. They’re old, like the rest of me. And all the exercise in the world cannot restore what has been lost. 
 
Old age is insidious. It comes about slowly and cruelly.
 
The once-weekly pickup game of hoops with your friends becomes once-a-month, and then, not at all.
 
Running for the bus no longer seems important. There will be another in a few minutes. Why kill myself?
 
Soon, you don’t want to take the bus at all. UBER costs more, but it’s so much easier. You convince yourself that by taking a car service; you are saving time. But what you are really saving is any bit of strength you have left.

I’ll be 78 next year. That’s old in anybody’s book. But unlike those who try to fight against the inevitable, I have acquiesced to it. Instead of forcing myself to do stuff because it’s “good for me”, I’ll go the other way. I will only do things I like. And if that includes sitting in front of this computer for countless hours a day, so be it. Sedentary, I have found, is good. It strains neither body nor mind. And if I take an extra five or ten minutes to walk to breakfast. So what? They won’t let me starve.
 
The only thing I won’t give in to is when somebody tries to play with my head. My mind is the one thing I will continue to exercise. I’m still curious about stuff. I hate not knowing about something. I am constantly turning to GOOGLE for answers to questions. I may become a lump, but I’ll be a lump with a brain……………………..
 







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SATURDAY & SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12-13, 2022

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The Science Behind When You Should Retire


In the United States, you must be aged 66 or 67 to receive full Social Security retirement benefits. But should retire then? According to the experts, when is the healthiest time to retire?

Nearly half of Americans between the ages of 60 and 75 plan to work part-time after retirement, and almost 25 percent say they will retire after age 70 or not at all. These statistics aren’t surprising given that seniors and their financial welfare have experienced three recessions and a global pandemic. Happily, modern medicine means people are healthier and living longer, making 66 seem more like “mid-life” and not a financially viable time to retire.

If you’re looking to science for the magic number, be prepared for conflicting answers.

Read more  >> 



Optimism in older adults improves 
Functional recovery after stroke




For older adults who experience first-time stroke, approaching recovery with optimism improves functional recovery, according to a poster at the American Neurological Association annual meeting.

“We don’t have a great idea of why patients recover or don’t recover,” Kelly L. Sloane, MD, assistant professor of neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, said. “In cardiovascular literature, they describe that optimism and lack of depression are associated with better outcomes after myocardial infarction, so we are trying to address that question of psychological health and recovery after stroke.”

Sloane and colleagues sought to evaluate the associations of optimism and depression with functional recovery in stroke survivors.

The longitudinal cohort study utilized data from the 2005-’06 Stroke Recovery in Underserved Populations study, which included 879 participants aged 50 years or older with first-time stroke who were admitted to an inpatient medical rehabilitation facility.

Read more  >>  



Nose Picking Could Increase Risk 
For Alzheimer’s and Dementia


Griffith University researchers have demonstrated that a bacteria can travel through the olfactory nerve in the nose and into the brain in mice, where it creates markers that are a tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that Chlamydia pneumoniae used the nerve extending between the nasal cavity and the brain as an invasion path to invade the central nervous system. The cells in the brain then responded by depositing amyloid beta protein which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor James St John, Head of the Clem Jones Center for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, is a co-author of the world first research.

Read more  >> 


High-Tech Gifts Are Sure to 
Make Everyone’s List this Year
By Marc Saltzman


From smartwatches and e-readers to sleep-inducing earbuds and stay-warm mugs
White mouse cable forming a gift box on red background. Horizontal composition with copy space.


Every year we resolve to move more, read some beloved books, listen to some invigorating music or scintillating podcasts, and spend some time relaxing.

But first come the holidays and the stress of finding exactly the right presents for family and friends. If they’re into technology — or should be — you can help them with their January declarations to do better, and you don’t have to be a “digital native” to pick some great gifts that they'll use over and over.

Read more  >>  click here


Permanent Daylight Saving Time 
Will hurt our health, experts say
By Sandee LaMotte



The end of Daylight Saving Time is upon us again, an autumn tradition when the United States, Europe, most of Canada and a number of other countries move their clocks backwards an hour in a sort of Groundhog Day trust fall. We’ll move them forward (again) next spring when governments put daylight saving back in place.

Senate passes bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent
But are we putting our trust in an unhealthy, outdated idea?

Not according to the United States Senate, which in March passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 – if it becomes law, Daylight Saving Time will be permanent.

Read more  >>  






It’s Time to Cater to the 
Over-65 Crowd, Or Else!
H.Dennis Beaver, Esq.


Businesses can’t afford to ignore the fastest growing market in the world. Here’s how businesses shoot themselves in the foot with these valuable employees and customers (and by the way, don’t call them “seniors” or “elderly,” either).

“There is a huge market – millions of people – that could be a missed opportunity for American business,” says author Susan Golden, who teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the impact of longevity on our economy.

So, who are these people?

“The U.S. Census tells us they are the 10,000 people turning 65 every day. In the time it takes to read this sentence, another 20 will join that group. More importantly, in 15 years, Americans aged 65 and older will outnumber those under age 18,” she points out.

Read more  >>  



A Will is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: 
A Holistic Understanding 
Of Estate Settlement
By Davide Pisanu


We all love to prepare for the future. But how do we prepare for a future without us in it? 

This worry is top-of-mind for many Americans. In a 3,000-person poll by Maru Public Opinion for ClearEstate, 90% of us appoint an immediate or extended family member as our will executor. And those same executors – people we love, people who love us, people who we trust with our last wishes – describe their role as being one of the most difficult experiences ever.

Fifty percent of family members that accept executorship admit they received little guidance on that role. That lack of guidance compounded by the grief of losing a loved one results in unnecessary strife and mental health stress. 

During estate settlement, our loved ones are facing some of the worst experiences of their lives. Let’s explore the problem and how to ease the estate settlement process.

Read more  >> 



Why We're Failing Older 
Adults with Disabilities
By Nora Macaluso


Hearing loss is not uncommon, yet affordable solutions are. If we're unwilling to improve lives when we have the tools, what does that mean for those living with more complex disabilities?

As the population ages, the number of people with disabilities will rise, meaning more people will need access to therapies and support systems. That's already happening with hearing loss, which affects most people after a certain age — yet hearing aids remain out of reach for many.

f this easy fix for a common problem isn't widely available, what does that say about the outlook for more complex conditions, such as intellectual disabilities, that are more expensive and harder to address in older adults? 

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 


6 Perks And Advantages Of 
Luxury Retirement Homes
By Amy Gale

Retirement is a time to slow down and relax. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life. From the food you eat to the company you keep, retirement is a chance to enjoy yourself. Hence, look into luxury retirement homes if you want a comfortable place to spend your senior years. 

These homes offer some of the best amenities and services, giving you access to everything from spa treatments and golf courses to pools, fitness centers, and more. 

Find out which CBD product is best for you

Here are six perks of living in a luxury retirement home:

1. Staff-Assisted Living...

Read more >> 


Why do we die?
By William Park


Certain jellyfish and their relatives offer tantalising clues as to whether immortality is possible – so why does death become the rest of us?

Of all the weird and wonderful aquatic organisms that bob about in our oceans and rivers, you would be forgiven for overlooking the hydra. Named after the Ancient Greek mythological serpent that could regrow its heads, it is a freshwater relative of jellyfish, anemones and corals. A little like a dandelion seed, with a long body and tuft of tentacles on one end, there's not much to see. But they have a remarkable property that makes them a curiosity of biology: they can regenerate. If you cut a hydra into many pieces, each bit will regrow into a complete, new individual.

Their regenerative properties have piqued the interest of biologists looking for evidence of immortality in nature. Why do these species appear not to die by natural causes? And is death inevitable?

Learn more  >>  


Almost 1 in 3 U.S. Seniors Now Sees 
At Least 5 Doctors Per Year
By Amy Norton

Nearly one-third of older U.S. adults visit at least five different doctors each year — reflecting the growing role of specialists in Americans' health care, a new study finds.

Over the past 20 years, Americans on Medicare have been increasingly seeing specialists, researchers found, with almost no change in visits with their primary care doctor.

On average, beneficiaries saw a 34% increase in the number of specialists they visited each year. And the proportion of patients seeing five or more doctors rose from about 18% in 2000, to 30% in 2019.

Read more  >>  


Ringing in your ears? 
About 750 million people 
Have this perplexing condition


Tinnitus, commonly described as a ringing in the ears, may affect about 750 million people around the world, according to new research based on about 50 years of data.

The study, published this week in the research journal JAMA Neurology, suggests tinnitus is perceived as a major problem by more than 120 million people, most of whom are 65 or older.

Researchers estimate about 14% of adults experience tinnitus, and 2% experience a severe form of it. The prevalence also appears to increase with age: Tinnitus is reported in 10% of adults ages 18 to 44, 14% of adults ages 45 to 64, and 24% of those 65 and older.

Read more  >>  


An audiologist’s take on the news that OTC 
Hearing aids are on their way to consumers
By David Akbari


Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids herald a new golden age for consumer access and affordability and will lead to improvements in technology innovation and public health outcomes in the coming years. Consumers and hearing healthcare providers alike are uniquely positioned to benefit from this new finalized OTC rule. While nothing can replace the high-touch, hands on service delivery of a skilled licensed professional, OTC hearing aids will provide much needed relief to tens of millions of un- and under-served Americans suffering from perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss currently with limited and expensive options to treat their perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

OTC hearing aids have been a long time in the making. In 2016, the United States spent nearly twice as much on overall health care as other high-income countries yet had poorer population health outcomes. In 2016, then-President Obama commissioned research by the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology (PCAST) and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Among their findings was that even if every single audiologist and hearing instrument dispenser was fitting people full time with hearing aids, there would still be a huge and growing unmet need in the United States for hearing healthcare forming the foundation for the new OTC hearing aid category.

Read more  >> 


2 Best Telecommuting Work 
Opportunities for Seniors
By A. A. Francis

Working full-time or part-time as a senior citizen can be self-defeating in a world where the cost of living standards is always rising.

The median salary for most senior citizens working in 2018 was barely $22,000. However, the typical retiree needs at least $45,000 annually to cover their living expenses.

If you are age 65 and over, you can have more employment options that you can handle if you adjust to telecommuting.

All you need is a laptop and reliable internet to teach online or become a consultant.

Read more  >> 



Health concerns of the 
super-elderly to watch out for 


Although definitions vary, the super-elderly are commonly defined as individuals age 85 years or older. Special health concerns characterize this group, as highlighted by emerging research.

Here is a sampling of such findings on the health issues of the super-elderly.
Compression of morbidity

Compression of morbidity is defined as a decreased time between the manifestation of disability and death.

Read more  >>  



How to Plan for Your Long-Term 
Care Insurance Needs
By Naomi Barr

The healthier and younger you are, the less your long-term care policy will cost in the long run. 

Dreamstime

For millions of baby boomers, Gen-Xers, and millennials who have no long-term care strategy, the pandemic has sent a message: Act now or it will cost you later. 

It’s a sobering task no matter your financial situation to plan for the possibility of some future incapacitation. But putting it off until too late can have dire consequences for your savings. The reality is that more than two-thirds of Americans over the age of 65 will need some sort of daily care for an average of three years during their lifetime, according to the Urban Institute. 

Those costs can quickly add up. A stay in a nursing home can cost over $100,000 a year, and even care in your own home can easily top $5,000 a month or more. 

Learn more  >> 


America's nursing homes 
At a crossroads
By Emily Mongan

America’s nursing homes are at a crossroads. Operators are challenged by a history of insufficient funding under the Medicaid program and eroding Medicare payments. Coupled with long-term care facilities being ground zero for the COVID pandemic and the public being reticent to place their elderly parent in such a facility, skilled nursing homes are facing an uphill battle. It is time to rethink the structure of the senior care industry in the U.S.

The partnership between government and nursing home operators is failing. The Biden administration has called for improved quality and better outcomes from the long-term care operators across the country, but with decreased funding from programs like Medicaid and Medicare and high levels of preventable readmissions of these senior patients to hospitals, costing payors and patients an additional $10+ billion annually, we are left with a system crying out for help.

The incentives in the long-term care system are wrong. Increased length of stay and increased volumes are rewarded, while quality and positive patient outcomes receive much less attention. While there are annual inspections by health departments, absent the right positive incentives, operators risk fines and forced closures. Instead of rewarding providers for high quality and positive outcomes, regulatory bodies are focused on punishment.

Read more  >>  


Maximize Your Credit Card 
Rewards Points to Fight Inflation
By Donna Fuscaldo,  

With prices soaring for everything from food to utility bills, consumers are looking for ways to save. Increasingly they are turning to credit card reward points to fight inflation.​

It makes sense, given America's penchant for credit cards. According to a recent Wells Fargo survey, 71 percent of people living in the U.S. have a credit card that offers cash back or rewards. Of those cardholders, nearly half (49 percent) are relying on rewards points to offset some of the costs of everyday purchases.  ​

But they aren’t doing it as efficiently as they could. The same Wells Fargo survey found only 53 percent of rewards cardholders focus on high-value categories when they use their card, while 38 percent have not cashed in their credit card rewards or offers this year. ​

Read more  >> CLICK HERE


The Importance of Indoor 
Air Quality in Care Facilities
By Tony Abate


The importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) has been at the forefront of many people’s minds in the last couple of years, given the severity of the pandemic and pollution in major cities. For those living in assisted living and memory care facilities, the need for proper ventilation and high-quality IAQ was a foundation of these properties far before the pandemic, but the need for well-supported infrastructure and comprehensive building systems has become all the more crucial now.

Just as COVID-19 affected everyone, so does air pollution and other airborne bacteria and hazards. Yet, the effects of these factors are much more severe in the elderly because they are more susceptible and at greater risk for health issues relating to poor IAQ. This is important to consider and mitigate in assisted living facilities as poor air quality can lead to, and worsen, chronic health conditions, such as lung disease, asthma, pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious problems. Proper IAQ and ventilation are in turn smart and simple strategies to implement into properties to reduce the risk of health conditions and to support the safety and well-being of those in assisted living or memory care facilities.

In these facilities, residents are more at risk to serious illnesses and air-borne pathogens, such as MRSA and Norovirus. Indoor air purification systems can assist in preventing contaminants in a space, and have the potential to drive better health, wellness, and improved care with cleaner and healthier IAQ. Additionally, IAQ technologies also act to filter contaminants that prevent unwanted odors, which is of particular importance in a residential community facility. In this way, new technology can drive multiple solutions and new amenities for facilities, while improving the resident experience. 

Read more  >> 


Eye care: 
Why are seniors more likely
To suffer from eye diseases
By Dr. Manish Nagpal

As people grow old, the risk of particular eye diseases and conditions increases significantly and becomes only worse with time. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 285 million people globally are visually impaired. Almost 82% suffering from blindness are aged 50 or above. 

In fact, over 137 million Indians have near vision loss, and 79 million people suffer from impairment. And, understanding the warning signs of age-related eye issues and seeking professional care can safeguard our vision.

Read more  >> 



DigitalC helps older adults
Overcome tech barriers
By Chris M. Worrell


For many older residents of Greater Cleveland, the digital divide can feel like an overwhelming chasm. DigitalC, a Cleveland nonprofit, is working to ensure that older adults have the technological skills they need to re-enter the workforce.

The current round of free trainings, each of which lasts five weeks, is taking place at the DigitalC “tech hive” from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays. The most recent session began July 12 and has a dozen participants.

All individuals enrolled in the training will have the opportunity to take home the computer they learned on at no charge after their Aug. 9 graduation.

Learn more  >>



8 Best Checking Accounts 
For Seniors
By Karen Doyle


Senior citizens often get discounts and deals, and why shouldn’t they? Retirement often means a reduction in income, so a bargain is always appreciated.

Some banks cater to this demographic by offering checking accounts designed specifically for senior citizens. Other banks, while they might not have a distinct offering for those over 60, have checking accounts that make sense for seniors who may have significant investment assets, or for those who are concerned with getting by on less income in retirement.

Here are the best checking accounts for seniors.

Checking Accounts Designed for Seniors

Some banks have checking accounts they designate as being for seniors. They typically have the features they think senior citizens will want, like no monthly fee, free checks and free paper statements. Here are some checking accounts that were designed for seniors.

Read more  >>


This Is the No. 1 Way to Live "Longer 
And Healthier," Doctor Says
By Lauren Gray

Add years to your life by doing this for just 11 minutes a day.

If you're aiming to live a long life, the quality of your years is just as important as the quantity. After all, living longer on its own can be a blessing or a curse—and living a long, healthy life is the ultimate prize.

That's why one geriatrician (a doctor specializing in the health of seniors) is sharing a crucial piece of information about the single best way to live "longer and healthier." While many factors contribute to the complex metrics of health and wellness, he says this one factor is "the most important thing" in order to live a long life free of disease or disability.

Read on to learn the number one way to extend and improve your life, and to find out why it's especially important to do right now.

Read more  >>  



How urban design can fulfill senior 
Living needs for baby boomers
By Lois A. Bowers


The influx of baby boomers approaching the age where they are ready for a new phase of life is not about size alone; it’s also about influence, including that generation’s widening effect on senior housing as a keystone of urban design.

Today’s senior housing developments are being molded by several characteristics that are unique to this age cohort:

1. Baby boomers want to stay engaged in their communities and with their professions and pursuits.

This generation has been redefining retirement since the oldest members hit their mid-60s approximately 10 years ago. Today, baby boomers are aged 57 to 76. Many want to stay connected to their social and/or professional communities and plan to remain both active and productive, whether by volunteering or working part-time.

Read more  >>  


What to do with your 
401(k) In a bear market


Amid recession fears in bear market, experts say 401(k) investors should think long term 04:58

Americans are free to enjoy their golden years in any state they please, but a new study found that the ideal places to live on a retirement budget are in the South or the Midwest. 

Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri are the top five best states to retire when factoring in a range of criteria, according to Bankrate. The most affordable states to retire are Michigan, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Read more  >>  



Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
By Heidi Moawad, MD

If you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar can help you minimize the nerve damage of diabetic neuropathy. However, this complication can develop with long-term diabetes even when blood sugar is well controlled.

If you already are experiencing signs of diabetic neuropathy, it’s crucial that you get proper treatment to help prevent the progression of this nerve condition. Additionally, diabetic neuropathy can cause many complications, including falling, malnutrition, infected wounds, and more.

This article will cover the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Each of the different effects of diabetic neuropathy requires treatment with specific lifestyle measures and medical therapies.

Read more  >> 




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New Report Highlights the 
Cost of Falls for Senior 
Living Communities

Falls pose a significant risk when it comes to senior health. The CDC reports that an older adult, age 65+, suffers a fall every second in the United States. Falls are a leading cause of injury in older adults, and one out of four older adults experiences a fall each year.

Naturally, falls are a widespread concern in senior care settings, and they can have a significant impact on residents. The 2022 inaugural State of Falls report by SafelyYou focuses on not only how Americans feel about aging and falling, but also on the actual impact that falls have on adults who are living in and outside of senior living communities.

Fall Risk and Frequency

According to the report, Americans age 42 and older have a genuine fear of aging. That fear stems from anxiety about falls and deteriorating health, while some worry about caring for a loved one who is aging.




Older cancer survivors at 
Higher risk for bone fracture
 

Older cancer survivors have an increased risk for pelvic and vertebral bone fracture compared with older adults without a history of cancer, research published in JAMA Oncology showed.

The increased risk for fracture is most pronounced among older patients diagnosed within the last 5 years and those who previously received chemotherapy.

Survivors with a history of smoking had a higher risk, and some evidence indicated physical activity may be associated with a lower risk, the investigators noted.




Does beer hold the key to 
Fighting Alzheimer’s disease?
By Erin Keller


Researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca tested four common varieties of hop flower extracts that are found in beer to see how well they would help to prevent brain protein clumping, which can lead to Alzheimer’s.

Hop flower extracts are used in all beers and have natural anti-oxidants that are believed to protect cells in the body. 

In testing, researchers exposed the hops to amyloid proteins and human nerve cells in lab dishes and were able to block amyloid beta proteins from clumping around cells. 

The hop extracts also triggered renewal processes called autophagic pathways – where the body breaks down and reuses old cell parts to increase efficiency.




Solo Agers Facing the Future 
Need a Network of Friends
By Sharon Jayson,   


Stacy Davenport says she began to worry about her future just before she turned 60.

“I was flipping out and talked to a friend about why I was anxious about 60,” she says. “If I get sick, I have nobody to take care of me.”

The very next year — in 2018 — two minor strokes “woke me up to I’d better get my stuff in order.”

Davenport, a life coach in Austin, Texas, who is unpartnered and has no children, is among the 12 percent of the population age 50 and older who live alone. Often called “solo agers,” they may be widowed, divorced or never married.

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Look to exercise to extend life, 
Even for the oldest, study says
By Sandee LaMotte



Physical activity guidelines for older adults stress doing at least two days of strength training and 2½ hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity each week. Yet many people downplay muscle strengthening, relying on the heart-pumping benefits of aerobic exercise.

That would be a mistake, a new study found. Independent of aerobic physical activity, adults over 65 who did strength training two to six times per week lived longer than those who did less than two, according to study author Dr. Bryant Webber, an epidemiologist in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We found that each type of physical activity was independently associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality in older adults,” Webber said in an email.








Maybe the Democrats didn’t do as poorly as expected. And maybe the Republicans are showing signs of moderating their views, it’s still not clear. What is clear is that America is divided almost in half. Hardly any of the races had a runaway favorite. The winners won by only a few percentage points and a few thousand votes. And in one race, the one in Georgia, it was closer than that, with each candidate receiving only about 48% fostering a runoff election next month.
 
It’s not like there wasn’t a clear choice. The goals of each of the parties are so diametrically opposed that there should not have been any close races. The traditional Democratic districts should have won their election just as the traditionally Republican areas should have clearly won theirs. There had to be something that blurred the lines between the two parties. I’ll give you one guess what (or who) that is.

Yes, you guessed it. It’s Trump. It’s always been Trump and will continue to be Trump and his wacky MAGA’s until that time when enough Republicans, as the RNC, come to their senses and denounce him for the phony fraud he is. And that time may be closer than we think. Trump is expected to declare his candidacy for president in 2024 any day now, although many Republicans have urged him to wait until the Georgia senate race is completed. Trump, of course, will do what he pleases. Will that further alienate him from the mainstream of the party? I think yes. The election proved an endorsement by Trump was not the panacea needed to win. 


Clearly, American voters are a fickle lot. Instead of thinking about the future of the nation, they only know the here and now. Gas, food, and rents are sky high. Screw my kids’ education. Screw a woman’s right to have control of her body. Screw healthcare for all ,the environment or the crumbling bridges. “MY SUV NEEDS GAS…NOW, and I’ll vote for any candidate that says he can get it for me.” Sadly, neither party knows how to do that……………………..
 






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Now you've downsized, 
Where will you live?
By Pam Kirkby


Housing options for seniors encompass numerous different scenarios and are not what we may have envisioned. Whether you are a younger senior (like me!), an older senior, or helping parents make choices, it’s important to consider the viability different living situations.

Some folks love their homes and neighborhoods and don’t plan to leave. If that is the case, great! 

Aging in place is one option as long as there are strategies in place should the home become uncomfortable or dangerous. For example, if all of the bedrooms are on the second level and navigating stairs becomes a challenge, a stairlift can be installed quickly and easily. In bathrooms, tubs can be removed to make room for walk-in shower stalls.




How to fix Social Security and Medicare? 
GOP wants to raise benefits age to 70
BY AIMEE PICCHI


America's rapidly aging society is placing financial strain on its two core old-age programs, Social Security and Medicare. Now, as Republicans vie to win back control of Congress in the midterm elections, some lawmakers are embracing plans for overhauling the programs — including raising the age for seniors to claim benefits to 70 years old. 

Under a plan developed by the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives in the House, senior citizens would face a five-year delay to claim Medicare, the government health care program for seniors that currently allows people to access the program when they turn 65. And the retirement age for Social Security would also increase to 70, compared with today's full retirement age of between 66 and 67 years old.

he reason for the push? The "miracle" of longer life expectancies, according to the Republican Study Committee's documents. But while Americans are living longer than in earlier generations, the average age of retirement is 61 — or 5 years earlier than workers say they had expected to step back from the workforce, according to Gallup. In other words, people may believe they'll work longer, but on average, Americans are stepping back five to six years before they even reach Social Security's current full retirement age.




Dementia plummets by nearly 
One-third among U.S. seniors
By Judy Packer-Tursman


The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, falling by nearly one-third from 2000 to 2016, a RAND Corp. study says. Photo by Nikki Vargas/Pixabay
Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, falling dramatically from 2000 to 2016, a RAND Corp. study says.

Nationwide, the age-adjusted prevalence of dementia fell to 8.5% of people over age 65 in 2016, down by nearly one-third from 12.2% of people over age 65 in 2000, according to the researchers.

Females are more likely to live with dementia, but the sex difference has narrowed, the study found.

Among men, the prevalence of dementia fell by 3.2 percentage points, from 10.2% to 7.0% over the 16-year span. The decrease was larger among women, down 3.9 percentage points, from 13.6% to 9.7%.




5 ways to show seniors 
They are appreciated



Senior citizens account for a significant percentage of the overall population. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau released in 2020 indicate the nation’s 65-and-older population had grown by more than one-third over the preceding decade. By 2050, the number of senior citizens is expected to be close to 90 million.

People are living longer than ever, and as individuals age, the demand for senior services continues to grow — as does the need to be patient and respect the elderly. There are many ways to show seniors just how much they’re appreciated.

1. Help with chores. Lend a hand with chores around the house that may have grown difficult for seniors. This can include mowing the lawn, weeding garden beds, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or even taking the garbage pails in and out on collection days.

2. Visit more often. Frequent visits are one of the simplest ways to show seniors you care. Whether seniors live in a private home or managed care facility, visitors brighten their days, especially if they no longer get out and about as frequently as they once did. Spending time together and sharing stories can bring smiles to the faces of older adults.








While I considered myself to be a typical teenager, the one area where my typicality ended was my taste in music. It’s not that I didn’t like pop music, I just preferred to listen to jazz or classical in a small venue rather than trying to hear myself think in a room full of screaming teens. Thus, in 1962, at the tender age of 17, I found myself in the basement of a small nightspot in New York’s Greenwich Village called the Bon Soir. 

In the basement at 40 W. 8th Street, the Bon Soir was a sophisticated nightspot, especially popular in the 1950s and 1960s, that featured gifted young performers on its nightly programs. One night, In 1962, along with my brother, I was seated at a table inches from the stage and watched a 21-year-old singer from Brooklyn sing her heart out. Her name was Barbra Streisand.

It’s rare one gets to see a true star at the very start of their career, and I have always considered myself fortunate to have been there to witness hers. I thought nobody would have remembered her humble beginnings, or the Bon Soir for that matter, so I was surprised to see there was actually an album of her early performances at that venue. Listening to it took me back to a better time and I hope it does the same for you……….











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New York State Master Plan for Aging
By Michael Paulsen


On Friday, Governor Hochul issued a new executive order to establish the New York State Master Plan for Aging. The EO directs the Department of Health, in coordination with the State Office for the Aging, to convene a Master Plan for Aging Council to advise the Governor in developing New York’s Master Plan for Aging. The council will also assemble the “Stakeholder Advisory Committee” to include health care and support services providers, older adults, and labor and community-based organizations, and will include ongoing opportunities for engagement with the public.

Initially proposed in the Governor’s 2022 State of the State, the Master Plan for Aging Council is tasked with coordinating existing and new policies and programs to create a blueprint of strategies to ensure that older New Yorkers can live fulfilling lives in good health, with freedom, dignity and independence to age in place for as long as possible. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is directed to prepare a preliminary report within six months and a final report within 18 months of holding its first meeting; the Master Plan for Aging Council is required to present its recommended Master Plan for Aging to the Governor within two years.




Signs That It’s Time for Memory Care
By Ruben Castaneda

Say your aging mom, who's living with dementia, has always been conscientious about opening her mail and paying her bills. You and other family members check on her regularly to see if she's OK. Yet, over time, you notice she's letting her mail accumulate unopened and forgetting to make her payments, or, she's paying the same bill multiple times. Or maybe, she's always cooked for herself, but lately, she's been unable to prepare meals. And as time passes, she may start having trouble with other basic tasks of daily living, like dressing herself or using the bathroom.

There may come a time when a person living with Alzheimer's disease, or another form of dementia, will need more care than can be provided at home. During the middle to late stages of Alzheimer's, it becomes necessary to provide 24-hour supervision to keep them safe. In some cases, more specialized care is needed.

Overall, more than 6 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. More than 11 million family members care for someone with dementia, and others live in assisted living communities, nursing homes or memory care units.




How To Stay Sociable 
As You Get Older: 
Tips For Seniors
By Ella Woodward


As we get older, it can be hard to make new friends or stay in touch with your current friendship group. 

That’s why many seniors find it hard to socialize and start to feel lonely. It might not seem like a major issue, but loneliness can lead to serious health conditions, both mental and physical. 

Being lonely can make you feel isolated and lead to you not taking good care of yourself, which can exacerbate any existing ailments you have. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can work to stay sociable as you age. Keep reading to find some practical ideas to help you get started. 




How to choose a medical 
Alert system for seniors
BY JENNIFER EARL

If you're looking to keep your elderly parents or other family members protected, especially if they're living alone, then you'll want to invest in a medical alert system. 

Accidents happen. Every year, 3 million senior citizens (age 65 and up) are treated for injuries related to falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Falling once doubles your chances of falling again," noted the CDC, adding that only half of the elderly who experience falls actually report it to their physicians.

While some seniors may resist the help, it's worth pursuing in order to ensure they're safe and get the attention they need in an emergency. It's always best to treat potential broken bones, head injuries or other serious injuries immediately.




Residents of assisted living facilities 
Lost significant, concerning weight 
During the COVID-19 quarantine
By: Deborah Mann Lake 


Older adults residing in assisted living facilities and quarantined to their rooms during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lost significant weight, according to gerontology care providers and researchers from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.

Significant weight loss of at least 5% occurred in 40% of residents, with 47% of those losing 10% or more of their weight. Men in the study were 14 times more likely to lose significant weight due to quarantine.

The findings were presented at the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association 2022 National Conference earlier this month.

“Room quarantine can result in loneliness, decreased appetite, less meal encouragement, and less assistance with eating,” said lead author Maureen S. Beck, DNP, MSN, assistant professor in the Joan and Stanford Alexander Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at McGovern Medical School. “Losing 5% of their weight is significant for elderly patients and can lead to the loss of independent function.”



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Manchin calls for deal on Social Security, 
Medicare, Medicaid in new Congress
BY ALEXANDER BOLTON 


Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Thursday called for a broad bipartisan deal to protect the solvency of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, popular programs that face serious funding issues over the next few decades.

“You’re going to get your financial house in order. We cannot live with this crippling debt,” Manchin, whose pivotal vote both delayed and helped pass big pieces of President Biden’s agenda, told Fortune’s Alan Murray at a CEO conference.  

“If we don’t look at the trust funds that are going bankrupt, whether they be Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, highway, all the ones — there are tremendous problems right now,” Manchin said when asked where he sees areas of potential compromise in Washington after the Nov. 8 midterm elections. 











Voting in the midterm elections is over, but not finished. In many of the contests, results may not be known for days. There are several reasons for this. Just the sheer number of people who have voted will cause delays in some areas. Some contests will be so close, a re-count may be needed and, in others, because of the stain Donald Trump put on the last election, many losing candidates will call “foul” and go to court. Eventually, however, we will know if the Republicans regain control of the House and/or the Senate. And, if polls are to be believed, things don’t look good for the Dem’s. Another place where it doesn’t look for Democrats, is the 2024 presidential election. 

The Republican’s appear to have their candidates nailed down. Undoubtedly, Trump will run again. If not on the Republican ticket than on one he creates himself. Also running will most likely be Florida’s Ron DeSantis. Both are strong candidates, at least among voters in their own party. Democrats, on the other hand, are not as lucky. Not only do they have a plethora of potential candidates, not one of them could beat Trump or DeSantis if the election were held now, in my opinion.

Let’s have look at the possible candidates.

The Favorites according to various polls: [1]
1. Joe Biden
2. Kamala Harris
3. Pete Buttigieg
4. Gavin Newsom
5. Elizabeth Warren
6. Bernie Sanders
7. Amy Klobuchar
8. Gretchen Whitmer
9. Cory Booker
10. Roy Cooper

My favorites and why:

1. Amy Klobucher…Moderate Midwesterner
2. Cory Booker… Attractive. Obama-like
3. Gavin Newsom…  Liberal, attractive with experience running a big state
4. Kamala Harris… Too attached to Biden. Hated by Republicans
5. Elizabeth Warren…Good candidate, but too much like Hillary.
6. Gretchen Whitmer…Brave governor of Michigan, but lacks a national following
7. Pete Buttigieg… Too young. Too gay.
8. Bernie Sanders… Republicans think he’s a Commie. Democrats think he’s a Socialist
9.Roy Cooper…Who?
10. Joe Biden… Too old (Sorry seniors, but you know it’s true)

Make no mistake. The 2024 race for president begins right after these midterm elections. The Democratic field will narrow. But as of now, no one stands out as a viable candidate to run against Trump or DeSantis. What will determine if any of the Democratic candidates has any chance against any Republican is what will the economy be like as we get closer to 2024. If it remains crappy, the Democrats have a chance. If it dramatically improves, we will see another 4 years of Trump or DeSantis. Four years of packing the SCOTUS and four years of red-hat-wearing wacko’s who want to make America Great Again even though most of them don’t know what that means.

Of course, if you are the person who holds the single winning 2 billion dollar Powerball Lottery ticket, you most likely don’t care about any of this…………………









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Take Years Off Your Age: 
This Israeli Expert Says
It’s All Up to You


“Let’s say your chronological age is 40, and your biological age, which can be discerned by blood tests, bone density and the condition of your cornea, your liver or your microbiome (personal community of microorganisms), is 43,” Israeli obstetrician and gynecologist Ariel Ravel suggests in his new book, “The Imperatives of Future Medicines."

“What if I enumerated 10 things that, if you do them, you’ll not only set back your biological and chronological clock – you’ll even manage to take three years off your age – for the sake of argument here, to 37?

I’d say, go for it.

“It will sound strange, but I think that longevity is largely a decision. It demands that each of us to make decisions and act accordingly.”



Frequently asked questions 
About senior citizen insurance for USA



Senior citizens coming to the US may have a lot of questions and concerns regarding health insurance policies. When they arrive in the US, they do not get access to Obamacare or other government-sponsored insurance programs because they are visitors and not US residents, citizens, or legally permanent residents (green card holders). Senior travelers can buy visitors insurance plans from private insurance companies or providers to cover them during their temporary stay.

Here are the top 5 questions that are typically asked.

Should I buy separate policies for each parent?

It is your choice. You can buy separate policies for parents or a single policy for both. Typically, premiums do not change if you buy separate policies or a single policy. However, depending on the plan and parents’ age, some policies may ask you to complete separate applications.  As senior travelers find insurance plans offering limited coverage, it is essential to talk to your insurance executive and understand details of the coverage.   If your both parents have different travel dates and trip duration, you must buy two separate plans.




Depression Treatment Starts 
Changing the Brain Within 6 Weeks
By Cara Murez 


New research reveals that the brain is much more flexible than once thought and can change rapidly during treatment for major depression.

People receiving inpatient treatment for major depression had increased brain connectivity after just six weeks, German researchers report.

They compared brain connectivity -- various brain regions acting together in generating thought, emotion and behavior -- in 109 patients with serious depression to that in a control group of 55 volunteers without depression. MRI scans were used to identify which brain areas were communicating with others before and after treatment.




Sometimes older adults must 
Train for standing up from a chair
By Matt Parrott 



Jay Lloyd, a certified spin instructor and personal trainer at Little Rock Athletic Club, demonstrates the Bar Assisted Squat using a Smith machine at Little Rock Racquet Club. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Celia Storey)

A few common problems rob older people of their ability to move freely. Joint injuries, an exceedingly high body mass index and a lack of lower body strength are the main musculoskeletal factors that limit mobility for aging adults.

Although joint injuries are largely the result of accidents, the other two factors often can be prevented. This week, I'll present a few prevention tips and will introduce an exercise that's perfect for the older adult.




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Your Holiday Dinner Is in Trouble
By Amy McCarthy 



With the end of 2022 rapidly approaching, many of us are already planning our Thanksgiving menus and thinking about which dishes we’ll bring to the family Christmas party. Unfortunately, it’s possible that this season might force us to forgo some of our tried-and-true favorites, thanks to a slew of food shortages that are impacting everything from the price of turkeys to the availability of butter.

Although this isn’t the first time there’s been a turkey shortage in the lead-up to Thanksgiving, this year’s shortage is expected to make the birds both scarce and expensive. For years now, turkey farmers have seen major increases in costs, including food, fuel, and fertilizer due to inflation and supply chain issues. A particularly virulent strain of avian flu is also a major problem for the country’s turkey farms. More than 6 million turkeys have died from the disease in 2022 alone, and that number is expected to rise in the coming weeks as outbreaks continue.

Sandwich shops and delis are already feeling the strain, and the incessant news stories covering the turkey shortages may also impact holiday availability, causing some folks to rush to stock up on birds for their Thanksgiving table (like the guy I saw at the grocery store this weekend loading up his cart with five massive turkeys and nothing else). But while the turkey shortages were foreseeable, few predicted that even more of our beloved celebration foods would come under threat this holiday season.



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53% Of U.S. Adults Don’t Fear Growing Old—
Study Finds People Actually Fear Less As They Age
By Alena Hall

Aging is an inevitable and sometimes daunting part of life, but according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll, 53% of people aren’t afraid of growing old. In fact, people seem to fear aging less with each year they grow older.

However, many aspects of the aging process do seem to be cause for concern. According to the survey, 63% of U.S. adults who said they fear aging are worried most about potentially declining health as they age, followed by losing loved ones (52%) and financial concerns (38%). Meanwhile, 30% of respondents noted a fear of loneliness and/or isolation as they grow old, and 20% worry about feeling bored or a lack of purpose as they age.

The Health Issues U.S. Adults Fear Most

It’s no surprise that a person’s overall health tends to decline as they get older, but not all health concerns are created equal when it comes to what people worry about most. According to the survey, 45% of U.S. adults who said they fear aging are most concerned about potential mobility issues, such as arthritis and joint deterioration, followed closely by cancer of any kind (44%) and cognitive decline, including all types of dementia (44%). 


EDITOR’S COMMENT: I’m one of the 47% that thinks being old sucks. Perhaps it’s because I have experienced all the bad stuff and very little of what is supposed to be good about the so-called “Golden Years.” I can no longer drive. I have difficulty walking, hearing and seeing. But what I fear most is the inevitable. No, not death. Of that I am a realist. What I fear most is knowing there’s no going back. I’ll just get more feeble, more dependent on others and lose everything that makes me me. 


Medicare cuts harming seniors' access to 
Surgical care set to take effect in 
Less than two months


The 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms the nearly 4.5 percent cut to surgeons and anesthesiologists, harming patient access to needed surgical care, the Surgical Care Coalition said today. 

"At a bare minimum, Congress must pass H.R. 8800 to prevent these cuts whose effects would be to harm Americans most in need of care," said Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. "Without Congressional action, vulnerable seniors' nationwide access to timely, high quality, and essential surgical care will be negatively impacted. If allowed to go into effect, these reductions will be yet another blow to an already stressed healthcare system. The ACS has always been willing to work with Congress to find permanent solutions to this issue in the long term, but we must act now to preserve critical access for patients."

Combined with a 4% Medicare cut stemming from the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, surgical care will face a nearly 8.5% Medicare cut on January 1, 2023. Meanwhile, significant medical inflation, along with staffing and supply chain shortages, continues to harm surgical care teams across the country.


EDITOR’S COMMENT: cuts to Medicare will never be done with an ax but rather a scalpel. A few nicks here, a few whittles there and soon, what was once a godsend for seniors will be a shadow of its former self.


How domestic violence
Impacts older adults
By Anthony Hill

Domestic violence can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. One local Bay area police department is trying to end domestic violence among older adults.

“Every night they would drink,” said one older adult who we decided not to identify. She knows how domestic violence looks firsthand because she’s lived through it. She said she was abused by a family member who moved in with her, and it began with verbal abuse. “Basically, I would just walk away and turn my back and try not to hear it,” she continued.

Several times she said she called the police, and the abuse would stop for the night but would continue the next day. “And she couldn’t stop. It was every night,” she continued. She said it wasn’t just verbal abuse. “It got physical one night, too. It got physical. And I just couldn’t deal with it anymore,” she said.

“An older adult would rather seek help from their family or their friends or their doctors,” said Rosa Contreras with the Spring of Tampa Bay.



Possible Marijuana Reform Puts 
Senior Living Industry at 
Cannabis Crossroads
By Nick Andrews


Some senior living residents use cannabis products in their communities, but as they do so operators have had to navigate a perilous and often confusing legal minefield.

Much of that has to do with the fact that marijuana is still a Schedule I drug on the federal level, a category also shared by heroin, LSD and MDMA. But there are signs the regulatory winds are shifting, if only in spirit for now.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the attorney general to review marijuana’s Schedule I status, potentially opening the door to more flexibility in its use down the road. 


EDITOR’S COMMENT: Eventually, long-term care facilities will have to deal with those seniors who want or need to take a toke now and then. If it’s legal in the state then it should not be the business of senior living operators to try to control its use among adults in their care.

_____________________________________________special




How a 95-year-old grandma got a
Latin Grammy Best New Artist nod
By Sigal Ratner-Arias



What began as a grandson’s personal mission to preserve his Nana’s unpublished musical legacy turned into a passion project that led to an album, a documentary, a role in a Hollywood movie, and ultimately, a Latin Grammy nomination for best new artist.

At 95, Angela Alvarez is fulfilling a lifelong dream that began in her native Cuba, where she learned to sing and play the piano early on, and later took on the guitar and started writing her own songs.

“I loved music very much,” Alvarez tells Billboard Español in a video-call from her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — where the work of her husband, a mechanical engineer in the sugar industry, took her decades ago. “When I was a child, I had two aunts that played the piano and taught me how to sing. Whenever there was a family gathering, I was the artist; they made dresses for me and I always liked to perform.” 






Tomorrow, Tuesday, is election day here in the U.S. And, although it’s not a year to elect a president, the president (or presidents) are none the less on the ballot. While nothing about elections is black and white, the one thing that is very clear is that a vote for a Republican is a vote for Donald Trump. And I don’t care who says differently.
 
We would love to believe most Republicans are moderate. That is, they believe in conservative Republican ideas, but shy away from the MAGA crowd, the anti-vaxxers, the vote deniers, the conspiracy theorists and the like. But the truth is, whether or not they admit it publicly, they know without the MAGA vote, they cannot win.

Take a guy like Dr. Oz. You know he’s not a wacko anti-science, vote-denying Republican. But you will never hear him say it publically. If asked, he says things like “I believe in vaccinations but if you don’t want to, it’s okay.” Or, “Yes, I believe Biden is the legitimately elected president, but we need to make sure future elections are on the up and up.” Vaguely alluding to the possibility of a crooked election which may have him losing his bid for Senator from Pennsylvania.

In my state of New York, the governorship is up for a vote. The incumbent, Democrat, Kathy Hochul, is running against Republican, Lee Zeldin. A year ago, it looked as though Hochul would be a shoo-in. After all, New York hasn’t had a Republican governor for 30 years. But her margin of victory has been cut drastically in the last few weeks to where it’s anybody’s guess who will win. The only comforting thing if Zeldin wins, his impact on how the federal government is run will be minimal. He pledges not to interfere with New York’s liberal abortion laws despite being and admitted ass-licking Trump supporter.


Here’s what’s at stake for us old folks. The Republican’s need only 5 more congresspersons to take over the House and only 1 senator to regain the Senate. What this means is that once they get back in power, all bets are off regarding protection of Social Security and Medicare. Both of which have been in the Republican cross-hairs for years. And that alone should give even the staunchest Republican-voting senior citizen cause for concern. Why any senior would want to cut off their noses just to turn back the clock 50 years is beyond me.

I know you have other concerns. The economy is one of them. Many of us who are on fixed incomes can’t make ends meet. But you and I know, the Democrats had nothing to do with it. Neither did the Republicans. But both parties believe they have a solution. The Democrats think big corporations who have made windfall profits in recent months, should be taxed more on those profits while on the other side of the aisle, the Republicans think it’s government spending (on things like Medicare and Social Security) are the reasons a gallon of gas costs $4.00.

You were smart enough to get vaccinated when you saw thousands of your friends and neighbors suffer and die from COVID-19. And you did it, despite the lies our former president told you. You continued to wear your masks in crowded places because you know you are susceptible to catching and becoming seriously ill from the virus. All I’m asking is that you use your common sense and don’t allow them destroy the ideals that made us the great nation we are or let them crush the future of our nation because of some misguided notion things were better 60 years ago…………………
 







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Travel Discounts for Seniors
By Rachel Hartman


Whether you’re visiting family or taking a vacation, there are many travel deals available for senior citizens. Some travel discounts for seniors are available online, while others come when you call or join an organization. Be ready to read the fine print or ask for details to make sure you are eligible. You will often be required to show proof of age, such as an ID or membership card. Check out these senior travel discounts when booking your next trip.

Hotel Senior Discounts

Many chains and local places will grant older guests a deal or discount. You can ask when making a reservation or look as you book online. Here are a few hotel senior discounts to help you get started:

Aqua-Aston Hospitality: Travelers age 50 or older can save up to 15% off the best available rate.
Best Western: Seniors 55 and older can save up to 15% when booking reservations.
Cambria Suites: Offers up to 10% off to AARP members.
Choice Hotel: Grants AARP cardholders and those 60 and over a 10% discount on advance reservations....

See more  >>  



Your Top 10 Objects Your Kids Don't Want
By Elizabeth Stewart


The following is excerpted from No Thanks Mom: The Top Ten Objects Your Kids Do NOT Want (and what to do with them).

A collection of old school, colorful toy cars. Next Avenue, items kids don't want
Your house, and what it contains, is a minefield in the eyes of your grown children. They can see from your example that collections of stuff are a curse; such objects are superfluous to a life well lived. They want a clean, clear field in which to live their lives. Your grown children will not agree to be the recipients of your downsizing if it means their upsizing.

In the following list of the Top Ten Objects Your Kids Do Not Want — inspired by conversations (or lack thereof) about my keepsakes with my 30-year-old son, Lock, and his wife, as well as by similar conversations I've had with hundreds of boomer clients and their millennial heirs — I will help you find a remedy for dealing with each:

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



6 Items You Should Never
Use in the Shower
By ZACHARY MACK


We all have our preferences when it comes to how we shower. Some of us like to roll out of bed first thing in the morning and use the cleaning ritual as a way to wake up and take on the day. Others choose to hold off until nighttime, when they can rinse off before getting into bed. But no matter how you approach the process, there are still a few habits that should be avoided—and products you shouldn't be using. Read on to find out which items experts say you should never use in the shower.


These Everyday Items Have Secret Uses You Should Definitely Know About

No matter how careful you are, a slippery bar of soap must be kept somewhere where it won't slide its way onto the floor when it's not being used. But according to experts, how you store your suds can also create a bit of a health risk.

"Soap dishes may keep your bar from moving around, but they're often not drained properly, which makes them a breeding ground for bacteria," Kristina Hendija, medical advisor at Beardoholic, tells Best Life. "What's worse is that microorganisms will even start growing on the soap that's in the dish. As a result, this makes you vulnerable to bacterial skin infections."

Read more  >> 



Looking for a Second Opinion? 
How to Get Past 3 Common Fears
By Nancy Papesh

When Kenneth suddenly became ill with a stomach virus that left him weak and in tremendous pain, his wife, Linda, who works in a radiology practice, became concerned. "My husband had always been extremely healthy, and this was the second time in two months that he had been so sick," she says. "I asked his physician for an imaging test to show us what was happening."

The test revealed that Kenneth had Stage 4 cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of bile duct cancer. Kenneth was referred to a gastrointestinal specialist for care. But while the couple trusted their physician, Kenneth's illness made them yearn for input from someone with more experience treating his condition.

One in 10 patients with cancer, an infection, or a major vascular event are misdiagnosed each year.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE




How to Get Over Your Ex
In your 50s and after, a breakup 
Is a whole different thing
By Judith Newman

Florence Williams was 50 when her husband told her he wanted a divorce. They’d been together for 32 years, and for Williams, the breakup was devastating. “I’d never been an adult without him,” recalls the Washington, D.C., science writer.

While getting dumped is always painful, it can be particularly wrenching in your 50s, experts say. “When you’re younger, you are surrounded by people getting together and breaking up,” says Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles and the author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. But long-settled friends and colleagues don’t always know how to support a peer whose relationship gets yanked out from under them. “They’re, like, ‘Oh, you’ll find someone else,’ ” Gottlieb observes. “They just don’t understand the pain and the uncertainty.”

“The 50s are a huge marker,” adds Jane Greer, a New York City–based marriage and family therapist and the author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal. ​“Suddenly you’re at the point in your life where you take stock, and life is either working the way you’d imagined … or it’s not.”

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 


4 Social Security Changes 
Joe Biden Wants to Make


Whether you’re new to the workforce or have been retired for years, the chances are good that you’ll rely on Social Security income, to some varied degree, to make ends meet during your golden years.

Earlier this year, national pollster Gallup found that 89% of retirees are currently leaning on Social Security as a “major” or “minor” source of income. Meanwhile, 84% of non-retirees anticipate needing their retired worker benefit to help pay bills when they hang up their work coats for good. In other words, Social Security is vital to the financial well-being of most Americans.

Unfortunately, this pivotal program is on shaky ground.


Social Security is in absolutely no danger of going bankrupt or becoming insolvent. If you’ve earned the requisite 40 lifetime work credits to receive a retired worker benefit, you’ll be netting a monthly payment when you’re eligible. Since Social Security is primarily funded by the payroll tax on earned income, it can’t go bankrupt as long as people continue to work and pay their taxes.

Read more  >>  

Social Security: 
5 Uncomfortable Questions 
Every Woman Needs Answered
By Dawn Allcot


Women tend to live longer than men, on average, according to the Social Security Administration. Yet, they earn less than men over their lifetime. That leads to women receiving 81% of the amount men receive from Social Security during their retirement — when they might need that money to maintain their quality of life. Over a 30-year retirement, GoBankingRates recently reported, men will receive roughly $127,000 more from Social Security than women.

Social Security: Women Get $354 Per Month Less Than Men — Here’s Why
Find: 7 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Reach Your Retirement Goals

But that’s not the only way women and men differ when it comes to Social Security benefits. Depending on their personal situations, women may have to ask some hard questions about Social Security before they retire. It helps to know the answers so you can plan ahead.

Read more  >> 



Protecting senior citizens 
From identity theft
By Jim Wallace

 On Monday, WALB’s Jim Wallace spoke to Noula Zaharis, the Director of the Security and Charities Division with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

“Noula, the question is, are the number of attacks on senior citizens trying to steal their personal or financial information, is it actually increasing nowadays?” Wallace asked.

“Yes, yes we are seeing an uptick in that space. We find that scammers are stealing billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. And it seems to be a big target toward seniors and the impact on families and the victims is devastating, especially for our seniors,” said Zaharis.

Read more  >>



70% of Seniors Will Face 
This Giant Expense -- 
And Many Are Unprepared

In the course of retirement planning, workers need to factor in various future expenses. These include housing, hobbies and other pastimes, and healthcare.

Now it's hardly a secret that medical costs tend to increase with age. And it's a fairly well-known fact that healthcare coverage under Medicare is by no means free, so it's important that workers set aside money to cover their future medical bills whether by padding their 401(k)s and IRAs or funding health savings accounts.

But one big misconception about Medicare is that coverage is all-encompassing. That's hardly the truth. Not only does Medicare not pick up the tab for common services like eye exams and dental care, but it also won't cover a major expense that can wreak havoc on seniors' finances -- long-term care. And the sooner you're aware of that, the sooner you can make a plan so you and your loved ones aren't stuck with astoundingly high costs.

Read more  >> 



Cognitive decline linked to 
Ultraprocessed food
Sandee LaMotte


Eating ultraprocessed foods for more than 20% of your daily calorie intake every day could set you on the road to cognitive decline, a new study revealed.

We all know eating ultraprocessed foods that make our lives easier -- such as prepackaged soups, sauces, frozen pizza and ready-to-eat meals -- isn't good for our health. Nor is gobbling up all the pleasure foods that we love so much: hot dogs, sausages, burgers, french fries, sodas, cookies, cakes, candies, doughnuts and ice cream, to name just a few.

Ultra-processed foods now account for two-thirds of calories in the diets of children and teens

Studies have found they can raise our risk of obesity, heart and circulation problems, diabetes and cancer. They may even shorten our lives.

Learn more  >> 


Jarlsberg cheese may help 
Stave off osteoporosis


Eating Jarlsberg cheese may help to prevent bone thinning and stave off osteoporosis, research suggests.

Jarlsberg is a mild cheese made from cow’s milk, with regular holes that mean it is classified as a Swiss-type cheese, although it originates from Norway. It is rich in vitamin K2, which has previously been found to improve bone health.

The results of a study published in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health suggest a daily portion could be beneficial to bone growth and regeneration.

Participants in the study were given a daily portion of either Jarlsberg or camembert, which is poor in vitamin K2. Signs of bone growth increased with Jarlsberg consumption and fell slightly in the camembert group, the authors said.

Learn more  >> 


At 100, world's oldest practicing doctor likes 
Martinis, snowshoeing, working out
By A. Pawlowski

Ask Dr. Howard Tucker about people who want to retire early and he’s incredulous. At 100, the neurologist has been working in medicine for 75 years.

Guinness World Records has named him the world’s oldest practicing doctor. Tucker just recently stopped seeing patients, but he’s still teaching medical residents at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, heading to work twice a week.

“I look upon retirement as the enemy of longevity,” Tucker told TODAY during a recent video call. He has a computer and smartphone, and is determined to keep up with technology.

Read more  >> 


Skinner: The senior system sucks at best
Steve Skinner, Aspen Daily News Columnist


Seniors beware! Many of you are getting ripped off, bilked and milked.

I have been spending some real quality time with senior citizens lately in my capacity as a hospice volunteer, and I have even taken to going into senior facilities to entertain with my guitar. Getting old is a confusing thing for some, but if you have enough money you can be kept somewhat comfortable. My last visit to a senior living facility revealed that most of the seniors were happy and many attributed that to the staff.

In the old days, families stayed together and took care of the elders. There were multiple generations in many households. Now we have senior homes and nursing homes — all of them money funnels, where you trade a lifetime of savings for “a place for mom.”

Read more  >> 



F.D.A. Clears Path for Hearing Aids 
To be Sold Over the Counter
By Christina Jewett


The agency issued a final rule that took years to complete and opens the door to cheaper, more accessible devices without a prescription or medical exam.
A patient was fitted with a hearing aid in Florida.Credit...Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration moved on Tuesday to make hearing aids available over the counter and without a prescription to adults, a long-sought wish of consumers frustrated by expensive exams and devices.

As soon as mid-October, people with mild to moderate hearing loss should be able to buy hearing aids online and in retail stores, without being required to see a doctor for an exam to get a prescription.

The F.D.A. cited studies estimating that about 30 million Americans experience hearing loss, but only about one-fifth of them get help. The changes could upend the market, which is dominated by a relatively small number of manufacturers, and make it a broader field with less costly, and perhaps, more innovative designs. Current costs for hearing aids, which tend to include visits with an audiologist, range from about $1,400 at Costco to roughly $4,700 elsewhere.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



House Democrats call for action on 
Social Security reform. 
What that could mean for your benefits
By Lorie Konish


Social Security crossed a new milestone when it reached its 87th anniversary on Sunday.

The program was signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935. Today it provides monthly checks to more than 65 million beneficiaries.

But it now faces a deadline after which the program will no longer be able to pay full benefits, if Congress does not act sooner.

In 2035, according to the program’s trustees, just 80% of benefits will be payable.




47% of Older People Now 
Die With This Diagnosis
By Chris Kissell


As awareness of dementia has grown, a startling fact has come to light: Nearly half of all older adults — 47% — die with a diagnosis of that condition on their medical record, according to recent research out of the University of Michigan and published in JAMA Health Forum.

That number was just 36% two decades ago. However, the 11-percentage-point increase in diagnoses does not necessarily indicate that dementia is growing more prevalent in society, researchers say.

Rather, three factors have raised the profile of the illness, bringing greater attention to dementia that is reflected in medical records. The three factors are:




Older Americans need action on 
Mental health and behavioral health crises
By Michael Pessman


Many older Americans face age-related mental health issues and substance abuse disorders that were exacerbated by COVID-19. This is fueling a national health crisis that requires action by policymakers, health care providers and insurers. 

Older adults commonly reported depression, anxiety and trouble with sleep during the pandemic. Since March 2020, one in five adults ages 50-80, or 19 percent, reported worse sleep patterns than before the pandemic.

The pandemic made it increasingly difficult for older Americans and people with disabilities to connect with family and friends. This may have contributed to higher substance use, dangerous overdoses, and even suicide for some people with substance use disorders.





Are senior citizens 
The future of smart?


For some, downsizing, especially in the U.S. where homes are bigger, becomes an option, said Etkin.

"When people reach a certain age, when they've reached the status of empty-nesters, they probably won't downsize right then and there, but a decade or two after that they may realize that this big home doesn't serve them anymore," she said. "It's just too much to clean, to maintain. There are too many stairs. It's not safe."

So if people are looking to downsize, the only options that they had until recently were to either rent or buy a smaller apartment or move into senior living. 



Non-invasive brain stimulation 
Helps older adults learn 
New motor skills
By Michael Irving

It’s unsurprising but unfortunate that as we get older, our capacity to learn new skills diminishes. But a new study by researchers at EPFL has found that non-invasive electrical brain stimulation can help older adults learn new motor skills much faster.

Whether it’s brushing your teeth or making a sandwich, every daily activity is made up of a sequence of small movements and actions that we essentially perform on autopilot. But it can take time and effort to learn a new one of these sequential motor skills, such as a new sport or musical instrument.

Young people often pick up these new skills pretty quickly, but as we get older it’s harder to do and takes longer. So for the new study, the EPFL team investigated a potential way to help older adults learn new sequential motor skills faster and more effectively.



Changes to Medicare Part D 
Under New Law
By Dena Bunis



For the first time in Medicare’s history, the amount of money that beneficiaries in drug plans will have to pay for their prescriptions each year will be capped, thanks to provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The new law makes other changes to the program’s Part D drug benefits, including putting a limit on out-of-pocket payments for insulin and making vital vaccines free. 

“There was previously no limit on how much a person on Part D could have to pay in a given year,” says Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “And 1.3 million enrollees spent more than $2,000 in 2020.”  

As with many of the other provisions in the new law, the changes to Part D out-of-pocket spending will roll out over the next several years. Here’s a look at how the new cost-sharing rules will work and when the savings will start. 

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE


No, Senate inflation bill isn't stripping
$300 billion from Medicare
By Brett Arends


If you’re among the hundreds of thousands—possibly more—who have seen one of these commercials about Medicare and the latest bill in Congress, I’ve got some bad news, some good news, and a puzzle for you.

The bad news is that you’re being played.

The good news is that nobody is “stripping $300 billion from Medicare” by any calculation that would make sense to you or anyone you know. (More on this below.)

The puzzle is in two parts: Who, exactly, is the “American Prosperity Alliance,” the mysterious front organization behind the commercial? And why, exactly, do they want us to pay an extra $300 billion to America’s drug companies?




This Is The Biggest Barrier 
To Sleep If You're 60+


Existing research has shown that as we get older, our sleep tends to suffer. And according to a new study out of Finland, published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, there's one thing that a lot of adults in their 60s seem to be losing sleep over. Here's what the research shows.

Studying how stress affects sleep in older adults.

For this study, researchers wanted to assess how different kinds of stress affected the sleep of older adults who were approaching retirement. The first study consisted of over 2,700 adults and looked at factors like physical and mental working conditions, stressful life events, and work-life balance.

An additional population study of nearly 4,000 people found that over half of Finnish men in their 60s and 70% of women had reported sleeping difficulties within the past month.




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.

Read more  >>  


Home Remedies To Remove Rust From 
Objects And Surfaces In The House



Rust is a reddish-brown coating that forms on an iron object or surface when it comes into contact with oxygen and water, such as moisture in the air. Actually, it is common in moist areas and close to the sea. Don’t worry, free time Home Tricks explains how to remove rust from objects and surfaces in the home.

Removing rust is no easy task, but luckily there are tricks that are very effective on a variety of surfaces. There are currently various cleaning products capable of removing rust, but sometimes they are usually expensive, so using natural ingredients, and that we usually have at home, is a good option. take note.





NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2022










Why Older Adults 
Need Special Flu Shots
By Catherine Roberts


For many years, people who are 65 or older have had the option to get a flu shot that’s specially formulated for them.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declined to recommend that older adults get these shots instead of the standard flu shot options. This flu season, that has changed.

The CDC is now recommending that people 65 or older try to seek out one of these specially formulated vaccines.

“That’s a very exciting change,” says Jenna Bartley, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of immunology who’s with the Center on Aging at UConn Health. “What we’ve seen in multiple research studies now is that both the high-dose and the adjuvanted flu vaccine have superior antibody induction in older adults and result in overall better protection from flu.”




Older Adults Who Sleep Less Are More 
Likely to Develop Multiple Chronic Diseases
By Julia Ries  


Older adults who get five hours of sleep a night or fewer have a greater risk of developing multiple chronic diseases.

Sleeping less has previously been linked to a greater likelihood of developing certain chronic conditions, but this study focused on multimorbidity.

The findings underscore the importance of maintaining good sleep habits as people age.

Older adults who sleep just five hours a night or fewer have a greater risk of developing more than one chronic disease, new research shows. The findings underscore the importance of healthy sleep patterns throughout life, and especially in middle and old age. 

The new study, published in PLOS Medicine, examined sleep duration and its effect on multimorbidity—or the occurrence of more than one chronic condition, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, at once.1 People ages 50 or older who slept a total of five hours a night or less were found to have at least a 30% greater risk of multimorbidity. 




Effects of Excess Earwax on Hearing Aids 
A "Must Know" Due to FDA Rule Change



The recent rule change by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) making it easier to purchase hearing aids over the counter now allows more people with hearing loss to make a purchase without an exam. Without a prescription or professional fitting, some people may need more education on the importance of device care and maintenance. Clinere knows that when it comes to people who wear hearing aids, ear hygiene can impact the effectiveness of the device. For a decade, Clinere has been the product of choice for people who seek an effective product to manage earwax build up.

"Having a healthy ear care routine is key to not only maintaining ear health but also extending the life of your hearing aid," said Anne Brolly, senior vice president of product development and marketing at Quest Products, Inc. distributors of Clinere. "We know as the number of individuals with access to hearing aids rises, so does the need for proper ear care and hearing aid maintenance education, and Clinere aims to provide both."

As access to hearing aids increases, Clinere aims to provide proper ear care and hearing aid maintenance education.

For hearing aid users, it's especially important to combat excess earwax buildup, which can often increase the severity of hearing loss or result in hearing aid feedback, reduction in the effectiveness of the hearing aid, poor fit of the hearing aid, earaches and even serious infection. Ear and hearing aid health go hand-in-hand. Below are a few ways to take care of both:




Oklahoma senator’s drug costs proposal 
Draws concern from senior citizens groups
By Janelle Stecklein 


An effort by U.S. Sen. James Lankford to repeal part of a new law that’s supposed to give senior citizens relief on prescription drug costs is garnering outrage and concern in his home state.

The Oklahoma Republican has co-authored the Protecting Drug Innovation Act, which would:

Strip Medicare of the power to negotiate drug prices.

Eliminate a $2,000 out-of-pocket cost cap set to take effect in 2025 for senior citizens who elect to participate in the Medicare Part D program. There’s no existing cap, and 1.2 million enrollees spent over $2,000 in 2019, according to the AARP.

Repeal a provision that penalizes drug companies for increasing prices faster than inflation rates in an effort to provide relief for seniors’ drug plan premiums and cost sharing.



_________________________________________special

The long-term-care system is broken. 
How can we fix it?
By Chris Farrell


If you’re reading this column, odds are you’re aware the U.S. population is aging and older Americans are living longer, on average. Still, the numbers are striking. For instance, average life expectancy for men at age 65 in 1950 was 13.1 years and for women 16.2 years, according to the Social Security Administration. The current figures are 18.09 years and 20.7 years, respectively.

“Aging is actually living, and that longevity is a good thing,” said Ai-jen Poo, president of National Domestic Workers Alliance and executive director of Caring Across Generations during a recent panel discussion at Columbia University’s 2022 Age Boom Academy entitled Caregiving and Our Longer Lives. “Aging means longer to learn and to connect and to love and to teach.”

Aging also means the risk that older people will eventually need some kind of long-term care and services (LTSS) remains significant. LTSS is shorthand for people getting assistance with basic activities, such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals. Not everyone ages well and even the healthiest elders eventually deal with some physical and mental limitations, or worse.










Every blogger delights in watching their readership increase. A steady rise in viewer stats justifies the blogger’s reason for doing what they do. And, while an occasional glitch in the way of a decline in views for a day or two is not uncommon, a steady decline over an extended period is a sure signal something is wrong. Often it is difficult to determine a specific reason readers no longer find your blog worthwhile. Sometimes, however, it’s quite obvious. Such is the case with this blog.
 
I am going to be truthful. The number of hits this blog receives has been in a steady and drastic decline for the last two years. On an average I have lost about 2/3 of the original readers. Fortunately, the number has bottomed off, but I could never get back those lost readers. Naturally, I asked myself why. What am I doing differently from two years ago? Two things came to mind. Two years ago, everything wasn’t about COVID. People get bored with the gloom and doom reporting. The other, and not unrelated to COVID, is politics. The political climate has changed drastically since the 2020 election. And with it, so has my writing. I have become more political in not only what content I include in the way of news stories, but in my personal commentary as well.

I am and always will be a liberal. It’s the way I was brought up, and it’s the way I have lived my life. And I will not apologize for it. However, I was never political. I voted for whomever I felt was a freethinker, had compassion for the common man, the poor, the disenfranchised and the elderly. Whether they are a Republican or Democrat. I have voted for Republicans in the past if I felt they were more in tune with their constituents than their Democratic counterparts. But that all changed with the last election. The Republican party has gone nuts. As nuts as the person they consider their leader. Donald Trump. And there is no doubt in my mind that my views, which I have openly expressed here, are the reason I have lost a good portion of my readers. So, the question is, do I leave politics out of this blog to improve the stats, or do I do what I feel is necessary now more than ever? And that is to wake up as many people (primarily seniors) to what is going on in our nation. The question is rhetorical. The hell with the numbers. I am content with the loyal readers I have. And all those who don’t think politics belong in a blog for senior citizens can go somewhere else. Heaven knows there are hundreds of blogs and websites out there to choose that wallow in neutrality. TheSeniorLog will never be one of them……..
 








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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2022










The special shame of elder abuse
By Robin Givhan

Of all the charges filed against the man who is accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and fracturing her husband Paul’s skull with a hammer, the one that is the most jarring is elder abuse. It isn’t the most serious of the charges, which also include attempted murder and several federal crimes. But it reflects the continued chipping away at the country’s moral center. It underscores the degree to which society has lost its way. Someone broke into the home of an 82-year-old grandfather and bashed him in the head with a hammer. When you strip away the political bickering, the conspiracy theories and the disinformation campaigns, this is what the country is left with. One might be inclined to call what happened heartbreaking, but our hearts are already broken into a million tiny bits after the mass shootings, the antisemitism, the anti-Asian violence, the police malfeasance that sparked Black Lives Matter protests. Are there any pieces still big enough to crack?

The particular protections given the elderly under California law reflect the eventual human condition with which everyone must contend. We become increasingly fragile as we age. Older people often don’t keep up with changes in technology and so can be targeted for digitized financial crimes. They may be infirm and unable to fully care for themselves and so have to rely on someone else for their most basic needs. The lucky might just need a helping hand to help keep life going along smoothly. But fundamentally, the criminalization of the mistreatment of seniors is a plea to treat them with dignity and respect. Elders deserve both. A decent society owes them that.

The attack on Pelosi graphically highlights just how indecent this country has become.





Why the fate of Medicare and 
Social Security is a midterm issue
By Breet Samuels


The fate of Social Security and Medicare is back in the spotlight less than two weeks before the midterms.

The White House and Democrats have made both entitlements central to their closing pitch to voters, sounding the alarm that a Republican majority in the House would look to cut programs that millions of Americans rely on in a bid to reduce spending.

While some GOP lawmakers have not shied away from talk of altering those programs, many in the party have dismissed the Democratic attacks as a ploy designed to shift attention away from persistent inflation and broader concerns about the economy.

Democrats in recent days have zeroed in on a particularly bleak scenario: that a Republican-led House would hold the debt ceiling hostage, threatening a government default and economic crisis if the Biden administration does not agree to spending cuts.




GAO Study Highlights Increased 
Mortality of Impoverished Seniors
By PAUL MULHOLLAND


A recently published report from the Government Accountability Office assessed and compared the relationship between income, wealth, and life expectancy of the elderly in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The study chose Germany, Canada, and the U.K. as comparators primarily due to the quality and availability of their data on the subjects being examined. The researchers focused on those aged 55 or older from 1998 to 2019.

The research concluded that wealth and income inequality is greater in the U.S. than the other three countries and that lower income and wealth are associated with lower life expectancy. For example, in 2016, those in the top quintile on average made 13 times more than those in the bottom quintile in the United States. In Canada, this same ratio was 8 to 1.




Don't Normalize Depression in Older Adults
By Sherie Friedrich


Depression should not be considered a normal part of aging and should never be taken lightly. Feeling sad is a common reaction to loss, life struggles, or weakened self-esteem, but when those feelings become overwhelming, cause physical symptoms, or impact daily functioning, they prevent one from living a fulfilling life.

The prevalence of clinical depression in aging seniors can't be ignored, nor can the added barriers to behavioral healthcare in senior living facilities. Access to high-quality, comprehensive, and convenient depression treatment should be available to all residents of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, and this care should be normalized for those facing hardship.

Mental Health and Seniors: Why the Stigma?

The stigma preventing mental health intervention in seniors needs to be resolved -- both among the older population as well as healthcare providers. The generation of seniors today grew up during a time when the stigma around mental health was even greater than it is now. Turning a blind eye to mental health has been ingrained in them for decades. Even as the topic becomes more mainstream and accepted, older populations may be more resistant to the idea.



____________________________________________special



How to Completely Disappear From the Internet
We live in a world of mass surveillance. 
Want to mask your online identity? 
Here's the right way to do it.
By Eric Griffith



How to Completely Disappear From the Internet Image(Credit: Composite, Getty Images/Sean Gladwell)
Some might say the internet was built on anonymity, paving the way for a place where free speech reigns supreme. But after years of learning about who's snooping into everything we do online, privacy on the web is hardly a given.

It's not just about government spying; it's also about how much data big companies such as Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook), and Microsoft have collected in order to serve up targeted ads—not to mention how much of your personal data gets scooped up in all the breaches and hacks.

There are always going to be good reasons for people to go online without being tracked. For one, anonymity may be the only way for a real whistleblower to reveal corruption, considering how some have been treated. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to stay anonymous, no matter what you're doing.







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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2022










How to save money on your Medicare plan 
Before open enrollment ends Dec. 7
By Sue Scheible


QUINCY – I received a large, official-looking envelope in the mail recently with bold black letters: "Massachusetts Medicare Beneficiary Update." 

"The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period has already started," it said. "Please read the enclosed bulletin and take action today." A sense of urgency.

Then in smaller letters: "Learn about important 2023 Medicare Advantage options before the December 7 enrollment deadline."

Inside the envelope was another large black word, "BULLETIN," and instructions to "Call today to learn more" with instructions and a phone number.

However, the mailing did not come from the government or the Medicare program. There was also the name of an insurance company that sells Medicare Advantage HMO plans, different from standard Medicare. Many such plans are available; they are competitive and the marketing has been intense.




A NEW SURVEY REVEALS AMERICANS’ 
MAGIC NUMBER FOR RETIREMENT
By JOSEPH DE AVILA


Americans now think their households will need at least $1.25 million to retire comfortably, a 20% jump from a year ago, according to a survey released Tuesday by financial services company Northwestern Mutual.

While Americans say they will need more money after they retire, the average amount in a retirement savings account has dropped this year to $86,869, an 11% decline from 2021, the survey said.

The expected retirement age also ticked up to 64 years of age, compared with 62.6 last year.

Christian Mitchell, chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual, said rising inflation and volatility in financial markets are weighing on people’s mind-sets. That is changing people’s expectations around how much savings they will need for retirement, he said.




Americans now believe they need 
20% more to retire versus a year ago
By Breck Dumas 

Rising prices and market volatility over the past year have caused Americans to reassess how much they will need to save for retirement – and it is a whole lot more than what they thought they needed in 2021.

A new study from Northwestern Mutual found U.S. adults now expect they will need $1.25 million to retire comfortably, which is 20% higher than last year's figure.

"It's a period of uncertainty for many people, driven largely by rising inflation and volatility in the markets," said Christian Mitchell, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual. 




Significant number of seniors rely on 
Failing public transit systems to get to
Medical appointments



About 1 in 10 seniors who live in cities reported that they use public transportation, and 20 percent of older transit users said they relied on trains and buses to get to their doctor appointments. Frailty and living in an area with broken sidewalks were both linked to a lower use of public transit, according to a new study led by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers.

This points to a need to improve accessibility and infrastructure in these cities to help serve the needs of an aging population. The study was published last month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

“While our data was collected before the Covid pandemic, we know the pandemic disrupted public transportation, which is still continuing due to financial strain, staffing shortages, and cutbacks to transit services across the county,” said study senior author Jason Falvey, DPT, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physical and Rehabilitation Science at UMSOM. "We worry about the impact that this disruption is having on the nearly 700,000 older Americans who rely on subways and buses to get to their medical appointments.”




_____________________________special


Newly available over-the-counter hearing aids offer many benefits,
But consumers should be aware of the potential drawbacks


U.S. retailers began selling over-the-counter hearing aids on Oct. 17, 2022, a long-awaited move that some experts predict could be a game-changer in making these devices accessible and affordable. A prescription is no longer needed, nor is a visit to a doctor or even a fitting appointment with a hearing specialist.

Instead, Americans can purchase hearing aids by going online or with a single trip to the nearest pharmacy or big-box store. These aids are only for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. For these consumers, over-the-counter hearing aids clearly offer an appealing alternative.


As an otologist/neurotologist - that's someone who specializes in the diseases of the ear - I like to say that while vision binds us to the world, hearing binds us to each other. In my practice, I see firsthand how patients with hearing loss often withdraw socially and become isolated. They don't want to put themselves in situations where they may mishear or seem disengaged, disinterested or unintelligent. This may be why studies show hearing loss is associated with depression and cognitive impairment.







 I, being of the male gender, hated going to the doctor as much as anyone. I still do, but I do it anyway. I’ve learned my lesson. No matter how bad the news about your health may be, discovery and treatment during the early stages of an illness most often results in a good outcome.

Here at the A.L.F. they make going to the doctor easy. The doctor’s come to you.
 
We have a medical suite where doctors come once or twice a week, to see our residents. This is where I went Tuesday for my regular quarterly check-up by my primary physician. Everything is done for me. The facility makes the appointment and sends me a reminder the day before. While I can refuse, I go willingly.
 
My last visit was three months ago. If I was not a resident here, I might go only once a year. But at my age, things can go south quickly, so the three-month interval is not unusual.
 
After a short wait, I was summoned into the exam room. There’s no disrobing or invasive procedures. Mostly, the doctor goes over my blood work, takes my blood pressure, listens to my heart and lungs and asks me if I have questions regarding any change in the way I feel. The exam lasts about 10 minutes. And I left, not only with no change in my status, but with a feeling of wellbeing too. Had he found any abnormality or if I had a complaint he could not treat, he would have referred me to a specialist. Is it the most thorough medical exam? No. But it’s all I need right now. And I’m thankful for it. I’m also thankful that it costs me nothing. I pay zero for the office visit. Zero for any medication I may need. And zero for any followup with a specialist. That’s because I am a Medicare beneficiary. And I could afford none of this medical treatment if there was no Medicare, or if there were any drastic cuts to my benefits.

The midterm elections are a week away. The Republicans have made taming inflation their primary goal, although they don’t appear to have a specific solution other than to cut government spending, which is no solution at all. Inflation will go away by itself when greedy corporations realize there is just so much they can charge for a box of spaghetti before people will stop buying it. But the cuts to programs providing a better life for the citizens of this nation will last for much longer. Maybe we should think less about our wallets and more about the future………………

 
 




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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









2023 Social Security Tax Limit



The federal government sets a limit on how much of your income is subject to the Social Security tax. In 2023, the Social Security tax limit is $160,200 (up from $147,000 in 2022). The maximum amount of Social Security tax an employee will have withheld from their paycheck in 2023 will be $9,932 ($160,200 x 6.2%).1

Social Security recipients will also receive a slightly higher benefit payment in 2023. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was increased in October 2022 by 8.7% for 2023, compared with a 5.9% increase for 2022.2

Key Takeaways....




Are grocers exploiting 
Seniors by high prices?




DEAR EDITOR:

My grandmother is a longtime resident of Hubbard. She is 91 now, without a license to drive. When we shop for groceries, we shop in Hubbard. I am always shocked by how expensive her grocery bill is for how little she gets (she has the appetite of a 91-year-old, after all).

I told her I had the feeling that her groceries were about 25 percent more than they would be in Boardman. So, the last time I brought her shopping, I decided to take random samples of ordinary items to do a price comparison with groceries near me in Boardman, so that I can prove or disprove my hypothesis.

I was horrified, but not surprised, to find a 33 percent average price inflation in Hubbard based on 22 items when compared with grocery stores in Boardman.




Horrifying – New Study Indicates 
That Popular Sugar Substitutes 
Worsen Your Memory



Consuming low-calorie sweeteners also had an impact on the body’s metabolic signaling, which may result in diabetes and other metabolism-related diseases.

Using laboratory models, scientists discovered that ingesting FDA-approved levels of saccharin, ACE-K, and stevia early in life may result in many changes to the body, including brain areas linked to memory and reward-motivated behavior.

Early-life high-sugar diets have been linked to impaired brain function, but what about low-calorie sugar substitutes? According to recent research, they could have a negative impact on the developing gut and brain.
The News

Researchers from the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences report that adolescents who consumed the low-calorie sweeteners saccharin, ACE-K, and stevia showed long-term memory impairments in a study that was recently published in the journal JCI Insight.





Is Medicaid for a Spouse Possible 
Without Breaking the Bank?



Paying for nursing-home and long-term care can seem daunting when the cost can be $5,000 to $12,000 per month – or more. When a married couple is no longer able or willing to privately pay out of pocket for care and chooses to apply for Medicaid, it’s a complex process. The Medicaid agency must analyze the couple’s income and assets as of a particular date to determine eligibility.

A Medicaid applicant is someone residing in a nursing home, a community-based residential facility or an assisted-living facility, or receiving in-home care. To be eligible for Medicaid benefits in Wisconsin, the applicant may have no more than $2,000 in countable assets. But Medicaid law provides special protections for the spouse of a Medicaid applicant – also known as the “community spouse” – to ensure the spouse has the minimum support needed to continue living at home and to not be financially strapped while the other spouse is receiving long-term-care benefits.

Congress enacted the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act in 1988, which includes the Medicaid law that protects the community spouse from being forced to spend all the couple’s assets on only one spouse’s long-term care. Those rules have come to be called the spousal-impoverishment rules. The spousal-impoverishment rules include the community-spouse resource allowance. In Wisconsin the community-spouse resource allowance is also known as the community-spouse asset share. .......

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



______________________________special





Successful Aging: 
10 tips for living to 100 years old
By Helen Dennis



Q. I am 91 but would like to live to 100. Can you share some ideas on how to accomplish this? Thanks, D.E.

There have been many studies on centenarians to discover the secret for a long life. 

One of the largest and most comprehensive studies is the New England Centenarian Study by Dr. Thomas Perls which identifies characteristics centenarians share and reasons for it.

Perls suggests several things we can do to increase our chances of living a long life as described in his podcast of September 12, 2022 and in his book, “Living to 100: Lessons In living to Your Maximum Potential at Any Age” (Basic Books, 1999). Additional evidence comes from the Blue Zones which are places where people are living longer lives with more vitality. See “Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest” by Dan Buettner. Unless otherwise noted, most of the research is from the Perls’ study. 

Here are 10 suggestions:....










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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2022




Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









Drugmakers Look to 
Limit Medicare’s New Power 
To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices
By Jared S. Hopkins


Drugmakers are trying to blunt Medicare’s newfound power to negotiate medicine prices while coping with internal industry disputes and ebbing influence in Washington, D.C.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress gave Medicare, the country’s biggest buyer of prescription drugs, the authority to negotiate how much it pays for certain high-price therapies, and to get rebates on treatments whose prices rise more than the rate of inflation.

Drugmakers are seeking to ease the law’s impact as regulators begin to work on the details of implementing the provisions, according to people familiar with the efforts.

Yet the lobbying comes without some key lawmakers in the industry’s corner, and at a moment when one of its biggest trade groups, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, must find a new leader after its chief executive clashed with board members and resigned.




An increase in Social Security can only do so much — 
New thinking is needed for older adults in the modern workforce
By Ramsey Alwin


The Social Security Administration recently announced a cost-of-living adjustment of 8.7% for an estimated 70 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits.

The bump represents the largest raise since 1981 for the program that older adults depend on to ensure their economic security, and it comes as many are feeling the sting of inflation, everywhere from the grocery store to their monthly energy bills to the gas pump.

The increase is an important step in the right direction and will provide a sorely needed lifeline for many people living on a fixed income while coping with surging prices in everyday household staples. But much more needs to be done to ensure economic dignity and prosperity for our growing population of older adults.




Omicron subvariants are resistant to 
Key antibody treatments, 
Putting people with weak immune 
Systems at risk of Covid
By Spencer Kimball



Emerging omicron subvariants are resistant to key antibody treatments for HIV patients, kidney transplant recipients and other immunocompromised people, making them particularly vulnerable to Covid this winter, the White House warned this week.

“With some of the new subvariants that are emerging, some of the main tools we’ve had to protect the immunocompromised like Evusheld may not work moving forward. And that’s a huge challenge,” Dr. Ashish Jha, head of the White House Covid task force, told reporters on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday cautioned the estimated 7 million adults in the U.S. who have compromised immune systems that they are particularly at risk, but he could offer little in the way of reassurance other than telling them to consult their physician about what precautions to take.




Patient recruitment underway in phase
2a trial for cannabis oil dementia treatment




MediCane Health Inc. announced recruitment of the first patient for its phase 2a study designed to assess the effects of cannabis oil in adults with probable Alzheimer’s disease who have limited or no response to antipsychotic medication.

According to a company release, the trial is being conducted in two leading academic hospitals in Israel — Sheba Medical Center and Sourasky Medical Center. The trial will include 55 participants, who will receive MediCane’s balanced THC:CBD orally administered cannabis oil extracted from MediCane’s proprietary strain and formulated for blinding purposes, in addition to standard care. 

The first part of the study is an open-label phase that will enroll 15 participants for safety and dose-range finding, followed by a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled second phase that will include 40 participants to evaluate safety and efficacy, the company stated. 




Why Older Adults Start 
Collecting Social Security Early
By Donna Fuscaldo


Most people know that the longer they wait to collect Social Security retirement benefits, the more they’ll bring home each month. But even though they could receive up to 77 percent more by delaying their claim until age 70, most Americans opt to start drawing benefits well before that.

“The idea of taking Social Security payments early is a deliberate one,” says Joel Schiffman, head of strategic partnerships at global investment management firm Schroders, which recently released its latest annual survey on older U.S. investors’ retirement plans.

According to the study, 86 percent of older Americans who have not yet retired know they will get bigger payments if they delay Social Security, “but only 11 percent say they plan to wait until age 70 to tap into it,” Schiffman says.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE




_______________________________________________special


The Strongest Predictor of Men’s Well-Being 
Isn’t Family or Health
By Leah Fessler

As feminism is increasingly defined as liberation for people of all genders, definitions of masculinity continue to shift away from traditionally, and many would argue toxic, norms. Long characterized by physical strength, emotional repression, and sociocultural power, masculinity is being redefined by many of today’s most influential men to include traits like compassion, sensitivity, honesty, and empathy.

In the midst of the changing trend, it feels all the more essential to ask: What makes men happy?

To answer this question, the men’s grooming company Harry’s partnered with University College London psychologist John Barry, co-founder of the male psychology section of the British Psychological Society, to conduct one of the most comprehensive studies of American masculinity on record.

The 2018 Harry’s Masculinity Report, as it’s titled, surveyed 5,000 men ages 18-95 across the US, weighted for race, income, education, sexual orientation, military service, and more. The respondents were asked about their happiness, confidence, emotional stability, motivation, optimism, and sense of being in control. They were then asked how satisfied they are with their careers, relationships, money, work-life balance, physicality, and mental health, and also about the values that matter most to them. 

Learn more  >> CLICK HERE






Let me be among the last to wish you a happy Halloween. By this time, you are probably up to your neck in the trappings of what is just another holiday devised primarily to sell us stuff. Costumes, decorations, parties, parades, scary movies and, the bane of all existence, pumpkin spice flavored everything.

Halloween is one of those celebrations that has its origins in religion but has somehow morphed into one of those a non-de script occasions celebrated by all for reasons vaguely understood. What exactly is being celebrated?

 At first glance, it appears to be a glorification of the dead. Ghosts, goblins, skeletons, zombies, vampires, coffins, corpses, and graves are among the primary decorations homeowners delight in adorning their houses with, all to the approval of the neighbors who compete to see who can be the most ghoulish and macabre. But “ghoulish” is not the only theme. Politics and pop culture have found a niche as well.

Guests at costume parties this year can expect to see (in order of popularity), Spider-Man, Dinosaur, “Stranger Things”, Fairy, Pirate, rabbit, Cheerleader, Cowboy, and Harley Quinn. [1] I am certain we will see our share of Biden and Trump masks as well. If it’s scary or absurd, you can expect to see it in costume form this year. 

Fortunately, after today, the decorations will come down, the costumes put away and the lawn ornaments will go into storage for another year. But here at the A.L.F., while the costumes and decorations will be gone, the scary and absurd will continue for many of us.

 Old people face life’s horrors daily. The threat of pain, disfigurement, death and dying, are constant, not to mention the absurdity of having to live with some of the rules and regulations imposed on us. After all, what devious screenwriter could have come up with a story where a deadly virus that keeps changing has, as its target, mainly the elderly, killing them in droves, and that some think is phony or a conspiracy to implant us with tracking devices. Now that’s scary.

Wrinkled, distorted faces and bodies with severed limbs are not costumes here at the A.L.F. Grumpy old men with crooked canes are not masks that can be removed. They are real and they reflect years of having to put up with a constant barrage of mind-numbing drugs, invasive and often painful medical procedures and surgeries which leave grotesque scars and unsightly lesions. Walkers, wheelchairs, portable oxygen tanks, back braces, knee braces, prosthetics and adaptive clothing are the “props” of our little horror show.

We will have our own Halloween party later today. I’ll go, but I won’t be dressed up. I couldn’t find a gas pump costume with constantly changing prices big enough to fit me………………..
 
[1] I had to look this one up. Harley Quinn is a character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Quinn was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm as a comic relief henchwoman for the supervillain Joker in Batman: 

 
 




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SATURDAY & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29-30, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




Dilemma: Senior Living Facility 
Or Kids’ Inheritance?
By Larry Light


When elderly folks can’t take care of themselves, or fear that day is coming, one option is a senior community. But will that rob their children of a decent bequest? Rick Kahler, president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D., has some answers.

Larry Light: How should one deal, as an older person, with the choice of getting professional living care or providing for your kid’s inheritance?

Rick Kahler: Most parents want to leave an inheritance. Yet choices that parents make can actually result in both failing to leave an inheritance and even costing children money.

Light: What kind of money are we talking about to get senior living care?





Keeping the tradition of quilting alive
Through charity and community service
By Joey Weslo


On Thursday, Oct. 20, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Senior Recreation Center on 34th Street, the Quilters of Alachua County Day Guild will be welcoming volunteers from the community to help organize homemade quilts, pillowcases, tote bags and medical dolls to be charitably donated to 14 Alachua County organizations serving those needing assistance.

The recipients include UF Health Shands Medical Hospital, Arbor House, Fisher House, Ronald McDonald House, Alachua County Fire Rescue, Guardian Ad Litem, Family Promise of Gainesville, among others providing assistance to foster children, pediatric patients, elderly residents, veterans’ families undergoing surgery and those seeking shelter from domestic abuse.

The event continues the guild’s long-standing initiative to preserve the tradition of quilting by providing community service and promoting local education of the storied craft. Over 450 quilts will be organized for donations to senior citizens, parents, children and infants.




Automakers Add New Features 
To Meet Needs of Older Drivers

Car designs appeal to a growing group of aging buyers
By Julie Halpert


Minivans with low step-up heights, augmented reality windshields for navigation, high-tech safety features and seat belts you don’t have to dig for are all on the menu for some automakers trying to appeal to older drivers.

Aging car buyers are a powerful force: Those 55 and older make up 42 percent of all new vehicle registrations, according to S&P Global Mobility. With the youngest boomers turning 65 by 2029, auto engineers are designing new vehicles with the goal of retaining existing customers as they age and attracting new ones.

For Jim Donaldson, 70, of Green, Ohio, features that make it easier for an older person to drive sold him on the Kia EV6 he purchased this year.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



The 10 Best Retro Motels in the U.S.
THESE THROWBACK MOTELS ARE FUN AND FUNKY 
BUT ALWAYS WITH THE MOST MODERN AMENITIES.
By WENDY GOULD


Luxury resorts, dreamy bungalows, and modern home rentals can make for the perfect vacation, but when you want something a bit off the beaten path a retro motel can sate your quirky wanderlust appetite. Think authentic neon signage, vintage-esque pools that conjure all the nostalgia, and expertly decorated rooms that practically beg for a photo moment. We've rounded up 10 of the best retro motels in the U.S. below so you can book an unforgettable escape.


1. The Dive Motel – Nashville, Tennessee

Get ready for a lot of far out '70s nostalgia—and we mean a lot. From swirling red, orange, and yellow rooms with shaggy floors to retro-outfitted bars, Nashville's The Dive Motel will make you feel like you've stepped back into the grooviest era of all.

"We wanted to pay homage to the motel's past, which dates back to 1956 when it was a Motor Inn known as 'The Key Motel,'" says Lyon Porter, co-owner and designer of Urban Cowboy Hotels, which owns The Dive Motel. "We incorporated pieces old and new, from handpicked vintage decor, original '70s wallpaper, soaking tubs and more, ensuring that each room was uniquely designed."








Juan Williams: 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.




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.



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. 




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



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


Miami-Dade mayor asks for probe 
Into party switch claims

The mayor of Miami-Dade County has requested that prosecutors look into allegations that elderly residents of the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami had their party affiliations switched without their knowledge.

Democratic Mayor Daniella Levine Cava sent an official request late Friday to the local State Attorney to investigate reports that elderly residents of a public housing complex in the heavily-Cuban neighborhood had their party affiliation switched from Democrat to Republican without their knowledge.

Levine Cava did not specify how many voters had complained. Other Florida Democratic leaders also have asked for an investigation.




Are All These Doctor Visits Necessary?
By Michele C. Hollow



Deciding which medical procedures you can omit depends on your health and your goals

While telling my mom about the next medical procedure I scheduled for her, she replied, "Enough with the doctor visits."

She has a point. In the previous six months, I had arranged for her to be questioned and examined by an army of medical professionals, including an audiologist, a geriatrician, a physical therapist and several specialists at Montefiore Medical Hospital's Center for the Aging Brain in Yonkers, New York. She wants these appointments to stop.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE



Research Finds Biomarkers in 
Older Adults With Late-Life Depression 


Major depression in older adults is very common, disabling, and increases the risk of many diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, cardiovascular issues and even mortality. Therefore, it constitutes a major public health issue, especially considering the growing number of older adults in the U.S. and worldwide.

Many older adults with depression do not experience full resolution of their depressive symptoms with antidepressant treatment.

Improving or achieving full resolution of depression in older adults is a major clinical challenge, and approximately 50% of patients experience persistent depressive symptoms after antidepressant treatment.




Survey Highlights Lack of 
Awareness with Hearing Loss
By Brittany Rall



CLEVELAND – A new Cleveland Clinic study is highlighting the lack of awareness about hearing loss among adults between the ages of 50 and 80 here in the United States.

According to the results, only 10% are able to properly identify what’s considered a “normal” range of hearing.

“Unfortunately, the results of the survey really weren’t that surprising. They are important for people to understand, but the fact that they were so underwhelming is pretty much what we expected,” said Sarah Sydlowski, AuD, PhD, MBA, audiology director for the hearing implant program and associate chief improvement officer for Cleveland Clinic. “We know that patients don’t understand hearing loss and how important hearing really is for overall health.”





NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2022

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Older adults lose $1 billion 
In scams, FTC reports
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


Older adults lost $1 billion to scams in 2021, with impersonation and investment scams costing them more money last year compared with 2020, according to a new report from the US Federal Trade Commission.

In its annual report to Congress, the FTC highlighted fraud trends targeting older adults, as well as its efforts to combat the problem through law enforcement actions, rulemaking and education programs.

According to the report, “Protecting Older Consumers, 2021-2022,” business impersonations cost older adults the most, at $151 million in 2021, up 134% from 2020. Investment scams were the next costliest, at $147 million, a 213% gain from 2020. And government impersonation scams cost older adults $122 million last year, up 108% from the year before.




Shingles vaccine offers a decade 
Of protection in older adults



GSK announced Shingrix (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted), the first approved shingles vaccine to combine a non-live antigen with a GSK-made adjuvant, can prevent shingles (herpes zoster) for at least decade.

Dr Javier Díez-Domingo, Principal Investigator for FISABIO (Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Community, Spain), explained: “We can now – for the first time – confirm that the clinical benefit of the vaccine continues for at least 10 years.”

Results from a six-year follow-up study (NCT02723773) of two Phase III clinical trials, demonstrated that vaccine efficacy was 97 percent in adults age 50 years and over and 91 percent in adults 70 and above over a four-year follow-up period.

An interim analysis conducted over more than four years of long-term follow-up (LTFU) showed vaccine efficacy was 81.6 percent. From one month post-second dose in the initial studies up to year 10 post-vaccination (mean: 9.6 (±0.3) years post-vaccination), vaccine efficacy was 89 percent.

The safety profile observed in the extension study was consistent with safety data for the vaccine. The incidence of serious adverse events was consistent with the age of the study population. No deaths or other Safety Adverse Events (SAE) considered related to vaccination were observed.




Senior Sections in Pharmacies
Can Improve Drug Safety
By Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, PACS


OTC medication safety is especially important for patients 65 years and older. In fact, older adults account for 30% of OTC medication use in the United States.1 Approximately 25% of older adults take a combination of 10 or more OTC and prescription medications.1 This can result in problems including adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and drug interactions. Redesigning pharmacies with specific OTC senior sections for older patients can improve medication safety. Pharmacists can play a critical role in this process to ensure that older patients are educated about appropriate OTC medication use and product selection.

Pharmacists can educate older patients about OTC medications that should be avoided or used cautiously because of the risk of ADRs and drug interactions. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) should be avoided, especially long term.2 These medications can increase the risk of bleeding and stomach ulcers.2 Additionally, they can raise blood pressure and cause renal dysfunction. Patients taking anticoagulants such as apixaban (Eliquis) or warfarin (Coumadin) have a higher risk of bleeding, especially when taking them with NSAIDs.2

In an interview, Michelle Chui, PharmD, PhD, professor and director of the Sonderegger Research Center for Improved Medication Outcomes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, discussed her study regarding senior sections for OTC medications in pharmacies.3 The pilot study examined implementing senior sections in 4 Midwest pharmacies that included the following 4 medication classes: allergy, cold and cough, pain, and sleep.4 Certain high-risk products for older adults, such as aspirin when used for pain and diphenhydramine and cold and cough combination products, were excluded from the senior sections.4 The main OTC aisle also included signage identifying high risk medications and encouraging older individuals to visit the senior sections and ask pharmacists questions about products.4 The study found that the senior sections provided more effective, efficient, and frequent engagements between patients and pharmacy staff members.




Healthy Eating Habits In 
The Elderly To Maintain Longevity
By Tavishi Dogra


World Food Day 2022: To maintain and achieve a healthy weight and feel better, you must eat nutritious meals and exercise regularly. Moreover, you could realize that exercising and eating healthier can make it easier to manage your demanding, busy life and be there for those dependent on you. Therefore, eating healthy is essential to keep oneself active to improve well-being and feel great. This 'mantra of life' implies to all, irrespective of age, gender, topography and many other factors. And for the senior elders of our society,' eat healthy to stay fit must be followed just like a religious holy book. As you grow older, you undergo many changes, and you may need to adapt your lifestyle for healthy ageing. Healthy eating and regular physical activity are fundamental to good health at any age. Making appropriate lifestyle choices may also avert health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Dr Prateek Bhardwaj, COO of Vesta Elder Care, shares a few healthy eating tips to help you know what's best for your older loved one:

Choose high-fibre foods such as fruits, beans, whole-grain loaves of bread and cereals, unsalted nuts and seeds, vividly coloured vegetables (like green beans), and beans.

To retain your bones healthy and strong as you age, consume low-fat or fat-free milk, milk products, or nondairy soy, almond, rice, or other beverages with added vitamin D and calcium.



_______________________special


October signifies National Residents’ Rights
For Long-Term Care month


Across the country, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will honor the individual rights of long-term care residents by celebrating Residents’ Rights Month.

Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event hosted in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (The Consumer Voice) to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect and the value of long-term care residents.

This year’s theme – My Voice, My Vote, My Right, was selected to call attention to the fact that residents of long-term care facilities still have the right to vote and take part politically. This month also highlights the importance of listening to residents who live in our country’s nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities.











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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper



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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com









1 in 10 older adults have dementia,
And that’s going to grow with aging 
Population boom
By Kimberly Bonvissuto


The first nationally representative study of cognitive impairment and dementia in more than 20 years found that almost one in 10 US older adults has dementia, and 22% have mild cognitive impairment. 

Adults with dementia or mild cognitive impairment are more likely to be older, have lower levels of education, and be Black or Hispanic, according to study findings by researchers from Columbia University. 

The data not only show the burden of dementia today but also will be an invaluable tool to track trends in the future, said study co-author Kenneth Langa, MD, PhD, from the University of Michigan Medical School. Most immediately, findings will help inform senior care today and in the near future.

“Following those trends will be especially important given the likely impact of COVID and other recent population health changes on the risk for dementia in the coming decades,” Langa said in a statement.




Scalise acknowledges GOP plan 
To change Social Security, Medicare
By Steve Benen




The latest New York Times/Siena College poll asked respondents about the major issues facing the country. The volunteered responses highlighted familiar problems and challenges: the economy, inflation, the health of our democracy, abortion rights and so on. The future of programs such as Social Security and Medicare did not make the list.

That might be a mistake.

President Joe Biden recently warned the public that Social Security and Medicare would end up on “the chopping block” if Republicans make gains in this year’s midterm elections, and as regular readers know, plenty of prominent GOP voices — from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson to New Hampshire’s Don Bolduc to Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia — have bolstered Biden’s claims.




High-dose Influenza Vaccine Consistently 
More Effective vs Standard-dose in 
Older Adults
By Grace Halsey


In older adults, high-dose influenza vaccine was found to be significantly and consistently more effective compared to standard dose influenza vaccine in preventing influenza, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospital admissions for adverse influenza-related events, report authors of a new study presented during IDWeek 2022, held from October 19 to 23, in Washington, DC.

To determine the relative efficacy and effectiveness of high-dose influenza vaccines in the population aged ≥65 years. researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis, identifying 19 studies (randomized controlled trials and observational studies) conducted over 11 consecutive influenza seasons from 2009 to 2020. The final pooled cohort numbered more than 45 million adults who had received either high- or standard-dose influenza vaccination.

According to the study abstract, receiving high-dose influenza vaccine was associated with greater relative efficacy and effecivenss vs receiving a standard-dose vaccine against probable or laboratory-confirmed influenza-like illnesses (14.3%; 95% CI, 4.2%-23.3%), hospital and ED visits (10.4%, 95% CI, 6.8%-13.9%), and influenza hospitalization (11.2%; 95% CI, 7.4%-14.8%).




If You're Between 50 and 80, 
You Should Be Doing This Daily
By Lauren Gray



As we age, our odds of developing a serious health condition increase, making medical care a bigger priority in day-to-day life. Thankfully, establishing certain health habits in midlife could help prevent major health episodes later. In particular, there's a simple habit that takes just minutes out of your day, and which could help alert you to a long list of serious illnesses. Read on to find out which one thing you should be doing daily if you're between the ages of 50 and 80—and why many of us don't do it.

High blood pressure can wreak havoc on your health.

Though you may not notice symptoms of high blood pressure, hypertension can lead to a range of serious illnesses. In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that high blood pressure "can quietly damage the body for years before symptoms develop. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to disability, a poor quality of life, or even a deadly heart attack or stroke." Additionally, untreated high blood pressure has been linked to increased incidence of dementia, aneurysm, heart disease, kidney damage, vision loss, sexual dysfunction, and more.







200 Frozen Heads and Bodies Await Revival
At This Arizona Cryonics Facility
By Jacquelyne Germain



Amid the hot desert landscape of Scottsdale, Arizona, some people would rather be frozen—literally.


To date, 199 people have had their heads and bodies cryopreserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation facility in hopes of being revived later. By preserving bodies at below-freezing temperatures, Alcor’s goal is “restoring good health with medical technology in the future,” according to the non-profit organization’s website. Packed together, cylindrical tanks filled with liquid nitrogen hold the heads and bodies of human “patients”—as the foundation calls them—plus about 100 preserved pets, reports Liliana Salgado for Reuters.

Some of the patients had terminal cases of diseases that lack a present-day cure, such as cancer or ALS. Max More, former CEO of Alcor who now serves as an ambassador and president emeritus of the foundation, tells Reuters that modern medicine and technology are insufficient to keep people alive as they’re nearing death.






I’m a Jew. Better still, I’m an old Jew. That means I knew people who were prisoners in Nazi concentration camps and heard many first-hand stories of the cruelty and inhuman treatment those who survived received.
 
I was born only a few months after the liberation of the Nazi death camps in 1945. And, even as a little boy, I remember how the stories of what happened in those camps filtered in from American and allied forces. Of course, my parents tried to keep the worst of those images away from me. However, they never withheld from me the basis of what occurred. And, as I grew older and could research things for myself, one thing became very clear. Everyone involved believed it would never happen here. Enter Kanye West.


I don’t want to make this post all about Kanye West (or “Ye” as he now calls himself). He needs some serious help in the mental department. But you cannot count him out for the influence he has over his “peeps.” To put it in perspective, Mr. West has 18 million social media followers. In all the world, there are only 15 million Jews. So, yes, there are a great number of folks who hear what he says and, considering the very fact they are fans of that idiot and therefore have little mental acuity themselves, believe him.
 
Why “Ye” has a hatred for Jews we don’t know. But people like him, whose lives are in turmoil, often look for someone to blame. And since jews have always been a ready target, why not?

Fortunately, unlike Nazi Germany, there are still enough people who realize that antisemitism is just the start and that even non-Jews could be next on the hit list. And these people, many of whom head up big companies, have come out against Mr. West dropping any connection to him, hopefully sealing his fate. And, also too, unlike the Third Reich, which was led by a madman and had a government policy on how to deal with the Jews, we have not gone anywhere near that, yet.

I say “yet” because history has told me it’s not the overt actions by one group or one man we should watch out for, but the small, grass-root agitators and conspiracy theorists we need to watch out for. And America sure has a s**t load of those.
 
From Q-Anon, Proud Boys, Marjory Taylor Greene and the myriad number of white supremacist groups to the ultra-conservative right-wing elements of a Trump ass-licking Republican party, there are enough warning signs to give us concern. All we need is for a few more members of Congress whos constituents think it’s all the Jew’s fault and make their anger known to their elected officials to tip the scale the other way. And it will start slowly. Almost imperceivable.

It may start with restricting the immigration of certain religious or ethnic groups who are considered threats to our safety. Or perhaps a change in guidelines for who the government can purchase goods and services from. The small things that don’t affect many people but set the groundwork for bigger and more encompassing restraint and control.

The problem with people like West is not what they say but who they enable. Their words give legitimacy to the hate groups who come crawling out of the walls like the cockroaches they are to feed on the crumbs tossed to them by people like West, Greene and, oh yes, Trump. 

“Who is herr Kanye West”? Right now, just another idiot. But, like a festering boil, there’s more under the surface than meets the eye……







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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2022

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Among Seniors, a Declining Interest in Boosters
By Paula Span



Linda Brantman, a retired membership salesperson at a health club in Chicago, was paying attention last month when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the new bivalent booster that protects against two variants of Covid-19. She went online and reserved an appointment at a Walgreens near her home.

Ms. Brantman, 65, who was already vaccinated and boosted twice, has grappled with asthma on and off for years; she keeps an inhaler handy, even for an ordinary cold. If she were sick with Covid, she said, “I would definitely have breathing problems.” Within two weeks of the C.D.C. announcement, she had received the latest booster — and public health officials hope all Americans over 5 will also roll up their sleeves again.

But many older Americans have responded more like Alan Turner, 65, who lives in New Castle, Del. and recently retired from an industrial design firm. He received the initial two doses of the vaccine but stopped updating his immunity after the first recommended booster. “I’ve become such a hermit,” he said. “I have virtually no contact with people, so I haven’t gotten around to it. I don’t see any particular need. I’m biding my time.”




Individualized treatment for back pain leads to 
Increased effect compared to standard therapies
Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.


If a therapy for chronic back pain is tailored specifically to a patient's individual requirements, the chances of success are far greater than with standard forms of treatment. Accompanied by a psychotherapeutic procedure in the shape of cognitive behavioral therapy, the pain can be alleviated even more effectively. This is the result of a meta-analysis by Goethe University Frankfurt, in which the data of over 10,000 patients were combined and analyzed. It can be concluded from the study that multimodal therapies should be promoted on a larger scale in the German healthcare system, in line with the National Disease Management Guidelines.

Lack of exercise, bad posture, overexertion, constant stress at work or at home - back pain is a widespread condition with many causes. For a not insignificant number of sufferers, the symptoms are even chronic, meaning they persist for a long time or recur again and again. Sport and exercise therapies under instruction can bring relief. Common treatment methods include physiotherapy as well as strength and stability exercises. But how can the therapy be as successful as possible? Which approach alleviates pain most effectively? A meta-analysis by Goethe University Frankfurt, published recently in the Journal of Pain, has delivered new insights.

The starting point was data from 58 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of over 10,000 patients worldwide with chronic low back pain. First, the data relevant to the topic were filtered out of the original manuscripts and then evaluated in groups. When evaluating these data, the researchers examined on the one hand whether and to what extent standard forms of treatment and individualized treatment differ in terms of the result. "Individualised" means that there is some type of personal coaching, where therapists specifically target the potentials and requirements of each patient and decide together with them how their therapy should look.




The Association Of Mature American Citizens And 
The American Constitutional Rights Union 
Join Forces To Protect Senior Voters



“If there was ever a senior-centric election cycle, it’s this year’s midterm elections; older Americans will win big or lose. It is critical that the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, senior citizens, protect their rights, particularly their voting rights,” says Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC). To this end, she announces that AMAC, its AMAC Action advocacy team, and the AMAC Foundation have joined forces with The American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU) and ACRU Action to ensure that elderly voters are heard and protected. ACRU is the nation’s leading advocate for protection of vulnerable voters.

The evidence of real and tangible fraud is growing according to ACRU Board Members, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Their recent Townhall article indicates that the problem is widespread. “In Wisconsin, the state assembly appointed a special counsel to investigate vote fraud in nursing homes after an investigation by a county sheriff uncovered evidence indicating numerous cases of vote fraud in a nursing home. Special Counsel Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, released a report this year indicating ‘rampant fraud and abuse occurred statewide’ at Wisconsin’s nursing homes and other residential care facilities.”

This mounting evidence led AMAC’s Weber to take action by joining forces with ACRU and ACRU’s team of experts, including Meese, Blackwell, LTC Allen West and ACRU President Lori Roman. “It is time to take measures to ensure not only the safety of seniors who reside in these facilities but to demand that their rights — including voting rights — are protected,” stated Weber.




In an aging America, 
Osteoporosis is a looming 
Public health crisis
BY MARTHA NOLAN


America has a bone health crisis. More than 50 million Americans are at risk of developing osteoporosis, and 10 million already have the condition. A full 80 percent of those individuals are women. In fact, one in five women over 50 will get the disease during their lifetime. 

Yet, despite its prevalence, osteoporosis is known as a “silent disease.” The moniker comes from the fact that people often have increasingly brittle bones prone to fracture without knowing it or feeling their bone density decrease. But the name is also apt because there is still too little awareness about osteoporosis, how to prevent or delay its onset, and what to do once it’s been diagnosed. 

But on this World Osteoporosis Day, we can change that. And we must try because the consequences of osteoporosis-related fractures are severe for too many women, their families and our nation as a whole. 

Our bones are made up of living tissue, which is continually being broken down and replaced. When the body loses old bone tissue more quickly than it regenerates new tissue, that’s when osteoporosis sets in. At this stage, the remaining bones can become so weak and fragile that even simple movements like stretching, twisting, bending towards the floor, coughing, bumping into something or a small fall can cause a broken bone.



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How to rescue your hacked account:
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.
By SEAN CAPTAIN



Nearly 2 out of 5 Americans say that hackers have taken over their social media accounts. And those numbers are likely to rise as more and more account information gets leaked in breaches of big corporations.

“[Hackers are] taking those credentials and, in an automated fashion, they’re gonna bounce those up against every other account out there on the web,” says Lisa Plaggemier, executive director of the National Cybersecurity Alliance. Even if you don’t reuse the exact same password on other accounts, hacker software can easily generate iterations until they get a hit.

(Chances are, you’ve been involved in multiple data breaches. To find out, visit the site have i been pwned?, enter your email address, and see how you’ve been affected.)

Other times, people hand their logins to crooks by responding to scam emails saying, for instance, that your Facebook page has been scheduled for deletion and you must log in immediately (at the bogus link below) to appeal the action.










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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com











More seniors are being 
Pushed into poverty — 
Here's why
By Paul Brandus



A terrible thing is happening to America's seniors.

While overall poverty rates in the United States are falling, they are rising for Americans over age 65.

That's according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, which says the share of older people living below the poverty line rose to 10.3% in 2021, up from 8.9% in 2020.

The increase means that an additional 1 million older adults have fallen below the poverty threshold, bringing the total number of seniors in that unfortunate category to nearly 6 million, according to an analysis by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

Read more  >> 




1 in 7 Community-Living Seniors 
Die in the Year After Major Surgery
By Zaina Hamza



Roughly one in seven community-living older adults in the U.S. died in the year after a major surgery, and the risk was far higher for those with frailty or probable dementia, according to a national population-based estimate.

Based on findings from nearly 1,000 community-living Medicare beneficiaries who underwent a major surgery from 2011 to 2017, the population estimate for mortality within 1 year of surgery was 13.4%, reported Thomas Gill, MD, of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues.

Mortality at 1 year grew to 27.8% among the individuals with frailty (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 2.18, 95% CI 1.40-3.40) and 32.7% for those with probable dementia (aHR 4.41, 95% CI 2.53-7.69), the authors wrote in JAMA Surgery.

Major surgery is common in this population, Gill's group explained, with a 5-year cumulative risk of 13.8% that represents nearly 5 million people. Individuals with frailty comprise 12.1% of this population, while those with probable dementia comprise 12.4%.



Three insurance tips 
Senior citizens should know




Having insurance is important for all ages, especially for those in their golden years. Here are three tips older adults should know:

1. Ask enough questions

When it comes to health insurance, the AARP recommends asking a lot of questions. Inquire about deductibles and copayments, insurance claim payment processes, emergency care and drug coverage, pre-existing diseases/illnesses coverage, which types of preventative care, such as colonoscopies and vaccinations, are covered, and if your current doctors participate in the plan. Need help? The not-for-profit Elderwerks Educational Services organization can assist older adults with referrals to professional insurance providers.

2. Check for discounts...




Timely treatment of depression 
Could reduce the risk of dementia
Reviewed By Emily Henderson, B.Sc.




Depression has long been associated with an increased risk of dementia, and now a new study provides evidence that timely treatment of depression could lower the risk of dementia in specific groups of patients.

Over 55 million people worldwide live with dementia, a disabling neurocognitive condition that mainly affects older adults. No effective treatment for dementia exists but identifying ways to help minimize or prevent dementia would help to lessen the burden of the disease.

The study, led by Jin-Tai Yu, MD, PhD, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, and Wei Cheng, PhD, Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, appears in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier.



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5 Ways to Manage Your Gray Hair 
Changing Texture
By JULIANA LABIANCA



As we age, our hair undergoes many changes. It turns gray, can thin out, and often changes texture. Obviously, these changes can be jarring. If you lived your entire life with straight, fine hair and suddenly wake up to somewhat wirier waves, it can leave you wondering how to style and care for your new tresses. Thankfully, adjusting to your new texture doesn't have to be a mystery. We consulted hair stylists to find out the key ways to manage your gray hair changing texture. Healthy, silky locks are on the way.

Why does gray hair change in texture?

By now, you've realized that gray strands have a different texture than naturally pigmented ones. But have you ever wondered why?

Arrogant Smith, a professional hairstylist and hair consultant for KES Wigs, breaks it down for us. "As hair goes gray, it usually becomes drier and coarser," Smith says. "This is because the natural oils, or sebum, that keep hair healthy are produced in smaller quantities as we age, and the oil glands may shrink."







Any hope of ending the current lockdown/quarantine today, Monday, were dashed Friday when a memo from our administrator informed us that two more residents were infected with the COVID-19 virus bringing to 7 the number of cases. The new date for returning our facility to normalcy is now Tuesday. While the extra day is only a minor inconvenience, it poses a significant question. Why, after nearly 100% of our staff and residents have been fully vaccinated, and considering the draconian infection control protocols imposed here, have so many contracted the virus? 
 
I’m not so naïve to think any group of people would be fully protected just because they were vaccinated. Nor do I believe a facility with as many immunocompromised residents as ours could ever be completely protected. But one must wonder why, after a facility-wide booster inoculation event just two weeks ago, do we now have a batch of new cases? It cannot be a coincidence. Seven new cases (five of them on one day) is a “cluster.” If our infected residents had all come down with the same form of cancer (or any other life-threatening ailment) the DOH and possibly the CDC would have teams scouring this place for answers. But, because we are just a bunch of old folks who are susceptible to almost every known affliction at the drop of a hat, are given short shrift with investigations. After all, it’s easier and far less messy to just quarantine us and hope it all goes away by itself.

I, and my fellow residents, need to know the reason this happened. Not only because our health, and even our lives, are at stake, but because we have been living with this cloud of doom over our heads for nearly three years. We have been quarantined on three separate occasions, one for nearly 16 straight months, and have been subjected to infection control procedures that go far beyond any required of the public. There is no place else (except for nursing homes, hospitals and prisons) where everyone is required to wear a mask everywhere in the facility at all times.* Needless to say, we hate it. However, we go along with these mandates because “They know what’s best for us.” Unfortunately, this recent outbreak shows they don’t know a darn thing about how to keep us, or any group of citizens, protected from the COVID virus. And, despite all the mandates, protocols, rules and regulations, the only way to insure our safety is to keep us from each other. This almost assures we will have more and more of these interruptions in our lives. More and more cancellation of activities. More and more visitor restrictions, more and more poorly served food.

Somebody, some agency, has to sort this out. There has to be a reason for this sudden and virulent outbreak of COVID. And it should begin with the residents themselves. Who are these residents that caught the virus? Where were they before they became infected? Who did they come in contact with? Did they not wear their masks and were they among those who refused to be vaccinated? And, more importantly, there needs to be a review of the PPE and infection control mechanism. Because what we are doing now, evidently, is not working…………….


*Editor’s note: The dining room, during meals, is the only exception.









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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2022



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SATURDAY & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22-23, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com






6 Superfoods for Arthritis
Ease the ache and reduce inflammation 
By adding these standouts to your diet
By: Barbara Brody   


If your hips, knees or hands have gotten stiffer and more painful in recent years, you might be among the more than 32 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA). This degenerative joint condition, often described as the “wear and tear” form of arthritis, causes the cartilage that normally cushions joints to break down, allowing bone to rub against bone. The result: pain, redness, stiffness and inflammation.

This kind of arthritis is mainly treated by pain-relieving medications, but lifestyle changes can also help a lot. Exercise and weight loss tend to be top of the list. Regularly moving the impacted joint helps stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding it, which can ease stiffness and promote mobility. If you're overweight, shedding a few pounds will help take some strain off a weight-bearing joint (like your knee or hip), as well as reduce the amount of inflammatory proteins that are naturally produced by fat cells.

Dietary changes are, of course, the key to losing weight, but tweaking your eating habits can also help control arthritis symptoms. That's because while osteoarthritis is primarily caused by overstressing one or more joints, “there's also a component that has to do with the body's response to injury, which is inflammation,” says Melissa Ann Prest, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She points to the Mediterranean and DASH diets, which limit added sugar, refined carbohydrates and saturated fat, as anti-inflammatory standouts.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE




Senior travel: the best 
Places to visit this autumn
By Henry Roberts


As long as you avoid the half-term holidays, autumn is the perfect time to get away as prices are low and availability is high. When planning your autumn break as a senior traveller, you want to think about the three Cs: climate, colour and culture. We discuss all three and provide numerous travel recommendations: 

Climate:

Unfortunately, autumn is still the rainy season across a large part of the planet. In the Caribbean, it lasts until November, so an island beach holiday is a bit risky at this time of year. Head just a little further north and in Florida, the rainy season officially ends on October 15th, so a late autumn holiday can see you enjoying the beaches, everglades and theme parks without the crowds.

The island of Madeira, with average autumn temperatures of 17-25℃, is also a good choice. Madeira was originally uninhabited but claimed by Portuguese sailors in 1419. Explore the town of Funchal, visit the Mercado dos Lavradores, drive through the mountains or swim in the Porto Moniz lava pools – there are plenty of things to see and do. Madeira is the main island in the group and has a fantastic mixture of towns, mountains and beaches, but you can head across to the much smaller island of Porto Santo for a day trip. The entire island is devoted to tourism with a 9-kilometre-long beach.

Read more  >> 


10 Secrets for Traveling Solo
YOU CAN GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR 
TRIP FOR ONE BY FOLLOWING THESE SIMPLE TIPS.
By ZACHARY MACK


Packing your bags and heading to a new destination with a partner or group of friends can be a great way to get the most out of a trip, but it's not the only way you can see the world. Solo travel can provide an entirely different experience, allowing you to indulge your own interests and instincts while you're exploring. It can also be a great way to reconnect with yourself and make new friends along the way. But even seasoned travelers know that going it alone on a trip can provide different challenges and often requires a different type of planning to make sure you're not caught off guard. Read on to discover the secrets that experts say can make your solo traveling experience an unforgettable one.

1. Pick the right destination for you.

Usually, there's never a particular reason to go on a solo trip. But while it may sound obvious, experts say it's important to be realistic about where you choose to go for safety's sake when traveling alone.

"I would recommend ensuring that you're visiting a country that has a track record of safety and a low crime rate," Louise Walker, managing editor of Aglaia Magazine, tells Best Life. "Unfortunately, there are some countries that simply are not safe or recommended for solo travel, especially female solo travelers. Carry out your research before you book and make a shortlist of countries and cities that are suitable for solo travel and ensure you get recommendations from friends who have....

Read more  >>  



The 39 best books of the year so far 2022
By Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker

Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Written during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, King's latest is a world-hopping fantasy whose hero is Charlie Reade, a talented 17-year-old who has lost his mother in a car accident and is caring for his grieving, alcoholic father. When Charlie befriends the reclusive Mr Bowditch and his ancient German Shepherd dog, Radar, he discovers underneath Bodwitch's shed a portal to the kingdom of Empis, where the people – who have a disfiguring illness called "the grey" – are facing a terrifying evil. Described as "a multiverse-traversing, genre-hopping intertextual mash-up" by the New York Times, Fairy Tale is, according to The Guardian, "vintage, timeless King, a transporting, terrifying treat". (RL)


Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux

"The quality that distinguishes Ernaux's writing on sex from others in her milieu is the total absence of shame," writes The Guardian of this memoir of a torrid, 18-month love affair between Ernaux and a married Russian diplomat that began in Leningrad in 1988 and continued in Paris. Getting Lost (which is published in translation this year) is the second book of Ernaux's to be inspired by the affair – the first, a slight, memoir-like novel, was Simple Passion (1991). Recently awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, Ernaux – now in her 80s – is a huge literary celebrity in France. Her writing on sex is spare and direct, explicit and subversive. Getting Lost is, writes The New York Times, "a feverish book… about being impaled by desire, and about the things human beings want, as opposed to the things for which they settle." (RL)


Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

At 20 years old, Leila Mottley became the youngest ever nominee when Nightcrawling was longlisted for the Booker Prize, and the novel was an instant New York Times bestseller. The story is based on a true crime in 2015, involving sexual exploitation, corruption and brutality in the Oakland police department. The novel's central character is 17-year-old Kiara Johnson, a protagonist who is "one of the toughest and kindest young heroines of our time," says the Guardian. "Restlessly truth-seeking, Nightcrawling marks the dazzling arrival of a young writer with a voice and vision you won't easily get out of your head." Nightcrawling is, says iNews, "an extraordinarily moving debut". (LB)

See more  >>  







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. 

Learn more  >>  



As new Alzheimer’s drugs have failed, 
scientists are shifting focus to 
Other potential causes
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.


As 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.

Read more  >>  



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. (jacoblund/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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.

Read more  >> 



Auricular Acupressure Improves Sleep
In Older Adults With Osteoarthritis
By Keith Arians
    
Auricular 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.

Read more >>  



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.”

Read more  >>  


Drugmakers Try To Scare Seniors 
In Last-Ditch Effort To Stop 
Democrats’ Economic Plan
By Kevin Robillard and Jonathan Cohn



The 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.)

Read more  >>  



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.”

Read more  >>  



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.

Read more  >>  



Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage 
Before Retirement?
By Donna Fuscaldo


Entering 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
 

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.

Read more  >>  



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.

Read more  >>  



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.

Read more  >>  



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.

Learn more  >>  


Juan Williams: 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. 

Read more  >> 



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.

Read more  >> 



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

Read more  >>  



NEXT NEW BLOG MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2022


©2022 Bruce Cooper

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com








So long, senior centers and nursing homes. 
Older adults don’t want to spend their time 
In places where they are seen as victims in decline.
By Michael Adams and Jennifer Wong
 
At 104 years old, Sally has more stories than you can imagine. As a young woman during World War II, she was the embodiment of Rosie the Riveter, working in New York City’s defense factories. She went on to break barriers as one of the first women recognized as a full journeyman in a California shipyard. She has been one of the most dedicated and oldest members of SAGE, the LGBTQ+ older-adult advocacy group.

But the pandemic hit her hard. She moved into a skilled nursing facility, and her vibrant life changed. She missed her friends and wasn’t herself. When SAGE was safely able to reopen in-person services, Sally’s pre-pandemic spirit was rekindled — she could see and talk with her friends and join in the reopening festivities.

Older adults want to connect

Sally’s story is a powerful reminder of an important service offered by older adult centers: connection. As leaders of SAGE and Wallis Annenberg GenSpace, we advocate for our older adults, and when we talk with our members, it’s not the food, housing, or exercise classes that keep people coming back — it’s the connection.




Don’t buy Ron Johnson’s 
Claims on Social Security
By Michael Rosen


Sen. Ron Johnson is too slick for Wisconsin’s good.

This August he proposed moving Social Security Insurance (SSI) into the federal government’s discretionary budget. He claims this will help improve it.  Here’s what it really means: Congress would have to authorize Social Security spending and its annual automatic cost-of-living increases each and every year! 

Every senior citizen’s SSI check as well as programs for disabled Americans would be left to the whims of the millionaires who dominate our dysfunctional Congress. Moreover, Johnson wants to do the same to Medicare.

Why would Johnson want to mess with our successful, 87-year-old social insurance program that provides most older Americans with the majority of their income?  Well, Johnson offers two reasons, neither of which stands up to scrutiny.

Read more  >> 



White House Covid czar calls on 
Seniors to get omicron booster now — 
It ‘literally could save your life’
By Spencer Kimball


A top White House health official on Monday issued a stark warning to older people about the health risk they face this fall and winter from Covid-19.

Dr. Ashish Jha, head of the White House Covid task force, said everyone older than 50 and senior citizens in particular need to get an omicron booster as soon as possible.

“If you’re over 50, certainly if you’re over 65, you’ve got to go get these vaccines because it actually, literally could save your life. It’s a difference between life and death,” Jha said during an interview with Yahoo Finance.

The elderly have faced the high risk of falling seriously ill with Covid since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 330 people, on average, are still dying every day from Covid, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more  >>  



How the Rapidly Aging American Population 
Will Shape Government Policy, 
Business, and Culture 
By Michael Clinton


It's 2040. The American President has just been elected for a second term. She won as a third-party candidate as a result of the reforms to the electoral college in the 2030s that finally broke the stranglehold of the two-party system. While her platform for addressing climate change and disaster support for parts of East Coast cities that are now underwater was supported by most Americans, it was her policies around the New Longevity Deal that gave her the landslide win.

Much like landmark policy movements of the past such as the New Deal, The Great Society, and the Inflation Reduction Act, the New Longevity Deal ushered in changes that in this case impacted the rapidly aging American population. Nearly half of the country’s citizens are in their forties or older. One in five Americans, nearly 80 million, are 65 and over. By 2060, it is anticipated that over 90 million Americans will be 65 or over, including the Millennials. Life expectancies are growing, too. There are already several hundred thousand Americans who are 100 years old or older, and that number will grow to more than 3 million by 2100. This expanded voting bloc of the older population has had a profound effect on both elections and federal legislation.

The New Longevity Deal has addressed issues with Social Security and Medicare benefits, leading to new governmental policies to enhance healthcare and a social net for aging citizens. It provides massive re-training programs for people over 50, as well as creating a new Job Corps for those over 65 to allow them to continue to earn an income. There are 44 million people over 75 who both need and want to work, especially as they prepare for longer lives. Federal laws have been put in place to require every employer to provide a 401(k) type program to prepare people for long term economic stability and penalties have been established for any company that has mandatory retirement age policies. Tax incentives have been introduced for older workers staying on longer in the workplace, as well as incentives for employers who hire older workers. In addition, new models of public-private partnerships and nonprofit organizations are in place to enhance ways to support older Americans, particularly those in low-income areas.

Read more  >>  


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What to do with your portfolio after 50


A fiftieth birthday is often characterized as a milestone moment. Despite that reputation, upon crossing the half-century threshold, individuals typically don’t feel that much different than they did when they were still a fun-loving 49-year-old. Though there might not be much to distinguish a 49-year-old from a 50-year-old, a fiftieth birthday is a good time reassess certain parts of life, including finances.

Conventional financial wisdom has long suggested reducing risk as retirement age draws closer. But a 2021 survey from American Advisors Group found that 18 percent of respondents indicated their intention to work past the age of 70, while another 12 percent indicated they have no plans to ever stop working full-time. Conventional financial wisdom rooted in retiring around the age of 65 may not apply to individuals who intend to work well past that age. That means recently minted fiftysomethings could benefit from adopting a new perspective on managing their money after they reach 50.

• Work with a fiduciary. Fiduciaries differ from other financial advisors in a significant way. According to Investopedia, fiduciaries are legally bound to put their client’s best interests ahead of their own. Working with a fiduciary can provide peace of mind for individuals who want to know the person they’re trusting to guide their financial decisions is working on their behalf. That peace of mind can be especially valuable for individuals over 50 who don’t have as much time to make up for financial losses as younger people. Investopedia notes that some brokerage firms do not want or allow their brokers to be fiduciaries, so investors should make sure they’re aware of the legal responsibilities of anyone they trust to manage their money.

Learn more  >>  








Neither snow nor sleet nor rain or facility-wide lockdown can keep our smokers from puffing away. While all other gathering places are off-limits to groups of over two, the outdoors, all-weather smoking area is in full swing.


 So why, when the rest of our residents are urged to remain in their rooms during this latest mini-demic of the latest COVID strain, are our smokers permitted to gather virtually unchecked? Because, if they weren’t allowed to pursue their addiction in the designated smoking area, they would find a place to do it clandestinely, possibly causing more harm to the rest of us than COVID.

Far be it from me to offer a lecture on the evils of smoking. I was among the best of them for over 22 years until I quit once and for all. Therefore, I know how addictive tobacco can be and how difficult it is to stop smoking. But what I can’t understand is why a population of immunocompromised adults, many with breathing problems, would continue to put their health and the health of others at risk?
 
I suppose much of their nonchalant attitude comes from the false notion that “It’s too late to quit and besides, the damage has already been done.” I hear that a lot when I talk to some of the resident smokers here. They have resigned themselves that death can take them at anytime, so why not enjoy yourself while you can. Of course, the matter of “enjoying” oneself is soon forgotten when, one day, you find yourself hooked up to a respirator grasping for every breath and hoping the next one won’t be your last.

Just a brief look around our facility and you might be surprised at how many of our residents are hooked-up to portable oxygen tanks or oxygen concentrators. But what will really surprise you is how many of them continue to smoke, oxygen and all.
 
I don’t lecture people on the health risks of smoking. These folks are a blind to the scientific truth as a bunch of Trump supporters are to not believing the science behind getting vaccinated, or that Biden is the president. Why get into an argument I can’t win? The only time I will get adamant about where smoking is concerned is when some of our less with-it residents light up in a non-designated smoking area like behind the annex I live in or the patio area I sit at on nice days. Then I ask them (politely) to “Take that f***ing cigarette somewhere else.” That usually gets their attention…….









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NEXT BLOG SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com








Protecting older adults from the effects of 
Natural disasters and extreme weather


Weather and climate disasters are on the rise. In 2021, there were 20 extreme weather and climate events in the United States, triple the average number of events 15 years before. These extreme events included droughts, heat waves, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Research suggests that older adults are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of these disasters, but the specific reasons behind this susceptibility are still being explored.

older woman looking out rainy window
As a part of a broader NIH-wide initiative, NIA funds research that explores the effects of extreme weather and natural disasters on older adults, with the ultimate aim of improving the well-being of people who experience these events.

“Older adults are particularly vulnerable during weather and climate disasters,” said Emerald Nguyen, Ph.D., an NIA program official. “There is a pressing need to explore their experiences and health outcomes during these events. NIA supports a wide range of research that aims to better understand how we might support older adults’ resilience, preparedness, and recovery from disasters.”



The New Golden Girls
By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell


The number of older adults sharing homes is growing, as is the number of companies that help roommates find one another

Betty White's death at the end of last year brought back memories of her role as the kind but dim retiree Rose Nylund on the 1980s sitcom "Golden Girls," in which four older women shared a house in Florida.

Women who watched the show as young adults are now at or near retirement age themselves, and many are finding that they're New Golden Girls, sharing homes because of financial concerns or a desire to fill the social void left by the loss of a partner.

According to SpareRoom, one of the growing niche businesses that help people find rooms, sublets and roommates, the number of people over 50 living with a roommate is growing at twice the rate of any other group, with one in five saying they're living with a roommate for the first time.

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE




Older adults living carefree lifestyles 
Twice as likely to end up in nursing home
By Study Finds


Older adults who lead a carefree, unhealthy lifestyle are twice as likely to end up needing a nursing home in comparison to their more active peers, a new study reveals.

Researchers at the University of Sydney found smoking, physical activity, sitting, and sleep quality to have a strong link to nursing home admission rates. Surprisingly, diet quality alone did not display the same connection.

Smokers were 55 percent more likely than non-smokers to end up needing nursing care. For the study, which is the first of its kind, researchers looked at data on more than 127,000 Australians who took part in a large study on healthy aging between 2006 and 2009. Study authors followed up with these patients for 11 years on average.




Is the love affair between seniors 
And slot machines healthy?
By David Shumway 



I just heard from my retired schoolteacher sister in Cortland, New York. She’s a habitue of casinos and just happily resumed her visits after a long hiatus.

Like many seniors, she only plays slot machines. Our discussion started me thinking about seniors and our attraction to slots, in particular. Good or bad? Dangerous or innocent entertainment?

I didn’t even realize it was a thing until a bit of research uncovered several opinions on the phenomenon, diametrically opposed: “The evil casinos are unscrupulously preying on seniors,” and “it’s harmless, enjoyable, and even beneficial.”

In “Seniors in Casino Land,” Amy Ziettlow alleges seniors are targeted, lulled, hypnotized and otherwise victimized by casinos. She decries the “predatory practices of casinos towards seniors,” suggesting enticements that amount to “elder abuse” … and sees the glitz as purposeful hypnosis “where players lose track of time and money.” According to Ziettlow’s piece, 75% of seniors favor the “hypnotic” slot machine over other forms of gambling.



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Emergency Planning for Solo Agers:
Emergencies strike without warning — 
Here are steps to take when you are facing 
A crisis and family can't be there to help
By Carol Marak



For Beth (not her real name) living alone is a good thing. Over the years, she has grown accustomed to the single lifestyle. She's satisfied with doing things on her own, even to take long bike rides. Just the other day, the cool weather motivated Beth to do exactly that — jump on the bicycle for a ride.

But this ride was different. As she glided down the driveway, and turned onto a busy street, nothing could have prepared her for what was about to happen A few miles away from home, from nowhere, an eighteen-wheeler skirted a little too close, blowing Beth off balance. Stunned, she jerked the bike a bit too hard which sent her hurling over the handlebars, crashing on her hip. She stayed there until the ambulance showed up.

In the ER, the doctor reported: "Broken hip, you'll be in rehab awhile. Who should we call?"

Learn more  >>  CLICK HERE








It was a short memo dropped into my mail tray yesterday. For what seems like the hundredth time in the last three years, the possibility of another lockdown/quarantine looms before us. 

Today, possibility became reality. Once again, the residents of the Westchester Center For Independent and Assisted Living have been told to stay in their rooms.

Yesterday’s memo was not reassuring…



 
 
Actually, I suspected this to happen when ambulances started showing up Tuesday morning. Six before breakfast, to be exact. While two or even three are not rare here, I have never seen that many EMTs in such a short period. This is also the most cases of COVID we have had in-house since the pandemic began. What makes this recent outbreak so worrisome is that all of us have just recently been vaccinated with the latest OMICRON variant booster. This makes me wonder who the victims are and where did they contract the virus?
 
Lockdowns here are more than just an annoyance. They are a genuine hardship for our residents and staff alike. Meals have to be packed and delivered to our rooms. Furniture has to be removed from common areas and all activities are halted. We have not yet been told how long this lockdown will last. But 10 days is not unusual. Hopefully, this will put a check on any further cases and we will be able to return to our normal activities soon…………………
 
 
 






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NEXT BLOG FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com








White House touts drugs savings for seniors 
As Medicare open enrollment begins
By CORY SMITH 

Open enrollment runs until Dec. 7, and AARP Senior Strategic Policy Advisor Jane Sung said it’s the time for people with Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to decide if their current plan is working for them.

The biggest change for Medicare recipients in 2023 will be the drug savings that resulted from the Inflation Reduction Act, according to Sung.

It’s something President Joe Biden is on the road touting this weekend.

The White House says the Inflation Reduction Act “protects Medicare beneficiaries from catastrophic drug costs by phasing in a cap for out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy, establishing a $35 monthly cap per prescription of insulin, requiring companies who raise prices faster than inflation to pay Medicare a rebate, and allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for high-cost prescription drugs for the first time ever.”




Older adults on the move, 
With those 85+ among most mobile
By Kimberly Bonvissuto

More than 3 million older adults move every year, with those 85 and older among the most mobile, according to a new US Census Bureau report. 

Warmer climates, amenities, proximity to family and disabilities were among the factors affecting moves by older adults between 2015 and 2019, according to data from the bureau’s American Community Survey. Those migration estimates and patterns may be important for businesses; federal, state and local governments; and policymakers, according to the Census Bureau.

Senior living providers also can use the information to understand the population of prospective residents and their desires to relocate.




New GAO Report Shows Poverty is a 
Death Sentence Among 
Older American Households

According to a report commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), wealth and income disparities were wider in American households headed by those aged 55 and older than in other advanced economies.

The report, entitled “Comparison of Income, Wealth, and Survival in the United States with Selected Countries,” also found that longevity among older people is highly correlated with income and wealth in the United States, and that the link between income and wealth with longevity is stronger in this country than in the United Kingdom.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that the United States has more income and wealth inequality than any major country on earth,” said Sanders. “The widening wealth gap between rich seniors and other older Americans is not only immoral, it is directly linked to life expectancy. As today’s GAO report tells us, not only are wealthy seniors becoming even wealthier, they are living much longer lives than the millions of senior citizens who are living in poverty. Poverty in America is a death sentence. Other major countries have adopted much stronger policies to protect seniors and to reduce poverty and so should we. At a time when half of older Americans have no retirement savings and 55 percent of seniors are trying to survive on less than $25,000 a year, our job is not to cut Social Security. Our job is to expand Social Security and make sure that every senior in America can retire with the dignity and respect they deserve. It is a policy choice – and a policy failure – to allow so many older Americans to become poor and die prematurely in the richest country in the history of the world.”




5 Signs Your Relationship Is 
Headed for a "Gray Divorce," 
By JULIANA LABIANCA


You may think that once you've been together for several decades, your marriage is impenetrable. While the two of you may have tiffs here and there, you are generally happy, conflict-free, and, most importantly, comfortable. But not so fast. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), gray divorces, or divorces that happen later in life, are on the rise. People ages 50-plus currently make up one-quarter of all splits, and one in 10 of those people are 65-plus. So, you shouldn't assume it could never happen to you. To help you spot the signs that a gray divorce could be on the horizon, we chatted with therapists who tell us the red flags that mean a relationship could be headed for a late-in-life split. Read on to note them early.

1You omit each other from future goals.

The way you plan for your future is a big deal. So if one or both of you starts leaving the other out of their discussions or vision, it's likely a sign there's trouble to come.

"Earlier in the marriage, when things are good, a couple's plans are always 'We're going to buy a house,' 'We're going on vacation,' 'What are we going to do after retirement?'" says Tina Marie Del Rosario, LCSW, MSW, and the owner of Healing Collective Therapy Group. "When those types of plans and activities stop happening as a unit, the marriage is headed for trouble."



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5 Easy-to-Digest Foods Choices For Older Adults


Maintaining a proper diet and healthy lifestyle becomes extremely important for people over the age of 65, as majority of diseases suffered by the older population are due to poor dietary choices.

\Ageing is a process that comes with a host of added changes – both in diet and lifestyle. Maintaining a proper diet and healthy lifestyle becomes of paramount importance during this period, especially for people over the age of 65, as a majority of diseases suffered by the older population are caused as a result of poor dietary choices. As the body’s metabolism and lean body mass begins its degeneration process, care must be taken to counter its affects. Fitness and Nutrition expert, Rohit Shelatkar shared some of the easy-to-digest foods that seniors must include in their diet. Read on!Also Read - Side Effects of Milk: Why You Should Never Start Your Day with Doodh? Ayurveda Explains

5 Easy-to-Digest Foods Choices For Older Adults…






Often things come to you at the oddest times. It happened to me the other night as I made my way to the bathroom for the 2nd time. 
 
It was 2 AM, and as I staggered the 12 or 15 feet from my bed to the John using the furniture, refrigerator, lamp and door handle as support, I realized. This is exactly how my 80-year-old mother walked. Although this was no great epiphany, at 2 AM, it was a revelation.  
We expect to inherit many of our physical attributes from our parents. Eye color, hair color, skin tone even our physiques and intellect are pre-determined by our genes. We all know this, and most of us have resigned ourselves to the fact that we will have to live with what nature has given us, and we are prepared for it. However, what many of us don’t realize (or refuse to realize) is besides what we look like, we will also inherit many of our parents’ health problems as well. Specifically, those physiological body changes that are part of growing old. And it makes me sad.

The sadness comes not because I feel sorry for myself , but from feeling sorry about how I felt, and treated old people, my mom included, when I was young. While it’s a mistake, all young folks make, it doesn’t make me feel any better and certainly should not be used as an excuse. Looking back, and knowing what I know now, I should have been kinder, more patient and more attentive to her needs.

Never has the phrase “Walk a mile in my shoes” been so true. But how could I have known what it felt like to be in a body that is in rapid decline or feel the pain of worn-out knees, aching hips, balance issues and hearing and vision loss? And, in that, lies the problem. Old people could never convey how they feel being trapped in a body that no longer works or the suffering that comes from not being able to take part in life like we once did. But I sure know it now because I have become my mom. I walk like her, have a weight issue like hers, and my have even inherited a bit of her grumpiness in my old age. I often find myself becoming short tempered with people or not understanding what they are saying to me, just like mom. Fortunately, I did not inherit her diabetes or heart problems (at least not yet).

And more fortunate still, I inherited her ability to know a phony when I see them or know when someone’s trying to scam me. Also passed down to me was her ability to see past a rough outer shell and find the inner good in people.
 
We, as an older and wiser generation, need to make those who think they own the world (I’m talking about the young) understand why we old folks are the way we are. They need to know what constant pain and immobility can do to one’s outlook on life, and we have to let them know this is not the way we want to be. And, perhaps most important, we need to make them understand that as we are, they will be, whether or not they like it,…









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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper



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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










Insurers buck-raking big time 
Off Medicare Advantage


The nation’s biggest health insurers are gaming a giant program to provide health coverage to seniors, exploiting the privatization of Medicare Advantage plans to rake in profits with schemes that have drawn fire from federal prosecutors.

The sustained, costly campaign by insurers to maximize their profits not only leaves older, vulnerable patients at risk of reduced care, it also imperils the overall health of the entire Medicare system, the New York Times  found in its investigation, reporting this [see chart above, courtesy the newspaper]:

“Medicare Advantage, a private-sector alternative to traditional Medicare, was designed by Congress two decades ago to encourage health insurers to find innovative ways to provide better care at lower cost. If trends hold, by next year, more than half of Medicare recipients will be in a private plan. But a New York Times review of dozens of fraud lawsuits, inspector general audits and investigations by watchdogs shows how major health insurers exploited the program to inflate their profits by billions of dollars. The government pays Medicare Advantage insurers a set amount for each person who enrolls, with higher rates for sicker patients. And the insurers, among the largest and most prosperous American companies, have developed elaborate systems to make their patients appear as sick as possible, often without providing additional treatment, according to the lawsuits. As a result, a program devised to help lower health care spending has instead become substantially more costly than the traditional government program it was meant to improve.




Certain clusters of conditions
Associated with poorer health outcomes 
After fractures in older adults
Reviewed by Emily Henderson


Having specific combinations of underlying health issues is a significant risk for poorer health outcomes in older adults who've had a fracture, a new study from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research shows.

The study was conducted on more than 300,000 Danish people aged 50 or older who had sustained a fracture. In patients with fractures closer to the centre of the body (for example, in the hip, spine, upper arm or leg), the researchers found a higher mortality rate than expected for the general population of the same age. If those people with fractures also had multiple or complex health conditions, the mortality risk was higher again.

The researchers found that certain clusters of conditions were associated with increased mortality rates, suggesting this information could be used by clinicians to highlight patients who may require more intensive medical care.




Best Loan Alternatives 
For Senior Citizens



In the words of Grammy Award-winning singer Alan Jackson," the older I get, the better I am". But is that the case for the elderly around us?

According to CNBC, a survey carried out in 2018 revealed that every one in seven filers for bankruptcy in the United States is aged 65 and above. A recent report on the quarterly household credit and debt state of the economy also revealed that from 1999 to 2022, the total debt balance of Americans aged 60-69 years recorded a 623.3 percent(%) increase, from 0.38 trillion to 2.38 trillion (in dollars). This abrupt increase over the past two decades has left a bad taste in the mouths of economic experts and financial analysts.

Some might wonder why there's such a high volume of senior citizens seeking loans. As much as the younger adults, millennials, and Gen Zs have needs, the elderly also does. They have dreams and aspirations they still hope to fulfill, bills and taxes to pay, as well as other expenses.




Senior living’s elephant in the room
By John O'Connor


For most senior living operators, it’s a frightening, dangerous and terrifying thought. One that most wish would go away. I’m referring of course to the possible arrival of federal oversight.

The subject came up again Tuesday at an American Health Care Association/’National Center for Assisted Living press conference, when my colleague Lois Bowers asked whether recent federal assistance might act as a catalyst.

“We’re always watching it,” replied Clif Porter, senior vice president of government affairs for the organization.

Rightfully so. There may not be a senior living operator in America who wants the feds to determine regulations or rates. State rules may be inconsistent and sometimes unfair, but they tend to be far less draconian. That is, if we are to use what happened to skilled care operators as an example.



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The best smartwatches for every occasion
Which kind of smartwatch is right for you?
By Whitney Shakespear Henry
 

Deciding which kind of smartwatch to buy can feel a bit overwhelming once you realize just how many types of smartwatches there are on the market. It’s nice that there are so many options to choose from, but which one is right for you?

Let’s explore the different types of smartwatches available on the market today, along with their benefits and features. Whether you’re an athlete, business professional, fashionista, senior citizen or looking to buy a smart watch for a kid, there is a smartwatch out there for you!

The different types of smartwatches available on the market today













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NEXT BLOG WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


-30-





MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2022

Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com










The U.S. Needs To Help Seniors 
And Their Families Navigate Long-Term Care
By Howard Gleckman


Your mom has been hospitalized for two weeks following a stroke. One morning, she’s told she’ll be discharged by the end of the day. Mom calls you in a panic. You rush to the hospital and ask for advice. Instead, you get a much-copied list of local skilled nursing facilities and a wave good-by.

This scene is played out thousands of times a day. It may happen with discharges from a hospital to skilled nursing facility or from a nursing facility to home. Sometimes it happens when family members can no long care for their loved one at home without help.

But no matter the setting, the dismal story is the same: Most older adults and their families have no information about what to do, where to go, or who to ask. Successfully navigating the labyrinth of care options is, for most families, impossible.

Read more  >>




Poor Visual Acuity in Older Adults 
Associated With Depression, 
Altered Neurobiology
By Tim Smith



A recent study found that worsened visual acuity and depression were associated with neurobiological changes visible through MRI scans.

Research suggests that depressive symptoms in older adults were associated with poor visual acuity, and that visual health was associated with altered brain neurobiology.

One of the primary contributors to diminished health and well-being of older populations is known to be visual health decline. Visual impairment is known to play a major role in depression for older adults, potentially due to its effects on vision, mobility, and even risk of poverty.




Justice Department Intensifies 
Its Fight Against Elder Fraud
By Christina Ianzito


The Justice Department (DOJ) announced today that it would be accelerating its efforts to fight criminals who target older Americans for financial fraud. The new push will include adding 14 U.S. Attorney’s Offices to the DOJ’s Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force — more than tripling the current number of offices, from six to 20.

Other existing Strike Force members include the Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations, which collaborate to fight elder fraud schemes. All of the DOJ’s U.S. Attorneys Offices across the country are focused on the effort, said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, “but these are taking an extra step, dedicating additional resources.”

The financial exploitation of older adults has ballooned since

Read more  >>  CLICK HERE



Health insurance whistleblower: 
Medicare Advantage is 'heist' by 
Private firms to defraud the public
By Amy Goodman


Many of the nation’s largest health insurance companies have made billions of dollars in profits by overbilling the U.S. government’s Medicare Advantage program. A New York Times investigation has revealed that under the Advantage program, health insurance companies are incentivized to make patients appear more ill than they actually are. Some estimates find it has cost the government between $12 billion and $25 billion in 2020 alone. We speak with former healthcare insurance executive Wendell Potter, now president of the Center for Health and Democracy, who says Medicare Advantage will be recognized in years to come as the “biggest transfer of wealth” from taxpayers to corporate shareholders, and blames the lack of regulation over the program on the “revolving door between private industry and government.”

A major investigation by The New York Times this weekend has found many of the nation’s largest health insurance companies have made billions of dollars in profits by exploiting the government’s Medicare Advantage program. Eight of the 10 largest Medicare Advantage providers have overbilled the government. Six of the 10 have been accused of fraud by the government or company whistleblowers.

This comes as the number of people enrolled in the privatized system continue to grow. Projections show that by next year more than half of all Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in a private plan.


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Woman Becomes a Fashion Model at 68 Years Old, 
Proving Age Doesn’t Define Beauty
By Sara Barnes 


The modeling world is not one typically known for its progressive stances on age. But, bit by bit, models who are well into their mature years are getting their start in the fashion industry. São Paulo-based Setsuko Saito, aka Rosa Saito, is one of those people. At age 68, she was approached to be a model. It took a year of convincing—twice by a modeling agency and once by a photographer—but Saito finally decided to give it a shot. She hasn’t looked back and is thriving as a model years later, now at 71 years old.

Prior to modeling, Saito had long been taking care of others. At age 22, she was a caregiver for her mother, and in the year 2000, her husband died and she became the sole parent to their three children. Part of what spurred her to try modeling was the fact that had been “dedicating herself to someone else” for so long. She didn’t want to live with regrets. “If I don’t try,” Saito thought, “I’ll never know.”

Donning her long, silver hair and striking elegant poses, Saito is a natural. She’s a versatile model and appears in editorial, marketing, and even high-fashion photo shoots. Saito is also no stranger to the runway and has walked in São Paulo fashion week. She takes on new projects based on her spirit of adventure, which has nothing to do with age. “I keep learning and I feel that the more I learn, the less I know. Surely time passes, but what is time, my God in heaven? If I were to give my soul an age, I would give it 22.”












I’m sure this happens to everyone who has ever sat before a blank piece of paper or computer screen. You want to write about something, but you do not know what to write about. You have nothing topical to write about. This is known as writer’s block (or blogger’s bloc for those who think blogging is not actually writing). And today, it has happened to me. I got nothing.

Let me change that. It’s not that I have nothing, it’s just that I have nothing new right now. Looking back at some of these editorials, I amaze even myself that I have come up with something relatively new and different three times a week. Or should I say, the world has provided me with topics to comment on. The “news” is constantly changing. Somebody is always doing something to somebody, a story almost writes itself.

In recent months, people like Trump, Putin and almost every Republican politician have said something or done something offensive enough for me to comment on. And, when political subjects waned, there was always something about Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid to ruffle my feathers. But how much can you write about how crooked our former president is or how Putin is losing it, or how conservative the SCOTUS has become? And how many stories can you do on how an 8.7% rise in our Social Security benefits will do nothing to help seniors fight inflation? Just thumb through the pages of any senior-oriented publication or feature story and you realize those topics have been beaten to death. As had inflation, illegal and legal immigrants, financial fraud, scams or the latest Alzheimer’s treatment.

Usually, when I run out of headline news to write about, and there is nothing new on the senior citizen front, I have always had the good-old A.L.F. to fall back on. At one time, this place was rife with interesting goings-on. There was always some new, dopey policy or procedure to write about. Or, how some of our residents can’t play nice and have caused mayhem here. And, if all else failed, food (our number one bone of contention), was always good for a few paragraphs. But lately, all has been quiet on the northern front.

Although they won’t admit it, the facility appears to have become more selective who they let in here. Maybe it’s a new screening process or maybe it’s out-and-out discrimination, but the new residents are not as “challenged” as some who have been admitted in the past. That has cut down on the number and degree of personal confrontations. And, while this is a good thing, it doesn’t make for good reading. This leaves only the food, and it’s preparation to rant about. But even that has not provided me with fodder for my canon. Miraculously, the food has been better. Not great, but much improved. So much so, I would feel guilty complaining about it.

I do not wish for a world crisis or any discourse among our residents or staff just so I can have something to write about. I also refuse, unlike some writers and commentators, to make controversy where none exists. If there’s no muck to rake, don’t rake it. Hopefully, by the time Wednesday rolls around, I’ll have more to say about the human condition. Meanwhile, if you have a topic, you think should be discussed here, let me know. I can use all the help I can get………………….






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NEXT BLOG TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2022



©2022 Bruce Cooper


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SATURDAY & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15-16, 2022


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com







The 6 Best Dogs if You Have Allergies, Vets Say
THESE BREEDS ARE GREAT CHOICES IF YOU FIND
THAT YOU SNEEZE AND SNIFFLE AROUND DOGS.
By ABBY REINHARD


Allergies are frustrating in general, whether you're allergic to a certain type of food or just seasonal pollen. But if you're an animal lover and find that your allergies flare up around dogs, it can be downright disheartening. You may believe that your sniffles and sneezing are tied to a dog's coat, but you've actually been misled.


"Many people believe that pet allergies are caused by shedded fur, but in fact, most people who suffer are actually allergic to their dander," Whitney Woolstenhulme, founder of the poodle-mix website Doodle Doods, tells Best Life. "Dander will cling to fur, and so when the fur is shed, the dander particles will disperse into the air and cause a reaction."

While no breed is 100 percent hypoallergenic, some dogs are less likely to trigger severe reactions, explains Amanda Takiguchi, DVM and founder of Trending Breeds. "Scientists believe that the characteristics of the coat and skin in these breeds means that they produce fewer allergens," she says.





McDonald’s Is Releasing 
Happy Meals for Adults
The fast-food giant is hoping children 
Of the 1980s crave nostalgia
By Peter Urban




If you’re a child of the ’80s, you likely recall popping a salty fry into your mouth as you dug inside your McDonald’s Happy Meal box for the toy. The fast-food giant is hoping you’ll want to relive that moment starting today, when an adult version of the Happy Meal joins the menu.

McDonald’s teamed up with design firm Cactus Plant Flea Market to reimagine the Happy Meal for adults. The little red box is being replaced with a themed design, and the choice of meal is either a Big Mac or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets with fries and a drink. Then there’s the toy. Each box will contain one of four figurines; three returning characters — Grimace, the Hamburglar and Birdie — will be joined by Cactus Buddy.

“We’re taking one of the most nostalgic McDonald’s experiences and literally repackaging it in a new way that’s hyper-relevant for our adult fans,” Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA chief marketing and customer experience officer, said in a statement.

Read more  >> CLICK HERE

 

How to plan for an 
Assisted railway journey
By Mia Smith



When you’re planning a journey by rail, it’s essential that you make use of available services to ensure that your journey goes without a hitch and that you can easily access the station and train. Train operators are legally required to ensure that their trains are safe and accessible for all passengers, but how can you best plan your train journey if you suffer from a disability or mobility issues? 

What do you need to know about assisted travel (Passenger Assist)? 

Passenger Assist services are usually reserved for elderly passengers and those with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities. Services may include reservation of seats and wheelchair spaces, assistance boarding and exiting the train, and assistance navigating the station itself.


To reduce your chances of a cramped and stressful journey, consider asking staff to book your ticket for you (they’ll likely be aware of the quietest times to travel) and arrange your boarding requirements ahead of time – try to travel off-peak wherever possible and make sure you check the expected business of routes and stations before travelling. Make use of the departures board to check which carriages may be least crowded and best equipped for your needs before the train arrives.




9 more ways to show your
Friends you love them
BY MALAKA GHARIB



How do you communicate love and appreciation to your friends?

We asked NPR's audience to share the ways they show affection in their platonic relationships. It's a follow-up to a Life Kit episode and story we published last month about the science of making and keeping friends with psychologist and friendship expert Marisa Franco. She says simple acts of love show your friends that you genuinely care for them — and let them know it's safe to invest in your friendship.

Franco shared more than a dozen examples of how to show affection to your friends (see the graphic below). And our audience had great ideas to add too. Here's a selection of their submissions from NPR's Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts — and the Life Kit inbox. These responses have been edited for length and clarity.


1. Send them a thoughtful book

Many of my friends are people who like to read. I pick books that span poetry, short stories, novels or personal essays and ship them to friends who will read and think about that work deeply. That includes Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to A Young Poet, Fenton Johnson's At the Center of All Beauty and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiskma's The Kural.

Read more  >>  



William Shatner:
My Trip to Space Filled Me With
‘Overwhelming Sadness’
By William Shatner



In this exclusive excerpt from William Shatner’s new book, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder,” the “Star Trek” actor reflects on his voyage into space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space shuttle on Oct. 13, 2021. Then 90 years old, Shatner became the oldest living person to travel into space, but as the actor and author details below, he was surprised by his own reaction to the experience.

So, I went to space.


Our group, consisting of me, tech mogul Glen de Vries, Blue Origin Vice President and former NASA International Space Station flight controller Audrey Powers, and former NASA engineer Dr. Chris Boshuizen, had done various simulations and training courses to prepare, but you can only prepare so much for a trip out of Earth’s atmosphere! As if sensing that feeling in our group, the ground crew kept reassuring us along the way. “Everything’s going to be fine. Don’t worry about anything. It’s all okay.” Sure, easy for them to say, I thought. They get to stay here on the ground.






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.



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.


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
April 29, 2022


Dr. 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.

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.






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. 




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.