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Friday, March 1, 2024


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“From birth to age 18 a girl needs good parents. 
From 18 to 35 she needs good looks. 
From 35 to 55 she needs a good personality. 
From 55 on, she needs good cash.”

 Sophie Tucker








Older adults should get
another COVID shot
this spring, CDC says




By Jason Millman


People 65 and over should receive a second shot of the updated COVID-19 vaccine this spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Why it matters: A second shot could offer updated protection for an age group that remains at highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

What happened: An independent panel of vaccine advisers to the CDC voted 11-1 earlier on Wednesday to approve the additional dose for seniors, with one member abstaining.

CDC director Mandy Cohen endorsed the recommendation hours later.

Seniors who are at least four months removed from their last shot could get a booster from Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax.
People who are immunocompromised have already been able to receive additional doses of the updated shot. These patients and seniors have been eligible for springtime boosters in previous years.

Read more  




Opinion:
Think Donald Trump 
has promised
not to change Social Security?
Think again.




By Brett Arends 


I have spent days trying to get a response out of Donald Trump, or one of his press officers, regarding a key issue about Social Security. In response, campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung sent me an email calling Nikki Haley a “moron” and a “birdbrain,” before directing me to a couple of internet links that didn’t answer the question. My other emails went unanswered.

Barring a major upset, Donald Trump is poised to become the Republican presidential nominee. And if the polls and betting markets are to be believed, he has the edge to win November’s election.

I don’t think the media’s two main approaches towards Trump — denial and hysteria — are helping anyone, least of all (a) the voters or (b) the media. But if there is an even chance that Trump will be elected president, and a 100% chance that Social Security will be hurtling very close to insolvency while he is in the White House, I think he ought to be answering some clear questions, clearly. 

Read more  




Clinical outcomes of
common antidepressants
may vary among older adults





Key takeaways:

- Risks and benefits of common antidepressants varied among older adults in a real-world study conducted in Denmark.

- Mirtazapine, venlafaxine and escitalopram had the most adverse clinical outcomes.

 -Clinical outcomes of commonly used antidepressants varied among older adults compared with sertraline, according to real-world study results conducted in Denmark and published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

“Antidepressants are the first-line pharmacological treatment for depression in adults,” Kazi Ishtiak-Ahmed, PhD, of the departments of clinical medicine and affective disorders at Aarhus University in Denmark, and colleagues wrote.

Read more  



What Does Quality of Life
Really Mean for Seniors?




By Kayla Keena

A myriad of factors contribute to the well-being of older individuals. For caregivers and family members, answering the question, “What does quality of life really mean for seniors?” can help finalize difficult choices about an elder’s living situation. 

How the World Health Organization Defines Quality of Life

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), quality of life is “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards, and concerns.” This comprehensive definition underscores that quality of life is not merely about physical health but also encompasses mental well-being and social functioning.


Read more  




Touch your toes!
Six fast, easy ways to
improve your mobility –
and live a longer life

Poor mobility can have a huge impact on your 
longevity as well as how you feel day to day. 
Here are simple exercises to make you more flexible



By Zoe Williams

Remember the mobility challenge that went viral last year? It goes like this. You’re standing up; you can’t use your hands, so start by crossing your arms across your body. Cross one leg in front of the other. Drop down to sit cross-legged on the floor. From here, get on your knees with your toes behind you. Now pop backwards into a deep squat, the one where your butt is against your heels. Now stand up.

It’s hard, right? Most people can’t do it. And yet you can’t afford to ignore this stuff. Poor mobility can greatly affect your quality of life, making everything from washing yourself to cleaning your home difficult or painful. And, although it may not kill you, it is certainly correlated with early death.

From 2002 to 2011, Brazilian researchers tracked 2,000 people aged 51 to 80 who had taken part in a test requiring them to sit on the floor from standing, then get back up, all without using their hands, knees or arms. Over the following nine years, those who failed this “sitting-rising test”, whatever their age, were five to six times more likely to die earlier.

Read more  




How Much Salt
Is Too Much Salt
When It Comes
To Your Health?




By Jamie Davis Smith

One serving of potato chips contains about 140 milligrams of sodium ... but one serving is only 11 chips. How many are you eating?

Low-sodium soy sauce, soup and snacks dominate supermarket shelves, so it seems pretty obvious that a lot of Americans are aware that they need to lower their sodium intake. But to what extent is it really a problem?

Most people have no idea how much salt they’re eating every day, or how much is recommended (particularly for those with certain health conditions). And did you know that some people are actually encouraged to eat more salt?

We spoke with doctors to answer all of our saltiest questions.

First of all, we do need to eat a certain amount of sodium.

Learn more  






LONG-TERM CARE:





Ten years ago, I began this page to shed light on a groundbreaking concept in long-term care: assisted living. This innovative approach to providing support and assistance to individuals in need began (in my state, NY) in the 1990s. The introduction of the Assisted Living Residence (ALR) law in 1993 marked a significant milestone, as it laid down regulations and standards for assisted living facilities across the state.

Before the advent of assisted living, people faced limited options when it came to receiving help with their daily tasks. They could remain at home and hire a caregiver, either full or part-time, or they could become a patient in a nursing home. However, neither of these choices was ideal for many individuals. It became evident that there was a pressing need for an alternative, a middle ground between home care and nursing homes.

The assisted living industry has thrived since its beginning, evolving to meet the specific requirements of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Serving as a crucial link, it provides a caring and empowering atmosphere that fosters independence and improves overall well-being. Nevertheless, recently, assisted living has sparked debate as a potential alternative to aging in one's own home. What could be the reason behind this controversy?

Assisted living is still a misunderstood concept for many. Despite efforts by the long-term care industry to dispel the misconception that A.L.F.'s are just upscale nursing homes, the stigma persists. Recent news stories highlighting neglect, abuse, and other horrors in some assisted living facilities have painted a grim picture. However, based on my personal experience, these incidents are rare and mostly occur in poorly regulated, understaffed facilities with untrained employees. I have full confidence in the security, surveillance, and attentive staff at my residence, as well as in all A.L.F.'s in my state.

Many potential residents have concerns about safety in assisted living facilities, as well as misconceptions about the mental state of residents. While some may show signs of cognitive decline, actual dementia cases are limited to facilities with specialized care units. These residents are separated from the general population.

Cost is another factor to consider. While some facilities are indeed very expensive, most are affordable. Some even offer subsidized rents through Medicaid, where out-of-pocket costs are covered by Social Security and long-term care insurance.

Choosing to move to an A.L.F. is a decision that requires careful consideration. Explore all options, take a tour, speak with current residents, and conduct your own research. Be wary of negative online reviews, as they may not always be accurate. With some careful planning, you may find assisted living just what you have been looking for. If you have any questions about life in a facility, feel free to reach out and I'll do my best to provide answers.

Embrace the weekend and make the most of it! Although the chilly weather persists in many areas, don't lose hope. Spring is eagerly waiting to bloom just around the corner... .








Retirees Want Better
Social Security
Inflation Protection



BY JOHN SULLIVAN

The 3.2% Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) is well above the 2.6% average over the past two decades, according to The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).

Still, “80% of retirees think Congress should beef up inflation protection by providing a COLA that more closely reflects inflation experienced by older adults,” it recently reported. Some senior advocates, including The Senior Citizens League, have proposed using a “senior’ CPI to determine the annual COLA.

“If that were the law today, the COLA in 2024 would be almost a percentage point higher—4%, versus the 3.2% just announced by the Social Security Administration,” Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League, said in a statement.

Read more   



Pause Bill Would Let Banks
Delay Suspicious Transactions




By Colin A. Young

Joined by a Hingham man who told the story of how his 93-year-old mother lost $9,500 to a scam last winter, Secretary of State William Galvin urged lawmakers Tuesday to act quickly to address what he said is an uptick in scams targeting senior citizens and other vulnerable people.

Duane Wanty told the Joint Committee on Financial Services that his mother got a call last winter from someone who said they were her granddaughter and claimed to have injured a pregnant woman in a car crash. The person said they needed $9,500 to post bail and begged their “grandmother” not to tell anyone about the situation.

“My mom went to the bank, withdrew $9,500 in cash with no questions asked, and left. Within an hour of delivering the money to a Lyft driver, another call came in asking for another $9,000 as as supposed manslaughter charges had now been filed. At that point, my mother broke down [and] told me what was going on. I even spoke to the supposed defense lawyer on the phone and was half-convinced myself that this was real,” Wanty said. “But then I was able to confirm that my niece was OK. And that’s when the con unraveled, but too late.”

Read more  



Millions of Americans
Have Cognitive Decline
and Don't Know It




By Ed Cara

Millions of Americans and their doctors are in the dark when it comes to early cognitive decline, according to new research from the University of Southern California. A study out this week suggests that most general physicians vastly under-diagnose mild cognitive impairment among their patients, following another recent study from the same authors which found that millions of Medicare patients with the condition slip through the cracks. The researchers say this diagnostic gap is worrying, given the importance of recognizing and treating mild cognitive impairment before it becomes more serious.

It’s well established that mild cognitive impairment is under-diagnosed in older people, but the researchers say theirs is some of the first work to quantify the current size of the problem.

“It’s a very different conversation to have when we can point to these numbers,” senior study author Soeren Mattke, director of the Brain Health Observatory at USC Dornsife’s Center for Economic and Social Research, told Gizmodo over the phone.

Read more   
.


Why older adults 
are adopting
health technology 
at a higher rate




By Anil Bhatt


Older adults are adopting digital health tools at a higher rate than ever before. This adoption has considerable potential to support these individuals in accessing healthcare, helping them maintain their autonomy and independence as they age, as well as promoting their health and well-being. 

The adoption of digital tools for those 65 and older has grown considerably since the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 75% of adults 65 and older are internet users, up from just 19% in 2000, and more than half of people 65 and older (61%) are now smartphone owners, according to the Pew Research Center. 

At Elevance Health, we are seeing an increasing acceptance of virtual care and technology by older adults to help manage their health.  

Read more   



Super seniors:
5 times senior citizens
broke records




By Ben Hooper
   

From the racetracks to the open waters to high in the skies, senior citizens have been proving recently that you are never too old to make history -- or the odd news headlines.

In tribute to these aged adventurers, here are five stories of seniors who prove that you're never too old to blaze trails and break records.

First up, an 84-year-old Colorado woman who went skydiving for the first time in 1959 is nearing her 600th jump -- and she is aiming for 1,000.

Kim Knor, who was a member of the inaugural U.S. Women's Parachute Team in 1962, said she took a 37-year break from skydiving, but got back into the sport after her husband's death in 2003.

The high-flying grandma is aiming for a lifetime record of 1,000 skydives, which would earn her a set of gold wings from the United States Parachute Association.


Learn more    







What U.S. Currency is Most Popular?


There are more $100 bills in circulation than any other kind of US paper money, according to the Wall Street Journal. And there are now more than twice as many hundos out there as there were in 2012, data from the Federal Reserve shows. The prevalence of the denomination is in part because people tend to hang on to them longer than smaller bills, rather than forcing a cashier to hold them up to the light. But these days, most transactions aren’t happening with any bills—cash is only the third most popular payment method in the US, with 60% of payments being made with credit or debit cards.











NEXT BLOG
MONDAY MARCH 4, 2024


©2024 Bruce Cooper









-30-

*************



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PUBLISHED EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY


Wednesday, February 28, 2024


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“An ardent supporter of the hometown team 
should go to a game prepared 
to take offense, no matter what happens.” 

Robert Benchley







How Medicare 
Would Be Affected
By A 
Government Shutdown




BY ESTHER D’AMICO


Yet again the clock is ticking for lawmakers to lay down their swords and come to an agreement on funding the federal government to avert a shutdown. If they fail, a government shutdown could affect you as many agencies, departments and services would be interrupted until the government reopens, Medicare is one of the many areas that would be affected by a government shutdown.

Some agencies — including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) — would continue to provide essential services, albeit with a reduced staff. That means that in the event of a funding lapse, Medicare, as well as Medicaid programs and services would continue, according to the latest CMS contingency plan.

Medicare and Medicaid — essential services

The government categorizes Medicare and Medicaid, along with Social Security, as mandatory programs that are funded by existing laws, so they do not require an annual vote by Congress to keep running. This is separate from the many other agencies and departments that are currently at risk of being shut down if Congress fails to pass the bills that would keep them funded.

Read more  





Seniors and retirees,
make sure you’re not missing
any of these tax breaks

There are a few ways older Americans can reduce 
their taxable income and the amount 
they fork over to Uncle Sam every year.




By  Beth Braverman

Nearly all taxpayers would like to reduce their tax bill this April, but that may be particularly true for seniors and retirees who may be living on a fixed income.

It’s especially important for older Americans to reduce their taxable income as much as possible because doing so can also reduce the amount they must pay for Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. Medicare premiums are based on your taxable income from two years prior and increase when you move from a lower income bracket to a higher one.

Fortunately, there are several tax breaks that can help older Americans reduce their taxable income and the amount they fork over to Uncle Sam every year.


Read more  



Researchers sound the alarm
over finances of
‘forgotten middle’
 older adults

Researchers at the University of Chicago say that, 
without action, these people are 
at serious risk of a retirement crisis





By Chris Clow

Middle-income Americans who are 75 and older are at serious risk of a retirement crisis, according to a new research brief from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

“Our cumulative research has projected an impending crisis without a clear policy solution: a majority of middle-income older adults will be unlikely to afford needed care and housing in the next decade, potentially challenging their ability to age with dignity, choice, and independence,” the researchers stated.

Financial disparities are also varied across a series of racial and ethnic groups, the researchers found. Cohort members who are also people of color typically face larger disparities than their white counterparts. In 2020, people of color represented about 12% of the middle-income older adult population in the U.S., a figure that is expected to more than double to 25% by 2035.

Read more  




Recognizing
Mental Health Conditions 
in Older Adults

One in five older adults experiences 
a mental health condition, 
but many people are underdiagnosed or treated. 
Experts share tips on recognizing signs 
of mental illness among older adults.




By Elizabeth Hewitt

As clinical psychologist Dr. Douglas Lane has worked with patients into their 90s, many of them grapple with major questions about where they fit in life. Many have told him, "I don't even know who to be anymore."

The transitions that people go through as they age can be challenging, and raise deep existential questions, says Lane, a clinical professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. As older adults are going through changes, many factors can impact their mental health.

"Older adults are often overlooked, invisible, irrelevant, when it comes to mental health concerns and needs."

"We start developing as a child obviously, but we don't stop developing," Lane says. "Older age has its own unique developmental challenges and sometimes people have difficulty navigating those."

Read more  





86% of Older Americans
Credit Working With a
Financial Advisor to
Being Retirement Ready




By Maurie Backman

Retiring comfortably isn't a given. To get to that point, you generally have to work hard, save well, and make savvy investment decisions that lead to the accumulation of wealth.

Plenty of people feel equipped to handle retirement planning on their own. And you might strongly feel the same.

But in a recent Nationwide survey of older Americans, 86% said that working with a financial professional has helped improve their retirement readiness. If you've been tackling your retirement planning solo, you may want to have a change of heart.

The benefit of working with a professional

When you're saving and working toward an important goal like retirement, emotions can get in the way. You're apt to be emotionally invested in your own retirement because, well, it's your future on the line.

Read more  





A shareholder once asked 
Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger 
if Social Security
is a 'government-sponsored 
Ponzi scheme for retirees'
— their answer was received with 
laughter and applause





By Jing Pan

Social Security has long been a subject of intense discussion in America, but investing legend Warren Buffett’s position on the issue is unmistakably clear.

During Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway’s, annual shareholders meeting in 2005, an audience member posed a blunt question: “I’m asking for your opinion on Social Security. Shall we call it the government-sponsored Ponzi scheme for retirees?”

Buffett first clarified the true nature of Social Security.

Read more  










As we age, it's natural to assume that our plans for the future diminish or that we stop thinking about what lies ahead. However, that's not always the case. In fact, many of us old folks spend a great deal of time contemplating what's to come. And unfortunately, for a lot of us, the future doesn't look too bright.

From my perspective, there are only three possible paths when we consider what awaits us. And by the time we reach our late 60s or 70s, we usually have a pretty good idea of what the next few years will hold.

For those fortunate enough to have good health, whether through taking care of ourselves or having good genetics, we can envision a relatively active future. We see ourselves continuing to do the things we've always enjoyed, whether it's traveling, hiking, playing sports, or simply appreciating the world around us. We know that nothing lasts forever, but why dwell on that?

On the other hand, for those of us who are really getting up there in age and can feel our health slowly slipping away, the future feels all too close and real. By our mid-sixties or seventies, our health fate is pretty much sealed. We understand that the chronic conditions we've been managing won't magically disappear, and in fact, they'll likely worsen over time. No amount of medication can halt their progression or the negative impact they'll have on our bodies. We can only anticipate a restricted lifestyle marked by limited mobility, declining eyesight and hearing, and increasing discomfort and pain.

It's not the most uplifting outlook, but it's the reality for many of us as we age.

Unfortunately, there is a third, and possibly the scariest and most depressing future scenario. It's the one where we end up in a nursing home or palliative care facility, confined to bed, eating mashed-up food, connected to some device incessantly beeping, and listening to the moans of the other poor souls around us. I've experienced that environment, and let me tell you, it's not a pleasant sight. The mere thought of that being my ultimate fate only adds to my already stressed psyche. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to have a massive heart attack, resisting all efforts at resuscitation or, peacefully pass away in my own bed, unaware that anything has changed.

Today, I adhered to my care plan by undergoing a blood draw and submitting a urine sample. Soon, my doctor will assess the test results and compare them to those from six months ago. If everything remains unchanged, I will consider myself fortunate and maintain the current state of affairs. However, if the numbers deviate from what is expected for someone my age, it could indicate that I am heading towards potential issues. Will I experience a sudden downfall or encounter a significant obstacle? Only the passage of time will reveal the answer. But, as always. I will try to maintain a positive outlook throughout this process. ….









Here Are 5 Ways
to Help Fill
Costly Holes in
Your Retirement Plan






To find out, Athene polled 730 people in or near retirement about their financial planning for their post-career lives. Many of them, ages 55 and older, have the basics covered. But it’s another story when it comes to more complex money issues, such as how to safely withdraw money from savings and managing the cost of long-term care.

Here are five ways to help address potential gaps in your retirement planning: 

Safely draw from retirement accounts

It’s possible to spend 30 or more years in retirement. And one complex decision is how to tap IRAs, 401(k)s and other investment accounts — where most people hold their retirement savings — without depleting this money too quickly. 

Our survey found that 46% of pre-retirees and 27% of retirees haven’t devised a withdrawal strategy.

Read more   





New GOP House Speaker
Mike Johnson Has Proposed
Trillions in Cuts to Social Security
and Medicare



BY JAKE JOHNSON

The newly elected Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has previously proposed trillions of dollars in cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and suggested that slashing the programs should be the top priority of Congress.

During his tenure as chair of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) between 2019 and 2021, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) helped craft budget resolutions that called for roughly $2 trillion in Medicare cuts, $3 trillion in Medicaid and Affordable Care Act cuts, and $750 billion in Social Security Cuts, noted Bobby Kogan of the Center for American Progress.

Alex Lawson, executive director of the progressive advocacy group Social Security Works, said in a Wednesday statement following the speakership vote that the budget proposals released by the Johnson-led RSC also endorsed raising the Social Security retirement age, lowering annual cost-of-living benefit increases, and advancing privatization efforts.

Read more   





Scientists studying
oldest woman in the world, 116,
to develop cures for diseases



By Charlie Jones

Scientists are studying the oldest person in the world - a 116-year-old woman - in an attempt to discover the secrets to a long life and to develop cures for ailments.

Maria Branyas, who was born in San Francisco, has few health complications apart from hearing and mobility issues. She has no cardiovascular problems which often plague old people and no memory issues.

She has gathered a number of followers on X (formerly Twitter ) where she's recalled beating Covid, surviving the Spanish Civil War and even a deadly earthquake in the US.

Dr Manel Esteller, director of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC-CERCA) and a professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona, said: "She’s incredible."

Read more  



Sleeping less than 
five hours a night
can raise depression risk,
 study suggests



By Hannah Devlin

Sleeping less than five hours a night could raise the risk of developing symptoms of depression, research suggests.

The link between poor sleep and mental ill health is well known, but it has been unclear which problem tends to come first. Now scientists have found evidence that consistent short sleep at night can be a precursor to developing depressive symptoms.

“We have this chicken or egg scenario between suboptimal sleep duration and depression. They frequently co-occur, but which comes first is largely unresolved. Using genetic susceptibility to disease we determined that sleep likely precedes depressive symptoms, rather than the inverse,” said Odessa Hamilton, a PhD candidate at UCL and first author of the research.

Read more  




11 ESSENTIAL THINGS 
TO CONSIDER
BEFORE STARTING 
A BUSINESS IN YOUR 60S



BY DOUGLAS WINSLOW COOPER

Many people hope to own their own business, but very few do. In addition, women around the world are hesitant to become entrepreneurs because they feel they lack confidence and resources.

A successful European businessman, Patrick Gruhn, published a fine book a few years ago, Good Business, written primarily for his daughter. However, his ideas apply to would-be entrepreneurs of all ages.

Gruhn favors cooperation versus competition in business. Believing that women tend toward nurture and men toward battle, he wants to see more women in entrepreneurial positions.

Read more  








Too Many Springfields?

Does the US have too many Springfields? Some are saying yes after a tragic mix-up last week involving two different Springfields and Trader Joe’s.

On Thursday, a newspaper in Springfield, MO, wrote that a Trader Joe’s was opening in the city after a TJ’s spokesperson confirmed “plans to open a new store in Springfield.” But shortly after, the spokesperson had to apologize, saying she thought the paper was in Springfield, VA, where the store is actually opening, in a major disappointment to the Missouri Springfieldians who had long requested a Trader Joe’s.

This saga offers an opportunity to point out that Springfield is not the most common city name in the US. That would be Franklin, followed by Clinton, Madison, and Washington in a three-way tie for second, per the USPS.








NEXT BLOG
FRIDAY MARCH 1, 2024
©2024 Bruce Cooper









-30-

*************

A



THIS BLOG IS BEST VIEWED IN
LANDSCAPE MODE


PUBLISHED EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY




Monday, February 26, 2024


Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com


 “Being single is about celebrating 
and appreciating 
your own space that you’re in.” 
– Kelly Rowland








Why do we talk about
older people so negatively?




BY STACY TORRES


While pundits debate President Biden’s cognitive fitness for office and the possible motivations behind prejudicial language contained in special counsel Robert K. Hur’s classified documents report, the rest of us have a different problem: the “elderly.”

Older people themselves aren’t the issue, but the way we talk about them is. We must change the language our society uses to describe older adults.


Read more  





The One Thing You Should
Never, Ever Do if 
You're Over 60
and Want to Keep 
Your Heart Healthy




By Beth Ann Mayer

There's a reason the heart is nicknamed the "ticker." It helps us keep on ticking, hopefully well into old age. However, if your birthday cake is pretty crowded these days, you may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease. 

The National Institute on Aging states that people 65+ have a higher risk than their younger peers of experiencing heart health issues, including strokes and heart attacks.

You may not love this news, but there are reasons our heart health can start to decline as we get up there in age.

"As we get older, there is stiffening of the artery, accumulation of plaque in the arterial walls, and changes in heart muscles leading to cardiovascular disease," explains Dr. Bernardo Acevedo-Mendez, MD, FACP of North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Read more  




Changing The Way
Doctors Talk To Patients
About Dementia





By Howard Gleckman


Too often, physicians are reluctant to give patients a diagnosis of dementia, even when cognitive testing shows memory loss or other symptoms. And when doctors do provide a candid diagnosis, they may send their patients and their families home without any guidance for what to do next. No practical advice. No sense of hope. And too often, not even any empathy.

That needs to change. And to help improve the way doctors talk to patients and their families about dementia, a team at the University of Florida School of Medicine led by Dr. Melissa Armstrong have identified best practices for physicians to communicate a dementia diagnosis to patients and their families. Their results were published in the journal Neurology Clinical Practice (paywall), the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and accompanied by a largely supportive editorial (paywall).

For Any Physicians

The project included physicians, a person living with dementia, family caregivers, and advocates. The result was a set of specific, actionable recommendations. For now, these are only suggestions, and not formal clinal guidelines. But Armstrong says she and her research partners are looking to incorporate the ideas in training programs for medical residents and other young doctors.


Read more  





Lawrence O'Donnell Ends
The Argument On
Biden's Age, Period

Why would we want to fire someone 
who is doing a damn good job?





By Conover Kennard

The attacks on President Biden's age in the media have been unfair. There is only a three-year difference in age between the GOP frontrunner (let's face it, Lumpy will be nominated) and the President, and yet, only one is being asked to step down. I'm looking at you, Ezra Klein. Why would we want to fire someone who is doing a damn good job?

Biden is the most forward-thinking President in recent history and is keeping his promises. Student debt is being forgiven, infrastructure week is here, and Biden is not giving unneeded tax breaks to the wealthiest. He was old when we elected him, so it's no surprise that he's old now, three years later. But he's getting the job done. And he's out fundraising Trump by far, and without selling tacky sneakers.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell took a hammer and absolutely nailed in on the ageist attacks. "The job is to make decisions, not speeches," he said. "History writes about the decisions. That's what matters."


Read more  





Study says 
some cognitive skills
in elderly Americans 
improve with time




By Mallika Marshall, MD




We often hear about cognitive decline as we age but a new study says some cognitive skills may actually improve with time.

With the 2024 election looming, there has been a lot of discussion about whether older candidates are mentally fit to serve as president. But according to an article in STAT News, there is some data to suggest that in many ways, we get wiser as we get older.

In fact, a study in 2012 found that elderly Americans were better at recognizing multiple perspectives, acknowledging the limits of their personal knowledge, and understanding the importance of compromise. And while short-term memory tends to wane with age, learned experience helps the elderly avoid certain pitfalls in life, like saying or doing the wrong thing. They also tend to be more emotionally stable, calmer when making decisions and are better able to navigate social conflict.

So don't assume just because someone is 75 or 80 years old that they're losing their marbles. Instead, remember that with old age, comes great wisdom.

Read more  





Are our fears of
saying ‘no’ overblown?






By Julian Givi & Colleen P. Kirk


Everyone has been there. You get invited to something that you absolutely do not want to attend – a holiday party, a family cookout, an expensive trip. But doubts and anxieties creep into your head as you weigh whether to decline.

You might wonder if you’ll upset the person who invited you. Maybe it’ll harm the friendship, or they won’t extend an invite to the next get-together.

Should you just grit your teeth and go? Or are you worrying more than you should about saying “no”?

Read more  











If you happen to be a baby boomer, you've experienced the atomic age throughout most of your life. Additionally, you've also lived with the constant fear of nuclear destruction for nearly the same amount of time.

The era known as the "Atomic Age" began roughly when the U.S. deployed an atomic bomb on Japan, specifically on August 6th, 1945, just a few days before I came into this world. It would take another 4 years (August, 1949) for our main adversary, the Soviet Union, to detonate their first A-bomb, introducing a threat to humanity that still persists today.

Have you ever paused to contemplate this? There have been numerous instances where we have all sensed that our world could end suddenly. The only thing preventing complete devastation for our species is the mutual decision to refrain from using nuclear weapons to settle disputes. Up to this point, the Russian leadership, despite their intimidating behavior, have been rational actors. The same can be said for our own leaders. However, the situation has changed. The threat of nuclear war is no longer limited to rogue nations like North Korea, but also includes the two major global powers. The idea of Mutually Assured Destruction, which once served as a deterrent, may soon lose its effectiveness. In fact, it is already happening right in front of us.

Make no mistake. Vladimir Putin is not your old-line Khrushchev-era Russian. Unlike those old hardline Commies whose tenure in office could end faster than you can say dasvidania, Putin holds absolute power over the government. He is, in all sense of the word, a dictator. A dictator who has no problem eliminating any rivals with the stroke of a pen (or most likely, a phone call). And who is his biggest fan? America’s own wannabe tyrant Donald “I’ll be a dictator on my first day in office”, J. Trump. Honestly, do you trust either of those two with the nuclear launch codes?

Back when we were kids, we used to engage in "Duck and Cover" drills, where we would seek shelter under our school desks, protecting our heads until given the signal to emerge. Back then, we had faith that these flimsy one-inch wooden desks would shield us from the devastating impact of a nuclear bomb. Regrettably, there are still individuals who cling to this belief. Some of these individuals may even be supporters of Trump, who, if he were to decide on employing a nuclear weapon against China or the A-rabs, would do so without considering the potential consequences of retaliation from his ally Vlad. The MAGA movement often exhibits a lack of political awareness and understanding of global issues.

As members of the baby boomer generation, we have faced difficult times throughout our lives. Apart from a brief period after WWII, we have not known real peace. Despite this, we have always had faith in our government and leaders. Unfortunately, that trust has waned in today's society. Our leaders now seem more focused on their own agendas or the interests of a specific group of supporters, rather than the well-being of the entire nation. The outcome of this year's presidential election is more than just choosing our next leader; it could have a profound impact on the future of the world as well ....








How does technology
impact nutrition management
in older adults?




By Tarun Sai Lomte


In a recent study published in Nutrients, researchers reviewed existing evidence on the use of technology in managing the nutrition of older adults.

In the United States (US), 25% of the population is aged ≥ 65, and many cannot use technology. However, studies report that computer-based assessment systems and assistive robots can improve nutrition awareness in older populations.

Physiological changes in musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological systems are part of aging and major factors in age-associated chronic illnesses.

An optimal diet can enhance lifespan and independence and reduce healthcare costs. Health status may vary among older people; technology could help manage this variability and the nutrition care process. Government-funded meal and health support programs are intended to address the nutritional status of older people.

Read more   




Latest bed sensor innovations
are from outer space, literally




By Aaron Dorman

The film “2001: A Space Odyssey” concludes with an old man sitting in bed, about to transform into a star child.

While not quite as dramatic, a new sensor for bedridden seniors has been derived from technology initially used to help build and repair the International Space Station. 

The bed sensor, named Smart Bed Occupant Sensor or BOSFAL, is built into an innovative, flexible mat that is intended to go on top of a mattress and can detect deformations in the material caused by the bed user’s movements. The goal is to address comfort and positioning in the bed to reduce the incidence of bed sores. 

Bedsores and pressure injuries are a common concern with seniors. Around 11% of nursing home residents develop pressure ulcers, which often demand further treatment, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Learn more  




3 Positive Changes Seniors
on Social Security
Can Look Forward to in 2024



By Maurie Backman


- Social Security's rules can shift from one year to the next.
- While it will get harder to qualify for Social Security
 in 2024, on a positive note, benefits are going up.
- Seniors also get more leeway to earn money while collecting benefits.


While not every change coming in the new year is a positive one, these factors are all a plus.
Although Social Security has been around for many decades, the program's rules aren't set in stone. Rather, they can change from one year to the next. But that doesn't mean every Social Security change that comes down the pike is a positive one.

In 2024, it will become harder for workers to qualify for Social Security. That's because eligibility for benefits hinges on earning a certain number of lifetime work credits. And in 2024, the amount of earnings needed for a single work credit is increasing.

The wage cap for Social Security taxes is also getting a lift in 2024. Higher earners may not like the fact that beginning next year, wages of up to $168,600 will be taxable for Social Security purposes. That's an increase of $8,400, compared to the $160,200 cap that's in place for 2023.

Read more   




Should Retirees
Pay Off All of Their Debt?

Before you put a match to your mortgage, 
think about whether 
you will have enough liquid assets for
 emergencies — and routine expenses





By Terri Williams

America, by and large, is a country in debt. Total household debt in the U.S. rose to $17.05 trillion in the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mortgage balances were at $12.04 trillion, auto loans were at $1.56 trillion and credit card balances stood at $986 billion.

Debt-free living is the goal of many retirees (as well as many people who are still working). But is this really the best use of your funds? Here are some factors to consider if you're a retiree thinking of paying off all of your debt.

Interest Rates Rule: 

The interest rate on the debt is always a consideration — whether it's your home, car, credit card debt or other type of loan. "If the debt carries a high interest rate, such as credit card debt, it's usually a good idea to pay it off as soon as possible to avoid accumulating more interest," says Kortney Ziegler, CEO and founder of WellMoney and a Stanford University Fellow.

Read more    


  

5 EASY TIPS FOR
TAKING BETTER PICTURES
WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE


BY KARIN VAN MIERLO

Smartphone photography is often associated with quick and easy snapping away. That’s because you can just walk around, point at something, click – and there’s your photo! 

I’d like to take a different approach to smartphone photography. It is amazing that modern technology has put a camera in the back pocket of so many people. But I also know that it takes a lot more than the push of a button to make a photo that has meaning. 

Wouldn’t it be great if by just a few adjustments you could elevate your smartphone photos from a simple record of the events and people in your life to photos that tell a story, have meaning, and are still beautiful to look at years from now?

Learn more   








U.S. leads the world in ‘solo aging’

The United States has the greatest number of seniors – those aged 60 and older – living alone, or “solo aging,” than in any other area of the world, according to a Pew Research Center study: 27% of adults over the age of 60, compared to an average of 16% in the 130 countries studied. 

The study found many older adults in the Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa regions live with extended family members – 50% and 51%, respectively – followed closely by the Latin American and Middle East-North Africa regions, 41% and 39% respectively. In the U.S., only 6% of older adults live with extended family. 

MORE 









NEXT BLOG
WEDNESDAY FEB. 28, 2024

©2024 Bruce Cooper







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*************





THIS BLOG IS BEST VIEWED IN
LANDSCAPE MODE


PUBLISHED EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY




Friday, February 23, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“The baby boomers owe a big debt of gratitude to the 
parents and grandparents - who we haven't given enough 
credit to anyway - for giving us another generation.”

Steven Spielberg








Jimmy Carter’s one year in hospice
sparks conversation about
hospice care myths

A former U.S. president has changed the idea of hospice care
 after it’s been one year since he’s been living with assistance.






A former U.S. president has changed the idea of hospice care after it’s been one year since he’s been living with assistance.

Former president Jimmy Carter’s one year in hospice has cleared misconceptions that people might have about what hospice care really is.

The 39th United States president lives in hospice care in his Georgia home and completed one year of the service on Sunday. The amount of time Carter has spent in hospice care questioned some of the myths that revolve around the topic.

Hospice care is a service for people with illnesses who choose whether or not to continue treatment for their illnesses, according to the National Institute on Aging. Illnesses often seen include cancer, cardiac failure, Alzheimer’s, end-stage dementia and pulmonary patients. The institute states eligible people for hospice care generally live 6 months or less.


Read more  




What to do about debt 
in retirement





A growing number of older adults are in debt in retirement, according to the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve. Among people ages 65 to 74, the share with debt rose to 65% in 2022, up from 50% in 1989 (the first time this question was asked). For people 75 and over, 53% report holding debt in 2022 versus 21% in 1989. This is a big challenge, since people’s income in retirement is traditionally limited. But there are strategies for tackling your balance sheet later in life.

Take note: Not all debt is bad debt. “It’s not necessarily the worst thing to have,” says Jack Heintzelman, a certified financial planner in Boston. If it’s debt that earns you a tax deduction, he says, like a mortgage, it may be fine to hang onto it while you give your money elsewhere a chance to grow.

Read more  





Meet the 'Beatlemania boomers.'
They face a looming 
retirement crisis





By Daniel de Visé



The youngest baby boomers, born in the era that spawned Beatlemania, face a looming retirement crisis, researchers have found.

"Late boomers," Americans born between 1960 and 1965, have less retirement wealth, and much less retirement savings, than either older boomers or “war babies,” generations born between 1942 and 1959, according to a recent paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

To compare wealth, researchers examined different generational groups at the same age range, adjusting for inflation.

A decade ago, at ages 51 to 56, the average “late boomer” had about $280,000 in combined wealth from Social Security, pension benefits and 401(k)-type retirement plans, in inflation-adjusted dollars. The calculation covers households in the middle 20% by wealth.

Read more  




If you want to age in place 
in retirement,
experts say these are the things
you should consider




By Lorie Konish



KEY POINTS

- Most adults want to stay in their homes as they age.
But many don’t properly plan to do so.
Here’s how experts say you can fix that.

Most adults ages 50 and up — 77% — want to stay in their homes long term, according to AARP.

Yet many are putting off the necessary improvements and upgrades to their homes to make that possible.

“People might say, ‘I want to age in place as the default plan, because that’s what I’m already doing,’” said Carol Chiang, CEO of Evolving Homes, a company providing personalized consulting for individuals and families who want to age in place.

Read more  




Baby boomers are approaching
'peak burden' on the economy





By Jennifer Sor

The baby-boomer "time bomb" is finally upon us, economists say.

All boomers will be at least 65 soon, the generation's point of "peak burden" on the economy.
Future generations can take solace in the fact that no boomer-size generations are in the making.
A time bomb has been ticking in the US.

It's the baby boomers, who as they age are approaching their "peak burden" years in regard to their drag on the economy and the resources of younger generations.

Read more  




Food and longevity

People on this island in Italy 
live to 100
—here’s a look at their diet 
for longevity





By Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner

Sardinia, Italy is one of the world’s five “Blue Zones” — or places around the world where an unusually large number of people live to 100 or longer.

For these vibrant Sardinian senior citizens, what they eat plays an important role in longevity. But you don’t need to live in Italy to get these culinary health benefits.

Here’s how to eat like a Sardinian for a longer life:

1. Use Sardinian-inspired ingredients
Meat is used sparingly, and much of the food in Sardinia is locally grown, and generally free of pesticides, hormones, dyes or sugars.

Here’s exactly what you’ll find on a typical Sardinian menu:...

Learn more  








Despite that there are nearly 200 other residents and probably 100 staff members at the A.L.F. And nobody is more than a few yards away from another person at any given time, it is unfortunate that there are still many lonely and isolated individuals here. The reasons for this vary greatly among the people who experience it. However, there are some common underlying causes that affect many older individuals.

Social isolation and loneliness are often overlooked as serious public health risks that impact a significant portion of the adult population. While social isolation can contribute to feelings of loneliness, it's important to note that some individuals actually prefer solitude (such as hermits). On the other hand, having social relationships does not guarantee protection against loneliness, as the quality and meaning of those relationships are crucial. Even in the best of circumstances, many people still experience feelings of loneliness. Shockingly, around 24% of Americans aged 65 and older who live in the community are considered socially isolated, and a significant number of adults in the United States report feeling lonely (35% of adults aged 45 and older, and 43% of adults aged 60 and older).

Our activities staff here put in a lot of effort to fight loneliness by arranging games, parties, movie nights, and the beloved Ice Cream Social day. It's a bit disheartening though, because despite their best efforts, some residents choose to keep to themselves and ignore the fun happening around them.

When I first arrived here, knowing that this would most likely be my home for the rest of my life, I must admit I felt a deep sense of abandonment and loss. For weeks, I secluded myself, finding solace in books, TV, and sleep. But soon enough, I realized that this was not the person I wanted to become. I didn't want to be that bitter old man who nobody cared to speak to. So, I made a conscious decision to seek out like-minded individuals or at least those with a sense of humor. Let me tell you, it wasn't an easy task. Most residents seemed to have lost their joy of living a long time ago. However, after some time, I managed to find a small group of three or four people who truly understood me. They laughed at my silly jokes and had their own opinions on the world around us. Some of them are still my friends to this day, but sadly, many have passed away. It's a harsh reality one must face in such an environment.

If you're reading this, chances are you already have the skills and determination to make the best out of any situation you find yourself in. And if, in the future, you ever need long term care, you'll know to surround yourself with trustworthy individuals. It may not be easy though, as many older people are wary of overly friendly people. Just be patient and soon enough, you'll have more friends than you know what to do with.

***

Another weekend is here, and for some, it'll be filled with sunshine and happiness. For others, it might be a bit gloomy and chilly. But don't worry, spring is just around the corner (March 19th). Hang in there! …..

*We use “A.L.F.” as an abbreviation for Assisted Living Facility. A.L.F's serve persons who are medically eligible for nursing home placement but serves them in a less medically intensive, lower cost setting







Unlocking Independence:
The overlooked option in elder care –
Level 1 Assisted Living





Her husband gone, Paula moved thousands of miles away from her children and grandchildren to live with her aged mother, who refused to leave her own home. Although healthy and rational, her mother can no longer take care of it—or herself. 

Many years ago, Alfred promised his wife he would never put her in “one of those places.” Gradually, after she stopped being able to dress herself, cook or remember where she put things, he took on more of their daily tasks. One day, when he was in the next room folding laundry, she fell and broke her hip. He was physically unable to care for her after that, and she ended up in a nursing home anyway. 

These names have been changed to protect the innocent. Not innocent as in not guilty; innocent in the sense of unaware—of missed opportunities and future consequences.

Read more   




Doing your homework on
home health care company
during search process




BY STEVE MARK

If you’ve reached the point when your loved one needs in-home health care, there are a myriad of items you’ll have to have answered. Nadine Glatley, owner of Rent-A-Daughter, offers a must to-do questionnaire list when shopping for help.

“These are the first questions most families ask and they are important for families to know,” Glatley said. “First, of course, is how much the service costs. They want to know how long you’ve been in business. They want to know, ‘Are you licensed, bonded and insured in the state of Ohio?’ That’s very, very important.

“They want to know what kind of caregivers we have, and if we have companionship all the way to the end of life. They want to know about training, and if our aides are experienced in dementia care, or even Parkinson’s. Those are very good questions worth asking.”

Read more   




Does chicken soup really help
when you’re sick?

A nutrition specialist explains what’s 
behind the beloved comfort food




By Colby Teeman


Preparing a bowl of chicken soup for a loved one when they’re sick has been a common practice throughout the world for centuries. Today, generations from virtually every culture swear to the benefits of chicken soup. In the U.S., the dish is typically made with noodles, but different cultures prepare the soothing remedy their own way.

Chicken soup as a therapy can be traced back to 60 A.D. and Pedanius Dioscorides, an army surgeon who served under the Roman emperor Nero, and whose five-volume medical encyclopedia was consulted by early healers for more than a millennium. But the origins of chicken soup go back thousands of years earlier, to ancient China.

So, with cold and flu season in full swing, it’s worth asking: Is there any science to back the belief that it helps? Or does chicken soup serve as just a comforting placebo, that is, providing psychological benefit while we’re sick, without an actual therapeutic benefit?

Learn more   





What the 2023 
America’s Health Rankings
Reveal About Senior Health




The United Health Foundation has released its 2023 Senior Report, which provides an in-depth look at the health of older adults. This is the eleventh Senior Report released, creating a rich data history that allows for the review of older adult health progresses and setbacks.

The 2023 report examines key measures that impact Americans as they age, including the availability of communal support, access to health care resources, and specific health issues like cognitive impairment. Individual state summaries are also available, providing a benchmark that organizations can use when setting goals. The report also includes valuable information for senior care communities.

The report utilizes data from multiple sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool. Many of the measures include data from 2021, so the report reflects some of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early Death....

Read more   




This Is the Surprising Truth
About the Future of
Social Security




By Chuck Saletta



KEY POINTS:

Social Security's trust funds are expected to empty in 2034, slashing benefits by around 20%.

The program's status as the "Third Rail" of American politics makes it hard to get a fix in place until the situation is truly dire.


Higher taxes, lower benefits, or some combination of both are likely in the future for that critical retirement program.

Social Security is often called the Third Rail of American Politics. It earned that nickname because it acts to politicians somewhat like the power-carrying third rail of an electrified train: touch it, and your political career dies.

With that kind of reputation, you might think that the program is in fairly good shape. On the surface, with about $2.833 trillion in its trust funds as of the end of August, 2023, it would certainly seem that way. Unfortunately, the surprising truth about the future of Social Security is that if Congress does nothing, those trust funds are expected to empty by 2034, cutting benefits by around 20%. 

Read more   








BOOMERS STAYING PUT

According to a report from real estate brokerage Redfin, nearly 40% of baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) have been in their current homes for at least 20 years as they wait for mortgage rates to come down. That’s up from 24% in 2012. Another 16% have stayed between 10 and 19 years. Meanwhile, the average US homeowner has lived in their house for 12 years, almost twice as long as in 2005, Bloomberg reported. The Great Boomer Dawdling is largely to blame for the market’s inventory shortage, making it harder for younger first-time buyers to find a home.






NEXT BLOG
MONDAY FEB. 26, 2024
©2024 Bruce Cooper









-30-

*************





THIS BLOG IS BEST VIEWED IN
LANDSCAPE MODE


PUBLISHED EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY




Wednesday, February 21, 2024



Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com




“My doctor told me to stop having 
intimate dinners for four. 
Unless there are three other people.”

 Orson Welles







Health care costs climb for retirees.
See how much they need to save,
even with Medicare




By Medora Lee

What would you and your spouse do with $351,000 when you retire?  

That may sound like a nice nest egg, but you may need every penny just to cover health care costs in retirement, including Medicare premiums and drugs after insurance pays its part, according to recent research. 

And that figure is conservative, the research notes. 

Americans already lack retirement savings. A New York Life survey of 2,202 adults last month showed only 4 in 10 have a nest egg, even though 74% expect to retire at 64. That shortfall means many retirees may find their golden years tarnished by financial stress.  


Read more  



Why Your Joints
Ache More in 
Colder Weather —
And What to Do About It




By Taneia Surles,

Have you ever noticed that your joints ache more when the temperatures start to dip?

You’re not alone. A handful of surveys and studies show that individuals with the most common form of arthritis — known as osteoarthritis, which affects nearly 33 million U.S. adults — experience more joint pain in colder weather. And the reason isn’t straightforward.

Here’s a look at why your joints may be crankier in colder weather — and what you can do to help alleviate the discomfort.

Dips in air pressure and physical activity:

One reason for more seasonal soreness may have to do with the change in barometric pressure, or the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere.

Read more  




Independent living residents
seek same rights as
assisted living residents




By Kimberly Bonvissuto



Independent living residents in Washington state, through a series of proposed bills, are hoping to gain access to the same rights and services afforded their assisted living counterparts.

SB 5640 would establish a residents’ rights work group to recommend a bill of rights for “nonresidents,” people (independent living residents) who live in unlicensed rooms within an assisted living community in Washington state. Currently, nonresidents may receive certain services from an assisted living community, but they are not afforded the same services and protections as residents.

The Independent Living Residents’ Work Group would be charged with creating a bill of rights that would allow nonresidents to have a process to resolve disputes regarding contracted services with assisted living owners and management.

Read more  





Free College Tuition
for Seniors by State 2024





Most states have a program for senior citizens to take college classes for free. The only states that do not have this program are Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, and South Dakota. However, even in these states, seniors can take classes for a greatly reduced cost at many universities.

Some states, Colorado, Louisiana, and Tennessee, allow people to take advantage of this free tuition at the age of 55. The rest of the states begin free tuition for those between 60 and 65 years old. Some states do charge registration or program fees, but these programs allow senior citizens to take college classes for close to nothing.

States With Good Free-Tuition Programs:

California -
The Californian state university system is one of the most popular programs for senior citizens. Although it is typically viewed as a time to relax and take things slow, seniors shouldn't need to fight the stigma of being bored or feeling unneeded in their older age. With years of experience behind them in specific fields, seniors may feel it is time to pursue other passions now that they may have more time to dedicate to their projects.

Read more  








READING OPTIONS
WHEN SIGHT IS AN ISSUE





BY PAM LAMP

Thanks to an issue with my right eye, I struggle to read an actual book. As problems go, it’s a tiny one. It’s also solvable. 

I read newspapers and magazines on a tablet. For books, I rely on my trusty Kindle. With both devices, I can adjust the font size, lighting, and contrast. I know I’m not the only one who has difficulty navigating traditionally published and printed books.

We’re lucky to live in a time where we have so many choices for our reading pleasure…

Large Print Books-

The good news? Large print books are in demand, so they do still exist. The bad news? They are expensive for publishers to print and customers to purchase. In recent years, publishing houses have offered fewer and fewer large print options in their catalogs. “The choices are becoming more precious,” said one bookseller.

Learn more  








On May 17th, 2009, I parked my car in front of my apartment building, not realizing it would be the final time I would ever drive it. The following day, I found myself in a local hospital receiving treatment for an illness that would eventually require surgery, altering my life forever.

After spending months in a hospital bed, the thought of driving no longer crossed my mind. It was strange how something I had been doing for nearly 50 years suddenly lost its significance. But that's just how I felt. I understand that for many people, the idea of giving up driving is unthinkable. Some may even react with hostility at the mere suggestion. However, when is the right time to hand over the keys? It's a difficult decision for many of us seniors.

I had a few reasons for calling it quits on my driving days. The first one was pretty straightforward - I didn't have a car anymore, and even if I did, I couldn't afford to keep it. Buying a new one was out of the question. The second reason was more technical - my license had expired, and I needed to make a trip to the DMV to renew it. But the biggest reason for me hanging up the keys was that I didn't feel confident in my ability to drive safely anymore. My eyesight wasn't what it used to be, my reflexes had slowed down, and my hearing wasn't great (even though it's not a driving requirement). I'm actually deaf in one ear, and I think it's important to have all your senses sharp when you're cruising down the highway at 70 mph. But how do you know when it’s time. There are signs.

There isn't a set age when someone becomes "too old" to drive. However, as people get older, their physical and mental skills might decline, impacting their driving abilities. Some signs that someone might be too old to drive include:

1. Slower reaction time
2. Poor eyesight or hearing
3. Trouble remembering or following traffic rules
4. More frequent near misses or accidents
5. Feeling anxious or scared while driving
6. Struggling to check blind spots by turning their head or neck

It's crucial for seniors to regularly evaluate their driving skills and have honest conversations with family members or healthcare providers about whether it's time to reduce or stop driving. Ultimately, safety should always come first when deciding if someone is too old to drive.

The official reasons for why elderly individuals should stop driving are just the tip of the iceberg. We might justify it by saying we need our cars for errands, social visits, or volunteering. But deep down, losing the ability to drive signifies a loss of independence and a reminder of aging. It forces us to rely on others, similar to our teenage years when our parents chauffeured us around, much to our embarrassment.

Unfortunately, the moment will come when you have to pass on the keys. It's better if it's your choice and not someone else's. The only comfort is knowing you made the right decision. You can also find solace in the fact that you were able to drive during a time when cars had character and names like GTO, Charger, T-bird, and 442. …













5 REASONS WHY
ADOPTING A PET
IN RETIREMENT
MAY BE RIGHT FOR YOU





BY MOLLY WISNIEWSKI

Socialization is fun, and many reports state that remaining active and social as older adults can keep us healthy and help us to live longer. But what happens when it’s no longer just as simple as hopping in the car and going?

Isolation is a genuine and even dangerous reality to the aging community. Without proactive solutions, many people could easily find themselves in this position. Adopting a pet can help you give back to your community and has the added benefits of keeping you company!

Are there benefits to getting a pet after retirement?

For those of us who want to gallivant around the world, adopting a dog or cat may not be the best option – unless you have someone who can watch them while you are away.

Learn more  




A Senior’s Guide to
Financial Scams
(And How to Avoid Them)

Many financial scams specifically target seniors. 
Knowing what the warning signs are for each of these 
scams can help you avoid falling for them.





Edited By Kim Borwick


Increasingly more technology in our day-to-day lives has brought more opportunity for scam artists to increase the amount and type of scams they perform. From pretending to be a loved one to posing as a government employee, there are many ways scammers can trick you into giving up confidential personal and financial information.

No matter how new, attractive or promising a scam may sound, the result is always the same: you lose money. Knowing the warning signs will help you avoid being scammed, thus protecting the money you’ve worked long and hard for.

Why Are Seniors Susceptible to Financial Scams?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seniors account for more than $3 billion in annual losses due to fraud. While they aren’t the only ones falling for these scams and losing money, there are a few reasons seniors can be susceptible to them.

Read more   




How Mediterranean diet
and exercise can help
older adults with body fat,
muscle mass





Researchers report that older adults who followed a lower calorie Mediterranean diet and increased their physical activity had improvements to body composition.

When people age, their body composition changes with an increase in total fat and a reduction in lean muscle mass.
Experts say the Mediterranean diet has numerous health benefits.

A lower calorie Mediterranean diet coupled with physical activity may reduce body fat and prevent muscle loss in older adults.

That’s according to new research Trusted Source published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

In their study, researchers reported that study participants who followed the Mediterranean diet and increased their aerobic physical activity had an improvement in body composition.

Read more   





How Hearing Loss
Affects the Mental Health
of Older Adults





A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Lexie Hearing finds 64% of older adults, aged 50 and older, report hearing difficulty, but only 14% have tried hearing aids and nearly a quarter have never had a formal hearing test.

The online survey measured hearing care attitudes and behaviors of more than 1,000 adults aged 50 and older in the U.S. nearly a year after over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids were made available by the FDA.

Those who report having hearing difficulties cite a range of negative impacts on their overall and mental health, relationships, and day-to-day lives. Specifically:

Read more   




At What Age Do You
Become A Senior Citizen?





By Jennifer Lagemann

According to the U.S. Census, there are more than 55 million people over the age of 65 in the U.S.[1]

While many people have come to equate age 65 with the term “senior citizen,” it’s a distinction worth exploring—or perhaps debating. For some, it could simply mean reaching retirement age. Meanwhile, others may see becoming a senior citizen as a period of life defined by exploring new interests, spending more time with loved ones or rediscovering old passions. Regardless, there are specific milestones that signify you’ve reached that special age.

Read on to explore various landmarks, benefits and perks available to a person in their golden years—and at what age they’re up for grabs.


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11 Things You Can Do Online
Via the Social Security Website





By Shawna Brown


The Social Security Administration (SSA) website hosts a wealth of online tools that offer you convenient access to benefits information. To make the most of these tools, simply create a my Social Security account online. It is free to set up a mySSA account.

More than 65 million people are currently collecting Social Security benefits. Whether or not you are already receiving these benefits, there are numerous services you may be able to take advantage of through the SSA website. These include the following:

Determine whether you are eligible for Social Security – in less than 10 minutes.

Apply for Social Security benefits (Gather all the details that you’ll need to complete the application process, including your bank account information, recent employment history, your Social Security number, your spouse’s Social Security number, and the names of your eligible children).

Check on the status of your application.

Update changes to your name, phone number, email address, or mailing address.

Replace your Social Security card if you’ve misplaced it, damaged it, or have had it stolen.

Review your Social Security statements (View a sample statement).

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Adults Rate Their Primary 
Health Care Providers Highly

A short AARP survey revealed that nine in 10 (91%) U.S. adults ages 50 and older see a primary health care provider when they are sick, injured, need advice, or need a checkup. And nearly nine in 10 (87%) said they had visited their provider in the last year; three-quarters were able to get an appointment on their preferred date and time.

Adults were also asked about aspects of their most recent visit to their primary health care provider. Overall, on their most recent visit, most adults 50-plus had a positive experience with their provider, but even more adults 65-plus rated their visit positively. More than nine in 10 (93%) adults 65-plus said their provider explained things in an easy-to-understand manner, but eight in 10 (83%) adults 50–64 said the same thing.

Additionally, when judging the amount of time spent with them during their visit, significantly more adults 65-plus compared to adults 50–64 said their provider spent enough time with them (90% vs. 78%). Overall, seven in 10 (72%) adults 50-plus said their primary health care provider was prepared for the visit and had all their needed medical information. A comparison by age group revealed, however, that significantly fewer adults in the younger 50–64 age group felt their provider was prepared compared to adults in the 65-plus group (65% vs. 80%).

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FRIDAY FEB. 23, 2024
©2024 Bruce Cooper








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Monday, February 19, 2024




Email: TheSeniorLog@Protonmail.com



“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; 
wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
Miles Kington







Bad News
for Social Security Recipients:
Slowing Inflation Means
a Smaller COLA in 2025




By Vance Cariaga

Inflation is a double-edged sword for Social Security recipients. When inflation goes up, it cuts into the buying power of seniors who are on a fixed income. But it also leads to a higher cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that will boost next year’s Social Security payments. When inflation goes down it’s easier to pay the bills — but it leads to a lower COLA the following year. That’s how things are shaping up for 2025.

Although it is still early in 2024, recent inflation trends could mean a much smaller Social Security COLA next year. The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a nonpartisan seniors advocacy group, estimates that the 2025 COLA will be 1.75% in 2025 based on the January inflation report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report, issued this week, showed that the January CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) rose 2.9% from the previous year. That’s the index used to determine the annual COLA increase.

Read more  




Black and Hispanic
older adults in
‘Forgotten Middle’
are ‘worst off’




By Lois A. Bowers


.
Trends in home ownership and equity, income, health and other issues indicate that millions of middle-income Black, Hispanic or rural older adults may not have the financial resources they need to pay for senior living and healthcare expenses as they age in the coming years, according to the findings of a new study from NORC at the University of Chicago.

The information must be considered in future policies, say those affiliated with the research.

“Policymakers, as well as the healthcare and senior housing communities, have substantial work to do to ensure that race does not become a hindrance to aging well,” Sarita A. Mohanty, MD, MPH, MBA, president and CEO of the SCAN Foundation, said in a statement.

Read more  




Reducing unnecessary testing
or treatments in older patients




When a doctor ordered a routine prostate screening for an 80-year-old man -; as doctors often do -; a dramatic yellow alert popped up on the electronic health record with dire warnings. 

It flashed: "You are ordering a test that no guideline recommends. Screening with PSA can lead to harms from diagnostic and treatment procedures. If you proceed without a justification, the unnecessary test will be noted on the health record." 

This was the strategy Northwestern Medicine investigators tested to see if they could move the needle on the stubbornly persistent practice of ordering unnecessary screenings for older adults. Doctors got the message.

Read more  




Will My Retirement 
Plan Withdrawals
Impact My Social 
Security Benefits?





By Maurie Backman .



KEY POINTS:

- If you claim Social Security before reaching full retirement age, earnings from a job could result in having some benefits withheld.

- Withdrawals from a retirement plan won't affect your monthly benefit amount.

- The higher income that results from retirement plan withdrawals could leave you paying taxes on Social Security.


Gearing up to tap your IRA or 401(k)? Here's what you need to know about your Social Security income.
Many people work really hard to amass savings for retirement. So if you have a nice pile of cash in your IRA or 401(k), you may be hesitant to start tapping it right away. After all, you want that money to last.

Read more  





More Americans support
government assistance
for care of older adults





Prior to the pandemic, the majority of American adults thought that families should be responsible for the daily care of older adults—and that families should cover the cost of this care.

But there is a small sea change in that way of thinking, says a University of Michigan researcher.

U-M demographer and sociologist Sarah Patterson, along with Adriana Reyes of Cornell University, used data from the General Social Survey to determine how Americans' attitudes toward elder care have changed over time. The data was drawn from about 2,400 survey respondents aged 18 and older.

Read more  







Can Any Beauty Treatment
Even Come Close To Botox?

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Many treatments today claim to be better than Botox.
But is that even possible? Skin care experts weigh in.




By Jamie Davis Smith.

TikTok influencers love to claim they’ve found an at-home skin care treatment that’s better than Botox in terms of erasing lines and wrinkles. It’s tempting to buy into these “miracle” treatments because Botox is expensive and invasive. Plus, it’s an attractive option for anyone who doesn’t want to inject a neurotoxin into their face.

Some purported Botox alternatives going viral on TikTok, like flaxseed, are low-risk because they are inexpensive and their potential side effects are minimal. Other ones, like LED light therapy, require investing a lot of money even though the results are uncertain.

We asked some top skin care experts whether any at-home treatment could match Botox’s results.

Learn more  











I always make it a point not to mock or diminish those individuals who have encountered misfortune. It's not only disrespectful, but also because, if it weren't for the grace of fate, I could easily be in their shoes. The reasons behind why some people face life's hardships while others enjoy financial stability, wealth, and good health remain unknown. It's more about the circumstances we find ourselves in rather than anything we did or had control over. Trying to make sense of it all is simply a futile endeavor. However, when considering the recent events involving the former president, it becomes almost necessary (and even a bit amusing) to imagine how different life in the United States would be if he, or we, had made different choices.

Every fantasy has a kernel of truth. Our "What if" story started on June 16th, 2015, when Donald J. Trump, a businessman, TV reality host, and self-proclaimed "very smart man," descended the escalator of Trump Tower in New York and declared his intention to run for President of the United States in the 2016 election. And, as the saying goes, "the rest is history." It's also Trump's initial significant blunder in the realm of "what if." Just imagine the endless possibilities if he had never entered the race. It's mind-boggling! Everything for the next 8 years changes. 

It's hard to say for sure who would have been Hillary Clinton's Republican opponent if she didn't have to go up against Donald Trump. Some potential candidates who were seen as strong contenders for the Republican nomination at the time included Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Jeb Bush, and Governor John Kasich. In a hypothetical situation where Trump didn't run, any of these candidates could have emerged as the Republican nominee. Considering that many of them were not as well-known and not a match for Mrs. Clinton, it's safe to assume she would have most likely won by a large margin and become our president for at least one term and probably two. What would have changed?

No matter who was president, COVID would have reached our shores. However, the way it was handled and the rapid spread could have been addressed differently, potentially saving thousands of lives. Trump's failure to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and his refusal to listen to public health officials played a significant role. During a White House meeting, he optimistically claimed that the virus would disappear miraculously. He also suggested, without solid scientific evidence, that warmer weather would halt its spread. Even after realizing the gravity of the health crisis, he neglected to wear a mask, unintentionally spreading misinformation and contributing to the virus's transmission. Trump should be held accountable and face justice for these actions alone.

Despite the COVID crisis being a significant "What if" moment, it's important to acknowledge that there were other events that wouldn't have occurred if Trump hadn't been president. The emergence of the MAGA movement, along with the presence of white supremacists, anti-immigrant sentiments, anti-science beliefs, and pro-lifers, would have likely diminished. Our government institutions would have experienced a greater sense of civility, and there wouldn't have been an insurrection or allegations of a stolen election. All of these changes, and possibly more, would have taken place if Hillary had become president instead of Trump. 

Alright, that's how things could have been different for our country. But what about Trump himself? What are some of the "what if" moments for him? How would things have changed if he hadn't made some of the foolish decisions he did? I'd venture to say that almost everything he's facing now - the charges, allegations, fines, hearings, trials, and appeals - would have been less severe or not pursued as aggressively if he had just accepted his defeat gracefully. Even the documents he took to Florida, if he had simply apologized and admitted his mistake, things might have turned out differently. But no, his ego and arrogance led him to where he is now - facing heavy fines, indictments, bankruptcy, and potential jail time.

I understand that looking back, it's clear to see how things could have been different and it's tempting to imagine how events would have unfolded if certain variables were taken into consideration. But it's undeniable that a significant portion of what we've witnessed over the past 8 years can be attributed to Trump's actions. He is aware deep down that he is accountable for his own errors, and this is something he genuinely detests about himself….









AGEISM AND
THE FITNESS CLOTHING INDUSTRY




BY STEPHANIE RAFFELOCK

Most people, if not everyone, recognize the benefits of exercise. An entire industry has been built around promoting proactive health, with both food and drug commercials emphasizing diet and exercise.

It seems, however, that the companies that promote exercise the most are the fitness clothing lines like Athleta, REI and Lululemon.

These companies have been great in showing us inclusiveness with diversity of body types, ethnicity, moms and kids, etc. But if you are over 60, evidently you don’t exercise… or at least that’s what the ads portray.

Learn more  




Older Adults Who Disagree With
Deprescribing Medication 
More Interested
in Additional Communication,
Alternative Strategies



By Gillian McGovern


According to the authors, identifying the degree of disagreement with physicians’ deprescribing recommendations can improve the communication among older adults and their physicians.

Key Takeaways

1. Rating Level of Disagreement: Enrolled participants received 1 of 2 possible vignettes and rated their agreement on a scale from 1 to 6, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 6 meaning “strongly agree.” Participants who responded with a score of 1 to 3 were included in the study.

2. Factors Influencing Disagreement: The study identifies various factors that contributed to participants’ disagreement with deprescribing recommendations, including doubts about deprescribing, valuing medications, fear of complications, and the need for additional communication and information prior to deprescribing.

3. Different Views in Deprescribing: Compared to participants who strongly disagreed with deprescribing recommendations, participants who disagreed were more likely to be interested in additional communication, alternative strategies, or consideration of medication preferences.

Read more  .





U.S. gets a C+ in retirement,
on par with Kazakhstan and
lagging other wealthy nations




BY AIMEE PICCHI

Many Americans are anxious about their ability to save enough to fund their retirement, yet the problem may not only be with their own ability to sock away money, but the way the U.S. system is designed. That's according to a new report which give the nation's retirement approach a C+. 

The not-so-great rating places the U.S. retirement system on par with nations such as Kazakhstan, Colombia, Croatia, France and Spain, according to the new Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index, which was released Tuesday. Meanwhile, the strength of retirement systems in many other wealthy, developed nations, such as the Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark and Israel, far surpassed the U.S., with all four receiving A ratings. 

The U.S. system is based on a two-pronged approach: Social Security and private pension plans such as 401(k)s. But many Americans fall through the cracks, such as the roughly one-half of workers who lack access to a retirement plan through their workplace. Social Security, meanwhile, only replaces about 40% of income for the typical worker when they retire, which means many older Americans struggle financially. 

Read more  




Take Charge Of Arthritis
Before It's Too Late:
Importance Of Home Healthcare




By Tavishi Dogra |Updated

Arthritis affects over 210 million people in India alone. While arthritis is often associated with ageing, it can lead to significant pain, disability, and a diminished quality of life. Dr. Vishal Sehgal, President of Portea Medical, shares that understanding the symptoms, treatment options, and care strategies is essential to help individuals take charge of their arthritis before it is too late.

Understanding Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form, primarily affecting older individuals. It occurs when the protective cartilage cushions the ends of the bones and wears down over time, leading to pain, swelling, and reduced joint flexibility. If left untreated, it causes the immune system to mistakenly attack healthy joint tissues, leading to inflammation, pain, and joint deformity.

Recognizing The Symptoms....

Read more    
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Legal Options for Victims
of Nursing Home Abuse:
Seeking Justice 
and Compensation



By Gail Willowby


Nursing homes are facilities where elderly or disabled individuals receive care when their families can’t provide it. But do they really get the care they deserve? 

Being home to almost thousands of older adults, at times, they are the breeding ground for abuse and neglect. They don’t turn out to be the safety havens we hope for! 

There is no denying that the nursing home care system is derailing. Here, we’re talking about a whopping 50% increase in the number of senior citizens in need of nursing home care by 2023.

Read more  
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NEXT BLOG
WEDNESDAY FEB. 21, 2024
©2024 Bruce Cooper









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