By accessing our Facebook page you can access the latest news specifically related to Older Americans. These will usually be stories that broke too late to be included in our regular weekly blog. Additionally, the Facebook page will be a way for you to comment on those stories, start your own thread or comment on anything you have read here on this blog. https://www.facebook.com/WCenterblog/
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To all my friends living in, or have friends or relatives, living in an assisted living facility in New York State. Please read this letter and send an email to Governor Cuomo to sign the proposed measure to increase the SSI increase for low income seniors. The deadline is December 18th
I usually try to stay away from politics in this blog mainly because I am not a political person. My interest in politics did not ordinarily extend much further than the voting booth where I tried to choose a candidate whose thinking was close to mine. A system that, for all of my voting life, has served me well. And, although sometimes people got elected that were not my choice, I at least had faith that in the end whoever was elected would do what is right for the nation and its citizens. At the very least I trusted that the government was not out to kill me or cause me harm. Now, unfortunately, I am not so sure.
There seems to be pervasive attitude around Washington that it’s okay to chip away at programs developed through the years that are focused on aiding those Americans who may not be doing as well (physically, mentally, or financially) as others. And, that if enough funding for programs like Social Security, Medicare, Planned Parenthood, etc. Is stripped away than all of those of us who are dependent on these programs for our very survival will, in time, disappear (I.e., die) and no longer be a problem. And that all of that money that was paid out to Seniors, the poor, the ill as well as children (who don’t vote) will go to help build more weapons and give even larger tax breaks to corporations and billionaires. There no longer seems to be any thought given by lawmakers as to how a particular piece of legislation will affect anybody but the rich and entitled.
The best example of this is the tax bill that was presented to the Senate claiming to give large breaks to middle-income people when in reality it actually removes many of the deductions that those middle-income Americans use to REALLY reduce their tax bill.
For years the current tax scheme has worked well and only needed a bit of tweaking to make it better. But that’s not how the majority party sees it.
They believe that anything that appeals to Democrats has to be wrong, especially if Obama had anything to do with it.
If there is even a slight chance that our former president either enacted or even approved of a particular piece of legislation it has to be bad and has to be done away with.
Government by spite, not conscience or empathy or even politically is now the new normal.
Like some teenage high school boy, our president wanders the halls of Congress looking for someone to bully or “get back at” for calling him names in 7th grade.
“Make fun of my hair, will you. No more deducting state income tax for you.”
“Call me a liar huh? ZAP, there goes your Medicare.”
For the first time in my adult life, I am afraid of my federal government.
As an older American, I know that the current administration is more interested in spitefully reversing any so-called “entitlement” legislation than thinking about the consequences that such a reversal would have on our senior citizens.
This, my friends, is no way to run a country.
Abraham Lincoln (A Republican), in his second inaugural address, said this..
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, ...let us strive on to finish the work we are in, ...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Old Abe must be rolling in his grave.
More about food… Following up on last week’s rant
A day after posting last week’s rant where I laced into the food, food service, and food service manager/chef, we had a meeting with that aforementioned chef and our administrator. While the purpose of the previously scheduled meeting was to design a menu* for the upcoming winter and not to express our grievances with the food and service, the events noted in the aforementioned blog could not just be ignored.
The topics of what side dishes were appropriate with what foods were discussed as well as the frequency, to which, some menu items were repeated.
I also brought up the subjects of Blintzes not being a breakfast item and cutting back on some of the carbohydrate-laden sides such as potatoes, rice, and pasta as well as not adding turkey burgers or turkey meatloaf to the menu. And, although nothing was set in stone, we did manage to get some major concessions on desserts and salads.
An all-welcome resident’s food meeting is scheduled for Next week so I am sure I’ll have more to say.
*All menu items items have to approved by our dietitian to make sure they conform to DOH regulations
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Can You Count on Social Security When You Retire? By Sean Williams host.madison.com
Social Security is arguably the most important social program for our nation's retired workers. Each month, more than 42 million of the 61.6 million people receiving a monthly stipend from the Social Security Administration are retired workers. Of these retirees, more than three out of five (62%) rely on their payout to account for at least half of their income, with about a third reliant on Social Security for practically every cent they get each month.
An analysis conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that Social Security income keeps senior poverty rates below 9%. Without this income, an estimated 41% of seniors would be living below the federal poverty level. It's simply that important of a program. But the big question is: Can you count on Social Security when you retire?
According to the newest report from the Social Security Board of Trustees, the program is set to face some major headwinds within the next two decades. By 2022, it'll begin paying more in benefits than it's collecting annually in revenue, which will result in a cash outflow from its nearly $3 trillion in asset reserves. By 2034, the trustees report projects that the program's asset reserves will be completely wiped out. …
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Expensive specialty drugs are forcing
seniors to make hard choices denverpost.com
……Medicare prescription drug coverage for seniors who take high-priced specialty drugs: There is no cap on how much they pay. Each prescription drug plan is structured a little differently, but people with very high drug costs almost inevitably enter what’s called the “catastrophic” phase of coverage. Then, they pay 5 percent of the list price of their drug – no small sum in an age of $10,000-a-month cancer drugs or, in Whitcraft’s case, a more than $7,000-a-month multiple sclerosis therapy. The number of seniors who reach the catastrophic phase has almost doubled over a four-year period, to more than 1 million people in 2015, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That trend was driven in part by a new generation of high-priced hepatitis C drugs, but includes high out-of-pocket costs for people taking drugs for cancer, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and HIV.
The Affordable Care Act took steps to close the “doughnut hole,” the coverage gap where seniors have been on the hook for more of their prescription drug costs. But for a growing number, the doughnut hole barely matters. Their first or second prescription fill of the year might get them out of it, plunging them into a bigger problem – a phase of coverage where there’s no upper limit on how much they will pay. …
Why More Older Americans Are Filing for Bankruptcy nextavenue.org
Ada Noda was an 80-year-old great-great grandmother when, in 2008, medical bills from her 2004 emergency open-heart surgery were more than she could ever afford. She ultimately filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Now, nine years later, the feisty widowed matriarch from St. Augustine, Fla. says her decision to do so was a “godsend.” “I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep nights,” Noda says of the years between her operation and her bankruptcy filing. “I was independent and had always paid my bills on time.”
But, Noda says, one day, God instructed her to seek help from Legal Aid, something she had never considered before. So she called the St. Johns County Legal Aid. It was one of the best phone calls of her life, says Noda. …
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7 Ways to Save on Funeral Expenses By Bob Niedt kiplinger.com
Say goodbye to your departed loved one without spending a fortune. Here’s how.
In addition to the emotional toll, dying can take a heavy financial toll on the living. The median cost of a funeral runs about $8,500, according to the latest figures from the National Funeral Directors Association, including embalming, viewing, a INSERT 4 hearse, a metal casket, a vault and some other related services. The price tag, 29.3% higher than it was a decade earlier, could come as a shock to grieving heirs and take a bite out of your estate. See Also on Kiplinger: 10 States With the Scariest Death Taxes There are two important points to keep in mind about the $8,500 figure. First, it doesn’t take into account some common cemetery expenses such as a burial site, marker, paid obituary and flowers. Second, it’s the median, or middle, price; some funerals can cost upward of $25,000. ...
Using Trusts to Qualify for Long-Term Care Coverage Through Medicaid nextavenue.org
When it’s time to pay long-term care costs, your income from savings, pensions or other sources may be too little to cover nursing care costs but too high for you to qualify for Medicaid. However, with proper estate planning, some mid- to upper-income people in their 50s and 60s can qualify for Medicaid and receive support for long-term care.
The rules for Medicaid eligibility vary around the country, since the federal government and the states run the program jointly. But according to the American Council on Aging’s Medicaid Planning Assistance resource, an individual’s incomes must be under $2,205 a month in 2017 to qualify. What Is Medicaid Planning? Proper Medicaid planning, done in advance with assistance from an elder care attorney, may help you qualify for Medicaid when you need long-term care one day. It’s about transferring assets in advance so your income is under the threshold. “If one’s income is even 50 cents more than the cap, they don’t qualify,” says certified elder law attorney Ronald Morton, of Morton Law Firm, who is based in Clinton, Miss. …
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Are Medical Billing Work at Home Jobs Legitimate? By Paul G. Hackett thebalance.com
Every day, thousands of intelligent Americans respond to work at home medical billing jobs or medical billing jobs from home ads because: Let's face it, the present economy is making the average person look for ways to supplement or create new revenue streams to help them get through this crisis.
The work-at-home industry over the last few years has opened up several avenues for people to make a few extra dollars (for some thousands) per month and who can turn down work at home medical billing jobs when they say you can earn $40K within your first year? Now let's put logic to work here for a minute. A medical billing job is when you are hired by an employer to do the many functions of medical billing for a set amount of time, for a set amount of money and the work is done within the confines of the employer's office. If that employer has a telecommuter program in place, then once you prove yourself trustworthy enough in the office (usually within 6 months to a year), they may allow you to work at home doing medical billing work instead of going to the office. ...
Society Harmed By Elder Financial Abuse By Karen DeMasters fa-mag.com
Financial exploitation of older Americans affects families, society and the overall economy, Patrick T. Harker, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said Tuesday.
The interconnectivity of the issues related to elder financial health could make it more systemically dangerous than the sum of its individual parts. “The sheer size and complexity pose a challenge for industry and regulators alike,” he added. Representatives of financial institutions, regulators and financial advisors met Tuesday and Wednesday at a conference in Philadelphia sponsored by the Consumer Finance Institute and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve to discuss “Aging, Cognitive, and Financial Health: Building a Robust System for Older Americans.” …
This is how long $1 million in retirement savings will last in your state ajc.com
When you close your eyes and think about the day when you no longer will have to clock in at work, or perhaps you’re there now, no doubt one of the primary concerns is how much money you’re going to have to live off of. You’d be surprised how tight things could get while paying the bills with just a pension. But what if you had $1 million? Surely you could make ends meet and then some in retirement — but for how long? The AARP figures that a $1 million nest egg is enough for most Americans, who are expected to live for around 22 years after retirement. But is $1 million really enough? Turns out, a lot has to do with what state you live in.
Gobankingrates.com has put together a state-by-state analysis that shows how far $1 million in retirement will go — and if it will take you to that 22-year threshold. ...
Older Americans want to work — so why aren’t they? By Jacob Passy marketwatch.com
Working later in life doesn’t just help make ends meet where finances are concerned — it’s also good for people’s health. Going straight into full retirement sparked a 15% to 16% increase in mobility issues and a 6% to 9% decrease in mental health in the six years following retirement, according a previous study distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
So what is keeping older Americans from finding work? While the report’s data did not reflect the interests on behalf of employers, the researchers argue that older Americans who aren’t working are not necessarily choosing that fate. “We conclude that older Americans’ labor force participation near and after normal retirement ages is limited more by a lack of acceptable job opportunities or low expectations about finding them … than by unwillingness to work longer,” the researchers wrote. …
Shared Living Work In Retirement By Neale Godfrey forbes.com
In a recent Forbes post, I wrote about forming a pod in retirement. What’s a pod? It’s the idea of creating a shared life in retirement with friends and family. I’m not talking about individual apartments in 55+ communities in South Florida or an assisted living facility in some city up North. I’m talking more about WeWork-like living adapted for mature adults; think about The Golden Girls for today’s senior. That means the benefits of communal socialization – and the advantage of sharing costs like rent, heating/cooling, electric, food, and other bills, but with private bedrooms and bathrooms and plenty of opportunity for “alone time” personal space when needed. After all, isolation has been linked to some health risks including heart attack, depression, obesity and dementia – and the expense that modern life increasingly demands is taxing on us all. Denmark, for instance, already known for its social progressiveness, estimates that about 8% of its population, 456,000 people, live in housing like the pod.
But before you leap head, heart – and wallet – first into these novel living arrangements, several additional variables must be factored into the decision-making process. Only then can older Americans make the shared living choice that’s right for them. ...
Facing Down the Biggest Fear of All: Death and Dying nextavenue.org
Our fear of death begins when we’re kids. Perhaps we had to face the mystifying idea of impermanence when a beloved pet, parent or grandparent died. The stark reality that this loved one was really gone — and gone forever, was both devastating and terrifying. From early childhood, when we’re introduced to the concept of “futureless-ness” — that is, old age and eventually death, there are few things as difficult for us to deal with. Facing down the fear of dying requires great strength, humility and spiritual fortitude. But, as you will see, it’s worth the effort. Summoning the courage to quell our fears and come to terms with our mortality may be one of the most challenging things we ever do — but it may be one of the best things we can do. Freeing up the space in our minds and hearts where fear has resided and replacing it with newfound peace, courage and understanding is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.
Here are several things that have helped me, and those I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with over the years, to make peace and even find joy as they near the end of their lives: ...
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How to Recognize the Users, Losers and Snoozers! By Douglas Winslow Cooper sixtyandme.com
Some women over 60 have re-entered the dating game, often after a marriage that ended by death or divorce. They hope to find Mr. Right while avoiding Mr. Wrong. This year, in his 20th book, Weed Out The Users The Couch Potatoes And The Losers, expert relationship counselor Gregg Michaelsen describes three families of the Wrong clan – Users, Losers and Snoozers – and contrasts them with Mr. Right, a man you can link up with, if you are at your best. The User
The User is a con artist who will pose as Mr. Right, initially giving you respect, attention, consideration, perhaps even charming your friends and family. Your first few dates on the town are followed by excuses to stay in, at your home or his. ...
Some Older Smokers Turn to Vaping. That May Not Be a Bad Idea. By Paula Span nytimes.com
People over age 65 have always been less likely to smoke than adults in general, in part because premature death means fewer smokers survive to older ages. In 1965, when the C.D.C. started tracking smoking rates, 18.3 percent of older adults were smokers. It took 20-plus years for the proportion to fall below 15 percent. But over the last six years, that percentage has plateaued, bouncing between 8 percent and 9 percent. That still leaves millions of older smokers who probably know they should quit, and may want to, but haven’t.
Might switching to vaping improve their health, even if they never become completely nicotine-free? …
During busy holiday months home remedies that work By Linda Pena current-movie-reviews.com
It’s that cold and flu season again. Have you ever gotten up in the morning with a sore throat and clogged nose, and suddenly panicked? You are rushing to go to work; but unfortunately, you forgot to buy cold medicines? So, what can you do to get some relief? Do your teeth look yellow, or does a headache come out of nowhere, and you have to be at a party? Today, on MSN, a list of home remedies was given to us about common symptoms, and how to use things we typically already have in our kitchen.
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This blog is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend, Carrie Hecht who worked tirelessly to gain better service, respect and dignity for her fellow residents.
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Facebook is trying to make it easier to get in touch with people over Messenger, so it's rolling out a number of new ways to start chatting. As with all Facebook accounts, all Messenger accounts will now have dedicated links that people can visit to start a chat — they'll all be located at m.me/[username]. Facebook is also rolling out what it calls Messenger Codes, which are Messenger's equivalent to Snapchat's snapcodes. They look pretty neat: Messenger Codes are just a series of dots and dashes circling around your profile photo. When someone scans one with their camera, it'll presumably add that person as a contact.
By accessing our Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/WCenterblog/ ) you can access the latest news specifically related to Older Americans. These will usually be stories that broke too late to be included in our regular weekly blog. Additionally, the Facebook page will be a way for you to comment on those stories, start your own thread or comment on anything you have read here on this blog.