There is a theory (some call it research) being promoted based on the “Time Horizon Shift.”
 
“We know from Laura Carstensen and her colleagues’ research that, at 50 or so, people begin to move from viewing their lives as interminable stretches of time to seeing them as finite, and this transition shapes how we allocate our attention and the types of goals we choose to pursue.” *
 
In simple terms, knowing that our time on this planet is limited affects the way we look at things.
 
For example, I may not be looking to splurge on long-term stocks hoping that a minor investment now will pay off in twenty years. Or, do I really need a car (or anything) that will last into the next century? Additionally, the term “Lifetime Warranty” doesn’t have the same meaning it once did.
 
Sometimes they decide for you such as with medical procedures and treatments.
 
For example, they rarely treat older men for prostate cancer because of the slowness of its progression.

However, I’d like to address another feature pertaining to “old brains” which has to do with how we look at things and how we treat others and our ability to try new things. Are we really the stubborn old coots they perceive us to be?

Take something as simple as how we dress now as compared to when we were young.

Do you dress differently than you did when you were in your twenties? Not me.

I have always had a tendency to dress conservatively, even as a teenager. Chino’s or jeans with a “T” or polo shirt or an open-collar oxford button-down shirt. My only concession to my age is having a need for all of my tops to include a pocket for my glasses. Thankfully, the days of suits and ties are over. Unfortunately, many men my age try to hold on to their youth by dressing like the kids do today. Lots of baggy shorts, shirts emblazoned with a sports logo which make them look like an old, wrinkled billboard or a washed-up first baseman.

Even more unfortunate are men who have given up entirely and wear only sweatpants and shirts with racing stripes down the legs and sleeves.**

There is one anomaly I have noticed among some of my friends. And that has to do with the cars they drive.
 
Remember how people used to categorize certain makes and models as a “Girl’s car”, or an “Old man’s car (big Buick’s, Oldsmobile’s, Chrysler Imperial’s)? Not anymore. However, all the old dudes I know are driving are driving the same cars they drove as young men. Mustangs, Dodge Chargers or Jeeps. Some say it’s a mid-life crisis. I say “right on dude.”
 
So far, we have discussed how the old brain treats the materialistic. The “hardware” so to speak. But what about how we regard the world? Has age changed our perception of things? I will say NO. I believe it’s not age that makes us more or less something, but our social position, background and upbringing.
 
One would think old folks have a tendency to be more conservative and less tolerant of others because of our inability to adjust to current ways of thinking. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Low income old people see the world the same as low-income young people just as well-to-do seniors view things as do all rich people. I was much more conservative when I had money than I am now. I would have voted for anybody that allowed me to keep as much of it as I could. And, while I was never averse to helping those less fortunate, that was not my primary focus.
 
Now, that I am on the receiving end of many of those so-called “entitlements”, I view the world differently. I have more tolerance for those less fortunate. More empathy for the sick and disabled and lean more to the left than ever before.One's fortune, it appears, is the great equalizer.
 
Unless they have lived in a monastery all their lives, old folks have seen it all, and done it all. Unfortunately, this life-experience does not transfer very well when the issue of trust is involved. Hence the increase in scams directed mainly towards seniors. There is some actual pathological reason for this.***
 
“The older people get, the more trusting they become—a tendency that can be dangerous because it puts elders at risk for exploitation and abuse. But why does it happen? A new study suggests that older people have trouble identifying untrustworthy faces because of an age-related drop in activity in the anterior insula, a brain region that may play a role in assessing trust and risk.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked 119 adults who were at least 55 years old and 24 younger adults to look at pictures of faces that exhibited either trustworthy, neutral or untrustworthy qualities (according to previous analysis). Compared with the younger subjects, the older participants were much more likely to label the suspicious faces as credible and approachable. When the researchers asked a subset of the subjects to perform a similar task while undergoing a functional MRI scan, the older subjects exhibited lower activity in the anterior insula, a small region inside the cerebral cortex (below), than did the younger ones. Although the difference in activity was most pronounced when the groups looked at the untrustworthy faces, the younger subjects exhibited higher activity in the anterior insula than did their older counterparts when they looked at the trustworthy faces, too.”


Fortunately, I can still smell a scam when I see it. Hopefully, I will be able to continue to do this for many years to come. Or until the point when that Nigerian minister fails to send me that check he promised………………………

*https://www.forbes.com/sites/sallyblount/2019/08/21/three-ways-aging-biases-your-post-50-brain/#5a7d1dda622c
** I have purposely left the ladies out of this part of the discussion based on their ability to usually know what’s age-appropriate.
*** https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-older-adults-are-too-trusting/


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VIEWING YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT ONLINE

I don’t know why everybody has not done this.

Every working American has a Social Security account. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what how much money they have in that account, or whether the information in that account is accurate. With so much fraud going on these days having access to you own account is more important then ever.

What Are the Benefits of Having an Online Social Security Account?

Your retirement may be decades away but it’s never too early to sign-up for a My Social Security account. If you’re over 18, changing jobs, or want to be proactive in tracking your benefits, it is a good idea to start using this free tool. Learn some key benefits to creating your own account:

  •    Track your earnings to make sure your work history is correct
  •    Estimate your future social security earnings
  •    Get a replacement social security card if you meet certain requirements

Get Me a My Social Security Account

Click here to be directed to >>  https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

Editor’s note: While the sign-up process is not difficult it is involved. Because of the extra security needed to keep your account secure so that you and only you has access to it, your approval is not instantaneous. You may have to wait a few days before you are able to access your account online.


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Assisted living vs. nursing homes: What's the Difference?

Understanding the needs of your loved one's is a vital part of securing a safe and happy future for them.

When parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents reach an age when they can no longer care for themselves, it might be time to start looking for additional help. Maybe they can't get around as well as they used to. Perhaps they were recently hospitalized, or they experienced a sudden and drastic decline in their health.

Regardless of your loved one's specific circumstances, understanding their needs is a vital part of securing a safe and happy future for them. It's crucial that you start asking yourself if that loved one needs someone to check in on them from time to time, or if they need frequent attention from a social worker or nursing department.

Choosing the type of care that is right for your family

When it's finally time to decide your loved one's future, you must first consider the type of care he or she will need. To do this, you must first understand the differences between assisted living—both in-home and community-based—and nursing homes.


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US seniors fulfill dreams, fight depression with virtual reality
by Leila Macor


Nidia Silva had never realized her dream of swimming with dolphins until a Miami NGO gave her a pair of virtual reality glasses as part of an experimental treatment for depression and isolation in senior citizens.

"You're in a world you don't know, but it's very beautiful and very important for me to see," 78-year-old Silva said after taking off the virtual reality (VR) goggles.

She was sitting in Domino Park in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. It's a popular spot for Cuban residents—especially older ones—to meet daily and play dominoes.

"I'm very excited," said Silva, who felt like she had been swimming in the water around Cuba, from which she emigrated 19 years ago.

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Study finds older adults less distracted by negative information:
The way our attention is distracted by emotion differs between younger and older adults

By John Schieszer et al.,

A new study shows that compared to younger adults, older adults are less distracted by negative information -- even in the earliest stages of attention.

USC researchers looked at "emotion-induced blindness," which refers to distractions caused by emotionally arousing stimuli. In four experiments using a quickly presented sequence of images, they examined how older adults prioritize emotional information. They found both younger and older adults demonstrated emotion-induced blindness, but older adults were more distracted by positive information and less distracted by negative information. The results were published today in Emotion.

"What makes our new findings striking is that we found evidence of the positivity effect at such an early, attentional level," said lead author Briana Kennedy, a postdoctoral scholar in the Emotion & Cognition Lab at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.



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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, AUG. 29th 2019


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Never in the life of our country has history played as large a part in its future as it does now. The old phrase “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” has never been more important. From racism, to white nationalism, to the Constitution and our founding fathers, the events of the past have come back to haunt us. And how well we learn from it may shape the way we live in the coming years.

The reason for this post stems from a disturbing story on a website called pjmedia.com
entitled “Trump’s gray column.”*
The article which heavily leans to the right, explains that Trump has a strong base of senior citizen supporters who are waiting until election day to make their voices heard…
 
“They’re out there, in their millions—President Trump’s base.

But it is the older members of that constituency—senior citizens—that will put 45 over the top in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Trump’s older voters generally support his policies and proposals, but it’s his leadership and performance on the economy that has inspired the most abiding faith. These seasoned Americans, people that the hard left hopes will die off soon, are watching and listening. They’re watching their children and grandchildren do better. They’re seeing a country freed from dependence on foreign oil. They see new international respect for the stars and stripes, and a country that is no longer being taken advantage of in the global marketplace.

They’re biding their time until Election Day.”

What disheartens me about the article (if true) is many of those folks were around during WW2 or had relatives who must have recounted stories of Hitler and Mussolini, Nazism, the KKK, and white nationalism in the US in the days leading up to our involvement in the war. I know they all lived through the civil rights movement and appalled by images of George Wallace and “Bull” Conner standing defiantly against integration. So, why can’t they see the similarities of those times with what is happening today?
Remembering the Weimar Republic **

“In 1919, Germany’s constitutional assembly gathered in the city of Weimar to sign a new constitution that significantly expanded civil liberties, including equal rights for women and provisions protecting the minority groups. And in 1922, less than 15 years before the Nuremberg Laws were passed, the German government appointed Walther Rathenau, a Jew, as its new foreign minister.

This was the dawn of the Weimar Republic, a liberal government in the interwar years that passed fiscal reforms, negotiated trade deals, made important infrastructure investments and presided over a cultural renaissance in the country. It was also a government that would bear the brunt of the blame for stifling war reparations and ongoing economic anxieties after the Great Depression. In conservative corners there was also a sentiment that the country was heading in the wrong direction; that liberal reforms and cultural influences from outside of Germany were not in the nation’s best interest.” 

Okay, this isn’t Germany in 1919, but those Trump-supporting-seniors have to notice the resemblance

Or, maybe they see a parallel, and like what they see.

If you were a white male in the U.S. at the end of WW2, you were at the top of the food chain.
Current seniors saw their parents prosper. 

They bought homes on the GI Bill and went to college too. 

Many of today’s seniors still benefit from those times.

Does Donald Trump represent (to them) a time when they ruled the nation and the world? I’m guessing yes. Unfortunately, what they don’t see is that the world has changed and they haven’t.

Immigrants no longer come from Europe in droves to escape oppression or to make a better life for themselves. They now come from places where the folks don’t look like they do. They are a little darker, and a little poorer and perhaps a little less educated. They eat differently than we do and speak languages we never heard of. 

Maybe they see Mom and Pop’s Diner replaced by a “Polo Loco” chicken joint where no one behind the counter speaks English, and it’s killing them. They may now even be the minority group in their neighborhood.

But, let’s say none of that is true. They don’t care about the old days. If that’s so, I still can’t understand why any senior would want to back Trump or the Republican party which has constantly supported legislation cutting (or wanting to cut) programs that would be beneficial to seniors for decades to come. 

The only reason I can come up with is that they see in Trump a mirror image of themselves. And that’s a rich, fat, semi-retired old man who is trying to hold on to a last vestige of power before its wiped away forever in a tsunami of tacos, ceviche, empanadas, and salsa…………………………….

* https://pjmedia.com/election/trumps-gray-column/
** https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/is-history-repeating-itself/



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9 Tips for Volunteering in Retirement
By Craig Stephens

After leaving a career, many retirees take up volunteering to make a difference in the lives of others. Volunteer opportunities for seniors are plentiful, but finding the right role for you is not always straightforward. Volunteering helps the organization you’re serving, but also provides several benefits to the volunteer, including keeping physically and mentally active, reducing social isolation and creating a stronger sense of community.

Consider these tips for senior volunteers:

1.Identify why you want to volunteer.
2.Focus on passions and talents.
3.Start local.
4.Use a volunteer agency.
5.Understand the volunteer process.
6.Don’t over-commit.
7.Bring a friend or spouse.
8.Don't be afraid to say 'no'.
9.Utilize available resources.




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What People Actually Spend in Retirement

Our ability to avoid outliving our money is, in large part, due to our expenses in retirement. Turns out, a new study reveals, we’re pretty lousy at predicting how much we’ll actually spend on housing and health care when we retire. And another study shows our spending just before retirement and in the first years of retirement is often wildly volatile.

In the first study, the Hearts & Wallets financial research firm, asked 495 “late career” workers age 53 to 64 whether they thought they’d spend more, less or the same on key expenses in retirement than they currently do. The researchers also asked 1,994 retirees whether they’re spending more, less or the same on those expenses as they did before retirement.

Spending in Retirement: Perception Vs. Reality...


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Do You Really Need 10,000 Steps Per Day?

For the past couple of decades, we’ve been reading headlines about the health benefits of accumulating 10,000 steps per day, the rough equivalent of walking five miles.

That can be a pretty intimidating number for many people, but especially for older adults. Luckily, a recent study by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a significant decrease in mortality rates among older women who took far fewer steps per day.

So, if you find yourself frowning at the step count on your activity tracker at the end of each day, read on for good news.

It’s Just a Random Number!

Before launching the study that tracked over 16,000 older women for more than four years, lead researcher, Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, wondered: “Where did this number of 10,000 steps per day even come from?”



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Preparing to age in place

Do you hope to grow older and live at home for as long as possible? AARP says 89 percent of Americans hope to age in place over living in an assisted living community or a nursing home. If that’s the case for you, is your home set up and will it support you as you go through the stages of aging?

The goal of aging in place is to avoid a move to senior housing and instead stay in your existing house or maybe you move from a multi-level home to a one-level house or an apartment.

A popular trend is a tiny house village, a development for like-minded individuals to rent or own a small dwelling and to create support and community. A friend recently moved to Lake Chapala to a tiny home village. Her little space is a little over 400 sq. feet.




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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, AUG. 22nd 2019


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Friday afternoons are quiet here at the Asylum. The staff is winding down the week and looking forward to the weekend.
 
The residents are doing what they do best, which is nothing at all.
 
The last of the second seating diners have exited the dining room and have drifted away to their rooms to nap or watch TV. Most of the regular activities (Bingo, arts, and crafts, etc.) are over for the week. Even the General store, on the lower level, is closed. Fortunately, for me, the weather today is great. And there is immediate seating on our sun-drenched patio. A good time to work on my tan and, to reflect on my life as I approach my 74th birthday.
 
I plop myself down on one of the springy wrought-iron chairs that, along with umbrellas and tables, dot the patio.
 
Perfectly aligned with the afternoon sun, I take off my glasses, close my eyes and begin to do “a balancing of the books”, so to speak. The profit-and-loss statement of the last ten years of my life.
 
What have I lost and now find missing in my life?

Foremost, I miss my mobility. Months in hospitals and nursing homes spent on my back, did irreparable damage to my ability to get around. Where once I could walk five or ten miles with ease, or hike up a hill like a goat, now I can only manage a few yards without stopping to rest, and most stairs are impossible. This means I can no longer shop for myself, or go to a restaurant, or even visit friends.

Normally, I would have jumped into the car and driven myself anywhere. But, alas, I had to give that up too. Living on a fixed income makes it almost impossible to own an automobile. And, having some health issues such as poor eyesight, forced me to give up my driver's license.
 
One thing I miss most is something I would never have given a second thought to.  Cooking for myself.
 
Not that I was a great cook or anything like that. But I knew my way around a kitchen and liked to experiment with different foods, condiments, and methods. I know what food should taste like and it varies a lot from the stuff we get here. It pisses me off to see how they ruin perfectly good food.
 
The final item on my balance sheet in the loss column and the one that surprised me the most as missing the least is money. If I had the money I had 15 years ago, much of what I have lost would not be an issue. I would have my nice apartment, drive my late model car and enjoy my retirement as I had planned. But even that would have not come without some drawbacks. I would have had to budget myself. Something I was ill-prepared to do. No longer having an income I would be at the mercy of others such as my landlord, the IRS, the insurance companies and Social Security.
 
My expenses would most likely surpass my income and, in a few years, I’d be broke. Essentially, there would be nothing but stress in my life and a heart attack in my future.

Meanwhile, on the plus side:. . .

To balance the books, I listed some positive things in my life right now.
 
As mentioned, my life is virtually stress-free.
 
It’s not that I don’t have any problems, but the ones are small.
 
I owe nothing to anybody. I have learned to live an uncomplicated life.
 
I don’t surround myself with useless stuff. I buy new things only If the old one wears out, and not out of some need to have the latest thing.
 
I’m seeing a doctor regularly for the first time in my life and I’m being treated for minor ailments accordingly.
 

Although I get lonely, I am never alone. I don’t have to worry that I’ll be found laying on the floor for days before someone realized they haven't seen me for a while.
 

I don’t fear that I will be mugged on my way to the store or that someone will rob what little I have.
 
I have the support of social workers who help me navigate through the twists and turns of Medicare and Medicaid. And, I even have a little discretionary income to play with.
 
Finally, I have this blog which keeps me from going crazy from boredom, a very real threat to people as they age.
 
Altogether, it appears I have a bit of a surplus in the positive column which is great.

Actually, I have one problem. I can never seem to  find my glasses when I need them..............
 
 
 
 
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Can Alzheimer's be stopped?
These five lifestyle behaviors are key, new science shows

By Linda Carroll



1.    not smoking
2.    exercising at a moderate to vigorous level for at least 150 minutes a week
3.    consuming a brain supporting diet
4.    light-to-moderate alcohol consumption
5.    engaging in late-life cognitive activities

There's no cure for or drug to stop Alzheimer's disease, but it may be possible to hold off dementia — even in people who have a genetic risk, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. The key is not any one factor, several studies show, but following a combination of healthy lifestyle habits. And the more healthy habits a person adopts, the lower the risk of cognitive decline.

People who followed four out of five lifestyle behaviors, including regular exercise, cognitive stimulation and a brain-healthy diet and not smoking, over a six-year period had a 60 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia when compared to people who practiced only one or none of these habits, according to researchers from Rush University in Chicago.

Similarly, a UK study found that among people with a heightened genetic risk of cognitive decline, dementia was 32 percent lower in those with a healthy lifestyle.




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5 Step Strategy for Downsizing Your Home

In our “bigger is better” culture, there’s an expectation that each home should be larger and grander than the last. But life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting needs and lifestyle.

In fact, the advantages of downsizing are being increasingly recognized. A “tiny house movement” has gained passionate advocates who appreciate the benefits of living simply at any age and stage of life. Not only does a smaller home typically cost less, it also takes less time and effort to maintain.1

Whatever your reasons are for downsizing, the process can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve outlined five steps to guide you on your journey. And in the end, we hope you’ll find that less is more … more comfort, more security, and more time and energy to spend on the activities and the people that you love. 


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Cancer screening rates ‘unexpectedly high’ among
 adults aged 85 years and older

By William Dale


Individuals aged 85 years and older underwent cancer screening at “unexpectedly high” rates even though it is generally not recommended for this age group, according to a report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Cancer incidence and mortality trends among this patient demographic — known as the “oldest old” — appeared similar to those for individuals aged 65 to 84 years. However, the older group had lower survival rates, results showed.

“There is essentially no data on how to treat these patients, because clinical trials implicitly or explicitly make it almost impossible for people in this group to be enrolled,” co-author William Dale, MD, PhD, Arthur M. Coppola family chair in supportive care medicine at City of Hope, told HemOnc Today. “The challenge with these older adults is that we either overtreat or undertreat them. We rarely know exactly what to do.”


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Overcoming Intimacy Challenges After 50

In April, Next Avenue asked their readers to submit their questions about dating and relationships after 50. We received dating after 50many thoughtful inquiries that touched on a wide range of topics. This story is another in our six-part series called “Dating After 50” and we will be featuring more pieces on subjects relating to dating and relationships throughout the summer.)

Confidence: “The quality or state of being certain.”  That’s the Merriam-Webster definition, but for many people who are starting to date again after 50, confidence can falter and it can be difficult to be certain about anything.

For those who have lost a spouse or partner to death, divorce or a break-up, a feeling of being vulnerable may begin to settle in, leading to concerns about finding intimacy, as well as about when and how to fully open up to another person.




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NEXT BLOG MONDAY, AUG. 19TH 2019


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When people ask “What’s the secret to a happy life at an assisted (ALF) living facility?” I tell them there are several things that one will have to get used to.
 
They will have to leave any prejudice behind. Assisted living facilities are a microcosm of the real world whose residents represent every culture and ethnic group on earth. If they have a problem being around people who don’t look, act or talk like them, they will have a problem adjusting to life here at the ALF.
 
If they cherish their privacy or like to live behind locked doors, they might want to find other accommodations. Privacy goes out the window at an ALF. And if seclusion and solitude are among their desires, they can forget about that too. There is always somebody who knows where you are.
While prejudice and privacy are important things to contend with, the two things they cannot compromise are downsizing and compassion.

During our lifetime we collect a lot of stuff. All of which we believe is important to our happiness and wellbeing. Therefor, having to part with much of that stuff becomes a major concern for those who are contemplating life at an assisted living facility. Because the rooms are usually tiny with a limited amount of wall and closet space, they will have to leave much of what they have amassed behind.
That means all the “tchotchkes”* and most of the clothes cannot come with them.
Unless the facility allows cooking in the rooms (which is highly unlikely) they will have to leave all of their prized cooking utensils too.
Any large furniture pieces like an entertainment unit, sofas, or bedroom items like a chest of drawers or an armoire must stay where they are. They can bring a favorite armchair or a recliner or a stand-alone bookcase, but that’s about all. Pictures and photographs, because they don’t take up any floor space, and hobby items will be some few items that you may bring with you.

I understand this all seems rather harsh. Much of that stuff represents memories of better days. If you have the money, putting it all in storage may be an alternative to having to give it away, junking it or holding a tag or garage sale. Unfortunately, the option of leaving it all to your kids or relatives no longer exists. Your kids don’t want your stuff. People don’t have any interest in the Wedgwood china and sterling silver place setting for twelve anymore. For many, this means a whole new way of looking at life where simplicity and convenience take precedents over clutter and disorder.


Fortunately, the one thing you must bring with you is also the one thing you probably already have. And that is compassion.

If you are contemplating a move to an ALF chances are you have suffered some kind of illness or disability that has left you somewhat impaired. Perhaps you are or have had a round of physical therapy. Most times it’s been difficult if not painful.

Unless you have had a private therapist, you have been in a room with others in a similar situation. You have watched them, as they have watched you, struggle through strength training, and occupational therapy. The grimaces and looks of exhaustion on their faces is all you need to feel their pain. That, my friends, is compassion. The one thing you will need to get through an average day in an ALF.
Unlike other senior living venues, pain is all around you at the ALF. From people with mobility issues and chronic illnesses like COPD to those with emotional problems. All of whom need support, not only from the staff, but from their fellow residents. This does not mean that you have to push them around in their wheelchairs or help them out of their chairs. What it means is that it will be to everyone’s advantage if they all look out for one another. That amounts to alerting the staff to any change in a persons balance or walk or speech or to intervene if a person is being bullied or scammed.

Newcomers to assisted living will find it difficult to adjust to at first. It’s a departure from the norm to be sure. But, it’s a time machine that takes you back to a kinder, gentler America. And, once you become adjusted to your new and simpler existence, you’ll find that much of the stress you had in your life will disappear as there is just less to worry about. They take care of you at the ALF. On premises social workers and case management staff can usually guide you through any of intricacies of Medicare and Medicaid. A service that’s worth the price of admission alone. 

And finally, the best way to approach this change to your lifestyle is to look at it, not as a punishment, but as a reward for surviving the challenges thrust upon you by luck or fate or genetics. It’s time to let someone take care of you for a change…….

*Def. .a small object that is decorative rather than strictly functional; a trinket.


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Assisted living vs. nursing homes:
What's the Difference?


Understanding the needs of your loved one's is a vital part of securing a safe and happy future for them.

When parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents reach an age when they can no longer care for themselves, it might be time to start looking for additional help. Maybe they can't get around as well as they used to. Perhaps they were recently hospitalized, or they experienced a sudden and drastic decline in their health.

Regardless of your loved one's specific circumstances, understanding their needs is a vital part of securing a safe and happy future for them. It's crucial that you start asking yourself if that loved one needs someone to check in on them from time to time, or if they need frequent attention from a social worker or nursing department.

Choosing the type of care that is right for your family



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 Not all of our residents are of the humans. And, while we have the
occasional unwanted visitor of the furry kind, these guys were invited.
They are given a prominent location (in our lobby) where they delight
Both residents and visitors alike.




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Seniors battle drug, alcohol addiction

The president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] said substantial research shows that addiction to alcohol and prescription and illicit drugs among senior citizens has gone unnoticed for too long.

Weber called a report by the Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Department published in 2017 a wakeup call.

The report revealed that  “in 2016, one out of every three beneficiaries received a prescription opioid through Medicare Part D. Half a million of them received high amounts of opioids – an average daily MED of 120 mg for at least 3 months of the year. Even more concerning, almost 90,000 beneficiaries are at serious risk of misuse or overdose.


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Medication Overload Among Older Americans


Experts on aging are sounding the alarm about another U.S. drug crisis: Too many older adults taking too many medications.

This trend is leading to a surge in adverse drug events (ADE) over the past two decades. The rate of emergency department visits by older adults for adverse drug events doubled between 2006 and 2014. That’s a problem as serious as the opioid crisis, but whose scope appears to remain virtually invisible to families, patients, policymakers and many clinicians, according to a recent report by the Lown Institute, a nonprofit think tank in Brookline, Mass.

Medication overload is an unseen epidemic that could result in 74 million outpatient visits, 4.6 million hospitalizations and 150,000 premature deaths among older Americans, costing our health system $62 billion, according to report author Shannon Brownlee, a Lown senior vice president.



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"Awakenings" in Advanced Dementia Patients
Hint at Untapped Brain Reserves

By Lydia Denworth

An elderly woman suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease had neither talked to nor reacted to any of her family members for years. Then, one day, she suddenly started chatting with her granddaughter, asking for news of other family members and even giving her granddaughter advice. “It was like talking to Rip van Winkle,” the granddaughter told University of Virginia researchers of her astonishment. Unfortunately, the reawakening did not last—the grandmother died the next week.

That event got written up as what the case study authors called terminal lucidity—a surprising, coherent episode of meaningful communication just before death in someone presumed incapable of social interaction. Yet it was by no means unique. Physician Basil Eldadah, who heads the geriatric branch at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), had heard such stories and filed them away as intriguing accounts. But in 2018, spurred by the need to make progress combatting Alzheimer’s, Eldadah began to think it was time to do more and organized a workshop for interested scientists. After all, if the grandmother was able to tap into mysterious neural reserves, cases such as hers might help scientists explore how cognition could possibly be restored—even briefly—in patients with the most advanced neurodegenerative disease.





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- 30 -

NEXT BLOG THURSDAY, AUG. 15TH 2019


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It’s not your imagination, and no, you are not going crazy. The perception that time moves more quickly as we get older is common.
 
Just think back to when you were a kid in school. Remember how slowly the minutes seemed to pass as you approached the 3:00pm dismissal time. Five minutes felt like an hour. Now, you can do five minutes standing on your head as the expression goes. Similarly, days, weeks and months and, even years are flying by at an incredible rate.
 
I was going through one of the tiny drawers in the nightstand next to my bed, to see what I could throw out, when I came across the copies of the documents I received on my first day here at the facility. They dated the documents August 5th, 2012. A quick calculation (Yes, I can still do simple math in my head) and I came to realize that I had been here for seven years. I had to pause for a second to take all of that information in. Seven years. My marriage lasted only slightly longer. For some that’s a lifetime. If I were a prisoner doing 7 to 10 years, I would look for a parole. Where did the time go?

“According to psychologist and BBC columnist Claudia Hammond,* “the sensation that time speeds up as you get older is one of the biggest mysteries of the experience of time.” Fortunately, our attempts to unravel this mystery have yielded some intriguing findings.
In 2005, for instance, psychologists Marc Wittmann and Sandra Lenhoff, both then at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, surveyed 499 participants, ranging in age from 14 to 94 years, about the pace at which they felt time moving—from “very slowly” to “very fast.” For shorter durations—a week, a month, even a year—the subjects' perception of time did not appear to increase with age. Most participants felt that the clock ticked by quickly. But for longer durations, such as a decade, a pattern emerged: older people tended to perceive time as moving faster. When asked to reflect on their lives, the participants older than 40 felt that time elapsed slowly in their childhood but then accelerated steadily through their teenage years into early adulthood.”

While it’s a comfort to know that, we are not alone in experiencing the acceleration of time, there’s not too much we can do about it. Scientists however, have one solution…

 “We can alter our perceptions by keeping our brain active, continually learning skills and ideas, and exploring new places.”
I can give some credence to that assumption. I was sitting in the waiting room of a doctor I had never been to before (“exploring new places”). In real time, I only waited about 15 minutes before they ushered me into an exam room. But to me, it seem more like an hour as I sat impatiently thumbing through a two-year-old copy of “Urology Today.”**

While a scientific solution to this problem may be okay, I have found an easier way of coping with time compression. If time speeds up as we age, then combat it by slowing things down. 

As a native New Yorker, I have spent my entire life living in the fast lane. We New Yorker’s have a penchant for doing things quickly. We talk fast, walk fast, and demand fast service from others. They invented the “10 items or less” express lanes in supermarkets just for us. Therefore, to slow time down, I slow myself down. I purposely walk slower than I usually would. I take the long way around things just to waste time. I force myself to eat slower, talk slower and choose my words carefully. 

I have even showed up for appointments early so I can waste time waiting. Unfortunately, while these little tricks may fill the gaps, ultimately I still feel the fickle, fleeting hands of the clock speed by. However, there is some good that comes from slowing down. I get to appreciate things more. I now stop to look at the flowers, listen to the birds and even have time to, not only smell, but drink the coffee as well…………………………………………………..
 
* Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-time-seem-to-speed-up-with-age/
** Editor’s note: The actual exam, which I am sure took only five minutes, for me, lasted for ever.




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On Last Monday’s Post


Positive attitudes about aging may pay off in better health
By Robin Marantz Henig

The first time someone offered me a seat on the subway, I reflexively declined, and then stewed about it all the way home. Sheesh, I thought, do I really look like an old lady in need of assistance? When I got off the train, I swear my knees felt a bit creaky as I clomped up the subway steps.

When we’re busy doing things we love — which for me these days means playing with my two young granddaughters — we don’t think about how old we are or the state of our knees. But then something pulls us up short, like a polite young man offering his seat, or catching a view of a selfie from an unflattering angle, and suddenly we’re walking more slowly, feeling just a little worse about life in general.



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HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE

This one is serious … Let’s say it’s 4:17 p.m. and you’re driving home, (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job. Not only was the work load extraordinarily heavy, you also had a disagreement with your boss, and no matter how hard you tried he just wouldn’t see your side of the situation. You’re really upset and the more you think about it the more up tight you become.All of a sudden you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home, unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.

What can you do? You’ve been trained in CPR but the guy that taught the course neglected to tell you how to perform it on yourself.

HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE

Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed in order. Without help the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel Faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.

The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a phone and, between breaths, call for help.




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It took a while, but finally a glimpse of what we hope will
Be a beautiful host of golden sunflowers



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4 Ways to Start a Side Hustle in Retirement

If you’re looking for a way to earn money in retirement, you may want to check out Chris Guillebeau’s newest book, 100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job. It’s a terrific read that tells the stories of “ordinary” people who’ve found clever ways to make money in the new economy.

As someone who advises people on switching careers and working part-time in retirement, I’ve long been a fan of Guillebeau, a bestselling author and host of the Side Hustle School podcast.

So, I jumped at the chance to hear him speak recently in New York City as part of his 100 Side Hustles World Tour. “Everything I do is about helping people live unconventional lives,” Guillebeau told the SRO crowd. “I want people to see they have more options.”


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These shoes help track people
with dementia when they wander

People with dementia are sometimes prone to hiding when they feel lost or scared

Restlessness and memory loss are a dangerous combination for people with dementia: They’re likely to leave familiar settings for situations they aren’t equipped to handle alone.

Dementia patients who might otherwise be able to live at home are often placed in assisted living facilities because their tendency to wander puts themselves or others in harm’s way.


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12 apps that are actually helpful for senior citizens
By Carrie Rogers-Whitehead

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Smartphone adoption among senior citizens nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2016, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

In 2011, 35% of all adults had a smartphone while 11% of seniors did. Just five years later, 77% of all adults carried a smartphone while 42% of seniors owned the addictive little devices.

As more seniors adopt smartphones, app developers have worked to meet the unique needs and challenges of this demographic. Seniors often have less experience using mobile phones and can suffer from a lack of confidence when using their devices. Other seniors may be limited in their smartphone use because of physical challenges.

Fortunately for any tech-connected senior, there’s an app for that. Here are 12 apps designed for the elderly among us:





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- 30 -

NEXT BLOG MONDAY, AUG. 12TH 2019


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Did you slip gracefully into “old age” or, like me, did it suddenly knock you over the head with the subtlety of a nuclear explosion?
 
It’s not that I thought I would never get old. In fact, I began planning for my advancing years back in 1975 when the traditional IRA came into law. I was a mere slip of a lad (Okay; I was 30), but I knew a good deal when I saw it. And besides, I had just become a husband and now had another person’s well-being to consider. But thinking about being old and experiencing it are entirely different. And, it’s that difference for which I was not prepared.

The only contact I had with old people were my grandparents, and later on, my own parents. I observed them as they evolved from being vibrant, active, involved human beings to immovable objects who were always going to doctors and taking a lot of pills. But, in many respects, they were not what I would consider being the stereotypical old people.
 
They were not the crotchety, bitter or demented folks depicted in the media. They lived at home until the end (both passing away well into their 80s) and I could always count on them for their advice and opinions. And, except for their life-ending illnesses (both were diabetics and had heart problems) I was content to follow their lead into the golden years. But for me, the change was not the gradual, well-paced transition I had witnessed. It was as though they had thrown a switch to the “OLD” position and I was suddenly a different person.

You know how they tell you not to abruptly discontinue medications but gradually ween yourself off of them because doing so can be dangerous? They should implement the same cautionary warning for getting old. Unfortunately, I had no such weening process. At 62, they threw me off the proverbial cliff, upon which I had enjoyed a carefree, drug-free, pain-free life, and into a gorge filled with pain, a massive amount of medicines, and restrictive behavior. And, even when I was “cured”, it left me with the one thing I feared most. I was now a cartoon-ish example of an old man. With all the “props” that goes with him.

It began with a wheelchair. A demoralizing piece of equipment if there ever was one. Not only do people have to look down at you, but you have to look up to them. It doesn’t matter if you are 7 feet tall. You still feel small. And graduating to a walker (which is the equivalent of hanging a sign around your neck that says “TALK SLOW. SPEAK LOUDER. DON’T USE BIG WORDS AND I AM PROBABLY LOST”) isn’t much better. But, if you really want to age quickly spend some time in a nursing home.

Just two months as a patient in a nursing home will age you exponentially. Every day spent in such a place will add a year to your psychological life and your physical one. The daily routine of being lifted in and out of bed. Having to use a bedpan. Needing help to dress and to bathe. And, being fed a diet compatible to that given to a toothless puppy, will thrust you, head first, into a maturity far beyond your actual years.
 
 
 How did I cope with this dramatic and sudden change in my life? The approach was part mental and part physical. Unfortunately, it took nearly two years in a wheelchair, countless hours of physical therapy and some little red pills to bring me close to the person I was before.
 
Until someone diagnosed me, I did not understand I was wallowing in depression. Not the clinical kind, but the kind that comes from being worn down by a series of personal losses. My health, my mobility, my finances, my apartment and losing my brother from cancer. Fortunately, a chance meeting with a psychiatrist who had the intelligence and compassion to diagnose my condition and the medication she prescribed, turned my life around to a point where I could finally see a light at the end of a tunnel.
 
Not everybody will deal with growing old the same. Some will fight it every minute. Others will succumb to it and live the rest of their lives in isolation and bitterness. And still others like me, will let the pieces fall where they may. I will live life day to day. I’ll deal with any problem that pops up in the carefully thought-out manner I have always dealt with problems. And, I will never again celebrate another birthday…………………………………………..
 
 

 

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How to Cope With Aging

So one day you look in the mirror and see a grey hair, then the fine lines appear on your face. Then at work your new young coworker pipes up and says "hey, you know, I was just in kindergarten when you started working here".

Yup, you are getting old!. But DON"T PANIC. Your life is not over yet.

Step 1: Take Care of Yourself

Eat Healthy- your body absorbs less nutrients when you are older, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and take supplements, especially vitamin D and calcium.

Exercise -muscle tissue can become less flexible, and you lose bone density with age. Exercise can help prevent this, start light , don't overdo it and seek the advice of a physician if you are starting a new exercise regime, just taking a 30 minute walk outside is great.

Exercise your mind -"use it or lose it", it can prevent cognitive decline, do suduko, crosswords, play cards, read, learn new things.

Socialize -surround yourself with friends, humans are social animals and thrive in these situations. Join a book club, knitting circle, play bingo, bridge. If your not big on people, get a pet.

Stay on top of your health, visit a doctor for routine screening such as mammogram, prostate, cholesterol, blood pressure, eye exam, hearing test.

It is also not a bad idea to take a closer look at your family tree, to see if there is any history of illness such as heart disease or cancers that you can take preventative measures against.

Step 2: Cultivate Inner Beauty

-Continue to learn and grow
-maintain your enthusiasm and curiosity
-keep an open mind, be open to change, be creative
-have fun, LAUGH!

Step 3: Positive Thinking

Develop a positive outlook on life. Don't fixate on getting older, live your life to the fullest.

If you forget things and say "oh, I'm growing old, my memory is going" then it will!

Think of all the great things you can do when your older and retire; travel, spend time with the grand kids, write your memoirs, do more instructables.

Step 4: Act Your Age and Accept Getting Old Gracefully

Learn to accept that you will grow old, its inevitable, age gracefully.

Denial won't work

-lose the toupee or comb over, don't buy that sporty new midlife crisis car, don't dump your spouse for someone half your age, or try to squeeze into clothing meant for teenagers, you will only look foolish.

Quit obsessing about it, the more self conscious you become about getting older, the more other people will notice.





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We don’t usually show food as our photo of the week, but this
Cheeseburger was really good. Sometimes you got to say
“Screw the calories, I want what I want.



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Learning Several New Things Simultaneously
Boosts Older Adults' Cognitive Abilities

By Janice Wood

A new study finds that learning multiple things at the same time increases cognitive abilities in older adults.

One important way to avoid cognitive decline as we age is to learn new skills as a child would, according to University of California Riverside psychologist Rachel Wu.

“The natural learning experience from infancy to emerging adulthood mandates learning many real-world skills simultaneously,” Wu’s research team writes in a study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences.

Continue reading >>https://psychcentral.com/news/2019/07/26/learning-several-new-things-simultaneously-boosts-older-adults-cognitive-abilities/148794.html

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Choosing the right independent living
community for your senior loved one

By TJ Gibson

James saw his mother fading from her normal self a little each day. Her anxiety about changes in daily activity increased, and that increased his level of stress too. His mother worried about driving but fought for independence. She was confused easily but liked her daily routine. She was forgetting names, places and simple tasks. James had to face a hard conversation and decision: What is the best plan for his mother’s daily care?

The right independent and assisted living facility and program can make all the difference for the family as well as the resident. Programs and facilities based on the results of emerging memory loss science offers families hope. Symphony at Stuart Assisted Living and Memory Care provides a research-based approach for those who wish to maintain their independent lifestyle and successfully age in place. Individuals who aren’t ready for full-time assisted living but need help with independent living find a maintenance-free lifestyle that brings peace of mind.

It’s that kind of focused, intentional care that sets a supportive independent community apart from a traditional assisted living community. Weaving medical science with physical activity and diet, supportive care facilities create a community for those in the early stages of memory loss or dementia. Perhaps a key element at Symphony at Stuart is enabling a resident to feel like themselves again because they feel safe, active and in control of their future. Supportive independent communities provide peace of mind, eliminating fear from the resident’s normal daily emotional routine — which is often a large part of early memory loss.

Continue reading >>

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/sponsor-story/symphony-at-stuart/2019/07/29/choosing-right-independent-living-community-your-senior-loved-one/1836515001/


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Why Depression Is Underdiagnosed
in Older Adults
By Monica Drake


Two months ago, I started working for a health insurance company. One of my recent (and most time consuming) tasks has been to read through all of the comment cards submitted to our Medicare magazine.

One of the questions on the card was “What health topics would you like to read about?” Looking through the cards, one of the most common answers was “Depression and mental illness in older adults.”

I talk a lot about mental illness and suicide in teenagers and young adults. But, the truth is, suicide rates increase during the life course, according to the US National Library of Medicine, and depression is often underdiagnosed and undertreated in adults age 65 or older.





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Got any money? Me neither. Sadly, I have less money now than I did when I was in my teens. I’m guessing many of you are in the same boat, So, where did all your money go?

For me, most of it went to pay uninsured medical expenses* including a very expensive stay in a nursing home. If you want to see money disappear quickly, start writing $13,000 - a - month checks.

“Senior citizens made up 13 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 34 percent of healthcare-related spending in 2010, a report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows. In 2010, healthcare spending amounted to $18,424 per person for people aged 65 and older – about five times as much as per-person spending for children ($3,628) and triple what was spent on working-age individuals ($6,125). Much of the elderly’s medical costs are paid for by the government. Almost all Americans who are 65 years old or older are eligible for Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance program. Some seniors also qualify for Medicaid, a government insurance program that specifically targets low-income families and individuals. Medicare spending alone totaled $618.7 billion in 2014.”

If you are over 65, the government will pay about 65% of that amount which leaves a hefty $5000 out of your well-worn pocket. However, old folks don’t live on pills and medical procedures alone. There are other expenses just as important.

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is based on 2016 figures, “older households” — defined as those run by someone 65 and older — spend an average of $45,756 a year, or roughly $3,800 a month. That’s about $1,000 less than the monthly average spent by all U.S. households combined.





Here’s the data** shown as a monthly breakdown of how households headed by a retirement-age person spend money, on average, in seven major categories:

• Housing: $1,322
You may be close to paying off your mortgage, but housing is the biggest spending category for all age groups — retirees included. Some costs never go away, even when a home loan is fully paid. This monthly expenditure includes property taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs and maintenance and household supplies.

• Transportation: $567
People older than 65 do catch a break on transportation costs. The $6,814 annual average outlay, which includes the costs of gas, insurance and maintenance and repairs, is about one-third less than the nearly $9,000 average households of other ages shell out each year.

• Health care: $499
Insurance premiums — which run over $4,000 a year on average for the 65-plus set — are a spending category that just gets bigger as you age, at least until 75 when BLS data shows costs dipping about $30 a year. While a financial assist from an employer may no longer exist, at least there’s Medicare to help cover some costs.

• Food: $483
This is another major budget category for all ages. Yet retirees spend nearly 20% less than the average household does on food, maybe thanks to more home cooking? Or capitalizing on the classic retiree early-bird special?

• Personal insurance/pensions: $237
Those in the household who are still employed (bringing in earned income) are required to pay their fair share of salary to Social Security and perhaps even the company pension, which combined account for the bulk of this average monthly expense.

• Cash contributions: $202
Apparently with age comes a greater appreciation of one’s financial blessings. Retirees report dedicating $2,429 of their annual income to “cash contributions” (which include charitable donations), compared with $2,081 by the average household.

• Entertainment: $197
Living it up without having to get up and schlep to the office early the next morning is a perk of retirement. Here older households spend about as much on fun stuff as do those ages 25 to 34, but somewhat less than the broader average ($243 a month).

Of course, if you are on a fixed income where Social Security is your major money source, all of those stats go out the window. Chances are, your two major expenses are housing and food. After which, there’s not too much left for “Entertainment”, “Insurance premiums”, and “Transportation.”

I am necessitous. My net worth puts me in a category where I am eligible for many government programs like Medicaid. And (if I was not a resident of an assisted living facility) I would receive food stamps and subsidized housing as well. But what about those seniors who are not poor enough to qualify for much of anything. For many, early retirement is not an option. These folks work well into their 70s and beyond. Mostly, to pay for housing and to keep their health insurance benefits and pension programs. Unfortunately, for many more, problems arise when they try to sustain a lifestyle they can no longer afford.

We love our stuff. We love our cars, our smart phones, subscription TV, eating out, furniture, appliances and a lifestyle rarely seen anywhere in the world. We also love all the things we have coll
ected over the years. The stuff with which we can’t bear to depart. This puts fixed income folks in an unwanted position. Deciding on whether to keep the trappings of an upper-middle class existence or pay the rent, the utility bills and eat.
 
How did we get ourselves into this position of having to decide between paying the rent and eating? It’s partially our fault, because we did not foresee a time when our ability to earn a living would end due to illness and the governments fault because they did not provide a system whereby its citizens would not have to go broke paying for medicines and medical procedures.

For those of us already feeling the effects of poor planning, it’s probably too late. We will just have to learn to live within our means and console ourselves because frugality hurt nobody and simplicity clears the mind and reduces stress. Unfortunately, that does not make the realization that I will never have that red Corvette convertible any easier…………………
 
*source: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/health-care/elderly-medical-spending-medicare/
**source: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/health-care/elderly-medical-spending-medicare/





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5 signs it's time to move a loved one
 into assisted living care


Perhaps you worry about your loved one when you're not around, or they seem out of character, lately. In most cases, older people struggle with admitting they need help. Deciding to move someone you care about into assisted living is never easy, but if your loved one is showing signs of needing help, it may be time to have that conversation.

Here are five signs that it might be time to consider assisted living care.

1 .Unable to keep up with daily tasks.

2. Unexpected accidents happen.

3. Lack of self-care.

4. Aggressive behavior.

5. You're always worried.



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Retiring on a Shoestring


In May, 2019, Joan and Steve Reid, both 67, retired and moved from the affluent New York City suburb of Pearl River, N.Y., to the oceanfront community of Vero Beach, Fla. Their aim: retiring on a shoestring. It’s a goal many new retirees share, but one that can be tricky to accomplish.

“We wanted a slower environment, near beaches,” says Joan Reid, who  worked as a freelance writer and part-time public library clerk. “The neighborhoods are quiet and it’s slower paced and friendly — with lots of natural beauty.” Steve Reid is a mixed-media artist who hasn’t earned any income from his art in the past two years.

Their monthly income includes total gross Social Security benefits of $2,082 ($1,786 net, after Medicare Parts A, B, and D deductions). The Reids also both collect small pensions, totaling $257 per month. All told, their 2018 gross income was $30,000.



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Survey: Where assisted living is most expensive,
least expensive

Average monthly assisted living costs nationwide range from $4,136 for a studio apartment to $5,148 for a two-bedroom unit, but costs vary greatly based on location, according to the results of Lincoln Financial Group’s annual What Care Costs study, released Tuesday.

For a studio apartment in assisted living, the most expensive state, based on average cost, is New Hampshire, at $5,095 per month or $61,140 per year. The least expensive state is Louisiana, at $3,117 per month or $37,404 per year. The national average of $4,136 per month calculates to $49,632 per year.

For a one-bedroom unit in assisted living, the most expensive state, based on average cost, is New Jersey, at $6,948 per month or $83,376 per year. The least expensive state is South Dakota, at $3,566 per month or $42,792 per year. The national average is $4,730 per month, or $56,760 per year.


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12 apps that are actually helpful for senior citizens
By Carrie Rogers-Whitehead

Smartphone adoption among senior citizens nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2016, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

In 2011, 35% of all adults had a smartphone while 11% of seniors did. Just five years later, 77% of all adults carried a smartphone while 42% of seniors owned the addictive little devices.

As more seniors adopt smartphones, app developers have worked to meet the unique needs and challenges of this demographic. Seniors often have less experience using mobile phones and can suffer from a lack of confidence when using their devices. Other seniors may be limited in their smartphone use because of physical challenges.

Fortunately for any tech-connected senior, there’s an app for that. Here are 12 apps designed for the elderly among us:



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- 30 -

NEXT BLOG MONDAY AUGUST 5TH 2019
















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Got any money? Me neither. Sadly, I have less money now than I did when I was in my teens. I’m guessing many of you are in the same boat, So, where did all your money go?

For me, most of it went to pay uninsured medical expenses* including a very expensive stay in a nursing home. If you want to see money disappear quickly, start writing $13,000 - a - month checks.

“Senior citizens made up 13 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 34 percent of healthcare-related spending in 2010, a report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows. In 2010, healthcare spending amounted to $18,424 per person for people aged 65 and older – about five times as much as per-person spending for children ($3,628) and triple what was spent on working-age individuals ($6,125). Much of the elderly’s medical costs are paid for by the government. Almost all Americans who are 65 years old or older are eligible for Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance program. Some seniors also qualify for Medicaid, a government insurance program that specifically targets low-income families and individuals. Medicare spending alone totaled $618.7 billion in 2014.”

If you are over 65, the government will pay about 65% of that amount which leaves a hefty $5000 out of your well-worn pocket. However, old folks don’t live on pills and medical procedures alone. There are other expenses just as important.

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is based on 2016 figures, “older households” — defined as those run by someone 65 and older — spend an average of $45,756 a year, or roughly $3,800 a month. That’s about $1,000 less than the monthly average spent by all U.S. households combined.





Here’s the data** shown as a monthly breakdown of how households headed by a retirement-age person spend money, on average, in seven major categories:

• Housing: $1,322
You may be close to paying off your mortgage, but housing is the biggest spending category for all age groups — retirees included. Some costs never go away, even when a home loan is fully paid. This monthly expenditure includes property taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs and maintenance and household supplies.

• Transportation: $567
People older than 65 do catch a break on transportation costs. The $6,814 annual average outlay, which includes the costs of gas, insurance and maintenance and repairs, is about one-third less than the nearly $9,000 average households of other ages shell out each year.

• Health care: $499
Insurance premiums — which run over $4,000 a year on average for the 65-plus set — are a spending category that just gets bigger as you age, at least until 75 when BLS data shows costs dipping about $30 a year. While a financial assist from an employer may no longer exist, at least there’s Medicare to help cover some costs.

• Food: $483
This is another major budget category for all ages. Yet retirees spend nearly 20% less than the average household does on food, maybe thanks to more home cooking? Or capitalizing on the classic retiree early-bird special?

• Personal insurance/pensions: $237
Those in the household who are still employed (bringing in earned income) are required to pay their fair share of salary to Social Security and perhaps even the company pension, which combined account for the bulk of this average monthly expense.

• Cash contributions: $202
Apparently with age comes a greater appreciation of one’s financial blessings. Retirees report dedicating $2,429 of their annual income to “cash contributions” (which include charitable donations), compared with $2,081 by the average household.

• Entertainment: $197
Living it up without having to get up and schlep to the office early the next morning is a perk of retirement. Here older households spend about as much on fun stuff as do those ages 25 to 34, but somewhat less than the broader average ($243 a month).

Of course, if you are on a fixed income where Social Security is your major money source, all of those stats go out the window. Chances are, your two major expenses are housing and food. After which, there’s not too much left for “Entertainment”, “Insurance premiums”, and “Transportation.”

I am necessitous. My net worth puts me in a category where I am eligible for many government programs like Medicaid. And (if I was not a resident of an assisted living facility) I would receive food stamps and subsidized housing as well. But what about those seniors who are not poor enough to qualify for much of anything. For many, early retirement is not an option. These folks work well into their 70s and beyond. Mostly, to pay for housing and to keep their health insurance benefits and pension programs. Unfortunately, for many more, problems arise when they try to sustain a lifestyle they can no longer afford.

We love our stuff. We love our cars, our smart phones, subscription TV, eating out, furniture, appliances and a lifestyle rarely seen anywhere in the world. We also love all the things we have coll
ected over the years. The stuff with which we can’t bear to depart. This puts fixed income folks in an unwanted position. Deciding on whether to keep the trappings of an upper-middle class existence or pay the rent, the utility bills and eat.
 
How did we get ourselves into this position of having to decide between paying the rent and eating? It’s partially our fault, because we did not foresee a time when our ability to earn a living would end due to illness and the governments fault because they did not provide a system whereby its citizens would not have to go broke paying for medicines and medical procedures.

For those of us already feeling the effects of poor planning, it’s probably too late. We will just have to learn to live within our means and console ourselves because frugality hurt nobody and simplicity clears the mind and reduces stress. Unfortunately, that does not make the realization that I will never have that red Corvette convertible any easier…………………
 
*source: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/health-care/elderly-medical-spending-medicare/
**source: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/health-care/elderly-medical-spending-medicare/





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5 signs it's time to move a loved one
 into assisted living care


Perhaps you worry about your loved one when you're not around, or they seem out of character, lately. In most cases, older people struggle with admitting they need help. Deciding to move someone you care about into assisted living is never easy, but if your loved one is showing signs of needing help, it may be time to have that conversation.

Here are five signs that it might be time to consider assisted living care.

1 .Unable to keep up with daily tasks.

2. Unexpected accidents happen.

3. Lack of self-care.

4. Aggressive behavior.

5. You're always worried.



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Retiring on a Shoestring


In May, 2019, Joan and Steve Reid, both 67, retired and moved from the affluent New York City suburb of Pearl River, N.Y., to the oceanfront community of Vero Beach, Fla. Their aim: retiring on a shoestring. It’s a goal many new retirees share, but one that can be tricky to accomplish.

“We wanted a slower environment, near beaches,” says Joan Reid, who  worked as a freelance writer and part-time public library clerk. “The neighborhoods are quiet and it’s slower paced and friendly — with lots of natural beauty.” Steve Reid is a mixed-media artist who hasn’t earned any income from his art in the past two years.

Their monthly income includes total gross Social Security benefits of $2,082 ($1,786 net, after Medicare Parts A, B, and D deductions). The Reids also both collect small pensions, totaling $257 per month. All told, their 2018 gross income was $30,000.



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Survey: Where assisted living is most expensive,
least expensive

Average monthly assisted living costs nationwide range from $4,136 for a studio apartment to $5,148 for a two-bedroom unit, but costs vary greatly based on location, according to the results of Lincoln Financial Group’s annual What Care Costs study, released Tuesday.

For a studio apartment in assisted living, the most expensive state, based on average cost, is New Hampshire, at $5,095 per month or $61,140 per year. The least expensive state is Louisiana, at $3,117 per month or $37,404 per year. The national average of $4,136 per month calculates to $49,632 per year.

For a one-bedroom unit in assisted living, the most expensive state, based on average cost, is New Jersey, at $6,948 per month or $83,376 per year. The least expensive state is South Dakota, at $3,566 per month or $42,792 per year. The national average is $4,730 per month, or $56,760 per year.


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12 apps that are actually helpful for senior citizens
By Carrie Rogers-Whitehead

Smartphone adoption among senior citizens nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2016, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

In 2011, 35% of all adults had a smartphone while 11% of seniors did. Just five years later, 77% of all adults carried a smartphone while 42% of seniors owned the addictive little devices.

As more seniors adopt smartphones, app developers have worked to meet the unique needs and challenges of this demographic. Seniors often have less experience using mobile phones and can suffer from a lack of confidence when using their devices. Other seniors may be limited in their smartphone use because of physical challenges.

Fortunately for any tech-connected senior, there’s an app for that. Here are 12 apps designed for the elderly among us:



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Ten years ago I was sitting in a wheelchair, in a nursing home and eating practically nothing. My weight dropped from a hefty 250lbs to a very scary 163. I looked, and felt, dead. I had lost so much weight so rapidly that it caught the attention of the nursing home’s doctor who, after running some tests, told me I a thyroid disorder. Specifically, a dramatic increase in the level of calcium in my blood. Fortunately, after a two-week stay in the hospital under the care of an endocrinologist, they found the proper medication for me. A week after starting that medication (which I take in the form of a nasal spray once a day) my appetite improved dramatically. And with that, my strength improved and eventually allowed me to give up the wheelchair for a walker.
 
While all that sounds okay, the problem is that I have been eating well* ever since. To where I am now considered overweight. This leads me to ask, “Is their no happy medium with food?” For seniors, there may not be.

Here, at the A.L.F. they feed us three meals a day. While the meals are technically nutritious, there has always been an emphasis on carbs over protein. This, I conjecture, they do for two reasons.
 
First, foods high in carbohydrates are usually cheaper and more filling ounce for ounce than proteins. Therefore, they serve large portions of rice, potatoes, and pasta. And, although there is a protein served with each meal (fish, chicken, pork or beef) the portions rarely go over the state mandated three ounces. This results in many overweight residents. Which brings us to the second reason most meals are carb-laden. Having lots of fat, roly-poly old folks makes the stats look good.
 
What stats? The statistics which the state Department of Health makes the facility report.
 
Every month, the facility weighs each resident.** They report the results to the state which determines if residents are being properly fed. Therefore, it is to the facilities advantage to show a curve that skews upwards rather than one that shows a steady weight loss among its residents.

Let us not criticize the facility or the Department of Health for all of our (seniors) diet problems. We are as much to blame as anybody. Partially, because many old people can’t afford a proper diet, and partially because many seniors no longer care what or how much they eat.

One of the “perks” of reaching one’s seniority is having the ability to decide things for yourself. And, by observation, one of those things that old folks have decided, as far as food goes, is that veggies are no longer welcome.

The amount of vegetables left on the plates of the residents in our dining room could feed a small Asian country for a year, with carrots being the least desired and green beans a close second. I will confess to being in that group. Although I will eat spinach, asparagus and the occasional Brussels sprout. Potatoes are the exception to this rule. They consume French fries by the pound as they do mashed and baked potatoes. Corn on the cob goes over well even if many residents don’t have teeth to do it justice. As a result, although they don’t look it, many seniors are malnourished.

What are the signs of malnutrition in older adults?
 
According to WebMD.com***, they are:
 
 
1. Unexplained Fatigue
 
2. Brittle and Dry Hair
 
3. Ridged or Spoon-Shaped Nails
 
4. Mouth Problems
 
5. Diarrhea
 
6. Apathy or Irritability
 
7. Lack of Appetite
 
In addition, they mask many of the signs of malnutrition because we think the symptoms are normal for old people. Primarily. They are…****
 

 Health problems. Older adults may have health problems that cause a loss of appetite or make it hard to eat. This could include conditions such as dementia and other chronic illnesses. They may be on restricted diets that make foods taste bland. They may also have dental problems that make it hard to chew or swallow foods.
 
 Medicines. Certain medicines can decrease appetite or affect the taste and smell of food.
 
 Low income. Older adults may be on a fixed income. They may be paying for expensive medicines to help manage health conditions. They may have trouble paying for groceries, especially the healthy foods they need.
 
 Disability. Older adults who have dementia or physical disabilities may not be able to shop for groceries or cook for themselves.
 
 Social issues. Mealtimes can be social occasions. As we age, we may start to lose friends and family members. Older adults who usually eat alone may lose interest in cooking and eating.
 
 Alcoholism can decrease appetite and affect how the body absorbs nutrients from food.
 
 Depression in older adults can lead to loss of appetite.
 

 
Essentially, what they are saying is, we can solve or improve many of the problems associated with old age with proper nutrition. However, as mentioned, seniors cherish their right to self determination. And, while you can suggest that they eat better, you can;t make them do it.…………...............
 


*Editor’s note: By eating “well” I mean eating too much of the wrong things.
** Editor’s note: Every resident except me that is. I have refused to have my weight taken by the facility. Only my doctor needs to know how much I weigh.
*** Source: https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutrition-aging-7-signs-inadequate-nutrition#1
**** Source: https://familydoctor.org/preventing-malnutrition-in-older-adults/





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The Worry Trap: 10 simple ways to
break free from worrying too much

By Courtney Carver


Worry keeps us up at night. Worry weighs us down. Worry encourages fear and makes us tired, cranky and scared. Worry is a trap.

1. Be present.
Worry is always about the past or the future.

2. Write out the worry.
When you worry, you can think about it and get all caught up in the trap or you can write it down.

3. Have fewer things to worry about.
Simplicity helps you worry less.

4. Take action.
What can you do about your worry? Make a list of 10 things you can do.

5. Ask for help.
If you can’t see through your worry.

6. Know what’s best for you.
Sometimes we worry because of what other people say, or even because of what we think they think.

7. Move your body.
Take a walk. Go to a yoga class.

8. Read a book.
Sometimes all it takes to get out of the trap is a little distraction.

9. Help someone else.
Get out of your head. Stop thinking about yourself.

10. Come back to love.
When you feel trapped by worry, come back to love.



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I Am A Sandwich Person…Are You?
By Nancy A. Shenker

"The Sandwich Generation" Learns to Cope With Their New Lives and Challenges


My mother is 93 and has been facing health challenges. My younger daughter is getting married. My grandkids are learning all kinds of new tricks.

And, like that mystery meat inside of two bread slices, I’m defining who and what I am at this phase of my life.

I’m not alone. Most of my friends and colleagues are now juggling aging parents, kids at various stages of development, births, weddings, funerals, partners, ex-partners, and all kinds of life’s other realities and “condiments” (some sweet and some nasty).

22 million of us sandwich people are around right now and I didn’t need to read this article to know that I’m sometimes stressed about it.



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Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain
By Stephani Sutherland

Picture the stereotypical pot smoker: young, dazed and confused. Marijuana has long been known for its psychoactive effects, which can include cognitive impairment. But new research published in June in Nature Medicine suggests the drug might affect older users very differently than young ones—at least in mice. Instead of impairing learning and memory, as it does in young people, the drug appears to reverse age-related declines in the cognitive performance of elderly mice.

Researchers led by Andreas Zimmer of the University of Bonn in Germany gave low doses of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana’s main active ingredient, to young, mature and aged mice. As expected, young mice treated with THC performed slightly worse on behavioral tests of memory and learning. For example, after receiving THC, young mice took longer to learn where a safe platform was hidden in a water maze, and they had a harder time recognizing another mouse to which they had previously been exposed. Without the drug, mature and aged mice performed worse on the tests than young ones did. But after the elderly animals were given THC, their performances improved to the point that they resembled those of young, untreated mice. “The effects were very robust, very profound,” Zimmer says.


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The surprising thing about older voters:
they’re moving more to the left

By Tara Golshan

Gloria Neal Showers, a 72-year-old resident of Sumter, South Carolina, loves former Vice President Joe Biden because he’s a “seasoned” politician.

“I want someone to look at things in a realistic manner,” said Showers, a retired federal government employee who’s volunteering for the Biden campaign. “[Sanders] makes me uncomfortable with all the promises he makes. It would take a long time to make all of those things to happen.”

But 500 miles away in Chillicothe, Ohio, Portia Boulger, 66, doesn’t buy what Biden is selling. “[Joe Biden] is a damn liar,” she said.

This past winter Boulger was sick for several months, and she couldn’t believe how much she had to pay for her medicine with basic Medicare. Boulger, who helped start Silvers For Sanders, heard Biden misleadingly tell a group of older voters at the AARP presidential forum recently in Des Moines, Iowa that Medicare-for-all would mean “hiatuses” in health care for older adults. “He is exploiting the elderly,” she concluded.




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Dispelling The Myth
Of Subsidized Assisted Living



Assisted living, as we know it, has been around since the early 1980s.* Therefore, I find it surprising how the lack of knowledge about these facilities still abounds forty years later.
 
Scrolling through my Facebook homepage I came across a post on one of the many groups to which I belong. One particular group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/elderorphans/) which deals with seniors who live alone and with little family or friends to support them, asked of their members “when do you know it’s time for assisted living?” While the question is legitimate, and one that I have answered several times on this blog, the answers from some group members was far from encouraging.
 
Most of the negative comments about choosing assisted living vs. staying at home, dealt with the relatively high cost of some facilities found on websites like “A Place for Mom.”** which is a referral service for mainly upscale senior care facilities. They do not mention prices in the ads for these places and only when you contact or take a tour of those venues do they discuss how much it costs to live there. Yes, some of them cost in upwards or four, five and even six thousand dollars a month for room and board with “special care” costing much more. Are they worth it? Maybe. But just because you pay a lot, does not guarantee you the best care. While the amenities (food, recreation and activities) in these places, along with fancier accommodations, may justify the high cost, the basic reason you are there may not be any better than in a lower-end facility. But a woman who said she would rather be dead than have to move to a Medicaid subsidized assisted living facility really got my attention.

I am a resident of a facility whose room and board is subsidized by Medicare and Medicaid. And I am here to state that what some perceive as a place where people live in mediaeval or Dickensian conditions being served porridge three time a day and made to scrub floors is completely off-base. The truth being, these subsidized places are just that. Subsidized. Not downsized. This means that the actual rent may be the same or more than an out-of-the-pocket facility, but people who qualify for Medicaid don’t have to pay the full amount. Usually, a person’s Social Security benefits ($1200- $1300) are enough to cover their portion of the rent while Medicaid picks up the rest. This means that, while the care you get is high-end, your out-of-pocket costs are not.

Part of the misconceptions people have concerning A.L.F’s and senior care facilities in general, stems from their confusing a nursing home with what was once referred to as an “old age home” or just “a home.” The perception is that this is where poor old people sit and rock all day, live in a dorm and wear rags and hand-me-downs. Nothing could be farther from reality. We get the same recreational opportunities, the same (or better) care than non-subsidized facilities. And, while the food and some physical amenities may not be as fancy as upscale venues, they never compromise the safety, security and well-being of its residents.
 
Where do the horror stories about assisted living come from and are there reasons for concern among prospective residents?
 
Most negative reports on assisted living facilities come from states that have little or no regulations governing the formation of, or running of such facilities. There are some places that permit almost anybody to hang out a sign and declare themselves an assisted living facility. In addition, there may be very little state oversight of these facilities. They may hire untrained and unqualified staff. They may not offer amenities or comply to even the minimum standards of nutrition. People who are considering a move to an A.L.F. should be wary of such places and should be familiar with the rules governing such places before making a move.
 
Other negative assumptions stem from confusion over the definition of assisted living.
 
As explained to me, the purpose of assisted living facilities is to act as a bridge between a nursing home and living independently at home. They do not mean for such facilities to give the same level of care as one would get in a nursing home. They expect residents in assisted living to exhibit a certain amount of independence. This usually includes being able to dress oneself with a minimum of help, and to make their way to the dining room three times a day on their own. If a resident requires more personal help, they may have to provided an aide at extra cost to the resident. If they determined that even with the extra help the resident is not competent enough to assist in their own care, then they usually send such people to a nursing facility for the help they need.

Whether you can afford an assisted living facility depends on your ability to pay. If you are fortunate enough to have a substantial amount of money above and beyond what Social Security affords you, you will have the pick of some very fine facilities. Conversely, if you depend on Social Security as your sole income, and your net worth is low enough for you to qualify for Medicaid or other government help, you still can still take advantage of many decent facilities. Unfortunately, finding these places is difficult. At present, they are few. In New York State there are only 4200 units available state wide. And only 44 states have Medicaid subsidized facilities. For more information on states that have such facilities I refer you to this very informative guide…

To further illustrate that Medicaid subsidized facilities should be considered in your plans, I’m asking you to view some videos I photographed of the facility of which I am a resident. The video is mine. It was made without the authorization or assistance of the facility or its owners. I think you’ll find them interesting. If you have any questions regarding this facility please feel free to email me at…theseniorlog.outlook.com……………………………………….





*Source: Historical Evolution of Assisted Living in the United States, 1979 to the Present >> https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/47/suppl_1/8/614189

**https://locate.aplaceformom.com/?&kw=3234-Google_US_Brand_Alpha&kwg=a%20place%20for%20mom&keyword=a%20place%20for%20mom&match=e&device=c&mkwid=&pcrid=274636404613&network=g&account=APFM+Brand+-+US+-+Google&campaignid=1064786878&adgroupid=51184761014&ad_id=274636404613&AdPosition=1t1&geo=9004250&distrib=s&targetID=kwd-296371107811&interest=&ds_rl=1259864&ds_rl=1265127&ds_rl=1259864&ds_rl=1259864&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrJ_btqDL4wIVC5-fCh2tLAk9EAAYASAAEgIh8_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds





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On Monday’s Blog



Last year, we heard the bad news—loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking (Cigna); loneliness could increase risk of dementia by 40 percent (Florida State University). Now it’s time for the good news: Senior living communities appear to be good for your health.

The first-year results of the Mather LifeWays Age Well Study shows “Life Plan Community residents report more healthy behaviors and have greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual, and vocational wellness than those living in the community at large.”

The Age Well Study is “the most extensive longitudinal research to date” comparing Life Plan Community residents to those living in the community at large. The Year One’s big takeaway: “Nearly 70 percent of older adults surveyed reported that moving to a Life Plan Community has somewhat or greatly improved their social wellness.”




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Workers over 55 years old represent the fastest-growing labor group in the U.S. as a result of increased lifespans and financial constraints. But older job seekers are up to three times less likely to be selected for interviews than younger applicants with less relevant experience. Three million older Americans can't find high-paying jobs.



Tips for those seeking work after 55
There are some things older workers can do if they're seeking employment.



A.- Leave out graduation dates from your resume.

B.- Focus on professional achievements from the past 10 years.

C.- Know your rights. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits any age discrimination against workers who are 40 or older.




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We haven’t posted photos of our little paradise on the hill lately, so here’s
 some of our lovely foliage that, because of all the rain and all the
Sun this summer, has been doing really well.




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Why Taking Social Security Benefits at Age 70 is a Mistake?
By Link Blogs

If you are about to retire in a year or couple, then it is the right time to plan your post retirement life.  Taking Social Security Benefits is the most common thing for many senior persons in the US. However, there is slight controversy going among the experts on predicting the right age when one should claim the benefit.

What is the Right Age to Claim Social Security Benefits?

Well, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reveals the claim benefit stats and details in recent past. In that, more than 60% of the senior citizens fully or 50% depend upon the benefits of their Social Security.

As far as the SSA rules concern, the claim benefits for the senior people kick starts from the age of 62. However, on considering the practical analysis that age is not the right time to claim the benefits.  For every year you wait to claim your benefits, the eventual payouts will grows up to 8% until you reach the age limit of 70.



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Aging adults need extra protein when ailing
By Judith Graham Kaiser

Older adults need to eat more protein-rich foods, including fish and legumes, when losing weight, dealing with a chronic or acute illness, or facing a hospitalization, according to a growing consensus among scientists.

During these stressful periods, aging bodies process protein less efficiently and need more of it to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health and other essential physiological functions.

Even healthy seniors need more protein than when they were younger to help preserve muscle mass, experts suggest. Yet up to one-third of older adults don’t eat an adequate amount due to reduced appetite, dental issues, impaired taste, swallowing problems and limited financial resources. Combined with a tendency to become more sedentary, this puts them at risk of deteriorating muscles, compromised mobility, slower recovery from bouts of illness and the loss of independence.



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One Family's Journey Through Guardianship Hell
By Gary Weiss

The last time Patricia Femia saw her mother, Ada Vocino, was February 14,  2013 — Valentine’s Day. But this was anything but a heartfelt meeting. The two women were in the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown, N.J. and were there for war.

Patricia was Ada’s only child. Until a few months before that day in court, Ada’s life had revolved around Patricia and her family. They’d lived together in an apartment Patricia built into her home in 2007, as Ada — a wartime immigrant — wanted. Previously, Ada helped raise Patricia’s sons and daughter.

The two women confronted each other in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey because Patricia had petitioned to become Ada’s guardian, believing her mother was incapable of managing her affairs. They would’ve become among the estimated 1.5 million active guardianship cases in America.





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Alone in a crowd:
The Isolation of Age


I was not sure how to approach this subject. It’s not like I could take a survey asking my fellow residents here at the A.L.F. whether or not they are lonely. While I’m sure many of them are, they are not likely to admit it. Loneliness, it appears, is one of those topics people shy away from. They treat it as if it were a personality flaw or an emotional illness like depression. However, and for what it’s worth, I can only give you my observations and personal feelings concerning this serious subject.

Many seniors are alone, not because they choose solitude, but because their circle of friends and relatives have disappeared from their lives. It’s not magic. It’s attrition. The ultimate toll time demands. And it’s often difficult to deal with.
 
I’m a Baby Boomer, the anachronism given to a group of people born after the second world war to parents who decided that it was their job to repopulate the earth. And repopulate they did.
 
Growing up during that era (c. the 1950s) you could not walk down the street without bumping into a stroller containing one or two screaming kids. These kids eventually grew up and became our friends. Lot’s of them. I can’t remember ever being alone. We always did things together. We played together, all day. And, when it was time to eat dinner, there was the family. One or two siblings, a mom, and a dad. We were never without someone to talk to. 
 
That’s what we grew up with. People, all around us all the time. And, in that, lies the problem.This is what they didn’t prepare us for. That inevitable time when all that would end, leaving us to ponder our existence in solitude.
 
I always believed that I was good at dealing with those times when I was alone. I found things to do that are better done alone.

Photography was one of those things, along with writing. Both endeavors allow me to “invent” a world of my own. A world where I can surround myself with a variety of characters that will never leave me. But I’m fortunate. I live in a place that allows me privacy, while surrounding me with nearly 200 other seniors. It’s more like a commune than a care facility. But what about those older Americans who are not so blessed as I?
 
The problem of loneliness among seniors is so widespread that experts believe it should be treated like a disease*.
 
“More than 40 percent of seniors experience loneliness on a regular basis, according to a recent University of California, San Francisco study. This feeling of separation and disconnection with society, community and family impacts emotional and physical health, so much that we believe it should be addressed by physicians, nurses, and other clinicians as a treatable medical condition.
 
Research shows that a lack of social connection and the feeling of loneliness and isolation is as damaging to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is also a risk factor for cognitive decline, the potential progression of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and obesity. It’s even a factor for something as simple as the common cold. A recent study in Health Psychology showed people who were lonely complained of 38.5 percent more severe symptoms than those who were less lonely.”
 
 What’s going on? Why are so many seniors so lonely?**
 
“Much of the problem stems from the growing number of seniors who live alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12.5 million older adults live in one-person households, representing 28 percent of people aged 65 or older. The Administration on Aging (AoA) drills down even further into this statistic, noting that the number of women living alone far outnumbers men: while 72 percent of men over 65 are married and living with someone, only 45 percent of women are married and 37 percent are widowed. Almost half of women over 75 live alone.

People over 65 have an average life expectancy of almost 20 more years, AoH notes. “That’s a long time to live alone,” Meadows says. “Also, more and more older adults do not have children, and that means fewer family members are providing care and companionship as those adults age.”

We all cherish our independence. It’s the last vestige of better days when we were unencumbered by restrictions placed on us by the ravages of time. Unfortunately, pursuing an independent life in old age can also be our downfall. The support system that we always had when young, no longer exists. Gone are the friends and relatives you could always go to for help. And, even if you still have some of those folks around, their willingness, or ability to provide help has diminished.

Fortunately, there are things to do to prevent or forestall isolation and loneliness.

They outline many of those preventive measures in the “Articles You Need To Read” section of this blog. Essentially, they are…

Joining a senior center near you. At the very least you should be able to find someone to talk to about any difficulties you may be having.

Adopt a pet. Instant love and companionship.

Find a hobby. Relieve some of that boredom.

There are other ways. And, if you find that things become too difficult for you, don’t be afraid of consulting a mental health professional. Sometimes, a little pill can ease the pain………………………….
 

*source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/brand-connect/wp/2017/05/09/caremore/senior-loneliness-is-a-disease-that-can-and-should-be-treated/?utm_term=.a60d350945e5
** source: https://stonegatesl.com/one-is-the-loneliest-number-combating-senior-isolation/

 

 
* * * *

 

4 Ways to Alleviate Senior Loneliness and Depression


As humans, we strive to live healthily and pursue success and happiness. There needs to be a balance between physical and mental well being. When you think about senior wellness, it’s usually associated with physical health or dementia-prevention, but we often forget that seniors also might struggle with loneliness and depression.
 
1. Having Hobbies & Learning Something New

Whether it’s continuing a hobby or starting a brand new one, it’s good to have something to keep you enthusiastic and looking forward to on a daily basis.
Crochet knitting

2.Technology, Accessories & Other Resources

We have curated a few stand-out technology accessories that can bring benefits to senior wellness.
Home Assistant

Digital home assistant devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo can help with making daily routines simpler with voice activated technology. You can ask the device what the weather is today, to play you your favorite song etc. Read more on “Why a Google Home device is Perfect for Seniors”.
Weighted Blankets

3. Adopting a pet

Owning a pet promotes unconditional love and companionship, giving seniors a sense of purpose! It also encourages a more active lifestyle and increased social interaction. Nurse Next Door collaborated with Pets For the Elderly and created this video, listing 10 benefits for seniors owning a pet:

4. Family and Friend Support

Make time for social activities: It’s important to remain social. Your caregiver can accompany you to the local senior or community center, schedule visits from your family and friends etc. HelpGuide adds that “depressed people often feel better when they’re around others”, so if your plans to hang out are refused, be gently insistent.



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See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery
http://wcenterblog.yolasite.com/cartoon-gallery.php



 * * * *





One in Three Seniors Is Lonely.
 Here's How It’s Hurting Their Health

By Jamie Ducharme

Loneliness and social isolation are growing public-health concerns for people of all ages in the United States, from young adults to seniors. Studies have long connected loneliness to a range of health issues that could threaten longevity and well-being, including higher risks of heart attacks, strokes, depression, anxiety and early death.

Now, the latest National Poll on Healthy Aging finds that about a third of seniors are lonely.

“Research shows that chronic loneliness can impact older adults’ memory, physical well-being, mental health, and life expectancy,” write the authors of the new report. “In fact, some research suggests that chronic loneliness may shorten life expectancy even more than being overweight or sedentary, and just as much as smoking.”


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Combating the Epidemic of Loneliness in Seniors
By Anne-Marie Botek


We live in an age where we can communicate with friends and family members across the country and around the globe with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a smart phone screen. However, despite advances in communications technology and the increasing connectedness it brings, research indicates that, as a society, we are lonelier than we have ever been. Perhaps no other age group feels the keen sting of loneliness more than the elderly.

Why Are Older Adults so Lonely?

Age brings many difficult changes that contribute to a more solitary life. One of the biggest issues for seniors is that their social circles begin to shrink as the years go by. Friends, significant others and family members move away or pass away. Even those who still live close by may be inaccessible due to limited mobility, especially once a senior can no longer drive safely. Age-related changes in one’s physical condition, such as hearing loss and low vision, can make it so difficult to communicate that it doesn’t seem worth the effort anymore.

Embarrassment can be a factor as well. Many older adults who suffer from incontinence, are on oxygen therapy or need to use a mobility aid to get around not only face logistical obstacles when it comes to leaving the house, but they must also overcome feeling self-conscious about these “obvious” signs of aging.



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20 Facts about Senior Isolation That Will Stun You
By : Sarah Stevenson


Feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to serious consequences for senior health. Understanding the causes and risk factors for senior isolation can help us prevent it.20 Facts about Senior Isolation That Will Stun You

Nobody relishes the prospect of aging without a spouse or family member at their side, without friends to help them laugh at the ridiculous parts and support them through the difficult times. Yet, that is just what many North American seniors face. As the baby boomer generation crosses the over-65 threshold, it grows; but many of our aging loved ones are still feeling alone in the crowd.
Statistics on Senior Isolation

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone at the time of the census. As people get older, their likelihood of living alone only increases. Additionally, more and more older adults do not have children, reports the AARP, and that means fewer family members to provide company and care as those adults become seniors.




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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY JULY 25TH 2019













         



♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What kind of America Do You Want?



I rarely get into politics on this blog. Not because I am not political or have lost faith in the political process as many of my fellow seniors have, but because it would contravene this blogs purpose. However, the remarks (tweets) made by the president of the United States last week concerning the birthplace and heritage of four female congresswomen who were exercising their rights to descent, were so spectacularly racist, misogynistic and just plain dumb that I can no longer stand neutral.

As an older American, I have seen many presidents come and go. Some were great, some were just okay, and some were down-right mediocre. But none were boorish, racist, uninformed loutish oafs like the one who infests the White House. And, even more frightening are those so-called “patriots” who, even after everything he’s said and done, still support him. And that goes for the once honorable Republican party (remember Abe and Ike) who, for some unknown reason, has turned a blind eye to this man’s vile rhetoric. Call me politically naïve, but I do not see why they want this man to be the leader of their party. The only reason I can think of is that they firmly believe that he has a better-than-average chance of winning a second term. Which begs us to answer the question, “As older Americans can we afford to allow this fiasco to continue?”
 
Many of you lived through the second world war. Your fathers, uncles and even siblings fought and died in that war. Is this what they sacrificed their lives for? Is this what they brought us up to believe. If so, if you really think dissent and opposition to some of America’s policies are wrong, then what were we fighting for? But let’s not dwell on the past. There is enough to be pissed off right here, right now. And it’s not all the president’s fault. Trump is only the catalyst.There’s something else afoot here. And I’m afraid it’s something we all knew. We are not the country of brotherly love we thought we were.
 
You can say what you want about president Lyndon Johnson. But, whatever his personal feelings might have been, he had the sense (politically and morally) to understand that America could not continue to condone inequality and racism. And so, in 1964, they passed the Civil Rights Act which is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Unfortunately, they can’t legislate centuries of hatred and ignorance out of one’s heart. Racism still runs rampant throughout much of this country. It only took a race-bating presidential candidate to legitimatize what those folks were keeping pent up inside of them for years. And, while I am not politically astute, I knew Trump would be the next president as soon as the RNC crowned him as the best person to go up against Hillary. It was a signal for all like-minded bigots to come crawling out like ants at a picnic.

On Tuesday, July 16th, the House Democrats introduced a bill condemning the president for his blatantly racist remarks. Sadly, only 4 Republicans* had the moral decency to vote on the side of their Democratic colleagues. The rest did what their racist and morally corrupt constituents expected them to do.
 
John Gotti, the late mafia boss, known as “The Teflon Don” always managed to “slough-off”  any charges made against him. Now, we have a Teflon president who, it appears, can do no wrong in the eyes of most Republicans.
 
Time is running short. It will take a major effort to defeat Trump and his cohorts in 2020. And part of that effort depends on us, the senior voters of both parties to decide what future we will make for this country.………………
 
 
*Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, and Will Hurd of Texas.



* * * *

Following a post we did on Monday where we said that there did not appear to be any proposed current legislation dealing with the problem of affordable housing, we now find that not to be the case. We’ll keep an eye on this...



Seizing the Opportunity for Affordable Housing Nationwide
By Emily Cadik

"Advocates of affordable housing have an important opportunity in today’s political climate. Despite legislative gridlock and deep partisan conflict, affordable housing has emerged as one of the few topics met with bipartisan support."

"Fortunately, a bill recently reintroduced in Congress could help meaningfully increase our ability to build and preserve affordable housing using the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), providing relief to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The Need to Expand and Strengthen the LIHTC

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2019, which would expand and strengthen the housing credit, is an even more robust piece of legislation than its previous versions. New provisions introduced this year will simplify regulations, further increase affordable housing production, and better reach rural areas, veterans, and other special-needs populations."




 * * * *



As seniors we depend on our credit cards for survival more than one would think. We use it as cash while waiting for our monthly retirement checks to direct deposit. We buy our groceries with it and even our clothes and household supplies. Unfortunately, as seniors we often forget to check our monthly statements as closely as we should. This leaves us open to fraud. In this article the author tells you what to look for and what to do if someone opens a credit card in your name.


5 Steps To Take if Someone Opens
a Credit Card in Your Name
By Ben Luthi


Identity theft is at an all-time high, according to a 2018 report by Javelin Strategy and Research, with a record 16.7 million victims in 2017.

Despite the increased occurrence of identity theft, it's still a jarring experience to learn that someone opened a credit card in your name.

The FTC Sentinel Report shows there were over 105,000 reports of new credit card account fraud in 2017, a growth of 3% over 2016. Credit card fraud is the most reported type of identity theft in the U.S. according to the FTC report.

You often find out someone opened a credit card in your name because you get a statement in the mail for a credit card you didn't open, find an unauthorized account on your credit report, or notice that your credit scores have dropped because of a high overdue balance and missed payments.

Go to article >>



 * * * *





* * * *






See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery

http://wcenterblog.yolasite.com/cartoon-gallery.php



 * * * *





Can social interaction predict cognitive decline?
By Tim Newman

A recent study concludes that social interaction might be more than just a pleasant pastime; it might help doctors predict an individual's risk of cognitive decline and, perhaps, dementia.

How does social interaction influence cognitive decline?

Cognitive decline refers to a general reduction in mental abilities over time.

It affects many people as they age and, in some cases, can lead to dementia.

As the average age of the population rises, an increasing number of people are likely to experience cognitive decline.

A group of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, are interested in the potential role that social interaction might play.





Happiness in Bloom:
Benefits of Flowers for Seniors


 We’re delighted to see flowers popping up all over our campus, from daisies to tulips to pretty flowering trees. All of that lush greenery and bright color is such a treat after a long winter. But did you know that it has health benefits for seniors, too?

Flowers Improve Seniors’ Outlook.

Researchers at Rutgers University studied the effects of flowers on seniors. They found that the presence of flowers has positive effects on mood and behavior. Most notably, seniors with flowers in their homes experienced...




What you don’t know about
growing old — and why

By Patrick Gleeson

Americans haven’t always faced our national shortcomings very well, although we’re probably getting a little better at it. While we have a long way to go to achieve perfection — which, of course, being human, we never will — we’ve made substantial strides in some areas.

For example, Oscar Wilde once wrote that homosexuality was “the love that dare not speak its name,” but that’s certainly no longer true. My friends speak quite casually about their kids shifting gender identities, and media stars like Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. women’s soccer team’s formidable forward, is openly gay and has even incorporated her sexual identity has a part of her brand.

No, what dares “not speak its name” in our society is growing old. In fact, we have various euphemisms to cover up the reality. While we’re no longer described as “senior citizens” or “old folks,” we’re not simply “old” either; we we’re just “aging,” (so are teenagers) or growing “older” (as, again, are teenagers).





* * * *






- 30 -

NEXT BLOG MONDAY JULY 22ND 2019


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











         



♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What kind of America Do You Want?



I rarely get into politics on this blog. Not because I am not political or have lost faith in the political process as many of my fellow seniors have, but because it would contravene this blogs purpose. However, the remarks (tweets) made by the president of the United States last week concerning the birthplace and heritage of four female congresswomen who were exercising their rights to descent, were so spectacularly racist, misogynistic and just plain dumb that I can no longer stand neutral.

As an older American, I have seen many presidents come and go. Some were great, some were just okay, and some were down-right mediocre. But none were boorish, racist, uninformed loutish oafs like the one who infests the White House. And, even more frightening are those so-called “patriots” who, even after everything he’s said and done, still support him. And that goes for the once honorable Republican party (remember Abe and Ike) who, for some unknown reason, has turned a blind eye to this man’s vile rhetoric. Call me politically naïve, but I do not see why they want this man to be the leader of their party. The only reason I can think of is that they firmly believe that he has a better-than-average chance of winning a second term. Which begs us to answer the question, “As older Americans can we afford to allow this fiasco to continue?”
 
Many of you lived through the second world war. Your fathers, uncles and even siblings fought and died in that war. Is this what they sacrificed their lives for? Is this what they brought us up to believe. If so, if you really think dissent and opposition to some of America’s policies are wrong, then what were we fighting for? But let’s not dwell on the past. There is enough to be pissed off right here, right now. And it’s not all the president’s fault. Trump is only the catalyst.There’s something else afoot here. And I’m afraid it’s something we all knew. We are not the country of brotherly love we thought we were.
 
You can say what you want about president Lyndon Johnson. But, whatever his personal feelings might have been, he had the sense (politically and morally) to understand that America could not continue to condone inequality and racism. And so, in 1964, they passed the Civil Rights Act which is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Unfortunately, they can’t legislate centuries of hatred and ignorance out of one’s heart. Racism still runs rampant throughout much of this country. It only took a race-bating presidential candidate to legitimatize what those folks were keeping pent up inside of them for years. And, while I am not politically astute, I knew Trump would be the next president as soon as the RNC crowned him as the best person to go up against Hillary. It was a signal for all like-minded bigots to come crawling out like ants at a picnic.

On Tuesday, July 16th, the House Democrats introduced a bill condemning the president for his blatantly racist remarks. Sadly, only 4 Republicans* had the moral decency to vote on the side of their Democratic colleagues. The rest did what their racist and morally corrupt constituents expected them to do.
 
John Gotti, the late mafia boss, known as “The Teflon Don” always managed to “slough-off”  any charges made against him. Now, we have a Teflon president who, it appears, can do no wrong in the eyes of most Republicans.
 
Time is running short. It will take a major effort to defeat Trump and his cohorts in 2020. And part of that effort depends on us, the senior voters of both parties to decide what future we will make for this country.………………
 
 
*Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, and Will Hurd of Texas.



* * * *

Following a post we did on Monday where we said that there did not appear to be any proposed current legislation dealing with the problem of affordable housing, we now find that not to be the case. We’ll keep an eye on this...



Seizing the Opportunity for Affordable Housing Nationwide
By Emily Cadik

"Advocates of affordable housing have an important opportunity in today’s political climate. Despite legislative gridlock and deep partisan conflict, affordable housing has emerged as one of the few topics met with bipartisan support."

"Fortunately, a bill recently reintroduced in Congress could help meaningfully increase our ability to build and preserve affordable housing using the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), providing relief to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The Need to Expand and Strengthen the LIHTC

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2019, which would expand and strengthen the housing credit, is an even more robust piece of legislation than its previous versions. New provisions introduced this year will simplify regulations, further increase affordable housing production, and better reach rural areas, veterans, and other special-needs populations."




 * * * *



As seniors we depend on our credit cards for survival more than one would think. We use it as cash while waiting for our monthly retirement checks to direct deposit. We buy our groceries with it and even our clothes and household supplies. Unfortunately, as seniors we often forget to check our monthly statements as closely as we should. This leaves us open to fraud. In this article the author tells you what to look for and what to do if someone opens a credit card in your name.


5 Steps To Take if Someone Opens
a Credit Card in Your Name
By Ben Luthi


Identity theft is at an all-time high, according to a 2018 report by Javelin Strategy and Research, with a record 16.7 million victims in 2017.

Despite the increased occurrence of identity theft, it's still a jarring experience to learn that someone opened a credit card in your name.

The FTC Sentinel Report shows there were over 105,000 reports of new credit card account fraud in 2017, a growth of 3% over 2016. Credit card fraud is the most reported type of identity theft in the U.S. according to the FTC report.

You often find out someone opened a credit card in your name because you get a statement in the mail for a credit card you didn't open, find an unauthorized account on your credit report, or notice that your credit scores have dropped because of a high overdue balance and missed payments.

Go to article >>



 * * * *





* * * *






See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery

http://wcenterblog.yolasite.com/cartoon-gallery.php



 * * * *





Can social interaction predict cognitive decline?
By Tim Newman

A recent study concludes that social interaction might be more than just a pleasant pastime; it might help doctors predict an individual's risk of cognitive decline and, perhaps, dementia.

How does social interaction influence cognitive decline?

Cognitive decline refers to a general reduction in mental abilities over time.

It affects many people as they age and, in some cases, can lead to dementia.

As the average age of the population rises, an increasing number of people are likely to experience cognitive decline.

A group of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, are interested in the potential role that social interaction might play.





Happiness in Bloom:
Benefits of Flowers for Seniors


 We’re delighted to see flowers popping up all over our campus, from daisies to tulips to pretty flowering trees. All of that lush greenery and bright color is such a treat after a long winter. But did you know that it has health benefits for seniors, too?

Flowers Improve Seniors’ Outlook.

Researchers at Rutgers University studied the effects of flowers on seniors. They found that the presence of flowers has positive effects on mood and behavior. Most notably, seniors with flowers in their homes experienced...




What you don’t know about
growing old — and why

By Patrick Gleeson

Americans haven’t always faced our national shortcomings very well, although we’re probably getting a little better at it. While we have a long way to go to achieve perfection — which, of course, being human, we never will — we’ve made substantial strides in some areas.

For example, Oscar Wilde once wrote that homosexuality was “the love that dare not speak its name,” but that’s certainly no longer true. My friends speak quite casually about their kids shifting gender identities, and media stars like Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. women’s soccer team’s formidable forward, is openly gay and has even incorporated her sexual identity has a part of her brand.

No, what dares “not speak its name” in our society is growing old. In fact, we have various euphemisms to cover up the reality. While we’re no longer described as “senior citizens” or “old folks,” we’re not simply “old” either; we we’re just “aging,” (so are teenagers) or growing “older” (as, again, are teenagers).





* * * *






- 30 -

NEXT BLOG MONDAY JULY 22ND 2019


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













 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


Affordable Housing:
A 2030 Challenge for seniors



I don’t know about you, but I expect to live at least another 10 years. I’ll be an old codger in my 80s, but I can live with that. What I won’t be able to live without is a roof over my head, food in my gut, medication I can afford and some cash in my pocket. Sounds basic doesn’t it? But for many seniors and seniors to be, what most of us consider life’s essentials may be only a dream. And if society (and by ‘society’ I mean the government) doesn’t start doing something about it we will have a tragedy on our hands rivaling the great depression.

A report* entitled “The 2030 Problem: Caring for Aging Baby Boomers” by James R Knickman and Emily K Snell, defines the problem.

“The economic burden of aging in 2030 should be no greater than the economic burden associated with raising large numbers of baby boom children in the 1960s. The real challenges of caring for the elderly in 2030 will involve: (1) making sure society develops payment and insurance systems for long-term care that work better than existing ones, (2) taking advantage of advances in medicine and behavioral health to keep the elderly as healthy and active as possible, (3) changing the way society organizes community services so that care is more accessible, and (4) altering the cultural view of aging to make sure all ages are integrated into the fabric of community life.”

The report concludes with this...

“To meet the long-term care needs of Baby Boomers, social and public policy changes must begin soon. Meeting the financial and social service burdens of growing numbers of elders will not be a daunting task if necessary changes are made now rather than when Baby Boomers actually need long-term care.”

Currently, the government has given only lip service to lowering drug prices and increasing Social Security benefits. At least they recognize a problem. Unfortunately, not much is on the agenda when it come to affordable housing and long-term care.

According to HUD*…

“The older population is projected to grow rapidly, and although many seniors wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible, challenges related to affordability, accessibility, and poor linkages to health services may make doing so difficult.

Expanding the supply of aging-friendly housing options, rental assistance, home repairs and modifications, accessible residential design and community planning, as well as improving the links between housing and healthcare, among other strategies, can help seniors age safely, comfortably, and affordably in their homes and communities.”

HUD even has a solution…

“To accommodate an aging population, many more units at all affordability levels will need to be made accessible to people with disabilities, both through new construction and retrofitting of the existing housing stock. New construction can be designed for accessibility at the outset or in ways that make future accessibility modifications easy to complete. One way to promote accessibility would be through the broader adoption of universal design principles. Universal design incorporates features intended to benefit people of all ages and abilities such as wide doorways, step-free entryways, and lever faucets. Many of these features are not usually found in existing housing; therefore, modifications will be needed not only to make housing more accessible but also more safe, comfortable, and user friendly. Such modifications range widely in cost, and many households would need assistance to afford the more expensive modifications. The residences of long-tenured homeowners may also need repairs beyond aging-friendly modifications, which can increase affordability pressures. Tax credits and public loans and grants may help lower-income households make their homes more habitable and more suitable for aging in place.”

The above statement by HUD comes from a two-year-old report outlining the dire need for affordable housing for an ever-growing older population. 

A bill, introduced in the House of Representatives (HR1661) by Republican congressman from Ohio Pat Tiberi, died in the House last year and never re-introduced. The bill would have provided substantial tax credit for affordable housing.

There isn’t any current proposed legislation (at least on the federal level) addressing the problem of affordable housing. 

For those who contend this should not be the government’s problem, I would normally agree with you. Unfortunately, government (both federal, state and local) made it their problem when they did not put a stop to out-of-control real estate interests primarily in America’s urban centers. Try finding an affordable apartment in New York or San Francisco. Even those earning a decent salary can no longer afford to live in those cities. Rent control is a joke. They have awarded landlords up to 15% increases every time the review board meets. An $850 a month apartment ten years ago now rents for well over $1600.

Neighborhoods once considered cheap have become “gentrified” to a point where long-time low-income residents have left.

Is there anything we can do? Yes, but it will take some brevity on the part of federal, state, and local governments.

Affordable housing can be built as long as it becomes worthwhile to do so. This means enacting laws forcing those who want to build high-end housing must also include a number of affordable (and by affordable I mean an apartment that someone on a fixed income can a afford to rent***). This means some investment by government either in the form of subsidies, amending zoning laws and tax credits.

Right now I’m in a nice, air-conditioned well maintained room, not large but large enough for my needs. Part of my room and board is paid for by my Social Security benefits, The rest is subsidized by Medicare, Medicaid and other federal, state and local programs. The future for America’s seniors, if there is to be one, will require a concerted effort on the part of all levels of government as well as support from community groups, charities and the American public. Unfortunately, they way many people confuse social welfare programs with Socialist programs, we will need a complete turn-around in the way we think about how we decide to help those that need help the most…………………………


 
*Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1464018/

**Source: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/summer17/highlight1.html

***In 2017, rent-stabilized tenants saw a rent-to-income ratio of 36 percent—well above the 30 percent benchmark that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers affordable, according to the 2019 Income and Affordability study. Therefore, if my fixed income from Social Security was $1300 per month, I should be paying no more than $468 a month for an apartment. I don’t know of any apartment in any major metropolitan area that rents for that amount.


 * * * *



How to address the issue of
resident abuse in senior living

When news broke earlier this year that a young woman, an incapacitated resident of a long-term care facility in Arizona, had given birth after allegedly being raped by her nurse, it was only the latest in a litany of abuse cases that seem to plague the long-term care industry, including senior living. At Senate hearings in March, for example, one woman testified how her elderly mother, a woman with Alzheimer’s who lived in a Minnesota memory care community, similarly had been abused by a nursing assistant.

But it’s not just sexual abuse of residents that is an issue. Here are just a few examples of other issues:

    A South Carolina-based operator of state-owned veterans’ homes is being investigated for allegations of neglect and substandard care, including failure to respond to resident-on-resident physical violence. 

    Earlier this year, employees of a Columbus, OH, facility were charged with involuntary manslaughter after one resident of the home where they worked allegedly died as a direct result of their neglect (with wounds that turned gangrenous) and another suffered serious harm.

    A Jacksonville, FL-area based chain of nursing homes was sued for a stunning $350 million – an amount overturned by a judge in January – for allegedly both withholding therapy and treatments to residents as well as providing them when not needed. In one instance, a hospice resident, seeking end-of-life comfort and pain relief, allegedly was put through strenuous occupational and physical therapy. In others, residents with diabetes reportedly went without regular blood sugar tests for more than a month.




 * * * *




* * * *




 


See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery

http://wcenterblog.yolasite.com/cartoon-gallery.php



 * * * *





What's the magic number for retirement savings?
$1.7 million, according to this study

By Jessica Dickler

When it comes to retirement savings, many Americans miss the mark.

On average, Americans believe they need $1.7 million to retire, according to a recent survey from Charles Schwab, which looked at 1,000 401(k) plan participants nationwide.

In fact, “that’s a pretty good number if you average out age and median salary across the U.S.,” said Nathan Voris, a managing director at Schwab Retirement Plan Services.

However, “the bulk of folks do not get there,” he said.


====================================================================================================


Widespread pain contributes to
fracture risk in older adults



Among older adults, pain at multiple sites was associated with incident fracture risk in a dose-response manner, suggesting that widespread pain is an independent contributor to fracture risk, according to findings published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

“Pain at multiple sites is an independent marker for future fractures in the elderly,” Feng Pan, MD, PhD, a research fellow with the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, Australia, told Endocrine Today. “Treatment and management of pain at multiple sites may have the potential to reduce fracture risk in [an] older population.”


================================================================================


According to a New Survey by The Senior Citizens League,
One-Third of Adults Over 65 Have Not Received
Dental Care in More Than Two Years



One-out- of three adults covered by Medicare are not getting regular dental care, according to a new survey by The Seniors Citizens League (TSCL). “We estimate that roughly 20 million older Americans are going without bi-annual cleanings, X-rays, and dental exams,” says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. Medicare does not cover routine dental health services, and that often comes as a surprise to new beneficiaries. More than half of survey participants say they do not have any dental insurance coverage.   

The high cost of treatment is a frequently cited barrier by those who are not getting the dental care they need. Elizabeth H., a retiree living in Colorado says “I do not have the $7,000 I was told that I needed to get my teeth fixed. They need to either be pulled and a bridge put in, or root canaled. Being on a limited income, I do not see getting any of this done, and so it affects my health negatively. Without dental care, I’m not as healthy as I could be.”

Advancing age puts many retirees at risk of oral health problems. A common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth, a side effect of more than 500 medications. Periodontal disease is widespread, even though it can be prevented with regular visits to the dentist and cleanings. In addition, research shows a strong link between oral health and a host of other diseases.



* * * *






- 30 -

NEXT BLOG THURSDAY JULY 18TH 2019


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







         






♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

FIGHTING AGEISM:
 THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES




Ageism manifests itself in several forms.

There is ageism in the workplace (see THE BASICS section following this editorial) where the signs are very obvious. These range from being passed over for a promotion to being let go. Although not easy to prove, there are laws to prevent it. However, the ageism that bothers me most is the kind that is not so discernible but are present none the less. I’m speaking about how it became okay to make fun of and to speak down to old people. And, to compartmentalize all old folks into one group. 

Let’s first talk about “cubby-holing” old people.To treat all elderly people the same is, not only ageist, but insane.

People don’t treat all young people the same. They recognize that a seven-year-old differs from a twelve-year-old, even though they are only 5 years apart. But they lump all people over the age of 65 or seventy into a category that defines what they are, not by facts, but by stereotype. And, not only do they think all old people act and think the same, but that it’s okay to make fun of them.

While it’s all right for a person to take delight by laughing at an elderly person who does not understand how to use a smart phone, they would same severely chastise that person if they did the same to a disabled person with no legs who was trying to get into a car. 

While we are discussing making fun of old people, here’s something else that I take exception to.
How many of us have seen images on Facebook or other social media, depicting an old person clumsily dancing or doing aerobics or singing and everybody is applauding them and nodding in approval. Everyone knows that they are thinking, “For any old person to do anything other than fall asleep in his soup is a miracle.”

And then, there are the videos of 95-year-old men or women doing back-flips, deep knee bends or 100 one-hand push-ups. People watching these “freaks” (yes, I said freaks) do contortions and think, “how wonderful” would not think twice if a 20-year-old did the same thing. This is ageism. Even when we praise people who do things we believe people their age are not supposed to do, it’s ageism because they are setting people apart from the rest purely based on age and not because they can perform those feats. 

Ashton Applewhite,* author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism”, Has this to say about ageism…

‘The Fear of Aging Is Cultural’

Ageism is based on stereotypes and discrimination, and functions as a way to marginalize older adults. People “think” they know how an older adult would or should behave, but in reality, according to Applewhite, “If you’ve seen one 80-year-old, you’ve seen one 80-year-old. We grow more different from one another the older we get.”
“The fear of aging is cultural,” notes Applewhite. “There are many societies where older members are venerated. If we don’t challenge the theory that to age is to lose value as a human being, we will continue to internalize a negative message.”

She goes on to say…

“Stop the Stereotypes About Aging
As for the stereotypes surrounding the easy targets of aging, such as memory and appearance, Applewhite says: it’s time for a different approach.

“I used to think the expression ‘senior moment’ was self-deprecatingly cute,” she says. “But when I was in high school and misplaced my keys, I never referred to it as a ‘junior moment.’  Everyone can lose their keys. Memory issues don’t mean dementia.”

Finally, there’s this…

“When somebody asks you how old you are, say ‘I was born in 1945 because the questioner won’t know the answer immediately,… “People profit from our insecurities, but they can only do it if we agree to their terms.”

I’ll use that the next time I fill out an application or questionnaire…………………………………..




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6 Signs of Ageism in the Workplace — and How to Handle It
By Natalia Autenrieth

 
What does ageism in the workplace look like?

Most hiring managers and HR professionals would tell you that there is no ageism in their company, but reality isn't this straightforward. It's possible for age discrimination to go completely unnoticed. It's also possible that benign behaviors might seem like ageism to older employees. In other words, don't assume that you are in the clear because you work at a forward-thinking company, but also, just because something feels like ageism doesn't make it so.

Here are a few examples of what age discrimination might look like:

1.    Learning opportunities are automatically offered to younger employees

2.    Being overlooked or passed over for challenging assignments.

3.    Being left out of client meetings or company activities.

4.    A spoken or unspoken assumption that you are not entitled to take time off for family commitments because you  don't have young kids at home.

5.   Disparaging comments and remarks about age.

6.    Being passed over for raises and promotions.

Find out how to handle ageism in the workplace >> https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/signs-of-ageism-in-the-workplace



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Ageism Disappears When Young and
 Old Spend Time Together

By Maureen Salamon

Ageism is pervasive throughout society, and harmful to young and old alike. But a new study finds some simple steps can help erase it.

Mixing younger and older people in various settings, combined with educating younger people about the aging process and its misconceptions, works quickly to reduce ageism, the new research indicates.

"The findings really suggest that these interventions had a very strong effect on outcomes, attitudes and knowledge" about aging, said study author David Burnes. He's an assistant professor of social work at University of Toronto in Canada.

"It's an amazing feeling to think the topic of ageism is beginning to gain momentum," Burnes added, "not only on local levels, but at a global level."


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Divorce rate is booming among
the aging boomer generation



Studies show that “ gray divorce”—marital splits among senior and nearly senior citizens— is increasingly common.

According to a Pew Research Center report, the divorce rate for people in the United States age 50 and older is now about double what it was in the 1990s. And, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate for those 65 and older tripled from 1990 to 2015.

Experts say the trend makes sense and there are several reasons why divorce has become more popular at an older age.

Let’s begin with the fact that the stigma of divorce has lessened over time.



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Sex an important part of health care
for today's senior citizens

by Ken Gordon


About 65% of respondents to a 2018 poll of Americans age 65 or older, sponsored by AARP, said they were interested in sex. More than half (54%) agreed with the statement, “Sex is important to my overall quality of life.”

That might be surprising to some who have outdated stereotypes of seniors, but not to doctors who regularly deal with the rapidly growing segment of the population.

“By 2030, one in five Americans will be over 65,” said Dr. Karen Kirkham, director of the geriatrics program for OhioHealth. “Society doesn’t want to think about Grandma having sex, but that’s totally going to change as the baby boomers reach this age.”



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NEXT BLOG MONDAY JULY 15TH 2019


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Paradoxical Lucidity
Moments of clarity in dementia patients at end of life



I have always had a fascination with people as they approach the end of life. Not morbidly, but spiritual. Almost everyone knows of, or has heard of those folks who have had a near-death experience. The ones where they watch themselves on the operating table, or see a bright lite with departed relatives beckoning them to go forth. A friend of mine, who was not prone to believe in spirituality or the afterlife, recounted his own near-death experience.

He was undergoing a triple bypass operation when, as he described it, he floated over the operating table watching the surgeons working to save his life. He began to drift further and further away from the O.R. when he heard a voice tell him he had to go back. The voice reminded him he had a young daughter who needed him and that it wasn’t his time yet. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the I.C.U., very much alive. Even I had a strange pre-surgery incident.

I was on a stretcher in the corridor waiting for them to wheel me into the O.R. to undergo a life-saving operation. All I could think about was the possibility of dying on the table alone and forgotten. Fortunately, that feeling did not last long. As the doors to the operating room swung open, I felt a warmth come over me. I saw, and could feel, people who I did not recognize, gather around me in a group hug. They were telling me they loved me and everything would be all right. Was it the sedative they gave me, or something else?

There is much we don’t understand about what happens to the brain as we are about to die.

Akin to out-of-body phenomenon is something that people have known about for centuries, but until recently, never had a name. It’s what scientists now call “Paradoxical (or terminal) Lucidity.”*

“The term was coined only five years ago by German biologist Michael Nahm. His 2009 article in The Journal of Near-Death Studies was the first modern review article on the curious subject of cognitively impaired people becoming clearheaded as their death approaches. According to him, cases of “terminal lucidity” had been recorded for millennia, from accounts by classical scholars such as Hippocrates, Cicero and Plutarch to 19th-century medical luminaries like Benjamin Rush (who wrote the first American treatise on mental illness). It’s just that, apparently, no one had thought to label or conceptualize these elusive incidents in any formal way before.”

Here’s how Nahm defined terminal lucidity…


“The (re-)emergence of normal or unusually enhanced mental abilities in dull, unconscious, or mentally ill patients shortly before death, including considerable elevation of mood and spiritual affectation, or the ability to speak in a previously unusual spiritualized and elated manner.”
Unfortunately, just because scientists have defined it, terminal lucidity is difficult to study because the anomaly differs from patient to patient.

“First, what exactly should qualify as the time period “shortly before death”: minutes, hours, days … months? In a follow-up article by Nahm appearing that same year in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and coauthored with the psychiatrist Bruce Greyson of the University of Virginia, we get some clarification on this. Of 49 case studies of terminal lucidity, the vast majority (84 percent) occurred within a week of death; 43 percent, in fact, transpired the final day of life.”

Despite the vague characteristics of T.L., there are some very real and important reasons to continue to study it. Especially where Alzheimer patients are involved. If, indeed, there is an actual chemical or neurological change that occurs in the brain at the time of death, can we re-create this in the form of a medication of procedure that could extend those periods of clarity indefinitely? And, of course, even a scientist can’t disclaim the possibility of a spiritual aspect to the phenomena.**

Finally, there is the moral aspect to consider. Do we really want to be awake and aware moments before death, realizing that they may have only a few minutes? Or should we allow the terminally ill to just drift away into the unknown? Contemplate that the next time you have nothing more important to worry about………………………………………………

*source >> https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190628182305.htm
**reference >> https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/one-last-goodbye-the-strange-case-of-terminal-lucidity/



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Here are six tips on ways to
play with your grandchildren


1. Engage in creative play in everyday situations. Whether helping drive grandkids to school or extracurricular activities or taking them on errands.

2. Spend time outdoors.  “Even if it’s just in your backyard, there are so many opportunities to play outside with your grandchildren,”

3. Let your grandkids direct the play. Grandparents shouldn’t feel as if they need to plan playtime.

4. Find ways to play away from the small screens.

5. Make memories through play.

6. Vacation or staycation.

Read entire article >>



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Modified Atkins diet may boost
cognitive performance in older adults

By Brittany A. Roston

Eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet has been found to moderately improve cognitive performance in some dieters, a new study reveals. The research focused on older adults who were experiencing a decrease in memory and brain function that the researchers described as ‘suggestive of early Alzheimer’s disease.’

The findings come from Johns Hopkins Medicine, where researchers conducted a pilot study involving 14 adults; the team explains that it was hard finding enough participants who were willing to spend three months on a strict eating protocol.

Talking about the diet, the team described their study as involving a ‘modified’ Atkins-style diet, meaning it contained very low amounts of carbohydrates, but higher fat levels. When compared to participants who consumed a low-fat diet, the team found that study participants had small, but ultimately ‘measurable’ improvements when taking standardized tests.


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Overqualified? Or too old? Age discrimination case
takes aim at biased recruiting practices.

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

Overqualified? Or too old? Age discrimination case takes aim at biased recruiting practices.

Dale Kleber, at his home in Hinsdale on Sept. 11, 2018. He filed a lawsuit claiming age discrimination over a job ad that sought applicants with "no more than 7 years" of experience. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune)

Dale Kleber, a veteran lawyer, had been unemployed and job hunting for three years when he came across a position that seemed promising, but for this part of the ad: “3 to 7 years (no more than 7 years) of relevant legal experience,” it said.

Kleber, 58 at the time, had decades of experience, including as general counsel at Dean Foods and, most recently, as CEO of a dairy products trade group. But his efforts to land a new job at that level had been unsuccessful, and he didn’t want to draw down his retirement accounts to make ends meet.



When the Long-Term Care Insurer Refuses to Pay


My dad was a smart guy, but not so smart as to avoid being hoodwinked by those who drafted the contract for my mom’s long-term care insurance policy.

When my father died in 2013, he went to his grave imagining that my mother, then an Alzheimer’s patient, would get the policy’s promised home care that he would no longer be able to deliver. He’d paid its premiums for about 20 years.
The Caregiver

After my dad’s passing, I chanced upon a caregiver, a lovely European woman from the country of my mom’s birth. She had been certified as a social worker and nurse after 1,200 hours of training in her home country. The certificate attested to her ability to “perform basic nursing and caretaking activities, assess peculiar needs of geriatric care, perform caretaking duties of the elderly and perform administrative activities related to geriatric care.”



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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY JULY 11TH 2019


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TOPIC:
Why Old Folks Fear Change


Recent staff changes here at the ALF has caused some of our residents to become anxious and confused. While leaving others worried about their future.
 
It began over a week ago when we learned that our long-time recreation director was leaving. The recreation director is responsible for, not only in-house activities such as Bingo, movie nights, concerts, parties and arts and crafts classes, but arranging trips outside of the facility. Fortunately, she announced her intention to leave well in advance so they have already hired a new director. This “regime change” has caused mixed feelings by many residents who are wondering if the activities they enjoy will continue. And, while there is no sign that anything will change, it’s hard to convince some people that it may be for the best.

Another change came this past weekend when, for reasons still not made clear, several dining room personnel were let go or quit. If you don’t think this is a big deal, think again. The one thing that old folks like least is to have their meal times upset. Seniors have an almost OCD reaction to even a minor change in their dining routine. Not having coffee or orange juice waiting for them as they sit down at their table, or a misplaced knife or fork can cause people to become uncomfortable and even aggressive. Don’t mess with my oatmeal. 

Last, and maybe the most important change was in our accounting department. The entire staff comprising one-man, has left to go to another facility run by the same company that runs ours. No sign yet who will replace him which presents a problem for us residents. 

The primary function of this person was to collect rent (which he did with the tenacity of a slumlord) and to distribute resident’s funds from sources such as social security and state subsidies.* Now, as of this writing, many residents fear their access to those funds may be delayed. These fears are unfounded. But that doesn’t ease the change factor. 

So why are old people so anxious when it comes to change?

According to assistedseniorliving.net, these reasons are as good as any.


1.Fear of the loss of control
2.Fear of losing their independence
3.Fear of the unknown
4.Fear that their lives will not be the same
5.Depression from loss of a spouse
6.Feeling of isolation
7.Dementia

Some other reasons may be…**

1.They’re people, and most people eventually don’t like change. Change might seem the norm to young people today, but even young people eventually grow older and then long for days gone by. It happens, even when you’re sure it won’t. Trust me.  

2.Sometimes they legitimately long for something to stay the same. The older I get, the more I understand this reality. Careers end. Friends die. Children move away. Spouses pass away. Memories fade. When everything else is changing, the one place an older person can cry for normalcy is the church. What seems like obstinacy might simply be a cry for pastoral understanding.

3.They’ve seen change not work out. We’ve all seen that happen, of course – but older folks have often seen it happen many times. In fact, sometimes they’ve been there multiple times to clean up the mess when a poorly handled change leads to disruption and division.

4.No one has helped them understand the “why” behind changes. You may disagree with me, but I’m convinced that many older folks are willing to accept change as long as they understand the reasons behind the change. They’ve been around long enough to know that we should be able to explain and defend our reasoning in a logical and loving way. If we can’t – or won’t – do that, why should they accept the change?

5.They’ve seen change that they believe really has led to compromise. Growing up, they never dreamed that drums would be in the church, women would wear pants to church, or the Bible would be anything different than the King James Version. We may not agree with what they believe is “right,” but sometimes their fear of change comes from a genuine, heartfelt desire to avoid seeming compromise.

6.Change often means loss. To move in one direction usually means moving away from another direction. Adopting a new program requires giving up an old one. For older folks who are sometimes already facing loss, loss in church – their place of security – is even more difficult.

I have adopted and adapted to change fairly well. Perhaps because I realize the futility in trying to reverse things   out of my control. Or, maybe my apathetic attitude results from medication I’m taking. Either way, I’m used to it. My mind is in a state of knowing not to sweat the small stuff. There are too many real monsters out there waiting to gobble me up……………………………………..

* Every resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility receives a monthly stipend of at least $20 which goes into a resident’s account.



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How To Find The Best Car Insurance Plan
 For Senior Drivers


According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the frequency of crashes increases for drivers that are 70-year-old or more. As a result, insurers place seniors in the high-risk category. However, the elderly can still find ways to lower insurance premiums. Follow the next tips:

Look for a low-mileage discount. Insurance companies offer significant discounts for drivers that drive less. Senior citizens that just got retired are no longer required to commute to work, so they usually drive fewer miles.

Graduate a defensive driving course. Senior citizens will find out how medications and aging affect driving and how to better accommodate to these changes. Also, classes are cheap and will provide significant discounts after graduation.

Install anti-theft devices. Senior citizens can install noisy alarms, ignition kill switches, steering wheel locks, vehicle tracking systems or other anti-theft devices to prove their insurer they want to keep their vehicle safe. Depending on what safety device is installed, insurance companies will offer various discounts.

1.Look for a cheaper car to insure. Senior citizens are recommended to insure slightly used cars that already have several safety features installed. The cheapest vehicles to insure are slightly used SUV's, minivans, and crossovers. Also, look for models that have safety features installed.

2.Pay for the whole policy at once. Senior citizens can save between 5% to 10% if they pay for the full policy at once. This way senior citizens won't have to pay for monthly interest charges and administration fees.

3.Keep a clean driving record. Senior citizens that maintain a clean driving record can qualify for a good driver discount. This way they can lower their insurance premiums even further.

4.Shop online quotes. The best places to shop for online auto insurance quotes are brokerage websites. In order to get accurate estimates, senior citizens should be careful when they complete the questionnaires and make sure they provide accurate data. It is recommended to complete at least three car quotes in order to make an idea of how their policy would look like.




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10 American Facts You Can Use
To Ruin Any July 4 Party
By Amanda Scherker and Todd Van Luling

Would you like to ruin your Fourth of July party for your friends and family by being that person? Here’s the ammunition.

It’s that time of year again, when fireworks light up the sky and we all think about the wonder that is America. Friends remark to friends, “Isn’t America beautiful?” and answer, “Indeed, from sea to shining sea.” Well, maybe this is the year to celebrate with some truth fireworks. While fireworks may improve any party, truth fireworks burn them to the ground. Have a fun barbecue!








 
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12 things no one tells you about Alzheimer’s
By Sarah Bradley

Ask anyone what worries them most about getting older and more than a few people will say losing the ability to remember things is high up on their list. After a lifetime of making memories and forging meaningful relationships, the idea that a disease like Alzheimer’s could swoop in and steal it all away is, frankly, pretty frightening.

But what exactly does an Alzheimer’s diagnosis mean, anyway? And what is life like with the condition? Truthfully, it's tough to be fully prepared until you're actually living it, either yourself or because you're a caregiver or family member of someone with Alzheimer's.

“Newly diagnosed adults and their family members are deeply concerned about how to navigate this uncertain future,” says Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW, who runs a caregiver wellness program for the University of Michigan’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

“They’re overwhelmed with ideas and fears, which often stem from a previous personal experience with Alzheimer’s or what they learn from the media.” 



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Older Americans Seek Meaning and New Experiences in Retirement Years;
Say Health Is the Biggest Factor to Achieving Their Goals

In a new survey, nearly 70% of Americans ages 62 and older said physical health is most important to them as they age, followed in order by cognitive health (16%), social health (13%) and financial health (6%). While most are feeling good and being proactive to maintain or improve their health, nearly all are worried about ending up sick or hospitalized.

    “At UnitedHealthcare, we want to be an active partner in helping our members live healthy and feel confident in their health care decisions, so they can focus on living a life they love.”
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To address this, most have made a change in recent years to make themselves feel healthier, with diet and exercise improvements being the top steps people are taking; and 56% say they are working to improve or maintain their mental health. 





Robotic clothing could soon improve
 mobility for seniors
By: Chris Welch

At first glance, you would never know that Rich Mahoney’s clothes are different. That’s until, of course, you hear the hum of tiny robotic machinery working beneath the surface.

That’s because underneath Mahoney’s clothing is what he calls robotic clothing.

“It’s like a layer of extra muscles integrated into your clothing around your body,” he says.

Mahoney is the CEO of Seismic , a company that’s created a sort of jumpsuit that has robotic muscles positioned along the hip and around the abdomen sewn inside it.





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