Category Archives: Aging

A Few Pointers To Help Save Money And Avoid The Strain Of Medicare Enrollment

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Older or disabled Americans with Medicare coverage have probably noticed an uptick in mail solicitations from health insurance companies, which can mean only one thing: It’s time for the annual Medicare open enrollment.

Most beneficiaries have from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 to decide which of dozens of private plans offer the best drug coverage for 2018 or whether it’s better to leave traditional Medicare and get a drug and medical combo policy called Medicare Advantage.

Some tips for the novice and reminders for those who have been here before can make the process a little easier. Continue reading A Few Pointers To Help Save Money And Avoid The Strain Of Medicare Enrollment

Why Glaring Quality Gaps Among Nursing Homes Are Likely To Grow If Medicaid Is Cut

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Nursing homes that rely the most on Medicaid tend to provide the worst care for their residents — not just the people covered by the program but also those who pay privately or have Medicare coverage.

Despite the collapse of the latest Senate effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans are still keen on shrinking the amount of Medicaid money Washington sends states.

Down the line, this would create problems for the nation’s 1.4 million nursing home residents, two-thirds of whom are covered by the state-federal health care program for low-income and disabled people. Continue reading Why Glaring Quality Gaps Among Nursing Homes Are Likely To Grow If Medicaid Is Cut

Despite Boost In Social Security, Rising Medicare Part B Costs Leave Seniors In Bind

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Millions of seniors will soon be notified that Medicare premiums for physicians’ services are rising and likely to consume most of the cost-of-living adjustment they’ll receive next year from Social Security.

Higher 2018 premiums for Medicare Part B will hit older adults who’ve been shielded from significant cost increases for several years, including large numbers of low-income individuals who struggle to make ends meet. Continue reading Despite Boost In Social Security, Rising Medicare Part B Costs Leave Seniors In Bind

#SmearNotFear

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Today I went for my first smear test and I’ve decided to tell the internet about it because a) I am a chronic oversharer, and b) the NHS is having a real problem getting people to turn up for their smear tests!

Last year, 25% of those invited to come for a smear test did not turn up (that’s over 1 million missed tests) and that number was even higher among the 25-49 age group.

The smear tests for HPV – human papilloma virus – in the cervix. HPV has a bunch of different strains, most of which you’d never know about because your body can just flush it out. There are some strains, however, that are strongly associated with cervical cancer – 99.7% of cervical cancers are associated with only a few strains of HPV. The smear test looks for HPV, and particularly these strains, to try and catch…

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The Secret To Chronic Happiness As You Age

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By all rights, Fletcher Hall should not be happy.

At 76, the retired trade association manager has endured three heart attacks and eight heart bypass operations. He’s had four stents and a balloon inserted in his heart. He has diabetes, glaucoma, osteoarthritis in both knees and diabetic neuropathy in both legs. He can’t drive. He can’t travel much. He can’t see very well. And his heart condition severely limits his ability to exercise. On a good day, he can walk about 10 yards before needing to rest. Continue reading The Secret To Chronic Happiness As You Age

Soul Purpose: Seniors With Strong Reasons To Live Often Live Stronger

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After making it through the maelstrom of middle age, many adults find themselves approaching older age wondering “what will give purpose to my life?” now that the kids have flown the nest and retirement is in the cards.

How they answer the question can have significant implications for their health. Continue reading Soul Purpose: Seniors With Strong Reasons To Live Often Live Stronger

Elder Abuse: ERs Learn How To Protect A Vulnerable Population

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Abuse often leads to depression and medical problems in older patients — even death within a year of an abusive incident.

Yet, those subjected to emotional, physical or financial abuse too often remain silent. Identifying victims and intervening poses challenges for doctors and nurses.

Because visits to the emergency room may be the only time an older adult leaves the house, staff in the ER can be a first line of defense, said Tony Rosen, founder and lead investigator of the Vulnerable Elder Protection Team (VEPT), a program launched in April at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center ER.

The most common kinds of elder abuse are emotional and financial, Rosen said, and usually when one form of abuse exists, so do others. According to a New York study, as few as 1 in 24 cases of abuse against residents age 60 and older were reported to authorities. Continue reading Elder Abuse: ERs Learn How To Protect A Vulnerable Population

FIND SUPPORT NOW | #STAYSTRONG

Despite Advance Directive, Dementia Patient Denied Last Wish, Says Spouse

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Bill Harris is blunt: For more than a year, he has been trying to help his wife die.

The 75-year-old retired tech worker says it’s his duty to Nora Harris, his spouse of nearly four decades, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2009.

“Let me be honest: Yes. It’s what she wanted,” he said. “I want her to pass. I want her to end her suffering.”

Nora Harris, 64, a former librarian, signed an advance directive after her diagnosis to prevent her life from being prolonged when her disease got worse. Now, her husband said, she’s being kept alive with assisted eating and drinking against her stated wishes. Continue reading Despite Advance Directive, Dementia Patient Denied Last Wish, Says Spouse

CBO: Killing Cost-Sharing Subsidies Would Hike Silver Plan Premiums And Deficit

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If President Donald Trump were to follow through on his threats to cut federal cost-sharing subsidies, health insurance premiums for silver plans would soar by an average of 20 percent next year and the federal deficit would rise by $194 billion over the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

The change would not be expected to have much long-term effect on the number of uninsured people, according to the analysis. But it could cause a shift in which plans are popular with marketplace customers as insurers realign some of their prices to defray the loss of the federal payments, the CBO said. Surprisingly, some customers might find better deals by looking at higher-end products. Continue reading CBO: Killing Cost-Sharing Subsidies Would Hike Silver Plan Premiums And Deficit

Lag In Brain Donation Hampers Understanding Of Dementia In Blacks

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The question came as a shock to Dorothy Reeves: Would she be willing to donate her husband’s brain for research?

She knew dementia would steadily take Levi Reeves’ memories of their 57-year marriage, his remaining lucidity and, eventually, his life. But to let scientists take his brain after he died? That seemed too much to ask.

“I didn’t want to deal with the idea of his death,” said Reeves, 79. “I certainly didn’t want to deal with brain donation.” Continue reading Lag In Brain Donation Hampers Understanding Of Dementia In Blacks