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Social Security News

Social Security COLA for 2015 Looks Like 1.5, Maybe 1.7, Percent

Posting by Social Security Office of the Actuary looks like Trustees' projection of cost-of-living for next year was correct

Woman placing coins into coin purseOct. 19, 2014 - Senior citizens are going to receive a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of about 1.5 percent for 2015 according to projections releases today by the Office of the Chief Actuary at the Social Security Administration. Based on current projections the increase could, however, be as high as 1.7 percent or as low as 1.4%. This is also consistent with projection in the Trustees’ Report issued earlier this year. The official pay raise for seniors may be announced as early as Wednesday but no later than October 30. More...

Senior News from Other Media

Senior Citizen Headline News

As TV Viewers Get Older, Drug Ads Take A Terrifying Turn

Read or listen to the report

Oct. 12, 2014 - With each passing day, fewer young people watch traditional television. As they turn to digital devices and other on-demand modes of getting entertainment, older Americans remain the dependable demographic for television. And that means older people are treated to a litany of drug ads, filled with lists of horrifying side effects. Robert Siegel, National Public Radio

Increasingly Accurate PET Scan Helps Detect Cancer, Heart Conditions

Oct. 10, 2014 - A novel technique that reduces image degradation caused by respiratory motion during a PET scan was developed through a recent study. PET scanning is routinely used to detect cancer and heart conditions. Science Daily

Working 9-to-5 past 65, the anti-retirement plan

As of September, 60 percent of workers age 65 and older had full-time jobs, up from about 55 percent in September of 2007.. Over that time, the share of workers with part-time jobs fell to 40 percent from about 45 percent. Economists say it’s only natural that people are working longer because they’re living longer. Today, one in four people who reach age 65 will live past 90. Jonnelle Marte, The Washington Post, explores the growing trend of working beyond age 65.

Despite CMS Rules, Nursing Homes Still Lack Sprinklers

Oct. 3, 2014 - Despite a history of deadly nursing home fires and a five-year lead-up to an August 2013 deadline to install sprinklers, 385 facilities in 39 states fail to meet requirements set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Together, those facilities are licensed to house more than 52,000 people… Matt Sedensky, Associated Press

Excessive worry in women linked to higher Alzheimer's risk

Oct. 3, 2014 - Research found a link between middle-age women with neurotic traits and a higher Alzheimer's risk…The Washington Post

Over Half Senior Citizens in One ER Found to be Malnourished

Oct. 2, 2014 - Doctors and nurses in the hospital emergency department were so focused on attending to the medical problems that spark ER visits, they often missed an important health issue. Many older patients were apparently malnourished. With a closer look, they found that more than half of the ER patients age 65 and older that they studied were either malnourished or close to it... Kay Lazar, Boston Globe

America's oldest workers: Why we refuse to retire!

Oct. 1, 2014 - For these seniors, the best retirement is not to retire. From a 102-year-old Wal-Mart worker to an activist park ranger, these workers have stayed on the job well into their golden years. ..CNN Money

Older People's Day in U.K: 1 Million Over 65 Working

Oct. 1, 2014 - The figures were released today in a new Department of Work and Pensions analysis to mark International Older People's Day. There are now 1,103,000 workers aged 65 and over in work compared to 874,000 at the end of 2011 - an increase of 229,000 since the scrapping the Default Retirement…Liberal Democrats U.K.

Make Sure You Can Afford a Reverse Mortgage

Sept. 23, 2014 - Although the TV commercials make a reverse mortgage sound super simple, there’s a lot to consider. So please proceed with caution. Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post

How the Flu Shot Became the New Doorbuster Deal

Sept. 23, 2014 - Pharmacies are using coupons and early season promotions in an aggressive competition to give flu shots to more Americans. The hope is that these efforts give their overall sales a shot in the arm. Brad Tuttle, Time

Drugstores, Retailers Grab More of Flu Vaccine Market

Sept. 23, 2014 - Walgreen provided enough flu shots last season to protect a population roughly twice the size of Los Angeles. CVS doled out more than 5 million, or double its total from a few years ago. And Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, offers flu shots at 4,200 of its U.S. stores that have pharmacies. AP

12 Surprising Things that Mess with Your Memory

September 20, 2014 - You regularly ransack the house to find your keys. You suddenly can't recall the name of your partner. You made your six-month dentist appointment three months late. Sound familiar? Fear not: most forgetfulness isn't always something serious – ABC News

Social Security

Sixth Consecutive Year Of Record Low COLAs “Unprecedented,” Says The Senior Citizens League

Oct. 19, 2014 - The annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will remain at record low levels again in 2015, according to a forecast by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) issued on October 1. According to the most recent consumer price index (CPI) data through August, TSCL forecasts that COLAs will be 1.7 percent in 2015. … The Senior Citizens League

Small Social Security increases expected in 2015

Oct. 19, 2014 - For the third straight year, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect historically small increases in their benefits come January. Preliminary figures suggest the annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will be less than 2 percent. That translates to a raise of about $20 a month for the typical Social Security beneficiary. … Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press, on NPR

Medicare and Medicaid News

Medicare Open Enrollment: Are You Ready?

Oct. 5, 2014 - ...Medicare actually involves some serious choices and, once a year, Medicare open enrollment allows participants to reconsider choices they've made about their coverage. This year, Medicare open enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, with any changes you make taking effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Let's take a look at some of the facts you should know… Dan Caplinger, Motley Fool

Senators: Widen Medicaid program for frail seniors

Sept. 26, 2014 - More than a dozen U.S. senators from both parties are calling on the Obama administration to broaden a Medicaid program for the nation's frailest seniors, calling it a proven alternative to pricier nursing home care as states seek to limit long-term medical costs…AP

Obamacare could see second wave of Medicaid expansion

Sept. 26, 2014- One of the most highly contentious Obamacare programs, which calls on states to expand their publicly-funded healthcare for the poor, could see a second wave of participation by U.S. states later this year or early in 2015, according to state officials and independent analysts. Following are states whose governor's offices or legislators have held talks with President Barack Obama's administration ... Reuters

Senator McConnell Asks Medicare to Help Detect Lung Cancer in Smokers

Sept. 24, 2014 - Citing a U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation, the Kentucky Republican has sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner seeking review for possible coverage of low-dose CT scans to detect lung cancer among high-risk populations, such as pack-a-day smokers.  Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call

Medicare Open Enrollment Oct.15 – Dec. 7, 2014

Find out what you can do during this special open enrollment period. Click to more

Medical Research News for Seniors

New Cancer Drug to Begin Trials in Multiple Myeloma Patients

Oct. 13, 2014 – A report today in Cancer Cell from Imperial College London explains how the drug DTP3, kills myeloma cells, without causing toxic side effects - the main problem with most cancer drugs. It works by stopping a key process that allows cancer cells to multiply. The researchers have received funding to take the drug into a clinical trial with multiple myeloma patients. It is an incurable cancer of the bone marrow, accounting for nearly 2% of all cancer deaths.

New Melanoma Drug Therapy Improves Survival, Lowers Side Effects

Combining Zelboraf with cobimetinib also showed a decreased risk of secondary cancers

Oct. 8, 2014 – A researcher at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has helped develop a combination drug therapy that shows promise in extending the lives of people with metastatic melanoma… also accomplishes this without the side effect of a secondary skin cancer seen in some patients prescribed only one of the drugs.

Drug Used for Another Disease Slows Progression of Parkinson’s

Oct. 8, 2014 - The study  found that the drug, AT2101, which has also been studied for Gaucher disease, improved motor function, stopped inflammation in the brain and reduced levels of alpha-synuclein, a protein critically involved in Parkinson’s.

Insomnia Among Older Adults May be Tied to Sleep Quality, Not Duration

Oct. 8, 2014 - Reports of insomnia are common among the elderly, but a new study finds that sleep problems may stem from the quality of rest and other health concerns more than the overall amount of sleep that patients get.


Features for Senior Citizens

Majority of American Senior Citizens Would be in Poverty Without Social Security

New supplemental poverty report from Census Bureau drops 2.3 million more seniors below poverty level – medical expense the significant factors

By Tucker Sutherland, with materials from U.S. Census Bureau

Oct. 17, 2014 – The last time we got a report on poverty in the U.S., which was just weeks ago, senior citizens seemed to be doing pretty well. Although the “official poverty” report said 4.2 million seniors lived in poverty, the rate was flat with 2013. Now, the Census Bureau has reported a different look, called the “supplemental poverty rate” and a few million more seniors have dropped below the poverty rate. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Five Costly Mistakes Boomers Make When Enrolling in Medicare

NCOA's My Medicare Matters is designed to help seniors make smart choices; also offers help on Open Enrollment

Oct. 16, 2014 – Signing up for Medicare probably presents more options than most Baby Boomers assume before they reach age 65. With hundreds of policies to choose from, and so much information to understand, many seniors guess when choosing a policy and end up paying too much for a plan that doesn't cover what they need, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), which created a website to help senior citizens. More...

Retirement News

Boomers Facing Retirement Very Concerned About Health Care Cost, They Say

Most are concerned but few are taking any financial action to do anything about it

Oct. 16, 2014 – The overwhelming majority (86%) of baby boomers express concern about the affordability of health care in retirement, but very few pre-retirees admit they have taken financial steps to prepare for health care costs in retirement, according to a study released today by Ameriprise Financial. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Seniors to Find Medicare Advantage, Drug Plans Improving as Enrollment Opens

CMS touts better quality and more variety and steady prices as Open Enrollment period begins today, runs through December 7 (Links to more news on Open Enrollment below news report)

Seniors and people with disabilities are benefiting from improved quality in Medicare health and drug plans at competitive prices.”

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner

Oct. 15, 2014 - For 2015, steadily increasing quality of plans should give seniors confidence that they have an array of quality choices at competitive prices, according to a news release today from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminding seniors that Medicare Open Enrollment begins today. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Help to Guide Your Open Enrollment Challenge

Medicare Open Enrollment – the time to make changes in your Medicare services – opens tomorrow and closes on December 7

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Medicare videos may help you with Open Enrollment - see links

Oct. 14, 2015 – Medicare Open Enrollment – it begins tomorrow, but for many senior citizens it is not something they eagerly anticipate each year. Not liking change just seems to be something that develops in our DNA as we become a senior. And, it is made even more distasteful knowing the whole system of choosing the right health and drug plans is designed for using a computer to go online. More...

Mental Health, Alzheimer's, Dementia

Mental Stress Impact on Heart Varies Between Men, Women

Women had greater increase in negative emotions, decrease in positive emotions

Oct. 13, 2014 — Researchers found that while men had more changes in blood pressure and heart rate in response to the mental stress, more women experienced myocardial ischemia, decreased blood flow to the heart. The women also expressed a greater increase in negative emotions and a greater decrease in positive emotions during the mental stress tests. Women also experienced increased platelet aggregation, which is the start of the formation of blood clots, more than men. More...

Medicare & You Available Online or for E-Readers as Help for Open Enrollment

Printed books have been mailed but if you have not received it, or prefer electronic data convenience it is online to help seniors with Open Enrollment, which starts Wednesday

See in story what you can do during open enrollment, link to Plan Finder

Oct. 13, 2015 - As senior citizens do their research in preparation for Medicare Open Enrollment that begins on Wednesday, an important reference to use is the Medicare & You 2015 handbook, which provides information on Medicare provisions for the new year. The paper edition was mailed to all Medicare enrollees in October but if you have not received it, it is available online or as a download to your eReader or other digital devices. More...

Social Security Q&A

Life Expectancy Calculator at Social Security Can Help Retirement Planning

Social Security provides some information on Medicare Open Enrollment that begins this wee

Oct. 12, 2014 – Did you know that Social Security provides a Life Expectancy Calculator on their website? It can come in pretty handy for planning your retirement and Social Security strategy. It is just one of the top answers in this week’s Social Security Q&A. Another big one is about Medicare Open Enrollment that begins this week and the opportunity for Extra Help. More...

Senior Citizen Politics

New Women’s Initiative Focuses on Income Inequality, Health and Retirement Security

“Eleanor’s Hope” continues Roosevelt legacy of social progress

Oct. 11, 2014 - A new national initiative, Eleanor’s Hope, to help bring an end to the disparity between men’s and women’s income, health and retirement security, was launched this week by The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. A “press call” announcement included Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), NOW President Terry O’Neill and Tufts Health Plan President/CEO, James Roosevelt, Jr. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare to Cover First Stool DNA Test for Detection of Colorectal Cancer

Cologuard the first and only FDA-approved noninvasive stool DNA screening test for colorectal cancer

Oct. 10, 2014 – Exact Sciences Corp. announced yesterday that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued its final National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Cologuard, making it the first and only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved stool DNA test for the detection of colorectal cancer and precancer covered by Medicare. Coverage will go into effect immediately. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Fake ‘Good’ Cholesterol Wins Fight to Reduce Plaque Buildup

Points toward new method for preventing plaque buildup in the arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes

Oct. 10, 2014 - Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have created a synthetic molecule that mimics “good” cholesterol and have shown it can reduce plaque buildup in the arteries of animal models. The molecule, taken orally, improved cholesterol in just two weeks. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Heart Valve Disease Hits One of Ten Elderly Women Warns Educational Campaign

Alliance for Aging Research says it hits men and women but women tend to have worse prognosis

Oct. 10, 2014 - A new campaign has been launched aimed at educating about heart valve disease in women, a condition that causes damage to one or more of the heart’s four valves and can lead to loss of independence, disability and death. It affects one in 10 women age 75 and over and one in 50 of all adult women, says the Alliance for Aging Research. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare 2015 Part B Charges Remain Unchanged, Part A Deductible Up Some

Premiums, copays and deductibles for other Medicare programs for 2015 also announced

Oct. 9, 2014 – There is good news for senior citizens today – the Medicare Part B monthly premium and deductible will remain the same for 2015 as the last two years: $104.90 and $147 respectively. Most other Medicare charges will also remain stable with the exception of The Medicare Part A deductible, that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital, will be $1,260 in 2015, an increase of $44 from this year's $1,216 deductible. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Many Medicare Outpatients Pay More at Rural Hospitals, Report Says

Medicare pays country hospitals more generously so they won’t go out of business

By Jordan Rau KHN Staff Writer

Oct. 9, 2014 - Many Medicare beneficiaries treated at primarily rural “critical access” hospitals end up paying between two and six times more for outpatient services than do patients at other hospitals, according to a report released Wednesday by the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Hospice Providers Cheer New IMPACT Act Signed by President Obama

‘This new law strengthens oversight and transparency throughout the entire hospice community’

Oct. 9, 2014 - A new law, the “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014” (IMPACT Act), that includes provisions creating greater oversight and increased transparency within the hospice community was signed and made official yesterday by President Obama. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization push for passage of this legislation and cheered the President’s final approval. More...

 

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Caregiver & Elder Care News

Tips for Slowing Increase in Nursing Home Infections

Infections are a leading cause of deaths and complications for nursing home residents

Oct. 9, 2014 –A study, which examined infections in U.S. nursing homes over a five-year period, found increased infection rates for pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), viral hepatitis, septicemia, wound infections, and multiple drug-resistant organisms (MDROs). This alarming increase found in the study from Columbia University School of Nursing suggests more must be done to protect residents of these facilities - mostly senior citizens - from preventable complications. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Senior Men Moving to Memory Care Communities Faster Than Women

Senior men 27% more likely than women to require memory care services

Oct. 8, 2014 – Both men and women are moving in increasing numbers to memory care communities, however, male move-ins are growing at a rate that is 14 percent greater than women over a three-year period (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014), according to the senior living referral service, A Place for Mom. More...

Aging & Longevity

Life Expectancy in U.S. Continues to Reach New Highs

CDC report based on 2012 data says most young Americans can expect to live 78.8 years - women to 81.2, men to 76.4

Oct. 8, 2014 - Life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population reached a record high of 78.8 years in 2012, according to a new report from the National Vital Statistics System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More..

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Memory Loss Associated with Alzheimer’s Reversed for First Time, Study Claims

Small trial from UCLA and Buck Institute claims success using systems approach to memory disorders

Oct. 7, 2014 - This study from the UCLA Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging is the first to suggest that memory loss in patients may be reversed, and improvement sustained, using a complex, 36-point therapeutic program that involves comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, exercise, optimization of sleep, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Physical Therapy Before Hip, Knee Replacements May Save Medicare Mega-Millions

Also good news for senior citizens, who undergo most knee, hip replacements, to endure less stress following surgery

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Oct. 7, 2014 – New research released today finds that postoperative care and costs could be reduced by about 30% for patients having total hip (THR) or total knee (TKR) replacement surgery, if physical therapy is administered before joint replacement surgery. It is good news for senior citizens, who have the majority of these procedures, and it makes sense considering the increasing abilities of seniors to tolerate physical exercise at increasing age levels. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Nine Tips for the Daunting Task of Signing Up For Medicare

Enrolling in Medicare is a ‘daunting task’ even for a consumer reporter who has written about health-insurance

By Caroline Mayer, Kaiser Health News

Oct. 7, 2015 - “Welcome to America's hottest talk line. Ladies, to talk to interesting and exciting guys free, press 1 now. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you…" Wait! I thought I was calling Social Security to ask a question about enrolling in Medicare. More...

Features for Senior Citizens

85-Year-Old Gives Her Book Away to Promote Youthful Rock-Star Life in Retirement

She wants to stop the premature decline caused by traditional retirement, especially for women

Oct. 7, 2014 - Barbara Morris, 85-year-old pharmacist and anti-aging author is not shy about stating her beliefs about anything. She is especially critical of traditional retirement, calling it a "toxic " lifestyle because she believes it contributes to premature decline. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Introduces Innovations to Improve Post-Acute Care

Nursing Home Five-Star rating expands, conditions for participation by home health agencies strengthened

Oct. 7, 2014 – Two new initiatives to improve the quality of post-acute care in Medicare were announced yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). First, the agency’s widely-used Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes will be expanded to improve consumer information about individual nursing homes’ quality. Secondly, proposed new conditions for home health agencies will modernize Medicare’s Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation to ensure safe delivery of quality care. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Cancer Grows at Night, Maybe That’s When to Attack, New Study Says

Weizmann Institute scientists find that a hormone that keeps us alert also suppresses the spread of cancer

Oct. 6, 2015 - They emerge at night, while we sleep unaware, growing and spreading out as quickly as they can. And they are deadly. In a surprise finding that was recently published in Nature Communications, Weizmann Institute of Science researchers showed that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body. Their findings suggest that administering certain treatments in time with the body’s day-night cycle could boost their efficiency. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Key to Beating Diabetes May Be in Medicine for Treating Tapeworms

Rutgers study seeks to find a safe, practical way to diminish fat content in the liver; niclosamide may be it

Oct. 5, 2014 - New research from Rutgers shows promising evidence that a modified form of a different drug, niclosamide – now used to eliminate intestinal parasites – may hold the key to battling the disease at its source. Type 2 diabetes affects an estimated 28 million Americans and almost one out of four seniors 60 and over, according to the American Diabetes Association, but medications now available only treat symptoms, not the root cause of the disease. More...

Aging & Longevity

One-Third of Countries Struggling to Meet Needs of Aging Senior Populations

Norway ranked as best country for seniors, Afghanistan last and U.S.A. 8th

Oct. 4, 2014 - People around the world are living longer, but social policies to support their wellbeing in later life are lagging behind in many countries. This is according a new report by HelpAge International, developed in partnership with the University of Southampton, which ranked Norway as the best country in the world for senior citizens, Afghanistan the worst and the U.S.A. is number 8. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Telemarketing Scheme of Fake Medicare Callers Took Millions from Senior Citizens

Federal Trade Commission gets court to shut it down, seeks permanent shutdown, return of money

Oct. 3, 2014 – A massive fake Medicare scheme that stole millions of dollars from the bank accounts of senior citizens has been stopped by a federal court at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. The telemarketing crooks pretended to be part of Medicare to gain the confidence of the seniors. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Serious About Cutting Readmissions, Fines 2,610 Hospitals

Federal government’s penalties begin their third year this month

By Jordan Rau, KHN Staff Writer

Oct. 3, 2014 - Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals – 2,610 – for having too many patients return within a month for additional treatments, federal records released Wednesday show. Even though the nation’s readmission rate is dropping, Medicare’s average fines will be higher, with 39 hospitals receiving the largest penalty allowed, including the nation’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. More..

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Family Caregiver Alliance Adds Nine Free Publications for Caregivers

Oct. 3, 2014 - The library of free materials available online for caregivers has increased by nine publications, according to a news release by The Family Caregiver Alliance. The educational materials - many in multiple languages - include fact sheets, research reports, webinars, educational videos, and more. They are all available free online on the recently redesigned FCA website. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Blood Test Reveals Genetic Risk of Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke

About half of the people with AFib are seniors age 75 or older

Oct. 3, 2014 – Atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular heartbeat, can lead to a number of health risks, including heart disease and stroke. Developing AFib increases markedly with older age, with about half of those with the condition are senior citizens over age 75. The American Heart Association points out people are more likely to get the condition if a family member has it. New research, however, has discovered how to identify with a simple blood test those who are genetically predisposed to develop atrial fibrillation and possibly a stroke. More...

Social Security News

Social Security Seeks Maryland Attorneys for Pro Bono Assistance Pilot

Attorneys get chance to fulfill Court of Appeals’ aspirational goal of providing pro bono services assisting young, elderly, and disabled - may become national program

Oct. 2, 2014 - Implementation of a pro bono pilot in Maryland for attorneys interested in being a representative payee for a Social Security beneficiary was announced today by Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. Representative payees, she said, provide crucial help to the most vulnerable individuals in our community with their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments. More..

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Can Stimulating Curiosity Bring Aging Memories Back to Life?

New research says it's easier to learn if you are interested and this curiosity stimulates the brain’s hippocampus where memories form

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Based on materials from Cell Press

Oct. 2, 2014 - The more interested we are in a topic, the easier it is to learn about that topic, according to new research published today in the journal Neuron. For most of us, it is surprising that it took a research study to make the discovery. But, then again, it could be a new direction for efforts to improve memory in the healthy elderly and to develop new approaches for treating patients with disorders that affect memory. More

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Old Lungs Look New Again - Ibuprofen Reduces Inflammation in Elderly

Finding might someday support use of ibuprofen as adjunct therapy for senior citizens with tuberculosis

By Emily Caldwell

Oct. 2, 2014 - New research shows that the lungs become more inflammatory from cell damage with age and that ibuprofen can lower that inflammation. Researchers have found that immune cells from old mouse lungs fought tuberculosis bacteria as effectively as cells from young mice after lung inflammation was reduced by ibuprofen. More...

Aging & Longevity

Senior Citizens Have a Different Sense of Humor

Does our sense of humor change as we age? Or is it based on life experiences?

Oct. 2, 2014 - TV sitcoms in which characters make jokes at someone else’s expense are no laughing matter for older adults, according to a University of Akron researcher and two co-authors who examined whether young, middle-aged and older adults found clips of inappropriate social behavior to be funny. More...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Four New Cancer Risks Added to Report on Carcinogens by HHS

Science-based document identifies chemical, biological, and physical agents that are considered cancer hazards

Oct. 2, 2014 – A new report – the 13th – on cancer causing carcinogens has been issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with four substances added to the list, which now numbers 243. The science-based document identifies chemical, biological, and physical agents that are considered cancer hazards.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Most Allergic Deaths from Medications; Older People, African-Americans Usual Victims

Montefiore/Einstein research seeks risk factors to allow physicians to develop preventative strategies

Sept. 30, 2014 – When we hear of allergy-related sudden death, most of us probably think of something in the surrounding environment – like a plant, or something in the air. We would be wrong. Medications are the leading cause of allergy-related sudden deaths in the U.S. And, the risk of fatal drug-induced allergic reactions is increasing rapidly and is particularly high among older people and African-Americans.

 

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Aging & Longevity

Older People Who Cannot Distinguish Smells Likely to Die Before Those Who Can

After first test, 39 percent who failed died within five years

Oct. 1, 2014 – Here is a smell test senior citizens don’t want to fail. Those who did the worst in this study of older people trying to identify scents died off the fastest. The researchers now say it may predict which older people are most at risk of dying.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Many Senior Women Receive Unnecessary Pap Tests

Surprised that so many women over age 65 reported  recent Pap test; unnecessary tests can result in stress for the patient, increased costs, and inefficient use of time

By Stephanie Stephens, HBNS Contributing Writer

Oct. 1, 2014 - As many as half to two-thirds of women who have undergone hysterectomies or are older than 65 years in the United States report receiving Pap tests for cervical cancer. This prevalence is surprising in light of the 2003 U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce guidelines recommending that women discontinue Pap testing if they have received a total hysterectomy without a history of cervical cancer and if they are over age 65 years with ongoing and recent normal Pap test results.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts October 15, Here is What We Know So Far

Premiums not expected to rise overall in 2015 - some may decline - but some plans have signaled significantly higher rates

By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News

Oct. 1, 2014 - Medicare beneficiaries who want to make changes to their prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage coverage can do so starting Oct. 15 during the Medicare's program’s annual open enrollment period. There will be somewhat fewer plans to pick from this year, but in general people will have plenty of options, experts say.

Medicare & Medicaid News

What Doctors, Hospitals Provided Free by Drug Firms, Suppliers Released by CMS

Information promotes transparency in financial relationships between health care industry, doctors and teaching hospitals

medical symbol with dollar sign for staffOct. 1, 2014 – For the first time, consumers have information on consulting fees, research grants, travel reimbursements, and other gifts the health care industry – such as medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies – provided to physicians and teaching hospitals. The information was released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the last five months of 2013. It meets a requirement of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to help consumers understand the financial relationships between the health care industry, and physicians and teaching hospitals.

Features for Senior Citizens

Pope Francis Calls the World to Honor the Elderly, Says Old Age Time of Grace

Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVL, joined 40,000 elderly to hear Pope Francis

Sept. 30, 2014 - Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Sunday morning in St Peter's Square, following a special reception with an estimated 40,000 elderly men and women, including the honored guest, Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. In his homily, the 77-year old Holy Father spoke of the enormous – indeed, indispensable - contribution that seniors make to society, most importantly in their conservation of hard-earned wisdom and experience, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

Retirement News

U.S. Seniors Achieve Highest Home Equity Since 2008 Crash

Reverse mortgage group tracking shows seniors paying off more of home equity

Sept. 30, 2014 - Americans 62 years old and older now have more equity in their homes than at any time since early 2008, according to a quarterly measurement by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). The NRMLA’s quarterly measure that analyzes trends in home values, home equity, and mortgage debt of homeowners 62 and older, has reached 178.91, its highest level since Q4 2007.

Social Security News

Social Security Opens New National Support Center

Sept. 29, 2014 - Social Security opened a new National Support Center (NSC) today in Urbana, MD., that the agency says is a state-of-the-art data center that will meet the agency’s anticipated IT workloads for at least the next 20 years.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Heart Attacks in Older Men May Drop 80% with Modest Diet, Lifestyle Changes

Study of over 20,000 men age 45 to 79 published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Sept. 28, 2014 – If you are a male senior citizens this study should get your attention. It concludes that 80 percent - four out of five - of heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) in men may be preventable with a relatively easy combination low-risk behavior in diet and lifestyle.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Seniors are 90% of Flu Deaths; Just 65% Get Free Medicare Vaccinations

Actions those senior citizens 65 and older need to take this flu season with links to lots of information - CDC says get shot by October

Sept. 28, 2014 – There is a reason that senior citizens are the focus of attention when flu season approaches - 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 and 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S. occur in people 65 years and older, according to government estimates. Knowing these numbers and that Medicare provides free flu shots, it should be easy to convince seniors to get vaccinated.

Aging & Longevity

Japan Having Problem with Senior Citizens Refusing to Accept Being Elderly

Japan No. 2 in Life Expectancy,
 U.S. 34

Japan is listed by the World Health Organization as the number two nation in the world in a ranking by average life expectancy - 84.6 years.

The U.S. ranks 34 with at 79.8 years.

Recent survey finds older Japanese just don't like being considered elderly, even if it means special favors

Sept. 27, 2014 – Japan has a problem with its senior citizens. They are refusing to sit in priority seating for the elderly in the public transportation system, many refuse to consider people elderly until they are 80 years old and they don’t like Respect for the Aged Day, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health - Opinion

Editor Disagrees with Study Predicting Mental Decline After Admitting Memory Problems

‘If noticing memory slip signals memory, cognitive decline, all my friends are on slippery slope’

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Sept. 26, 2014 – Research from a reputable source finds that people who notice their memory is slipping are much more likely to develop memory and other cognitive problems. Well, there go all my senior friends and myself. At age 76, I mostly hangout with my tennis buddies and very “with it” old-time friends that I share with my wife. I don’t know of a one of us that does not occasionally complain about our memory.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Vicodin, Other Pain Killers with Hydrocodone Will Be Harder to Get

Patients generally must present a written prescription, doctors will no longer be able to call in a prescription

By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News

Sept. 26, 2014 - Patients who use drugs containing hydrocodone as a pain reliever or cough suppressant are going to have to jump through more hoops to get them starting next month.  The Drug Enforcement Administration is reclassifying so-called “hydrocodone combination products” from Schedule III to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act, which will more tightly restrict access. 

Medicare & Medicaid News

Several Doctors, Others Indicted in $56 Million Medicare Fraud

Operated companies in New Orleans area that purported to offer home health services and durable medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries

Sept. 26, 2014 - A New Orleans grand jury yesterday indicted seven defendants, including three doctors for their roles in a $56 million Medicare fraud scheme that operated home health services and durable medical equipment services in New Orleans and surrounding communities.  Thirteen defendants have now been charged in this case, three of whom pleaded guilty to their conduct Wednesday. 

Features for Senior Citizens

Seniors Hold Their Own Against Poverty in 2013, Household Income Jumps

Rate of poverty in U.S. declines for first time since 2006, household income steady

Sept. 26, 2014 – There are a lot of very poor senior citizens in the U.S. – 4.2 million in poverty says the Census Bureau – but the latest look at poverty by the bureau finds the rate of poverty for seniors did not change in 2013 from the 9.5 percent in 2012.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Glimmer of Hope in Battle Against Pancreatic Cancer

Salk scientists find that a vitamin D-derivative makes tumors vulnerable to chemotherapy. See video

Sept. 25, 2014 - A synthetic derivative of vitamin D was found by Salk Institute researchers to collapse the barrier of cells shielding pancreatic tumors, making this seemingly impenetrable cancer much more susceptible to therapeutic drugs.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

> New Skin-Like Device Warns of Cardiovascular, Skin Health Problems

Ease of use, small size may appeal to many senior citizens, frequent victims of cardiovascular problems; monitors blood flow rate

By Megan Fellman

Sept. 25, 2014 - A new wearable medical device can quickly alert a person if they are having cardiovascular trouble or if it’s simply time to put on some skin moisturizer, reports a Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study supported by the National Science Foundation.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Better Understand the Criminal Risk of Using Copay Coupons in Medicare

Health and Human Services officials provide a layman’s view of how anti-kick-back law impacts senior citizens, Medicare and taxpayers

Sept. 24, 2014 – The news yesterday that senior citizens run the risk of criminal prosecution for using copay coupons to purchase brand name prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D drug program is a unique occurrence that caused concern among seniors, who most often are the least likely U.S. citizens to break the law. A better understanding of this situation and the reason for this kick-back law has been provided by the Office of Inspector General of Department of Health and Human Services and its Office of Evaluation and Inspections.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Complicated Grief Suffered by Senior Citizens May Be Treatable

Complicated grief is serious, debilitating mental health problem associated with functional impairment, increased suicide risk

Sept. 24, 2014 – Recent research has been pointing to grief suffered by senior citizens as often having more serious consequences that for younger people. This “complicated grief” carries serious consequences and strikes about nine percent of bereaved older women. A recent test of a treatment for CG achieved a reduction in symptoms and less disease severity.

Social Security News

Young Investors More Worried than Seniors About Social Security, Retirement

Older investors have much more confidence in getting their Social Security than those under 50

Sept. 24, 2014 - The latest quarterly survey by Wells Fargo/Gallup on investor confidence has uncovered a surprising focus on the importance of Social Security in the retirement plans of U.S. investors. Most think that with Social Security they will be able to maintain their desired lifestyle throughout retirement. But older investors are much more confident than younger ones in Social Security and their adequate retirement resources.

 

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Health and Medicine for Seniors

Most Breast Cancer Patients Who Removed Healthy Breast Would Do It Again

Women who decided against reconstructive surgery were most likely to say they would choose to have both breasts removed again in Mayo Clinic study

Sept. 24, 2014 - More women with cancer in one breast are opting to have both breasts removed to reduce their risk of future cancer. New research shows that in the long term, most have no regrets. Mayo Clinic surveyed hundreds of women with breast cancer who had double mastectomies between 1960 and 1993 and found that nearly all would make the same choice again. The findings are published in the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Appears to be Leveling Off in U.S.

Prevalence continues to increase for some subgroups, like young adults; incidence rate up for Hispanic, black adults

Sept. 23, 2014 – The incidence and prevalence of diabetes, which doubled in the U.S. from 1990-2008 appears to have leveled off between 2008 and 2012, according to a new study in JAMA. Prevalence continued to increase at a significantly greater rate for young adults aged 20 to 44 years compared to older Americans. The incidence rate continued to increase in Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adults.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Most Want a Year of Nursing Home and Dental Coverage Added to Medicare

How to fix Medicare? Kaiser Health News asked the public

Sept. 23, 2014 – A mini-survey by Mary Agnes Carey of Capsules, the Kaiser Health News Blog, indicates that a vast majority of Americans, when asked about changes they would like to see in Medicare, want the program to add dental coverage and, secondly, a year of nursing home care.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Think Medicare Pay Rate for Doctors Favors Surgeons?

Surprising study still does not explain why proceduralists and surgeons earn much more money than primary doctors

Sept. 22, 2014 - A surprising new study pulls back the curtain on one of the most contentious issues in health care: differences in payment by Medicare and income between physicians who perform operations, procedures or tests, and those who don't.


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GM Recall Claims

Accidents and Injuries

From GM Ignition Defect

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Linked to Heart Attack & Stroke

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Put Your Message Here

Only Daily News

Site for Senior Citizens

Click for Information, Buy


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