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Aging News & Information

Most Seniors Who Break Bones in Falls Not Tested, Treated for Cause

Half of all women and one-quarter of all men will suffer at least one fragility fracture after age 50

March 24, 2014 – Older people who break a bone in a fall from no greater than their standing height - called a “fragility fracture” - are two to five times more likely to suffer another than someone who has not suffered such a break. And it appears to be progressive – if they suffer a second facture the odds of a third are even higher. Surprisingly, most of these seniors are not tested or treated for what causes most of these fractures. Read more...

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Medicare and Medicaid News

CMS Rules Would Help Protect Seniors When Medicare Advantage Plans Drop Doctors

Proposals follow UnitedHealthcare's decision to drop thousands of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plans

By Susan Jaffe, KHN

This KHN story was produced in collaboration with The Washington Post

March 24, 2014 - Federal officials are considering new Medicare Advantage rules to help protect seniors when insurers make significant reductions to their networks of doctors and other health care providers. The proposals follow UnitedHealthcare's decision to drop thousands of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plans in at least 10 states last fall. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Nasal Spray Delivers New Depression Treatment to Right Spot in Brain

20 million Americans, mostly women, suffer from depression

March 24, 2014 – A nose spray that uses new technology to deliver drugs directly to the brain is being hailed by researchers at Canada’s largest mental health and teaching hospital and the University of Toronto as a promising new way to treat depression. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Obese Women See Uterine Cancer Risk Reduced Over 70 Percent After Bariatric Surgery

May not be senior age limit for surgery or Medicare coverage if all other criteria met

March 22, 2014 - Bariatric surgery resulting in dramatic weight loss in formerly severely obese women reduces the risk of uterine cancer by 71 percent and as much as 81 percent if normal weight is maintained after surgery.  There is no specific age limit for this surgery, nor for Medicare coverage, if all other criteria is met. Generally, age is covered by requiring patients to have “acceptable surgical risk.” The Mayo Clinic says the risks increase for senior citizens over age 65. Read more...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Hospital Compare Has Lots of Info, Too Similar to Make Easy Decisions

Hospitals nationwide have achieved 98% compliance with reporting data, likely represents a substantial improvement in systems and safety

By Stephanie Stephens, HBNS Contributing Writer

March 22, 2014 - There is good news and not-so-good news about Medicare’s Hospital Compare website, designed to help patients choose hospitals with the best quality rating matching their need. The good news is that an amazing 98 percent of hospitals are participating. On the downside, however, patients can’t distinguish the quality of performance of one hospital from another. Read more...

Social Security Q&A

When Should Boomers Apply for Social Security? Should They Choose Early Retirement?

Your benefit amount is higher if you begin receiving benefits closer to your full retirement age

March 21, 2014 - When can you apply for Social Security benefits and how do you do it? Some rather basic questions answered in this week's Social Security Q&A for boomers who are just becoming old enough. And, there is the major decision for those thinking about applying - should you take early retirement? Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Latest Potential for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease Analyzes Spinal Fluid

Other recent claims of success with early detection of Alzheimer’s have used blood test or eye abnormalities in lab rats

March 21, 2014 - Researchers announced this week they are close to being able to diagnose the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease by the detection of tiny, misfolded protein fragments in cerebrospinal fluid taken from patients. Just in a matter of days similar claims for early discovery of the disease has been made by scientists using a blood test and others studying eye abnormalities in lab rats. Read more...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare, Medicaid Patients Can Receive Palliative Care While Still in Treatment as Test Program

Test program authorized by Obamacare to measure if seniors with deadly illness will choose hospice and curative care

March 20, 2014 - Medicare and Medicaid patients will be allowed to continue receiving medical care for their ailment, while at the same time receiving access to palliative care, in a new initiative that began Tuesday. The Medicare Care Choices Model will test improvements to certain beneficiaries’ quality of life while they are receiving both curative and palliative care, according to information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Read more...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Caregivers for Stroke Patients Happier if Older, Active, Patient Mentally Okay

Caregivers were happier when caring for a family member who survived a more severe stroke

March 20, 2014 - Stroke caregivers are happier when they continue to enjoy their own hobbies and interests, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. It also helps if they are older and the person they are carrying for has less cognitive impairment, depression or memory problems. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Physical Activity Reduces Breast Cancer Risk at Any Age Says Study of Four Million Women

Age, nor size, nor geographical location alters the benefits of physical exercise

March 20, 2014 – A new study leaves little doubt that physical exercise – at least one hour per day - reduces the risk of breast cancer for women of any age or size, regardless of where they live. The researchers reviewed all the studies – 37 – published from 1987 to 2013 that included four million women. Those with the highest level of physical activity reduced the risk by 12 percent. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Senior Stroke Patients Double Survival with Surgery to Relieve Brain Pressure

Proven successful with patients under 60, it has now been proven that hemicraniectomy surgery can save elderly lives, too

March 20, 2014 – Seniors over the age of 60 double their chance of surviving a major stroke due to blockage of the middle cerebral artery if they undergo surgery in the first 48 hours to remove part of the skull above the affected brain tissue to relieve pressure on the brain. But, the news is not all good – they often survive with severe disabilities. On the other hand, those without this surgery generally die quickly, according to a new study. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Seniors 60-Plus Most Affected by New Expanded Guidelines for Statin Use

Almost 13 million more Americans to be eligible for statins; 8.3 million would be people over the age of 60, says Duke Medicine study

March 20, 2014 – An additional 12.8 million in U.S. may soon be taking statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, including stroke, due to new guidelines expanding the criteria for use to include people with an elevated 10-year risk. The most affected will be seniors between the ages of 60 and 75 without cardiovascular disease - 87.4 percent of men and 53.6 percent of women will fall within the new guidelines. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Study Challenging Fatty Acids Link to Heart Disease May Push Senior to Chicken Fried Steak

Does not support guidelines restricting saturated fatty acid to reduce coronary risk, nor support high consumption of polyunsaturated fats, omega 3 or 6 to reduce heart disease.

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

March 19, 2014 – The shifts and twists and turns of scientific research can sometimes make even the most serious health-conscious seniors want to throw all the multi-colored pills that we depend on to prevent heart problems and boost our longevity into the trash. Today it is a study telling us that we were wrong to avoid saturated fats, while favoring the polyunsaturated kind and to toss down fists full of fish oil pills with omega 3 fatty acid. We have published dozens of studies in SeniorJournal.com saying just the opposite. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Exercise for Seniors Becoming New Frontier in  Battle Against Cognitive Decline

Wake Forest study to show whether high- or low-intensity exercising, or both, can help people with early cognition problems

By Les Gura, Wake Forest Baptist HealthWire

March 19, 2014 - Marcus Dobson, 60, first recognized the cognitive decline brought on by Parkinson's disease when he realized he no longer wanted to play with his grandchildren or even be in the same room with them. Bunny Fontrier, 63, wasn't having any cognition problems, but after caring for her mother with dementia she thought she should look at herself, too. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Women Are Epicenter of Alzheimer’s as Most Likely Victims, Care Givers

Alzheimer’s Association reports senior women twice as likely as men to get Alzheimer’s; twice as likely to get AD as breast cancer

March 19, 2014 – Women are theepicenter of Alzheimer’s disease” according to a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association that finds senior women at age 65 almost twice as likely as senior men to develop the disease. And, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to get AD in older age as they are breast cancer. But, that is not all of the burden for women: they about 2.5 times more likely than men to provide full-time care for AD victims. Read more...

Aging News & Opinion

Cheers for the ‘Age-Adjusted’ Cutoff Making Pulmonary Embolism Test Work for Senior Citizens

Is this a break-through in health care adjusting to meet the demands of an aging society that is different than the one we grew up in?

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

March 18, 2014 – Probably more common sense should be applied to the medical care of older people. A study released today by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) lauds the accomplishment of international doctors who solved the problem of a blood test for pulmonary embolism (blood clot in lungs) that was no longer working for senior citizens. Seniors seem to find themselves increasingly excluded from certain medical testing due to their advanced age. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Early-Stage Alzheimer’s May Be Revealed by Variations in Eye Structure, Function

The quest continues to find earliest stages of Alzheimer’s for closer study, drug development

March 18, 2014 – Scientists are turning over every stone they can find hoping to discover a way to achieve an early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Just recently a group claimed success with a blood test, at least in lab rats. A new group using lab rats, again, claim the discovery of eye abnormalities that may help reveal features of early-stage AD. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Dementia Symptoms May Not Be Alzheimer’s; Caregivers Unmask Lewy Body Dementia

The number two dementia often identified too late for thousands of seniors - see video by Whoopi Goldberg in story

March 17, 2014 – “You don’t even know the battle is upon you, until the invasion is well underway,” says Ms. J, a caregiver for a person with dementia. Ms. J is just one of many caregivers who learn that debilitating symptoms begin to take their toll on loved ones before they even discover their diagnosis. It’s Lewy body dementia (LBD), the second most common form of progressive dementia that affects 1.3 million Americans, primarily seniors. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Colon Cancer Rate Takes Big Drop, Particularly for Senior Citizens

Larger declines among Medicare-eligible seniors likely reflect higher rates of screening because of universal insurance coverage

March 17, 2014–Colon cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. in the last 10 years among adults 50 and older due to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy, with the largest decrease being in senior citizens over age 65. Colonoscopy use has almost tripled among adults ages 50 to 75, from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010. Read more...

Medicare and Medicaid News

Can Congress Put an End to Annual Medicare Physician Payment Ritual?

“What isn’t fair, given that we have been dealing with this for more than a decade, is the constant uncertainty and wrangling,” AARP spokesman

By Susan Jaffe, Capsules, The KHN Blog
This story comes from our partner NPR's Shots blog.

March 17, 2014 - Congress is still searching for money to avoid a 24 percent cut in pay for doctors who treat Medicare patients. But seniors are already paying their share of the cost in premiums, as if the pay cut — scheduled to kick in on April 1 — won’t happen. Read more...

Senior Citizen Longevity & Statistics

Life-Expectancy Gap Widens Between Wealthy and the Poor, Says New York Times Report

In upper half of income spectrum of U.S., men who reach  65 are living about six years longer than they did in the late 1970s; men in the lower half are living just 1.3 years longer.

Oldest married coupleMarch 16, 2014 – Senior citizens should find particularly interesting a report in The Sunday New York today that explores the “life expectancy gap” in the U.S. The wealthiest in the U.S. are living much longer but not those in lower. The Times focused on two counties: Fairfax County, Va., a wealthy area where residents are among the longest-lived in the country, and McDowell County, W. Va., where incomes are low and so is longevity. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Masters Track Event Features Record-Setters with Ages Over One Hundred

Boston event sees records falling as seniors extend their athletic abilities; 100-year old McPhie and lazz great

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Shaheed also headline indoor champs

March 15, 2014 – It has been a record smashing track – the 2014 Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships – in Boston this weekend that has seen top performances by men and women, some even older than 100. Read more...

Social Security Q&A

What are Ages for Social Security Early Retirement and Full Retirement?

Social Security Q&A this week answers this and has more information for disabled veterans on faster processing of their application for help

March 15, 2014 – The age for applying to receive Social Security benefits used to be simple, because it stayed the same. Now, the age for receiving full benefits keeps moving higher. But, what about early retirement, a reader asks? The Social Security Q&A has the answer. It also provides more details for disabled veterans on the recent move to “high priority” for disability assistance requests. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Large Waist Indicates Shorter Life for Men and Women; Even if Body Mass Index Okay

March 14, 2014 - Having a big belly has consequences beyond trouble squeezing into your pants. It’s detrimental to your health, even if you have a healthy body mass index (BMI), a new international collaborative study led by a Mayo Clinic researcher found. Men and women with large waist circumferences were more likely to die younger. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Longer Life Ahead for Senior Citizens Who Build Muscle

Clinicians need to focus on ways to improve body composition, rather than on BMI alone, when counseling older adults on preventative health

March 14, 2014 – There seems to be no end to the conflict among those who research senior citizens between deciding if seniors should be thin or a little on the heavy side to achieve a longer life. The latest opinion from UCLA researchers says the more muscle mass older Americans have, the likely they are to die prematurely. They add to the growing evidence that overall body composition is a better predictor of longevity that using the body mass index (BMI) measurement. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Pancreatic Cancer Linked to Diabetes in Large Review of International Research

Researchers suggest new diabetics should be tested for pancreatic cancer

March 14, 2014 - Researchers, combing through massive data included in 88 international studies, have claimed the discovery of a link between pancreatic cancer and diabetes. And, they suggest it may be important to consider screening all newly diagnosed diabetics for pancreatic cancer. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Emotional Stress in Women Appears Linked to Artery Dysfunction, Heart Attacks

Women may have chest pain related to the heart being starved for oxygen but have no evidence of arterial obstruction

March 13, 2014 – In research to be presented today, researchers describe their study finding that emotional stressors – such as those provoking anger – may cause changes in the nervous system that controls heart rate and trigger a type of coronary artery dysfunction, primarily in women that may lead to heart attacks and other cardiac problems. Read more...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medical and Patient Groups Call for Medicare Coverage of CT Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer kills more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined

March 13, 2014 - Last December, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended screening of adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Today a large number of medical and patient groups called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide Medicare coverage of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for patients defined in the USPSTF recommendations and others found to be at high-risk of lung cancer. Read more...

Aging News & Information

UCLA Memory Program for Seniors Offers 'Gym For Your Brain'

UCLA Longevity Center helping both patients and caregivers live with diseases that fray their bond of shared memories.

By Anna Gorman, KHN Staff Writer,
This KHN story was produced in collaboration with The Washington Post

March 12, 2014 - Just as they had so many times during the past 60 years, Marianna and Albert Frankel stepped onto the dance floor. He took her hand in his, and smiling, waltzed her around the room. “I remembered how it used to be and we could really do the waltz and he would whirl me around until I got dizzy,” said Marianna Frankel, 82, who is 10 years younger than her husband. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Improving Self-Esteem of Seniors Can Prevent Health Problems

Confidence an important buffer to the stress of old age, Concordia University study shows

March 12, 2014 - The importance of boosting self-esteem is normally associated with the trials and tribulations of adolescence. But new research from Concordia University shows that it’s even more important for older adults to maintain and improve upon those confidence levels as they enter their twilight years. That’s because boosting self-esteem can help buffer potential health threats typically associated with the transition into older adulthood. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Senior Citizens Need Diet High in Animal Protein Finds Two Studies: Better Function, Less Disease

Elderly improve their function physically, psychologically, and socially; second study says it helps seniors stay healthy

March 12, 2014 – Two recent studies agree that senior citizens should eat a diet high in protein, particularly animal protein, which is considered by most to be harmful to younger people. The study released today says the animal protein may help the elderly function at higher levels and it follows the other out last week suggesting seniors at about age 65 should switch to more protein for increased protection from disease. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens Being Denied Proper Access to Cancer Care; Evidence, Protests Growing

Joel, 75, talks about his experience as a colon cancer patient.We need a fundamental change in cancer policy for the elderly patient, says editorial in British Medical Journal; U.S. VA study finds fault with ‘simple age cut-offs’ - see video

March 11, 2014 – There is growing evidence and an increasing outcry that senior citizens may be suffering and dying just because testing or treatment that could save their lives is denied strictly on the basis of their age. An editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says older people around the world are being denied proper access to cancer care. A new U.S. study finds a “simple age cut-off” is not the answer in screening for colorectal cancer. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Ovarian Cancer Directly Linked for First Time to Being Overweight

Below story see statistics and information of the National Cancer Institute on Ovarian Cancer and Obesity

March 11, 2014 – Being overweight was directly linked to ovarian cancer, which primarily strikes senior women, in an announcement today by the World Cancer Research Fund International. It is the first time obesity has been directly linked to this deadly cancer, although, many cancer organizations list it as a possible risk factor. This report estimates about five percent of cases in the U.S. are preventable with a healthy body weight. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Elderly Diabetics Treated with Insulin Much More Likely to be Hospitalized for Hypoglycemia

The risks of hypoglycemic conditions in elderly should be considered in decisions to prescribe and intensify insulin,

March 10, 2014 - Elderly patients 80 years or older treated with insulin for diabetes were more than twice as likely to visit the emergency department (ED) and nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized for insulin-related hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and insulin-related errors (IHEs).than patients 45 to 64 years old. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Next Step for Smart Phones is Keeping Tabs on Patients; Hi-Tech Moving into Health Care

Health care providers seek to monitor patients remotely through new technologies, aiming to identify problems early, cut costs and inefficiencies

By Daniela Hernandez, KHN Staff Writer
This story was produced in collaboration with WIRED

March 10, 2014 - Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, knows when his patients’ hearts are racing or their blood pressure is on the rise, even if they’re sitting at home. With high-risk patients hooked up to “personal data trackers” - a portable electrocardiogram built into a smartphone case, for instance - he and his researchers can track the ups and downs of patients’ conditions as they go about their lives. Read more...

Medicare and Medicaid News

Medicare Officials Back Away From Changes to Prescription Drug Plan

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News,
Capsules: The KHN Blog

March 10, 2014 - Facing heavy bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill as well as from patient groups, businesses, insurers and others, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Monday it did not plan to move ahead “at this time” with several proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Citizens May Soon Have Blood Test to Predict Alzheimer’s Risk with 90% Accuracy

Report in Nature Medicine on discovery in study of seniors over age 70; NPR reports on consequences of knowing – see video in story

Dr. Howard Federoff, right, led study at Georgetown University Medical Center to discover blood test to predict Alzheimer's disease. See video below.March 9, 2014 – If you are a senior citizens over age 70 a new blood test can predict with 90 percent accuracy if you will develop Alzheimer’s disease in the next two or three years. The new discovery still must go through clinical testing before being available for general use but now seniors will have to consider if this is information they really want to know. Read more...

Opining of a Cranky Old Man

Huzzah! For Daylight Saving - Don’t Forget to Leave Off the 's'

The clock in the car is always troublesome so if necessary just cover it with tape.

By Bill Kalmar, Retiree

March 9, 2014 - The arrival today of daylight saving time (DST) marks the official arrival of spring, at least in my mind. And notice I said saving time, not savings time. Evidently over the years this event has taken on a different identity with the addition of an “s.” And frankly until recently I always opted for the plural. It’s a joyous time of the year, no matter how you pronounce it. Read more...

Social Security Q&A

Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances Speed Disability Decision for Desperate Americans

Switching between government non-Social Security employment and that covered by Social Security gets complicated

March 8, 2014 – Many of us who depend on Social Security for helping fund our retirement may forget it also plays a critical role for U.S. citizens who become disabled and are forced into retiring before they are old enough to collect normal benefits. The Social Security Q&A this week answers a question from someone desperate for this help. The column also addresses a frequent concern of those who switch back and forth in work situations not always contributing to Social Security – it gets complicated. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Memory Decline in Seniors May Be Reversed by New Drug Therapy

The drug the researchers tested blocked GABA receptors, restoring working memory in aged rats to the level of younger rats.

March 8, 2014 - It may seem normal, at least for senior citizens - as we age, we misplace car keys, or can’t remember a name we just learned, or a meal we just ordered. But University of Florida researchers say memory trouble doesn’t have to be inevitable for seniors, and they’ve found a drug therapy that could potentially reverse this type of memory decline. Read more...

Medicare and Medicaid News

How Proposed Medicare Part D Changes Are Playing On Capitol Hill

Many considered this a program that didn’t need fixing, Medicare says they want to make it better but there is opposition – see video in story

March 7, 2014 - Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are proposing to remove some drugs from Medicare’s prescription drug plans and limit how many plans insurers can offer. Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News, and CQ Roll Call’s Emily Ethridge discuss on this video. Text and an audio link are below. Read more...

Medicare and Medicaid News

Administration Faces Opposition To Changes In Medicare Prescription Drug Program

Officials say they want to help beneficiaries make good choices and save taxpayers money

By Mary Agnes Carey, KHN Staff Writer

March 7, 2014 - Medicare’s prescription drug program was controversial when it arrived, but a decade later it is widely considered to be a Washington success story. Now, though, the Obama administration is proposing a series of significant changes to fix what critics say isn’t broken. Read more...

Aging News & Information

One Drink Appears To Be Too Many for Baby Boomers and Senior Citizens

Older drivers may not imbibe enough alcohol to put them over legal driving limit but just one drink can affect their driving abilities – See video report in story

Older driver user tested after drinking alcoholBy Morgan Sherburne, Science Writer, UF Health.

March 7, 2014 - You may have only had one glass of wine with dinner, but if you’re 55 or older, that single serving may hit you hard enough to make you a dangerous driver. So, baby boomers and senior citizens, what you suspected is true: you can’t party like you used to. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Alzheimer’s Disease May Kill Many More in U.S. Than Currently Reported

Study finds death rate more than four times higher after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in people age 75 to 84 and nearly three times higher in people age 85 and older

March 6, 2014 - A new study suggests that Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to almost as many deaths in the United States as heart disease or cancer, but the AD deaths are under-reported due to confusion by those completing the death certificates. Analysis of deaths among senior citizens points to vastly more deaths related to AD than reported, the study shows. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Binge Drinking is Frequent Among Older People and Significant Public Health Problem

Among older moderate drinkers, those who binge drink have a significantly greater death risk than regular moderate drinkers

March 5, 2014 - A study of the association between binge drinking and mortality among moderate-drinking older adults has found that those who engage in binge drinking have more than two times higher odds of dying within 20 years in comparison to regular moderate drinkers. It is believed to be the first study of binge drinking among older people who are considered moderate drinkers based on average consumption over time. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Risk for Senior Citizens of Depression and Dementia Increases After Hospitalization

Dementia and depression may impair ability to care for themselves, increasing their risk for hospitalization and re-hospitalization.

By Katherine Kahn, HBNS Contributing Writer

March 5, 2014 - People over age 65 who have been hospitalized are at significantly greater risk for dementia or depression, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Live Longer: Don’t Eat Animal Proteins in Middle Age, Wait Until You are Senior Citizen

Middle-aged people who eat lots of proteins from animal sources - including meat, milk and cheese - more susceptible to early death in general

March 5, 2014 – Okay, here is the latest research pointing the way to a longer life. Eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age – about age 50 to 65 – makes your four times more likely to die from cancer than those eating a low-protein diet. But, don’t make skimping on protein a life-long habit. Senior citizens at about age 65 need to switch to more protein in their diet, which will protect them from disease. Read more...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Reports One Third of Skilled Nursing Patients Harmed in Treatment; Most Preventable

Medicare’s inspector general of skilled nursing facilities reports nearly 22,000 patients were injured and more than 1,500 died in a single month - a higher rate of medical errors than hospitals.

By Marshall Allen, ProPublica

March 4, 2014 - One-in-three patients in skilled nursing facilities suffered a medication error, infection or some other type of harm related to their treatment, according to a government report released today that underscores the widespread nature of the country’s patient harm problem. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Burst of Anger Greatly Increases Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke and Brain Aneurysm for Many

‘…Overall risk for people without other risk factors like smoking or high blood pressure is relatively small’

March 4, 2014 – Warning people they are going to have a heart attack if they don’t calm down is, perhaps, better advice than you have imagined. New research says the risk of a heart attack in the two hours following an outburst of anger is five times greater than when we are calm. And, the risk of a stroke jumps almost four times. Read more...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Lend Us Your Ears: Note Takers Help the Elderly at Their Doctor Visit

"There are four ears listening to what the doctor says"

By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News

March 1, 2014 - It used to be difficult for Edith Couturier, an 85-year-old resident of the District of Columbia, to explain to her adult children on the West Coast all the details of her medical appointments. But now she doesn't go alone — she takes along a volunteer "medical note taker." Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Acute Pancreatitis May Be Early Warning of Pancreatic Cancer, Especially for Senior Citizens

Early discovery of pancreatic cancer offers much greater opportunity for survival; researchers want esophageal ultrasound screening after acute pancreatitis

Feb. 28, 2014 – Pancreatic cancer is one of the most feared, due to its low survival rate, which is primarily due to the late discovery of the disease. Researchers seeking a way to find this cancer earlier and, hopefully, save lives have found what appears to be an early warning sign – acute pancreatitis - for many who will be hit with this cancer and their discovery may be most important for senior citizens age 70 and older. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Aging Men Find Life Gets Better Until Late 60s When Hassles Become Too Much

Some senior men continue to find happiness late in life despite dealing with family losses, declining health, or a lack of resources Oregon State study finds

By Mark Floyd, Oregon State University

Feb. 27, 2014 - A new study of how older men approach their golden years found that how happy individuals are remains relatively stable for some 80 percent of the population, but perceptions of unhappiness – or dealing with “hassles” – tends to get worse once you are a senior citizens at about 65 to 70 years old. Read more...

Social Security Q&A

What is Proper Retirement Portfolio? Social Security Has Tips and Links to Help

Q&A also has details on getting SSA number for child adopted from another country

Jan. 27, 2014 – Too many of today’s senior citizens probably regret they did not start preparing for the financial challenges of retirement much earlier. The Social Security Q&A column this week has some suggestions and references to online sources of help. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

How You Rate Your Physical Fitness in Middle Age an Indicator of Dementia Risk

Rating yourself in poor physical condition at about 50 increases dementia risk by four

Feb. 26, 2014 - How would you rate your own physical fitness? Is it good, satisfactory or maybe even poor? Surprisingly, your answer may reveal your future risk of developing dementia. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Quick Screening on Electronic Pad in Waiting Room Tells Doctor if Patient Depressed

Seniors may need to brush up on their iPad skills if new device becomes popular tool for screening patients in waiting rooms

By Valerie DeBenedette, HBNS Contributing Writer

Feb. 25, 2014 – A quick screening on a electronic pad in the doctor’s waiting room appears to have the ability to easily recognize depression and anxiety in patients, who were actually there to visit the physician about another ailment. The results can be sent directly to the waiting doctor for immediate action. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Death of Partner Linked with Increased Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke in Seniors for 30 Days

Large study concludes bereavement does greatly increase risk but it is still small

Feb. 24, 2014 – A large study has confirmed what many have suspected – the risk of a heart attack or stroke increases during the 30 days following the death of a partner, at least for seniors. But, the good news from this large study is that only a small fraction of surviving partners suffers these potentially deadly events. The bad news is that the risk is about double of that for those not suffering from this bereavement. Read more...

Medicare and Medicaid News

Impact Of Medicare Advantage Cuts On Seniors Sharply Disputed

Several changes in Medicare for 2015 were announced on Friday by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services but headlights are on cuts in funding to MA plans

By Phil Galewitz, KHN Staff Writer

Feb. 24, 2014 - Seniors enrolled in Aetna’s Medicare Advantage plan In Baltimore County, Md., saw their monthly premiums rise from $33 to $51 this year. Enrollees in HealthNow New York, a Medicare HMO in upstate Erie County, saw their premiums jump from zero to $28 a month. The health insurance industry points to these examples as some of the more extreme cases of beneficiaries feeling the sting of federal funding cuts to Medicare Advantage plans that cover nearly 16 million senior citizens. Read more...

Medicare and Medicaid News

Obama Administration Proposes 1.9 Percent Cut in Medicare Advantage Payments

News release by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on several changes for 2015 is published below this news report

By Mary Agnes Carey, KHN Staff Writer

Feb. 24, 2014 - An Obama administration announcement about payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans in 2015 has set off a dispute about how large – or small – the changes really are. Late Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced proposed rates that officials said could mean payment reductions of 1.9 percent for the private plans in the program. Read more...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Quality Ratings Added to Physician Compare Website for Medicare, Medicaid Patients

Diabetes and heart disease measures among new quality ratings

Feb. 24, 2014 - The Physician Compare website designed to help Medicare and Medicaid patients make informed choices in finding physicians and other health are professionals, has been enhanced by the addition of quality measures to indicate the performance achieved by hundreds of thousands of these care providers in treating specific conditions. Read more...

Social Security News

Disabled Veterans to Receive Faster Claims Processing by Social Security

Veterans must have a VA disability compensation rating of 100% P&T and show proof of their disability rating with their VA Notification Letter

Feb. 20, 2014 - Social Security announced yesterday a new initiative to expedite disability claims for veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T).  Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors. The program begins March 17. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Loneliness in Older People May Increase Chance of Death by 14 Percent

Retiring to a warmer climate among strangers isn’t necessarily a good idea, if it means you are disconnected from the people who mean the most to you

By William Harms

Feb. 18, 2014 - Feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14 percent, according to research by psychologist John Cacioppo, one of the nation’s leading experts on loneliness. Read more...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Connecting Families with Long-Forgotten Cremated Remains Is Goal of New Website

Thousands of cremated remains stacked up around the country go unclaimed

Feb. 18, 2014 – Thousands of cremated remains in the U.S. go unclaimed each year and line the storage shelves of funeral homes, cremation providers and government agencies across the country. A new website, founded by Michael Neal, a funeral director in Washington, Pa., is aimed at linking these remains with their loved ones. Read more...

 


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