Health and Medicine for Seniors

Seniors with Heart Problems Need to Worry About NOT Getting Flu Shot

Those with cardiovascular problems probably most in need of a flu shot

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Oct. 31, 2014 – When you have heart problems, as so many senior citizens do, it is natural to become concerned about things you put in your body – like vaccine to prevent flu. In this case, don’t worry, the Centers for Disease Control says what you should be worried about is catching the flu – that does increase the risk of a heart attack. There are even studies that say the flu shot may offer protection against heart attacks. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Reduction in Medicare Payments to Home Health Agencies Proposed for 2015

CMS explains details that will save $60 million in program that cost $18 billion in 2013

Oct. 30, 2014 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced changes to the Medicare home health care prospective payment system (HH PPS) for calendar year 2015 that are expected to reduce payments to home health agencies next year by 0.30 percent, or $60 million. The program cost Medicare $18 billion in 2013. More...

 

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Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Discovery Opens Door for Possible Treatment of a Common Dementia

Damage to white matter in brain may be due to many unnoticed strokes

Oct. 30, 2014 - Brain scans find white matter damage in about half of all senior citizens, which is often harmless, but when the damage is severe, it can cause mental impairment. This has, however, been considered a natural part of aging. Now, researchers think this white matter disease (leukoaraiosis) may actually be the result of many tiny unnoticed strokes accumulating over time – a finding they say points to a potentially treatable form of dementia. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Disabled Senior Citizen Wins Again Over Medicare Lawyers

She wins fight against controversial effort by Medicare to refuse care if you are not improving

Original report by Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News

Oct. 30, 2014 – I’ll bet lawyers for Medicare hate to walk into a courtroom and see Glenda Jimmo, 78, sitting at the plaintiff’s table. The disabled senior with serious health problems, who successfully challenged Medicare for denying her home health care coverage, has racked up another win against the government. In the latest case, Medicare refused to pay for her care because she was not improving - the same issue she won in the first lawsuit. More...

Senior Citizen Politics

More Services for Senior Citizens Move to Administration for Community Living

Created in 2012, ACL has gobbled up many of the organizations in the federal government that serve senior citizens – new organizational chart below

Oct. 29, 2014 – In a low-key but massive reorganization, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), which was formed in April of 2012, has made more changes and is becoming a large government home for many programs to support senior citizens in the U.S. Last year it was formed as the new home for the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Now it has swallowed the Paralysis Resource Center from the CDC and the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) from CMS. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Low-Income Seniors in Medicare to See More Help in Finding Help

National Council on Aging gets funding from MIPPA Resource Center to continue assistance to low-income people

Oct. 27, 2014 – The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has been awarded a grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to continue its efforts to help thousands of low-income people with Medicare to get help enrolling in programs that make their health care more affordable. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Elderly Men Reporting Sleep Problems at Higher Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

The later age the self-reported sleep disturbance was found the higher the risk was for developing Alzheimer's disease

Oct. 28, 2014 - In a new study, researchers from Uppsala University demonstrate that elderly men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than men without self-reported sleep disturbances. The results are published in the scientific journal Alzheimer's & Dementia. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Prostate Cancer, Kidney Disease Detected on Spot by Innovative Device

Study looked at prostate cancer and kidney disease, same method could be a diagnostic tool for other diseases

Oct. 28, 2014 - When you flush the toilet, you may be discarding microscopic warning signs about your health. But a cunningly simple new device can stop that vital information from “going to waste.” It can detect markers of kidney disease and prostate cancer in a few minutes. More...

Senior Citizen Politics

Leading Medical Groups Urge Congress to Stop Steep Medicaid Cuts

Doctors treating Medicaid patients face big pay cut in 2015, way below pay for treating Medicare patients

Oct. 27, 2014 - Doctors representing four major physician organizations are knocking on doors in Washington today to try and preserve the current law of payment parity for primary care and immunization services under Medicaid for at least two years. The law, set to expire at the end of this year, mandates that doctors treating Medicaid patients – the poorest patients – be paid the same as what is paid doctors treating Medicare patients with the same procedure. More...

Aging & Longevity

Traumatic Brain Injuries to Seniors Linked to Higher Dementia Risk

Senior citizens are often warned of the risks associated with falls that are common for elderly – now add dementia to that risk

Oct. 27, 2014 – There are frequent warnings to senior citizens about the risk of falling. It has long been recognized as a high risk for serious bodily injury to aging bodies. Researchers have now found that one of the consequences of falling – traumatic brain injury (TIB) – is associated with an increased risk of dementia in adults 55 years and older, according to their report published online by JAMA Neurology. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Disabled Senior Who Led Suit Against Medicare Must Try Again

Can Medicare deny coverage because you are not getting better? Even if they say they won’t? A story every senior should read

By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News - This KHN story also ran in NPR’s Shots blog.

Oct. 27, 2014 - A 78-year-old Vermont mother of four who helped change Medicare coverage for millions of other seniors is still fighting to persuade the government to pay for her own care. Glenda Jimmo, who is legally blind and has a partially amputated leg due to complications from diabetes, was the lead plaintiff in a 2011 class-action lawsuit seeking to broaden Medicare’s criteria for covering physical therapy and other care delivered by skilled professionals. More...

Aging & Longevity

Even Seniors Improve Memory by Making Mistakes While Learning, If Guesses Close

Researcher earlier found making mistakes -as opposed to being told the answer - is best boot camp for older brains

Oct. 27, 2014 – Making mistakes while learning can benefit memory and lead to the correct answer, even for senior citizens, but onEven-Seniors-Improve-Memory-by-Making-Mistakes-While-Learning,-If-Gose.htm"> More

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Dramatic Memory Improvement in Seniors from Cocoa Flavanols

First evidence one component of age-related memory decline is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain, and can be improved

Oct. 26, 2014 - Dietary cocoa flavanols - naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa - reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study published today in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience. The study saw participants with the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, improve to that of a 30 or 40 year old after only three months. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Frontotemporal Degeneration Dementia Draws More Attention, Research Funding

This early onset dementia strikes 10 years earlier than most; almost $6 million in research being funding by three agencies of the National Institutes of Health

Oct. 24, 2014 - Approximately 50,000 Americans live with frontotemporal degeneration, or FTD, which strikes people most often in their 50s or 60s, and causes severe behavioral changes and problems with language and cognition. The National Institutes of Health will award three large, five-year projects targeting this specific form of dementia, known as frontotemporal because of the areas of the brain that are affected. More...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Beet Juice May Fuel Success of Auburn Football, And Heart Patients, Too

Increasing oxygen delivery 10% can be difference between being wheelchair-bound versus walking

Oct. 23, 2014 - The juice from beets, commonly referred to as “beetroot,” has received a new boost from the report that it has become a pre-game favorite for the surging Auburn University football team. But new research says it not only improves athletic performance but can improve the quality of life for heart failure patients, which far outnumber football players. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Citizens Drink Up! Moderate Alcohol Leads to Better Memory

Also linked with a larger volume in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for episodic memory

Oct. 23, 2014 – If you are a senior age 60 or older and do not have dementia, new research supports previous studies that have found moderate alcohol consumption improves your ability to recall memories of events – episodic memory. More...

Social Security News

Minimum Social Security COLA of Three Percent Demanded by Senior Citizens League

About $113 Missing from Social Security in 2015, Says The Senior Citizens League

Oct. 23, 2014 – Only a day after Social Security announced a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase for beneficiaries in 2015, The Senior Citizens League is calling for a minimum increase of 3 percent, which was the average before 2010. The group’s leader, Ed Cates, says benefits of the typical Social Security recipient will be about $5,298 lower by the end of 2015 due to the government not maintaining at least a 3 percent increase. More...

Social Security News

Federal Retirees Most Unhappy with COLA, Face Healthcare Cost Hike of 3.8 Percent

President of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association pleads for change in COLA calculation

Oct. 23, 2014 – Millions of seniors receiving Social Security were probably more than a little disappointed in the small 1.7 percent increase in the benefit for 2015, but retirees from the military and federal employment received the same percentage increase. The problem for the federal employees is a little worse than others due to a 3.8 percent increase in health care premiums for 2015. Medicare for other retirees will have virtually no increase in costs. More...

Social Security News

Social Security COLA for 2015 Will Be 1.7 Percent, Says SSA

Continues trend of very small increases over last few years - about $22 per month average increase

Oct. 22, 2014 – It is a 1.7 percent increase for the 64 millions of Americans – primarily senior citizens - that will be receiving Social Security benefits in 2015, according to an announcement of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by the Social Security Administration this morning. The average recipient will get about $22 more per month. (See all changes for 2015 released by Social Security.) More...

Features for Senior Citizens

Ten Percent of Grandparents Live With a Grandchild, Census Bureau Reports

Oct. 22, 2014 - Of the 65 million grandparents in the United States in 2012, 7 million, or 10 percent, lived with at least one grandchild, according to Coresident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: 2012 , a new report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of children who lived with a grandparent in 2012 was also 10 percent, rising from 7 percent in 1992. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Many Elderly Found with Puzzling Mutations Linked to Leukemia, Lymphoma

Researchers find no connection with blood cancer that seldom strikes senior citizens

Oct. 22, 2014 – A surprisingly large percentage – 5 percent – of senior citizens over age 70 have been found to have genetic mutations linked to leukemia and lymphoma in their blood cells. The vast majority won't get blood cancer, however, as the incidence of these cancers is less than 0.1 percent among the elderly, according to the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Flu Vaccine May Hold Key to Preventing Heart Disease with a Shot

A new study in Vaccine explains how flu vaccines prevent heart attacks

Oct. 21, 2014 – One of the reasons senior citizens should not hesitate to get a flu shot every year is the added protection it provides against heart attack. Those who get vaccinated are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack in a year. The potency of this protection has motivated researchers to learn more about what is causing it and how to create a vaccine just to prevent heart disease. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Problems Seniors Have with Medicare Advantage Plans Highlighted

Medicare Rights Center highlights Advantage Plan denials of coverage and appeals

Oct. 21, 2014 - The Medicare Rights Center has released its first Medicare Snapshot: Stories from the Helpline, spotlighting Medicare Advantage (MA) plan denials of coverage and appeals issues as experienced by a typical caller to Medicare Rights’ national helpline. Over one-third of all callers to the helpline express difficulty managing coverage denials and appeals. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

How to Pick a Medicare Advantage Plan: Consumer Reports

CR’s October issue has lots of tools to help with your decision and ranking of  MA plans

ConsumerReports.org

Oct. 21, 2014 - In the months leading up to the fall Medicare open enrollment season, your mailbox may be overflowing with sales brochures from Medicare Advantage plans. Our advice is to ignore them. There are better, unbiased ways to pick the right plan for you, according to a Consumer Reports. More...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Mental Benefits of Physical Exercise for Seniors Decease with Age

Participants who were older than 70 years of age tended to show no benefit of exercise in German study

October 14, 2014 – A new study from Germany questions the benefits of exercise for both men and women after they reach the age of 70. For people in their study between the ages of 60 and 70 regular training on a treadmill tended to improve cerebral blood flow and visual memory. However, trial participants who were older than 70 years of age tended to show no benefit of exercise. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Elderly Improve Physical Function After Encouraging Subliminal Messages

Challenge was to enable the participants to overcome negative age stereotypes acquired from society

Oct. 20, 2014 – Want to make elderly people feel better about themselves? Just flash some positive words about old people on their computer screens, so fast that they are not even aware they saw them, and see their attitudes and physical function improve and stay great for weeks. That’s what researchers from the Yale School of Public Health report. More...

Social Security News

Sixth Years of Record Low COLAs Unprecedented, Says Senior Citizens League

Oct. 20, 2014 - The annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will remain at record low levels again in 2015, says a new forecast by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). According to the most recent consumer price index (CPI) data through August, TSCL forecasts that COLAs will be 1.7 percent in 2015. “That would make the sixth consecutive year of record low COLAs,” states TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates. “That’s unprecedented since the COLA first became automatic in 1975,” he notes. More...

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

Oct. 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%. More...

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...

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

Oct. 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.