Aging & Longevity

Senior citizens often keep falls a secret, even from their doctor

Older patients do not want children others to worry about them, especially if injury not serious

Jan. 26, 2015 - Maintaining an independent lifestyle is so important for some senior citizens as they age that they keep it a secret that they’ve experienced a fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that millions of adults 65 and older suffer from falls each year. Fewer than half tell their physician. More...

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Medicare & Medicaid News

Obama Administration to move Medicare faster to payments based on quality care

To supplant fee-for-service medicine where medical providers are paid for service without regard for how the patient fares

Jan. 26, 2015 - The Obama administration Monday announced a goal of accelerating changes to Medicare so that within four years, half of the program’s traditional spending will go to doctors, hospitals and other providers that coordinate their patient care, stressing quality and frugality. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Moving forward on primary care transformation: The CMS Blog

Official blog for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, originally published January 23

By Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer 

Jan. 26, 2015 -Today, we at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are excited to announce the promising findings from two large-scale tests of advanced primary care: the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative and the Multi-payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) Demonstration. More...

Social Security News

Social Security adds four hours per week to nationwide business office service

One hour added each weekday afternoon except Wednesday

Jan. 23, 2014 – Senior citizens and other patrons of Social Security will have four more hours available each week to visit an office. The agency has announced that offices nationwide will be open one-hour longer on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, effective March 16, 2015. All offices will continue to close at noon on Wednesdays. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare adds star ratings for dialysis facilities to growing list of compare sites

CMS plans adding Standardized Readmission Ratio (SRR) for dialysis facilities to reported quality outcome measures soon

Jan. 22, 2015 – Senior citizens needing the services of a dialysis facility have new help this morning in choosing the treatment that best meets their requirements. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added star ratings to the Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) website and updated the site with the most recent information. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Blood vessels in older brains break down, possibly leading to Alzheimer's

USC study finds breakdown in brain's memory and learning center can be detected before cognitive loss begins, important implications for dementia patients

Jan. 21, 2014 – Another puzzle to preventing risks that can lead to Alzheimer's disease may have been solved by neuroscientists at the University of Southern California. The brain's protective blood barrier becomes leaky with age, starting at the hippocampus, a critical learning and memory center that is damaged by Alzheimer's disease. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Living alone a deadly risk after stroke, especially for older men

People living alone are less likely to take medicine, wait longer to see doctor, live less healthy lives

Jan. 20, 2015 – A study of adults in western Sweden, who had experienced a stroke before the age of 70, found those who live alone are the most likely to die within 12 years but men have a considerably greater risk of dying prematurely than women or men who live with a partner. More...

Aging & Longevity

Older couples influence each other to make positive health changes

Study says they help to change behavior in smoking, exercise, weight loss

Jan. 20, 2015 – A study of older couples finds both men and women are more likely to quit smoking, become physically active and lose weight if their partner joins them in the new healthy behavior. And, the difference is significant - 66 percent of senior women take up physical exercise if her husband does and only 24 percent if he does not. More...

Aging & Longevity

Despite efforts to keep senior citizens from falling, it seems to be more common

Study finds those who have fallen in last two years is more prevalent than in 1998

Jan. 19, 2015 – Falling is bad news for senior citizens - it is the most frequent cause of injury in older adults in the U.S. and leads to substantial disability and mortality. The really bad news is that despite increased cautions to seniors about these dangers the number of people 65 and older that are falling is increasing. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare, Medicaid leader Marilyn Tavenner resigns

Notifies her staff by email she is leaving as leader of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Jan. 19, 2015 – Marilyn Tavenner, head of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, plans to step down at the end of February, she told her staff in an e-mail, according to Bloomberg News. More...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Salt intake by seniors not linked to mortality, cardiovascular disease or heart failure

New study indicates salt consumption not as bad for senior citizens as many assumed

Jan. 19, 2015 - Most seniors like the taste of salt but are also aware of the frequent health warnings about consuming too much. A new study, however, has come up with a surprising finding - eating salt was not associated with mortality or risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and health failure (HF) in senior citizens. More...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Older women see blood pressure drop from eating blueberries daily

Artery stiffness and blood pressure reduced more than five percent

Jan. 14, 2015 – Older women should definitely consider consuming a cup of blueberries a day, according to a Florida State study that finds this will lower blood pressure and reduce stiffness of arteries – both linked to cardiovascular disease. More...

Senior Citizen Politics

Regional Forums to Provide Ideas for 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Website up and running to share information on updates, events and activities

By Cecilia Muñoz, White House Blog

Jan. 13, 2015 - Today, I am delighted to announce the launch of a series of regional forums to engage older Americans, their families, caregivers, advocates, community leaders, and experts on aging on the key issues affecting older Americans. These forums are designed to help provide input and ideas for the upcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging. More...

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Health and Medicine for Seniors

Senior women happy with life less likely to suffer osteoporosis

Study focused on the possible effects of depression and other factors on bone health

Jan. 13, 2015 - Women aged 60-70 who are satisfied with their lives have a higher bone density and they suffer less frequently from osteoporosis than their unsatisfied peers, according to a recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland. The study focused on the possible effects of depression and other factors on bone health. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Thromboembolism is Target of New Campaign by Alliance for Aging Research

Educational effort supplies brochures, video, online quiz to help spread word on dangers of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism

Jan. 13, 2015 – The nonprofit Alliance for Aging Research has launched a new campaign to raise awareness about venous thromboembolism (VTE), the third most common cardiovascular illness, and its associated conditions deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). VTE affects more than 600,000 Americans, mostly senior citizens. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Most optimistic older adults have the healthiest hearts

People up through age 84 with most positive attitudes twice as likely to have best cardiovascular health

Jan. 9, 2015 - Older people with a positive, upbeat attitude also have significantly better cardiovascular health. And, as the positive attitude scores climbed, so did the health scores in this study that included seniors up to age 85. Those with most optimism were twice is likely to enjoy a healthy heart. More...

Nutrition, Vitamins for Seniors

Eating more whole grains lowers mortality, especially cardiovascular

Just one slice of whole grain bread makes significant difference; whole grains may confer benefits toward longer life expectancy

Jan. 8, 2015 – We have all been encouraged to “eat more whole grains” and now there is proof that we should. Eating more whole grains – the more the better - appears to be associated with reduced mortality, especially deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), but, unfortunately, not cancer deaths, according to a report published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. More...

Nutrition, Vitamins for Seniors

Avocado a day may help keep bad cholesterol at bay

Individuals age 21 up to seniors age 70 on moderate-fat diet who ate an avocado daily had lower bad cholesterol than those on a similar diet without avocado

Jan. 8, 2015 - Eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. More...

Features for Senior Citizens

Five fun reasons to start an indoor garden when life gets more restricting

Moving to smaller space, restricted mobility offer new opportunities for senior gardeners

by Arar Han, Certified Aging in Place Specialist

Jan. 6, 2015 - Gardening is hardly ever a casual hobby. Most 'green thumbs' regard the first time they were handed a spade with the same warm nostalgia as their high school graduation, wedding day, or the birth of their first child. If you are a gardener, you know it's true! More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Most cancers are just bad luck, others from bad genes, environment

Best way to eradicate these cancers will be through early detection, when they are still curable by surgery

Jan. 4, 2015 – Two thirds of cancers in adults are just bad luck and the rest are due to inherited genes and environmental factors, according to scientists from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. They created a statistical model that measures the proportion of cancer incidence, across many tissue types, caused mainly by random mutations that occur when stem cells divide. More...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Seniors with healthy hearts, strong lungs have better memory, cognitive ability

Senior citizens with best cardiorespiratory fitness do as well as younger adults in executive functions

Jan. 2, 2015 – Older adults up to age 82 with a good heart and healthy lungs also have better brains for the recall of memory and general cognitive capability. The most fit senior citizens in this study performed as well as younger adults in testing of executive functions. More...

Aging & Longevity

Life Expectancy Unchanged, Long-Term Trend Still Favorable

Stroke moves down list of death causes, unintentional injuries moves up;

Jan. 2, 2015 – Happy New Year! If you are age 65, and pretty much average, you should expect to live another 19.3 years, according to new life expectancy projections. Although, it is a little worrisome that these new forecasts by the National Vital Statistics System, based on data through the end of 2013, did not change from 2012. Still, the researchers say the long-term trends show "apparent progress" in reducing mortality. More...

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Alzheimer's News – Other Media

MRI can detect Alzheimer’s well before typical symptoms appear

Dec. 31, 2014 - A noninvasive MRI can be used to detect Alzheimer’s disease in a living animal. And it can do so at the earliest stages of the disease, well before typical symptoms appear. The Northwestern research team created an MRI probe that seeks out the amyloid beta brain toxins responsible for onset of the disease. The early evidence suggests the MRI probe improves memory, too, by binding to the toxins to render them "handcuffed" to do further damage. Science Daily

Medicare News – Other Media

Seniors’ wait for a Medicare appeal is cut in half

Susan Jaffe

Dec. 26, 2014 - The federal office responsible for appeals for Medicare coverage has cut in half the waiting time for beneficiaries who are requesting a hearing before a judge. The progress follows an announcement last January that officials were going to work through a crushing backlog by moving beneficiaries to the front of the line and suspending hearings on cases from hospitals, doctors and other providers for at least two years. More at Kaiser Health News

Social Security News – Other Media

Social Security renews push to collect old overpayments

Dec. 26, 2014 - The Social Security Administration, which said in April it would stop trying to collect debts from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago, has continued to demand such payments and now defends that practice in court documents. Washington Post/ Boston Globe

Aging & Longevity

Study points to ibuprofen as possible new anti-aging medicine

Buck Institute study shows popular over-the counter drug extends lifespan in yeast, worms and flies

Dec. 20, 2014 - Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter drug used to relieve pain and sold under the brand names of Advil, Motrin and others, could hold the keys to a longer healthier life, according to a study showing that regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of yeast, worms and fruit flies. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Possibility for restoring memory found by UCLA study

Memories not stored where many think, may not be destroyed early by Alzheimer’s

Know Your Brain

The brain and  nervous system are composed of many different types of cells, but the primary functional unit is a cell called the neuron...more

Dec. 20, 1024 - Most neuroscientists have long believed that memories are stored at the synapses - the connections between brain cells, or neurons - which are destroyed by Alzheimer's disease. A new UCLA study, however, challenges the idea that long-term memory is stored at synapses. This indicates memories may be restored, offering new hope for patients in the early stages of AD. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Senior’s ability to balance on one leg may detect brain health, stroke risk

One-leg standing test is easy way to determine early signs of being at risk for a stroke and cognitive impairment

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Dec. 19, 2014 – You know how they warn you on TV when they are about to show something gruesome. We need to use that same type of warning on this report. It is about a new study that finds senior citizens - average age of 67 - that have trouble balancing on one leg for at least 20 seconds may have increased risk of small blood vessel damage in the brain - stroke - and reduced cognitive function. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Seniors keeping teeth longer than ever, tips for keeping it up

Simple, routine dental care matters for senior citizens to save teeth and live healthier

Dec. 18, 2014 - Today, approximately 75 percent of senior citizens over age 65 have kept some or all of their teeth - a record -thanks to better preventive measures like community water fluoridation and daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).  The group offers some additional tips for keeping this dental progress going. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Most seniors with memory loss, dementia skip free testing from Medicare

Free dementia clinical testing now available to all senior citizens in Medicare

Dec. 17, 2014 – Alzheimer’s disease and the associated loss of memory and cognitive ability is usually found to be the top fear of senior citizens. Yet, despite clear evidence that memory and cognitive abilities are sliding down hill, the majority of seniors with these symptoms have not been to a doctor for evaluation. More...

Aging & Longevity

Senior citizens have special brain spot to help with holiday shopping

Senior shoppers use additional brain area to remember competing consumer products and choose the better one

Unlike adults in their 20s and 30s, senior citizens use a structure called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex for shopping decisions that rely on memory.

Dec. 16, 2014 – Okay, the holiday season is in full swing but you still have shopping to do. Will that old senior brain be up to the task? It will, says new research, but the senior citizen will call on an additional brain area where it will find extra brainpower to make shopping decisions - especially those that rely on memory. More...

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Health and Medicine for Seniors

Tiny sensors may soon monitor seniors' medicines from the inside

Managing medication conflicts and confusions more pressing as 10,000 baby boomers turn sixty-five every day, and 90 percent suffer at least one chronic illness.

Dec. 15, 2014 - Ever been lost on a new trail on a hike? Or confused between north and south in a new city? Or after a certain age, unsure if you really took that anti-cholesterol pill last night, or was it the blood pressure pill?  They kind-of look the same. Your gut may soon provide the answer. More...

Senior Citizen Politics

Pensions of retirees, widows face cuts in action by House of Representatives

AARP. Pension Rights Center, labor unions trying to build last-minute opposition

Dec. 10, 2014 – While most seniors were focused on Thanksgiving with their families and then getting ready for Christmas, some members of the U.S. House of Representative have hit them with a nightmare… a reduction in pension benefits for those already retired or their widows. This amendment is rapidly moving forward but senior advocates are swinging into action to motivate senior citizens to let their voices be heard.More

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Cold, flu meds risky for senior citizens with high blood pressure

Some over-the-counter meds can have negative impact on hypertension

Dec. 10, 2014 – It is the season for colds and flu. Most of us seniors do not hesitate to seek quick relief from an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Not so fast, says the American Heart Association, most senior citizens also have hypertension. Some medications taken over the counter can have a negative impact on blood pressure. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Bad signs on horizon although flu season off to slow start

Early check of dominant viruses indicate a severe season, less protection from vaccine, but better than nothing for seniors

Dec. 9, 2014 – The good news about the 2014-15 flu season is that so far influenza activity is slow. This, however, is swamped by the potential bad news – it is looking like this could develop into a rough season with a high death rate and this season’s flu vaccine may not been the best match to beat back the viruses that are showing up. Still, senior citizens should get a flu shot! You will fair better than without it. More...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Vitamin claims for treating age-related macular degeneration challenged

Research shows that of 11 popular supplements analyzed all have misleading claims

Dec. 9, 2014 - Americans spend billions of dollars each year on nutritional supplements. And, for senior citizens with aging eyes, purchasing eye vitamins that claim to help protect vision is an attractive proposition. Unfortunately, a new study finds these claims for most products from the top-selling brands don't match the scientific evidence, especially for treating the leading cause of blindness among older adults, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). More...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Powerhouse vegetables and fruits for your healthy menu choices

Watercress leads the list, red pepper best fruit – failing to make list: raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry

Dec. 7, 2014 – Senior citizens who want to eat healthy, and most do, should probably put more emphasis on eating watercress. It was ranked number one among 41 “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables in a study published earlier this year in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal “Preventing Chronic Disease.” More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Protecting brain health of seniors is goal of new campaign

Nearly 13% of seniors, age 60 plus, reported increased confusion and memory loss in last 12 months

Dec. 5, 2014 - A national campaign has been launched by the Eldercare Locator to better educate the public about the risks to brain health for senior citizens and simple strategies to help mitigate those risks. More..

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Common prostate cancer treatment associated with decreased survival in older men

Evidence growing that androgen deprivation therapy may lead to earlier death

Dec. 4, 2014 - A common prostate cancer therapy - androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) - should not be used in men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, says a study led by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital. The findings are particularly important for men with longer life expectancies because the therapy exposes them to more adverse side effects, it is associated with increased risk of death and it deprives men of the opportunity for a cure by other methods. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Dance helps people with Parkinson’s, maybe healthy senior citizens, too

Ballroom dancing could help people with Parkinson’s improve their balance and mobility, and maybe do the same for other seniors

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Dec. 4, 2014 – Researchers at the University of Southhampton, UK, recently announced that participants in their study who had Parkinson’s and took part in ballroom dance lessons improved their balance, confidence and posture. They are not the first to discover that dancing can make life better and safer for Parkinson’s patients, who are also almost exclusively senior citizens. Maybe seniors without PD should also consider how this exercise reduced falls in the PD group. More...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Protection from cardiovascular disease found in red wine, a senior favorite

Resveratrol binds with KSRP regulator protein to activate anti-inflammatory effect

Dec. 4, 2014 – Reports on the health benefits of coffee and wine are always popular with senior citizens and this latest on red wine is a zinger. A natural substance present in red wine, resveratrol, inhibits the formation of inflammatory factors that trigger cardiovascular diseases. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Seniors Need to Understand Hospice, Palliative Care - Free Videos Online

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization expands its available video resources to focus on advance care planning, grief, caregiving and more

Dec. 4, 2014 – Hospice and palliative care are things we seldom think about. So, many of us have just a foggy idea of what it is, and, too often, have to get a crash course when the need arises. Senior citizens and their caregivers need to be better informed and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is making it easier with a group of videos that can be viewed free online. More...

U.S. health spending growth lowest since 1960, Medicare growth drops, too

Medicare spending grew 3.4% in 2013, down from 4% growth in 2012; due mostly to slower growth in enrollment, and spending changes included in Obamacare

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

Dec. 3, 2014 - National health spending grew 3.6 percent in 2013, the lowest annual increase since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began tracking the statistic in 1960, officials said Wednesday. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

CMS Takes Another Big Step in Fighting Medicare Fraud, Abuse

CMS says new rules enhance Medicare provider oversight; strengthens beneficiary protections

Dec. 3, 2014 - New rules that strengthen oversight of Medicare providers and protect taxpayer dollars from bad actors were announced today by Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The new safeguards are designed to prevent physicians and other providers with unpaid debt from re-entering Medicare, remove providers with a pattern or practice of abusive billing and implement other provisions to help save more than $327 million annually. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Improving patient safety saves 50,000 lives, 1.3 million from harm, $12 billion in cost

Hospital-acquired conditions decline by 17 percent over a three-year period

Dec. 3, 2014 - A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services yesterday shows an estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013.  This progress toward a safer health care system occurred during a period of concerted attention by hospitals throughout the country to reduce adverse events. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Prescriptions for drugs that make bones stronger lower than expected for senior men

This therapy recommended for men receiving androgen deprivation therapy in Canada

Dec. 2, 2014 – The prescribing of drugs to strengthen bone for men is low, even for those at high risk of subsequent fractures, according to a Canadian study in the December 3 issue of JAMA. Some guidelines recommend use of bisphosphonates (a class of drugs used to strengthen bone) for men on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), an effective, widely used therapy for men with prostate cancer. Adverse effects include bone loss and increased fracture risk. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Mobility is most common disability for American senior citizens

High disability rates for seniors in Southern counties, especially central Appalachia and Mississippi Delta

Dec. 2, 2014 - Nearly 40 percent of people age 65 and older had at least one disability, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report that covered the period 2008 to 2012. Of those 15.7 million people, two-thirds of them say they had difficulty in walking or climbing. More...

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Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Accountable Care Organizations may add emphasis on primary care services

Shared Savings Program Proposed Rule reflects focus on primary care and improved incentives for participation, quality, and efficiency

Dec. 2, 2014 – In response to suggestions from program participants, experts, consumer groups, and the stakeholder community at large, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed changes to improve the Shared Savings Program for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). CMS says this will put “greater emphasis on primary care services and promoting transitions to performance-based risk arrangements.” More...

Aging & Longevity

Elderly couples need marriage counseling to avoid risk of broken heart

A bad marriage is more harmful to heart health than a good marriage is beneficial; women at greatest risk

Dec. 1, 2014 - Older couples in a bad marriage – particularly female spouses – have a higher risk for heart disease than those in a good marriage, finds the first nationally representative study of its kind. The findings suggest the need for marriage counseling and programs aimed at promoting marital quality and well-being for couples into their 70s and 80s, said lead investigator Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist. More...

Aging & Longevity

Seniors favor tougher driving laws, even for themselves

Nearly 90% of older drivers – age 65 up - report no crashes or moving violations in last two years

Dec. 1, 2014 – Senior citizens want tougher driving laws, including everything from bans on the use of wireless devices to ignition interlocks for DUI offenders. None of this is surprising about the law-and-order age group. What may surprise many, however, is that an overwhelming majority of seniors favor greater scrutiny in the license-renewal process for themselves and their peers, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's latest report on aging Americans. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare wants seniors to get approval for non-emergency ambulance use

Anti-fraud program begins today in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and South Carolina

By Lisa Gillespie

Senior citizens living in three states will need prior approval from Medicare before they can get an ambulance to take them to cancer or dialysis treatments. The change, which begins today, is part of a three-year pilot to combat extraordinarily high rates of fraudulent billing by ambulance companies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and South Carolina. More...