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What Happens When We All Live to 100?

Sept. 20, 2014 - If life-expectancy trends continue, that future may be near, transforming society in surprising and far-reaching ways. By Gregg Easterbrook in The Atlantic.

Scotland’s Senior Citizens Saved the Union

September 20, 2014 - Fears over pensions, the economy and jobs drove most people to reject an independent Scotland in the recent referendum. Those 65 and older voted 73% to 27% to stay in the Union with Great Britain.

Senior Citizens Support Legal Weed in Oregon

September 20, 2014 - The legal marijuana campaign is getting a nod of approval from a surprise group of Oregonians, senior citizens. “Just because we're old doesn't mean we're foolish,” said Steve Weiss, President for the Oregon State Council of Retired Citizens. (Also see Senior Citizens Leading the Charge for Medical Marijuana in Florida)

12 Surprising Things that Mess with Your Memory

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

AARP Voter Guides: View Candidates Own Words on Social Security, Medicare

Sept. 19, 2014 - AARP has released voter guides featuring positions from Senate, Congressional, Gubernatorial and other statewide candidates – in their own words – on critical issues including Social Security, Medicare, and financial security. Voters of all ages may view the voter guides at www.aarp.org/yourvote.

Generic Drugs Produce Better Health Results for Senior Citizens

September 18, 2014 - Researchers studied the health records of more than 90,000 Medicare patients and found the lower out of pocket cost for generic drugs improve therapy and clinical outcomes. The mean co-pay was $10 for generic statins and $48 for the brand names. See video at MedlinePlus

A Second Look at Glaucoma Surgery

September 18, 2014 - New research has revealed using anti-inflammatory medications after glaucoma laser surgery is not helpful or necessary. Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in the world.

Insight into Link Between Marital Quality and Well-Being Later in Life

September 17, 2014 - When it comes to a happy marriage, a new Rutgers study finds that the more content the wife is with the long-term union, the happier the husband is with his life no matter how he feels about their nuptials.

Age, Gender Differences in Political Priorities

September 17, 2014 - Foreign policy and immigration rate as much more important issues for older voters than younger voters. About seven-in-ten voters 65 and older (71%) view foreign policy as very important to their vote, as do about as many of those 50 to 64 (70%). Among voters younger than 30, only about half (51%) say this… Pew Research Center

The most important ingredient for a happy retirement

September 17, 2014 - Study reveals the overwhelming key to a satisfying retirement is having your health… Huffington Post

Never Too Late for Senior Citizens to Start Exercise

September 17, 2014 - A group of seniors took part in The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study for three and a half years at Southern Connecticut State University... those in a moderate physical activity program, were more likely to stay mobile in later years, compared to those who did not. Their overall health also improved.

Almost Half of Family Caregivers Spend Over $5,000 a Year on Caregiving

30% Spend More than $10,000, 21% Don't Know How Much They Spend

Sept. 16, 2014 -Almost half (46%) of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on caregiving expenses, Their caregiving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical bills, in-home care, nursing homes and more.

 

Social Security

 

Social Security: How Working in Retirement Impacts Your Benefits

Sept. 14, 2014 - Most still retiring at 62...Motley Fool

 

Medicare and Medicaid News

 

Keeping Seniors on Medicare Out of Emergency Room Goal of New Program

September 18, 2014 - An emergency room decision-support program can significantly reduce emergency room visits and hospital admissions among senior citizens on Medicare. This could have important economic implications, helping to reduce the nearly 33 percent of avoidable emergency room visits that contribute to about $18 billion in unnecessary healthcare costs each year.

End-of-Life Care Needs Sweeping Overhaul, Panel Says

September 17, 2014 - It calls for a “major reorientation and restructuring of Medicare, Medicaid and other health care delivery programs” and the elimination of “perverse financial incentives” that encourage expensive hospital procedures while growing numbers of very sick ...New York Times

CMS Prepares for Open Enrollment for Marketplace Consumers

Trying to clarify data matching issues – Does not apply to Medicare

Sept. 16, 2014 -This announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) does not apply to those on Medicare. It is for those enrolled in health plans through the Marketplace. It is part of the preparation for their “Open Enrollment,” which begins November. Seniors should not confuse it with the “Open Enrollment for Medicare, which begins October 15. More information.

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

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

More seniors are carrying student loan debt into retirement

Washington Post: The GAO report cited a number of reasons why older Americans might still be paying off college loans

 

Medical Research News for Seniors

 

Rosuvastatin Particularly Effective Among Prediabetic Patients

September 18, 2014 – Senior citizens – the major users of statins to fight high cholesterol and also the primary targets of Type 2 diabetes – will find interesting a new research report claiming that the statin rosuvastatin may be more effective among prediabetic patients than patients with normal glucose levels. Out today in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Research Points to Daily Aspirin for Cancer Prevention

September 17, 2014 - Research published in Annals of Oncology shows that taking aspirin in daily low doses – often just one pill a day - can significantly reduce the risk of developing stomach and bowel cancers, as well as cancer of the esophagus.

Combination of Medications More Effective for Older Patients with COPD – Video

September 17, 2014 - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Medications are the mainstay of COPD management. A new study examined two different regimens and how these medications might impact older people JAMA Network Video


Kaiser Health News weekly report on recently released health policy studies and briefs. The selected reports here are those pertaining to senior citizens.

UCLA Center For Health Policy Research

Bringing It To The Community: Successful Programs That Increase The Use Of Clinical Preventive Services By Vulnerable Older Populations 

JAMA Internal Medicine:

Use Of Medications Of Questionable Benefit In Advanced Dementia

JAMA Internal Medicine:

Quality Of Care For Elderly Patients Hospitalized For Pneumonia In The United States, 2006 to 2010

Health Affairs:

Drug Shortages - From 2005 to 2010 the number of reported drug shortages almost tripled

Journal of the American Medical Association/The Kaiser Family Foundation

Visualizing Health Policy: The Role Of Medicare Advantage

George Washington University/Kaiser Family Foundation:

Community Health Centers: A 2012 Profile And Spotlight On Implications Of State Medicaid Expansion Decisions

 

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Simple Test May Detect Your Alzheimer’s Risk Before Dementia Shows Up

older woman taking testAlzheimer’s group had slower reaction, movement time, as well as less accuracy, precision in their movements

Sept. 18, 2014 — If you really want to know if you are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, York University researchers say a simple test that combines thinking and movement may reveal your risk, even before any obvious signs of dementia are obvious.

Other Media Reports

Senior Citizens Ready for War, Young Americans Less Enthusiastic

September 14, 2014 - President Obama’s plan for a military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria is drawing public support. And, in a rare display of bipartisanship, majorities of both Republicans (64%) and Democrats (60%) approve of the president’s plan.

Greater Concern over U.S. Military Action in Iraq and Syria …The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Sept. 11-14 among 1,003 adults, finds that overall, 53% approve of Obama’s plan, while 29% disapprove; 19% do not offer an opinion.

The over 65 crowd says, “go gett’em” – 61% Yes, 18% No and 21% don’t know. The military age group -18 through 29 - says, “hey, let’s think about this” – 43% Yes, 37% No and 20% don’t know. - More at Pew Research

Caregiver & Elder Care News

National Group Reduces Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes, Sets New Goals

National Partnership, including CMS, seeks to optimize the quality of life in America’s nursing homes by improving care for all residents, especially those with dementia

woman with headacheSeptember 19, 2014 – After two years of success in reducing the use of antipsychotic medications by patients in long-stay nursing home care, the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care today established a new national goal of reducing the use by 25 percent by the end of 2015, and 30 percent by the end of 2016. The public-private coalition includes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), consumers, advocacy organizations, providers and professional associations.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Most and Least Expensive Medicare Drug, Advantage Plans Identified for 2015

With Medicare Open Enrollment beginning on October 15, free website presents an analysis of advantage and drug plans

Medical symbol with dollar sign for staffSeptember 19, 2014 - HealthPocket, a website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans analyzed the release of 2015 Medicare insurance data and has a slightly different conclusion on the cost of Medicare Advantage plans than does the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS sees the average premium for 2015 as $32.26, while HealthPocket sees $62.69. They may both be right. They do agree the increase in cost for the 2015 plans is very small.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Advantage Plans Growing, Small Premium Increases for 2015

Seniors will see wide range of Medicare health, drug plans when enrollment opens October 15, says CMS

September 19, 2014 - More people with Medicare will have access to higher quality Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, and for the fifth straight year, enrollment is projected to increase to a new all-time high, while premiums remain “affordable,” according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Open enrollment begins October 15.

Retirement News

Largest Expense for Most Senior Citizens is Maintaining a Home

Health care cost is number two for older Americans, reports new study

...health care expenses can be heavily skewed towards the end of life!

September 18, 2014 - Although health expenses increase steadily with age, and remain a cause of concern, home and home-related expenses are the largest spending category for older Americans, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Aging & Longevity

Dying in America is Harder Than It Has to Be – Institute of Medicine

First end-of-life conversation could coincide with a cherished American milestone of getting a driver's license at 16

By Jenny Gold, KHN Staff Writer

Grandfather with teenage grandsoneSeptember 17, 2014 - It is time for conversations about death to become a part of life. That is one of the themes of a 500-page report, titled "Dying In America," released Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine. 

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

No Time To See The Doctor? Try A Virtual Visit Online

Doctors available through LiveHealth Online designed for business travelers and busy parents; allows patients who get sick on weekend to avoid going to emergency room, too

By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health Blog, Capsules

older woman on laptopSeptember 17, 2014 - Patients looking for convenient medical appointments can now see UCLA Health System doctors using their cell phones, computers or tablets.

Social Security News

Social Security to Resume Mailing Statements but Urges Online Service

With my Social Security account statements always available online

September 16, 2014 -Social Security is going to resume mailing statements to those enrolled in the program, a practice they had tried to eliminate. The agency says mailed statements will be sent about once every five years for most workers. But, SSA is still strongly urging all enrollees to create a my Social Security account online to have immediate access to their statement.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

New Statin Strategy from Lipid Association Challenges Others

Expert panel urges individualized, cholesterol-targeted approach to heart disease and stroke

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Sept. 15, 2015 – If you thought all the controversy about statin use – a daily pill for millions of senior citizens - has been settled, you better think again. An expert panel coordinated by the National Lipid Association has created its own outline for how to best treat people at risk for cardiovascular disease and it seems to challenge several previous recommendations, including guidelines by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Many Senior Citizens Do Not Know How to Lower Dementia Risk

Alzheimer’s Society of U.K. emphasizes five simple things older people can do to avoid dementia

Five Simple Steps to Avoid Dementia

Sept. 14, 2014 - Alzheimer’s disease is the affliction feared most by a majority of senior citizens but a new study in the U.K. finds a surprisingly large number of seniors are unaware that it is possible to lower their risk of dementia.

Aging & Longevity

Older Men Living with Stress Die Younger

Men may live longer if they’re able to control their attitudes about everyday hassles

'Don't Make Mountains Out of Molehills'

Sept. 10, 2014 - Older men who lead high-stress lives, either from chronic everyday hassles or because of a series of significant life events, are likely to die earlier than the average for their peers, new research from Oregon State University shows. Taking things in stride, however, appears to offer some protection.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Patients Have Heart Risk Other Than Cholesterol or Atherosclerosis

'It looks like diabetes may be slowly killing heart muscle in ways we had not thought of before.'

Sept. 10, 2014 – Diabetes patients are at increased risk of heart failure and cardiac death unrelated to the common culprits of cholesterol and atherosclerosis, says a new study. People with diabetes who appear otherwise healthy may have a six-fold higher risk of developing heart failure regardless of their cholesterol levels, according to this research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Aging News & Information

Age Makes Difference in Response to Grief, Seniors Take it Harder

Critical age at which losing a loved one threatens serious harm to the immune system appears to be around age 65

Sept. 9, 2014 – The balance of our stress hormones during periods of grief changes as we age, according to a new study. For example, young people have a more robust immune response to the loss of a loved one. It is, however, more likely to result in reduced immune function in elderly people, who are then likely to suffer from infections.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Patients Cope with Positive Outlook, Social Support

Getting Old is Challenge Enough!

Editor's Note: Getting old is challenge enough but almost one in four senior citizens in the U.S. also has to cope with the challenges of Type 2 diabetes. Learn more about diabetes below - insert in news report.

Almost one out of every four senior citizens age 60 and over has diabetes, more than half of all U.S. adults with diabetes are seniors

By Jennifer Abbasi

Sept.9, 2014 - A positive outlook and support from people around them help patients with diabetes cope with psychosocial challenges of the disease, according to an international study that included researchers from Penn State College of Medicine. A better understanding of the emotional, psychological and social challenges people with diabetes face could improve health outcomes.

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Older Women Reduce Stroke, Death Risks with Potassium-Rich Foods

Studied women 50 to 79 over 11 years; women who ate the most potassium were 10% less likely to die

Sept. 8, 2014 - Postmenopausal women who eat foods higher in potassium are less likely to have strokes and die than women who eat less potassium-rich foods, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

Aging News & Information

Aging Muscles May Be Restored by Discovery of a Key to Making Muscle

Results hailed as important step toward developing new muscle to treat muscle diseases; good news for seniors with muscles wasting away from aging

Sept. 8, 2014 – Promising results have been achieved in repairing damaged tissue in muscles which could lead to a new therapeutic approach to treating the millions of people suffering from muscle diseases, including those with muscular dystrophies and muscle wasting associated with cancer and aging seniors, according to the study, published September 7 in Nature Medicine.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Nearly Half of Senior Citizens Need Some Help with Care Needs

51% reported no difficulty in previous month, 29% reported receiving help taking care of themselves, their households or getting around

Sept. 8, 2014 - Nearly half of the senior citizens in the U.S. – 18 million people - have difficulty with daily activities or get help in managing them, according to a new study.

Retirement News

Older Americans Being Squeezed Out of Housing Market in Retirement

Study by Harvard center and AARP expresses special concern about baby boomers with lower incomes, wealth, homeownership rates and more debt than generations before

Sept. 4, 2014 - America’s older population is in the midst of unprecedented growth, but the country is not prepared to meet the housing needs of this aging group, concludes a new report released today by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation.

Aging News & Information

War Against Aging Heats Up with Calico, AbbVie Joint Effort

Google-backed Calico to create leading R&D facility in San Francisco focused on aging, age-related diseases

Sept. 4, 2014 – There was a major announcement in the war against aging yesterday as Calico, the Google-backed life sciences company, and AbbVie, a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company, announced a collaboration to discover, develop and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer.

Features for Senior Citizens

New Digital Tablet for Older Americans Marketed by AARP

RealPad designed for older people who are still wary or apprehensive about using tablet technology

Sept. 4, 2014 - AARP, with a little help from Intel and Walmart, will bring to the market a new digital tablet – the RealPad – especially designed for Americans ages 50 and above “who are yet to fully embrace tablet technology”, to help them stay or get connected online.

 

Aging News & Information

Adults with Sleep Problems May See Brains Shrink, Especially Seniors Over 60

'Not yet known whether poor sleep quality is a cause or consequence of changes in brain structure'

Sept. 3, 2014 – Sleep difficulties may be linked to faster rates of decline in brain volume, particularly for those seniors over the age of 65, according to a study published in the September 3, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Men Who Exercise Least are Most Likely to Wake Up to Urinate

Those physically active one or more hours per week were 13% less likely to report nocturia, 34% less likely to report severe nocturia

Sept. 2, 2014 - Men who are physically active are at lower risk of nocturia (waking up at night to urinate), which is the most common and bothersome lower urinary tract symptom in men, reports a new study. Nocturia increases with age and is estimated to occur in more than 50 percent of men 45 and older.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Do Not Upset Grandpa or Grandma Before Surgery, It Can Hinder Recovery

Family conflicts, other non-physical worries before colon cancer surgery raise patients’ complication risk; reducing stress speeds recovery

Sept. 2, 2014 - How well patients recover from cancer surgery may be influenced by more than their medical conditions and the operations themselves. Family conflicts and other non-medical problems may raise their risk of surgical complications, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Addressing such quality-of-life issues before an operation may reduce patients’ stress, speed their recoveries and save health care dollars, the research suggests.

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Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Eating Fruit Daily Makes Significant Reduction in Cardiovascular Risk

Large study says the more fruit you eat the more the risk declines; also significantly lowers blood pressure

Sept. 2, 2014 – Eating fruit every day will reduced your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 40 percent and the more fruit you eat the more this risk declines, suggests the results of a study of almost half a million presented to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Fitness Clearly a Fountain of Youth for Bone and Joint Health

Decades of research show much age-related deterioration is the result of the a sedentary lifestyles and the development of medical conditions rather than of aging itself

Aug. 28, 2014 - Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging, according to a review of the latest research on senior athletes (ages 65 and up)

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Marijuana May Halt or Slow Alzheimer’s Disease Says Florida Study

Battle Underway in Florida to Clear Marijuana for Medical Use - Seniors Lead Effort - Vote in November

THC in marijuana known to be potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels

By Anne DeLotto BaierAug. 27, 2014 – Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Confusion about Medicare and Marketplace Cleared up by CMS Q&A

Many seniors will be surprised by this Q&A about Medicare and the Marketplace of the Affordable Care Art

Aug. 26, 2014 - There has often been confusion for many senior citizens between Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace - the health insurance program for U.S. citizens who have not reached the age of Medicare eligibility, which is normally age 65. Now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which also runs the Marketplace, is offering some help. It has issued a Q&A on the most frequent questions asked about Medicare and the Marketplace.

Medicare & Medicaid News

New Executives Named as CMS Prepares for 2015 Open Enrollment for Marketplace

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Market place will be November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015; coverage can start as early as January 1, 2015

Aug. 26, 2014 – A new Marketplace Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kevin Counihan, will join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Lori Lodes has been named the new Director of Communications for CMS. The announcement was made by Health and Human Services Secretary Syliva M. Burwell, who is about have her first turn at steering the Health Insurance Marketplace through an open enrollment period.

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Interest in Exercise for Recreation Declines with Age, Feel Too Old for Team Sports

Boomers building muscle at the gym but heart not in it says new Concordia study

By: Suzanne Bowness

Aug. 22, 2014 - As the first generation to embrace exercise, baby boomers continue going to the gym, yet more out of necessity than for the challenge and enjoyment of physical activity.

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Wine Drinkers Can Cut Back a Little by Following the Half Glass Rule

Researchers looked at ways people try to control wine consumption; wine a regular daily habit for many seniors

Aug. 22, 2014 – A glass of wine – or maybe one or two more – has become an almost daily habit for many senior citizens. Many of them who are interested in cutting back a little will be interested in new research that found sticking to a rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index.


Are Your Medical Records Vulnerable to Theft?

 Aug. 21, 2014 - Here is what you need to know if your records are stored electronically (and they probably are). By Eric Whitney, Kaiser Health News


Health and Medicine for Seniors

Relief for 75 Percent of Seniors with Chronic Conditions May Come from New NIH Research

More chronic conditions means more health care services, negative outcomes, unnecessary hospitalizations, adverse drug reactions, declining functional status, and mortality

Aug. 21, 2014 - Three new research awards — totaling $19.4 million over five years — will address the growing proportion of the U.S. population that has multiple chronic medical conditions. Estimates are that almost 75 percent of senior citizens over age 65 and 1 in 15 children suffer from two or more chronic medical conditions — such as diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and chronic pain.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke Have Plunged in Last Decade

Drop in Hospitalizations

Heart Attack -38.0%

Unstable Angina -83.8%

Heart Failure -30.5%

 Ischemic Stroke -33.6%

Rates declined more for these conditions than for any others; improved lifestyle, quality of care and prevention strategies contributed to the decrease.

Aug. 20, 2014 - U.S. hospitalizations and deaths from heart disease and stroke dropped significantly in the last decade, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

New Report on Severe Hardship for Family Caregivers of Patients with Cognitive Conditions

‘All caregivers need training and support; caregivers who are responsible for people with challenging behaviors are among those most in need of assistance,’ AARP/United Hospital Fund

Aug. 20, 2014 - Family caregivers who provide complex chronic care to people who also have cognitive and behavioral health conditions face particularly demanding challenges, including high levels of self-reported depression. A majority of them (61%) reported feeling stress “sometimes to always,” between their caregiving responsibilities and trying to meet other work or family obligations, says a new report.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Government Streamlining Medicare Coverage For Cancer Test

In a clinical trial, Colorguard detected 92 percent of colorectal cancers and 42 percent of advanced adenomas, large polyps that are more likely than small polyps to lead to cancer.

By Michelle Andrews, Insuring Your Health

Aug. 19, 2014 - Medicare beneficiaries may get speedier coverage for a newly approved screening test for colorectal cancer under a pilot project in which two federal agencies reviewed the product at the same time instead of one after the other.

Medicare & Medicaid

FDA Approves First Non-Invasive DNA Screening Test for Colorectal Cancer

Cologuard vs Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

Cologuard detected 92% of colorectal cancers, 42% of advanced adenomas.

FIT screening  detected 74% of cancers, 24% of advanced adenomas.

Collaboration with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contributed to proposed Medicare coverage for Cologuard

Aug. 19, 2014 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on August 11 approved Cologuard, the first stool-based colorectal screening test that detects the presence of red blood cells and DNA mutations that may indicate the presence of certain kinds of abnormal growths that may be cancers such as colon cancer or precursors to cancer.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Some States, Seniors Bristle at Lack of Authority Over Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare pays private health plans - an alternative to traditional Medicare - set monthly rate per patient: about 16 million have signed up, almost one third of elderly, disabled eligible for Medicare

By Fred Schulte, The Center for Public Integrity

medical logo with dollar signHumana hit him with a bill for $6,461.66, claiming the surgery was not covered because the hospital was “out of network.”

Aug. 19, 2014 - When Minnesota retiree Doug Morphew needed surgery last year, he expected his Humana Medicare Advantage plan to step up and pay the lion’s share of the bill. Morphew said the health plan had told him over the phone he would owe just $450 for the two days he spent in a St. Paul hospital recovering from the operation to repair an aortic aneurysm. Less than a month later, however, Humana hit him with a bill for $6,461.66...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

New Optical Imaging of Brain Confirms Arteries More Elastic in Fit Seniors

Discovery allows scientists to map pulse pressure and elasticity of arteries in the brain with optical imaging, measure aging

Aug. 19, 2014 - A new discovery can noninvasively image the pulse pressure and elasticity of the arteries of the brain, revealing correlations between arterial health and aging. Brain artery support, which makes up the cerebrovascular system, is crucial for healthy brain aging and preventing diseases like Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Aging News & Information

Robin Williams Death Highlights Increase in Suicide Among Middle-aged Men

Suicide rates in middle-aged are higher than for the elderly; male baby boomers are 1.6 times more likely to kill themselves than prior generation

Aug. 19, 2014 - The death of Robin Williams has once again renewed focus on a worrying trend:  middle-aged male baby boomers who increasingly take their own lives. Julie Phillips, professor of sociology at Rutgers, notes Williams seems to have had many of the risk factors – a 63-year-old man with a history of drug addiction, alcoholism and depression who was dealing with new physical health problems.

Social Security News

Social Security Pushes My Social Security in Honor of Turning 79

This account is a tool people can used to keep up with their Social Security benefits, and more - read brief history

Aug. 18, 2014 – In honor of the 79th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, Social Security is urging Americans to establish a my Social Security account, a personalized online account, promoted as a helpful retirement planning tool.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Too Many Senior Citizens Get Cancer Screening Says JAMA Study

Researchers examined rates of prostate, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening in patients 65 or older

Aug. 18, 2014 – A large number of senior citizens with limited life expectancy continue to receive routine screenings for prostate, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer, according to the authors of a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. And, they add, the procedures are unlikely to benefit them.

Senior Citizen Alerts

Most Seniors Not Aware of High Dose Flu Shot for Elderly Provided by Medicare

Flu vaccine, including high dose version, is provided at no cost to seniors covered by Medicare - vaccine finder on page

Aug. 17, 2014 – A stronger flu vaccine was created just for senior citizens. The high dose vaccine contains four times the antigens as the regular flu vaccine and is intended to create a stronger immune response for seniors, who are at greater risk of developing severe flu-related illnesses. The problem is that the majority of seniors are not aware of its importance.

Sex and Romance for Senior Citizens

Middle-Aged Women Missing Passion - and Sex - Seek Affairs, Not Divorce

Being happy in marriage is far different than being happy in bed - None of women looking to leave husband

By Sydney McKinley, American Sociological Association

Aug. 16, 2014 -  When middle-aged women seek extra-marital affairs, they are looking for more romantic passion, which includes sex — and don't want to divorce their husbands, suggests new research to be presented at the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

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Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Risk Rapidly Increasing in U.S., Almost Half Adults Likely Victims

Lifetime risk for Hispanics, black women probably more than 50 percent

Aug. 13, 2014 – More than half of Hispanics and black women, and just less than half of all adults in the U.S. are projected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, according to projections from a new study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

One of Five Medicare Hospice Patients Discharged Alive – Is It to Save Money

Live discharge rates differ between hospice programs; when should those rates raise red flags among issues explored

Aug. 13, 2014 - About 1 in 5 Medicare patients is discharged from hospice care alive, whether due to patients' informed choice, a change in their condition, or inappropriate actions by the hospice to save on hospitalization costs related to terminal illness.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Cognitive Problems in Senior Citizens Found as Risk for Stroke, Death

Declining memory and cognitive ability may increase the risk of stroke, death in seniors over age 65

Aug. 12, 2014 – Most senior citizens are well aware that poor cardiovascular health, including a stroke, is an important risk factor for developing cognitive impairment. New research, however, says the opposite is also true for senior citizens age 65 and older: cognitive impairment is a risk factor for having a stroke.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Advantage Plans Exaggerate Diseases of Senior Citizens to Make More Money

Suspect billing practices have been common across much of the Medicare Advantage industry and are likely to get worse unless officials crack down

By Fred Schulte, The Center for Public Integrity

Aug. 8, 2014 - Many Medicare Advantage health plans routinely overbill the government for treating elderly patients - and have done it for years, a federal study shows.


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