SeniorJournal.com

PAGE TWO - Headlines Continued from Front Page

Health Alert  for Seniors

Older people threatened by new diarrhea superbug resistant to preventive drug

drug resistant shigellaYoung children, gay men are most common victims of this diarrhea; threat may increase amount adults due to this bugs resistance to preventive drug for adults

April 2, 2015 – A new variety of a bug that already causes about half-a-million cases of diarrhea each year in the U.S. is proving resistant to drugs usually prescribed to protect adults. More

Medicare & Medicaid News

Very poor, very sick elderly do worse in Medicare programs due to circumstances

Study by Medicare-Medicaid insurers say CMS cannot expect same healthcare results as for those from better environments

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

April 1, 2015 – If you are very, very poor and very, very sick – as are most Americans known as “dual eligibles” by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – you are likely to fair worse than others being treated with the same level of care by Medicare healthcare providers. This is the conclusion from a study funded by a healthcare technology company and the Special Needs Plan (SNP) Alliance, a group of companies that offer Medicare-Medicaid insurance plans. More

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Most Alzheimer’s victims not being told dreaded diagnosis by doctors

5.1 million senior citizens have Alzheimer’s, two-thirds are women, less likely to be told than cancer victims

March 24, 2015 – Wow, what a month in the fight against Alzheimer’s – well recognized as the affliction senior citizens fear most. It is such a dreaded diagnosis that only about 45 percent of patients or caregivers are being told the diagnosis by their doctor, according to the 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report released today. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Fight against Alzheimer’s produces 19 significant discoveries this month

Many reports on studies suggesting better treatments, moving closer to cure for Alzheimer’s

March 24, 2015 – It has been an incredible month of news about Alzheimer’s disease and most of it has been encouraging for senior citizens, who fear the mind-altering disease more than any other. Among the most positive are news of a diet and a gene variant that may protect against AD, restoration of memory by an epilepsy drug, discovery about inherited AD, and new diagnostic techniques. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Seniors offered new dollar-a-day service to call doctors for medical advice

Seniors Wireless says it is affordable, contract-free wireless plan to offering seniors flexibility and convenience

March 24, 2015 – The number of senior citizens in the U.S. keeps expanding as older Americans continue to extend the average age of longevity. There is a price – we must consistently maintain our health. Now, a company – Seniors Wireless – wants to make it easier and affordable. Today they introduced a program that provides seniors age 55 and older unlimited, direct access to board-certified doctors via telephone or video, for any reason, anytime and anywhere for one dollar a day. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Doc pay bill passed in House blocks injured from suing physicians

Why did Senate leave town without finishing work on bill? Rubio says no cuts to Advantage

March 31, 2015 - The New York Times details some of the specifics of these protections for physicians inserted in House bill. Meanwhile, The Hill reports on why the Senate left town without finishing work on the Medicare physician payment overhaul - thereby leaving doctor payments in limbo. Marco Rubio wants to block any cuts to Medicare Advantage. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Some seniors to pay more for Medicare in House passed bill to hike doctor pay

This is a look at the details in this bill that will impact seniors on Medicare

March 27, 2015 - The House Thursday overwhelmingly passed legislation to scrap Medicare’s troubled physician payment formula, just days before a March 31 deadline when doctors who treat Medicare patients will see a 21 percent payment cut. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior citizens with a purpose in life have less brain damage

Positive psychological factors such as a purpose in life, emerging as very potent determinants of health for elderly

March 20, 2015 — Having a strong sense that your life has meaning and direction may make you less likely to develop areas of brain damage caused by blockages in blood flow as you age. At least that is what was found in a study of senior citizens with an average age of 84. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Senior citizens with back pain often get quick x-ray or MRI that may be a waste

Early imaging of those age 65-plus does not seem to improve the outcome

March 18, 2015 – When you, or another other senior citizen, goes to the doctor complaining of back pain, it is not uncommon for the physician to recommend an x-ray or an MRI to get a better look at the spine. The doctor would be following an accepted procedure for an early imaging in hopes of a quick solution. A new study, however, finds seniors getting the early image have no better success than older adults who did not. More...

Social Security Q&A

How to manage spousal benefits a common question for Social Security

This week’s questions focus on women, the predominate recipients of Social Security

Social Security

Q&A

March 18, 2015 – This week’s Social Security Q&A has two topics that are of particular interest to women, who make up 57 percent of all Social Security beneficiaries age 62 and older. Included is another complicated question abut how to best handle spousal benefits. More...

Political News for Senior Citizens

House Republican budget calls for privatizing Medicare, cutting Medicare

Senate Republicans expected to reject cutting benefits for senior citizens

March 18, 2015 - House Republicans are proposing to cut $5.5 trillion in U.S. government spending and balance the budget in nine years by cutting Medicaid and food stamps and partially privatizing Medicare. The House plan released Tuesday, straight from Representative Paul Ryan’s budgets of the past, is sure to run into opposition among Republicans who control the Senate. Almost half the Senate Republicans are up for re-election next year, and few senators are eager to run on a budget that would cut benefits for senior citizens. Bloomberg News

Sex and Romance for Senior Citizens

Senior citizens highly satisfied with sex lives: men more than women

Sexual activity among seniors 70-plus has increased rapidly since the 1970s - especially women

March 17, 2015 - Sexual activity among senior citizens age 70 and older is on the increase – especially among women – and the majority of both sexes are highly satisfied. Sixty percent of older women and 70 percent of older men are highly satisfied says a new study. More...

Alzheimer's News from other media

Alzheimer’s patient at 90 still lights up his dementia home with piano music

March 17, 2015 – It is hard to find a story about Alzheimer’s disease that makes you smile. But, it is hard not to feel pleasure when you hear the piano music by Bert Rose, a 90-year-old AD patient who was once a celebrated pianist. He is now bringing the pleasure of music to the home for dementia patients where he lives and plays almost daily. By Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune… also video.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Statin drug not clearing cholesterol? Blocked arteries could be to blame

Patients whose bad cholesterol levels don’t respond may have more artery blockages than those whose cholesterol levels drop

Feb. 28, 2015 — If your “bad” cholesterol level stays the same or increases after you take statin drugs, you may have more blocked arteries than people whose levels drop, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Aging & Longevity

Aging in Place sounds great but may not be for Boomers or their parents

There is a lot more going on at the group home to support successful aging

Feb. 25, 2015 - Baby boomers trying to pick the best living arrangements for themselves or their parents as they age should be wary of a phrase they coined in their younger years: If it feels good, do it. More...

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Aging & Longevity

When one half of elderly couple stops driving it impacts both

Having a spouse who still drives does not remove the consequences of driving cessation for senior citizens

Feb. 24, 2015 – Even if just one member of a senior couple stops driving, negative consequences result for both the driver and non-driver, according to a new study from the University of Missouri. It recommends that the elderly, and their adult children, carefully discuss and plan for the transition to driving cessation. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Few senior citizens benefiting from Medicare obesity counseling

Affordable Care Act added Medicare benefit offering face-to-face weight-loss counseling to 13 million obese seniors in the U.S.

Sarah Varney February 23, 2015

Feb. 23, 2015 - In the farming town of Exeter, deep in California’s Central Valley, Anne Roberson walks a quarter mile down the road each day to her mailbox. Her walk and housekeeping chores are the 68-year-old’s only exercise, and her weight has remained stubbornly over 200 pounds for some time now. More...

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Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare makes Five Star Rating System for nursing homes even tougher

Climb gets even steeper for nursing homes to reach a five star rating

Feb. 23, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says it has strengthened the Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes on the Nursing Home Compare website to “give families more precise and meaningful information on quality when they consider facilities for themselves or a loved one.” More...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Older women active a few times weekly lower risk of heart disease, stroke, blood clot

Activities associated with reduced risk included walking, gardening, and cycling

Feb. 19, 2015 - Just a little exercise by older women is better than none, at least when it comes to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots. Being active just a few times a week is all it takes. Researchers were surprised to find that more frequent physical activity didn’t result in further reductions in risk. More...

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Medicare & Medicaid News

Patient deaths from hospital-acquired conditions reduced by 50,000

Medicare blog points to success of Affordable Care Act, Medicare’s stress on better care, HHS Partnership for Patients

By Patrick Conway, Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and CMS Chief Medical Officer (originally published February 11)

Feb. 19, 2015 - Recently, a Department of Health and Human Services report showed that 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. More...

Features for Senior Citizens

Senior citizens with limited mobility reduce heart risks with just a little activity

 Every minute of physical activity may lower risk of heart attack for seniors even in their 80s and with limited mobility; amount of activity more important than the intensity

Feb. 18, 2015 – This is great news and it leaves senior citizens, even those in their 80s, and those with already limited mobility, no excuse not to try a little physical activity. A new study finds they can lower their risk of a heart attack – and coronary death – for every minute they spend in a just light physical activity. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Type 2 Diabetes patients should exercise after dinner

Study is particularly helpful for health care providers who have patients who exercise every day but are not seeing benefits

Feb. 18, 2015 – Individuals with Type 2 diabetes have heightened amounts of sugars and fats in their blood, which increases their risks for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Exercise is a popular prescription for those suffering from the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but most research has focused the benefits of different exercise methods. A news study, however, decided to look at the difference in benefits based on the time of the exercise. Doing it after dinner is best, they say. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seniors face high risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia from anticholinergic drugs

Senior citizens often take anticholinergic drugs, which are commonly prescribed for a wide range of common health conditions

Feb. 17, 2015 – There is nothing that strikes fear in the hearts of senior citizens more than the risk of dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease in particular. A recent study found, however, a significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease from taking commonly used medications with anticholinergic effects, which are taken frequently by older adults, often unknowingly. They even include nonprescription medicines like Benadryl. More...

 

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Human stem cells restore cognitive function after chemotherapy damage

First solid evidence that transplantation of human neural stem cells can reverse chemo induced damage of healthy tissue in the brain

Feb. 16, 2015 - Human nerve system stem cell treatments are showing promise for reversing learning and memory deficits after chemotherapy, according to UC Irvine researchers. More...

Aging & Longevity

What is successful aging? Gerontologists still trying to reach agreement

Is the bottom line of ‘successful aging’ for many elderly Americans simply surviving with reasonable cognition and some mobility, or is it much broader

Feb. 16, 2015 – The debate over defining “successful aging” is raging again among the professionals in the field of gerontology. Despite books, years of research and numerous analytical articles in the past, there are 16 articles in the latest issue of The Gerontologist. One suggests those in the U.S. define it in more multidimensional terms than do most scholars. More...

Aging & Longevity

Love is in the air and here is proof you are never too old to fall in love

Residents at retirement communities around the country find love in their golden years

Feb. 12, 2015 - As Valentine’s Day approaches, seniors across the country who have lost their sweethearts are finding love again - but this time, it is with fellow residents in senior living communities, according to Holiday Retirement, that operates homes for senior citizens. More...


Mental patients have higher death risk but seldom die from this condition

Approximately 8 million deaths each year, are attributable to mental disorders

Feb. 11, 2015 – This is one of those cases where a massive study of a large number of research reports raises more questions than it answers. It does conclude that people with mental health disorders or two times more likely to die than those without such disorders. This link between mental problems and mortality is complicated by the reality that most people with those disorders do not die of their condition. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Eight signs of impending death of cancer patients identified to help caretakers

May aid caretakers, physicians to prepare, help patients, families make difficult personal decisions

Feb. 9, 2015 – Death is an unpleasant subject but its inevitability has become well recognized by the time we reach our senior years. It is something most senior citizens have had to deal with up close and personal. A new study in the journal Cancer that identifies the eight highly specific physical and cognitive signs associated with imminent death in cancer patients. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Meditation may give us more years with healthy brain as we age

Incidence of cognitive decline and dementia has increased substantially as elderly population has grown

Feb. 9, 2015 - People are living longer and most of us take that as good news. But in the world of reality, the news is not so good, if those extra years of living are plagued with mental torment. New research of adults up to age 77, however, has found that the practice of meditation may give us more years in older age with less of the brain damage associated with aging. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Seniors surviving heart failure have 20 percent risk of death for a year

Yale study looked at 3 million Medicare patients who survived hospitalization for heart failure and pneumonia

By Karen N. Peart

Feb. 6, 2015 – Senior citizens – age 65 and older – who survive hospitalization for heart failure have a 20 percent chance of going back into the hospital or death in the month after being discharged. New research, however, has found these risks remain high for up to a year, although they can be addressed with targeted care. More...

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Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare okays lung cancer screening with Low Dose Computed Tomography immediately

This is the first time that Medicare has covered lung cancer screening

Feb. 5, 2015 - Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination that provides for Medicare coverage of Screening for Lung Cancer with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT). The coverage - the first ever for lung cancer screening - is effective immediately. More...

Aging & Longevity

Is surgery a viable option for patients age 80 plus with acute spinal conditions?

Study found no difference in complications, mortality when compared to younger patients

Feb. 5, 2015 - As the number of Americans age 80 and older continues to rise, so does the percentage of patients with acute spinal conditions. A new srudy found significant benefit from surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis with and without degenerative spondylolisthesis and no higher overall complication rate and no higher mortality for patients age 80 and older when compared to patients younger than age 80. More

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Herbal supplements not what they claim, ordered off shelves in New York

Only 4% of the Walmart products tested showed DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels – other stores GNC, Target, Walgreens

Feb. 4, 2015 – The world of herbal supplements – a place frequented often by senior citizens - virtually exploded yesterday when New York State’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman ordered four the largest retailers in the U.S. to stop selling a number of brand herbal supplement products because the labels on the products did not match the contents. This misleading information was on almost 80 percent of the products tested. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Suffering at end of life getting worse, not better for older Americans

Family member asked whether the dying person - age 50 plus - suffered pain, depression or periodic confusion

By Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News

Feb. 3, 2015 - It’s been more than 15 years since the Institute of Medicine released its seminal 1997 report detailing the suffering many Americans experience at the end of life and offering sweeping recommendations on how to improve care. So has dying in America gotten any less painful? More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Elderly delirium patients improve without drugs, complicated programs

Improvement in cognitive function, less falls for older hospital patients result from practical interventions

Feb. 2, 2015 – Prescription drugs and programs with multiple components are not necessary to reduce delirium and prevent falls in hospitalized older patents, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Delirium is a confused state that is marked by inattention and global cognitive dysfunction (impaired memory and thought). More...

Aging & Longevity

Being senior citizen does not add complications to breast reconstruction

But problems with blood clots may be more common in older women, study suggests

Feb. 2, 2015 - Older women don't have an increased overall risk of complications from breast reconstruction after mastectomy, reports the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Seniors with these medical conditions at high risk of falling into Medicare 'donut hole'

Researchers recommend counseling to manage drug regimens to avoid high drug cost

Feb. 2, 2015 - Among seniors, women and patients with diabetes and dementia are the most likely to fall into the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan "donut hole" - the gap occurring after beneficiaries reach their annual coverage limit and before catastrophic coverage kicks. More...

Social Security News

Seniors can replace Social Security 1099s Online with Personal Account

Agency expands online services and promotes use of my Social Security Accounts

Feb. 2, 2015 – Seniors who lose their SSA-1099 form from Social Security before they need it for their income tax filing can now “quickly and easily” obtain a replacement from the agency’s website using their my Social Security account, according to a news release issued today. More...

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...

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...

 

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