Monthly Archives: August 2010

Medicare Drug Plans Changing: What You Need to Know

Some Medicare drug plans are being cut, causing over 3 million seniors to have to switch plans for next year, a recent analysis estimates. The cuts are meant “to winnow down duplicate and confusing coverage,” the Associated Press reports. “Instead of 40 or more plans in each state, beneficiaries would pick from 30 or so.”

Seniors won’t lose Medicare coverage, but premiums and copayments may increase or decrease, according to AP. “Medicare is expected to …Read more ›

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Aging in Place: Free AARP How-To Webinar Tuesday

Aging in place—growing old in your own home—has burgeoned into a specialty in the remodeling industry. AARP and the National Association of Home Builders have even developed a “certified aging-in-place specialist” program to credential remodelers and people in related fields. (That’s the “CAPS” designation you see behind some professionals’ names.)

Tomorrow, AARP will pick the brain of one such CAPS specialist during a free webinar on aging in place. Participants will learn how to “create …Read more ›

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Author Wishes She’d Asked for Palliative Care Years Earlier

Gayle Sheehy’s husband died of cancer after years of a slow demise. She’s written a book about the challenges of dealing with a loved one’s sickness called Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos Into Confidence.

Journalist Scott Eyman interviewed Sheehy and asked her, among other things, whether she would have done anything differently, looking back. Her response:

I might have tried to get him qualified for Medicaid. But I’m not sure that would have helped, because I …Read more ›

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How to Make It Easier for Your Aging Parents to Accept Help

Independence can be hard to give up. When you recognize that your aging parent needs help, there are ways to introduce the idea to make it less invasive and overwhelming. A recent article at FOXBusiness offers a few tips. For one thing, start talking early, and include your parents:

Too many people view the conversation as a decision made solely by the children. In fact, elder parents need to have a say, assuming they have …Read more ›

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Birthday Greetings from the President

How to get a birthday card from the President

How to get a birthday card from the PresidentThough this can apply to any of life’s milestones, a senior in your life might get a kick of out getting a birthday card from the White House. It may take a while, and there’s no guarantee of a delivery date, but receiving one might be a little part of history. …Read more ›

Medicare Star Ratings for Nursing Homes: Helpful, Not Definitive

Medicare’s stars rating system is a good tool for evaluating nursing homes but not the only one you need, according to a recent post at The New Old Age. It should be an adjunct to other clues.

In fact, the ratings may not always go along with what the residents themselves think. One researcher has found that “it is not uncommon for one-star facilities to rate much higher in consumer satisfaction than one would expect …Read more ›

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Palliative Care Myths Even Some Doctors Believe

Often, patients aren’t referred to palliative care until they’re near death, reports The Boston Globe. But in a small study that’s made headlines everywhere, it seems, researchers found that palliative care started soon after diagnosis increased the lifespan of people with advanced lung-cancer patients at one hospital by an average of almost three months. The study appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine.

In their article, The Boston Globe confronts misperceptions about palliative care:

All …Read more ›

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Elder Abuse: Why You Should Treat Relatives Like Nursing Homes

What a nightmare, moving to a nursing home, with all that potential for abuse and neglect. If only we could all live with our families during our silver years.

Except … what if the family caregiver turns out to be the nightmare?

“You might be surprised to know that most times elder abuse is committed by family members, friends, and other trusted people” says Sharon Merriman-Nai, co-manager of the National Center on Elder Abuse, a program …Read more ›

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Eldercare: Tips for Dividing the Cost Among Siblings

When aging parents need financial help, adult children are sometimes able to offer it. But how do you decide who gives what? That’s what a reader asked  Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, of Charles Schwab. Her response begins with advice on how to figure out how much the parents need. Then, she says:

You might start by asking what each of you is willing and able to contribute; if the total is sufficient, great. But if it isn’t, …Read more ›

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Aging in Place: Tips for Dealing With Stairs

If stairs are a problem in your aging parents’ home, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to move. A recent article in The Washington Post offers tips for aging in place in a home with more than one story.

If your parents can still climb the stairs, you may just need to ensure that they’re safe, says the article. After all, stair climbing is good exercise. Consider things like lighting, stair rails and the surface …Read more ›

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