Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hospice Worker Helps Grant Patient’s Wish to See Family “One Last Time”

Halloween is all about scary stuff … and it’s also about fun. So we’re erring on the latter side and featuring a feel-good story for this holiday day. It’s about hospice. What? That doesn’t sound feel-good? Well, it can be.

Ninety-two-year-old Loma McGuffey, a Texas resident, longed to attend her family’s upcoming reunion, her hospice caregiver Sue Justice told Star Local News. “She said how wonderful it’d be …Read more ›

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Slow Start to Government Program Meant to Get People Out of Nursing Homes

Have you heard of Money Follows the Person? It’s a Medicaid program in which states get federal money to help them move certain people from nursing homes to the community. Well, they’re supposed to move them.

In reality, only a fraction of the projected participants have been moved in this relatively young program, Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post report. They list a few potential reasons. One is that many …Read more ›

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Pending Medicare Settlement Means More Can Get Home Health Care

Every once in a while a piece of senior-care news comes along that sweeps the media. Story after story comes out about it. Such is the case with a recent Medicare settlement. And the attention is well-deserved. The settlement is set to, as Reuters puts it in their headline, “change lives.”

For decades, reports The New York Times, in order for Medicare to pay for home health-care, Medicare beneficiaries …Read more ›

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Pets Move In With Owners at Iowa Assisted Living Community

As you know if you’ve been following this blog for a while, pets are moving into some assisted living communities along with their owners these days. Recently, The Hawk Eye, a newspaper in Burlington, Iowa, checked in with the Bickford Cottage, an assisted living center, to see how this whole pets idea was working. They found some pleased residents.

For example, resident John Bolander owns a chihuahua named Pluto.

Members of the …Read more ›

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People Should Appeal Medicare Decisions More, Expert Says

If Medicare refuses a claim, that doesn’t have to be the last word, The Wall Street Journal reports. You can appeal—and there’s “a relatively high success rate” for people who do, the article says.

“Folks don’t appeal as much as they should,” says Doug Goggin-Callahan, director of education at the nonprofit Medicare Rights Center in New York and Washington, D.C. “If you and your doctor feel you should be entitled to a …Read more ›

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“Consumer Reports” Walks Through Choosing a New Medicare Plan

Every year during this Medicare open enrollment time, a lot of advice comes out about how to pick a new plan. (We’ve covered some here, here and here, for example.) It’s helpful but can also feel a bit overwhelming.

Over at, they put things into perspective by walking through the process of choosing a Medicare Advantage plan for one of their readers. “OK, so here’s what you …Read more ›

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2013 Medicare Changes: Some Plans Covering More Mental-Health Drugs

Every year, things change with individual Medicare plans. That’s why experts always say to review yours during the annual enrollment period (which is going on now through December 7). But since the health-care overhaul kicked in, more sweeping changes have been taking place.

The Detroit Free Press goes over some of the changes to look for in 2013.

For example, plans now may choose to cover benzodiazepines, a class of drugs that includes …Read more ›

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“New York Times” Warns About Reverse-Mortage Deceptions

In the reverse mortgage world, things haven’t been the same since the big banks left, claims The New York Times. After Bank of America, Wells Fargo and MetLife stopped offering these senior loans, smaller companies stepped in—and not always for the better, the paper reports.

Some of them steer seniors into expensive, risky loans with deceptive sales pitches and high-pressure tactics, according to regulators, housing …Read more ›

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#ElderCareChat 10/17/12 Recap: Emergency Preparedness

It doesn’t matter if we live in the midwest’s tornado alley, or along the California fault line, or in the eye of Florida’s tropical storms and hurricanes.

The earthquake in New York City a few months ago proved the point: we all need to be prepared for emergencies, natural disasters, and unexpected events beyond our control. We also need to be prepared for the end …Read more ›

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Elderly Parents Considering a Move? There’s a Realtor for That.

Did you know there are realtors who specialize in helping older people? They’re designated by the National Association of Realtors as Senior Real Estate Specialists. Florida realtor Phyllis Staines tells PrimeTime, a publication for seniors, that the designation is “designed to give insight into the specific needs of the adult buyer who is 55 and up, whether they’re downsizing, going to assisted living.”

They may want to know how to hold …Read more ›

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