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What kind of America Do You Want?



I rarely get into politics on this blog. Not because I am not political or have lost faith in the political process as many of my fellow seniors have, but because it would contravene this blogs purpose. However, the remarks (tweets) made by the president of the United States last week concerning the birthplace and heritage of four female congresswomen who were exercising their rights to descent, were so spectacularly racist, misogynistic and just plain dumb that I can no longer stand neutral.

As an older American, I have seen many presidents come and go. Some were great, some were just okay, and some were down-right mediocre. But none were boorish, racist, uninformed loutish oafs like the one who infests the White House. And, even more frightening are those so-called “patriots” who, even after everything he’s said and done, still support him. And that goes for the once honorable Republican party (remember Abe and Ike) who, for some unknown reason, has turned a blind eye to this man’s vile rhetoric. Call me politically naïve, but I do not see why they want this man to be the leader of their party. The only reason I can think of is that they firmly believe that he has a better-than-average chance of winning a second term. Which begs us to answer the question, “As older Americans can we afford to allow this fiasco to continue?”
 
Many of you lived through the second world war. Your fathers, uncles and even siblings fought and died in that war. Is this what they sacrificed their lives for? Is this what they brought us up to believe. If so, if you really think dissent and opposition to some of America’s policies are wrong, then what were we fighting for? But let’s not dwell on the past. There is enough to be pissed off right here, right now. And it’s not all the president’s fault. Trump is only the catalyst.There’s something else afoot here. And I’m afraid it’s something we all knew. We are not the country of brotherly love we thought we were.
 
You can say what you want about president Lyndon Johnson. But, whatever his personal feelings might have been, he had the sense (politically and morally) to understand that America could not continue to condone inequality and racism. And so, in 1964, they passed the Civil Rights Act which is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Unfortunately, they can’t legislate centuries of hatred and ignorance out of one’s heart. Racism still runs rampant throughout much of this country. It only took a race-bating presidential candidate to legitimatize what those folks were keeping pent up inside of them for years. And, while I am not politically astute, I knew Trump would be the next president as soon as the RNC crowned him as the best person to go up against Hillary. It was a signal for all like-minded bigots to come crawling out like ants at a picnic.

On Tuesday, July 16th, the House Democrats introduced a bill condemning the president for his blatantly racist remarks. Sadly, only 4 Republicans* had the moral decency to vote on the side of their Democratic colleagues. The rest did what their racist and morally corrupt constituents expected them to do.
 
John Gotti, the late mafia boss, known as “The Teflon Don” always managed to “slough-off”  any charges made against him. Now, we have a Teflon president who, it appears, can do no wrong in the eyes of most Republicans.
 
Time is running short. It will take a major effort to defeat Trump and his cohorts in 2020. And part of that effort depends on us, the senior voters of both parties to decide what future we will make for this country.………………
 
 
*Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, and Will Hurd of Texas.



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Following a post we did on Monday where we said that there did not appear to be any proposed current legislation dealing with the problem of affordable housing, we now find that not to be the case. We’ll keep an eye on this...



Seizing the Opportunity for Affordable Housing Nationwide
By Emily Cadik

"Advocates of affordable housing have an important opportunity in today’s political climate. Despite legislative gridlock and deep partisan conflict, affordable housing has emerged as one of the few topics met with bipartisan support."

"Fortunately, a bill recently reintroduced in Congress could help meaningfully increase our ability to build and preserve affordable housing using the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), providing relief to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The Need to Expand and Strengthen the LIHTC

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2019, which would expand and strengthen the housing credit, is an even more robust piece of legislation than its previous versions. New provisions introduced this year will simplify regulations, further increase affordable housing production, and better reach rural areas, veterans, and other special-needs populations."




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As seniors we depend on our credit cards for survival more than one would think. We use it as cash while waiting for our monthly retirement checks to direct deposit. We buy our groceries with it and even our clothes and household supplies. Unfortunately, as seniors we often forget to check our monthly statements as closely as we should. This leaves us open to fraud. In this article the author tells you what to look for and what to do if someone opens a credit card in your name.


5 Steps To Take if Someone Opens
a Credit Card in Your Name
By Ben Luthi


Identity theft is at an all-time high, according to a 2018 report by Javelin Strategy and Research, with a record 16.7 million victims in 2017.

Despite the increased occurrence of identity theft, it's still a jarring experience to learn that someone opened a credit card in your name.

The FTC Sentinel Report shows there were over 105,000 reports of new credit card account fraud in 2017, a growth of 3% over 2016. Credit card fraud is the most reported type of identity theft in the U.S. according to the FTC report.

You often find out someone opened a credit card in your name because you get a statement in the mail for a credit card you didn't open, find an unauthorized account on your credit report, or notice that your credit scores have dropped because of a high overdue balance and missed payments.

Go to article >>



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Can social interaction predict cognitive decline?
By Tim Newman

A recent study concludes that social interaction might be more than just a pleasant pastime; it might help doctors predict an individual's risk of cognitive decline and, perhaps, dementia.

How does social interaction influence cognitive decline?

Cognitive decline refers to a general reduction in mental abilities over time.

It affects many people as they age and, in some cases, can lead to dementia.

As the average age of the population rises, an increasing number of people are likely to experience cognitive decline.

A group of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, are interested in the potential role that social interaction might play.





Happiness in Bloom:
Benefits of Flowers for Seniors


 We’re delighted to see flowers popping up all over our campus, from daisies to tulips to pretty flowering trees. All of that lush greenery and bright color is such a treat after a long winter. But did you know that it has health benefits for seniors, too?

Flowers Improve Seniors’ Outlook.

Researchers at Rutgers University studied the effects of flowers on seniors. They found that the presence of flowers has positive effects on mood and behavior. Most notably, seniors with flowers in their homes experienced...




What you don’t know about
growing old — and why

By Patrick Gleeson

Americans haven’t always faced our national shortcomings very well, although we’re probably getting a little better at it. While we have a long way to go to achieve perfection — which, of course, being human, we never will — we’ve made substantial strides in some areas.

For example, Oscar Wilde once wrote that homosexuality was “the love that dare not speak its name,” but that’s certainly no longer true. My friends speak quite casually about their kids shifting gender identities, and media stars like Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. women’s soccer team’s formidable forward, is openly gay and has even incorporated her sexual identity has a part of her brand.

No, what dares “not speak its name” in our society is growing old. In fact, we have various euphemisms to cover up the reality. While we’re no longer described as “senior citizens” or “old folks,” we’re not simply “old” either; we we’re just “aging,” (so are teenagers) or growing “older” (as, again, are teenagers).





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NEXT BLOG MONDAY JULY 22ND 2019


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Affordable Housing:
A 2030 Challenge for seniors



I don’t know about you, but I expect to live at least another 10 years. I’ll be an old codger in my 80s, but I can live with that. What I won’t be able to live without is a roof over my head, food in my gut, medication I can afford and some cash in my pocket. Sounds basic doesn’t it? But for many seniors and seniors to be, what most of us consider life’s essentials may be only a dream. And if society (and by ‘society’ I mean the government) doesn’t start doing something about it we will have a tragedy on our hands rivaling the great depression.

A report* entitled “The 2030 Problem: Caring for Aging Baby Boomers” by James R Knickman and Emily K Snell, defines the problem.

“The economic burden of aging in 2030 should be no greater than the economic burden associated with raising large numbers of baby boom children in the 1960s. The real challenges of caring for the elderly in 2030 will involve: (1) making sure society develops payment and insurance systems for long-term care that work better than existing ones, (2) taking advantage of advances in medicine and behavioral health to keep the elderly as healthy and active as possible, (3) changing the way society organizes community services so that care is more accessible, and (4) altering the cultural view of aging to make sure all ages are integrated into the fabric of community life.”

The report concludes with this...

“To meet the long-term care needs of Baby Boomers, social and public policy changes must begin soon. Meeting the financial and social service burdens of growing numbers of elders will not be a daunting task if necessary changes are made now rather than when Baby Boomers actually need long-term care.”

Currently, the government has given only lip service to lowering drug prices and increasing Social Security benefits. At least they recognize a problem. Unfortunately, not much is on the agenda when it come to affordable housing and long-term care.

According to HUD*…

“The older population is projected to grow rapidly, and although many seniors wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible, challenges related to affordability, accessibility, and poor linkages to health services may make doing so difficult.

Expanding the supply of aging-friendly housing options, rental assistance, home repairs and modifications, accessible residential design and community planning, as well as improving the links between housing and healthcare, among other strategies, can help seniors age safely, comfortably, and affordably in their homes and communities.”

HUD even has a solution…

“To accommodate an aging population, many more units at all affordability levels will need to be made accessible to people with disabilities, both through new construction and retrofitting of the existing housing stock. New construction can be designed for accessibility at the outset or in ways that make future accessibility modifications easy to complete. One way to promote accessibility would be through the broader adoption of universal design principles. Universal design incorporates features intended to benefit people of all ages and abilities such as wide doorways, step-free entryways, and lever faucets. Many of these features are not usually found in existing housing; therefore, modifications will be needed not only to make housing more accessible but also more safe, comfortable, and user friendly. Such modifications range widely in cost, and many households would need assistance to afford the more expensive modifications. The residences of long-tenured homeowners may also need repairs beyond aging-friendly modifications, which can increase affordability pressures. Tax credits and public loans and grants may help lower-income households make their homes more habitable and more suitable for aging in place.”

The above statement by HUD comes from a two-year-old report outlining the dire need for affordable housing for an ever-growing older population. 

A bill, introduced in the House of Representatives (HR1661) by Republican congressman from Ohio Pat Tiberi, died in the House last year and never re-introduced. The bill would have provided substantial tax credit for affordable housing.

There isn’t any current proposed legislation (at least on the federal level) addressing the problem of affordable housing. 

For those who contend this should not be the government’s problem, I would normally agree with you. Unfortunately, government (both federal, state and local) made it their problem when they did not put a stop to out-of-control real estate interests primarily in America’s urban centers. Try finding an affordable apartment in New York or San Francisco. Even those earning a decent salary can no longer afford to live in those cities. Rent control is a joke. They have awarded landlords up to 15% increases every time the review board meets. An $850 a month apartment ten years ago now rents for well over $1600.

Neighborhoods once considered cheap have become “gentrified” to a point where long-time low-income residents have left.

Is there anything we can do? Yes, but it will take some brevity on the part of federal, state, and local governments.

Affordable housing can be built as long as it becomes worthwhile to do so. This means enacting laws forcing those who want to build high-end housing must also include a number of affordable (and by affordable I mean an apartment that someone on a fixed income can a afford to rent***). This means some investment by government either in the form of subsidies, amending zoning laws and tax credits.

Right now I’m in a nice, air-conditioned well maintained room, not large but large enough for my needs. Part of my room and board is paid for by my Social Security benefits, The rest is subsidized by Medicare, Medicaid and other federal, state and local programs. The future for America’s seniors, if there is to be one, will require a concerted effort on the part of all levels of government as well as support from community groups, charities and the American public. Unfortunately, they way many people confuse social welfare programs with Socialist programs, we will need a complete turn-around in the way we think about how we decide to help those that need help the most…………………………


 
*Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1464018/

**Source: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/summer17/highlight1.html

***In 2017, rent-stabilized tenants saw a rent-to-income ratio of 36 percent—well above the 30 percent benchmark that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers affordable, according to the 2019 Income and Affordability study. Therefore, if my fixed income from Social Security was $1300 per month, I should be paying no more than $468 a month for an apartment. I don’t know of any apartment in any major metropolitan area that rents for that amount.


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How to address the issue of
resident abuse in senior living

When news broke earlier this year that a young woman, an incapacitated resident of a long-term care facility in Arizona, had given birth after allegedly being raped by her nurse, it was only the latest in a litany of abuse cases that seem to plague the long-term care industry, including senior living. At Senate hearings in March, for example, one woman testified how her elderly mother, a woman with Alzheimer’s who lived in a Minnesota memory care community, similarly had been abused by a nursing assistant.

But it’s not just sexual abuse of residents that is an issue. Here are just a few examples of other issues:

    A South Carolina-based operator of state-owned veterans’ homes is being investigated for allegations of neglect and substandard care, including failure to respond to resident-on-resident physical violence. 

    Earlier this year, employees of a Columbus, OH, facility were charged with involuntary manslaughter after one resident of the home where they worked allegedly died as a direct result of their neglect (with wounds that turned gangrenous) and another suffered serious harm.

    A Jacksonville, FL-area based chain of nursing homes was sued for a stunning $350 million – an amount overturned by a judge in January – for allegedly both withholding therapy and treatments to residents as well as providing them when not needed. In one instance, a hospice resident, seeking end-of-life comfort and pain relief, allegedly was put through strenuous occupational and physical therapy. In others, residents with diabetes reportedly went without regular blood sugar tests for more than a month.




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What's the magic number for retirement savings?
$1.7 million, according to this study

By Jessica Dickler

When it comes to retirement savings, many Americans miss the mark.

On average, Americans believe they need $1.7 million to retire, according to a recent survey from Charles Schwab, which looked at 1,000 401(k) plan participants nationwide.

In fact, “that’s a pretty good number if you average out age and median salary across the U.S.,” said Nathan Voris, a managing director at Schwab Retirement Plan Services.

However, “the bulk of folks do not get there,” he said.


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Widespread pain contributes to
fracture risk in older adults



Among older adults, pain at multiple sites was associated with incident fracture risk in a dose-response manner, suggesting that widespread pain is an independent contributor to fracture risk, according to findings published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

“Pain at multiple sites is an independent marker for future fractures in the elderly,” Feng Pan, MD, PhD, a research fellow with the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, Australia, told Endocrine Today. “Treatment and management of pain at multiple sites may have the potential to reduce fracture risk in [an] older population.”


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According to a New Survey by The Senior Citizens League,
One-Third of Adults Over 65 Have Not Received
Dental Care in More Than Two Years



One-out- of three adults covered by Medicare are not getting regular dental care, according to a new survey by The Seniors Citizens League (TSCL). “We estimate that roughly 20 million older Americans are going without bi-annual cleanings, X-rays, and dental exams,” says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. Medicare does not cover routine dental health services, and that often comes as a surprise to new beneficiaries. More than half of survey participants say they do not have any dental insurance coverage.   

The high cost of treatment is a frequently cited barrier by those who are not getting the dental care they need. Elizabeth H., a retiree living in Colorado says “I do not have the $7,000 I was told that I needed to get my teeth fixed. They need to either be pulled and a bridge put in, or root canaled. Being on a limited income, I do not see getting any of this done, and so it affects my health negatively. Without dental care, I’m not as healthy as I could be.”

Advancing age puts many retirees at risk of oral health problems. A common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth, a side effect of more than 500 medications. Periodontal disease is widespread, even though it can be prevented with regular visits to the dentist and cleanings. In addition, research shows a strong link between oral health and a host of other diseases.



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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY JULY 18TH 2019


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FIGHTING AGEISM:
 THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES




Ageism manifests itself in several forms.

There is ageism in the workplace (see THE BASICS section following this editorial) where the signs are very obvious. These range from being passed over for a promotion to being let go. Although not easy to prove, there are laws to prevent it. However, the ageism that bothers me most is the kind that is not so discernible but are present none the less. I’m speaking about how it became okay to make fun of and to speak down to old people. And, to compartmentalize all old folks into one group. 

Let’s first talk about “cubby-holing” old people.To treat all elderly people the same is, not only ageist, but insane.

People don’t treat all young people the same. They recognize that a seven-year-old differs from a twelve-year-old, even though they are only 5 years apart. But they lump all people over the age of 65 or seventy into a category that defines what they are, not by facts, but by stereotype. And, not only do they think all old people act and think the same, but that it’s okay to make fun of them.

While it’s all right for a person to take delight by laughing at an elderly person who does not understand how to use a smart phone, they would same severely chastise that person if they did the same to a disabled person with no legs who was trying to get into a car. 

While we are discussing making fun of old people, here’s something else that I take exception to.
How many of us have seen images on Facebook or other social media, depicting an old person clumsily dancing or doing aerobics or singing and everybody is applauding them and nodding in approval. Everyone knows that they are thinking, “For any old person to do anything other than fall asleep in his soup is a miracle.”

And then, there are the videos of 95-year-old men or women doing back-flips, deep knee bends or 100 one-hand push-ups. People watching these “freaks” (yes, I said freaks) do contortions and think, “how wonderful” would not think twice if a 20-year-old did the same thing. This is ageism. Even when we praise people who do things we believe people their age are not supposed to do, it’s ageism because they are setting people apart from the rest purely based on age and not because they can perform those feats. 

Ashton Applewhite,* author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism”, Has this to say about ageism…

‘The Fear of Aging Is Cultural’

Ageism is based on stereotypes and discrimination, and functions as a way to marginalize older adults. People “think” they know how an older adult would or should behave, but in reality, according to Applewhite, “If you’ve seen one 80-year-old, you’ve seen one 80-year-old. We grow more different from one another the older we get.”
“The fear of aging is cultural,” notes Applewhite. “There are many societies where older members are venerated. If we don’t challenge the theory that to age is to lose value as a human being, we will continue to internalize a negative message.”

She goes on to say…

“Stop the Stereotypes About Aging
As for the stereotypes surrounding the easy targets of aging, such as memory and appearance, Applewhite says: it’s time for a different approach.

“I used to think the expression ‘senior moment’ was self-deprecatingly cute,” she says. “But when I was in high school and misplaced my keys, I never referred to it as a ‘junior moment.’  Everyone can lose their keys. Memory issues don’t mean dementia.”

Finally, there’s this…

“When somebody asks you how old you are, say ‘I was born in 1945 because the questioner won’t know the answer immediately,… “People profit from our insecurities, but they can only do it if we agree to their terms.”

I’ll use that the next time I fill out an application or questionnaire…………………………………..




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6 Signs of Ageism in the Workplace — and How to Handle It
By Natalia Autenrieth

 
What does ageism in the workplace look like?

Most hiring managers and HR professionals would tell you that there is no ageism in their company, but reality isn't this straightforward. It's possible for age discrimination to go completely unnoticed. It's also possible that benign behaviors might seem like ageism to older employees. In other words, don't assume that you are in the clear because you work at a forward-thinking company, but also, just because something feels like ageism doesn't make it so.

Here are a few examples of what age discrimination might look like:

1.    Learning opportunities are automatically offered to younger employees

2.    Being overlooked or passed over for challenging assignments.

3.    Being left out of client meetings or company activities.

4.    A spoken or unspoken assumption that you are not entitled to take time off for family commitments because you  don't have young kids at home.

5.   Disparaging comments and remarks about age.

6.    Being passed over for raises and promotions.

Find out how to handle ageism in the workplace >> https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/signs-of-ageism-in-the-workplace



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Ageism Disappears When Young and
 Old Spend Time Together

By Maureen Salamon

Ageism is pervasive throughout society, and harmful to young and old alike. But a new study finds some simple steps can help erase it.

Mixing younger and older people in various settings, combined with educating younger people about the aging process and its misconceptions, works quickly to reduce ageism, the new research indicates.

"The findings really suggest that these interventions had a very strong effect on outcomes, attitudes and knowledge" about aging, said study author David Burnes. He's an assistant professor of social work at University of Toronto in Canada.

"It's an amazing feeling to think the topic of ageism is beginning to gain momentum," Burnes added, "not only on local levels, but at a global level."


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Divorce rate is booming among
the aging boomer generation



Studies show that “ gray divorce”—marital splits among senior and nearly senior citizens— is increasingly common.

According to a Pew Research Center report, the divorce rate for people in the United States age 50 and older is now about double what it was in the 1990s. And, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate for those 65 and older tripled from 1990 to 2015.

Experts say the trend makes sense and there are several reasons why divorce has become more popular at an older age.

Let’s begin with the fact that the stigma of divorce has lessened over time.



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Sex an important part of health care
for today's senior citizens

by Ken Gordon


About 65% of respondents to a 2018 poll of Americans age 65 or older, sponsored by AARP, said they were interested in sex. More than half (54%) agreed with the statement, “Sex is important to my overall quality of life.”

That might be surprising to some who have outdated stereotypes of seniors, but not to doctors who regularly deal with the rapidly growing segment of the population.

“By 2030, one in five Americans will be over 65,” said Dr. Karen Kirkham, director of the geriatrics program for OhioHealth. “Society doesn’t want to think about Grandma having sex, but that’s totally going to change as the baby boomers reach this age.”



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NEXT BLOG MONDAY JULY 15TH 2019


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Paradoxical Lucidity
Moments of clarity in dementia patients at end of life



I have always had a fascination with people as they approach the end of life. Not morbidly, but spiritual. Almost everyone knows of, or has heard of those folks who have had a near-death experience. The ones where they watch themselves on the operating table, or see a bright lite with departed relatives beckoning them to go forth. A friend of mine, who was not prone to believe in spirituality or the afterlife, recounted his own near-death experience.

He was undergoing a triple bypass operation when, as he described it, he floated over the operating table watching the surgeons working to save his life. He began to drift further and further away from the O.R. when he heard a voice tell him he had to go back. The voice reminded him he had a young daughter who needed him and that it wasn’t his time yet. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the I.C.U., very much alive. Even I had a strange pre-surgery incident.

I was on a stretcher in the corridor waiting for them to wheel me into the O.R. to undergo a life-saving operation. All I could think about was the possibility of dying on the table alone and forgotten. Fortunately, that feeling did not last long. As the doors to the operating room swung open, I felt a warmth come over me. I saw, and could feel, people who I did not recognize, gather around me in a group hug. They were telling me they loved me and everything would be all right. Was it the sedative they gave me, or something else?

There is much we don’t understand about what happens to the brain as we are about to die.

Akin to out-of-body phenomenon is something that people have known about for centuries, but until recently, never had a name. It’s what scientists now call “Paradoxical (or terminal) Lucidity.”*

“The term was coined only five years ago by German biologist Michael Nahm. His 2009 article in The Journal of Near-Death Studies was the first modern review article on the curious subject of cognitively impaired people becoming clearheaded as their death approaches. According to him, cases of “terminal lucidity” had been recorded for millennia, from accounts by classical scholars such as Hippocrates, Cicero and Plutarch to 19th-century medical luminaries like Benjamin Rush (who wrote the first American treatise on mental illness). It’s just that, apparently, no one had thought to label or conceptualize these elusive incidents in any formal way before.”

Here’s how Nahm defined terminal lucidity…


“The (re-)emergence of normal or unusually enhanced mental abilities in dull, unconscious, or mentally ill patients shortly before death, including considerable elevation of mood and spiritual affectation, or the ability to speak in a previously unusual spiritualized and elated manner.”
Unfortunately, just because scientists have defined it, terminal lucidity is difficult to study because the anomaly differs from patient to patient.

“First, what exactly should qualify as the time period “shortly before death”: minutes, hours, days … months? In a follow-up article by Nahm appearing that same year in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and coauthored with the psychiatrist Bruce Greyson of the University of Virginia, we get some clarification on this. Of 49 case studies of terminal lucidity, the vast majority (84 percent) occurred within a week of death; 43 percent, in fact, transpired the final day of life.”

Despite the vague characteristics of T.L., there are some very real and important reasons to continue to study it. Especially where Alzheimer patients are involved. If, indeed, there is an actual chemical or neurological change that occurs in the brain at the time of death, can we re-create this in the form of a medication of procedure that could extend those periods of clarity indefinitely? And, of course, even a scientist can’t disclaim the possibility of a spiritual aspect to the phenomena.**

Finally, there is the moral aspect to consider. Do we really want to be awake and aware moments before death, realizing that they may have only a few minutes? Or should we allow the terminally ill to just drift away into the unknown? Contemplate that the next time you have nothing more important to worry about………………………………………………

*source >> https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190628182305.htm
**reference >> https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/one-last-goodbye-the-strange-case-of-terminal-lucidity/



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Here are six tips on ways to
play with your grandchildren


1. Engage in creative play in everyday situations. Whether helping drive grandkids to school or extracurricular activities or taking them on errands.

2. Spend time outdoors.  “Even if it’s just in your backyard, there are so many opportunities to play outside with your grandchildren,”

3. Let your grandkids direct the play. Grandparents shouldn’t feel as if they need to plan playtime.

4. Find ways to play away from the small screens.

5. Make memories through play.

6. Vacation or staycation.

Read entire article >>



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Modified Atkins diet may boost
cognitive performance in older adults

By Brittany A. Roston

Eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet has been found to moderately improve cognitive performance in some dieters, a new study reveals. The research focused on older adults who were experiencing a decrease in memory and brain function that the researchers described as ‘suggestive of early Alzheimer’s disease.’

The findings come from Johns Hopkins Medicine, where researchers conducted a pilot study involving 14 adults; the team explains that it was hard finding enough participants who were willing to spend three months on a strict eating protocol.

Talking about the diet, the team described their study as involving a ‘modified’ Atkins-style diet, meaning it contained very low amounts of carbohydrates, but higher fat levels. When compared to participants who consumed a low-fat diet, the team found that study participants had small, but ultimately ‘measurable’ improvements when taking standardized tests.


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Overqualified? Or too old? Age discrimination case
takes aim at biased recruiting practices.

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

Overqualified? Or too old? Age discrimination case takes aim at biased recruiting practices.

Dale Kleber, at his home in Hinsdale on Sept. 11, 2018. He filed a lawsuit claiming age discrimination over a job ad that sought applicants with "no more than 7 years" of experience. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune)

Dale Kleber, a veteran lawyer, had been unemployed and job hunting for three years when he came across a position that seemed promising, but for this part of the ad: “3 to 7 years (no more than 7 years) of relevant legal experience,” it said.

Kleber, 58 at the time, had decades of experience, including as general counsel at Dean Foods and, most recently, as CEO of a dairy products trade group. But his efforts to land a new job at that level had been unsuccessful, and he didn’t want to draw down his retirement accounts to make ends meet.



When the Long-Term Care Insurer Refuses to Pay


My dad was a smart guy, but not so smart as to avoid being hoodwinked by those who drafted the contract for my mom’s long-term care insurance policy.

When my father died in 2013, he went to his grave imagining that my mother, then an Alzheimer’s patient, would get the policy’s promised home care that he would no longer be able to deliver. He’d paid its premiums for about 20 years.
The Caregiver

After my dad’s passing, I chanced upon a caregiver, a lovely European woman from the country of my mom’s birth. She had been certified as a social worker and nurse after 1,200 hours of training in her home country. The certificate attested to her ability to “perform basic nursing and caretaking activities, assess peculiar needs of geriatric care, perform caretaking duties of the elderly and perform administrative activities related to geriatric care.”



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NEXT BLOG THURSDAY JULY 11TH 2019


Though not required, please feel free to add your email or website to your comments








         
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

TOPIC:
Why Old Folks Fear Change


Recent staff changes here at the ALF has caused some of our residents to become anxious and confused. While leaving others worried about their future.
 
It began over a week ago when we learned that our long-time recreation director was leaving. The recreation director is responsible for, not only in-house activities such as Bingo, movie nights, concerts, parties and arts and crafts classes, but arranging trips outside of the facility. Fortunately, she announced her intention to leave well in advance so they have already hired a new director. This “regime change” has caused mixed feelings by many residents who are wondering if the activities they enjoy will continue. And, while there is no sign that anything will change, it’s hard to convince some people that it may be for the best.

Another change came this past weekend when, for reasons still not made clear, several dining room personnel were let go or quit. If you don’t think this is a big deal, think again. The one thing that old folks like least is to have their meal times upset. Seniors have an almost OCD reaction to even a minor change in their dining routine. Not having coffee or orange juice waiting for them as they sit down at their table, or a misplaced knife or fork can cause people to become uncomfortable and even aggressive. Don’t mess with my oatmeal. 

Last, and maybe the most important change was in our accounting department. The entire staff comprising one-man, has left to go to another facility run by the same company that runs ours. No sign yet who will replace him which presents a problem for us residents. 

The primary function of this person was to collect rent (which he did with the tenacity of a slumlord) and to distribute resident’s funds from sources such as social security and state subsidies.* Now, as of this writing, many residents fear their access to those funds may be delayed. These fears are unfounded. But that doesn’t ease the change factor. 

So why are old people so anxious when it comes to change?

According to assistedseniorliving.net, these reasons are as good as any.


1.Fear of the loss of control
2.Fear of losing their independence
3.Fear of the unknown
4.Fear that their lives will not be the same
5.Depression from loss of a spouse
6.Feeling of isolation
7.Dementia

Some other reasons may be…**

1.They’re people, and most people eventually don’t like change. Change might seem the norm to young people today, but even young people eventually grow older and then long for days gone by. It happens, even when you’re sure it won’t. Trust me.  

2.Sometimes they legitimately long for something to stay the same. The older I get, the more I understand this reality. Careers end. Friends die. Children move away. Spouses pass away. Memories fade. When everything else is changing, the one place an older person can cry for normalcy is the church. What seems like obstinacy might simply be a cry for pastoral understanding.

3.They’ve seen change not work out. We’ve all seen that happen, of course – but older folks have often seen it happen many times. In fact, sometimes they’ve been there multiple times to clean up the mess when a poorly handled change leads to disruption and division.

4.No one has helped them understand the “why” behind changes. You may disagree with me, but I’m convinced that many older folks are willing to accept change as long as they understand the reasons behind the change. They’ve been around long enough to know that we should be able to explain and defend our reasoning in a logical and loving way. If we can’t – or won’t – do that, why should they accept the change?

5.They’ve seen change that they believe really has led to compromise. Growing up, they never dreamed that drums would be in the church, women would wear pants to church, or the Bible would be anything different than the King James Version. We may not agree with what they believe is “right,” but sometimes their fear of change comes from a genuine, heartfelt desire to avoid seeming compromise.

6.Change often means loss. To move in one direction usually means moving away from another direction. Adopting a new program requires giving up an old one. For older folks who are sometimes already facing loss, loss in church – their place of security – is even more difficult.

I have adopted and adapted to change fairly well. Perhaps because I realize the futility in trying to reverse things   out of my control. Or, maybe my apathetic attitude results from medication I’m taking. Either way, I’m used to it. My mind is in a state of knowing not to sweat the small stuff. There are too many real monsters out there waiting to gobble me up……………………………………..

* Every resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility receives a monthly stipend of at least $20 which goes into a resident’s account.



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How To Find The Best Car Insurance Plan
 For Senior Drivers


According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the frequency of crashes increases for drivers that are 70-year-old or more. As a result, insurers place seniors in the high-risk category. However, the elderly can still find ways to lower insurance premiums. Follow the next tips:

Look for a low-mileage discount. Insurance companies offer significant discounts for drivers that drive less. Senior citizens that just got retired are no longer required to commute to work, so they usually drive fewer miles.

Graduate a defensive driving course. Senior citizens will find out how medications and aging affect driving and how to better accommodate to these changes. Also, classes are cheap and will provide significant discounts after graduation.

Install anti-theft devices. Senior citizens can install noisy alarms, ignition kill switches, steering wheel locks, vehicle tracking systems or other anti-theft devices to prove their insurer they want to keep their vehicle safe. Depending on what safety device is installed, insurance companies will offer various discounts.

1.Look for a cheaper car to insure. Senior citizens are recommended to insure slightly used cars that already have several safety features installed. The cheapest vehicles to insure are slightly used SUV's, minivans, and crossovers. Also, look for models that have safety features installed.

2.Pay for the whole policy at once. Senior citizens can save between 5% to 10% if they pay for the full policy at once. This way senior citizens won't have to pay for monthly interest charges and administration fees.

3.Keep a clean driving record. Senior citizens that maintain a clean driving record can qualify for a good driver discount. This way they can lower their insurance premiums even further.

4.Shop online quotes. The best places to shop for online auto insurance quotes are brokerage websites. In order to get accurate estimates, senior citizens should be careful when they complete the questionnaires and make sure they provide accurate data. It is recommended to complete at least three car quotes in order to make an idea of how their policy would look like.




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10 American Facts You Can Use
To Ruin Any July 4 Party
By Amanda Scherker and Todd Van Luling

Would you like to ruin your Fourth of July party for your friends and family by being that person? Here’s the ammunition.

It’s that time of year again, when fireworks light up the sky and we all think about the wonder that is America. Friends remark to friends, “Isn’t America beautiful?” and answer, “Indeed, from sea to shining sea.” Well, maybe this is the year to celebrate with some truth fireworks. While fireworks may improve any party, truth fireworks burn them to the ground. Have a fun barbecue!








 
See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery




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12 things no one tells you about Alzheimer’s
By Sarah Bradley

Ask anyone what worries them most about getting older and more than a few people will say losing the ability to remember things is high up on their list. After a lifetime of making memories and forging meaningful relationships, the idea that a disease like Alzheimer’s could swoop in and steal it all away is, frankly, pretty frightening.

But what exactly does an Alzheimer’s diagnosis mean, anyway? And what is life like with the condition? Truthfully, it's tough to be fully prepared until you're actually living it, either yourself or because you're a caregiver or family member of someone with Alzheimer's.

“Newly diagnosed adults and their family members are deeply concerned about how to navigate this uncertain future,” says Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW, who runs a caregiver wellness program for the University of Michigan’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

“They’re overwhelmed with ideas and fears, which often stem from a previous personal experience with Alzheimer’s or what they learn from the media.” 



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Older Americans Seek Meaning and New Experiences in Retirement Years;
Say Health Is the Biggest Factor to Achieving Their Goals

In a new survey, nearly 70% of Americans ages 62 and older said physical health is most important to them as they age, followed in order by cognitive health (16%), social health (13%) and financial health (6%). While most are feeling good and being proactive to maintain or improve their health, nearly all are worried about ending up sick or hospitalized.

    “At UnitedHealthcare, we want to be an active partner in helping our members live healthy and feel confident in their health care decisions, so they can focus on living a life they love.”
    Tweet this

To address this, most have made a change in recent years to make themselves feel healthier, with diet and exercise improvements being the top steps people are taking; and 56% say they are working to improve or maintain their mental health. 





Robotic clothing could soon improve
 mobility for seniors
By: Chris Welch

At first glance, you would never know that Rich Mahoney’s clothes are different. That’s until, of course, you hear the hum of tiny robotic machinery working beneath the surface.

That’s because underneath Mahoney’s clothing is what he calls robotic clothing.

“It’s like a layer of extra muscles integrated into your clothing around your body,” he says.

Mahoney is the CEO of Seismic , a company that’s created a sort of jumpsuit that has robotic muscles positioned along the hip and around the abdomen sewn inside it.





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NEXT BLOG MONDAY JULY 8TH 2019


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© Bruce Cooper, 2019

 

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This blog is dedicated to the memory of my dear friends, Carrie Hecht and Barbara Everett

who worked tirelessly to gain better service, respect and dignity for their fellow residents.


 

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Facebook is trying to make it easier to get in touch with people over Messenger, so it's rolling out a number of new ways to start chatting. As with all Facebook accounts, all Messenger accounts will now have dedicated links that people can visit to start a chat — they'll all be located at m.me/[username]. Facebook is also rolling out what it calls Messenger Codes, which are Messenger's equivalent to Snapchat's snapcodes. They look pretty neat: Messenger Codes are just a series of dots and dashes circling around your profile photo. When someone scans one with their camera, it'll presumably add that person as a contact.

read more >> https://www.theverge.com/2016/4/7/11383958/facebook-messenger-codes-announced-900m-mau


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