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Today, August 22nd is my birthday.
Okay, get it out of your system. Wish me “Happy Birthday.” I’ll wait………………..
Finished? Thanks.
I know you want to sing the birthday song, but please don’t. It’s annoying. You sing out-of-tune. Also, I’m not a six-year-old. And besides, I haven’t formally celebrated my birthday since my Bar Mitzvah in 1958.
It’s not because I am ashamed to let folks know how old I am. I’M 74. And it’s not because I don’t like a good party. Mostly, it is me being a shy person. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. In fact, I have spent most of my life keeping a low profile. So far, it’s worked out well. Also, I find the trappings of celebrating one’s birthday antiquated, demeaning, and self-serving.
If you throw a party for yourself you are soliciting gifts or soliciting friends.
If someone else gives a party in your honor, you become obliged to return the favor whether that was the intent or not.

 But the real reason I don’t celebrate the day of my birth is WHY SHOULD I?
What have I accomplished to warrant a celebration?

I never discovered or invented anything that that enriched the lives of others.
I never wrote a book or pursued any scholarly research.
I’ve won nothing of value nor have I given much to charity.
Sadly, I fathered no children, donated an organ or even given blood.
What would I be celebrating? What does anybody celebrate on their birthday?
Somehow, attaining the ripe old age of 74 (or any age) should not a celebration make. Just reaching a certain age is no great accomplishment. All you have to do is just show up.
Just so you don’t thing I’m a total party-pooper, I have celebrated certain milestones. Turning 18 was one.
That was the legal drinking age in New York at the time and I “celebrated” by going to a bar with my cousin and a friend and having my first legal beer. However, I must admit I was irritated when the bartender didn’t even ask to see my ID. I wanted so much to whip out my driver's license as the proof of my new majority status.

Skipping forward thirty years to my 50th birthday, I remember my ex wife calling to congratulate me and asking if I wanted a party. I thought it odd that after being apart for over 10 years, she would have wanted to help me celebrate me being alive for half a century. I thanked her and declined.
My most recent milestone occurred on this date four years ago when I turned 70. And, I must admit it was traumatic.
Turning seventy means I am no longer a sixty-year-old. Even if you are sixty-nine, you can still say “I’m only in my sixties.”
But “seventy” elicits a whole new perception. Seventy is old in anyone’s book. If you say to a young person “Well, I’m only seventy” they laugh at you. ONLY SEVENTY? You must be demented.
I suppose my next milestone will happen 12 months from now when I will have been on this planet for 3/4 of a century. And no, I won’t be having a party……………………………….

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10 Ways to Feel Less Lonely on Your Birthday
By Arlin Cuncic

Finding things to do on your birthday alone might leave you feeling lonely. Birthdays are generally fun when you are a child. As you grow older, birthdays become a nuisance for some in that they are a reminder that you are getting older. For people who live with social anxiety disorder (SAD), they can also be a reminder of the difficulty that you have with social situations.

On the other hand, if you've never enjoyed birthdays, this day of the year may bring back bad memories. As a way of starting a new tradition, even if you find yourself alone on your birthday this year, try to make a special day for you. If you start planning now, you will find it is not that hard.

1. Start Fresh

2. Create Something

3. Be Generous Toward Yourself

4. Exercise Outdoors

5. Take in a Movie

6. Volunteer Your Time

7. Read a Book

8. Go About Your Routine

9. Plan a Party for Next Year

10. Be Appreciative

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Free Stuff on Your Birthday

Just because you don’t celebrate your birthday, there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of it.

The last thing you should do is pay for stuff. Here’s a list of places where you won’t have to!

Most of these places require you to sign up at least seven days before your birthday, so get busy now so you can enjoy the free birthday stuff as it rolls in on your big day.

1.A&W All American Food: Get a free root beer float on your birthday by joining the Mug Club.

2.Applebee’s: Sign up for its email club, and get a free gift on your birthday, which could be a free appetizer, free entree, or free dessert – they like to keep it a surprise.

3.Arby’s: Sign up for Arby’s emails and get a free milkshake on your birthday, plus a free roast beef classic sandwich with a purchase of a drink just for signing up.

4.Atlanta Bread: Get a free cookie on your birthday when you join Rise Rewards.

5.Au Bon Pain: Join the Eclub, and get a free birthday lunch, plus you get a pretty handy travel mug just for signing up!

6.Auntie Anne’s: Sign up for Pretzel Perks, and get a free pretzel on your birthday.

7.Aveda: Receive a birthday gift valued at $23 when you join Aveda’s Pure Privilege for $10.

8.bareMinerals: Join the Friends and Benefits Program, and they’ll send you a gift on your birthday.

9.Baskin Robbins: Create an account, then join the Birthday Club, and get free ice cream on your birthday – be sure to add your family members to your account so they get free ice cream, too!’s Mongolian Grill: Get a free meal on your birthday when you join Club Mongo, plus get a $5 coupon just for signing up.


Can you spot the red flags of elder abuse?
By C.H. “Chuck” Slemp, III

Would you be able to spot the signs that someone is a victim of elder abuse?

Unfortunately, evidence of abuse is not always easily recognized. That’s because the most common form of elder abuse is financial exploitation. It is a growing epidemic in our country and senior citizens are especially vulnerable to these crimes. Your loved one, a friend, or a neighbor could be suffering the devastating effects of abuse in silence.

Last year alone, over 31,000 instances of elder abuse were reported in Virginia. According to the National Center on Aging, approximately one in ten Americans over age 60 is a victim. Even with these staggering statistics, experts believe that elder abuse is significantly underreported. Financial exploitation costs seniors between $2.9 and $36.5 billion annually.

So, what are the most common red flags of financial exploitation?


Find Out Why Senior Drivers Are Considered
High Risk By Car Insurance Companies
has released a new blog post that presents the reasons why insurance companies consider seniors high-risk drivers.

Once a person reaches the age of 65, he or she is considered a senior. Senior citizens can expect a significant increase in car insurance premiums. Companies justify their high prices using the following arguments:

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Never in the life of our country has history played as large a part in its future as it does now. The old phrase “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” has never been more important. From racism, to white nationalism, to the Constitution and our founding fathers, the events of the past have come back to haunt us. And how well we learn from it may shape the way we live in the coming years.

The reason for this post stems from a disturbing story on a website called
entitled “Trump’s gray column.”*
The article which heavily leans to the right, explains that Trump has a strong base of senior citizen supporters who are waiting until election day to make their voices heard…
“They’re out there, in their millions—President Trump’s base.

But it is the older members of that constituency—senior citizens—that will put 45 over the top in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Trump’s older voters generally support his policies and proposals, but it’s his leadership and performance on the economy that has inspired the most abiding faith. These seasoned Americans, people that the hard left hopes will die off soon, are watching and listening. They’re watching their children and grandchildren do better. They’re seeing a country freed from dependence on foreign oil. They see new international respect for the stars and stripes, and a country that is no longer being taken advantage of in the global marketplace.

They’re biding their time until Election Day.”

What disheartens me about the article (if true) is many of those folks were around during WW2 or had relatives who must have recounted stories of Hitler and Mussolini, Nazism, the KKK, and white nationalism in the US in the days leading up to our involvement in the war. I know they all lived through the civil rights movement and appalled by images of George Wallace and “Bull” Conner standing defiantly against integration. So, why can’t they see the similarities of those times with what is happening today?
Remembering the Weimar Republic **

“In 1919, Germany’s constitutional assembly gathered in the city of Weimar to sign a new constitution that significantly expanded civil liberties, including equal rights for women and provisions protecting the minority groups. And in 1922, less than 15 years before the Nuremberg Laws were passed, the German government appointed Walther Rathenau, a Jew, as its new foreign minister.

This was the dawn of the Weimar Republic, a liberal government in the interwar years that passed fiscal reforms, negotiated trade deals, made important infrastructure investments and presided over a cultural renaissance in the country. It was also a government that would bear the brunt of the blame for stifling war reparations and ongoing economic anxieties after the Great Depression. In conservative corners there was also a sentiment that the country was heading in the wrong direction; that liberal reforms and cultural influences from outside of Germany were not in the nation’s best interest.” 

Okay, this isn’t Germany in 1919, but those Trump-supporting-seniors have to notice the resemblance

Or, maybe they see a parallel, and like what they see.

If you were a white male in the U.S. at the end of WW2, you were at the top of the food chain.
Current seniors saw their parents prosper. 

They bought homes on the GI Bill and went to college too. 

Many of today’s seniors still benefit from those times.

Does Donald Trump represent (to them) a time when they ruled the nation and the world? I’m guessing yes. Unfortunately, what they don’t see is that the world has changed and they haven’t.

Immigrants no longer come from Europe in droves to escape oppression or to make a better life for themselves. They now come from places where the folks don’t look like they do. They are a little darker, and a little poorer and perhaps a little less educated. They eat differently than we do and speak languages we never heard of. 

Maybe they see Mom and Pop’s Diner replaced by a “Polo Loco” chicken joint where no one behind the counter speaks English, and it’s killing them. They may now even be the minority group in their neighborhood.

But, let’s say none of that is true. They don’t care about the old days. If that’s so, I still can’t understand why any senior would want to back Trump or the Republican party which has constantly supported legislation cutting (or wanting to cut) programs that would be beneficial to seniors for decades to come. 

The only reason I can come up with is that they see in Trump a mirror image of themselves. And that’s a rich, fat, semi-retired old man who is trying to hold on to a last vestige of power before its wiped away forever in a tsunami of tacos, ceviche, empanadas, and salsa…………………………….


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9 Tips for Volunteering in Retirement
By Craig Stephens

After leaving a career, many retirees take up volunteering to make a difference in the lives of others. Volunteer opportunities for seniors are plentiful, but finding the right role for you is not always straightforward. Volunteering helps the organization you’re serving, but also provides several benefits to the volunteer, including keeping physically and mentally active, reducing social isolation and creating a stronger sense of community.

Consider these tips for senior volunteers:

1.Identify why you want to volunteer.
2.Focus on passions and talents.
3.Start local.
4.Use a volunteer agency.
5.Understand the volunteer process.
6.Don’t over-commit.
7.Bring a friend or spouse.
8.Don't be afraid to say 'no'.
9.Utilize available resources.

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What People Actually Spend in Retirement

Our ability to avoid outliving our money is, in large part, due to our expenses in retirement. Turns out, a new study reveals, we’re pretty lousy at predicting how much we’ll actually spend on housing and health care when we retire. And another study shows our spending just before retirement and in the first years of retirement is often wildly volatile.

In the first study, the Hearts & Wallets financial research firm, asked 495 “late career” workers age 53 to 64 whether they thought they’d spend more, less or the same on key expenses in retirement than they currently do. The researchers also asked 1,994 retirees whether they’re spending more, less or the same on those expenses as they did before retirement.

Spending in Retirement: Perception Vs. Reality...


Do You Really Need 10,000 Steps Per Day?

For the past couple of decades, we’ve been reading headlines about the health benefits of accumulating 10,000 steps per day, the rough equivalent of walking five miles.

That can be a pretty intimidating number for many people, but especially for older adults. Luckily, a recent study by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a significant decrease in mortality rates among older women who took far fewer steps per day.

So, if you find yourself frowning at the step count on your activity tracker at the end of each day, read on for good news.

It’s Just a Random Number!

Before launching the study that tracked over 16,000 older women for more than four years, lead researcher, Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, wondered: “Where did this number of 10,000 steps per day even come from?”


Preparing to age in place

Do you hope to grow older and live at home for as long as possible? AARP says 89 percent of Americans hope to age in place over living in an assisted living community or a nursing home. If that’s the case for you, is your home set up and will it support you as you go through the stages of aging?

The goal of aging in place is to avoid a move to senior housing and instead stay in your existing house or maybe you move from a multi-level home to a one-level house or an apartment.

A popular trend is a tiny house village, a development for like-minded individuals to rent or own a small dwelling and to create support and community. A friend recently moved to Lake Chapala to a tiny home village. Her little space is a little over 400 sq. feet.

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Friday afternoons are quiet here at the Asylum. The staff is winding down the week and looking forward to the weekend.
The residents are doing what they do best, which is nothing at all.
The last of the second seating diners have exited the dining room and have drifted away to their rooms to nap or watch TV. Most of the regular activities (Bingo, arts, and crafts, etc.) are over for the week. Even the General store, on the lower level, is closed. Fortunately, for me, the weather today is great. And there is immediate seating on our sun-drenched patio. A good time to work on my tan and, to reflect on my life as I approach my 74th birthday.
I plop myself down on one of the springy wrought-iron chairs that, along with umbrellas and tables, dot the patio.
Perfectly aligned with the afternoon sun, I take off my glasses, close my eyes and begin to do “a balancing of the books”, so to speak. The profit-and-loss statement of the last ten years of my life.
What have I lost and now find missing in my life?

Foremost, I miss my mobility. Months in hospitals and nursing homes spent on my back, did irreparable damage to my ability to get around. Where once I could walk five or ten miles with ease, or hike up a hill like a goat, now I can only manage a few yards without stopping to rest, and most stairs are impossible. This means I can no longer shop for myself, or go to a restaurant, or even visit friends.

Normally, I would have jumped into the car and driven myself anywhere. But, alas, I had to give that up too. Living on a fixed income makes it almost impossible to own an automobile. And, having some health issues such as poor eyesight, forced me to give up my driver's license.
One thing I miss most is something I would never have given a second thought to.  Cooking for myself.
Not that I was a great cook or anything like that. But I knew my way around a kitchen and liked to experiment with different foods, condiments, and methods. I know what food should taste like and it varies a lot from the stuff we get here. It pisses me off to see how they ruin perfectly good food.
The final item on my balance sheet in the loss column and the one that surprised me the most as missing the least is money. If I had the money I had 15 years ago, much of what I have lost would not be an issue. I would have my nice apartment, drive my late model car and enjoy my retirement as I had planned. But even that would have not come without some drawbacks. I would have had to budget myself. Something I was ill-prepared to do. No longer having an income I would be at the mercy of others such as my landlord, the IRS, the insurance companies and Social Security.
My expenses would most likely surpass my income and, in a few years, I’d be broke. Essentially, there would be nothing but stress in my life and a heart attack in my future.

Meanwhile, on the plus side:. . .

To balance the books, I listed some positive things in my life right now.
As mentioned, my life is virtually stress-free.
It’s not that I don’t have any problems, but the ones are small.
I owe nothing to anybody. I have learned to live an uncomplicated life.
I don’t surround myself with useless stuff. I buy new things only If the old one wears out, and not out of some need to have the latest thing.
I’m seeing a doctor regularly for the first time in my life and I’m being treated for minor ailments accordingly.

Although I get lonely, I am never alone. I don’t have to worry that I’ll be found laying on the floor for days before someone realized they haven't seen me for a while.

I don’t fear that I will be mugged on my way to the store or that someone will rob what little I have.
I have the support of social workers who help me navigate through the twists and turns of Medicare and Medicaid. And, I even have a little discretionary income to play with.
Finally, I have this blog which keeps me from going crazy from boredom, a very real threat to people as they age.
Altogether, it appears I have a bit of a surplus in the positive column which is great.

Actually, I have one problem. I can never seem to  find my glasses when I need them..............
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Can Alzheimer's be stopped?
These five lifestyle behaviors are key, new science shows

By Linda Carroll

1.    not smoking
2.    exercising at a moderate to vigorous level for at least 150 minutes a week
3.    consuming a brain supporting diet
4.    light-to-moderate alcohol consumption
5.    engaging in late-life cognitive activities

There's no cure for or drug to stop Alzheimer's disease, but it may be possible to hold off dementia — even in people who have a genetic risk, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. The key is not any one factor, several studies show, but following a combination of healthy lifestyle habits. And the more healthy habits a person adopts, the lower the risk of cognitive decline.

People who followed four out of five lifestyle behaviors, including regular exercise, cognitive stimulation and a brain-healthy diet and not smoking, over a six-year period had a 60 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia when compared to people who practiced only one or none of these habits, according to researchers from Rush University in Chicago.

Similarly, a UK study found that among people with a heightened genetic risk of cognitive decline, dementia was 32 percent lower in those with a healthy lifestyle.

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5 Step Strategy for Downsizing Your Home

In our “bigger is better” culture, there’s an expectation that each home should be larger and grander than the last. But life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting needs and lifestyle.

In fact, the advantages of downsizing are being increasingly recognized. A “tiny house movement” has gained passionate advocates who appreciate the benefits of living simply at any age and stage of life. Not only does a smaller home typically cost less, it also takes less time and effort to maintain.1

Whatever your reasons are for downsizing, the process can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve outlined five steps to guide you on your journey. And in the end, we hope you’ll find that less is more … more comfort, more security, and more time and energy to spend on the activities and the people that you love. 


Cancer screening rates ‘unexpectedly high’ among
 adults aged 85 years and older

By William Dale

Individuals aged 85 years and older underwent cancer screening at “unexpectedly high” rates even though it is generally not recommended for this age group, according to a report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Cancer incidence and mortality trends among this patient demographic — known as the “oldest old” — appeared similar to those for individuals aged 65 to 84 years. However, the older group had lower survival rates, results showed.

“There is essentially no data on how to treat these patients, because clinical trials implicitly or explicitly make it almost impossible for people in this group to be enrolled,” co-author William Dale, MD, PhD, Arthur M. Coppola family chair in supportive care medicine at City of Hope, told HemOnc Today. “The challenge with these older adults is that we either overtreat or undertreat them. We rarely know exactly what to do.”


Overcoming Intimacy Challenges After 50

In April, Next Avenue asked their readers to submit their questions about dating and relationships after 50. We received dating after 50many thoughtful inquiries that touched on a wide range of topics. This story is another in our six-part series called “Dating After 50” and we will be featuring more pieces on subjects relating to dating and relationships throughout the summer.)

Confidence: “The quality or state of being certain.”  That’s the Merriam-Webster definition, but for many people who are starting to date again after 50, confidence can falter and it can be difficult to be certain about anything.

For those who have lost a spouse or partner to death, divorce or a break-up, a feeling of being vulnerable may begin to settle in, leading to concerns about finding intimacy, as well as about when and how to fully open up to another person.

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When people ask “What’s the secret to a happy life at an assisted (ALF) living facility?” I tell them there are several things that one will have to get used to.
They will have to leave any prejudice behind. Assisted living facilities are a microcosm of the real world whose residents represent every culture and ethnic group on earth. If they have a problem being around people who don’t look, act or talk like them, they will have a problem adjusting to life here at the ALF.
If they cherish their privacy or like to live behind locked doors, they might want to find other accommodations. Privacy goes out the window at an ALF. And if seclusion and solitude are among their desires, they can forget about that too. There is always somebody who knows where you are.
While prejudice and privacy are important things to contend with, the two things they cannot compromise are downsizing and compassion.

During our lifetime we collect a lot of stuff. All of which we believe is important to our happiness and wellbeing. Therefor, having to part with much of that stuff becomes a major concern for those who are contemplating life at an assisted living facility. Because the rooms are usually tiny with a limited amount of wall and closet space, they will have to leave much of what they have amassed behind.
That means all the “tchotchkes”* and most of the clothes cannot come with them.
Unless the facility allows cooking in the rooms (which is highly unlikely) they will have to leave all of their prized cooking utensils too.
Any large furniture pieces like an entertainment unit, sofas, or bedroom items like a chest of drawers or an armoire must stay where they are. They can bring a favorite armchair or a recliner or a stand-alone bookcase, but that’s about all. Pictures and photographs, because they don’t take up any floor space, and hobby items will be some few items that you may bring with you.

I understand this all seems rather harsh. Much of that stuff represents memories of better days. If you have the money, putting it all in storage may be an alternative to having to give it away, junking it or holding a tag or garage sale. Unfortunately, the option of leaving it all to your kids or relatives no longer exists. Your kids don’t want your stuff. People don’t have any interest in the Wedgwood china and sterling silver place setting for twelve anymore. For many, this means a whole new way of looking at life where simplicity and convenience take precedents over clutter and disorder.

Fortunately, the one thing you must bring with you is also the one thing you probably already have. And that is compassion.

If you are contemplating a move to an ALF chances are you have suffered some kind of illness or disability that has left you somewhat impaired. Perhaps you are or have had a round of physical therapy. Most times it’s been difficult if not painful.

Unless you have had a private therapist, you have been in a room with others in a similar situation. You have watched them, as they have watched you, struggle through strength training, and occupational therapy. The grimaces and looks of exhaustion on their faces is all you need to feel their pain. That, my friends, is compassion. The one thing you will need to get through an average day in an ALF.
Unlike other senior living venues, pain is all around you at the ALF. From people with mobility issues and chronic illnesses like COPD to those with emotional problems. All of whom need support, not only from the staff, but from their fellow residents. This does not mean that you have to push them around in their wheelchairs or help them out of their chairs. What it means is that it will be to everyone’s advantage if they all look out for one another. That amounts to alerting the staff to any change in a persons balance or walk or speech or to intervene if a person is being bullied or scammed.

Newcomers to assisted living will find it difficult to adjust to at first. It’s a departure from the norm to be sure. But, it’s a time machine that takes you back to a kinder, gentler America. And, once you become adjusted to your new and simpler existence, you’ll find that much of the stress you had in your life will disappear as there is just less to worry about. They take care of you at the ALF. On premises social workers and case management staff can usually guide you through any of intricacies of Medicare and Medicaid. A service that’s worth the price of admission alone. 

And finally, the best way to approach this change to your lifestyle is to look at it, not as a punishment, but as a reward for surviving the challenges thrust upon you by luck or fate or genetics. It’s time to let someone take care of you for a change…….

*Def. .a small object that is decorative rather than strictly functional; a trinket.

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Assisted living vs. nursing homes:
What's the Difference?

Understanding the needs of your loved one's is a vital part of securing a safe and happy future for them.

When parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents reach an age when they can no longer care for themselves, it might be time to start looking for additional help. Maybe they can't get around as well as they used to. Perhaps they were recently hospitalized, or they experienced a sudden and drastic decline in their health.

Regardless of your loved one's specific circumstances, understanding their needs is a vital part of securing a safe and happy future for them. It's crucial that you start asking yourself if that loved one needs someone to check in on them from time to time, or if they need frequent attention from a social worker or nursing department.

Choosing the type of care that is right for your family

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 Not all of our residents are of the humans. And, while we have the
occasional unwanted visitor of the furry kind, these guys were invited.
They are given a prominent location (in our lobby) where they delight
Both residents and visitors alike.

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Seniors battle drug, alcohol addiction

The president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] said substantial research shows that addiction to alcohol and prescription and illicit drugs among senior citizens has gone unnoticed for too long.

Weber called a report by the Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Department published in 2017 a wakeup call.

The report revealed that  “in 2016, one out of every three beneficiaries received a prescription opioid through Medicare Part D. Half a million of them received high amounts of opioids – an average daily MED of 120 mg for at least 3 months of the year. Even more concerning, almost 90,000 beneficiaries are at serious risk of misuse or overdose.


Medication Overload Among Older Americans

Experts on aging are sounding the alarm about another U.S. drug crisis: Too many older adults taking too many medications.

This trend is leading to a surge in adverse drug events (ADE) over the past two decades. The rate of emergency department visits by older adults for adverse drug events doubled between 2006 and 2014. That’s a problem as serious as the opioid crisis, but whose scope appears to remain virtually invisible to families, patients, policymakers and many clinicians, according to a recent report by the Lown Institute, a nonprofit think tank in Brookline, Mass.

Medication overload is an unseen epidemic that could result in 74 million outpatient visits, 4.6 million hospitalizations and 150,000 premature deaths among older Americans, costing our health system $62 billion, according to report author Shannon Brownlee, a Lown senior vice president.


"Awakenings" in Advanced Dementia Patients
Hint at Untapped Brain Reserves

By Lydia Denworth

An elderly woman suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease had neither talked to nor reacted to any of her family members for years. Then, one day, she suddenly started chatting with her granddaughter, asking for news of other family members and even giving her granddaughter advice. “It was like talking to Rip van Winkle,” the granddaughter told University of Virginia researchers of her astonishment. Unfortunately, the reawakening did not last—the grandmother died the next week.

That event got written up as what the case study authors called terminal lucidity—a surprising, coherent episode of meaningful communication just before death in someone presumed incapable of social interaction. Yet it was by no means unique. Physician Basil Eldadah, who heads the geriatric branch at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), had heard such stories and filed them away as intriguing accounts. But in 2018, spurred by the need to make progress combatting Alzheimer’s, Eldadah began to think it was time to do more and organized a workshop for interested scientists. After all, if the grandmother was able to tap into mysterious neural reserves, cases such as hers might help scientists explore how cognition could possibly be restored—even briefly—in patients with the most advanced neurodegenerative disease.

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It’s not your imagination, and no, you are not going crazy. The perception that time moves more quickly as we get older is common.
Just think back to when you were a kid in school. Remember how slowly the minutes seemed to pass as you approached the 3:00pm dismissal time. Five minutes felt like an hour. Now, you can do five minutes standing on your head as the expression goes. Similarly, days, weeks and months and, even years are flying by at an incredible rate.
I was going through one of the tiny drawers in the nightstand next to my bed, to see what I could throw out, when I came across the copies of the documents I received on my first day here at the facility. They dated the documents August 5th, 2012. A quick calculation (Yes, I can still do simple math in my head) and I came to realize that I had been here for seven years. I had to pause for a second to take all of that information in. Seven years. My marriage lasted only slightly longer. For some that’s a lifetime. If I were a prisoner doing 7 to 10 years, I would look for a parole. Where did the time go?

“According to psychologist and BBC columnist Claudia Hammond,* “the sensation that time speeds up as you get older is one of the biggest mysteries of the experience of time.” Fortunately, our attempts to unravel this mystery have yielded some intriguing findings.
In 2005, for instance, psychologists Marc Wittmann and Sandra Lenhoff, both then at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, surveyed 499 participants, ranging in age from 14 to 94 years, about the pace at which they felt time moving—from “very slowly” to “very fast.” For shorter durations—a week, a month, even a year—the subjects' perception of time did not appear to increase with age. Most participants felt that the clock ticked by quickly. But for longer durations, such as a decade, a pattern emerged: older people tended to perceive time as moving faster. When asked to reflect on their lives, the participants older than 40 felt that time elapsed slowly in their childhood but then accelerated steadily through their teenage years into early adulthood.”

While it’s a comfort to know that, we are not alone in experiencing the acceleration of time, there’s not too much we can do about it. Scientists however, have one solution…

 “We can alter our perceptions by keeping our brain active, continually learning skills and ideas, and exploring new places.”
I can give some credence to that assumption. I was sitting in the waiting room of a doctor I had never been to before (“exploring new places”). In real time, I only waited about 15 minutes before they ushered me into an exam room. But to me, it seem more like an hour as I sat impatiently thumbing through a two-year-old copy of “Urology Today.”**

While a scientific solution to this problem may be okay, I have found an easier way of coping with time compression. If time speeds up as we age, then combat it by slowing things down. 

As a native New Yorker, I have spent my entire life living in the fast lane. We New Yorker’s have a penchant for doing things quickly. We talk fast, walk fast, and demand fast service from others. They invented the “10 items or less” express lanes in supermarkets just for us. Therefore, to slow time down, I slow myself down. I purposely walk slower than I usually would. I take the long way around things just to waste time. I force myself to eat slower, talk slower and choose my words carefully. 

I have even showed up for appointments early so I can waste time waiting. Unfortunately, while these little tricks may fill the gaps, ultimately I still feel the fickle, fleeting hands of the clock speed by. However, there is some good that comes from slowing down. I get to appreciate things more. I now stop to look at the flowers, listen to the birds and even have time to, not only smell, but drink the coffee as well…………………………………………………..
* Source:
** Editor’s note: The actual exam, which I am sure took only five minutes, for me, lasted for ever.

* * * *

On Last Monday’s Post

Positive attitudes about aging may pay off in better health
By Robin Marantz Henig

The first time someone offered me a seat on the subway, I reflexively declined, and then stewed about it all the way home. Sheesh, I thought, do I really look like an old lady in need of assistance? When I got off the train, I swear my knees felt a bit creaky as I clomped up the subway steps.

When we’re busy doing things we love — which for me these days means playing with my two young granddaughters — we don’t think about how old we are or the state of our knees. But then something pulls us up short, like a polite young man offering his seat, or catching a view of a selfie from an unflattering angle, and suddenly we’re walking more slowly, feeling just a little worse about life in general.

* * * *


This one is serious … Let’s say it’s 4:17 p.m. and you’re driving home, (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job. Not only was the work load extraordinarily heavy, you also had a disagreement with your boss, and no matter how hard you tried he just wouldn’t see your side of the situation. You’re really upset and the more you think about it the more up tight you become.All of a sudden you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home, unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.

What can you do? You’ve been trained in CPR but the guy that taught the course neglected to tell you how to perform it on yourself.


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed in order. Without help the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel Faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.

The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a phone and, between breaths, call for help.

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See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery

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It took a while, but finally a glimpse of what we hope will
Be a beautiful host of golden sunflowers

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4 Ways to Start a Side Hustle in Retirement

If you’re looking for a way to earn money in retirement, you may want to check out Chris Guillebeau’s newest book, 100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job. It’s a terrific read that tells the stories of “ordinary” people who’ve found clever ways to make money in the new economy.

As someone who advises people on switching careers and working part-time in retirement, I’ve long been a fan of Guillebeau, a bestselling author and host of the Side Hustle School podcast.

So, I jumped at the chance to hear him speak recently in New York City as part of his 100 Side Hustles World Tour. “Everything I do is about helping people live unconventional lives,” Guillebeau told the SRO crowd. “I want people to see they have more options.”


These shoes help track people
with dementia when they wander

People with dementia are sometimes prone to hiding when they feel lost or scared

Restlessness and memory loss are a dangerous combination for people with dementia: They’re likely to leave familiar settings for situations they aren’t equipped to handle alone.

Dementia patients who might otherwise be able to live at home are often placed in assisted living facilities because their tendency to wander puts themselves or others in harm’s way.


12 apps that are actually helpful for senior citizens
By Carrie Rogers-Whitehead

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Smartphone adoption among senior citizens nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2016, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

In 2011, 35% of all adults had a smartphone while 11% of seniors did. Just five years later, 77% of all adults carried a smartphone while 42% of seniors owned the addictive little devices.

As more seniors adopt smartphones, app developers have worked to meet the unique needs and challenges of this demographic. Seniors often have less experience using mobile phones and can suffer from a lack of confidence when using their devices. Other seniors may be limited in their smartphone use because of physical challenges.

Fortunately for any tech-connected senior, there’s an app for that. Here are 12 apps designed for the elderly among us:

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♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Did you slip gracefully into “old age” or, like me, did it suddenly knock you over the head with the subtlety of a nuclear explosion?
It’s not that I thought I would never get old. In fact, I began planning for my advancing years back in 1975 when the traditional IRA came into law. I was a mere slip of a lad (Okay; I was 30), but I knew a good deal when I saw it. And besides, I had just become a husband and now had another person’s well-being to consider. But thinking about being old and experiencing it are entirely different. And, it’s that difference for which I was not prepared.

The only contact I had with old people were my grandparents, and later on, my own parents. I observed them as they evolved from being vibrant, active, involved human beings to immovable objects who were always going to doctors and taking a lot of pills. But, in many respects, they were not what I would consider being the stereotypical old people.
They were not the crotchety, bitter or demented folks depicted in the media. They lived at home until the end (both passing away well into their 80s) and I could always count on them for their advice and opinions. And, except for their life-ending illnesses (both were diabetics and had heart problems) I was content to follow their lead into the golden years. But for me, the change was not the gradual, well-paced transition I had witnessed. It was as though they had thrown a switch to the “OLD” position and I was suddenly a different person.

You know how they tell you not to abruptly discontinue medications but gradually ween yourself off of them because doing so can be dangerous? They should implement the same cautionary warning for getting old. Unfortunately, I had no such weening process. At 62, they threw me off the proverbial cliff, upon which I had enjoyed a carefree, drug-free, pain-free life, and into a gorge filled with pain, a massive amount of medicines, and restrictive behavior. And, even when I was “cured”, it left me with the one thing I feared most. I was now a cartoon-ish example of an old man. With all the “props” that goes with him.

It began with a wheelchair. A demoralizing piece of equipment if there ever was one. Not only do people have to look down at you, but you have to look up to them. It doesn’t matter if you are 7 feet tall. You still feel small. And graduating to a walker (which is the equivalent of hanging a sign around your neck that says “TALK SLOW. SPEAK LOUDER. DON’T USE BIG WORDS AND I AM PROBABLY LOST”) isn’t much better. But, if you really want to age quickly spend some time in a nursing home.

Just two months as a patient in a nursing home will age you exponentially. Every day spent in such a place will add a year to your psychological life and your physical one. The daily routine of being lifted in and out of bed. Having to use a bedpan. Needing help to dress and to bathe. And, being fed a diet compatible to that given to a toothless puppy, will thrust you, head first, into a maturity far beyond your actual years.
 How did I cope with this dramatic and sudden change in my life? The approach was part mental and part physical. Unfortunately, it took nearly two years in a wheelchair, countless hours of physical therapy and some little red pills to bring me close to the person I was before.
Until someone diagnosed me, I did not understand I was wallowing in depression. Not the clinical kind, but the kind that comes from being worn down by a series of personal losses. My health, my mobility, my finances, my apartment and losing my brother from cancer. Fortunately, a chance meeting with a psychiatrist who had the intelligence and compassion to diagnose my condition and the medication she prescribed, turned my life around to a point where I could finally see a light at the end of a tunnel.
Not everybody will deal with growing old the same. Some will fight it every minute. Others will succumb to it and live the rest of their lives in isolation and bitterness. And still others like me, will let the pieces fall where they may. I will live life day to day. I’ll deal with any problem that pops up in the carefully thought-out manner I have always dealt with problems. And, I will never again celebrate another birthday…………………………………………..


* * * *

How to Cope With Aging

So one day you look in the mirror and see a grey hair, then the fine lines appear on your face. Then at work your new young coworker pipes up and says "hey, you know, I was just in kindergarten when you started working here".

Yup, you are getting old!. But DON"T PANIC. Your life is not over yet.

Step 1: Take Care of Yourself

Eat Healthy- your body absorbs less nutrients when you are older, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and take supplements, especially vitamin D and calcium.

Exercise -muscle tissue can become less flexible, and you lose bone density with age. Exercise can help prevent this, start light , don't overdo it and seek the advice of a physician if you are starting a new exercise regime, just taking a 30 minute walk outside is great.

Exercise your mind -"use it or lose it", it can prevent cognitive decline, do suduko, crosswords, play cards, read, learn new things.

Socialize -surround yourself with friends, humans are social animals and thrive in these situations. Join a book club, knitting circle, play bingo, bridge. If your not big on people, get a pet.

Stay on top of your health, visit a doctor for routine screening such as mammogram, prostate, cholesterol, blood pressure, eye exam, hearing test.

It is also not a bad idea to take a closer look at your family tree, to see if there is any history of illness such as heart disease or cancers that you can take preventative measures against.

Step 2: Cultivate Inner Beauty

-Continue to learn and grow
-maintain your enthusiasm and curiosity
-keep an open mind, be open to change, be creative
-have fun, LAUGH!

Step 3: Positive Thinking

Develop a positive outlook on life. Don't fixate on getting older, live your life to the fullest.

If you forget things and say "oh, I'm growing old, my memory is going" then it will!

Think of all the great things you can do when your older and retire; travel, spend time with the grand kids, write your memoirs, do more instructables.

Step 4: Act Your Age and Accept Getting Old Gracefully

Learn to accept that you will grow old, its inevitable, age gracefully.

Denial won't work

-lose the toupee or comb over, don't buy that sporty new midlife crisis car, don't dump your spouse for someone half your age, or try to squeeze into clothing meant for teenagers, you will only look foolish.

Quit obsessing about it, the more self conscious you become about getting older, the more other people will notice.

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See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery

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We don’t usually show food as our photo of the week, but this
Cheeseburger was really good. Sometimes you got to say
“Screw the calories, I want what I want.

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Learning Several New Things Simultaneously
Boosts Older Adults' Cognitive Abilities

By Janice Wood

A new study finds that learning multiple things at the same time increases cognitive abilities in older adults.

One important way to avoid cognitive decline as we age is to learn new skills as a child would, according to University of California Riverside psychologist Rachel Wu.

“The natural learning experience from infancy to emerging adulthood mandates learning many real-world skills simultaneously,” Wu’s research team writes in a study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences.

Continue reading >>


Choosing the right independent living
community for your senior loved one

By TJ Gibson

James saw his mother fading from her normal self a little each day. Her anxiety about changes in daily activity increased, and that increased his level of stress too. His mother worried about driving but fought for independence. She was confused easily but liked her daily routine. She was forgetting names, places and simple tasks. James had to face a hard conversation and decision: What is the best plan for his mother’s daily care?

The right independent and assisted living facility and program can make all the difference for the family as well as the resident. Programs and facilities based on the results of emerging memory loss science offers families hope. Symphony at Stuart Assisted Living and Memory Care provides a research-based approach for those who wish to maintain their independent lifestyle and successfully age in place. Individuals who aren’t ready for full-time assisted living but need help with independent living find a maintenance-free lifestyle that brings peace of mind.

It’s that kind of focused, intentional care that sets a supportive independent community apart from a traditional assisted living community. Weaving medical science with physical activity and diet, supportive care facilities create a community for those in the early stages of memory loss or dementia. Perhaps a key element at Symphony at Stuart is enabling a resident to feel like themselves again because they feel safe, active and in control of their future. Supportive independent communities provide peace of mind, eliminating fear from the resident’s normal daily emotional routine — which is often a large part of early memory loss.

Continue reading >>


Why Depression Is Underdiagnosed
in Older Adults
By Monica Drake

Two months ago, I started working for a health insurance company. One of my recent (and most time consuming) tasks has been to read through all of the comment cards submitted to our Medicare magazine.

One of the questions on the card was “What health topics would you like to read about?” Looking through the cards, one of the most common answers was “Depression and mental illness in older adults.”

I talk a lot about mental illness and suicide in teenagers and young adults. But, the truth is, suicide rates increase during the life course, according to the US National Library of Medicine, and depression is often underdiagnosed and undertreated in adults age 65 or older.

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

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Got any money? Me neither. Sadly, I have less money now than I did when I was in my teens. I’m guessing many of you are in the same boat, So, where did all your money go?

For me, most of it went to pay uninsured medical expenses* including a very expensive stay in a nursing home. If you want to see money disappear quickly, start writing $13,000 - a - month checks.

“Senior citizens made up 13 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 34 percent of healthcare-related spending in 2010, a report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows. In 2010, healthcare spending amounted to $18,424 per person for people aged 65 and older – about five times as much as per-person spending for children ($3,628) and triple what was spent on working-age individuals ($6,125). Much of the elderly’s medical costs are paid for by the government. Almost all Americans who are 65 years old or older are eligible for Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance program. Some seniors also qualify for Medicaid, a government insurance program that specifically targets low-income families and individuals. Medicare spending alone totaled $618.7 billion in 2014.”

If you are over 65, the government will pay about 65% of that amount which leaves a hefty $5000 out of your well-worn pocket. However, old folks don’t live on pills and medical procedures alone. There are other expenses just as important.

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is based on 2016 figures, “older households” — defined as those run by someone 65 and older — spend an average of $45,756 a year, or roughly $3,800 a month. That’s about $1,000 less than the monthly average spent by all U.S. households combined.

Here’s the data** shown as a monthly breakdown of how households headed by a retirement-age person spend money, on average, in seven major categories:

• Housing: $1,322
You may be close to paying off your mortgage, but housing is the biggest spending category for all age groups — retirees included. Some costs never go away, even when a home loan is fully paid. This monthly expenditure includes property taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs and maintenance and household supplies.

• Transportation: $567
People older than 65 do catch a break on transportation costs. The $6,814 annual average outlay, which includes the costs of gas, insurance and maintenance and repairs, is about one-third less than the nearly $9,000 average households of other ages shell out each year.

• Health care: $499
Insurance premiums — which run over $4,000 a year on average for the 65-plus set — are a spending category that just gets bigger as you age, at least until 75 when BLS data shows costs dipping about $30 a year. While a financial assist from an employer may no longer exist, at least there’s Medicare to help cover some costs.

• Food: $483
This is another major budget category for all ages. Yet retirees spend nearly 20% less than the average household does on food, maybe thanks to more home cooking? Or capitalizing on the classic retiree early-bird special?

• Personal insurance/pensions: $237
Those in the household who are still employed (bringing in earned income) are required to pay their fair share of salary to Social Security and perhaps even the company pension, which combined account for the bulk of this average monthly expense.

• Cash contributions: $202
Apparently with age comes a greater appreciation of one’s financial blessings. Retirees report dedicating $2,429 of their annual income to “cash contributions” (which include charitable donations), compared with $2,081 by the average household.

• Entertainment: $197
Living it up without having to get up and schlep to the office early the next morning is a perk of retirement. Here older households spend about as much on fun stuff as do those ages 25 to 34, but somewhat less than the broader average ($243 a month).

Of course, if you are on a fixed income where Social Security is your major money source, all of those stats go out the window. Chances are, your two major expenses are housing and food. After which, there’s not too much left for “Entertainment”, “Insurance premiums”, and “Transportation.”

I am necessitous. My net worth puts me in a category where I am eligible for many government programs like Medicaid. And (if I was not a resident of an assisted living facility) I would receive food stamps and subsidized housing as well. But what about those seniors who are not poor enough to qualify for much of anything. For many, early retirement is not an option. These folks work well into their 70s and beyond. Mostly, to pay for housing and to keep their health insurance benefits and pension programs. Unfortunately, for many more, problems arise when they try to sustain a lifestyle they can no longer afford.

We love our stuff. We love our cars, our smart phones, subscription TV, eating out, furniture, appliances and a lifestyle rarely seen anywhere in the world. We also love all the things we have coll
ected over the years. The stuff with which we can’t bear to depart. This puts fixed income folks in an unwanted position. Deciding on whether to keep the trappings of an upper-middle class existence or pay the rent, the utility bills and eat.
How did we get ourselves into this position of having to decide between paying the rent and eating? It’s partially our fault, because we did not foresee a time when our ability to earn a living would end due to illness and the governments fault because they did not provide a system whereby its citizens would not have to go broke paying for medicines and medical procedures.

For those of us already feeling the effects of poor planning, it’s probably too late. We will just have to learn to live within our means and console ourselves because frugality hurt nobody and simplicity clears the mind and reduces stress. Unfortunately, that does not make the realization that I will never have that red Corvette convertible any easier…………………

* * * *

5 signs it's time to move a loved one
 into assisted living care

Perhaps you worry about your loved one when you're not around, or they seem out of character, lately. In most cases, older people struggle with admitting they need help. Deciding to move someone you care about into assisted living is never easy, but if your loved one is showing signs of needing help, it may be time to have that conversation.

Here are five signs that it might be time to consider assisted living care.

1 .Unable to keep up with daily tasks.

2. Unexpected accidents happen.

3. Lack of self-care.

4. Aggressive behavior.

5. You're always worried.

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See more cartoons in our cartoon gallery

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Retiring on a Shoestring

In May, 2019, Joan and Steve Reid, both 67, retired and moved from the affluent New York City suburb of Pearl River, N.Y., to the oceanfront community of Vero Beach, Fla. Their aim: retiring on a shoestring. It’s a goal many new retirees share, but one that can be tricky to accomplish.

“We wanted a slower environment, near beaches,” says Joan Reid, who  worked as a freelance writer and part-time public library clerk. “The neighborhoods are quiet and it’s slower paced and friendly — with lots of natural beauty.” Steve Reid is a mixed-media artist who hasn’t earned any income from his art in the past two years.

Their monthly income includes total gross Social Security benefits of $2,082 ($1,786 net, after Medicare Parts A, B, and D deductions). The Reids also both collect small pensions, totaling $257 per month. All told, their 2018 gross income was $30,000.


Survey: Where assisted living is most expensive,
least expensive

Average monthly assisted living costs nationwide range from $4,136 for a studio apartment to $5,148 for a two-bedroom unit, but costs vary greatly based on location, according to the results of Lincoln Financial Group’s annual What Care Costs study, released Tuesday.

For a studio apartment in assisted living, the most expensive state, based on average cost, is New Hampshire, at $5,095 per month or $61,140 per year. The least expensive state is Louisiana, at $3,117 per month or $37,404 per year. The national average of $4,136 per month calculates to $49,632 per year.

For a one-bedroom unit in assisted living, the most expensive state, based on average cost, is New Jersey, at $6,948 per month or $83,376 per year. The least expensive state is South Dakota, at $3,566 per month or $42,792 per year. The national average is $4,730 per month, or $56,760 per year.


12 apps that are actually helpful for senior citizens
By Carrie Rogers-Whitehead

Smartphone adoption among senior citizens nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2016, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

In 2011, 35% of all adults had a smartphone while 11% of seniors did. Just five years later, 77% of all adults carried a smartphone while 42% of seniors owned the addictive little devices.

As more seniors adopt smartphones, app developers have worked to meet the unique needs and challenges of this demographic. Seniors often have less experience using mobile phones and can suffer from a lack of confidence when using their devices. Other seniors may be limited in their smartphone use because of physical challenges.

Fortunately for any tech-connected senior, there’s an app for that. Here are 12 apps designed for the elderly among us:

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

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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.


Previous blogs can be found in the Archives section on the left of this page

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[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.


By accessing our Facebook page ( ) you can access the latest news specifically related to Older Americans. These will usually be stories that broke too late to be included in our regular weekly blog. Additionally, the Facebook page will be a way for you to comment on those stories, start your own thread or comment on anything you have read here on this blog.