Tagged with elderly

Loneliness as a Health Issue?

Check out The Atlantic article, How Loneliness Wears on the Body. Written by Jessica Lahey and Tim Lahey, the piece points out loneliness is almost as big a health risk for elder adults as insecure food sources. The authors describe research published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that identifies a strong connection between loneliness … Continue reading

Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Book Review

A few  years ago, when my mother-in-law was sinking deeper and deeper into dementia, my husband and I suddenly realized, with some help from professional geriatric counselors, that the devious brain disease had been lurking for some time. Although we had noticed a number of memory issues and behaviors, we continually chalked them up to … Continue reading

Aging Parents and Hospital Admission for Observations

When your parents go to the hospital and need to stay over night or longer, be sure the medical staff admits them as official patients and not for observation (which means that technically they are not admitted at all). People hospitalized for observation do not qualify for Medicare’s skilled nursing care benefit after leaving the hospital, and … Continue reading

Longer Old Age but Lower Quality Near the End?

A few days ago I added a must read link to Michael Wolff’s New York Magazine article, A Life Worth Ending. It’s an eye-opening piece, detailing long drawn-out decline of his mother. Check it out — it really is a must read. For our parents there are no easy end-of-life answers. Those of us with … Continue reading

Exercise, Computer Use, and Cognitive Impairment

A research study published in the May 2012 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings finds an association between computer activities, physical exercise and reduced mild cognitive impairment. The article Computer Activities, Physical Exercise, Aging, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study (PDF) reports on an ongoing population study that randomly sampled 926 individuals in Olmsted, Minnesota … Continue reading

Helping Aging Parents (and Ourselves) Avoid Scams

Read Prime Targets for Spam Artists, Paula Span’s April 20, 2012 column over at the New Old Age Blog. The fact that victims may not report fraud due to embarrassment is troubling and of special concern to adult children. Span posted her second column on the topic, with fraud fighting suggestions, on Monday, April 23, … Continue reading

Chronic Conditions of People Living in Residential Care

What are the most common chronic medical conditions of people who live in residential care facilities, including assisted living communities? This graph depicts the 10 most common chronic conditions of residential care residents. The data come from a National Center for Health Statistics survey of United States residential facilities, not including nursing homes. Check out the other … Continue reading

Green Houses in NY State and How They Work

This interesting article, Nursing Homes Trend Toward More Homey, Less Institutional Settings, in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle describes the quality-of-life changes that residents and families experience when a family member  lives in a Green House Project home. Reporter Patti Singer provides a   window, allowing readers a glimpse of life in a care community where … Continue reading

More Cuts to Aging And Caregiving Services

In Slow Starvation of Senior Services columnist Howard Gleckman writes that Congress, shortly before going on Christmas recess, cut funding for a number of  services for seniors and elderly Americans. He describes how some program budgets for seniors and the elderly were cut outright, but that other programs are starved into reducing services when funds are not raised year … Continue reading

Becoming an Adult Child Isn’t Easy

Take a few minutes to check out and consider reading Growing Up is Hard to Do: Forced into Adulthood by an Aging Parent, by Sarah Khan. Her dad was hospitalized at 62, though he was still employed and went back to work after his hospitalization. The article is online at The Atlantic website. No matter when … Continue reading

Pictures from 2012 VMRC Green House Groundbreaking

January 5, 2012 Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image. To learn more please read these posts about Woodland Park Green House Homes, a new community at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. Woodland Park Green Houses Have Roofs, June 3, 2012 Woodland Park Green House Walls are Rising – April 28, 2012 Green House Homes … Continue reading

How Does One Decide to Stop Getting Medical Tests?

I am astonished at the number of diagnostic tests prescribed for older seniors. When my husband’s mother was 90, she had a gynecological exam — we suggested it and the doctor carried it out — and though I knew the doctor was gentle, Mother cried out because of the discomfort. Afterward we wondered why we put … Continue reading

Reading Glasses and More Reading Glasses

I’ve just finished reading You Can See Mortality Better Through a Pair of Reading Glasses, an essay in today’s Washington Post. The opinion piece, by Janice Lynch Schuster, looks at reading glasses — and how nearly all of us eventually require them — as a metaphor for viewing and accepting our mortality. Writing with irony and … Continue reading

Cold Where You Live? Keep an Eye on Elders

Is it getting cold where you live? Here in my mid-Atlantic location, the bitter cold hit a few days ago, with wind even, and we’ve been bundling up every time we go outside. On the way in and out of the supermarket I’ve noticed quite a few older seniors who are clearly bothered by the … Continue reading

Protecting A Senior Parent’s Online Privacy

Every time I visit my parents, I check their computers to be sure the privacy controls are on the maximum settings. Since we all use computers all the time, significant privacy concerns exist, but seniors have even more concerns, because they welcome and enthusiastically use the added communication opportunities that the Internet provides. Moreover, few … Continue reading