A change is happening in Maine with wide-ranging effects: State is seeing more deaths than births

Maine and West Virginia are the only two states in which deaths outnumber births. Additionally Maine has an aging population; it has more residents 65 and older than 18 and younger which has implications for the labor pool. Follow our link to the Boston Globe for the complete article and to read how the town of Dover-Foxcroft is becoming a laboratory for how rural aging areas face the problems affecting their aging residents. Read More. A change is happening in Maine with wide-ranging effects: State is seeing more deaths than births By Brian MacQuarrie | Boston Globe DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Continue Reading

Everyday virtual reality? Developers at this MIT event had some ideas for the future

RealityVirtually, a virtual reality tradeshow hosted by MIT, offered a glimpse into the future and the possibilities of this developing nascent technology. Although most of the development has been in VR hardware, some teams have been developing VR applications to assist visually impaired people with “zoom in “ applications or virtual cane which could detect obstructions. Other teams are developing memory aides and incorporating VR into physical therapy regimes. For the complete Boston Globe article, follow our link. Read More. Everyday virtual reality? Developers at this MIT event had some ideas for the future By Scott Kirsner | NY Times Continue Reading

Washington State Weighs New Option After Death: Human Composting

Washington State may become the first state, and even the first place in the world, to allow human remains to be reduced to soil or “recomposition.” Proponents of the bill argue that recomposition is more environmentally friendly than traditional methods of burial and cremation. For the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times. Read More. Washington State Weighs New Option After Death: Human Composting By Kirk Johnson | NY Times Leslie Christian recently added unusual language to her living will: After death, she hoped her remains would be reduced to soil and spread around to help out Continue Reading

The Elderly and Driving: When Is It Time to Hit the Brakes?

Prince Philip, age 97, of Great Britain, was recently in a car accident prompting reflection in the UK and beyond about when an aging driver should stop driving. Follow our link to the New York Times article, The Elderly and the Driving: When is it Time to Hit the Brakes?” for different strategies regarding how to address surrendering car keys with elderly family member. Read More. The Elderly and Driving: When Is It Time to Hit the Brakes? By NY Times Prince Philip, the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, overturned his Land Rover on Thursday in a Continue Reading

Daily Movement — Even Household Chores — May Boost Brain Health In Elderly

A recent study published in the online issue of Neurology found that physical activity such as walking and light housework like cooking leads to better thinking and memory in adults 70 and older. Study participants took thinking and memory tests every year for 20 years and their brain tissue was examined post-mortem. The study findings suggest that physical activity may be protective even amidst developing Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity masks symptoms suggesting individuals can have some control over their brain health. For the complete NPR story, follow our link: Read More. Daily Movement — Even Household Chores — May Boost Continue Reading

As life expectancy falls across US, Mass. bucks trend

Massachusetts is bucking the national trend toward shorter life spans; a baby born in Massachusetts in 2016 can expect to live 80 years and 8 months according to a new report. The increase in average life expectancy is attributed to health promotion efforts (antismoking campaign, protection from gun violence, access to healthy food and places to exercise); but for deaths from opiod overdoses, Massachusetts’ life expectancy would be even higher. For the complete article, follow our link to the Boston Globe. Read More. As life expectancy falls across US, Mass. bucks trend By Felice J. Freyer | Boston Globe A baby Continue Reading

Of a Certain Age? You May Need to Withdraw Money From a Retirement Account

After saving for retirement for years, when you turn 70 ½ years old, the Internal Revenue Service requires that people start taking their RMD (required minimum distribution) out of their retirement accounts which could be an IRA or 401(k). If you fail to take an RMD you may face a steep penalty. For the complete NYT article, follow our link. Read More. Of a Certain Age? You May Need to Withdraw Money From a Retirement Account By Ann Carrns | The New York Times You may be thinking about holiday gifts and New Year’s resolutions. But if you’re old enough Continue Reading

Massachusetts will ask Medicaid patients about quality of care

In 2018, MassHealth care providers were organized into 17 accountable care organizations (networks of doctors and hospitals). Beginning this month, 250,000 Medicaid recipients will be asked questions about the quality of their care by their Medicaid providers. Massachusetts plans to release the survey results in 2020. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which explains the process in more detail: Read More. Massachusetts will ask Medicaid patients about quality of care By Liz Kowalczyk | Boston Globe Privately insured patients have been asked to rate their medical providers for years. Now, for the first time, Massachusetts is seeking the Continue Reading

The Junk Removers Manhandle My Heart

Grief and catharsis can take surprising forms. I hadn’t expected a sofa to play such a starring role in mine but the murder of Miss Bee [nickname giving to sofa] had provided a powerful – and beneficial – release.” Follow our link to the NYT Modern Love column by Mike Rucker to read how he was affected by giving away the sofa bought with his deceased partner. Read More. Meandering through grief, a man tries to replace his sofa. It doesn’t go well. By Mike Rucker | The New York Times John and I bought the sofa together when he moved into Continue Reading

Enrolling in Medicare can be confusing. Here’s how to do it.

If you are turning 65 soon, you are eligible to enroll for Medicare, the federal health insurance program. Medicare has four parts – A pays for in-patient hospital care, skilled nursing an home health care; B covers outpatient medical services, C offers a range of Medicare Advantage plans which gives hospital and medical insurance and other benefits like medicines, eyeglasses and dental.; D is for prescription medicines. Enrolling can be confusing with all the different deadlines and options. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which explains the process in more detail: Read More. Enrolling in Medicare can be Continue Reading