Effort to delay Alzheimer’s via Exercise and Nutrition

Many healthy people are turning to lifestyle changes ranging from better nutrition and physical fitness to brain games and increased social interactions in an effort to delay Alzheimer’s that affected family members. Many drug companies have developed experimental medicines but so far, none have proved effective in preventing the disease. Research has shown that more exercise and better nutrition can improve the mental function of older people at risk of developing dementia. As drug development flounders, people fearing Alzheimer’s embrace lifestyle changes By Robert Weisman | Boston Globe Article They watched helplessly as Alzheimer’s robbed their loved ones of memory Continue Reading

What happens if my elderly parents get too sick before making arrangements?

No one is keen to discuss “the End,” as if talking about it will somehow hasten it, or not talking about it might prevent it from happening! By encouraging your parents to prepare for the end of their lives, you are not only acting as a responsible and loving child, but you are saving time, money, and heartache for yourself and the rest of your family. A short answer: if they become incapacitated before signing the documents for power of attorney or their will, you are out of luck. In approaching your parents next time, it may be best to Continue Reading

Internal Veterans Administration VA hospital ratings

The Boston Globe and USA Today obtained documents regarding internal Veterans Administration VA hospital ratings. The VA hospitals consistently scored poorer than private sector care facilities in 9 out of 11 key indicators. Out of 6 New England VA hospitals, only Bedford and Brockton had one star ratings, the lowest on the five point scale. Secret VA nursing-home ratings hid poor quality care from public By Nick B | Boston Globe Article World War II veteran Rosario “Russ” Bonanno was facing worsening dementia when his family took him last year to the Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home in Bedford. Continue Reading

When Can an Adult Child Be Liable for a Parent’s Nursing Home Bill?

Although a nursing home cannot require a child to be personally liable for their parent’s nursing home bill, there are circumstances in which children can end up having to pay. This is a major reason why it is important to read any admission agreements carefully before signing. Federal regulations prevent a nursing home from requiring a third party to be personally liable as a condition of admission. However, children of nursing home residents often sign the nursing home admission agreement as the “responsible party.” This is a confusing term and it isn’t always clear from the contract what it means. Continue Reading

Massachusetts deferred property tax program

Few Massachusetts residents participate in the deferred property tax program which assists seniors with limited incomes who want to remain in their home which allows them to defer property taxes until they die and the house is sold. Interest is charged on the amount deferred with municipalities setting the rate, capped at 8 percent. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which details unintended consequences of deferred property tax for one Sharon family. An inheritance damaged by delayed taxes By Sean P. Murphy | Boston Globe Article Barry Arntz thought he and his sister owned the house passed down Continue Reading

Gay and lesbian baby boomers and long-term healthcare planning

Gay and lesbian baby boomers have seen extraordinary gains in social acceptance during their adult lives — especially in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. Yet now, as they look ahead to old age, long-buried fears of isolation and discrimination are resurfacing. Men describe visiting a friend at his nursing home only to find him eating alone and isolated from other residents. Others interviewed for the article fear “going back in the closet” to avoid similar treatment by fellow nursing home residents and staff. To find out more about issues facing seniors in the LGBTQ community, read the Continue Reading

Reviews of nursing homes help families choose

It is important to research any facility that you are considering for a loved one. A recent study by gerontologists at the University of Southern California concluded that Yelp and other online platform reviews of nursing homes are an additional tool families may use when making decisions for their family member. Yelp uses software to weed out fake reviews and has partnered with ProPublica which created the tool, Nursing Home Inspect which uses federal data. Another online place to research is Nursing Home Compare which is administered by the federal government and uses a 5 star rating system. Its ratings Continue Reading

Finding Meaning and Happiness in Old Age

Two recently published books about aging hope to give meaning and happiness to readers as they plan for their senior years. “The End of Old Age” by Dr. Marc Agronin learned from his patients that it is possible to maintain purpose and meaning in life, even when faced with serious disease and disability, impaired mental and physical functioning and limited participation in activities. In “Happiness is a Choice You Make”, author John Leland shares life lessons learned from his interviews with the “oldest old” residents of New York City. Read the complete article: By Jane E. Brody | New York Continue Reading

Meals on Wheels in Massachusetts

Meals on Wheels is state and federally funded program that provides a daily visit and nutritious meals for people over age 60 in Massachusetts. The people who deliver these meals provide a human connection to the outside world. Read the Boston Globe article about a Meals on Wheels volunteer on his delivery rounds. For those who receive — and deliver — Meals on Wheels, more than nutrition is on the menu By Robert Weisman | Boston Globe It’s a Tuesday ritual that Vito LaMura holds dear. On that day, the 71-year-old retired teacher drives from his Bedford home to Lexington Continue Reading

Medicare Launches Hospice Compare Website

Patients looking for hospice care can now get help from Medicare’s website. The agency’s new Hospice Compare site allows patients to evaluate hospice providers according to several criteria. The site is a good start, but there is room for improvement, experts say. Medicare’s comprehensive hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing the course of a terminal illness. Medicare launched the hospice compare website to improve transparency and help families find the right hospice provider. The website provides information on how hospices deal with treatment preferences, address a patient’s beliefs and values, screen and assess for pain Continue Reading