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

Who is your support system as you age?

For most people, it is their children but those who are childless are faced with creating their own support network to help them negotiate housing, social-service and health care options in addition to legal and financial considerations. One of the first steps is for “elder orphans” should take in creating their support system is to hire an elder law lawyer who can draw up documents that will protect them if they become incapacitated. For more advice about how to plan for your later years, follow our link to the NYT article. Single? No Kids? Don’t Fret: How to Plan Care Continue Reading

Why Giving Your House to Your Children Isn’t the Best Way to Protect It From Medicaid

You may be afraid of losing your home if you have to enter a nursing home and apply for Medicaid. While this fear is well-founded, transferring the home to your children is usually not the best way to protect it. Although you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, the state could file a claim against the house after you die. If you get help from Medicaid to pay for the nursing home, the state must attempt to recoup from your estate whatever benefits it paid for your care. Continue Reading

Medicare’s Part B Premium Will Be Unchanged in 2018

The announcement of the 2018 Medicare premium is good news for some beneficiaries and bad news for many others.  The good news is that the standard monthly Part B premium, which about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries pay, will again be $134 next year, unchanged from 2017. But most Medicare recipients pay a lower premium because they have been protected from any increase in premiums when Social Security benefits remain stagnant, as has been the case for the last several years.  This year, that premium has averaged $109 a month, but due to the 2 percent Social Security increase for 2018, the premiums Continue Reading

Books On Aging and Elder Care

New York Times article details hard won advice from books about aging and elder care.  In Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, the author/physician aims to help readers avoid nursing home care. The reviewer found the chaper “Letting Go” where the author discusses the powerful effect of frequent concerted conversations about the goals and wishes for one’s end of life. The 36 Hour Day by Nancy Mace and Peter V. Robins delves into the many aspects of caring for someone with Alheimer’s, dementia or other forms of memory loss. Chapter 16 has tips for people researching long term care residences. Jane Continue Reading

Proving Age Discrimination Is Difficult

As baby boomers continue to work past retirement age, age discrimination lawsuits are becoming more common. Two out of three workers between ages 45 and 74 say they have seen or experienced age discrimination, according to AARP. However, experiencing it and proving it are two different things. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids employers with 20 or more employees to discriminate against people who are age 40 or older. The law prohibits an employer from discriminating in hiring, firing, wages, job assignments, promotions, or any other aspect of employment. It is also illegal to harass employees based Continue Reading