Rest homes in Mass. keep closing as financial pressures mount

Rest homes, a holdover from before Social Security when fraternal, religious and ethnic groups pooled their funds to purchase property to provide housing, room and board for widows and others in need. There are currently 73 rest homes remaining in Massachusetts – rest homes now provide housing and services to low income seniors and others who can’t afford newer assisted living facilities. Governor Charlie Baker has committed to helping Massachusetts rest homes remain open despite rising costs – he increased state reimbursement by 9% and increased the daily minimum to $74 starting December 1. Follow our link to the Boston Continue Reading

Services like rides to the doctor or wheelchair ramps are among those that some Medicare Advantage plans will begin to offer next year

From now until December 7, 2018 is the open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans. Some plans are offering new benefits to assist people in avoiding costly hospitalizations. For free help with Medicare Advantage and drug plan enrollment your can contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (www.shipacenter.org) or the Medicare Rights Center (800-333-4114 or www.medicareinteractive.org). Medicare’s Plan Finder can be found at www.medicare.gov/fin-a-plan/questions/home.aspx or by calling 800-633-4227. Always research the benefits of any plan before changing or signing up for a Medicare advantage plan. For the complete article, follow our link to NPR.org. New Medicare Advantage Benefits Are Supposed Continue Reading

Manitoba couple forced to live apart after 71 years, care home won’t take them both

With longer lifespans comes longer marriages. What happens when couples who have been married for 50 years or longer need different levels of care in their old age? Follow our link to USA Today to read the complete article. For the complete article, follow our link to CBC News. ‘Life is not the same’: Manitoba couple forced to live apart after 71 years, care home won’t take them both By Erin Brohman | CBC News Two Manitoba couples who have been married for decades are calling on government to help keep them together despite health needs forcing them apart. After Continue Reading

Researchers say it’s too soon to say if marijuana could help humans with Alzheimer’s, but experiments in mice showed some effects.

A recent study of mice genetically tweaked to develop Alzheimer’s like symptoms who received a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of marijuana, performed as well as healthy mice on a memory test. The mice also lost fewer brain cells and their brains contained 20% less sticky placques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The findings suggest that cannabis could be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease. However, currently there are no studies of how marijuana compounds affect people with Alzheimer’s disease. For the complete article, follow our link to NPR.org. Active Ingredient In Marijuana, THC, Reduced Alzheimer’s-Like Effects In Mice By Continue Reading

Homebuyers over 55 are a growing slice of first-time house owners

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors concluded that homebuyers over 55 are a growing segment of first time homebuyers. In the last 15 years, the share of homebuyers age 55 and over has doubled; senior first-time homebuyers accounted for 9% of that share which is the highest level since data collection started in 2003. For the complete USA Today article follow our link. Forget millennials, homebuyers over 55 are a growing slice of first-time house owners By JANNA HERRON | USA TODAY You’re never too old for the American Dream. Take Rupert and Pat Haller. Since Continue Reading

Alzheimer’s Researchers Challenged Finding Qualified Participants for Clinical Trials

A major challenge medical researchers face is finding qualified participants for clinical trials. Compounding this problem is there are multiple studies competing for clinical trial participants and delays in diagnosis of possible trial participants. For the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times. For Scientists Racing to Cure Alzheimer’s, the Math Is Getting Ugly By Gina Kolata | New York Times The task facing Eli Lilly, the giant pharmaceutical company, sounds simple enough: Find 375 people with early Alzheimer’s disease for a bold new clinical trial aiming to slow or stop memory loss. There are 5.4 million Continue Reading

How to Discuss End of Life Matters With Your Asian Parents

In Chinese culture, death is a taboo subject leading to an aversion of discussing end of life issues with family members. First generation children do not ask their parents about their final wishes for fear of upsetting their parents. There are different programs in the Greater Boston area that are addressing how to discuss end of life with senior family members while showing sensitivity to Chinese culture. For the complete article, follow our link to the Boston Globe. Breaking taboo, Chinese elders learn to express end-of-life wishes By Robert Weisman | Boston Globe Nine wary residents gathered around a table Continue Reading

How to Manage Multigenerational Households

Multigenerational households (where two or more adult generations live together or include grandparents and grandchildren) are on the rise. Create a checklist of needs vs wants while looking at homes. Draft a family agreement which addresses how the family would pay for the home and related expenses including an “exit strategy” in the event a family member moves out. For the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times. What to Know Before Buying a Home With Your Parents By Claire Zulkey | New York Times For Diana Limongi, the practical benefits of sharing a two-family house in Continue Reading

New Alzhemier’s Drug Shows Reduction of Plaques and Slowing of Dementia

At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, results of a new drug were announced which for the first time in a clinical trial resulted in the reduction of plaques and slowing the progression of dementia. More trials will be necessary to verify if the new drug is truly effective but this drug may be the first to successfully attack both brain changes and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. To read the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times. New Alzheimer’s Drug Slows Memory Loss in Early Trial Results By Pam Belluck | New York Times The long, discouraging quest 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