6/7/2012 – Racial Gap in Life Expectancy at All-Time Low

The gap in life expectancy between whites and blacks in America has narrowed, reaching the lowest point ever recorded, a new study shows.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

6/4/2012 – It's time to rethink retirement

When Social Security was created in 1937, the average American lived to age 60. Since then, medical advances have added decades to life expectancy. Most 55-year-olds today will see their 82nd birthday.

Problem is, we haven’t adjusted the way we work, the way we save, or the structure of our public programs to support these extra years, says psychologist Laura Carstensen, head of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity and one of the nation’s top researchers on aging.

Read the full article at CNN.

5/29/2012 – Exercise, vitamin D may prevent falls

Older adults who are at high risk of falls should have physical therapy and take vitamin D supplements to reduce their chance of injury, according to new recommendations from a government-backed panel.

Falling is “a common problem and it’s often overlooked because doctors may not be aware of their patients’ fall risk,” said Dr. Albert Siu, a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and vice co-chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which came out with the recommendations on Monday.

Read the full article at Reuters.

5/25/2012 – Aging Without Children

How childless adults should approach their later years is a question that surfaces with some frequency among readers and commenters here. It’s true, as many attest, that being a parent doesn’t guarantee elder care. But it’s also true that the bulk of America’s old people are, in fact, cared for primarily by relatives: spouses first, then adult children.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

5/23/2012 – Retirees Taking Early Social Security Benefits Hits 35-year low

Retirement-minded Americans are getting the message: it pays to delay triggering Social Security benefits. That was one of the chief findings of a GAO study last year, and now the “take-up” rate for those who are eligible stands at a 35-year low. This is great news. Financially speaking, it means more retirees will be in better shape for the long haul.

Read the full article at Time</em>.

5/20/2012 – Entitlement Reform For the Entitled

“IF nothing is done about entitlement spending, and if our current tax breaks continue, then by 2025, tax revenue will be able to pay for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, interest on the debt and nothing else. The rest — defense, medical research, highways, education, energy — will have to be financed by deficits. Social Security’s funding is predicted to run short in 2033, Medicare’s trust fund in 2024.”

Read the full op-ed by Ezekiel Emmanuel at The New York Times.

5/18/2012 – Revived by Music

Two years ago, Dan Cohen hired Michael Rossato-Bennett to create a short film about his mission, which is nothing less than bringing personalized music to every nursing home in the nation. As we’ve noted here before, many elderly people remember and respond to music when all other means of communication have shut down.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

5/15/2012 – Caring For Grandparent Matures A Young Man

Nicholas McDonald grew up tempted by drugs and under pressure to hit the streets. Lacking male role models, the Maryland resident says he always saw his mom as “the apple of my eye.”

His grandfather, suffering from dementia, lives with the family — three generations under one roof. For Nicholas, it’s been an opportunity to help his mom, get to know his grandfather and find himself.

Read/Listen to the full story at National Public Radio.

5/15/2012 – Testing a Drug That May Stop Alzheimer’s Before It Starts

In a clinical trial that could lead to treatments that prevent Alzheimer’s disease, people who are genetically guaranteed to suffer from the disease years from now — but who do not yet have any symptoms — will for the first time be given a drug intended to stop them from developing it, federal officials announced Tuesday.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

5/15/2012 – Clock ticking as Alzheimer’s strategy sets 2025 goal for better ways to treat, stall, disease

The Obama administration declared Alzheimer’s one of the country’s biggest health challenges on Tuesday, adopting a national strategy that sets the clock ticking toward better treatments by 2025 — along with help for suffering families today.

“What we know is a lot more needs to be done and it needs to be done right now, because people with Alzheimer’s disease and their loved ones and caregivers need help right now,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in announcing the first National Alzheimer’s Plan.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.