Stay up-to-date on Medicare changes

Senior-woman-confused-365rr021810A recent study says that more than half of seniors over age 60 find Medicare confusing or don’t understand it at all Boomers are nervous, indifferent or uneducated about Medicare. Ten thousand boomers a day are eligible for Medicare, the largest growth ever in the history of the program. A recent study by United Healthcare and the National Council on Aging says that more than half of seniors over age 60 find Medicare confusing or they don’t understand it at all. Most respondents were not able to accurately identify what each part of Medicare covers. Only a third correctly identified Part A as helping to cover hospital care. Less than a quarter knew that Part B helps to cover doctor visits. More than two-thirds did not know that Part C offers an all-in-one program that helps cover hospital care, doctor visits and prescription drugs. And half had not heard of the “doughnut hole” in Part D prescription drug coverage. Nineteen percent of those enrolled in the program did...

Ending well

ALZHEIMERS CAREIn advance of California Healthcare Decisions Week, Oct. 23 to 29, Dr. Lanyard Dial, CEO and medical director of Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurses Association, has written this week’s The Other Side of 50 column. Unlike earlier generations, odds are that many of us will die a slow death, often mixed with periods of isolation and loss of personal dignity. Would this be your choice? Is there a way to end your life well? It is my belief that we have a choice to alter this path and find an alternative end to our life, an end that we choose. How? With the help of the medical professionals in Palliative Care and Hospice. The American healthcare system today is magnificent. We have access to many vaccinations, antibiotics and medications that can treat virtually any disease that afflicts us. We have superior techniques to provide surgical cures and treatments for many illnesses. We can transplant new organs into our bodies when ours are so diseased that they no longer work. We can...

The definition of home may change as we age

AssistedLivingNewThe word “home” has personal meaning for most people. A home may convey a sense of family, security, comfort, independence and even financial freedom. Often as we age, transitions in our lives may directly impact our housing choices. Divorce or loss of a spouse may prompt us to look for a home that better suits our individual needs. Changes in our health status—the onset of an illness or disability— may trigger the need for a different type of living arrangement. A desire to live closer to family sometimes means a move. Entering retirement often gives individuals the freedom to make new housing choices. And changes in financial status often influence decisions on the type of lifestyle and home we can sustain. According to Christine Kennedy of the Institute for Age-Friendly Housing, “Individuals in the second half of life often do not consider housing changes until at least one life transition occurs.” In an AARP poll, 80 percent of those over 50 say they want to age in...

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