Category Archives: Old Age

Health: Management Of Chronic In Older Adults (Mayo Clinic Video)

Geriatricians like Dr. Brandon Verdoorn see the wide range of effects of chronic pain on older patients. Minor, short-lived pain can be managed at home with ice, heat or over-the-counter medication.

If you have severe pain, persistent pain or pain that affects function, you should see your health care provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a pain management plan. That might mean physical therapy, exercise, massage or acupuncture.

Medication strategies often are used, too — typically starting with lower-risk approaches like acetaminophen and topical medications, and reserving higher-risk medications for more difficult cases.

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New Fiction Books In 2020: “The New Life Of Hugo Gardner” By Louis Begley

With an ominous oncologist’s report hanging over his head, Hugo decides to get away for a bit, to a conference in Paris. There, a new romance blooms and HugThe New Life of Hugo Gardner by Louis Begley March 2020 releaseo finds himself wondering if growing old in Paris might be the perfect antidote to the drama he left behind in New York. Unflinching, witty, and urbane as ever, Louis Begley delivers a spot-on satire of the world of New York’s aging elite, and uncovers the unexpected delights a late-in-life change can offer.

After four decades of what he believes to be a happy, healthy partnership, Hugo Gardner’s world is overturned when he learns that his wife, Valerie, is not only requesting a divorce but has left him for a younger, more vital man. Hugo, an octogenarian political writer and retired journalist for Time, must rethink the way he’s lived, and reassess how he’d like to spend his remaining years.

Reconsidering past relationships in his mind, with years of distance, Hugo begins to see things in a new light: Valerie, whose youth and ambition eventually came between them; his children, whose support might be more financially than emotionally motivated; and his friends, who, like him are rapidly aging before his very eyes.

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Retirement: Colleges Cater To Baby Boomers By Building On-Campus Living Facilities (WSJ)

From a Wall Street Journal online article:

Mirabella Senior Living at Arizona State UniversityMirabella Senior Living at Arizona State UniversityMore schools are building or planning senior-living facilities on or near campus to cater to baby boomers who view college as a stimulating alternative to bingo at an archetypal retirement home. Some savor the pursuit of academic and cultural interests. Others are lured by the promise of interaction with younger students, for whom many hope to act as mentors.

It is the latest way for universities to profit from one of their greatest assets, land. Colleges have already taken advantage of this privilege by developing hotels and high-end student housing. Now, some see sales of upscale senior housing as the next step.

Lasell University, just west of Boston, built one of the first on-campus senior communities two decades ago. It requires members to take 450 hours of coursework or activities each year. Other programs have since sprouted up in places like the University of Michigan and Oberlin College in Ohio. Some communities are on campus; others are situated nearby and may have only a loose affiliation with the school. Many offer assisted living and nursing options.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/seniors-want-to-go-back-to-class-universities-want-to-sell-them-real-estate-11576751403

Crime: “Social Security Administration Scams” Are #1 Fraud Reported To FTC

From an FTC online release:

FTC LogoThe Social Security Administration (SSA) scam is the number one scam reported to the FTC right now.

As soon as a caller threatens you, or demands you pay them with a gift card or by wiring money.  It’s a scam. Even if the caller ID tells you otherwise.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, hang up the phone and remember:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended.
  • The real Social Security Administration will never call to threaten your benefits.
  • The real SSA will never tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on a gift card.

 

To read more: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2019/12/getting-bombarded-scam-calls-youre-not-alone?utm_source=govdelivery

Surgery: There Are No Low-Risk Procedures For Frail Older Patients (NYT)

From a New York Times online article:

JAMA Surgery“Our data indicate that there are no low-risk procedures among patients who are frail,” Dr. Hall and his co-authors concluded in their study.

Dr. Hall’s research, recently published in JAMA Surgery, has found that frail, older adults are more likely than other patients to die after even supposedly minor procedures — and even when the surgery goes well, without complications.

After operations, frail patients find it harder than others to regain strength and mobility, and to return to independent lives. Doctors and researchers assess frailty in a variety of ways. Geriatricians often measure things like gait and grip strength, and look for unintended weight loss and exhaustion.

 

To read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/health/frail-elderly-surgery.html

Books On Aging: “Old Man Country – My Search For Meaning Among The Elders” (Thomas R. Cole)

From a NextAvenue.org online review:

Old Man Country Thomas R. Cole 2019Am I Still a Man?

Masculinity is not a natural collection of individual traits but, rather, a cultural story, a plot or a script by which men are judged and judge themselves. One problem is that this script for masculinity stops at midlife. For most old men in American society, there are no landmarks of achievement or value; no lighthouse guiding one’s moral compass; no employment office with the sign “old men wanted.” There is only the province of retirement — a barren place often marked by an absence of wealth, prestige and personal meaning.

Do I Still Matter?

At least since the institutionalization of retirement in the mid-20th century, old men have often felt marginalized, useless or invisible. Retirement is a primary source of depression for those whose identities and self-esteem have depended on being productive, earning a living and being engaged with others in the workplace. Employment and volunteer work are often less possible for men who have reached their 80s.

What Is the Meaning of My Life?

Because our society provides old people with no widely shared meanings or norms by which to live, the task of finding significance in later life falls to individuals in their relationships with family and community.

Meaning is partly a matter of love and of relevance. If I love and am loved, my life has significance. Meaning is also a moral question: Have I lived a good life by my own lights? Did I, and do I, measure up to my own expectations and to the standards of my family, religion, community and nation?

Am I Still Loved?

Love, of course, means many things. There is love of God. There is love that comes from God or a Divine Being or Beings — love that carries existential meaning. It is the kind of love Ram Dass received from his guru Neem Karoli Baba, who inspired him to live a life of loving service on the path toward merging with Brahman, the ultimate reality in Hinduism.

To read more: https://www.nextavenue.org/questions-older-men-ask-themselves/?hide_newsletter=true&utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1eb08d4dfa-12.10.2019_Tuesday_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-1eb08d4dfa-166479103&mc_cid=1eb08d4dfa&mc_eid=6cab05fae0

Health Studies: Aspirin Use 3+ Times Per Week Reduces “All-Cause” Cancers In Older Adults (JAMA)

From a JAMA Open Network online release:

JAMAThis cohort study included 146 152 individuals from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial and found that aspirin use 3 or more times per week was associated with reduced risk of all-cause, cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and colorectal cancer mortality.

Importance  Aspirin use has been associated with reduced risk of cancer mortality, particularly of the colorectum. However, aspirin efficacy may be influenced by biological characteristics, such as obesity and age. With the increasing prevalence of obesity and conflicting data regarding the effect of aspirin in older adults, understanding the potential association of aspirin use with cancer mortality according to body mass index (BMI) and age is imperative.

Objectives  To investigate the association of aspirin use with risk of all-cause, any cancer, gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, and colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality among older adults and to perform an exploratory analysis of the association of aspirin use with mortality stratified by BMI.

Design, Setting, Participants  This cohort study evaluated aspirin use among participants aged 65 years and older in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial at baseline (November 8, 1993, to July 2, 2001) and follow-up (2006-2008). Analysis began in late 2018 and was completed in September 2019.

To read more: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2756258