agebuzz weekly

December 15th, 2016

Good morning and welcome to agebuzz… Headlining today’s topics:

Have You Heard? FDA Moves To Make Hearing Aids Easier To Get: Unlike reading glasses, which are easy to buy at most drugstores, hearing aids have traditionally been difficult, and expensive, to acquire. One challenge has been the federal requirement of a medical evaluation before you can purchase hearing aids. But in an effort to open up the manufacturing market, and save consumers potentially thousands of dollars, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidance, effective immediately, that it will no longer require this medical evaluation for those over 18 who want hearing aids. For the 30 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss, the goal is to stimulate a wider array of hearing aid options in the marketplace, at lower costs- an especially welcome development given that Medicare doesn't pay for these essential devices. Read the FDA press release Here. For a more in-depth discussion of hearing loss and hearing aids from the FDA, Read Here.

Career Minded: How Long Can You Continue In Your Chosen Career?: For many of us, our work is a source of pleasure or meaning. And equally, for many of us, working is essential to keeping us economically afloat. While physically demanding jobs may be difficult to continue as we get older, most of us assume we can put off retirement if we have a more sedentary career, with less physical exertion. That may, or may not, be true, depending on the job. In a new paper published by the Center For Retirement Research, analysts examined an array of jobs and whether they require "fluid intelligence," or "crystalized intelligence." Jobs requiring the acquisition of lots of new information may be harder for older workers to continue.  However, occupations that rely on accumulated knowledge and perfected skills may be easier to continue beyond the traditional retirement age. How does your job rate in their assessment? Take a look at the rankings Hereand read the actual report Here.

Out Of The Norm: Some Medical Conditions Are Not Part of Normal Aging: When you're tired or feeling down, it might be easy to dismiss your symptoms as just normal "aging." But feeling fatigued or weak, especially if these symptoms come on suddenly, may not just be the result of getting older.  Writing for Kaiser Health News, journalist Judith Graham provides useful information about when it makes sense to follow up with medical attention for symptoms you might otherwise dismiss as just the price you pay for growing old. Whether it's loss of appetite or loss of strength, check out Judith Graham's valuable advice Here.

Solo Flight: Tips For Travel When By Yourself: It's not uncommon for older women to be on their own- living alone, dining by themselves or even traveling solo. Sometimes that takes a lot of preparation, especially if you're in a new place or environment. Writer Arlene Davis, a 74 year old solo traveler, began her first solo overseas trip at the age of 65.  In the years since, through trial and error and acquired wisdom, she has put together a list of tips especially geared toward older women who travel alone. Some are just common sense, including doing your homework and pre-planning as much as possible.  Other suggestions, including packing disposable underwear, are more creative and savvy. Her goal is to help ensure efficient, easy travel that accounts for your safety and comfort.  So pull out your suitcase, and take a gaze at her suggestions Here.

Home Care: Doctors Need New Training For Making House Calls: Here's an astounding statistic: By the year 2060, there will be 98 million senior citizens in the US. That number is likely to overwhelm our health system, especially our providers of long term care. As well, the trend is now for people to "age in place," foregoing long term care facilities and living in their own homes, for as long as possible. Those realities then suggest that many more physicians may find themselves returning to the old-fashioned house call. But are modern day medical practitioners trained for what that entails? Do they have the skill set to deal with various mechanical devices or medical interventions that have moved from the in-patient setting to the community environment? A recent op-ed in the medical news website STAT suggests that more and different training will need to take place to get these community-based docs up to speed. Read the recommendations for new house call training parameters Here.

Knit Together: NYC Grandmas Working To Keep You Warm: Now that the holidays and winter are upon us, it's easy to think of a warm hat or scarf as an appropriate and useful gift. One New York-based start-up wants you to also think about being socially conscious while you go about your holiday shopping. Wooln is a new crowd-funded manufacturer of knitted garments that likes to tout its production team: New York City grandmothers who knit all of their items.  On the Wooln website, you can read bios of all of the grandma knitters, and if you happen to live in NYC and are looking for your next knitting project, the founders even suggest you contact them about joining their knitting team. To watch a video about the founders of Wooln and how their hand-knit production team works, Watch Here.

THE LAST WORD: “Losing a parent is something like driving through a plate-glass window. You didn't know it was there until it shattered, and then for years to come you're picking up the pieces--down to the last glassy splinter." Saul Bellow