agebuzz weekly

March 9th, 2017

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

Sign Me Up: The Best Time To Sign Up For Medicare: Approaching age 65 is an important and perhaps ambivalent milestone: it certainly represents a new stage of life, at least when it comes to health care. For 65 is the usual age at which most people become eligible for Medicare. For those of you or your loved ones approaching 65, it's important to understand when is the best time to sign up for Medicare. If you delay, and let time lapse, it could have economic consequences for you going forward, including penalties and higher fees for different parts of Medicare coverage. If you're still working at age 65, and receive health coverage through your employer, the rules are different.  It can be complicated- and critical that you understand when is the best sign-up time for you. There are lots of resources out there to help. You can start with the government's Medicare website Hereand then move on to the Medicare Interactive website Here and the Medicare Rights Center Here.

Be A Smart Cookie: Know What To Eat When You're Over 50: We're constantly bombarded with imagery and information about food- what to eat, what not to eat, etc. It can all be overwhelming, especially if you try to be knowledgable but not obsessed about your food choices. Perhaps it's time to get down to basics- and understand what's essential and what's extraneous, especially once you cross the over-50 threshold. The National Institute on Aging has a valuable web page covering everything you'd want to know: best food choices, ideal calorie consumption and specifics about fats, salt, fiber and other standard ingredients in food. It also highlights information for such special concerns as high blood pressure or the particular needs of aging women, to name a few. So refresh and re-nourish and Read Here. 

Money's Worth: Wise Women Need To Understand Retirement: While it's critical that everyone contemplate what his or her needs will be in retirement, the planning may require extra consideration for women.  Given that women have often endured pay inequity, time out from the workforce and other actions that have affected their finances, it's important that women receive retirement advice specifically tailored for their unique work and life paths. Fortunately, there is a resource that targets these concerns. WISER (Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement) was born in 1996 with the goal of providing information and advocacy to improve the longer term financial quality of life for women. Its focus is on consumers, policy makers and educators to ensure that women have the know-how and resources to create secure and sufficient retirement savings for themselves. So many aspects of a woman's life can affect her later-life financial well being, including child care, elder caregiving, divorce and widowhood, to name just a few.  So wise up, and acquaint yourself with WISER by clicking Here.

Down A Different Path: Alternative Therapies For Dementia: Dementia can be a devastating diagnosis. It often leaves patients and families grasping for whatever ideas they can find to lessen or forestall the difficult symptoms. Without knowing the scientific validity, it's not uncommon for families to reach for such alternative therapies as dietary supplements or herbal remedies for the "medicinal" qualities they are advertised to provide. While it is possible some of these alternatives may help in a limited way, more likely they provide little-to-no benefit, with the real possibility of some harm. Dementia Today, a consumer-oriented website focusing on scientific research and other scientifically valid information, recently reviewed the evidence supporting a range of supplements and "medical foods" that have been promoted as helpful with memory or other dementia problems. Read the review Here. For more general information and advice on this topic from the Alzheimer's AssociationClick Here.

Compassion Companion: A Doula For The End Of Life: If you've ever gone through labor and delivery, or knows someone who has, you've probably heard of a "birth doula," a person trained to be a calming and comforting presence at the bedside as a woman goes through childbirth. Similarly, at the end of life, the presence of a calm and knowledgable person at the bedside can make all the difference between a calamity and a sad but dignified passing. End-of-Life doulas are now available in many communities, especially as patients and families frequently prefer to live out their days at home in a familiar and comfortable environment. In fact, for some family members, witnessing the work of an end-of-life doula is so inspiring that they are motivated to go through the training themselves in order to allow others to benefit from this same level of comfort and support.  To watch four end-of-life doulas discuss the meaning and value of their work, Go Here. To find out more about the process of training and certification to become such a doula, Click Here.

Politically Correct: A Podcast For The Chronologically Gifted: There's a lot of nonsense out there to listen to these days- but for many of us, the genius of podcasts is that they provide intelligent, interesting listening in a world that sometimes has gone mad. For those of you who are podcast devotees, or just have a computer on which you can stream a radio show, here's a new entry to consider: Chronologically Gifted, a radio show that airs once a week on KHSU, a public radio station in northern California. Started by two retired professors, Pam Brown and Ann Diver-Stamnes, the show is designed to provide conversation and content addressing life after 50 for women. Guests include some of the luminaries of the world of aging, and topics range from the mundane to the profound. Available on iTunes, you can also tap into their archived shows that go back to 2014.  For more information about the creators and their content, and to listen to their shows, Click Here.

THE LAST WORD: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt