agebuzz weekly

October 6th, 2016

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

Care Package: Tech Help & Practical Tips For Caregivers: Being a caregiver of necessity means perfecting your juggling skills- lots of balls in the air at any given moment when trying to deal with appointments, medications, safety concerns or to-do lists, let alone your own sanity and health. There now are multiple apps available, many for free and from reputable organizations, that can help manage and organize the essential tasks of caregiving. To see a top ten list of such apps, Read Here. 

And for a new, useful caregiver to-do list from the always informative columnist Judith Graham, writing in Kaiser Health News, Read Here. 

Game Over: Research Does Not Support Benefit Of Brain Games: You’ve heard the promises and maybe even been seduced by them: 30 minutes of brain games a day to ward off the perils of an aging brain and memory problems. Sounds too good to be true? In fact, a new, rigorous scientific review does not support the value of such games for cognitive health. Despite the marketing claims of the games’ promoters, an exhaustive evaluation of existing studies, published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, says otherwise.  To better understand the limitations of these games, and what might be effective in improving mental functioning, Read and Listen Here.

No Place Like Home: “Unhoused” At Age 66: While the debate about “aging in place” versus entering a facility is raging in many policy circles, a perhaps more disturbing headline about senior housing gets little public attention: the number of homeless seniors. Fully ⅓ of homeless Americans are over the age of 50. Imagine the usual aches, pains and challenges of aging, and then imagine trying to deal with those while also wondering where you will sleep this evening and how you will take care of your basic physical needs. It’s a nightmare scenario that all too many senior Americans face each day. To read the poignant account of one senior’s attempt to navigate the reality of homelessness, Read Here.

Don’t Be Fooled: New Medicare And IRS Scams: With the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment period upon us, many seniors have Medicare on their minds as they seek to determine what makes most sense for their personal situations. Along with this may come susceptibility to new phone scams that trick you into revealing personal information and leave you the victim of identity theft. So, for example, a phone call asking for your Medicare account number for a new card, or for sending you “supplies,” could easily be a ploy to get you to reveal your ID number. Rather than be fooled, be smart andRead Here. 

And if you wonder whether that e-mail you got from the IRS was a scam,Watch This Video.

Play Therapy: “Toys” For Impaired Seniors: There’s little doubt that pets can provide loving companionship, especially to seniors living alone or those with impaired cognition.  But attending to the real needs of pets- the walking, feeding, vet visits- often means that owning a pet is beyond the ability of many. Now Hasbro, the venerable toy company, has introduced a robotic toy dog, which mimics the feel and sound of a puppy without the actual care needs. How well such a substitute works to comfort lonely or impaired seniors remains to be seen, but Hasbro has been betting on this new trend in toys for all. To find out more, Read Here. 

And in some senior facilities, the trend has been taken further, using dolls as sources of comfort for dementia patients, who may confuse the dolls with an actual baby. It’s a controversial technique- does this attempt to comfort also demean the senior? Read about both sides of the argument Here. 

Photo Ready: The Life And Legacy of Photographer Tony Vaccaro: You’ve likely seen pictures of some of his most iconic photos: soldiers from WW II or gorgeous shots of Sophia Loren and Georgia O’Keefe. For 93-year-old Tony Vaccaro, life has always been about snapping the next image. As he contemplates his past and tries to organize his photographic collection, what’s important comes into view. His memory may be fading, but his photos are forever. Watch this moving video about the life and work of Tony Vaccaro Here.

THE LAST WORD: “As long as I have more dreams in my head than achievements, I am young.” Shimon Peres