agebuzz weekly

September 15th, 2016

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

Take Note: Deloitte Makes A Major Statement In Support Of Family Caregiving: Sounds like someone finally recognizes the reality of family caregiving.  In an unprecedented move, Deloitte, the major US tax, audit and consulting firm, has announced that all employees will now be eligible for 16 weeks of paid family leave, each year. This new policy allows all staff, young or older, single or married, men or women, to take off time from work to attend to family responsibilities- whether a newborn, ailing spouse or older parent. While most people have family issues outside of work that require attention, there is often little or no flexibility at work, and certainly no paid leave, to take the time necessary to address these personal issues. The new Deloitte policy sends a clear message: it’s normal to want time off to help family members in need, and it makes good business sense as well. Read about the new Deloitte policy Here.

Do Your Share: Seniors Begin To Embrace House Sharing: Many if not most of us lived in some kind of communal housing as younger adults- perhaps the college dorm or the first apartment. Living alone always seemed like the eventual goal. But for many older people, living alone is not always preferable- or possible. For reasons both economic and social, many seniors are beginning to embrace the idea of a housemate- someone to rent the extra bedroom or share the household chores. Many retirees realize their fixed income won’t cover all expenses and some are driven by the need for a companion to help with maintenance or transportation. Technology has also made the search much easier, so finding a housemate is no longer a barrier. For some seniors it may be that the key to aging in place is having a housemate in the place. Read more about this trend Here. 

Show Stopper: How Movies Depict Senior Citizens: Going to the movies is often an escape- a chance to step out of your own life briefly and see the world from another vantage point. But if movies depict the lives of senior citizens as unpleasant or humiliating, what message does that send, to young and old alike? In fact, a new study out of The USC Annenberg School of Communications documents that ageism is rampant at the movies. According to this newly released study of the top 100 grossing films of 2015, few older characters appear in movies, and those that do are likely depicted in unflattering or demeaning circumstances. Coupled with a new study from Humana that underscores the value of positivity for healthier aging, a new direction becomes clear: Hollywood needs to send a better message of what a good life can be as we age. To learn more about these findings, grab your popcorn and Read Here.

Open Your Eyes: Medicare Open Enrollment Is Coming Up: As we get older, it’s common that our health status evolves and changes. Some years we may struggle with illness but other years may usher in a period of better health and stability. For those on Medicare, the upcoming open enrollment period allows you to re-evaluate your current health plan, to see if it makes sense going forward, especially if you can anticipate changes in your health or financial circumstances. Beginning on October 15, Medicare recipients have an opportunity to examine the varied options and policies available- including Medicare Advantage Plans, Prescription Drug Plans and other possible coverage options. It’s a good opportunity to re-evaluate your situation- but also a potentially confusing series of choices to consider. The National Council on Aging’s “My Medicare Matters” program has a useful set of questions and guidelines to help you sort through the options. To read their recommendations, check Here.

Just Ask: Seniors Can Age In Place If Asked What They Need: Sometimes you just have to ask- and then you’ll get your answer. Our society faces a real dilemma as millions of seniors confront risks and unsafe conditions as they “age in place.”  Most people don’t want to leave their homes. A new pilot study from the Center For Medicare & Medicaid Innovation confirms that, in fact, having seniors remain home may be the best answer to this challenge- if the right supports are in place. The study demonstrates that asking people what they need to continue on in their homes, and then providing them the support to do so, can help seniors stay where they are.  With a visiting team of a nurse, occupational therapist and handyman, 75% of the study participants were better able to perform daily activities. With an improved home environment, less dependence on others and fewer expenses in institutions, this model could be a win-win for seniors and insurers alike. To learn more about this pilot project, Read Here.

It Keeps You Running: This 72 Year Old Runs 100 Mile Races: Having a passion in life is often the fuel that keeps you going. For 72 year old Wally Hesseltine, his passion is ultra marathon running- and it definitely keeps him going. Having recently completed the Western States 100 mile run, the most prestigious race of its kind, Hesseltine lives by the motto, “I’d like to run ‘til the day I die.” Given his energy and endurance, that day is likely a long way off. So lace up your sneakers and watch Wally’s story Here.

THE LAST WORD: “The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary on it.” Arthur Schopenhauer