Blog

The ‘Long and Unacceptable’ Wait for a Veterans’ Benefit

Michael Friberg for The New York Times Benefit claims pile up at a Department of Veterans Affairs office in Salt Lake City in July 2012. We wrote last fall about a form of government assistance for aging veterans called the Aid and Attendance pension benefit (AA), which reimburses veterans and their families for the costs(…)

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Vermont Passes ‘Aid in Dying’ Measure

Vermont will become the fourth state to make it legal for a physician to prescribe lethal medication to a terminally ill, mentally competent patient who wants to end his life. It has also become the first state to approve the practice through legislation, instead of via a public referendum (as in Oregon and Washington) or(…)

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Studies Find Mixed Results for Dementia Units

James Estrin/The New York Times A nurse at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, in the Bronx, led patients of the Alzheimer’s night care unit in some exercises. By their euphemistic names, ye shall know them: The Memory Care Unit. The Reminiscence Neighborhood. Homestead. These special units for residents with dementia have spread throughout the American(…)

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A Mother’s Day Gift

Adults with older parents or even grandparents will soon be searching for suitable Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts. If these presents are not consumables — a box of chocolates or a bottle of spirits — then they will only enlarge the material convoy that accompanies Mom and Dad through their later years. Older people(…)

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Low-Risk Skin Cancers Often Treated Too Aggressively in Elderly, Study Finds

The patient who made Dr. Eleni Linos wonder about the way we treat small, nonthreatening skin cancers in the elderly was 95 years old. “He was truly suffering,” recalled Dr. Linos, a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco. He had undergone multiple surgeries to remove these basal cell and squamous cell cancers, even(…)

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Helping Seniors Learn New Technology

Several years ago Garrison Phillips, a retired actor, bought himself a Dell computer. He soon recognized that he didn’t know what to do with it. “I needed instruction,” he told me in an interview conducted — perhaps surprisingly — by e-mail. “The technology of the Internet, cell and iPhones was like a foreign language.” Mr.(…)

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Does Depression Contribute to Dementia?

A large body of research has linked late-life depression to social isolation, poorer health and an increased risk of death. Now, a new study finds that depression is associated with subsequent vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, conditions poised to expand dramatically with the aging population. The report, published on Wednesday in the British Journal of(…)

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The Long Wait for Wage Protections

Catalyst Media President Obama with a home health aide, Pauline Beck, and her client, John Thornton, in 2007. More than three million home health aides — a lifeline for the elderly who are neither in institutions nor able to manage life’s mundane tasks on their own — are learning exactly how sclerotic the nation’s regulatory(…)

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A Rising Tide of Substance Abuse

America’s 78 million aging baby boomers are heading into retirement with more than their considerable wealth, health and education. They are also bringing into their golden years an epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness that has yet to be recognized, according to a recent Institute of Medicine report. The notion that the(…)

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Diabetes Advice for the Elderly: Relax

Joslin Diabetes Center Dr. Medha Munshi, right, with a patient, Perikli Prifti, and and his daughter, Suzana Beqari, at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. My mother has Type 2 diabetes, but she won’t eat. My father gets up and snacks in the middle of the night. My mom’s A1c is almost 8 percent. Why won’t(…)

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