Category: Senior Citizens

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A KVUE Defenders investigation uncovered cases of nursing home neglect on the rise across Texas. The investigation also discovered that facilities repeatedly cited for violations rarely see their contracts terminated with the state, despite getting millions in taxpayer dollars.

One of those abused included 97-year-old Minnie Graham. Her granddaughter Shirley Ballard considered her a saint.

“She would do anything for anybody. She would give you the shirt off her back,” Ballard said.

When Graham’s dementia took its toll a few years ago, her family put her in a Dallas-area nursing home.

After noticing bruises on her hands and face, they put a clock in her room equipped with a hidden camera.

A few days later, they reviewed the video in horror. They saw two nursing home aids slapping her on separate occasions. Video also showed a male aid shoving her head in the bed and then later flips Graham the middle finger.

Ballard said it was difficult to watch.

Full story of nursing care abuse at KVUE ABC

Advancements in dentistry make it more likely that older adults will keep their teeth longer, which means ongoing oral health care is essential, a new study says. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for the frail and elderly to have poor oral hygiene.

“Although during recent years increasing attention has been given to improving oral health care for frail old people, there is ample evidence showing that the oral health of elderly people, in particular of care home residents, is (still) poor,” researchers wrote in the journal European Geriatric Medicine.

Dr. Gert-Jan van der Putten and colleagues reviewed the consequences of poor oral health and its impact on the general health of frail, elderly people. Van der Putten is with the Flemish-Netherlands Geriatric Oral Research Group in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He was not available for an interview.

“Advances in oral health care and treatment in the past few decades have resulted in a reduced number of (toothless) individuals and the proportion of adults who retain their natural teeth until late in life has increased substantially,” the authors said in the article.

But when elderly people ignore their dental hygiene or are unable to keep their mouths clean, health problems can ensue. Plus, reduced saliva production and certain medications increase the risk of oral problems, the researchers said.

Full story of oral care in elderly at NBC News

The ongoing efforts to bring youth alcohol and drug abuse education to the local community reached out to township seniors on Nov. 6, with a program presented by Cape Assist. Over a delicious luncheon, Cape Assist Program Coordinator Joe Faldetta discussed current trends among young people regarding alcohol and drug abuse.

Faldetta, 37, a county native who has worked with Cape Assist for seven years, expressed particular concern about some of what he called “new risks” young people face in communities like Dennis Township. But if young people are at risk, why tell a room full of senior citizens about it?

Faldetta’s message is that every concerned citizen and group in a community can play a role in dealing with this growing societal problem. “For example, there’s a growing problem with proper disposal of prescription medications,” he said. “There’s a high rate of abuse among young people using prescription medications improperly.”

Faldetta described what he called “medicine cabinet parties” at which partiers fill a bowl with a potpourri of pills pilfered from home medicine cabinets. Reduced access effectively reduces the potential for abuse. He did however caution against flushing or tossing away those unneeded medications.

Full story of seniors educated on youth substance abuse at Cape May County Herald

Twenty-first century seniors: They’re not your grandparents’ old folks.

The elderly are growing increasingly diverse in the United States, a new report from UCLA researchers shows. Roughly one out of five are members of a racial or ethnic minority. More than one out of eight were born outside the country. By 2050, Latinos are projected to make up 20% of those 65 and older.

Their lives also reflect other changes that have reverberated through American society in recent decades: Nearly 12% of seniors are separated or divorced, almost three times as many as in 1970, the report found.

Far more have college degrees than the elderly of decades ago. In 1970, only 6% of elderly men and 5% of elderly women had a college education; by the 2007-2009 period, those numbers had swelled to 27% and 16% respectively, researchers calculated.

And while men are less likely to keep working into their later years than they used to be, women are more likely to continue working through their 60s – another sign of the swelling numbers of women in the workforce across all ages, the report found.

Full story of diverse elderly at the Los Angeles Times

Johnnie Collier, 71, recently went to Mercy Care’s downtown Atlanta facility to have a tooth extracted. He said it had been hurting him for many years.

Another patient, David Perlete, 63, who is uninsured, also had a painful tooth pulled there. Other facilities charge hundreds of dollars, he said.

Despite the work of charity clinics like Mercy Care, millions of older adults are unable to get the dental services they need.

Traditional Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and the disabled, does not cover routine dental treatment. (Some private Medicare Advantage plans do offer some coverage.)

The VA, which provides a wide range of medical care to millions nationwide, provides dental care to only a few, very limited categories of veterans.

Full story seniors unable to get dental care at GPB News

You may have an elderly mother who is living on her own, but you’re worried about signs of dementia and whether she will forget to turn off the stove or water. Or perhaps you just want to quickly check to make sure she got up in the morning and started her daily routine.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a group of doctors, hospitals and clinics, is piloting a program that measures utility use – gas, water and electricity – to alert relatives or caregivers when they are not at the home that something may not be right.

The idea, which is in the very early testing phases, is to attach a small device to the SmartMeter attached to the home of a senior so that utility use could be transmitted to the person caring for her. It may sound a bit Big Brother-ish, but far less so than cameras or other sensor devices available for home use.

“Most seniors don’t want to be wired and most seniors don’t want to be watched,” said Dr.Paul Tang, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s chief innovation and technology officer. “But could we know in an unobtrusive, scalable way whether mom woke up and did she get up? What happens if we knew the stove was used for eight minutes at 8 o’clock?”

Full story of utility use and the elderly at the SF Gate

The roommates share bathrooms and have each other’s shower times memorized. They fold each other’s laundry when someone leaves it in the dryer too long. They play cards together in the afternoon and watch “Dancing With the Stars” together at night.

And they ride along in the ambulance when one takes a bad fall.

It’s a living arrangement none of the seniors imagined for themselves when they were young, married and raising families in their own suburban homes. But time, age and circumstances led the five roommates — two men, three women ranging from 64 to 98 years old — to the red brick house in suburban Lombard, Ill.

There, next door to a young family with a swing set, and across the street from a high school, the seniors share a sprawling ranch as part of a Wheaton, Ill., non-profit organization’s mission to bring a unique housing option to the Chicago area’s elderly population, which is expected to double by 2040, officials said.

For the last three decades, Senior Home Sharing has placed seniors who are self-sufficient, but in search of company, into homes nestled on typical residential neighborhoods. What began as a one-house experiment in Lombard, Ill., has grown to include houses in Naperville, Downers Grove and Elmhurst, Ill., where the seniors get three prepared meals a day and medicine reminders from a live-in house manager.

Full story of home sharing for seniors at the REP-AM

It started when an alert broker called to let Alan Sims know that $3,360 was being withdrawn weekly from his 103-year-old friend’s brokerage account. Turns out that a live-in caretaker was padding her hourly wages, writing checks of varying amounts that could have pushed her annual salary to more than $165,000 a year.

Sims, executor of his elderly friend’s estate, and her attorney had to step in and confront the caregiver, who was immediately fired.

“It was devastating,” said Sims, recalling the events eight years later. “Not only the amount of money that was taken, but the trust that was broken.”

Sadly, it’s not unusual. Every year, thousands of examples of elderly financial abuse occur, often at the hands of friends, family or caregivers. In 2010, the annual amount of losses due to financial exploitation of seniors was estimated at $2.9 billion, according to a study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Full story of preventing elderly finance abuse at The Sacramento Bee

Dwan Smith-Fortier and her husband were ready to downsize. But they had no interest in the old-fashioned traditional senior citizens living.

“I refuse to be old,” she says. “I don’t mind aging, but I will never be old.”

Smith-Fortier, 69, is an actress who was a regular on General Hospital for three years and starred in the first movie version of Sparkle as well as The Concorde … Airport ’79. She had spent five years helping her husband, a former L.A. firefighter, recover from a stroke.

They were ready to get rid of the big house, but both also wanted to remain active. Then she saw an ad — for the Burbank Senior Artists Colony. And her life has been a whirlwind of activity since.

Now her days consist of Zumba, classes, rehearsals for the plays at the on-site professional theater company, acting classes. Her husband, who was also a songwriter, uses the gym every morning.

“It’s just real busy,” she says. “There are computer classes. There are filmmaking classes. There’s how to use your iPad to make films. It’s really an active building, but not the kind of activity where you are overwhelmed. You do what you feel like doing.”

Full story of seniors and retirement option at USA Today