Monday, September 21, 2015

NBC Today honors World's Alzheimer's Day with fashion guest

NBC Today honored World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21, 2015, by presenting fashion designer B. Smith, with early onset, and her husband Dan Gasby, link here. Husband Dan wanted to recognize caregivers, who find they didn’t sign up for this by choice.  15 million Americans now care for someone with Alzheimers.   He recommended keeping a journal.  There is a social media initiative to recognize caregivers, Take One Moment, not well explained on the show, the link on Facebook seems to be here.

The Alzheimer’s Association also has a Longest Day on the Summer Solstice, here.

Picture: Church birthday party, no relation to Alzheimer's, just art work.  


Saturday, September 12, 2015

California legislature approves legal physician-assisted end-of-life with many restrictions

The California legislature has approved a bill that would allow (for the terminally ill) physician-assisted suicide, but with considerable procedural restrictions, as in the NBC story here

It’s unclear if Jerry Brown will sign it.

The ability to extend life is creating more questions about death with dignity and ending suffering, in some cases.   It is normally acceptable to end life support if that is the patient’s living advanced directive.  

Many medications relieve suffering (as from inability to swallow) in hospice settings at the end of life, and using these is not controversial

NBC also reports that an argument used in a ruling by the Canadian Supreme Court could gain traction here. That is, in Canada, the fundamental right to life and liberty can be construed as including the right to end one’s life, in some circumstances.

Yes, Jack Kervorkian provoked a lot of debate back around 1993, the same time that gays in the military was being debated. 


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Large employers trending toward making retirement plan participation mandatory, then outsourcing it

Russell Research and Employee Benefit News have reported on up to three trends in modern management of employee retirements plans.

The basic link at Russell ("The Future of Retirement") is here.
One idea is some sort of mandatory risk sharing between employer and associate.

A second idea seems to be making some participation in retirement saving mandatory.
A third idea is outsourcing to large third party providers (like large life insurance companies) for mixes of defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
EBN’s own link is here

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Family Health Group passes a reading list to me for new retirees

I did get an email from “For Family Health” asking me to pass along a series of links for how that groups believes seniors should plan healthful retirement, within an extended family context.
Bloom has a “Guide to Happy Retirement” addressing the desirability of work in retirement, here.
A group that does certification tests has a training session about talking to kids about a grandparent’s terminal illness.
There is a guide for home and family caregivers (as opposed to hired or paid).
There is some old-fashioned advice on the diet.  Eat your vegetables. 
There is a list of most common health concerns (emphasis on respiratory and colon).
There is a home health care group’s guide to Alzheimer’s, including biology.
There is a paper from NIH on what seniors should ask their primary care physicians. 

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Prudential sponsors "Race for Retirement" in DC in October

Prudential Insurance is sponsoring a “Race for Retirement” of 4.01 Kilometers at RFK Stadium in Washington DC on October 4, 2015. 

Here is the link.  
“One short run, to help us all save in the long run” is the caption.  Or, “running for a really good cause: YOU”.  It asks for a pledge to save.


Friday, September 04, 2015

Sometimes, momentum keeps seniors going, with little medical attention

I may be “sloughing” on this blog – not a lot of new that is really new (the debate on means testing keeps getting recycled, and filial responsibility as a news topic hasn’t done much recently). But one thing I’ve noticed, given my recent 72nd birthday (July 10), is the importance of keeping my own momentum.

Yes, I have some issues.  Hip arthritis, constipation (which may be related to blood pressure medication), some nuisance headaches. Some irregular heartbeat (sometimes when waking up from intense dreams).  But if I went to the doctor over these, they’d do every possible test under Medicare, and I’d spiral down into hospital culture.  Medical protocol doesn’t always save lives.

But once I get to the next stage in my own work (yesterday’s post on the main blog), I’ll start getting more conscientious. I should do the colonoscopy, but right now I can’t deal with the disruption of the prep.  If they find something, then what?  I don’t have the social support to do “just anything”. 
My paternal grandfather never got medical attention, was active on his Iowa farm until one Saturday morning he lay down and died at 89 after breakfast. That’s the way it was then.  There wasn’t the pressure to watch everything.  It was a lot better for some people.