Still Pluses and Minuses

Reverse mortgages can be a serious boon for some seniors. And with changes in regulations over the last few years, they’re not the danger that they once were. But that doesn’t mean that they’re completely without risk, either. CNBC covers some of the things you need to consider to make sure that a reverse mortgage is the right choice for you. There are some added expenses that you’ll definitely want to take into account before heading down this road. “reverse mortgages are best suited for homeowners who are healthy, intend to stay in their home for the long haul and are financially stable but may need extra cash to supplement Social Security or pay off medical bills.”

Go Get A Pet!

If you’re over the age of 65, then there’s a very good change that you both had a pet at sometime in your life, and that you don’t have one now. It’s time to change that. Not only are pets nice (come on, you remember how much you loved your dog or cat, don’t you?), but there’s a growing body of research that indicates pet ownership, particularly among the elderly, has positive effects — and they’re not just psychological; physiological benefits also occur. Everyday Health goes into this in greater depth including providing some tips on making the right choices in pet ownership.

Italy, Germany Provide Glimpse into U.S. Future

Well, it looks like you’re about to be encumbered — between aging relatives and stay-at-home adult children. Italy and Germany now have 1-in-5 people over age 65, a demographic state of affairs the U.S. will reach in approximately 2050. The Washington Post reports on a Pew Research study looking at those countries, to get a glimpse of our future. There are lots of interesting statistics in here, but the most eye-catching is attitudes towards providing hands-on care for your elderly relatives. One-in-four Italians provide such support, but currently only 14% of Americans.

Good News / Bad News on Senior Health

Which do you want first? The good news or the bad? Well, the good news is, the number of preventable hospitalizations amongst seniors is down 11% since 2013. That’s excellent! However, there’s a 15% increase in the number of elderly who do not get enough exercise regularly. Fierce Healthcare covers the America’s Health Rankings report in more detail, but the bottom line is clear, and it’s been said on this blog before. Get out there and get moving! Come on — don’t you want to do better than Mother Tally? Make it a goal to be playing your sport until you’re 105!

WSJ Critiques Financial Regulatory Improvement Act

Last week Wednesday, this blog reported on Sen. Shelby’s discussion draft of The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015. For those of you who are inclined to delve a little deeper into these things, and who haven’t already done so, you may be interested in the Wall Street Journal’s critique of the draft. The upshot is, the particular way the bill proposes to loosen the requirements around qualified mortgages may, in fact, put banks in a worse position than they were before the 2008 collapse — and no one wants to see that again. Well worth the read if you have an opinion on banks’ ability to self-assess their risks.

If You Think Getting Old Is Hard, Try Doing It In Prison

In the opening episode of The News Room, the character Will McAvoy goes on a tirade, ultimately declaring that the only thing America is #1 at is putting people in prison. It’s fiction, and the scene is intentionally hyperbolic and inflammatory, but the reality is, the War on Drugs put a lot of people in jail for a very long time. And no matter what your politics, the truth is also that we as a society are bearing the costs as inmates age. In 2010 there were nearly a quarter of a million elderly in prison, and the Federal healthcare costs alone were over $1 billion. The Washington Post provides a very detailed article for those who want to dig deeper.

Throw A Prom for Seniors!

There seems to be a trend over the last 4–6 weeks: lots and lots of places are throwing proms for senior citizens. And it seems to be with good reason. Of course, since it’s Older Americans Month, now is a good time to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than a dance? But it’s more than just that. Based on many of these news stories, it appears that re-experiencing a prom can be an even more special experience for seniors of the citizen variety than it is for high-school seniors. So, if you’re looking to organize a community event, why not consider a “senior” prom?

3 More Ways to Avoid Being Scammed

A little more than half-way through this month’s celebration — Older Americans Month — Reform Online Lending provides some additional tips beyond those this blog covered from the FBI last week, to help seniors help avoid scams. Here are ways to recognize the most common scams involving consumer loans: no reputable lender will require you to pay by wire or send payments to a personal account; no reputable lender will ever threaten you with arrest or criminal charges; and no reputable lender will promise credit. You can take those tips to the bank.

Have You Heard of “Elder Orphans”?

We know what Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are. We may be a little confused on Gen-Y vs. Millennial, but we know a golf-widow when we see one. But have you heard of “Elder Orphans”? The newness of the epithet notwithstanding, it’s actually based on a fairly shocking statistic. Apparently 25% of Americans (1 in 4) over the age of 65 either are, or are in danger of becoming, an elder orphan. The Economic Times reports on the issue which clearly represents a demographic change from even a few decades ago when the notion of an elderly person not having any family was certainly a rarity.

Meet Robear

The Japanese have become infamous for some of their seemingly crazy inventions: from round, whole-glass sized ice cubes to the solar cigarette lighter. But this crazy invention just might be the future of elder care. The Verge covers Toshiharu Mukai’s invention in more detail. Mukai hopes the bear will be more than just cute and powerful — that it will take care of you in the future.