If you’ve read this blog for a while, then you’re certainly aware of the continual, ever-growing fraud perpetrated against seniors. But today, we have positive news on the other side of that problem. State regulators, in the form of North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA — a group of securities regulators from U.S. states, Canada and Mexico) are working on model laws that all states could implement. As of June 12th, 3 states had enacted laws specifically to protect seniors; but model legislation can help the process move more quickly through other states.
Dr. Nina Radcliff put together this list for the Washington Post, and while it’s not strictly speaking for seniors only, we certainly thinks it applies to you folks just as well as everyone else. The goals of the tips are to take advantage of the Goldilocks weather that comes in the autumn (not too hot, and not too cold), while simultaneously fighting off any seasonal-affective disorder that may be sneaking up on you. And, of course, since she’s a doctor, she also reminds you to wash your hands and get a flu shot.
With the growing elderly population, their financial stability, and the revenue possibilities, it should be no surprise that startups are finally starting to look at seniors as a viable market. Kylie Gumpert reports for Reuters on a number of companies in this space, covering primarily monitoring equipment startups — the 21st Century solution to “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”. It remains to be seen if “Nurse Molly” will be better than Siri, but Price Waterhouse Coopers expects these startups to disrupt the current $64 billion industry.
This 3-star review of Nancy Meyer’s latest film, The Intern, concludes, “As Meyers films usually are, ‘The Intern’ is a clumsy but diabolically brilliant commercial for American prosperity.” So, you may or may not want to go see the film. But, we found the review itself to be fairly inspiring. It does seem true “that retirees with a lifetime of real-world experience in both life and business would have a lot to contribute to any business and a lot of free time to do it in.” Maybe there should be more senior-citizen interns.
Inspired, we can only imagine, but this blog’s discovery of the Russian scientists believe that aikido helps prevent the elderly from falling, Minnesota’s commissioners of human services and health are currently promoting the benefits of tai chi in reduces falls amongst the elderly. OK, we’ll admit: maybe it wasn’t our article. Maybe their inspiration was a publication from the Oregon Research Institute, which shows that a “24-week tai chi course was more effective in preventing falls among people with Parkinson’s disease than conventional and more costly stretching and strength programs”.
It’s official. As of 4:23AM, EDT, this morning, the autumnal equinox was upon us (don’t get us started on why daylight savings time changes don’t align with the equinox). And that means, from here on out, the days are going to be shorter than the nights (though curiously, sunrise and sunset times do not change equally). But don’t get too alarmed just yet. First, it means this blog will have plenty of great, autumnal posts over the next 3 months. And second, the NOAA predicts above average temperatures at least through the middle of October.
Not to be alarmist or anything, because the risk is apparently quite small, but, did you know we still have the plague? That’s right, the bubonic plague is still out there in the wild, and in fact, four people have died from it in the U.S. this year. For the elderly and young, where it’s particularly dangerous, special care should be taken in rural areas, or when handling dead, wild animals. But mostly, this author is just baffled that the plague still exists. Also, apparently that nursery rhyme is not actually about the plague, urban legend notwithstanding.
OK, granted, the source of this article is a little unusual — but it still makes perfect sense, and sounds like good advice, so here you go. As you know, this blog has covered the issue of falling, several times over the last few months. Well, Russian scientists have decided that the solution is to practice aikido. We all know that exercise is good for you, but aikido does, in fact, focus quite a bit of attention on balance, and is something that isn’t generally too stressful for the elderly. Plus, the scientists got their inspiration from astronauts!
OK, I acknowledge — readers of this blog are not predominantly teenage girls. So, why am I referencing a Cosmopolitan article this week? Because they make some valid points, at least one of which directly applies to seniors. Their article, 5 Issues Wednesday Night’s GOP Debate Failed to Cover, correctly points out that the candidates didn’t discuss voting rights — and voter registration is a big deal for the elderly. Of course, we’re still a ways from the primaries, but regardless of your political affiliation, don’t you want to know where the candidates come down on these issues?
Ronan Mangcucang Factora, MD, of the Center for Geriatric Medicine, wrote a column today on the risks of falling amongst the elderly. The article stresses that falls amongst those over age 65 can often be extremely damaging, if not outright deadly. But Dr. Factora provides a number of suggestions on how to mitigate your risk. Of course, some factors can’t really be changed (e.g., Parkinson’s disease), but many can be. Take a look at the article, and then see if your doctor can help you reduce the risk of severe damage from falling.