Do You Feel Psychotic?

In last week’s Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health reported that twice the percentage of people aged 80 to 84 are being prescribed antipsychotic drugs, when compared to the 65 to 69 year-old age group. While it does seem at least remotely possible that all of you old fogeys have gone clinically insane, it turns out that’s not actually true. Seventy-five percent of seniors given such a prescription actually had no documented mental disorder that year.

 

Senior_Combative

Mixing Seniors with … Seniors?

There have been several successful reports of integrating the elderly with children (e.g., but mixing senior centers and day-care, as this blog has covered before). But, Boston is taking that a little beyond “children”. They’ve decided to put a senior center and a high school in one building. Results so far seem fairly positive, with the groups mingling even if that hasn’t been explicitly encouraged. However, we’ll see in the long term how well senior citizens can tolerate “the youth of today”.

 

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Are Medicare and Social Security Dying?

It seems that since the days they were invented, Social Security and Medicare have been both “the third rail of politics” and “on the verge of failing”. With the recent news on the lack of a COLA increases for 2016, the pundits are out in force. The group we mentioned a few weeks ago — the AMA, affectionately known as “the conservative AARP” — at a tribute for tribute to Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), are bewailing that ‘The Pot is Going to Go Empty…’.

 

Empty Pot

You’ve Heard of The Marriage Penalty, but What about The Age Penalty?

Charles “Doc” Anderson is a State Representative in Texas. He recently wrote an opinion piece in the Waco Tribune which calls out some unique “penalties” in the tax code associated with the elderly. He correctly calls out that not only are seniors typically paying at a higher tax rate than the wealthiest Americans, but also that there are other, less obvious penalties — for example, after the death of a spouse, lowering deductions and personal exemptions. As a senior, this is definitely worth considering in terms of the upcoming election cycle.

Big Phone Scam from Montego Bay, Jamaica

We’ve written before about phone scams, particularly those targeting the elderly. But this particular scam is both big, and close to home. They’re not, infamously, asking you to send money to Nigeria; instead, they’re coming out of Jamaica — praying on seniors for $1,500 a pop to a grand total of over $300 million per year. This CNN video and article claim that the callers have prayed upon the same people so many times, that they may have even driven one senior to suicide. If you have relatives with dementia or Alzheimer’s, take extra care.

Inspiration to Teach Your Kids The Right Thing

Never mind the preposterousness of being threatened with jail time for not mowing your lawn, this is a great story. If you have elderly neighbors, take the opportunity to teach your kids some community spirit, and make sure they’re at least offering to help out their neighbor. Even without the threat of jail, there are probably many people in your community that could use a helping hand, whether it’s mowing the lawn, or running to the store for groceries, or putting a new coat of paint on the house. Helping out our neighbors used to be the American way — let’s ensure it stays that way with the next generation.

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.”

Cleaning Out Home Gutters

While cleaning out gutters is a dreaded task for many homeowners, it must be addressed in order to keep potential structural disasters at bay. Blocked gutters can cause damage to the trim and siding of your home, interior walls, and can even cause leakage in your basement. Listed here are a few tips that may help you when cleaning out your gutters: By rule of thumb, you should clean out your gutters once in the fall, and once each spring. More maintenance may be required, depending on the number of trees in close proximity to your home. You will need a ladder in most cases, and you should use gloves. Remove all debris, and then flush the gutters out with a hose to remove anything that may be left over. If you find any leaks or damaged spots, you can quickly caulk them with gutter sealant. You may want to consider investing in gutter guards, which will make upkeep easier. More here