Stories & Tips

AARP is Taking on High Prescription Prices

AARP is Taking on High Prescription Prices

It’s no secret that the cost of prescription drugs is ridiculously high. It seems like pharmaceutical companies are too powerful to take on. AARP has had enough and is going to use its huge membership and the power it has to take on high prescription prices. The organization wants answers as to why Americans are paying so much compared to the rest of the world.

AARP is Taking on High Prescription Prices

AARP is Taking on High Prescription Prices

 

No one has enough savings for retirement, and they end up relying on social security to survive. According to the State Director of AARP-NH, Todd Fahey, the average Social Security benefit in NH, is around $1,350 a month. The average older adult takes at least four or five pills a day. It seems impossible to be able to afford those medications and have enough money to live.

The average prescription price has increased by around 57.88 percent between 2012 and 2017. Social Security only increased by 13.2 percent during that same time.

Many people end up rationing their medications to try to save money.

There’s been a massive shift in how insurance works, and most of the time, the price falls on the patient. Even generic drugs are rising.

Doctors and pharmacies are doing their best to help patients by negotiating with drug companies, getting grants, or manufacturer rebates.

AARP has had enough and has started their own program, StopRxGreed.

“AARP has three main goals to our program. We want to be able to explore the importation of drugs from other countries, and we want transparency to know why there has been such a tremendous increase in the cost of the drugs that people need. We need to understand the reasoning that makes these companies feel justified in charging such prices. ” Todd Fahey

The program wants to start with allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription prices.

Read more here.

Rise of the “Gray Gamers” and How Video Games Improve the Brain

Rise of the "Gray Gamers" and How Video Games Improve the Brain

There are more older adults playing video games than ever. The rise of the “Gray Gamers,” as they’re known, are making video games part of their daily routine. What started out as a way to bond with grandchildren has opened up a whole new world for older adults. Video games can even improve the brain and make reaction speeds faster.

Rise of the "Gray Gamers" and How Video Games Improve the Brain

Rise of the “Gray Gamers”

 

Forty-four percent of adults fifty and older play video games at least once a month, and that number is growing. In 2016, there was only 38 percent. That means that the Gray Gamer population has grown from 40.2 million people to 50.6 million.

People between 50 and 59 are the biggest population of older gamers at 49 percent. It then slowly tapers downward from 60 and older.

Online gaming seems more popular than the traditional console gaming because most older gamers use their smartphones or other mobile devices.

Though there many older gamers that buy games or accessories, overall spending on gaming has increased since 2016.

Gaming Improving the Brain

 

Playing video games improves older adults’ brains in a variety of ways. More than half of gamers say that playing video games relieves stress and anxiety. It’s a great way for those who can’t go out or struggle to move to have enjoyment every day.

Games also keep their minds engage and sharp through different types of missions and reactions. A favorite genre of games for those fifty or older are puzzle/ logic and card/tile games. The least popular is education and sport-oriented games.

There are many types of games that promote physical and mental health as well.

Playing games online keep seniors more social. Many online systems allow for chatting so that people can connect to friends all over the world.

Read more here.

Illiteracy Could Increase Dementia Risk

Illiteracy Could Increase Dementia Risk

The United States Department of Education says that one in five adults have low literacy abilities, meaning around 43 million adults. New research is suggesting that illiteracy could increase dementia risk in older adults.

Illiteracy Could Increase Dementia Risk

Illiteracy Could Increase Dementia Risk

 

Jennifer J. Manly, Ph.D. of Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, was in charge of the study. She explains the connection between reading and brain health.

“Being able to read and write allows people to engage in more activities that use the brain, like reading newspapers and helping children and grandchildren with homework.”

Using your brain in this way has been shown that it reduces the risk of dementia because it keeps the brain active and flexible.

In the study, Manly and her team surveyed and tested 983 people living in New York with low levels of formal education. Most of them had been born and raised in rural parts of the Dominican Republic. On average, the people were 77 years old and had gone to school for a maximum of four years.

Asking the participants if they ever learned to read or write, they discovered that 237 people were, illiterate and 746 were literate.

As a baseline for the study, participants had medical exams and took tests that focus on memory and reasoning. The participants then retook these tests every 18 months to two years for an average of four years.

At the start of the study, 83 out of the 237 (48%) people who could not read or write already had dementia. Compare that to the literate group, only 134 out of 746 (27%) people had dementia.

After adjusting for factors like socioeconomic status, age, and cardiovascular conditions, the study shows that people who are illiterate are twice as likely to develop dementia than those who can read and write. They also found that literacy was linked to higher scores on memory and thinking tests overall.

Even if a person was in school for only a few years, having the ability to read and write can make a huge difference.

Read more here.

360 SHS Featured in the Bedford Bulletin!

360 SHS Featured in the Bedford Bulletin!

360 SHS was featured in the latest Bedford Bulletin! The article titled “Local Senior Care Owners Launch New Services to Benefit Aging Population” shares information about opening new offices.360 SHS Featured in the Bedford Bulletin!

360 SHS Featured in the Bedford Bulletin

 

Here is the article in full:

New Boston resident Judy Loubier was managing an outpatient physical therapy department when her mother had a stroke in Florida. Because her father was struggling with caring for her on his own, Loubier was flying back and forth from New Hampshire to Florida on a regular basis.

On one of these visits to Florida, Loubier’s mother had another medical emergency, and she had to choose whether to fly back to be with her son or stay home with her mother. Knowing that many other people are in this same position, Loubier was looking for a way to assist families and ensure that aging folks maintained a high quality of life.

When she boarded her plane home from that trip, she found an ad for Seniors Helping Seniors in the in-flight magazine. This serendipitous moment led to Loubier and her husband, Randy, opening a Seniors Helping Seniors location at 360 Route 101, Suite 3B, in Bedford, in May 2012.

After seven years of helping Bedford area families, the Loubiers saw a need for increased services to ensure all clients receive appropriate care for their specific needs.

On Aug. 1, with the addition of complex medical home care, medication administration, prescription management, pill minders, skilled nursing, hospital and rehabilitation discharge, the Loubiers officially rebranded as 360 SHS, now offering a full circle of care.

“We know from firsthand experience how difficult it can be to care for an aging loved one- and that no two people are the same,” said Loubier. We’ve expanded our service offerings to offer a holistic, all-encompassing experience, and to ensure that every client receives the appropriate services for their unique situation.”

The rollout of these new services comes at the same time that the Seniors Helping Seniors brand is announcing their 360 standards to re-emphasize its commitment to providing loving, compassionate care to seniors who want to age in place.

In addition to serving the aging community through 360 SHS, Loubier is a certified dementia practitioner, certified senior advisor, Alzheimer’s Association speaker, and volunteer, and author of a book called “Why We Care.”

She is a frequent keynote speaker in New Hampshire on senior care issues and will be speaking at Parkinson’s Education Day in Lebanon on May 2.

New Ultrasound Technology Could Help with Parkinson’s Symptoms

New Ultrasound Technology Could Help with Parkinson's Symptoms

A new study has shown that a minimally invasive procedure may be able to help with Parkinson’s symptoms. Using magnetic resonance-guided focus ultrasound (MRgFUS), researchers can focus sound energy beams. The energy beams can target parts of the brain.

New Ultrasound Technology Could Help with Parkinson's Symptoms

New Ultrasound Technology Could Help with Parkinson’s Symptoms

 

Until now, deep brain stimulation has been the most commonly used procedure to help with Parkinson’s symptoms. It has been somewhat successful. The problem is that it can cause bleeding and infections. A surgeon has to put a small electrode into the brain. The implant connects with a pacemaker-like device in a person’s chest.

With this new procedure, MRgFUS, there doesn’t need to be any incision and has fewer risks.

But how does this work?

The machine is placed on the opposite side of the body where tremors are. So if you have tremors on your right side, the device goes on your left. The machine will then relieve the tremors using focused sound energy.

While this technique is a form of therapy, it’s not readily available. It’s only done in a few places around the world. As this study on MRgFUS spreads throughout the world, patients will be able to advocate for the therapy to be more readily available.

Read more about the study and the machine here.

How to Choose a Personal Medical Alert Device

How to Choose a Personal Medical Alert Device

Having the right personal medical alert device can be a matter of life and death. Having a way to call for help in the palm of your hand is essential for an emergency. The problem is there are a lot of devices out there, and not all of them are of quality.

How to Choose a Personal Medical Alert Device

How to Choose a Personal Medical Alert Device

 

Personal medical alert devices come in different forms. Some are better suited than others, depending on your needs. While having a separate device may seem annoying, you can’t necessarily rely on smartphones for help. You may not have it on you all the time, unlike something you wear.

Three Important Questions to Ask

 

Home or Mobile System?

Orginal alert devices were made to work in your home with a landline telephone. While the way of landlines is fading fast, you can still choose to use this type of device. Many companies use cellular networks instead of landlines. You would wear a call button that would let you talk to a dispatcher through the base unit installed in your home.

Mobile systems are rising in popularity due to the freedom they give users. They use cell networks and GPS technology to help locate you and alert dispatchers. GPS is helpful because if you press the button and can’t talk, people can find you.

So are you someone that doesn’t leave the house often, or are you always on the go? That will be the ultimate deciding factor between these two styles.

Do You Want Your System Be Monitored or Not?

What’s the difference between a system that’s monitored and one that isn’t? Monitored systems immediately connect you to someone in a 24/7 dispatch center. A non-monitored system would connect to you to someone on your emergency contact list. Some non-monitored systems can connect you to different people and then emergency services if you don’t get any answers from your loved ones.

Another big difference is the price. Monitored systems have a monthly fee on top of the original price to buy them. Un-monitored devices usually have the cost of the product itself.

Do You Need a Fall Detection Feature?

Some companies have the option of adding fall detection for an additional fee. With this feature, the device will call the dispatch center if it senses a fall.

Though, the technology isn’t perfected yet, leading to a lot of false alarms.

Other Things You Can Check

Once you answer these questions, there are more ways to narrow your search. Try checking return policies, see if you can get a deal, look at reviews, and see if you can get a free trial to test it out.

Read more here.

5 Ways You Can Tighten Your Skin

5 Ways You Can Tighten Your Skin

Your skin starts to loosen as you get older, usually starting around age thirty-five and forty. It loosens because you begin to lose collagen networks that help retain moisture. There are ways that you can tighten your skin without getting invasive procedures.

5 Ways You Can Tighten Your Skin

5 Ways You Can Tighten Your Skin

Other reasons your skin can loosen is menopause, UV light damage, artificial tanning, certain medications, skin products that have harsh chemicals, smoking, and alcohol.

1. Exercise

Not only does exercise keep you healthy, but it can keep skin tight too. Endurance exercise can lessen the effect of age-related skin changes. It does this by improving tissue metabolism by stimulating the release of a hormone that helps with skin health.

2. Firming Products

There are different types of gels, creams, patches, and other products for tight skin. Look for products that have retinoid compounds. They are antioxidants that boost collagen making.

Know that they aren’t a perfect solution. The product may not be able to penetrate deep enough into the skin.

3. Supplements

Nutritional supplements can have anti-aging and antisagging effects. Look for collagen hydrolysate and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, D, and E, selenium, and zinc.

Make sure not to take too many supplements, or you’ll get sick.

4. Massage

Massage improves blood flow and stimulates fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells that produce connective tissues like collagen and elastin. It can also increase mitochondrial production, which plays a huge role in tissue and cellular metabolism. There has been a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and skin aging.

You could use a massage device or get it done professionally.

5.  Nonsurgical Procedures

There are nonsurgical procedures that can help tighten skin, though they don’t help with severe issues. They don’t have any cutting or punctures and usually only cause slight swelling and redness.

These procedures once again focus on boosting collagen, but they can have access to different layers of skin, unlike products.

Read more here.

New Study Shows What Our Brains Do While We Sleep

New Study Shows What Our Brains Do While We Sleep

We all know that sleep is essential. It keeps us healthy, happy, and sharp. We also know that a lot of stuff happens in our sleep that heals our body. Now, a new study shows what our brains do while we sleep.

New Study Shows What Our Brains Do While We Sleep

New Study Shows What Our Brains Do While We Sleep

 

Researchers at Boston University found that the fluid in the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid) washes in and out like waves. This means it helps the brain get rid of the garbage that we accumulated during the day.

The study had thirteen people between the ages of twenty-three and thirty-three. They all agreed to get brain scans while sleeping, which means they had to wear EEG caps while sleeping in MRI machines.

They aren’t exactly comfortable. Participants had a hard time falling asleep due to that and how noisy the machines are.

Once participants fell asleep, researchers were able to see that cerebrospinal fluid seemed to synchronize with brainwaves. They estimate that this helps get rid of brain waste. The waste can include potentially toxic proteins that could form buildups in the brain. This can cause the process of information flow between neurons to slow down.

Researchers also believe this explains that normal aging can be tied with poorer self-cleaning of the brain. As you get older, your brain tends to create fewer slow waves that can reduce blood flow in the brain.

The research team wants to do more research to answer some questions. They would like to recruit older participants to look at how natural aging affects cerebrospinal fluid’s work. They also want to figure out how brainwaves, blood flow in the brain, and cerebrospinal fluid synchronize to get rid of garbage.

Read more here.

Board Games Can Help Keep Your Mind Sharp

Board Games Can Help Keep Your Mind Sharp

Have you been playing enough games lately? They aren’t just for kids and kids at heart. Different studies have shown that they can help keep your mind sharp.

Board Games Can Help Keep Your Mind Sharp

Board Games Can Help Keep Your Mind Sharp

 

Computers games have long been established as an excellent way for older adults to keep sharp, but now researchers are looking to unplug.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the UK looked at 1,091 people who were born in 1936. They used a study from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936, a study that evaluated the mental and cognitive abilities over a long period of time. The Lothian study measured people’s cognitive function at 11, 70,73, 76, and 79 using fourteen different tests.

As part of the new study done by Edinburgh, researchers asked people 70 or 76  how often they played board games, cards, chess, bingo, or crosswords.

The data showed that people who play more games in their 70s were more likely to have healthier cognitive functions in their later years. People who played board games had less relative cognitive decline from 11 to 70, and less decline between 70 and 79.

Future research will be done to see if some games are better than others.

Read more here.

8 Myths About Dehydration Busted

6 Surprising Reasons You're Thirsty

Dehydration is an easy way to land yourself in the hospital. The problem is, there are many conflicting theories about it that it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s a myth. Here are eight common misconceptions about dehydration.

8 Myths About Dehydration Busted

8 Myths About Dehydration Busted

 

1. Being Thirsty Equals Being Dehydrated

The most common idea about dehydration is wrong. Dehydration is the natural loss of water through a variety of bodily functions.  The kidneys control the water balance in your body. If they sense you need more water, they tell your brain it’s time to drink. Think of being thirsty as a warning instead of a sign that you are already dehydrated.

2. You Need to Drink Eight Glasses of Water Daily

There is such a thing as drinking too much water. If your heart and kidneys are compromised, it can lead to congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, or even water intoxication.

How do you figure out how much to drink?

The best thing to do is to talk to your primary about it. But, if you can’t see them soon, you can use the eight glasses as a base. If you are smaller and don’t sweat a lot, less than eight will be good to keep your water balance. If you’re larger or sweat a lot, you may need more than eight.

3. Drink Water First Thing in the Morning

You do not need to start your day with water. If you are thirsty and want to drink water, that’s fine, but sleeping for eight hours doesn’t mean you wake up dehydrated.

It’s okay to reach for coffee first.

4. Coconut Water is the Best Recovery Drink

It’s been rumored that drinking coconut water is best for post-workout. Only, it contains fewer calories than other potassium-rich fluids. Plain water is fine, and coconuts can cause dangerously high potassium levels in those who have kidney problems.

5. Over Hydrating

As mentioned before, water intoxication is a thing, and drinking too much can be lethal. It’s called hyponatremia, which is when you ingest too much water and cause a decreased concentration of sodium in the body. It leads to confusion, convulsions, and even death.

6. Electrolyte Filled Drinks are Best

While Gatorade commercials show how it saves athletes from dehydration all the time, it’s actually not as good as you think. For light activities, it’s not needed. Plus, all the sugar and high fructose corn syrup can be extremely harmful in large doses.

7. Caffeine Causes Dehydration

Coffee lovers celebrate! The idea of coffee being dehydrating is wrong. Though if you had a ton of caffeine, then dehydration can happen. That means lots of cups of coffee, not just one or two.

Energy supplements or drinks, on the other hand, can be dehydrating because of the amount of caffeine in them.

8. Urine is the Best Sign of Hydration

The color of your urine is a good indication of your hydration status, but there are other indicators. If you take multivitamins or are on a high-protein diet, the color could be dark. Instead of just color, look at volume. The more you put in your body, the more that should come out.

Read more here.