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Expert Insights

Analysis of trends in senior care, advice for people coping with an aging patent, and health advice for seniors.

How to reduce falls among seniors

Accidental falls pose a significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of seniors, particularly during cold winter months when walkways are often icy and slick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of Americans aged 65 and older fall every year. Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults, resulting in lacerations, hip fractures or even head traumas.

New research from Salk Institute sheds light on why falls happen. For most of us, balance comes naturally. If we start to slip, the body will automatically readjust itself to avoid a fall. This automatic response is the handiwork of a cluster of neurons in the spine.

The impact of negative stereotypes about aging

Have you heard of Aged-Based Stereotype Threat (ABST)? Basically, it means that negative stereotypes about aging can impair the physical and mental functioning of older adults.

The University of Kent’s School of Psychology recently shared the most comprehensive analysis to date of the effect of ABST. Culling evidence from 37 studies, researchers found that when seniors’ feel targeted by negative stereotypes, their memory and overall cognitive performance decreases. Even a small hint that their performance was being judged based on their age caused the seniors to underperform on tasks they might otherwise excel at. Additionally, many seniors who internalize negative aging stereotypes are less likely to seek preventative medical care. As a result, they experience poorer health, limited mobility and even reduced longevity.

Working past retirement

working past retirementAs Americans continue to live longer, healthier lives than previous generations, they’re also working longer than ever before. Although the traditional retirement age is 65, many older adults are working into their seventies and beyond.  For some, working past traditional retirement age may simply be a financial necessity. But it can also provide an outlet for energy and creativity while offering stimulation and a sense of purpose.

Whether you want to change fields or you already retired and want to reenter the workforce, here are some tips to help your job search:

Take care of your brain

Brain healthA brain-healthy lifestyle is essential to aging well. Mental acuity allows us to remain independent and enjoy a higher quality of life. To help promote the brain health of older adults in 2015, Eldercare Locator put out a brochure with tips for maintaining cognitive functioning. It draws on the research and recommendations of the Administration for Community Living, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The brochure, “Brain Health: You Can Make a Difference,” offers the following tips to maintain optimal brain health:

Are you being observed? Inpatient vs. outpatient status

By Diane Weinstein, Executive Director, EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne

Diane WeinsteinDuring a hospital stay, do you know if you’re considered an “outpatient” or “inpatient”? According to AARP, for most patients the distinction between the two labels is meaningless – after all, you are getting exactly the same care. But a label can have costly consequences.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, your hospital status affects how much you pay for services such as X-rays, drugs and lab tests. It may also affect whether Medicare will cover care you get in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare will only cover the care you receive if you first have a “qualifying hospital stay,” which means you have been a hospital inpatient for at least three days in a row, counting the day you were admitted, but not counting the day of your discharge.