Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Voting Guide for Individuals with Cognitive Impairment

The ABA Commission on Law & Aging, along with the Penn Memory Center,  has announced the release of a new voting guide, Assisting Cognitively Impaired Individuals with Voting: A QUICK GUIDE.

Here's the intro to the guide

Difficulties in communication can occur when interacting with a person who has cognitive impairment. The techniques and tips described in this guide will help make sure that your communication is as effective as possible and within the limits of assistance permitted by election laws.
These techniques and tips are especially important when interacting with persons who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another brain illness or disorder such as stroke or head injury.

The guide discusses capacity to vote, communication challenges, and listening skills. The guide offers 10 case studies with suggestions for those who may be assisting such voters.

An underlying principle here is that people should not be treated any diferently in voting rights based on any perceived impairment or other personal characteristic. People whose mental capacities are clearly intact may vote for candidates based on any whim or reason, rational or irrational. Similarly, for persons with some level of cognitive impairment, if they can indicate a desire to participate in the voting process and they can indicate a choice among available ballot selections, their reasons for such choice are not relevant.

The full guide is available here. 

September 23, 2020 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other | Permalink

Friday, September 18, 2020

Ombudsman Safety Bags

Here's a cool idea from the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center:  Ombudsman Safety Bags! As states begin to allow visits for residents of LTC facilities, ombudsmen, among others, need to keep themselves, and others, safe.  The safety bags include  "an Ombudsman imprinted face mask, hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, and resources specifically for Ombudsman programs. The resources include tips for Ombudsman program communication, a tip sheet about self-care, NORS FAQs related to COVID-19, 25 Ombudsman program promotion postcards, and COVID-19 Recovery and Reentry Resources."  It seems that these bags would be helpful for any professional who interacts with others, especially in cases where attorneys make home visits to their clients. 

I just wanted to share something positive with you, so there you have it!

September 18, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Florida Allows LImited Visits to SNF/ALF

The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that the Florida Governor was authorizing visitation of residents in SNFs and ALFs in certain circumstances, DeSantis says yes, but will Florida nursing homes reopen to visitors? The order, which was effective on September 1, still requires that visitors maintain social distance. "The governor’s executive order...  end[ed] the five-month ban on visitors at long-term care facilities that he imposed in an effort to protect the state’s most vulnerable residents from the coronavirus. The order will continue to allow visits from those deemed essential or compassionate caregivers, including in facilities that have had recent positive tests." The order is optional and the SNFs and ALFs can choose to not allow visitors.

The final report of the task force appointed by the Florida governor is available here.

September 15, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 11, 2020

Legal Issues in Using AI for Caregiving

Computer Weekly recently addressed the legal issues that may occur when using technology for caregiving AI may be a solution to the social care crisis, but what are the legal concerns?,  looks at the caregiving situation in the U.K.  Building on the story from yesterday about the robot "Pepper" who can carry on conversations, the article highlights some legal issues, such as an individual's privacy. 

Consider this-the robot could report concerns about abuse, for example, "the technology might provide a report, supported by video evidence, to family members or those with the legal responsibility of care, such as attorneys or deputies, who can then review such material. It can easily become part of a care home contract to consent to such filming, although it is vital that this is handled in a sensitive manner and regularly deleted to ensure that a resident’s privacy is protected." The article notes concerns about "sensitive personal data." Would residents provide consent? Who would consent if a resident lacks capacity. As the article concludes, "[W]e must never forget who is at the heart of these considerations, and the legal framework needs to catch up with the technology to protect them and for it to have a viable chance of success."

Thanks to Professor Feeley for sending me this article.

September 11, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Health Care/Long Term Care, International, Other, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Lonely? Robot Companions May Help

The Guardian recently published an article about the use of robots in long term care facilities to combat loneliness of residents. Robots to be used in UK care homes to help reduce loneliness describes the roll these robots can play in interacting with residents.  These are not your "normal" robots, but then I don't know what one would consider a "normal" robot. These robots, on wheels, "called “Pepper”, move independently and gesture with robotic arms and hands and are designed to be “culturally competent”, which means that after some initial programming they learn about the interests and backgrounds of care home residents. This allows them to initiate rudimentary conversations, play residents’ favourite music, teach them languages, and offer practical help including medicine reminders."  The researchers not that these robots do not replace human caregivers but instead supplement them.  The robots were tested in the U.K. and Japan and researchers found that those residents who spent time with the robots for "18 hours across two weeks had a significant improvement in their mental health. There was a small but positive impact on loneliness severity among users and the system did not increase feelings of loneliness...." 

Robots, whether "Pepper" or others, do have limitations--for example, they aren't human.  The article reports some of the limitations mentioned, such as their chats with residents were lacking some depth, were impersonal and lacked cultural awareness. Their movements were, shall we say, robotic. But imagine, a robot that can hold a conversation with you.  This can be a great tool, to supplement human caregivers!

Thanks to Professor Feeley for sending me the article.

September 10, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, International, Other, Science | Permalink

Monday, August 24, 2020

ASA Reveals Digital Platform, Generations

If you are a member of the American Society on Aging (ASA), you already know that ASA has revamped its journal and other publications to its digital platform, Generations.

There are now four digital publications available from the landing page, including the Journal, Generations Journal (quarterly), Generations Today (news publication, six times/year), Generations Now (blog and commentary) and finally, Generations Bylines, a new podcast that interviews authors and researchers in the field of aging. It's a great resource for our students, especially if you want them to stay updated on the trends in the field. (Full disclosure, I"m on the ASA board).


August 24, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Other | Permalink

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Need for Support for Grandparent Caregivers-GAO Report

Earlier this week, the GAO issued a new report, CHILD WELFARE AND AGING PROGRAMS: HHS Could Enhance Support for Grandparents and Other Relative Caregivers.

Here are the highlights

In 2018, an estimated 2.7 million children lived with kin caregivers— grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends—because their parents were unable to care for them. Most of these children were cared for outside the foster care system, which can affect the types of services and supports available. While children did not live with parents for a variety of reasons, parental substance abuse and incarceration were often cited in data and in interviews with program officials.

Challenges faced by kin caregivers include having limited financial resources and needing legal assistance, particularly when caring for children outside foster care, according to survey data and studies GAO reviewed. This is, in part, because licensed foster parents generally receive foster care maintenance payments and other services. Officials in selected communities said they have addressed some challenges by, for example, providing temporary payments or legal representation to eligible kin caregivers. However, officials also said that program eligibility criteria or insufficient funds can limit availability or result in waiting lists.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides technical assistance and other support to help states use federal programs and initiatives established to serve kin caregivers. HHS officials said that these programs are optional, so they mainly provide assistance in response to states' requests. However, this approach has not led to widespread use. For example, 23 states used the option under the National Family Caregiver Support Program to serve older relative caregivers with 1 percent or more of their fiscal year 2016 funds (spent through 2018). State officials said they would like more guides or tools for using these programs. By not proactively sharing information and best practices, HHS may be missing opportunitiesto help states better support kin caregivers.


GAO is making two recommendations to HHS on sharing information and best practices with states about federal programs that serve kin caregivers. HHS did not concur, stating that the agency already provides ongoing support. GAO maintains that implementing these recommendations would be helpful.

The full report is available here.

August 14, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Rosie the Riveter-Still Making a Difference

I hope everyone knows the story of the Rosie the Riveter, and the difference they made during WWII.  One of the Rosie the Riverters is still making a difference, according to a recent story in the Washington Post.  94-year-old ‘Rosie the Riveter’ once made warplanes and red bandannas. Now she makes face masks with the same cloth. features Mae Krier, who has continued to make a difference. "For many years, Krier has paid tribute to her beloved Rosie the Riveters by making red bandannas with white polka dots — a style shown in J. Howard Miller’s iconic Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It!” poster for Westinghouse Electric. Since the war against the novel coronavirus started, Krier shifted her energy from making Rosie bandannas to Rosie face masks, cut from the same cotton cloth."

The article provides a nice history of the Rosier the Riveters, which is a good read for our students, who may not know the story.  Ms. Krier also explains the can do attitude of the Riveters and how she sees it applying to the pandemic.   She also expressed to the reporter her reactions to the pandemic and masks:

[S]he is frustrated and disheartened to see how many Americans are fighting safety measures and refusing to wear masks. Nurses, she said, are the new Rosie the Riveters, and hospitals are the new battlefield with coronavirus patients.

“We’re fighting a different kind of war — a terrible virus,” she said. “Where is the ‘We can do it’ spirit?”
To learn more or to order a mask, visit the Honor Rosie Facebook page. To learn more about Ms. Krier and the Rosies, click here.

August 11, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Pandemic Scams

Not surprising, but come on scammers.  Well anyway, there's a proliferation of scams tied to COVID, not that any of us should find this unexpected.  See, e.g., Corona Virus Scams,  recently published in the ABA Senior Lawyers Division magazine, Voice of Experience.

So it was good news to see The Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act would help prevent scammers from taking advantage of seniors during the coronavirus pandemic and future emergencies introduced in the Senate.  Here's the info about the bill:

The Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report to Congress on scams targeting seniors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and make recommendations on how to prevent future scams during emergencies. The bill also directs the FTC to update its website with information that will help seniors and their caregivers access contacts for law enforcement and adult protective agencies, and directs the FTC to coordinate with the media to distribute this information to ensure seniors and their caregivers are informed. 

Keep an eye on this bill; hopefully it will get some traction!

June 3, 2020 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

In Memory of Kenney Hegland

Professor Hegland died over the weekend.  The following is courtesy of Robert Fleming:

Kenney Hegland, long-time law professor, author, and advocate for various causes, died in Tucson on May 30, 2020. He had been a major force in the lives of many law students and lawyers for a half century.

Prof. Hegland arrived in Tucson (in 1971) as a 30-year-old lawyer with four years of experience, to help run the Neighborhood Law Office. The NLO, a clinical program offered by the University of Arizona College of Law, was the brainchild of Kenney and fellow young lawyer Andy Silverman. The two of them defined law school clinical programs in Arizona for the next couple decades. The idea of standalone clinical programs was brand-new, exciting and not a little bit edgy. It was a perfect fit for his vigorous, eclectic and avant garde style.

The NLO offered a generation of law students an opportunity to better understand the mechanics of client management and the economics of law practice. It was an excellent idea, much beloved by those who went through it. Of course it couldn’t last.

But Prof. Hegland did. He moved into the academic arena with gusto. He wrote extensively – his writing credits include sole or joint authorship of two dozen books and dozens of articles. His interests were wide – from legal clinics, to law-related education for high school students, to mental health issues to aging and the law. In fact, that last interest blossomed into our continuing collaboration, beginning in about 2005.

I had often said that Kenney Hegland was one of the most interesting and inspiring teachers I never took a class from. Working with him for the last fifteen years has deepened that belief. He was driven. He was remarkably funny and literate to an extent that helped me maintain my humility. He was acerbic, and affectionate, and always looking for a new way to help other people. He would have been perfectly okay with getting rich while offering help, but the help was more important than the riches.

Kenney and I wrote three books together (one of them twice). We had vigorous discussions on many issues – from the significance of living wills (he called them “Suggestions, Not Demands” in an article in the Arizona Attorney in 2004) to the utility of YouTube videos (he created one, ironically, on hospice care earlier this year – see

But here’s the thing I’ll always remember best about Kenney: he didn’t think the study of law should be about reading cases, diagramming holdings and annotating casebooks. Students in his elder law seminar at the UofA were required to visit a senior center, or talk with patients in a local nursing home, or ride along with Meals-on-Wheels providers. They were also given novels to read and discuss, or topical movies to watch. He wanted them to learn about humanity while studying the law.

Kenney’s favorite class, which he taught for many years: Law & Humanities. What an opportunity for him! It helped him focus on a half dozen pieces of literature with a legal tinge – but seldom more than a passing reference to the law. And it gave him another reason to read voraciously and discuss intellectually – with co-presenters, local attorneys he drafted into co-teaching, and students who must not have known what was about to hit them.

Kenney’s wife, retired Judge Barbara Sattler, wrote a few books herself, including two novels focused on legal issues (“Dog Days” in 2013, and “Behind the Robe” in 2019). Not to be outdone, Kenney tried his hand at the genre, as well – his 2014 novel “Law Prof” was about – well, you can guess.

Prof. Hegland leaves behind his wife Barbara and four children. He was immensely proud of all of them, and truly enjoyed a late-life opportunity to practice law in connection with one. He also leaves a legacy of nearly half a century of law students, most of whom are likely to say that he was one of the most energized, inspiring and humane teachers they ever had.

Thank you Professor Hegland. You will be remembered.

June 2, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 1, 2020

ABA Commission on Law & Aging

I'm a huge fan of the work of the ABA Commission on Law & Aging (COLA).  I frequently recommend their publications to others and look forward to their annual statutory updates, among other of their projects.  The work they do has a huge impact both for the legal profession as well as clients. They recently released a short video about the Commission to explain more about the work they do. You can find the video here (it runs a little over 5 minutes).

June 1, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

25 Years Since 1995 White House Conference on Aging

The amazing Bob Blancato who chaired the 1995 WHCOA wrote a thought piece recently about the conference.  In 25 Years After the 1995 White House Aging Conference, Where We Are Now,  Blancato writes that "[t]he top resolution approved by the delegates, who were chosen from the grassroots and involved in aging programs: 'Keeping Social Security Sound for Now and for the Future.'  Two others: 'Preserving the Nature of Medicaid” and “Ensuring the Future of the Medicare Program.'”

Wait, wait, wait. I was a delegate to the 1995 WHCOA; it was quite an honor.  But looking at these top resolutions, aren't they still issues today? Have we not made any progress?

Blancato interviews a few folks who were integral to the WHCOA and then looks at other issues of import during that time:

This conference also introduced new issues in aging policy.

One of them: grandparents raising grandchildren. Another: a recognition of the growing constituency of LGBTQ older adults.

The first sign of post-conference progress was the 2000 passage of the National Family Caregivers Program within The Older Americans Act. The second was the steady increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research, a strong priority of the conference. A third was the 2000 law to eliminate the limit on Social Security’s benefits for people 65 and older due to earning outside income.

Some of the Affordable Care Act’s improvements in Medicare, especially for expanded preventive benefits, were outgrowths of the 1995 conference. And improvements to The Older Americans Act in the four reauthorizations after 1995 can also be traced to the conference.

He also discusses other goals, yet unmet, and then opines on whether older adults are better off now than 25 years ago. 

Answering that partly requires a focus on how the pandemic might radically alter parts of national aging policy in the future. The ageism and generational disputes that have erupted during the coronavirus crisis are disturbing. The devaluing of an older person’s life — shown by the tragedies occurring every day in our nursing homes and the increased reality of isolation among older adults — are troubling.

But on the brighter side, there are groups speaking out and offering alternatives to pitting generations against each other.

We’re also seeing Congress and the Trump administration starting to address some of the shortcomings in nursing homes. And we have a new appreciation for the value of certain key community-based aging programs like The Older Americans Act, which has received a large infusion of emergency funding because of what it does to help older adults maintain a good quality of life and reduce social isolation.

That said, if today’s national motto is “we are all in this together,” we must adopt those words to shape national aging policy and policies for all ages.


May 13, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Elders Struggle In Isolation Without Community Gathering Points

The New York Times has also addressed the topic of social isolation from the standpoint of what happens when the senior centers and other agencies close during the pandemic.  ‘I’m Really Isolated Now’: When Elders Have to Fight Coronavirus Alone explores this, "[t]he shutdown of community centers means enforced solitude and a loss of structure."  These gathering points go by many names, senior center, activity center, community center, neighborhood center, but they all have something in common-a place for an elder to go---to get a meal, to get information, to get services, to get referrals and to socialize. "For 30,000 elders each day, senior centers were an outlet from their homes. And now, by order of the mayor, all on-site activities are closed, though the centers can still provide meals to go."  There's a catch-22 at play here:

It is a terrible irony of the virus: that for older adults, steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 increase the risks of social isolation, which carries its own devastating health effects. A study by the AARP compared the effects of prolonged isolation to those of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Normally programs for elders aim to increase human contact. Now that contact is potentially deadly.

In many instances, this results in a feeling of loss of control, according to the article.  Social engagement, the provision of clear and accurate information  is a plus while " alarmist news programs, on the other hand, can make people feel helpless."

Keep an eye out on your relatives and neighbors. Let them know they aren't alone in this-even if it's  just waving to them across back yards.


March 27, 2020 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

OK Boomer

I've waited quite a while to blog about this issue. For some months now, I've been discussing "Ok Boomer" with my students. It's a great opportunity to discuss the interaction of generations on various issues, including the funding of social programs and whether the phrase is ageist.  We know it became main stream when Chief Justice Roberts used it. It also appears as the subject of a number of memes.

Then the pandemic came, and one of my students told me about "boomer remover" which frankly left me aghast.  Then finally, one of my friends sent me the link to this cartoon, (see below, reprinted with permission) showing a kinder take  on the pandemic's impact on boomers.  So if you need an uplifting moment, check it out here.  To learn more about the author, Syne Mitchell, and to follow her cartoons, click here.



March 24, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Discrimination, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

More on Social Isolation and Elders During the Pandemic

Another article from Professor Naomi Cahn provides  Five Tips To Decrease Social Isolation For Older People During COVID-19. First, recognize "that approximately one-third of those 65 and older may have never used the internet and may not have internet access at home; among those who do use the internet, almost half need someone's help when it comes to setting up or using a new device.  And substantial differences in the adoption of technology adoption exist based on factors such as income and educational level."

First, most older adults do own a smartphone or have a desktop or tablet. That means that, even if they have not yet found youtube or figured out how to attend a Zoom’ed yoga class or even used Skype or Facetime, they have a digital device that will enable them to do so once they know what’s available on the web and once they have the appropriate hardware....

Second, using that device to stay connected then becomes a matter of finding the appropriate programs to do so. ....

Third, while much of going online may seem intuitive for many of us, that was not true at the beginning. As someone who has been both patiently walked through learning how to use Google hangouts, and as someone who has taught a family member how to use iMessage, I appreciate the importance of practice and of the patience of those teaching me.  ... 

Fourth, as older people go online, there is the risk of scams and fake information.  ....

Finally, for those who don’t have a smartphone or tablet, a landline remains a good way to stay connected. Family members can set up a schedule of who will call, and maybe, during those calls, even talk about connecting through the internet.

March 24, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Webinar on Remote Provision of Legal Services to Older Adults

Everyone should sign up for this upcoming webinar from the National Center on Law & Elder Rights. O March 25, 2020 they will offer this webinar, Strategies for Providing Remote Legal Services to Older Adults.

Here's the info about the webinar:

Legal assistance providers and aging services advocates are evolving their service delivery models in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote legal services are particularly important for older adults and people of all ages with compromised immune systems who are at high-risk if exposed to COVID-19. This webinar will share strategies and highlight technology-based tools that can enhance the provision of virtual legal assistance. The Administration for Community Living will provide an introduction to this topic and will share information on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenters: • Hilary Dalin, Administration for Community Living, Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services • Sarah Galvan, Justice in Aging • Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net.

March 21, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Legal Practice/Practice Management, Other, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How to Stay in Touch with the Elders in Our Lives

Most all of us are practicing social distancing now and although many of us can face time friends and family, some folks just aren't that comfortable with digital communications.  Naomi Cahn and Amy Zietlow wrote this timely and helpful article, Loving Our Elderly Neighbor During the Coronavirus.

After discussing the choices each of us face about social distancing, they offer several suggestions for us:

Meeting the challenge of social distancing can take different forms personally, recreationally, socially, and religiously. Older men and women can take steps now to make sure they stay connected to loved ones and friends, perhaps electronically, and the rest of us can find ways to continue to nurture those connections by reaching out to our elderly family members and neighbors, without causing harm to others. 

Here are a few suggestions for keeping our elderly family and friends safe during this time:

1.At the individual level, elders and those in their kinship circles can create schedules to help them stay in contact with family, friends, and community. 


2. Encourage older Americans who must stay home to stay active if possible.


3. Take an inventory of the older adults in your web of relationships and identify their needs.


4.Recognize the importance of faith and religious practice to the well-being of older Americans.


5. Remember that elderly Americans may need help utilizing digital tools and navigating the online world.


6. As they move out of the public eye, we must be intentional about moving closer to older Americans through other means that do not necessarily involve physical contact.....

The entire article can be accessed here.

BTW, I haven't been ignoring the stories about Covid-19 and nursing home residents. There's just so much out there, I haven't decided where to start with it. But I hope you are staying current on that issue.

Also today, I was emailing with someone from my local AARP about whether neighborhoods should set a day/time to sit in their front yards, and talk to their neighbors in adjoining yards, just to get out and talk to folks....while maintaining the appropriate distance.

Thanks Naomi!

March 18, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Geographic Life Expectancy Gaps

Kaiser Health News ran this story, The Startling Inequality Gap That Emerges After Age 65. "[T]hose who reach age 65 are living longer than ever... But there’s a catch: Seniors in urban areas and on the coasts are surviving longer than their counterparts in rural areas and the nation’s interior, according to an analysis from Samuel Preston of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s leading demographers. ...This troubling geographic gap in life expectancy for older Americans has been widening since 2000, according to his research, which highlights growing inequality in later life." 

The article discusses the life expectancy disparity not only between urban and rural areas, but also between various parts of the U.S. For example, "

Notably, 65-year-olds in “rural areas have had much smaller improvements than those in large metro areas,” Preston remarked. “And people living in ‘interior’ regions ― particularly Appalachia and the East South Central region [Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee] — have done worse than those on the coasts.”

These geographic differences emerged around 1999-2000 and widened from 2000 to 2016, the study found. By the end of this period, life expectancy at age 65 for women in large metropolitan areas was 1.63 years longer than for those in rural areas. For men, the gap was 1.42 years.

Differences were even starker when 65-year-olds who live in metro areas in the Pacific region (the group with the best results) were compared with their rural counterparts in the East South Central region (the group with the worst results). By 2016, seniors in the first group lived almost four years longer. (The Pacific region includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

The article discusses the explanations of the disparities, including access to health care, smoking history and cardiovascular disease. It also discusses the differences from "death from despair" in younger generations to the older generation "Deaths from opioids, alcohol or suicide aren’t significant in the older population; instead, deaths from chronic illnesses, which take years to develop and which are influenced by social conditions as well as personal behaviors, are far more important .... "

The study is available here.


March 12, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

3-D Printed House!

3-D printers are amazing. I've read some stories about the application of 3-D printers to solve real-world problems. Now comes another one. Kaiser Health News is reporting about Around The Corner: 3D Housing Designed For The Homeless And Needy Seniors.

In a Northeast Austin neighborhood, these homes are taking their distinctive shape on the grounds of Community First Village, where about 180 formerly homeless people have found shelter and camaraderie in the most expensive city in the state. The 51-acre development (which will eventually include more than 500 homes) provides affordable permanent housing, including the 3D variety.

In this city of disruptors, Austin-based construction technology company Icon has formed a variety of partnerships to explore how 3D-printed homes could not only provide housing for people on the margins but also demonstrate how to dramatically reduce the time and money spent on construction.


These 400-square-foot houses are the nation’s first 3D-printed residences, according to Icon. Its process — which incorporates an 11-foot-tall printer that weighs 3,800 pounds — relies on robotics. Beads of a pliable concrete material dubbed Lavacrete ooze from the behemoth printer in ripples that stack and harden into a wall with curved corners.

The idea is to cut the time and as much as half the cost associated with traditional construction, limit the environmental footprint and trim the number of workers on crews, said Jason Ballard, Icon’s co-founder and CEO.

The article talks about supporters and detractors of the concept and gives more info about the project. Check it out!

March 10, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Housing, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

ACTEC Journal Call for Papers

ACTEC (American College of Trusts & Estate Counsel) is devoting a volume of its Journal to Elder Law!  Here's the info about the call for papers.

The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel announces a Call For Papers on the following topic:

With an aging generation of Boomers and increasing estate tax exemptions, the practice and study of trusts and estates may be driven less by tax planning and more by a host of other issues confronting an older population. Those issues may be broadly grouped under the term "Elder Law."

A special issue of the ACTEC Law Journal will be devoted to a discussion of the intersection of Trusts and Estates and Elder Law and will be comprised of brief articles (2,000 word maximum). The conception of Elder Law is broad and intended to encompass all matters of legal concern that a trusts and estates lawyer might address for an aging client – or a client who is concerned about aging. Suggested topics include retirement planning, financial planning and wealth management, guardianship, disability and medical care, end-of-life planning, incapacity, powers of attorney, health care proxies, nursing homes and long-term care planning, special needs trusts, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, elder abuse (physical or financial), age discrimination, family succession planning, grandparent visitation rights, and classic core trusts and estates topics like wills, trusts, intestacy, probate administration, and nonprobate transfers.

Procedure for proposals: Authors wishing to contribute to this special volume should send a brief proposal to Professor Alyssa A. DiRusso, Editor, ACTEC Law Journal, at Please include “ACTEC Elder Law” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Proposals are due by April 1, 2020. Early submissions are encouraged as proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Given the brevity of each article, articles that delve into one or two topics in detail will normally be preferred over more general articles. We encourage submissions by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including those actively involved in fiduciary administration or the practice of law.

Final articles will be due by August 1, 2020 and will be published in the ACTEC Law Journal, Volume 46 Issue 1.

March 10, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Estates and Trusts, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Medicare, Other, Social Security | Permalink | Comments (0)