Monday, May 9, 2022

Pandemic Retirees Unretiring?

The Washington Post recently published Millions retired early during the pandemic. Many are now returning to work, new data shows. Although a significant number of folks retired early, 

An estimated 1.5 million retirees have reentered the U.S. labor market over the past year, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by ... an economist.... That means the economy has made up most of the extra losses of retirees since February 2020, a Washington Post analysis shows.

Many retirees are being pulled back to jobs by a combination of diminishing covid concerns and more flexible work arrangements at a time when employers are desperate for workers. In some cases, workers say rising costs — and the inability to keep up while on a fixed income — are factoring heavily into their decisions as well.

But those reentering the work force are not just those who retired during the pandemic. 

The percentage of retirees returning to work has picked up momentum in recent months, hitting a pandemic high of 3.2 percent in March, according to Indeed. In interviews with nearly a dozen workers who recently “un-retired," many said they felt comfortable returning to work now that they’ve gotten the coronavirus vaccine and booster shots. Almost all said they’d taken on jobs that were more accommodating of their needs, whether that meant being able to work remotely, travel less or set their own hours.

The article provides a number of interesting examples of individuals who are "unretiring" and why they chose to do so.

May 9, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Other, Retirement | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Caregiving's Impact on the Work Force

Last month, the Washington Post ran this article, Caring for aging parents, sick spouses is keeping millions out of work.

Even as the job market rapidly approaches the levels last seen before the coronavirus pandemic, a lack of affordable care for older and disabled adults is keeping many out of the workforce. At least 6.6 million people who weren’t working in early March said it was because they were caring for someone else, according the most recent Household Pulse Survey from the Census Bureau.Whether — and when — they return to work will play a role in the continued recovery and could reshape the post-covid labor force.

Read these next two paragraphs from the article very carefully:

For all the attention on parents — and mothers in particular — who stopped working to care for children during the pandemic, four times as many people are out of the work force, caring for spouses, siblings, aging parents and grandchildren, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Monetary Policy Report.

...

Caregiving is the second-largest factor keeping people out of work, behind early retirements, at a time when job openings continue to outnumber potential workers. That mismatch is contributing to labor shortages around the country and playing a role in overall inflation. Roughly one-quarter of the workers missing from pre-pandemic levels are on the sidelines for caregiving reasons, according to the report. Overall, the economy is still short 1.6 million workers, two-thirds of them women, from early 2020.

Did you catch those numbers?  4x as many folks are not working because of caregiving responsibilities, and caregiving is the 2nd most common reason why folks aren't working.

Read the article. It's important!

May 3, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 29, 2022

Working Longer Means Fewer Years of Healthy Retirement?

Earlier this month, Forbes  ran this article, American Elders Are Short-Changed 5 Years Of Healthy Retirement,  which explains that

America’s elders die sooner and are sicker than their counterparts in other rich nations. American elders also must work longer than their cohort abroad. These trends mean that Americans get fewer years of healthy retirement life than elders in comparable wealthy nations—five years less, in fact.

One reason for this big gap in healthy retirement is the pressure for American elders to work longer. Among major rich nations, Americans work longer than anyone except the Japanese, who retire at age 67.9 while Americans work until age 65 on average; but the Japanese live longer, so experience more healthy retirement time.

Consider this from the author: "It's sad to know that America’s de facto plan for retirement is working longer and dying sooner. This inequality of retirement time is caused by the crossing of two swords: the growing inequality of retirement wealth and the growing inequality of longevity. These inequities are deeply connected. If people who die younger could retire earlier than those with longer and healthier lives, retirement time could at least be distributed more equally."

The full article discussing life expectancy in the U.S. and abroad, as well as work histories, is available here.

April 29, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Other, Retirement, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 28, 2022

New Report on Direct Care Workforce

PHI has released a new report,  State Policy Strategies for Strengthening the Direct Care Workforce.

Recognizing the urgency of the crisis in direct care, states are taking action—collaborating with diverse stakeholders to tackle entrenched workforce challenges in bold, innovative ways. To leverage this historic moment, PHI has compiled 24 specific policy strategies—with concrete examples—for improving direct care job quality and stabilizing the workforce. The strategies are organized according to the eight comprehensive solutions outlined in PHI’s signature report, Caring for the Future: The Power and Potential of America’s Direct Care Workforce.

Here are 3 takeaways from the report:

  • This guide provides 24 specific policy strategies for improving direct care job quality and stabilizing the workforce.
  • State leaders around the country are taking action to tackle entrenched workforce challenges in direct care.
  • By implementing a tailored combination of strategies, state leaders will help resolve the direct care workforce crisis in their own states.

The full report is available here.

April 28, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

National Guardianship Network New Video

The National Guardianship Network [Has Released A] New Video with Recommendations for Reforming Guardianship System.This video 

showcases the highlights of the Fourth National Guardianship Summit and the 22 recommendations to reform and improve state guardianship systems. The video also addresses the history of these national summits, the importance of the Fourth Summit and the main topics discussed during the Summit:

  • Rights of Persons Subject to Guardianship
  • Supported Decision-Making
  • Limited Guardianship, Protective Arrangements, and Guardianship Pipelines
  • Rethinking Monitoring and Addressing Abuse by Guardians
  • Fiduciary Responsibilities and Tensions
  • Developing a Guardianship Court Improvement Program

To view the video, click here.

April 26, 2022 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Other, Programs/CLEs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 25, 2022

The Sandwich Generation Is Still Going Strong

The sandwich generation, those who are raising kids and caring for their parents, continues on, as noted in the data from a recent Pew Research Fact Tank report, More than half of Americans in their 40s are ‘sandwiched’ between an aging parent and their own children.

As people are living longer and many young adults are struggling to gain financial independence, about a quarter of U.S. adults (23%) are now part of the so-called “sandwich generation,” according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2021. These are adults who have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising at least one child younger than 18 or providing financial support to an adult child. 

...

Americans in their 40s are the most likely to be sandwiched between their children and an aging parent. More than half in this age group (54%) have a living parent age 65 or older and are either raising a child younger than 18 or have an adult child they helped financially in the past year. By comparison, 36% of those in their 50s, 27% of those in their 30s, and fewer than one-in-ten of those younger than 30 (6%) or 60 and older (7%) are in this situation.

The full report is available here.

April 25, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other, Statistics | Permalink

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Does Ageism Make Us Invisible and Less Valuable?

Yesterday I blogged about Dr. Levy's new book on ageism.  Now, continuing that theme, I wanted to be sure you saw this article in Healthline,  Do We Become Invisible As We Age? Mentioning Dr. Levy's book as well as other factors, the article explains that

"Ageism — prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping based on age — is sometimes called society’s last acceptable “ism.” It happens at workto celebrities, and in everyday ways. And it can make people feel invisible as they get older...  A 2020 University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 82 percent of adults 50 to 80 surveyed reported regularly experiencing at least one form of “everyday ageism.” ...  And, according to the World Health OrganizationTrusted Source, “Every second person in the world is believed to hold ageist attitudes, leading to poorer physical and mental health and reduced quality of life for older persons.” ... Plus, the pandemic has only made ageism worse, by increasing the physical isolation and accordant invisibility of older adults... So, where exactly do we see ageism and what can we do about it?

The article addresses ageism by where it occurs: in the workplace, in health care, in popular culture, and exams ageism's impact on people. The article discusses why some folks have ageist views and quotes one expert who identifies two types of folks who have ageist views: "The first type are “egoistic ageists” who fear aging and consider old people both repulsive and irrelevant... The other type, ..., “compassionate ageists,” view old people as “pathetic and needy” and believe that they must be served and protected."  As far as kids and young adults, yep it happens there, according to the article, noting "that ageism 'starts in childhood and is reinforced over time.'"

The article discusses the respect for elders, the importance of self-perception, the work being done to fight ageism, and what still needs to be done.  This is a great article to assign to students!

April 21, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Discrimination, Other | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Old Age Doesn't Have to Be a "Downer"

Professor Richard Kaplan sent me a link to a recent book review in the Wall Street Journal Breaking the Age Code’ Review: Riding High Into the Sunset.

Social psychologist Becca Levy spends much of “Breaking the Age Code” doing exactly that, weaving together case studies and her own research to demonstrate that old age doesn’t have to suck at all. The expectation that aging means decay, Ms. Levy shows, is actually a major reason it so often does—our negative view of aging is literally killing us. Chipping away at this widespread and deeply ingrained conviction has a measurable effect on health after just 10 minutes. ... n 2002 Ms. Levy combined results from the Ohio Longitudinal Study on Aging and Retirement with data from the National Death Index to reveal that, on average, people with the most positive views of aging were outliving those with the most negative views by 7½ years—an extraordinary 10% of current life expectancy in the United States. 

The author discusses factors that make us prone to negative views of aging, and in particular, the prevalence of ageism. However, the author goes on to address how to change our thinking to "break the age code."

Ms. Levy finishes with a vision of paradise: “A place where ageism does not exist.” But this is no idle fantasy, it’s Greensboro, Vt. She stops for homemade lemonade with an 81-year-old writer for the local paper and swims at Caspian Lake with a real-estate agent in her 80s. When older people and society around them are “harmonized in a productive way,” Ms. Levy continues, it shows how “aging can become a homecoming, a rediscovery, a feast of life.” Or—as Grandpa Eddie puts it after his adventure has left him closer to Spencer than ever before—“Getting old is a gift.”

I'm ordering the book!

 

April 20, 2022 in Books, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Discrimination, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

You Don't Have to be a Parrot Head to Retire to Margaritaville

As the New Yorker explains in Retirement the Margaritaville Way, this active adult community was a logical step, "[g]iven the age of Buffett’s fan base, and the life style he’s hawking—as well as baby-boomer demographics... . The development in Daytona [Beach, Florida} was a joint project of Margaritaville Holdings and Minto Communities USA, the American branch of a builder based in Ottawa. In 2017, Minto had bought roughly two thousand acres of brush and swamp, about seven miles from the coast... [with] a plan to develop a retirement community there called Oasis. [which then] became Latitude Margaritaville, taking its name from Buffett’s breakthrough 1977 album...."  The article describes a number of features of the community and interviews with various residents.   And although you don't have to be a parrot head to retire to Margaritaville, you might have more fun if you are. 

March 23, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Housing, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

You Don't Have to be a Parrot Head to Retire to Margaritaville

As the New Yorker explains in Retirement the Margaritaville Way, this active adult community was a logical step, "[g]iven the age of Buffett’s fan base, and the life style he’s hawking—as well as baby-boomer demographics... . The development in Daytona [Beach, Florida} was a joint project of Margaritaville Holdings and Minto Communities USA, the American branch of a builder based in Ottawa. In 2017, Minto had bought roughly two thousand acres of brush and swamp, about seven miles from the coast... [with] a plan to develop a retirement community there called Oasis. [which then] became Latitude Margaritaville, taking its name from Buffett’s breakthrough 1977 album...."  The article describes a number of features of the community and interviews with various residents.   And although you don't have to be a parrot head to retire to Margaritaville, you might have more fun if you are. 

March 23, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Housing, Other | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Australian Discussion About UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons

The Older Persons Advocacy Network has announced an upcoming roundtable,  Age with Rights: Advocating for a UN Convention for the Rights of Older Persons.  "The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is participating in the #Agewithrights global rally by holding a roundtable conversation about rights, ageism, and the need for supporting a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. You'll hear directly from Caroline Carroll, Robin Vote, Natalie Clements, and Kathy Mansfield members of our National Older Persons Reference Group, who each have their own stories and views to share."  Click here to register, but note that this is being held in Australia, so mind the time zone differences!

February 23, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Discrimination, International, Other, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Slam the Scam Day

What will you be doing on Slam the Scam Day? Being a safe and smart consumer?  The SSA Inspector General announced in a press release that Slam the Scam day will be held on March 10, 2022.

Slam the Scam Day is an initiative to raise public awareness of the pervasive scams that continue to plague the nation and is part of the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week, (NCPW) happening March 6-12, 2022. The initiative, which began in 2020 to combat Social Security-related scams, is now expanding to include other government imposter scams. In a government imposter scam, someone claims to be an SSA, or another government employee, and may ask for personal information, demand payment, or make threats. These scams primarily use the telephone, but scammers may also use email, text messages, social media, or U.S. mail.

The focus of this year's initiative is spotting the scams. "SSA OIG provides resources on its website and posts tips and warnings on social media platforms.  There will be webinars and social media chats to give the public information that empowers them to Slam the Scam."

 

February 22, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 21, 2022

Another Impact of COVID: Apathy?

Kaiser Health News examined how COVID's continued presence is wearing folks down in As Covid Slogs On, Seniors Find Fortitude Waning and Malaise Growing.

Despite recent signals that covid’s grip on the country may be easing, many older adults are struggling with persistent malaise, heightened by the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant. Even those who adapted well initially are saying their fortitude is waning or wearing thin.

Like younger people, they’re beset by uncertainty about what the future may bring. But added to that is an especially painful feeling that opportunities that will never come again are being squandered, time is running out, and death is drawing ever nearer.

As the article notes, some older adults who are vaccinated and booster still can be at risk for serious illness from COVID. "The constant stress of wondering “Am I going to be OK?” and “What’s the future going to look like?” has been hard" for one older adult quoted for the article.  The article quotes several older adults who describe the impact this has had on them. 

And COVID isn't done with us yet.

February 21, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Has the Pandemic Made You Less Active? If So, You Are Not Alone.

The New York Times a couple of weeks ago ran an article noting that during the pandemic, many elders were less active than before. The Pandemic Has Made Many Seniors Less Active explains that some who work remotely or just cut back on outings found they experienced physical decline.  Those who had COVID in varying degrees experienced even greater physical decline..

Nearly half of those 65 and older who had contracted Covid reported less ability to engage in physical activity like walking and exercising than before the pandemic — but so did about one-quarter of those who did not become infected. Smaller proportions of those uninfected said their ability to move around the house, and to do housework like dishwashing and dusting, had also declined.

Although some of that decline might reflect normal aging, the study measured changes over only a nine-month period. In people who did not develop Covid, “the most plausible reason for the decline is public health restrictions during the pandemic....” 

But even those who did not contract COVID still suffered some physical decline. One study  "found that almost 40 percent of those over 65 reported both reduced physical activity and less daily time spent on their feet since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. In this representative national sample, those factors were associated with worsened physical conditioning and mobility."

Although I don't think we need this reminder, the article offers it to us: "Physical function is key to living independently — the future that a great majority of older people envision for themselves. A loss of mobility and function across a considerable proportion of the senior population could mean increasing disability, a greater need for eventual long-term care, and higher Medicare and Medicaid costs.'"

Now-get up and take a walk!

February 17, 2022 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Free Webinar: Social Security Overpayments

Mark your calendars for this upcoming webinar from the National Center on Law & Elder Rights,  on Social Security Overpayments and Low Income Adults. set for February 23, 2022 at 2 eastern.  The webinar will cover the following: "An overpayment of Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits occurs whenever an individual receives more money for a month than the amount that should have been paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This training will review the options individuals have when they receive a notice of an overpayment from SSA. Presenters will cover the steps advocates can take to ensure the accuracy of an overpayment claimed by SSA, to reduce or eliminate the amount taken by SSA, and to enforce clients’ due process rights. Participants will also learn about recent changes SSA has made to address some of the problems with the overpayment appeal and waiver processes, and how advocates can be part of the efforts to tackle these problems. "  To register, click here.

February 16, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other, Programs/CLEs, Social Security, Statistics, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Tech Use Among Older Adults Increased

Pew Research Center periodically releases reports about older adults using tech, with the latest one released last week. Share of those 65 and older who are tech users has grown in the past decade explains although tech use is higher among younger folks, "on several fronts, adoption of key technologies by those in the oldest age group has grown markedly since about a decade ago, and the gap between the oldest and youngest adults has narrowed, according to new analysis of a Center survey conducted in 2021."  Here's some data collected about specific technologies:  about 65% of older adults (65+) have smart phones, about 1/3 less than younger people.  There's a bigger gap between the age groups as far as social media uses. The gap on internet access is narrowing, although those 65+ are connected at about 75% of the rate of younger folks, but this gap narrows for the near old. However, the data on frequency of internet usage shows a significant gap based on age,  with less than 10% of the 65+ group indicating they were on the internet constantly.

I was a bit surprised at the numbers, thinking with social isolation, the participation by older adults would have been higher.  There is some good info in this report, so check it out.

January 20, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Other, Statistics, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Register Now: EJI Webinar: Trauma Informed Counseling for Older Adults – 1/27/22

DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative announced an upcoming webinar on Trauma Informed Counseling. Here's info about the webinar

Many older adults have been exposed to trauma in their lifetime. They may have been exposed to violence, discrimination, natural disasters or have survived a past crime.

The accumulation of past trauma experiences can exacerbate symptoms related to a current trauma.

In this webinar, attendees will learn:

- the importance of referring older survivors of crime to counseling services,

- the factors that increase an older adult's risk for future victimization,

- how counseling services can help a survivor and aid in your professional role,

- and what types of counseling resources are available to older adults.

Issues pertaining to cultural sensitivity and ethical dilemmas will be explored.



Speaker:

Sheri Gibson, PhD

To register, click here.

January 19, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Does Technology Combat Social Isolation

With this latest COVID surge right in time for the holidays, folks may be debating about traveling vs. staying home.  As we learned during the first lockdown, isolation can have a particularly devastating impact on many, and especially on older adults. 

A bit ago, the Washington Post published an article,  How technology can help seniors beat loneliness and isolation, which examines social platforms that provide connections, entertainment, and more. The article reviews some of these platforms. One featured, Papa, is provided through Medicare, Medicaid and some employer health plans and provides in-person connections.  Other platforms provide these connections as well, and there is an opportunity for younger generations-not just family-to connect with older folks.  Then, of course, are the platforms that connect virtually for virtual communications, some that emphasize intergenerational connections and match folks based on a common interest.  Then the more "high tech" platforms are those that provide virtual reality, with the article noting that "[t]he immersive, 3-D experience is more compelling than FaceTime or Zoom. “It’s like the difference between a phone call and a video call...."

December 22, 2021 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Other, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Loss of Dignity As Ageism

My friend Professor Naomi Cahn, sent this essay published in the Washington Post that really resonated with me.  Opinion: Please do not put a party hat on my head — and other indignities of old age. When I look at birthday cards that note a person is infirm because of age, or party decorations with an over the hill theme, I shake my head.  I'm glad I'm not alone in this.  The author offers that  she is "83 and have no idea if I’ll ever reach that three-digit number. But I’m warning my children and friends that if they dare to top my noggin with [a child's birthday party hat]  I will use every bit of strength to rise from my chair, grab a cane if there’s one handy and whack them all in the head."  She writes about the helpful folks who assume she needs assistance instead of asking first. Here's her approach

Whenever I get the chance, I announce my age. I do this because it’s a disservice to us older folks if we hide it. To me, that’s saying we’re ashamed to have lived so long. We’re covering up an important fact, as if we’re descendants of a long line of serial killers.

One way I’m protesting against the popular image of an old person is to be a showoff. On my 80th birthday, to celebrate my achievement of finally learning how to swim (the crawl, with flippers), I got a tattoo on my right biceps. I’d gotten my first on my left — my kids’ names and images reflecting them — for my 60th. But the newest has not shut me up.
Her approach to aging is quite positive and she offers good advice at the end of her essay:

If you’re a woman of my vintage, I ask this of you: Do not dye your hair. Do not get cosmetic surgery. Do not lie about your age. Be proud of the years you’ve lived, the talents you’ve contributed to your world and the importance of your being a witness to decades of history.

And maybe, get a tattoo.

So don't buy decorations or cards that imply an age number correlates with infirmities and remember that ageism is a real and harmful thing. 

December 15, 2021 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Discrimination, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 2, 2021

A New Map of Life

The Stanford Center on Longevity has released a new report, The New Map of Life. Looking at the 100 year life,  "make a clear distinction between aging, the biological process, and longevity, the measure
of long life. The Center’s goal is not to advocate for longer life—a phenomenon that is well underway—rather, it is to identify ways to enhance the quality of those century-long lives, so that people experience a sense of belonging, purpose, and worth at all ages and stages." One focus is looking forward, "on the economic potential of a more age-diverse population in which older adults contribute in increasingly significant and measurable ways to the social good and to GDP, so that opportunities for healthy longevity are shared across races, geographical regions, and socioeconomic status." (citations omitted).

The report addresses the following: Age diversity is a net positive, investment in centenarians to gain big returns, realignment of health spans to life spans, be amazed by the future of aging, work to an older age courtesy of flexibility in working, lifelong learning, invest in longevity communities, and look at life transitions as a positive.  In preparing to take this new road on the new map of life, the authors note that "[m]eeting the challenges of longevity is not the sole responsibility of government, employers, healthcare providers, or insurance companies; it is an all-hands, all-sector undertaking, requiring the best ideas from the private sector, government, medicine, academia, and philanthropy."

Be sure to read this report!

December 2, 2021 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, Other, Retirement, Science, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)