Weekly Roundup

This Week in Senior Living News

Aging News:

Age discrimination is perceived by 63% of older people, according to a recent study published in Research on Aging and reported by The New York Times. Further, those who report discrimination are more likely to provide poorer self-ratings over a two-year period in terms of depression and health.

Noticing some short-term memory loss or slowed decision making? Don’t worry, you’re not losing brain cells — provided, of course, you haven’t been diagnosed with a disease indicating otherwise. reports on research demonstrating that we don’t lose brain cells as a part of normal aging, but connections between them break, causing these “senior moments.”

Betty White is white-hot! If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than America’s favorite leading senior lady. Betty White, known for her brazen honesty and raunchy sense of humor, is taking charge of her senior years. At 90, she’s just landed a brand-new show, sure to be a hit with both the younger and older crowds alike. The Chicago Tribune discusses White’s impact on the senior generation.

Betty White: Senior Role Model

Image via Wikipedia

Senior Living News:

Our friends at Emeritus Senior Living want to hear your “Worst Date Ever!” stories. Enter by Valentine’s Day for your chance to win a number of prizes. They’re particularly interested in hearing about your Grandma’s worst date ever, but feel free to ask your aunt, uncle, parent or cousin for their funny stories, too. And, members of the younger crowd with a particularly eyebrow-raising story should share theirs, as well!

Our own Joan London is at it again, this time reporting on the second leg of her journey, touring facilities in Seattle and San Francisco. Read Joan’s latest installment of “Joan’s Journey: The Search for Senior Housing” or check out our blog post to leave a comment for Joan!

Caregiver Stories and Advice:

Older Americans and caregivers are expected to have a major impact on increased use of mobile health tech by 2015, according to an interesting analysis by InformationWeek. With an eye on better patient health monitoring, cost reductions and less hospital admissions, mobile health apps will skyrocket to $392 million per year by 2015. If you’re a caregiver and you haven’t yet investigated the usefulness of mobile health in caring for your loved ones, now’s the time!

Caring for a loved one with dementia poses a host of unique challenges. Times of India offers some advice through a first-person account and USA Today provides some expert tips on coping with the “unparalleled stress” these caregivers face.

Tech Roundup:

CES 2012 was chock full of ingenious gadgets and inventions that help consumers lead healthier lifestyles. Scientific American weighs in on the future of health tech as it increasingly allows us to shift to a prevention-based model — and puts more control than ever in the hands of consumers.

Similarly, The Wall Street Journal examines the growing field of health tech and its implications for the way we look at personal health in “A Doctor in Your Pocket.”

On the downside of million-dollar gadgets: Should health systems and providers be spending their money on certain technological advances if they really don’t improve patient outcomes? Health Leaders Media discusses the difference between good technology and bad.

Operations and On the Political Beat:

Surgeons save lives, but they still age like the rest of us. The Wall Street Journal discusses an analysis of 3,600 thyroid surgeries, tracked for the incidence of permanent complications as a result of surgical error. Rates are higher for surgeons within the first five years of practice — and those over age 50.

QUEST, a national initiative spanning 31 states, aims to reduce costs and improve performance against a higher standard of care. The program is open to any hospital in the nation that wants to participate. In its first three years, QUEST held participants to strict quality standards, including an 18 percent reduction in mortality and significant reductions in the cost of care. The result? A $4.5 billion reduction in costs and 24,820 prevented deaths across 157 hospitals. Not convinced? Get the details at MarketWatch.

Things that make you say, “Huh?” and our favorite unexpected news of the week:

Penn State Proud: Joe Paterno passes

Image by littlesuz on Stock.xchng

The news is far from favorite, but this week we’re taking this coveted spot in our weekly roundup to honor the legendary Joe Paterno, who passed away this morning at the age of 85. The Penn State sex scandal is tragic and horrifying, there’s no question about that. Whatever your personal feelings regarding JoePa’s guilt or involvement, you can’t deny Paterno’s incredible legacy as coach and, as many would say, the man who “is” Penn State University. Paterno coached for 46 seasons, spent 62 seasons on PSU football staff and maintains his record as the best Divison I coach in history with 409 wins.

Paterno, as most of you know, was relieved of his duties as head coach on November 9, 2011, soon after the Jerry Sandusky scandal hit the media. It was days later he was diagnosed with lung cancer and immediately began undergoing treatments. But Paterno, who gave his heart and soul to Penn State Football, seemed to succumb to a broken heart as complications from cancer treatments took his life this morning. Joe requested to be removed from a ventilator yesterday.

Even in death, JoePa continues to teach us valuable life lessons. This man dedicated his life to coaching Penn State. He brought Penn State Football to a new level, encouraging his players to succeed both on the field and in life. He demanded excellence — but through inspiration. And just 11 weeks after his life’s passion was brought to an abrupt end in the midst of scandal, JoePa succumbed to his illness.

Coincidence? Or is there something to be said for an active lifestyle, living with passion, for as long as you’re able and willing?

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