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AARP Cheat Sheet: Thursday, January 13

Posted on 01/13/2011 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

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(A child responds to being told his great-grandmother (pictured) is dying: “It’s ok, Mommy, because when he dies he can go in the same hole as GG! And they’ll be together, because they’re special friends.” Via.)

Well, well, Julia Louis-Dreyfus… welcome to being 50! We can hardly believe you’re there already. (Also, she’s about to start playing a female vice president on a new HBO show. Watch for that!)

Do not like hearing this… an elderly couple dies of exposure outside Washington, D.C. “The grown children had brokered a deal that might sound all too familiar to adult children trying to protect – and yet, respect – aging parents. The Fresches could keep their car, but drive only to Rinehart’s home or around Shippensburg, and only if they called to say they had made it back home safely.” (Resources if you’re in the same position: our “We Need to Talk” online seminar, good list of ways to solve mobility issues without a car, and four ways older drivers can improve driving, if they do stay behind the wheel.)

This is terribly cute and a much-needed bit of happiness – a crowd picks up the National Anthem after 8-year-old’s microphone goes out: “An 8-year-old girl is about to suffer a moment of extreme embarrassment that’s not of her creation. A woman in the crowd cackles at this moment; not laughs, cackles. You then hear someone “shoosh” those like her during the brief silence. You then hear the crowd pick up the tune in unison.” Video here.

Does this sound familiar? “If you’re a travel agent, bank teller or a file clerk; if you run a printing press, answer a switchboard or work at a sewing machine; if you repair watches or cameras; if you make anything that can be made more cheaply elsewhere, or do anything that can be done by a robot or computer, then you may feel history is against you.” Also see: lots more middle-aged men starting to dye away the gray for job-hunting purposes.

Seniors only retirement community = age discrimination? “The small town of Ryderwood in southwest Washington bills itself as the nation’s first seniors-only retirement community. But some unhappy residents have provoked an identity crisis. They’re pursing a federal housing discrimination case to get Ryderwood to lift the age restrictions that are enforced there.”

As the population gets older, cancer costs are adding up. Also… “Officials made the case for greater medical innovation at an event sponsored by the Council for American Medical Innovation (CAMI), which argues that the United States is losing its competitive edge because of deficiencies in science education, public investment and regulatory processes.”

Recognizing the difficult road ahead, China is beginning to educate the public and the medical community about dementia, and big cities are making plans to build new facilities, like the Shanghai No. 3 Elderly Home.

The shift in attitudes is remarkable. A decade ago, many families were ashamed to admit that their elders had such a disease. And because of a lack of awareness about the disease, many dementia patients were confined to the psychiatric wards of hospitals, which placed steel bars over the windows.

But today, a growing number of families are desperate to place relatives in a nursing home. The problem, health experts say, is that there simply are not enough.

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