Is the Era of Cheap Generic Drugs About to End?

Prices for generic drugs most commonly used by older Americans fell by the smallest percentage since 2006, with 1 in 4 rising in price — some by more than 1,000 percent, according to a new report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). The report looked at 2013 price trends for 280 generic prescription medications widely used by those age 50-plus. The majority of these generics saw price decreases, some of them substantial, but the overall decline slowed in 2013 to …

The Best Sunscreens You’re Not Using

Who’s better at using sunscreen lotion, men or women? Truthfully, they’re both pretty lousy at it, according to a new government study. Even sadder: New testing of sunscreen lotions finds you can’t always believe the claims on the label. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found a paltry 14 percent of men and 30 percent of women reported that they regularly use sunscreen on both their face and other exposed skin. Women are better when it comes …

Five Tips for Healthy Summertime Hearing

In general, summer is easier on the ears than winter, because many of us spend time outdoors and enjoying leisure activities that tend to be quieter than some winter pursuits. But don’t be lulled into thinking your hearing is safe. Here are five of the most damaging sources of summer noise exposure, and suggestions about how to protect yourself. Click here to see a “noise thermometer” giving you specific decibel levels. 1. Fireworks. Don’t stay home from celebrations, but do …

Medicaid Expansion Helps Cut Rate of Older, Uninsured Adults From 12% to 8%

The health law’s expansion of Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes over the poverty line was key to reducing the uninsured rate among 50- to 64-year-olds from nearly 12 percent to 8 percent in 2014, according to a new analysis. “Clearly most of the gains in coverage were in Medicaid or non-group coverage,” says study coauthor Jane Sung, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute, which conducted the study with the Urban Institute. Under the health …

The Painkiller Sending Adults 55+ to the ER

Tramadol, a prescription painkiller thought to be less risky than other narcotic pain meds, has caused a sharp spike in emergency room visits, especially among patients 55 or older, two new government reports have found. Tramadol is typically used for the management of moderate to severe pain, such as for after surgery and for ongoing pain from arthritis. It is the active ingredient in such brand name medications as Ultram, Ultracet, ConZip, Ryzolt and Rybix ODT. When it was approved …

Love Theater But Can’t Hear It? Four Showstopping Solutions

Do you love the theater but rarely go because you can’t understand the dialogue or lyrics? Fortunately there are several solutions to this problem beyond the familiar infrared headphones that many theaters offer. And those with hearing loss can even get discount tickets to many shows. First, about infrared. Theaters that seat more than 50 people are required, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to provide hearing assistance. Most offer infrared systems. If you have mild to moderate hearing loss …