Supreme Court Blocks Wisconsin Voter ID Law

The Supreme Court has blocked the implementation of a Wisconsin voter ID law that triggered an intense legal battle and conflicting court rulings. In an unusual late-evening action on Oct. 9, the court issued an unsigned, two-paragraph decision — the first paragraph being the ruling of the six-justice majority and the second a dissent from Justice Samuel Alito. The decision set aside the Sept. 12 ruling of a federal appeals court that had blocked a U.S. District Court judge’s order preventing enforcement of …

Opinion: Why One 85-Year-Old Opposes a New Voter ID Law

By Ruthelle Frank In October 2011, an article appeared in my local paper reporting that, in order to vote in the next election, everyone was going to need a state-issued identity card for the first time. At 85 years old, I didn’t have one, because I’m handicapped and so I never drove a car or needed an ID. The newspaper said that I’d have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and register for a card, and it …

How the Pope Celebrated Older People Around the World

[View the story "Pope Francis Celebrates Wisdom of Elderly" on Storify]   Storify summary: With some 40,000 people gathered Sept. 28 in Vatican City to honor grandparents and the elderly, Pope Francis started with his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who made a rare public appearance. Benedict, 87, still lives at the Vatican, and Francis, 77, emphasized that Benedict’s wisdom and experience have been invaluable, like having a “wise grandparent” at home. Also of Interest Who You Callin’ Grandma? Cool …

States’ Role in Limiting Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotic Meds in Nursing Homes

As nursing homes have moved away from using physical restraints, there is evidence that some institutions are substituting antipsychotic medications to sedate residents with behavior problems. Why is this a dangerous and inappropriate practice? Inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs by nursing homes exposes elderly vulnerable people to increased risk of falls, delirium, stroke and death. In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general testified before the Senate Aging Committee that antipsychotic drugs were being prescribed in “violation of …

Report: Dying in America Harder Than It Has to Be

By Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer It is time for conversations about death to become a part of life. That is one of the themes of a 500-page report, titled “Dying in America,” released Sept. 17 by the Institute of Medicine. The report suggests that the first end-of-life conversation could coincide with a cherished American milestone: getting a driver’s license at 16, the first time a person weighs what it means to be an organ donor. Follow-up conversations …

Pope to Celebrate Mass for Grandparents Sept. 28

by Nicole Winfield, Associated Press VATICAN CITY (AP) — First, Pope Francis married 20 couples to highlight the role of families as the heart of the Catholic Church. Next up is a special Mass for grandparents. Francis and 100 elderly priests will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 28 in honor of the elderly, part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn’t be shut away in retirement homes but should be actively cherished for their wisdom. …