‘Day of Service’ Kicks Off AARP’s National Event in Boston

The tables were stacked high with groceries: pasta, peanut butter, cans of peaches and beans. In front, an assembly line of volunteer workers packed them in brown paper bags and passed them along to be loaded into cartons for delivery to a food bank. “It’s fun,” said 66-year-old Ronna Davis of Stoughton, Mass., “and it’s a way to help people in need.” Davis, who had heard about the project on the radio, showed up with her lifelong friend, Esther Kaplan, …

Government Hikes Payment Estimate for Medicare Advantage Plans

By Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer The government has raised its payment estimate for Medicare Advantage plans months ahead of a busy election season during which cuts to the program promise to be a key focus for politicians and voters. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that 2015 payments to the plans should increase less than 1 percent overall. That compares to a drop of nearly 2 percent that the government forecast in February. Analysts expect actual …

Medicare Lists Best, Worst Hospitals for Hip and Knee Replacements

By Jordan Rau, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News Medicare has begun tracking the outcomes of hip and knee replacement surgeries, identifying 95 hospitals where elderly patients were more likely to suffer significant setbacks. The government also named 97 hospitals where patients tended to have the smoothest recoveries. The analysis, which was released last week, is the latest part of the government’s push to improve quality at the nation’s hospitals instead of simply paying Medicare patients’ bills. Medicare already assesses hospital …

Beware the ‘Befriender’

It’s often true that older people feel lonelier as their children leave the nest, their friends move south and their spouses pass away. That’s one reason they’re particularly vulnerable to new “friends” who in truth are out to exploit them. As Katherine Pearson, a professor at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, explains in the Elder Law Prof Blog, these “befrienders” aim to gain the trust – and eventually access to the assets – of their victims. But if you …

Why This City Has Outlawed Doorknobs

The Sun Is Setting on the Humble Doorknob. That’s the Vancouver Sun headline describing the city’s new building code, which will soon outlaw twisty doorknobs  – and traditional faucet handles, too - in new construction. The paper takes the positive view that, far from being banished, doorknobs are being “legislatively upgraded to levers more conducive to the arthritic, gnarled or weakened hands we earn with age.” >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter That sounds like a promising development. AARP has …

Managing Mom’s Money? Do It Right.

Stacks of unopened bills, calls from creditors, compulsive purchases from websites or TV shopping networks, donating sums of money to questionable charities – these may be the signs that it’s time to talk to Mom and Pop about managing their finances. It’s not an easy talk to have. And it’s not an easy job to do. Handling the finances for your parents, or other elderly relatives, involves more than just paying their bills. To understand what’s involved in carrying out …