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 …

Standing with Caregivers

The following is a guest post by Peter Rosenberger – Caregiver and AARP Tennessee Volunteer Today’s 65 million caregivers often find themselves pulling their hair out as they find their lifestyle dramatically altered by the constant challenges involved in caring for a chronically ill, disabled, or elderly loved one. In my experience, I have discovered that the greatest issue caregivers struggle with is not insurance but rather assurance:  They’re frightened, burned-out, and daily wondering if they will survive caring for …

Meet the Women Fighting a Voter ID Law

The U.S. Justice Department has filed suit against the voter ID law in Texas, but two older African American women are behind separate legal challenges to new voter ID requirements in North Carolina. The state has one of the nation’s most wide-ranging voter ID laws and the first to pass since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. In North Carolina state court, Alberta Currie, 78, claims she’s no longer able to vote, as she …