New Study Looks at Caregiving and Twins

Does caregiving cause stress? Most research shows that it does – in spades.  But a small study on a limited sample suggests how family caregivers handle distress is influenced more by their genes and family history than by the difficulty of the caregiving role. Those are the findings of Peter Vitaliano, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Washington, and his colleagues after studying more than a thousand female twins, some of whom were caregivers. According to Vitaliano, how your parents …

Cost Barriers Persist for Colonoscopy Screening In Medicare

Thousands of people in the United States die every year from colorectal cancer-cancer of the colon or rectum. That’s astonishing because colorectal cancer is almost entirely preventable by use of recommended screening tests. Yet, in 2008, less than two-thirds of all people ages 65 and older had the screening. Medicare pays for several types of screening tests, including colonoscopy which is considered the best test for early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy allows for removal of polyps and …

Improving the Odds for 9 Million Uninsured Adults Ages 50-64

Amid all the criticism of healthcare.gov and Obamacare these days, it’s easy to forget that a key goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to help people get coverage. For people who are uninsured or underinsured, a major accident or illness is more than a health crisis; it’s a potential financial disaster. In 2012, 9 million people ages 50 through 64 were uninsured. For these individuals, the Affordable Care Act offers new opportunities for coverage and will help some …

Older Unemployed Face a Tough Road

What’s the prognosis for the older long-term unemployed? Grim. That’s the takeaway from “Set for Life,” a new American Public Television documentary underwritten by the AARP Foundation. The hour-long program tracks several primary breadwinners who have lost their jobs, the effect that has on their families and their efforts to land a new one. The program catalogs the dismantling of the American Dream – an informal compact that assured workers of relative job stability, health care, and the opportunity to …

Meet the Medicare Fraud-Fighters

For many older Americans, Medicare has been a life-saver – literally. And, over its 47-year-old history, the government health care initiative has allowed countless more Americans to lived longer and healthier lives. That’s the good news. The not-so-good? Some doctors, pharmacies and other providers try to steal from Medicare by overbilling or submitting fraudulent charges for reimbursement. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter That’s where the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (don’t you just love that name?) comes in. …

The Maverick Doctor Who Helped to Invent Family Medicine

In the late 1950s, a young physician named Gene Farley was working as a small-town doctor in rural New York state when he came to the realization that what he had learned in medical school was all wrong. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter Farley, who died on Nov. 8 at age 86 in Wisconsin, explained in a 1992 oral history interview that his change in thinking came about as he was treating two teenage boys from different families …