Elizabeth Nolan Brown

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Using data from a national longitudinal survey, Mt. Sinai professor Amy Kelley looked at out-of-pocket medical costs near the end of life and uncovered some sobering statistics. A whopping 43 percent of Medicare patients end up spending more than the total value of their assets, excluding real estate, on end-of-life care, while 25 percent spent all their assets including including any money from home or property.
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Weight gain, fatigue, loss of athletic prowess? "It could be Low-T," says Abbott Laboratories. That would be low testosterone -- a "once-natural part of getting old that has become a target for medical treatment," as the Associated Press puts it. Abbott is one of several U.S drug companiesmarketing testosterone gels, patches or injections to men over 40.
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Granny, get your gun? The Internet rumor mill has been buzzing in full force after the Social Security Administration posted notice of a recent ammunition purchase. Why would the agency responsible for pension and disability benefits need 174,000 hollow-point bullets?
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Eleven people -- including nine children -- were hit when Preston Carter, 100, backed his "powder blue Cadillac" on to a Los Angeles sidewalk Wednesday. Everyone is expected to survive, but four children remain at the hospital after being in critical condition. "I think it was a miscalculation on his part," said the local police captain. "The gentleman is elderly. Obviously he is going to have some impairment on his decision making."
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Call it generational rebellion at its finest: It seems all the gloomy retirement forecasting for boomers has been inspiring their kids to save more. Workers in Gen X and Gen Y are both starting retirement savings earlier and more likely to make automatic contributions than members of the boomer generation, according to a new survey.
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If you exercise in the hopes of reaching your 100th birthday, I've got bad news for you: A large new study of older adults found being physically fit after 50 was not associated with longer overall lifespan. It was, however, linked with less chronic disease -- including heart trouble, diabetes, Alzheimer's, kidney problems, lung cancer and colon cancer -- as participants aged.
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Are the majority of older adults hoarders? Not quite. Yet many do feel burdened by the amount of stuff they own, and it can be a major hindrance when it comes to downsizing.
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Optimism among the aged may be more common than you think. By "you," I mean the proverbial you, of course -- you in particular might have no doubt that life doesn't stop being a bowl of cherries at 65. Based on what frequently runs in the media, however, anyone could be forgiven for thinking older Americans are all just downright miserable. So what a surprising change of pace this "United States of Aging"� survey turned out to be.
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Update: Sad news! Soon after I posted this update this morning, CNN reported that Diana Nyad had to be pulled from the water due to severe jellyfish stings and a dangerous lightening storm. "With all the threats continuing, Diana decided that it was not a risk that we wanted to take," Nyad's operations chief Mark Sollinger said.
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If your sleep quality feels like it's worsening with age, you might not be dreaming: The older we get, the more we're at risk for conditions such as insomnia, sleep apnea and snoring, doctors say. Such sleep disturbances won't merely leave you groggy in the a.m. -- they can also up your risk of developing hypertension, depression, heart disease and brain problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even classified "insufficient sleep" as a public health epidemic.
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