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'Everyday Law For Seniors': A Guide For The Tough Questions

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With age may come wisdom, but that won't necessarily help you with tough legal questions like, "What's the asset limit for Medicaid reimbursement of nursing home costs?" and "Should I petition for guardianship of an incapacitated older relative?"

"Navigating the law as an older adult, or on behalf of one, is a daunting enterprise. Not only are the regulations, requirements and exceptions multitudinous and confusing, but many of them regularly change," wrote Paula Span in her New Old Age column for the New York Times.

For help with these issues, Span recommended the newly updated book, "Everyday Law for Seniors," which takes on a variety of common, vexing topics including Social Security, housing, pensions, Medicare and other insurance and offers "clear, careful explanations and suggestions."

The book, by law professors Lawrence Frolik of the University of Pittsburgh and Linda Whitton of Valparaiso University, was first published in 2010, but was just updated to include the most recent federal benefits numbers.

Another older, but still helpful book to consider is, "New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice for Savvy Seniors and Their Families," by Kenney Hegland of the University of Arizona Law School and Robert Fleming, a prominent elder attorney.  The book was recommended by  Charles Sabatino, head of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging.

Although a book can't substitute for individualized advice from an attorney, it can help answer many questions and clarify which legal issues might need further professional guidance.

In other health news:

Eating berries reduces risk  for Parkinson's. Eating berries several times a week reduces the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in both men and women, a new Harvard study suggests. Food and drink rich in flavonoids, such as berries, apples, tea and red wine, were found to lower a man's risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 40 percent; for women, a reduction in risk was only seen when they several servings of berries a week, HealthDay reports.

"Why won't they get hearing aids?" Writer struggles to understand her parents' resistance to getting hearing aids, even though they frequently misunderstand or don't hear much of what is going on around them. When she suggests that they might want to get their hearing tested, their first reaction (after exasperated sighs) is that they didn't want to be bothered. Turns out, they've got a lot of company -- the average person has hearing problems for 10 years before finally coming to an audiologist.

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