Shocking CDC Report: for the First Time in a Century, U.S. Life Expectancy Declines Three Years in a Row

The last time it happened, the world was at war, and one of history’s worst influenza pandemics was ravaging the country. That’s why health scientists were shocked at the recently released report of U.S. life expectancy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: the CDC survey showed a noticeable drop for the third year…

Not Just “One and Done”: Getting Your Flu Vaccine Over Multiple Years Brings Unexpected Benefits for Seniors

Back in January we first brought you the important news that getting a flu shot every year is extremely helpful in keeping vulnerable seniors from being hospitalized with dangerous influenza. Now with the flu season ramping up, as a service to our AgingOptions blog readers, we felt it was time to revisit the story. Flu…

Everyone Dies Someday – but Where? New Study Shows Increasing Rate of Seniors Dying at Home, Not in Hospital

If you’ve heard our AgingOptions radio program, read our blog or attended a LifePlanning Seminar, this statement should sound familiar: one of the things seniors fear most is being forced late in life into institutional care against their wishes. We would add a corollary to that statement to say that, given a choice, older people…

Doctor with digital tablet talking to family

Are Breathing Tubes Being Used Too Frequently on Older Patients? New Study Causes Doctors to Wonder

Your ailing parent is rushed to the hospital. Among other critical symptoms, he or she is having trouble breathing, so the emergency room physicians sedate your loved one and insert a breathing tube. Mechanical breathing keeps respiration going while doctors deal with the other medical challenges. All appears to be well. Last Opportunity to Speak?…

Is it time to fire your doctor?

Is It Time to Fire Your Doctor? Here are Nine Reasons Why the Answer May be “Yes”

The doctor-patient relationship is sacrosanct – we all realize that. Our physicians generally know more about us, inside and out, than any other human being. When the relationship is healthy, it is characterized by a sound sense of trust and a high degree of mutuality and openness. A patient in a strong relationship with his…

New York Times: Could Rising Rates of Depression, even Suicide, be Linked to Common Medications?

An unnerving article we just discovered in the New York Times asks a penetrating question: could the rise in rates of depression and suicide be somehow linked to increasing use of common prescription drugs, some of which are also available over the counter? This inquiry was prompted by a just-released report showing that more than…

Experts Propose New Ways to Define (and One Day Treat) Alzheimer’s

For the past several years there has been little if any obvious change in the way doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. Typically, a patient starts showing some observable signs and symptoms, and they come to their doctor for neurological testing. By the time the familiar symptoms of dementia begin to show, the disease has already progressed…

The Most Common Knee Surgery Performed on Seniors Might Actually Do More Harm than Good

It’s a medical procedure that is performed on an estimated 750,000 people in the U.S. each year. It was performed on nearly 122,000 Medicare recipients in 2016 at a cost of up to $10,000 per patient. And, says a recent study, “it’s also usually a waste, if not downright harmful.” That quote comes from this…