News of the Week
Observations About Some Things That Caught My Eye
This will probably be an abbreviated addition of N.O.W. as my wife is taking me to the beach to celebrate my 65th birthday. Yeah for Medicare.
Life plan community wins court battle, loses public support over noise complaint
McKnight’s - An Arizona life plan community may have won a court round against a local concert venue over noise levels, but it is losing local support.
Thursday, the entire membership of the Tempe City Council signed a letter penned by Vice Mayor Randy Keating expressing the elected leaders’ “strong support” for the music venue, Shady Park, as a “driver of a thriving arts and culture community.”
Observation - can’t say I didn’t see that coming!
Denture wearing tied to decline in nutritional status, records show
McKnight’s - As someone who wrote a booked called Who Moved My Dentures?, I always take notice of denture-related stories!
A first set of dentures is a necessary tool for those with tooth loss, but may also be a sign that a patient is at risk for reduced nutritional status, a new study finds.
Investigators from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry looked at more than 10,000 dental and health records from patients in Indiana. They compared results from blood counts, basic metabolic profiles and lipid and thyroid panel tests, among others, both before patients received their dentures and two years after.
Participants with dentures experienced a decline in nutrition biomarkers used to establish malnutrition diagnoses. There was no significant nutritional decline in people who didn’t wear dentures, the researchers reported.
Observation - my mother always complained about her choppers. Never fit right. Don’t fit right means eating is not a pleasant experience. Ergo………
Job offer blows up over medical marijuana, leads to federal discrimination case
McKnight’s - A continuing care retirement community is facing a federal civil rights discrimination lawsuit from a woman who claims the operator withdrew a job offer over her legal use of medical marijuana.
In a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania District Court, Michelle Ustaszeski-Hutchinson accused Allentown, PA-based Phoebe-Devitt Homes, doing business as Phoebe Ministries, of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and state discrimination laws.
How a federal court will handle Ustaszeski-Hutchinson’s claims and balance the government’s disability law with its strict Schedule I drug laws could determine whether other providers across the U.S. relax their drug screening policies.
Observation - this is tricky territory but will continue to be an issue. I think she has a case.
Medical debt is a leading source of consumer credit complaints
Benefits Pro - Medical debt on a consumer’s credit report can result in reduced access to credit, increased risk of bankruptcy, avoidance of medical care and difficulty securing employment — even if the bill itself is inaccurate or erroneous. Not surprisingly, medical debt is one of the leading categories of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In 2021, approximately 15% of collection complaints were about attempts to collect a medical debt.
Observation - said in a country where even if you have means you can be wiped out. No more true than in nursing home care. With no long-term care insurance, your only choice is to exhaust your funds.
How stress can damage your brain and body
WAPO - “I think people really underestimate just how big the effects are,” said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University College of Medicine. When you experience stress, your brain triggers the release of a cascade of hormones — such as cortisol, epinephrine (a.k.a., adrenaline), and norepinephrine — that produce physiological changes. These changes, called the stress response or the fight-or-flight response, are designed to help people react to or cope with a threat or danger they’re facing.
The trouble is that these changes can and do occur in response to stressors that are not life-threatening — situations like work deadlines, traffic jams, financial pressures and family strife — and over time, they can take a toll on the body and mind. “People understand big stressors, but they don’t pay attention to smaller accumulating stressors that make a difference, too,” said Kiecolt-Glaser.
Observation - Need a quick stress-reliever? Try one of these surprising science-based strategies. Courtesy of Washington Post.
Aspirin a day not an antidote to heart disease, panel says
McKnight’s - A low-dose aspirin each day is not the best way to prevent cardiovascular disease in people over age 60. That is the new recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Observation - my physician took me off low dose years ago. Wonder what they will find next that we are taking?! Makes you wonder how effective marketing campaigns are that impact these behaviors. Pretty strong I would say.
Older people fret less about aging in place: AP-NORC Poll
AP - The older you are, the less you fret about aging in place.
That’s a key insight from a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, which found that U.S. adults ages 65 or older feel much better prepared to age in their own homes than those 50-64, who are mostly still in the final stretches of their working years.
The poll also documented greater insecurity around aging in place for older Black and Latino Americans, the likely result of a deep-rooted wealth gap that markedly favors white people.
Aging in one’s own home, or with family or a close friend, is a widely held aspiration, with 88% of adults 50 and older saying it’s their goal in an earlier AP-NORC poll.
Observation - I think there is a middle ground in opinions on this. Yes we all want to age in place. My wife and I have renovated our house with that in mind and have contingencies in mind should certain health issues arise. That’s us. Not everyone is prepared. But maybe more are than we think. Perhaps the messaging around actions you need to take for aging in place is setting in.
America's hospitals facing 'massive growth in expenses'
Benefits Pro - A new report from the American Hospital Association highlights the financial and operational toll the pandemic and inflation has taken on hospitals — concluding that more than one-third are operating on negative margins.
Observation - I have little sympathy. Locally, Atrium Health's 10 top executives made a combined $26.7 million in 2020, according to an annual compensation report the Charlotte health-care system released. Make no mistake. These are businesses masquerading as non-profits. Atrium also has a dubious reputation for suing patients for non-payment. Suck it up hospitals. You have plenty of reserves.