Getting good care, skinny people, Social Security, lying doctors, and palliative care

The secret to getting good care: Be a likable patient.

Seven secrets of skinny people.  I’m not sure these are great secrets, but it does give one some hope about losing it and keeping it off.

Social Security benefits are set to rise 3.9% this year.  Don’t get too excited.  Medicare Part B premiums are likely to go up. 

Excerpt: The Benevolent Deception.  An interesting look at why doctors lie to patients.

Palliative care.  There is a lot of potential for reevaluating the way we handle patients who are very ill.


Sex after 50, Wii bowling tournaments, Boomers & education, nursing home safety, and migraines

8 reasons sex is better after 50.  Can’t get pregnant, no interruptions, and you have more money/time to spend on romance.  Does it get any better?

Think your sporting days are over?  Think again.  A group of seniors from a Maryland retirement community won the National Senior League Wii Bowling Tournament this week.

Interesting theory: Boomer women got more education because they worried about divorce.  I’m not sure if this is the whole answer, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Two contradictory articles: Nurses homes are getting safer.  Nursing homes need more doctors on staff.  I’m not sure which to believe.

18 signs you’re having a migraine. Most interesting: you can’t seem to get good sleep.


Life spans & financial risk, digital mammography, medical decision-making, Alzheimer’s, and good rules of thumb for medical consumers

Living long can be a burden.  62% of seniors say it’s their biggest financial risk.

Digital mammography isn’t more effective than other tests.  A few study shows that digital images are no better than traditional film images at detecting breast cancer.

Making good medical decisions.  Two doctors have written a book to help.  (This entire interview is really interesting.  I recommend giving it a read.)

Top 10 sites for Alzheimer’s disease information.  Excellent list! Bonus link: caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Rules of thumb for medical consumers. My favorite: prices don’t reflect effectiveness.


Self esteem, supplements, heart health, and the oldest marathoner

Self esteem doesn’t increase after the age of 30.  You’re stuck with what you’ve got.

Supplements might not be so great for your health.  A new study casts doubt on the supplement industry.

Heart rate and COPD.  A study shows that high variability of heart rate is associated with COPD.

Optimism for your day: A 100-year-old man completed a marathon.  


Medication looks like candy, breast cancer treatment, CLASS Act, and forgiveness

Halloween’s coming: hide your meds.  A new study shows that young children have difficulty telling the different between candy and medication.

Still no consensus on treating ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer.  Doctors don’t yet know the course of early-stage breast cancer.

CLASS dismissed.  The Obama administration pulls the plug on its long term care program. (More on the issue. Even more on the issue.)

Older people are more forgiving.  An interesting study about how different ages handle transgressions.


Parkinson’s and the brain, hospital safety, assisted living closures, and federal budget cuts

Parkinson’s research is teaching us about the brain.  Hint: Exercise helps mitigate symptoms. (Hat tip: Simoleon Sense)

Dallas hospitals aren’t as safe as they’d like to admit.  According to the Dallas morning news, Parkland Hospital is one of the worst offenders. Here’s even more on the Medicare patient safety data.

Even more bad news: Buckner Retirement Village in Dallas is closing due to lack of fire sprinklers.  

Cuts in federal funds could impact health care services.  Among those on the chopping block: Medicare and Medicaid, public health programs, HIV patient care, research funding, and disease prevention.


Medical testing, migraines, palliative care, drug shortages, and elder fraud

Doctors overprescribe tests.  The main reason: They’re worried about being sued.

Causes of the migraine aura.  It might be in the visual cortex.

Palliative care physicians may help patients make better decisions.  Plus, it might save costs.

More on drug shortages.  Physicians are scrambling to find alternatives.

Stanford investigates elder fraud.  A new research center is studying the emotional and psychological components of scams targeting seniors.

Pressure ulcers, patient advocacy, Medicare drug abuse, and BPA bans

How to care for pressure ulcers.  Not something you want to read while eating, but interesting nonetheless.

Considering a career as a patient advocate?  Here’s what to think about.

Medicare is subsidizing drug abuse for thousands of beneficiaries, according to a GAO study.

FDA and BPA bans.  There are big problems with testing low-dose chemicals for toxicity. (Bonus link: More on plastics and their toxicity.)

Dr’s office Check-in Kiosks, Prostate Exams, Vitamins, Dizziness, and the CLASS Act

Coming soon: Check-in kiosks at your doctor’s office.  It works for airlines, but will it work for your MD?

Skip you skip your prostate exam?  A U.S. task force investigation recommends you do.

Vitamins might not be the key to long life.  A new study finds increased risk of mortality with high vitamin intake.

A dizzying find.  Research has uncovered why spinning in circles causes dizziness.

AARP wants Obama to fix the CLASS act.  They authored a public letter in support of the program.

Breast cancer, nursing homes, smoking cessation, and Mayo Clinic/Best Buy partnerships

A visual diary of a breast cancer patient.  Scary stuff, but she’s better now.

Nursing homes are closing.  But, it might mean that seniors are getting care in other places (home care, assisted living, and others).

The cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation.  There is a higher return on investment for smoking cessation than for heart attack prevention. (Bonus link: electronic cigarettes may not be safe.)

Mayo Clinic and Best Buy are partnering to create senior living technologies.  Their goal is to help seniors live independently for longer using innovative technologies.