Alzheimer’s risk factors, retirement, parking cars, and a blood-pressure-measuing toilet seat

The five greatest risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are age, genetics, head trauma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A few things to think about during retirement: inflation could be a problem, your expenses might actually be lower, and the 4% rule isn’t gospel.

New automotive technology is going to help drivers park their cars

There’s a new toilet seat that measures your blood pressure.  Why aren’t the at-home blood pressure cuffs enough? posts that you missed the first time


Photo courtesy of JoeDuck on Flickr.

If you haven’t been on the site recently, here are some of the great stories that you have missed:

Help! My mom’s retirement community is trying to kick her out! A woman in an assisted living commnuity is told that she needs nursing care, but her family thinks that she is fine.  What can they do to avoid moving?

Should I move now or later? There are definitely benefits to making the move early!

Do CCRC disclosure statements matter?  Of course they do; we explain what to look for.

Selling your home is getting easier. These days, retirement communities will just about help you pack.  Learn how to take advantage of a sluggish economy when selling your home.

I got a flyer from a local retirement community.  Should I go to the event? Learn the inside secret on those retirement community lunches and how to use their sales pitch to your advantage.

How to score free stuff at retirement communities.  It’s not easy, but you can always negotiate for freebies when you move into a community!

Test drive a community using their guest room.  You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive; do the same for your move to retirement living.

Boomers & retirement, memory & friends, LGBT seniors, and an introduction to retirement living

With the economy in the dumps, some Boomers are worried that retirement is never going to happen.

Hanging out with friends can be good for your memory.  A new study shows that group activities improve mild and moderate dementia.

It’s tough being an LGBT senior.  A new study finds that seniors with alternative lifestyles have more mental and physical problems but less access to care.

Here’s another take on the retirement industry.  It’s a good introduction to retirement living.

Are pods the solution?


Photo courtesy of aussiegal on Flickr.

I’ve been reading with interest about a new solution for senior housing: the pod.  The idea is pretty simple: Retirement housing is pretty expensive, but not one really wants Mom or Dad moving in with them.  Thus, for the cost of about a year of assisted living, you can buy a fully-equipped “pod” and park it in the back yard.  The pod will hook up to the existing home’s utilities and sewer but will function as an independent apartment.  When the pod is no longer needed, it can be sold and removed from the property.

The concept has yet to gain major traction in the senior housing market, but I can see three main benefits to having pods instead of housing a senior in your home:

Privacy:  For as much as most folks love their parents, the element of privacy is very important.  If you aren’t one of the lucky Americans who can afford a house with a mother-in-law suit and you have a decent backyard, then a pod might be a good idea for you.  Additionally, even if you have the space, you might want it to remain yours.  Assuming that you can afford it, a pod is an excellent idea.

Technology: Although current models tend to function more like small apartments than mobile hospitals, new technologies will probably change this.  Whereas the traditional home might not be outfitted with grab bars, ramps, and even medical device support, pods can easily be designed with that in mind. This will likely make it easier to care for seniors and can make it worthwhile for families to invest in pods.

Price: These mobile apartments are a fraction of the price of assisted living or nursing, and they offer a decent alternative to being forced to place grandma in a home.  However, this does shift the burden of care to household inhabitants, so putting a pod in your backyard isn’t a magical solution.

As technology improves and the cost of long term care increases, I think these living arrangements will probably become more common.  While there is certainly an additional cost associated with purchasing a pod, I think the added privacy beats having the senior living in your home.  It also gives them some autonomy such that they don’t have to worry about infringing too much on household routines.  Additionally, the lack of permanence is also a plus.  Whereas adding onto your house or buying an adjacent property is expensive, a pod can be resold when it is no longer in use. 

For more information, you can visit some of these retailers: MEDCottage and Pacific Modern Homes.  (If you’re a retailer and are interested in being listed, send me a link to your site.  Also, if you’re a retailer in Texas, send me an email, and I’d be happy to come take a tour of one of your pods and write about it on my blog.)

And now a question for my readers: Do you have any experience with pods or similar living situations?  Where were the benefits?  What were the drawbacks? You can either leave a comment below or email me a

Medical decision-making, dehydration, stroke patients, and emergency rooms

Take time to evaluate your medical care; it’s no fun to spend your retirement years in pain, but it makes sense to ask some tough questions about the effectiveness of some treatments.

Being dehydrated can impact your memory, mood, energy level and more.  I didn’t see them doing any studies on being waterlogged…

A new study shows that talk therapy and exercise can help stroke patients.  

Have an emergency? Download this app to help you find the closest emergency room!