Category Archives: Aging

Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced recently.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Here is a fact sheet showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments.

“The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid” – a column at The New York Times

medicaid

Credit Robert Neubecker for The New York Times

by Ron Lieber

“At any given moment, there is a large group of citizens who want nothing more than to make absolutely certain that they are impoverished enough to qualify for Medicaid sooner rather than later. Someday, you might be one of them.

“Welcome to the (perfectly legal) world of Medicaid planning, the plain-vanilla term for the mini-industry of lawyers and others who help people arrange their financial lives so they don’t spend every last dime on a nursing home. Once properly impoverished under the law, then Medicaid, which gets funding both from your state and the federal government, picks up the tab.

“Whatever twists and turns the health insurance debates in Washington take, Medicaid will be at the center, and the program will probably affect you and your family more than you know. After all, if you run out of money in retirement, it is Medicaid that pays for most of your nursing home or home-based care.”

Click here to continue reading this column at The New York Times.

“The little red pill being pushed on the elderly | CNN investigation exposes inappropriate use of drug in nursing homes”

red pills

 

by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken; Data analysis by Sergio Hernandez, CNN Investigates

“The maker of a little red pill intended to treat a rare condition is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year as it aggressively targets frail and elderly nursing home residents for whom the drug may be unnecessary or even unsafe, a CNN investigation has found.

“And much of the money is coming straight from the federal government. The pill, called Nuedexta, is approved to treat a disorder marked by sudden and uncontrollable laughing or crying — known as pseudobulbar affect, or PBA. This condition afflicts less than 1% of all Americans, based on a calculation using the drugmaker’s own figures, and it is most commonly associated with people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

Continue reading this CNN report, click here.

Finding affordable housing – Senior Planet

Model home made of money

by Greg Perlman

“It’s no secret that we’re getting older. Over 76 million Americans are either at or approaching retirement age, and for some of us, getting older and retiring means getting poorer. More than 25 million Americans over 60 are economically insecure.

When you’re living on a fixed income, it can be a struggle to keep up with rising costs of living, and especially housing. Affordable housing programs exist, but how do you find the right program? And what does that process look like?

Click here to see a quick guide to options.

“Cancer Linked to Obesity” – Time Goes By: What it’s really like to get old

cancer weight

Read this column here.

Two agencies align with Service Area 13 Link partners’ networks

NEW PARTNERS

Berks County partners’ network

Lancaster County partners’ network

Lebanon County partners’ network

Over the past month, two more resources providers have aligned with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area..

To align with the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area as a partner entity costs nothing. The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources part of the national Aging and Disability Resources Center [ADRC) network.

For more information about how your agency, entity or organization can become a partner, text or call the Lead Link coordinator at 717.380.9714 or email blllink@mail.com.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are the first place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to take a seamless approach in the way we assist seniors and adults with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link.

HOW CAN THE LINK ASSIST YOU AND/OR YOUR FAMILY?

  • Easily connect you to local services/supports through any Link partner agency
  • Explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence
  • Assist consumers with applications to determine funding eligibility
  • Help consumers remain or return to their community because of a disability, an illness or accident, or to transition from an institution back to the community
There is no charge for information and assistance provided by any Link or Link partner agency.

PA LINK TO AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER TOLL FREE HElpLINE: 1-800-753-8827

Go Go Grandparents could be a transportation resource assist for some

A person from Lebanon County sent this in an email. Though not available in every part of the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service area, this service may be an answer for some persons with transportation challenges.

gogoClick on the graphic to download the brochure.

GoGoGrandparent turns on demand transportation companies like Lyft into services that help families take better care of older adults.

Step 1: CALL 1 (855) 464-6872 and wait to hear “thanks for calling GoGoGrandparent”

Step 2:

PRESS 1 for a car to your home

PRESS 2 for a car to where we dropped you off last

PRESS 3, 4 or 5 for a car to a custom pick up location

PRESS 0 to speak with an operator

https://gogograndparent.com/

Friday Wrap-Up, October 6, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

 

What you should know and do this flu season if you are 65 years and older

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “It has been recognized for many years that people 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu compared with young, healthy adults because human immune defenses become weaker with age. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease. In recent years, for example, it’s estimated that between 71 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 54 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in that age group. So influenza is often quite serious for people 65 and older.”

flu graphic

Friday Wrap-Up, September 29, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

You’re going to really like the Secretary’s comments about the new “senior” community center she visited. It is what these centers have to be.

melting pot