Medicare Part B – 65th Birthday Gift!

Congratulations on reaching your 65th birthday!  It’s quite a milestone to reach this number after working toward a free time in your life to enjoy and relax.  To celebrate this occasion, Medicare Part B has a free gift for you.

Imagine!  Read the details below about this great opportunity. And don’t forget to click on the links, which give specific information about advance directives and more. 

How often is it covered?
Preventive visit & yearly wellness exams

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers:

  • A “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit: You can get this introductory visit only within the first 12 months you have Part B. This visit includes a review of your medical and social history related to your health and education and counseling about preventive services, including these:
    • Certain screenings, shots, and referrals for other care, if needed
    • Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
    • A calculation of your body mass index
    • A simple vision test
    • A review of your potential risk for depression and your level of safety
    • An offer to talk with you about creating advance directives.
    • A written plan letting you know which screenings, shots, and other preventive services you need. Get details about coverage for screenings, shots, and other preventive services.

This visit is covered one time. You don’t need to have this visit to be covered for yearly “Wellness” visits.

 

Arthritis & Exercise

The word about knee osteoarthritis (OA) and exercise is that the more you exercise the better you will feel!  I know it’s hard to believe when you’re feeling that pain in your knees, or hands, or back – name it, I’ve experienced it.  I continue to look for new ways to fight back.  Here is what some Arthritis sufferers have had to say about measures/precautions that helped them fight back.  I found these at: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis

  • Hot or cold compresses – 54%
  • Losing weight – 42%
  • Stretching – 36%
  • Over-the-Counter rubs, gels or patches – 35%
  • Walking  – 32%
  • Swimming – 28%
  • Other exercise or physical activity – 23%
  • Knee brace – 23%
  • Shoe orthotic/insert – 20%
  • Soaking in Epsom bath or hot tub – 17%
  • Yoga – 14%

Continue reading “Arthritis & Exercise”

Can You/Should You Record Your Doctor Visits?

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself at difficulties when I am trying to recall everything my doctor talks to me about during a visit.  Sometimes, I have more than one doctor’s appointment in one day.  How about you?  Do you recall everything, or would it be helpful  if you could record your doctor visits?

You may be relieved to know the following:
Patients are using recordings of their doctor visits to aid them in recalling important details discussed during their health visits.
Some patients are recording their visits without the doctor’s knowledge.
Source: Physicians Weekly


Currently 39 of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., conform to the ‘one-party consent rule, while the remaining 11 are ‘all-party’ states.

When must you get permission from everyone involved before recording? Use this link to find out the recording laws in your state:
https://www.fcc.gov

For additional information see the article below.

Continue reading “Can You/Should You Record Your Doctor Visits?”

Arthritis Signs for Knees

Adjusting to the signs of aging is not intuitive.  In recent years, I have learned to read, listen to other seniors, and constantly pay attention to the signs my body gives me.

An article in the New York Times Well section brought to my attention that early signs of arthritis could be creaking and popping sounds.  Yes!

The condition for noises in the knees is called Crepitus by medical professionals. To date professionals are actually undecided whether these noises in the knees signal the beginning of Arthritis.  So, what should we be aware of?  Here are some guidelines: Continue reading “Arthritis Signs for Knees”

Hearing Loss & Dementia

How often have you found yourself questioning whether you heard something correctly, or have asked someone to repeat themselves? Does it happen in a crowded room?  Are you turning up the volume on your TV more often?

  • Hearing loss that occurs gradually as you age (presbycusis) is common. About 25 percent of people in the United States between the ages of 55 and 64 have some degree of hearing loss. For those older than 65, the number of people with some hearing loss is almost 1 in 2. Source: Hearing loss – Mayo Clinic

In my research the following information gave me a more serious approach to thinking about hearing loss and why I should pay attention.

  1. People with mild, moderate and severe hearing loss are 2, 3 and 5 times more likely to develop dementia respectively than people with normal hearing.Even after taking into account other factors that are associated with high risk of dementia, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, age, sex and race, hearing loss and dementia are still strongly associated.  Source: Dementia and hearing loss – hear-it.org
  2. The findings concerning hearing loss and dementia suggest that it might be possible to delay the onset of dementia through the use of hearing aids and paying more attention to the prevention and early identification of hearing loss.Source: Hearing aids, cognition and dementia – hear-it.org

Continue reading “Hearing Loss & Dementia”

Acupuncture & Pain Relief

I admit that when some of my friends suggested I try Acupuncture to relieve the pain in my hands, I was hesitant.  What really prompted me to explore acupuncture was the severe pain I was struggling with in my hands.  In addition, I was taking Ibuprofen, and when the pain became unbearable, I took Naproxen.  My doctor had cautioned me not to take either of these medications on a frequent basis due to other side effects. As I was considering what I would do I came across an article in Health Matters, which is a publication of the White Plains Hospital (WPH) in Westchester, NY.  I was convinced that if WPH was willing to suggest acupuncture to its patients as part of their Cancer Wellness Center program, it was worth a try.

Today, acupuncture is being practiced in all 50 states by over 9,000 practitioners, with over 4,000 MDs including it in their practices. Acupuncture has shown notable success in treating many conditions, and over 15 million Americans have used it as a therapy. Source: Acupuncture | definition of acupuncture by Medical dictionary

Continue reading “Acupuncture & Pain Relief”

Are there benefits to positive thinking?

I’m not one to make light of the fact that for some seniors aging is a difficult challenge. Loss of the ability to function the way we could when we were younger; loss of friends and companions; sickness.  All of these things add to enormous stress, and sometimes despondent feelings.  But what if thinking positively could help us out?  Should we at least try to find a way to cultivate this habit?

An article in the New York Times suggest that our thoughts can do “far more than raise one’s spirits”.  How about if thinking positively could boost your immune system, alleviate depression, lower your blood pressure, give you better weight control.  Would you try it?

Continue reading “Are there benefits to positive thinking?”

Not taking your meds? Caution!..

I must admit that I am guilty of not taking my medications sometimes.  It’s not intentional really, but it does happen. It could seem like a simple thing missing, or not taking your meds. Right?  It turns out that it could actually be life threatening !  Yes!

Following is a summary of a New York Times article. You can check and find out whether you are using these excuses for not taking your meds. Non-adherence to taking prescribed medications results in
50 % of prescriptions for chronic diseases not being taken as prescribed, typically people take only half of their prescribed doses.

  • Approximately 125,000 deaths and 10 percent of hospitalizations are the cause of non-adherence to prescriptions. If the drugs are not taken correctly they do not work.
  • A third of kidney transplant patients don’t take their anti- rejection medications. In addition, heart attack patients do not take their blood pressure meds.  Moreover, children with asthma do not use their inhalers at all, or consistently.

Continue reading “Not taking your meds? Caution!..”