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Tips for the 2015 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

(StatePoint) If you’re 65 or older, you probably know that the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs October 15 through December 7. Generally, this is the only time you can make changes to your coverage.

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Recent Headlines

Friday 09/19/2014
6 tips for finding more affordable, better coverage during Medicare Annual Enrollment
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Are you among the 54 million Americans currently receiving health insurance through Medicare? The Medicare annual enrollment period (AEP), running from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, means you have the opportunity to change plans, and possibly find cost savings or better coverage.

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Thursday 09/18/2014
Most people underestimate their family's need for life insurance
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - If you have children and grandchildren, you have no doubt made it your goal to provide guidance, pass on your personal knowledge and build a foundation that ensures their comfort and security. You probably started by teaching your children early on how they could save money, shop wisely and make sound financial decisions. You won’t always be around to offer new lessons, but there is a way you can ensure that your family will be protected.

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Wrinkle-busting skin care tips for boomer women
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Time brings plenty of changes, yet the desire to have healthy, good-looking skin transcends age. While some skin-care tactics – sunscreen and moisturizing – apply to skin of any age, baby boomers need to update their skin care and makeup strategies to ensure their skin stays healthy and youthful-looking as long as possible.

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Wednesday 09/03/2014
Healthy tips and advice for lowering your risk of heart disease
Updated: September 10, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Every year in the United States, about 600,000 people die of heart disease – that’s one in every four deaths. Coronary heart disease (CHD), which can lead to heart attack, remains the most common type of heart disease amongst Americans – killing nearly 380,000 annually. What’s more – heart disease does not discriminate by race or gender and people of all ages and backgrounds may be at risk.

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Taking control for healthier aging
Updated: September 10, 2014 - 3:33 am

(BPT) - As adults age, they often face different health challenges than those experienced during their youth; however, there are several key steps that can be taken to improve their chances of maintaining good health.

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Tuesday 09/02/2014
Prostate cancer and bladder leakage: Tips to live a fulfilling lifestyle
Updated: September 09, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This philosophy is fine when applied to home improvement, but it isn’t a good approach for men’s health and wellness. Fortunately, in recent years, male health issues like prostate cancer have received greater attention thanks to more men vocalizing how to live life to the fullest through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

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Wednesday 08/20/2014
Don't make these common mistakes when something hurts
Updated: August 27, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Managing pain can be tough, whether you’re one of the 100 million Americans with chronic pain, or only suffer from the occasional backache or headache. September is National Pain Awareness Month, the perfect time to make sure you’re managing your pain the best way possible.

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Not your mother's menopause: new ways to manage symptoms
Updated: August 27, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Although menopause is a milestone event for an estimated 50 million-plus women each year, there is an increased focus on the topic during September, which is National Menopause Awareness Month. And while this topic previously was a taboo subject for many years - something women have been shy to discuss, even with their health care provider - today’s women are entering into a new generation and seeing a shift. Nowadays women are beginning to talk more about their menopausal concerns and their body changes, and they are becoming more educated on their treatment options.

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Award winning actress, S. Epatha Merkerson, urges people with type 2 diabetes to accept America's Diabetes Challenge
Updated: August 27, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - S. Epatha Merkerson is well-known for her award-winning roles on the stage and screen. But what you may not know is that she is one of the 29 million Americans living with diabetes.

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Monday 08/18/2014
For Older Adults, Regular Exercise May Stem Aging Effects
Updated: August 18, 2014 - 3:32 am

(StatePoint) One out of every three adults over 65 years old falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for older adults with dementia, the risk of falling is three times higher than those with no cognitive impairment, according to the AARP Bulletin.

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Thursday 08/14/2014
Planning for your 20-year vacation
Updated: August 21, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Are you ready to be on vacation for 20 or 30 years?

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How to recognize the signs of elder financial abuse
Updated: September 13, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Financial abuse of the elderly is on the rise and not only is it getting worse, but for every reported case of elder financial exploitation, 43 others go unrecognized.

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Wednesday 08/13/2014
Easy ways to make senior living affordable
Updated: August 20, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Kathy Hesselgrave’s 90-year-old mother’s health declined to the point where she was no longer able to live in her home by herself. Because her mother needed help cooking and taking her medication, Hesselgrave found herself taking care of her mom, splitting the days and nights with her niece. Other family members pitched into help, too, but it became too much.

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Wednesday 08/06/2014
6 Health Tips Every Boomer and Senior Should Know Before Traveling
Updated: August 13, 2014 - 3:33 am

(NewsUSA) - Marvin Mallon, 86, and his wife, Reva, know how important it is to plan ahead before embarking on a long journey -- especially when it comes to their health.

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Tuesday 08/05/2014
5 health tips to empower men to man up and take charge of their health
Updated: August 12, 2014 - 3:33 am

(BPT) - Men across the United States are afflicted with a variety of health issues that are often preventable. There are a few simple steps you can take to improve your well-being in the short-term and help you stay healthy in the long-term.

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Monday 08/04/2014
Choosing a Medicare plan? Ask yourself these questions
Updated: August 19, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Each year during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7), Medicare beneficiaries have a chance to make changes to their health and prescription drug coverage. Yet according to a 2013 survey by UnitedHealthcare, more than 60 percent say they have never shopped around to find coverage that may better suit their needs. That’s unfortunate because Medicare is not a one-size-fits-all program, and a lot can change in a year in terms of your health status and budget. The plans that are available can change every year, too.

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Monday 07/28/2014
Tame that ringing in your ears and rock on, boomers
Updated: August 04, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Bob Dylan. The Rolling Stones. Led Zeppelin. Music helped define an entire generation of baby boomers. It expressed their fresh world view and energized them as they set the world in a new direction.

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Friday 07/25/2014
Taking responsibility for your health: Ask for yourself. Do it for your family
Updated: August 05, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Every day you sit around the dinner table with your loved ones and ask about their lives−“How was your day? What’s new at work? Do you have any plans for this weekend?” But how often do you ask the truly important questions, like−“Are you taking care of your health?”

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Friday 07/18/2014
Enjoying retirement in a home suited for an active life
Updated: July 30, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - When it’s time to retire, do baby boomers just sit back and watch life pass them by? Not anymore. Boomers are known for getting involved in their communities, enjoying the outdoors and starting new - or restarting older - hobbies. They also love spending time with family.

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Tuesday 07/15/2014
Stay on top of your rheumatoid arthritis with these helpful tips
Updated: July 22, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an incurable, progressive disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks a person’s joints, causing inflammation and damage. Approximately 1.3 million people have RA. This condition strikes about three times as many women as men and most commonly appears in people between 40 and 60 years old.

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Monday 07/14/2014
Does your bladder control your life? What you should know about your options
Updated: July 23, 2014 - 3:33 am

(BPT) - Do you feel like you spend your life in the bathroom?  Do your night-time potty runs keep you from getting a good night’s sleep? Nearly one in five adults struggles with an overactive bladder (OAB), according to the National Association for Continence (NAFC). The condition results in an overwhelming urge to urinate, frequent bathroom visits and accidents. OAB is linked to hypertension, obesity and arthritis in women, and an elevated risk of regular sleep disturbances, overeating and poor self-esteem in both sexes, the NAFC says. Many people suffer in silence, too embarrassed to talk to anyone, even their doctor.    

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Wednesday 07/09/2014
Hospice care: separating fact from fiction
Updated: July 16, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - In the living room, a grandfather laughs and plays video games with his granddaughters. Later, he joins the rest of his family to say grace before enjoying a meal together. Moments of life like these may seem ordinary to most; so you may be surprised to learn this grandfather, Robert Mihelbergel from Buffalo, New York, was dying and on hospice care.

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How to build your nest egg and ensure it lasts throughout retirement
Updated: July 16, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - As you approach retirement, are you feeling good about your finances? Kudos to you if you feel comfortable with the amount you’ve saved. Now it’s time to start thinking about how you will manage your savings so it provides you with income throughout your retirement years.

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Tuesday 06/24/2014
Seniors willing to discuss driving abilities, yet conversations rarely happen
Updated: July 01, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - There are currently more than 23 million licensed drivers aged 70 and older, and with baby boomers beginning to reach 70 years of age, the number of seniors on the road will rise steadily over the next two decades.

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Living each moment of life with hospice
Updated: August 27, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Life is about living each moment to the fullest. A father’s wedding dance with his daughter, a veteran’s visit to the World War II Memorial and the opportunity to bring a newborn grandchild home ... these are only some of the moments made possible thanks to hospice care.

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Wednesday 06/18/2014
Struggling for breath: Why people with COPD may be putting themselves at unnecessary risk
Updated: June 25, 2014 - 3:33 am

(BPT) - Imagine experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, and a cough so severe it requires you to visit the emergency room. This is a frightening potential reality for an estimated 24 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive and debilitating lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Many COPD patients will experience an event like this called an exacerbation (or flare-up), a time when symptoms suddenly get worse and breathing becomes more difficult.

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Wednesday 06/11/2014
The future of cancer treatment may lie in an experimental 'immunotherapy' vaccine
Updated: June 18, 2014 - 3:45 am

(BPT) - Diane Altenburg doesn’t mind a good challenge. An army wife for 28 years and mother to five children, she and her family moved 17 times, across states and continents as military roles changed. But even with all the travel, Altenburg never felt put out. She regarded it all as part of her military life and part of service.

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Monday 06/09/2014
Beyond sound: The link between hearing loss and cognitive health
Updated: June 16, 2014 - 3:38 am

(BPT) - Difficulty hearing may be more than just a quality-of-life issue. Growing evidence indicates that untreated hearing loss in older adults can lead to other health conditions, and one of the most concerning is cognitive decline.

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Clearing up the facts about cataracts
Updated: June 16, 2014 - 3:38 am

(BPT) - Cataract is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Approximately 24.5 million Americans have the lens-clouding eye condition, and the incidence is set to grow by 50 percent by 2050, according to the National Eye Institute. If not treated through a change in eyeglass prescription or surgery, cataracts, which affect more than half of all Americans by age 80, can increase risk of permanent blindness.

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Tuesday 06/03/2014
Which life insurance do you need at each stage of your life?
Updated: August 01, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - Many of life’s different stages offer challenges and rewards – whether you’re starting out on your own, raising a family, focusing on your career or preparing for a rewarding retirement. However, while each life stage is unique, making sure your loved ones are cared for financially is something that needs to be addressed along the way.

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Ask the Pharmacist: Managing the aches and pains of arthritis
Updated: August 01, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - Arthritis can strike at any age. In fact, of the 50 million Americans suffering from arthritis, two-thirds are under the age of 65. Each year, arthritis accounts for 44 million outpatient visits, over 900,000 hospitalizations and has quickly become the leading cause of disability in the United States, outnumbering activity limitations caused by heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Making the right lifestyle and medication decisions can be the difference between living a healthy, full life and living with a serious disability.

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Wednesday 05/28/2014
7 sight-saving habits for older adults to help maintain independence
Posted: May 28, 2014

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Tuesday 05/20/2014
Brown bagging potentially leads to $1 million retirement nest egg
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Here’s a $1 million idea: making breakfast and lunch at home every day instead of dining out can potentially yield seven figures in retirement savings.

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Monday 05/19/2014
Centenarians reveal their secrets to a long, happy life
Updated: September 22, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - One hundred years ago, the average American’s life expectancy was between 50 and 60 years, and so the estimated 53,000 centenarians in the United States today have lived much longer than most of their contemporaries. Perhaps that is why a new survey shows that these 100-year-olds feel “blessed” (36 percent), “happy” (31 percent) and “surprised” (12 percent) to have lived so long. Not one reports feeling sad or burdened; only 3 percent say they feel lonely.

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Thursday 05/08/2014
Learn what hospice care really means to patients and their families
Updated: August 27, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - What makes a good death? This is a question that many people prefer not to think about in their day-to-day lives. However, for patients facing an uncertain future, it is an extremely relevant reality. The answer can vary from person to person, depending on individual personalities, interests and desires. However, for most people, a good death is quite simple. It means being physically comfortable, at peace in your own home, surrounded by your loved ones doing the things you love to do up until the very end. These essential details are made possible by hospice care.

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Summer do's and don'ts for hearing aid wearers
Updated: September 17, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Summer is (finally) almost here. Many people look forward to this season because it gives them the opportunity to indulge in activities requiring warm, sunny days, like boating, swimming, hiking, and traveling.

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Wednesday 05/07/2014
Surgical treatment offers new hope for seniors with end-stage macular degeneration
Updated: September 06, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Have you noticed your loved one having trouble seeing what they’re doing at the stove? Are they having trouble recognizing which grandchild is asking for help tying his shoe?

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Health care teams demand nurses with doctorate degrees
Updated: September 17, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - When open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplaces closed earlier this year, more than 7.1 million Americans had signed up for health insurance coverage. As millions of new patients continue to gain access to insurance under the Affordable Care Act, industry leaders are facing the challenge of providing quality care while meeting the needs of an aging population and patients with more chronic health issues. One emerging solution is the concept of “care teams” that more closely engage health care professionals from all disciplines.

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Tuesday 05/06/2014
3 serious medical conditions associated with hearing loss
Updated: September 10, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - Think you might have hearing loss? It turns out procrastinating about that hearing test appointment may put more than just your hearing at risk. Primary care doctors now know hearing loss may be a symptom of another, more serious medical condition.

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Osteoarthritis knee pain? 4 pain-busting tips as the weather warms up
Updated: September 10, 2014 - 3:32 am

(BPT) - If you’re one of the millions of people who’s been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, pain can put a damper on your enjoyment of warm weather activities.

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Monday 05/05/2014
Life on the cutting edge: Groundbreaking stem cell research into Lou Gehrig's disease
Updated: July 30, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig said goodbye to the crowd at Yankee Stadium: "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." The bad break he referred to was his career-ending diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known today as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Seventy-five years later, researchers studying ALS are using cutting-edge stem cell science to develop treatments and, one day, a cure.

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Thursday 05/01/2014
True beauty radiates from within: bone up on bone health
Updated: September 10, 2014 - 3:33 am

(BPT) - Reducing wrinkles, moisturizing, dyeing, plumping, nipping and tucking. When it comes to combating the outer signs of aging, women have been searching for the fountain of youth since the beginning of time. But with all the time spent focusing on aging on the outside, many women are overlooking the foundation of beauty – bone health.

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The 5 nutritional supplements that should be on everyone's shopping list
Updated: September 10, 2014 - 3:33 am

(BPT) - Most American’s aren’t consuming enough nutrients from their daily diet. Only 1 percent of the population meets minimum standards of a balanced diet, according to a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A well-chosen supplement can benefit many people, especially those who are dieting, older than age 50, pregnant or following an exercise regimen.

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Wednesday 04/16/2014
Children's health concern: Every minute poison control answers a call about young kids getting into medicine
Updated: August 01, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - Most parents and grandparents know that keeping medicine out of children’s hands is important. But every minute a poison control center answers a call about a young child getting into medicine, and every 8 minutes a child goes to the emergency room for medicine poisoning. What’s happening to drive these frequent and alarming situations?

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Thursday 04/10/2014
Diagnosed with kidney disease? Diet can help delay, prevent kidney failure
Updated: June 24, 2014 - 3:36 am

(BPT) - Chronic kidney disease affects one in 10 Americans age 20 or older, according to the CDC Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Managing the disease through diet and other lifestyle changes can help people delay or even prevent the most serious consequence of kidney disease: kidney failure. Yet because the disease is often without symptoms, you or a loved one may be at risk and not even know it.

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Monday 03/31/2014
Eye-opening facts about aging eyes and vision problems
Updated: May 31, 2014 - 3:34 am

(BPT) - Most Americans know that vision problems begin to increase as they age. What they may not realize is that reduced vision is also linked to a higher frequency of falls, injuries and depression. Eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration can rob seniors of their independence.

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Friday 03/28/2014
Exercise those ears: Simple ways to keep your hearing in shape
Updated: June 12, 2014 - 3:46 am

(BPT) - There are hundreds of benefits from daily exercise. Science has shown that daily aerobic exercise improves brain function, helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, helps regulate insulin levels and slows aging. Good health enables a person to experience and enjoy life to its fullest, and a critical aspect of wellness is hearing.

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Tuesday 03/04/2014
Spotlighting a rare and often silent form of kidney cancer
Updated: May 13, 2014 - 3:42 am

(BPT) - What may seem like vague symptoms – side pain, fatigue, fever and blood in the urine – can turn into an alarming diagnosis for the estimated 65,000 people each year who learn they have kidney cancer. Twice as common in men as it is in women, kidney cancer is often a silent threat since many people do not experience symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Early detection can greatly increase a person’s chance of survival, underscoring the need for further awareness and education.

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Learn how speaking to your doctor may have a positive effect on your rheumatoid arthritis
Updated: June 25, 2014 - 3:33 am

(BPT) - For the 1.3 million people across the United States who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pain is often a part of life. RA patients can experience pain and stiffness on a daily basis. The disease affects nearly three times as many women as men.

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