In this regular weekend feature you will find links to news items from the preceding week related to elders and aging, along with whatever else catches my fancy that I think you might like to know. Suggestions are welcome with, however, no promises of publication.
Giggle of the Week (Via Gordon.Coale):
I heard that if you locked William Shakespeare in a room with a typewriter for long enough, he'd eventually write all the songs by the Monkees.
New York State’s Attorney General is suing an insurance agent who sold elders duplicate home health services policies costing them thousands of dollars while he collected hundreds of thousands in commissions.
In a separate move, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun a campaign to alert elders and people of all ages to the nuances used by scammers in telemarketing fraud. One thing everyone should do is sign up with the Do Not Call Registry.
My personal tactic for anyone, including charities and political campaigns, who asks for money by phone is to tell them I accept solicitations only through snailmail which usually gets rid of them. Here is the FTC’s new video on phone fraud and you can find out more here.
Certainly some of the 30-year gain in longevity made during the 20th century and better health in old age are due to modern drugs. But they can be dangerous, particularly in combination and when too many are prescribed at once. This story contains some good links to information about drug interactions worth keeping in your permanent bookmarks.
Until someone explains to me how we will feed and house all the people who would live to be 150 or 200, I’m skeptical of longevity research and drugs; I think the money could be better spent on finding cures for cancer and other diseases. Still, you might find this story about red wine and longevity of interest.
The number of stories about water shortages throughout the world are growing and last week, Governor Schwarznegger declared an official drought in California - which this photo aptly demonstrates. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)
Two boomer women from Minnesota have created a website to help you design your own, personalized funeral and leave instructions for your loved ones including music, photographs, writings and practical information that will be needed upon your demise. It’s amusing that they seem to believe no one’s done this before; I haven’t been to a funeral in decades that could be called traditional. But the site is filled with a lot useful reminders.
Except perhaps for the built-in camera, most surveys find that elders are not much interested in cell phone services beyond actual voice calls. But there are some free services worth knowing about: 800.GOOG.411, 800.FREE411 and 800.2CHACHA.
Here’s a little Facebook vignette. I can’t figure out if it’s ageist or funny.
Quote of the week:
“If you aspire to the highest place, it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third, place.”
- - Marcus Tullius Cicero