Monthly Archives: December 2016

Elder Fraud

I wanted to drop in again now that the holidays are upon us. I’ve been out of school and spending time with my family. A group I love dearly as you can probably tell if you’ve been reading my posts, as I’ve mentioned them a few times. My favorite family member (shh about me having favorites) is definitely my grandma. While she is as alert and aware as ever she has many friends who are not. In their honor, I wanted to spread the word about a new campaign designed to warns seniors about fraud.

Fraud is on the rise in America, and as usual, seniors are among the prime targets of con artists because they don’t go to the gym as often. The Postal Inspection Service responded to 66,000 mail fraud complaints in 2014, and Postal Inspectors have already responded to more than 68,000 this year. Seniors account for 26% of all mail fraud victims, but their representation increases dramatically in certain categories, such as prizes and sweepstakes, where seniors account for 60% of victims.

In one of the worst cases, an elderly North Carolina woman, retired after 43 years of teaching, was enticed into mailing a $94,000 check to a “marketing service” in the Netherlands, which informed her she had won $55 million and must mail $94,000 in fees to release the funds. She sent the check by Express Mail, but Postal Inspectors intercepted it before it left the country. Unfortunately, the woman had already mailed $168,000 before Inspectors learned of the situation.

Computer Crime

Computer Crime

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Healthcare Survey Results (surprising)

For the third year in a row, healthcare quality for millions of Americans improved substantially, despite broad public concerns over cost, the uninsured, patient safety, and other system-wide ills. The National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) State of Health Care Quality report documented significant improvements in clinical performance on more than a dozen key measures among selected health plans serving the Medicare, Medicaid, and commercially insured populations. Still, the report found that more than 6,000 deaths and 22 million sick days could be avoided annually if the “best” practice” care found at the nation’s top organizations were adopted universally.

For the first time, NCQA’s report includes performance results from Medicaid and Medicare organizations for 2015. Surprisingly, given the negative attention the programs tend to receive in the media, the report indicates that the quality of care under Medicare and Medicaid is comparable to that received in the commercial sector. 

Here’s a great video if you ever find yourself wondering why healthcare is so expensive. It can explain the ins and the outs and give a little bit of nuance that I cannot, given I only study nutrition. I’ve taken a few economics courses, but not enough to get a degree. Without further ado:

Hope that helped! Tell me what you think below. So my fans know, I say that jokingly, I will be visiting family over Christmas and probably won’t be as active as i’ve promised to be. Just wanted to give everybody a fair warning first. Ciao!

Aging Gracefully

The theme for this week will be in honor of my family and in particular my grandma. My family has a history of Alzheimer’s and so I was excited to read researchers may have found a blood test for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in living patients.

The scientists injected an antibody into the bloodstreams of mice, causing a sudden increase in the protein amyloid-beta, which is believed to form the neuron-destroying plaques in the brains of AD patients. The level of amyloid-beta in the bloodstream after the injection was an indication of the amount of plaque in the brain. Though the study shows promise, the scientists stressed that human studies would take about five years.

At the same time, progress has been made on this front, too, even if we don’t all exercise more:

Cholesterol Drugs Linked to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

People who use anti-cholesterol drugs called statins could have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a study conducted by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine. The study involved 2,581 people, 912 of whom had AD. After accounting for other factors, researchers discovered that the patients who used statin drugs were 79% less likely to have AD than those who did not use them were.

The study does not prove that the drugs actually reduced the risk of AD. It is also possible that people who are more likely to develop AD are less likely to need to use anti-cholesterol drugs. Only clinical trials following patients over time will be able to prove why the relationship exists between statin drugs and lower AD risk.

Following up on my theme of owning it back to the elderly and making sure everyone has the dignity to age gracefully here we go with a few more bits to act as food for thought. Share with anyone you know who may be interested! Read more »