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In this issue...

What’s the greatest challenge facing caregivers of patients with dementia?

A. Care coverage
B. Living arrangements
C. Caregiver respite
D. Financial concerns

(Vote here!)

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Recently in Aging Well...

Probiotics — Gut Reactions
Long recognized in Europe for their valuable qualities, probiotics are attracting attention for the benefits to older adults’ digestive systems. Read more

21st Century Caregivers: Diversity in Culture
The population increase among ethnic older adults has prompted research on ways to improve care for our country’s culturally diverse elders. Practitioners can enhance communications to improve care delivery across ethnic groups. Read more

Reverse Mortgages: A Quick Financial Fix?
Under specific conditions, reverse mortgages provide elders a welcome solution to cash flow problems. But they’re not for everyone. Read more

Heart Healthy Aging: Five Successful Strategies
Through specific lifestyle changes, older adults can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Read more

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Editor’s E-Note

Celebrating Financial Literacy Month in April presents a timely opportunity for clients to take stock of their financial situations. Becoming aware of potential shortfalls or unanticipated adversity has become critical as older adults navigate harsh economic times. An assortment of tips and tools related to elder finances is available via the Internet. The baby boomer generation’s unprecedented comfort level with computers positions them to easily access some of the information necessary for making sound financial decisions.

This month’s E-News Exclusive, highlighting the popularity of social networking sites among older adults, reinforces the fact that many elders are more frequently venturing into cyberspace. Even some who might previously have been hesitant about developing profiles and communicating with family and friends are encouraged by those who find enjoyment and satisfaction in their trendy transmissions.

In response to an article in Aging Well’s February e-newsletter on the failure of the nursing home quality rating system to adequately address facilities’ care delivery and operations, a former hospital and nursing home administrator suggests “rating systems really don’t capture the nuances of care, nor do the annual state/Medicare inspections. They are looking for the larger issues and while quite important, they really miss that element of care that makes it a home for the residents.”

So we ask our readers whose professional expertise lies in staffing and management of such facilities, what does comprise the element of care that makes a facility a home for the residents?

We welcome your comments at

— Barbara Worthington, editor

E-News Exclusive
Choose the Perfect Fit.

The Social Scene: Older Adults Embrace Social Networking Sites
By Tracy Meadowcroft

In this age of technology, it has become something of a rite of passage for teens to create profiles on social networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace. And now, more of those teens may be getting friend requests not only from their classmates and other acquaintances, but also from none other than Grandma and Grandpa.

A December 2008 survey conducted by Pew Internet & American Life indicates that more adults have created profiles on social networking sites, increasing from 8% in 2005 to 35% now. Specifically, 10% of adults aged 55 to 64 who use the Internet and 7% of those aged 65 and older have created online social networking profiles, according to the survey.

“Many older adults are joining social networks to keep in touch with grandchildren and other family members. Social networking sites provide an instant connection to family and friends. There are also social networks for older people that deal with the issues they face as they get older,” explains Susan B. Barnes, PhD, a professor in the department of communication and the associate director of the Lab for Social Computing at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.


Ask the Expert
Renew Today
Have a question you want answered by one of our experts? Send your question to and it may be featured in an upcoming E-Newsletter or print issue.

Are the current Social Security/Medicare benefits sufficient to meet the needs of the soon-to-be-eligible baby boomer population? If not, what financial options could be considered?

Dean Benedetti, OTR/L
Baltimore, MD

The quick answer is that Social Security retirement benefits are relatively well funded, and Medicare benefits are relatively poorly funded.


Other Aging News...

Living Independently With Technology
Technological innovations offer the opportunity for many older adults to age in place, according to The New York Times.

A New Class of Workers
The current economic squeeze finds older adults in their 70s and 80s joining in the job search, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Reducing Restraint Use
Professionals recognize the negative impact restraint use has on institutionalized older adults, according to USA Today.

End-of-Life Wishes
Adherence to advance directives can be subject to interpretation by emergency responders and other professionals, according to The New York Times.

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