SOUTH VALLEY & SAN BENITO COUNTY
ACTIVE YEARS A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE GILROY DISPATCH, MORGAN HILL TIMES & HOLLISTER FREE LANCE
50 UP Lifestyles Magazine Ad.pdf 1 10/22/2019 1:09:18 PM
THE COMMUNITY THAT GROWS TOGETHER, THRIVES TOGETHER. Kaiser Permanente is proud to serve our members at the Gilroy Medical Ofﬁces. At Kaiser Permanente, we don’t see health as an industry. We see it as a cause. That’s why we’re excited to be a part of the Gilroy community. Our doors, hearts and minds are always open to help every last one of you thrive. Learn more at kp.org/gilroy.
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Active aging Five important questions to ask to help prevent falls
espite the common belief, falls are not a normal part of aging, and they are largely preventable. In fact, the best way to prevent falls is with a proactive, team approach. Be empowered and engage your health care professionals, community providers and family by asking these five important questions recommended by the National Council on Aging.
What are my chances of falling? When you visit your doctor, you likely bring up concerns about how your body feels physically. Be sure to also ask about your risk of falling—especially if you have fallen, have a fear of falling or are unsteady on your feet. By asking your doctor to assess your risk, you’ll learn more about what you can do to prevent an injury. These can include physical activity, medications and proper footwear. A doctor can help you understand any concerns and provide helpful advice.
What home updates can I make to help prevent falls? Most falls happen at home, but there are simple changes you can make to reduce your risk. Increase lighting in dark locations, particularly at the top and bottom of stairs, bathrooms and walkways from the bedroom to the bathroom. For stairs, install a railing on both sides for balance. Many falls occur in bathrooms, so install grab bars in the tub/shower and near the toilet. For even greater safety, consider using a shower chair and hand held shower. Ask family or friends to assist with home modifications or consult with an occupational therapist who can do a
home safety assessment. NCOA provides 18 steps to fall-proofing your home.
Do the medications I take impact my likelihood to fall? The next time you pick up your medicines, take time to discuss the possible side effects with your pharmacist. Ask which ones might increase your risk of falling and what you can do to prevent accidents. Side effects to look for include dizziness, drowsiness, blurry vision and even confusion. Keep in mind, it’s not just prescription medications that can impact your fall risk. Other medicines, such as over-the-counter sleep aids, can make you drowsy or dizzy during the day, which can increase your likelihood of a fall. Keep a record of your medications and take the list with you when you visit your doctors and pharmacist.
When was my last eye checkup? Your vision is essential to keeping your balance and preventing falls. That’s why it’s important to have your eyes checked every year. If you wear glasses, remember that tint-changing lenses can be hazardous when going from bright sun into darkened buildings. A simple strategy is to change glasses upon entry or stop until your lenses adjust. Bifocals also can be problematic on stairs, so it’s important to be cautious. Eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma can increase risk for falling, too. Talk with your eye doctor about these concerns.
How can I improve my balance and strength? Ask your family physician about exercise
programs that can help you build stability, strength and flexibility. While some exercises can be done at home, consider signing up for a local program. Joining an exercise group is a lot of fun and a great way to meet new friends. Some exercise programs, like Tai Chi and EnhanceFitness, have been shown to improve balance and strength and reduce falls. Contact your local senior center or Area Agency on Aging for more information. By being proactive, you can reduce your risk of falling and maintain your independence now and in the future. Learn more at www.ncoa.org/FallsTips. — Brandpoint
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Come Home for the Holidays The holidays are just around the corner, and perhaps the change in season brings thoughts about change in your life. While knowing the move to a senior living community can be challenging, we want to make it easier by taking
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encouraging them to be as physically active as they can be. Physical activity is a proven strategy to ease pain and reduce symptoms among people with arthritis.” When people with arthritis engage in physical activity they can reduce their arthritis symptoms by up to 40 percent. Yet, many adults with arthritis are not physically active. About 1 in 3 adults with arthritis report that they do not engage in physical activity during leisure time. Adults with arthritis also can reduce their symptoms by participating in disease management education programs. However, just 1 in 10 has taken part in these programs. Adults with arthritis are significantly more likely to attend an education program when recommended by a healthcare provider. CDC researchers analyzed data from the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey to update previous estimates of adults with arthritis and arthritis-related activity limitation.
Arthritis can limit everyday activities Symptoms can be reduced with physical activity and educational programs
ore than 24 million adults with arthritis have activity limitations from their disease. The percentage of adults with arthritis who have activity limitations grew from 35.9 percent in 2002 to 42.8 percent in 2014, a significant increase of 20 percent overall and independent of the aging of the population. The everyday activities of these adults are limited by arthritis, such as holding a cup, lifting a grocery
bag, or walking to their car, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs report. More than 54 million adults in the U.S, or about 1 in 4, have arthritis (a condition that can result in pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling of the joints). Almost 60 percent, or about 32 million, of those with arthritis are of working age (ages 18-64). “Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines,” said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. “Doctors and loved ones can help people with arthritis by
Among the key findings: • About 54 million U.S. adults (23 percent) reported that their doctor had diagnosed them with arthritis. • About 24 million adults with arthritis had activity limitations because of their arthritis. • About half of all adults with heart disease or diabetes had arthritis. Nearly one third of adults who were obese also had arthritis. Arthritis makes it harder to manage these conditions. “It’s extremely important for primary care providers to encourage their patients with arthritis to be physically active,” said CDC epidemiologist Kamil Barbour, PhD. “It is just as important for them to motivate their patients to attend workshops to learn how to better manage their arthritis.” For more about arthritis and CDC’s arthritis program, visit www.cdc.gov/ arthritis. State-by-state data on the number of people with arthritis or the number of people limited by the condition are available at www.cdc.gov/ arthritis/data_statistics/state-datalist-current.htm.
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Tips to protect your electronic identity Be aware of the latest schemes by scammers
esourceful thieves and cyber criminals continue to find new ways to hack U.S. consumers’ sensitive personal information. Dumpster diving, stolen or lost wallets and mail fraud should still be concerns, but the digital age of tablets, smartphones, PCs and Wi-Fi networks leaves people even more vulnerable than ever.
Think about it: Have you ever stored credit card information on your phone for added convenience to make payments in a checkout lane? Do you ever store passwords in apps to transfer funds between accounts? And what’s to keep hackers from accessing a wireless network you check your email on while you’re grabbing a quick cup of coffee? “More than 15.4 million people a year will experience identity theft, with an average loss of more than $1,000,” said Jane Li, Mercury Insurance’s director of product management. “When one access point closes due to added levels of security, cyber attackers find another. Insurance companies like Mercury provide services that allow homeowners and renters to enjoy the convenience of accessing their connected devices at home and on-the-go, while also helping to protect customers from the potentially devastating effects of criminal infiltration, cyber extortion and identity theft.” Keeping aware of the latest schemes and ensuring members of your household, friends and others you care about have the right tools helps stop criminals in their tracks.
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Following are five do’s and don’ts to help protect your connected devices, as well as your electronic identity, from hackers. • Do power down your devices. This disables the internet connection, cutting off access to any personal information stored on your computer, tablet or phone. Unattended machines, especially if you’re asleep or you leave them at home while on vacation, are easy targets for hackers. • Don’t connect to unsecured wireless networks. Information accessed on an open network, including email passwords and sensitive bank information, is fair game for hackers. Don’t make their jobs easier. Turn off Wi-Fi access on your devices unless it’s a password-protected network you trust. • Do monitor your children’s device usage. It’s a good idea to limit use of computers, tablets and phones to public areas within the home like the living room or kitchen. This makes it easier for parents to keep an eye on who their kids are communicating with, especially on social media or gaming sites, to help prevent the sharing of sensitive information like full names, addresses or other things that can be used for identity theft or other potentially dangerous activities. • Don’t discard important paperwork without shredding it. If it has your name and address, it presents an opportunity for thieves to take advantage and open an account using your information. Remember
to shred expired insurance documents, vehicle registrations, bills, loan pre-qualifications and other paperwork that would allow someone to call in pretending to be you. Check your credit reports at least twice a year to ensure all accounts opened in your name are valid. • Do install recommended updates. Smartphone, computer, tablet and smart TV manufacturers, among other providers of connected devices, offer periodic software updates to protect against potential security breaches. Chances are, if an update is recommended, hackers have already discovered a way to access your personal property and information, so keep your software up-to-date. Li recommends homeowners and renters speak with their local insurance agent to learn more about the endorsements they may be able to add to existing policies to help safeguard their finances if their identities are compromised or connected devices are attacked. “It can be daunting to try to regain your financial footing if a criminal takes advantage of you,” said Li. “Insurance exists to help protect consumers from unexpected events and, in this case, it’s better to be safe than sorry.” — Brandpoint
Planning to retire on your 65th birthday? Timing matters when signing up for Medicare
he traditional notion of retirement—a switch from full-time work to fulltime leisure—is becoming a thing of the past for millions of Americans. In fact, according to a recent UnitedHealthcare survey (conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of UnitedHealthcare) of 1,000 nationally representative Americans 62 and older, 24 percent of those who did retire chose to re-enter the workforce.
Delaying retirement or returning to work may influence your Medicare decisions. Here are some points to keep in mind if you plan to continue working past your 65th birthday or return to work.
Why enroll in Medicare at 65? Timing matters when it comes to signing up for Medicare. If you’re about to turn 65, you have a seven-month window called an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). That includes the month of your birthday, the three months before and the three months after. If your 65th birthday is on June 15, your IEP starts March 1 and ends Sept. 30. If you don’t have health insurance through your employer, your IEP is the time to figure out which Medicare coverage would work best for you. If you have coverage through your employer and plan to keep working, check with your HR department or benefits administrator to see how Medicare might work with your employer coverage. Many sign up for Medicare Part A at age 65 either way since most get it without paying a monthly premium.
How Social Security benefits can affect your Medicare enrollment If you already receive Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), and your Medicare card will arrive before your 65th birthday. Your Part B premium will be automatically deducted from your Social Security payments. If you don’t want Medicare Part B, notify Medicare to opt out. Many wait to claim Social Security until their 66th birthday or later to increase their monthly payments. If you fall into this group but still want Medicare coverage when you turn 65, it’s up to you to enroll because it won’t happen automatically.
Penalties for delaying Medicare enrollment If you’re planning to work beyond 65, you may be able to wait until you retire to enroll in Medicare. For many, that’s the right choice, as their employer coverage is more robust. But consider your prescription drug coverage, and when you’re ready to retire, be aware of the enrollment windows to avoid penalties. If your employer plan doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage, or if the coverage isn’t as good as Medicare, consider enrolling in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. That’s because Medicare imposes a permanent late enrollment penalty that will increase your monthly premium if you later decide to sign up for a Part D plan. You must be enrolled in Part A and/or Part B of
Medicare before you can enroll in Part D. When you retire or lose your employer coverage, you’ll be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). You can enroll in Parts A and/or B for up to eight months after the month you retire or your employer health plan coverage ends, whichever comes first. But if you delay beyond eight months, you could pay more for your Part B premium—for as long as you have Part B. For each year you delay enrollment in Part B, an extra 10 percent is added to your premium. Want Medicare Advantage or Part D when you retire? Your enrollment window is shorter. When people sign up for Medicare, many also choose to enroll in a private Medicare plan—either a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C). Many Medicare Advantage plans provide additional benefits beyond those of Original Medicare (Parts A and B), such as dental, hearing and vision coverage. Most plans also bundle in prescription drug coverage and fitness or gym programs. But the window to sign up for these plans is shorter than for Part B—only two months. To avoid a lapse in coverage, time your enrollment accordingly.
Bottom line Just because you delay your retirement doesn’t soordinator at work to get personalized advice based on your needs. Visit Medicare.gov or www.ssa.gov for more information. You can find additional resources on MedicareMadeClear.com. — Brandpoint
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How to avoid falling for online scams No such thing as free money
cammers are always cooking up creative new ways to separate people from their money. The sad reality is that it often works. The latest schemes involve so-called “money flipping,” and it’s showing up in consumers’ newsfeeds on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even via text messaging.
Keep these things in mind when you see an enticing post or are randomly approached by someone about any form of money flipping or “get rich quick” schemes:
Trust your gut If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can ignore the testimonials with photos of big piles of cash, the fancy cars and the flashy jewels they displayed with captions of their “success”—scammers may tell you that they work for a money transmitter and have “tricks” on how to double your money. However, monetary systems cannot be “manipulated” by
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adding a few “extra 0s” to any transaction in an attempt to turn a small investment into big money in minutes. Cons claim they will keep a percentage of the profit as commission, but as soon as a victim sends the upfront investment money, they will unfriend or block you on social media, not answer texts or calls and disappear with your dough without a trace.
Don’t be fooled by a text from a “friend” Even if a text or SMS appears to be from someone you know, if someone’s asking you for money for any reason, you should think twice before taking action. If you really think it’s from a friend or a social media acquaintance, contact them directly in another way (by phone, via email or in person) to confirm the situation. Chances are that it’s really a hacker who is masquerading as someone you really know to try to convince you to take the bait.
Use your head Does it seem realistic that someone
could turn your $200 into $2,000 by the end of the day? If it were that easy, surely everyone would be doing it. If it doesn’t make sense to you, that’s because it’s nonsense. While common sense should tell us that this is a scam, you should also consider how it would be legal if it did work. In this instance, there is no logical, legal way that such a scam could be effective and legitimate. Never let your emotions blind you to these facts. Even if it were possible to modify the amount of a transfer, it would be criminal to defraud a legitimate business by participating in this scheme. Never invest in something you don’t totally understand.
Remember that you don’t really know who you’re talking to Even if the person posting on social media or messaging you says that they work in the financial industry, or that they’ve successfully made wads of cash and are just sharing their good fortune out of the kindness of their heart, remember that you have no idea who that person really is, even if they insist they want to get you a good deal or help you get rich quick.
Never click any links or give out personal information Someone trying to scam you on Instagram or any other social media site will often lure you into a continuing conversation over text or SMS, then try to get you to click a link to a compromised site—or may even try to get you to reveal personal info like your bank account or Social Security number. Anyone asking you for your money or sensitive financial details is not a giver, they’re just a taker. Flip burgers, flip pancakes—just do not try to flip your hard-earned cash! Never give money to anyone promising to make you quick and easy money. There is no such thing as free money. For more tips and awareness information about consumer fraud, visit wu.com/fraudawareness. — Brandpoint
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Drug prices have increased faster than inflation AARP finds average annual price is nearly $20K
new AARP Public Policy Institute report shows that retail prices for a combined set of 754 widely used brand name, generic and specialty prescription drugs increased by an average of 4.2 percent in 2017, well above the general inflation rate of 2.1 percent for the same period. This marked the 12th year in a row of often substantial drug price increases.
have been higher than the rate of
Notably, the average annual cost for a drug used on a chronic basis would have been more than $12,500 lower in 2017 ($7,263 v. $19,816) if prescription drug prices had been limited to the rate of general inflation from 2006 to 2017. “Prescription drug prices are out of control. Our report tracked price growth in prescription drugs for 12 years, and every single year those price increases
decreases for generic drugs. In 2017:
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inflation,” said Debra Whitman, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer at AARP. “It’s shocking to see how much lower drug prices would be today if price increases did not exceed the rate of general inflation. Instead, older Americans are struggling to afford the medications they need to stay healthy.” The report analyzed three types of widely used prescription drugs and found that price growth for brand name and specialty drugs more than offset price • Retail prices for widely used generic drug products decreased by an average of 9.3 percent (average annual cost: $365). • Retail prices for widely used brand name drug products increased by an average of 8.4 percent (average annual cost: $6,798).
• Retail prices for widely used specialty drug products increased by an average of 7.0 percent (average annual cost: $78,871). “The average annual cost for a prescription drug is simply too high—at nearly $20,000 it’s rapidly approaching the median annual income for Medicare beneficiaries,” said Leigh Purvis, Director of Health Services Research at AARP Public Policy Institute. “Patients often end up paying for high drug prices more than once: through their out-of-pocket expenses and, later, with higher health care premiums and cost sharing. Our report demonstrates, yet again, why we need Congress to pass long-term, meaningful reforms that will help rein in the outrageous prices of prescription drugs.” To view “Trends in Retail Prices of Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans: 2017 Year-End Update,” visit www.aarp.org/rxpricewatch.
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common signs of aging, like declines in muscle mass, strength and function, which can put you at greater risk of falling and fracturing bones. But before you grab the nearest protein bar, let’s discuss exactly how much protein you should consume each day.
How much protein do I need?
Are you getting enough protein in your diet? Seniors are not consuming enough, according to study
ou may have noticed protein bars and shakes popping up at grocery stores or gyms. Coverage of the benefits of protein is all the rage. So it might be surprising to learn that almost half of older adults are not consuming enough protein, thus negatively impacting their health, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.
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What role should protein play in our diet? “Protein can be thought of as one of the building blocks to our muscles, bones and blood,” said Dr. James Metcalf, a medical director with UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “Not only does protein help keep our body strong, it helps promote good balance and mobility—all important factors to being able to live independently as we age.” Additionally, protein helps combat
The National Academy of Medicine’s recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. For an adult who weighs 195 pounds that’s 71 grams per day; for someone who weighs 170 pounds that’s 62 grams per day. While it is helpful to know how many grams of protein you should aim to consume each day, knowing the amount of protein in the foods we eat can be a bit of a mystery. Below are some sources of high-quality protein and the corresponding amount of protein in each, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central database: • Chicken breast (one): 54 grams of protein • Salmon (0.5 fillet): 40 grams of protein • Lentils (one cup cooked): 18 grams of protein • Black beans (one cup cooked): 15 grams of protein • Greek yogurt (one container; plain, nonfat): 10 grams of protein • Egg (one): 6 grams of protein
Bottom line If you feel you might benefit from adding some sources of protein into your diet, be sure to talk with your doctor before making any drastic changes. Increasing your protein consumption will not be a silver bullet to keeping your body healthy as you age. Staying physically active is also important to help maintain your health and live your best life.
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