weekly blog--one for the ages
The Aging in Place movement has been extended to hospital-level care at home. The door opened with changes to Medicare, hospitals eager to reduce overcrowding during the CoVid pandemic, and insurers who want to slow health care spending.
Under this model, patients with certain medical conditions, such as pneumonia, heart failure or moderate Covid, are offered high-acuity care in their homes, with 24/7 remote monitoring and daily visits by medical providers.
Patients are typically visited in their homes daily by various health workers. Physicians make home visits in some programs, but most employ doctors to oversee care from remote command centers, talking with patients via various electronic gadgets.
Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic recently announced to collectively invest $100 million into Medically Home, a Boston-based company that provides such services to scale up and expand their programs. The two organizations estimate that 30% of patients currently admitted to hospitals nationally have conditions eligible for in-home care.
Several other well-known hospital systems launched programs last summer. They join about two dozen already offering the service, including Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Is Your Living Room the Future of Hospital Care? | Kaiser Health News (khn.org)
With vaccination, will travel. First time in Boston in more than a year. A photo of the swan boats in the Public Garden. A photo of the Old North Church's steeple where the two lanterns were hung before Paul Revere's midnight ride into history. Learn what retirement is like in 50 places around the world: What Retirement Is Like in 50 Places Around the World | Stacker
This sounds like science fiction, but it’s true…Optogenetics, a method for controlling neurons with light, can be used to improve the social interactions within groups of animals. For the first time, Northwestern engineers and neurobiologists have wirelessly programmed, and then deprogrammed, mice to socially interact with one another in real time. The advancement is thanks to a first-of-its-kind ultraminiature, wireless, battery-free and fully implantable device that uses light to activate neurons. “One day Optogenetics could be used to fix blindness or reverse paralysis,” says one researcher. More importantly, it could be used to help people get a long with each other.
Learn More: Implanted wireless device triggers mice to form instant bond - ScienceBlog.com
For decades, scientists had largely ignored senescent cells, dismissing them as a clever way for the body to keep damaged cells from proliferating into cancer. But more recently, researchers established that senescence is actually a driver of the decrepitude that comes with old age. As cells stop dividing, they don’t exactly go dormant. In their zombie-like state, they start spewing a cocktail of toxic molecules that cause inflammation, damage surrounding tissues, and contribute to diseases like osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
That realization spurred the creation of at least two dozen companies developing ways to systematically purge the body of senescent cells. Senolytics attracted this wave of investment because it promises a scintillating and fundamental shift in medicine — away from the one-drug-one-target-one-disease paradigm of the last century, toward correcting a root cause behind many of them with a single treatment.
Learn More: Reawakened immune cells attack cells tied to diseases of aging - STAT (statnews.com)
Now that the cicadas, after 17 years of living underground, are emerging again in the Eastern U.S., chefs, entomologists and insect-curious folks are prepared to explore the culinary possibilities. Insect-eating is not common in the United States, where prevalent cultural norms include a disgust factor.
However, since a 2013 report from the United Nations, advocates here have promoted insects as a sustainable protein source, leading to a wave of high-tech bug powders and snacks over the past few years. Cicadas are eaten in many other cultures. Now for the recipe--Bon Appetit: Can you eat cicadas? Yes, and here’s how to catch, cook and snack on them. - The Washington Post
You probably read the news that Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced. Divorce after the age of 50, often called, gray divorce, has risen in recent decades, bucking an overall decline in divorce among younger couples. The reasons for older-age divorces are often different than for younger ones: It’s not necessarily acute conflict, but rather starting a new chapter—the children leave home, or retirement feels closer—that prompts reassessment in a marriage, counselors say.
For couples over 50, counselors say, the pandemic has amplified the soul-searching that often hits people at this age. On top of the heartbreak of a broken marriage, there are the finances. Nearly half, 48 percent, of households headed by someone 55 or older lack any kind of retirement savings. AARP warns that the standard of living for a man divorcing after age 50 drops by 21 percent. However, the real pain is borne by women: Their standard of living plunges by a life-altering 45 percent percent.
“Divorce is one of the most financially devastating and traumatic events that you can go through,” says one divorce mediator. But she says some of this pain can be mitigated up front by negotiating things like retirement savings, life insurance and pensions. Learn more: Opinion: Why boomer divorces — like Bill and Melinda Gates — are soaring - MarketWatch