weekly blog--one for the ages
Are you feeling a little anxious with the mid-term elections less than two weeks away? At its core, anxiety is fear of something, real or imagined, that is not necessarily occurring in the present moment or that may never occur. Anxiety can be as simple as a general sense of uneasiness, a feeling that all is not right, or it can be as specific as worrying that you have cancer or that the plane you are flying in will crash.
While many people experience anxiety for a variety of reasons, the kind of anxiety that is brought on as result of losing someone close to you runs a little deeper. While grief anxiety maintains many of the same characteristics as generalized anxiety, there is an underlying situational cause. So when we can allow ourselves to grieve and truly explore the impact of the loss, we are better able to ease and manage the anxiety that accompanies it.
While analysts point to increased energy among younger voters over the past couple of elections, people over 65 continue to show up at the polls far more than any other age group. According to the experts, older people are more likely to view voting as a responsibility and to care about a broad range of issues, not just those commonly associated with aging. They are also more connected to their communities, which makes them more likely to vote.
In CNN surveys conducted in early August and early September, registered voters who are 65 years of age and up preferred Democratic congressional candidates to Republicans by margins of 20 and 16 percentage points, respectively. This is a potentially huge problem for Republicans: In the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections when Republicans regained control of the House and Senate, respectively, GOP candidates were solidly backed by voters 65 and up. When Democrats won control of both the House and the Senate in the 2006 midterm elections, they had a narrow advantage among senior voters.
For the upcoming midterms, some places where Republicans could be particularly vulnerable to a Democratic upset are: Florida's 18th Congressional District (Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties), held by first-term Rep. Brian Mast. Florida's 6th Congressional District (Daytona Beach), an open seat formerly held by GOP gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis. Arizona's 8th Congressional District (suburban Phoenix), won by Republican Debbie Lesko in a special election in April. Michigan's 1st Congressional District (the Upper Peninsula and the northern tip of the state), represented by first-termer Jack Bergman.
All four of these seats are considered "Likely Republican" in CNN's Key Race ratings, but all four also have a senior population (65+) of more than 20%.
But it may be in the midterm Senate contests where this trend could have its most profound impact. Democrats have six potentially vulnerable Senate incumbents: Florida's Bill Nelson, Indiana's Joe Donnelly, Missouri's Claire McCaskill, Montana's Jon Tester, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia's Joe Manchin.
Four of those states, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia, are among the top ten states with the highest proportion of elderly (65+) residents according to the last decennial census. (Missouri was ranked 16th and Indiana ranked 33rd.)
While jobs and the economy are major concerns, there’s one national issue that boomers, Gen Xers and millennials all think is more important right now: honesty in government. Seniors, in particular, tend to prefer a safe and steady pair of hands to guide the ship of state. Upheaval and uncertainty in government policies can also make older voters apprehensive.
Nearly a million people in Scotland were prescribed antidepressants last year, with patients in their early fifties taking more than any other age group. The reason: experts said that the pressures of looking after teenagers and caring for frail relatives were taking their toll. LondonTimes
The Trump administration wants Medicare for the first time to embrace telemedicine by paying doctors $14 for a five-minute “check-in” phone call with their patients. But many physicians say the proposed reimbursement will cover a service they already do for free, and it could have a chilling effect on patients because they would be required to pay a 20 percent cost-sharing charge. Medicare said the call would be used to help patients determine whether they need to come in for an appointment. But doctors and consultants said the virtual sessions could cover a broad array of services, including monitoring patients starting a new medicine or those trying to manage chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. Kaiser
We’ve all felt it before: that weird mix of jealousy and pride when a friend accomplishes something that we also want to accomplish. But sometimes, buried in that mess of emotions, is the feeling that we missed our chance to hit our career peak. No so, according to a study published in Nature. The study found that about 90 percent of people will experience a “hot streak” in their career, which is that span of a few years when a person’s greatest, most effective work is produced. The study also found that your hot streak can appear at any point in your working life, meaning that it’s never too late, or for that matter, too early to hit your peak. NYTimes
Shhh…I have a secret. I would really like to tell you, but I won’t because you are more likely to tell someone else, and then word would get out, and the secret would no longer be a secret and it might damage my reputation.
So why is it so hard to not spill the beans? A Baylor College of Medicine expert says that secrets often involve something that someone does not take pride in. As soon as you tell somebody not to repeat your secret, people begin to have an obsessive, anxious urge to share it with somebody. And that sharing is often with a confidant who is then likely to share it with their own confidant.
So why divulge a secret in the first place? To start, people often feel like it will help them maintain close friendships with others. It’s also a way to reinforce a sense of trust with close family members, spouses or parents. And it doesn’t make a difference if you tell your secret to someone who is quiet and prefers to keep everything in, or to someone who is more talkative. The primal urge to tell someone else can be overwhelming.
Some advice from the experts: If you do not want to be responsible for keeping someone’s secret, it is best to be upfront and tell the person you do not want to know it. If you end up accidently sharing a secret with somebody else, it is best to be honest and let the person know that you shared their secret.