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a dollar bill with colorful pills arranged on top

PUMPING IRONY: Prescription for Disaster?

By Craig Cox
The approval of a controversial Alzheimer’s drug has triggered a major increase in monthly Medicare premiums — and fresh concerns about the program’s solvency. I’m hoping it also sparks some new thinking about prescription-drug pricing.
fill in the blank like with a pencil made into an exclamation point at the end

PUMPING IRONY: A Man Without a Plan

By Craig Cox
I’ve been putting off drafting a healthcare directive for no better reason than my general aversion to planning. Some palliative-care experts — and plenty of horrific tales — have now delivered some excellent reasons to avoid it altogether.
a man with a gray beard and hair paints a refinished dresser

PUMPING IRONY: Help for the Helpful

By Craig Cox
Recent research suggests older folks can be quick to assist others while neglecting their own well-being. The solution may involve learning the difference between being nice and being kind.
a woman meditates on her bed

PUMPING IRONY: Medicate or Meditate?

By Craig Cox
While Alzheimer’s patients wait to see if Biogen’s new drug will someday prove effective — and affordable — researchers continue to make a case for the healing powers of meditation.
a doctor buts a bandaid on an arm

PUMPING IRONY: A Kind of Reckoning

By Craig Cox
Age, the pandemic, and the looming flu season have persuaded me to engage with our broken healthcare system after ignoring its offerings for the past 20 years. First impressions have not been favorable.
bags of processed chips and puffs

Consumers, Unite . . . in the Snack Aisle

By Craig Cox
A half-century since boomer activists loudly proclaimed a whole-foods revolution, a new study suggests Americans are eating more ultraprocessed foods than they were 18 years ago — despite the known health risks. And guess who’s leading the trend?
a man walks up a set of stone stairs with a cane

PUMPING IRONY: Headed for a Fall

By Craig Cox
Millions of elderly Americans land in the hospital each year after taking a tumble. So why are doctors continuing to prescribe drugs that increase that risk?
a cashier smiles and hands a customer their credit card back

PUMPING IRONY: Small Talk, Large Rewards

By Craig Cox
While the benefits of cultivating strong relationships are well known, we often overlook the value of the brief random social interactions that really make our day.
A calculator is shown on top of a social-security card and paperwork.

PUMPING IRONY: From Bonus to Busted?

By Craig Cox
Social Security beneficiaries will be getting a hefty cost-of-living raise next year, which may temporarily ease their anxiety over a new report warning of the program’s fast-approaching insolvency.
A 100-dollar bill covered in pills

PUMPING IRONY: The Honeymoon’s Over

By Craig Cox
With the White House pushing Congress to allow the government to negotiate drug pricing, Big Pharma wonders, Where’s the love?
A person works at an office.

PUMPING IRONY: A Smart Choice?

By Craig Cox
Recent research suggests that postponing my retirement might be good for my aging brain.
A kid holds an iPad.

PUMPING IRONY: Growing Pains

By Craig Cox
A fraught battle with our 4-year-old grandson over screen time has forced Grandma and Grandpa to admit that his customary weekly visits may now hold less allure for him — and us — than they once did.
A Medicare enrollment form with a stethoscope on it

PUMPING IRONY: Meddling With Medicare

By Craig Cox
For reasons both political and pecuniary, attempts to expand Medicare benefits have always been a tough sell, despite the rising demands of an aging population. As Congress prepares to give it another shot, I’m hedging my bets.
A pair of black glasses with a vision chart in the background


By Craig Cox
At a time when impaired vision among the senior set is beginning to alarm some public-health experts, a surprising change in my own eyesight has me scrambling to get a better view of things.
two bikes sit alongside a biking trail with smoke and haze in the distance

PUMPING IRONY: Foul Air, Faulty Brain

By Craig Cox
Raging wildfires and other sources of airborne pollution are threatening more than our respiratory and circulatory systems. New research is strengthening the link between air quality and dementia.
Two wooden houses

PUMPING IRONY: Your Place or Mine?

By Craig Cox
Concerned that they may be called upon to provide full-time caregiving someday if a late-life romance leads to cohabitating, many older couples are choosing to follow their hearts — while maintaining separate residences.
A person shows his ears.


By Craig Cox
With my hearing aids on the fritz, I suddenly find myself rooting for scientists seeking a way to genetically manipulate the malfunctioning human ear.
Prescriptions around some drugs

A Prescription for Action

By Craig Cox
The “deprescribing” movement faces various obstacles as advocates seek to gain some influence amid our drug-happy healthcare system, not the least of which is simply getting your doctor’s attention.
A person on a boat looks at the water.

PUMPING IRONY: The Color of Worry, the Color of Calm

By Craig Cox
If stress can lead to graying hair, can periods of calm reverse the process? Recent research suggests it may have that effect, though my graying locks are probably beyond help.
A person ties their shoes.


By Craig Cox
Late-blooming runners are routinely beating veteran racers at the national level, raising questions about the toll decades of training exact on the body — and why we choose to run (or not) in the first place.
A doctor looks at a brain scan.

PUMPING IRONY: New Hope, Selectively Dispensed

By Craig Cox
The controversy surrounding the FDA’s approval of the first new Alzheimer’s drug in nearly two decades will do little to temper demand by desperate patients and their caregivers. It may also exacerbate racial disparities among those vying for the treatment.
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