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LATEST STORIES

a man sits at a coffee shop paying his bill with a credit card

PUMPING IRONY: Easy Pickings

By Craig Cox
Some 5 million elderly Americans fall prey to scam artists each year, and those who struggle to maintain social connections may be more vulnerable than most. A new evaluation program designed to measure an individual’s ability to make good choices could offer some help.
a woman standing in tree pose

PUMPING IRONY: Can Poor Balance Later in Life Increase Your Risk of Death?

By Craig Cox
A new study suggests that poor balance may dramatically raise the risk of death — especially among the elderly. The conclusions, however, are about as rickety as my tree pose.
an elderly woman eats ice cream

PUMPING IRONY: Dying to Get Better

By Craig Cox
A trip to hospice typically means you’ve given up on life. But what if you could receive in-home palliative care while still pursuing treatments for your afflictions? A Medicare pilot program suggests it could prolong lives — and save the agency money.
a grandpa and grandson run together

PUMPING IRONY: When Pondering Old Age, Think Positive

By Craig Cox
Cultural messages about the perils of old age often make it tempting to assume the worst about what lies ahead, but a new book argues that an upbeat view of aging can actually lead to a longer, more fulfilling life.
a variety of small, wooden homes

PUMPING IRONY: The Downsizing Dilemma

By Craig Cox
COVID, interest rates, and a tight housing market have dampened the appeal of downsizing for many empty nesters. But that only partially explains why we’re adding a second bathroom 10 years after the kids moved away.
a robot's hand holding an apple

PUMPING IRONY: Robots to the Rescue?

By Craig Cox
The first comprehensive review of U.S. nursing homes in more than 35 years reveals an industry that has done little to improve resident care. And while policymakers talk about reform, everyone else seems to be talking about robots.
covid vaccine + covid vaccine = heart

PUMPING IRONY: In Need of a Boost

By Craig Cox
U.S. seniors have rolled up their sleeves for the initial rounds of COVID vaccines at a rate far above average, but as COVID-related deaths among vaccinated Americans continue to rise, public-health officials worry that too many have stopped short of the booster.
a truck driver sits in the driver seat

PUMPING IRONY: Total Recall

By Craig Cox
The thousands of retirees lured back into the workforce by companies desperate for workers are experiencing the kind of job security they could only dream of in pre-pandemic times. They may also be accruing some surprising neurological benefits.
a man in a wheelchair looks at a flight of stairs

PUMPING IRONY: A Formula for Frailty

By Craig Cox
An outing with an elderly friend seems to corroborate recent research weighing the impact of social isolation on the physical fitness of seniors.
wooden game pieces with a blue piece trapped inside a circle of tan pieces and a red one inside a circle of pieces with gaps for escape

PUMPING IRONY: Typecast

By Craig Cox
Can certain personality traits protect us from cognitive dysfunction as we grow old? New research holds out some hope, but I have my doubts.
a pharmacists holds a prescription

PUMPING IRONY: Is There a Pharmacist in the House?

By Craig Cox
The pandemic has pushed pharmacists into primary-care territory traditionally dominated by physicians, and some policymakers believe convenience and expense argue for giving them even more latitude to test and treat. The American Medical Association begs to differ.
A medical professional holds a piggy bank that has a band-aid on its head.

PUMPING IRONY: Home Healthcare Shakeup: Palliative or Predatory?

By Craig Cox
Health-insurance conglomerates are gobbling up home-healthcare companies, despite the industry’s inability to attract and retain workers. Early signs suggest that few of the benefits of these mergers will accrue to caregivers and their elderly clients.
a cat sleeps while snuggling with its owner

PUMPING IRONY: Unsettled by Snoozing?

By Craig Cox
Could regular daytime napping be a precursor to dementia — or even a sign that the disease has already taken hold? A new take on what has generally been considered a salutary practice creates some concerns, despite its caveats. I’m going to try not to lose any sleep over it.
illustration brain and question marks

PUMPING IRONY: Desperate Measures

By Craig Cox
Biogen, the maker of the controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, last week released the long-awaited results of two clinical trials — which promptly raised more questions than they answered.
a chalk drawn heart and stethescope

PUMPING IRONY: Better Late Than Never

By Craig Cox
It’s no secret that regular exercise can lower your risk of a heart attack, but new research suggests that the same salutary benefits may apply to those who wait until they hit 70 to start moving.
a calculator and stethoscope rest on a bill

PUMPING IRONY: The Price Is Not Right

By Craig Cox
New polling suggests that Americans — especially seniors — are more stressed than ever about the cost of healthcare. While policymakers struggle in vain to adjust the dynamics that fuel those costs, some of us have chosen to minimize our reliance on the broken system.
a bowl of prunes

PUMPING IRONY: In Praise of the Prune

By Craig Cox
The digestive benefits of prunes are well documented, but recent research suggests they may also help postmenopausal women maintain healthier bones — if they eat enough of them.
a senior man dumps pills from a pill bottle into his hand

PUMPING IRONY: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

By Craig Cox
Despite our checkered history with recreational drugs, boomers typically aren’t screened for substance abuse when we visit a doctor. Meanwhile, thousands are dying of overdoses.
a person holds a cut out head with a puzzle piece missing from the center in one hand with the missing piece in the other hand

PUMPING IRONY: Alzheimer’s Research: Hope or Hype?

By Craig Cox
While the Medicare set awaits a final decision on coverage for Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug, a new study suggests seniors may get the same benefits from regular exercise. Both approaches, however, raise more questions than they answer.
a senior man sits concernedly in front of his computer with hands folded

PUMPING IRONY: High Anxiety

By Craig Cox
Our toxic political climate is contributing to widespread mental-health issues, conditions seniors struggle to overcome because of Medicare’s limited coverage options.
elderly male hands rest on top of a wooden cane

PUMPING IRONY: Going Slow

By Craig Cox
As scientists struggle to create treatment protocols for those coping with long COVID, a new study suggests they shouldn’t ignore long-term mobility issues many seniors face after even a mild case of the virus.
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