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a medicare enrollment form

PUMPING IRONY: Buyer Beware

By Craig Cox

Medicare scam artists — and the agency’s own complacency — make the annual enrollment season more hazardous than it needs to be.

a man sleeping in bed

PUMPING IRONY: You Snooze, You Win?

By Craig Cox

Recent research suggests heavy sleepers like me may avoid cognitive dysfunction and multimorbidity as we age — with some notable caveats.

an assortment of hearing aids

PUMPING IRONY: Hopeful Signs for Troubled Ears?

By Craig Cox

Just as cheaper over-the-counter hearing aids finally become widely available, researchers are trumpeting new approaches to hearing loss that may render those devices unnecessary.

post it note that says schedule colonoscopy?

PUMPING IRONY: Screen Test

By Craig Cox

A landmark study suggests that colonoscopies do not reduce the risk of cancer — or mortality — nearly as much as advertised. That’s welcome news for the millions of seniors who, like me, stubbornly avoid the procedure.

a person puts a coin into a piggy bank with the word funeral on it

PUMPING IRONY: The Postmortem Muddle

By Craig Cox

While the Federal Trade Commission works to tighten regulations on the funeral industry, which often uses obscure pricing policies to prey on grief-stricken mourners, seniors like me need to start thinking more seriously about how we want to be laid to rest.

a calendar with stick pins and weights

PUMPING IRONY: Movement and Memory

By Craig Cox

Physical activity has long been shown to improve cognitive function, but a new study suggests we may be able to modify our workouts to boost specific types of memory.

a pair of glasses sits on a compute

PUMPING IRONY: A Harsh Light

By Craig Cox

All the time we spend staring at screens could be shortening our lifespan, according to a new study. We do have options, though returning to the typewriter is not one of them.

brain cells connecting

PUMPING IRONY: Zapped!

By Craig Cox

Can we cure dementia by zapping our brains with electrical currents? Some enterprising researchers would certainly like us to think so.

a man writes on a notpas

PUMPING IRONY: Working on Purpose

By Craig Cox

I’ve discovered plenty of good reasons for postponing retirement and continuing to pursue purposeful work, but a new study suggests I may have overlooked an important one: It could help prevent a stroke.

a colorful array of pills in silver packaging

PUMPING IRONY: A Tough Pill to Swallow

By Craig Cox

The Inflation Reduction Act will make some prescription drugs much more affordable for strapped Medicare beneficiaries. But will it deepen our dependence on Big Pharma?

blocks with people figures with one in red being looked at through a magnifying glass

PUMPING IRONY: Class and Cognition

By Craig Cox

A new study suggests that people mired in low-wage jobs for long periods of time may suffer cognitive decline earlier in life than those favored with a more affluent life. My checkered career leaves me wondering where I stand.

balancing rocks on a desk

PUMPING IRONY: Too Busy to Calm Down?

By Craig Cox

Struggling with a stressful workload in recent weeks, I’m struck by new research describing how chronic stress can accelerate the aging of our immune systems. So, why am I avoiding a proven stress-relief practice?

a sick looking peace lily

PUMPING IRONY: Epic Fail?

By Craig Cox

Elderly patients are often tagged with a “failure to thrive” label when doctors simply don’t want to spend the time and energy to determine a specific diagnosis. While leading geriatricians continue to argue against the designation, others point to its more salutary effects.

a senior woman reads while in a coffee shop

PUMPING IRONY: Is It Time for a New Take on Dementia?

By Craig Cox

As Big Pharma continues to flail away on the Alzheimer’s front, new research increasingly turns toward identifying lifestyle changes that can lower the risk of falling prey to the disease.

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.

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