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Pumping Irony

Someone left the keys in the refrigerator.
By Craig Cox
The latest thinking on Alzheimer’s disease suggests we may slow its development with diet and lifestyle shifts, but a recent harrowing experience has me wondering whether my brain is already too far gone — or if I just need to pay better attention to what I’m doing.
Two birds over a couple of orange halves.
By Craig Cox
Like many empty nesters, I often wonder what role I should be playing in my adult children’s lives. An unexpected visit from our daughter after months of silence provided some clarity.
A variety of medical tools
By Craig Cox
A prediabetes diagnosis can trigger all sorts of nightmarish scenarios, but mounting evidence suggests that seniors are a lot less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than we’ve been led to believe.
A hospital bed with blue-and-white bedding
By Craig Cox
A promising wave of geriatric emergency departments, designed to cut hospital costs and better accommodate seniors, has been slowed by a lack of support from insurers — including Medicare.
A person with a COVID vaccine card gives the thumbs-up.
By Craig Cox
I’ve never won a contest of any sort in my life, so when I got word that I’d been chosen to receive a COVID vaccine, I figured there must be some mistake.
Two arrows are shown, one with a clear path and one that is all tangled.
By Craig Cox
With computer access and capabilities often standing in the way of elderly Americans trying to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, a little patience — and perspective — can really come in handy.
A picture of an advance directive
By Craig Cox
Advanced directives can help ensure that doctors clearly understand your end-of-life treatment preferences. That doesn’t mean they’ll honor them.
A person walks with a cane.
By Craig Cox
Recent research suggests we take a more holistic approach to treating frailty among the elderly, focusing more on exercise than pharmaceuticals.
A piggy bank sits next to a small chalkboard filled with question marks.
By Craig Cox
Like most of my boomer compatriots, I’m never going to save enough money to fund a work-free retirement. A recent study aims to help future generations avoid that fate.
A man holds an aspirin to his mouth.
By Craig Cox
Eight out of 10 American seniors take at least two prescription drugs daily, a fate I’ve been determined to avoid. But a stubborn illness helps me understand why it’s so tempting to reach for pharmaceutical solutions.
An illustration of a ladder in a box.
By Craig Cox
The pandemic persists, but evidence is accumulating that the elderly are coping with its challenges much more successfully than you might imagine.
A woman sitting on a couch holds a dog and a phone.
By Craig Cox
Recent research suggests that geezers like me need to get out and socialize more in order to prevent dementia, but common sense — and a surging pandemic — tells me an addled brain is the least of my worries.
One snuffed-out candles in a group of candles.
By Craig Cox
Wisdom from a palliative-care doctor helps me absorb both the enormous toll of the pandemic and the imminent demise of my brother.
COVID-19 in text on top of a pile of money
By Craig Cox
Driven by the demands of a broken business model, nursing homes opened their doors to coronavirus patients — with predictable results.
A golf course in the hazy early morning
By Craig Cox
An anxious journey to visit my dying brother offers a powerful argument against fleeing from sorrow and pain.
A person holds a globe that has a mask, with a drawing of a heart, on it.
By Craig Cox
Recent research suggests the elderly are coping more effectively than their younger peers with the emotional challenges of the pandemic. In my case, at least, that may have more to do with conditions and coincidence than acquired wisdom.
A hand in silhouette holds a cancer ribbon.
By Craig Cox
In the pursuit of some genuine empathy in the wake of my brother’s cancer diagnosis, I find surprising wisdom in one young woman’s battle with the disease.
A vial of immunizations next to some blue hospital gowns
By Craig Cox
All indications suggest seniors may be wise to temper their expectations about a forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine.
An empty hospital corridor
By Craig Cox
Non-COVID hospital admissions have dropped precipitously since the pandemic struck, leading some to suggest our precautions have somehow made us healthier. I have my doubts.
A leaf floats in the water.
By Craig Cox
As my brother tumbles into the cancer vortex, I find myself struggling to find ways to express my grief and show my support.
Map of United States
By Craig Cox
Many factors affect our access to healthcare, but new research suggests that where we choose to live may actually enhance — or limit — our lifespan.
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