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Pumping Irony

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.
A person holds a hearing aid.
By Craig Cox
Four years have passed since Congress ordered the FDA to draft guidelines allowing the sale of affordable over-the-counter hearing aids. For the millions of hearing-impaired seniors, the agency’s response speaks volumes.
A snow-covered bike sign
By Craig Cox
I’m not the only geezer trying to get back in shape after COVID-19 derailed my preferred fitness routine. A renowned British physician warns of a looming “deconditioning pandemic” among the elderly.
A vial of pot and a prescription pad
By Craig Cox
Cannabis-based medicine is gaining popularity among seniors coping with chronic pain, anxiety, and other conditions. But the research is sparse and the potential side effects worrisome.
Two people clasp hands through a closed window.
By Craig Cox
Why has COVID-19 claimed such a disproportionate share of lives in nursing homes with predominantly minority populations? New research suggests it may be a natural consequence of a highly segregated industry.
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.
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