Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Some long-term care providers are integrating LEEDS standards into their new buildings. GEDCO is building the first GREEN HOUSE® model of community-based long-term care in Maryland, and have designed it to meet the LEEDS-Silver level of certification. The improvements to the building will provide a better quality of life for the elders living in the building as well as the Shahbazim and other staff assisting them. See http://www.gedco.org/ for more information about The Green House Residences at Stadium Place.
During the design and development phase of the Baltimore project, the entire team was devoted to meeting the LEEDS standards. As a starting point, the project reuses a previously-developed site which reduces the environmental footprint of the building. In order to reduce exterior water consumption there will be no permanent irrigation system, and plants will be selected that are adapted to the local climate. Construction materials will be carefully selected so they contain large amounts of recycled content and they are manufactured and extracted regionally. In addition, the contractor has agreed to institute a construction waste management program that will divert at least 75% of construction debris from landfill. Another example of a design change is the HVAC system. The HVAC for this building will be a VRV (variable refrigerant volume) system which allows for individual space control and results in a far more economical and efficient system – it has a higher initial cost but will pay for itself over time through energy and operational savings.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Eileen Ambrose has an excellent column in today's Baltimore Sun regarding financial planning for retirement. She highlights the fact that many boomers are starting to take their social security benefits before age 66, and this has a large financial impact.
For people born between 1943 and 1957, the Normal Retirement Age is now 66 years old. That means that benefits are reduced, for your entire lifetime, if you start taking benefits early. On the other hand, if you can wait just one more year to start SSA payments, the government will pay you an extra 8% of benefits.
A basic way older boomers may improve their finances is by delaying
retirement. Each year past age 66 that a worker defers collecting Social
Security, annual benefits go up another 8 percent, until age 70.
The Social Security Administration has a very easy to use calculator, to determine your normal retirement age, and how much in benefits you might lose or gain by changing the age when you first take benefits.
However, the calculations of future Social Security benefits will likely change for many people, since the government can't afford to keep paying these benefits. The unfunded liability for Social Security benefits, promised to be paid over the next 75 years, is $6.5 trillion.
As Paul Ryan noted, according to the 2011 annual report of the the trustees of Social Security:
The Trustees now project that Social Security has entered into a period of permanent cash deficits. That means that to pay full Social Security benefits, the government must cut spending, raise taxes, or, more realistically, borrow more money to finance pension payments.
The 75-year actuarial imbalance has increased to 2.22 percent of payroll (up from 1.92 percent last year).
Social Security faces a $6.5 trillion unfunded liability (up from $5.4 trillion last year.)
The Social Security Trust Funds are expected to go insolvent in 2036,
meaning that certain birth cohorts above the age of 55 can expect to see a 23 percent cut in their benefits.
Do we want to burden our children with sharply increased taxes and government debt to pay for social security benefits for their parents and grandparents? We need to start to solve this problem now.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men as well as women are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and treated. In the United States, more than 40 million people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.
This is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Estimates indicate that as many as 50 percent of Americans older than 50 will be at risk for osteoporosis fractures during their lifetimes. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because bone loss occurs without symptoms, but early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or prevent fractures from occurring.
For more information, vist the
NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases national Resource Center or the National Osteoporosis Foundation
Medicare provides coverage for bone mass measurements once every 24 months (or more often if medically-necessary) for a qualified Medicare beneficiary when ordered by a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner.
Did You Know: Medicare provides coverage for a FREE, Welcome to Medicare preventive visit and an annual wellness check-up? See Medicare site for more information.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
- Balance programs help prevent falls, including basic muscle strengthening and practicing standing on one leg, according to a recent article in the Baltimore Sun.
Balance training starts with strengthening all the muscles in the body: "To
do the activities of daily living as they relate to balance — walking down
the stairs, getting in and out of the bathtub — is really about maintaining
muscle strength," Bracko says. This can be done with an overall weight
training program. For those who haven't been to the gym in a while — or ever
— that training should start with the basics and get progressively more
difficult so that the muscles are always challenged."
USA today article regarding a report by CDC; CDC: Injuries among older workers on the rise.More and more Americans over age 55 are working later in life, and this means
work-related injuries in this group continue to climb, up from 12% in 2003 to
17% in the latest tally, federal health officials report."
- Due to limited savings and funds available from pensions, more people are working in their 60's instead of retiring. However, many are changing focus from their earlier careers to more meaningful work. Marc Freedman has written an exciting new book, The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Mid-Life.
A recent book review noted: "With a 14-city book tour
underway, Marc Freedman is spreading the word about a new stage of life between midlife and old age. And while he’s attracting attention from boomers searching for meaning during that stage, he’s also gaining interest from national media outlets looking to explore what Freedman calls the “encore years.”