Must Reads: Slinging Heroin in Senior Housing, CCRC Tax Benefits

Top news organizations around the country recently ran these must-read stories related to senior housing.

Harrisburg Police Discover Drug Activity in Senior Living Apartments—High-rise senior living apartments in Pennsylvania’s capital are a hotbed of the local heroin trade, police say. The problem is a combination of aging Baby Boomers “continuing what they know” and younger dealers taking advantage of older relatives by dealing out of their residences, ABC affiliate WHTM-TV reports.

Many Doctors Don’t Tell Patients They Have Alzheimer’s—Only 45% of patients billed for Alzheimer’s-related care had been told of that diagnosis, according to a recent review of Medicare claims data. Despite knowing the benefits of being transparent with patients, many doctors still withhold an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for several reasons, including the lack of a cure or effective drug treatments.

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Hidden Tax Benefits of Continuing Care Retirement Communities—While the costs of entering and residing at a continuing care retirement community might seem staggering, there are tax advantages that can make it a more affordable and fiscally savvy move. More financial planners should educate clients about these savings, such as deductions for medical expenses, writes Darla Mercado in InvestmentNews.

6 Things You Must Know About Aging in Place—Home modifications are essential for seniors who wish to age in place, and small changes such as level-handled doorknobs and single-handled faucets are a good place to start, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Tapping home equity through a reverse mortgage is one way to pay for pricier upgrades.

Outrage of the Month: Misprescribing of Antipsychotic Drugs to Elderly Dementia Patients—Family members need to take steps to ensure a loved one with dementia is not prescribed antipsychotic drugs unnecessarily, due to a “collective failure” among senior care and other stakeholders to implement alternative therapies, writes Michael Carome, M.D., director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

High Nursing Home Bills Squeeze Insurers, Driving Rates Up—The insurance industry made numerous bad predictions when getting into the long-term care game in the 1980s, and now companies like Genworth Financial are fighting to remain viable. If regulators do not allow these insurers to make needed changes, the aging U.S. population will send Medicaid budgets through the roof, Genworth CEO Tom McInerney tells The Associated Press.

Aging: Healthy Relationships in Your Golden Years—Avoiding “Mr. or Mrs. Gossiper” at the senior living community is an important part of building healthy relationships later in life, writes blogger Daphne Mallory in an Aging in Idaho column.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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