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Better Independent Living

What’s Honor Radar this week? A communal independent-living solution created by and for older adults, the benefits of care workers as employees, plus an unexpected rise in prescription drug prices and recreational cannabis use among older adults.

(Reuters/Mike Blake)

Independent Together

In Germany, retirees have found a novel way to avoid being alone  – Quartz

How are more older adults in Berlin continuing to live independently as they age and avoiding social isolation? “An entirely new type of senior housing: apartments that are affordable and accessible, but in active communities where residents can easily get together. And builders and city planners are scrambling to keep up.”

The interesting part? This Berlin community housing trend follows what’s been happening naturally among friends over 65, many of whom are divorced, single, or never married.

Dorothea Hoffmeister, 69 and unmarried, prefers “living with female friends rather than family or in a more traditional retirement community in her golden years. ‘One isn’t alone, there is someone to rely on when one is sick, or to go to the movies or exercise with.’” Hoffmeister and friends call their group OLGA—“Oldies Leben Gemeinsam Aktiv” or “Active oldies living together.”

“Last year Germany’s family ministry kicked off a program called “gemeinschaftlich wohnen, selbstbestimmt leben” or “communal housing, independent living,” that provides financial support to 29 model senior community living projects around the country.”

Will this trend toward untraditional and independent communities for golden oldies continue to spread around the globe? We certainly hope so.


Prescription Drug Side Effects

Why Older Adults Are Seeing a Spike in Drug Prices  – Next Avenue

“Pharmacists and others are watching the relatively new phenomenon of price spikes for a handful of generics,” writes Kimberly Blanton. Why are more seniors suddenly paying more for their prescription medications? Surprisingly, it’s not Medicare’s Part D.

You can thank the pharmaceutical manufacturers for new breakthrough drugs—and for rising out-of-pocket expenses for medication. “Drug cost stability for seniors ‘is starting to reverse as newer specialty drugs come into the marketplace,’ said Juliette Cubanski, a senior Medicare policy researcher for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But there is one way to avoid paying much higher prices for necessary medications.

“Seniors can prevent surprises by comparing their specific prescriptions every time they re-enroll in Part D. During re-enrollment, Cubanski said, some seniors make the mistaking of looking only at a plan’s monthly premium.”

If you look beyond premium cost increases and pay close attention to the fine print, you may avoid paying more for certain medications.


Honor In The News

Uber’s Labor Relations Is Driving It Into A Ditch  – Newsweek

In this detailed report examining why Uber is struggling with both its labor relations and its public image, we were pleased to be singled out as one of the leaders moving away from the Uber model.

“And the companies that might have once aspired to be like Uber are changing course. They’re finding that successful companies are built on fair treatment of workers, beginning with recognizing them for what they are: “employees.”

True. Everyone benefits when workers are employees with benefits.

“Honor, a home care company that uses an online platform for hiring and placing workers, announced the switch to the label of “employees” two weeks ago. The company reportedly made the change for the express purpose of showing that these companies don’t have to foster poor relationships with their workers.”

That and providing the highest level of care to our clients—which can only be achieved if we show our caregivers the highest level of respect.


Radar Blip

New Study Show Seniors Use More Cannabis Than Millennials  – Civilized

According to Australia’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which made international headlines last week, more older adults are using marijuana on a regular basis than younger millennials.

Says industry expert Katherine Grimm, CEO of Clever Gent Brands, cannabis consumption “seems to increase with age: 47 percent of cannabis consumers over 60 are likely to report daily or weekly consumption compared with only 28 percent of consumers in their 20s.”

Increased recreational marijuana usage among older adults is not likely just an Aussie trend. As more baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s turn 65, odds are cannabis appreciation is high among this demographic group in the US too. But is this a bad thing?”

Grimm “also notes that the study shows how people consume less alcohol with age, stressing the health benefits of switching from alcohol to cannabis.”

According to this article, which appears in a publication dedicated to cannabis culture, “that’s a positive thing for the overall wellness of our seniors.”

“When I picture a bunch of 60-year-old women putting down the glass of wine and picking up a joint instead, I think that’s pretty awesome,” says Grimm.

Honor does not endorse illegal drug use at any age. We do, however, endorse health and happiness at every age.


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