What’s New?

Amazon.com reached an agreement with the State of California legislature, so the Silver Buzz Cafe Store is back. :-)


“Green” Blogging


We believe in protecting our environment, so the Silver Buzz Cafe web site is hosted on a server in a "green", energy conserving data center. 100% of the power for the datacenter is bought from suppliers that use renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, windmill and solar plants.


The Silver Tsunami - Should We Be Worried?

The average age of the populations of most countries is aging quite rapidly. The countries with the most rapidly aging populations are in Asia and Europe, with Japan heading the list. Attention to the issue in the United States has been largely driven by discussions relating to the funding of programs such as Medicare and Social Security, both of which need to be adjusted to cope with a growth in the number of beneficiaries while the taxpayer base diminishes. After talking about the issue with friends and family, the overall impression that most of us get from discussions relating to our aging population is that we’re headed for catastrophe, with health services collapsing under the pressure of too many patients per physician, too few professional caregivers, too little tax money to sustain essential services for seniors and so on. The problem is largely being presented as one that we’ve never confronted before. That’s true to some extent, but only in one respect – we’re living longer than previous generations. [...]

The Nursing Shortage

The nursing shortage eased slightly during the recession, but the underlying problems are still there and the situation is likely to get worse.The healthcare sector is continuing to grow, with hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other ambulatory care settings adding 27,000 new jobs in February 2009, a month when 681,000 jobs were eliminated nationwide. A large proportion of these positions would have been filled by nurses. Looking forward, the situation looks worrying. Over the next two decades the average age of Registered Nurses (RNs) will increase and many will retire. Government analyst estimate that more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016. They expect the U.S. nursing shortage to grow to 260,000 registered nurses by 2025, making it twice as large as any nursing shortage in this country since the mid-1960s. [...]

Transportation for Seniors

One of the most daunting challenges as we age comes when we have to give up driving, or we no longer have a family member or friend who can help transport us around. One of the best resources we’ve found while researching this topic is the National Center on Senior Transportation, run by the Easter Seals organization. A number of organizations, such as Mercy Medical Airlift, specialize in finding air transportation for needy patients. We’ve provided links to these and other transportation resources on the Useful Sites page. [...]

Alternatives to Nursing Homes

I recently wrote1 about the effort that some European organizations are making to enable seniors to stay in their own homes for as long as is practicable. In other cases2, modern residential care facilities are trying to create an environment that is close to being at home, allowing limited cooking, gardening and so on, [...]

The Sandwich Generation

Sorry, this isn’t about recipes. It’s about the dilemma that an increasing proportion of people are finding themselves in, i.e. supporting both their children and parents who need long-term care. In the United Kingdom they’ve nicknamed them the “Baby Gloomers”. A new commission, setup by UK children’s charity 4Children will focus not only on relationships between parents and young children, but also on those between adults and their elderly parents. Four or five generations may have to co-exist because people are living longer. [...]

What If We All Lived A Lot Longer?

Comments about an article in the November 2008, scientific journal “Cell” caught my eye this morning. The authors1 have discovered that an aging mechanism discovered over ten years ago in single cell yeasts actually applies to multicellular organisms, such as mammals, as well. As always, practical application of this knowledge will probably take a long time to result in anything that can reliably slow down the aging process. At that point we have to ask ourselves how far we want to go with this. [...]

Home, but Not Alone

Scandinavian countries are famous for their social services. As an example, Denmark devotes about 2.6 per cent of its gross domestic product to long-term care, and Sweden 3.3 per cent while the U.S.A allocates 0.9 per cent. However, it’s not just about money. It’s about the approach and philosophy. Thankfully, here in America the government sponsored Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) initiative is taking a similar approach. [...]

Working Together to Improve Services for Older People

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement published an improvement report that described the results of a two year program with the goal of “promoting independence in the London community of older people, through the delivery of person-centered, coordinated services.” The results were impressive and are relevant to the senior community and caregivers alike, both in countries with state welfare systems and those, like the USA, without. [...]

How Long Can You Work?

Many of us are finding it hard to retire in today’s difficult economy. Job loss or reduced wages can make it important to be able to carry on working beyond the traditional retirement ages for men and women. How do we know when it’s time to scale back or quit? [...]