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RI ARA

Affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO “Fighting for the future of our members.” “NOW, more than ever!!!” Publication 2018 Issue 29 Published in house by the RI ARA

July 22, 2018 E-Newsletter

All Rights Reserved RI ARA 2018©

Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court Could be Major Blow to Affordable Health Care In choosing Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, the president has selected someone with a long history of ruling against working families, older employees, and access to affordable health care. Kavanaugh, who was appointed by former president George W. Bush to the D.C. Cir cuit Cour t of Appeals, was chosen from a short list of possible candidates approved by the Federalist Society, a gr oup with str ong ties to the anti-union Koch brothers. The president promised in

2015 to only appoint justices who would overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and in the past Kavanaugh has favored overturning well established Supreme Court precedents. Sign our petition urging your Senator to vote NO on Kavanaugh. A case regarding key protections for patients with preexisting conditions could be making its way to the Court soon. If confirmed, Kavanaugh may be the deciding vote in repealing the health care law and stripping affordable health

insurance away from millions. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of all Americans have at least one pre-existing condition, including 75 percent of people ages 45 to 54 and 84 percent of people between the ages of 55 to 64. Numerous Senate Democrats have vowed not to support Kavanaugh, citing his judicial record on a wide variety of issues. The Administration and the Senate Republican leadership are pushing for him to be confirmed before the next

Supreme Court session in October, but the vetting and hearing process could take much Robert Roach, Jr longer. “The President’s Supreme Court appointment will affect this country and its laws for generations,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “We must protect the rights of our oldest and most vulnerable citizens. We must reject the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.”

States Attacking ACA Would Suffer Most If Shield On Preexisting Conditions Were Axed If the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting medical conditions are struck down in court, residents of the Republican-led states that are challenging the law have the most to lose. “These states have been opposed to the ACA from the beginning,” said Gerald Kominski, a senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “They’re hurting their most vulnerable citizens.” Twenty Republican state attorneys general and governors challenged the constitutionality of the ACA in federal court in February. Last month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice made the unusual decision not to defend key portions of the law against this legal challenge.

The states’ lawsuit argues that because Congress eliminated the Obamacare tax penalty for not having insurance coverage, effective next year, the entire law is unconstitutional. By extension, the suit calls on federal courts to find the health law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions unconstitutional — and Sessions agrees. Nine of the 11 states with the highest rates of preexisting conditions among adults under 65 have signed onto the lawsuit to strike down the ACA, according to data from insurance companies and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2015 data, the most recent available, were analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2016. (Kaiser

Health News, which produces California Healthline, is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Those who support the lawsuit contend that there are other means of protecting people with preexisting conditions. “If a court strikes down the constitutionality of the ACA, there are ways to repeal and replace without Arizonans with preexisting conditions losing their coverage,” said Katie Conner, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Conner said her boss, who is party to the lawsuit, believes preexisting conditions should “always be covered.” In Arizona, more than 1 in 4 adult adults under 65 have a

preexisting condition, according to the data. The state with the highest rate of adults with preexisting conditions is West Virginia — 36 percent of those under age 65. That means that about 1 in 3 of them could have a hard time buying insurance through the individual marketplace without the ACA protections. The office of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who joined the legal challenge against the ACA, declined to comment. But a spokesman for Morrisey’s reelection campaign told PolitiFact last month that “help should be provided to those who need it most, including those with preexisting conditions.”.Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


Three New Ways the Koch Brothers Are Screwing America By ELISABETH GARBER-PAUL

The fourth-richest men in America target low-wage workers, minority voters and unions “They are truly cowards in the worst way,” says filmmaker Robert Greenwald, of the notorious billionaires Charles and David Koch. And he should know. After he released his 2012 documentary, “The Koch Brothers Exposed,” Kochfunded organizations took out ads trying to discredit Greenwald and his work, yet the brothers still declined his repeated offers to debate the topics covered in the film, like the re-segregation of schools and the defanging of the EPA. “I wanted to engage in a policy debate,” he says. “But they won’t engage.” For most people, an attack from the fourth-richest (and perhaps most politically conniving) men in America would slow them down. But instead Greenwald, who became interested in the powerful duo when he read Jane Mayer’s 2010 New Yorker profile, decided to double down, and began work on “The Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition.” The update, which is now available free online, is

centered on their influence in (and outpouring of money since) the Citizens David Koch United Supreme Court decision. While researching and producing it with his small staff at Brave New Films, Greenwald says he was “surprised by not just the sheer numbers, but the extraordinary lengths they go to legally to hide the amounts they’re giving.” Here, three of the fights to which these undocumented millions flow: Suppressing the Minimum Wage Not only do the Koch brothers not want to raise the minimum wage – now a federal $7.25 – they say it creates a “culture of dependency” and would like to see it abolished altogether. “One of the facts I’ve been most struck by is that it would take a full-time minimum-wage earner 76 years to make $1.8 million,” says Greenwald. “Or, about what each Koch brother earns in an hour.” But bottom lines are more important than bottom workers for the Kochs – since the early 1990s, they’ve given at least $23.3 million to think tanks that have published over

4,000 articles, papers, studies, and media projects targeting the minimum wage. Charles Koch “They want to abolish the concept of minimum wage,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) said at the film’s D.C. premiere. “So people can work for free.” Breaking Unions “Really, what we would like to see is to take the unions out at the knees, so they don’t have the resources to fight,” says Scott Hagerstrom, the Michigan director of Americans for Prosperity – a group heavily funded by the Kochs – in a damning clip from the film. And it seems to sum up the Kochs’ approach to unions: Americans for Prosperity were integral to the 2011 union-busting fight in Wisconsin, and American Legislative Exchange Council (or ALEC, which works closely with the brothers) has drafted the model anti-union legislation used to slash collective bargaining rights for workers in 36 states. “They do not want to have safety regulations,” says Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, in the film. “They do

not want workers to be able to negotiate wages and benefits.” Disenfranchising Voters During the 2012 election, an organization called True the Vote called itself a “citizen-led effort to ensure free and fair elections.” Their tactic? Placing mostly white “poll-watchers” in polling places, many of them in minority areas, which led to complaints of voter intimidation. The funding came from Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity. What’s worse, ALEC, which counts roughly 20 percent of all state legislators as members, also drafted a model Voter ID bill and used its ranks to disseminate it across the country. Now, 41 states have introduced more than 180 such bills, which could mean that over 21 million people could be denied their most basic right as a citizen. “The reason that you target somebody’s voting rights,” Ben Jealous, the former head of the NAACP, says in the film, “is it makes it easier to take away the rest of their rights. You come for that first, and the whole house of cards starts to fall.”

The Koch Brothers Were Locked and Loaded for This Week's Union-Busting Supreme Court Ruling The grass doesn’t grow under their feet, and not just because it’s all dying in our deregulated business-friendly country anyway. As soon as John Roberts declared the Day of Jubilee in Shelby County, Republican secretaries of state around the country were ready to leap into action with voter-suppression strategies plucked right off the shelves. Those strategies, of course, subsequently have been blessed by a series of 5-4 Supreme Court decisions, including two

of the last ones joined by Anthony Kennedy of Dignified Integritude. Now, in the immediate wake of the Janus ruling, which essentially turns the United States into a right-to-work country, we see a similar phenomenon unfolding, courtesy of the Koch Brothers and their everextending political tentacles. From Bloomberg:

The conservative nonprofit Freedom Foundation said that starting Wednesday, it will deploy 80 people to a trio of West Coast union bastions: California, Oregon and its home state of Washington. The canvassers were hired in March and trained this month, according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The goal of the multi-pronged campaign is to shrink union ranks in the

three states by 127,000 members—and to offer an example for similar efforts targeting unions around the country. “Their employer isn’t going to tell them, and the union isn’t going to tell them,” said the anti-union group’s labor policy director, Maxford Nelsen. “So it falls to organizations like the Freedom Foundation to take up that mantle and make sure that public employees are informed of their constitutional rights.” ...Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


Pension Rally in Columbus, Ohio Draws Attention to Plans on the Brink of Failing Retirees and workers rallied in Columbus, Ohio yesterday to bring attention to the growing pension crisis. About 130 multiemployer pension plans covering 1.3 million people, are projected to reach insolvency within the next twenty years. Without Congressional action, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insurance trust fund for multiemployer pension plans will be insolvent by 2025. Numerous pension funds are on the brink of failure, faced with large retiree populations

and are paid in significantly full. The fewer Bipartisan workers Budget Act paying into in February the system. 2018 created Fiesta with AFT retiree and Illinois Alliance member Bea Lumpkin When a plan Left: RichRight: a 16AFT President, Randi Weingarten addresses attendees. faces member insolvency, retirees could see bipartisan panel of Congress to massive cuts to the earned address the solvency of multibenefits they rely on to maintain employer pension plans and the their finances. PBGC, and it must report back Congress has created a special to Congress by November 2018. bipartisan committee tasked The rally preceded the with finding a solution to the committee’s field hearing, pension crisis and ensuring occurring today in Columbus, workers’ hard-earned benefits where members of Congress

will hear direct ly from affected retirees. “It is critical that Congress acts sooner rather than later,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Retirees have put in a lifetime of hard work and earned these benefits, and it is time for Congress to step up and protect what has been promised.” Take Action! Call 888-9799806 and tell members of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency and Multiemployer Pension Plans that it’s time to protect pensions.

Sen. Rubio Proposes Eroding Social Security by Allowing it to be Used for Family Leave Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) will introduce legislation that would supposedly create national paid parental leave, but in fact would mean cuts in future earned Social Security benefits. While the United States is the only developed nation that does not offer paid leave, Sen. Rubio’s plan forces families to choose between caring for a new child and risking their financial security in retirement. The proposal would allow parents of newborns or newly adopted children to take twelve weeks from their Social Security benefits early, later reducing or delaying that person’s benefits at retirement age to make up the difference. Retirees would have

to delay their Social Security benefits by approximately twenty five weeks per each paid leave, more than twice as long as the initial time off. Carrie Lukas of the Koch brothers’ funded group Independent Women's Forum developed the plan on which Rubio's bill is modeled. Lukas specifically said that the plan will speed the privatization of Social Security by changing public perception of the system from a social insurance program to a system of personal accounts -- and make it easier to raise the retirement age. She wrote, "Once people become used to

the ideal of people opting to push back their retirement age, it may become less difficult to gradually raise the normal retirement age to reflect increases in longevity." The legislation would also harm the long-term financial outlook for Social Security. A recent study by the right-leaning American Action Forum found that Rubio’s legislation would cause the program to face a shortfall at least least six months sooner than it otherwise would. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) has introduced broader legislation gr anting paid leave to new parents and workers

taking time off to care for a sick family member. Sen. Gillibrand’s proposal would have both Joseph Peters, Jr. workers and employers pay into a newly created fund that reaches every worker regardless of their job or industry. “Sen. Rubio’s plan will have a long term negative effect on both workers and retirees,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secr etaryTreasurer of the Alliance. “We must not force workers to choose between their financial security when starting and adding to a family or later in life.”

Center for Medicare Advocacy Statement on the Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh

The Center for Medicare Advocacy adds our voice to those concerned about the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. As a public interest law organization committed to fair access to quality health care, equal rights for all as we age, and due

process, the Center has serious reservations about this nomination. Judge Kavanaugh’s lengthy record on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals does not bode well for the millions of families who rely on critical health care programs and our Constitutional form of government. For example, in Seven-Sky v. Holder, 661 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2011), Judge Kavanaugh

dissented in a 2-1 decision that affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, maintaining that the challenge against the Act could not be heard before the individual mandate’s tax penalties took effect. Just as concerning, Judge Kavanaugh stated in his decision, “the President may decline to enforce a statute that regulates private individuals when the President deems the

statute unconstitutional, even if a court has held or would hold the statute constitutional.” 661 F.3d at 50 n.43. This statement raises serious concerns about Judge Kavanaugh’s commitment to ensuring the judiciary continues to serve as an equal branch of government to the executive branch, and as a check and balance to the President. ...Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


Federal Court Decision Blocks Medicaid Work Requirement in Kentucky In January, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a Medicaid waiver in Kentucky that would allow the state to make participation in a work or “community engagement” program a condition for Medicaid eligibility. A group of advocates sued on behalf of Kentuckians who would be at risk of losing Medicaid coverage, and last month a federal judge put Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement on hold. His decision called into question CMS’s attention to vital details about the Kentucky Medicaid

waiver, including whether the waiver violates one of the primary purposes of the Medicaid statute—to provide health coverage. The judge said that the agency was “arbitrary and capricious” in its decision-making, and showed no evidence that it considered the concerns that stakeholders raised in comments on the proposal. In addition, the agency did not appear to independently evaluate the waiver’s impact on coverage for people with Medicaid. As a result, the court’s decision invalidates the approval of the waiver and leaves open several options. In

response to the decision, CMS could appeal to a higher court; they could revisit the waiver to correct the errors that led to the court decision, if possible; or they could abandon the waiver attempt. It is unclear at this point if the waiver can conform to the court’s requirement that it not violate a primary purpose of Medicaid. Importantly, this does not mean that states cannot limit eligibility based on work. The decision only ends the work requirement in Kentucky. It is likely, however, that advocates in other states will bring suits based on the reasoning of this

case. Medicare Rights opposes the implementation of Medicaid waivers that appear to be intended to push people out of the Medicaid program. Most Medicaid beneficiaries who can work are already working, and increasing bureaucratic burdens will do nothing to help them keep jobs or health insurance coverage. Such requirements can also hurt family caregivers for people with Medicare. Read our concerns about the Kentucky waiver. Read the court’s decision. Read more about the implications of this decision from Kaiser Family Foundation.

Report Examines How Medigap Rules and Enrollment Vary Widely by State This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released an issue briefanalyzing the availability of, and enrollment in Medigaps across different states. One in four people in traditional Medicare had this private, supplemental health insurance in 2015. Medigaps help cover Medicare deductibles and cost-sharing, reduce the outof-pocket burden associated with accessing care, and protect against high costs because of catastrophic illness or injury. The issue brief provides an overview of Medigap enrollment and analyzes consumer protections under federal and state law that can affect beneficiaries’ access to Medigaps. In particular, the brief examines implications for older adults with pre-existing medical conditions who may be unable to purchase a Medigap policy or change their supplemental coverage after their initial open enrollment period. KFF finds that the share of beneficiaries with a Medigap policy varies widely by state— from 3% in Hawaii to 51% in

Kansas. Because federal law provides limited consumer protections—largely, a onetime, six-month open enrollment period that begins when a person is first over 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B—state variances can have significant impact. States have the flexibility to institute consumer protections for Medigaps that go beyond the minimum federal standards. For example, 28 states require Medigap insurers to issue policies to eligible Medicare beneficiaries whose employer

changed their retiree health coverage benefits. Only four states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York) require either continuous or annual guaranteed issue protections for Medigaps for all beneficiaries in traditional Medicare ages 65 and older, regardless of medical history. Guaranteed issue protections prohibit insurers from denying a Medigap policy to eligible applicants, including people with pre-existing conditions, but they may institute waiting periods in some instances. In all

other states and the District of Columbia, people who switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare may be denied a Medigap policy due to a pre-existing condition, with few exceptions. The issue brief also discusses potential strategies policymakers should consider to broaden access to Medigaps, including requiring annual Medigap open enrollment periods or making voluntary disenrollment from a Medicare Advantage plan a qualifying event with guaranteed issue rights for a Medigap policy. The brief adds that though these expanded guaranteed issue protections would increase beneficiaries’ access to Medigaps—especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions—and would treat Medigaps similarly to Medicare Advantage, it could result in some beneficiaries waiting until they have a serious health problem before purchasing Medigap coverage, which would likely increase premiums. Read the KFF brief.

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Alzheimer's risk 10 times lower with herpes medication New results could change the face of Alzheimer's treatment; the herpes simplex virus is found to play a vital role in the condition, and antiherpetic medication is shown to have a dramatic effect on dementia risk. Last month, Medical News Today reported on a study that found "strong evidence" that viruses are involved in Alzheimer's disease. The postmortem analyses of brain tissue found that people who lived with this dementia type also had more herpesviruses 6 and 7 than people without Alzheimer's. Now, a scientific commentary suggests that the study that MNT covered is not the only one to pinpoint a link between herpes and dementia.

n fact, three more studies have strengthened this link, and the commentary — recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease – takes a look at all three. Ruth Itzhaki, who is a professor of neuroscience and experimental psychology at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, alongside Richard Lathe, who is a professor in the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, also in the U.K., authored the commentary. 'Remarkable magnitude of antiviral effect' The studies referenced in the

commentary are two articles (Tsai et al., 2017, and Chen et al., 2018) that suggest that acute herpes zoster infection puts people at a higher risk of dementia, and one article that shows that aggressive treatment with antiherpetic medication drastically lowers dementia risk. The latter study — deemed "most important" by Profs. Itzhaki and Lathe — examined 8,362 people aged 50 and above who received a diagnosis of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, as well as a control group of 25,086 age-matched healthy people. The two groups were followed for almost a decade, between

2001 and 2010. In the herpes group, the risk of dementia was over 2.5 times higher than in the control group. Significantly, the study also revealed that aggressive antiviral treatment reduced the relative risk of dementia by 10 times. Prof. Lathe comments on these new findings, saying, "Not only is the magnitude of the antiviral effect remarkable, but also the fact that — despite the relatively brief duration and the timing of treatment — in most patients severely affected by HSV1 it appeared to prevent the longterm damage in [the] brain that results in Alzheimer's."...Read More

How do you know if you have pernicious anemia? Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition that leads to a lack of red blood cells. A deficiency in vitamin B-12 causes it. A person with pernicious anemia may experience:  tiredness  shortness of breath  shiny or smooth, red tongue  pale skin  chest pain  numb feeling in the hands or

feet  balance difficulties  poor coordination  slow reflexes  confusion  depression Pernicious anemia is a rare condition that 0.1 percent of people are thought to be affected by, with a higher occurrence among those over 60 years of age. This article explains the symptoms of pernicious anemia,

and how it differs from other types of anemia. It also discusses available treatments. How is it caused? Pernicious anemia is a type of anemia, which is when a person is unable to make enough red blood cells. Pernicious anemia is the result of a problem with the immune system. When a person has pernicious anemia, their gut does not absorb vitamin B-12 properly.

This causes a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Up to 50 percent of adults with a vitamin B-12 deficiency may have pernicious anemia. People find vitamin B-12 in the following foods:  Eggs  dairy products  poultry  meat  Shellfish ...Read More

High blood pressure may increase dementia risk According to the latest research, having elevated blood pressure as an older adult predicts an increase in one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. The study authors also saw an increased risk of brain lesions. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known to put pressure on the body, leading to disease. Over the years, it has become

increasingly clear that having higher-thannormal blood pressurefor a sustained amount of time can impact the brain. Causing impairments to memory, attention, and processing speed, hypertension has a key role in brain aging; it is also linked with dementia. More than 100 million people in the United States have

hypertension, and worldwide, it impacts almost a third of all adults. Given the size of the affected population, understanding the risks associated with raised blood pressure is paramount. Hypertension and the brain Recently, researchers from the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University

Medical Center in Chicago, IL, set up a study to look for links between blood pressure and physical markers of brain health in older adults. The findings are published this week in the journal Neurology. Study coauthor Dr. Zoe Arvanitakis explains the types of pathology they were searching for….Read More

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What is hypochlorhydria? Hypochlorhydria is the medical term for a low level of stomach acid. People with hypochlorhydria may experience digestive issues, nutritional deficiencies, and gastrointestinal infections, but prompt treatment can prevent serious complications. An individual with hypochlorhydria is unable to produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach. Stomach acid, along with several enzymes, helps to break down food. Other functions of this acid include:  aiding the body in absorbing certain nutrients, such as protein and vitamin B-12  killing bacteria and other

pathogens in the stomach to prevent infection In this article, we describe the symptoms and causes of hypochlorhydria. We also explore the treatment options. Causes. Common causes of hypochlorhydria include: Age The stomach can produce less acid as a result of aging. According to a 2013 review, hypochlorhydria is the main change in the stomach of older adults. People over the age of 65 have the highest risk. Stress While everyday stress may

not have much effect on the production of stomach acid, chronic stress can contribute to hypochlorhydria. Medications Long-term use of antacids or other medications for acid reflux or heartburn may decrease the body's production of stomach acid. Doctors often prescribe medications called proton pump inhibitors to treat acid reflux, and these , and these can cause hypochlorhydria . Bacterial infection Over 50 percent of people worldwide are infected with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This infection

can contribute to low levels of stomach acid and gastric ulcers. Zinc deficiency Zinc is necessary for the production of stomach acid. A lack of this mineral can contribute to hypochlorhydria. Stomach surgery Some surgical procedures, including gastric bypass surgery, can reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces. Read More on this subject Symptoms Risk Factors

Diagnosis Treatment

Health Tip: What's the Difference Between Delirium and Dementia? Delirium is a significant change in mental status, usually occurring during times of illness or stress, Health in Aging.org says. Delirium -- typically characterized by difficulty concentrating, changes in

behavior or temperament, and an abrupt change in a person's activity level -- may be difficult to distinguish from dementia. But Health in Aging says delirium may be treatable if caught early enough. Delirium is somewhat

common among older adults, who may also have dementia. But delirium is a medical emergency that should be reported immediately, Health in Aging says. About 7 percent of adults 60 and older have dementia, a

decline in memory and general mental function. Dementia can trigger changes in mood, increased irritability, depression and anxiety. Though it shares some characteristics with dementia, delirium usually emerges faster.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Alcohol Intervention for Seniors IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT an elderly parent or grandparent's substance use, you're not alone. Americans over the age of 65 should limit their weekly alcohol consumption to no more than seven drinks, according to guidelines from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Yet some estimates suggest that as many as 15 percent of older adults in this country exceed this healthy limit (above which drinking is associated with various alcohol-related issues and constitutes "at-risk drinking"). For this at-risk population, even a brief, more informal alcohol intervention (as opposed to a formal intervention

facilitated by a certified professional) can be effective. Both the approach and level of advance preparation, such as familiarity with seniorspecific treatment considerations and options, can be critical to ensuring a successful intervention. Here's how to express your concerns in a way that's helpful – not overbearing. How to Address an Older Adult's Drinking Problem – What and What Not to Do When an older adult is engaging in problem drinking, family members and caregivers often have trouble broaching the issue. In these situations, consider the following guidelines for what and what not to do:

Choose an appropriate time to talk. Choose a time when a loved one is sober and experiencing the negative effects of a drinking problem, such as a hangover, alcohol-related injury or symptoms of withdrawal. They will not be as receptive to discussing how toreheir habit is hurting them when they are drinking. Avoid the use of labels. Charged terms like "addiction" or "alcoholic" carry a negative stigma that's often felt strongly among older generations. Where there is stigma, there is shame – and the risk that labeling the problem will only further alienate the person who needs help, setting them on the defensive and in

attack mode. The result can be a lost opportunity to connect in a loving and supportive way, which will be much more persuasive. Labels are also premature diagnoses that only an addiction professional is qualified to make. Leave the diagnosing to people with the right credentials (like an addiction-certified psychiatrist or therapist). Adopt a tone of love and respect. Ageism is a common pitfall. It can serve as an excuse to ignore at-risk drinking in someone older, claiming that because of their seniority, they can drink as much as they want. Or, it can manifest as condescension and "talking ….Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/

RI ARA July 22, 2018 E-Newsletter  
RI ARA July 22, 2018 E-Newsletter  
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