Latest News by Herb Weiss


Herb Weiss

Contributing Writer


Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 36 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 630 articles that he has authored or coauthored have appeared in national, state and local publications. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Him to the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on aging. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and will now run on occasion in Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.



Social Security ‘21 COLA Increase Anemic

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) announcement of next year’s Social Security and Supplemental Security Income’s (SSI) meager cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), over 70 million beneficiaries will only see an increase of 1.3 percent in their monthly checks in 2021.  Last year’s COLA increase was 2.8 percent, the…
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16 year olds and up: Be a Poll Worker – Shortages Threaten Elections

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer With spikes in COVID-19 cases occurring across the nation, causing concerns about the safety or health risk to workers staffing polling sites, AARP announces a new initiative to recruit persons of all ages for the upcoming presidential election to work the polling sites.  AARP along with the Association of Young…
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Butterflies Bring Comfort in Time of Grieving

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Susan feels “joy in her heart and complete happiness” whenever she sees a butterfly. A butterfly came into her life as she mourned her brother’s death in 1990. Before he died, she remembers her brother saying that he would come back as a butterfly. The 62-year-old Pawtucket resident…
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Senate Comm. on Aging: Impact of Isolation and Loneliness on Seniors During COVID-19

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As the COVID-19 crisis has shuttered businesses throughout the nation, state and federal health officials scramble to stop the spread of this deadly virus.  As states begin to slowly open up their economies, a growing number of researchers are finding that mandated social distancing and isolation through self-quarantine may have…
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The Greatest Generation’s Last Hurrah

Editor’s Note:  On June 6, 2020, we celebrate the 76th anniversary of D-Day.  This article, recognizing America’s Greatest Generation who valiantly fought in World War II, was initially published in the Pawtucket Times on November 15, 2014. By Herb Weiss The G.I. Generation, born between 1901 to 1924, (coined the “The Greatest Generation” by nationally acclaimed journalist Tom Brokaw),…
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Senate Aging Committee Tackles COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on Seniors

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer, aging According to an analysis conducted for the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, as of May 22, in the 39 states that currently report such figures, 43 percent of all coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths have taken place in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Since March, the COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island’s…
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Social Security – the Third Rail in Politics

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As Congress begins to hammer out the fifth coronavirus stimulus package to continue its efforts to jump start the nation’s economy, President Donald Trump warns he will not sign any bill that does not include a payroll tax cut.   “We’re not doing anything without a payroll tax cut,”…
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Tele-Town Hall Gets the Word Out About COVID-19

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging This week alone, AARP, in some 30 states, conducted tele-town halls and 123 state calls have taken place since the pandemic surfaced. AARP Rhode Island, representing 132,000 members age 50 and over, was among the very first states to address the pandemic in a tele-town hall over two…
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Shore Up our Social Security Reserve

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Each year, starting in 1941, the Social Security Board of Trustees has presented a required report on the financial status of the program to the Congress. Now amidst the world-wide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forcing the shuttering of the nation’s businesses triggering the worst economic downslide since the 1930s Great…
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4th Stimulus should protect Seniors

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As part of the Economic Impact Payment provision in the recently enacted $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill, at press time about 80 million Americans have already received their $ 1,200 stimulus check ($2,400 for joint filers) through direct deposit.  But for those 70 million Americans waiting for this…
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Congress should not forget seniors in Phase 4 stimulus package – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Just weeks after Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus package signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, lawmakers continue to look for ways to jump start the nation’s economy by passing another stimulus package. Lawmakers…
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AARP Town Hall Educates Seniors on COVID-19

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging With more than 278 Americans now infected with the Coronavirus virus (COVID-19) and at least 7,159 people dying from the deadly virus, according to an April 3 blog article the New York Times, “about 311 million people in at least 41 states, three counties, eight cities, the District…
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The Coronavirus and its Effect on Social Security

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the nation, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and other federal agencies strive to cope with meeting the huge challenges they face resulting from the unexpected pandemic outbreak, attempting to juggle worker safety while maintaining their daily operations. On March 19, Key House…
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AARP What Seniors Need to Know About COVID-19

by Herb Weiss, Contributing writer on aging Twenty-four-hour programming on cable television, television networks, talk radio and newspapers report the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just days ago there were about 700 confirmed and presumed U.S. cases from 38 jurisdictions, that’s 36 states…
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Strategy for Combating Seniors’ Social Isolation and Loneliness – by Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Nearly one in four older adults residing in the community are socially isolated. Seniors who are experiencing social isolation or loneliness may face a higher risk of mortality, heart disease and depression, says a newly released report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), a…
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Children Can Bring Message of Life after Death

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer (Note: February 20, 2020 marks the 17-year anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire. This article, reviewing Dave Kane’s book, “41 Signs of Hope,” was initially published in the Pawtucket Times on December 20, 2014.)   The tragic, untimely death of a child will bring emotional pain and suffering to the parents. But, amazingly through horrific…
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RI Lawmakers to Tackle High Prescription Drug Costs

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer, aging The Washington, DC-based AARP began its call for reducing prescription drug prices nationally in the late spring of 2019. At the same time, state legislatures around the country began taking up legislation. However, in Rhode Island, where the legislature meets only once a year, from January to June, it…
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3rd Time’s the Charm for Reestablishing the House Aging Committee?

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Twenty-six years after the House Democratic Leadership’s belt-tightening efforts to save $1.5 million resulted in the termination of the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging, U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline reintroduces legislation to reestablish the House Aging panel, active from 1974 until 1993. Initially the House panel had…
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2020 Census Impacts Programs for Older Americans

2020 Census Impacts Programs and Services for Older Americans By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging By April 1, every home across the nation will receive an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency, to participate in the 2020 Census. Once this invitation arrives, it’s important for you to immediately answer the short…
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Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly

Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, published in 2016, contains a collection of 79 articles covering a myriad of aging issues ranging from care giving, retirement planning to thoughts about spirituality and death. These articles are intended to empower with practical tools to live a happy, engaged and empowered during the second half of…
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Working Seniors Priming the Nation’s Economic Engine

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging In recent years, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and even former House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, have warned that the growing number of seniors is fast becoming an economic drag to the nation’s economic growth, citing the spiraling costs of…
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Seniors: What to expect in your 2020 Social Security COLA

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 69 million Americans will increase 1.6 percent in 2020 (Some recipients receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). Social Security and SSI recipients will be notified about their new benefit amount…
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Uncompensated Cost of Caregivers is a Over $470 Billion

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Approximately 41 million unpaid family caregivers provided an estimated 34 billion hours of care in 2017 — worth a whopping $470 billion — to their parents, spouses, partners, and friends, according to the latest report in AARP’s Valuing the Invaluable series. The 2019 estimated value of family caregiving…
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Simple Tips on Surviving the Holidays – by Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging The holiday season can be a double-edge sword. For some, it brings feelings of warmth and joy, even closeness and belonging to family and friends, but for others it produces, extra stress and anxiety and feelings of isolation and depression. Increased demands and family obligations during Christmas through…
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Reauthorization of OAA Now in the Senate’s Hands

By Herb Weiss Last month, after a 40-minute debate, the House moved to pass H.R. 4334, The Dignity in Aging Act of 2019, a bipartisan reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) that provides funding for a wide range of popular local and state programs. These programs make sure seniors have access to food thru…
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Falls and Injuries are Issues to Aging in Place

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer (Published in Woonsocket Call on October 20, 2019) Last Wednesday morning in Dirksen Senate Office Building 562, the U.S. Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to put a spotlight on the economic consequences on falls and to explore ways to prevent and reduce falls and related injuries. At the…
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Online Shopping not only for the young

Presenting our new contributing writer, Herb Weiss. By Herb Weiss, contributing writer, Caregivers find it difficult to shop at retail stores Survey findings from a recently released national study, by the Washington, DC-based AARP and NORC at the University of Chicago, will send a strong message to America’s businesses. With the graying of America,…
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