Latest News by Herb Weiss

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Herb Weiss

Contributing Writer

About

Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 41 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 780 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. Senate President Domenick Ruggerio appointed him to the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Disease, Research and Treatment. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and RINewsToday.com. Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Strengthening the safety net for seniors living in poverty – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer for senior issues A recently released U.S. Census Bureau report should send a message to Congress and spur the efforts of aging advocates to protect older Americans from financial hardship and poverty.  Some consider the “golden years” to be age 60, or 65, and over.  But it’s not so golden for millions…
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Rhode Island moves to assist in planning for retirement with Secure Choice – Herb Weiss

Rhode Island now one of 19 other states to help private-sector workers save for retirement. By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues An AARP study recently released tells us that it’s not easy being in your 50s and not having planned for your retirement. According to the study’s findings, 20% of adults ages 50+…
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nursing home

Rhode Island nursing home bill veto response – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the adjourning of the General Assembly on the early morning of June 14, out of thousands of bills thrown into the legislative hopper in this year’s legislative session, 249 bills passed both chambers.  At press time, Gov. Dan McKee has vetoed five bills, including one to create a Rhode Island…
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RI State House

Benefits for seniors from Rhode Island’s next budget – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photo: Artistic Images, Pamela Bhatia With a 35-2 vote in the Senate early on Friday the Senate gave its approval for a $13.963 billion budget for the 2025 fiscal year, comprising 13 articles that direct additional funding toward education and children, raises Medicaid reimbursement rates, health care…
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New report re-examines workplace policies and caregiving – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As a newly released AARP and S&P Global report notes, working while being a caregiver is complicated.  While the researchers say that since the previously issued report in 2020, US employers have stepped up to the plate to offer access to caregiving benefits.  However, much more must be done. …
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Social Security changes expand access to SSI – Herb Weiss

Social Security changes helps people receiving/applying for SSI – Herb Weiss By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced good news for Supplemental Security recipients.  The federal agency published a final rule on April 19, 2024, to – “Expand the Definition of a Public Assistance Household.” The regulation announces…
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Let seniors vote on Social Security fixes – Herb Weiss

Next November, Let Seniors Vote on Social Security Fixes   By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The recently released 2024 Social Security and Medicare Trustees report shows an improved outlook for these programs. This year’s projections show that Social Security can pay its benefits and cover administrative costs now until 2035, one year longer than projected in…
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Advocates, providers on new Nursing Home mandates – Herb Weiss

Advocates, Providers Talk Turkey About CMS’s New Nursing Home Mandate – Herb Weiss by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues In the shadow of Rhode Island’s ongoing staffing shortage, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its 329-page final rule on Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Standards (CMS 3442-F) on April 22 in…
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Shortage of direct care professionals a local and national concern – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last week, at  the Senate Dirksen Building, Room SD-562,  Chairman Bob Casey, of the U.S. Special Committee on Aging, (D-PA), showcased S. 4120, legislation that he introduced with U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, introduced during the 118thCongress, would…
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RINewsToday

The legislative wish list of Rhode Island’s groups on aging – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The Rhode Island General Assembly’s 2024 session kicked off on Jan. 2, 2024, scheduled to adjourn on June 30, 2024.  According to LegiScan, over the last three months 2,164 bills have been thrown into the legislative hopper. “The state budget will likely be voted upon by the…
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Regulatory approval can make a belated Christmas miracle happen – Herb Weiss

Regulatory Agencies Approval Can Make Facility’s Belated Christmas Miracle Happen By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photos – Linn Health A belated Christmas miracle may truly happen, if state and federal agencies allow the Linn Health & Rehabilitation to convert one of its floors into affordable assisted living specializing in memory and dementia…
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Senior Agenda Coalition of RI unveils legislative agenda to packed house of seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last Wednesday, the main ballroom at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick was filled, to capacity. Hundreds came to the Senior Agenda Coalition of RI’s (SACRI)  2024 Legislative Leaders Forum to learn about the advocacy group’s issue priorities. House and Senate leadership, along with members of both caucuses…
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Medicare payments

Medicare Savings Program bill will be a win for low income seniors, and Rhode Island – Herb Weiss

Rhode Island may make 17,000 more residents eligible for Medicaid
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The “Forgotten Middle” study of income inequity of Black and Hispanic seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Millions of Black and Hispanic middle-income older adults will lack the financial resources to pay for senior housing and health care expenses as they age, warns a new report released by NORC at the University of Chicago, commissioned by the Long-Beach, California-based SCAN Foundation, an independent public…
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Housing America's senior adults 2020.

Report says nation not prepared to tackle senior housing crisis – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issue With the graying of America, the nation is unprepared to provide needed housing and care for millions of seniors, warns a recently released 40-page report by the Cambridge-based Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.  The US population age 65 and over has skyrocketed 34% in the last…
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Congressman Magaziner takes baton on bringing back House Aging Committee – Herb Weiss

Congressman Magaziner will try to bring back House Aging Committee
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AARP poll says older women’s vote a “Wild Card” in upcoming election – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues According to a newly released AARP public opinion poll, women voters age 50 and older are the biggest wild card vote in the upcoming 2024 presidential election, divided almost evenly on their preferred presidential candidate. But these voters express common concerns about their financial wellbeing, political bickering…
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An aerial view of the Rhode Island legislature building at night.

AARP Rhode Island pushes its 2024 legislative agenda – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on issues of aging Photo: Pamela Bhatia, Artistic Images RI Standing in front of an AARP backdrop in the Rhode Island State Room at the State House, last week AARP Rhode Island hosted a 34 plus minute press conference plugging the “aging” group’s 2024 legislative agenda. The nonprofit organization, representing…
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A living room with a fireplace and bookshelves.

ADU legislation sailing through lower chamber – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the strong support of House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, one of nine cosponsors of H. 7062,  last week the House Committee on Municipal Government and Housing approved a legislative proposal that would be a boost to housing production by helping Rhode Islanders to develop accessory dwelling units…
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A woman and an older woman working on a computer.

The RI Budget proposal, as seen by our fastest growing demographic. Seniors (updated) – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues (See update in red, below) This Tuesday, Jan. 16th, Governor Dan McKee officially kicked off the legislative debate on the state’s $13.68 billion FY 2025 Budget in his 48 minute (4,481 word) State of the State address that laid out his spending priorities.   Over the next six months the General…
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Movies for Grownups®Awards: Best film, shows, talents for 50+ audience. And the nominees are… – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a week ago, the 2024 Golden Globe Awards, with a viewership of 9.4 million, the highest ratings in years, honored the best films in both the American and international film industry and programming on television and cable.  This award ceremony, hosted by comedian Jo Koy and broadcast live from the Beverly…
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Senate Aging Committee tackles AI generated scams – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over two months ago, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman, Bob Casey (D-PA), put the spotlight on Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven fraud and scams. During the Nov. 16 hearing held in SD-106, “Modern Scams: How Scammers Are Using Artificial Intelligence & How We Can Fight Back,” the…
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Responses begin to declaration of nursing home emergency in RI

RINewsToday reached out to local groups who have been active in the minimum standards for nursing homes issue, as a follow up to the declaration of a Nursing Home Emergency in Rhode Island, made by Gov. McKee on December 29th. John E. Gage, MBA, NHA, the President & CEO of the Rhode Island Health Care…
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A sign indicating a declaration of nursing home emergency due to inadequate minimum staffing.

Governor McKee Executive Order declares Nursing Home Emergency in Rhode Island

Time stamped at 3:31pm on Friday, December 29th, not to be followed with a press release to the local media, yet covered in the Providence Journal on New Year’s Day, Governor McKee signed into law his 11th Executive Order of 2023. A Declaration of Nursing Home Emergency. The order acknowledges the crisis situation, almost back…
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Stained glass art - stained glass art fine art print.

Pew Survey takes a look at America’s view of spirituality – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The late Ray Whitman, a former economist who taught at the University of the District of Columbia, didn’t really consider himself spiritual or begin his spiritual quest until his late 30s. Ray’s desire to understand his spirituality was a long, complicated and somewhat painful process, he told…
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authors expo

Get your holidays on! 11th annual RI Author Expo – meet local authors, get writing tips, buy books

The 11th Annual Rhode Island Author Expo will be an held at the Crowne Plaza Ballroom in Warwick, Rhode Island from 10am-4pm. This exciting event celebrates the vibrant literary community in Rhode Island. The event is free, with ample parking. Bring your shopping bag! Discover and connect with 100+ local authors, immerse yourself in their…
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A photo of a row of columns in sepia.

Countdown to 2024 elections heating up about what to do about Social Security – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The political clock is ticking. It’s 340 days before the upcoming presidential elections and control of Congress and the White House are up for grabs.  As education, abortion, foreign policy, immigration, crime are emerging as upcoming campaign issues, fixing Social Security and Medicare are also on the voter’s…
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Thanksgiving turkey and vegetables on a table.

Eating your favorite Thanksgiving foods without sabotaging your health – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues We look forward to gathering around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends to enjoy good company and good food. “For individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, holiday social gatherings can be more challenging and at times anxiety inducing,” says Marilyn Csernus, a former,…
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Talking Turkey about the Holiday Blues – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Increased demands of family obligations during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, baking, and cleaning to host dinner, and even unrealistic expectations about family, or having a dysfunctional family, can produce extra stresses, feelings of anxiety, isolation, and depression.  This is oftentimes referred to as holiday blues. This year, during…
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A man in a uniform holding a sword.

In the coming years, generations of older Veterans will be leaving us – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Of the 16.6 million living veterans, serving in World War II to the Global War on Terror, one half of these veterans are age 65 and over.  The graying of America’s veterans is well-documented in a U.S. Census Bureau report released last July.  Taking a Look at America’s…
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Many prescription bottles are lined up on a shelf.

Federal Court denies attempt to stop Medicare drug negotiation program – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over two months ago, as supporters of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) celebrated the one-year anniversary of the passage of the historic legislation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), along with drugmakers filed multiple lawsuits to block the IRA’s drug…
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A family is preparing a turkey for thanksgiving dinner.

Senate bipartisan proposal boon to nation’s family caregivers – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Many family caregivers will tell you that coping with the stress of providing care to loved ones, is made more difficult when they are forced to navigate the confusing federal bureaucracy to identify key financial and health care programs for support. Last week, S 3109, the Alleviating Barriers…
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A woman is holding an elderly woman's hand.

Putting the brakes on CMS proposed minimum staffing for nursing facilities – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issue In response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recent release of proposed rule to establish minimum federal staffing requirements, last week 97 members of Congress, mostly Republican, called on Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to put the breaks on CMS’s proposed…
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Two adirondack chairs on a deck overlooking the ocean.

Modest Social Security COLA increase seen as chump change by some – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 71 million beneficiaries will increase 3.2% in 2024, about $59 per month starting in January. The 2024 payment declined from last year’s 8.7%, but that had been the…
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A man in a suit and tie standing in front of an american flag.

Will Magaziner fulfill call to reestablish House Aging Committee? – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With Congressman David Cicilline retiring from Congress, no House lawmaker has yet stepped up to reintroduce, H.R. 583,  the Rhode Island lawmaker’s resolution to reestablish the House Select Committee on Aging (HSCoA).  Without receiving a vote in the House Rules Committee at the end of the 117th Congress, the resolution…
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A man with glasses and a mustache is leaning against a brick wall.

Passages – Life and Times of Morris Nathanson

By Herb Weiss and Phyllis Van Orden Nathanson Painter, Illustrator and Restaurant/Hospitality Designer Morris Nathanson’s artist studio is just a stone’s throw away from his childhood home on Japonica Street in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Growing up poor during the depression in his Pleasant View neighborhood, settled by Armenian and Syrian immigrants who worked in the…
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A nurse is helping an elderly woman on a walker.

AARP report: States’ care for seniors “painfully inadquate”. Major gaps in RI – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Last week, the Washington, DC-based AARP released its latest Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard, calling care provided to seniors and persons with disabilities during the last three years after the COVID-19 pandemic “painfully inadequate.”  This nine-page report detailed state specific data, finds major gaps in providing care in every state, including…
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A group of doctors shake hands in a hospital.

Increased funding must be tied to nursing home mandated minimum staffing – Herb Weiss

Increased funding must be tied to mandated minimum staffing – Herb Weiss By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to establish comprehensive staffing requirements for nursing homes—including, for the first time, national minimum nurse staffing standards. The proposed rule seeks to would ratchet up…
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An older couple and a little girl are having fun on the beach.

The Village helps grandparent/kinship caregivers in need – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues When we dream about our retirement years, these dreams most likely don’t include images of diapers, children’s tantrums, and school buses. However, for some grandparents and other kinship caregivers, their later years include these images, as they become primary caregivers for their grandchildren/kin children. Nationally, more than 2.5…
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Two older women swimming in a swimming pool.

Age Wave study sees shift in how nation perceives aging – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues “Old Age” enters a new age.  That’s how Age Wave sees it after releasing its new Harris Poll results, revealing that the graying of America is shifting how the nation views growing old and its perception on longevity, health, retirement and sense of purpose.   “Everywhere we turn in American culture…
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A blue background with a man and a dollar bill.

Medicare to negotiate select drug prices with Big Pharma, lists first 10 drugs. – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues While critics are attempting to go through the courts to put the brakes on allowing Medicare to negotiate and set drug prices, last week, the Biden administration announced its list of 10 drugs that will be subject to price negotiations mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  …
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An elderly man is holding a walking stick.

Combating loneliness and isolation in nursing facilities – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Almost four months ago, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released an 81-page advisory report titled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation,” putting a spotlight on a troubling national problem, the growing incidence of loneliness caused by isolation in our society. The nation’s chief advocate for public health…
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Many prescription bottles are lined up on a shelf.

Health advocacy groups oppose groups against drug price negotiations – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As supporters of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) celebrate the one-year anniversary of the passage of this historic legislation, health advocacy groups gathered last week in Austin, Texas, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York City to publicly oppose and call on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Pharmaceutical Research and…
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Wake up call on spiraling brand-name drug prices – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues A new pharmaceutical drug price report that is both timely and overdue has been released by AARP’s Public Policy Institute, following on the heels of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releasing in June, which revised guidance for the historic Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program.  …
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Rally round Martin O’Malley for Social Security Administration Commissioner – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just weeks ago, President Joe Biden nominated former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Social Security Commissioner, to lead the Social Security Administration (SSA) in delivering benefits to 67 million Americans per month, totaling over 1 trillion dollars in benefits paid during the year. With the SSA Trust Fund running…
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Two people in red shirts working on a garden bed.

AARP helping RI communities become more livable with Challenge Grants – Herb Weiss 

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photo:  Volunteer grandmas working in a straw bale garden, courtesy West End Community Center One might say that the Washington, DC-based AARP puts its money where its mouth is. The nation’s largest aging advocacy group recently announced that it is investing $3.6 million in 310 Community Challenge grants…
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Annual retirement survey: Caregivers less likely to save. Support for this critical role. – Herb Weiss

EBRI Survey Says Unpaid Caregivers Less Likely to Save for Retirement By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues According to the 33rd annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) released last week, caregivers are more likely to have lower levels of assets and more likely to have problems with debt than non-caregivers. Because of this they…
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Social Security must be key issue in 2024 Presidential Election – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last Wednesday, 178 House Democrats, (90% of the House Democratic caucus) led by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) introduced  H.R. 4583, the “Social Security 2100 Act of 2023.” The 108-page bill would expand Social Security’s benefits, with no cuts, and keep the system fiscally strong for decades to…
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Two adirondack chairs on a deck overlooking the ocean.

Prudential Financial study: Gen Xers stumbling into retirement – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues While aging baby boomers ease into retirement, a new research study finds that Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979, are now facing the harsh reality of not being financially prepared for their looming retirement. This demographic cohort group follows the baby boomers (1946 to 1964) and…
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The capitol building in washington, dc at dusk.

Republican Study Committee, Social Security and Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last month, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) unveiled its 167-page FY 2024 “Protecting America’s Economic Security” budget proposal which calls for balancing the federal budget in seven years, slashes $16.3 trillion in wasteful government spending over ten years, and cuts $5.1 trillion in taxes. During the 118th…
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A group of older people sitting on a bench and smiling.

New Census data reports the graying of U.S. population – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The nation’s population continues to gray and this is documented by a series of demographic profiles from the 2020 Census recently released. The release of this updated census data must be a wake-up call to Congress and federal and state officials who oversee aging programs and services.…
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An aerial view of the state capitol building, perfect for seniors.

New Legislative Commission to work on improving programs, services to seniors –  Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photo: Pamela Bhatia, Artistic Images During May, designated as Older Americans Month, the Rhode Island House of Representatives approved H 5224-SUB A, sponsored by House Deputy Majority Leader Lauren H. Carson (D-District 75, Newport), creating a legislative commission to study the services and programs for 240,000 older…
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A man and woman in bed talking to a doctor.

A call for supporting the nation’s caregivers – Herb Weiss 

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Just 511 days until the 2024 Presidential Election (Nov. 5, 2024), older voters call on Congress to provide more support for the nation’s family caregivers, according to a new AARP Family Caregiving study, released on May 5, 2023, conducted by the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research. Former First Lady,…
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A large building lit up at night.

Path to an “age-friendlier” budget – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photo: Pamela Bhatia, Artistic Images Can We Call the Recently Passed House Budget Proposal “Age-Friendly”   After a 47:10 minute meeting on Friday night, the House Finance Committee approved a $14 billion budget for the 2024 fiscal year that commits funding toward addressing the housing crisis (top priority), supports…
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A kitchen and living room in a modern apartment.

House passes legislation to encourage the construction of ADUs – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Rhode Islanders will be able to develop accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their property under legislation sponsored by Rep. June S. Speakman (D-District 68, Bristol/Warren) and approved by the House. When the dust settled, H 6082 Aaa was passed by a vote of 61-10.  Of the 10 who…
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RINewsToday

The last hurrah for RI retired pensioners – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues To this day, talk to any state worker or teacher who retired and they are not happy campers. To the contrary, they remain bitter as to how former Governor Gina Raimondo sold them out with her version of pension cuts in 2011 when state retirees, retired teachers, and…
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Can AI create an “Authentic” Commencement Address? – Herb Weiss

 By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues It’s May and Rhode Island’s college seniors are graduating from colleagues and universities, ready to go out and make their mark on the world. According to the Education Data Initiative, this year there is an estimated 19,782 graduating seniors who will sit through commencement ceremonies with their families…
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Annual AARP Snapshot of Older Travelers – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Older travelers are gearing up for their big adventures with summertime just around the corner.  Continued inflation combined with sky-high flight costs won’t deter these individuals from planning family travel, according to a newly published AARP report. AARP’s 2023 Travel Trends survey (initially begun in 2015) examines the…
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A close look on “Facts and Figures” about Alzheimer’s – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues For over five years, Janet Bryant, 65, has been a caregiver for her 67-year-old husband, Paul, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Their daughter, Alison, and husband Ryan, living in the condo above her parents, step in to assist with caregiver duties when needed.  “It’s often a long…
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senior agenda coalition conference

RI Seniors, aging advocates call for an “age friendly” budget – Herb Weiss

Seniors, Aging Advocates Call for an FY 2024 “Age-Friendly” Budget
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RINewsToday

House Study Commission could create first state plan on aging in Rhode Island – Herb Weiss

study commission called for on senior services by herb weiss
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caregiving

Unpaid Caregiving valued at $600 Billion says AARP – Herb Weiss

AARP report on unpaid caregiving cost by Herb Weiss
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ri state house

Dueling proposals in Rhode Island Senate to end tax burden on Social Security benefits – Herb Weiss

Rhode island senate considering bills to end tax burden on social security benefits - by Herb weiss
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increasing web access at the federal government

Federal agencies must make websites more accessible – Herb Weiss

Federal agencies must improve web access for those with disabilities, seniors, veterans by Herb Weiss
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A couple sitting on a bench in a park.

“Secure Choice” will help saving for retirement – Herb Weiss

Herb Weiss writes about Secure Choice, a Rhode Island bill to help everyone save for retirement.
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41 signs of hope by dave kane.

The Station Fire. 20 years ago. “41 Signs of Hope” (3 of 4)

(Note: February 20, 2023 marks the 20-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 and with us, again, in 2017 – we reprint it today – written by RINewsToday contributing writer, Herb Weiss. The tragic, untimely death of a…
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A nurse hugs an elderly woman in a wheelchair.

Nursing home workforce crisis deepens with minimum staffing standards – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on senior issues “The long-term care industry is enduring the worst workforce crisis in its history, in Rhode Island, and across the country. Although providers are committed to recruiting and retaining staff to provide quality care for residents, despite our best efforts, many nursing homes have fallen short of the…
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Senior groups ask House leadership for an “Age-Friendly Rhode Island” budget – Herb Weiss

Will House Leadership’s Budget Proposal Create an “Age-Friendly” State? By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over two weeks ago, Gov. Dan McKee unveiled his $13.8 billion proposed FY 24 Budget. To members of the aging community, the reaction is that this budget shortchanges seniors.  In an e-blast sent to 1,800 seniors and aging…
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A man and woman looking at a computer screen.

Social Security has new, easier to use website – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a month ago, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) launched a redesigned website to assist beneficiaries to find what they need more easily. New pages and improvements based on public feedback will continue to be unveiled in the coming months. You may have already received an email…
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A group of elderly people in a living room.

Strengthen nursing home safety, decrease improper anti-psychotic use – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues CMS Moves to Strengthen Nursing Home Safety and Clarity of Consumer Info To improve transparency of nursing home consumer information, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will now post Care Compare citations that are under…
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Problem Solvers Caucus may be key to re-establishing Committee on Aging – Herb Weiss

Problem Solvers Caucus key to bringing back House Aging Committee By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues H.R. Res. 583, Reestablishing the Permanent House Select Committee on Aging (HSCoA), chances were growing slim in getting Congressional attention for passage in the final days of the 117th Congress. Extensive media coverage of the ongoing Ukraine War,…
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A woman's hands holding a red heart on a wooden table.

Volunteering: Your Single New Years Resolution – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As the ball dropped in New York’s Time Square, many Americans have already penned New Year’s resolutions for 2023.  Making these resolutions as January approaches has become a very common tradition for millions. According to the Statista 2022 Consumer Survey (413 adults ages 18 to 89 years…
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RINewsToday

My most popular reads as an “age beat” journalist in 2022 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss As an ‘age beat’ journalist for over 43 years, I have freelanced more than 867 stories covering aging, health care and medical issues. These authored and coauthored pieces have appeared in national, state, trade and association publications and even statewide news blogs. In 2022, my articles appeared weekly in 52 issues of RINewsToday.com.…
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A woman praying with her hands on a bible.

Seniors say they hesitate to mix healthcare and matters of faith – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer When it comes to matters of one’s personal beliefs, most seniors choose to keep their health care and their spiritual or religious lives separate, a new University of Michigan poll finds. But they do see a role for their health care providers in assisting them to cope with illness by looking…
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A blue background with bokeh lights.

Psychologist Elaine Rodino’s Tips on those Holiday Blues – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues It is a visible sign of the approach of Christmas.  Houses are decorated with colorful Christmas lights with wreaths with red ribbons hung on the front doors of homes throughout the community. But planned gatherings next weekend with family and friends may not bring the joyful feelings and…
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A family sits at a table and eats a christmas dinner.

Don’t Drop Your Guard Against COVID, Flu, and RSV – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss COVID 19 cases across the nation are fewer in number than this time last year. But health care experts say that the Covid-19 is here to stay. A new poll released by the Washington, DC-based American Psychiatric Association (APA), the nation’s oldest medical association, shows that while nearly a third of Americans report that…
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An elderly man is holding the hand of a caregiver.

Inflation less of an issue for seniors in Assisted Living – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer A report released TODAY by PayingforSeniorCare.com finds that inflation of goods and services has severely impacted seniors, but inflation of senior living is much softer by comparison.  The two-part report shares findings based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 55+, and data showing the best and worst states for senior living…
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Seniors key to Democratic win – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just weeks before the midterm elections, Oct. 18th, AARP Rhode Island released a voting analysis of the Sept. 13th Rhode Island primary election, revealing that voters ages 50 + were the most powerful election deciders.   Voters age 50 and up accounted for more than 70% of Rhode Island voters in the…
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Pelosi passes gavel to “younger” generation – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photos: Nancy Pelosi website With the dust settling after the mid-term elections and GOP taking control of the lower-chamber, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), followed by the No. 2 Democratic, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), will give up their leadership positions although both will keep their Congressional…
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An elderly man in a wheelchair looking out of a window.

Advocates on aging issues review their priorities for Gov. McKee’s policy agenda – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Over 3 months ago, the Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island (SACRI) invited the six Gubernatorial candidates to give the details of their aging policy positions to hundreds gathering at East Providence High School, and watching virtually. With the dust settling after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, aging…
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A woman jumping out of a car with a vote sign.

Discounted Lyft to the polls – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Graphic: Lyft.com Just before the upcoming mid-term elections, Lyft, a ride sharing services company announces it will offer ride redemption codes valued up to 50% of the cost of a ride to and from voting locations (up to a maximum of $10). The code can be used…
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Will Social Security survive the midterms? – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the midterm elections just a week away, the sputtering economy and inflation top the public’s agenda. If voters hold President Joe Biden and Democratic lawmakers accountable for these concerns, voting for Republican candidates might just give control of Congress to the GOP.  By controlling the legislative…
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Voters 50+ most powerful, election deciders; true for all Rhode Island cities, towns – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Every political pundit knows that seniors are the most reliable voters. AARP Rhode Island’s latest analysis of voter records from the office of the Rhode Island Secretary of State clearly confirms this observation. Age 50 and over voters accounted for more than 70% of Rhode Island voters who turned…
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Women 50+ may well control who wins in midterm election, polls say – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Almost three weeks away, and Democrats are scrambling to gear up their get-out-the-vote efforts before the upcoming midterm elections. Can the Democratic party that fights to financially strengthen and expand Social Security, and avoid cuts to funding for Medicare, and put the brakes on skyrocketing prescription costs,…
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Nat’l Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare in RI for Magaziner – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With just 28 days before the mid-term elections, Seth Magaziner, the Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat struggles to keep Democratic and Independent voters from voting Republican Alan Fung into office, who express frustration with high gas prices, rising inflation and a slow economy.   House Speaker Nancy…
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Congress moves to fix SSA customer service issues – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer After Sen. Joe Manchin (D- WV) abandoned his efforts to legislatively speed up the permitting process for energy projects, as part of the Senate’s Continuing Resolution, it began to get bipartisan traction. With a shutdown looming just days before federal agencies would run out of money on Oct. 1, the…
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AARP study shows Seniors favor a good life, over a lengthy one – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Even with many older adults facing health challenges in their later years, they maintain an optimistic view of their aging and expect their lives to improve as they grow older, according to new research findings from AARP in collaboration with National Geographic Partners. The study found that three-quarters…
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A group of older men playing cards in a park.

Senior Centers key provider in RI’s Long-Term Care Continuum – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over nine years ago, this columnist penned a commentary, “Senior Centers, Not Just a Place to Play Bingo,” that appeared in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket Call.  As we celebrate National Senior Centers Month in September, today’s Senior Centers continue to take a wholistic view of providing…
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Speaker Pelosi: Bring Larson’s Social Security proposal to a floor vote – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On the 87th Anniversary of Social Security, the Washington, DC based Social Security Works (SSW) hosted a “Social Security Town Hall Meeting” to get the word out about the importance of passing the Social Security: 2100: A Sacred Trust.  The virtual town hall meeting brought together House lawmakers,…
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AARP survey: Close link for women between discrimination and mental health – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The Washington, DC-based AARP recently reported the results of its annual survey, Mirror/Mirror: Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age and Media™. The survey findings indicate that discrimination is a real and common occurrence. Nearly two out of three (63%) women 50-plus say they feel discriminated against regularly. For most American…
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Senior couple riding bicycles in autumn park stock photo.

More retirees choose to un-retire, and re-enter the workforce – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Retirees are rethinking their decision to leave their jobs to travel, to pursue leisure activities and hobbies, and to spend time with their family and friends. After the surge of retirements in the early months of the pandemic in late spring 2022, retirees are now returning to…
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A woman and an older woman working on a computer.

Primary a few short weeks away – be educated on issues for seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On Aug. 17, just twenty-eight days before Rhode Island’s Sept. 13th Primary Election, at the Warwick-based Pilgrim Senior Center, Gov. Dan McKee joined Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, other elected leaders and advocates to highlight recently passed legislative and budget initiatives that supported  Rhode Island’s senior population.…
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RI CareLink recruiting participants for innovative Alzheimers program – Herb Weiss

Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Program Grant Now Recruiting Rhode Island Participants By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last January, CareLink, a nonprofit network of post-acute and community-based providers, received a grant from the Administration for Community Living, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After the required planning period, and…
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Herb Weiss, an agent of change… shifts focus to Pawtucket’s senior community

by Nancy Thomas, publisher Big changes for our writer on aging issues – and how lucky we are to have this news to share. Herb Weiss, of Pawtucket, has worked for his city for over 23 years, serving most recently as Economic and Cultural Affairs Officer. On August 22nd, Herb will be following his most…
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RI candidates for Governor spotlight senior issues at forum – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Gubernatorial Candidates Put Spotlight on Rhode Island’s Fragmented LTC Continuum Last week, hundreds of seniors and aging advocates gathered at East Providence High School to learn more about aging policy positions from 6 Rhode Island Gubernatorial candidates. Many more watched virtually as the event was streamed online.…
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A group of older people using computers in a computer lab.

RI Gubernatorial Forum to ask, “what’s your Senior Agenda?” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The Senior Agenda Coalition of RI (SACRI) has joined 17 organizations to bring you Rhode Island’s 2022 Gubernatorial Forum where candidates will talk about senior issues. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at the East Providence High School’s new 900-seat capacity auditorium. Seating…
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HHS Climate and Health Outlook tackles climate-related hazards – Herb Weiss

 By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over two and a half months ago, the Biden administration launched a new initiative, called the Climate and Health Outlook, to serve as a resource to help people, health professionals, and communities protect individual and community health impacted by climate events. On May 6, 2022, the U.S. Department…
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New resources to protect Seniors before, during and after Natural Disasters – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last year, alone, the Washington, DC-based AARP noted that the nation experienced more than 1,300 tornadoes, 21 named storms (with winds of 39 mph or greater), nearly 59,000 wildfires that burned more than 7.13 million acres, along with numerous ice storms and other weather events that caused major damage…
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Lawmakers can do more for Seniors next year – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days before July 1, 2022, Gov. Dan McKee was joined for the signing of the $13.6 billion state budget (222-H7123aa) for fiscal year 2023 by Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney…
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America’s Seniors need House of Reps. to bring back Aging Committee – Herb Weiss

By Tom Spulak, Bob Weiner and Herb Weiss With a backdrop of extensive media coverage of the ongoing Ukraine War, the Jan. 6th hearings, and covering the political postering of Republican and Democrats as the midterm elections approach (just 127 days from now), Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) along with 50 Democratic cosponsors calls on the…
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A group of older people using computers in a computer lab.

Aging groups gear up to support candidates in primaries, mid-terms – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues In just 140 days, seniors will go to the polls to cast ballots for candidates who they believe will lead the nation in the right direction.  Over three months ago, the Washington, DC based AARP, the nation’s largest senior advocacy group announced the kick-off of its Voter Engagement…
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Pushing Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust up the Hill – Herb Weiss

Larson Pushes to Get Social Security Reform Proposal for House Vote By Herb Weiss, contributing writer The House Ways and Means Committee is preparing for a full mark-up on H.R. 5723, Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, authored by Committee Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT) this summer. Last week Larson held a press conference calling…
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RINewsToday writer, Herb Weiss, featured in national press

Herb Weiss, a prolific writer, and RINewsToday’s very own writer on aging issues often has his items mentioned in national venues – but this one merits special mention. “Florida support needed for Pepper’s Aging Committee” appeared in the Tallahassee Democratic, in Florida – here it is – and congrats, Herb… Florida support needed for Pepper’s…
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Trustee Reports predict improved outlook for Social Security and Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On June 2, 2022, following a meeting of the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, the Social Security Administration (SSA) – joined by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the U.S. Department of Treasury —…
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Senior Agenda Coalition of RI zeros in on key aging legislation – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss As the General Assembly winds down, the Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island (SACRI) is tracking 16 House and Senate Bills along with FY 24 Budget Articles that have an impact on the state’s senior population. In a legislative alert, SACRI details a listing of 16 House and Senate bills and FY23 Budget…
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Senior Agenda Coalition of RI honors senior heroes – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues During Older Americans Month, it was a wonderful time to break bread, catch up with old friends and to recognize outstanding Rhode Island senior advocates. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 100 people gathered at the Providence Marriott Downtown to attend the Senior…
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To the Class of 2022: Age boldly, enjoy your journey – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues According to Research.com, this year commencement speakers at colleges and universities in Rhode Island will impart their “pearls of wisdom“ to 19,782 graduating college seniors and their families. The usual commencement speech, traditionally about 10 minutes in length, offers simple tips and observations that, if taken, just might…
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Older Americans Month: great time to bring back House Aging Committee – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On April 29, President Joe Biden proclaimed the month of May, Older Americans Month for 2022 to honor the nation’s 54.1 million Americans aged 65 and over “who contribute their time and wisdom to make our communities stronger, more informed, and better connected.” “Older adults have always…
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Aging in Place in Your Rhode Island Community – Herb Weiss

Aging in Place in your Rhode Island community by Herb Weiss
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New efforts on Smith Hill to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On March 8th, a press conference on Smith Hill put the legislative spotlight on introduced rate setting legislation intended to fix Rhode Island’s long-time problem of paying insufficient reimbursement rates to human-service agencies delivering social, human and clinical services to Medicaid recipients.  Over 80 human service providers,…
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AARP poll: women over 50 to decide control of congress, state capitols – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues It’s just 214 days until the upcoming midterm elections scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022, (Rhode Island’s primary is 167 days away scheduled for Sept. 13, 2022). During the 117th Congress, with a slim majority of 222 Democrats to 212 Republicans, the Democrats control the House chamber. When…
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A woman holding a glowing brain in her hands.

AARP report: 6 Pillars of Brain Health – lifestyle changes and community policies – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss The Washington, DC-based AARP releases its latest Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) report citing strong scientific evidence that behavior changes and lifestyle habits can positively impact one’s brain health – yet many adults struggle to implement such simple changes. In a new report released last month, “How to Sustain Brain Healthy Behaviors:…
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An elderly man in a wheelchair looking out of a window.

National Aging Coalition pushes to bring back House Aging Committee in DC – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues In 1992, aging advocacy groups fought unsuccessfully to keep the House Select Committee on Aging  (HSCoA) from being eliminated. The House had pulled the plug on funding for the HSCoA as a cost-cutting measure and to stream-line the legislative process at the end of the 102nd Congress without much notice in…
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A woman helping an older woman on a computer.

Bill would (re)create a RI Department of Healthy Aging – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues (This article has been updated) There are new efforts on Smith Hill to transform the state’s Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) into a department making it far more visible and effective as an advocate for the state’s growing senior population.  H. 7616, introduced by Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-District 75, Newport), would expand the office in the Department of Human Services…
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AARP Rhode Island calls on Congress to act on lowering high drug costs – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On the day before the Washington, DC-based AARP’s March 8th launch of its new ad campaign showing the impact of Congress’s failure to act on prescription drug prices, AARP Rhode Island State Director Catherine Taylor, Volunteer State President Marcus Mitchell and Volunteer Lead Federal Liaison Dr. Phil…
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World issues pushed nursing home reform to the side in State of the Union. But it’s there – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging More than a week ago, President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind him in the House Chamber in the United States Capitol, delivered his first State of the Union Address. Harris and Pelosi made history marking the first time two…
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A woman helping an elderly man to his bed.

The crafting of Rhode Island’s first State Plan on Caregiving – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Rhode Island has the distinction of having one of the highest percentages of adults aged 85 and over in the country. In 2017, out of a population of 1,060,00 there are more than 136,000 caregivers providing 114 million hours of care, says AARP Rhode Island.  More Rhode…
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A nurse is talking to an elderly woman in a chair.

RI State Budget must address long term care staffing crisis – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As Rhode Island and states throughout the country loosen COVID-19 mask restrictions with the number of new coronavirus cases dropping by more than 75% since the highs in mid-January, and hospital admissions and death rates declining, AARP Rhode Island warns that now is the time to take…
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An older couple sitting on a couch.

“Living Apart Together” couples need to discuss caregiving, health issues with family, each other – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With divorce rates soaring since the 1990s, and aging baby boomers 50 and older having doubled in number, this trend, along with longer life expectancy and those becoming widowed, has resulted in many older adults forming new partnerships later in life. Researchers call this new phenomenon, “Living…
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Medicare slow to fix equity issue for seniors’ access to at-home COVID test kits – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last month, COVID-19 home test kits were made available in a variety of ways – but, for Medicare recipients, it was a different story, being forced to go thru a different purchasing and payment process than those having private insurance, or no insurance. That process required the oldest…
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Senate Aging Committee: Seniors urged to prepare for making financial decisions – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over two weeks ago, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tim Scott (R-SC), Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, urged seniors and people with disabilities to make a New Year’s resolution to prepare for anticipated financial decisions. The hearing highlighted the…
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Calls for Rhode Island to become more “Age Friendly” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On Aug. 3, 2020, The Decade of Healthy Aging 2020-2030 proposal was endorsed by the 73rd World Health Assembly. It was presented to the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 14, 2020, (Resolution 75/131), leading to the proclamation of a U.N. Decade of Healthy Aging (2021-2030). The four-page Resolution expressed concern…
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Campaign reminds Veteran caregivers to “Take Care of Themselves” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Since 2011, AARP and the Ad Council have launched public service announcements (PSAs) encouraging America’s caregivers to care not only for their loved ones, but also for themselves. Over the years, these PSAs s have targeted women aged 40 to 60, male caregivers aged 35 to 60…
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Tech use flourishes during pandemic, particularly among seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Over the course of 71 episodes of the widely-acclaimed Sopranos, Dr. Jennifer Melfi met with Tony Soprano in her office. The office had paneled walls, was decorated with a diploma on the wall, and next to that was a bookshelf filled with books. Melfi was counseling Mob Boss Tony Soprano…
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Some Favs… Looking Back at 2021 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss As an ‘age beat’ journalist for over 40 years, I have penned more than 813 articles covering aging, health care and medical issues. These authored and coauthored pieces have appeared in national, state, and local trade and association publications, dailies, weeklies, and in this weekly column in RINewsToday.com. Some were even republished in…
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My most popular reads as an “age beat” journalist in 2022 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer As an ‘age beat’ journalist for over 43 years, I have freelanced more than 867 stories covering aging, health care and medical issues. These authored and coauthored pieces have appeared in national, state, trade and association publications and even statewide news blogs. In 2022, my articles appeared weekly in 52 issues…
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Resolutions to getting back on track financially a catalyst for positive change – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we will see a scaled back Times Square celebration where the ball swiftly drops as 15,000 people, in a viewing area that holds around 58,000 revelers, will loudly count down to one at the stroke of midnight. At this time, we traditionally make New Year Resolutions…
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Watching over Nursing Homes once again – time for mandated Boosters – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Colder weather is keeping people more indoors now, and Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas gatherings are drawing people together in groups, small and large. Like other states across the country, Rhode Island is seeing a growing transmission of the COVID-19 Delta, and now Omicron variants. Some national sources say…
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A stack of papers on a wooden table.

Social Security learns from remote experience, plans field office openings – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On March 17, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread throughout the nation, the Social Security Administration  (SSA) issued a press release announcing that its offices would only offer phone service and online services. However, in-person appointments at SSA were scheduled for critical issues, specifically for those who were without…
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Senator Bob Dole’s legacy – putting nation over politics – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Politician, War Hero, Senator Bob Dole Dies at 98 Bob Dole a seriously wounded World War II hero, a Kansas politician who served in the House from 1961 to 1969 and the U.S. Senate from 1969 until 1996, who unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate against Bill Clinton for President in…
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An elderly man and woman playing chess at home.

With Thanksgiving approaching, beat the Holiday Blues – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just a year ago, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic transformed the way we celebrated the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Normally a personal gathering day with family and close friends, the cooler weather pushed people inside where the virus more easily spreads, forcing families to meet on Zoom for turkey…
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A group of people working on computers in an office.

AARP Report: Scammers targeting military community – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just two days before the nation celebrated Veterans Day, the Washington, DC-based AARP issued a report revealing that veterans, active-duty service members, and their families are nearly 40% more likely to lose money to con-artists than the civilian population. According to the new research study, detailed in…
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A Sacred Trust – moves to strengthen Social Security – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Almost two weeks ago, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairperson John B. Larson (D-Conn.) threw H.R. 5723, the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, into the legislative hopper. During its unveiling in the historic committee room of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, the…
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2-book set on Aging Boldly – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss Editor’s Note: Herb and Dr. Michael Fine participated on Saturday in a joint author event and book signing. Held at the publisher’s, bookstore, Stillwater Books in Pawtucket, the event was an opportunity to meet the two RINewsToday authors – books are available – great summer reads! If you know a group who…
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Use ARPA Funds to Make Rhode Island “Age Friendly” – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging With the first public hearing cancelled because of Wednesday’s nor’easter on Oct. 26, Gov. Dan McKee and Lt. Gov Sabina Matos, along with Commerce Director Stefan Pryor and their staff, came to Warren’s Hope & Main to kick off the second public hearing to gather comments about the recently released…
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McKee-Matos final “Rhode Island 2030 Plan” must not forget seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a month ago, Gov. Dan McKee penned a Providence Journal op-ed calling for the General Assembly to release the $1.1 billion (at least 10%) in federal COVID-19 aid to address the state’s immediate needs, including shoring up minority and women owned small businesses and specific sectors…
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It’s now time to stamp out Antisemitism – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer The American Jewish Committee (AJC), one of the oldest nation’s Jewish advocacy groups fighting racism and antisemitism, calls on the Marriott Hotel company to apologize directly to Gil Ofarim, a popular German-Israeli singer who lives in Germany, for an anti-Semitic remark made by an employee.  He was told by the check-in…
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Older adults still worried, coping with COVID-19 Delta, poll shows – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the COVID-19 Delta variant numbers having surged across the nation, Joe (70) and Joyce (66), residing across the Rhode Island border in Seekonk, Massachusetts, continue to keep their distance from others, only seeing vaccinated friends and spending time with their daughter and her husband and grandchildren. During…
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Safeguarding ballot access for seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The clock is ticking… It’s 399 days before the upcoming midterm elections. Following the Democrats winning the White House and taking control of both the House and Senate chambers, Republican-controlled state houses across the nation moved quickly to pass legislation on the voting process. The Republican lawmakers…
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Fixing rising pharmaceutical drug costs once and for all – Herb Weiss

Fixing Rising Pharmaceutical Drug Costs Once and For All By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, WBUR.org, Boston’s NPR News Station, featuring NPR News and Programs, aired a 45.37 minute program, “Steps to Fix America’s Broken Prescription Drug System,”  clearly illustrating the need to fix America’s ailing prescription drug program.  While Americans are…
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Nursing facilities gear up for October vaccination deadline – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a month ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to public health practitioners and clinicians about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage across the United States to prevent surges…
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“Gray voting block” watching Congress – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With recess ending, budget reconciliation begins in the House and Senate as lawmakers come back to Capitol Hill to begin crafting a budget. Last month a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution bill was passed which gave instructions in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget resolution to allow up…
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A call to Congress to strengthen, expand Social Security & Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The 2021 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI)) and the Social Security Disability trust fund (SSDI), released last week, gives Congress this stark warning: the Social Security Trust fund is heading toward insolvency in 13 years while SSDI will…
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House passes Budget resolution – Seniors would benefit

By  Herb Weiss During a late-night negotiating session held Monday, Aug. 23, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mended fences and brought centralist Democrats, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), back to the fold. The next day, a united Democratic caucus adopted the Senate-passed $3.5 trillion budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 14) for fiscal year 2022, by a party…
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It’s time. Staff vaccinations required for nursing homes as 10 RI facilities see new COVID cases – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the COVID-19 Delta variant spiking across the country especially among the unvaccinated, last Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced at an afternoon address at the White House that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will require nursing homes to require all workers to be fully…
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A Call for House Dems to Bring Back House Aging Committee – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, Congressman David Cicilline, along with fellow lawmakers, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Doris Matsui (D-CA), who serve as co-chairs of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force  on Aging and Families, introduced H. Res. 583 to amend the rules of the House to establish a House Permanent Select Committee on…
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Update: Legislation submitted to reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging – Herb Weiss

Cicilline, Schakowsky & Matsui Reintroduce Legislation to Reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging  U.S. Representatives David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and Doris Matsui (CA-06) reintroduced legislation to reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging to examine the challenges and issues facing the growing aging population in America. This legislation has…
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AARP concerned for working caregivers. Advice from Dr. Michael Fine – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues After the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic initially shuttered the nation’s businesses over a year ago and with Delta variant cases now surging among the 50 percent of the population not fully vaccinated, AARP releases a 17-page report exploring the concerns of working caregivers about returning to pre-pandemic business…
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Your eyes, ears, and teeth are connected to your body – Medicare/Medicaid at 56 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over 56 years ago, Congress became actively involved in the health insurance business with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Social Security Amendments establishing Medicare and Medicaid. The bipartisan legislation creating a national health insurance program. It was introduced in March 1965, and was passed by large majorities…
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We can prevent “suicide by bridge” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Photo: top, Bryan Ganley As the General Assembly goes into recess until the fall, Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) sees H-5053, to require safety barriers or netting on the three bridges that connect Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands to the mainland of Rhode Island, as in hiatus. The bill…
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“There’s a New Sheriff in Town” at SSA – Herb Weiss

“There’s a New Sheriff in Town” at SSA By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photo: Kilolo Kijakazi, Urban Institute President Joe Biden has asked two political holdovers from the President Trump’s administration, Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and his deputy, David Black, who had previously served as the agency’s top lawyer, to resign. Saul…
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RI Law ensures teaching of Holocaust, Genocides in public schools – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer The Rhode Island Holocaust and Genocide Education Coalition (RIHGEC) has successfully pushed state lawmakers to pass legislation that formalizes a commission to implement a 2016 law to require public schools to teach students about genocide and the Holocaust.  The 2016 law was introduced by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) and House Majority…
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AARP launches campaign to support Family Caregivers – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues AARP Launches New National Campaign Calling for More Support for Family Caregivers With caregiving costs skyrocketing, and with caregivers now estimated to be spending $7,242 annually out-of-pocket, AARP launches a national campaign to push for passage of the Credit for Caring Act. The Washington, DC-based aging advocacy…
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Tracking legislation of interest to seniors as RI General Assembly wraps up – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues In the waning days of the 2021 legislative session, RI House lawmakers approved a $13.1 billion state budget for the 2022 fiscal year (by a party-line vote of 64 Democrats to 10 Republicans) that boosts key supports for vulnerable Rhode Islanders — particularly affordable housing and social…
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The Slater Mill Field Trip: in the footsteps of Samuel Slater – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer In Pawtucket’s downtown, you will find historic Slater Mill, consisting of the Slater and Wilkinson Mill and the Sylvanus Brown House, sitting on five acres of land on both sides of the Blackstone River, a mill that celebrates America’s Industrial Revolution to generations of visiting students. Pawtucket resident Patricia S. Zacks…
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Seniors would benefit in President Biden’s $6 trillion budget

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer On May 28, with the release of a $6 trillion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2022, President Joe Biden outlined his values and vision as to how he proposes to revive the nation’s sputtering economic engine as it emerges from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 72-page budget…
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An older couple running on the beach.

Using Savings from Drug Pricing Reform to Expand Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Ahead of President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress on April 28 and as the Democratic administration considers policies to slash rising drug costs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 65-page report finding that the U.S. pays more than two to four…
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Rhode Island Senate must take a stand against hatred – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer “In recent days, we have seen that no community is immune. We must all stand together to silence these terrible and terrifying echoes of the worst chapters in world history, and pledge to give hate no safe harbor.” — Statement of President Joe Biden on the rise of antisemitic attacks,…
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One Year Later – Two Surveys Examine Impact of COVID-19 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over the year the raging pandemic has impacted on the physical and mental health of Americans. With daily COVID case counts now the lowest since last year and hospitals seeing less coronavirus hospitalizations, most states, including Rhode Island, are now opening up. According to the American Psychological Association’s…
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Voter reform must include accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues It’s over 540 days until the November 8, 2022 mid-term elections. The clock is ticking, say voter rights advocates, who are gearing up to push back at voting bills they see as restrictive being introduced at multiple state houses.   As of March 24, 2021, GOP State legislators,…
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Congressman Cicilline poised for legacy as next fiery advocate on aging – Herb Weiss

Picking Up the Mantle of Fiery Aging Advocate, Claude Pepper – Cicilline Moves to Re-Establish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Congressman David Cicilline is poised to offer a resolution to re-establish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging, whose work came to an end in early January…
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Ron St. Pierre back on-air. “Ron & Jen’s Great Escape” positive podcast. – Herb Weiss

Photo: Jen Brien & Ron St. Pierre By Herb Weiss, contributing writer One might say his career has come full circle from its early beginnings on a small radio station in Woonsocket, to programming and performing on air at popular Rhode Island radio stations, to serving as a sports anchor on television, as well. A…
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Time to resolve RI’s ongoing Nursing Home staffing crisis – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The latest release of AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard shows that both cases and deaths in nursing homes declined in the four weeks ending March 21. Although these rates are improving, chronic staffing problems in nursing homes—revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic—continue. In Rhode Island, 30% of nursing homes reported a…
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Seniors with student loans: AARP’s new online tool to manage debt – Herb Weiss

AARP’s New Internet Tool Helps Seniors Manage Hefty Student Loan Debt  By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Over the years, AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) has tracked the staggering amount of student loan debt that seniors are shouldering to help their children and grandchildren finance their higher education. Many people age 50 also take on…
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“Georgia on My Mind” – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues – opinion Protecting the Voting Rights of Older Adults Rewriting election rules has ramifications for voting accessibility of older adults. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now control 30 state houses with 18 being controlled by the Democrats, one legislature being nonpartisan. As the…
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Age Discrimination, Workplace Issues at House Hearing – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced, H.R. 2062, the bipartisan “Protection Older Workers Against Discrimination Act” (POWADA), a bill that would strengthen federal anti-discrimination protections for older workers. The legislation was…
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RI Senate Tackles High Cost of Prescription Drugs – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer Photo: Commonwealth Fund In the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island General Assembly move to hammer out their Fiscal Year 2022 budget, Senate lawmakers push a package of eight legislative proposals to put the brakes on skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. The Senate…
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Chronic Fraud Victimization an Escalating Problem – Herb Weiss

 By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Everyone has heard of the ago old proverb, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”  After being tricked once, hopefully a person learns from one’s mistakes and avoids being tricked in the same way again.   But for many victims of financial fraud,…
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Sen. Whitehouse Pushes to Protect Nursing Home Residents, Employees – Herb Weiss

Whitehouse Pushes for COVID-19 Senate Proposal to Protect Residents, Employees By Herb Weiss  As the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic approaches, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joins Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in introducing a legislative proposal to save lives of nursing home residents and employees…
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Dr. Teresa Chopoorian: McKnight’s Women of Distinction Award winner – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging After reviewing hundreds of submitted entries, an independent panel, composed of two dozen judges, selected 19 women, including Dr. Teresa J. Chopoorian, to be inducted into the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor as part of the program’s third annual class.  Dr. Chopoorian serves as Vice President and Administrator of…
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AARP Tips on Shopping for a Financial Advisor – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As a result of living in times of economic uncertainty resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic retirees are worried about how they can protect their hard-earned egg nest from the volatility of the stock market.  It is even now more important to be working with a financial…
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Never forgetting will help us keep the promise of “never again.” – by Herb Weiss

Never forgetting will help us keep the promise of “never again.” By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues During a Pro-Trump rally, as thousands of rioters swarmed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, Robert Keith Packer, sporting an unkempt beard, came wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “Camp Auschwitz,” in white…
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Vaccine Decision – Getting to ‘YES’ – by Herb Weiss

Study Takes Look at Decision Making in Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Last month, the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines came to Rhode Island. With limited stockpiles, debate in the state is heating up as to who gets priority in getting vaccinated. While many Rhode Islanders are waiting for…
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AARP: Vaccinate seniors now! Leaders respond. Add YOUR voice.

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The debate heats up as to how Rhode Island should distribute its limited stock of COVID-19 vaccine. Days ago, AARP Rhode Island urged state officials and lawmakers to put seniors on the top of the list to protect their lives. Older Rhode Islanders should be a priority…
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Ramping up COVID-19 Vaccine Plans

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As state health officials say they are clamoring for more doses of COVID-19 vaccine, just days ago, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt there is no “reserve stockpile” of COVID-19 vaccine doses left to release to states, and all vaccine has now…
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COVID-19 and 2021: Looking into the Crystal Ball – by Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues  Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to surge across the nation.  As of last Monday, nearly 18,986,236 Americans have contracted COVID-19 with over 331,930 dying, says the John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center. Projection models say that deaths may spike to over 500,000 by March 2021.  As 2021 approaches,…
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Older Voters Key to Georgia’s Senate Runoff Election – Herb Weiss

Photo: Atlanta Journal-Constitution By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Both Democrats and Republicans know that the proverbial clock is ticking.  It’s 15 days before the Georgia’s Senate runoff election scheduled for Jan. 15.   At press time, 1,336,136 registered Georgia voters have gone to the polls, says the U.S. Election Project.  The percent turnout of…
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Tackling surge of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer, aging issues Over the months, while public health officials watch the uptick in new COVID-19 cases, Congress releases two reports, one taking a snapshot of nursing home performance and resident deaths throughout the first eight months of the pandemic, and the other one sounding the alarm about the impact of COVID-19 on the…
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AARP Fights Consumer Fraud – by Herb Weiss

AARP Continues its Fight Against Consumer Fraud   By Herb Weiss  Every year, fraudsters continue to operate government imposter scams falsely claim to be from federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, to get people to turn over money or personal information. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to fall…
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COVID-19 Changes Way Americans Think About Retirement

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The raging coronavirus pandemic is changing the fundamental way working adults think, plan and save for their retirement, underscoring the important role Social Security and Medicare play for retirees, according to the 2020 Wells Fargo Retirement study conducted by The Harris Poll in August. The annual research report examines the…
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The Impact of COVID-19’s Social Isolation on Seniors – by Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As COVID-19 cases continued to surge across the nation, AARP Foundation in collaboration with the United Health Foundation (UHF), released a report last month taking a look as to how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts seniors who find themselves socially isolated.  According to the recently released report, “The Pandemic…
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AARP’s new COVID-19 Dashboard for national/local Nursing Home Data

AARP Gives a Dashboard Snapshot of COVID-19’s Impact on Nursing Homes By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging While public health experts are predicting a second spike of the COVID-19 virus, expecting it to hit the nation as early as – now – and reaching its peak in December, AARP releases its Nursing Home COVID-19…
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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, RINewsToday.com 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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