Shorts: Seniors

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Healthy seniors have healthy sex lives, too

The healthier a senior is, the more likely the person will have a healthy sex life, according to an AARP survey.

The survey found that among those with sexual partners, 25 percent of those 75 and older said they have sex at least once a week. And 60 percent of those surveyed between the age of 45 and 59 years of age said they have sex at least once a week. And 70 percent of all respondents who have partners said they have sex at least once a month.

copley news service

America rapidly turning gray

The U.S. Census Bureau provides the following facts on aging:

• About 12.7 percent of Americans, 34.5 million people, are age 65 or older. In 2011, the baby boom generation will begin to turn 65, and by 2030, 20 percent of Americans — 70 million people — will be age 65 or older.

• The 85-plus category is the fastest-growing segment of the older American population, and is expected to grow from 4.3 million people in 2000 to 8.9 million in 2030.

• In 1900, life expectancy at birth was age 49. It had increased to age 76 by 1997. Today, persons who reach 65 can expect to live an average of almost 18 more years.

• The median net worth of households headed by seniors increased by 69 percent between 1984 and 1999.

• The proportion of seniors living in poverty declined from 35 percent in 1959 to 11 percent in 1998.

copley news service

Seniors vulnerable to gambling woes

According to the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling, many seniors who never had a problem with gambling in the past are vulnerable to gambling addiction as they get older.

Seniors often must deal with emotional pain, such as loss of a spouse, chronic pain or even fear of death. Gambling can be a means of escape from emotional and physical problems.

The following are signs that gambling may be a problem, according to the Illinois Department on Aging: Talks only about wins, not losses; lies about gambling; hides gambling losses; unexplained absence of household or personal items; withdrawal from friends and family; started gambling with groups but now gambles alone; depleting financial reserves; and gambling on credit.

copley news service

New directory for seniors

The revised Resource Directory for Older People is a free, 112-page spiral-bound book listing hundreds of government agencies and not-for-profit organizations that provide information and services for the elderly.

The directory, compiled by the National Institute on Aging and the Administration on Aging, includes each group’s mission and the services it provides, along with an address, phone number and Web site.

To have a copy sent to you, call (800) 222-2225 toll-free during weekday business hours. You should receive the book about two weeks after you place the order. You also can download the directory by going to www.nih.gov/niaand clicking on “Health Information.”

copley news service