Benefits of multivitamin use

A recent Oregon State University study found that older adults who used multivitamin and mineral supplements reported overall better health and a faster recovery time from illnesses. As people age, they are more likely to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can weaken their immune systems. Study findings suggest that even a simple vitamin and mineral regimen can benefit overall health for elders, as long as the supplement they take contains zinc and vitamin C.

EXCLUSIVE: Bruce Springsteen Shares About Love, Loss, Aging and the Challenges of Writing his New Album in At-Length Interview with AARP The Magazine

EXCLUSIVE: Bruce Springsteen Shares About Love, Loss, Aging and the Challenges of Writing his New Album in At-Length Interview with AARP The Magazine

LOS ANGELES— Music legend Bruce Springsteen, known for hits including “Born To Run,” “Thunder Road,” and “Badlands,” as well as five decades of exhilarating live performances, is making an exciting return to his native genre with a new rock album, “Letter To You,” releasing Oct. 23. The 71-year-old welcomed AARP The Magazine to his New Jersey farmhouse overlooking 378 acres of beautiful horse country, for a socially distanced conversation on his career, family, marriage, friendships, new album and more.

With 20 GRAMMYs, two Golden Globes, a Tony Award, an Oscar, inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more than 150 million records sold worldwide, Bruce Springsteen is a music icon. In his 20th studio album, “Letter To You,” the esteemed songwriter and the E Street Band make a powerful return to rock ‘n’ roll with 12 new tracks that touch on the great mysteries of life and death, the shedding of past lives, the passage of time and looking forward.

The following are excerpts from ATM’s October/November 2020 cover story featuring Bruce Springsteen, written by Editor in Chief Bob Love. The issue is available in homes starting in October and available online now at www.aarp.org/magazine/.

On his return to writing rock and roll songs:

“It’s part of the anxiety and mystery of the job that I do – which is a magic trick, because you take something out of the air that isn’t there… You can go for long periods without picking up anything significant. Or you’ll just pick up different things. It’s like you’re in a mine and one vein has gone dry, so you tap into another. A pop vein or a folk vein, and so you start working there… But because I am primarily a rock ‘n’ roll musician when I’m operating sort of at my peak—I like to…every once in a while, come up with some rock songs.”

On his long career:

“I heard something of mine from 1975 on a record the other day, and I said, ‘That was about seven or eight lives ago. It was a full and entire life of its own.’ And I lived that one, and it was a great one, and now I’m living another one. I lived a life where we raised our children. That life is gone now. Now Patti and I are living another life. So, you live a lot of lives over the course of your one life.”

On loss of loved ones:

“So, this idea is you don’t lose everything when someone dies. You do lose their physical presence, but their physical presence is not all of them, and it never was all of them, even when they were alive. Spirit is very strong. Emotion is very strong. Their energy is very strong. And a lot of this, particularly for people who are very powerful, really carries over after death. It’s like my friend George passes away and leaves me with all of these songs. Clarence passes away and leaves me with these songs. Danny passes away, leaves me with these songs. And what are songs but dreams, at the end of the day? It really is all my dreams that I put down on paper and on tape.”

On finding inspiration in today’s economic climate:

“You have your antenna out. You’re just walking through the world and you’re picking up these signals of emotions and spirit and history and events, today’s events and past remembrances. These things you divine from the air are all intangible elements: spirit, emotion, history. These are the tools of the songwriter’s trade before he even picks up the pen.” 

On recording new album, “Letter To You”:

“We spent one week in the studio—five days—and cut the entire record. It was all live, no overdub vocals and just a few overdub instruments. It’s the first truly live, in-the-studio record of the band we’ve ever made.”

On self-care and therapy:

“The talking cure—it works. But you’ve got to commit yourself to a process. And I was pretty good at doing that. I enjoyed the investigative examination of issues in my life that I didn’t understand. I learned a lot and therefore was able to exploit what I had learned and turn it into a real life.”

On his post-pandemic plans:

“All I can tell you is, when this experience is over, I am going to throw the wildest party you’ve ever seen. And you, my friends, are all invited.”

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

wildfire safety

Wildfire Safety during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some additional challenges to consider related to the public health impacts of wildfires.

SSA

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income with Social Security

Social Security pays monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to people with disabilities who have low income and few resources, and people who are age 65 or older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.

Managing Arthritis

While there is no known cure for arthritis, there are a variety of ways to help manage the effects it has on the body. The Arthritis Foundation website and the CDC website offer information on treatments, including medications and staying physically active.

Avoid the Part D late enrollment penalty—keep creditable prescription drug coverage

Do you have creditable prescription drug coverage? It’s drug coverage that’s expected to pay, on average, at least as much as Medicare’s standard prescription drug coverage. It could be drug coverage you get from a current or former employer or union, or from TRICARE, the Indian Health Service, or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you don’t have creditable coverage, you may want to join a Medicare drug plan now to avoid the Part D late enrollment penalty, even if you don’t use a lot of prescription drugs. People who have and keep creditable prescription drug coverage, or who get Extra Help to pay for their prescriptions don’t have to pay this penalty.

How do I know if my prescription drug coverage is “creditable”?

Your drug plan must tell you each year if your drug coverage is considered creditable coverage. They may send you this information in a letter, or draw your attention to it in a newsletter or other piece of correspondence. Keep this information, because you may need it if you join a Medicare drug plan later and want to avoid the Part D late enrollment penalty. If you have creditable prescription drug coverage when you first become eligible for Medicare, generally you can keep it without paying the late enrollment penalty if you sign up for Part D later.

The cost of the late enrollment penalty depends on how long you went without Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage. In general, you’ll have to pay this penalty for as long as you have a Medicare drug plan.

Learn how the Part D late enrollment penalty is calculated and more about the ways to avoid the penalty.

Take advantage of your flu shot—more important than ever this year

Getting your flu shot will be more important than ever this year. Be sure to take action against the flu and protect yourself and your loved ones by getting a flu shot.

Medicare covers a flu shot

Flu viruses change each year, so it’s important to get a flu shot each flu season. Once per flu season, for people with Medicare you pay nothing when you get your shot from a doctor or another health care provider (like senior centers and pharmacies) that accepts Medicare.

To make sure you’re safe this flu season, you should take important measures to prevent the flu, like:

  • Washing your hands
  • Covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces

Visit CDC.gov for more information on how to safely get a flu shot during the pandemic. Get your flu shot today!

Pneumonia prevention with a vaccine

Did you know that about 1 million Americans go to the hospital with pneumonia every year? Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease, which can also cause blood infections and meningitis. The bacteria that causes pneumococcal disease spreads by direct person-to-person contact. A pneumonia vaccine can help prevent pneumonia, but only 67% of adults 65 and over have ever gotten it.

Medicare Part B covers the pneumonia vaccine, which is given as 2 pneumococcal shots. You may be at a higher risk for pneumonia if you:

  • Are 65 or older
  • Have a chronic illness (like asthma, diabetes, or lung, heart, liver, or kidney disease)
  • Have a condition that weakens your immune system (like HIV, AIDS, or cancer)
  • Live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • Have cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks
  • Smoke tobacco

Now more than ever, the CDC says it’s important for those at increased risk for these diseases to get recommended vaccines for the flu and pneumococcal disease.

Medicare helps make pneumonia prevention easy—get your pneumonia shots today.

Signs of ovarian cancer: Know how to spot symptoms early

All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but the greatest number of ovarian cancers happen in women 60 years or older. For women in the United States, ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, and it is the fifth leading cause of cancer death.

Ovarian cancer symptoms

Early diagnosis is the key to survival, and the key to early diagnosis is recognizing the signs of ovarian cancer:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Pain in the back or abdomen
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urgency or frequency of urination

Ovarian cancer diagnosis

There is no simple or reliable way to screen for ovarian cancer in women who don’t have signs or symptoms. The signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may be hard to recognize so it’s important to pay attention to your body and know what’s normal for you. If you notice any signs of ovarian cancer that last for 2 weeks or longer, talk to your doctor and ask about possible causes. Something other than cancer can cause signs, but the only way to know is to see your health care professional.

Medicare coverage for ovarian cancer screening

Medicare covers many services to address your concerns, like a yearly wellness visitbone mass measurementcervical cancer screeningsmammograms, and cardiovascular screenings. Medicare also covers other preventive services.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, a perfect time for you to learn more about this disease and know the symptoms. Visit the Centers for Disease Control for more information on signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.