Exercise And Dementia

No one can guarantee how to prevent dementia.

And though I often chat with Medicare brokers near me, one of the most challenging things we face is working with clients who have dementia.

The good news is a recent article in the New York Times points to the positive connection between exercise and dementia.

People often think for exercise to be valuable that they must be involved in super vigorous exercise, but as Paul Harvey used to say, now it’s time for the rest of the story.

In a recent study, vigorous regular exercise was linked to the most overall protection, but many other forms of physical activity provided protection as well.

So, if you have been performing vigorous exercise for years, good for you! There are benefits and you should continue to keep on doing what you are doing.

Individuals in this category reduced the risk of dementia by as much as 35%!  That’s amazing, isn’t it?

According to Obesity Prevention Source on the Harvard University Website, here are examples of vigorous physical activity:  hiking, shoveling, basketball, rapid biking above 14 mph, playing tennis, carrying heavy loads, running at 6 mph or faster, and other intense activities.  These activities generated >6.0 METS.  METS stands for the Metabolic Equivalent of Task. In other words, you are working your butt off :).

It makes sense that vigorous exercise is good for the heart and the brain, increased blood flow and movement. Continuously moving seems to be one of the most important things we can do.

Jeff is a long time client who loves to bowl, a wonderful activity that keeps him moving and might help him prevent dementia

But as we age, it can be harder to keep up vigorous exercise. As I go on my daily walks, a large percentage of the people I see who are older than me have joint issues that can make these intense types of activity more challenging. Not impossible, but definitely more challenging. We have to continue and adapt our exercise regimens. This points to the importance of always doing the proper types of pre-workout preparation so that you don’t hurt yourself with vigorous exercise.

But here’s the really great news!

The article also pointed out that individuals who participated in “regular household chores” also had a 21 percent reduction in the risk of developing dementia. That’s huge!

Just remember that there is a mind body connection that must be activated in order to get the benefits of household chores.

According to the article, household chores can be considered moderate activity, producing 3.0-6.0 METs. This type of activity includes things like:  washing windows, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, taking out the trash, mopping the floor, vacuuming, and a bunch of other household related activities (don’t get me started about cleaning the basement!)

The mindset we have about the household work we do can also affect the value of the work we do on our body. In one study, hotel cleaners were divided into two different groups.

One group of cleaners was given no insight into the value the cleaning chores they were performing could have on their physical health. The other group of cleaners were educated about the positive effects their cleaning chores would have on their health.

When the two groups were measured, the group who had been educated saw the following health benefits: a 10 percent drop in blood pressure, and a decrease in their weight and their “waist-to-hip ratio,” and a “decrease in their systolic blood pressure” readings.

Both groups did the same work, but the power of belief made a huge difference. Using the placebo effect may be another tool for how to prevent dementia, or at least how to reduce the risk.

My mom never worked out. But till the very last day of her life, she got up, made breakfast, walked up and down the stairs, fed her cat, worked in the garden, and went out to grocery shop and pick up the mail. She died in her sleep, in her bed, on her own terms.

Isn’t that what we all want? I never spoke about this with my mom, but I’m guessing she knew how to prevent dementia.

So as you go about your daily activities, slow and steady is the secret. Work out vigorously if you can, but if you can’t, give yourself credit for daily chores.

You’ll be glad you did.

Remember, continuous movement is important, but so is brain activity in the fight on how to prevent dementia.

Here’s a video on how to keep your brain active.

That’s it for this week. And if you have questions about Medicare, book a time on my calendar here.

Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Certified Senior Advisor, a Medicare Insurance Broker with no affiliation to CMS, Medicare, or any other governmental organization.

Alzheimer’s & Influenza

Most of us are pretty comfortable receiving the flu vaccine.

It saves lives and it’s been around forever.

Here’s even better news:  An annual flu vaccine may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

According to a study recently published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, individuals who were vaccinated yearly over an extended period had up to a 40% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Previous studies had suggested that flu vaccines might reduce the risk of dementia.  Based on those previous studies, a research team from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, began to investigate the link between the flu vaccine and the risk of dementia, specifically, Alzheimer’s disease.

More research is being called for and it may be too early to count on your flu vaccine to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  Still, this is promising news.

Now I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I find this to be incredibly good news.  If the flu vaccine can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, I’m in for the long term.

As Medicare Insurance Broker, I’m frequently asked if Medicare pays for long term care.

The answer is no.  Medicare pays a portion of hospital and medical costs but…

It does not pay for non skilled, non medical care. It does not pay for Long Term Care.

This is the care people need when they are unable to perform the activities of daily living:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Transferring
  • Continence

This type of care, at home or in a facility, can cost thousands and thousand of dollars monthly and be devastating to a family.

Long Term Care Insurance is an important tool to protect a family from financial ruin.

But in the meantime, consider getting your annual flu vaccination.  It may just help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Questions about Medicare Insurance?  Book a time on my calendar.

This Changes Everything

As a Medicare Insurance Broker, I speak with clients regularly and hear the stories of loved ones dying.

We all are going to die; everyone we know will eventually die as well.  End of life planning can help.

How we frame this experience can make a huge difference.

One of the best pieces of advice I received was from a client whose mother was dying of pancreatic cancer.

When Nicholas heard his mother’s diagnosis, he told me he imagined in his mind that his mother was already dead.

As a result, every moment he spent with his mother was an unexpected gift, extra time that he felt extremely grateful to have had.

Life is about what happens, but more importantly, it’s also about how we choose to respond to what happens.

Some events are more challenging to process than others, but if we keep an open heart and open mind, as the Beatles sang, “take a sad song and make it better.”

Planning for the end of life may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be.  Besides a good mindset, planning and thinking about our own death can be freeing and helpful – now and after we die.  And this can also help us avoid the “hallway huddle” that we’ve all heard about or experienced in our own lives.

Here’s an article related to end of life planning and how to prepare for your own death so your family isn’t left scrambling.

And if you do have questions about Medicare Insurance or Hospice, book a time on my calendar.

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services

Review Your Property & Casualty Insurance

Hey, it’s Karl with the Big 65 and I hope you are having a great week.

Plato and I are in Boulder, Colorado, and at the end of May, we’ve had about 12 inches of snow.

Today, I want to talk about reviewing your homeowner’s property and casualty and rental insurance.

Costs for almost every consumer index have gone up huge amounts, and if you have an unfortunate event with your home, or something gets stolen, you’ll want to make sure that the cost of replacing that is up to date based on current inflation.

So, talk to your independent property and casualty insurance broker, update it and see if you can increase coverage and reduce rates.

That’s it for this week, have a great week and book a time on my calendar if you have Medicare insurance questions.

The Answer Is Out There!


May this post find you in good health with your Medicare coverage working properly.

This week, I read an article in the New York Times and it resonated:

“People get a big happiness boost from being with a romantic partner or friends but not from other people, like colleagues, children or acquaintances. Weather plays only a small role in happiness, except that people get a hearty mood boost on extraordinary days, such as those above 75 degrees and sunny. People are consistently happier when they are out in nature, particularly near a body of water, particularly when the scenery is beautiful.”

We shouldn’t expect to be happy all of the time, but we can make an effort to leverage activities that bring joy.

The article also stated, “the activities that make people happiest include sex, exercise and gardening.”

The choice is yours :), but if you do have questions about Medicare, book a time on my calendar.


Try New Things

I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits with your Medicare coverage working properly.

If it isn’t, or you’re tired of working with the faceless insurance call centers (where you are just a number),

Book a time on my calendar to get concierge Medicare insurance service.

Spring has finally sprung and yours truly is trying to practice what he preaches and is:

Taking care of Beesness :)!

As we age, it is so easy to fall into habitual patterns, some good, some bad.

When my father retired, his world shrunk down to the tv and the house.

He died two years later :(.

When my mother retired, her life expanded because she joined clubs, traveled and took up volunteering.

She lived another 30 years :).

Trying new things and learning new things has incredible health benefits.

Not only will you live longer and be happier, you’ll make everyone around you happier.

So you don’t have to be a bee keeper, but do look for something new to do or to try.

And let me know about your adventures :).

Medicare Insurance is my speciality, but every day, I look to my clients to learn new ways to age well!

Now get out there and try something new!

Medicare and International Travel

Hello everyone, it’s Karl with The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services and I hope you’re having a great week!

Today’s topic, Medicare and international travel.

This morning, a client let me know of an upcoming trip to Italy.

He wanted to know if Medicare would cover him or would it be necessary to purchase additional coverage.

The devil is always in the details 😊.

According to Medicare.gov, Medicare Supplements (Medigap Plans) have a:

Foreign travel emergency  lifetime limit of $50,000.

Medicare Advantage plans typically have a benefit ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 for worldwide emergency care benefit.

These benefits typically only cover foreign travel emergencies during the first 60 days of international travel.


Regardless of where you are going, it is always prudent to check with your broker or the plan carrier for details.

For mainstream destinations in Europe and major metropolitan places near the US, this coverage may be fine.

If you are going to a remote third world area, you may want to consider purchasing a standalone emergency evacuation travel insurance plan.

Questions? Book a time on my calendar:


Have a great week and call me if you need me.

Watch Out For Skilled Nursing Facilities!


Hey everyone, it’s Karl with the Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services and I hope you are having a great week.

Today, I want to talk about preparing for a positive outcome if you end up in a skilled nursing facility.

If you have outpatient surgery or a hospital surgery, and the post follow up care requires time in a skilled nursing facility, make sure you plan for that in advance.

Know where you are going. Make sure you have a case manager set up as well as the name of a social worker. Accountability and having a plan of action in advance of visiting that skilled nursing facility will make a huge difference in the outcome and your return to the activities of daily living.

Here’s an article to prepare for a skilled nursing stay.

Remember, proper planning prevents poor performance :).

That’s it for this week.

Questions about Medicare?

Book a time on my calendar.  Have a great week and call me if you need me.

Death, Medicare & Taxes

Death and taxes, right?

Check with a tax professional first, but I was blown away that some of you all can take write offs for:

  1. Medicare Part B, Med Supps, and Part D premiums if you are self-employed, that’s huge!
  2. If you or your spouse are still working, check out if you can still contribute to retirement.
  3. Snowbirds can consider switching the primary residence to avoid state taxes.
  4. Look at gift giving, charitable deductions and total medical expenses (if the exceed 7.5% of your AGI.)

Here’s a great article from Kiplinger with that information.

And if you have questions about Medicare Insurance, book a time on my calendar here.