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News briefs: July 2012

Join these VIEWs conversations for older adults

The nonprofit organization VIEWS (Volunteers Involved for the Emotional Well-being of Seniors) invites older adults to join the following "Conversations on Aging" during July:

• Monday, July 16 – Engaging with Adult Children, a Conversation on Aging: 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive, Milwaukie. Relationships with children change as we age. Examine current problems and foster greater understanding between generations. Be part of a discussion about relationships with adult children. Talk about some of your concerns. Receive resources and ideas. Call Abby with the Milwaukie Center, 503-653-8100, for free registration.

• Wednesday, July 18 – Oregon's Advance Directive, a Conversation on Aging: 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Friendly House, 1737 N.W. 26th Ave, Portland. We all want our end-of-life decisions to be respected by our doctors and our family. How do we make sure that this happens? Learn about the power of an Advance Directive and how it informs others of your decisions. Learn who needs to know what you want and some ideas about how to talk with your family. Talk about some of your concerns. Receive your own copy of the Advance Directive. Call VIEWS at 503-261-6181 for free registration.

Study: Blindness-fighting drugs have similar effect, different cost

A study that compared the effectiveness of two drugs used to treat age-related macular degeneration has shown that the drugs, Lucentis and Avastin, are nearly equally effective. However, when it comes to cost, the drugs vary greatly, with Avastin being the significantly less costly treatment.

Oregon Health & Science University's Casey Eye Institute was one of several research centers involved in the study. The results were published in May in the medical journal Ophthalmology.

Lucentis (ranibizumab) is approved for treatment of the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. Avastin (bevacizumab) is used to treat certain forms of cancer. Because Avastin blocks abnormal blood vessel growth, an aspect of the disease that causes vision loss, it is used "off-label" for the disease. A single dose of Lucentis costs approximately $2,000 and a single dose of Avastin is approximately $50, the study reported.

Survey says: Boomers overall like their jobs

Three-fourths of middle-income Americans ages 50 to 69 say they are sticking with their jobs because they "want to" vs. being "stuck" in them, according to the Older Workers & Money Survey released last month by Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Moreover, one in four workers in this age group say this is the happiest time of their working career, and another one in 10 believe the best is yet to come. They generally start their workdays in a positive frame of mind, feeling engaged, respected, valued and happy. Women are even more likely than men to stay with their jobs because they like what they do (63 percent vs. 56 percent).

Other survey findings:

• 59 percent of workers ages 50-69 say they like what they're doing.

• 67 percent consider themselves ahead of the game when it comes to job skills and report being "intellectually stimulated," "still learning" and "working to (their) full potential."

• More 60-somethings (34 percent) than 50-somethings (25 percent) say they don't plan to stop working. In fact, nearly twice as many workers in their 60s as 50s say they just don't want to retire (32 percent vs. 19 percent).