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Silver Sands

With the 2011 hurricane season underway, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, has an important message for people receiving checks from Social Security: please sign up for Direct Deposit before the first storm hits.

Direct Deposit is a secure and convenient way to receive Social Security payments, particularly when a natural disaster strikes, Commissioner Astrue said. This is a simple step people can take to eliminate one concern as they prepare for the hurricane season. Having funds available in the event of a storm is critically important.

Suffering from parental abuse as a child increases a persons chances of having poor sleep quality in old age, according to a research article in the current issue of the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences (Volume 66B, Number 3).

An analysis of data from 877 adults age 60 years and above found that early parental emotional abuse was associated with a higher number of sleep complaints in old age. It was specifically emotional abuse "rather than physical abuse or emotional neglect that was tied to trouble in getting a good nights sleep.

Are you ready to set course for retirement? Then follow the advice of entertainment icons George Takei and Patty Duke and Boldly Go to www.socialsecurity.gov.

The two celebrities have teamed up in a new campaign to help Social Security promote its online services as an easy and secure way for people to apply for retirement, disability, Medicare, and so much more.

In light of current Congressional budget proposals to block grant Medicaid and presumably make it easier for states to ignore federal Medicaid law, the National Senior Citizens Law Center shows in a series of papers about Medicaid payment for assisted living that there are numerous consumer protection problems that could be exacerbated by such a change.

"Block grants would likely create even more problems in terms of how states loosely define and regulate assisted living," said NSCLC Executive Director Paul Nathanson. "A far more coordinated approach to oversight that focuses on the needs of the low-income older is needed, not a free for all."