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12 Things That Can Shorten Your
A few key behaviors and health conditions could predict your chances of health and longevity for the next 10 years. Find out what they are.
Want to look 10 years into the future, and see how your health is holding up? Thanks to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, you now can. They developed a checklist, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which fairly accurately predicts a senior's chance of surviving another decade, providing a unique opportunity for patients and physicians to work together to lessen key health risk factors and improve seniors' quality of life, they say.
The UCSF analysis used a nationally representative cohort of U.S. adults over age 50. Point values were assigned to each factor in the mortality index (the higher the points, the worse the risk). A risk score was then calculated for each participant based on their self-reported health indicators. In the end, there was a dramatic difference: Participants with no risk factors had a 2.8 percent chance of dying over 10 years, while those with the most risks had a 96 percent chance of dying.
Although a single health risk factor isn't enough to predict longevity, researchers caution, a host of attributes taken together can say something powerful about your future health. See how your risk factors stack up.
No. 1 and 2: Age and Gender
Not surprisingly, researchers found that the older you are, the
greater your 10-year mortality risk. (The oldest group in the study
were people over 85.) Because women
continue to live an average of seven years longer than men, being
male added two points to participants' assessments, while being
female added no points.
Stop the Aging Process ... or at Least
I actually really did begin following these rules when I was little and I think that they are good practices to have (especially the SPF.) But now that I am a little bit older, wrinkles are a closer than they were at age 12, so I am much more aware of all of anti-aging products around me.
I am going to be honest; I still do not know a ton about
anti-wrinkle creams and have yet to use them.
Botox Helps Stroke Patients
Anemia May Raise Elderly Death Risk
Make Your Stairs Safer
Some Doctors Warn of Hype in Hip Surgery
Regular Exercise Fights Pain in
Stepping In: What
to Do When Loved Ones Ignore Health Problems
Living Better: Keeping Death at
Is your short-term memory
short-circuiting with age?
America: Are We Prepared to Age
Those 'Senior Moments'
How To Understand When Your Doctor Talks
Tai Chi Chih Boosts Shingles Immunity In
The Goods on Garlic
Tropical Oils Beat Fat
Soy Much Goodness
U.S. Panel on Fence About
It's Spring, and the Allergies Are
Combo Drugs Best For Rheumatoid
Eating and Aging
Air Pollution May Damage Brain,
Let Anger go, Save the Headache
Through Sickness and in Health
Some Are Missing Out on Depression
'Silent' Strokes Linked to
Anti-Arrhythmic Drugs Don't Do it All
NSAIDs May Ward Off Alzheimer's Disease
HRT Minus Java May Keep Parkinson's at
For Many Seniors, Sleep is an Elusive
Pumpernickel Promotes Pump Health in
People Keep Their Distinctive
Patterns Of Cognitive Ability As They Age, Contrary To Prior
Ceramics Offer New Promise In Hip
Gov. Kempthorne Focuses On Long-Term
Exercise Reduces The Decline In Pulmonary
Function In Aging Men
New Theory On Aging
Rx for High Cost of Prescription Drugs
Oldest American Dies at 113
Light Therapy May Boost Hormone
Through Sickness and in Health
Nerve Cell Receptor Linked to Bowel
Vitamin Deficiency Screening for
CDC Looks To Prod Americans To
Retinal Abnormalities And AMD Associated
With Hypertension And Pulse Pressure
The Science of Gray Hair
Memory Loss Not Normal Part of
Deterring Dementia: Prevention Is
The Focus In War On Memory Disease
Older Adults And Depression
Strong Quadriceps May Not Help Knee
Sudden Death Not Surprising In Many
Five Studies Look At Risks Of Differing
Particulate Matter, Including Exposures On 9/11
Older Americans With Coexisting
Respiratory Conditions Particularly Susceptible To Harmful Effects Of
Depression and Drug Reactions in
Screening the Elderly for
Seniors' Sleep Habits
Tailor Things for the Elderly
Morning Surge In Blood Pressure Linked
To Strokes In Elderly
To Keep Your Teeth, Brush And See The
Vitamin D Helps Seniors Avoid Fractures
HHS To Launch Medicare
Demonstrations To Improve Health Care Through Capitated Disease
New Bill Could Help Modernize
Oldest American Man, 113, Dies In
A Population-Based Analysis Of
Mortality Due To Pneumococcal Disease In California
Many Elderly Undiagnosed For
A Little Exercise Can Go a Long Way
A Battle for the Ages
Is It Hypothermia? Look For The
"Umbles" -- Stumbles, Mumbles, Fumbles, And Grumbles
Scientists Study Why The Elderly Fall
Carbon Monoxide May Aid Arteries
The Nonphysician Will See You Now
Winter Full of Risks for Seniors
Long-Term Pill, Short-Term Memory
Hip Protectors Prevent Fractures in
Aging Boomers' Medical Costs May Be Less Than
Flu's Toll Higher Than Thought
Tainted Polio Vaccine Not Linked to Rare
Doctors Say Trendy Supplements
Not Necessary If One Eats A Balanced Diet
Lilly Offers Prescription Card
Study On Suicide Reveals Faith, Social
Ties As 'Protective' For Older African Americans
Drugs Restoring Eyesight In
Aneurysm Screening Saves Lives
CDC: Not Enough Seniors Getting Flu Shot
Life-Saving Properties Of Beta Blockers
Extend To More Patients
Drugmakers Restore Discounts to US
Caregiving: A Man's Job
Studies Show Elderly Can Tolerate Strong
Ouch! The Receptors Mediating Acidic Pain
Two Drug Companies Scale Back
Hearing Study Reveals Surprises
Cholesterol Fighting Drugs May Also Have
Protective Effects Against Multiple Sclerosis
Polishing The Crystal Ball: Risk
Prediction Methods Need Update
Nursing Homes Kill Thousands
Nutrition And Exercise Boost Effectiveness
Of Flu Shot In Older People
Kidney Disease Linked To Lower Heart
Healthy Living: Get Moving! Add Daily
Exercise To Fitness Mix, Experts Say
MRI Can Predict Risk Of Heart Attacks
Forgetfulness Is No Laughing
Researchers found people over 50 who are aware that they're becoming more forgetful and absent-minded with age were more likely to show a decline in brain function years later.
"We found that several subjective measures, including perceived change in memory ability and frequency of using memory aids -- such as lists and reminders -- predicted a decline in brain function two years later," says researcher Gary Small, MD, director of the Center on Aging at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a news release.
The study was to be presented at the First Annual Dementia Congress in Chicago this weekend.
Researchers studied 39 adults over the age of 50 who had mild age-related memory complaints and tested them on memory performance. They also asked them how well they thought their memory worked. Each of the participants had a brain scan with positron emission tomography (PET) to measure brain activity at the start of the study and two years later.
The study found people who were aware of their memory loss had a significantly greater decline in activity in one of the key memory centers of the brain (the hippocampus) compared to those who had only minimal memory complaints. Previous research has suggested that decreased brain function in this region can predict future memory decline; it also confirms a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Small says self-awareness of memory decline predicted the level of brain activity decline in all patients, regardless of their genetic risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
"The findings suggest that self-awareness of memory ability may be an important factor to consider in assessing mild objective memory losses," says Small.
Researchers say learning more about these mild memory lapses may
provide clues about how Alzheimer's develops in its early stages and
help identify patients for early treatment to prevent further brain
Is Male Menopause A Myth?
Dilemma On Prostate Cancer Treatment Splits
Health Benefits Eroding For Workers
Operating On A Beating Heart Shows Benefit
Flu Vaccine a Must for the Elderly
Exercise Can Prevent Falls In Older
Senator: Drug Companies Oppose Lower
Geriatric Day Care Great For Patients,
But What About Caregivers?
Nutrition Status Affects Cognitive Impairment In The Elderly
Macular Degeneration Difficult; Vitamins
Offer Some Hope
Dry Mouth Affects Eating Habits And
Males 65 And Older At Higher Risk For
HHS Report Promotes Benefits Of Physical
Activity For Older Americans
Cost of elders' drugs rising
The report used data from Pennsylvania's state-run prescription drug program for the elderly, those 65 and older, to develop the list of the 50 top-selling drugs. Price histories were obtained from a database published by Medi-Span/Facts and Comparisons.
The study found that 10 of the 50 most-prescribed drugs for seniors are generics. The average annual price for those drugs was $375. Nine of those drugs did not increase in price at all.
The other 40 most prescribed drugs are brand-name medications with
an average annual price of $1,106. Only three of the brand-name drugs
did not increase in price last year.
Epilepsy Mistreated In The Elderly
High Protein Diet Along With Calcium
And Vitamin D Increases Bone Mineral Density
114-Year-Old Japanese Woman With Taste For Sake
Becomes Oldest Living Human
Mixed Review For Geriatric
Chemotherapy Trial Proves The Worth Of
Including Elderly Patients In Clinical Trials
The Pope's Message To Doctors
Past Socio-Economic Factors Influence
Present Quality Of Life For The Old
Improper Medicare Payments Rate Declines
Again In 2001
Medicare To Assist Chronically Ill
Obesity Threatens Americans Over 50
HHS Launches Effort To Support
Ombudsmen's Efforts To Use Nursing Home Quality Data To Assist
Supportive Spouse, Family, Friends
Contribute To 'Successful Aging'
More Exercise, Less Smoking May
Extend, Enhance Life Even At Advanced Age
State-Specific Mortality From Stroke And
Distribution Of Place Of Death
Baby Boomers Care For Parents At A
Exercise Said Best For Blood
Walking Aids Older People's Arterial
Elasticity, Helping Heart
High Protein Diets Cause Dehydration,
Even In Trained Athletes
A Popular Japanese Plum, Now Available In The
US, May Help Prevent The Onset Of Cardiac Disease
Nutrition Status Affects Cognitive
Impairment In The Elderly
Gene Scientists Find Clues To Why We Age
For The Elderly, Dry Mouth Affects Eating
Habits And Teeth
Among Childless Elderly, Unmarried Men
are more at Risk of Loneliness and Depression than Unmarried
Compared to women, men, on the whole, have much smaller social support networks outside of the immediate family, a circumstance that may be worsened by childlessness combined with being unmarried. However, stepparents' psychological well-being is similar to that of biological parents. This suggests that biological ties between parents and children may be less important than family ties.
Thresearch group consisted of married, divorced, widowed and never
married persons who furnished complete demographic and health
information. Among the elderly, higher levels of education, better
physical health and more economic resources help considerably to
reduce the odds of loneliness and depression.
Source: The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. www.pop.psu.edu/searchable/press/feb2602.htm
Who Needs Long-Term Care
Unfortunately, it's difficult to decide if you need long-term care insurance and even harder to decide which policy is the right one. If you're looking into long-term care insurance, there are three major areas to consider.
1) Does LTC insurance make sense for my financial situation? LTC insurance works best for people who have saved a good deal of money and don't want their financial stability threatened by nursing home costs. It's also a good option for those concerned about leaving money to a remaining spouse or children.
2) Can you afford this type of insurance? LTC insurance generally isn't a good option for people with modest incomes or limited assets. If your assets will be spent down after nine to 12 months (at $2,000-$3,000 per month) in a nursing home, then LTC insurance probably isn't the right choice.
3) Can you meet the eligibility requirements? Most individuals between 50-79 years old are eligible for LTC insurance, but some policies have restrictions on pre-existing conditions, including age or previous medical ailments.
If you or a loved one decides to purchase long-term care insurance, it's worth investigating multiple policies and state regulations. Find an expert in financial or insurance matters to advise you. Such assistance can be found through the local Area Agency on Aging.
Types of Policies
There are many different types of LTC policies, including:
Each of these types of policies has three basic options:
Some policies include home health care coverage. While this allows more choices for receiving care, it also increases monthly premiums.
When deciding about LTC insurance, it's important to gather as
much information as you can. Make a list of questions. Visit a
licensed insurance or financial professional. Be sure to have your
questions answered by a professional who isn't promoting the policy
before purchasing LTC insurance.
Source: ©2001 FamilyCare America, Inc., www.FamilyCareAmerica.com
10 Managed Care Tips for Caregivers
The following tips were provided by The Office of The Managed Care Ombudsman, the Bureau of Insurance, Commonwealth of Virginia. Check with the appropriate office in your loved one's state for information regarding specific regulations.
1) It's worth the time and effort to read and understand the documents provided by your loved one's insurance company. This includes evidence of coverage, as well as other documents such as member handbooks, provider directories, newsletters, and other material.
2) Understand as much as you can about the plan before your loved one uses it. It's particularly important to know the primary care provider, the plan's policy regarding referrals to specialists, co-payment requirements, and access to emergency care. Be prepared. The plan will probably not cover all of your loved one's medical expenses, and he or she may have to pay part of the cost.
3) Ask questions about anything that isn't clear.
4) If you need assistance, contact the plan's representatives, your loved one's insurance agent, his or her employer, or the office of the managed care ombudsman.
5) If a problem arises, you should first contact your loved one's managed care plan. The evidence of coverage contains a telephone number and mailing address. Be sure to record the day you call, the name of the person you speak with, the title of the person you speak with, and a summary of the conversation.
6) If your loved one or his or her physician has difficulty obtaining approval for medical care-or experiences difficulty with a claim-know what your loved one's rights are according his or her particular plan.
7) Follow the instructions provided by the plan to appeal any decision. Familiarize yourself with the levels of appeals and grievance procedures that are available through the plan's internal process.
8) Carefully document-in writing-the facts that support your case. Keep your letters business-like and clearly state why you believe you are correct. Include copies of documents from your loved one's physician that support the appeal.
9) Follow the time lines and meet the deadlines set up by the plan. Be sure to keep a copy of any letters you send.
10) At any point in the process, feel free to contact your local
office of the managed care ombudsman for assistance.
Source: ©2001 FamilyCare America, Inc., www.FamilyCareAmerica.com
Alzheimer's Early Treatment can
Make a Difference
Many people may be deficient in vitamin
Shingles vaccine trial under
Changing diet can help autoimmune
Tai chi for arthritis
Effective new drugs for rheumatoid
Don't scoff at gin-soaked raisins?
Home remedies work for old knee
Dementia May Change Musical Tastes
Keeping yourself safe from drug
Diabetes and High Blood Pressure Tied
to Mental Decline
Medicare HMOs drop nearly one million
Seniors donate time, brains to
Seniors' health costs projected to
Homelike design make extended care
facilities more livable
Home care improves satisfaction and
quality of life
Exercise may strengthen immunity in older folks
Home remedies work for old knee injury?
What exactly is macular
What is meant by age-related macular
Seniors' exit from HMOs linked to drug
Study shows Alzheimer's drug is safe, effective
Household Hazards Not Main Cause of
In Old Age Childless Adults Just as
Content as Parents
Living Healthy to 120 Years Not a Pipe
Researchers Seek Vaccine to
It's All Over after Age 45
Caring for the Caregivers
Feeling in Control can Prolong
Alzheimer's Drug may Work for Other
Types of Dementia
T'ai Chi May Benefit Those with
Special nursing care extends survival
While Medicare and insurers would probably cover this care, study author Dr. Ruth McCorkle told Reuters Health, few patients receive it. Instead, McCorkle said, patients are generally sent home to be cared for by their families and home healthcare nurses.
The specially trained nurses in McCorkle's study were advanced practice nurses (APNs), which are nurses with master's degree-level training in cancer care. Home healthcare nurses, she said, are almost never APNs.
McCorkle and colleagues followed 375 patients age 60 and older who had been discharged from the hospital after tumor-removal surgery. In the study, 190 received care from APNs and 185 received standard care. Over the 4 weeks after the patient had returned home from the hospital, the APNs visited them three times and spoke to them five times by telephone.
Two years after surgery, 67% of the patients receiving this special care were alive, while 40% of the patients who received standard care had survived, the authors report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
After adjusting for other factors affecting survival, the researchers found that the patients cared for by APNs lived twice as long as those receiving other care. The average survival advantage conferred by APN care was 7 months.
Cancer patients have special needs because they often leave the hospital with highly complex problems involving catheters, dressings, and high-tech equipment. The patients are at risk for problems with wound healing, pain and fever. In addition, most patients need help with walking, bathing, and meal preparation.
"You can teach the family members a certain amount of this, but you can't make them responsible in the same way," McCorkle, a professor at the Yale University School of Nursing in New Haven, Connecticut, told Reuters Health. "You can't shift the responsibility to the family, which is what is happening in our system today."
Family members of cancer patients may need to ask about such specialized care, McCorkle said.
"Unfortunately, the people within the hospital who are doing
discharge planning don't realize that a little bit of help...would
make all the difference in the world," McCorkle told Reuters Health.
"The third-party providers need to be educated, and the consumers
need to be educated that they can demand this. They don't need to do
it all themselves."
Elderly keeping teeth, getting
The number of people aged 65 and older is expected to double between 2000 and 2030, and the proportion of those aged 85 and older will increase dramatically, according to the report in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.
"Dentists should prepare for this trend by first being aware of this "big picture" and should take steps to learn about problems common in the elderly, for example, multiple medication use, multiple chronic diseases and physical limitations," Dr. John J. Warren, an assistant professor at the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.
In the past, few elderly have used dental services because it was not common to retain natural teeth into old age, he explained.
To assess the future dental care needs of the growing group of elderly with teeth, the investigators examined 342 men and women aged 79 to 101 years, with at least one remaining natural tooth.
Nearly all (96%) had decay on the surface of teeth with 23% having untreated decay. Nearly two thirds of individuals had cavities affecting the roots of their teeth with 23% of this group having untreated decay. A greater percentage of men than women had untreated decay of all types, the report indicates.
Of the roughly three quarters of elderly people who visited a dentist in the past year, nearly all said they paid for dental services without the help of insurance. People with a greater number of natural teeth were more likely to have seen a dentist within the past year, the authors note.
"If population projections and oral and general health trends
prove true, this study sample may represent a microcosm of many
future elderly dental patients: people in their 80s who for the most
part are living in the community, who have many of their natural
teeth, who continue to be at risk of experiencing dental caries, and
who regularly seek dental care despite lack of third-party coverage,"
Warren and colleagues conclude.
Many older Americans try alternative
About 30% of Americans age 65 and older report that they use at least one alternative medicine--most commonly herbs. And almost 20% have visited an alternative medicine provider in the past year, most often a chiropractor, according to the survey of 2,055 adults.
mericans comprise an age group not usually associated with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use," lead study author Dr. David F. Foster told Reuters Health. Yet the survey results, published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggest otherwise.
Foster conducted the study while at the Center for Alternative Medicine Research and Education at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
After herbs, the most frequently used treatments by seniors included relaxation techniques, high-dose vitamins and religious healing. Alternative medicine use was more common among seniors who also used conventional medicine.
"The more visits a respondent made to a physician, the more likely he/she was to visit a provider of alternative medicine," the report indicates.
"Our research reveals no evidence that CAM use implies a rejection of traditional, allopathic medicine," Foster said. "Rather, CAM use represents attempts by patients to marshal all available resources to fight illness and preserve health."
Yet one "particularly troublesome" finding is that over half (57%) of the seniors who used alternative medicines did not tell their physicians, the authors note.
This is especially important since there are possible health issues associated with alternative medicine, Foster pointed out.
"Chiropractic, while generally safe, may have increased risk in the setting of older, more brittle bones and joints," he explained. "Similarly, herbal therapies have the potential for drug/herb interactions in an older population, (who are) more likely than younger populations to be taking prescription medications," he added.
"Consumers should discuss CAM therapies with their physicians and
discuss conventional treatments with their CAM providers," Foster
advised. "Full disclosure to all parties is in the best interest of
Stress of caregiving hits elders
In a study of 52 elderly adults, researchers found that those who were caring for a spouse with dementia had reduced immune responses to pneumonia vaccination. A relatively weak immune reaction to a vaccine is a sign of how the immune system will respond to an actual infection. So this finding suggests elderly caregivers may be more susceptible to pneumonia and other infections, according to Dr. Ronald Glaser and his colleagues at Ohio State University in Columbus.
The findings also add to earlier work showing that elderly caregivers had poorer immune responses to the flu vaccine compared with others their age, Glaser told Reuters Health in an interview.
The stress of taking care of someone with dementia appears to inhibit the body's key infection defenses, Glaser explained. The theory is that stress hormones interfere with the function of certain immune system cells, he noted.
Glaser and his colleagues report their findings in the November/December issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
Together, the flu and pneumonia are the fourth-leading cause of death among the elderly. Experts advise everyone age 65 and older to get vaccinated against the illnesses. But the vaccines are not 100% effective, and certain elderly people may be particularly vulnerable to the infections. The stress of caring for an ill spouse may be one factor behind such vulnerability, Glaser suggested.
"The spouse is often called the second victim of dementia," he said. However, he added, caring for a spouse with any chronic illness can affect a person's health. "We don't think this is limited to dementia."
Spouses may be uniquely affected by the strains of caregiving because they are usually elderly and often have little support, Glaser noted.
It is possible, he said, that support groups may "buffer" some of
the stress spouses face.
Getting That Word Off The Tip Of
Well, researchers believe they have an explanation for what they call this "tip-of-the-tongue" or TOT experience.
Psychologists believe that retrieving those TOT words depends not only on remembering a words meaning, but also on remembering its sound, according to a report in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.
As an example, when research participants are asked questions known to evoke high TOT responses, giving a list of words containing a similar sounding word often triggers the right answer.
One question was: "What word means to formally renounce a throne?" A list of 10 words included "abstract" which triggered the correct response for some participants. The TOT word was "abdicate."
In other words, TOT experiences have to do with connections among words and sounds in our memories and the more we read, do crossword puzzles and keep the mind active the better well be at retrieving the word were grappling with.
If words arent used regularly, these sound connections
weaken and we have less memory recall. Young people have fewer TOT
experiences than older people, but we can all improve recall by
simply exercising our memory as much as possible through practicing
word and sound associations.
Source: Journal of Experimental Psychology, November 2000. www.healthcentral.com/drdean/deanfulltexttopics.cfm?ID=44336&storytype=DeanTopics
Reaching 100 Is A Family
While good nutrition, exercise and optimism can keep you healthier and perhaps stretch your lifespan, a new study shows that reaching extreme old age is most likely a family tradition.
Harvard Medical School researchers looked at the family trees of four American families with longevity and found some amazing statistics. For example, in one family, 50 percent of 46 members of one generation lived to ages 90 to 106, according to a report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
This particular family had centenarian offspring that included cousins who hadnt been raised in common childhood environments, indicating that genetics had an important role in the longevity.
One reason this longevity research is important is because it might reveal some of the secrets of aging through genetic mapping. This could one day help us fight some age-related illnesses such as stroke, heart attacks, cancer or Alzheimers disease.
The message for most of you is to stop worrying about trying to
live forever and enjoy the time you have. Were all living
longer because of medical progress but if you want to live to 100,
youd better check your family tree.
Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, November 2000 (Thomas Perls, M.D., et al, Harvard Medical School). www.healthcentral.com/drdean/deanfulltexttopics.cfm?ID=44049&storytype=DeanTopics
Prevent Alzheimer's: Using It Might Mean
Not Losing It
Researchers at University Hospitals of Cleveland Alzheimer Center looked at lifetime occupational demands of 193 Alzheimers patients and 359 healthy control subjects over age 60 and determined that those who used their brains the most were less likely to get the disease.
Of the control subjects, 60 percent had worked in managerial or professional specialties that were most mentally demanding, compared to only 25 percent of the patients with Alzheimers, according to a report on the study in Family Practice News.
This is a retrospective study that makes it impossible to determine if people destined to get Alzheimers take less demanding jobs to begin with because of an underlying mental decline. There is some evidence that Alzheimers could be a lifetime disease; perhaps those who get Alzheimer's had less cognitive ability at a younger age.
Another theory is that increased mental challenges could by itself provide a protective effect against Alzheimers, a sort of use it or lose it argument.
This study also showed that people ending up with Alzheimers had careers with a downward trajectory over time, and they took on less demanding mental activities as they aged.
Many studies have shown that keeping your mental abilities sharp
as you age keeps you feeling younger and healthier, so use your
cognitive powers as much as you can. An added benefit could be
protection against Alzheimers.
Source: Family Practice News, Sept. 6, 2000 www.healthcentral.com/drdean/deanfulltexttopics.cfm?ID=43812&storytype=DeanTopics
Carbohydrates: The Real Brain
University of Toronto researchers say the regular consumption of 50 grams of carbohydrates enhanced memory and thinking abilities in older people with healthy glucose tolerance, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Some fad diets, such as the high-protein types that would have you eating pork rinds, dont take into account the importance of eating well-balanced meals that include carbohydrates.
Starches have been around as a staple food for centuries and this
study is just one example of the benefits you can get from having
them in your diet.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2000 www.healthcentral.com/drdean/deanfulltexttopics.cfm?ID=43000&storytype=DeanTopics
How Do I Prevent Injury In This Baby Boomer's Body?
A: Good for you for getting moving. Its never too late to get fit and healthy. Were seeing a lot of people taking on fitness with gusto because their doctors have told them that they have to get in shape or face the consequences. People who have previously led sedentary lives or who have had poor health habits are getting out there, getting fit and kicking their bad habits.
Unfortunately some of these people are getting injured because they jump into exercise a little too quickly. They may not have any experience with exercise or the proper equipment. You are wise to think before you leap.
So, what can you do to make a smooth entry? Have a look at this list of tips:
Start out slow there is no rush!
Aim for a lot of short and easy exercise sessions rather than one long and hard session.
Build up time slowly so that your body can adjust to the exercise or sport.
Build a base
Work on building your base fitness before taking on a competitive sport or new and challenging activity.
If you think that playing coed city league soccer would be lots of fun take the first season to practice your skills on your own before joining the team.
Work on building up core strength and stamina with aerobic exercise and weight lifting before jumping on the field.
Listen to your body
If something hurts stop! Listen to your body and slow down or take a break if you need to.
Go for balance
Balance your exercise program so that the stress is not all one part of the body or on one joint. If you love to run great, but also swim or cycle to give your muscles balance and your body a break.
Warm up and stretch
Take the time to warm up and stretch out before and after exercise. This little bit of extra time can mean exercising tomorrow or nursing an injury today.
If you are going to use weight lifting equipment, get a trainer at the gym to show you how to use it properly.
If you work out at home, get a book with good photos or splurge and pay for a personal trainer to come to your home. It could be well worth the money.
Get the proper equipment
The right shoe for the job is very important. Fit, comfort and support are key.
Padding, wrist protectors and helmet are essential for the beginner on roller blades. And a helmet is always smart for any type of outdoor cycling.
If you are buying home equipment be sure it is safe and well constructed.
Take the time to get expert advice when buying an outdoor bike. An
expert can be sure you buy the right bike for your size, ability and
Should Exercise Change With Age?
A: Good for you for keeping up with the exercise. By no means should we stop exercising as we get older. This is a crucial time to stay fit, healthy and limber. However, there are a few things to keep in mind as you exercise and a few exercises that will be gentler on your body. Here are a some tips:
The older you are the longer you need to exercise. But, you need to exercise more gently.
Dont do the same exercise every day.
Pick exercises that use different sets of muscles so that one set can repair while you exercise the other. Swimming, which uses the upper-body muscles more than any other aerobic exercise, is an excellent cross-training choice. Its not the fastest way to burn fat, so couple it with a gentle land exercise such as walking.
Older people need more time to recover from strenuous exercise. After a tough workout, give yourself enough time to repair and to get over the soreness before you push yourself again. This really becomes noticeable after a weight lifting session. Young people repair muscle tissue in 48 hours, but older people may need 72 hours to repair tissue after a strenuous workout.
Stay flexible by doing daily stretches, yoga or exercise that involves a large range of motion.
As you age, your muscles are more likely to stiffen up after exercise, which increases your chance of injury. Here again, swimming (or an aerobic water activity) is the answer. Nobody ever says, "Boy, I sprained my ankle swimming!" Exercise in the water can be very intense, but it doesnt have the pounding and jarring associated with other forms of hard exercise. If you dont have access to a swimming pool, try a "dry-land swimming machine." These are machines that you cant get hurt on. For example, aerobic riders use all the muscles in the body yet puts stress on none of them, just as if you were swimming.
Adapted from The Ultimate Fit or Fat by Covert Bailey and Lea
Bishop. Copyright 1999 by Covert Bailey, published by Houghton
Exercise benefits elderly,
Dr. Marion McMurdo, of the University of Dundee in Scotland, told Reuters Health that "regular physical activity is more important in old age than it is in youth." In view of the so-called 'graying' of many of the world's populations together with common fears among the elderly about the dependency of old age, "effort should be invested in encouraging older people to be active and to maintain their independence for as long as possible," she explains.
Because people who pursue physical activity into their older years have been shown "to enjoy more years of healthy disability-free life than inactive older people," McMurdo suggests that "health professionals... be imaginative in helping older people identify a type of activity that they will enjoy."
She notes that support from others -- including friends, family members, and healthcare providers -- is key to the successful implementation of and "adherence to (a program) of regular activity."
McMurdo comments that "health professionals should be pro-active in talking to older people in a positive way about the potential benefits of activity in old age." These include "less fatigue, (being) more alert, more energy, (and) better sleep," she says.
In her article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, McMurdo writes that "public health advice has failed to shake off the 'high-tech' lycra-clad image of aerobic exercises and physical fitness and embrace the concept of health and (ordinary) physical activity -- walking, dancing, gardening, or playing with the grandchildren."
"You don't need to be a marathon runner to improve your health in old age," she says. "In the past, we... overestimated the amount of activity required in old age to improve health."
McMurdo offers several recommendations for those interested in beginning an exercise program. "Find an activity you enjoy. Invite a friend or spouse to join you," she advises. For those who have not been active for many years, "start slowly and build up gradually, increasing the amount of time on a weekly basis," she adds.
"Exercise is meant to be enjoyable so (participants) should be left feeling refreshed and invigorated," McMurdo tells Reuters Health. She reminds exercisers, however, that one's personal physician should be consulted prior to initiating a new exercise regimen. And, consistent with well-known public health pronouncements, McMurdo recommends that older folks avoid tobacco and try to maintain an appropriate weight.
Telling her medical colleagues to "unwrap the cotton wool" in
which the elderly are being encased, McMurdo urges health
professionals to take "a leading role in passing on his important
message: the best investment you can make for your old age is regular
Exercise improves balance in the
Balance disorders become more common with age and increase the risk of falls, which are the main cause of accidental death in the elderly, according to a team of researchers led by Professor Philippe Perrin of the University Henri Poincare in Villers-les-Nancy, France.
People who exercise or who are involved in sports activities have better balance as they age, but for those who haven't been exercising, does starting late in life do any good?
Yes, conclude Perrin and colleagues, who put 65 men and women over the age of 60 to the test.
The study participants were divided into four groups: those who had exercised all their lives and continued to do so; those who only became physically active after retirement; those who had been physically active during their youth but had stopped at least 30 years before; and couch potatoes who had been inactive all their lives.
Members of each group performed balance tests that evaluated "body sway." Good postural control, which declines with age, is characterized by a small "sway path." Sway increases with age due to strength loss of the ankle muscles and to decreasing ability to sense touch and position.
Not surprisingly, the sway path was smaller in seniors who were exercising regularly. But there was little difference between those adults who had begun exercising after retirement and those who had never stopped.
These results show that it is never too late to begin an exercise
program, conclude the researchers. However, anyone planning to start
a new exercise regimen should check with his or her doctor first.
Exercise key to long, healthy life
And a second study links two lifestyle factors - regular exercise and not smoking - to a longer and healthier life. Both reports are published in the April issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
In the first study, researchers studied 1,097 adults aged 65 and older over a 10-year period. They found that those with the highest levels of physical activity were nearly two times more likely to die disability-free compared to their more sedentary counterparts
"Moderate physical activity has the potential to substantially reduce disability in late life. Yet one-third of older Americans do not engage in regular exercise," said lead study author Dr. Suzanne G. Leveille, a National Institutes of Aging (NIA) epidemiologist.
For senior citizens, "walking is the easiest and least costly type of exercise. Current recommendations call for 30 minutes a day, five days a week," she told Reuters Health.
Disability is often thought to be an inevitable part of the aging process. The latest statistics show 37 percent of men and 55 percent of women aged 85 or older are disabled.
While the numerous health benefits of regular exercise are well known, it may also decrease risk for disability by lowering body weight and reducing the risk of painful arthritis and osteoporosis.
Leveille and colleagues interviewed men and women from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa between 1981 and 1991. They examined the risk factors for disability in men who died when they were older than 80 and women who died when they were older than 85.
The team found that overall, a non-disabled 65-year-old man had a 26 percent chance of living to 80 and being disability-free. For a 65-year-old woman, the probability of living to age 85 and being non-disabled was 18 percent.
The key factor in preventing disability was regular exercise, according to the report, which the team dubbed the "dying with your boots on" study.
"These findings provide encouraging evidence that disability prior to death is not an inevitable part of a long life but may be prevented by moderate physical activity," study authors wrote.
"Exercise is for everyone," said Leveille, who also worked on the second report. "If you do not already exercise, it would be wise to begin - of course with your doctor's permission."
In the second study, researchers at the NIA in Bethesda, Maryland and at the National Research Institute in Florence, Italy, looked at lifestyle factors that promote a long, healthy and active life, non-smokers lived about five years longer than smokers. People who engaged in moderate to high levels of exercise lived three or more years longer than less active study participants.
"These findings provide strong and explicit evidence that refraining from smoking and doing regular physical activity predict a long and healthy life," researchers concluded.
Both studies are based on data from the ongoing Established
Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly.
You're Never Too Old To Be Fit
Dean Edell, M.D. "Medical studies show that people who are active live longer and healthier lives."
Beverly Guinee/Fit at 70: "I take step classes. I do spin classes. I do body pump and sometimes yoga, depending upon what I have time for. Sometimes I swim."
Dean Edell: "For 70-year old Beverly Guinee, exercise has given her a greater sense of independence and well-being."
Beverly Guinee: "I want to have a good quality of life. I'm not looking for quantity, while I'm here I really want to feel well, be fit and also do some of the things that I want to do. And be able to do on my own."
Dean Edell: "No matter what age you begin, exercise can improve your physical condition. Exercise has been found to decrease cholesterol and blood pressure, increase bone density and lower the risk for heart disease. "And you don't have to be an Olympian to see results."
Christina Bailey/Fitness & Nutrition Coach: "To just start with something very simple, walking -- it could be 10 minutes a day, 5 minutes a day -- it doesn't have to be any great length of time, just start moving."
Dean Edell: "It's important to stay within your own comfort zone."
Christina Bailey: "If you feel that you've pushed yourself too far, slow down, take it easy because the big important thing here is that you can get out and do it again tomorrow."
Dean Edell: "And remember, you're never too old to start."
End Note: If you've been inactive for any length of time,
or have health problems, make sure you consult your doctor before
starting a fitness program.
Home exercise program helps
Home exercise allows a person to work out inexpensively, at his or her convenience, without having to travel to unfamiliar surroundings.
A well-organized program, including plenty of reinforcement and motivational rewards, can help seniors with the difficult task of continuing to exercise regularly, according to the report published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health, the journal of the American Public Health Association.
Dr. Alan M. Jette of Boston University, Massachusetts, and his colleagues studied 215 people ages 60 years and older. Half of the group worked with a physical therapist who came to their homes to demonstrate the exercise program, while the rest continued with their normal routine.
The program, called Strong-for-Life, was a 35-minute videotaped series of 11 exercise routines using elastic bands to work muscles against varying levels of resistance.
Participants were repeatedly encouraged to stick with the program through a motivational video, goal-setting advice, telephone follow-up calls, and simple incentives such as magnets color-coded to match each exercise level.
The study participants completed 89 percent of the recommended exercise sessions over six months. More than half of the exercisers were 100 percent adherent, doing their exercises three times each week for six months.
Compared with the sedentary group, exercisers improved their lower extremity strength and walking stability. Measures of physical disability also improved after six months.
National surveys indicate that 70 percent or more of older adults in the U.S. do not exercise regularly. As the population continues to age, sedentary lifestyles are an increasing threat to public health, the researchers write.
Programs such as Strong-for-Life are "a safe, low-cost, effective
method for increasing physical activity among older persons with
disabilities," the authors conclude.
Helping Seniors Feel
Dean Edell, M.D.: "Balance disorders become more commonplace as we age.
Julie Rankin/Exercise Physiologist: "Seniors lose a large percentage of their fast twitch muscle fibers which is their power in the muscle, and when they do they're not able to catch themselves as well."
Dean Edell: "With regular exercise seniors can improve their motor control and decrease the likelihood of falling."
Julie Rankin: "Through strength training and through aerobic and agility type of work you can begin to improve the ability of those seniors to be able to respond more effectively."
Dean Edell: "If you do injure yourself, exercise can help speed your recovery. Exercise increases blood flow to the injured area and stabilizes and strengthens surrounding muscles and joints."
Louise Charles/Back on Her Feet: "If I hadn't had the opportunity to come to the pool and move my joints around in the pool without all the pain, I can say now that I probably wouldn't be as far as I am today."
Dean Edell: "Seventy-three year old Louise Charles had total knee replacement surgery. Water aerobics was a gentle exercise to help jump start her recovery.
Louise Charles: "I would get a little bit stronger and now I can do just about anything I want to."
Julie Rankin/Exercise Physiologist: "The water is great for feeling safe for broad motions. This also helps with your balance."
Dean Edell: "And with better balance and improved health, comes greater independence.
Louise Charles:"I don't have to have people waiting on me and that's the part I like about it. I feel free."
Dean Edell: "Once seniors get over their fear of injuring themselves they become more confident in leading an active lifestyle."
End Note: If you do have an injury it's advised that you
consult your doctor before you begin an exercise program. And if you
decide to try water aerobics make sure the instructor is aware of any
Vitamins C, E May Help Aging Minds Stay
For one thing, if the 3,385 Japanese-American men surveyed are health-conscious enough to take vitamins daily for a long time, theyre also more likely not to smoke, to get more exercise and eat better. Also, dosage information isnt available for the men, who ranged in age from 71 to 93.
The researchers also don't say anything about the subjects' income or educational levels, which have been factors in other studies of mental decline in aging.
The supplement data was collected on the men in 1988. Assessments made five years later showed that 2,999 were cognitively intact while 47 had Alzheimers dementia, 35 vascular dementia and 50 had a variety of other types of dementia, according to a report in Neurology.
Researchers noted that while the vitamins didnt seem to protect men from having a stroke, the supplements may have helped limit the neuronal injury that persists after an ischemic event, thus giving protection against vascular dementia.
Also, taking the supplements showed no protective effect for Alzheimers disease, although I wonder if the onset of the disease would have resulted in these men forgetting to take their vitamins.
The men who reported using both supplements together for the
longest times also showed better cognitive functions in later life.
So, possibly these vitamins could help our minds age gracefully.
Source: Neurology, March 28, 2000. www.healthcentral.com/drdean/deanfulltexttopics.cfm?id=30547
How Can I Improve
A: Coordination is one of those things we don't think much about until we are put to the test. But it is a very valuable asset, especially for older people. Maintaining coordination can help prevent falls and injuries.
Aerobics classes are a great way to improve your body's coordination. Aerobic machines such as treadmills, stair climbers, and stationary bikes, for which the movements are basically untrained and repetitive, do not require coordination. You just do what the machine guides you to do. Yes, you can get fit using these machines, and yes, you can lose fat. But you might end up as a fit klutz!
Aerobic machines train the gross motor nerves -- the large nerves responsible for ordinary locomotion. But they don't train the smaller finer nerves that help you zig and zag down a ski slope. They don't train you for the balance you need to walk across a log over a stream while carrying a 50-pound backpack. "But," you might say, "I'm not a jock or into hiking. I don't ski or backpack." Well, you still need coordination -- just to square dance or play Frisbee with your kids!
Even if aerobics classes are not your favorite form of exercise, I'd like you to try them now and then. The erratic, back-and-forth, up-and-down movements are some of the best ways I know to develop coordination. By the way, aerobics classes aren't just dance-movement classes anymore. There are athletic-step classes, adventure-training classes, and even ski-conditioning classes.
Source: Adapted from The Ultimate Fit or Fat by
Covert Bailey and Lea Bishop. Copyright 1999 by Covert Bailey,
published by Houghton Mifflin Company. www.healthcentral.com/FitorFat/FitorFatfulltext.cfm?ID=36736&storytype=CBQuestions
How Can I Maintain Balance As I Get
A: Suppose you take a drunk-driving test. With your eyes closed, you have to put your hands out in front of you and touch your fingers together. It's simple to do when you're sober, but if you've been drinking too much the alcohol blurs the nerve signals in your arms and fingers so that they don't have a sense of where they are. There's a big word for this "sense of body position" -- proprioception.
One of the neat things about a very fit athlete is that he or she has a highly developed sense of body awareness. There is no way Michael Jordan could leap into the air, turn around three times, fake out all his opponents and still do a perfect lay-up if the proprioceptors in his joints don't tell him exactly where every part of his body is as he flies through the air.
If people kept their proprioceptive response intact as they aged, they wouldn't have the accidents that older people tend to have. You don't hear about a 25-year-old falling off a curb and breaking a hip or a wrist. A healthy, young man, even if he happens to stumble off a curb, will immediately sense his legs are not level and his proprioceptors will send the signals needed to catch his balance. Even if he should fall, warning signals that he received from his proprioceptors will have given him time to be better prepared for the fall.
If we dont use our proprioceptive ability, we lose it. Older people who dont exercise to maintain proprioception are candidates for falling and breaking a bone. Aerobics classes are an especially good way to tune up your proprioceptors. The variety of movements that are a natural part of aerobics classes provide a perfect training ground for proprioception. If youre older and thinking that aerobics classes are for younger people, think again. Anyone can do aerobics. There are all kinds of classes and levels.
Aerobic classes are also a great way to get out and be social. There are plenty of non-dance aerobic classes nowadays, too. Many classes focus on the sport elements rather than dance. Give them a try!
Once you get the hang of the aerobics and are feeling greater balance and coordination, you may be ready to take on some other challenges. Sports are the natural proprioception builders. Think of all the coordination it takes to play soccer or basketball. While you may not be ready to take on this challenge, there are other sports that do require skill and balance without the vigor. Try:
Proprioception is one of those things you dont know youve lost until its too late.
Source: Adapted from The Ultimate Fit or Fat by
Covert Bailey and Lea Bishop. Copyright 1999 by Covert Bailey,
published by Houghton Mifflin Company. www.healthcentral.com/FitorFat/FitorFatfulltext.cfm?ID=35777&storytype=CBQuestions
How Do Sleep Problems Differ For The
Elderly As Compared To The General Population?
Also, older people may have multiple medical problems or may be receiving multiple medications that can interfere with sleep. So we see this combination of sleep problems and illnesses and medications that can interfere with sleep become more common as people get older.
Also, sleep patterns change as we get older. The quality of normal sleep changes and sleep is lighter and less efficient. So the combination of all these things contributes to the increase in difficulty sleeping as people get older.
Often we divide sleep symptoms into two basic types: insomnia or daytime somnolence, which means difficulty with initiating or maintaining sleep, and daytime somnolence is excessive sleepiness during the daytime.
Classically, we think of insomnia as being more likely due to stress or psychosocial issues, while with daytime somnolence, were more concerned about a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. But symptoms of these conditions can overlap, so they can cause symptoms of either insomnia or daytime sleepiness.
Sleeping problems are extremely common in the elderly. Probably
about one third to one half of older people complain about having
difficulty with their sleep. And use of sleeping medications,
particularly over-the-counter agents, is pretty common.
What Are Some Consequences Of Sleep
Problems In The Elderly?
There can also be more subtle problems. For example, sleep apnea is a disorder of abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, where the blood oxygen level drops at night while they are asleep because they dont breathe adequately. This can cause personality changes, irritability, and other symptoms during the daytime, in addition to heart problems.
In general, people who dont sleep well dont feel well
the next day. Everyone goes through periods when they dont
sleep well at night, but usually your body is pretty good at making
up for that. If you have a night or two where you dont sleep
well, then usually after that you sleep well because your body needs
to recover that sleep.
How Can Sunshine Help With Sleep Problems
In The Elderly?
Unfortunately, routine indoor lighting isnt adequate. If you live in an area with little sunlight, you can buy a commercial light box.
Seasonal affective disorder is where people in the wintertime
become depressed, and that can be treated with bright light exposure.
We learned quite a bit about the use of bright light with that
disorder. For most people, sunlight is the simplest and easiest way
to go in order to get enough light.
False Memories? Take This Test
First, read the list of words below:
Now write down all the words you remember.
Do you remember the word "needle" in that list?
It's not on the list. This is an example of false memory. A little more than half of you won't remember and think you heard the word "needle."
This is an example of the tests that they gave to show how we can have memories of things that did not happen. The research is published in the October 1998 issue of the Journal of Memory and Language.
This study documents the relative inability of forewarned subjects to effectively suppress the creation of false memories.
The mind has a strong compulsion to make inferences and fill in blanks as it processes incomplete data. "The idea that our memories hold a literal record of our past like a video recorder is wrong," states Henry L. Roediger III, PhD of Washington University, who conducted the study with colleagues.
This test is an example of how false memories are generated.
How Long Will You Live Into The
If you want to test your memory ability, here's a short-term memory test developed by the Memory Assessment Clinic of Bethesda, Maryland.
You must read through this list of 15 foods just once, and only once, concentrating on each word.
Ready? Here's the list.
Now turn away and write down as many of the foods as you can remember on a sheet of paper. Afterwards, come back to this article to see how you fared.
How many did you remember?
The average person ages 18-39 can remember ten items. From ages 40-59, nine items; from ages 60-69, eight items and for 70 and older, seven items.
If you score poorly and and want to know about ways to improve
your cognitive skills, see the article "Worried About Memory
Problems? What Was The Question?"
Worried About Memory Problems? What Was The
Memory loss isnt unusual as you age, but it can be scary. This is obvious from the number of calls and messages I get from people worried about why theyre suddenly forgetting things.
Most of you are worried you might be getting Alzheimers disease or dementia. While this is possible, Im here to tell you that most of us begin forgetting things as we get older, and while its frustrating, its not something to panic about.
I've put a memory test on HealthCentral.com so you can see how good your memory is. You read a list of 15 items and then turn away and write down as many of the items as you can remember. Dont cheat just read the list once before writing down the items and youll get a good indication of your memory prowess.
Experts say there are some signals telling you when to worry about your memory. Here are the categories for assessment of Alzheimers disease and related dementia as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If you think any of these categories apply to you, you should seek further assessment from your physician or other health care professional.
--Difficulty learning and retaining new information; being more repetitive; trouble remembering recent conversations, events, appointments; frequently misplacing objects.
--Trouble handling complex tasks, following a complex train of thought, or performing tasks that take several steps, such as balancing a checkbook or cooking a meal.
--Problems with reasoning ability, such as being able to respond with a reasonable plan to problems at work or home. Uncharacteristic disregard for rules of social conduct.
--Problems with spatial ability and orientation, such as trouble driving, organizing objects around the house, finding your way around familiar places.
--Language difficulties, such as finding the right words to express what you want to say in a conversation.
--Behavior patterns that are more passive and less responsive; being more irritable or more suspicious than usual; misinterpreting what is seen or heard.
If you pass this assessment and just have normal memory loss bugging you, there are some things you can do, according to a study in Psychology and Aging.
Continue your education. People who are well educated are able to develop ways to solve problems less educated people cant. Also, mental stimulation at any age keeps cognitive functions at a higher level.
Some other things you can do are join a bridge club, work on crossword puzzles, or marry a stimulating mate.
The point is to exercise your mind to maintain optimal mental functioning.
One thing I dont recommend is taking herbs or supplements that claim to enhance your memory. Study after study has shown no difference in cognitive functions after ingesting these products.
So, try the HealthCentral.com memory test. I admit I took it and didnt do very well. My excuse was I was on a book tour, drinking coffee and I found it hard to concentrate on anything.
Remember, if you score poorly and are worried about memory loss, there are ways you can improve your cognitive skills.
Now, what was the question?
Source: Nutrition Action Newsletter, May 1997
Elder Care - Support Group
Support groups consist of people who have come together to share the common experiences and problems unique to their disease or condition. Support groups are organized to deal with four main sources of stress: mental or physical illness, addictive or obsessive behavior, personal crisis or life changes, and caring for disabled family members.
In addition to being a place to meet people who share a common bond, self-help/support groups also help members in other ways. Through newsletters and regular contact with other people in similar situations, members receive up-to-date information regarding their disability and treatments that are available. Along with this sharing comes understanding and a sense of belonging. Research confirms that the coming together of people in trouble serves to increase self esteem, decrease anxiety and depression, and raise levels of overall well being.
Information on support groups in your area can be found in a variety of ways. Handbooks of community resources, including support groups, are usually available in local libraries and hospitals. Major groups are often listed in the Yellow pages under "social service agencies".
Children of Aging Parents , 2761 Trenton Rd., Levittown, PA 19056
You're under age 85
You're a non-smoker
You're a healthy weight for your height
You don't have diabetes
You don't have heart failure
You don't have cancer
You don't have lung disease
You can manage your finances
You can bathe yourself
You can walk long distances
You canpush or pull heavy objects
* * *
Old folks can't afford the drugs they can't live without. - Brooks