Growing Old: Paying Attention to the Signs of Illness…and Wellness

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, one of the many major good news/bad news scenarios facing the aging US population today is increased longevity, along with a considerably higher incidence of multiple “co-morbid” (overlapping maladies) conditions.

While geriatric experts differ on the ranking of the most prevalent health issues, all agree that most people who live to be 65 years and older will eventually have to deal with one or several unwanted medical conditions. Due to heredity, environment or both ...

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Creative Aging: Put That Spring in Your Step

There’s little question that senior citizens who are active and engaged in their communities can enjoy a happier – and perhaps even longer – life. And the good news is that there are a myriad of ways seniors can keep their minds and bodies active.

One of the best routes to a satisfying lifestyle is pursuing one’s creative calling. For many retirees, “creative aging” can comprise returning to a skill they enjoyed when they were younger, and even taking on the ...

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Caregivers: Do Unto Others

An astounding statistic was recently released by AARP: Some 42 million Americans between the ages of 40-60 are caring for older adults, in many cases, their parents. Of this group of “unprofessional caregivers” roughly 60 percent are spending an average of 10 hours per week providing “hands-on” support.

Here’s the real kicker: The remaining 40% of adult children devote a whopping 40+ hours a week to the complete medical guardianship of their parent(s), with the primary goal of eliminating the possibility ...

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Managing Your Finances or Vice-Versa?

Regardless of one’s age, getting a handle on personal or family finances can be challenging. But imagine the difficulty of that task if the “manager” is older and suffers from any number of maladies, including dementia, diminishing eyesight, or arthritis.

And like many other issues involving seniors, studies suggest finances to be a credible national concern. As many as 30% of older Americans at current need some kind of “baseline” assistance with finances – worse still, somewhere between 5-10% are incapable ...

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Penning A “Bucket List” – Macabre or A Worthwhile Exercise?

Younger generations may have become acquainted with the notion of a “Bucket List” from the 2007 feature film of the same name starring Academy Award winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two terminally ill cancer patients who abscond from their hospital beds to complete a to-do inventory of activities before they die.

But the idea of doing the things (or some of the things, anyway) you’ve never had a chance to do before you “kick the bucket” isn’t a novel ...

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Supplemental Insurance: Necessary or Excessive?

For many of us, our only connection to the concept of supplemental insurance is an amusing series of commercials featuring a slightly obnoxious, but delightfully quirky duck.

Here’s a real definition: Supplemental insurance is extra or additional insurance you can purchase to help pay for services and out-of-pocket expenses that your primary carrier does not cover. This is especially true in regards to adding an extra layer of protection/coverage to a “standard” Medicare policy.

“Medigap” is the most common type of supplemental ...

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Elder Abuse: What It Is and What You Can Do About It

Although it is perhaps not as publicized as child abuse, abuse of the elderly is just as serious and just as troubling.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elder abuse covers both intentional abuse (physical and emotional) and unintentional abuse (negligence) by a trusted individual. Studies report that more than 10 percent of the elderly in the United States have been the victim of abuse, representing some 6 million cases. Still other studies indicate that many incidents are under-identified ...

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Alzheimer’s and Dementia: When Lying is the Best Medicine

 

Caring.com, a wonderful resource for family members who are acting as caregivers, posts that being able to re-direct a patient is one helpful way to communicate your way through stressful moments.

“Re-direction” essentially entails changing the topic when the patient becomes obsessed with one subject and acts agitated or angry. Behavior that is often “out-of character” for a dementia patient can sometimes be thwarted when caregivers divert attention from stressful situations to something more pleasant.

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Genealogy: Enjoy the Process of Finding Your Origins

Although we humans as a species may not obsess every day about where we came from, it’s a very real part of our human nature to ponder our origins. Call it curiosity, a delight in personal history, or as one person recently posted, a feeling that “my dearly departed kinfolk keep tuggin’ at me.”

“Genealogy,” the study of family histories, has long been a popular hobby for Americans, especially among seniors. Since our country was founded, an estimated 100 million Americans ...

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I Will Survive: Keeping Seniors Safe During Extreme Heat

After last week’s scorching heat, we were reminded that everyone, especially senior citizens, are vulnerable to extreme weather.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control Prevention estimates that hundreds of Americans die each year due to oppressive temperatures. Sadly, most of these deaths could have been prevented.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to heat over-exposure. SeniorLivingChoices.com says that folks 65 and over are 12-13 times more likely to suffer from heat stroke than any other age demographic. Contributing factors can ...

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